Five Score, Divided by Four

by TwistedSpectrum

First published

As a fan of the show, I always loved Rainbow Dash and her cutie mark, but I never wanted it to appear on my leg! Now that it has, all sorts of things are getting weird around here. I'm a guy, not a mare! Cartoon ponies aren't real... right?

Curious about Five Score? Come check out the story that inspired so many side fics that FimFic had to make a rule banning any more of them!

Even though MLP:FiM ended a few years ago, my friends and I still loved the show. Stories, merch, fan art, I loved it all. Things started to get a weird though when I found myself with a cutie mark appearing on my leg. Humans aren't supposed to get cutie marks, so where the heck did this come from? And what's going on with my hair?

There is also a Mature rated version of this story. People who want to read the Mature version (which has more colorful language, nudity, and occasional light clop) may do so by clicking here. It's not a clopfic by any means, but it does have some explicit sex scenes.

Look what random people on the internet are saying about Five Score, Divided by Four

-Shadow Reaper

I'll probably never be able to clop again if this keeps up.
-Dash Attack

One of the best things to come out of this fandom.

This made me change how I think about fictional worlds, imagination, and even reality

The only story on FimFiction to have me literally shaking with excitement.

Five Score master editor:

Five Score proofreaders:
Comrade Sparkle
Rustle my Jimmies

1. That wasn't there before.

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Quick note, there is also a Mature rated version of this story here on FimFic. People who want to read the Mature version (which has more colorful language, nudity, and occasional light clop) may do so by clicking my profile here and then clicking the story link on the top of my profile. [Picture explanation] Oh, and make sure you have 'view mature content' on in your profile settings.
Both versions have the same story and are 95% identical, but people that are okay with reading graphic content will probably enjoy the mature version more.

Chapter 1: That wasn’t there before.

I click through links furiously. “Come on, there’s gotta be some new Dash pics in here somewhere. It’s been at least three days since I’ve seen a new one.” It's late at night, and I'm browsing DeviantArt looking for some new pony images. MLP:FiM ended a few years ago, after its fifth season, but I'm still a huge fan. I love fanart of any of the the characters, but Rainbow Dash is by far my favorite pony of the bunch. She always has been, and she always will be. I don't even know why, really. There has always just been something about her.

Unfortunately, a lot of the fandom has died down over the years. Sure, new fan content still surfaces here and there, but not nearly as often as it used to. The worst part is less overall content, means less content of specific ponies. Days can go by without any new Dash pics, and I'm lucky if in a month I can get a single new Dash wallpaper. I don't even want to think about how things are just going to get worse in the future. It's the year 2020, and fanart is already this scarce, what is it going to be like in another ten years? Man, maybe I should learn to draw my own art? Or maybe I can just commission something? I sigh as I realize DeviantArt has no new uploads of the blue pony today. “I guess I'll just go through the archives and look for pics I skipped over before.” Urgh, this is getting depressing.


I wake up early the next day, and shake the last vestiges of sleep from my head. The nightmare I was having, something about the MLP finale, fades from my mind. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the show ended, and I’m still getting bad dreams about that episode. In all honesty, it’s a terrible episode. I mean, pretty much everyone in the fandom agrees it was a stupid way to end the show. But regardless of the reviews, all I know is that episode still gives me honest to goodness nightmares. I still don’t know how they managed to air an episode like that on a children’s network and not get sued by the FCC.

At least today should be a good day. See, today is May 1st, and it’s my 25th birthday! It occurs to me that I really should clean this place up a bit, as I have friends coming over soon. The party should be fun, my best friend Jack shares a birthday with me, so every year we host a joint birthday party. I've known Jack for a really long time. Well, I guess it hasn't been that long, but it sure feels like it.

We met in high school during a track competition some eleven years ago. Back then he was from our school’s rival team, and we were competing in the 400m dash. I met him on the starting line before the race, and we just hit it off immediately. We only had about a minute to talk while we stretched waiting for the race to begin, but by the end of it I felt like we were already best friends. The race then followed thereafter, it was a hell of a race too. The 400m was always my best race, and I was shocked to see Jack stay neck and neck with me until the very end. I ended up winning by a nose and I still give him crap over his loss, though he always just rolls his eyes and claims I tripped him in the last 50 yards.

In any case, Jack is a great guy, so is his brother Evan. Though Evan is about the same age as Jack and I, he is mature beyond his years. His maturity probably has something to do with the fact that he runs the family farm. Evan and Jack live on this small ranch just outside of town. As I recall, their parents died when they were fairly young; Evan had to grow up pretty quick to take care of both the farm and his younger brother.

Anyways, as much as I respect Evan, I sort of wish he wasn’t planning on coming to the party today. You see, while Jack and I like silly things, such are cartoons about ponies, Evan is the complete opposite. I don’t really blame him for being so stoic and mature, but it’s still a pity. Usually at parties like this, Jack and I love to watch old episodes, but if Evan is around we keep the pony on the down low due to mutual respect.

The sound of a doorbell brings me out of my thoughts; looks like the guests have arrived.

“Happy Birthday! Hope you got room for all the strippers I brought!” Jack jokes as he barges into my apartment, both arms carrying a large load of beer and chips.

“Oh crap, you’re bringing some strippers too? Dammit, I had already ordered a dozen for the apartment already!” I joke as Jack drops the bags and gives me a hug that only best friends could share. “It's good to see you Jack, and a Happy Birthday right back at ya! The big Two-Five!”

“You knuckle-heads have been around for a quarter century already, isn't that something?” I look up to see Evan standing in the doorway with a comforting smile on his face. “Happy Birthday, I got you something for the occasion”. He hands over a heavy box.

I open it up on the spot; it’s a bottle of Scotch. I read the label “Langavulin Reserve, 25 year aged! Jesus, Evan, how much did you pay for this?”

“Ah, it's nothing. It cost a bit, but I figure it’s cheaper in the long run because it’s a present to both of you. Saved me the trouble of buying two presents. 25 year aged Scotch for your 25th birthdays.”

Jack strode over and is in awe at the bottle. “Holy crap, thanks bro! You know I love the whisky. Let’s get some glasses out and pop this bad boy open!”

I'm in the middle of opening the cabinet when I hear a fourth voice speak out from the doorframe. “You know, you should wait until the perfect time before you drink something that special.” I turn around and see Fiona standing just outside the apartment and looking in through the doorframe.

“Fiona, get in here, how long have you been standing there?” In all the commotion of Evan and Jack arriving, I forgot I also invited Fiona. She’s a quiet girl I met her in college a few years back, and she doesn’t get out much. She's really sweet though, the type of girl you just like to be in the company of, in a non sexual way. Things are just more calm with her around. Jack and Evan have taken a liking to her as well. Though, even with all three of us being close with her, no one makes any advances on Fiona. I’m not sure if it’s because she is just too sweet to think of in that way, or if it’s just because us guys didn’t wanna make a move on her which would make the other guys jealous.

A noise behind me brings me out of my musings. “What were you saying about ‘waiting for the perfect time’ to drink this?” Jack asks while waggling the bottle of Scotch in his hand.

“Oh, well, you know, I heard in some communities it’s tradition to take a shot of alcohol on the exact anniversary of your birth,” Fiona says as she calmly strides in and hands Jack a large gift bag before turning to hand me one as well. “Oh and Happy Birthday, by the way. Hope you like what I made!”

Jack takes the gift bag from her hand but didn’t look inside, he is still confused about the drink. “Hold on, Fiona, this is the exact anniversary of our birth. You know, a birthday.”

Evan cuts him off, “I think she means the exact time. You know, Jack, like you were born at what, 5:37pm I think? It lists it on your birth certificate, you know. So I guess you’re supposed to take a shot at that exact time? Though, I can’t say I approve using top shelf Scotch for shots...”

Jack pops the cork off the bottle “Oh be quiet. It’s already paid for, I say we use the Scotch. And actually, that's convenient, it’s 5:30 right now. We should get ready for this.”

I sit for a second, trying to remember my own birthday time. I remember I actually looked it up awhile ago and used to have it memorized... “Oh yeah, I remember my time! Wait, damn, that’s lame, my birth-time was something like 11:30pm. Urgh, you guys are going to be back home by then. Oh well, let’s all just have a drink to celebrate Jack’s time.”

Jack starts to pick stuff off the table to make room, only to realize he is already holding something in his hand: the gift bag Fiona handed to him when she arrived. Jack starts to open it as he talks more about the Scotch, “Yeah, that sounds good guys. Any excuse to drink more is a good rule in my book. Let’s just get some glasses, and then we cAN OH MY GOD IT’S ADORABLE!”

I spin around to see Jack holding a handmade plushie of Vinyl Scratch, his long time favorite pony. Fiona stands off to the side, beaming at what is obviously something she hand stitched. I have to hand it to her, that plushie is pretty damn adorable. I'm actually kind of jealous. Wait. Wait a second, she gave me a present bag too, didn’t she? Does that mean what I think it means? I leap over a chair and sprint back into the living room, quickly finding the gift bag I had previously set down. I immediately grab it and tear the cover off. My eyes barely have time to register the color of the plushie’s hair before I gave out a yell of jubilation “Aawww yeah!” I am holding a Rainbow Dash plushie in my hand, and it’s pretty much the best thing I have ever seen.

Jack laughs as he looks at my present. “Urgh, you just had to get him more Dash merch, didn’t you, Fiona? Don’t encourage him!”

Fiona blushes and shrugs her shoulders, but before she could reply she is glomped by both Jack and I as we fight over space to hug and thank Fiona for the presents. It's a pretty touching moment, but it's cut short by Evan poking his head back into the living room. “Hey guys the shots are poured and—Oh great, more ponies, sheesh.” Silly Evan, he was outnumbered. With Fiona here the ratio of pony fans to plebs is 3:1.

“Don’t be jealous, I can make you one for your birthday if you want, Evan! Just tell me your favorite pony,” Fiona smiles as we make our way to the dining table to do our ceremonial drinks of Jack’s 25th birthday.

“You should make him Applejack, being a farmhand and all.” I smirk as I put Dashie down on the table. God damn, that is one cute plushie.

Jack rolls his eyes. “Oh god, not Applejack, don’t waste your time making a plushie of Ms. Utterly Useless Pony”. He hugs Vinyl so hard I start to worry the seams will burst.

Evan remains deadpan through this entire ordeal. “Fiona, you’re asking me for my favorite pony? Is there a pony that just goes around and kills all the other ponies?”

Fiona’s smile vanishes instantly, but, surprisingly enough, she keeps the conversation going. “Well, that would be Season 5 Discord, but I’m not making you one of him”.

I feel myself wince at the mention of Discord, and in my periphery I see that Jack do the same. I always wince when someone mentions Discord. I suppose it’s because I feel he ruined the show. However unsettled I might be by the mention of him, I do have to correct an error here. “Well, come on now. Discord didn’t kill the main ponies, he just... ah, forget it. Evan doesn’t care, let’s just end this pony talk for now”

“Yes, please do,” Evan says, still deadpan. He checks his watch. “Alright guys, let’s get ready, it’s 5:36”

“Quarter of a century here I come!” Jack proudly exclaims as he puts Vinyl down and stands up, shot glass in hand. The rest of us follow his lead and join him in standing and holding our glasses in the air. Even Fiona joins in on this, which surprises me; I usually don't see her drinking hard liquor.

Evan starts a countdown, “Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven!” I look around and take in the scene, these co-birthday parties always give the best memories. “...Four! Three! Two! One! Drink!” Evan yells and I tip my shot glass back.

The smoky amber fluid burns as I knock it back. “Oh wow, strong stuff!” I exclaim as I slam the empty glass down where it was soon met by the glasses of Fiona and Evan. “That was... mmm... peaty”

Evan agrees, “Takes out the fire, but leaves in the warmth.”

“What did you think of that, Jack?” I ask. After no reply, I look up at him and immediately become confused. Jack is just standing there, a full shot glass of Scotch still in his hand.

“Uh, Jack?” Fiona says quietly as she joins Evan and I in staring at Jack. He is just standing stock-still, oblivious to everything around him. His eyes are unfocused, and are just staring past everyone at something beyond the horizon.

Evan reaches out and pokes him on the shoulder. Hard. Jack twitches and snaps back to attention. He blinks twice and looks around as if he is unsure of what we are doing in the kitchen. His eyes land on me and then he just stops and stares at me for a bit. I want to ask if he feels okay, but then he tilts his head and stares into my eyes. After a few seconds of looking at me, he opens his mouth. “...Rainbow Dash?”

I feel a slight chill go down my spine. “What? ...What about her?” I ask, confused, “Are you talking about the plushie?” I look around for my birthday present to make sure it is okay. I spot the plushie on the far side of the room, and it seems fine so I turn back to face Jack. He is still just staring at me with a distant, confused look in his eyes. I am about to ask what he is talking about, but the moment is ruined by Evan laughing.

“You forgot to drink, you big dope!” Evan laughs as he slaps Jack on the back, immediately breaking the confused look on his face.

“Haha, dang it, Jack, you had one job!’” Fiona giggles to herself as she pats Jack on the shoulder.

Jack looks around in an addled state, and reaches down to rub his thigh. “I, um, yeah.”

“You okay there, buddy? Never seen you zone out like that, and in the middle of a party no less,” I say as I look at him closely. He looks fine now, but I am wondering what the heck he was referring to when he looked at me and called me Dash. That doesn’t make any sense, we aren’t the role playing type. Despite my well known obsession with a certain rainbow-maned best pony, in all my years I have never heard Jack never call me her name before. I want to brush it off as nothing, but something feels off.

Jack brings me back to reality by speaking up. “Yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine. I was just lost in thought or something that’s all. How long until we can drink these shots?” The three of us raise our eyebrows at Jack. “Wait... did you guys drink already? What the crap? When did that happen?” We all continue to stare at Jack. None of us quite sure how to respond to his rhetorical questions. Thankfully, the awkward silence is broken by Jack shrugging his shoulders and saying, “Whatever, bottoms up!” He downs his drink in one gulp and drops the glass where the others went.


It’s getting late and I stuck cleaning the dishes from the party. I yawn and check the clock, noting that Fiona left about two hours ago.

“Alright, I’m headed out, you kids have fun,” Evan says as he heads out the door.

Jack waves back and yells over his shoulder at Evan “See you tomorrow, bro. Don’t forget to check on Sara when you get home. I think her hoof might still be infected, she's been acting really antsy around me these past few days.” Jack decided to crash at my place tonight, but Evan couldn’t stay. It’s a pity, but the fact is they live on a working farm, and work there starts at 6am. Thankfully it's a small farm, just a few acres of organic corn that they sell locally. Their real pride is their horse stock. They have a dozen purebred Spanish Andalusians that they bred every season. A healthy purebred colt can sell for upwards of ten thousand dollars; it’s pretty much how they pay their bills. In any case, Evan has to leave to go feed them for the night.

After a few hours of card games and beer, Jack and I decide to call it for the night. My friend collapses on my sofa, not even bothering to change clothes first. Well, whatever, not my problem. I don’t do his laundry.

I yawn and check the clock, it's only 11pm. I figure I have at least an hour before I'll be going to bed myself, so I might as well browse the internet until then. I make my way to my room and boot up my desktop. I start skimming some pony sites and forums to try and find new pony content, and eventually I stumble across a random 'rule 34' thread. I pause for a moment, debating if I should open it. I'm not really a clopper, but I do sometimes look through these threads. If nothing else, it's a way to find new content of Rainbow Dash...

I turn around and made sure my door is locked shut, then proceed to open the thread and scroll through to see what they have. The thread is filled with a bunch of posts from people raving about this new video, and I see them link to an animated flash titled “Shining Armor X Rainbow Dash. Duration: 2:30”. I stop and grimace. That sounds like hardcore clop, Not my cup of tea, I should pass it up and get out of this thread. But, on the other hand, I'm crazy desperate for new content. A new animated video featuring Dash? Gah, maybe I'll just take a peak to see if the animation is any good. My digital watch beeps once to signify it's 11:30, and I press play on the video.


> the sound of thunder at nighttime <

“...what did you do....”

> the feeling of wind <

if you’re not here to use them...”

> moving at unbelievable speed <

For five score, divided by four...”


Blink. Blink... blink. What am I doing again? I reach down and scratch my thigh. Oh, right, that video, I just started it! I look up at the screen, only to see that the video is over. “Uh, that’s odd, video must have bugged out on me.” Out of the corner of my eye I see my watch. It’s 11:34pm.

Wait, what? My watch just beeped on the bottom of the hour, how is it 11:34? I must have dozed off for a few minutes there. I try to think, did my mind wander, or something? What was I thinking about? Something about.... pfft, hell if I know. Whatever, it’s getting late. I’ll just watch this video and then get to bed.

I restart the video, and wow, it is actually really well animated. I mean, this is practically show quality! Though, as I watch, I notice something odd. Normally when I watch pony vids, my eyes are locked on Dash. But right now I'm really distracted by how good Shining Armor looks. I mean, the video just shows them standing there and talking to each other right now, but still, I can't help but notice how Shining looks, what's the word, attractive? That gorgeous mane, his chiseled muzzle, those muscles... I'm so jealous of Dash, I wish I was the one standing there talking to a stallion as handsome as Shining...

Suddenly I freeze as realize what I was thinking. I shake my head to clear the thoughts. “Gah! Brain, what the hell?!” I close the video, that rule 34 thread, and my entire internet browser. Then I shut off my computer and back away from my desk. “Urgh, I feel like I need a shower.” I have nothing against people who are into stallions, I just know that I'm not one of them.

I go into to the shower, undress, and turn on the water while staring off into space. What a weird fantasy to have while watching that video. I never think about stallions like that, it’s just not my thing. I reach down and scratch my leg again “Maybe that alcohol is still in my system or something.” My hand starts rubbing my thigh as I close my eyes under the shower and let the water flow over my back. “Oh well, it’s not like anyone is going to know I was thinking about a stallion like that, no harm no foul I suppose”. I realize I am still absentmindedly rubbing my leg, so I look down to see what my hand is up to. Huh? That color wasn’t there before. I lift up my hand and blink to clear the water from my eyes, only to feel my blood turn cold at what I see.

Rainbow Dash’s Cutie Mark is emblazoned across my thigh.

2. Quite the prank.

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Chapter 2: Quite the prank

I rub my eyes and look again, but the Cutie Mark is still there.

“What the... fuck?” I say aloud as I slowly reach up and shut off the water. After a moment of staring, I turn to check the other side, confirming that the logo is blazed across both of my thighs. “Where the hell did these come from?” I ask the air, then reach down to feel them again. I run my hand over the mark, expecting to feel plastic or something. But no, all I feel is skin. It’s like the cutie mark is tattooed right on there.

I step out of the shower and kneel down to get a better look. It’s very well done. Most tattoos I’ve seen have soft edges, and the colors are usually a bit faded. That’s not the case here though. The detail lines on my thigh are razor sharp, and the colors are as vibrant as day. I mean, the detail and clarity of this lightning bolt would put graphic vectors to shame. I stare at the images for a while, my mind still failing to make sense of the pictures my eyes are sending up.

To try and calm my nerves, I start attempting an explanation out loud. “It must have been Jack. He always pokes fun at my obsession with Dash. He probably put one of those temporary sticker tattoos on me when I fell asleep”. Just as the words leave my mouth, my mind tells me that couldn't have been possible. Jack fell asleep before you did, it couldn’t have been him. There is also the annoying fact that this doesn’t look like sticker that you could just slap on someone's leg. There are no cracks, no raised edges, and no flaws on any kind. It’s perfectly flush with my leg.

I rub my eyes, trying to think when this could have happened. I’m too tired to make sense of this, and the alcohol in my system isn't helping. This is going to have to wait till morning. I go to bed, chuckling to myself, “See, this is why I shouldn't fantasize about stallions. Look what happens!”


I awake to the sound of a mixer in the kitchen. Jack is making pancakes, as per usual. I put on a robe and shuffle into the kitchen. “Morning, Jack,” I mumble as I pass him by on my way to turn on the coffee maker.

“Hey Dave, good morning!” Jack replies enthusiastically. He is always far too cheerful in the mornings. Well, at least he is putting himself to work here and making breakfast for us. As for me, I won’t be truly awake until I have caffeine in my veins.

As I wait for the coffee maker to finish, I return to my room to change out of my pajamas. As I change, I look in the mirror to check if I need to shave. I have some short stubble on my chin, but it matches my brown hair color and goes pretty well with this short haircut. Satisfied with my look, I turn away from the mirror, catching a glimpse of color from my upper thigh. Oh god, how could I forgotten about the cutie marks from last night! They are still there! I do a quick once over, nothing else is out of place, I just have Rainbow Dash’s cutie marks on my legs. I take a step back and look at myself in the full length mirror. One thing's for certain, I look utterly ridiculous with these tattoos on me.

One quick clothing change later, I enter the kitchen to the smell of pancakes, maple syrup, and coffee. Jack is one hell of a cook, but before I could enjoy breakfast I have to address the elephant in the room. I don't want to give Jack the satisfaction of fooling me, so I decide to start out pretending I already figured it all out. “Haha, Jack, very funny. Don’t know how the hell you did it, but good work.”

Jack looked up from his mug of coffee. “Hmm? What’s up? Something wrong with your pancakes?” He leans forward and frowns at my plate for a few seconds.

“You know what I’m talking about. Your little, colorful handiwork last night.”

I know this is Jack’s doing. It has be him. Fiona is too sweet to prank someone, and Evan doesn’t even know what a cutie mark looks like. However, Jack just shrugs as he looks at me. “I have no idea what you’re getting at. Did your toilet flood or something?”

I bite my lip. Unfortunately, Jack naturally has a perfect poker face, I can never tell when he is joking. Well, fuck it, one way to find out for sure. “Fine. I’m talking about this.” I turn sideways and pull down on the elastic waistband on the side of my pants, keeping myself covered but bringing a cutie mark into full view.

I am rewarded by a mouthful of hot coffee spit from Jack across the table. “Ppfft! Jesus Christ, dude what the hell were you thinking!”. Now it’s my turn to look confused. Jack stands up and walks over to get a better look. “Seriously dude, when the hell did you get those!”

I frown, his words were exactly what I thought when I first saw it. “So... you're telling me that these cutie marks aren't your doing?” A mix of confusion, and a little bit of panic comes over me.

Jack doesn’t even acknowledge my question. “Dude, you’re killing me. The show peaked over half a decade ago, and you went and got a tattoo now? Do you ever think you’re taking this Rainbow Dash thing a bit far?”

“No see, I didn’t—.” I start, but Jack cuts me off.

“I mean, having a favorite pony is one thing. But you have t-shirts of her, toys, plushies, stickers, god knows you probably even clop to her, and now you get a tattoo? You're way too obsessed, you even insist on crediting Dash for your good luck with the weather.”

I bite my lip. I could never explain that last one, but I did have a history at being unnaturally lucky with the weather. I always can tell when it’s going to rain or when frost is coming. And I never get stuck in bad weather. My friends always ask how I’m so lucky with it, and in recent years I would just laugh and say that Dash is looking out for me.

I’m brought back to the present by the end of Jack’s rant. “ read fics of her, you credit her for your good fortune, you wanna marry her, and now you got her tattoo? I mean, I know you love that mare, but I think you crossed the line somewhere in there.”

I raised my hand. “Dude, calm down, this was all just a... joke. Yeah, a joke.” At this point, my mind decides to help me and starts creating a lie as fast as I can speak it. “It was, uh, Fiona’s idea. Yeah, she, uh, gave me some temporary tattoos she bought online, and then... we... um... we made bets to see how you would react to seeing them on me! A bet which, by the way, I just won.” I end with a smile. Did he buy it? Please tell me he bought it.

Jack looks at me for a second, then shakes his head and sits back down. “Gah, I should have known.” He picks up his fork and resumes eating, then glances back up at me “Rainbow Dash, you are one crazy motherfucker.”

“Hehe, thanks man, you should have seen your... face” My mouth stumbles as my brain replays back Jack’s last sentence. He called me Dash. Huh, clearly he’s making fun of me at this point. Clever bastard, I almost didn’t catch it.

A few moment later Jack finishes his food and starts putting his dishes away. “So, Evan is showing up with the truck in about thirty minutes to take me into town. What do you wanna do until then?”

Oh, I do have something on my mind. “All this talk about ponies, has gotten me in the mood to watch ponies.”

I hear Jack laugh over the sound of the dishes being cleaned. “Haha, I should have known. Well, let’s get started, but can I make an episode request?”

“Yea sure, which one do you have in mind?” I reply as I frown to myself. To be honest, I had wanted to pick the episode today. I’m interested in seeing the show finale again, something about it is bugging me. Jack will never suggest that one though, he hates that episode.

“Can we watch, the show finale?” Jack asks with a pause in his voice. I raise my eyebrows in surprise, but I don’t bother questioning the reasoning behind his choice. Never second guess good fortune. I just grab the Season 5 disk and turn on the TV, feeling eager start the episode already. I don't know what it is, but there's just something in my memory of this episode that feels... off.

A moment later, Jack sits down on the couch a few feet away. He speaks up, “Something about this episode is bugging my mind, it just feels 'off' to me all of a sudden.”

I blink twice. Maybe I should have second guessed good fortune.


Most of the episode passes without incident. I remember it all too well. It starts out with Discord and Celestia allied together in an epic battle against a huge hellspawn from Tartarus. It’s a pretty amazing battle, but then takes this strange turn in the middle of the fight. Celestia takes a bad hit from the hellspawn, and is lying down on the edge of this volcano. She cries out for help and Discord teleports over. Discord then kneels beside the defenseless Celestia, and you can hear her cry out for help and explain she can’t move her legs. Just when you think Discord is going to save her, he instead laughs and kicks her limp body over the edge of the cliff.

To this day, I can still feel the heart pounded dread that I got when I first saw this scene, and the terror that filled me as the Goddess gave out a blood curdling scream when she landed into the lava below. In any case, after Celestia's fall, Discord then laughs maniacally and explains to the camera that he played her for a fool this whole time, and he waited over a thousand years for this day.

The next scene shows Discord traveling to meet Twilight, where he surprises her with some sort of magical attack which eliminates her in a flash of white. Then after that scene, of course, is the scene where Discord attacks Rainbow Dash at nighttime, and Dash fights Discord in midair for a while before—. Wait, what the hell? Why are the credits rolling right now? Why is the episode over after the Twilight scene? What happened to the last scene with Dash? The episode wasn’t supposed to end with Twilight, there was more to it!

“Aww man, what the hell? They cut the last scene!” Jack stands up and is visibly angry at the TV. “That was the best scene in the entire episode! The entire season even!”

Phew, it’s a relief to hear Jack confirm my thoughts of the missing scene. For a second, I was worried the final scene with Dash never actually happened. Good to know Jack’s got my back here. “Yeah, Jack, they must have cut it out of the episode. Stupid Hasbro.”

Jack shakes his head. “What a bunch of idiots. Why cut out the final scene? That doesn’t make any sense!”

“I know right!” I happily agree.

“It’s such an emotional, powerful scene too. It really sticks with you once you see it”

“Exactly!” I couldn’t agree more, that Dash battle is tearful, but amazing.

“It’s a short scene too!”

“Yup” I nod as I take a sip of water.

“One final battle,”


“Of Applejack defending her farm.”

“Mhm—!” now it’s my turn to spew water across the coffee table. “Wait, what?”

“The last scene. Applejack is on her farm and Discord shows up.” Jack stares at me waiting for acknowledgment.

Okay, I know Jack is wrong here, the last scene is Dash fighting Discord in the night sky in a spectacular battle. Applejack’s farm? Where the hell is he getting that from? “I uh, I don’t remember that scene, dude”

Jack rolls his eyes “Dude, that’s the scene. You just said yourself, they cut a scene. Well, that’s the scene they cut! What scene did you think they cut? I’m telling you, it’s the one with Applejack.”

I’m in a pickle here. On one hand, I’m positive the last scene shows Dash. But on the other hand, after this morning I’m not really willing to put myself out on that limb. Jack would probably get annoyed and claim it’s just more evidence of my Dash obsession. But yet... I know that Dash scene is real.

Jack sees my hesitation and decides to jog my memory. “Remember, Discord shows up on the farm and spars with Applejack. He mocks her for trying to fight back, joking that she is powerless against him. Discord then, he then...” Jack swallows hard and his voice gets quiet. ”He calls her a useless pony.” Jack turns away from me, and, if I didn’t know any better, I would swear he just started crying. I've never seen him cry before...

After a moment, I see Jack blot his eyes with his sleeve, and he continues his storytelling. “After Applejack is broken and beaten, Discord charges up some spell. But just before Discord finishes her off, Big Mac comes in and tackles him from the side. Discord screams at him and there is a tussle offscreen between him and Big Mac. You hear Big Mac scream out for Applejack. He tells her to run, he tells her for the love of Celestia just run and save herself. Then, there is a spectacular explosion and Applejack screams out for her brother. She doesn’t hear her brother though, Discord’s laughter just rings out as he returns to finish off the wounded Applejack. And that’s that, the episode just ends right there.”

The clock on the wall ticks loudly, and I don’t know what to say. Not only have I never heard that Applejack story before, but I don’t think I have ever heard Jack get that emotional over anything before. The emotion in his voice, Jesus. Where is that story from though? Is Jack confusing canon with a fanfic he read? Why would he read a fanfic about Applejack? Thankfully, the silence is broken by a loud doorbell.

“Come in,” I yell over my shoulder. I turn to see Evan enter the apartment, jiggling his car keys. I turn back to Jack. “I don’t know Jack, I don’t actually remember that scene, but it has been a long time since I saw this episode.”

Evan walks towards us. “Dave, Jack, hey guys. What are you two talking about?”

I reply without even turning to look at him. “Don’t worry about it, Evan. We are just trying to settle a discrepancy with ponies. Trying to figure out how this episode ended.”

Evan laughs, “Oh, well then I’m just in time! I can cast the tie breaking vote!”

I roll my eyes. I really am not in the mood for Evan’s antics, “Oh, sure thing buddy, that’s a big help from someone that hasn’t seen the show.”

Evan crosses his arms. “Not true, Jack made me watch a few episodes back in the day!”

I looked over at Jack, he nods. “It’s true, I did show Evan an episode or two. But I only showed him some Season 1 classics way back when. I never showed him the finale.”

Evan looks between the two of us. “Wait, the finale? Is that the episode with that freaky magic chimera thing that attacks everyone?”

Jack and I exchange looks, and then both turn to stare at Evan. Jack speaks up, “Yeah, that one. When did you watch that one? And how does it end?”

Evan stares off at the wall for a second, then ignores the first part of the question. “Well, let’s see here, how did it end. It shows the apple farm that is run by that orange colored mare....”

“Applejack.” My friend and I say in unison.

“Yeah, sure, her. She’s having some battle with the magic chimera thing, and her brother, the protagonist, is watching. At first he thinks it’s just an argument, but then he sees that it’s actually a fight, and that his sister is in pain. Anger courses through his veins, and then he just fucking charges in there and tackles the monster. He starts beating the snot out of of the beast with his hooves, but then the monster fights back. The stallion yells out, telling his sister to run, to save herself. Then he gets hit by some spell, and it ends right there. That’s the end of the show. Gotta admit, that stallion had some guts.”

“See, I told you! It ends with the scene at Applejack’s place!” Jack says triumphantly as he gathers his bags and makes for the door. “My brother doesn’t even watch the show and he knows the correct final scene!”

Jack has a good point there, that scene must have really happened if Evan knew about it. Then why the hell have I never heard of it? And where did that Dash scene come from? It has to be from something. I know it’s not a fan animation, is it just something I just came across recently?

I help Jack get his bags to the door, and decide there would be time to ponder this later. “Alright, thanks for staying over Jack, nice seeing you Evan!” I wave, then look up at the sky. A feeling floats through my mind ~Thunderstorm is coming~. Hmmm, I should get my mail before the rain hits. I hop outside, and walk the two blocks to the main apartment office to get my mail. My mind is still trying to make sense of that Applejack scene, and I’m not really paying attention to where I’m walking. Unfortunately, this ends with me bumping right into Fiona, who was walking the other way. “Ah! Oh, sorry, sorry Fiona!”

Fiona steps back in shock but then relaxes when she sees it’s me. “Eek! Oh hey, Rainbow Dash, so sorry about that! I’m such a worried mess right now, I gotta go deal with something!”

Man, she looked really preoccupied with something. Wonder what got her worried like that, it’s not like her to run away without saying... Wait a second... I rub my forehead. Great, just great. First the mystery tattoo, and now I’m starting to hear things. “What the fuck is going on around here,” I yell to the sky. Maybe Jack is right, maybe I do need to lay off the Rainbow Dash stuff for a few days. I return home and close the door. Behind me, I hear the sound of the first raindrops hitting the street behind me, and the back of my mind tells me that this storm will bring two inches of rain over six hours. I yawn and head for my couch, still worried about what Fiona said and what that missing scene in the finale was all about. I need a nap, maybe it will clear my mind.


I wake up with a yawn, still hearing thunder outside my window. Man, what time is it? I reach over and grab my phone to check the display. It’s 3pm, and I have a missing text message notification. I half groggily reach open the message, it’s from Jack, sent about two hours ago. I blow my long bangs away from my eyes and read the screen. “Oh, haha, real funny! Jackass.” I’m too tired to make sense of it, so I just toss my phone across the sofa. I sit up and rub my neck, I should probably get up, half the day is already gone and all I did today was nap.

I make my way to my room and turn on my computer. As my computer loads I wonder if my cutie mark tattoo thing was still there so I unbutton my pants and pull them down a little so I can see my 'flanks'. Yep, the mark is still there on both legs. I rub my temples trying to make sense of things, then notice my computer had finished loading. I realize how cluttered my desktop screen had gotten, so I decide to go through some of these pictures I had saved on there and get them organized. I start flipping though images, deciding which ones to delete and which ones to file away into the correct folders. After fifty or so normal pics, I get to a unique picture of Dash lying on her back and looking down at herself. I tilt my head and try to decide if the picture is worth keeping, and then, out the corner of my eyes, I catch a glimpse of the colorful marks on my own legs. I look down at my exposed legs and feel a sense déjà vu. Then I look back up at the screen and notice Dash’s legs were tilted in the exact same fashion as mine were right now.

I laugh out loud and look down at my own leg and smirk. It’s amusing to see 'my' cutie marks matching up so well with the ones in the picture. It is kind of surreal really. I smile as my eyes dart back and forth between my legs and the ones my screen. It’s a perfect match, and it’s almost arousing for some reason. I keep looking between the two images. Damn, it's a shame the anatomy between my legs doesn't match that of a mare, then we would really match....

I blink and realize my train of thought. “Ah! What the hell, brain!” I snap my legs back together and stand up, visibly shaking and no longer in the mood for this game. The mental picture of me having a marehood between my legs refuses to fade though. I just keep imagining myself lying on my back with my legs and pelvis looking just like Dash's in that artwork. I can practically feel her nethers existing between my own legs, going along with her cutie marks perfectly. I shake my head again and splash more water on my face, careful not to get my bangs wet.

Wait... bangs? What the fuck? Oh, no, no. I look up at the mirror and almost scream. My hair is supposed to be short, not crazy long like this! What the hell is happening to me? I look like a Final Fantasy character! I grew bangs that cover a fourth of my face, and I have long hair going down my neck! It’s also, wait, is this hair tinted? I learn forward. My hair is supposed to be dark brown, but right now its pretty much running through a full gamut of faint color shades. In the back, my brown hair is tinted slightly violet. But in the front, the brownish purple changes into a subtle rainbow spectrum.

I step back from the mirror and my cutie marks come back into view, I make the connection, my hair looks like a half assed attempt at Dash cosplay. “Well, that settles it. In case anyone was wondering, if you obsess too much about something, apparently parts of your body start trying to look like it.”

I leaned against the wall and started running my fingers through my long hair. I mumble out my worries, “Oh god, how am I going to explain this to Jack? He is going to totally flip out when he sees this. He's going to think I did this on purpose or something. Gah, I’m gonna have to come up with a—.”

Ring Ring.

I close my eyes and sigh, then walk over to my cellphone. Speak of the devil, it’s Jack. Of course it’s Jack, the universe hates me. Well, at least I don’t have to explain any of this over the phone. I don’t have to tell him anything until we meet in person. Meh, I’ll worry about that later, I’m not going to meet with him for a few days. I answer the call, “Hey AJ, what’s up?”

“I’m coming over. Now. I’m already on the way, I’ll be there in less than five minutes.” I open my mouth to speak, but Jack hangs up the phone before I can even reply.

I look back at the mirror, cutie marks on both of my flanks, and multi-hued hair running down my neck. “Yup, I’m boned,”

Shit, shit, shit, shit. Jack’s going to be here any minute, how can I explain this? I toss on a sweatshirt and some pants, then I try to comb the hair so my bangs aren't so huge. It’s no use though, there is just way too much hair up there. I tidy up the living room while I try to think of someway to explain my hair to him. Maybe Fiona put me up to it? Wait, frick, I already used that excuse this morning. Come on think, what could have caused this?

Wait a second... Fiona, she gave that plushie! I start frantically searching for the plushie, it must have had a hand in this whole thing. Guy gets some sort of enchanted, magical, realistic looking plush, and then the guy wakes up with cutie marks and pony hair that matches the plushie! Like a voodoo doll or something! That happens to people, right? I’m in full blown panic mode at this point, I have to find the plushie before Jack gets here, that will fix everything. It has to!

Oh there it is. It’s still sitting on the dining table, exactly where I left it. I pick it up and hold it in my hands, turning it over slowly. “Um, now what? What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” I look at the plushie and scratch my head, trying to figure out why I thought finding the plushie would have in any way helped me out of my current situation.

I hear the car pull up outside. Well, looks like I wasted my last few minutes. I’m going to have to just come up with a story on the fly. I put the plushie down and head back towards the kitchen, awaiting the door knock. I then notice my throat is getting dry with anticipation, so I turn around and start to pour myself a glass of water. I just manage to fill the glass when I hear the door get kicked open and slam against the wall. “Jeez, AJ, the least you can do is knock.” I put the glass down and start to turn around.

“You! Dash! What the hell did you do?!” Jack screams as he makes his way inside.

I wince, wow, he’s really not happy with my new hair. I try and explain myself as Jack walks into view. “Look dude, I didn't want this. I really don’t wanna talk abou—Ahh! Whoa, what did you do to yourself?” My eyes go wide as I look at him. He has long, blond hair flowing down his back, and his eyes shine bright green, like a pair of fresh apples.

"Very funny! Now fix this!" Jack yells.

My brain does a double take. “Wait, but you... I thought you were yelling because of my hair, you’re yelling about your hair?”

Jack reaches back and grabs some of his yellow hair and waves it in front of my face “No shit! Why else would I be yelling? Why would I ever care about, um... your hair...?” He trails off as he glances up at my forehead, and seems to finally notice that he isn’t alone in this situation.

We stand there for a second, both staring at each other’s slightly off putting appearance. I really need to break the ice here, so I swallow the lump in my throat. “Your, um, your eyes turned bright green, dude.”

“And yours turned magenta,” Jack says without skipping a beat.

I blink, “Wait, really? Frick, I didn’t even think to check my eye color. Magenta eyes, that’s pretty sweet actually.” Jack doesn't seem amused, instead he turns sideways and pulls down the side of his sweat pants, confirming what I just recently assumed would be there.

Jack pulls his pants back up, then throws his hands in the air in confusion. “A cutie mark of three red apples! What kind of stupid joke is this? I don’t even like Applejack!”

I agree, Vinyl Scratch would have been much cooler.

3. Hair, what did I ever do to you?

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Chapter 3: Hair, what did I ever do to you!

I rub my forehead. “Dude, I’m as confused as you are. Let’s think about this logically, when did this all start?”

Jack rolls his eyes. “Oh, haha, very funny. Drop the act, Dave, this has your name written all over it. I made fun of your stupid Dash tattoo, then you slap me with this Applejack one and do god knows what to my hair.”

I point at my thigh in the general area where my Dash cutie mark is. “I told you, I didn’t do this! I wouldn’t prank myself dumbass. Do you think I want hair like this? I look ridiculous! Besides, you left my house with normal hair; that changed at your house, not mine. Why not point fingers at Evan, he probably pranked both of us!” I cross my arms, satisfied at my own logic. It has to be Evan, he is the only one left. I mean, if not him, who?

“Evan isn’t here, he’s halfway to Chicago by now. He’s attending this huge agriculture convention that Chi-town hosts every year.” Jack sighs, but calms down a bit. “After I left your place this morning we went straight to the airport to drop him off. Then I drove the car back the to the farm, and I have been alone ever since.” Jack walks past me goes over to my fridge. His gait seems off, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

“So you were home alone all day, and your hair just changed on its own?” I scratch my head, that doesn’t make any sense. However, it’s the exact same story I have, so I can’t really protest the authenticity of his claim.

Jack leans into the fridge and rummages around, occasionally stopping to move his hair out of his eyes. “Yep. I noticed the hair around 3pm or so, right after I noticed the tattoo. Which, by the way, what the fuck. You would have had to take my pants off to put that tattoo on me. You slipping me roofies now or something?”

I shake my head again. “Look, that wasn’t me. But you said you didn’t get that cutie mark until 3pm? Then why did I get my cutie mark last night? I think it’s safe to assume that both the cutie marks, and both our hair changes, are related. The hair happened at about the same time, so the cutie marks should have appeared at the same time too.”

Jack returns from the fridge with a bag of apples and tosses the bag on the table. “First off, it’s not your mark, it’s Rainbow Dash’s. Secondly, I don’t know exactly when AJ’s mark showed up on me. I saw it when I took off my jeans, but I was wearing those jeans for about 24 hours. It could have happened anytime yesterday. Apple?” He holds out his hand, offering one of the fruits.

I accept it. “Okay, that still doesn’t explain our hair. We’re talking ourselves in circles here,” I think aloud as I munch away on nature’s candy. “To solve this, we need to figure out the motive. If we can figure out who would want to do this to us, then it will be easy to figure out the how, and the why.”

“Mmmhm, I still say the biggest mystery is why Applejack. Pranking you with Rainbow Dash is obvious, even the random guy that comes by to pick up your garbage probably knows you’re obsessed to death with her. But then there’s me, why the blond hair and apple mark? Honestly, I never talk about Applejack to anyone.”

Only half paying attention I nod. “Yeah, she is a useless pony”.

I am quickly brought back to attention by Jack closing the distance between us as anger flashes in his eyes. “Damnit! What, you’re quoting Discord now? I am not useless!” I look up and cower a bit. Jack is furious, holding one fist in the air and seemingly ready to strike. What the hell did I say to set him off? And, wait a second, what did he just say?

“Dude, Jack, calm down. First off, I’m sorry. Second off, umm, think back on what you just said.” I stand up and take a few steps back in case he gets violent again.

Jack pauses and lowers his fist. “You, you called me useless. Sorry, I just snapped for some reason. I think I’m just under stress, none of this shit is making any sense and it’s getting annoying.” He turns around and walks back to his seat. I am about to correct him and bring up the fact that I never said he is useless, but his gait distracts me again. I watch it for a few seconds, and it clicks: He is walking with his heels off the ground.

“Are you trying to sneak around? I mean, what’s going on there,” I ask. Jack looks back at me with a blank stare. I point at his feet. “You’ve been walking around on your toes this whole time.”

Jack looks at his feet, then looks over at mine and stares for a few seconds. He sighs and sits down, going back to eating the remains of his apple. “Yeah, well, you’re doing the exact same thing.”


Afternoon approaches quickly, and things just get more frustrating. I want to sit down and reason out what’s happening here, but Jack just refuses the acknowledge that this is anything serious. To him, this is all some prank or something. He’s just too stubborn to reason as I try to tell him something serious is going on. “Come on Jack, hair doesn’t grow this fast, nor does it change color on its own. This isn’t possible!”

He stands up to stretch. “I know, that’s why this is all obviously a joke. You just admitted yourself, this is impossible, so I’m not going to worry about it.”

I facepalm and Jack leaves the room. I have absolutely no idea what it going on, but I have a bad feeling it’s only going to get worse unless we can figure it out. I rub my neck, and try to think back to high school biology. Is rapid hair growth a disease of something? No, that doesn’t make sense, and it wouldn’t explain the cutie marks. I stand up and head over to my room. I should spend some time of Google or something and try and figure this out, maybe it's some crazy virus or... something?

Ring Ring

I turn around and spot the ringing cell phone on a table in the hallway. It’s Jack’s phone, so I turn and yell for him. “Yo, AJ, your cell is ringing over here!” Where did that kid go anyway?

“Answer it, I’ll be right there,” he yells back from across the apartment.

I look at the incoming call, it’s from Evan. He is supposed to be in Chicago for some farm convention thing, right? I pick up the phone. “Hey Evan.”

“Oh hey, dude, where’s Jack?”

I yawn. “In the other room, she should be here any second.”

There is a slight pause. “Ah, I see. Well, no worries. Just tell her that my plane landed and I’m safe at the hotel. I’ll be home in five days, as planned.”

“Sounds good, have fun out there,” I reply as I hang up. Something odd nags at the back of my mind, but, before I can give it any thought, Jack shows back up. I toss him his phone. “Your brother said he landed safe. Everything is fine in Chicago.”

Jack nods. “Sounds good. Well, it’s 4pm, I’m going to go take a quick little siesta before dinner. Wake me in 30 minutes?”

“Alright, I’ll leave you to it.” I say with a wave.

Jack yawns and heads back to the living room to collapse on my sofa. I drum my fingers on my desk and try to think of what to do to get to the bottom of this. It is really hard to focus, I'm stressing myself out from trying to figure out the impossible. Maybe I should take a shower to relax a bit?

I move to my bathroom, lock my door, and start undressing. Halfway through, I pause in front of my mirror to check if any other weird things have popped up. So far so good, nothing new here, just my long mane and my cutie marks. I shake my head and mumble to myself, “Mane? What the hell brain, it’s just called hair.” I shake my head and look at myself again, noticing I’m still standing with my ankles off the ground for whatever reason. I take a moment and focus on trying to get my heels touch the floor. And after a few seconds of effort, I manage to get both feet flat. There we go, all better now.

Or... is it? My balance feels really weird standing like this. That doesn't make any sense, though, why would it feel strange to stand with my feet flat on the—. “Hey! I thought I told you guys to stay on the floor,” I scowl at my heels. Only ten seconds or so have passed, but in that time my feet have decided to automatically revert to standing on my toes. Blah, whatever feels comfortable, I guess.

Shaking my head, I lean closer to the mirror to check my hair. Hmm, come to think of it, I didn’t think my hair was this colorful in the morning. I thought my hair was just slightly tinted when I got up, right? Well, not anymore, the tips of my hairs now form a bright, vivid rainbow pattern. I immediately recognize the pattern and I bite my lip. Gah, this is going to be really hard to hide if it gets any more colorful.

I shake my head. Screw the shower, I need a nice, long bath. As I wait for the tub to fill I think back on everything that’s been going on around here. Things happen for a reason, right? So, what’s the reason for making Jack and I look a little bit like the cartoon horses from a show that ended five years ago? This makes no sense! Damn it, why did Jack have to be an Applejack type character! I need a Twilight Sparkle type person here to figure this all out for me. Someone smart who read books on all this stuff, not just a random farmer.

I raise my eyebrows. Hey, wait a second. Jack lives on a farm, Applejack lives on a farm. Why the hell didn’t I make that connection before? Well, now we know why the prankster is working to make Jack look like Applejack. They are making fun of him for being a farmer! Duh! I smirk, Jack isn’t an apple farmer though, his family mostly grows corn. Clearly, whoever did this prank didn’t do their homework properly. That’s actually a pretty big hint, the prankster must not know much about the show.

I smile at the realization. Evan. That’s who did this to us. He is just clueless enough about ponies to make that mistake. I step into the full tub and settle into the warm water, proud of myself for making that now obvious connection. The water feels divine, and I run my hands over my legs, enjoying the warmth of the water working to relax my muscles. I glace down and see my unexplained cutie mark on both thighs, I smile slightly and run my hand over the mark on my right leg. I didn't know why or how I ended up with this mark, but it was actually kind of cool to have. I close my eyes and trace my fingers over my mark, imagining Dash lying somewhere on a cloud and using her hoof to trace the exact same pattern on her leg.

I smile and continue to slowly rub the mark on my leg, then I bring my left hand up and run it though my new long hair, once again envisioning Dash doing the same thing. My mind wonders to other images of Dash, and an unexpected feminine sigh escapes my lips as I runs my fingers over my cutie mark. Part of my mind asks who just made the girly sound, and another part asks why I’m still rubbing the cutie mark on my leg. Both of these thoughts are soon dismissed though as I just smile and continue to think about Dash and drift off into sleep.


It’s cold. I open my eyes and blink a few times to figure out why I’m so chilly. Ah, I’m still in the tub. But wait, why is the water so cold? I lazily look over at the window, noting that it’s dark outside. Shit. Shit! What time is it?!

I facepalm. I got in here at 4pm, Jack is going to be really pissed when he finds out I let him oversleep by several hours. Urgh, this sucks. Wait, why was Jack at my place again? Oh, right, the cutie marks and the hair! In a sudden panic, I remember that the last time I napped my entire head of hair changed. I just finished another nap, did something else change?

I look down at my hands and arms, breathing a sigh of relief when I see that they are still 100% human. Then I glance down at my body and legs, once again relief floods me as I see that everything looks normal. Then I run my hands over my nose and mouth, phew, still good! Finally, I look down to check one last thing. Yes, my manhood is still looking as it always has. “Phew, dodged a bullet there!”

I chuckle to myself. I’m just being silly and paranoid now. Come on, nothing else could possibly change. I mean, really now, growing longer hair and getting an unexpected tattoo is one thing, but actually becoming a pony? Growing hooves and a fur coat? I laugh. That’s just pure fantasy, magic isn’t real.

Well suppose I should drain this tub and get dressed. I gotta go wake Jack from his nap. Sure, I’m like three hours late, but I still have to go do it. I reach down and pull on the drain, noticing there are rainbow hairs visible near my feet. I tilt my head and speak aloud, “Damn, my hair is longer than I thought.” I reach around to my upper back and try to find where my hair line ends. It stops just below my shoulders, the same spot it ended before the bath. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. If my hair line stops at my shoulders, how is there rainbow hair down by my knees? I stand up, confused, and feel a new strange sensation tugging on me as it lifts out of the water.

I have a tail.

The sheer ‘what the fuck’ nature of the moment utterly paralyzes me for a few seconds. I stand there, halfway out of the tub, staring down at my... tail? I have a tail? I try, and immediately fail to fully process the situation. My mouth uselessly flaps open and closed as my brain short circuits itself. “That’s... not... human,” is all I manage to say.

I reach out in a daze and grab it, then give it a tug. I really hope it will just pull right off, but that’s not the case. Yanking on it just gives me the most strange sensation, as if someone is behind me and pulling directly on my backbone. I take the tail in both of my hands and run my fingers between the long strands, then follow them as they lead to the bottom of my back. This tail isn’t some party trick, and it’s not just hair. The underside of the base of my tail is solid, and it’s made of flesh, blood, and bone. It’s literally growing out of me.

Legitimately panicking at this point, I step out of the tub and move about erratically. Every time I turn my body, the tail gets whipped around and comes into view. And its just just 'the tail', it's mine. I have a fucking tail! I panic even more and incoherent babble starts coming out of my mouth, ‘‘What the fuck, oh god, oh god, what the fuck.” My mind seems to have recovered from it’s paralysis, is now running overtime. Thoughts in my head form faster than I can make sense of them, and my mouth continues to spew random expletives. “Fuck, fuck, this isn’t Evan’s work! Fuck! Last time I checked he can’t grow tails on people! Oh god, oh god, fuck me. Well, at least the colors are show accurate. Who cares about the colors! How do I explain to people that I’m now part horse? This isn’t possible, this isn’t possible. Oh my god, did anything else change?”

I pause for a second as I realize that last thought is the most logical one. I know I already looked myself over in the tub, but I better make sure there aren't any more surprises. I turn to face the mirror, and thankfully, I really don’t see any other changes. Well, other than my hair, which now is a perfect replica of Dash's mane. I raise my eyebrows in shock. It’s completely and utterly rainbow colored. I mean, this hair is so colorful it puts a Crayola advertisement to shame. I don’t even know how it’s possible for hair to be colored this bright. Well, I guess it's not really human hair anymore, is it? I might as well start calling it my mane now, it's certainly shaped like one. I turn sideways and look at the contours of it and notice how it's growing down out the back of my neck. Yep, that's a mane. Well, at least it matches the tail perfectly, I guess. Okay, so full color hair, and a tail to match. Dear god what the fuck is going—.

The tub finishes draining and makes a very loud suction sound as the drain takes its first breath of air. I flinch in response to the sudden sound, and then feel my ears turn and swivel backwards as they move to localize the noise. Wait, did my ears just... swivel? My mind connects the dots. “Oh... oh fuck.”

I gingerly turn back towards the mirror and raise my hand up to feel my ears. They are mostly covered by my crazy mane, but I spot the tips of two cyan colored, equine ears. I freeze as I look at them poking through the top of my head. Strangely, the first thought that comes across me is, 'I could totally rock a cosplay contest right now.'

I use my hands to part the hair and get a better look at my ears. They are true to life pony ears, fairly thin, flexible, and ever so slightly moving in response to sounds from the apartment. They are covered in thin cyan fur which thins out right where it meet my head. I bite my lip for a moment, I suppose I should be thankful for this mane. If I was bald, I would look unbelievably creepy with these ears right now. The hair really hides them well though, it’s hard to even notice the ears unless you really look for them.

Not wanting to miss anything else, I take one final look over my body. I check my body all over, and then get all the way down to my knees and legs. I start to feel pretty confident that I won’t find anything else, but then I get to my feet. My feet themselves are fine, but I can’t say the same thing about my toes. My middle toe looks way larger than it should be, and the toenail is way thicker than normal. A word floats across my mind telling me what I think it’s becoming, but I just swallow the lump in my throat and try not to think about it.

“Well, that’s just a wonderful turn of events,” I spit out with sarcasm. Thankfully, walking isn't an issue, but I’m still doing that raised ankle thing. I try forcing my heels back on the ground, like I did earlier, but that’s simply not possible anymore. My muscles simply don’t respond, and I realize I literally can't get my heels to touch the ground. I should probably be concerned with this fact, but I’m still a little distracted by the frickin horse tail that is now part of my body.

“Think. Think. Think.” I say as I tap on my head while I pace around my bedroom, still naked from the shower. I should really get dressed, but I have to admit, I kinda liked the feel of my tail flowing freely between my legs. It should feel totally alien and scary, but for some reason it doesn't, in fact, it actually feels kind of comforting.

I return to my futile attempts at trying to understand the situation. “This is far beyond the scope of any sort of prank, far beyond the scope of, well, anything really. Pretty much every aspect of this is impossible.” I arrive at my desk and see the Fiona’s birthday plushie of Rainbow Dash sitting there. I pick it up and look it over in my hands. It really is nice a plushie, perfectly show accurate. I look back at my reflection in the mirror and then back at the plushie. An amusing thought crosses my head. I stand the plushie on the ground next to me, then get on all fours right beside it, and compare the two of us in mirror.

“That’s, pretty fucking surreal,” I mumble to the empty room. The cutie mark matches perfectly, of course, but so do my eyes, my ears, and my hairstyle. When I’m on all fours like this, my crazy anime hair really does look like a perfect replica of Dash’s mane. My ears poke out from it and are much more visible now too. Then, at the far end, is my new tail. For whatever reason, I think I'm actually growing a little fond of it. I mean, the fact that I have a tail worries me. Yet, if I was given the option to remove it, I think I would prefer to keep it. I don’t know, it just feels nice. I return to a sitting position and scratch my chin while I stare at my curious reflection.

Well, on the bright side, when Jack wakes up he is finally going to have to take this whole thing seriously. I don’t think there is any use denying what is going on anymore. On the not so bright side, well, I’m pretty sure this is all going to suck.

I enter the living room and notice Jack is still sound asleep. I laugh to myself thinking about how his entire world is going to turn upside down as soon as I wake him up. This should be fun. I kick the sofa. “C’mon, wake up, Applejack!” I say, grinning ear the ear at my intentional name choice. I don’t know why I am in a good mood, but I am. I should probably be feeling a mix of terror and fear after just finding out I am no longer 100% human. But really, I just feel a bit confused and strangely elated.

Jack mumbles facedown into the pillow. I kick the sofa again. “Come on, get up, this was just supposed to be a nap.” I am eager for him to turn over so I can see his changes.

Jack half turns and starts to sit up. “Has it been 20 minutes already?”

“Uh, sure, let’s go with that.”

Jack bolts upright upon hearing that, and he snatches his phone to check the time. “Dude! What the hell man, it's 8pm! I wanted a 20 minute nap not a full four hours,” Jack turns to face me with a tired anger in his green eyes. Now, I’m wearing a hooded sweatshirt so he can’t see anything out of the ordinary on my face. However, Jack is just in shorts and a t-shirt, so I get to see all of his new equine touches. And, oh god, he looks adorable. Freckles on both of his cheeks, and large brown pony ears poking out the top of his head.

I want to say something, but all that comes out of my mouth is a smile and a soft noise. “Daww...”

Jack is not amused. “Dash, it was a simple request, wake me in 20 minutes.” Seeing him frown with his oversized pony ears and long blond hair is pretty comical, and I have to bite my tongue to stop from laughing. Jack continues his rant, “...and now that I overslept it means I won’t be able to fall asleep on time tonight! And that means when I wake up early tomorrow morning I’m going to be really tired! Seriously, my whole day tomorrow is ruined.”

I am going to rupture a blood vessel suppressing my laughter this much, but I have to keep it up. “Yup, you’re right! Your entire day will most definitely be ruined! Tomorrow is going to really not go as you planned.” My laughter starts to seep into my words, and by the end of my sentence Jack knows something is up.

Jack narrows his eyes. “What, what did you do? What’s so funny?”

This is way too amusing, “Oh, naw, it’s nothing dude. You just got a little something on your face.”

“Oh. Where, over here?” Jack starts rubbing his cheek.

“Nah, higher... higher...” I watch as his hand moves further up his face. “Little bit higher, almost there.”

“Urgh, what is it? Do I have it yet?” Jack says, his hand just inches below his new ears.

I have to pause to enjoy the moment for a few seconds. I take a deep breath, alright, enough is enough. I’m done toying with Jack, and it’s time for him to learn just how fucked up his next few days are going to be. “Right there buddy. Just one more inch up, aaaand there, right there.” Jack rubs the location I indicate and his hand meets fur and a sensitive ear. His face cycles through a dozen different emotions, and he reaches up his other hand to feel his other ear.

“What is... wait... but... oh, you have gotta be shitting me...” Jack's words trail off as a look of panic finally settles on his face. Well, I think he has a pretty good guess at what they are. He leaps up and jogs over to the mirror in the living room, and I walk over behind him and cross my arms. He just stares into the mirror looking at his ears for a good ten seconds.

“They look good on you, Applejack.” I break out a wide grin.

Jack spin around with a mix of confusion and horror on his face. “What? And what are you so happy about?”

“Pfft, I just know I look cooler than you.” I remove my sweatshirt hood and expose my full color mane and cyan ears, which I then waggle and flick in his general direction. What can I say, I have been practicing with them for a bit.

Jack stares in bewilderment at my appearance for a few seconds, then turns back to the mirror. He runs his hands over his ears again. “Dash, what the hell is going on here? We look like freaks!” He turns back to face me, worry showing on his face “Anything else change?”

I tap my chin, remembering that I said I was done toying with Jack. However, rules are meant to be broken. “Nope. Jack, there are no other changes at all. Just the ears. I admit, they are a bit strange, but I’m starting to grow fond of mine. Well, if I ignore the fact that I have to wear a hood in public at all times now.” I frown as I realize I can never walk around in a t-shirt again.

“Urgh, I think I’m going to be sick,” Jack says as he looks at the mirror again. “I need to go splash water on my face and make sure the rest of me still looks the same.”

“Sounds good, I’ll be right here.” I watch Jack leave and enter the bathroom. This is going to be priceless.

“Ten.” I announce to the room.

“Nine. Eight.” I cross my arms and learn against the wall.

“Seven. Six. ” My new tail would probably be wagging furiously right now, but it is wrapped around my leg and trapped in my pants, hidden from view.

“Five. Four.” I smile as I realize that Jack is in the bathroom right now, and once he takes off his pants and looks behind him...

“Three. Two—.”


“Ah dammit, one second off.” I frown, but then immediately smile as the bathroom door flies open and Jack runs down the hall, screaming. He left his pants behind in the bathroom, and his new tail flails in the air behind him he runs.

I yell down after him “So... do you like it?”

4. Five time cosplay champion!

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Chapter 4: Five time cosplay champion!

I’m not sure if Jack hears my question over his panicked screaming. It is pretty hilarious to see him running around though. It sort of reminds me of a dog chasing his tail; only this time the tail is chasing the owner.

Speaking of which, tucking my tail into my pants is really uncomfortable. And hell, the cat is out of the bag now, no sense in keeping mine hidden anymore. I head over to the kitchen, grab a knife, and carefully cut a slit in the back of my pants so my tail can come through. “There you go little buddy!” I smile as it bursts forth and gently whips back and forth, involuntarily. Sure, it announces to the world that I’m not fully human, but for some reason I don't mind. Seeing it just makes me feel, I don't know, whole again? I stand there for a moment affectionately running my hands through the strands. I feel like it's part of my identity now, and I don’t understand how I lived so long without it.

Right, playtime is over, and there is a lot of shit to do around here. I drop my tail and follow the sound of his screams until I find Jack standing by a bookshelf, swatting at his tail with a ruler he found. “Dude, put your pants back on,” I say as I heave the clothing over to him. He instinctively catches them, but then he doesn’t seem to really know what to do with them.

He looks over at me and his eyes widen at the sight of the colorful hair happily swishing between my legs. He shakes his ruler at it. “That’s, that’s impossible.” He points back at his own tail. “This is impossible!”

I rub my temples slowly. I admit, I had my fair share of fun with him, but we really don’t have time for this. ”Look, Jack, I don’t know what, why, or how this is all happening, but I’m really gonna need you to pull yourself together.”

Jack slowly slides down the wall he is leaning on, ending up in a half sitting position. He stares as his blonde tail. “I, I don’t know what you expect from me. I mean, I don’t even know what I expect of myself here.” He throws his hands in the air “Hell, I don’t fucking know what to think about anything right now.”

I walk over to him. “Well, all I know is that we’re getting through this together. We’ve been best friends for over a decade, and we always help each other through the rough spots. We’ll get through this, together.” I hold out my hand.

Jack stops staring at his tail and looks up at me. He chuckles slightly as he reaches up to accept my hand. “Alright, let’s do this, but if you break out into song singing ‘True True Friend’, so help me god.”

I laugh, “Nah, I would never do that, not really my style. 'Find a Pet' on the other hand...”

“Don’t you fucking dare.” Jack shakes his ruler at me.

“Relax, it will take more than a tail to get this guy to sing. Besides, we got shit to do.”

Jack shakes his head and smirks. “Alright, Rainbow Dash, what’s the plan? ”

I look over at Jack. His appearance may be a bit bizarre, and his eyes may have changed color, but behind those eyes burns the fire and courage that I always see in Jack. He is done playing games, he is done avoiding the situation, it’s all business now. It’s time to get stuff done.

I put my hand on his shoulder. “Well, AJ, I have been thinking about this, it’s going to be a busy 24 hours. You see, tonight we prepare. We make lists and plot out a plan. For at dawn's first light we shall embark on an epic journey!”

Jack rubs his hands together. “Fuck yeah, I like the sound of this. Plans, missions, doing something productive about this! Alright, where are we going?”

I stand tall and raise a fist in the air. “Tomorrow, we go... to Wal-Mart!”

Jack blinks. “Um, what? You looking for a sale on khakis or something?”

I roll my eyes and explain, “Look, whatever the hell was going on, it’s accelerating. Cutie marks one day, then a hair change over the day, and then we suddenly sprout tails and ears in a matter of hours.” Urgh, just hearing myself say these things makes me think I’m insane. It’s pretty hard to deny the facts though, I mean, Jack is standing right in front of me all the changes visible right there. Right from her toes and all the way up to those cute freckles she has...

I shake my head and get back to my explanation. “Jack, we have to assume the next changes will happen even faster than these—.”

Jack cuts me off and holds up two hands. “Whoa, whoa, hold a second there skippy. The next changes? You mean even more parts of us are going to change?”

I bit my lip, then nod. “I would guess so, this shows no sign of stopping. I mean, I don’t know what’s causing this, but it’s powerful enough to make us grow horse tails and ears. If it can do that, god knows what else it can do to us. Chances are, we're going to pick up more and more equine traits over the next day or so. And, as you may have noticed, we are quickly reaching the point where we can’t show ourselves in public.” I pause and pointed to my ears and my tail. “So, regardless of what caused this, we have to start preparing for the apparent final outcome. And we’re running out of time.”

Jack looks a bit worried, but at least he isn’t denying the seriousness of our problem anymore. “So, why Wal-Mart, what can we possible buy there to help us with this?”

“Well, what don’t we need to buy is the better question. I mean, let’s talk worst case scenario here, okay? We don’t know the future, so let’s assume the very worst and pretend this will be our last chance to shop in public. What would we need to buy in our last shopping trip, ever? Hmm... wait, actually, do you still have that Zombie Apocalypse Survival Plan? You know, that thing we wrote in college?”

Jack laughs “That old thing? The outline we wrote in English class instead of taking notes? Yeah, I think I still have it in a notebook back home. But, uh, how does a homemade zombie survival plan stop us from turning into small colorful ponies?”

“Well, 90% of the zombie plan is going to be useless. But, if you remember, part of the plan included a huge list we made of all the supplies we would need to survive. You know, generators, gasoline, tons of rations, water purifiers, radios, seeds, etc.”

Jack finally catches on “Everything we would ever need to live once civilization fell.”

I nod, “Or, in our present case, everything we would ever need to live secluded, far away from society. It’s a sobering thought, but hell, one worth preparing for, right?”

Jack agrees, “Yeah, that is really depressing, but it does sound like a really smart plan given our current situation.”

I clasp my hands together. “So, it’s settled. Tomorrow we go out and amass supplies, then bring everything we possibly can carry back to your farm.” The mention of the farm makes Jack’s fuzzy ears perk up, so I explain my reasoning. “Look, I have neighbors by me, hanging out around here looking like this is a bad idea. Your farm is out in the sticks though, no one will bother us out there. We can make your farm our new base of operations until we figure all this out.”

“Makes sense.” Jack taps his chin in thought. “Do you think we can get everything at Wal-Mart?”

I take a deep breath. “Well, not everything. That’s going to be good for general supplies and bulk food, but we should swing by the Farm & Fleet to get the rest of the supplies”.

I reflect for a moment, glad that we lived in Iowa and had such stores around us. Places like the Farm & Fleet are retailers built for farmers. Massive stores that sell tractor parts, chains, guns, ammunition, heavy tools, hell even cattle feed and health care supplies for farm animals. It’s the perfect spot to top off our survival list. I snap my fingers and look up at Jack. “Oh, and we also need to go to library! I wanna check out some books and get any info on—.”

Jack’s laughter cut me off, “A library? You think books can help us here? Haha, I didn’t know Kafka’s Metamorphosis is a self-help book. Oh, while we’re there we can check out the award winning Tuning into a Pony: For Dummies!

“—I was going to say we could get veterinary texts. Guide to equine anatomy, info on horse diets, books on animal health, diseases of horses, etc.” I smirk at how quickly the names of those books suppress Jack’s laughter.

Jack stares straight ahead, still trying to process the fact that veterinary texts may soon apply to him. He swallows hard “You, you really think this is going to go that far? Are we, for lack of a better term, ‘going all the way’?”

I rub my forehead “I don’t know. I mean, we grew tails and manes like it was nothing. I really don’t know what’s possible or impossible anymore. But, like I said, we gotta plan for the long term. Since we have absolutely no idea what is causing this or how to stop it, all we can do is damage control. You know, ‘hope for the best, but plan for the worst’. At least we are lucky that you live on a farm. It’s the perfect location, hell, if the unthinkable happens and we actually turn into bonafide ponies...” I trail off.

Jack grimaces. “Well, then being on a farm is better than being stuck in the city. Jesus that’s a scary thought.”

I try to lighten the mood and start to joke around, “And hey, your farm is equipped for horses! Perfect! In five days Evan will get home to find us fully transformed. Not knowing who we are anymore, he’ll treat us like regular 'ol horses. Then we can each get a stable and spend the rest of our lives living as feral beasts of burden while—.”

I get cut off as Jack's fist flies and punches me in the shoulder, hard. “Don’t you even fucking joke about something like that happening to us! God damn it!” Jack’s breathing quickens and I see his arms shaking.

I hold up up my hands. “Whoa, sorry, sorry, I was just kidding. Probably not the best joke to make right now, sorry.” I rest my arm on his shoulder.

Jack takes a few deep breaths. “Don’t joke about that dude, the nightmare has been hanging over this whole thing for me. Evan and I work with wild horses everyday. Knowing that I might be turning into one is nothing short of fucking terrifying.”

I grab my tail and hold it up for him to see. “Jack, horses don’t have tails like this.” I try to give a reassuring smile. “We’re not going to be feral horses. If we’re changing into anything, it’s going to be colorful cartoon ponies.”

He laughs slightly at the insanity of our dialog, “Right, well, that’s much better I suppose.”

I grin. “It’s so much better! Just imagine Evan’s face when he comes home and finds two ponies in his living room, watching MLP and debating which season has the best songs!”

Jack’s eyebrows raise. “Evan is actually a valid concern. Pretty sure he would notice two ponies building a survival bunker in the middle of our corn crop.”

“Well, Jack, I wasn’t planning on building a bunker. I was hoping to just live in your house. You know, with Evan’s blessing.”

Jack buries his face in his hands. “Evan fucking hates ponies, why would he help us?”

I gave Jack a playful shove on the shoulder to cheer him up. “Well, I would hope he changes his mind about ponies when one of them is his brother.”

“Heh, you underestimate Evan’s hatred for ponies,” Jack says through a smile. “In any case, he’s out of town for the next five days anyway. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

We start walking back towards the kitchen. Jack trails me, and I can’t help but notice him staring at my tail the entire time. I abruptly stop walking, and Jack is so distracted he walks right into my back. “You know Jack, it’s not polite to stare,” I snicker. “And actually, where is your tail? Why are you hiding it in your pants? You gotta let that thing breathe man.”

“Yeah, well, maybe some of us aren’t as comfortable seeing horse anatomy coming off of our body. Why are you so intent on having your's out in the open?”

I stick out my tongue. “Because then I can do this.” I flick my tail to the side and send it flying up, smacking Jack right in the face. “Haha, oh god, that went so much better than expected!”

Jack jumps back an inch and immediately starts wiping his face with his hands. “Ah, dude, gross. I had my mouth open! Urgh, it smells like horse.”

I’m still laughing. “Are you sure? I figure it would smell like gumdrops and rainbows. Emphasis on the rainbows.”

Jack is not amused, and pulls a thin stand of blue hair out of his mouth “Nope, definitely horse. Trust me, I get enough of that smell when I’m at the farm.”

He rubs his forehead. “Urgh, speaking of the farm, what time is it? I forgot how long I was napping for.” Jack groans, “Urgh, I gotta get home, like, right now.”

“Something wrong?”

“Nah, it’s just that with Evan out of town I’m supposed to be watching over the animals. Gotta give them feed and so on; I was supposed to do it an hour ago.” Jack heads for the door and starts putting on his shoes.

This is unfortunate, we have serious planning we need to do. It will be hard to deal with our current situation when we are 20 miles apart. Only one solution really. “Jack, hold up, I’m coming with you.”


The farm is actually pretty impressive. Regrettably, it’s been a good two years since I've been here. I guess Jack simply prefers to come over to my place because it’s closer to town.

In any case, Jack is in the middle of giving me grand tour of his place. It is a bit unnerving to be in the horse stables though. Being in presence of actual horses, while having bits of their anatomy, just feels really weird. Sure, cartoon ponies and wild horses are not the same, but it’s close enough to freak me out a bit.

“...and in this half of the barn we keep the mares and foals. We like to keep the newborns with their mothers for the first season. Naturally, we keep the stallions on the other side of the barn, only bringing them together during the breeding sessions.”

I poke him in the ribs as we walk. “And then what, you pull up a chair and watch the show? Most places would charge to watch that kind of action”.

Jack is not amused “Dude, that’s just disgusting. This isn’t like the cutesy clop you see online, the real thing is not something you wanna observe.”

I roll my eyes, man, this guy could not take a joke today. Jack eyes me suspiciously. “Remind me not to leave you alone with any of my mares. Especially as the days pass on and you start thinking of them as the same species. Urgh.”

I actually take offense to that, “Oh, haha, very funny. And besides, what do you mean don’t let me near the mares if I change more? What? You do realize Dash and AJ are female, right?” I raise my eyebrows as a sort of ‘hint, hint’ at what I’m referring to. I didn’t want to say the words out loud, but I’m pretty sure that if this transformation went all the way, it would eventually involve gender.

Jack dismisses my suggestion faster than a fat man turning down a salad. “Yes, I know their genders, but I also know our genders. I’m not switching, thank you very much. Besides, Applejack and Dash are just some cartoon characters with arbitrarily chosen genders. I mean, whatever is causing these changes doesn’t have to follow the textbook description of them. That wouldn’t make any sense.”

I laugh, “Oh and giving us tails and horse ears makes a lot of sense? And bright rainbow colored hair? How can you dismiss the gender issue here? Hell, I would say it’s easier to change a guy’s gender than, oh I don’t know, making him grow a horse tail?”

Jack rolls his eyes and we approach the stables for the stallions. Jack pets one of them on the head. “Dude, you can be a mare if you want, all I know is that I’m keeping my junk where it is.”

“That’s funny, didn’t know we had a say in the matter”. I reply, surprised at Jack’s resistance to the very suggestion of what we could be dealing with.

“Well, I guess we don’t, but I’m telling you man, I’m not giving up my manhood without a fight. I’m male and I plan to keep it that way.” Jack walks down to another stallion and I start to follow him.

“Well good to know you’re willing to fight— Gah!” I abruptly stop walking as I’m pulled backwards a few inches by some unyielding force. Realizing I’m caught on something, I turn to see what it is. “Hey, Jack, hold up! I got caught on… oh.”

The stallion we were walking past has my tail in his mouth. He tugs on it gently while staring at me; he really doesn’t didn’t seem keen on letting it go. “Bad horsey! Bad horsey!” I walk backwards and boop him on the nose. Finally, he lets go on my tail. “Urgh, I’m gonna to have to wash this thing now.“

“What did you do?” Jack arrives and is curious why I’m held up.

“Your stallion decided to bite my tail. Ew, it's all slimy now.” I frown, holding my wet tail to the side for Jack to see.

Jack stares for a second. “He, what? That stallion? Chaucer never bites tails unless....”

I blink “Unless? Unless what?”

Jack swallows hard. “Chaucer never bites stallions.” The calm starts to leave Jack’s face and he turns away from the horses “Nothing, it’s nothing man. Let’s just, uh, go to the house, ok?” I raise my eyebrows but don’t protest; we do have a lot of planning to get done tonight.


Four hours (and a shower) later and I'm laying down on the guest bed. This has been, by far, the strangest day I have had in awhile. Hair changing, the tail, the ears, then sitting down and going over a supply list for the apocalypse. I mean really, what ever happened to sitting at home calmly and just watching a movie?

I can’t sleep though. We are going to have an even busier day tomorrow, and that’s a best case scenario. Some pretty big changes have happened to us in the past 12 hours, how much worse is this going to get? What if we wake up covered in fur or something? We would have to cancel our supply trip and we would be stuck here on the farm with no supplies. Or, what if we do manage to get our supplies, but then Evan shows on Friday and kicks us off his land? And what if we can’t stop this transformation? What if we can’t reverse it? How far will it go?

I shiver and pull my tail across my chest, holding it tight like a security blanket. It gives my troubled mind some comfort. Sure I don’t know what going on or what’s happening to us, but at least I have my tail. Sure Jack says it smells like horse hair, but I don’t care, it’s part of me now. I run my fingers through it until I finally succumb to the sweet embrace of sleep.


Fuck, I need to pee. I opened my eyes, it was pitch black outside. My hand fumbled over the nightstand to grab my phone to check the time. 4:15am. I rubbed my neck and sat up in bed, trying to remember where the bathroom was in this house. I groggily stand up and made my way into the hallway. “I wonder if our bodies changed any more” drifts across my mind as I enter the bathroom. It was a strange thought, knowing that part of your body might have changed but you weren’t aware of it yet.

There was a dim night light in the bathroom so I avoided turning on the florescent lights in order to save my eyes the pain. Besides, I could still see pretty well in this light. I lean over the sink and squint at my reflection, actually surprised to see that nothing has changed as far as I could see. Same blue ears, same hair, same magenta eyes. Well that’s good news, no new changes, hopefully that lasts through morning. I’m stare at my reflection for a few seconds more, but then my bladder reminds me of why I woke up.

I turn to the toilet, lift the lid, drop my pants, then wait a few seconds for the stream to flow... and promptly piss all over the floor. Whoa whoa, what the hell. I force myself to stop pissing and reach back and fumble for the light switch. What’s going on here, why did I piss all... oh. Oh.

I stare between my legs and notice something is missing. Something is most DEFINITELY missing. I felt panic start to rise in my brain and I spread my legs wider to make sure it wasn't just hiding somewhere. I finally gave up the search, I knew it really was gone... I was female! I close my eyes and started banging my head softly on the wall. “Fuck me...” Wait, wait, oh god, poor choice of words! Let me try that again:


I don’t know how long I stood there with my eyes closed. I didn’t want to look back down. The tail, the ears, I could deal with those. But this? How the fuck do you deal with waking up as the wrong gender? Everything from the clothing I was supposed to wear, to the pronoun people would use to refer to me, it all has to change now. Just like that.

After some time, I realized I still had to finish urinating so I reluctantly opened my eyes and looked back down. The female apparatus was still there. How was I going to do urination thing? Guess I need to sit down now, so I did so while holding my tail to the side. “Now I just release huh?” I did so and sure enough, the stream resumed and I heard it stay in the bowl this time. I sigh as I realize this was how I was going to have to pee now, better get used to it.

I finally finish my urination, clean up, and then pull up my pajamas and leave the bathroom. I make my way back to my bedroom and go back under the covers, trying really hard to not think about the recent discovery I made between my legs. I'm powerless to ignore it for long though, the second I close my eyes and try to sleep my mind replays back the images of myself that I saw in the bathroom. The images are accompanied by unwelcome thoughts, such as "well hey, at least it matches my tail and ears" and "I wonder if I'm going to be attracted to guys now?" and “it reminds me of that picture I clopped to last month...”. Urgh, I reach up and rub my forehead, I don't know which thought process scared me more.

I couldn't fall asleep. Well over an hour passed and I remained fully away. Everytime I moved my legs or shifted my body I could feel things were different down below. “God damn this feels creepy” I mutter to the wall. What kind of sick joke was this, first this happens to me, and now my mind wouldn't let me ignore the fact that it happened.

Another half an hour passes and I realize it was almost 6am, no sense going back to sleep now. I pick up my phone and start to check the news, desperately trying to get my mind off the issue at hand. I open my news feed and look at the first headline of the day "UN promises to improve woman's health in Africa!". I blink. Woman's Health. ARRGH! I throw the phone across the room. This was getting ridiculous.

A few moments later and the sun started to rise over the horizon, I decide to just get dressed and get on with my day. I get out of bed and fling off my pajamas, then walk over to my bag and take out the day's clothes. I stand there for a moment and look down at my pelvis. I sigh, I was going to have to get used to seeing this thing wasn't I? I stare at it for a few moments. It wasn't that bad I guess. I mean, it's strange, but I could deal with it. A new thought crosses my mind "I wonder if--"


I look up with a jolt, who set off an alarm? Oh. Duh, it’s just the alarm clock in the other room. Doesn’t really affect me, that alarm just means Jack woke up.

Now, what I was thinking about? I look back down at my the area between my legs. "Oh yea, wonder--" Hey, wait a second! Jack woke up! Realization dawns on me "If Jack is awake, soon he’s going to find out he has...” I look back at my nethers and bite my tongue for a moment. I continue to stare at myself as I scratch the back of my neck, “You know, all things considered, I feel like I am taking this all pretty well...” I realized this change was sort of like my new tail and ears, very jarring at first, but then you get used to them. I mused over my thoughts "Life as a mare instead of a stallion? Meh, I could probably live with that if I had to. Would be strange, but I could do it."

Jack on the other hand doesn't seem as comfortable with any of his equine anatomy, he has been fighting this whole thing tooth and nail. Well, either way he’s going to find out he’s a mare in a few minutes. This should make for an interesting morning.

5. Last chance to buy.

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Chapter 5: Last chance to buy.

Jack was not going to be a happy camper today. Well, might as well get this over with, time to get dressed and meet him in the kitchen. I put on my underwear and then looked at the clothes I was wearing yesterday. Well here’s a depressing thought “These clothes are not really fit for a girl” I bit my lip, referring to myself as girl was so creepy it sent a shiver down my spine. Urgh, that’s going to take some getting used to that’s for sure. Well screw it, I’ll just throw on a robe for now, I’ll worry about proper clothing later.

I went to the kitchen at sat at the table. I didn’t feel like starting breakfast before Jack had settled into his new changes. I didn’t want to be in the middle of frying bacon and have to leave because Jack had checked his crotch and was now running around the house screaming, flipping tables, and setting fire to himself. By the time I could calm him down my unattended bacon would probably get burned, and then my whole day would be ruined! Not worth the risk if you ask me.

So I ended up just sitting at the table and drumming my fingers on the wood, waiting for Jack to get in here. I watched the minutes tick by and I was about to get up and go see what he was doing when I finally heard him coming down the hall. Jack appeared in a robe and was still wearing his pajamas underneath. He stretched as he walked in; I thought he seemed pretty calm, he must not have noticed the changes yet. “Oh hey Dash, wow, never seen you up this early.”

It was funny how in the last two days he still calls me Dave most of the time, but he also started calling me Dash every so often. I don’t know if the latter was intentional or just an unconscious thought. I want to say it was intentional, making light of our current situation, but didn’t he start the name thing before we even realized we changed? Wait, when did the name thing start? Hmm, that was something we had to figure out later, bigger issues are on our plate right now. “Yea Jack, uh, I couldn’t sleep and decided to just get up early”

Jack walked over and turned on the coffee maker “Yea, let me guess, you saw the our newest body change and then couldn’t fall back asleep, right?”

I blinked. Wait, Jack was aware of the changes? I was expecting fire and screams and broken windows when he found out. Clearly Jack had better fortitude than I thought, I opened my mouth to ensure we were on the same page “Uh yea, you could say that. I take it you did the same huh? You’re okay with the... with the change?”

“Well I didn’t see it until I woke up, but yea, I’m fine with it I guess.”

“Oh, wow. I really thought you would have been upset”

“Nope, not upset. A little shocked sure, I mean I stood in front of the mirror for like five minutes and was just staring; gotta get a good look you know?”

This was getting awkward “Uh, yea...”

“It’s crazy seeing something like that on your own body, feels so wierd to have”

“Yea for sure”

“I ended up picking up a pen and started poking around down there, it feels strange”

Wat. “...”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m felt plenty of these on my animals. I mean the horses love it when you take one of theirs in both hands give it a good deep massage, you know?”

I’m glad I hadn’t eaten, I was going to throw up “Uh, Jack, that’s kinda TMI dude.”

“Nonsense! Every good farmer knows to feel these whenever they get the chance. I mean, remember earlier this week I told you that our mare ‘Sara’ had an infection on hers and we were treating it? Well I would never have noticed she had an infection if I hadn’t been looking around there and noticed a bad smell.”

“Oh god, Jack that’s just gross beyond, wait, Sara? She didn’t have a infection ‘there’, you told me she had an infection on the bottom of her leg...” With sudden realization I glance down and pull my robe off my foot “Holy fuck Jack, we have hooves.”

“Ummm, yes? Figured that much was obvious this morning.” Jack was at a loss for words.

“HOLY SHIT, hooves!” I bend down and get a better look. My hands were still perfectly human, but the entire bottom half of my leg was 100% equine, my human knee was pushed higher up and my ankle was where my human knee would normally be found, from that point on my lower leg was covered in thin, fine cyan fur that transitioned into a cyan colored hoof at the base. “Oh god, this is really weird, like this is beyond bizarre! When did this happen!?”

Jack started speaking very slowly “You mean to tell me...”

“Oh wow, this thing is made of really hard material” I said poking at it with a fork I took off the table.

“...that you DIDN’T NOTICE...” Jack continued

“At least we can still walk in them” I point out

Jack was standing only a foot away from me now “...THAT YOU HAD HOOVES!?! HOW DO YOU NOT NOTICE SOMETHING LIKE THAT! You know, it’s KIND OF A BIG DEAL!”

Jack had a good point, how the hell did I not notice. Well I guess I had other things on my mind, losing my manhood and such, you know. “Uh, yea, sorry Jack, I guess I never bothered to check”

“Forgetting your keys, I can understand. Not noticing your socks are different colors, I can understand, but not noticing you’re walking on hooves? Really dude?”

Wait a second. Oh, oh shit. This means Jack isn’t aware of the other change. Damn, I had hoped we would be past that awkward conversation. Maybe I shouldn’t tell Jack for now, let him enjoy life as a man for just a little bit little longer.

Jack looked at me and shook his head “Jeez Dave, you’re such a moron sometimes.”

Well, okay then buddy, fuck you too. I was going to be nice.... “Hey Jack, do me a favor, check the base of your tail.”

Jack looked up “What?”

“Check. The base. Of your tail.” I pause for a few seconds “I think, uh, something changed around there. Just trust me, here I’ll turn around and close my eyes, you pull down your pants and check the base of your tail.”

Jack tilted his head at me and thought for a second “Ummm, okay I guess? That’s a bizarre request. What kind of change should I be looking for?”

I turn around and close my eyes “Just trust me dude, don’t worry, this will only take a second.”

My eyes are closed but I hear him shuffle a little bit (oh hey, I do notice his footsteps sound like hoofsteps, can’t believe I didn’t notice that before!) finally I hear him loosen his pajama pants and I then I hear them hit the floor.

I wait. A good ten seconds pass, there is no sound coming from behind me. “Umm. Jack? You okay?” I open my eyes and slowly turn around, Jack is standing there looking down at the female organ that Applejack fans have been clopping to for years. It looked more or less the same as mine, though I admit it looked really weird to see one on my friend. I then realize Jack was just frozen in place looking at it, so I go over and put my arm on his shoulder. “Hey, remember when you made fun of me for not noticing we had hooves. Ah good times.”

The contact of my arm on his shoulder seemed to have rebooted his brain and Jack immediately leaped a foot in the air and then started stumbling backwards into the living room, sweeping his hands down across his front like he was trying scare away a bug that landed on his stomach. Oh, and did I mention the screaming? Oh god, the screaming.



“Jack, it’s not a spider, it’s a vagina”, my brain confirming that yes, yes that was the strangest sentence I had ever said.

“AAAAAAHHHHHHHH`~~~” Jack scream was cut short as he promptly fainted and collapsed right onto the carpet in the hallway.

I walked over to see if he was okay, well I guess to see if SHE was okay. God damn this was going to be hard to get used to, but I really couldn’t go on referring to Jack as a male, especially when his pants were off and her genitals were visible; those folds were usually pretty definitive when it came to deciding gender. I pause for a moment and think to myself. “Hmmm, you know what? Fuck it. I’m using female pronouns for Jack from here on out, and I expect her to do the same to me. We might as well get used to it.

“Hey buddy you okay? That was quite the fall.” No response. I kick her in the shins, still nothing. “Yup, you’re unconscious. Great...”

Well, might as well help myself to breakfast. I turn to the unconscious body “Hey, I’m going to eat your cereal, ok? You don’t mind right? Sweet, thanks!” Hmm, where does she keep her cereal? Ah, there’s a bag of something over here.

I walk to the living room and approach the white bag that was leaning against the wall. I open it and look inside. “Yo Jack, what kind of cereal is this?” I know she can’t respond, but talking to her amused me. So did calling her a her, haha, she would be so pissed if she was awake and hearing my thoughts right now. Anyway, the cereal looked good, whatever it was. I carry the bag to the table and pour a bowl.

“Do you want any cereal Jack? Personally, I’m not feeling like milk today though. Yup, just dry cereal and a glass of OJ will be enough for this mare.” I laugh as I carry the cereal to the living room and turn on the TV. Referring to myself as a mare made the hairs on my neck stand up, but I guess it was technically accurate. I flick my tail to the side and find a way to sit on the sofa without pinching my new favorite appendage, then I lean back and place my hooves on the coffee table. “Hey Jack, you always said no feet on the table, but what about hooves? Those are okay right?” Ah good stuff. I really shouldn’t be joking around about this whole thing, but the sheer absurdity of the situation was pretty funny to me.


A few hours pass, there wasn’t much on the TV. There was some news story about an unexplained explosion near Seattle, something about an old bookstore in the middle of the night exploding from some weird blast that came from inside. I didn’t pay much attention to the story though, I was busy finalizing the shopping lists and eating more of this cereal. I figured I’d know when Jack woke up because she would start screaming again. So it came as some surprise when I felt my furry ears swivel and pick up a faint noise from the other room. Jack did finally wake up, but I didn’t hear screaming from the other room. I heard crying.

I put down my pencil and rubbed my forehead. I wasn’t sure if consoling your best friend on the loss of his penis was a chapter in the “things friends do for each other” book, but I really was the only one that could help her through this. I stand up and open the door to the hallway to see Jack laying there, face turned away from her body, crying as she stared at the wall. I kneel beside her and put a hand on her shoulder.

“Look, Jack...uh..” Crap, I had absolutely no idea where I was going with this. I literally had no idea what to say, thankfully Jack chimed in and saved me from my half sentence.

“This, this isn’t fair. Why, just why...” Jack’s words were broken by her sobs.

“I don’t know, none of this makes sense. We don’t know why this started, we don’t know why we were the targets, we don’t know how this is even possible, and we don’t know what the final outcome will be. Hell we don’t even know who else might have been targeted, there could be hundreds of people in our position”.

Jack wiped the tears from her eyes, the fact that she wasn’t alone seemed to comfort her “You really think so?”

I shrugged my shoulders “Well I mean, if someone had the means to force a transformation as crazy as this, I imagine they would target more than two people. Would be waste to only go after us.”

“What makes you think that someone else did this to us?” Jack moved up into a sitting position, but still didn’t turn to directly face me.

I raise my eyebrow “What do you mean, of course someone else did this to us, what, you think this is something we did to ourselves?”

Jack reached back and scratched her neck as I sat behind her. I noticed the nail on her middle finger was much larger and thicker than usual, reminding me of how my toe looked yesterday. “Well I just don’t know why anyone would do this to us, I mean, we’re a pair of nobodies. Why would someone bother going after us? It almost seems probable that we must of done something ourselves to set this off. I just don’t know Dave” Jack turned to face me “And actually, I don’t know, should I still call you Dave? That’s a guys name, it doesn’t really fit with today’s events now does it?”

I laughed, “Yea I was gonna ask you the same. Do you prefer Jackie or should I just stick with AJ?”

“Urgh, Jackie sounds like a 5 year old girl, fuck that noise. I don’t know man, if you want I guess you can call me with AJ, or just stick with Jack if you can. We can pretend Jack is short for Jackie or whatever.” She stood up and wiped her eyes again. “Well enough moping around, we got shopping to do. After all, women love shopping, right?”

I laughed “Good to have you back AJ, and yes, we have work to do. I recommend you get some food in you first though, it’s gonna be a long day.” I pat her on the back and walk back to my couch to grab my bowl and that bag of cereal I was eating.

Jack stares at me as I pour a little more into my bowl and sit down at the kitchen table. I’m halfway through my second spoon when I notice Jack is still staring at me, so I speak up “Uh.. can I help you?”

“What are you eating... where did you get that?” she says as she slowly walks towards the table.

“Huh? Oh the cereal?” I point to the white bag, only now realizing that it’s a bit odd that the bag was pure white and had no text or logo of any kind. Who buys cereal in large, unmarked white bags? “Yea, I found this bag in the hallway leaning against the wall. It smelled pretty good and looked fine so I pour--”

“You’re eating raw alfalfa” Jack said definitively.

I stopped chewing and looked down. Come to think of it, this was a pretty strange looking cereal. It was a bunch of dried, green compressed cubes with some hard seeds mixed in. “Huh... so I am. Um, I take it this isn’t normal for humans?”

Jack laughed to herself “No, it’s really not. It’s cattle feed, we mix it in with their normal grains if they need more protein. Humans can’t really digest raw alfalfa, I think they can eat the sprouts or something, but not the actual seeds and pellets like that. I don’t even know how you are managing to chew through the seeds...” Jack stopped and felt her teeth with her tongue. ”Oh. Oh wow, well I guess that would explain it. You know, we really need to start doing full body checks when we wake up”

I got up and started walking to the mirror in the hallway “Oh? What now? Something with your tongue or--” I reached the mirror and looked inside my mouth “--or the teeth. Ah. Farewell canines, you will be missed!” I smirked as I opened my mouth wider. My canines had shrunk and had moved a bit back from my front group of teeth, which, along with my molars appeared to be a slightly larger. I closed my mouth and looked at my face in its whole. There were a lot of subtle changes now that I look at it, and all together I looked really different. My entire face was more feminine, my eyes shone brilliantly, my skin was smooth, and my nose and jaw were starting to protrude the slightest bit. Then of course there was the brilliant rainbow mane and the horse ears. Kind of hard to miss those. Thankfully most of my face looked human, but it was a very girly looking human. Well, maybe that was for the best, we had an entire day of shopping ahead of us, and what was that AJ had said. Woman loved to shop? Hehe, well I guess we'll see about that.


Driving to Wal-Mart was harder than expected. Stuffing hooves into tennis shoes was hard enough, but controlling the pedals with these new ankle-driven lower limbs was not exactly easy. Didn’t help that I could hardly even sit down with my tail stuffed in my pants. Sitting normally was extremely painful as the tail got pinched, so I ended up having to sit on my left, uh, flank I guess would be the word. In any case, we finally got to the Wal-Mart and made it inside without anyone noticing we weren’t entirely human. The door greeter even smiled at us and said “Welcome ladies” to which I smirked and Jack clenched her teeth but thankfully didn’t say anything.

“Come on Jack, remember, just smile and nod. Don’t do anything to draw attention to ourselves...” I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans. It was a bit warm seeing as how it was early May, but I needed the hood to cover my ears and hide most of my hair.

“I swear to god, if some random teenager does a wolf whistle at me, all bets are off, I’m going to start swinging and I’m not stopping until I see blood” Jack was wearing jeans with a track jacket and had a baseball cap on. She tucked her ears under her hair and used the hat to hold it all in place.

“That’s not very pony-like” I say with a laugh and started pushing our cart towards the food aisle. We didn’t have fresh greens on the list but I started adding those to the cart anyway, they looked so damn tasty.

Jack started adding assorted fruits to the cart “Yea, I was wondering about that, so far all the changes have just been physical, pretty sure we haven’t changed much mentally.”

“Ha, you almost sound disappointed” I said with raised eyebrows as I decided we had enough perishable food and pushed our cart to the next section.

“Oh, no, don’t get me wrong. I very much like my current brain and memories, I was just curious that’s all.” Jack pulled the list out of her pocket and directed us towards the dry good aisle where she started grabbing bag after bag of flour and sugar.

I saw her grabbing bags of sugar and I reached over and grabbed some boxes of sugar cubes. I didn’t know much about horses and ponies, but I was pretty sure sugar cubes would be something we would want. “We’re probably going to need another cart Jack. And also, come to think of it, we have had some minor mental changes you know.” Thoughts of my recent love for my rainbow tail came to mind. Logically that equine appendage should freak me out, but I actually loved the thing; that was the perfect example showing how our minds had changed.

Jack stopped stocking the cart and looked at me “Really? You noticed mental changes? Huh, go figure. Well, give me an example.”

I scratched my head to buy some time, I wasn't sure I wanted to admit to Jack that I actually liked the fact that I was part pony down below. Hmm, what other mental changes did we... oh! “Yea Jack, over the past two days you keep calling me Dash here and there. What’s up with that?”.

Jack decided we had enough flour and sugar and started to move to the next aisle “Yea, I guess I have. I mean now I’m doing it on purpose seeing as how you need a name that fits your...” Jack paused and turned to stare at my crotch. On reflex I crossed my legs and blushed. “Ahem, with your new ‘equipment’ you needed a new name. But yea, other than that I think the only times I called you Dash was on purpose, to make fun of your hair and such”

A lone neuron fired in my brain, desperately trying to tell me something; through some miracle it got the message through. I stopped dead in my tracks as realization slapped me across the face. “Jack... you called me Dash before this all began. Before I even had the cutie mark.... It was at the birthday party!” Pieces were falling into place in my brain.

Jack stopped and looked back at me. “What? That doesn’t make any sense, everything started with the Cutie Mark, not before. Why would I have called you Dash before you had the mark? When was this again?”

I walked up to Jack and grabbed her shoulder “The Scotch! Remember? We were doing that shot and you zoned out for like 30 seconds. Then when you came to, you looked at me and called me Dash. That was the very first instance of something not being normal!”

Jack started chewing on her thumbnail “Did I really call you Dash back there? Yea that was a strange event. So is that the answer? Did that Scotch cause all of this?”

I backhanded her arm “What? No, the Scotch itself has nothing to do with this! You zoned out and before you even drank the Scotch remember? It happened...” my eyes widened with further realization “it happened right at the exact moment you turned 25! Holy shit dude, maybe that was the start of this all!”

Jack laughed “Yes, because all little boys turn into mares on their 25th birthday. Sorry dude, that idea makes absolutely no sense. Points for effort though.” Jack turned back to the cart, we were near the pharmacy and she started looking around for pain meds and basic first aid supplies.

She had a point, while this did seem to start on our 25th, that didn’t help us in the slightest because it still made absolutely no sense. “Look, AJ, all I’m saying is it’s something to think about, maybe it’s part of the puzzle.”

Jack was using her entire arm to dump the contents of the entire first aid shelf into the cart. This was going to be one hell of a bill. “Dash, I’m telling you, the age thing is just a coincidence... if it wasn’t Evan would have affected at the same time, and he seemed fine when he left yesterday”

I blinked “Evan? What, but his birthday...” Come to think of it, when was his birthday? I knew he was the older brother, but I had no idea how old he was or when his birthday was.

Jack looked back at me and sighed. “We’re twins. Evan is older by just a few minutes. Sorry I didn’t tell you before, for whatever reason Evan doesn’t like people knowing that about him, he likes being thought of as the big older brother. Doesn’t like it when I remind him we are the same age.”

That was strange, that’s such a weird fact to hide. Well, we had four days until Evan got back according to that phone call I had. Wait a second, wasn’t there something odd about that phone call? Didn’t Evan---”


What the hell? Jack and I froze in place and I felt my ears swivel underneath my hoodie as they tried to localize the cry of what I suppose was my name now. My mind started running a million miles a minute again 'How the heck did they know to call me that name? Oh god, what if it was the person who was responsible for all of this? What if they had answers to all this? And how did they find me? It must be the person responsible, who else could possibly recognize...' The person calling my name came into view. “Oh.”

“Ah, mommy look! It’s Rainbow Dash!! Hehehe! Look at her hair!” A cute little 8 year old ran up to me and pointed enthusiastically. Her mom came into view, clearly embarrassed at her daughter. I turned to Jack and smiled and shrugged my shoulders. We just had to play it cool and we should be fine. I’ll just pretend we dressed for a cosplay or something; hopefully they won’t notice our hidden ears and how realistic they were.

The mother grabbed her kid’s hand. “I’m so sorry, she started looking around when she heard your voice, and then when she found you and saw your hair she just lost it! She really loved that show.”

Wait, did she say she followed my voice? What the hell, I didn’t think my voice had changed. Right? Well let’s try it out I guess “Oh hey kid, yea, no problem.” Huh, my voice sounds like it always has, I think? Maybe it was such a gradual change that I didn’t notice? I’ll worry about this later. Time to explain to this kid why we looked like this. ”Me and my friend here are on our way to a... costume contest!” I grab Jack by the arm and pull her over and smile. “Say hi to the kid Applejack.”

“Hey there sugarcube” Jack says with a laugh, trying to fit the role of someone trying too hard to be Applejack.

“Applejack you’re here too?!” The kid seems more shocked than happy at this point.

“Come on sweetie, let’s leave the girls alone, remember what I said about talking to strangers.” The mother tries to grab her kid’s hand but the kid runs up to me and hugs my legs.

She looks up at me “You two shouldn’t be here!” The kid seems visibly upset now. I’m starting to worry she might feel that my legs are not shaped like those of a normal human.

“Now why would you say something that that darling?” Jack says, trying to keep a smile on her face, though it’s obvious it’s forced.

“You need to stop Discord! You have to go back and save Celestia! You have to fix this!” The girl is in tears at this point.

“Alright honey, that’s enough, come on” The mother tries to pry the kid off my legs.

“You have to find your other friends and stop Discord! You, you have to!” The kid sobs as she is finally pulled away. I just keep my awkward smile and look at the mom.

The mom’s eyes convey an apology “I’m so sorry, she doesn’t know you girls are just playing pretend, and she is still sad about how that show ended.”

“Yea, yea it was a sad ended alright. Well nice meeting you miss.” I wave as the parent and child turn a corner and I can hear the mother already scolding her kid for acting like that to a stranger. I turn to AJ “Well, that was awkward.”

