• Published 27th Jun 2013
  • 3,206 Views, 139 Comments

A Bushel of Apples - dramatic_spoon



Slice of life stories staring Big Macintosh and his alternate universe offspring

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Razzle Dazzle 'em

Ponyville

In a flash of light, Center Stage appeared in the middle of a street. The colt looked around and frowned at the vacant street.

“Where is everypo-”

Three sets of hooves reached out of a nearby building and yanked the colt inside.

“What are you doing??!?!” the colt yelled, turning around to see Apple Cinnamon, Golden Gem and Acey Mac.

“Quiet!” Acey hushed him.

“What is wrong with you all?” the colt demanded.

“Just shut up and look out there.” Apple Cinnamon pointed towards a window.

“Why should I?”

“Just do it!” Golden Gem ordered.

“…Whose house is this anyway?” Center Stage grumbled as he headed towards the window and looked out.

The colt’s eyes widened in surprise as he took in the scene: Twilight stared at a foal greatly resembling Snips next to an elderly unicorn that resembled Snails. Next to them, stood a unicorn wearing a black hooded cape with a small alicorn amulet fastened to it.

“An age spell? But- how could you do an age spell?” Twilight stared at the unicorn in horror and shock, “That’s only for the highest level unicorns!”

“What’s going on?” Center Stage turned his attention to the three fillies, “Who’s that?”

“Just keep watching!”

“Trixie is the highest level Unicorn!” the hooded pony, Trixie, triumphantly announced.

“MOM?!?!?” Center Stage stared at the scene in horror, “But…But…that never happened!”

“It did in my Universe.” Golden Gem responded.

“Mine too.” Acey nodded.

“I think something must have happened in your universe that prevented this from happening there,” Apple Cinnamon added, “This doesn’t look good.”

“Don’t worry, Aunt Twilight fixed it!” Golden Gem added.

Ropes suddenly appeared, binding Twilight’s legs together. Before any other pony could react, a massive birdcage materialized around Twilight, leaving the unicorn suspended from the ceiling of it.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing!?!?” Rainbow Dash shouted at the unicorn.

“Yeah, you said you were just going to banish her!” another pony in the crowd yelled.

“I changed my mind,” Trixie curtly responded, “This is a fitting punishment, do you not agree? Suspended here, unable to leave or do anything but watch the great and powerful unicorn who bested you!”
Trixie turned to the remaining elements and other towns ponies.

“Nor shall any of you do anything to stop it!”

With barely any effort, a massive bubble engulfed Ponyville, sending the townsponies into a blind panic. A second, smaller bubble surrounded Twilight, separating her from her friends.

“As a final word of advice, that bubble is impenetrable. Do not do anything so foolish to endanger your friend, or anger me.” Trixie smirked.

“…That’s not how it went in my universe,” Golden Gem stared on in horror.

“Not mine either.’ Acey shook her head.

Another flash light up the room, as Bellona, Idun, and Golden Sweet appeared.

“Did you all see that?!?” Golden Sweet stared at the others, “what are we going to do?”

“I think we need to get to dad’s.” Idun stated, “It’s far enough away from this so we can plan something without her noticing anything.
Bellona, can you teleport this ma-”

The hybrid snapped her fingers, as the group suddenly appeared in the Apple’s barn.

“-ny ponies…” Idun trailed off.

“Eeyup.” Bellona grinned.

---

Lyra, Big Macintosh and the assembled foals sat around in a circle, pondering. Off in the corner of the barn, Center Stage remained curled up in the fetal position.

“Mom would never do that mom would never do that mom would never do that,” the colt continued to mumble that phrase over and over.

“…I think he had a nervous breakdown, Mac.” Lyra shook her head, “Can’t say I blame him.”

“…We could get Spike to send a letter to the Princesses.” Golden Sweet suggested.

“No, she caught Applejack trying to do that and now the two of them have their own cages next to Twilight.” Big Macintosh shook his head, “I’d try to get her out of it, but Applebloom and her friends already tried.”

“What happened to her?” Apple Cinnamon frowned.

“They’re stuck pullin’ Trixie’s cart,” Big Macintosh gritted his teeth, “Bellona, Idun, you two think you can take her on?”

“….I could. But I don’t think Ponyville will survive, dad.” Bellona shook her head, “As much as I would like to turn the Cake’s house into a giant gingerbread spider to fight her, I don’t think it’s gonna work.”

