Oh hello, I’ve been waiting for you, said Rainbow Dash.
Howdy, Dashie, what is it you wanted to talk to me about, Applejack replied.
Well, Rainbow Dash said hesitantly, it is kind of embarrassing and I don’t want the others to know about it so you have to promise not to tell anypony, okay?
Sure thing, Dash, Applejack said, tossing her mane over her shoulder. I wouldn’t tell a secret, she said. We’re friends.
Good. Come inside, Rainbow Dash said. Take a seat on the chair. The one there in the center of the room.
Well, this is a might strange. What, are you fixin to interrogate me or something? Applejack joked as she quizzically, yet unquestioningly, began to sit down.
You could say something like that, said Rainbow Dash. Something like that…
What do you mean by that Rainbow? Applejack said. In her voice could still be heard a trusting lack of incredulity.
The room was cold suddenly. Chilly. Almost with the sharpness of winter.
Rainbow Dash? Applejack said. Though the room was cold, the warmth of friendship cut through any disbelief regarding the well intentions of her friend.
And then the room was very very cold. It could have been Hearth’s Warming Eve in the world beyond and Applejack could readily believe that perhaps she had fallen asleep for months and months on end and now it would be time to get Apple Bloom out of school and make smores (mmm…Rarity) and huddle by the fire and tell stories with Granny Smith and Big Macintosh and all her friends and everypony…everypony…everypony…everypony…everypony…
Wake up Applejack. Wake up!
What had happened?
Applejack was cold. The room was chilly, but not like it had been before. The cold was closer now, near her heart. She couldn’t think clearly. What was going on?
Applejack felt embarrassed. Had she fallen asleep somewhere or in the middle of something? She had been working hard lately. How embarrassing. She might have to ask for help again. She’d have to talk to Twilight as soon as she could and maybe get some help from her.
Applejack! Hello! Wake…up.
Howdy, Applejack said, all goofy-like. How do you do?
The other pony sounded angry.
Don’t you give me your pleasantries, Applejack. I don’t like anypony who’s fake and hollow like you are.
Applejack didn’t like the sound of that, but was too confused to put up a fuss or complain.
Now wait just a minute there, Applejack said. You don’t even know me. You should get to know me first, don’t ya think?
Oh, I know all about you Applejack. You’re a big fat liar, yes you are. And you need to be told that, because all you do is spend your time lying and pretending to be somepony you’re not.
Now wait just a minute here. What do you mean? Applejack said. She was still too confused to be scared. She was simply annoyed. So very annoyed.
I’m here to help you Applejack. I’m here to help you stop lying.
I don’t lie to anypony!
Oh Applejack, you just can’t keep from lying, can you?
Suddenly there was pain. So much pain. Blinding, bedazzling, extraordinary pain. The world was all lights and bells and whistles and tractor engines and then there was snow and more lights like a giant tree covered in tinsel on Hearth’s Warming Eve. Hearth’s Warming…Apple Bloom and Granny Smith and Big Mac…
Applejack was confused. She did not know what to say. She tried to say something, but she wasn’t sure that she had said anything at all.
Every time you lie to me I’m going to hurt you, Applejack.
You’re not the boss of me! Applejack said.
Lights. More lights than she could handle. Manehattan. A little filly without her cutie mark. Uncle. Aunty. Orange. The lights and the traffic are so bright and loud. She was scared. She wanted to go home, but she couldn’t help but keep going. She had to do this. This was who she was, right? Right? Right?
The light bulbs and the sparkling cutlery and the din of the traffic. The lights in the store fronts. The pavement. It was cold. So cold. Cold. Cold.
The cold was still close to her heart. Applejack was breathing heavily and her heart was beating hard against the cold. The hard was cold and still and chokeful (if that is a word, I don’t know). It was wrapped around her. She couldn't move.
Applejack, you’re not well. You’re not well at all. I’m here to help you Applejack, but you have to help yourself. You have to want to get well Applejack. If you don’t want it then this won’t work.
