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PONEHEADS

By KoreanHorse
Created: 24th January 2023 02:03:16 AM
7th February 2023 08:42:13 AM

  1. >The TV clicked on as I stretched out on the couch.
  2.  
  3. >The saccharine smile of the well known host, Virgil, came into view before the camera panned across the three ‘contestants’. A man in an orange jumpsuit sporting equally orange ears and vivid green eyes. A woman whose hands were resting on the podium in front of her as a pair of silver hooves, and lastly a younger man whose hair was an unnatural shade of blue parted by a horn.
  4.  
  5. >“Hello Audience! Welcome back to ‘Poneheads’! We’ve just come back from our first commercial break. We are here with our Contestants. Richard, our Government Sponsored contestant. If he can survive the next few rounds he’ll earn a full pardon!”
  6.  
  7. >“For those at home I’m required to disclose I was found guilty of Manslaughter in the 1st degree with a firearm.”
  8.  
  9. >“Isn’t that nice? Leigh-Ann! A single mother who is hoping for her chance at our GENEROUS cash prizes!” As the camera pans away from Richard fiddling with his handcuffs. Leigh-Ann came into view attempting to fix her hair with her hooves. She gave a wan smile before the camera continued panning.
  10.  
  11. >“Lastly we have Isaac. A college student who potentially wrote away his humanity for a bet! Isn’t that right Mr.Brainiac?”
  12.  
  13. >“I was named after Newton, and with my weighted AP courses my GPA is a 5.0 and my Roommate Derek said I wasn’t smart enough to survive with my humanity intact. I’ll teach him the reason I’m in line for Valedictorian; Summa Cum Laude."
  14.  
  15. >“Insufferable,” The host said before the camera snapped back to him. “Alright, well as you can see our contestants have all lost some points off their H-Score!”
  16.  
  17. >I flipped through the channels with a groan. Everything else that was currently on was absolute garbage, at least this was somewhat entertaining.
  18.  
  19. >"For those of you just joining us. It’s Isaac’s turn to answer.”
  20.  
  21. >The camera said swapping to the young man poking at the horn on his forehead. ”For $5000 or a new tail to match your adorable mane. Harambe the Gorilla was killed in 2016. This Ireland park reported almost 8% of their animals died in the same year. What was the name of the Park?”
  22.  
  23. >"The answer is obviously; Emerald Park.” Isaac said as he leaned forward into the mic causing it to pick up his heavy breathing.
  24.  
  25. >There was a pause as a bead of sweat began to roll down around his horn.
  26.  
  27. [EXTREMELY LOUD INCORRECT BUZZER]
  28.  
  29. >Virgil sucked air through his teeth. “Sorry Isaac. The answer was Tayto Park as they didn’t change their name until 2022.”
  30.  
  31. >“Bull-” Isaac started only to double over and groan as the cameras swapped to a side view. The young man was clearly gritting his teeth as his pants were pulled down by a crew member as the new bony base of his tail spilled out over the waistband. The tail filled out quickly. An equally brilliant blue as his mane.
  32.  
  33. >“I’ve heard of ‘Being blue haired’, but Sheesh Isaac, I thought you were in your twenties.” cue cheesy canned laughter.
  34.  
  35. >“That…wasn’t…even….funny.” Isaac said between heavy pants as his new appendage twitched in fury. “Derek I swear to god I’m going to murder you.”
  36.  
  37. >“Do that and you’ll end up like Dick over there.” The host said, his smile ever present on his face. “To our audience at home! If you thought that last joke was funny, text ‘B-L-U-E’, that’s Bravo Lima Union Echo to 1800-763-4323 or 1800-PNEHEAD. SMS rates apply, for additional details contact your cell provider. Now that brings us around to Dick!”
  38.  
  39. >The Camera swaps revealing the hunched over convict, in his hands was either a bobby pin or a paperclip he had gotten a hold of and was busy fumbling with his handcuff lock. “Ahaha. Ready as I’ll ever be.” He said looking pale only drawing more attention to his bright orange ears. He quickly tossed the offending piece of metal to the side as he gave a toothy smile to the camera.
