Pound and Pumpkin Tales 1

by Never2muchpinkie


2: The storm

It was a dark night, the wind howling and lightning flashing.

In Sugarcube Corner a tiny, trembling filly was slinking her way through the house towards her parent’s room.

She suddenly squeaked in fright as a familiar voice called out to her. “And just where are you going?”

Pumpkin Cake let out a nervous laugh. “Um… nowhere, Auntie Pinkie.”

Pinkie Pie said in a bit of a scolding voice, “You wouldn’t have been trying to sneak into your parents room, would you?” Pumpkin let out a small gasp. Pinkie had hit it on the head.

“Didn’t they tell you they didn’t want to be woken up anymore because of this fear of thunderstorms?”

“Yes, I know! But… but… I’m scared.”

Pinkie picked her up and began walking. “Your mom said she didn’t want you sleeping in their bed anymore.”

Pumpkin began struggling in her grasp. She didn’t want to go back to her room. She was too scared to sleep alone. Of course she shared a room with her brother, but he was so annoying. He was always teasing her and made her practically beg to be able to sleep in his bed with him so she wouldn’t feel as scared. That was why she had stopped waking him up and began going to her parent’s room whenever there was a thunderstorm.

She suddenly stopped her struggles when she noticed they were heading up some stairs, which could only mean they weren’t going to her room.

Pinkie opened the door to her own room, grabbing a blanket and wrapping it around the two of them as she sat down in a rocking chair. “Your mom said she didn’t want you sleeping in her room, but she didn’t say anything about sleeping in my room, now did she?”

Pumpkin immediately began crying, hugging her tightly. “T-thank you, Auntie Pinkie! I love you!”

“Shh, shh, shh,” said Pinkie, rubbing the filly’s back. “It’s okay, Pumpkin.”

When the filly settled down there was a large rumbling of thunder, and once more she began panicking, trembling as she held tightly to her favorite aunt.

“Pumpkin, why are you so scared of thunderstorms? They’re a lot of fun!”

“F-f-fun?” asked the filly in disbelief.

“Yeah! It’s all about in how you think about things.” She pulled Pumpkin away, struggling for a second against her iron grip, and turned her around towards the window. “When I was young just like you I was afraid of a whole bunch of things. I was scared of the dark, and the night.”

Pumpkin looked up at Pinkie, shock on her face. “You were afraid of things too? I didn’t think you were scared of anything.”

“My Grammy Pie was the one who taught me how to face my fears. Just find something funny in your fears. If you can do that they lose all their power.

"Now what is it that scares you about thunderstorms?”

Pumpkin looked down, shaking a little again. “I don’t know… I keep hearing a whole bunch of weird noises because of all the rain hitting the house, and then there’s a tiny bit of light from the lightning and the room lights up for just a second, and I think I see monsters. And then all of a sudden BOOM!” She began trembling harder, tears coming down her eyes. “Every time I heard that I can’t help it. I get so scared. It feels like something is attacking the house.”

“Is that all?” asked Pinkie. “Let me tell you what I see. If you just change your thinking those dumb old fears become something funny. To me rain is like some beautiful music. Imagine playing an instrument made out of rain.”

Despite herself that made Pumpkin laugh. She thought of having a violin that, every time you plucked the strings, made rain instead of sounds.

“And as for the thunder, just imagine that you’re near the world’s biggest bowling alley.”

“Bowling alley?” asked Pumpkin, confused.

“Yeah. Just imagine the world’s biggest bowling alley. The pony playing is the very best in the whole world, and he always gets a strike. He’s so confident that he tells other ponies to flash a light at him so he can throw the ball blind, and the rain is to make the lane really slippery. He throws the ball… it goes left, it goes right, nearly going into the gutter.”

A bolt of lightning lit up the room, and Pinkie knew the thunder wasn’t far off. “And then…” When it came she yelled out, “Strike!”

Again, though Pumpkin still felt scared, that made her laugh as much as it terrified her.

“You see, Pumpkin? If you can find something to giggle and guffaw at in anything you fear you take away almost all its power. That’s when it becomes funny. That’s what my Grammy Pie taught me.”

Pumpkin closed her eyes, resting against Pinkie. It was true. She didn’t feel nearly as scared as she did before as the two of them continued rocking. Her heart wasn’t hammering in her chest as hard. The silly images of a rain making choir playing for a giant bowling alley was so ridiculous that it was hard to take it as something to fear.

She suddenly heard Pinkie say, “Here’s the lightning. You know what’s next!”

Pumpkin felt a jolt of fear, anticipation building up in her. But when the thunder began crashing close by she called out, “Another strike!” She was surprised by how little the sound actually frightened her this time.

“There you go. You got it now.”

Pumpkin found herself nodding off, the sound of the rain now being relaxing to her.

“Come on, Pumpkin. It’s time to go back to bed.”

“Aww, do I haveta? Can’t I just sleep with you?”

“No, Pumpkin,” she said gently. “Like I said before, your mom didn’t bar you from sleeping with me, but if she finds out she might say that. So we need to save the nights you stay with me for when you really need it, okay?”

