WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!
"Get another barrel Apple Bloom! In a few more months, harvest season is a comin' and we got a lot of apples fallin' off the trees!" Applejack shouted as she bucked a nearby tree.
"I'm on it, big sis!" Apple Bloom called back. Apple Bloom went into the farm house and brought out a few more barrels for Applejack to fill up.
"Phew! I can't recall the last time I filled up this many barrels," Applejack said. "It sure is great to be workin' on the farm with my lil' sis!" Applejack playfully tackled Apple Bloom and rubbed her hoof in her mane getting it all messy.
Apple Bloom giggled and said, "And I sure do love helpin' my big sister out with the chores. I couldn't ask for a better sister than you, Applejack." She gave Applejack a big hug.
Applejack embraced her little sister as a tear fell from her eye. She loved her family and would work hard to support them. Applejack looked down at her little sister and said, "OK hun, your big sister has a party to go to at Sugar Cube Corner. You go off and find your friends to play with. I'll be back later!"
"OK big sister!" Apple Bloom called out as she ran off to meet her friends at their tree house.
Applejack put on her back packs filled with apple treats for the party. As she walked over to Sugar Cube Corner, she couldn't help but think about how good life is. She had a wonderful family and great friends. She loved working on the farm. It was her passion in life and she did her job very well.
Pinkie Pie greeted her at the door. "OH! OH! OH! Welcome Applejack! We have been waiting all day for you!" Pinkie Pie cheered as she bounced up and down in place.
"Thanks hun," Applejack said. "Sorry I'm a bit late. Been workin' hard on the farm and our trees have been producin' a lot of ripe apples for the pickin'!"
"That's OK. Come on in and let's get this party started," the pink pony said as she bounced back inside of the house.
It was Fluttershy's birthday and she sat in the middle of the room behind a big cake.
Applejack greeted Fluttershy with a big hug and put her back packs over where the presents were.
Once every pony had their own plate of cake, Pinkie Pie yelled out "It's present opening time!" Pinkie Pie skipped over to the presents and gave Fluttershy her gifts to open one by one.
Applejack had given her a huge supply of apples for Angel. They were his favorite kind.
Pinkie Pie gave her a box of her special homemade Pinkie Pie cupcakes.
Rainbow Dash gave her a box of weights in order to achieve greater wing strength.
Twilight Sparkle gave her a book on wild and dangerous critters of the Everfree forest, and Rarity gave her a beautiful golden gemstone cage for one of her pet birds.
"Thank you all for the lovely gifts," Fluttershy said. "They all mean so much to me."
Applejack smiled and took a sip of punch that Pinkie Pie had made. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Twilight Sparkle using her magic to hover her drink into the air to take a sip. Suddenly, Applejack distanced herself from the unicorn and became very sad as she stared at the floor. She didn't know why she was feeling hurt. Nothing unusual had happened at the party. She just saw Twilight Sparkle drinking her punch and became very sad.
Twilight Sparkle noticed Applejack looking depressed and walked over to her. "Is there something wrong, Applejack?" the unicorn asked.
Applejack shook her head rapidly and said, "What? Oh. No. Nothin's wrong. I must be feelin' a bit tired. Been workin' hard on the farm all day. Ya know how it goes right?" She gave Twilight Sparkle a playful poke on the side.
Twilight Sparkle simply smiled as she nodded her head. She then went back over to the party and started dancing with Pinkie Pie.
Suddenly, Rainbow Dash left the party for about an hour and then returned. She interrupted every ponies discussions as she yelled out, "Hey Fluttershy! I want you and every pony else to come outside for a second."
As they walked outside, Fluttershy looked at Rainbow Dash and asked, "So what is it that you want me to see Rainbow Dash?"
Rainbow Dash giggled and pointed up to the sky with her hoof. She had made a message in the sky using clouds. It read, "Happy Birthday Fluttershy! We all love you!" At the end of the message was a heart shaped cloud.
"Awww. That’s so sweet," Fluttershy said as she smiled.
"That's not all!" Rainbow Dash said as she prepared her wings for takeoff. She flew up into the sky and performed a sonic rainboom for her and her friends. It arched over the message.
"Wow! That was beautiful!" Twilight Sparkle said. Twilight Sparkle looked back at her friends and she had noticed that Applejack was missing. As the rest of her friends watched the gorgeous artwork that Rainbow Dash had made in the sky, Twilight Sparkle walked back into the house looking for Applejack. There she saw Applejack huddled in the corner looking down at the floor.
A single teardrop formed from Applejacks eye and hit the floor.
"OK." Twilight Sparkle said with a very concerned look on her face. "Something is obviously very wrong with you. Why did you go back inside right before Rainbow Dash was about to perform her sonic rainboom?"
Applejack looked up in a rather dazed state and said, "Wait. What? Somethin' wrong with me? Oh, I'm fine. I must have just seen a million sonic rainbooms before. I guess I didn't think it was anythin' special. Besides, I wanted to get back to the party."
