The clock's annoying alarm disturbs me from a sound sleep and I brutally smash my fist down onto it repeatedly until the noise quelled. I slide off my bed, achingly stretching both arms & legs as I stepped on the cloudy-white soft carpet covering every inch of my domain. I made way towards the mirrored closet meanwhile passing a short white dresser. After having a self reflective stand-off with my mirrored counterpart, I slide the closet open, peeking inside where I immediately noticed a coal-black suit-jacket and pants hung on a hanger.
Exiting the bedroom, with jacket and pants in arms, I travel along through the narrowed hallway towards my kitchenette. Laying the clothes on a kitchen chair, I sought out for the perfect ceramic mug in the cupboard where there's various cups from which to choose; some of red, blue and white, or one's with words "Good Morning" printed aside. I randomly selected a plain white mug then closed the cabinet.
While patiently waiting for the brewing coffee, I glanced out the kitchen window admiring the blazing star arising from stunning acres of verdant slopes. Off to the side there were some plentiful towering maple trees partially blocking the view.
Since the coffee was done, I poured the rancid liquid into the mug and drank it's bitterness. Without delay and ready for the day, I hop into my black BMW, ignited the roaring engine, then began driving the ten mile commute to work. The big city, really a metropolis, that I once declared invigorating and prosperous, has lately been feeling like a daily struggle of survival. Crime is everywhere on a regular basis and escalating. Many former businesses that ran our economic culture are now in run-down conditions with the streets lined by homeless beggars roaming about with littered cups of deficient change.
While driving, and zoning in thought, a red light suddenly brought me back to reality. I quickly stopped. Then out of nowhere a tarnished man in staggered and putrid rags for clothing was to the left of me, idling there, and for a moment I was confused. I wasn't sure what I should do, or what he expected me to do.
Then he took a couple of steps closer- grunting in a shriveled voice, "Can you spare some change?", he begged. I happily obliged by dropping a handful of metal coins into his empty palms and quickly drove off. I snicker hysterically knowing that I've given the poor fool outdated arcade tokens.
Work isn't much different. Being a journalist meant you write factual events that then are printed in the local newspaper. I, on the other hand, scribble gossip just for the amusement of ruining other people's lives. Luckily my boss favors me, otherwise I would have been fired years ago. This was a fantastic life, for me that is.
Once off work, I have a made-up career as an author writing countless fictional tales in my home office, tales that end up scrapped and shredded anyway. My office surroundings are simple at best; a cheap white desk, a banker's lantern, and a laptop specifically used for online billing payments. I often read my old "gamer's" magazines there too, but I abandoned the act of gaming many years back. Which explains why I had those tokens (recalling the homeless man earlier from today). Reading magazines is certainly better than reading the newspapers, to me at least.
Whenever frustration hits me, so does a writing block. Causing me to bum on the brown couch in the living room watching cartoon television shows to ease my tension. I have adored cartoons ever since I was little, and they're a part of my life even now that I'm fully grown. Their quirky adventures and amusing antics were remedies to those lonely, oppressing years. Growing older, I realize they are practically another useless habit like my dreams of becoming a writer. But even so, watching them does help keep me happy whenever I feel somber.
The grandfather clock, given to me by my foster father, sang it's musical chimes at 9:00PM. I slipped on a pair of old-worn flannel pajamas and slumbered the night away.
Tomorrow's sun ascends one end of earth's unreachable edge and awoke me with it's scorching gaze; readying for yet another diurnal course of dull life. Moments after showering and eating breakfast, I peered out the window seeing inexplicable storm clouds ominously reigning over the blue yonder. Although yesterday the weather channel had foretold a clear, sunny day. I wonder why I even check the weather forecast, they mostly never get it right. Just one more wrong thing in the day.
My phone then spontaneously rings from an unexpected caller. Answering it I greeted, "Hello, sir.", knowing that it was my boss. 'Thank God for caller ID' I thought.
He heeds a warning about the threatening storm and strongly recommended I remain indoors until it subsides. That being said, I resume slouching in the living room watching more cartoons. When my phone rings, it's usually a surprise. Because of how I treat others so poorly, I have no friends with which to talk. There are random times when my mother calls, with the typical parental wonderment of how I'm doing. However I don't find being anti-social problematic, it's the very reason I live miles away from civilization.
After awhile, I needed something more than Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney (since I've pretty much seen every popular show), so I began surfing channel to channel locating for anything of interest, then I stumbled on an unfamiliar network called 'The Hub'.
Pondering on the selection, I settled in for what this newly found host had to offer. Time escapes me as I found few of their features entertaining. Although I have seen better. Later my stomach protests loudly for food, so I rushed off to the kitchen with developed cravings for a ham sandwich along the journey. Paying astute attention to assembling the ingredients (much like you would when creating a masterpiece), I could barely hear The Hub's annunciation of it's premier program from the kitchen. I then hurried completing my edible work of art and returned to the scheduled programming for which I was curious. The show -- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic -- starts playing it's harmonious theme. I cringed from the sight of it, saying to myself- "yeah, not happening."
I extend an arm out for the remote control in order to change the channel, but an unknown force refrains me from grabbing it - weighing my body down heavily that I can't budge a single movement. What twisted paranormal activity succumbs me to this abominable program? Is it the wondrous melody, the colorful environment? It was quite a mystery to untangle.
My attention was mystically caught by a timid pegasus named Fluttershy who appeared on screen. Her piercing blue eyes, her silk-like pinkish mane, her tender voice, allured me into a trance. It was like being on a titanic ship cruising over vast, calm waters of an ocean. Soothing and tranquil. Until suddenly the booming thunder disrupts my voyage, making it set a collision course into an iceberg, thus snapping me out of hypnosis. I then swiped the remote and turned off the television as quickly as possible.
I couldn't perceive that surreal exploit; it'd been like my mind was warped to an abyssal pit as my vision blurred. Then I remembered the sandwich creation being prepared just before the show, therefore I made a mental note: I ought to be careful how much I use of my "special" secret sauce. It sufficed as a reasonable explanation of my programming choices.
