• Published 15th Aug 2013
  • 3,937 Views, 168 Comments

The Minuette-ventures of Princess Twilight Sparkle - Sharp Spark


Twilight and Minuette are perfectly happy and just want to be left alone. Unfortunately, Ponyville is particularly prone to mysteries and disasters, and -somepony- has to deal with the mess.

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Sobriety Sucks

“I’m telling you, vamponies are real!” Minuette said, absolute conviction in her voice.

Twilight just rolled her eyes. “You’ve been reading too many bad romance novels.”

Amazing romance novels. That I borrowed from you!” Minuette poked Twilight in the chest accusingly.

“Well, yes,” Twilight said. “But I don’t take them seriously. There’s absolutely no scientific basis for believing in mysterious fanged ponies that drink blood, hate sunlight, and can turn into bats.”

“Oh certainly not,” Minuette said. “That doesn’t sound anything like, say, Princess Luna’s royal guards.”

Twilight blinked. “That’s different! They don’t turn into bats. And I’m pretty sure they don’t drink blood either.”

“Then how do you explain this?” Minuette gestured at the pony softly sleeping on the hospital bed in front of them. He was a portly stallion with wisps of grey in his shaggy mane and matching beard, but his normally tan coat was several shades paler than usual. An IV in his leg carefully regulated the flow of additional blood back into his body, restoring him back to health.

And, most notably, he had two distinct holes on his neck.

“That doesn’t prove anything,” Twilight said. “Other than maybe that whoever did this has also been reading too many books about mythical creatures. What’s important is that we find the culprit before they have a chance to strike again.”

Minuette sighed in resignation. “Sure, but I’m telling you: I know what’s going on here. And I have a plan to stop it.”

“Really?” Twilight brightened up. “What?”

“Get really really drunk,” Minuette said firmly.

Twilight’s hoof hit her forehead. “I should have known better.”

Minuette shrugged, muttering something inaudible to herself.

“Look,” Twilight’s expression became deadly serious. “Vampony or no vampony, ponies are being attacked in my town, and we’re going to do something about it. Namely, head to the scene of the crime to investigate. Which means...”

A broad grin formed on Minuette’s face as she gestured at the overflowing stein that was Pale Ale’s cutie mark.

“To the bar!” she cried out, happily.

---

“Give me your strongest drink,” Minuette said. “In the largest glass you have. Oh, and put a little paper umbrella in it.”

The mare behind the bar blinked. “Pale Ale handles mixing drinks. I just serve them.”

“It’s okay,” Twilight said. “We just wanted to ask you a few questions. We’re not here to drink.”

“Speak for yourself,” Minuette grumbled. “Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.” Before the mare could protest, Minuette was on the other side of the bar, casually searching through the bottles lined up against the wall.

Twilight waved a hoof dismissively. “She’s fine, I’ll pay for whatever. But I wanted to ask you about your boss, Miss...”

“Honey Mead,” she said. She frowned, her brow wrinkled with concern. “How is he doing? I’ve been so worried!”

Twilight patted her other foreleg comfortingly. “Nurse Redheart says he’s doing just fine. He’ll be back in here in no time.”

“What a relief!” Honey closed her eyes. “When I found him in here, slumped over on the counter, I thought for sure he was dead!”

“He was found in the bar?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, yes, when I came in this morning I was surprised to find the back door still unlocked. He was right here, barely breathing. I called for the hospital as soon as I could!”

“There was nopony else around?”

Honey thought for a moment. “No, nopony.”

Twilight’s eyes roamed around the small establishment. It’d be easy to blend in as one of the crowd in the evenings, when the place was busy, but in the afternoon like now, there weren’t many places to hide in the ramshackle bar.

“Okay, well, what about in the past few days? Has there been anything suspicious, or unusual?”

“Not any moreso than normal.” Honey frowned. “Hm... oh, but that’s hardly important.”

“What?” Twilight said. “Anything you know could be vital to our investigation.”

“For example: do you have any more gin?” Minuette piped up. Twilight sighed as she looked over to see Minuette surrounded by no-longer-full bottles.

“No, what were you going to say?” Twilight said, insistently.

Honey bit her lip. “Well, we rarely get more than the die-hard regulars until later in the day. But yesterday Cheerilee came by first thing in the morning to talk to Pale Ale. I’m not sure what they discussed, but they seemed to argue for a while.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Cheerilee?”

