A peculiar woman sat in a parking lot. Long, multicolored, flowing hair tastefully covered one of her eyes, reaching all the way down her back. She looked on in utter shock. Just moments ago, she had laid down for her night's rest, and now she was here, wherever 'here' was. She knew in an instant, this was no dream.
"What... What happened?" she asked nobody in particular. Her mind was a cloud of blurred thoughts. An unexpected bright light from above caused her to look down to the ground, blinking away the stinging sensation.
Upon looking down, she noticed that where her hooves once were, hands took their place. Her body felt very different. She couldn't move her tail. Her horn and wings were completely missing. Her entire body had changed into something new.
She looked to her hooves... hands once more. She lifted them from the ground, and after bending her fingers a few times, she briefly examined the rest of her body. This was the body of a human, exactly as her former student had described.
"What is this? Where am I? Is this... the human world? Am I... a human? That's impossible."
She moved herself onto her hands and knees for a small while before looking back to her feet. Her student had told her how humans were supposed to walk. Instead of four limbs, humans walked only on their two feet. Bracing herself against the metal pole behind her, she stood herself up. She held onto the pole, unable to keep her balance on these new limbs.
She looked around. Her surroundings were unlike any part of Equestria she had seen before.
"This doesn't feel right." she said to herself, "How did I get here? Did somepony transport me here? Luna, if this is your doing, it's not funny. Please bring me back home."
She waited a few moments for a response from her sister, but received nothing of the sort. It dawned on her that she might be alone here.
A worrying feeling settled itself in her gut. She wondered what she could do to get back, or, more importantly, if there was even a way back in the first place. She was lost in a strange land and didn't know how to get home.
With seemingly no way to contact her sister, or anybody in Equestria for that matter, she began to examine her surroundings even further.
The first thing she realized was that it was dark out. Late at night... or perhaps early in the morning. It was warm. Likely during the end of the summer, as it had been in Equestria.
She took note that the metal pole behind her was a light post. She kept a grip on the pole as she looked around for something, anything that could help.
She was in a strange place, indeed. Many light poles were scattered about the area, and there were a few large metal... things on wheels around her. She remembered her student calling them cars. The ground was hard, like stone, but seemed somehow... fake, as if it were artificial. There were lines painted on it, with some cars parked between them.
Another of these cars moved in her direction. Two lights shone brightly from the front. She could see a human inside it. She put together that these things were simply machines. Machines far beyond pony technology, but machines. In addition to this one, a few others were moving about as well.
The human in the car stopped fairly close to her and got out. He stared at her for a few seconds as he passed, then rushed into a large, lit up building at the edge of the lot.
"Even at this time, humans are still awake." she muttered to herself. She read the name of the building. "Wal-Mart... supercenter. A store? It's enormous."
A plan started to form in her head. It wasn't exactly a plan though, as it only had one step: Find this world's crystal mirror before it closed again. As far as she knew, this was the only way that she could get back home on her own.
Once located in Canterlot, the crystal mirror allowed access between these two worlds. After Sunset Shimmer used the mirror to steal Princess Twilight Sparkle's crown, it had been moved north to the Crystal Empire. Its magical abilities were very mysterious and very powerful, but with it, the ponies were able to learn much about the other side, this world.
She eyed the machines again. They seemed incredibly heavy, and were moving about the entire lot. If she was struck by one, it may cause injury, or even prove fatal. A grim thought.
Even with her goal in mind, she was still very curious about this world. Twilight had described many things, but the reality was rather different from what she had pictured. Quite likely, though, Twilight had entered a different place in this world.
Before she had completely worked out her first plan of action, she heard someone say, "Ma'am? Are you alright?"
She looked to the source. The same man she saw earlier had returned. He had his arm through a plastic bag with something she couldn't make out inside.
That man was me.
"M-me?" she asked me.
I nodded at her. "Are you ok?" I asked, a little confused as to why she was still here, "You've been out here for a while."
"I... No. Can you help me?"
"Um... Maybe. What's wrong?"
"I don't... I don't know where I am right now."
"Oh, that's... not good." Was she hurt? Was she sick? "Alright, I might be able to help. I'm Phil, what's your name?"
"I am Pr... My name is Celestia."
"Celestia?" I looked to her hair. Many different colors coming together in a beautiful pattern that reached down to the middle of her back. The colors were perfectly separated from each other. It covered one of her eyes. This woman... She looked like the Celestia from My Little Pony. "You..."
