The scene was splayed out in the middle of Ponyville. The yelling of the blue unicorn, the running away of the tan, screaming earth pony, and the rest of the troupe was filled with a fun mix of enjoyment, surprise, and embarrassment.
The townsponies looked on in horror as balls flew off in different directions. A certain cool headed, brown earth pony looked on the scene with a small smile and much interest.
I walked over to the crowd, staring at this blue unicorn juggling balls. The crowd was in awe at how this absolutely trashed stallion could have such coordination. I started to chuckle.I quickly realized what I was doing; wasting time watching this drunken fool. As I slowly broke off from the crowd, a stallion within the crowd shouted, “Hey, anypony got a banjo?”.
I stopped mid walk and turned my head, befuddled by the question. I saw one of the drunk’s balls flying towards me. One of my mechanical arms let go of the plow, and instantly caught the ball mid air. ‘Damn my reflexes...’I thought as I braced for what was going to happen next.
The plow filled in the gap where the arm used to be. It slammed onto my back. Hard. My legs nearly gave out from the impact; my face straining from the effort to not collapse. I immediately let go of the ball and had the arm take its share of the plow to relieve me. “Fffffff-” I sharply sighed under my breath. ‘Damn, I rely on these things way too much.’ Standing there catching my breath, I saw the wasted blue unicorn walking over to me.
“Dood... you’re like a robot! What can you do?! Can you transform?!” he asked, beginning to ramble off more and more incoherent questions. I really wasn’t in the mood.
Trying my best to just ignore the stallion, I turned and began trotting at a quickened pace towards Sweet Apple Acres to finish my delivery to Big Mac’.
“Hey hey hey! What else can you do?” He said excitedly as he walked to either side of me, inspecting my backpack. “You’re like some awesome Pony/Octopus hybrid. With the giant metal arms and the... well honestly, depressing brown you. Can I try it on?”
I glared at the annoyance that was tailing me and continued my journey to the Apple residence. I heard another pony call out, “Hey, wait up, Satin!”, followed by two new sets of hoof-steps behind me, but I wasn’t too keen on finding out who it was. Instead, I just kept my gaze forward and tried to avoid so much as looking at the drunkard that was following me.
“Hey, wait up, Satin!” I called as he chased after a stallion who was obviously annoyed. Said stallion had an interesting backpack on, but I wasn’t really interested in that. As I started following after the two of them, I heard a pony call to some others behind me.
“Jake. Nick. Go after Tim and make sure he doesn’t break anything, please. I’m going to go see what that juggler is doing now. I’ll meet up with you guys later, okay?”
I heard his hoof-steps catch up to me as I followed Satin and the other mystery stallion. He caught up to me and matched my stride. “Hey, you a friend of that blue unicorn?” He asked.
“What’s it to you? Sure, he’s my friend, what’s that got to do with anything?” I snapped.
The crimson pegasus, who had a pair of what looked to be dragon’s wings in place of feathered ones, shrank back a little at my harshness. “Whoa, dude, settle down. It was just a question. The name’s Dex. What’s your’s?”
“Sorry... I just don’t like ponies asking me questions out of nowhere. My name’s Ryku. It’s... well... Hello there, Dex.”
We both trotted along in silence after that bit of awkwardness until we caught up with Satin and his victim.
“Come on! Just for a minute, I just wanna break stuff!” He turned his head to as he noticed us, “Hey Rikky, who’s your friend?”
I glared at the drunken unicorn. “If you ever call me that again, I swear I’ll... ugh, nevermind. You won’t even remember this after you pass out...” I then turned my attention to the now-very irritated-looking brown stallion that Satin had been tailing... well, now we ALL were kinda following him, but... “Sooo... What’s with the backpack, there...?”
“Why does it matter? I don’t know you. Nor do I care who you and your friends are.” he said with obvious and a bit overdramatic frustration.
I was about to respond to this jerk’s answer with a backlash of my own, but Satin jumped in front of me and got up in the brown stallion’s face.
