Blood and glass everywhere Broken jugs and distilled liquor littered the ground in front of him where the stallion lay broken and bleeding. He picked his black hat up off the floor and planted it firmly on his head. A small pool of crimson had formed around his hooves, staining his beige coat. Taking a deep breath he gazed down at the battered pony. He wiped a single tear from his eye before he spoke.
“I ever catch you ‘roun these parts again.” The stallion spit at the ground, leaving a red and brown stain on the once white tile. “I’ll make sure you don’t live to see the next sunrise…”
‘Just get out! We don’t want to see you ever again. You’re a criminal!’ The words of his mother had haunted him ever since the day he got his cutie mark. A simple jug of hard cider emblazoned on his flank had distraught his parents so much they had kicked him out of the house not wanting a ‘criminal’ living under their roof. Flint was sitting in the forest next to his still as he always did until his ‘crop’ was ready for ‘harvest’.
“They gettin’ to ya again Flint?” Big Macintosh, the first real friend and business partner Flint had found since his ‘banishment’ taken a seat next to him.
“Yep. Buncha damn bigots is what they is.” Flint spat on the ground and looked Mac in the eye. “You’d think they wouldn’t care since I’m their son, but what should I expect from uppity Cloudsdale folk? Respect? Tolerance? HA! Like that‘ll ever happen.”
“Y’ever thought ‘bout makin’ amends?”
“Once or twice, but knowin’ them, it’s about as pointless as getting’ your sis to sell that hat of hers.” Big Mac grunted in agreement and stood up.
“So how long ya think till this here batch is ready?”
“Bout another hour or two, you got all the buyers lined up?”
“So… How’s AJ been lately?”
“Same as usual, stubborn, hard headed and brutally honest. Noticed she’s getting’ a bit wide roun’ her barrel though.” Flint dropped the jug he had been examining turning to face Mac.
“She’s getting’ a bit wide roun’ the barrel.” Flints mind began racing, there were only two plausible reasons for this and she isn’t known to eat a whole lot and gain weight. It had to be option B, she’d gotten pregnant and there was a chance that it was Flints doing. Trying his best to keep his composure he brought the conversation back to its original topic.
“Think it’s done now, why don’t you go an gather them jugs an we can start fillin’ em.”
“Reverb… Didn’t he used to live in Canterlot?” Flint stepped over a fallen tree and looked back at Big Mac who had been carrying their pack for the past ten minutes.
“Did, moved out here to watch over his sister apparently.”
“I see… who’s his sister?”
“Don’ rightfully know. Said everypony knew ‘er, but that don’ help none.”
“Uh huh… Where’s his place at anyway?”
“Look ahead of you an you’ll see.” Flint turned and noticed a quaint cottage just off the road leading from Ponyville to Denmare.
“Rustic… Well lets leave his bottles on the back porch, doubt anypony’ll be snoopin’ roun’ his place an find ‘em.” Flint reached into the pack and retrieved two bottles of their 160 proof, genuine Hard Apple Cider. “Hope he likes this batch, decided to throw in some bits of Poison Joke pollen to give it a bit of a kick.”
“That… Is just sinister Flint, but I like it. Oughta have some funny moments roun’ town here shortly.” Flint smirked as he trotted off back into the woods Big Mac lumbering behind him.
“Next…” Flint scanned the list of buyers and came to the next name. “Big Mac, are you stupid or somethin‘?”
“See this name right here?” Flint pushed the parchment up to Macs muzzle and let him read the names. “That pony is no consumer of Hard Cider, it’s a ruse.”
“Now Flint, Ah’m pretty sure she wouldn’t come up to me personally asking for some Cider if she didn’t drink it.”
“Mac, this is the damn Mayor for Celestia’s sake. She’s got the town guards at her beck and call there ain’t no way she wants this stuff. She wants us to get caught so she can rake up the tax bits from that crappy legal liquor.”
“Well Ah’m makin’ the delivery anyway. If anything does happen you just run on outta here.”
“Buck that, I’m goin’ with ya one way or another. Lets just get this over with…”
The duo traveled west along the outskirts of Ponyville until they reached the perimeter of the mayors manor. Seeing no guards around Flint grabbed the single bottle the mayor had ordered and took to the air. Using the leaves of the surrounding trees as cover he darted through the forest until he was mere yards from the house. Nopony in sight He thought to himself as he descended to the ground. Just gotta do this as fast and quiet as possible. Scanning his surroundings Flint found nothing amiss and galloped up to the porch. Placing the jug on the ground he flared his wings ascending upward.
“So your Big Macintosh’s partner. I should have known by now having seen you around town a few times already.” Flint lowered himself back to the ground and turned around to face whomever it was that decided to confront him.
“Yeah, and you are?”
“The one and only Rainbow Dash!”
“What are you doing here?”
“Duh, I came to get some of that hard cider you guys make, I’ve heard it’s pretty good.”
Well you’re gonna have to wait till the next batch is finished cause we only got a couple left an they already been paid for.”
“Then I’ll pay now and take ‘em off your hooves, tell ‘em the bottles got broken or somethin’. “ Dash had grown very persistent in acquiring this new product and had slowly been advancing toward Flint.
“No can do. Some may call me a ‘criminal’, but I’m a hard worker and honest at that. These jugs are gettin’ to their destination whether you pay or not. You just gotta wait till next week.”
That being said, Flint flared his wings once more and darted off into the dense forest in an attempt to get away from the seemingly alcoholic mare.
“Seems I forgot to tell you that I’m the fastest flier in all of Equestria.” Rainbow had easily flown up next to him and gave an accomplished smirk to prove she meant business.
“Fast, maybe. Nimble? Try again sister.” Flint banked and buzzed around several trees attempting to throw Dash into a confused loop. “So she’s a bit smarter than I thought, gotta step it up a notch.” He hooked sharply around a nearby tree and flew straight at Rainbow. Mere feet from colliding with her he dove downward wings nearly hitting the ground. Once more he banked this time going left then up to find the open sky.
“You’re so predictable Mr. Easthoof, you really think you could have lost me that easily?” Dash flew lazily beneath him not even a single drop of sweat to be found.
“Fine, you wanna talk business? Then lets drink on it. My place is just south of Ponyville, look for the tobacco garden in the back yard an you’ll know the place. meet me there in 2 hours and we’ll figure somethin’ out. Deal?”
To be Continued…