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Chapter 4: Hot And Horny
For the first three days, there were surprisingly few problems. Velvet's magical outbursts mainly confined themselves to whatever room she happened to be in and were relatively mild; the worst incident during that time was a heavy downpour of pee whose only victim was Pinkie Pie.
"That was really RUDE," the pink mare had complained as her mane dripped all over the floor. "How would you like it if I peed all over YOU?"
"Pinkie Pie, please don't pee on the foal," Cadence had said, facehoofing.
"Huh? I wasn't gonna pee on her," Pinkie had replied, confused.
"Oh, good. I...honestly wasn't sure if you were serious or not."
It had taken Cadence and Twilight an hour to clean up the mess while Pinkie took a very long bath. After that, Velvet had been fed and changed--with no accompanying meteorological trauma--and put to bed. She stayed asleep until the next morning.
Then came the fourth day, and with it: crisis.
"You...lost...her blankie," Twilight said.
Pinkie's ears drooped. "Not exactly LOST it, I just...don't know where it is."
"How could you LOSE a blankie?" the purple unicorn demanded.
"I just hung it outside to dry!" Pinkie wailed. "When I went back out, it was gone!"
"So...somepony STOLE Velvet's blankie?" Twilight asked.
"I dunno, maybe?" Pinkie offered, a forehoof raised.
Twilight sighed. "When she doesn't have her blankie, she gets cranky."
"Hey, that rhymed!" Pinkie chirped. "Are you taking lessons from Zecora?"
The unicorn facehoofed. "Pinkie, this is serious," she tried to explain. "The last time we had to wash that blankie, Velvet wouldn't calm down until she had it back. Cadence tried to give her another one, but she wanted HER blankie. It got so windy in the nursery we almost got blown clear to Cloudsdale!"
"I'm really sorry...it isn't my fault, I Pinkie-promise!" the pink party pony professed. "I'll try really really hard to find it, okay?"
"Please do. Because if that blankie isn't found, there's no telling--"
There was a knock at the door.
Twilight answered it, and found a sweat-drenched, drooping Rainbow Dash hovering miserably at the door. "What's wrong, Rainbow Dash?" she asked.
"Wrong? Oh, nothing's wrong," Rainbow replied. "Just that it's like a hundred degrees out here!"
Twilight frowned. "It's really that hot? I haven't been outside since yesterday..."
"It wasn't hot like this until about an hour ago," Rainbow said. "And we can't figure out why, so..."
The unicorn's eyes widened in realization. "Velvet," she said.
"Ya think?" the pegasus retorted crossly.
"I'm...really sorry, Rainbow Dash," Twilight said. "Velvet's favorite blankie's gone missing on us, and...well..."
"I'm sweatin' outta places I didn't know could sweat...because a foal's missin' her blankie?"
Twilight's ears drooped. "We're working on finding it, honest! Just..." She pressed her forehooves together plaintively. "Help maybe?"
Rainbow snorted, blowing dripping multihued hair out of her eyes. "FINE, anything to put a stop to this heat wave." She looked around. "Hey, why isn't your big brother doin' anything about this, anyway?"
Twilight backed away nervously, ears twitching. "Umm...well...you see..."
From upstairs, the two mares heard a loud crash and a strange-sounding whinny.
"What the hay was THAT?" Rainbow cried, eyes wide and mane standing on end.
Twilight winced. "Um...well...my brother and Cadence...kinda needed some couple time..."
"Oh. ...OH. ...you're KIDDING. HERE?!" Rainbow exclaimed, turning faintly green.
The purple unicorn flushed. "He was SUPPOSED to soundproof their room," she muttered. "They didn't want to go off and abandon their duties here, but they did need to...um...be together, you know, and..."
"Nevermind, I really don't wanna know," Rainbow said, waving a hoof and backing away. "Look, just...find the stupid blankie already, okay? I'll do what I can to help."
"Right. Um...sorry. Really."
"I'm sorry, Twilight. My shield's just not working against this heat," Shining Armor said later that day.
Twilight sighed. "I was afraid of that."
"The only thing we can do is find that blankie," Twilight said, shaking her head. "But it could be anywhere. I mean, who just runs off with a blankie?"
"Are you SURE Pinkie Pie didn't just forget where it is?"
"She stuck three cupcakes in her eye," Twilight said. At Armor's confused look, she rolled her eyes. "Pinkie didn't forget where it is. It's just gone."
"Great," Armor said, pawing the floor with a hoof. "We've only got all of Equestria to search for one stupid blanket in order to stop Ponyville from baking..."
