22w, 1dWriting Gold
21w, 1dThe Writer's Group
58w, 12hLooking for Editors
- Show All Groups
56w, 6dTwilight Sparkle
21w, 1dPinkie Pie: Pinkamena Diane Pie
21w, 1dPinkie Pies Only!
52w, 4dTwilight's Library
56w, 6dApplejack is Best Pony
50w, 4dAdventure Fics of ALL Types
12w, 6d502 Fiction
50w, 5hThe Equestrian Critics Society
51w, 1hPinkie Pie is best pony!!! <3
45w, 2dMeri's Favorite Stories
40w, 6dGood Grammar Directory
12w, 6d~The Decent Writers Club~
14w, 2dEverypony is the Best Pony
17w, 4dCanterlot's Finest
6w, 14mFree Twilight Sparkle!
TuesdayPowering Through 7 comments · 40 views
MondayMore Readings 10 comments · 54 views
SundayAdding Some Class To My House 10 comments · 71 views
SundayCaptain America: The Winter Soldier 19 comments · 60 views
FridayWriter's Block 16 comments · 80 views
1w, 1hBack To The Drawing Board 8 comments · 58 views
1w, 2dNew First Steps Chapter 16 comments · 68 views
1w, 6dC'mon, EQD! 18 comments · 82 views
2w, 3dAlso... 3 comments · 55 views
2w, 3dLeap of Faith 24 comments · 146 views
Twilight Sparkle nodded, admiring the precise parabolic arc the horseshoe made as it traveled through the air toward the metal stake at the other end of the pit. With eerie precision, the shoe found its mark. Catching the pole, the shoe spun around it rapidly, and landed in the sand with a thud. Twilight clapped her hooves together as the stake softly chimed, while Applejack polished a hoof against her chest.
“Heh-heh! That’s how it’s done, sugarcube,” said Applejack, picking up two shoes and holding them out for Twilight. “Now it’s your turn.” Twilight weighed a shoe carefully, lightly tossing it from hoof to hoof.
“Hmmm, this is a little over a pound, I believe,” said Twilight as she scrutinized the shoe. “Applejack, how much force would you say you threw your shoe with?” Applejack scratched her head, fishing for an answer while Twilight began frantically scratching equations into the dirt. Eyes alight, she stopped writing long enough to beam at Applejack. “We can figure this out mathematically! Oh, this is going to be so much fun!” Rolling her eyes, Applejack put a hoof over the rapidly lengthening formula.
“Twilight, ya don’t have to make such a big deal over it. Ya just throw the shoe.” Twilight bit her lip and tentatively picked up the shoe again.
“Well, okay. Here goes,” Twilight said, focusing on the metal stake some thirty feet away. Swallowing hard, she hurled the shoe into the air, trying her best to replicate Applejack's trajectory.
“Well, uh… that was a mighty fine try,” Applejack commented, biting the inside of her cheek to keep her giggles under control. The shoe had landed roughly four feet in front of the furiously blushing Twilight, who kicked a pile of loose sand at it.
“It’s your ‘no magic’ rule!” Twilight said, stomping a hoof. “It would be like you trying to pitch these horseshoes with your back legs instead of your front! It just feels all wrong!” Applejack slammed her back hoof down on a nearby horseshoe, sending it spinning into the air. With a fluid grace that Twilight had so often envied, Applejack kicked out with her other leg, hitting the spinning shoe. Sailing over the pit, the shoe landed on top of her first throw. As the metal pole vibrated, Applejack turned to Twilight, smiling and cocking one eyebrow.
“Like that?” Twilight’s mouth sagged open as she stared at the quivering pole.
“Okay, maybe that was a bad example,” Twilight admitted, “but what I’m trying to say is that I use magic for most things. I’m at a severe disadvantage!”
Applejack studied her friend for a moment. Twilight rubbed a hoof against her foreleg and hung her head low, hiding her eyes. Applejack’s expression softened as she threw a leg around Twilight’s shoulders and gave her friend a little squeeze.
“Okay, Ah get it. It’s part o’ who ya are, but ya can’t rely on magic for everythin’. Some things just gotta be done the ol’ fashioned way.” Applejack thrust Twilight’s second shoe into her hooves and pointed at the far pit. “So here’s the new rule: Ya can use your magic to throw the shoe, but you can’t just, ya know, float it over there and whatnot.” Twilight beamed at her friend, her magic aura illuminating the shoe as she lifted it into the air.
“That’s very fair of you, Applejack.” With a rare display of competitiveness, Twilight quickly trotted to the throwing line. “Now we will see who throws the best horseshoes in Equestria!”
Twilight sighted the distant stake through the hovering tines of the horseshoe and winked at Applejack. With a small grunt, Twilight concentrated and hurled the shoe. Applejack’s eyes flew wide as she watched the horseshoe clear the pit and disappear off into the sky. Twilight’s rear legs gave way and she sat down hard in the soft sand. Shocked, her mouth worked wordlessly as she glanced back and forth between Applejack and the spot on the horizon that had last held the shoe. Applejack pulled her hat down low, trying to avoid looking at Twilight’s expression. Finally it was too much. She collapsed into a fit of laughter, rolling in the lush grass.
“Well—hah, hah! Ah reckon—hah—ya sure did show us all—hee-hee—who throws ‘em best in these parts!”
“Applejack! Hey, Applejack!” Apple Bloom’s sweet voice echoed down at them as she burst out of a nearby barn. “Big Mac says to remind ya that Mrs. Cake is comin’ to pick up them apples today for the celebration!” The two friends could hear Apple Bloom's large bow flapping back and forth as she ran to meet them, but the little filly pulled up short when she saw Twilight’s frown.
“Uh, what’s goin’ on, sis?” Apple Bloom asked, watching Applejack struggle back to her feet.
“Oh, Ah’m just teachin’ Twilight here the ins 'n' outs o’ horseshoes. She’s, uh, she’s got quite a throw.” Applejack bit her lip but couldn’t quite contain some of the residual snickers. Twilight sighed and hung her head. “Never you mind, Twilight,” Applejack said as she rubbed her friend’s back. “Ya just need to practice some. It ain’t like I was born that good. Why, when Ah was younger, Big Mac used to win every game we played!”
“Applejack, Big Mac still wins every game you play!” Apple Bloom interjected.
“Hey! Who asked you?” Applejack said, scooping up Apple Bloom and rubbing her hoof playfully into her little sister’s head.
“No! Argh! Lemme go!” Apple Bloom shrieked, laughing and struggling to escape. After a few more rubs, Applejack finally let Apple Bloom wiggle free.
