The Little Pink Pony

by AbsoluteAnonymous

Chapter 1: The Little Pink Pony

Once upon a time there was a little pink pony who lived on a rock farm.

She lived with her mother, her father, and two sisters. Together they worked hard, day in and day out ... but the little pink pony was very small and very weak and not very good at working the farm at all.

And so, she was often sent away while the rest of the family did the hardest work, left to play by herself until somepony decided they needed her after all.

One day, while she was out playing in the empty fields, there was an explosion.

The barrier between magic and reality exploded, sending shockwaves of color and light rippling through the gray sky. Only it wasn't gray anymore. The clouds had cleared, revealing both the sun and a streak of beautiful color dancing across the now-blue sky.

The little pink pony stood and stared in awe, completely unaware that her normally razor-straight mane had been utterly obliterated.

And for the first time in as long as she could remember, she felt the corners of her mouth begin to turn up into something like a smile.


Her first rainbow; her first smile; her first party. So many firsts, all in one day.

The barn was full of streamers and laughter and music. Off to the side, her father and sisters were dancing happily. She'd never seen them smile like that before; had she really been the one to help them do it?

Pinkamena turned to her mother.

"Do you like it?" she whispered. Her voice shook slightly, but her eyes shone with excitement, eager for approval.

There was a moment of silence.

"It's very ... bright," her mother finally answered, not meeting her eyes.

Pinkamena felt the twitch of another smile coming on.

"And gaudy."

Another moment of silence.

"Huh?" the filly asked as she cocked her head, dumbfounded. Had she heard wrong?

"It's gaudy," Sue repeated. "Gaudy and overdone. You can have your fun tonight, since you've already gone to all this trouble, but this can't happen again. The music is too loud and the decorations are too colorful. The audacity of it all is just ... just ridiculous and arrogant."

Her mother held herself stiffly as she spoke, refusing to meet her daughter's bewildered eyes. Pinkamena could feel herself begin to deflate in dismay.

But all she said was "Yes, mama."

And that was the end of the matter.


Several days passed.

Her first party, as wonderful as it had been, eventually came to an end. Just like everything else. The decorations were cleared out and the barn went back to normal. Life went back to normal, too. Mama's word was law, after all. If she thought of parties as gaudy and overdone and ridiculous and arrogant, then there would be no more parties. Simple as that.

Soon, everything was exactly the same as it had ever been, the only difference being that Pinkamena now had three joyful balloons stencilled on her flank.

But they meant nothing. Not if she was the same old Pinkamena as always. There was no point in having a special talent she couldn't make use of.

Her mouth ached from the memory of the smile.


"Thank you all so much for coming! It means so much to me!"

A bunch of lint, a bag of flour, a bucket of turnips, and a pile of the very best rocks she could find. All seated on stools encircling her small wooden table and wearing party hats in an attempt to appear festive.

Pinkamena tried to lift the corners of her mouth into some semblance of a smile to match the false cheerfulness in her voice, the way she'd done before, but even she had to admit to herself that the scene splayed out before her was undeniably pathetic.

Nothing she did was working.

With a sudden growl of frustration, she bucked the stool holding Mr. Turnips, knocking the bucket to the ground with a clatter and scattering the contents over the floor.

He wasn't real. None of them were real.

It was stupid to pretend that inanimate props could listen to her. It was even stupider to pretend they could answer back. And suddenly, her eyes were stinging with tears and she didn't know why.


She glanced up.

Her sister Inkamena stood in the doorway, her usual blank expression replaced with one of confusion.

Their eyes met, and a moment of silence passed between them.

"Mama will be mad that you took those," Inkamena said finally, indicating with a hoof the turnips on the floor. "You know she doesn't approve of wasting food."

Pinkamena didn't answer. Her eyes were drawn instead to her sister's outretched hoof.

It was as worn and gray as the gritty dust of the rock fields, unlike her own, which were fairly clean in comparison. The leg the hoof was attached to was the exact same shade as dull iron.

Pinkamena's leg was pink. So was the rest of her body. So was her mane.

