• Published 25th Aug 2013
  • 12,185 Views, 244 Comments

An Apple A Day - Esle Ynopemos

A collection of thirthy-minute short stories about the rootinest, tootinest farm-filly this side of the Everfree. There'll be a chapter a day for thirty days. I ain't no fancy arithmeticker, but that adds up to a whole month of good, health

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18: Inapropriate [Sad]

((Prompt: Pinkie Pie in a funeral home. Special rule: Pinkie isn't dead.))

“There are a variety of services we can do to honor her passing.” The funeral director spoke quietly, not quite in a monotone, but never quite raising his voice to the liveliness one could expect to hear a pony speak with anywhere else.

Anywhere else was precisely where Applejack wanted to be, but she was needed here. She shook her head. “No. She wouldn't want nothin' fancy. Just keep it simple.”

The director nodded his head. “Of course. Sometimes, it is best to keep it traditional.”

“There should be balloons.” Pinkie Pie bounced in place, the vibrancy of her pink coat clashing violently with the muted decor of the funeral home. “She loved the green ones. We should have green balloons there!”

The director's brows knitted. He gave a cough that was meant to be polite while at the same time indicating that Pinkie was being anything but. “I'm sorry, you are...”

“She's a friend,” said Applejack, halting Pinkie's bouncing with a hoof on her withers. She gave the director a small nod to continue.

“Yes.” He cast a wary glance at Pinkie's too-cheerful demeanor. “Um, is your family of any particular faith?”

“Nothin' specific,” Applejack said. “Jus' generally respectful of Celestia, is all.”

“Ooh,” interjected Pinkie. “We should invite Celestia! She can come and give you and Mac and Apple Bloom a great big Princess-hug!”

The director cleared his throat. “Would your friend like to wait outside, perhaps?”

“Well, I did see a pile of leaves out front that looked like a lot of fun to roll in,” Pinkie said, rubbing her chin, “but no. I promised Applejack I wasn't leaving her side.” She inched closer to Applejack and nodded.

Applejack's eyes wavered, and she cast an apologetic look at the funeral director. “She's fine.” Her voice cracked a little.

His eyes remained on Pinkie a little longer. “If you say.” He lifted a small notepad. “What kind of casket do you want to use? We have pine, oak, cherry...”

“Actually,” said Applejack, “there's some lumber on the farm we saved from her favorite apple tree. I don't suppose you could make it from that?”

“Y'know,” Pinkie spoke up once again, “funerals are kinda like birthday parties, if you think about it. Except maybe upside-down and backwards.”

“I... um...” The director did his best to ignore Pinkie. “Yes, I believe we can make arrangements for—”

“I should make a cake!” Pinkie declared.

Applejack stood in one place, shaking. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks.

The director placed a hoof on her shoulder. “We don't have to do this now,” he said. “Take your time, dear.”

Applejack sniffed and shook her head hard. “No, I... I wanna get this done.”

“How many candles would you put on a funeral cake?” Pinkie asked nopony in particular. “Would it just be one? Or would you start with seventy and take one off every year?”

Applejack choked on a sob. “Just... just one minute,” she told the director, and fled out the front door, dragging Pinkie with her.

Pinkie's ears flattened as the door swung shut behind them. A chilly bite of autumn rustled through their coats as they stood outside in the breeze. “I'm sorry,” she said.

Applejack just sank to her haunches, tears flowing freely.

Pinkie took a step closer, raising her hoof to wrap it around Applejack, but hesitating. “I just... it's so sad and frowny in there, and you looked like you were about to cry, and everything I tried to do to cheer you up just made it worse, and now you are crying...” She dropped her hoof to the ground with a dull 'thud.' “I'll stop. I'll be quiet, okay?”

Applejack turned and buried her face into Pinkie's shoulder. Her tears matted Pinkie's fur. “N-no,” she whispered between sobs. “D-don't stop, Pinkie. I... I need you to make me smile today. Please, don't ever stop.”