Ponies and Wolves

“It won’t affect us.”

The marvelous, magnificent silky-maned pony named Butterfly tosses her head. “It’s practically a world away.”

“That’s true,” agrees Pearl.

They look out the window. The sky is bright with fire and loud with the engines’ roar.

“Someday,” Blossom says, sadly. “I mean, you know that. Someday, we’ll have to get involved.”

“That’s true,” Pearl agrees.

Butterfly stares up at the fire. “It might be over by then.”

“It seems like it’s been going on forever,” Blossom says. “And it’ll probably last twice as long.”

“Twice as long?”

“It’s math,” Blossom says. “Each time someone dies, there’s a 50-50 chance someone is left to take revenge. So one, plus one half, plus one quarter, plus one eighth, and all the way until you get two.”

“I think your assumptions are wrong,” says Old Grey. Old Grey is the most discerning mathematical mind among the marvelous, magnificent silky-maned ponies. “It can only last once as long as forever.”

The world shakes.

“Miles away,” Butterfly says.

“Who do you think is attacking?” Blossom says.

“Wolves,” Butterfly says. “Great wolves of the sky.”

“We’ll need some way to get up there,” Blossom says. “If we want to fight them. I mean, when we do.”

“We’re magical,” Butterfly says.

“That’s true,” Pearl agrees.

“I believe that if we all gather together, and wish as hard as we can, we’ll be able to fly.”

Pearl looks over, slowly, in mild confusion. “Wait,” she says. “If we can do that, how come we’ve never done it before?”

Butterfly tosses her head dismissively. “It’s not done,” she says.

The world shakes.

“Ponies,” says a garbled voice.

A young girl staggers into the room. Her hair and face is singed by fire, and she cannot breathe. She makes directly for the ponies, but falls before she reaches them. There is bone sticking out of her leg. She is not moving.

The ponies are very still.

The girl is very still.

The ponies are very still.

The girl is very still.

The ponies are very still.

The girl is very still.

Hesitantly, gently, Butterfly canters forward. She touches the girl’s hair. “Elise?” she asks. “Are you all right?”

“Elise?” Blossom asks.

“Elise?”

Something cold is setting into the ponies’ hearts. Something cold, and something fiery. They do not cancel out.

“It’s war,” Pearl says.

The words hit the others’ ears like a shock.

“Yes,” Butterfly says. She can’t stop pushing and prodding at the young girl’s ear, as if her stillness could become a simple dream. “Yes. The wolves must die.”

They gather together. The wishing begins.

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