Butterscotch in Equestria Part 2 starring Butterscotch Sundae and Pinkie Pie
"Pinkamina, Pinkamina, Pinkamina." I said it a second time
but still nothing happened.
I don't remember how long I lay there, slumped in the chair, face down, tears dripping onto the wooden top of the dresser. I think I must have cried myself asleep for the next thing I knew I could hear a most peculiar noise.
It sounded like someone eating quickly and messily.
"Om nom nom nom nom nom!"
Wait I was dreaming, right? I still had my eyes closed, so it could be a dream one of those drunk, overheated, feverish dreams I often had after a few too many drinks. But then I felt something nuzzling the side of my face something soft and furry, with warm, moist breath that smelled of vanilla and... hot-sauce?
I opened my right eye a crack and I couldn't see anything but a great patch of colour and I suddenly panicked, thinking I must have had a stroke.
Good work, Connie! You've finally drunk enough to give yourself brain damage. And now you'll never be able to see anything else but a big patch of pink fur...
PINK FUR???!!! I jerked my head off the dressing table and fell backwards, my chair tilting against my bed, and as I scrambled backwards across the quilt my eyes remained glued to the little pink pony who was half poking out of the mirror, her crazy shock of a cotton-candy mane bobbing up and down as she hoovered up the final few crumbs of the muffin with a long, pink tongue.
I sat there on the bed, watching with bugged-out eyes as Pinkie Pie Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Pinkie Pie herself! swallowed the last fragment of muffin and sniffed about, obviously looking for more. And when she couldn't find any she tried to get off the dressing table, but as she climbed out of the mirror she only got halfway, her wide hips getting jammed at both sides. She started to make the most adorable frustrated sounds as she jerked her head back and forth, trying to see what the problem was.
I swallowed. This was the moment of truth. Part of me knew that with my luck I was going to wake up from this delicious dream just at the point of saying hello, but nevertheless I scooshed off the bed and gingerly approached her as she continued to struggle to extricate herself. I could feel the muscles at each side of my mouth aching as I smiled huger than I'd smiled for a very long time. I don't know whether it was sudden belief, stubborn disbelief, shock, happiness, fear, confusion it might have been any or all of those emotions mixed up with a nice, sloshy slice of drunkenness but although I desperately tried to say something, my mouth only flapped open and shut like I was a koi-carp, my vocal chords refusing to make any sound except for a frenzied squeaking.
Uh now how exactly are you supposed to greet a little pony? First of all I put out my hand as if to shake her hoof, but suddenly felt like an idiot. Then I raised it in an open-palmed salute but that seemed weird too. I mean, she wasn't an alien after all
an interdimensional being, maybe well, an interdimensional pony, anyway. Either that or a figment of my drunken imagination! So I finally decided on just waving at her.
"Hi!" I said.
"Oooh hello!" said the little pink pony, finally noticing I was there and turning her head to look at me. But then it was her turn to be shocked. Her huge blue eyes bugged out preposterously and her hair exploding into a curly pink afro as if someone had suddenly inflated it with air! "A... a... SPACEPONY!!!!????" she gasped.
"Space... pony?" I repeated.
But just as quickly as she'd been transfigured by her surprise, it returned to normal: her eyes went back into her head and her hair settled back into its normal curly zaniness as Pinkie's face burst into a wide grin. "Oh, I just knew you were real!!!" she cried, clopping her forehooves together. "The girls never, ever believed me when I told them that there were Space Ponies watching us! They were always like 'Oh Pinkie Pie, you're so random!' But Iwasright, Iwasright, Iwasright! You do exist!"
And then she tried to leap forward off the dressing table to get a closer look at me, forgetting that she was still stuck only halfway out of the mirror, and the dressing table started to hobble back and forth while her little forelegs pumped up and down in the air desperately.
At the ludicrous and adorable sight of the frustrated little pony trying to get herself out of the mirror I was gripped by a sudden desire to laugh. But that was no way to start things off on the right hoof!
"Here, Pinkie, I'll help you," I said, taking hold of her forelegs with an apologetic smile. I must admit that I almost squealed when I touched her. Her coat was velvet soft, warm and real under my touch. The sensation was like running your skin against faux fur, quite unlike the rough coat of a real pony. I could have stood there and (rather creepily) stroked her fur forever, but I had a job to do!
"Sorry, Pinkie I'm going to have to pull you out!" I knew I should have used a bigger mirror! The poor pony's wide hips and ample rump were now quite stuck, but with a lot of pushing and pulling, with Pinkie squeezing herself left and right just as if you were trying to pull a couch through a door on moving day, we finally seemed to be making some progress.
And then suddenly there was a loud Pop! And Pinkie flew straight out of the mirror and ended up on top of me on the floor.
I looked up at her, speechless that marshmallow warmth was right on top of me, and as her mane draped about me, that crazy, curly, springy, bubble-gum mane, I could smell her sweet scent it was like burnt sugar, the smell of cotton-candy.
"Oooh, sorry Miss Spacepony!" said Pinkie, getting off me and helping me up. But as soon as I was on my feet again, she started sniffing and nuzzling me all over. On all fours her head came up to my ribs and as she nudged them with her muzzle, I started to laugh.
"No, wait, Pinkie! You're
you're tickling me!" I giggled, skipping away.