Nothing else she could think of happened to be that color, and she hated it. The farm they lived on was composed of grays upon grays with the occasional hint of brown, and here she was, the only anomaly. No wonder none of them wanted her around. No wonder she didn't fit in.

For a moment, she was so lost in thought that she didn't realize Inkamena appeared to be waiting for an answer. When she saw that her sister was still standing in the doorway, eyes fixed on the strange little scene before her, Pinkamena only shrugged.

"What were you doing, anyway?" her sister asked, refusing to let it go.

But what was Pinkamena supposed to tell her? The truth? That she'd been struck by another surge of unbearable loneliness and, in a fit of desperation, had tried to ease it by creating a makeshift group of companions in place of real ones? That she'd done it before? That Rocky, Madame LeFlour, Sir Lints-a-Lot and poor dead Mr. Turnips on the floor were the only friends she had?

True, they were only imaginary, but she had no toys.

She'd done the best she could.

"Nothing," Pinkamena mumbled.

What was she thinking, anyway? Of course she couldn't tell Inkamena any of that.

"Mama sent me to tell you that it's time for dinner," her sister replied. At least she wasn't being stubborn in that quiet way of hers for once by pressing it even further.

"I'm not hungry."

Inkamena only blinked in response, casting one last meaningful look at the turnips before leaving.

Pinkamena remained perfectly still, not even breathing. She waited until she could hear her sister's hooves on the stairs before turning back to her friends and to the party she was trying to throw for them.

But they just sat there.

Madame LeFlour was still just a sack of flour. Rocky was still just a pile of stones. Sir Lints-a-Lot was still just a clump of dust. And Mr. Turnips was still dead.


Once upon a time there was a little pink pony who lived on a rock farm.

The little pink pony was very sad and very serious. She didn't know how to laugh or have fun. She didn't even know how to play.

But even if she had, she had nopony to play with.


The feeling had been coming more and more often lately.

It was the feeling of aching for something that just wasn't there. Something she couldn't even put a name to. Although it happened most often while she was out in the rock fields playing by herself, every once in a while it came to her at night as well. Always when she was lying awake, unable to sleep, the house utterly silent except for the steady, even breathing of her sisters just across the room.

Sometimes, when Pinkamena found herself facing another long and lonely sleepless night, she would start crying and wouldn't be able to stop it. She'd be lying perfectly still in her bed, clutching her blanket to her chest and trying to will herself into unconsciousness, when her eyes would fill to the brim with hot tears. The tears would trail down her face and fall silently onto the mattress, leaving behind dark, wet circles.

And she wouldn't know why.

The depression had come from nowhere and had quietly consumed her existence, leaving her with nothing. Her family moved around her as if nothing was wrong - like they didn't notice - and she was left alone with nopony to watch over her or reassure her that she was going to be okay.

There was nopony to pull her out of this pit.

From the very beginning, she'd been mixed up, wrong. She'd been born into a tiny, gray world that had no room for her, and she knew it. Yet from the very beginning, she'd been trying to hide it, doing everything she could to pass herself off as belonging there just as much as the rest of them.

She was still a filly, but she'd never played or celebrated like a normal filly. And the worst part was, now that she had her cutie mark, she knew for sure that she'd always been meant to. There was no room for play on a rock farm - there was only room for work. Nopony else in her family cared about laughing or smiling or rainbows or parties. She was the only one. Her mother had basically said so.

Such things were too gaudy and overdone and ridiculous and arrogant for them, yet such things were the only things Pinkamena was any good at.

She didn't belong with them. She never had.

She could feel herself beginning to press up against the walls of the narrow little room she'd been forced into from the start. No matter how much she wanted to, she didn't fit, and she either needed to break out and escape or find a way to make herself fit before she went crazy from the claustrophobia of it all.

When her sister Inkamena had come to get her for dinner, Pinkamena had lied about not being hungry. It wasn't that she wasn't hungry, it was that she couldn't eat. When she tried to, it wouldn't stay down - so, since food made her sick, she'd stopped eating and had instead started refusing to go down for meals. Whenever she got too hungry to stand it any longer she would sneak into the storeroom and find something, but the few times mama had caught her doing this she'd been so mad that Pinkamena had decided it was easier to not even try.

