Chapter 7 - The Parties
What?! Where could they have gone? And what could have made them want to leave? Was I a cruel host? Did a burglar come in and snatch them up? ... What if Nevil - dear Lord, I pray that it wasn’t Nevil.
“What’s wrong, Jeff?”
And now I have to tell Pinkie what may be going on.
“Well, Pinkie, you see.” Jeff paused. “Sparkle and the others may or may not be missing ... and by may, I mean are.”
“Oh oh! Are they playing hide and go seek?!”
Does she know the meaning of missing?
“I don’t think so, Pinkie.” Jeff picked Pinkie up and set her on the bed. He sat beside the filly. “I will be right back. I’m going to go try to find them.”
“Why? Where are they?”
“Somewhere. Tell you what, Pinkie, you can start the cupcakes, and I’ll go and get the others, okay?” Jeff smiled.
Pinkie returned a blank expression, which shortly transformed into a smile. “Okie dokie lokie.”
Jeff picked up the pink filly and walked to the kitchen. After setting the bag and filly down onto the counter, he took his leave. A slight cool breeze greeted Jeff as he jogged down the stairs of his apartment.
“This is just so dreadful!” Crystal stated. “It’s cold, I’m filthy, and my hooves are aching.“
“Stop yer yamerin,” AJ said. “Ah think we’re almost there … right, Sparkle?”
Sparkle paused and looked back to her little gang. Four pairs of eyes settled on her, awaiting promise and hope. Before she could reply, rustling came from a nearby bush. The fillies turned and looked; Fluttershy screamed. Big yellow eyes returned their gazes.
“W-what is t-that?” Dash questioned.
A growl emanated from the bush, ringing through the fillies’ ears. The yellow eyes glanced over each of the equines. A chorus of gasps replied to the growl, the ponies all watching onwards to their mysterious foe. Creeping out of the bush, a gray feline eyed the ponies. Her tongue licked her lips as she circled them.
“Don’t panic,” Sparkle said; her voice quivering.
Sparkle turned, her friends had run off screaming.
“Hey!” she hollered to them. “Where do you think you’r-
The cat growled, interrupting Sparkle’s train of thought.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” Sparkle fled.
Her little legs beat upon the damp earth beneath; heart pounding, mane flailing, and her eyes continually glanced to her rear. The cat was on the attack. Her claws tore into the soft dirt as her pace quickened, soon beginning to overtake Sparkle.
Sparkle dashed left, fleeing towards a bush. She dove into the shrubs, hitting something orange upon entering.
“Ow!” AJ shouted.
“AHH!” Sparkle screamed.
“AH!” a cry yelped out, it sounded like Dash. She jumped out of the bush, frightened. “Sparkle! You scared-”
A soft purr interrupted her rant. She turned her head, there stood the cat. Dash’s ears drooped.
“Hehe,” she nervously chuckled.
In a split second, Dash was now running as fast as she could away from the beast. After a short running distance, she flapped her tiny wings, taking flight and departing from the ground. She cheered triumphantly, leaving the cat behind. As Dash began to calm down-
She was now hurtling towards the ground, her wings failed her, and before she could correct herself her face planted onto the ground. The landing wasn’t as soft as she’d hoped. A soft paw touched her, trying to get her to move. The paw caressed the blue filly, attempting to evoke it.
“HEY!” Sparkle yelled out. “Stop that!”
The cat’s head turned and eyes darted in Sparkle’s direction. Sparkle stood frozen as the beast gazed at her.
The cat turned back down and continued to pet the pegasus.
“Hey!” Sparkle yelled once more.
The cat turned to the voice. Sparkle charged toward the beast, her eyes shut and mouth agape, screaming. The cat crouched down, preparing itself for an attack. As the tiny filly drew nearer and nearer, the cat began to wiggle its rump. The feline leaped into the air, trajectory aimed at Sparkle.
(Fancy, isn’t it?)
The cat felt her body shift dramatically to the right, a strong pain enveloped her side. Sparkle opened her eyes in time to see the cat take its first flight. The journey was short, but the cat got the message and ran off once hitting the ground. In her place now stood Jeff.
“Sparkle!” he cheered. “Where have you been?” He bent down on one knee, and picked up the small filly. A gleeful smile spread across her face.
“We went out looking for Pinkie, you see, and then arguing and dirt and that cat!”
“Whoa, slow down, Sparkle. How about you tell me about it back at home, ok?” Jeff smiled. “Where are the others?”
“Here you are, Nevil dear!” Nevil’s mother stated.
“Don’t patronize me, Mother!”
“Oh, Nevil.” she replied. “Now be sure to stay safe, and don’t get into anymore trouble!”
