• Published 20th Nov 2015
  • 5,436 Views, 53 Comments

Tears and Tootsie Rolls - Dubs Rewatcher


When Sunset discovers that Twilight has never gone trick-or-treating, Sunset decides that she needs to prove how absolutely amazing Nightmare Night can be—even if she has to drag Twilight along kicking and screaming.

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Tears and Tootsie Rolls

“Sexy fire hydrant,” Sunset read from the catalog in front of her. She turned the page and cringed. “Sexy shotgun, sexy bubonic plague—who the heck buys this stuff?”

“Rarity,” Pinkie and Rainbow said in unison, looking up from the blueprints spread out across the table. Pinkie grinned and added, “She’s going as a sexy ketchup bottle this year!”

Sunset Shimmer rolled her eyes and leaned back in her seat. Sipping at her milkshake, she gazed out at Sugarcube Corner—or, as the sign outside now said, Horrorcube Corner. Black plastic bats hung on long wires from the ceiling, glaring down at the customers with big, googly eyes. Orange streamers and pumpkin-shaped stickers covered the walls. An electronic skeleton stood near the entrance, bursting into some mix between a dance and seizure whenever the door opened.

“I think I’ll pass on the sexy costumes,” Sunset said. She took one last glance at the catalog, saw an ad for a “sexy bookshelf” costume, and slammed it shut.

“Do you have Nightmare Night costumes in Equestria?” Pinkie asked.

“I bet they don’t even have Nightmare Night,” Rainbow said, grinning. “I bet they have, like... Horse... Horsemare Night. Yeah.”

“Real clever,” Sunset said, leaning over and whacking Rainbow playfully on the shoulder. “Yeah, we have costumes. Nightmare Night in Equestria is pretty much the same as it is here. The only difference is that foals only eat about half the candy they collect, and offer the rest as tribute so a mad goddess won’t rip their hooves off and eat them.”

Pinkie and Rainbow stared.

Sunset shrugged. “Them’s the breaks.”

“Uh-huh,” Rainbow said. She shook her head. “You horses are freakin’ weird.”

“Ponies, Dash.” Sunset smiled and gazed off into space. “I always loved Nightmare Night as a foal. You got to dress up, eat free candy, hang out with your friends—well, I never really did much of the last thing, but you get it. Nightmare Night was awesome.”

“It is awesome,” Rainbow said as she scribbled something into a notebook. “Especially this year. I finally convinced Pinks here to help me set up a haunted house!”

Sunset stiffened. “…Haunted house?”

“Yep!” Pinkie chirped. She pulled Sunset out of her chair and dragged her to the other side of the table, across which a massive blueprint had been spread. “Mr. and Mrs. Cake said that me and Rainbow could use Sugarcube Corner to make our own haunted house tonight! We’ve been planning for weeks, and it’s gonna be super awesome!”

“Yeah it is,” Rainbow said, fist bumping with Pinkie.

Sunset stared at the blueprint with wide eyes. It was covered in pictures, each one more horrifying than the last. Mangy, feral animals scurried along the floors. Dead bodies hung from the air vents. Bloody axes sliced through the flesh of screaming victims. A big-budget horror film came to life on the page in front of Sunset, and it sent chills spidering down her back.

“That’s—” Sunset began. She gulped. “That sure is awesome.”

“You should totally stop by!” Pinkie said, sketching in another splotch of blood. “It’ll be—”

“No!” Sunset yelped, jumping away. Her shriek echoed through the restaurant and drew everyone’s eyes. Face going hot, she fell back into her seat and took a long gulp of her milkshake. “I mean, um, no. I’ll pass.”

“Why?” Rainbow smirked. “Scared?”

“No, no! I’m not scared,” Sunset said, shaking her head. “It’s just… I went to a haunted house once, when I was a filly—a kid, I mean. And there were, y’know, ponies dressed up as zombies, and this one colt running around with a knife, and all these little fillies crying”—her face went pale—“and they never told you about the axe, so when he came out there was all this yelling, and all this running, and I couldn’t find my mom, and then there was the music, and the blood, and—”

“Uh, Sunset?” Pinkie asked. “Are you okay?”

Sunset jolted out of her stupor to find that she had crushed her milkshake, and ice cream was spilling out over her hands. With shaking fingers she grabbed a few napkins and cleaned herself up. “Sorry,” she said.

“You sound pretty scared to me,” Rainbow said.

“I’m not scared of haunted houses!” Sunset said. She looked away. “I just don’t like them. They’re not fun.”

“Not fun? Haunted houses are, like, the most fun,” Rainbow said. She shook her head and went back to drawing another zombie. “Whatever. You better come to this one, though. It’s gonna be freakin’ amazing.”

Sunset slumped in her seat. “We’ll see.”

The three girls all looked up at the sound of the skeleton in the doorway having another seizure. Sunset smiled and waved as Twilight Sparkle walked in. Twilight threw a hesitant glance around the restaurant, but when she saw Sunset, she grinned and scurried over.

“Hello, girls!” Twilight said, taking a seat. She pulled out a cloth and set to work polishing her steamed-up glasses. “Sorry I’m late. Ever since Spike started talking, he’s been obsessed with stand-up comedy, and now all he wants to do is practice his act on me. What’s going on?”

“Just making plans,” Rainbow said. “What about you? What are you doing tonight? You’re coming to our haunted house, right?”

“A haunted house? I’m not sure; I’ve never really been one for Nightmare Night festivities,” Twilight said. She closed her eyes and smiled. “I was planning on just going home, getting into bed, and curling up with a nice book. Teachers never assign homework on Nightmare Night, so I like to just relax.”

“Really?” Pinkie asked, frowning. “That’s it? No parties? No costumes? No trick-or-treating?”

Twilight scoffed. “Yeah, no. I’ve never even been trick-or-treating.”

Rainbow and Pinkie both gasped, while Sunset nearly spat out her milkshake. Pinkie trembled. “You—You’ve never been—What?!”

“I’ve never been trick-or-treating,” Twilight said, her voice a bit smaller now. She shrugged. “I don’t know. Again, I like to relax on Nightmare Night. I’ve never found the idea of going door to door begging for candy very fun. And isn’t fun what Nightmare Night’s supposed to be all about?”

“But trick-or-treating is fun! Dressing up and getting free candy is the funnest thing in the entire universe!” Pinkie screamed. She leaped across the table and grabbed Twilight by her shirt collar. “This is unacceptable! You need to go trick-or-treating! You need to! Your life depends on it! My life depends on it!”

Sunset yanked Pinkie back into her seat. “Calm down, Pinks. You’re gonna give her an asthma attack.” As Twilight blushed and stowed away her inhaler, Sunset turned back to her and said, “But Pinkie does have a point. It’s Nightmare Night! It’s probably the best holiday of the year. And everyone should go trick-or-treating at least once. I mean, it’s not like there’s anything wrong with getting free candy, right?”

Twilight sighed. “I suppose not. But still, I already picked out a book and everything!” She smiled and stared off into space. “The new edition of Haycart’s Advanced Mathematics came out yesterday. It’s got an updated section on differential equations and everything!”

The other three exchanged a glance. “Yeah,” Sunset said, “you’re going trick-or-treating.”

“I’d love to take you,” Pinkie said, “but I’m gonna be kinda busy with the haunted house. But I know all the best places to get candy! I even made a map!”

“I can take her,” Sunset said. “I was just gonna spend the night giving out candy to the kids in my apartment building anyway. Might as well score some sweets for myself, right? It’ll be like old times. I’ll just leave out one of those bowls—y’know, the ones that say ‘take one piece of candy’ but everyone takes like twenty anyway?

Rainbow and Pinkie nodded, wide grins stretched across their faces.

Twilight frowned. “That seems dishonest.”

Sunset laughed and nodded. “Yeah… anyway, I’m gonna take you trick-or-treating, and that’s final.” She stood up and grabbed her bag. “All the best houses are on Cherry Hill, so we’ll start there. Meet me at the bottom of the hill at sundown. Bring a candy bucket.” She clapped Twilight on the back and walked away. “Oh, and remember to wear your costume!”

Massaging her back, Twilight watched Sunset go with a grimace. “A costume? I never agreed to that!”

“Well, you better agree!” Sunset called from the door. She winked at Twilight. “I’m gonna make sure this Nightmare Night is the greatest night of your life!”


The sun had just dipped below the horizon when Sunset parked her motorcycle and headed for Cherry Hill. In her pocket rested the map Pinkie had made of the best houses in town to get candy from.

For a costume, all she wore was a small pair of cat ears, which rested comfortably on top of her head. It had been all she could scrounge up in the few hours between leaving Sugarcube Corner and arriving here, and she couldn’t help but feel bad about ordering Twilight to find a costume of her own.

But as she rounded a corner and the bottom of the hill came into sight, her worries faded.

Twilight stood in the middle of the street, back hunched forward and limbs held tight, as if she were trying to hide. Her hair fell around her shoulders in long, elegant braids. Her sparkling pink gown floated on the wind and seemed to glimmer in the late afternoon light. Shining diamonds hung from her ears, and bejeweled rings covered her fingers. When a strong breeze passed, Sunset barely caught a glimpse of the weathered sneakers on Twilight’s feet, but even that couldn’t break the illusion of her being royalty. She clutched an empty candy bucket close to her chest.

