Grandpa Anon the Old Stallion

Oct 15th, 2018
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  1. >You bring up a milkshake and tap it against the one sitting on the table.
  2. “Thanks for bringing me out, lads.” You say in a raspy voice. “It's always fun to visit again. It's just not the same without the gang, you know?”
  3. >You bring that triple chocolate mint shake to your lips and chug.
  4. >By the time you're done, the teeth you have left are aching from the cold, but you ignore it quite well.
  5. >You set down the glass and look longingly at the other side of the table.
  6. >On the table is the other milkshake. Vanilla topped with chocolate. Four straws.
  7. >Just like how your friends always enjoyed them. Together.
  8. >Well, usually with a much bigger glass, but it's the notion that counts.
  10. >You were always the odd one out.
  11. >Odd jobs.
  12. >Odd life choices.
  13. >So your friends always called you Odd instead of Anon, but you took it in stride.
  14. >The sour part was being the last one.
  15. >They had families, and you had... well...
  16. >You never got around to it.
  17. >You were always engrossed in something new, and fun, and interesting.
  18. >Different jobs all the time. Nothing was out of your reach. You wanted to do everything.
  19. >So you did.
  20. >Everything.
  21. >Except settle down and make a family.
  22. >And so, here you are.
  24. >”Heh heh heh! That's not how you eat ice cream silly!”
  25. >You look to the side, where the voice came from.
  26. “Hmm?”
  27. >You can't seem to find anypony that could have said that.
  28. >”It's all over your muzzle!”
  29. >You look down to see a pink little filly. Her bright blue eyes looking up to you.
  30. >She looks like a walking ball of cotton candy.
  33. >You narrow your focus and see that, well, yes. Your face is covered in whipped cream.
  34. >You lick it off and smile at the cute little filly.
  35. “It sure was! Thanks for helping me little one! I must have gotten old and forgot how to eat.”
  36. >You tussle her hair and she giggles, her bubbly attitude oozing over.
  37. >”You're silly!”
  38. “Really? That's a new one. Most call me Odd.” You lean down a bit. “And what's your name, little filly?”
  39. >”My name's Pinkie Pie!”
  40. “Pinkie Pie?” You hold your chin. “I haven't heard that name before? Are you new here Pinkie?”
  41. >”I am! I'm a baker now! And I live here now!”
  42. “Well that's wonderful. Is your special talent in making the best pies?”
  43. >She gives that youthful giggle again.
  44. >Gods above, you wish you could hear that heavenly sound more often.
  45. >”Nope! I throw parties and bring smiles to everypony! Mr. Cake said you were having a birthday party, and I wanted to help!”
  47. >You look over to Mr. Cake at the counter, listening to the conversation.
  48. >He has his forehooves over his head, almost embarrassed by the little one's tact... or lack of.
  49. >You chuckle.
  50. “Well, I'm a bit shy. I like to keep it between me and my friends here.”
  51. >She hops on the table and looks at the photos, then back to you, confused.
  52. >”I don't get it. They're pictures.”
  53. >You tussle her hair again.
  54. “Well, they can't come themselves these days. They're not really around anymore.”
  55. >”Well it's rude to leave you here alone! A party of one is never fun! Here! I'll be your friend and celebrate with you!”
  56. >She might be a little too young to... ah, forget it.
  57. “Well, go ahead and have the shake then. It's not going anywhere.”
  58. >”Okay!”
  59. >You grab the pictures you had set up and hastily stuff them in your half-coat's pocket.
  60. >She hops over and looks at you with those bright eyes of hers, taking a big gulp through all the straws.
  61. >”So how old are you? I need to know so we can celebrate your birthday right!”
  62. >You shake your head.
  63. “Too old, little Pinkie. Age doesn't matter up here.” You poke her with a hoof, eliciting another giggle. “Besides, I don't really want to celebrate my birthday.”
  64. >She suddenly looks dejected.
  65. >“B-but... but...”