Nevil groaned and slammed the door of his mother’s old Corvette. The engine roared, and she was soon out of Nevil’s hair.
Finally, now I can set to work on my newest plan!
Nevil climbed the steps to his abode.
First, I’ll get some string. Then, I’ll get some candy and tie it to one end, slide it under the door, and when the ponies see it they’ll be all over it! Then I’ll slowly drag it back out from under the door, and capture them in the butterfly net!
Nevil opened the door to his home. With a gleeful smile on his face, he ran to the kitchen. Slamming face first into the cabinets.
“Cabinets, of course.”
He opened one and reached inside, scrounging for chocolate. Dust and cobwebs greeted his fingers, latching on to them like a pig to mud. Soon, his hand had located the sweet, dusty, old, misshapen, gooey, old, smelly, and old bar. With a triumphant “Huzzah!”, Nevil fist pumped into the air and cheered aloud.
“I knew it was a good idea to save this! Now then, to set my plan to work!”
Jeff sighed in relief, all the ponies had now been gathered together and wanted to head home.
Jeff placed the fillies in the warmth of his shirt pocket and started walking back to his apartment. The ponies giggled all the way home. Jeff slowly climbed the steps towards his apartment slowly, being sure not to jostle his luggage. Opening the unlocked door, he sighed in relief. Upon entering, the smell of baked goods wafted through the air.
Jeff and his small companions all took a deep breath, allowing the smell to linger in their noses. He entered the kitchen and set the ponies down upon the counter, their muddy hooves touching down upon the yellow tile.
“You know what?” Jeff started. “Let’s get you girls cleaned up before I set you down on anything else.”
Jeff picked up the fillies and carried them to the bathroom. The light flicked on, illuminating the small room. A sink, a toilet, and a shower filled the otherwise vacant space. After setting the fillies upon the counter, he then turned his attention to the sink’s faucet. The small ponies watched over Jeff and his adjustments to the sink. Soon he turned the nozzle, and water began to pour from the glossed pipe.
The water’s level and temperature were soon enough adequate enough for Jeff. The fillies cautiously entered the pool of water, giggling on the way in. The warm water lapped against their muddy coats, and their sweaty manes sifted gently in the water. Jeff then walked over to the bathtub and grabbed a bottle of shampoo.
I’m not really sure what I should use to clean them, but I guess this’ll work since they’re covered in hair, and then more hair for their mane’s. So much hair ...
Jeff settled his thoughts quickly and returned to the task at hand. The bottled produced shampoo as Jeff squeezed it into his palm. One by one, he scrubbed the small fillies clean, laughter and giggles being exchanged during the process.
The moon’s shine cast down to a dark figure crawling along the rooftop. Dressed in all black, and white socks, was Nevil; his face had been adorned with war paint. Or so he’d like to think. Nevil actually just grabbed some mud and smeared it on his face. For now though, let’s let Nevil have this moment.
At this rate, I should be over his back door in a few minutes. With this disguise, no one should be able to spot me up here.
Nevil ventured forth on the roof, his clothes scrapping the damp roof tiling. In his right hand, a stick with string. Attached to the end of the string was the candy bar he had attained on his kitchen adventure earlier. Nevil giggled as he crossed the rooftop, his mind wandering to all the reward possibilities for the capture of the ponies.
Maybe they’ll give me money, or name a planet after me! Maybe they’ll take my mother away!
His desired location had been reached, he perched himself just above the rear door to the apartment. The string slowly descended the delectables down from the roof. The descent ended, and the candy hovered just above the ground ... some feet.
Oh no! I didn’t bring enough string! I knew I shouldn’t have used my shoelaces ... It looks like I’ll have to retreat for now.. but mark my thoughts! I will get you eventuaaaAAL-
Nevil groaned as his senses came to. Sudden realization revealed that he was no longer on the roof, for his rump had settled upon a lawn. His downstairs neighbor’s lawn to be precise. The lights to the home flickered on.
Oh no ...
The small fillies curled into balls as they slumbered beneath the warmth of a blanket. Jeff smiled and walked over to his side of the bed. The cushions gave way to his body and settled him comfortably as he sat. He reached over and grabbed his journal and pen.
"April 30th, Mon 2012"
“Well, today certainly has been interesting. I never imagined I’d have the fillies join me at work, well at least Pinkie.”
Jeff continued to scrawl in his book when a large ~*!!THUD!!*~ grabbed his attention. He set down his journal and made his way toward the commotion. Opening his window, Jeff looked outside. Nothing but the night sky and street lights from what he could see. He looked down and spotted something on the ground.
“Who’s there?” Jeff called out.
“Gah!” it replied.
“ ... Nevil?”
“ ... No, I’m uh ... The Masked Marauder.”
