I live my life, one day at a time. A good portion of those days are uneventful, always falling in the same routine: I wake up, walk to work, work, walk home, then bum around until I go to bed. Some times I'll hang with my few friends, while other times I'll just play video games or watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Every so often, something new and interesting happens: I meet an old friend, I find a dollar on the ground, or I get chased by a stray dog.
Living in a dying city isn't very fun or interesting. This city was once full of life and color, but now... now most of the houses are sagging, the businesses sit empty and abandoned, and several open fields lay barren of the once great factories that helped drive the economy. I had never seen this city during those times in person, but I have seen pictures. My mother and father lived happy, and they could only wish the same for me growing up.
Sadly, I cannot say I have achieved that wish of theirs.
I've fallen into the same dull routine: Wake, work, sleep, repeat. I do have some moments of bliss, but the daily struggles I go through outweigh the small moments of joy I have. My Little Pony has helped, but it's still just another thing to give my hopes up on. Every time I see the show, or one of the ponies on a fan site, I recoil a bit at the bright colors, the joyful faces of the ponies, and the peaceful scenery of their world. It's so hard to look at that beautiful world, having it so close to my grasp; I reach out to touch it's warm colors and bright, smiling faces of the ponies.
Only to be stopped by my computer screen.
I snapped back to reality. It gets to the point where I will simply shut down my computer and walk away. I do that a lot, especially after my parents death. I go for a walk. When I feel sad, I walk. When I feel tired, I walk. When I feel like walking... I walk. Walking has become my second life in a sense; I spend at least half my day outside along the crumbling side-walks and decaying suburbs.
I've seen people come and go. I've seen buildings torn down, burned up, or have so much graffiti on its walls that its original color is unrecognizable. I very rarely pass any other people on my strolls. Most people don't like to look at their once beautiful city, their homes or former businesses. I don't blame them. In fact I envy them. They saw this place with their own two eyes, seeing the buildings still standing tall and proud, the lawns freshly cut, the paved roads, and sidewalks still intact.
The only thing I've ever seen that even comes close is my mother's paintings, each of them colorful scenes of this concrete world. She started painting once everything crumbled beneath her feet, making the sad scenery before her look beautiful. Her masterpiece is of an open field that yielded a parking garage. Over it, she drew an amazing rainbow. My favorite picture. I guess that is part of why I like Rainbow Dash the most out of all the other ponies. Her colors, the amazing sonic rainboom, all remind me of that picture.
There have been times I wished I had my own Rainbow Dash, or more realistically a plushie of her, to curl up in bed with. I've made an old Simba into a "temporary" replacement, until I am able to save enough money for one. It helps, in a way. Like holding it close will heal my wounds, my pain, and my sorrow. My feet, after countless hours of walking in my old shoes, pulsate under the sheet, and all the while, I'll hold that stuffed animal harder than a mother protecting her child. It's the only thing I can look at and feel true joy, even if it isn't physically the Rainbow Dash I want.
It will have to do.
Today, as usual, I walked to work. It was the same shit, just a different day, watching the same people enter the store, grab their merchandise and pay, then walk out with bags in tow. My shift ended after several hours of this. I clocked out and started walking home. I decided to use a different route this time, for a change in pace, a little something different from the normal path I walk. This part of town was hit the worst; only a few houses still stand, and none of them occupied. It truly is a sad sight to see. Then again, it's really the only sight I see. The only sight I'll ever see.
Or so I thought.
I was stopped by something unusual; a stray cardboard box in the middle of the sidewalk. Now, living in this kind of area I see trash all the time. Boxes, McDonalds cups, and plastic bags litter the streets and empty fields, but rarely will I see a cardboard box that isn't crushed in one way or another. I noticed this particular box because it happened to be in my way. During my younger years, I tried to do what I could for the community. I'd pick up trash when I saw it, or I'd attempt to help my neighbors. It was a losing battle. Now-a-days, I'd given up any hope of cleaning this city, much less my neighborhood. Now I'll just pass the trash by, letting it blow away in the breeze or sit there and decompose. I let what's left of the "people" do their own things, since most of them don't care about anyone other than themselves. Why should I be any different?
