Spritelight, 5

Jul 8th, 2013
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  1. The feeling of passing through the portal was a little bit like stepping into a store that has a large heater hanging above the entrance; A waft of warm air that washed over us until we realized that it was warmer in Equestria than it had been in my room.
  2. Still holding onto Rhonda, I looked around and noticed the portal shimmering and disappearing as I looked at it. There was no way back anymore unless someone could make a new one.
  3. It appeared we were standing in one of Canterlot's gardens, the white walls we had seen in the distance being the outer walls of the capital itself. The inner walls were not two steps away from us and looked as imposing as they probably should, given the castle's position as the seat of government.
  4. The movement of halberds along the top of the walls, and the clanging of armor from up there, clearly indicated Celestia's guards were moving around just out of sight from us. Fierce ponies doing important work. I was feeling a little awestruck at it all.
  5. "You arrived just as the guards are changing," Ink explained, following my gaze, while Rhonda slowly detached from me and reached behind her to feel over the area where her pants were hiding her tail.
  6. "Something wrong, Rho?", I asked, already digging into my bag.
  7. "It's tingling," she answered, but meeped as I produced a pair of scissors, "Don't cut it off!"
  8. I stared at her with a dumbfounded expression. "Now why would I do that? I was planning to make a hole in your pants so your tail could be free to swing about."
  9. "Oh," Rhonda replied, biting her lower lip in embarrassment.
  10. I moved toward her with the scissors and carefully cut a hole out of the back of it, then reached in with my fingers to pull her long tail hairs out in small bundles.
  11. To my surprise I could see them grow as they came out of the pants and by the time all of them were out they were already hanging down to her knees.
  13. "You may want to write this into the archives, Ink; Hairs do grow faster here than they do on Earth," I chuckled weakly, putting the patch of cloth and the scissors back into my back. "Let's hope unicorn horns don't," I sighed, moving my eyes in an attempt to stare up at the thing.
  14. "Well, hm... Let me take you to the guest wing of the palace then. Princess Twilight and her friends left for the Crystal Empire to confer with Princess Cadance, so the rooms should be empty," Ink decided, and moved to lead the way.
  15. I pulled Rhonda to my side and smiled at her. "We only need one room anyway. But let's. That way, if I end up fainting again, we'll have a bed I can collapse onto," I sighed. "Like I did yesterday."
  16. Rhonda looked around at the colors surrounding us while we followed behind the blue stallion. Where Discord had looked a bit too real for comfort on Earth, this trend continued in Equestria; The colors were more vibrant, and there were more of them than in most places on Earth, but it all looked too real.
  17. The stone was real stone. It looked like real stone. I was afraid if I touched the pristine white walls I would smudge them.
  18. The grass was real grass. Brighter than that at home, but it looked very real indeed. There were all the slight blemishes in the otherwise unbroken grass field that we had at home. Small weeds trying to grow where they shouldn't, little flowers and other plants poking their heads up above the grass shoots. It had looked a lot more uniform on the television than it did in reality.
  19. Heh, reality. "You're sure we're not dreaming, right? This is real, right?", I asked of Magic Ink as we headed for an opening in the inner walls. A long flight of steps was waiting there for us to climb it and two white-coated stallions in armor were standing guard on either side.
  20. "If only it was a dream," he sighed, nodding to the guards as he passed them. I noticed their glances at us, but they didn't stop us.
  21. "We must look so odd to all you ponies," Rhonda giggled softly.
  22. "There are records of humans having visited our world before, miss Rhonda," Ink offered, "But we haven't seen one here in centuries. Or none that still resembled their old selves, that is. There are records of ponies who were formerly human, or even of ponies disappearing from our world and being found again on Earth. Some ponies have claimed the barriers between our worlds are growing weaker every day. There are even some that claim Equestria and Earth were once the same place. And it's that dangerous assumption that is giving us so much trouble right now."
  23. "You mean Equestria could have been a place on Earth?", I wondered, trying to keep up with what Magic was saying.
  24. "Or Earth a place in Equestria. Both are possible," Ink mused with a light smile, looking back and stopping dead in his tracks. "Miss Rhonda, your mane!"
  26. I looked at Rhonda as well and noticed her beautiful brown hair was changing color. "Oh dear. Rho, your hair is turning pink!"
  27. Rhonda went pale and flailed her arms at the pony before us. "Quick! A mirror!"
  28. "This way!" Magic exclaimed, galloping ahead with Rhonda not far behind.
  29. I found myself watching them run off before I realized I had to follow them! I tried to set my legs in motion, but every step I took felt like a chore, causing me to follow at a slower speed than intended. A great feeling of exhaustion and despair fell over me and I barely managed to make it up the steps before I had to sit down to catch my breath.
