Pounds For Pumpkins

by Crescent Wrench


C5_Town_Gossip

Pounds For Pumpkins

Digital_Hex

Town Gossip

        Pumpkin slowly made her way home from the train depot. Her coltfriend, her brother, off to learn to fight. Pound was anything but a fighter. He wasn't that kind of stallion.

        She sniffled once, her parents close behind her. How could this have happened? Why did the country have to go to war? Why'd they have to take her brother away from her?

        As Pumpkin trotted through the town, she slowly became aware of a minor scuffle further down the street. As she approached, though, she saw that it had attracted quite the crowd.

        Slipping between ponies here and there, she managed to catch a glimpse of what was going on.

        “You're going to have to come with us, Zebra,” a guardpony with a riot baton said menacingly, approaching who Pumpkin recognized as Zecora, the Zebraik shaman who lived outside the town.

        “I will not go anywhere, if you have no reason to share,” she said sternly, staring down the guard.

        “National decree, all Zebras are to be sent to holding pens. You are a national threat.”

        “I care not for a royal decree, for I am not bound like thee.
        What is this barbaric racism for, I have lived here for sixteen plus years more!
        Why do you think of me a threat, if I were that I would have made a move yet.”

        The guard pony growled.

        “Look, Zebra, I'm just doing my job! Now either come with me, or I'll just have to force you along.”

        The guard slowly lifted his baton, slapping it against his other hoof in an intimidating fashion.

        Zecora sighed.

        “A fight I do not wish to create, but be wary of just what you might have done to fate.”

        With that, the guard pounced at Zecora. She made no attempt of resisting as the guard shackled her with cuffs, and led her off in the direction opposite of Pumpkin.

        Pumpkin wanted to run after Zecora. She was so nice, why'd they have to take her away?

        But she couldn't move. She was terrified out of her mind. Everything was happening too fast.

        “Come along, baby,” she heard her mother say as she wrapped a hoof around Pumpkin, pulling her away.

        Pumpkin and her parents made their way home. Outside the house, they saw Dinky waiting for them.

        “Hey, Pumpkin,” Dinky said. Her eyes were red; she'd been crying recently. Everypony had been crying recently.

        “Hey Dinky, we saw Pip-” Pumpkin started, but stopped. He had been who she was crying for.

        Wordlessly, the two mares embraced, no tears or anything. They simply hugged each other, feeling the mutual sense of loss between them.

        “Do you want to come in?” Pumpkin asked Dinky. She felt Dinky nod against her.

        The two mares entered the house.

        They stayed within for the rest of the day.

        ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

        The sun rose lazily into the sky the following morning, the entire town just a little quieter than usual. The entire populace was still reeling from the sudden events.

        “Pumpkin?” Cup Cake knocked on her daughter's bedroom door.

        A tired moan came from within.

        Rolling her eyes, Cup Cake pushed open the door. Dinky and Pumpkin were nestled up to each other beneath the sheets of Pumpkin's bed. Pumpkin poked her head out from beneath the blankets.

        “Pumpkin, you have an appointment today,” Cup Cake reminded her daughter. Pumpkin moaned, flopping to her side while Dinky raised her own head from beneath the blankets, blinking groggily.

        “Appointment?” Dinky asked Pumpkin. Pumpkin replied by rubbing her belly. The bump was small, but it was present.

        “Mom and I have been going to have the baby checked up every week, since you know... Pound and I... Five legs-”

        “It has five legs?!” Dinky gasped in horror, scooting back in shock.

        Pumpkin almost teared up again.

        “NO! But if she did, well, we'll know immediately any genetic... disfigurements with her.”

        Dinky nodded, feeling bad for her reaction. Pumpkin didn't seem particularly bothered, however, and the conversation ended.

        Slowly, the two girls made themselves ready. Showers were taken, laughs were exchanged. They were slowly returning from heartbroken lovers to once again being mares.

        After a warm shower for the both of them, they were brushing their manes in the bedroom. Dinky looked over at the quiet Pumpkin. For the usually cheerful pony, Pumpkin was being solemnly silent. It wasn't helping the situation any.

        Dinky sighed as she imagined how Pumpkin was feeling. She could relate. Maybe not on quite the same level as Pumpkin, but... nonetheless, she missed Pipsqueak already. Even if he was a silly, irresponsible prick from time to time, she knew he loved her.