  40.  
  41. >“We’re going to pretend we didn’t see that. DICK. For 15 years off your sentence or a set of premium feather dusters! Where in Japan is the smallest population located?”
  42.  
  43. >“Oh [bleep]. I actually know this one Virgil.”
  44.  
  45. >The camera swapped back to the host. “Production is sure that you do, Richard.” still smiling as he held up a quick okay sign and nodding. “If you know it, leeeet's hear it!”
  46.  
  47. >“That would be Utashinai, with a population of three thousand and nineteen.”
  48.  
  49. >The audience and the other contestants watched with bated breath as…
  50.  
  51. [EXTREMELY LOUD INCORRECT BUZZER]
  52.  
  53. >“Negative-o Dick. That’s Japan’s smallest Municipality. We were looking for Aogashima-mura. The smallest village in japan. I’ll send word over to Production to let them know that was a dirty dirty trick but you still got it wrong! Time for you to face the consequences of being such a Ponehead. I bet based on your ears your wings will be Buffalo flavored!”
  54.  
  55. >“MotherFFFFFFFAA-” The camera swapped to a view of Richard as a set of crew members quickly cut away the back of his jumpsuit revealing the quickly growing appendages as they started to bump out first before finally extending looking like freshly plucked wings before the orange down started to grow in. They started flapping as the contestant’s muted screams could be apparent despite the show playing tacky hold music. Occasionally the camera would swap away from the transformee to the now silent and eerily smiling host as the music continued to roll.
  56.  
  57. >"Are you over your little tantrum Richard? We have children who watch the show, you know.”
  58.  
  59. >"Go fluff yourself Virgil. I’ll kick you Apples if I get out of these fluttering handcuffs. You little bichon.” Richard said his new wings flaring as his ears flattened back.
  60.  
  61. >“It seems production also went ahead and threw in that little vocab tweak for free. Hope that you won’t get too much guff if you can’t cuss again!”
  62.  
  63. >The camera panned to Leigh-ann as a string of flanderized expletives left the man’s mouth. “Okay Leigh-ann. The other two contestants got a chance to tell us a little about themselves. So tell us. What does the behooved madame do for a living?”
  64.  
  65. >"I am currently an overnight nurse at the Beauford and Pearl Hospital on the Labor and Delivery floor.” She said, smiling nervously. “I just hope that I can make it through this.”
  66.  
  67. >“Because it might be difficult to deliver babies with hooves. Slippery little shits – I mean lovely little bundles of joy.” Virgil backpedaled on seeing Leigh-ann’s disgusted face. “W-We’ll be back after this commercial break! Production really does seem to love our sponsors. Remember Poneheads was made possible by our sponsors and viewers like you! If you or someone you know would be perfect for our show text ‘AUDITION’ to 1800-763-4323 or 1800-PNEHEAD. SMS Data rates apply.”
  68.  
  69. >I sighed and pushed myself up and off my couch as the ads rolled. Some pharmaceutical ad was blaring louder than the TV show was by a magnitude of three talking about the product’s new improved tomato flavor, how you shouldn’t exceed maximum dose, and don’t take if you’re allergic to it...stock boiler-plate legal pratter.
  70.  
  71. >I wandered to the kitchen and threw open my refrigerator only to be greeted by the stark whiteness of the fridge’s insides. Barren except for a half jar of pasta sauce of unknown origin, some ketchup packets, and a bottle of EZ-SQZY Mayo. I groaned and pulled my phone out of my pocket and checked my account.
  72.  
  73. >Maybe I could get a pizza delivered.
  74.  
  75. >Nope.
  76.  
  77. >-$5.18 in the ol' checking account.
  78.  
  79. >I quickly fished out my phone and checked the calendar. Payday was still almost two weeks away. “Fuck. I was just paid on Friday.”
  80.  
  81. >I threw myself back down on the couch still dicking around on my phone as the show came back on.
  82.  
  83. >“Again folks at home, if a loved one, a neighbor, a coworker, or even you think you might be good on Poneheads! Call or text now to 1800-763-4323. Our Operators are standing by.”
  84.  
