• Published 9th Sep 2014
  • 2,448 Views, 171 Comments

Children of Equestria - Samey90

Diamond Tiara and Babs Seed did a lot of bad things in their lives. Now they have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

  • ...

(Not) My Town

“New policy, my ass…” Babs muttered, seeing a colourful group of prostitutes standing on the pavement. The only thing that changed since she had last been in Manehattan was that they were now standing in some distance from the railway station. She approached them and to her surprise, she noticed that most of them were younger than her.

“Hey, ya!” one of them, a violet pegasus in a cheap dress who looked like she was fourteen shouted to Babs. “What’r ya lookin’ at?”

“I’m lookin’ for someone,” Babs replied. When she walked, she “accidentally” moved her jacket in such a way that two coins inside clinked. The mares didn’t know it was the only money Babs had, so they raised their heads.

“Fuck off,” the pegasus said. “I ain’t like dat.”

Babs spat on the pavement. “I wouldn’t touch your skinny ass with a ten-foot pole,” she said. “Have ya ever heard about a girl called Nightcap? She’s a dark blue unicorn…”

“Never ‘eard of ‘er,” said another prostitute, a skinny yellow unicorn with missing front teeth. “Hey, girls, I ‘ave a feelin’ she’s an undercover guard… Let’s beat ‘er!”

“I could knock the rest of your teeth out with three hooves tied,” Babs muttered. “Nopony heard of Nightcap? I’ll pay.”

Suddenly, someone started to push themselves through the small crowd. The yellow unicorn got pushed away; she fell on the pavement, yelling curses.

Another mare approached Babs. She was a unicorn, and, if Babs wasn’t mistaken, she was about sixty years old. Babs shuddered when her imagination presented an image of her with a client to her.

“I apologise for these cunts,” she said, pronouncing the last word as “coonts”. “I am trying to teach them some manners, but as you can see, some of them, like Carnation, can’t even get their h’s right…” She slapped the yellow filly in the ear, causing her to yell another quite impressive stream of swears. “Anyway, my name is Old Celly… After our princess, you know…”

“Oh… Okay…” Babs muttered, stunned. “H-how come I’ve never heard of ya?” She pointed at the younger whores. “I used to stand here when some of ‘em were shittin’ their diapers… Nightcap was my friend back then.”

“Oh, I used to work in more… elegant places,” said Old Celly. “Anyway, I’ve heard of Nightcap. A good girl, not like those walking contraceptives adverts.” She gave a violet pegasus a nasty glare. “She’s not in business anymore. She married a donkey.”

Babs staggered. “W-what? What donkey?”

“Big, silent… He worked in a bar.”

“Okay, thanks…” Babs said, trying to put those pieces of information together. “D-do ya think she still lives in her place?”

“She never said anything about moving out,” Old Celly said. Suddenly, she turned to the yellow unicorn called Carnation and with a reflex no one would expect from an old mare, she knocked her in the back of the head.

“My ‘ead!” Carnation shouted. “What was dat for?”

“That was for thinking that our guest is a guard,” Old Celly said dryly. “You should now apologise. Also, it’s ‘head’ and ‘that’, not some argot…”

“I’m sorry,” Carnation said to Babs with an expression suggesting that if they met in a dark alley, one of them would end up with a knife between the ribs.

“I’ll go now…” Babs muttered, thinking that she was lucky that her short career in the entertainment business happened before Old Celly started to rule the streets. “See ya later, girls…”

“So, you’re going back to Canterlot tomorrow?” Diamond Tiara asked.

Scootaloo nodded. They were sitting in Sugarcube Corner – Diamond Tiara thought that some sugar would definitely help her battle the remains of her hangover and accidentally met Scootaloo there.

“I only came to Ponyville for a weekend,” Scootaloo explained. “I still have lot to learn… But maybe soon I’ll help with some case. Nothing big, probably, filling in paperwork while the rest works, but it’s better than sitting in class.”

