Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction

by KwirkyJ

Just Out [Slice-of-Life, Sad]

Pipsqueak beamed at me as much as he could with the plate in his mouth and said he'd meet me at the table. I somehow managed to take that in, distracted as I was by the strawberry muffie settled upon the plate, tempting me with its delicious Pinkie-baked goodness. That divine pink-tinged dough and that ruby jewel of fruit nestled in its center, speckled with the perfect dusting of pristine powdered sugar snow.

Just watching it shift around gave my heart pangs of fear, that it might fall to the floor and be lost! It couldn't fall, it was precious! ...Even if it wasn't mine.

I forced myself to look away, up and over the glass curve that stretched up to the face of Missus Cake.

She asked what I wanted, I think, and I stood up to look, leaning my hooves against the shield of glass. To be fair, there were many choices: brownies, pies, cupcakes, angelfood cakes, bundt slices, bear claws... But there was but one I sought, the tempting memory of its crumbly texture, the spongy squish as bitten into, the surge of moistened sugar of purest fruit that sung to my heart, and I was to find it...

To find it, somewhere...

Missus Caked asked me again, and the dread began to clutch my heart. Where was it? Don't look at empty trays, Rumble, don't look and it won't be there. Kołaczki, no... Bagels, no... Apple-caramel muffins, rainbow muffins, chocolate marble cake squares, rum balls, no no no no no! Where is it?

They couldn't possibly be out -- it was impossible to imagine. There was one thing I that the world revolved around, the singular, special something, the particular pastry that none other could replace, and I had seen four already pass before me, one carried by my friend, so where...

There, to the left, rested an empty tray with the loathsome label of 'Strawberry Muffie.'

I blinked, looked away and back, hoping maybe my desperate, starved imagination was playing tricks on me... to build up the suspense and appreciation, but still the platter remained empty.

The laughs from somewhere in the room mocked me; the casual glances from the line behind me burned. Missus Cake with her wretched, spiteful face smiling down at me clawed at my chest, goring my heart into a pitch void with its wet entrails welling up beneath my eyes, pressing with foalish warmth.

I wouldn't cry. Apple Bloom could see me, I wouldn't cry.

But I could run.

Past Miss Fluttershy's legs I darted, past Miss Twilight, through the doors, around the corner, into the alley, up and over the trash box, around that corner, to the fountain, past the fountain, behind the tree. Only there, ensconced by the bush, did I let my clear blood flow, just a little.

How could they be out? Of all the things, why did it have to be my strawberry muffie? I beat at the ground, the shudder running up my legs into their sockets.

A rustle from nearby pierced my heart, freezing my insides and making my ears burn.

Pipsqueak edged around the tree trunk, a sack in his mouth.

A poppyseed kołaczkek, he explained. My second-favorite.

It didn't taste very good.