“Whoa there, Your Highness!” Sunset called, sauntering up to her friend. She looked Twilight up and down, then whistled. “You do know that we’re going trick-or-treating and not on a date, right?”

Twilight rolled her eyes, but stood up straighter. “Very funny. You told me to come in costume, so I did. Do you like it?”

“It’s great, yeah—but what are you supposed to be? You don’t seem like the kind of girl to settle for a plain old ‘princess’ outfit.”

A light glittered in Twilight’s eyes. Turning up her nose, in a deep Trottingham accent she said, “You may mock me, my dearest Priax, but know now that you shall never be anything more than a mere monkey!”

Sunset blinked.

Twilight scowled. “I’m Queen Leipras, Sixth Monarch of the Highborn Council! Have you never watched the Ogres and Oubliettes television series?”

Sunset stared for a moment more before sighing and running a hand down her face. “Well, at least it’s not a sexy ketchup bottle.”

“Excuse me?”

“Nevermind.” Sunset pulled the map out of her pocket and unfurled it. Sidling up to Twilight, she pointed at a crude drawing of the street they were on. “Check this out. Pinkie’s marked off every house in the neighborhood and given them all a star rating. According to her, we should only go to the ones marked three stars or higher.”

“What?” Twilight asked, leaning over the map and adjusting her glasses. “That doesn’t make sense. We have no time limit, do we? Why wouldn’t we stop at every house?”

“I dunno,” Sunset said. She closed the map. “But Pinkie is the Nightmare Night expert, so I trust her.”

Twilight pursed her lips. “Very well. I suppose fewer houses means less time spent away from my books.”

“Aw, forget about the books for once! This is gonna be so much more fun.” Sunset grabbed Twilight’s arm and pulled her out of the street, toward a line of houses.

Twilight gazed upon the scene with furrowed brows. Flashing lights and intricate decorations covered every house, and they only seemed to grow more extravagant as she looked down the block. Children in colorful costumes swarmed underfoot, screaming and shouting as if it were the end of the world. There didn’t seem to be a parent in sight.

“This can’t possibly be safe,” Twilight muttered as she watched a car screech to a halt in front of a young werewolf. “No wonder they call it the Day of the Dead.”

“Here we go,” Sunset said as they approached the first house. Tall tombstones and bloody blades had been stuck into the ground, and a ghost glared at them from a nearby tree. “This place has three stars. Not perfect, but it’s a start. Are you ready?”

“Maybe?” Twilight rubbed the back of her head. “What am I supposed to do?”

“Seriously? Just go up, ring the bell, and when the lady or whoever comes out, say ‘trick-or-treat.’ She’ll give you your candy, and then you can leave.”

Twilight nodded, but gulped. “Are you sure? I mean, my mother always warned me about not talking to strangers…”

“There are no strangers on Nightmare Night, Twi.” Sunset weaved behind Twilight and pushed her forward, up the walkway to the house. “And besides, I’ll be here the whole time. You can do this!”

Standing on the porch, Twilight spent a moment wringing her fingers. She shot one last look back at Sunset—who gave her a thumbs up—then rang the doorbell.

A few scant seconds passed before the door swung open and a woman dressed in a simple witch costume stepped out, holding a bowl of candy. “Why, hello—”

“Trick-or-treat!” Twilight yipped, cutting the woman off. She gasped. “Oh my, I didn’t mean to interrupt you, madam—ma’am! Ma’am, not madam! I’m sorry, so sorry, I never meant to imply you were the proprietor of a whorehouse, ma’am!” Her knees knocked together. “Or maybe miss? Linguists still debate over which term is most proper. In fact, just last week I read that the word ma’am is obsolete! I don’t want to be obsolete, or rude, madam—ma’am—miss.”

A moment passed.

Twilight sprinted away.

“Twi!” Sunset yelped. She swore under her breath and turned back to the woman. “Sorry about that, madam—ma’am—whatever! Sorry!” She hopped off of the porch and ran after her friend, leaving the woman to stew in her confusion.

Twilight made it halfway up the block before she ran out of breath and doubled over, her toothpick arms shaking so hard she could barely extract her inhaler from the candy bucket. “Well,” she coughed out as Sunset approached. She took a long puff. “That didn’t go very well.”

“You think?” Sunset wrapped an arm around Twilight and pulled her close. “C’mon, Twi. You’ve never gonna have any fun if you keep freaking out about everything! You’re with a friend, you’re wearing a cool costume, and there’s candy everywhere. You’ve got nothing to worry about. Just relax, and take the next house a bit slower. Okay?”

“Slower.” Twilight stowed her inhaler. “Right.”

Sunset offered Twilight a smile, then put a hand on her shoulder and guided her toward another house. “Calm down,” Sunset said as she hit the doorbell. She stepped back to let Twilight stand alone. “It’ll be fine.” Twilight took a deep breath and held it until the door opened.

Once again the door opened, and a man dressed in plainclothes stepped out, grinning and holding a massive candy bowl. His smile disappeared, however, as he scanned Twilight’s shaking form. “Hey,” he said, raising an eyebrow.

“Trick-or-treat!” Twilight stammered, holding out her bucket.

The man didn’t move. “Aren’t you a bit old to be trick-or-treating?”

Twilight jolted up straight. “Uh…”

“She’s got a disease!” Sunset said, stepping next to Twilight. She puffed out her lip and put on her best puppy dog eyes. “My daughter suffers from a horrible, horrible disease. It makes her look seventeen when really, she’s only six years old!”

The man gasped. “That’s awful!”

“I know,” Sunset said, nodding solemnly. “And the worst part is that there is no cure. This might be her last Nightmare Night.”

Twilight frowned. “Sunset, what in the world are you—ach!” Twilight jumped and rubbed at the spot on her leg where Sunset had kicked her.

Sunset clasped her hands together. “Please, sir. Let my daughter’s last Nightmare Night be her best.”

“Of course.” With a wistful smile, the man turned to Twilight and held out the bowl of candy. “Please, take as much as you’d like.”

Sunset grinned and stepped back, seemingly oblivious to Twilight’s sharp glare. Raising a brow, Twilight looked into the bowl of candy. With a hand, she sifted through its contents—but there only seemed to be one kind of candy: a small, golden-wrapped rectangle that read ‘Peanut Crisp’ along the side. Twilight dug to the bottom, ran her hands along the length of the bowl, but couldn’t find anything else.

She bit her lip and looked up at the man. “Uhm, I don’t suppose you have anything without peanut butter, do you? I’m allergic.”

Sunset face-palmed.

The man looked taken aback. “Well, I think I also put a few licorice candies in there…”

“I don’t think I can have licorice, either.” Twilight rubbed her arm. “My doctor said I’m not supposed to have gluten.”

“That’s… that’s too bad,” the man said, laying out the words carefully. He took the bowl back. “Well, those are the only two candies I have.”

“Oh.”

A pause. Sunset flicked her eyes between them.

“I think I might have some fruit,” the man said. He scratched his head. “I mean, I know it’s not exactly chocolate or anything like that, but—”

“Fruit would be wonderful!” Twilight said, her eyes lighting up for the first time that night. “I’d love that!”

The man smiled and dipped back into his house. When he returned a minute later, he held a bright red apple, which Twilight took and dropped into her bucket. “Thank you so much, sir!” she chirped as he stepped back. “Happy Nightmare Night!”

When the door closed, Twilight grabbed the apple out of her bucket and admired it. The moonlight gleamed off of its perfect, unblemished surface. She could see her own smile in its skin—and, when she turned around and found Sunset glaring at her from the sidewalk, she saw her own frown.

“What?” Twilight asked, walking to her friend. “Did I do something wrong?”

“An apple?” Sunset asked. “He told you to take as much candy as you wanted, and you asked for an apple?”

“I couldn’t eat anything else!” Twilight turned up her nose and held the apple close. “And besides, what’s wrong with fruit? It’s certainly healthier than a candy bar. And there’s no packaging for someone to slip a razor blade, or a rusty knife into.”

“That—that’s not—” Sunset groaned and threw her hands to her eyes. “Why do you have to make this so complicated?”

Twilight frowned. “I’m not trying to.” She looked down and pulled her limbs close, as if she were trying to shrink away. “Maybe this was a mistake, Sunset. I’m really not into this whole trick-or-treating thing. I’d rather be at home…”

“No, no, don’t say that. The only reason you’re not having fun is because we haven’t visited a good house yet.” Sunset pulled out her map. “That place only had one star, so we really shouldn’t have stopped in the first place. It looks like there’s a five star just a block over.” She walked away. “Let’s get going before all the good candy gets taken!”

Twilight sighed, but followed. “Yeah.”


“There it is,” Sunset said, pointing at a nearby house. She grabbed Twilight’s hand and pulled her forward, running until they were on the porch. All the lights were off, but Sunset’s grin was wider than Twilight had ever seen it.

