• Published 28th Nov 2011
  • 14,230 Views, 371 Comments

Trails and Trials - Mazzyrazzy



Ditzy's journey to make, and keep, the friends she's made.

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Tomorrow

The salt and pepper shakers cowered from the evil muffin on the edge of the table. Cornered, trapped, and woefully unfortunate, the married spices could do nothing more than tremble and plead.

Casting a glance over the edge of the table, the saltshaker gulped. “P-please, what do you want!? Just don’t hurt me or my wife! We have little salt and pepper children to feed!” Hit with vertigo from the vast height from the tabletop to floor, Saltshaker did all he could to not succumb to the sickness.

The couple held each other while the muffin hovered over towards them menacingly. It gave a devious chuckle. “Fools! You know very well what I want; world domination!”

“Mugging two innocent shakers will give you world domination?” The pepper shaker whimpered.

“The plan is a work in progress!” The muffin boomed. “And there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Mwahahahaha!”

It was a desperate situation to be sure. The saltshaker looked down upon his cowering wife and knew in that instance that it was up to him to come up with a strategy. No pastry, regardless of how delicious, would endanger his family while he still breathed. His eyes flicked left and right, trying to find anything around the table that could help them. His glare fell upon the napkin holder.

“Honey, when I say run, you run. Okay?” He whispered.

“Wah…?” She looked horrified. He didn’t wait for confirmation; the muffin was already upon them.

“Well, muffin…” said the salt shaker. The muffin paused in apprehension. “Looks like you’re about to be…asSALTED.”

With force, the salt shaker threw some of his salt at the surprised muffin. A downpour of the zesty compound sprinkled its way across the confectionery treat, leaving him mortally shocked.

“What? Salt!? How did you know my weakness is salt! Blleeeeggghhhh….” The muffin writhed on the ground in pain, momentarily losing sight of its surroundings.

“Honey, go now! Run!” The saltshaker ushered urgently. Together, the two ran across the table and hid behind the only source of cover—the napkin holder. Pepper shaker was panting hard and whimpering loudly. Saltshaker did his best to calm his wife by holding and shushing her gently.

“Shhh it’s okay darling, it’ll all be okay.” He cooed.

“I-I’m j-just… so… scared.” She whispered.

“Now I’m really mad!” The muffin yelled from the other side of the table, regaining its composure. “Too bad salt is my weakness for only like twenty seconds!”

“Oh no,” Pepper shaker cried, “It’s coming back!”

The ominous muffin crept closer and closer to the ill-fated dispensers, all the while the two were huddled close together, trying to make as little noise as possible. It seemed to be all for naught as the muffin was able to deduce that there weren’t many places the pair could be hiding behind. With a dry chuckle, the muffin continued its advance.

“This has been quite a show you two have put on, but this ends now. Phase one of my grand ultra cool super master plan is about to come to fruition: first, the table, then, the world! Mwahahaha!”

Suddenly and violently, two giant grey hooves wrapped themselves around the startled evil muffin.

~*~*~

Ditzy was sitting in a chair lined evenly with her kitchen table. Before her, splayed with chaotic precision, stood her puppets of theatrical kitchenware: her salt and pepper shakers, as per their cue, were pushed passed the napkin holder, and the villainous muffin was now in her heroic clutches. When possible, the mailmare avidly enacted the scene with colorful, dramatic sound effects.

Ditzy dropped her voice down a few octaves to ventriloquize the muffin. “What! Put me down this instant so I can take over the world!”

Her glare sharpened. “Not today! Be gone, demon!”

With loud, and completely unnecessary ‘nom nom’ noises, Ditzy tore chunk after vicious chunk out of her breakfast. Accented with a few growls, the event soon turned feral until every last crumb was devoured.

She giggled to herself while licking her lips. After readjusting the table’s miniature inhabitants to their correct positions, she went to wash up in her sink, crumbs sticking loosely around her muzzle and in her mane.

She had slept well the night before, so well in fact that she had decided to wake up a bit early, so she could have a decent breakfast and wouldn’t have to rush off to work. A similar scene had been created earlier when she had been eating her Cheerilio’s cereal. She was halfway through her first bite when she realized the namesake of the brand, eyeing the unresponsive bowl with distrust; she loudly accused it of stealing Cheerilee’s soul, thereby committing a crime against nature.

Yes, it was a long and hard fought battle against the bowl of cereal. Both sides taking loses, General Milk sacrificed himself for the greater good, and she was pretty sure there was some cool theme music playing. Eventually she got the cereal to confess, and to release the gathered soul. Ditzy knew the schoolmare may never know of her incredible bravery, but it was worth it none the less. With the fruity puffs of cereal bits splattered across her kitchen, she admitted she may have gone a tad bit too far and cleanup afterwards took a sizeable chunk out of her morning. Still hungry, she elected to eat just a muffin, but even that turned into a fiasco.