Time prolapses and the relentless storm continues it's devastating downpour. Lightning then strikes, and my whole house faints to a total power outage. With no electricity, or television, I resort to using the wifi-hotspot on my smartphone and battery-charged laptop to sign-in online.
Browsing the internet on YouTube, I bothered listening to some Dead Island Trailer music with the rain & thunder going on outside. They complimented each other so perfectly. But the same can't be said of the comments section. Turns out that 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' somehow burrows it's way being related to this video. 'My Little Dashie'? 'Save Derpy'? 'Brony Community'?. This absurdity had me chuckling at every bit of it.
The lightning's flash outside startles me and caused me to jump so abruptly that I almost flung off my swivel chair. Afterwards, power comes back alive as a light bulb above flickers it's way on as the mighty storm & winds lifted instantaneously. Things just keep getting more interesting by the minute.
Finally with returned power, I attend the living room tempting myself on watching more cartoons. But frankly there came a point when a viable thought occurred, 'When was the last time I cleaned the house?'
Responsibility & laziness initiate a conflict within my brain; fighting as to whether I do chores or do nothing. Soon the conscious rebellion was resolved by responsibility's triumph. I note down a small list of chores, having the chore 'clean garage' as my first choice. In the brightened hallway I halt at the garage door, breathed deeply, twisting it's brass knob clockwise. Creaking it open I've already been welcomed by a repulsive stench emanating inside, an odor so disgustingly foul that I gagged from barely sniffing it. To resist breathing the smell I mask my nose with my shirt's collar, and I proceeded inwards.
The garage's yielding darkness shrouds my field of vision, and I flicked the light switch, but it was burnt out. It is fortunate that I carry a pocket-sized flashlight to help guide my footsteps. I crept more than walked as I can partially see, finding myself squinting with pure adrenaline driven to concentration. Coming upon an object amidst the shadows, I stopped and discovered it to be a table with assorted cardboard boxes laid on top of it. Looking into them, there were all sorts of miscellaneous items not worthy remembering or attaching a name to. Exploring through the useless junk I did find an album labelled 'Linkin Park'. Long ago I loved their reputable rock music, but as years pass you tend to grow out of it, so I threw away the CD and continued scavenging with less vigor. Having no absolute luck finding anything else I discouragingly sighed "Nothing..."
Not much else to do, I weakly tap my white adidas to the furniture's leg, but all of a sudden the leg snaps, breaking in two, then all the boxes and table horribly came crashing down creating a huge ruckus. Afterwards a faint, squeaking noise was heard further back of the garage, making me presume it was mice. Despite thinking that way, I delve deeper towards it's whereabouts, but getting closer thickens the horrid stench and I could dare say something might have died in here. Later, coming to an immediate halt, I notice a stray cardboard box impeding my pathway. Rather peculiar there's a box astray from the others, and I once again hear the squeaking coming directly from within.
Leaning down and inspecting it, I made obvious statements this is an ordinary box that may contain nests of mice. However, my curiosity thwarts the theory, making me infinitely assume what else may be inside. Soon I overhear the grandfather clock's chimes go off from the living room, and because I want to stay on schedule, I stood up shrugging, then walked out leaving the cardboard container unopened.
Hours later, at midnight precise, I woke up contorting underneath my sheets, yearning for cool refreshments. So I went into the kitchen and drank an icy-cold glass of water from the faucet, then went straight back to bed to slowly drift away once again. But before I have fully gone to sleep, that confounded cardboard box reappears inside my mind and no matter how I claimed it's nothing out of the ordinary, my undying curiosity compels me to return.
After several failed attempts resisting, I got up walking past out of the bedroom and into the garage with a flashlight in hand. As I entered, tracking back where I previously found it, I remain puzzled why my curiousness has dragged me out here just to see what this box contains. There could be a variety of things that aren't worth value, or am I wrong? Regardless, whatever's inside, opening it is the only way I can relieve this unbearable stress I'm enduring; the only way to get closure.
I bent a knee down as I lowered my head closer while clenching the flashlight between my teeth, opening lid by lid with my free bare hands. By removing two already can I see something... furry and small, like a puppy almost. As I remove the third lid that's when my heart began beating eccentrically as I familiarize the banana-colored fur. I grew hesitant lifting the final lid, but when I did, what I saw cannot possibly be real. Left frozen in absolute shock, eyes shockingly widened, knees constantly shaking, I wanted to believe it was some sort of hallucination just so I know I'm not going crazy. But then... I heard it's squeaking cough.
There was no longer denying the inevitable, as what I see before my own eyes is an actual... filly Fluttershy. This was scientifically impossible! A fictional cartoon pony, here, resting in a cardboard box inside my garage. Awestruck by the sight, a question comes to mind, 'Could that storm have anything related to this?' I thought.
Exposed to the cold atmosphere, Fluttershy had awoken from shivering and perks her head up at me. For the duration we stare at each other with me glaring down at her as she quietly trembles from my intimidating size.
Breaking the silence I reluctantly spoke "Uh... hi?"
She frightfully yelped in response and hid her face to a corner of the box, refusing to make another glance.
"Well, much as I'd like to stay but uh... I'll be on my merry way."
I waved my hand, rose up, and walked out leaving the filly all alone and scared. Before I got to the door, I heard a thud and turned around pointing my flashlight at the box which was tipped over. The filly that used to be inside couldn't be traced. Suddenly I felt something grasp on to my leg, hence it was Fluttershy shaking timorously as she didn't want to be left abandoned.
"A-ha that's cuuute," I spoke sarcastically. "But no, seriously, you can let go now."
I lightly shook my leg, yet she maintains her firm grip.
"Okay, I mean it. You better let go or else." I snarled.
I was becoming crankier the longer she held on, then I violently shook one last time before she looked up at me. The minute I stared down into those tearful eyes of hers, my heart exploded like a fused stick of dynamite.
"Don't you look at me like that..."
She continues giving me that puppy-dog stare.
Her adorableness was inresistable, and I exasperatingly sighed giving into it "...Fine, you win."
Fluttershy's lips greatly tug a bright smile, and she hugs my leg tighter than before.