I walked past the box, barely giving it a glance. Nothing about it caught my attention right away. I continued on, my home not far away now. Upon arriving, I sat down down and played some games, attempting to push the box out of my mind. I had little luck, as the box somehow managed to push it's way back in. Time crept on by, and I soon found myself wanting to go for another walk. I left the house and started down my usual route when I stopped. What was it about that box that made it stick out in my mind? I turned around, starting down the path I had taken to get home, the path that I only walk once in a blue moon. Curiosity got the best of me, and I wanted some closure.
Within minutes I found it, still sitting there, sad and alone among the broken concrete and over-grown grass. It didn't move, it didn't stand out as if it were special. It was an ordinary, brown cardboard box. I didn't want to say I came out here for nothing, so I walked closer to it. As I drew closer, however, I began to notice something inside. It was brightly colored, multiple colors in fact, and was quite small. Maybe the size of a few month old Labrador puppy.
I stopped beside the box, and looked down at the colorful blob inside.
This is where I currently stand: looking into the box at a small... something. No, I know exactly what it is, but my brain isn't allowing me to fully realize it just yet. At first I want to say it's simply a toy, left to die along with all the other things in this block. But then I saw it breathing. In fact, it appears to be sleeping. My hands are sweating, my breathing erratic, and I'm blinking my eyes trying to refresh my vision.
Each time, the image stays the same. Inside, is a sleeping... filly... Rainbow Dash.
I kneel down, trying to get a closer look into the box. I can't believe what I am seeing. There is not a physical, mental, or extraterrestrial way how this could be here...how she could be here, in my gloomy, dark and horrid world. I examine the box further, and on the side in simple pen says "Give to good home."
The first thought that runs through my mind, besides the initial "Filly Rainbow Dash in a box", is "Who would give up a filly Rainbow Dash?"My mind is now a mess of questions. How did she get here? Why is she here? Why is she a filly? Her flank is even barren of her cutie mark, meaning she is indeed a filly. As I stand to stretch my tired legs, I accidentally bump the side of the box with my foot, and the inevitable occurs: she wakes up.
She looks around, rubbing her face with a foreleg, trying to wake herself up. At first all she sees are the brown walls of the box, but then she looks up to me. Those large black eyes, along with the rose-colored rim around them, drive my heart to, as the meme goes, explode... twice. The sheer cuteness of it all drives me to kneel back down, and I can't hold back a smile. I haven't smiled like this in years, since the last time me and my parents went out to the only remaining park in the area.
Her eyes continue to stare at me, and I stare back. I don't know what to say, or what to do, but I must start somewhere.
I speak, but she doesn't respond.
"Uh, what are you doing out here?"
She looks around, then back to me. The more I study her, the more I realize she is really young; years younger than her filly appearance in episode twenty three. She might not even be able to talk yet... that is, if she even can talk in my world. The fact that she is even existing right now has me reeling in confusion. I return my attention back to her, and notice a small shiver of her body. The fall season is here, and it can get pretty cold, especially around mid-September.
I'm not sure how to exactly tackle this situation; do I take her home? Do I call someone? Who would I even call? I'm a closet brony, so none of my friends know about my love of the show. I can't take her to a shelter... that's a stupid thought in the first place. Not only would it be a horrible sight, she might be taken off to some lab and experimented on or something just as equally horrible. I have only one choice.
She shakes once more as the cool air reaches her coat; her wings ruffle as she lays back down and huddles her legs closer to her body to keep warm. That's the final straw, I can't take anymore. I take off my own jacket, and reach down and pick her up. I get the initial response I expected; fear. She begins to squirm around, unsure what I'm doing to her. She can't fly yet, but she still flutters her wings as in praying for a miracle to happen that she does magically take flight. I set her into my jacket, wrap her up so that her head is sticking out, and hold her in my arm. She continues to squirm, but then my body heat begins to finally seep through the thin jacket and she settles down.