“Thanks for remindin’ me, sis,” Applejack said, straightening Apple Bloom's bow. “I plumb forgot about Mrs. Cake.” Twilight and Apple Bloom began to walk toward the barn, but Applejack jumped in front of them and stood menacingly in front of her sister. “But first, do ya think ya can avoid the dragon’s tail?”
“Can Ah? That ol’ dragon ain’t caught me once!” replied Apple Bloom, her eyes shining. Twilight couldn’t suppress a grin as Applejack began to turn this way and that, whipping her tail around and around. Apple Bloom deftly jumped over each swipe, laughing hysterically. Soon, both were taking turns giggling and panting.
“Come on, y’all,” Applejack managed, still sucking in huge breaths. “Let’s get over to the storehouse and meet Mrs. Cake.”
“That’ll be forty bits, Ma'am,” Applejack drawled, counting out the succulent fruit that Mrs. Cake had chosen, “and I’ll throw in a basket of these here apples for ya. They’re a little on the ripe side, so if they don’t get used soon, they’re just gonna go to waste.”
“Oh, thank you so much, Applejam,” Mrs. Cake replied, gazing out the window toward town. Without pulling her eyes from the distant Ponyville skyline, she pulled a small bag from her pack. Applejack watched in growing bewilderment as Mrs. Cake missed the counter several times before finally managing to drop the bag in front of her. Landing awkwardly, the bag fell over, and the contents spilled across the counter with a soft hissing sound.
Did she just call me Applejam, and what the hay is this? Applejack wondered, her eyes traveling to the countertop. “Uh, Mrs. Cake, Ah’m afraid I can’t take this as payment.” Mrs. Cake shook her head and stared down at the small pile of festive, multi-colored sprinkles that was slowly spreading from her bag.
“Oh, Applejack, I’m so sorry,” said Mrs. Cake, tapping herself lightly on the forehead with a hoof. “It’s just my mind is on the Summer’s End Festival, and I have we have so much to do." Mrs. Cake began to quiver and bit her lower lip. "So very much... ” Suddenly, Mrs. Cake lunged forward to lean over the counter, pulling at her mane with both front hooves. “You have to help me! I’m at my wit’s end!” Twilight gasped, gently putting a hoof out to steady Mrs. Cake.
“Whoa, there. Of course we’ll help ya out!” Applejack said, trying to keep Mrs. Cake from ripping any more of her hair out. Twilight magically scooped the sprinkles back into the bag and placed it back into Mrs. Cake’s pack.
“What’s happened, Mrs. Cake?” Twilight asked, gently rubbing the baker's back. Gulping in a few steadying breaths of air, Mrs. Cake tried to compose herself.
“Well, you know, Princess Celestia has chosen Ponyville to host the Summer’s End Festival this year,” said Mrs. Cake, glancing once again over her shoulder toward the town, “and we have been contracted to provide the desserts. Carrot and I have been putting off the preparations for as long was would could.” Mrs. Cake lowered her ears and began scratching the packed dirt floor of the storehouse with a hoof. “You girls have a lot of adventures, you know, and, well, that gets Pinkie out of the shop for a while.” Mrs. Cake snapped her head back up so suddenly that both Applejack and Twilight jumped. The mare’s eyes filled with tears. “But I guess you all have had a quiet week!” she choked. Twilight looked back and forth between the mystified Applejack and Mrs. Cake.
“I-I don’t get it,” Twilight said, lowering her head to look into Mrs. Cake’s downcast eyes. “You can’t cook because we aren’t off fighting Discord or parasprites or something?” Mrs. Cake blinked back the tears and blushed as she tried to avoid Twilight's probing gaze.
“No,” she replied. “I can’t cook because Pinkie will eat it all!” Still rubbing the baker's back, Twilight stumbled a bit as Mrs. Cake suddenly broke into a trot, pacing back and forth in front of the storehouse counter. “On a normal day, I can make some extras, and that will hold Pinkie over, but I don’t have any additional time with an order this large!” Mrs. Cake’s eyes began to fill again as her voice caught in her throat. “Every cupcake is important! I can’t even lose one!” As Mrs. Cake fetched a lace handkerchief from her packs, Applejack cocked an eyebrow and shrugged at Twilight. Taking the handkerchief from Mrs. Cake’s shaking hoof, Applejack daubed at the mare’s eyes.
"Aw, shucks, Mrs. Cake. Everythin’s gonna be all right,” Applejack said. “Just tell Pinkie to cool it for a while. It ain’t gonna do her no harm to hold off on cakes and pies for today.” Mrs. Cake’s eyes flew wide and she grabbed Twilight and Applejack, dragging them close.
“You have no idea what goes on at Sugarcube Corner,” she whispered, eyes darting back and forth between the friends. “No idea! Pinkie means well, but she doesn’t have any control. I don’t even know if she realizes she’s eating the food we bake. I’ve had her solemnly swear to me that she won’t touch anything while eating the biggest, most important cake on the table.” Mrs. Cake’s eyes grew so wide that Twilight could count out the capillaries. “It’s a battlefield!” Mrs. Cake cried, releasing the two ponies and running to the large double door to look out toward Ponyville once more. “She’s probably eating right now! Right now, she has her head in the sugar!” Mrs. Cake rounded suddenly on Applejack and Twilight, who were still rubbing their somewhat sore necks. “DO YOU HEAR ME?! SHE’S EATING ALL THE SUGAR!” Twilight and Applejack both moved to comfort the baker as she collapsed into sobs.
“Applejack,” Twilight whispered, “we have to do something! The festival is this evening!” Applejack wrapped her strong legs around Mrs. Cake and hauled her back to her hooves.
“Aw, don’t cry. Ah reckon we can help ya out, Mrs. Cake! Gettin’ Pinkie outta your hair for a few hours shouldn’t be too hard,” Applejack said as she began loading Mrs. Cake’s supplies into her nearby wagon. “We’ll get her outta the shop and y’all can have some peace to cook up all them yummy treats.” Mrs. Cake wiped her streaming eyes and attempted to mold her hair back into place.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, girls. What you must think of me,” she said, sniffling out the last few tears. “Anyway, I can’t thank you enough. You have no idea how much this means to us!”
The bell over the door in Sugarcube Corner tinkled merrily as the three ponies entered. All around them were reminders of the delicious baked goods that the confectioners were known for. Twilight and Applejack stopped to take it all in, just as they had done countless times in the past, and they grinned at each other as their stomachs growled in unison. Mr. Cake stood, fidgeting, beside the batwing doors that led into the meticulously maintained kitchen.
“It’s awfully quiet in there,” he said, biting absently on his hoof, “and with Pinkie, well, that’s usually a bad sign.” Mrs. Cake trotted up to give him a quick peck. Mr. Cake gave his wife a weak smile and wrapped his leg around her.
