• Published 20th Mar 2014
  • 623 Views, 19 Comments

The Bottom Shelf - JakeAndDollars

Just a place to display our little odds and ends, anything that never really went anywhere but might be worth a laugh.

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Poker Night Three

Poker Night Three

Pebble was a quiet rock, ask anyone that knew him and they’d tell you about his cool headed and calm nature. He never picked fights, nor started trouble amongst the other rocks. Perhaps that was the reason he had gotten along so well with his brother's more adventurous nature.

Boulder had always been the bolder of the two. The young rock was always seeking out new things, wanting to roll new places, and sit in unfamiliar spots. It was this adventurous ideal that had led the pair to tumble down the hillside and come to rest at the edge of a path meandering its way through the woods. Here they sat, watching and waiting as the days went by, countless hooves, paws, and feet passed in a hurry to travel hither and yon.

That had been a good life, just the two of them sharing each other’s company. But alas, it was short lived. As with their years spent farther up the hill Boulder soon grew restless, he began to speak of new things, muttered of grander adventures beyond the forest. He desired to travel the lands as the legged creatures did, to roam free and never settle.

Much to Pebble's dismay Boulder had gotten his wish the day a young mare had come travelling along the path, nose low and eyes scanning the road, searching out every grain of sand and shard of rock visible amongst the forest loam.

Pebble had not seen his brother since; the pony had carried Boulder away beyond the far hill, and left the younger rock to face the world alone. Though perhaps, perhaps he need not be alone? What if this was his destiny calling? A challenge to go out and face the world, to live his life to the fullest, to be free!

These thoughts and many others flowed through Pebble, so many possibilities lay before him, endless roads untraveled. And someday, he would see his brother again, and regale him with stories of his own.

It was at this very moment of inward contemplation that Pebble was suddenly jarred from his thoughts as a set of strong red fingers scooped him from the ground and carried the small rock high into the air…

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

“I don’t know why I let you talk me into these things,” Tillook muttered grumpily. The newt cast a bored glance up to watch his companion inspect his most recent find, the giant red Pegasus smelling the little rock in his palm with a smile.

“Because you secretly love me,” Patches replied sweetly. With a flick of his wrist the towering anthro tossed his latest snack into his mouth, humming a satisfied tune while he chewed. “Besides, you need to get out more and I needed a plus one,” he said casually as they walked, reaching over and scraping some crusty moss from a tree. “And I’m vermillion, douche…”

“Whatever, just so long as this doesn’t turn out like that dreadfully dull garden party you invited me to,” Tillook muttered, his face souring at the mere thought. “Plaid seat covers, I just, I can’t even…”
“Come on Tilly,” Patches snickered through his mouthful of pinecone, crunching merrily for a moment before finally swallowing the delectable seed. Failing to keep his face straight at that one. “Would it kill you to be a little multicultural for a minute?”

Sucking air in through tightly clenched teeth Tillook suddenly found the dirt trail to be very interesting. “I, I died a little inside, yes. You happy?” He eventually replied, crossing his arms with a defeated growl. “And what’s with the furry outfit? I thought you only wore that for the Guide series.”

Patches glanced down at himself, having nearly forgotten his outward appearance in the haste to be punctual. He knew neither of them should miss this event, there would be cake after all! “Hey man, you ever tried squeezing into one of these things?” He said with a quick gesture, his other hand brushing back his luxurious mane dramatically. “Six hours baby, six hours of wardrobe then makeup. For every episode, almost glad production got slowed, starting to wonder if they’ll ever catch the Midnight Stage Arson…”

Again Tillook found the trail incredibly interesting. “Yeah, I wonder…” He replied, the sweat beading along his forehead betraying the nonchalance of his comment.

The two continued along in silence for a few minutes, neither finding much worth conversing over, at least not after escaping the Africanized hornets’ nest Patches attempted to steal honey from…

“Attempted? Bitch, I got plenty!”