"Ooopsy whoopsy!" said Pinkie, putting a forehoof to her mouth. "Where are my manners?" She stepped back and looked me all over, a bright, sparkling smile lighting her face and the entire room as well. For some reason everything seemed to have taken on deeper, richer colours as soon as she'd arrived. The usually bright electric light in the room had become warm and yellow like butter, and the colour of my furniture had changed as well: all the wood in the room, like the wardrobe and the dresser, had turned the rich brown of melted chocolate, while my daggy old blue and white bedspread was brighter than it had been even when I'd just bought it, and was now the same colour as blueberries and cream.
As I stood there, looking at everything in amazement, Pinkie started up again: "Oh, I told the girls that I wasn't imagining things! Did you know that Twilight said that I was having hallucinations from overdosing on confectioner's sugar? That girl can be such a disbelieving disbelieverson sometimes!"
"Wait Pinkie," I said, finally understanding what she was talking about. "You've seen humans before?"
"'Who-mans'? Oh wait, that must be the space-pony word for 'space-pony'! What a super-funny name! It's so totally adorable! Oh, I love it! A real life who-man!" Pinkie reared up on her hind legs and clopped her hooves together, and as she did I noticed that on two legs she was around the same height as me well, actually, she was maybe a couple of inches taller. I'm a little on the short side for an average 'who-man'.
"Wait, Pinkie!" I said. "Where have you seen who-mans-" I shook my head her insanity, just like her bright colours, seemed highly contagious. "-humans before? Wait. Wait, you don't know Esther do you?"
Pinkie blinked at me quizzically. "Esther? Is she a 'space pony' too?"
"Yes, she is... no wait. Wait..." I was still very drunk, but even if I'd been sober I don't think it would have done me any good. Having a conversation with Pinkie was like being stuck in a vaudeville stand-up routine. "No, she's a human like me."
"Oh! A hu-man!" Pinkie shook her head. "Oh no. I've never met a human before oh, well until now, I mean. You're the first real-life human I've ever met, Miss..." She cocked her head, and I realised I hadn't told her my name yet.
Connie," I said, holding out my hand. It seemed the natural thing to do now that we were on a first name basis.
"Ooooh! Space pon... I mean, humans shake hoofsies too!" Pinkie grabbed hold of my hand with a forehoof and brought it up to her face for a closer look. "But wait that's not a hoofsie. It's a little claw, just like Spikey has! Oh how wonderful!" Pinkie pumped it rapidly up and down. "Oh, I'm so pleased to meet you Connie! My name's Pinkamina Diane Pie but my friends call me Pinkie Pie!" Suddenly she dropped my hand, a quizzical look on her face. "But wait you already called me Pinkie, didn't you?"
My hand was still jogging up and down, but I managed to reply. "Uh, yes!" Now how the hell was I going to explain everything?
But I needn't have worried, for Pinkie was already talking a million miles an hour and working things out for herself. "If you know my name's Pinkie Pie, but you've never been to Equestria before wait, you've never, ever been to Equestria before, right Connie? Oh, okie dokie! So I guess you must be able to see into Equestria somehow. Maybe you can peep into Equestria just like I can peep into your world!" Her brow furrowed in thought. "But how is that possible?"
"Well, if I was in the US I guess I'd be watching you guys on the TV
" Being drunk made the whole explanation thing an even more gruelling ordeal, and if my head hadn't already been aching it definitely would be now! "Uh a TV's a machine kinda like
well, a mirror, I guess, that you watch things on. But since I'm in Australia I have to use my computer instead and watch you on Youtube and..." I looked at Pinkie's steadily increasing confusion, and I shook my head. "But why am I even telling you all this? You don't have TVs in Equestria, do you Pinkie? Or computers."
"Oh, so you have a magic teevee mirror?" said Pinkie, making a valiant attempt at interpreting my drunken gibberish. "And what was that other thingie a contuba?" Pinkie began to hop around my bed, bouncing in the air just like her little hooves were on springs as she giggled. "Oh, you humans have such cute and funny names for everything!"
"It's a comPUTer," I said. "Not a tuba... It's a machine that-" and then with a sigh I gave up. My head was thumping and I somehow felt that trying to explain the whole mechanics of computers and TVs was a depressingly mundane way to be spending my time with Pinkie Pie. "Magic," I said at last, sitting back on the edge of the bed. "Just magic."
"Oh, maaaaaagic!" said Pinkie Pie, understanding at last. "That's just like how I can see into your world sometimes!"
"What, really?" I replied, wondering just how that could be possible. Somehow I could readily believe that Equestria and magic ponies existed, but not that they could see into our world.
"Of course!" replied the little pink pony. "Sometimes I get this spoooooooky feeling that somepony is watching me, and then I get a quick flash from the corner of my eye!" She jerked her head around as if she'd been startled and bugged out her eyes in demonstration. "It's super strange!"
"Wait! Can anyone else in Equestria see into our world?" I asked. I had no idea that our two worlds were so seemingly close together.
wun?" repeated Pinkie, those furrows on her forehead reappearing.
"Sorry I mean anypony
" I stifled a giggle. I'd just said anypony without the slightest trace of irony!
