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Familia 12: Divided Attentions.

Mandroid Aug 3rd, 2017 262 Never
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  1. =Familia 12=
  2.  
  3. >”Poppy! Poppy! Up up up up!” you hear through your sleep.
  4. >Your body moves without thinking, honed by years upon years upon years of raising two little girls at the same time. It turns over towards the door and shoots your hands out to catch the insectoid missile flying towards you.
  5. “Aha! Got you!”
  6. >Chrysalis laughs heartily and wiggles her dangling hooves. “Only because I slowed myself down for you, old timer!” Her wings buzz as she beams at you.
  7. >Chrysalis’s time living with you had started as you’d expected, with a distinct lack of trust from her as she adapted to her new environment. You would often catch her leering at you around corners while you cooked in the early days, trying to decipher your true motive for taking her in, or perhaps even thinking that it was her you were going to toss in that soup pot.
  8. >But, your practiced parenting method of persistence and nurturing had slowly chipped away at her chitinous exterior and brought a bigger and bigger smile each passing day.
  9. >You were overjoyed as time passed and she became more and more affectionate towards you. It seemed that any time you showed her even the slightest bit of love, she’d shine almost as bright as Celestia.
  10.  
  11. >Chrysalis hops out of your hands to the floor and you throw your feet over the bed.
  12. “Shall I make us some breakfast?”
  13. >”You can if you want to, but it all tastes the same to me!” she says, running out into the hall.
  14. >That girl…guess eating bugs or whatever she subsisted on before you found her ruined her sense of taste.
  15. >It’s quickly out into the kitchen for you where you start mixing up some pancake batter. Chrysalis takes her seat at the table while you work and even from here you can see her constantly fidgeting.
  16. “Is everything alright?”
  17. >”Of course!” she claims, glancing over away from you.
  18. >Ahuh…
  19. >You continue making the food and bring it over to the table once they settle and sit across from her, letting you get a really good view of her glancing behind you.
  20. “Whaaaaaat?”
  21. >Chrysalis giggles. “You haven’t seen it yet…?”
  22. >Seen what?
  23. >You look behind you at what she was glancing at. Overtop the fireplace, where you’d placed all the drawings and accomplishments Celestia, Luna and Discord had made over their years with you, there was now an ENOURMOUS drawing of Chrysalis riding on your shoulder while the you walked through a sunny field with your house down at the bottom of a hill.
  24. >So large, in fact, that it covered up every other drawing.
  25. “Oh…”
  26.  
  27. >Once you finish breakfast and finish…appreciating Chrysalis’s artwork, you kneel to her level. This was perhaps the most important part of your parenting technique. In getting down close to eye level for whatever prospective child was living with you, you could figuratively put yourself on the same level as them and show you meant no harm. Horses weren’t a hunting species, after all, it was best not to look like a predator.
  28. “Well Chrisi, what do you want to do today?”
  29. >The little Changeling rubs her chin with her hoof. “Well-…”
  30. >Before she can get it out, however, a knock comes at your door.
  31. >”Huh?”
  32. “Who could that be?
  33. >You walk over and open the door, beyond which is the largest deer with the widest wingspan on his 30-point horns anyone had ever seen.
  34. “ANONYMOUS! HELLO!”
  35. >The King of the Deer was very…enthusiastic.
  36. >You bow.
  37. “Your Highness! A pleasure to see you!”
  38. >He laughs through his full beard of soft fur and shakes his head. “You have known me since I was a boy, Anonymous! For you, my name will ever be perfect.”
  39. >You smile and nod.
  40. “Aspen then. What brings you to my home?”
  41. >Aspen’s face grows a bit more serious. “The Deer grow more concerned. Night has been lasting longer than it has since back before my father’s time, and all the world’s creatures have taken notice.”
  42. >All except one, it seemed.
  43. “Uh…Chryssi? Do you know what the king is talking about?”
  44. >”Huh? Oh. Uhm…” she strokes her chin again “You know, I do remember waking up when it was still dark out more often lately.”
  45. >Huh.
  46. “Could it be just a change of the seasons?”
  47. >”Perhaps.” Aspen answers. “But he who raised the moon would know more than any in the land.”
  48. >Aspen was a flatterer.
  49. “Of course, official business and the like…Chryssi, is it alright if I help Aspen with his problem before we play?”
  50. >Chrysalis had on a wide, if oddly tight grin. “Sure!...Great!” she says.
  51.  
  52. >Aspen takes a seat across from your favorite chair in the living room, the two of you spending a bit of time wondering aloud how the changing seasons could explain the extending nights.
  53. >Chrysalis, meanwhile, sat with her back to you playing with a simple doll of hers. You guess she was admiring Aspen’s coat with how intense her eyes looked when she was looking at him.
  54. >Regardless though, you had other things on your mind.
  55. “Apart from a changing lunar phase, orbital drift, or just a new weather pattern appearing, I’m afraid I don’t have any real answers for you, Aspen.”
  56. >He strokes his chin, looking both concerned and distant. “Has Princess Luna perhaps contacted you at all? Given you any insight as to something new she may be trying?”
  57. >You shake your head.
  58. “My oldest daughters spent many years with me, I do my best to give them the space they need to develop on their own.”
  59. >Aspen clearly isn’t entirely pleased with that answer. “She would be the one to know above all others…”
  60. “She would, indeed…but there are times when we shouldn’t immediately seek out the one who has the answers at hand, there are times when it helps us more to find them for ourselves.”
