• Published 31st Dec 2013
  • 1,172 Views, 20 Comments

Re-Looting - Grazy Polomare

Silverspeed is glad that her days of thievery are over. But with a disapproving family, boring job, and remnants of her past haunting her every step, she might just reconsider an early retirement.

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Chapter 3: Holidays Smo'lidays

Morning went by as routine dictated. Get up. Take a dump. Wash up. Eat breakfast. Get scolded by Mother for eating breakfast like an infernal jackal. Leave for work. Eat an actual breakfast at work. Cry inside for realizing you eat muffins 24/7.

Wow, and they say mornings dictate the rest of the day.

Derpy was already in uniform, trying to balance a tray of steaming muffins on her head. At the very top of the tray was a tiny note scribbled in crayon that read 'Tank U' and even came with those cute little smiley faces at the end.

“Dinky made those?” I snatched one of the confections. I'm not going to lie, it would've been insulting to me if Derpy didn't bring thank-you muffins. And judging by the note, I'd say her little filly was just as grateful. Or maybe Derpy and Sparkler forced her to do it. I'm not complaining either way.

Derpy just puffed her chest, showing off that maternal pride all mothers show when their daughters do something good. “Yep, Dinky kept badgering me to make them with her.”

Soon, however, that grin was replaced with a concerned frown. “Is your back okay, Silverspeed?”

If you could imagine a dragon rubbings its scales against your spine, you had a pretty good picture of my pain. Nonetheless, I managed a chuckle. “Good as a mule.”

As if on cue, I felt a pain in the tender area of my wings. Derpy gave me that "parental-frown" she gives all her daughters when they lie to her. “Are you sure, Silverspeed? A pegasus should never risk-”

“No, it’s quite alright.” I tried to laugh it off, which came off as a cry. “Really. I’m good.”

“Okay…” Derpy narrowed her eyes. “But just to be safe, I think I’m going to see if Mr. Trails can split it for us.”

Well, guess there was no arguing with that one. Derpy may let most things slide, but if a pony was hurt, you stood a better chance convincing a Diamond Dog that gems were bad for him.

As it turned out, the split hadn’t really solved my problems. I mean, sure I was carrying a lighter load, but now my wings felt tense. And to make matters worse, Carrot House was still on my list.

As I approached the tangerine shack, any hopes of this being a routine drop off were diminished the moment I saw Shoeshine leaning over the fence.

“Well...well...well...look who the cuckoo dropped in.” Really, karma? I wasn’t that bad, was I?

“Shoeshine, Carrot Top isn’t home?” I tried to sound casual, but I realized I sounded more like a pouty filly who didn't get her share of the cookie jar.

“She’s out back watering the carrots." She gestured to the little back door across from the kitchen, rolling her eyes. "Don’t know what she sees in that patch.”

I raised a brow. “Aren’t you her apprentice?”

Shoeshine waved me off. “Nah, I said I was curious, but...well...farming isn’t really my thing as I’ve come to realize.”

“Really?” So much for being the small-town farmer. Although I couldn't say I had much pity for her. She was still an obnoxious flankhole after all. "And your new calling is?

“A more reasonable job as a cashier at Barnyard Bargains.” The way she stated it, you'd think that it was as obvious as the sun.

“You handling money?" I couldn't picture the two working out in anypony's benefit.

Shoeshine snorted. "I'd have you know I'm very responsible. And with Barnyard Bash around the corner, I'm expecting a raise for my loyalty."

Something told me that she'd get that raise regardless of whether or not her manager thought it was appropriate. Still, Shoeshine stacking brooms on a shelf was hilarious. "And I'm sure you're quite helpful too. Oh excuse me Ponyville dropout, which aisle has the Zap Apple Jam?”

The death glare she gave me was priceless. Shoeshine might consider herself to be an educated mare, but that didn't excuse the fact that she'd only graduated from a schoolhouse. "...Aisle 5."

"And the Iron Will Sing-Along Doll?"