“I would have to agree with Bellona, father,” Idun nodded, “While we are not normal ponies, our own skill level is far below hers.”

“…” Big Macintosh frowned, “I reckon if we had Nova, Bliss, Fantasia and Oscura here that might have a chance of working, but their transporters are still rechargin’.
I’m really not sure what else we can do.”

“There’s actually another problem,” Lyra added, “From what Gem and Acey said, this happened in their universes, but slightly differently. What about the rest of you?”

“….The Trixie of my universe is a mainstay in Las Pegasus, Miss Heartstrings, I’ve never met her before.” Idun shook her head.

“Dad said that Trixie is a Necromancer, and tried to kill him, Missus Rarity and Mr. Turner.” Golden Sweet shook her head.

“Never heard of her.” Apple Cinnamon shook her head.

“…It happened the same way it did in Gem and Acey’s universe.” Bellona shrugged.

“…So something must have happened differently here, to cause that divergence,” Lyra turned to Big Macintosh, “I think the kids are starting to affect the time stream.”

“Lyra this ain’t the time for that,” Big Macintosh shook his head.

As the other ponies argued, Apple Cinnamon trotted over to Center Stage, taking a seat by him.

“Stage, we need your help.”

“I don’t wanna do anything.” Center Stage muttered.

“…We all know that’s not your mom.”

“Sure it is.”

“No, listen. She’d never act like that around you would she?” Apple Cinnamon pushed on.

“…No, she wouldn’t.”

“And she’s not the kind of pony that carries petty grudges, only to punish ponies like that, is she?”

“...No.”

“So that means she’s already acting weird.”

“…Eeyup.” Center Stage got off his side, sitting back up.

“So help us figure this out. Why is she acting like that?” Apple Cinnamon asked.

“…When she found out she was in Ponyville, she acted terrified, scared that the ponies she insulted would run her out of town.” Center Stage explained, “So something must be affecting how she acts.”

“Did you see anything different about her?” Apple Cinnamon continued.

“It’s the Amulet around her neck.” Acey told the group, “Ma said that it gives the user great powers, but make’s them more evil every time they use it.”

“So we just have to steal it from her,” Bellona grinned, “This sounds like my kinda plan.”

“It doesn’t work that way,” Golden Gem shook her head, “ There’s a spell on it that prevents that from happening. In my universe, Twilight was able to trick her into taking it off, but that’s not going to work here.”

“NOT SO FAST!” Center Stage stood up and trotted over to the group.

“You feeling alright, Stage?” Big Macintosh inquired.

“I feel great, dad,” the unicorn colt grinned at the rest of the group, “and I have a plan. I’m going to need some other ponies though.”

----

“Me?” Carrot Top shook her head, “Why do you need me?”

“Because I’m here and Center Stage said we need ponies that look similar for this to work, mom.” Golden Sweet responded.

“…Alright, if that means saving Ponyville, I’ll do it.”

---

“-An’ that’s why we need you Ma.” Acey concluded.

“…Do you all really think that is going to work?” the school teacher shook her head, “If this doesn’t work…”

“Pa trusts Center Stage, and I trust Pa.” Acey nodded.

“…Then we’ll give it a try.”

---

“Kid, that’s got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Rainbow Dash stared at Apple Cinnamon in disbelief, “You want me and Lyra to do what?”

“That’s the plan, Miss Dash. I didn’t come up with it, but I think it will work.”

“…Well, it’s better than sitting around and doing nothing. Count me in on this.” The pegasus nodded in agreement.

---

“Certainly I can make this.” Rarity placed a sheet of paper down, “Give me a few moments and then I will come along.”

“Thank you Mommy.” Golden Gem nodded.

Before the filly could leave, Apple Jam appeared in the middle of the room.

“…Um…I made a mistake.” Jam blushed.

“Nevermind, we can use you to help us with something,” Golden Gem smiled.

---

“…And that’s the plan.” Center Stage concluded.

“…Kid, that’s insane.” Rainbow Dash shook her head, “How are you even going to make sure she doesn’t notice?”

“That’s where I come in,” Bellona grinned, “Slight of hoof and invisibility spells can only do so much.”

“…Mac, you really expect us to trust Discord’s daughter?” Dash frowned.

“She hasn’t let any of us down in the clutch,” Big Macintosh responded, “Besides, she knows better than to mess this up.”

“I know dad,” Bellona nodded, “You can trust me, Miss Dash.”

“…Then let’s get this over with.”