  61. >Aspen sighs and nods, understanding. When he opens his eyes, they momentarily lock onto Chrysalis. A loud ripping noise and a flash of green draws your attention to her as well.
  62.  
  63. >”Oh no!”
  64. >The head of her sheep doll drops to the floor in her magical grip and drops to the floor.
  65. >”P-Poppy!” whines sniffling “Dolly is dead!”
  66. >You get off the chair and kneel to her.
  67. “Oh no…well, maybe we can-“
  68. >You’re quickly joined by King Aspen. “What was that you were mouthing, girl? “Leaf”? You want leaves?”
  69. “Huh?”
  70. >Chrysalis chuckles and swallows. “Heh…I-I’m sorry, your highness?”
  71. >”Well, no matter!” he says, taking the doll with all points on his horns glowing. “I can fix this in no time.”
  72. >Magic trickles down from his horns and weaves itself through the doll like an ultra-fine thread. In seconds, the head of Dolly the Sheep was re-stitched and knitted itself back onto her body.
  73. >“There we are!” he says, giving it to Chrysalis.
  74. >The little changeling takes it and lowers her eyelids in thanks. “Yes…thank you…” she mutters. “Daddy, I’m going to go play outside. May I get you something before I go?”
  75. “That’s very nice of you, Chrysalis.”
  76. >Your little girl beams brightly at your praise.
  77. “Aspen?”
  78. >The deer king strikes his chin. “Well…”
  79.  
  80. >Chrysalis had been a very good girl and helped Aspen with what he wanted, but you couldn’t help but wish she hadn’t.
  81. >While you and the Deer King had had pleasant conversation, topics ranging from how you were adapting to Celestia and Luna living so far away to Aspen’s own children, it was wrought with disaster.
  82. >In serving Aspen tea, Chrysalis had spilled it on him. When you tried to make it up to him with a snack, the top of the salt Chrysalis had offered him had come undone and spilled its contents on the snack. Both times had turned out well enough, with Aspen happy lapping up his spilled drink or proclaiming he “loved salt!” when the spill happened, but it still put you on edge.
  83. >It only got worse when Aspen went to the bathroom and found himself locked inside of it.
  84. >”Apologies about the door, Anonymous.”
  85. “Please, Aspen. Don’t apologize. It will be easy to get back on its hinges.”
  86. >Aspen’s ears flick as he sips his drink, mostly salt in it rather than sugar. “Mm…I will send a missive to Canterlot, ask Celestia if she is aware of why the nights have been lasting as long as they have.”
  87. >You give him a smile.
  88. “If there’s anyone who can get an answer from her, it’s her ex.”
  89. >Aspen chuckles at you. “You’re being modest.”
  90. “Not at all.”
  91. >”Now I know you are.”
  92. >You simply smile at him.
  93. >”There is not a secret Celestia could keep from you if you walked up to her and asked. Her subjects revere her, but you must know that she reveres you.”
  94. >You smile and silently sip your tea.
  95. “I’m just her father, nothing more.”
  96. >You see Aspen’s ears rotate around and twitch again.
  97. “Is everything alright?”
  98.  
  99. >Your words surprise Aspen, making him jump a bit.
  100. >”Now that you mention it…” he begins “I swear I hear something…coming out on the wind, something even I struggle to hear…”
  101. “What is it?”
  102. >Aspen gulps and looks at you with shrunken pupils. “Anonymous…it is a voice repeatedly saying “Get out. Get out. Get out.”
  103. >…A-huh.
  104. “I…see?”
  105. >”Anonymous, is your home haunted?”
  106. >You almost choke on your tea.
  107. “I promise, Aspen, my home is not haunted.”
  108. >”If it were, would it be a guardian spirit? Or could there be a boogieman-nay, boogieMEN inside this house?!”
  109. >The Deer King was afraid of ghosts…who knew?
  110. “Watch, I’ll prove it to you. Chrysalis!”
  111. >”W-wha! Yes poppy?!” she calls from just down the hall, it sounded.
  112. “Do you hear any strange voices saying “get out”?”
  113. >”Nnnnnnnope! N-no voices here! Hehe!” she says.
  114. “See?” you say, returning to Aspen. “Nothing unusual.”
  115. >He calms. “Thank you, Anonymous. I’m sure you’re right.”
  116.  
  117. >You hear the loud THUMP of something hitting your walls as you sit again.
  118. “Are you okay, sweetie?”
  119. >Chrysalis comes out of the hall and heads for the front door, walking slowly but with purpose and looking unamused. “I stubbed my hoof, it’s fine. I’m going to go outside for a minute.”
  120. “Hey wait a minute, what could possibly be outsi-“
  121. >The door shuts behind her. She was gone.
  122. >”…Children.” Aspen says sympathetically.
  123. “I’m used to it by now.”
  124. >You turn back to Aspen.
  125. “Now, where were we? I could come visit the Deer lands to consult with your astronomers and see their findings, maybe they have information I can explain away and this whole thing can be one giant misunderstand-“
  126. >A flash of emerald light comes in from the windows behind you followed by Chrysalis’s voice.
  127. >”Poppy poppy! You and ESPECIALLY King Aspen leave the house and come out here quick! There’s been a uh…magical fire! Yes!”
  128. >Oh what now!?
  129. >You and Aspen rush outside to find nothing but charred grass and Chrysalis with a stick she said she wanted. Within moments she mentions how late it’s gotten and pushes you inside, asking you to help her take a bath.
  130. >Your actions decided, you can only wave goodbye to the Deer King and wonder what had gotten into your daughter.
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