"Oh I see how it is, ya only gonna talk to earth ponies! Someponies just don't like unicorns I guess! You... you... meanie... Damn it, I got nothin’.”
I face-hoofed. “I...just... Look. Don’t mind him. He’s drunk off his flank.” I said to the disgruntled stallion. “We’re just curious about what you have on your back. It’s... interesting...” I was picking my words carefully, trying to be as polite as I could while in the somewhat bad mood I was already in.
“Well, drunkard, if that is the best you can do then don’t bother speaking. As for you...” He glanced back at me. “This ‘interesting’ thing on my back is not a toy. It is not to be gazed at by the intention of ‘messing around’, understand?” He said in a condescending tone.
“Alright, at least now he can be somewhat reasonable...” I thought.
Silence rang out for a moment... well, until Satin broke it....again...
“You do realize you’re going to be my friend, right?” He said with a cocksure smile.
“And~ Satin ruins it...”
The brown stallion stopped dead in his tracks. “I...” he started. “I...” He stood there in amazement. For a minute there was an awkward silence. “No...” he said as he began walking again.
The smile never left Satin’s face, “Yeaaaah you are! I’m Satin, he’s Rikky, and he has dragon wings.” His eyes drifted to Dex as he just really noticed the fourth member of our party. He finally left the tan pony alone to inspect the pegasus.
I facehoofed. Again. I’m pretty sure I have red mark by now. “Anyway... So, what’s your name, sir?”
He groaned. “I see you’re persistent. I guess there is no giving up with you, so why not? It’s Kairo.”
“Okay. I’m Ryku. The drunk is Satin, and this here is ---” I was cut off by our fairly quiet fourth member.
“...And I’m Dex. Nice to meet you, Kairo.” Dex said with cheer in his voice. It seemed to lighten the mood, if only a little.
After that last exchange, we continued down the road for a few more minutes while Dex, Kairo, and I chatted while Satin trailed behind us still inspecting Dex’s wings. After a while, Kairo glanced around and said, “Hey... it's too quiet... where’d the annoying one - Satin, was it? Yeah, where’d he go?”
I looked back and realized that my hammered friend had indeed gone missing. I thought for a moment before looking at Kairo. “Did we happen to pass any bars or anything of the like while we were walking, did we?” I asked with a smile.
Kairo looked back and nodded. “Yeah. We passed Club Pon-3. Why?”
“Don’t worry about him. He’s fine. He’ll show up later, I’m sure. Hidin’ in a bush or somethin’. Sounds like somethin’ he’d do, anyway.”
Dex cocked his head to the side. “He always like that?”
I smiled again. “Only when he’s drunk. Sooo... yeah.”
“He sounds kinda like Pinkie Pie when he’s like this...” Kairo chuckled under his breath, just loud enough for Dex and I to hear.
“Who?” I asked.
Kairo shook his head. “Trust me. You’ll meet her soon enough. Look. We’re almost there. That’s Sweet Apple Acres just over that hill. That’s where I’m heading to make my delivery. I guess you two are welcome to come along if you wish.”
I nodded. “Satin disappeared, and I’m in a town I don’t hardly know at all. I don’t have anything better to do, so I might as well. How about you, Dex?”
“I told my friends I’d meet up with them later. Until then, I’ll just hang with you two, okay?” Dex asked.
Kairo and I nodded and we all headed off towards Sweet Apple Acres, still following Kairo and his strange backpack.
Freaking epic ponies live in this town. First off, a pony with wicked metal death arms and then a pony with dragon wings! DRAGON WINGS! I bet he can breath fire too.
As soon I saw the bar, I figured it was time to do what I always do. Grab a drink, write a bit, and then... find work or something. Celestia knows I need the bits.