On a chair in front of the door sat a massive bowl, overflowing with sweets. Hard candy, soft candy, chewy candy, fudge. Candy bars and lollipops and chocolates spilled from the brim, falling to the chair below. A hallowed feast of sugar and corn syrup lay before the two girls, and the colorful packaging called out to them like a siren song.

Above it all hung a sign: “Take one piece of candy.”

Sunset giggled. “Jackpot.”

“I don’t see how. If the goal is to maximize candy collection, then why are we stopping here?” Twilight asked, crossing her arms. “The highest amount of candy we can acquire here is one piece—two if you take a piece, but since you’re not wearing a costume, I feel that’s highly unethical.”

“Just shut up and take some candy, Twi.” Sunset reached into the bucket and grabbed a handful of chocolates, which she then stuffed into her jacket pockets. How no one else had raided this hoard already was beyond her. Hell, maybe they had, but there was just so much candy it didn’t make a difference. Sunset smirked and nabbed a few stray pieces of taffy.

This is so much better than some awful haunted house, Sunset thought. Just the memory of their horrid blueprint made her shiver. She dismissed the traumatizing memories zipping through her brain. Rainbow Dash can have fun with her stupid severed heads or whatever. Meanwhile, Twilight and I will be having the feast of our lives…

Sunset giggled and glanced over at Twilight to inspect her candy haul.

Twilight leaned over the cornucopia of sugar, eyes flicking from pile to pile. She pushed up her glasses and picked up a candy bar—then put it back down. She moved to the other side of the mountain and grabbed a lollipop—then put that back down, too.

“Uh, Twi?” Sunset crossed her arms. “What are you doing?”

“Picking my one piece of candy.”

“One piece? Do you not see what I’m doing?”

“I do, although I was trying to ignore you,” Twilight said, an edge in her voice. She inspected a small bag of gummy candy. “Call me foolish, but I don’t think that Nightmare Night excuses petty theft.”

“Theft?” Sunset asked. “What theft? It’s a candy bowl! Nobody actually takes just one piece of candy. That’s, like, why they exist!”

“Then why is there a sign?” Twilight asked, hands on her hips. As Sunset rummaged for an answer, Twilight shook her head and went back to investigating the pile. “Really, Sunset, you don’t need so much candy! Greed has brought down some of history’s greatest empires, you know—ooh, what’s this?”

“What’s what?” Sunset asked, leaning over Twilight’s shoulder.

Twilight grinned and picked up a small yellow-orange-white triangle. It looked like it was made of wax. “I’ve never seen this before.”

“That’s candy corn,” Sunset said. “There’s a good reason you’ve never seen them. They’re awful.”

“It looks fine to me,” Twilight said, clutching it in her palm. “And besides, since you’ve already taken so much, it’s only fair to everyone who visits after us that I take something small. There’s no need for us both to be greedy.”

“You’re not going to like it.”

“Says you.” Twilight smiled and popped the piece of candy corn into her mouth. She took a moment to chew—before her face twisted into a grimace. She closed her eyes as it went down, then shuddered. “Ooh.”

“Told you.” Sunset grabbed a handful of chocolates from the pile and held it out to Twilight. “C’mon, just take it. If we keep dawdling, all the other houses are gonna get cleaned out.”

Twilight turned away. “No, Sunset. I took my one piece of candy, and even if I didn’t like it, well… ‘you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.’ ”

“We’re not kids, Twi!” Sunset tried to drop the chocolate into her bucket. “Now just take the candy so we can keep trick-or-treating!”

“No!” Twilight said, pushing Sunset away. “I’m not a thief!”

Sunset staggered backwards. She tripped over a bump in the wooden porch and tumbled to her rump. The candy fell from her hands and spilled across the porch, making a loud clatter as it slipped through the floorboards to the grass and dirt below. Twilight gasped and Sunset spat out a curse—but both stopped when they looked out at the street.

All the children and parents passing by had stopped to stare. One little boy tugged at his mother’s skirt and pointed at Sunset. “Mommy, why are those two ladies breaking all the candy?”

The mother covered her son’s eyes and pushed him forward. “Just keep walking, sweetie.”

Sunset’s cheeks flamed. She jumped to her feet and brushed dirt from her pants. “Nice,” she said, avoiding Twilight’s touch. She hopped off of the porch and walked out to the street. “Real nice.”

Twilight hurried after her. “That wasn’t my fault!”

“Whatever,” Sunset said. She pulled out the map and kept going. “That house is done. Let’s keep going.”

The two walked in silence for a minute before Twilight looked at Sunset and said, “If I just don’t speak for the rest of the night, will you stop being mad at me?”

A shout climbed up Sunset’s throat—but one look at Twilight’s shaking hands sent it back down. “I’m not mad,” Sunset said, grabbing Twilight’s shoulder. “And no, I don’t want you to stop talking. Just… just calm down. Okay? You don’t have to be so uptight and formal about everything.”

“I’m not uptight,” Twilight said in a small voice.

Sunset snorted. “Uh, yeah, you are.”

“Oh.” Twilight looked at her feet. “Okay.”

“Just get a handle on that and we’ll be fine.” Sunset glanced at the map and smiled. “Look, there’s a five-star just up the hill. The notes say that they hand out, like, full-sized candy bars!”

Twilight opened her mouth for less than a second.

“Twilight…”

“It’s nothing,” Twilight said. She squirmed. “But, you know, it’s already easy enough to hide a razor blade in a small piece of candy. It’s no brainer to stick one into a full-sized candy bar.”

“Really? That’s what you’re worried about?” Sunset asked, laughing as Twilight blushed. Sunset tousled her hair. “I promise you: if you get a single piece of candy that has a razor blade in it, I’ll eat the thing myself. Now, c’mon. We’re bleeding moonlight.”


Sunset ate one of her taffy pieces, and a stiff breeze rolled through the street. Sitting on the curb, she shivered and pulled her jacket tighter around her. Sunset wore three layers, and she still felt cold; she could only imagine how Twilight felt, wearing what was essentially a nightgown.

Sunset looked over her shoulder. Yards away, Twilight stood at the front door to their next house, her shoulders hunched as usual. Twilight had elected to take this house alone, as she wanted to see if she could do better without Sunset “looming over her.”

Yeah, right, Sunset thought, rolling her eyes. She turned back around. Probably just gonna come back crying…

Sunset bit down on her tongue, striking the thoughts from her mind. Oh, shut up. She’s trying her best! It’s not Twilight’s fault that she’s the most horrendously awkward girl in Canterlot.

“And you’re certainly not helping,” she whispered to herself, taking another bite of taffy.

“That went well.”

Sunset looked up, only to find Twilight standing next to her, smiling. “Oh, yeah? What’d you get?”

“Quite a bit!” Twilight sat down and put the candy bucket between them. Three massive candy bars stuck out of the top. “The couple living there was so nice! All their candy was gluten-free and everything! The husband was dressed as Queen Leipras’ son, Prince Satyrn, so we also had a quick discussion about the spoilers leaked today for the upcoming season of Ogres and Oubliettes—”

Twilight stopped when she saw Sunset’s flat expression. She chuckled. “It was nice.”

At that, Sunset smiled and clapped Twilight on the back. “That’s awesome! See, I told you that Nightmare Night is fun. And look at how much candy you got!”

“Yes, I suppose,” Twilight said, looking into her bucket. “I will need to run some tests on these when I get home—I really hope my father didn’t throw away the X-ray machine I got for my twelfth birthday—but it certainly is the most I’ve gotten all night.”

“Just you wait. We’ve still got the whole neighborhood to cover.” Sunset stood up and walked a few steps off. “Just let me see where we’re going next,” she said, pulling out the map. “Then we can head out.”

Sunset traced a finger along the worn paper. There was still so much ground to cover, but the two of them had bickered for so long that there wasn’t nearly enough time to reach every house. Surely some houses would run out of candy, and others would end early. Every second they spent stationary was another chance at sugary goodness lost.

There was no time to waste. Sunset found the nearest five-star house—only a block away—and smiled. Things were finally looking up!

“Hey!” Twilight shouted behind her. “Come back!”

Sunset raised a brow and turned around—only to see two masked teenaged boys on bikes riding away, Twilight’s candy bucket in tow. Sunset let out a yelp and sprinted forward, past Twilight.

“Get back here!” Sunset shrieked, moving her legs as fast they would go. “Give that back! Give that back!

But as fast as Sunset was, the bikes were faster. The boys cackled as they flew down the block, out of reach and eventually out of sight.

Sunset stumbled to a stop and crumpled to her knees in the middle of the street, chest heaving, head spinning. The laughter faded into the night, and Sunset pounded a fist against the pavement.

Twilight rushed up to Sunset, breathing even harder. “Are you okay?” she wheezed, kneeling down next to her friend. “Did they hurt you?”

“Hurt me? Did they hurt you?” Sunset asked, grabbing Twilight and looking her over. “What the heck just happened? What did they do to you? We gotta head back to my motorcycle, because I swear I am gonna hunt those guys down and strangle—”

“I’m fine,” Twilight said. She wrested herself free from Sunset’s grasp. “And please, please don’t say things like that. It scares me.”