Ahem, eventually the pair came to the crest of a small hill, upon which they could see down into the meeting place for. Whatever this was… The scene looked stolen right from the cover of a Charles Dickens novel. In fact I’m fairly certain that’s the manor from, Great Expectations, if I’m not much mistaken.

“Is that the narrator from the how to survive Equestria for dummies series?” Patches asked, holding a hand up to shield his eyes as he scanned the sky for the seemingly ethereal being. “Man, Dollars must be pretty desperate to flesh out his word count if that guy is around.”

Tillook glanced up from the penny he had been filling down to fit in a wall socket to scan the clouds as well. “I heard he got fired and that’s why they never made another one, that or the lousy dialogue. And, if we are having Dickens trivia, that is clearly from the one hundred fiftieth anniversary edition...”

The dialog was fine, certainly sufficient enough for the likes of you bottom shelf types at the very least, in fact, if I might… oh, they’re gone…

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

“Man, that guy was a real dill hole,” Patches muttered, picking his teeth and occasionally his nose with an expensive looking set of car keys. The pair made their way down the pristinely manicured lawns to a quaint little gate.

Tillook was first to act, simply wanting to get this social torture over with as quickly as possible. Standing before the gate he reached up and gave a pair of polite knocks, glancing up at the comparatively gigantic Pegasus with a knowing hint of mischief flashing behind his eyes, “Where’d you get the keys, Patches?”

“Eh, doesn’t matter,” Patches replied smugly, swallowing the polished metal, fob and all. Wait, did those say, Porsche? “Besides, we’re here. And don’t knock on the poor gate, that’s rude,” with all the grace of a true gentleman Patches folded at the waist and settled into a humble bow. “Apologies me lady, my brutish friend here sometimes forgets the finer points in manners. Lo, I have strived long to impart our ways upon him, though in truth it seems a fool’s errand.”

Tillook raised a finger with the intent to question his cohort, only to be immediately interrupted by the cackling laughter of something he could only place as, Things Betwixt…

“Oh, that be quite all right deary. Now why don’t ye both come inside, the others are all here and the tea is on,” the gate said reassuringly, swinging open to allow entry.

Letting his arm fall Tillook simply shrugged and followed Patches through, barely noticing as the gate slowly eased shut behind them. “You know, after all the times spent following you to these weird mystery get togethers, things like that just seem so much more... Normal.”

“Well they should,” Patches replied with an ever growing smile as they turned the corner and entered the gardens proper. “It’s Dickens after all.”

Ignoring the tiny scream echoing across his mind as yet another piece of it died trying to understand the existential conundrum that is Patches, Tillook decided that particular debate simply wasn’t worth the word count. Putting the likely tedious discussion away for later he instead hurried to catch up, and hoped the cake would at least be worth his time.
As the unlikely pair ventured further into the lush growth of the gardens a faint melody began to make itself known, though maddeningly familiar, Tillook couldn’t quite place where he had heard the tune before…

“The devil is that noise?” Tillook muttered, trying to ignore the uneasy feeling growing in the pit of his stomach. Images of plaid topped lawn chairs flashed in his mind. Why, just why people…?

“Why are ya asking me?” Patches asked, ears perked as they strode around a final bend in the path, and came face to face with something definitely not Dickens…

The path before them opened up into a secluded little courtyard, flowerbeds and a neatly trimmed lawn bordered an intricately laid cobblestone patio. Its shaded surface bore several little decorative fountains, each adorned with figureheads depicting various generic references. What? Oh, that’s so lame…

Placed directly down the center of all this was a great hand carved table, its glossy surface large enough to accommodate the twenty or so other creatures already seated there. And apparently, played host to the musical teapot symphony that had been grating Tillook’s last surviving nerve for the last minute or so.

Eyeing the table, and more to the point, those seated around it, Tillook crossed his bony arms and glared up at Patches with a look typically reserved for something one might scrape from the bottom of one’s boot.