  66. “Let's celebrate something better.”
  67. >”Better?” She asks.
  68. “Better!” You say. “Birthdays happen every year. But... you're only new to ponies once. How about we throw a little party for you.” You poke her in the chest, and she's listening intently.
  69. “We could throw you a.... a Ponyville... a 'Welcome to Ponyville' party!”
  70. >She's jumping in excitement.
  71. >”Ohmygoshyou'resorightIcan'tbelieveIdidn'tthinkofitIt'ssoobviousthat'ssosmartthankyouthankyounowIcangiveapartytoEVERYPONYthatcomestoPonville-”
  72. >You're eyes glaze over as you try to keep up with whatever gibberish she's spouting out of that motor mouth of hers.
  74. >Suddenly, she's at your side and hugging you tightly.
  75. >”Thank you so much! I promise, I'm going to be your very best friend! I'll throw every party you want!”
  76. >You hug her back, holding the precious little girl.
  77. “Well, thank you Pinkie. I could always use a friend.”
  78. >”I'll be your very best friend! That's a Pinkie Promise! Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my ey- ouch!”
  79. “I'm sure you will, Pinkie. So, tell me...”
  81. “Why'd you come to Ponyville?”
  83. - - -
  85. >You sit in your humble little home.
  86. >The record player is running, playing some cheerful ambiance of bird chirps and wind blowing.
  87. >It helped you have pleasant dreams on tired days like these, when you're laying in your recliner through the afternoon.
  88. >But you aren't sleeping today.
  89. >You're looking through the photo album again.
  90. >You had to get a bigger one, actually.
  91. >You've been putting more and more photos in the back these days.
  92. >You're getting older. You're already older than most of the old folk around.
  93. >You've seen how some ponies go as they age, and some part of you wants to be sure you don't end up the same.
  94. >But you're not senile.
  95. >Not yet.
  96. >As long as you've got your memories, you're still you. You're still here.
  97. >The past isn't gone yet.
  99. >The doorbell rings, and you whip your head up.
  100. >You close the book and place it on the coffee table, wiping your eyes before getting up.
  101. >You get to the door and fiddle with the handle for a second, then open it up.
  102. “Pinkie!”
  103. >”Grampa 'Non!”
  104. >You pull eachother into a tight hug.
  105. >Little Pinkie is now well past your withers. She's grown a lot since you first met her.
  106. >And so has her love for making ponies smile.
  107. >You can tell she's going to make some young stallion very happy one day.
  108. >You break the hug.
  109. “Come on inside, Pinkie.”
  110. >”But the party is at Sugarcube corner!” She says, but comes in anyways.
  111. >You smile at her, leading her into the kitchen.
  112. “I've got a little birthday present for you.”
  114. >She snickers.
  115. >”You silly stallion. I'm supposed to get YOU presents!”
  116. “Heh heh. Well, we both know how 'Odd' I am.”
  117. >”Yep!” She giggles again.
  118. >You bring her to the little table in the corner and put your hoof on the unwrapped gift.
  119. “Here it is.”
  120. >”It's a book!”
  121. “Not just any book. It's a-”
  122. >”Oh! It's all your adventures around the whole world when you were younger!”
  123. “No.”
  124. >”A journal of all the times you met the princess!”
  125. “No, it's-”
  126. >”A secret diary with the prophecy of the return of Queen Meanie!”
  127. “No.”
  128. >You shut her up with a hug before you goes on.
  130. “It's my recipe book.”
  131. >She stops shaking and gasps.
  132. >”Recipe book?!”
  133. >She flips it open and starts pouring through the pages.
  134. >”Oh my gosh, this all looks so good!!”
  135. “Yep. I made pictures so you'd know what you're making.”
  136. >She keeps reading through and through. For once, she seems completely focused on one thing.
  137. “It's mostly baked goods. There's some other recipes in the back, but I wanted it to be more of your interests.”
  138. >”These are all YOUR recipes?!”