Jack isn’t paying attention, he’s deep in thought and staring at the floor where the girl was. Finally he speaks “So... what do you make of that?”

“What, the girl? Cute kid, though I was a bit worried she could have felt my hooves or seen my ears from that close”

Jack turned back to the cart and started pushing it to the next aisle. “Yea... she really thought you were Dash.”

I rubbed my neck and walked behind Jack “Yea, that’ll happen I guess. Don’t blame her, I mean the hair and stuff. And apparently even my voice is starting to--”

“I don’t mean she thought you looked like Dash” Jack cut me off. “I mean she thought you actually WERE the character. Not a clone, not a look alike, not a human turned pony, she thought you and Dash were one of the same”

I rolled my eyes “Yea, that’s a good one, dude, she was like 8 years old. She probably thinks the moon is made of cheese and babies come from storks.”

Jack kept pushing the cart, occasionally stopping to throw some more supplies in the cart. “Kids can sometimes see things adults can’t.”

“Yea, well, pretty sure I’m not a cartoon character. I have memories of 25 years as a human, no memories being a pony. I’m not actually Dash, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day.”

Jack tossed one last package of bandages onto our cart, then started to leave the pharmacy “No need to get defensive dude, just floating the idea around. You’re the one that wanted to brainstorm theories here.”

I was in the middle of forming another snarky remark, but my eyes caught sight of something as we were leaving the pharmacy “Whoa, Jack hold up.” I grabbed the package and I read it outloud “The Universal Cuff. This bracelet is ideal for children and adults with decreased hand strength or injured fingers. Simply wear the cuff on the wrist and use the velcro pouch to hold items. Holds eating utensils, toothbrushes, pens, or other small items, allowing those with hand disabilities to enjoy life to the fullest”

Jack was standing behind me now “Holy shit, that thing is PERFECT for a pony.”

I nodded “Yea, I’m surprised you didn’t see these things on the show. Slide over hoof, use it to hold pens and forks. Definitely solves a lot of future problems for us”

I grab two boxes and adds them to the cart. Jack looks at me “Just two?”

I raise my eyebrow “There are only two of us, how many did you want?”

Jack shrugged but didn’t argue and went back to pushing the cart “I don’t know, what if we find more people like us?”

“Well then they can buy their own damn cuffs, these things are 20 bucks a pop!”. I looked at our cart, overflowing with things from pretty much every section of the store. The bill was going to be well over a thousand dollars.

Jack laughed “Spend your money now, it’s going to be hard to buy anything next week.”

“Touché” I remark as we make our way down the the cosmetics and soaps. “Oh god, Jack hold on a second, I need something from here”

Jack looked at the list and scratched her head “Uh, okay?”

“Come on, where is it, where is it.... AH HA!” I emerged from the aisle victorious carrying a bottle of Mane 'n Tail Shampoo.

Jack saw it and laughed “Really dude? Really?”

“Oh come on, I always saw this shampoo and it always made me think of ponies. Now I can buy it and actually use it for what it was made for!”

Jack shook her head “You’re such a geek.” and went back to pushing the cart. Soon we arrived at the clothing section. There was a fork in the path and Jack instinctively took the turn to the ‘Mens’ section. I stopped and looked down each path and contemplated the choice. “Jack, I’m going to check the woman’s section, I’ll catch up with you in a second”

I heard Jack laugh as I made my way down into this new section. I wasn’t sure why I was here, skirts and tank tops were not practical things to wear on the farm. I turned a corner and came across the underwear section. My mind sees them and mocks me with the thought ‘haha, you are supposed to wear panties now’. “Shut up brain, and actually, no I don’t! Ponies don’t wear ANY underwear so there, ha!” I smirked at being able to out-think my own inner thoughts. Though that did bring up a good point. Did we need any clothes at all where we were headed? I know in the show clothing was always just optional, but what about for us in the real world? Were we going to wear anything? We could probably get by in the summer with nothing, but we would need jackets and boots for the winter. I mean, in January it often dropped well below zero.

Wait, what I am saying. Winter? January? It was spring now, how long were we going to be stuck like this? Part of me was hoping this was just a one week thing, but my mind wanted revenge for me beating it earlier, so it decided to play the realist and tell me “Who is to say you won’t be like this for the rest of your life? There probably is no going back.” I bit my lip and wanted to form a rebuttal, but I couldn’t think of anything. Whatever was causing this transformation showed no signs of stopping, and if we don’t know what started it or why it was happening, how could we ever possibly reverse it? Being alone with my thoughts was dangerous, I need to get back to Jack.


The rest of the time in WalMart was fairly uneventful. The final bill came to just over $2,400 and we ended up having to tell the cashier to go back, split it in half, and let me buy half of it because Jack’s credit card maxed out at $2000. Thankfully those supplies should last us a long time. After that we swung by the local university bookstore and I ran in and bought every equine related textbook they had. Ended up with am anatomy atlas for horses, some veterinary books, plus a half dozen other books on proper care, diet, exercise, and the like. I wasn’t sure how much of the actual horse stuff would translate to cartoon ponies, but it was better than nothing. Our last stop was the Farm&Fleet, otherwise known as the ‘department store for farmers’.

“Why are we here again?” Jack asked, grabbing a cart from the entrance and then handing it over to me. “My legs are really hurting from pushing the last cart, you take this one.”

I grabbed the cart and looked over at Jack. My legs were also starting to hurt, but I didn’t think it was from pushing any carts. Well, can’t worry about that now though, gotta finish shopping “This won’t take long, just gotta get some outdoor-type stuff.”

We made our way down the main aisles grabbing nails, tools, lanterns, and other assorted hardware. We were just going down the garden aisle and picking up pounds and pounds of vegetable seeds when it felt like someone stabbed me in the back. "Ahh!!” I dropped the bag I was holding and reached over to massage my back. Something felt off. “Uh oh.”

Jack was in the middle of picking up the bag I dropped. “What’s up?”

“I don’t know, but this hurts. Something is going on with my back.” I tried to feel it but it was awkward to reach back there. “Hey, if I lift my shirt can you look at my back for me?”

“Dude, you’re a girl in her 20s. I don’t recommend lifting your shirt in a store filled with male farmers.” Jack had a good point; though I didn’t think I had breasts, stripping half naked in the middle of the store was a bad idea given our current situation.

“Fine, I’m going to go to the bathroom quick. I’ll meet you by the animal-care section of the store.”

I made my way to the bathrooms, stopping only when I got there and remembered that bathrooms were divided by gender. I hesitated as I stood in front of the one that had a picture of a woman in a dress “Well, first time for everything...” I thought as I pushed the door open.

The second I got a view of the inside I froze, there was a woman already in here washing her hands at the sink. 'Well, here to hoping I really pass for a female on the outside' I thought as I slowly made my way inside, feeling like a pervert for sneaking into the woman’s bathroom. I walked past the woman at the sink, feeling like at any moment she would look at me, scream, and ask why I was in the woman’s bathroom. Thankfully no such event happened and I made my way into one of the stalls and began to remove my upper layers of clothing. It was slightly harder than I expected, my fingers appeared to be losing some of their dexterity. Picking items off the shelves was easy enough, but untying this knot in my hood’s drawstring was actually pretty hard to do. In the end I finally managed it and pulled it off along with my undershirt. Satisfied with my work I looked down at my chest. “Oh, so that's different...”

Well the good news is I didn’t have breasts. The bad news is I no longer had nipples there either. I took a second to remove my pants and pull down my boxers so I was now standing buck naked in the stall. “We really need to get back to the farm” I realized. I knew things were getting bad, but this was worse than I thought. The cyan fur was even higher up my leg now and the pain I was feeling in my legs was centered on my old knees. The knees had moved up to just under my waist, clearly becoming more pony-like in anatomy. The pain told me they were not happy with how I was using my lower limbs, I don't think they wanted me walking on two limbs for an extended period of time. Besides for the changes in my legs, I also noticed my pubic hair had turned cyan in color and was spreading in a fur like manner to cover most of my pelvis. On the plus side, I found my missing nipples! Too bad they didn't look human anymore and seemed to be resting on some new mounds around my waistline. Honestly, no part of my pelvis and lower limbs looked even vaguely human at this point. I bet my face had changed a little bit more as well, I was actually surprised no one had said anything about it yet.

Wait, why was I here? Oh right, my back. I reached back and tried to feel what was up. I couldn’t really see back there, but I felt around back there and did feel some sort of bony ridge that wasn’t there before. I tried to reason as to what they were, “What the hell is going on, ponies don’t have bones on their....wait, I’m a pegasus. Wings.” I slapped my forehead, I had completely forgotten about that entire aspect of who I was becoming. I was growing wings. “Huh, well... that’s cool I guess? I should be able to fly soon?” I had to admit, that idea was tantalizing now that I thought about it. At least I had that to look forward to. I will lose my thumbs and last vestiges of humanity, but I will gain the ability to fly. Fair trade I suppose.

Right, well wings in the future were all fine and dandy, but the speed of these changes was really quite alarming. I was no longer worried about what we were becoming, but I was worried that someone in the store would notice something about us was strange and call the police or something. We really had to finish this shopping trip.

I got dressed again and made my way back into the store, now fully aware of the feeling of my proto-wings rubbing up against my undershirt. Where did I tell Jack to meet me? Animal care? I made my way over there and found her in one of the aisles comparing brushes, as I get close she looks up at me and immediately drops the brushes she was holding”

DUDE! What are you doing!” Jack half yells, half whispers as she runs over to me.

“What?” I was confused, I was just standing here.

“Your hood! You have to wear your hood!” Jack frantically reaches over and grabs my hood and shoves it on top of my head.

“Oh. Crap, was I walking around without the hood on?”

“Yes! Dude, your freakan blue ears can be seen from a mile away, you gotta be more careful. And you already don't exactly blend in with the whole rainbow hair thing walking around a farm store.”

I looked down, she's right, that was a very stupid mistake to make. “Sorry, don't know how I forgot, head in the clouds and all.” Eager to change subjects off my idioticness I point back at the brushes he was looking at “What are those for?”

“Us.” Jack said, half blushing as she picked them up and put them in our cart.

I looked over and read the label “Horse Grooming Comb: Leaves the horse's coat slicker, shinier and well shed-out”. I looked back at her and raised an eyebrow, Jack was never one to care about her appearance.

“Hey dude, we're going to be on a farm. We gotta stay clean if you want to help distinguish yourself from the actual horses that live there.”

That reminded me, “Oh, I shouldn't have a problem with that. Pretty sure none of your horses... have wings.”

Jack raised her eyebrows and then chuckled as she pushed the cart down the aisle a little ways “Is that what the back pain thing was about? Ah, you son of a bitch, you would get wings. What do I get? Nothing. Oh wait I get 'earth pony stamina' woo-hoo, that's really exciting.”

I laughed “Well, that and you can grow crops really well!”

“I already can grow crops really well! I have been for 25 years!” Jack replied and she threw her hands in the air, half annoyed, half amused.

I blinked. She had a point, Jack and Evan's farm grew the best corn in the county. It was all organic too, no other farms in the region could grow crops that well without buckets and fertilizer and chemicals. Jack and Evan always managed to do it though.

“Ooooo, I'm getting one of these!” I look up from my thoughts to see Jack holding a strange metal object. “Check this out Dash, 'this hoof cleaner assists you removing the toughest packed in dirt, mud, and snow. By removing debris regularly, the skin around the hoof remains soft and gentle' doesn't that sound useful?”

I imagined running one of those over my hooves and lightly scratching at the skin around them. “Oh god, that sounds amazing” I nodded and reached over to grab a second box for myself.

“Um, can I help you girls?” A scruffy voice said from nearby. The hairs on my neck stood up as I slowly turned to see a big burly store employee standing a few feet away with his arms crossed. How much of our conversation had he heard?

“Oh... hi there. No, my friend and I are just picking some stuff up for her farm, that's all”

“Right, well let me know if you need anything”. He slowly unfolded his arms and walked away.

Jack swallowed hard and turned to face me, “So, we should probably wrap this up soon.”

“Yep.” I glanced back at the list, there were a few dozen things left on it but I felt like we should skip them and get out of here while we still could. Actually, crap, there was one thing we couldn't skip “One thing left Jack, farm health care. Do you know where that is?”

Jack nodded and took us over there, it was a short aisle and one side of the aisle had a few small glass doored refrigerators that contained dozens of glass bottles. Jack opened it up and started reading off the labels.

“Alright let's see, Equine Encephalitis, yea we're not going to want to catch that... Ringworm? Hoof rot? White line fungus? Streptococcus equinus?”

Jack started handed back bottle after bottle for me to put in the cart. I read one the labels 'Vaccine for Equine Encephalomyelitis: FOR ANIMAL USE ONLY'. I frowned for a second and put it in the cart. “Hey Jack don't you need a veterinary license for these?”

Jack laughed “Haha, you kidding? This stuff isn't for human consumption so it's really not that regulated; anyone can buy it. Pretty easy to use too, I injected some of our newborn cattle with stuff like this.” Jack paused and held out some more bottles “Do you want the vaccine for Equine botulism? Yea, I think I'm going to go for it. Yea, I'll take this one too” Jack finally closed the door to the fridge, her arms overflowing with veterinary medications and vaccines.

I had to bite my tongue to stop from laughing “You realize how insane this all is right?”

Jack smiled as she placed all the bottles into the cart. “After waking up as the wrong gender, seeing you eat alfalfa, and learning to walk on hooves, I think my brain just said 'fuck everything' and stopped questioning the insanity of what was going on around us.”

“You know, now that you mention alfalfa, that sounds really good right about now” I patted my stomach and reminisced of how tasty it was this morning.

“Yea I was just thinking the same thing. Let's get out of here, I'm starving.”

I pushed the cart down to the cashier while Jack talked about other greens they had on the farm that he couldn't wait to try. “Oh and we have flax seed, I can't wait to eat some. I always see my horses go nuts for the stuff, so it's gotta be really tasty for--” I nudge Jack in the ribs to get her to shut up. I was unloading the cart and this old woman cashier was only a few feet away, I didn't want her hearing about how we couldn't wait to eat flax seed.

Jack got the message and helped unload the cart. As I waited for the cashier to scan everything I spotted a farmers magazine on the nearby rack “Ooo, never heard of ‘Equus’ before” I say as I grab a copy of the magazine. It appeared to be a magazine for horse owners, there was a black stallion on the cover and the front text promised articles about 'How to ensure your mare's coat stays shiny' and 'How to tell if that lump on the flank is sign of disease'.

Jack seemed just as interested as I was ”Oh! Turn to page 23, Ten great tips for keeping a tail clean!”

“Ahem. That will be $452.23” the cashier had finished scanning our items and was just staring, eyes darting between the two of us. “You girls aren't from around here are you?.”

I opened my wallet and took out my debit card “No maam, we're just passing through and needed some supplies for our farm back home.” I reached over to slide my debit card through the card reader. Doing so pulled my sleeve back a few inches, exposing cyan fur on the back of my wrist and running up my arm. Well fuck, that was new.

The cashier saw it just as I did and gasped loudly. Uh oh, this was bad, crap, crap, crap. ”Oh heh, yea, my friend and I are in costume for... a show... that we perform for kids... at the hospital.” That made sense right?

Jack stepped forward and started quickly grabbing the bags of our paid items. “Yes, yes, we do it for the leukemia patients. Very, very sad really, we do what we can!”

The cashier didn't say anything, but she didn't protest either as I entered my PIN, paid for the goods, and we quickly made our way out of the store before she questioned us.

“That was a close one.” Jack said as the doors opened.

“Yea too close. Well at least we're done with the shopping and...” I stepped outside and the fresh air smacked my senses like a brickwall. I opened my mouth and just started saying what I was feeling “...low pressure 742 mmHg, wind south by south west 7 knots, low pressure front coming from the north colliding with a high pressure front 17 miles east of here.” I stopped and blinked. “Well, there's one hell of a thunderstorm on it’s way Jack.”

Jack had stopped walking and was staring at me with a raised eyebrow “You reading this off your phone or just something that I can’t see?”

“Not my phone, I’m reading, um, the air I guess. You can't feel that?” I was honestly surprised, these facts were as clear to me as being able to tell that it was daytime out here.

Jack laughed and picked her bags back up, making her way to the car “No, no I cannot. But I'm not becoming a weather pegasus now am I?”

“I guess not.” I followed her to the car and helped her load it, but my mind started going elsewhere. It made sense that I was able to read the weather really well right now since I was half pegasus at this point. That's not what bothered me though. What bothered me was that I realized I always had been able to read the weather pretty well. Obviously not as well as I could right now but still, I always had an unexplained knack for it.

I stopped and rubbed my eyes. Jack looked over “What's wrong?”

I looked over at Jack. An unnaturally gifted farmer who had always been able to grow crops in places where other normal farmers had failed. Hmm, I had thought we had a breakthrough earlier today when we realized this all started the second we turned 25. But that’s not entirely true now was it? Sure the physical changes and the slip ups with the name calling started there, but this really went much further back than that. What the hell was going on around here? When did this all really start? I looked back over at Jack. “It's... nothing, I'm just thinking about the weather that's all. Let's drive.”

Driving was easier said than done. As soon as I entered the car I realized I couldn’t really drive in my current form. It was hard enough when I just had a tail, but now that I had wings it just utterly impossible to sit normally in the driver’s seat. No matter what I tried, I couldn't face forward with smashing my developing wings and/or my tail. The only way I could sit was if I turned 90 degrees and put my shoulder on the backrest. That was fine and dandy, but if I did that then I couldn’t see out the front window that and I really couldn’t control the steering wheel while sitting like this. “Dammit, Jack, you’re going to have to drive, you’re not a pegasus, you should be able to manage.”

Jack was sitting in the passenger and she looked over at me. “Uh... true, but this car is a manual. I don’t drive stick”.


Two hours later around sundown we finally pull into the farm. We ended up doing something highly illegal where I sat sideways in the drivers seat and worked the pedals, while Jack sat in the passenger seat and worked the wheel and watched the road for me. It took a long time, but we got home without killing anyone. The downside is the storm started by the time we made it home. Jack didn’t have a garage so we had to unpack a good two hundred pounds of supplies and carry them indoors through the rain. Finally, with everything was in the house, we collapsed into the kitchen. We were exhausted, soaking wet, and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

“Well, at least that’s done. We don’t have to leave the house for a long time now.” Jack said as she started stripping away layers of her wet clothes.

“Yea, it’s great to be done” I replied removing both my shirts and then my shoes and jeans. I had stripped down to nothing but my boxers, and I reached back and finally pulled my tail back through the hole I had made the day before. Seeing my tail again flooding me with joy. “Oh god, that’s so much better. I missed you so much little guy!” I hug my tail once more, promising to never again keep it bunched up in a pant leg.

I turn as I hear Jack laugh, but she knew what was up, she had stripped down in a similar manner and had also elected to pull her tail through her boxers and let the world see it once more. Jack flicked her blond tail back and forth ”You were right, it does kinda grow on you”

“Aww yea, shake what Celestia gave you!” I laugh as I go over and give her a hug. Hugging her felt good, I didn’t want to let go. I opened my eyes and looked at her face, Jack’s eyes were now definitely larger than any human’s, and her mouth and lower nose were forming the beginnings of a distinct pony-like snout. The whole look made her seem cuter than anyone I had seen before, I had the strange urge to kiss her right then and there, but it was probably just the emotion from getting home safe after a long and difficult day. “We did it Jack. We got everything we needed! Now we have all the time in the world to sit here and figure this out!”

“Yea, I’m looking forward to a few days where we aren’t running around with our heads cut off. And Scotch to celebrate! Great idea Dash!”

I released the hug. Scotch? I turn and follow Jack’s gaze, the bottle of 25 year old Scotch was sitting on the other end of the table. Next to it was a glass of the drink that was about two thirds empty .

I got quiet and felt my ears go flat against my head. “Jack, that Scotch wasn’t there when we left...”

6. Full circle.

View Online

Chapter 6: Full circle.

Jack got silent as she realized that the glass of Scotch was not poured by either one of us. I watched her expression change in front of my eyes, I saw her pupils dilate, her snout turn down into a frown, and her large ears roll back and go limp. The entire display was mesmerizing and made me realize just how far her facial features had changed; I was going to comment on it but this really wasn't the time. 'Somebody else had been in the house' drifts across my mind.

Finally, Jack spoke up “That's... impossible. The door was locked when we came in.”

I tore my eyes away from the equine features on my best friend's face and walked over to look at the Scotch glass on the table. Oh uh. “Um, Jack... there is still ice in the glass. You know what that means?”

Jack isn't even listening, she is distracted by her own thoughts as she mumbles out to me “None of the windows were broken and the doors were all locked. No one else has the key except...” Jack abruptly stops her sentence and just stares at the wall unblinking.

I walk over to Jack and grab her shoulders “Except who? AJ, talk to me! Who!?”


- - -36 hours prior- - -

The orange juice and ice swirled around in the plastic cup the stewardess poured for me. I should have asked for a coke instead, everyone around me had gotten juice because this was technically a morning flight, but I had been up for almost 6 hours now so this mid flight snack was more like my lunch.

The girl sitting next to me in the window seat waves to get my attention . “Excuse me... umm.. Adam?”

“Evan” I corrected her.

“Right, Evan, sorry I always forget names. Anyway, um, mind if I get to the aisle? I need to use the bathroom before we land.”

“Sure thing” I put my tray up and step out into the aisle so she can leave. She said her name was Jessica, some nurse from downtown Chicago. Cute girl, very pleasant to talk to. Not really my type though, she was far too girly and fragile, the type of woman that would never cut it on a farm. Still, she seemed interested in hearing about the Small Farms Convention that I was going to. I don't know why she was so interested in hearing about it. It was just a trade show put on by some farm equipment manufacturers. I mean, she was a nurse right? Doesn't she see see stuff like gunshot wounds and car crash victims? Surely that's more interesting than a farmer convention.

I watched her walk down the plane aisle and I sighed. Talking to her reminded me that these trips did get lonely. I needed to get a girl one of these days, or at the very least, just a friend that could accompany me on these trips. It’s a shame Jack never wanted to come to these conventions, that guy was too busy watching his cartoons and hanging out with Dave. Those two are always getting into trouble, especially when I left them alone for a few days. I’ll be lucky if the house is still standing when I get back.

I glance at my watch, it was 10am, only 30 minutes until we land, I should probably take a page from that girl’s book and go the bathroom myself. We would start the descent to Chicago soon, might as well piss now. I make my way to the bathrooms and get inside, yawning as I drop my pants and let my dam open.

As I piss I look down, that weird tattoo of the green apple slice was still there. I first noticed it last night in the shower after I got home from that birthday party. I had debated if I should cancel my trip so I could get this thing checked out by a doctor or something. I mean, it didn’t seem that serious, but it kind of creeped me out because I don’t know what it was or when it even happened. It wasn’t there yesterday morning and I didn’t drink much at the party, but when I got home I had it on both legs. When the hell did it pop up? I finished my piss, did two shakes, and then bent over to get one more look at these apple slices. It felt like I had seen this before somewhere. This exact image of a green apple slice. Where was it from? And why is it on my leg?

“Come on Evan think. What can this be? It’s either a tattoo or a rash right? Well we know it’s not a tattoo because we would remember getting it.... and we know its not a rash because it’s in color and it’s perfectly drawn....” I shook my head, I couldn’t make heads or tails of this. I really should have canceled this trip and gone to the doctor. Whatever this is, it isn't normal.

I flush the toilet and turn to the sink to throw water on my face. I’ll just have to worry about this when I get back. It’s just a tattoo, no big deal. I’ll keep it covered, then I can just ignore it for the next week until I get back home.

I look up at the mirror and pause. “Is my hair... this light?” My hair has always been jet black, but right now it seemed a touch lighter, and perhaps a touch longer as well? What the crap? I tilt my head to the side and stare at the mirror. The front of my hair is about normal, but it’s like 3 inches longer in the back. "How in the hell--"

“Attention passengers, this is your captain speaking, please return to your seats at this time as we begin our descent into O’Hare”

I look back up at the mirror and at my mysteriously dark brown hair. “Just gotta get through these five days, I’ll go to a doctor when I get home on Friday.”


One landing, a taxi ride, and hotel check in later and I find myself sitting on the bed in my hotel room. I didn’t feel like going anywhere just yet so I ordered some room service lunch and watched some TV for a bit. After a few shows I noticed my bangs were starting to obstruct my view. I was going to just reach over and move them but then I remembered I wasn’t supposed to have bangs...

I shut off the TV and went over to the mirror to check on my hair again. My hair had really changed. That’s impossible, I check the clock on the wall, it was 4pm. When I was in the plane just five hours ago I was upset my hair looked a little brown, but now it was even worse. It wasn’t just dark brown instead of black, and it wasn’t just a few inches longer. My hair was light sandy blonde and snaked down my neck all the way to my shoulders. Hair can’t grow almost a foot long in five hours, nor can an entire strand of hair change color. Something wasn't right. I realized I was nervous, I just felt alone and lost, I wish my brother was here.

I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and stared at it for a moment. Finally I turned it on and hit speed dial #1 then raised the phone to my ear. Maybe if I explain this all to Jack he will have some idea as to what’s going on. I just needed to talk to him and--

“Hey Evan” it was Dave’s voice coming through the phone.

I pull the phone away from my ear and double check the person I called. It was Jack’s phone number all right. This was strange, why did Dave answer Jack's phone? Did Jack go over to his apartment? I thought he told me he planned at staying at the farm today. I speak up “Oh hey dude, where’s Jack?”.

“In the other room, she should be here any second” Dave replies.

I blink, Dave said ‘She should be here any second’? She? They must be in the middle of roleplaying some game or something like that. Great, just great, they are having a good time and screwing around while I’m stuck here in Chicago with something weird going on. Sigh.

I rub my temples, “Nah, no worries. Just tell her that my plane landed and I’m safe at the hotel. I’ll be home in five days, as planned.”

“Sounds good, have fun out there!” Dave said as he hung up.

I toss the phone back on the bed, unsure if I made the right decision there. I did really want to talk to my brother, but I was kind of hoping to catch him in a good time. Pulling him out of a game and then trying to explain to him that I was worried about my hair just seemed strange. I rubbed my forehead again then turned to check the time. It was only 4pm, the convention was open today. I should go and start looking at stuff, it might take my mind off my hair issue.


The convention was packed! I swear, this thing got bigger every year. Well at least dinner was good, I just left the food court several pounds heavier than I was this morning. Time to get back to the show floor and talk to some vendors.

I approach a table staffed by a guy selling medicated hoof creams. The sign says it works wonders on hoof fungus. Hmm, we did have a problem with that on the farm. The sign here shows a the picture of a cow, I wonder if it's good for other hooved animals as well? ”Excuse me, vender, is this--”

“It will work wonders on your horses!” The vender smiles.

That was weird, dude read my mind. He probably gets questions about horses all the time and just assumed my question. I thank the guy for his help and take a brochure to read later.

I make it about 10 feet before I pass by another table and the vendor shouts out “Ah, the small time farmer who knows his horses! Come look at our new harnesses!”.

I stop and turn to look at the guy. “How did you know I work with horses?”

The vender just laughs and starts showing me pamphlets and pictures of some new harness, which I politely decline. I check my watch 7:55pm, the place closes at 9pm, so plenty of time left to--

“Hey nerd, this isn't ComicCon!” a passerby yells at me as and walks past, laughing with his friend loudly as they point at me. I turn to face them. Did he just call me a nerd? I'm 6'5'' and in good shape, I don't think anyone has ever called me a nerd before. Wait, was it the new hair? Did longer hair make me look nerdy or something? Crap, I really need to take care of this, maybe get a hat or something.

Eager to get my mind off it I approach another vendor table and start paging through some info packets they had.

“That brochure is for cattle, you're going to want this one for horses” I look up to see the vendor smiling pleasantly at me and holding out a brochure for me to grab. I take it from him without breaking eye contact. This horse assumption thing was getting creepy. “Thanks... but um, sir, may I ask how you knew I was a horse breeder?”

The man's smile doesn't waiver “Pretty smart idea you had, certainly helps us vendors out. We see so many people and have to always guess what kind of farmer they are, but you went ahead and dressed up for us! It's so much easier!”

What? I was wearing jeans and a blue t-shirt. “I'm sorry sir, I don't follow. Dressed up?”

The man just keeps smiling and points to my forehead “They are very well done I might add”.

I mumble a thank you and back away from the table as I reach up to feel my head. What the hell was on my head that was making people think--

My hand bumps into my ear and I freeze when I realize it is on the completely wrong part of my skull. My body’s senses confirm that, yes, this was my ear, but I also knew that this was way too high on my head and it felt really fuzzy and long for some reason. I immediately drop all the papers and brochures I was carrying and just make a sprint for the bathroom. I needed a mirror.

I enter the bathroom and to my dismay it was full of people. Oh well doesn't matter, I need a mirror, like, now. I locate the sinks and enter the mirror's field of view and HOLY SHIT. I stand there in shock looking at my reflection. I had legit horse ears on my head, I step closer and feel them with my hands again. They were as real as they get, they feels exactly like the ones I felt back on our farm. The other weird part was the fact that they were covered in red fur. Not only did that seem like a strange color for a horse, but it means they really stood out against my Caucasian skin.

“Wow, nice, very detailed work there” I hear from a random guy standing next to me washing his hands. “Best cosplay ears I have seen in a long time. Good idea wearing them here, tells the vendors what animal you're shopping for. Clever!”

“Uh yea, thanks” I mumble and look back at the mirror. What the hell was going on here? I didn't have these a few hours ago! 'It's just like the tattoo and the hair growth.' runs through my mind. Was this all related? What, it couldn't be, that doesn't make any sense! But it's too much of a coincidence for them to be separate right?

“Holy shit, you can move them too? That's so realistic! Wait, how the hell did you make those?” The guy next to me is now staring at my ears with a mix of excitement and confusion.

I turn back the mirror, holy crap he is right, they do move. I reach up and cover one with my hand, noticing that the sound from that side gets quiet. I confirm to myself in my thoughts “They aren't just some fake decorative ears, these are actual, fully functional ears. I don't know how, but my human ears have been completely replaced by these red, furry, horse shaped ones.”

I start to feel light headed so I step out of the bathroom, ignoring the questions from the guy behind me. I make my way to the exit and pull out my cellphone. This was all too much, there was something very, very wrong going on. It's not normal for a persons body to change like this. There is only one number to call now. I exit the building and dial the number.

“911 Emergency, how may I help you?”

“I need an ambulance.”

The 911 operator’s voice remains calm “You need an ambulance? Okay sir what is your name, and what is the nature of your emergency?”

I sat down on the curb and replied “My name is Evan Smith, and I, um, I just need to see a doctor about something”

“Are you hurt badly? Where are you?”

“I’m at the downtown convention center in the city.” I replied

After a moment the dispatcher’s voice came back through the phone “Okay, Evan, you are at the convention center. Did something happen there? Why do you need an ambulance? What is the nature of the medical emergency?”

I rubbed my neck. I really didn’t want to tell this operator I needed to see a doctor because I had horse ears and long hair, she would think this was a prank. “Well... I just want to talk to a doctor about something. It’s uh... there’s a 'lump' on a my head I want a doctor to look at for me”. I chewed my lip, that lie was close enough to the truth, it should work for now.

“Oh. Just a lump you wanna get checked? Not a life threatening emergency then? Hmm, well, I can send an ambulance if you want, but if you can walk there is small urgent care clinic three blocks north of you. If this isn’t a medical emergency that might be better, it would certainly be cheaper than sending an ambulance.”

I raised my eyebrows. An urgent care clinic might be better than a hospital. Less crowded. “Oh. Thank you for the idea. Just 3 blocks north you say? What is the address?”

She gave me the address, then concluded with “Okay sir, if you change your mind just call us back and we can send the ambulance.” I thanked her, hung up the phone, and started walking.

I arrived at the clinic a few minutes later. It looked like a pretty small place, some sort of private clinic run by one doc and a nurse or two. I approach reception “Yes, hello, I would like to see the doctor please.”

The nurse is staring at my ears, not that I blame her. “Okay, he should be available in a few minutes. Fill out these forms and have a seat right there.”

I fill out the forms then go to waiting room and sit in one of the chairs. “AH!” I yell and immediately stand back up, holy fuck that was painful.

“Is something wrong sir?” The receptionist peers over her desk at me.

“No, sorry, I just sat on something that’s all”. I look back at the chair expecting to see a toy or something that a kid left on the seat, but all I saw was an empty chair. I scratched my head. What the hell did I sit on?

I slowly sit back down easing myself into the chair using my arms, and there it is again! I'm sitting on something! I stand back up and rub my backside. What is going on back there? Whoa. That’s different, what the hell is this lump back here? I nervously look around, spotting a bathroom in the hallway. I turn to the receptionist and motion that I’ll be in the bathroom in case I get called.

I enter the bathroom and drop my pants and underwear, immediately feeling some relief as I feel that lump relax and unfold now that it’s not confined anymore. Wait, a second, unfold? What the hell?

I start to twist around to have a look at my back while my hand reaches back to grab this mysterious protrusion. The second my hand makes contact with it my brain studiously processes the information and informs me of its findings. “That is a tail”

“I’m sorry brain, come again?”

“Hand is reporting that, yes, confirmed, this feels like a tail. Horse tail to be exact.”


“Hang on, optic nerve will be reporting soon... Ah there it is. Sir, eyes have confirmed what hand reported, there is a tail back there. Sandy blonde in color; definite horse tail”

“Brain... what are you telling me?”

“...Error! Unable to make sense of situation! Abort! Error! System shutdown, system shutdown!”

WHUMP. I promptly faint in the bathroom. God dammit brain.


“Nurse, how long as he been in there?”

“About half an hour doctor, I’ll get the key”

I am awakened to see a man in a white coat standing over me, lightly slapping me on the cheek. “Sir? Sir, are you alright? What happened?”

I shake my head to clear my thoughts and try to remember where I was. Oh right, doctors office, went to bathroom, found tail. I immediately sit up and reach down to my lower back. Fuck, it’s still there. Why is it still there? I turn to the doctor and mumble “Tail, I have tail...”

The doctor stand up and turns to the nurse “Get this man a gown, and put him in Exam Room One. Where is the other nurse?”

“Oh Jessica? She went on break” Nurse #1 replies.

“Find her, tell her to come to the exam room and get this guy’s bloodwork.”

There is a small flurry of activity as I am handed a robe and taken to one of the exam rooms. I put the robe on and wait for the doctor as I look at myself in the mirror. The robe they gave me was one of those hospital gowns where the back was open, strangely enough this worked perfect for my current situation because it meant my tail had room to breathe. “My tail” what the hell was this, I turned away from it in disgust. I wanted that thing chopped off the second the doctor came back in here.

I heard voices outside the door “Has the nurse taken the bloodwork yet?”

“No doctor, she’ll be another 2 minutes or so”

The door opens and the doctor enters, still yelling over his shoulder “Well send her in when she’s ready”

I look up at the doctor and give him my best poker face. He stares back at me and starts playing this by the book “So... what brings you into clinic today?”

I take a deep breathe and run my hand through my hair. Jeez, this hair was way longer than what I was used to. “Well doc... not sure where to start, but I guess I’m here because of these ears.”

The doctor takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes “I see, I noticed those when you were unconscious in the bathroom. It amazes me what people will do to their bodies these days, but that’s their choice I suppose.” I started to protest a reply but he cut me off “So anyway, are the ears hurting you now? Is that why you are here? How long ago did you get this done?”

The doc pulls out one of his pen lights and starts examining them while I answer his questions “Well no, they are not hurting me or anything. But doc, I didn’t have these until today, I got them an hour ago.”

He steps back and looks at my face “Look, sir--”


He continues “Look, Evan, I don’t know where you had these done, and that’s not really my business, but you can’t lie to me here. I know you had these for a long time”

I raise my eyebrow “Oh really, and why is that?”

The doctor reaches over and snaps his fingers next to my right ear. I flinch and feel my ear flick away from the sound. The doctor continues “This would have been a major operation, you have nerves and muscles up here, any surgery this intensive would have left scars and would take weeks of recovery”

“Look doc, that’s why I’m here, I’m telling you I didn’t have these this morning! I was totally normal until after dinner, then I looked in a mirror and had these things”

The doctor smiles and nods “I see. Tell me Evan, do you have any psychiatric medications that you should be taking? Do you have a caretaker that knows where you are right now? Someone we should call?”

I facepalm “I don’t know why I expected you to believe me. Well fine, you don’t have to I guess. Well at the very least can you remove this thing for me?” I turn around and shift my hospital gown so my tail is perfectly visible.

“Sweet mother of Christ!” The doctor exclaims as he takes a step back, then regains his composure and moves up to me to get a better look “Who in god’s name would have performed such a surgery? How is this even...”

He grabs the tail and gives it a yank. “Whoa doc, that feels really weird” It didn’t really hurt but I didn’t like the new sensation it gave me.

“Yes, I imagine it would...” he pokes at the base of the tail with his pen light. “The bone in here appears to fused with your spine.”

“Well then... that’s just fucking fantastic isn’t it?” Sigh. “Can you cut it off?”

The doctor took a step back. “Cut if off? I have no idea how this operation was done, you should go to the surgeon that did this to you if you want it removed.”

I sagged my shoulders in rejection. No one is going to help me, they all think I’m some sort of freak who did this to myself.

A knock on the door interrupted my depressing thoughts. “Doctor, I’m here to get the patient’s blood work drawn”

The doc looks up “Fantastic, alright Jessie, come in.” My eyes grow wide in shock as I see Jessica, the girl I met on the plane earlier today. She enters the room and approaches the doctor to hand him something to sign. The doctor then leans forward and whispers into her ear. “Careful with this one, I think he’s off his medication”.

I would have been impressed with the potency of my new ears at picking up a whisper like that, but I was still in shock at the of dumb luck having Jessica and I cross paths again. The doctor leaves the room and I clear my throat “Uh, hey... Jessica”.

She looks up and her eyes sparkle “Oh my god! Evan!” Hey, she remembered my name, that was nice. She put down the clipboard and ran up to me “Wow, what happened to you? Holy cow are these real?”

I smiled as she ran her hands over my ears. I was never so happy to see someone. Just having someone, anyone here with me, it made all the difference in the world. “Yea Jessica, I don’t know what happened. You saw me earlier today, I was perfectly fine. But then my hair changes, and then these damn ears, and then I find myself with one of these!” I turn around and show her the tail that matches my hair.

Jessica lets out a loud shriek in surprise “Evan! What did you do! How did you do this?”

I throw my hands up in the air “I don’t know!” I would have explained more, but the door to the room bursts open.

“Jessie, are you alright? I heard a scream.” It was the other nurse, and she was staring at me menacingly.

“I’m fine, I’m fine. Just surprised myself that’s all.” Jessica replied, calmly putting on gloves and getting back to her job of taking a blood sample.

I smile and try to look innocent for the other nurse, but this had the effect of pulling my ears to the sides and making them go floppy. Seeing my equine ears moving made the nurse shiver at the creepiness and she backed up and closed the door behind her. “Tough crowd” I remark.

Jessica approaches me and starts swabbing my arm with alcohol for the blood draw. “You know, my boss thinks you’re some lunatic off his meds.”

“And what do you think?” I say with a smile.

“Well you seemed normal enough this morning, and besides... I always had a thing for horses.” She sticks her tongue out at me and then stabs me with the needle.

“Ow! And ha ha, very funny. Urgh, I gotta get this fixed, these ears and tail. Someone has to know what this is, someone has to remove them”

Jessica finishes taking the blood “Do you have to though? Some of us find them kind of cute.”

I raise my eyebrow “Are you... flirting with me?”

The conversation is cut short as the door opens and the doc walks back in. “Well Evan, I don’t know what to tell you. I checked all my sources, no registered surgeons offer cosmetic surgeries like this.”

“So... do you believe me now when I say that this all just happened today due to some unknown cause?” I say with hope in my voice.

The doc chuckles to himself “Well I doubt that, but I will humor you while I consider all the other options. Did anything else ‘magically change’ for you today?”

I rolled my eyes, the tone in his voice was that of an adult talking down to a 3 year old, asking them if their action figures saved the world today. But still, might as well answer the questions if it has a chance to get me help “Yea, my hair was black and short this morning, but now it's this sandy color and it’s long like you see. Also, this tattoo thing wasn’t here 24 hours ago.” I turn to the side and shift the hospital gown so the green mark is seen.

The doctor and Jessica just stare for a few seconds. Finally the doc looks up at me “An... apple slice? Hehe, you telling me that this apple tattoo appeared randomly just like the ears?”

“Yep, both legs, no explanation for it”. I cross my arms, I don’t know why I was telling him all this, it was obvious he didn’t believe me

The doc wanted to roll his eyes, but remembered his oath and did his job, dilligently writing down everything the patient said, no matter how silly or unrealistic it all sounded. “Well, alright Evan, that's all we need from you at this time. If there are no other health complaints you can get dressed and be on your way.”

I sighed once more. “So there's nothing you can do?”

The doc started walking towards the door “Look, I'll do my duty and poke around and ask some other docs if they ever heard of patients coming in with unexplained tails and ears, but I'll be honest with you Evan, I think we both know how those questions are going to turn out.”.

I smiled. I couldn't ask for more than that could I? “Thanks doc, can you call me if you find anything? Anything at all. My cell number is on that form I gave to reception.”

The doctor leaves the room, still talking as he exits. “Of course. Now come on Jessica, drop those blood samples off at the lab and go to room five when you can. Mr Johnson is ready for his enema.”

“Yes doctor.” Jessica says but pauses for a moment, making sure her boss had left before turning to me “So... how you doing?”

“Um.. so-so I guess?” I was confused. What was Jessica getting at?

She walked around behind me and ran her hands through my tail, giving it a pull here and there “This is amazing Evan, it's so real! It's like an actual horse tail!”

“I don't know if amazing is the right word. 'Creepy' and 'scary' are the words that come to mind when I see it.”

I hear a strange breathing noise behind me. “Oh god, it smells like the real thing! How did you do that?”

I step away from her and move to cover myself “Calm down Jessica, why are you so--WAIT what do you mean it smells like the real thing? That's impossible I haven't been near horses for 48 hours and I took a shower this morning.”

Jessica bites her lip “Well it does. Here, I was holding your tail with this hand, give it a smell”

I precariously lean forward and smell her palm, immediately recognizing the odor “That's horse hair and sweat all right. Why the hell do I have that scent?”

“Good question, I don't think a simple plastic surgery would give you that. What are you going to do Evan?”

“I don't know.”

“Do you have a place to stay?”

I look over at Jessica. She was blushing slightly. “Thanks for the offer Jessica, but I have a hotel downtown”

“Oh but I insist! What if something happens to you? You said yourself you don't know what's going on, you shouldn't be alone right now.”

Hmm, she had a good point. I remember how great it was to see her face when she walked in here, being alone right now really sucked. Would be nice to have a friendly face nearby. “Alright Jessica, you convinced me. When do you get off?”

Her eyes sparkled and she grinned ear to ear “At 10pm, in half an hour! Wait for me in the lobby!”

I peered at her. She seemed far too happy, oh well, better happy than angry I suppose.


We got back to her place by 11pm. We had a small dinner and the wine started flowing. Jessica went on about her life and told me how she was born in raised in then city, but she always loved horses and that's was why she invited me over. With the wine flowing in my veins I assumed she was referring to my occupation, so I started telling her about our breeding stock and how the year has been.

I was in the middle of telling her that the current market for foals was doing well because of demand in Texas when she reached over and put a finger on my lips. “Shhh”. The finger was soon pulled back and replaced with her lips. She gave me a light kiss and then pulled back and giggled at me.

I held up my hands "Whoa, Jessie, moving a little quick here."

Jessica just smiled and ran her hands through my thick hair. "I love your mane Evan"

This was getting slightly awkward "Uh, it's just hair Jessica. Not a mane, just hair." Soon I feel her hands move to my ears and her fingers danced over their fur. Then she starts lightly scratching them from behind. I lean into her hands. "Oh, wow, that actually feels really nice. Mmm"

Jessica finally lets go of my ears and looks into my ears. "Say Evan, wanna snuggle on my bed on watch a movie?"

I raise my eyebrows "Is that a euphemism you guys use in Chicago for..."

Jessica laughs "No silly, I mean literally just watch a movie and cuddle. It will be fun."

I shrug, sure, why the hell not. "I'd love to Jessica, do you have a movie in mind? A romantic comedy or something?"

Jessica grabs my arm and pulls me into her bed room "Not exactly, but don't worry, you're going to love it!" She motions for me to lie on the bed, the grabs a DVD from her dresser and puts it in the DVD player and turns on her bedroom TV. As the video starts to play she goes to the bathroom to change, then returns wearing her pajamas and gets in the bed next to me.

I make note of her pajamas. They were cute, but not really 'sexy', just normal pajamas. Damn, looks like we really are just going to cuddle and that's it. I turn back to the TV, it was some animated movie I didn't recognize. The title flashes across the screen 'Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron'. I turn back to Jessica. "Um, the Disney movie about the horse? Isn't this a kid's movie?"

Jessica snuggles up close to me and tickles my ear "It's a good movie, you're going to love it!".

We snuggled there for quite some time, after a few minutes or watching the onscreen horse I feel Jessica's hand snake down my chest and make for my groin. I smile and think to myself 'Hmm, looks like I might get some action after all. Though I admit, getting that done while watching a kid's movie is a bit strange'. Eventually Jessica's hand does reach my waistline and I feel her fingers slip underneath my boxers. But wait, what the hell was she doing?

I turn to face Jessica ”Umm, Jessica, that's my tail. You have to go to the other side if you want--”

Jessica cuts me off with a finger on my lips "Silly stallion, you have a dirty mind! I just want to see your tail that's all.” As she says this she pulls my tail out of my boxers and lays it across her legs.

I raise an eyebrow “Jessica, you're kinda strange"

Jessica smiles "Hey, there are lots of guys in the city, but only one has something like this!" She reaches down with both hands and plays with my tail, feeling the strands with her hands and just enjoying the feel of it in her hands.

I sigh as I go back to watching the movie. This was a strange girl. Oh well, she's just having a bit of fun, no harm really. Once morning comes I'll have to part ways though.


I awoke to sunlight pouring into the windows. I must have fallen asleep during the movie.

I yawn and reach down to wipe the sleep from my face, only to suddenly notice my arms doesn't move. I turn my head and look at what seems to be the problem. A pit of horror forms in my stomach as I see both of my arms are handcuffed to the metal bed frame behind me. I try to move my legs and notice those are restrained as well. What the hell!?

I cry out “JESSICA!"

"Oh, you're awake! I'm so happy!" Jessica suddenly appears at the bedside, standing over me and smiling strangely.

I swallow hard "Jessica, untie me please”

She just laughs and bites her fingernails "Oh baby, why would I do that? You're my stallion! My horsey! We're going to have so much fun together Evan!”

I start to panic "What? Horsey, stallion? Jessica it's just ears and a tail, you gotta let me go!"

She laughs "Oh no no no, you are so much more than that now! Look!" She points down at my waist and I follow her gaze. I soon realized that not only was I totally naked, but even more of body seemed to have changed. My pelvis didn't normally look like this, there was red fur everywhere and my manhood looked very strange, all I can say was it no longer looked human. I guess I should be glad that it was still there, and that I was still a guy, but still this was really creepy! I want to scream in panic, but Jessica just claps her hands and laughs.

"And did you see your feet? They are so adorable! Look a the cute little hooves!"

I strain my neck and look down, she wasn't kidding, my feet had turned into fully formed horse hooves. What the hell was happening to me? I turn to Jessica "You HAVE to let me go! I'm getting worse, I need to go find help!"

Jessica frowned. “But I can't let you go! You're going to be my horsey, just like the one in the movie!"

I had to get out of here, Jessica was no longer acting rational. She must have had some thing for horses and now that she saw my hooves she had just gone off the deep end. "Please Jessica, let me go. I can come back tonight if you want, I can be your horsey then!" I was obviously lying through my teeth, but I had to get out of here. I had to get away from her.

Jessica smiles "Nice try Evan but... Actually, I’m not even going to call you Evan anymore. Nice try horse, but I know if I untie even you for a moment you're just going to try and run away. I have to keep you tied up for now. Don’t worry though, you already lost your feet, we just have to wait until your hands become hooves too. Then you won’t be able to use fingers and open any doors. Once you have 4 hooves I can just lock all the doors and you will be stuck in here with me forever.”

Jessica’s delivery was sent a shiver down my spine. I think she just said a threat, but she said the whole thing with a smile on her face, I’m pretty sure even the Joker would find it unsettling.

I was in serious trouble here, I really needed a way out of here fast. “Oh, hey Jessica, that plan sounds great, really, awesome plan! But I need to pee, can you let me go to the bathroom?” She would have to oblige that one right?

Jessica just kept smiling "Sorry horsey, I can't do that! But it's okay, you're a horse, remember? Horses don't even use toilets to go to the bathroom!"

I stare at her for a moment. She really was completely and utterly insane. Well, I tried playing nice, I really did. The time for that is over though, looks like I had to take off the kid gloves. I looked down at my lower body. Both my legs were starting to get red fur all over them, and my leg muscles looked incredibly huge; pretty sure humans didn't have leg muscles this large. Combined with the adrenaline from the situation, I think they might do the trick. I tense up my body and explode my legs downward, smashing my hooves onto the metal end of the bed.

Jessica screams and jumps back with a yelp at the deafening sound of her steel bed frame snapping in half. Screws got sheared and structural steel just caved and folded over from the sheer impact of the kick. Jessica was frantic “Ahhh, bad horsey, bad horsey! Calm down! Calm down!”

I ignore her for the time being and look down at the damage. Jesus, the entire frame snapped in two, why the hell didn’t I try this earlier? Hell hath no fury like getting kicked with hooves I guess. Well now my legs were free, how about these arms? Just a pair of handcuffs on each arm? Suddenly that doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. I grit my teeth and just pull down. Hard.

Jessica starts waving her hands “Stop it, stop it, you’re going to hurt yourself! You can’t just pull off-” her cries were cut short by the plink, plink sound of chains snapping. I still had a handcuff on each wrist, but the small steel chains connecting them to the bedposts had broken.

I can stand up now, so I do so only to have Jessica start protesting again “Nooo, stop, bad horsey, get back on the bed!”.

I look down at Jessica, my brain working full overtime to fight the primal urge to hit her for doing what she did to me. ‘Calm down Evan, calm down, don’t hit a girl, she didn’t mean it, she is just crazy that’s all, not her fault, calm down...’

I sigh. You win this time brain. I instead pick Jessica up and carry her out of the bedroom as her fists pound helplessly on my back. She was screaming something about bad horsey, bad horsey but I long since tuned her out. Hmm, where to put her? I enter her hallway and notice the clip clop noise of my hooves on the hardwood floor. It was strange to hear, but I surprisingly wasn’t disgusted by it. I mean, being able to kick with these hooves was the only reason I escaped that bed, I really can’t be mad at them. Anyway I’ll deal with those later, I have a psychotic bitch to deal with right now. I look around at the rooms we pass, finally stopping at the bathroom next to her living room. I toss her, gently, onto the floor of the bathroom and close the door on her. It was an outwards opening door, so grab the nearby sofa and drag it over and put it in across the front of the door. I’m rewarded by large bangings as she repeatedly tries to open the door but fails.

I run my hand through my hair. Right, now what the hell am I supposed to do? Well let’s see, I can’t stay in this apartment and I can’t really stay in Chicago can I? Pretty sure equine ears, a tail, hooves, and red fur across half my body was going to draw some attention. I need someplace safe to sit and think this all over. Home. I need to get back home. It was safe there, Jack would help me, he could keep me hidden and help me out until I got better. He was a good brother, he would help me.

I glanced around the living room, noticing the noise from Jessica banging on the bathroom door was getting louder. Time to get the hell out of dodge, I ran back to the bedroom and grabbed my clothes and my phone, where were my shoes? Oh right, at the front door to the apartment. I went over there and looked at my boots, then back at my hooves. I don’t really need shoes do I? Hooves are meant for the outdoors, fuck shoes. One last thing to grab, I look around the shelf near the door and find them: Keys to Jessica’s car.


I kind of wanted to leave the city immediately, but I knew that wasn’t smart. I had a paper trail here and I needed to get rid of it or else Jessica might try and follow me. I decided to first make a stop at the hotel so I could check out of my room. This kind of seemed silly to do considering my current emergency, but if I didn’t check out the hotel would report to the police that I was a missing person, and that would bring more unwanted attention. Besides, seeing the face on the hotel receptionist was pretty amusing. I acted like nothing was out of place and signed the bill for the room while the receptionist spent the whole time biting her tongue, fighting the urge to ask why I had red horse ears and was walking around on two hooves. Still, it wasn’t illegal and I was a paying customer, so she said nothing and I checked out of my room and went on my way.

Only one place left, the clinic. I really didn’t wanna go back there because it was possible Jessica would have escaped and ran there, but the fact was they had all my contact info in my file, and being a nurse Jessica would have full access to all of that info. I needed to make sure that never happened.

I park the car a block away and enter the clinic, a chime sounds as I open the door and the receptionist looks up. “Oh hello Evan, so nice to see you again!”. Well that was one nice perk about these ears, people didn’t forget my name anymore. She then peers down at my feet “Ooo..nice shoes Evan, very original design.”

I look down, those weren't shoes, those were my hooves. Why would anyone wear shoes that looked like hooves? Actually, nevermind, I’m sure Lady Gaga did it at one point in time or something. I push the thought to the side and try to act natural as I can as I approach the woman. “Thanks for the complement! And hello! As you remember I was here last night.” I pause to make sure the receptionist nods in acknowledgement “Yea, see in my panic from what was going on, I believe I wrote down the wrong phone number on your form! See I just changed phone carriers, and I still mix up my phone numbers here and there. Can I check to make sure I put the right number down? I would hate for you guys to have the wrong contact information!” I finish with a smile, and I am relieved to see the receptionist nod in agreement.

“Oh yes, that would be most dreadful wouldn’t it? We should fix that right now. Here let me get your file” she turns around and looks through the filing cabinet behind her.

Soon she returns with a manila folder that has ‘SMITH, EVAN’ written across the tab. I reach a hand so she can pass it to me, but she frowns and looks up at me “Umm, did you want the whole file or just the address page? Usually we don’t give patients the whole file, this is our only copy and we don’t wanna lose the records.”

I smile once more, I’m so close, I can do this “Can I have the whole file? Please? I wanna make sure I fix all the mistakes across the whole thing.”

The receptionist bites her lip for a moment. This was a nice man, he could be trusted right? She felt so bad for the poor guy, he fell unconscious in the bathroom the other day, that was so embarrassing for him. And he even has those adorable red ears, how can she say no to such a cuddly looking guy? But still, there were regulations here... “Well okay Evan, but since this is the only copy I’m going to have to ask you sit behind me in this small room. That way you won’t accidentally walk out with it”

She opens a door behind her and put the file on a table in a tiny room, I thank her kindly and sit at the table as I open the file and flip through the contents. I was just going to change the address, but since I got the whole file I might as well see all the info they wrote about me, right?

I skim over the lab results for the blood test, not knowing what most the columns meant but thankfully at the end of each test there was a box labeled “NORMAL” which was checked in every row. Huh, so the labs all came back normal. No known diseases or viruses. Okay, well, what did the doctor write about me? “Patient is clearly delusional, consistently lying about past medical operations and pretends to not know why or when he got exotic cosmetic surgery done. Patient wants me to phone him if I find anything that can help him, I plan to forward his case to psychiatry and have mental health specialists call him instead. Hopefully they can arrange an appointment to talk with him about his mental condition.”

I put the folder down and rub my eyes. Well, can’t say I don’t blame him, I probably would have done the same thing. Right then, time to get out of here with the file. Just changing the address wouldn’t do at this point, I wanted this entire file gone before it started getting sent around to mental health clinics. I stand up and tuck the folder under my shit, noticing there was even more red fur around my waist then there was an hour ago. Time to get home.

I open the door a crack, the receptionist is standing right outside and peers through the open crack. “Are you done in there Evan? I’m waiting...”

I close the door. Shit. “Just one second Miss, I’m just closing it now.” Think, think, think. I look around the room, no windows, not even a fucking vent. Just four walls and this one door. There’s got to be a way to...

Next to the light switch was a red metal square with a white handle on it. FIRE ALARM. I bite my lip, this was the only option wasn't it? Pretty sure this was highly illegal, but I guess I already stole a car and locked a girl in her bathroom. Besides, not many options open to me right now are there? I peer closer and read the text on the alarm. “Any persons caught pulling this for a prank or any other 'false alarm' will be fined $5,000”

I smile as I rest my hand on the lever. “Any persons you say? Well that’s convenient, according to Jessica this warning doesn’t apply to me. I’m not a person, I’m a horse.”


I don’t know what was louder, the alarm or the shriek the receptionist gave and she bolted away from her desk. “Oh my! FIRE FIRE!! Ah! Doctor, get all the patients out!!! Fire!”

I smiled to myself, that was too easy. I open the door and poke my head out, the coast looked clear. “Show time.” I open the door and slip out of the lobby, breaking out into a dead run as soon as I hit the exit. I quickly find the car and get inside, tossing the file on the seat next to me. I take a moment to find a way to sit comfortable on one leg so my tail isn’t pinched, and then I start the car and head for the highway. Long drive ahead of me, hopefully I can make it home by nightfall.


It's late afternoon when I stop for food at a McDonalds. I order two plain salads and sit there in Jessica's stolen car chowing them down. The radio was on and NPR was doing the daily news recap, they mentioned something about an explosion in Seattle but I wasn't paying attention to any of it, my mind was elsewhere. I had recently noticed my entire pelvis and legs were now covered in fur, and at some point my teeth had changed to those of a herbivore. It was clear that the changes were accelerating, I'd be lucky if I would be able to make it to tomorrow morning before this was all done.

“What am I going to tell Jack? 'Oh hey brother, funny story, I'm going to be a horse in 12 hours, hope you don't mind me taking up another stall in the barn outside. Be sure to change my water and straw everyday”. I shake my head with disgust and take another bite of salad, noticing that these new teeth were awkwardly good at chewing through leaves.

With a sigh I pull out my phone and check my email, I hadn't checked it in a while with all this other crap going on. What's this? An email from my credit card company?

I read it outloud “EVAN SMITH, this is a courtesy email to notify you that the credit card you share with JACK SMITH has reached its credit limit of $2,000. If you wish to increase your credit limit please go on our website...” I put the phone down. Jack spent $2000 on something? I was only gone for 24 hours, what the hell has he been up to? I go back to my phone and check to see Jack sent me any emails. Nope, all quiet on the western front. Hmm, I go to Jack's Facebook page to check if he made any posts. Nope, nothing. I scroll back to the top of the page and was about to check something else when I pause for a second. Jack's profile picture was some white unicorn with blue hair, it was one of the ponies from that stupid show he always watches. His profile picture had been a pony for many years now, but something about the picture caught my eye. The pony had a tattoo of a musical note on its butt. I blinked, how come I didn't make this connection until now? All the ponies in that show have pictures on their flanks, right? I put my salad down, realizing I also had a picture on my flank, that can't be a coincidence can it?

I quickly opened a new tab on my phone and searched for 'pony with red fur, green apple tattoo'. Holy shit, there it was. On my phone was a picture of a red cartoon stallion, and he had the exact same green apple picture on his leg. He also had the same hair and tail color, same shade of red fur too.

I put my phone down and started the car. Well, that's a relief I guess. I'm not becoming a random farm horse, I'm becoming some cartoon pony. I think that's better? Well at any rate it was good news because this means Jack should have some answers. This was his favorite show, he better know what was going on with me. I wasn't that far from home now, I should be there just before sundown.


About two miles from the farm I pulled off the road. I needed to ditch this car, it was stolen after all. Thankfully since this was a rural area there was no one around me to question what I was doing. Once off the road I drove away across a grass field, then found a path into the woods. Land around here was dotted with small forests that no one really explored that often, so if I hid the car well it shouldn't be found for a season or so. After going as deep into the woods as one can really go using a car, I got out and removed the license plates and scratched away the dashboard VIN so the car would be harder to identify. Finally I took all my stuff out of the car and then just walked away, leaving all the doors and windows open. Hopefully some animals would nest in there, tearing the inside up and leaving even less evidence for the police to use when the car was eventually found.

It was just under two miles to the farm so I started doing a light jog in that direction. The sun was almost down and it looked like it was going to rain soon so soon I picked up my pace. Running through soft fields with hooves was quite the experience. I could feel the earth with each step. It just felt so comforting, so right to be running in hooves. I couldn't even imagine wearing shoes at this point, this was fucking amazing. This felt more comfortable than running barefoot ever had, plus it had the added bonus where you don't feel the pain of stepping on rocks and sticks.

I was actually somewhat sad to see that I arrived at the farm, I kind of wanted to just keep running, though come to think of it, my upper leg joint did kind of hurt. It felt like that joint would be much more comfortable if I was on fours. Urgh, pushing that disturbing thought out of my mind I made my way towards the driveway. Well the car is gone, looks like Jack is out.

I walked towards the main door, pausing as I pass the stables. I debate if I should go in there and see how the horses are doing. Part of me really wants to go in there and just walk around, give them a nice pat, maybe compare hooves with them just for the hell of it. Just thinking about it made me smile, but another part of me was a little scared of where that might lead. It would be a little creepy going in there when I smelled like one of them. I elect to cautiously skip the stables and just go straight inside. I fish the key to the front door from my bag and open the house.

“Hello? Anybody home?” I make my way inside and drop my bags and medical file off in my room, noticing that the rain had started outside. I passed by a few mirrors as I walked around the house, but I purposefully didn't look in any of them. I knew things were getting bad, I didn't need a mirror to tell me that. I did however, need a stiff drink right now . I grab a glass from the kitchen and remember the bottle of 25 year old Scotch was in the pantry. I pour about 5 fingers worth, drop a few ice cubes in there, and then down half of the drink in one gulp. God damn did I need that right now.

I lean against the table and watch the lightning flash outside the window. What a day, I mean holy shit. I just went through more crap in the last 36 hours than I did in the previous 25 years. I took a deep breath and reached down for my glass again as a prolonged lightning flash lit up the window and stayed there. Wait, what? I squinted at the light coming in the window. “Fuck, those are headlights.”

I put my glass down next to the bottle on the table and snuck over to the window, it was Jack's car alright. I turned off the hallway light that was on and looked around. What to do, what to do. I didn't wanna be standing right here when Jack came in, there was a good chance Dave would be with him. I didn’t really want Dave involved with my issue here, it would be awkward enough just showing my face to Jack. Thankfully our kitchen opens up into our living room, so I went in there and laid down on one of the couches. As long as the living room lights are off and I don't sit up, I should be totally hidden from view. Also, from here I can observe the kitchen pretty easily.

I hear the front door open and someone drop off heavy bags in the hallway, then the footsteps go back to the door and it closes. This whole process repeats over and over, I must have been sitting there for five minutes and I was still hearing someone coming in and dropping off bags. Jesus what the hell did they buy? Who comes back with that many bags of stuff?

Finally I hear the door close one last time and muffled voices start approaching the kitchen. I frown to my thoughts “Two voices, Jack AND Dave, damn it”. Two figures come into view and my blood runs cold as I am forced to correct myself. “That's not either of them.”

The two people entered the kitchen, soaking wet and laughing. I wanted to say it was Jack and Dave, but it didn't sound like them at all. It almost sounded like two girls, one of whom turned to the other and said “Well, at least that’s done. We don’t have to leave the house for a long time now.”

That had to be Jack. Right? Oh wait, nevermind, the person just took off their hat and shirt. Long golden blond hair falling all the way down back, it’s gotta be a girl. Maybe the other one is Jack?

Wait, nevermind. The second one pulled off their sweatshirt, exposing a torrent of brilliant hair, so colorful that it could make a box of fluorescent highlighters look dull. The owner of the colored hair spoke up and they took off their shoes and pants. “Yea, it’s great to be done”

Soon the both of them were in nothing but their boxers, which I thought was a little odd, but before I could give it much thought the one with the rainbow hair reached back and started pulling someone through the back of their boxers. “Oh no...” I mutter to myself as I see what it was: A full length horse tail, matching the person's rainbow hair. My mind goes blank for a moment. ‘People don’t have tails...’ I squint to make sure I'm seeing this right. Yes that's definitely a tail all right, and holy crap, they both have equine ears as well. Blue on our rainbow friend, and tan ears on the blonde. “What the hell is going on around here?” I mutter.

Blue-rainbow reaches back and embraces their tail in a hug “Oh god, that’s so much better. I missed you so much little guy!”

I stare with a gaping mouth, as the second person does the same thing and starts flicking their blond tail back and forth ”You were right, it does kinda grow on you”

Blue-rainbow laughs “Aww yea, shake what Celestia gave you!” then runs over and gives the blonde on a hug.

What the hell was wrong with these people? Why were they so happy? Shouldn't they should be freaking out that they have tails? This shit isn't normal. Oh god... what if that's Jack and Dave? What if they suffered the same fate I did! No, that can't be--

The rainbow one spoke and their words stung like ice. “We did it Jack! We got everything we needed! Now we have all the time in the world to sit here and figure this out!”

No. No, that wasn't possible. I felt my eyes well up with tears. Jack was stronger than this, he would never do this to himself. And if this did happen to him, he wouldn't be this happy with himself. He would never be happy that he was some sort of half human, half equine beast. Could that really be them?

The blond one (Jack?) spoke up “Yea, I’m looking forward to a few days where we aren’t running around with our heads cut off. And Scotch the celebrate! Great idea Dash!”

Oh uh, my Scotch is still on the table. The rainbow looked at the glass “Jack, that Scotch wasn’t there when we left...”

I lowered my head in defeat, not only at having my Scotch found, but at realizing that the two people in the kitchen really were Jack and Dave. All clues pointed towards that fact, I just didn't like what it meant. They were probably going through the same stuff I was going through. The more I looked at the blond one, the more I had a feeling that he really was my brother. And wherever Jack was, Dave would be with him. Not to mention, didn't Dave get that a stuffed animal of a blue pony with rainbow hair for his birthday? He always had that as his computer wallpaper and stuff too, Jack always was telling me about how Dave had obsessed over that one. Now 'lo a behold, in my kitchen was a person who was well on his way towards being that very same blue pony with rainbow hair. That's too much of a coincidence.

I sighed again, looks like this problem of mine just got a lot larger. I look up to see my blond-haired-brother look at the Scotch glass and then turn to Rainbow-Dave “That's... impossible. The door was locked when we came in.”

Dave walks over to the Scotch glass, hooves clip clopping on the hard floor. “Um, Jack... there is still ice in the glass. You know what that means?”

Well, that's my cue to show myself I guess. I stand up and slowly move towards the kitchen, both Jack and Dave have their back to me, so I walk quietly into the kitchen, closing the the distance to both of them until I'm just a few feet away. Jack speaks up “None of the windows were broken and the doors were all locked. No one else has the key except...”

Dave shakes Jack's shoulders “Except who? AJ, talk to me! Who!?”

I clear my throat, “His brother.”

7. So, now what?

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Chapter 7: So, now what?

At the sound of the voice behind me I feel the cyan hairs on my neck stand up as I freeze, too scared to move a muscle. Jack and I had been foolish, we were so happy to return home with all of our supplies that we didn’t check if the house was empty, and now someone was standing behind us. I was holding Jack’s shoulder and I feel her tense up just as I had, and she mutters “That’s impossible...” without turning around.

I don’t know what Jack was getting at, or why this person said Jack’s brother had the key. This couldn’t be Evan, that wasn’t his voice. I slowly turn around to see who ambushed us. I don’t know who I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t the person that I now saw standing in Jack’s kitchen.

Before me stood a large, muscular thing with a face that was almost entirely pony like in appearance. Large, furry red ears poked up through his sandy mane, and streaks of red fur were visible on his arms and neck. He also stood on two large tan hooves, with tufts of red fur covering the tops of them. I wanted to ask who he was, why he was here, what was he going to do to us, and why did he appear to be in the same state of “50% pony” that Jack and I were in. Unfortunately I didn’t know what question to ask first, so they all collided in my brain sort of like 10 kids all trying to squeeze through the lunchroom door all at once. The net result was I just stood there, mouth open, and ears drooping to the side.

The long silence was finally broken as he gave a small laugh, and then asked me a question, his voice half filled with doubt, half filled with hope. “Dave... right? You’re Dave?”

I swallowed the lump in my throat and nodded “Yeah, that’s me I guess.” I was still trying to figure out who this was, his voice was somewhat familiar, but it sounded different than what I remembered.

The figure started to smile to himself “Ha, I knew it. You and that damn rainbow pony, you two were practically one for years now, only makes sense that you ended up like this.”

I stand there and blink. Who the hell was this? I turn to see that Jack had slowly walked up to me and now stood at my side. She squints at the figure in front of us before quietly speaking, “Evan?”

I looked back at the figure who smiled more. My eyes went wide at the realization “Holy shit.”

The red haired one in front us of spread his arms wide “Brother!! How ya been?” he then walks up to Jack and embraces her a huge hug.

Jack didn’t say anything but hugged Evan back as tears welled up in her eyes.

Evan released the hug “Oh man, am I glad to see you brother, you would not BELIEVE the day I had today.” Evan pauses as he looks over at his sibling’s appearance. “Okay, I guess you would believe me, but still! Crazy fucking day! Damn it is good to be back home.” Evan turned around and went back to bottle of Scotch, pouring himself another glass.

Jack was slightly smiling now and walked up behind Evan, her tail swinging slowly behind her “Evan, wow, you too huh? Just like me and Dave, damn I wonder who else is involved.”

“No one else in Chicago, that’s for damn sure. I don’t recommend going back there right now” Evan cringes as he remembers something or someone “Yeah, let’s never go back to Chicago ever again.”

I move up to stand by Jack and Evan. “Wait, so Evan, you’re... Big Mac? What the hell, that’s not even mane six, this makes no sense!”

Evan raised his eyebrows “Oh so me randomly turning into a red farm pony from your favorite TV show makes no sense? Wow, who would have thunk it, excellent observation, I better write that one down!”

I roll my eyes and then Jack looks over at me. “Well, I mean, I'm becoming Applejack right? Evan is my brother, so I guess it kind of makes sense that if he was turning into a pony, that pony would be Big Mac .”

Before I can comment Evan speaks up once more “Yeah, I looked Applejack up on my phone earlier, heh, you kind of got the short end of the stick there huh? She was a mare on the show, so you end up getting longer blond hair and soft eyes. Now everyone is going to think you’re a girl.” Evan chuckled to himself as he sipped his Scotch.

Jack and I exchanged glances, Evan didn’t know we were females. This could be awkward.

Evan puts his Scotch down and lays a hand on his sister’s shoulder. “So, brother, why did you pick Applejack? I understand why Dave here chose Mrs. Rainbow Pants, but why did you choose this blond one? Could you only choose from a few characters or something and needed to pick one that had a sibling so I could fit? And on that note, couldn't you have, oh I don't know, TOLD ME first?”

Jack pushes Evan’s arm off her shoulder. “I didn’t ‘choose’ this you dolt. This just fucking happened.”

Evan poured himself more Scotch, he was getting tipsy. “Bullshit, people don’t turn into ponies at random, you did something brother.” Jack winced every time Evan referred to her in the masculine.

“Oh yes, just because I like a show it means I wanted my entire life to be ruined and for my body to be taken away from me” Jack said with a raised voice. She was quickly getting annoyed by this exchange, she didn’t like the situation she was in any more than Evan did, and being blamed for the whole thing was testing her patience.

I felt things quickly getting out of hoof so I stepped in “Calm down everyone, and Evan, now is not the time to be drinking, we all are stressed out at--”

Evan glanced sideways at me and cut me off “Stay out of this Dave, you always loved that pony, so why don’t you just go to a mirror and take pictures of yourself or something. Now my brother--”

“SISTER” Jack cut him off forcefully before I could even formulate a reply.

A moment of silence fell across the three of us before Evan glared at his sibling and spoke up “I think you’re taking this roleplaying a little far brother. Now tell me how to change back to normal so we can fix all of this.”

Jack was fuming “I told this I DIDN’T DO THIS, oh and another thing brother” Jack reaches down and grabs her boxers in one hand “I’m NOT roleplaying you idiot!” Jack pulls her hand up fast, ripping her boxes clean off her body and leaving her standing there completely nude. Thankfully, orange fur covered her entire pelvis and lower limbs, but it didn't take a biologist to notice her anatomy was not that of a male.

We all froze, and Jack stood there with her legs in a wide stance, exposing everything. She just remained there with a sort of “Any other questions?” expression on her face. Evan dropped his glass, which clinked loudly and rolled across the table, spilling alcohol everywhere. I would have reach out and stopped the glass from rolling, but I found myself a bit distracted by the sight before my eyes. This was wrong on every level.

Evan’s mouth gapes for a few second and then he swallows hard. “Point made my... um...” Evan pauses as he looks for the word.

“Sister” I say quietly, without turning my head.

“Mm, thank you. So, sister, you made your point I guess? You gonna put your pants back on now?”

Jack steps forward and gets back to the table, reaching out and picking up the whisky glass that was still on it’s side “Meh, not really. Ponies don’t normally wear clothes, and I’m pretty sure we passed the 50% mark and are more pony than human at this point.”

“So you’re just going to walk around naked now?” I ask, raising an eyebrow

Jack fills the glass with a small amount of Scotch and downs the glass “Yep. Got a problem with that?”

I shake my head and laugh softly, but then Evan steps back from the table and turns his head to study my body. “Wait... if Jack is a mare then are you...”

I reach up and rub a hand on the back of my neck and blush slightly “Yeah, about that... heh, looks like you have the only Y chromosome in the house Evan”

Evan just stares at me, so I also add “Oh, but I’m not taking off my pants, thank you very much. This conversation is awkward enough with one naked person at the table.”

“One naked pony at the table” Jack corrects me.

I roll my eyes. “Pass that Scotch Jack, I think I need some myself.”

Evan is double facepalming “Can’t believe you both switched genders, how could you do that, you guys were guys all your life. ”

Jack backhands her brother’s head, causing him to look at her. “Dumbass, I told you like twelve times, we didn’t want this you happen.” Jack pauses and points down at his nethers “You think I wanted to have one of these!? Really?”

Evan opens his hands and admits that his brother does have a point, Jack was a man’s man, he did like MLP, but outside of that he was a textbook hardworking farm hand. Jack wasn’t the type of person to wish he was a girl. With Evan seemingly finally paying attention to his sister, Jack continued “I didn’t want this. Neither of us did!” Jack points at me. “Sure Dave here had probably clopped to Rainbow Dash, but he never wanted to be Rainbow Dash. I mean really this makes no sense!”

I slam back the last of the Scotch in the glass. What Jack said was pretty much true,

Evan tossed up his hands “Alright, alright, I get it. You guys didn’t want this. Do you at least know how the hell this all happened and how we can fix this?”

Jack and I exchanged looks and shrugged our shoulders at each other. I turned back towards Evan “Sorry, we have random theories, but nothing of substance. Your sister and I were super busy today and didn’t have much time to figure this out. We actually planned on sitting down and thinking through all this stuff tomorrow.”

A look of confusion crossed Evan’s face. “You were busy? What? What the hell were you doing? I would think our current situation would take precedent. How exactly did that conversation go? ‘Oh hey Jack, we appear to be mutating into four legged animals. Should look into this? Meh, not now, maybe later. How about next week Friday? I'm busy this week, I wanted to clean out my basement...’”

Jack and I roll our eyes in unison and then both turn without saying anything and walk towards the hallway where we dropped off our shopping bags.

Evan moves to follow us. We soon enter the hallway and I turn on the florescent lights, after which Evan gasps and speaks out “Whoa, holy fuck Dave what happened to your back?”

I keep walking but reply “Oh, didn’t you know? I’m a pegasus. I get wings. They’re not fully formed yet but yeah, I should be able to fly fairly soon.”

Evan stops walking. “Wait, you get wings? How the fuck is that fair?! What do I get?”

Jack laughs as she joins the conversation “That’s what I said. And besides, you can’t really complain, at least you get to keep your penis.”

We approach the front of the house as Evan nods his head “Fair enough I suppose. Side note, walking behind your tails is really bizarre guys. Like seriously, this is creeping me out.”

We reach the end of the hallway near the front door, there were shopping bags everywhere on the floor over here. I turn back to Evan “Yeah, well get used to the tails, we’re going to have them for the rest of our life.”

Jack looked at me and raised an eyebrow, Evan just spoke up “You mean, until we fix all this and change back to humans.”

“Ah, yeah, that.” I bit my tongue. I didn’t wanna be the pessimistic one, but I was really starting to doubt we could reverse something like this. I mean don’t get me wrong, if we found a way to fix this I would probably take it so I could get my life back. But, I don’t know, this all seems completely out of our hands, I think we’re just along for the ride.

“So that’s a lot of bags.” Evan says looking down at the literal wall of white shopping bags piled by the door. There were so many that it almost looked like we were expecting a flood to come and we laid down a wall of sandbags, only instead of sand bags we used several thousands of dollars of supplies.

Jack starts rummaging through bags and pulling out random things to show to Evan. “Food, batteries, walkie talkies, tools, medications... We were busy today.”

Evan moved to one of the bags and looked inside “Huh, what can I say, I’m actually impressed. Nice work bro! Ah, wait, sorry, this is hard to get used to. Nice work sis!”

Jack laughed “Heh, yeah like I said, we were really busy today. I can’t take all the credit though, it was Dash's idea”. I blushed slightly and Jack continued “Sorry it’s all unorganized at the moment, we really should set up a storage room, but that’s a lot of work and Dash and I are exhausted. We put all the stuff that needs to be refrigerated into the downstairs fridge, but that’s all we did. We can do all the rest of the unpacking tomorrow.”

Evan nods “Sounds good.”

I start to speak up, about to say ‘We might not have hands tomorrow, we should unpack it today!’ but I stop myself before I say anything. While it would be smart to do the work today, screw that, I’m tired. Unpacking stuff in the future using hooves will be hard, but I will be a procrastinator to the very end, future problems are not my problems.

“Wait, what’s this?” Evan was looking in one of the Farm&Fleet bags and pulls out a brush, reading the label out loud. “Horse grooming comb, leaves the horse's coat slicker, shinier and well shed-out”

Evan squints over at his sister “Why did you buy this? What, are you planning on personally competing in a show horse competition or something?”

Jack walks over and grabs the brush from his brother’s hand and puts in back in the bag. “Oh quiet you, it’s basic grooming stuff, we’re probably going to want it in the long run. And if you don’t like it, well too bad, you should have been shopping with us instead of out having fun in Chicago.”

Evan bites his lip “Oh, you think I ‘had fun’ in Chicago? Yeah, about that...“

I lean forward eager to hear more about what happened, but to my dismay Evan doesn’t continue his story. He just stops it right there. Well, we will see about that “Hey Evan, I have been meaning to ask, what’s the deal with the handcuffs?”

Evan glances at his wrists, realizing he still had the remains of Jessica’s handcuffs on his wrists. He didn't want to relive that story right now, so he just blushes and hides them in his pockets “Oh... long story, um... I got arrested, police cuffs, it’s fine though. Say, do you have anything in this bags that can remove these?”

I point to the heavy duty bolt cutters we bought, and Jack picks them up and starts working them around Evan’s cuffs. I smile to myself, it was clear that Evan blushed when he realized he still had the cuffs on, you don’t blush from ‘getting arrested’ cuffs, you blush from bedroom cuffs. I wonder how they were used on him? So many possibilities...

“Dash, are you gonna help us out here, or are you just gonna stand there and stretch your wings?” I look back, noticing that my early wings had splayed out to the sides. Ah, crap! Looks like pegasus wings really do responding to mood. Well that's annoying, hopefully Evan and Jack don't catch on. Pushing the thought aside, I grit my teeth help them remove the cuffs from Evan.

Evan speaks up as the first cuff is removed “So, like I was saying earlier, do you guys have any idea what the hell is going on, and what is causing this? Because I kinda figured since it was ponies you guys would be the ones to know everything. I mean, if you guys knew anything about anything, it would be pony stuff that from that show. Meanwhile, all I know about these ponies is that they are colorful and have hooves, so, yeah I feel kind of useless here.”

Jack repositioned herself to get a better grip on the bolt cutters, it was getting harder and harder to hold things, her fingers were just not responding like they used to. “I told you brother, we had a few thoughts here and there, but nothing concrete.”

I continue Jack's dialog “We traced the changes back to the birthday party. The first physical change we got was the Cutie Mark, and that seems to have appeared at or around the moment we each turned 25.”

Evan looks clueless “Umm. The cute what now?”

I facepalm “The freakan tattoo on your leg, it's called a cutie mark, you should probably know this seeing as how you now have one.” Evan rolls his eyes and I continue “The mark appeared during the birthday party when we turned 25, so something at the birthday party probably triggered it.”

I held Evan's arm still as Jack finally got the bolt cutters in place and snapped off the final handcuff. Jack and I exchange a high five and then Evan speaks “Nice work sis, but back to the birthday party; what do you mean something at the party triggered it. What about the fact that we all turned 25? Nice round number, quarter of a century, maybe it means something?”

Jack put the bolt cutters away “That's what Dash said in the store, but--

Evan cut her off “Hold on, 'Dash'? That's like the third time you said that. Are you talking about Dave?”

Once again, I found myself blushing and rubbing the back of my neck “Yeah, Dave is a guy's name. We sorta decided to refer to me as Dash, I guess”

Evan narrowed his eyes “Like, as in Rainbow Dash, the pony? So you're not only becoming her physically, but you're taking her name too? That's pretty creepy dude.” Evan pauses and looks me over. I just shrug and Evan continues “Well, I guess you did have to suffer through changing genders and did need a new name, so I'll guess I'll let this slide. Still pretty creepy though.”

Jack waits for her brother to finish. “Done? Okay, so like I was saying. The 25 years of age being the catalyst for these changes was what Dash said in the store earlier today, but we both ruled it out because it doesn't really answer anything.”

I nod in agreement “Right, we're back to square one with that. And lets say turning 25 did cause all this, now what? If that was the real cause of all this then we might as well give up now because we can't reverse it. So for our own sake we need to assume it was something else.”

“What about Fiona?” Evan says after scratching his chin for a moment.

“What about her?” Jack says, confused as to why she was even brought up.

Evan continues “Well you said this all started at the party right? So... she was there. She was in contact with all three of us right when this happened. Seems pretty obvious she might have had a hand in all this, doesn't it?”

I raise an eyebrow “I don't know dude, I don't really take Fiona for the type of person who goes to a birthday party and thinks 'I know, let's cast a spell on all my friends and turn them into equine-morphs!' Come on now Evan, you know Fiona, this isn't her work”

Evan smirks “It's the quiet ones you gotta watch.”

Jack yawns loudly “Well, it is a lead, I'll give you that. We'll call her tomorrow and see if she has anything to say.”

The yawn is contagious and Evan and myself soon find ourselves yawing as well. I can't help but notice during Evan's yawn that his tongue is longer and broader than any human tongue. Seeing what was clearly a pony tongue on Evan was just bizarre, how deep did these equine changes run?

The thought of mouths and tongues made me realize I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. ”Hey guys, anyone else want something to eat?”

“Eat something? It's midnight?” Jack is confused.

“But I'm hungry!" I complain

AJ squints as she stares at me “Didn't your mother ever tell you not to eat before bed? That's how you get gain weight!"

I roll my eyes "Oh please, I can afford a few pounds. Look at me, nothing but skin and bones! ...and feathers and fur!"

Jack laughs and continues to make fun of me "Well yeah, that's good, gotta keep a slim figure Ms. Dash, swimsuit season is coming!"

Evan's eyes dart between both of the girls “What? The hell are you two girls going on about?”

Jack and I both just start laughing, I turn to Evan "Ah nothing, Jack is just drunk and making fun of my gender again"

Evan shakes his head “Urgh, you girls are weird. I already miss 'Jack-with-a-penis'”

“So do I brother, so do I.” Jack laughs to herself a few more times and starts to lead us back to the kitchen. I follow her but I realize I don't agree with that Evan's sentiment. I don't know, I think I actually kind of like the new female Jack. We sort of click on a whole different level now because we both went through this bizarre gender flip together.


A little while later and we found ourselves spread out in the living room. Evan made himself a large salad and was sitting with his back towards us, just staring out the window at the thunderstorm raging outside. Jack had taken an entire bag of carrots and was munching away at them as she sat on the sofa looking at the 'Illustrated Atlas of Equine Anatomy'. Meanwhile I poured myself a bowl tasty alfalfa (much to Evan's disgust) and was thoroughly enjoying the greens as I paged through a book I found that was simply called 'Flight'. It was mostly on planes but it had a nice basic intro regarding the basics of flight and how lift was maintained by both planes and birds.

Reading about all this stuff made me kind of excited for tomorrow, wanting to share my excitement with someone I looked up at my comrades. Evan really didn't seem excited, in fact he pretty much embodied Hemmingway as he just stared out at the rain. Jack didn't look thrilled either, but at least she wasn't actively depressed so I moved over to his sofa and see how she was doing.

The first thing I notice is Jack is eating the whole carrots straight out of the bag. She didn't skin them, she didn't wash them, she didn't even cut off the stems. As I watch she eats an entire carrot up to and including the leafy steam that came off the top. She doesn't even seem to be aware of what she’s doing, she's just staring at the anatomy atlas. I look down at the page; it's a two page spread showing a huge uterus and other diagrams of the female equine reproductive system. I swallow the lump in my throat ”Hey Jack, looking at... stuff?”

Jack doesn't turn away from the page. “Why did I have to be a mare? Who decided that? I mean, I could deal with just becoming a pony, honestly I could. But a mare?" Jack sighs. “I'm over the shock of it and everything, but I just don't understand why.”

I put my bowl of greens down. “Maybe we'll find some answers tomorrow, we can call Fiona and--”

“We both know Fiona isn't going to be the answer.” Jack says curtly, then turns to look at me in the eye. Her pony eyes were huge. “We both know this thing goes back a long, long time. Since before we even met Fiona.”

“So when did it all start?” I ask, knowing that Jack didn't know the answer.

Jack said nothing and the only sound heard was the storm on the windows. The storm, which by the way would be over in about 3 hours, 26 minutes my senses told me.

The peace of the room was broken as Evan got up, put his empty plate on the table, and walked out of the living room and down the hallways. A moment later we hear his bedroom door open and close behind him.

“Well, goodnight to you as well my brother” Jack says with contempt. I still felt tension between the siblings, but there wasn't much I could do. Last time I tried to step in Evan rudely told me to leave and go admire my own body in front of a mirror.

'The nerve, what kind of person would actually...' my mind thinks before stopping abruptly. I glance up and look at the mirror on the far wall. I looked about 70% pony at this point. Wait, so I was 70% Rainbow Dash? I've loved every part of her for years now, and now is my chance to really see her up close and in person! Why haven't I done this yet?!

“Oh hey look at the time! Gotta go AJ, talk to you tomorrow and stuff.” I was already in the hallway and halfway to the guest room by the time I finished my sentence and before Jack could even respond. I yelled out one more “Goodnight!” before entering my room and closing the door behind me. The locking mechanism hadn't even finished closing before I reached down and pulled off my boxers. I looked down at my nude, female self and just sort of stared for a moment. This was strange beyond description, but it was still pretty sweet. I mean really now, how can I be upset that my body is changing, when I absolutely love the thing it was changing into?

I moved over to the mirror near the bed and continue to check out out arms, face, and neck. Cyan fur was almost everywhere at this point. I actually was rather fond of it, I mean, the colors matched my mane perfectly well. Part of my mind is now sounding alarm bells that I should not be liking what I see, and that I should be freaking out instead of smiling, but I just shrug. Not much I can do to stop this, might as well be optimistic about it.

I shut off the light and lie flat on the bed, letting my hands run up and down my stomach and legs and feeling the streaks of new fur. My final thought as I drift off into sleep was ”Well this is convenient, I don't need blankets to keep warm anymore..."


The sun rises and I open my eyes. I blink a few times and remember our current situation. Time to find a mirror and see what else changed for us overnight. I roll a bit to one side and slide off the bed, landing a few feet away from the large mirror that I had used last night.

I wearily turn up my head to get a look of myself in the mirror. An image of myself comes into view and my heart stops. I had expected even more fur, maybe hooves for hands, maybe a full pony face. Well, I had all of the above, plus more. Plus a lot more.

Reflected in the mirror was a pony. There literally wasn't an ounce of human left in me. I gazed into the mirror and Dash herself returned the gaze.

I slowly find a way to balance on four hooves and then I look back up at the reflection. I don’t even know what to do, I just stare at my body. My fully developed wings flutter and I lift a leg to check if the reflection does the same. The pony in the mirror matches my movements. This really was my body.

I open my mouth “Hello, Rainbow Dash.”

Oh boy, this was bizarre. This was bizarre beyond the definition of the word bizarre. I turn my head from side to side, inspecting Dash's pony snout and cuddly cheeks. “She's even more cute in person than she was in the show” I mutter as I slowly turn my long body and check out my flanks. The cutie mark that started this whole thing was as prevalent as ever, finally looking at home plastered across my entire flank. I look back at the mirror and am just at a loss for words. My mane looked nothing short of amazing, I mean, I had the same mane yesterday but it just looked so at home here trailing down my neck alongside my full coat of cyan fur. My old friend, my tail, was also there, happily flicking back and forth every few seconds as I twisted in place to get a better look at myself in the mirror. Everything about the pony in the reflection just looked jaw droppingly amazing. And this was me?

I don’t know how long I stood there, but it was well over five minutes of me just gazing into that mirror, admiring every hair on Rainbow Dash.... ‘Who I now am’. The thought fluttered across my mind and sent a shiver all the way down my spine and out my tail. It was really bizarre to realize that image in the mirror was me.

I stared back into the mirror. I loved every part of the body I saw, not in a purely sexual way, but more like the way that a kid feels when he sees a sports car up close. I was just in awe at the sight before my eyes. I slowly tear my eyes away from the pony in the mirror. I then turn my head back to look behind me, noticing that I was able to turn my neck much further back than I was used to be able to. Looking behind me was a pretty transcendent experience, if I looked down and back I could see where my neck connected to my body, and then my long, cyan colored body spread out behind me, ending in the splash of color that was my tail. I felt light headed for a second so I closed my eyes. Seeing this pony in the mirror was weird enough, but seeing this alien body spread out underneath my own neck was even stranger, stuff like this could drive a person to lose their mind.

I opened my eyes back up and looked back around the room, I was pretty low to the ground, my eyes being at about bed level. My field of view was also slightly distorted, I could see a lot more to the sides than I was used to, it was like someone turned on ‘wide screen’ in real life. I turned back to the mirror to see a surprised looking Rainbow Dash still there. I laugh to myself “This was going to take some getting used to.”

I start moving a few limbs as I stare in the mirror, getting a feel for what muscles moved what parts of me. My wings were easily the hardest part to understand. I kind of expected I would control them like I used to control my hands, but that wasn’t the case at all. The wings were connected to my spine so unfolding and moving my wings felt like stretching a kink in my back. It was not intuitive at all, but hopefully it got easier with time.

I took a deep breath. I could stand in front of this mirror forever, but I should probably see if the others were awake. Hmm, that's going to involve walking, this should be interesting. I look down at my hooves and start trying to walk. Front left leg, then back right leg, then front right leg, now back left leg, then front right? No, no, front left comes next, then-- “Oh fuck” I lose my balance on fall over.

I bite my lip and look back, I made it about 1 meter before falling down. “So, this sucks.” I announce to the room and just lay there for a moment. I take another deep breath and get back up, I look back down at my hooves and try it again, making it about four more steps before I walk into the wall and hit my head on it with a loud 'thunk'

“Son of a...” I stumble back half a step and and sit on my haunches so I can rub my forehead with a hoof. “Ow, that freakan hurt! Stupid wall, can't it see I'm trying to learn how to walk here?”. I shook my head clear and got back on all fours. Sight was clearly a problem, I was used to being a human and keeping my vision perpendicular to my spine, but as a pony that doesn't work, I need to stretch my neck straight “up” so my eyes were actually facing forward. I do so easy enough, surprised my neck feels this comfortable while it's stretched 'forward' like this. Only problem was, now I couldn't watch my hoofsteps. I turn my head so I'm facing the door and once again slowly try walking, only this time I’m doing it blind. Walking without looking at my hooves was extremely hard and took every bit of mental focus I had. I scrunch my face in concentration and slowly go through the order of the steps I should make.

It works? Kinda? I stumble every few steps but at least I'm moving forward. After several agonizing seconds of pure concentration it starts to get a little easier as my nerves learn the pattern. The more steps I take, the less I have to focus on my legs, it's slowly becoming an automatic process. I can practically feel the back of my brain furiously rewiring itself to learn this muscle pattern and file it away under “WALKING”. I make it to the hallway and just walk back a forth a dozen times or so. Up and down the hallways, back and forth. My muscles are still getting the feel for it and brain works to memorize the pattern. I still stumble every dozen steps or so, but after a good five, ten minutes of walking laps I now no longer have to think about my muscles. Just like when I was a human, walking down a hallway had become a fully automatic process. Good work brain!

Right, so it only took me ten minutes to learn something that a 1 year old baby is expected to have mastered. Something tells me that running, and for that matter, flying is going to be really hard to get the hang of. Right well, baby steps, it's not everyday you wake up as a quadruped right?

I slowly trot towards the kitchen. ”Hehe, trot” I laugh to myself, enjoying the textbook 'clip clop' noise of hooves that for tens of thousands of years has announced to humans “make way, equine approaching!”

I'm still grinning ear to ear at the craziness of the situation when I turn the corner to the kitchen. I was not the first one awake, in the middle of the kitchen sat Big Mac. He looks up at me with serious eyes.

I stop and wave a hoof “Hey Evan! Good morning! It's me, Dash!”

“No shit” Evan grimaces.

I sit back on my haunches, which was totally my new favorite pose. Such a comfortable, and very pony-like way to sit. I stare back at Evan “Hey, who shat in your cereal?”

Evan cocks an eyebrow at me “Woke up; am horse. Pretty sure I have a right to be upset.”

I stick out my tongue “No, you’re not a horse, you’re a pony. Big difference my friend.”

“Sure thing buddy.” Evan rolls his eyes, then looks back at me as I sit there grinning like an idiot. “And pray tell me, what are you smiling about?”

I get up and trot in a circle around him “I just learned how to walk on four legs! I was pretty excited about that to be honest. And dude, look at me! Look!”

Evan remains deadpan “Yes I see, you are a pony.”

“Dude, I look awesome! I'm Rainbow Dash, look at these wings!” I turn to side and spread out my left wing. “And my awesome mane, and this tail looks great on me, and--”

Evan raises an eyebrow “Tell me, are you just that obsessed with that character, or is Dash just normally that self absorbed in herself?”

I blink for a second and sit back on my haunches “Huh. Never thought about that. I mean, to be honest, it’s both...”

Evan smiles for the first time that morning, but says nothing

I stand up and turn so my body is sideways to him, then I give my mane a shake so he can see how nicely it flows “Oh come on Evan, you think I look nice don't you?” I flash my best smile and strike a nice pose, hoping to impress him with my look.

Before Evan can respond, alarm bells go off as I realize what I was doing. 'Whoa, whoa, what the hell am I trying to do? I just wanted to show Evan I kind of liked this pony body, why was trying to impress him with my figure?!'

Just as I realize this and lower my pose, I notice Evan had raised his eyebrows. “Yeah Dash, you uh... you look good. For a pony I mean.” He smirks slightly and turns his head away.

I scold myself for coming onto him like that. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, though I also note that was the first time he actually called me Dash. He always insisted on calling me Dave, but right there he didn’t. Well that's good, I hated my old name to be honest. What kind of parent names their kid "Dave?" I mean seriously, it sounds like a name for a 40 year old man, I always hated it growing up.

Somewhat eager to change the subject I take a deep breath and clear my throat. “So, um, is your sister up yet?”

Evan turned back towards me. “Hell if I know, I just got up, stumbled my way in here, and tried getting breakfast. The whole 'I don't have hands anymore' thing kind of hurts the team though.” Evan frowned as he waved his front hooves in the air. “I was just thinking about how fucked we all are, and that's when I turned and saw you coming in here smiling like it's Christmas morning”

I tilted my head in understanding “Ah, yeah, I can see why you might be upset.”

Evan stood up and walked to the patio door “I'm not upset, just a little depressed I guess.”

“Well cheer up buddy, we're all in this together.” Evan doesn't seem to be paying attention though, as he reaches up with his mouth and grabs the patio door handle, pulling down and opening the door to the outside. I continue speaking “We'll figure this out Evan, we'll make some breakfast, wake up AJ, then call Fiona and have her... Evan? Evan what are you doing?” Evan had went outside and stepped onto the damp morning grass. He poked at the earth with a hoof a few times and was now flat on his back, rolling around back and forth on the grass.

Evan didn't stop rolling “This feels nice. You know, I always saw the horses do it, now I know why. It feels so great to scratch your back under your fur”

I blink “Umm, right. So like I was saying. Breakfast?”

Evan rolls back over and returns to standing on all fours “Don't bother, not for me anyway. I'm going for a run.”

I raise a hoof in protest. “A run?! Dude, Evan you can barely trot!”

Evan rubs his hoof on the earth, smiling as he does so “I'll figure it out. Running free across this field right now, that's what's on my mind. This is going to be great.” Evan stops pawing at the earth and trots in a circle, tripping over himself a few times as he does it. “Wake Jack up, I'll be back from this run in an hour. When I get back we can deal with the Fiona situation.”

I learn back on the door, amused at how Evan was acting. He was the last person I suspected would succumb to the ‘call of the wild’ for ponies and feel the need to run across a field. “And... what about breakfast Evan? I thought you said you were hungry?”

Evan looks back at me, smiling wider than I had seen him smile since this whole thing started. “I'll get some on my run.”

I open my mouth about to ask what he meant, but he already turned tail and ran. Literally. Well okay, the turn tail part was literal, not so much the ‘run’ part. He was certainly trying though, he was stumbling away at a fast canter. Well whatever, he'll figure it out. Time to wake up Jack.

I moved back into the house and closed the door behind me, impressed with my ability to close a door using my mouth. It was surprisingly easy, well, if you ignore the fact that you have to put a door handle in your mouth. I tried to ignore the salty flavor of old human hand sweat on my tongue as I trot into hallway and made my way down towards AJ's room. Hopefully she was still asleep, this could be funny.

I get to the room and find the door slightly ajar so I push it open with my snout. The sound of light snoring came from the bed, and I look up to see AJ sound asleep under her covers. Oh god, this was perfect! What to do? Hmm, ah I know. Hehe, let's go with a classic.

I trot over to her bedside and stand up on my back two hooves as I learn forward and hold onto her bed. Standing on two hooves was hard, but I could do it for a few seconds if I needed to. I reach down and grab her blanket between two hooves, then take a deep breath.

I suddenly pull back on her blanket and then reach up to shake her shoulders. Jack awakes with a start and opens her eyes wide. I flail my pony arms in the air and yell loudly “COME ON APPLEJACK!! CIDER SEASON IS ABOUT TO START!!”

Jack leans away in shock and stares, half awake, half asleep, and 100% confused. “But... no... that's Fluttershy, not Applejack... why would Dash come to Applejack's house... Wait. This isn’t...”

Jack's eyes focus on me as I hop on onto her bed and stand up on all fours, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Realization sets in on my friend and I see the blood start to drain from her new adorable pony face. I give her a wink “Up and at 'em Applejack. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.”

I reach down and grab the remaining blanket in my teeth, then jerk my neck upwards, flinging the blanket clean off the bed and fully exposing her pony body.

Jack looks down and spasms, trying to stand up and make sense of things. Her legs flail uselessly and her front hoof gets caught on a pillow.

“Ah~~the fuuuuuuck” Jack yells out in a nonsensical manner and her body spasms again as she once again tries to stand but fails. She ends up twisting over herself and falling out of bed in a confused fashion.

“Who's a silly pony? You’re a silly pony! Who is? You is!” I laugh so hard my eyes are watering as I fall on my side and roll around on her bed.

“Urgh, very funny Dash” I hear coming from the heap of blankets and orange limbs at the base of the bed.

In one smooth motion I flip from lying on back to standing up on my hooves. I then hop down off the bed and shake my mane to get my hair back in place, catching my reflection in the mirror as I do so. I smile and shake my mane again, god damn I loved this body, everything was starting to feel so natural.

I trot back over to the pile of blankets feeling particularly smug that I mastered all the muscles necessary to do all this while Applejack here didn't even know how to stand. I talk to the blankets and orange fur “But no, seriously now Applejack. You're 100% pony as of this morning.” I pause to let that sink in “It’s going to take a few minutes for you to learn to walk and such, but it works.”

AJ's head pokes up and stares at the mirror on the wal l“Well, can't say we didn't see this coming... but still.”

I nod “Yep, I know that feeling sister. Well I'll let you learn how to stand, when you're ready come to the kitchen, I'll get some grub ready.”

I make my way towards the door but stop as Jack calls out “Hey Dash.”

I stop and do a twirl in place so I’m facing Jack again. “Yeah?”

Jack was looking at me and smiling “You look good, I like that look for you”

I grin ear to ear “THANK YOU. Your brother was confused when I asked him the same question. Yes I’m quite fond of it myself, I have only had this body for like fifteen minutes and I already love it. Anyway, you look good yourself, now hurry up and teach yourself how to walk so you can join me for breakfast.”


I wasn't much of a cook as a human. Now that I no longer had hands, my cooking level had sunk into numbers usually reserved for the national debt. A full ten minutes in the kitchen and all I managed to do was rip open a bag of alfalfa with my teeth, which resulted in the dried green pellets scattering across the entire kitchen floor. I then tried to pour some into a bowl but the bag slipped so even more pellets fell on the floor.

