Pony POV Series
7 Dreams/Nightmares Gaiden
Edited by Alexwarlorn
Hey, my name’s Gusty. I’m a unicorn, talent’s wind magic. I’ve always been pretty good at it, but…well.
Ok, I’ll admit it, I got in trouble a lot in the old days. Got slimed by the smooze and turned into a complete jerk…ok, a bigger jerk, got captured by Porcina’s bird men, got turned to stone by Crunch…Meanwhile, everypony else goes on to save the day...
And yes, I did tell Wind Whistler she didn’t have any feelings, Megan already told me I had hurt those feelings…I guess I really found out what it was like to be emotionless. Wind Whistler says other ways that you can be petrified, like Porcina’s cloak, puts you in a ‘pleasant, peaceful, zen-like state where you are unified with the universe.’ Oy! Well, that might have been the case for the others when they got turned to glass, but…Ugh, when he turned me to stone it was just like…I couldn’t feel, at all. No, I wasn’t numb, I could feel my hooves on the ground and the sun’s rays on my back, but I didn’t give a flying feather about any of it, or myself or my friends, all of them could have been turned to stone with me and I wouldn’t have been happy or sad about it... I could THINK but I had a heart of stone. I couldn’t care less if I was smashed to pieces or stayed that way forever, all I really thought about was NOT missing my own feelings because I couldn’t be sad about not having them! …So yeah, I suppose maybe that was karma biting me in the flank…
Kind of like how those fuzzy things swapped our personalities. I ended up with Shady’s cowardness. I guess that was more karma on my part, since I was always calling her a coward, then I got turned into one…Seriously, why is life so dang ironic?!
Yeah, I admit I can be kind of a jerk to those two, but I’m just being honest with them, or thought I was. Shady could have more backbone about her and Wind Whistler could stop letting logic tell her what to do. I mean was it logical for me and Button to stay behind and hold off Crunch? No, but it bought them time to get to the Heart Stone! Just because I can be a bit harsh doesn’t mean I don’t care about my friends. If I didn’t would I have stood up to Crunch?
But credit where it’s due, Shady’s helped a lot, especially when Grogar comes back each time...
After sending him back to where he came from last time, things were quiet for awhile…until Patch found us. I like Patch. I was starting to think the ponies had lost interest in discovering new things and would never find us, then along comes this explorer who’s just excited to meet us. That’s the kind of pony I wish we could see more of, someone brave who takes things in stride.
Then she calls her friends over. And half of them fainted seeing us, while the other half stared at us in shock. Seriously, have Earth Ponies really become that sheltered?
They were nice, I guess, which was a pleasant surprised, given no one‘s found us in a long time. Still, Sweetheart’s a bit too soft for my tastes, though I give her credit for coming out here while pregnant, that takes guts, or is just inconsiderate for her foal. Melody’s cool, but she seems a bit lazy. I think Bonbon eats too much, but she seems nice, reminds me of Gingerbread. Starlight’s cool, but a bit plain. Bright Eyes…she’s another Wind Whistler through and through. Scratch that, she’s a bit worse. She had an emotional breakdown just seeing us, at least Wind Whistler can handle stuff like Tirek and Grogar existing.
Hard to believe not too long later she was roller skating with Glory. Glory hadn’t been that happy since Baby Sparkler came back...Oh, right. Sparkler and Baby Sparkler left once for awhile. Eventually her mother died and Baby Sparkler came back...though she’s not a Baby anymore so we just call her Sparkler.
And there were were stallions! One was very bad at keeping himself hidden. Teddy is hard to figure out. I can tell he’s a tough guy, but he seems to have a soft spot for Sweet Heart. Patch’s boyfriend Buddy is here too...to be honest, I’m surprised he’s willing to put up with Patch. I like Patch, but the mare’s got a commitment problem. But she can’t be a bad pony, since she was able to find us period. And maybe dating is different now, none of us have had a date in several hundred years...or seen many stallions for that matter. And yes, there are times that’s gotten frustrating.
Then there’s Clover. I didn’t think much of her at first, she didn’t really stand out: until she straight up asked Twilight if she knew any spells for dancing. She didn’t beat around the bush, she didn’t breakdown seeing magic was real, she instantly wanted to know about magic.
