• Published 27th Apr 2014
  • 794 Views, 23 Comments

Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction - KwirkyJ



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

  • ...
2
 23
 794

PreviousChapters Next
The Stillness and Quiet [Slice of Life; possible shipping]

Apple Bloom was still groggy and stiff as she shut the door of Carousel Boutique behind her. Despite staying up well into the night with her friends in a sleep-over, her body had stirred itself to activity in the pre-dawn glow, and was far more insistent than her mind’s feeble cries to return to slumber. Having extricated herself from the tangled mass of the sheets and her friends’ limbs, she’d slipped downstairs and out into the unlit morning air.

It took some moments for the absolute stillness to register with her sleep-addled mind. At this hour, a few miles away, her siblings would already be up and about, tending to the animals’ needs, just as she would have been any other day. But here, today, she was in Ponyville. The eastern sky was tinged orange and yellow, hints of the cyan sky to come just playing along the horizon. It was still and perfectly silent.

Walking with no destination in mind, there was nothing to interrupt the consistent passage of buildings plants, and cool, damp air in her passing. Even the birds had yet to stir to activity, contenting themselves to chitter quietly amongst themselves. The earth crunched oh so softly beneath her hooves.

It was, Apple Bloom came to decide, a very pleasant stillness.

She paused in the town square, simply taking in its vast emptiness. There were no vendors, no parades, no crowds. There was simply space. Stands were empty, waiting for their owners who would join in the light. The fountain dribbled and bubbled, splashing happily to itself. It was a very lonesome sound.

Circling the fountain, she encountered a mint unicorn curled up at its base, snoring softly with a contented smile on her face. Apple Bloom couldn’t remember her name. Quietly, she picked up the small harp-like instrument, turned it in her hooves with care, admiring it, before replacing it near the unicorn. She couldn’t help but smile a little more, herself.

By now, the east sky was a brilliant, welcoming yellow. It wouldn’t be long now before Celestia raised the sun to shine upon the land. It was always a thrilling time, even if Apple Bloom spent most of those moments inside a chicken coop or amongst the pigs.

Apple Bloom was walking when the sun crested and its light struck her coat. Her eyes were closed, and simply basked in the sudden rush of warmth, never breaking her stride. In an odd impulse, she began to hum a song she and her friends had imagined when preparing for the Games flag-carrying contest. It simply felt… right.

The birds were chittering now, adding some background to her own music. Muffled sounds of movement began to issue from the buildings around her, as if the buildings themselves had found a life of their own when the sun began to shine upon them.

Then there was the sound of another set of hoofsteps, carefully drawing nearer. Apple Bloom opened her eyes and saw - of all ponies - Scootaloo gently walking towards her.

"Scootaloo?"

"Hey, Apple Bloom." Scootaloo’s was oddly subdued, almost reverent. "Didn’t wanna startle you. You looked so… Calm."

Apple Bloom chuckled softly. "Yeah, I s’pose I did, didn’t I?"

They walked in silence for a minute or two. Apple Bloom wanted ask why her friend was so quiet. It was frequently the case that she was difficult to stop from going on about this that or the other, often involving the word ‘awesome’ and the name ‘Rainbow Dash.’

"Why’re you up so early, Scoots?"

"Dunno," Scootaloo said, shrugging with her wings. "You?"

"Habit, I guess. I’m always up this early when I’m home. Seems like it takes more’n one sleep-over to put a stop to it.”

"Because you’ve not gotten up this early at all our other sleep-overs, huh?"

[TIME]

"Well, I…" Apple Bloom struggled to evade the jibe. "How would you know if I’ve been up or not? You always sleep in ‘til noon.”

"Maybe I just act like I sleep in," Scootaloo proclaimed.

"Yeah, because that time when we banged pots right over your head and
you just kept snoring was ‘actin’.”

Silence descended again for a moment. They reached the Boutique and by unspoken agreement sat on its steps, watching the slowly stirring Ponyville.

"Truth is, Bloom, I just felt you weren’t there. I woke up because… there was an emptiness.”

"But I’m always up, Scootaloo. I come back, but that’s nothing new."

Scootaloo shifted uneasily, then slid closer to Apple Bloom.

"Maybe not, Apple Bloom. But something’s different."

A moment passed, less quiet than before, but brighter and more alive. They were both acutely aware of the other’s heat drifting over their coats. Neither of them moved away.

"Yeah, I s’pose you’re right, Scootaloo. Somethin’s different, today."

Author's Note:

From: http://thirtyminuteponies.tumblr.com/post/75877119829/prompt-567-the-stillness-and-quiet-by-kwirkyj

It was mentioned that the subtext at the end was a bit too subtle, though I have elected to not adjust it here. It's a borderline-experimental mode of storytelling, and I prefer my original presentation on artistic license.

PreviousChapters Next