It was around this time that I learned there were many human activities that a pony could do if it tried hard enough, but using a broom and dustpan to sweep the floor was not one of those things. I mean really, there just wasn't in any way possible to properly clean the floor as a pony.

So, I did the only option left, and proceeded to just act like a dog and clean the floor with my mouth by eating everything that spilled. Granted, the fact that I had to lick the floor in order to get the food was a bit degrading, but it was worth it, this alfalfa was fucking tasty.

I was about two thirds done when I heard a snickering and turn to see Applejack standing in the door frame facing me. I had to admit, even after all the other events of this morning it was still a bit surreal to actually see Applejack in the real world, but 'lo and behold, there she was.

“You know, we own bowls” Jack says as she trots into the kitchen, still slightly unsure of her footing, but doing a better job at it than Evan had.

I look up from eating off the floor “Har har, very funny AJ. Next time I’ll let you be the one who tries to pour food using hooves”

“Who said anything about pouring?” Jack says as she arrives at the counter, grabs a bowl in her mouth, and then sticks her head in the open bag, using the bowl as a scoop to obtain the food. She pulls her head out of the bag and carefully sets the bowl on the table.

I roll my eyes “pfft, whatever, my method works too.”

Jack laughs to herself as she goes to the counter and grabs a spoon in her mouth and returns to the table. I stare at her and now it was my turn to laugh “Tell me AJ, how do you plan to use the spoon?”

Jack sticks her tongue out at me “Easy, look I can hold the spoon in my mouth and use it to pick up the food...”

I lean back on my haunches and cross my front legs across my chest as I smile sarcastically “And then...?”

Jack sits there for a second thinking. The other end of the spoon was full of food, but there in lies the problem. She was holding the handle of the spoon in her mouth just fine, but she needs her mouth to be the receptacle for the food... so she has to let go of the handle to... “Gah, screw this!” Jack exclaims as she gives up, spitting the spoon out onto the table. I look on with strange curiosity as Jack just shoves her whole muzzle deep into the bowl and forces the food into her mouth, not unlike watching a feral beast eat in the wild.

A moment of sadness comes over me and I pause for a moment to mourn our loss of humanity. I bite my lip for a moment, before shrugging my shoulders and going back to eating off the floor. No sense crying over that which we cannot change, we’re ponies now, we might as well act the part.

A few minutes later and I finish cleaning the floor with my muzzle. Jack was also done with her second bowl of alfalfa, turns out you can eat extremely quickly when you ignore all pretense for human rules and just shove your face into your bowl of food.

I look up to see Jack licking her muzzle and trying get the last of the greens off it. She got most of them but there was still a smear of green on her cheek.

“AJ, you missed a spot” I gesture with a hoof at my cheek.

“Where... here?” Jack points to the completely wrong side of her face. I laugh, I don’t know why I expected her to actually hit the right spot, some law of the universe dictates that it’s impossible to accurately tell someone what part of their face has a smudge.

“What’s so funny? Did I get it? Is it here?” Jack is still poking around the wrong half of her face.

I trot over to her “No, no, it’s on the other side. No, over here, next to...” I smile as AJ is still wildly off from the mark.

Acting without really thinking I reach up and grab her hoof “AJ, stop. Let me.” I lean forward and lick the side of her face, dragging my tongue against the spot and wiping it clean. I clean the spot and smile, only to immediately realize how inappropriate my action was. I quickly lean back and apologize “Oh, hey, yeah sorry about that. I uh....Well I got the spot!”

Jack’s cheeks are red and her eyes are wide. I give out a nervous laugh as I slowly back away from the blushing pony who speaks up “Yeah, umm, that was awkward Dash. How about you warn me next time?” Jack smirks and turns to walk into the living room “So... how are things around here? Evan awake yet?”

“Yeah, he went out for a run” I say as I follow Jack into the living room, desperately trying to get my open wings to fold back against my body.

“Wait, he did what?” Jack turns, amusement in her voice.

I laugh “Yeah, poor guy was all depressed about waking up as a pony, but then looked outside and was all like ‘I feel the need, the need for speed!’ and told me he wanted to run around in the fields and feel the wind in his mane and all that good stuff..”

Jack raised her eyebrows, still smiling “That’s... amusing to say the least. I figured Evan would hate his new body”

I nodded as I walked up to AJ’s side “Oh I’m pretty sure he does. That’s what he said in the kitchen anyway. He seemed to fancy the idea of running though... but since you bring it up, how do you like your new body?”

Jack scrunched her up face as she thought for a moment, then turned her head back and looked at her flank. “It’s pretty nice actually. Not that I would have picked AJ if I had the choice, but still, I do feel pretty snug and comfortable. Not to mention I feel like I’m in really good shape. I’m pretty sure I can outrun a car and then kick over a brick wall, it’s pretty amazing really”

Jack walks over to an open space and leans forward on her front legs. Then in a sudden motion she shifts her body and kicks out her back legs, giving a practice buck into the air.

I give an approving smile “Very nice, I certainly wouldn’t want to be standing behind you when you try that.”

Jack turns back around “Alright your turn, give me a Dash pose from the show.”

I laugh to myself but play along. Might as well have some fun. I lean forward slightly and spread out my wings while looking left and flicking my tail to the side, mimicking a common dash vector from the show.

Jack claps her hooves together “Haha, that’s perfect. My turn!”

We continue doing a few more rounds of this, laughing heartily at every silly pose. We both knew we should probably be more serious about this whole thing, but there would be plenty of time to be serious later, right now we were two friends just trying to make the most of our situation. Besides, we had a limited window. Once Evan got back from his run, things would be more serious. We only had like half an hour to goof off so we might as well use it.

After another good Applejack pose Jack turns back to me “Alright, alright, your turn again, give me a good one!” Jack grinned, eager to see what I could come up with.

I scratched my chin trying to think of a famous Dash pose that I haven’t tried yet. Oh. Oh ho ho, I got one. I got a good one. “Alright Jack, stand over there, gotta get the angle right.”

Alright let’s see here. Front legs stretched out in front. Hind legs up. Butt raised really high. Wings open and straight up. Eyebrows slightly raised. Eyelids half down. And... seductive scrunchy face to finish it off! Perfect!

I hold the position and await AJ’s response. Usually she is laughing or clapping her hooves by now, but I hear nothing coming from her. I drop the pose and look up at her, she's staring at me like a deer in the headlights.

I speak up “Oh come on, don't you recognize it? It’s the classic ‘I want to cu--’”

Jack cuts me off “I know! I know what it's from!" She gets up and walks in a circle around in "It's just, Jesus, you can't go around making that pose Dash, I mean, wow."

I smile coyly at her "What's the matter AJ, afraid you might see something you like?"

Jack smirks back at me "Easy there lover boy, just because some of us were cloppers doesn't mean we all are. And besides, even if I was into that sort of thing, come on Dash, you're my best friend! I would prefer not to do something with you that I would regret.

I trot over and look at her, I knew she was right. "Yeah, you have a good point Jack. But we can still hug right?"

Jack smiles and we both reach out to hug each other, but then we both fall over from the inherent instability of trying to stand on two hooves.

We burst out laughing and remain of the floor for a few minutes. This was nice, just hanging around with Jack-as-Applejack. I could get used to this.

“Hey Dash? You know what I'm thinking?” Jack turns slightly to face me as I rub her back with my hoof.

"Hehe, yeah, I know what you're thinking..." I smile, I bet she was thinking the same thing I was thinking! I bet she was going to tell me how she was happy like this, and that she was glad that this whole thing happened!

Jack opens her mouth “Good. We should go clean the dishes before Evan gets back."

My ears drop. "What?"

Jack repeats herself “Yeah, Evan is going to be here any second. We should clean the mess we made in the kitchen”

I roll my eyes. I thought we connected back there. Urgh, maybe next time.

8. Emotions.

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Chapter 8: Emotions.

The sun was pouring in though the window and basking the two of us as we lay there. It was unbelievably comfortable and I was about ready to take a nap curled up against Jack's back. But of course, Jack was more interested in cleaning the kitchen. I speak a protest "Pfft, way to ruin the mood dude. We were having fun and relaxing over here, but you just had to bring up chores."

“Haha, yea sorry about that. So, um, I guess we have to get up now” Jack says quietly, but makes no effort to move.

“Eeyup” Cleaning the kitchen was Jack's idea, not mine. I was not getting up before her.

Jack remains on the ground, but takes advantage of her new body shape and twist her pony neck all the way behind her to get a full view of the living room and look into the kitchen behind us. “Meh, it doesn't look that bad. Just gotta wash that bowl and put some bags away. Probably get it done in a minute or so.”

I flick my ears "Mmhmm, well get to it then. I'll be here, lying in the sun and napping"

I feel the floor bend slightly as Jack twists over and get up on all fours, she stretches for a moment and then looks down at me. I pretend I can't see her and she reaches down to start nosing me with her muzzle. I hold back laughter as I realize how adorable this probably looked. Jack speaks up and she pokes at me “Come on... get up...”

I smile "Just give me one more minute sweetie."

Jack takes a step back “Dash, I think you read too many AppleDash fics."

"Hmm? Probably. Gotta admit though, we would make a cute couple" I lift my head off the floor and wink at her.

Jack rolls her eyes "Not gonna happen. Even if you ignore the fact that they were friends, not lovers, I still kind of consider myself a dude. So yea, I have no plans in entering a lesbian relationship. Sorry to disappoint?”

I stand up and stick out my tongue at her “But you’re not a dude. You are a mare!” I went over and rubbed my muzzle on her shoulder. It was nice to be closer than ever to my best friend.

Jack grimaces at pretty much every part of my dialog, but held back her reply. Instead she just turns tail and trots over to the to the kitchen, then starts giving orders “Dash you wash the bowl, I'll put these bags away. Turn on the fan too, it's supposed to be a warm day”

I was a bit put off by her attitude, why was she so upset I pointed out the obvious? Oh well, that I can let slide for now, there was something I couldn't let slide though. "It's not going to be warm until well into the afternoon AJ; the warm front won't get here until lunch time and the cloud cover will get thicker until it finally breaks clears around 3pm"

AJ stops what she was doing and turns back to me "Yea yea... Show off."

I wave a hoof "Hey, you're the one who brought up the weather. That's my domain sister."

AJ goes back to putting stuff into the cabinets, "Whatever you say, Dave”

I protest “I’m not Dave, I’m Rainbow Dash!”

Jack seems to prepare a retort, but bites her tongue and holds back her reply.

Why was she in such a sour mood all of a sudden? Well, whatever, AJ really was a silly pony. I trot up behind her to get a sponge from the cabinet near here. Unfortunately, pony bodies were quite bulky in this human-sized kitchen “AJ, I wanna get something from the cabinet over here, but your giant butt is in the way."

AJ looks back and cocks an eyebrow "Giant butt? We're the same size as each other..."

I give her a sly smile "Well either way, you giant, child-bearing hips are in way"

The phrase 'child-bearing' makes the fur on Jack's neck stand up. Her tail goes flat against her body as she tried to cover herself, then she looks away. “Come on Dash, you know I don’t like bringing up the fact that I’m a mare...”

I raised an eyebrow. “Eh? I thought we talked about this yesterday? I mean, I have been calling you a “she” and “her” for quite a while now. You’re still sour about the female thing?”

Jack looks at the ground “Well the name thing is fine, female pronouns just feel natural at this point, but everything else is still kind of creepy. Child bearing? Did you have to bring up--”

I cut her off “Oh come on AJ! It was a joke! And last night you literally ripped off your underwear and walked around the house naked! Seemed like you were fine with your sexuality back there!”

“I was drunk last night. But really now, I am not a fan of this gender flip thing, I never was.” Jack lowers her eyes and ears drop as her tail sways from side to side.

I can’t help but smile at the appearance in front of me, as Jack was acting sad in a very pony-like way. I walk up along alongside her, “Aww come on AJ, it’s not so bad. And just you know, some of us in this room are actually like you how you are now. I lean forward and rub cheeks with her while smiling.

Jack snaps and suddenly turns to face me, kicking out her front legs and pushing me away from her. “Knock it off Dave!”

I hit the cabinet behind me, rocking it violently. I ignore that and instead speak up, correcting her with annoyance in my voice “My name is Rainbow Dash.”

“Oh come one Dave--" Jack was about to say more, but a bag of sugar on the top shelf of the cabinet slides forward from the rocking and tumbles in the air towards the both of us. We both clumsily try to reach up and catch it. The bag hits our raised hooves and bounces off to the side, but not before showering both of us with sugar.

I let out a sigh "Ah, so that sucks. Now my mane is going to be all sticky."

Jack let's out a sigh and sits down, looking over at me "Guy gets turned into a female pony, and his only concern is that his mane is sticky. I don't know how you do it Dash."

I move forward and put a hoof on her shoulder. “Jack, I’m sorry about all this. I keep forgetting you and I are taking this so differently.” I sigh, I wish Jack would be more accepting of things. Being bitter about something you can't change, why do that to yourself? I look back at Jack and notice tears in her eyes. “Come on Jack, let’s go rinse this sugar off us before Evan gets back.”

Jack nods in agreement and wipes the tears from her eyes ”We have a hose hooked up to an outdoor shower outside, that’s going to be the easiest way to clean.”

Jack stands up and does her best to shake her sadness away, then leads us to the outdoor shower. She works the hose so the crude overhead faucet pours cold water over a wide area. At first I wanted to protest taking a shower using unheated water, but I soon realized I was covered in fur and didn’t really mind the cool temperature of the shower. Chalk up another bonus point towards being a pony!

“So... how is this going to work?” I ask of AJ, glad to see that her eyes had dried.

“What do you mean? It’s a shower, you stand under the water and wash yourself.” Jack takes the initiative and steps under the water.

I pause “Well, it’s pretty much impossible for a pony to wash their own back and flanks isn’t it?”

AJ bites her lip and stands under the water for a moment. I smile slightly, she was actually looking pretty saucy with a wet mane, but I knew I couldn't say anything about it. After a moment under the water, Jack speaks up “Well, yea I guess. Grab one of the sponges from over there, we can take turns giving each other a mini sponge bath under the shower”

Now it was my turn to bite my lip. Really now? The lord was testing me, Jack had just told me she was sensitive about her femininity. Yet here she was, standing there with a wet mane and telling me we’re going to give each other sponge baths like some sort of bikini car wash.

I grip the sponge between my hooves and start washing her, trying not to enjoy the process too much. Man, I thought rubbing a sponge over her back would be awkward enough, but then I got to her legs. I rub the sponge over her thighs and glance at the area between her legs. “So Jack, um, how far you want me to clean back here?”

Jack looked back, seemingly confused about the question ”Go as far as you can reach, clean everything.”

I shrug my shoulders, okay, if she insists. I get the insides of her leg and then lift up her tail and wipe the sponge over the entire area underneath it. I keep it professional and just run the sponge over the entire area in a normal fashion to get everything clean. Surprisingly, Jack doesn’t protest in the slightest at the fact that I am cleaning her lady parts. I reach under and clean her teets and other areas as well. Jack gives out a depressing sigh so I speak up “I'm almost done Jack. Are you doing alright?”

Jack sighs again “Yea, just thinking about how many times I used this exact shower to clean my horses... in the exact same manner you are using to clean me right now. It’s just kind of degrading, you know?”

I paused my washing “Oh. Right, well we’re done here, your turn to wash me.” I try passing the sponge from my hooves to AJ’s, but it falls onto the ground. I bend over and pick it up with my mouth, pausing for a second as I realize my tongue is touching the sponge, and remembering what body parts I was just rubbing this sponge on.

Jack laughs “A wingboner? Really now Dash, try and contain yourself buddy.”

I blush. Damn, looks like Jack did catch onto the uncontrollable action of my wings. “Sorry Jack, can’t help it. I guess you should take it as a compliment?” I pass the sponge and smile shyly, hoping I wasn’t crossing the line.

AJ shakes her head “Honestly Dave...”

Grrr, that was like the third time this morning! I get a minor flash of anger and turn to face Jack “Dude! I thought we went over this, stop calling me Dave! Wrong gender, wrong species, just call me Dash! You did so all day yesterday fine, and now that I actually AM Rainbow Dash, it shouldn’t be that hard to use my actual name.”

Jack drops the sponge and then turns to face me, her eyes narrowed and her teeth bared “You’re NOT Rainbow Dash. You just have her body.”

I ignore her drama and roll my eyes “Close enough, same thing.”

Jack gives me a slight push.“No, it’s not the same thing at all. You are not her! You’re just not. You’re a human that lived on Earth for twenty five years, please stop pretending you are a pony that was born a filly and raised as a pegasus her whole life. Stop referring to yourself as Rainbow Dash herself. I mean, going by ‘Dash’ is fine I guess, but you really have to stop pretending that you are actually her. I’m honestly creeped out everytime you do it.” She picks the sponge back up and starts washing my back.

I give a little pout “Fine, fine, I’ll stop using the full name. But then you have to stop calling me Dave! I’m trying to fully adapt to this new body and accept this new gender, and everytime you call me by my old name it gets weird.”

AJ moves to cleaning my legs “Alright, alright, fair enough Dash.“

I smile as she says my pony name. I like that name. I don’t know why she got so defensive about me using the full name, but whatever, I’m fine just going by Dash. There is a small lull in the conversation and then Jack lifts my tail and cleans my thighs and the area underneath my tail. It felt strange.

Jack finishes her sponge work and steps back to make sure she got every spot, then she chuckles softly to herself “I find it amusing that one week ago you would have done anything to get to sponge wash your favorite pony, and yet here you are. So close, yet so far from that fantasy...”

I grin “Oh yea, rub it in why don’t you! You get to enjoy the view and delights of this smoking hot filly, but I got stuck washing the backside of that ugly, orange colored farm pony who was just under here.”

I am rewarded with a sponge thrown at my face. I laugh again “Hey, I thought you hated being a girl and didn’t want any of the pillow talk?”

Jack smiles and shakes her head, but says nothing. Soon the wash is finished and she puts the sponge away and turns off the water. “Well, still no sign of Evan.”

I do a dog-like shake and get most of the water off me. “I’m sure he’s fine, it’s only been like an hour and a half, we’ll give him another 30 min before we go looking.”

Jack yawns “So, now what?”

I look around “Good question my fine freckled filly friend. We might as well work on unpacking some of the stuff from those shopping bags.”

“Sounds good my multicolored magnificent mare” Applejack says sticking her tongue out at me, proving that I wasn’t the only one who knew my way around a thesaurus.

We share a few more laughs on the way and return to the house, slowly unpacking several bags worth of stuff.

“Oh hey, totally forgot about these things!” Jack pulls out two boxes that we picked up from the WalMart pharmacy.

I look over “Oh yea... those.” Jack ripped open a bag with her teeth and was now trying on the ‘Universal Cuff’ that was essentially a bracelet of velcro with a few snaps and pockets that could be used to hold things that normally required an opposable thumb.

Jack tosses the other one at me as she plays around with the one she had on. I look down at the bracelet and frown. I don’t know why I needed such a thing, the entire point of being a pony was to be a pony. Relying on this bracelet things seemed silly. Jack notices my expression and speaks up “What’s wrong?”

I looked up at Jack, I probably shouldn’t tell her my thoughts. Jack seemed really hell bent on clinging to whatever remains of humanity she could. I don’t blame her, that certainly is the logical thing to do. I’m not sure why I was the other way, I wanted the opposite, I was more than happy to embrace every aspect of ponydom there was. I enjoyed every step of this transformation, and now that it’s complete, the more that I think about it, the more I realize I wanted this to be permanent. Everything about this body just seemed right. I mean, as weird as it sounds, I just loved being a pony! I smile widely as I acknowledge this thought.

I look up from my thoughts, grinning like a crazy person. Jack was staring at me with a raised eyebrow, waiting for an answer from me. Shoot, I knew I couldn’t tell any of those thoughts to Jack. She wouldn’t understand my feelings about this; hell, I don’t even really understand them. I lower my grin and speak up “Oh hey Jack, sorry what was the question? Oh, you were asking me if something was wrong. No, nothing’s wrong! Sorry I’m just busy thinking about... stuffs. Right, where were we? Universal cuff bands? Good idea, let me put this on.” I reach down and put the band on my hoof. I wasn’t a big fan of it, but I guess it might come in handy, and wearing one was certainly easier than trying to explain to Jack that I had no desire to ever be human again.

Jack stares at me for a few seconds but says nothing and I go back to unpacking bags. Jack looks around, seeming wanting to try out the cuff on something. After a short while she speaks up “Where are the vaccines?”

I was in the middle of unpacking dry goods but I stop and point a hoof at the kitchen door. “In the fridge, bottom shelf. Gotta keep those chilled.”

Jack walks over to the fridge and comes back with a series of pre-packaged syringes that were prefilled with vaccines. She then carefully tears open the package and fastens a syringe to her universal cuff. I look on as she sits back on her haunches and injects herself in the flank. I had to admit, the universal cuff worked really well.

I turn back to my packages and start rummaging through stuff when I feel a poke in my flank and a slight burn. I turn my head to see Jack finishing an injection on me. I speak up “Um... Jack, did you just use the same needle on both of us?”

“Sure did. Congratulations, you’re now vaccinated against Equine Encephalitis.”

I protest “But, we’re sharing needles now? I don’t want to catch pony AIDS!”

Jack laughs and grabs another syringe with another vaccine “Ponies don’t get AIDS! Yet another reason why ponies are clearly superior.”

I raise an eyebrow, did she say ‘ponies are clearly superior?’ Huh, well maybe Jack was liking her pony body after all. Maybe she liked being a pony and was just mad that she was a she? Well, too bad, if you’re going to be Applejack, you’re going to be a mare. Applejack as a stallion makes about as much sense as Applejack without her...

I drop the bag I was holding. “Oh no, Jack we forgot to buy something at the store!!”

Jack looks over but doesn’t stop preparing her next vaccine. “Hmm? Like what?”

I throw out my hooves in desperation “YOUR HAT!!”

Jack blinks. “Hmm? My what? What are you talking about, I’m not really a hat person.”

“Well you’re not, but Applejack is! You need to wear a Stetson! You can’t be Applejack without it!”

Jack grits her teeth and goes back to injecting herself with the next vaccine before responding, coldly “Well then, good thing I’m not actually Applejack, I’m just a guy with her body.”

I roll my eyes. Oh boy this again. Man, what was her problem today? Jack walks over and stabs me with the next vaccine, using more force than probably needed. “Ow.”

“What’s the matter, my sister here isn’t happy with who she is supposed to be?” Evan appears from the patio, slightly out of breath as he trots over to us.

Jack’s ears go flat “I accept our current situation, but I’m just trying to remind Miss Dash here that we aren’t actually the characters from the show.”

Evan trots between us, glancing from side to side at the scene in front of him. “How can you be so sure sis?”

Jack rolls her eyes “Because the fact that such a thing makes no sense! At all! Why the hell would the characters from the show be banished from Equestria and sent to Earth to live as random humans for 25 years? And then they all suddenly become ponies again with none of their old memories? And in the meantime Hasbro had made a cartoon that showed their previous lives as ponies? What? Come on, that makes less than no sense.”

Evan laughs “Not a single damn thing about any of this makes any sense. When every possible explanation sounds equally insane, well every possible explanation is equally possible then isn’t it?”

I raised an ear and tilted my head. That... made sense? I guess? Silence falls upon the three of us as we think about his words. I take a deep breath and can’t help but notice Evan is positively reeking of grass and pony sweat. I speak up, somewhat eager to break this tension “So... Evan... how was the run?”

Evan turns his neck, smiling at me “It was wonderful Dash! Thanks for asking! Utterly fantastic day out there, great day for a run.”

I blink, whoa, what happened to Evan. I thought he was supposed to be the sad and depressed one around here. I look over to see Jack roll her eyes and enter the conversation “Well, you missed breakfast. There’s some food in the kitchen if you want, we have--”

“I already ate” Evan cuts her off.

I cock my head ”Um... what? What did you eat out there?”

Evan looks at me as if I just asked him on what date the Fourth of July was. He glances over at Jack, and then back at me, confused as to how neither of us knew what he ate for breakfast. “Uh.. dude, I ate grass. I mean, we’re ponies are we not? What the heck did you think we were supposed to eat?”

I blink. Ponies eat grass? Huh, I guess they do don’t they? Never seen it in the show...

“You did what!?” Jack leans forward and glares at her brother. “Come on Evan, we’re sentient ponies, not farm animals! We don’t roam pastures and eat grass off the ground like a common beast.”

Evan laughed at Jack “A pony is a pony. I don’t see the problem” he faces me but gestures his eyes back at his sister “Man, Jack is pissed, what is she having PMS or something?”

I wince, knowing how much bringing up her womanhood was going to sting Jack. I look over at her and she’s just biting her tongue and glaring at Evan, apparently having decided to just bottle up her anger for the time being. I try and defuse the situation.

“Calm down everyone. First off, Jack you can’t yell at Evan for eating grass. He hasn’t seen much of the show and he knows next to nothing about MLP ponies. You can’t really blame him for not following their rules. Second off, Evan, I gotta admit, eating grass is a little creepy. For future reference, next time you’re hungry just come to the kitchen, we have plenty of proper food.”

Evan flicks his mane to the side a “Fine, so, Rainbow Dash, what’s the plan?”

I hold up a hoof. “And Evan sorry, it’s just Dash. Don’t call me her full name, I’m not her. At least I don't think I am.” I hang my head. “Jack and I talked about this to great length already and I kind of agree with her. I mean, as much as I wish I was Dash, the fact remains that I am not her.”

Evan just stares at me “Well, that all remains to be seen.”

Jack lets out a mockful laugh “What the heck is that supposed to mean? You don’t know who any of these ponies are, you haven’t seen the show, and you certainly don’t know what caused any of this! You don’t know anything! Stop pretending to be have all the answers, you’re not fucking Gandalf, you’re the most clueless one here.”

I raise my eyebrow. Who lit the fire under Jack all of a sudden? Jeez no need to yell at Evan for such a small transgression. I look over to see that Evan had just bit his tongue and turned to face me once again. “Sorry about her” he gestures at Jack and then goes back to talking to me, though it’s clear the message is actually aimed at his sister. “She always gets cranky when her uterus starts cramping up. Women these days, am I right? Now anyways, like I was saying, this all remains to be seen because in order to find anything out we have to first talk to Fiona and--”

He was once again cut off by Jack who spoke surprisingly calm considering Evan had just purposefully pushed all of her buttons. “Fiona didn’t cause this. This entire thing goes way back. The transformation was triggered when we turned 25, but don’t you see signs of this started earlier? We each have had aspects of these ponies for decades. We were all born on the same day, Dash here was predicting the weather like a pegasus ever since she was five years old, and there’s the strange fact that when Dash and I first met 10 years ago we both felt like we were old friends that found each other. This transformation wasn’t random and it wasn’t just done to us by Fiona or whatever. We’ve been following this path--

Evan snorts, now it was his turn to cut off his sister. “Oh please, so now you’re saying this was our destiny or something? We were born to meet up and become ponies together? What the heck sis, didn’t you just say that Dash here was not actually Rainbow Dash? But now you’re saying it was her destiny all along to turn into Rainbow Dash? Which one is it then? Make up your mind!”

I look at the ground, I was really not comfortable with being a pawn in the middle of their fight with each other. I turn to Evan “Look, there’s something we don’t understand at work here. I can’t quite put my hoof on it, none of us can. But there’s definitely things going on behind the scenes. We need information! Trying to jump to conclusions will just frustrate us! Fighting gets us nowhere!”

I look from Jack to Evan. Jesus they still looked like they were ready to kill each other at a moment’s notice. What was going on with these siblings? They used to be so close, but ever since the body changes started, being around them was like going over a minefield. Any minor nudge or bump in the road seemed to set off an explosion. I clear my throat “We all just need to calm down. There’s a hell of a lot of stuff we don’t know, and I think we’re all just getting really stressed out because we are uncomfortable in these new bodies.”

AJ gives a mean smirk and stares straight at his Evan but pretends to speaks to me. “All of us uncomfortable? Oh no, no I don’t think so Dash. My brother here just spent the entire morning eating grass off the ground and running around like a wild horse outside. I think he’s right at home in this body. He just relishes the idea of becoming a random barn animal. In fact, we should prepare a stall for him in the stables outside.” Jack reaches out a hoof and strokes Evan’s mane “Ain’t that right horsey? You just want a nice stable and some hay to lay down on don’t you? Maybe some carrots that we can feed you through the gate? Yea, don’t worry, maybe soon you’ll forget you were ever a human. You can be a regular beast of burden that helps us on the farm. Then we can start calling you ‘horse’ instead of Evan, I bet you’d like that. You’re going to be a such a good horsey! Yes you are! Good horsey!”

Before I can respond I realize I need to step back because every single muscle in Evan’s body just tensed up, he looked about ready to explode. See, unbeknownst to Jack and I, this was not the first time this week Evan was called a ‘good horsey’ by a nearby female. Evan started to breath heavily, he didn’t like where Jack’s conversation went and the way she was mocking him. She was hitting on his worst fear, the one thing that truly terrified him about this entire ordeal.

After grinding his teeth for a few seconds Evan finally spoke up, smiling with malicious intent as he did “Yea Dash... I don’t know what you mean about all of us being uncomfortable in these bodies. I mean, my sister here loves her new female body...” My eyes go wide, oh my god, Evan, don’t take this where I think your going to. I know Jack just made fun of you, but don’t do this, please don’t...

Evan doesn’t hear my thoughts so he continues, every one of his lines cutting deeper and deeper into Jack. “You see, I bet ever since Jack was a little boy she wished she was female. I imagine she would always sneak off to the stables when the horses were mating, then watch the mares and wish how she could join them one day. Now that she finally has a right equipment between her legs she is just thrilled to peaches! The reason she was the last one to wake up this morning was probably because she stayed up all night playing with herself like some mare in heat, which coincidentally is the perfect description of what she now is. I bet she just can’t wait for the day when she can go out feel the real thing mounting her. In fact, I think she’s just upset because there aren’t any eligible stallions here to SCREW HER like the mare she is.” Evan turns and spits on the ground, then turns back to face his sister who was already on the verge of tears and was holding her ears and tail flat. Even decides to twist the knife a little deeper, ”That’s why she doesn’t want us to talk to Fiona! She want’s us to just give up! So wants us to stay like this so she can have a pussy for the rest of her life. Hell, this MARE won’t be happy until she’s nursing a dozen foals of her very own!”

I took a few steps back and raise a hoof to my mouth... holy... shit...

Evan keeps staring daggers at Jack and waits for her to respond, but she was not going to. She was down for the count. It was as if Evan took the source of Jack’s fear and depression and shoved it front and center for the world to see. Unable to meet the eyes of anyone in the room, Jack held her ears and tail completely flat against her body and tried to stand up. She found she barely had the fortitude to stand, but after tripping on her hooves a few times she gets up and slowly makes her way out of the room, looking down the entire time.

Jack leaves the house and I hear the front door close behind her. I stand up to follow and comfort her but before I can move Evan puts a hoof on my back and speaks up “Oh hey Dash, I think it’s time we went over and paid Fiona a visit. I mean, you’re the only one who knows her address, so you can lead the way. This should be a fun trip!”

I push Evan’s hoof off my shoulder and look up at him, flabbergasted that he was acting so cavalier about what he just did “Jesus Christ dude! What was that about!? You know how sensitive Jack is about the gender change!”

Evan rolls his eyes and snorts loudly “So what, she had it coming. Ha, the mare--”

SMACK!! I send my front leg flying with full force and slam the hoof directly across Evan’s face.

“OW. Holy shit dude~” Evan whimpers and takes a step back then leans on his flanks, holding his muzzle with both his front hooves.

I move to stand over Evan, readying my hoof over his head to strike a second time. My legs and entire body were now visibly shaking with anger, I was nothing short of livid and could feel the blood pounding in my ears. I started debating if I should put my front hoof down so I could get ready to buck instead of punch. “Apologize to your sister! NOW.” I realized I was so angry I didn’t even recognize my own voice.

Evan looks up at me with a measure of fear in in eyes, his muzzle was leaking blood profusely from my first blow to his face. The blood had quickly soaked through the red fur around his hooves and was now starting to drip down onto the carpet.

“Dude you hit me in the face with a hoof...” Evan whimpers once again.

“And you just CRUSHED your sister! Dude, you don’t think she’s having a hard enough time right now? I mean, Jesus, it’s not like she didn’t just wake up as a pony and has to deal with all that, she’s also the wrong fucking gender and is painfully aware of it at every moment! Do you have any idea what that’s like for her? This is not what she wants, and every moment that passes she feels more and more trapped in a body and gender she doesn’t want! I mean heck, she’s probably under more stress and depression than anyone else on the planet right now. And she’s not only trying to make it through the day herself, but she’s the one trying to hold us all together! She’s barely holding in there herself, but she’s still laying everything she can out for us!. And then you come in here and utterly rip her apart like that! And for what? Come on Evan, what the hell were you thinking!

Evan’s eyes welled up with tears and he breaks eye contact with me, not wanting to face the realizations I was throwing at him. I continue speaking “Why can’t you two get along? You’re TWINS! And for 25 years you two have been closer than close! And now, at the exact moment when your close family bond is needed more than ever, you two are fighting? You pounce on each other’s throats and make fun of their worst fears and nightmares?! What is wrong with you!? I mean, come on, we’re like the only three ponies in the world and we'e surrounded by 7 billion humans! Why are we fighting each other, when we need to be helping each other getting through this?! Gah!!” I lower my hoof and step away from Evan, too frustrated to continue talking.

Evans ears lie flat and tears start to fall from his eyes as he realizes what he did to his sister back there. She was his twin, and Dash was right, right now they needed each other more than ever. He gets up and starts to walk after Jack, tail between his legs and blood and tears now dripping on the ground from his muzzle as he walked. He leaves the house choking on his sobs as he opens his mouth to cry out “Jack... Jack come back, I’m sorry!”

I fall back on my haunches and let out a sigh, my heart still pounding from the anger I had felt at Evan for mocking Jack like that. Truthfully, it wasn’t that fair that I only went after Evan that hard. I mean, Jack deserved almost as much blame for this as Evan did. But still, I think Jack suffered enough. The mental blow as large as the one he just suffered at the hands of his brother, man, he wasn’t going to spring back from that one very easily. That’s a deep wound right across his very psyche.

I sigh once more and shake my head slowly. All this drama, jeez. Why can’t three friends just turn into ponies and then have a nice relaxing time?

I rest my large pony head in my hooves. Well, today kind of sucked didn’t it? I mean let’s see here: Wake up, am horse, have good time with friend, get yelled at by friend, take cold shower, watch friends yell at each other, watch best friend get destroyed, then personally attack other friend and make him bleed. Sigh. I close my eyes, all that was missing was a letter to Princess Celestia explaining that when people are faced with the unknown they will turn and destroy each other.

I slowly get back up and follow the trail of tears (and blood) that leads me outside. It wraps around the front of the house into an area alongside their barn. I stop a few meters away and observe the two ponies in front of me. Jack is curled up on herself and laying down. Her face was covered with her tail as she seemingly tries to hide from the world. It pains me to notice that while her face was covered, the ground around her head was clearly wet; she had been streaming tears ever since she got there.

Evan was a few feet away, looking down at his hooves and trying to talk to his sister, I start to hear his words as I get closer “...I don’t know, I think I turned my own fear from this into anger. Then I took it all out on you, it wasn’t fair of me to do it. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry Jack.”

Jack didn’t respond, her body still shaking from the continued sobs.

Evan’s head hangs even lower than before, and then he lets out a sad sigh “Jack...” He slowly takes a few steps closer to his sister, then lies down next to her, saying nothing.

I slowly back away from the scene, this was an issue they had to solve between themselves. Whatever rift that formed between them, they were the ones that had to mend it. I make my way back to the house and look over my shoulder one last time as I get there. The two of them were just lying down next to each other, neither of them saying anything. I give out a small smile, hopeful at the fact that Evan is refusing to leave Jack’s side. Maybe that action by itself gave a strong enough message.

I return to the kitchen and try to figure out what to do. Might as well call Fiona, that was the plan for today right? I trot on over to the guest room and rummage around trying to find my cell. I move around and use my muzzle to flip some bags over trying to find it. In my boredom I start talking to myself ”How do ponies in the show keep their rooms so clean? It's impossible to properly tidy things up with hooves and a muzzle.” I clumsily pick up and flip over my pair of pants from yesterday, I found my wallet but no phone. “Hmm, I wonder if it's in my backpack?”

I glance over at my backpack leaning against the wall “Oh god I hope it's not in my backpack.” The bag was zipped closed, and the zipper on that thing was old and always got stuck. It was hard enough to open using fingers, how the crap am I supposed to open that with hooves?

After several minutes of awkward wrangling and growling at the bag, I finally managed to snag the small zipper on my tooth and twist my neck to open the stupid thing while I held it down. “Zippers. Not even once...” I chuckled to myself as my phone proudly tumbles out of the open backpack. I looked down at the glossy black rectangle and smiled. It was hard to get to this thing, but it was worth it. Ponies were pretty awesome by themselves, but ponies WITH modern technology? That’s just wasn't even fair!

Using years of muscle memory I move my arm down to grab the phone and turn it on.

THWACK. The sight of my phone had made me temporarily forget that I had hooves for hands, and my hoof had sailed down and clumsily smashed right into the screen.

“Ahh! No! Phone, I'm so sorry!” I pray I didn't crack the screen, and there was only one way to find out, gotta turn this thing on and check the display for damage. I move my hand to turn the phone on.

THWACK . “Aaaah! I did it again!!!” I start hitting myself in the forehead with my hoof “Stupid, stupid, stupid, stop breaking my phone! Must be careful, must be gentle with phone.”

I now focus very carefully and slowly move my hoof towards the phone and bump the button on the side to turn it on. The phone blinks to life and I breathe a sigh of relief to see the display is not cracked.

But then I find myself doing a scrunchie face as I look back at it. I just realized my phone was locked. To unlock it I usually just looked at the display, it had one of those facial recognizer things using the front camera. But right now I didn’t have my human face. Now when I look at the phone to unlock it, the front camera just displays the face of a very confused looking Rainbow Dash staring down at it. The camera focuses for a second and then 'FACE NOT RECOGNIZED' flashes across the screen.

I let out a sigh, well this was annoying. Thankfully it's not the end of the world, I can just enter my password to override the face camera lock. I carefully reach out my hoof and tap on the 'Password Lock' option on the screen.

Nothing happens. TAP TAP TAP TAP. No response. “Oh you gotta be kidding me!” I facepalm again, it appears that touch screens don't recognize hooves. In frustration to use a body part that wasn’t hoof, I bend my hoof joint, which I think was called the fetlock? I don't know, I'm a pony not a veterinarian. I bend the joint and press my cyan covered leg forward so the leg touches the screen. Still no response from the phone. “Oh, so what, you don't detect fur covered limbs either? What kind of useless phone are you?!”

I growl with frustration at the wall and try to think what else might work. My wings maybe? Do feathers work on touch screens? I didn’t have fine motor control of my wings yet, but maybe if I just grabbed a feather? I glance around and spot two or three feathers lying on my bed, it seems overnight I molted a few feathers here and there. I trot over to pick one up with my mouth, then trot back over to the phone. On the way back I find myself passing by the mirror.

I stop in my tracks and once again get a look at myself. 'Yep, I still look awesome!” I smile at my reflection and then look at the reflection of the feather I was carrying in my mouth. What would I have done to own this very feather 48 hours ago? “My god, an actual feather from Rainbow Dash, I would have sold my apartment to own one of these.” I make a mental note to gather all the molted feathers I could find and put them in a bag somewhere. If we ever found a way to change back into humans I would want these feathers. I could probably sell a few of them and retire a millionaire; well, that is assuming the world would believe me.

Anyways back to the phone, let's try this feather out shall we? I turn the phone back on and reach down and poke at the screen with the blue feather. No response. “Urgh, why do I even bother at this point?” In frustration I reach down with my snout and poke at the screen with my tongue. “Hey look at that, it works... Well, kind of, I can't really see what I'm typing.” After several tries at trying to lick the correct password into the tiny touch screen keyboard I give up. The tip of my tongue is the size of half the keyboard, this is fruitless.

“Screw you phone!” I bat my hoof at it gently, hitting it on the side and sending it sliding across the room. “No one likes you!” I yell after it, then I stand up on all fours and leave the room, flicking my tail towards the phone to show I didn't care for the damn thing. “Stupid device, ponies don't need your fancy technology!”

I trot my way into the living room and go to the house phone sitting on a small wooden table near the wall. This device was an antique, it was analog based and had big mechanical buttons at the base. I use my muzzle to nudge the headset off the receiver and start typing in Fiona's phone number using my hooves on the large mechanical buttons. “This is MUCH easier! Thank you old phone! It's nice to know at least some phones here care about ponies.”

I finally dial the last number, then awkwardly lie my head flat on the table near the headset. See, I couldn't really pick up the phone, so I was just going to leave it on the table and use my long neck to position myself. I hear the last number go through the phone and the connection start to establish itself. As I wait for it to start ringing I think about what to say once Fiona picks up 'Hmm, maybe I shoul--'

My thoughts are interrupted by a robotic voice that comes through the speaker before the phone even has a chance to ring. “I'm sorry, this number has been disconnected. Please hang up and dial a new number.”

I take a step back. What the heck? I dial again, triple checking that I have the right number. “I'm sorry, this number has been disconnected...”

Oh for fucks sake! All this work with the phones for nothing! With frustration mounting, I turn around and buck the table, instantly hearing wood splinter into a dozen pieces. The table legs then snap, sending the metal phone clanking down loudly on the floor. I looked back and cried out “No! Phone-that-was-kind-to-ponies, I'm so sorry!” I reach out and pick up the poor thing, it didn't do anything wrong! Thankfully, it seemed to be okay, appliances this bulky were certainly built to last. Can't say the same for the table though, I was surprised at how much damage one kick did. “Not to self, don’t buck indoor furniture...”

I gather up the pieces and throw away the splinters. Hopefully Jack and Evan weren’t particularly fond of that table. Speaking of, I wonder how they are doing? Hopefully they manage to iron things out, we need to get our house in order before we set off on a quest or whatever to find Fiona. With her phone disconnected it meant we were going to have to pay her a visit in person, and since we couldn’t really control cars anymore, we were going to have to hoof it. It was about 20 miles to her place, that was a day journey easily. I should probably look at a map and plan out a route we can use that keeps us away from residential areas...


It was early afternoon when I hear the front door swing back open. Evan walks into the house and glances over at me, quietly saying "Hey Dash"

I look at him and his disheveled mane and muzzle that were covered in dried blood. "Hey Evan. You look like shit."

Evan wipes his hooves on the welcome mat and slowly trots forward "Yea, well I feel like shit, so I guess the shoe fits."

I frown "Any luck with your sister?"

"Sort of? I don't know, she still isn't saying much. I thought if I apologized she would be fine, but that doesn't seem to be the case." Evan lowers his ears once more " I think she took my rant back there pretty hard."

I sighed "Yea, that's what I was afraid would happen. What can I say, you screwed up Evan. "

Evan throws his front hooves in the air "How was I supposed to know she was that sensitive? She was prancing around naked yesterday, but now if you so much as mention her gender she starts to cry? A little warning would have been nice!"

I shrugged "I told you, everyone is just tense due to these new bodies. I think Jack is particularly uncomfortable with her gender today because now that the transformation is done we are starting to settle down. We are thinking about the things we want to do now, and who knows, maybe she doesn't like where that puts her sexually."

Evan takes a step back "Sexually? Who's thinking sexually?"

I put on my poker face. Crap, stupid Freudian slip. "Uh nothing, I'm just saying... she works as a horse breeder right? That's how she thinks of mares, and now she is one. It's immensely awkward for her right now"

Evan nodded "Oh, I see. Well, in either case, she still doesn't really want to open up to me.” Evan moves over to the sink and turns it on with a hoof, then dunking his muzzle in the water to clean his face “Maybe you can talk to her? I mean, you're her best friend, and you’re the only one who knows what she's going through."

I stretch, preparing to go outside “Well, I can see if she wants to talk to me, but I was kind of hoping you two would be able to-- holy crap Evan, your face!” I raise my voice in shock at the sight of Evan’s cleaned muzzle. With the dried blood removed I could see the extent of the gash on his face. There was a long cut under his nose from where my hoof hit him, it looked quite painful.

“Ah, yea, that. See I got into a fight with this one pretty girl this morning and she sucker punched me with her hoof.”

I blinked and felt my ears go back “Oh so I'm a pretty girl now?” I sit back on my haunches “What? Evan, it's me Dave. You know, born male? Pretty sure you don't wanna think about me in that way.”

“Hmm? Oh right, sorry. Bright rainbow colors and feminine face throw me off over here"

I rolled my eyes and tossed him a towel “Well I was GOING to help you bandage that up, but after that extremely awkward display I think I’m going to let you do it yourself. I don’t wanna fulfill any nurse fantasies you might have.”

“Damn, so close!” Evan laughed, but then got more serious “But really Dash, if you could talk to Jack...”

“Yea yea, I’ll talk to her. Besides, we need to get going soon if we want to make it to Fiona’s by nightfall”

“Can’t you just call her?” Evan asks and he pulls the first aid kit from under the sink and makes his way over to a mirror.

“I did call her, but her cell phone was disconnected.”

Evan looks back at me and raises an eyebrow “Huh... well, that’s strange”.

“Mmhmm” I start making my towards the door “Well, I’ll go talk to Jack, you clean up and start packing for the trip. It’s 20 miles so we’re going to need some basic supplies and maybe some food to take with us.” And actually, speaking of food, Jack hasn’t eaten since breakfast. I should bring her something as a peace offering.

I made a crude salad (hard to be precise with hooves) by tossing some lettuce and carrots into a bowl. How can I carry this thing outside without getting saliva all over the edges? Hmm, I grab the bowl in my mouth, twist my neck all the way around, balancing the bowl on my back, once again surprised at just how far my neck can strech. With the cargo secured, I make my way out of the house and down to the area where Jack was last seen. Sure enough, I find Jack lying on the ground, pretty much exactly where she was earlier today. She glances over at me as I approach, but says nothing. I finally reach her and twist around to grab the bowl and then place it at her side. I smile wide “Hey Jack! I brought you lunch! It’s got lettuce and some carrots and--”

“--yea no thanks, I already ate” Jack says quietly.

I take a step back “What? But you were out here the whole day.”

Jack shrugs her shoulder “Yea, after Evan left I walked around the barn and just ate some grass. Fills you up pretty quick.”

“You what?” my eyes go wide, this wasn’t making any sense, Jack nearly killed Evan for suggesting that we should be eating grass, and now here she was doing the same thing? I facehoofed “Jack, I thought we all agreed to keep eating ‘normal’ food like the ponies in the show do.”

Jack once again shrugs her shoulders “Yea I guess. I was just hungry and there was grass here, so, you know. Can’t blame a fish for swimming, right?”

I raised an eyebrow “Jack you alright? This isn’t you at all. You’re my fun-loving best friend who’s always responsible and optimistic. You’re not supposed to be Strong Sad.”

Jack laughed, which it itself I was grateful to see. “Strong Sad? Really now Dash, 2005 called and wants their meme back.”

I grinned “Come on Jack, lets go back inside. Moping around around here won’t turn us back into humans.”

The remains of Jack’s smile immediately vanished and she turned cold “Yea well, you wouldn’t want that anyway. Heck, you should probably be begging me to stay out here if it you really think me staying outside will keep us as ponies.”

I took a step closer “What do you mean Jack?”

“Stop pretending man. You have no intention of turning back into a human. I’ve seen you Dash... everytime you pass a mirror you look like a kid in a candy store. I mean, I have never seen someone so happy to see their own reflection.”

I blush and look away. That was kind of true wasn’t it? Jack looks up at me and continues “That’s great, I’m happy for you. At least one of us is enjoying all this bizarre stuff that’s going on. Who knows, maybe I should to, I mean, since we’re stuck like this for the rest of our lives--”

“We don’t know that Jack. We can’t pretend to understand what’s going on right now, making long term assumptions is fruitless until we get some answers.” I walk over to Jack’s body and sit down next to her, tossing a hoof over her shoulder and giving her a small hug. “You’re right Jack, I do kind of enjoy this body. However, I also know you and Evan don’t feel the same way. And if you’re both miserable, I will be to. So I’m going to do everything I can to try and figure this out and see if we can change back.”

Jack turned her head to me and gave a little smirk “Sounds noble, but how exactly do you plan to do that?“

“We gotta start with Fiona. Now I know what you’re thinking, she didn’t cause this. Well you’re probably right, but it’s the only lead we have. We can go over there and talk to her, see what she knows. Heck, if she knows nothing, we can still use her help. She’s probably the only human we can trust right now, having her on the farm with us would be fantastic! She could go to the store for us, bring us books, pay the electric bill, reach things on high shelves, give us baths, brush our manes, cuddle our cheeks, braid our tails...”

As I go on Jack starts to stare at me with a look of horror on her face. I burst out laughing “Haha, just making sure you were paying attention.” Jack smiles and shakes her head, I’m happy to see her expressing some emotion ”But no, really now, Fiona would be a great help to us if she could join us on the farm”

Jack stands up at this point and starts stretching her neck and shaking out the hooves that she has been lying on all day. “So, um, what makes you think she would want to come out here and live with us?”

I look at Jack and show a wide grin. “Dude, we’re ponies. Freakan ponies! There is nothing Fiona likes more! It will be like when Fluttershy meets Spike in the first episode and she goes nuts. I can see it now, she opens her front door and: ‘A real pony! Oh I've never seen a real cartoon pony before! There's so cute! AND THEY TALK! That's just so incredibly--’

“Yes, yes, we get it! We’ve all seen the show Dash!” Jack flicks her mane to side in mild annoyance, but I can’t help but laugh.

“So great, you’re on board. Well, get ready, Evan just has to lock the house and then we can get going. Shouldn’t take more and a few hours to get there at a mild canter.”

Jack raises her eyebrows “What? Oh no, sorry, I’m not going.”

I pull my head back in surprise “Huh? Why not? I thought you said you understood why we had to go and get Fiona.”

“Well yea, you and Evan go get Fiona. I’ll be waiting here.”

I tilt my head in confusion “What gives? You don’t wanna come with us? What are you going to do here by yourself?”

AJ shrugs her shoulders “Meh, I just don’t see the reason why I should go. You’re just going to her place and knocking on her door. It doesn’t require three ponies to do that, right? Besides, I really just want some alone time, try to get this all sorted out in my head.”

I stare at AJ for a moment. I wasn’t fully comfortable with leaving her alone right now, her mind wasn’t quite all in one piece. She just admitted to eating grass for lunch, who knows what she might end up doing if we leave her alone for a day or two. I don’t wanna come back to find Jack running around the pasture and sleeping outdoors.

Jack seemingly read my thoughts. “Dash, come on, I’ll be fine. You’ll be back in a day right?”

I nodded, she had a point. Also, as a former introvert myself, I knew that sometimes you really did just want to be left alone. “Yea, we will be back soon. I suppose we can let you stay here if you want. You sure about this?”

Jack smiles “Dash, your concern for me is admirable, but really now, I’ll be fine. What’s the worst that could happen?”.

I start to form a witty reply but stop myself as I hear the sound of hooves approaching. Jack and I turn to see Evan slowly walking towards us from the house. He has a small canvas bag slung over his neck, presumably filled with supplies for our trip. Evan gets closer and smiles at Jack “Good to see your standing ‘sis, now, are we all ready?”

Jack returns the smile but doesn’t look Evan in the eye. I speak for her “Jack has elected to stay behind for now. She just wants some time alone to think.” Evan looks shocked and starts to reply, but I cut him off before he can say anything “I stand with Jack’s decision, and besides Evan, we’re trying to sneak into a residential area, and we need to remain undetected by humans, right?. The fewer of us that go, the easier it will be to stay hidden.”

Evan, always the practical one, ponders that thought. “Yea... I suppose that does make sense. But what is Jack going to do here by herself for a full day?”

Jack shrugs her shoulders and finally speaks to her brother “Oh, you know, still some chores to do around here and such. I’ll keep busy. Don’t worry about me, you’ll be back before you know it.”

Evan takes a deep breath and gives it one final thought. “Well, okay, I guess if this is what you want. If anything happens when we are gone, just give us a call.” Evan twists his neck and reaches into his canvas bag, pulling out two black phones. He then drops one at Jack’s feet.

I stare at it for a moment and start to laugh, remembering all the old memes about the ‘indestructible’ old 90’s cellphone. “Evan, really now, where did you get a pair of old Nokia 3310s?”

Jack smiled and answered for him “Oh man, we got these things like 20 years ago! I was in grade school at the time, this was my very first cellphone. Ah, good memories.”

Evan chuckled as he turned it over in his hoof “Nice analog buttons. No touch screen, so it’s pony-compatible!”

I smile, Evan was smarter than he looked. Grabbing old cell phones was a good idea. I turn to Evan “Right, so, are we ready to go?”

Evan nods “Yep, got the map, got some supplies, I also grabbed your apartment keys in case we want to camp there for the night”.

I glance up at the sky, it was getting to be late afternoon. Probably 4pm or so. We would probably have to find someplace to sleep in town, and my apartment was pretty close to Fiona’s. Hmm, pretty sure they had a “no pets” rule though. I wonder what we classify as.

Even pokes me in the side “What are you smiling about? You ready to go?”

Jack smiles and waves back “Yea, you two have fun. See you around.”

~~~~ Later~~~~

Well Evan and Dash were gone. It was just me, good ‘ol Jack left alone on the farm. I let out a yawn and reach up to move the blond hair out of my eyes. As much as I hated thinking of myself as Applejack from the show, I realized I might have to emulate her a bit more and get some hair bands. Having a full mane of long blond hair was not very practical for someone who did chores on a farm. Dash was lucky, her hair was shorter and seemed to naturally stay out of her eyes. Not mine though, this earth pony really needed some sort of accessory to hold her hair.

I let out another small yawn and started to head over to the stables. Dash and Evan left about four hours ago and I did my best to keep myself busy. I went around and checked on the fields and then on some of the animals. All the chickens and such had plenty of feed and water, they should be fine for a while. There was only one place left and I had been putting it off for a little while now. I had to check on the horses.

I approached the entrance to the stables and stood there for a moment. Going in here as a pony was going to be strange that’s for sure. I slowly moved forward past the doors and was immediately impacted by the smell. Hoo, boy, this was something else. Hay, feed, sweat, urine, some other stuff, there was a very potent mix of smells hitting my sensitive nose. It wasn’t unpleasant though, it actually smelled kind of comfortable in here.

I make my way down the central path in the building, passing mares on my left and stallions on my right. I glanced sideways at the mares and took in their size for a moment. I was probably around 1/3 of their size. Smiling I went over and compared hooves with the mare standing closest to me. I was far more colorful than her, and that gave me some satisfaction for whatever reason.

Well, time to do the chores I came in here to do. I fill their water and then go to the back and grab some feed bags and dump their contents in the feeding troughs. Finishing that, I sit there for a few minutes and think about things. I soon realize the smell of all this food around me was making me really hungry. I look down at the food in the trough, it was a mix of oats, berries, and some nuts. It looked really tasty. I lick my lips, but stand up and start to walk towards the exit. Eating actual horse feed in here with the farm animals, that would be weird, right?

I make it to the exit and step outside, the scent of the stables soon fading into the wind. However, just as soon as it left, I realize I miss it. I turn and look back at the stables, I really want to go back inside for whatever reason. No, I can’t, that would be wrong. Pretty sure Evan and Dash would frown upon that. ‘but Evan and Dash aren’t here now, are they?’ floats across my mind and I slowly take one step back towards the stable entrance. I start talking to myself as my legs carry me back inside “Yea... they are gone for a day, this is my only chance to be in here...”

I enter the stables again, and this time I close the door behind me, feeling a wave of comfort as I do so. “Yea, it’s much nicer in here than outside. Now, time for a proper meal.”

I grab another bag of feed and open it, thinking where I can pour it to eat out of. Well heck, might as well use the ‘plate’ that this is designed for right? I go over to the mare’s side and empty the bag in their feeding trough, adding to the pile of feed that I already poured there. I put the bag down and look at the trough. I couldn't really eat it from this side, it was tilted so the horses in the stalls had better access to it. “Well, only one way to fix that...”

I calmly trot down a few stables until I find the gate for the mare’s side. I promptly unhitch the gate and move inside, closing the gate behind me and hearing it click shut. I smile, I could open it from this side if I wanted to, but right now I didn't want to. Why would I?

I turn around and see the dozen or so mares standing around in this enclosure. I trot between them, occasionally we brush past each other and I enjoy the comfort of feeling fur on fur. I finally make my way to the feeding trough and find an open spot near the food.

I join the other horses and shove my muzzle into the feed, scarfing down the food in a purposefully animalistic way. I wouldn’t be able to act like this when Evan and Dash were back, so I might as well enjoy this strange pleasure while I can. I continue feeding away and I ponder my recent thoughts. Wait, why would Evan and Dash not want me to be in here? Wait, why was I in here? Wasn't this really wrong? As I chew I look around me, on both sides of me are other horses, eating in the same manner I was, and standing in the same manner I was. Sure I was a cartoonish pony and they were full grown horses, but it was close enough. I smile into my food as I realize I feel really welcome here. Standing here with the other mares, eating like one of them, it all just felt right. I feel like I belong here, and with that thought my eyes start to glaze over a little bit. Mmmm, this was nice.

9. First night.

View Online

Chapter 9: First night.

“So, how you enjoying being a pony?” I smile and turn my head to look at Evan, who just looks back at me and raises his eyebrows.

We left the farm about 10 minutes ago and had settled into a nice steady walking trot as we entered the thick woods behind the farm. Most of the journey would be through this sparse forest, which was good as it was almost always deserted. Anyways, neither of us had really said anything since we left the farm so I tried to get the conversation started with that question.

Evan responds without breaking his pace “Uh, that’s kind of a loaded question isn't it?”

“Oh? Why would you say that?” I smile innocently, I was trying to get Evan in a better mood. I mean, I'm going to be stuck with him all day, might as well get him smiling if I could.

Evan tilts his head slightly. I think he wanted to shrug his shoulders, but you really can't do that while you’re using your shoulders to walk. “Oh come on Dash, you said how am I enjoying being a pony. That implies that the action is something enjoyable.”

I look over at Evan, his words seemed bitter but he said them with a slight smile on his face. It was a start. “Oh, so sorry Grand Master-Professor of the English Language: Dr. Evan Smith. Let me rephrase, please describe the average summation of your positive and negative feelings that your neural limbic system and emotion-linked amygdala have felt ever since you became an equine. If possible please give standard deviations for all your values and list off the statistical p-value.”

Evan chuckles lightly “Smartass.”

I stick out my tongue “Dumbass!!”




“Work horse!!”

Evan laughs “Taking lessons from my sister are you?”

I smile at him “Hey, don't play with fire unless you wanna get burned.”

Evan smiles and shakes his head “Oh you think you're so good at this game?”

I hasten my trotting pace and walk past Evan “I am immune to your insults. Unlike you and Jack, I am perfectly at home in this body. You can't bring me down.”

Evan replies “Oh is that so?”

“Come at my Big Red. Give me your best shot.”

Evan clears his throat. “Oh please, you're a horse with a rainbow face.”

I laugh so hard I stumble and have to stop walking to catch my breath “Oh god, come on Evan, was that even an insult or was it a compliment?”

Evan also stops walking and throws his front hooves in the air. “I said you have a equine body and a feminine face! I'm making fun of your loss of masculinity and humanity!”

I continue laughing “Telling me I have an equine body and a feminine face is like telling a girl she has a very womanly body. I'm pretty sure that's a compliment.”

Evan waves one hoof at me “Oh come on! You've gotta be upset about some part of this transformation thing! You're a mare! Hell, once you go in heat you will want nothing else but to get rutted! That's degrading!”

I smile to myself, time to screw with Evan’s head. I slow my pace and move around him while sliding my tail under his chin “Oh? Who's to say I'm not in heat right now? Hmm?”

Evan tenses up and blushes at the feel of my tail on his face, “Uh, Dash...uh, wow...” Evan swallows hard.

I burst out laughing. “Haha, you should have seen you face, that was just priceless!”

Evan bites his tongue and shakes his head. “Gah, Dash you are the most bizarre, insane pony I have ever met.”

I hop from my left hooves to my right, and then back again. Bouncing back and forth in place like a little school filly. I am really enjoying myself here.“Hehe, I ask again Evan, was that supposed to be an insult, or was it a compliment?”

Evan rolls his eyes “Alright, enough of your antics, let get back to our trek”

I hold up a hoof, still smiling from earlier ”Not yet cowboy. We need to find a big tree or something to hide under for a few minutes”

Evan looks around “Uh... okay? Any reason in particular or do you just wanna play hide and seek or something?”

I start trotting a little ways ahead looking for shelter “There’s an isolated rain shower headed this way. I was hoping we would pass it before it got here, but turns out we’re not going to make it. Do you wanna get rained on and spend the rest of the night with wet fur? Because if not, well then I suggest finding a nice tree to get under.”

Even looks up at the mostly clear sky and raises an eyebrow “Rain is coming? Really? I mean Jack always said you had a knack for this sort of thing but--”

I cut him off “Bitch please, this is what I do.”

Evan mutters some reply but I don’t hear him, I’m busy looking for some sturdy shelter, we only had about four minutes until the rain came.

After another minute of searching I find something useful. I yell across the forest, “Evan! Get over here!” In front of me was a huge downed tree that fell across a log, there was enough space under it for two ponies to huddle and stay dry.

I find some small soft branches and drag them under there so we don’t have to lie directly on the mud, I just got things cozy when Evan finally arrives. He looks at my little fort and laughs “That’s adorable, it’s like a 5-year-old built a treehouse on the floor”

“Oh well that’s fine. You make fun of my castle, you can stay out there then buddy.” I smile as, right on cue, the rain starts to fall.

Evan feels his fur start to get wet and swallows his pride “Sorry, sorry. Um, Captain Dash, can I enter the awesome fort you worked so hard on?”

I grin, “Yes you may soldier, welcome aboard!”

Evan steps inside and turns to me “Wait, welcome aboard? Is this a ship? I thought it was a castle?”

I backhand his shoulder “Shut up! It’s both!”

Evan laughs quietly and shakes his head, then lies down next to me. The rain starts to fall harder, but we remain quite dry under here.

Evan looks at me “How long till this passes?”

“Not long, about seven more minutes.”

Evan yawns and leans against me for support. I lean back into him, enjoying the warmth radiating off his body.

Some time passes, I close my eyes for a mini-nap but get distracted by the fact that Evan, a stallion, was lying alongside of me. The two of us were alone, thoughts of the things we could do together poke at my mind.

“Gah!” I shake my head with a start, anything to get those thoughts away from me.

Evan looks over with concern “Uh, are you okay dude?”

I rub my eyes with my fetlocks. “I’m fine Evan, I’m fine. It’s just... well...”

Evan leans his head closer to mine “Yes? What is it?”

I sigh, well heck, I might as well tell him. “Evan, you know back there when we were joking and said I was in heat?”

Evan looks confused “Yeah, what of it?”

I bite my tongue for a moment, this was awkward. “Well, I wasn’t joking. I’m pretty sure I actually am.”

“What?!” Evan stands up and jumps back an inch, bonking his head on the tree he forgot we were under. He yelps out in pain and takes a few steps away from the tree, ending up back under the rain.

I burst out laughing “Haha Evan, nice work klutz. Now calm down dude, and get back under the tree! I’m not going to jump you or anything man.”

“Oh... right” Evan slowly gets back under the tree but stays a few feet away from me.

The seconds tick by agonizingly slow, finally Evan speaks up “So... how’s that whole “thing” going for you then?”

I sigh once more “It’s annoying, but I can deal with it. Just gotta keep a clear mind and fight the urges, thankfully I’m stronger than them.” Evan nods, and I look over at him “Say, uh, how long do you suppose this status will last? You have experience with horses right?”

Evan pokes at the ground with his hoof. “Well, with horses on Earth it's usually just a few weeks.”

I frown. A few weeks? Man, that’s annoying. As if I didn’t have enough crap to deal with right now. Oh well, I’ll manage.

The rain starts dies down and so does our conversation. Eager to get my mind off the awkward topic we just discussed, I look back over at Evan. “Hey, you never answered my question!”

Evan steps out from under the log, making sure the rain stopped. He looks over at me with a blank face. “Hmm? What question?”

I grin “The one about how you enjoy being a pony. Or not enjoy. Whatever!”

Evan sighs and looks down at the wet earth. It was a good rain, the grass here was eagerly sucking up the water. Evan smiles and closes his eyes, enjoying the feeling of the ground under his hooves. Feeling fresh dirt under a hoof felt very peaceful, very natural. It felt good.

Evan opens his eyes and looks back at me, appearing quite content with himself. “Well, I’ll tell you what.” Evan pauses for a moment and grins “It certainly has it’s perks.”


We eventually got back on our hooves and started walking about. Thankfully we hadn't lost that much time waiting for that rain to subside. As the following hour or so passes we make some good distance; we only had another five or so miles to go before we reached the town limits.

We don’t say much as we walk and my mind wonders. Being in heat was a little disturbing, but I was okay with it I guess. I could ignore the urges, and hey, it was just another part of being a mare. If I wanted to be Rainbow Dash, this was just something else that I would have to accept. Part of the package deal I guess.

Granted, what if we change back after all this? What if I become Dave again? I shiver at that thought, but it only gets worse when I think about how awkward things will be for all of us. Losing this kickass pony body and being a normal human again would suck, that’s for sure. But actually being a guy again after spending all this time as a girl, and after knowing what being in heat felt like? Urgh, I don’t know if I could do it. I didn’t want to be changing genders back and forth randomly, there was only so much my mind could take!

“Whatcha thinking about Dash?” Evan looks over at me inquisitively.

I looked up at him “Well...” I paused to think of a lie, as per usual. Wait a second, why do I have to keep lying when people ask what I’m thinking about? Screw that, I’m going to be honest for once. “Well Evan, I was just thinking about the fact that I’m pretty set on being a girl now.”

If Evan was drinking water, he would have done a spit take. ”Wait what? The hell?”

I take a deep breath “I don’t know, I just don’t think I could go back to being male right now.”

Evan stares at me “Really...”

I tilt my head “Well, we don’t really seem to have a choice in this at all, but yeah, if right now if we found ourselves turning back into humans, I would actually prefer to remain female when all was said and done.”

Evan laughs “What are you, a closet cross dresser or something?.”

I laugh with him “Oh shut up, but no seriously, I would feel weird going back to being a guy now. It’s not a sexual thing either, it’s just a feeling I’ve been getting. Being a mare just feels right, this body feels like a tight fitting glove to me. I mean at first I just thought I liked being a pony more than a human, but now I think I actually sort of like this gender more than my old one too. Sure the heat thing is annoying, but fuck it, I can deal with that. I kind of like being a mare.”

Evan turns and stares at me “Really? That’s kind of creepy isn’t it? I mean, I guess I’m also starting to get the hang of this body, but I still think I would prefer to change back once this is all over. You actually want to stay like that huh?”

I smile and get back to walking “Yeah, pretty much. I’ll be honest, I really like this body compared to my old one. I would do almost anything to stay like this.”

Evan inquires “Anything huh? Give me an example.”

I stick out my tongue “I’d volunteer to go on some lame trek with this boring red earth pony, and I’d even be suffering through heat the entire time too!”

Evan laughs “Damn it Dash, I don't understand your confidence. I mean you were turned into a female pony, are experiencing something no man should ever experience, but at the same time you’re just smiling about it and cracking jokes. I wish Jack could be as confident in her body as you are in yours...” Evan shakes his head and sighs ”I mean really, how do you adapt so fast?”

I shrug my shoulders ”I’m not sure. I guess I maybe just feel at home here because for so long I loved everything about Rainbow Dash? So actually being her just seems like the next step or something? I don’t know, I just feel like I want to keep this body and do whatever it takes to be more like Dash."

Evan nods “Hmm, well I guess that’s better than the opposite route and just being depressed about everything. But, I have one question for you: How far are you gonna take this?”

“What do you mean?”

Evan goes on “Well you said you want to be more like Dash. But where do you cross the line? How much of yourself are you willing to lose? If you ‘succeed’ and you pursue this and become Rainbow Dash incarnate, well then... what about you? What happens to Dave? Where do you go after you cut yourself out?”

I pause, that was a good question. I didn’t have an answer for Evan.

Evan smiles “No response?”

I look back at Evan “Yeah, I don’t know, that thought never crossed my mind before. Ever since this started I was never concerned about keeping my humanity. That sounds weird doesn't it? But yeah, I think I was pushing to be more like Dash every step of the way.”

Evan nods slowly “Well, it’s something to think about; just how much of yourself are you willing to give up?”

Evan stops to scratch his leg and I trot past him. We settle back into a steady pace as we leave the forest and enter some fields. Evan is still a few steps behind me and I find myself pondering Evan’s question.

Evan breaks my concentration by changing his pace and moving to pass me. As he passes me I notice he is blushing wildly for some reason.

Confused, I speak up “Uh, problem Evan?”

Evan doesn’t look back “Ah, umm, sorry Dash. I need to be in front... can’t walk behind you right now.”

I look behind me, I don’t see anything “Why Evan? I don’t see anything, and it’s not like I farted or something.”

Evan looks back, still blushing “Sorry, it’s just that, well, I can’t help but stare at your tail and legs when you walk. It’s... awkward.”

I laugh softly ”Careful now Casanova.”

Evan shakes his head “Gah, this is so wrong, I should not be in interested in the legs of a freakan blue horse!”

I mumble, “Mmm, not horse. Pegasus.”

Evan looks up, desperate to change to conversation as quickly as possible “Hey, you know, I actually meant to ask you about that. What's the deal with those wings? Can you fly?

I stop walking. “I... don't know.”

“Well then Ms.’I-want-to-be-like-Dash’ don’t you think it’s time you tried it?”

“Hmm...” I look around us, we had emerged in an open field close to the edge of the town limits. It was like 9pm or so, pretty dark and the sky was calm. It is good flying weather that’s for sure. The ground here felt pretty soft from the rain too. “Well fuck, this seems like a spot as good as any to try flying.”

Evan laughs “Should I put out some pillows for you to land in?”

“Yeah yeah, laugh it up big guy. You’re just jealous you can’t do this yourself.” I open my wings and twist my neck back to look at them. I am sort of used to how to control these wing muscles. I can open and flap then down pretty easily now. And the wings themselves look fine to me...

“Come on scaredy pants, start flapping!” Evan takes a few steps back to give me room and is grinning. “Just see what happens!”

I take a deep breath and flap my wings down as hard as I could. The feeling of the ground under me vanishes and I feel my body get launched upwards into the air. Whoa, I didn’t expect that would actually work! I look down to see how high I am, but instead of the ground below my hooves I see the night sky. Wait a second, shouldn’t the sky be above me? And do I need to flap my wings more than once?


My back slams into the ground knocking the wind out of me. “Ow...”

Evan is laughing like a hyena “Oh god, that was fucking priceless. I wish I was filming that.” After a few more seconds of hearing his laughter he manages to get a hold of himself and trots over to me, holding out a hoof and helping me to stand.

I wipe the mud off my shoulder “What the hell happened to me? Did I fly?”

Even laughs a few more times and finally explains things “Well you flapped your wings once and then just sort of froze. So you propelled yourself like three feet into the air, and then just fell straight back down to earth. Oh and you somehow managed to flip over during your descent, ha ha.” Evan moves his fetlock to wipe a tear from his eye as he laughs some more.

I flex the various muscles on my back. That fall was probably going to leave a bruise, oh well. I look over at Evan and smile “So what you’re telling me is that... I flew!”

Evan wipes his eye again “Yeah, sure, sure. You flew about two feet there buddy. You gonna try it again?”

I think about it for a moment. That fall hurt like a bitch, if I was any higher up I would have probably broken something. “Yeah Evan, I’m gonna try this one more time. But I really need to stay upright this time.”

Evan nods “You just gotta balance yourself some more!”

“Yeah, okay, with what? I’ll be in midair, I can’t exactly grab onto a handrail here.”

Evan waves his hoof at my sides “Use your wings! Balance with the wings!”

I roll my eyes “Oh yes, why didn’t I think of that. It’s so easy to balance myself while flapping these appendages that I’m not even entirely sure how to fully move.”

Evan sticks his tongue out at me “Well numbskull, at the very least flap them more than once if you want to actually stay in the air.”

I wave a hoof at him signaling to back up “Yeah, yeah, I know, now give me some more flying space.”

Evan backs up and I spread out my wings. I give them a nice, slow beat downwards and then bring them back up, getting a feel for the rhythm. I close my eyes and keep practicing the pattern a few more times, nice slow beats downwards and gently bringing them back up again. Nice and smooth. Okay, I could do this. Now when I finish this practice, to actually fly I’ll just have to flap them faster, but I gotta keep this same pattern. Just nice and smooth, just gotta keep flapping. I think I’m ready to--

“Nice work kid! Now try landing!” Evan’s voice comes from below me, from very, very far below me.

My eyes shoot open and I see nothing but sky. “Oh holy sweet fuck what the hell, I’m in the air.” I look down and panic fills me, I somehow made it fifty feet in the air and now I was just sort of hovering above Evan. Confused, I look back at my wings, they were still making the “practice pattern” I had started when I was on the ground. I was just slowly flapping up and down, about once a second. I honestly didn’t think that was enough to generate lift, I had just wanted to practice moving them!

“Dash, come on down now!” Evan’s voice is distant and was slightly distorted by the wind.

I look down at Evan and yell “Shut up, I’m trying!” I swallow hard and ponder what to do. Right now my wings are pretty much on autopilot just running though that flap pattern. I mean you know how when you don’t think about it, you breath automatically? Well, that’s what my wings are doing right now. But if I wanted to lower myself down and land I would have to take manual control over them. Damn it, this landing is going to be painful...

“Evan, get out of the way, I’m coming down!” I slowly take control of my wings and tell them to stop flapping for a moment. Unsure of where to hold them, I decide to just keep them vertically pointing straight up at the sky. Hopefully I would lose some altitude? Maybe?

I drop like a fucking stone. “Ah shit, shit, shit, shit” I fall about 15 feet in two seconds, then start flapping again, which immediately stops my descent like a car slamming on the brakes. God damn, flying was strange. I mean, it’s like swimming in deep water and you are treading on the surface, but the second you stop treading, you just sink like an anchor. This was crazy, who’s idea was it to put wings on things?!

I hover in the air doing some more gentle flaps for a few more seconds before I look down. I am closer to the ground now, maybe, I don’t know, 30 feet in the air now? Well, this method of decent works, I guess. Time to drop a few more feet, I lift my wings vertical again.

Wind whips past my ears and I feel my stomach move up to my throat as I drop another 10 feet in one second and then start flapping again. The sudden lift from my wings abruptly stops my fall and jerks me up suddenly.

Evan, now about 20 feet under me starts laughing “Haha, It’s like a 15 year old learning to drive! Flooring the gas for two seconds and then slamming on the brake! This is priceless!”

“Damnit Evan, shut up, I’m trying to not kill myself here. Gotta do one more altitude drop and I should be able to just hop back down to the ground.”

“Hey Dash, instead of holding your wings vertically to lose altitude, why not hold them horizontally out to the sides? It should let you glide down instead of just falling.”

I hover in place for a few more seconds as I thought about that suggestion. I smile for a moment as I realize I can just effortless hover at will now. I mean, hovering with these slow flaps is very easy to maintain, and it is actually felt pretty comfortable to just sit here in chill in mid air. Damn, I am actually really starting to like this flying thing! Right, back to falling with style idea, let’s try Evan’s suggestion and see if I can glide. I was still like 20 feet off the ground, this should be pretty safe to try. I take a deep breath and stop flapping my wings and instead spread them out to the sides as far as they can go.

I gasp in shock as wind rips past my ears. I was still falling, but instead of just going straight down like before, I was falling down slowly, but falling forward at about 20mph.

“Holy shit~~” Evan yells out from below and I hear his voice fade away as I shot away from him. I was accelerating away from him faster and faster as I was falling is what was apparently some sort of dive. I keep my wings fixed and look in amazement around me, the field below is zipping by under me alarmingly fast. I am both thrilled and horrified to see how fast I am now going, and then I realize my altitude is still dropping and I am on course to hit the ground moving at about 50mph.

I am only about 5 feet off the ground at this point, so I tilt my wings up, hoping to both slow my fall and my forward velocity. It sort of works, but the sudden deceleration starts to lift my hind legs upwards, I am going to flip over in a moment if I kept this up. I am just a foot off the ground now and moving at about 20mph, so I give one final regular flap of my wings in hopes of softening the landing.

I think it worked. Not entirely sure, I blacked out from the impact either way and opened my eyes to see Evan out of breath and standing over me “Holy shit Dash, are you okay?”

I wave a hoof at him “Pfft, I’m fine... never been better... ow...” I wince as I wiggle my legs. I think I bruised my everything.

Evan twists his neck and looks around, measuring how far we are from where we started “I mean, holy shit dude, I’ve never see something accelerate that fast. You went zero to sixty in about a second a half. ”

I lean forward into a sitting position and shake my head to clear the ringing noise. “Ha, yeah, what can I say, I’m built for speed. I mean, imagine how fast I could have gone if I started that dive at higher altitude! I only had twenty feet to work with during that dive, imagine if I had a thousand!”

Evan frowns and holds out a hoof to help me back up on my hooves. “Well, then you would have died probably.”

I nod somberly “Mmhmm, pity we don’t live in an actual cartoon. That fall fucking hurt.”

Evan laughs “Well yeah, you slammed into a dirt mound. But hey, at least it wasn’t concrete, gotta be happy about that.”

Something suddenly dawns on me “Happy about that? Oh no, I’m not happy at that fact. You know why I am happy?”

Evan raises an eyebrow “Because you’re still alive?”

“Try again.”

“You’re happy because.... um, you learned something new?”


Evan chuckles to himself and I let out a scream of jubilation and start galloping across the field screaming “I CAN FLY!!! FLIGHT!!! WOOOHOO!!! HAHA!!! FUCK YEAH!!!”


Once I calmed down we made it into town. As much as I kind of wanted to try flying again, I really couldn’t do it here, it would attract too much attention. Turns out it’s not normal for two colorful ponies to be walking the streets at night, so we really had to stay as hidden as we could. Thankfully, it was a fairly sparse town with lots of trees and public landscaping to hide behind, plus the fact that it was 10pm and really dark outside meant we could sneak around if we were careful.

Evan and I had just turned a corner and dashed for a large bush half a block away. Our hooves were extremely loud as we galloped over pavement, but what can you do. Once safely under the bush we catch our breath and Evan speaks up “Alright Dash, this is your part of town, where’s Fiona’s apartment?”

I wave a hoof at the large building down the street. “It’s that one. We can push the room buzzer by the front door and see if she answers.”

Evan looks around and slowly nods. Finally he points at something down the road “Okay, right there, 200 meters away. Large shrub on the corner of her apartment building. Let’s move to there.” We both check around us once again, making sure there were no pedestrians around and no voyeurism going on in any of the apartment windows around us. The coast is clear so we both gallop over to the next bush and I smile to myself as I realize I can run much faster than Evan. Eventually we both reach the bush and the apartment is just a few dozen feet away from us now.

“Okay Evan, it’s room 306. The buzzer button for her room is on the far bottom left. Go over there, buzz it, and see if she answers.”

Evan looks at me. “Wait, I’m going alone to ring the bell? Why don’t we both go?”

“Needless risk, there are lots of windows near the front door. Both of us don’t need to go.” I reach up my hoof and flick my bright rainbow mane “I’m colorful and a lot easier to spot than you. You’re a nice subtle red and brown, people won’t even see you in this dark light. Just go and ring the button dude.”

Evan looks around to make sure no one is coming, then takes a deep breath and bolts out from under the bush, galloping across the parking lot towards the front door. He makes it to the door and I see him peer at the buzzer controls on the wall as he looks for Fiona’s name.

I mutter to myself “Come on Evan, bottom left button, hurry up and ring it...” I was getting nervous, he was ridiculously exposed over there.

I see Evan stick out a hoof and press one of the buttons, then he started looking around to make sure no random person was on their way. The seconds tick by agonizingly slow as we wait for Fiona to answer the doorbell.

I start biting my hooves with worry. Come on Fiona, answer the damn buzzer! At least no one was walking over there, coast was still clear...

A good 30 seconds have passed, Evan rings the bell again, then looks over at my shrub and shrugs his shoulders. He yells across the lot “No answer!”

I wave a hoof beckoning him to return to safety “Alright dude, come back!” Evan nods and gallops back over to my bush. I am honestly surprised that nothing bad happened there, this was incredibly dangerous for us. I chew my lip for a moment as I realize we really need to get off these streets. I mean, it was only 10pm, people could still be walking around.

“Let’s lie low for a few hours Evan, my apartment is just a block away.” I look over at Evan and he nods, just as eager to get off these streets as I was.


It was surprisingly easy to get to my apartment, we did have to hide behind some trees as a couple walked by us, but once they were gone it was smooth sailing over to my building. We didn’t even have to worry about going through the main entrance, there was a side door in the alley that was always unlocked. I had always meant to ask the landlord to lock that door since it was a pretty glaring security flaw. I never got around to it, and that was probably for the best because it sure came in handy right now. Anyways, we got into the building and then slipped down the hall, making our way to the door of my flat.

Evan reaches the door first ”I like how you marked your door. Easy to find, hehe.”

I get there and raise my eyebrow “What are you talking about? Marked?”

Evan points at the crescent indent near our eye level, “A hoof mark.”

I stare at that for a moment, that wasn’t there before, was it? “Oh, hey, I think I know where this came from. Must have been when Jack and I left to go shopping yesterday. We had hooves, Jack probably kicked the door shut.”

Evan nods, ”Makes sense. Well, come on dude, open the door. We’re kind of exposed here in this hallway.”

I roll my eyes, “You’re the one with the key you big goof.”

Evan gets a confused look on his face. “I what? Oh yeah, the bag! Haha, I completely forgot I was even carrying this thing!”

I facepalm and then Evan shifts his neck and removes the canvas sack. He starts moving the contents around with his muzzle until finally a silver key pops out and lies flat on the carpet. Satisfied, Evan puts his bag back over his neck and steps away from the key.

I give him a strange look, “And...? What, you’re just gonna leave it on the floor?”

Evan smirks, “Your key, your apartment. Have fun with that...”

Unsure of what exactly he means I reach down with a hoof to grab the key. No luck, this thing was way too tiny to pick up with hooves. Finally realizing what Evan meant, I roll my eyes and reach down with my mouth. I start biting the ground as I attempt to pick up the key with my mouth.

Evan starts laughing, “How’s that taste?”

“Like shoes.” I mumble and then I finally feel the cold metal of the key on my tongue. I get it between my teeth and stand back up. “Taa-daa!” I exclaim through my closed teeth.

Evan just smiles and points at the lock on the door. “Also... have fun with that.”

I look over at the small keyhole, damn, this was going to be hard. I move up to the target and try and align the small hole with the key that is clumsily between my teeth.

“The key is sideways.” Evan remarks, deadpan.

I grumble and fix it, only to see Evan smile out of the corner of my eye, “Ha, nice, now the key is upside down!” He starts to giggle softly, but a few seconds later I flip the key over with my tongue and he nods to confirm that it’s facing the right way.

I keep poking it around. Since my muzzle was covering the lock, my eyes couldn’t see where I was stabbing with the key. It was all just blind trial and error.

Evan leans over, whispering in my ear, “Can’t get it in huh?”

“Mmhmm.” I mumble as I try a few more times.

Evan is clearly holding back a smile as he leans forward and whispers quietly, “That’s what she said!” Evan starts laughing quietly to himself as he steps away from me. I roll my eyes, but a half second later I feel the key slide right into the lock.

Upon seeing this Evan’s soft chuckles become a full bellied laugh. “Haha, oh wow, you really enjoyed that didn’t you? You’re such a girl dude!”

I feel myself blush. I was going to kill him once we got inside.

Suddenly I hear a door down the hall crack open and a voice yells out “Hey, keep it down over there! Damn kids!” The door then starts to open all the way as the owner of the voice clearly wants to see who was making all the racket.

Fuck. I fumble a hoof and manage to turn the key, then grab the doorknob in my mouth and twist as Evan pushes to open the door.

The door swings open and we both collapse inside. Evan rolls off me and I take a deep breath. Phew, close call, we got inside before that person could see us. I look back at the door frame, fuck my tail was still sticking out into the hall. I quickly flick it inside and then kick the door shut. Well, hopefully the owner of that voice was just some old guy with bad eyesight and didn’t notice?

Evan stands up and fumbles on the wall looking for a light switch, he finds it and flicks them all on.

I blink and look around the room. “Well, this place looks... different.”

Evan nods “It does, I think it’s because we are lower to ground. But yeah, everything looks a little off being this short.” After a moment’s pause, Evan lowers his head and once again drops the canvas bag. He starts rummaging through it with his hoof until he finds what he was looking for: the battle hardened Nokia with Jack’s phone number programmed in.

I look over “Calling Jack to let him know we arrived? Good idea. Let’s see it’s about 11pm right now, and we left at 4pm. Seven hours? Not a bad trip really. Anyway Jack is probably showering or getting ready for bed.”

Evan nods and presses the speed dial button with the tip of his hoof. He turns on speaker phone and we both just stand there as the phone rings.

On the very last ring the phone is answered. No voices come from it though, and Evan and I lean forward waiting for Jack to say something.


Back in the stables Jack was looking down at the phone. The phone had come from the small bag that was on her back. The ringing of it startled her so she shook the bag off of her back and found the black box that was making the noise. Instinctively she hit the green button. She wasn’t entirely sure what to do now though. She looked around her at the other horses, none of them had black rectangles that made noise. She let out a soft neigh, why did she have one of these? Maybe she should just kick it away?

Yeah, that seemed the right thing to do. A few more seconds pass by and that idea seemed to make more sense. Horses aren’t supposed to have strange devices like this, she wanted nothing to do with this non-horse object. Jack licked her lips, this was it. All she had to do was get rid of this thing and she would finally be like the rest of the horses here. Just get rid of this last thing and she would finally belong, she would have a home here for the rest of her life.

Something poked at the back of her mind, something felt very wrong about all this. It told her that this wasn’t her life, she shouldn’t be doing this, something strange was making her do things she really shouldn’t do. Jack stopped for a moment, then gave a soft whinny and shifted her weight around. She was confused, why would this something try to manipulate her? She blinks her eyes, it didn’t matter. Just get rid of the phone and everything will be done. There would be no going back. Jack smiles at the thought of living like this forever. Spending all her years alongside these other animals, raising lots of foals with the stallions in here. It would be a good life, a life fit for a horse. She smiles, she can’t wait to finally be treated the same as the other animals. Her mind made up, she lifts her leg to kick the strange device away from her...


“Evan, something is wrong.” I look away from the phone and over at Evan, he seemed just as worried as me. Jack had answered the phone about 30 seconds ago, but said nothing.

I poked Evan again “Dude, say something, I got a really bad feeling about this.”

Evan swallows hard and nods, approaching the phone microphone.


Jack zeros in her aim on the strange device, she was ready to send it flying across the room. She tenses her leg muscle and--

“Jack!” The phone comes alive and voices pour through. “Jack look, I’m sorry for what I said before! I know I already apologized, but I just wanted you to know that I feel terrible about this whole thing. You’re my twin sister, and I won’t give up until you’re my twin brother once again. We’ll get to the bottom of this Jack. You and me... we’ll fix this.”

Jack lowers her leg and steps closer to the phone. That voice! Her brother! Fog lifts off her mind and Jack dives to the ground and grabs the phone “Evan! Evan you’re alright!”


I breathe a sigh of release to hear Jack’s voice. Evan smiles and laughs into the phone “Of course I’m alright, why wouldn’t I be? I got your best friend here watching my back. But how about you? How you doing on the farm?”

Jack’s voice cracks through the speakers “I’m... um... good? Yeah sure, good here, don’t worry about me. Did you find Fiona yet?”

I step beside Evan and join in the conversation “Not quite, still looking for her. Look, Jack, we’ll call you once we get a hold of Fiona, okay?”

We say our farewell and hang up the phone. I turn to Evan “Well, that’s good news. Jack seems alright. I was sort of worried about her ever since we left.”

Evan nods. “Yeah good to know that she is safe. So! Now what do we do?”

I look around and sigh “Well, I guess we go to bed for a few hours. We should set an alarm for 3am or so, we can take another trip to Fiona’s then and find out if she is at home sleeping.”

Evan tilts his head “So... we have some time to kill?”

I nod “Yep, not much else we can do until then.”

Evan grins slowly “Well, I wouldn’t say that.”

I look up at him “Hmm?”

Evan trots over to the living room and starts to fumble around with my DVD collection. I raise my eyebrow in confusion “What are you doing Evan, do you wanna watch a movie or something?”

“Not quite...”

It’s too dark for me to see what box Evan grabs, but I hear him stuff a disk in the player and hit the ‘Play’ button with his nose. I get up and walk into the living room as he turns the TV on and the speakers come to life.


“You got to be fucking kidding me Evan.” I stare at him, I was pretty sure we had enough pony in our lives as is.

Evan turns around and grins “I wanna see if the TV version of you is just as annoying as the real world you!”

10. Answers

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Chapter 10: Answers

"Why does he only have two lines? I mean seriously, I can say more than 'Eeyup' and 'Nope'."

I laugh, Evan and I were watching some classic pony episodes, and Evan way still trying to figure out the characters. "Don't worry Evan, your character has some lines later on, in fact, I recommend we watch the Hearts and Hooves Day episode next."

Evan turns to face me "An episode called Hearts and Hooves Day? And my character is involved? Watching that sounds like a terrible idea. This is creepy enough without watching my avatar start talking about falling in love."

I stick out my tongue "What's the matter, scared you might get ideas?"

Evan rolls his eyes "Oh please, like I would ever fall in love with a pony. My mind is still a human male where it counts, thank you very much."

Wanting to tease Evan, I lean at him "Really? What if I told you that in that episode Big Mac falls in love with a certain blue pegasus with a rainbow mane? Hmmm?"

Evan blushes "Oh... Dash and Mac get together in the show? Wow. Wouldn't that be awkward with his sister being friends with Dash? I would think that Mac, out of respect for Applejack, would give Dash her space and not make any moves on her. But you know, if Dash really wanted to be with Mac, well then, he wouldn't mind."

I was smiling at Evan's awkwardness until the very last sentence. What did he just say? "Uh, Evan, we're talking about the show right?"

Evan bites his lip and looks over at me "Uh, yea, sure. That."

I stare at Evan "Yeah, well, I was joking. The episode is about Big Mac and Cheerilee."

Much to my bewilderment, Evan actually frowns upon hearing this "Aww, really? Damn, I never really liked her, I don't wanna watch that episode."

I stare at Evan. The hell has gotten into him? Was he actually saying that he would show me affection if it wasn't for his sister and I being best friends? I turn away from Evan in worry. Evan was supposed to hate ponies and everything about them, he should not contemplating the idea that Dash/Mac was a good ship. The hell was going on here, was the transformation still active and working to change our minds? Could it make us feel things we didn't want to feel?

Our conversation dies down as episode ends and I yawn. It was getting late and we were really lacking sleep. Evan shuts off the TV and I lie down on the floor, curling up in a nice position to get comfortable. Soon Evan comes over and lies down at my side, I fall into a light nap enjoying the feeling of him beside me.


I awake several hours later, it was still night outside but I see that Evan is also awake as he was sitting next to me and playfully batting at my tail with his hooves.

I raise an eyebrow at him “Yes, it’s real, you can stop feeling my tail.”

Evan smiles “You know, I like your tail.”

I raise the other eyebrow and flick my tail up against my body away from him “Uh, yea. Thanks for the compliment, but really now Evan... I’m not your girlfriend."

Evan protests my accusation "What, no I was just--"

I raise a hoof and cut him off "Evan, come on, I'm not stupid. A guy and girl alone at night, the girl just recently told him she was in heat, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out there is some unspoken tension in the air. So let's just cut the crap, shall we? Now I'm flattered Evan, really, but remember that I'm still Dave, your male friend. I admit I sometimes get carried away and try to fit the role of Rainbow Dash the female pony, but you gotta remember that inside I'm not actually a mare.”

Evan is sweating bullets “Hey, I just couldn't sleep and I thought your tail looked nice..."

I just stare a Evan, he tries to smile back at me but eventually cracks. He let's out a long slow sigh and hangs his head. “Alright, you got me, I admit I do sort of feel something. But don't worry Dash, like I said before, I'm not going to make any moves on you. That would be wrong for a dozen different reasons, and we have enough crap to deal with right now without introducing romance. I will admit though, ever since this whole thing started I thought I would absolutely hate being a pony. But hanging out with you, what can I say, it's kind of fun. If we had to live to the rest of our live as ponies, I think I would be alright as long as you stuck around. And yea, we're just friends and that's all I want us to be for now. But if we knew we were going to be these bodies for life? If we were still male and female ponies in five or ten years? Well, what can I say, I'll admit I would dream that if that was the case, one day we could be more than friends.”

I feel my cheeks blush heavily. I was not expecting that sentiment, especially from Evan of all people. “Uh, wow, thanks for being honest I guess? You’re a good guy Evan, you deserve a real girl. A human girl taking care of a human Evan. You deserve a girl who loves you unconditionally, not just some randomly transformed pony.” I pause to look over at Evan "And yea, who knows how this will all turn out. In twenty years if we are both still like this and no closer to changing back, then sure, what the hell, I wouldn't mind settling down with you and everything that that would entail. But not now. Not like this.”

Evan looks up at me and nods “Yeah, I understand perfectly.”

I smile “Right, so for now let’s just focus on trying to figure this out. I mean if we can just get a hold of Flutters at her apartment then we--” I stop my sentence cold.

“Then we what?” Evan raises his head and looks over at me.

I feel my pupils grow wide with sudden realization. “No... that's impossible.”

“Dash? You look like you saw a ghost. What's wrong?” Evan’s face conveys concern but I pay him no attention and continue to connect the dots in my mind.

“Why didn't we think of this before? It makes so much sense!”

Evan paws at the ground “Oh for Pete's sake, spit it out woman!”

I turn back to Evan “Oh sorry. Ummm... here come with me, you can help me confirm this.” I start walking towards my room. I had mostly Dash merch in there, but I did have a poster of each of the mane six.

Evan follows me but complains as we walk “You know, where I come from, when someone realizes something interesting, they actually share it with those around them. How hard would it be to just tell me what you realized?”

“Shut up Evan, this will only work if I don't tell you anything. It will only take a second.” We had arrived at the entrance to my room. “Okay Evan, we're at my bedroom, now close your eyes, I'm going to lead you to a picture I want you to see.”

Evan obeys and closes his eyes “A picture you say? Hmm, now that you mention it, you wouldn't by any chance have any "nice" pics of ponies that I could borrow? You know, for my own use? What did Jack they call that stuff? ....clop? Have any clop saved? I mean, if this is my species now, I might as well take a look right?"

I raise my eyebrow. I did have some clop on my hard drive, and a good chunk of it was of Rainbow Dash. The thought of giving the pics to Evan was strange. I mean, I shouldn't care if he sees the pics, right? They were just pictures that random people drew of a pony from the show. They weren't actually pictures of me. So why did I feel so defensive at the idea of other people seeing those pictures?

I shake my head. This wasn't the time for this conversation. "Damnit Evan, come on, this is serious! How can you think about something like that right now?”

Evan opens his eyes and then smiles. “You forgot what it's like to be a guy huh?”

I lightly smack his shoulder “Urgh, just shut up and close your eyes, now I'm going to lead you to a picture I want you to see. Now keep your eyes closed and follow my voice.” I walk ahead of him and make my way to a corner of my room that was underneath a large poster print that I got a few years ago.

Evan is right behind me with his eyes closed, I step to the side so nothing is between him and the poster. “Okay Evan. Now in a moment I want you to open you eyes. As soon as you open them I want you to tell me what you see. Name the thing shown on the poster. Aaaaand open!”

Evan opens his eyes, sees the poster, and doesn't even hesitate to answer, “Fiona.”

I fall back on my haunches and let my front legs go limp “Fuck, I knew it. We should have done something sooner...”

Evan looks at me, then back at the poster and squints at it. “I don't understand. What is this a picture of? A pony? What sort of thing did you test?”

“Evan, that's a picture of Fluttershy. Fiona is Fluttershy.”

Evan looks back at the picture and blinks. “What, wait, Fiona is a pony? That yellow one from the show? What the fuck?!”

Evan looks at me for answers and I just stare blankly back at him “Dude, I’m pretty much just as confused as you man.”

Evan throws his hooves in the air in frustration “The hell is going on around is? Fiona is joining our ranks? Is ANYONE we know not a pony? How long as Fiona been one for!?”

I shrug “Well, she’s probably been a pony ever since we were. I mean, if I had to guess I would say this whole thing started on the same day for all of us.”

Evan is still confused “And how did you just realize this now?”

I sigh “I accidentally said 'Flutters' instead of Fiona back in the living room. I was going to dismiss it as a random slip of the tongue, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I mean, she is our same age, she was at the birthday party where this all started for the rest of us, and she completes our circle of friends. To be honest, we should have seen it sooner given the clues. I guess we were all so distracted by our own changes that we didn't see the obvious thing in front of us the whole time.”

Evan rubs his neck ”But why is another one of our friends a pony? What does this tell us? Is the entire world turning into fucking ponies or something?”

I shake my head “No, there aren't that many of us. Think about it Evan, you were in Chicago and Jack and I were in town. No one else had pony ears and hooves.”

“So why us? Why just our friends?”

I bite my lip “I don't know Evan, but this can't be a coincidence. This isn't random chance, something or someone must have set this in motion. Our transformations are part of a plan that someone else set up.”

Evan gets up and starts to leave the bedroom.

I trot after him and find him in the kitchen putting the canvas bag back on. “Evan? What are you doing? Where are you going?”

“Back to Fiona's place. Fluttershy's. Whatever.” Evan starts making his way towards the door.

I start to follow him “Umm, but we were just there. It's locked and she isn't there. Heck, Fiona probably fled town.”

Evan open the door “Exactly. She’s probably terrified and confused and is either cowering in her apartment and ignoring the doorbell, or she got scared and ran away somewhere. Either way, we should get into her apartment and see if she is there or if she left any clues behind. If she's a pony like you say she is, then we need to find her.”

I follow Evan out the door “Oh, you wanna find her because you think she can help us change back?”

Evan stops in his tracks and turns to face me “No. I have to find her because she's ALONE and she's running around a human world as a pony. A thousand different things could happen to her if she gets caught, and every single one of them is bad. We have to find her before someone else does. We need to bring her somewhere safe.”

I lower my ears slightly in response to the sudden aggressive stance of Evan. He looked really serious all of a sudden. I open my mouth to ask why he thought humans would abuse ponies, but I soon decide against it. Might as well ask my next question, “Evan, if Fiona isn't home, how do you plan we get into her apartment? Do you have lockpicks in that magic canvas bag of yours?”

“Nope. No lockpicks.” Evan snickers for a moment “Just hooves. Just hooves and one hell of a kick.”


The walk over to Fiona's apartment was pretty uneventful, just as before it was only a block away, and this time the streets were completely and totally abandoned since it was 2am.

We once again found ourselves near the large shrub on the corner of her apartment building. Since there was no one outside at 2am, we ignored any premise of stealth and we both just walked right up to the door and rang Fiona’s apartment again. No answer.

I look over at the door. “Hey Evan, I found a flaw in the brilliantly planned brute force ‘kick down the door’ plan of yours.”

Evan looks at the front door and then back at me “And what’s that?”

I wave a hoof at the large front door ”It’s not just that Fiona’s apartment door will be locked, this front door is also locked. And this is a reinforced exterior door. I mean, that thing isn’t some flimsy wood, that door is a good two inches of heavy, weathered steel.

Evan smirks “So? I can take it.”

I roll my eyes. “Well I know you could, muscles for brains, but that door opens into the lobby, which of course is surrounded by rooms on every side. Kicking down the steel door of that size would wake up everyone on this half the block.” Evan frowns and I continue “This isn’t a smash and grab, we need to keep subtlety and stealth for as long as possible. We’re going to have to abort the plan and turn tail and run the second someone opens their door and sees two pastel ponies in their building.”

Evan rubs his head “Why can’t this just be easy for once.”

I chuckle alongside him “Yeah, I don’t know why someone decided to add ‘must remain hidden at all times’, and ‘must not make noise’ to our list of challenges. Wasn’t it hard enough that we had to do all this as colorful quadrupeds with wings and hooves?”

Evan suddenly raises his head and looks over at me, tracing his eyes over my back. “Um... so about that. You remember how to use those wings?”

I raised an eyebrow “What? I guess I do, but how does that--.” Evan cuts me off by nodding his head at the building and I follow his gaze and look up. The building was five stories high, and on the highest floor there was an open window. It was directly above the lobby, which means it was the common area of that floor.

I smile “Hey, you know what, that might actually work. Good thinking there Big Red.”

Evan laughs “Well don’t thank me yet, you’re the one that has to go do it. I’ll go wait in the bushes, you have fun up there. Oh, and try not to plummet to your death in the process by the way.”

I let out a small yawn then stand up, crack my neck, and stretch my wings “Mmmm, thanks for the confidence pal.”

He smirks, ”Hey, I’m just worried the only female, non-family member of my species is going to kill herself. We can’t have that happen now can we?”

I shake my head and leave the bushes “Wow, you really know how to say a goodbye don’t you Evan? Not an ‘oh no, you're one of my best friends, I could never live without you!’ nope, you decide to go with the ‘hey, don’t die, you’re pretty much the only compatible female on earth’. I mean wow Evan, you're such a romantic.”

I hear Evan laugh from behind the bushes “Well hey, it’s true, you are a rare breed!”

I look up at the window and start to judge how high I have to go and how I can land up there. I take a deep breathe and get ready, but make one final comment at Evan “You know, that comment isn’t actually true. Fluttershy is also female. Assuming we find her, maybe you two should hook up, it would be a hell of lot less weird than you and me.”

Evan says something in return but I can’t hear it over the sound of my wings beating as I do a running leap into the air and take flight. It feels strange to jump in the air and not hit ground, but that’s what happening right now. I panic for a second and start to stumble in mid air, but then focus on doing my standard wing flaps.

I eventually stabilize and find myself hovering at about the 2nd story windows. I can only imagine what someone would think if they looked outside their window right now, but I flap harder and watch the windows move by as I quickly gained altitude. I soon find myself at the 5th story height and clumsily work a way to move forward towards the window.

I look down (bad idea) and try not to think about the impossibility of what I was doing right now. Right, so I’m fucking FLYING five stories in the air right now. I’m in mid air, held aloft by my own wings. Yeah, I have wings now, and oh yeah, I’m also a fucking horse. Man, what the hell have I done with my life.

The complete and utter insanity of my situation makes me laugh slightly as I approach the windowsill. Thankfully I manage to keep my balance and I grab the frame and very awkwardly stumble through the open window and collapse on the floor. I look around, there is no one in sight, just an empty common room with a hallway running through it and a bank of elevators on the far side. I debate if I should take the elevators, it is 2am, it’s not like anyone is going to see me. I trot over to the elevators and hit the ‘down’ button with my nose. I sit back on my haunches and look up at the lights above the door and wait for the elevator to arrive. Nothing to see here folks, just a pony waiting for an elevator.

A ding announced the elevator’s arrival and I hop inside and press the ground floor. As the elevator doors close I look around and smile when I see this elevator had mirrors on both sides. Looking left or right results in you seeing an infinite number of reflections of yourself. I laugh as I see a million Rainbow Dashes all around me. I do a slow twirl and start making amusing poses to pass the time.

I’m in the middle of standing on my hind legs and batting my mane back and forth with a hoof when the elevator dings and the doors open on the ground floor. I take one last look into the mirror before I decide to leave, but suddenly notice the smell of alcohol and feel the elevator shift as someone steps on.

Fuck. My pupils shrink and I feel the hair on the back of the neck stand up. I look back at at the mirror I see a human behind me stumble into the elevator. It was some random college aged kid in a leather jacket who seemed to have a hard time standing. He was clearly intoxicated, as he could barely keep his eyes open, had drool on his mouth, and his clothing reeked of rum and vomit. After a second’s pause, I realize that he was so wasted he didn’t even acknowledge the fact that I’m in the elevator with him. I slowly hop back down on all fours and try to quietly step off the elevator. I step off and breathe a sigh of relief, “Phew, that was a close call, thankfully this guy was alone and--”

“Matt... hey Matt are you holding the elevator for me bro?” A new voice appears from around the corner and footsteps approach.

Buck, another one. I hear the drunkard in the elevator mumble something to his friend. The footsteps hasten, the owner of the voice will be here in seconds. I bite my lip and glance around left and right. This elevator room was a basic square with nothing to hide behind and the only exit was the hallway where the voice was coming from. My mind panics and gets stuck in a logic loop “Where to hide, where to hide, where to hide, where to--”

“Matt, I can’t believe you did 15 shots in one hour, that’s gotta be some....” The owner of the voice turns the corner and his voice trails off as he looks down and stares at me, the cuddly rainbow pony just standing in the middle of the room.

“What the... what... hey Matt, holy shit bro I am so fucking wasted right now. Dude, I’m seeing shit bro. What the fuck, I’m drunk, not on shrooms...”

I bite my tongue and try to remain motionless. This newcomer was almost as drunk as his friend, hopefully I can play into his idea that I’m just a hallucination of some kind.

I remain completely motionless as the human walks over to me and rubs his eyes before going back to staring at me and speaking to his friend “Matt, this is fucking creepy, I knew I shouldn’t have tried to do a ‘Power Hour’ using shots of Absinthe.”

The human learns forward to look at me, struggling to keep his balance in the meantime. Feeling this was my time to shine I suddenly twist my body and turn to look up at his face. I give my best creepy grin and stare right into his eyes “The purple cookie will shine on Tuesday with a watch made of wax.”

The human’s eyes grow wide and his tongue useless flops around in his mouth as his ethanol-addled brain attempts to process the sentence made by his ‘hallucination’. After a few seconds the human finally swallows and starts to walk backwards away from me “Thank you for the warning. Rainbow colored dog... with wings. I will make note of the purple cookie.”

I continue to bite my tongue to hold back laughter as the human drunkenly stumbles away from me and makes his way to the elevator without looking back. The elevator doors close as I hear the human mumble something about never drinking this much ever again.

I smack my lips together “Well, that was fun. Now, back to the mission at hand.” I go down the hallway that the drunks had came from and find myself in the apartment lobby. I trot over to the main door and hold it open, then wave a hoof in the air as I look over at the bush where I had left Evan. After a few seconds the crimson pony appears in the moonlight and canters over to the doors and slips in.

“Holy shit Dash, you are super lucky. If you would have made it to the lobby 30 seconds sooner you would have run into these two guys!”

I raise an eyebrow “Oh really? Two guys you say?”

Evan nods as we make our way back to the elevators “Yeah, just as you slipped into the window (oh, nice work by the way) I spotted these two drunk guys making their way to the building. One of them stopped to throw up while the other went inside. Then the second guy went in and I was worried you would meet them on the stairs or something.”

“Haha, yea, that would have been awkward alright” I put on a fake smile, I don’t think Evan would approve of how I dealt with the drunks. Oh well, what he doesn't know can’t hurt him. Though, come to think of it, that expression doesn’t really make sense.

The dinging of the elevator brings me out of my thoughts and we step onto the elevator. I hit the third floor button and turn to see Evan staring at the infinite mirror reflections. “Dash, have I ever told you that we look kind of strange. I mean, we don’t look like actual ponies, and we don’t look human.”

“Yes, thank you for the wonderful insight Evan.” I laugh and shake my head, I wasn’t going to get caught up looking at my reflection in this elevator, I learned my lesson the last time I did that in here.

Eventually we arrive on the third floor which, thankfully, is void of people at the moment. We make our way down to 306 and Evan knocks loudly on the door. A few seconds pass and Evan knocks again, I press up close to the door and call out “Fiona, it’s Evan and Dash! Open up.”

Evan starts laughing. I look up at him “What’s so funny?”

He shakes his head “Your mind is really just gone, you know that? ‘Evan and Dash’? She doesn’t know that’s your name.” Evan leans into the door “Open up Fiona, it’s Evan and Dave! Let us in.”

I roll my eyes “Whatever, I told you, I’m done with that name. Now come on, she’s not answering the door, do what you came here to do ‘Muscles.”

Evan sighs and looks both ways, making sure all the other doors are closed. The coast is clear, we are alone. Evan turns around and places one back hoof below the doorknob. He gets a feel for the spot and does a few light practice taps on the area before pulling his leg back and prepares to buck. I await the kick but Evan stays frozen in position.

“What’s the matter? Come on Muscles, let’s go.”

Even grits his teeth “I was just thinking that the last time I kicked something apart it was louder than a cannon blast. This kick is going to wake up a few people, so as soon as this door is open we are going to have to get inside and close the door before someone comes to check on the noise. Hmm, hopefully we can still close the door in some fashion after I kick it open...”

I nod in agreement but then realize something “Hold on Evan, what do you mean ‘the last time I kicked something apart’? When did you have to kick something apart?” Evan goes poker face and starts to blush, so I continue “It was in Chicago wasn’t it?”

Evan is sweating now “uh, uh...” Evan realizes he’s out of options. Oh wait, no he’s not!


I throw my hooves over my ears as the deafening sound blasts it’s way down the hall and the door explodes inwards, slamming into the doorstop. “Jesus Bucking Christ! Evan you were supposed to open the door, not imitate the sound of a concussive grenade!”

Evan gives a sheepish grin “Sorry! I only used one hoof too! I blame the door for being so flimsy!”

I shake my head and we both quickly made our way inside and attempt to close the door. Miraculously, the door actually goes back into place. The inside of the doorframe had a chunk missing from it and the deadbolt was now useless, but at least the door closed and looked healthy from the outside. I toss the chain lock on the door and we make our way inside, keeping the main lights off so people coming to look for the source of the noise won’t think anyone was here.

Evan pokes his head around a corner and heads left “Fiona? Are you here? It’s us, your friends! Sorry we kicked your door down, but please come out.”

I turn right and head down to the other side of the apartment “Fiona, it’s okay if you’re a pony, you’re not alone! I know you’re probably scared, but we can help you.” I enter her bedroom and turn on a small lamp, her bed was made and there was no sign of her anywhere.

Evan calls out from across the apartment “Dash, any luck? She’s not in the living room or kitchen.”

“Same deal with me Evan, she’s not... here” my voice pauses as I see something on the floor. I trot over to it and pick it up in my hooves, sighing as it confirms my suspicions. In my hooves was a feather, a yellow pegasus feather.

I stare at the feather and feel tears well up in my eyes. How could I have abandoned her like this? She was one of my best friends and I didn’t even think to check on her. I mean, I had a hard enough time dealing with all these changes, and I had friends like Jack and Evan with me. But to deal with all this alone? Fiona had no one to turn to and probably even now thinks she is alone in the world. Where is she? How are we supposed to find her?

Evan trots in the room “Hey Dash, looks like she bailed for good. Her thermostat was shut off and her kitchen was emptied of perishable food. I don’t think she planned on coming back.”

I wipe the tears from my eye and trot passed Evan, handing him the yellow feather. “She was one of my best friends Evan, I should have been here for her.”

Evan looks at the feather then turns back to face me as I walk away “Oh come on dude, it’s not like you abandoned her on purpose, you kind of had your own shit to deal with. No one in your situation would have thought to check up on everyone.”

“That’s no excuse Evan. I’m not a girl that leaves her friends behind. I could have just called Fiona, I had plenty of time to make a simple phone call--”

“Dash! Blaming yourself isn’t going to solve this, now come on, you want to find her, think. Where could she have gone? How can we find her?”

I rubbed more forehead. I had absolutely no idea where she was. Fiona’s shy nature means she didn’t talk much about herself. I actually kind of feel bad, I consider her my friend but I don’t really know where her family is from or if she has any relatives in the area. Though wait a second...

I look up with sudden clarity “Diary. Fiona told me she keeps a diary.” I start walking towards the bed.

Evan raises his eyebrows. “Well, that could be helpful I suppose. Hopefully she left it here when she left.”

I flip through some notebooks on her bed stand. “She did, it’s right here.” Under my hoof was an expensive, artsy notebook with Fiona’s soft calligraphy written across the cover ‘MY DIARY’.

I turn on her bed lamp and flip to the last few entries. The last three entries were May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Thinking back, the birthday party was on the 1st, we grew long hair and tails on the 2nd, and on the 3rd we woke up with the wrong genitalia and ended the day almost fully transformed.

Evan trots up behind me and peers over my shoulder “Anything good, what’s it say?”

I cover the page with a hoof “Dude, back off, Fiona wouldn’t want some guys reading her diary, this shit is personal!”

Evan gives me a confused stare and shakes a hoof at me “Oh come on, YOU’RE reading it, let me see what it says!”

I roll my eyes “Fluttershy is my friend, and we’re both girls thank you very much. Girlfriends can have secrets between them, secrets she wouldn’t want some boys to read.”

Evan bites his tongue “You’re really pulling the girl card here huh?”

I shrug my shoulders “Hey, I’m the one who found himself with a vagina. If I have to put up with that, I might as well take the benefits that come with it.”

“Urgh, fine. You read it, just let me know if you find anything.”

“Fair enough” I nod and look down to start reading.

May 1st,

Today was an interesting day, that’s for sure. I just got back from Jack and Dave’s birthday party. I was super happy to see that they both LOVED their birthday presents. I spent a long time on those plushies, but seeing their reactions and smiles just makes it all worth it!

Though I admit, I was a little sad to give away those plushies. They were just so adorable! You know, I should make one for myself one of these days. I mean, it is my birthday today too (happy 25th!). I should really tell my friends that today is my birthday, but ever since we met I saw how excited Jack and Dave got over their shared birthday I just didn’t have the heart to say anything about mine. May 1st was such a big day for those two, I never wanted to take the spotlight away from them. Now that I know them better, I could probably tell them my birthday, but at this point it would just be really awkward. They would wonder why I never told them about my birthday before! Oh, it’s all just not worth the fuss at this point.

But that’s okay, I had a nice birthday lunch with Spirit earlier today, he’s such a good kitty cat! I took him with me to the park and we sat in the sun and I enjoyed a nice sandwich while Spirit had some tuna. Come to think of it, his lunch was actually fancier than fine, but it was really great to see himself enjoy his lunch like that! He’s such a good kitty, I need to attach some pictures to one of these diary entries.

Not today though, I’m getting sleepy from the alcohol I drank at the party. Today was a very fun day but it’s time for me to go to bed.

Until next time,

- Fiona

Hey! I guess I need to add a PS onto what I wrote, I was just changing into my nightgown and I found the most peculiar thing on my legs: Fluttershy’s cutie mark! It looks so real, but who put it there? This just doesn’t make any sense, the mark wasn’t there this morning, and wouldn’t I have felt it if someone put it there during the day? It’s very strange, how, when, and why did these butterflies appear on my skin? I wonder if I should be worried? Who do I even see about something like this? Hmm, hopefully I have answers for you tomorrow diary~~~

I put the diary down and look up with a tear in my eye. It was Fiona’s birthday, and all these years she never said anything. She got us gifts every year and always came to our parties, and we never even thought to ask her when her birthday was. What kind of friends were we?

Evan gives me a strange look “Well? Anything important?”

I sigh “Her birthday was on May 1st and that’s about when she got her cutie mark. So all four of us have the exact same birthday, and we all got our cutie marks then. I’m starting to believe that all these changes must be connected to the fact that we each turned 25.”

Evan stands up and walks over to the window “Fiona was hiding her birthday date from us? Well, can’t say I can blame her, I was never exactly honest with mine. I think you’re right though, this all seems to be connected to us turning 25. Unfortunately, that in itself doesn’t really help us at all. It’s not like we can just get younger in order to change back.”

I nod silently, then begin to skim the next page to see if it has anything useful.

May 2nd,

Oh diary, this has been the worst day of my life! I don’t know what’s happening!

I bumped into Dave earlier today, my mind was so confused about this cutie mark that I must of had ponies on the brain or something. When I spoke to Dave I accidentally called him Dash! It was so embarrassing! He was kind enough not to say anything about it, but I know he heard me. He probably thinks I’m way too into MLP or something, and that was before I started looking like I do right now! Diary, I have pink hair! And a tail! I actually grew a pink horse’s tail! Ahh, what’s happening to me? And as if that wasn’t bad enough, my ears turned yellow and are covered in fur. Oh this is all just so terrible. I can’t even go anywhere and ask for help because people will just think I’m some sort of freak!

This happened at the worst possible time too. After spending the morning worrying about the strange appearance of these pink butterflies on my legs, I decided to go to a tattoo parlor to get the tattoo removed. I called a local parlor and they told me that they had an opening that evening at 5pm. I gave them my contact information and told them I would be there. Then I had lunch with Spirit and while washing my hands I realized my hair was pink and several feet longer than it is supposed to be! At the time I was worried about that, but in hindsight I’m pretty sure that’s the least of my problems!

I was still curious about this cutie mark thing so before I went to the tattoo parlor I spent some time online searching if anyone else had this happen to them. Strangely enough, on Twitter there was a result to the search I did. There was a single post made today by someone called ‘mlp4evar’ and it read “Woke up with a Cutie Mark today! I’m confused, but happy! #mlp #bizarre” I sent him a message asking what he meant by his tweet, hoping that maybe he could help me.

In the evening I went to the tattoo parlor. Diary, this was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I show up at 5pm and met the guy as planned. I then change into a bikini I had with me so he could have access to my legs to get at the tattoo. I lie flat on my stomach and he starts working on my left thigh. I feel the pain of him doing his work to remove the tattoo, but after a few minutes he stops working and steps away from me. He gets angry and starts asking what kind of trick I was trying to pull on him and if I was trying to discredit his store. Confused, I look back and see my full tattoo still there. The man yells at me saying the tattoo wasn’t going away like it should and that I must have done something strange to make it impossible to remove. He was demanding to know what sort of trick I was trying to pull on him.

I try telling him I didn’t do anything and he starts to yell at me again but then suddenly stops yelling and just stares at my lower back. I ask him what’s wrong and he drops his tools and points at my rear. I turn around and that’s when I found out I had grown a tail. Right above my bikini line there was a large, fluffy, pink horse’s tail. I scream and the tattoo guy starts throwing things at me and tells me to get out of his store, saying that thing wasn’t there a few minutes ago, and that I clearly wasn’t human. I didn’t even have time to grab my clothes, I ran out to my car in my bikini and drove home full of tears and confusion over what was happening to me.

I finally got home and found my ears had changed as well. I would have cried over that, but I think my eyes were out of tears at that point in the day. I didn’t feel like eating dinner so I just went to my computer looking for good news. I did have one message waiting for me, the person from Twitter had replied, he told me his cutie mark post was a joke and that he was just kidding.

Great, so now I’m completely alone and even more lost than I was yesterday when I found the cutie mark. Diary, how could this get any worse?

- Fiona

I wince reading that last line. I knew it was most certainly going to get worse for poor Fiona. I turn to Evan “Not much in that chapter that can help us Evan, it’s just about Fiona going through hell.”

Evan frowns “Yea I can imagine, poor girl. Well, hopefully it has a happy ending.”

I look down at the page, the paper was spattered with tears, I don’t think Evan was going to get his wish.

May 3rd,

Diary, my entire life is over. Nothing makes sense anymore, and I’m so scared. I woke up with hooves. Hooves! What am I, some sort of wild animal? I mean I like ponies and I always loved animals, but I don’t want to become one! I couldn’t look at my body anymore, I spent the whole day wrapped under a blanket hiding from myself. What did I do to deserve this? I was always kind to everyone, why am I the one who has to suffer? I just wish I knew what was going on, I spent the entire day looking stuff up online but I haven’t had very much luck finding anything.

If there is any silver lining in this, I seem to be closer to Spirit. My cat hasn’t left my side and I feel like I can practically hear his thoughts. He can’t help me though, I don’t know if anyone can help me anymore. Maybe it’s time I just run away from everyone and everything and go to the glen. That won’t solve anything though, I need help, I need someone to talk to about this!

That guy from the tattoo parlor certainly isn’t helping things either. He keeps calling me and leaving messages on my phone, calling me a freak and saying he’s going to report me to the police or something. I’m so scared, as if I didn’t have enough to deal with without that creep on my back! I disconnected my phone but it’s probably only a matter of time until he finds my address. I need to get out of here, but where can I go? I don’t have any close family members around here.

I think I’m going to go meet Dave. He lives nearby and he’s a great friend. He might freak out at first seeing someone like me appear at his door, but if I tell him who I am I bet he would help me. I really hope he does, he’s the only one in the city I can count on right now. If he doesn’t help me... well, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Well, this is it diary, I leave you here with the rest of my human belongings. It’s 1am on May 4th right now it’s getting really hard to use my fingers. I think I’ll wait for this transformation to finish, and then in the middle of the night I will go to Dave’s.

Goodbye forever,


The notebook slides off my lap and I hold my hooves over my closed eyes as tears run down my arms. God damn it, this is all my fault.

Evan sees my tears and walks over to put a hoof on my shoulder “Dash, what did she write? Where is she?”

I look up and blink through the tears “She’s gone Evan, she turned into Fluttershy and got scared. Last night she left her apartment to try and find me. She ran all the way to my place and put all her hope into finding me, but I wasn’t there, we were at the farm.” I let out a slow sigh “She needed me Evan, she said I was the only one she could trust... and I wasn’t there for her.”

Evan sits down next to me “Well, that explains the hoof mark on your door. She probably entered the building like we did and pounded on your door with her hooves, but no one was there. God damn, what if someone else heard her knocking and opened their door? What if someone else saw her? I hope she got out okay.”

I let out another sigh “Evan, what the hell are we going to do? How can we find her? She made one mention of a ‘glen’ but that means absolutely nothing to me. She could be anywhere in the state by now, and that’s the best case scenario assuming she’s made it out of the city before someone captured her.”

Evan bites his lip “I don’t know Dash, I don’t know. We’re going to have to think of something tomorrow.”

I lower my head in defeat. Evan was right, we needed sleep. It was close to 3am and we were not immune to the effects of being tired. “Fine, we’ll sleep here tonight. Tomorrow we continue our search.”

Evan yawns “Alright, well, sweet dreams Dash, dibs this side of the bed.”

I wash up and return to the bedroom to see Evan fast asleep on Fiona’s bed. How could he just go to sleep without washing his face or rinsing his mouth? Looks like girls were right all along, boys were pretty disgusting. I sigh and take up residence on the other side of the bed, closing my eyes and having a recurring dream quickly take hold in my mind.


Lighting filled the distant sky, it was about half an hour to midnight and I was flying across the night sky at an unbelievable speed. The lights of towns below me were just a blur as I streaked towards Canterlot. I needed to talk to Celestia and Luna as soon as possible. Something was going on back in Ponyville and I needed all the help I could get. Twilight was missing since morning and Fluttershy was telling me all her critters got spooked and left town. By lunchtime Rarity and Pinkie were missing so I went to ask Applejack for help, only to find her and Big Mac missing and destruction all around the farm. I raced back to Fluttershy’s place but it was too late, her cottage was destroyed and she was gone.

Tears formed in my eyes and rage coursed through my veins. There was something going on here and it reeked of Discord. I didn’t know what he had planned, all I know is my friends were disappearing one by one and it was up to me to save them. I just have to get to Canterlot and inform the Princesses and the other Wonderbolts. Then I can go after Discord and personally beat some answers out of him.

“And just how exactly are you going to do that Rainbow?”

Startled, I looked towards the voice, I was traveling at speeds previously unheard of to ponykind, but Discord was a few feet away. He was lying on his back and doing slow swimming strokes, yet somehow was sailing through the air just as fast as I was.

I cut my speed in half, then turn to snarl at Discord “You’ll never get away with this Discord! Bring all my friends back!”

Discord just turned and laughed. “Ah, the ever so bold and testy Rainbow Dash. I’m half tempted to turn you into one of those small yippy dogs, but alas, I already made this big plan and I wanna stick to it.”

I grit my teeth, he’s not making any sense, but I know he did something to my friends and I wasn’t going to let him get away. We were still both sailing forward at a pretty rapid pace, but in the blink of an eye I accelerate forward while twisting left. All my forward velocity gets shifted into the horizontal, my full speed and body mass is channeled into my hoof which slams into Discord’s face.

Discord lets out a howl of pain but a second later a wave of magic blasts me flying away. I regain my balance and turn back to face Discord, who spits out his broken tooth, only for a new one to grow back in it’s place. “Why that was rude Rainbow, I thought we were having a pleasant conversation.”

“There’s more where that came from Discord.” I snarl and start flapping to prepare for another dive, only for Discord to materialize next to me and backhand my face.

“ENOUGH! You don’t get it, do you Rainbow. It’s over! It’s all already over! This time I win, this time there is no happy ending. When I last took over I lowered my guard and let you six use your elements... but that isn’t happening this time”

“WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE OTHERS!” I yelled as I once again try to buck him in the face, but this time he was ready and just teleported away before my hooves could make contact.

“My my my, testy as always little Rainbow, fighting to the very end. Like I was saying, after you six brought me back from stone I knew I had to be more careful this time. You really did make it too easy though, did you honestly think Fluttershy could reform CHAOS ITSELF! And you thought she did it in less than half an hour too! Ha ha ha, and to think they call me the crazy one.”

I flew up to get another strike at him. “I’ll ask you one last time Discord, WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY FRIENDS!”

Discord suddenly appeared behind me “Well you’re right about one thing. It is probably going to be the last time you ask me that, simply because it will be the last question you ever ask anyone. You see my little pony, Celestia had stopped me from casting spells on the Elements of Harmony. But that doesn’t stop me from casting magic... on you.” Discord began to cackle and his hands began to glow. “The Elements are not much use if you six aren’t here to use them are they?”

I flew up and then turned around in mid air to enter a dive. I was going to slam right into his smug little face. He would bring my friends back when I was done with him, I was closing in on him now, just seconds away from striking. He’s not even trying to dodge my attack, he’s just floating there, staring at me with his hands still glowing. “He can’t beat me, I’m the fastest flyer in all of Equestria. I’m the Captain of the Wonderbolts. I’m the Element of Loyalty. I AM RAINBOW DA--”

Everything stops and my vision fades to white faster than I can even blink. I feel all my senses go soft and fuzzy as I violently tumble through nothingness, Discord’s laugh fills the background and then his voice pieces the white haze.

For Five Score! Divided by Four!

Your memories removed, your body confused!

For your insolence you must pay,

Cast off to a land far far away!

To scatter the six, just the start of my tricks!

Your mind shall be weak, your outlooks bleak!

Forgetting everything and living like a fool,

You have all lost, now no one can stop my rule!


My eyes shoot open and Fiona’s ceiling is above me. I sit up and look around for a moment, the darkness in the window told me it was still the middle of the night. Why was I awake? I dreamed about the season finale again, only this time I think I actually remembered the whole thing. I usually only remember bits and pieces, but not this time. I could picture the entire scene and recall every word. I run over the dialog in my head and the meaning of Discord’s curse makes my blood run cold. The meaning of his curse was clear, and a very strange and horrific truth dawns upon me:

That wasn’t a dream.

11. Home.

View Online

Chapter 11: Home.

“No. No, it’s just a dream, it’s just a dream.” I start to panic and hop off the bed and pace around the room talking to myself “Just a dream, just a dream...” but I’m fully aware that it wasn’t just a dream. It makes too much sense, it explains my past, it explains why we transformed, it... it... “No!”

I feel my blood pounding in my ears and my chest tightens up as I start to hyperventilate. My entire life was a lie, everything I know, all my memories, all my friends. This life was never supposed to happen?! What does that make me? Everything that had made me who I am, all my memories and traits, are they really all just the side product of a Discordian punishment?

I wanted to scream, I wanted to punch holes in the walls, I wanted to just run away from everything. But I did none of those things. I just slowly fell to the ground, and I wept. Tears began to flow like a river as I thought of how I had joked about preferring to be a pony, and how I wished I was actually Rainbow Dash. Well, look where fate has put me, turns out I’m not only Rainbow Dash, but I always was. I shake my head, this isn’t what I want though, not like this. Not like this. Being a pony was supposed to be new and fun, not a realization that my entire life has been a lie.

Not only does this mean my life has shattered, but what about Equestria? What kind of cruel joke is it to learn that Equestria is real (yay), but at the same time you realize that it has been completely ruined, and I was one of the ones to blame for its destruction. Dash was of the ones tasked to defend it, one of the fiercest members of the mane six, but Dash had failed. I had failed. I didn’t save my friends, I didn’t stop Discord, and god knows what happened to everyone else in Equestria over the past 25 years.

Through my tears I look down at my body, the fact that I was actually Dash meant that Rainbow Dash herself had been pretty much wiped from existence. All her skills, all her abilities. I certainly don’t know how to do any of the amazing things she could do, and if I don’t know how to do them, no one does. I cried for Dash losing all her memories. I cried for the loss of Equestria. I cried for my entire life being a lie. And I cried for the fact that I knew I would never be human again.

I don’t know how long I sat there, but eventually my ears picked up a shuffling noise coming from the bed. Evan poked his head out “Dash, why are you on the floor?”

I turn my head to look at him, but couldn’t bring myself to say anything. Evan’s eyes open wide upon seeing my face full of tears“Jesus, what’s wrong? What happened?” The remnants of sleep leave Evan’s body and he fears the worst as he jumps off the bed. “Talk me to Dash, what happened?!”

I wipe the tears away from my eyes with my fetlocks “I figured it out Evan.”

Evan leans closer “What did you figure out? Do you know where Fiona is? How to change back? What happened with--”

I cut him off, “Us. I figured us out. Why this all happened.”

Evan grins, not exactly the expression I was expecting. He sits back and speaks up “Hey that’s great, so how do we change back? How do we go back to our original bodies?”

I bite my tongue “We just did.”

I shake my head sadly and wave a hoof at his body and mine. Silence falls between us as Evan wraps his brain around what I’m saying, “What... no, Dash that doesn’t make any sense. I know when I was born and I know growing here and--”

I grit my teeth and cut him off “Evan!”

“What?” Evan looks confused, but I know how I can convince him. If I had those dreams, so did he. It’s just a matter of bringing the memory to the surface.

I clear my throat, “For five score, divided by four...

I pause, Evan opens his mouth “...your memories removed, your body confused”?

I nod and give him another line “For your insolence you must pay.

Evan stares at me “Cast off to a land far far away-- Dash what the hell is this? What’s this from?”

I chew on my lip for a moment “What’s it from? It’s from Evan’s very first birthday. Well technically, from just a few seconds before your very first birthday.”

“I don’t follow.”

I continue “It’s from Evan’s birthday, it’s from your dreams, and it’s the very last thing Big Mac experienced 25 years ago.” Evan remains still, so I continue “Remember how you told me the season finale ends Evan? That was never in the show! It’s not an episode, it’s a memory. Remember how that all played out? Discord attacks two siblings on a farm. The older brother was trying to save his sister, Discord cast a spell on him first. As a result he--you-- arrived on Earth a few minutes before your sister did. Don’t you get it?”

In Evan’s mind memories of the event begin to come together like a zipper being closed. Bits and pieces of random thought coalesce into one solid line, memories of those last moments in Equestria come together. Evan’s legs wobble “I... remember fighting him on the farm, I remember the feeling of adrenaline and fear that my sister wasn’t going to get away.”

I sigh, “Well, sorry, but she didn’t get away. But hey, at least you two remained family.”

Evan slumps down and joins me in wallowing on the floor in disbelief. He picks up one of his hooves and just stares at it for a while, “Well this sort of changes everything then doesn’t it?”

I sigh and look over at him. Poor guy, I mean, I knew I was taking this pretty hard and I had actually liked being a pony and being Rainbow Dash. Evan on the other hand...

I give a weak smile “It doesn’t change anything Evan, we still are who we are, and we still have to find Fiona and get back at the person who did this to us.”

Evan doesn’t move “Oh, great, four ponies are going to try and get back at what, the god of chaos? Even if we could find him and he would agree to fight us, Dash he beat all of us when we were in our prime! We are horribly incapable now! You can barely fly and I can’t even run in a straight line.”

I nudge him in the shoulder “Hey, come on, what’s the worst that could happen? Is he going to turn us into humans for another 25 years?”

Evan turns to look at me “Well he could turn us into regular farm horses or something.”

I frown “Yea I guess, he sort of already warned us about that with the whole saying about ‘our minds shall be weak, and our outlooks bleak’ it would probably be easy for him to make our minds even weaker and make us think we were animals or something. But, you know, as long as we stick together we should be fine.”

Evan stands up and his eyes go wide “Dash... when you were on the farm did you ever go in the stables?”

I look over at him “Yea Jack showed me around before we changed, it felt a little strange but kind of calming to be in there.”

Evan quickly moves to the desk and fumbles with something as he speaks up “When I arrived on the farm I felt this really strong desire to go in there and just hang out with the horses. I felt like if I went in there everything would be calm and alright. But I didn’t do it because something felt strange about it, and because I knew you guys were probably home...”

My eyes go wide as I follow his train of thought. “Jack is there all alone...”

Evan is staring at an object on the desk, waiting for something “...and Jack was really depressed and was looking for an escape from everything.”

My heart drops “And when we called her, I was pretty sure I heard farm animals in the background...”

“...AND JACK ISN'T ANSWERING HER PHONE ANYMORE.” Evan looks up from the cell phone in horror, now that I listen I can just make out the sound of voicemail coming through the speakers.

The blood drains from my face “Oh shit, you don’t think...”

Evan looks at no one in particular “We left her all alone, and her mind was weak...”

Evan and I both realize what we have to do, but Evan moves first. He takes off in a dead run, leaping out of the bedroom and down the hallway. The apartment door was at the end of the hall and he doesn’t even stop to open it, he just throws his shoulder into it and fucking breaks the door open as wooden splinters fly all over the place.

I want to tell him to calm down, I want to ask why the hell he didn’t just take the five seconds to open the door, I wanted to ask him to use some subtly so we wouldn’t be seen or heard, but there was no time. We had to get back to the farm as soon as possible. I bolt out the door after him, hooves clopping loudly down the hallway and through the stairwell as I ran. If the exploding door didn’t wake up the apartment, the sound of two horses sprinting through the apartment probably did. I leap out the front door and see Evan already halfway across the parking lot, the sun just starting to rise on the horizon. I didn’t see any humans around, but the chances of someone seeing us from a window are probably pretty high.

I sprint after Evan and catch up to him, still a little amazed at how fast ponies can gallop. We weren’t exactly racehorses, but we were sailing down these streets probably faster than the cars were legally allowed to go. After a few blocks the streets start to open up and we enter the suburbs. With the buildings not as tall here I get a clear view of the sky. A part of my brain speaks up You know, if you are running somewhere, there are faster ways of travel...

I look up at the sky again, this was hardly a time for practice, but there was no denying it would be faster. I turn towards Evan as we ran “Evan, I’ll meet you there, okay?” He nods and after I take few deep breathes and flex my wings I leap into the air.

At first I slow down because I wasn’t running anymore, but then my wings start to flap in earnest and I build altitude and speed. I rise fifty, seventy, one hundred feet in the air while still building my forward velocity. I soon find myself passing Evan in speed and still climbing in the air. Just a little bit higher, come on, a little bit more. I look around, I was several hundred feet in the air, right, this should do it for now. I take a deep breath and stop flapping my wings and instead angle them downwards into a shallow dive.

The effect is immediate and I take off like someone shot me out of a bow. “Aahhhhhhh” Wind whistles loudly as I start to fall while accelerating forward at a ridiculous pace. I squint my eyes against the cold wind and make out the outline of the Smith farm a dozen miles away, at this speed it really won’t take long at all. I smile for a moment, forgetting the worries on my mind and just enjoying the thrill of flying this fast. I lost a lot of altitude but I was now flying pretty much horizontal to the ground and moving quite a bit faster than I ever went in a car.

Eventually I slowed down enough and lost enough altitude that I had to go back to flapping my wings and building altitude and speed again. I look behind me, there was probably three miles of forest between Evan and I, looks like I would get to the farm a few minutes before Evan did, hopefully I won’t be the one that has to tell him that his brother was currently living the life of a farm animal. My mind goes mad with worry, images of Jack flash before my eyes. I picture her in the stables, she's on the side with the stallions for some reason. The stallions bite her tail and playfully nip at her ears, then she let's out a bestial whinny and neighs as her cutie mark slowly vanishes and she gradually turns into an actual horse. I shake my head to clear away the terrible images, cursing myself for even thinking of such things. I grit my teeth and flap my wings harder “Hold on Jack...”