Twilight Sparkle walked over closer to her and kneeled down by Applejack. She put her hoof on her shoulder and said, "Then how come I saw you crying? I saw a teardrop fall to the floor as I came inside."
Applejack straightened up in a rather defensive position and said, "Oh, I guess I was just cryin' for Fluttershy. I guess I'm just happy that her birthday was extra special this year, and I'm proud that she didn't let her shyness prevent her from celebratin' her own birthday party here."
Twilight Sparkle gave Applejack a long look and searched her body from head to hoof looking for any other signs that she might be hiding. She looked into Applejack's eyes and said, "Well, if you say so Applejack, but please, if there's anything bothering you that you want to talk about, I'm always here for you."
Applejack smiled and said, "Thanks, sugar cube. That's awfully sweet of ya, but I'm OK. Say it's gettin' late and I think I better go home and hit the hay. I'm gettin' awfully sleepy and tomorrow's another hard days work of buckin' some more apple trees. I'll catch ya later Twilight Sparkle." Applejack left the party in a hurry.
Twilight Sparkle watched as she ran off into the distance. Twilight Sparkle walked back into the room and asked every pony if they had noticed anything odd about Applejack's behavior. No pony had noticed except her. Twilight Sparkle convinced herself that Applejack was OK and that there was nothing to worry about. She enjoyed the rest of the party, then went home and fell asleep.
Applejack ran into the barn crying. She curled herself up into a ball and cried herself to sleep inside the barn house.
"APPLEJACK! WAKE UP! I have been looking all over the farm for you!" Twilight Sparkle said with a strong sense of urgency in her voice.
Applejack picked her head up and asked, "What's wrong Twilight Sparkle? You look as if Ponyville is just seconds away from disaster."
Twilight Sparkle snapped back at her. "That's it, Applejack! Ponyville is just seconds away from complete disaster and we need you right now!" Twilight Sparkle used her magic to latch a necklace around Applejack's neck. It was her element of harmony.
Applejack still felt very depressed. "Can't ya'll just be OK without me? I just don't feel very good Twilight Sparkle," she said.
Twilight Sparkle looked sternly at her and said, "Applejack, we just can't wait any longer! We need you! An Ursa Major has been awakened and it's attacking Ponyville. We need you to come NOW!" Twilight Sparkle grabbed Applejack's hoof and together they ran off to meet up with the others.
When they got there, the other four ponies were waiting.
"OK girls! Get into position." Twilight Sparkle called out.
Every pony had made their formation around Twilight Sparkle.
Twilight Sparkle's eyes glowed white as the magic of the elements came together. A powerful beam of light came from Twilight Sparkle and the magic she used, banished the Ursa Major back into the Everfree forest.
"We did it girls!" Twilight Sparkle yelled out. "We were able to save Ponyville, thanks to Applejack!" She looked over and was about to give Applejack a hug. She then realized that Applejack was gone and her necklace lay on the ground.
Fluttershy walked over and said, "Oh my Twilight Sparkle. Did your magic send Applejack to the Everfree forest with the Ursa Major?"
Twilight Sparkle blinked a few times and replied, "No. At least I don't think so." She then thought to herself and straightened up. "Come on every pony. We have to find Applejack!" Twilight Sparkle picked up her necklace and began searching with the other girls. They looked all across Ponyville for her, but could not find her. They searched her farm and her home, but still no Applejack. Twilight Sparkle eventually remembered that she originally found her in the barn. She took the rest of the girls with her and sure enough, they found Applejack curled up into a ball.
She was in the corner of her barn crying and sobbing.
The girls ran over to her.
Twilight Sparkle came down to her level and put her hoof on her shoulder. "What's wrong Applejack? Why did you run away?"
"And why are you crying?" Pinkie Pie asked as she bounced closer to her friend.
Applejack looked away from them and took off her hat. She wiped the tears away with her hat, then hid her face inside of it. "I just don't know girls," Applejack said. "That's the thing. I just don't have a reason to be sad. I'm just sad because I'm sad and there's no reason for it."
Twilight Sparkle had a puzzled look on her face. She then remembered that she had learned a spell to search inside the minds of others for a short amount of time. She looked back at the others and said, "Girls, I need you to stand back. I need a lot of concentration for this to work."
The four other mares backed off as Twilight Sparkles horn glowed.
She touched her horn to Applejack's forehead and began searching inside of her mind.
Applejack still sobbed as Twilight Sparkle searched inside.
"Applejack, I need you to relax. Your emotions are too numerous for my magic to get through and find out what's causing you to be so depressed."
Applejack replied, "I'm tryin' hun, but I can't help it."
The glow from Twilight Sparkle's horn died down and she fell backwards. "Applejack," Twilight said. "I couldn't find what was causing you all of this pain because you couldn't relax enough and let go of your emotions for me to read. The spell I used was very powerful and it drained all of the energy that I had within me. I can't do this again for a very long time."