As I wandered in, I noticed a small group of ponies crowded around the bar celebrating... something. I made my way to an open table, took off my saddlebags and dove into them to find my journal. The ratty old thing was beaten up pretty bad: water damage, bent edges, and a wee bit of burnt pages. I still love the thing. I open up to a, sort of, crisp page as I begin my newest entry.
Entry: Poneville (I think that’s the town’s name)
Well, things are getting interesting. Sorry I didn’t write while in Appleloosa, l really didn’t stay too long. Met a new friend though. He’s... something. His name is Ryku, and he got me in some fun shenanigans (That word :D) also he and I got kicked out of town. Long story short, totally his fault and not mine.
After a fun train ride with my new compadre, joking and such, we got into Poneville today in the afternoon, this place is fantastic so far. I learned how to juggle on the way into town and there was a little bit of dragon wings here, little bit of extendo arms there, and I’ve only been here for like an hour and I’ve seen like a maximum of 10 stallions here and that was in the town square! Odds look good, my brother. (insert creepy smile)
Anyway, Imma send you and Mom and Dad a letter fairly soon. If only to check in with you guys and give you guys a current city. Feels like I might be in this town for a good bit. Already am super best friends with Rikky, the eight legged pony monster, and the red one with the wings.
Anyway should probably sign off, the ponies in the bar are celebrating something and when there is a celebration going on, that usually means free drinks!
I closed the journal and gingerly placed it back in it’s place in my saddlebags before turning my attention to the commotion going on around the bar. I walked into the group of ponies as they began a collective laugh, I decided this was a good point to join in.
I was having a great time, talking and laughing with the few attendees, Crystal, and the barkeep, right up until a blue unicorn interrupted our merriment.
“And then they all bucked, right guys?”
Crystal, using her magic, scratched the needle off the record. A collective glare turned on a bit in his general direction. The bar had gone completely silent. “What?”
I shot a quick glance at the barkeep, who just shook his head. I looked back to the new unicorn, who was obviously drunk already. I then broke the painful silence.
“Nothing, it’s just... we were all kind of wondering why you are here. So... why ARE you here?"
“Uhhhhhh alcohol...?” He said sheepishly. I looked around at the rest of the little celebration. The attendees nodded in understanding, the barkeep just smiled and shook his head. The only one who seemed to be annoyed was Crystal.
“Hmmm, well I guess that makes sense. This IS a bar after all.” I said dryly. Crystal sighed and nodded to the barkeep. He chuckled once, pouring a shot and laying it on the bar. Immediately it was surrounded by a green aura, whereupon it was levitated towards her. She downed it like a pro, which wasn’t surprising, seeing as she owned the club.
So that’s how it’s gonna be. I can live with that.
The smile quickly returned to the new stallion’s face. “Well now that the awkwardness is out of the way, my names Satin!” He said as another shot was poured and passed to him. He downed it and flipped it over with his magic, in almost defiance to Crystal.
“Ya, uh huh.” She said, seeming uninterested. I looked back and forth between the two unicorns, then back to the barkeep. He raised an eyebrow, a small smirk inching its way across his snout. I looked to the other attendees, who smiled and promptly laid out a few bits.
“3 bits on Crystal.” Said the tan earth pony closest to my left. His cutie mark was an hourglass, and his mane was a deep black. The other attendee, a black pegasus, much like myself, with a mane that paralleled the colors of the sky and clouds, set down 5 bits.
“Naw, I think the blue one’s got her beat.” He said definitively. His cutie mark was a cloud with a lightning bolt coming out of it. The tan colt shook his head.
Now grasping what was going on, I smiled. Reaching up, I removed my shades and placed them on the bar. The barkeep’s smile got larger as he poured me a shot. I tossed it back, feeling the strong alcohol burn my throat. I shook my head, setting the glass upside down.
“2 on Torque.” Said the barkeep with a wink. I ruffled my wings slightly, still recovering from the burn.