"It's all right. Lets get you somewhere warmer, huh?"
I smile again at her. She looks up to me with much confusion in her eyes as she tries to process what is happening.
"Don't worry, I'm not gonna hurt you. It's getting late, and you'll freeze out here."
I think she understands me, for after I say those words her eyes return to their normal size, and she snuggles herself more comfortably inside my jacket. She squirms a little, trying to get into a more comfortable position. I can feel her hooves and wings poking me as she shifts. Then, to top it off, she rests her chin onto my arm and lets out a deep sigh, closing her eyes to drift off to sleep.
My heart explodes for a third time.
The entire walk back, I keep an eye out for other people who could pass by me. I don't want anyone else to see her. I have no way of knowing how they would react. As usual though, I don't see a single person. It's midnight by the time I get home; fortunately for us both, I had turned on my porch light, otherwise I might have passed it. Being one of the few occupied homes on the block meant a lot of darkness. The city even stopped running power to street lights, so that made it all the more difficult. I glanced down at the filly, who continued to sleep in the jacket as I carried her. She was no longer shivering, and felt quite warm.
I walk up to my porch, careful not to make too much noise as I get my keys out, unlock the two dead bolts, the master lock, and finally the door knob, and open my door. It is dark inside, due to me leaving while it was still light out. With a flick of a switch, the single bulb in the hallway comes to life, shedding some light into the living room. Most of the furnishings are my parent's. Then again, so is the house. I became the owner of it after their passing, and have done what I can to keep it that way.
Still with the filly Rainbow Dash in my arm, I walk into the living room. As I pass my family portrait, I greet it with a "Hello mom, hello dad." I know they aren't there, but knowing that they loved me, and that I love them, helps me stay sane, and to keep going in my miserable life. As I enter the living room, I can feel stirring in my arm. She had woken up, most likely when I turned on the light, and is now getting antsy. With no idea what to do or how to tackle the situation, I set her down on the couch.
Immediately she jumps out of the jacket and looks around, already investigating her surroundings. I continue to watch her as she explores the couch, then continues to the coffee table.
"What are you doing here in my world?"
I didn't mean to ask that out loud, but it just sort of happens every now and then. Only seeing my few friends once in a great while, I find myself talking to, well, myself a lot. I don't own a pet, because that just means more money to dish out and I'm already struggling as it is.
From my question, the only response is another blank look on her face. That tells me she has no clue either. Then again, what else should I expect from a filly that can't even talk yet.
"Are you lost?"
The moment the words left my mouth, her ears fall and she looks to the ground.
The realization strikes that she has no clue what is going on, where she is, who I am, or anything else. She's beyond the word "lost": she is misplaced.
"Well, until something happens, I guess you can... stay with me."
I see how she lifts her head up, ears starting to erect once again, and looks at me with worry. My words don't sound that encouraging, so I throw on a smile as I speak.
"Don't worry. I'm sure whatever brought you here will fix itself within time. We just... gotta wait. Is that alright?"
I'm not sure why I asked that, but it seems to do the trick. Her ears perk right up and she smiles.
The next few hours are spent giving her the "grand tour" of my house. Nothing amazing to see, and I avoid taking her into my bedroom out of fear that the large amount of dirty clothes would swallow her up. Afterwords, I give her something to eat. I break up some small carrots, and amazingly I discover she has some teeth. Since she is still a filly, I wasn't sure if she could eat solid foods such as carrots yet. Then again, she is from a cartoon so I don't know what is "correct" for her anyway.
Satisfied with the food, she finds a comfy spot in my father's recliner and sits. I don't mind, it's not like I sit in it. I was never allowed to when he was alive, so why should that change even after his passing? It's his chair. But I'm not gonna be mean to the filly for not knowing that, so I let her sit where she is most comfortable. I also give her a small blanket to wrap herself in, due to my house's current temperature. It's not as cold as it is outside, but my furnace has had problems since before my parents passing. There was a trick to fixing it, but that died along with my father.