"What's wrong?" she asked me.
"Uh, nothing, I guess. It's just that you really remind me of a character called Princess Celestia."
"I... I am Princess Celestia."
"What? I mean, I guess you do kinda sound like her, too."
"That's because I am her. I'm Princess Celestia."
"What do you mean?"
"Do you... Do you know about me?"
"I... know about Princess Celestia." I replied. What was she doing? "And... I know that Princess Celestia is kinda... not human."
"I don't understand how it happened either, but I need help. I don't know how to get back home."
"Yes, to my home. To Equestria."
"Equestria?" I asked, shocked. What was happening right now?
This was getting really weird, but if you thought you were Princess Celestia, then obviously you'd know about Equestria. "Alright, well... If you really are Princess Celestia, then prove it."
She gave me an uneasy expression, not knowing what to do. "I... I can't. B-but... You have to believe me!"
"Um... What?" I didn't really have time to keep talking to her. This wasn't even my problem.
"Please... I just... need to get back. The doorway may be lost soon and I don't know where it could be. I... I need help."
"I... I don't know if I can..."
She stepped towards me, before letting out a yelp as she fell to her knees. She looked up at me. A moderately pained expression was on her face. She groaned to herself, then stood back up, legs wobbling. "What... am I to do, then?"
She started to fall again. This time, I caught her before she landed on the ground. She weighed more than I thought she would. Her body was very heavy.
She stood back up on her feet, holding onto my shoulder. "Thank you. I'm... sorry." she said to me.
"It's alright. Look, I'll try to help, but I'm not gonna make any promises."
"Thank you." She let go of me, then backed herself against the pole.
Unfortunately, I had solidified this as my problem.
As she stood now, I could see exactly what she looked like. She had a very beautiful, curvy body, and was very tall. I made a guess at about six feet even. Maybe more. I wasn't good at estimations, but I could see over the top of her head, and I was 6'6. 6'6 at 24.
Quite frankly, she had one of, if not the very most, beautiful bodies I have ever seen in my life. Everything about her radiated perfection and beauty. From her body, to her hair, to her eyes. Even in the dark, I could see the power inside her beautiful, magenta eyes. Whether or not she was insane, this power was real.
"You... don't believe me."
"Sorry, no. Not... Not really." Should I take her to the police station? I don't think she'd come with me. Should I trust this woman? She's too into this Celestia... thing to be a fake. It's way too complicated, and if she wanted to take my kidneys, there wouldn't even be a need for it. Is she... really insane?
"Who... are you?" she asked me.
"I'm Phil. Just Phil. I work for a living. I'm... boring. And you? You said Princess Celestia. Should I call you that?"
"What's the point? You don't believe it. You think I'm crazy."
"Oh, don't be like that." I said to her.
I could see a sun-shaped tattoo on each of her shoulders, underneath her sleeves. It was the same. Her cutie mark...
"You said... something about Equestria?" I said to her.
"I did." She was distressed over her own situation.
"That's why I'm a little cautious right now. I know what Equestria is, but when you say that you're from there, it's pretty confusing. I'm sure you're untrusting of me, as well. I'd like to help you, I really would. I just don't know how."
"If I can't get help, then what am I to do? Where am I to go? Can you tell me that?"
"I don't know. If you really are Princess Celestia, then there is nobody in the world that can help you. But... If you're not..."
"If... If you're not, there are people who could help. It just won't be the help you want. What do you want?"
"I just want to go home. I don't belong here. Right now, I need to find this world's crystal mirror. That's what will let me return."
Oh my god... She fits Celestia so well right now. Is she even real? How would she get here? My Little Pony's a TV show! This can't be happening right now. Am I hallucinating? Did I finally go off the deep end?
"Crystal mirror? There... There is no crystal mirror."
"In this world. It doesn't exist here."
"How do you know?"
"The crystal mirror doesn't connect to this world."
"What? Isn't this the human world? Aren't you a human? How much, exactly, do you know about Equestria? Tell me!"
"I know a lot about Equestria. Princess Celestia, alongside her sister Princess Luna rule over the peaceful land. Twilight Sparkle is the student of the Princess, and was sent to Ponyville, where she made lots of new friends." I named them and recounted some of the major events that happened up until the first My Little Pony movie. Of course, I included it as well.
First bewilderment, then horror. "What? How? How is this possible?!"