~~~~ 9 hours ago on the farm~~~~

I stared down at the phone and Dash’s voice came through “Look, Jack, we’ll call you once we get a hold of Fiona, okay?” I nod to no one in particular and say my farewells to Dash and Evan as they hang up on their end. They had called to tell me they had finally arrived in town. Well, I enjoyed hearing my brother’s voice, it was nice of them to call. Though now that the phone call is over, I don’t really remember what I was doing before they called me...

I smack my lips slightly and look around at my surroundings. “Uh... why the heck am I in here?” I spin around and confirm that, yes, I am in the stables in the area filled with all our mares. I look down at my body, I was covered in mud and bits of straw. What’s worse I absolutely reek of animal scent and sweat. I twist around and look at my back hooves “Oh what the heck, I stepped in horse crap! Urgh, it was probably mine, I must have gone to the bathroom right where I was standing.”

I feel like I’m going to throw up. It was only 11pm, Dash and Evan left just four hours ago. How was I that far gone in just four hours? Well, good thing I got that phone call from Evan, I shudder to think what I would have done if given more time.

“Right, so I’ll be leaving now.” I make my way to the gate that contains the mares and I unhitch it and step outside into the common area, then close the gate behind me. Satisfied I turn around, the gate to the stallions was across from me and the exit was to my left. I take one step to the left, only to feel a blanket fall over my mind ‘Now now, what’s the rush? You’re lucid now, you can stay a bit longer, it’s safe...

I look around and see no one, where the hell are these thoughts coming from, why would I want to-- It’s nice here with the horses. Nothing to worry about, no one to yell at you, just tasty food and lots of animals that welcome you here.

The voice had a point, what harm would it be if I just spent the night here? I’m already really dirty, I might as well sleep with all the other dirty animals... Because that’s what you are, one of them. Now how about you open up that gate and get back in there with your peers...

I nod and absent mindedly walk towards the closest gate, which happened to be the one for the stallions. I open the latch and step inside. There we go, that’s much better, now why don't you go over to those nice stallions over there? I'm sure they will welcome you into their family...

I swallow and nod, looking over at the stallions. Most of them are asleep but a few of them are looking over at me. They can undoubtedly smell me already, I was covered in mare scent from the other side of the stables.

My eyelids feel heavy and it’s getting hard to think properly. I give out an series of neighs and take a step towards the stallions. The voice says some more words to me but I don’t understand them at all. I don't know why it thought I could understand it, I don’t speak the language of humans.

I lick my lips as give out another natural neigh as I step towards the stallions, resigned to my fate as a breeding mare to join the ranks of all the other mares here. Earlier today Evan had yelled at me, he said I was nothing but a mare looking to live in the stables, well isn’t that funny, turns out...

I freeze, wait a second, Evan apologized to me. I blink a few times and try to shake the fog from my mind. Evan said he was incredibly sorry, he was in tears... Hey! What are you doing, forget him, you’re a mare now, act like it!

The fog starts falling over my eyes again but I shake my head “No, stop, hold on a second...” the fog pushes harder. ‘I said you’re a mare SO ACT LIKE IT’. I grit my teeth and clench my muscles “I said no.” The fog still pushes ‘USELESS MARE. NOW GO GET RU--

NO!I yell and buck as hard as I can against the metal gate behind me, ripping it clean off its hinges with a terrifying screech that fills the stables. Horses on both sides of the stables neigh loudly and back away from the loud blast. I breathe heavily through my nose, my muscles trembling in rage. I announce to no one in particular “I won’t listen to you! I am NOT a useless mare, and my brother and I won’t rest until we get back at whoever did this to us!!”

I look around and stamp away from the stallion’s area. The gate holding the stallions in their section was completely ruined, but as long as the mare’s gate remained closed it shouldn’t be a problem. I exit the stables and go outside into the clear night, closing the door behind me. I breathe in the clear night air, and the scent of hay and stallions finally leave my nostrils. I shake my head once more, what the hell happened to me in there? Well, the horses had food and drink for at least 24 hours, I wasn’t going back in there until Evan and Dash were here, it wasn’t safe to go alone.