        She smiled slightly to herself. Just as her mother had been strong for her, as her sisters still were for her, Dinky had to be strong now. Not just for herself, but for Pipsqueak, for Pumpkin.

        Taking another glance at Pumpkin, she slowly laid down the brush she had been using while watching her orange friend, admiring the gorgeous locks she ran her brush through.

        “Your mane is so beautiful, Pumpkin,” Dinky said with an honest smile on her face.

        Pumpkin turned to face Dinky, and smiled. Gone were the tears, in fact one couldn't even tell she had been crying. Her eyes were still red, but other than that Pumpkin was more-or-less back to normal.

        “Thanks, Dinky,” Pumpkin said. “Let's go.”

        With a nod, Dinky followed Pumpkin as they removed themselves from the room, heading down the stairs to meet with Cup Cake.

        “All ready, sweet heart?” Cup Cake asked Pumpkin as she reached the bottom of the stairs. Pumpkin nodded slowly, forcing a smile for her mother.

        “Then on our way we go! We can even stop to grab a bite on the way, does that sound good?”

        Pumpkin nodded. “Sounds great, mom.”

        Cup Cake grinned nervously. She was slightly disappointed in her daughter for not using any protection, and more surprised than anything else that it was by Pound of all ponies that she had coupled with, but...

        Pumpkin held her chest high as the three ponies made their way from Sugar Cube Corner.

        She was her daughter, and Pumpkin didn't show any problems with having a child sired by her brother. If anything, Pumpkin defended it with a passion, some would say even proud.

        Cup Cake was at odds with herself. She knew she shouldn't have been supporting such a relationship, but at the same time she knew her children were truly in love. Even if it was odd to some... she recognized the look Pumpkin had in her eye whenever she looked at Pound. It was the same look she gave Carrot Cake, a look of true love and care. She would have no part in ending that, no she would not.

        Pumpkin strutted along between her mother and friend as they engaged in small talk, Cup and Pumpkin discussing sales at the store and Dinky telling the two how her sisters were doing.

        Ponies still whispered as Pumpkin trotted by, pointing at her behind her back. They would gossip amongst themselves, some still disbelieving what they'd heard about her through their friends and other sources of gossip. While not everypony knew that it was Pound's child, most ponies had seen Pumpkin and Pound going on numerous dates in the past months, but there was still an odd sense of disbelief of the relationship between the twins.

        Today, however, there was less of that. Most ponies weren't even outside, even as the temperature climbed steadily through the morning. The few ponies out were more interested in what had transpired the day before. It would be the talk of the town for a while, and for good reason.

        As the three made their way to the center of town, they saw various carts beginning to set up for the day.

        No matter what had happened, life would continue.

        Still, Pumpkin could name the ponies who were missing.

        Spring Glory, Misty Wing, Bold Tag, Wild Rain, Thunderback...

        Many of the normal carts were absent this morning, and many of those would continue to be absent, the ponies that normally ran them no longer present.

        However, there was one pony in particular that caught Pumpkin's eye. A moment later, the country mare noticed Pumpkin and waved her over.

        “Well good mornin' to y'all,” Applejack said politely as she performed the well-practiced routine of opening up her cart. Pumpkin was rather curious as to this; the Apple family vending cart usually didn't set up until much later in the day.

        Pumpkin shrugged it off.

        “Good morning, Applejack, how is your morning so far?”

        “It's a mornin, that's for sure,” Applejack said with only a hint of sadness in her voice. “What with Big Macintosh away for this here 'proclamation' shmuck they waved around the other night... well, it's been a might harder 'round the farm this mornin, that's for sure.”

        “Oh my- Applejack, I'm so-”

        “Don't,” Applejack said, holding up a hoof. “Ah appreciate the concern, but... ah don't want to hear it. Ah just don't.”

        “O-okay,” Pumpkin said, sighing. “My bad.”

        “None at all, sweet heart. Mac just isn't as young as he used to be is all, and ah admit ah'm just a tad worried for him. Ah'm sure you'd understand if-”

        Applejack's eyes went wide.

        “Did they take him, too?” she suddenly asked.

        Pumpkin nodded slowly. Applejack sighed dejectedly.

