by Sketchy Changeling

Chapter 1: Parallel

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It was a warm summer morning in a small neighborhood, a morning much like any other. Two teenage boys, who were best friends that lived right next door to each other, were hanging out in one of the boys’ backyard. It was part of a routine they had. They would always spend every morning outside in one of their backyards talking about random topics. They also made it a habit to alternate between whose yard they would hang out in. The two boys were named Nathaniel and Nee-J. Today, the two boys were in the former’s yard.

“Hey, remember when you first spelled out your name for me, and I couldn’t pronounce it for the life of me?” Nathaniel asks. He was a boy of average height, with dark brown skin and black hair with an eraser top. He had a fascination with ninjas, and he was a great acrobat, practicing free running in his spare time.

“Yeah, and then I told you to say the word ‘knee,’ and then the letter ‘J,’ then you finally got it,” said Nee-J. He was a little taller than his friend Nathaniel despite being younger than him, and his skin was a lighter shade of brown, too. His head was more round and had less definition than Nathaniel’s, as well. Nee-J was the artist of the two, and he always carried a sketchbook filled with his own comics.

The conversation switched from name pronunciations to My Little Pony, which was the two friends’ favorite show.

“I’ve always wondered,” said Nathaniel, “What would it be like to live in Equestria?”

“Oh, God. Not that again,” Nee-J said, rolling his eyes. This wasn’t the first time that his friend brought up this question.

“What? You mean you’ve never thought of how cool it would be to live there?”

“I’m not saying that I haven’t, it’s just that you’ve brought this up several times in the past few days, and it’s getting kind of old.”

“Sorry, man. It’s just that it would be so freaking awesome! I even dreamed about it last night.”

“You are officially obsessed.”

“I’d expect the guy that makes his own comics to have some imagination.”

“Pssh. Whatever.”

The two friends continue to talk about the possibility of living in such a fantastical world as Equestria, when all of a sudden, they hear weird sound. It sounded like something out of a science fiction movie.

“What the hell?” said Nee-J, looking at his friend in surprise.

“I wonder what that was,” said Nathaniel, he then looked out into the open area of his backyard and saw what looked like a tiny orb just floating in midair.

“That’s weird,” he said. “Hey Nee-J, let’s check it out.”

“Alright,” he said, against his better judgment.

The boys walked towards the orb, Nathaniel in front, his curiosity much stronger than Nee-J’s.

“What do you think it is?” the latter asked.

“I dunno. Let’s find out,” said Nathaniel. He reached his hand out to touch the mysterious orb, but Nee-J grabbed it before he could do so.

“What the hell are you doing!?”


“What do you mean ‘what’? A mysterious ball of light appears in your backyard out of nowhere and your first thought is to touch it?”

“Well, yeah.”

Nee-J slapped the back of Nathaniel’s head, shaking his head at his friend’s lapse in judgment.

“You ever thought that, oh I don’t know, something bad might happen if you touched it?” he asked.

“Well, I’m not just gonna leave it there,” Nathaniel retorted.

As the two boys went back and forth over the pros and cons of touching the unknown object, the orb suddenly got brighter, and in an instant, it grew much bigger, enveloping the two friends in its mass, effectively knocking them out.

After who knows how long, Nathaniel slowly woke up. He looked around and was very confused. Instead of being in his backyard, he was in a bedroom that he didn’t recognize. He got out of the bed, and walked out of the room, into the hallway.

“Nee-J?” he called out. “You around, man?”

All of a sudden, he heard a loud scream.


“What in the-?” he thought. He ran in the direction of the scream and came to a door. When he opened it, he was shocked at what he saw. Instead of his friend, he saw a unicorn with a coat what was the same color as Nee-J’s skin tone, and a short, black mane. Instead of being a regular unicorn, he was an anthro unicorn, standing on his two hind legs and having hands in the place of front hooves. He was wearing a long sleeved graphic t-shirt with an opened button shirt over it and black skinny jeans.

“Nee-J!?” he said. “What the fuck happened to you!?”

The unicorn turned his head toward him, widened his eyes, and said “Speak for yourself!” he said. “Look in the mirror,” he moved over to give his friend space to look into the mirror. As Nathaniel peered into the glass, he was surprised at what he saw. Instead of seeing himself as a human, he saw himself as a pegasus with a coat that was the same color as his skin, and a mane that was done in a short afro Mohawk. He also noticed that he was wearing a black sleeveless shirt with matching sweatpants, as if he was about to do some parkour or something.

“We… we turned into ponies!” he said.

“No shit, Sherlock!” said, Nee-J. “I even checked to see if I had a cutie mark, and there it was!”

“Seriously? What does it look like?”

“A comic book with a pencil over it- wait, that’s not important!”

“I wonder what mine looks like…”

“Dude, I’m right here! If you’re gonna check to see if there’s a mark on your ass-”

“On my flank.”

“On your flank, do it when you’re alone!”

“Okay, I know this is crazy, but let’s just calm down. Maybe that orb we say just took us to an alternate universe or something.”

The term “alternate universe” echoes in Nee-J’s head. “That’s it!” he said. “I saw this mentioned on that TV show Fringe once.”

“What do you mean,” Nathaniel asked, confused.

“According to the show, there are infinite alternate universes to our own, and our minds are only aware of our lives in that one universe,” Nee-J explained. “Maybe that orb made our minds aware of our lives in this universe instead.”

“Okay, then we have nothing to worry about,” the other friend said reassuringly. “Technically nothing bad happened to us, we’ve just become aware of our alternate lives.”

“Maybe you’re right,” said Nee-J

All of a sudden, the two friends hear a knock on the door downstairs.

“Be right there!” says Nathaniel.

“The fuck is wrong with you?” said Nee-J. “We just entered an alternate universe and you’re gonna go answer the door.”

“I don’t wanna be rude.”

“Gee, what a compelling argument.”

The two ponies walk downstairs to see who was at the door. When the open it, they see a female anthro alicorn standing in front of them, one that the recognized.

“Hello, neighbors. My name is Twilight Sparkle. I’d like to be the first to welcome you two to Ponyville.”

Next Chapter: New Neighbors and New Identities Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 55 Minutes
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