Jeff shut his window and returned to his bed. He grabbed his pen once more, and continued his scrawling.
“Note to self: avoid Nevil no matter what. Maybe I should get a security system installed. Then again, that’s a lot of money. Knowing me, I’ll set it off everytime I try to leave the building. All I can do for now is keep the ponies inside; it’s probably the safest place for them. Then again, it may not be. At some point, I’ll move out of this place, get a nice country house, with plenty of land for them to run around on. Maybe find myself someone who will help me care for them; especially during the week. I think they’ll be fine for now though, just as long as they don’t do something stupid ... and they stay inside. Today was a bit scary, however, that cat was really close to getting them. I’m glad I showed up when I did.”
Jeff stifled a yawn, his eyes were growing heavy.
Perhaps it’s time I head to bed. Tomorrow will be a long day at work.
Jeff set down his journal and pen upon the night stand.
“Dear Diary, today was another failed attempt at capturing those ponies!”
Nevil’s hand scraped along the pages of his torn diary. The purple hue of the cover was now faded and the spine was bent and stained.
“But I won’t give up! I can’t give up. I’ve already pictured what my rich life would be like; a big house, money, an actual car, and no mother around because I could afford a restraining order!”
Nevil grinned at his fantasies as he scribbled on the page. A small lamp on a night stand illuminated his room, revealing his piles of clothes and various other items like food, plates, and a plastic apple all strewn across the floor.
“Tomorrow will be the day, or so help me I will clean this room! Which should have probably been done a long time ago. So tomorrow, I will get longer string, and maybe a better disguise..”
Nevil’s hand continued to scrape letters onto his diary throughout the night.
A month had now passed for the inhabitants of Jeff’s home. A routine soon developed; Jeff would leave to work, the fillies stayed and played, and Nevil schemed. His schemes took longer to develop, but became much more elaborate.
The morning fog lifted, the sun now illuminating the sleepy little town nestled in California’s central valley. Another day had arrived to the abode of Jeff and his small roommates. An alarm buzzed and rang into the ears of the inhabitants. Jeff sat up, his muscles stretched, and his mouth gaped with a yawn. At the foot of his bed he could see the bodies of his small friends moving in the dog bed.
The fillies rose from the comfort of their sleep, yawns shared amongst them. Pinkie scrambled out of the bed quickly and hopped over to Jeff.
“Good morning!” she chirped.
“And a good morning to you, Pinkie,” he replied. “I take it you want breakfast?”
She nodded vigorously. Jeff chuckled and got out of bed. His eyes glanced to his clock; 6:45 A.M.
Good, he thought. I’ve got some spare time before work. Maybe I can explain my schedule to them; perhaps set something up for them, because I don’t know what they’ll do for lunch.
Jeff entered his small kitchen, the sun’s light beginning to illuminate the room. Obtaining an apple and a knife, he soon set to work cutting the fruit into cubes. When he finished the deed, he journeyed on back to his room. The fillies gathered near the edge of the bed, eager to end their hunger.
“Alright, I have to go to work today too, girls,” Jeff began. “I know it seems like I’ll be gone a lot, but I’ll always be back every night before seven o’clock. I’ll leave out some fruits or vegetables, and then when I get home we can have whatever you want for dinner.”
The fillies said nothing in return and continued to munch away at their morning meal. Jeff simply smiled and trekked to the closet to prepare for his day. He had soon finished preparations and departed his home, wishing the fillies safety in the house while he was away. Soon he was galloping down the stairs and into his car.
Meanwhile, a small yellow filly had her own little habit develop. She would sit in the sun, and care for her small plant. However, more important than the plant itself was what was on it. She patiently awaited for the arrival of her little friend: Mr. Butterfly. Jeff said he should hatch soon-ish. The cocoon moved now and again, signaling the arrival of a new butterfly to grace the earth.
The timid little yellow pegasus sat below the small plant, the stem graced with a beautiful little sunflower. The darkened seeds sat warmly in the rays of the sun shining through the glass door. Gracing a leaf with its presence, was the cocoon. Now and again, it would shake and rustle. The filly had been sitting there watching the curious thing all day; she knew the time was soon, and she was ready to meet her new friend.
The little home shook again. The filly held her breath. Her little wings fluttered up and down with anticipation. She began to inspect it from side to side, her cyan eyes watching the small home shake to and fro. Soon, a crack, then a split, and then head popped out. She gasped, amazed as she watched the creature emerge. What a beautiful sight, she thought, If only the others coul- The others!
She quickly turned to face the direction of Jeff’s room. “Girls,” she said daintifully. “Girls come look.”