Pinkie shook her head. "Nope! Only Pinkie can - I guess it's just another peculiarly Pinkie Pie power! But I can't see really clearly just out of the corner of my Pinkie Pie eyes!" She blinked her big blue eyes at this point. "And then only in shiny things like windows or muffin trays or swimming pools but mostly I see things in mirrors!"
"Mirrors?" I said. "Why do you think that is?"
"Well, I guess mirrors are just kinda in-betweeny, and not only the magic ones either!" explained Pinkie with a shrug.
"In-betweeny?" I said. Was that even a word? Actually, I think I'd counted at least a dozen words that Pinkie had just added to the English language in the past five minutes.
She sat back on the bed next to me, and the mattress suddenly sunk with the weight of her round little body. "I guess Twilight would be able to explain things a whole lot better. She's the one with a head full of ideas and facts and numbers and explanations after all!" My head is just full of crazy stuff like oatmeal and recipes for quintuple choc-chip muffins and questions like 'How many Griffons does it take to change a light bulb?' But Grannie Pie always said that a demonstration is just like an explanation, only without all those super long and difficult words to trip over, so I guess I'll just show you!"
Pinkie suddenly jumped up off the bed, hopped over to the dresser and put a forehoof against the surface of the mirror and it went straight in as if it was made of liquid silver. As she took it back out, she said "I don't think anypony else can do it, except for Princess Celestia... oh, and probably Princess Luna too!" She put her forehoof to her chin and looked suddenly thoughtful. "I mean, Princess Luna can probably do everything that Princess Celestia can, right?"
I shrugged. "I guess so. But I've seen you go into mirrors before, Pinkie. I mean, that epis... that time when Fluttershy became a model for Photo Finish and you were stalking Twi everywhere and-"
"Waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait!!!" Pinkie looked even more shocked than the first time she'd seen me. "You know Twilight and Fluttershy, too? Oh, your magic teevee mirror sounds amazing!" She giggled. "And it has a funny name. Teevy teevy teevy!"
I grinned from ear to ear. This was the best drunken freak-out I'd ever had. Or was it a particularly intense lucid dream? A total emotional breakdown? Had I finally drunk myself to death, and this was the afterlife, made in a pony-fanatic's own image of heaven? Well, whatever it was, I never wanted it to end. And I wanted to know how far I could actually take things.
Pinkie had started hopping again, bouncing around the room, and her eyes went wide as she at last noticed the decorations the confetti on the floor, the balloons floating about here and there, the pink streamers everywhere. She stuck her muzzle everywhere it could conceivably go under my bed, which dislodged a whole pile of dust and made her sneeze, along the shelving where I keep my stuffed toys and other brick-a-brack, and then she started nosing through all my make-up that I'd piled on the bedside table to clear the dresser for the ritual. And finally she went looking behind the curtains, and as she did she got all tangled up in the chains of pink crepe-paper that I'd draped over them, and I had to get up, laughing, and tear them off her.
"Oh, you're having a party?" she asked cheerfully as I scrumpled up the last piece of crepe paper and tossed it behind the bed.
"Uh no," I replied, suddenly embarrassed. I realised that this totally looked like a creepy Party of One-type situation. "Oh wait, yes. Yes I was."
"Where are the guests? Are there more space ponies here?" Pinkie asked as she pushed my wardrobe open with her snout and started flicking through all of my clothes.
"Nope, just me," I said, stifling a giggle at the round pink butt that was swaying back and forth as she rifled through my stuff. "And I guess the party guest is you, Pinkie Pie!"
She pulled her head out of my work skirts and said "Me?" in surprise.
"Well, yes!" I said, suddenly feeling bashful. It did seem a little strange now I thought about it. "I guess all this is for you, Pinkie! A little party to welcome you to the human world!"
"Oh!" Her mouth opened up in surprise. "So that's why everything's my favourite colour pink!" But then her face suddenly fell. "You went to so much trouble, Connie but I'm so totally sorry that I can't stay for very long. I've got another party that I have to
"Oh, can't you stay for just a little while longer?" I interrupted, suddenly desperate. I'd decided that even if this was an acid flashback, or someone had slipped DMT into the cupcake batter or I was having some lurid fantasy brought on from alcohol poisoning as I lay on the floor dying whatever it was, I didn't want it to end so soon! "I made more cupcakes! And I've got a couple of bottles of hot-sauce for them as well!"
"Oooooh!" The little pink pony squealed, clopping her forehooves together. "Hot-sauce? Wherewherewhere?!"
Just as planned, I thought gleefully as I rubbed my hands and smiled a secret smile.
With a real life little pony in my house, I was suddenly aware how small the place really was. She barely fit in the corridor, and for a second I thought we'd have a repeat of the Pooh-Bear situation I'd had to deal with earlier. And when we got to the living room, Pinkie was soon knocking over chairs, dislodged paintings and with an accidental swish of her big puffy tail she sent my favourite vase (the one that has a sulphur-crested cockatoo painted on it) plummeting towards the ground as I gulped in horror, only to breathe a sudden sigh of relief as she caught it on the tip of her snout at the last possible second and amazingly! balance it there as she reared up and tottered about on her hind legs to get high enough to replace it on the top of my bookshelf.
The fact that her cartoony powers extended even into our world made me overjoyed. And I'd continued to notice, as I had earlier, that with her around, all the colours in the room were growing deeper and brighter, just as if Pinkie had brought a little part of multi-coloured Equestria with her.
