Her face bright and joyful with anticipation, Pinkie Pie pushed the plate in Rainbow Dash’s direction. But the cyan pegasus pony just shivered and frowned.
“I’ve already told you, Pinkie- thanks, but NO THANKS.”
“Awww, come on, just one bite... for your auntie-paunty Pinkie!”
“I said no! Geez, I swear, on every occasion, you try to shove your damn cupcakes down my throat...!”
The other ponies gasped, shocked by Rainbow’s sudden outburst. Like every other week, the six friends had gathered at Sugar Cube corner for snacks and hot chocolate.
“That was uncalled for, sugar cube”, Applejack said to break the silence.
Rainbow Dash looked down, her face hot with shame.
“I’m sorry, Pinkie, I really am. I’ve already told you, I can’t eat your cupcakes.”
“Don’t you like them...?”
“That’s besides the point. Objectively speaking, they are awesome. The best there are.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“I... Okay, look. I’m freaking out, okay? It’s not your fault, but I have... nightmares, and stuff.”
“I didn’t know you had nightmares, Rainbow”, Twilight Sparkle said, “I’m sure if we talk about it, we can...”
“It’s no big deal... And I don’t really want to talk about it. Just keep it in mind, okay?”
Pinkie Pie’s face lit up again.
“I know what will cheer you up... Cupcakes?”
Again with the plate-pushing.
Rainbow Dash was flubbergasted.
“Haven’t you listened to a word I just said?”
“I dunno. Maybe? Have I? Would you like a cupcake?”
Rainbow Dash closed her eyes, and as calmly as possible, she said:
“For the last time: Your cupcakes are scaring the hay out of me. They haunt me in my nightmares. So no, Pinkie. I would not like one of your cupcakes, even if it was the last in all of Equestria.”
Applejack was shaking her head. To Fluttershy, she whispered:
“That won’t do her no good. To good ol’ Pinkie, this will sound like a challenge...”
Pinkie Pie leaned forward and rested her head on one of her front hooves.
“Say, that’s mighty strange, Dashie. How can cupcakes haunt anypony? I didn’t put any ghoulies or ghosties into them. I tried that once, and boy, the sales were dropping so fast one could...”
“You really want to know what keeps me from eating your cupcakes?”
“Either you tell me, or you let me find out... Uh! I have just the persona for that!”
Pinkie Pie darted out of the room, only to come back a second later with a psychologist’s couch and a pair of ridiculously large glasses.
“Meet Frau Doktor Hagenschlagenfragen! Jusst lay zown and tell me whatt iss bodering you, Fräulein Rainboh Dasch! And maybe haf ein kupkake, ja?”
She was petting the cushion of the couch to support the invitation.
“She kinda confiscated that persona from me, remember?”, Twilight said to Rarity.
The white unicorn shrugged, without averting her eyes from the scene in front of them.
“If you ask me, the Teutonic accent is a nice addition.”
Rainbow moaned. “Not that again...”
“Look. Let’s settle this once for all. Pinkie? Pinkie! Are you listening to me?”
Pinkie Pie was lost in a new game she had discovered. She was laying on the couch, going through pictures of inkblots, mumbling random word associations while Doktor Hagenschlagenfragen was taking notes, shaking her head in concern. Before anypony’s brain could melt as a consequence of this paradox, the two pink earth ponies fused back together as Rainbow Dash yelled Pinkie’s name.
“Applesauce, Tasmanian Walrus, Horseshoe, Seven years in Beijing, Maine... Yes, Dashie?”
She hopped in front of her pegasus friend, with fluttering eyelashes.
“Pinkie, I need an answer from you...”
“I mean an answer to the following question: Are you - yes or no - foalnapping, torturing and chopping up ponies as a “special ingredient” for your cupcakes?”
Fluttershy almost fainted. Twilight Sparkle violently shook her head.
“Rainbow, what on EARTH...”
“Uh-uh-uh! Don’t interrupt, Twilight. I need to hear this. So, Pinkie Pie... what will it be?”
“Yes. I mean no. Gosh, should I? I mean, I didn’t know you had... special tastes like that...”
“Personally-wise, I am not surprised”, Applejack said, “She once almost chewed mah mane off during a sleepover...”
Rainbow turned around to yell at the workhorse, blushing.
“Applejack, I told you I was dreaming about fresh hay! It wasn’t my fault your hair smells like farm! ...We’re getting awfully off-topic here, but what did I expect...
I have issues. I am scared that there MIGHT be ponies in your cupcakes, Pinkie. There aren’t any, right?”
“Nope. The only cannibal cupcakes I ever made were cupcakes eating other cupcakes, and that was for a competition over in Fillydelphia last summer...”
“Okay. Good. Great. That’s a relief. ‘Cupcakes eating other cupcakes?’ Nevermind. Girls, I tell you... Now that I have let it all out, I feel a lot better already.”
“Maybe you should assist Pinkie with her next bunch of cupcakes? So you can see with your own eyes there is nothing to worry about?”, Twilight kindly suggested.
“It might be a little too soon for that...”
Pinkie Pie made puppy eyes.
“Is it also too soon for one itsy bitsy tallowhipsy hipsy ditsy cupcake...?”
“For you, Pinkie. I really hope you’ll leave me alone after that...”
She took a bite.
“Say, these are good cupcakes. What’s in ‘em?”
“Well, I said I didn’t use any ponies...”
Rainbow Dash frowned and looked at the half-eaten cupcake. The colors were a little odd. Green and purple. Just the color sheme of a certain little dragon they all knew and loved...
“Hey girls”, she said slowly, “Has anyone seen Spike today?”
“He was helping me earlier with the... ingredients”, Pinkie Pie squeaked, trying to keep a straight face.
From one second to the next, the ponies invited to Sugar Cube Corner turned very pale.
But by now Pinkie Pie was rolling on the floor, laughing.
“Oh GIRLS! I’m pulling your hooves! Spikey is fine. I just sent him out to find some very special flowers for me. Fluttershy, he said he found them growing by your cottage! He said you even helped him harvest the stuff!”
“...Oh, uhm, right. I guess I should have mentioned that before...”
Applejack and Rainbow Dash were on their way to Sweet Apple Ackers after the little party. The workhorse had invited her over to talk about a construction project for which she said she could use her friend’s help.
“Gosh, Pinkie Pie was really rocking the house this time, wasn’t she...”, the pegasus said with a little, nervous laugh.
“I shall say. But you were not too shabby on the freaky account yourself, sugar cube. Accusing good ol’ Pinkemina of being an evil dungeon master...?”
Rainbow Dash smirked.
“Yeah, that was pretty lame. But if that means I get to have regular dreams again, I don’t regret it...”
They arrived on the farm.
“Say, sugar cube, I could really use something to calm mah nerves. Would you be so neighbourly as to fetch me a bottle of cidre from mah new apple cellar?”
“Sure thing... where is...?”
Applejack lifted a hoof and pointed to a big, gaping entry not far from the barn.
Rainbow dashed inside.
“Gosh, it’s dark in here. Ah, there’s the cidre...”
A shadow fell on her from the big rectangle above. Rainbow turned her head.
“Good night, sugar cube. Don’t worry, I’ll come to see you very soon...”
And then the earth pony closed the cellar door.
Rainbow Dash started banging against it. It was made of steel.
Outside, the earth pony was unable to even hear the pegasus’ pointless efforts and protest, but she could imagine them all too well.
Applejack chuckled. “Finally, we’ll get some quality time together, mah little turkey.”
As she walked back to the house, with a lusty shake of her flank, the earth pony whispered:
“And trust me, Rainbow... It will be a long, long time...”