Eating was something only an especially happy pony would be able to enjoy, she'd decided. It was only natural that somepony like her, somepony all broken and twisted inside, would derive no pleasure from it.

Once, and only once, had she ever tried to explain the way she felt. It had been a long time ago. Long before the day she'd received her ugly, worthless cutie mark. Back when she'd been yet to realize why she was so often left out and had still mistakenly believed she could fit in somehow.

It had been an evening in late fall. Her mother, a gray mare with a sharp expression and sharper voice, had been sitting by the fire, knitting and scowling to herself. Her father was still out in the fields somewhere and she and the sisters had just finished cleaning up after dinner.

This had been before she stopped being able to eat.

"Mama," Pinkamena had said, her voice almost breaking on that word alone. It was so hard to speak. Nopony in their family spoke or joked around for fun and they never laughed together. She'd had such little practice using her mouth that she sometimes found she almost couldn't speak.

"Yes, Pinkamena?" Her mother had replied in that sharp way of hers, not looking up from her knitting.

Pinkamena felt her resolve falter.

Her mother wasn't the most maternal figure in the world, and may not have been the best choice when looking for comfort - but she was still her mother, wasn't she? If she felt lost and lonely, then surely her mother was the best pony to go to. Right?

"Pinkamena, is there something you need?" Her mother asked after a moment, glancing up and scowling at her daughter, who was staring at the floor.

"I feel very sad lately and I don't know why." Pinkamena mumbled. She felt almost ashamed of the confession, like her feelings were somehow her fault. "I feel like I'm not wanted."

Her mother didn't speak at first.

"How dare you," Sue said after a moment.

Pinkamena jumped.

It wasn't that she'd shouted. On the contrary, her voice was really quite soft. But it was filled with such venom, such icy disdain, that the filly flinched to hear it directed at her.

"What more could you possibly want from us?" her mother continued, voice rising. "What do you want, Pinkamena Pie? Your pa and I work day in and day out to put food on the table for you and your sisters, and you dare come to me with such silly complaints? Ungrateful child! If you're unhappy, it's your own fault. We do plenty enough for you, and if there's something you feel you're lacking, then you can very well go and get it yourself. Now get out of my sight. Go to bed."


Once upon a time there was a little pink pony who lived on a rock farm.

The little pink pony would've liked to have been happy, but she didn't know how. She didn't have very much to smile about. The rock farm was a very dull, gray place, exactly the same as how the little pink pony felt most of the time, and her parents and sisters were as grim as the land they worked.


Pinkamena had wanted her mother to take her up in a tender embrace and whisper reassurances that everything would be all right, that she'd find a way of filling up this terrible emptiness in the end, and then she'd be happy. But instead she'd been pushed away.

If something didn't change soon she was going to break. Either by screaming until she flew apart into a thousand million pieces or by folding deeper and deeper into herself until she disappeared completely.

There was too much frustration, too much sadness, and she didn't know where it had come from or how she could get better. She was so small and so young. She didn't know how much longer she could go on like this, never letting herself be happy and never fitting in and never finding belongingness or affection or love anywhere she looked.

What do you want, Pinkamena Pie? her mother had asked.

If Pinkamena knew the answer to that question, then maybe some of the heaviness would go away.

But as it was, she was left feeling nothing but that sense of unbearable loneliness.

What do you want? she asked herself in bed, curling as tightly as she could into herself. What do you want, Pinkamena Pie?

She didn't know.

Maybe she could make herself disappear, if she only tried hard enough. She could fade into the background and never bother anypony again. If she truly vanished, really and completely, then maybe this emptiness would go away too.

Her mind flashed back to the conversation with Inkamena and their two hooves. Steel gray and cotton-candy pink.

The pink.

The hideous, garish pink that always leapt out and made her stand out as a freak. The one who didn't belong. If she could have, she would've painted herself gray or rolled around in the rock dust until she was completely covered and looked normal. But her mother would never let her get away with it and she would've just been made to wash it off.

A wave of hatred came over her.