"Ice-cold apple juice! Gitcher ice-cold apple juice here!" Applejack hollered as she and Big Macintosh trotted around town square, the latter hauling a cart laden with coolers full of ice and several five-gallon bottles of Sweet Apple Acres' finest apple juice.
In this heat, they were making a small fortune, but Applejack still wished the heat would die down soon. After all, it was bad for the apples.
She wasn't particularly fond of it either.
"Apple juice! C'mon, y'all, git it while it's ice-cold!" she called out again.
"I'll take a glass!" a slightly slurred voice called out from above. A gray pegasus crashed into Big Mac's wagon, sending ice flying everywhere and nearly sending one full bottle of juice rolling out into the street.
"Hey now, pay first, then wait till we fill 'er up fer ya!" Applejack berated the clumsy mare.
Derpy's head popped up out of the mess in the wagon, amber eyes spinning. "Sooorr-ry, Applejack," she said. She dug around in her saddlebag for a couple of bits and flipped them to the orange mare, who stashed them in the cashbox.
"Fill 'er up, Mac."
"Eeyup," her brother replied, pressing down on a tap plugged into one of the bottles and filling a tall paper cup with juice. "Here y'go, ma'am," he said.
"Thanks so much!" Derpy said cheerfully. She drank half the cup of juice, then produced a muffin from her saddlebag, gulping it down in one bite before finishing her juice. As she did so, Applejack noticed something peculiar...
"Hey, uh...that some kinda cape y'got on there?"
Derpy had a green wool garment tied in a knot around her neck, covering half her back, nestled neatly between her wings. It was too small to be a saddle blanket, and indeed looked like one of the short half-capes she'd seen adorning the ponyquins in Rarity's boutique.
"Huh? Oh, yeah! I found it down by Sugarcube Corner, and I thought 'oh hey, what a neat cape', and I've been wearing it ever since! I feel super!" She whooped and waved, taking off into the sky.
"Super dippy, y'mean," Applejack said, shaking her head.
Two more days of intense heat passed. Everypony was getting cranky.
In desperation, Twilight Sparkle assembled all her friends, determined to scour every inch of Ponyville for the missing blankie.
"Ah can't believe we're makin' all this ruckus over a foal's blankie," Applejack said, shaking her head.
"Yeah, well, if we don't find it, this heat wave won't stop," Twilight said. She was clearly exhausted; there were heavy bags under her eyes, and sweat ran in rivulets.
"She can't possibly still be this cranky over her blankie," Rainbow complained.
"Hey, now Rainbow Dash is taking lessons from Zecora!" Pinkie, the only pony not affected by the heat, cheered.
"Oh, cork it," Rainbow muttered.
"I had hoped she'd settle down, but..." Twilight shook her head. "She's REALLY attached to that blankie."
"I think it's because it smells like her mother," Cadence said. "And Lavender Rose hasn't been around lately..."
"That makes sense," Fluttershy said. "It's her mother's smell she's missing."
"Okay so...whut's this blankie look like?" Applejack asked.
"Well, it's green, it's wool..." Twilight explained. "It's..."
Applejack's eyes shrank to dots. "'Bout this big, kinda fuzzy, has little blue dots on it?" she asked, demonstrating with her hooves.
"Yes, that's it exactly," Twilight said, eyes widening. "You've seen it?"
"Yeah, Ah reckon Ah know whut varmint's runnoft with it..."
Velvet Frost cooed happily as she snuggled up under her precious blankie. Immediately, the temperature outside dropped ten degrees.
"Whew, glad that's over with," Twilight said.
"Sorr-ry," Derpy said sheepishly, pawing the floor with a hoof. "I didn't know it was somepony's blankie..."
"It's okay, Derpy. Thanks for being reasonable about this."
"Sure thing!" the wall-eyed pegasus replied cheerfully. She waved with a hoof and left through the window--after crashing into the wall twice.
Twilight shook her head. "Two more weeks until Lavender and Sable get back..." she sighed.
"We'll make it," Shining Armor assured her. "We got through THIS crisis, didn't we?"
In her sleep, Velvet passed gas.
"Eww," Twilight complained, waving a hoof in front of her nose. "That foal sure can make a stink..."
The two unicorns left the nursery...
"Sweetie Bell?" Rarity asked as her younger sister and her friends trotted into the boutique the following morning. "Why aren't you in school?"
"Miss Cheerilee cancelled school," Sweetie Bell replied. "The schoolhouse was destroyed."
"DESTROYED?!" Rarity exclaimed, a dainty hoof pressed to her mouth.
"Some kinda freaky tornado," Apple Bloom said. "Durnedest thing..."
TO BE CONTINUED...