“And they didn’t?” Sunset asked. She stood up. “Seriously, what happened? How did they get your bucket?”

Twilight looked away. “Well, you see, it’s kind of a funny story…”

“Twilight,” Sunset said through clenching teeth. “What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything! At least, nothing that you can blame me for,” Twilight added quickly. She fiddled with her fingers. “They just rode up and started talking to me about Nightmare Night, you know? Their faces were kinda hard to see through the masks, but it’s Nightmare Night, and I thought I recognized them from CHS, so I wasn’t suspicious or anything. And they asked to see how much candy I had—”

Sunset grabbed Twilight’s shoulders. “Please tell me that you didn’t just give them your candy.”

“Uh.”

“Goddess above!” Sunset cried, pulling at her hair. She paced around in circles for a few moments as Twilight winced. Just as Twilight started backing away, Sunset spun to face her and shouted, “What’s wrong with you? You’re never supposed to trust teenage boys on Nightmare Night! That’s, like, rule number one!”

“How was I supposed to know that?” Twilight sputtered. “I’ve never done this before!”

“It’s common sense!” Sunset said. “But now you messed up, and we just wasted an hour. Good work.”

Twilight trembled under Sunset’s glare and whimpered, “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you are,” Sunset said. She scoffed. “Get a freakin’ clue, Twilight.”

Silence.

Chin quivering, Twilight turned away. “Sorry,” she said again, her voice barely a whisper.

Sunset held her glower for a few seconds more, before she heard Twilight’s shuddering breaths and saw her shrinking shoulders. Cursing herself, she walked back over and moved to touch Twilight’s shoulder, but stopped short. She clamped her hand to her side.

“Twi, stop it,” Sunset said quickly. “I didn’t mean that. You know I didn’t mean that.”

Twilight didn’t turn. She just nodded. “Yeah.”

A sea of apologies rushed to Sunset’s mouth, but she swallowed them; they wouldn’t do her any good. She sighed. “Look, let’s just keep going. There’s a convenience store right down the block; I’m sure they’d give us a plastic bag or something.”

“No,” Twilight said, shaking her head. She rubbed her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Sunset, but I think I want to go home. I’m not feeling very good.”

“You can’t go home!” Sunset said, trying to block her path. “You haven’t had any fun yet!”

“I know,” Twilight said. She pushed past and walked away. Sunset watched her go.

Nausea erupted in Sunset’s stomach. As Twilight dragged her feet through the crowd of smiling kids, all Sunset wanted to do was curl up in a ditch somewhere and stop breathing for a while. Every part of Sunset’s mind jeered her—what in Tartarus is wrong with me why am I such an idiot—and she tapped a nervous foot, ready to sprint to catch up to Twilight, to try and convince her to stay.

But what would Sunset even say to her? Twilight didn’t care about candy or trick-or-treating. All she wanted was not to feel like she was screwing everything up. And all Sunset wanted was to let Twilight enjoy Nightmare Night. So what was there to do…?

An idea popped into Sunset’s mind. For a moment, the nausea in her stomach rose to her throat.

She steadied her suddenly wobbling legs. “No, no, Sunset. That’s crazy.”

But it could work!

Sunset balled up her fists. She took a few breaths through gritted teeth as the thoughts passed. But just as her legs felt like they would turn to gelatin, just as she felt like she would bite through her lip—she ran forward.

“Twilight, wait!” she called. “Wait!”

Twilight was already halfway down the hill and didn’t turn until Sunset slowed down just a few feet behind her. “What?” she said, nose curling up. “What do you—Sunset, you look like you’re about to be sick!”

“I might be,” Sunset said, nodding. “And that’s why I gotta ask you this quick: do you want to go to Rainbow and Pinkie’s haunted house?”

Twilight blinked a few times, then frowned. “Sunset, if I couldn’t handle simple trick-or-treating, what makes you think I could handle something specifically designed to provoke a manic reaction in its patrons?”

“Because you don’t actually have to do anything but be scared! There’s no time to be awkward, or to mess things up. It’s just a straight shot through. And besides,” Sunset said, trying to ignore the sweat already running down her face. She slung an arm over Twilight’s shoulders. “I’ll be next to you the entire time. It’ll be fun!”

“You’ve said that about a lot of things tonight,” Twilight said, narrowing her eyes. She tapped her chin. “That being said, you are right about the largely scripted nature of the production. And according to my research, haunted houses are one of the most iconic symbols of the holiday.”

“So will you do it?”

“…Fine.” Twilight weaved out of Sunset’s hold. “But I’d still rather be at home. In fact, I kinda wish I hadn’t even come out here tonight.” She paused. “You’re sure this is a good idea?”

“A good idea?” Sunset asked with a shaky laugh. “This is the best idea.”


“Maybe this was a bad idea,” Sunset babbled as Twilight dragged her off the motorcycle and toward the darkened windows of Sugarcube Corner. “This was a bad idea an awful idea and Twilight are you sure you don’t still want to go home because I kinda wanna go home let’s just go home okay?”

“Oh, no,” Twilight grumbled. “You made me ride that horrendous deathtrap you call a motorcycle halfway across the city in a dress. We are not leaving without seeing this haunted house!”

Sunset gulped, but stopped resisting and let Twilight pull her to the double doors.

The two of them slipped inside Sugarcube Corner, and Sunset braced herself for the electronic cry of the seizure skeleton—but it didn’t come. They gazed around the restaurant, but the room was empty. They couldn’t find a single other person, kid or adult.

In fact, the restaurant looked like it had been abandoned for years; thick layers of dust and cobwebs covered every surface. All the decorations were gone. Spiders scurried along the floorboards, and Sunset could have sworn she saw a cockroach in the corner.

“Wow,” Twilight said, grinning. She polished her glasses and took another look. “They’ve really transformed this place!”

Already Sunset’s vision went hazy in the dim light. She clutched Twilight and nodded. She barely had time to react when Twilight took a step forward. The two of them let go of the door and walked to the middle of the room.

The double doors swung closed behind them. The click of the lock rang through the room.

Sunset gasped and ran back to the doors. She pulled and pried at the handles, but they stayed shut. She pounded on the glass and looked outside, trying to find a police car, a pedestrian, someone—but the street was empty. Sunset lost her breath and gulped in whatever air she could find.

Twilight giggled as Sunset backed away from the doors. “Locked doors… a bit cliché, but appropriately creepy, I think.”

“Yeah,” Sunset croaked. “Real creepy.”

“You may have been right about this, Sunset! I’ve never been a fan of scary movies, but this may actually be fun!” Twilight said. A deep groaning sound floated from the air vents, making her laugh and Sunset whimper. “It’s a bit like interactive theatre, you know?”

Twilight waited for Sunset to answer, but when the only response was a high-pitched squeak, Twilight frowned at her. “Are you alright? You aren’t scared, are you? Because if you are, we can just go—”

“No, no!” Sunset said, resisting every instinct that told her to take the chance and run. “If you’re having fun, then we’re staying. And besides, I’m doing fine!”

Sunset took a step, and a floorboard creaked under her foot, making her squeal and jump into Twilight’s arms. She buried her head into Twilight’s shoulder and shivered—but only for a moment, before giving a slow laugh and letting Twilight put her down.

Twilight gave Sunset a sideways glance, but all she said was, “Alright then. Let’s keep moving, I suppose.”

Sunset kept her fists balled up as they followed the blood-covered arrows on the walls out of the foyer, and into one of the kitchens. It too had been stripped clean of all pots, pans, and cooking ingredients. The only things left were puddles of red liquid, rusted knives stuck into tables, a pile of mangled baby dolls in the corner.

Deep screams echoed through the halls, and a thick red sludge spotted the ground. The two of them tried to walk around it at first, but soon it became unavoidable. The goop was warm, and even wearing sneakers, Sunset felt it seep through her socks. It looked like someone had spilled a bucket of cherry-flavored ice across the ground—but it smelled like some mix of iron and fecal matter. Sloppy sloshing sounds came with every step.

“What is this?” Sunset asked, her face paling. She gripped Twilight’s arm. “Oh, Goddess, what is it?”

“I don’t know,” Twilight said, scratching her chin and generally making Sunset want to cry. “It smells somewhat like bile, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen bile with this sort of consistency or color. It may be diseased.”

“We’re walking through diseased bile?” Sunset asked in a gravelly growl.

“Something meant to feel like diseased bile,” Twilight corrected. She held Sunset a little closer. “None of this is real, Sunset.”

“Not real,” Sunset repeated. “Right—”

Applejack’s severed head fell from the ceiling and crashed to the floor. Twilight recoiled, while Sunset cursed and jumped backwards, only to slip in a puddle of blood and tumble to the floor. She sent bile and blood splashing everywhere, including all over her clothes.

The warm, sticky sludge clung to her skin like glue. Eyes wide as planets, teeth bared, she stared straight ahead and tried her best not to find the nearest window and throw herself out of it.

Applejack stared back at her, tongue lolling, blood spilling from her eyes—

Twilight knocked on Applejack’s head, making a hollow sound. “It’s made of wood,” she said with a chuckle. “Again: not real.”