“Iron Will doll? Why would you...oh wait don't tell me...Silver Spoon?” I felt my back go rigid. Any hint of annoyance vanished as Shoeshine's frown morphed into a wicked grin. "Silverspeed's planning on doing a little shopping, huh?"

“Shoeshine…” I addressed in a cautious tone.

“Oh please, Silverspeed.” Shoeshine scoffed. “I’m not stupid, you know. I would never steal a toy just for you.”

I wasn’t convinced. "Shoeshine, you'd steal a paperweight if it was secured in Equestria's National Bank."

"Maybe for the bragging rights, yes." Shoeshine admitted. "But let's face the facts. Challenges are so much more delightful with company present."

“Cut it out.” She was trudging into dangerous territory. “I thought I made it perfectly clear last night, but so help me I’ll make it perfectly clear again. I’m. Not. Interested.”

Shoeshine just continued to smile as if I was some filly trying to please her. “I don’t think so.”

Oh, thank the fates that I have the patience of a goddess to stand this tick in my rump.“I think you better take this mail. Carrot Top might think you’re trying to seduce the mailmare.”

“Believe me—” Shoeshine grabbed the stack of letters “—I’m sure the allurement of a heist of any kind is seducing enough for you, Archer.”

“Who’s Archer?” I questioned curiously. Two could play at this game after all.

Shoeshine's tone, however, remained cheerful. “I suppose I’ve mistaken you for the wrong mare. But in any case, if you do make it past those throngs of murderous shoppers and manage to snag one of those dolls before being trampled in a stampede, I’ll say I was wrong and leave you be.”

I tipped my cap. “Enjoy the rest of your day, Miss.”

Shoeshine propped herself against the door. “I feel you’ll be needing it more than me.”

Sometimes, I really want to strangle that mare.

To say Shoeshine’s prediction came true was an understatement. It was like something out of the Great Exodus of Unicorns. The entire plaza was covered with shoppers eager to get their hooves on whatever materialistic garbage rolled off the shelf.

I don't know if it was the desperation to snag my hooves on the doll before it sold out or Derpy's stories of roasted nuts and sales up to 60% off, but either way I found myself in the middle of this stupid social event.

At least we were bundled up in scarves and hoof-woven beanies from Dinky. Honestly, with that filly's baking and sewing, I felt almost jealous of Derpy. All Silver Spoon had to offer was whining. And occasionally being a smartypants, which was probably worse.

“Can this line move?” I was tempted to fly up, but instinct told me that I’d probably get myself yelled at. That and my body didn't feel too good either. Turns out walking only serves to aggravate an injury. At least I was paying attention to my legs by standing in line.

Derpy was munching on a bag of roasted nuts, apparently oblivious to the cold. Noticing my shivering form, however, she tipped the bag to me. “Want some?”

“Maybe just a bit.” I snatched a couple steaming nuts, groaning in pleasure as I chewed on their sugar-coated goodness. Want to taste good food? Starve yourself in the cold for two hours and buy a bag of roasted nuts. They’ll beat whatever the matrons at Canterlot are serving these days.

“Alright, one at a time!” A uniformed guard was making his rounds, herding us like cattle about to be milked of our funds.

Involuntarily, I skidded back a bit, avoiding my gaze with the officer. Some old instincts just don't die overnight I guess. “What are you buying, Derpy?”

“Oh, well, Dinky actually wanted a new sewing kit, so I’m getting her that. Kind of sad really. I was hoping she’d want some of those deluxe muffin trays. But maybe next year.”

I sighed. “Can’t argue with that. I was kinda hoping Silver Spoon would be asking for something other than this Iron Will Sing-Along Doll. Just hope I have enough bits for it.”

Derpy gave a hearty laugh. “It’s the Barnyard Bash, silly. You could buy out a shelf with two bits to rub between your wings.”

Normally, I’d try to say they were losing their money on some scam. But knowing Filthy Rich, despite his rather unorthodox means of attaining capital, I could safely say he was an honest salespony.

