• Published 9th Jul 2013
  • 1,976 Views, 242 Comments

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Stories and poems too short for individual publication (including some award-winning minifics).

  • ...

The Shipper Is: IN

Author's Note:

Back in the days of FanOfMostEverything's "Imposing Sovereigns" contest, River Road tried to get together a secret project as a love letter to the contest: "Get a bunch of other authors to write a few hundred words each about various characters at 'Princess-Con' and call the whole story 'Group Princessitation'. The weirder and sillier the scene the better." It sounded like fun, so I sent this in.

Due to lack of interest, the project unfortunately never got anywhere, but I'm still super amused by this as a standalone. So, here you go!

She has set up a simple wooden booth at one side of the Princess-Con Dealer's Hall. "METAROMANTIC HELP 5¢," the sign above Cadance's head reads, and beneath the counter: "THE SHIPPER IS: IN". As I wander over, Supreme Overprincess Raven Tulip Bloodswan, red-and-black ruler of all OCs, has just stepped up to the booth.

"What do you mean, metaromantic?" the zebralicorn asks dubiously.

Cadance smiles up. "It's simple, really. You pay me, I get two princesses to fall briefly in love, you get to vicariously live out your shipping dreams in real time."

A smirk creeps onto Raven's fanged maw, and a nickel flashes out from her bag. "Me and Princess Big Mac," she immediately says.

The smile on Cadance's muzzle wavers, but she holds it professionally. "Two other princesses," she clarifies. "I'm a fantasy enabler, not an escort service."

Raven is only briefly deterred. The creepy smirk returns, and she slaps the nickel down. "Celestia and Luna."

Cadance's smile falls away into an all-too-familiar disappointment, and she pushes the nickel away. "Sorry, no princest."

Raven scowls. "Well, what good ARE you then?"

"You'd be surprised how often I've heard that today," Cadance mutters wearily, then forces her smile back on. "I also sell that shipfic folder card game?"

"Bah," Raven says, snatching back her nickel and stomping away.

I step up to the booth, twirling a nickel on one eagle-claw like some sort of coin-based basketball virtuoso. "Well," I say, "this looks promising."

Cadance's eyes flick up and down my form appraisingly. She shudders, and forces her gaze upward. "Discord," she finally says politely. "The wings and horn look good on you. And I have to say I'm almost impressed with how aggressively that tutu fails to match any other clothing in existence."

"I know! Isn't it great?" I say with a happy little shimmy. Then I flick my claw, spinning the nickel down to land on the counter by her hoof. "But to business! I have shipping desires. You have magical love powers. This would seems to be the basis for a joyous and mutually profitable relationship."

"Let's hear it," she says, voice and eyes dead.

"Princess Potted Plant," I say — pointing across the room to where I've placed a tiara and a little set of clip-on wings on an azalea bush near the women's restroom — "and Princess Garbage Can," pointing to a similarly bedecked receptacle outside the other women's restroom.

Cadance blinks. I see the tiniest spark of hope rekindle in her eyes. She sits up straighter.

"I," she says slowly, "can do that. I can actually do that." She sweeps the nickel into her coin pouch, and her horn flashes to life. Shimmering auras encircle the inanimate objects. Then she turns to me with the first genuine smile I've seen on her all con. "I never dreamed I'd say this to you, but thank you for my first sale of the convention."

"You know me," I say with a wink, "always happy to bring a little excitement to your day." Then I bow and back away, just in time for Twilight Sparkle to approach the booth with a deranged grin and a mountain of nickels.

As much as I'd love to stay and enjoy that vicariously, I've got bigger fish to fry. I skip across the room, pushing the potted plant and garbage can together. The plant's leaves rustle in the light breeze from the air conditioning.

I shed a tear. It's beautiful. Perfect.

Then I set up my camera. I've got to be ready for when my shapeshifting spell on Celestia and Luna wears off.

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