  30. I stumbled to the left of the stairway, dropping heavily onto the edge of the nearest wall. My mind was in turmoil, going over the events of the previous days and trying to make sense of it all.
  31. I looked up in time to see Rhonda and Ink disappear into the main building just ahead of the stairway, unknowing of my inability to follow directly behind. I turned my head in the opposite direction and found myself looking out over the lands of Equestria.
  32. There was a train moving through the land, smoke wafting up from it as it took its passengers where they wanted to go. Lakes, forests, fields of grass, the occasional city here or there. I idly wondered where Ponyville was.
  33. A guard moved up to me and looked out over the lands as well. "Are you ok, miss?", he asked casually, and I looked over to him.
  34. "Isn't it strange to see a human here?", I asked instead of answering him.
  35. The Guard set his forehooves up on the wall beside me and stretched himself a little, looking down at the lower plateau. "Not as strange as you would think, miss. The Princess has a lot of visitors. Not all from this realm. I will always remember the Changeling invasion. Captain... I mean, Prince Shining Armor kept us up day and night guarding this place. Compared to those pests, you're a welcomed guest."
  36. I chuckled at that. "Back where I'm from those tales are told as a form of entertainment, sir guard."
  37. "It does make for a good story to tell one's grandfoals, yes," he offered. "Be careful not to fall. It's a long way down."
  38. "Thank you, I will. By the way, would you know which town out there is Ponyville?" I asked, waving my hand toward the towns in the distance.
  39. "I think Ponyville is on the other side of the palace, miss. But I wouldn't know. You could ask lady Zecora if you see her? She's roaming around the palace grounds somewhere," he replied with a shrug. "If there's nothing else I can do for you, miss, I'll be returning to my rounds now? Have a good day."
  41. I nodded and felt a little dizzy as I did. "Thank you. I think I'll find Magic Ink and see about that guest room he was talking about. I'm starting to feel a little dizzy," I returned, and stood up from where I was sitting, starting off toward the main building.
  42. I was surprised to find the guard moving to my side after only a few paces and only then noticed I wasn't walking in a straight line. "Please lean on me, miss. I'll take you to the guest rooms," he suggested, looking up with concern on his face.
  43. With my right hand resting on the guard's flank to stabilize myself, we made it to the guest room where Rhonda was sitting in front of a mirror watching the last few strands of her formerly brown mane turn pink.
  44. I sank onto the bed and moved to lay on my back when I felt the muscles in my lower back contract. It was only a small spasm, but the tingling that followed lingered and I didn't even have to look to know I was starting to grow a tail as well.
  45. "Rho? I don't feel too good. I'm going to lay down a bit," I exhumed tiredly, "Can you get the scissors out to cut a hole in my pants please?"
  46. Rhonda turned away from the mirror with a blank look on her face and nodded. "Your tail came out too, didn't it?"
  47. "It's starting to, yes... but my headache is getting worse and I'm feeling dizzy," I replied, turning over on my right side to have my back exposed toward the edge of the bed. "It feels like my horn's growing as well."
  48. "Fascinating," Magic Ink breathed out, producing a small notepad and scribbling some things down.
  49. "Glad to hear you're having fun," I groaned, and he blushed as he looked away.
  50. Rhonda took the bag from me and pulled out the scissors, then knelt beside the bed and I felt her tugging on my pants as she started to cut into them.
  51. "He's just doing his job, Jo," she muttered, then pulled my pants down a little and pushed my shirt up. "Yours are green."
  52. "Eh?"
  53. "Your tail is green," Rhonda remarked, and suddenly I felt a sharp sting where my tail would have been. "Sorry for that. Here, look," she said, offering me a small green hair which she held between her thumb and index finger.
  54. I groaned and swatted it away with a hand. "Could've waited until my mane changed color?", I snapped, but then had to squeeze my eyes closed from the pain radiating from my horn.
  55. "Is there a thing like aspirin here? Anything to keep this headache down?" I asked of Magic Ink, and he nodded.
  56. "Miss Zecora has a lot of potions for that. I'll go get one for you," he offered, and ran out the door.
  57. "You hear that, RhoRho? Zecora has potions for that. If we have to deal with that rhyming zebra, will you please shoot me?", I sighed, my head feeling far from wanting to deal with rhymes of any kind.
  58. "You'll be ok, Josey. I'm here with you. Forever," Rhonda offered, gently helping my growing tail hairs out through the hole in my pants while leaning her head against me.
  59. The gentle strokes of her hands on my tail, while soothing, were not enough to keep the pain and dizziness from getting worse, and soon I had to close my eyes as the room started to swerve and sway around me in an increasingly chaotic manner.
  60. It didn't take long before I was lost to the fever dreams.
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