Satisfied that all cleaning was done, Ditzy happily trotted into her parlor space, humming a tune that didn’t seem to have melody or harmony. She soon had to be off on another day of work. This would be her last one in a few days; tomorrow was Sunday, and there was never any post on Sundays, and she hadn’t been scheduled in to work Monday or Tuesday.

It slightly annoyed Ditzy whenever she had an extended period of no work; it was her passion, something she could focus on and benefit from. Outside of her job, she didn’t really feel like she had a purpose.

Ditzy leapt over her still-collapsed front door, thinking to herself that she should probably get that fixed, but knew she wouldn’t summon the motivation to get it done for at least a few days. Besides, it did provide a steady draft of fresh air throughout the living space. Not to mention it was extremely fun to knock down! Always a silver lining.

Stepping into her room once more, she made her way over to the mirror to make sure she was presentable, which in her case was just slightly above disheveled. Content with herself that no more tweaking would benefit her, she nodded at the reflection and exited the room, stealing a glance at the framed picture resting atop her dresser.

Outside, she leisurely began her flight to work. Not having to race the mean sun today, Ditzy was able to stop every now and again to admire the beautiful morning. Light refracted through the dew that rested upon the petals of sunflowers, tulips, and—Ditzy’s personal favorite—the luscious purple rhododendrons. Carrot Top’s well-kept garden was always so vibrant during the summer, only matched by the initial bloom during spring. The corn yellow earth pony was out tending the flowers, humming a sweet tune, as Ditzy flew overhead.

Next Ditzy saw the peaks of gingerbread shingles, which could only be those of Sugarcube Corner. Earlier that morning Ditzy had considered heading back to the sugary shop; she felt kind of bad for ditching out on a pony that might have possibly cared. But Ditzy saw the look in Pinkie’s eyes; pity. If there was one thing worse than growing up alone, it was another pony pitying her for growing up alone. For this reason, she decided it would probably be best if she stayed away from the shop for a while.

Arching her wings, she gave the store a wide berth. Eventually, unaware of the trail she flew, she found herself once again in Ponyville Park. When she finally realized where she was, she halted herself and hovered in place high above the ground, where she could touch wisps of clouds. Down below she noticed a severe lack of ponies; no surprise there. It was still too early for most ponies. The few that actually were in the park were there walking pets or exercising. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary; it was the sight Ditzy thought she was going to see yesterday. The picnic took her by complete surprise. Not a single trace of the event could be seen, almost like it never happened at all.

A quick pang of remorse vaulted through her, though it was eagerly replaced by curiosity as Ditzy observed a cream colored pegasus usher a flutter of butterflies across a hill. It was such a surreal sight that the kaleidoscope of color mesmerized her. If Ditzy pressed herself, she was sure she could remember the name of the butterfly laden pony. Delivering mail comes with the perk of basically knowing everypony in town, whether they liked it or not.

Hmm… let’s see here… I remember she takes care of animals… Oh how could I forget! She’s the only pegasus here besides me that actually has a house of her own on the ground here in Ponyville. Flutter...Fluttershy, yah that’s it!

Proud of her cognitive ability, Ditzy resumed her flight while keeping Fluttershy and her butterflies in her sights until finally she was too distant to make out distinct shapes.

Finally Ditzy could see the Ponyville Post Office in her sights. It only took a couple minutes to reach the window she flew through every day, though this time the padded wall wouldn’t be necessary, much to Mr. Forthright’s amusement.

“You seem a bit mellow today, Derpy.” The brown colt smiled. “What’s the occasion?”

“I woke up early and had a good morning!” She replied, punching in her time card.

Her boss leaned against his doorframe. “Well well, today might be a good day then, I can feel it. Color me impressed.”

Ditzy gave him a weird stare. “Umm, I’m not sure exactly which color ‘impressed’ is, but if you want to be a different color, there’s a salon down the road where you can dye your mane!” Ditzy leaned in real close to her boss, as if somepony might hear her. “If I were you, I’d pick yellow. Then you’d be like me!” She whispered loudly.

She walked away just as Mr. Forthright’s expression deadpanned.

~*~*~

Saturday was always the busiest day for the post office; it was the day most ponies were off work and had time to actually pay a visit and set their affairs in order. Because of this, Ditzy’s mailbag was always full to the bursting point, containing letters from other cities throughout Equestria waiting to be delivered to the inhabitants of Ponyville.

Organizing the incoming mail took a bit longer than usual because of the amount, so Ditzy wasn’t able to pack her bag until about two hours after noon. She’d have to move quicker than usual to get everything delivered by nightfall. There wasn’t any penalty for delivering after dark, as long as it wasn’t too late. It’s just Ditzy had always been able to meet her quota, and that wouldn’t change tonight. Besides, after the previous night she didn’t really feel comfortable being alone outside in the dark.

With a pippy grunt, Ditzy slung the mailbag around her shoulder and it fell to her side. She took a few careful steps to acclimate to the new weight and balance. After she was sure that she could handle walking with it, she exited the post office with a smile on her face.

