Anything But Angellic
By The Grey Potter
Based on a prompt from Thirty Minute Pony Stories
Little friends of fur and feather pushed to find a spot on these shelves, all desiring to see their yellow savior, their pegasus angel. Fluttershy was beet red, icy rag slapped across her forehead. She sneezed quietly, so quietly one could hardly call it a sneeze at all. Some mice looked to their companions, wondering which one of them had dared speak up at a sick bed.
While all of Fluttershy’s little friends had come in concern, only one would dare approach the sick Pegasus. Only one clawed their way up the checkered comforter, marching right across Fluttershy’s lump of a body and shoving his twitching little whiskers directly in the Pegasus’ face.
“Oh, hello Angel bunny…” Fluttershy croaked, peering at Angel through puffy eyes. “How are you?”
Angel bunny crossed his arms, tapping his foot expectantly.
“Oh my… is there a problem, Angel bunny?”
The rabbit glared down at Fluttershy. Snorting, he jabbed a single finger towards his open mouth, then curled around his middle as if in pain.
“I’m sorry Angel…” Fluttershy broke into a quiet fit of coughing. “Nurse Redheart said I couldn’t get out of bed… But…” she settled back into the pillow, unable to hold herself up anymore. “Twilight Sparkle’s going to be over in an hour to feed all of you. So don’t worry…”
Angel continued to stomp his foot, digging his heel deep into where he guessed Fluttershy’s tummy was. When that didn’t work, he resorted to pulling and twisting at a lock of Fluttershy's hair, yanking at it like an old fashioned doorbell. Fluttershy just snored, unable to even keep herself awake.
Angel folded his arms snorted in disgust at the catatonic mare. What a selfish caretaker! Some other pony was going to come and feed him in an hour? Well! He hopped off the bed and marched off. Thinking… Screw that! That was ten years on Angel bunny time, he’d starve to death long before any other useless pony got here!
With his life so clearly on the line, it was time for drastic measures.
There were very few places forbidden to all the animals in the house. And all these places were collected in one area. The quiet little kitchen’s cubbies and closets no critter dared open, for fear of invoking Fluttershy’s disapproval. All of them knew they’d get fed plenty whenever they needed, Fluttershy was never stingy with the pellets. Why risk returning to foraging over a mouthful of some pony treats? The creatures respected Fluttershy, they would never inconvenience her.
That is, until the little white Angel declared respect dead.
When Angel realized food would not be forthcoming, he skipped right past the little pellet closet under the stairs. That was chump change, not worth fighting for. He hopped his little white tail right into the kitchen, eyed the rows of little doors. He had a vague sense of what was behind each one, but that knowledge never mattered before. Didn’t matter now either.
He ripped at the handle of the closest cabinet, near the door on ground level. Gigantic black pots loomed over him. He pulled them down, scattering a few curious mice followers, only because he was angry. The next cabinet under the sink was no better, locked tight with a little plastic hoop and a note explaining to the animals how dangerous these chemicals were so pretty pretty please don’t – Angel grabbed the note and ripped it to shreds.
The third cabinet? Gold.
The thick burlap bag of oats toppled slow and ponderously over, contents spilling like a gentle waterfall of grain. The pile quickly scattered across the kitchen floor, spilling in a glorious wave, Angel riding atop it with his head held high. The mice, the birds, the critters of all shapes and sizes stared at the spilling food, confused, uncertain. Do they dare break the only rule they ever had to follow?
Angel Bunny answered it for them. He scooped up a pawfull of grain and held it aloft, letting all present see his act. With great determination and force, he shoved the chunk in his mouth, nosily chewing with his arms firmly crossed. The room was silent.
One mouse stepped forward, began gnawing at a grain. The rest of the creatures dove after him, divebombing and scrambling for the massive pile, munching, pecking, scrambling for this sweet gift of an Angel.
The bunny lord nodded at his thralls, spitting out the grain too harsh for his delicate palate. Satisfied.
Wait, no, the other one. Not satisfied. He had only just barely begun.
There were dozens of cabinets left.
One by one, the little white Angel tore open the forbidden doors, tossing out the contents. Glass jars smashed to the floor below, cardboard boxes bouncing and dumping their gifts in wide arcs. Vegetables just kind’ve fell into the mess, but those were snatched up quick, fought over by all orders of rodent.