  139. “Well, sort of. I've worked at a lot of restaurants and food...places. I collected a lot of recipes over the years for myself. Couldn't just hoof them out to anypony. I wanted to keep them, for, well...”
  140. >You sigh.
  141. “I wanted to give them to somepony very special to me. And I think you're it.”
  142. >You give her a little kiss on the forehead, and she whips out of the book and squeezes you tight.
  143. >really tiGHT- WAS THAT A RIB?
  144. >Wait, no. Your back popped. False alarm.
  145. >”Thank you grampa 'Non! I'll make everypony the bestest best treats ever! With this-” She puts the book on her back. “-no pony will ever be unsatisfied with their sweets again!”
  146. “Pinkie, you spoil me. I just wanted you to have that. In case I forget. Also, I made some of your favorites!”
  147. >”Cupcakes?”
  148. “Ugly cupcakes!”
  149. >”Ugly cupcakes!”
  150. >You grab a plate from the counter and take off the paper wrap, revealing what looks like muffins.
  151. >Pinkie instantly tears into one, getting the cream filling all over her muzzle.
  152. “Messy girl.” You mutter.
  153. >She sheepishly giggles and licks it clean.
  155. >”Thanks Grampa 'Non. But we should really get to your party.”
  156. “Okay, okay. I guess we've lingered enough.”
  157. >She grabs your hoof and you grab your things while she drags you off through the door.
  158. >”Oh, and 'Non?”
  159. “Yes Pinkie?”
  160. >”I hope you have a very happy birthday.”
  161. “It already is, Pinkie.”
  163. - - -
  166. >You roll over in your hospital bed as best you can.
  167. >The uncomfortable sheet is abrasive against your fur, but it's too cold in the room for you not to cover up.
  168. >And the pillow is too stiff and thick to lay on without getting a crick in your neck.
  169. >All in all, you aren't a very happy pony right now.
  170. >A broken hoof will do that to you.
  172. >But, today is that special day again.
  173. >Well, one of them.
  174. >Pinkie Pie is coming to visit again.
  175. >She's been visiting more often these days.
  176. >And you're thankful for it.
  177. >No one else except your neighbor has visited.
  178. >You're sure she felt compelled, since she was the one that found you writhing on the floor.
  179. >She's so nice, but you can tell she doesn't ever want to linger.
  180. >Still. You should make something for her. You know how busy she is with her shop, and she still went out of her way to help...
  181. >Oh, you lost track of yourself.
  183. >”Grampa 'Non?”
  184. >The door creeks open, and you shift to look.
  185. “Pinkie Pie.” You say weakly.
  186. >She trots on in and produces a wrapped package, holding it within your reach.
  187. >”I brought you a present.”
  188. >But you couldn't find much more strength than to sit up.
  189. “Thank you, Pinkie. Maybe... on the counter.” You gesture.
  190. >She sets it down on the nightstand and looks over you.
  191. >”Sorry I haven't been able to visit so much, 'Non.”
  192. >You boop her nose.
  193. “Don't worry about me, dearie. I'm happy you came at all. I know how busy you are these days with the whole becoming famous bit and your trips away from town.”
  194. >”I know; I just don't want you to think I forgot about you is all.”
  195. “Well of course you haven't!” You poke her chest. “You are THE Pinkie Diane Pie. The mare who never forgets a happy birthday, cute-ceanera, or friend. I know that you'd never forget me.”
  196. >She comes in for a hug, and you hold her there the best you could.
  197. >You both embrace it for a while; You didn't want to let go. She... well, she's nice enough to let you have it, you supposed.
  198. >You feel up her muscles before you end it.
  199. “Pinkie, you've got such big muscles. How did you ever get those?”
  200. >She snickers playfully.
  201. >”Partying is a lot of hard work, 'Non. I have to lift lots of stuff all the time.”
  202. “Well it shows. You're going to make some stallion very happy one day.”
  204. >She blushes and stands back.
  205. >”Uh, thanks, 'Non.”