Once she was happy that the vase was no longer in danger of falling off, she bounced over to where my 37 inch Panasonic flatscreen sat on the black dresser I used in lieu of a TV stand. "So is this your magic teevy?" she asked, poking at it gingerly with her forehooves.
"Yup that's my magic... I mean, my teevy... I mean, my TV!" I replied. "But it's my computer that I use to watch you guys!" I pointed at the laptop sitting on my kitchen table a sleek little Toshiba Dynabook I'd bought while I was working in Japan. I pulled out a chair for her, but when I looked at Pinkie's big rump I knew that there was no way that a chair was going to be comfortable for her, so I pulled the couch over and indicated that she should hop up on it, which she did.
"Comfy?" I asked, sliding the laptop between us so she'd be able to look at the screen as well.
"Comferific!" said Pinkie. With her little hoofsies curled up underneath her pink marshmallow body, I was suddenly reminded of what an adorable little creature she really was and my heart started to beat faster in my chest.
Oh come on, Connie! You pervert! I shook my head. First you bring an Equestrian pony to our world, and now you're thinking of... I don't know what I was thinking of, exactly. Throwing my arms around her and hugging her like a gigantic stuffed toy and squealing? Climbing onto her back in the hope of getting a pony ride? Just sit there and stroke her mane for a few hours until my hands smelled like cotton-candy? That... that was it, wasn't it?
But while I struggled with my equiphilia, Pinkie was already messing around with my laptop and she'd already worked out how to open the case.
"Oooh! So it is magic mirror! A little eeny teeny weeny one!" She made faces at her reflection in the darkened screen, going "Woooo! Wooo! Wooo!", and when she got bored of that she started tapping the keyboard with her hooves. "But how does this contuba thingie work exactly?"
I was gripped by a sudden panic. I'd forgotten how handy Pinkie was with gadgets, and I realised that if I let her on the computer she'd probably be able to work things out in a moment and then she'd be looking through all my pony folders. What if she were to open the one with all the railgunner pictures or, even worse, the folder where I kept all my (gulp!) stories! But even worser still, what if she worked out how to use the internet and got on to DA?
"Connie, why are Dashie and me kissing? And what's a brony?"
I shook my head. I wasn't going to be responsible for sullying the gorgeous purity of this little pony sitting on my couch, and so I quickly took the laptop from her and looked at it intently, turning it over in my hands while clucking my tongue.
"Oh no!" I said. "The battery's gone dead!" Yes. I actually did it. I lied to Pinkie Pie. I know I should hang my head in shame but imagine what might have happened otherwise!
Pinkie eyes flashed open in horror! "Augh!" she cried. "Somepony's dead?!"
"Oh, nononononono," I reassured her. "It's just an expression, Pinkie Pie. I mean, my computer has no power... er, energy
er, magic left in it so I can't work it."
"Oh! It doesn't have enough magic left?" She looked at the computer in disappointment. "Oh, if only Twilight were here she'd be able to get that contuba working in a jiffy!"
"Well, never mind," I said, breathing an inward sigh of relief and closing the laptop. "Now why don't I get those cupcakes for us?"
Pinkie might have been interested in the contuba, but she was far more interested in cupcakes, and she nodded enthusiastically. As soon as I brought them out from where I'd left them in the oven and over to the table, she'd already leaned over the table and devoured three of them.
"Wait Pinkie!" I said, laughing, as I jerked the tray away from her. "Don't you want some hotsauce with your cupcakes?"
"Oooh, yes please!" she said.
The bottle of Tabasco sauce was far too small for her to manipulate easily, so I did the honours. "Say when!" I said, splashing on lashings of the hotsauce.
The whole bottle was down to it final tiny drop when she chimed in with "When!" And then she devoured the cupcakes hungrily, smacking her lips and scrunching up her nose in a most adorable manner. And then she sniffed about for all the little crumbs, and licked them up quickly with her long pink tongue.
"How were they?" I asked. I thought they'd tasted pretty good, but I really had little confidence in my own abilities as a baker especially when faced with one of Ponyville's best!
"Absolutely scrumptious!" she grinned, licking a dollop of hot sauce and frosting which had ended up on her snout with her tongue. "Oh, so you're a baker as well?"
"Well, not really," I admitted. "I'm actually a schoolteacher."
"Oh, so just like Miss Cheerilee!" Pinkie's face grew serious. "You humans are so similar to us ponies. How super mysterious!" But her musings on why this would be the case were cut short when she suddenly noticed my open bottle of whiskey in front of her. "Ooh! So is that spacepony sarsaparilla?"
"Well, no. It's a special kind of drink, Pinkie," I explained, grabbing the bottle and pulling it away from her. "I don't think you ponies have anything like it in Equestria, and I'm sure you wouldn't like it very much."
"Oh, let me try!" she begged. "Please, pretty please, pleasepleaseplease with whipped cream and sprinkles and confectioner's sugar and choc-chips on top! I just love trying new things, and I've never, ever tasted spacepony sarsaparilla before!"
"Well..." When she put it like that, who could deny the little pink pony anything? So I got up, went to the counter and picked up a tumbler. I looked at it, then at Pinkie as she bounced around a little kid's soul in the body of a pony. With her size there was no way she was going to be able to taste it, but of course I didn't have any pony glasses that she could lift with her lips so I rummaged through my cupboards until I found my measuring bowl which had a little spout on it that she could pick up. I poured a good dash of whiskey into it and brought it over to her.
