Here’s chapters 7 and 8 of the weirdest story I’ve ever written. With a bunch of revising and a whole lot of story changes, it might actually be a decent story, but this here is the original.
Do you feel the change?” said Clementine, craning her neck to look at the two horses. Thunder was hopping around like Drover, and Apple Jack was wiping her mouth on the ground.
“I feel kind of… um…” said Thunder, searching for the right word, “LIKE I LOVE YOU!”
“Not you. Apple Jack.”
“I feel grossed out… that was wet. But nothing else.”
“Oh. There would be a chance, a chance for you.”
“OH, SO I’M NOT SPECIAL!” said Thunder, slapping the ground with his hoof. “HOW HORRIBLE!”
“Oh, Thunder, it’s not anything on you,” said Clementine.
“Nope. I think it’s just not the right solution. It’s the dragon that did it, and he’s crafty, so I think he left it to his Shadow Horses.”
Thunder gasped. “I don’t like Shadow Horses. They creep me out.”
“Exactly. When the Shadow King – Romeo, that is – and his two friends are defeated, Apple Jack will be given the choice to be either a horse or a unicorn forever. Something tells me she’ll pick – ”
“Totally a horse!” said Apple Jack. “I like being a horse, not a unicorn! Although I like the magic it’s just totally horrible being a unicorn.”
“Sorry,” said Clementine. “I checked on Kayleen last night. She’s just standing outside of her barn with her head down, not making a sound. She’s not moving, either, not even when a fly landed right on her forehead. I really think there’s something wrong with her.”
“What’re you guys talking about?” said Andy, coming up to them.
“Kayleen,” Clementine said.
“Don’t worry about her,” said Andy, waving a hoof carelessly. “She’s just a big old drama queen.”
“She was doing the right thing,” said Clementine angrily.
“Andy, be nice,” said Apple Jack. “Her boyfriend just turned into a Shadow Horse, and apparently you don’t care. What if I turned into a Shadow Horse? Would you be the same?”
“What a beautiful morning,” a voice said.
“Oh, hey, Rose,” said Andy.
“Hi,” Rose replied cheerfully. “What’re you doing?”
“Oh, just talking about Shadow Horses,” said Apple Jack.
“Oh, I see,” said Rose. “That kind of stuff just creeps me out.”
“I know,” said Thunder. “They have their dead eyes, and most of them are all black.”
“Dead eyes?” said Rose in wonder. “You know what that means, don’t you? Do you remember what Phoenix said about the horses on the mountain?”
Apple Jack gasped. “Phoenix! Come here!”
Phoenix flew over to the four horses and one bird. “Yeah?”
“Tell us more about the horses on the mountain,” Rose said. “Particularly about the one with dead eyes.”
“Well, they had dead eyes, alright,” said Phoenix. “Except the black female. And they also had creepy black bodies – ”
“That’s what I said!” said Thunder excitedly.
“You were on the mountain?” said Phoenix, raising his eyebrows. “That means you’re a Shadow Horse! Raak!”
“He’s not,” said Clementine.
“Okay. Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Look at his eyes. He couldn’t be… Wait! That gives me an idea! Let me go check something.” Clementine flapped away.
“Don’t know what that’s about,” said Phoenix, rolling his eyes. “My sister can be such a joke sometimes.”
“I know she can,” said Rose with a grin. “I’ve seen her. Creepy in an okay way.”
“Yeah, yeah, sure. You haven’t lived with her for eighteen years. Raak.”
“And I’m only eight! That’s a long time.”
“Yeah, well, we’re parrots. We live for a long time. Wait – you’re only six?”
“Eight. How old are you, Apple Jack?”
“I’m twenty-one! Yeah!” said Andy. “Adult!”
“Do you like being that old?” asked Rose curiously.
“Yeah. I’m my own man now.”
“Do you enjoy working for the king?”
“Does he ever punish you?”
“No way. I do stuff too well.”
Clementine arrived again. “Araak! Just as I thought! I – ”
“ANDY!” the voice of the king bellowed.
“Okay, just a sec!” he yelled exasperatedly. “Strike one, gotta go,” he said to his sister, and left.
“Araak! Just as I thought!” began Clementine again. “Have you seen Kayleen’s eyes? They’re not dead! They’re a beautiful shade of chestnut. She can’t be a Shadow Horse. She’s innocent! Raak.”
“Tell that to Ashley,” said Rose. “She wasn’t being very nice the other day.”
“Ashley said what, now?” said Ashley with a scowl as she walked up to them.
“Kayleen is innocent,” said Clementine proudly.
“Definitely,” said Thunder.
“No she’s not,” said Ashley. “She’s black. She’s a Shadow Horse! Everybody knows that!”
