'The ol' shavin' cream on the hoof', Applejack thought bitterly as she rinsed her face, finally washing away all traces of the soft fluffy cream. 'Ah hate this holiday.' She had been awakened rudely from a peaceful sleep by a hooffull of cream. All she had been trying to do was get the itch the feather caused. The feather that was held by... her brother. Every year he felt the need to play all sorts of meaningless pranks on her, and every year she fell for them. There were variations of course. Applejack shuddered as she recalled last year's hoof in warm water... that had been unpleasant. Thankfully, that one had only had one appearance. Usually, it was something much tamer. But last year had been the worst year for pranks. Big Mac had really stepped it up.
Shaking off thoughts of pranks and the day in general, she trotted down the stairs, water still dripping off her face. At the bottom of the stairs, she caught her hoof on something. "What the-?" But it was already too late. Down she went, landing face first on the unforgiving wooden floor. She groaned.
Glancing backwards, she saw the return of an old friend. "Ah, the tripwire. Used to be Big Mac's favorite", she muttered, getting to her hooves. She had never been bothered by the pranks until a couple years ago. It had seemed like just a little pasttime until then, but it had turned into more of an obsession lately.
The deep-throated chuckle had become commonplace on April Foal's Day; the snapshot of a camera accompanied it almost every time. And AJ was absolutely sick of it. She was normally the target. There was the occasional prank on Apple Bloom and the exceedingly rare one pulled on Granny Smith, but AJ got the brunt of them.
She had pulled a few pranks in earlier years, of course. And oh, had it been gratifying to finally turn the tables. A small smile crossed her face as she headed to the barn. Grabbing a pitchfork in her mouth, Applejack pitched hay to the cows. But she soon noticed something was wrong. Instead of the normal pine-y taste of the solid wood, her mouth was filled with the taste of skunk juice. Applejack quickly spat it out, whipping around at the flash of a camera. All she saw was a flash of red and golden brown and then there was no trace of the big red stallion. Her teeth ground together violently.
"Big Mac!" she shouted, racing after him. "What in tarnation did ya put all over ma pitchfork?!" Her hooves kicked up dust, but her brother knew when the getting was good and he had gotten. He always did. Not once had AJ actually ever caught him red-hoofed. Oh, how she wished she could. "Horseapples!" Applejack exclaimed, skidding to a halt. Her pitchfork was useless for the rest of the day. Dejectedly, she trotted back to the barn only to discover a new horror. The sacks of chicken feed were sewed shut! That was it! Applejack was through with all the jokes. It was time to get down in the mud, time to lower herself to her brother's level.
Twilight reluctantly tore herself away from a fascinating history of Starswirl the Bearded when she heard a knock on the door. She was surprised to find a red-faced, obviously angry Applejack standing outside her door. "Applejack! What do you want on this fine day?"
"Fine day? Fine day! Twi, this is anythin' but a fine day." The complaining country pony trotted in, hooves landing with a sharp conviction on each word. "This is the worst day of the entire year! Ah cain't get a rest from Big Mac and his darned pranks." Exasperated, she glared at Twilight.
The purple unicorn glanced from side to side, wondering if AJ could be serious. It was rare for her friend to get so upset over a bit of harmless fun. "Uh...Applejack, what exactly do you want me to do?"
"Ah don't know, just do som-" Applejack froze mid-sentence. A slow, icy cold smile spread sinisterly over her face. "Ah do know just what Ah want ya to do for me." She leaned over and whispered into Twi's ear.
Twilight's eyes widened. "Applejack, this a pretty serious prank. Are you sure you want me to-"
"Of course Ah'm sure!" AJ interrupted. "It'll be the shock of his life! Can ya do it around three o'clock? I wanna be sure Ah'm there to see it."
Reluctantly, the unicorn agreed though she still thought it was foalish.
AJ hugged Twilight briefly. "Thanks, Twi, you're the best!" Then she was gone, giggling with fiendish delight.
Once back on the farm, she could hardly stop herself from bursting into laughter every time she caught even a glimpse of her brother.
The sun seemed to take its sweet time swimming lazily through the sky and Applejack's eyes stayed nearly fixed on the glowing orb as it neared three o'clock. Her gaze switched over to a bright splash of red trotting over the warm green grass towards the shady apple orchard. She watched her brother examine every tree until he found a suitable one for his nap, just as she had known he would. Applejack silently urged Twilight Sparkle to get on with the spell. The normally tough country pony couldn't help the odd giggle or two escaping as the appointed time drew nearer.
Twilight silently begged the sun to slow down, just for today. She did NOT want to do this, but she had to. She had promised Applejack, and, no matter how much she wanted to, she wouldn't break that promise. Settling herself comfortably in the center of her living area, she fired up her horn. She could feel her magic spreading over the land until it reached a certain stallion lying under a tree in Sweet Apple Acres. Twilight envisioned exactly what she wanted to happen in her mind and she could feel her magic responding readily. Soon it was done and the unicorn happily stopped and returned to her studies.
Big Macintosh settled down for his daily afternoon nap. He was lying beneath the cool shade of an apple tree, yawning and closing his eyes when he was enveloped in purple sparks. His eyes snapped open, and he gasped as the magic died away. "What the hay?"