  85. >An errant thought flitted through my mind - I couldn’t actually be considering it - I stared at my phone still sitting warmly in my hand as the battery seemed to dwindle in real time.
  86.  
  87. >Virgil’s grating voice pulled me out of my train of thought. “So we learned our Lovely contestant Leigh-Ann, hopefully not becoming a Neigh-ann, is a Nurse!” He said as again tacky canned laughter played.
  88.  
  89. >“So over the break production reached out regarding the questions. Turns out I was given the questions for a different show where the host reads off trivia tidbits that are supposed to be near impossible to guess. That’s been corrected, but the team said we can’t reverse any of the judgment calls you’ve lost because you still did answer the previous questions incorrectly.”
  90.  
  91. >The three contestants all were clearly upset at this decision.
  92.  
  93. >I struggled to keep my eyes open as Virgil began asking another trivia question to Leigh-Ann. Something about a tabletop game series.
  94. ---
  95. >I woke up with my head throbbing. I quickly checked my phone. The quick illumination of the screen seared my eyes. 4:15 AM.
  96.  
  97. >3 missed calls and two voicemails. From my mom and the other from an unknown number.
  98.  
  99. >with a flourish of practice I unlocked the phone and got the voicemail playing.
  100.  
  101. >”Honey. It’s mom. Your father found some silverware missing. Now we aren’t accusing you, but we want to let you know that if you did take them please return them. That set was your great grandmother’s.”
  102.  
  103. >I felt my jaw tighten. I know which set. I didn’t take it.
  104.  
  105. >”Your sister said that she had seen you leave on Friday with a box.”
  106.  
  107. >My heartbeat quickened and my stomach turned. Of course she did.
  108.  
  109. >I told her I was taking my old card collection to sell to cover some repairs on my busted jeep.
  110.  
  111. >"She also told us how you had done some weed in high school. We are worried you might be an addict."
  112.  
  113. >That dumb bitch. She was the one out partying almost every weekend with her 'Stallions' doing whatever that drug was. E something?
  114.  
  115. >But the fact she was so ready to throw me under the bus was what made me furious.
  116.  
  117. >"Anyway. Call us back and we can talk about this. Love you."
  118.  
  119. >My stomach growled but I didn’t pay it any mind.
  120.  
  121. >"God damn it."
  122.  
  123. >I started the next voicemail pretty sure who I was about to hear.
  124.  
  125. >"Sup Bro. I told mom an' dad that you totally hawked that old silver. I needed the cash. Anyway they totally believed the innocent doe-eyed act I put on."
  126.  
  127. >"Who the shit is that?" a masculine voice said in my background.
  128.  
  129. >"Family, shut up."
  130.  
  131. >"You bitch, I'm letting you use my phone because you sol-"
  132.  
  133. >"I said shut up. My phone was stolen. Remember.
  134.  
  135. >Anyway just called to get our stories straight. YOU took that silverware and conveniently 'forgot' where you put it.
  136.  
  137. >Same as before you try and say otherwise an' I'll make sure one of the boys put that stupid jeep of yours out of commission. permanently. Not that mom an' dad would believe you anyway. I'm the baby. Love you bro."
  138.  
  139. >All the stress that I had worked out briefly returned with a fury.
  140.  
  141. >I would have called then and there if it wasn’t four in the morning, and if what she had said wasn’t true.
  142.  
  143. >She was considered the ‘miracle’ baby. She had been in and out of the ER room almost 7 times before the age of 3.
  144.  
  145. >I swear it was just the universe trying to preemptively fix a future pain in the ass.
  146.  
  147. >I pulled my phone out and checked again what caused me to go negative.
  148.  
  149. >Rent. Car Loan. Internet. water.
  150.  
  151. >Why couldn’t they have this shit spread out over both checks instead of coming out all at once.
  152.  
  153. >My stomach growled as I rolled off the couch and plodded my ass into the kitchen again.
  154.  
  155. >Fridge was empty, but I knew I still had some freezer stuff stocked at least.
  156.  
  157. >Lean Cuisine; definitely lean not cuisine.

PONEHEADS

by KoreanHorse