I walk over to the outdoor shower that Dash and I had used earlier in the day, and I do my best to clean myself off. It’s not perfect, but at least I’m not covered in animal scent anymore. With no good way to dry off, and not wanting to track mud all over the house, I decide to sleep outside on the grass in front of the house. I was plenty warm with this fur coat, so sleeping outside would be relaxing tonight. Well it would have been, if I wasn’t woken up at 7am by what sounded like a fucking incoming missile.

~~~~ 30 seconds ago ~~~~

“Hold on Jack, I’m almost there!” I mutter to myself as I wipe the sweat from my brow. Flying this fast, for this long, was hard work. No wonder Dash in the show was always napping, you get really tired flying like this.

I can see the buildings on the farm now, I take a deep breath and enter my final dive. As I streak downwards I squint and search the area for signs of AJ, not really paying attention to my speed I just aim for the house and adjust my altitude so I will meet the ground right on that patch of land. Wait a second, there’s a shape of orange fur right there! It’s Applejack, she’s sleeping right there! She’s okay!

I grin as I get closer and closer, I’m only about 10 feet off the ground now and I should be able to touch down right along side her. I was moving astonishingly fast, well over 100mph and coming in for a landing.

I blink, wait a second, I’m not a plane, I can’t land this fast. “Oh fuck.” I’m moving far too fast to start flapping my wings, that will probably just result in me tumbling out of control. I glance around, oh hey, there’s Applejack 5 feet below me, she looks surprised. Hmm, where to land? Ah ha! A pond! Let’s hope it’s deep enough! I aim for the middle of the water and attempt to slow down as I approach it, it sort of works and I end up hitting the surface going about 60mph.


I black out for a few seconds as i hit the water, but I soon come to and find myself floating near the edge of the pond. I doggie paddle to land and hop out, shaking my coat dry. AJ runs down to meet me.

“Holy fucking hell, Dash, you can fly!? That was amazing! When did you learn how t--”

AJ’s question is cut short as I glomp her and bring her to the ground in a bone crushing hug “Jack, I’m so happy you’re alright!”

She slowly pushes me away “Of course I’m alright, now would you mind telling me how you learned to fly, and why you practically killed yourself dive bombing me? Oh, and did you find Fiona?”

I take a deep breath “Well, not exactly, but we did get a lot of information about what happened to her, and what happened to us...”

Applejack raises her eyebrow “And the flying?”

I shrug “Oh, that? Meh, it just sort of happened. Evan just dared me to try it and I got a hang for it. No big deal right?” I hold back a smile.

AJ stares at me “No big deal? Dude. YOU CAN FLY. What the fuck man, you’re the envy of most of mankind.”

I break out in a grin “Eeyup, what can I say, I’m pretty fucking awesome. But I thought we already knew that?”

AJ chuckles “Should have known you set me up for that one. Speaking of ‘eeyups’ though, where’s my brother?”

I gesture with my head, pointing at the woods behind us “He’s on his way. Should be here in a minute or two. We should get breakfast going, Mac and I haven’t eaten in quite a while.”

AJ raises an eyebrow “Mac? Evan hates ponies, he would kill you if he knew you actually referred to him as Big Mac”

I bit my lip, I guess now that I knew about this Discord thing it didn’t make much sense to keep on calling him Evan. But still, Jack wasn’t aware of all that stuff yet. Urgh, I already had to give this Discord talk to Mac, I really wasn’t in the mood to explain everything to Jack now. Time to delay the truth slightly “Uh yea, Evan sort of warmed up to ponies I guess.” I shrug, that was actually pretty true.

She smiles but looks at me suspiciously “He warmed up to ponies, or he warmed up to you?”

I bite my tongue and rub the back of my neck with a hoof. “Umm, both?”

AJ raises an eyebrow as she grins “What exactly did you two do when you were alone out there?”

I blush “No see that’s not what I meant. He just--”

“Aw shoot girl, your face is redder than a pair of apples come harvest time.”

“That’s just because... wait, what did you just say?” This was most strange, that was a very ‘Applejack’ like thing for her to say. Did she do it on purpose?

Jack opens her mouth to reply but suddenly gets distracted by the red shape running towards us. I turn around and see Big Mac galloping across the field towards us, clearly tired from his run but happy to see us.

I turn to AJ, already having forgotten about the conversation we just had. “So, Mac is going to want to talk to you, I’ll go get breakfast ready while you two catch up.”

Jack nods and trots towards her brother, who eagerly embraces her with open hooves as tears fill his eyes.


My cooking skills hadn’t really improved much, but I was able to fill up three bowls of alfalfa and, amazingly, pour three mugs of orange juice without dropping the bottle. Sure I spilled like 1/3 of the juice on the floor, but I just licked that all up and no one will be the wiser. AJ and Mac were still talking outside so I took a seat at the table and happily swished my tail back and forth as I munched away on the greens. It was nice to be back here on the farm, lots of food I could actually eat and I didn’t have to worry about neighbors catching a view of us.

I look up from my food as I hear the door open, AJ and Mac enter as Mac finishes telling the story of how we snuck into Fiona’s apartment. I wave a hoof at them and Mac smiles as he sees me “Nice flying Dash, you really fucking took off back there.”

“Thanks Mac, you got here pretty quick yourself, especially considering you had to run, what, 20 miles straight? That’s nuts!”

AJ interrupts our circlejerk “Whoa, whoa, so Dash wasn’t kidding before, Evan do you really go by ‘Mac’ now? What the hell?”

I shut my mouth, Mac turns to his sister “Uh, yea, I guess I do. I mean...”

I look at Mac “Oh, you haven’t told her about the, uh, the ‘dream thing’ yet I take it?”

“What dream thing?” Jack is looking back and forth between us.

“Nope, haven’t gotten to it yet, she wanted to hear about Fiona first.” Mac takes a mouth full of alfalfa and wipes his hooves on his chest.

I nod and take a sip of orange juice “Did you ask her about the glen?”

“Guys, what dream thing? What glen?” AJ is getting impatient.

Mac shakes his head at me and speaks through a mouth full of food “We were just getting to that part when we got in.”

“Ah, I see, well we should probably start with that.” I take another bite of food myself.

AJ looks ready to kill someone.

Evan nods happily “Oh yes, I agree. And by the way Dash, this alfalfa! Holy cow this is good stuff! I can’t believe I was giving this away to my animals for so long, it’s the best thing I ever tasted!”

I smile “I know right! I could totally eat this stuff for three meals a day!”

AJ just gives up and facepalms herself using the table.

I look towards the source of the noise “Oh, hey AJ. Mac and I were just talking about you.”

“Buck you.”

I smile “You wouldn’t happen to know where Fiona’s glen is would you?”

Jack lifts the side of her face off the table and looks over at me “You mean the feather’s glen? That section of the forest just south of the town? Lots of birds and other wildlife live there, nature enthusiasts go there from time to time.”

Mac and I both exchange looks and I stand up, "If Fiona escaped, that sounds exactly like the place where she would have run to."

Applejack looks between the two of us “Will someone please tell me wtf is going on?”

Mac looks at his sister “We went to Fiona’s apartment but she was missing. We found her diary, and while it didn’t have much in it, she did mention how she was scared and was thinking of running to 'the glen'. Do you know where this ‘feathers glen’ is?”

Jack scratches her head with a hoof “Yeah it’s like ten miles from here. South of the suburbs and north of the river. It’s a pretty large area actually, it’s like five square miles of dense forest. You can recognize it because the trees there are all oaks.”

I raise an eyebrow “How the hell do you know all this?”

AJ shrugs “In college I had to take this stupid ‘local wildlife and fauna’ class to get my
Agri Science major. The professor talked about it a few times and showed us pictures. But I don’t get it, why would Fiona run there? Why would she be scared?”

I turn to Mac “Really dude, you didn’t tell AJ about... err, Fiona?”

Evan shakes his mane “I was getting to it dude!”

I rub my forehead with a hoof, which is really just as uncomfortable as it sounds. Old habits of hands die hard I guess. “Right, well I’ll go fly to the glen and check it out, you stay here and bring your sister up to speed on everything.”

Mac smiles "Will do, just let me finish this bowl of tasty, tasty alfalfa!"

I roll my eyes and make for the door “AJ, listen to Mac, you have a lot to catch up on!”

Jack looks over at me "The fact that you insist on calling us 'AJ and Mac' is somewhat worrying..."

I turn back and wave a hoof "Yeah, yeah, don't worry, Mac will explain everything."

Have fun with that. I think quietly to myself as I step outside. I liked being honest with Jack, but I really didn't want to be the one to break all that news to her. It was a big pill to swallow, learning that you're going to be a cute orange farm pony for the rest of your life. Oh well, there are worse fates I suppose, Jack could have been Spike!


The location Jack gave me wasn’t that far away, and it was made even shorter by the fact that I was getting pretty decent at this whole flying thing. I took to the skies and half flew, half glided the ten miles or so until I got to the remote area of woods that Jack has described. Sandwiched between the river and a road that ran on the southern edge of the suburbs was a small, dense forest made entirely of oak trees.

I landed in a small clearing and started exploring the area on foot. I immediately began to question my decision to come here alone, it wasn’t like I was scared of the forest (please, I could take on anything in this place) but the fact is that searching an entire forest by yourself is just not very practical. After a good 15 minutes of running around I am really starting to feel like I’m running in circles here. Without a clear view of the sky I’m not even sure which direction I’m facing anymore. “Urgh, screw this, I’m doing this the pegasus way.”

I find a small clearing and launch myself in the air, quickly climbing in altitude until I was well above the tree line. I kill my forward velocity and just hover in place for a moment, looking down at the sea of green treetops. It was a pretty dense forest, I couldn’t really see the ground under the leaves “Hmm, not sure if I thought this one through all the way. I can keep track of where I am now, but at the cost of not being able to see a damn thing below the tree canopy.”

I chew on my lip for a moment, unsure of what to do. I mindlessly gain some more altitude, swimming in an upwards spiral through the air. I scratch my head while I sail upwards, scanning below for any signs of campfire smoke or something that would signify someone was living in the forest below. But there was nothing at all, this plan is fruitless, it’s going to be impossible to find anyone in these woods. I might as well fly home and return with help. I sigh and look down in frustration at my wasted journey.

I blink. “Uh, so I’m really fucking high off the ground.” I am still flapping hard and moving upwards, and I was already pretty far above the cloud layer. I stop my ascent and hover for a moment, taking a deep breath of the thinner, colder air up here. Damn, I could see the whole county from here. It’s crazy that I can fly this high, I expected to stop before I got up here, I guess I’m just used to video games where you bump into an invisible ceiling once you fly so far.

I look up at the sky above me. In real life there is no invisible ceiling, well not until space starts at 100k feet or whatever, but I wasn’t more than a few thousand feet in the air right now. This is just crazy, I can just keep flying higher and higher with practically no limit! I look around me and start flapping harder to ascend into the great above, I felt like a kid swimming further away from shore, only there was no parent watching me and telling me not to be stupid. I flew straight up for another few minutes, noticing the air was getting really quite dry and chilly, I was starting to feel the chill even through my fur. I close my eyes and flap harder and harder to keep flying higher in the ever thinning air. I start to feel the burn. Okay, wings getting pretty tired, I should take a break and do an altitude check. I open my eyes and look around, it’s hard to judge exact altitude without a reference point, but I was pretty fucking high. I mean like really, I’m pretty sure I have been in small planes that flew lower than this.

Realizing my wings needed a break, I slow my rapid ascension flapping down to my gentle “hover speed” which is how I usually give my wings a rest. I do so, but I start to feel the wind whistle past my ears, I was falling quite rapidly “Uh... wings?” I look back, my wings were flapping in their normal hover pace but it wasn’t doing anything. Maybe the air was too thin for this slow flap to support me? I start flapping harder to slow my fall, but my wings were still exhausted, they needed to rest.

Now, a normal, sane person would remain calm here. All I really need to do is just freefall for a bit until the air gets thicker, than I can go back to using my gentle hover flaps to slow my fall and get on the ground. But that’s what a calm person would do, I was falling through the air and in full blown panic mode.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck” The free fall scares the shit out of me and I desperately try to flap my fatigued wings hard enough to maintain lift. But that would be like asking a runner to sprint across the road just after he just ran the 800m dash and was sitting down to rest, my wings needed a moment’s pause and I wouldn’t let them have it. I gave one more hard flap and blinding pain shot across the back, my left wing just cramped up bad. I tried moving it again and I just winced as the pain shot across my back again. I stop flapping and looked around and assessed the situation. Well, that muscle was down for the count, I needed to massage it or something before I would be able to move it. Only one problem coach, I’m currently falling at near terminal velocity 8000 ft off the ground.

I look around me, wind whistling past my ears, the forest below slowly growing larger in size. I once again try to move that wing, nope, nothing but pain. “Well, I’m fucked.” I look back down, I was getting close to the cloud layer, probably only 5000 feet off the ground at this point. “I bet the person that finds my body is going to be really confused, they’ll think a bird h--”


I get the wind knocked out of me as I smash into something soft and it gradually slows my fall. “Ow... this isn’t the ground.” I say in a meek whisper as I try to get my breath back. My eyes had closed from the force of the impact, but it was obvious that something caught me in midair. What could have caught me? Wait, omg, Fluttershy! I open my eyes in jubilant celebration ready to thank Fluttershy for saving me, but wait, there’s no on here. I’m standing on something soft, but firm. I look down and nearly piss myself.

A cloud. I was standing on a fucking cloud. I look around me, I was about twenty feet under the cloud layer, I must have slammed into this cloud and pushed it down here as it slowed my fall. I poke the cloud with a hoof, it’s like a cool, fluffy down blanket suspended in mid air. I cautiously lie down on it “Oh god, this is the most comfortable thing since ever.” I close my eyes. I have the warmth of the sun on my face, and the soft cool cloud keeping me relaxed. I really don’t want to ever get up, but I eventually realize I should probably tend to my wing before the cloud breaks apart or something.

One careful hoof massage later and I can move the wing again, it’s sore as hell but I can fly long enough to make it to the ground. I stay on the cloud for a bit longer, wanting to make sure my wings have a chance to rest. I lie on my stomach with my head and front hooves lazily dangling off the side of the cloud. Out of nowhere a sparrow flies by and stops to land on my front hoof.

I smile at it “Hey little guy, I bet you never thought you would get to rest in mid air” The sparrow just looks around and seems quite content to just sit on my hoof. Curious, I reach back with my other hoof and grab a chunk of cloud. To me it feels as solid as ball of cotton candy, and if I press it against my body it just sort of rolls off it. I look down at the sparrow and toss the cloud chunk at him. The sparrow doesn’t even flinch and the “solid” cloud passes right through him. I guess that is expected, water vapor isn’t supposed to be solid. Well that’s bizarre, I guess clouds really just have a hard on for pegasi or something.

Right, enough distractions. I start to stretch my wings but remain lying down and I look over at the sparrow “Hey buddy, I’m looking for a yellow pony named Fluttershy, have you seen her?” The bird looks at me and tilts his head. “Pony, looks like me but she’s yellow, has pink hair. Know where I can find-- hey!” The bird jumps off my leg and starts flying away.

Before I go I lean down and kiss the cloud for saving my life, then I leap off it and give chase to the sparrow. I catch up to it in a few seconds and soon notice that we are circling down over a small chunk of the forest. I make note of the spot and break away from the bird, spotting a nearby opening in the trees that will allow me to land. I thread the opening in the trees and soon find my hooves on hard ground. I immediately frown, urgh, this ground is really hard, how the heck do people lie down on this surface? How did I stand this surface for twenty five years? I shrug my shoulders, making a note to tell AJ and Mac at how much better pegasus ponies have it being able to sleep on clouds.

I make my way towards the area that the sparrow landed. I mutter to myself “I don’t know why I had put so much faith in a random bird, but sometimes you...” I stop walking and look down, a pony sized hoofprint was visible in the moss in front of me, and it isn’t mine. I feel my pulse quicken, she’s close.

I hasten to a canter and weave between the trees, she’s gotta be around here somewhere, I just have to find her and approach her carefully so she doesn’t get scared. Gotta make sure she doesn’t see me until I tell her I’m Dave and I--

“...Rainbow Dash?” A soft voice cuts across the silence of the forest. I freeze in place and every hair on my mane stands up in shock. I slowly turn to look in the direction of the voice and there she is.

About fifteen feet away, sitting under a tree was Fluttershy. I wanted to curse myself for walking right past her, but I was too much in shock to actually see Fluttershy here in the forest. Her hooves and lower legs were caked with mud and she was wearing a tattered bedsheet as some sort of skirt to cover her rear half. Her mane and tail were a mess of dirt and leaves, and a cat and several random birds were seated around her.

Fluttershy cowers slightly as she watches me walk closer “Rainbow Dash... what... who are you?”

I stop my advance “Fluttershy, oh sorry, Fiona.” I stop and smile “Fiona, it’s me, Dave!”

Fiona’s eyes go wide and her lip starts to tremble “Dave...? I went to your apartment...”

My eyes get watery as I slowly walk towards her “And I was gone! I was at Jack’s farm! Oh Fiona I’m so sorry, I should have been there for you! You were all alone in the city! I should have known something was wrong after you bumped into me that day and called me Dash!” I’m just a few feet away from her and I hold out a hoof with a smile and tears in my eyes.

Fiona looks up at me and jumps forward to hug me ”Oh Dave, I was so scared! I still am! I don’t know what to do, you weren’t there and I had nowhere to go!” I feel wetness on my neck as her tears stream down it, and I feel my cheeks dampen just the same.

I squeeze her tight “We’ve been looking everywhere for you Fiona, we were really worried about you!” I rub a hoof gently over her back “Everything’s going to be fine Fluttershy, we’re here for you. Evan and Jack are back at the farm waiting for us.”

Fiona/Fluttershy pulls away from the hug “Jack and Evan? Are they...”

I nod “Yep, they are ponies too. AJ and Big Mac.”

She frowns “So, Discord got them too huh? That’s really sad.”

I raise an eyebrow “Oh, you figured out the Discord thing?”

Fiona nods “Well, I’ve been out here by myself for awhile, not much else to think about really. Yea I think I understand what happened, Discord banished each of the mane six and sentenced us to live for 25 years on Earth as humans. Now the transformation spell is breaking and we’re destined to live as ponies again. This is all very strange.”

I smirk “Nice work Fiona, it took me and Evan a long time to figure all that out. And hey, how are you holding up? Are you cool with being a pony, do you like being Fluttershy?”

Fiona shrugs and paws at the ground “Oh, it’s okay I guess. I was so very scared and worried at first, but I calmed down a bit once I knew what was going on and who I was becoming. I would really rather not be a pony at all, but if I had to be a pony, I guess being Fluttershy isn’t that bad. She is... a nice pony.”

I lift her chin up with a hoof and look at Fiona straight in her eyes. “Yes, Fluttershy, you are a nice pony. The nicest pony there ever was.”

She blushes “Thanks Dash. Oh, I mean Dave, sorry, it’s just that you really look like Dash and I get--”

I cut her off with a smile “I actually go by Dash now, no need to apologize”

I start walking down the path and Fluttershy follows me. “Really are you sure? Isn’t that confusing?”

I smile and turn back to her “Not really, after all, you understand the Discord thing, I mean, this is my name, right?

Fluttershy tilts her head “If you say so Dash.” We get back to walking, but suddenly Fluttershy lets out a sharp peep. I turn around and see her blushing “Oh Dash, oh my, you’re female now? Wow, that must be... strange for you. I’m sorry you have to go through all this.”

I shrug “Don’t worry about it Flutters, it's not so bad. You remember how much I loved Dash back when I was a human? Well, I guess I’m okay with the idea that I became her, even if it means that I became HER.”

I pause and look around “Oh do you want anything from here? We’re setting up camp on the farm, so anything you want to take with you I would grab before we leave.” Fluttershy nods and disappears for a moment, returning with a small bag slung over her neck. It only seemed to be holding one item, a large black binder.

I stare at it “Flutters, what’s in there? Maps or something?”

She avoids my gaze “No, nothing like that. This is the only human belonging I kept, it’s just my photo album. I filled it with pictures of all my friends. I was in a pretty lonely and sad place ever since I ran away, these pictures are all that I had to keep me going... Is it okay if I bring it?”

My eyes begin to tear up again “Yes Fluttershy, of course it’s okay. It’s always okay.” My lip trembles as we start our walk back to the farm. One thing is for certain, I will break every bone in my body before I let anyone put Fluttershy through something like this again.

12. Four under one roof.

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Chapter 12: Four under one roof.

“Did you have any trouble getting out of the city?” I turn my head to face Fluttershy, knowing Fiona I would get more out of her facial expression than what she would admit to.

She looks down and stares at the ground as she walks “Oh... it wasn’t too bad.”

I furrow my eyebrows “Come on, you can tell me.”

“Oh, what are you going to do, go and beat up everything that was mean to me? Come on Dash, I can handle myself. I had a hard time, but I made it here didn’t I?”

I stop walking and wave a hoof at her “You’re covered in mud and leaves and you look like you haven’t slept in days! You look terrible!”

Fluttershy frowns “Gee, thanks for reminding me.”

I sigh with sympathy “Fluttershy, when’s the last time you ate?”

She looks down at the cat that was following us, as if asking it for the answer “Well, I had a few berries yesterday...”

I bite my lip, my heart couldn’t take this much longer. “Why didn’t you just go to Jack and Evan’s farm? You trust them don’t you?”

Fluttershy shrugs her shoulders slightly “Oh, I do trust them, it’s just, well there are a lot of reasons. I already tried your apartment and no one was there; I didn’t think any of you were ponies; I didn’t want to be a burden; and I didn’t know if anyone would believe me when I told them who I was. I suppose overall I was just scared of all humans. I wanted to be alone to figure this all out.”

I nod “I don’t blame you Fluttershy, after all you had to deal with and after how that tattoo guy treated you, I understand why you wanted to run.”

I keep walking forward, but after a few seconds of silence I turn my head and notice Flutters isn’t there. I spin around and see her standing on the path about ten feet back, just frozen in place. “Uh... Fluttershy? You okay?”

She stares at me, with a twinge of fear in her eye “How did you know about the tattoo parlor? Were you there? Did you talk to him?”

I trot back over to her with a gentle smile “No, no, no, nothing like that! Heavens no, I don’t even know what he looks like! I just read your diary and it--”

I immediately realize what I said and bite my tongue, but it was too late, the transgression was already said. Fluttershy’s facial features soften and she gives me a bemused look. “You... read my diary? My personal diary?”

I rub my neck with my hoof. “Hey is it getting hot out here or was it just me?” My joke falls flat as Fluttershy doesn’t even flinch. I sigh and hang my head “Yes Fluttershy, I’m sorry, I read the last three chapters of your diary to help find clues as to where you were.”

Flutters smiles and tilts her head “No need to apologize, that was very smart of you and I’m glad you found me.”

I breathe out in relief “And if it’s any consolation I didn’t let Big Mac read any of it. I told him it was just between us girls.” I stick out my tongue and Flutters laughs.

“Well, speaking of just between us girls, you didn’t read any of the older entries in the diary did you? Like the one I wrote about, oh, two weeks ago on the day you drove me home after my car broke down. You didn’t read that one?”

I shake my head “Nope, I didn’t read a single word other than the ones on the last three pages.”

Fluttershy appears slightly disappointed “Oh. Well, nevermind then I guess.”

We get back to walking but after a few seconds I realize I missed some social cues there. Did she write about me? What did she say? I contemplate asking her but elect not to bring it up. It didn’t really matter what she thought about the human, male me. I was female now and probably would be for the rest of my life. No sense worrying about what could have been.


The glen was actually pretty far away from the farm when you travel by hoof. I really wanted to just fly back, however I was pretty sure Fluttershy here wasn’t that adept at flight. Walking was fine though, it gave us plenty of time to talk. I didn’t plan on bringing up flight just yet, as it would only distract us from the more important matters at hand. Fate decided otherwise though, as I found myself tripping by a root while walking down an incline. Without even thinking about it, my wings shot open so instead of faceplanting I ended up just hovering half a foot in the air.

I soon regain my bearings and drop back to the Earth, only to turn and see Fluttershy’s eyes grow as wide as dinner plates “You... you can fly? But... I thought that was only in the cartoon. Ponies shouldn’t be able to fly.”

I smile, well, the cat was out of the bag wasn’t it? I hop back up in the air and hover several feet off the ground “Come on Flutters, ponies shouldn’t be able to talk either, but yet, here we are. Flying is super fun too! Now come on, you’re a pegasus, give your wings a few flaps.”

“I’d rather not...”

I fly in a slow circle around her “Come on Fluttershy, just a few flaps, you gotta see what this feels like! It’s so awesome!”

Fluttershy spins in a slow circle so she can keep eye contact with me, almost tripping on her long bed sheet that she was still wearing as a skirt. ”No, what if I fall? You’re pretty high off the ground, if I fell I might break something.”

I look down at the ground, I was so close to it that my tail was bouncing off blades of grass. “Come on Flutters, give me one flap, just one flap. At least show my your wings aren’t broken.”

“I don’t know...”

Out of frustration I bury my face in my hooves, but soon realize the situation we were in and I start to laugh. This was totally something that I could see the real Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy talking about back in Equestria. The way we were acting right now, it was like we really were them. It was like I really was Dash. I just can’t stop smiling at the thought that I was actually starting to pull this off. I had been worried that Dash and all her memories were gone, but maybe that wasn’t the case. Maybe I did have all of her traits locked away somewhere.

Fluttershy meanwhile was slightly confused as to why I was staring off into space and smiling. She was glad that I wasn’t watching her intently though, and with the lessened public pressure on her she decided to give flight a try.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the yellow mare take a deep breath and awkwardly lifts her wings. I turn to watch her maiden flight, and a second later she give a single soft flap, resulting in enough lift to push her about 1cm off the ground for half a second before she landed in exactly the same spot she “took off” from.

Fluttershy’s eyes shoot open “Eeep! Did you see that Dash!? Did you see it? I flew!!”

I land on the ground next to her, wanting to mock her and say that calling that flight would be an insult to the absolute incredible bliss that was pegasus flight. But one look at Fluttershy smiling happily and I immediately lost all resolve. I smile back “Yeah, you did Fluttershy, that was great.”

Flutters bites her lip “It was a little dangerous though.”

I laugh softly “It sure was Flutters, it sure was.”


After some laughter we got back to walking and fairly soon came upon the borders of Mac and AJ’s farm. I start hopping the fence only to hear Fluttershy say something so I turn around.

“Now, Dash is going to show me around the farm now. You stay out here in the forest. If you get scared you can come and find me in the house, okay?” Fluttershy pats the head of her cat before turning back to face me.

I want to comment on the fact that she was talking to a cat, but I decide against it, I guess that’s just Fluttershy’s thing now. In any case, a moment later we hop the fence and make our way across the farmland. I breathe a small sigh of relief to be back on safe ground. I smile as I realize this is exactly how Jack and I felt after getting home from our supply run two days ago. We were so looking forward to just hunkering down and staying safe while we figured this all out. That didn't really happen though, these past 48 hours had been anything but calm and sedentary.

This time though, that should be the case, and we should finally be able to relax. We have Flutters safe and sound, we have both the Apple siblings on good terms with each other, really we are pretty much set. I don’t know any other ponies or feel like we are missing anyone. All my friends are here, all my friends are safe.

But while I felt great to be back on the farm, but from the looks of it Flutters doesn’t quite feel the same way. She looks like she did back when I first saw her in the forest. Fear is in her eyes and they dart back and forth at all the landmarks we pass. I raise an eyebrow at her “You okay Fluttershy? You look really nervous.”

She nods quickly ”There's just, well, a lot of buildings around here. And it's all open here, we don't have any trees to hide behind if someone shows up.”

I looked around me. She was scared about a lot of buildings? “Fluttershy, there are only two buildings, the stables and farm house. It's hardly something to be scared of.”

She says nothing but is still practically shaking in fear of something. I couldn't really tell if this was just how Fluttershy is always going to act in new places, if it was just Fiona still psychologically reeling from days of being harassed by the tattoo guy, or if she was actually worried and nervous that someone might show up and see us.

I give Fluttershy my most reassuring smile “Have you ever been to the farm before Flutters?”

She shakes her head no “I always wanted to, but Jack usually preferred to come into town rather than us go to his place.”

I toss one hoof over her shoulder and wave the other across the horizon. “Well, welcome to the most secure location in all of Iowa. 140 acres of private land, completely enclosed in a fence and surrounded by forest. The only way humans can get here is down the private road, and the Smiths haven't had a visitor here in six years. Not only that, we bought close to two thousand dollars in food and supplies! Do you know what that all means Flutters?”

She looks at me and tilts her head, her ears folded out to the sides “That... you have a lot of food and a big fence?”

I chuckle back “This is true, but it means more than that Fluttershy. It means it's safe here. We're all safe here, and we can stay here as long as we want. This is our home.”

The yellow mare's eyes grow wide “Oh my, are you sure the Apple family is okay with that? I wish I could have brought something or pay them for the food or--”

I wave a hoof “Don't worry about that, you've had a rough enough time these last few days, no one will expect payment from you. The fact that you are here, and you are alright will be payment enough. Now come on, they probably can’t wait to meet you.”

Fluttershy finally relaxes and we trot down the path and arrive at the front door, which I promptly open by grabbing the doorknob with my mouth. Fluttershy laughs behind me “You know, if we do plan on living here, we should probably install pony friendly doors”

I push the door open and chuckle “Yeah, I'll talk to Mac about it.”

A red stallion pokes his head out of the kitchen and looks towards the noise “Talk to me about what?”

I wave a hoof “Hey Mac! We're back, and I found Fluttershy!!

“Hey hey! That's awesome!” Mac excitedly enters the hallways and moves towards us while smiling.

In my periphery I see Fluttershy's eyes go wide and she instinctively takes a half step behind me. A second later she steadies her resolve and steps back forward “Oh hey... Evan?”

Mac slows to a trot and then stops a foot away from us “In the flesh! Well, actually, wait. That phrase doesn't actually work anymore for that name when I’m in this body. Now I guess if you said Big Mac, I could say 'in the flesh' but not really Evan that doesn't--”

I roll my eyes and cut off his rambling “Yes, yes, we get it Mac, you are terribly clever.”

Mac smirks, then casts an eye at Fluttershy before turning back to me “Why is she wearing a bed sheet?”

Fluttershy sets her bag and the floor and turns to answer for herself “Well, I needed a skirt and none of my human ones fit me so...”

Mac casts her a glance “But you don’t need a skirt, ponies don’t wear clothes.”

She lowers her ears a bit “Well, they sometimes do, and I’m not really comfortable with...”

I glare at Mac “Dude, leave her alone, she can wear a skirt if she wants to. If you recall she hasn’t exactly had the best time these last few days.”

Mac bites his lip “Ah, yeah, I forgot who we were dealing with. Sorry about that Fluttershy, my mind still isn’t fully connecting that body to ‘Fiona’. Anyway, welcome to the farm, let me know if you need anything!”

Fluttershy smiles back “I understand your predicament, I mean, I still can’t really believe you’re actually Evan.”

Mac smiles, and I take advantage of the pause to interject “Speaking of ponies, where's your sister?”

Fluttershy pokes her head forward “Wait, you have a sister? I never met her before...”

Mac laughs “Jack is my sister now. Applejack, prettiest mare on this side of the Mississippi.”

The yellow pegasus raises a hoof to her mouth, I turn to Mac and purse my lips “Dude, AJ would kill you if she heard that.”

Mac waves a foreleg at me “Nah, she actually took well to the the whole 'Sup Applejack, oh fyi, you're going to be a cute orange mare for the rest of your life, oh and here’s another fun fact, your entire life was a lie!'”

I bat his hoof away “I don't believe you. Where is she?”

The stallion shrugs “She said she was going for a walk to let it all sink in. Check by the pond, Jack always loved to sit on the shore there.”

I nod and start to turn around, only to remember Fluttershy is behind me and I never really did full introductions. Kind of late for that now though, oh well. I turn back to Mac “So, uh, like I said here's Fluttershy. You two catch up, and show her around the house and such.”

Mac nods, and Fluttershy looks at the ground “Evan, I'm so sorry to hear that your brother is female now. I can't even imagine what that's like for her.”

I start to make my way to the door but continue to hear the conversation as Mac responds “First off, call me Mac. I need to get used to this new name, no use pretending I'm not who I am anymore. And as for AJ, yeah she took it pretty hard at first. Her personality just doesn't really line up with her view of the female stereotype. She has really been feeling a bit at ends in her new gender. But, then we have Dash here who makes a great girl.”

I freeze and turn back around “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Mac smiles mischievously “Oh nothing, I'm just saying, you make a good girl that's all. I think that gender suits you really well.”

I glare “I will fucking stab you and feed your organs to wolves.”

Mac keeps his smiles and turns to Fluttershy “See what I mean? She's just adorable!”

I hear Flutters giggle and I roll my eyes as I turn to step outside and make my way to the pond.


The pond was about a quarter mile away, and after a minute or so I crest the hill and get a view of it. Sure enough, AJ was sitting on the shores just staring off into the calm surface of the water.

I canter down the hill and approach the farm mare. “Hey Applejack, nice weather today isn’t it?”

She looks at me with one eye “Yeah, I guess it is.” After a few moments of silence she speaks up some more “What brings you out here?”

I shrug my shoulders and fall back on my haunches “I just got back. I was wondering how you’re holding up after your brother explained everything to you.”

AJ takes a deep sigh “Well, it sure is something isn’t it.”


She sighs again “It’s not bad though, at least we understand what happened now. The worst part of before was all the unknowns. I wanted to know what happened and why I was a mare all of a sudden. Knowing that I was supposed to be one all along, well, it’s surreal but I guess it makes sense. It’s nice knowing the truth.”

I raise an eyebrow in surprise “So, you’re okay with it then?”

AJ looks across the pond “Well, not really, but I won’t fight it anymore. I think I’m willing to accept who I am. In the meantime though, I’m still trying to figure out what all this means going forward.”

I join her in looking across the water “It is a lot to take in. Trying to figure out our past is something I just get depressed thinking about. No matter how I approach it, all I see are sad truths.”

My friend turns to look at me “I’m not sad or confused about the past, I’m thinking more along the lines of our future.”

I look at her “Oh? How so?”

AJ rubs her hoof on the ground “I mean, let’s look at the options we have, okay? Let’s say best case scenario, and we find and somehow beat Discord. Let’s say he surrenders and let’s us choose what happens next. What do we do then?” AJ pauses her thoughts and turns back to face me “Do you want to just turn back into humans and forget any of this ever happened?”

I frown “Well, no. I mean if we did we would be essentially killing off the mane six and ignoring who we really are.“

AJ nods “Exactly, we can no longer just go back to how we were. Okay, so, do we just decide to go to Equestria and live the lives of the mane six? Just pick up where they left off and integrate into Ponyville? Just forgetting all about our 25 years as humans...”

I finish her depressing thought, “...and abandon everything and everyone we know back on Earth? Yeah I’m not terribly fond of that idea either.”

She throws up a hoof in frustration “Okay, so what options are left? Do we just stay as ponies on Earth, and spend the next 50 years hiding on the farm like outcasts?”

I roll my eyes “That’s obviously a terrible idea,”

AJ hangs her head “I know, I know. That’s my point, I can’t think of a single good outcome here. What the hell are we supposed to do Dash?”

I hit her shoulder playfully with my hoof “What are we supposed to do? I’ll tell you what we’re going to do, we’re not going to sit here and mope around. We’re going to have a purpose.”

Applejack keeps her head facing down “And that is...?”

I bare my teeth. “Revenge.” I see AJ’s ears perk up, so I continue “We’re going to ruthlessly track down Discord and find a way to beat him. Then once we find him we’re going to beat the living shit out of him and make him pay for the atrocities he committed on us and on everyone else. THAT’S what we’re going to do.”

AJ slowly looks up to meet my gaze. That’s when I see it, that fire was back in her eyes, the old Jack I knew was back. The one full of energy and vigor, the one that would go a week without sleep and climb three mountains if that’s what it took to ensure that she would win.

I furrow my brow and return her look. “So what do you say Applejack, my best friend from two separate lives. You in the mood to get serious around here? You want to start planning some sweet, sweet revenge?”

She licks her lips “When do we start?”

I stick out my tongue “Well, I started working like two days ago, you are welcome to join me at any time.”

Applejack punches me in the shoulder lightly “Very funny. Now seriously, you’re pretty much running the show around here. What’s our next play?”

I looked up and tapped my hoof on my chin. I was sort of running the show wasn’t I? I start planning something but soon let out a yawn. Damn, I was really freakin tired. I think I slept three hours out of the past thirty six, and the sun was starting to dip lower on the horizon. This day really flew by. I look back at the orange mare “Well, I know I just got you riled up, but tonight I say we play it easy. You need to meet Fluttershy and we should all sit down and have a nice celebratory feast, then I can go to bed early.”

Applejack laughs “Really? You want a feast? I guess we could do that, what are we celebrating?”

I shake my mane and smile “Us! Never before on this planet have four talking ponies been under one roof! We overcame everything Discord threw at us so far and we reunited all our friends under good terms. Surely that’s cause for celebration.”

A sincere grin breaks out on AJ’s face. “That is cause for celebration isn’t it? Time to break out the cider...”

I raise an eyebrow “Is that by chance, alcoholic cider?”

She laughs “Of course it is! What do you think this is, a kid’s show?”


The four of us began the feast and pleasantries were exchanged between Fluttershy and Applejack. As we ate we discussed some ideas for ways to improve the farm and make it more pony friendly. We also talked a bit about our future plans, but pretty soon we lost the clarity to plan anything serious. Applejack wasn’t kidding about the cider, a few mugs of this stuff was strong enough to knock out a horse, which, coincidentally described us pretty well.

“No, look, look, all I’m saying is we sue Hasbro, right?” Big Mac is standing on top of the table and waving a hoof at us. Wait, what the hell, why was he on the table?

AJ is halfway on the floor, halfway on her chair, but somehow manages to wave a leg at her brother ”Bro, bro, ponies can’t sue companies. That’s, yeah, no.”

Mac lightly slaps his cheeks with his own hoof “But WE’RE the My Little Ponies, right? So, I mean, we can sue them for trademark royalty copyright patent infringements!! Right?!”

I double facehoof, I’m so distracted by the feeling of hooves on my face that I sort of forget what I was going to say. Oh, there it is! “Mac, pray tell me, what are you going to do with your millions you get... from suing a toy company for copying your body?” I go back to feeling my face with hooves. Hehe, pony face has strange proportions.

Mac ponders my question before lifting a leg in the air again “I would buy... all the mares! Get a whole bunch of mares to follow me around.”

The entire room laughs, even Flutters who is sitting there gently rocking back and forth in her chair to a song that apparently only she hears. She turns to Mac “But, wait, you already have a bunch of mares on the farm don’t you? In the stables?”

Mac stares at her, extremely confused “What? We don’t have... oh. Oh! Urgh, no Fluttershy, that’s disgusting! What would I do with actual farm mares?! Come on, I don’t mean horses, I meant ponies like us. You know, the sexy ones.”

Applejack starts to say something but falls the rest of the way off her chair and lands on the floor. “...ow”

I stifle a laugh and reach to take another sip of cider while Fluttershy responds to Mac “I umm, Man, I don’t think you can just buy those.”

Mac starts to answer as he looks around at his feet. He seems confused as to why he was on a table “Oh course you can buy them Fluttershy. Money buys everything!”

Fluttershy starts to roll her eyes, but gets confused halfway through the action and ends up just staring at the ceiling. I put my empty mug down “Big Mac, I think what Yellow Quiet here is trying to say, is that you can’t buy them because they don’t exist. Even if you had billions, where are you going to find a pony mare outside of this room? We’re like, the only ones.”

Mac hops off the table, and stumbles into the wall after he lands. ”Ow! And nope, nope, nope! There are more, we talked about this didn’t we? The rest of the mane six and stuff right? So not only are there more ponies, but there are more mares! This is perfect! We should find them.”

Mac walks towards me, stopping with his head just a few inches away from mine, grinning like only a drunk guy can. I lift a hoof and push him away “Mac, we’re finding the rest of the mane six so we can defeat Discord, not so you can form a harem.”

Big Mac’s grin twists mischievously “What’s the matter Dash, afraid of a little competition as to who gets to hook up with the only stallion?”

I feel my entire face turn red and I swat a hoof at Mac. “You’re drunk!” I turn and announce to the room “HE’S DRUNK!!”.

My announcement was a vain attempt to prevent the other girls from giving much thought to what Mac just said. Thankfully, that much wasn’t even necessary. AJ had fallen asleep right on the floor where she fell, and Fluttershy was still staring at the ceiling and now was humming something quite loudly. I turn back to Mac “You really are drunk dude. I think it’s it’s time for sleepy sleep now.”

Mac smacks his lips “So... will you be joining me in my room or...”

I attempt to backhand him with a hoof, but I miss by about three inches and end up just swatting at air “No! Damn it Mac, we talked about this! Gah, you’re such a guy, all you think about is sex.”

Mac frowns “Aww, well okay, I’mma go to bed then if that’s the case. Goodnight ponies.”

Fluttershy get off her chair and walks over to the sleeping Applejack, nudging her with a hoof until she woke up “Applejack, thank goodness you’re awake. I woke you to tell you it’s time to go to sleep now. You don’t wanna miss out on that with how tired you are today.”

AJ squints and stares at the mare, trying and failing to fully comprehend what Fluttershy just said. Applejack shakes her head and slowly gets up “Well... thank you kindly Flutter of Shy. I wouldn’t want to miss out on sleep...”

I laugh softly as we all leave the dining room and make our way to our rooms. My vision is pretty hazy from all the alcohol I had just imbibed, but I still wave a hoof at the ponies I pass on the way to my room.

I enter my room and leave the door open, smiling as I pass by the mirror next to the bed. I remembered the last time I slept here and I looked my body over in this mirror. That was the last thing I did as a human. I move in front of the mirror and give my body another quick once over. This body fit like a glove and I could feel every hair, every feather on my body. I felt so comfortable like this, it felt so natural. It’s completely insane to think that I have only had this body for less than two days. Well, I guess I had it twenty five years ago, but still.

I shut off the lights and hop up on the bed, spreading out on top of the blankets and closing my eyes. I expected to fall right off into sleep, but that wasn’t happening. This bed felt really hard for some reason. I twist and turn a few more times, but it’s not helping, the surface was just too firm for me to get comfortable. I open my eyes and stare at the dark ceiling, thoughts of sleeping on clouds suddenly filled my mind. Was I really that spoiled? I was only on that cloud for about ten minutes today, yet it's soft cool texture was literally all I was thinking about...

Well okay, that’s not entirely true, that wasn’t all that was thinking about. There was something else, or should I say someone else. I sigh as I realize I couldn’t help but think about Big Mac. There was just something about him that made my mind start to obsess over him every time I closed my eyes. Maybe the frequency of his advances were starting to wear on me.

This was really getting strange though. Part of my mind was seriously starting to consider the possibility of hooking up with him. Like seriously, what the hell brain, I’m not gay, why would I want to hook up with a guy? I cringed as the obvious answer came across my mind “You said it yourself, you’re Rainbow Dash, you always were and always will be, so hooking up with a stallion would actually make you straight...

I grit my teeth and prepare to reply to my brain when my thoughts are suddenly broken by a clinking noise coming from the kitchen. I freeze for a moment and my ears swivel slightly just in time to hear the noise again. There was no doubting it, someone is in the kitchen.

I sit up and then hop off the bed. Who was still up? I saw everyone go to their bedrooms ten minutes ago. I start to ponder about a possible intruder as I make my way into the hallway and slowly creep towards the kitchen and the source of the noise. The kitchen soon comes into view and I see that someone turned on one of the dim lights.

I slowly move closer, staying in the darkness until I get a view of the figure in the middle of the kitchen. A few more steps and... “Big Mac?”

The red stallion doesn’t even turn around, instead he just sighs “Oh, hey Dash.”

I trot over to the table that he was sitting next to, I see a bottle of whisky and a few shot glasses in front of him. I look at his face “Didn’t have enough cider? I’m pretty sure we’re all fairly drunk already.”

Mac leans back “I couldn’t sleep.”

I smirk “Well hell, pour me a glass, I can’t sleep either.”

Mac pours two shots, but pauses before he slides one over to me. He looks me up and down “Actually, Dash, you’re a lightweight. I think you had enough to drink tonight.”

My ears flare out to the sides in a flash of anger “I’m a lightweight? What? Dude, ever since I was 17 years old I was drinking everyone under the table.”

The stallion laughs “That was before you became a girl. And before you became a small pegasus who quite literally weighs half my weight. You know, earth pony master race and everything.”

Oh, he was not getting away with that one. I reach forward and take BOTH shots in my hooves and drink them one right after the other. Gotta defend my pegasi honor and such. I look over at Mac, “Ha! Suck it, I showed you. But wait, who told you about the ‘pony master race’ thing anyway? That’s an inside brony joke.”

Mac pours two more shots. “AJ made a joke about it earlier today. But really Dash, you don’t wanna play this game. I’m twice your size here.” Mac tosses back his shot and I immediately reach forward and take the other one.

I look at Mac, noticing that there were two of him standing over there. And the room was starting to spin, we should probably talk to the carpenters about that. “Mac... why can’t you sleep?”

He pours two more shots and then shrugs. “I don’t know, lots of things on my mind. So much has happened, it’s all coming at us so fast. Our entire world view was destroyed and turned inside out, and it all happened in like four days.”

I nod and we both do another shot. It’s getting hard to stand, even using four legs, so I lean onto Big Mac for support. “Mac, you’re very warm and soft...”

He looks down at me and uses a hoof to brush the mane out of my eyes. “Why did you come to the kitchen Dash?”

I rub my head into the side of his fur. “I was thinking about you Mac. This is all very confusing for me.”

Mac raises his eyebrows “What do you mean?”

Crap, I still wasn’t drunk enough to say what I wanted to say. I move off Mac and lean into the table, grabbing the whisky bottle with both hooves. Mac steps forward “I think you had enough Dash...”

I glance back at him, god damn things were fuzzy in here today. And why was everything in the kitchen spinning around me? “Mac, no, hold on. I need one more drink. If we’re about to do what I think we’re going to do, I’m going to need one more drink.”

Mac raises his eyebrows “What act are you referring to...?”

I grin “We both know Mac, we both know.” I see Mac blush and I lift the whisky bottle up and drink straight from the bottle.

It’s the last thing I remember.


A thunderstorm outside brings me out of my deep sleep. I open my eyes and squint into the darkness. A throbbing headache reminds me of what I was doing before I went to bed, and I glance around me to see what time it was. To my left is an alarm clock, it appears to be 3am. And to my right, sharing a bed with me, is Big Mac. He’s lying on his back and is still fast asleep. I settle back down in my pillow and--

WHAT THE HELL. I sit up and look beside me again, that wasn’t a dream, Big Mac is lying next to me. We’re sharing a bed?! What? Why am I in his bedroom? What the fuck happened last night? Think, think, think.

I tap my forehoof on my head to try and jostle the memories lose. But all I succeed in doing is making my headache worse. I can’t remember anything after I took a swig from the bottle. Well, let’s see, what was I doing at that time? Maybe if I think about my actions leading up to that that, I can just extrapolate from there? Hmm, right, I'm pretty sure I was about to confess my thoughts to Big Mac. Well then, I can guess where that lead...

I close my eyes and facehoof. Well, that’s just fantastic, I think I just unwillingly slept with my best friend's brother. Urgh, what the hell alcohol, what did I ever do to you? I sigh as I look back at the bed and slowly climb back in. No sense running away from it now, if I slept with Mac I might as well face the facts. Hopefully this doesn't become "a thing", I mean, that would be weird, right? I sigh as I close my eyes, but then slowly scoot closer to Mac so I can feel him at my side. It was pretty bizarre, but I had to admit, part of me liked the idea of sharing this bed with him...


I clamber out of bed the next morning and yawn as I look around. Hmm, Mac isn’t in bed, maybe he was getting breakfast or something. I start walking down the hallway towards the kitchen but I pause for a moment as I feel something a little off with my body. I walk by a mirror and take a look, immediately noticing my gut is a little larger than normal “Bleh, I need to cut down on the snacking around here.” Though, oddly enough, I feel really hungry for some reason, much hungrier than usual.

I make my way into the kitchen and find AJ working in the kitchen and the table already piled high with breakfast “Wow AJ, this food looks awesome! And it’s all for me? You’re the best!”

Jack turns and smiles “No problem Dash. Mac told me the news, I figured you were going to need all the food you could get!”

I start scarfing down pancakes “Mac told you the news? What news?”

AJ turns and smiles “About you two! That’s just adorable, you two are made for each other.”

I blush. What the crap, Mac told AJ about last night? What the hell, he never even told ME about it! I look up at AJ “Uh Jack, see we’re not actually...”

AJ cuts me off “Now now, no need to hide it, this is not a time for shame. It’s a time for celebration! I mean, I believe congratulations are in order Dash!”

Alarm bells sound in my head “Wait what? What are you talking about?” Before AJ can reply the door opens and Mac enters.

“Good morning sweetie!” Mac trots over, kissing me right on the lips.

I hold up my hooves in shock “Whoa! Dude, Mac, what the hell man!? Did you just kiss me on the lips?”

AJ just smiles as she looks at us “You two are adorable, I’m glad my brother found himself a mare as nice as you Dash.”

I’m in full blown panic mode at this point but Mac just kisses me again “Eat up sweetie, you’re going to need it.”

I push the plate away from me. “Look guys, I’m not really comfortable with--”

AJ cuts me off “Have you thought of a name yet?”

I crease my eyebrows “A name for what?”

AJ and Mac just stare at me and smile. My head starts to connects the dots. Mac announcing we are in a relationship, AJ happy for me, I’m a little chubby around the waist--


I leap backwards from the table and run to a mirror. My gut wasn’t just a little chubby, I had a distinct bulge on my waist. I was pregnant. What the flipping hell was going on?

I turn to Mac and AJ with fear in my eyes. "Guys, what the heck is this? We... we just had sex once! And it was last night! There is no way I could be visibly pregnant already, isn't this supposed to take months?"

Fluttershy walks into the room “Aww, Dash is going to be a mommy! And didn't you know Dash, ponies like us have babies really quick, it's normal to look like this after one night. You're going to be a mommy! That’s so cute!”

I glance back at the mirror, there was no denying it, I was 100% pregnant. Images of myself standing in a field with my newborn foal drinking my milk flash before my eyes. “No, no, no, no, no!”

Fluttershy turns to AJ “Hey, do you have any birthing equipment in your breeding stables that are meant for mares?”

My eyes go wide but my mouth just can’t form the words needed to protest. AJ nods in excitement “We sure do! Mac and I have lots of experience with pregnant horses, Dash will be in good hands!”

Mac walks up to me and puts his arm around my shoulder, “I love you so much Dash, I’m so glad you decided to have foals with me!”

I look up at Mac and curse my drunken behavior last night. Why didn’t I see this coming? Why didn’t anyone tell me I was fertile!

“Now that you’re going to be a mommy, there is no need to hide your feelings from me sweetie.” Mac leans in and kisses me again, this time with tongue. I try to pull away but my body doesn’t respond, it’s like I’m paralyzed in his arms. He extends a hoof to pat my tummy as we kiss.

AJ grins at me. “You’re going to be a great mother Dash.”

Mac pulls away from the kiss and licks my cheek “Dash, will you marry me? Let’s forget about this Discord thing, we can just live together and you can have lots and lots of babies with me. You can be my mare!”

I close my eyes and envision the future. I’m living in the stables in my own private stall, a dozen foals are around me and my belly is pregnant with more babies on the way. Mac enters the stables and I smile and turn towards him. He was here to check on his wife and babies. I couldn't wait until I delivered the one growing inside me, then Mac could get me pregnant all over again! I know it's what he wants, and I’ll do anything to please my stallion.

I find myself back in the present in the kitchen where Mac just proposed to me. My body is completely out of my control, it’s living a life of its own and I am just watching. My head nods a yes vigorously and I start saying things I don’t want to say. “I love you too Mac! I want to be your mare forever and ever!” I lean in to kiss him while Fluttershy and AJ cheer. This is who I am now, a simple mother and wife to Big Mac.

What, no, I don’t want these things, this isn’t me, what’s happening? I don’t want this!! I’m not a housewife, I don’t want to be a mother! No, no, no! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh---

“....ahhhhhhhhh!!” I scream and twist over on myself with a jolt, falling painfully off the bed and landing on the floor. I try to calm my hyperventilating as I look around, it’s dark in the bedroom and I have a slight hangover from the alcohol. I sit up on the floor and brush my mane out of my eyes, I can see Mac still asleep on his side of the bed and the sun was just starting to rise outside. I trot over to the mirror and look at myself. My body is normal, I’m not pregnant. It was all a dream. It was all a dream...

I take a few deep breaths and sit down leaning into the wall. It was all a dream. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I shake my head slowly “...screw you Luna.” I don’t know if she was real or if she had anything to do with this, but regardless, that was a nightmare. A dream far worse than any I have ever had. And the worst part is, it might be more of a premonition than dream.

I slowly get up on wobbly legs and take a few more deep breaths as I look around the room. My eyes fall on Mac and I swear under my breath. Oh god, what did I do? If we really did it last night, there's a very real chance I was pregnant. What did I do to myself?

I take a few steps away from Mac, I had to get away from him. I didn't want to be a mother, urgh, even thinking that word makes me want to puke. I had nothing against mothers, but I was certainly not wanting to become one. It might be too late already though. Well, first things first, I need to figure out if that's the case.

I walk out of the bedroom and mull over my options. I needed to confide in someone that could help me figure out if I really was, gulp, pregnant with foals. I feel a shiver go down my tail, okay, gotta stop thinking about it, gotta stop thinking about it. Who can I go to? Applejack would help me right? She is trained in horse breeding, she can probably tell me if I'm pregnant. Ah ha, this is perfect! Well, except for the fact that I would have to tell her I slept with her brother. I bite my lip, okay, not going to tell Applejack, I don't want to get murdered.

I scratch my head and make my way down the hallway going to another door. If I couldn’t talk to AJ about this, I did have one other choice. I knock on Fluttershy's door, then open the door a crack “Flutters, are you awake?”

A mumble is the answer, so I open the door wider and walk inside, turning on a light as I do so. Fluttershy sits up in her bed and turns to face the door, a hoof wiping the sleep from her eyes. I nearly have a heart attack of daw seeing sleepy Fluttershy half cuddled under blankets. It only gets worse when she spots me and smiles happily “Oh, hello Rainbow Dash, good morning.”

I feel bad for waking her up, but this really couldn't wait any longer. “Hey Flutters...”

Fluttershy sees my tail between my legs and my flat ears. She quickly sits up in alarm “Dash, what happened!? What's the matter?”

I bite my lip and stare at the floor “Fluttershy, I worried I might be pregnant. Umm, can you help me find out if I am?”

Fluttershy giggles, which by the way, is just as unbelievably adorable as you would think. “Oh Dash, I know you're new at this whole being a girl thing, but come on, you can't be pregnant silly. You would have to sleep with someone for that to happen. Girls don't just get pregnant randomly. You have nothing to worry about.”

I just stare at Fluttershy. She looks back at me confused “What is it Dash?”

I raise one eyebrow. Fluttershy's pupils widen slightly “Oh come on, don't be silly.”

I raise the other eyebrow, Fluttershy leans back “You didn't actually, I mean...”

I look down and frown, Fluttershy let's out a peep but says nothing. I shake my head to confirm “I think I did Fluttershy. Last night with Big Mac, we were both really drunk..."

Fluttershy blushes and slinks back in her blankets, hiding her face. “Oh... that's just, wow.”

I step closer to the bed “Please Fluttershy, you're the only one I can talk to about this.”

A gentle laugh comes from her “I've been a girl for twenty five years and I'm still a virgin. You were one for what, two days and you did it?”

I join Fluttershy in blushing, and I stare at the floor “Yeah, uh, sorry about that.”

Fluttershy's head pokes out of the blanket “Don't apologize Dash, that's just silly. My body is my body, and that mare's body is yours now, you are free do with it as you please.”

I facehoof in embarrassment ”But I didn't want to do anything! I was doing shots! Urgh, look, can you just help me find out if I'm pregnant right now?”

Fluttershy tilts her head for a moment “Oh, you’re not.”

Relief and confusion rush over me “Well that’s great to hear, but, umm, don’t you need to do some tests or something?”

Fluttershy shrugs “No, not really.”

I narrow my eyes “Go on...”

She blushes “Well, you know how I used to volunteer in the animal shelter? I was really good at my job there because I always had a knack for treating animals. I could always tell which animals were hungry, which ones were in pain, and... which ones were going to have babies.”

I throw a hoof in the air “Oh come on Fluttershy, you’re not psychic.”

“Well, no, I’m not. I can’t read your mind or anything, but ever since I became a pony the way I can read people and animals has gotten really quite strong. For example I know your left wing is still sore from a major cramp you must have had yesterday. I know your back left hoof is sore from something sharp you probably stepped on a while ago, I know you have a headache, I know you’re thirsty, and I know you’re in heat right now. But pregnant? No, I’m not feeling that at all.”

I stared at the Fluttershy, utterly at a loss for words. She read my signs as well as I could read the clouds, which I guess made sense, but it was still pretty damn freaky. “So... you’re sure about that then? I’m not pregnant?”

Fluttershy nods her head “Not yet anyway, but I would ask Mac to be sure. Are you sure you guys even did it?”

I rub my chin “Well, no, but I assume we did. Hmm, well thanks for the help Flutters.”

She smiles "I'm glad I could help, do you need anything else?”

I smile back at her and shake my head “Nope, that's it. Guess I'll get back to bed now, sorry for waking you up.”

Fluttershy nods “Oh, it's not problem.” I start walking to the door and she speaks up again “Dash?”

“Yes?” I stop and turn around to see Fluttershy smiling and scooting over in her bed.

“If you want, you can sleep here. The bed is warm and I could use a friend.”

My heart melts at the offer, Fluttershy wants me to cuddle and sleep next to her? There isn't even an ounce of sexual desire on either end of this offer. It was just one girl offering a warm bed to her friend.

My lip trembles “Fluttershy, you know, I don't deserve you as a friend. You've always been there for me and always treated me well, but I never gave you anything or even knew your birthday.”

She just smiles “That's okay Dash, you gave me plenty. And besides, we're still young, you can make it up to me for my 26th birthday! I’ll expect something big! Now, do you want to sleep here?”

My response was a running leap onto the bed, followed by me hugging Fluttershy with my whole body. After a moment she giggles “Now Dash, I'm not Big Mac, there's no need to grab at me.”

I release the hug and very gently bump her shoulder with a hoof “Very funny Fluttershy.”

We both laugh and then slowly fall quiet. A moment later Fluttershy quietly speaks up. “Dash... thanks for finding me and bringing me here.”

I stretch out on the bed and then turn my head to see her “It wasn't just me, it was a group effort. I would never have found you without AJ and Mac's help.”

Fluttershy closes her eyes to start to return to sleep. “That's good to know, I have the best friends.”

I chuckle softly. “So, I'll repeat my question from earlier today. How do you like being a pony Fluttershy?”

She opens one eye and gives me a glance with it “Well, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else... but, it’s not that bad now that I’m with my friends. I can make this work.”

I grin for both of our sakes and the two of us fall off into sleep.


A few hours later we are awoken by knocking on the door, then Big Mac’s voice comes through “Fluttershy, are you decent, can I come in?”

I raise my head off the bed and answer for her “What? We’re ponies, we’re always decent.”

I hear Fluttershy laugh beside me and then Mac opens the door and pops his head inside. “Dash? What are you doing in here?”

I shrug “Fluttershy invited me to share a bed.”

Mac tilts his head and smiles “Ah, I bet you freaked out when you woke up in my room. Then you ran all the way over here didn't you?”

I blush and look away "Mac... about last night."

He laughs "Oh, I know, trust me. 'Never let Dash near whisky'. I won't forget that lesson."

I blink, and then stare at him "Wait. What happened after I drank from the bottle?"

Mac raises an eyebrow "You took about one sip from the bottle and then started to throw up. You dropped the bottle and I carried you over to the sink where you emptied your stomach. Left quite a mess in there actually. Anyway, I went to the bathroom to get you a wet towel you clean your muzzle, and when I got back in the kitchen you were passed out on the floor. I heaved you on my back and tossed you on my bed because your room was on the other side of the house and you're actually really heavy."

Fluttershy lets out a small laugh and I start to remember a few of things Mac said. That's right, I did throw up in the sink. And Mac came back with a wet towel and cleaned the puke off my face. I look down "That's it then, right? We didn't do anything else?"

Mac looks confused. "Do anything else? Like what?"

I feel myself blush but I say nothing. Fluttershy speaks up "Thanks for clearing this up Mac, and thanks for taking care of Dash last night when she was stupid. She won't do that again... trust me."

Mac just laughs and waves a hoof, before turning and leaving the room.

Fluttershy smiles and turns to look at me. “Well, at least you learned something Rainbow Dash.”

I facehoof “Never to do shots ever again?”


"It's easier to just ask someone if you had sex, rather than spend all night worrying about it?"

"Well, that's true, but still not what I was thinking."

I stop facehoofing and look at her "So, what is it then?"

Fluttershy smiles gently "Big Mac isn't some random guy looking to get laid. He's your best friend's brother and he cares about you. He cares about all of us."

I bite my lip, she had a point. “Aww, now I feel bad for jumping to conclusions.”

She sticks out her tongue "Very good Dash, now go write a letter to Princess Celestia and tell her what you learned."

I facepalm once more. "Yes, thanks Flutters, I'll do that."


Breakfast was quite tasty, Mac prepared bowls of sliced apples and some cleaned sweetgrass. It was one of the better meals I had, and afterwards we found ourselves sitting around the table pondering what to do today.

“Steve. John. Sarah. Carol. Maria. Joe.” Big Mac was flipping through Fluttershy’s photo album that she brought.

AJ looks at her brother “Whatcha doing?”

“Tim. Kyle. Katie.” He looks up across the table “Just seeing if any of our old friends are also ponies. It’s a trick I learned with Dash back in her apartment.” Mac flips a page and looks back down “Fred. Julie. Sam.”

I supplement Mac’s explanation for the sake of the other two mares at the table “You just look at pictures and say the name that comes into your head. If they have turned into ponies, your brain sort of slips and you find yourself saying their pony name. That’s how we knew Fluttershy was actually Fluttershy. We saw a picture of Fluttershy and Mac said Fluttershy instead of Fluttershy.”

The entire table turns to stare at me, even Mac looked up from book to look at me. I shrug my shoulders “What?”

AJ raises her eyebrow “Nothing, I think you just explained your point perfectly well there. Though it’s kind of scary that you seemed unable to recall Fluttershy’s human name.”

Mac looks back at Fluttershy’s album and flips a page, “Mary. Tom. Rick.”

I scratch my head, I forgot Fluttershy’s human name? No, it’s Fiona, it is still in my head. Did I really forget it back when I was talking about the name thing?

“Eve. Robert. Sunshine Clouds. Lemon Hearts. Adam. Rebecca...”

Three heads turn to stare at Mac, he looks up and nods slowly ”Yep, think I found two. Pretty sure those aren’t human names.”

AJ turns to look at me “Who the hell are Sunshine Clouds and Lemon Hearts? I don’t recognize their names from the show.”

Fluttershy pipes in “I think they are background ponies, they must be. But why would Discord send them here? I thought he only went after the mane six.”

“That’s what I thought too...” I rub my head with a hoof. Well, this was going to get complicated. Discord sent over more than just the mane six? How many ponies were on Earth now? I mean if this random photo album had two random ponies in it, how many ponies were around us now? Fifty? A hundred? Thousands?

AJ looks up from her thoughts “We should probably keep an eye on the news, see if there are any sightings. Then maybe think of a way we can contact people that are found out.”

I nod “Pity we don’t have a unicorn with us. Magic and teleporting would be really freakan handy right about now.”

Mac waves a hoof in the air “Oh quiet you. You can fucking fly. You don’t get to complain about a lack of magic.”

I laugh and we lapse into silence for a few moments. Fluttershy speaks up “Maybe we should watch some episodes of the show, it’s been five years since it ended, we should refresh ourselves with parts of it. Not to mention Mac here has only seen like two episodes in his life, he needs to see what sorts of things the ponies did.”

There are no complaints to that proposal, so the four of us sit around the TV and Mac pops in the DVD for season five. He pokes his hoof at the control buttons, thankfully the remote was large enough that it could actually be operated pretty well with a hoof. After getting to the title screen he looks back. “Any episode in particular, or what's the plan here?”

AJ glances at me and smiles “I wanna see Dash blush, you should play the episode where she goes on a date with Soarin.”

I roll my eyes “Oh god, please don't, that episode was so cringe worthy. It’s such a bad episode, easily the worst one in the season, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Dash fan.”

Fluttershy giggles “You mean you're not just saying that because you're Dash.”

I facehoof and feel myself blush, meanwhile Mac, as per usual, is confused. “Whoa, whoa, hold on, there's an episode where Dash dates some dude? Ha ha, that's hilarious. Is Dash all romantic and stuff?”

I groan “No, not at all. It's a terrible episode, honestly. In the previous episode Dash gets promoted to be one of the Captains of the Wonderbolts, which is awesome and everything, but this in this episode one of the other captains, Soarin, asks her out to dinner. Dash accepts because she thought all the captains eat out together. Anyway, so they go to dinner and Soarin is such a klutz. He spills his drink, orders messy food, talks about the most bizarre subjects, forgets his wallet at home, leaves his keys in the bathroom, etc. It's like slapstick humor showing the worst date ever.”

AJ nods “I admit, it is a pretty terrible episode, we don't have to watch it, I just wanted to see Dash squirm.”

Mac looks from AJ, back towards me “Wait, hold on a second. You said you were a captain of the Wonderbolts? That’s like the military thing they have right? And you’re a captain?”

I nod “Rainbow Dash is, yes.”

Mac tilts his head “Which is you. Pretty sure we discussed this ad nauseum. Anyway, is the episode where you become a captain worth watching?”

I squirm in my seat. I was okay with referring to myself as Dash, but taking credit for her past achievements still felt a little odd. “Yeah, that is a pretty good episode actually. See, in Season 4 there was a part where Rainbow Dash became...” I pause and bite my tongue. Fuck it, if I'm going to be Dash I'm not going to pussy foot around it anymore. Might as well accept my destiny. “Sorry, so as I was saying, in Season four there was a part where I became a Wonderbolt. Being a Wonderbolt was pretty sweet and all, but it wasn’t until I became a Captain and got real responsibilities.”

I look around me, all three of them are smiling. I raise my eyebrows ”Is using first person still a little weird?”

AJ laughs “Nah, I like it. Really changes the way I look at you. Kind of makes it hit home that my 'ol buddy is actually the person she looks like.”

Mac selects the episode and we watch it, it was one of my favorite episodes in Season Five and I have probably seen it a million times by now. Still though, seeing the ending scene today made me tear up more than usual. I got promoted to captain and the first thing I do is fly to Lightning Dust's house and tell her to reapply to the Wonderbolts program. I tell her how I know she deserves to fly alongside me and how I would look out for her. It was always a touching scene, showing how even at the exact moment when I obtain my lifelong dream of being a captain, instead of celebrating I fly off to help an old friend. I always got watery eyes at this scene, but not like this, I was visibly crying right now.

Fluttershy notices right away “Something the matter Dash?”

I look down “I was just thinking about Lightning Dust. We were good friends in the show, but she probably thinks I've been dead for 25 years. I wonder how she's doing.”

Mac stares at me “...or she might not be real. How do we know any of these episodes are accurate? I mean, I know we are the ponies from the show, as crazy as that sounds. But we don't know our past, did any of these episodes actually happen? Are the rest of these characters real, or did the Hasbro animators just make this 'Lightning Dust' character on a whim? We have no idea how accurate this show is or--”

Mac gets cut off, surprisingly, from Fluttershy. “Mac, I was thinking about something. Can you play the last episode please?”

We all stare at her. The last episode was horrifying, especially now that we knew all those scenes were, for the most part, true. I don't think any of us could stomach seeing Discord betray Celestia and begin his plan to exile all of us.

AJ speaks up “Are you sure Fluttershy? I mean, we all know what happens and it's pretty unsettling to see it.”

Fluttershy remains adamant “Just the last five minutes please, we can skip the beginning.”

AJ and I raise our eyebrows, but Mac just nods and fumbles with the scene select controls until the last part of the final episode are playing on the screen. We all sit in silence as we see Discord make his way towards Twilight's chambers in Canterlot. He enters with a polite bow and a smile, pretending to still be her friend. Then when Twilight turns her back to him he instantly leaps into action and hits her with his curse. She starts to cast a spell to fight back, but before anything else can happen she vanishes into the white nothingness, something we all have memories of happening to us. Discord then laughs and that's that, the show is over.

Fluttershy is biting her hoof and staring at the screen. I bet she was confused about the 'missing scene' memory that she has. I open my mouth “Look, Fluttershy, we already figured this out. The scene you remember wasn't put in the show, it's just your memory.”

“I know.” Fluttershy drops her hoof from her mouth and trots towards the TV before turning to look at us. “I understand that I have memories of what happened to me. That's not what I'm thinking about right now though”.

Dots start to connect in my head. Wait a second... Holy crap. How the hell did we miss this detail for so long? My ears start to drop against my head and Fluttershy continues “I'm not concerned about the scene that is 'missing' from this episode, I'm more concerned with the scene that ISN'T missing.”

I close my eyes and sit down slowly, trying to make sense of it all. AJ shares a glance with her brother and speaks up “The scene that isn't missing? What are you getting at.”

I speak with my eyelids still closed “The only people who have memories of what happened to the mane six are the ponies that were there when it happened. That's how you and Mac can tell me what happened to the Apple family, and that's how I can tell you what happened in the night sky to Rainbow Dash...”

AJ's eyes grow wide “...but the animators show what happened to Twilight.”

Fluttershy finishes the thought process she began five minutes ago “The show follows Twilight, and once Twilight vanishes the show is over for good.” Fluttershy pauses for a moment, before going out on a limb “Twilight is on Earth now, and she must have helped make the show accurate. That explains why the season finale shows what happens to her, that’s the only part she remembers.”

I open my eyes “But we lost our memories, we all did. And MLP doesn't have one writer, they have dozens. How could a Twilight without memories direct the entire show?”

Mac gets up and stretches “Well, let's go find where she is, then go and ask her.”

I laugh “Mac, the show was made in Vancouver and we're in Muscatine, Iowa. That's over two thousand miles away. How the hell are we supposed to get to the Pacific Northwest? And once we get there, how the hell do we find her?”

Mac turns to me and smiles “We're ponies. We'll think of something.”

13. Here we go again...

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Chapter 13: Here we go again...

May 7th, Iowa

“Sorry Dash, that was the last photo.” Jack frowns as she turns away from the computer. We had just spent all morning going through pictures of staff members that worked on MLP. We were trying to do the 'say their name out loud to see if they are a pony' trick to try and find Twilight on the show staff or something. No dice.

“Urgh, come on, I thought that was a really good idea too!” I sit back on my haunches and attempt to rub the sides of my temples with my hooves, but all I succeed in doing is softly kicking myself in the side of my head with my hoof.

Mac snickers from a few feet away, “Nice moves putz. Though it’s a pity the 'pictures of show staff' idea failed, I was fond of that approach.”

We’ve been 100% pony for about three days now, but here and there I still think like I have hands. I rub the side of my aching head with a fetlock, “Grr, not my fault ponies lack fine eye-hoof coordination! I like being this mare, but sometimes I miss being human, it's the little things, you know?”

“I hear you sister, I haven't been able to wipe ever since I got these hooves.” Jack chuckles to herself as she opens a new browser window and starts checking something else on Google. The 'universal cuffs' we bought back on our shopping trip were actually pretty useful for typing. Jack is wearing one cuff on each fore hoof and attached a capped pen to each; she can type as fast as anyone with two index fingers.

Fluttershy, who I had forgotten was even in the room, speaks up. “Jack, you don't wipe? What? Remind me not to sit on any of the chairs you use.”

Mac scoffs, “Oh come on Flutters, none of us have hands what do you expect. Now anyway, what's our next plan? We really need to think of a way to find these other ponies.”

Fluttershy mumbles something about how she uses water, but I pay no attention as I stand up and fluff my wings. “Guys, we've been at this all morning. I'm going to go crazy if I stay cooped up inside any longer. I'm going to go out for a little flight and let my mind think things over.”

Jack raises an eyebrow, ”You're going stir crazy from being indoors? Dude, it's been like two hours. Back in college you once played WoW for 72 hours straight. You used to be able to go weeks without going outside.”

I shrug, then make my way to the door, “Well, back then I wasn't a female pegasus pony.”

Jack laughs, “Pray tell, what does being female have to do with anything?”

I stick out my tongue, “Nothing, but I like to bring it up every now and then to help hammer that point home. You know, earlier today on that computer I had to register to use one of those sites. It asked for gender, and I put male down and I didn't catch it for a few seconds. I’m trying to stop thinking like that, I’m really working on getting used to the idea of being a full pegasus mare.”

Jack and Mac exchange looks, Fluttershy speaks up, “Dash, there's nothing wrong with still thinking like a human male sometimes. I mean, you were one for 25 years, you can't just ignore that. Your human life and all those memories and experiences is huge part of you are. Even if you physically went back to being a pony, you can't hide from the fact that for a huge part of your life you were something else.”

I rub my neck, “Yeah, you might have a point Flutters. It's just one more thing for us to all ponder about in time. For now though we really need to focus on finding the rest of our friends.” I pause and tap my chin, “Hmm, can we call them our friends if we forgot everything about them?”

Jack nods her head, “I would think so. And whoever they are, wherever they are, they are almost certainly in need of our help.”


A while ago, in a city far, far away...


May 1st
Vancouver, British Columbia

“Alright, come on Rachel, you can do this.” I look into the mirror in the bathroom and try to give myself a pep talk. “Just go out there and ask him if he wants to come to your birthday party. It's totally normal, no reason to be nervous.”

I don't know why I am this anxious, I feel like a middle school girl asking a boy out to the dance. Sheesh, I'm 25 now, and it's just a friendly birthday party invite for a co-worker. Sure, that co-worker may be Tom, the richest, most attractive guy in the office, and I may have had a crush on him for a while, but he's still just a co-worker!

I make my way out of the bathroom and walk down to his desk. I try to take a few deep breaths as I wipe my nervous, sweaty hands on my pant legs as I think to myself “Tess would make so much fun of me is she knew I get this nervous. Thankfully she--”


My thoughts are interrupted as I collide with someone, our heads bump and I fall back on my ass. “Oww, son of a...”

“Ah, Rachel! Jeez, I'm really sorry about that. Are you okay?”

I rub my head and look up. Tom was standing over me rubbing his forehead where I ran into him. I bite my tongue, of course he would be the one to apologize, even though I was the one that ran into him. Tom, otherwise known as 'the American' for being the only Yank that worked here, was by far the most polite person I have ever known. And his eyes, oh god, those blue eyes...

“Here, let me help you up.” Tom holds out his hand, and I grab it and pull myself up.

“Thanks Tom, and I'm sorry about bumping into you like that, I was just so focused on getting somewhere and--”

Tom smiles and lifts a palm, “Oh, well then, don't let me keep you. Go on and get back to wherever it was that you were going.”

I blink, and hesitate for a second, then decide to just get this over with, “Ah... well, um, this is awkward. I was actually trying to find you.”

Tom laughs softly, “I see, well, I'm here! What's the message, oh faithful steward of the office?”

I rub the back of my neck and try to ignore the flood of nervousness, “I was just wondering... wouldyouliketocometomybirthdayparty?

He tilts his head “Would I like... what?”

“Would you like to come to my birthday party?” I offer a smile and watch his reaction.

An expression of confusion comes over Tom's face. “What? ...Oh! You have a birthday thing today? Heh, wow, I got really confused there.” Tom says something under his breath about a crazy coincidence.

I look down at my feet, “So, uh, yeah, did you wanna come? I mean, I would understand if you said no, we really don't know each other that well, I just work at the front desk and I... Oh sorry, I'm rambling. So what do you say, do you wanna come?” I look back up at Tom and smile again.

Tom says nothing. Nothing at all, he is just staring straight ahead at me.

I swallow hard, feeling a wave of rejection. Perhaps he was too polite to say no, so he decided to show a silent decline. “Oh... yeah, that's fine. That's fine Tom, I understand.”

I feel tears start to well in my eyes as I slowly turn around and walk back to my desk. Tom doesn't even say bye, and as I get to the end of the hallway I glance back over my shoulder. He was still standing there, just staring straight ahead at where I was standing, though now that I'm gone I guess he was staring at the wall. I watch him for a moment, utterly confused at what he was looking at. Urgh, doesn't matter, his silent rejection was all I really needed to hear from him. So much for this being the best birthday party ever.


I got home, tossing my bag on the floor as I passed my sister reading her notes at the living room desk. “Happy Birthday Tess.”

She doesn't even look up from her notebook, “Mmm, you too Rachel.”

“And me three! Happy Birthday Harry!” The voice comes from the sofa, and I glance over to see Harry give me a lazy wave.

I turn back to my sister, ”How long has he been here?”

“Aww, and what am I, chopped liver?” Harry remains on the couch and feigns disapproval.

I roll my eyes, “Come on Harry, you should be out looking for a job. The party doesn’t start for another few hours or so. I mean, it's nice of you to keep my sister company, but honestly now, you're 25 and unemployed. You should probably be spending your time more wisely than just sitting on our couch. I know Seinfeld was a good show, but Krammer isn't exactly a role model you should be emulating.”

Harry stands up, “Come on, it's my birthday. Hell, it's our birthday. Must you bring up my unemployment every time you see me?”

I sigh, “Yeah, sorry, I guess it's not my place to nag. I just had a bad day that's all.”

Harry frowns, “Aww, that sucks, especially on your birthday too. What happened?”

I wave a hand, “It's nothing.”

My sister flips another page of her notebook and speaks without looking up, “The American turned down the birthday invite didn't he?”

Harry looks at either of us, “The American? Who?”

I ignore Harry for the time being, “Urgh, Tess, I don't blame him really. I should have done it earlier. Who waits until the day of the party to send out an invitation? He's probably just busy too, I mean he's the lead graphic designer on the floor. Guys that talented don't just have all their afternoons empty. I was stupid.”

Tess said nothing, but Harry still wanted his question answered, “So... Rachel has a crush on someone?”

I blush slightly and try to hide it by just rolling my eyes and turning away, “No. It's not like that. He's just a co-worker and I thought having a fourth person here for the party would be fun.”

“Sure thing chica.” Harry pauses, then grins mischievously and starts chanting, “Rachel and the American, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.”

I facepalm, “Okay, first off, stop calling him the American, it sounds profoundly stupid in song.”

Harry smirks, ”Well I don't know his name, so I have no choice.”

Tess lets out a slow breath “Then just ask. His name is tftftff”. She ends her sentence with an incoherent sound, then takes a second to clear her throat. “Hmm, sorry about that. His name is Tom.”

Harry and I exchange glances, then both look back at Tess. I speak up, “What... the hell was that? What did you say back there?”

Tess scrunches up her face for a moment, “Some random brain misfire. I was about to say the wrong name, a nonsensical name really, but I caught myself in the middle of the first syllable. Anyway, his name is Tom.”

I want to ask what name she was going to say, but deem it unimportant. I instead excuse myself to go to my room to change out of my work clothes. I might as well get comfy for the birthday dinner. I close my bedroom door and start to strip, taking a moment to once again look over the tattoo that appeared on my thighs earlier today.

I turn sideways and examine it in the light, coming to the same conclusion I had reached this morning when I first saw it. For whatever reason, I had a cutie mark. There really is no denying it, this is a legit cutie mark, not just some tattoo. I mean, it appeared spontaneously and I have no pain or redness on my skin from the sudden arrival of a tattoo this large. And trust me, I know what a cutie mark is, no one in this city knew more about MLP:FiM and the fandom than I did, well except maybe Harry. That guy really did have too much time on his hands.

But I digress. I look back at the cutie mark on my legs. Why do I have this? I can't have a cutie mark. It makes less than no sense! Look, first off that show and everything from it is pure fantasy, secondly I'm not a pony, thirdly I'm way too old to be just getting my cutie mark, and finally, why would I be getting THIS cutie mark? I should have got a cutie mark of a front end office manager or something, not this one. This is just some lame duplicate, there's no way if I got a real cutie mark it would just be a duplicate of someone else’s from the show.

I take a deep breath and rub my temples. I should be ecstatic that I have something the ponies had, I probably love that show more than I love my own parents. But this... something about this didn't sit right. I always had a knack for knowing when something bad was coming, and this... this was bad. I don't know why or how this was going on, but it isn't going to end well.

I turn away from the mirror and dress into my casual wear. While in my closet I grab the wrapped presents that are hiding there, it’s probably time for our birthday present exchange. As I walk past the mirror on my left, I pause once more and stare at that thigh. The mark is well hidden under my jeans, but I know it’s still there. I sigh and rub the spot a few times, maybe it's a birthday present? Maybe Tess gave it to me somehow? Well, I guess I'll find out soon enough.


I put my presents on the kitchen table, “Hey Tess go bring your presents, I think it's about time for our birthday exchange.” I had really been looking forward to this, I loved giving (and getting) presents. Doing both at the same time was pretty much the best moment of my entire year.

Tess checks her watch and then gets up and walks to her room, leaving her notebook on the counter. Out of curiosity, I move to take a gander at the notebook she was reviewing. Seeing what she was studying always amazed me, especially since she started her PhD in theoretical physics. I flip through some pages and furrow my brow. Chemical properties of aromatic rings and dyes? “Hey Tess, I thought you were done with organic chemistry?”

Her voice comes from down the hall, “What? Oh, I am. That's not for school, I just wanted to review some stuff.”

Harry's laughter cuts across our conversation, “Only you would review old school subjects for the fun on it. ”

I giggle, “I agree with Harry here, why would anyone research... organic dyes?” As the words leave my lips I freeze. So that explains it, Tess somehow gave me the cutie mark. She must have researched some super realistic temporary tattoos or something. I am actually pretty relieved, knowing this is just a silly gift/prank makes me feel better about that bad omen I thought I felt. But hold on a second, why did she do it? Is this supposed to be a birthday present? Tess has little to no interest in the pony, why would she spend all this work to make this for me? And actually, hold on, the “present” is already applied to my thighs. So if it's already done, why is she still reading up about dyes? And why did she choose to give me the cutie mark of--

“Rachel...” Tess brings me out of my thoughts. She returned with her presents and was now standing a few feet away, staring at me over the top of her glasses. “What are you thinking about?”

I nervously put her notebook down, “What? Nothing, nothing, I'm just tired.”

A slight smirk forms on my sister's mouth, “No, you were definitely thinking about something. Come on sis, I know the signs. I majored in psychology you know.”

Harry, seemingly oblivious to the tension in the air, takes a bite of a candy bar and tosses a glance at my older sister. “Wait. I thought you majored in Physics.”

“She did.” I answer for Tess. “Physics... AND psychology, AND chemistry.”

I stop and look over at her. She rolls her eyes and finishes for me, “And biology. I told you all this before Harry, I quadruple majored.”

Harry slowly puts the candy bar down on the table and stares at her like she was some sort of alien, ”How the fuck is that even possible? Four majors? And in the hard sciences?”

Now it's my turn to roll my eyes, “Oh please, psychology is hardly a 'hard science'. Bunch of phony gibberish if you ask me.”

“It just worked on you.” Tess says with a laugh.

I wave a hand in her general direction, “Not fair. You have three other majors, a masters in Biochemistry, and you're two thirds of the way through you theoretical physics PhD. You could have learned your crazy behavior reading techniques in any of those classes, I refuse to give psychology any credit.”

Harry taps the chocolate against his chin, leaving a sugary mark on his skin, “Wait... you never told me you had a masters in biochem! Here can you check this formula over for me?” Harry eagerly makes his way over to his backpack and pulls out his tablet.

Tess and I just stare at him. What was Harry doing with a chemical formula? That guy knew as much about science as he knew about keeping a job. I open my mouth, “Harry, what's this about?”

He holds up a hand as his other frantically works his tablet “Just a sec, I found this step by step guide on the Internet for making... something. Can you check to make sure the chemistry is right before I start?”

Harry brings over the tablet and holds it for us to see. I squint, there were a series of organic compounds with all sorts of directions written between each one and some arrows. After less than a second of viewing the formula my sister furrows her brow and brings up her hand. Her fingers flew over the tablet and after a series of lighting fast taps the picture vanished.

Tess clenches her teeth. “Harry, how stupid do you think I am?”

Harry flips the tablet back around, “Oh come on, you deleted it? Dude, I worked really hard to get that!”

Tess holds out her hand and points a finger right at Harry's face. “You don’t think I’d recognize the chemical structure of a drug as notorious as ecstasy? I’m not going to help you make narcotics Harry! I mean seriously, what the hell were you thinking?”

Harry sighs, “Oh come on, this was going to be my big break. You know how much I need money right now.”

Tess turns around and goes back to her desk, “You're better than that Harry. And if you bring this subject up again you're not going to be allowed to step one foot into this apartment.”

Harry lets out a whimper but doesn't protest beyond that. I do sort of feel bad for him, so I decide it might as well be time to hand out the birthday presents.


One short present exchange later and all of us are pretty happy. Harry got presents from both of us, even though he didn't really have the money to buy us anything in return. Tess and I then exchanged a small series of gifts, and now all that is left are our two biggest presents that we always save until the end to exchange.

Tess smiles earnestly as she looks inside the small box I just handed her. Inside was my final, and best gift to her: An authentic Mont Blanc fountain pen, handmade in Germany and complete with gold trim. It set me back well over a hundred dollars but I knew how much my sister loved writing and how much she loved practical gifts.

Harry gives a slow whistle as he sees it. “Damn, that is one shiny pen.”

Tess gives me an approving glance as she still smiles, “It sure is... thanks Rachel.”

I wave a hand, “Nah, you deserve it. Happy 25th.”

She carefully puts it back in the box, then turns around to grab the final wrapped present in the room, “Well, I'm not sure I can top that, but I think you will get just as much use out of your final gift.”

“Oh, is that so? Dare I guess what you got me?” I feel the natural jolt of excitement as a large wrapped box is placed in front of me. I give it a shake, something large and unevenly weighted was inside.

Tess shrugs, “Well, happy 25th. I thought I'd get you something you can use, something to cheer you up.”

Harry leans forward, “Money, I would just give money. That tends to cheer up everyone.”

I roll my eyes and then start to tear the top off the box. Not wanting to spoil the surprise by looking inside, I slowly turn it upside down, dumping the contents on the table ever so slowly. A white bottle of something falls out, then some packing peanuts. I can feel the heavy thing is still in the box, so I keep turning it over and waiting for it to fall out.. A second later a small packing slip comes out, and flutters down to the table. Just as I feel the large item inside start to slide out, I catch a glimpse of the logo on the packing slip. Bad Dragon. Wait, what? The box shifts before I can think and something massive falls out. My mind doesn't even fully process what lands on the table before I feel my cheeks blush.

Harry leans forward, “Is... that... oh my god.”

Tess smiles proudly “Well I saw your internet history and I figured you would enjoy one of these for--”

I raise a hand to cut her off, but I'm blushing so hard my throat can't form words. I drop the box over the object on the table and then cover my face with my hands. “Tess, why... Jesus Christ... how... what made you think this is an appropriate present? To give your sister.. at a birthday party...with guests? A sex toy?? Really?”

Harry laughs, “Oh, don't worry about me. I find this fucking hilarious, your family is awesome.”

Tess shrugs, feigning apology, “Well you were never going to buy one yourself, and I figure with that clop on your internet history you would like it. I even went through those pics and found the stallion you seem to like most so that way I could get the color of--”

“THAT’S ENOUGH, THANK YOU.” I cut her off with a small shriek, well aware that my cheeks were setting the new definition for the color red.

Harry is laughing hysterically and Tess just leans back smiling. I don't know if this is a prank/joke she pulled on me, or if she really is just this socially awkward and doesn’t realize it’s not normal to give sex toys to your sister at a birthday party. Knowing her, it’s probably closer to the latter, but the way she’s smiling makes me think otherwise.

I stuff it back in the box, I would never use this, it’s way too awkward with everyone knowing I have it. Especially combined with the fact that they know... wait a second. I turn to Tess, “What was that you said about my internet history? You snooping on my browsing history now?”

She shrugs, “Well, we do share a computer. And it's not like I started off looking for it. I just wanted to do a Google search for 'calmodulin kinase' to check a scientific article I was reading. After typing just a 'C' in, Google suggested your clop searches. It did make me wonder how often you searched that keyword if all I had to do was enter the letter C for autofill to kick in.”

A fresh wave of blushing spreads across my cheeks and Harry just nods, “Mmm, that's why whenever I search clop I use Incognito mode.”

Tess raises an eyebrow, I turn away in annoyance, “Harry, TMI dude.”

He raises his hands, “Too much information? Really Rachel? After the recent disclosure of your 'favorite color' I'm pretty sure you're the one that crossed that line, or technically maybe Tess is the one to have done it. Either way, you can't pull that TMI card against me.”

I stand up and take a deep breath. “Well, sister, thanks for the various gifts. I will be sure to send this thing back to the company and just pocket the hundred bucks or whatever you paid for it.”

Tess grins with one side of her mouth, “I don’t think they accept returns Rachel. I don't even know why I need to tell you this, I know for a fact you visited that site and already looked at their FAQs...”

Harry burst out laughing, I purse my lips and purposefully drop the boxes I was carrying. “Okay, that's it, I'm done here. I'm deleting my browsing history.”

Harry wipes a tear of laughter from his eye, “I think it's too late for that one Rachel.”

I ignore him and make my way to our computer room, finding it on with the screensaver running. I sit down and open up the browser, then go to options and find the 'delete internet history' button. Actually, wait, before I do this I might as well take a look at what's in there. Maybe I can get revenge on Tess and see if she was looking up some vampire porn or something.

A few clicks later and I start to skim the search history, then immediately stop after reading the very first one on the list: ‘tattoo on thigh'.

I blink. What the hell? I never searched that, was this from Tess? Ah, she must have looked up how to give me the mark. I skim the history of other searches from today, they were all from early this afternoon: 'sudden painless tattoo', 'purple symbol on thigh', ‘tattoo removal’, 'properties of organic dyes'.

The last one certainly rang a bell, this was definitely something Tess was researching. But why would she search tattoo removal? And purple symbol on thigh? My cutie mark isn’t purple. What’s going on here, does Tess have an unexplained mark too?

I close the internet browser and slowly walk back to the kitchen to see Harry and Tess cutting the birthday cake. I drum my fingers on the counter loudly, running things over in my mind for a few moments and thinking about how to phrase this question. Well, fuck it, one way to figure this all out, let's throw caution to the wind.

I clear my throat, then just nonchalantly announce, “So, when were you going to tell me about the cutie mark on your leg?”

Tess freezes, halfway through cutting the cake. She ever so slowly turns, and in her eyes I see something I'm not sure I have ever seen before. Fear? Shock? I stare at her for a few more seconds before the moment is ruined by Harry.

“Come on Rachel, please don't bring it up. I'm not exactly proud of it. How the hell did you find out anyway?” Harry frowns and puts down the plate he was holding.

I don't know who was more surprised, Tess or myself. We both turn our eyes to Harry, who sighs and lowers the side of his pants.

Tess raises a hand to her mouth in surprise and I move closer to get a better look. “Uh, wow Harry, that's really well done. Looks very real...”

He sighs “Yeah, it does. Sorry, I can't recommend the artist or whatever, I don't remember getting it done. I'm not sure if I was high or drunk or whatever. I just noticed I had it earlier today.”

My mind starts running furiously, but in the meantime I just pat Harry on the back. “It's nothing to be ashamed of Harry, it's very well done. It suits you too... I think.”

Harry raises one eyebrow, “Thanks?”

I turn to Tess and smile, “Okay sister, your turn.”

She studies my face for a few seconds, then sighs and reaches down to lower the side of her pants. Harry mutters out an explicative and I lean closer. I admit, I knew that a certain purple cutie mark was going to be there, but actually seeing it in person is still exceptionally bizarre. It looks so real...

“Okay sister, your turn.” I look up to see Tess smirking, “Rachel, you wouldn't care about this if you weren't in the same place. Honestly now, a third grader could read you.”

I roll my eyes but turn to lower the side of my pants, “Maybe I just care because people aren't supposed to get freakan cutie marks in the middle of the day.”

Harry's eyes dart between our thighs as he scratches his head, “So, I'm guessing you girls also have no memories of getting these things? And you weren't high or anything?”

Tess nods an affirmative and gets a better look at my mark, “This is another 'cutie mark' from the show I take it? I was never that familiar with gen four of ponies, I don't know any of them beyond the main characters. Though... your mark is strangely familiar.”

I scoff, “Well you should know it Ms. Twilight Sparkle. This is the mark of your brother.”

Tess rolls her eyes at the name drop. “So… your mark belongs to the brother of the owner of mine?”


She raises an eyebrow, “Brother? Not sister?”

I nod, “Brother.”

Tess rubs the back of her neck, “Dang, I thought we were onto something there with these marks being siblings. Coincidences usually meant something, but if you received the mark that is supposed to go on a guy, well then this all must be random.”

Harry takes another long look at his mark and frowns as something seems to dawn on him. I look back at Tess, “Any idea what this all means?”

Tess yawns, “I did some research but nothing really came up. Well, doesn't matter, I already booked an appointment with a local tattoo shop for tomorrow afternoon. Wherever this came from, it doesn't matter, it will be gone tomorrow.”

I push matter deeper, “Come on Tess, cutie marks shouldn’t just spontaneously appear on our legs. Doesn’t that doesn't bother you?”

Tess shrugs, “It does bother me that I can't figure it out how it happened, but when you break it all down it's just a tattoo. Someone pranked us or something, this is nothing supernatural or magical, it's just ink. So to answer your question, no. I'm not concerned.”

I frown, “Well, I am. I got a really bad feeling about this.”

Before Tess can retort, Harry speaks up, “I agree with Rachel, shit's going to hit the fan soon. I don't think you fully understand this Tess. I mean, if these are actually cutie marks (and I admit that's a big 'if') well then we're in some serious shit.”

Tess raises an eyebrow, ”Alright Harry, let's hear your theory. Let's say these tattoos are actually, hehe, magical pony cutie marks. How could that possibly mean bad things were coming?”

Harry leans against the wall, then points down on the mark on his leg. “The last time we saw someone find themselves with this cutie mark on their leg...” Harry takes a deep breath, “I try to keep them laughing, put a smile upon their face... I have to entertain them, it's there for all to see...”

It's got to be my destiny, and it's what my cutie mark is telling me.” I finish for Harry, realization setting in on me. Harry has a point, the season three finale shows the consequences getting a cutie mark can have on the owner. Same deal with the Cutie Pox episode now that I think about it. The show seems to tell us that a cutie mark is more than just a sign showing everyone your talent. It actually appears to work in the reverse, the cutie mark itself affects the owner. I look over at Harry, “Well, damn. That's a good point Harry.”

Tess facepalms, “Are you guys serious quoting that show and basing your judgements all on that? You DO realize it's pure fiction right? These 'cutie marks' are nothing more than ink on skin.”

She pulls up her jeans and turns back to cutting the cake. I bite my lip for a moment but follow suit. No sense worrying about these marks now, maybe tomorrow the tattoo guy will shed some light on where these came from.

Harry gives his mark a few more glances before reluctantly raising his jeans as well. The noise of Tess cutting the birthday cake draws his attention and he picks his plate back up “Dibs the corner piece with all the frosting!”

And just like that, we all abandoned talk of cutie marks.


It was almost midnight and I couldn't sleep. Today has really been a strange day, and I think my restlessness is made worse by the bad feeling in the air. Tess isn't really taking this seriously, and Harry only complicates things. What do these cutie marks mean? Why us? Why did we get these specific marks?

Gah, I flip my pillow over in frustration. At this rate I'll be up all night, I need something to distract my mind from these worries. I turn to the side and spot my cellphone on the nightstand. I hesitate for a moment, I know what I go view online that always helps me sleep, but did I really want to look at clop after today's incident with the birthday present from Tess? I bite my lip, well, no harm viewing it now I guess, everyone already knows I look at this stuff.

I go to my usual site and start skimming for new r34 material. The pony community died down quite a lot since the show ended, but some people were still there making new stuff. I flip through some images of old stuff, “Come on, it’s my birthday, show me something new!”

I find a new r34 thread and my eyes freeze as they land on an entry I haven't seen before: “Shining Armor X Rainbow Dash sex scene: duration 2:30”. I ponder the idea for a few moments, it wasn't my favorite ship, but a little M/F pony action was always fun to see if the stallion looked good.

I lower the volume on my phone so as to not wake up my sister (or Harry who is sleeping on the couch), then I start the video. I raise my eyebrows right away, this video is really well animated, this is going to be great! The dialog gets underway and I smirk as I see Shining Armor's cutie mark proudly displayed on his flank. I certainly recognized that mark all too well.

I’m not really caring for Shining here though, I was distracted by Rainbow Dash. I'm not really into girls (or mares for that matter) but wow, this video really made her look nice. The video goes on and things start to happen, but I just can’t take my eyes off that mare.

I pause the video and wipe my eyes. This didn’t make any sense, why am I’m so interested in the mare instead of the stallion? I resume the video and try to focus on Shining, but it’s no use, my mind instantly wanders to thoughts the female. Urgh, I close the video and shut off my phone. Man, what’s with me today, I can’t even enjoy a good round of clop. Maybe I’m still a bit shaken from the fiasco with Tess’s birthday gift.

Oh well, no sense worrying about these things. Tomorrow is a new day and all this craziness will be behind us. I close my eyes and finally slip off to sleep, my mind filling with fantasies of mares.


The pleasant dreams of mares didn’t last. My sleep was tormentous, and my last dream of the night was full of violence and terror. As I awake I shake the remnants of the bad dream from my head and glance at the clock, it was 9:30am of May 2nd. Damn, this is really late for me, I forgot to set my alarm. Well, good thing it's a Saturday. I clamber out of bed and make my way to the bathroom, reaching for the bottle of mouthwash as I get there. I yawn and pour myself a capful of the rinse while thinking about what's on my plate for today. I take a swig of the mouthwash and let my thoughts wonder as I stare at the sink and swish the mouthwash in my mouth.

Swish gargle 'Gotta call the tattoo parlor and set up an appointment.' gargle swish 'Should probably go grocery shopping too.' Swish gargle swish 'Lot of blue in here today'

Wait, blue? I blink and look up at the mirror, feeling my blood turn cold as I did so. My hair was filled with random streaks of blue. Some dark blue, some navy blue, some a bright cyan. But that was just the hair, I was more concerned about my eyes. My eyes color was now a brilliant greenish blue.

“...bwah?” My jaw opens uselessly, and the mouthwash it was holding back pours out and dribbles down my jaw and wets my nightgown. I slowly reach for a towel to wipe my chin, but my eyes remain fixed on my reflection. Being a longtime contact wearer, I blink and felt for the subtle feel of contacts, but there was nothing there.

That can't be right, there has to be something there. I use my hands to hold my eyes open and I lean forward until I'm just an inch away from the mirror. I study my eyes up close, surely I would be able to see a contact lens in there. But no, there was no lens, in fact I could see the individual blue and green pigments in my iris. My eye color changed when I was sleeping. Something is seriously wrong here. I mean, I liked Shining Armor as much as the next girl, but I never agreed to let someone or something changing my eye color. The cutie mark I could sort of ignore, but this? What the hell is this?!

I swallow hard and turn to leave the bathroom, I have to talk to Tess, she will be able to explain what is going on. As I walk down the short hallway to her room I hear our kitchen TV is on. I glance over the loft balcony to look if Tess is down there, but it's just Harry watching Animaniacs. He has a hooded sweatshirt on and is playing with his phone while eating some really sugary cereal. He doesn't look up so I ignore him and focus on the more pressing matters on my mind. Arriving at Tess's door I knock twice and then open the door and walk in. Some people might find it odd that I just walk in on my 25 year old sister, but that's how it's always been for us. We have never really had any privacy between us, and besides, we were both girls, what was I going to see?

My sister was not in the middle of changing though, surprisingly enough she was still asleep. I take a few steps towards her, prepared to wake her up and ask some questions, but that's when I notice her hair. I freeze in place as I see her hair is just as strangely colored as mine, perhaps more so. A hue of bluish purple fills most of her hair, with two faint stripes of pink and purple streaking down the center.

My breath catches in my throat for a moment, before I speak a single word, “Twilight”. I don't know if I meant to announce who the hair reminded me of, or if I meant to say my sisters name to wake her up. In either case, the latter seem to happen.

Tess stirs in her bed and moves and hand to rub her face. “Hmmm?”

The hair was one thing, but there is something much more scary that I want to see. Deep inside I know what's coming, but I want the wait to be over with. “Tess. Open your eyes. Now.”

“Mmm? What is it Rachel?” She slowly opens her eyes to reveal a brilliant, unnatural purple.

“FUCK.” I run my hands through my hair in panic. Something was seriously, seriously wrong here. Well, at least Tess is awake now, and she knows a hell of a lot more about biology than I do. She may have been able to brush off the cutie marks, but I think she might be a little more concerned to learn her eye color seems to have permanently changed.

She leans forward in her bed. “Rachel? What's the matter? ...and wait a second, why is your hair blue?”

I flash a nervous grin “Ha, yeah, about that.” I reach forward and grab her hand, physically pulling her out of her bed.

“Hey! Come on sis, that hurts” I ignore her slight protest and pull her into the bathroom, flicking on the light and placing her in front of the mirror. She blinks, then squints forward and raises a hand “My hair? You died my hair blue too? Well more like dark purple...”

I bite my lip, “That wasn't my doing, but let's forget the hair for a second. EYES.”

Tess's vision shifts and then she takes a sharp breath, then seemingly stops breathing. She leans forward and lifts her hand to open her eye, probably checking for contacts like I just was. After a moment she leans back and studies the reflection of her face for an extended amount of time. Her brow furrows in pure concentration.

I smile, good 'ol Tess. I sometimes poke fun at her for studying too much, but it all pays off in times like this. Behind that expression her brain is probably sorting through thousands of pieces of information per second as it is searching for an answer to this. There is no doubt in my mind, if anyone in Canada will be able to explain any of this, it will be her. She must know exactly how this is possible.

“This is... impossible.” Tess only spoke three words, but those three shattered my entire confidence. Then she spoke a few more, just to ensure the loss of my calm state. “Rachel, I’m not kidding. This is completely, literally, biologically impossible.”

She turns to face me with a look of complete and utter confusion. I grab her shoulders, “Come on nothing is impossible, and since this obviously just happened, that means it's possible right? Eyes can change color... right?”

Tess looks back at the mirror “Well changing color, no even that shouldn't be possible. It really shouldn't be, but I guess it could happen in some really, really crazy situations. However... the color of the iris being bright purple?” Tess leans closer to the mirror again “Rachel, the human iris can't be bright purple. It just can't. IT CAN'T BE PURPLE!!!”

I put my hand on her shoulder to try and calm her down as she starts to hyperventilate. “Whoa, Tess, take a few deep breaths, it will be okay, just calm down.”

She takes a few breaths and settles down before hanging her head in defeat, “Rachel, the human genotype has dozens of different genes that encode melanin: our body’s dye. Melanin can make pigments of brown and yellow, which when combined with Rayleigh scattering of the light through the cornea gives us all the eye colors we see in humans. Browns, blues, greens, even greys, blacks, and yellows are possible. Heck even greyish-purple can be seen in albinos, but bright purple? No. Rachel, humans are literally not capable of making that color of dye. It's not in our genome: This. Is. Impossible.”

I lean back and stare at her for a moment, “So...”

Tess covers her face with both her palms as she thinks. “...I need to get back to my lab. Not my PhD physics one, the old one I used for my Master's program. It was a biochem lab, but we did a lot of genetics work on that floor. If I could get in there and have some privacy, I can run some gene expressions tests on myself...”

“Well, it is Saturday, the lab is probably deserted.” I offer helpfully.

Tess nods slowly, “I was just thinking that. And knowing how useless and slow academic bureaucracy is, they probably haven't taken my name off their security list yet even though I left that lab two years ago. My old student ID should still open the doors...” She pauses and looks me over, staring at my eyes before raising an eyebrow “Oh, your eyes changed too. Well, at least your color is sort of possible, a mix of green and blue. Very improbable, but still technically possible. Still doesn't explain why you're expressed phenotype would change overnight...”

I reach up and grab a strand of hair that I could see. Were my bangs always this long? “Hey Tess, what about the hair color change?”

She shrugs, “I just assume that is dye. Doesn't really concern me, unlike the biologically impossible eye color change...”

I rub my forehead, “Dye? Come on Tess, who would dye our hair overnight?”

We stare at each other for a moment before speaking in unison, “Harry.”


“Well whatever, I'm telling you guys, I didn't screw with our hair, just like I certainly didn't tattoo all of our asses.” Harry went on, rambling about how he doesn't even know the address of any tattoo parlors, but I stopped paying attention as my mind replayed something.

“Harry, what do you mean our hair?” I point at his covered head, “Take off the sweatshirt hood.”

Harry sighs, then slowly reaches up and slides back the hood, “Totally not fair. You guys have blue hair, which is strange but kind of cool. But me? Pink hair? Not even the gayest of gay people have pink hair! What am I supposed to do with this?”

Tess and I study his hair for a second. It wasn't as 'advanced' in color change as my sister's or mine. It was still mostly black, there were just a few isolated pink streaks here and there.

I glance back at his eyes, “Hey Tess, his eyes are still brown.”

Harry raises an eyebrow, “Still? What's that supposed to mean, you're not suggesting...” He glances at the eyes of Tess and myself, “Ah, not sure how I didn't notice that until now. You're telling me you two just woke up like that? With blue and purple eyes?”

I nod while Harry stares at my sister for a few seconds. “Tess, purple eyes are creepy as hell in real life. I’m used to seeing them in anime, but in person they look so... alien.”

Tess sighs, then moves back to learn against the wall and closes her eyes. I bite my lip and look back at Harry, something catching my eye on his head, “Harry, what’s in your hair?”

He glances at me, “You mean other than the garish pink stripes?”

I frown, “No, dude, there’s something moving.” I get closer to Harry and let my eyes lock onto the subtle movement. It looks like a bright red worm or something is crawling from his scalp out towards the tip of his hair. I lean closer still, ignoring Harry's questions as to ‘what did I mean something was moving’. After realizing I’m not going to reply, Harry just shrugs and goes back to his cereal.

I still can't make sense of this moving pink thing so I move my face just inches away from Harry's head. Finally I have a clear view of the thing moving across his hair. It isn't a worm. I swallow nervously and call my sister without taking my eyes off the sight before me. “Twi...”

My sister opens her eyes, but doesn't budge, so I call her louder, “Twi, come over here!!”

She moves over to me and Harry lowers his cereal spoon mid bite, “Wait... what the hell did you just say Rachel?”

I continue to ignore him for the time being and point at the moving color streak in Harry's hair so Tess can see it. Harry starts to turn his head “No, seriously Rachel, you just said--”

He is cut off as Tess grabs his head with both hands. “Hold your head perfectly still Harry. Oh my god...”

Harry remains still for a moment, then speaks up, ”Umm, so seriously now, do you mind telling me what's going on?” I imagine his face was full of fear and confusion at this point, but Tess and I are too transfixed on his hair to pay any attention to his front.

Tess just stares ahead at the spectacle, so I take it upon myself to describe the sight before my eyes for Harry. “Well, don't freak out buddy, but right now we're watching a lock of your hair change color right before our eyes. As in, literally, this streak here is still brown at the tip, but a wave of bright pink started at the root and is now traveling down the hair... and.... there, now the entire strand is pink. Oh fuck, it's happening over here now!” I take a step back in bewilderment as a half dozen other streaks of pink start to form all over his head. “Harry you have locks of hair, locks about 1cm wide, their roots all turn pink and then the pinkness slowly moves down the strands like a rising tide until the entire lock is bright pink."

“Haha, very funny, I'm not even that smart and even I know that's impossible.” Harry says, his voice half full of alarm, half confusion.

Tess nods slowly, “Yes Harry... it is. Pretty much every aspect of this is quite impossible. Hmm, actually...” She nudges me with her elbow, not wanting to look away from the scene before her eyes, “Rachel, get me a pair of scissors.” I immediately obey, knowing that right now, 'what the fuck is going on here' is far beyond my understanding, but if I help Tess maybe she can figure it out.

“Hey! What are you planning over there?” More alarm manifests in Harry's voice and he tries to turn to face us, but Tess is still holding his head still.

I return with a pair of small scissors and dutifully hand them over to Tess, who answers Harry, “Rachel, hold his head still. Harry, please don't move, I'm just snipping one hair strand.”

Tess selects a single strand of hair that is 1/3 pink, 2/3 brown. No, wait, now it is 1/2 pink and 1/2 brown. Tess snips it at the base and explains herself as she does so “I want to preserve one strand mid transition. If I bring this to the biochem lab I might be able to... wait, shit.”

I glance over at her hand to find the reason for the explicative. “Oh, you've gotta be kidding me...” The free strand of hair in her hand which was cut from Harry's head is now 80% pink and still advancing. “Tess, if you cut that strand off his head, how the hell is it still advancing? Isn't that dead?”

Tess bites her lips as the free strand of hair between her fingers becomes 100% pink. “This strand is just dead, dried keratin. There isn't a living cell anywhere on here and it's not connected to the body. It shouldn't be able to change... it shouldn't....”

I let go of Harry's head and he turns to face us, “Well, so yet another impossible thing. I'm sensing a pattern here, I mean--”

“Ahh!” Tess looks at his face and jumps back a few inches in surprise.

I look at Tess, than back at Harry's face and squint. Harry speaks up, “What? Something on my face?”

A shiver goes down my spine as I see it. “Harry... I hope you like blue eyes.”

Harry pauses for a moment, then says nothing as he stands up to go find a mirror. I turn back to the smartest person in the room, “Tess, so, umm, his eyes were normal 30 seconds ago, and we were all alone here in the kitchen. No one else came, no one did anything. They changed entirely on their own accord, just like his hair. Tess... what the hell is going on?”

Harry's voice echoes down the hall, “Oh you've gotta be shitting me! Blue eyes I can deal with but this hair got way too pink! I look totally gay now!”

The two of us ignore him, as per usual, and Tess moves to the living room and starts packing things, “I don't know what's going on, but I'm going to find out. Take off your pants, I need a sample.”

“A sample of...?” I raise an eyebrow, but do as she says and strip down to my panties. Tess returns with an old backpack and produces several small vials that look like small glass film canisters. “Harry, bring me the isopropyl from the medicine cabinet!”

Harry's voice echoes back from the bathroom, “The what?”

My sister facepalms, “The rubbing alcohol!”

Harry returns a few seconds later with the bottle, still running a hand through his new hair. He hands the bottle over, “You know, my hair feels different, not just pink, it's like... softer? Longer?”

I start to worry that my sister is going to attempt surgery on me or something and wanted that rubbing alcohol to sterilize her tools, but Tess just pours the alcohol into her six small glass vials. Then she picks up what looks like a metal toothpick and walks towards me, “I'm just going to take some DNA samples.”

Harry finally notices that I’m sitting half naked on the couch. “Oh hey Rachel, nice panties. You getting ready to try your birthday present out or something?”

Tess laughs and I bite my tongue, “Shut up and turn around Mr. ‘Gay Pink Hair’, one more word about my birthday present and you're gone.”

Harry smiles to himself but says nothing as he turns around to give me some privacy. Tess wastes no time in picking and scraping at one of my cutie marks with her metal tool, then she puts the pick in one of the glass vials and closes it. “I'll want a DNA sample from everything that's changed. I can't sample your eye, so I'll just do the tattoo and the hair...”

Harry is still facing the wall but he corrects her, “Not a tattoo, it’s a cutie mark.”

Tess says nothing and continues to work, adding a snippet of my blue hair to another vial. She then proceeds to repeat both of those steps on herself, adding a lock of her hair and then her cutie mark's DNA to the two other vials. I glance at the last 2 vials, “What are those last two vials for, are you tagging Harry too?”

A momentary look of confusion crosses her face, “Hmm? No I don't need Harry, testing two of us is fine. Oh! I almost forgot, I need controls! Give me a bit of unchanged, normal skin.” I glance at my arm, it looks normal enough, I hold it out and Tess takes a skin sample, and then finishes by repeating the same on herself as well.

“So, now what?” I ask as I put my jeans back on. “Oh, and Harry you can look now.”

Harry turns back around and walks over to the couch, still running a hand through his hair as he gives a glance towards Tess who is packing up all her samples. “I'll be back from the lab in a few hours. You two stay here, call me if anything crazy happens.” She puts her backpack on and grabs her old student ID then makes for the door. “

I raise an eyebrow, “Call you if something crazy happens? Crazy like what? I mean, our eye colors changed and we saw a man's hair turn pink right before our eyes. I think my meter for determining 'crazy' might be a little skewed at the moment.”

Tess pauses in the doorframe, “Hmm, touché. Well, I'll be back in a few hours, wish me luck!”

I wave, “Godspeed, go find some us some answers.”

The door closes and I turn back to Harry who is still running his hands through his hair. I look at it for a moment, noticing an aspect of it that wasn't there just a few minutes ago, “Harry, you're hair is really freaking long. Like seriously, what the hell, yesterday your hair was an inch long right?”

He nods and he twirls a lock of shoulder length pink hair around his finger. “Yep... and now my hair is really, really girly.... I’m not sure if I like where this is heading Rachel. ”

“Relax buddy, gender isn't decided by what your hair looks like.”

He gives me a glance, “The hair is just a side thing dude. I'm not worried about the hair changing my gender, I’m more worried about that something else doing that.”

I raise an eyebrow, “Oh really? Come on Harry, what would do that? I’m pretty sure nothing can--”

He taps his thigh, “It's got to be my destiny, and it's what my cutie mark is telling me! Rachel, the song doesn’t just apply to making parties and balloon animals. It might as well be referring my pink hair or maybe a new gender to match this hair and cutie mark.”

I pause for a second and chuckle, “Not gonna happen Harry. No way a cutie mark can change us that much. I mean, look at the show if you really wanna base your ideas off that. When Rarity had Dash’s cutie mark she didn’t grow wings or get a rainbow mane. Cutie marks--if that’s really what these things are--can’t change people physically.”

“Mmhmm, keep telling yourself that bro, maybe one day you will convince yourself it’s true.” Harry grabs his forward most lock of hair and pulls it out in front of him. It was almost entirely pink and when straightened out it was well over two feet long.

He looks up at me with his new blue eyes and I swallow nervously. Harry is changing by the minute, and I haven’t looked at my own hair for about half an hour. “Urgh, be right back Harry...”

I stand up and walk towards the bathroom to catch my reflection, swearing under my breath as I do so. My hair is positively full of those three shades of blue. Navy blue, deep blue, and then that fluorescent greenish-blue that almost seems to glow in the light.

Harry appears beside me, “If it’s any consolation, I kind of like it. Certainly beats pink if you ask me.” I say nothing and scratch my forehead, wishing that Tess would hurry back from the lab.

After a moment or two of both of us staring at my reflection, Harry takes his hand and lifts the back of my hair, I was about to ask what the hell he was doing when he speaks up, “Uh... it's not just the color or the length Rachel, this hair is getting really long down your neck too.”

I roll my eyes, “What do you mean ‘not just the length but it’s getting long down my neck’? Hair going further down my neck IS length.”

He shakes his head, “Sorry, that’s not what I meant. It’s not just longer, it seems to be growing from more skin.”

I flick his hand away and bring my hand to where his was, then run my fingers down and feel my hairline. What the hell? Harry wasn’t kidding, my hairline itself goes all the way down to my shoulders, I have hair growing out from the entire back of my neck.

Harry stares at my back with worry, “Rachel... on humans isn't the hairline on your neck supposed to end up where your ears are?”

I turn and glare at him “On humans? What kind of question is that?”

Harry sighs and leans back on the wall and crosses his arms, “So I'm going to have to be the jackass that says it huh?”

