"Consarn it Pinkie Pie. How do you manage to cause such a mess?" Applejack thought, cleaning off yet another glob of frosting with a paper towel before tossing it into a nearby garbage pail.
She looked around and sighed. The entire bedroom was a disaster. Baking utensils scattered all around the floor like pieces of debris after a hurricane. Globs of batter and frosting covered the walls, floor and ceiling. Glassware that once gave the pink mare's room an element of beauty were shattered, pieces of which littered the floor like shrapnel. It was too great of a mess to be handled by one pony, even if that one pony happened to be Pinkie Pie.
Frustrated with her lack of success cleaning solo, the pink mare ran outside to ask passing ponies for assistance. She wasn't having any luck until Applejack and Rainbow Dash walked by, giving their friend a small wave as they passed. Pinkie Pie took advantage of the opportunity and jumped in front of them, her breathing heavy and her eyes frantic.
Apparently she was trying to make a super-mega fudge brownie cake supreme for Nightmare Night, which was in a couple of days. She said how she envisioned a bizarre recipe while she was on one of her sugar highs caused by eating too many cupcakes. She wanted it to be grand, so much so that she put all her time and energy for the day into making it.
The bakery was closed on Saturdays, and the Cakes were out of town for the weekend, meaning that Pinkie Pie had the double bonus of having the entire place to herself and no customers to worry about. Using the rare opportunity, Pinkie took over the kitchen and began to experiment with her recipe. Not surprisingly, this resulted in several explosions of flour, sugar, butter and frosting all throughout the kitchen. Once Pinkie made the kitchen almost uninhabitable, she moved everything up into her bedroom, only to make another huge mess there.
After toiling with the ingredients for hours, she gave up her attempts at baking the cake. She was about to go downstairs to clean the kitchen up when she took notice of her bedroom, covered with every baking ingredient under Celestia's sun. Her jaw fell, realizing that she had a greater problem on her hooves other than failing to make the baked goods and having to clean the kitchen.
The mess in her room, coupled with the one in the kitchen combined to create the worst mess she ever created, something that was no small feat- she once blew up a molten lava cake the size of a carriage.
She started to panic, knowing that she had to clean up every square inch of the house before the Cakes returned Sunday night. It was a process that would likely take the rest of the day and possibly into the next morning, but it had to be done. Even the tiniest mess would cause the Cakes to lose it.
Out of kindness, both Rainbow Dash and Applejack agreed to help Pinkie Pie clean. Relieved and thankful for their assistance, the pink mare assigned Rainbow Dash the kitchen and Applejack the bedroom, saying she'd bounce back and forth to help her two friends out. But because the kitchen was in such horrendous shape, she spent most of her time there with the cyan pegasus. Besides, Applejack assured her she had the bedroom handled, and Rainbow Dash was prone to letting her mind wander off task if nopony was around to egg her on.
Unfortunately, Applejack agreed to go solo before she even checked the bedroom to see how messy it was. She thought any mess would be easy to handle. After all, she was accustomed to cleaning up huge, sticky messes-especially after her sister and her friends did something to mess up her home with one of their many "Cutie Mark Crusader" trials.
As soon as Applejack opened the door to the bedroom and peered inside, she immediately regretted telling Pinkie Pie to leave her and help Rainbow Dash downstairs.
Once Applejack saw the catastrophe that was once a simple bedroom, her jaw fell to the floor. It was in complete disarray, at a level of chaos that not even Discord himself could conjure up. It was far too much for one mare to handle; even the stubborn Applejack could see this. Nevertheless, she started the task, armed with only a water-spritzer and two piles of paper towels, one for washing and the other for drying.
She cleaned at a brisk pace as she kept telling herself "it looks worse than it is, it isn't as bad as it looks."
That was an hour before where Applejack stood now. Once finished cleaning off Pinkie's dresser, she sighed and surveyed the room. She came to the dis-heartening conclusion that she hadn't even cleaned half of the mess up yet. She clenched her teeth and started to grind them. But then she continued her work, her mind continuing to race in a silent rage.
"Help yer best friend clean, ah thought. It'd be nice, ah thought." Applejack thought to herself, scowl on her face as she finished cleaning up the remnants of a blue vase, which had been shattered by one of Pinkie's crazy baking explosions.
