2 comments · 49 views
Here's a story I abandoned last year. I'm tossing it up here because I feel like it. Don't you judge me.
Anyway, it's a first draft, meaning it's full of grammatical and spelling mistakes, weird continuity problems, and pointless repetitions, etc. It'll stay like that FOREVER.
Applejack trod against the dark grass in view of the full moon. The simple mowing harness she wore was made sinister by the moonlight, like a beast clawing at the ground as it stalked its prey. Applejack moved over the patch of grass bordering the house she and her family lived in, only the snip-snap of the mower striking down grass heard as she completed her path.
None of her family were awake to watch her, or take note of her labor. They, at least, would have noticed her expression, normally bright and pleasant when working, was full of frowns and glares.
She finished the lawn that was her duty, now placid like an emerald sea. Normally, she would pause and inspect her work, feeling quiet pride at a job well done. Instead, she moved on without pause to Golden Harvest’s house, the mower trailing her with a greed that could not be satiated.
Rainbow Dash landed in front of Applejack, her hard landing lacquering Applejack with dust.
“Do ya mind Rainbow?” Applejack said, shaking her head to remove dust from her mane. “I’m kinda busy here.”
“You’ve been kinda busy all day!” Dash said, moving to block Applejack’s forward progress. “And all night! What’s up with you, doing this non-stop mowing?”
“It’s work, Rainbow. Something I figure you could be doing a bit more of.”
Applejack pushed past Rainbow Dash, who took to the air and flapped alongside her. “What’s with you getting snappy all of a sudden? You’ve never mowed this far out here. It’s crazy, what you’re doing!”
“Listen,” Applejack said, not deviating from her course. “I’d love to visit with ya, and I promise I will as soon as I get this done. I’ll be seein’ ya, Rainbow.” Dash stopped moving with Applejack and watched her continue on, now pulling the mower toward the fountain. There was little grass there to mow, and the mower launched bits of rock away from its path.
“But it’s never gonna get done!” Dash said, snapping her front hooves down in agitation. She turned to fly to visit Twilight Sparkle.
In the small instance when she changed her focus from Applejack to turn her head toward the sky to check for visual clearance, her peripheral vision was seeing before noticing.
“What-”, Dash said, flinging her head around to watch Applejack’s retreating form. It was only Applejack, asking pardon from the ponies around the fountain as she maneuvered to cut the grass.
“Going crazy,” Dash muttered to herself as she blasted off into the sky.
Mayor Mare stood in front of Applejack.
“Applejack, I must ask you to stop mowing this instant. You’re interfering with the gleaning laws!”
Applejack pushed her Stetson back on her head. “I’m awfully sorry to hear that, ma’am. I don’t mean to make it difficult for the more unfortunate ponies to graze when they need to. It’s just this grass-” Applejack swung her hoof in a wide horizontal arc, intended to survey the entire town “-won’t stop growing! I have to be puttin’ it down, understand?”
Mayor Mare cocked an eyebrow. “What do you mean, ‘put it down’?”
“Cut it down, I meant,” Applejack said. Without ending the conversation, Applejack pushed ahead, her mower obediently following behind.
Major Mare watched Applejack leave with no small amount of concern trotting across her features.
“See Major Mare?” Twilight Sparkle said, trotting up beside her. “She’s developed some bizarre mania that won’t let her stop mowing.”
“I hope you can do something about it, Twilight,” Mayor Mare said. “She’s interfering with the gleaning laws, and the constable technically has the right to arrest her. I really don’t want that to happen, so if there’s anything you can do-“
“Count on us, Mayor,” Rainbow Dash said, swooping down in front of the two. “We’ll stop her by force, if we have too.”
“I hope it doesn’t come to that,” the Major said, watching Applejack as she continued her course.
“Don’t any of ya’ll understand?” Applejack said. “If I don’t cut the grass, it’ll grow and start reproducin’! We can’t have none of that, so I gotta rob ‘em of the chance before it’s too late!”
“Are you even listening to yourself?” Rainbow Dash said, splaying her front hooves. “You’ve gone completely bonkers!”
“I didn’t expect you to understand.”
“But do you even understand, Applejack?” Twilight said. “Cutting all of the grass simply because you don’t want it to grow? That makes no sense!”
With moist, twinkling eyes, Apple Bloom looked up at Twilight. “You gotta help my sister, you just gotta! She won’t listen to me or Big Macintosh or Granny Smith!”
“I promise to do everything I can,” Twilight said.
Apple Bloom sniffed. “Thanks, Twilight. I knew I could count on ya.”
“Do you know why Applejack is doing this?”
Apple Bloom shook her head.
Twilight sat on the floor to be at Apple Bloom’s level. “Well, could you tell us what the day was like before Applejack started mowing? Do you remember anything she said, what was going on…”
“It was just a regular borin’ old day, Twilight. I got back from school, I was gettin’ my homework done so I could go crusadin’, Applejack was askin’ how my day went, Granny Smith cookin’ dinner, all of that. After I ate, I went to play with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo.
“When it was time for them to leave, I went back home and saw Applejack mowin’. I didn’t think nothin’ of it, and so went to bed.”
Apple Bloom trotted merrily into her house, paying little mind to Applejack’s merciless stare.
“Comin’ in kinda late, ain’t cha?”
“A little bit,” Apple Bloom said, as she took the tongs in her mouth. She opened the stove, closing her eyes at the blast of warm air. She manipulated the tongs around her bowl of soup, and moved it to the table. “Granny Smith,” she shouted, “thanks for keepin’ my meal warm!”
“Mealworms in the swarm?” Granny Smith shouted.
Apple Bloom placed the plate on the table and spat out the tongs. She crawled up into a seat, and was on the verge of biting down when Applejack pulled the plate away from her.
“Aw Applejack, what gives?”
12w, 2dThangs and stuff3 comments · 75 views
1. The next chapter of Xenophilia: Cultural Norms, will be out this month, perhaps even in the next two weekseventually, I swear! I went through two drafts that I didn't like, restarting both times. I also threw out some of my outline and made a new one. So the long delay is mostly me trying to figure out how the hell I want this thing to continue - I had three differing ideas on how to continue this story, and got stuck in an idée fixe. I apologize for the long delay. At the very least, I'm going to spin off one of the ideas into an alternate Xenophilia story.
2. I have no title for the alternate story yet, but Ponyville gets attacked at the worst possible time, as the mane six and Spike are out adventuring, and Discord is on vacation. It's up to Mayor Mare to organize the town while Lyra leads the assault, backed by visiting swordsmare Five Rings (her being a warrior-poet pegasus raised by Griffons), and an increasingly drunk Berry Punch, who seems to be too much of a wildcard for Lyra to trust. Lero takes a back seat in this one - he's a lover, not a fighter - and he may have to learn to swallow his pride and stifle his strong protectionist streak, and let the experts do the fighting.
3. I removed the Hictavia joke from the most recent chapter of Cultural Norms. It seems to be way too distracting to some of that story's readers. I'll endeavour to avoid little fanon potshots like that in the future... at least as far as Cultural Norms is concerned. I'm going to spin Hictavia off into a non-Xeno oneshot, also starring Vinyl Schizo. Other non-Xeno oneshots include a Derpy and Dinky story, and a Rarity and Sweetie Belle story.