Fifty Shades of Neigh – Part Ten, Goodbye Horses, Hello Crazy

Last time, Crispian casually explained that his mother was a crack whore (As one does) and did a horrible thing to a very expensive bottle of wine. Hanna got into the kitchen and somehow didn’t fall face-down into a switched on toaster with a fork in her hand – apparently her near-fatal clumsiness evaporates as soon as a man needs his breakfast cooked. Go figure. Crispian also bought Hanna a computer, which she has no idea how to use despite the fact that she was born in 1990.

*

To: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
Thank you for the computer. You shouldn’t have. You REALLY shouldn’t have. I don’t even know how to work this thing.
Hanna.

From: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
You’ll get the hang of it, toots. Computers are idiot-proof these days. Even my brother Bennett can work one and you could armour plate a presidential limo with his skull. Can’t stop thinking about last night. :) You were a very naughty little filly. And methinks I rather liked it. ;)

To: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com
From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
Kate, can you help me? Crispian just e-mailed me and he used all these weird little symbols and I don’t know what they mean. What does ;) mean?
Hanna.

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhym.com
From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com
Are you fucking serious? It’s a winky face. Turn your head to one side and wink – get it? Didn’t you ever text this shit on your phone? By the way, are you planning on doing any shit today, because I’ve got better things to do than pack up your extensive collection of macrame fucking potholders and ugly china cats. I know you’re all excited because a rich weirdo busted your hymen and bought you a computer and I’m cool with that, but this is no time to turn into an internet addict. Seriously. Now get off your ass.

To: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com
From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
I don’t know what you mean. It doesn’t look a bit like a winky face. And for your information, the intimacy and the computer were in no way related, so wash your mind out with soap and water. I’ll start packing my stuff as soon as I’ve e-mailed Crispian back, okay?
Hanna.
P.S. What does :) mean?

To: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
Hi. Me again. ;) I think I’m winking at you. Is that right? Are we flirting by e-mail? This is so exciting. I’ve never had a computer before. I suppose I should, shouldn’t I – what with you being an internet billionaire and everything. I have to go now because I need to pack – we’re moving to a new loft apartment across town. I only found out this morning. Nobody ever tells me anything.
Hanna.

To: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
Okay, one more thing and I really MUST turn off the computer, but I just got this weird e-mail out of nowhere. Do you know any Nigerian princes?
Hanna.

*

I spend the rest of the day thinking about Crispian Neigh and trying to ignore the bitchy mime now living in my head. Thankfully her repertoire is pretty limited. She can only do the invisible box and walking into the wind, so if she attempts anything more complicated it’s easier to ignore. Of course, at certain times she has recourse to the middle finger – like, quite often actually. Why does my subconscious hate me so much?

In the evening Kate orders pizza and keeps pawing pepperoni grease over my brand new keyboard. When I call her out on it I get the third degree.

“You let him buy you a computer before third date?”

“I’m borrowing it,” I protest. “Because it makes him happy.”

“That’s convenient,” says Kate. “It’s all fun and games when the things that make him happy are the things that make you happy, but what happens when the things that give him the happies down below are things that make you feel bored. Or nasty. Or like there’s never going to be enough soap in the known universe to wash away the ewww feeling?”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s Relationships 101, Hanna. Sexual compatibility.”

I fail to keep the smug look off my face. “We’re very compatible, thank you very much.”

She laughs. “No way. You’re telling me he not only popped your cherry but flicked your bean to the point of satisfaction?”

“He did, as a matter of fact.”

“I don’t believe you. What did it feel like?”

I blush and stare at my half played game of solitaire. “Like…shivery. Like shattering into a million pieces and coming back together again. It came out of nowhere – every time.”

Kate sits down on a tea-chest and lights up a horrible cigarette. “Every time?”

“Three times,” I say. My Inner Goddess has given up attempting to mime and now simply looks surly, arms folded and one painted eyebrow arched to match the curl of her lip.