Lights, but not very bright. Not like before. They were like the moon, only they hurt. The moon wasn’t supposed to hurt.
Nightmare Moon. Let go Twilight. Trust me, Applejack said.
That look you gave me. That is why I hurt you again. I could tell just from that look that inside you don’t want to get better. But that’s okay. We have all the time in the world Applejack. All the time in the world.
Applejack was tired. She wanted to sleep now. She knew who she was. She knew that things would be all right. She didn’t need this.
Who’s there? Applejack asked.
Follow the cold shiver running down your spine. Follow the coldness pressing against your heart.
What in the hay does that even mean? Who are you? Applejack shouted.
She was getting tired of this.
Where’s Rainbow Dash?
Why do you care about Rainbow Dash?
What kind of question is that? She’s my friend!
Is she now? Do you really believe that?
With all my heart!
Oh, Applejack. I’m so sorry.
Rainbow Dash was never really your friend.
(That was just a flat out lie! Who did this creep think they were?)
You’re the one who’s lying now, Applejack said smugly. Rainbow and I are close. Like brown on wheat.
Light. The moon again. That painful moon.
Applejack groaned and growled in defiance.
No Applejack. If Rainbow Dash was your friend, why would she put you in danger?
Danger? The only dangerous thing here is me if I decide I’m gonna get up and give you a good wallop, Applejack said.
Stars. So many stars. Twilight Sparkle. A picnic. A brilliant meteor shower. Each shooting star bringing a wish. But why did it hurt now? It hurt so much. Each shooting star a wish: one for Apple Bloom and one for Granny Smith and one for Big Macintosh and five more for her friends. But it was supposed to be good. Why did it hurt now? So much pain. Why were these memories painful now? So many stars. Make it stop. Make it stop.
All right Applejack. I’ve put up with quite enough from you. I’ve let you speak your mind thus far, but we should really get down to business. From here on out I’m not going to tolerate any outbursts from you. You’re not well Applejack. You’ve been lying. You haven’t been a very good Element of Honesty. You know that. Don’t deny it.
Applejack was bewildered and scared. But it wasn’t true; she was a good Element of Honesty. Right?
You’re wrong, Applejack said.
Terrible flashes of light. A fashion show. The bulbs of cameras going off. It hurt. Stop taking pictures. Stop. Stop!
You’ve been corrupted Applejack. You've been lying to yourself for so long that you can’t tell the truth from the lies anymore. You don’t deserve to be the Element of Honesty anymore, not if you can’t be honest to yourself, much less your friends.
I’ve told lies. Sometimes. We all have, Applejack said.
Not like you Applejack. Not like you. You’re supposed to be a role model, Applejack. But you’ve failed. You’ve failed and now you must pay the price. You must atone for what you’ve done. But I’ll make you better. Just listen. I’m here to help you, Applejack. It’s for your own good.
I…I want help, Applejack whispered. Just let me know who you are.
Never mind who I am. Just know that right now, I am here to help you find the truth.
You know the truth? Applejack asked.
Yes, of course. Are you suggesting that I don’t?
No no no, Applejack said. I just was making sure is all.
Applejack was tired. She just wanted to go home and go to sleep now. But the cold. It hurt so much. The air was cold. Her chest was cold. Yet her body was on fire and she couldn’t put it out. It was like a terrible fever inside, or like she had fallen and scraped herself everywhere.
What do you want me to do? Applejack asked.
I want you to get better. I want you to be able to stop lying. Just listen to me and I’ll make sure that you never lie again.
Then I’ll be a good Element of Honesty? Applejack asked.
That isn’t something you need to think about. Right now you just need to realize that you haven’t done a good job and that you need to get better. You still want to tell lies don’t you, Applejack? You don’t even want to get better. You’re just saying that you do. All you can think about is being the Element of Honesty and being famous while pretending to be humble. Isn’t that right Applejack?
Applejack couldn’t speak.
You’re thinking of lying to me right now, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU?
