literature

Behind Walleyes

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Carrot Top woke up, but didn't move. She didn't even open her eyes. She had slept rather soundly, but had had an odd dream that she was being trapped, buried alive even. It was a nightmare dulled with familiarity. As familiar as the weight on her underbelly causing these dreams was.

"Derpy...please get off." she said.

"It's my day off!" came the enthusiastic reply. Carrot Top groaned as a wave of warm, coffee-flavored air washed over her.

"That's great. Get off." Carrot Top replied. She heard a shift and slowly the weight lifted off of her. A small thunk let her know that Ditzy Doo Hooves, better known as Derpy Hooves, was seated on the floor beside her. She finally opened her eyes. The gray pegasus had a content smile, watching her. However, Derpy's gaze never stayed still for more than a moment. Slowly, as if with a mind (and short attention span) of its own, one of her eyes began to wander. It casually made its way around until it was apparently gazing at the ceiling. Derpy blew upwards at her blond bangs to give it a better view.

"I changed my lock. I don't have a spare key..." Carrot Top murmured, getting out of bed. "I lock all my windows. All the vents. My basement has a cement floor..." she stood up, looking at Derpy. "So exactly how did you get in here?"

"You forgot the attic this time." Derpy said with a pleasant smile, closing her eyes. Carrot Top sucked in air through her teeth.

"Right, I did. Well, there's always next time. So..." she sighed heavily. "Did you have breakfast already?"

"Nope." Derpy replied. "I saved up all my bits! Wanna go out?"

"Really?" Carrot Top paused, halfway through remaking her bed. Her room was fairly small, but very well kept. Sure, a bit of dust gathered on top of the vanity and her spare horseshoes were just thrown under the bed, but her two framed pictures hung straight, her little desk had papers all stacked straight, and the floors were recently swept. It took her several minutes to just be happy with how she had the bed.

Derpy nodded excitedly. "You can pick!" she said. Carrot Top smiled.

"Thanks D- Ditzy Doo. Sometimes I forget why I'm friends with you. Alright, meet me downstairs." Derpy fluttered along, her hooves dragging along the ground. Carrot Top shook her head and rolled her eyes.

Once she was done, and had given up taming her green mess of a mane, she trotted down the stairs into her living room. There, Derpy lay on her back on the couch's back, upside down with her head on the cushion. She had started watching TV.

"Derpy, we're going..." Carrot Top told her, immediately sliding back into Ditzy Doo's less than charitable nickname.

"Not anytime soon, duh." Derpy replied, stating it as obvious fact.

"What?"

"I mean, you gotta spread that fertlizer you forgot yesterday, right?"

"Fertlizer....ah, I forgot to spread the fertilizer!" Carrot Top's eyes went wide. She raced down the stairs, heading through her kitchen and out the back.

---

The faucet ran for several minutes straight, it and some grumbling just audible from the living room. Carrot Top huffed and dragged her hooves into the living room. Derpy was spaced out in the same upside-down position.

"Thanks Derpy. How...did you know I forgot to do that?"

"Oh! Well I didn't see you do it. Or I saw you not do it." Derpy replied with a troubled frown, as if even she didn't understand what she was saying. Carrot Top certainly didn't.

"That doesn't..." her stomach grumbled. "Nevermind. Still willing to treat me to breakfast?"

"Sure thing!" Derpy replied, flinging herself up off the couch. she plopped onto the floor, and proceeded to flutter along with her hooves dragging along the ground. Carrot Top rolled her eyes and followed Derpy out. It was a good day, cool and windy but with only the occasional cloud to dampen the sun. Carrot Top beamed in the spring weather.

"My favorite time of year, how about-"

"Flowers!" Derpy rushed past, stopping several feet up the road, just off the path. A rosebush was budding and caught her attention - which meant that she was neck deep in it.

"Derpy don't do that!" Carrot Top admonished. Derpy removed herself and blinked curiously at her. She was covered in nicks and scratches all across her face and upper neck - and apparently not the least bit bothered. Carrot Top sighed and grabbed Derpy's tail in her mouth.

"Come on." she said, muffled by her mouthful. She dragged Derpy along into town.

The Daffodil Delicatessen was more used to the lunch crowd, but Carrot Top had always favored a heavy breakfast to start her work day, and Derpy certainly hadn't complained. Mind you, the earth pony wasn't sure she had ever seen Derpy complain. There was a certain zen to the pegasus that Carrot Top had to admire. She swore sometimes there seemed to be far more to Derpy than she'd guess. There had to be something behind that peaceful gaze.

