• Published 10th May 2014
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Pound and Pumpkin Tales 1 - Never2muchpinkie

Set a few years into the future, six year old Pound and Pumpkin have a lot of growing up to do. They fight and make up, make mistakes and learn lessons, and love and protect each other as much as they get on each other's nerves.

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11-D: Unwanted

“Kicked out…” Twilight was pacing back and forth, letting out a loud huff. “Kicked out… on your first day of school.”

Pound and Pumpkin were both looking determinedly at the floor.

“I thought today was going to be a great day. I was hoping to hear about what you’d learned, and if you made any friends. And then I got the letter from the principal, asking me what kind of children I recommended to them.”

Twilight stopped her pacing, turning toward the two of them. “Pound Cake, I’ve come to expect this kind of behavior from you. But, Pumpkin, I really expected better of you. I thought you were better than this.”

Tears began to come down the twin’s eyes, and they started to sniff, but they still wouldn’t look up.

“They wanted you expelled for what you did, but I managed to talk them down. You’re both suspended for a week. The two of you aren’t all that used to playing with other kids your age, so I can understand that new tensions may have overwhelmed you, but that still doesn’t excuse both of you brawling with other colts and fillies.

“As I tried to impress upon you last month, and once before then, violence is NOT the answer when conflict-resolution will do fine. If you were getting upset and anxious over what they were saying you should have spoken to your teacher about what was going on before resorting to that kind of brutish nonsense.

“I’m very disappointed in the pair of you. I expect so much more from you when you have a pony like Pinkie Pie as one of your main caretakers.”

Twilight’s words cut like knives. Without a word the two of them shuffled off toward their room, barely avoiding sobbing.

When the pair had made it up the stairs Cup Cake and Carrot Cake looked at each other before Cup Cake said, “I’m so sorry, your highness, for troubling you like this.”

Twilight took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down. “This isn’t your fault. I know both you and Carrot Cake are kindly stern with them when their behavior gets out of hoof. Even Pinkie Pie pushes them to be better selves, even if she is a little more lenient.

“I think this week would best be spent in pushing the two of them to learn better about peaceful problem-solving instead of hitting. I’ll come back here tomorrow when I have the time. I-I…” She let out another heavy sigh, irritably walking in place. “I just can’t deal with this right now. They’re squandering their potential.

“I’ll come back here tomorrow and talk to them again when I’m in a calmer mood.”

Pound and Pumpkin were both sitting on their beds, bunched up with their heads on their knees, quietly crying. For a long time both of them didn’t move from their spots, lost in their sadness and guilt, neither saying a word.

After a while Pound looked over at Pumpkin. Unscrunching himself he hopped off his bed and walked over to hers. “Pumpkin?” he said quietly.

She looked up at him with eyes red from crying. “What is it?” she said emotionlessly.

Looking her in the eyes he said sincerely, “I’m sorry. This is all my fault. If I hadn’t been acting so stupid this never would have happened.” Taking in a sharp breath he put his hooves over her. “I’m really sorry!” he cried out as he began to gently sob.

Pumpkin stared at him a few seconds before she pulled him up onto her bed and hugged him too. “No, it’s not all your fault. I was so mad and upset that when you wouldn’t stop bugging me I deliberately made fun of you not being able to fly yet, just because I knew that it was what would hurt you the most. I’m sorry for that.”

“I forgive you, Pumpkin.”

She looked thoughtfully at the end of her bed. “I just… feel like I finally understand why you’re always threatening to beat up ponies that pick on me. I was so mad at you during our fight, and we were talking about how brothers were stupid and useless. I was okay with that, when we were all talking about our OWN brothers, but when THEY started talking bad about you… I just lost it.” Snuggling him closer some more tears came down her eyes. “No one is allowed to pick on you but me.”

Pound started to laugh, but the brief feeling of humor was quickly lost back into despair. He nuzzled her cheek. “I’m sorry, Pumpkin,” he said again. “Twins?”

“Twins,” she replied, nuzzling him back as they continued crying and holding each other.

“We really screwed up big time, didn’t we?”

Pumpkin nodded. “First the principal chewed us out, then mom and dad, and then Princess Twilight.”

In a self-loathing voice Pound added, “Auntie Pinkie didn’t yell at us, but she didn’t have to. Did you see the look on her face when she heard?”

Pumpkins eyes filled with tears as she sniffed, having trouble forming her response. “Y-y-yes,” she stuttered out. “And she hasn’t talked to us all day since then.”

Pound squeezed his sister tighter. “M-maybe we’re just bad kids.”

Pumpkin held him tighter as well. “Everybody is mad at us.”

“Y-yeah. Twilight hates us for making her look bad, Mom and Dad looked like bad parents and probably hate us too for being so bad. And Auntie Pinkie…” He couldn’t get her hurt expression out of his head.

A black cloud was forming over Pumpkin as well. “By tomorrow Twilight will probably tell all her friends and they’ll hate us too.”

“And Auntie Pinkie is friends with EVERYONE in town. Everybody’s gonna hate us!”

Both of them were now shaking with fright and shame, holding onto each other like their lives depended on it. “I-I guess we’re all each other’s got,” Pumpkin said, sniffing. “I don’t hate YOU, Pound.”

“I-I-I guess so. And no matter what you do I’ll always love you too, Pumpkin.”