Applejack turned away and cried more. "Just leave me alone," she cried out. "I want you all to just go away."
"We'll leave you alone, Applejack," Twilight Sparkle said. "You're just going to have to search deep inside your heart and mind and figure out what's going on by yourself. Please stop by if there's anything we can do to help. I hate to see a good friend suffer like this." Twilight Sparkle almost forgot about what the Princess had told her to do and she used her magic to place Applejack's necklace around her friend's neck. "I'm sorry Applejack, but by the Princess's request, we all have to wear these for a while. We have to be sure that the village is protected and that no more Ursas come back to the village again. Come on girls, let's give Applejack her privacy."
The five other mares walked out of the barn door.
Before leaving, Twilight Sparkle looked back at her friend, who was still crying. A single tear formed from Twilight Sparkle's eye and hit the ground. She couldn't bear to see her friend suffer, but she also respected her friends request to be left alone. She closed the barn door and left the farm.
Applejack awoke the next morning. She felt a tug at her tail. She turned around and saw her little sister.
Her eyes were teary. "Are you okay, big sis?" Apple Bloom asked. "You look really sad. I wanted to help ya buck some apples today and also help with the other farm chores."
Applejack turned away and sighed. She put her hoof down in the dirt and drew a line across the ground. Applejack then spoke up, "Your big sister isn’t feelin' so well hun. I reckon she needs a walk to clear her mind. Don't ya worry though. I'll be back to help ya with the farm chores soon." Applejack got up and walked out of the barn. She didn't know where she was going, but she kept walking a long way. Eventually, she made it to the world famous Canterlot Sculpture Garden. This was a good place for her to get lost inside the maze of beautifully shaped bushes. She made her way around looking at the statues and the birds that sang all around her. She walked over to a statue that brought back painful memories of when she was corrupted and she turned into a liar. She looked up at the statue.
It was Discord. He was placed back where he belonged from the last time he broke free.
Applejack scratched her head and sighed. She was so miserable and depressed that she wished Ponyville was a chaotic mess again just to match her mood and that she could find out what was really bothering her mind on an unconscious level. She took off her necklace and threw it to the ground. She spit on it and wished to never be with her friends again, because it somehow made her more miserable. She turned around to go home.
Suddenly, a loud cracking noise had made her stop in her tracks. Soon, a very tall and dark shadow loomed over Applejack.
She slowly turned around. To her surprise, Discord was standing behind her.
He had broken free once again.
She didn't know what to say.
Discord made his way over to her like a sneaky serpent hunting its prey. "Oh, what's the matter Applejack? Why are you sad?"
Applejack stood up in a defensive position and said, "Discord! How the hay did you break free again?"
Discord laughed and said, "I didn't break free, Applejack. You broke me free with your wishes to have Ponyville in chaos. Your heart wished that you would never be with your friends again and you left me a powerful element necklace at my feet. Without unity and harmony in one's heart, I am free to rule again!"
Applejack became angry and said, "Why, I'll have ya turned back to stone, ya wicked being you..."
Discord cut her off. "Hey, hey, hey. I don't want to be your enemy. I want to be your friend. We can work together and rule Ponyville in utter chaos." He let out another harsh sounding laugh.
Applejack became even angrier with him. "I'd never work with you in a million years, Discord. There's nothin' you can do to me that would change my mind!"
"Oh yea?" Discord said with a pleasant smile. "How about if I find out what's making you so sad?"
Applejack put her hoof to her chin and said, "Well, I kind of been wantin' to know that. I'm sure ya possibly couldn't..."
Discord suddenly snapped his fingers and he teleported over to Applejack. He put his arm around her and whispered in her ear. "I know all hidden secrets of a heart filled with jealousy and disharmony towards friends."
Applejack swatted his hand off of her and growled. "I ain't jealous! You can't prove that!"
Discord giggled with glee. He snapped his fingers and became very small in size. He hopped onto Applejack's back and climbed into her ear. He wiggled in there like a worm, trying to break the soil of the earth. Discord worked his way over to her brain. He started walking over it and searching. "Ah yes, very interesting. I see what is causing your depression," Discord said.
Applejack smacked the side of her ear, in an attempt to free herself from his voice inside her head.
Discord grabbed her brain with his hands and began showing her visions of her subconscious mind.
There, she saw a very hurt, jealous, and angry vision of herself. In her vision, she watched Rainbow Dash fly across the sky.
Discord searched some more and brought back painful memories of Rainbow Dash using her wings to cheat in the Iron Pony competition. Discord whispered in her head. "It must be awful to not have wings. It's a shame how Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy have the capability to fly and yet you don't have any wings. How unfortunate."
Applejack shook her head again and said to herself, "Why, gosh darn it, he's right! It's not fair that I don't have wings and that darn Rainbow Dash was rubbin' it in my face for so long. How can I be so blind?"
Discord returned to searching her mind and brought up another vision.