“A duel to the drunk then?” The blue unicorn said still staring at Crystal. She sat still for a moment, pondering the challenge. Another shot was placed in front of her, and she looked down at it. She stared at it for a moment. Without warning, the shot was surrounded with a light blue aura, and it was levitated towards the blue unicorn. He promptly downed it, setting the glass upside down with a smirk. The rest of the bar, including me gasped.
“That was MY shot! You want a duel? Fine. You’re on!” She flashed the barkeep a fierce look. Moments later, a new shot was poured. This one never hit the bar, as Crystal snatched it up and banged it back, firmly placing it upside down.
The blue unicorn released a chuckle. “Oh this gonna be fuuuuuuun.” I looked back to the barkeep, only to have another shot placed before me. Not wanting to be behind, I drank it, setting the glass down with a shiver.
I think I’m out of my league here. I thought to myself, as the shivers stopped. The two unicorns downed their third shot without a flinch. Way out of my league. The third was placed in front of me.
“I’m not letting you two beat me!” I said, snatching up the shot and swallowing it. I was already beginning to feel the effects of the alcohol, but I wasn’t done yet.
“You ready to lose, blue?” Crystal chuckled, taunting the unicorn as the fourth glass was placed in front of her.
“Oh that’s adorable, you still think you can beat me!” He threw back at her with a grimace. She scowled at him, her horn sparking to life as she lifted her shot.
“Fine. Together then.” She said, looking over to me. I cringed slightly, not liking how quick these drinks were coming. With a reluctant sigh, I lifted the shot up.
“Bottoms up.” She said with a smirk. The two unicorns tossed them back, while I slowly swallowed mine. I cringed and coughed slightly as it flowed down my throat. I ruffled my wings, trying to shake the burn off.
“No offense my little stallion, but you should probably sit this out. Mommy and Daddy are drinking.” He said as he raised the 5th shot. I opened my mouth to object, but I was interrupted.
“You know, Torque, the blue moron here has a point. We’re gonna need you tomorrow, and if you have a hangover, that’s gonna make things difficult.” Crystal said as she tossed back her 5th shot. I looked over to the barkeep, but he nodded in agreement. I heard the snicker from the other pegasus come from behind me, and the barkeep shot him an angry look, and the tan earth pony chuckled. I heard the sound of a wing slapping against the other pony. I sighed quietly.
I guess I kinda expected it, I’ve never been much of the drinker. I had to stay at the top of my game. I thought to myself. Nodding slightly, I grabbed my shades.
“I’m out. What time is it...?” I asked hesitantly, realizing that I never asked the barkeep for his name. He looked looked at me with a smile, setting down the two remaining contestants’ shots.
“It’s 11 p.m. thereabouts. And it’s Bacchus, by the way.” He chuckled, levitating my empty glasses over to the sink.
“Thanks, Bacchus. I had fun, and I’m looking forward to working here.” I put my shades on my forehead, and took a few test steps. I was a little wobbly, but not terribly. I looked at the two attendees. “Goodnight, gentlecolts, hope to see you around the club sometime.” They nodded, saying goodnight and going back to watching the contest. They were now on their 7th shot, and were showing no signs of stopping.
“Hey Torque, you need a place to crash? My couch is always open.” Crystal offered, her speech slightly slurred. I shook my head.
“No, I’m all set. Thanks anyways, though. Goodnight.” I said, unfurling my wings and flapping towards the exit.
“Hey! Pegasus!” I turned to look as the blue unicorn yelled out to me, “Thanks.” I smiled.
“No problem, you’re always welcome here. See ya around!” I called out as I left the club and flew into the night sky.
Wow, what a great day, and that was only the first day. Can’t wait till tomorrow! I need to find a cloud to crash on.
There are a few situations where it’s really hard to talk your way out of. A freaking needle scratch stopping the music as a collective glare trains itself on you is one of them. First off, that’s surprising enough to throw you off any train of thought. Secondly, all that glare is really off-putting.
I’m just happy that pegasus broke the ice for me, I thought for sure that, “and then they all bucked” line would have worked.