I stare at him, knowing what was coming. “Really Harry? Horses and ponies? You think we're actually becoming ponies?” I force myself to laugh, though I admit to myself that Harry’s suggestion had crossed my mind.

He throws his hands in the air, “Well, I'm not a scientist, but hey SHINING ARMOR that's a nice MANE you have, really matches your cutie mark and eyes. Oh and why don't you ask your sister, TWILIGHT, if she knows why Pinkie's hair is this brightly colored and long and curly?”

I look back at the reflection of us and bite my lip, Harry did have a point. These changes were anything but random. Everything done so far is making us look more and more like certain ponies, these hair changes are perhaps most alarming of them all, human hair doesn’t grow like this. But no, suggesting that we are actually turning into ponies is just stupid. “Come on Harry, we're dealing with the strange and somewhat impossible, not something out of pure fantasy.”

He shrugs, “Fine, but a hundred dollars says the answer you’re looking for is ponies.”

I facepalm, “You’re wrong Harry.”

He remains adamant, “Okay, so bet me the hundred dollars. You don’t think we’re becoming ponies? Hundred dollars.” Harry holds out his hand, wanting to shake.

I look at his hand, truth be told, I wasn’t that confident that he was wrong. I normally wouldn’t bet on something this unknown, but to help keep my sanity I decide to take the bet. “Fine, hundred dollars we remain human. Sounds like a pretty safe bet to me...”

Harry smiles and he shakes the hand, “I’m telling you bro, the answer to all this is ponies.”

We end the shake and make our way back to the living room, “Well, since we can’t do anything about these changes and constantly thinking about it is going to drive us insane, what do you wanna do to pass the time until my sister returns?”

Harry shrugs again, “Uh... I think the answer is ponies?”

I chuckle slightly at his mimicked response, “Sure, why not. That show always makes the hours fly by, and right now I just want it to be time for Tess to get back here with some answers.”

“Well, assuming she FINDS some answers, this might be beyond her, I mean, this is all pretty surreal.” Harry says as he turns on the TV and grabs the ever familiar Blu Ray collection of all the seasons.

I scoff at his comment, “Oh please, this is Tess we are talking about! She’ll figure it out.” I grab the remote and select the Equestria Games Crystal Empire episode. I'm not entirely sure why, but I really want an episode with Shining Armor in it.

Ponies start to play on the screen and Harry and I say nothing as we enjoy the episode and another one starts playing. I don't know when I dozed off, but I soon started dreaming an ever familiar dream...


“Get my five full centurion forces plus my personal guard! Bring the royal mages as well, this is not a drill people, let's move move move!!” Those were the orders I bellowed across the barracks earlier today when we got the alert that Celestia hadn’t reported back from her trip with Discord. I knew Discord had done something, and it wasn’t just the fact that she was missing, I could feel it in the air that something bad happened.

We marched out to her last location near the volcano. With me were several hundred of our finest guards, all armed to the teeth. We also brought an entire legion of unicorns specifically trained in negating and deflecting Discord’s magic. If we found him, he would have to answer to us. I only wish Luna could have accompanied us, but she was in her sacred slumber and magic law stated she can’t be awoken until nightfall.

Finally we reach the volcanic outcrop where Celestia and Discord planned to fight the beast from Tartarus. There was nothing here though, no monster, no Discord, and no Celestia. I give some commands to the scouts to ensure we aren't missing something, but from the looks of it this place is deserted.

They should be here though, and Celestia would have signaled back to us if they planned to leave. “I got a really bad feeling about this.” No sooner had I thought those words when I felt a jolt of magical panic across me. I freeze in place and note the bad taste forming in my mouth. “No... Twilight?!”

One of my unicorn bodyguards stops and looks at me, “Sir, what is it?”

The pit of horror grows in my stomach as I explain what I felt, “My sister! As you know I have personally put protection spells all around her chambers, but something just shattered all of them! That’s impossible though, they--ARGH!” I pause and clutch my head as pain goes down my horn. I can always tell when something bad is happening to someone I am protecting, but I have never felt it this strongly before. The feeling of dread is cutting me so deep that I knew it could only mean one thing: My sister's life is in danger.

Panic floods me as I look around us and realize our folly. Much of the royal guard had left Canterlot with me, Twilight is practically alone in the castle. I didn’t even think to warn her that trouble might be coming! I stand tall and immediately bark orders, “EVERYPONY PULL BACK!! RETURN TO CANTERLOT AT ONCE!!”

There is some minor confusion but everyone obeys and turns around. I turn to my personal guard, “Twilight is under attack. I’m sorry, but I have to get back there now.”

A decorated pegasus near me salutes, “Sir, I will fly there myself. I will arrive before the bulk of our forces, but I will find and protect Princess Sparkle with my life.”

I shake my head, “Your bravery is commendable, but there’s no need for that flight, I’m going myself. I’ll meet you all there when you arrive.” I start to charge my horn and prepare to teleport back. Teleportation is an exceptionally tricky spell, the number of ponies that can do this could be counted with a single breath. Truth be told, the spell was probably beyond my natural talent, but my sister painstakingly taught me this spell. Under her detailed lessons, I learned every nuance and trick needed to perform it.

One of my personal unicorn guards realizes what I was doing and runs up to me. I temporarily halt my spell as he speaks up, “Sir, please, you can’t go by yourself, you have to wait for some of your guard to arrive! It’s too risky to go there alone!”

I grit my teeth, “Look, we don’t have time for this! It’s going to take us over an hour to get back on hoof. That’s too slow! I need to teleport back now! If something happens to me when I’m saving my sister, well then that’s my problem.”

The unicorn grabs my uniform and beseeches me, “No, that’s just it sir, this is more important than you! Shining, you’re the Captain of the Guard! With Celestia gone and Luna in her sacred slumber, command of the entire Equestrian armed forces falls to you! If Celestia really did fall in battle, this is an act of war! Don’t you get it? We need to get you to safety immediately! We can protect you from Discord and work to find and protect the other bearers of Harmony, but you have to stay with us! The next few hours will be crucial to the entire fate of Equestria! If something were to happen to you, the entire guard will be thrown into disarray, we would have no way to--”

I shove the groveling unicorn off of me and he lands painfully on his side. I swear under my breath, “Damn it, this is my sister we’re talking about! I’m sorry, but I can’t just sit around here and wait while she gets killed!”

Another pegasus cries out, begging me to wait for reinforcements, I ignore him and I feel the magic from my horn start to envelop me. I mutter the incantation of the teleport spell and as I do so I feel a flood of passion. My sister took the time to teach me this spell, and now I can use it to save her.

A spark, a flash, and I find myself in the throne room of Canterlot. Thin smoke fills the air and I don't see any of the ceremonial guard. A few broken helmets and spears are scattered about and I hear diffuse screaming in the distance. Panic floods my veins as I cry out, “Twilight!!!”

I sprint down the halls to her chambers, and as I get closer I can feel something that doesn’t belong. And it's in her room! I can’t sense Twilight anywhere, but I will defeat whatever beast or monster is in her room and save my sister. I’m only a few steps from the room when I hear a totally different mare's voice cut across the air. “Rachel! Ahhhhh, holy shit, holy shit. Oh god, Rachel, I'm freaking out man! Rachel!”

Wait, what the hell? Is that Pinkie? I shake my head and my dream fades...


I run my hand over my face and wipe the sleep from my eyes. Harry yells something and I sit up on the couch, what was I dreaming about? Something tormentous, I don’t remember the dream but I know it was full of violence and terror...

“Rachel, oh Jesus tapdancing Christ, am I tripping right now, please tell me I'm tripping!” Harry is sitting across from me, looking white as a ghost as his hand waves at my face. “Oh god they are still moving! There are changing shape now too!! Ahhh, what the fuuuuuuuuck!”

I look at him, “Harry, seriously, what's happening?”

He says something in response, but it's muffled for some reason. All sound fades as I feel myself go temporarily deaf. A second later my sense of hearing returns, but it’s different. It’s crisper, louder, and clearer than ever.

I clear my throat “Whoa, that felt weird, what the hell just happened?”

Harry just whimpers.

I feel the upper part of my head twitch and flick and Harry’s eyes go wide as he stares at me. My mind connects all the dots and I freeze. “Harry... what happened to my ears?”

He swallows slowly, “Well, let me put it this way. I think I just won a hundred dollars from a bet.”

14. A tail of two sisters.

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Chapter 14: A tail of two sisters.

Harry is staring at my forehead, which undoubtedly has changed just like my eyes and hair have. I'm not really sure I want to know just how much they changed though. I swallow nervously, “How bad are we talking here? Scale from 1 to 10.”

Harry raises his eyebrows and takes a deep breath, “Well... you have the ears of a pony.”

I close one eye as I wince, “Dude, I asked for a warning 'on a scale from one to ten', I didn't want to actually know the full truth! Not cool man.”

Harry holds his palms out, “Rachel! I think you have bigger things to worry about than my wording. Maybe I wasn't clear: YOUR HAVE HORSE ANATOMY ON YOUR FACE.”

The gravity of the truth still hasn't worked its way into my brain, so I facepalm as I try to comprehend it. Bad idea, facepalming results in my fingers brushing up against the fur at the base of my ears.

Fur. I have fur on my forehead.

On reflex, almost as if I just touched a bug, I yank my hand away from my face. Panic slowly seeps into my thoughts and I’m not really sure what to do. Should I go look in a mirror? Should I just ignore this? Should I just close my eyes and cry?

I start to go for the latter and then I feel a hand on my shoulder, “Rachel, are you okay?”

I wipe the tears away with the back of my hand, “I’m fine. I just want Tess here, I just want answers. Now.”

Harry takes a deep breath, “Rachel, I know you don’t want to hear it, but I think we both know who you’re starting to look like. I mean---”

I cut him off and speak slowly and deliberately, “Harry, I swear to god, if you say 'the answer is ponies' one more time, I'm going to stab you with my horn.”

He slowly raises one eyebrow, “Uh..?”

I snap back at him, “WHAT?”

He points at me, “Repeat what you just said.”

I roll my eyes, ”I'm in no mood for games Harry, and yes, I will stab you.”

He wags a finger at me, 'You said ‘with my horn’, you were talking like you had a horn.”

I purse my lips, “Well, I did say that. That's a bit bizarre now isn't it?”

Harry holds his arms wide in exasperation, “Rachel. WHAT HORN? Seriously, what the hell is this, I've heard of slips of the tongue before, but not like this. I mean sure some of your anatomy has changed, but you don't have a horn. Why would you accidentally say something you don’t even have?”

A door slam cuts off his monologue. I hear Tess hang up her keys and walk down the hallway towards us.

I turn to await her approach “Oh hey, thank god you're back Tess. We could really use... Oh. Wow, what happened to you?”

Tess appears in the living room, her hair is 100% full Twilight Sparkle at this point, right down to the nerdy flat bangs. Her eyes and her cheeks wet, clearly from her tears. As disturbing and worrisome as that is, I am more focused on the purple pony ears coming off her head. They are real pony ears, looking like something straight off the cartoon. The worst part is knowing that my ears probably look just as bad as hers. Now it was my turn to whimper.

Tess says nothing as she walks past us, handing me a manila folder as she passes by. I open it up and see some lab printouts of some data I couldn't really understand. I turn back to Tess to ask what this meant, but she is busy at the liquor cabinet pouring a glass full of gin.

Harry takes a step closer to her, “Umm, Tess, are you okay? I know the ears look bad, but at least you're not alone, your brother is going through the same thing you are.”

She mumbles something and pours a full glass of gin. Harry leans forward, “So, you're not supposed to pour more than a shot or so of gin, you do realize that's 50% alcoh--”

Harry cuts off his sentence as Tess slams back the glass of gin. It takes her about four gulps to swallow it all, but she downs the entire thing and then stands there for about a minute. Harry and I exchange looks, neither of us really wanting to ask how the lab went. Finally I clear my throat to try and get her attention.

Tess shakes her head slightly and starts to speaks, but doesn't turn to look at us, “I ran the DNA tests, it explains why we grew new ears and these manes.”

I stammer, “Manes? Come on Tess, these aren't manes, that's just silly isn't-”

She turns around, her eyes watery with tears, “Rachel, the tests... We are... You and I...” She can’t finish her sentences and tears start to flow down her face again.

Harry looks around, “Just you and Rachel? Am I included in this? Because if not, that would be great...”

Tess grabs the manila folder back from my hand. “I took our DNA, did a polymerase chain reaction to amplify the quantity, then ran a gel and isolated the quantums to do a rapid Sanger sequence of the DNA, allowing me to run a BLAST search against the global biotechnology GenBank genomic database to find homologous sequence matches across all known specimens.”

Harry grits his teeth. “Speak English woman!”

She facepalms and mutters something under her breath, “I amplified our DNA samples and then compared our DNA to the international database of all known DNA sequences.”

Harry throws his hands in the air. “Why didn't you just say that at the beginning!”

Tess mutters to herself again, then wipes the tears from her eye and speaks up, “So anyway, I figured out why we have manes, pony ears, and why we grew that other thing.”

I let out a deep sigh of relief, “Oh, so you figured it out? Thank god, please explain... Actually, wait a second, what other thing?”

Tess's face remains neutral, “Hmm?” She doesn’t say anything for a few moments but was clearly deep in thought.

I narrow my eyes, “Tess, what do you mean 'grew that other thing'?”

She raises an eyebrow, “Oh? You haven't gotten yours yet? It's quite the experience when you first see it coming off of you. Sort of like a smack to the face really. You don’t even have to hear the lab data, that appendage pretty much tells you all you need to know about what we're becoming.”

Harry's eyes dart back and forth between Tess and myself. “Tess, seriously, what the hell are you referring to? The ears? Rachel just got hers.”

Tess looks over at me, I feel panic grow inside me and she looks me up and down and smiles. ”Don’t worry Rachel, you’ll get it any minute now, mine came just a few minutes after my ears.”

My throat goes dry, Harry speaks up,“Tess, stop dancing around the subject. What are we talking about here?”

Tess glances at both of us, “Fine, I'll show you. You might wanna sit down though, don't want anyone fainting in here.”

I snap at my sister, “Damnit Tess, just TELL US.”

Tess smirks ever so slightly as she unceremoniously turns to the side. She places her hand down her back and under her pants, then pulls out a large bundle of something which unfurls behind her. “Come on sis, connect the dots. You can't really be a pony without one of these now can you?”

I feel the skin of my face go cold as the blood drains away. My vision starts to cloud over as I feel lightheaded. I'm still processing the sight before me: My sister has a tail. A purple pony's tail with a pink stripe.

I hear Harry give a slow whistle as he looks at Tess's tail. My vision gets cloudy and I begin to feel dizzy. I start to faint. My sister... has a tail... like a horse... and I'm apparently going to grow my own in a few minutes...



A little while ago, on the road just outside their house...

I pull over and stop the car when I start to feel something growing under my leg. It’s a tail, a thick, lavender pony’s tail. Tears fill my purple eyes as I try to make sense of what the hell is happening to me. I am supposed to be the smart one, I know my sister and Harry are waiting for me to bring all the answers back from the lab. Nothing here makes sense though. I don’t have real answers, just more confusion.

All my years of schooling and all hard work, all of it is useless here. My four majors, my research, my masters degree, none of it helps me in the slightest when it comes to explaining any of this. It is beyond frustrating. “Just find us some answers” Rachel told earlier today, and I could see fear in her eyes as she did it. Well, I pretty much failed them, I bring back nothing but confusion, and a tail growing out of my ass. Great, just great. I shake my head and start the car back up, it was only another mile or so until the house.


I stumble into the apartment. and enter the living room and see Harry and Rachel. Oh look, she has white pony ears, I should have guessed as much. Harry's ears are still normal though, he must be lagging behind us by a few hours for some reason. The hair tells a similar story, Rachel’s is really quite exquisite and doesn’t bare a shard of resemblance to how her hair normally looked. Harry’s hair still has a touch of brown here and there but is was getting pretty crazy, such a bright and wild pink held in gravity defying curls.

Rachel turns to see me “Oh hey, thank god you're back Tess. We could really use... Oh. Wow, what the hell happened to you?”

I say nothing as I walk past the two of them. I see a pair of hands and I give them the manila folder with the damned DNA test results. I didn’t really want anything to do with that data right now. I move straight to the liquor cabinet and open it up. Let's see here: Rum, 35% alcohol by volume. Vodka, 42%. Tequila, 38%. Whisky. 40%. Gin, 52%. There we go, looks like we found our winner! I grab the bottle and then glance at the glasses, grabbing one of the larger ones as I start to uncork the gin.

I hear someone take a step closer to me and my sister's voice rings out, “Umm, Tess, are you okay? I know the ears look bad, but at least you're not alone, your brother is going through the same thing you are...”

I mumble quietly to myself, “If you knew half of what I just found out, you wouldn't be questioning my actions here...”

I finish pouring the glass only to hear Harry speak up, “So, you're not supposed to pour more than a shot or so of gin, you do realize that's 50% alcoh--”

I slam back the glass of gin, ooo fuck me does that burn. Probably should have prepared a chaser. Wait, can equines metabolize alcohol? Probably should have looked that up before hand, though I guess my liver is still mostly human. Dang, I should have run a CBC and a liver enzyme blood test back at the lab, would be interesting to know...

Rachel clears her throat behind me, bringing my out of my thoughts. Ah, yeah, they probably are waiting to hear what I found out. Well, might as let them know, “I ran the DNA tests, it explains why we grew new ears and these manes.”

Rachel stammers behind me , “Manes? Come on Tess, these aren't manes, that's just silly isn't-”

I sigh and look into the empty glass. I force myself to turn around and repeat the conclusion I discovered this morning, “Rachel, the tests... We are... You and I...” I feel tears fall down my cheek, trying to tell my sister the gravity of the situation, I just couldn’t do it.

Harry looks around, “Just you and Rachel? Am I included in this? Because if not, that would be great...”

I reach out and grabs the manila folder back from my sister's hand. “I amplified our DNA samples and then compared our DNA to the international database of all known DNA sequences.”

Harry grits his teeth. “Speak English woman!”

I facepalm and mutter to myself “That was English...” then I look back up at them and try to dumb it down, “I look at thing that make us. Then I look at the things that make other stuff.”

Harry throws his hands in the air. “Why didn't you just say that at the beginning!”

“I'm surrounded by morons.” I mutter to myself. The stupidity of the situation makes me smile slightly and I wipe a tear from my eyes, “So anyway, I figured out why we have manes, pony ears, and why we grew that other thing.” I can’t bring myself to actually say the name of that last thing.

Rachel lets out a deep sigh of relief, “Oh, so you figured it out? Thank god, please explain... Actually, wait a second, what other thing?”

I keep my face innocent, “Hmm?” Oh, well, looks like I was right, Rachel must not have her tail yet. Interesting, so Harry lags behind us by a few hours and Rachel lags behind me by a few minutes.

My sister narrows her eyes, “What do you mean 'grew that other thing'?”

I raises an eyebrow, enjoying the feeling of knowing something they didn’t. “Oh? You haven't gotten yours yet? It's quite the experience when you first see it coming off of you. Sort of like a smack to the face really. You don’t even have to hear the lab data, that appendage pretty much tells you all you need to know about what we're becoming.”

Harry's eyes dart back and forth between Tess and myself. “Tess, seriously, what are you referring to? The ears? Rachel just got hers.”

I looks over at her, ”Don’t worry Rachel, you’ll get it any minute now, mine came just a few minutes after my ears.”

Harry speaks up,“Tess, stop dancing around the subject. What are we talking about here?”

I glance at both of them, “Fine, I'll show you. You might wanna sit down though, don't want anyone fainting in here.”

Rachel snaps at me, “Damnit Tess, just TELL US.”

I laugh inside, the alcohol making this entire scene much funnier in my mind. I turn and reach a hand down my back and under my pants, grabbing hold of the bundle of fluffy horse hair I found myself with a few minutes ago. I pull the tail out of my pants, enjoying the look of sheer confusion on the faces of the other two in the room. “Come on sis, connect the dots. You can't really be a pony without one of these now can you?”

Harry gives a slow whistle as he looks at my tail and I see Rachel's face turn white as she stares at my appendage. She’s going to to faint, ha, I so called it. I glance around and make sure there was nothing dangerous or sharp nearby. Nah, just a rug, she should be fine.

Harry laughs softly, “I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue.”

WHUMP Rachel’s body falls to the floor.

I sigh and step over her body. Harry takes his eyes off my tail and looks at Rachel's collapsed body, “Is she going to be alright?”

I scratch my forehead, “No, her DNA is doing god knows what right now and her body is becoming quite alien. I don't know how she's going to cope with it all.” Harry stares blankly at me, I laugh softly, alcohol always made me want to mess with people. “Oh, you’re just talking about her fainting and if she’s going to be alright from this fall? Hah, yeah, she's fine, she just fainted from her brain over exciting itself as it tried to make sense of an unknown stimulus, which was my tail. Can’t say I didn’t warn her. Well, anyway, she'll be awake in a minute or so once her brain circuitry calms down.”

Upon hearing me speak of the tail Harry’s attention is drawn back to it. He takes a step closer to me, and holds a hand out, “Can I touch it, that tail? Your tail?”

I chuckle, “That really does sound strange doesn't it? But yeah, knock yourself out I guess.”

I don’t say anything for a few seconds as he runs his hands through it, “It's so soft... I can't believe I'm actually holding Twilight's tail...”

I flick my tail away from him, “You have to stop referencing the pony show. I can’t focus and take this seriously if you keep saying this is all from a cartoon. Look, just because the color sort of matches that character--”

Sort of matches? Come on Tess, you're pony parts are a 100% match to Twilight's. The tail, the mane, the cutie mark, hell even the eyes. You're identical.”

I narrow my eyes, “I know there’s that purple pony, but I wouldn’t say it’s a 100% match.”

Harry rolls his eyes, then walks across the room to bring me the Blu Ray box set of the show. On the cover was the purple unicorn, and I had to admit the hair, tail, and cutie mark are pretty much a one to one match with my own. Hmm, that does seem to be more than a coincidence.

Harry looks over at me, I notice his ears are ever so slightly higher than they should be on a human. “So Tess, you wanna watch an episode? For science?”

I smile at his offer, “Maybe some other time, I wanna look through the lab data again to see if I can figure anything else out.” I know how obsessed Rachel and him are with that show, but I never really watched more than one episode myself. It was like 9 years ago in Season One, all I remember is how the plot was 100% predictable, I just didn’t see the appeal in watching any more of it. Besides, generation 1-3 was what I grew up with, those were the real classics! I had tons of the the toys when I was growing up, I gave them all names and personalities. I used to spend hours with those toys acting out adventures they would go on. I had entire stories and characters and everything. My parents would play with me too, and sometimes even their friends from work would come and watch the plays and stuff I put on with my ponies. They all thought I was adorable.

It is funny how Rachel is into the G4 ponies and all that brony stuff now. When she was younger and I was always asking her to play ponies with me, she always declined and said she would rather play with her GI Joes (much to the annoyance of my mom). Haha, yeah those were the days. The days before exams and thesis papers, just me and my toys playing pretend.

Harry waves a hand in front of my face, “Earth to Tess. You really zoned out there.”

I smile, “Just thinking of happier times Harry.”


“I’m starving” Harry says from the kitchen. He starts taking out stuff to make a sandwich and I glance at the clock. It’s 3pm, I should probably eat lunch too.

I step away from my notes and join Harry in the kitchen. He gestures back at my papers, “So, what’s all that studying for, what did you find out at the lab? You never really explained it to us.”

“Oh, um, I want to wait for Rachel to get back down here. No sense explaining all this stuff twice.” I can’t help but smile looking at Harry. His hair is 100% pink and curly and his fuzzy pink pony ears are poking out on either side. As scary and bizarre as this situation is, it’s impossible to frown while looking at his crazy appearance.

He nods, “Well, she should be down soon. She woke up a few minutes ago and told me she wanted to take a quick shower.”

I take out some plates, “Sounds good”

Harry and I make our sandwiches and I make one for Rachel too. I figured she needs one after waking up like that. It’s not everyday you wake up on the floor and find out you grew a blue tail and it’s running down your leg. I sigh as I make her sandwich and bring out the toaster oven. I may not know what’s causing our bodies to change like this, but I do know toaster ovens make the tastiest sandwiches. Hmm, usually Rachel is the one to use this thing, not sure which settings to use...

“Sis, what are you doing. You’re not allowed the use that thing, you’re going to burn the house down.” There is laughter behind me and I look to see Rachel standing there. She is in casual clothes with her hair wrapped up in a towel. That much is normal for a girl of her age, but Rachel also has a second towel wrapped around her tail in a similar fashion. The entire thing looks quite comical.

Harry looks at her, “Nice... towels Rachel.” He alters his voice slightly, “Not sure if tail is hard to dry, or just trying to hide it.”

Rachel rolls her eyes, “Yeah, yeah, very funny. Don’t you worry Harry, you’ll have your own pretty little pink pony’s tail soon enough. Oh, and nice ears by the way.”

Harry bites his tongue, “Ouch, my pride.”

I laugh, “You know we love you Harry, don’t listen to my sister she’s just teasing you to deflect the attention away from herself and her own insecurity about her tail.”

Rachel gives me a glance, “You’re using your psychology words again.”

I stick out my tongue, “I told you it was a useful major.”

She glances at the toaster oven, “Look, Tess, I’m awake now, can I just take over? You’re terrible at this.”

I sigh, “Fine, take over.”


“Ah, thanks Tess!” I walk over and take charge of the toaster oven. Tess is my sister, but she is not to be trusted around cooking appliances. Harry is great with them, I am okay with them, Tess usually starts fires.

Harry opens the fridge door, “Rachel, want anything to drink?”

I shake my head “Just water, thanks.” I peer inside of the toaster oven and look at the sandwiches loaded inside. “Jesus, Tess you really loaded up on the meat here. You craving protein or something?”

Tess shrugs, “I just don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to eat meat. Figure I would eat as much as I can since this might be my last chance.”

I wag my finger at her, “Tess, you know something we don’t. What exactly did you learn at the lab?”

Tess frowns, “Yeah, I suppose it’s time to explain that huh?”

Harry nods, “Mmhmm, please do”

Tess takes a deep breath, “Alright, so as I said before, I ran the DNA tests. Okay, now normally all humans share like 99% of the genome with other humans. Even monkeys and apes share about 90% of their genome with us. But us... well we’re not really on the chart. Let’s start with the hair and the cutie marks. I ran the DNA from there and compared the sequence of those cells to see where they fit.”

“And?” I lean forward with interest.

Tess chews her lip for a second, ”They don’t.”

Harry throws his hands in air, accidentally brushing against his mane and making it bounce in the air. “They don’t? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Tess shrugs, “I don’t know. But that’s what happened, the DNA from our hair literally doesn’t match that of any species ever seen on Earth. The genomic sequence found in those cells is encoding for amino acids I have never even seen before. It’s all very confusing, you see genetics has something called the “universal genetic code” where every creature on Earth uses the same genetic language. Think of it as every cell on Earth writes it’s DNA in ‘English’ so that to every cell the sequence AAA means “make amino acid X”. But, well, apparently the cells around our Cutie Mark have never heard of that. They’re doing their own thing in their own language. The genetic code is complete gibberish to my eyes and would be to any cell on earth. The DNA of our cutie mark, and from our hair is, for lack of a better word, alien.”

Harry says nothing and I just stare at the floor for a moment before remembering something, “What about the ‘control’ sample you took from our arms? The normal human cells, what did those show?”

Tess bites her finger nail for a moment, “That’s what concerned me the most actually. I ran it at the start and it showed this.” She walks off for a second and returns with a paper from her desk. There was a Pac Man type graph on there. Tess points at it, “The DNA from our arm was 75% human and 25% that unknown ‘alien’ type found on our cutie mark and in our hair.”

Harry looks up, “What do you mean, ‘was’?”

Tess frowns, ”I thought the sample got contaminated, so I ran it again. I took it from the exact same spot on my arm. I took a fresh sample of cells and I did the whole DNA thing again. This time it was 72% human, 28% unknown”. Frustrated I did it again. The same spot on the arm, the same test.“

I interject, “Let me guess, only 70% human now?”

She nods, “70.5%, yeah. Literally every minute that passes we are becoming less and less human.”

“Well... fuck” I exclaim.

“Yep.” Tess nods.

Harry shifts uncomfortably in his chair. “Umm, excuse me.”

I watch him get up and leave, but pay him no attention once I hear the toaster oven ding. The sandwiches are ready!

Tess and I set the table and get the food out of the oven, we don’t really say much, neither of us really sure how to follow up on the bombshell Tess just finished explaining.

Harry reappears, giant fluffy pink pony’s tail bobbing behind him. He must have cut a hole in his pants or something.

Tess just stretches and then points at the table, “Harry, food’s done.”

I turn and start eating. Harry stands there for a moment, “Really? Nothing? No comments? I just grew a giant pink horse tail... and nothing?! Come on!”

Tess shrugs, I laugh softly, “Old news Harry. Sorry.”

He shakes his head, “This is such bullshit, you guys get to experience all the surprises and I’m just here to experience the reruns.”


As we finish eating Harry pulls out his cellphone. “Oh, so earlier today before you guys woke up, I made a post on Twitter talking how I got a cutie mark...”

Tess glares at him, “You what? Are you insane? Harry we don’t exactly want to be broadcasting what’s happening here. Any biologist in the country would kill to get a hold of us. We’re a walking Nobel Prize really.”

Harry rubs the back of his neck, “Hey, I just wanted to see if this was a common thing or something. We didn’t really know anything back then!”

I smirk, “We still don’t really know anything.” I turn to Tess, “No offense sis, but we still don’t know what caused this or how to stop it. ”

She waves me off and focuses back on Harry, “Delete that Tweet. The last thing we need right now is attention! I mean, who knows who read that Tweet.”

Harry bites his lip, “Well, at least one person did, they sent me a message.”

Tess and I learn forward, ”What? Who?”

He taps his phone a few times, “It’s from ‘LoveSoftKitty’ and their profile says they are from Iowa, the Tweet reads: Hey, what kind of cutie mark did you get? Where did you get it done? Is it... ‘real’ looking??

I exchange glances with Tess, “What do you think? Sounds to me like they are fishing for information.”

Tess nods slowly, “Yeah, strange. I sort of want to hear their story, but I think that’s too risky right now. Harry, reply back to them and tell them that your earlier tweet was a joke. I think we have enough problems with just three of us dealing with this right now.”

Harry starts writing the reply on his phone, but something about my sister’s last sentence make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Something feels... off. I pull out my own phone and go to Twitter. God knows I rarely use this site, but I did have an account and followed a few people I knew. Something was telling me one of my other friends is in some sort of stress and--

Bingo. My eyes fall on a Tweet posted 24 hours ago, ‘Haha, very funny guys. Three of diamonds? That makes no sense. Whatever, thankfully no one sees that part of my legs! I look up and stare at the wall for a moment. Three of diamonds? Something about it being hidden on a leg? Sounds like a cutie mark to me. My eyes dart over to the left to see who posted the message, it was Tom. I feel myself selfishly take joy in this for a moment, it gives me an excuse to invite him over to our apartment. I quickly scold myself though, we had FAR bigger issues here other than me trying to get the cute boy over. Still though, might as well invite him over if he’s in the same boat.

Without saying anything to Tess or Harry, I walk out of the room and start dialing Tom’s cell. On the third ring he picks it up, “Oh, hey Rachel. Look I can’t really talk right now, I got some... stuff going on.”

I raise my eyebrows, “Yeah, I know. Look, you should really head over to my place, trust me.”

Confusion surfaces in his voice, “Uh, no, sorry, Rachel, I’m really quite busy here. Trying to deal with something, it’s kind of serious.”

I rub my forehead, “Look, Tom, I know, I’m also dealing with it. That’s why you should come over, we can figure this out together.”

Tom laughs, “Thanks Rachel, but no, really, I need to deal with this. Pretty sure you’re not dealing with... this.”

I bite my tongue for a second. Fine, he wanted to play this the hard way, let’s play this the hard way. I smile to myself, “Tom, what color is your tail?”

There was silence on the other end of the line for a few seconds, then Tom replied in a quiet voice, “Purple...”

Well, that confirms that for me. “Tom, mine is blue. Get over here.”

“Really? Uh, wow, okay. I’ll be there in twenty.” Tom ends the call and I walk back to the living room where Tess was explaining something to Harry. They both look up at me as I walk back in.

I toss the phone onto the coffee table. “Tom is on his way over.”

Tess and Harry exchange glances, the latter speaks up “Wait, ‘the American’? Is this really the proper time to invite your crush over for--”

I cut him off, “He’s Rarity. Well, technically I suppose the better wording is that he’s turning into her.”

Tess raises an eyebrow, “Interesting pronoun choice there sis.”

Harry just looks down, “Rarity? Sucks to be him. That is one girly pony.”

I get defensive, “Girly? Like you can talk Mrs. Pinkie Pink Hair, which, by the way, is really starting to look adorable with your face. The whole package of your face and those ears, and your fluffy pink hair and tail, hehe, it’s cute.”

Tess stares at me and narrows her eyes sharply but says nothing. Harry just sort of blushes and looks at the ground, “Pfft, I’m not... cute”.

15. Hey, this is useful.

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Chapter 15: Hey, this is useful.

I stand in front of the bathroom mirror and nervously inspect myself in the mirror. Tom is going to be here any minute, and I wanna look good. I normally would be applying some makeup, but it just didn’t feel right at the moment. Besides, I wouldn’t even know what kind of makeup to use to match my white fur and blue mane. Hmm, speaking of which, I should probably comb this. I grab my hair brush and bring it to my hair, then pause for a moment. My hair appears to be naturally growing to match Shining’s hairstyle. Should I try to comb something different? Nah, I guess this works.

I anxiously walk to the living room, running over what I’m going to say to Tom in my head. Should I bring up his tail? Should I show him mine? Hmm, I look around to see Tess still skimming over her notes on her table and Harry eating candy from our pantry. I clear my throat to get their attention, “Hey, fashion question guys: Tail in, or tail out?” I alternate holding my tail off to the side, then hiding it behind me. I repeat myself, “Show the tail... hide the tail... show the tail?”

Harry, who has his tail out in the open, questions the absurdity of my entire question. “Let me get this straight Rachel, not only are you treating your tail as a fashion accessory, but you’re asking us if we think showing it off will increase your chances of getting laid tonight?”

I blush, “What?! Come on Harry... don’t bring Tom into this. I just wanna know what looks better! I’m not exactly used to having a tail, I’m wondering what I should be doing with this thing as we go forward.”

Harry laughs to himself, “Well, for what it’s worth, I keep mine out. It’s a hell of a lot more comfortable than sitting on it.”

I turn to my sister, “What about you Tess? I see you have yours hidden pretty well.”

She snorts, “I’m not swatting at flies, so yes, I keep it tucked away.”

I tilt my head, “Uh, what?”

She sighs, “Horses, ponies, they mostly use their tails to brush away flies that sit on them and bite their legs. Since I obviously don’t have that issue, I don’t need this tail, and since I don’t need it I keep it tucked away.”

I roll my eyes, “Come on Tess, quit being such a pragmatist. You said it yourself, our bodies are changing more and more by the minute, we sort of need to adapt and roll with these changes as they come. Covering them all up because ‘we don’t need them’ isn’t the answer here.”

“I’m more worried about trying to halt or reverse these changes than I am about aesthetics, sorry Rachel. ”

I prepare a remark but a doorbell cuts across our conversation.

“I got it!” I yell as I sprint down the hall, awkwardly aware of the feel of my tail flowing freely behind me.

I fling the door open, without even bothering to look in the peephole to see who is there. I can only imagine how awkward it would have been if the mailman was here, but thankfully the door opens to show Tom. I have to admit though, it’s actually kind of hard to recognize him.

“Hi Tom!” I say exuberantly.

My coworker’s face is topped by a pair of white pony ears not unlike mine. His ears provide the benefit of providing a jaw dropping contrast to the dark violet mane that covers half his of face. As much as I dislike our pony anatomy, I can’t help but realize Tom looks more beautiful than ever. Behind his gorgeous appearance though, he looks slightly confused. “Uh... Rachel? Wow, you look different. Can I come in?”

I open the door wider to let him in. Tom walks in slowly, worry showing on his face. I certainly understand his worried aura, but I was kind of hoping he would be in a good mood when he got here. Hmm, I’ll just have to compliment him or something. “Hey Tom, nice tail!”

I wince, that probably isn’t the best thing to compliment. Tom slowly turns back to look at me. “Uh thanks? I just got it...”

I feel hot under the collar, “Ah, yeah, same with me. I suppose that’s why you’re here.”

“Mmhmm.” Tom nods and slowly smiles, “I’m really glad you called me, Rachel. I was worried sick when I was by myself. Great to see I’m not alone here, do you know what caused all of this? Know how to cure it?”

I turn to face him, then point behind me with a thumb, gesturing down the long hallways towards the living room, “We’re working on it. Let’s go meet the others.”

“Hi, I’m Harry!” The pink haired stoner suddenly shakes the hand of Tom.

I whip back around to see Harry standing right beside me. “Harry, what? How? Where the hell did you come from?”

Harry looks at me and shrugs, “I was right behind you.”

I raise an eyebrow, “Right... anyway, Tom, come meet my sister, she’s the one trying to figure this all out.”

We make our way to the living room and Tess doesn’t even look up from her notes as we stop beside her. I clear my throat and she finally tears her eyes off the page.

Before I can introduce them, Tom extends out his hand and smiles, “You must be Rachel’s sister, I don’t think we have had the pleasure of meeting before.”

Tess smiles back and shakes his hand, “Oh, hey Tom, my sister speaks very fondly of you.”

As they shake hands Tom studies my sister’s face, “I don’t think Rachel told me your name, but maybe she did... it’s Tee-S I think?”

My sister tilts her head, “Err, close, it’s Tess.”

I dart my eyes between them. I never did tell Tom my sister’s name, but “Tee S.” sounds an awfully lot like initials--

“You a pony fan Tom?” Harry finished my thought for me.

Tom looks at him, “Ponies? What, no. I lived in a city all my life, I’ve never even seen a horse in person before, well until I saw myself with these ears I guess.”

I cross my arms, “Tom, Harry was talking about the show, My Little Pony. You ever watch it?”

Tom stares at me, “That kid’s show? No, never seen it. I’ve heard of it, obviously. Um, excuse me for asking, but what does this have to do with anything? I mean, are the toys related to us growing these tails and ears? What is this, a publicity stunt?”

I shake my head, “A publicity stunt? I don’t think so seeing as how we’re all hiding and fearing for our lives. We’re not really walking around in public.”

Tom shrugs, “Maybe it’s a private publicity stunt?”

Harry squints, “A private publicity stunt? Seriously bro? What is this, Rat Race?”

Tess cuts everyone off, ”Tom, to get back to the point, we are still trying to figure what exactly caused all this. The connection to the TV show seems quite silly, but I have to admit there are some... interesting connections between us and that pony cartoon.”

Tom looks between us, “Oh? Like what?”

Harry pats him on the back, “Tom, I think it’s time you sat down and watched some cartoons with us.”


We are about four episodes in when suddenly a new voice chimes in from behind us. “I don’t see how you can seriously enjoy watching this, the plot is incredibly predictable.” I look back to see Tess leaning against the back wall.

Tom nods slowly, “Yeah, I know what you mean, in the last episode I knew Twilight was going to get enough Gala Tickets for all of her friends to get one. Don’t get me wrong, this is a pretty good show, but it’s still a kid’s show. Not exactly that hard to predict the plot.”

Tess laughs, “It’s not just easy to predict the plot, it’s totally obvious. Take this episode for example. We have Pinkie here saying she can predict the future, well it’s blatantly obvious how the episode will end. Pinkie will say they have to go to the swamp, and then they find a Hydra and all run away from it. In the end I bet Twilight finally believes Pinkie.”

Harry, Tom, and I all turn to stare at Tess. Harry speaks up, “Well if you’ve seen this episode before, of course you can ‘predict it’, sheesh.”

Tess laughs, “I’ve never seen this one Harry. Wait, you’re telling me what I said is the actual plot? Haha, wow, I told you it’s predictable. I mean come on, the old ‘follow the pink pony to the swamp and find a hydra’ story is really overdone. Pretty sure every little girl who has ever played with pony toys has acted out that story. It’s a classic.”

Harry and I exchange glances as we both start thinking the same thing. I continue looking at Harry as I speak to Tess, “Okay, let’s say there is an episode with the blue pegasus trying to choose a new pet. How would that one end?”

Tess yawns, “She would choose a turtle, probably after it saves her life or something during the pet selection process.”

Harry, still staring at me, follows my lead. “Tess, how would a story end that starts out with Twilight’s brother about to get married?”

She laughs “Come on, way too easy! The bride is a monster in disguise. These are like the most classic of all story tropes, literally everyone knows these.”

Tom, utterly confused here, looks around at us. “Uh. I don’t know that one...”

I ignore him for the time being, trying to make my questions a little bit harder, “Tess, an athletic blue pegasus, when would she learn she loves reading?”

“When she’s in the hospital with a broken wing. Wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up breaking back into the hospital once she is released because she wants to finish a book she started. I mean, come on, how can you not predict this?”

Harry gives it one more shot, “Tess, one more with blue pegasus, she saves some ponies and her friends start to worry about her ego. Then a masked figure goes around and steals all her thunder. Who is the masked figure?”

I roll my eyes, that one is actually pretty obvious one. Tom could probably even figure that one out, no way we would be able to stump her with--

“Huh, I don’t know.” Tess scratches her head, “It’s not clicking like the other ones. Must not be a common story trope I guess.”

I’m surprised, but actually slightly relieved that Tess didn’t know that one. Her predictions were starting to get creepy. Harry just laughs, “Gotta love Mare Do Well, so out of place that not even Tess can logic it out.”


I yawn and make my way to the bathroom, I check my watch, it’s 5pm, we’ve been watching ponies for the past several hours. Tess left the living room and went back to her study, looking up god knows what. At least Tom is content with the ponies though, he seems to be enjoying the show.

I do my business in the bathroom and then go to the sink to splash water on my face. Urgh, is this a pimple? I rub my fingers over it, Jesus, this is quite the pimple. A really dense bump right in the center of my forehead--

I freeze, suddenly realizing what this might be. I slowly look up in the mirror and look at my forehead. Sure enough, I have a marble sized nub protruding right at the center of my forehead. I scratch it with my fingernail. I don’t think it’s covered in skin, but it’s pretty sensitive to touch. I sigh, not exactly looking forward to even more pony parts sprouting off my body. Well, only one way to confirm if that’s what it is, let’s see if Tess has one.

I arrange my hair so my proto-horn is covered, then I leave the bathroom and head off to find Tess. She isn’t at her desk, but I soon find her in the computer room checking something online. Hmm, I need a reason to walk up to her. I go to the kitchen and grab two apples, then return to her computer room and walk up to her while eating one of them, “Hey Tess, apple?”

“Hmm?” She turns to look at me and her bangs slowly shift to reveal her horn. My eyes go wide, her horn is much more pronounced than mine. I suppose this made sense, as always she experiences the changes slightly before I do. Her horn is “only” the size of a baby carrot, but seeing as how she normally doesn’t have one, it looks positively massive. I just stare at it for a few seconds as my chin trembles. Seeing equine ears and a tail is one thing, but actually seeing a unicorn horn in person is like a slap to the face of everything you have ever learned. This was not just some animal parts, this was straight out of a world of fantasy.

She waves a hand in front of my face to get my attention, “Rachel? I said yes.”

I snap out of my thoughts, “Oh, sorry, here you go.” I drop the apple on the desk and debate if I should inform my dear sister that she has a mythical bone jutting out of her skull.

Tess turns back to the computer screen, “Oh, and since you’re here, can you pass me my USB flash drive? It’s on my keychain.”

I look around me, spotting her key chain on the table behind her. I’m still not sure how I’m supposed to just tell my sister she has a horn, I mean, kind of an awkward thing to say out of the blue. I grab her keychain and... wait a second. A smile forms across my face, “Oh here you go Tess.”

She finishes reading something then turns to face me, “Right, thanks for--”


I treat her horn like a key rack and hang her keychain on it.

Tess blinks for a second, then goes cross-eyed trying to focus on the keychain dangling off her forehead. Confused, she brings up her hand to grab the thing off her face. Once her finger grab hold of it, on reflex she pulls her hand away from her head, in a downward direction.


She pulls on the keychain, which in turn tugs on the horn and pulls her entire head down, smacking her head on the keyboard. “Ow, what the fu--”

I can’t hear the rest of her words, I’m laughing too hard, this is the greatest thing to happen since ever. I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes and look up, Tess is rubbing her cheek where her face hit the keyboard. With her other hand she carefully pulls the keychain off her horn, then feels her new bone.

“Urgh, this is what I think it is, isn’t it?”

I rub the back of my neck, “Yeah, congratulations, you now belong to a race that previously only existed in fairy tales.”

Tess makes a strange face, “Do you have one too?”

I nod, “I think so, but it’s not as large as yours.”

My sister turns the desk lamp so it shines in my face to give her a better view. “Brother, yeah you definitely have one. I can’t believe I didn’t feel it break my skin as it grew, must have done it really gradually. I wonder if Tom has one yet.”

I ignore most of her dialog as I am still hung up on the first word she said. I bite my tongue, I know the name slips are increasing in frequency around here, but the wrong gender pronoun is not something I want to hear.

I try and push it out of my mind so I think about other things, “Well, your horn has grown more than mine, can you do any magic yet?”

Tess returns me a neutral expression, “Magic? You think these let us do magic? I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.”

I roll my eyes, “Tess, let me explain something to you.” I pause to clear my throat, “WE’RE TURNING INTO CARTOON PONIES! So I’m pretty sure we can stop assuming that things like magic aren’t real. I mean come on Twilight, you even have a cutie mark that signifies magic.”

Tess purses her lips, “Don’t call me Twilight.”

My ears lie forward in aggression as I feel a flash of annoyance, this whole crazy pony situation really has me on edge. Not only that, she just called me the wrong gender and I didn’t say anything, why can’t she let me slip and call her a different name? "Look, sis, you’re a purple eyed UNICORN with Twilight’s cutie mark, mane, and tail. I should get to call you Twilight if I want!”

Tess turns back to the computer, “No, you shouldn’t. It’s not my name.”

I grit my teeth, “You don’t get to decide... Actually, you know what?” I pause and take a deep breath to calm myself, “Let’s make a bet. If I do magic, if I prove magic is real, then I get to call you Twilight.”

Tess thinks for a moment, about to point out how one sided this bet is, but she also reasons she has no chance of losing so it doesn’t really matter. She waves her arm at me, “Fine, whatever. Good luck with that, let me know when you get accepted to Hogwarts.”

I scowl and leave to go back to living room. Tom is half asleep on the sofa and the pink haired one is watching some episodes from Season 4. “Harry. Kitchen, me, you, now.”

He looks up at me and points at the TV, “But... ponies.”

I turn and start walking to the kitchen, “They’ll be there when we get back, now come on, I need your help with something.”

He groans but gets up and follows me. I flick on the bright overhead lights as we get there, then turn to face him, “Harry, what do you know about magic?”

He snickers, “Uh, nothing? I mean, I know it’s magic and stuff. You’re asking me about this why?”

I part my bangs to show my forehead, “Well, I got one of these now...”

His expression changes before my eyes, “Is that... wow, can I touch it?”

I shrug, “Sure thing.”

He reaches up and grabs it with his right hand. “Oh wow, it’s so smooth, and hard, and strong...”

I start to get goosebumps, “Uh, okay, crossed the line into creepyville.” I bat Harry’s hand away. “Focus Harry, how can I use this thing to cast magic?”

He throws his hands up in the air, “How the heck should I know? You’re the unicorn!”

I rub my forehead, acutely aware of the growing protrusion. “Look, we gotta figure this out, I sort of made a bet with Tess.”

He raises an eyebrow, “Oh? Well what’s in it for me?”

“If I prove to Tess magic is real, I get to call her Twilight.”

His ears perk up and a grin breaks out across his face, “Why didn’t you say so earlier? You now have my full attention, this is going to be the greatest thing that has ever happened!”

I pause, “Wait, are you referring to being able to call Tess Twilight, or me breaking every rule of physics and actually doing magic?”

Harry waves a hand, “Huh? Oh, I’m just talking about the Tess thing, you gaining god like powers and casting spells or whatever doesn’t really concern me. But calling Tess Twilight? Now that’s something worth working towards!”

I chuckle, “Alright, let’s think here. If I can do magic it’s going to follow the rules seen in the show, right?”

Harry nods, “Yeah, I suppose that makes sense.”

“Well, between the two of us we probably know every single bit of every episode. So, let’s brainstorm here, how do the ponies learn how to use magic?”

He scratches his head, “Let’s think here, Twilight seems to be able to copy any magic that she sees done in person. She’s like a blue mage in that respect I guess. But other than that, all new magic they do seems to be something they read and learn from books.”

I drum my fingers on the table in frustration, “Oh great, so I just need to find a book of pony spells, or find another unicorn on Earth to show me how it’s done.”

Harry laughs, “Well come on now, obviously someone in Equestria had to create the first spells before they wrote them down or shared them with people. So that suggests it is possible to learn magic on your own.”

I shake my head, “I don’t even know where to start. Heck, I don’t even know if my horn is large enough to cast spells.”

He taps his chin, “Hmm, well your horn looks to be about as large as Pumpkin Cake’s is in that babysitting episode. And she did magic then, so you should be able to do it as well, it’s just a matter of knowing how to do it.”

I blink, “Wait... how did Pumpkin Cake learn how to do her first bits of magic?”

Harry thinks for a second, “Hmm, let’s see, she was reaching for something through the bars of her crib. But couldn’t reach it so she tried harder, and harder, and then it just sort of happened. Boom, telekinesis.”

I exchange looks with Harry. We are both thinking the same thing.


Tom wakes up from his nap to hear screaming coming from the kitchen. It was 7pm and he yawns and makes his way to the source of the noise.

“Come on, do you even want this? Do you want this!?” Harry yells at me, waving an ice cream sandwich a foot away from my face.

“Give... give me that. I want it!” I twist my shoulders in a vain attempt to grab the frozen treat. My arms are literally chained to my refrigerator using bike locks.

Tom takes in the scene, “Did I come in at a bad time?”

I glance over at him, blowing my mane out of my eyes, “Tom, we are trying to replicate the scene where Pumpkin Cake wants something but can’t reach it. We think it will teach me how to use telekinesis.”

Tom’s face remains neutral, “Right... Well, um, I’m just gonna go back to the living room...”

I want to explain further to Tom but Harry gently slaps my face, “Focus Rachel. Do you even want this ice cream? Come on!”

I grunt and try to focus on grabbing it with imaginary arms or something, but it’s no use, I just struggle uselessly.

Harry frowns, “Come on, even Pumpkin Cake could have gotten this by now, and she’s a girl! What kind of man gets beaten by a girl?”

I grit my teeth, “I am a girl, asshole.”

Harry blinks, “Oh, right.” A slow smile crosses his face. “You know what Rachel? You just gave me an idea...”

I feel a sense of concern, “Harry, what are you planning?”

“You’ll thank me when this is all over.” He sets the ice cream bar on the counter and disappears for a moment.

My forehead creases with worry, I didn’t like the sound of this. Not like I have a choice though, I literally can’t move my arms. I have no choice but to just wait, and a minute later Harry returns carrying a box. Wait a second, is that what I think it is? That’s the box from my birthday party...

He half grins as he sets the box on the table. “So, Rachel. It’s clear you fancy Tom. But does Tom know about your hobby?”

I start to sweat, “Harry, what are you doing.”

He opens the box, pulling the birthday present. “Oh don’t worry, nothing serious, I'm just going to show this present of yours to Tom. Show him what you got for your birthday.”

I jump forward, making the chains go taut and the refrigerator shudder at the force. “Harry! Don’t you dare.”

He shrugs, “Oh come on, I don’t see what the big deal is. People show off their birthday presents all the time.”

I can’t let this happen, Tom will think I’m a freak. I strain against the chains again, well aware that it’s no use. “Damn it Harry, give that back! Seriously!”

He waves it in front of me. “Nah, Tom needs to see it first.”

I grind my teeth, “Come on Harry, not cool man, GIVE IT BACK!!”

“Nope.” He turns around and starts walking towards the door to the living room.

No, I can’t let this happen, he’s really going to do it! “HARRY. FUCKING GIVE THAT BACK.”

He whistles and keeps walking, only a few steps left to the door now. Last chance.

I narrow my eyes and feel my ears lie flat. “I SAID--

The hair on the back of my neck stands up. “GIVE--

My vision physically zooms in on my target, and in my mind I suddenly picture and feel the complete 3D shape of the object that’s in his hand. “THAT--

I feel my brain form new connections and my forehead starts to spark “BACK!!!!” I let out a guttural yell and pull. Hard.

Harry doesn’t let go in time and gets pulled with it, falling over sideways and slamming into the floor as the birthday present slides out of his grasp. He groans, “Yeah, so, that was pretty painful”. In front of him, hovering in mid air, is the object that caused all this commotion.

I’m speechless as I look at it. Harry slowly looks up at it, and let’s out a slow whistle. “The world will note, that on this day May 2nd, 2020, magic has been cast on Earth for the first time. One small step for an adult toy, one giant leap for mankind.

I realize what I just did and I let go of everything. The purple glow around the hovering object fades away and it drops to the ground.

I can’t help but laugh in jubilation. “You know, on reflection, we probably should have used something a bit more respectable for the history books.”

Harry gets up and dusts himself off, “Nah, it wouldn’t have worked. I knew we needed to get you really desperate.” He walks behind me and unlocks the bike chain holding my arms.

The second the chain was off I throw my arms around Harry and kiss him. “We did it Harry! You’re such a genius!!”

Harry blushes and takes a step back, raising his palms to me. “Whoa, Rachel, whoa. I’m this guy called Harry, pretty sure Harry is not on kissing terms with Rachel. Your Tom is in the living room.”

I playfully punch him in the shoulder, “Oh quiet you, you taught me how to cast my first spell. Tom, as nice as he is, doesn’t share that experience with me.” I was going to bring up how he actually looks really cute with his pink hair and slightly feminine facial features, but at the last second I realize that might come across as weird. Besides, he is right, Tom is the one I’m really after. Harry might be cute and helpful, but Tom is my true dream girl. Wait, dream guy. Stupid brain.

Harry picks up the most honorable dildo and places it back in the box. “So, the real question here is can you do it again? Or will we have to chain you up everytime you want to grab something?”

I look around, spotting the ice cream sandwich still on the table. “Well, let’s find out shall we?” Now that I knew what I’m supposed to be doing, this seems really easy. I focus on the ice cream treat and feel my mind analyze it and hold it, then my brain effortlessly twitches and I see the the ice cream glow purple and lift off to hover in the air.

Harry starts a slow clap, “Bravo, I am officially jealous.”

I glance over at him and smirk, “Yep, I’d be jealous of a magic user too.”

He shrugs, “Meh, I’m just jealous that now you can eat ice cream without getting your hands cold. That’s kind of unfair.”

I laugh, “Harry, I hardly think preventing cold hands is the primary reason I wanted to cast spells.”


Tess’s typing is distracted as a Bluray box lands on top of her keyboard. Startled, she picks it up, and sets it aside, then turns around to look at me. “Rachel, don’t throw things at me, I’m trying to learn here.”

I nod, “I didn’t throw it. And besides, I know you’re trying to learn, that’s why I gave you the MLP discs.”

She rolls her eyes, “I’ve heard your theory before Rachel, and I told you it--Ow!”

"But I think I have some new information, Twilight”. The BluRay box floats next to my sister and starts to poke her in the head.

She instinctively tries to bat the intruder away from her, but soon realizes boxes don’t normally float in mid air. “Are you...” Tess does a double take at the box, then looks back at me, and back at the box. “Are you using...”

I tap my foot, “Come on, say it.”

Tess reaches up and grabs the box with both hands, trying to pull it down to her level. I clench my teeth and increase the force I’m levitating it with. I look up as I hear a small shriek and see Tess pulled off the ground as she refuses to let go and the box pulls her a few inches into the air.

I pull her in the air towards me as Tess looks around in sheer confusion. Finally I let go when she is in front of me, dropping Tess to the floor with the BluRay box still in her hand. She turns her head to see how far she traveled. I smile, “Come on, say it.”

She looks at the box in her hands, then back up at me. “Do it again.”

I roll my eyes then take a glance sideways and spot a pillow on the ground. I effortlessly lift it in the air and bring it over to Tess, then start to make it spin in midair. What can I say, I’ve spent some time practicing in the kitchen. Trust me, as soon as you learn you can do magic, it’s pretty much all you want to do in your free time.

Tess stares at the floating pillow, then slowly shakes her head and smiles. “Well, slap a horn on me and call me Twilight... well played sis.” She pauses to rub her neck, “So, umm, can you teach me?”

I drop the pillow, “Really you're not upset at seeing this?”

She looks confused, “I’m witnessing the greatest discovery in the past thousand years. Why would I be upset?”

I raise an eyebrow, “Well, this flies in the face of everything you spent your time learning. Doesn’t this make your entire physics degree pretty much worthless?”

Tess just stares at the floating pillow, “Meh, I have like three other degrees to fall back on right?” We both laugh for a moment but then Tess gets serious, “But no, really, can you teach me?”

“A chance to actually teach you something? Dear diary, hell hath frozen over.”


About half an hour later we were all gathered in the living room. We would have started sooner but Tom was just starting to grow his horn and we figured it would be easier if I held this magic lesson just once for both of the new unicorns. Finally, around 7:45, I deemed Tom’s mini horn to be sufficient length so we could begin.

“I’m still not exactly sure what we’re trying to do here” Tom says as he sat next to Tess on the sofa.

“You mean Rachel hasn’t shown you what she can do yet?” Harry asks with a smile, he’s sitting on the other side of the room eating cake.

I walk to the center of the living room carrying two apples. “No Harry, I haven’t.”

Tess drums her fingers impatiently, “Can we please get this started? I have so many things I want to try, just show us how you do it!”

I smirk back at her, “Hey, I had to learn this by myself, be glad I’m offering to teach this to you girls.”

Tom lifts his hand to say something, but bites his tongue and holds it back. Harry speaks instead, “That’s a good point Rachel, you should charge them something to receive such a lesson.”

I wave a hand back at Harry, “My sister already paid. I get to call her Twilight now.”

She rolls her eyes, “Whatever. But what about Tom? Or does she get the lesson for free because you like her?”

Tom once again raises his hand in protest but is too polite to say anything. I bite my tongue as I think about what to charge Tom. My sister was right, I couldn’t really let Tom get the lesson for free, but I don’t want payment...

Harry pokes me as he stands next to me, though I could have sworn he was sitting down a second ago. “Don’t worry Rachel, I have an idea for this.” I shrug my shoulders and let him proceed. “Tom’s payment will be a kiss! If the lesson is successful Tom will owe Rachel one kiss. Sounds fair to me!”

I feel myself blush and I look away, but I hear Tom speak up. “Uh, sure. But can it be when all this crazy pony stuff is over? I think it would be a little weird to kiss with us looking like this.”

Tess mumbles something about ‘good luck with that’ and Harry walks back to his seat telling Tom that’s fine. I clear my throat and try to get on with the lesson, “Right, well with that settled let’s get started. You will notice I have two apples here.”

“Question.” Tom raises his hand.

I blush, pretty sure this will be about the kiss, “Yes Tom?”

Tom looks around, “Um... I’m sorry, what are we doing? What is this a lesson of?”

I nonchalantly levitate a small stack of magazines off the table and float them over to Tom, then hold them in the air for a few seconds before dropping them to the floor. “Levitation, telekinesis, whatever you want to call it Tom. You’re a unicorn now, you can do magic, this is your first magic lesson.”

Tom blinks in utter confusion. He didn’t even know what ponies were a few hours ago, and now he was being told he can cast magic? It was akin to telling someone that the Earth was actually flat. He looks up at me, “I’m sorry did you say magic?”

Tess butts in, “Alright Rachel, so I see you looked right at the books before you lifted them. Line of sight is required then?”

I shrug, “It helps, especially for starters. Here I brought these two apples for you two to try out.” I place them down a few feet in front of both of them, “What I want you to do is look at your apple. Really look at it. You want your mind to just sort of feel it in three dimensional space.”

Tess starts to glare at her fruit while Tom just raises an eyebrow and look up at me, “I’m really not following here. Look at the fruit to make it float?”

“Yeah, well, sort of. Hmm, this is hard to explain.” I scratch my head as I see Tess stare at her fruit and nothing happens. “Maybe I should demonstrate again.”

Tess breaks her fruit focused stare and nods. “Yeah, let us watch this time.”

I sit between the two girls and give them sideways glances, “Okay, here goes, pay attention.”

Across the room, Harry rubs his knee and mutters something about it being pinchy. Tess nudges me, “Rachel, tell us what you’re doing when you do it, should be easier to follow.”

Tom reaffirms this is a good idea, so I take a deep break and look at the two apples, slowly making them both rise as I explain what I’m doing. Tess squeaks, “I can feel that... in the air, it feels like magic? I can just follow that thread...”

I drop the apples, “Really? Tom did you feel anything?”

Tess stares at her apple again, her forehead twitching in concentration. Tom shakes his head at my question, “Not particularly, but--”

A nearby squee makes Tom stop. I look over at the source of the noise to see Tess smiling and the apple floating in front of her. I clap my hands, “Way to go Twilight! That’s the ticket!”

She just grunts and focuses more, “I feel like I can do more... just gonna...”

I glance back over at the apple to see it starting to vibrate violently. “Um, Twilight...” The apple starts glowing and giving off strange heat. “Twilight, you might wanna back off a little...”

Tess doesn’t respond, she just gives off some feral noise and sparks start to shoot off her horn.

Tom stands up and starts to back away from the apple, “I take it this doesn’t normally happen?”

Tess’s eyes start to flicker white and her horn grows brighter. Harry stands up at the far side of the room, “Rachel, what is your sister doing?”

I wave a hand in front of my sister’s face, “Twilight! Err, Tess! Calm down, I don’t think you’re doing this right!”

The apple starts pulsating violently and starts to hum with energy.

Harry walks backwards away from the scene, “Umm, guys, something something something... messing with forces beyond our control?!”

I could taste something funny, something bad is about to happen. I glance sideways and the red glowing orb that used to be a simple apple. Pretty sure we need to get away from this thing, it really doesn’t look stable. “Guys... we should leave...”

Tom doesn’t need a second warning and all but runs away from the scene to join Harry behind the door frame. I want to leave as well, but Tess is still sitting right next to it and I can’t leave her here. “Tess! Snap out of it, stop your spell, come on!”

I watch as both of my sister’s eyes suddenly turn pure white, then all of her hair stands up and her body lifts off the couch to float a few inches in the air. Harry groans from his location, “Oh, this is just great, we got super saiyan Twilight in the living room.”

This is bad, very bad. Casting her first magic must have set her off or something, all I know is we are in the middle of an apartment block with a thousand inhabitants, and we are clearly messing with powers we can’t control. Sure this happens in the show here and there, but this time there isn’t a Celestia to come by and fix everything.

The red orb starts to give off red sparks, setting the coffee table below it on fire. I reach out a hand to touch Tess’s shoulder to try and bring her out of it, but I jerk my hand back as an arc of something jumps to it and stings me. Harry yells out, trying to get his message heard across the ever increasing noise coming from the red orb. “RACHEL, DON’T TOUCH HER, SHE MIGHT TURN YOU INTO A CACTUS.”

Smoke was starting to build up from the coffee table, which is now fully engulfed in flames. Meanwhile Tess’s orb has grown to the size of a basketball and she doesn’t seem to be stopping. I look around in desperation, “Come on Rachel, think! I need to get Twilight out of here, but I can’t touch her body without getting shocked. Hmm, I can’t lift her whole body with my magic either, I doubt I can lift anything much larger than a basketball...

I blink at the realization and look back at the glowing orb of death. Hmm... I glance back at Tess, her eyes are still white. “Twilight... I hope you don’t mind if I steal your red ball thing.”

I look through the inferno, and surprisingly enough I see Tom heading back towards me. He yells “Rachel, come on, you need to get out of here!”

I ignore his warning, full well knowing that I can’t leave my sister alone as the room catches fire. I grit my teeth and feel my ears lie flat as I focus on the red glowy thing. I feel myself grab hold of it and I start to magically pull it away from us, silently praying Twilight doesn’t magically spaz out and kill me for stealing her apple.

Tess doesn’t seem to notice, but I start to wonder where I can put this thing. I could tell it’s still growing and it’s still dropping flaming sparks everywhere. I spot the window and aim for it.

Tom waves his hands at me, “Wait, the window is closed!”

I yell back, “OPEN IT.”

Tom gestures forward with both arms, “There’s fire! And the red thing! I can’t get over there!”

“OPEN THE WINDOW TOM” I yell, immediately surprising myself with my voice. It was much deeper than normal and full of authority. It wasn’t a yell, it was a command to be followed.

Tom looks over at the window and stick out his tongue in concentration, a second later I see a faint blue glow and the window opens. Wasting no time, I hurl the red object out the window. As it leaves sight I feel it start to quiver and break apart. I quickly let it go from my magical grasp, as I’m pretty sure it’s going to explode without Twilight next to it. We live on the 20th floor hopefully it explodes before it hits the ground and--

My thoughts are cut off by a deep concussive sound followed by the sound of nearby windows shattering and car alarms going off. I wince, hopefully no one got hurt.

I look back at my sister, she seems to be back to normal and is lying on the floor rubbing her forehead. “Are you alright sis? I mean, I know I started calling you Twilight, but that was some really next level shit you just pulled. How do you feel?”

She looks around, then spots a broken table leg and levitates it with her horn, “I feel fine, and hey look, I learned the levitation thing!”

I look around me, feeling the heat on my skin “Yeah, great, and the only consequence was setting half the living room on fire.”

Tess drops the wood from her magic hold as she looks around, “I lost control...”

I back away from the growing flames, “Yep. Turns out you not only learned levitation, you learned how to make a flaming ball of death that sets the building on fire.”

I’m in the middle of planning an evacuation route when Harry shows up wearing a fireman’s hat and carrying two fire extinguishers. After some quick work the fire is put out and he surveys the damage. I raise an eyebrow, “Harry, where did you get a fireman’s helmet?”

He takes it off, “Huh? Oh, I found it on the way. I thought it would be useful since I was on my way to put out a fire.”

I tilt my head in confusion but decide to let it slide, we have more important things to deal with. Sure the fire is out, but the police are probably going to come investigate the source of that loud noise that shattered windows and such. Normally I would be okay with this, I can talk my way out of most things. However, I’m not really sure I can do it while covered in pony anatomy.

I rub my hand over my chin as I contemplate things, “Harry, any chance we could lay low at your place for a while?”

He shakes his head no, “Dude, I live in my parent’s basement. I don’t think they would take too kindly to four people showing up, especially when three of them have horns and they all have tails...”

I glance at Tom, “Same deal with you Tom? You live on your parent’s estate right? Do they know about this pony thing?”

Tom frowns, “No, they weren't home this afternoon when I grew my tail, but they will definitely be home now. I could probably sneak in myself, but there’s no way all four of us could live there.”

Tess walks over, still amazed at all the damage she caused, “Geez, all this damage was from me?”

Harry backhands her shoulder, “Yes, it is. You tried pushing yourself or something and you went full super saiyan on us. Which is great and all, but now we’re all completely screwed and have nowhere to hide”

Tess frowns and stares at the floor, softly saying an apology. Tom puts his hand on her shoulder, “Well... we’re not totally screwed. We can go somewhere.”

I look at him, “I thought you said we couldn’t use your house?”

He takes a deep breath, “Well yeah, not that house, but my family has more than one.”

Harry rolls his eyes, “Freakin one percenter.

I laugh, “Well that’s great Tom, we can use your other house! Where is it, somewhere outside the city? One of the suburbs around Vancouver?”

Tom, ‘the American’, rubs his neck. “A bit further away than that I’m afraid. It’s in downtown Seattle.”

I raise my eyebrows, we are going to have to cross the border. That might prove difficult.

Tess, who was busy seeing if she could levitate three things at once, turns back to face us, “That can work, getting out of this city right now is probably for the best. Cops are going to be looking for what made that noise, and they’ll notice our room has burn marks.”

I agree, “Seattle it is, if we leave now we can get there by midnight. Should be a nice change of pace, hopefully there will be fewer explosions and such.”

16. Leaving the North

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Chapter 16: Leaving the North.

I look around, the living room is covered in fire extinguisher foam and ash. Tom pats me on the shoulder, “Sorry about the apartment, but hey, at least no one is hurt.”

I smile, “Yeah, we really gotta get going though. You came in a car right?”

He nods, “Yep it’s out back. Full tank too.”

I glance around and spot a small bag on the floor, then quickly levitate it over to Tom and drop it in his hands. “Grab some snacks and bottles of water from the kitchen. I’ll get Tess and Harry ready.”

Tom goes off to the kitchen and I walk towards Tess who is standing by the window and looking down below at the damage she caused. Nearly every window in the apartment complex is broken. She shakes her head, “We need to leave.”

I look around the living room, “Yes, we do. Where is Harry?”

Tess glances around, “She said she wanted to grab something, oh, there she is.” I follow her vision and see Harry walking towards us, stuffing some box into a backpack.

He looks up at us “Hey guys, ready to drive? It’s like a three hour trip right?”

I shake my head no, “It’s not that simple, we have to cross the border.”

Tess shrugs, “So? This isn’t Nazi Germany, it’s an open border and we have passports.”

I rub my forehead, “Tess, have you looked in a mirror lately? They check your ID’s at the border, they will never let us through looking like this. Our eye and hair color changed, which I guess they would allow, but have you seen our ears?”

Harry rocks back and forth on his feet, “You can hide the ears if you wear a beanie!”

I wave a hand at him, “Okay, so that could explain the ears and even the hair, but the horn? You can’t hide that and if they so much as touch it they are gonna know it’s real.”

Harry frowns and his ears droop to the sides. Tess nods slowly, “Alright, alright, so if can’t go through the border crossing, how else can we get into the States?”

Harry answers immediately, “Just use the Lumchen Path.”

I tilt my head, “The what? Lumchen, as in the forest?”

He nods, “Yeah, west of the city, right on the border, is the Lumchen nature reserve. No one patrols that area, you can literally just park your car and walk right across the border.”

Tess nods, “That could work. Are you sure no one patrols it?”

Harry gives a mischievous smile, “Trust me, it’s open.”

Tom walks back in the room, carrying a small bag filled with water bottles and snacks. “Alright, you guys ready? Don’t forget to grab your passports. Thankfully, I have mine in my car.”

I shake my head, “We won’t be needing them Tom. ”

He looks confused, “But we’re crossing the border...”

“We’re doing it on foot. We don’t want to be seen with these horns, so we’re just going to walk the Lumchen Path and sneak across.”

Tom nods, “Ahhh, through the Lumchen, just like the drug smugglers! Good idea.”

“Drug smugglers use it? Really...” Tess narrows her eyes and looks at Harry, who grins nervously.

Tess shakes her head, “Whatever, doesn’t matter, we’ll use it. But if we walk across the border, how do we get to Seattle? We need a car.”

I point my thumb at Harry, “She can drive.” I bite my tongue, “Sorry, he can drive.” Damned pink hair, it confuses me.

Harry ignores that transgression, “Sure, but I thought the entire reason we were sneaking through was to avoid driving across the border?”

I nod, “Yeah, for the unicorns. You don’t have a horn Harry, you can hide your ears and totally just drive through. Swing by the woods on the US side, pick us up, and then we’re set!”

We all exchange looks for a minute, then Tom nods, “Okay, let’s do it. I got the food, just get your personal things and let’s get going. We should have left by now!”


We took Tom’s car and left the city as quickly as we could. It didn’t take long to get to the forest, and we soon found a desolate stretch of road where Harry dropped us off. We had about a mile to walk until we would get to the road on the US side. We calculated that by the time we would reach it on foot, Harry should already be there waiting with the car.

I walk alongside Tom, realizing that all three of us are walking with our ankles raised off the ground. Strange, I wonder how long it’s been going on for. In any case, at least I’m spending the night with Tom. I always wanted to do that, though I’m not sure ‘sneaking across the border’ was the activity I was dreaming of.

“Whatcha thinking about Rachel?” Tom glances sideways at me and smiles.

I blush, thankful that he probably can’t see it in this darkness, “Oh you know... stuff.”

Tom twirls a lock of his purple hair around his finger, “Are you and”

I force myself to laugh, “What? No, no of course not. He’s just a friend. One very, very strange friend.”

Tom laughs with me, “Harry has his charms, that’s for sure.”

I nod, “Yeah, he’s really rolling with these changes too.”

Tom scratches his head, “I was actually gonna ask you about that Rachel. You’re sort of enjoying all these changes, aren’t you?”

I stop walking, “What? What gives you that idea?”

He smiles sheepishly, “Oh come on. You’re flaunting your tail, you jumped right into trying to use your horn, and you complimented me on my new ears, tail, and hair color. I mean, you never complimented me when I was all human. It’s like you only like me now that I’m half pony.”

I blush, trying to do damage control, “No, Tom, you got it all wrong. You look good now, but I actually loved you when you were a human!” I pause for a second, wait... fuck.

I hear Tess burst out laughing a few feet in front of us, and Tom just raises his eyebrows. “Oh... I did not know that. You flatter me Rachel. Though I guess that does explain all those trips to my desk at work.”

I just facepalm, “I didn’t mean that. Well I did... I just didn’t mean to... say it.”

Tom chuckles, “You have quite the way with words.”

I’m blushing so hard I think my cheeks are glowing. “Look, can we please change the subject?”

Tom chuckles, “Of course Rachel. I actually had something else I wanted to ask you about.”

We reach a path of thick trees so we have to start going single file. I motion for Tom to go in front of me, “Ask away Tom.”

I walk behind him as he talks, “Watching those pony episodes got me thinking. See, I’ve been having these dreams, right?”

“Mmhmm”, I’m hardly listening to him, walking right behind Tom is either the best decision I ever made, or the worst. All I know is I am completely lost in the gracious ‘swish swish’ of Tom’s beautiful tail right in front of me. I mean, I’ve been known to check out a cute butt here and there, but when you add a tail like that into the mix, oh god, it’s like--


My foot gets caught on something and I loudly fall to the ground, knocking the wind out of me. I swear under my breath. Yep, that’s what I get for not watching where I was going.

Tom laughs and holds out a hand to help me up. I grab it as Tess looks back at us, “Quit dilly dallying back there you two.”

Tom waves her off, “Hey, your sister fell, it wasn’t intentional.”

I brush myself off, “Yeah, sorry, it’s really dark out here. We should have brought small flashlights or something.”

Tom smirks, “What, isn’t there a spell for light? Lumos?”

I playfully backhand his shoulder, “You’re thinking of Harry Potter you dolt!”

Tom rolls his eyes, “Well okay, what’s the spell ponies use for light?”

I try to think as I step over some prickly bushes, but get distracted by the fact that my underwear is getting uncomfortable. I brush off the thought, “I’m not sure Tom, I know they have one, but I don’t think it’s ever described how it works.”

Tess, apparently overhearing our conversation, calls back, “We’re really going to have to figure that out, as well as all the other spells they use.“

Tom agrees, “Yeah, that would be pretty awesome.”

Tess shakes her head, “That’s not what I mean, sure it might be ‘fun’ but it’s more than that. I’m pretty sure it’s our only hope of ever going back to being normal humans. If we want to change back, it’s going to require some serious magic.”

Tom frowns, “Wait, I thought this is temporary? You mean we need magic to change back, or else we’re stuck like this, forever??”

I try to make it gentle for him, “Well, not exactly, we won’t stay like this forever.” I point to our ears and tail. “Things will change.”

Tom squints, “Meaning...?”

Tess cuts to the chase, “It’s going to get worse Tom, far worse. I ran some DNA tests before you got here, I’m pretty sure we’re going all the way.”

He stops walking, “Going all the way? You’re not saying...”

Tess responds like it’s the most obvious, boring thing in the world, “We’re going to be ponies Tom. In less than two days you’re going to be a perfect clone of ‘Rarity’ from the show.”

Tom remains frozen, staring straight ahead. I put my hand on his shoulder, “Hey, at least you can still do your job. Rarity is great at fashion, and you’re into digital design, you’ll be great. Besides, you’ll be with us, we’ll be one big happy group of ponies.”

He gives me an ‘are you fucking kidding me’ look. “Rachel, I don’t care about my job, and I’m glad I’m with you guys, but what about my parents? Am I just supposed to show up one day and be like ‘oh hey Mom and Dad, your son is a white cartoon horse now, oh, but don’t worry, SHE has friends!’”. He sighs and rubs his forehead.

I try to cheer him up, “We’ll fix this, we’ll fix this. Tess here has been working nonstop to try and find a way to reverse it all.”

Tess chuckles, “Well I have been, but truth is Rachel has done the most so far. Science won’t be able to turn us back, but magic probably can. I mean, if we can do levitation, we can probably do much more than that. Especially if the show is accurate..”

“I agree with Tess, The shows been spot on about things so far. We just need to find like a book, or something that explains all the magic used in the show.” I squint as I look ahead, I think I can make out a road up ahead.

Tess sighs “Pity we just left Canada. The show was made in Vancouver, all the show material is there.”

“Not necessarily.” Tom scratches his head, “There’s this old bookstore in Seattle. More of a boutique really. I went in there once a year ago, the owner collects and sells original manuscripts from all sorts of TV shows. He has a few hundred items, I remember seeing the original ‘show bible’ from Dexter’s Lab. That stuff costs an absurd amount though.”

Tess and I exchange glances, and start debating the issue as only close sibling’s can.

“We could--” Tess starts

I cut her off, “Isn’t that...”

“Okay, how else will we”

“Yeah but”

“Just for a bit?”

“But how--”

“Won’t be hard”

“What about--”

“We’ll be quick.”

“People will see”

“It’s nighttime”

“Wait, tonight!?”

“Need car, how else?”

“How about”







We stop the debate and get back to walking. Tom remains standing where he was, “So are you going to explain that to me or...?”

I look over my shoulder, “We’re going to break into that store and borrow everything they have on MLP. I’m not that thrilled with the idea of stealing, but Tess made some good arguments. We need all the help we can get to fix this mess, so we need everything they have. And it has to be tonight because tomorrow we might not be able to pass for humans.”

Tom nods slowly, “I guess that makes sense.”

We step onto the dirt road. “Now, where’s Harry?”


It comes from a car not 10 feet away from us that is pulled onto the side of the road. A second later It’s lights turn on and we see a mass of pink hair stick out the window. “Welcome the United States guys!”


We get to Seattle two hours later, it’s about midnight as we drive downtown to the old bookstore. Tom parks the car across the street and we start checking out the area around us.

Tess bites her lip, "Man, these streets are really lit."

I roll my eyes, “Yes, it’s a city.”

Tess punches me in the shoulder, “Very funny, how are we supposed to break in there when the place is lit up like Christmas?”

I scratch one of my comically large ears, “Good question. If we break the window people will probably hear the noise, not to mention they will see us in there.”

Tess nods, “This isn’t a quick smash and grab either, we need time to find the right book, assuming it’s even in there.”

“Oh, it’s in there.” Harry says matter of factly.

I raise an eyebrow at him but choose not to comment. I look back at the storefront, “I don’t see any way inside other than the window...”

Tom speaks up, “The building has semicircular arches and the dynamism of exterior space, so you can tell this building is of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Though it does sort of clash with the High Victorian Gothic style of the building next to it...”

I give him a blank stare. “Thanks for that?”

He turns to me, “It means it was built before 1920, and the door doesn’t look like it’s been replaced. It probably used an old fashioned warded lock.”

Tess perks up, “Warded locks are bulky and mechanical. We could use our magic to easily slide it open.”

I pat Tom on the back, “Brilliant! So we walk up, casually unlock the door with magic, and just walk in.”

Tom chuckles, “Truly the best way to do illegal things, ‘Just act like you’re supposed to be doing what you’re doing’. Everyone on the outside of the store will think we work there or something.”

I look over our group and start to plan out things. “Harry... you’re going to stay here in the car.“

Harry’s ears drop to the side, “But I want to go with you guys!”

Tom’s hand goes up, “Hey, if she wants to go, I can stay behind, really...”

Tess shakes her head, “Tom, you’re the only one that knows the store and knows what sort of things they sell in there, we need you in there. My brother and I have to go because we’re going to need magic to get inside. But we need someone to stay in the car, so that means you have to stay Harry. You’re going to be our getaway driver.”

I nod, “Sorry Harry.”

Harry frowns and his lip trembles, “But I really wanted to go, I even got my special night op stuff.” He turns and grabs something, then turns back to shows us a black night suit, a pair of walkie talkies (aka, two way radios), and several flashlights.

We all stare for a moment, Tom tilts his head, “Where were you keeping those...”

I stare at the objects, “Yeah, seriously, Pinkie--”

“Harry.” Tess corrects me.

I continue, “Where the hell did you get those.”

Harry points at them, “What, these? I brought them.”

Tess squints, “I was sitting next to you this whole time. I never saw them before.”

Harry gives us a confused look, “Guys, what’s the deal, I got them and had them here waiting--“

“WE’RE INSIDE OF A CAR HARRY! Where did you get them from!?” Tess yells.

Harry just stares at her for a moment and blinks, “I had them?”

Tess raises both hands, “Forget it, doesn’t matter.” She takes a few deep breaths, “Thank you for the equipment Harry. The flashlights will be very useful, and we can keep in touch with you using the walkies.”

After running over the plan in my head once more, I open the door and step out, then nearly collapse in place. I grab the car door to steady myself and swear under my breath. Tom looks me over, “You okay Rachel?”

I nod and I reposition my feet. Something feels really off down there. I have been sitting down for the past two hours, but man, my feet feel really tight in these shoes. Just like before, I have to walk ‘on my toes’, but it feels different now. Gah, whatever, we’re in the middle of doing an illegal break in, no time to worry about foot cramps, “I’m fine Tom, let’s get moving.”

Tess joins Tom and I in crossing the street, and I can’t help but notice she also stumbles a bit as she walks. In any case, we reach the storefront and peek inside the door window. “Okay Tess you were right, this looks like an old lock, go on and open it.”

Tom turns around and keeps a lookout, Tess glances at me, “Me? I thought you were going to open it.”

I point to myself, “What? Me? You’re the one who knows how the lock works.”

Tess gestures at the door, “Dude, it’s just an old fashion lock, just slide the mechanism open. You’re the one doing all the magics, open it.”

“I’m the one doing all the magics? Who set the living room on fire missy?”

Tess rolls her eyes, ”I’ve only done magic on things I could directly see. This lock is inside the door, you’re better at that than I am right now.”

Tom groans, “Yes, please, just take all the time in the world. It’s not like we're super exposed here or anything...”

I push my sister to the side, look down at the lock and close my eyes. Just gotta think about the inside of the door... find the sliding bolt... and...


I open my eyes and push the door open. Oh, that was easier than I thought. “Alright, let’s go. Tom, where do they keep scripts and show notes?”

Tess steps into the store and then looks back at the door frame, “There’s a wire coming off this door...”

I walk past her, “So? If there was an alarm, it didn’t go off.”

Tess frowns, “What if it is a silent alarm? We really should have cut the power before we opened the door...”

I raise my eyebrows, “Silent alarm? Come on Tess, those are only in movies.”

Tom shrugs and walks into the store, “These items are worth thousands of dollars, a silent alarm wouldn’t surprise me. Well, too late to worry about it now, let’s just hurry this up. Check the back first, I think all the original scripts were kept in a case there.”

We make our way to the back of the store and then the walkie talkie in my pocket squawks: “Did you guys make it inside yet? Over.”

I roll my eyes, of course Harry is going to play the ‘over’ game since we are using radios. “Yeah, we’re all inside. Keep an eye out, Tess is worried we might have tripped some sort of silent alarm. Over.”

Tess winces as I say her name, “Really brother, you’re using the most insecure, open form of communication known to man, and you’re talking about illegal activities. Don’t use my real name!”

I stick my tongue at her, “I know, I’m not using real names. That’s why I didn’t say Twilight, I said Tess!”

She shakes her head, “Very funny. But I’m serious, don’t give the police any leads.”

“Fine.” I pick the radio back up, “Umm, Pinkie, use pony names on the radio please. Over.”

“Ooo, that sounds like fun! Can I be Pinkie!? Over.”

I facepalm, “Yes, I already said... urgh, Pinkie just keep an eye out please. Over.”

Tess speaks behind me, “That’s a lot of notebooks...”

I turn towards her and see an entire wall behind a glass case. Inside the case were dozens if not hundreds of notebooks and binders, each of them with had a label below them explaining what they were from. The prices were listed too, they were not cheap. Tom nods slowly, “The damned thing is not alphabetized. Everyone just pick a row and start looking.”

A minute or two passes and we continue to skim the aisles looking for anything pony related. I’m just passing over the original script for Samurai Jack when an excited voice comes through the radio. “Cherries and Berries! I see the Cherries and Berries!! Over!!”

I ignore it completely, and Tess glances my way. “What was that?”

I shake my head, still looking at the books behind the case, “Nothing at all, Pinkie just spotted some fruit.”

A few seconds later Tom speaks up, “Who’s Lauren Faust?” I look towards him and see him pointing at a thick three ring binder.

I jog over to it and take a better look at the binder. It is full on tags and stickers, and tight under it is the official label ’MLP:FiM ORIGINAL SHOW BIBLE, by Lauren Faust’. My eyes go wide and I pat Tom on the back. “You found it Tom, now we just have to grab it and leave.”

Tess comes over and surveys the case. “Yikes, this is plexiglass, looks like the only way to open it is by unlocking the side but...” She walks over to check the lock, “Shit, it’s a Medeco security lock.”

Tom raises his eyebrows, “That’s bad?”

She bites her lip and looks the case over, “It’s what they use on ATMs. You can’t really force these open.”

I sigh, “Looks like we do this the old fashioned way, brute force.” I raise a leg to kick the glass but a brief flash of blue colored light across the room makes me stop. There it is again, this time followed by red. I spin around to look at the front of the store, and I see two cop cars in the middle of the street, their red and blue lights flashing.

My radio turns on, “Shining Armor! They stopped! They’re getting out of their cars now, you all need to get out of there!! Over!”

Tess turns to me, “You get the book, I’ll hold off the cops.” She runs off and then I face the glass case. I give it a kick as if it’s a soccer ball, but it’s a weak kick and the glass doesn’t even budge. That’s odd, I normally have a pretty strong kick. I try it again, but I can’t get any force like this. What the hell is wrong with my leg?

Tess arrives at the the front of the store and uses her horn to bring all the window shutters down, then flicks the deadbolt on the front door and shuts off the lights. She looks back at us, “That should buy us a little time, do you have the book yet?”

I tap my head, Think, think think... how can I kick this... I realize something and groan, not wanting to admit this will work better, but knowing it will. I get down on all fours and move so the case is behind me. Tom looks at me, “Rachel, what the hell are you doing?”

“Thinking like a pony.” I buck my legs back and kick the glass emulating AJ bucking a tree. The noise is deafening and the case gets a crack, but it doesn’t break.

Tess yells from across the store, “Christ, could you be any louder, I think Texas just heard you.”

Her voice is followed a second later by the police banging on the door, “Open up, we know you’re in there!”

I kick the glass again, another small crack forms but it’s not enough. It’s these damn shoes! They don’t fit right and they’re softening the impact of my kick. I start to untie them and Tom looks down at me, “Rachel, what are you doing? You can’t be serious, kicking glass barefeet is going to break your foot.”

“Uh, yeah... about that...” My shoes are off and I stare down my feet, or, hooves rather. They’re dark blue with tufts of white fur covering the tops of them. They look positively alien to me, but hey, at least I still have my hands.

Tom whimpers, “Are those...”

I bite my tongue, “We’ll worry about it later Tom.” I get back in position and test out my new pony anatomy by bucking the display case as hard as I can.


My hooves sail right through and the sound of the plastic splitting in half echoes across the store. I pull my hooves out, quickly thank them for their efforts, and then stand up to see Tom grab the binder and call out to Tess, “We got it, let’s move!”

The radio yells out again, “They’re bringing out one of those police battering rams! There’s even a news truck here, they’re filming all of this! You guys seriously have to get out of there. Over!”

Tess comes up to me and grabs the radio out of my hand, “Pinkie, are they all at the front? Is it safe for us to leave through the back door?”

The three of us wait for a reply, but nothing comes. After waiting a good 15 seconds, I laugh to myself as I realize Pinkie is waiting for us to finish the sentence. I grab the radio from Tess to end it, “Over.”

Pinkie immediately responds, “Twilight I think they are all at the front, there’s only four cops and one is talking to the news lady while the other three are bringing up the door ram. You don’t have much time, over!”

We scramble around inside, looking for any sort of exit at the back. We do find one, but it’s this thick steel door with a sign that says ‘NOT AN EXIT’ and a huge padlock is holding it shut. I get down on all fours, noticing my underwear feels tight again. Ignoring it, I buck at the door but the steel just absorbs the blow. Tess stares down at me, “Rachel... you have hooves.”

I stand back up and Tom pats Tess on the shoulder, “Yep, it happens. His look nice though, look at the contrast of the white on blue, not bad.”

Tess stares at Tom, who clears his throat, “So... any ideas how to get through this door? I don’t think Rachel’s kicks will work this time.”

Tess stares at the lock, then uses her horn to try and pull it off. The chain clinks loudly but the lock doesn’t even budge. I join her in using my magic to pull on the lock, as we try to simple rip the lock clean off it’s hinges. We strain at it for a few seconds but then both let go, that plan is clearly going nowhere fast.

We hear the battering ram get placed against the front door, and Tom gets a little nervous upon seeing us fail. “Can’t you unlock it like the front door?”

I shake my head, “Not this kind of lock Tom.”

The front door shakes and the door frame cracks as the ram hits it. Tom grabs the radio, “Pinkie, this is... Rarity. Can you try and hold off the police for just a minute or so? Over.”

I think out loud, “Okay, so I can’t kick the door open, and we can’t unlock it or use telekinesis. We might be screwed, those are all the spells we know.”

Tess rubs her forehead, “That’s not... entirely true.”

I realize her thought process and hold up my hands, “No Tess, that’s a terrible idea.”

Her horn starts to glow. “You all should probably stand back for this.”


Waiting in the car sucks. Just because I’m not a unicorn means I have to sit back and watch everything? Bah, lame sauce, that’s what this plan is. Well, at least I have a front row seat to see the police smash down a door, I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know why they are still inside, I warned them like five minutes ago that I saw the red and blues, cherries and berries, flashing on the horizon. Sheesh.

The walkie talkie turns on, Tom’s voice comes through “Pinkie, this is... Rarity. Can you try and hold off the police for just a minute or so? Over.”

I look up and sigh. I’m doing my best to hide from the police, and now they want me to go towards them? Humph, well fine. Don’t let anyone say Pinkie never did anything for her friends.

I open the door and start walking towards the cops. Their captain is busy talking to the news person so I get pretty close before--

“Hey!!” One of the cops holding the battering ram turns to yell at me. “Lady! You can’t walk here! Get back to your vehicle.”

I shake a fist, “Who you calling a lady, you lady!”

The cop tells the other officers to hold on a second, then turns to face me. “Look, woman, this is a crime scene, if you don’t leave I’ll have you arrested for interfering with--”


Every window in the store explodes in a giant red flash and the cop and myself fall to the ground to avoid the flying shards. “Aaaaaahhhh!!!” I scream, noting how I really do sound like a girl, “I’m leaving, I’m leaving!! Bye!!”

I start running back to the car and I hear the cop asking if everyone is okay. The camera guy for the news team yells with excitement, “Oh man, I got that whole blast on film!!”.

I get back to the car and start the engine, deciding to head to the corner of 5th Ave and Lenora. Just as I get there I hear the walkie talkie turn on with Shining yelling, “Pinkie! We made it out! Can you get to the corner of... umm... 5th Ave and Lenora!?!”

I shake my head and roll down my window. Shining is less than five feet from me, I stick my head out the window and yell at him “Hey, you forgot to say over!”


“Nice pad Tom.” I look around the kitchen and living room and give a low whistle, this place is the definition of ritzy.

Harry walks around with wide eyes, “This place is amazing. I didn’t even know they sold chandeliers for houses, I thought those were only for hotels!”

Tess glances around, “How long till your parents come here?”

Tom puts the show bible down on the table. “Thanks guys, and sorry Tess, I have no idea. They don’t come here often, but they’re going to start wondering where I am. I should probably call them and tell them I’m okay.”

I shake my head, “Don’t call, text. You’re voice sounds different Tom.”

Tom raises an eyebrow as he speaks, “Sounds normal to me.”

I shrug, not wanting to admit how I can notice because I have been dreaming over his voice for years. On the surface it sounds the same, but when I really think about it I can tell it sounds a little more feminine than it should.

Tess taps her chin for a moment, “Well, your vocal chords are probably changing, but that doesn’t explain why we--”

“OH MY GOD YOU HAVE A BAR.” Harry yells exuberantly from the other side of the kitchen.

Tom chooses his words carefully, “Yeah, help yourself to... ONE drink.” He looks at my sister and I, “You guys want anything?”

Before I can answer I hear Harry call out from across the room, “Alright, alright, who wants a drink, step right up to Pinkie’s Bar.”

I roll my eyes, “Harry, we’re not using walkie talkies anymore. You can stop using that name, just--”. I cut myself off as I see Harry behind the bar. she is polishing a glass while wearing a white shirt and black bartender’s vest. I point at her outfit, “And take that off! Just because it was behind the bar doesn’t mean you should put it on, Tom’s dad probably doesn’t want people wearing his stuff.”

Tom leans over and whispers to me, “That’s not my dad’s, I’ve never seen that before in my life.”

I facepalm. “Pinkie... just give me a glass of Scotch. Single malt, no ice.”

Tom nods, “And I’ll have a banana daiquiri.”

I poke him in the shoulder, “That’s a pretty girly drink dude.”

He just shrugs. A moment later I hear Tess call out “I’ll just have a Ginger Ale, thanks.”

I chuckle at her reluctance to drink, and a moment later I take my Scotch back to the table with the stolen show bible on it.

I’m about to open it and start looking for spells, when I see Tom turn on the TV. It’s tuned to CNN and ‘Breaking News’ is across the top of the screen. I start to chug my Scotch as I see the headline: “EXPLOSION IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE. TERRORIST ATTACK!?!”

Tess shakes her head, “Sensationalist much?”

Pinkie, or Harry (I’m not really sure who s/he is anymore) sits down at the table. “Turn it up! I wonder if they got me on camera!”

Tom tosses the remote to Pinkie and starts to chug his daiquiri. A second later he pauses to add, “If my parents see me on the news here, I am so utterly screwed.” He goes back to drinking and a few seconds later the glass is empty and he sits down next to me.

I look up at Tom and smile, “Chugging a drink? That’s not very lady like.”

Tom raises an eyebrow, “Thanks... Or sorry?”

I laugh softly and reach down to scratch myself between my legs. The TV volume gets turned on and the reporter starts talking about how they have no suspects since the blast destroyed any evidence they hoped to collect. The reporter says some other things but I’m not listening to them, I’m replaying back the sensation I felt when I just scratched myself between my legs. I slowly reach another hand down and feel myself through my pants, confirming that something is very, very wrong. I stand up, ”Excuse me... bathroom.”

Pinkie follows me with her eyes as I stand up and walk away. But I just go straight for the bathroom and once inside I turn on the lights and drop my pants. I already know what I’m going to find, but I still whimper as I see them. I stuff hanging between my legs that no girl should ever have. It's clearly equine in appearance too. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, all I'm thinking is how I'm NOT supposed to have them. It doesn't matter what species it is, I don't want it! I look at the whole package again, this is utterly absurd. I reach a hand down and slowly push it all to the side to see if I still have my female slit. But nope, it’s gone, looks like I’m 100% male. I nervously laugh to myself thinking, “This sucks, I never even got to use my birthday present.”

Well, not like that matters I guess. I sort of have my own version of that with me at all times. I shake my head, full well knowing there's nothing I can do about this right now. I look around, deciding to just take a shower since I'm already in here. I step under the water and clean myself, well, most of myself. I don't let my hands go anywhere near my new equipment, I really don't want to be handling that stuff right now. I shiver at the thought and then shut off the water. I step out to dry myself, once again being very careful to avoid touching that part of my body. Drying myself reminds me that I have hooves, but in light of recent events those don’t seem like that crazy of an addition to my body.

I finish drying off and put my clothes back on, only to realize my underwear is FAR to small for me. A regular human male would have a hard time wearing these panties, and seeing as how ponies are much larger in... urgh, this just sucks. I'm going to have to ask Tom for some loose boxers or something tomorrow, that's going to be awkward.

I finish getting dressed and open the door, only to be surprised as I find myself face to face with Harry, who is leaning against the opposite wall. Was she waiting for me this whole time? I grin nervously. “Oh hey... Pinkie.”

She says nothing, but with her eyes gestures at my crotch, then up at my eyes and raises her eyebrows inquisitively.

I try and play dumb, “What?”

She raises her eyebrows higher, “Well?”

I realize that I’ve obviously been referring to her as a ‘she’ in my mind. I know I’m not going to be the only one with a surprise in my pants tonight, so I suppose she deserves to know ahead of a time what’s going to happen to her. I sigh, and slowly nod. “Yeah. It uh... yeah.”

To my complete surprise, she grins , “Oh, this could be fun.”

My mouth opens, “Fun?! Harry, you’re insane.”

She rolls her eyes, “Tess is working to find a spell to change us all back right? So this is all temporary. This is awesome, it’s going to be eye opening to see what its like for the other side.”

I shake my head, “No, its not, its disgusting.”

She raises her eyebrow, “Oh? So you’ve tried it out already?”


She grins, “You know, tried it out.”

I take a step back, “What? No, Jesus dude! Come on Pinkie, have some decency.”

She shakes her head “Don’t wait too long to try that Rachel, you might not have hands for long to--”

I close my eyes, “Please don’t finish that sentence Pinkie.”

She shrugs, then grabs her pants and pulls them outwards a little bit while looking down at herself. “Hmm, I think I'm getting smaller already, shouldn’t be long now. Well, nice talking to you Rachel, I’m going to go to my bedroom and watch this all happen. Once in a lifetime opportunity!”

She skips down the hall humming the tune ‘I feel like a woman’. I just stand there shaking my head for a minute. Tess then walks by on her way to use the bathroom. “Hey Rachel, there you are. It’s getting late so we decided to put off reading the show bible until tomorrow. We’re all heading to bed.”

“Sounds good Tess.” I nod slowly as I see her walk into the bathroom and shut the door. Tess is lucky, she wouldn’t find any surprises down below. But Tom will. I knock on the bathroom door, “Tess, where is Tom?”

She replies through the door, “I think she is still in the kitchen.” I wince at the pronoun, though I know we’ve been using them like that for a while now.

“Right, thanks Tess.” I yawn, she was right, it really is getting late. I walk to the kitchen and spot Tom reading the binder. Should I tell him about what’s going to happen to his body overnight? How can you really prepare someone for that?

Tom looks up from the show bible, “Oh hey Rachel, what’s up?”

I take a deep breath, but at the last second stop myself from saying anything. It’s just too awkward to have this conversation with Tom right now. ‘Oh hey Tom, guess what? I'm a guy now! But don’t worry, we can still date because you’re going to be a pretty little girl in about an hour!’ Yeah, that conversation isn’t going to happen. It will be best if Tom just sees the change for herself when she wakes up tomorrow.

Eager to change the subject, I look down at the binder he’s reading, “Well well, looks like Tom is eager to learn some new spells after all.”

Tom just shakes his head slowly as he goes back to reading, “I’m not looking for spells, I’m just reading the intro, trying to find out how she came up with all these stories you know? I mean, if she says where she got the stories from, that right there will be the goldmine.”

I fill a glass of water and take a seat across from him, slowly drinking it as the minutes pass by and Tom flips through more pages. I finally speak up, “There’s nothing like that Tom. People already asked that question to Faust in conventions, she said all the stories are from her own past. They are stories she came up with when she played with ponies as a kid.”

“Eh... that’s not quite what I’m reading here Rachel.” Here, listen to this, “When I was first approached by Hasbro to make the show, I loved the opportunity to be able to make a show for girls, but I was a little worried because I had no experience with My Little Pony when I was a little girl.

I lean forward, “No, that can’t be right. In tons of interviews she said she had ponies as a kid. Firefly was her favorite pony, she had --”

Tom cuts me off by reading some more, “I told the Hasbro staff, and anyone that asked at the time, that I knew everything about the ponies and I always loved them. The truth is my parents never bought them for me when I was a kid. Really, the only exposure I ever had with ponies was when the daughter of one of my friends would put on shows for us. She was a sweet kid, she really loved those ponies, and she had such a brilliant imagination too.”

I start to feel funny so I slowly set my glass down and say nothing. I don’t like where this is going. Tom looks at me and smiles. “Rachel, I think that girl might be the answer here.”

Tom reads more from the book, “Over those years I had gone to many parties that her parents hosted. A few times I would break off from the rest of the adults and just play with this girl at her table. She was more than happy to show me her pony collection. She painted many of them to ‘look like they should’ as she put it, and then the girl would just spend an hour telling me all their traits, dozens of adventures they all went on, and countless characters details. She even did voices for them and told me what most of them are supposed to sound like. She built such a vivid world that it really stuck with me. So, some ten years later when I’m in the Hasbro office, I start reciting some of the stories that girl came up with. I felt a little bad for the plagiarism, but the Hasbro execs loved it all. They told me to make episodes exactly like what I just described to them. I didn’t really want to just copy everything the girl said, but I sort of had to since I already put myself here. I was put in charge of hiring all the voice actors and picking their voices, designing all the characters’ looks, and writing the backbone for the whole show story. They told me other writers would fill in the details, but they wanted me to list out the overarching plotline. So here I am, and I can’t change any of the storyline now. For better or worse, it looks like I’m bringing life to the world this little girl told me about long ago.”

Tom is grinning ear to ear. “Find this girl and boom, our problems are solved.”

I facepalm with both hands, full well knowing what’s next. “Tom, does it say the name of the girl, or the name of her parents?”

He nods, “Yeah, it’s right here. Doesn’t have the kids name, but it says the parents had twin girls born in 1995, and the parent’s names are David and Mary. So now we just have to find that daughter.”

A second later Tess walks by while brushing her teeth, “Hey Rachel, I heard some names. Who’s talking about our parents?”

17. A stallion's life.

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Chapter 17: A Stallion’s Life

Tom turns to me in confusion, “Wait, what?”

I just close my eyes and soon the room gets quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Tess finally speaks through the silence, “Is it something I said?”

I open my eyes, “Tess... sit down.”

Tess, who had been brushing her teeth, moves to the kitchen sink and spits out the toothpaste, then joins us at the table and yawns, “What’s up? You guys looks really grim.”

Tom’s brain finally catches up, “Wait, are you serious? Rachel, why didn’t you tell me you knew Lauren Faust?”

I shake my head, "Don’t look at me, I never really dealt with my parent’s friends. I never even really knew what they did. But apparently Tess on the other hand...“

Tess laughs, “What are you guys talking about, I don’t know Lauren.”

I drum my fingers on the table, “Remember when you were about five years old or so, you played with the ponies that Mom and Dad bought you because you kept asking for them?”

She shrugs, “Yeah, so? Every girl my age played with those things, well most of us did anyway.” She smirks at me, well aware that I was into GI Joes instead.

I ignore her side comment, “I remember you made up all these fancy stories and stuff, and you put on ‘story plays’ for our parents. Umm, do you by chance remember doing that to any of our parent's friends?”

Tess looks up at the ceiling, “I guess? That was a long time ago. I do remember this one woman, she was really polite... Laura?”

I rub my eyes, “Tess, that was Lauren Faust.”

She gives me a blank, unbelieving look, “No, that wouldn’t make any sense.”

Tom slides the show bible over to her, “Read this page.”

I watch Tess’s expression change from amusement, to confusion, to worry. She reaches the bottom of the page and just freezes. I state the obvious, “Tess, you’re the girl Lauren is talking about. You’re the one that gave her the idea for the cartoon.”

I have never seen Tess look so bewildered, “That’s impossible, the entire story of the show is based off my imagination?”

I rub my forehead, “That has some very interesting implications.”

Tom agrees, “Yes it does. It means we can essentially stop looking at the show for answers, we have to look past it. We can essentially pretend the show was never made. What appears to be happening to the four of us is that we are turning into the ponies that Tess thought up when she was five.”

Tess just gives him a blank look and I put my head on the desk and sigh, “Well, as true as that probably is, it makes even less sense than us becoming ponies from a cartoon.”

Tom nods silently and Tess stares up at the ceiling again, “I wish I could remember more about the ponies I played with when I was a kid. I do remember I painted some of them... and the main pony was this purple unicorn... but damn, I can’t remember any specifics.”

“Do you still own them?” Tom asks.

Tess nods slowly, “I would never sell them, they were quite special to me. But when I started college I took all my little girl things, boxed them up, and put them in storage.”

Tom sighs, “Great, so they are back in Vancouver?”

She shakes her head, “Nah, I went to university in Seattle, and I ended up living in Washington State for several years. I put all my extra stuff in storage down here.”

“Oh? In Seattle?”

Tess yawns, “Not quite, it’s in Portland, a few hours south of here.”

Tom smiles, “That’s not far, and we have a car.”

I nod, “We’ll go check it out tomorrow, if we can find your original ponies they might knock some memories loose and help explain all of this.”

Tess shrugs her shoulders, “Yeah, I guess. Though to be honest I’m not too sure that’s gonna help us. I don’t think I came up with a ‘pony to human’ transformation spell when I was five years old.”

I stare blankly ahead, “Assuming we can even change back. You do realize this discovery sort of changes things, right?”

Tom raises an eyebrow, “How does hearing that Lauren got story ideas from Tess change the fact that we can change back?”

I rub my forehead, “Isn’t it a little strange that Tess thought up a world where a purple unicorn, with her white unicorn sibling, did all these things with her friends? And then Tess becomes that unicorn, and her sibling and friends all change to match too? It’s not random! I thought this was all just some crazy thing, but there are far too many coincidences here. Tess is becoming the exact same pony that she thought up, it’s like...”

Tess rolls her eyes, “What, like a prophecy? Come on Rachel, I have a unicorn horn but I’m not a prophet.”

Tom shakes his head, “It’s not a prophecy. You didn’t predict any of this. If you did, the story, and the cartoon, would have been about humans becoming ponies. That’s not the case, the cartoon is just about ponies who were born ponies.”

I mull thoughts over in my head, “We’re missing something, something big. No five year old could have come up with that entire story. Things flow too well, the story arc in the show is too structured to just be some five year old’s ramblings.”

Tess nods slowly, “And the show would probably have more tea parties and playdates if a five year old came up with it on her own.”

Tom yawns, “So we need another part of the puzzle, something big.”

I add, “Tess, you must have gotten the story from somewhere. Someone or something must have told you exactly what was going to happen to us. The problem was your five old self didn’t understand. It couldn’t comprehend the info so you just used all of those details in your imaginary playtime, just for the fun of it.”

Tess sighs, “That just pushes the mystery to somewhere else. What could have given my five year old self all the facts about ponies?”

I yawn and rub my face, “Can we talk about this tomorrow? It’s seriously like 2am.”

Tess nods in agreement, “Yeah, let me sleep on this. We can figure this out later, things should be calm tomorrow.”

I can’t help but laugh, “Really Tess, have you seen what’s been going on? We’ve started a fire, ruined an apartment complex, fled the country, robbed a store, ran from the police, discredited the show writers, and made international news as ‘terrorists in Seattle’. That all happened in what, the past twelve hours? Somehow I doubt ‘things should be calm tomorrow’.”

Tess allows herself to chuckle, “Well, I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?” She looks over at Tom, “So, enough confusing talk. Where are the bedrooms?”

Tom bites his lip, “Well we only have three bedrooms here and there are four of us. I already gave Harry the guest room, so that leaves us with my old bedroom and the master bedroom. Two of us are going to have to share a room.”

Tess nods, “That works. Guys get their own room, girls can share.”

I can feel my new manhood between my legs, “Umm... so...”

Tess looks at me, “What, you think the guys should share?”

I stammer, “Well, no, I’m just wondering when you say ‘guys’ you mean...”

She stares at me with a blank face, “I mean the guys. What the heck do you think I mean?”

I try to recover, “Oh, well, you know how we keep referring to Harry as Pinkie, and sometimes even say ‘she’, I was just confused for a moment, that’s all.”

Tess shakes her head, “I’m talking about actual guys, you know, the ones that are biologically male? Sheesh.”

I laugh nervously, “Ha, yeah, totally...”

Tom senses my unease, “If you don’t want to split the bed Rachel, it’s not a problem. I can share a bed with Harry, you two are the guests, you should each get your own room.”

My eyes go wide as I remember how enthusiastic Harry was about his upcoming gender change. That would be really awkward if Tom shares a room with him tonight. “No! I mean, no, um, Harry snores when he sleeps? Yeah, I’d let him have his own room right now. Besides, it’s your house, you should get your own room Tom. Tess and I can share, we’re siblings after all.”

Tess turns and heads for the bathroom, “Right, I’m going to take a shower. See you tomorrow Tom.”

We all say good night and Tom points me towards the master bedroom. I grab my bag and make my way in there, closing the door to change into my nightgown. As I change clothes I see my new ‘friend’ is still there between my legs, but thankfully it’s not excited at the moment. I put on the nightgown and check in the mirror to make sure everything is covered. Phew, good thing I took my loose nightgown, it perfectly hides my unwanted ‘bulge’.

I get on one side of the bed and close my eyes. Man, this was a busy day. To think at the start of it all I was worried about eye color, and now I’m a guy with hooves who can cast magic and apparently has a prophet for a sister. I don’t even wanna know where things will go from here. I yawn once more and soon succumb to sleep.


I awake to hear Tess mumble in her sleep about how I’m hogging the sheets. I lazily open my eyes and realize I’m looking at a vertical wall of blanket. I blink and look around, confused at how the blanket is being held upwards like that. I feel a twitch down below and the blanket moves along with it. Confused, I lift up my end of the blanket and look underneath it.

Oh... you've got to be kidding me! My new manhood has slipped out from my nightgown, and it has clearly gotten larger overnight. I was erect too, is this morning wood? I’ve heard of that before, but I don’t think most guys have to worry about it lifting the entire blanket into the air, this is ridiculous.

Tess shifts in the bed next to me, she’s not awake but there’s no telling how long that will last. Oh god, if she opens her eyes right now, crap. I reach a hand under the blankets and desperately try to force my member downwards, but it just refuses. Well, this sucks.

I slowly edge off the bed, careful not to wake Tess. I manage to get out from under the blankets only to realize that I literally can’t fit this thing under my nightgown in it’s current state. I need to go take a cold shower, but how am I supposed to get to the bathroom exposed like this? In desperation I glance around and grab my pillow. With no other options I put the pillow on the far side of my manhood, then pull the pillow to my chest, holding it tight. I breathe a sigh of relief, this feels really strange, but at least everything is hidden.

I grab my clothes with my other hand and head for the door when suddenly Tess mumbles, “Rachel... what are you doing?”

I look at the bed to see her rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, “Oh, morning Tess. I’m uh, going to the shower.”

She smacks her lips, “While hugging a pillow?”

I stammer, “I am um... cold?”

She closes her eyes, “Right, whatever. Make some coffee will ya?”

I nod quickly, “Mmhmm, sure thing.” Without waiting for a response I leave the bedroom, still clutching a pillow over my genitals. The bathroom is open, thankfully. Still though, I don’t know how much longer I can keep this change a secret, things are going to get weird around here.


The cold shower did the trick, thankfully. However, due to last night’s growth I can’t fit in my panties anymore. Even when I am ‘unexcited’ I just don’t fit in this underwear. That’s annoying, gonna have to find something else to wear pretty soon. As for now, I elect to just wear my pants without underwear. Hardly ideal, but it sort of works for the time being. On a related note, I also decide not to wear my bra. I just don’t see the point, I was always a fairly flat girl, but right now I literally can’t even see my boobs. Oh well, not like I need them in my current state. Now, about that coffee...

I make my way to the kitchen and from the doorway I can see Tom is sitting alone at the table. Coffee is already made and he is holding a cup of it with both hands while staring straight ahead. He looks like a shock victim, and it dawns on me that he probably just found out he’s female. Well, I’m not the only one with problems it seems.

I slowly enter the room, “Hey... Tom.”

Tom nods, “Hey.”

I pour myself a cup from the coffee pot and slide into the chair next to him. Or, her rather. Well, might as well confirm right now and deal with the elephant in the room. I take a deep breath, “So... how was your night?”

Tom answers far too quickly, “The night was fine.”

“And the morning?” I wince.

Tom says nothing for a moment, “I have hooves now...” I nod slowly, and the seconds tick by as Tom says another word, “and...”

Tom looks at me, I see helplessness in her eyes. I put my arm around her, “Hey, you’re not alone there buddy, I know your pain. I had the same thing happen to me. Or rather, the reverse of it.”

Tom cracks a smile, “Heh, I imagine that would be awkward as well.”

I nod, “Oh yeah, it’s a bit, well, odd. I’m managing so far though.” She leans her head into my shoulder and I rub her back, “I’m sorry all this is happening to you Tom.”

She looks up, “It’s not even remotely your fault Rachel, don’t apologize. In fact, I should be thanking you. If you didn’t call me yesterday and invite me over I would be going through this alone. I can’t even imagine what that would be like, I would almost certainly have lost my mind.”

I hug her back, “Don’t worry about it, I’m glad you’re here. You lost something, I grew something, together we are exactly where we started!”

Tom chuckles and leans into me again as I run my fingers through her hair. It’s really nice to finally be close to her, shame it took all this madness for it to happen.

Hoofsteps on tile make us look up to see Tess walk into the kitchen. Tom and I pull apart from our hug and try to act natural. Tess just laughs, “No need to hide anything, you two can hug. But hey, Tom, don’t let me catch you with a hand up my sister’s shirt, mmkay? I’ve seen plenty of guys try to take advantage of a vulnerable girl.”

Tom bites his tongue and I rub my neck, “Yeah... about that. Tess, we sorta woke up with--”

A kick to my shin stops me and Tom finishes my sentence, “--Hooves! I woke up with hooves, it’s just really strange, you know?”

Tess pours some coffee and yawns, uninterested, “Yeah I’ve had those for quite a while. They’re actually not that bad once you get used to them, fairly practical appendages to be honest.”

I glance at Tom and gesture with my eyes to ‘down below’, then gesture at Tess. Tom shakes his head rigorously, he doesn’t want Tess to know. Well, I suppose I can get that, a guy that loses his manhood might feel weak, embarrassed, etc. I suppose it makes sense that guys would never tell anyone about--

“THAT WAS THE BEST NIGHT EVER!” Harry exclaims as he struts into the kitchen, his grin as wild as his hair. “I mean, oh my god, it was so amazing, I think I only slept for like half an hour!”

I facepalm then turn to Tom and mutter the word ‘sorry’.

Tess stirs sugar in her coffee, “Calm down Harry, what happened?”

Harry goes to Tess and puts his hands on both of her shoulders, then bounces up and down in place, “I’m one of you now!”

Tess removes his hands from her. “Meaning?”

Harry stops jumping mid jump and appears to fall to the ground a little slower than physics normally dictates. “What? They didn’t tell you?” Harry points at Tom and I and we both avert our eyes to stare at the floor.

Tess stares at us, “What the hooves--”

Harry cuts her off, “Genders! We all changed to the gender of our respective ponies.” I look up to find Harry behind me, she points at me, “This one is a man!” She then points at Tom, “And this one no longer is!” Harry goes back to her original position next to Tess, then points at herself, “And neither am I anymore!”

Tom grumbles as she sips her coffee, “Thanks for that Harry.”

Tess raises her eyebrows, “Really? You all changed genders overnight? I guess I should have seen that coming, but it’s still crazy to hear. An entire chromosome being changed, wow, that really shows the potency of these changes doesn’t it?”

Harry nods, “It was pretty awesome, I watched the whole thing happen. Then once it finished I wanted to see what it was like, so I decided to take my hand down there and--”

“THAT’S ENOUGH!” I hold up my hand to stop her from giving us any more details.

Harry shakes her head, “That’s what I thought too! But it turns out one hand wasn’t enough. So--”

“He means shut up Harry!!” Tom exclaims. I lean back in surprise, I don’t think I had ever heard Tom yell like that before. I suppose it was justified though, I’m guessing she doesn’t like hearing about the things her new genitalia is made for.

Tess sips her coffee, her face a mixture of disgust and amusement, “Thanks for being enthusiastic Harry, but Tom is right, keep that stuff to yourself.”

Harry glances over at us, “So Tom did you do anything with yours?”

Tom holds up his hand, “First off, no dude, that’s gross. And secondly, even if I did anything, which I didn’t, I would never share the details over breakfast.”

Harry rolls his eyes, “Yeah, sure. How about you Rachel? How’s the rod?”

Before I can answer Tess looks over at me, “Wait, I never really let that sink in. Do you really have a.... eww. That’s so wrong Rachel. A girl with one of those. Urgh.”

Tess shivers and I sigh, “Well, I’m technically not a girl anymore so it’s not that disgusting now is it?”

Tess starts to pour a bowl of cereal, “Yeah, I guess. But I can’t imagine it’s very comfortable to suddenly have one of those after 25 years of being flat down there. Doesn’t it like, get in the way? How can you even put your pants on?”

I roll my eyes, “Half the global population has one, I can manage.”

Tess chuckles to herself, “Yeah, but they wear male clothes designed for it. You’re still dressing like a lady.”

I shift uncomfortably in my seat, “I’ll admit, I can’t fit in my underwear anymore, I really need a pair of...”

Harry’s eyes light up, “Hey, I was thinking the exact opposite this morning! My guy clothes are getting kind of loose, wanna switch clothes?”

I hear Tom at my side, “That’s a really good idea actually.”

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with giving Harry my underwear. I glance sideways at Tom, “Uh, maybe you wanna change clothes with me Tom? I think you’re more my size? Change your boxers for my panties?”

