64w, 1dDitzy Doo.
Ditzy Doo smiled as she walked through the bustling town markets. She enjoyed the markets, though she rarely had many bits to spend in the shops or stalls. The Ponyville markets were unusually large for a town of such size; while most small towns would require ponies to travel to larger locations for rarely-bought goods, Ponyville stores had historically possessed almost everything ponies needed to live. The two major exceptions, gemstones and iron shoes, caused grief to two very different sections of Ponyville. While most ponies were completely unaware of the shortage of the first (save for those who spent any time with the resident dragon or designer), the second had been rather more problematic. The high prices of shoes forced most ponies to go without, and they soon became a symbol of wealth and stature. This in turn lead to the rather unusual local tradition of hanging shoes upon walls, or using them as door handles instead of wearing them. Even after the large fall in price caused by the development of railways, the rather strange practice had survived. Of the few hundred sets of shoes that were imported, about ninety percent were never worn. Ditzy was one of the few who did wear shoes though: she spent all day on her hooves.
Ditzy had arrived at her favourite place in the markets: Sugarcube Corner. Like every other weekday, she sat at the table numbered 8 and upended one of the mail bags onto it - then another, and another. Francesca, for all her boasting, never sorted the mail in any way that made sense to Ditzy. She had gone through stages of sorting it: alphabetically by recipient, by species and by colour of the letter itself. Ditzy put the important blue box on the bench next to her, so as to not forget it, and started to sort the mail properly, humming as she did so.
It was soon after the mare sat down that she was interrupted by the resident baker, Pinkie Pie.
“Hi Ditzy! What are you doing today?”
“Oh, hello Pinkie. I’m just re-sorting the mail. Franchy was extra Franchy today: she didn't sort it very well at all. How about you?”
“Me? I’m just hiding from the Cakes. I let Pound try some of the special frosting I was making for Berry Punch’s cupcakes. I thought he liked it. But Miss Cake asked me to get some apples from Applejack. And a recipe book from Twilight. And ask Rainbow for a forecast. And to go talk to Fluttershy for a while.”
Ditzy stared at the pink mare in mock horror. ”Pinkie, that was terrible! Why would you do that to those poor, poor innocent things? Frosting muffins is horrible, I strongly disapprove. I should complain to your manager.”
Pinkie giggled. “They aren’t muffins, Ditzy! Icing cupcakes is fine.”
“Speaking of cake, what did you bake today?”
The pink mare tapped her chin in thought. “Mrs Cake baked a carrot cake, rock cakes, apple turnovers. I just finished Berry’s order and I think there are some un-iced muffins left. There just might be a little itty-bitty of the straw-slices left over from another order.”
“Those lonely muffins. I’ll grab some in a few minutes.”
“See you later then!” Pinky trotted into the crowd, whistling. Ditzy jealously watched her depart. She returned to sorting the mail only to be almost instantly interrupted by a growling rumble emanating from her belly. Perhaps, the mare thought, I should get the muffins sooner rather than later. She looked guiltily at the mail, still covering the tabletop completely. A few minutes would be fine, she reasoned. The mare wriggled out of the remains of her harness and gingerly placed it on the letters, to stop them flying away. She trotted happily to the inside of her favourite shop. The small blue box stared accusingly at her back.
Inside the large establishment, there were fewer ponies than usual. Three young fillies sat bickering in a corner, arguing as to what they should buy with their limited bits. The town librarian sat inside one of the booths with an irritable dragon. The blue mare was serving. Everypony in the town, even those older than her, referred to her as Mrs Cake. She had long ago given up trying to convince them to call her anything else, and secretly, she enjoyed it. A cream mare with a purple mane gleefully trotted outside and Ditzy approached the smiling Mrs Cake.
“Hello Ditzy. How’s Dinky?”
“Hi Mrs Cake! Dinky is great, thankyou.” The mare peered into the glass cabinet, stacked three-deep with cakes. “How have you been? How is Mr Cake?”
“Same old, same old. Carrot Top is out of town this week, flour convention in Manehattan.”
Ditzy looked at her quizzically. "Flour convention? Is there really that much to flour?"
"Apparently there is. Anyway, what can I get you, deary?"
“Pinkie told me that there were some muffins left over from Berry Punch’s order. Can I grab three of them?”
“Sure honey. For you, two bits.”
Ditzy smiled happily and reached for her money bag. For a moment she stood awkwardly, reaching for the non-existent bag that was in fact attached to her saddle located on her table outside.
“Can... can I quickly pop outside and grab my purse?”
