Chapter 8: The Sadie Hoofkins Dance
“I gotta say, Snips, that suit you’re wearing is really something.” Snails said, slightly embarrassed by quality of his rent-a-tux.
“Thanks! Yeah, Sweetie Belle helped me get it. She took my measurements and tailored the suit – you name it and she did it.” Snips said, admiring his sleeves. “I feel really good wearing this thing. I guess this is why Diamond Tiara invests so much in looking good.”
The two unicorns stood outside the main door of a barn just outside of Ponyville that was rented for the dance. Pony couples started to show up, dressed in formal attire. The sight of them made Snails excited. “Snips, buddy, we’ve been friends for a long time. We’ve been through a lot together. All this time, we’ve been two hapless, single unicorns. Now look at us: We’re about to spend the night with the fillies of our dreams. Tonight will be the night we become stallions.”
The shorter unicorn gave his friend a curious look. “What do you mean?”
With confidence, Snails said, “Tonight we will get our first kisses.”
Although Snips had entertained the thought, he knew something like that could not be forced. If kissing Diamond Tiara was anything but natural, then it would spell ruin for his prospects with her. “I hope so, but I don’t wanna rush things.”
Snails stamped a hoof on the ground. “What are you talking about? It’s up to us to make it happen. Fillies love colts with that kind of savoir-faire.”
Snips looked off to the side and rolled his eyes. He would have challenged Snails’s thinking, but he could see that his best friend was set in his ways. Whatever plans Snails had up his sleeve was Silver Spoon’s problem. Tonight was going to be special, and Snips planned on playing it safe.
“I wonder where our beautiful fillies are,” Snails said with his stamped hoof now thumping in place.
“They’re coming, don’t worry. They told us to stay right here.”
The assuredness in Snails’s voice began to waver. “What if they don’t come? They wouldn’t stand us up, would they?”
“Would you relax? We haven’t even gone inside and you’re already beginning to sweat up a storm. Do you really think Silver Spoon’s gonna want to be close to a clammy colt all evening?” Snips said.
Snails was going to respond, but something caught his eye. “Look! There they are!” He pointed down the road.
Two mighty steeds pulled an elaborate carriage that could have been suited for Princesses Celestia and Luna. The tinted windows vibrated with the thumping bass. By no means was such a vessel commonplace in Ponyville, but everything made sense when Snips saw Filthy Rich sitting in the coach’s seat. Apparently, the wealthy pony spared no expense when it came to his daughter’s party carriage.
The horse-drawn carriage came to a stop in front of Snips and Snails when the wealthy pony tugged the reins. “Whoa, Blitz. Whoa, Krieg.”
Filthy Rich stepped down from the carriage and trotted to the two unicorns. Based on Diamond Tiara’s description, he turned his attention to the one who wore the more expensive suit. “Are you Snips, my little filly’s coltfriend?”
Hearing somepony refer to him as Diamond Tiara’s “coltfriend” sent a thrill down his spine. If ponies started saying it out loud, then maybe it could actually become true. “Yes, sir. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Snips extended a hoof forward.
Filthy Rich shook the smaller hoof with a firm delight. “The pleasure is mine, son.” He leaned closer to Snips and lowered his voice. “Look, this is the first time my Diamond Tiara’s had a special somepony. I want you all to have fun, but please bring her home in one piece.”
Snips nodded. “You can count on me, Mr. Rich.”
Diamond Tiara’s father pulled back and gave him a pat on the shoulder. His voice resumed its normal volume. “Please, call me Filthy!” He trotted to the carriage and knocked on the door. “Girls, we’re here!”
The thumping music died. When Filthy Rich opened the door, the first of the two angelic fillies descended to the ground. Diamond Tiara wore a one piece cerulean gown that featured a beautiful, crystal-embellished bodice with a laced-up ribbon closure. The moonlight reflected gently in her silky mane.
Diamond Tiara came up to Snips, who remained calm. She winked at him. “Try not to embarrass me, dolt-colt.”
“I’ll do my best, Diamond.” He winked back. “Before we go inside, I have something for you.”
She hesitated. “A present?”