Sunset nodded and tried to climb to her feet, but it took about three tries before she could get up without her legs giving out. Twilight helped Sunset out of her soaked jacket, and after a moment of protest, managed to convince her to lay it on a countertop to dry. Sunset left it with one last longing gaze before they moved onto the next room.

Sunset shook with every creaking floorboard, every banging air vent. The warm slush dripped down her legs.

They crept down a long, darkened hallway. Mangled corpses and dead bugs lined the walls. Above the bile, everything smelled like spoiled milk. And no matter how far they walked, still the screams continued, growing louder and louder. A man, a woman, children—everyone, just screaming.

They turned a corner, and at the end of the next hallway hung a flickering light bulb—the only source of light they had seen so far. Sunset let out a relieved sigh and hurried forward, pulling Twilight along. She didn’t even mind that it was a dead end, and that the two of them were now completely trapped… well, she did mind, but not enough to go back.

Honestly, she still didn’t quite believe Twilight about the wooden head. In the back of her mind, she prepared her wardrobe for Applejack’s funeral.

When they both made it to the flickering light, the screaming stopped, leaving Sunset’s heaving breaths to fill the void.

“Is that it?” Twilight asked, looking around. “Is this the end?”

“Thank the heavens,” Sunset said, wiping the sweat from her forehead.

The lightbulb above them died. Before Sunset could scream, fires sparked to life along the walls. Long, burning torches illuminated the hallway and cast long shadows across the rotting piles of flesh on the floor. Blood seeped from cracks in the walls, and the banging in the air vents grew louder.

Sunset held Twilight’s arm so hard her knuckles burned. Twilight winced under Sunset’s grip, but didn’t move away.

“What’s going on?” Sunset asked, teeth chattering. “What’s happening?”

“Probably just another jump scare,” Twilight said. “Rainbow and Pinkie seem to be fond of them.”

Jump scare, Sunset repeated to herself, throwing glances around the room to find the next attack. Jump scare. Not real. Not real. Calm down.

The banging sound in the air vents grew louder, louder, deafening. Sunset’s ears pounded, but covering them meant letting go of Twilight, and letting go of Twilight meant getting dragged screaming to her death. Louder, louder, louder—

The noise stopped.

Sunset and Twilight exchanged a glance.

Pinkie Pie’s dead body fell from the ceiling and onto the floor in front of them. Her soft, very much not-wooden flesh hit the ground with a smack. Most of her clothes were gone, leaving her to lay in nothing but her underwear. Her skin was an ashen white, and blood gushed from the meat cleaver stuck into her head.

“Oh, my,” Twilight said with a grimace.

Sunset screamed and ran away. She raced down the hallway, back into the dark, arms flailing above her head.

“Sunset!” Twilight called, stretching out an arm. “Where are you going?”

On the ground, Pinkie Pie tried to stifle a giggle—but soon broke down into a fit of laughter. “That was so fun!” she said, splashing around in the bile. “Whee!”

Twilight rolled her eyes and ran to find Sunset.

She found the terrified girl in the next hallway over, running to and fro, screaming harder with every passing second. Strobe lights on the floor flashed and spun. Dripping chunks of meat spilled from the air vents, and Sunset couldn’t seem to help but always stand where they were falling. By the time she had to take her first breath, Sunset looked more like a butcher than a teenager.

One particularly heavy meat chunk slapped Sunset in the back of the head. She staggered forward and tripped over a strobe light. She fell to her knees, right on top of a dead body. She tried to move away, tried to escape from the carcass—but her body wouldn’t work. She was petrified.

“Sunset, stop!” Twilight said, grabbing and shaking Sunset’s shoulders. “This isn’t fun anymore! Let’s go—”

“Go?” a familiar scratchy voice asked from behind them. “You’re not going anywhere!”

Sunset and Twilight turned around, only to find a skinny teenage girl in bloody overalls and a hockey mask walking towards them, a jagged hacksaw raised high above her head.

Twilight snorted and said something, but Sunset didn’t hear it. Every one of her senses focused on the warm bile, on the putrid smell, on the saw. Everything was over, and these would be the last things Sunset would ever feel, smell, see. Her picture would be in the paper, but no one would find her chopped-up body.

Just another victim, slaughtered and thrown away.

The bloodied figure drew close and loomed over them. Sunset tried to yell, tried to shout, but couldn’t breathe. Not a single sound came until the figure swung the saw at Sunset’s throat.

Sunset let out a high-pitched sob. Tears spilled down her face and mixed with the fake blood already streaked across her cheeks. She clenched her eyes shut and wailed into the air.

“Rainbow Dash!” Twilight shouted as Rainbow pantomimed murdering them again. She pushed Rainbow away. “Stop!”

“What? Why?” Rainbow took off her hockey mask and glared—but when she saw Sunset, her eyes widened. She threw the plastic saw to the ground and spun around. “Pinkie, turn on the lights! Turn off all the machines and sounds and stuff!”

In a few moments, the blood stopped flowing from the walls, and all the lights turned on, revealing that they were just in one of Sugarcube Corner’s storerooms.

And yet, Sunset still cried, pressing her face into Twilight’s shoulder. Twilight wrapped her in a hug and stroked her back. “Come on, don’t cry,” Twilight cooed as Sunset trembled. “It’s all over. You’re completely safe.”

Rainbow sat down next to them and grinned. “You’re not scared of haunted houses, huh?” Rainbow said, slapping Sunset’s knee. “I knew that was just a bunch of talk. I told ya you couldn’t handle this place—ow!”

Rainbow rubbed at the spot on her side that Twilight had punched. “Be quiet, Rainbow!” Twilight said. “Do you know how rude you’re being?”

“Rude?” Rainbow sneered. “I’m just joking. Lighten up!”

“I’m not going to lighten up. Nightmare Night is supposed to be fun.” Twilight ran a hand through Sunset’s mussed-up hair. “This isn’t fun.”

“It’s not?” Pinkie asked, popping into the conversation. She hadn’t put on any more clothes.

“Nah, it is,” Rainbow said, crossing her arms. She turned up her nose. “Haunted houses are totally fun. Sunset throwing a tantrum doesn’t prove anything.”

“Not everyone thinks the same things are fun,” Twilight said. She looked down at Sunset, whose sobs had begun to fade into hiccups. “Not everyone enjoys the same things, or even thinks in the same way. That’s just how humans work.” She smiled and brushed the hair from Sunset’s eyes. “Is that how ponies work?”

Sunset sniffled and tried to speak—but just settled for a nod.

“If all you guys were gonna do is complain,” Rainbow said, “why did you even come? You set off all of our traps! Do you know how long those are gonna take to set back up? That meat cost me, like, a month’s allowance!”

“Sorry,” Sunset choked out, sitting up and wiping her face. She stared bleary-eyed at her lap. “This is my fault. Ugh, I just keep ruining Nightmare Night.”

Twilight shook her head. “That’s not true.”

“It is, though!” Sunset turned to Twilight. “This entire night has just been me pushing you around and making you do things you didn’t want to do and being awful. You told me you didn’t want to go trick-or-treating; I didn’t listen. You told me you wanted to go home early; I didn’t listen. I brought you to a haunted house, and all I did was have a breakdown. And that’s not to mention how rude I’ve been…”

Sunset stifled another cry. “I cared so much about forcing you to have the ‘right’ Nightmare Night that I forgot to make sure that either of us was even enjoying ourselves. What kind of friend am I?”

“A great one,” Twilight said, holding Sunset close again. “You said it yourself: you did this because you cared about me. Sure, it’s true that this hasn’t been the greatest night of my life. But you still tried your best, and I think that’s great.”

Another round of tears fell from Sunset’s eyes. With a shuddering gasp, she grabbed Twilight and pulled her into a full-bodied hug. Twilight didn’t resist.

“Hey, cut that out!” Rainbow spat, clapping her hands. “There’s no hugging in our haunted house!”

Pinkie Pie froze, her arms already halfway around Rainbow’s chest. “Aw…”


Sunset burst through the double doors of Sugarcube Corner and into the street outside with a girlish laugh, tittering as she spun around the sidewalk, basking in the moonlight. Twilight followed after. The bottom of her dress was now soaked in fake blood and fake bile. Both of them smelled like they had just fallen into someone’s stomach.

“I never thought I would get out of that place!” Sunset cried. She dropped to her knees and let the chilly October air wash over her—then shivered. Rubbing at her goosebumped arms, Sunset turned and looked back into one Sugarcube Corner’s darkened windows. “Ugh, we forgot my jacket!”

Twilight joined her at the window. “Do you want to go back inside to—”

“No!” Sunset said, jumping. She scurried away from the window. “I’m good!”

Twilight giggled, but her laughter soon melted into a yawn. “Can we call it a night?” she asked. “This has all been very exciting, but I think I’m ready to call Nightmare Night quits.”

“Maybe that’d be for the best,” Sunset said. She walked over to her motorcycle and threw Twilight a helmet. “But it’s, like, only eight-thirty. It’s so early!”