I must have fallen asleep at some point. I honestly expected myself to be wide awake due to such an interesting event, but after the long hours at work and staying up to take care of Dash, my body had other plans. I'm not sure how long I was out before I awoke, but it doesn't matter; as I close my eyes, I feel something against my side. I look, and sleeping beside me is the small cyan filly; her rainbow mane and tail still, her head resting on the inside of my elbow.
I know the meme gets old, but I must say it: my heart exploded again.
Laying there, sleeping and curled up beside me had me smiling ear to ear. Her gentle breaths are barely heard. The hairs on her mane tickle my arm, but I hold back any movement to itch. The warmth of her body against my stomach warms my already weak heart. Though a few months isn't a long time, it's how long I have wanted a moment like this. My own little pony, a Rainbow Dash plushie to sleep with and hold tight. And now I have a real Rainbow Dash, a filly, sleeping at my side; content as though she's known me since birth.
Right now, there is nothing else that matters to me. My despair, my sore feet and painful heart all go unnoticed as nothing else can come remotely close to the feeling I have right now; this joy I am experiencing at this moment as I lay awake on my couch. She is here. She is real. Right now, she is my little pony. She is... my little Dashie.
It has been only four months since I brought the young Rainbow Dash into my home. I've done what little "research" I could on the matter, but I have come to no conclusions. I have no idea why she is here, and quite frankly, I don't even care anymore. These few months with her have been the most amazing time of my life. She has opened my heart up to love and joy, among other things. Right now, she sits next to me on the couch as I watch television.
She seems to enjoy the morning cartoons on the local stations, and I myself have come to enjoy them. She acts much like a young child would. Then again why wouldn't she? Another amazing feat is she has been learning to talk. I'm not much of a teacher, or for that matter a parent, but I am doing my best to help her learn to speak and read. I don't know how, or even where to begin to attempt in teaching her to write. From the show they did it with their mouths, but I will let that go for now. Once she is a little older, if I even have her that long, I will do what I can to teach her.
It used to be that a year would go by slowly. I would look forward to the new year, in hopes of getting a fresh start. Now though, I feel as if this year went by a little too quickly for me. I've decided, since I have no knowledge of her actual birth-date, to make the day I found her her birthday. September the seventeenth...oddly enough, that's the very same date that the second season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic aired last year. I quit watching the show after Dashie came into my life. There was no reason for me to continue, and honestly, I don't have much time to myself anymore.
It would be hard to hide me watching the show, and even harder to explain the situation if she were to ever see it, especially at her current age. She knew her name was Rainbow Dash, but I have come to calling her Pinkie's pet name of "Dashie", and she has no problem with it. She can fully communicate with me now, as well as read English, and she's even starting to learn how to write with, you guessed it, her mouth.
I tried to "invent" some devices for her hoof so she could write, but it seems writing with her mouth is more natural than moving her hoof around. One thing now troubles me with her. Every day she sits at a window, looking outside. I'm not worried about her being seen by passerby's. I'm on a dead end street, so that's the least of my worries. Still, though she doesn't say anything to me yet, I can see the hunger for fresh air in her eyes. I can't keep her in here her entire life.
Ha...I keep talking like she is going to be here forever. That isn't true. One day, some day, she will return home, whether it'll be a simple "poof" and she's gone, or through some magical spell and Twilight shows up and takes her home to fix everything. In my heart, I hope that never happens. In my head, I know it will. It's just a matter of when.
I do hope to get her outside soon. I've been checking out some of the abandoned lots and former parks on my walks to and from work, seeing where the best location would be to take her. Oddly enough, it seems the park I had played at growing up is the best option. That shall be it then, I shall take her to the park. How will I get her there? She's still relatively small, so she can be hidden inside a jacket or something. Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day, anyway.
She did it. After two years in my care, and having absolutely no knowledge of flight myself, I helped her learn to fly. She's gotten quite big in only a couple years, and it was getting hard to hide her when we walked to the park. I got so desperate to keep her hidden, I bought a dog costume for her to put on, so she could walk there unnoticed. She was not happy. So, I got some books from the library and read up on teaching birds to fly.