“What is she doing, sugar-bun?” Mrs. Cake asked. Mr. Cake sighed and stared down at the floor.
“I’m afraid to even look.” Applejack moved in close to Twilight and cupped a hoof around her ear.
“We better get a move on,” she whispered. “No sense drawin’ it out when these two have so much work to get done. The sooner we get Pinkie outta here, the sooner Ponyville can eat!” Twilight nodded and cleared her throat. The Cakes looked up in unison.
“Don’t worry about a thing. We’re on the case!” Twilight said as she made her way through the doors into the spotless kitchen. Twilight had always admired this room. It appealed to her sense of organization. Everything here was in its proper place. Everything except Pinkie Pie, who was standing, still as a statue, with her eyes locked on the bakery’s back door. Applejack walked over and waved her hoof in front of Pinkie’s eyes while Twilight examined the door, trying to figure out what her friend was looking at.
“Pinkie,” Twilight asked, arching an eyebrow. “What are you doing?” Pinkie blinked and looked around, finally noticing her friends.
“Oh, hey guys! When did you get here?” Pinkie said, beaming at them. Turning back to the door, she stared at it again, leaning forward into the task. “Wanna help me watch this door?” Applejack sat down next to Pinkie alternating between staring at her friend and scrutinizing the door, convinced that there was something she was missing.
“And why exactly are ya starin’ at this here door?” Applejack finally prompted.
“When I woke up this morning, I had a thought!” Pinkie began. “Well, it was more of a dream! So
“Wait a minute,” interrupted Twilight, her forehead wrinkling as she tried to follow Pinkie’s logic. “You had a dream after you woke up?” Pinkie grinned widely and gave the door an extra hard stare.
“Well, yeah,” she replied. “I was so excited to be awake for another new day that I bounded out of bed, and when I bounded, I hit my head on the ceiling and I took another quick nap. That’s when I had my thought, or dream, or thream!” Pinkie began rapidly bouncing in place without taking her eyes from the door. “It happens most mornings!” Twilight blinked a few times, working it all out in her head.
“So you usually hit your head first thing getting out of bed?” Twilight asked, trying to nonchalantly scan Pinkie’s scalp for visible bruises or abrasions.
“Yup!” Pinkie replied merrily. “My ceiling is full of holes.” Applejack leaned over, putting a hoof to Twilight’s ear.
“Actually, that explains a lot,” she whispered. Twilight nodded slowly.
“So, anyway,” Pinkie continued, “I thought to myself, ‘Pinkie, why don’t birds ever fly east for the winter?’ and I decided to ask Fluttershy, but then I thought about how I had never watched a door all day, so I decided to do that!” Pinkie stiffened, and her tail straightened into a quivering line as she forcefully pointed toward the door with her nose. Applejack was reminded of Winona spotting gophers for her as Pinkie softly growled at the door. “My teeth are itchy, and that means something BIG is gonna happen with that door today,” Pinkie said. “I just know it! In fact, I can almost taste it!” Applejack walked to the door and pointed at it, glancing back over her shoulder at Pinkie.
“It’s just a door,” she drawled, rolling her eyes. “Come on. Twilight and Ah are, uh, goin’ to see Fluttershy.” Pinkie’s concentration didn’t seem to waver, but she did rotate her ears toward Applejack, who took that as a good sign. “Yup, off to see Fluttershy and we want ya to come. Then ya can ask her about the birds!” Having settled things, Applejack broke into a wide smile.
“That’s a great idea! It’ll be so educational!” Twilight exclaimed, clapping her hooves together. Pinkie frowned and waved them off with a hoof.
“Nah, you girls go ahead,” Pinkie replied airily. “I want to see how things pan out with this door.” Applejack’s smile faltered as Twilight shook her head.
“Now see here, Pinkie,” Applejack said, advancing on her friend. “We ain’t gonna let ya spend a beautiful summer day inside starin’ at doors. Come on now.” Applejack stepped in front of Pinkie, obstructing her view. Twilight’s mouth dropped open as Pinkie’s neck seemed to stretch impossibly, maneuvering her head this way and that to see the door. Twilight wondered for the millionth time if Pinkie didn’t have some unicorn blood in her family tree as Applejack attempted use her hat on Pinkie as a blinder. Pinkie pushed the hat away and Applejack gave a helpless shrug to Twilight.
“There is no way I’m taking my eyes off this door!” Pinkie said, her body quivering with enthusiasm. “Something exciting is coming out of it and I’m gonna be here when it happens!” Twilight and Applejack shared a glance and nodded to each other.
“Pinkie Pie, this is for your own good,” Twilight said, motioning for Applejack to join her. Together, they put their heads to Pinkie’s body and began pushing her toward the front door. Twilight gasped as she heard the sound of their hooves sliding on the wooden floor, and she looked down in disbelief. They were walking in place, and hadn’t budged Pinkie an inch. Applejack leaned in close to Twilight.
“Alright, we’re gonna have to do this the hard way,” she whispered. “When Ah count to three, we tackle her and get her on outta here!” Twilight nodded, rubbing a hoof inside her ear where Applejack’s breath had tickled her. Applejack backed up a few steps, and Twilight followed a step behind. Tackling ponies wasn’t exactly her specialty, and she did her best to copy Applejack’s form.
“One... Two… Three!” Applejack cried. The pair leapt, but at the last moment, Pinkie rotated the back half of her body toward them and they rebounded off of her springy, curly tail, landing in a heap in the corner. Untangling themselves, Twilight and Applejack stared at each other and sighed.
“Well, that went well,” Applejack muttered, helping to pull Twilight off the floor. “What do we do now? We gotta get Pinkie to forget about that door!” Twilight’s brow furrowed as she contemplated the various options available to them. Applejack grew hopeful as Twilight began to smile slowly.
“Maybe not! I mean, she isn’t destroying the kitchen in a desperate cupcake hunt, is she?” Twilight began to pace back and forth rapidly as the idea began to take shape in her mind. “If we leave her in this… what is this, exactly? A trance?” Applejack shrugged. “Well, whatever it is,” Twilight continued, “it seems the pies and pastries here are safe as long as Pinkie is occupied with that door.” Twilight pulled Applejack in close, whispering, “I have a plan. Just go with it.”
Twilight trotted over to Pinkie and sat down, nonchalantly examining her own hooves for dirt or rocks. “So that’s the plan then, Pinkie?” she asked conversationally. “You’re just going to watch the door no matter what?”
“Yup, that’s the plan, though it’s really more of an obsession at this point,” Pinkie replied. It had been so long since Pinkie had blinked that Twilight could feel her own eyes drying out in sympathy.