Although, perhaps not the most organized. The moment we stepped into the warehouse-sized store, we were nearly trampled by a group of customers. After that, we decided to split up and cover more ground, promising to meet outside with our purchases.

I know that we all get a tad bit greedy at times, but this was anarchy. No, chaos was a better description of it. Something I feel Discord would be proud of. Two mares were tackling each other over the last set of designer boots, while pegasi engaged in aerial battles over candle sets. And they called me a robber.

At last, I finally reached the toy section. Shoving my way past the crowd, I could already see most of the shelves were stripped bare of their contents. I counted down the numbers, praying that each empty shelf hadn't been labeled 'Iron Will Sing-Along Set'. Suddenly, a tiny yellow box appeared over the horizon. No, it couldn't be.

There was one left.

Not exactly a confidence boost, but I'd take what I could get. I soared past the unhinged consumers, shoving a few out of my way as I wrapped my hooves against that premium foiled wrapper. "Gotcha!"

"Not so fast!" A shrewd, squeaky voice echoed from behind. Turning around, I found myself face to face with a pouty, purple filly who looked just about ready to sucker-punch me. "That toy is mine!"

"Um, I'm sorry missy," I tugged a bit at the box, trying to get it closer to myself, "but I kind of got here first."

"No you weren't!" The filly narrowed her eyes, her wings fluttering just a bit more rapidly. "I was here!"

I shook my head. "Nah uh uh, I was here."

"That's a lie! This is a collector's edition and I've been waiting for this sale for two days!" She tugged the box back indignantly.

"No, it's mine!" I was pulling back with all my might, but this filly had an iron grip. I could hear the wrapper tearing apart as we continued in this demented tug-of-war. But before I knew it, the doll suddenly slipped out of the packaging, landing on the floor with a dull thud.

My opponent was there first, wrapping her forehooves against the minotaurs plastic body. "Yes!"

For a second, everypony's eyes were turned on her. Some looked about her age, while others were a tad smaller. And the next thing I knew, the poor little shopper was buried under a dog pile.

Derpy was already waiting outside, a rather large box cradled in her hooves. “Did you get it, Silverspeed?”

“Well...you see about that…” I didn't want to tell her about the disaster that had occurred in Aisle 7, mostly because it wasn't my best moment and also for the fac that I managed to evade security before things really got bad.

“Oh no…” Derpy tucked her wings in.

“I can try again tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah…” Her tone was tense. Not the best sign of confidence. "Ye-yeah. I mean, who needs that sale anyway. I mean, the store usually closes after this and re-opens umm...soon?"

With Hearth's Warming Eve right around the corner, that meant more shoppers and more problems. This was supposed to be the early bird sale, and look at how chaotic it got. I was pretty sure the majority of these customers had come from all over the world to catch a good deal.

“It doesn’t matter, thanks for accompanying me Derpy." I tried my best to give a convincing grin. "Glad to see you got what you came for.”

Derpy smiled. “Well, thank you too, Silverspeed. Tell your family I wish them a Happy Hearths Warming Eve.”

“Will do.”

I watched her fly off into the night, joining the hundreds of customers who’d made it out with their newfound loot. And here I was, standing like some schmuck on the street. An idiot who had nowhere to go now. An idiot who would return home emptied-hoof. And just when I was getting somewhere with Spoonie, I had to screw it up.

I wanted to smother my face with a pillow then set the pillow on fire and toss it in the searing flames of Tartarus for added effect. But seeing that this fantasy wasn’t coming true anytime soon, I did the next best thing.

I went to the range.

The range isn’t as much of a range as it is a stack of haybales I found one day and convinced the owner that I’d pay him extra to let me use his property. Finding the bow and arrow was the easy part. Ponyville had a surprising number of weapon shops in the area, but considering its rural background, weapon shops wouldn't be a surprise. Nothing fancy, mostly just a few vendors and guards trading off their old gear.

