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Octavia tried to keep herself calm, as Vinyl tried to think of a plan. "Okay, so let's get an idea of the situation: we've got both our families, and your dad is so drunk he's seeing things, and we're trapped here for the next two days," Vinyl said. She thought about it for a few more moments, and shrugged. "We're bucked."
"Vinyl, we have to think of something! Letting my father go back out there could be disastrous!" Octavia said, as she paced back and forth. "Okay...okay...everything will be just fine..." she said to herself in a desperate attempt to calm down. Lyra and Bonbon made their way over, Lyra having noticed that Octavia had taken a while to check up on her father.
"Is everything alright?" Bonbon asked.
"What's going on?" Lyra added.
"Yeah, remember how I said I had bad news, Bonnie? Those bad news just became 'the worst possible news ever,'" Vinyl said as she racked her brains for a possible solution.
"What happened? Is Kester alright?" Bonbon asked.
"Oh, he's fine...great, even. Remember that drink you found earlier? The one we told you to avoid?" Vinyl reminded. Bonbon's eyes widened.
"...He didn't..." Bonbon whispered.
"Yup. The whooole bottle," Vinyl said with a sigh. "The guy's currently sitting on the kitchen floor, staring at a 'dragon' on the ceiling."
"I'm just surprised that he's even conscious," Lyra said. "That stuff seemed like it would be enough to get the Princess tipsy."
"I never told you what my father does for a living, did I?" Octavia asked.
"What does he do?" Lyra asked, curious.
"He grows barley. For whiskey. He has been around alcohol all his life, so this just goes to show you the potency of that drink. If it can get him drunk, it can most likely kill a small animal," Octavia said.
"I'm gonna go check on Kester...I think I just heard something," Vinyl said, getting up from her seat and making her way over to the kitchen. She peeked in, and her jaw dropped. "Octy..."
"What, Vinyl? What's the matter?" Octavia asked, pushing her way past Vinyl. She blinked in horror when she saw what Vinyl did.
"He's gone..." Vinyl said. "How is it possible for a stallion his size to just disappear like that?!"
"This happened once before when I was little...oh Celestia, this will not end well..." Octavia said, moving back out. "I need to alert my mother. She will know what to do. Vinyl, Bonbon, Lyra, I need you all to search the remainder of the house for him."
"Got it," Vinyl said.
"I'm on it," Lyra added.
"No problem," Bonbon finished.
The four then separated, Octavia making her way over to her mother, the others making their way down the hall and up the stairs. They made it to the top, and found the doors to the three rooms. "Hey, that one is open..." Vinyl said. The three cautiously made their way into the room, which was at this point only dimly lit by what little sunlight filtered through the massive snowfall.
"What's that on the bed?" Bonbon asked, pointing a hoof at it. There was a large, pony-shaped lump on the bed.
"He might've just gone to sleep...maybe we should just leave him..." Lyra suggested.
"We gotta make sure Lyra," Vinyl said as she cautiously moved next to the bed. "Okay...here goes nothing..." She then used her magic to grip an end of the bed-covers, and yanked them off. They all blinked in confusion when they saw it was just a mass of pillows, shaped like a pony.
"I guess he's not here..." Bonbon said.
"Oh, now A' wouldn't say tha'..." A voice said as the closet door creaked open, a massive figure looming over them.
"Mother, I am very sorry for interrupting your conversation, but there is something I need to tell you...urgently," Octavia said.
"Oh, of course, Octavia. Do excuse me," Madeline smiled.
"No worries, Madeline. Take your time, we have nowhere else to go," Marianna giggled. She then turned to Rolando and began a conversation with him as Octavia and Madeline stepped aside.
"What's the matter, dear? You look frightened," Madeline said as she brought a hoof to Octavia's cheek.
"Well, we have a major issue. Papa got a hold of one of our bottles of liquor..." Octavia started.
"Oh, well, that isn't much of an issue, you know your father's tolerance is-" Madeline stopped short when Octavia shook her head.
"Mother, he drank liquor that has a disclaimer almost the length of the bottle itself. It has a list of side effects ranging from 'liver problems' to 'type-two diabetes,'" Octavia said. "Papa is drunk, and he's missing!" Octavia finished, Madeline turning as pale as a ghost at the news.
"Oh my...we need to find him before he causes even more trouble!" Madeline said urgently, the two making their way back to the living room. "Marianna, Rolando, I just want to say that whatever happens, I like you both and I am glad you are becoming part of our family, and I hope that this does not change anything between us," Madeline said. Marianna looked stunned, Rolando sharing the expression, though his was more of confusion.
"I do not understand..." Rolando said.
"What is the matter, Madeline? You look as though you have seen a ghost..." Marianna said.
"...My daughter just informed me that my husband...is drunk. He is also missing. He is still in the house, but Celestia knows where he could be hiding," Madeline said. Marianna instinctively clung to Rolando, who looked a bit nervous. Suddenly, the four ponies downstairs all jumped when they heard three screams and a loud crash upstairs. They all rushed upstairs, and gathered in what was now a cramped hallway, staring in shock at the sight of Kester sticking through the bedroom wall, completely out cold.
"What- what in Equestria happened here?!" Octavia asked.
"Oh my..." Marianna squeaked, Rolando completely speechless.
"Well, that takes care of that..." Madeline said, completely nonplussed. Vinyl, Lyra and Bonbon all made their way out of the room, inspecting the damage.
"We...found him?" Vinyl smiled bashfully.
"What did you do!? Why is my father sticking out of a wall!?" Octavia yelled, unable to make even the slightest bit of sense out of what she was seeing.
"Octy, just calm down...there's a perfectly good story behind this," Vinyl said. "We came in here looking for Kester, and we thought we saw him laying in bed. When we checked the bed, he wasn't there. Then he jumped out of the closet, trying to grab one of us! We all got so freaked out that my magic and Lyra's magic went crazy," she explained.
"So you put him through a wall!?" Octavia yelled, checking to see that her father was still alive. Thankfully, he was still breathing, just knocked out.
"Hey, we couldn't help it, Octy! He surprised the hay out of us!" Vinyl pleaded.
"Is it just me or is it a tad cramped in here...?" Rolando mumbled, pulling on his collar a bit.
"I'm really sorry, Octavia. I'll help pay for the damage to the wall and..." Lyra then looked at Kester. "...the damage to your dad..." she chuckled sheepishly.
"Girls, don't worry. I will pay for this. Believe me, this was the best thing that could have happened. At the very least he is unconscious and won't be trying this again," Madeline said. "Come on, let's pull him out." The three unicorns used their magic to remove Kester from the wall, leaving a huge, gaping hole behind. They levitated him into another room, laid him in bed, and shut the door.
"Well, now that that's taken care of, why don't I make us some tea?" Madeline offered.
"That would be lovely Madeline," Marianna smiled. The other girls nodded in agreement, following close behind as they made their way down the stairs. Rolando stood at the top, as if paralyzed. In his mind, he could swear that the stairs were twisting and turning, the walls contracting and relaxing around him. He could feel his heart beginning to race, his hooves going cold, and sweat beginning to trickle down his brow.
Calm down, Rolando...you got over this years ago... He then tentatively placed a hoof on one of the steps, and quickly hurried down them, feeling as if the stairs were suddenly trying to squeeze him.
"...Perhaps not..." he said to himself as he moved back out into the living room. He took a seat, and swallowed hard.
The room looked considerably smaller.