"Thanks for breakfast, Ditzy Doo. How's the mail route coming?" Carrot Top decided that secretly wise or actually empty, she still ought to talk to her friend.

"Lots of fun." Derpy replied. "I probably know as many ponies as Pinkie Pie!"

"Haha." Carrot Top couldn't help but chuckle. "A little easier on the ears though."

Derpy just smiled, biting through her sandwich. They didn't talk much, which Carrot Top rather liked. She often preferred working with her vegetables to with ponies, and Derpy often came close in offering both.

"Cutie Mark Crusader baby bunny catchers!" came a battle cry. Carrot Top looked over to find a young filly with a red mane and a pink bow chase after a hopping little creature that was doing its best to keep beyond the filly's reach. Fluttershy trotted along, putting down a weaved basket she had been holding in her mouth.

"Apple Bloom, be gentle!" she called, her voice somehow loud and soft at once. She looked across the road. "Sweetie Belle, one at a time! Oh dear!" she trotted away. Carrot Top rolled her eyes.

"I swear, there's being close to nature then there's....Fluttershy."

"Hee hee." Derpy laughed. One eye followed Apple Bloom, the other one darted about. Usually it swiveled smoothly, but every once and a while it seemed to go wild. Carrot Top decided to look away, back at the road. She realized, though she knew it didn't make sense, that Derpy's eye seemed to be following the multitude of baby rabbits that had swarmed the street.

"She means well." Carrot Top sighed, glad she wasn't out pedaling produce at this moment. "Oh, those are the little blank-flank fillies that hang together."

"They're silly. At least they won't wait much longer."

"Well, probably not." Carrot Top said. "You know...I've never asked, but what is with your cutie mark, Ditzy Doo?"

"Me?"

"Sure. Most poines, it's pretty obvious. I grow the best carrots. Fluttershy's good with animals - most of the time. Mr and Mrs. Cake are great bakers. What's with yours? Bubbles?"

"Well yeah." Derpy said, clopping her hooves lightly on the table. "Have you ever looked at a bubble?"

"What?"

"I mean, really look at it." Derpy said, leaning in and squinting. "Reeeaally."

"Whatever, I shouldn't have asked." Carrot Top said, clearly annoyed. "Let's just finish breakfast." they didn't talk much after that. Derpy still didn't seem bothered. Carrot Top didn't even think she knew she had said anything stupid. There was zen, then there was just emptyheadedness. Secretly wise her hoof.

"Thanks for breakfast anyway." Carrot Top said as they finished, not willing to seem ungrateful. "I know it's your day off, but I need to make sure that the fertilizer's tilled in. I rushed it this morning."

"That's okay! I'll go do what I do best." Derpy smiled as if she was sharing an inside joke with Carrot Top. The earth pony wondered if this meant Derpy would be breaking into her house or stealing her food.

"You go do that." Carrot Top replied tersely. Fortunately, whatever she was going to do, it wasn't in her direction. Thank Celestia for small blessings.

---

Derpy trotted through town, greeted occasionally as she passed by. She was a good mailpony, as far as they went. No one really talked about her, that much, so no one realized something about Derpy Hooves. Yes, they always somehow managed to meet the mailpony face to face in deliveries, but surely that was just them, right? It wasn't as if Derpy could manage to catch everypony, everyday. In fact, there wasn't a pony in town who got mail delivered who didn't see Derpy's smiling face along with their letters. She never stayed long, often seemed distracted, but it was the personal touch everyone appreciated, even if they didn't quite realize what Derpy was doing.

On her day off, however, Derpy knew she'd have time to direct her attention elsewhere. Her home was small and a bit strange. Oh, normal enough of on the outside, but on the inside there was no mistaking who lived there. All the furniture was against the walls, so that one had to sit at an angle from the couch to see the TV. The paintings opposite the couch were upside down, as Derpy no doubt spent most of her time that way. An umbrella hung by the kitchen door, and three extra horshoes next to the front door.

"Dinky Doo?" Derpy called. One eye stayed straight ahead while the other swiveled about the room. The center of the room was a wide empty space with a nice simple rug, looking almost as if cleared for a dance. Derpy turned a full circle before hearing a giggle from under the couch. Smiling, she bent down and stuck her head underneath.