My hoof slid another arrow in, drawing the string back. Unlike goblins or diamond dogs, holding a bow as a four-legged equine proved to be quite difficult for most. Most of the time, many ponies would just use a stand and their mouth to tug the arrow. It was why the Guard preferred spears and law enforcement occasionally carried crossbows. Bows were considered a specialty weapon.

Anyway, the point is that shooting arrows was the closest thing I found to meditation. There was something stress-relieving about letting a projectile fly and hit some inanimate target a couple yards away. And I’m not going to lie, sometimes I pictured Mother and every other privileged snob in one of those hay bales from time to time.

I don’t know how long I was out there. Usually, firing bows at night was a bad idea since you never knew if you’d stuck some poor farmer out tending his crops. But I knew the owner didn’t rear his head this way at night and even if he did, I would see him. One of the perks of deciphering those bank codes under the moon’s light was getting accustomed to night vision. Of course, that didn't help too often in the day, and even now my eyes were straining to find a target.

“Nice shot.”

The sound caught me off guard. Jolting back, I let the arrow fly lazily in the air before coming down a few yards away from the target.

I snarled, turning to face Shoeshine, who was now laying back on a hay bale. “Have you ever heard of something called safety?”

Standing up, Shoeshine began to survey the battlefield. “I suppose, but knowing you, it doesn’t seem likely I’ll be injured, right?”

I shrugged indifferently. “Accidents always happen.”

“I’d assume you’d want one to happen to me right about now, correct?”

“Why, Shoeshine, knowing you, I’d miss the instant I drew the string back.”

That got a cheerful giggle out of her. “You were never that good, were you?”

“And targets.” She added, prodding one of the hay bales. “Not really mobile, are they?”

This whole question and answer crap was getting on my nerves. “What do you want, Shoeshine?”

“Figured that if you didn’t get the doll, you’d end up taking out your rage here.” Now she was a mind reader? Well, I suppose it’s partly my fault for being a tad too predictable in behavior. But you couldn’t blame me on that. There aren't many places you can look for that would suit a proper range.

"Well you caught me, officer," I said, holding up my hooves in mock surrender,"I didn't get the doll, but I'll bet it’ll be one heck of a pay day for you.”

Shoeshine gave a hearty cackle which sounded more like a hyena. “Yeah right, the flow of money is paved with equal benefits.”

“Oh yeah?” I tilted my head.

“Most of that money goes to that board of advisors. They trickle the wealth down, sure, but the rest stays on top. Typical business model if you ask me.”

“Tired of getting paid below the belt?” Shoeshine might consider herself an academic, but nopony started to talk business unless they had some business of their own to settle.

"I'm just saying that business isn't fair. Things happen, ponies lose money. They're crooks in suits, you know. And if a little money suddenly went missing, well...who'd know any better than an insurance company to resupply all its investors-"

“I’m not even going to repeat myself. I’m just going to load the arrow in.” At least this was one problem that could be solved with the flight of an arrow.

“Hear me out,” Shoeshine protested. I lowered the bow. This was only because she was a friend. I’d hear her out and then decline the offer.

Seeing the bow droop down, she continued. “Barnyard Bargains has been dropping in the stock markets as of lately.”

“Really?” I exclaimed. “So now you’re telling me we’re stealing from a sinking ship?” Okay, I should have said ‘you’re’ but it just came out naturally. It wasn’t like I was going to participate. I was beyond that now.

“And that’s where you’re wrong.” Shoeshine jumped off the hay bale. “You see, by robbing Filthy Rich, we will be inevitably helping him.”

Now I knew she was cuckoo. Well, I mean I knew for a while but this was definite proof that I could use in court. “I’m not following.”

“By making off with a pitiful amount of income from one of these holiday sprees, the insurance company would launch a full investigation, try to track down if any other money was missing. And who knows, they may find a certain board of advisors embezzling a certain amount of funds from a certain somepony and before you know it, everything is back to normal, if not better.”

“Shoeshine saving the company? This is rich.”

“Filthy rich in fact.” Shoeshine stated in a matter-of-factly tone. "And he isn't even going to give me a raise for this."