        “Ah'm sorry, sugar. He... He'll be fine, though. Ah'm sure of it.” Applejack then took a step and gave Pumpkin an awkward hug, to which Pumpkin responded tenderly.

        “So where are y'all off to this fine morning?” Applejack asked the trio.

        “Hospital, I have a check-up for the baby,” Pumpkin said. A quick look of discomfort passed over Applejack's face as she imagined the bastard child, but she quickly regained her composure.

        “AH, uh... good luck, that is!” Applejack stammered. “If that's something ya need luck for. Do ya need luck for that? Whisper and ah never really had that problem- NOT A PROBELM, ah mean, uh...”

        Pumpkin let out a stiffled chuckle, holding up a hoof of her own.

        “I appreciate it, Applejack. Thanks. I'm just glad you aren't still upset about Pound and I...”

        Applejack sighed openly.

        “Ah'll tell ya straight, ah still don't think it's right. But that's just mah thoughts, and ah do realize this.”

        Applejack took a deep, rational breath before continue with an honest smile on her face.

        “It's too late to do anythin about it now, so... congratulations, again.”

        “Thanks,” Pumpkin said, taking what Applejack had said in a positive light before motioning to the cart behind her.

        “So can we peruse your cart? I for one am rather starved...” Pumpkin said.

        “Sure thing!” Applejack said with a smile, trotting around behind the cart and pulling out the final sign, displaying the day's prices.

        As Cup Cake watched in amazement, Pumpkin proceeded to pick out every last pie that Applejack had hidden throughout the stand with pinpoint directions.

        “That'll be 60 bits...” Applejack said in disbelief.

        Pumpkin levitated the bits over to Applejack with a wide grin on her face, taking the twenty apple pies stacked precariously atop each other with another coat of magic, floating them along as she trotted gleefully along, her mother and Dinky following close behind.

        Ten minutes later, the two felt they would be sick as Pumpkin licked the last crumb from her lips, crumpling the last pie tin in her magic, tossing the crushed tin into a nearby trash can with a flick of her horn.

        “That was tasty!” Pumpkin said as the three approached the front of the hospital.

        “Yeah, that... sure looked tasty...” Dinky mumbled, still shocked by the frankly disgusting show.

        Trotting in through the front doors, they headed straight for the front desk. Nopony else was in the lobby, something Pumpkin was actually slightly relieved of. Whenever there were ponies there, they'd always have to ask what such a pretty little mare was doing there. And then they'd ask in shock who knocked her up. And then they'd just sit there awkwardly next to the incestuous mare.

        But after her mom had switched her appointments to mornings, there was far less of that. Plus, it was more convenient to the busy Cup Cake, who insisted she accompany Pumpkin to every ultrasound.

        Today was no different than any other. They were seen quickly and promptly, and after being led to a room by a nurse, the doctor for them entered the room.

        “Well hello miss Pumpkin, how are we doing today?” the doctor asked Pumpkin as he nodded to Cup Cake and Dinky, taking the clipboard from the counter in his magic and flipping through it before nodding in acknowledgment.

        “I'm fine, doctor Stethoscope,” Pumpkin said calmly.

        “That is wonderful to hear, Pumpkin,” Stethoscope said with slightly too much excitement. He was still used to dealing with children, whom he had to over-act with on a constant basis. In fact, he could remember when he had to use the same voice on Pumpkin back when he was the twins' pediatrician.

        And thus the doctor went through the motions, and not too long after he was sweeping over Pumpkin's mid-section with sensitive magic, a fuzzy picture appearing on a monitor next to him.

        “Aw, she's so cute!” Dinky said with a slight coo, smiling. Cup Cake held her daughter's hoof with her own.

        “She seems to be doing perfectly fine, Pumpkin Cake,” Stethoscope said happily. He enjoyed giving ponies good news. He glanced down at the clipboard, frowning momentarily.

        “What?!” Pumpkin asked, suddenly quite scared. She'd noticed the reaction Stethoscope had made.

        “What's wrong with her?”

        “It's nothing serious, Pumpkin,” Stethoscope tried to explain. “I was just a little surprised at... the father's name...” he chuckled lightly, a bead of sweat forming on his forehead.

        Pumpkin let out an exasperated sigh, letting herself relax. Nothing serious. Cup Cake even let out a small chuckle herself before leveling at Stethoscope.