“Well, who says we have to split up?” Twilight asked. She took her place on the back of Sunset’s motorcycle. “You could always come over to my house. I suppose you might not be interested in Haycart’s Advanced Mathematics, but I do own some movies, and I’m pretty sure my mom bought popcorn yesterday.”

Sunset shrugged. “Yeah, I guess that sounds pretty good.”

Twilight smirked. “We can stop by the supermarket and buy a few bags of candy, too.”

“Now you’re talking.” Sunset hopped on the motorcycle and put on her helmet. She smiled as Twilight wrapped a pair of shaking arms around her waist. “Heh, you better hold on tight, scaredy-cat.”

Twilight pressed her face into the small of Sunset’s back. “I am, scaredy-cat. Even if you smell like a dumpster.”

The two sped off into the night, laughing all the way.

Comments ( 53 )

Poor Pinkie stripped down to nearly nothing and getting stopped from completing her hug of Dash. Better luck next time.

The image of Pinkie Pie joyfully sliding around in gore while half naked is now burned into my mind. . . thanks.

Help Yourself

This can’t possibly be safe,” Twilight muttered as she watched a car screech to a halt in front of a young werewolf. “No wonder they call it the Day of the Dead.”

Uhh... Wrong day, Twilight. And for that matter, wrong country as well...:derpyderp2:

That was good and sweet. Keep up the good work.

Haha, cute :twilightsmile:... also gross :pinkiesick:... but cute, :pinkiesmile:

Sunset really did go into Super Bitch Mode for a while there, tho, :twilightoops:

I was laughing the entire time good job! :pinkiehappy:

Great job! Sunset and Rainbow felt a bit harsher than normal, but overall it was still a pretty enjoyable and hilarious story.
I won't lie; I had to stop reading for a good minute after Twilight's first door while I laughed my lungs out. xD

Cute. Sunset was a tad OOC, but other than that, nice job.

(Like, seriously, the former villainous she-demon is scared of haunted houses?)

6651575
Though it doesn't seem out of character :pinkiecrazy:

if only there was a sunlight kiss to make the night better at the end
epilogue, maybe?

“That’s candy corn,” Sunset said. “There’s a good reason you’ve never seen them. They’re awful.”
“It looks fine to me,” Twilight said, clutching it in her palm. “And besides, since you’ve already taken so much, it’s only fair to everyone who visits after us that I take something small. There’s no need for us both to be greedy.”
“You’re not going to like it.”
“Says you.” Twilight smiled and popped the piece of candy corn into her mouth. She took a moment to chew—before her face twisted into a grimace. She closed her eyes as it went down, then shuddered. “Ooh.”
“Told you.”

:trixieshiftright:

...I love candy corn. I buy candy corn when it isn't even Halloween.

6653554 I know right? Candy corn is awesome! I prefer the pumpkin kind though, they're bigger and don't dry out as much so they're chewier.

6653501 This SunLight shines even in the deepest depths of the night! They went back to Twilight's place. We all know what happened there. :raritywink:

6652588
6652948

On the OOCness, I both agree and disagree.

With Sunset, I disagree. Based on what we saw in Friendship Games, yeah, Sunset is very caring and kind. However, looking at the scenes in the hallway and when she yells at Twilight, she also has a rather short temper. When Sunset gets annoyed or frustrated or—God forbid—angry, she lashes out. In Rainbow Rocks, she almost physically attacked Trixie. That being said, Sunset is also quick to recognize her mistakes, and since she's so scared to lose the friendship she's gained, goes to sometimes desperate measures to right her wrongs.

On Rainbow, I actually agree, but with a caveat. Something I've said before to friends is that I deliberately write EqG Rainbow a bit differently from pony Rainbow—to be more specific, I tend to make EqG Rainbow a bit more obnoxious and mean. The way I see it, pony Rainbow Dash spent her entire life living in a land where friendship is literally magic, and magic essentially runs the world. Even before she meets Twilight, we can see that RD's not malicious, and even has a few friends. EqG Rainbow, however, lives in a world that's more-or-less just like ours. I think that that would have the end result of making EqG Rainbow a bit more cynical, a bit edgier. Does that make sense?

Sorry if it threw you out of the story in any way, though. Thanks for reading! :twilightsmile:


6653501
6654011

Well, they do both smell like bile. Maybe they should take showers... or a shower. :scootangel:

This might be her last Halloween.
Let my daughter’s last Halloween be her best.

Should be Nightmare Night.

6654944
Oh jeez, I don't know what's up with those "breed" errors. Those weren't in the original document, I can tell you that.

EDIT: I'm looking at the fic, and it appears those aren't actually there...? I think there might be a problem with your reader, unfortunately.

6654348

Oh no, I totally agree with you about Sunset's temperament! I think it felt unusually harsh in this case because the build-up to her outburst was over 3 consecutive scenes, making it feel like she boiled over really suddenly. Of course, this could just be me, haha.

And I'd say that makes sense for your interpretation of Rainbow.

Comment posted by AltesEgo deleted Nov 22nd, 2015

I wouldn't mind an epilogue where they go to back to school and Twilight recognizes the voices of the boys who stole her Candy...and Sunset unleashes her inner rage upon them (along with Pinkie: NEVER STEAL SOMEONE ELSE'S CANDY!!!)

Wonderful story; I thoroughly enjoyed this.

And Rainbow Dash is so in-character! :rainbowwild:

I guess courage is relative.

This was too perfect!

I don't even know what element to mention first: Sunset's effortless lies about her "daughter's" "rare genetic condition" (and her borderline-petty-theft style of trick-or-treating), Twilight's carefully-tended collection of infirmities (and D&D costume), Rarity's sexy ketchup bottle, Applejack's only appearance being a wooden severed head, Pinkie Pie's idiosyncratic romantic overtures, Rainbow Dash being Rainbow Dash...

It's a good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I was reading this...

My only quibble: I can't quite see Sunset flailing her arms as she fled; I have an easier time imagining her bolting, almost like a panicked horse...

Please, write more!

Why are the humans calling it Nightmare Night instead of Halloween? Without an explanation as to why this peculiarity has become too distracting for me to continue reading past the first few paragraphs.

6675898
Why is the school called Canterlot High? It's just a parallel dimension, my man.

6676172
It still bothers me too much. That explanation gives me no insight as to why you decided to make it Nightmare Night instead of Halloween; it's not like it's possible for them to share holiday origin stories.

I can see no reason why they would need to call it Nightmare Night.

6676756 One reason stands out: the movie shows _no_ students wearing a crucifix. This is inconceivable if EQG is "mostly like America, just in pastel skin tones". Halloween is a pagan holy day retcon'd to fit Christianity.

You can't refer to Halloween without Christianity and there's no Christianity in EQG. Thus, it's more reasonable to assume EQG world is (at least culturally) somehow mostly like Equestria. (Arguably it would be more reasonable still to give it independent culture, but the whole "everyone has a duplicate who seems substantially similar personality wise" makes this a tricky position in practice.)

(Quick note: I don't like Christianity but I acknowledge its immense role in shaping American values and culture even among people who are rabidly anti-religious. Something so fundamental to this culture will take a long time to be overgrown by anything new.)

6654348 I mostly agree with you on Sunset's characterization, but I would love to see you do an interquel between Rainbow Rocks and Friendship Games to demonstrate how Sunset settles into being the sort of flawed-but-not-jerkass sort of alpha you're depicting here (having re-acquired some self confidence after having worked out her guilt, shame and alienation that were so manifest in Rainbow Rocks).

And now that I have your attention, I have to say you surprised me. The abrupt switch in roles from Sunset being the oblivious "leader" to Twilight taking that position was quite jarring but so important. I was so pained by what you put Twilight through I literally could not bring myself to finish reading this story for _days_. Even as I saw glimmers of Sunset feeling sorry, the fact she'd been so terribly bossy was too overwhelming to deal with.

The only flaw I can see in this (aside from it just lacking that "everything is written _just_ right" that characterizes a five star story to me) is that Sunset deciding to try and "double or nothing" by pushing onto the Haunted House needed just a little bit of expository mental monologue or (possibly better yet) some awkward exchange between the two as they both show they feel they've let each other down but don't know what to do about it.

(In particular, the bit about nausea in the transition scene is a bit blurry as to the cause. I thought it was just social nerves, that Sunset was about to vomit from realizing how much she'd hurt Twilight...not because Sunset was terrified of the very thought of going to the Haunted House.)

(A "Well, this is going to be unpleasant but I certainly deserve it now" sentiment would be a good bit of continuity with Rainbow Rocks, showing her shame and guilt aren't 100% defeated)

But wow. That was so awesome. And the bit where Pinkie has Sunset convinced a literal corpse has dropped in front of them ...it shouldn't have been surprising but it was and it was wonderful even though I feel for poor Sunset.

6680237
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because none of the kids wear crucifixes or whatever doesn't mean Christianity is not a part of the world (it's not like Jewish people wear yarmulkes or Stars of Davids all the time) . You know what I think the absence of overt Christian imagery in the movies means? I think it means that the people involved in their creation wanted to make the series secular in order to have a bigger profit.