“Not like you're walking away without one.” Honestly, this was predictable to see her rob a store. But what really irked me was that she was trying to justify it. "Where's your proof?"

All of a sudden, a saddlebag materialized out of one of the hay bales as Shoeshine pulled out several sheets of paper. "See for yourself?"

They certainly didn't look like the kind of corporate intel that could be faked. Moreover, the figures were oddly disturbing. Not too noticeable to somepony who wasn't looking, but certainly odd. "I don't suppose this was just hoofed to you."

“I have my methods, Silverspeed. Besides, it's enough proof to put the nail in the coffin. Only problem is of course allowing the proper authorities to come across it.”

“Okay, Robin Hoof. Say that this could potentially save the company. How are you going to pull it off?”

“Say what you want about Ponyville, it's no secret the security here is a joke. We're talking safe-and-dial type.”

Oh Starswirl's Beard, that was like stealing candy from a filly, something I wouldn't put beneath Shoeshine's own morals. “A safe-and-dial type security could still have some vigilant guards.”

She shook her head. “Security is a graveyard shift for most. This is Ponyville after all. Hardly the place of military-trained cops or Royal Guards patrolling the hallways.”

“So security is a bit rough. But then again, I highly doubt the worst thing Ponyville has ever experienced was a burglar stealing slippers.”

“With this kind of popularity, the Elements of Harmony attract all manner of criminal scum, Silverspeed.”

“No doubt in my mind you’re one of them.”

“Hey, I lived here before they came. Not my fault that this led to some hefty income to our business class.” Shoeshine was acting as if burglary was a burden placed solely upon her shoulders.

“What a saint you’ve turned out to be.”

“Hey, why should the rich have all the fun and leave the rest of us behind? I believe in an equilibrium system of economics.”

“Except unlike Robin Hoof, you don’t give back to the poor.”

“So? It’s not like they worked for it.” Boy, did I have to hoof it to Shoeshine for justifying why charity is a lost cause.

“Okay, so you have the motive and you have the means. But this sounds like you’ve been planning this for quite some time. If your intentions are truly good, why now?”

Shoeshine tapped her hoof thoughtfully on the bale for a bit. “Honestly, I guess it’s because I saw you.”

I knew I should run. This was it. The offer was coming. So far, Shoeshine had tried to woo me in with the reasons that it would be perfect and why it was worthwhile. But the truth was...well...I didn’t expect her to say that. It felt almost cheesy really. Too cheesy to be fake.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Listen, this isn’t a one-mare job. I mean...I guess with my expertise it is. But it would have been pointless. Just another tab in the paper. With you, however, at least I’d be doing it with a buddy.”

“Oh please.” I scoffed admonishingly. “You think I don’t know what you’re doing? You think that this whole best-buds argument is going to somehow convince me to join you on your little caper?”

Shoeshine just fell silent. I didn’t care though. The fact was that she used that word again. the same word she kept using again and again. It came in all types of forms. ‘Buddy’, ‘Friend’, ‘Compadre’.

I slung the quiver over my shoulder. “The thing is, Shoeshine. I may not like my life, but I sure as Tartarus am not about to screw it up again. And I think it’s high time you start thinking about yours too.”

I turned to walk away, but not before Shoeshine’s voice pierced the air.

“I have, Silverspeed.”

Sometimes, you know you should leave but you stay anyway. For whatever reason, I didn’t move from my spot.

“You know what I found out about my life, Silverspeed? After that golden age, it never got any better. I never relaxed in some chateau in the mountains or was whisked away by my magical prince. Oh no, I was stuck growing food like a peasant! Maybe that suits you just fine but can you really say that your life isn’t screwed up as it is? Look at you!”

I wanted to punch her for saying that. I wanted to stick an arrow in her heart or watch her melt away and leave me alone. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. And the truth was because I couldn’t help but agree.

“Your family hates you. You work a lousy job like me. Before, we were big name criminals. We had it all. The wealth. The glamor. The anonymity so that we could walk around town feeling smug about ourselves without paparazzis hogging the corner. And now all we’re left with is anonymity! We’ve become background characters in a show that focuses on namby-pamby celebrities and news that covers self-confident jerks rescuing kittens!”