"That's funny..." she said to herself as she came up. "Where'd you go?" she looked around. She was apparently oblivious to the young purple-grey filly latched to the back of her head, grinning from ear to ear. Her daughter giggled again.

"Dinky?" Derpy turned around in a half circle. The filly giggled once more.

"Where are you? Are you magicking again?" Derpy asked, making a full cicle.

"I'm here momma!" Dinky Doo Hooves replied, still holding on. Derpy craned her neck towards the ceiling. Then she smiled, and with a flap of her wings, did a back flip in place. Her daughter fell off when Derpy was upside down only to be caught by her mother's back before she could hit the ground.

"Ooof, hehe!" she giggled. "Here I am!"

Now able to see her daughter if she craned her neck, Derpy smiled. "I found ya. Could you help mommy out and get me my bubbles?" she sat down, letting Dinky off her back.

"Okay. I thought today was your day off?"

"I wanna check something." Derpy explained. Dinky was rummaging through a cupboard pressed against another wall. She took out an interesting contraption that looked like a fan with a holster on it. The little filly strained, her horn glowed, and a small plastic bottle floated out of the cupboard, bobbing along like it was riding stormy seas.

"I got it." she said as Derpy approached. Derpy nodded and grabbed a handle on top of the fan. She placed it in the middle of the floor. She headed back to the cupboard and got a shallow dish. Dinky managed to get the bottle over all by herself just as she had insisted. The dish had a large bubble-wand in it. Dinky unscrewed the bottle cap and filled the shallow dish. Once the bubble wand was coated, she placed it in the holster, right in front of the fan.

"Ready?" she asked her mother. Derpy nodded. Dinky turned on the fan. Bubble after bubble poured out. Derpy sat in the middle of the floor, her daughter attending to the fan by occasionally redipping the wand, replacing it as quickly as she could. Soon the two ponies were surrounded by bubbles.

"Hmm." Derpy's expression went blank. Her daughter made sure the bubbles kept steady as a few popped or floated away. Derpy's one eye began to drift. If one could see through her eyes, it would have been quite interesting. Most of the world was fuzzy, as it often was for her, but bubbles floated into focus in front of her wandering eye. And in these bubbles she saw worlds, or pieces of worlds, warped and distorted on the soapy film. Princess Luna slept fitfully in her bed, clutching a Teddy Ursa. There was Derpy herself from yesterday, or maybe tomorrow, downing her third oatmeal muffin of the morning. There was Pinkie Pie....definitely waving at her through the bubble. Derpy smiled back nervously. That pony creeped her out a little when she did that.

"No...no...I was sure...uh oh." her swivelling eye stopped in place. She frowned, focusing on one bubble.

"Thanks Dinky." Derpy stood up, spreading her wings. With a couple of sweeps she cleared most of the bubbles up.

"I gotta go out again, I'm sorry."

"It's okay momma. Is everything okay?"

"It's okay." Derpy assured her, nuzzling her filly. She headed towards the cabinet, rootled around, and pulled out a white box with a red cross on it. She held it in her mouth and fluttered towards the door. Her daughter gave a worried look, but began to clear up the bubble equipment.

Carrot Top just sat in the dirt, sniffling pathetically. She inspected a raised hoof from which blood still poured. It wasn't too bad, but it was a surprisingly deep gash from nothing but a fallen hoe. And it was on the ankle too, extra pain coming with every twitch. She looked back to her house, preparing to make the limp back.

That, of course, was when she saw Derpy coming through the sky, medical box in teeth. She just let her mouth hang open slightly. Derpy gave her a worried look - her eye kept sliding but she brought it back, doing her best to focus on Carrot Top. She flew down beside Carrot Top and dropped the box.

"How..." Carrot shook her head. She smiled at Derpy. "Sometimes I forget why I'm so glad you're my friend."

"Hey." Derpy replied, opening the box. "Just doing what I do best."
A little short story. I've often given thought to Derpy Hooves. I don't think I did a lot for her character here. I still can't decide on that. You've seen much better, no doubt. The fans are generally kind to her, though a few make unpleasant decisions about her mental faculties. However, no one I've seen really focuses on the cutie mark. It's a throwaway, right? Nothing special or noteworthy? Well, my good bronies, I beg to differ.

On the other hoof, I like Carrot Top as a good counter to Derpy's goofy good-naturedness.
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