        “And there is not a problem with that, Stethoscope. Is there?”

        “Well, on a technical stance-” Stethoscope tried to reason before Cup Cake jumped in.

        “Why do you think we are here every week, so we could see your reaction when you finally noticed two little words on your clipboard?!” Cup Cake said rather irritated. “This technical stance is the entire reason we are here!”

        Stethoscope chuckled lightly, a second bead of sweat joining the first.

        “I-I haven't seen anything out of the norm for the child, ma'am,” Stethoscope insisted.

        Cup Cake smiled. “Wonderful!”

        Stethoscope let out a relieved sigh as he wrote down a few quick notes.

        Less than twenty minutes later, the three ponies were out of the hospital, heading back to town.

        “Hey mom, I'm going to go hang out with Dinky, is that alright?”

        “Wha-” Dinky started, but fell silent as Pumpkin shot her a look that read 'just go with it'.

        “Sure thing, just be safe,” Cup Cake said before turning and giving Pumpkin a soft kiss upon her head.

        “Kay, thanks mom!”

        The two scampered off, heading towards the edge of town, towards the river.

        “What was that about?” Dinky asked Pumpkin.

        “I wanted to hang out with you some more,” Pumpkin said as she sidled up next to Dinky. “I figured we might as well get to know each other a bit more, maybe we could write to Pip and Pound together?”

        Dinky was about to say something, but then she caught a whiff of the smell. It clicked very quickly.

        “You are extremely horny right now, aren't you?”

        “Unbelievably so.”

        Dinky chuckled lightly.

        “Come on, I'll show you some magic exercises I use to get over it-”

        “Whoa, you use magic to help? I can't believe I never thought of that!” Pumpkin gasped in glee. Dinky was slightly horrified.

        “I know that look, and that's not what I meant! I meant real magic practice, no sex.”

        “Ah, okay...” Pumpkin said slowly, slightly disappointed. Her tummy felt a little funny. Then her head felt kind of light.

        Pumpkin rushed towards the bridge in town, hurling her face over the side as she vomited painfully. Dinky rolled her eyes as she trotted over and held Pumpkin's mane.

        “I knew you were going to feel like crap after eating all of those.”

        “Gleh...” Pumpkin huffed, her mouth tasting of bile. “So horrible...”

        “Just let it all out...” Dinky cooed, rubbing Pumpkin's back as her magic held the thick orange mane out of Pumpkin's face.

        “Maybe... we can bond more at... my place-” Pumpkin began but was cut short as more half-digested pie forced it's way out her maw.

        “As soon as you're done, take your time,” Dinky said with a light chuckle.

        And with that, the two became great friends.



        Two Weeks Later...

        “Dinky!” Pumpkin shouted as Dinky trotted into Sugar Cube Corner, surprised at the sudden outburst.

        “Hey Pumpkin-” Dinky began, but was interrupted by Pumpkin.

        “I GOT A LETTER FROM POUND!!!” she shouted happily, displaying a sealed envelope addressed to her.

        “Oh, what fun!” Dinky said, happy for her friend. She wasn't bitter that Pumpkin had received a letter from Pound, but Pipsqueak had yet to send her anything. Not that she was bitter or anything...

        “Why didn't you open it?” Dinky asked as she approached Pumpkin, sitting upon a stool at the counter.

        “I wanted to wait until you were here, maybe we could read it together,” Pumpkin said with a cute smile.

        Dinky felt herself grin. “Well I'm here, let's bust it open!”

        Pumpkin opened up the letter, taking out it's contents. Pumpkin skimmed over the first page, and then chuckled as she passed it to Dinky.

        “It seems Pipsqueak wanted to conserve on postage stamps,” Pumpkin chuckled as Dinky took the letter angrily, reading it with a fire.

        Pumpkin returned to her own letter, starting from the top...

        My dearest Pumpkin Cake,

        The past week sucked. All we did was PT, PT, PT, march, and then PT. That's it. Seriously. All we did.

        How's life going on back in Ponyville? How's the baby girl doing, how are you doing? I can't wait until I can see you again!

        With love, Pound Cake.


        P.S. Pipsqueak has this obsession that the national currency is about to collapse and thus is hoarding his stamps. His letters for Dinky and his family are enclosed.

        Love you baby!

        Pumpkin was slightly shocked.

        “That's... it?”