I resume walking back in the house with Fluttershy happily attached to my leg and as we entered she'd then let go, but slamming the garage door shut I could pick up that awful smell, making me hunch it's coming from her coat. Praying she entirely understands english I settled some ground rules, "Alright, in this building you are to not touch anything, that includes the television. You are not allowed in the office whatsoever,". Before stating the third, my nostrils detect the putrid stench, "And you could really use a bath!"
I'm not sure if the little thing understood what I just said. As it occurred to me, she does appear very much younger than her usual self, because from what I know, the mark on her flank is gone. So I guess she might not be able to talk yet either.
Taking the smelly pegasus to my bathroom I gently stuck her in the empty bathtub, twisting both levers letting water rapidly gush out. The sudden bursting water startled Fluttershy so much that she jumps and hooks herself on to my face.
"Come on, it's just water."
Up to a certain degree, I turn off the faucet and hoisted the timid filly over the steaming pool. She cautiously dips a hoof in, then to a discovery, she found it's warmth pleasant and promptly jumps into the water playfully splashing about. A good portion of it splashes across my face, but I wasn't mad nor did I frown, instead I politely smirked. After rinsing, drying and grooming I can safely say I no longer whiff up the odor from her furry coat.
Losing track of time, I take a small glance at my digital wrist-watch knowing it is an hour past midnight.
"Crap..." I cursed inaudibly, ensuring she couldn't hear my swearing.
Although I wasn't done with Fluttershy yet. When her stomach growled I already can guess what she needed next. I'm not some zoologist or an animal person really, but she seems big enough to have developed some teeth. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, I rummaged through the refrigerator, finding anything suitable she'll likely eat.
I dangled out sliced ham to her, "You like?"
She closes in sniffing it, then returns a disgusted feedback.
"Oops... I forgot.", I withdrew the ham and showed her a slice of cheese, "How about this then?" I asked.
She sniffed it, but shook her head this time.
I thoroughly stroke my bottom chin thinking what she can munch on, then I presented her the only fruit I had: an apple. The red fruit caught her utmost attention as her eyes gleam, she didn't need to smell knowing what it was.
"Ahhh, this you like, eh?"
I set it down in front of her and she begins devouring the apple vigorously until what was left are plain seeds.
"Quite an appetite you have there."
Fluttershy graciously smiles while letting out a hearty, satisfying burp. So with her fur washed and hunger satiated, I believed this was the promising moment where I can finally get some shut eye.
"Considering I don't have spare blankets, you can sleep on the couch if ya like, or the floor. Whichever you prefer. I'll turn up the furnace just so... you know." I yawned.
Fluttershy's smile stays, and I excessively stretched my arms out yearning for sleep. I shut off the living room, the kitchen and the hallway lights. As I prepared for a visit to dreamland in pajamas, Fluttershy goes helping herself to my bed.
"Ah-ah-ah, no, no. You sleep on the COUCH, not my bed." I emphasized.
I lifted and placed her down out of my bedroom and closed the door before she could get back in. I slide into the sheets and got comfortable afterwards. What felt like not even five minutes do I hear Fluttershy weakly knocking on my bedroom door.
'Stay calm. Eventually she'll stop.'
Telling myself that, and before I knew, Fluttershy persistently knocks on the door while I ignore her audible cries. Ten minutes later... knocking. Thirty minutes later... some more knocking. It was until then I couldn't take it anymore, so I sorely rose up and allowed Fluttershy to sleep on the comfy bed. Seeing how she had trouble getting up there I helped her out, yet I noticed she was terrified of something.
"What now?!" I groaned.
Fluttershy responds by jerking her face towards my open closet. My eyes rolled from the foolishness.
I slid it shut, and her nervousness fades.
"There, can I please go to sleep now?"
Finally catching some several hours of sleep, I wake up feeling Fluttershy's gentle breaths stroking against my face's skin. Hardly jerking to my left a little, I see her napping with a precious smile as her tail curls around my tingling neck beard. I refrain the urge itching, but after watching that, I think I just got diabetes.
The next morning arrives and I lie asleep practically at my bed's edge. Shifting slightly, I rolled off landing face first down onto the floor and roughly woke up rubbing my aching forehead.
"Damn it!" I grumbled.
Bitterly rising from the ground I realized Fluttershy was no longer there where she slept. I wandered every part of my house searching, seeing the filly cannot be found. I sighed in great relief.
"Whew... it was merely a dream. For a minute I thought it was all real, boy what a relief! There was no way would she actually been real. Well, I better start the day then."
I proudly walk towards the bathroom, and never was I so glad knowing she is finally gone. After a relaxing shower and getting dressed, I drive out to my job working until my shift's end. Returning home I hung my coat & hat on the front door's hanger, then as I turned around catering myself to the kitchen... I astoundingly jumped upon discovering Fluttershy sitting there in front of me joyfully wagging her tail.
"What the-" my jaw dropped. "Alright, get a hold of yourself, you're just being delusional." I said agitated. "By the time I cover and open my eyes she'll disappear."
I covered both eyes with my hands and moronically spun around for good measure. I take my palms away and Fluttershy still sits there having her head tilted. I frantically slapped across my face trying to ensure if it'll do the trick, yet it proved no luck. I wasn't sure my mind either is playing games or what, but I won't allow this irrationality take advantage of me.
"That does it, I think it's time for you to leave." I angrily stomped.
I opened the front door where I carried Fluttershy a few feet away from my house. Mildly freezing outside, due to being fall in October, I shivered as I breathe out hot air. At a fair distance, I set her down and rushed back into my sanctuary shutting the door behind.
"Much better..." I brushed my shoulder.
When I was about to go make something to eat, a weak knock hits my front door beforehand.
I re-open the door wide and saw poor old Fluttershy rattling like a skeleton.
"No! Go home! I already let you stayed a night, what more could you possibly want?!" I shouted.
She balances on two hind legs then gives me that exact heart-melting pout earlier from last night.
"Oohhh no, that's not going to work on me this time," I remain standing with arms firmly crossed and stern eyes gazing down at her. "go on. Go back where you belong." I shunned.
Purely disheartened, her ears fallen back, the dejected pegasus trots sluggishly away towards the open fields. Happy as I am she is leaving for good, a shot of unanticipated pain prickles my heart. I assumed this obscure affliction wasn't natural as it could have been Fluttershy's sadness affecting me. Pity fills my mind as it falters me from closing the door, urging me to reconsider, so I straightened and went after her.
