• Published 29th Nov 2013
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The Diamond Cutter - Nova Force



She’s a rich filly. He’s a poor colt. What happens when Diamond Tiara accepts a dare to take Snips to the Sadie Hoofkins Dance?

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Carrying Her Books

Chapter 3: Carrying Her Books

The sun shone over the Ponyville schoolhouse, where the students were enjoying their lunch. As usual, two wealthy fillies sat at their own table. Although the table did not have their names written on it, they certainly acted as if it did. There was nothing to stop other ponies from joining them, other than their condescending glares.

Diamond Tiara traced the tip of her hoof around the top of her glass of sparkling water. “Silver Spoon, I’ve been thinking. Since I’m trapped in this dare of yours, I’ve decided that I might as well make the most of it.”

Silver Spoon swallowed a bite of her dandelion sandwich. “What do you mean?”

The pink filly pointed to the side of the table where both of their saddlebags lay. “My bags are awfully heavy. Snips seems to be good at following orders. So today, I’m going to make him carry them home for me. It would be a nice weight lifted from my back.”

Silver Spoon reached over and gave her a light slap on the hoof. “Why, look at you! You certainly know how turn lemons into lemonade.”

Diamond Tiara smirked. “It’s all I can do. Daddy won’t let me have my own butler, so I figured Snips would do just fine. Besides, the best part is that I don’t even have to pay him.”

Silver Spoon raised her glass. “This deserves a toast. Here’s to your new servant.”

Diamond Tiara followed suit. “And to my great idea.”

The two ponies giggled as they clinked their sparkling waters together. While Diamond Tiara took her sip, Silver Spoon felt a whisper of envy. “I wish I had somepony to be my servant,” she said to herself before taking her sip.

Out of nowhere, Diamond Tiara felt an unknown presence beside her.

“Hey, Diamond!” Snips seated himself at her table.

The pinky filly slowly turned her head in his direction. Her eyes didn’t deceive her: Snips was eating lunch with her. She watched as the unicorn took out his lunchbox. After he set his thermos next to her glass, he wasted no time taking out his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Each of his movements was completely natural as if sitting at their table was nothing new for him. While he ate, he did not notice the two offended fillies looking at him.

Diamond Tiara frowned. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Instead of swallowing, Snips lodged his food onto one side of his mouth. “I thought since we’re going to the dance together, maybe we could eat lunch together, too.” He resumed his chewing.

Silver Spoon had to jam her hooves into her mouth to keep from laughing. Diamond Tiara clenched her teeth and seethed. “That’s not how this works, dolt-colt.”

Snips did not pick up on her frustration. He put down his sandwich and untwisted the top of his thermos. “What do you mean?”

“I told you not to tell anypony about the dance!” the pink filly hissed.

“But I’m not. I’m just sitting here with you.” However upset Diamond Tiara appeared to be, Snips remained calm. Silver Spoon sat back amused as she watched her best friend squirm. Her dare was beginning to pan out before her eyes. In her mind, if lunch was already this awkward, then the Sadie Hoofkins promised to be worse. She reveled in what she saw, until she felt a tapping on her shoulder from behind.

“Um, S-Silver Spoon?”

The gray filly turned around to see a gangly unicorn wobbling at the knees. His presence annoyed her immediately. She adjusted her glasses hoping that the image of Snails would change into a handsome stallion. Her effort was fruitless; Snails was still Snails. She sized him up and was repulsed. “What do you want?”

Snails spoke as if he had rehearsed his lines. “I am sorry to bother you during lunch, but there is something that I must ask you.”

There was a pause. Then there was another. Snips stopped eating as he nervously watched his friend pop the big question. Diamond Tiara didn’t care what was happening, so long as the attention moved away from her. Silver Spoon grew uncomfortable under the weight of Snails’s eager staring. She broke the silence. “Well, what is it?”

The sun reflected in the sweat from Snails’s brow. He had trouble starting his sentence, for he had pictured this moment differently in his mind. “Can we, uh, talk in private?”

In a panic, Silver Spoon turned to Diamond Tiara. She searched for a lifeline but instead received snickering. She closed her eyes to accept the inevitable. “Fine. You have one minute.”

Snails finally broke from his script and showed true emotion. “Oh, thank you! That will be all I need!”

Diamond Tiara watched as Silver Spoon trotted away to the backside of the schoolhouse. It was a private place to speak. No doubt Snails chose to ask her there because if she refused, then he would be spared from public humiliation. Diamond felt no sympathy for her friend. Now it’s your turn to deal with a nuisance.

Snips had finished his sandwich and moved to his chocolate chip cookie. He nudged her. “So, Diamond, is that art book any good?”

She turned to him. “Excuse me? What book?”

“The one right there,” Snips pointed at her saddlebag. Sticking out was a thick book with the title Imagination Exploration: Finding Your Voice in Art. “It looks pretty big. Do you like it? Is it helpful to you?”

Diamond Tiara gave a single nod. “Yes, actually. It’s helped me a lot.”

Snips finished his cookie. “Can I take a look at it?”

She hesitated. “What for?”

He pulled a napkin from his lunchbox and wiped his hooves. “Just curious.”

Diamond Tiara leaned over to her bag and pulled her book from it. The book landed in front of her with a hefty thud, causing the two ponies to shake in place from the impact.

Instead of taking the book for himself, Snips scooted closer to her and started leafing through it. “It’s too bad we don’t have Art class today. How long have you been interested in painting?”

Her first instinct was to push him away, yet she did not. “Oh, for as long as I can remember, really.”

Snips studied the pictures and information inside. He paused whenever a particular image caught his attention. Diamond Tiara intermittently peered over him to check the backside of the schoolhouse. What could possibly be taking Silver Spoon so long? At first she felt sorry for her, but then she realized that the longer Silver Spoon was gone, the more uncomfortable Snails was probably making her. The thought gave her a mean-spirited thrill.