“Well, I suppose Applejack and I will just have to keep you company,” Twilight said, tipping her head to point her horn directly at the door. Purple magic shimmered around the door, and with a loud crack, it pulled free from the wall, jamb and all. Twilight bit her lip, her eyes darting between the swinging doors that led into Sugarcube Corner’s customer counter and Pinkie. Did the Cakes hear that? Oh, why do I always use too much force?! Twilight thought, furious with herself. Applejack removed her hat, twisting it in her hooves repeatedly as she surveyed the ragged hole.
“Twilight, ya busted up their wall!” she said softly, quivering in shock at the damage.
“I know, I know!” Twilight hissed back. “I was rushing! But we can fix this later!” Twilight and Applejack trotted to the hole and peeked outside where a few ponies had stopped to find out what was going on. “It’ll make the kitchen a bit draftier,” Twilight muttered, “but at least the Cakes can get started when we get Pinkie out of here.” Twilight nodded her head repeatedly toward the hole, emphasizing the last few words. Applejack took one last look at the gaping hole and cleared her throat.
“Pinkie, if ya reckon this door is important, then, uh, your obsession is our obsession,” she said, putting her hat back on backwards before quickly correcting it. Her hooves were still shaking, but she motioned for Twilight to get going. “We can’t let ya face this one alone.”
Twilight backed out onto the street, carefully threading the door through the hole and trying not to meet anyone’s gaze. Pinkie trotted after the floating door, keeping it front and center in her field of vision. Mr. Cake, who had just poked his head into the kitchen, felt his knees grow suddenly weak.
“Wait, where are you going with my door?!” he cried after them.
“No time to explain!” Applejack shouted back over her shoulder as she galloped off. “Don’t worry! We’ll fix this right up when we get back!”
Twilight walked beside Pinkie, steering the door along the street while Applejack trotted a few lengths ahead to clear the way. The unicorn shook her head as Pinkie kept her eyes stubbornly locked on the door, muttering, “Anytime now. Aaaaaaaany time.” Twilight winced as she noted Pinkie’s red, swollen eyes.
She's going to hurt herself, Twilight thought. Magically scooping a few drops of water from Ponyville’s creek, she slowly dripped them into Pinkie’s irritated eyes. Ahead, Applejack tried to add a casual spring into her step as nearby ponies stopped their errands to stare at the strange trio marching by.
“Hi, Daisy,” she said, tipping the brim of her hat. “Nice day, ain’t it?” Daisy’s eyebrows came together as she glanced from the door back to Applejack.
“So nice that you decided to take your door for a walk?” she replied. Nearby, Lily shifted her groceries into her saddlebags and pointed at the door.
“Yeah,” she said. “What are you doing?” Applejack's eyes darted back and forth as she searched for some sort of answer. Catching up, Twilight’s smile was a little too wide as she replied.
“We’re, uh, in a … parade! Yup, a parade for Summer’s End,” as she put a hoof on Applejack’s rump and gently prodded her into motion again, “and we have to keep moving!” Applejack and Twilight quickened their pace as Lily and Daisy shrugged at each other. Pinkie’s voice floated back to them as the trio turned a corner.
“Thanks for stopping by! I’ll tell Mr. and Mrs. Cake that you two were in!”
Twilight crested the hill outside the town’s limits and breathed a sigh of relief. From here, she could see Fluttershy’s cottage and, mercifully, the road seemed free of curious ponies. Applejack joined her, twisting her neck to glance back at Ponyville.
“Did ya see them ponies?” she said with a frown. “Ya’d think they’d never seen a door before.” Twilight sat heavily and wiped a light sweat from her brow.
“I know, but at least they didn’t snap Pinkie out of … well, whatever you’d call this,” she said, pointing offhoofedly at their friend. Applejack rolled her eyes.
“Ah’d call it about the most ridiculous thing Ah’ve been involved in for a mighty long time.”
Twilight nodded and climbed back to her hooves, but paused. "What was that?" she asked, scanning the sky.
"What was what, Twi?" Applejack said as she squinted at the sky above the nearby forest.
"I... just thought I heard something flapping," Twilight said. "Probably just geese or something." Concentrating, Twilight hefted the door into the air again and checked the road one more time. "Looks like it's all clear from here! Let’s get to Fluttershy’s while nopony is around.”
Fluttershy was sitting on her stoop, looking at her door while picking absently at a few blades of grass, when her three friends walked up.
“Hi,” she sighed in a melancholy voice. Twilight shot a questioning look to Applejack, who shrugged. Fluttershy was usually so happy to see them.
“Fluttershy, please don’t tell me you are staring at your door,” Twilight asked as Fluttershy hung her head.
“Yes,” Fluttershy replied. “I’ve been staring at it for most of the morning.”
“What is going on today?!” Twilight cried, throwing her hooves up. “Why is everypony staring at doors?!” Fluttershy finally turned to look at them, and Twilight could see the tracks of dried tears matting the fur under her eyes.
“Well, you see, I want to go in this door, but I can’t,” Fluttershy said, picking off the last blade of grass and twisting it absently between her hooves. “I was at the river this morning teaching stress relieving breathing exercises to the ducks.” Throwing the grass away, she turned and pointed to the door. “When I got back, THIS horseshoe was here.” Twilight’s face turned a deep purple as she recognized the horseshoe embedded deeply in Fluttershy's doorframe. Applejack put a hoof over her mouth to stifle her welling laughter. Fluttershy rose up onto her hide legs, pulling at the shoe.
“I’ve tried tugging and crying, pulling and crying, prying and crying, and just plain crying,” Fluttershy said, sniffing, “but nothing has worked.” Letting go, she began slowly walking off into her yard. “Maybe I’ll just move in with the chickens.” Rolling her eyes, Applejack trotted after Fluttershy and steered her back to the house.
“If ya needed help, why didn’t ya just ask somepony?” she said, winking at Fluttershy. “We’ll get that door open in a jiffy!” Fluttershy’s eyes lit up as she lightly placed a hoof on Applejack’s chest.
“Oh, could you?! That would be wonderful!” Suddenly she snatched her hoof away and took a small step back. Retreating behind her silky curtain of hair, Fluttershy’s eye darted between Twilight and Applejack, before finally resting on the ground. “If that’s not too much trouble, that is. I can see that you're walking your door. I don’t want to be a bother.”
“You're no bother at all!” piped Pinkie. “We love all of our customers here at Sugarcube Corner!” Fluttershy jumped, hovering a few inches above ground.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, Pinkie! I didn’t even notice you there.” Fluttershy landed and moved to embrace her friend before pulling up short. “Wait, did you say—?”