"Now just take a sip to begin with, Pi..." I began.
But of course Pinkie had already downed the lot, and her face turned bright red. "S...s...s...spicy!" she cried out.
"Wait Pinkie!" I cried. The little pony was rushing pell-mell around my living room desperately searching for water in places where there was absolutely no chance of finding it under the cushions of my sofa, in my dresser, under my sewing machine. I was worried that she was going to hurt herself, so I grabbed some real sarsaparilla out of the fridge and quickly poured it into the mixing bowl and gave it to her. She downed it all in a single gulp and lay on her haunches, gasping.
Then Pinkie licked her lips. "Ooooh! Now that tastes just like our sarsaparilla!" Calmer now, she got up and started to nose around at me. "Could I have some more pleeeease Connie Spacepony?"
"Of course you can, Pinkie," I said, pouring the rest of the 1.25 litre bottle into the mixing bowl. She drank that down as well, so I got a second bottle and poured half of that in the bowl as well. With that potential Pinkie disaster averted, I decided that alcohol and ponies definitely did not mix. I, however, was free to continue killing myself with it, so I poured myself a small tumbler full of whiskey and sat down on the couch, inviting Pinkie to sit down beside me, which she did.
"It was my friend Esther who told me about how to summon you," I explained to Pinkie. "I think she must have travelled to Equestria before. But you say you don't know her?"
Pinkie shook her head so hard that her pink mane whipped back and forth, threatening to knock over my glass of whiskey, which I swiftly rescued from the cotton-candy onslaught and held safe in my lap like a baby. "Nope! There're no humans in Equestria. Just ponies. Oh, and griffons. And mules. And manticores. Oh, oh and hydras. And dragons, of course little baby ones like Spikey, and big, scary, roararific ones as well! Oh, and Zecora the zebra - she's scary as well, but kind too. And I think there are a few okapis and maybe a giraffe as well, but I've never met them."
"Well, that's a mystery." I couldn't imagine Esther hiding in the Everfree Forest like Zecora. So just how did she learn so much about Equestria? I'd have to ask her next time I saw her, I decided.
"Maybe I'll ask Twilight. I'm sure that if she doesn't know, she'll be able to ask Princess Celestia, and she'll know for sure! Oh, she's such an expert on magic and mirrors and all sorts of things like that."
At the mention of mirrors, I suddenly remembered something Pinkie had said earlier. "Wait, Pinkie. Can I ask you a question?"
"Well, questions are for asking and pudding is for snacking," said Pinkie cheerfully. "So either get asking or get snacking, as Grannie Pie always used to say!"
I got asking. "Well - I was wondering: why are you the only pony - I mean, the only pony who's not also a Princess - who can do that whole 'mirror' thing?"
Pinkie's ears pricked up. "Oh, that's a fantascinating story!" she said. And suddenly music began to appear from nowhere and Pinkie began to sing.
"♪ Oh, when I was a little filly and the sun was going down... ♫"
And as quickly as it started, the music stopped.
"Oh wait!" said Pinkie, smacking herself on the forehead with a hoof. "That's not the right story and it's not even a story, it's a song!" She giggled and snorted. "I can be such a silly Pie at times! The real story goes like this!"
Well, when I was a little filly my parents didn't allow me and my sisters to have mirrors on the rock farm too distracting Pappy Pie used to say and the first time I saw one was when I snuck away one day to visit the circus. I had never seen such wonderful things! Oh, cotton candy and balloons and popcorn and all sorts of wonderful things...
As Pinkie told her story I noticed the air in the room grow thicker and the walls and furniture of begin to blur and shimmer, as if I was gazing at them through a heat haze. I looked at my glass of whiskey and, deciding I'd probably had enough, I got up from the couch to put it on the kitchen table...
...but when I turned back I straight away found myself standing in the middle of the carnival Pinkie had been in the middle of describing! All about me was a babble of cheerful voices and a surge of festive music and colours oh, the colours! The colours were so bright that they hurt my eyes - the purple banners, the white and gold streamers, the red paper-lanterns, the yellow popcorn, the green tents, the pink cotton-candy, and everywhere ponies! PONIES! Of every different colour and every different type - Pegasuses and unicorns and earth ponies - oh my! And arching over everything was an endless blue Equestrian sky with the glowing orb of Princess Celestia set in it, glowing gently and warmly and safe to look at, quite unlike our own brilliant sun.
I heard a sharp intake of breath beside me, and I recognised it as coming from Pinkie. But when I turned, I looked down to see that it was little filly Pinkamina that I was with, and not the full grown mare Pinkie. Her hair was straight and flat, lifeless and cheerless, but her eyes were far from that - for I could see past the endless layers of melancholy within them to the bottomless joy that was struggling to come out. It hadn't yet - but she was almost smiling. It was the kind of smile you would make if you'd never smiled before in your life and had only ever seen a picture of one in a book and were trying to emulate it.
I felt the sudden urge to reach down and hug the poor little thing, so desperately alone did she seem even in this amazing place of happiness and fun - but before I could get the chance, I heard a voice pipe up from behind me, saying "Wait! Wait! Wait!" I turned.....