“Is it hard to become a guard?” Diamond Tiara asked. After spending ten years seeing only doctors and her own hallucinations, she was interested in every aspect of life.

“They wouldn’t let you…” Scootaloo said. “But yeah… You have to learn lots of things, not to mention stuff such as running, flying, shooting, fighting… Even archery and spear fighting, as if we were the guys from Celestia’s palace.” She took a bite of her cupcake. “After the martial arts training I got so crazy that I was looking at everypony assessing if I could beat them easily…”

Diamond Tiara chuckled. “And what did you figure out?”

“I’d have problems with Apple Bloom and Babs, though in their case it’s rather strength than technique… With Rumble… Well, it’s the other kind of wrestling…” She laughed.

Diamond Tiara blushed when she understood what Scootaloo had in mind.

Scootaloo shook her head. “We need to find you a coltfriend, Diamond…” she said. “Maybe Featherweight? You two would really match each other…”

“Thanks, I’m not interested…” Diamond Tiara waved her hoof. “Also, why Featherweight? Was I that terrible to you when you were a foal?”

“Yes. Even without the killing.”

“Why do you hang out with me then?” Diamond Tiara asked. “You, Apple Bloom, Sweetie… I thought you’d be the first to…”

“It was ten years ago,” Scootaloo replied. “You changed… And I guess we changed too. But I guess it was Babs who, umm… convinced us.”

Diamond Tiara shook her head and chuckled. “But really… Featherweight? After the first date he’d start to write a series of articles… ‘My Life with The Sleepless Killer’, or something like that.”

Scootaloo almost choked on her cupcake. “I can totally see those headlines… ‘Diamond Tiara eats hay’,” she said in a dramatic tone. “I can assure you that every day in the morning Diamond Tiara takes a sh–“

“Don’t be gross!” Diamond Tiara laughed, wiping tears from her eyes. “Also, how’d he know that?”

“Dunno, maybe he’d install a camera there?”

“Eww… I think I lost the appetite…” Diamond Tiara looked at her raspberry pie and sighed.

Suddenly, the door to the Sugarcube Corner opened and a young, dark unicorn wearing a guard helmet entered the bakery. “Hello, Scootaloo,” he said, looking at Diamond Tiara unsurely.

“Hello, Chocolate Donut,” Scootaloo said. She knew him from the academy – he was a few years older than her and after he graduated, he started to work in Ponyville with the new commander, Front Kick. “What’s going on?”

“We just found a body,” the guard said. “The boss thought that you’d want to see how we work…”

“What?” Scootaloo’s eyes widened. Diamond Tiara shuddered.

“Someone murdered, umm… a photographer,” Chocolate Donut said, still looking at Diamond Tiara. “His name was Featherweight…”

The neighbourhood was even worse than three years before. Babs looked at the buildings, wondering how much longer it’d take before they collapse. Some foals were looking at her curiously. She knew why – even though it’d been through various misfortunes, her jacket still looked quite expensive. Whoever had bought it in the Griffon Empire probably hoped that it’d last for ages. It did, though not worn by them. There were also the earrings – all of them were only gilded, but the foals couldn’t know that.

They, however, could easily see Babs’ muscles. She didn’t grow much since she was sixteen, but two and half year of working in the desert toughened her. A bunch of lanky misfits stood no chance against her.

She trotted into the staircase, smelling of mice and piss, and went upstairs. She stood in front of the scratched door and knocked.

The only sound Babs could hear at first were cries of a foal. She started to think that Nightcap had surely moved out, but then she heard trotting and the clinging of the latch, before the door opened.

“Babs!” Nightcap exclaimed. “What are ya doin’ here?”

“I’m back…” Babs said, pulling her friend into a hug. “How are ya? I missed ya so much…”

“Well…” Nightcap muttered. “Everythin’ kinda changed…”

“Yeah… I’ve heard somethin’ about ya marryin’ a donkey…” Babs shook her head. She noticed that Nightcap’s flat looked much cleaner than before. Luckily, the old chest of drawers still stood in the same place as before. “I guess that means no more ‘horizontal recreation’ for us?”