Catching up, I tried speaking properly without acting stubborn between my sentences.
"Look. I know I've been pretty selfish lately. But if it really means a lot to you, I guess you can stay as long as you like."
Ecstatic, the pegasus turns around and lunged herself into my arms, licking the side of my face.
"Alright, alright. Don't get all lovey dovey on me. You're lucky that I had a change of heart, is all."
After proposing shelter, I carried Fluttershy into my beloved house and throughout the day kept her warm, fed and tenderly cared of. Makes me feel like I have a pet of my very own, only in this case it's a pony from a cartoon. Yet I'm morally confused how she has gotten here, I mean, I only watched an episode halfway, so I'm clueless beyond that point. Well, I don't know what catastrophe has led to this cause because needless to say it's none of my concern. Although with Fluttershy here as a filly, who probably doesn't know herself even, I'm left burdened to nurture her until the cosmos resolves everything.
Why couldn't she have landed in a brony's house instead, at least they believe it'd be a dream come true. I might call a brony, if only I knew one. Nevertheless, her existence makes me wonder if other worlds do exist, like we're not really alone after all. I shrugged neglecting these theories, right now I'm a bit frisky since I hadn't smoked for a while. Due to some medical conditions I use an electronic, nicotine-free, cigarette than normal cigarettes. Not the ideal replacement, but the nostalgia of puffing out smoke calms my nerves.
An exhaustive week has passed and Fluttershy still consists inside my house. Normally each day during that week I would be welcomed by Fluttershy's delightful smile as I come home from work. Prior leaving I leave a small glass of milk and an apple out so she wouldn't starve. Of course when I return home I find a milky mess all over the kitchen floor. I'm not knowledgeable to this stuff, especially since I forgot she doesn't have hands. I myself am to blame for being stupid though.
Because I refuse to watch the show, I sign on my computer seeking infinite wisdom the internet provides. What luck that they have profound details of her, and some other... "things" I will purposely overlook.
I researched every vital info necessarily needed, comprehending she's an extremely timid pegasus who adoringly cares for animals. Regardless, it doesn't explain much else except that her kindness knows no boundaries.
Believe it or not, back when I used to be a kid I was a lot like Fluttershy in personality; sweet, kind, thoughtful. But my foster father's negative influence changed me to become the man I am today, not that I'm complaining. Speaking about parents, bluntly saying why I never mention my real parents is that I was abandoned on a doorstep when I was just a baby. I presumed they gave me up because it may have been money issues or the fact they didn't love me. It no longer matters now that I'm living a full and average life, and if they're out there somewhere, I hope they rot under a bridge regrettably sulking for what they did.
Getting off track. The internet yields no knowledge of Fluttershy's birth-date, so after thinking long and hard I declared her birthday should be October tenth; the day I found her. How ironic considering it's the date 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' first premiered. Knowing that, I fearfully speculate on how I sound almost like a part of the brony community.
Well, November is just a day away and there's no hope when Fluttershy will return to her home world. I get the disturbed insight that she could be stuck here longer than I imagine. Actually, retract that previous statement. What if she's stuck here forever? This won't bode well for me at all...
Early morning in the beginning of November I began my usual routine: waking up, showering, eating breakfast, go to work and return home. Even with Fluttershy around my lifestyle hasn't changed much, although there were days more unique than others, like one day she would mimic what the characters would do on the television screen. Her representation of how a child would act causes me to tug a smile oftentimes. I must somewhat admit that I am enjoying spending time with company, even if it's a pony from a fictional show. In spite of that I really prefer my old, normal life again.
Around those repetitious days I examined Fluttershy's height and weight, rounding her to be an age of three, or four perhaps. Not sure how long I'm keeping her, but I suppose for the time being I'll help Fluttershy learn how to talk and read. Luckily I can memorize my lessons from homeschooling, yet do I want to? My foster mother wasn't dandy comparing to her husband either. Still, I can at least try teaching Fluttershy how to speak.
A whole year loops since that eventful night. Felt as if that year went very slow, and it kills me not knowing when Fluttershy will have to leave. Whatever her friends are doing on their world better have a reasonable excuse why they're tardy.
Through those dull months, Fluttershy has been taught well by my teachings, then again I did remember something on the internet about her fast learning abilities, though she hasn't quite perfected the 'r' as how I've had trouble pronouncing when I was her age. The times she asks for a carrot she would say "cawwot". Her concern about my health created a discussion that she comprehends why I smoke an electric cigarette. I admire her worries, yet I'd say it's none of her business.
Disputing with my other half, my parental ego, I wanted to let the small pegasus frolic through the wondrous, grassy hills expanded far beyond vision. After all, I can't keep her confined in this house doing nothing but watching television. Everyone needs a break every now & then.
As we start heading outside, Fluttershy initially became anxious, but in due time she grows accustom to the natural environment. I walked as she trotted alongside as we moved towards my favorite point of view; a spectacularly large maple tree centered on a rounded slope apart from many others - the only tree closest to the house. Plus it's bulk branches and leaves act as an umbrella. You could stand beneath and stay dry.
Fluttershy gaily skips around the beautiful tree as I lay down cloud gazing. Meanwhile, I infinitely ponder the peculiar night where I lost control of my willpower to the show. Is it under this hollow soul there is still a flame flickering within? Can Fluttershy's kindness truly be an answer for this lonely, depressing life? Nah, I highly doubt it. I guess it's the tacos I've eaten recently, once again making a mental note: I really NEED to lay off the special sauce.
Afterwards, the cheerful pegasus joins me as well. We played a game naming the clouds corresponding to their patterns and shapes while laying next to each other.
She points a hoof at the flock of geese flying south, "What are those?" Fluttershy wondered.
"Why, they're geese." I replied.
"You could say that," I shrugged blatantly, "but you know what else is pretty?"
"Hm?" she hummed.
I quickly grabbed and held her above me, "You!" I softly hollered, nuzzling my nose's tip to hers. Fluttershy then joyfully giggles returning the affection. Her child-like laughter sounded so sweet and delicate.