Twilight frantically waved at her to quit talking, and Applejack placed a hoof over Fluttershy’s mouth. Whispering into Fluttershy's ear, Applejack briefly explained their bizarre situation. “Oh, I see,” Fluttershy said, studying the floating door before turning to smile warmly at Twilight. “That was very clever.” Applejack shrugged.
“Oh, it was somethin’ all right. Let’s get this darn horseshoe outta the way,” she said, adjusting her hat to sit more tightly on her head. Grabbing the shoe with her teeth, she used all four of her strong legs to push against the house. As she strained, the earthy tastes of the shoe filled her mouth. Grimacing, she did her best to keep her tongue away from the metal. With a muffled growl, Applejack’s muscles bunched visibly, and Twilight couldn’t help sharing a wistful glance with Fluttershy. Both of them wondered what it would be like to have such strength.
Despite the effort, though, Applejack finally sat down, sucking in huge lungfuls of air and shooting dirty looks at the horseshoe. It hadn’t budged at all. Fanning her herself with her hat, she turned to Twilight, motioning with her head back at the horseshoe. “Hey, Equestria’s Best Thrower. Ya think ya can unthrow this here shoe outta this here door?”
Her face burning, Twilight leaned Sugarcube Corner’s door against a tree and concentrated on the horseshoe. Settling in to a wide-legged stance, she magically pulled at the horseshoe for several seconds. Fluttershy gasped, nudging Applejack and pointing towards Twilight’s hooves. They were leaving furrows in the ground as Twilight dragged herself forward against the unyielding shoe. Finally, Twilight stopped, wiping the streaming sweat from her face with one muddy hoof.
“I think… we’re going to have… to do it together,” she panted.
“Alright, then,” Applejack replied, rolling her shoulders. Fluttershy winced as each of the joints gave a loud pop. “Fluttershy, can ya pull on my tail? Twilight, when we get tuggin’ on it nice and hard, see if your magic can pop it out.”
“Absolutely!” Twilight exclaimed. It was her mistake in the first place that had locked Fluttershy out of her own house. She was determined to do whatever it took to fix the situation.
Once again, Applejack locked her teeth onto the iron horseshoe and glanced at Fluttershy, who carefully grabbed her friend’s strong tail. Flapping for extra power, she pulled. Oh, what if I hurt her? Fluttershy thought, biting her lip as she watched Applejack pull with all her might.
“Ah ’an ’eel it ’iggle,” Applejack grunted from around the iron. “ ’ull!” Twilight’s magic aura surrounded the shoe and she focused as clearly as she could on the mental image of the horseshoe pulling from the door. Twilight gasped as the horseshoe rocketed away from Fluttershy’s cottage, dragging her friends with it. She hadn’t considered how much the shoe might have loosened in the prior attempts. It had come loose so quickly that Twilight didn’t have time to slow the shoe’s momentum. Twilight's teeth rattled as Applejack and Fluttershy slammed into her. Crying out, they all tumbled into the nearby bushes. Still trying to shake off the effect of the impact, Twilight scrambled to her hooves when she noticed muffled mumbles coming from underneath of her.
“I’m so sorry, Applejack!” she said, lending a hoof to pull her friend to her feet again. “What did you say?”
“Ah said Ah’m a mite tired of endin’ up in a heap today,” Applejack replied, scooping her hat up and working to correct its crumpled form as Twilight helped up a woozy Fluttershy. Twilight marveled at how light she was, and wondered what it would feel like to have hollow bones like a pegasus.
“Oh, thank you so much!” Fluttershy said, smiling. “Now I can finally go inside and tell Angel that I visited a bush today.”
“Let me get that for you, Fluttershy,” Twilight said as she trotted ahead, trying to pull a few stubborn twigs free from her tangled mane. “To tell you the truth, it’s kind of my fault you couldn’t get in your house in the first place. You see, Appleja—” Twilight opened the door and started inside, only to run directly into a stone wall. Eyes spinning from the sudden impact, Twilight ricocheted off the wall.
“Twilight,” Pinkie cried out, stomping a hoof, “we aren’t going through the door! Something special is going to come out of it, and it can’t do it with you in the way making funny faces!”
“Oh, let me help you,” Fluttershy said, putting a leg around her friend’s neck and guiding her toward the house. “It will probably be better if we go through my door. Not that yours isn’t lovely, but mine goes inside.” Tilting her head to one side, Applejack cut suddenly cut in.
“Hey, does anypony else hear a ruckus?” Falling silent, they all swiveled their ears to follow Applejack. Twilight was trying to decided if it sounded like quacking when a powerful roar caused them all to jump.
“Oh my goodness!” Fluttershy gasped. “The ducks! Something is after the ducks!” Launching herself into the air, the pegasus ignored the protests of her straining wings as she rushed to the riverbank.
“Wait for us!” cried Applejack, charging after her. Grabbing the door, Twilight ran after them, with Pinkie bouncing alongside.
“You know, Twilight, I’ve never really taken the time to fully appreciate the spaciousness of Sugarcube Corner!” Pinkie said, grinning broadly as she bounced along. “This place feels humongous!” She began to laugh and kicked her hooves a little at the apex of each leap. “Hee-hee! I love saying that! Humongous!” Twilight closed her eyes momentarily and shook her head, wondering exactly what it would be like to operate on Pinkie’s level.
We really should spend more time with her, Twilight thought. Next time Discord shows up, his chaos won’t even faze us.
As Twilight rounded the last turn on the path toward the river, she gasped and skidded to a stop. At the nearby river, Fluttershy was harassing what appeared to be a small dragon while Applejack ran back and forth along the shore, kicking whatever rocks she could find at the creature. Nearby, several ducks were flying about in agitation, quacking loudly. Twilight winced as the sunlight glinted off of the beast’s scaly talons. They looked strong and lethal, and at the moment they were tightly closed over several eggs. The creature tracked Fluttershy on her next pass, and Twilight screamed as her friend narrowly dodged its scorpion-like tail.
“You brute!” Fluttershy yelled, searching for an opening. “You are not taking those eggs!” With a large gulp, she accelerated rapidly toward the razor-sharp talons. Twilight covered her mouth with her hooves to stifle a scream. She could see tears of fright streaming behind Fluttershy as she looked for an opening, but the pegasus’ face was resolute. Twilight knew her friend would protect the woodland creatures with her life, if necessary.
“Applejack!” Twilight screamed, searching for a way to help. “The eyes! Go for the eyes!” Applejack gave her a nod and launched a nearby rock with all her might, barely missing Fluttershy as she once again dodged the stinging tail. It had been so close that Twilight could see pink hairs from Fluttershy’s mane caught on the creature’s barb. With the same uncanny accuracy she showed on the farm, Applejack’s rock plunged into the beast’s eye. Roaring in pain, the wyvern arched its sinuous neck away from the rapid fire barrage Applejack was sending its way. Taking advantage of the opening, Fluttershy dove in and snatched the eggs as carefully as she could from the loosening talons.
