The streets of Ponyville were as lively and colorful as ever. Storeowners were busily cleaning their display windows of dirt and dust or sweeping the ground around their stores, friends were getting together and laughing at each other’s jokes, fillies and colts playfully ran around market stalls, and your long-time friend Antillo was waving you over from his store porch. You happily stroll up to him and say hello, where upon he invites you inside.
Antillo was a jeweler by trade, buying and selling rare and valuable gems from all over Equestria. The display cases of his store were lined with glimmering minerals and jewels, the light from within the store shining down upon them to bring around the elegant feeling of mustered eyes. The only thing separating the customer from the jewels was a thin panel of glass. It looked as if anypony could just reach behind the counter and easily make off with some of the valuable gemstones within, but Antillo had it covered. He hired the guardian protection of two very large, very muscular bouncers who would stand guard by the door to watch for any suspicious-looking ponies. They wore sunglasses to cover their eyes as to prevent mischievous ponies from anticipating their movements.
“Come in! Come in! I have the package all set and ready for you.” Antillo beckoned you to the display cases up front. “Just wait there while I go get it.” He disappeared through a dimly lit doorway behind the counter. He returned a few moments later with a small, paper-wrapped box on his back and a red bow between his teeth. He placed the box on the counter and carefully wrapped the bow around it. “There we are! All set. Do you have the payment?”
“Of course.” you reply. You reach into your saddlebag and pull out a small bag filled with a large mass of bits. You place the bag on the counter and Antillo stores them in a safety deposit box built into the floor. He looks up to you and smiles.
“Thank you friend! So, who’s the gift for? A special somepony maybe?” he slyly asks with one eyebrow cocked upwards.
“Perhaps...” you smugly reply. Antillo chuckled at your words.
“Ok, ok, I won’t bother you with it.”
You thank Antillo and walk out of the store. You decide to take a moment to look at your package to see if Antillo got your order right. You sneak behind an empty cart near the wall of a nearby building and quietly tear off the brown covering paper, revealing a small, dark blue colored box. After making sure that nopony is watching, you slowly lift the lid off of the box and set it off to the side. You look inside, and find yourself to be relieved when you look upon the well-spent object of your toils. The bright sunlight from above gleamed off of the object’s surface and reflected colored light from within onto the cart and the wall behind you, creating a collage of intermixed colors. It was a beautiful sight for such a beautifully made gift.
“I hope she likes it...” you silently whisper to yourself. You replace the lid and carefully wrap the bow around the box. After gathering up the fragments of brown paper and disposing of them properly, you drop the box into your saddlebag. When everything was secure, you could hear your stomach growling with a feel of emptiness. You haven’t been gone for too long, and you haven’t had the chance to eat anything for breakfast due to the overflow of animal patients that Fluttershy keeps sending over to you, so you decide to take a trip to Sugarcube Corner for a snack.
After narrowly avoiding what could have been a horrific collision between you and a small purple dragon running around with a box full of flowers, you finally arrive at the sweet smelling and oddly-built confectionery. You open the door, smiling at the sound of a tingling bell hanging from above, and stroll up to the counter. You eye the many colorful cakes and pastries on display with hungry eyes and an empty stomach. Your gaze moved to one of the yellow-frosted cookies on display, Fluttershy’s color. You remind yourself to bring back a treat for her. After standing and waiting at the counter for a few minutes longer, you realize that none of the employees, wherever they may be, have yet to come and take your order. You slowly lean over the edge of the counter to see if anypony was hiding back there, but to no avail. You do however catch eye of a pair of...eyes staring back at you from behind a corner in the doorway that leads into the kitchen. The eyes were pink and full of anticipation as they were a pair of territorial insects waiting for you to make a move. You rub your eyes and try to convince yourself that you were just seeing things, but when you see the eyes blink at you, twice, you gasp and jump back at least ten feet, almost crashing into a small arrangement of chairs near an empty table. When you recover from your recent moment of shock. a pink mare jumps up from behind the counter yelling “Hey there!” You breath a collective sigh of relief when you recognize the gee-happy pony as one of Fluttershy’s many friends, Pinkie Pie, whom you had met at one of the many “Welcome to Ponyville” parties that Pinkie throws for every new pony who moves to town.
“‘Hey there, again!” she giggles before continuing, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen you around! What can I do for you?” she asks.
“Oh, hey Pinkie. I just came by for a snack. Mind if I get two of those yellow-frosted cookies?” you ask her.
“Sure thing! Four bits please!”
You pay the pink store clerk and thank her for the scones, who then scurries away and disappears behind the doorway once more. You wanted to ask her why she was hiding from the customers like that, but you had to get back home to your animals. As you were walking toward the door, you could hear faint, conversational whispering coming from the kitchen between Pinkie and some other pony who’s voice you could not recognize. Ignoring it due to the time, you leave the store and set out onto the road that lead to your animal-beloved home.
“Shhh! Pinkie, not yet!” Twilight aggressively whispered to Pinkie Pie while cupping a hoof over her friend’s excitable mouth. She slowly peeked her head out from behind the corner to see if the coast was clear, then she signaled Pinkie Pie, telling her that it was safe to move out of cover.
“So, that is who Fluttershy was talking about? Wow, Fluttershy sure is a lucky mare!” Pinkie commented.
“I wonder what was in those saddlebags? I could make out the shape of a box and some other thing, but that was about it. But then again, it’s not nice to just snoop through somepony’s privacy.”
“Maybe...Oooh! I know! Hearts and Hooves Day is coming up right? It might be a gift for Fluttershy!”
“Pinkie, Hearts and Hooves Day ended over a week ago. If it is a gift for Fluttershy, there must be some other reason..."
“If what Fluttershy told us was true, then maybe...” Pinkie gasped with sudden realization, “Do you think they're in looooove?”
“I...don’t really know. I say that we keep watching from a distance, just to make sure that Fluttershy's words hold true and that she doesn’t end up walking right into what may become a bad romance...”
“Bad romance? What’s that? One of those really weird songs by Sapphire Shores?” Pinkie questioned Twilight with a wondering stare. Twilight just facehoof’d herself and grunted with a tone of disbelief.
“Got any treats left Pinkie?”
But Pinkie was quick and her hooves were already filled to the brim with several sugary confections. “You betcha’!”
Sorry Jonsey, but begging won’t get you a spot in every chapter I write...
Please don't hurt me... ._.