As we stayed under the tree, obnoxious winds slowly begin to pick up as tiny raindrops pour down from the misty yonder. Me and Fluttershy scurry back into the house to avoid catching a cold. Perhaps tomorrow we'll go outside and glance at the clouds again, though this time we'll camp out under the tree.
Later a storm reigns over the night, and I wore my pajamas readying for a nocturnal rest. On the brown couch I tucked Fluttershy in with an olive-colored blanket - a neatly soft fabric I found underneath the tumbled junk in the garage. I did wash it beforehand. However, the raging thunder roars loudly that she was too startled from falling asleep.
"Afraid of thunder, huh?"
"Y-y-yes." she stuttered.
"You don't have to worry. Thunder only makes sound, and sound can't hurt you," I lightly patted her head, "Well, sleep tight."
As I rose up, Fluttershy desperately yelps "No! Don't leave, please!"
I sat back down next to her, "But Fluttershy we already established this; you're old enough to sleep by yourself."
"Can you at least stay until I fall asleep...?" she whimpered.
There was that look again... the same heart-shattering expression she hasn't used for many months.
"Hmph. Alright, I'll tell you what. If you help clean around the house each week you can sleep on my bed however you want. You won't have to sleep on this crummy couch anymore."
"Weally?! Oh, thank you- thank you- thank you!" said Fluttershy cheerfully.
With the predicament diverted, I brought Fluttershy into my bedroom where we both lie comfortably under the bed's sheets. As I slowly drift to slumber, I'd been given a soft kiss on my face's left cheek. Fluttershy then snuggles herself closer to my side, close enough that I feel as if I'm her personal teddy bear.
"Thank you." She whispers with a grateful smile.
"You're welcome. I guess." I murmured.
"I love you, Daddy."
My eyelids flip open as my whole body froze up. Is what I heard cannot be purely mistaken? Did she actually call me a dad? Me... a father? Of all things I've been told by several people: creep, scumbag, jackhole, etc. etc., the last thing I would imagine being called is a dad. Not only that but those three words -- "I love you" -- rendered me speechless. My mind repeats them again, and again, and again, there isn't any other way she said it. She... actually loves me. From when I used to believe I was raising a pet now serves a whole different meaning; I have been raising Fluttershy like... a daughter I never had. A daughter who can love me, cherish me, or whatever she thinks of me as. Nobody, not even my parents, has ever loved me before. Only she, a pony that shares no family blood, loves me.
Having to reply was difficult, because this will be the first time words such as these have ever been spoken out of my mouth, "And... I love you too, my dear Shy."
Here comes another year as Fluttershy hits the age of six, at least according to my estimation. It's unbelievable that after two whole years I'm caring something people would call me crazy over. An actual Fluttershy is here sleeping on my lap while I sit watching cartoons. I normally watched cartoons as a meager escape to happiness from the torturous reality I called life, but it was a hopeless struggle. Another way I expressed happiness was being distasteful towards others. It worked since then, however that's when I found this little equine, and I honestly wasn't pleased where life would take me there. But after experiencing what it's like to be loved -- an ancient feeling I thought long forgotten -- I feel her existence here is possibly just more than a coincidence.
That is until I realized her time here may not last forever...
I think to myself on endless possibilities: what if when Fluttershy gets too old and a mystical portal of their realm rips open in front of us, and there, her friends are on the other end awaiting her return. Or what if she isn't real? I might be petting a overgrown mutant rat for all I know. Proving she is real I would ask her to do the simplest thing.
"Fluttershy," I nervously spoke.
"Yes?" Fluttershy softly replied.
"Do you think you're able to flutter down there and change the channel using the remote?"
She obediently nods and hops on down trotting to the remote laying on the coffee table a few feet ahead. Instead of using her hooves she profoundly punches a button with her nose thus the channel on the television changed. Observing the entire thing relieves me of my troubled worries. Then the pegasus jumps back onto my lap preening her feathers.
"Did I do good?" she asks staring at me anticipating for my reply.
I tugged a wide smirk as I comb my fingertips through the strands of her elegant mane. Fluttershy greatly returns a smile and rests her head over my forearm. It's official: she's not an overgrown rat.
Fluttershy has grown to the age of seven, and keeping her promise, she cleans the house each and every week while I'm absent. In a funny way she enjoys it as a hobby now. Compensating for her work I would purchase movies suited to her interest: The Lion King, 101 Dalmations, Aristocats, and such. I can't tell how many times Fluttershy loves Lion King, it is her all-time favorite movie, but whenever it came to the Mufasa death scene, Fluttershy would cry out a river of tears.
Caring Fluttershy's needs is not as tough as one might expect. I mean, she mainly eats fruits and vegetables that are really cheap to spend. On random occasions do I allow her to have ice cream, though I myself am partially blamed for introducing the icy treat on her third birthday.
Little what I know about animals, I've taken notice Fluttershy is becoming more fond of them.
A specific day where I went grocery shopping (due to our supply of apple juice running low), I stumbled on animal crackers thinking 'Animal crackers? Fluttershy sure would love these'. Boy was I terribly wrong. When I showed them to her she scolded me and wouldn't say a single word for the whole day. I merely assume she'd love animal shaped products. Then again... eating miniature animals doesn't sound appealing when you put it that way. She couldn't stay mad at me forever since it wasn't intentional, but on one condition we both agreed upon that we'll never eat gummy bears, animal crackers or any animal-themed snacks ever again.
Fluttershy has aged a bit, and considering her wings have nicely developed, I think this is the promising day she'll learn how to fly. Again, because what I not know much about animals, or birds even, I resort to using the internet for studying aerodynamics while writing down notes on a notepad. Shame I can't draw step by step sketches - normally those are easier to understand. You know the saying: "A picture can tell a thousand words just by looking at it". I suppose writing can still suffice.
It's almost time... and greatly am I excited that now as I gander outside the sky is crystal clear and subtle. How most fortunate the weather is barren of storm clouds. This'll be the utmost opportunity we'll ever get.