"Hey, hey... calm down. I'll tell you. It's... not gonna be an exact explanation, but you'll just have to bear with me. Equestria is in a completely different universe than humans, but we can see into your world almost at will. It's... as if your world was... entertainment for us humans."
She looked at me as if I was the crazy one. Well, I kinda was, but that's a different story.
"This is something that we, as humans, consider normal. To you... To Equestria, it's not normal at all. So... the mirror that you were talking about... That mirror does not link to this world. Is that... Is that how you got here?"
"I don't know. I thought it was, but now I'm not sure."
"I don't think it is. I don't believe that what you learned about was truly the human world, either."
"What do you mean?"
"Our world is much different from what I saw. Equestria is probably in some sort of alternate reality, with its own human world. There may be an Equestrian counterpart to this world, as well, but it's unlikely."
She gave me a blank, somewhat scared gaze. "Say... say I wasn't from Equestria. Say that I really was... insane. What would you tell me to do?"
"Well... If that were the case, then you should go to the police station. The law. Our law. When you tell them that you aren't human, they'll probably take you to a mental physician or something."
"I would like to talk to the police, but if I'm diagnosed with a mental condition, I may very well lose all hope of getting back home."
"Yeah, that's what I mean."
"I've never been called crazy like that before. What about you? What would you like me to do?"
"Me? I don't know. I've never had to deal with this kind of thing before. On one hand, I'd like to believe you, but on the other, who knows who you could be?"
"I could say the same about you."
"Still, you know so much about Equestria, and even about me. Can you give me an option?"
This was too strange not to be real. She was incredibly sharp for a lunatic. Maybe she was just a psychopath... Maybe not.
"An option? What do you mean?"
"What... would you want me to do?"
"Me? Well... Are you sure you want my opinion on that?"
She nodded her head. "Anything can help."
"Celestia..." I couldn't believe I was using this name. "I... really don't want to leave you here alone. Not at this hour, at least. So... If you're really asking me for help... then... My option would be for you to come with me. I know that it's a bit much to ask, but would you like to come with me... to my house? I mean, it's... It's a little far, but you could stay there as long as you'd like. If you stay here, then I'll stay with you. I don't want you wandering around with nobody to help you."
She looked to the store. It said right on the front that it was a 24 hour store, so she could go inside for temporary shelter, but even I knew that there were so many problems with that.
"Why would you want me to come with you?" she asked, looking back at me, "Why... would you offer me something so... risky? It's a risk for both you and I if I came with you."
"Look, it was the first thing that came to mind. If you don't trust me enough to do that, I understand. It's not hurting my feelings none. I'm tired, alright? I don't really want to stay here, but I will if you do. At least until you find something or someone that can really help you. You seem nice enough, anyways."
She looked to the store once more. She was really thinking about this, wasn't she... After a long while of silence, she finally said, "I accept your offer."
"R-really? Well, that was... Alright... Wow... I didn't expect... Alright, then... I guess."
She nodded. "As I said, there is risk involved for both of us. I would like a place to sleep soundly tonight and would prefer being near someone who, at the very least, knew who I was. I suppose that this point you don't know, or you just simply don't believe who I am."
I let out a small smile. "That's... it's a start, I guess." I pointed to my car. "C'mon, I'll take you."
She stared at it, very hesitant. "Is it... safe?"
"Yeah, it's safe. I mean, those guys are doing it too, aren't they?"
She looked back at the lot, to the cars that still drove in and out of it.
"I suppose... Alright. Um... I'm sorry to ask this, but... can you help me to it? It's difficult to walk on two legs."
"Yeah, no problem."
I stepped towards her and she grabbed onto me once more. I supported her with my shoulder as I walked her to the passenger side. It looked like her knees still stung from the fall.
I opened the door for her. She hesitated once more.
"Are you having second thoughts?" I asked her.
"It's alright to be cautious, you know. Won't hurt my feelings none."
She chuckled. "Right."
She grabbed onto the car and sat down in the seat. I closed the door after her. She watched me closely as I rounded the front of the car to get into the driver's side.
After I sat in my seat and buckled myself in, I told her to do the same. She pulled the seatbelt over herself, copying what I did to latch it. Wearing seatbelts, much like capitalism, is non-negotiable.
Either I just made a new friend, or my kidneys are gonna get stolen. I kinda liked my kidneys, so here's hoping it wasn't the latter.