“Here.” Snips pulled a corsage from his coat. Something, however, was different about it. When Diamond Tiara took a closer look, she saw that it was not a tiny bouquet of flowers, but rather a collection of papers that were cut to look like flowers. “I spent all day making this for you. I hope you like it.”
Diamond Tiara slipped on her gift and admired Snips’s artistry. “You made this for me?”
Snips flashed his buck teeth. “Sure did! I had fun making it. It reminded me of the snowflakes I used to cut growing up.”
No words came to Diamond Tiara. No pony has ever put this much effort into a gift for me. She rotated her foreleg to view her corsage from all different angles. When she finished, she looked at Snips and smiled. “Thank you.”
“Shall we?” He motioned toward the barn door.
“Let’s go.” The pink filly turned back to the carriage. “Bye, Daddy!”
Filthy Rich waved to his daughter. “Bye, Sweetheart! Make good decisions!”
Good decisions… she thought as she walked lockstep with Snips to the barn.
Filthy Rich brought his attention to Snails, who stood waiting at the carriage like a dog waiting for its owner. The wealthy pony wrinkled his nose when an odious stench hit him. What in the hay is that smell? Upon closer examination, he could see growing sweat stains spreading across Snails’s coat.
Snails nearly fainted when Silver Spoon emerged from the carriage. The gray filly wore a lavender sheath-style modern gown with hoof-beading and sequins along the front. She had unbraided her mane, allowing it to flow as if it were a part of the wind. She smiled at her date, but that smile quickly faded into disgust as she approached him.
“Snails, darling, did you bathe today?” She asked, shielding her nose from the stench.
“Yes ma’am! Twice!”
“I… see. Very well,” she coughed as she whispered to herself, “let’s go and get this over with.”
Instead of walking together, Silver Spoon led the way with Snails following behind. Filthy Rich could not help but contrast their body language with Diamond Tiara and Snips. He shook his head. I hope that colt knows what he’s doing. He turned to his mighty steeds. “Okay gentlestallions, let’s go home.”
The Sadie Hoofkins Dance had everything one would expect. The dim lighting created a shrouded atmosphere where anything could happen. Happy couples flooded the dance floor, while the more awkward, wallflower ponies stood by the punch table. The music tested those who had sensitive ear drums. Diamond Tiara expected to see Vinyl Scratch, Ponyville’s premiere DJ, but when the pink filly looked over to the DJ’s booth, she did a double take. Sitting behind the turntable was none other than Big McIntosh.
Dancing near Diamond Tiara was Apple Bloom with her date, Lance. She walked right up to the yellow filly and pulled her away from her dance partner. “Excuse me, but how did your brother become tonight’s DJ? Where is DJ-PON3?”
The irritation in Apple Bloom’s eyes could have been detected by anypony but Diamond Tiara. Apple Bloom knew that the only way to get rid of her was to answer the question. “Do you have any idea how many places book Vinyl Scratch? She’s like the only DJ in Equestria. Since she’s the best, her rates are ridiculous. In order to stay in the school’s budget, Cheerilee asked Big Mac if he would like to volunteer, and he said, ‘Eeyup’.”
“Oh.” Diamond Tiara took a moment to register what it meant “to stay in the budget.” Apple Bloom didn’t want to waste any more time, so she scuttled back to Lance. Diamond Tiara felt a tap on her shoulder. Snips held out a hoof and asked, “May I have this dance?”
A brooding piece of music with heavy beats roared from Big McIntosh’s booth. Diamond Tiara gave Snips a grin. “You may.” Together the two became lost in the crowd and began to dance.
The evening promised to build fun memories for many of the pony couples. Hips were swinging, pictures were taken, and jokes were told. Separate from the dance floor was an arrangement of circular tables. Half-empty cups of punch rested on their surfaces while their respective chairs were not pushed in after ponies got up to dance. One couple, however, remained at their table. The beautifully dressed but unhappy gray filly sat with her ungainly date.
Silver Spoon looked at Snails. “Get me some punch.”
He got up from his seat. “Of course, and, uh, then maybe we can dance?”