She hated it, the pink. It was disgusting and ugly and marked her as an oddity to be isolated and ignored. Nothing else on the farm was pink. If she hadn't been pink, then maybe her parents and sisters would've accepted her. Maybe she wouldn't have felt so empty. If that nameless craving that haunted her was a simple need for belonging, then maybe if she could find a way to make herself just like everypony else, she would finally find it.

Pinkamena lifted her hooves so that she could see.

Pink, pink and horrible.

Maybe she could wrap herself in bandages to hide it. Or maybe she could cut it all off.

The pink was a stain and she wanted it gone, because suddenly it was so very clear to her that the pink was what made her the silly, useless little Pinkie that nopony could love.

If she could change that, everything would get better.

She would be okay.

The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink. The pink.


Once upon a time there was a little pink pony ...


The house was dark and silent that night. No light poured in through the windows. The sky was so thickly overcast that no light from the stars or moon could escape.

If she had to make herself smaller to fit into this tiny, colorless world, then that's what she would do.

What do you want, Pinkamena Pie?

I want to be liked. I want to be loved. I want to be happy.

Nopony else was awake, for which she was grateful. Still, Pinkamena treaded carefully to avoid making any kind of sound that would rouse her family. It was difficult. Her hoofsteps seemed so loud as they echoed throughout the silent building, but nopony came to investigate. And so, she quietly made her way to the bathroom.

Her mother would be angry that she was wasting things. Both her father and mother would be shocked. But it would be worth it. She just needed to get it done, and then she'd finally have a place with them, and then they'd forgive her, because they would love her.

The bath was about a third full when she turned the tap off. Little wafts of steam rose from the water. She experimentally tested it with a hoof, then leapt back, wincing. The water was practically scalding.

She had managed to sneak two jugs from the storeroom unnoticed and didn't want to risk taking anymore than that. Hopefully it would be enough.

With steely resolve glinting in her blue eyes, she began to twist the cap off the first jug.

The antiseptic stench of bleach instantly filled the room. It was so overwhelming that she almost felt nauseous, but she couldn't let herself get sick and stop. Not now, not even if her head ached - a sharp, splitting pain from the fumes.

Taking the handle of the jug in her mouth, she lifted it as high as she could and tipped it over the edge of the tub. Pouring it straight into the water with a steady glug, glug, glug.

When it was empty, she tossed aside the empty jug before unscrewing the cap of the second and pouring it in as well.

When all the bleach had been poured in, the water level in the tub had risen considerably and had taken on a strange, sickly pale yellow hue, even foaming slightly. The smell of cleaner was so strong now that she almost felt a little dizzy, but she couldn't back out. Not now. Not ever.

And so, she stepped into the bath.

At first it only stung. Like a thousand pricking needles. With a grimace, she sank deeper into the water, trying to settle herself into it in such a way so that she could ignore the discomfort.

A ragged washcloth hung over the side of the tub. She took it and dunked it in the water, then began to scrub.

Back when she and the sisters had first been taught basic housekeeping by their mother, Pinkamena had learned that bleach was best for getting out tough stains. This ugly pink was a stain and she'd get rid of it the best way she could think of, even if the water was starting to burn and the smell made her lightheaded.

Wash it all off.

Make it disappear.

The pink. The pink. The pink.

Pinkamena breathed in and out as heavily and steadily as she could, rocking back and forth in rhythm with the scrubbing motion and making sure she got her entire coat. Her mind was blurring. Slowly she became more and more immersed in cleaning herself.

But the color wasn't coming out.

Her breathing began to pick up, growing quicker and shallower in panic. She scrubbed even more, pressing as hard as she could and rubbing her coat all over with the cloth so roughly that she thought her skin might peel off. The longer she sat in the water, the more the prickling sting of the bleach began to grow unbearable.

And suddenly it was burning. Like she'd been lit on fire, or had torn her skin off to roll around in lemon juice.

It was like a thousand knives stabbing every square inch of her body, and before she could stifle herself, she cried out, gasping in agony.

Her head was swimming from the fumes and the pain, the horrible burning, was worse than anything she'd ever experienced before in her entire life. But even as her eyes sprung with tears, she kept scrubbing.