I would have looked on the internet, but I fear she would become curious of it herself. There are a lot of horrors on the internet, and she's not ready for it. In hind sight it's bad enough she is experiencing television, but she has come to enjoy Spongebob and Nascar too much for me to take that away from her.
Back to the flying. I've been taking her to that old park for weeks, in hopes I could help her learn how to fly. There is a large tree there, with branches sticking out over a sandbox. The perfect spot for her to practice. If she falls, and I can't catch her, at least she'll have something remotely soft to land on. She fell a lot. I knew she would fall a lot. There were many scrapes, cuts, and bruises toward her goal, but finally, after many weeks of work, she flew. It was only a short distance, about fifty feet, but she still did it. She's a little scraped up, but she's beaming with pride. Maybe now she could fly overhead, so that the few people on the ground don't notice her. I'll have to see if she can manipulate clouds like she could in the show; it would make it much easier to take her places. Then she can hide on a cloud as we go to the park.
Another thing that has been brought to my attention. She asked me about having her own room. I got thinking, and realized the house does have a spare bedroom, though my parents had filled it with my old school stuff from my younger years, as well as several of my old toys. She might enjoy them, though she is getting older I'm not sure how entertaining they will be for her. If she has her own room, I can get her her own things, so that she can feel somewhat normal. She's pretty smart for a filly, and knows about the difference between our species, but she still knows nothing about her origin. She is not ready yet; the only thing I can do is keep her happy.
I only wish I had a way to buy her the things she wants.
If you told me four years ago I'd be taking care of a cartoon, rainbow colored pony, I'd call you insane. I probably am in all reality, but I don't care. I'm happy. She's happy. Today is a day for celebration, for today, my little Dashie got her cutie mark.
I honestly didn't know how to tackle that fact. She didn't even know what it was until I explained it to her. Now she's even more ecstatic than before. It was a normal park outing, but this time she decided she wanted to see how high she could get. I had limited her to how high she could fly, but honestly I can't do anything about what she does up there. I can't fly, so the most I could do is tell her to be careful.
Somewhere she got it in her head to see just how fast she could fly, probably due to her being a Nascar and, well, a general racing fan. For some time she was trying to make up tricks and stunts of her own, giving them names. I'd just sit on a bench I had fixed up and cheer her on. No one was ever around anymore. In fact, on that block, I think the last person left over a year ago. There are rumors the entire area is going to be bought out by some company however, and all this turned into a large manufacturing area. I don't know how I feel about that... but it's not important now. Right now, I'm so over come with joy that my Dashie now knows her place. Granted this isn't her world, she is still the same Rainbow Dash from the show.. Regardless of how I raised her, she has that same spunk and attitude from the show. And now, she has her cutie mark.
Anyway, she climbed to quite a height in an attempt to gain speed from a fall. Well, all the right things factored for her; how she positioned herself, her mental focus, and possibly me on the ground watching and cheering her on, but she did it. She broke the sound barrier, and created a sonic rainboom overhead.
Now, I didn't even imagine it was possible to accomplish such a feat in my world. I knew you could break the sound barrier, but actually do the rainbow part too? My mind is blown. So, the initial explosion brought upon many broken windows and set off car alarms in the next county. I quickly rounded her up and we rushed home before anyone could arrive at the park. I was lucky none of my windows were broken.
The rest of the day was spent celebrating. It just so happened today was her fourth birthday. I have no way of knowing how old she actually was when I got her, so I just started over. I would have bought a cake, but due to the boom all the businesses were closed and needed new windows. So, we made a cake on our own. Apparently the fan fiction writers got it right: she can't bake at all. Granted I'm not the best myself, but it was still a mess. But we had fun, she enjoyed herself, and she is happy. Therefore, I am happy.
Though that was her highlight of the day, mine was just moments ago. She has now come accustom to sleeping in her own room versus with me out on the couch. I actually stopped sleeping in my room, and kept her company in the living room up until recently. Now I can sleep on my own bed once more, but I keep my door unlocked, so if she needs me, she can get me. I had just tucked her into bed and told her goodnight when she said it.