“I guess Vinnie wouldn’t like it…” Nightcap said, pointing at the mule filly sitting in a tall chair and watching Babs with large, black eyes.

Babs felt a pang of envy, but it quickly disappeared. “Hello Vinnie…” she said. “Who’s the father?” she asked Nightcap.

“Well, actually her name is Vinyl…” Nightcap smiled sheepishly. “But Raz thinks it’s silly.”

“You married Raz?” Babs exclaimed. “Geez… I’ve never thought this old loner would–”

“He’s really nice once he starts to talk,” Nightcap said. “He has a new job now… Well, it’s still not enough to get us outta here, but at least I don’t have whore myself anymore…”

“Yeah…” Babs sighed. “Actually, I only came to get somethin’…” She trotted to the old chest of drawers and pulled the lowest one out. Behind it, taped to the bottom wall of the chest were two 500-bits coins. Babs took them and put one of them in her pocket.

“I forgot to tell ya,” Babs said and gave the other coin to Nightcap. “It’s for ya… Little Vinnie can’t stay here… Or she’ll be like… like me.”

“I can’t take it…” Nightcap said. “If it comes from some crime…”

“I made it by honestly whoring myself.” Babs sighed. “Also, ya didn’t have any issues with robbin’ our clients… And did Raz ever tell ya what we were doin’ together?”

“It was long time ago,” Nightcap protested. “I changed, Babs. And I hoped that you’d change too…”

“I changed,” Babs replied. “I… I have to thank ya for what ya did. If I didn’t get arrested, I’d probably already be dead. Take it.” She gave the coin to Nightcap. “Not for yourself, for Vinnie. Make some good use from it. And tell her that auntie Babs was a good pony…”

“Wait!” Nightcap exclaimed, seeing that Babs trotted to the hall. “What are ya plannin’ to do?”

Babs didn’t reply.

Scootaloo braced herself. In every novel she’d read there was always a young guard whose only role was to enter the crime scene, look at the corpse and throw up, seeing how horribly mutilated it was. She didn’t want to be that guard.

She had a good training. During classes, they watched a post mortem once or twice. Some of her colleagues threw up. Some left the morgue and never came back. Scootaloo spent that time wondering what’d be for dinner.

She also remembered the race in Hoofington. She was seventeen and took part in a couple of races as a junior, since Tornado Bolt was injured. The track in Hoofington was old and it had no bounds made of clouds. One of the local pegasi, even younger than her, crashed into a wooden fence and a broken pole pierced through his stomach. She landed next to him, trying to save him, but could only watch him bleeding out.

It was then, when she had definitely given up the dreams about becoming a racer and applied to the Royal Guard Academy.

She wondered if it’d be different this time. After all, she knew Featherweight. She’d seen him alive just the day before. The thought that he was now dead was unbelievable.

Chocolate Donut opened the door. Front Kick was already there, standing above the body of the pegasus.

Scootaloo took a look. The body wasn’t mutilated. Featherweight looked normal, except of the row of bruises on his neck and his blue face. Scootaloo shuddered – his eyes were wide open, staring back at her. The whole room was demolished – it seemed that he fought before death. A couple of damaged cameras were lying on the floor, along with the films and spilled chemicals.

“What happened here?” Scootaloo asked.

“It seems that someone strangled him with one of those films…” Front Kick said. “Do you know who could it be?”

Scootaloo opened her mouth, but she felt that the question wasn’t addressed to her. Chocolate Donut cleared his throat. “He was a paparazzi. I’d say lots of ponies…” he said.

“Exactly,” Front Kick said, looking at the body. “But who of them would go that far? We have to check those films… Maybe Sapphire Shores didn’t like when he caught her snorting coke…”

“That still leaves lots of ponies…” Scootaloo said. “Hell, I’m sure I’m on one of those photos…”

“Did you kill him?” Front Kick asked.

