“There’s no other option? They have to do surgery?”
“Unfortunately, that is the case, sweetheart. Surgery is the only answer now. Your father’s echocardiogram showed that one of his core arteries is constricted. They need to insert a stent. Do you know what that is?” I could hear the quaver in Gramma’s voice, despite her hard mouth and eyes.
“It’s like a little spring that’s gonna hold the artery open, right?” I swallowed over the tube; it still felt strange.
“Basically, yes. You certainly know your stuff.” Gramma managed a little smile.
“Well, I’ve been here long enough. If it hasn’t happened to me, I’ve probably heard about it,” I chuckled.
“There’s a truth in there somewhere,” Gramma commented.
I sighed and looked at Tesla. She held the same wide eyes and curved brows as before, but she didn’t say anything. I figured she was trying to think of something comforting to say, but I imagine it isn’t easy when a friend is in this kind of situation.
I heard Gramma sigh, too. “I wasn’t expecting you to be bed-ridden, Crimson. I thought I would be able to bring you to see your father before he went to the operating room. I’m sorry, sweetheart.” She didn’t say anything else, but her downcast eyes told me what her mouth didn’t.
“Gramma, can you go and tell Dad I said good luck?”
She looked at me and responded, “Are you alright here on your—” She cut herself off and smiled. “Of course. You’re not alone, are you?”
I smiled back at her and slowly shook my head. I put a hoof on Tesla’s foreleg and said, “I’m in good hooves.” Tess looked at me and blushed. “The doc said I should be resting, anyway. Tell Dad that I’m asking Princess Luna to look out for him, too, would you?”
Gramma nodded as she stood up and walked to the door. “Of course, sweetheart.” Before opening the door, she turned around and looked at Tess. “Tesla, I leave my grandson in your very capable hooves. Please take good care of him while I’m gone.”
Tess put on a straight face as she replied, “Of course.”
Gramma smiled. “Thank you, dear.” Then she walked through door, leaving the sound of fading hoofsteps behind her.
I took a breath and looked at Tess. “Thanks for keeping me company.” All this information hit me like a tornado. First, there’s something else wrong with me. Then, my dad needed surgery. I mean, I know the medical world is nothing new to me, but seriously? It felt like life was dealing me cards from the bottom of the deck…
“Of course,” she responded. She smiled and put a hoof on mine, but I saw something glistening on her cheek, and the trembling I felt wasn’t coming from me.
I closed my eyes and said, “Give me a second— I have to do what I said I would. She’s not here right now, but it never hurts to try asking Princess Luna for help.”
“Not so. And so, respectively. ‘Tis not an easy response when one is incorrect and correct at the same time.”
Tess and I drew in sharp breaths, then looked towards one of the corners of my room, near the window. We saw a rippling sphere, like a large globe of water draining away, revealing the yawning figure of Princess Luna. Tess gasped and grabbed onto my foreleg, while I stared at the Princess, dumbfounded.
“Princess Luna, I… how… that was fast.” I could barely get the words out.
“I was in the neighborhood,” Princess Luna said with a smile. “However, I have been watching you for a little while.”
My eyes went wide at that. “I… how?”
Princess Luna shrugged. “An invisibility spell. Not simple, but once mastered, useful for a sharp mind.” She turned to Tesla. “‘Tis something you might find helpful someday if you wish to learn it.” Tess glanced at the royal crown and flinched, staring at the Princess.
Princess Luna looked at me and motioned to Tesla, then remarked, “Well? Are official introductions not in order, young gentlecolt?” She smirked and raised a brow at me.
“Oh!” I rasped out over the tube. “Yeah, uh, Princess, this is my friend, Tesla Coil. Tess, this— I think you know who this is.”
Tess nodded, frozen for a moment with her eyes wide, before she bowed to the Princess and said, “Your Highness, it’s an honor to meet you. Crimson talks about you a lot.”
The Princess responded, “All good things, I hope.” She winked at me before she nodded at Tess and continued, “The honor is mine, Tesla. Crimson speaks fondly of you as well, and I see he has excellent reasons for doing so. You are a worthy and devoted companion. And please, you need not be so formal”
Tess smiled and blushed, rubbing the back of her mane as she glanced at me. I smiled back at her, then I noticed her expression shift. Her eyes narrowed and her brows furrowed slightly. “Um, Princess, I apologize if I’m rude, but you said you were in the neighborhood, right?”