She couldn't get it out. But she needed to wash away the pink. Even if she was going to pass out, it would be worth it; she couldn't leave, even though she felt like she'd been in that bath for hours. But the pink was still there and she couldn't get it out.

Pinkamena closed her eyes as tightly as she could, then took a deep breath before submerging her head in the water, allowing herself to sink to the bottom of the tub.

If she head to, she would stay there, bobbing under the surface, forever.

Even as her lungs strained to the point of bursting and she began to think she was going to die, she stayed there below the surface, praying that when - or if - she woke up, she wouldn't be pink anymore.


The scream was what woke them.

Sue and Clyde went to investigate, expecting to find their youngest daughter up to some new mischief. Instead they found her bed empty.

When they woke Inkamena and Blinkamena to ask if they knew where she'd gone, they both claimed they had no idea.

"That Pinkamena!" Sue exclaimed angrily. "Always trying to rile us up! She always needs attention! I bet she's absolutely reveling in this."

"Yes, dear."

"Mama?" Inkamena murmured in a low voice. "I think that light is coming from the bathroom.

"What light?" Sue snapped, but then she saw it; a stream of light pouring through a crack under the bathroom door, the only light in the otherwise dim hallway.

Marching towards it, she bucked the door open angrily.

"Pinkamena Diane Pie, is that - "

But she stopped.

Two empty jugs were lying on the floor, the stink of cleaner was heavy in the air, and floating unsconscious in the tub was her youngest daughter. She screamed.


Although Pinkamena had thought she'd been in the bath for hours, in reality, it had only been a few minutes before she'd passed out. Soon after, her parents had found her. Plus, the bleach had been strong, but greatly diluted by the water.

All of that meant that she would be okay. Her coat and mane were discolored and her skin was covered in painful chemical burns, but she wasn't going to die.

After she'd woken up, her burns had been bathed in clean water and bandaged by her mother. Then, she'd been confined to her bed. As soon as this was done, Sue furiously began to demand an explanation, but Pinkamena just froze up the moment she heard her mother begin to speak.

There was no way to explain it in a way she'd understand. Not a mare as cold and unloving as this.

"You are a burden," her mother told her bitterly when Pinkamena didn't answer, glaring at her over the rims of her spectacles. "How are we supposed to manage the farm when we have to worry about you all the time? What are you hoping to accomplish with this little stunt?

But Pinkamena stayed silent.

Anything she said would just make her mother angrier.

Her mother was going to hate her forever, and nothing she could do would change that. Talking would only make it worse.

I'm a burden, she told herself, and it was true.

She was a burden, both to her family and the world. Nopony could stand her, not even herself.

She wanted to die.


Days went by.

She was kept alone, isolated in her bedroom, covered in bandages and wincing from the slightest movement as she gradually recovered. Her hair and patches of her coat had taken on a strange, dull tone from the discoloration.

Her special talent was useless and unwanted. She was useless and unwanted. Nothing she could do was going to make them want her to be a part of their family. Nothing was going to change.

One night, there was a knock at her door and a moment later, her sister Blinkamena poked her head in.

"Why'd you do it?" she asked bluntly.

Pinkamena didn't say anything.

Speaking was too difficult.

She was never going to talk again, she decided.

"Promise you won't kill yourself," Blinkamena ordered in a firm voice.

No answer.

"Promise! Blinkie Pie swear it! Cross your heart and hope to fly, stick a -"

"Get out!" Pinkamena screeched.

The simmering buildup of resentment and despair suddenly exploded from somewhere deep inside of her, and before she knew what she was doing she had whipped Rocky's head at her sister. Blinkamena quickly ducked out of the way, slamming the door shut before it could hit her. The rock hit the wall with a thunk, leaving behind a scuff mark.

If she was going to be completely unlovable, then at least she could be that way by choice.


That night, Pinkamena couldn't sleep.

She was alone and she was in pain. She was unloved, hated by everyone including herself.

She wanted to curl tighter and tighter into herself, closer and closer, until she disappeared and everything stopped and then she could escape.

There were so many tears; she couldn't possibly cry them all. There were too many to shed.

