Stretching your unfamiliar limbs, you wonder where you'll be at the end of today. Lying down in your own bed, fully restored and brought home? Or will you have to find a way to sleep with the knowledge that you'll never be--
--never be yourself again. The prospect infects your thoughts like a virus, and it takes all your discipline to counter it with a heavy dose of cautious optimism.
Your stomach churns. You feel like you're about to give a speech to the world. From the hallway wafts the sweet smell of toast, but it only makes you feel even more sick.
"Mornin'!" a cheerful voice calls. You turn your head and see a plump orange earthy pony nurse carrying a small tray heaped with food. She sets the tray down on a side table and stares expectantly at you. “You're Sonora, right? Nice to meet you; name's Sharp Cider.”
She sets the tray down on a side table and stares expectantly at you.
“Don't be skittish, darlin',” she coaxes. “Breakfast is complimentary.”
"Thanks," you say, "but I'm not feeling very hungry."
"You sure?" she pleads, giving you a look that an army of orphaned baby bunnies couldn't match.
You sigh. There isn't much defense against that line of attack. Gingerly gripping a slice of toast between your two front hooves, you take a tiny bite.
Soon you're nibbling on the toast like a nervous rat. It's much coarser than any other bread you've tasted, and somehow this makes it perfect. You finish it so quickly you almost bite off your own hooves.
"Did you make this? It's amazing," you say.
Sharp Cider beams beatifically. "Aw, shucks. It's just some buttered alfalfa bread."
You swallow, fighting the sudden urge to cough. Yes, life, you mentally sigh. I get it. I'm a horse. I like horse food now.
As you get started on your second piece, a shocking thought flashes through your mind: this tastes better than bacon. Even more blasphemously, the thought of eating meat at all is strangely...unappetizing.