I should do something nice for him. Maybe a drink, maybe a shrubbery, if I’m feeling really charitable I might even give him a drink AND a shrubbery.
Anyway, on to my greatest challenge that I can actually remember. I turned back to my adversary. Her face was a mask of disdain, bemusement, and I hope respect.
Well, well, well my worthy opponent, it’s time for my ultimate weapon... WITTY BANTER!
“One down, one more to go. Are you ready for this little miss unicorn?” I said with a smirk.
A lovely shade of red grew in the indignant young mare’s as my game of poke the bear began to near completion.
“When you pass out, we’re just going to throw your drunk flank out in the streets!” She threw back at me.
“Ahhh not going to invite me up to your bed after this?” I kept on my unwavering smile even though I may have just caused my own death.
And the game has reached it’s completion.
The bar fell silent for a second as a collective *gasp* was heard. And then, Bacchus broke the silence with a huge guffaw. The entire bar filled with laughter, even the bitchicorn managed to chuckle a bit.
It was still a contest of some sort as the shots were passed out and downed accordingly. 6th shot thrown down, and I’m still feeling fantastic. 7th shot was given out, no change. But on the 8th shot I saw the glimpse of victory. I saw her falter for just a second. She brought the shot up to her mouth for a second and then stopped, blinked for a second, shook her head, and then finally took the shot.
This is going to be easier than I thought, I usually am at least a bit tipsy by the time my opponents get to this point. I’m a little bit sad about that. Although, probably not best to point this out or the new game might end far too quickly.
Another pair of shots were passed out and made to disappear. I can feel the familiar haze of drunkenness coming back, that'll happen when I've been drinking all day.
"Heh, heh, heh this might be more even than I thought. Maybe I shouldn't have challenged anypony to a drinking contest when I've figuratively been drinking all day..." I scratch my chin in thought for a second. "Wait no, it's the other one. Literally! That's the word I'm looking for!"
A bunch of confused looks were thrown in my direction. The bartender raised an eyebrow at me.
“All day? That’s a really bad idea son. Going to waste your life in the cups.” He said matter of factly.
“Son? I’m freaking twenty... somethingish.” I said with a bit of uncertainty.
I could see the confusion increase in the group.
“Look, when you live like I do some facts and figures go by the wayside.” .
“And what... and what does th-th-that mean?” Crystal said cutting into the conversation ever so eloquently and not drunk at all. She tossed back another shot, punctuating her question.
I had to think about that for a second. I tilted my head back towards the ceiling as I began, “Well... you know how everypony finds out what makes them special and what they want to do with their life? Usually ending up with them getting their cutie mark. Yeah well, that’s not for me. I’ve never really been happy sitting around trying to be good at one thing. I decided when I was about 16 to leave my family behind and find what made me happy. Since then, I’ve just been bumming around the world, getting into trouble, drinking too much, and losing bits of body parts.” I said as I gestured toward the missing chunk of ear on the left side of my head.
Once again, silence rang out in the bar.
Oh Luna, I’ve gone too serious again. Hate when I do that. Zaps all the smiles out of the
I was about to try and lighten the mood when it happened. A loud *THUD* filled the air followed by an even louder snoring. I came back to attention to the party.
Crystal had passed out and hit the table, then began snoring... It actually came off quite cute. I guess she can be adorable when she’s not getting super angry at me and yelling.
I floated her last shot of the golden amber liquid to me and threw it back in triumph.
“Ha, poor little thing. I guess I’ve won this round!” I gave another loud laugh, “This stuff was good!” I said as I placed the empty shot glass back on the table. “What were we drinking anyway? It was really good!” I asked happily.
Bacchus floated the glass back to himself and began to chuckle, “Something we’re famous for ‘round this area, AppleJack Daniels!”
My eyes grew in horror as one of my suppressed memories creeped back into my head.
