Love. That was nothing more than another term for “food.”
But there was another meaning behind it. That meaning was an abstract idea, something that could only exist in pony stories or some faraway, mythical land. I never questioned “love.” Evasive. Hard to find. And it was always that way.
Until she got in the way.
I was part of the team tasked with analyzing and cataloging the amount our prey had before we invaded. I was stationed in Ponyville, an area said to possess large amounts of love. Some of our researchers believed that this was an area capable of renewing love, considering that the place was barraged by innumerable conflicts from outside interference.
Nonetheless, I was the one sent there. A simple field analysis over a month or two would be more than enough data for our nation.
I made myself look like an exhausted wayfarer as I entered the town’s mercantile district. The vendors brimmed with hospitality and excitement. And love. For a pony they’ve never seen before. I told them I did not have enough money to purchase their food, but they tried to compromise. Some of them considered bartering. Their love wafted into my nostrils. Sweet. Savory. Perfect for my nation to eat.
That’s when she got in the way.
She crashed into me as she was walking backwards while greeting a friend. We stumbled to the floor.
“Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, I’m so sorry!” She cried in a high-pitched tone.
She lifted me from the ground and gave a series of quick apologies as she tried to explain herself. I was supposed to move on. Instead I smiled. I smiled and laughed. I told her I didn’t see her, and that it was my fault that we bumped into each other.
“Hey, you’re not from around here, are you?” She asked while she circled me like an energetic puppy.
I shook my head.
A flash of pink darted away. A flash of pink reappeared in front of me, this time with an unusual machine that shined bright lights into my face. She waited for a loud whirr of her machine before she broke out in song and dance.
She was welcoming me, singing me, accepting me, and baking a cake for me all in one song. An idiotic grin was plastered on my face. She had stolen my words, glued my eyes at her infectious smile, ensured my hooves to the ground as I watched her welcome me.
She was probably the pony that was capable of exuding so much love. Far more love than a child. Far more love than entire community. Far more love than entire city, I could argue. She was perfect. Her love captivated me. She was most likely the reason why the researchers argued that Ponyville had the highest levels of love in Equestria.
That smile stayed on my face long after she finished her song. With her, it would be likely that our entire nation could stop our nomadic ways. We could finally stop acting like parasprites and finally own the land we flew over. If we could place her in Canterlot, our food shortages will be solved. We could be called a kingdom, create landmarks, roads, and towns without worrying about the next meal. And she could supply all the love we needed to make that elusive dream a reality.
That kept me smiling long after we parted ways.
Commentary from Donny’s Boy
I was surprised at the use of first person, but I think it worked really well here. I especially loved how up until near the end I thought the story might be going in a romantic direction, but then it turns out the narrator has just realized that he has found an unlimited food supply for his people. I also enjoyed how the ending “humanizes” the changelings—our narrator doesn’t seem like a monster or evil being to me, but simply someone trying to do the best he can for himself and for his nation. Good work!