Something she was holding down as hard as she could was pushing higher and higher out of her gut.

She wanted to scream, but she held it in.

She would never speak again. Never ever ever ever ever. If they didn't want her, if she was just a burden and a nuisance, then she'd disappear.

What do you want, Pinkamena Pie? a voice in the back corner of her mind whispered. The voice was soft and low and gentle, but pressing.

I don't know, she thought weakly.

Was she dreaming?

What makes you happy?

Had she finally gone completely insane?

I don't know.

The voice wasn't her own anymore.

Why do you stay here?

Perhaps she was still asleep.

I have nowhere else to go.

You can leave. Take on a new name. Become somepony else. Never come home again. Start over. Be happy.

I don't know how.

You don't have to know yet. I can teach you.


I'll help you. Remember seeing the rainbow? Remember throwing your party? Remember how happy you were back then? Don't you want to feel that way forever?


It was like the voice was smiling at her. She could almost see it. Almost, but not quite, like when she was talking to one of her imaginary friends. Madame LeFlour or Rocky or the rest of them.

Let me in, the voice was saying. Close your eyes and forget. Wake up, and you won't remember a thing. Start again as somepony else.

She could hear her mother, asking the one question that nopony had ever asked her before.

What do you want, Pinkamena Pie?

And now, Pinkamena had an answer.

Not this.

She wanted to go away. She wanted to vanish. To be overwritten. She wanted to forget who and what she was and start over with nothing but bright, happy memories, then go on from there. She wanted to be the beaming party pony from the day she'd seen the rainbow forever. Not the haunted, gloomy self she was now.

The ghost whispering to her from the corner of her mind, dream or not, hallucination or not, was offering a way out. It could help her. The ghost would protect her from the things she didn't want to remember. It would offer sanctuary.

Things would be okay.

And that was all she wanted. For things to be okay. To escape this unbearable sadness. For somepony to protect her and tell her that she didn't have to try and cope alone anymore. That they would do it for her.

What do you want, Pinkamena Pie? the ghost asked her.

I don't want to be Pinkamena Pie anymore, she answered.


Once upon a time there was a little pink pony who lived on a rock farm.

One day, she decided she didn't want to live on a rock farm any more.

And so, the little pink pony disappeared.

In a village far, far away, a different little pink pony was found on the doorstep of a bakery one day. She spoke of rainbows and parties and smiles and did nothing but laugh when asked where she'd come from.

Maybe she couldn't remember. Maybe she didn't want to. But this little pink pony was happy, and that was what mattered.


To forget is not an easy feat. It's not something that you could do on your own intentionally.

But for a pony who hated herself so much that she'd rather be anypony else in the world than herself for one minute more, then forgetting becomes easier.

It's like building a wall, sealing off the part of the memory that you just don't want to look at anymore.

That night, the ghost - the voice - slipped in easily. Brick by brick the wall was built, encircling Pinkamena's thoughts. A division. The sadness and the loneliness and the hatred and the anger was closed off in a separate corner, far, far away from the thoughts she actually wanted to hold on to.

Everything else, especially the potential for joy that she'd first discovered on the day of her first party, was left behind.

Brick by brick the wall went up, and at last it was complete. A mind divided. A memory disconnected. Pinkamena, the quiet, dull, hurt little filly that she never wanted to be again, was forgotten and pushed away. All that was left was the pony that she wanted to be instead.

And the memory of those few days that had passed between seeing the rainbow and waking up was gone. Repressed. Just like that. Blocked by the wall. And she, too, was gone.

She could start over. She could be somepony else. She could fit in and find friends - friends who would love her and never leave her out or leave her behind. She could build a new family, a better one, even if she didn't really know or understand why it was so important to her.

But in the very furthest corners of her mind there still waited Pinkamena, that sad little filly. Still curling into herself and trying to disappear. Still with no friends but those imaginary ones she'd invented out of sheer oneliness. Still desperate to find a reason to smile. Still needing to feel loved and hateful when rejected. But it was so easy to ignore feelings like that when they were hidden behind a wall.


Once upon a time there was a little pink pony who lived on a rock farm and wanted nothing more than to be happy.

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