...and just as quickly I was back standing next to my kitchen table with the adult Pinkie lying on the couch before me, grimacing and wracking her brains.
"Oh, that's a different story too!" she muttered. "Oh Pinkie, try and concentrate. This story is all about the House of Mirrors!"
That dream had fled, but part of the magic had remained behind - for as Pinkie continued to tell her story, I was certain I could smell the scents and hear the sounds and feel the textures of everything she described to me and I listened, riveted, as she told at a million miles an hour the whole origin of her amazing ability to enter mirrors.
"The House of Mirrors! Oh, I had always wanted to visit the House of Mirrors. I didn't really know what a mirror was exactly, since it was forbidden for us to have anything fun like that on the rock farm, but I thought it must be something pretty interesting if Pappy Pie had forbidden it and there was a whole house full of them at the carnival! So I wandered inside and straight away I saw all these different pink fillies looking back at me! Tall ones, short ones, ones with faces like melting toffee, ones with legs that looked like they were tottering about on stilts! Oh, it was so amazingly funtabulous! There was even a normal mirror in there, and as soon as I saw my little filly face reflected in it, I realised that all those other Pinkaminas had just been jokes of the light but the one I could see now was the real me. She seemed so super sad for some reason, and I wanted to cheer her up somehow so I stepped closer, and as I came closer, reflection-me came closer too... and then we touched. But instead of feeling something, my hoofsie went straight into the mirror and I found myself inside it! I could see the House of Mirrors on the other side of the glass, but I couldn't get back through it no matter how hard I tried! I was trapped there for what felt like forevvvvvver, until Princess Celestia came and rescued me."
"Wait, it was Princess Celestia who found you?" I asked. I got up to reclaim my drink things were starting to get good!
The little pink pony nodded. "I was sitting on the mirror-ground and crying for my mommy when I suddenly felt these soft feathery wings wrapping themselves around me! I looked up, and there she was! And then she said to me..." And here Pinkie put on an adorably mock-regal voice in obvious imitation of the Princess: "'It is a very special power that you have been given, my dear Pinkamina Diane Pie. All the things that other ponies will never try to do because they know them to be impossible, will be possible for you for your heart is the most innocent of all innocent hearts, and you have no understanding of what's possible and what's not. And so I hereby charge you with the task of spreading laughter and happiness throughout all of Equestria!''But I don't know anything about laughter and happiness, Princess...' I said, and it was totally true: back then all I'd known about was rocks granite and conglomerate and basalt and shale but not quartz, 'cause Pappy Pie thought quartz was 'too darn flashy' and wouldn't grow it on the farm. Laughter and happiness might as well have been cities on the moon! 'Oh, you will soon, my dear Pinkamina Diane Pie!' Celestia said then, with a super-mysterious smile and a sneaky wink! 'Just keep looking up at the sky.' And the very next day I was kicking a silly old rock along the ground when I decided to look up, just like the Princess had told me - and then I saw Dashie's Rainboom, and the party inside me started and it's never, ever, never ended - ever!"
"Wow!" I said. I put down my drink and realised I had barely touched it. "I've never heard that story before!"
"Really?" said Pinkie in surprise. "Oh, I'm sure I've told everypony about it dozens of times! It is a super-important and interesting one after all..." She took another sip of sarsaparilla and looked thoughtful for a moment. "And so that's the story of why griffons and ponies don't get along!"
"But Pinkie, weren't you...?" I had a million questions, but I went silent, a huge smile spontaneously bursting across my face. Looking at the little pink pony lying on my couch, drinking sarsaparilla out of a mixing bowl, her little hoofsies curled up so comfy underneath her, her puffy pink tail resting against the back of the couch, I was filled with a strange emotion I hadn't felt many times in my life wait. What was that emotion? I'd felt it yesterday, when I'd found the note that Esther had left for me. It was kinda like happiness, but stronger. Oh yeah! That was it. It was joy!
Pinkie had noticed me looking at her, and she scooshed herself forward until I could feel her warm, sweet breath soft against my face.
"You know, you have a totally pretteriffic smile, Connie Spacepony," Pinkie muttered drowsily. "You should smile it more often!" She grabbed my cheeks with her forehooves and made the smile wider as I winced a little at the pain but luckily my drunkenness dulled it. "You looked so sad when I first arrived. Is something worrying you? You can tell your Auntie Pinkie Pie!"
"Auntie?" I pulled away from her smile-widefication and laughed. "`Oh Pinkie, I'm sure I'm probably almost double your age!"
"Awww, c'mon Connie!" said Pinkie. "Jusht tell me! Pretty pleashe?"
Wait was Pinkie slurring her speech?
"Oh, it's nothing Pinkie," I explained, suddenly thoughtful. "Well, it's just that our world here... the spacepony world I mean it's just that sometimes we don't have so much to smile about."
"The colours do remind me of the rock farm a teeny-weeny bit," said Pinkie, looking about my room. She did seem to be having some trouble focussing on things, though. "Oh! You know what would cheer this place up? Some decorations! Like horse shoes and flags and banners and streamers... oh! And balloons! Lots of balloons!"
I looked at the walls of my living room. There wasn't much for Pinkie's magical colour brightening power to work on, and I suddenly regretted the awful preponderance of black and beige in my choice of furniture and appliances. It was all perfectly fine from a modern human aesthetic, but I guess from an Equestrian pony's point of view, it was extremely drab. It could do with a lot more colour, and even dare I say it some decorations, just as Pinkie had suggested.