Pumpkin sighed. “Okay, Auntie Pinkie. I just wish I didn’t have to rely on dumb old Pound!” She crossed her hooves, huffing. “Every time I ask to sleep with him he always gives me a hard time.”

Pinkie smiled. “Can I tell you a secret?”

Pumpkins bad mood immediately passed as she looked up with interest. She loved secrets… though she did occasionally blab them on accident. “Sure!” she said in an excited whisper.

“Your brother is just as scared of thunderstorms as you are.”

“No, he’s not. He mostly sleeps right through them. When I wake him up he makes fun of me for being a baby.”

Pinkie laughed. “Oh, Pumpkin. You just don’t understand boys yet. They have a lot of pride and have trouble showing their true feelings. Your brother is a heavier sleeper than you, so that’s why he can sometimes sleep right through the storm, but that isn’t always the case.

“On one of the nights when you left your room to sleep with your parents he came to sleep with me.”

“He did?”

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t he just come in to our parents too?”

“Because of his pride, silly. You have to listen. He makes fun of you for getting scared of storms, so how could he just show up and say he was scared of the storm too?

“And do you know what he said to me then?”

“No… what did he say?”

“He told me, 'I hate being alone during storms, so I’m actually kinda glad when Pumpkin wants to sleep with me. If she hadn’t gone to sleep with our parents then I would have protected her. I don’t like to see her all upset, so I pretend I’m not scared at all so that she knows she’ll be safe.'”

Pumpkin tilted her head, giving Pinkie a quizzical look. “He didn’t say that!”

“Pinkie Promise,” she responded, going through the motions. “You two are brother and sister, and you need each other. You’re scared, and he’s scared, so when you stick together you each feel stronger and able to weather the storm. Literally.” She let out a laugh. “But he’s too proud to come right out and say that he’s scared. And also, he’s upset when you’re upset, so he pushes his fear down so that you will feel safer with him. He really does care for you. He’s just good at hiding it.”

She stood up, placing Pumpkin on the floor. “Now go on. Time to go back to bed.” She gave Pumpkin a kiss on her forehead. “Good night.”

Pumpkin gave her a hug. “Good night, Auntie Pinkie.”

Pumpkin left the room, pondering what she had heard. Pinkie wouldn’t lie to her, especially if she made a Pinkie Promise. She knew Pinkie took those very seriously. She just couldn’t see her dumb brother like that.

As she neared their room she heard the cocky voice of her brother. “Hey there, baby. You cowering over there yet?”

Pumpkin frowned, feeling annoyed.

She heard his voice again, not sounding nearly as brave. “Pumpkin?” And then a few seconds later, again, “Pumpkin?” There was a flash of lightning, and a few seconds later Pound’s voice came out like a strange squeal as he called out her name just as the thunder crashed almost like it was right next to the house.

A quick jolt of fear made her heart start racing, but when she automatically whispered “Another strike” her terror quickly passed, a smile forming on her face. A sense of smug satisfaction was in her, hearing his fright and alarm after all the times he had made fun of her.

Her smile faded when she heard Pound crying in fear, and tears started coming down her eyes as she thought about what Pinkie had told her. He had always been just as scared as she had been, but he had suppressed it for her sake. Now the situation was reversed. He was scared and alone, and she wanted to be there for him now. After all, he was her brother.

She opened the door all the way. “Pound! You awake?”

She heard him stifling his tears. “Where did you go?”

Pumpkin could clearly hear the relief in his voice. No longer did she feel the desire to mock him. Deciding to let him keep his boyish pride intact she put on a scared voice. “Mom kicked me out. I’m too scared to sleep alone. Can I stay with you, please?”

He gave an exaggerated sigh, “Okay, fine. I guess. If you have to.”

Lifting up the covers she laid down in her brother’s bed. “Hold onto me tight so I won’t feel scared.”

His usual arrogant response didn’t come off that well as he said, “The things I have to do for my sister.” He placed his hooves around her.

She put her hooves around him too, with all her strength, wanting him not to feel scared either. She could feel him shaking in her hooves. He had probably been trembling all those times before, but she had never noticed before because she, herself, had been quivering.

“Thank you, Pound. You’re an awesome brother. I love you.”

He hesitated before responding, “I love you, too. N-now just go to sleep already.”

She gave him a warm, unseen smile. He had gotten his conceited attitude back in a hurry. But now she knew why he acted like he did, so it didn’t matter to her anymore.

He had protected her when she was afraid, and now it was her turn. She didn't like to see him upset either, no matter how much he annoyed her.

The half-asleep filly kept a tight hold on her other half, and unconsciously her horn started to glow a light blue, a small blue bubble surrounding the two of them, muting out the sound of the storm.

Pound felt puzzled at the sudden quiet, opening his eyes to see the barrier around them. He smiled at his sister, grateful to have her with him tonight. He closed his eyes again, snuggling in closer to her, smiling as the two of them drifted off to sleep.