The Ghost Company

by Count Doofus


"I can't believe we're back to square one..." Twilight muttered angrily.

As they tentatively rounded a corner, Twilight's eyes fell on the form of a pony, collapsed on the ground. Given her color and size, she quickly identified the unfortunate mare.

"Agate Wreath? What happened to her?"

Applejack walked over, and crouched down next to Agate. She was too busy looking for injuries to notice one of her eyes opening to a slit, peering at her.

"She looks to be out cold, Twi'. And look at this" - she pointed at an oddity in Agate's neck - "see those two holes in her neck?"

Rarity immediately recalled her encounter with the same supernatural being. "Has she been bitten by that vampire? But... That would mean..."

"Exactly..." Agate's voice rasped, as she righted herself. Applejack backed away instantly, keeping out of reach of Agate's fangs.

"Come here! Let auntie Agate Wreath give you a little kiss!" She said, as she stepped closer to Celestia's envoy.

"Rather not, if it's all the same to you!" Spike said, as the ponies broke into a gallop, creating a reasonable distance between them and the portly vampire. She pursued them, but her physical condition quickly made her give up her chase. Maybe her husband would be an easier target...

As the running ponies rounded another corner, they encountered a stallion they were not expecting.


The butler pony got startled, and began to run.

"After him!" Applejack called, "He knows who the killer is!"

Despite the butler's age, he was surprisingly spry. The chasing ponies almost lost sight of him as he turned away into a familiar room.

"There! He went into the salon! We've got him now!"

Bursting into the salon themselves, Rarity and Twilight bumped into Applejack's rump as she suddenly skidded to a halt.

"Where in tarnation did he wander off to?!" she exclaimed.

Rarity, Twilight and Spike now saw for themselves that there wasn't a single trace left of Pennywell. The only oddity in the room was Thunder Thorn's casket.

"I don't believe it," Spike said. "That's the second time he managed to elude us. Maybe he's a ghost too!"

Twilight tapped her chin, as she cast her gaze towards the noblecolt's casket. "Unless..." And with a yank of her magic, she opened the lid.

"Twilight! What in the name of Celestia are you doing?"

Twilight peered into the coffin, and met Rarity's face with a smile plastered on her own. "Solving this thing!" she replied triumphantly. "Look!"

The dragon and the two ponies followed her gaze to the inside of the casket. But instead of a corpse, they saw...

"A stairwell?"

"We're getting close to the bottom of this, I can feel it!" Twilight chirped happily as they reached the end of the stairwell. They were looking down a stone hallway, lined with candles. Around the corner was another hallway, with a single steel door at the end.

They crept forward as silently as possible until they were at the door. Twilight used her magic to gently nudge it open to a crack, and peered inside. What she saw astounded her so intensely, she swung the door open and burst into the room.

"Thunder Thorn?!"

The noblecolt in question turned around from his multiple set of scrying orbs. "Ah, there you are." he said. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dare Venture, manager of the Ghost Company. Welcome!"

"The... The Ghost Company?" Applejack asked confused. Just what in blazes was going on around here?

"Yep! We are a very distinctive company, specialized in horror parties. It just so happened you arrived during a party of Ponytastic Ltd., a company based in North Colttown. We have wide array of themes to choose from, and tonight's theme was "The Murder of Uncle Thunder Thorn."

"So... There wasn't a murder at all. Everypony was just acting!" Rarity stated.

"Exactly," the stallion formerly known as Thunder Thorn continued, "and the ghosts and creeps you encountered along the way were either controlled remotely by myself through magic or by electronics, or projected by laser beams." As Dare Venture spoke, a few ponies walked into the room. "Ah, allow me to introduce my crew.

"Gallant Marvel here took on the role of Pennywell. Though being an earth pony, he's an experienced, retired magician, specialized in disappearing acts."

"Yeah, we noticed that." Spike said.

"Silver Platter is a ventriloquist. For years, he had an act as a Siamese twin. Obviously with a fake head."

Platter gave a tiny glare at Applejack as he reached for the back of his head, rubbing the bump she created there.

"Heh... Sorry." She said sheepishly.

"Flare Charge here played the lawyer and the vampire in the graveyard."

"Didn't you notice my severed head in the guillotine basket was made out of rubber?" He smiled.

"And I myself played Thunder Thorn." He leaned in towards Rarity. "Sorry about the prank with the corpse falling from the closet, by the way. I just couldn't resist."

"Uh... it's quite alright..." Rarity said, unsure about anything at this point.

"And as you've seen already, I'm also specialized in the field of scrying orbs. From here, I can see whatever happens on the manor grounds. I was hoping the falling tree out front would turn you away, since this is a private party and all - don't worry, I deliberately missed you - but obviously, it didn't work." He winked.

Dare Venture looked at a particular orb. "Oh, looks like Celestia has started raising the sun. I'd suggest we all turn in for as long as we can, since we practically stayed up all night."

The next morning, which stretched out into the early afternoon, a couple of carriages were lined up in front of the manor. The "heirs" made ready to step aboard, while some of the stallions strapped themselves with bridles.

"Where did those the carriages come from?" Twilight asked.

"We've got an underground parking lot." Dare Venture answered. His attention got diverted as a couple of ponies walked up to him.

"We had a blast, Mr. Venture." Solace said. "The new line of monsters in our room were fantastic!"

"I agree." Majestic added. "Until next time!"

"I hope I get to turn into a vampire again next time," Agate Wreath said, "because I loved it!"

A groan escaped her husband. "Is there still something open? I've got a little something to celebrate..." Barley Brew place a hoof atop his forehead. "The birth of another hangover..."

'Lady' Solitaire and Darkly Bristle walked up to Celestia's envoy and Dare Venture.

"See you again soon, Mr. Venture." Bristle said. "And hey, Twilight Sparkle. Since you need to get to North Colttown, we could guide you there. Work beckons, I'm afraid."

"We would love that, Mr. Bristle. Thank you for your offer."

"Well, this certainly was a night to never forget." Rarity commented, looking back upon last night's shenanigans.

"That's what we aim for at the Ghost Company. I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves. Come again soon!" Dare Venture said. "Oh, and before you go, here's a parting gift." He levitated a small piece of paper towards them. "Here's your bill. I charged half price for the baby dragon."

The sets of carriages turned onto the main road, where Twilight and her friends left their own carriage the night before. Thankfully, it was left untouched by both malignant creatures and last night's storm.

"I can't believe how steep that bill was," Applejack complained as she strapped herself into the bridles. "And we didn't even get a decent night's rest!"

"I'll say," Rarity agreed, "my eyes feel positively droopy! As soon as I get home, I'm turning in for three days straight."

"Well, at least we've got an escort to North Colttown now, and our bellies are filled. Let's get those negotiations over with and go back home. I've had enough excitement for one night to last a few years." Twilight added.

As the ponies took off following the other carriages, Spike just moped in the back of their own, resting his head on his claws as he peered out the window.

"Charging me half price..."