I wanted to talk to her earlier, but I had to foalsit Bright Eyes while she had her breakdown, but finally, I got a chance to talk to her. She was talking to Shady at the time and I just decided to wait my turn...
“Staying to face whatever nasty is coming your way takes a lot of guts. I'd say being so scared means you're braver," Clover told Shady.
Shady got the point...I guess so did I, really. When I’d had Shady’s personality...I was even more cowardly than she was...but I was scared of Crunch too. Wouldn’t you be? This giant rock dog who can turn things to stone and send an army of killer rocks after you...But I knew my friends needed time...I couldn’t help being afraid...And having Shady’s personality...ugh, if she’s half as scared as I was then, she’s braver than me to stand up to things that scare me, the brave pony. Heck, she showed how just having courage just for the sake of having it could be when she had my personality...it was like looking in a funhouse mirror of myself and the one time she ever really abandoned us. She might not be brave enough to not jump when crickets chirp, but she’s never abandoned us when she was a ‘coward’.
Anyway, Shady finally left and it was my turn.
“Your name is Clover, right?” I asked, trotting over to her after she’d finished talking with Shady.
“Yes, that’s me,” she said, us sitting down in Posey’s garden. “You’re…Gusty, right?”
“Glad you remembered my name,” I replied, trying to keep my voice friendly…ok, I’ll admit it, I wanted something else out of this, but hey, we hadn’t had any new ponies here for a long time and I’m still a pony. We’re herd animals. So I was trying hard not to come off as a ‘jerk.’ “My special talent is wind magic.”
She nodded quickly. “…Could I maybe see it again?”
I nodded and lowered my head, giving her a light breeze with my magic.
After a couple seconds of letting it blow on her, she looked rather amazed. “I know after all this I should be used to this…but it’s a lot to take in, you know? That magic is real.”
“Geeze, what is it with you Earth Ponies? Earth Ponies have magic too!” I let slip out. Then covered my mouth.
“…What do you mean? I’ve been told that a few times but no one has really explained it.”
I had to rub my head a little. “To be honest, I don’t know much about it, just that Earth Ponies have magic that lets them grow stuff better. Posey would be the best to ask…if you can get her to talk. She’s a wallflower. But you seem to get along with Shady…”
“Yeah…She said you’re a brave pony.”
I couldn’t tell if she was trying to be nice or guilt trip me. “…Look, I like Shady, she’s my friend, it’s just she’s really cowardly.” Ugh. I can’t control my mouth even when I want to.
Instead of being offended at what I said, Clover gave a small chuckle. “You remind me of Bright Eyes,” she admitted. “She can be a bit harsh, but she’s still our friend…”
I blinked in surprise. “…Really?”
She gave a nod. “Maybe you two would get along.”
It surprised me a bit, it really did, to hear Clover tell me that somepony I’d thought was just another Wind Whistler had something in common with me. I don’t know, I guess I thought Bright Eyes would be all logical like her.
“Maybe…So…you’re a dancer, right?” I asked, looking to the Earth Pony in front of me.
“Yeah...though a lot of ponies just think I’m second best to my sister.”
“Trying to prove them wrong?”
“Well...sort of...” Clover replied, looking down. “It’s complicated...I’d never think of overshadowing Meadowlark, but it feels sometimes like I was just born in her shadow. I want her to be happy, but I feel like I struggle where she gets by easy.”
“...I guess I can kind of relate to that...”
I may be brutally honest to others...but I can be honest about myself when I feel like it.
“Back in the old days...I always ended up getting captured or something...” I explained, thinking back. “These witches on Mount Gloom-”
“Mount Gloom?...Seriously, it was called Mount Gloom?”
“Hydia and her daughters were kind of weird. Grogar thinks he’s bringing ‘Perfect Order’ to the world, Porcina was a spoiled Princess, Somnambula was trying to stay young forever, and Catrina was addicted to witch weed. Most of the bad guys are like that; they have some kind of reasoning for why they’re bad guys. Hydia? She did evil just for the sake of being evil.”
Clover looked shocked. “And she was a human?!”
I forgot these ponies see Megan as some kind of messiah and even finding out there were any evil humans at all was a shock. Even I didn’t have the heart to tell them Firefly just flew to the human world and found a cowgirl who just happened to be able to save us. Heck, (if Megan wasn’t just pulling our legs), she could’ve gone further and found giant transforming robots to help us...why did we never bother getting those guys?