---

Trixie watched as Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon struggled to carve a statue.

“Stop, stop.” The unicorn shook her head, “That looks nothing like me. Start over.”

“This is the seventh one you’ve made us do!” Diamond Tiara shouted back, “Wha-”

The filly’s response was cut off as her mouth vanished from her face. Diamond Tiara frantically began to paw at her the blank fur where her mouth was as the others stared at her in horror.

“No. Talking. Back.” Trixie scowled, “Back to work, and this time make it good.”

The unicorn stalked off as Silver Spoon rushed over to her friend. Trixie stopped in front of several cages, and smiled at Twilight Sparkle.

“So, Twilight Sparkle, tell me what you think of my…Great and Powerful redecorations of the town?” the unicorn coyly asked. Twilight responded by staring daggers at the mare, who simply laughed in response.

“So typical. But where are your friends now? I’ve captured the stupid one, and I have yet to see the other four.” The unicorn continued one, “Perhaps I-”

Trixie trailed off as a wagon rolled into the middle of Ponyville’s center court. The wagon stopped, as the collected ponies continued to stare at it. In a flash of rainbow colored lights, the wagon exploded, revealing a small stage.

“What is this mockery?” Trixie snapped.
“You!” the unicorn pointed at Berry Punch, “What is the meaning of this?!?!”

“No clue.” The earth mare shrugged.

“FILLIES AND GENTLEPONIES! BOYS AND GIRLS!” a voice boomed out of the stage, “PLEASE GIVE A WARM ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THE ONE, THE ONLY…”

Another explosion of color revealed Center Stage, his cape fastened around his neck by a small sapphire in the shape of a spade. The colt grinned at the assembled ponies before continuing,

“THE MAGNIFICENT AND ILLUSTRIOUS CENTER STAGE!” the colt announced to the growing group of ponies. The colt flashed an even bigger grin at the crowd as Trixie exploded in anger.

“WHAT IS THIS…this…this mockery!?!?” Trixie snapped at the colt.

“This ‘mockery’ is none other than the Magnificent and Illustrious Center Stage,” the colt scoffed, “Do you not recognize the name? Then let me inform you!”

THE LIBRARY

Apple Cinnamon peeked into the telescope aimed at the town square.

“Alright, he’s monologuing now.” Apple Cinnamon nodded at Bellona, “Get ready for the first one.”

---

“…And I began my world tour!” Center Stage concluded.

“But how did you penetrate my barrier?” Trixie snarled.

“Such amateurish spells are... foal’s play for one as skilled as I,” Center Stage smugly replied, “After all, if I could be stopped by such a weak spell, would I truly be Magnificent and Illustrious?”

Applejack and Twilight rolled their eyes, as Trixie fumed.

“Any other questions?’ Center Stage grinned, “Good. Then let us go-”

“What is that around your neck?” an unseen pony in the crowd called out.

“This? This is the Amulet of Porcina. Certainly you’ve heard about it, yes?” the colt frowned as several ponies in the crowd shook their heads or shrugged.

“…Well, long story short, in the distant past, before Discord’s or the Princesses’ rule, there was a mighty princess known as Porcina, a renowned sorceress of great power and skill.
This was her amulet, capable of great and powerful magic beyond what most unicorns and even alicorns were capable of.”

“Then how did you get it?” Trixie snapped.

“Who do you think I’m related to?” Center Stage grinned back, “I see that you also posses an amulet of lesser power.
Care to see what I am capable of? Talk is cheap after all, and there’s nothing like a fantastic magic show to get one’s blood pumping.”

“Hrmp!”

“I take that as a “yes”,” the colt grinned, “First, an age spell! Might I have two volunteers?”

Cheerilee and Carrot Top exchanged nervous glances and trotted onto the stage.

“Excellent!”

The Library

“Alright they’re on stage. Don’t mess this up, Bell.” Apple Cinnamon jerked her head, “Sweet, Acey, get ready.”

“Eeyup.” Both fillies, their manes and coats dyed the exact same shade as their mothers nodded.

---

“Please give your names to the audience,” Center Stage motioned towards the crowd.

“They know who we are,” Carrot Top frowned.

“Oh, play along, these things are fun,” Cheerilee beamed at the crowd, “I’m Cheerilee.”

“…Carrot Top,” the other mare rolled her eyes.

“Tell me, do either of you ever miss your childhood?” Center Stage pushed on, confusing the two mares.

“…No.” Carrot Top shook her head.