The bright star showers it's scorching rays past the office's window down unto my being, but rather than irritation I favorably welcome it's huggable warmth. This is a first I'm appreciative at the sun. That doesn't stop there either, evidently Fluttershy's influence encouraged me to be kind toward others; giving the poor and homeless some nickels and dimes they begged for. Scribbling truth and facts on events that redeem my respect from the other employees down at work. I believe I'm slowly turning into a better person than I was before, and in a way does it make me feel satisfied. I even began quitting smoking.
Spending extra time researching for precocious reasons, I finally finished up and closed the laptop. As I stood up getting ready for our momentous day, I could hear Fluttershy tossing and turning in my bedroom. I guess she's having some sort of terrible dream. I exit the office and quietly approached the blissful pegasus sleeping on my bed.
I lean down gently shaking Fluttershy from her beauty sleep, greeting her cheerily, "Good morning."
"Mmmm. Morning." she stretches her tired limbs while yawning.
"Be polished, for after breakfast we're doing something special today."
"Because for your birthday today, I'll be teaching you how to fly."
"Oh..." she reluctantly answered.
The sheer nervousness I saw through her wasn't what I expected. Well, now that I recall, I forgot the internet interprets her persona of being a ground-type pegasus than a normal one. I wouldn't blame her. I too get panicky from escalating heights. Whether or not she must learn how to, I mean, what kind of pegasus wouldn't be able to fly?
Back to tasks at hand, Fluttershy's face composed tenseful anxiety; acting as if she's unwilling to partake this special event.
I pulled Fluttershy closer and stared deep into her glistening eyes.
"There's no need to be afraid. Just remember that I'll be there rooting for you."
Though nervous, Fluttershy was willing to give it a try. Finishing breakfast, we mark our path out of the house towards the nearest tilted slant.
Taking a gander over the broad horizon; the flowery outcropping of waving petunias, the comforting aroma from the sturdy maple trees. I inhale and exhale a batch of fresh air saying to Fluttershy, "Aren't these hills just glamorous? It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful life surely can be."
Fluttershy agreeably nods in gesture. Based on limited knowledge I instructed the timid pegasus every little warm up to build adrenaline. At a go her wings began flapping weakly. Every second of practice they flap faster and faster - to the moment where Fluttershy is hovering a few feet off the ground.
"Don't look down." I heeded her.
She of course peeked below and gasped in shock, thus her wings froze in mid-air, Fluttershy mildly plummets back down onto the ground. Tending to her aid, I saw the pegasus sulking miserably. Being thorough, I examine for any injuries or marks. There, on her left wing, is a small scrape, yet it was nothing serious, however I regret not bringing a first aid kit. Tears come trickling down across her cheeks with a grimacing expression that sank my heart tremendously, so I lean in to an affectionate hug in order to soften her painful sorrows.
"Shhh. It's alright," I whispered, "there's no need to cry. Not everyone can get it on their first try."
Fluttershy perks her eyes meeting at mine, listening to my words of sympathy.
"You know. Back in the years when I was probably your age, I would attempt at things I never done before. Now my father wasn't the supportive type, but when he spoke to me he said "As long as you strongly believe in yourself, there is nothing you can't do". He was right."
My inspiring words come through as her frown slowly fades.
"From what I've seen, you have the potential. You just need to set your fears aside and focus on the main goal. Don't ever think you're alone, because I will always be there for you, no matter what. I believe in you, my dear shy."
My motivational speech has taken effect. The determination in her zealous eyes. A strong will made of iron. She wanted another attempt, and for that I couldn't have been more proud. Impoverished her first effort was, I could tell the second time shall be the 'moment of truth'. Standing completely still, Fluttershy congregates enough energy to hover at the same altitude she previously gained before. Soon she flew higher and higher, at a point where she is gracefully soaring through the sky like an eagle.
Jumping in sheer joy I cheered loudly, "YOU DID IT!"
Even with my lack of coaching, Fluttershy has managed to fly without many failed attempts. This was a true feat to be praised upon; an achievement that should be celebrated. Though the weather stirs up an upcoming storm as few drops of rain begin dropping down. I holler at Fluttershy it's time to go, and then she steadily flutters down and follows me home. To celebrate her success we baked cupcakes which turned out exquisite. Cupcakes lathered with thick vanilla icing. Funnily enough, vanilla happens to be her favorite flavor as well. For the rest of the day we ate the delicious treats while watching television. Afterwards we went to bed having stomach aches, but today was still an exciting adventure and I hope there'll be a day like that again.
After several more years later, Fluttershy turns ten years old tomorrow. Time definitely flies by, it feels like it's only been just yesterday. I'm particularly aware she's at the size of her ideal self from the show, yet nothing shown they're alike. Although Fluttershy comes acknowledging the fact that I'm not her real father, but she doesn't care, she loves me with all her heart just how a daughter would.
Can the same be said for me? Don't get me wrong, my love for Fluttershy is genuine but..., only will letting her go make it so severely painful that I can't bear living without her. It's a matter of time when it'll happen, I only wish I knew though.
Getting off track. I contemplate on a present to give her for her birthday, then I raised a finger as an idea sprung. Since Fluttershy has been so helpful around the house I considered she deserves a very, very special gift. So as the day elapses, while Fluttershy rests, I wrote a sticky note in ink and stuck it on the refrigerator door saying, "Be right back. Going to the shoe store for a new pair of shoes. ~Sincerely, your Father." The "shoe store" was a cover-up to ensure it'd be a surprise. I drove out to the city's pet store and returned in an hour later. When I lied saying I was going to the shoe store it turns out on the way back I bought a new pair of sneakers.
Returning home, I wore the new sneakers as I hid Fluttershy's gift inside the shoe box to make it more the merrier of a bigger surprise. As I walked in expecting a warm welcome greeting, it was instead troubled worries.
"Where did you go?" Fluttershy asked, with a worried sound of voice.
"Didn't you read the note I left on the fridge?"
She raises a quzzical brow, "A note?"
I palmed my forehead with an open hand, then her pointy ears fall back.
"Oh, did I do something wrong? Are you mad? I'm so sorry!" She winces from my gesture.
"There's no need to be sorry. Rather, I should be the one who's sorry. I should have at least spoken to you in person before I left. Here, let me make it up to you."