This time it was images of Twilight Sparkle using her magic to achieve all kinds of goals in front of Applejack. Whenever Twilight Sparkle was led on an adventure with her five other friends, it was she who was the leader of the pack and got all the attention from the Princess.
Discord began to whisper in her mind again. "Awww, what's the matter, Applejack? Did you forget that you're just a simple earth pony with no wings and no magical powers? Did you see how Twilight Sparkle always gets to lead and how she is favored most by Princess Celestia? I bet it would be nice if they gave you some recognition for your hard work. Wouldn't it be nice to lead the pack for a while and get some appreciation?"
Applejack's mouth hit the ground. "Golly," she said. "I never knew I had it this bad in life."
Discord wiggled out of her ear and snapped his fingers. He became large again. He put his arm around Applejack once more and put his head next to hers and said, "I bet you must be so upset at how unfair life has been to you. Compared to your other friends, you're basically a worthless pony, who has no real talents in life. Now how would you like me to give you what your heart desires?"
Applejack stomped her hoof on the ground and said, "enough is enough! I'm tired of bein' treated like I'm second class 'cause I don't have wings or magical powers! I deserve somethin' better in life!"
Discord giggled again and said, "Then you have what you wish for." He snapped his fingers and she suddenly had a pair of wings.
Applejack flapped her wings with delight. "Wow!" She said. "This is fantastic! I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I feel so special and appreciated for once!"
Discord leaned over to her and said, "But we're not done yet." He snapped his fingers once more and she had a horn on her head.
She was now capable of all kinds of magical powers that she could only dream of.
Discord picked up her element necklace and circled around her quickly, several times. He put the necklace around her neck and whispered in her ear. "Who needs friends when you can be the very best at everything? You are now the apple of my eye and only I care about you. Forget about your friends in Ponyville and follow me into divine chaos and disharmony."
Applejack nodded slowly in agreement. She was now fully corrupted by Discord.
Twilight Sparkle paced around her room anxiously. She was so worried about Applejack and it was her deepest prayer that she would come to visit her.
Spike made her some herbal tea to calm her down.
She must have drank about twenty cups of it, but she just couldn't relax. Her friend was suffering and it ripped her heart to pieces.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
Twilight Sparkle opened it and three of her friends stood there with a look of horror on their faces. "What's wrong girls? Have any of you seen Applejack lately?" Twilight Sparkle asked.
Rainbow Dash stepped forward and said, "I think you want to come outside and have a look around. Pinkie Pie get back over here!"
Pinkie Pie came bouncing over to Twilight Sparkle. She was giggling madly and there was chocolate all over her face.
Twilight Sparkle stepped outside and it was raining chocolate! She paused for a moment and said aloud, "Discord. How in Equestria did he break free again?"
Pinkie Pie ran back outside under the rain and started eating all of the chocolate that fell from the sky.
A very sudden, harsh laughter came down from the sky.
The five mares looked up to see Discord sitting on a cloud.
He took his finger and ran it through the cloud and said, "My, my, my. Did you girls miss me?"
Pinkie Pie bounced over to him and shouted, "I missed your chocolate rain, Discord!" She opened her mouth as more chocolate rain fell into it.
Discord giggled. "Good! I'm glad some pony missed me. It looks like we'll be experiencing some farm weather shortly." Discord snapped his fingers and the chocolate rain turned into dirt.
Pinkie Pie spat out the bitter tasting earth.
Twilight Sparkle looked back over to her friends and said, "Come on girls, we need to get Applejack! We still have all our element necklaces. We just need to get Applejack over here and..."
Discord cut her off with more laughter and said, "Applejack isn't with you anymore. She found someone that appreciates her for who she is! Oh Applejack, why don't you show them your new move! The sonic appleboom!"
Applejack flew across the sky breaking the sound barrier with her wings.
Rainbow Dash's jaw hit the ground. "Hey! I'm the only one who can be the fastest flier in Equestria!" Rainbow Dash protested.
"Not anymore Rainbow Dash," Discord said. "I think Applejack might be giving you a little competition in the skies from now on."
Applejack raced over and sat next to Discord on the cloud. She used her unicorn powers to change the dirt rain into apples. She caught one falling from the sky and took a bite out of it.
Twilight Sparkle gasped in horror. "She has unicorn powers too now!" Twilight Sparkle looked up angrily at Discord and shouted, "Give us back Applejack now! How dare you take her away from us like this!"
Discord laughed again. "Oh I didn't take her away from you. She willingly followed me. Isn't that great? She is my Princess of chaos and disharmony!"
Twilight Sparkle looked back to the girls and called for them to get into ready position. "OK girls, I have a spell that will clear the corruption from Applejack's mind so that we can win her back. Every pony get ready!" Twilight Sparkle's eyes glowed white as she shot out a powerful beam of light at Applejack.
Applejack erected a force field that surrounded herself and Discord.
Discord laughed in delight. "Oh you silly ponies! Magic isn't going to help you now. She follows me by will and it's her choice to stay with me."