“Right, that’s why I said it wasn’t important. I’m sure she didn’t have anything to do with the... the... attack.”

Twilight nodded. “Still, it is worth noting. As it has been said: Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be—”

“Five-hundred proof!” Minuette said, gesturing towards a glass filled with a murky liquid. “See, if I put in one-hundred proof whiskey, and some single-malt scotch, a dash of vodka, and this funny green bottle with the faded label, that all adds up to five-hundred proof.” She grinned proudly. “I call it the Timewrecker.”

“Minuette, no, just...” Twilight sighed as her marefriend chugged the glass.

The glass clinked down against the bar, completely empty.

“That... that was the worst thing I have ever tasted,” Minuette said. “I think... think... I’m gonna have to try again. As soon as the room stops spinning.”

“Twilight!” a high-pitched voice called out with urgency. “There you are!”

Twilight turned to see a yellow filly galloping in from the street. “Apple Bloom? You shouldn’t be in here, you know.”

“It’s an emergency!” Apple Bloom cried out. “It’s Big Mac! He collapsed! Applejack is running to the hospital, but she said to come find you!”

Minuette sighed and turned to Honey Mead. “D’ you have a to-go cup? Wait, actually, I’ll take the bottle. Bottles.”

---

Apple Bloom was the first to dart down the stairs into Sweet Apple Acres’ cider cellar, but Twilight was close behind. Minuette chose to be a little more cautious at the prospect of descending, given that each step had chosen to start swaying back and forth underhoof.

“See?” Apple Bloom said, rushing over to where Bic McIntosh was collapsed in a big red heap. “What could have happened?!”

“Vamponies,” Minuette said firmly, still halfway up the stairs.

Apple Bloom gasped.

“There’s no such thing as vamponies,” Twilight said. She gulped nervously and took a closer look at Big Mac’s neck. Two punctured holes. And from the paleness of his normally bright red coat and his shallow breathing, he too was suffering from anemia brought on by rapid blood loss. “At least... I think.” A note of uncertainty had entered into her tone.

Apple Bloom shivered. “M-m-maybe he was just working too hard. Ever since Miss Cheerilee came over yesterday, he’s been pretty excitable.”

“Cheerilee?” Twilight said, suddenly alert.

“Yeah! She said she had to talk to Granny about something, and I thought for sure it was about the last time we went crusading and accidentally burned down the—” Apple Bloom abruptly stopped. “Ah mean, er, about our homework. But then she just talked to Mac and left.”

“Hmm.” Twilight narrowed her eyes. “Minuette, are you thinking what I’m— Minuette!”

Minuette turned guiltily away from a big barrel of cider, where she had been drinking straight from the spigot. “W-whaaat? I’m fine. Everythingsh ay oh-kay.”

Twilight glared, and Minuette stepped away from the barrel. As soon as Twilight turned back to Apple Bloom, Minuette pulled out a bottle from her saddlebags and slipped a swirly straw in it.

“Apple Bloom, this is important: Has Cheerilee been acting any differently lately?”

Apple Bloom frowned and twirled around in circles as she thought. “Oh!” she said. “You mean, like, has she been lurking around in the bushes outside of Berry Punch’s house waiting for her to leave so she could crawl in through the window?”

“That’s remarkably specific,” Twilight said.

“Yeah! We were gonna go ask Ruby Pinch to help us be Cutie Mark Crusader Barbershop Quartet Singers, when we saw Miss Cheerilee being all sneaky.”

Twilight felt a cold chill. “Minuette, have you seen Berry Punch any time in the past couple of days?”

“Naw thanksh,” Minuette said. “I’ve still got some whiskey. I’m fish. Fine.”

“No, Berry Punch the pony. Have you seen her?”

Minuette frowned, taking a very long moment before the question percolated up. “Naw. I don’t think sho. She’d be at the bar, right?”

Twilight thought back. There had been no ponies at all at the bar when they were just there.

“I think...” Twilight paused grimly. “Cheerilee is our ‘vampony’.”

Dun dun duuuuuuun!”

Apple Bloom and Twilight peered at Minuette curiously. “What?” she said. “That totally needed shome dramatic music.”