The box behind my back, Fluttershy was pretty eager what I was hiding. In a second that I present the box to her her curiousness diminishes in utter disappointment.
"You got me... shoes?"
I figured Fluttershy would be discouraged, so I placed the box down in front of her.
"I wouldn't be sure about that." I winked.
She wondered what it meant, then as I lifted the lid her pupils sparkly widen.
"A bunny!" she delightfully screamed.
Inside the box is a lively rabbit with a flourishing, bleachy-white, fur-coat. White like the snow itself.
"I heard you wanted a pet of your very own. Well, here it is. Happy birthday."
Fluttershy pounced and locked me into a bone-crushing hug.
"Thank you so much, Daddy!"
"You are certainly most welcome.", I place her down onto the ground, "It's a big responsibility, but I'm confident you're more than capable of handling it."
Fluttershy briefly hugs me once more nodding constantly, then in a sprint she takes her newfound friend into my bedroom to play with. My room is the only accessible area she's allowed in. I remain strict about her going into my office, or touching the TV even. But it's for her and my sake she never uncovers her origin, and the internet for that matter. There are things I've seen on there I shudder from, and surely it'll mentally scar her forever. However, there shall come a time when I will have to explain her of her origin - where she came from. For now though, until she becomes older, I'll focus on what's at hand.
Hours later, Fluttershy still succumbs herself in my bedroom while I watch TV. Checking up on her, I creaked the door overhearing the pegasus talking to her new rabbit.
"You know, I'm not sure where I came from or know who I really am. But that day dad found me was the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'll love him no matter what happens." Afterwards, she begins singing a lullaby to the critter, "Hush now quiet now it's time to lay your sleepy head. Hush now quiet now it's time to go to bed~."
The moment I personally heard her enchanting lullabies, my heart melted. Witnessing that miraculous experience touched my soul nobody would've had, and I can also say I have touched hers. Although I don't recall singing it to her. She supposedly might have gotten it for just being 'Fluttershy'. Listen to me, I say this as if she's the one from the show, well, she is but, the only difference is she is my dear shy, and that's something that'll never change.
Though her soothing voice places a spell on me; my mind sapped and body worn out, I'm practically drifting to sleep. I go walking towards my living room couch where I collapsed onto, laying down as my head completely shuts down, and later I fall to a peaceful slumber.
As a year passed, Fluttershy reaches age eleven. During the first month of this year Fluttershy had obtained her cutie mark -- located on her flank -- and she inquires me of what it meant. I explained to her the whole purpose she earned it. She has always wondered how I know these things, and I respond with every answer: "parent's instincts". Discovering her talent was discovered by tending Angel- she couldn't have been more happier.
Later upon the same day 'til nightfall, Fluttershy and I were watching television. Whenever those zoo commercials pop up she would go rambling on and on how we should go there and bring Angel along.
"Dad, do you think we can go there someday?" Fluttershy tugs my jeans.
I replied, "I'm sorry, but... we simply can't."
"But how come?"
Should I even dare answer? Would I say that she's a fictional character from a cartoon show? Even if I did allow her to be trotting around in public, I fear they wouldn't understand. They would rave crazily and take her away for either experimenting or terrible "things" which I can't bring myself to imagine.
"We just can't." I bluntly said.
It hurts every part of my soul seeing Fluttershy with that depressing look in her eyes, but she wouldn't object nor argue.
"What is your pet's name, anyway?" I ask changing the subject.
"Angel. His name is Angel."
Getting late, Fluttershy heads off to bed while I stay awake watching nightly programs. You all are thinking why I'm not readying myself for bed either, well, my boss called earlier today informing all employees to take a day off due to attending a funeral tomorrow. I sat on the couch eating a granola bar, the name "Angel" still flutters in my mind. Why does it sound vaguely familiar?
Then it struck me as I spew chunks of granola over myself, realizing a shocking fact that Fluttershy also owns a rabbit named Angel from the show. Not that I watch it, I just happen to know from reading the "MLP: FiM Wikipedia". I'm anxiously wondering if she's slowly converting back into her normal self. If that happens, will the Fluttershy I love and raised forget everything? Including me? No, I mustn't think such tomfoolery. She even said it herself she'll love me no matter what happens.
Next year has skipped and Fluttershy turns twelve years old. Those careful years have been nice and prospering, yet not everything goes out how you hoped. This is that time when I wish I had a bullet in my head right now.
It was October the second and I arrived home from work. After exiting the vehicle I unlocked both the door knob and dead bolt and entered inside normally expecting Fluttershy to greet me, however she wasn't.
It was queer. Fluttershy always welcomed me whenever I come home from work. Then I heard a faint sniffle from the living room, so I rushed over to investigate. As I did I glanced down at Fluttershy nudging Angel of whom is seemingly sleeping.
She senses my presence and looked at me slightly sullen, "He's been like this for hours."
Something was indeed amiss about this, though I feared what the answer may be. I ordered Fluttershy to stay put while I took Angel to the vet for a diagnosis. Swift I went into the car and out towards the city I go. At the animal hospital, I've sat what felt like hours in those tedious waiting rooms. Surveying the people with different types of animals, I see a parrot, a cat, a dog, and others sorts. A female vet walks out and called my name, then I got up following her into the room where they diagnosed Angel.
In a room I was led in I saw x-ray posters depicting Angel's skeleton planted on a wall. None of which seem broken. Alongside are some contraptions. Their repetitive beeping sound alone makes me want to bash my head against a wall. There lying across the counter is Angel, with wires from the annoying machines attached to his body. I'm not knowledgable about hospitals, but that 'flat line' on a display monitor has me praying it's a good thing.
"The doctor will be right with you." says the nurse leaving the room.
Minutes after, a bald-headed man comes in deeply staring at his clipboard.
He speaks an old, british accent, "Ahem, greetings, Mr. Gartners. We performed various types of operations and I have returned with the concluding results."
"Just get to the point, old man, is Angel going to be alright?"
"Well," he examines his clipboard again, "depends your definition of "alright". You see, your rabbit here carried an uncommon disease known as 'Appendix Cancer'. I do humbly apologize, but if you brought him here sooner we could've prevented this travesty."