“Oh… buck… me! I don’t remember what that does, but I think it’s bad!” I rushed over to my saddlebag and grabbed my journal. I flipped to the last page of it. Written on the top of the page in bold lettering was:
Alcohol you shouldn’t drink.
I began to scan the page looking for the liquor in question.
Hurry up this could be a bad one! Remember that one time where that thing happened. That was awful!
About in the middle of the page, I finally reach an entry not written in my hoof or magic writing.
‘AppleJack Daniels – If you drink this you’re going to explode, you idiot. Get away from civilization.’
I could feel the fear make leaps and bounds towards a crazy level. I throw the journal back on top of my saddlebags. I turned back to my clearly confused compatriots.
“Well, sorry to drink and run but if I don’t leave now something terrible is going to happen. Which direction is a forest, field, lake, something away from ponies?” I asked hurriedly.
The bartender and one of the patrons looked at each other and then back at me.
“I really don’t have much time. Please hurry!”
Bacchus pointed behind himself.
“Thank you! And don’t worry about my stuff, I’ll be back for it tomorrow!”
It looked like they were about to object, but I couldn’t stay any longer. I channeled the teleportation spell and… that’s the last thing I remember about that night…
Kairo, Ryku, and I walked through the gate of Sweet Apple Acres, or at least that’s what Kairo called it. I didn’t really pay much attention; I was too busy staring at that awesome mechanical contraption on Kairo’s back.
“Maybe I could get him to build another one for some of my band’s concerts... I don’t exactly know what I’d do with it, but it would be cool!”
“So, Sweet Apple Acres. What exactly is this place, Kairo?” I asked, finally taking my eyes off of his contraption.
“Well, it’s a large farm that grows apples for the most part, owned by the Apple Family.” Kairo responded calmly. “You two and that drunk, Satin that was with us, are obviously not from around here.”
Ryku frowned for some reason I wasn’t sure of before he answered. “Yeah, you could say that. Me and Satin came from Appleloosa. You could say we had a bit of a... disagreement... with a wealthy stallion there and were ‘asked’ to leave. How about you, Dex? Where are you and your friends from?”
I looked at the ground. “Jake, Nick, Tim, and I were from Manehattan, but we were forced to move due to a stupid bet in battle of the bands challenge that we lost. The rest of the story really doesn’t matter...” I said, stating the small part of my life I had lived only a day ago.
“I thought so.” Kairo said with a smile. “Well, here we are. Big Mac’ should be around here somewhere... AH! There he is.” Kairo pointed to a large red stallion with a yoke around his neck coming out of the nearby barn. “Hey, Mac’! I got your plow fixed up good as new. Sorry I’m late... I slept in a LOT longer than I thought I would...”
Big Mac’ gave a grin and a deep, light-hearted chuckle. “Don’t worry yerself none about it, Kairo. Ah may not have gotten much in th’ way of work done ‘round th’ farm, but Ah sure did need th’ rest. Thanks fer gettin’ it fixed up, anyway. Now about th’ story ah owe ya...”
Kairo cut him off mid sentence. “It will have to wait until later,” he began, “I seemed to have picked up a few... acquaintances...”
It was then that Ryku moved up next to Kairo. “Hey, don’t let us hold ya up. We’ll go walk around, if that’s alright with you, Big Mac’.” He said with a gentle nod.
“S’long as th’ two of ya don’t break nothin’, I don’t see why not.” Mac’ responded.
“Thanks, Mac’!” I said, following Ryku farther into the farm.
Behind us, I heard Big Mac’ start his story with Kairo listening intently. All I caught of it was the beginning, which started with: “Well, Me an’ AJ were workin’ the field, an’ Ah happened ta make a certain comment about seein’ her in that there gossip paper a while back...”
I caught up to Ryku a few moments later, and he just gave me a quick nod before continuing towards the farmhouse. “Hey, Ryku? What really happened in Appleloosa? You really didn’t sound like you were telling the truth back there.”
