Hi, I’m Shady Daze. Hmm? Am I related to the other Shady? I don’t think so. What other Shady? Just ignore it? Alright, if you say so. As I was saying, my name is Shady Daze and I’m the older brother to Sunny Daze, whom you’ve already interviewed. There isn’t really much more to me, really. Both my parents and Miss Cheerilee say I’m a child prodigy and I guess I am a little smart, but really the only reason I do so well on tests is because I have photographic memory. I think I might be the only other pony in Ponyville, besides Miss Pinkie Pie, who has that. Anyway, a really good memory doesn’t always equal genius. I once memorized an entire tome on advanced earth pony magic and I still have trouble understanding it. And sometimes when I’m taking a test I feel like I’m cheating, but if were to tell Miss Cheerilee ‘I cheated because I copied everything from memory’ then that would make me seem like an idiot. I mainly play the smart know-it-all pony because that’s what everypony expects me to do. That's not to say that I'm an idiot. On the contrary, I'm a huge supporter of science, and I like things to be proven to me for me to believe it. If I’m so gifted then why don’t I have my cutie mark? Everypony asks that. I usually tell them it’s because I’m just not in a hurry to get it, but the truth is I’m actually scared of getting a cutie mark. Yeah, I know, a pony who’s afraid of getting his cutie mark. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But the thing is I don’t like the idea of a mark that’s supposed to decide my destiny. But you guys don’t want to hear about that, you want to know what happened to me during the day of chaos, don’t you?
I was sleeping in late like I usually do, when all of a sudden I heard my sister scream. I bolted up to see what was going on, and when I trotted outside I saw my sister running from some sort of death ray or something like that. Then I saw the rest of Ponyville, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I won’t bore you with the details since you probably already heard others talk about it or perhaps experienced it yourselves. Then I noticed my mom watering her cacti as if nothing was happening.
“Mom?” I asked, “What’s going on?”
“Oh, it’s nothing, dear.” she said in a voice that obviously wasn’t hers. Then she turned around and when I saw her face my blood ran cold. She had two mismatched yellow eyes and a single fang on one side of her face. “It’s just the beginning of my reign of chaos.” the creature, who obviously wasn’t my mother, said.
“Who are you? What have you done with my mom?” I asked the thing in front of me.
“Oh, she’s around.” he said as he brought out a basketball with my mother’s face on it, and started dribbling it with his or rather my mom’s hoof.
I was horrified by this, and tried to focus my attention elsewhere. I looked at all the chaos that Ponyville was in. “Why are you doing this?” I asked him, “It isn’t right.”
“It isn’t right?” the chaos monster mocked me, “You ponies are always so obsessed with morals. Tell me, what would you say if I told you that the only reason ponies do good is because they have an innate fear of going to Pony Hell where they will be endlessly tortured by my father?”
“I would say that’s a ridiculous notion. I don’t believe in a Pony Hell or even a Pony Heaven for that matter. And I don't believe in any sort of god either, so long as we're on this subject.”
The chaos creature started laughing really hard at that, “You have got to be kidding me! You’re telling me that even though you live in a country that’s ruled by two goddesses that you don’t believe in a god?”
“If you’re talking about the princesses, then I admit they’re powerful and have been around for a long time but I don’t believe that they’re goddesses.”
“So, tell me, if you don’t believe in a Pony Heaven or Pony Hell, then why do you do good? Without any fear of eternal damnation you should be able to commit whatever atrocities you please.”
“Because of one reason.Just because I don’t believe in an afterlife doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do good. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all alone on this planet and we need to look after one another during our brief time we still have with one another.” Okay, I confess that I copied that last sentence from a book I read, but I still meant it.
“Kid, you’re sounding like a public service announcement. So, do you plan on trying to help other ponies get through their trauma or something stupid like that?”
I looked around again and gave him my answer, “Yes”.
“Sorry, not going to happen.” he said as he tapped me on the head and his eyes became swirls.
The next thing I knew I was completely blind. Now, before I go on, I think I should mention something called blindsight. Blindsight is when the brain is incapable of processing visual information, resulting in people who are technically still able to see but don‘t realize it. The reason I bring it up is because I didn’t have blind sight, I was in total darkness. However, I knew I had to get away from the thing in front of me so I started running in a random direction. It was about then that my photographic memory started working against me. You see, even though I couldn’t see, I could still hear everything. And all those voices became stuck in my head, and started to mix in with my own thoughts. I was beginning to forget who I was! Was I some mare with a propeller hat flying around admiring the chaos or was I a filly running from a beam of light that was trying to kill me? No, that’s my sister, not me! Come on, Shady, get a hold of yourself! Suddenly I found myself hitting something really hard and I lost consciousness.