The gray filly frowned. “I said to get me some punch!”
“Be right back!” Snails scurried away to the punch table.
Silver Spoon smacked her forehead. So incompetent. How have I put up with him for this long? While she waited for her punch, she surveyed the dance floor full of ponies. It’s not fair; I should be out there! One couple hooked her eyes. What’s this? In the middle of all the jiving fillies and colts were Diamond Tiara and Snips. The two of them were grooving to the beat of the music.
Silver Spoon got up from her seat and charged toward her best friend. I’ve got to save her from that dweeb! About halfway to the dance floor, however, she stopped. Diamond Tiara and Snips had turned, and the look on the pink filly’s face was not one of misery. On the contrary, her face was one big smile.
Well call me a blank-flank. She’s having fun with him. Silver Spoon loped back to her table, trying to process what she saw. Waiting for her was Snails with a cup of punch ready in hoof.
“Here you are,” he said, proud of himself.
She swiped the cup away from him without making eye contact. “Give me that.”
The music had reached its end and a small interval of transition between songs filled the barn with silence. Snips took the moment to talk to his date. “Another dance, Diamond?”
The pink filly was panting. “Oh, Snips, my hooves are tired. I need to sit down before we have another go.”
“Okay then, let’s take a rest.” He looked at the tables and saw Snails sitting with his date. “Silver Spoon’s over there at that table. Why don’t you go and sit with her and Snails while I get punch for us?”
Big McIntosh began the next song. Diamond Tiara had to shout for Snips to hear her. “That’d be great! Thanks!”
Snips moved through the dance floor. Diamond Tiara could barely hear his scratchy voice over the music, but she did catch “Pardon me” and “Sorry” a few times. She trotted over to the table where Silver Spoon was sitting.
When she sat down, her best friend turned to Snails. “Get me another cup of punch.”
“Right away!” The unicorn got up and left, leaving the two fillies alone.
Silver Spoon had her front arms folded as she sulked in her chair. She glared across the table at Diamond Tiara.
“What’s with you?” Diamond Tiara asked.
“What’s with me? How can you ask that? Tell me, where’s your date?”
Diamond Tiara pointed toward the punch table where she could see Snips and Snails talking with each other. “Like you, I’m making Snips get me something to drink. I figured I better get in as much servitude as I can before the night ends.”
Silver Spoon leaned across the table and spoke flatly. “Diamond, drop the act. You are having fun out there.”
Time to play defense. “Don’t be ridiculous. I’m just as miserable as you. I can’t wait to get these simpletons out of our manes. Why, if I have to dance one more ti–”
Silver Spoon interrupted. “I saw you smiling out there. You actually like him. Don’t lie to me.”
“I’m not lying!” Diamond Tiara lied.
“Yes, you are! And now you’re trying to insult my intelligence by lying to me again.”
Diamond Tiara froze. Her silence was everything that Silver Spoon needed to hear. “Listen, Diamond, I don’t care if you like Snips.”
“No, you can like anypony you want. However, if you and Snips become a couple, then you can’t come to my birthday party tomorrow night.”
“I’m serious. If you can choose who you want to hang with, then so can I. Trust me, I’m not going to associate with anypony who’s not destined for Canterlot. You saw the ponies there when we went dress shopping. Did anypony look like Snips? No. I can tell you right now that your coltfriend is as Canterlot-bound as a puddle of mud. So, again, you can do what you want.”
Diamond Tiara pondered her friend’s words. Her whole life she had dreamed of the day when she would reside in Canterlot, away from the simple life of Ponyville. Was it impossible to be with Snips and live in Canterlot? Diamond Tiara didn’t have enough time to think, as a little cup of punch was placed in front of her.
“Sorry that took so long, but Snails and I bumped into Pipsqueak,” Snips said.
“Oh, that’s okay.” Diamond Tiara looked into her punch. “Thank you.”
When the next song finished, the lights in the barn came up, blinding the eyes of everypony. Then there was a sharp squeal of microphone feedback. Over the speakers, a soft tapping could be heard before a little voice spoke. “Uh, hello? Is this thing on?” It was Sweetie Belle.