"I guess the rest of the world looks like this," I said, sighing. "Well, things aren't that bad, but now more than ever we need parties and magic and rainbows and... well, I guess we just need you, Pinkie!"
"I should help you all do some redecorating, Pinkie Pie style!" suggested Pinkie. "Oh, that would be so much fun!"
"But I think we might need a whole army of Pinkies!" I replied. "The world is an awfully big place!"
"A whole army of mesies? That would be so absolutely craaaaaazy! There's only one of me, and I'm already tomfollerifically wacky enough for all of Equestria at least, that's what Twilight Sparkle always says." Pinkie started to laugh so hard the laughter turned into snorts as the noise struggled to escape from her snout, and finally the snorts became the hiccoughs. But when they finally subsided, she looked at me and a sudden smile of realisation blossomed on her face. "Ooooh, I have a super-duper idea! You should totally come back to Equestria with me, Miss Connie!"
"Me?" My heart started to beat hard in my chest. "Go back to Equestria with you?"
"Uh huh!" she replied. "That way you can learn all about toasty warm sunshine and muffins with triple-chocolate sprinkles and all the colours of the rainbow and the magic of friendship and... and... and when you come back here to the human world you can teach all your friends how to be as super bubbly gleeful and happy-go-cheerful as we are!"
"You'd take me with you, Pinkie?" There were tears starting in the corners of my eyes. I knew it was all a dream, but just the mere thought of being able to go to Equestria made me so happy I felt as if a starburst of joy was threatening to explode deep inside me.
"Of course!" she chuckled.
"Do you promise? I mean, Pinkie Pie promise?" I needed to hear her swear, or otherwise... otherwise I felt like I just couldn't go on. The thought of it being a joke was just too cruel to imagine.
But Pinkie had already leapt onto her hind legs and was doing the Pinkie Pie swear, complete with actions. "Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a muffin in my eye, eat an apple cinnamon pie, I promise to never tell a lie!"
But then she fell silent, and looked at me with those huge blue eyes full of intent.
"Uh, Pinkie?" I asked.
"You have such a beautiful mane, Connie," she said suddenly, a cheeky little smile breaking out onto her face.
"What? My hair?" I raised a hand to touch it, but Pinkie was already leaning forward to do the same, and her hoof brushed my hand and I went beetroot red.
"It's totally short like Dashie's," Pinkie continued, stroking it. "And it's soooooo soft!"
I felt suddenly uncomfortable being compared to Rainbow Dash, and I had the strangest feeling that I was somehow doing the wrong thing by the Pegasus by letting someone who was possibly her girlfriend caress my hair. I gently moved away out of reach and said to Pinkie: "So Pinkie, uh are Rainbow Dash and you... close friends?"
"Oh, we sure are!" said Pinkie, nodding her head rapidly up and down. "We've known each other for pony ears... I mean, years!"
"No Pinkie, I mean are you really, really, really close friends?"
Her bright smile widened. "Yup! We're super close
especially when we hug!"
I looked at her through narrowed eyes. "Do you two... hug... often?"
"Oh, all the time!" laughed Pinkie.
"Normal hugs... or special ones?" I asked.
"Oh, super special ones of course!" replied Pinkie. "Why, sometimes I hug Dashie so hard that her wings pop up and she starts panting..."
"Go on..." I said, fanning myself with my hand. It was getting suddenly hot for some reason!
and then she sticks her tongue out and starts moaning 'Oh Pinkie, oh, oh!'"
I shifted about in my chair a bit. Pinkie was miming what Dash was doing during their special hugs, her head thrown back as if in erotic abandon with her mouth open and her tongue lolling out! Surely she didn't mean
Suddenly Pinkie's eyes bugged out, her face went even redder and she got up off the couch and started to stumble around. "And then Dashie goes as red as a raspberry tart and she starts crying: 'Pinkie Pie, I can't breathe! You're hugging me too tight!'"
"Oh," I said. If I'd had big poofy pink hair, I'm sure it would have deflated in disappointment at that moment.
But during the whole pantomime I'd noticed that Pinkie was beginning to slur her speech even more, and her stumbling around was a little too convincing!
"Oh, Pinkie! Are you drunk?" I asked in sudden concern, jumping to my feet and taking hold of her.
"Drunk? Me?" She shook her head. "Oh, I'm just getting a teensy bit silly sarsaparilla always does that to me!"
Pinkie was leaning against me now and I struggled to stay upright she was a very heavy little pony! "So... the sugar in the sarsaparilla makes ponies silly?" I asked.
"Uh huh!" Pinkie nodded. "It makes serious ponies all silly and silly ponies even sillier! Who's a silly pony? Who is? You is!" She tapped me on the nose with a forehoof, then suddenly looked confused. "Uh, waitwaitwaitwait.... what were we talking about again?"
"I think maybe you should have a nice lie down, Pinkie," I suggested, guiding her down the corridor towards my bedroom. "You can sleep in my bed tonight, and I'll take the couch."
With a lot of pushing and pulling and cajoling, I managed to get the dizzy little pony onto my bed and rolled her over onto her back, which is just common sense when dealing with a friend who's had a bit too much to drink even if it was just sarsaparilla!