“What in tarnation is that thing?” Applejack yelled, searching desperately for more rocks.
“It’s a wyvern, and that tail is full of poison!” Twilight cried back, gasping as the beast blinked away the pain and reoriented on the nearest target. “Fluttershy, look out!”
The wyvern snarled and launched itself after Fluttershy, who was doing her best to get back to the marshy reeds the ducks made their homes in. Looking back over her shoulder, Fluttershy let out a terrified squeak and flapped harder, but the wyvern was quickly closing the distance. As it arched its tail over its back for a lethal strike, Twilight instinctively fired the door into the space in between the two and gritted her teeth as the beast slammed into it. Panting, Twilight sighed with relief until Pinkie Pie bounded over her head and straight toward the wyvern.
The monster shook its head, trying to clear the pain, and then roared so strongly that Twilight could feel her mane ripple. Flying straight at the door, the wyvern sank its claws deeply into the wood and banked away. Twilight was caught so off guard that the wyvern ripped the door from her control. She cried out helplessly as the wyvern flapped off toward the Everfree Forest, wavering uncertainly in the air from the additional weight. Pinkie Pie bounced along behind it, keeping as close to the door as she could.
“What the hay?” Applejack panted, pulling up along side Twilight. Quickly removing her hat, she used it to mop the sweat streaming down her brow while she cocked an eyebrow at the unicorn. “It took the door. Why did it do that?”
“I don’t know,” Twilight replied, charging after the beast, “but we have to get Pinkie! That thing could take her anywhere!” As they pounded after the wyvern, Twilight called out, “Fluttershy, come on! We have to save Pinkie Pie!” The pegasus flew out of the tall reeds, eyes wide and covering her mouth with her hooves.
“Oh no!” she cried, her eyes darting rapidly between her friends. “The wyvern got her?”
“Well, sort of,” Twilight called back, trying to keep up with Applejack’s powerful strides. “It took the door and Pinkie went with it. Why would the wyvern do that?” Fluttershy considered for a moment.
“Wyverns aren’t very bright, but they are greedy,” she replied. “They're a type of dragon, you know.” Catching up, she angled her wings to swoop in along side the laboring unicorn. “It probably just saw that you had something and it wanted it for itself.”
“Well, we’ve gotta get it back,” Applejack said, quickly looking back at them over her shoulder, “or Pinkie may get more than she bargained for comin’ outta that door!”
The ponies raced after the wyvern, praying all the while that it wouldn’t take an interest in Pinkie Pie bouncing joyfully behind it. Twilight’s mind whirled as she struggled to remember everything she could about the reptilian monster. She was missing something vital, but the memory seemed to flit just out of reach.
“Come on, y’all! We can’t let it get away!” Applejack called from a few lengths ahead. Lathered sweat was dropping from her body, but she was determined to keep up the pace for Pinkie’s sake. “Y'all gotta give it all ya got!” Panting, Fluttershy flapped harder, furrowing her brow as she strained. Twilight could sympathize. Neither of them were tremendous athletes, and Applejack and the wyvern were pulling away from them.
“We’re lucky,” Fluttershy gasped, pausing between words to try and catch her breath. “That door is keeping the wyvern from flying effectively.” Twilight shook her head aggressively, trying to keep the sweat that was running down her face from getting in her eyes. She couldn’t afford to be hindered.
“If we were lucky,” Twilight managed between huge gulps of air, “it wouldn’t have taken the door in the first place!”
The forest opened abruptly and the path began to ascend a rocky hill. The wyvern flapped above them, shaving splinters from the door as it tightly clutched its prize. Close behind, Pinkie was already most of the way up the path. Twilight and Fluttershy exchanged a bewildered glance as Pinkie’s voice floated merrily down to them.
Oh, the candy and cakes,
And the pies that I bake,
I think they are all delish!
But I mostly depend,
On time with my friends,
To experience my bliss!
The songs that they sing me,
The joy that they bring me,
When we are all together!
Are worth more than the eats,
The yummy, sweet treats,
I hope they stay forever!
Rolling her eyes, Twilight didn’t know whether to be touched or exasperated. What she did know was that she was tiring badly. The wyvern was almost out of sight and it would be a few minutes before they could possibly get all the way up the hill. A few minutes Pinkie couldn’t afford.
“Fluttershy!” Twilight yelled, breathing heavily. “See if you can keep them in sight! Try to distract the wyvern!” Fluttershy’s wings skipped a beat and she nearly hit the ground before recovering. Flapping to gain altitude, she regarded Twilight with terror.
“M-m-me?” she said, her body beginning to quake.
“Yes!” Twilight reply, stumbling slightly as the fatigue began to slow her pace. Applejack and I won’t make it in time!” Fluttershy began to hyperventilate, her chest rising and falling rapidly. Twilight gulped as Pinkie crested the hill ahead of them and disappeared from sight. “Please, Fluttershy!” she begged. “The wyvern might not be very smart, but if it notices Pinkie back there, it might attack her! Pinkie needs you!” Fluttershy squeezed her eyes closed, her face rigid with fear, but nodded to Twilight.
“I-I’ll do what I can.” Pumping her tired wings with renewed vigor, Fluttershy rocketed up the path.
Breathing heavily, Applejack and Twilight finally made their way up the hill. Pulling up short, their eyes widened as they both nearly ran headfirst into a tower of detritus. Everywhere Twilight looked, she could see junk piled into small hills on the rocky plateau, interrupted only to allow access to a small cave opposite her in the cliff face. In the middle of it all, Fluttershy flew just out of reach, trying to keep the wyvern’s focus away from the stationary Pinkie Pie. Twilight groaned as she took off as quickly as she could manage toward the monster. Her leg muscles were shaking with fatigue.
“Golly,” panted Applejack, surveying the passing garbage. “Looks like that wyvern’s been takin’ things for a mighty long time.” Doing a double take, she skidded to a stop and pointed at a heap of cloth and twigs sticking out of a nearby trash pile. “Hey, those are our old scarecrows!” As her lips curled into a snarl, Applejack raced toward the wyvern. “Ya thievin’ varmint! It took me weeks to make new ones!” Leaping into the air, Applejack tried to kick at the hovering beast as it attempted to snap its teeth into the flagging Fluttershy. Enraged, the wyvern arched its deadly tail over its back and shot it out with lightning speed.
Only Fluttershy’s terror saved her. As she saw the deadly stinger rapidly approaching, her wings snapped shut and glued themselves to her body. She plummeted into the trash, screaming as the poison barb stabbed futilely into the space just above her head. Not to be robbed of its meal, the wyvern pivoted and followed. As it neared, Applejack squinted her eyes and took careful aim.