“…Sometimes.” Cheerilee blushed.

“THEN LET US MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE!”

Center Stage’s horn exploded into light, engulfing the two mares. As the light cleared and faded, the two mares were replaced with identical looking fillies.

“…I don’t feel any differ…” the Carrot Top filly trailed off, “Is that my voice?”

“Eeyup.” the Cheerilee filly nodded.

The Library

“She’s not suppose to say that,” Apple Cinnamon slapped her forehead.

---

“Pfft. Any pony can do an age spell.” Trixie scoffed as Center Stage restored Cheerilee and Carrot Top to their proper ages.

“True,” Center Stage shrugged, “most ponies need something to amplify their powers though. Although to be honest, I don’t need this to do it.” The colt motioned towards his amulet, “It just takes the strain off for my next trick.”

Center Stage turned his attention to the audience, “I need another volunteer…you!”

The colt pointed through the crowd at Sweetie Belle.

“Me?” the unicorn filly blinked in confusion.

“Yes, you! Come up and take part in the greatest show in Equestria!”

Sweetie Belle nervously looked at Applebloom and Scootaloo, before looking at Trixie.
The mare rolled her eyes in exasperation.

“Oh go on,” Trixie waved her away with a hoof, “Maybe he’ll saw you in half.”

Sweetie Belle nervously trotted onto stage, as Center Stage beamed.

“Now then, what’s your name?”

Sweetie Belle gave the colt a confused look, “But yo…” the filly trailed off as Center Stage quickly shook his head, “I’m Sweetie Belle.” The filly corrected herself.

“Any siblings?”

“Well…” Sweetie Belle trailed off, “I have an older sister, but she’s always busy.”

“How would you like more?” Center Stage grinned, “I just need a hair…”

Center Stage’s magic aura plucked a hair out of Sweetie Belle’s mane.

“Ow!” the filly yelled.

“It’ll just be a moment…” Center Stage focused on the hair.

“Sweetie Belle!” Rarity pushed her way through the crowd, “What are you doing up there?”

“But he said he’d do a magic tri-”

Sweetie Belle trailed off as a bright light blinded her. As her sight returned, the filly found herself staring at two other Sweetie Belles.

“…Woah.” The original blinked.

“...Um…what are we going to tell mom and dad?” One of the Sweetie Belles meekly smiled.

The three Sweetie Belles turned their attention to Rarity as she stared at the scene in horror.

“Wha…but…how…uuhhhh…” Rarity dramatically fainted.

The Library

“…The ham.” Bellona chuckled.

----

Trixie stood up in shock.

“A duplication spell? Impossible!”

“Or is it?” Center Stage grinned, “Your eyes do not deceive you.”

The colt began to pace the stage as the Sweetie Belles carried the unconscious Rarity off.

“Hmm…I feel that this is starting to become…old. Age regression. Duplicates. I believe there is only one thing left to do…” Center Stage turned his attention to the crowd, “And I need two volunteers.”

The crowd began to call to be picked by the colt, further frustrating Trixie.

“You and….You.”

Center Stage focused, yanking two tails up into the air, and dragging the ponies out of the crowd. A very angry Rainbow Dash and Lyra found themselves on the stage, in front of a cheering crowd.


“Well aren’t you a happy couple.” Center Stage smirked.

“I’m not gay!” Rainbow Dash snapped.

“I have a coltfriend,” Lyra grumbled.

The crowd chuckled as the two mares shot the crowd a dirty look.

“Okay, that’s it!” Rainbow Dash snapped, “Give me a moment kid.”

“Me too.”

Rainbow Dash took off, while Lyra scanned the crowd.

“…There he is.” Lyra grinned and focused. A pony was yanked out of the crowd, and brought to the front. Lyra grinned as Big Macintosh continued to struggle against the magical aura. Rainbow Dash arrived shortly after, setting a grey coated unicorn stallion with a dark magenta mane down onto the stage.

“Mac and I have been together for almost a year now,” Lyra paused, “should I mention that yet?” she whispered to the stallion. Big Macintosh shook his head in response.

“It’d be nice if you put me down.”

“Right, right.” Lyra’s aura vanished, dropping the stallion onto the stage.

“See this guy?” Rainbow Dash motioned towards the unicorn stallion, “This is my coltfriend!”

“Um... we actually have been dating for a couple of months now.” The stallion chuckled.