It wasn’t long until squirrels started scrambling up after their Angel, birds flying up to his aid. Ancient cans long forgotten were pecked open by hungry beaks. Tins and boxes tightly shut pried open by clever fingers. There was no place that was sacred. A B-team lead by the bats reported back with eager squeaks. They had managed to open the pellet closet under the stairs. The weaker of the animals scampered off for the easier fight, the biggest and strongest of the animals long since dominating the blossoming pile of sacred foodstuffs.
Finally, there was only one big project left, one that demanded the loyalty and devotion of all Angel’s thralls. Opening the vacuum-sealed refrigerator. He stood atop the white icebox, idly munching on a whole head of lettuce, not even helping. Not even directing beyond a wave, a point of his little paw. All the critters dug their fingers into the side, bracing against the frame. And at Angel’s command, they pushed until the frozen terrain was open to them.
Angel surveyed his new kingdom, nodding in approval as it dove into the new territory. Birds flew up, presenting him fragments of their finds, allowing him the first taste of the spoils. Some of the mice began work on hefting up a jug of milk for his excellency. He offered them a haughty approval, thinking he should have done this days ago.
Just an hour, just one simple hour later, Twilight Sparkle merrily trotted up to Fluttershy’s quiet little cottage. She wouldn’t typically be all that merry… Concern for her friend’s illness still tapped at the back of her brain, nagging her with guilt and worry. But she had read Best Friend Health Tips, and she knew better than to let her fears overtake her. Around the sick, especially the nonfatally sick, a positive attitude is one of the keys to great mental health!
“So, chin up Twilight!” she reminded herself cheerfully, “All smiles for poor, sick Fluttershy! You’ve brought her a nice can of hot soup, an extra box of tissues, and a winning smile! She’ll feel better in no time with Nurse Sparkle around!”
Twilight walked right up to the door and proudly knocked with her hoof. She waited all of fifteen seconds, wondered why her friend wasn’t answering, then laughed at herself.
“Oh, silly me! Of course Fluttershy wouldn’t be able to answer, she’s bedridden! I’ll just let myself in…” She reached for the latch with her hoof, intending to test the latch. She could always enter through the back, but…
Her hoof barely reached the handle before it clicked loudly, the sounds of tumblers and chains ratting. She frowned. If that was Fluttershy opening up the door for her… She waited a moment more, then pushed on the handle. Nothing. She rattled the door. Still nothing. She wondered if there was some special grip to it… like a lift she never noticed. Magically, she gripped the lock, squeezing it shut and trying to shove it gently around the doorframe. Still nothing.
“Fluttershy?” she called. No response. She put her ear to the door… she could hear something. Some kind of chittering and chattering. Scratching little paws and a steady stream of bird’s song. Nothing out of place for Fluttershy’s cabin. She called Fluttershy’s name again. Still nothing.
Casually, maybe a little bit confused, she trotted over to the nearest window. The curtains were closed, but that was no problem for a unicorn. Through the glass, she magically pulled open the curtains and glanced inside, wondering what she’d see.
Oh… Of all the things that could be happening. She did not expect this.
The entire living room had been converted to, in Twilight’s wild imagination, what looked like a miniature shantytown. Little houses constructed out of cardboard and paper were arranged in crooked rows, circling the bright central rug, which had been transformed into a sort of market made out of matchbooks and toilet paper. Mice scurried here and there, trading grains, cheeses, and vegetables for miniscule fragments of glass. Countless nails had been hammered into the walls, creating hundreds of little roosts for birds to twitter upon, sometimes entire plank lofts hastily constructed as sort of bird trading posts. Guard birds, decked in armor made out of bottlecaps and china fragments stood outside the few birdhouses, where the groomed birds in little suits and dresses flocked. Another closet under the stairs had been converted to a mouse and rat version of the equivalent, bats in little thimble berets clinging to the stair’s underbelly. The kitchen was blocked off by a makeshift wall of silverware and knives, jagged points making a little fence-like pattern on top. More guard birds hovered around the entrance, heads flicking back and forth, eyes staring everywhere at once.
“By Celestia’s name!” Twilight Sparkle cried, “What the hay is going on here?!”
The critters jumped at the sound of Twilight’s voice, and by the time she had ended her sentence, a fleet of guard birds were hovering in front of her nose. In a coordination she had only ever seen under Fluttershy’s command, the birds grabbed the corners of the curtains and drew them shut. In awe, twilight saw two little needles bob in and out of the cloth, jerkily sewing the view permanently shut.