Thunder and lightning and a Sonic Rainboom. Bulb flashes and hoof stomps and fireworks in her eyes. Applejack was flying in a million directions all at once. Eviscerated. Obliterated. She was tumbling and falling and crying. Her friends flashed before her eyes. Yes, I’m a liar, she said. I’ve lied to all of you. I’m a liar. I’m a liar. I’m a liar. I’ve lied about everything.
Confess your sins Applejack.
I want to sleep. Please let me sleep. Please… Applejack pleaded with all her frozen fiery heart.
You’re a silly pony.
I’m a silly pony, Applejack said. Silly pony. Silly.
At this rate you’ll never be honest. You’re a broken case. I should just throw you out with the rest of the garbage. Don’t you think?
Uh huh, said Applejack.
You’ll see me again tomorrow Applejack. I don’t want you to tell any lies okay?
Okay, said Applejack said. Okay…okay… This is all a mistake. A mistake. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ll do better. I promise. I swear I will. I promise.
The other pony became angry. Something crashed somewhere.
DON’T LIE TO ME! STOP LYING! HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING? YOU CAN’T HIDE THE TRUTH FROM ME! YOU’RE JUST TELLING ME WHAT I WANT TO HEAR!
I’m only a pony, Applejack said. I’m not a god. I can’t do anything other than my best. I can’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t. I can’t. Twilight taught me that. Twilight taught me… I’m just one pony. Plus hundreds of apple trees. It just doesn’t add up. I… my friends. I love…
You don’t love them Applejack. Stop lying.
Applejack became angry. But it was more than angry. It was a different kind of anger. She loved her friends. Nopony could tell her she didn’t. Nopony.
So many lights. A galaxy lit up. Rage. Rage. Rage against the light. A spark.
You can’t tell me otherwise! Yelled Applejack. I ain’t gonna compromise on that. On everything else maybe. But not that! NOT THAT!
The galaxy full of supernovae and hot snow and pain fell to earth. The night sky fell on the floor with a slap. The ground wobbled. It hurt to stand up, but Applejack had to see who it was…who did this?
Discord. Look at him. Wearing a white lab coat, pretending to be a doctor, pretending to be a scientist. But Twilight Sparkle was a scientist. Applejack knew Twilight Sparkle. Discord was no scientist.
Anger. Boiling rage. Applejack just wanted to kick Discord til the cows came home, and then he would know not to mess with her ever again. But as she looked upon him, cowering in a corner, she pitied him. She pitied him dearly.
Your essence is still floating around out there, isn’t it? Applejack said quietly. You were trying to take advantage of that fight Dash and I had today, weren’t you? Well, it’s not going to work. You’re just going to have to go away. I love my friends. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I slip up. But I’m still a hardworking, dependable pony and I try my best. And my friends are there to catch me when I fall. And I’m there to catch them. And that’s the truth.
And with a glare to pierce the Iron Will of all the beasts of Tartarus, Applejack sent Discord’s essence back to its prison of stone.
And Applejack left that musty old room in the rickety old barn and crawled back to her friends who were always there to catch her when she fell. And they cared for her and worried over her, and Applejack told them she loved them.
She hugged Rainbow Dash especially hard.
I’m sorry about earlier. I was coming to make up with you before all this happened, Applejack said.
That’s all right. I’m just glad you’re okay, Rainbow Dash said. You know we can always patch things up.
And later that night Rainbow Dash and Applejack had a slumber party together where Rainbow Dash expressed her true feelings for Applejack and then they kissed a lot and they were happy and I’m too tired now to finish this story, but it’s good right?
And this concludes story #100 in my journal of fanfiction of my friends which has got to be my best story yet if I do say so myself. Maybe tomorrow I’ll write one where Gilda and Applejack and me have some fun. If you know what I mean. Wink wink. But not before CHANGLINGS show up and almost ruin everything!
I used to not like reading, but now I like it and this writing stuff too. I hope I’m not growing soft. Oh Celestia.
That’s all for today though. Good night.
Signed the eternally awesome,
P.S. And I'm sorry I fought with you today, Applejack. I'll tell you I'm sorry in the morning. We're still friends. I promise.