• Published 24th May 2020
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Up to Fate - Onomonopia

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Pinkie the Miner

Gray.

That was how the day started. That was how every day had started for so many years. The sun rose in the morning, just as it always had, but its golden rays were drowned out by the dark clouds that enclosed all of Equestria. The birds did not sing bright and colorful songs. At best all they could manage was a few tweets of despair. Flowers could barely open their petals towards the sky. The effort wasn’t worth it. Gray streams moved silently. The creatures of the woods and meadows moved about silently.

This was Equestria. An Equestria without magic.

Despite the animals and insects of the world keeping silent, there was still a noise in the early morning. The sounds of pickaxes striking crystal. The shuffle of mine carts as they took their cargo from the quarry. The bark of the guards who made sure that the ponies who worked in their quarry did exactly what they were told. And, inexplicably, a lone voice singing a happy song.

The song came from a pink pony with a short, tied back mane. Her eyes were a bright blue, a brightness that one would not find in any other pony in a hundred mile radius. And her smile was bright and cheerful, a far cry from the cold and despaired frowns that hung on the face of everypony around her.

This was Pinkamena Diane Pie. The singing miner.

With a whistle and a few shakes of her tail she pounded away on the red crystals surrounding her, able to swing with a rhythm and motion that none of the other ponies could keep up with. She scooped up the crystals she had mined and hopped over to a mine cart, balancing the crystals on the tip of her nose.

“And a one, a two, a three!” she sang as she dumped the crystals into the cart, pulling a lever and sending it rolling away. She turned and hopped back towards her station, waving at each of her fellow workers as she passed. They all glared back at her with cold eyes. Her smile never faltered as she returned to work, continuing on with her song.

“OH, a ting, ting, ting goes my mining thing and the bling, bling, bling comes tumbling down. I sing, sing, sing as happy as can be and the crystals come tumbling down!”

Pinkie hammered away on more crystals, knocking them loose. She lifted one and tapped it once with her pickaxe, giggling as it cracked apart to become a small, crystal version of herself. She placed the crystal her down before beginning to dance, whistling loud enough for the whole quarry to hear.

“HI HO, HI HO, I think that’s how the song goes. I make it up as I go along, so I’m always singing a different song. HI HO, HI HO is how it always start, but everypony else can sing their part! Take it away, Dusk Sky!”

The pony Pinkie was pointing to growled at her before she continued to push her crate filled with crystals. “Huh, not feeling very creative today, huh? That’s alright, we’ll come back to you later! Okay, who else wants to add their own lyrics?”

Pinkie looked around at all of the other ponies, but they either ignored her completely or gave her a few looks of loathing in response. After nopony volunteered, Pinkie shrugged her shoulders and went back to singing her song, playing the air-guitar on her pickaxe. Her song did gain her the attention of some of the guards in the watchtower, however.

“Ugh, it is too early in the morning to be putting up with this,” one of the guards, a giant satyr, said with a snarl as he turned towards Pinkie. “Oiy, keep it down! There is to be no singing while you’re working!”

“Okay then, I’ll just have to whistle!” Pinkie replied, whistling her song instead. The satyr snarled as he held his hands over his ears, grinding his teeth.

“You want to play it like that, pony?” he growled, grabbing his club and waving it at Pinkie. “If I come down there you will be singing a different tune!”

“Oh, what different tune would you like? I’ve got jazz, hip-hop, and maybe a little soul if you’re feeling emotional,” Pinkie sang back. The satyr snarled and began to walk towards her, but an orange and brown centaur placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Stand down. Let her sing if she wants,” he said.

“But Foreman Scur…”

“She is still working. That is all that matters,” Scur said as he turned away, humming Pinkie’s song to himself. “So long as they work, I care not if they sing or scowl. Besides, it’s nice to have a little variety at this place. It can be so drab here.”

“But sir, that right there is a rebellious spirit. Shouldn’t we squash it down now before she becomes a problem later?” the guard asked. “I mean, what if her acts of out right defiance give the other workers some funny ideas?”

“Ideas? This lot?” Scur said as he glanced over his shoulder, looking down at the quarry where the ponies were either avoiding Pinkie or telling her to shut up. “I don’t think that will be happening. As you can see, this lot has long since learned that this is their fate. This is their world. And they know that no amount of, what did you call it, defiance will change anything. Let Pinkie sing. It won’t change anything.”

“Sir, are you sure?”

“You’ve only been here, what, a few days? Trust me, this job gets old fast,” Scur said with a smirk. “For nearly every other quarry I’ve been it, it’s ponies toiling away all day and then they return when it gets dark. And we just sit around all day doing nothing and listen to the sounds of mining. Pinkie’s got a good singing voice. Might as well let her sing.”

Scur returned to his quarters after saying is piece, leaving the newby to gaze down at Pinkie. She was bouncing around as she sung, her voice surely carrying for miles. But as he gazed at the other ponies, he saw that none of them were being drawn in. Just as Scur had said, they had all accepted their lot in life. Pinkie was the only one who hadn’t. The only one who continued to deny the world around her sang alone. The guard smirked as he sat back down, figuring his boss was right. The ponies wouldn’t be any trouble. All there was left to do was sit back and enjoy the music.