---

After leaving Apple Bloom and Big Mac in the hooves of Applejack – Apple Bloom particularly disappointed at not getting a chance at Cutie Mark Crusader Vampony Hunting – Twilight Sparkle and Minuette finally arrived in front of the small cottage that was Cheerilee’s home.

Twilight was not in a particularly good mood, a feeling intensified by having to carry Minuette on her back for the last half of the way there. She roughly dumped the other pony off, and after a few clumsy attempts, Minuette managed to stand up and remain vertical for a good thirty seconds.

“‘Kay,” she said. “Let’sh go!” She thrust a hoof forward towards the door, then fell over once the difficulty of standing on three hooves caught up with her. A moment later she popped back upright. “I’m good!”

Twilight heaved another sigh and knocked sharply on the door.

“Coming!” a cheerful voice called out.

As soon as the door swung open, Cheerilee’s happy expression froze. She stared with wide eyes at Twilight’s lowered head, horn crackling with energy as it pointed right in her direction. “P-Princess Sparkle?” Cheerilee said.

“Cheerilee, you are under suspicion of assault and desanguination of three ponies. Back up into the house, nice and slow. Keep your hooves where I can see them.”

“There must be some mistake!” Cheerilee took a faltering step back, then another, more out of terror than obedience to Twilight’s commands.

“Keep walking,” Twilight growled. She followed Cheerilee inside, moving forward until Cheerilee felt a wall at her back.

The door slammed shut. “Minuette, you cover her as well,” Twilight said, keeping both eyes on the frightened teacher.

There was no reply. “Minuette?”

A moment later the door opened and Twilight heard hoofsteps behind her. “S’ry,” Minuette said. “Forgot what side of the door I was supposhed to be on.”

Twilight felt her head start to ache, entirely unrelated to the vast quantities of magic she was focusing through it.

“Please,” Cheerilee said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about! I swear!”

“Oh really?” Twilight said. “Then why is it that Pale Ale and Big McIntosh were both seen talking to you shortly before being attacked? And what were you doing skulking around in the bushes outside of Berry Punch’s house? What have you done with her?”

Cheerilee blinked. “W-w-what?”

“Do you have her stored in a coffin somewhere? Are you saving her for later? Or have you already sucked her blood?!”

Cheerilee’s eyes bugged out of her head. “What?! No! I can explain everything. I was trying to help Berry! I would never hurt her.”

Twilight’s eyes narrowed. “Go on...”

“Well...” Cheerilee took a deep breath. “As I’m sure you’re aware, Berry Punch has a bit of a drinking problem.”

“Nuh-uh,” Minuette said. “She’s really really good at drinking! Better ‘n me, even! But I’m almosht out of liquor. D’you have any wine or somethin’?”

A concerned frown crossed Cheerilee’s face as she glanced in Minuette’s direction. “Is she okay?” she asked.

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Ignore her. Back to Berry Punch.”

“Right, so, I figured what she really needed was some practical help. It’s a hard thing to quit cold turkey. That’s what I was doing at her house. I... sort of snuck in and emptied out her liquor cabinet.”

“You... you monster,” Minuette said.

“Okay, then why were you talking to Pale Ale and Big Mac?”

“I knew Berry had plenty of other sources. It took some doing to convince Pale Ale to refuse service to his best customer, but eventually he agreed. I think it helped that she’s behind a bit on her bar tab. And when Berry couldn’t get anything from the bar, I knew she’d try to sweet-talk Mac into parting with some cider. So, I let him know about the plan too.”

Twilight frowned with suspicion.

“That’s it, I swear!”

Cheerilee’s eyes were wide and honest, and Twilight did know that the schoolteacher had always been a perfectly nice pony who took good care of the children. She sighed and lifted her head, the magical power fading from her horn.

“I don’t understand, then. Who did attack Mac and Pale Ale?”

I did!

The room seemed to darken as a flock of bats flew through the door, squeaking and chittering over the beating of their leathery wings. They swirled together in a cloud of darkness, closer and closer until the form of a pony appeared.

Twilight and Cheerilee gasped. Minuette said “Gasphf!”

A deep laughter rumbled out of the pony’s mouth. Her mane and coat were purple, but her eyes shone with an unearthly red light, and two wickedly sharp fangs protruded from her mouth. On her back was a black silk cloak that swirled around her form.