The orange mare walked over to a large glob of frosting, plastered onto Pinkie's dresser and covering what appeared to be a record player. She removed the globs of frosting with her hooves, tossing it into a nearby waste-can before spraying water onto a paper towel and wiping it down. She then dried it off using a regular paper towel. She tossed the two soiled towels and looked over the machine.
"Shoot, ah hope the frosting didn't damage it none."
The record player was white and pink, the colors one would suspect for Pinkie Pie. It was very frilly and girly, something Applejack would never allow in her house, let alone own. On the machine was a record, still covered in some sticky, pink frosting from the super-mega fudge brownie cake supreme escapade.
Applejack sprayed a new towel with water to wipe down the smooth surface of the record, before drying it off with a second towel. She then looked at the center of it to see the words 'Nightmare Night Party Music!' scribbled onto the center in black marker. It was clear that Pinkie Pie wrote it, if the sloppy hoof-writing and the exaggerated size of the letters were any indication.
Applejack was curious to what music Pinkie Pie would put onto her Nightmare Night record. Did she just buy the record at the store, or manage to pick her favorite songs and put them onto some kind of "record playlist". That sounded odd, but knowing Pinkie Pie it would be plausible that she could find a way to pull it off.
She was about to get back to cleaning, but then stopped. She looked back at the record player and smiled, curiosity getting the best of her.
"Ah guess playing some tunes while ah work wouldn't hurt none." Applejack thought with a smile, "Besides, ah should probably see if this thing still works after being covered in frosting and whatever else Pinkie was working with."
Applejack turned on the record player and moved the needle onto the record itself, ready to see what her friend wanted to play for the upcoming holiday. She then turned to get back to cleaning; keeping her ear at attention so she could listen to the music as she worked.
After about ten seconds of the record spinning with no music coming out, Applejack feared that it was broken. She turned around and was ready to recheck the record when, finally, she heard some music coming from the device. Sighing, she turned back to her work, wet towel in one hoof and a dry one in the other.
At first the song started out with a spooky beat, wolves howling and footsteps. But soon the song started to pick up in its tempo. It was around this time that Applejack began to think the mystery song sounded catchy. Without realizing it, she started tapping her hoof against the wood floor of her friend room. She also started to hum to the song, as well as move the damp towel she was using to the rhythm.
Eventually, the lyrics started.
"It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart."
Applejack never heard of this song before. In fact, the singer sounded different than any musical artist she knew of in Equestria. His voice was masculine with a hint of softness. An interesting combination, but she didn't complain. In her opinion, it fit the song well.
"Then again, ah really only listen ta country music." Applejack thought as the song continued on.
"You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it."
The song continued on, and with every second of it passing through Applejack's ears, it became catchier and catchier.
"You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
She moved from frosting glob to sticky beater. There was a noticeable bounce in her step, like she was gliding across the floor. She continued this fluid movement until the song hit full steam.
" 'Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one's gonna save you from the beast about strike."
This is when Applejack completely forgot about the task at hand and began to move around the floor of Pinkie's room, trying to follow the rhythm as best she could. She spun around, but not like a ballerina. More like a single, quick turn, before getting into a pose.
She pulled her hat down over her green eyes. This was far from her typical dancing style- mostly she was accustomed to square dancing and ballroom dancing, none of this "hip" stuff- but there was something about this music made her continue moving in the same manner. She went along with the rhythm, letting the dry towel she held fall to the floor, the song continuing to play on and on, the beat causing her to dance like she never had before.
"You know it's thriller, thriller night
You're fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight."
She stopped dancing around and, hat still down, began a more stationary dance, spinning in place and moving her hooves onto the tips before lowering herself back to the ground. She finally dropped the damp towel she was holding to the floor, not once breaking stride in her jive.
Applejack continued to dance in this manner until the song finally ended. Once the beat stopped, she froze in mid-dancing position, posing as if she just ended a live performance in front of hundreds of ponies. Her chest expanded and contracted her breathing rapid, tongue hanging out of her mouth as she panted, not unlike Winona would after chasing a group of apple-poaching squirrels.
She stayed in this position for a few moments, until she heard somepony snicker. Her green eyes shot open.