"Wait, Pinkie I'll go get a pillow for your head."
She didn't reply but just murmured sleepily, so I retrieved my pillow from the floor and lifting her head with a grunt, slipped it underneath.
I slipped onto the bed next to her, suddenly feeling quite drunk and sleepy myself, especially after lugging her around, and leaning on an elbow I stroked her mane as she slept, her round, pink tummy inflating and deflating like a balloon as she did.
I sighed. "Well done, Connie Spacepony. You finally got a pony to sleep with you." I kissed Pinkie on her forehead, making her squirm a little and smile, and then I lay down beside her, my eyes growing heavy and starting to close. I knew I'd wake up with my face on the dressing table, and no Pinkie... but just the chance of seeing her this one time I knew I'd be able to take with me for the rest of my life.
"Goodnight Pinkie Pie," I said, and then I fell asleep.
It seemed like I'd slept for only a few seconds when I woke up with a start. I turned over with a sigh and snuggled into the bedclothes for warmth, but I was soon aware of the sudden scent of vanilla and hot sauce and burnt sugar. Had I been snacking in my sleep again?
Then I heard the soft sound of someone breathing beside me.
"Oh no, not again!" I sighed inwardly. I sure hoped it didn't turn out to be a student's mother like the last time I'd got drunk and ended up with a stranger in my bed! I reached out, my hand coming into contact with something fluffy and warm beside me, which I stroked it up and down, feeling fur and ribs, eliciting a feminine giggle which ended in a snort.
Fur? My eyes flashed open and there there was a pony's head in my bed!
I screamed, and Pinkie's own big blue eyes flashed open as I woke her up and when she saw me, she screamed as well.
"Pinkie!" I jerked up off the bed. "You're... you're...!"
"Oh great sparkling sarsaparilla!" Pinkie sat up as well, her mane totally flattened on one side from the way she'd been sleeping, and she looked about herself in a sudden panic.
My mouth flapped open and shut, but nothing except for the words "You're... you're..." seemed to want to come out.
"Super, super late!" squealed Pinkie. "Oh, I know, I know!"
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. "No Pinkie! I mean... you're real. You're real!"
"Of course I'm real, silly!" cried the little pink pony. "Real late! The party must have started by now!"
"The party?" Oh, the party she'd mentioned last night! I'd forgotten about it completely. "Wait, what..."
But Pinkie was already leaping off the bed. "I'm really..."
She ran headlong out of the bedroom. "...super-duper..."
She ran back into the bedroom, her head swivelling this way and that until she spotted the mirror on my dresser. "...vanilla-frosting..."
"...LATE!" And then with a hop, skip and a jump she'd leapt across the dresser and gone straight through the mirror well, she almost did. Her big rump had got stuck once again!
"Wait, Pinkie!" I said, leaping off the bed. My head was killing me and my mouth felt like I'd been gargling sand, but I managed somehow to stumble across to the dresser and with both hands I pushed and pushed on her butt as it wiggled around, getting a few smart smacks in the face with her cotton-candy tail as it whipped back and forth for my trouble.
I turned away, blushing, but her tail continued to swish in my face and tickle me, and I couldn't help but laugh... and as I laughed, my head started to pound even more.
But finally with a sudden Pop! she was through. And as I stood there, staring at the still face of the mirror on my dresser, I felt a sudden horrible, crushing despair.
Pinkie was gone and I was still here. She'd broken her Pinkie promise! And... and it had been the extra-long version as well!
I put my hands up against the dresser mirror, tears welling up in my eyes. "Pinkie Pie! Pinkie Pie! Waaaaaaaait!"
But there was no reply. The mirror showed nothing except for my face, my eyes red and my cheeks moist with hot tears. And I was just about to turn around and throw myself onto my bed and cry my heart out when a pink, marshmallowy forehoof suddenly speared out of the mirror, took hold of my hand, and dragged me in with a scream.
The eternity of a single heartbeat later....
...Pinkie let go of my hand, and I opened my eyes, which I'd jammed shut as I'd been dragged into the mirror, for all about me had been a white expanse of the purest whiteness that had had no beginning and no end. But now, here, I was surrounded by a mixture of clear darkness and sparkling light.
We were standing amid a desert of gold and silver dunes beneath a glistening sky of total blackness, sprinkled with tiny glowing spots of silver and red and blue and green like jewels spread across a velvet cloth. I took a step forward, and puffs of glitter spread up lazily around my feet. The air was cool and crisp, like a night breeze, and it tinkled with the sound of gentle chimes, as if tiny bells were swinging somewhere far away.
I turned to see Pinkie already trotting off to the left, and I went to follow her and it was then that I noticed the slender tower that curved up into the sky before us, the arched windows glowing with gentle orange light and the sound of happy voices floating across to us through the bright air while at the top of each conical tower, pennants fluttered, each emblazoned with a white crescent on a silver-blue field.
I caught up with the little pink pony at a jog, and I asked, breathless with awe, "Pinkie just where in Equestria are we?"
Pinkie looked over at me, a smile on her face that shone even more brilliant than either the drifts of stars above us or the bejewelled sands beneath our feet. "Oh, Connie you big silly! We're not in Equestria. This is the moon!"
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 3: TEA WITH LUNA