• Published 27th Apr 2014
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Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction - KwirkyJ

Collection of stories too short to publish individually. There is ostensibly no consistent underlying theme.

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Grounded [Slice of Life, Bittersweet]

"– saying is that that's how it feels to me!" Twilight's magic seized upon the cup before her, and she proceeded to fervently gulp a mouthful. That chore completed, she wiped her mouth with her cannon, returned the cup far more gently to the table, and deflated, much more relaxed. "What do you think?"

Applejack started, blinking. "Huh? Whuzzat?"

Twilight watched her carefully. "Applejack, I've spent the last ten minutes talking about the craziness I'm putting up with for the new library in the castle. Weren't you listening?"

Applejack folded her ears back and her shoulders slumped. "Gosh, I'm sorry Twilight. My mind was just wandering, I guess." Her eyes slid from her friend to the scenery.

"I suppose it is quite a nice day," Twilight said, pensively. "I know, I know, I'm just getting too tangled up in things. I need to relax more, take my mind off the stress and pay attention to the pleasant things. Like you, Applejack!"

"Oh? How's that?"

"You always put your mind in the right place. Like now: you're here for me, and you listened to the parts that were important. Once I started going off on the troublesome tangents, you stayed where you should have. You brought me back!"

"Well, shucks, when you put it like that –"

"So what are you thinking about?"

Twilight was leaning forward quite sharply, eyes bright.


"What are you thinking about, Applejack? I want to know how you think. If I'm going to keep myself grounded through this whole thing, I can't think of a better pony to model from than you! So what's on your mind?"

Applejack's eyes were directed towards her friend, but she had stopped seeing her. Her mind had shifted completely. She could say that she was worried sick about Granny, that she's getting on in years and, though Granny would never admit it, she was getting more 'off' every day. The spring doctor's-visit was coming up in a few weeks, and Applejack was most concerned what the news might be.

There was also the planting to concern her. The crop rotation had been thrown the past season when the plow broke and couldn't get it mended before the onset of winter. She was scrambling to adjust to the land that they could work between the orchards, weighing what the cows and pigs needed and what they could allocate for pasture.

"Gee, Twi, I..."

There was also the pruning to be done, already getting late as the trees leaved and set to blossom. So many trees and only so many hours in a day. Unless everything went flawlessly, she's have a triage situation come summer when the apples began to develop fully, and she'd have to hope she guessed correctly which limbs were set to snap. Snapped branches means less fruit next year, and the very understated threat of canker and other diseases the trees might catch if it didn't heal in time.

Macintosh was also spending quality time with Ms. Cheerilee -- a grand thing in her book, make no mistake -- which took a significant amount of labor off of the farm with the hour here and there being devoted elsewhere. Apple Bloom was off doing her own thing, and, though the chores were important and being tended to, couldn't pick up the same slack. That meant more and more things were falling to Applejack to get done right and on time.

And what of herself? Somewhere among those pristine white clouds was a certain pegasus she wished she could spend more time with, herself. Someday, maybe. Maybe, once there was more time. Time to treat her right. Time to give herself – Applejack – some happiness of her own.

"Yes?" Twilight prodded.

Applejack's eyes slid back down from the sky over the acres to fall again on Twilight. A pang of guilt welled inside her. With learning to fly, Rainbow and Twilight has been spending more time than usual together. Applejack didn't know if she would miss her chance. Or how she might feel if she did or didn't. That was the sorry truth, she simply didn't know. And that terrified her.

"I guess I'm not thinking much about anything, Twilight." Applejack put on her best smile. "Just enjoyin' the fine weather and the company of a friend."

Twilight smiled as well, nodding. "Now that's the kind of advice I can use."

Author's Note:

Written for the Thirty Minute Ponies Legacy Prompt 18, Sunshine, happiness and rainbows.

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