Tom waves her hand, “Thanks for the offer Rachel, but I’m already wearing lady garments down below.”

Tess lowers her cereal spoon, which was halfway to her mouth. “You’re wearing women’s underwear? Uh...Tom?”

Tom looks around, “What? Oh come on, I have lady parts, pretty sure it’s okay for me to wear the associated clothing.”

Tess goes back to her cereal, “True enough. How did you get a pair?”

Harry giggles, “Maybe Tom used to do a little cross dressing on the weekends?”

Tom shrugs, “I had a pair in my closet, they belonged to my old girlfriend. Never thought I would be wearing them, or that they would be this comfortable, but hey, they work.”

I felt a pang of jealously hearing that Tom has an ex, and there were close enough that Tom has her underwear. Well whoever she was, she better not come back and take... well, I guess Tom is female now so that’s not a problem. Hmm, strange to think about how that works.

Harry brings me out of my thoughts, “So, Rachel, looks like it’s just us two in need of an underwear swap! What do you say?”

I look up at Tess, hoping my sister could somehow save me from this outcome. She just shrugs, “It does make sense, go do it I suppose.”

I sigh and stand up to follow Harry out of the room. I first go to my room and grab my clothes bag, then follow Harry down the hall to her room. I very quickly find myself staring at her tail as she moves her hips walking down the hall. It’s weird to think that she has girl parts under there.

We get to her room and I turn to close the door behind me, “Okay, so we should first--” I turn back to face my partner and my sentence stops abruptly. Pinkie is butt naked in front of me, just smiling and bouncing on her hooves.

"Ahhh!" I shield my eyes with my hands. I don’t know how she got undressed that quickly, and I don’t know why she even thought it would even be a good idea to get naked with someone else in the room.

She laughs, “Pfft, you don't have to close your eyes. Well, whatever. So, where are your panties?”

“I... I... umm.” I wanted to call her Harry, but I can’t. After seeing her like that a guys name just won’t come out of my mouth. “Pinkie... why are you naked?”

She giggles, “Calm down, you were a girl once, correct? This is nothing you haven’t seen before. ”

I grit my teeth, still shielding my eyes from the view. “Actually, yes, it is. I've never seen a naked, female, half pony, half human before. And I really have no desire to right now.”

She laughs, “Anthro Pinkie? Come on Rachel, you've seen clop haven't you? You totally have seen 'me' naked before.

I ignore her and blindly reach a hand down to open my bag and toss her a pair of clean panties. "Put those on please."

She picks a pair that already has a hole cut in them for a tail, then she slides them on. “These fit so good!” I open my eyes and see her smile and run her hands across them. "They fit like a glove!"

I shake my head, "That's great, keep them on please."

She looks up at me and tilts her head, “Well?”


“Your turn to change clothes mister.”

I hold out a hand, “Well, give me the boxers, or briefs, whatever.”

She wags a finger at me, “Not yet. You still owe me.” I raise an eyebrow and she points at my pants, “Drop ‘em.”

My eyes go wide, “Pinkie, I’m not wearing any underwear.”

She nods, “Hey, it’s only fair. You saw mine, now let me see yours.”

I hold up a hand, “Oh no, I never agreed to that.”

She rolls her eyes “Well fine, if you wanna be a girl about it, sheesh.” She turns around and holds her hands over her eyes. "Okay, I'm not looking. My bag is by the wall, the boxers shorts are inside."

I take a deep breath and unbutton my pants, then kick them off and immediately grab a pair of boxers from her bag and put them on. "Okay, you can look now."

Pinkie opens her eyes, then looks me up and down and smiles. “Don't break the seams on those. You do realize that even with boxers you won’t be able to fit that thing inside your pants when you get it excited.”

I sigh, I should probably ask her about that, she must know how guys normally get rid of these urges. Maybe she can tell me how guys control their 'excitement'? I turn towards her, “Yeah, about that. Pinkie, can you help me deal with these urges somehow?”

A slow smile creeps across her face, “I didn't know you thought about me like that Rachel...”

I blink, then make the connection and throw a pair of boxer shorts at her in frustration. I blush, “Oh, come on Pinkie that’s not what I meant!” I shake my head to clear the disturbing thoughts, then look back at her, “I meant advice, how do guys normally deal with these things? I can’t make it go away.”

Pinkie tosses the underwear back at me and smirks, “Such is the life of a guy. You will learn that thing has a mind of it’s own. You can’t really control it.”

I glare at her, “You can’t be serious, there has to be a way to make it go down.”

She shrugs, “Well just try to ignore it for a few minutes until it calms itself down, but it will always come back in a little while. There's really not much you can do to permanently keep it down there.”

I was afraid of that. I close my eyes and sigh sadly at the realization, “Fuck me.”

A few seconds pass as my eyes are closed and I hear Pinkie say, “Oh... okay?”

Wait, what? What is she responding to? I open my eyes and my breath gets caught in my throat. Pinkie is halfway through pulling off her underwear. I wave my hands, "Ah, no, stop! Stop it! That's not what I meant!"

Pinkie laughs and dresses herself again, “Haha, gotcha! I just wanted to see your reaction. You totally set me up for that one.”

I shake my head, ”Pinkie, you’re crazy.” Part of me is relieved it was all a ‘joke’, but part of me is still thinking about how she looked. Gah, get out of my head dirty thoughts!

She puts on the rest of her clothes, “Oh, silly Shining Armor, you totally could have had me right there if you wanted.”

I glance at her, “You said it was a joke.”

She ignores my question, “I hope you don’t hesitate with Tom, she’s the one you really want, right?”

I blush, “Hey, come on, I’m not trying to get with Tom! We’re just friends, that’s all.” I’m not sure if that’s true, but I can’t admit my actual feelings for Tom to someone like Pinkie. Who knows what she would do with that knowledge?

She grins, surprisingly seductively, “Oh really? You’re not with Tom? So you’re single then? That’s fantastic...”

I shake my head, “Don't even think about it Pinkie. I'm not going to do anything like that.”

She winks at me and moves into the hallway, "You gotta learn to live a little Shining!" I watch her tail swish back and forth and then look down at myself and shake my head. What has gotten into that mare?


I eventually finish getting dressed using the new underwear. All in all, It’s quite a bit more comfortable than before, and I make my way back to the kitchen to see Tom and Tess at the table. Surprisingly, Pinkie is nowhere to be found even though she left the room before I did.

Tess is talking quietly to Tom as I walk in, “ shouldn’t have to worry about that, just be sure to wash--” Tess stops her sentence as she sees me walk in. “Oh... hey Rachel.”

I squint at them, “What are you two talking about?”

Tom blushes and scoots her chair away from Tess. “Nothing.”

Tess shrugs, “Girl stuff, don’t worry about it.”

I feel my heart drop, “What? Come on! I’m not allowed to take part in girl talk anymore?”

“No, you’re not.” Tess responds matter of factly,

I bite my tongue, this sucks. I... wait a second. I bite my tongue again, something feels off. “Tess, do your teeth feel different at all?”

“Teeth? Hmm? You tell me.” She faces me and bares her teeth, I lean forward and inspect them, realizing they no longer match a human’s.

I shake my head, “Yeah, you’ve got herbivore teeth Tess. Go figure.”

She shrugs, uninterested, “My hips are really changing too, and is anyone else getting patches of fur? I got these purple fur streaks all over my legs.”

I nod slowly and pull up a chair. Tom laughs at the absurdity of it all, “How are you so calm about this Tess? You’re the scientist, shouldn’t you be sitting down somewhere surrounded by mirrors and measuring everything and taking notes on every little change?”

Tess holds up her hands, “This is beyond science, it’s magic or something. Whatever it is, there’s no use trying to apply science to it. Doing so would be like trying grab a shadow with your hands, you will just drive yourself to insanity if you try.”

“Speaking of hands...” I glance down at mine, realizing I will be losing them.

Tess frowns, “Yeah, we don’t have much time on those. Check your middle fingernail, not to mention the lack of dexterity we’re getting. Their outlook doesn’t look good.”

Tom stares straight ahead, “This sucks.”

I pat him on the back, “Hey, that’s what magic is for right? We should be fine without hands, just gotta practice our telekinesis. Be glad you’re a unicorn, I can’t imagine how other types of ponies get by.”

Tess looks around for the three ring binder, “Speaking of magic, we should get back to looking at that show bible. We might find a few new spells to use. I can’t imagine any of them will fix this, but it might give us some quality of life improvements.”

I scratch my head, “I thought the plan was to go to Portland and get your old pony stuff.”

She nods, “Well yeah, but that can wait. Let’s just stay here for a bit and look through this. We can talk some more too.”

I hear hoofsteps and turn to see Pinkie finally show up in the kitchen. She appears to be eating an entire box of chocolate for breakfast, which on second thought doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. She takes one look at the three of us sitting in the kitchen and she rolls her eyes, “Oh come on, more talking? Really? Can we please move onto the next part?”

I give her a blank stare, “What next part?”

She groans, ”Look at how long we’ve been here, and we haven’t gotten past breakfast! Come on, we have stuff to do out there, move it along already!”

The three of us exchange looks. I can tell Tess is about to ask her to clarify what she means, but I hold up my hand to stop her. I know that it’s best not to question the logic of the pink one. “Pinkie has a point... I guess. Let’s just pack up the rest of breakfast and eat in the car. Portland is a few hours away, right?”

“Yeah, about three hours without traffic.” Tom stands up and grabs her car keys, “Let’s get going, hopefully we can get back here before we go full pony.”


The car ride passes by quickly, and we make a stop right outside Portland to grab an early lunch. Not wanting to walk inside any restaurants looking like this, we get in the drive through at McDonalds. I start to contemplate which burger I want, and if I can even still eat a burger with my new teeth. Before I can decide, Tom rolls down the window and orders for all four of us, “We’d like... eight Ceasar salads please.”

Pinkie kicks the back of Tom’s chair, “I don’t wanna salad!”

Tess glances back, “Pinkie, your teeth have changed, and probably so has most of your digestive system. You can’t eat meat.”

The speaker confirms the order with Tom. “Eight Caesar salads, will that be all ma’am?”

Pinkie kicks Tom’s chair again, who sighs then turns back to the speaker, “Also, can we have, umm... four large fries and... uh.. some ice cream?”

“Yay! Ice cream!” Pinkie claps her hands excitedly.

I elbow her in the side, “Pinkie, you’re 25 years old, can you at least try to act mature?”

Her ears droop a little, “Come on Rachel, I’m trying to play the role of Pinkie...”

Tom drives the car up the window and pays while I try to reason with the pink hair, “Look, you’re becoming far more like Pinkie than you realize. You don’t have to accelerate it any more than it already is. Try and retain some resemblance of Harry? Okay?”

She rolls her eyes, “Fine... I still want that ice cream though.”

The food starts to get handed back and I wolf down my fries and start on my two salads. Normally, I’m not a big lettuce guy, but these actually are pretty tasty. I’m liking these new teeth too, the salad is just so juicy as I chomp through the leaves. I reach for more only to realize that both of my salad bowls are empty already. I look back towards the front, “Uh, do we have any more?”

Tess looks back, “You’re done already? Jeez, well here I guess you can have Pinkie’s salads since apparently she’s not a herbivore...”

I greedily take the two extra salads and start devouring them. “Thanks, I guess you could say I was as hungry as a--”

Tess facepalms, “Don’t say it.”

I grin, but say nothing, and a few minutes later we arrive at the storage facility.


“You don’t by chance still have the key, do you?” Tom asks as we make our way down to her area. Thankfully there were no humans around, the storage area was just a series of barely lit corridors.

Tess shakes her head, “My unit doesn’t use a key, it’s just a number lock. The combination to open it is my birthday.”

We arrive there and I enter the code for her, “Gotta love May 1st...”

The lock clicks open and Tom speaks up, “Wait a second. Your birthday is on May 1st Tess?”

Pinkie joins the conversation, “Yeppers, all three of us have the same birthday! Rachel, Tess, and Harry! Birthday buddies for life!”

Tom nods slowly, “Make that four, I’m also 25 and was born on May 1st. Man, the four of us share the exact same birthday? That’s an odd coincidence.”

I exchange worried looks with Tess, we both knew in our current situation there is no such thing as a coincidence. I open the door to her area and am greeted with dozens of dusty boxes. “Tess, you wouldn’t by chance know which box your pony stuff is in, would you?”

Tess sighs, “I wish, they could be anywhere.” She pauses to scratch her back, then suddenly stops and looks at me. “Um, Rachel, can you look at my back under my shirt?”

Confused, I move to her and peek under the back of her shirt. My eyes go wide, “So, yeah, you’re sort of starting to grow wings Tess. Congratulations by the way, looks like you’re a princess.”

Pinkie groans, “Oh come on, Tess has wings? That’s so lame.”

Tom nods, “Yeah, I can imagine, Tess gets a horn and wings and you don’t have either. I guess life just isn’t fair Pinkie.”

Pinkie looks at Tom, “What, no I don’t care about that. I’m just mad alicorn Twilight is canon. Seriously now.”

I facepalm, acutely aware that my facial structure appears to be different than it was this morning. I’m growing a pony snout aren’t I? I grit my teeth and turn back to the others, “Look, Twilight has wings, great, let’s get back to work here. This is important guys, we need to find any and all pony stuff in these boxes if we want to get some answers.”

Tess nods, “My brother’s right, we don’t have much time. Start searching.” Her horn glows and a half dozen boxes from the back are slowly lifted over our heads and set outside the door, giving Pinkie and Tom access to them. Meanwhile Tess and I enter the room and start going through the boxes in the front.

Every so often one of us would find something. A crayon drawing of a pony in the FiM style, a G3 pony painted to look like one of the ones from G4, there is even a watercolor painting of Canterlot. Tess smiles as she sees that one, “First grade art class, I got an A on it. I never realized it looks like Canterlot from the show...”

About an hour later and we are finished. Arrayed out in front of Tess are close to fifty varied objects that all appear to be related to Friendship is Magic. There are makeshift figures of the mane six, as well as pictures of all of their cutie marks (drawn in a notebook Tess said she used in second grade). We decide to sort all the pony stuff by the year it was made, and in doing so we are able to spot the oldest pony thing Tess made, as well as the newest.

The oldest item is a crayon drawing of a pair of yellow eyes with red, unevenly sized pupils that Tess made when she was three years old. Pinkie insists it’s a picture of Discord’s eyes, but the rest of us are a bit dubious. On the other end of the spectrum, the last pony reference Tess ever made is a stunningly accurate colored pencil drawing of her cutie mark. The red and purple drawing of the star was found on the back of her 5th grade math notebook, meaning Tess was 10 years old when it was made. There are no other pony sketches or toys made after that date.

I stretch, we had been at this for quite some time and my hips are really starting to protest standing upright. Now that I look at myself I realize I have patches of fur spreading down my arms too, damn, I should have worn a long sleeve shirt. “That’s everything Tess, are you remembering things now?”

She moves some stuff around and stares at certain things, “I don’t remember any of the old, old stuff. Like these sketches I made when I was three, these are totally alien to me. I suppose that’s normal though, at that age the brain hasn’t yet developed the Papez circuit of the hippocampus which allows us to form long term memories...”

I get impatient with her, “Forget the psychology lessons Tess, come on, we’re at a dead end here. We need some other clues, some trail to follow, something.

She picks up the colored pencil sketch of her cutie mark, the last pony reference she ever made. “I do remember making this, I was bored in study hall because I already did my homework like two days prior. I just sort of zoned out and let my hand wander, and then I looked down and saw this star. I remember thinking it was really cool at the time... but that’s all it meant to me. Just some cool star I made as a doodle. It had no meaning, I didn’t even recognize it was the same as Twilight’s when that cartoon came out half a decade later.”

Tess’s eyes get watery and she takes a sad sigh, “I’m sorry guys... I got nothing. None of these items really mean anything to me. I remember making some of them, but I don’t remember why. It’s not triggering any flashback, there are no memories coming back... just nothing.”

Pinkie’s ears drop, “So what do we do now? How do we change back, or how do we learn what caused all of this?”

I frown and answer for Tess, who is on the verge of tears. “Pinkie, we’re out of clues and we only have a few hours before Tess and I start walking on all fours. This was our last shot at finding some answers, and it’s a dead end. We’re stuck, we just don’t know what to do anymore.”

18. Farewell fingers.

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Chapter 18: Farewell fingers.

My sibling, Rachel, explains things to Pinkie, “This was our last shot at finding some answers, and it’s a dead end. We’re stuck, we just don’t know what to do anymore.”

I sit down and I look at my arms, the purple fur spreads across them like an invading army. My life is pretty much over, and even after two days of hard work I am still no closer to finding a way to fix things. I feel a wave of depression come over me, and I look around at all the boxes in this room. They hold the remnants of my childhood, but that life is all but over for me now. How did it come to this?

“...Tess?” I hear Tom end a sentence, he must have been talking to me. I glance up at her, but then just lower my head and close my eyes. She probably wants answers, she probably was asking me what we are supposed to do. But I don’t know, I just don’t know. Tom is going to have to ask someone else, this one has pretty much given up.

I bury my face in my hands, noticing the room has gotten very quiet. I hear my sister, well, brother, clear his throat. “Hey, Tom... can you take Pinkie out in the hall for a moment?”

I open my eyes slightly as I realize Rachel’s actions. Tom gets the message as well, “Yeah, sure thing. Hey Pinkie, let’s go find a vending machine.”

Upon hearing her Pinkie pauses for a second, but then smiles and claps her hands, “Yay candy... Let’s go get something!” It dawns on me that she actually isn’t that excited, but she is just doing her best to lighten the mood. I grin with one side of my mouth, realizing how fortunate I am to be friends with someone like Harry.

Tom escorts her out into the hallway, and Rachel turns to me, “So, it’s just us, what’s wrong Tess?”

I take a deep breath, “Everyone is looking to me for answers, but what can I say, I have no answers Rachel. We’re screwed, that’s all there is to it.” I look down at myself and realize I’m actually sitting exactly how a feral pony sits. Not only that, it’s very comfortable. I quickly fix this mistake and stand up as a human should, which is far less comfortable.

Rachel pays no attention to my standing posture and levitates a few pieces of my school art, “So, this quest is all a dead end huh?”

I nod sadly, “Trying to find meaning in the sketches I made when I was a toddler is impossible. It would be like me asking you what you had for dinner on some random date twenty nine years ago.”

He chuckles, “Well that would be hard, seeing as how I’m only 25.”

I blink, of course he is 25, I knew that. So why did I think he was around before that? I shake my head to clear the strange thought, “Yeah, whatever. You get my point.”

Rachel turns his arm over and looks it up and down, I glance up, noting that going by the fur line, he is now more pony than human. He speaks up, “So long story short Tess, you’re out of ideas and worried that we’re out of time.”

“Pretty much, yeah.” I scratch my neck, realizing that not only is my neck entirely covered in fur, but my fingernails are starting to feel just like the tips of the hooves on my feet. “I’ll be honest Rachel, I knew we had less than two days to solve this once we got those ears. I was able to extrapolate it out ever since I ran those DNA tests and saw the pace of our changes. I knew we were going to be full pony by nightfall today. I just never thought about what it would really mean, and how serious it would be. I guess I thought that we would have found a way to reverse the changes before it got too real.”

Rachel puts one of his hooves on a box, then pulls back a pant leg. I wince as I look at his leg, the entire lower appendage its literally 100% pony. Rachel laughs softly, “Well, I think we missed that train Tess. ”

I nod slowly, then rub my forehead, “We only have a few hours left really. Pity, I liked this species. ”

“Meh, it was so-so.”

I chuckle softly and punch him lightly in the shoulder, “You brony, can’t you at least wait until you’re totally pony before you go on insulting your old species?”

He smirks, “I’m just trying to lighten the mood Tess, you know I don’t want this transformation any more than you do.”

I look at the ground, “We’ll fix it. One day, we’ll find a way to change back.”

Rachel taps his chin, “What if we forget? Aren’t you worried we might change in our minds? What if we wake up tomorrow as full ponies and have no memories of ever being humans?”

I stare at him, “Well that’s a terrifying thought, but no, I don’t think that would happen.”

“Why not? Don’t you think that something that has changed our bodies as quickly as this has the power to change our minds too?”

I shake my head, “Oh it’s not that I think our minds are immune, I just don’t see it happening so suddenly and so drastically like that.”

Rachel gets a worried look, “But... our minds will still change?”

I yawn as I nod, “Rachel... our minds have already changed. They have been changing ever since this started. Look at the way we are all acting today, I mean, you don’t have to look any further than Pinkie--”

He raises a hand to stop me, “She cannot be explained, even when she was still human, for all the years we have known her, her antics were never normal.”

A slow smile spreads across my face, “True, but we never called Harry a she before this did we? Our minds are being ever so slightly tweaked Rachel. Even before we knew her gender was flipped, we referred to her as a girl.”

He nods, “True, same with Tom.”

I smirk, “Yeah, about Tom...”

My brother starts to blush and I find it adorable. He plays naive, “What about her?”

I point at his cheeks, “That. You are attracted to a mare Rachel. A mare! I’m pretty sure that’s not your female, human mind’s idea of a good partner.”

He rolls his eyes, “Hardly fair, of course I find Tom attractive, I always had a thing for her. Well... him, but you know what I mean.”

I raise an eyebrow “Whatever, watching you keep a crush on someone as you both get rule 63’d is quite interesting to say the least. But your little puppy love affair isn’t what I meant when I said Tom changed. I meant to say that Tom really has taken up her new role. I mean, look at her and the way she carries herself, she’s acting more proper and feminine than girls that were born female and lived as a girl their whole life.”

Rachel gives me a look, “Oh come on, just because she’s wearing women's underwear and--”

I cut him off, “It’s a thong Rachel. I saw it when she was picking up boxes. She’s wearing a black lace thong, not to mention that before we left she went and put on eyeliner, light mascara, and I’m pretty sure she even has a touch of lipstick. Pretty sure that’s not how Tom normally acts, and that’s not how a normal person would act just hours after finding their gender has flipped.”

Rachel just stares off into space, “She’s wearing black lace... panties?”

I lightly smack him in the shoulder, “Keep it in your pants lover boy. As I was saying, she’s changed Rachel, we all have.”

Rachel’s eyes go back into focus and she glances at me, “Have you?”

I wasn’t expecting that question. I bite my lip for a second, “No one has the capacity to accurately judge themself. Only others can do that for you.” I turn to face my brother, and feel my pony snout crease into a smile, “So, you tell me brother, have I changed?”

“You’re the same to me sis, always will be.” He tosses an arm over my shoulder and gives me a comforting hug. After a few seconds a crack of thunder interrupts the silence, and the sound of fresh rain falling on the cheap roof is soon heard.

I rub my hand on his back, enjoying the familial bond, “Thanks for this little chat Rachel. At least we’re together in all this madness.”

Rachel pats my back in return, and I feel my wings twitch under the touch, “I’m happy for that as well. But I do have one question.”

I pull back from the hug, “Hmm?”

Rachel laughs nervously, “So... seriously, as Tom was asking you a minute ago when you zoned out... What the hell are we supposed to do now?”

I stare at him and give a neutral expression, “I have no idea!”

There is another boom of thunder and I check the time. It was actually quite late, I may not know what to do long term, but in the short term I know we should probably try and get back to the safety of the apartment before the transformation finishes.

As if on queue there is a knock on the wall and we turn to see Tom poke her head in the storage room, “You ready? We better get going if we're going to stay ahead of the weather.”

“You don't have to rush off, you know. That storm is going to miss us completely.” Pinkie replies from the hallway, then starts laughing about something she finds hysterical.

As per usual, I ignore her antics and nod at Tom, “Yeah, I was just thinking about leaving. Just let me lock this stuff back up, then we can leave.”

Rachel look down at the boxes, then magics an empty box towards her and starts to fill it with all the loosened items on the floor, “I’m gonna take all the pony stuff with us. Who knows, maybe tomorrow you might wanna look at it again.”


The car ride was long, and pretty uneventful. I sat in front next to Tom, who was driving, and I kept myself occupied by testing my finger dexterity every ten minutes. It was declining fast, which I guess was to be expected. The quiet of the car ride was occasionally broken by Pinkie’s squeals as my brother practiced his telekinesis by lifting her entire body off the seat. Part of me wanted to yell at him to be more careful, but I admit, another part of me was proud my brother has the skill to use magic that well. I can tell I have more raw power than he does, but he certainly has me beat in practice and skill. I should probably start training like he is, but that will have to wait until a calmer time.

Eventually we get home and we all raid the fridge for dinner. Once everyone takes their food I return to fridge and check our stores, “We should have stopped at a grocery store on the way here, we’re nearly out of food that we can eat.”

Pinkie laughs, “Oh come on Twilight, you really think we could have gone shopping looking like this?”

I bite my tongue, “Pinkie, can you not call me Twilight? My name is Tess, this transformation is depressing enough without losing my name in the process.” I glance over at my brother, who is completely covered in white fur and whose entire face seems to fit a pony better than a human, “Shining, can you back me up over here?”

He snickers, “Sorry sis, you are far more Twilight than Tess at the moment. That new name just fits you.”

I sigh, then return to the table and levitate my fork to start eating. “I’m serious about the food though, our supplies will barely last us another 24 hours. I don’t know what we are going to do, we can’t go shopping looking like this.”

Rarity-Tom ignores my statement and stares at my levitating fork, then looks down at my arms. “Something wrong with your hands Tess?”

“They’re getting a bit hard to use but--” I look down at my hands and realize they are resting at my sides. I am eating my salad using nothing other than my horn and my mouth. I sigh, “Well, good to know I guess I don’t need them anymore. Eating via magic just sort of works. Hmm, still a bit disturbing to know my hands will be lost though.”

Pinkie looks at me, “Mmhmmm, yeah lady, keep talking about how hard it is to rely on nothing but magical powers.” She ends her stare with a smile, “You unicorns make me laugh.”

I bite my tongue, good thing Pinkie is the one who is becoming Pinkie. I can’t even imagine how Rarity or Shining would deal with becoming Pinkie. But Pinkie on the other hand, she really is perfect at becoming Pinkie...

My train of thought catches up with itself and I swear under my breath. Shining glances over at me, “Something wrong sis?”

I shake my head, “Mental changes just driving me nuts, don’t worry about it.”

Rarity-Tom raises an eyebrow, “Mental changes driving you nuts? Darling, are you sure you’re okay?”

“Rarity, did you just say darling?” I point a hoof at Rarity. No, not hoof, HAND, I point a hand at Rarity! I shake my head, “Okay, nevermind, I’m done here. I’m going to bed.”

I stand up and take a few steps away from the dinner table. I just want to go to bed and wake up when this is all over. This state of being torn between full pony and human is seriously driving me crazy.

Shining excuses himself and gets up to follow me as I make my way to the bedroom. He looks me over as I grab my pajamas off the bed. “Are you... okay?”

I nod, “Yeah, I just really need to sleep through this last part.”

He sighs, “Yeah I know what you mean. You should probably take a shower first though.”

I raise an eyebrow, “Uh thanks for telling me I smell bad? Is it the fur?”

My brothers laughs, “No, you smell fine I guess, I just meant you should shower now while you still have hands, and since you can fit in the shower standing upright. Tomorrow it might be harder to fit in there, it’s a narrow tub, not sure how comfortable it will be for an actual pony to use.”

I nod, “Right, right. Showering tonight does make sense actually. Is there a bar of soap in there by the way?”

Shining chuckles, “Soap? You won’t be using a bar of soap.”

I raise an eyebrow, “Because... I’m missing something here aren’t I?”

He smiles, “Not sure if you noticed, but you have no exposed skin anymore. You don’t really need a bar of soap for fur, you just need shampoo, and lots of it. There’s a bottle in the shower, go nuts.”

I shake my head in amusement as I turn to leave, “Shampoo all the things!”


The shower was nice, it was a bit hard to stay standing on two hooves on a wet surface, but I sort of managed. The shampooing was pretty easy, but drying off was actually really hard. It took me about three towels to get all the water out of my fur, but hey, I did it! Hopefully Rarity doesn’t mind the extra wash load, I really can’t thank her enough for the generosity she’s showing us all by letting her live at her place and eat all her food like this. She doesn’t even really know Pinkie or myself that well, yet she treats us like family, it’s crazy.

I walk back to the bedroom, wearing only the bottom half of my pajamas (with a tail hole cut through the back). It feels very strange to walk around without a top on, but there really is no reason why I need to wear a top anymore. My boobs are entirely gone! Well, I guess I still have them, they are just nestled down a bit lower. It is somewhat disturbing, but part of me actually likes having all my private parts in one place. It certainly makes it easier to keep everything covered. The other nice thing about not wearing a top is my wings are free to get some air. God knows I have no intention of trying to fly, but it is nice to let them breath a little.

I enter the bedroom and notice Shining in his pajamas laying on bed, a pillow across his lap. I raise an eyebrow, “Um, what are you doing?”

Shining gives me an awkward expression, “Nothing, nothing, just going to bed.”

I take a seat on the floor to rub my legs when I look up and notice my pillow is missing from it's usual area. I soon spot it on Shining's lap, “Oh, hey, that's my pillow right?”

Shining blushes beet red, right through his white fur. Then he turns his back towards me, “Can you, uh, use the other pillow please? I sort of need this one to cover me.”

I raise an eyebrow, trying to figure out why he needs a pillow across his lap. It clicks, “Shining!! Oh come on, that was my personal pillow! Well I don't want it anymore, urgh.”

He bites his tongue, “Sorry Tess, all I can really do it hide this thing. My pajamas don't really... you know.”

I rub my forehead, “Shining, we’re sharing a small bed tonight, and my pajamas leave me half naked... can you possible make this any less awkward?”

He sighs, “No worries sis, I’ll sleep on the floor tonight. It's not a problem for me. You take the bed, I'll go grab some pillows from the couch and bring them in here to sleep on.” I look up to see him stand up and start heading for the door. I stand up as well... and promptly faceplant into the carpet a second later.

“Ow...” I twist around and stand up again, only to immediately lose my balance and fall forward again, this time catching myself with my proto-hooves. I find myself in a very awkward position, something in between standing ‘on all fours’ and crawling on my hands and knees like a baby does.

Shining stops in the doorframe and looks back at me, “You okay sis?”

I sigh pitifully, “My body isn’t the right shape to walk on all fours, but I don’t think I can walk on two legs anymore.”

With no hesitation, as I feel myself enveloped in magic, my brother telekinetically lifts me off the ground and drops me on the bed. “There, now you don’t have to get up until morning.”

I glance over at him and smile, Rachel may not be my sister anymore, but she was still my sibling. “Thanks. And goodnight.”

He waves, “Goodnight sis, and farewell human.”


The next morning arrives and I teeter on the edge of being awake, and I think about last night. My sister, Tess, really seemed to be starting to crack under the stress. She needs to just take a deep breath and let things be sometimes. Not sure why she’s the most stressed one here, she has the best deal out of the three of us. She is the only one who got to keep her gender, and she’s a freakin alicorn, sheesh.

I yawn and notice how much longer and flatter my tongue is, even compared to last night. My eyes shoot wide open and I realize it’s morning and the transformation is probably complete. I can see the end of my pony snout between eyes, the white fur visible on the end of it. I take a deep breath, I really don’t want to look down, but at the same time, I’m naturally curious as to how my new fully formed body looks.

The first thing I notice is my neck. It’s freakishly long and lets me look down at my own back. Huh, well, everything looks pretty much how I imagined it would look. I mean, I’m in the body of Shining Armor, and I’ve seen the cartoon enough to be able to draw this character in my sleep. I’ll admit it’s strange seeing him in 3D like this, but at the same time, I don’t know, the body feels snug. It’s like wearing a perfect glove, it just feels like part of you... which I guess makes sense seeing as how this equine body is ‘part of me’ now.

I should probably be freaking out more than I am right now, but the fact that I’ve had a tail and fur for two days sort of dulled my brain a little. I think it just gave up at questioning these things. I glance up at the bed to see if Twilight is still sleeping, but no, she isn’t anywhere in the room. Huh, well, hopefully she didn’t freak out and do anything crazy. I should really go find her as soon as I can. With purpose I stand up on my hooves, then promptly fall over on my side. I grit my teeth, great, I have to teach myself how to walk first.


About ten minutes later I stumble into the kitchen, nearly crashing into the dining table in the process. Damn, walking with four hooves is not as easy as they look in the show. I glance around the kitchen looking for Tess, and sure enough, I spot a purple mass sitting in front of one of the large windows. She was still wearing the bottom half of her pajamas, of which I’m thankful for. I’m wearing a pair of boxers myself, I know ponies don’t normally wear clothes, but the fact is even with fur our ‘private parts’ are still awfully visible. Personally, I’m never taking these boxers off, and I can only assume the girls will act in a similar manner.

In any case, I focus back on my sister, the pony. She is just staring into the rain that is pouring outside. I clear my throat, “Hey... Tess? Twilight? Tess? I’m just gonna call you Twilight from this moment on, seeing as how you literally are her at this point in time. So, you look good by the way, actually quite regal with those wings and such.”

“It’s raining.”

I bite my equine tongue, “Given our current situation, I would have to say that is the least remarkable thing you could possibly comment on.”

“Rain is death. Ernest Hemingway, ‘In the fall when the rains came, the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare and the trunks black with rain’. It’s rather suiting that it’s raining today, our old lives are gone, the rain represents that death.”

“Whoa, easy there pony.” I walk towards my sister, “Maybe it’s just raining because we are in Seattle and it rains like 364.99 days of the year here?”

Twilight looks back at me with a soft laugh, “Very true Shining.” Tess sighs for a moment, “I’m going to miss calling you Rachel by the way. I always liked that name.”

I smile wistfully, “Well, once we change back, you can call me Rachel again!”

“Mmhmm.” Tess turns back the window, she doesn’t sound convinced.

I step closer to her and rest the side of my head against her neck, “You okay sis? There’s a lot of pressure on you and I know you never really liked the whole pony thing. I can’t imagine you're taking this very well.”

She looks at me with a glint of strength in her eyes, “I’m doing okay, I really am. I’m just a little worried about being stuck in the middle of a city that we don’t belong in.”

I raise an eyebrow, “A city we don’t belong in? What, do you think we belong in Ponyville or something?”

She snorts, “Don’t be absurd, no such place exists. We belong back home in Vancouver. Or at least somewhere more isolated than this. We need time to sit down with books, computers, and friends, and figure all this out. We should not be in the middle of an urban center while we look like this.”

I make sure I can balance on three hooves, then I wave a foreleg at her, “Hey, we should be happy that Rarity let us stay in her apartment. Sure we’re in a city, but at least we have this place to ourselves and it’s safe here.”

She nods, “And I am extremely grateful to her, but riddle me this one big brother, how are we going to get food? We have enough supplies here to last us one, maybe two days. Then what? We can’t exactly go shopping.”

“What’s that about shopping? I admit, I could definitely use some new material to work with.” A crisp voice comes from the doorway and I turn around to see who it is, only to freeze in place as I see her. My brain tries, and fails, to fully comprehend just how attractive Tom looks. She is, without a doubt, the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. Her white coat gleams like fresh snow, and every hair and curl of her mane is in the perfect position. Her blue eyes radiate like bright sapphires, and donning her backside was a custom fit purple and gold skirt that hugged her flanks and kept everything covered out back.

My mouth flops open and attempts to communicate, “I... you... so good.”

Twilight joins me in raising her eyebrows, “Wow Rarity. You look amazing, how long did it take you to make that skirt and do your makeup?”

She walks past us and goes towards the coffee maker, “Meh, not too long really. I figured a lady needs to look her part.” Tom stops and blushes slightly as she realizes how far she’s taking this. She tosses a hoof in the air, “I don’t know, I guess I’m just trying to fit the role of being Rarity, you know? Acting like the pony we now represent just seems to make things easier than trying to resist everything we are becoming.”

Tess nods in understanding, “Taking a page from Pinkie’s book I see.”

“Hold on a second, who’s stealing pages from MY book? Put those back!” Pinkie cries out from next to me.

I slowly look left and see the crazed pink pony standing right between Twilight and I. I share a glance with the purple pony and we both look back across the room to confirm that the only door to this kitchen is over there on the right. Yet Pinkie somehow got in here, walked around Rarity, and slipped between Twilight and I without any of us seeing her.

Twilight finally cracks and turns to Pinkie and opens her mouth to ask her, “Pinkie, how the hell--”.

I reach out a hoof and put it over Twilight’s mouth to stop her. I shake my head, “Don’t do it Twilight, just trust me, don’t even think about it.”

Pinkie leans into me and smiles, “Don’t even think about doing what?”

I shake my head, “It’s nothing.” Pinkie doesn’t back down, she continues to smile and blinks innocently as she waits for me to say something. I stammer, “So... Pinkie, how was your morning?”

“Woke up; am horse!” She spins around, “I’m thinking about selling the movie rights to Disney when this is all over.”

The coffee maker beeps and Rarity levitates a cup over to it and pours herself a glass, “Yes, fascinating idea Pinkie. So, now that we’re all up, what the game plan for today? Looks like the transformation is done, we are all thoroughbred ponies.” She laughs to herself at the thought of it all, “So... what now? Personally, I have no idea other than ‘drink coffee’ and maybe ‘cry’.”

I shake my head, “I wish I knew the answer, Rarity.”

Tess jumps in right after me, “Likewise, I’ll be honest girls, I got nothing.”

Pinkie remains silent and we all look at her waiting for her to offer some advice. She blinks, “What are you looking at me for?”

Rarity raises an eyebrow, “Come on, the Pinkie from the show always knew the hard answers. She seems to usually know more than just about anyone else.”

The pink one giggles and talks about herself, “The ramblings of Pinkie are more comedic than accurate.”

Rarity disagrees, “Not too sure about that one. Well, if we are taking the show as fact, then Pinkie’s madness is always based in truth. I mean, earlier during that pony marathon you two had made me watch, I saw that first pony movie. Equestria Girls, I think was the name? Well in that movie--”

I dismiss the notion, “Oh please, that movie isn’t even really canon.” I really hate to disagree with someone as enchanting as Rarity, but I had to make a stand here.

Rarity raises an eyebrow, “The DVD box said it was an official Hasbro product, doesn’t that make it canon?”

Pinkie scratches her head, “The fandom was always split on that movie. And technically... aren’t we the ones that decide what’s canon now? Well, Twilight Sparkle is anyway.”

My sister looks up upon hearing her new name being spoken, “Hmm?”

Pinkie bounces on her feet, “Tell us! Is Equestria Girls canon?”

Twilight rolls her eyes to the upper left and appears annoyed, “Like I would even know.”

Rarity bites her lip for a moment, “Twilight Sparkle, where is your box of mementos? Maybe we can find a movie reference in your things?” Twilight mutters something about still not liking how everyone uses her new name, but levitates the box into the living room and drops it at Rarity’s hooves.

I facehoof, “Wait, Rarity, why are you involved in this? Why does the fan canon status of a movie interest you in the slightest?”

The white unicorn starts using her magic to sort the items in front of her. “Well I for one rather enjoyed Rarity’s role in that film, so I don’t mind it being canon. Besides, come on, it’s about ponies interacting with humans on Earth. If it’s canon, it has huge implications for us.”

I shake my head, “The movie didn’t take place on Earth. Last time I checked humans are not all shades of the rainbow, and high school students don’t go around calling themselves Fluttershy and so on. It had humans, but it wasn’t Earth. Besides, it’s not even canon, it’s--”

My hair stands on end as Rarity erupts in a noise that sounds eerily similar to the actual Rarity’s famous ‘wuHAHA’. I look over at her and see her grinning and holding up a sheet of notebook paper from the box. I magic it closer to me to get a better look. It’s a crayon drawing of a gold and blue flag and under it is the line ‘Go WonderColts!’ I raise an eyebrow and pass the paper around to the other ponies. “Well, fine, I guess it might be a canon story, but that still doesn’t mean it actually happened on Earth.”

Twilight nods slowly, “That’s true, but if the story did really happen on Earth, Rarity is right, that would give us another huge lead.”

Pinkie falls to her haunches, and an audible, cartoonish squeak is heard as her rump hits the floor. “But if it did happen on Earth, what happened to all the brightly colored people? Did everyone with blue or green skin go into hiding?”

Rarity rolls her eyes, “Oh please, the colored skin was probably just a creative decision on Hasbro’s end. I doubt they ever existed in the ‘real’ version of that movie.”

I continue my opposition, “Look, all we know if Tess has some memory of an event that has some sports team named the WonderColts, and their team colors are blue and gold. There is no way this actually happened on Earth, the events in that movie would have made international news and every brony would have recognized it right away.”

Tess processes all the facts in front of her then takes a deep breath. “Guessing is pointless, let’s just do some actual research. We know the team name, we have the internet. Let’s get to work.”


A few hours pass, turns out unicorns are actually rather adept at using keyboards. You can envelope an entire keyboard in a magic hold, then use your magic to press the keys as if you were typing. However, just because we could use them doesn’t mean we found anything. I rest my oversized pony head on the desk and sigh, “Can we please stop researching and just admit I was right all along? The movie doesn’t take place on our Earth.”

Twilight taps her chin, “Can we really be sure? It’s sort of our last lead, I’d hate to cross this off the list unless we really can prove it isn’t here.”

I take a deep breath, “Zero elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities have a mascot with the name Wonder Colts or Wondercolts. Even when translated into every major language, no foreign school has a sports team of that name.” I take another deep breath, “Zero schools are located in a town called Canterlot. Zero schools with those two colors have any record of a large horse statue in front of their school. Zero schools are run by two sister principles. And finally, zero schools have a ‘Fall Formal’ where only one girl is elected to Princess. If the movie took place on Earth, we would need a school that met all those criteria, turns out there isn’t even a single school that meets one of those.”

Twilight nods slowly, “Damn... yeah that’s pretty definitive. So Equestria Girls is not the answer to anything, it’s just another dead end.”

Pinkie groans, “What a waste of four hours of searching.”

Rarity laughs to herself, “Oh, it wasn’t all a complete waste...”

I raise an eyebrow, “Rarity, what are you hiding from us?”

She spins her laptop around, showing us a grainy picture of someone holding a folder. “I stumbled across this news release while I was searching schools in the Midwest. A small clinic in downtown Chicago published this photo to Crime Stoppers yesterday after a lone nurse went to them and informed them that a very important patient was caught on camera pulling a false fire alarm and stealing clinic documents. She wanted help finding him so she made the photo public.”

I squint and look at the picture, “Wait, this guy has red pony ears! When was this photo taken?”

Rarity taps the screen, “The morning of May 3rd, which is within 24 hours of when we got the pony ears ourselves.”

Twilight creases her eyebrows, “What is his name?”

Rarity smirks, “That’s just it, no one knows. The only thing he stole was his own file, which had all of his identifying information in it. No one knows who he is. The Crime Stoppers thing says a hotel worker nearby reported seeing that same man check out of his hotel the same day. Only problem is, he paid cash and that hotel doesn’t keep the records of guest addresses or names. So this guy is a ghost, he grew those pony ears and then completely went off the radar the very same day.”

Pinkie chuckles, “Well, he’s not a guy anymore, by now he’s a pony.”

I grin, “So we’re not alone after all...”

19. Mares are nothing but trouble.

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Chapter 18: Mares are nothing but trouble.

Pinkie clops her hooves on the table, “A pony in Chicago? This changes things! Well, I think it does, Twilight does this change anything?”

Twilight steps closer to the picture and looks at it, “Well, now we know that there are other people out there in the same spot as us...”

Rarity nods, “More ponies out there, who knows how many there are too. They could be in every city.”

Pinkie starts hopping in circles around us, “That’s great news! More people are ponies!”

Twilight says something but I don’t hear it. I’m too distracted by Pinkie jumping in front of me. You see, unlike Rarity, Twilight, and myself, it appears Pinkie is perfectly happy prancing around in the nude. I guess this normally isn’t a problem since she has a puffy tail, but when she’s hopping around like this, things tend to get exposed.

“Yeah, ponies in Chicago, crazy.” I mumble as I hold up a hoof to block my vision of her exposed back half.

“Wait!” Pinkie suddenly stops jumping and her tail thankfully falls down to cover her rear, “Is this good news or is it sad news? More people are ponies, but maybe they didn’t want to be ponies?” Pinkie sits down and taps her chin, “Good news for us, bad news for them? I don’t know if we should be celebrating, hmm...”

Twilight sighs, “I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it certainly complicates things. It was hard enough figuring this all out when only four of us were ponies, knowing that there are ponies thousands of miles away just makes this all the more confusing. How did they get there? How many are over there? Are there more ponies in other cities? Are there more ponies in this city?

I add, “And how are all of those ponies connected to you?”

Twilight’s eyes dart towards me, “Wait, why would they be connected to me?”

I bite my lip for a moment as I try to recall all the facts in my head, “Let’s face it Twilight, your childhood describes the ponies these humans are becoming. You told stories of a pony with red ears, and now someone in Chicago grows red pony ears. Besides, everyone we know so far that became a pony is connected to you. So where does pony from Chicago come into play? Surely he must be connected somehow.”

We all fall silent for a moment as Twilight thinks, and then Pinkie claps her hooves excitedly, “Maybe he isn’t directly connected! Maybe he just belongs to another group of four ponies who all happen to share a birthday on May 1st!”

Rarity scoffs, “Yeah... I'm pretty sure that isn't the reason.”

Twilight rolls her eyes at the reference, “Guessing randomly is no way to find answers. We need to do some research.”

The three other ponies in the room groan in unison. I speak for all of us, ”Sis, we just spent the past four hours doing internet research on Equestria Girls. We need a break from that sort of work, please.”

Twilight frowns, “But we have to track him down.”

Rarity sighs, “Easier said than done, isn’t it?”

I tilt my head, “Well, what do we know about him? What sort of things do we know that we can use to find him?”

Rarity chuckles, “We know what he looked like as a human, which is useless now that he’s a pony.”

“Assuming he’s still male right now.” Pinkie adds.

Rarity continues, “And we know that he left no trace whatsoever.”

“And even the police have zero leads on who he is or where he went.” Pinkie happily contributes.

Rarity continues once more, “And we know he lives in the Chicago area. Or, well, he at least passed through there yesterday.”

Twilight rolls her eyes, “The Chicago metropolitan area has over twelve million citizens.”

I can’t help but laugh, “So you want us to find someone who, like twelve other million people, happened to be around Chicago yesterday. And we have no idea who he is, where he went, what he looks like now, or if he is even still a he.”

“And don’t forget he is actively trying to hide! He certainly won’t be advertising his location on social media! We honestly have no chance of finding him.” Pinkie says with a smile.

Twilight groans and looks at Pinkie, “Pinkie, this is all terrible news, why are you smiling?”

She claps her hooves together, “Because that means we don’t even have to bother trying right now! Which is great, because I do not want to spend another four hours doing boring research on the computer. Bleh, doing research sucks! Talk about worst possible activity anyone could ever do.”

Twilight grits her teeth and I step in before she turns Pinkie into a cactus. “Hey, guys, calm down, we have other things we can do that would be productive. How about we get back to looking through the show bible? We practically killed ourselves getting that thing--”

“Not to mention made all of Washington State think there was a terrorist attack in Seattle.” Rarity winces.

I nod in agreement, “Yes, exactly, we should really get back to looking through that binder.” I look over at my sister who is still glaring at Pinkie. “Hey, uh, Twilight, let’s go find some new spells to learn? Okay?”

She takes a deep breath and backs off from Pinkie, “Fine, I’ll go make lunch. Afterwards we can split up the show bible and see what we can find.”

Twilight turns around, flicking her tail in the process, and heads towards the kitchen. Once the alicorn is out of earshot, Pinkie rubs the back of her neck with a hoof and mumbles, “Man, what’s her problem.”

I shake my head, “She’s a little tense right now that’s all. And I think you going to her face and telling her ‘research sucks’ might have rubbed her the wrong way.”

Pinkie gives me a confused look, “But doing research DOES suck. That’s a lot of work!”

Rarity answers, “Some ponies like work Pinkie.” She turns towards me, “How was Twilight last night? She seemed pretty fragile in the evening, did you two talk before you slept?”

I smile, “We talked for a little bit, but I actually ended up sleeping on the floor last night. I guess I don’t blame her though.”

Rarity moves alongside of me and rests her head against mine, “Darling, that’s awful, you’re not a dog! These bodies are feral enough without us sleeping on the floor like animals!”

I chuckle, “It wasn’t too bad. Twilight thought, perhaps rightfully so, that it would be strange to share a small bed with me since I’m a stallion, and well, you know.”

Out of the corner of my eye I see Pinkie grin, and swish her tail back and forth, “I wouldn’t mind. You can come to my bed whenever you want. I’m always open!” Pinkie blinks, then corrects herself, “I mean my door is always open!”

Rarity smiles and nods at her, “Pinkie, that’s very nice of you to offer.”

“Mmhmm.” Pinkie smiles and looks right at me. “Shining knows he’s welcome in my room anytime! You know, for sleeping!”

I swallow nervously. Pinkie was too crazy for me to want that offer. I mean, sharing a bed would be fine, but what if she wanted to do more than that? I find myself blushing “Yeah, thanks for the invitation Pinkie...” My heart starts to pound faster.

As if on cue, the pink pony turns around and makes for the door. Instead of walking she does the textbook “Pinkie Pie Bounce” towards the door. He tail flops around, once again resulting in everyone behind her getting an awkwardly clear view of parts that are best left covered. I bit my bottom lip.

At my side I can see Rarity also staring ahead at Pinkie, Rarity’s eyes are almost as wide as mine. She raises her eyebrows, “Shining, you are one fortunate stallion. If only I was still male.” She shakes her head, “That Pinkie.”

I breathe deeply and try to calm myself. I glance towards her, “Yeah, I wish you were in this body rather than me Rarity. This body is making me think about things I really don’t want to think about.”

Rarity nudges me in the shoulder, “Oh? Lover boy, shall I move your things to Pinkie’s room then? You two will have a wonderful night knowing her level of modesty.”

I blush, “Hey. that isn’t my idea at all! I’m not that kind of guy!” I sigh and remember last night, “But if Twilight kicks me out, then it’s not really my choice, right? What if I have to find another bed and Pinkie offers?”

Rarity smiles slowly, “Well... you don’t have to go to Pinkie’s bed. We have three beds, sleep in one Pinkie isn’t using.”

I squint with one eye, “But Twilight won’t let me sleep in her bed either.”

Rarity shrugs, “Well then I guess that leaves mine, doesn’t it?”

My throat tightens up. Any of the progress I made on ‘calming down’ was shattered. Did Rarity just offer her bed to me? “Umm... come again?”

She gives me an earnest smile, “I can’t have guests sleeping on my floor, I would feel bad. So come to my bed, I don’t bite.”

I poker face, she just invited me to sleep with her. But does she mean ‘sleep with me’ or ‘sleep with me’? Her face isn’t giving anything away, what is she thinking? I frown as I realize I was never good at reading faces, let alone pony faces. I try to swallow again, “Hey, thanks Rarity, you’re a great host. I’ll keep your offer in mind. If Twilight kicks me out of my room again, I’ll come knocking to yours.”

She nods politely and starts walking forward to leave. As soon as her fur leaves mine I let out a deep sigh of relief. What has gotten into us, sheesh. Well if worst comes to worst and I have to sleep in one of their rooms, I would probably pick Rarity. She is a great host and a sophisticated pony, she won’t do anything I don’t want to do.

In any case, as I watch Rarity make her way toward the door I think about her offer. I don’t know why I was so worried, this is Rarity we’re talking about, she must have meant her offer of a bed in a platonic, non-sexual way. She’s just a good host and is offering me a soft bed. No way she would want to do anything with me. We’ve only been ponies for like 12 hours, why should she want to do anything intimate with a stallion? Pinkie I can write off for being Pinkie. But Rarity? No way, too much class.

I blink as I realize something. Unlike the other rooms, Rarity’s bed is a twin size. It’s only big enough for one person! “Hey Rarity.”

She stops and turns back around to face me, making a strange face upon seeing me laying on my stomach like this. “Yes?”

“I was just thinking, if we slept together... would I even fit?”

Her eyes go wide, “Pardon?”

I look up at the ceiling and picture her bedroom in my mind, it was such a small room. “You’ve never had a stallion in there before, and I’m pretty big...”

I look back down to see Rarity blushing harder than thought was physically possible. Her entire face was just glowing red.

I blink a few times, oh god, that innuendo. “THE BED! I MEANT THE BED! I’M TOO BIG TO FIT ON YOUR BED!”

Rarity laughs nervously and fans her face with a hoof, “Oh course! Yes, that’s what you meant! Silly me for thinking of something else.”

I cover my face in my hooves, I could just die of embarrassment right on the spot. “I just mean your bed is small, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to fit two ponies on it...”

Rarity shakes her head and forces herself to laugh, “We can manage, don’t worry.”


Lunch was uneventful. My sister was never really known for her cooking, and now that we couldn’t eat meat our food options were quite limited using this fridge. Woohoo, a few carrots and some water! Meal fit for a king!

Twilight levitates the show bible over and plops it on the table. “Alright people--”

“Ponies.” Pinkie corrects her.

She rolls her eyes, “Alright, ponies, we’re gonna split this thing up and see if we can find anything interesting. I just wish I knew where to start.”

I swallow the mouthful of vegetables I was chewing, “If you want to try and learn new spells, start by going through any notes regarding the Trixie episodes. Those episodes were overflowing with new spells Twilight and Trixie were casting.”

Twilight looks down at the binder and blinks, “So... those are which episodes?”

I smile, “Good to know my expertise has a use. Here, allow me. ” I magic the binder over to me and flick open the rings. I then use my horn to start selecting all the notes pertaining to magic heavy episodes. “There, here’s everything in the binder pertaining to the fifteen episodes where the most magic being used. Go nuts.”

Twilight just nods thanks and excuses herself from the table.

Pinkine bounces in her seat, “Oh, oh! Do me! Do me next!”

I pick out the main Pinkie episodes, pausing as I see something in the first main one. Included in the notes for Pinkie Keen is a completed ‘Table of Pinkie Sense’. There were about thirty things listed that Lauren said Pinkie could predict. I scan it over, damn, if these were true it would be very, very handy. “Hey Pinkie, I want you to memorize this table.”

She groans, “I hate studying.”

I stare at her until she makes eye contact. I crease my eyebrows, “Look, I’m not asking, I’m telling. This stuff could save our lives in the future, Pinkie’s body probably has more power behind it than most unicorns do, but you gotta learn how to use it.”

Her hair deflates slightly, “Fine, fine, I’ll study it. It won’t be fun though.”

I smile, “You can have fun later, this won’t take long.”

Pinkie leaves the table with the paper held in her mouth, and Rarity moves next to me. “So, what’s left in there?”

I enjoy having her at my side, but focus on the task at hand, “Well, we have another fifty episodes in here. ”

Twilight trots back in and starts to fill a glass with water using her magic. Rarity nods at me, “Which chapters do you want to do?”

I scratch my head, I guess Rarity and I can split these? That makes sense. “Okay, I’ll take these chapters.”

I pick up my chapters and take a step away from the table, only to see Rarity take a step after me. She speaks up, “Ok, let’s go. Maybe go to the living room? I have a nice couch in there.”

I stammer, “Uh, but, the other half of the chapters...?”

Rarity blinks, or was that a wink? “They can wait, let’s go look through these together, then when we finish we can do the next set.”

Across the room, Twilight lowers her drinking glass and stares at me, raising an eyebrow suspiciously.

I grin awkwardly and give her a ‘hey, it wasn’t my idea!’ expression, then turn back to the most attractive unicorn I have ever seen. “That sounds lovely Rarity, lead the way.”


Like any study session involving a boy and a girl, we didn’t really study that much. Sure we went through the material, but our heart wasn’t really in it and we just went through the motions of reading the pages. We had some small talk through the work and the afternoon rapidly began to pass. We finished the first stack of chapters and were about halfway through the second when I finally built up the confidence to ask her a question I needed answered.

I look up at her. I could just watch her sitting there reading for days, everything about her just captivated me. But eventually she notices my staring and looks up, “Yes?”

I point at the two of us with a hoof and ask my question, ”What are we. I mean the two of us, the pair. We were just co-workers before, but what are we now?”

Rarity puts down the page she was reading from. “I don’t know, we’re... something? I’m not really sure how this works from the female side of the fence, if I was in your hooves I imagine I would have a better idea for how things stand. But that being said, I like you. You’re the only one I really know. Don’t get me wrong, your sister and Pinkie are great, but things are very chaotic right now and you’re the only one here I really know.”

Rarity scoots closer to rest her head on my shoulder, I let out a happy sigh and lean into her. Then I realize I should probably ask her something first, “Um, did you have a boyfriend back before all this started?”

She laughs, “I think you mean girlfriend darling. And no, I’ve been single for a few months now actually.” An awkward silence fills the air as the question’s massive connotations just float there for both of us to think about. Rarity clears her throat, “And you? Did you have a, what’s the word they used in the show, a special somepony back when you were a human?”

I chuckle at the word choice, “Nah, I’ve been single for a while. For a long while...”

She turns her head to face mine and grins mischievously, “Wait, if you’re Shining Armor, aren’t you married to Cadance now? Oh my, you totally are! You’re in a relationship with that pink pony! If we find her, are you going to kiss her? Hmm? Your long lost wife?”

I find myself blushing and I bat the idea with a hoof, “What, no, come on Rarity, I’m in the body of Shining Armor, but I’m not actually him! I have nothing to do with the ‘real’ Shining, so Cadance has nothing to do with me. I just happen to look like her husband, but nothing else is there.”

She leans back into me and says just two words. “Oh, good.”

My heart skips a beat and I glance at Rarity, “And why is that, why would you be so pleased to hear that news?”

She just rolls her eyes and leans back on my shoulder. I smile to myself, I was in heaven here. I’ve wanted to be with Tom for almost a decade now, and now not only are we pretty much a pair, but I’m more attracted to him than ever. Well, sure, he might be a girl now, but hey, this relationship is still quite legit. There’s nothing wrong with homesexual couples, but the fact is, we’re as hetero as it gets. Any way you look at us, we’re a male/female couple. Sure things get confusing if you think about them too hard, but hey, who said love is--

“Dinner’s ready... urgh, are you two even trying to work?” I glance up to see Twilight glancing over at us. I look down and realize Rarity and I are romantically cuddling, our bodies and hooves all intertwined with each other.

We both scramble to separate ourselves, I clear my throat, “Oh, hey, we were just um...”

“Studying the show notes.” Rarity answers calmly.

Twilight rolls her eyes, “Look, I don’t care, you’re both grown ups, you can do what you want. Now come on, dinner is ready, and it’s hot.”

I trot after Twilight and we arrive at the kitchen table where Pinkie is in the middle of setting out the food. It looks like Pinkie will be having two bowls of kids cereal for dinner, and the rest of us will be eating broccoli and cheese. I shrug as I look at it, it’s not that bad with our new taste buds. Eager to change the subject from what were just talking about, I ask Twilight about her progress, “So, learn any new spells?”

She smirks, “You bet. I’ve been working on this new spell all afternoon while you two were busy ‘studying’ over there.”

Rarity ignores the last half of her comment, “A new spell? Is it powerful?”

Twilight nods, “Oh yeah.”

I get impatient, “Well? What is it?!”

Pinkie looks up, “I want to know too! Twilight said she would only show me the spell when all of us were here.”

She nods, “I don’t want to alarm the neighbors, so I’m only going to do this once.”

I feel my heart start to race, this is going to be huge. Maybe Twilight was right, instead of cuddling with Rarity I should be studying these spells. Magic is really powerful, who knows what chaotic powers these show notes contain. What did Twilight learn? How to Shoot lightning? Fireballs? Teleportation? How to make a shield bubble? How to summon a violent storm? Open a portal? Heal mortal wounds?

Twilight open a window to gets things started. “Okay, everyone ready?” We all nod eagerly and Twilight takes a deep breath. “Here goes nothing!”

Her horn flashes and her face screws up in pure concentration. I feel my hair start to rise from the static in the air. Twilight’s horn glows brighter and Rarity starts to get flustered, “Um, Twilight, you’re not going to make another explosion are you? This is my family’s condo.”

Twilight strains as she speaks, “No, don’t worry, I got it...”

A gentle breeze blows in through the window, it carries some sound with it, probably some street noise. I look around, waiting for the magic.

Twilight’s horn starts to dim, “There! Got it! Phew.”

Rarity tilts her head, “Um, pardon?”

Pinkie looks around in a panic, “Did she do something to us? Did she make it so I like broccoli? She better not have!”

The last bits of light from Twilight’s horn fade away and she relaxes, “Ah, done. Did you guys hear that?”

I crease my eyebrows, “Hear what, the stereo across the street when the breeze came by?”

She bares her teeth, “That wasn’t a stereo! That was me! I did the spell from the Trixie episode! I created a breeze out of thin air and used it to make a melody through the trees around us.”

Everyone at the table is silent for a few seconds. Rarity leans forward, “Are you sure it wasn’t a stereo across the street? Because it would make a lot more sense if you just used a stereo next time instead of some spell that took you six hours to learn.”

Pinkie nods, “Yep, sounds like you wasted your entire afternoon.”

Twilight facehoofs, “Brother, back me up here. Magic is totally worth learning.”

I bite my tongue, “Well, yeah, magic is good to know, but, uh, I don’t know, maybe next time focus on learning more useful spells?”

Twilight drops her hooves in exasperation, “What’s wrong with being able to summon a breeze that carries a melody?!”

I can’t help but smirk, “Well yeah, next time a giant space bear appears in Canada, it’s good to know you will be ready for it!”

Pinkie laughs, Twilight just shakes her head. “Oh come on, I can summon a breeze of wind! I have power over the air, no human in the history of Earth has had that power before!”

I blink, unimpressed, “Yeah, but you’re not a human, you’re a unicorn. A protégé alicorn princess actually.”

Twilight mumbles to herself, “I learn god like powers, and no one cares.”

Pinkie nods, “Wake me when you can create cake out of thin air or something.”


The rest of the dinner went well (except for Twilight fuming that her spell wasn’t as well received as she hoped). Afterwards we dedicated a few hours towards searching online for any clues about this pony in Chicago. Nothing came up though, and around 11pm we decided to call it for the night. I elected to head to the kitchen first to get a quick snack before bed.

I yawn as I turn the corner and realize someone else is already in the kitchen. I look down at the floor and freeze in place as I see Pinkie is there. She appears to have put a bag of ice on the floor and is sitting on it with her bare lower half. I don’t know if I should look away or just leave, all I knew is I’m not hungry for food anymore.

Her eyes light up as she sees me, “Oh, hey Shining.”

I can’t help but stare, “What... are you doing?”

She gestures at the ice between her rear legs, “I was boiling some water to make ramen noodles, but it’s actually pretty hard to operate a stove hands. When I turned around I burned the top of one of my back legs on the stove! I wanted to ice it, so I got this this ice to sit on because I have nothing to hold the ice with!

“Oh... Is it a bad burn?” I immediately regret even asking.

She leans forward and raises her tail to show my the burn spot, which also ends up showing me far more real estate that I really want to see back there. I bring up one of my forelegs so I can bite my hoof. This isn’t fair, this isn’t fair at all. I’m really trying to ignore my male sex drive, and Pinkie’s crazy antics are certainly not helping! I mean Rarity I can handle. That’s just some nice cuddling and some back rubs. I can totally handle being around girls who like me when that is all they want. But this? How the heck do I deal with someone like Pinkie, to whom there is no such thing as personal space?

As if on cue Pinkie stands up, the melted ice and water dripping off her back half. She flicks her tail to the side, “Can you pass me a towel?”

I avert my eyes, then magic a small towel over to her, dropping it at her hooves.

She glances back and frowns at the towel. “Shining, I don’t have magic. I literally can’t reach my back with these hooves. Can you dry me off?”

I grit my teeth but know she is telling the truth. What’s more, she’s shivering from the ice water. I sigh and walk closer to her, grabbing the towel in my hooves. I start to dry her sides, her tail, and the bottom half of her legs. She just stands there patiently until I finish as much as I dare. Once I drop the towel she looks back at me, “Shining?”

I look at her face, “Hmm?”

She waggles her hips, “You didn’t get in between my legs!”

I poker face, “Uh, Pinkie, isn’t that a little private?”

She smiles earnestly, “Shining, you are my closest male friend, I don’t mind if you get a little personal with me. Now come on, who knows how long you’re going to be stuck as a stallion. You can’t just run away from every mare that asks you to dry her.”

I sigh and realize she has a point. Might as well break this fear of mine right now. I let my eyes take in the sight before and I grab the towel once more.

“I haven’t seen him Rarity, maybe check the kitchen?” Twilight’s voice is heard through the apartment walls.

My ears perk up and I realize I’m mere inches away from a naked Pinkie and were on the floor of the kitchen. “Oh uh.”

Pinkie sighs, “Well, I guess I’ll let that part air dry” She walks forward and lets her tail drop back down. She then picks up the bag of ice and calmly carries it to the sink.

I toss the towel in the sink and give Pinkie a sheepish grin, then shake my head. “Pinkie, you’re crazy.”

“Hey, you’re the one that was rubbing a towel on me.” She grins, “Oh, that reminds me, have you thought about my offer for tonight?”

I bite my lip, I still hadn’t really fully decided which bed to sleep in tonight. “Well, I can’t sleep in Twilight’s bed...”

Pinkie nods, “And you won’t really be sleeping in mine.”

I hear the hoof steps of Rarity coming down the hall. I tilt my head at Pinkie, “Really? Oh, that’s probably for the best. Makes things easier for me. See, Rarity already invited me to her bed, and I was going to have to somehow pick between--”

Pinkie gives me a coquettish smile, “I meant you wouldn’t really be sleeping in mine because we would probably be too busy doing other things. We need to remove your fear of mares somehow, right? You know, we would have total privacy for an entire night. Wouldn’t that be fun? Just the two of us, no one else would ever know what we did.” Pinkie walks past me, still smiling. “I’m telling you Shining, come to my room tonight and you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime..”

I can hear my blood pounding in my ears as Pinkie takes the last steps out of the kitchen. At the same time Rarity enters through the doorway. “Oh! Hello Pinkie.”

“Hi Rarity! Goodnight!” Pinkie exclaims happily. Then walks down the hallway whistling the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show.

Rarity turns to watch her leave. “Ah, Pinkie is always in such a good mood.”

“Mmhmm,” I whimper, trying to block the recent thoughts out of my mind. “So, Rarity, what brings you here?”

She walks up along side me and rests her head against mine. I close my eyes, I love it when she does that. She speaks up, “Well I told Twilight I wanted to ask you something about the show bible, but in reality I came in here to save you from Pinkie.”

I raise my eyebrows, “Oh, what makes you think I needed saving?”

She takes a step away from me and moves toward the puddle on the floor left behind from the ice. She stares at it, “Woman’s intuition.”

I chuckle, “Tom you have only been a girl for like, 24 hours.”

She glances back at me, “Call me Rarity dear. Hearing the name Tom and being reminded I was a guy when I’m in this body is strange. Especially when I’m reminded about it while I’m thinking about things.”

I bite my lip, “Things? What are you thinking about?”

She smiles, “Not important!”

I nod slowly, “Okay...”

We awkwardly stand there for a moment and I notice Rarity avoids eye contact, “So, should I prepare the bed for two?"

I poker face. I honestly don’t know. How can I possibly turn down Rarity? She’s the girl of my dreams and the prettiest thing I have ever seen. But at the same time, how can I possibly turn down Pinkie’s offer? I blink, no, wait, what am I doing, I shouldn’t want EITHER of their offers. Oh god, what am I supposed to do here? Temptation and awkwardness either way I choose. I want both offers, and I fear both offers!

Rarity laughs, “Are you okay darling? You're sweating bullets! I didn’t mean to intimidate you.”

I stammer, “I just don’t know... if Twilight will be okay with me leaving?” Yeah, that! I just don’t know if she would be okay with us, you know.”

“Pfft, we’re just sharing a bed. Who says anything special is going to happen?”

Another awkward silence falls between us. I finally decide to just clear it up once and for all, “Um... will it?”

Rarity ignores my question entirely, “If your sister would prefer that you stayed in her room, that’s fine. I would not be insulted in any way, and I really don’t want to pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do. I’m just letting you know that I’m going to bed now, and if you need a place to sleep, you are more than welcome to join me there.”

Rarity does a polite bow and takes her leave. I say goodnight and tell her I’m going to check on my sister. A short trot later and I enter my bedroom to find Twilight wearing her lower pajamas and stretching her wings.

She glances up at me, “Oh, what are you doing here?”

I look around as she works to get her wings to fold back down comfortably. “I’m just checking if you’re okay with me not sleeping here.”

Her wings folded, she looks over at me. “What? Why would I care? Rachel, I’m not your mom. You can do what you want, you don’t need my permission.”

I’m a bit taken aback from hearing my original name spoken. “Yeah. Well okay then, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She pauses for a moment, then looks up to see me already halfway out the door. “Where are you sleeping?”

I screech to a halt and slowly turn around, “Oh, um, Rarity said she doesn’t want me sleeping on the floor, so she offered...”

Twilight smirks, “Rarity huh? Yeah I can see why. Well, I’m sure you two will--”

I blush, “Whoa, whoa, Rarity never offered that, she just wanted to give me a place to sleep! Pinkie is crazy one that actually wants--” I cut myself off, but I think I said too much already.

Twilight stammers, “Oh, wow. Well Pinkie is good too, I’m sure you two will--”

I hold out a hoof, wanting to tell her that I didn’t confirm that offer because I was still debating if I wanted Rarity more. However. I’m pretty sure I dug myself in a deep enough hole as it is already. I force a laugh, “Ha, yeah, right. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

My sister just shakes her head, “Ah, have fun.”

I close the door behind me and trot down the hall, my heart already pounding from the choice before me. Well, at least I have some time before I have to decide. I won’t have to commit until I make it to the fork in the hallway where--

I blink, I’m at the fork in the hallway already. Damn, I sort of wish I had more time. I look left and right, seeing that for both Pinkie and Rarity’s rooms the doors are closed but the lights are on. I swear under my breath, I’m really going to have to choose here aren’t I? I was sort of hoping for some extenuating circumstances that would force me to pick one over the other, and then give me an excuse in the future as to why I turned one of them down. But nope, I’m not seeing that happening here. It’s all on me and what I want.

I look left, there’s Pinkie’s room and behind it is a night full of more craziness than any man could ever dream of. I look right, there’s Rarity’s room and an evening of cuddling and forming a bond with an old crush. I close my eyes and think about what’s happened so far and who I am right now. With my mind made up I take a deep breath and start walking towards the mare I’m going to spend my night with. I get to her room, then take a second to confirm my choice. Satisfied, I push open the door...

I smile at the pony waiting for me on the other side and she grins back, “Thanks for coming.”

I nod, “The pleasure is all mine Rarity.”

20. Surprises.

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Chapter 20: Surprises

Rarity looks up at me from the bed. She’s wearing a pair of socks on her back hooves. Her skirt was gone too, leaving her with just a pair of lace underwear that barely covers anything. I take a deep breath and step into the room, closing the door behind me.

The mare smiles coquettishly, “I thought for sure you were going to spend the night with Pinkie. Not many guys could turn down an offer like that.”

I laugh softly, it had been a tempting offer. In the end though, I decided to go for the mare I loved, rather than the one I just want to sleep with. Though, looking at Rarity on the bed in those garments, I’m starting to wonder if I want the latter too.

“Well, come on then, I don't bite.” Rarity pats the bed next to her.

I look at the bed and raise an eyebrow, “Rarity, I know we brought this up before, but your bed is honestly too small for two ponies.” With a grown mare lying on it, there were less than 6 inches of mattress space left at her side.

Rarity looks around, “Oh, is it too small? I think it's good like this...”

I bit my lip as I walk over to the bed. With so little room, literally the only option was to spoon, something I'm actually more than happy to do. I crawl in behind the white unicorn and start to embrace her fur against mine, bringing her soft body up against me and--

“Shining.” Rarity's head, just inches in front of mine, turns to look at me.

“Yes?” My heart drops, did I do something wrong? Rarity actually looked a little concerned here.

“Darling, you're wearing your boxer shorts. You sleep in those?”

I raise an eyebrow, “Uh, yes? I wouldn't sleep in the nude, I mean--”

Rarity clicks her tongue. “Shining, you were wearing those all day long today. They are probably filthy by now, if you want to sleep in this bed you are going to need to change into some clean pajamas. See what I am wearing?” She rubs her hooves over her lace lady garments, “I changed into these for bed, you're going to need to change out of your clothes too.”

I roll my eyes, “Not all of us have hoof stitch, pony-fitted nightwear that we can wear at night. Where am I supposed to get pajamas that fit a stallion?”

Rarity smiles, “You just have to ask.” Her horn glows and from across the room float a new pair of shorts. They land on my lap and I inspect them, immediately impressed with the quality.

I let out a low whistle, “These look amazing.” I get out of bed and Rarity looks the other way as I change into them. “And they fit perfectly! How did you get my measurements?! I mean my waist and my hips and everything, it fits me so well!”

Rarity blushes slightly, “I just sort of... eye balled that general region of you and made it from there...”

I was going to ask her how long she must of had to study my rear end in order to get accurate measurements, but I decide some things are better left unsaid. I pat them gently, “Well, thanks. These are perfect.”

I get back into bed with her and once again we start to spoon in order to fit on the small bed. Before long her entire body is pressed up against my underside and my hooves hold her close. “Um, are you comfortable Rarity?”

She pushes her body even closer into mine, “Exquisitely so.”

I pull my head alongside her’s and we cuddle for a few minutes. At least we're keeping this civil, as much as I loved every inch of her body, I’m sort of nervous about actually 'doing anything' with her. I've only been a guy for a day or so, I wouldn't even know where to start. This is nice though, just a light cuddle with nothing--

My thoughts are cut short as Rarity speaks with a sultry tone, “Shining, I just realized something.”

I bite my tongue as I'm almost too scared to reply, “Oh...?”

“Remember that magic lesson you gave me?”

Failing to see how it is relevant here, I nod, “Sure?”

“Well, I just remembered the payment. I owe you a kiss, don’t I?”

Before I can reply I feel her shift positions as she turns around. A few seconds later and she is entirely turned, our faces so close that our noses touch. She brushes her cheek against mine. My heart races as I gaze into her eyes and I start to seriously question how the heck I can find a small horse this attractive. Well, when in Rome...

I nod, “That's right, you do owe me a kiss. I want to collect on that debt Miss Rarity.”

She brings her lips to mine for the ‘payment’, gently placing a kiss right on my lips, making the hair on my neck stand up in excitement. After a moment she breaks the kiss, her soft lips leaving my own. “Well, that was nice--”

Deciding to act on my impulse for once. I cut off Rarity by moving back in for a second kiss. I don't stop at the lips this time, and before I realize what I'm doing I find my tongue rubbing against hers. At first she gives a cry of surprise, but then it turns into a soft moan of passion as our tongues dance. It is very, very strange. I've made out with several guys back when I was a human, but this wasn't anything like that. Not only are the genders flipped here, but the fact remains that Rarity, as beautiful as she is, is still a freakin pony. Her muzzle is huge, and so is her tongue for that matter.

Does that make it better than kissing a human? Before I can decide for sure Rarity breaks off the kiss and blushes, “Well, Shining, that was unexpected. It was pleasant though.”

I blush as well, “Thanks. Payment accepted Rarity.”

She nods, “Good to hear. I imagine that will do for tonight?”

I snuggle up against her her, “Sounds good, but I think we should do this again tomorrow. You know, for science.”

She laughs and lightly hits my shoulder with her hoof, “Already looking to the next time, huh? You're such a guy.”

I peck her on the cheek, “Thanks?”

She strokes my cheek with a hoof, “I'm glad you're here with me for this whole pony thing.”

I brush her mane out of her eyes, “Me too. Rarity, I've loved you for so long...”

She smirks, “Wait, are you talking about me, or Rarity from the cartoon? Is that why you're hooking up with me? Just to get in the pants of a cartoon character? I know how popular rule 34 from that show is...”

I laugh, “Very funny 'Tom', and come on, it's obvious you're much better than the show’s Rarity. You beat her in every way!”

“Yes, forget her! She is clearly inferior, I'm a better Rarity than she ever will be!” Rarity remarks.

I blink, my subconscious tells me something about our dialogue is... off. Oh well, I'm sure I'll figure it out later. I hug Rarity's body close to mine, “Thanks for sharing your bed with me.”

She snuggles into me, “You should move in with me here. We can switch beds with someone and get a bed big enough for two.”

I kiss her on the cheek again, “Full size bed? Don't be ridiculous, sharing a single is much, much better.”

She closes her eyes and smiles, “I was hoping you would say that.”

I hold her close as I drift off into sleep, “Goodnight Rarity...”


I find myself in the throne room of Canterlot. Thin smoke fills the air and I don't see any of the ceremonial guard. A few broken helmets and spears are scattered about and I hear diffuse screaming in the distance. Panic floods my veins as I cry out, “Twilight!!!”

I gallop down the halls to her chambers, as I get closer I can feel someone that doesn’t belong is in her room. I can’t sense Twilight anywhere, but I will defeat whatever beast or monster is in her room and save my sister. I yell out as I approach the room, “Show yourself, beast. Your path of destruction ends with me!”

A shadow falls across the doorway as something inside of it moves. I bare my teeth and start to charge my horn, Captain of the Royal Guard was more than a title, I had decades of combat training and am more than than capable of--

*clap* *clap* *clap* A slow applause behind me makes me lower my guard and I turn around. Discord sits on a charred pillar, smiling at me, “A noble effort dearest BBBFF, but you’re too late, you missed the fireworks.” He kicks a smoldering piece of rubble, “I had a quite a battle with the guards here, they all came running once they heard your sister scream.

“Where is she.” I growl, my mind thinking of the most painful spell imaginable to use on this monster.

“Pity the guards were so disorganized with both you and Celestia not here to lead them. I daresay I might have actually been in serious trouble otherwise. Well, no matter, the battle is over and I clearly won.”

My sister...” I growl, my horn glowing violently, and the rubble around me quivering from the sheer anger I was pouring into my magic.

“Is gone.” Discord waves his lion’s claw at me. “And please, don’t waste my time with your spells. An entire legion of Canterlot’s finest fell where you stand, not to mention the Element of Magic herself. Now... if you were smart, you would have gotten the other Element Bearers before you came looking for me. Twilight was certainly the most powerful, but a few of the remaining ones could actually give me some serious trouble, especially if you were supporting them with the rest of the royal guard. But you’re a fool, and you came here alone. Now I can start picking them off one by one. Thanks for that...”

I blink, wait a second, the others! Oh god I have to warn them! I stop charging my spell as I realize my folly in coming here like this. Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Dash especially. She’s a Captain in the Wonderbolts, with them at our side we--

“Thanks for lowering your guard. I was actually worried for a second.”

I turn back to him, “Wait, wh-”

Everything fades to white.

"For five score, divided by four...”


I sit up with a start and inhale a deep breath. Rarity's warm body at my side offers me some comfort, and I take a few deep breaths to calm down my racing pulse. Man, that dream, that was terrifying. And it felt so real, more real than any other memory I can think of. I shake my head, all this pony stuff going on during the day is starting to affect my dreams. Since I'm living the role of Shining right now, my brain must be playing back what it remembers of that pony from the show finale. That was such a terrifying episode...

I take a few deep breaths, tomorrow I should ask Twilight why she wrote such a strange ending to the show. Why would a five year old girl write about Celestia being betrayed, and all the ponies being attacked like that? Damn it sis, your story is still giving me nightmares all these years later. I sigh and lay my head back down on the pillow. At my side I feel Rarity stir in her sleep, and I toss one of my forelegs over her to hold her body close to mine. That nightmare was just a dream, it can't hurt me.


A few hours later I awake again, this time to a nose affectionately nuzzling my neck. I open one eye and see Rarity cuddled up against me. I laugh, “Good morning to you too, Rarity.”

She rests her head against my neck, “I think your sister is already awake. I heard the coffee maker turn on a minute ago.”

I nod, “Sounds like my sister. That mare loves her morning coffee.”

Rarity sighs, “I guess that means we have to get up now.”

I look down at the two of us intertwined on a bed that is too small for us, then nuzzle Rarity softly. “I think I'm going to get used to waking up like this.”

Her brow furrows, “Well, don't. We're not going to be ponies for much longer. Once Twilight figures this out...”

I correct myself, “Ah, you're right. I forget that sometimes, it's all too easy to think I'm keeping this body. I mean, I already feel pretty comfortable like this. Feels like I was born to have these hooves.”

Rarity nods slowly, “Yes, I admit, I’m also sort of growing fond of being a mare. That’s actually a bit worrying. Nothing against you Shining, but I don't think I want this to be my life. Living as a mare? It's not really who I am... right?”

“Oh, I know. It's just a temporary thing for now. But I want to enjoy parts of this while it lasts.”

Rarity bites her cheek, “Come to think of that, can we play this down if people ask about it? I know we didn't do anything serious, but still, if someone asks what happened can we just tell them we slept normally?”

I think about that, “Fine with me I suppose. You don't want anyone to know we cuddled and stuff?”

She sighs as she leans back into me, “I want some dignity left. What if we all change back into humans tonight right after we tell everyone that I, as Rarity, slept closely with you? Then everyone spends the rest of their life knowing that I didn’t even last two days as a girl before I started kissing a guy. I don't think I would want that on my resume when I go back to being a guy myself.”

I nod, “Makes sense. My lips are sealed.”

She leans close, “Well I don't want them sealed just yet...”

She gives me one more light kiss on the lips. I grin at her, but before we can take it any further a beeping noise from downstairs gets our attention. Rarity's ears swivel slightly, “Wait, that's the oven timer. Is someone baking?”

Curiosity gets us both out of bed and we quickly make our way to the hallway and down the stairs. Rarity trots past me and we're just feet from the kitchen door when I realize something amazing about the sight in front of me. Unfortunately, this pleasant sight is something that needs to be fixed, so I reach forward and grab Rarity's tail with my mouth to stop her.

“Mmmh?” Rarity comes to a dead stop and looks back at me inquisitively. I take one last look at the sight and then point, “Rarity, you um, you forgot to change clothes. You're only just wearing your lace underwear...”

She blushes and drops her tail to cover herself. I laugh, “Yeah, we should both probably go change into our day clothes.”

She trots back up the steps, “I saw you staring at the end there... I would reprimand you for that, but I suppose I owe you a thanks for letting me know.”

I follow her back to the room, “Well sure, and it's also worth mentioning that it's nothing I haven't seen before.”

She rolls her eyes, “Oh shush you, it's different when we're sharing a bed.” We enter the bedroom and start to put on our crude clothing. Well, I had crude clothing, Rarity actually had a whole outfit made for herself. I guess I can't complain though, she did make my some nice night shorts. One day I should ask her to make me some better shorts to wear during the day. Well, there's time for that later I suppose.

In any case, we quickly put on our clothes and make our way back towards the kitchen. The two of us arrive at the door and I pause. I open the door and hold out a hoof, “After you, milady.”

Rarity grins and trots through, I follow right behind and look over to see Twilight sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and a plate of somewhat burnt muffins. But burned or not, the fact that we actually had fresh baked goods was enough to make me drool.

Twilight nonchalantly brings another muffin to her plate using her magic, then looks up at us. “Ah, I thought the smell of muffins would bring people to the kitchen. I found a box of baking mix in the cupboard. Anyway, hello you two...

“Hey sis.” I say nervously, I realize Rarity and I walked in at the same time, and Twilight knew we shared a bed. Hmm, so much for keeping this relationship on the down low.

Twilight smirks and sips her coffee, “So... how was it?”

I slowly turn to grab a cup of coffee so Twilight can't see my face. Rarity appears to be able to hide her emotions better, she just raises an eyebrow, “How was what darling?”

The alicorn rolls her eyes “Shining and Rarity sharing a bed? I may be mostly book smart, but I'm not that stupid when it comes to social cues. You two have been in each other's hooves for days now, and now you're sharing a bed at night? Ponies that sleep together tend to... you know.” Twilight raises her eyebrows a few times in quick succession.

Rarity scoffs, “Twilight, come on, it's not polite to jump to conclusions. And I assure you, we didn't partake in such feral acts.”

I nod as I walk to the table with my coffee hovering beside me. “Rarity is telling the truth sis, we didn't fuck.”

“SHINING!” Rarity hisses, “Language, please. This isn't a frat house, we're trying to eat breakfast here.” I blink, I said the same thing Rarity did, right? So what’s the deal?

Twilight tilts her head, “You guys are claiming you didn't do anything? Well, uh, I sort of heard you. There was banging and heavy panting.” I bite my tongue and Rarity suddenly becomes interested in the pattern on the ceiling. Was that Rarity and myself? No, it couldn't be. Twilight goes on, “It lasted for like an hour!”

Wait a second, an hour? Rarity and I exchange glances, we just kissed, and it didn’t last that long! Rarity turns to Twilight and asks nervously, “Where were the noises coming from?”

Twilight's eyes gesture up, “It was directly above me. The room right above mine?”

Rarity blinks for a second, “That's Pinkie's room.”

Showing perfect Pinkie timing, the pink mare enters the room a second later while humming a happy tune. She skips across the kitchen. “Goooood morning everypony!”

The three of us stare at her with open mouths. Rarity stammers, “Good... morning... Pinkie.”

She smiles, “That's what I said!” She sees the muffins and extends a hoof to grab one.

“Ahhh!!” Twilight telekinetically lifts the entire plate away from her. “Pinkie! Wash your hooves before you touch these!!”

Pinkie pauses for a second, then smiles and heads towards the sink, laughing to herself, “Ah I get it! Cleanliness is next to godliness! And the muffins were next to you! And you're an alicorn! You’re a clever one Twilight...”

Twilight puts the muffins down, but her ears remain slanted forward in aggression as she watches Pinkie wash her hooves at the sink. With Twilight distracted, Rarity nudges me in the side and whispers, “So, you must have really missed out last night. If she lasted over an hour by herself...”

I blush, but wave a hoof in the air, “I remain happy with my decision.”

Rarity affectionately leans into my shoulder, but then remembers the present company and pulls herself back up. She clears her throat. “Well, so, what are the plans for today?”

Twilight groans, “I was really hoping someone else would know.”

Pinkie giggles, “What, you think the answer to all this would just come to us in a dream or something?”

I want to laugh with Pinkie, but I actually pause for a second. I was having strange dreams, wasn’t I? Nah, that’s just silly, I dismiss the notion, but not before noticing that both Rarity and Twilight also seemed to be deep in thought about something. Maybe there’s actually something to that? I’ll have to ask Twilight about it later, but I’ll do it one on one. It would be hard to take dreams seriously in a group like this.

Twilight clears her throat, "Alright, does anyone have any ideas? Come on, I don’t want to sit around all day. We need to do something..."

The table fell into silence, the only sound was the rain that fell outside. I suppose the rain made sense, with this being Seattle and all. Still though, it cast a damp mood on all of us. I sigh and put my hooves on the table to get everyone’s attention. “Alright, no one has a plan, let's all just brainstorm some ideas. We go in a circle and everyone contributes at least something.”

A phone beeps on the counter, Rarity excuses herself to go check it. Twilight starts the brainstorm session, “We could try to find that red pony from Chicago... again?”

Pinkie sighs, “I guess? Or we could read the show bible and look for stuff?”

I tap my chin, “How about going through Tess’s childhood drawings and looking for more clues?”

Rarity returns to the table, “My parents are coming to Seattle tomorrow night.”

Pinkie shakes her head, “Oh Rarity, that’s not a suggestion, that’s a declarative statement.”

Rarity shakes her head, “No, I’m serious, I just got a text message from them. They are coming to town for the weekend and said they will be using this apartment. They asked if I had people over at it.”

Twilight leans forward, “What did you tell them?”

“I told them I was alone and they could use it. I was hoping we could fix this pony thing before they found out, but if they are coming tomorrow...”

“We’ll all go to a hotel,” I declare. “Should just be for a day or two, right?”

Rarity nods, “Yeah, that might work. We’re going to have to clean this place up though. Not sure if you noticed, but it smells like horse in here.”

I smirk, “Gee, wonder why. Not a problem though Rarity, we’ll clean up tomorrow morning before they come and head out before they get here.”

Pinkie tilts her head, “Maybe they can help, or if not them, some other humans!”

Rarity shakes her head, “I don’t want them involved. I’m not that close to my parents, but still, I don’t want them to see that I’m living in the body of a female pony.” She looks around at the other mares, “No offense to the other female ponies in the room, of course.”

I snicker, “It’s understandable Rarity. And Pinkie, as for ‘other humans’ I think that’s a bad idea, who knows what they would do. Bronies would probably want to try and pet us or something, and people with authority would want to do tests on us.”

Pinkie’s eyes go wide, “They would chop us into bits?”

Twilight shakes her head, “No Pinkie, that’s just silly. They wouldn't cut us up and they definitely wouldn’t kill us seeing as how we would be an ‘endangered species’. However, that being said, we would probably get shipped to the CDC or something. Then, as sapient as we are, we would probably still be treated as animals and put in cages and fed off the floor until they were thoroughly convinced that we were as smart as humans and we didn’t pose a threat to anyone.”

Rarity shivers, “Treated like a common beast? That’s probably worse than being cut up into pieces.”

Twilight sighs, “Speaking of cuts of meat, we're completely out of food. I made muffins because the refrigerator is literally empty. And before you ask, yes, that was the last box of muffin mix.”

Pinkie whines, “See, this is why we need humans. Humans can get us food!”

I raise an eyebrow, “We could get food delivered? Anyone have cash?”

Everyone at the table says no, but Rarity adds to it, “Who has cash these days? Anyway, you can order from most places online and pay with a credit card. Might be awkward picking up the food when they ring the doorbell though...”

Pinkie smiles, “That might be good! If there are other ponies out there in the city, they would all have to get food delivered to them too, right? We could ask the delivery guy if he has seen any other ponies!”

I raise an eyebrow, that idea wasn’t actually as stupid as it sounded. Still though, there has to be a better way. “You know, maybe we should look online. Just poke around on local social media and city specific forums. Maybe we're not alone?”

Twilight nods, “I'm liking this idea.”


The unicorns moved to the computers and started poking around while Pinkie started cleaning the place up a little bit. At first I thought our search would prove fruitless, but all of a sudden...

“I'VE FOUND SOMEONE!” Rarity exclaims loudly, then lowers her voice, “Pardon, I mean, look at the person I found, or should I say pony I found.”

We all trot over to her screen. It’s a blog of some sort, which Twilight reads out loud, “My tail hurts today, I sat on it the wrong way. I can't even reach back there to massage it and make it feel better, these darn hooves and pony limbs don't reach back there like my human hands could. I miss being a human, colon, beginning parenthesis.”

I facehoof, “Twi, that's a frowny face. You're not supposed to literally pronounce the symbols.”

She continues, unabated, “But as hard as it is, I sort of like being a pony mare. It’s sort of nice having hooves and a tail. My horn let’s me do useful magic too. Granted, having my gender change to a female really does take some getting used to.”

Rarity nods, “Well she's certainly right about that very last part.” She looks at us, “So, what do you think? We need to find this mare! The more of us, the better, right?”

Pinkie claps her hooves, “And she might have food!”

Twilight raises her eyebrows, “Yeah, great find Rarity, send her a message. Say you are also a pony mare in Seattle, and you would like to meet her.”

I sigh, “Um, is this safe? Meeting random people on the Internet?”

Pinkie scoffs, “It's not a random person, it's a random pony. And I haven't met a single pony I didn't trust!”

I shrug, I guess that made sense? I look back over at the blog, “What if this is just like, a tulpa or something?”

Rarity glances at me, “What’s a tulpa?”

I shake my head, “Don’t worry about it. Anyways, are we sure this is genuine?”

She scrolls down the page, “There are about fifty entrees, every one has her talking about being a mare. Her profile pic shows some Friendship is Magic pony I haven't seen before, and her details list her as a female pony in Seattle. Looks good to me, I suppose.”

Twilight nods slowly, “Well, we gotta trust her for now. Send her an email, ask her if she can meet us tomorrow afternoon, pick some local park that is discrete. We won't want any humans around for the meeting.”

I look at my sister, “Why tomorrow?”

She glances back to me, “Traveling by car as ponies is risky. I can drive us fine using magic, but we’re in a city and cars around us will probably notice a purple unicorn driving on the highway.”

Rarity nods, “Yes, that may be problematic.”

Twilight shrugs, “We’ll have to risk it. But we should try and limit our driving. We have to drive to a hotel tomorrow, right? Well, on the way we can stop at a park for this meeting with the new mare. It saves us a trip.”

I nod, “Yeah, that’s actually pretty smart. Alright let’s set it up, tomorrow afternoon we meet her in a park.”

Twilight glances at the screen, “What’s the new mare’s name anyway?”



I lay low in the bushes and check my phone, it's 4:55pm. The mare said she would meet us at 5pm sharp over on a bench on this side of the park. It was the perfect spot, not only is the park bench in an isolated area, but there is a thick tree line just a few dozen feet away. Pinkie and I lay there, hiding in the bushes as we stake out the park bench. About a hundred meters back, Rarity and Twilight were hiding under even thicker cover.

Rarity thought this plan of mine was a little overboard, but I played enough war themed video games to know the importance of good surveillance. I also knew to have a fall back area we can run to if things go south. Who knows who this Starbreezer pony is, and being the only stallion in this group, I feel responsible for the safety of the three mares.

“What kind of food do you think she brought? I hope it's something sweet.”

I constantly look around us, looking for any signs of a mare. She might be really shy and could be hiding like us, or heck, she might even chicken out and not show up at all. The wait is killing me, but it should be over soon. I mumble a response to Pinkie, “She asked if she should bring anything, and we said food that ponies would enjoy. It's probably going to be carrots or something.” I look around again, then pull out the walkie talkie that we had previously used in the book heist. “Forward post, we see nothing. You two see anything back there?”

Rarity’s voice comes through, “Not at all darling, just some wonderful birds.”

I smile as I hear her voice. Last night Rarity and I shared the bed again. Nothing serious, just cuddling and some kisses. It was a good night though, and I’m really looking forward to tonight.

Pinkie rocks back and forth “Oooo, I can't sit still! Starbreezer said she would have a yellow hat on, right?”

“Mmhmm.” I try to ignore my thoughts of Rarity and focus on the mission before us..

“Ooo, maybe that's her!” Pinkie points at a twenty-something aged man. He strolls down the path carrying a grocery bag and wearing a yellow hat.

I squint at him, “Nah, he’s just a passerby. We're looking for a mare, not a dude. Though wait, he's stopping... Hmm, he’s sitting at the bench where we told Starbreezer to meet us. It’s possible she asked him to scope out the area for her. She's probably close by.”

“Can we go say hi? He has a bag with him! I bet it has food!!”

I hold up a hoof to keep Pinkie still, I didn't want her to give away our position just yet. “Hold on Pinkie, I have her cell phone number. Let me text her and see if she replies.” I pull out my phone and send the message 'Hey, are you there yet?'.

“He's reaching into his pocket!” Pinkie exclaims in a hushed voice. I squint, and sure enough, the guy pulls out a phone and I see him type something. A second later my phone vibrates and a message appears, 'Yeah I got there a few min early'.

I sigh, “I don't like this, she said she would be alone, why send this guy ahead of her without telling us?”

“Oh come on, like you said, she's probably just as scared as us. You know... one of us is going to have to make the first move. And it’s not going to be Starbreezer, so it’s going to be either you or me.”

I nod slowly, “Yeah but--”

“DIBS!!” Pinkie leaps out of the bush and bounces towards the man.

No! I watch helplessly as she goes towards him by herself. The guy is typing something on his phone and doesn't see the pink mare bouncing towards him, but it's only a matter of time. My walkie talkie produces Rarity's voice, “Oh my god she just ran in.”

“Stick to the plan Shining, stick to the plan!” Twilight's voice commands.

“I’m going, I’m going!” I move out of the bushes and gallop after Pinkie.

I’m about 2/3 of the way to the strange man when he casually looks up to see Pinkie bouncing about five feet away from him. “Hi there mister, I’m Pinkie Pie!!”

“What the ffffuuuuu!” The man jumps out of his bench and falls backwards, screaming in shock.

I finally catch up to them and turn to the man, “You, man in yellow hat, where is Starbreezer? Are you her lookout?”

The man looks up at us, holding his chest, “What the fuck, how did you... oh my god, can you take me to Equestria!! Oh my god, this is happening right now isn’t it!!”

Pinkie bounces, “Hello! So like I was saying, my name is Pinkie Pie! And this is--”

I cut her off with a hoof and glare at the man, “Starbreezer. Where is she?”

The man takes a deep breath and slowly gets to his feet, never taking his eyes off the two of us. “What? That’s me, I’m Starbreezer. That’s my online handle.”

I throw my hooves up in the air, “What the crap? Starbreezer is a mare, she has dozens of posts talking about her hooves and tail and such. You’re clearly human.”

The man calms himself and walks forward, then carefully touches the side of Pinkie’s mane, grinning like an idiot as he does so. “Wow, so you get our internet in Equestria? Heh, well I can see the reason for your confusion. Here on Earth we have this thing called RP. See, in it we humans like to--”

I roll my eyes, “I know what RP is you spitwad. I just would have thought that if it was RP, then somewhere on your site you would have said as much. You wrote that whole thing as if you were really a mare. Misleading much?”

He starts to pet Pinkie in earnest, while she just stands there and smiles. He glances at me, “Hey man, that’s how RP works, you can’t break character. Besides, it should be obvious I wasn’t actually a mare. Come on, it’s not like an actual pony would...” He looks at us and bites his lip, “Right, nevermind. So anyway, can you take me with you?! Please!” He starts to grab at Pinkie with both hands, holding handfuls of her mane and smelling her fur.

I rub my face with my hoof, then magic out my walkie talkie. The guy squeals in excitement, presumably at seeing magic, but I ignore him completely and turn on the walkie. “Starbreezer isn’t a mare, it’s just some damn brony that has an RP account.” I swear, “Sorry gals, looks like we made this whole trip out here for nothing. Talk about a waste.”

Pinkie stares at the grocery bag, “Not entirely wasted! He brought food.” She jabs a hoof at him, “Give us the candy and no one gets hurt mister!”

The guy takes a step back, and nervously reaches for the bag, “It’s not candy, it’s just a few bags of apples and--”

I magic the bag away from him and drop them on my back. “Thanks. We’ll take these and be on our way. Sorry we can’t pay you for them, but knowing the type of fan you are, I guess seeing actual ponies should be payment enough. This meeting was all a big misunderstanding. Just go home and try to keep what you saw here to yourself.”

He runs up to me and puts a hand on my fur, petting my side, “Wait! Take me with you!”

I bare my teeth, and he steps back. “I’m not a pet, get your hands off me! And no, we can’t take you with us, sorry.”

“If I can’t come with you, then can you come with me? Just for a day? Please! I can give you all the apples you want! My friend and I are like, the biggest bronies in Seattle! I can even pay you, do you want money?”

I roll my eyes and keep trotting, Pinkie just tilts her head, “Money? How much are we talking here bucko?”

“PINKIE!” I bark.

She looks at me and shrugs, “What? Show up, get petted, make some G’s. It’s free money dude.”

The man nods excitedly, “Yes! It would be so much fun! Hey... Shining Armor? You’re him right? Anyway you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. Just let Pinkie--”

I roll my eyes, we don’t need this guy, this is taking too long, and we are far too exposed out here. Who knows what other people might walk through the park and see us out in the open. “Pinkie, we have more important things to worry about. Let’s go, now.”

She drops her ears, “Aww...”

I wave a hoof at the guy, “We're leaving. Nice meeting you, ‘Starbreezer’.” I shake my head as I turn and walk away. Starbreezer, what kind of guy RPs as a mare and pretends like he’s not even RP’ing!? Talk about confusing. I take a few more step then pause. Wait, where is Pinkie?

I turn back around, oh come on, I was walking for about ten seconds, and Pinkie is still talking to that creep? ”I SAID WE’RE LEAVING!” I yell as I focus my magic and levitate Pinkie through the air away from the brony.

The brony takes a step back in shock and Pinkie shoots through the air. “Weeee I’m flying!” Pinkie squeals as she sails over me. I drop her in the bushes where we started, then make my way over there.

“Shining.” Twilight speaks over the walkie. “Looks like he pulled out a cellphone, I think he’s trying to take a picture of you as you walk away.”

I sigh, then click the microphone, “Whatever, no one will believe him, it will look like a bad photoshop.”

“True enough.” She replies, “Rarity and I will meet you two back at the car.”


We pull into the parking lot and Rarity shuts off the engine. It was a short ride to the hotel, and while we were disappointed at being deceived, at least we had a bag of apples to munch on. God knows we certainly needed it. These last few days we have been living on stale crackers and expired ramen. At least Rarity’s parents were at the apartment tonight. They would probably leave some food behind when they left.

I glance around the parking lot, “This motel looks really sketchy.”

Rarity nods, “Yes, it is a little uncouth, but I picked it because it has a fully automated check in and check out station, which is great for us since we can’t really talk to humans.” Rarity looks around, ensuring there was no one else in the parking lot. “Okay, I got my debit card, I’ll go get the room keys.” She opens the car door and carefully trots to the automated room key vendor.

Pinkie raises an eyebrow, “Wait, so this is a fully automated motel with zero staff anywhere? Wow, that’s really sketchy, like, we’re talking Etch-A-Sketch levels of sketchy.”

I give Pinkie a confused look, then remember to just ignore her, “How many rooms are we getting?”

Twilight, keeping watch out the window, responds with a smirk, “Rarity told me we only needed three rooms.”

I feel myself blush slightly, “Ah yes. That’s probably because she’s, um, she’s always looking for a way to save money? That’s Rarity all right, the Element of... being fiscally conservative?”

Twilight chuckles, “Right, I’m sure that’s the reason brother. Looks like she’s coming back, everyone grab your bags and let’s head to our rooms.”

We put our overnight bags onto our backs and step onto the parking lot where Rarity gives each of us a room keycard. I tuck mine in my bag and join the others in trotting across the parking lot. Good thing it’s getting dark out, four ponies walking across a parking lot would draw some serious attention otherwise. It is, what, 8pm or so? I smile, well, that leaves a lot of a time for Rarity and I to have some fun in privacy. We have a good four hours before we actually have to sleep. Yes, this is going to be one hell of a night.

The mare of my affection stops trotting, I stop as well and she looks at me. “Oh, did I lock the car? I always forget these things.” She glances over at me, “Shining, can you go back and make sure the car is locked? I'll just meet you in the room.”

She gives me a coy grin, then magics the car keys over to me. I catch them with my own magic, “Of course. Oh, but wait, what room are we?”

“The room numbers are on the keycards darling. Oh, and if you get lost, you can use this.” Rarity sends a folded piece of paper, probably a map of the hotel, over to my bag and slips in the pocket. I nod, “Sounds good Rarity, I’ll see you in a minute Rarity. Get the bed warm.”

She grins, “It will be.”

I trot away from her and get to the car, sure enough it was left open. I lock it and make my way back to the staircase leading to the rooms, being careful to ensure no humans are around. I magic out my keycard and look at the room number: 1142. I trot down the hall until I find the room, then slide in the key and open the door. I grin as I push open the door and--

“Hey Shining? What are you doing here?” Pinkie looks up at me from the bed. She appeared to be out of breath and I was scared to ask why.

“Sorry Pinkie, I went to the wrong room. Didn’t mean to... interrupt you.”

She smiles “Oh no need to apologize, I was actually just thinking of you." I wince, I’m pretty sure I didn’t need to know that fact. Pinkie smiles at me, “Anyway, you’re welcome to stay the night if you want. My old ‘offer’ still stands.”

I back out of the doorway, “Yeah, thanks but no thanks Pinkie, I have Rarity is waiting for me. I just think I opened the wrong... door?” I glance at the keycard, then at the room number. They both say 1142. The heck is going on here? I look back at Pinkie, “I have the wrong room key... do you know which room Rarity is in?”

Pinkie shakes her head slowly, “Heck if I know, she isn’t even on this floor! Neither is Twilight, we all took separate staircases.”

I swallow hard and glance around at the rows and rows of endless doors of the hotel. Uh oh, where the heck is my room? Without the room number, I’m totally lost. I would have to sleep in this room tonight since it’s the only one I can find. That would be, oh god, spending the night with Pinkie!? No, I can’t let that happen, think of Rarity! Actually, hold on a second, Rarity gave me a map didn’t she? That probably has our rooms on it! I step into Pinkie’s room and close the door behind me so I can sort through my bags in the light of the room.

Pinkie claps her hooves, “Oh, you are going to spend the night with me?! Oh my gosh, this is going to be the most incredible, amazing, mind blowing--”

“No, no, I don’t mean to confuse you Pinkie, I’m just in here so I can find a map that Rarity gave me. Ah ha, here it is!” I pull out the paper and unfold it. Wait a second, this isn’t a map, it’s a note?

Dear Shining Armor,

Sorry for tricking you like this, but I know you would have never taken this offer had I just asked you about it. I do have feelings for you darling, and I want us to tending to our relationship... But I just feel so bad for keeping you away from Pinkie. I know how much you probably want her, and at the same time it’s selfish of me to claim the only stallion Pinkie will probably ever see. So for both of your sakes, you have tonight. Do what you want Shining, you have my full permission.

Forever and Always,


I stare at the card, unsure what emotion to think. Did Rarity really think I wanted Pinkie? No, no, I really don't!

“What’s the letter say?” Pinkie asks, and I look up to see her laying on the bed.

I lick my lips, “It’s uh...”

She leans forward and gives me a cute smile, “It’s what?”

My heart skips a beat, “Buck...”

21. Zero Dark Thirty.

View Online

Chapter 21: Zero Dark Thirty.

Pinkie looks up at me from the bed. The mare smiles innocently, “Wow...”

I nod, I had just finished telling her what the note from Rarity said. “So, I gotta sleep here tonight.”

I start walking towards the bed and Pinkie tilts her head, “Don't try any funny business with me mister, keep you hooves and body parts on your side of the bed. I don't want you doing anything that would make that other mare be mad at me.

I pause, “Pinkie, I'm not going to do anything... but I just told you, Rarity said it was okay. This is all her idea.”

Pinkie shakes her head, “Forget Rarity, I mean your wife, Cadance! You do remember that you’re a married stallion, right?”

I hop on the bed and roll my eyes, “Shining Armor is married, yes. But I’m not actually him.”

She chuckles, “I’m pretty sure that you are.”

I smile softly, “Look, Pinkie, we’ve been over this. We’re humans and some spell or something turned--.”

Pinkie looks me in the eye, “No. A cast of a spell didn’t turn us into ponies.”

I blink, “What?”

She nods, “Think about it, someone would have to cast a spell on us right? Don’t you think we would remember that? This all started at our birthday party, and no one was there to curse us or hex us or anything. We were all alone, and then this just started. No one was there to cast a spell, so no spell did this to us.”

I raise an eyebrow, “But we turned into ponies, so there had to be some spell...”

She giggles, “Open your eyes honey, you know what triggered this change, it happened to each of us right when we turned 25. There was no sorcerer around there when we started changing, it was just time that triggered it.”

She looks up at the ceiling, “So it wasn’t a new spell put on us. Time expiring, then us changing shape means some spell was wearing off. Come on ‘Rachel’ you played MMOs as much as I did, you should know this.”

Pinkie says something else, changing the subject to ice cream flavors, but I’m not paying attention. My mind is still looking at Pinkie’s argument and searching for flaws. I didn’t see any though... what the hell?

Pinkie starts explaining why peanuts work in chocolate ice cream, but not vanilla. I just stare ahead and mumble “Pinkie... you’re brilliant.”

She looks over at me, “No I’m not, my name is Pinkie!” She giggles and goes back to explaining ice cream. I just shake my head and lean back into the bed, barely paying any attention to her. Don’t get me wrong, I adore her little rants about sweets, it’s just that my mind is elsewhere at the moment. She was right, a time expiration leading to our bodies changing fits the description of a spell wearing off, not a new one being cast. So where did the spell first come from? And were we really ponies all along?


Pinkie’s ears swivel, “Ooo! Text message for Pinkie!” She hops off the bed and trots to her phone.

I’m speechless, “Um, Pinkie? You still get texts? From who? It's like 11pm!”

I glance up to see her work the touch screen with her nose. She giggles, “I always get texts!” A few nose taps later and she canters back to the bed. “Okay! All done, where were we?”

I shake my head, “Ice cream flavors.”


The next hour passed by quickly. Pinkie just wouldn't stop talking about sugary dairy treats, then I turned on the TV. Turns out there was a Dexter's Lab marathon going on and Pinkie loved that show.

We finish the second episode and I see Pinkie flick the lights off. I raise my eyebrows, “Going to bed?”

Pinkie glances at the time, “Yeah, I need to sleep.”

I raise my eyes, “What? There are cartoons! And it's not even midnight, most nights we hear you up all night long.”

She shrugs, “Not tonight. I wanna sleep.”

I raise my eyebrows, but don’t question her. I really can’t complain, she was actually really cool about this whole thing tonight where I have to share the room with her. Still though, it seems unlike Pinkie to be acting like this and going to bed so early. Oh well, I am actually pretty tired. I use my magic to grab the remote and turn off the TV. “G’night Pinkie, thanks for, well, not being too crazy with me tonight.”

She giggles, “Yeah, it was nice. Rarity is going to be so disappointed though.”

I smile, “Who knows, maybe all along Rarity just wanted me to watch cartoons with you.”


The royal guards and I march out to Celestia’s last location near the volcano. With me is an entire legion of our finest guards... I sigh, not this dream again. It’s the only dream I get these days, and I can never change the outcome. It’s like I’m not even in control of what happens here, I’m just here watching it unfold through Shining’s eyes. We march to the volcano, no one is there, I send out scouts, I’ll feel that Twilight is in trouble, I’ll tell the guards to return to the castle. Talk about boring.

The dream passes by as always, and I get to the part where a decorated pegasus near me salutes, and tells me he will fly back to check on Twilight and get there before I do. I shake my head following the preset script, “Your bravery is commendable, but there’s no need for that flight, I’m going myself. I’ll meet you all there when you arrive.” I start to charge my horn and prepare to teleport back. Teleportation is an exceptionally tricky spell, the number of ponies that can do this could be counted with a single breath. Truth be told, the spell was probably beyond my natural talent, but my sister painstakingly taught me this spell.

One of my personal unicorn guards realizes what I was doing and runs up to me. I temporarily halt my spell as he speaks up, “Sir, please, you can’t go by yourself, you have to wait for some of your guard to arrive! It’s too risky to go there alone!”

I grit my teeth, “Look, we don’t have time for this! It’s going to take us over an hour to get back on hoof. That’s too slow! I need to teleport back now! If something happens to me when I’m saving my sister, well then that’s--.”


The noise of a door closing rings in my ears and I suddenly sit up in bed, shaking away the last bits of my sleep. I squint across the dark hotel room, Pinkie is at the door and she is locking it behind her. “Pinkie...?”

She looks up at me, “Oh... hey Shining. Sorry about waking you, wind caught the door before I could close it.”

I rub my eyes with my fetlocks and check the clock, “Pinkie, its 2am. What are you doing by the door anyway?”

She shrugs, then trots back to bed. “I just needed to get some air, that’s all.”

I’m too tired to make heads or tails of her story. Made sense though, the windows here don’t open, gotta go outside if you want fresh air. I shake my head, “Right, well, be careful, someone out there might see you.”

She snuggles up close to me, “Don’t worry, I was careful!”

“Mmhmm.” I feel the bed shift as she climbs in. I close my eyes and instantly fall back into sleep.


The day comes and before long I’m in the middle of recapping last night to Rarity.

“You did what?” Rarity squeals, “Oh come on!”

I chuckle, somewhat surprised that Rarity would be disappointed to hear that Pinkie and I didn't do anything sexual last night. I guess Rarity really wanted me to do something with her, oh well, I certainly shot that attempt of hers down. In any case, at least talking to Rarity about what Pinkie and I did do gave me something to talk about. It’s pouring rain today and Rarity got a text from her parents saying they were staying one more night in their Seattle condo. So it’s a wasted day really, it’s almost 3pm already and not much has happened. Pinkie’s been watching cartoons in her room all day, Twilight is reading the show bible cover to cover in her room, and Rarity and I are playing cards. Well the cards thing is sort of an excuse I used, in reality I just wanted to hang out with Rarity for several hours. So we played some card games and told Rarity about last night. Granted, I did leave out the part where Pinkie suggested us becoming ponies was an old spell wearing off and not a new spell. I’m still not sure what to think of that, it brings more questions than answers.

“And that pretty much covers it, after that Pinkie wanted to call it a night.”

Rarity seems taken aback, “What? Already? After just two cartoons!?”

I nod, “I know, right? That's what I said! A Dexter's Lab marathon was on too!”

Rarity scoffs, “Well I never really got into that show, but Pinkie? I expected her to watch that all night!”

I shrug, “Yeah, I sort of did too. It’s fine though, we caught up on sleep.”

She nods, “I suppose so. What about in the morning? Anything special?”

I smirk, “Speaking of that. Rarity, how come you never do anything special for me in the mornings? Hmm?”

She gently nudges me, “Oh shush, I’ve only been a girl for like three days, I'm not going to do anything like that.” She pauses for a moment, “But no, really, what did Pinkie do to you when you woke up?”

I nod, “Sorry to disappoint milady, but we didn’t do anything like that. It was nice though, I awoke to see Pinkie watching cartoons while eating some prepackaged donuts. She looked back at me and said ‘Wakey wakey sleepy head! Here, I got you some coffee’. Then I looked on the nightstand to see another pack of small donuts and a cup of steaming hot coffee.”

Rarity tilts her head, “Where did Pinkie get coffee from?”

“That’s what I said! Anyway, she told me each floor of this motel has a vending machine, and a little before I woke up she slipped out and bought the donuts and coffee there. She even made sure to tell me that, yes, she was very careful when she did it and no one saw her. The coffee was watery, vending machine coffee, but hey it was coffee!” I smile at the thought, I give Pinkie a lot of crap, but she’s a great pony.

Rarity frowns, “I didn’t think Pinkie had any cash...”

I raise an eyebrow, “Hmm? She’s poor, but I doubt she’s flat broke. The coffee was probably like 50 cents.”

Rarity shakes her head, “No, I mean I’ve seen the vending machines here, they only accept cash. And earlier when we talked about debit cards being ubiquitous, I thought Pinkie told us specifically doesn’t carry any cash on her.”

I shrug, “I guess she had a few bucks, I don’t know.” My stomach growls, “Speaking of vending machines, what are we doing for dinner?”

She checks the time, “Twilight said meet in her room at 5pm for pizza. We’re going to order it online and tip the guy extra with the directions to leave it outside the door.”

I grin at the thought of pizza, “Sounds great!”

She frowns, “Not really, it’s only 3pm, and it’s still raining outside. We have to wait another two hours yet, urgh, I hate being stuck indoors all day.”

“Well, I for one, absolutely love being stuck inside.” I whisper in her ear, “Go Fish?”

“You’re insatiable!” Rarity remarks, before laughing and grabbing the card deck once more.


“Can we order another pizza?” Pinkie begs.

“Tomorrow.” Twilight answers in monotone.

I laugh, “Here Pinkie, you can have my last slice.”

Rarity raises an eyebrow as she sees me hand it over, “You don’t want it?”

I look at Rarity, “Not that hungry... ate too many of those vending machine donuts today.” I pat my belly.

I glance at Twilight to see if she heard the remark. The alicorn seemed pretty preoccupied with her phone though, “Crime solvers closed the case of the guy with the red pony ears in Chicago.”

“Oh?” We all turn to Twilight, excited for news.

Twilight frowns, “They said after all these time they still had no leads, so they closed it for ‘lack of evidence’.”

I sigh, “Damn, any other leads?”

My sister taps her chin, “Well, I was thinking about that Twitter post.” She turns to Pinkie, “Remember that tweet you got from that person asking about your cutie mark tattoo?”

Pinkie nods, “Wha abow tit?” She tries to speak through a mouth full of pizza, failing for the most part.

Twilight rolls her eyes at the gesture, “Well I went back and looked at their Twitter account. Last New Years she posted saying ‘Yay! Auld Lang Syne everyone’ at what would be 12:01am central time.”

Rarity nods, “So this guy with pony ears is seen in Chicago, and the tweet asking about other people with pony marks comes from that time zone. Could it be the same person? ”

I raise my eyebrows, “It’s a stretch... but it might be something.”

Twilight nods, “I agree. In any case, I made a new Twitter account and sent that person a message. I replied to that first tweet they sent about the cutie mark, and I said I had the same problem I think they have.”

I scratch my head, “What makes you think they will believe you? How will they know you’re a pony?”

Twilight beams at me, “I left them a clever clue, if they read it they will know we are ponies!”

I raise an eyebrow, “Go on...”

Twilight continues to smile and taps her hooves together excitedly, “In the tweet I said ‘Finding a cutie mark would really stirrup the emotions’!”

“...Really?” I stare at my sister, as does Rarity.

Twilight nods eagerly, “You see, it’s a pun! I used the word stirrup which normally means--.”

I throw my hooves in the air, “I know what it means! Honestly Twilight, a pun? That was your great idea!?”

She frowns, “I thought it was clever.”

Rarity pats her on the back, “Well it’s... something. Um, good work though? I mean, you still did more productive work than any of us did today.”

Twilight sighs, “Thanks Rarity.” She goes on to mumble something about people not appreciating the cleverness of a good pun these days.

I stand up on all fours and yawn, “Well, thanks for ordering the grub sis, it was really tasty pizza. Good idea with checking up on the tweet too. Anyway, I’m headed back to my room, getting kind of late.”

Pinkie looks over at me, “It’s only 6pm!”

I shrug, “I’m, uh, tired?” I glance at Rarity, “What do you say Rarity? Time to hit the hay?”

She laughs softly, “Sure thing.”

Twilight shakes her head as she watches both of us leave, her mind running wild with what we could be doing to each other in that room. She comments as I leave the room, “Since when is my brother such an animal?”

Pinkie laughs, “Ah ha, you made another joke! That was a really good one!”

Twilight sighs as I close the door, “Pinkie...don’t patronize me.”