All ponies turned their attention to the white filly. She stood in front of Big McIntosh’s booth. “Hey, everypony! How you all doing tonight?” The crowd responded with a chorus of “good” and “great” and “wooooo!” Some random ponies even replied asking how Sweetie Belle was doing. “I’m awesome! So here’s the what we’re gonna do next. Big Mac asked me to help him slow things down a bit, so this next song is dedicated to all the fillies in the room. Oh, and hooves off Featherweight. He’s mine.”
Diamond Tiara couldn’t help but smile at Sweetie Belle’s possessiveness.
The light dimmed again. A slow piece of instrumental music began playing with Sweetie Belle’s singing. Snips nudged Diamond Tiara. “One more dance, Diamond? This is a slow one.”
The pink filly looked at her date. Silver Spoon’s words rang in her head. I’m not going to associate with anypony who’s not destined for Canterlot. She found her voice, “Okay, let’s go.”
Once again, the two ponies made their way onto the dance floor. They wedged between several couples that swayed together. Diamond Tiara turned her head back to the table to see Silver Spoon shaking her head in disapproval. If you can choose who you want to hang with, then so can I. A little knot in Diamond Tiara’s stomach began to twist.
Snip stopped as he found a clearing in the dance floor that promised them enough breathing room. Snips and Diamond Tiara reared up and carefully wrapped their hooves around each other.
“You know what, Diamond?” Snips whispered in her ear. “I really enjoy being around you. These past few days have been fun for me. When you told me that I was taking you to the dance, I didn’t really know what to expect. No pony I knew had anything nice to say about you. I feel fortunate to discover that not only are you beautiful, which anypony can see, but you’re also really smart and talented… I was thinking that when this night is over, maybe we can start calling each other coltfriend and fillyfriend?”
Once Snips asked his question, the first thought in Diamond Tiara’s mind was the voice of Silver Spoon. Your coltfriend is as Canterlot-bound as a puddle of mud. Diamond Tiara stopped dancing. She pushed Snips away. “Get off me.”
The little unicorn had to regain his footing. “What’s wrong?” This was not the reaction he expected.
Diamond Tiara’s voice and body language turned cold. “I said, ‘get off me’.”
Snips tried to backpedal. “I’m sorry; we don’t have to call each other those names if you don’t want. They’re just labels after all.”
His words had no effect on her. Diamond Tiara took a deep breath. “I wouldn’t be your fillyfriend if you were the last colt in Equestria! Do me a favor and stay away from me!”
It was like receiving a thousand blows to the gut from a helicopter blade. Confusion and sadness shattered his heart into pieces. Nothing in Snips’s life had prepared him for this kind of rejection.
Diamond Tiara didn’t wait for him to respond. She stomped past him and pushed through several slow-dancing couples.
Silver Spoon watched the whole thing from her table. A twisted smile crossed her face as she saw Diamond Tiara coming back. She almost got up to meet her halfway, but she felt a poke at her side.
The gray filly turned to see Snails staring at her with undivided attention. “Silver Spoon, with your permission, I would like to take our relationship to the next level.”
“What are you talking about?”
The unicorn did not use words to answer her. Instead, he puckered his lips together and slowly began to lean forward.
Silver Spoon’s eyes filled with terror. She got up and pushed him down in his chair. She clenched her teeth. “Are you insane? The sight of you makes me gag! I never want to see you again after tonight.” She turned around and went to meet Diamond Tiara.
Snails watched Silver Spoon trot away. In the corner of his eye, he saw one unicorn gallop out of the crowd of slow dancing ponies. He didn’t need to be told who it was; he recognized that run anywhere. Coincidentally, it was exactly the pony he needed to be with at this time. Snips ran out of the barn. Snails got up and galloped after him with tears in his eyes.
Silver Spoon greeted Diamond Tiara with a hug. “Well, that was fun while it lasted.”
“Yes, it was.” Yes, it was. Diamond Tiara forced the words to echo in her head. If she repeated the lie often enough, then it would become the truth.
“We’ll have fun tomorrow at my party.”
“I know we will.” I know we will.