Twilight stared at the rough handiwork, eye twitching, mind flipping through dozens of explanations, landing. Somehow, she landed at the bizarre thought that she was interrupting something important. Maybe she should just… go home? She turned to leave, flipped back. Paced two steps away, ran back to the window what?!
“Fluttershy!” she shouted, “Fluttershy, is this normal? Is it?!”
Angel Bunny felt like his greatest accomplishment could be any number of things he had done in the past hour. But the opening of the refrigerator was as fine a moment as any other, and the inside of its open husk served as a pretty swanky air conditioned throne room. With a little modification.
A regiment of three blue jays and two sparrows landed on the steel baking sheet floor, little feet making a quiet little clatter of scratches. They bowed to their leader, and Angel replied with a smug wave, settling back into his pincushion and felt scrap throne. One blue jay hopped forward. He nodded and preened in rapid succession, spinning counterclockwise twice, clockwise once. He finished with a salute, and hopped back into line.
Angel sat straight up, perking his ears. His nose twitched. Even in the chilled environment, sweat beaded on his forehead.
He stuck out his lip, and out shot his paw. They always knew this hour would come. This minute was one that had trained for the moment the regime had begun. The birds knew the plan. They had their orders. Now it was only matter of…
There was a flash, a burst of purple light and a rabbit-deafening sound. The Angel jumped at least a foot into the air, mouth agape. He pushed past the blue jay regiment, shoving his head out of the ice box, desperately trying to get a good view of the living room.
“Oh! My goodness…” Twilight Sparkle carefully raised a hoof, trying to step around the little cardboard houses. Mice, rats, voles, and yes, even the noble squirrels scurried in terror around her hooves, knocking over even more houses in their blind terror. “Whoops!” She laughed nervously, trying to place a hoof into the middle of Carpet Square. “Sorry… Sorry!”
It was too late!
Angel bunny couldn’t throw the birds off the baking sheet fast enough, pointing and gesturing wildly toward the looming menace.
Twilight Sparkle tried hard to keep it all together up here. After she circled the house twice, she assured herself, demanded of herself that she should calm down. Of all the things she had witnessed in her admittedly short life… was this really all that bizarre? Startled, that’s all she was. Just a bit startled. She took a few breaths, tried a few other doors, and when she couldn’t find a way in, she just teleported past that barrier. She would find Fluttershy, ask her what was going on, and still be cheerful as any good healer unicorn should be.
Honestly, she thought to herself, if this wasn’t so very strange, this would be incredibly fascinating! Did the mice and birds build these huts themselves? No, Fluttershy must have done this for them. How sweet! She stepped carefully into the carpet, trying not to squish any of the cute little critters as they scattered away from her. The stairs were just past another cardboard shantytown, and…
And birds started dive-bombing her, pecking at the top of her head as if their lives depended on it.
“Ow! Owowow, why? Stop!” Through the pain, Twilight Sparkle’s horn lit up. Gently, she cast a little force bubble, just trying to push the little birds away. “What in Equestria…?” she could barely get out the question. For the noble squirrels had returned, this time with yarn. They darted in and out of her hooves, wrapping and circling. She lifted one hoof up with a confused shout, but it was too late. The strings snapped tight around her feet, tying them in knots! The squirrels pulled as hard as they could, trying to fell the dangerous pony!
“Are you…?” Twilight said, staring down at the straining squirrels, “Are you trying to trip me?” she stared down at the string. It tightened uncomfortably around her fetlocks, but even with all the weight of the squirrels combined, it was fruitless. No rodent would ever come close to toppling a pony’s tremendous girth.
So instead, the birds started pecking at her head again.
“Okay. This is getting annoying.” Twilight flicked her horn, shooing the bobbing birds away with gentle pushes of magic. And when that didn’t work, annoyed waves of her one free hoof. “For goodness sa-a-AKE!”
It was just one hoof. One hoof, a little step forward, and the daring darting of the captain of the squirrel guard, diving in at just the right moment. Twilight toppled forward, collapsing over downtown boxville with an almighty crash, destroying it and half the market in one mighty swoop of her fat flank. At least the city had been evacuated… but a number of homes had been lost, costing maybe thousands in Angelic Orbs. The critters gathered around the body, all wondering the same thing. Was it over?
“Ow…” Twilight groaned. “What did I land on? Why does my side feel…?” Her eyes snapped open, and the critters scattered. “Wet?!” With a spark from her horn the mighty yarn snapped. She scampered to her feet, crushing a number of houses in her haste. Her aura encased the saddlebag as she ripped it off. A small squeak escaped from her maw. The bottom of the bag was wet, dripping with an amber liquid.