“Of course not! He took a photo of Sweetie Belle when we were in the pub yesterday,” Scootaloo replied. “But he left it alive.”

“According to the necrophile, he died before noon,” Chocolate Donut said.

“Don’t call Dr. Tulp that,” Front Kick scolded and turned to Scootaloo. “Who else was in the pub with you?”

Scootaloo scratched her head. “There were lots of us… Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle… Rumble, Button Mash, Babs Seed, Diamond Tiara…”

“Diamond Tiara!” Chocolate Donut exclaimed. “She could’ve done that…”

“She couldn’t,” Scootaloo replied. “She says she got sick after our party, then she went to the doctor and then she was with me in Sugarcube Corner…”

“I’d say it’s quite a tight schedule, a murder wouldn’t fit…” Front Kick chuckled. “But can somepony confirm that?”

“Filthy Rich, his servants, the doctor, and I,” Scootaloo said.

“We’ll have to check Filthy Rich and the servants,” Chocolate Donut muttered. “Though they’ll probably say that she was at home.”

“I believe her,” Scootaloo said.

“Yeah…” Front Kick shook his head. “But remember that you’re not working on this case. Also, if not Diamond Tiara then who else?”

Scootaloo furrowed her eyebrows, trying to recall the events of the night before. It wasn’t easy – Diamond Tiara destroying the mirror was the most clear memory, but the rest somehow faded. There were mostly stupid conversations about sex… Something about Octavia and puns… Jokes…

“Oh shit…” Scootaloo muttered.

“Loosening of the muscles after death,” Chocolate Donut said. “They teach about it in the academy…”

“No, it’s not that…” Scootaloo slammed her forehead. “Just after he took a photo of us… We talked that it’d make a good joke. You know, a famous singer, a famous racer, and a famous serial killer walk into a bar and so on…”

“A joke…” Front Kick muttered. “So, what’s its point?”

“Then Babs said something like…” Scootaloo scratched her head, trying to recall it exactly. “’If the joke ended with him being strangled with the film from his camera, I’d laugh at it’, or something similar.”

“That Babs…” Front Kick scratched his chin. “Do you think she’d be able to kill somepony?”

Scootaloo hesitated. She thought about Babs. She’d been arrested for stealing and trying to hide some gun, but was it everything she’d done? There were gossips. The guy who’d raped Babs had been one of the most important ponies in Manehattan and Lightning Dust had decided to kill him soon after that. “Yes,” Scootaloo said. “I think she’d be able to kill. The problem is, she has an alibi. She went to Manehattan in the morning.”

Babs patted the pocket of her jacket. On her way, she went to the store and bought a new balisong knife. Now it was resting in a place where she could reach it easily, together with the rest of the money. She felt much safer, walking through the streets, especially since it was slowly getting dark.

She sighed, seeing her old neighbourhood. The buildings had been covered with a fresh layer of paint, then, of course, sprayed with graffiti. Only in a few places the old scribblings survived – Babs laughed when she saw that “The Sleepless Killer will be back” had been changed into “The Sleepless Killer is back”. She looked around, checking if there were no ponies nearby, took her knife and scratched “And she’s the cutest killer I’ve ever met” below.

“Hey, ya!” She heard. Quickly, she turned, back, her knife ready, and saw a lanky yellow filly approaching her.

“Ah, it’s ya,” Babs muttered, trying to recall the filly’s name. “Carnation. Already back from work? If ya wanted to attack me, ya screwed up. The element of surprise was your only chance.”

“Fuck off,” Carnation said in a monotone. “If ya ‘ave to know, Old Celly beat da crap outta me and then I sucked an old, smelly guy’s cock. All I wanna do is to go ‘ome, throw up, and catch some sleep before my dad smashes my ‘ead against da wall again…”

Babs approached Carnation and wrapped her hoof around her. Carnation froze and tried to back away, but Babs held her firmly. “Seems that we’re neighbours,” Babs said. “I don’t remember ya…”

“I’d moved in only recently,” Carnation said and sighed. “I’m da only one in da family who brings money ‘ome.”

