The New Authors In Town

by Legal Brief


After a quick check of their mutual home, Appblebloom caught up to her sister as she neared the edge of the apple orchard, heading back to work from a break.

 “Heya sis. Ah was hopin’ Ah could ask ya somethin’,” asked the yellow filly, a hopeful ring in her voice.

“Why sure thing sugarcube. What’s on yer mind?” said the orange mare, always willing to help her family. She nodded her head in the direction of the orchard, a signal that they should keep walking while they talked, trusting that Applebloom would have said something if doing so wouldn’t be appropriate.

Closing the distance between the two, Applebloom trotted up to her sister’s side and put on her best innocent smile. “Well, Ah was hoping to borrow some books of yers big sis.”

“Why, is that all Applebloom? Shucks, ya know ya don’t need ta ask ta do that. Go right on ahead. Ain’t like you don’t do that already, though,” replied the Stetson-clad mare, a somewhat puzzled expression blooming on her face by the end.

By this time, the duo had entered the orchard proper, apple trees swaying gently in the soft breeze, whispers of Big Mac’s work gliding over on the wind. Applebloom began to glance nervously around the orchard as she contemplated how to broach the topic with her sister. The verdant leaves bobbed in the wind as the ripening apples gleamed in the bright summer sun, a portent of the bountiful harvest to come.

After biting her bottom lip in nervous contemplation for a few moments as her eyes roamed around the orchard, Appleboom resolved to just come out straight and ask, as was the trend among the honest Apple family.

“Ah know we usually just share our books, sis. But Ah was hopin’ to, uh, borrow some of those ones ya keep on tha top shelf, ya know, like the one we borrowed from Twi last week.” Doing her best to look disarming, Applebloom brought out the big guns. She directed the full frontal assault of the pleading stare that had rendered Twilight Sparkle unable to resist joining the Apple family for brunch all those months ago when she was new in town.

Rarely did the surefooted Applejack misstep, even rarer still was for her to stumble a few steps before recovering. That was why when Applejack full on tripped and fell flat on her face, Stetson hat sailing off her head to land on the ground, Applebloom couldn’t help but stare slack-jawed at the bizarre scene as she ground to a halt.

Applejack quickly began righting herself, only sputtering mildly as she spat out dust and wiped her muzzle off with a forehoof. Reaching out and retrieving her hat, she quickly put it back on her head and marched up so she was face to face with her little sister, positive that she had misheard what was just asked of her. Appleloom fought to regain control of her face as her sister marched over.

“Sorry about that Applebloom,” said the orange mare, taking a moment to adjust the hat on her head better before returning her gaze to her sister. “Ah think Ah musta misheard ya there sis. See, Ah thought Ah just heard my little sis ask me if she could up and borrow somethin’ she ain’t got no right askin’ about.  What was it ya wanted again?”

The tepid nervousness that had earlier clung to Applebloom’s hooves had begun to rise and constrict her legs as Applejack question her sister. No longer moving deeper into the orchard, Applebloom was forced to gaze into the stern glare of her older sister who had one of her eyebrow’s arched expectantly, nearing the brim of her signature hat.

“Well, uh, sis, Ah asked if, uh, Ah could, ya know, borrow one of those books that ya keep on tha top shelf. Tha ones ya like to read at night after Big Mac and Granny Smith have gone ta bed. The kind that ya sometimes pick up from Twi.”

What had started out as a stern glare at her sister was rapidly turning into stare laced with the beginnings of fear, the thought that her little sister might know more than she ought to seeping into her consciousness. While the Apple family was renowned for many things, neither subtlety nor a great poker face was among them.

It was thus that Applejack set in motion her ingenious plan to make sure her sister would fail to notice her subsequent cover up. Operation ‘Distract AB And Keep Her In The Dark Until She’s Married Eeeeyup’ (or DABAKHITDUSME for short) was hatched. It wasn’t her fault that she didn’t have Rainbow’s talent for awesomeness or Rarity’s flare for the dramatic, and she didn’t have time to ask for help in naming her brilliant plan.

Thus decided on her course of action, Applejack quickly faced away from Applebloom to ingeniously cover up her less than impressive poke face. Her first stroke of brilliance proudly on display, Applejack moved right into phase two: play dumb.

“AB, Ah haven’t the slightest idea what yer yammering on about. Why, Ah’d never hide what Ah was readin’ from tha family.” Phase two was off to a brilliant start as far as Applejack was concerned. She was positive that Applebloom couldn’t see her mouth scrunched up at all. Why, she was absolutely certain that her little sister missed how her eyes darted from side to side as she was denying any such knowledge, the sweat on her forehead just a result of the hot sun. Eeeeyup, no doubt about it.

While she didn’t consider herself as book smart as the lavender librarian of Ponyville, Appblebloom was certain she knew more about one thing than the Element of Magic: how to tell her sister was lying. And if Applejack wouldn’t look a pony in the face, it was obvious something was up.

With newfound determination and just a hint of smugness tugging at the corners of her mouth, Applebloom set to work on cracking her sister’s brilliantly-titled plan. Operation ‘Make Mah Sister Tell Me What She’s Hidin’ And Get Me Some Books’ (or MMSTMWSHAGMSB), was a go. She’d ask her friends for help on a cooler title later, sure that the walking dictionary and the Rainibow Dash cheering squad would be able to come up with something, now, however, was the time for getting answers.