“But her eyes,” said Clementine. “Araak! Haven’t you seen them?”
“Yeah,” said Ashley, still frowning. “They’re dead. That means she’s definitely a Shadow Horse.”
“They’re brown,” said Clementine. “Have you seen his? Romeo’s?”
“Yeah, they’re dead, too,” said Ashley, her flair for rumors at full work. “They’re both Shadow Horses.”
“How could you say that?” said Clementine angrily. “They were gray, and she’s so beat up over it… You wouldn’t think like that if you saw her.”
“Oh yeah?” Ashley retorted. “Well, I don’t really care about her, Clementine. I – ”
There was a piercing “Reeeeeeeee!” as Clementine, fast as lightning, flew at Ashley, talons outstretched. “Hey, watch it!” Ashley yelled.
“Yeah, watch it,” said Dakota, stepping over to his girlfriend’s aid. “You’re not officially a member of our society yet, so we can kick you out at any time.”
Clementine was still fluffed up to maximum size. “Kreeeeeeeeeee!” she cried, wings stretched out to her sides in her threat position. With one movement Dakota pinned her down. “And I can stomp you to the ground.” Although Clementine struggled bravely, Dakota, who was huge compared to the parrot, was to strong. He pinned her down harder. There was a crack of breaking bones. Phoenix was too horrified to attack completely, but he knocked Dakota backwards and gave him a shallow cut across his chest with one slash of his talons. “There you go,” he said imperiously, looking down at his sister. Clementine was panting. “Thank you,” she said. “Thank you, Phoenix. I’m hurt. I think a couple of my ribs are broken.”
“Here,” he said. “Go to the king. He can help you. I would send you to Kayleen, but she’s in no fit state to help.”
“Got it,” Clementine croaked, and limped pitifully off, one wing dragging.
“And be sure to tell him what happened!” Phoenix yelled, waving one green wing.
“Baby, are you okay?” cried Ashley, running over to Dakota.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he said.
Rose stood up to her full height. “Oh yeah? You think you can treat someone like that?” she said. “She may not be a member of our society yet, but I am! And even though I’m young I can stand up to you!”
“Raak! Really?” said Phoenix, raising his eyebrows. “Good for you.”
Ashley neighed angrily. “Don’t you get near my baby!”
“Yeah, sure,” Rose muttered. “I’ll help you and Clementine, Phoenix. Kayleen was just trying to be nice, and Mr. and Mrs. Gossip over there kept shoving her down. So I’m with you.”
“She’s a Shadow Horse!” cried Ashley.
“She’s not a Shadow Horse!” said Rose indignantly. “Here, look at this photograph of a Shadow Horse.” She held it up. “I always carry this with me.” Ashley looked at it. “Look at their eyes,” said Rose. “They’re bright, pearl white. Have you seen Kayleen’s?” She produced another photograph that had been stuck in her unkempt reddish tail. “They’re brown! They’re dark, shiny, chestnut brown!”
“Huh,” snorted Ashley. “Dark, shiny chestnut gray to me.”
“No, they’re not.” Phoenix went to Rose’s aid. “Duh.”
“Okay, fine,” said Ashley. “I’m jealous of Kayleen because she’s getting all the attention because she’s new and shy, and I want to have the big bang and stuff, and be the most popular. Now, I’m dating here Dakota because he’s a wittle cutie wootie, but that’s pretty much it.”
“Really?” said Rose, stunned. “That’s all? I can help you with that. You – ”
“No,” said Ashley. “You’re six, okay? I don’t need you.”
“Wrong,” said Rose. “I’m eight. And you’ve never seen my mom. I dress her up every day.”
“Who’s your mom?”
“You don’t know her?”
Ashley shook her head.
“Fine. She has the stuff to dress you up real nice. I think your little fashion predicament is over.”
Ashley gave a growl of frustration. “I have enough fashion, okay?”
“Don’t you want to be popular?”
“Fine.” She gave Dakota a small kiss. “Bye. See you in a little bit.”
“Oh, but Dakota, you can come, too if you want,” said Rose.
“Nah, I’m good. Fashion is a mare thing. It’s kind of creepy if you’re a boy.”
“Okay,” said Rose. “See you.”
“Ohhh, got to go with the six year old,” Ashley grumbled.
“Hey, where’d everybody go?” said Phoenix.
“Raak, I’m not sure,” said Clementine. “I feel better now.” She had just come out of the barn two hours after Dakota had stomped down four of her delicate bird ribs, one leg bone, and two wing bones.
“Hey, you two,” said Spirit, walking up to them.
“Oh, hi, Spirit, said Apple Jack as she, too joined the two parrots and the horse. “Haven’t seen you in a day or two.”