Applejack leaned over and whispered something in Discords ear.
Discord sat up straight and smiled. "That sounds like a wonderful idea," he said.
Applejack's horn glowed and a bright beam shined down upon the five mares.
Suddenly, their wings and magic were gone. They were forced to get around like Applejack did in the past. No flying and no magic.
Twilight Sparkle frowned and said, "We will be back for you, Discord. You won't last here forever. Come on girls! We need to see the Princess."
With no wings or magic, it took them a very long time to reach the Princess's palace, but eventually they made it.
Twilight Sparkle knocked on the door.
The royal guards opened it and they walked inside.
"Princess!" Twilight Sparkle shouted. She ran over and sat next to her. "We're in terrible danger! Applejack is no longer our friend and Discord is busy ruling Ponyville. We need your help!"
The Princess thought deeply about this situation. She finally came up with a solution to the problem. "Girls," she said. "I need you to go find and send Applejack..." Suddenly, the Princess turned into a toad.
Laughter could be heard outside the windows.
Twilight Sparkle became furious with Discord and called him out. "You're a coward Discord!" There was no answer back.
All the girls could hear was the croaking of the toad that sat on the royal throne.
Twilight Sparkle yelled at the other girls, "Come on, we need to find something that can save Applejack."
They left the royal palace.
Twilight Sparkle wondered what the Princess meant by go find and send Applejack... "Send Applejack what?" she thought to herself.
Weeks had gone by and Twilight Sparkle and the others did everything they could possibly think of to win Applejack back, but nothing worked.
Applejack refused to talk to them.
Twilight Sparkle and the others, eventually gave up hope.
Pigs were flying upside down. Night turned into day within seconds. Ponyville was in utter chaos.
Twilight Sparkle went back home. She sat down in the middle of the room and cried. She cried for a very long time.
Spike tried to comfort her, but it was no use.
They were absolutely nothing without Applejack and she wouldn't leave Discord's side.
Upon going through her drawer, she found precious pictures and letters from Applejack written about their friendship. This made Twilight Sparkle cry even more, as she missed her dear friend very much. She then got the idea to take these precious documents outside to show Applejack.
The town was now covered in apples.
Twilight Sparkle nearly had to swim through the sea of fruit to make her way around town. There she saw at the top of the hill, Applejack, sitting there casting spells down upon the terrified town with Discord. "Applejack!" Twilight Sparkle called out in a desperate voice. "I have something special for you." She walked up the hill with the pictures and letters held in her mouth. Once she got within certain proximity of Applejack, Applejack blasted her with a beam of white light knocking her back down the hill.
The letters and documents fell beside Applejack. She bent over and looked at the pictures and read some of the letters. A single teardrop formed in her eye and her emotions began to run wild.
Discord picked up the letters and pictures and hurled them away from Applejack. He grabbed her necklace and brought her face to his own. "Don't read those nasty lies, Applejack. Your friends are trying to trick you so that you can lose your wings and magic and be the inferior pony that you once were. They are simply jealous of your success and want nothing more than to take away what you so rightfully deserve."
Applejack's tear hit the ground and she looked very angry. She turned away from Twilight Sparkle and continued to reign with Discord.
Twilight Sparkle felt defeated now and picked up the fallen letters. She swam back home in a sea of apples and chaos.
"What are we going to do girls? We tried everything we can think of," Twilight Sparkle said as she paced back and forth in her home. "There's something the Princess wanted us to know, but she was never able to tell us. What was it that she wanted us to bring to Applejack?"
The girls thought harder and harder, but no answers came to mind.
"I already tried showing her my letters and pictures of precious memories, but all she ever chooses is Discord. Is there anything in the world that can reach Applejack's heart?"
Fluttershy shot up immediately. "That's it!" she said.
"That's what?" Rainbow Dash asked as she eyed the yellow mare.
Fluttershy continued. "We need to get her family! We can work together with her family to bring her the love that she so desperately needs."
"You’re right!" Rarity chimed in! "She always talked about how much she loves her family and especially Apple Bloom."
"That's a wonderful idea girls. Let's go find the Apple family! I'll bring those letters and pictures to show her again as well!" Twilight Sparkle said as she opened the door.
A flood of apples came inside her house and buried them.
It was very hard to get across to Sweet Apple Acres, but once they made it, they found Big Macintosh plowing fields in an attempt to save their crops from the apples falling from the sky.
"Big Macintosh!" Twilight Sparkle called out. "We need you to come with us now!"
Big Macintosh stopped plowing and shook his head. "Nope!" The stallion said.
"And why is that?" Rainbow Dash protested.
Big Macintosh continued, "Cause I ain't goin' nowhere until A.J. comes back home."
"That's just it!" Twilight Sparkle exclaimed. "She won't be coming home again. She's with Discord now and we need you, Granny Smith, and Apple Bloom to come with us to save her. Will you come with us now?"