“And what’s wrong with being in the background?” I asked coolly.

“What’s wrong is that we had a taste of being in the spotlight. And you know that no matter how much we try, our lives will never get any better than that. We’re not the local townsponies, Silverspeed! We’re not some bystander on the street. Maybe in this town’s eyes, we are. But not in our eyes. Remember when me, you and—”

“Don’t use her name!” I shrieked. For a moment, I was scared I might have woken the farmer. But thankfully, the only sound we heard was the chirping of crickets in the distance.

“You can’t forget the past, Silverspeed. You don’t want to forget the past.” Maybe I can’t forget the past, but I can sure as Tartarus avoid it. I resumed my steady trot back home.

“By the way,” Shoeshine’s voice was no longer seething with fury. Rather, it was replaced by the same calm, cool demeanor she always wore before. “I know where they keep the new shipments for the next sale. In the Hearth' Warming Eve pandemonium, nopony’s going to notice a couple dolls missing.”

I continued to walk, never turning back. By the time I reached home, Mother was waiting by the porch light. “I thought I told you that I didn’t want to see that weapon in the household again.”

“It’s not mine,” I lied, “I was saving it for a friend.”

Mother just stood there, her face masking whatever anger hid beneath it. “You worry me, sometimes. You think my kindness is just some sort of benefit. If it wasn't for me--”

I didn't even bother to listen to the rest. What use was it if Mother kept repeating the same feather-brained lecture? That I wasn't good enough for her. I wasn't good enough for my family. I may not have been the best pony there was, but I'd try to be. Nopony's perfect, nopony can just change life at the flick of a switch.

Mother didn't bother to stop me, and for once I had the night to myself. Pity that I wasn't getting any rest out of it. Still, the thought of Shoeshine's plan left a weird sensation in my stomach.

What if Filthy Rich was in trouble? The guy was a decent buisnesspony, and it would at least get him looking through the distribution of wealth. No, I couldn't justify any form of thievery. Not after what happened last time.

Besides, it was too risky. Yeah, that's it. There's always a chance something would go wrong. Actually, there was a hundred percent chance that something would go wrong.

I rolled over in my sheets, trying to block the terrifying thoughts that kept screaming at me to listen. Some of them were memories. Some of them were fantasies. All of them tied to thievery.

“Hey sis.” It was enough to stir me from my mental barrage of conflicted emotions.

Turning around, I saw that Silver Spoon had snuck in my room. Darn, my sis had the hoofsteps of a ninja. “Whatcha doing this late at night?”

Silver Spoon seemed to be having some trouble since her shadowy form remained silent. I was almost beginning to think I had hallucinated the whole conversation when I heard her speak again. “Listen, I know it’s asking a lot but can you stop talking to yourself?”

“Huh?” I tilted my head. Talking to myself? What the hay was I talking about?

“You keep saying that you want to do something, but that you shouldn't do something, but that you should. It's really starting to sound like your wishy-washy.” Well thanks Master of the Obvious. And that was rather blunt for a filly who spent two hours debating over a pearl necklace.

“Well maybe I have a reason.”

"But it just sounds like it's really hurting you and all. I mean...I don't know...is it...like your job?” That was a weird question. I was expecting something a bit more personal, but maybe this was her way to get to know me better. Already, this conversation could be holding the record for the longest time we’ve expressed any words to each other.

“What makes you think that?”

“Mom sometimes talks like that when she's working,” Silver confessed. "Don't tell her though that I've been spying on her."

Well, as long as she keeps the spying to mother and not me. "My lips are sealed. Sister's honor."

That got a giggle out of her. "You're not so bad when you're actually doing your job."

"Is that so?" Good to know that at least Silver Spoon still liked me. Although I didn't exactly fess up to the truth that her toy wasn't coming this Hearth's Warming Eve.