The small filly sat quiet for a moment, looking towards the direction of the room. Her gaze soon returned to her newly hatched friend. The creature’s head darted right, then left, and then right again; the tiny brown feet gripping the small branch where its previous abode hung. The small filly slowly walked closer to the branch.
“Hello there,” she said.
The creature crawled up and down the branch.
“My name is Fluttershy.”
He fluttered his wings, faint dust flying off of them. Fluttershy grew eager still, and flapped her way to the small branch. She drew ever closer to Mr. Butterfly; just short of a hoofs reach.
“Fluttershy!” a small voiced called from across the spacious room.
Cyan eyes guided Fluttershy to the source of the sound. A small purple filly was galloping towards her.
“Hello, Sparkle,” Fluttershy greeted her calmly. “What are you doing out here?”
“I came to get you. I need assistance in guarding my fort. Crystal refuses to play with us, and Pinkie just stares at the computer all day. I think she’s lost her hearing.”
“Oh… Well, I don’t know. I mean, Mr. Butterfly just got here and-”
“Wait!” shouted a muffled voice. “He just got here?” The two fillies looked around for the source.
“That means he’s new!” Pinkie’s head shouted, poking out of the dirt in the potted plant. “Oh my gosh!” she yelled, climbing completely out of the dirt. “We should throw a party!”
Sparkle stared at her befuddled,”Pinkie, how did yo-”
“We can have streamers, and cakes - oh, and games, balloons, food, and Jeff can tell funny jokes!”
“That sounds like a lot, Pinkie. Where do you plan on getting everything?”
“We can just ask Jeff”
“But Jeff won’t be home for a while,” Sparkle replied to the pink filly.
“Oh, I know!” Pinkie quickly scampered away towards the kitchen, leaving a very confused Sparkle and Fluttershy with the newborn Mr. Butterfly.
“Over here, girls!” Pinkie yelled from across the room. “Come here!”
The two shrugged, and trotted in the direction of the pink filly. Entering the tiled kitchen, they saw Pinkie next to a, uh, thing.
“What is that?” inquired Sparkle.
“This, is a thingy! But not just any thing, it can let you talk to people. I saw Jeff use it the other day!”
“How does it work?”
Pinkie smiled. “I have no idea!”
Sparkle spent a few minutes examining the odd device. She pushed a button.
*Beep* the device said.
“I think you have to push these numbers and letters,” Sparkle stated, looking at the pad of numbers on the receiver. “So if we just spell “Jeff”, we should be able to contact him; if you’re right, Pinkie. Let’s see; 5 ... 3 ... 3 ... 3 … Now what?”
“Perhaps, um, maybe you push the green button?” Fluttershy piped in.
“Good idea!” Pinkie cheered.
The device beeped and booped, rang a few times, and filled with buzzes. The room remained fairly silent for a moment until Pinkie spoke up.
“Hello, Jeff? Hey, Jeff, it’s us! We wanted to tell you about this great party, and how we need you to get all kinds of stuff; like cake, and candles, and balloons, and streamers, and party stuff, and cake - did I already say cake? I think I did - but I like saying, cake; cake is delicious. We should have cake every night! You know what Jeff, just get a cake or two for every night of the week, that sounds fantastic!”
“I don’t think he’s there Pinkie.” Sparkle replied.
“Oh, how about we push more buttons? That always works for me on the computer!”
“Well, I guess it can’t hurt,” Sparkle said.
She precariously pressed a few more keys, this time dialing, 867-5309. Then pressing the key that said ‘talk’. The phone echoed in the kitchen, singing its song. The fillies listened closely, they heard a click, then a voice.
“Hi!” Pinkie replied. “Is Jeff there?”
“Jeff? I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number. This is Jenny.”
“Oh, ok then. Do you know Jeff’s number?”
“ ... Um, what’s his last name?”
Sparkle pressed the “end call” button. “You know Pinkie, I don’t think that this is going to work.”
Meanwhile, in the adjacent apartment, sat a tired and worn out Nevil. His dull arm chair supported his slouching body, his hair was a mess - which wasn’t too out of the ordinary - and his apartment stunk - which was also quite the norm for the man.
I don’t get it! he mentally yelled. I’ve spent over a month trying to get these ponies and I’ve still no results! He stood up abruptly, almost losing his balance. He paced the floor, thinking of another plan; which for some reason often included string and a hammer of some sort.
“ ... Wait,” he said, halting in his tracks. “Wait a second, what’s today?”
Nevil scrambled over to his digital clock, which lay still upon his nightstand near the blue arm chair. A thought popped into his head, but not just a new plot; a scheme in which to set into motion.
This is brilliant! Why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? He rubbed his hands together, First things first, though; let’s look presentable for the occasion.
The maniac rushed to his filthy bedroom and slammed the door.