“Well... Honestly? It was all Satin’s fault. Believe it or not, that unicorn can be very hot-headed when he’s sober!” Ryku replied.
Although something still seemed off about his answer, I let it slide. Before I could think of anything else to ask, the orange stallion came up with his own.
“So... What’s with those strange wings, of yours? Are they dragon wings?” He asked with a slight bit of interest.
I released a sigh of annoyance, “Everypony asks that. Look, my father was half dragon. I dunno how it works going back a few generations and honestly I don’t want to know.”
“Um... Come to think of it, neither do I...” Ryku said with a shiver.
The was a few moments of awkward silence between us as we ascended the stairs to the front door of the farmhouse. As we neared the door, however, that silence was violently broken by somepony inside.
“What in tarnation could ya’ll possibly want?!” Yelled a very disheveled-looking orange pony in a stetson-style cowpony hat. “Did that hulkin’ brother o’ mine send ya here ta try an’ get me to let ‘im sleep in the house again?”
I swear to Celestia, I almost laughed. Almost. This mare looked like she wasn’t in the mood for it though. “Uhhh hi, no we’re new in town and we’re just looking around.” I said, picking my words carefully so as not to further anger this abrasive pony.
Ryku, on the other hand, had a different idea... “Hey, what’s with the rudeness, mare? This how the Apple family treats all if it’s guests?!”
“An’ just what in the hay is that s’pose ta mean?!” The mare asked, her face turning the color of her older brother.
Ryku kept pushing. “You heard me! For all the buck you’re dishin’ out on your brother, he sure has been much more hospitable that your sorry flank!”
“Now what in the sam hill gives ya the right ta come on MAH farm and start somthin’ with MAH family?!”
Ryku’s face was now the same shade as her’s. “I didn’t start this little yellin’ contest! YOU DID! Ya want to push the blame on me, ya got another thing comin’!”
...I think I know what actually got them kicked out of Appleloosa... Satin is the one with anger issues... riiiiiiiiiiiiight.
“Alright everypony, calm down. Nopony wants a fight---”
At this, both of the red-faced orange ponies’ stares locked onto me. “YOU STAY OUTTA THIS!” They both shouted in unison.
I shrank back, but then something I didn’t expect happened. After they yelled at me, they both turned to each other with surprised looks. Then, as quickly as the fight had started, something new happened. Both of them broke out into huge grins and started laughing. Ryku was rubbing the back of his head and AJ was hiding her face behind her hat, and they were both blushing hotly, clearly embarrassed. I sighed in relief. At least that’s over!
After she’d calmed down a bit, the orange mare smiled at Ryku and I. “Sorry ‘bout that, fellas. Ah’ve been in a bad mood since yesterday when mah idiot brother decided to make a smart comment while Ah was tryin’ ta work. Why don’t y’all come in?” The three of us trotted into the house before Applejack continued. “Ah’ll make up some apple juice or somethin’, an’ i’ffn ya need ta, y’all can sleep in the barn tonight. Ah guess Ah can fergive that brother o’ mine this once.” She walked into the kitchen and came back with a tray with three glasses of apple juice on it. She set them on a nearby table, then looked back at up. “By the way, the name’s Applejack. Who are you fellas?”
“Names Dex, and my hot-headed friend here is ---” I was cut off my a hard swat to the back of my head.
“And I’m Ryku. Thanks for the warm welcome, Applejack.” The fiery-maned stallion said.
“Anyways... thanks for the offer, but I’ll probably just find a cloud to sleep on.” I said as nicely as I could.
“I’ll take you up on that offer. I could use a place to stay, and the ground is where I feel safe, thanks.” Ryku said, giving a quick, playful glance towards me.
Applejack chuckled and nodded to Ryku, saying he could stay. After they drank their apple juice, we all went onto the front porch of the house and said our goodbyes. I took off back towards town, and, as I was flying, I watched as Ryku was led to the barn by Applejack before she returned to the farmhouse.