Big Macintosh looked over at the girls and said, "E-yup."
The girls celebrated as Big Macintosh went into the barn to get Granny Smith and Apple Bloom.
When they came out, Big Macintosh led the way through the sea of apples with his plow so that they wouldn't have to swim against the apples anymore. Together, they found the hill where Applejack was flying around and casting spells. Big Macintosh plowed with all his might up the hill. Finally, they reached her.
Twilight Sparkle cleared her throat. "OK Applejack, we made it all this way with your family to show you how much we care about you."
Applejack simply shrugged and turned her back on them as she continued to cast spells.
Twilight Sparkle pushed Apple Bloom in front of them all.
Apple Bloom walked over with her ears bent down and her head lowered. She spoke up, "Listen Ma'm, I don't know who ya are or what ya have done with my big sister, Applejack, but I just want her back in my life. I miss her so much and want nothin' more than to be with her again."
Applejack froze. Tears flooded her eyes and she stopped casting spells. She turned around and said, "Apple Bloom, is that you dear?"
Discord grabbed her by her necklace and yelled at her. "What did I tell you about listening to all those lies? Your family doesn’t love you and neither do your friends. I'm the only one who cares about you and I will keep you as my Princess forever. Don't you want to keep your wings and magical powers?"
Twilight Sparkle stepped forward and laid down the letters and precious pictures of memories they shared together. "We also brought Granny Smith and Big Macintosh along with us as well. We really do care about you Applejack," Twilight Sparkle said.
Applejack looked over at her family. More tears flooded her eyes. She then looked down at all the letters and photos on the ground. She went through each one. One of the pictures was of her and Rainbow Dash hugging each other after they finished the annual running of the leaves. She sobbed heavily. Her friendship with Rainbow Dash was so special to her. Applejack slammed her hoof down and walked away from Discord.
"Where are you going my precious?" Discord asked. "I know you won't leave me with the power I have given you."
Applejack's horn glowed and a bright light shined down upon the other five mares, their wings and horns were back. Applejack got into position behind the other girls and hollered out "Let'er rip!"
Twilight Sparkle nodded and soon the elements of harmony came together.
Discord shouted out, "What's this? Applejack come back here! You know I care about you!"
Twilight Sparkle's eyes turned bright white as she channeled the magic through her body. Out of her horn blasted a great energy that started to turn Discord back into stone.
"NOOOOO! Come back Applejack! Come back!" Discord cried, before his entire body was turned back into a statue.
"We did it girls!" Twilight Sparkle cried out.
Applejack's horn and wings vanished and the town was now restored to normal once more.
Apple Bloom ran over and gave her sister a big hug.
Granny Smith spoke up. "We missed you so much dear."
Big Macintosh said, "E-yup!"
Applejack looked back at the ground. She began to cry. "Every pony, just please leave me alone," she cried as she pushed her friends and family away from her and ran home.
Apple Bloom looked up at Twilight Sparkle with confusion in her eyes and asked, "what's wrong with my big sister, Twilight Sparkle? Why is she cryin' again?"
Twilight Sparkle shook her head and said, "I don't know. Maybe she went through a little bit too much and needs some time to heal. We should leave her alone for a little bit."
Apple Bloom shouted "No! I'm not leaving my sister alone!" She ran off crying after her sister.
At home, Applejack cried, as she took out some rope and tied it carefully into a noose. She tied it to a tree and stood on a crate. She put her head through the noose and was about to kick the crate out from under herself, when suddenly, she felt a tug at her tail. She removed her head from the noose and looked behind her.
It was Apple Bloom.
Applejack looked angry and asked, "what are you doin' here, Apple Bloom? I thought I told ya'll to leave me alone."
Apple Bloom cried, "I didn't want my big sister to cry anymore. What are ya goin' to do with that rope, Applejack?"
Applejack looked over at Apple Bloom with guilt in her eyes. She picked her up in her hooves and sat her down inside the noose. Apple Bloom was still small enough to fit her whole body in it. She pushed her gently as she turned the rope into a homemade swing for her.
"Oh this is so nice," Apple Bloom called out. "I just love spendin' good times with my big sister."
Applejack pushed her on her swing for a few moments. This would be the last good time she would spend with her little sister and she wanted to leave her with a good memory before leaving her forever. Applejack spoke up and said, "OK Apple Bloom, that's enough swingin' for now. Your big sister has somethin' to do now. I want ya to go inside the house and wait for Granny Smith and Big Macintosh to come home."
Apple Bloom protested. "But..."
Applejack cut her off and said, "No buts missy, you do what your big sister tells ya. Now go on!" She watched Apple Bloom go inside the house. When she could see the door had closed, she put her head back into the noose and began to cry. There is no way she could face the Princess after what she did. She was terrified that she would be banished from Ponyville forever and have to survive in the Everfree forest. She also couldn't bear the thought that her precious wings and magic were gone. She felt so guilty about her betrayal of her friends. She kicked the crate from under her and hung there. It took a while but things started to go black.