“Three times?” Kate howls. “Your first time and you had three orgasms?”

“I did. The first time I hadn’t even taken my jeans off.”

“Hanna, are you sure it wasn’t just a sneeze? You might be allergic to Axe body spray.”

Her phone rings and she’s still laughing when she answers it. “Yeah, what do you want?”

It’s no wonder she’s single. She’s so rude. I always used to think she was assertive, but there’s a fine line. And her language is terrible.

“…why would I do that, Ben? Ask youself seriously – why would I do everything you told me to in order to please you? What’s in it for me? What do I get out of this deal?”

Kate lets out an earsplitting shriek and cackles like a hyena. “YOU? That’s the big fucking prize for being led around on a dog leash, spanked in your sex dungeon and told when to eat, sleep, drink and take a shit? I get YOU?”

I hear angry noises on the other end of the phone, but Kate is still giggling.

“Bitch, you don’t even eat pussy,” she says. Why is she so obsessed with that? Why is everyone so obsessed with that? It can’t be hygienic.

“Do you mind?” I murmur, but she’s still going.

“…nuh uh. You cannot call that cunnilingus. You were down there for less than five minutes as a time filler while you put the condom on…hey!” She scowls. “Do not call me a pervert. How is it perverted to want to be fucked by someone who isn’t a lazy, selfish narcissicist? That’s normal, you fucking freak. Don’t call me again, or you’ll be hearing from my lawyer.”

She snaps the phone shut and shakes her head in disgust. “And that, Hanna, is why it’s best to have similar expectations in a relationship.”

“Who was that?”

“Bennett Neigh, idiot. God, don’t marry Mr. Cloppy, okay? There’s nothing more awkward than a wedding where the chief bridesmaid has a restraining order out against one of the groom’s brothers.”

“Mr. What?” My blood turns to ice. How could she know about that? How could she know about…the clopping?

Jesús comes back with more wine, just in time to rescue me. On reflection it was probably a bad idea to try and take on Kate like that – she does yoga and pilates and she was still incredibly angry from that phone call with Crispian’s brother. I end up on my back with Kate’s nutcracker thighs squeezing my ribs.

“Oh, hey ladies,” says Jesús. “Am I interrupting something? And can I join in?”

“If you like crazy women trying to choke you with cold, half-stale lumps of garlic bread, sure,” growls Kate, squeezing my wrists. “Hanna had another one of her…episodes.”

Jesús frowns down at me. “Hanna – did you do the screamy slappy thing again?”

I nod.

He gives me a smile that is both understanding and rueful. “What happened? Did she call Stephenie Meyer a hack?”

“I only told her not to marry that sickeningly wealthy asshole,” says Kate, climbing off me. “Hanna, you really need to see someone about this shit.”

“Says the woman who threatened to shove a rolling pin up my nose,” I scowl, getting to my feet.

“I’ll pour us a drink,” says Jesús, taking the wine into the kitchen. “How about that?”

“Yeah, just add alcohol to violence,” Kate calls after him. “That’ll end well.” She turns back to me. “You want to tell me what that was all about?”

I feel so stupid. Why does she make me feel so stupid? “You called him a name,” I murmur.

“What? Mr. Cloppy? Well, isn’t he?”

I can feel the blood rush hot to my face and the tears prickle my eyes. “That’s private. You can’t know that.”

Kate frowns and draws me away from the kitchen door. “Hanna,” she says, almost kindly. “There’s nothing private when it comes to bronies. They broadcast that shit from the rooftops everywhere they go.”

I don’t believe this. “His brother told you about his…hobby?”

She shakes her head. “No. It was obvious. He bought you a My Little Pony t-shirt. He came to see you at work, at a toystore, where he bought a My Little fucking Pony. He buys you a computer and ties a My Little Pony balloon to the thing. Goddamn it, Hanna – I know you’re not that bright, but didn’t you notice that this guy really really fucking likes My Little Pony?”