Noticing his, ‘friend’s?’ poisonous look, Patches took a moment from scanning the table for the promised cake in order to salt the wound. “What’s wrong Tilly? I promised it wouldn’t be like last time, and it’s not,” he said with a smile, head bobbing along to the beat, absentmindedly humming something about, un-birthdays.

Taking another tepid glance around at the gathering before them, Tillook couldn’t help loosing a very un-newt like growl between his teeth. “I thought you said this was Dickens,” he said with a deepening scowl as someone he only vaguely recognized waved from the table. Like all the attendees the creamy peach coated mare wore some kind of odd Victorian early Disney animation era clothing. All of them were, in fact.

Eyes narrowing as they bothered to take in a greater amount of detail Tillook began to feel a queasy sense of dread. This defiantly was not Dickens…

Glancing once more towards the mare that had waved to him Tillook tried again to place her strange outfit, the memory lost amongst countless millennia of existence and bizarre occurrence. He studied the flow of the red and black dress she wore, accompanied by the tiny yellow crown, and absurdly oversized war hammer with a red paper heart crudely taped to the side.

Eye beginning to twitch, Tillook’s sight flashed to the head of the table. Gaze locking on the darkly colored Bat pony seated there he cringed as the ludicrousness began to settle in his mind. He would have recognized that ridiculous green top hat anywhere. Regardless of whatever forsaken dimension he happened across it.

“All of my nope,” Tillook stated plainly, turning abruptly with the intention of marching straight back the way he’d come. Only to have a giant vermillion hand scoop him into the air, carrying the squirming newt towards his psychiatrist’s next paycheck.

“Come on Tilly,” Patches said cheerfully whilst setting Tillook down atop a fancy podium that awaited them along the pathway. “You should at least sign the guest list before fleeing, show some manners, I vouched for you ya know.”
“Get salmonella and croak,” Tillook groaned, his face only souring as Patches made eye contact, and proceeded to lick his own hand. Disgusted enough for this paragraph Tillook instead glanced across the book he stood on, scanning the names of the guests whom he would inevitably have to endure. “They’re all original characters; most of them just bit players. Good grief look at these obviously lazy names, Broad Sword, Alex, Rush,” he grew an eyebrow just so he could raise it. “Thing one and Thing two?”

“A Seuss reference?” Patches said with a surprised smile, accepting the quill as Tillook finished his signature, not bothering to mention the odd little pentagram topper where a dot should be above the ‘i.’ “Nobody does that anymore,” catching the displeased look the newt seemed to have permanently plastered to his face the Pegasus gave him a friendly nudge. “Come on buddy, cheer up, we don’t have to stay long. Just mingle for a bit, get to know some of the new cast, have some cake!”

Tillook’s eyes followed Patches’ fingers as they traced over the paper, making no comment as they read, ‘Professional Baller.’ Instead, he took one final look at the nearby gathering. He really wanted some of that cake… “Alright, fine. But if I hear anybody yell, ‘Change places!’ I’m out of here!”

"Deal,” Patches agreed gleefully, shaking Tillooks’ hand with a childlike smile before placing the newt on his shoulder and strolling towards the table. Unlike his hesitant friend, Patches loved these little social gatherings and was looking forward to mingling. Closer to some than others…

The unusual duo had not gone far when a voice called out from near the side of the path, drawing their attention. “Patches! There you are, it’s about time. You’re late!” Called a gryphon as she waved them over, too far away to hear the angry sputtering from a certain newt.

“Shindrah!” Patches said in surprise, his grin widening as he moved to embrace the young warrior. “I didn’t know you were back in town, what up?”

“Just flew in for the weekend, actually,” Shindrah rasped out, attempting to wriggle her way out of the iron grip that held her completely off the ground. “Wardrobe called, said they had to make some changes to my battle armor, something about adding stronger anchor points for the stunt harness.”