Her stomach growled, reminding her that she still had lunch to finish. While Snips went through her book, she continued to eat her own food. Nothing was said between the two ponies, but this strangely did not bother either of them. Diamond Tiara was surprised to find that she could have companionable silence with Snips.

The two sat this way until Diamond Tiara finished her meal. Snips then closed the book and slid it toward her. “This looks like a great resource. I bet it has helped your art look great. To be honest, I’m surprised by just how good your work is. I never would have guessed that you had such skill.”

This hurt Diamond Tiara’s feelings just a little. “What makes you say that?”

Snips shrugged a shoulder. “Well, you never really acted like you enjoyed this kind of stuff.”

She put her hooves on her hips and pouted. “For your information, I do.” She took her book and stuffed it back into her saddlebags. While she was leaning over, Snips asked her a question.

“Do you have any dreams, Diamond?”

Diamond Tiara sat up and eyed him suspiciously. “What’s with the beauty pageant question?”

Snips’s posture remained unchanged. “I’m not trying to be weird or invasive. I’d just like to know you better. Is there anything you dream about?”

She decided to play along. “Yes, actually. I wish I lived in Canterlot.”

Snips looked confused. “Why don’t you? You and your family can certainly afford to live there.”

Diamond Tiara drooped in her seat. “That’s just it. Daddy’s business is here in Ponyville. He’s talked about expanding Rich’s Barnyard Bargains, but there isn’t much ‘barnyard’ anything in Canterlot. He’s already a leading retailer in this town, so it would make no sense for us to move.” She threw her hooves up in despair. “Oh, but how I wish we could! I don’t belong here in this rutty little town.”

Ever so gently, Snips patted her on the back. “Have you ever even been to Canterlot? How do you know that you’d like it?”

Again, Diamond Tiara’s first instinct was to push his patting away, but for some reason she allowed him to continue. Something about the contact felt nice to her. “I went with Daddy once on one of his business trips. I’ll never forget how tall those golden spires were. So many famous ponies live there, too. I even saw the legendary fashion photographer, Photo Finish! I wanted to talk to her, but her entourage and the paparazzi were everywhere. I hope I can meet her someday, but I can’t so long as I’m stuck here in Ponyville. From the moment we left Canterlot, I immediately wanted to return.”

In the middle of her speech, Snips stopped patting and simply rested his hoof on her shoulder. “I’m sure Canterlot’s a beautiful city, but I don’t think visiting for a few days and living there are the same thing.”

This comment prompted her to reject his consoling. She slapped his hoof away. “How can you say that? Have you ever been to Canterlot?”

Snips shook his head. “No, never, but I don’t think I would really care where I lived. As long as I have my friends with me, any place will do.”

Diamond Tiara was going to respond, but nothing came out of her mouth. She knew he was wrong. He just had to be. How could Snips know anything if he had never set one hoof in Canterlot? Before she could think of something clever to say, he asked another question.

“Say, Diamond, I was wondering… may I carry your books for you?”

“I beg your pardon? Why?” Who is this colt?

Snips hopped out of his seat and trotted over to her saddlebags. “I just want to do it.” He tapped at the rectangle outline protruding from the bags. “This art book is heavy. I’d hate for you to carry it along with your other school books.”

Diamond Tiara gave up on making sense of Snips. Instead, she put her brain on autopilot. “Um, sure. That’s, that’s very kind of you.”

Snips smiled, showing off his buckteeth. “Awesome! I’ll meet you after school, and then we can head to your place.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Diamond Tiara held back before she let out, “thank you.”

Snips winked. “And don’t worry. I won’t tell anypony. See ya!” With that, he trotted away, leaving her alone at the table. She watched as he regrouped with a rabble of his friends, none of whom she knew the names of, but the one that she did recognize was an elated looking Snails.

A voice came from behind her. “Sorry being away for so long.” Silver Spoon came back to the lunch table looking smug.

Diamond Tiara felt relief seeing her friend return. “Well that certainly took a while.”

Silver Spoon rolled her eyes and threw her head back. “Yes, it took far longer than he deserved. At first he delivered this weird speech about the differences between love and lust, and how the stars at night ‘pen the interweaving of destinies’ or some nonsense like that.”

“Is that all he wanted?” The curiosity ate at Diamond Tiara.

The gray filly searched through her saddlebags and pulled out a cloth. She took off her glasses, breathed on them, and then wiped each lens. “No, he asked me to the Sadie Hoofkins Dance.”

Diamond Tiara gasped. “Are you serious? What did you say?”

“I accepted.”

Diamond Tiara’s eyes went as wide as saucers. She pinched herself to make certain that she was not dreaming. “But… why?”

“I actually got the idea from you. Since you’re making Snips follow your orders, I thought it would also be fun to have a personal servant. From the way that creeper friend of his was ogling me, I saw that I could make him do anything. I just had to bat my eyelashes once before he agreed to carry my books home. Oh, Diamond! Just think how much easier our lives will be having these dimwits work for us. They will be putty in our hooves. Of course, we can’t get too used to it. We’ll have to dump them at the dance, or we’ll be the laughing stock of the school. Were you able to get Snips to carry your books?”

“Oh, yes. He hesitated at first, but once I threatened to not be his date to the dance, he practically begged to carry them.” Sweat started to slide down the back of Diamond Tiara’s neck.

Silver Spoon’s food was still sitting on the table untouched. She reached for her glass of sparkling water. “Well, I believe another toast is order.” She lifted her glass up. “To our new servants!”

Diamond Tiara grabbed her glass and tapped it with her friend’s, though her voice was not as enthusiastic. “To our new servants.”

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