“But…he said it was a secret.”

Jesús comes out with the wine in plastic cups. “Excuse the Jonestown vibe,” he says. “But we’ve packed all the glassware. What’s going on?”

“Hanna’s new boyfriend is a brony.”

“No shit.”

“You knew about this too?” I ask, aghast.

“Natch,” says Jesús. “He was wearing one of those ‘twenty per cent cooler’ t-shirts and had a ‘Brony Pride’ button on the band of his doofy fucking hat.”

“You’ve seriously never heard of bronies?” asks Kate.

I shake my head.

“I guess not,” says Jesús, thoughtfully. “Think about it, Kate – why would she have heard about an internet thing like bronies? Like, we’ve heard of them because they never shut the fuck up on YouTube, but Hanna’s still at the Nigerian Prince stage of net savvitude. She’s probably never even seen goatse.”

Kate reaches for my laptop with an evil grin on her face. Jesús restrains her.

“Ghostie?” I say.

“Goatse,” says Kate. “You should definitely Google image search that, by the way. Definitely. G-O-A-T-S-E.”

“So he likes ponies,” I say. “What’s wrong with that? It’s a little strange, but there’s no harm in it. It’s only our gender prejudices and preconceptions that make us think that pink, pretty things are for little girls. Why shouldn’t boys be allowed to like pretty things if they want to?”

“I agree,” says Jesús. “Down with gender stereotyping.”

Kate narrows her eyes. “Jesús, you got something to tell me? You got a secret pony habit going on there?”

“No,” he says, and pulls the band of something lacy out from under his jeans. “But I am wearing your underwear.”

Kate exhales slowly and gets up from the tea chest where she is sitting. “Which ones?” she whispers, in a low voice which I know means she’s going to explode. She’s always had a terrible temper.

“The dusky pink ones,” says Jesús. “With the, like, coffee coloured lace trim.”

Kate’s lips go all thin. “I see,” she says, swallowing. “I’m surprised they fit you.”

“They’re kind of snug across the butt – I won’t lie.”

She hates people touching her things without permission. She’s so mad she makes a tiny squeaky noise in the back of her throat as she drags Jesús into the kitchen.

“Good luck,” I whisper. “Don’t let her kill you.”

“I think I can handle her,” he whispers back, and then she yanks him through the door and slams it behind them. I pour myself some more wine and turn back to my computer.

Hmm. Welcome to my world, he said. Maybe he meant me to learn about him, about his likes and dislikes. I type in G-O-A-T-S-E but delete it before I hit search. No, forget Kate. This is Crispian’s gift to me and in a way Kate is right – I should know what he’s into. I didn’t know anyone else knew the word but evidently they do, so let’s find out what it means.

I drain my cup and type ‘Clop’ into the search engine.

The results are…interesting.

Interesting? In the ancient Chinese curse sense of the word?

– You picked an opportune time to give up mime.

My Inner Goddess removes her beret and makes a puke face. Sister, I wouldn’t even want to think about how to mime a thing like that. Is that pony wearing a…

-…a strap on thingy. Yes. Yes it is. Oh my God.

*

To: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
Dear Crispian,
There is no easy way to say this, so I’ll just come straight to the point. I never ever want to see you again. It was fun while it lasted.
– Hanna.

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
From: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
What? What did I do?

To: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
You didn’t have to DO anything. I looked up ‘clop’ on the internet.
Goodbye forever.
– Hanna.
P.S. I’m pretty sure ponies don’t have breasts, let alone peephole leather bras.

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com
From: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net
Don’t do anything silly. I’m coming over.

*

I can’t stop crying. Why would he do a thing like that? Why would he be interested in ponies in that way? It’s so disgusting. It’s not right. Is that what he thought we were doing when we were…doing it? We were having some kind of horrid pony-sex in his head? Is that what ‘clopping’ means?