“Yeah, I’ve been busy,” Spirit said with a shrug.
“Araak,” Clementine said in her squawky voice. “I figured. Since you’re the king’s right-hand horse, I expect you don’t have much spare time. And with Ashley and your son dating, things must be hard. I heard she went off with Rose to get dressed up, is that right?”
“Hey, Mr. Spirit,” said a voice. It was Midnight, a black horse with a white star on his forehead and two white hooves.
“Oh, hey,” said Spirit. “Where’s your sister?”
“Oh,” he said. “Right. Umm, she’s in the barn. Oh, there she is.”
“Hello, Midnight,” said the new mare pleasantly. She was identical to him, height and all.
“Hello, Starlight,” he muttered.
“What’s the matter?” she said.
“You,” he said darkly. “You being my twin sister.”
“Okay,” said Apple Jack hesitantly. “I’m going to stay out of this.” She and Spirit backed away.
“Me being your sister?” Starlight said coldly, the friendliness falling out out of her voice instantly. “And what exactly do you mean by that?”
“You’re my sister,” said Midnight, “and I don’t really like you.”
“Oh, well that’s just too bad, then,” said Starlight fiercely. “Yeah! Booyah! Okay, that was a little weird.”
“That was pathetic,” said Midnight. “No, wait. You’re pathetic.”
“I’m pathetic?!” Starlight said angrily. “Well, who was on the mountain with the enemy?”
“On the mountain?” said Clementine, astonished.
“Raak!” Phoenix cried. “On the mountain? With the dragon?”
“He was,” said Starlight.
“How did you know about that?” said Midnight, half scared, half angry.
“How do I know, huh?” said Starlight. “I was there! I followed you.”
“Hey! You weren’t supposed to know about me being a Shadow Hor – ” He ended on a hiccup-like noise, cutting himself off. But it was too late
Starlight gasped. She stood in front of her twin brother, eyes wide. Her jaw was rigidly set open as her eyes flew over Midnight, who looked furious with himself. “No,” she said, just a whisper at first. Then slightly louder. “No, no. You can’t be a Shadow Horse.”
“What?” said Phoenix. “Midnight, you’re a Shadow Horse?” Good thing Ashley isn’t around, thought Phoenix. The news would be all over Equestria in five minutes.
“No, I’m not,” said Midnight quickly. “I was a Shadow Horse for Halloween, and I wanted to play around, you know, and go up on the mountain, and stuff.”
“Somehow, I don’t think so, as much as I want to believe it,” said Starlight. “It just doesn’t sound…” She sighed. “Midnight, you know I love you,” she said softly, “but… really? A Shadow Horse? You can’t be.”
“I’m not a Shadow Horse!” said Midnight, talking very fast. “I was one for Halloween, and I was trying to trick them so I could see their works and get into their heads.”
“That is a good motive, I suppose,” said Starlight to Midnight, but the volume sounded as if she were speaking to herself. Then she spoke louder. “I have an idea. We can test it.”
“Test how?” said Midnight quizzically.
“You can’t touch a Shadow Horse unless it is the shadows’ will.”
“Oh,” said Midnight, not meeting his sister’s eye.
When Midnight was least expecting it, Starlight reached out to touch him. Her hoof went right past him, as if there was some sort of force field around him. Or shadow field? thought Starlight hopelessly.
“You are a Shadow Horse,” she said quietly.
“No, I’m not! I was being one for Halloween!”
“I can’t touch you,” said Starlight quietly. She tried again but just missed. That was it. Her brother was a Shadow Horse.
“Midnight, you wouldn’t,” she pleaded. “What happened? I thought Shadow Horses were dead evil horses who chose to rise again as a shadow of their former lives. What happened to the real you?”
Midnight looked her right in the eye and said, in a very strange voice, “I’ve always been this way…”
“What?” said Spirit, coming back over to them.
“He’s a Shadow Horse!” cried Starlight.
“Who?” said Spirit wildly.
“Midnight? You’re a Shadow Horse?”
“Guys, stop!” Starlight yelled. “He’s my brother. Don’t pressure him. But still, look at his eyes.”
“King! King!” yelled Spirit.
“Don’t you call the king,” hissed Midnight, stepping in front of the barn door.
“We have to!” said Spirit.
“What’s the matter?” The king’s deep voice echoed around Equestria Square as he slammed the door open effortlessly, knocking Midnight to the ground.
“Midnight’s a Shadow Horse!” cried Spirit.
“Does my deputy speak the truth?” said the king imperiously, facing Midnight, who was shaking his head frantically.
“Tell me, Spirit.”
“He is! She knows! She can’t touch him!” He pointed to Starlight with one hoof.
“I’m not a Shadow Horse!” cried Midnight. “You have no proof!”