I couldn't tell where I was. I could see my hooves in front of my face, but I couldn't see anything else. All of a sudden I heard a voice speak.
“Shady Daze, a cutie mark is nothing to be afraid of. cutie marks don’t decide one’s destiny. It is a guideline to help you choose what your path will be, but it does not choose that path for you. You need to decide for yourself what you want to be.”
"What?" I said, looking up to see an earth pony mare with a red coat and blonde mane with five sunglasses as her cutie mark.
"I was telling you that a cutie mark isn't something to be afraid of." she answered, "I'm sorry, I guess I should have introduced myself first. I'm Shady."
"Oh well,thanks, I guess. Wait a minute, how can you be Shady? I'm Shady."
"It's not impossible for two ponies to share the same name. Besides, I lived and died centuries before you were born."
"You died? Does that mean you're a ghost?"
"I guess you could say that. Right now, we're in a sort of in-between zone between the living world and Pony Heaven. Not that you'd believe that, of course."
"You're right, I don't believe you. No offense, of course."
"That's all right. I'm not here to force you to believe in anything."
"So, you're name is also Shady and you lived centuries ago? Are you my ancestor or something?"
"There does seem to be a precedent for ponies sharing names with their ancestors, but I can assure you that we aren't related. Our identical names seem to just be a coincidence."
"So, why am I here? I'm not dead, am I?"
"No, you're merely unconscious. You hit that brick wall pretty hard. You're here because we share a lot more than just a name.
"Well, there's the fact that you kind of have a low self-esteem, no offense. I was also like that when I was younger. I had a confidence issue a mile long, if not longer. Then there's your love of science; I don't mean to brag, but I've dabbled in alchemy a few times, so I can understand your interest in the subject."
"So, basically you wanted to teach me that I'm not alone and that I should do something about my self-esteem issue? Not that I'm not grateful, but was now really the best time? There's a chaos monster running around in Ponyville.
"Don't worry, time has no meaning in this place. And I'm sorry for the trouble my son has been causing. I swear, he used to be much sweeter in his youth."
My mouth dropped open, "Son? That thing is your son!? What, did you sleep with Grogar or something!?"
"How rude. Also, I'm surprised you know who Grogar is."
"Of course, I know who he is. I've read a whole bunch of mythology books with him in it."
"Mythology? I can assure you that Grogar is quite real, and for your sake I hope you're not around when he finally breaks free of his other dimensional prison."
"Is that liable to happen?"
"Yes, but I'm not sure when. I've honestly lost track of time in this place. Anyway, it looks like it's almost time for you to go. Just remember what I said about getting your cutie mark."
"I'll try to, but I'm still a little nervous about it. Don't cutie marks just kind of tie you down? I don't like the idea of being told by anything what to do in life."
"Okay, you obviously weren't paying attention. I was telling you that cutie marks are guidelines for what to do with your life. They don't dictate every waking moment of it. Anyway, looks like you're about to go. Bye Shady, it was nice meeting you."
"Wait, already? But..." Before I could finish, I found myself fading away.
“Shady! Shady, wake up!”
I woke up to find my mom shaking me, “huh?”
My mom hugged me as soon as she saw that I was awake, “I’m so glad your safe.” I looked at her and saw that she was crying.
“I’m sorry I worried you, mom.” I said as I hugged her back.
As for everything after that, well I pretty much dismissed the other Shady as a hallucination. I mean, she had to be. Come on, a ghost mare who just so happens to share my name? But I still took her words to heart. Especially what she said about cutie marks. I’m no longer afraid of getting one, but I still want to wait. As a blank flank I still have a lot of choice in what I want to be someday. I did go see a therapist, but I wasn’t as bad a case as other ponies. I saw Sunny and Peachy become friends again and that made me happy. I was briefly a typist for the Foalfree Express While Diamond Tiara was the editor. But then it was found out that she was abusing her power, and Feather Weight became the new editor in her place. I took over Feather Weight's old job of photographer. I've actually been enjoying myself. This was, of course, before Diamond Tiara mysteriously disappeared. Then there was the thing with Princess Gaia. I was home looking after my sick sister at the time. Then I heard strange singing, and found myself in a strange fantasy world where I was a respected reporter. I suppose I don’t blame Fluttershy for the incident, but I don’t feel like thanking her either. And that’s basically everything. Well, everything you’d be interested in anyway.