Babs nodded. During the hardest times, she also was in such situation. But unlike Carnation, she had a loving family.

They trotted to one of the blocks together and went upstairs. When they reached Babs’ floor, she stopped. To her surprise, she saw that Carnation stopped too.

“So, where’s your flat?” Babs asked.

“It’s dis one,” Carnation replied, pointing at the nearby door. She sighed and wiped her eyes.

“No shit…” Babs muttered. “It’s my flat…”

Carnation scratched her head. It was greasy and Babs backpedalled, wondering if she caught lice when she’d hugged her. “I only moved ‘ere a few months ago…” she said in the same monotone as before.

“Shit… D’ya know somethin’ about the previous owners?” Babs asked. “Apple and Tangerine Seed. He has only three legs and she looks almost exactly like me…”

Before Carnation could reply, the door of the flat busted open. A yellow stallion with bloodshot eyes looked around the corridor, spreading the wave of alcohol smell around. Finally, his eyes rested on Carnation. “You!” he screamed. “What are ya doin’ ‘ere, cunt? C’mon! Get inside and gimme da money!” Not waiting for an answer, he punched Carnation. She fell on the floor, blood dripping from her nose. Before she could stand up, he kicked her in the stomach, causing her to throw up on the floor. He was just preparing another blow, when Babs caught his hoof.

“Who da fuck are ya?” he growled.

“Former owner of this house,” Babs deadpanned. “I don’t like what ya’re doin’ here.”

“Fuck off!” the stallion shouted. “Former owner, my ass…”

Two minutes later, the stallion was lying, groaning, at the lower floor. At least one of his bones was broken, but Babs didn’t care. He was bigger than her, but years of drinking turned him into a wreck. Defeating him wasn’t a reason to be proud.

“Are ya okay?” Babs asked, helping Carnation up.

“What da fuck ‘ave ya done…” Carnation cried. “He’s gonna kill me…”

Babs shook her head. She looked at the stallion. He was wounded, but definitely he was going to get better. Then, of course, he’d relieve frustration in the same way he’d always did – by mauling his daughter. “Ya have to run away,” Babs said. “D’ya have money?”

“Ten bits I made today.” Carnation blushed.

“Ten?” Babs rolled her eyes. “Fuck!” She reached to her pocket. Luckily, when she’d bought a knife, she’d been given some changed. She took fifty bits and gave them to Carnation, who grabbed them and hid them immediately. “Ya’d better find some other job,” she said. “I wouldn’t even let the guy look at me for ten bits…”

Carnation sobbed. “I know…” she muttered. “Dad always says I’m pathetic… And I killed mom…”

“Ya did?” Babs asked.

“Sh-she died when I was born…” Carnation said. They trotted downstairs and stopped next to the stallion, who moaned, holding his injured hoof.

Babs wasted no occasion to kick him in it. He screamed and started to mutter curses under his breath. “It’s not your fault,” Babs said to Carnation. “C’mon! Go to him and tell him that…”

Shuddering, Carnation approached her father. She looked at Babs unsurely, then turned back to him. “It’s not my fault dat mom died,” she said in a cold, emotionless tone. “Y-ya ‘ad n-no right t-to beat me…” Suddenly, before Babs could react, Carnation positioned herself above her father’s face. A sharp stench of urine filled the staircase. “Ya’ll never see me again…” she muttered.

“O-okay…” Babs’ jaw dropped. “Let’s go… We woke up all the neighbours… Someone will probably go and check what’s goin’ on soon…”

They left the block and stood on the pavement in some distance from it. Carnation was staggering slightly; a fire was burning in her eyes. “S-so, what’ll ‘appen to me now?” she asked.

“Dunno…” Babs muttered. “D’ya have any friends ya can go to?”

Carnation thought for a moment. “Y-yes,” she replied. “I ‘ave.”