To be honest when you mentioned your dislike of Christianity to me it sort of comes off like your rejection of it possibly being in the EqG world if fueled by your dislike of it.

Especially since I personally feel like Halloween is one of the most inclusive holidays around & several sects of Christianity sees it as a demonic celebration.

Also your reason for Halloween not existing due to the absence of its origin would make it make NO sense for the people of the EqG world to have a holiday called Nightmare Night because the EqG world logically lacks any sort of Nightmare Moon who is the source of Nightmare Night! You can't refer to Nightmare Night without Nightmare Moon & there's no Nightmare Moon in EqG!

(Also, "thanks" for making things awkward & about religion. That's "really" what I needed as someone who prefers to not have discussions about religious things in a public forum. Not because I hate any religion or anything, it's just that a lot of people tend to be absolute butts about religion whenever it's brought up.)

6682242

Just because none of the kids wear crucifixes or whatever doesn't mean Christianity is not a part of the world

The show has constantly represented Equestria as "America with ponies". 70-80% of Americans believe in the Christian God and about a third of the general population self identify as "Fundamentalist". At least a few percent of all these people wear signs of their Christian or Christian derived beliefs. Of the sixty or so characters we see, at least two or three should be wearing one.

It might be somehow possible all the Christian kids just happened to not choose to wear a sign of their faith anytime during the movies. But it is very implausible. You're using a precept of logic to contradict what can be fairly extrapolated when you raise the "absence of evidence" contention.

Your counter argument about "the show's just trying to avoid stirring up controversy" is stronger. That doesn't lessen the fact you picked a very expansive position yourself. Namely,

I can see no reason why they would need to call it Nightmare Night.

(and what's more you did it as part of a pretty cranky comment toward the author. This lack of empathy was vexing. Admittedly, I should have worked harder on the tone of my response. Unlearning the habits of being a caustic commentator goes slowly.)

So it might be possible they are Christian. But it's still a totally defensible storytelling choice to act as though that's not the case. Because an author is always free to build on the show based solely on literally what is depicted on screen. And what is literally depicted on the screen is a very implausible lack of Christian symbols for an American-like community.

(As to banishing Christianity from EQG world because of bias: a fair assumption but absolutely not. Just in this case, a non Christian EQG agrees far more plausibly with Nightmare Night in EQG than a Christian EQG culture would.)

(In a Christian based culture, all the main annual astronomical and agricultural occasions have Christian celebrations overlain on them which partially preserve a pre existing religious tradition. The Equestrian astronomical observances so far have no spiritual connotations at all, much less this "one religion supplanting another".)

We don't know the nature of the parallels between EQG and Equestria. We don't know why the names or personalities or anything at all match up so often. Calling a town Canterlot? Having the same naming habits and personal emblems? Canon is silent on the backstory, so we can assume anything we want as long as its consistent and sensible.

Here's just one possible basis for something called Nightmare Night with some semblance to the Equestrian occasion. In EQG world, there was a massive civil war. A jealous, evil female claimant to a major throne nearly deposed a virtuous, good female incumbent ruler. The aftermath of the fall harvest marked the zenith of the rebel sister's revolt. There was some hurried brigandage in the new city as their army marched to make the final battle with the ruler's forces outside the walls of the old city in the capital.

In this hypothesis, Nightmare Night is a homiletic and historical observance. It is based on the understanding that the same personality traits that motivated the rebel sister are still present in everyone. People dress up in costumes and go "extorting" candy to show they know what evil is...and still yet reject it the next day and return to normal. (Having blown off steam and sampled what mock brigandage and mock immorality were like).

(Also pretending to be the virtuous oppressed peasants and the wicked rebellious troops from the original Nightmare Night. Thus celebrating the stability of virtuous government while acknowledging the temptation of rebellion.)

Basically, the name could be the same for different reasons with a few parallels with Equestrian events. There could be other hypotheses too.

I have to gently but firmly disagree with your norm on religious discussions. If there are no examples of rational, calm, discussions of religion when it is relevant to a discussion, then people have no model to learn that it is _possible_ to have such discussions.

6682757

UGH! I regret ever responding to you! I FREAKIN' MEANT THAT IT WAS JUST REALLY DISTRACTING THAT HUMAN CHARACTERS WERE USING PONY HOLIDAY NAMES INSTEAD OF HUMAN ONES OR SOMETHING & I COULDN'T SEE THE REASON FOR WHY THEY CALLED IT NIGHTMARE NIGHT BECAUSE I COULDN'T FIND AN EXPLANATION FOR WHY THEY CALL IT THAT BEYOND "IT'S A PARALLEL UNIVERSE"!

But I am especially cross with you because I thought I already told you that you were making me uncomfortable in that PM conversation you instigated. & I wasn't trying to say that rational discussions on religion don't exist! I said that a lot of people NOT EVERY PERSON a lot of people are absolute butts about the subject.

& even then, I JUST PERSONALLY DON'T LIKE TALKING ABOUT RELIGION REGARDLESS DUE TO MY OWN BELIEFS & EXPERIENCES!

Really I just felt that the reasoning you presented for lack of Christianity was poor!

I NEVER EVEN ACTUALLY WANTED TO TALK ABOUT RELIGION, IT JUST REALLY BOTHERED ME THAT THE HUMANS CALLED THE HOLIDAY NIGHTMARE NIGHT!

you are such a butt

6682757 uh i live in a veryr christian town and verry few people here whear signs of there faith

and i have no idea where you got your numbers

people who spout numbers like that tend to be extream right wing i dont know your poltical stance but if you are a right winger this will likely piss you off im a lesbian and i belive in god

your post is full of garbage

6682872 This is only written to
( a ) Show you the statistics not footnoted earlier
( b ) Note you were wrong about my sociopolitical beliefs

It's so strange. Has society become so polarized that just trying to raise a valid academic point of fact is a sign of political sympathy? I'm a voluntary collectivist anarchist (the nonviolent type, not the Direct Action type). Transgendered, pansexual and absolutely unconvinced that God exists (though still technically agnostic).

So we'd be in the same line for shunning, the gulag or whatever if things went as the most radical conservatives and reactionaries lean toward.

This poll as to what % are Christian or Christian-ish. In 1994 (in the middle of my college education, so that last time I had to look this up) 34% thought the Bible is the literal word of its God. It's gone down some but 28% is only a little closer to a 1/4 than a 1/3.

You did point out a slight error in terminology. This poll shows how these people self identify. The preferred terms are Evangelical and Born Again, not Fundamentalist. (Back in the my adolescence, the preferred term seemed to be Fundamentalist.)

(This seems like a pretty fine distinction, though. While there are more liberal Evangelicals and Born Agains than before, they are still very much the minority.)

Don't know if you live in a truly "very Christian" area if you believe a claim of 70-80% general adherence and 33% strict adherence to be clearly outrageously false. Here in Canada where half as many people claim to go to church every week as the USA, it looks like at least 1 in 50 people are wearing them on the bus. (Live in a very liberal part of British Columbia, too.)

Just to spell this out: the fact I am very aware of these numbers in no way means I am happy about these facts.

It was not intended that you feel some sort of social pressure. Ideologues are loathsome when they engage in the common behaviour of shoving ideas down peoples throats. Please explain where anything written was doing anything like that because that is so not the desired outcome here.

It would be nice if you'd expend the effort to clarify what's "garbage" in case that label is also based on inaccurate data or assumptions.

6682848 Half your post is freaking out about the mere existence of a conversation involving information about religion. Don't see how that's helpful or polite. Religion is relevant to the topic and only discussed so far as establishing the easiest explanation for a secular Nightmare Night is the absence of Christianity in EQG.

Also, you make an unfair implicit accusation that I did something creepy or rude in what I PM'd. I apologize for not asking before sending it. But I thought we were having a polite debate and figured you wouldn't just take my word for it that "No, I'm not taking the position I am because of religious bias even though you have some cause to think so."

Just don't think it's fair or polite to imply I did something deeply wrong when the worst that happened was providing unnecessary information and opinions you found irrelevant and boring. (And there was a good reason to think it might in fact be necessary and relevant.)

6683519

God Dang it, guy. If I say in literally every response that it bothers me, STOP bringing it up.

6683734 Your initial position was somewhat misleading because you stressed how you disliked that conversations about religion attracted stupidity. I apologize for my (diagnosed) autistic difficulty with the impression that gave me of the conversation (that you were okay with conversations about religion that were intelligent and polite). (Autistics have crappy mental agility sometimes. Truly, I'm sorry for the distress that caused you.)

Btw, you ignored the part I wrote addressing your original point directly. The one where you said it was unimaginable how there could be a Nightmare Night instead of a Halloween on EQG (and sharply criticized the author for deciding that). That's just one way an EQG Nightmare Night could make sense. The author was justified in that decision.

6683765
I never said it was unimaginable for there to be a Nightmare Night instead of a Halloween, YOU! I just didn't find the author's explanation of "It's a parallel universe" & nothing more about the difference elaborated upon to make humans calling Nightmare Night not distracting.