“The thermos!” she shouted.
And for a moment, the whole world held its breath.
Twilight’s horn lit up.
And in a circular blast of pure-ple energy, she vanished.
In honor of the Battle of Eep Eep Tweet Counterclockwise Spin, the gates to Angel’s domain were thrown open, ten minutes only, for a very special display. Angel dug his fingers into a little makeshift coat, wearing a purple washcloth like an ermine cape. Buttons and bottlecaps riddled the cloth, declaring all of his fantastic military exploits. Upon his head was a newly fashioned crown, fashioned from the smashed lip of a green soda bottle. He peered over the shiny silver of his baking sheet, standing tall and proud as his thralls swarmed around the bottom of the refrigerator. They squeaked and tweeted up a storm, waving feet and tails in the air, holding aloft babies and eggs for Angel’s approval.
Angel yawned down at them, examining his nails, occasionally throwing a bored nod.
A ragtag group of woodpeckers flew up to their Angel, carrying between them a scrap of paper and a thimble full of ink. One woodpecker in a carefully folded origami hat hopped forward, feet soaked in ink stains. He held out the end of a sewing needle, pointing it at his face.
Tweet tweet scratch clockwise spin? The woodpecker waved his wing down at the crowds, then out the living room door. Chirrup tweet? The needle tilted towards an appalled Angel as the other woodpeckers dipped their toes in the ink, preparing to bounce around the page, waiting for his reply.
Angel scowled and slapped the needle from his hand. The crowd Eep’ed in unison.
A regiment of blue jays was quick to dispatch the nosy woodpeckers, dragging them away to be imprisoned the highest cabinet, one that still held the aspirin and peppy-dismal. But the damage of the press was done. The rats, mice, and squirrels waved towards the wreckages of their destroyed city, squeaking and eeping in one unified swell.
The Angel bunny silently laughed at them, stomping his foot and shaking a fist at the lowly creatures. With a casual flick of his tail, he spun in the crowd, waved his paw around in a circle. The birds swarmed the crowds, swooping low, pushing them towards the jagged metal gates.
There was a shriek. The crowds froze. Bats hovered over the Jagged Gates of Tyranny, led by a little bat with a crazy curly mophead and a red pat of cloth for a hat.
With a brutal wave of his wing, the bats swarmed the birds, shrieking for their rodent brethren.
There was a bursting pop of light, and Twilight Sparkle materialized in the cramped sickroom.
“Twilight…?” Fluttershy croaked.
“I’m sorry I’m late, Fluttershy!” she stammered, trying to flatten her mane, “I accidentally fell on my thermos, and I knew, I couldn’t come see you without some nice hot soup! So I had to run and get some more, but I didn’t know if it was faster to go home or if I should buy some from a store, but the book said homemade was best, but that might’ve taken hours and I was already so, so late…” Twilight took a steadying breath, trying to compose herself. “But I’m here now! Here with a smile and some nice, hot, vegetable and noodle soup!”
“Thanks, Twilight…” Fluttershy propped herself up with her pillow, carefully peeling the rag off her forehead. “You didn’t have to teleport here to save time, you know…”
Twilight Sparkle held aloft the thermos, staring into space.
“Oh, why didn’t I think of that?! That could’ve saved me twenty whole minutes! Though I guess that might’ve worn me out, and who knows how I’d get into your house…”
“Oh my…Did I leave the doors locked somehow…?”
“No, no, your little friends locked the doors for you! Isn’t that uh…” Twilight’s smile fell, “I was going to say sweet, but that was a little strange, actually. Do they normally do that?”
“Oh, no… I try to keep my doors always open… The animals know that. Or…” Fluttershy coughed. “They should…”
“I guess they saw the need to lock the doors as important.” Twilight unscrewed the cap of the thermos, and carefully hovered it over to Fluttershy. The Pegasus took the can up in her hooves, gripping it tightly. “Come to think of it, I probably would have messed up their town if I opened that door.” She laughed nervously, “Not that it stopped me when I teleported in…”
Fluttershy took a quiet sip from the thermos.
“Town?” she squeaked.
Angel stomped his foot rapidly, pouting over crossed arms up at his birds. Bats had ravaged his palace, leaving behind only feathers and guano stains. They were out there now, in the city, in their closet base. Planning, plotting on taking him down. Him! Angel! He shook a fist at the birds, scowling. The birds twittered back, nodding and bowing.
