“I’m positive at least one of us got our cutie marks for sure!”
“We better not have failed again! We’ve tried like, a billion times!”
Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle bounded into their clubhouse. They stood in a circle. Their hooves were shaking with excitement. Their recent adventure involved welding horseshoes, which is not a very exciting trade; but the Cutie Mark Crusaders were always excited if they had even the slightest chance of getting their cutie marks.
Standing in a circle, they inspected each other’s flanks. If anypony was walking by right then, they probably would’ve been disturbed at the sight of three young fillies looking at each other’s behinds. Seeing no result, Scootaloo chimed in, “Maybe it’s just really faint.”
“Nah,” Apple Bloom concluded, “It’s just that we ain’t got our cutie marks yet.”
“Ugh. It’s been taking us forever! When are we going to just get them already?” Sweetie Belle rhetorically asked.
“I wish we could just buy some cutie marks.” Scootaloo said.
“Buy cutie marks? Impossible.” Apple Bloom stated, “You have to earn it by discovering what your special talent is. You just can’t hire some businesscolts to come in and design one for you.”
“What are you, a Twilight?”
“Come on, girls,” Sweetie Belle calmed them down before an argument ensued. “Let’s just watch some TV.”
“I rented the fourth series of Doctor Whooves. Let’s watch that!” Scootaloo exclaimed. No one knows why, but Scootaloo seemed to only like Doctor Whooves. Maybe it was because the actor for the tenth doctor was living in Ponyville at the time, or maybe it was because Rainbow Dash loves time travel shows. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle didn’t complain, whatever made Scootaloo happy.
She popped in the tape and pressed play. The small TV screen blinked to life, and they started watching. They grabbed popcorn and blankets and sat down.
“I don’t want to go,” the Doctor said.
Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo were watching the final episode of the final series of the tenth doctor through tears. They wept as the Doctor began his regeneration cycle. Scootaloo was the most upset, she was bawling.
“SO…MANY…FEELS!” she cried out.
“SCOOTALOO I’M TRYING TO WATCH!” Apple Bloom scolded. She was secretly glad that she didn’t have to watch the sadness that was unfolding before her. When she looked back, the tears grew in substance.
As the tape finally ended, the fillies drank all the water they could to refill their tear ducts. Scootaloo pulled it out and put it back in its sleeve. Live TV started up again. Since it was two A.M., an infomercial came on.
“Are you a blank flank?” a host called out to the audience.
“Yes.” said the Cutie Mark Crusaders in unison, paying attention to the first infomercial in their lives.
“Well have we got a service that will change your lives forever!”
“Yes…” said the three in unison once more, getting excited now.
“What if I told you that for just a four payments of five bits we can send some professionals to your door and design you a cutie mark?”
“YES!” the three cheered. The pure joy enveloped all reason. When the 1-800 number appeared on the screen, they grabbed the nearest phone and ordered three cutie marks.
“What do you think would be your special talent?” a designer asked the orange and purple filly.
“Probably flying!” Scootaloo responded excitedly.
“Flying? With those wings?”
“Alright, flying it is!” the designer complied and began taking measurements.
“Now, I have to tell you something about your cutie mark, Miss-?”
“Miss Apple Bloom. You must remember that only those who have a high I.Q. can see the cutie mark.”
“A high what now?”
“High intelligence quotient.”
“Ugh,” the designer sighed. “Sharp as a tack.”
“Ooooooh! I get it now!”
“Sure you do, kid.”
“Doesn’t it look splendid Miss Belle?”
Sweetie Belle stared at what appeared to be a blank flank. The designer had said that only those who were smart could see it, and she didn’t want to be labeled as dumb in the slightest. As the top of her class, Sweetie Belle was not one to be proclaimed as dumb. She nodded at the designer of her non-existent cutie mark.
“Great! That’ll be twenty bits!”
“Ummm…” Sweetie Belle bounded off the stool she was standing on. She rushed over to Rarity’s stash of emergency money and counted out twenty coins in a bag. She handed it to the designer.