“Ya like to take my stuff, huh? Well, take this!” With her best apple-bucking kick, Applejack slammed her hooves directly in to the wyvern’s snout. Stumbling forward from the impact, Applejack grinned as the monster flew back and landed in a garbage pile, still firmly clutching the door in its claws.
“Applejack, you did it!” Twilight called, leaping and punching her hoof into the air. A moment later her enthusiasm melted away as the wyvern raised its head and stared at Applejack as though seeing her for the first time. Its scaly eyebrows met between its eyes as it roared. Applejack gulped, taking a few cautious steps backward. She knew the beast was coming for her.
Recalling a book that she had been reading to Spike about dragon-kind, something finally clicked into place in Twilight’s mind. Gasping, Twilight turned to Applejack and pointed at the monster.
“That’s it!” she cried out. “That’s what I’ve been trying to remember! A wyvern becomes fixated. It only has enough room in its head for one thing at a time. It probably doesn’t even remember that it’s holding onto the door!” Twilight turned to Applejack, who was nervously weighing the options between running and trying to kick the wyvern again. “Keep it distracted and I’ll try and pull the door away!”
With another deafening roar, the wyvern heaved itself back into the air and made its way toward Applejack, rapidly picking up speed. Applejack trembled as she ran in the other direction.
“What do Ah do?! What do Ah do?!” Applejack called out to Twilight, her eyes darting between her friend and the glistening poison dripping from the wyvern’s stinger. The poison was dropping so close to her back hooves that she could see the ground smoking from the potent chemicals.
“Run for the cave!” Twilight returned. “I’m going to try and grab the door away while it’s chasing you!”
“All right, but Ah hope ya’ know what you’re doin’, sugarcube!” Gritting her teeth, Applejack looked over her shoulder and stuck her tongue out at the beast. “Come on, ya big, ugly lizard! Can’t ya catch one little pony?” she jeered as she veered sharply for the narrow cave opening.
Twilight’s magic surrounded the door and she gripped it as firmly as she could. However, rather than wrenching the door from the wyvern, she was let out a surprised cry as she was dragged roughly along the ground behind it.
“Fluttershy, help me!” she croaked, coughing out a mouthful of dirt. Keeping one fearful eye on the wyvern, Fluttershy flew in and scooped up Twilight’s tail, then reversed direction, straining to halt Twilight’s momentum. Beads of sweat poured down Twilight’s face has she strained to pull the door from the monster’s iron grip. “I-I can’t do it! I’m losing my grip! NO!”
Twilight’s magical tether on the door snapped, and suddenly free from the wyvern’s incessant pull, Fluttershy and Twilight flew backward, tumbling into a pile of debris. The wyvern, now free itself, suddenly rocketed past Applejack and into the cave. Hitting the fissure at an odd angle, the door wedged itself into the cave opening. Applejack, unable to stop in time, slammed into it at full speed. Bouncing off, she sat down and looked around her with a shocked, vacant expression.
“Granny Smith, Ah think that apple cider is a mite strong,” she muttered to no pony in particular.
“Oh, Applejack! Are you all right?” Fluttershy flew over, shaking bits of detritus out of her mane. She ran her hooves gently over Applejack’s forehead, checking for bruises. “You hit that door awfully hard!” Applejack briskly shook her head, trying to clear away the spots that were still swimming in front of her eyes.
“Huh?” Applejack blinked several times and finally focused on Twilight. “D-did we do it?”
“Did we do what? I thought you guys were helping me watch this door!” Pinkie said, bouncing up and giving the door an extra hard stare. “I mean, I’m ready for anything, but what if I had looked away for even a second? I might have missed something!” Pinkie sat down beside Applejack and set her jaw, gazing unwaveringly at the door. Fanning herself with her hat, Applejack arched an eyebrow and rolled her eyes slowly toward Twilight.
“Please remind me to send Mrs. Cake to Rarity next time she needs help,” Applejack said in a droll voice. Twilight snickered and tested the door with her hooves. It was wedged tightly into the rock opening.
“What are we going to do now?” she asked, continuing to pry at the jamb. “How will we get this out of here without alerting the wyvern?” A roar from within the cave shook the ponies and Fluttershy hit the ground, covering her eyes with her hooves.
“I don’t think that’s going to be our problem, Twilight,” she said, her voices quavering as she crawled backward away from the cave. Snatching Pinkie’s tail in her mouth, Applejack ran from the door. Twilight followed a step behind her.
Seconds later, the door flew open, slamming loudly into the cliff, and the wyvern erupted from the fissure. Blinking in the bright light, it spied the fleeing ponies and let out another deafening scream. Snarling, it arched its tail over its back and tucked into a dive.
“See? See?!” Pinkie squealed in delight. “I told you that something amazing was going to come out of that door and it’s a big, scary monster!” Bumping along behind Applejack, Pinkie’s eyes grew huge. “There’s a big, scary monster in Sugarcube Corner! RUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!” Scanning the scenery whizzing by, Pinkie looked over her shoulder at her friends, her hooves on her hips. “Hey, what happened to Sugarcube Corner? Also, RUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!”
Pouring on as much speed as they could muster, the ponies raced back toward the Everfree Forest, but the enraged wyvern slammed down in front of them, blocking the only exit. It hissed angrily, and the ponies gasped as it hypnotically swayed its lethal tail slowly from side to side above its head.
“The tail!” Twilight cried, an idea forming. “Applejack! Dragon’s tail!” Spitting out Pinkie’s tail, Applejack nodded and surged forward, leaping just in time as the wyvern’s deadly stinger buried itself in the ground below her. Above her, Fluttershy cried out in alarm.
“Keep it up, Applejack!” Twilight called back, trying to block out all the images of dire consequences from her mind. “I just need a little bit of time! Pinkie! Fluttershy! Help me find something to catch the wyvern’s attention!” Pinkie and Fluttershy began following her, looking bewildered. “Something small and shiny!” Twilight continued. “Something like a horseshoe!”
The ponies fanned out and began searching, occasionally sparing a glance at Applejack. Using all of her rodeo skills, she bobbed and weaved with uncanny dexterity to avoid the monster’s stinging tail.
“Ah’d be mighty grateful if y’all could get a move on!” she managed, her breath coming out in ragged gasps. “Ah’m about spent!”
“We’re trying,” Pinkie squealed, “but everything over here seems to be dolls and socks!” Pinkie suddenly put a hoof to her chin, cocking her head to the side to look at Twilight. “Do you think this is where all the missing socks go? Why do we even have socks? We’re ponies!” Fluttershy flew above them, taking in as much of the junk pile as she could.