  206. >She turns around and grabs a cupcake with a little candle already lit. She presents it to you.
  207. >”Hrr. Thr mrsht imprr...” She sets it on the gift. “The most important part of any birthday party. The cake!”
  208. “Thanks. I'll have it in a bit.”
  209. >You glance at the delicious pastry. You can tell just by looking at it that it's your favorite. A recipe you gave her that she somehow made even better.
  210. >”You don't want to make a wish? Just real quick?”
  211. >You smile at the girl.
  212. >She's such a kind soul. Trying to get you to enjoy yourself when you've obviously been quite... expended.
  213. “Pinkie, I want to hear about you. How are you doing?”
  214. >She waves her hoof.
  215. >”Oh, I'm fine.”
  216. “Really? No new stories of adventure?”
  217. >”Well.” She snickers. “Remember when everything went whackco for a while? Everything weird and clouds were cotton candy and stuff?”
  218. >That, you most certainly do.
  219. “Sure do. My house was floating sideways. Tea time was very difficult to have.”
  220. >She giggles. “Well, turns out this guy named Discord caused all of that. He does chaos and jokes and stuff. He was a little fun but, well... he's gone again.”
  221. “Well I'm glad to be saved again by my hero.”
  222. >”Oooh.” She says bashfully.
  223. >She looks over at the cupcakes and drops the smile.
  224. >”'Non, I think you should, you know...” She points.
  226. >Oh, the candle's just about to start getting wax on the icing.
  227. >Better take care of that.
  228. “Whoops.”
  229. >You blow out the candle, then grab it and spit it into the nearby trash can.
  230. “Almost wasted a perfectly good cupcake.”
  231. >She snickers again.
  232. >”Yep!” She pauses.”So...”
  233. “So....”
  234. >”Whatchya wish for?”
  235. >You smile, gesturing her to come closer.
  236. >She does and you pull her into a hug.
  237. “Can't tell you.” You whisper.
  238. >She shrugs and holds you close as well.
  240. >You wish...
  241. >You wish this moment could last forever.
  242. >It took a lifetime to get to this very moment, and... it was worth it.
  244. - - -
  247. >It's Hearts and Hooves day, but you aren't smiling.
  248. >Maybe later, but not right now.
  249. >Grampa Anon... he passed away last week.
  250. >The doctors said it was in his sleep; so, you know it was painless at least.
  251. >You're sad to see him go, but, well... you were the only one that talked to him regularly at this point.
  252. >And he couldn't stay forever.
  253. >It didn't make it hurt any less, though.
  254. >He was a friend. A good one at that.
  255. >One of the very first ones you made here in Ponyville.
  256. >And he's gone.
  257. >...
  259. >Mr. Willis and a pony from some company gave you some paperwork when you got here.
  260. >And 'Non's photo album that he liked to look through all the time.
  261. >You weren't paying great attention when they gave them to you, but you did catch that 'Non named you in his will.
  262. >You can imagine why, but it still isn't a great feeling.
  263. >It almost feels a little perverse. You just wanted to see him smile. You never cared for... this.
  264. >Still. If he wanted you to have it, then you guess it's yours.
  266. >You open up the album to the first of the photographs.
  267. >It was a handsome little colt. Green coat and dark hair with those big eyebrows of his. Surrounded by his friends, all making silly faces.
  268. >The next was each of his friends with their cutie marks. And finally his own.
  269. >Then they were older. And, er... the picture quality suddenly took a dive.
  270. >In the margins 'Non wrote 'bought my first camera here', pointing to a picture of him and his camera in a mirror shot.
  271. >The pictures improve again after a few more and you can see 'Non with all his friends in suits. Everypony had a date except 'Non.
  272. >Then some pictures of his friends at parties... in graduation gowns...
  274. >Then, the group was suddenly one less.
  275. >Nothing seemed to really change in the group at first. It was one less pony.
  276. >And then it was two. And the smiles were a little melancholy.