“Berry?!” Cheerilee cried out.

“No! The pony you knew as Berry Punch is no more. I am Pinot Noir, Dark Mistress of the Night!”

“Gasphf!” Minuette said again, for good measure. “That’sh a way better name.”

Pinot Noir smiled wickedly. “And now all of you shall be my next meal! My thirst is forevermore unquenchable, but upon your blood, my desires shall I slake!”

Twilight smiled grimly. “I don’t think so. I came prepared.” With a glow of magenta, her saddlebags opened and a wooden stake floated up.

“No!” Cheerilee shouted. “It’s still Berry under there. You can’t kill her!”

“She’s a vampony,” Twilight replied.

“Are you going to be the one to tell Ruby that you just slew her mother?”

“Well... But... Vampony!”

“Relacksh you two,” Minuette said. “I got thish.”

She stood up straight and tall, swaying gently as if in a heavy breeze. “You!” she exclaimed. After a moment of silence, she realized she was facing a potted plant and turned to reorient herself in the direction of Pinot Noir.

“You!” Minuette said. “I have a proposhal. We play a game. If you win, you get to drink my blood or whatev’r, I dunno. If I win, you have to stop bein’ evil and be normal ‘gain and stuffsh.”

Pinot Noir drew her cloak around her body, a fangy smile flashing. “And by what means do you wish to challenge me?”

Minuette blinked. “Oh, yeah. Um. How ‘bout I think of a number ‘tween one an’ ten and you guess what it ish?”

Twilight planted her hoof against her face. Cheerilee and Pinot Noir just stared at Minuette.

“Oh, wait, yeah. That’sh not fair, izzit? Can’t vamponiesh read minds or somthin’?” Minuette tried to tap her chin thoughtfully with a hoof but missed. “Uhm. ‘Kay, you think of a number ‘tween one and ten and I’ll guess. An’ no cheating.”

“Minuette—” Twilight said.

“Shushhh!” Minuette immediately interrupted.

Pinot Noir could not hide her devious grin. “Very well. Choose your number... and your fate!”

Minuette’s mouth formed shapes as she thought through her options. After an agonizingly long silence, she suddenly spoke up. “Sixty-two!” she proclaimed.

“That’s not even between one and ten,” the vampony said, her sonorous voice dropping to a normal register out of confusion.

“Yesh, because I know you’d try to trick me!”

“Well, wrong! It was three!”

Minuette frowned. “Darn. Well fair’sh fair.” She tilted her neck invitingly, and stumbled several steps to the side as the movement put her off balance.

“Minuette!” Twilight cried out, but before she could move, Pinot Noir had glided across the floor, hooves not even touching the ground, to embrace the blue unicorn.

“No!” Twilight shouted.

In a smooth movement, Pinot Noir released Minuette and she slumped to the floor, two holes visible in her slender neck and her coat already turning a pale hue.

“Delicious!” the vampony exclaimed. “And now, which of you...”

Pinot Noir blinked.

“Which of you two... *hic* Which of you two ponies is necksht.”

Pinot Noir’s eyes slowly crossed and she hiccuped another time.

The red glow burning in them faded and her hooves slowly drifted down to the ground.

“...Cheers? Princess Sparkle? W-what’s going on?”

“Berry!” Cheerilee cried out, running over to wrap the other pony in a tight hug. “I am so so sorry!”

“What happened?” Berry said. “Why am I wearing a cape? I can’t remember anything but being really really thirsty, and going to my cabinet and not being able to find anything.”

Twilight ignored the two, rushing to Minuette’s side. “Minuette! Speak to me! Are you okay?”

The unicorn looked up from her slumped position on the floor and smiled. “See? I toldjsha I knew what I was doin’.”

Twilight squeezed her eyes closed as tears formed. She hugged Minuette tightly to her chest.

“Yeah, I love ya too. Now... I think I need a blood transhfusion. Anna liver transplant.” She paused for a moment. “An’ another drink. Not neccesharily in that order.”

“Don’t worry,” Twilight said. “We’ll get you to the hospital really soon.”

Minuette managed a nod. “Oh. An’ Starzy...”

“Yes?”

“Vamponiesh. Totally real. Called it.”