Not far from the quarry sat a long row of houses that had been constructed for the miners. They weren’t anything special, mostly just giant domes made of mud and stone, with three rooms. For most it would hardly be considered a place to live, but for Pinkie, it was home sweet home. She waved goodnight to her neighbors, who, as usual, ignored her, before she reached her home.

“Honey I’m home!” she sang as she opened up the door.

“Mommy!”

Pinkie let out a giggle as her Lil’ Cheese came running out from the back, tackling Pinkie. Pinkie squeezed her son tight as she swung him around, the both of them giggling like a pair of sillies. With a yellow coat and Pinkie’s pink mane, Cheese was every bit the energetic pony Pinkie was.

“How did your day go mommy? Did you bring me anything?” Lil’ Cheese asked. Pinkie placed a hoof under her chin, pretending to think about it for a moment, before she reached into her mane and pulled out the small crystal pony she had made. Cheese squealed with delight as he ran to the back, passing his father as he did so.

“Welcome home. How’s my pink ball of energy?” Cheese Sandwich asked. Pinkie hugged her husband as tightly as she had Lil’ Cheese, before pulling back to smile at him. His brown mane was curly as usual, but a bit more deflated than she remembered. His eyes didn’t have their usual luster and he seemed…tired.

“Is everything okay?” Pinkie asked.

“Oh it’s nothing. They’re just…raising taxes again,” Cheese said with a small sigh.

“Again, huh? That makes the third time this year,” Pinkie pointed out. “Seems like they’re asking for a lot despite not having a need for any of it.”

“It’s greed, Pinkie. Pure and simple,” Cheese replied. “Ah, but you don’t want to hear about any of that. Why don’t you sit down? I’ll get dinner ready and then I can tell you about the scuffle that went down in the market-place today?”

Pinkie bounced over to her chair and sat, looking around the place as she did. Cheese had talked about adding some color, be it paintings, banners or something, but he still hadn’t gotten around to it. The only color that wasn’t grey or brown came from the crystal statues that Lil’ Cheese had placed all over, sometimes under hoof. Those ones Pinkie wasn’t fond of finding.

“Lil’ Cheese! Time for dinner!” Cheese Sandwich called out. Their son came running out from the back, hopped onto their chair, missed wildly and crashed to the floor. A moment later he was back on his seat, a smile still on his face.

“So, dearest, what’s on the menu for tonight?” Pinkie asked. “Strawberry cheesecake? A fruit cornucopia? Salad a la…uh…salad?”

“Well tonight your master chef has made for you…turnip stew,” Cheese said as he placed three bowls of soup on the table.

“Ooo, my favorite,” Pinkie giggled. She cast a glanced across the table to see that her son’s mane had slightly deflated. “What’s the matter, Cheesiepie? Not in the mode for soup?”

“No, it’s just…we’ve had turnip soup for weeks now. I was just wondering when we would get something else?” Lil’ Cheese asked.

“Come on now, turnip soup everyday isn’t that bad,” Pinkie said with a smile. “Did I ever tell you that we used to eat rocks all the time back when I was a filly? Rocks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They tasted bad, but boy were they full of nutrients. It’s how I got my iron jaw.”

“Are you sure that you just weren’t born with a big mouth?” Cheese teased. Pinkie lightly elbowed Cheese, but her smile fell when she saw her son staring down at the floor now.

“When you were a filly. You mean…before Tirek, right?”

For a moment Pinkie didn’t say anything. She was lost in her memories…of those who had been lost. Then her smile returned and she shrugged her shoulders. “Yup. Before the lord of mean showed up. Anyway, who cares about stuff like that. So you want a little spice for your dinner, huh? Well let me just reach into my mane and…”

Pinkie shoved her hoof into her mane, digging around for a moment before she pulled out a wrapped chocolate ball. Lil’s Cheese eyes went wide as he saw it and he began to drool. Pinkie giggled before tossing the ball to her son, who gazed at it with amazed eyes.

“You can have that, but only after you finish your dinner,” Pinkie said. Lil’ Cheese tore into his stew, eating so quickly that both Pinkie and Cheese shared a look before their son tore open the wrapper and tossed the ball into his mouth. With sugar now coursing through his veins, the little pony began to bounce all over the place, laughing as he did so.

“Thanks mom! You’re the best!” he said as he hugged his mother before racing off to his room. Pinkie watched him go with a smile before she started on her own dinner.

“That was from your secret stash, wasn’t it?” Cheese asked. Pinkie shrugged while humming innocently, getting Cheese to smile at her before shaking his head. “I’ll get the dishes tonight. Tomorrow we’ll have to figure out what we’re going to do about the rise in taxes, but…it can wait.”

“Thanks honey,” Pinkie said. For a moment she sat lost in thought, the mention of Tirek bringing back some bad memories for her. But then she looked at her husband, her son who was racing around the house on a sugar rush and her smile quickly returned. She didn’t have much, but she loved what she had.

And she wouldn’t trade it for anything.