Finally taking notice of her labored breathing Patches set the gasping Gryphon back on her paws. His ever present smile turned sheepish as she wheezed, the mighty warrior defeated by a hug. “So, any idea when they’re going to be ready to start filming again?” Patches asked in a placating manner.

“Well, I suppose it’s not a total loss,” Tillook muttered loudly in a subject changing manner as he glanced around from his perch, the rudeness of the interruption apparently lost upon him. “According to the guest list the dark king is here. At least I know I can count on him for some decent conversation.”

Shindra and Patches shared a brief glance before the pair burst into laughter, leaving the already annoyed newt with a smoldering expression to cement itself over his face. “What…?” Tillook eventually bothered to grumble, his arms crossed with spindly fingers drumming in contempt.

“Sorry, Tilly.” Patches choked out through his giggles, holding his sides as another deep belly laugh escaped him. “I hate to disappoint you little buddy, but this is an all O.C. party…” He said, grin widening as he spotted the dawning look of realization.

“You don’t mean…” Tillook said quietly, that familiar feeling of dread slowly crawling up his spine as the color drained from his face. “Oh no….”


With a dejected groan Tillook’s gaze slowly drifted passed Shindra, his weary eyes landing upon the hastily scrawled hop scotch pattern drawn on another path leading around the far part of the gardens. “Oh, sweet Punisher, not him again…” Tillook groaned as he spied the being that floated there.


Taking a moment to memorize the difficult pattern, the wispy cloud of supposed evil then quickly floated across, swirling in victory as it reached the far end in a flawless display of peripatetic motion. Narrated in such a way as to befit such an articulate and multifarious monarch.


“That does it, Patches,” Tillook growled, hopping down from the pony’s shoulder. “I had thought that there would have been at least one individual in this rabble worth my time, but this, this tears it! I’m getting some cake and going home. If I hurry maybe I can catch the last half of Mash,” he said, stalking off towards the food laden table.


“Oh shut it!” Tillook called back over his shoulder as he disappeared into the feet of the crowd. “You’re only here because you were Jake’s favorite in the first one!”


“And now you’re just riding on the hype train!”


“Sorry about him Sombry,” Patches muttered apologetically, looking where the little newt had disappeared into the party. “He’s just upset with the powers that be, what with the lack of progress for so long. Seriously, it’s been like, a couple years…”

“Crystals! Crystals! Crystals…”

“Yeah, you said it man,” Patches agreed with a slow nod before following after his friend.

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

Tillook’s plan immediately after hopping up on the comparatively enormous table had been to stuff his immortal guts with as many fancy party delicacies as they could handle, then grab a slice of that fabled cake twice his size and make a break for the door, gate, whatever…

His plan nearly fell flat on its face however, when turning far too quickly in regards to the number of fried cheese straws currently jammed into his mouth, Tillook found himself doing a double take at a scene even more bizarre than the still dancing teapots. Across the wooden surface from where he stood sat three of the most, ‘let’s be generous here, most normal looking creatures seated around this literary fiasco…’

Rather, two of them sat, looking rather comfortable atop their rustic bar stools. The pair was idly sipping at mugs of ‘cider’ as marked by hastily applied juice box labels, whilst occasionally offering a comforting pat to the third member of their little group.

The third, a somewhat panic stricken stallion, was most uncomfortably bound to his large wicker armchair. Eyes darting about beneath the brim of his pineapple fruit hat… ‘I don’t, why are we even referencing this? It’s an inside joke that no one else will get. Seriously, they’re not important!’

“They will be as soon as Times Gone By starts posting,” Patches stated rather matter-of-factly, pulling up a stool for himself next to the bound and sweating Rush. Offering the shivering unknown O.C. a comforting smile the giant ‘suddenly feral Pegasus,’ reached forward and grabbed an apple out of the decorative fruit basket with a deft swipe of his hoof. “Ooh, Wax!” He said happily.