She stared at the dashboard as it lit up, amazed by the perceived complexity of it. She had absolutely no idea what was happening, and for some reason, she seemed to enjoy it.
I moved the gearstick around. The car lurched forward. I grumbled, turning the key again. Killed it. Must be a little excited from having a guest. A pretty guest.
"Stupid... manual... Sorry."
The second time, everything went smoothly.
She looked out the windshield, then sunk back into her seat, holding it tightly.
"Don't worry, I've been doing this for a while..."
She let out a quiet noise to signify that she understood, but still looked frightened. "There's certainly a difference between being in control and having someone take you somewhere." she said.
I left the parking lot. There were very few cars compared to the ones parked at Wal-Mart, but there were so many other lights and buildings. She seemed a little overwhelmed. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"I used to always think that I was superb as determining a pony's character, but ever since the incident at the royal wedding, I found myself doubting my own abilities. You seem nice, but I still can't tell."
Wal-Mart was on the other side of town from where my house was, a few miles away. As I told Celestia, it was kinda far. Celestia took in the sights of the town, no doubt trying to memorize the layout in case she needed to return on her own. Midway through the trip, we crossed one of the bridges over the river that ran through town, splitting it into east and west sides. Wal-Mart was on the east, my house was on the west.
As we pulled down my street, Celestia noticed the darkness of the area. There were no streetlights here. The only thing that illuminated the area were my headlights.
I pulled into my driveway, then gestured to my house and said, "That's it. It's gonna get dark when I turn my car off. Just so you know."
She nodded at me. I turned the car off. As I said, dark. There wasn't much of a moon above us to brighten the area.
She did as I did, unbuckling and opening the door. She stood up, bracing herself against the car as she did. Her legs wobbled a little, but she managed to stay up.
I walked over to her, offering to help. She accepted the invitation and grabbed my shoulder again. I walked her to my door and opened it so we could go in. I immediately flicked on the light. It was a little messy, but that didn't really matter. I'll clean it later.
I led her to the couch, which she hesitantly sat on. This couch in particular I had pulled from the trash. I'm an absolute cheapskate when it comes to this stuff, but it's not like I was an idiot. It had some internal damage, but after I repaired it, there was nothing wrong with it. Other than a small stain under one of the cushions. Don't worry, it was just coffee.
She watched me intently, on edge. It looked like she was ready to run at the first sign of danger.
"Why were you out at this hour?" she asked me.
"Just buying stuff. They had a sale on a pair of headphones. My buddy told me about it pretty late, so I ended up missing the sale. I still bought them. Headphones are cool."
She nodded, but it seemed like she expected me to say something else.
"Look..." I paused for a few moments. "I... I'm convinced. Ok? You've convinced me."
"I'm starting to really believe that you are Princess Celestia. You look like her, you sound like her, you even act like her. It's insane to even think about it, but here you are... in this world."
"Alright." She didn't seem like she knew how to respond to that.
"Man... This is weird..." I shook my head. "I guess I'm just a sucker for a pretty face."
She smiled at me. "Thank you, then."
I nodded. "But... that would also mean that you really are trapped here. The crystal mirror you were talking about is a magical item from your world. There is no Canterlot High or anything like that in this world. The statue that Twilight came from doesn't exist. Unless someone like your sister can find you, I don't think there's any way home."
"How can you be sure about this?"
I didn't want to say that it was because she was fake and that this was all a figment of my imagination caused by officially going insane. Seemed like it would ruin the mood. "I... I don't have a way to prove it to you, but I know it's true, and... I'm sorry. I wish there was more I could do for you. Look, I know my house isn't much, but it's about the only thing I think I can offer you."
She gave me a slow nod, then looked down in sadness.
Seeing her like this made my heart feel heavy. I took a step towards her. Then another. She stared at me as I moved. I lowered myself down to her level. She gave me a curious look.
I gave her a hug. She gasped in response. Her arms slowly raised and her hands lightly touched my back. She was hesitant, but didn't seem displeased about this.
I pulled away. "Sorry. You just really seemed like you needed that. I'm gonna... I'm gonna go to bed, alright? You can do whatever you want until morning. If you want to leave, I'm not gonna try to find you or anything like that. So... Goodnight, Princess."
"Good... goodnight. Thank you."
I nodded, then went to my room. After a brief call to my boss's answering machine to say I wasn't showing up tomorrow, I went to sleep.