Jesús comes out of the kitchen. “Oh my God, Hanna. What happened?”

Kate follows. She looks flushed and drunk. “Oh God – she googled goatse,” she says, without looking at the computer screen. “It’s okay, Hanna. I know it looks terrifying but it’s just an anus, albeit a very talented one.”

“It’s not goatse,” says Jesús, looking at her over the top of my laptop. “It’s My Little Pony.”

Kate joins us behind the computer. Her face is a picture of pure, uncomprehending disgust. “Oh Jesus fucking Christ man,” she moans. “I used to play with those when I was a kid. Why would you even…oh stop. Click back. Back! That’s just not right.”

“Rule thirty four,” says Jesús cryptically.

“Rule thirty four?”

“Rule of the internet,” explains Kate. “‘If it exists, someone somewhere has made porn of it.’ It’s one of the reasons why you can’t search for something as innocent as My Little Pony or Transformers without coming across some freakazoid getting their perv on to it. Is there any more wine?”

“Transformers?” says Jesús. “Like robots and shit?”

“Yeah. Robots in disguise. Sexy disguise. There’s probably fucking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle erotica out there for all your kinky chelonian needs.” She lights up another cigarette and sighs. “I don’t even want to think about how that would work. Do turtles even have dicks?”

“Probably. They’re more likely to have dicks than robots. Why would robots even need dicks?”

“I dunno, man. Turtles must have dicks. How else do they make baby turtles?”

“Don’t they like, fertilize the eggs outside the female turtle’s body? Like she lays them and then he comes and…you know…”

“…jizzes on them.”

“Yeah. And then she buries the eggs and the babies develop and then they hatch and have to crawl to the sea.”

“Oh yeah – I saw that on television…”

“…I know. And they’re so tiny and cute…”

“…and they get picked off by predators…”

“…I know, right? It’s so sad…”

“WILL YOU STOP TALKING ABOUT TURTLE SEX?”

Kate passes her cigarette over to Jesús. She at least has the decency to blush. “Turtle sex is serious business,” she says.

“For turtles,” agrees Jesús. “It’s like, the circle of life. And it makes a whole lot more sense than robot sex.”

“Or ponies with dildos and boobs.”

I start to cry again.

“Oh God,” groans Kate. “So he’s a perv. Isn’t it better you found out now than later? Imagine if you’d found his pony porn stash on your wedding night. At least now you can just dump the motherfucker and move on.”

“Yeah, cheer up Hanna,” says Jesús, putting a hand on my shoulder. “Is that Blue Planet thing still up on Netflix? Why don’t we watch a nice wildlife documentary together – watch the baby turtles hatch.”

“Hey, that’s a good idea. They are pretty fucking adorable.”

I sniff. I don’t deserve such great friends. “That sounds…nice.”

“Sure it does. We’ll do some bong hits and just chill. No horse vaginas or nothing.”

The door buzzer goes. I remember Crispian’s last e-mail. “Oh my God. It’s him.”

“Him?”

“He said he was coming over.”

“When?”

“When I said I didn’t want to see him any more.”

Kate curls her lip. “Leave him to me.” The buzzer goes again and she walks out onto the narrow balcony overlooking the parking lot. I want to go out but Jesús holds me back. “Come on,” he says. “You don’t really want to be talking to him right now, do you?”

“Hey fucko, how’s it going?” yells Kate. “She doesn’t want to talk to you, so fuck off home to ponyland, ‘kay?”

“Equestria!” Crispian’s voice floats up from the parking lot below. “It’s called Equestria, FYI. Hanna! HANNA!”

Kate cackles. “STELLA!” she shouts. “STEEEEELLLLAAAAAAA! Not the balcony scene I would have chosen, dude. Why’nt you bring your little boombox over? Play her the My Little Pony song?”

I push Jesús away. “I’m sorry,” I murmur. “I have to talk to him. He’s got under my skin.”

“What, like scabies?”