“Yes, she was. Like I said, they thought good was bad and bad was good. It was an IDEAL to her! And it wasn’t all big things, they thought smelling so bad a skunk held its nose at them was a good thing. They thought being cruel and greedy were all virtues! That was why she and her daughters came after us. We were having a festival celebrating the end of winter, they thought us having fun was bad. So Hydia whipped up the Smooze.” I shuddered.
“She made you smoothies?”
Alright, how do I describe this? “...Ever seen a flood?”
Clover frowned and nodded. “Yes, our hometown flooded due to this dam of garbage that formed in the river...It was horrible.”
“Imagine if it was alive and actively trying to cover the entire country, looked at you, and there was no getting rid of it. Ever. Then you have a good idea of what the Smooze was.”
She gave a shudder of her own. “...That...that’s horrible.”
“That’s not even the worst part. If the Smooze gets on you, you lose your spark...you just...can’t feel happy. All that you care about is how bad your present situation is. And you take it out on everypony else, even your friends...”
She looked absolutely horrified. “That’s...I don’t even know what to call it’s so awful...”
“Yeah, I know...And I was literally the first one it hit.”
Ugh...just thinking about it. One minute I’m caring about my friends, next I want to tell my friends how much they’ve screwed up, how much I hate them...I guess that’s what I’d be like if I was a real jerk.
“That happened all the time. I kept getting kidnapped. Smooze gets me, this rock dog named Crunch turns me to stone, Porcina’s birdmen capture me and my mane gets shaved off...Then the others would go on and save the day. Megan and the others get the Flutterponies to stop the unstoppable Smooze, Wind Whistler and the others figure out how to give Crunch a heart, Porcina beats herself by not being able to bring herself to turn us to glass when she actually saw us face to face...That always seemed to happen to me. I wanted to save the day and be the hero, but it always seemed all I could do was get caught....”
I cleared my throat, realizing I was getting long winded. “So I guess what I’m saying is that I know how it feels to keep trying while somepony else succeeds,” I explained. “But I just kept trying to get better. I might not be the hero, but I’m still a hero.”
Clover blinked. “...I hadn’t that about it that way...”
Ok...time to ask...
“...Hey...I have a question...”
I blushed. “Well...” Okay, this is going to be a bit awkward... “Could you maybe teach me some dance moves?”
She stared blankly at me for a moment. “...You want to learn dance moves from me?”
“...Yes, I just kind of want to learn some, it’s just kind of something I’ve wanted to do...We’ve always had a dance or something when the winter ended and it was kind of cool...But it’s... Buttons was our dance coordinator and she left long ago with her husband and the rest are...ugh...they’re my friends, you know?”
“It’s hard to ask your friends to teach you?”
“Yes...ugh, not entirely...I know I stink at dancing, but I don’t want them to see I do...it’s not that you’re not my friend, but...”
“I don’t know you well enough yet that me laughing at you would hurt as much?”
“Well, kind of...That and you said you trained and struggled with it, so you won’t be too hard on me.”
Clover gave me a smile. “I understand what you mean, it’s always bit scarier to think you’re going to embarrass yourself in front of your friends.”
So we headed over to Dream Castle to get some privacy. “Our friends the Grundles used to live here for awhile,” I explained. “Hydia used the Smooze to destroy their kingdom before she attacked Dream Valley. It took the Flutterponies a long time to clean it up, but they finally did and the Grundles moved back...”
We missed the Grundles. As ugly as they were, they were nice guys. We still visited them from time to time.
Afterwards, Clover took a stance and showed off some basic moves. It wasn’t easy. Even the stance was hard. I kept falling and landing on my face. I was a bit envious of just how easy it was for her and the other six to spend so much time on their hind legs. Just after finally getting the stance down made my hind legs sore.
“Are you ok?!” Clover asked, rushing over after I fell on my horn in a bad way, leaving me on the ground holding my head tightly.
“Yeah...ow...Just landed on my horn wrong...” I muttered, managing to get back to my hooves. “Wind Whistler said something about a nerve cluster or something...” I rubbed my horn, trying to make the pain stop. “All I know is it hurts, a lot.”
Speaking of things that hurt a lot. After I got a few tricks down we finally got to doing a simple jump. Sounds easy, right?