Droplets fell on Applejacks face. She opened her eyes and saw Rainbow Dash sobbing over her.
Rainbow Dash realized that her eyes had opened and she fell backwards in surprise. She stuttered to find words. "Applejack! Y-y-y-you're alive? I thought you were gone! I missed you so much!" Rainbow Dash hugged her friend as tightly as she could.
Applejack still dazed and confused picked her head up. She rubbed her head with her hoof and said, "Why am I still here?"
Rainbow Dash let go of her and said, "I was flying by, looking for you, and you were hanging by a rope. I came down and took you out of it, but I thought it was too late and that you were gone."
"Why in tarnations would ya do that, Rainbow Dash?" Applejack asked angrily.
Rainbow Dash continued, "Because you're one of my best friends and I can't let you go like that."
Applejack looked down at the ground and cried again.
Rainbow Dash put her front leg around her shoulder and cried with her too. "Why did you try to do it?" the blue mare asked.
Applejack picked up her head and said, "Well, there are many reasons. It all started out as jealously and feelin's of worthlessness. I was jealous of you and Twilight Sparkle. You and your wings and Twilight Sparkle with her magic. I realized that I was just a simple earth pony who had no special gifts, other than to buck apples off trees. Sure I loved my job, but it was always my dream to fly with you Rainbow Dash and I'm stuck here on the ground all day. When I see you fly around or when Twilight Sparkle starts to use her magic, I can't help but feel bitter in my heart, because I can't do those same things. When you all came to rescue me from Discord, I soon realized what a bad pony I am for ruinin' our town and for betrayin' ya'll. I don't think I can ever forgive myself for that, and I'm terrified of what the Princess is goin' to do to me. I could have killed ya'll."
Rainbow Dash cried even more as the tears just kept coming and coming. She embraced her friend with another hug and said, "Applejack, it's OK. You are not a bad pony for what happened. I wish you would have talked to me about it before all of this. I understand that it must be incredibly depressing and difficult to go through life without wings or magic, but that's what makes you so much stronger than the rest of us. You proved to me that a pony can live an amazing life and be an incredible friend without those abilities. I personally can't imagine what life would be like knowing that I wouldn't be able to fly again, but I understand that your grief and suffering must be great. You are such a special friend of mine and I do not think I could be able to deal with life without you. I love you so much! Please, don't you ever try to leave me again."
Applejack thought about this for a moment. She felt a little bit guilty that she tried to leave her friends behind. She put her hoof on Rainbow Dash's shoulder and said, "Sugar cube, I'm so sorry that I tried to leave ya'll. I'll never do anythin' like that again. I promise. Will ya forgive me?"
Rainbow Dash nodded yes, as she wiped the tears away from her eyes and said, "Yes, I forgive you."
Applejack looked down at the ground and said, "Hey Rainbow Dash, will you take me for a little ride?"
Rainbow Dash looked up and smiled. She said, "Sure! Hop on my back!"
Applejack did and they took off into the sky.
Rainbow Dash flew above the clouds with her and they watched a beautiful pink and purple sky together for a moment. Rainbow Dash looked back at her and said, "Are you ready for this A.J?"
"Oh, I'm ready Rainbow Dash," Applejack replied. Applejack made sure that her hat was tight around her head.
Rainbow Dash took off flying as fast as she could. This would be difficult for her to perform a sonic rainboom with another pony on her back, but she was desperate to make Applejack happy again. She broke the sound barrier and a loud bang came from the sky. There, across the sky, the couple flew, leaving a trail of rainbow behind them.
Applejack tightened her hooves around Rainbow Dash's neck. "You doing OK back there A.J?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"I'm doin' fine R.D. Thank you," Applejack said as she smiled.
Together they landed in a grassy field.
Applejack hopped off of Rainbow Dash's back and hugged her friend. "I never told ya this Rainbow Dash, but I love you so much. You're the very best friend I could ever ask for. You're my hero. Thank you for saving me. Especially after how I behaved."
Rainbow Dash embraced her and said, "No Applejack. You're my hero for being able to go through so many problems in life without wings or magic. I should have realized you were depressed and I should have appreciated you more, instead of treating you like competition." Rainbow Dash put her front leg around Applejack's neck and together they finished watching the sun go down in the sky.
Night time settled in and Rainbow Dash offered to take Applejack home. Applejack was too tired to walk, so Rainbow Dash offered her a lift. They flew through Ponyville, heading to Sweet Apple Acres, but Rainbow Dash suddenly went off course and headed to Twilight Sparkle's house.
"Where the hay are you goin' Rainbow Dash?" Applejack asked.
"You'll see. Just trust me A.J." Rainbow Dash replied.
When they touched ground, Applejack hopped off of her back and followed Rainbow Dash into Twilight Sparkle's house.
All the girls were shocked to see Applejack. They all ran over to her and hugged her.
Applejack sat down and explained what had happened.
