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Trixie Story Scraps, Part 1 · 3:06am Apr 9th, 2020

So, I've once again picked up an idea I've had with the intent of writing it. It's a three- or four-year-old idea and the scraps are from 2017. Since then, I'd like to think both that I've gotten better at writing and that I have a better idea for how to tackle this one. You can get the first scrapped scene below the break; the following scene actually got written twice, so I first need to figure out which/how much I can post of those 'cause, despite the changes, I know one of them has important spoilers later on.

Before that, I'd like to remind anyone who has read For the Benefit of Yaks that I am still open to feedback here.

* * *

The title says it came from a story about Trixie; as it happens… she isn't actually a part of this scene at all. I don't think she shows up in one of the other parallel scraps, either.

There were problems. It's a bit telling that I ended up with about 4k words of unusable material. Anyhow, I still think this bit is good on its own. Enjoy!

Satisfied that she had already found all of the available books on the topic of practical jokes and other forms of pranks, Starlight returned to the stack of books that she had been gathering.  A brightly-colored addition caught her notice; she didn’t remember pulling it off the shelves. Sometime in the last fifteen minutes, it had appeared on top of the books that she had been gathering from Twilight’s library.

Starlight raised an eyebrow at the crayon image on the cover, which consisted of the disembodied heads of Pinkie and Rainbow centered over a yellow background shape that resembled a many-pointed unsymmetrical star that had been stretched to fit both heads comfortably.  She sighed, picked up all three books with her telekinesis, and made her way back to her room.

* * *

Pranks for the Uninitiated by Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, illustrated by Pinkie Pie.”

Starlight chuckled at the book on the top of her stack.  For all the progress in her friendship studies, she still had so much to learn.  This time, it was pranks. A year ago, she’d have condemned playing practical jokes on one’s friends as cruel and demeaning, but ponies in Ponyville pulled them off regularly, hardly ever truly upsetting the recipient.

It doesn’t make any sense…  But that’s what the books were for.  Starlight took the moment to appreciate that Twilight meant it when she said that there was a book for everything.  Rainbow and Pinkie had also just proven that if there wasn’t a book on something, there probably would be soon enough.  So far as she knew, their maybe-one-dozen-page crayon-colored instruction manual hadn’t existed until about an hour ago – shortly before it had appeared on the other books that she had pulled from the library.

She stretched her legs out before settling down on her bed, and grasped the book with her magic for inspection.  Made out of thick paper, the crayon wax stuck the book’s pages together slightly. Starlight rolled her eyes and thought, Equestria is probably lucky there’s only one copy of this book.  Nonetheless, she opened it up.  Surprisingly, the first page contained more than the expected one or two simple sentences:

Table of Contents:
Rules of Engagement . . . . 2
Common Types of Pranks . . . . 3
The Jokester’s Toolkit . . . . 4
Picking Your Target . . . . . 5
Step One: Planning . . . . . 6
Step Two: Execution . . . . 7
Step Three (Optional): Punchline . . . 8
Step Four: No Hard Feelings . . . 9
Example . . . . . . 11

The second page succinctly discussed the purpose of pranking (to have fun), encouraged taking a strong stance in a prank war, and warned her away from acting on sour feelings when planning a prank.  ‘Step Four’ sounded the most like what Starlight was after, but clearly the rest of the book could provide potentially useful context. Flipping the page again, Starlight was met by a pamphlet from the local joke shop cut to fit and glued in, as well as remarks on each product from the authors in the margins.  Honestly, she hadn’t thought either Pinkie or Rainbow had been proficient with pen or quill enough to write that small legibly.

She didn’t pay close attention to the next few pages; a breakdown of the pranking process didn’t mean nearly as much to her as a breakdown of its place in friendship would have, and the drawings, while amusing, didn’t help much.  Before long, she found herself at the desired page. She briefly noted that the page on the right was blank, presumably because the ‘example’ made use of another drawing that spanned both pages.

Step Four: No Hard Feelings

Even with the perfect prank for the right target, you should always let them know after that it’s all in good fun, because nopony likes a meany-pants.  If they aren’t happy, apologize to them, and keep their feelings in mind when choosing your target next time. Remember: pranks should leave you laughing with them, not at them.  Never pull a prank that you wouldn’t go through yourself.

The highly-detailed example provided in this book draws from actual life experiences.  The authors of this book hope it answers any questions still lingering about why ponies play pranks.

Starlight smiled.  They struck the nail on the head with that last line.  She flipped—


For a split second, Starlight saw things flying towards her.  She screamed as she defensively attempted to obliterate the foreign objects with a blast from her horn until she found herself subconsciously trying to hide in the claustrophobic gap between the wall and the side of her bed.  She finally settled on shrinking into the back corner of her bed and glaring at the space that the book used to occupy.

By then, the air had cleared, and Starlight could no longer see any of the scary objects, but that didn’t mean anything to her pounding heart.  Still slightly panting, she inched forwards and peeked down from her bed.

The book stared back at her, half-burnt confetti surrounding it and clinging to the side of her covers.  The right page of the book appeared to have either been singed by her magic blast or partially exploded by whatever Pinkie used to launch her confetti.

Leave it to Pinkie to use a paper party cannon, Starlight remarked to herself.  The left page showed more writing:

Got you!  We used this prank on Twilight when she was reading about flying right after she became a princess.  You two kiiinda think the same a lot.

Now that you’ve been pranked, you’re all ready to start your own pranking career!  Make us proud!

—Pinkie Pie & Rainbow Dash

After years of living in the sterilized village that she had made, obscenities had become almost completely alien to her.  She was beginning to remember why ponies used them, though. They wrote this part knowing I’d fall for it, she remarked.  But they were right.

They aren’t even here to see it happen!

Starlight groaned and flopped back onto her bed.  As cheesy as the book first appeared, they had just proven their credibility.

Now with a Part 2.

Comments ( 2 )

This is quite good. Excellent characterization of everyone involved. You could publish it on its own as a minific.

I don't really have a collection for non-RoboFoME minifics, but it is ever-so-slightly above 1k words. Still, I don't think I want to publish it as a standalone like that; it just doesn't seem complete enough for me to get behind that idea.

I could rectify that lack of a minific collection, though; there are, of course, a few snippets I've posted in the past and perhaps one or two more in other folders that haven't seen the light of day yet.

I appreciate the compliment. It did seem a shame not to share it somehow.

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