“So, ya’re in a better situation than me,” Babs said. “I have no idea where my family lives now… Couldn’t they write to my cousins or what?”

“Well, I’ve ‘eard dey live with their daughter and ‘er ‘usband now,” Carnation said. “A large flat near Bridleway…”

“Well, it’s better than nothin’,” Babs said. “See ya, Carnation. Take care.”

“Take care… Umm… I ain’t get your name…”

“Babs,” Babs replied. “Babs Seed.”

“I didn’t kill anyone!” Diamond Tiara shouted.

“Are you sure?” Chocolate Donut asked, watching her room curiously. “Did you, umm… take your medicines?”

“Of course!” Diamond replied. “Listen, idiot, if I killed somepony, I’d remember that!” She shuddered, trying desperately not to cry. “It’s… It’s like riding a cart, but with somepony else pulling it. When I… I could see everything, but I couldn’t do anything about that…” She fell on her bed, sobbing.

“We’ll check everything…” Chocolate Donut said. “Your father and servants are agreeing that you were here in the morning…”

“Maybe because I was here in the morning?” Diamond Tiara deadpanned. “Am I arrested? Because if not, then I don’t want to be questioned like that. I didn’t kill anypony… recently. I’m mentally ill and I know about that… Why can’t you understand that?”

“We’re just checking every possibility,” the guard said.

“And one of those possibilities just happened to be me?” Diamond Tiara sighed.

“We had to check that,” Chocolate Donut said. “We’ll inform you about our proceedings. Until then, don’t leave the town.”

Just after he left the room, Scootaloo entered it. “So, how was it?”

“Bad,” Diamond Tiara muttered, sinking her face in the pillow. “Once it all ends I’m leaving Ponyville…”

“W-what?” Scootaloo asked. “Why?”

“You see how it looks like,” Diamond Tiara said, sitting on her bed. “No matter what I do, everyone who looks at me sees only a murderer.”

“I don’t,” Scootaloo replied, straightening her wings. “Sweetie, Babs… Even Apple Bloom. We understand that you weren’t yourself…”

Diamond Tiara sighed. “And those who don’t see me as a murderer, constantly remind me how weak I am! For you, I’m either a killer, or a sick pony! Y-you speak to me as if I had cancer… No bad news... I live in a glass bubble filled with compassion…”

“Chill out, Diamond…” Scootaloo said. “It’s just because of Donut… Rethink it when you’re calmer. Everything will be okay…”

“’Everything will be okay’?!” Diamond Tiara shouted. “You’re doing this again!” She lowered her voice. “It’s not my town anymore… I… I want to go somewhere else… Start everything from scratch…”

Scootaloo nodded. “Well, you’ve spent so much time locked in the hospital that…”

“I fucking know about that! I was there!” Diamond Tiara exclaimed and groaned, pulling her blanket over her head. “If you have nothing more to tell me but obvious things, get out. I want to be alone.”

Scootaloo opened her mouth to say something, but then her wings drooped. She was thinking for a moment, then she trotted out of the room and closed the door.

“I told you to kill her when we had a chance,” Curtain Call said. She was sitting on the windowsill and watching Scootaloo leaving the mansion. “Now she can fly… It’ll be hard.”

“I’m not killing anyone…” Diamond Tiara muttered into her pillow.

It was almost 9 PM when Sunflower finally appeared. For a lack of a better idea, Babs was walking around Bridleway, looking for any sight of her parents or sister. When she saw Sunflower, going home with saddlebags full of groceries, she ran to her immediately.

“Sunflower!” she exclaimed. “There ya are!”

Sunflower stopped in the middle of the pavement and looked at Babs with her eyes half-closed. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

“They released me…” Babs replied. “I wanted to see mom and dad… I’d be here earlier, but it wasn’t easy to find ya. Ya could’ve sent your new address to Applejack…”

Sunflower sighed. “Listen Babs… Do you know why we didn’t?”

“Why?” Babs asked. For a moment, she remembered the dream about drowning she had on the train.