The Princess nodded. “Yes, why?”
Tess scuffed the floor with a hind hoof and asked, “Well, based on what we’ve learned, shouldn’t… shouldn’t you be asleep?”
Princess Luna chuckled. “A wise filly. Yes, I do need my sleep, but special circumstances arose.” I furrowed my brows as Tess and I glanced at each other, then looked back at the Princess. When she saw our expressions, she said, “Allow me to explain. While I can enter dreams of my own accord, on rare occasions, I am drawn to other ponies’ dreams through my own. In this case, an unconscious young colt was fighting for his life—” My eyes shot open. “—but I was able to assist his dream spirit long enough that he could take the reins and gain consciousness once again on his own.”
I gasped, then coughed as I choked on the tube. “Princess, are you saying you helped that colt down the hall?!”
I saw a faint blush appear on the Princess’ cheeks. She nodded and said, “Indeed I did, Crimson. I speak not of these occasions because they are exceedingly rare. I am quite saddened that I was not drawn to either of your friends before their passings. Based on what I have seen in your dreams—” When I looked down and away from her, Princess Luna stopped herself. “I apologize, Crimson. I shall say no more on this matter, if you prefer.”
I took a deep breath before I responded, “Yeah, if you don’t mind…” Then I thought of something. “Wait… so, if you were with the other colt in his dream, how did you end up here?”
The Princess’ eyes brightened as she said, “Ah, yes. You see, before I left the young colt’s dream, I could sense high tension elsewhere on this floor, and not the usual tension that is present in a hospital. I left the dream and situated myself outside by the colt’s window. When I discovered the stress was coming from your direction, I cast my invisibility spell and flew to your window, just in time to see young Tesla revive your father.” She turned to Tess and continued, “I congratulate you on your cutie mark, young filly. You should be very proud of yourself.” Tess just blushed again, then Princess Luna turned back to me. “I teleported through the window as your nurse wheeled your father away. Maintaining invisibility in the process is no easy feat.” The Princess puffed her chest out with a smirk.
I watched Tess’ eyes widening as the Princess spoke about the spells she used, when I remembered something. “But Princess, I haven’t been in here the whole time. Were you sitting in here when I was gone?”
The Princess shrugged. “T’was rather interesting to pony watch through your window, since it is not dark enough to see my stars yet. I allowed Tesla her space, as we had not been introduced. Anyway, now that we have, back to the matter at hoof— you, and your father.”
I felt my eyes practically bulge as I let out a huge gasp, eliciting a coughing fit. I steadied myself, then asked her, “Are you gonna go help my dad, too?” I held my breath.
The Princess smiled. “I will do what I can. Based on what I know, I doubt your father needs much assistance, but a little reminder of what he fights for never hurts. You, on the other hoof, need to rest.” She turned to Tess and said, “I am sorry for taking your companion to dreamland, but sleep is crucial.” Tess nodded. “Now, I see you are sporting a new addition to your medical equipment. Would you like some assistance?”
I smiled back at her. “Sure! This tube feels so uncomfortable.”
“Hopefully you will get used to it in time.” Princess Luna turned to Tess and asked, “Tesla, you will keep an eye on him after I leave?”
Tess nodded and responded, “Of course!”
The Princess smiled. “Wonderful.”
At that moment, I saw the Princess’ horn glow light blue, then I saw the same color envelope my head. “What’s this?”
“‘Tis a mild sleeping spell, only meant to induce sleep, not prolong it.” I could feel my eyelids drooping, but not much more than that. “I think one other thing would help.” As the Princess approached my bed and sat on her haunches, I gave Tess a little wave, and she smiled back at me. Before I knew it, a melodic voice slowly lulled me to sleep.
♫ “Come little Crimson,
I’ll take thee away
into a land of enchantment.♩
♩Come little Crimson,
the time’s come to play
here in my garden of shadows…” ♫
Little? Who’re you calling— eh, it’s Princess Luna. She can call me whatever she wants…