“Okay, slowly, I think it will fit this time!” Rarity moans and I slide the block into place. We were playing reverse Jenga where you take a Jenga tower that's half empty, and then try to slide to blocks back in without knocking the tower down. Earlier we watched some TV while cuddling, then played a game of Twister (surprisingly hard as a pony) and now that it's about 11pm we moved on to the real game: Jenga. We found normal Jenga was too easy since we can use magic to pull out the blocks, but reverse Jenga? Getting those blocks in there without knocking over the tower, yikes.

I slide it in another inch, “Is it still looking okay?”

She bites her lip, “Fuck yes! Oh, pardon my language.”

I laugh, then test the waters, “Oh? The little girl scared of some bad words? Can't handle a man's game?”

Rarity sighs “Shining, I've been a guy longer than you have.”

I feel a shiver down my spine, in that moment it felt like I was talking to Tom, the male friend I had for so many years. I often forgot him and this Rarity were one and the same. It can be jarring to suddenly be reminded of it. “Oh, s-sorry.”

Rarity scoffs, “I do apologize for breaking character darling, now come on, get that block in there, the tower can take it!”

I smile “Of course milady!” I push it in the rest of the way, and to both of our delights the block fits all the way in.

Rarity claps her hooves, “You did it!”

I beam, “Of course I did!”

She smiles, “So, how does tonight compare to the games you played with Pinkie?”

Watching cartoons with Pinkie was great, but it's not even close to as much fun as playing these silly games with Rarity. I blush as stare downwards, “Everything is just better when you do it with someone you love.”

Rarity blushes herself, “And you really do love me?”

I lean forward and kiss her on the cheek “Of course, darling!” I smile as I mimic her vocabulary. “Rarity my dear, I love you more than any pony I have ever loved!”

She raises an eyebrow, “And any human?”

I pause for a second to catch her drift, “Oh, right, when we were humans. Sure, I love you more than I loved any human.” I laugh at myself, that was easy, I never really had any good boyfriends as a human.

She hugs me “I feel the same way Shining.”

I feel myself blush, this is awkward. I just admitted to a pony that I love her more than I loved any human in my life. She reciprocated that love to me too. What happens when we change back? Won't it be weird knowing how we confessed our love to some equine?

“What’s wrong darling?”

I grin and hug her right, “Nothing, just, well I think I'll actually miss this life when we change back to humans.”

She cuddles into me arms, “I know what you mean, I want to be with you, like this. If we’re going to be stuck as these ponies... If I’m going to be stuck as a mare... I would actually be okay with that as long as we can be together”

A tear rolls down my cheek and I kiss her forehead, “I know the feeling Rarity.”


The royal guards and I march out to Celestia’s last location near the volcano. With me is an entire legion of our finest guards... Great, what a surprise, the same freakin dream. God this sucks, why can’t I have cool dreams? You know, dreams where I’m skydiving or surfing or something? Nope, all I get is this crap dream about going to the volcano and ordering the guards around.

Sure enough we reach the volcanic outcrop and everyone is surprised Celestia and Discord are missing. “Get me three of our scouts, and check the perimeter to make sure we aren’t missing anything.” I command lazily. I knew that in about two minutes they scouts would come back, they would report they saw nothing, then I’d get that feeling that Twilight is in danger...

Out of nowhere I feel a jolt of magical panic. I blink, wait a second, I’m getting the bad feeling now? I look around, the pegasus scouts hadn’t even taken off yet. This doesn’t make sense, I’ve had this dream a hundred times, and the panic about Twilight in danger always happens later on... What the hell? Did the dream changed, or is it something else?

“Gah!” I clutch my horn, this is different. It feels more real than normal. Something is going on, something’s wrong. This isn’t supposed to be happening! This isn’t part of the dream.

Pain and fear shoots down my horn once more and it becomes more clear. The danger isn’t about Twilight this time, someone else is in trouble--


PINKIE!!” I yell as I sit up with a start. Sweat drips off my face and my horn continues to pulse with an unsettling feeling. “Pinkie...”

Rarity awakens at my side and puts a hoof on my shoulder, “What is it darling?”

I glance at a clock, it’s 2am. “Pinkie... something just happened to Pinkie!”

Rarity nickers softly, “Still thinking about her I see?”

I glance back at Rarity, “This is serious Rarity, she’s in trouble. Like, real trouble.” Rarity raises her eyebrow, but I hop off the bed. “I’m going to go check on her. Where is that second key card for her room?”

Rarity gets up slowly, “How do you know she’s in trouble?”

I shake my head, “Special talent I guess? I don’t know, but I gotta get over there right now.”

Rarity pulls the key out of her bag, “I’m coming with you.”

I pause, I didn’t think I wanted her going with me. What if it’s dangerous? Gah, screw it, no time to argue. “Fine, let’s go. Now!”

Rarity looks at herself, she’s wearing her night lingerie. She magics over a skirt, “Well, I would really prefer if I change out of this evening wear, but I guess I’ll just cover it with a skirt. And, alright, I’m done, let’s go.”

I fling open the door and do a light canter down the hall and over to Pinkie’s floor. I would move even faster, but I don’t want to wake up half the hotel with the sounds of two ponies running at full gallop.

I eventually arrive at Pinkie’s door with Rarity right behind me. I charge my horn slowly and grit my teeth, ready to face any trouble that lies on the other side of the door. Rarity slides the key in the lock and flings the door open!

And nothing, the room is empty. I lower my guard and trot inside but Pinkie is nowhere to be seen. Rarity leans into my side, a touch of fear creeps into her voice, “Shining... where is she?”

“I don’t know.” I sigh as the magical pain continues to track down my horn. Wherever she is, she’s still in trouble. “Rarity, hit the lights, there’s gotta be some note somewhere that explains where she went.”

She flicks on the light and we start flipping over the blankets and pillows, looking for some sign, any sign of where she is. After a minute or so we examined every aspect of the tiny room. There were no notes anywhere, no clues of any kind. The only thing we found was her cellphone, which I suppose might be useful.

I grasp the phone in my hooves and turn it on, only to see it's password protected. “Damn, no luck with the phone, it's locked.”

Rarity trots beside me and takes it in her magic, turning it over as she studies it. “How did Pinkie get the supplies to decorate her phone so much?”

I look at the phone, Rarity had a point, the phone has a pink case and on the back is a sticker of Pinkie's cutie mark. I shake my head. “Can't explain the Pinkie. However... seeing as how her phone is 100% Pinkie themed, maybe we can guess the password? It’s probably something like ‘sugar’ or ‘balloons’.”

Rarity nods, then looks around her. “Darling, do you have a stylus with you?”

We used tablet styluses, held with magic, to operate our touch screens since hooves don't work on them. I look down at my 'evening wear' boxers and sigh. “I don't have mine on me, I keep mine with my phone and those are back in my shorts.”

Rarity nods, “Likewise.”

Without another word, we leave Pinkie's empty hotel room and head back to our room. As we move, I glance over at the phone Rarity was still holding in her magic. “I still don’t understand how Pinkie even uses a phone without a stylus? Like, she uses her nose or something?”

She chuckles, “I thought we both agreed not to question the Pinkie.”

I want to laugh with her, but I can't in this mood. I still can’t shake this really bad feeling about this. I grimace as we near our room, “Just, um, start thinking of passwords she would use.”

Rarity nods and gets silent as I pull out the keycard and unlock the door. I wave a hoof for Rarity to stand back, then I open the door carefully and dart my eyes around the room to look for intruders. Rarity walks past me casually and enters the room. “Calm down James Bond, pretty sure no one broke into our apartment in the three minutes we were gone.”

I sigh, I know I'm edge, but I don't see why Rarity has to make fun of my caution, I know something bad is going on around here. I lock and bolt the door behind us, then see Rarity place the phone and her stylus on the table next to me, “You give it a go Shining, I need to use the little filly's room.”

She makes her way to the bathroom and shuts the door as I take the stylus in my magic and decide to start guessing passwords. For starters, let's try the word 'Pinkie'.


The phone chirps and the unlock screen goes away showing me the phone's homepage. I can't help but facehoof, I really needed to talk to Pinkie about computer security. Well, at least Pinkie’s terrible password choice let me access her phone, I should be grateful. “I got the password!” I cry out to Rarity.

“Splendid.” Rarity calls out from the bathroom.

I check her call history, announcing the results to the mare, “Pinkie made no calls in the past week.”

I hear the toilet flush and the sink turn on, “Mmhmm, what about texts?”

I tap the stylus about, “She texted two people recently, an unknown number and...” I grit my teeth in anger, “Starbreezer.

The sink shuts off and the door opens, Rarity cleans her front hooves with a towel before trotting towards me, “Starbreezer? The RP guy from the park? How did he get her number?”

I click on the contact history, anger boiling in my veins. That creep did something to her, didn't he? “He must have gave it to her right as I left. They talked for a few seconds in private before I noticed Pinkie wasn't following me.”

Rarity holds a hoof over her mouth, “Oh no... what did they text about?”

I clear my throat and start to read the text history between them. “Last night Starbreezer said, 'Thanks for being kind to me Pinkie, I had a lot of fun seeing my first pony'. Pinkie then replies, 'No problem, it was fun, thanks for the apples.' Starbreezer replies 'I can give you loads more apples, so would my friend! He loves Pinkie, seeing you in person would just make his life complete... can you come over to our place?”

Rarity holds a hoof over her mouth, “Oh no... she didn't?!”

I read on and nod, “Oh yes... she did.” I clear my throat and fill in Rarity, “Pinkie replies, 'Umm, maybe? I don't know if Shining would let me.' The human replies, 'Where are you staying? I can drive over and pick you up at night when he's asleep.'”

I shake my head I can't believe she fell for their ruse. These humans were probably going to do bad things once they had her! I sigh and read on, “Pinkie then responds telling him our motel address, and tells him to pick her up at 1am. Then the human confirms that he'll be there and she's going to have so much fun over at their place. He tells her that he'll give her a hundred bucks cash and some more food as a reward for going.”

I look up from the phone and see Rarity pacing in a circle, “This is bad, this is very bad, those brutes have Pinkie!”

I nod, then realize something, “Wait, this was from last night.” I skim the rest of their text history, “They sent another text to Pinkie at 9am, it says 'Thanks so much for coming last night Pinkie. I have never seen my roommate so happy, talking to you and petting your mane was the best thing to ever happen to him. Pinkie then replies, 'I had fun, I'm happy to cheer him up. And thanks for the food and cash guys, I'm going to use it to buy my friends donuts!'”

Rarity stares at me, “Wait, so it really was just a friendly meeting? Pinkie was fine?”

I nod slowly, as confused as her, “Yeah, and that was their last text exchange, they had no plans to meet tonight... Their only meeting was yesterday. So where is Pinkie?”

Rarity tilts her head, “You said there was another number she texted?”

My eyes light up and I tap the phone with the stylus again, “Oh yeah! There was an unknown number...” I feel my heart clench in fear, just looking at the entry title I could feel something was off. I click it and read the exchange from the start. “Pinkie gets a text from this number saying, 'You're Pinkie Pie right?' Pinkie replies asking who this is, the number says 'A friend of a friend that you met yesterday. You make house visits?'” My blood turns to ice, I don't know if it's my special talent or something else, but I can tell this guy is not like the two other humans. I pray to god that Pinkie didn't reply back, but part of me already knows what happened.

I swallow and read on, “Pinkie says she just did that other one as a favor. The human replied 'Can you do one more? Please, I'm really sad over here and I would love to see you.' Pinkie replied saying she is unsure. Human then beseeched her, 'Come on Pinkie, I'll have cake and balloons and streamers, it will be a lot of fun.' Pinkie replied saying she really shouldn't go, human replied with his address...”

Rarity taps her chin, “That address is less than a mile from here.”

I nod, “That's what Pinkie said. She then says since it's so close she'll stop by tonight, but only for a little bit. The human says that would be perfect.” My heart pounding, I scroll up and read the final entry. “Last message was one sent from Pinkie, 'Leaving now I'll be there in about fifteen minutes.'

I put the phone down, already knowing what happened when she got there. Rarity looks up, “When was that sent?”

I close my eyes, “1:50am”

“And when did you wake up, feeling she was in trouble?”


Rarity does the math in her head, “...Buck.”

Too concerned about Pinkie to even notice Rarity's uncharacteristic vulgarity, I shake my head, “Whoever is at that address, they don't want Pinkie just to pet her and give her some apples. I can feel it, Pinkie walked towards some serious trouble at that address...”

I stand up and make for the door. Rarity stands up behind me, “Where are you going?”

I start unlocking the door, “I'm going after her! I have her phone and I know the address where she is.” I open the door.

Rarity uses her magic to slam the door shut, “No. What if something happens to you?”

I grit my teeth, “What if something happens to Pinkie?”

Rarity bites her lip, “Can't we wait until morning?”

I shake my head, “They must know others would find her phone, this address is probably a temporary one. If we wait until morning whoever has Pinkie might be long gone, with Pinkie.”

I hear a sigh then Rarity's magic glows again, this time opening the door. “You're right, let's go.”

I step into the hallway, then turn back as my brain processes her words. “We? Oh no, you're staying here.”

She shakes her head from the doorway, “No way, you don't know what's out there, two ponies are safer than one.”

I look at her and think for a moment, she has a good point. From a security standpoint, sending one person into an unknown conflict is not ideal. Things are safer if you have a partner with you. But no, not Rarity. If there's an ambush waiting for us I can't have Rarity there with me. If I get caught, I can live with that. But if Rarity gets captured too? No, no I can't have that.

I grit my teeth, “Sorry Rarity, it's too dangerous. You're the girl, I'm the guy, let me be the one to risk myself.”

She matches my expression, “Shining, you've been a guy for like three days! I spent my entire life as one, I can handle myself out there!”

I sigh, “I don't want you in harm's way Rarity.”

She steps out into the hallway next to me, then closes the door behind us. ”And I don't want you in harm’s way either, but it looks like we're both going.”


I don’t like this neighborhood, if Seattle had a part of the town where crack houses are, it would be here.

“Why would Pinkie come here?” Rarity whispers as she trots at my side.

I shake my head, “Maybe she saw it looked scary and she turned back.” No sooner do I say those words before I know they weren’t true. My magic is telling me Pinkie got in trouble, it makes perfect sense that this is where it happened.

“There’s no greenery out here, this place is terrible!” Rarity looks around as we walk. I nod in agreement, not so much caring about the aesthetics, but worried about the lack of cover. The houses are all right up on each other, there are no alleys and really no way off the street. If we had to leave, it would be down a quarter mile of pavement before we would reach a spot where we could get off the road.

I look up at the house numbers then turn to Rarity and whisper, “That’s the house up ahead.” It’s about 100 meters away, it has it’s lights on, and there appear to be a three guys standing by the far side of the house.

Rarity looks it over, “So... what do we do exactly?”

I shake my head, “Not sure. Well, I guess I can sneak up to one of the windows on this side, and then take a peek inside? Maybe confirm if Pinkie really is here, as well as see what she is doing in there.”

I take a step forward, only to have a hoof tug on me, “You’re going by yourself? I thought we agreed to do this together?”

I gesture at the three ‘guards’ standing on the far side of the house. “They might see or hear us if we get close. Sending two ponies means twice the noise and twice the chance of getting caught. You can watch me from right here, I’m just going to look in the window and come right back. Okay?”

She nods, “Fine, be careful.”

I give her a quick kiss, “Always.”

I trot towards the house, getting as close as I dare. Damn this white fur of mine, a black coat would be so much better for this. I sigh as I wait for the guards to turn away so I can close the last distance and move to the side of the house. And... there! They are slowly walking away from me and have their backs turned, time to run!

As quietly as I can, I canter down the weed filled lawn and move to the side of the house. Phew, made it! Now, to find a window so I can look inside and get some intel. I move towards the closest window, then quietly magic an empty crate over to me so I can stand on it and look inside. I rear up and two legs and see..

Holy shit, Pinkie is in there surrounded by about ten guys, none of them looking like the type of person you would want to meet in a dark alley. They are wearing assorted clothing, and it looks like Pinkie has a collar on. The guys are all arguing about something. Hmm, I wonder--

Everything goes dark.

“Hmmmff!” I mumble through a mouth full of cloth as I feel some bag go over my head.

I feel strong hands grab my sides and throw me down, I land painfully on my side. Another pair of hands grabs my legs, tying them together with something. “Ha, I told you I heard fucking hoofsteps dude.”

I try casting a spell, but it’s useless. I am totally blind, I can’t cast spells if I don’t know what to aim at. Another deep voice chimes in and my front legs get tied, “Should have known that pink cunt would have friends.”

I feel my front half get lifted. “Yep, well, grab his back half and let’s carry him inside an-- AHH!!”

I fall back to the ground and I hear sounds of a struggle. Then there is the sound of something hard hitting soft flesh, and I feel bodies fall to either side of me. A moment later I feel the dark cloth being lifted off my head.

Rarity’s worried face looks down at me, “Are you okay? I came as soon as I saw them move towards you!”

I take a deep breath and gasp for air, looking around me at the downed bodies. “Jesus Rarity, you knocked out both of them!?”

She looks around, fear in her eyes, “Yes, I told you I could handle myself darling.” She quickly unties the rope on my legs using magic. “But there’s one small problem.”

I pull my legs free and stand up, “What’s that?”

Rarity looks at me, “The third guard? He ran into the house when he saw me take out these two.”

The mechanical screech of a garage door opening fills the air, followed by the sound of dozens of hurried footsteps. “Rarity...”

She looks around, “Oh buck?”

“RUN!!!” I scream, kicking up dirt behind me as I take off myself. Rarity is at my side as we gallop down the grass and get back on the main road. I glance over my shoulder to see over ten guys pour out of the house and start yelling as they point at us.

I look over at Rarity, ensuring she is keeping up with me. She cries out, “This was a stupid, stupid idea Shining.”

I gesture ahead as we gallop, “Rarity, we’ll be fine! We just gotta run a bit, get off the road, and we’re safe! Ponies can outrun humans!”

I almost believed we would be fine, but then my ears swiveled as they pick up the sounds of a car starting and the engine revving. Rarity looks at me, fear in her eyes, “Shining...”

I gallop harder, “Just a quarter mile Rarity, there’s bushes there and we can get off the pavement and lose them, we can make it...”

Tires screech and I look over my shoulder. A beat up old BMW is roaring towards us, the guy is probably flooring it. “Rarity, gallop faster!”

She looks back and cries out, “We won’t make it!”

I slow down a little so she can catch up to me, I glance ahead, we are over halfway there. We’re so close, just another fifteen seconds or so!

The hair on the back of my neck stands up as I hear the car pull up alongside us, I glance over at it and see both windows on this side roll down. I yell out to Rarity, “Stay away from the car, they’ll probably try to grab you or--” I cut myself off as I see the driver pull out what looks to be a pistol.

“Are they going to shoot us!?” Rarity scream in panic.

“Nah, that’s stupid, why would they?” My eyes widen in shock as I see the guy in the back seat pull out a weapon and aim it right at Rarity. He aims down the barrel and I watch as he fires it directly at her.

“No!” I cry out and pour sheer willpower into trying to save her from being shot. After a second, I glance back at Rarity fearing the worst. She is still fine though, she’s still galloping and is looking at the air between her and the car. I follow her gaze and I spot it, suspended in mid air, caught in my magic glow, is a tranquilizer dart. I caught it in flight? Holy shit. Well, good thing those dart guns only have one shot, I think we’re safe!

My back leg stumbles mid gallop. That’s strange I can’t feel my flank anymore. I glance at the car and the see the driver grinning at me, then I remember he had the second gun...

Rarity passes me, happiness in her voice, “It’s right here Shining, we made it! And look, the car is backing off!”

“Yeah, go, get off... the road...” My head starts to get woozy and I stop running. I look at my side, jabbed right in the center of my cutie mark is the second tranquilizer dart. Looks like I saved Rarity, but couldn’t quite save... myself...

Rarity stops and turns around, “Shining!! Come on!”

My front legs give out and I fall to my knees, “Rarity... run.” Through my haze I see the car spin around and start heading back towards us. “Run...”

She trots over to me, grabbing my limp legs with her hooves as tears stream down her face, “Shining, come on, you can make it, look! We’re RIGHT HERE!” She gestures at the patch of grass and the brush that is not 10 yards away from where I fell.

My eyelids get heavy, “Rarity, run! Go! Please just go!”

She tugs on me some more, “Get up Shining, come on, you can make it!”

I focus the last bits of my energy into my lungs, “Goddamn it Rarity, SAVE YOURSELF!”

I hear the car stop about 10 feet away, car doors open, and I lose consciousness.


“Urgh, my head” I mumble through a dry mouth, then reach a hoof to my face to hold back my throbbing headache. My hoof brushes past something on my neck, and I’m suddenly aware of an uncomfortable accessory. I touch it with my hoof and to confirm my fears: I’m wearing a collar.

My eyes shoot open and I look around, I’m in some sort of makeshift cell. The room we’re in is small, about the size of kid’s bedroom, and in it are two metal cages that each take up half the room. I’m in one of them, and as I look left I can see Pinkie and... Rarity in the other. I swear to myself, Rarity should have gotten away, she could have made it if I didn’t fall and distract her. I look over at the mares, they are both sitting, staring at the wall. It looks like all three of us have collars on.

I feel a flash of anger, “What the hell is this?” I yell out. Outside the cages, a human I hadn’t seen before glances at me, then pushes a switch on the wall.


I howl in pain and the collar shocks my neck with a burning jolt. The human lets off the switch, “Now now, don’t raise your voice at me silly pony, just stay quiet. Do you notice the collar? It’s designed for cattle, so I’m guessing its powerful enough for ponies. Alright, here are the rules: One, if you try to take off your collar, you get shocked. Two, if you yell, you get shocked. And three, if you leave this room, the collar will automatically and continuously shock you until you return.”

My heart drops, what the hell are we here? I thought they were just some sick fucks that wanted to mess around with ponies for a night. But this whole fancy setup? For what? I hear a shuffle next to me and Rarity speaks up, “Let him go. You won’t get much for him, he’s not one of the main characters.”

The humans laughs, then sits back down. “Well sure, we can probably make much, much off of you two girls, being part of the "mane six" and all. God knows how many bronies out there will want to see you. But don’t worry, even the stallion here will still fetch some nice fees from people wanting to see and pet him. I’m sure there are little girls out there who would to put a saddle on him and ride him around their lawn too.” The human tosses a hand in the air, “Or maybe some young cowboy would want him as their steed, hey, I won’t judge.”

The dots connect in my mind and I feel like I’m going to throw up. These humans, whoever they are, captured us so they could sell us? And just to turn a profit on having us do meaningless activities for them? I glance sideways at the mares, only now realizing that Rarity’s skirt and other underwear was missing. I snorted, they probably wanted her to look “show accurate” so they had her take it all off. I wince knowing how exposed she must be feeling. I look down at myself, confirming that I was also missing my boxers. Great, just great. They are probably going to take some pictures of us next, then start trying to find a buyer...

The human leans back in his chair and smiles, “It was nice of you two to show up by the way. We planned on making the pink one talk until she told us where we could find more ponies, but you just walked yourselves here. Ah, we’re going to make millions off of you as the years go on.”

For a moment I am relieved that at least my sister is safe. It sounds like these, for lack of a better word, slavers didn’t know about her. But then I realized just how broken that connection really is. We didn’t leave a note or anything. Not only that, we took Pinkie’s phone with us. Twilight will have absolutely no idea what happened to us, or where we are! My heart fills with dread once more, not only are we in serious trouble here, but Twilight will have nothing to go on. We’re totally on our own.

I look around at the cage, it was solid metal, there is no way I can break out of this thing. Maybe I can bluff? ”Hey, you better let us go. We’re unicorns, we can blow this cage apart if we wanted to! We--”


I twist over and fall on my side as the pain blinds me. It subsides and the human chuckles, “Oh sorry, were you saying something? And no, Pinkie over there already spilled the beans on the strength of unicorns when we first captured and threatened her. She said you can do some telekinesis and other small stuff. Pretty cool I guess, but you will notice everything in this room has been bolted to the floor or to the wall. So unless you can rip the steel bars out of the floor... yeah, let’s just say I’m not concerned.” The human smirks, “And let’s not forget our friend the shock collar, shall we? You can only remove the collars with a key, so even if you break out of the cage you can’t really leave can you?”

He laughs and stands up, reaching a hand through the bars to pat me on the head. I grit my teeth and contemplate biting him right here, but I knew it wouldn’t get me anywhere. I need him to lower his guard, not realize I am dangerous. He pets me a few more times, “There’s a good pony. Now get some sleep, customers are going to start visiting tomorrow and you need to look your best for them! And don’t worry about your current accommodations, we are moving you someone more secure tomorrow.”

He turns and walks out of the room, whistling to himself. The second he leaves I run to the side of my cage, “Pinkie! Rarity! We gotta get out of here!”

Pinkie stares at the floor, “Figure that one out all by yourself, did you Sherlock?” A tear drops from her eye and hits the floor.

Rarity frowns and looks me in the eyes, her own filling with tears, “I know Shining... but I just don’t see how. You’ve been asleep for about an hour while me and Pinkie discussed this. These humans are not idiots, this cage is really secure. And even if we break out of here, and somehow get the collars off, they would still just chase us down outside just like before!” She sighs and stares at the floor just like Pinkie, “Our only hope is a nice human buys us and lets us go.”

I shake my head, “No, we gotta get out now. I know most humans are good people, but we can’t risk it. What if someone from China or Europe buys you Rarity? I would never see you again, and we would never be able to turn back into humans!”

She bites her lip, tears falling from her eyes, “Well then please tell me if you have a plan for our escape, I don’t think we have much time.”

I sit and try to think. I glance at the clock on the wall, it’s almost 4am and I am still deathly tired. I think those tranquilizer darts might still be in my system. I sigh, it’s no use fighting this sleep, I’ll take a small nap and hope for the best when I wake up...


The dream comes quickly, and once in it, I glance around. Much of the royal guard had left Canterlot with me as we trotted the volcano. I groan as I realize I’m still having this damn dream. Even now when our lives are at risk, I’m stuck in the same stupid dream. It proceeds as normal and the part arrives where I realize I need to go back to ‘save’ Twilight...

A decorated pegasus near me salutes, “Sir, I will fly to Canterlot myself. I will arrive before the bulk of our forces, but I will find and protect Princess Sparkle with my life.”

I shake my head, “Your bravery is commendable, but there’s no need for that flight, I’m going myself. I’ll meet you all there when you arrive.” I turn to the pegasus next to me, “I’ll meet you all there when you arrive.” I start to charge my horn and prepare to teleport back. Teleportation is an exceptionally tricky spell, the number of ponies that can do this could be counted with a single breath. Truth be told, the spell was probably beyond my natural talent, but my sister painstakingly taught me this spell. Under her detailed lessons, I learned every nuance and trick needed to perform it.

One of my personal unicorn guards speaks up, “Sir, please, you can’t go by yourself, you have to wait for some of your guard to arrive! It’s too risky to go there alone!”

I grit my teeth, “Look, we don’t have time for this! I’m teleporting back and that’s final!”

I feel the magic from my horn start to envelop me. I mutter the incantation of the teleport spell and as I do so I feel a flood of passion. My sister took the time to teach me this spell, and now I can use it to save her. I remember how long it took her to teach me, and how she explained every single step and every incantation that is needed...


I awake with a gasp. I look around, it’s still night time outside the window, and the clock tells me its 4:30am. The dream is still clear in my mind, in the show Twilight taught Shining Armor how to teleport, and in that dream I recite that same spell. Would this really work, can I really just try casting a spell that I remember from a dream? That sounds like a profoundly stupid idea, teleporting would be very hard to do, and one misstep and I’ll probably rip myself in half trying it.

I would have to do the spell perfectly, it’s too risky to just try it randomly using some parts from a dream. That being said, I had that dream a million times, I know exactly how Shining in the dream casts it...

I hear a whimper and look to my left. Pinkie and Rarity are still awake and are just sitting there. Pinkie is still crying, and perhaps even worse than Pinkie’s tears is Rarity. She always told me she would rather die before she would wear a collar, and here she is, collar around her neck and living in a cage. Her face doesn’t show sadness though, it shows utter defeat. There is no fire in her eyes, no anger, just a sad realization that this is probably her life from here on out.

A wave of anger floods me, screw the personal risks, I had to try this teleport spell! I can go and get Twilight. Then together we would lay siege to this place, rescue these girls, and burn this damn place to the ground! My mind made up, I take some deep breaths and start to get ready to try the spell from my dream.

I glance sideways to see if the human is in the room, but the chair is empty. We are alone. My horn starts to glow and Rarity looks up at the light, “Shining, what are you doing?”

I take a few deep breaths “Trying something drastic.” I glance at her, “Rarity, if this doesn’t work, well, at least I tried. And if this does work... I’ll be back for you Rarity, I promise.”

She takes a step back as my horn glows even brighter. My legs shake as I focus and recite the spell exactly like Twilight taught me. I love how my sister took the time to do this, it was back in Canterlot she... wait, no, it wasn’t my sister Twilight, it was the Twilight from the show. But I feel the same way about her as I do to my own sister... wait a second... are they?

I shake my head, can’t think about that, I have to focus on the next part of the spell. This spell is more a less a ‘teleport home’ spell so I just have to mutter this incantation. Then, as my sister told me, I just have to allow myself to ‘let go’ from where I am standing and--

A spark, a flash, and I suddenly find myself in a familiar room. I blink to clear my eyes and look around, laughing in jubilation. “It worked! Sister, I love you!!”

My smile soon fades. I was in my bedroom. Not my hotel room, no, my BEDROOM. I am back in Canada, a good 200 miles from where I need to be to save my friends.

“Buck.” I glance around, checking myself in the mirror. At least I was in one piece! The collar is gone too, it didn’t follow me through the teleport. I smile a little, taking the small victories as I get them.

I walk to the window and confirm I’m back in Vancouver, “Okay, so just need to do a minor adjustment. Instead of teleporting here, gotta teleport back to the hotel.” I take a few deep breaths, “Okay, here we go!” I close my eyes and picture my hotel room, then do the spell as I was taught it. I mutter the nonsensical incantations, then let go and---

A spark, a flash, and I find myself in the same room. I teleported about three feet, from the window back to the center. My heart drops, I had a bad feeling this would happen. As my memory serves me Twilight taught me this spell “So I could always go back to my home.”

I facehoof, I have no idea how to change what I consider ‘home’ and this is the only teleport spell I know. I’m sure Twilight in the show probably had dozens of teleport spells, but she only taught me this basic one that sends me home. It was probably because it was the easiest one to learn... I look out the window again, then slam a hoof into the windowframe, “FUCK!

I pound on the frame again, teleporting just made things go from bad to infinitely worse. I literally had no way of getting across the border. I suppose I could hoof it and start running, but 200 miles? I knew that actual horses who are trained to be distance runners can sometimes run 60 or 80 miles in a day. But I need 200 miles, and I’m no horse trained to run distance, I’m a freakin pony.

I open the door to my bedroom and start walking down the hall, “Great, this is just great, isn’t it? I was right there next to the mares I was supposed to be protecting, and I just sent myself about four days travel away from them!” By the time I get back to Seattle my sister will have probably left the motel to go somewhere, and Rarity and Pinkie will probably be sold and shipped off to the Philippines or Las Vegas or something.

I arrive in the living room and feel the draft coming through the still broken windows. I swear again, “I fucked up... I’ll never see them again. I just single handedly condemned Rarity and Pinkie to the life of slavery.”

The floor creaks behind me and my hair stands up on end. I snap my neck around, “WHO'S THERE?!”

I squint my eyes into the darkness, the sound came from the other hallway. “This is my house, show yourself!” My nerves are so frayed I am ready to kill the first human I see. My horn starts to glow, ready to attack whoever broke in here. “I SAID WHO’S THERE!?”

A hoof comes into view as a pony turns the corner. “Captain of the Wonderbolts, first pony to do a Sonic Rainboom, and the Element of Loyalty herself.” She flashes a smile, “Rainbow Dash, at your service.”

My horn stops glowing and my jaw drops, she is decked head to toe in custom made gear. Small black saddle bags are on her sides and she has on a black vest with holes for her wings. A velcro bracelet is strapped to one forehoof and a smartphone is strapped to the other. A small bluetooth headset in one of her ears completes her look.

“Shining Armor.” The pegasus does a slight nod at me, “Sounds like I came just in time.”

22. Rescue Rangers.

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Chapter 22: Rescue Rangers.

“Rainbow Dash, at your service.” I flash a smile at the awe struck unicorn before me. Heh, wow, he is really speechless at seeing me. Oh, that’s just adorable his mouth actually dropped open! I thought that only happened in cartoons, never seen it in real life before. Then again, he is a pony from a cartoon so perhaps it makes sense.

I shake away the distracting thoughts, from what I overheard it sounds like this pony is in serious trouble. I give a slight nod to the unicorn, “Shining Armor. Sounds like I came just in time.”

Shining looks me over, “How are you... who are you?”

I give my mane a little shake, “I told you, name’s Rainbow Dash. What, haven’t you seen the show before? Even if you haven’t, come on dude, I’m pretty famous on the internet. You’ve totally heard of me before.”

Shining holds up a hoof, “Look, I know what pony you look like, I mean who ARE you and how did you find me?”

I sit back on my haunches, “Long story, see Applejack, Big Macintosh, Fluttershy and I started to look--.”

Shining cuts me off, “Hold on, you're referring to humans that suddenly became ponies, right? Or are you talking about the actual Applejack and Fluttershy from Equestria?”

I nod slowly, “Yes.”

Shining facehoofs, too tired and stressed to play these games. “Look, were you a human last month?”

I nod again, “Well, yeah.”

Shining breathes a sigh of relief, “Man, it’s great to know that my friends and I are not alone and other humans are going through this same confusing hell.” He nods somberly, “So, who were you, what’s your name?”

I cock my head at him, “My name’s Rainbow Dash. We already discussed this, didn’t we?” I hear my stomach rumble, it’s been a good 12 hours since I last ate. I stand up and head for the kitchen, “So, you got any alfalfa around here or something?”

He gives me a confused expression, “Alfalfa? What? Isn’t that like for cows? Why the hell would I have that?”

I roll my eyes, “Because it’s ridiculously tasty.” I rummage through boxes in the kitchen, “Well what do you have to eat around here?”

Shining scratches his nose with a hoof, “There’s some cereal and stuff on the table... Wait, hold on, you keep referring to yourself as Dash, which I guess makes sense since I refer to myself as Shining... but you’re a human right?”

I grab a box of Raisin Bran and tear it open, “Hmm? Well I was human for a little bit, sure, but I’m a pony dude. True, I’m not quite as amazingly awesome as I was in the show, but I think I’m getting close. Working hard on trying to be Rainbow Dash and get my old status back, you know?”

Shining just stares, “What old status? What are you talking about?”

I make a scrunchie face, this Raisin Bran is stale. I glance over at the stallion, “You don’t look so bad yourself. I’ve only seen one other stallion so far. He’s a pretty sweet guy, but I gotta admit, you look... nice. Regal even. Oh well, pity you’re married, you have a chance to get it on with Cadance yet? Oh man, who was she as a human? Was she a guy? You gotta fill me on the details bro.”

Shining leans back and holds both his front hooves in the air, “What? No. There is no Cadance, Dash what are you going on about? I feel like we aren’t speaking the same language here.”

I swallow another mouthful of cereal, “Okay, let’s back up. What kind of ponies are around here? You’re with a group of them right? I mean, I know Twilight lives here, are there any other Elements Bearers with you?”

Shining nods slowly,“Members of the mane six? Yeah, there’s--.” His eyes soon widen in alarm and he cuts himself off, “SHIT! Damnit, you distracted me! I don’t have time to talk, I gotta get back to Seattle! The others, shit, shit, shit!”

I raise an eyebrow, “How many others? Twilight and... Rarity and Pinkie?”

“Yes!” Shining cries out. “Pinkie and Rarity...” He trails off.

“Fantastic news, that’s all six of us.” I hold up a hoof, “Hold on Shining, let me check in with the others. They’re all back in Iowa, but I want to share the good fortune with them.”

Shining shakes his head as he stares at the floor, “No, it’s terrible news.”

I ignore him and use my equine ear muscles to flick my right ear sharply. The motion activates the button on the side of the bluetooth headset, and I hear it chirp to me, awaiting a voice command. “Call Applejack.” I announce clearly, then wait a moment as my smartphone dials the number.

The headset cracks to life, “Hey Dash, find anyone in the apartment?”

I grin to myself, “Sure did AJ, standing before me is Shining Armor. The captain of the Royal Guard, in the flesh.”

AJ responds with excitement, “Hot damn, Fluttershy’s hunch paid off. Is Twilight there as well?”

I grimace, “Nah, but Shining says he’s with her and the other Element Bearers. I’ll have him take me to them in a minute.”

Shining overhears the conversation and lowers his head as his eyes water over, “Dash...”

I ignore him for the time being and focus on the phone call. AJ speaks up again, “Big Mac wants to know if Cadance is there with Shining.”

I laugh, “What’s he interested for? Haha, but no, she’s MIA, looks like it’s just Twilight, Shining, Pinkie, and Rarity over here.”

Still smiling, I glance to Shining to confirm the names of the ponies he is with. My smile vanishes as I see Shining sitting there, weeping tears. He looks up at me, “Rainbow Dash. I need your help. Please.”

My ears sharpen as I look at the broken stallion before me. “AJ, I’ll call you back.” She responds with something but I just flick my ear to end the call. I take a step towards the Prince, “Shining, what happened to the others?”

He cries out, “They were captured by humans. They are in danger, and I can’t help them. I tried to save Pinkie but just made things worse.” Tears stream down his face, “Dash... they have Rarity now! It’s all my fault.”

I feel a flash of anger and feel my blood pounding in my ears. I slam a hoof into the floor, “Why the fuck didn’t you say something earlier?! Let’s go get them! You got a car? Where are they?”

He wipes his eyes with a fetlock, “I don’t have a car, and they are pretty far away. But you got here, right?” I catch him looking at my wings and his eyes light up, “Oh my god... you can fly? You can actually fly, can’t you?”

I raise an eyebrow in confusion, “Well yeah, can a dog bark?”

A look of hope flashes across his face, “Can you fly fast?”

I can’t help but smirk, “Dude, I’m Rainbow Dash. Pretty sure I’m the fastest flyer on both of our worlds.”

Shining wipes his eyes with his fetlocks again, “Alright, great, there’s hope for them yet then! Okay so you probably can’t take me with you, but if you can get to Twilight and tell her what happened, then the two of you can probably save Rarity and Pinkie!”

I grin, “I’d love to help. Where are they at? Across the city?”

Shining waves a hoof, “I wish! Nah, they are in Seattle.”

I take a step back. “Seattle? Damn, that’s across the border. Sorta far away too.”

Shining looks worried, “What? It’s just a land border, just fly over it? And it’s only like 180 miles, you can fly that far, right?”

I grit my teeth, “I can fly that far, but I can’t just fly over the border, it’s more than a line on a map you know. I can cross it, but I gotta take it slow and careful, probably best to do it while over the sea. Or better yet, while inside of a small cloud. Hmm, yeah, give me a day or so and I can get there.”

Shining shakes his head, his voice filling with emotion, “No, you have to get there NOW! You have to be in Seattle before sunrise! You have less than three hours before people there will wake up. Please, you have to go right now, and you have to fly as fast as you can!”

I shake my head slowly, “Shining, look, I’m sorry dude but that’s just not possible. Do you have any idea what radar is and how it works?” I turn sideways and wave a forehoof at my body profile, “Look at how big I am dude! I’m ten times the size of a bird, and larger than most drones. And you want me to fly at full speed, and across an international border? We’re not talking about a normal border either. If I fly across that border like you ask, well, alarms go off alerting the world’s largest air force that an unidentified aircraft is breaking their airspace. I prefer my mornings WITHOUT patriot missiles being fired at me.”

Shining rubs his forehoof into his face, “Look, Dash, you’re literally the only one who can get there. You have wings, come on, find a way.”

I roll my eyes, “Oh, and just outrun the F-22s that show up to shoot me out of the sky? Yeah, sure thing. I mean, could you pick a more inopportune city for me to fly to? You do realize that Seattle, and in fact the entire Pacific Northwest, is on a state of alert due to the terrorist attack in the city a few days ago?”

Shining blinks, “The bookstore explosion? You heard about that?”

I toss a hoof in the air, “Well yeah, I mean, bookstores exploding in front of a cameraman and a squad of cops sort of makes the news.”

Shining grits his teeth, “That was us. It wasn’t terrorists, it was Twilight, Rarity, and myself.”

I blink, “Wait... why did you? Forget it, I don’t care. We gotta find another way to get to Seattle. Maybe steal a car?”

He shakes his head, “It’s too slow Dash. We, or at least one of us, have to get there in the next 2-3 hours if there is any hope in saving Rarity and Pinkie. They are being moved to a new location once the sun is up, once that happens we will never be able to find them.”

I fall back on my haunches and carefully rub my temples with my hooves, “Wait... why exactly are they on a time limit? They are being moved? You said some human captured them? What are we talking about here, local cops? FBI? CDC? Some farmer?”

Shining looks away from me, “It’s some cartel, or some gang. I don’t know exactly. All I know is they have Rarity and Pinkie locked in cages and they are going to sell them as pets or something.”

My blood pressure spikes and I grind my teeth. I head for the window, “I’ll be in Seattle in an hour.”

Shining trots after me, “What about me? How can I contact you? I have nothing here!”

I pause to take a cheap flip phone out of my saddlebags, I toss it at Shining, “There’s my extra cell. My cell number is in the address book, I’ll call you when I find your sister.”

Shining nods, then uses his magic to pick up a pencil and paper. I take a step back at the sight of it. I may be a talking blue pegasus, but to me seeing actual magic is a bit unnatural and freaky. Shining scribbles some stuff down, “This is a sketch of the house where Rarity/Pinkie are being kept. They are in a cage over here and they have electric collars on. You’re going to need to find the keys for both.”

I look the paper over, “How many guards are we talking about?”

Shining whistles, “Four or so...”

I nod, “I can take them.”

Shining continues, “Four or so are outside sentries on patrol, then inside there are, I don’t know, a dozen? Maybe more? I think the neighboring houses are full of gang members too.”

I raise an eyebrow, “So, I know I’m Rainbow Dash and all, but a one pony attack sounds like suicide here.”

Shining nods, “Yep, and these guys are prepared. They have pony cages, tranquilizer guns, shock collars for ponies, etc.”

I throw a hoof in the air, “How the hell do they have all that stuff on hand?!”

Shining shakes his head, “I have no idea, but they do.”

I frown, “I don’t suppose you have a plan for me to get in there and rescue them without getting caught myself?”

“I’m still thinking of something, I can call you when you’re in Seattle and hopefully have a plan of attack worked out.”

I look down at the map Shining drew of the house and imagine myself up against 20 men with tranquilizer guns. “I’m not seeing it Shining. This is a suicide mission.”

Shining pats me on my back, “Nah, that’s why you need my sister! Find Twilight and take her with you. I don’t like putting her in danger like this, but I think it’s our only shot.”

I look up at him and smile, “Sweet, is she like a total badass? I mean in the show she was this quiet and reserved book nerd with zero combat experience and no physical fitness. But in this world your sister is the opposite? She’s a brutal fighter who has tasted blood... Right?”

Shining grins awkwardly, “Sure...”

I facehoof, “Your sister is a scrawny book nerd isn’t she?”

He nods, “She’s probably read more books than you have hairs in your coat.”

I let out a low whistle. “Right, so what you’re telling me is that I’m doing this mission solo.”

He shakes his head, “Oh no no, she’s good! She can handle herself in a battle.”

I sigh, “A book nerd with no physical fitness? Sounds like she would just slow me down.”

Shining laughs, “Come on, she made that library explode!” He gestures at the scorch marks in the hallway and the broken windows in the living room, “And see all this damage? That was her very first spell!”

I raise my eyebrow as I see all the damage done to the apartment. “Okay... this could work. Where is she?”


Why did they choose this motel? This place is crazy sketchy! I pound my hoof on the door of the room that Shining gave me. “Come on Twilight, open up!” I knock again, eager to get inside already. There are about three different reasons why I want her to hurry. First off, we have to hurry if we want to save Rarity and Pinkie. Secondly, this motel creeps me out and I wanna get out of this hallway. And finally, I have--.

The door opens, and the most confused purple unicorn I have ever seen stares at me. I stretch my neck a little to check her sides. Ah, scratch that, I’m looking at the most confused purple alicorn I have ever seen.

“Can I... help you?” I can practically see her brain try, and fail to comprehend the sight of me waking her up at 6am.

I nod, “Hey Twilight, long time no see, right? Look, can I get inside? I’m pretty sure I have like a third of the air force following me at the moment.”

She steps to the side, “Rainbow Dash?”

I nod, “Yep, that’s me. Good to see you’ve seen the show.”

“How are you here? Why are you here?” I could tell sleep clouded her mind.

“Your brother sent me.”

She nods, still entirely confused, “Well, that was nice of him.”

I nod, “Yeah, well it would have been except he was all like ‘Fly to Seattle’ and I was all like ‘There’s a border there and the Americans are on high alert’ and he was like ‘Well you gotta go bro’. So then I decide to just try and do it like a night op mission you know? I fly pretty much as fast as I can go, but I lay close to the ground as I fly, right? So I’m hoping I can stay under the radar and stuff, flying super fast and super low, okay?”

Twilight just nods, clearly not paying attention to my dialog and still in shock at seeing a new pony in her room. I continue, “Yeah, so turns out something of my size flying that fast and low meets the exact flight signature of a cruise missile or something. All I know is I enter the US and the first town I fly over has freakin air raid sirens blaring as I flew overhead. I looked down to see the city in sheer panic and people running everywhere.”

Twilight walks past me and opens the door, she’s looking outside for more ponies I guess? She turns back and looks at me, then looks back outside. “Where did you come from?”

“...and that’s how I lost the fighter jets that were in the air when I flew by that third city!” I finish.

Twilight repeats herself, “Where did you come from though?”

I sigh, “Like I said, your brother sent me. And I made it here on time too! Granted, I’m pretty sure my flight made the President get rushed onto Airforce One, NORAD probably went to DEFCON 1, and we may in fact be at war with Canada. But hey, I got here in time!”

Twilight shakes her head, “What? Wait, in time for what?”

I nod, “Oh, right, umm, so Pinkie and Rarity were captured by some gang and are now being held captive and will be rented out to people for money if we don’t rescue them in the next hour or two.” I rub a hoof into the carpet, “That’s why I had to, you know, DEFCON 1 and all that.”

Twilight holds up both of her hooves, “What? No, everyone went to bed in the motel here. This makes no sense. Don’t get me wrong I am THRILLED to see a new pony before me, but you’re not making any sense here. Pinkie and Rarity, captured by a gang?”


“And my brother found you and told you to find me and get my help?”

I nod, “Exactly!”

She sighs, “Well, let’s go talk to him and clear this up.” She opens the door and steps outside.

I put a hoof on her flank to stop her, “Uh, he’s not here Twilight.”

She turns around, “Oh? What, is he captured by the gang too?” She laughs.

I shake my head, “No, he’s in Vancouver.”

Her eye twitches, “What.” I don’t think it’s a question, it’s her brain tripping over itself again.

I nod slowly, “That’s where I came from. Canada! I met your brother in your apartment there.” I list off the address to confirm it is her place.

Twilight blinks, “But my brother went to bed in this hotel.”

I bite my lip, “Well, he’s in Canada now, how do you think I got your hotel number?”

Twilight twitches again, “Why is he in Canada? HOW is he in Canada?!”

I raise an eyebrow, Shining never told that part to me. “Because it’s his apartment?”

She looks at me, “No, he’s not supposed to be in Canada, he is supposed to be here with Rarity!”

I shake my head, “No, Rarity is with the slavers, your brother is in Canada.”

“ARGH!” Twilight screams in frustration, “This doesn’t make any sense! When did this happen?!”

“While you were sleeping?” I suggest.

She raises a hoof, “It’s only been six hours! What the hell did they do in that time!? Why didn’t they wake me up?”

I raise a hoof, “Look, I’d love to play family feud with you right now, but seriously, I almost started a war flying here as fast as I did because I wanted to save Pinkie and Rarity. Can we do the rescue mission first, then you can argue the how/why details with your brother?”

Twilight facehooves, “Urgh, do you even have a plan to save them?”

I bite my lip, “No... but this guy probably does!” I’m looking down at my phone. Shining appears to be calling me. I answer the call and hand the phone to Twilight. Hmm, on reflection, I probably should have called him at the start and let him explain things to his sister. That would have been much simpler. Pretty sure I’m zero for two on smooth introductions tonight.


“Rarity, I don’t think Shining is coming back, not tonight anyway.” Pinkie mutters, shaking her head at the wall. “And he’ll never find us once we get moved to the new location.”

I nod, “Well Pinkie, at least one of us got out. And I know Shining won’t give up. Maybe he won’t get to us tonight, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not for a few years... but he’ll find us. I know he will.”

“Hey, horses, quit yapping!” A guard snaps at us. There are three guards watching us now, they weren’t too happy that one of us escaped.

I roll my eyes, “We’re ponies, not horses.”

He sneers at me, “Either way, animals shouldn’t be talking. Now shut it, the boss isn’t going to happy to learn that your friend got away, I hope you realize he’s going to take his anger out on you two.”

Pinkie chuckles, “We’re locked in a cage, and we’re going to be sold as personal slaves in a few hours. Like your boss could make this any worse.”

The guard leans towards the cages and grins, “The Boss is confused about the pictures on your butts. He is thinking of giving all you ponies a logo more fitting for a beast of your shape. Ever hear of how farmers brand their animals?”

I take a step back in horror, “He wouldn’t dare!”

Another guard sits down and puts out his cigarette bud, “Mmhmm, keep telling yourself that missy. The Boss branded the ass of the last pony that was here after she bit him.”

My heart drops a beat, “Wait... what other pony?”

The guard hesitates for a second but then speaks, “Maybe you know her? Red mane, purple body? It was about two days ago, the Boss hears from an associate that a few colored ponies are popping up in some cities. The Boss tells us to keep an eye out, and sure enough, two days ago we find one. She was wandering the ghetto by herself, pretty easy to nab once one of our guys saw her.”

Pinkie steps closer to the bars, “Where is she?”

The guard lights a second cigarette, “We didn’t have any equipment to hold her, the bitch was stronger than she looked too. Broke the rope we tied her with, then ran through the house in a panic. The Boss tried to put a collar on her but she bit him. He didn’t like her attitude, so he ended up having a guard knock her unconscious and tie her in chains. Then the Boss branded her with a hot iron when she woke up.”

One of the other guards chuckles, “I swear, you could probably hear that scream of her’s for miles around. Thankfully the mare sounded like a dying animal, so it seems no one bothered calling the cops about it.”

I feel my forelegs shaking in anger, “You bastards.”

The guard sighs, “Yeah, not all the guys here were happy about the way the Boss was treating her. That night one of the night guards ended up feeling some empathy or some shit and untied her. The pony and the guard were missing the next morning, the guard leaving a resignation note.”

Another guard pipes in, “The Boss doesn’t accept no resignation though. We’re still looking for the pony and the traitor. We’ll find them one of these days. In the meantime though we were told to get prepared to handle more ponies in the future. That’s why we got these cages installed and got some of these here tranquilizer guns. Makes things a lot easier for us, that’s for sure.”

I sit down and shake my head, well, at least the other pony made it out. Pity her escape meant these brutes became better prepared to deal with Pinkie and myself. This cage, these collars, all these guys, I’m not seeing any way out of this place--.


The lights flicker loudly and fizz out, sending the the room into darkness. I hear one of the guards stand up, “What was that?”

The only light is the faint hint of early dawn coming through the window. Another guard looks around the room, then turns on the stereo only to find it’s also dead. “I think we lost power somehow.”

The third guard looks through the window, “But the house across the street has power. What the hell?”

A loud tapping on the window startles everyone. The head guard peers at the glass but it’s too dark to see anything. The tapping is heard again, and the head guard turns to one of his underlings. “Open the window, it’s probably one of the outside sentries, maybe he can tell us what happened.”

The guard goes to the window and looks to the left, then the right, then down at the ground below. “I don’t see anyone out here.” He slides it open and sticks his head outside, “Yo, where you guys at? Greg are you--.”


There’s a blur from above the window and the guard falls forward, clearly unconscious from some blow to the head. His body falls into the window frame and inertia carries his whole body out the window.

“Bruce!” His partner yells as he jumps to his feet and moves towards the window.

I turn my head to check on the head guard, noticing him back away from the window and drawing his gun in the process. He calls out to the other guard who is now just inches from the window, “Tyrone, get away from the windo--.”

He doesn’t finish his sentence before a blue blur of something flies through the window, slamming into Tyrone. The blue mass lifts him off the ground and carries him into room for several feet before the human’s back smashes up against the cage with a loud clang. My ears ring from the noise, but my eyes focus on the blue pony, no, pegasus that is now in the room.

Pinkie’s hair stands on end. “RAINBOW DASH!” My heart skips a beat as I recognize the rainbow maned mare from the show. Where the hell did she come from? How did she find us?

The human gasps for air, “I think you broke my ribs.”

The pegasus spits to the side, “Yeah sorry, I would do more but I’m pressed for time.”

Out of the corner of my eye I catch movement from the other side of the room. Before I even spend time to confirm what I see, I cry out a warning as fast as my tongue lets me, “Watch out! The other one has a gun!”

I see Dash’s ears twitch from the news and not second later I hear a muffled gunshot as the guard fires his tranquilizer gun from across the room. Faster than I can blink I see the pegasus spin around and pull up behind the body of the injured human who only a moment ago was behind her.

I wince, “You okay Rainbow Dash?”

Pinkie giggles, “Anything I can do to help?”

Dash rolls her eyes at the line and steps away from the human, brushing the dirt off her sides. Everyone in the room looks for the dart, and we all spot it sticking right in the chest of the unconscious guard that Dash dove behind. She looks up at the guard and grits her teeth, “There’s your one bullet.” She trots towards the guard slowly, cracking her neck in the process. “Nice thing about hooves... they don’t need reloading.”

The guard turns white as a sheet and bolts for the door, only making it about half a step before Dash takes off and slams into him with her shoulder. Pinned to the ground, he cries out, “Get off of me you animal!”

Dash backhands his head with a hoof, “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. WHERE ARE THE KEYS?”

The guard scoffs, “Yeah, like I’d tell you. You can’t even--.”


I wince as I see Dash’s hoof slam into the floor just an inch away from his face, breaking the floorboard in two. She bares her teeth, “Don’t mess with ponies dude. The next hoof is going to land on your face, so let’s try this again: Where are the fucking keys?”

I can see the guard tremble from back here, “O-on my nec-necklace.”

Dash taps his forehead with her hoof, “Good boy.” She grabs the necklace with her teeth and rips it off his neck. She turns to me and tosses the keyring at us, “Rarity, Pinkie, take the collars off each other and get that cage open.”

I nod as I grab the keyring with my magic, “And what are you doing?”

“Buying us some time.” She mutters as she props a chair up against the door. Turning to the human she barks, “Go sit in the corner until the four of us are gone.”

I unlock the cage and breathe a sigh of relief as Pinkie takes that damned collar off my neck. I return the favor to her and then I hear the guard laugh “It’s not over you know. The noise here awoke the entire house, including the Boss upstairs. He will never let you leave.”

My ears twitch as I hear the sound of footsteps and yelling above us. Someone bangs on the door, but the chair holds it shut. I turn to Dash in worry, and I’m confused to see her smiling. She trots to the window and looks around, “So your little gang has this place surrounded huh?”

The guard smirks, “That’s right. We have almost a hundred gang members in this block of houses. You’re totally surrounded.”

Dash nods, “Well, that’s kind of cool, because you guys are also surrounded.”

Pinkie tilts her head, “Oooh, concentric rings!?”

The guard shakes his head, “So, what, you brought an army of cute little pony friends? Pretty sure we can handle them.”

Red and blue lights flash across the room, reflected in from outside. Dash shakes her head, “Pony army? Nah, not really our style. We figured the regular ‘ol police can do the job.”

The guard sits up, “The cops are coming? Pfft, they know not to deal with us directly.”

The sound of a helicopter can be faintly heard. Dash looks out the window, “Well the cops are coming... and so is the FBI... and Homeland Security... and pretty sure the army.”

The banging on our door stops and I hear people in the house start yelling in confusion. The helicopter sound outside multiplies, my ears drop as I realize it isn’t the sound of a single one, it sounds like fleet of them are approaching. I turn to the pegasus, “Dash, what did you do? How?”

Dash rubs the back of her neck, “So, not sure if you guys know that all the security forces in the state are on high alert from that terrorist bombing earlier? Yeah... so I may have made some calls and left some tips saying that the terrorist cell responsible is located in this exact house.”

The guard scoffs, “You idiot, they would never believe that.”

Dash laughs, “You underestimate how jumpy everyone is. They are pretty eager to catch a lead. And now we just need to seal the deal for them by showing off ‘stored explosives’.” Dash gestures at a shack outside, “Yo, guard dude, anyone live in that shack?”

Confused he shakes his head, “What? No, it’s a stand alone garage. It’s deserted.”

“Perfect.” Dash smiles and she pulls a walkie talkie out of her bag and steps on the transmit button. “Twi-Twi, this is The Dash, you’re all clear on the shack. Repeat, you are clear on the shack.”

I raise my eyebrow, “Twi-Twi?”

Dash rubs her hooves together, “Shhh, this should be good.”

I squint as I see a four legged figure on top a roof about five houses down start to glow white. I glance back at the shack next door to us, “Oh shit.”

Knowing what’s coming, I dive down to the ground and pull Pinkie with me, then hold my hooves over my ears. The blast hits a second later.

Even with my makeshift ear protectors, the sound is deafening as the shack explodes in a massive blast of red and purple sent by the alicorn. The blast shatters the remaining window and knocks Dash off her hooves. Twilight doesn't know many spells, but she is getting awkwardly good at that one.

“HOLY HELL!” The guard yells as the ringing fades from my ears. As the light from the blast fades, the entire night sky erupts in emergency vehicle lights and hundreds of police sirens start blaring towards our location. If there was any doubt about this being the location of the terrorist cell, it was gone now. The explosion was probably seen for miles all around, and flaming bits of wood start to fall like rain outside our window.

Dash gets up, laughing, “Okay, it’s cliche for me to say, but that was AWESOME! Almost makes me wish I was a unicorn. Though speaking of pegasus, we really need to get going.”

I shake my head, still trying to clear the ringing sound, “How are we supposed to get past the cops and god knows what other armed forces are on the way?”

Dash trots over to Pinkie and hooks her forelegs around her. “Helicopters will have to back away to avoid the debris in the air. Now we fly and escape in the confusion.”

“Oh boy!” Pinkie exclaims, and before I can ask if Dash really can fly, the pegasus leaps out the window and takes flight with Pinkie in her hooves.

I move to the window and watch the silhouette of the pegasus fly low over the houses and towards the spot where I saw the glow of Twilight. Over there appears to be a small field that connects to some thick brush. And from the sounds of the police sirens, the cops are coming from the opposite direction.

I turn around as I hear shuffling and I see the guard shakily get to his legs. He bites his lip, “You ponies can fly, and you can make shit explode. You’re trouble, you know that? You’re dangerous.”

I look out and see Dash returning to pick me up. I turn to the guard and sigh, “Yeah, well, we are. So stop trying to kidnap our kind, okay?” I feel a little strange referring to ponies as ‘my kind’ but... well I guess it’s true, right? I honestly don’t identify as a human any more. Hmm, that’s kind of a scary thought.

Dash lands outside the window and glances at the cop cars and armored SWAT vans pulling up by the front door of the house. In the sky I can make out fifty helicopters on the horizon all headed for this house. Dash waves at me, “We're out of time, come on Rarity we gotta move.”

I hop out of the window and relax as I feel Dash grab me with her hooves. “Dash, where are we going once we land?”

She pulls me airborne and away from this hellish place. “Away from here Rarity. Far away from here.”

I smile for the first time that night, “Thank Celestia for that.”

23. Aftermath.

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Chapter 23: Aftermath.

I pace around the living room. Twilight and Dash haven't called back yet, and I'm stuck here in Canada with no idea of how things went. Why didn't they call? Did something bad happen? I told them to call the police and use them as a distraction to rescue the mares, but then Dash laughed and said they gave her an even better idea. She thanked me for the advice and hung up, telling me she would call in an hour or so when the rescue mission was completed. That was almost two hours ago!

Should I call them? No, what if they are sneaking by the guards and the incoming call makes a loud noise and gives them away? I can't risk it! Gah, this is maddening, what if something terrible happened to all of them?

I pause and lick my lips for a moment. No, nothing bad happened. I would have felt it if something went wrong, that's how Shining Armor works. I smile, for once being happy that I am this pony. I know Shining can tell when his family and close friends were in danger. I'm not feeling that now, so it must mean they are safe! Phew, so everything went swimmingly down there, that's a huge relief, I was worried shit might have hit the fan. I trot over to the TV remote and grab it with my magic to turn it on. TV should help me relax while I wait for them to call me...

CHAOS IN WASHINGTON STATE, the headline reads as the screen shows a row of houses in flames and armed personnel carriers moving down a street. A reporter yells into her microphone, “It's a war zone out here John, earlier in the evening there were reports of the terrorists hiding out in this block of the projects in northern Seattle. While police and counterterrorism forces were en route to the scene, a series of massive explosions rocked the night, presumably set off by the terrorist faction.”

My jaw slowly drops open and the TV remote falls from my magical hold. The studio news anchor adds commentary. “Susan, is this in any way connected to the missile scare from earlier in the evening, as you know several towns in northern Washington State are currently in a state of emergency and citizens are being told to stay in their homes. We have reports of fighter jets being scrambled in the area and the AP is reporting that US forces around the globe are being put on high alert. Do you have any information on these developments?”

The images on the screen show aircraft carries and jets taking off into the night, then goes back to show a helicopter view of the city block with a dozen houses on fire and military trucks and police cars filling the streets. The reporter yells back into the mic, “I'm not sure John, there's a lot of confusion here on the ground, but we have seen US Special Forces assisting the FBI in raiding the complexes here. The firefights have been minimal so far and most of the terrorists appear to be surrendering, hopefully this is the just the first step in a series of measures to slow the escalations of tensions that have been rising the past few days.”

My eyes are as wide as dinner plates as I flip through to other channels. Nearly every channel had the same news story, often accompanied with the headline 'Emergency Bulletin' or something of that nature. One channel mentions the President and Vice President being rushed to undisclosed military locations, another one mentions China and Russia raising their military alert status and launching jets of their own in response to escalating US military activity.

I facehoof, “God damnit Dash.”


The three mares follow behind me as we make our way through the brush trying to get more distance from the scene of the crime behind us. We hadn’t really spoken since we left that place. I think the only thing said so far was when I told Twilight "We really gotta move.” But that was like 15 minutes ago, I mean come on, how has no one said anything yet?!

Finally, I can’t take it anymore. I pause under a tree and look back at them. “No one’s gonna say it, huh?” They all look at me confused, so I throw my hooves in the air. “Hey, Rainbow Dash, you’re so awesome! You just single handedly took out like six armed guards, literally dodged a bullet, made the guy surrender his keys, and successfully broke two ponies out of a heavily armed compound! Wow, Dash was so badass back there!”

The other ponies exchange looks with each other and Twilight rolls her eyes. I sigh, “Really? Nothing?”

Rarity smirks slowly, but nods. “Yes, thank you Rainbow Dash. Your egotism aside, we do sort of owe you for saving us.”

Pinkie pokes her hoof in the dirt. “Yeah, thanks for saving us all from Pinkie’s giant screw up.”

Rarity turns and raises Pinkie’s chin with a hoof, “Dear, we all make mistakes, the important thing is we’re all safe now.”

Pinkie nods, “Yeah, thanks for coming Dash, we owe you one.”

Rarity turns to me and holds out a hoof. “We haven’t really met before, have we? Well, as you can see, I am the pony named Rarity.”

I shake her hoof. “Charmed to meet you. I’m Rainbow Dash.”

The Earth pony trots towards me, showing a little more enthusiasm and she hugs me, “I’m Pinkie Pie, my old name was Harry though.”

I look into her blue eyes and smile. I always liked Pinkie in the show, she was pretty much best friends with Dash. "I look forward to getting to know you again Pinkie."

She tilts raises an eyebrow. “Again? Have we met?”

I nod obviously. “Well, yeah, you know, past life and all. Like twenty six years ago.”

Pinkie tilts her head, her eye twitches as she almost connects the dots.

Rarity laughs, “She's only 25 darling, same with Twilight and myself.”

“Right...” My eyes glance at all of them and land on Twilight. She’s looking around, uninterested in the dialog. Did none of them catch the reference to how we were all in Equestria 26 years ago? They do know the truth about that, right?

The sound of a helicopter overhead breaks my thoughts, and the four of us hide under a tree until it passes. Morning is out in earnest and the sun is really shining now. We desperately need to get to some better cover for these daylight hours. We had moved a good distance away from where we started, but we wouldn’t really be in the clear until we got out of the city. Ah, buck, I just realized we have to rendezvous with Shining Armor before we catch a train headed east. I should probably call him up and tell him we’re okay.

I put a stylus in my ‘universal cuff’ and tap away at my smartphone, sending Shining a quick text: “All four of us escaped the building; 100% of us are safe and accounted for. Are still working to get clear of the city sector. You should find a car and leave Vancouver ASAP. Head south so we can meet.” I hit send and sigh, we’re going to need a car too.


My phone beeps with a text message and I use my magic to levitate it before me as I read it. Holy crap, way to go Dash! She actually did it! International incident and front page news aside, she saved Rarity and Pinkie. Damn, I owe that mare a drink.

I read the rest of the text and sigh, not looking forward to this next part. She suggests I steal a car? Urgh. I’m really not one for theft, but I guess I have no choice. I mean, I can’t stay here. Hmm, where can I steal one from? I tap my chin with a hoof, maybe I can get one from the apartment garage? Surely at least one car there has to have the keys inside, right?

I trot towards the front door and leave, letting the door close behind me. At first I panic as I realize I don’t have my keys and this door automatically locks behind you. But then I pause and laugh for a moment, I can teleport back inside whenever I want. I smile wide, hooray for no longer needing apartment keys!

Now, about that car. I make my way to the elevator and ride it to the basement garage. Hopefully this place should be deserted, it’s like 7am on a weekend. I step out of the elevator and immediately wince at the sound of my hooves. The sound hard hooves make on an indoor concrete floor is practically deafening, so much for being sneaky.

Well, if I can’t do things quiet, I’ll do them fast! I canter down the aisles of cars, using my magic to tug on every door handle I pass. I just need to find an unlocked car and then check if there are keys inside.

“Mommy, mommy! What is that thing mommy?!” Some kid yells.

I freeze, and my ears swivel to locate the source of the sound. A second later I find him, some five year old standing by himself right where the path turns a corner. He’s pointing at me and I hear footsteps from around the corner start to accelerate. “What is it Tommy? Do you see what’s making all that noise?”

Buck. I glance left and right, I’m in the middle of the aisle the cars drive down. There is no cover to speak of in either direction and I only have about two seconds before that adult turns the corner and sees me. Um, um, um... think!

A spark, a flash, and I find myself back in my apartment. I let out a long breath. Phew... that was a bit of a close call. I’m back up here, but I’m safe and no one saw me. I open my bedroom door and leave my apartment once more. “Well, let’s try that one again, shall we?”


The four of us mares reach a dead end. We were headed back to the hotel but the brush ends right here, and it’s too risky to go out through the streets in broad daylight with these helicopters all over the place. I check my smartphone’s maps, hmm, I guess we can head parallel and get to that connecting park...

A hoof pokes me in the side. “Dashie, you never told us how you got here. You’re not from this area, are you?”

I take one last look at the digital map then turn to Pinkie. “Hmm? Well right now I sort of live with AJ, Big Mac, and Fluttershy on a small farm in Iowa.”

Twilight trots closer, “And what brought you here?”

The noise of a helicopter makes me look up, and I track it with my eyes as I answer her question. “Long, long story short, us Iowa ponies realized that since the MLP cartoon accurately described the sorts of ponies that we now are, and since the show followed Twilight Sparkle around, we figured maybe Twilight Sparkle worked for the show. So, eager to find more ponies like us, we looked through the show credits. Since every pony we knew of so far turned 25 on May 1st of this year, we just started checking the birthdays of everyone who ever worked on the show to see if any of them were like us.”

Twilight raises an eyebrow, “That’s... actually pretty clever.”

I nod. “No luck on show staff birthdays though. We then figured that maybe she was just uncredited or something. Since the show was made in Vancouver, we figured she had to be living there. So, after quite a bit of digging around we found property listings and compiled a list of city residents, then used voting records to obtain their ages and birthday. One quick filter later and we had a tentative list of people in Vancouver who turned 25 on May 1st of this year. We ended up with about a dozen humans that fit that criteria, so we went with it and I started checking them out one by one.”

Rarity gives me a surprised look, “Wait, how did you get there? What, you just flew from Iowa to Vancouver?”

I laugh, “Heck no, that’s a crazy amount of ground to cover. I did it the lazy way, I took a train.”

Pinkie laughs, “Just like the ponies in the show!”

I smirk, “Well, not quite. I was more of a stowaway. It was actually really easy for me, being a pegasus and all. I flew over to the train yard, landed on top of an express freight train, and just napped for about 1900 miles as the train moved towards the coast. Whenever it was going through a city, or stopping for fuel, or going through border customs I would just fly up and hide in some clouds. Then when it started leaving I would fly back down and get my roof top spot back. Not a bad way to travel to be honest.”

Rarity nods, “One advantage to being a pegasus I suppose. So what happened when you got to Vancouver? How did you know to find us in Seattle?”

I shrug, “I waited until nightfall in Vancouver, then started flying around the city and checking out each address. There were fourteen addresses, and twelve of them were normal places with healthy looking human families. This one other one appeared abandoned, and I thought about stalking that one out, but then I saw your apartment. Wow. Broken windows, signs of conflict, and the entire inside of the apartment smelled like horse--.”

Rarity crinkles her nose, “We don’t smell that bad, do we?”

I ignore her, “In any case, since the windows were broken I flew inside and decided to wait 24 hours to see if anyone would return. And then, three hours later, Shining appears.”

“Wait, Shining is in CANADA?!” Rarity exclaims.

I take a step away from her, “Uh, yeah? At about 4:30am he was sobbing in the room near me. Actually not sure how he got into the apartment, I was watching the door the whole time.”

Pinkie looks very confused, and Rarity’s mouth drops open. Twilight looks over at them, “Pinkie, Rarity, where did you leave him? Why did he go to Canada?”

Rarity looks over at Twilight with wide eyes. “He was captured with us. Shining was locked in the cages with us... at 4:30.”

I scratch my head with a forehoof. “No, he was in his apartment then...”

Twilight’s pupils dilate widely, “He teleported!?

Rarity nods slowly, “I did see him cast a spell and then he vanished. I thought he turned invisible or something. Where did he learn how to teleport?”

Twilight shakes her head slowly. “I have no idea, that’s not in the show notes.”

I cock my head. “Show notes?”

Twilight rubs both her hooves in front of her mouth. “Teleportation. Actual teleportation. This is the greatest discovery of the past ten thousand years. Transit, the energy crisis, diplomacy, war, this changes literally everything about what mankind can do!”

“Ponykind.” I correct her. “This has nothing to do with humans, and it really doesn't affect them.”

Twilight gives me a strange look but drops the subject. I bite my lip, what’s up with these ponies? Isn’t it obvious that humans have nothing to do with us anymore?


I trot over the hard pavement as I approach the target car. I had found the car door unlocked, now I just have to look inside and hope that the keys are in there! I jump into the drivers seat and look around. Hot diggity! The keys are in the cup holder! Grinning like a banshee I pick them up with my magic and turn on the ignition. I look behind me to see better so I can reverse out of the parking spot.

“Mmmpf, hey, what’s going on?” A tired female voice speaks up from the backseat.

I look at the source of the noise, then facehoof. The owner of the car is apparently sleeping in the backseat, and is wondering why her car just turned on. She rubs the sleep from her eyes and looks at me, a unicorn pony sitting in her driver’s seat. I groan loudly, “Oh come on!”

A spark, a flash, and I find myself back in my apartment. I swear as I realize I have to start over AGAIN. This is seriously like a really shitty video game, and it has only one checkpoint that I can restart from. I’ve gone into that garage about 7 times now, but I keep having to teleport back and start the whole thing over. I sigh and make my way back to the elevator. “Stealth run, trial eight, here we go...”


We continue making our way through the brush, moving from park to park, green space to green space. The police are everywhere this morning, and I can’t find any way to get back to the motel. No matter which side we approach from, we would have to cross like 10 blocks of urban city with no cover. Any normal night and that was fine, but it is 8am, the sun is shining, and police are parked on every corner. There’s no way we can get past them as ponies.

I stop walking abruptly, and a second later I feel someone trot into my backside. The feeling of fur on fur a little too close to my private region makes me jump in the air a few inches.

“Egah!” Rarity screams from behind me, and I turn to see her backing up and wiping her face with a white fetlock. “Ah, Dash you really need to change how you do things! My face almost touched your, urgh...” She wipes her face again and blushes as she walks back a few hoofsteps.

I shift my weight, “Sorry, don’t walk so close behind me I guess.” I look back at her and offer an apologetic smile.

“Oh, it’s not that, it’s...” Rarity breaks eye contact. “Darling, you’re wearing all that self tailed clothes, but your back is open! Everyone can see, well, everything back there.”

I squint at her. I was baffled earlier when we were escaping and Rarity paused for a second to grab her underwear off the guard table. Then, once we landed, we all had to wait a minute while she put it all back on. But you know what, I let that slide, I figured Rarity was Rarity and I should allow it. But this? Now she makes fun of what I'm wearing? I grit my teeth. "This isn’t clothes, it’s tactical gear. I’m not wearing this to cover myself, it all has practical stuff for me. I mean, come on, why would I need to cover up fur?"

Twilight, who, come to think of it is wearing a skirt for some reason, sighs and looks at me. "Can't you just add a skirt to your “tactical gear”? You know, for the rest of us?"

“Okay, first off, no because ponies don’t normally wear clothes.” I spit off to the side. “And a skirt? No thanks sister, not in a million years. I was a guy you know. Unlike you ladies I’m not used to this whole ‘girl’ thing. Thankfully, Rainbow Dash is so awesome that I don't mind the gender flip that went along with becoming this female pegasus, but come on, I'm not going to willingly wear girly clothing. I mean Rarity, you look amazing but as a long time male, I could never wear something like that.” I raise an eyebrow as my eyes go over her outfit. She was decked out in black lace and was even wearing a thong complete with a garter belt. I clear my throat, “As I was saying, sorry, but it takes a real girl to wear something like that.”

Rarity blushes through her white fur. “I uh... Dash, when I was a human, I was a guy.”

My eyes go wide and I stammer an apology, “Oh... I uh, I mean, I said... you, no, you see I meant to say--.”

Pinkie giggles, “Use your words Dashie.”

I bite my tongue and look for an escape, “Well Rarity, good for you. You are focused on becoming your old self, and everything that your old life entails. Good work.”

Twilight glances at me, “Old self? What are you getting at?”

I narrow my eyes, this is the third or fourth time that these ponies have gotten confused from me referencing the fact that we used to be ponies in Equestria. They can’t honestly be that in the dark, can they?

I chew my lip for a moment, then glance sideways at a mare. “Hey, Pinkie, do you think we’re going to become best friends once again?

Out of my periphery I see Twilight focus on me and raise an eyebrow. Pinkie tilts her head, “Again? Are you from Canada? I got high pretty often growing up, but I remember all my old friends. Who were you... before?”

I turn to stare at Twilight, making eye contact with her. “Before? I was Rainbow Dash.”

Pinkie laughs off to the side, “No silly, what was your name when you were born?”

Twilight’s eyes start to go wide and she follows my behavior. I smile slightly. “Way back when I was first born, my name was Rainbow Dash.”

Twilight takes a steps back in realization, “No.”

I nod slowly and take a step forward, “Twilight, the entire reason I came here was to find you. We figured you would know everything, and you would know how to fix all of this. And do you know why we all figured that?”

The alicorn takes another step away from me, her face full of confusion and shock, “No, I know what you’re thinking, but no. My name is Tess, I’m a human girl, I always was. I just wrote about ponies when I was a kid and that’s all. My name is Tess--.”

I stamp a hoof into the ground as I get closer, “That’s not your name Twilight. It never was.”

Her chin trembles, “No, ponies are just a story! I just made some sketches and told some people and they made a cartoon of it.”

I narrow my eyes, “You wrote about it as a kid because you had memories of it. Sure it’s a cartoon now, but it’s based on YOUR LIFE.”

She shakes her head, “No, no, we’re fixing this. We’re finding a way to change back.”

“Change back?” I spit, “We did that when we turned 25. Welcome back.”

Twilight loses her balance and falls back on her haunches, holding a forehoof over her mouth in disbelief. “No...”

Pinkie and Rarity appear at my sides, Pinkie looks at me, “I don’t get it. What are you saying?”

I lean into her and whisper deeply into her ear, “You’re a pony Harry.”

She giggles, “Well of course I’m a pony, I’ve been one for like a week now. How is that news?”

Rarity glares at me, “You’re not serious about what I think you’re suggesting.”

I nod, “Dead serious. You’re all actually supposed to be ponies.” I nod at the unicorn, and gesture at her lingerie “You’re actually dressed really well Rarity. You are supposed to be a girl, and you will remain one for the rest of your life.”

Twilight slowly turns to look at me, looking like a deer in the headlights as she speaks slowly, “So tell us why. Why and how.”

I take a deep breath. Hoo boy. “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your jimmies in the upright and unrustleable position. I've got a story for you, and you’re not going to like the ending.”


A spark, a flash, and I find myself back in my apartment. Gah, that was a close one! Old lady waiting for the elevator in the basement was swinging her purse at me, and actually got pretty close to hitting me. I trot forward, frowning at the fact that she called me a dog. Well, I suppose I got the last laugh, she’s going to go through the rest of her life telling a story about how she saw some white, unicorn dog, and then it just vanished into thin air. I laugh to myself as I make my way down the stairwell, as annoying as this situation is, it does make me feel good about my race. Teleporting is kind of fun, unicorns really do have it better than anyone else.


I finish my story, covering everything I knew about the last episode being 'true' and how Discord ruined everything and sent us here with the damned curse. As I talked, the ponies didn't say much, even Pinkie stood still and just listened quietly. Occasionally they would exchange glances with each other, but no one spoke. With my story now finished, I look around and judge their expressions. Pinkie is just staring off into space, Rarity is nervously chewing on her hoof, and Twilight has her brow furrowed and is staring at the ground. She looks up at me, “So... that’s it huh? My entire life as Tess...”

I nod, “...Was pretty much a prison sentence.”

Pinkie stares ahead. “Twenty five years. Wasted.”

I shrug, “Well, I would hardly say wasted. More like a vacation I guess. ”

Rarity just shakes her head and sighs, “So we’re stuck like this forever. Well, at least I have someone to spend it with. I don’t know what you girls plan to do, but if there really is no chance of changing back, I think I’m just going to find somewhere quiet and live out my life in hiding with Shining.”

I swallow hard. I remember that I have similar plans in place with Big Mac don’t I? We both agreed that if we were stuck like this, we would settle down and I would be his wife and give him a family...

I shake my head, no, we can still fight this, there are still options. I clear my throat and speak up, “Well, let’s all get to Iowa first where the other ponies are. Once there, we can decide what to do and if we should just give up. We have a farm there and plenty of food, so if we do decide to just live as ponies, that option will be on the table.”

Twilight nods. “Well before we head there, we need my brother. You still got that phone?”

I turn an ear to face her. “Yeah, take the headset.” A second later I feel the strange glow of her magic on the bluetooth piece and my headset floats towards her and settles in her ear. She nods at me and I tap the phone and call Shining.


I am about to leave the apartment for the 17th time when I hear the phone ring! Finally! Oh god I hope it’s Rarity, I really need to hear her voice right now. I magic the phone over to me. “Rarity?!”

Twilight replies with a laugh, “Afraid not brother. It’s me. Anyway, what’s this about a teleport spell?!”

I laugh, “Ah, yeah, long story.”

“I got time.”


I check my watch, Twilight’s been in that phone call for 15 minutes now. Sheesh, she does realize this is an international call, right?

I turn back to Rarity and Pinkie, busy in some deep discussion. Rarity, shakes her head. “No Pinkie, look where we just came from! I don’t want that to happen again!”

Pinkie rolls her eyes, “Rarity, he’s a good guy! They both are! Dashie said we need a car to get back to the motel, they can get us there in their car!”

I trot closer, raising my eyebrows as I once again see Rarity’s outfit. I really want to ask why she's wearing such revealing bedroom clothes out at night, but decide to just let it slide. Not really my place to ask. I clear my throat. “Hey ladies, what are we talking about?”

Pinkie smiles, “I know who can give us a ride back to the hotel!”

My eyes brighten, “Oh? And how do--.”

A bright light cuts me off and I see Twilight charge a spell. I’m about to ask what the hell she’s doing but then there’s a scorching flash and she blinks away into thin air, the bluetooth headset clattering the ground where she stood.

“No, Twilight, don’t leave me here!” Rarity trots towards where the alicorn was standing a moment ago.

I tap on the phone to disable the headset, then hold the speaker to my ear. Shining’s voice comes through at a distance. “What? Twilight? Why did you come here? You said you only wanted to hear about the spell because you were curious! Oh great, now two of us are stuck in Canada!”

I shake my head and sigh with disappointment. Great, now I’m stuck here with Pinkie and Rarity. I look up to see Rarity already complaining out loud about being the last unicorn and now the only pony within 100 miles who has the decency to cover herself in public. I sigh. Pinkie, I can deal with, but being stuck with this Rarity? Urgh.

24. Cross country.

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Chapter 24: Cross Country

“Pinkie, you sure about this?” I ask with trepidation as we wait for the the car to approach our location. We’re hiding in the corner of a local park. We need a way to get to our hotel, and Pinkie got the idea of having this someone drive us there.

Rarity nods. “I’m not terribly fond of it either Dash, but I do hope he arrives soon, I really need to use a bathroom.”

I crease my eyebrows, “Uh, Rarity we’re in wooded area, what’s stopping you?”

She looks back at me, aghast at hearing the suggestion. “What? I’m not peeing outside.”

Really confused now, I tilt my head. “Um, we’re literally ponies. How else could you possibly go to the bathroom?”

Pinkie snorts, “She still insists on using an indoor toilet. Personally, I never understood how that is even possible with these bodies.”

Rarity crosses her front forelegs. “Hmmf, well, I never went camping in my entire life, and don’t plan on doing my deed outside now.”

I smirk. “Rarity, you went camping before. Heh, remember the episode Sleepless in Ponyville? You do realize that was totally you, and that was camping.”

Rarity looks at me strangely. “That was me? Gah, that’s really weird to comprehend right now.”

I shrug, “You get used to it. Sort of.”

“Ohh! That’s his car!” Pinkie happily exclaims, ending the discussion for us as she bounces on her hooves. The car pulls up alongside where we specified and the engine shuts off.

I nibble on my lip as I inspect the car. Looks like it only has just the driver and no passengers. Just one human, that's good. If he tries anything I can just smash his face in. “Alright, be careful Pinkie, I don't want a repeat of what happened to you guys last night.”

The mare rests a hoof on my shoulder. “Dashie, don't worry! This guy is nothing like that, trust me.” Pinkie turns and spots the human getting out of his car. “Starbreezer!”

She leaves our hiding spot and runs out to greet him. His eyes light up and he kneels down, embracing her in a tender hug as she rests her head on his shoulder. He strokes her mane. “It's great to see you again, Pinkie. I came as soon as I could, you said you were in trouble?”

Pinkie nods. “My friends and I need someone to drive us out of here. We got trapped here in broad daylight and there are police everywhere now. We just want to get out of here, can you help us get back to our hotel?”

He breaks the hug and gives her a quick scratch behind the ears. “Of course I'll help you. Granted, the whole city is practically on lock down right now. Hopefully, your hotel isn't that far from here.”

Rarity steps out from hiding. “It's only about a mile away.” She gives him the address.

The man can't help but grin. “Rarity... wow, the pleasure is all mine.” He walks towards her and holds out a hand.

Rarity extends a hoof and gingerly shakes his hand. “Err, yes, nice to meet you.” She glances up and down the street as they shake. “Shall we get going?”

“Yeah, let's get moving.” He looks around for a moment. “Wait, Pinkie, I thought you said there were three of--.”

I step out from the bushes and hold a tense expression. Starbreezer's mouth stops working the second he sees me. “Y-y-you're...”

I roll my eyes. “Yeah, I'm a pegasus, let's get going.”

He holds a hand over his mouth. ”Oh my god... Best pony... She's real.”

I can't help but chuckle. “Uh, thanks?” I give my mane a shake. “Always nice to meet a fan.” I look up at him, and he appears frozen in space. He’s just staring at me like someone who got caught in the path of the second coming of Jesus. I sigh, “Right, so seriously dude, we need to get off this street.”

He snaps to attention. “Yes! Of course Rainbow Dash!” I'm pretty sure I hear a squee noise come from him, and then he starts to whisper to himself. 'Oh my god, oh my god, it's Rainbow Dash, it's really her. Just play it cool, gotta play this cool'. He awkwardly hurries over and opens the front passenger door to his car. “After you, Dashie.”

I glance at him and sigh, “Don't call me that. You didn't find me in a cardboard box.”

His eyes go wide as I trot into the car. “You... you read our fanfics? Oh my god, did you read mine? You were the main character and I wrote about how Twilight came to you asking for dating advice. She couldn't learn that from books, and she asked you to help her learn about love. Then, over the course of four hundred thousand words, you taught her true romance...”

He goes on about something or other but I tune him out and check the backseat to make sure Pinkie and Rarity are inside. I wave a hoof at him. “Starbreezer, it's a nice fic I'm sure, but can we start driving here?”

The human turns on the engine. “Oh, right, yeah.” He looks me over for a few seconds before putting the car into drive. “I just can't believe Rainbow Dash is in my car.”

Pinkie kicks his seat. “Oh, and what am I, chopped liver?”

I can't help but laugh at the display. I glance back at the two ponies in the back seat and an idea forms in my head. “Oh, Starbreezer, speaking of fanfics. Rarity here loves shipfics, do you know any good Rarity/Dash fics you could tell us about?”

I bite my tongue as I watch Rarity's eyes widen in horror. “What? No, why would I want to hear about those?”

Starbreezer ignores her protest. “Oh, sure, there are lots of great Rarity ship fics. My favorite one is called 'A Rare Rainbow'. It's pretty much a straight clopfic. It starts out with Rarity...”

Rarity groans and buries her face in her hooves, and I spend the rest of the car ride biting my tongue to hold back laughter. I think I like this Starbreezer guy.


“Shining, come on, you had to know I was going to try out that spell.” My sister rolls her eyes at me.

I facehoof. “Twilight, I know you like trying out new spells, but honestly now. Why would you intentionally come all the way up here?”

She trots over to the window and looks at the Vancouver skyline. “I admit, coming here isn't ideal, but I had to learn that spell. And the only way to learn it is to cast it.” She looks back at me. “And it's not just because I wanted to know it for the sake of knowing it. Teleportation is an entire branch of magic, knowing how to do this spell gives me a stepping stone into doing more advanced, and useful, teleportation spells.”

“Such as?”

She paces along the windows. “The show bible detailed how Twilight did her short distance teleports. You know, the basic teleport spell that Twilight uses all the time in the show? Well, Lauren Faust wrote that as long as Twilight could physically see her target location, she could send herself there just by looking at the location and thinking about placing her hooves over there.”

I crease my eyebrows. “That doesn't make any sense.”

She nods. “Exactly how I felt about it before. However, now that I know how to 'teleport home' I think I can do it. I mean, you taught me what it feels to teleport, and how to 'let go' from my starting position. So, using that key knowledge, I think I can piece together the rest of the short distance teleport spell.”

I nod, “Okay, I admit, that would be immensely useful to know how to do.”

Twilight walks closer to the broken windows and peers down at the street. “Which is why I had to try out the 'teleport home' spell. I knew I would have to try it at least once to understand how it worked. And while I didn't really want to come to Canada, better I come here now rather than like two days from now. I mean, you were already stuck up here, right? So I might as well join you if it means I can learn an entire new branch of magic in the process.”

I sigh, she has a point. Of course she does, my sister always wins arguments like these. “Fine, fine, I understand why you came up here. Now, since you're here, can you help me steal a car? Turns out, it's a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”

Twilight nods, not really listening as she looks out the window at the street. “Brother, do you see that cotton candy stand down there?”

I trot closer to the window and squint down at the street which is twenty floors down. “Hmm? What about it? What are you--.”


Twilight's horn glows for a second before she erupts into a spherical purple flash of light. I shield my eyes and stumble backwards, only to realize Twilight is gone. I look around in a panic. “Twilight? Sis?” Wait a second, did she just do what I think she did?

I run to the window, looking down at the cotton candy stand. Just as my eyes locate the spot I see a flash of purple from that location, followed a few seconds later by laughter erupting from the bedroom.

“Twilight?” I canter to her bedroom and find her laughing hysterically, cone of cotton candy still held in her mouth. My jaw drops, “Did you really just master the concept of short distance teleportation, in the thirty seconds it took you to explain it to me?”

Still laughing to herself, she reaches up a hoof and takes the cotton candy cone out of her mouth. “That street vender, oh my god that was priceless.” She wipes a tear of laughter from her eye. “Okay, so my teleport wasn't quite as accurate as I hoped. Instead of landing on the street like I planned, I materialized right on top of this poor guy's candy cart. I just appear on top of his food, less than one foot away from him.” She laughs again, then has to catch her breath for a second before continuing. “So then I try to act casual, and I calmly ask him for a small cotton candy cone. The poor guy picks up a cone of the candy, and then he just puts it in my mouth. He doesn't say anything, he doesn’t even break eye contact. He just stares at me, and then gives it to me without asking questions!”

I raise a hoof in sheer confusion. “And then, what, you just teleported away?”

“Yes!” She exclaims, bursting out in laughter again. “Can you just imagine his face right now? I mean, how could anyone react to that happening to them?” She erupts into a chorus of giggles.

I can't help but laugh a little myself before shaking my head. “Who are you, and what did you do with my sister?”

She takes a bite of cotton candy. “Oh, come on, I deserve some fun.”

I nod, “Yeah, I guess? I mean, you did just master teleportation in a matter of minutes somehow. Still not sure how you did that by the way.”

She swallows the candy. “Just more confidence I guess. I mean, now that I know I used to cast spells like that all the time, I just feel more comfortable trying them out.”

I raise an eyebrow. “You used to cast spell like that? What? When?”

She frowns. “Ah, right, you weren't there for Dash's speech. Uh, tell you what brother. Let's go steal that car, and then I'll have a story to share with you as we drive.”

I grin. “Not so fast, first things first. Teach me that short distance teleport spell.”

Twilight smirks. “Fair enough, you taught me the basic teleport, I suppose I owe you the other half of the lesson. It might come in handy later on.”

“Later on?” I gesture at the window. “Screw later on, I just want it to get some cotton candy.”


“So, this is the place?” Starbreezer asks as we pull into the sketchy looking motel. He puts the car into park and we all look around for signs of any humans.

The coast looks pretty clear to me. “Yeah, this is the place.” I open the door with a hoof and hop out onto the pavement. “Hey driver. Leave the motor running because we're on the run.”

Pinkie giggles and hops out the back, but Starbreezer just tilts his head in confusion. “Sorry, what was that Dash?”

Rarity joins him in the confusion. “I thought this was our destination?”

I shake my head. “I wish, but no, you girls were captured while carrying keys to your hotel rooms, right?” They both nod, and I continue. “That means the thugs had them back in that house that got caught in. And that means the FBI has them right now. They are no doubt on their way here right now thinking that these rooms belong to an associate of the 'terrorists' back there.”

Pinkie's ears drop, “Buck.”

Rarity glances at her. “Pinkie, language.” She sighs, “Dash here does have a point though, we can't stay here.”

The three of us look back at Starbreezer, his car still running. I paw a hoof at the ground. “So, Starbreezer, is there any chance you could drive us to--”

The man agrees before I can even finish my sentence. “Oh course! Anything for you Rainbow Dash. You say drive, and I shall respond with 'how far?'.”

I blush slightly, this is actually a little awkward. “Thanks kid. Umm, it won't be that far though, just north so we can find a hotel closer to the border. Anyway, wait here, we'll be right back with our stuff.”

He nods eagerly and the three of us ponies take off. The only room number I knew is Twiilight's, so we head there first. “How much stuff did you guys bring to your rooms by the way? If possible, we need to remove all the evidence that you stayed in these rooms. Think we can get it all in one trip?”

Rarity nods. “I would think so, there are only three rooms, and the four of us only brought about one bag's worth of items.”

We reach Twilight's room and I open it with the card from my saddle bag. I turn towards Rarity. “Wait, three rooms for four ponies?” She nods slowly and I feel myself smirk. “So, which two of you are shagging?”

Pinkie giggles and Rarity turns bright red. “Shining and I are not doing that, we just share a room because we are close friends, that's all.” I just smile. In truth, I already pretty much knew Rarity and Shining were close, but putting her on the spot like this is just too precious. Rarity clears her throat, “Ahem, so, let's get Twilight's belongings, shall we?”

I nod, and Pinkie and I grab all of her things while Rarity moves to use the bathroom quickly. There really isn’t much to take, but we get it all and then I step outside. “Okay, if you two are ready, let’s go onto the next room.”

“Sounds good.” Rarity nods as she moves behind me.

I glance back, both Pinkie and Rarity are in formation behind me. “Um, girls?”

“Hmm?” Pinkie responds, tilting her head like a puppy.

I chuckle, “Why are you two following me? I have no idea where your rooms are. I need to be following you two, not the other way around.”

“Oh, right.” Rarity stammers and she trots around me, blushing slightly. “Sorry, we just got used to you having all the answers, I guess. Um, follow me I suppose?”

She takes us up a staircase and to her old hotel room. I size up the door. “Okay ladies, stand back.”

They both stare at me. “What’s the plan? It's locked.”

“Pony lock picks.” I turn around and raise one of my back legs. How much force do I need to kick down a door? Hmm, maybe I should give it a gentle tap just to make sure I’m lined up correctly. “Okay girls, on three. One...” I jolt my leg to give the door a tap.


I wince as I feel the doorframe give and the door slams inwards. Rarity frowns at me. “I thought you were going to do it on ‘three’.”

I smile awkwardly. “Go figure, so did I.”

We all move into the room and raid it for belongings. I pause at the door and frown as I see the damage I caused. “So the FBI is going to show up thinking there are suspects here, and then they are going to see the doorframe is kicked in.”

Pinkie giggles. “Yeah, they are going to be really confused. I mean, look at the room itself, we left no fingerprints anywhere, but the carpet is full of hoof marks.”

Rarity nods as she looks at the room. “And the bed and blankets are full of horse hair. Oh, and the whole room smells like ponies.”

I laugh softly. “Okay, whatever, let’s get that last room. I actually feel bad for the guy that has to do a write up report on this place.”

We trot over to the last room and raid it for their personal belongings. All three rooms cleared, we head back down to the car.

Pinkie stops as we walk across the parking lot, “Uh oh guys, cherries and berries!”

I stop, “Cherries and what?”

Rarity pushes me forward, “Red and blue police lights! Either someone saw us and called the cops, or they traced those key cards and they are coming.”

We break out into a gallop, and soon the distant sound of approaching sirens are heard. Starbreezer’s car backs out of his parking stall and we meet him halfway. He pokes his head out the window. “Let’s go, let’s go!”

We clumsily pile into the car and Starbreezer accelerates before we even finish closing the doors. Thankfully, this parking lot has two entrances. Starbreezer heads for the far one, and we leave the parking lot just as several police cars drive into it from the other entrance. I hold my breath to see if any give chase, but no, they all park themselves.

“Close call.” I mutter.

Starbreezer nods, “I had faith in your guys. So, where we headed?”

I tap my smartphone and look for northern border towns we could use. “Bellingham.”


With Twilight's help, stealing a car was easy. I stare out the window as we drive. If I remember this right, we have about thirty minutes until we hit the border.

“So, what's the plan when we get there?” Twilight asks, yawning as she looks over at me.

My heart rate goes up as I see her actions. “Twilight, watch the road!” The purple alicorn is in the driver's seat, sitting casually on her hind legs as she works both the pedals and the steering wheel with just her magic.

She rolls her eyes, but turns back to face the road. “You have no faith in my driving, brother.”

I nod. “Yeah, well, excuse me for finding this whole thing a little uneasy. Are you sure you don't want me to hold the wheel?”

She waves a hoof at me. “I'm the physical embodiment of the Element of Magic. Pretty sure I can manage holding a steering wheel.”

I sigh and look back out the window. Twilight had just finished telling me what Dash explained to her. Apparently, we were ponies all along? My real name, and real life, is Shining Armor? I sigh, “Sis, I still don't know if I buy that story. I mean, sure it explains a lot of things, but it also raises some rather worrying questions. How can we possibly change back to being humans if this is who we are supposed to be?” I shake my head. “There has to be another explanation for all this.”

She yawns again. “Yeah, it is a bit out there, and I'm still not sure what it really means in the long run. That being said, Dash was pretty convincing.”

I cross my forelegs and sit back in the chair. “Pfft, and what makes Dash think she has all the answers? I mean, I'm eternally grateful she showed up and helped save Rarity and Pinkie, but I don't like how she thinks she can just come here and change all of our plans and tell us what she thinks is going on.”

Twilight raises one eyebrow. “Jealous you didn't think of it first, brother? In any case, Dash did have some pretty good points. How's this for starters: Does the phrase 'Five Score' mean anything to you?”

My frown fades. Five score, I knew that phrase, it's from something. I glance at Twilight and say the first thing on my mind, “Divided by four?”

She nods, then changes lanes to pass someone. “Exactly. It's going to be from a dream you are having, a certain recurring dream. A dream where you are, no doubt, doing something as Shining Armor.” She turns to look at me. “A dream that ends with Discord attacking you.”

I stare back out the window. “Yeah, for a long time I thought that was part of the season finale. Then, well, recently I have no idea what it is all about.”

We pass a sign that reads: United States border, 15 km. Twilight makes another lane change. “Those were your last moments as a pony before Discord sent you to Earth.” She sighs. “Or so Dash says anyway. Did you have anything exciting happen? Any good spells or anything?”

I scratch my head. “The only spell I really used was the ‘teleport home’ spell, which is exactly how I learned that one.” I look at her, still not entirely sure if I believed all this. “What about you? What happens in your dream?”

“Nearly all of it follows what happens in the show finale. I'm Twilight, and I'm waiting in Canterlot for Celestia to return. I feel Discord's presence outside my room, but pay it no real attention as he was supposed to be on our side. Then he starts dispelling Shining Armor's, err, your defensive enchants that were around my chambers. I was about to go out there and ask him what he was doing, but I figured he was just playing some practical joke on someone or something. In any case, I wanted to finish this letter I was writing to Cadance when suddenly I hear the door open. Before I can even really begin to react, Discord hits me with some magic and immobilizes me and prevents my magic. I struggle to move as I feel him start to charge some strange spell. He was preparing a spell unlike anything I felt before. I cry out asking what he's doing, and he just laughs as he sends me mental images of what he did to Celestia.”

My sister grits her teeth and pauses for a moment before continuing. “He showed me what happened, how he abused her trust and pretty much backstabbed her when she was at her weakest. I didn't understand what he was doing, and before I could really comprehend what was going on, he started saying that Five Score chant.”

I'm leaning towards my sister at this point, why didn't she tell me any of this earlier? “And then you felt your body start to slip away and all of your memories start to vanish? I know the rest I’m afraid.”

She looks at me and bites her lip. “Not quite. As you said I felt my body start to vanish and I felt a blanket or sorts start to cover my memories. I watched in frozen horror as Discord started to finish his chant, and then I could feel memory after memory start to vanish into nothing...”

I raise an eyebrow. “But...?”

She nods. “But, I knew what he was doing, I suddenly remembered that I read about terrible memory removal spells that were similar to what he was doing. I couldn't stop the spell completely since I was frozen. But since I knew what he was doing, I used precious seconds to try and save key memories.” She sighs. “Imagine you look up to see a blanket falling over you. I knew I couldn't avoid the blanket, so instead I just started poking holes in it as it fell. The blanket did fall over my mind, but by the time it did, it had hundreds of tiny holes in it.” She nods her head slowly. “And I think each of those holes revealed a small memory underneath.”

I feel my heart in my throat. “Then when you were a human, you had hundreds of those tiny glimpses showing you another life... so you built a make believe world around it, and used your toys to act it out?”

Traffic slows to a crawl as we near the border, and Twilight moves into an exit lane. “I don't know Shining, but, well I guess that all fits, doesn't it?”

I shake my head slowly, unable to fully comprehend all of it. “Why didn't you tell us this dream before?”

She sighs, “It didn't really make sense to me before. I never once thought I was actually Twilight from those dreams, so I never once thought to link that dream to reality. But then Dash came and started talking about how she was really Rainbow Dash...”

I stare at my hooves. “So that's it then, we really are ponies.” I look at my sister. “Twilight, that means we're never going to be humans again. We're stuck like this? Forever?”

Twilight doesn't make eye contact with me, and we exit the highway and pull onto a side street. She shuts off the engine, “Time to ditch the car. We have to hoof it from here.”

I say nothing and nod, gathering our things and passing them over to Twilight. Our faces cross for a second, and there are tears in my sister's eyes.


“Well, here we are, the city of Bellingham, just 20 miles south of the Canadian border.” Starbreezer pulls into a small hotel near a wooded area on the northern outskirts of the town. He drives us into a shaded area close to one of the hotel staircases and then stops the car.

“Thanks man, I really owe you one!” I give him a happy smile, knowing he would eat it up. This guy is still a touch creepy, but I have to admit, he really helped us out today.

He blushes. “Aww, shucks.”

Rarity digs through her bags and magics out a credit card. “Starbreezer, darling, can you go inside and rent some rooms for us? We have friends coming so get us like four rooms if you can.”

“And find out if they have room service!” Pinkie pipes up from the back.

Starbreezer grabs the floating credit card and nods, then makes his way out of the car. He suddenly stops and looks back at us. “Do you want me to crack the window open?”

I facehoof. “Heh, we’re not dogs dude, if we get hot in here I think we can figure it out.”

He stammers an apology and walks to the lobby. I chuckle, “Where did you guys find this guy?”

Rarity sighs, “Long story, I’m glad we found him though, he really saved us here.”

Pinkie rolls her eyes and makes a ‘tsk, tsk’ sound. “No one’s gonna say it, huh?” I look at her, confused, so she throws her hooves in the air. “Hey, Pinkie Pie, you’re so awesome! You just single handedly befriended this guy a few days ago, managed to get his phone number, was the only one to think of contacting him today, and successfully brought three ponies out of a city that was on armed lockdown! Wow, Pinkie, you are so great!”

Rarity grins wide and I blush and stare at the floor. “Well played Pinkie, and yes, thank you for all of the above.”

Pinkie just sticks her tongue out at me, and a few seconds later we see Starbreezer walking back towards the car.

The three of us get out of the car and he hands Pinkie the hotel keys and credit card before turning to Rarity and I. “The hotel is actually pretty booked, a lot of news crews are in town to film the military build up.”

“Oh, that’s great.” I don’t know which part of that sentence is worse. News crews in the same hotel as us? Well, that sucks. Military build up? What the hell, are they really still sore about my fly over?

He continues, “So anyway, they only had two rooms, but they both have two beds so hopefully that should work out.”

Rarity nods, “Splendid work Starbreezer, you really outdid yourself today.”

She reaches over to give him a hug. He smiles as he hugs her back. “I guess this is where we part ways.”

He turns to me, I do my best Dash impression, knowing it’s what he wants to see. “Hey, stay cool, Starbreezer. Maybe I’ll catch you around some other time.” I hold out a hoof and he shakes it eagerly, his whole body practically trembling in excitement.

Pinkie hops up beside him to give him one final big hug. “Starbreezer, I have to ask you something...”

“Yes, Pinkie?”

She pulls back from the hug and plants her front hooves on his shoulders, then looks him straight in the eyes. “Starbreezer...”

Pinkie leans closer, her mouth coming near to his. He swallows nervously, “Y-yes?”

Her nose is practically touching his as she looks deep into his eyes. “Starbreezer... did you ask them if the hotel has room service?”

I hold back laughter and see Rarity do the same. The poor guy’s face fills with confusion. “I, uh, they said no they didn’t have any but there were a few places in town that deliver.”

Pinkie nods, then bounces away from him. “Okie dokie loki!”

He shakes his head sadly, then remembers something and looks up at us. “Oh, wait! Speaking of food, I almost forgot about these.”

My ears perk up as I see him move to his trunk and open it up. I trot over and look inside to see two huge grocery bags stuffed to the brim with carrots and apples. My mouth starts watering on the spot. There is even a third bag full of candy, presumably just for Pinkie. “These are all for us?”

He nods, “Yeah, last time I met you guys you wanted food. Figured it would be the same today.”

I raise my eyebrows. “Wow, I don’t know what to say. I mean thanks, jeez, you didn’t have to do that for us dude.”

Rarity and Pinkie come over, also pouring out thanks. We divvy up the loot and add it to the other bags hanging off our backs. Another nice perk to being a pony, we can carry ridiculously heavy loads, no problem. I suppose I should feel a little insulted being used as a beast of burden like this, but nah, it’s actually pretty awesome to be able to carry this much.

Starbreezer gives us one last wave as he heads back to his car. I sigh, I wish I could give him something more to show my thanks. An idea pops in my head. “Yo, Starbreezer, hold up one second.”

“Hmm?” He stops and turns to face me. I open out a wing and select a nice, long feather. I bite down on it and pull, wincing from the painful prick as the feather gets pulled out.

I trot over to him and hand it over. “An actual pegasus feather from Miss Rainbow Dash herself.” I put it in his hand, noticing he is shaking so much he almost drops it. I chuckle. “Figure you would treasure it.” I sigh, “If I was a human, I know I would.”

Starbreezer clutches the feather to his chest and I think he tries to say thank you, but his mouth fails to work properly and it just open and closes silently. I smile once more. “Pleasure is all mine kid.”

I turn tail and move to catch up with the others, Rarity watches me with a smile as I arrive. “Well, that was nice of you.”

I shrug, “The guy gave me apples. I love apples.”

Pinkie, who, somehow is already done with an entire box of cupcakes, nods as she looks over at me. “Nice gesture Dashie. Here’s your room key by the way, room number is on the back.”

I put it in my saddle bag as Rarity speaks up. “Hang on, we only have two rooms for three ponies. Who gets their own room? Unicorn, pegasus, or Earth pony?”

Pinkie smiles. “Well, I still owe Dashie for saving my tush last night, so I think she deserves that room.” Pinkie grabs a key and tosses it to Rarity. “And you, missy, also owe Dashie for saving you, so I think that settles this.”

Rarity sighs. “Fair enough, I guess I share the room with Pinkie today.”

I grin, then check my smartphone. “Alright ladies, from the last text we got from Shining, I’d say we have about three hours or so to rest before they get here. We can regroup then?”

They both nod and we head off towards our rooms. Halfway there, Rarity has to stop for a moment to readjust her bags because she says its too heavy. I shake my head and move onto my room. Sheesh, unicorns these days, more fragile than a glass vase.

I enter my room and look around. Meh, pretty plain, really. Just a normal hotel room with two double beds and a bathroom in the back. Speaking of the bathroom though, man am I thirsty. I head over there and turn on the sink, dunking my muzzle underneath and chugging water like a racehorse.

After I have my fill I shut off the faucet and check my face out in the mirror. I look good, I still look really good. A mix of cartoonish color and realistic texture. Athletic, yet with a dash of femininity. Yeah, I’d buck me.

The sound of the front door closing makes my ears swivel. What the heck? I thought I closed that door when I walked in? My senses sharpen and I turn around and slowly creep towards the door that leads back to the bedroom. My ears pick up noises, there is definitely someone in my bedroom.

“Ahhh finally.” A feminine voice exclaims, followed by the sound of bags dropping. I raise my eyebrows in surprise and silently trot back into that room. I turn the corner just in time to see Rarity magically strip off her underwear, and then fling it behind her without looking.

I watch it sail through the air towards me, and I have to duck to avoid getting hit in the face with it. The show doesn’t stop there either, and I feel myself blush as she continues to strip. I clear my throat. “Ahem.”

She freezes halfway through pulling her garter belt off. “Dash? Oh god, I thought I was sharing a room with Pinkie.”

I trot forward. “Yikes, too much information. You meant to give that show to Pinkie?”

She blushes beat red and shakes her head as she faces me. "Pinkie said she was going to the vending machines, I wanted to change while I had some privacy!”

I walk around to her front. “Nope, no privacy here, just me.” I smile innocently.

Rarity blushes deeper and starts apologizing profusely. “Oh, jeez, I’m really sorry about that Dash.”

I wave a hoof at her, trying to dismiss the awkwardness. “Don't worry about it, you don't have anything I haven't seen before, right?” I give a soft laugh.

She just shakes her head. “True, but I still feel really embarrassed now. I don’t know what Pinkie was thinking sending me... oh.”


Rarity laughs softly. “Ah, Pinkie, getting revenge for the time I tried to get Shining to sleep with her. She played my own hotel room game against me.” Rarity smiles. “Clever girl.”

I raise my eyebrows. “There is clearly a story to be told there.”

She smiles innocently. “You would have to ask Shining.”

“Right.” I lean back, the seconds seem to tick by with the half naked Rarity just standing next to me. I rub my neck with a hoof. “So, Rarity, I'm not really into girls anymore...”

Her ears perk up and she takes a step back. “Oh, you thought I...?” She blushes red once more. “You flatter me Dash, but no, Shining and I are really close. I would never do anything with you.”

I smirk, “Ouch, I'm going to take that personally.”

She playfully hits me with a hoof. “Oh come on, you know what I meant.”

I nod, “Even since you became one, you're not into girls either? Even one as ravishing as myself?”

Rarity raises an eyebrow and looks me up and down. “Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far in describing you.”

I give my mane a shake. “Fine, how about we go with ‘a girl as dashing as myself’?”

Rarity laughs. “Puns, truly the highest form of comedy.” She glances me up and down again, “You look good Dash, but as you said, I'm not really interested in females anymore."

I sigh, “Yep, just another 'perk' of being a mare I guess.”

Rarity shrugs, then moves onto one of the beds. “It has its perks, and it has its downsides. But overall, well, I think I'm actually growing rather fond of it.”

I hop onto the other bed, actually enjoying being able to talk one on one with Rarity like this. Two random former guys, both forced into becoming mares, and both of us sort of have a guy on our minds now. It's rather comforting to be able to open up to someone in a situation so similar as mine. “I hear you Rarity. You know, I would never tell some of the others, but, well, I'm rather fond of how I turned out. Mare beats stallion any day of the week.”

Rarity uses her magic to shut off the lights. She laughs softly, “I hear you sister.”


Man, now I know why Twilight was laughing so giddily when she teleported for the first time back in the apartment. When your mind is consuming itself with existential worry about who you really are, screwing around with magic and moving through space is just amazing. It's just such a cathartic release of stress and a sheer joy to literally leave everything behind and move to a new location. And if I thought stealing cotton candy was fun, oh man, it's nothing like sailing through an international border and then moving miles inland.

We are traveling remarkably fast, probably faster than most cars can even travel. We teleport to a location in our line of sight, then gallop under some tree cover until the cover ends. Then we look out in front of us across the rolling hills and spot another chunk of trees. We line of sight teleport over there, then gallop under cover for a bit as our magic sort of 'recharges'.

Though, as fast as we are, I did still have time to observe my surroundings. I pause for a second at the edge of the forest, holding up a hoof so Twilight behind me stops. I look back at her, “Are you seeing this by the way?”

She pants, somewhat out of breath and clearly not used to all this physical activity. “Seeing what? The planes?”

I cast an eye upwards to once again see a formation fly overhead. “Okay, first off, those aren't just planes, they are F-16s in battle formation. Secondly, I'm more concerned with those.” I point a hoof to my left. On the field a few miles away are columns of parked armored tanks. Behind them is a temporary military camp strewn with tent barracks and hundreds of army personnel running around.

Twilight sighs. “The tanks? What about them? They're just parked.”

I wave a hoof, “We're less than 10 miles from the Canadian border, the US doesn't usually position tanks like this! And did you see the border crossing itself? With that much barbed wire and armed guards, you would think it’s a border with the Soviet Union.” I shake my head. “I don't know how Dash pissed them off this much, but this is getting really bad. With a powder keg this big, we're one lit match away from all-out war. Way to go Dash...”

Twilight sighs, “It wasn't Dash. Well sure, her flight probably didn't help things, but are you watching the news lately? There's a lot more going on around us, countries ranging from Chile all the way to Kazakhstan are ratcheting up tension on their neighbors.”

I back under a tree as a low flying military cargo plane flies overhead. “Why? What's causing all this tension?”

She waves a hoof at us. “If I had to guess, we are. Well not just us two, but you know what I mean. Ponies. There are more of us on Earth than just us six or whatever. There are almost certainly hundreds of us now.”

I squint. “And cute, cuddly, technicolor ponies are destabilizing world peace... how?”

Twilight shakes her head. “I don't know, but I guess it just upsets the balance of things. In some place I'm sure some ponies probably went public. Once the governments of the world find out unicorns exist, and they have the potential to do things like effortlessly teleport a bomb into the White House, well, I think you can see the problem. Heck, it might not even be us ponies doing anything directly. We already know Discord sent us here, who is to say he’s not hanging around, pulling strings in the background and preparing the world for chaos here on Earth?”

More fighter jets streak across overhead and I feel my ears go flat as I feel utterly helpless. “So, what's the plan then? Sit back and watch as the new pony race unintentionally destabilizes the world order? We’re supposed to be protectors of Equestria, not destroyers of Earth.”

Twilight shrugs, and looks over at the tanks. “I have no idea what we should be doing. Well, hopefully we can figure something out and fix things before some country draws its sword to kill an asp...”

I nod at the reference. “Well, for now let's just focus on getting away from any borders. Dash said they had a safe place back in the middle of Iowa? Sounds pretty safe to me.” I point a hoof at a patch of trees about a mile away and in the opposite direction of the tanks. “Next teleport target, right there.”


A beeping phone wakes me up, and I open my eyes to a dark room. “Hmm?” I mumble as I pull my head back and try to figure out where I am. Oh, right, in the hotel room with Rarity.

I read the text message on the phone strapped to my foreleg, then stumble out of bed. I then try to reach the light switch without killing myself in the dark. It's a lot harder than it sounds, since I totally forgot the hotel layout and I have four hooves that can all trip over things. I eventually stumble over someone's saddle bags, and my noisy fall wakes up my companion. “Mmm, who's there? What time is it for--.”

She abruptly stops talking, as I get up and flick on the bright overhead lights. I also wince from the sheer amount of light bearing down on us after far too little sleep. “Oh, hey Rarity? How are things?”

“Tired.” She says slowly.

I nod. “Rightfully so, that was only like three hours of sleep. Anyway, time to get up.”

I look up as Rarity slide out of the bed. Her hair is a complete mess and it has no resemblance of being curled. She really doesn’t even look anything like Rarity. She just looks like a young, white mare who still isn't entirely sure of who she is. And she looks positively adorable.

In any case, she shakes her mane and heads for the bathroom. “I need a shower.”

I glance at my phone's message to double check the time, then move to follow behind her. She enters the bathroom and starts to close the door with her magic, but I hold out a hoof and catch it before it closes. She stares at me. “A lady needs her privacy. I said I need to shower.”

I hold up the other hoof, showing her the phone strapped to that foreleg. “Shining just texted me. He said Twilight and him are only about 5 miles away, and they will be here in about 10 minutes.”

Rarity's eye widen in slight panic. “I have to clean up before they get here!”

I nod and pull the bathroom door open wider. “Exactly my point, so do I. I can't cast magic, so it takes me a good 15 minutes to clean myself with just hooves, and you probably need about as long. But if we shower together, I can clean you and you can clean me. No funny business, this is our best option.”

She squints at me. I know she realizes I have a point. Most humans probably don't realize how hard it is for a pony to actually clean themselves. Not only do ponies lack opposable thumbs, but our forehoof joints don't allow us to reach any part of our back or our flanks. Even the unicorns had it somewhat bad, as they were unable to see most of their back half and their magic relies on them seeing what they are doing.

Rarity nods slowly, “Fine, but like you said, no funny business. Just clean me and keep your eyes off my lady bits.”

I smile. “Oh Rarity, who do you take me for?.”