Once Applejack disappeared into her house, I flew up to the nearest cloud and settled down on it. After a night of adrenaline-filled music-playing, and a day of meeting some strange and epic ponies, a good night sleep seemed to be something I truly needed. I closed my eyes and was nearly asleep, when a familiar voice shook me from my slumber.
“Hey, Dex! We’ve been looking everywhere for you!” Nick’s energetic voice sounded from right next to me.
It’s hard to forget that the most hyper member of my group is a pegasus...
“Well, I was up here trying to sleep...” I said irritatedly.
“Oh... uh... Sorry, Dex.” he said as he started rubbing the back of his head with a hoof.
I sighed. “Nah, it’s okay, dude. Just go bug Tim or something. Knowing me, I’ll be up early anyways.”
“Alright dude. I’ll talk to you later. Goodnight.” He said, flying off.
“Yeah, same to you.” I said waving my friend off. Then I lazily turned back to my plush cloud bed and promptly passed out.
I looked around the Apple family’s barn. It wasn’t anything fancy, just some hay bales here, a cart of apples there, and everything was just kinda strewn about in no particular order. I didn’t mind though; it was a place to sleep and be safe for the night. That reminds me... I still need to find a job... I wonder who around town is hiring? I thought to myself as I walked back to the front of the barn. It’s still a little early. I might as well go find out what that brown stallion with the backpack...Kairo, was it? Yeah, I might as well go see if he and Big Mac’ are done with their story...
I took a step outside the barn and immediately spotted the two earth pony stallions, still in the spot Dex and I had left them, chatting away. I walked up to them, catching what seemed like the tail-end of long, drawn out story.
“'...and then AJ turned to me an' said: "Is that so? An' jus' what makes ya so sure o' that? Huh? I'll show YOU Ah’ve still got some kick left!!" And that's when mah plow got turned inta scrap metal...” Big Mac’ was just finishing the story as I approached. Kairo stood next to him, staring in awe.
“Well then...” he muttered, “Remind me never to get on your sister’s bad side...” With that, the brown stallion broke into a smile and gave a small chuckle.
I had absolutely no idea what had been said, so I jumped at the chance to insert myself into their conversation. “So... what’s this about Applejack and a plow?”
Both of them turned to me at this, Mac’ with a bit of surprise on his face and Kairo with irritation, and then laughed a bit more before Mac’ answered. “Ah don’t really want to go over it all again, but, long story short, don’t git on mah sister’s bad side. Things can git ugly fast, iff’n ya do.”
“Heh, trust me, I already figured that one out the hard way! Me and Dex just left your farmhouse. I kinda... sorta... got into an argument with her... But everythin’s fine! We worked it out, thanks to Dex.” I blushed with embarrassment as I remembered what happened. “Anyway, she offered me a place to sleep in the barn, and told me to tell ya that you’re welcome to come back to the farmhouse.”
The red stallion smiled just then. “Whew! Thanks for the news, kid. Ah was dreadin’ another night in that there barn. By the way, Ah don’t think Ah ever caught yer name...”
“Ryku, and you’re welcome. Well, I’m gonna hit the hay. Literally. G’night, Big Mac’. G’night, Kairo.”
“I think I will head off to my home as well. Goodnight you two.” Kairo said with an eerily creepy smile that somewhat resembled satisfaction.
I watched as the engineer pony turned and started making his way back down the road we’d come from. After he was out of sight, I nodded to Big Mac’ and made my way back to the barn. Before I shut the barn door, I noticed Mac’ slowly, cautiously approach the farmhouse door. After a few moments, an irritated-looking Applejack opened said door, and stared at her brother. Soon, however, the annoyed look was replaced with a smile as the two hugged each other before making their way back inside the house. I grinned at the sight, and closed my own door before walking over to a nearby hay pile. Alright. Tomorrow’s gonna be a long day. I’d better get some sleep tonight if I want to be ready for everything... I slowly slipped away into a dream, and after several minutes, I was out cold.