Christian is standing in the parking lot, glaring up at Kate. He’s carrying a cardboard tube. “I don’t have to take this, you know,” he is saying, and then he sees me. “Hanna,” he whispers. Quite loudly.

“I can’t talk to you right now,” I say. “Go home, Crispian.”

“Hanna, I need to see you…”

“She said no,” says Kate. “She asked nicely, bitch.”

Crispian scowls at her but turns his most appealling expression on me. Oh crap – I think it might be working. “Please Hanna,” he begs. “Let me explain.”

He’s a billionaire. He’s got a helicopter and everything. And he’s begging me. Little mousy me. I cannot deny that this does feel sort of fantastic.

“No,” I say. “Go away. I don’t want to see you.”

“Hanna, please.”

“Hey Equus, what part of ‘no’ do you not understand?” shouts Kate. “Are we speaking the same fucking language here? Tell you what, she’ll bang her hoof on the floor once for yes, twice for no – will that make you fuck off?”

I press the buzzer. “Fine. Come in.”

Kate rolls her eyes as Crispian hurries towards the front door. “You moron,” she says. “If you invite a Brony in then he can come and go and he pleases.”

“Kate, I think that’s vampires?”

“It is?”

“Yeah. Definitely vampires.”

She chews her lip. “Huh. That’s weird. Why do I keep thinking he’s a vampire?”

“I’ve no idea. It’s just one of those things. Like Jesús – you know?”

“Oh yeah. Like how he goes a bit…

“…’wooooo’ every time there’s a full moon. Exactly. Just one of those things.”

“Did you know he can lick his own balls?” Kate whispers.

“No way.”

“Yes way. He’s really bendy – it’s fucked up, dude. I’m telling you…”

Crispian is standing in the balcony door. “Ladies,” he says.

“Hey,” says Kate, eyeing him warily. “So you’re definitely not a vampire?”

He removes his fedora. His eyes are red and I feel inexplicably sorry for him. “No,” he says. “Although I share a certain…affinity with the dark.”

“Yeah. I can see that,” says Kate. “If it was me I’d prefer to have the lights off too.”

Crispian narrows his eyes. “Hanna, may I speak with you alone?”

I sigh. “Okay. Let’s do this.”

We go to my room. “I understand that you might have seen some things that disturbed you,” he murmurs, apologetically. “But I want you to know that my interest in ponies isn’t…well…it used to be like that. I may as well be honest with you.”

“Okay.” I stare at my fingernails. They are devoid of orange crescents, a sign that the world has come between us.

“I’m going to be brutally honest, Hanna – is that alright with you?”

I nod.

He licks his lips. “I have…” he stutters, a halting start. “I have a…fetish. I can’t become sexually aroused unless I’m in the presence of ponies…”

“Oh my God.”

“…specifically My Little Ponys. Not real horses or ponies – it’s nothing like that. Actually I hate real horses – they’re twitchy and they smell terrible.”

“So it’s just the toy ones?”

“Yes. But it has to be My Little Pony. The off-brand ones do nothing for me.”

“Okay.” I nod again. I’m dealing with this. I am dealing with this. Huh – look at me, dealing with this.

“When the show premiered it was like nothing on earth. It was like I’d come home. I couldn’t stop touching myself.”

Okay, not dealing with that. I get up off the bed. “You did what?”

He bites his lip. “I would masturbate,” he says. “Eight to ten times a day. Sometimes more. While thinking about ponies. Rarity, mostly. Sometimes Fluttershy. Never Applebloom – never that, I swear.”

“No, go back,” I murmur. “You did…what? You used to what?”

“Masturbate. Fap. Wank.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t…”

“You know – polishing the pole, spanking it, bashing the bishop, tickling the pickle, playing a solo on the one string bass…”

I shake my head.

“A handy J, Hanna. A skin flute solo. A date with Mrs. Palm and her five lovely daughters…are you still not following me?”