“Oh, really,” said the king.
“I’m not a Shadow Horse!”
“What about this?” He aimed a blow at Midnight, but it did not hit. He did it again, and it did; the sheer force of the huge Clydesdale’s blow sent Midnight sprawling.
“I touched,” he said, “but was it against the will of the shadows? I think not.”
“I’m not a Shadow Horse, though!” said Midnight.
“Shadow Horse say what?” said Apple Jack, arriving on the scene with a swagger.
The two horses ignored her. “You can’t prove it!” Midnight pleaded.
“Guys, please!” shouted Starlight. “I know he may be a Shadow Horse, but he’s my brother. I love him.”
“I’m not a Shadow Horse, guys!” Midnight yelled. “I can show you!”
“I don’t know if he’s a Shadow Horse or not,” said Starlight. If she had hands instead of hooves she would’ve been wringing them with anxiety. “But I’m on his side. He’s my brother!”
“You’re a Shadow Horse?” said Apple Jack, puzzled.
“I don’t know,” said Starlight. “I don’t know if he’s a Shadow Horse or not. Try and touch him.”
Apple Jack stabbed for his hoof and stopped right in front of it, and her leg wasn’t even stretched out all the way! So it was real. He was a Shadow Horse.
“Is it true?” said Starlight sadly. She looked at him for a few seconds until her lip began trembling, and she burst into hopeless tears. “You can’t be!” she sobbed.
“Huh,” Midnight snorted. “Looks like you’re on the same page as Kayleen.”
“Kayleen,” said Starlight softly, and sniffled.
Just hearing the name reminded her of something long ago, before she came to Equestria Square when she and Midnight were just foals. And wasn’t Kayleen new…?
What do I know about her? she thought, racking her brain for anything about Equestria Square’s newest horse. Suddenly, she gasped.
“What is it?” said the king in his deep, regal voice.
“You know something about our shy little friend?” she said, a smile coming over her coal-black face.
“What?” said Apple Jack, almost hopping with anticipation. Starlight rolled her eyes.
“I think she’s my sister,” she said softly, and Apple Jack gasped.
“I always knew you and Kayleen had something in common!” she cried, and embraced Starlight as well as she could (being a horse, it was difficult to hug your friend without knocking her over).
Starlight began laughing. “I knew we did!” she said. “We’re both black, we look the same… She’s our little sister!”
“Oh, yes!” Apple Jack said. “I am so glad for you!”
“I need to go tell her!” said Starlight happily. “Maybe that’ll get her out of her lull.”
“Yeah!” said Apple Jack, bouncing around in circles. “Kayleen!”
“Kayleen!” Starlight galloped over to where Kayleen was still sitting in her corner. She looked very thin. “Sister!”
“Sister?” Kayleen looked confused. “Oh! Starlight!”
They walked over to where Spirit and the king were still standing. “You are better than Romeo could ever be to me, Starlight,” said Kayleen, nuzzling her big sister.
“WHAT’S GOING ON OVER HEEEEEEERE?”
Oh, great, thought Starlight. The perfect party pooper. Drover had just bounced over to them, eyes bulging.
“What, Drover?” she said wearily.
“YAY! SHE SAID MY NAME!”
Drover was so busy bouncing around that he did not notice Starlight staring warily over his shoulder. She pointed with one hoof.
“EEEEEEEEEEE! SHADOW HORSE!” White-eyed Fiona was looking haughtily over his shoulder at his huge eyes. “Be silent,” she said coldly.
“You’re creeeeeeeeeeeeepy,” he said, still bouncing. “But I liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike you ‘cause you’re cooooooooooooooooooooool.”
“Be silent,” Fiona hissed again. Drover squealed.
“Drover, go away,” said Starlight, staring with a mixture of fear and coldness at Fiona. “King, I hope you don’t mind me telling you what to do, but get all the able males out here to fight, and make sure all the mares except Clementine and myself are inside a barn or something. Okay, Clementine’s not a mare, but get her out here anyway unless her wing and ribs haven’t healed yet. And get Phoenix, even though he’s not a stallion.”
For once, the king nodded deeply and ran to carry out the young horse’s orders.
“Shadow Horse!” yelled Andy, coming out of the barn to find out the cause of the king’s prolonged disappearance.
“Did somebody say Shadow Horse?” yelled Spirit.
“Guys!” said Starlight.
“Oh, no!” yelled Spirit.
Starlight frowned. These horses were not going to take serious action against the invading Shadow Horses unless she did something fast. She paused, thinking. “For Equestria!”
Sorry this is so long. For some reason, WordPress double-spaced all the paragraphs, so it looks even longer than it actually is.
Thanks for getting through that!!