"Mom thinks you're wasting your life." Silver's voice went back to a whisper. "I just want to know...did you ever...umm...try to be an archer? Is that why you were gone? To pursue a job in the military?"

Even now, she was still hung up on that. I'd want to tell her the truth. Really, if I could, it would solve so many problems. But the fact is, sometimes the truth doesn't solve any problems. Sometimes it just makes things worse. “I guess in a way I wanted to be an archer. But it just wasn't the life for me.”

“You didn't like it?”

“Well...I mean...sort of.” Honestly, why couldn’t I say no?

“What do you mean sort of?”

“I guess it was fun for a while.” It was still fun even as I thought about it.

“But why don’t you do it?”

“Cause it's wrong, Silver Spoon. What I did wasn't right.”

“But if you liked it, even for a teeny bit, that means you’d still want to do it. Everything else just feels worthless.”

Jeepers, who was I talking to? Luna? Starswirl's religious sage? “I don’t know, Silver, it’s just...I want to be here for you. I can’t just go and do as I please. Family first, right?”

“I’m not saying you have to do everything, but sometimes, well...you’re just too depressing to hang out with.”

Well that was depressing. Being called a downer never really lifted the downer’s spirits. “I feel I’m fairly jolly every now and then.”

“Maybe you try to. But trying isn’t the same as being.” I watched her silhouette rise from my bedside. “I don’t know. Diamond always tells me that if it doesn’t make you happy, why do it?”

She scuttled off to her room and I watched the door slowly shut itself.

Why do it? The words echoed in my mind again and again.

Why do it? Because I was scared? But that’s the thrill of it. Being scared during a heist always gives a nice adrenaline rush. Why do it? Because it could hurt somepony? Honestly, I can't remember injuring a pony who didn't go in expecting to get injured. It was a fact of life after all.

But Silver Spoon. I couldn’t just let her down again. Yet, according to my sister, doing nothing pretty much downed her spirits more than it did to mine.

No, I couldn't try to justify it again. Nopony is born into this world as a criminal, and nopony has to go back. There's such a thing as changing. Sometimes you have to change yourself for the better. But what if I wasn't changing myself for the better?

Oh sure, before I was in more danger than I am in now. Before I had to deal with detectives and guards while now my worst enemy could be the filly in the back of the line. Yet, all those times I was in danger, I never felt I was in danger. That sounds pretty stupid, and I don't blame you for calling me out on it. But sometimes, it was fun to feel that danger.

Maybe that's what I was missing all along.

I don’t know what drove me to get up from bed and walk all the way to Carrot Top’s house. Or what led me to bang on her door. But before I could stop myself, the lights flicker on followed by a loud yawn. When the door swung open, however, I was surprised to see Carrot herself at the door.

“Wha’ time is it?” She groaned.

Now you choose to answer. “Umm...I was wondering if I could talk to Shoeshine?”

“Hold on.” Carrot vanished back in the house. I don't even know if she realized how odd it was to see your mailpony at four in the morning.

After what seemed like another yawn followed by a clatter of pans, a disheveled, irritated Shoeshine was standing in the doorway. “What in the frick-frackin’ name of Luna’s great night did you need to knock on my door at four in the morning?”

“I was thinking about that offer last night.” I replied timidly.

“I thought you told me to shove it where the sun don’t shine. Or was it just me?” Shoeshine let out another yawn. I doubted she even knew what she was talking about.

“Perhaps for old time’s sake, I’d be willing to give it a go?” I sounded like a filly asking for an autograph.

Shoeshine just stood there, her expression not even changing a bit. “Okay. But can you leave now? This mare needs some undisturbed rest if she’s going to have any energy tomorrow.”

“Sure. Have a good night.” I smiled.

“Pretty sure it’s mornin’.” Shoeshine slammed the door.

By the time I got back to my house, snuck through the window, and snuggled myself under the sheets, I realized just how incredibly...undeniably...stupid that was.

And it felt great.

Author's Note:

Chapter 3 edited tremendously. Please let me know of any grammatical errors.