Well I managed to screw it up the landing and land in a split. And then curled up in a ball on the ground in a lot of pain.
Clover checked on me, then got Sweetheart to quietly look me over (apparently she’s a doctor)...which naturally got awkward given the injury.
“Ow...ugh...I thought this only hurt stallions...”
“Actually, that’s a myth, it’s just stallions tend to...get hit more often...” Sweetheart explained. “But mainly you pulled a muscle...how did this happen?”
Anyway, I wasn’t that badly hurt, it was more where I got hurt. But that combined with how sore I was meant I couldn’t do much more practice today.
We sat in Dream Castle, me keeping some ice Sweetheart had gotten me on my injury...which I hoped would at least stop hurting by the time we headed back so I could hide it. “Ugh...Ok...I stink at ballet.”
She actually chuckled. “Actually, I did worse my first time trying...”
“No, I was absolutely horrible.” Clover gave a small groan. “I actually kept falling on my face. My flank hit the ground more often than my hooves. And yes, I ended up doing about the same thing you did a few times...I got so frustrated I might have gotten a little reckless...I ended up cracking a hoof.”
I cringed. I might have been in a lot of pain before, but cracking a hoof was no fun...at all. And at least I’d just be sore for a little bit. “Youch...”
“Yeah...But I just kept trying and I got it. And at least you’re not a klutz.”
I had to chuckle at that. “Valid point...Care to show me something a bit more advanced? Even if I’m too sore to try it right now.”
She nodded slowly. “Sure...” She then did a spinning move that I knew I’d seen before...
“...That reminds me of this filly who used to live here...Lickety Split’s daughter...She started trying to make up new dance moves, and destroyed an entire performance because she wouldn’t follow the choreography to get all the attention...one looked exactly like that...”
Clover’s eyes widened. “...W-what happened to her?”
“She left with some of the other Baby Ponies a few hundred years ago...”
“Possibly about f-five hundred?”
“Maybe...Five hundred, four hundred, when you get as old as me, you stop caring about calendar dates...She said something about trying to become a star herself...Still was...making...up...moves...” And then it hit me. And her.
"You're saying a pony who used to live here invented ballet?!"
“...Apparently yes...Maybe you can talk to her mother later, I’m sure she’d love to hear it...”
“You don’t find this shocking?!”
“...A little, but we were kind of hoping this would happy and they’d leave their mark...”
She settled down a bit after that.
“So...What about your sister? She have a hard time starting out dancing?”
“...Actually she was an ace at it...” she admitted, rubbing her head. “I mean yeah, she’s gotten hurt like anypony else, but it’s her special talent...Mine’s not.”
I blinked. “Really?”
She nodded, gesturing at the four-leaf clover at her flank, “My special talent is well, being lucky.”
“Being lucky? How does . . . I mean, how did you become lucky as a special talent?”
“I don’t really have any control or say on when it happens. It all, just comes down to luck really. It just sort of happens.”
“Okay. I’ll confess. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an Earth pony whose talent was being lucky, and coming from me that says a lot. I wouldn’t think luck... “ Me and my mouth. What did Megan always say? Think. THEN speak. “So, uh, lucky eh?”
“Well, the important thing about luck is to never press it too far. Accept it when luck comes your way and . . . heheh,” She blushed, “Accept when bad things happen.”
“Not a very proactive way to live.”
“Oh! I try and I try, I really do, I wouldn’t have gotten as good as I am if I just relied ON luck. Just like . . uh, um, just like you don’t just do EVERYTHING with the wind right?”
“But listening to what you gut instincts tell you, FEELING a situation, guessing when you don’t know enough to made a black and white choice, those are all part of luck too.”
No offense, but this mare felt a couple apples short of a bustle. She just says that it all comes down to luck, and then explains on how and when to use luck? Geeze.
Still, she wasn’t that bad. A little crazy, but...well, Surprise is one of us, I think being a little crazy is something we’ve learned to live with. And even if I got hurt in the two most sensitive parts of my body, it was still kind of fun learning to dance.
After centuries of being alive, of being a watchdog for a world that had all but forgotten we existed, I was finally learning something new, and finally had some new friends to make. Maybe I could last a century or two more after all.
Looks like I won’t be joining you and Slugger any time soon Buttons.