“Tell’m Script.” Rainbow Dash grinned, “And if you still don’t believe us…” Rainbow Dash grabbed Written Script, pulling the stallion closer to her before planting a passionate kiss on his lips. Written Script’s expression changed from shock to enjoyment and responded in kind to the cheering crowd.

Center Stage rolled his eyes, “Ick. Don’t slobber all over my stage, I just had it cleaned. Now then…I think I need a little of this and that.”

Center Stage plucked a hair out of the tails from both mares.

“Ow! Hey!” Rainbow yelled.

“Be quiet.” Center Stage ordered, “A few…other items…” the colt brought out two vials with an unknown liquid.
“And with this…we create LIFE!”

“Wait what?!!” Rainbow Dash and Lyra yelled as the colt mixed the two hairs and liquids together. He yelped in surprise as the mixture fizzed, foamed and eventually exploded into a bright flash of rainbow lights and rainbow smoke.
As the smoke cleared an alicorn filly with a rainbow mane and a mint coat. The filly blinked and scanned the area. Upon setting her eyes on Lyra and Rainbow Dash, she broke out in a smile.

“Mommys!” the filly’s wings began to flutter, propelling her towards the mares.

“…Huh. So that’s what happens when I use a pegasus and unicorn.” Center Stage shrugged.
“And this is all due to my amulet!”

Center Stage raised a hoof towards the amulet, only to find nothing there.

“Wait…” the colt looked down, “Where’s my amulet?”

“HA-HA!” Trixe headed to the stage in triumph, levitating the amulet with her, “NOW WE WILL SEE WHO REALLY IS GREAT AND POWERFUL!”

The showmare tore off the Alicorn Amulet and replaced it with the Amulet of Porcina. The mare tossed the Alicorn Amulet aside as she turned her attention to Center Stage.

The Library

“She took it off, go!” Apple Cinnamon ordered Bellona.

“On it.” The Draconequuis vanished.

---

“…Why is it not working?” Trixie grew increasingly frustrated, “This…This is not possible.”

Center Stage grinned, “My amulet is fake, but my magic is not. Slight of hoof goes a very long way.”

“You…You tricked me!” Trixie stammered.

“You fooled yourself, Trixie,” Center Stage responded, “The Alicorn Amulet is not a toy for petty tricks or revenge, It is something capable of great evil.”
The colt paused, “And I know you are not evil.”

“But…Sparkle…”

“But nothing!” Center Stage snapped, “So what if she upstaged you once? There is a massive world out there, with audiences who would care less about what happened in a little Podunk!”

The Colt stomped his hoof and pointed an accusing hoof at her, “You let yourself be consumed by frustration, and let it ruin your life!”

Trixie opened her mouth to speak, only for her to close it and hang her head in shame.

“You are correct, young colt.” Trixie responded.

The mare turned around and released a burst of magic, freeing Applejack, Spike and Twilight Sparkle.

“Twilight Sparkle, for what it is worth, Trixie is… sorry,” the showmare apologized, “It may not be much but that is what I can offer you.”

“Trixie…there’s no need to apologize,” Twilight shook her head, “The Amulet was affecting you.”

“Only because I allowed it!” the mare snapped back, “This young showpony is correct, I must salvage what is left of my reputation.”

“Well at least she’s over that,” Spike muttered to Applejack.

“The next time you shall see me is when I have become the greatest entertainer in Equestria!” Trixie announced to the collected ponies who shrugged in response.

“Well that’s over with,” Center Stage clapped his hooves together as the stage burst into smoke, reforming the carriage, “I shall be on my way.”

“Wait.” Trixie stopped the colt, “Tell me one thing.”

“Hmmm?”

“Why do you believe in me so much?” Trixie inquired.

“…” Center Stage grinned, “I said I learned from the best….Mom.”

With that, the colt and stage vanished.

Ponyville Library

Bellona, the Cart and Center Stage appeared behind Apple Cinnamon.

“Good work.” The pegasus nodded, “You got the Amulet?”

“Right here,” Bellona held it out, “It’s pretty too, I can feel its power…”

“No.” Center Stage’s aura surrounded the amulet and placed it into a box, “We’re sending it to Princess Celestia.”

“Spoil sport.” Bellona pouted before teleporting away.

“Stage, What did you tell her at the end?” Apple Cinnamon inquired, “She seemed pretty surprised to hear it.”

Center Stage paused, pondering whether or not to tell the truth. After several minutes passed, the colt grinned.

“A magician never reveals all his secrets.”