“Me too! I’ll always love you too, because you’re my other half. We’re twins, and even though you drive me crazy sometimes I can’t picture a life without you by my side.”

“Yeah, we’re twins. Two of a kind. Just like that time Auntie Pinkie split us apart and we were ready to fight her so she couldn’t separate us again.”

“We have to stick together, because we know each other best.”

The pair had stopped shaking so bad, finding comfort in each other’s presence.

For a time they sat there quietly, just holding on to each other as they calmed down. Pumpkin finally asked, “Do you want to sleep with me tonight, Pound? After everything that went on today I don’t wanna be apart from you.”

Pound didn’t answer. Now he was the one with a contemplative look on his face.

“What are you thinking about, Pound?”

“I think we should leave,” he said quietly.

“Leave?” she asked. “And go where?”

Pound pulled out of her hold, turning away from her and curling up again. “Nobody wants us here anymore. We’re just a burden on our parents and Auntie Pinkie. They’d be better off without us.”

Pumpkin let out a heavy sigh, the weight of what they had done pressing down on her again. “But where would we go?”

“Who knows?” Pound said indifferently. “Who cares?” He picked up one of the stuffed animals on the bed and threw it as hard as he could. “Anywhere but Ponyville. I mean, Applejack and Cheese Sandwich left home when they were about our ages, right? We’ll find a way to make it work.”

Pumpkin opened her mouth to argue, but once again the image of Pinkie’s disappointment flashed before her eyes, and despair began to well up inside her. The angry and upset faces of Pinkie, her parents, and Twilight, all looking down at her made Pound’s words feel too real to disagree with. He really WAS the only one there for her now.

“Alright,” Pumpkin said, a tear coming down her eye. “Mom and Dad already closed up shop for the day and are cleaning up. When they come upstairs we’ll sneak down and take some food, and then… we’re on our own. M-m-maybe we can find someone else who will love us again.”

Pound turned as he heard Pumpkin start sobbing again. He hugged her close, saying, “Don’t cry, Pumpkin. We’ll be okay. I’ll protect you, and you’ll protect me. I trust you completely, so I’m not afraid.”

Pumpkin automatically held him back. “I-I-I trust you too, Pound, but I’m still scared.” She put a hoof over her stomach, her body tensing as she grimaced. “I feel like I’m gonna be sick,” she said emotionally, her voice cracking.

Pound was finding it hard to keep up his act when he was just as scared and his stomach hurting just as much, but there was no other way to escape. The two of them were clinging to each other again, unsure of what to do.

A few hours later Pinkie was sitting on her bed, staring up at the ceiling. She couldn’t sleep. She had felt deeply hurt that Pound and Pumpkin had both gotten violent on their first day of school when she had tried so hard to encourage them to be friendly and make friends. However, those feelings had faded greatly, and now she felt upset at herself for not trying to be more understanding.

Cup Cake and Carrot Cake had scolded and punished them for their behavior, then a short while later Twilight had stormed in and scolded them again. The faces on the pair were the lowest she had ever seen them. Their regret over their actions was obvious, and she felt that they were being a little too hard on the two. At the time she was still too caught in her feelings to stand up for them as she usually did. The pair hadn’t come out of their room all night, and it was so unnaturally quiet around the house that it felt deafening.

Hadn’t they been punished enough for one night? She had left them alone because she wanted them to really think about their behavior, but she couldn’t take it anymore. They could address the matter again in the morning, but she didn’t want the twins falling asleep completely miserable.

She got up out of bed, heading down both flights of stairs, the conspicuous lack of noise bothering her again as she passed their room. Taking a few cupcakes and some juice she went upstairs, gently knocking on their door. There was no answer.

She opened the door, walking in and closing it. There was only a little bit of light from the moon. “Pound? Pumpkin?” she said quietly, walking over to Pound’s bed. She could see his shape, covered up with a blanket. Sitting down on the edge she said, “Listen, you guys. I understand that both of you lost control and you did something you wish you hadn’t. I just wanted to let you guys know that I still love the both of you more than anything in the world, okay?

“I brought you some goodnight treats, so let’s just forget about being punished for tonight, alright?” Again, there was no answer.

Pinkie leaned over. “Come on, Pound! I know you’re not that heavy of a sleeper. I’m sorry if I hurt you guys before by not coming in earlier.” She felt a little discouraged as she still got no response. She put a hoof on Pound, and felt confused as she touched something very soft that her hoof sank into. It clearly wasn’t him.

She got up, and ran to the door, flicking the light switch. As the room lit up she could see the pillows placed to make it seem like their beds were full. Confusion and worry started to go through the mare. What was going on?

She looked around the room for a sign of the pair. Was it a prank? Were they hiding just out of sight, laughing? After searching around she didn’t see a hint of them.

When she sat down again she saw something out of the corner of her eye fluttering to the floor. Turning to look she saw a plain piece of paper.

She walked over and picked it up. It only took a few seconds to read the six words on the page, and her face went pale, her heart thumping rapidly in her chest. She began to shake, her breathing getting shorter and shorter, before she let out a loud scream that carried throughout the house.

Cup Cake and Carrot Cake came rushing into the room quickly afterwards, wondering what was wrong.

Pinkie’s eyes were filled with tears as she wordlessly handed the note over.

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