"Goodnight daddy. I love you."
I haven't been on the internet in, what, three years now? I don't know how the My Little Pony thing online is doing, or what memes are still alive or not. But damn it all, I'm gonna say it cause it's true! My heart exploded twice! For the first time, not only did she call me daddy, which she has done on occasion, but she even said... "I love you."
For a moment, I didn't know what to say or what to do. I've never been in this sort of situation before. But I remembered what my mother and father used to do. So, I leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and told her the same thing.
"Goodnight, my little Dashie. I love you too."
She smiled at me, then closed her eyes to sleep. I walked out, turned off her light, making sure her Spongebob nightlight was on, of course, closed her door, then sat down on the couch. I haven't moved for an hour now, I'm so lost in thought. The few times she had called me "daddy," I didn't think anything of it. I could picture why she called me that. Being with her so much made me accept it as part of taking care of her. But tonight when she said those three words, the realization finally sunk into my heart. I am her daddy.She considers me her daddy. And quite frankly, I consider her my daughter. Even though we are of a totally different species, I still love her with all my heart. And it has taken her to speak those words to me for me to finally realize that. I think I have finally done it. I have broken my hard shell that had formed when my parents died. I've let a sweet little filly into my life. I gave her a home to live in, food to eat, and now a daddy to love. She has given me hope, love, compassion, and now something I thought I'd never utter: a daughter.
I still speculate when the time is going to arise that she goes back to Equestria. And each day it gets harder for me to imagine when that actually happens. I just hope that she never forgets me, because I will never forget her.
I believe Dashie is now at her full size. Rounding in at about three feet tall, she is fully grown. Though she is still only ten years old according to my math, I believe she is actually more along the lines of fourteen or fifteen possibly in actual years. So, we celebrated five missed birthdays and officially moving day. That's right, moving day. We moved from my parents house, thanks to me finally saving up enough money, plus getting lucky at a casino. We bought a nice house a hundred miles away from the city. It's got a lot of open land, there isn't another house within five miles, and it's just me and her.
Now she can fly around all she wants, whenever she wants. She is truly happy, though she does miss the old park. It's gone now, along with anything else left in the area. A large business bought all the land up, flattened it, and built a large factory there. It was an amazing boom to the economy, and people are starting to build homes again! I'm glad, but... it just wasn't for us. That amount of people would hinder her going outside, and I'm not going to force her to stay inside all day unless it's raining out.
I've gotten a new job, one that pays much more than my old one. Dashie even talked about getting a job, but then she remembered what I told her. The look on her face was heartbreaking. We were enjoying a cake we made, which I must add we have improved upon that skill, when she brought it up. I jokingly said she can't due to her being a pony and I laughed. She remained silent. My god I'm horrible. I...I just laughed because my daughter is different.
I apologized for hours, and even though she says she understands, I know she is still hurt. Lucky, I have a way to fix this. Due to the sheer size of the property, it involves a lot of cutting of grass. Tomorrow I will modify a lawn mower for her to use, so that she can have a job. I'll even pay her, so that she can buy her own stuff if she wants. Though I'd have to get it for her, still she can actually say she worked for something. According to the show, she was a weather pony. And I don't have her mess with mother nature unless it's a dire emergency, so there isn't really any job to be had there.
I still can't believe I've had her for ten years now. My god, time goes so fast... I wish it would slow down, so that I could have more time with her. I don't know when, but I have the sudden feeling our time together is running out. All of this has been too good to be true.
Today has to have been the worst time of my life, even more than when my parents died. Due to events I could not prepare for, Dashie found out the truth before I could tell her myself. She knows what she is, a made up cartoon character from a kids television show. She is mad, no, upset beyond all thought. She had locked herself in her room, but I know my daughter. She didn't stay in there long. She opened her window and flew off, probably into a tree to sulk in her sorrow.
I'm a monster.
I should have told her sooner, I just wasn't sure when would be the right time. Now we are