"P-prevented what... if I may ask?" I nervously said with both palms and forehead sweating.
The doctor clears his throat apprehensively, "There is no other way to tell you this, but Angel couldn't make it. I'm terribly sorry."
My intestines recoil and wrap themselves up to a knot just by hearing that. "How can this possibly happen?! Angel was under complete tender care!" I shook my head.
"Again, this is an uncommon illness. Regardless if one's healthy you can still obtain it."
It might be easy for him saying it straight to my face. But it's unimaginable how Fluttershy will react, and I'm the one who's gotta break it to her...
Driving nervously back home with Angel's corpse, thoughts were racing through my mind as I go. I don't know what to do. Should I say what they told me? Or lie for her and my own sake? No, one way or another she'll figure it out, so I must tell her of this tragedy. Yet I predict this shall be a terrible affair...
At home, I remain parked on the driveway with Angel lying across my lap as my tense heart repeatedly hammers my chest. I gathered what confidence I had and marched into the house while carrying the rabbit in arms.
Fluttershy has been waiting at the front door, worrying about the poor rabbit's health, "I'm glad you're home! Please tell me Angel is going to be fine?"
I couldn't answer right away, neither did I have the courage to, rather I knelt down placing her pet in front of her. She closely observes him and perks back up at me.
"He's not breathing..." she said.
"F-Fluttershy..." I started, "they told me of Angel's illness. And... well. You know that one scene on your favorite movie, Lion King, where Mufasa wouldn't wake up?"
Fluttershy gravely frowned from the question, "You...- what are you saying...?"
Silence once again pulls me under. I was afraid, very, very afraid as I embrace a whole world of regret. But I gut up and upright told her, "I'm saying that Angel could not make it. I'm regrettably sorry, Fluttershy."
Heart-broken, Fluttershy's eyes begun to swell and leak a waterfall of mourning tears. Angel was one of her only friends of the outside world; a birthday present she had senti-mental value for- a special present gifted from me, her considered father. Her sobs and wails were heart-wrenching, and the only thing I could do was embrace her in a tight hug, "Shh-sh, my dear shy, I know how he meant so much to you. Let it all out until the pain stops."
As time went on; ten to fifteen minutes after, Fluttershy falls asleep due the exhaustion from crying. I carried her into my bedroom and tucked her in sheets, and even in sleep she still cries. It makes me regret for what I've done, but what's done cannot be undone.
Leaving the bedroom, I began thinking on other serious matters; imagine the inexplicable horror it could have been if she found out her origins before I would tell her. She would be devastatingly struck and probably hate me forever.
I took the rabbit's body and brought it outside. Using the shovel from the garage, I dug a hole out in the backyard whereas Angel's body shall be buried in. The hole filled back up with dirt, I took a stake, a plank, some nails and a hammer, and created a sign as means of a gravestone. Only this case it's made of wood.
In and back out of the house I held a pin and wrote on the plank - "Here lies Angel. May you watch over us from the heavens above."
I made my way back inside avoiding catching a cold. Resided in my bedroom, I tried going to sleep, but the haunting nightmares of Fluttershy leaving me wake me up every now and then. Wishing it can never happen, I'm sure enough it will. Holding Fluttershy dearly I whisper to her ear, "At least you still have me, my dear shy. I won't be leaving you anytime soon. That, I promise."
A couple of weeks passed and it may be safe to assume Fluttershy had forgotten that dreadful day, though I believe deep within her heart she still mourns for Angel.
It has been an awfully long while since we've done an activity together. I can't take her to a zoo, but I decided to tell her about an idea of going out hiking in the woods. As usual Fluttershy would express uncertainty, but once I told her there's plenty of interesting critters to find she immediately begs for our departure.
We packed the car's trunk with some supplies and made our way towards the city. Ensuring Fluttershy has a safe journey without being noticeable I have her covered using my coat as we drive through the metropolis. As I halted at a red light, I survey my surroundings noticing this city has less number of beggars than the last time I drove through here. To my appalling surprise I see that same "beggar" from many years ago. His tattered rags are filthier as he has grown a fluffy, yet rugged, beard. He walks on over towards me on my left, gently knocking on my window, "Can you spare change for this poor soul?" he says dryly.
Thinking back on my horrendous deed, I figured a five dollar bill should suffice. I roll down my window handing him the valuable piece of paper, "Here.", then I drive off when the street light turned green. A small glimpse before I stepped on the pedal, the beggar widely smirked given his appreciation to my generosity. Back when I wasn't happy and bright I had no remorse what I've done, but now I'm a changed man; a changed man for the better.
Thankfully he doesn't remember that day, otherwise things would've gotten messy if he did. Fluttershy peeks her head out smiling upon my generous act, "That was awfully nice of you." she said.
I gratefully reply, "All thanks to you, my dear shy."
As we've passed the outskirts we have taken a thirty-mile excursion towards our mountainous destination. The meanwhile, Fluttershy was allowed to glance past the car windows, admiring every beautiful scenery she can collect in her mind; farms extent with unfathomable yards of fertilized lands. Plus there were some large cows mooing and chewing grass as we drove along. After our long drive, we finally have reached the mountain plains.
Exiting the vehicle, we traverse and plentifully discover a variety of animals such as deer, squirrels, and different-colored birds chiming their unique, wondrous chirps.
However during the time I wasn't paying any attention I noticed she headed off all by herself. My head rushed into a state of panic and I desperately call out her name whilst blindly pacing in several directions. My ears then caught sound what seems to be singing from a distance. Obviously stating it had to be Fluttershy, I followed her enchanting voice and came across an open circular land with bulky, moss-infested trees surrounding the environment. There in front of me was Fluttershy, sitting on a huge stump, lullabying to the animals that inhabit the forest.
I shout out to her, and the animals frightfully run off as fast as they could upon hearing my voice. Struck by a breeze of relief I hurried and hugged Fluttershy dearly tight, "You had me worried sick." I said to her.
After that, me and Fluttershy return home safe and sound. She enjoyed hiking outdoors and hoped if we're able to do something like that again. We could, yet I made sure the next time she'll stay by my side.
Continue to Part 2: http://keeper-of-harmony.deviantart.com/#/d5nvkp8