“Thank you ma’am. Well, if I do say so myself, I’d say that your cutie mark is fabulous!”
“Why yes, yes it is! Thank you!”
“Why, I would even say that it deserves to be paraded through Ponyville!”
“Do we have that kind of clearance?”
“I just cleared it with the mayor this morning! Tomorrow, we parade!”
Sweetie Belle gulped in the classic, comedic way.
“Check out my new cutie mark!” exclaims Apple Bloom to her family. Applejack stared at her sister’s obvious blank flank.
“Uh, Apple Bloom? Your flank is still blank.”
“No it ain’t!” defended Apple Bloom. “Only those who are really smart can see it! You must be as dull as a knife after whittling all day!”
“No offense, sis, but there ain’t no cutie mark. Also, that was a big stretch of a simile.”
“What? Never mind, Big Macintosh, what do you think of my new cutie mark? Isn’t there one there?”
“Nope.” Big Mac simply responded.
“Well, I must live in a family of do-dos! Y’all are stupid!”
Apple Bloom ran up to her room. She was defending herself. She didn’t want to look stupid in front of her family. She couldn’t see anything either, and the parade was tomorrow. What if everyone asked her what it was depicting or whatever? What would she say then? She became over-worried and spent the whole night up.
All of the citizens of Ponyville were gathered down the streets for some reason. They really didn’t know what. They all saw the same flyer, “Parade tomorrow! Noon! Be there!” It was very vague. But, nevertheless, they stood there with even more excitement than usual, wondering what the parade could be about. Many ponies had their guesses, but none would be close.
“Everypony… are you ready to watch the best parade of your lives?” An announcer was blasting his voice everywhere, so everypony could hear him.
Cheers erupted from the crowd.
“Well then, put your hooves together for three new fillies who have just received their cutie marks!”
“That’s what this is for?” “Seriously?” “Does this really need to be this public?”
“Now, now, I can assure you, these are no ordinary cutie marks! These cutie marks can only be seen by the brightest of the bright! The smartest of the smart! The ones with the brains! If you can’t see their cutie marks, it means that you’re a no-good idiot!”
This silenced the crowd. They wondered if they would see the cutie marks. They surely didn’t want to look dumb in front of everypony. Just in case, they all thought, I’m going to say that I see them. Just in case.
The curtain was pulled back at the start of the parade route, revealing a platform with Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo on it. The ponies searched their flanks for cutie marks, but to no avail. Their flanks were blank as a canvas. Still, not wanting to look stupid, the ponies all stomped their hooves on the cobbled streets.
Everypony was cheering. There was not one pony couldn’t see the magnificent cutie marks. All but one. Diamond Tiara was standing in the back. She scowled at how much attention the Cutie Mark Crusaders were getting. They didn’t even have cutie marks. She should know, she was smarter than half of the stupid ponies in this boring town. The anger and rage built up inside of her.
“THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE CUTIE MARKS!” she screamed in fury at their attention. Everypony turned to look at Diamond Tiara. The townspeople didn’t know what to do. Should they pretend like Diamond Tiara is dumb for not seeing them, or should they admit that they couldn’t see them either?
Twilight Sparkle, a mare who is known for her brains, came forward and spoke. “I did a search charm on them, and I find no traces of Bellus Notam, the chemical that makes up a cutie mark.”
Everypony began to agree when Twilight spoke up. Nobody in the entire town was smarter than Twilight. The Cutie Mark Crusaders, realizing the trick that was played on them, grew very angry. The designers that were on the platform with them slowly backed away.
“Uh…here’s your refund! Bye!” They raced offstage and teleported away, tossing bags of bits at the crusaders. The Cutie Mark Crusaders apologized for taking up everypony’s time, and then left.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Today we, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, learned a valuable lesson about scams. Don’t fall for them. Also, you can’t earn a cutie mark with money, you have to earn it by discovering what your special talent is. Sorry this letter is so short, we are in elementary school, after all.
Your mighty crusaders,