I saw no reason for why they would need to call it Nightmare Night because the author never gave an actual reason for them to call it Nightmare Night. Heck, I was only barely unsatisfied with their "It's a parallel universe" explanation. I probably would've accepted it more if they had just said that they viewed the EqG universe as more like a humanized Equestria than a mirror of our own reality or something even.

I NEVER said that it was unimaginable for them to have Nightmare Night instead of Halloween! Just that the reason I was given didn't help me imagine it.

6683814

I NEVER said that it was unimaginable for them to have Nightmare Night instead of Halloween! Just that the reason I was given didn't help me imagine it.

I probably would've accepted it more if they had just said that they viewed the EqG universe as more like a humanized Equestria than a mirror of our own reality or something even.

Well, your second statement proves your first. I was wrong to say that. But the same statement also proves you didn't need the author's help to imagine it.

When someone stops reading a story because they find a detail too unrealistic or inexplicable, that would normally imply they cannot imagine a reasonable interpretation and context for that detail. But you could find it.

So why did you stop reading the story because of the Nightmare Night instead of Halloween storytelling choice? What does it matter what the author's actual understanding of the backstory was?

Edit: The point is, you insisted the story didn't deserve to be read without a piece of information you could come up with on your own. This implicitly but strongly disparaged the author's ability. You didn't seem to be allowing there could be a reasonable explanation.

In fact, you stated straight out

I can see no reason why they would need to call it Nightmare Night.

Can you see why that doesn't sound like you can imagine a reason for the story to use Nightmare Night instead of Halloween?

6684448
I NEVER meant that the story shouldn't be read because of something that personally bothered me. I couldn't read the story because the distraction kept distracting me so much that I couldn't get into the story!

& just because I can imagine a reason on my own, that does not mean that not being given a reason feels satisfying. I can imagine what that reason is, sure, but that doesn't mean I can force myself to believe that the reason I came up with on my own is the reason the author intended me to believe.

I stated that I couldn't continue reading the story because of things that bothered me, Everything about not being able to read the story I tried to present more as my own fault than a fault of the story.

I NEVER freakin' NEVER insisted that this story didn't deserve to be read because it lacked information I could've come up with on my own & I'm VERY insulted that you're saying I did. It feels as though you are trying to put words into my mouth.

Yes I can see how that sounds like I couldn't imagine a reason, but that was also a statement that I used with the hope that the author would elaborate more on their answer. I didn't need the authors help to imagine a reason, I needed the author's help to know what the author imagined! With something I came up with I'd still be asking myself questions, but with something directly from the author I'd have the actual answer.

I stopped reading because I was so distracted that I could not pay attention to anything that was happening in the story. It was not because of anything actually wrong with the story, I stopped reading because I was having trouble actually reading it, not because of the story's quality. The question was nagging at my head so much that I had to ask why it was like how it is.

I didn't stop reading because of what I thought of the story's quality, I stopped reading because I literally could not read it!

“Sexy fire hydrant,” Sunset read from the catalog in front of her. She turned the page and cringed. “Sexy shotgun, sexy bubonic plague—who the heck buys this stuff?”

In my experience, unsexy people.

“Rarity,” Pinkie and Rainbow said in unison, looking up from the blueprints spread out across the table. Pinkie grinned and added, “She’s going as a sexy ketchup bottle this year!”

Ketchupity can go on my hot dog any day. :moustache:

“I think I’ll pass on the sexy costumes,” Sunset said.

Sunset makes the costume sexy, not the other way around.

Sorry I’m late. Ever since Spike started talking he’s been obsessed with stand-up comedy, and now all he wants to do is practice his act on me.

She needs to stick his nose in it until he stops that.

“Calm down, Pinks. You’re gonna give her an asthma attack.” As Twilight blushed and stowed away her inhaler

:facehoof: Asthma as a nerd stereotype? Seriously? That's kind of insulting and unnecessary. And really, that stereotype died like, 20 years ago.

The man didn’t move. “Aren’t you a bit old to be trick-or-treating?”

Twilight jolted up straight. “Uh…”

“She’s got a disease!” Sunset said, stepping next to Twilight. She puffed out her lip and put on her best puppy dog eyes. “My daughter suffers from a horrible, horrible disease. It makes her look seventeen when really, she’s only six years old!”

:facehoof: Sunset, you watch too many movies...

With a hand, she sifted through its contents—but there only seemed to be one kind of candy: a small, golden-wrapped rectangle that read ‘Peanut Crisp’ along the side.

Ugh. Peanut houses are the WORST. It's been a few decades since I've been trick-or-treating, but I always hated it when I ran into a house where they only had Reese's cups, because peanut allergies. Of course, that was back when regular people didn't think about allergies very much, and kids with allergies were teased for it. Nowadays, everybody has allergies, so you'd think people wouldn't give out nothing but peanut candies since peanut allergies are the most common food allergy.

“That’s candy corn,” Sunset said. “There’s a good reason you’ve never seen them. They’re awful.”

Don't say such hateful things, Sunset! :pinkiesad2: Candy corn is awesome!

“Hey!” Twilight shouted behind her. “Come back!”

Sunset raised a brow and turned around—only to see two masked teenaged boys on bikes riding away, Twilight’s candy bucket in tow.

Oh, that is LOW. :twilightangry2:

And they asked to see how much candy I had—”

Sunset grabbed Twilight’s shoulders. “Please tell me that you didn’t just give them your candy.”

“Uh.”

:facehoof:

“You can’t go home!” Sunset said, trying to block her path. “You haven’t had any fun yet!”

“I know,” Twilight said.

There aren't enough crying emotes for how sad this is. ;_;

“You’re sure this is a good idea?”

“A good idea?” Sunset asked with a shaky laugh. “This is the best idea.”

Famous last words.

It looked like someone had spilled a bucket of cherry-flavored ice across the ground—but it smelled like some mix of iron and fecal matter.

Ewww, it's bloody diarrhea! :pinkiesick:

Pinkie Pie’s dead body fell from the ceiling and onto the floor in front of them. Her soft, very much not-wooden flesh hit the ground with a smack. Most of her clothes were gone, leaving her to lay in nothing but her underwear. Her skin was an ashen white, and blood gushed from the meat cleaver stuck into her head.

She's an extra in a slasher flick! :pinkiecrazy:

That was a fun, sweet, sad, and silly story. Loved it.

As someone from a country that doesn't celebrate Halloween, the more I see or read about it the more obnoxious it seems. I would absolutely never go trick or treating or open my door to trick or treaters or do any of that stuff. And I would absolutely detest, from the depths of my heart, anyone who would try to force me to participate in this stuff.

...I don't like Sunset in this story :flutterrage:

A nice little Halloween (or, in this case, Nightmare Night) story with Human Twilight and Sunset at the helm, and we have a fucking religious debate in the comments. *Slow Clap* Humanity, everybody! Most Intelligent species on the planet! :ajbemused:

Now that I got that out of my system, Unto ze story! Even though I've never been a big horror fan, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Never really been able to enjoy that much up until recently, since my parents never let us celebrate it (I think you can guess why). I'm there with Sunset, that it's a pretty fun holiday, plus it's one of the few opportunities where you can eat all the candy you want and no one will give you a funny look. There's definitely a pretty good lesson to be learned from this story, though: not everybody likes the same things and trying to make someone enjoy what you enjoy isn't going to end well. It's a lesson all of us need to learn sooner or later, and, honestly, it feels pretty natural for Sunset to learn it. Let's not forget she's been a loner for most of her life and is still kind of learning the ins and outs of friendship, and sometimes you need a particularly hard smack of reality in the face to get that lesson through your thick skull. Sometimes it is kind of hard to like Sunset in this story; even if Sunset is still learning about friendship, watching her go ballistic on Twilight like that was kind of hard to read. But, then again, it did feel like that's what you were going for, so... I'll let it slide. All in all, I liked this one, and the ending made me smile. :twilightsmile:

Good work sir, have a fishy stick:
40.media.tumblr.com/8d0058edb11a2a28665af74d2e2d9dcb/tumblr_mjl8cciFzs1s45nhoo1_400.png

I was skeptical, but this was great. Cute and sweet with an important lesson learned. Good job m8.

6815003 You, good sir, could not have said it better. :moustache:

My wife has worked in the food industry, and what Rainbow and Pinkie did to that kitchen would probably give her a heart attack :twilightoops:

This was fun and cute. I think all of the characters were well portrayed, with the possible exception of Rarity. The "sexy ____" costume trope seems like the type of overdone thing she'd rail against with every fiber of her fashion-forward being. Besides, wouldn't she want to make her own costume?

Still, this was a fun read :twilightsmile:

Wow, this is Scaremaster done right. Great story.

6910816

That's the genius of it! It's so tacky, so cheesy, so (dare I say it) sleazy, so unfashionable that anyone in their right mind would be HORRIFIED at such a fashion disaster run rampant on the streets! Especially on such a graceful beauty as Rarity!

Wow, most of Rainbows dialogue was straight out of the new episode, but like a year before it came out!

I get the feeling this wasn't the Sunlight story you had in mind, but I did still greatly enjoy it. I'm such a sucker for this pairing. :twilightsmile:

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