Slowly, she lifted her head, pushing her Stetson hat back into its proper position. She turned around and looked behind her, towards the source of the voice. There she saw Rainbow Dash standing in the door-frame, her face contorted in an attempt to prevent herself from bursting into laughter. Pinkie Pie was also present, though she wasn't laughing. Instead, she had a huge grin on her face, her eyes seeming to sparkle in the light.
"Oh! I see you liked my record! Now I'm even more excited to play it in the market on Nightmare Night!" Pinkie Pie hopped over to the device to shut it off just as another song started to play- something about "busting ghosts" or something.
The blood rushed to Applejack's cheeks, lighting them a fiery red. Her eyes were fixed on Rainbow Dash, who had resorted to occasionally biting down on her hoof to prevent a giggle-fit.
"Awesome moves there, AJ." she pegasus snickered, "I didn't know you liked to dance."
"Ah...ah wasn't dancing. There...there was batter on mah leg and...ah...ah was trying ta get it off by spinning and such." Applejack said, cringing. Only when the excuse came out of her mouth did she realize how ridiculous it sounded.
"Why couldn't you just use one of the towels?" Rainbow Dash asked, pointing to the two piles of paper towels that lay on the floor, roughly ten feet away from the dancing earth pony. She then turned back to Applejack, smiling smugly.
"It seems like they would work best."
"Would you believe me if ah said ah was having a seizure?"
Both Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash shook their heads. Applejack was defeated. She was humiliated, and no longer able to look her friend in the face without passing out, face red as the apples she worked with every day. Rainbow Dash snickered.
"You like dancing, don't you AJ?"
Applejack slowly nodded, resulting in Rainbow Dash bursting into hysterics, laughing her flank off. Applejack wanted to disappear. But then, Pinkie Pie spoke up.
"I think you dance really well!" Pinkie Pie said cheerfully, bouncing over to Applejack and putting her hoof around her shoulder.
Applejack looked up at Pinkie Pie, "R-really?"
Pinkie Pie nodded, "Yeah, but you weren't doing the dance right...it goes like this."
Pinkie Pie got up onto her hind-legs and began to stalk side-to-side, hooves out in front of her. She looked like she was impersonating something between a cat and a zombie. Applejack cracked a smile and started giggling, as did Rainbow Dash.
"Wow, that's pretty good." Applejack said, "where did ya learn that anyway?"
"Oh, just around." Pinkie Pie said with a smile.
Finally, Rainbow Dash stopped laughing, wiping some tears away from her eyes, "Oh, sorry Applejack it's just sort of funny. You, the big, tough farm pony of Ponyville, and you enjoy dancing. It's just so unexpected."
"Ha-ha, very funny." Applejack said, rolling her eyes in annoyance.
"But you did look good." Rainbow Dash said before she realized how that sounded, "Erm, I mean dancing. Your dancing looked good."
Rainbow Dash rubbed the back of her neck, cheeks blushing.
Applejack smiled at her friend, who was now the sheepish one.
"Great! Now that everything's back to normal, what do you say we get back to work? We have a TON of cleaning to do before the Cake's get back."
Rainbow Dash didn't respond immediately, still blushing profusely until Pinkie Pie gave her a small nudge. She then shook her head and was back at attention.
"Huh? Oh...right!" Rainbow Dash said before zipping downstairs, Pinkie Pie right behind her.
Applejack chuckled and turned her attention back to the mess still surrounding her. She picked up the water spritzer and two towels before walking over to the bookshelf. She sprayed it down, damped one of the towels and began thoroughly wiping down the wood, careful not to get the books wet unless they were covered in Pinkie debris.
As she did so, she began to hum the beat from the song, a little swagger in her step and a smile on her face. She swiveled her hips around a bit as well before she broke out into song.
"'Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And nopony's gonna save ya from the beast about strike..."
"Ha! I didn't know you liked singing too, AJ!" Rainbow Dash shouted from the doorway. She left her water spritzer in the bedroom and came back up to grab it. "You're really quite the show-mare, maybe you should try out for a musical or something!"
Embarrassed, Applejack shot her friend an angry glare. "BEAT IT, RD!"
With a triumphant laugh, Rainbow Dash grabbed the spritzer off the ground and flew away. Applejack turned back to her work and sighed.
"Every chance ah try ta sing, ah get interrupted. It's like some cruel, ongoing joke."