“I don’t…”

“Oh my God. Are you serious? Have you never touched your…you know?”

“No-no place?” I fluster, blushing scarlet. “Why would I want to do that?”

Crispian stares at me and begins to giggle. “No, stop,” he says, waving a finger in admonition. “You’re fucking with me now, aren’t you? You have to be kidding me. Are you seriously telling me that you have never experimented with the pleasures of solo flight?”

“Um…I get airsick. Remember?”

“No,” he says, shaking his head. “No way. You’re twenty one years old, for God’s sake. And you have never made yourself come?”

“No.”

“You’ve never rode a bicycle down a cobbled street?”

“I can’t ride a bike.”

“You’ve never leaned up against the washing machine while it’s on a spin cycle? You’ve never even aimed the showerhead in interesting places?”

I shake my head.

“You don’t even know what clopping means, do you?” he asks. “So why are you freaking out so much?”

“Because ponies don’t have boobs!”

I probably say it louder than I mean to, because Kate taps on the door. “You okay in there?”

“Fine.” I wish I had some more wine. “Look…I may be unwordly, Crispian,” I mutter. “But I’m not stupid. I know dirty pictures when I see them, and I know that there are things that aren’t supposed to happen to My Little Ponys. And all those things were…happening. Some of them all at once to just the one pony. And it’s…disgusting. It’s for little girls. You shouldn’t make pornography of cartoons for little girls. It’s just wrong.”

He sighs and gets up from the bed. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I thought you were more tolerant than this, Hanna. I thought you were a better person.”

“I am.” I grab the back of his trenchcoat.

He shakes me off like a bug. “Then why do you judge me for liking what I like? Isn’t it the same as all those people who judge you for reading too much and falling over your own feet? I can’t help the way I am, Hanna. I was always this way. It’s just that when I found you I thought…I thought you could love and tolerate me on my own terms.” He picks up his hat from the bed. “I see I was wrong.”

“No!” I say. “This isn’t fair. You haven’t given me all the information I need to make a judgement. What’s in the cardboard thing, Crispian?”

“Oh – this,” he says. “I don’t think you should see it – now that you think I’m disgusting.”

“Please!”

He sighs long and heavy. “Fine,” he says. “If that’s what you really want.”

“It is.”

He opens the plastic pop top of the tube and draws out a large sheet of paper. As he unrolls the pale pink paper a picture is revealed to me – a pastel drawing of a unicorn with large blue eyes and a brown mane and tail. Its coat is white all over, except for some markings on its hindquarters – little orange crescent moons.

The tears are pouring down my face and I can’t stop them. “Is this how you see me?” I ask.

He nods, his face impassive but for a twitching muscle in his jaw.

“Crispian, it’s beautiful.”

His whole expression changes. It’s like he lights up inside. I made him look like that. I did that. I have a sudden and appalling sense of my own power. Mmm. Power.

“You…you like it?”

“I love it. It’s the most wonderful thing anyone has ever given me.”

“I call her Serendipity.”

“Oh Crispian…”

He grabs me and we tumble onto my bed. My inner goddess is…um…well, she’s somewhere. Hello? My inner goddess is…

…in no mood to provide commentary on nerd sex. Ever.

– Excuse me, but this is supposed to be an erotic novel.

No, it’s a parody of an erotic novel. An erotic novel that’s about as sexy as a damp sock. Or you. Or him, for that matter. You are not sexy people and it wasn’t a sexy book.

– For God’s sake, I didn’t ask for your opinion – can’t you just dance the pasa doble or the merengue or the foxtrot to indicate that he’s putting it in my you-know-what?

He’s putting it in my you-know-what? Wow. This really is the height of steaminess, isn’t it? I’m frothing at the gash as we speak. Incidentally, don’t you just love how you can tell that the author is a big fan of Strictly Come Dancing?

– I’d settle for just Strictly Come right now.

Not bloody likely, dear. He couldn’t find your clitoris with a sat-nav.

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