“Can you imagine how much you hurt mom and dad?” Sunflower asked, her voice shivering slightly. “They couldn’t stand the neighbours… Someone said that you killed somepony…”

“What? They never proved that…” Babs replied, trying to hold back tears.

“See? Not ‘I didn’t do that.’ ‘They never proved that’… What the hell have you done, Babs?” Sunflower asked.

“B-but I changed…” Babs said. “I’m not gonna do that again… I’ll go and apologise to ‘em… They’re my parents, they’ll give me the second chance…”

“No, Babs,” Sunflower said coldly. “You’ve had a second chance, a third chance, hell, even a fourth chance… Do you know that I’ve never told my husband that I have a sister?”

“So, that’s what it’s about?” Babs asked, approaching her sister. “I knew it… Ya’re afraid that a sister like me would ruin your oh-so-perfect reputation?! I’d like to remind ya that ya taught me to steal in shops!”

“Not so loud, Babs…” Sunflower said. “Unlike some other places in this town, ponies here call the guards when they hear noises…”

“Fuck off…” Babs muttered. “Fuck all of ya!” She turned back. “If ya want to find me, I’ll be in Ponyville. With my real family…”

She galloped away, hoping that no one would see her tears.

Babs sat on the bench at the railway station and looked at the clock. It was still two hours to the first train to Ponyville. She felt a bit dizzy – after she’d left her sister, she wanted at first to get drunk and collapse somewhere, but then she remembered that she’d have to get on the train. After a short pondering, she went to one of the few shops opened at night and bought three packs of cigarettes. Then she went to the park and smoked them in two hours.

Few minutes after she finished the last one, two bat ponies saw her throwing up bile under some tree. She drank cherry wine from a plastic cup with them and, slightly tipsy, started to wander aimlessly through the streets. She could hardly recall what happened later. She remembered beating the crap out of some punk who tried to mug her. The feeling was almost therapeutic. Then, if she recalled correctly, she drew a couple of dicks on the walls in various places in the town, peed into the fountain, broke a street lamp with a stone… Each of those acts was like a punch to the face of the town that created her, fed her, and when it saw how she changed, rejected her.

Babs sighed. She thought about two kids whose future she wanted to change that day. Vinnie, Nightcap’s daughter. A mule among the ponies. What’d happen to her? Babs had no doubts that Nightcap wouldn’t let her grow up to be like any of them.

There was also Carnation. Babs had no hopes about her father. She had to shape her future herself. What would she do with the fifty bits Babs had given to her? Would she start a new life, without ponies beating her or using her teenage body to satisfy their needs?

“Help!” somepony next to Babs shouted.

She raised her head, trying to shake off grogginess. “What’s up?” she asked.

“Some whore OD’d in the toilet!” the blue stallion with glasses replied.

Bad feelings overwhelmed Babs. She stood up; her moves were slow, as if she was trying to walk underwater. She followed the stallion. Some other ponies, passengers and the workers of the station walked with them.

The door to one of the stalls were opened wide after the pony inside collapsed on them. The floor was covered in stale vomit. An empty syringe was lying below the sink. The filly was lying on her back, her eyes staring at the ceiling.

Babs approached her, shuddering. The smell was almost unbearable; most of the ponies didn’t enter the toilet, too afraid of getting their hooves dirty. Babs started to wonder how many of them ever spent a night with a prostitute. She sat on the floor next to the body and touched it. It was already cold and began to stiffen. Babs watched it, recognising the yellow fur, blank flanks, stains of blood on the nose, and missing front teeth. She stood up, knowing well that the crowd was watching her. She stared again at the syringe under the sink, then back at Carnation’s body.

“Fuck!” she shouted, hitting the door of the nearby stall. The old plywood gave up immediately, splinters piercing her hoof, but Babs didn’t care. She kicked the door, breaking it in two.


Author's Note:

Trivia: at first Carnation was supposed to appear only in the first scene of this chapter, but then an idea of that subplot appeared in my mind.