“I think it’s building a nest over here. It’s all tree branches and bits of rope. Maybe it’s just lonely and looking for a mate.”
Twilight ran up a pile of garbage near the pegasus. “Fluttershy, concentrate!” she called out. Fluttershy banked away, flapping to gain speed again.
“Applejack!” cried the three ponies in unison. Their friend had finally slipped after a difficult series of jumps and was now lying on the ground, helpless. The monster was standing on her tail, effectively pinning her in place. Drooling, the wyvern towered above her, poised to strike.
“There it is!” Twilight cried. Behind the wyvern, she had spied a crystalline statue of a pony glinted in the sunlight. Seizing it with her magic, Twilight maneuvered the statue directly into the wyvern’s field of vision. “We finally found it, girls!” she yelled out. “We’ll be taking this valuable treasure from this nasty, old wyvern!”
As Twilight pulled the statue toward her, the wyvern tracked it with its narrowed eyes. Catching a sunbeam, the statue began to glow and bathed Twilight in a shimmering, rainbow pool. The wyvern’s claws unconsciously clutched at the ground digging deep furrows beside Applejack, who was desperately trying to free herself. As the claws scraped into the ground, they sheared off the end of Applejack’s tail and she rolled to safety.
Well, Ah needed a trim anyway, she thought, trying to put as much distance as she could between herself and the beast. Ahead of her, Twilight teased the wyvern with the statue swaying it to and fro over her head.
“We wanted this statue more than anything, and now we finally have it!” Twilight yelled, smirking at the furious monster. “This wyvern isn’t smart enough to get it back!” Twilight barely had time to yank the statue away as the wyvern launched itself at her and greedily snatched at its treasure. “No, no, no!” Twilight taunted, throwing the statue over the wyvern’s head. “This is our statue now, and we won’t let you have it, will we? Fluttershy, heads up!” Caught off guard, the pegasus dove for the statue, barely catching it before it hit the ground.
“Ooh, Keep-Away! Me! Throw it to me!” Pinkie squealed, smiling broadly. As the wyvern closed on her, Fluttershy dropped the statue to the bouncing pony. Jumping high into the air, Pinkie caught the statue, balancing it on top of her head. “Wheeee!” she laughed as the wyvern struggled to turn quickly enough to follow the statue’s new direction. Flipping end over end, the wyvern smacked into the cliff face before pushing off toward the fleeing pony.
Bouncing erratically, Pinkie bobbed her head repeatedly, causing the statue to flip over as she caught it again and again. “This is fun!” she said, her nose crinkling in delight. “Maybe we should invite this wyvern to our next party!” Eyeing the fast approaching monster, Pinkie flipped the statue off of her head. “You’re up, Applejack!”
The wyvern rocketed forward, but Applejack was too quick. Having regained her breath, she leapt into the air and snatched the statue just before the desperate creature's claws snapped in the air before her. Applejack briefly saw her wild-eyed expression reflected in the claw’s razor edge. Landing heavily, she galloped around the perimeter of the junkyard, taking any course that might cause the wyvern to turn awkwardly in the air. Boiling over with rage, the wyvern lashed out with its tail again and again, stinging random objects as it struggled to catch the more agile pony. Applejack gulped as she watched the lethal poison dissolve a nearby pail into nothingness on a near miss.
“It's got to be fully fixated by now!” cried Twilight, waving her hooves to get Applejack’s attention. “Throw it back to me!” Heaving with all of her might, Applejack flipped the statue in Twilight’s direction, trusting in her friend’s brilliance to get them through this.
Already on the run, Twilight snared the statue with her magic, quickly drawing it near. She could hear the tendons creak in the wyvern’s wings as it turned sharply in midair, eyes still locked onto its prize. As the beast descended on her, Twilight stood her ground and tried to control her quivering knees. Giving the statue one last, taunting shake, she turned away from the wyvern’s nest.
“HEY, WYVERN! LET ME SHOW YOU WHY I THROW THE BEST HORSESHOES IN ALL OF EQUESTRIA!” Twilight bellowed, launching the statue with every ounce of magical strength she could muster. Glinting, it disappeared into the horizon. Twilight winced as the wyvern rocketed past her, flying after its treasure and screaming with rage. Twilight’s sigh of relief was cut short as her friends tackled her, wrapping her in a crushing embrace. Laughing, their words all tumbled out together.
“Oh, Twilight! Ya did it! Ah just knew you could!”
“You were so brave!”
“I still want to know why you guys invited a wyvern over!”
Twilight returned the hug, relieved that the danger was finally past. “Come on, girls,” she sighed, extricating herself and picking up the battered door. “Let’s go home.”
“Whew! This sure is some heat!” Applejack said, wiping her streaming brow. Setting down her hammer, she removed her hat and began fanning herself with it. Nearby, her friends were busy repairing the hole they had created in Sugarcube Corner’s kitchen. Tucking her bangs back up under her hat, Applejack stepped back to check the quality of her work.
“You know, I could just fix this all up with magic,” Twilight mumbled from around a mouth full of nails.
“Maybe ya forgot how this hole got here in the first place?” Applejack returned, her twinkling eyes belying her serious tone.
“But that was different!” Twilight shot back, accidentally spitting the nails out. Fluttershy skipped back as the nails embedded themselves in the soft dirt near her hooves. “I was in a hurry then!” Twilight continued. “I wasn’t concentrating properly!” Applejack put a leg around Twilight’s shoulders and gave her a little squeeze.
“Ah’m just joshin’ with ya, sugarcube, but sometimes the ol' fashioned way is the surest, even if it takes a little bit of time and effort.” Twilight sighed and gathered up her nails again and wearily lifted her hammer. Still recovering from the day’s adventure, they were all exhausted. Well, all of them but Pinkie Pie. That pony just never gets tuckered, Applejack thought as Pinkie descended on Fluttershy with Applejack’s measuring tape, checking the pegasus’ every dimension. The rest of us sure do, though.
“Ya know, this here door is comin’ right along," Applejack said. "Why don’t we go get some of them treats from the faire before they’re all gone?” As she collecting the tools from her friends, Fluttershy breathed a sigh of relief. Pinkie had cornered her and had been trying to get an exact measurement of the space between her eyes.
“It’s for science!” she protested through snorted giggles as Applejack pried the tape measure away from her. Fluttershy rubbed the area between her eyes as Twilight grinned, rolling her eyes.
“Well, ya can research it later,” Applejack answered. “Let’s take a break and get some food before everypony eats it all! We can come back and finish this here door when it’s a little cooler.”
“Oh, yeah! A break!” Pinkie cried, hopping back and forth rapidly. Stopping suddenly, she smirked at Applejack. “I’d say wyvern’d it!"