“Ya don’t, sis? That’s strange,” began Applebloom as she started to stealthily trot closer to her sister. “Why, just last week Ah saw ya come down and grab a book from tha top shelf about half an hour after Granny Smith and Big Mac headed on upstairs. Ya didn’t seem ta notice me doing my school work in the kitchen as ya kept lookin’ up tha stairs.”

AJ distinctly remembered that night. It had been a particularly enjoyable one at that. The book she’d grabbed was one of her favorite. The imagery of the author was always so tangible, the caress of the supple lips of her imagined lover, the aching throb that had crept throughout her body, the way that she scre…Nnnope, back to the plan, can’t get distracted, she reprimanded herself mentally, mindful that she was straying from her fool-proof plan.

She even remembered seeing the kitchen light on, assuming it had been Big Mac’s intention to come back down and get a snack before bed, thus why she kept checking to see if he was going to spot her. What she did not remember was a certain yellow filly spying on her as she retrieved her favorite ‘light reading’ material.

Making sure to keep her muzzle staunchly directed away from the curious gaze of the filly, Applejack ploughed onward, determined to see her daring plan to completion. “Well, AB, Ah’ll admit Ah do read at night sometimes. But Ah ain’t hiding nothin.’ Nnnnope. Not a thing.” The rate at which the applebucker’s eyes flickered back and forth had reached such a speed it looked as if they were doing full circles in their sockets.

Applebloom drew close enough that Applejack realized that her masterful plan was in jeopardy when she saw the filly begin to draw around in front, getting dangerously close to being able to see her in no way shifty and perhaps only the slightest bit dishonest eye movements.

Stage two having failed to deter her sister, it was time to move into stage three: stall the filly and make a break for it. This was the most brilliant stage if she did say so herself.  Quickly turning to the side to hide her totally not dishonest and in no way suspicious face, Applejack began to prepare for her escape.
“So, like Ah was saying sis,” started Applejack , “Ah ain’t hiding nothin’. Besides, even if Ah was hiding something from you, which Ah’m not, there would be good reason for it.” Before Applebloom could question her further, AJ began the final phase of her daring escape.

“Ah’d love ta stay and chat AB, but Ah really need ta get back ta work. Why don’t you go talk ta Granny Smith and see if she can’t help ya out.” With her eloquent diversion taken care of, Applejack galloped off in the opposite direction of the farmhouse, the confident smirk gracing her face obscured by the dust cloud she was kicking up, sure in the fact that her secret would live on. There was no way any self-respecting mare was gonna share those books with a filly. Eeeyup.

Applebloom pawed the ground sulkily as her sister dashed off into the cover of the orchard. “Shucks. There’s no way Big Mac would give me some of AJ’s books. Now what am Ah supposed ta do.” She pondered her next plan as she trotted back to the farmhouse, intent to not fail in her plan.

Caught up in her plotting, Applebloom failed to notice she was not alone as she walked through her home’s front door. “Why so glum Applebloom?” called out Granny Smith, sitting in her rocking chair as she watched the filly come inside.

“Huh?” Startled, the yellow filly looked over at the sound of the voice. “Oh, hey Granny Smith,” said Applebloom dejectedly as she returned her gaze to the ground. “It’s just that Ah wanted to borrow some of the books Applejack keeps on tha top shelf but she ran off before Ah could convince her to and said Ah should ask ya instead.”

Had Applebloom been looking at the elder mare she might have noticed the mischievous twinkle that shown in her orange eyes. She might also have noticed the way the sides of her grandmother’s mouth twisted upward into a small grin. She did notice, however, when the green mare came over and placed a hoof on her withers.

“Is that all Applebloom? Shucks, why didn’t ya just say so! Why, Ah know just tha thing to help ya out.”

Applebloom looked up with hopeful eyes. “Ya do granny? What is it?”

“Sure. Why don’t you just tell ol’ Granny Smith which books ya want?”

“Well, AJ never lets me read them, so Ah don’t really know what she has. Maybe just her favorite ones?”

At this, the older mare couldn’t help but stifle a chuckle. “Why don’t we just go take a gander and see what looks the most worn?” She began to guide the filly over toward the downstairs bookshelves. “That or we could just sniff ‘em,” mumbled the wizened old mare with a knowing grin on her face, too quiet for the filly to hear.

Or so she thought.

“What was that granny, something about liftin’ books?” said Applebloom as she gave a quizzical expression to Granny Smith.

Granny wasn’t worried about Applebloom reading about something she hadn’t seen before, the filly having grown up on a farm. What was on her mind, however, was how she could get back Applejack for all the times she’d been embarrassed in the past. Oh yes, she was going to get the orange mare good.

Granny Smith felt it was time finally time to put into action her plan that she had devised all those years ago. ‘Give Mah Granddaughter What She’s Had Coming Fer All These Years’ was about to begin. “Nothing to worry yer little head about Applebloom. Now let’s see what we’ve got here.” Granny Smith browsed the titles on the top shelf, looking for a few that she would make Applejack sweat when she found out the filly had them.

The elder mare smirked to herself as her gaze fell on one half of the shelf. It was filled with books from a certain author with a dessert for a cutie mark, emblazoned on the spine next to the title. She pulled down three rather well used books, hiding a snicker behind her hoof as she passed them off to Applebloom.

“I’ll just let yer sis know Ah handled the book situation when she asks. Why don’t ya run along and have fun with those.”

Applebloom looked up, excitement sparkling in eyes. “Thanks Granny! I sure will.”

With that, she grabbed the books and dashed back outside, heading toward the clubhouse and her partners in crime.