There was only one thing he could do.
Woodpeckeres furiously worked at the little plastic ring. The one ring looped between the dull cabinet handles, the ring that held him back from the final cabinet. The inoperable doors beneath the sink. It contained the one, the only thing he hoped could use to defeat the rodent revolution.
He didn’t know exactly what it would be.
But he hoped it was rat poison.
“And that’s exactly what happened, Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy took a tiny sip from the thermos, staring at Twilight, level.
“I see,” the Pegasus said.
“So… Is that… normal?”
“No. It isn’t.”
“Oh.” Twilight stared at her sick friend. “So um… should I go put a stop to it? Or…?”
Fluttershy gently set aside the thermos.
“I’ll go,” she said, pushing aside the covers.
“No! Fluttershy!” Twilight Sparkle jumped forward, “You’re sick! You should stay in bed! Please, I think I can handle a few animals!”
“No,” Fluttershy said softly. She looked her friend straight in the eye. “Only I can stop this.”
Angel’s entire flock of birds flapped as hard as they could, but even with the next, even with every bird working together, the fat white jug only just barely lifted off the ground. It might have been a bit lighter without their industrious leader riding atop it, but there was no explaining this to The Angel. Angel gripped the reigns of the white beast with a fire in his eyes. And with a kick of his leg, the bloated dirigible lurched forward.
Past the sharp and silver gates, the rodents rioted. They skittered up the walls, tried to topple the bird’s treehouses. Bats circled above the crowds, diving where needed, squealing up a storm. Angel waved mercilessly at them, whiskers quivering. He needed to get above them all, douse them in his holy, weaponized fluid! No traitor would escape! He threw his head back and his whole body shook with silent laughter. NO ONE!
There was a clatter of a latch. Gentle hoofbeats on the floor above. The whole room froze, every head turning towards the staircase.
One hoof. Two hooves. Then four. Four yellow hooves descending from the heavens. Legs impossibly long and slender, curving into a massive body. The body they were all familiar with. The figure of their goddess. Their true angel. Every heart cried in pain as they saw her mane, her face. She was in pain, mane messy and slicked with grease and sweat. Damaged, broken… was this the result of war on the gods?! Had they hurt her through their violent and rebellious actions?! Mice dropped their needles in awe, birds lowered their beaks in reverence. The bats took off their hats, eyes wide.
And Angel, the false Angel, snorted in rage, whiskers quivering.
They all knew what was coming next.
Fluttershy walked down to the foot of her stairs, and, in a moment that seemed an eternity to the warring critters, she opened her eyes, obliterating all evil in a single, Divine Stare.
“There there, little ones,” Fluttershy hoarsely cooed, “Momma forgives you. Momma understands. You were just a little confused, that’s all.”
“Wow.” Twilight Sparkle stared from the landing, watching a complicated chaos surround her Pegasus friend. Every little critter had dropped what they were doing and was now darting around Fluttershy, cleaning the house in one concerted effort. It was like a complicated dance, or a machine with every piece and cog winding together in harmony. “How do you do that, Fluttershy?”
“Well it is my special talent…” Fluttershy coughed into her fetlock. “They’ll be fine now… I should get back to bed…”
“But what about…?” Twilight waved at Angel Bunny. He was the only one not part of the cleaning mechanism. Instead, he threw all his efforts into stomping on a little red hat and throwing rude gestures at all the critters around him.
“Oh,” Fluttershy coughed, “Angel bunny…” She lowered herself to Angel’s level, smiling. “You did a bad thing, Angel bunny. You did a… (cough) bad thing!”
Angel snorted, shaking his fist at Fluttershy.
“No, no, Angel bunny… That’s rude… Do you need a time out?”
Angel recoiled. He spun on his heels, dropping to all fours in the flight for his life… But it was too slow. Fluttershy’s teeth snapped softly on him, lifting him up in the same way a mother cat might lift a kitten. Angel was helpless as he was carried into the kitchen, helpless as he was gently pushed into the top cabinet, the one that held the aspirin and peppy-dismal. Helpless as Fluttershy snapped the door shut and locked it with a little plastic ring.
“Now you sit in there… and think about what you did, Angel bunny. You’ve really hurt momma’s feelings…” She smiled, “You better be ready to ask for forgiveness… When you get out.” The cabinet doors rattled, Angel’s only form of protest. “Good.” Fluttershy carefully made her way back up the stairs, tyrant mercifully defeated, work complete.
And every single critter in the cabin wept with joy.