• Published 28th Apr 2015
  • 2,952 Views, 80 Comments

Love and Other Bandages - Cold in Gardez

What is the best medicine? How do we respond when life challenges us? Six variations on a theme.

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If You Can't Cry...

“I think, deep down, we all knew that baking muffins with Mentos and Coca-Cola was a mistake. But just because something seemed dangerous, or foolhardy, was never enough to stop Pinkie Pie. Even when we all warned her, and got that certified letter from the International Association of Pony Chemists, and a court order prohibiting her from experimenting with unstable forms of pastries, we knew that she could never stop. It was why we loved her. And feared her, but mostly loved her.”

Twilight Sparkle paused in her eulogy to clear her throat. They had all wept enough over the past few days, and today was supposed to be about remembering their friend. She took a deep breath and straightened her notecards.

“There is a hole in all our hearts, now. A Pinkie Pie-shaped hole. But friends, recall who she was and what she represented – she would not want us to mourn her passing. She would want us to remember her life, and laugh at the joy she gave us. That is the best way to celebrate our friend.”

A faint smattering of applause accompanied Twilight Sparkle as she returned to her seat. Rarity gave her a smile and a gentle nuzzle, and together they turned back to the podium, where Mayor Mare was preparing to speak.

It was a beautiful day for a memorial service, Twilight thought. Of course, the town’s pegasi had made sure the sun was shining and a warm southern breeze tickled their coats. The entire town had turned out to bid Pinkie Pie farewell, and it warmed Twilight’s heart to see such an outpouring of love for her friend.

“Good afternoon, friends,” Mayor Mare began. As she spoke, she opened a small envelope and pulled out a single folded page. “And thank you Twilight Sparkle for that moving testimonial. Before we close today, I have a letter written by Pinkie Pie that she asked to be read in the event she did not survive her injuries.”

A wave of murmurs flowed through the crowd. Ponies leaned forward, their ears perked up. Even Twilight Sparkle was not immune, though she knew of the letter’s existence while planning the ceremony.

Mayor Mare unfolded the letter and cleared her throat. “Hello everypony. Thank you all for coming to my funeral. I promise this letter will be short and to the point.”

Faint laughter echoed from the crowd, and Mayor Mare smiled before continuing. “By now, some of you may have noticed that… uh…” She paused, her eyes scanning across the letter. “Er, some of you may have noticed that a fast-acting glue was applied to your seats. Pause to let this sink in.”

There was, indeed, a pause. There was also a louder wave of grumbles as ponies attempted to stand, and either failed to do so, or simply brought the seats with them.

“Huh.” Mayor Mare blinked a few times. “Ponies, please calm down. This is just a final prank, I’m sure. Now, ah… Okay. Pause to let this sink in… Aha. I’m sorry for any discomfort this may cause, the glue will dissolve with acetone or hoof polish remover. Many of you may also be wondering why I requested the memorial service to be held right next to the Lotus Luxury Spa. Pause again.”

As one, the crowd turned to the adjacent spa, then back to the lectern. Mayor Mare frowned at the letter, but continued.

“Finally, some of you may be wondering where Rainbow Dash is. If you look behind you, you’ll see she is on top of the spa.”

Ponies turned, and indeed, there was Rainbow Dash, standing next to the huge water cisterns atop the spa. She waved, and a few ponies waved back.

“And, uh…” The mayor frowned. “Last night, Rainbow Dash added several hundred gallons of pink dye to those water towers. When the mayor finishes reading this letter, she will…”

The memorial service mostly ended at that point, as several ponies attempted to escape with chairs still glued to their butts. Few made it very far, and in any case, the tipped-over cisterns held more than enough dyed water to wash down the street, flooding everything in sight and painting the town, the road, the buildings, and of course the ponies themselves a shocking, fluorescent pink.

Rarity began screaming.

Applejack began laughing.

Certainly, nopony was crying.

And that was probably the point.