• Published 13th May 2012
  • 5,787 Views, 82 Comments

Short Cakes - Cloud Wander

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Morning

POUND

He crept silently across the ceiling, as was his habit.

MOM, DAD and the THING never walked on the ceiling, for some reason. It was puzzling. He had thought, at first, that no one used the ceiling because they didn’t have flappers. Flappers, he understood, were key.

Yet, PINKIE walked on the ceiling sometimes, usually when chasing after him. PINKIE didn’t have flappers, but there she was.

Whew! The world was confusing! Here he was, six months old, and there was still more to learn.

The great thing about the ceiling was that there were no obstacles, like furniture or other ponies, to block his path. Doorways were a little awkward, almost as if they weren’t designed for somepony walking on the ceiling. Weird.

Okay, he had climbed down to the ground floor and crept to the end of the hallway. He looked down. The Front Door. Yes!

The Front Door was an amazing thing. It separated the Inside from the Outside. Inside, everything was simple and easy to understand. There was MOM, DAD, the THING THAT EATS and PINKIE. His blocks, his bed, his cup, his chair. And, of course, obstacles, like walls and furniture, whose purpose he didn’t comprehend.

(His younger self had thought that the Inside was the World. He chuckled at himself, then one month old, that was astounded by shelves of bread and racks of muffins. Ha ha! I was so naive, then. Although, even today, glass made him laugh. And he still couldn’t figure out the deal with mirrors. Who is that handsome guy?)

Outside! Well, everything was Outside! He had been stunned by the realization. Why, it was like there was an entire universe beyond the Front Door! The big, blue ceiling, so far away that he couldn’t touch it. Other places, strange and mysterious, that had their own Insides! And ponies! Ponies that were not MOM and DAD and PINKIE! Wow! So much to see and learn!

Gotta get out there! he thought, excited.

Ha ha! He had learned the trick of the Front Door! Pushing the door didn’t work. No! But there was this thing that poked out of the door. If you pulled on it, it would turn. Then you could open the Front Door! And, beyond the Front Door, the universe!

He walked down the wall to the Front Door. After a moment of consideration, he pulled on the door handle. The Front Door opened a crack.

Success! The universe lay beyond. Outside!

He crept up to the doorway. Outside, it was dark and chilly. Night! So many mysteries to discover! Let’s go!

He paused at the threshold. Would the THING be okay? he asked himself.

The THING THAT EATS was his curse. She was always there. She bit everything in reach, as if hoping to devour the world. She was noisy. She demanded attention. She was smelly. She was irritating. Oh, how he…

Loved her.

He felt a pain in his chest when he was away from her. Stupid THING! Why do you make my chest hurt?

He looked at the Front Door and cried a little. No. No, I can’t go. I can’t go without her. Stupid THING!

He closed the Front Door. He turned his back on the universe.

He crept soundlessly back upstairs, up the wall and down the hall to the room he shared with the THING.

He looked down. The THING was sleeping, of course. She was good at that, at least.

He fluttered down to their bed. He snuck under the blanket, careful not to wake the THING.

The THING sighed in her sleep and pressed against him.

Stupid THING! Stupid, smelly, annoying…

Precious sister.

He slept.

***

PUMPKIN

She awoke, stretched and considered her situation.

Her beloved brother, Pound, was sleeping at her side. He was so funny. As he slept, a little bubble hung from his mouth, growing and shrinking with each breath.

Little Wing! she thought fondly. I followed you into the world. She rubbed his brown mane. TBBFF. Twin brother, best friends forever.

She was troubled by their differences. He had flappers; she did not. She had this pointy thing on her head; he did not. Mom and Dad didn’t have flappers or pointy things. This was worrisome!

And yet she felt confident that everything was okay. I have Mom and Dad and Little Wing. And Miss Pie! Ha ha ha, oh! Miss Pie! I love them and they love me! Hooray for the world! Woohoo!

She looked around in the slowly gathering light and decided that she needed to bite something.

She considered her options. Blankie was, of course, right there; her favorite frayed corner was close. Chewy. Soft. A little dry, but familiar.

She looked across the room to her toys. Munchy Monkey, Chewie Chickie, Tasty Turtle and Yummyfly smiled back at her. Good morning! they seemed to say. Bite me!

She thought deeply and decided, no! Today is a precious day! And for today, I will settle for nothing less than Rubber Pullet!

But, where is she? Rubber Pullet was not with her other toys. On the floor? No. In the Closet, maybe? Alone? Oh, how sad! I will rescue you, dear Rubber Pullet!

She wiggled carefully out of bed. Don’t wake Pound! He pouts when he doesn’t sleep enough. TBBFF.

Out of the crib, up and over. Drop, onto the floor. Oh! Cold! But I am on a mission. I will brave every peril of the bedroom to save you, Rubber Pullet! Have faith! I’m on my way!

She scooted across the chilly bedroom floor to confront the Closet Door.

The Closet. She understood that the Closet was a Bad Place. Mom and Dad and even Miss Pinkie had told her, “No no no! Don’t go into the Closet, Pumpkin!” The Closet, she knew, was the repository of every wicked thing. Monsters dwell in the Closet. Imagine that! The gateway to Tartarus is in my room! It was an awesome responsibility.

Still. For Rubber Pullet, I will be brave.

The Closet Door rose ominously before her. I am ancient and powerful, stern and resolute, it seemed to say. Do not challenge my might!

She squared her shoulders and looked intently at the Closet Door.

Open! she commanded.

The Closet Door ignored her.

Things can be obstinate, she had found. A body at rest tends to remain at rest.

Still: a body at rest had better get moving, unless it wants its bottom spanked!

She looked at the Closet Door again. Open! she insisted. Now, light sprang from her pointy thing. Convenient! she thought. Now I can see more clearly… as the Closet Door opens!

The Closet Door reluctantly rumbled aside to disclose the Rubber Pullet, laying alone and forlorn on the floor, in the shadowy interior of the Closet.

She ran forward. Oh, my dear friend! she thought. I have rescued you! Then she sank her baby teeth into its soft, yielding flesh.

“Squeek!” exclaimed Rubber Pullet, happily.

All is well, Pumpkin thought, gathering her friend to her and biting down.

“Squeek!”

***

CARROT

Should I have married her? he wondered.

In the small hours of early morning, he looked upon his wife and marveled.

She could have had anypony in Ponyville. But she chose me. Why?

Delicately, hesitantly, he touched her mane. She was always so fussy about her mane during the day. But at night, in bed, she always let it down. Shades of crimson, flowing like silk. Her sapphire body, always warm.

Wife.

Back in the day, back in school, she had always been the queen. All the guys and girls loved her. Class president. Miss School Spirit. The girl most popular. “Have you seen what Cup is wearing today? Hay! Let’s wear that!”

And who was he? A baker. The skinny, awkward son of a baker. Nothing special.

And yet, a decade ago, she had looked up at him and said, eagerly, “Yes. For you. Only for you. Yes.”

Wife. And the mother of the children we have made.

The Sun crept into their bedroom. Time, he realized, sadly, would not stand still. There would never be enough time. I have only this moment, and it must be enough.

Cup stirred. “Oh, hay,” she said, her voice smudged by sleep. She smiled at him. “Good morning, dear heart.”

“Good morning,” he said, somberly. He wanted to say more, to reveal his heart. But the stupid words wouldn’t come. If only I could tell you how I feel, if only I weren’t a simple, stupid pony.

Wherever you are, there is Paradise, he thought.

“I understand, dearie,” said Cup, nuzzling against him. “Don’t worry. Everything’s okay.”

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