Sparing a moment to ponder his life choices, Tillook shoved the last of his delectable findings down his gullet. “What’s the deal, Patches?” He grumbled, glancing back along the length of the table. “I’m not finding that cake anywhere.”
Shoving the final morsel of waxy fruit into his own maw, Patches swallowed deeply with a satisfied sigh before giving the rest of the provided fare a once over. After finding no trace of the promised cake he merely offered an uncertain shrug.
“The cake is a lie,” came a voice from near the head of the table, the serious tone bringing silence to the dancing teapots, as well as all the other hushed conversations that had been carrying on in the background. ‘Concealing several incredible Easter Eggs that you all probably missed…’

“Oh Grogar dammit,” Tillook muttered, turning around to stare dejectedly at their host as he floated down a set of steps. “Discord, what are you doing here? I had it that this was an Original Characters only deal…”

“Is it not?” Discord replied sinisterly, a dangerous smile tugging at his lips, “Shh, I’m in character, I’m here as Malevolence,” he added in a whisper, his lion paw cupping around his mouth acting like a bullhorn. ‘Which basically had the effect of making him sound, uh, normal...’

“BLEEP… It Patches, you promised me cake!” Tillook growled, cutting off some rant that Discord had prepared in order to explain what he had meant. ‘For all those people here that haven’t read anything else from this studio…’
“Do not blame your vermillion friend, Tillook.” Discord/Malevolence said sternly, pointing a finger at the mentioned Pony, raising an eyebrow as the Pegasus began to munch down the wicker basket the wax fruit had been in. “He was but a mere pawn in all this, just as we all have been. I fed him the misinformation in the knowledge it would be the only way to get you here. The only way we could all get together for a long overdue discussion.”

“About what?” Tillook asked dismissively, eyes following the chimera as he took his seat. “About what Cadence is going to do with those ashes? Because that’s so much fun to think about,” he said with a shudder running down his spine.

“About this, actually,” Discord/Malevolence/De lancie said flatly, tossing a large blue notebook onto the table before the assembly. Hushed murmurs and more than a few girlish gasps arose from the crowd as everyone leaned in to see the words, ‘screenplay: T.G.B.’ printed neatly on the cover.

Noting the change of atmosphere settling over the gathering, Discord/Tired of this gag already, cleared his throat, “That’s right my friends, engraved and laminated. This, is the real deal.”

“Holy Heffner,” Patches breathed, wings flexing in excitement as he slowly reached for the pages that held all their futures, hoof scraping the back cover along the table. He had to know! “After all this time, I can’t believe it’s finally here!” He said with glee, flipping open the cover and letting his eyes roam across the first page, “What? Not in the first scene!? I’ve been robbed!!”

“So, let me get this straight,” Tillook piped up, the faintest traces of enthusiasm hiding on the edge of his tone. “Do you mean this whole thing was just a ruse, in order to gather us all for a table read?!”

After receiving Discord’s smiling nod of acknowledgment Tillook blinked to Patches’ side, running his tiny fingers along the binding before glancing back at the master of Chaos, something nagging at his mind. “So, then, what do we do about them?” He asked, pointing at the sky.

“Huh, I hadn’t really thought of that,” Discord muttered, pulling at his goatee as he observed the confused expressions above him. “Honestly, I figured they would have all left by now and we wouldn’t have to worry about spoilers. Of which there will be many!” He yelled at the clouds.

“Quick,” somebody yelled, glancing around frantically. “Come up with something funny to close out on! Nobody’s going to want to stick around for this!”


“And, the hopscotch court is on fire…”


Author's Note:

Totally not a blatant advertisement for the soon coming return of the Infinity’s End series, featuring all new content in the form of vast expansions to the original materials, as well as the return of multiple deleted scenes. I know it has been a long time coming, but I have done my best to make sure the wait will be worth it.
For those of you who still care, look for the first book in the series: Times Gone By, Coming sometime late summer.
Love ~Dollars.

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