I spent the next ten minutes - ten minutes - plodding through the streets of Ponyville with a randomly rambling Pinkie Pie and a way-too-happy Counselor Meadows. From Hospital to about the center of town. This place was monstrous, more-so than that damnable show had ever depicted! House upon house, all of them firetraps. Thatch roofed cottages with only the occasional tiled 'rich residence.'
And, of course, we had Pinkie to describe every. Single. Last. Resident. From the Riches - who live really close to the center of town - to the Punches - turns out more of an edge case. Pinkie knew each of them and would start a story only to stop midway through the 'One time, me and' to ramble on about another house we passed. And the ponies. THE PONIES. A technicolor stream of bright, hard-on-the-eyes rainbow-colored equines all smiling faces and waving hooves. Pinkie added them to her listing and - as we got closer to the center of town and the crowds became thicker - her voice became this whining shrieking thing that drowned out everything else around us.
Oh, wait, no. That was the sound of my teeth grinding.
Anyway, Spring evidently had given up on trying to engage me in conversation after I pointedly ignored everything out of her mouth for half the walk (I heard her mumble something about 'nerves' and 'excited.' That pony cannot read body language very well.) until I suddenly rammed her ass with my face. Chalk up another reason why clothing needs to be more common in Equestria. Despite the unintended probing my muzzle gave her, she barely spared a glance backwards before leaping on her hindhooves and spreading her ... ya know what? I'm going to call them arms. Hindhooves and forehooves are damned annoying and confusing. 'Arms' and 'legs.' Her arms out wide with a fairly large smile.
"Well, here's your new home!"
"Why am I not surprised?" Before me stood Sugarcube Corner, th-
"Sugarcube Corner! Premier pastry and party palace in Ponyville!" Pinkie interrupted (somehow) and tried to mimic Spring's stance, only with more arch in her back. After a bare moment she over arched and tumbled backwards. I blinked at her smiling face nonplussed before turning my attention back to the building. As I was saying before I was interrupted, Sugarcube Corner, the most famous (to humans) Equestrian eatery! A gingerbread house made of ... is that actual gingerbread? It looked like it but I'm sure ... really realistic, almost weirdly so. Some kind of air-blown stucco? The rain gutters were frosting-shaped! Do they even MAKE rain gutters frosting-shaped?! Is that something that has a demand here in Equestria?
And candles! Well, not really. They look electric. But still! Electric candles on the top of the whole she-bang as if it was a hazard to low-flying pegasi. Even the chimneys were decked out in frosting-styled ridges, though they didn't hide the gray stone itself. What, paint too expensive compared to all the other crap stuck on the outside? Yeah, this was a 'dream' come 'true.' And by that I mean it was a new and more interesting layer of hell so bizarre that Dante felt the need to keep it out of his tour book lest he really freak people out.
"You've gotta meet the Cakes, they're the bestest and most super-ific couple in all of Ponyville!" With me struggling to get down - and Pinkie's surprisingly deft maneuvers to prevent that - we followed a still-smiling-Spring into the open door of the gingerbread house of DOOM! Or, pastries. And probably rats. I know I'm smarter than a rat and if I can't tell the difference between the walls and a sugary treat, I know the mice are going to have issues.
The door jangled cheerily as we all pranced in the room. Or rather, the two mares pranced. I was more grunting and struggling to get off of Pinkie's back. As the tinkling died in our wake, a blue head with pink frosting - no, that's her mane - a pink mane-do popped from around a corner.
"Oh be with you in a min-oh, Pinkie Pie dearie! Is that you? Oh, and you've brought a guest, how lovely!" Mrs. Cake. Proprietress of the house and store and probably the one that wore the pants in the family. Ponies are creepy - have I mentioned that? - but FAT PONIES ARE FUCKING WEIRD! You can see the fat slide around on their forms. It's like watching a really fat dog try desperately to waddle to the food bowl. I'm not a lean beefy guy myself. I'm actually a bit fat, in human form anyway. And by 'a bit' I mean I'm grossly fat and need to stop eating so damn much junk food. But damn! Get a treadmill. My mental conversation with myself unnoticed, Mrs. Cake waddled out from behind the counter and gave Pinkie a hug. I hope it was a hug. Otherwise, her fat has become sentient and is trying to devour ponies. Will no one be safe from - no, it was a hug. "And Spring Meadows, dearie! I hardly ever see you around here anymore, not since you and Pinkie worked those issues out."
And really? Are mental issues so common that peo-ponies can talk about them so openly? From the lack of blushing or awkwardness from the two mares I was sandwiched between (not in a good way either) I take it that, yes, everypony in this town was some type of crazy. I think it was rubbing off on me. Or maybe it was just bringing my attention to things that I didn't know about.
"And who is this handsome young colt?" Oh god, the fat wants to eat me! By my panic stricken eyes, I think Mrs. Cake knew not to try to envelop me. I want to pretend that it was my manly sneer that drove the foul monster into the depths from which it came, hissing and snarling, but no. It was the huge terrified eyes. Spring rubbed the back of her neck with a hoof, blushing slightly. Yet still smiling.
"Yeah, uhm, can we talk alone Cup? There's a ... situation." She glanced to her side, catching Pinkie's attention. "Can you, uhm, watch him a bit?" Lowering her voice, she leaned over my head. "But remember what we talked about Pinkemena Diane Pie." Ohhhhh, true-name use! That witch.
At the mention of her full name, Pinkie's eyes dilated slightly and she gave a way-too vigorous nod.
"Yes ma'am! Pinkie Pie, premier ponysitter is on the case!" She gave a slight salute and Spring, after a slightly squinted look, nodded brightly and trotted out into the kitchen - I guess - after Mrs. Cake.
"Well, now that that's out of the wa-" I never got a chance to finish my sentence. Something terrible, horrible happened that scarred me for life. Something I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever forget no matter how mad I go. I heard a pair of voices, high pitched and squealing. Like the sounds of Satan's talons on a chalkboard, it was. A shiver followed those sounds and I knew then that my life was changed, irrevocably and in such a terrible way.
Two forms shot by me as that screech echoed in the depths of my soul. A horn'ed demon and a wing'ed one, the Harbingers of Terror and Strife. They latched onto Pinkie Pie and bore her to the floor, their slight forms overpowering her despite their miniscule size. Cavorting like jackals over a fresh kill, I could only watch as they ravaged the poor mare. In her madness, Pinkie laughed along with them though their cries were ones of victory. Their names were Misery and Anguish though they stole the forms and names of those they replaced.
"Aunt Pinkie! You're back! YAY!"
"Oh god, Dante was wrong. Hell is candy-colored pony children."