• Published 1st Oct 2014
  • 3,629 Views, 435 Comments

Story Shuffle - FanOfMostEverything

Thirty-one one-shots inspired by thirty-one random Magic cards.

  • ...

Tutti Frutti

Sugar Smith glared at her opponent, a frustrating, stubborn little nightmare of headache and heartache.

The zap apple didn't look back, but she wouldn't have been surprised if it had. It was clear that the Everfree was where sanity went to die. Well, it was where a lot of things went to die, but sanity was one of the first casualties.

When she'd found the zap apples, they had been literal life-savers. But fresh fruit only lasted so long, even for earth ponies. Her first attempt at jam had not turned out at all well. Really, it had been downright cruel to the pectin.

Sugar wasn't going to let that stand. She was Sugar Smith. She didn't bake. She wrought. Her oven was her forge. If she earned her mark and name after putting grass, molasses, and one lonely apple in pie crust and making the tastiest thing her family had eaten that week, then she wasn't going to admit defeat now.

Still, conventional methods weren't working. That meant she'd need to use unconventional ones. Sugar took the zap apple in her hooves and shut her eyes. "Alright, you glorified crabapple. We ain't gonna plant more o' ya if yer more trouble'n yer worth. So what do Ah gotta do t' make you as delicious as Ah know y' can be?"

The fruit didn't answer with words, of course. (It was an apple. What did it know from Equish?) Instead, Sugar's mind filled with jumbled images.

She was silent for several minutes as she sorted them out. Finally, she said, "Alright, let's see if Ah got this straight: there ain't no way Mama's gonna let me paint th' kitchen, an' Ah got no idea where t' find some screwy rabbit costume, but bein' nice to bees Ah can do. That seems like common sense, really. What else y' got?"

The answer entered Sugar's mind, and a smile spread over face like jam on toast. "Oh, that won't be no problem at all."

There were days when Cody Lead-On still wasn't sure about settling down. His family had been gathering seeds for generations. But Dinah had insisted, and he'd learned that it didn't pay to argue with his wife in those rare moments when she put her hoof down. The Princess Herself agreeing with her only underscored that.

Still, sometimes it felt wrong to be in the same place for so long. He worried about what it was doing to his children. It didn't seem right to coop up the young when they could call all of Equestria home.

The commotion in the kitchen was only confirming this. Sugar Smith had just about claimed it as her second home, but that wasn't what worried him. As she grew into her talent, that sort of thing was to be expected. No, what worried Cody was that she was wearing a saucepan and pacing in front of a table full of jars.

"Alright, ya sons o' windows," she barked, "Ah may not know why Ah'm s'possed t' do this, but yer all gonna listen, and yer gonna listen good. Ah have been negotiatin' with th' zap apples, an' they expect only th' best an' brightest when it comes t' jam jars. Ah don't aim t' disappoint 'em, an' you ain't gonna embarrass me. Do Ah make mahself clear!?" She stomped her hoof.

There was a high-pitched tinkle.

"Well, well, well. Looks like there's somethin' t' this after all. We got one poor, delicate lily here who can't handle the pressure. Who else ain't got the guts?"


"That's what Ah wanna hear. But if yer all just butterin' me up, yer gonna wish y' cracked here an' now."

Cody shook his head and moved away from the kitchen as quietly as his hooves let him. It seemed crazy, but jars didn't break for no reason. He just hoped his daughter didn't crack as well. He'd keep an eye on her, but for now, she didn't seem to be doing too much harm. Still, they'd need to have a talk about how expensive good glass was.

Sugar tried to gauge her parents' reaction at once, her gaze never lingering on one of them for very long. This batch of jam hadn't ended in screams and lightning, which was always a good sign. Still, that wasn't a guarantee of success, and now the seconds stretched into eternity.

Her ma spoke up first. "Cody, what was the name o' that stallion who put on more airs than a pegasus at the Grand Gallopin' Gala?"

Her pa frowned. "Dinah…"

"Now Ah remember." Dinah Cott smiled at her daughter. "Tomorrow, Ah'm goin' to that Stinkin' Rich, and Ah'm tellin him that mah Sugar Smith has somethin' that'll make him a mint.

Sugar gasped. "Y' mean it?"

Her mother nodded. "Oh, most definitely." She grinned. "Now hide what y' got, else yer brothers'll eat th' whole batch."

Sugar practically trotted on air as she did so, already thinking of how good the jam could be with every step taken. She couldn't wait to find out.

Author's Note:

Rainbow apples sound like mana of every color to me.

Every generation has adventures. Some of them are more mundane than purifying or petrifying mad gods, but they can still be significant achievements. Granny Smith's had a long life. There's a lot of stories to tell there. And yes, I had tremendous fun with the seed puns in the parents' names.

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