  277. >Then three. One of the ponies didn't really smile after that.
  278. >Then four...
  279. >Then five.
  280. >It was just 'Non and this one pony for a while. Two older stallions enjoying their time together. Some of the pictures are with what you can only assume is the other stallion's family.
  281. >They were young and full of life in the pictures, while 'Non and his friend were more muted.
  282. >And then, it stopped being a pair.
  284. >For several pages, it's just 'Non taking pictures of himself in nice places.
  285. >Canterlot, Manehatten, Apploosa, Las Pegasus...
  286. >But his eyes were all wrong. Like something wasn't right.
  287. >They were empty, almost. Dull. And the smile... looked unnatural.
  288. >And you hit an empty page in the middle. For a second, you thought you'd hit the end of how far he'd filled it, but you knew that couldn't be.
  289. >You turned again, and this beautiful hoof-drawn graphic on the pages read out 'my new best friend'.
  291. >You turn it over and... hey, that's you! When you first moved here!
  292. >You had wanted to throw him a birthday party but instead he threw you your very own 'Welcome-to-Ponyville' party!
  293. >He took a photograph of you chugging that shake.
  294. >And his eyes. They had that spark.
  295. >The smile was real again.
  297. >The next few photographs... when he took you and Applejack to the bowling alley.
  298. >Oh, there's the time you all built carts for the derpy!
  299. >A-and when helped you bake cakes for the Cakes' own wedding anniversary!
  300. >He has the biggest smile in these pictures. Looking at them, you don't think you've seen anypony smile that big or bright.
  301. >There's the time a bunch of rabbits ruined his garden and you helped plant everything again.
  302. >He was pretty upset at the bunnies that year. You're pretty sure that's the same year Fluttershy found Angel, too.
  303. >Then there's when he took you hiking up to the top of Canterlot mountain!
  305. >You pour through the pictures, nearly reliving each of the memories yourself.
  306. >You finally reach the end, and the very last one is another copy of that first picture. It's center top of the page, with a red note filling up the rest of the page.
  308. >'Dear Pinkie,
  309. >'I want you to know what these times we've had are some of the best of my life.
  310. >'When you first came to Ponyville, I saw a bright little filly with a sense of wonder and opportunity.
  311. >'To this day, I still see that little filly. With those bright blue eyes and wild pink hair.
  312. >'I've watched you grow up into the beautiful young mare, trying so hard to make this world a brighter, happier place.
  313. >'So please, believe me when I tell you; You're the very reason I smiled for so many years.
  314. >'Every time you walked through the door, no matter what mood I was in, you brought me to life again.
  315. >'I can only pray that you know just how invaluable you are. You're the very definition of a blessing.
  316. >'So I wrote you into my will with one small request.
  317. >'I have no heirs, so I would have given my things to charity, but I feel you deserve something for all the effort you put into helping me.
  318. >'The one thing I want to ask, Pinkie, is a promise; You'll keep doing as you do. That you'll use what I give you to give smiles to everypony.
  319. >'I want the world to be able to feel the happiness I felt when you came through that door on those lonely days.
  320. >'And I want you to know that you are the very best friend I've ever had.
  321. >'Your friend,
  322. >'Anon Y. Mous
  324. >You can hardly read through the tears in your eyes.
  325. >You knew you meant a lot to 'Non, but... it seems like you never knew just how much.
  326. >From the looks of it, you were the only one holding him up at all.
  327. >And that meant the world to him.
  328. >That is exactly what you wanted to do. To bring smiles to everypony. Especially those that need it the most.
  329. >You know what, 'Non? Pinkiemena Diane Pie is going to take what you give and make sure that everypony gets the real smile they deserve.
  331. >You close the book and grab one of the pieces of paperwork.
  332. >Let's see... this is a... life insurance policy. Whole life. You're the benefactor and you're supposed to go to Canterlot and see their representative to... claim...
  334. [spoiler]>H- HOW MANY ZEROES IS THAT?[/spoiler]
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