In a rather probable chain of events, there was no disaster in Ditzy Doo going to collect her purse. She returned inside, engaged in the ancient tradition of purchase of goods and service and left the building. The next event (as Ditzy Doo was finishing sorting the mail and spreading muffin crumbs throughout the letters), was more unlikely, but still not improbable. The three stallions that Ditzy disliked the most in the entire town spotted her: Dumbbell, Score and Bench Press. One of the three, perhaps a slight soft in the head, started to call out to her in a friendly manner. This brought him an elbow to the ribs from the other two. It was only now Ditzy noticed them.
“Oh- that’s just- oh ponyfeathers.”
There was an awkward pause while the three decided what to do. Throughout high school, they had made her life very unpleasant. This was due to the first encounter between them. On Ditzy Doo’s first day at her new school at Cloudsdale Loft, she had been queuing for lunch. She misjudged her footing and stumbled directly into the three. Lunch that day had included pea soup which was both the favorite of the three and very, very hot.
The three circled her.
“Hey Derpy. How have you been?” The one who called to her asked. The other two glared at him.
“Why can’t you leave me alone?”
“Because… you’re stupid.” replied another.
Inside Ditzy’s mind there was an elegant verbal riposte forming, one that would make her assailants curl up and whimper, never to be the same. One that would ensure that they would never hurt her, or anypony else ever again. It was just on the tip of her tongue. What came out of her mouth was completely different.
“I’m not stupid.”
“Yes you are. You work in a post office, you deliver mail to ponies.” They started to walk slowly around her.
“It’s not a career, it’s a job for a highschooler.”
Dumbbell flicked some of the re-sorted mail off the table. “What are you gonna do about it? You broken any more buildings lately? Cause, you know, you’re a klutz?”
Ditzy started to panic. She was not particularly worried about the names she would be called, she was more worried about the three taking the mail. One of them reached over and started to pick up some of the letters. She hit his hoof and he dropped the letters.
“Oh. Look at you, sticking up for yourself for a change. What’s in this blue box?”
While she struggled to follow the three of them, she saw something that scared her more than the three pegasi. The world began to blur.
“Hey, We’re talking to you Derpy. What’s in the box? It looks important, Derpy.”
There seemed to be two images in front of her, similar but not quite the same. Colours changed and swirled, folding over themselves. The sounds of the teasing from the three stallions became muffled. Directly behind her eyes, there was a dull pain. Shapes began to stretch. Suddenly, just as if somepony turned off the lights, everything went dark.
Unlike almost all awakenings by those who recently fainted, pain was not Ditzy Doo’s first recollection. A severe lack of warmth was her first sensation. This was closely followed by an understanding that her spinal column was going to be very unhappy with her for quite a while. She cracked open her eyes. Cake. Specifically, Mrs Cake’s face. The blue mare was staring keenly into her eyes.
“Sweetie, are you okay?”
From the floor Ditzy groaned something incoherent. Her mind had not quite recollected itself and was still babbling information to her inside her head. She had a sudden impulse to find a chalkboard and a physicist. Something about cats in boxes. Ditzy Doo blinked and with great mental effort quietened the voice inside her head.
“Uh, Mrs Cake, why am I lying on the floor?”
“Erm. I found you outside. Lying on the ground with letters and your harness around you. You were unconscious so I brought you, and your mail inside. Are you sure you are okay?”
“I… I’m fine.”
Ditzy Doo sat up and rubbed her head. Then came the pain. Dull, throbbing, aching pain directly behind her eyes. “Actually, could I have a glass of water please?”
“Sure.” The blue mare looked at her distrustingly. ”Did Pinkie give you any of her… special brownies?”
“What? No. I, I just have this thing with my eyes sometimes. Moving objects, bright colours and flickering lights set it off sometimes. I fainted at one of Cheerilee’s parties actually. My eyes... they look in different directions.”
“Oh… okay then.” Mrs Cake quickly fetched her glass of water. Ditzy drank it greedily. “You should probably go to Nurse Redheart, she might be able to give you something…”
“Thanks. I should be fine now. I’ll be going now, thanks again.” Ditzy heaved the harness over her shoulders.
“Stay safe. Remember to go to Nurse Redheart!”
“Will do!” Ditzy turned to leave.
Ditzy stretched in the warm sun outside the shop. It was a sunny afternoon, and she was happy. Today would be a good day. She reached to her side, where earlier that morning a rather irate griffon had clamped a blue box. And she kept right on reaching, pulling a letter out of her mail bags. Pokey Pierce, the address read. Deep in the mare’s mind there was a nagging hint of doubt: had she left something somewhere? Did she need to do something? No, she decided. Just the letters.