Every pony was very understanding and sorry that they never gave Applejack the proper appreciation that she so deserved. They understood about her depression and struggles.
Pinkie Pie suddenly confessed, "Well, I'm an earth pony and I have never had any of those depressed feelings."
Applejack laughed and said, "Pinkie Pie, that's because you’re manic!"
Pinkie Pie giggled and nodded her head in agreement.
Twilight Sparkle looked over to Applejack and said, "We're so glad that you're safe. I couldn't imagine life without you. You're such an important part of the team."
All the other girls nodded in agreement. They continued to talk about Applejack's problems and they offered her help whenever she needed it.
It was getting very late and every pony had to go home. Twilight Sparkle offered Applejack to stay over at her house to sleep tonight. She accepted the offer.
When morning came, a loud horn blew into Applejack's ear.
"SURPRISE!" Pinkie Pie yelled out. Applejack jumped out of bed startled and looked around the room.
There were party streamers everywhere and all the girls were standing around her bed.
"Well now, Pinkie Pie gone and threw a party for me." Applejack said as she stretched her body.
Pinkie Pie hopped up and down and said, "Yup! Yup! Yup! A party for our favorite and best friend Applejack!"
All the girls cheered. They had their party and everything went well. Applejack had a great time.
After they all had cake, Rainbow Dash invited her to come outside and go over to Sweet Apple Acres.
When they got there, Applejack was shocked to find the entire community of Ponyville standing in front of her farm.
Pinkie Pie jumped up and down as she yelled "More party! More party!"
Rainbow Dash poked the stunned orange mare and pointed up to the sky with her hoof.
In the sky was a message. It read: Happy Applejack Appreciation Day! followed by a heart drawn in the clouds.
Applejack didn't know what to say. She knew that she finally felt appreciated and loved by her friends, family, and even her whole community.
Apple Bloom ran over and gave her sister a hug. "Oh Applejack, I missed ya so much. Thank ya for comin' back home!"
Applejack hugged her sister, as she cried and said, "I missed you too, lil' sis."
Apple Bloom looked into her sisters eyes and started to cry herself. "Applejack! Oh no! Why are you cryin' again? Is there somethin' wrong?" Apple Bloom asked.
Applejack replied, "They ain't tears of pain no more, lil' sis. They're tears of happiness and joy and I'm so glad to be back home with y'all." Applejack broke free of the hug and looked around the farm. "How did y'all manage to harvest all them apples without me this season?" she asked.
Twilight Sparkle stepped forward and said, "During the harvest season, we will all pitch in and help you harvest the entire farm for the annual Applejack Appreciation Day. No one is allowed to use magic or their wings all day and we will help you to harvest the apples in honor of you."
Applejack found herself at a loss for words. All she could do is say thank you. Applejack looked down at the ground remembering what she had done. "I hope the Princess doesn’t banish me for being a traitor," she said. Just then, Applejack felt a hoof on her shoulder. She turned around to see Princess Celestia with a great smile on her face.
"Applejack..." the Princess said. "I understand your pain and regrets. It's not your fault for what happened. You were taken advantage of by Discord. I came here to tell you how much I appreciate you and how happy I am that you are back with us. You are the apple of my eye. Now the one thing that I want from you is to tell me what you have learned."
Applejack took a deep breath and said, "Today I learned that it just aint right to keep avoidin' problems. Ya got to talk to your friends when somethin' doesn’t feel right, no matter how bad or depressed ya may feel. Hidin' your feelin's only makes problems worse, until they grow out of control and lead to destructive choices. I learned that when you're depressed, you have to find somethin' to be thankful for everyday, even if you don't have wings or magical powers, and I sure am grateful for many things, Princess."
"That sounds like a wonderful lesson, Applejack. I want you to be able to forgive yourself and get rid of any guilt you may be carrying. I also expect to see letters from all of you about what you learned about the magic of friendship."
"Princess," Applejack spoke up. "I tried to leave everyone behind in an attempt to escape the pain. While I was dyin' I had a vision of my parents. They were so happy and they had new bodies. They both had wings and horns even though they used to be simply earth ponies. They told me that I would be with them soon, but it's just not my time right now."
The Princess nodded and said, "It is believed that when ponies leave this earth, they will be in heaven with their loved ones. We will be given new bodies and we will all receive horns and wings. You might not have your horn or wings yet, Applejack, but someday you will, along with other special rewards. I must go now. Take care every pony and be well!"
"Good bye, Princess!" Applejack called out as she waved her hat at her.
All her friends came in for one big group hug.
Applejack felt so loved and appreciated that she couldn't help but smile. She forgave herself of all her past mistakes and learned to love herself and her friends again. She would remember this lesson and would never hide her depression or suffering again from her friends. Applejack would remain an honest, loving, strong, and faithful pony for the rest of her life, no matter what kind of problems she may encounter. She was happy to be alive again and she knew that the love from her friends and family would keep her heart strong.