The stirring breeze riffled through her mane sporadically, whipping her hair in multiple directions. Ditzy noticed the desultory gust had picked up since morning, and looking on to the horizon she saw clouds of a storm gathering. It didn’t take much to convince Ditzy that she shouldn’t fly; she preferred walking anyway. But now with the gaining winds, heavy bag, and her balance offset, it would probably be in her best interest to remain ground bound.

Most creatures, even ponies, received foreboding vibes from the oncoming storm; not Ditzy. She adored windy days almost as much as rainy ones. To feel the wind rushing through her mane and tail were thrilling sensations, giving any typical activity, such as delivering mail, an adventurous flair. The wind generated by flying just wasn’t the same; it felt so controlled compared to the sporadic nature of natural wind. One moment the wind would be rushing against her face, and the next, caressing her side.

Trotting with care, the grey mailmare made her way down a dirt path towards a few of the outlying homes of Ponyville, where she would made her first deliveries, eventually circling in on the center of town.

Ditzy passed few ponies as she walked through the outskirts of town. The ones she did pass often gave polite greetings and she returned them in kind. It was the kind of social interaction one would expect when being a mailmare, but it still always warmed her heart.

The first few houses breezed by. The act of actually delivering the mail was a very complex procedure, one that Ditzy had refined to perfection over her years in the mailing industry. It went as followed: Open mailbox, put mail in, close mailbox. Sometimes she got mixed up, but those instances were few and far between.

Sometimes the ponies would be outside on their porch, or their children playing in the front yard. In those cases, she would deliver the mail directly to the ponies, saving them a long and arduous trip to their mailbox.

In the end, their kindness and greetings were all superficial; Ditzy knew they only were being courteous. She had come to terms long ago with the fact that once she left, most ponies forgot about her and her mail-bringing services, but today especially it was blatantly there in her mind.

Would anypony miss me if I just…I don’t know…poofed into thin air?

She felt silly for asking—of course there were. In fact, she could think of two ponies, and they were the ones keeping her sane(ish). Thanks to them, she had the will to fight through the perils of the day-to-day.

Ditzy checked her mailbag and confirmed that all the houses on this lane were accounted for. While sifting through the bag, she spotted a slightly transparent purple plastic bag. She looked right beside it and found that one of the small boxes had its lid slightly open, and the bag most likely fell out through the hole.

Simple enough to fix! Let me just…

Ditzy un-shouldered her bag and set on the ground carefully. She took out the box, her emergency tape, and the purple bag.

Alright, let’s put you back in…wah…wait a minute…

The purple bag was full of candy, Ditzy’s one true weakness.

Heeeerrgggggg! Must… Resist!

Steeling herself, she forcibly broke her gaze away and reached for the tape, though her hooves were unsteady and unable to tear a piece off. She had to bend down and bite it off, but in doing so she became transfixed with the now-seemingly-glowing bag of candy.

Candy…too…powerful…can’t…fight…much longer!

Racing against the clock, and sweat streaming down her brow, Ditzy tore off the old tape from the damaged box and prepared to place the new tape on it, forgetting entirely to first put the candy inside. The stress did not bode well for her rationalizing skills. She caught herself at the last moment, and managed not to tape the box closed.

Okay okay, in you go candy! You know I love you, but you can’t be mine; we come from separate worlds and you are destined for another… OH SWEET CELESTIA THERE’S BUBBLE GUM IN THERE.

Indeed there was. Gleaming in a taunting pink wrapper was her favorite chewing gum. She felt the dark side taking over, and knew she wouldn’t be able to combat the temptation much longer. The hoof with the candy bag in it wouldn’t budge, so Ditzy had to use her other hoof to forcibly move the incompliant one down. With grunts and growls, she finally managed to slide the bag of howling demons into the small cardboard box.

Quicker than a flash, Ditzy sealed the top with the fresh tape. Her teeth were chattering and knees were wobbling. She knew her ordeal was yet to be over; as long as it was in her possession, she was in its possession.

Taking up her mailbag, she noted the address on the parcel and put it inside with the rest of the mail. She’d have to make an exception with her route; she had to get rid of that particular package lest it drive her insane. It was nearer to the center of town, and she’d need to make it there fast by the looks of her condition.

She ran as fast as she could bear with the bag against her side. The balance issue became more annoying as her speed increased. It made it so she had to lean to the left to offset the bag’s pull on her right. As the bag bounced up and down, the strap chaffed her chest, shoulder, and withers. The areas affected soon became numb so she didn’t feel anything; it wouldn’t matter anyway. She was dealing with matters of life and death.

Minutes sluggish rolled by until finally she was nearer to the center of town, where the tantalizing package was addressed. The streets were more densely populated, and she had to dodge around others as she ran, most of who gave weird stares. Finally she saw the house in her sights—it was a whitewashed, rustic looking house with a well-kept yard and light brown picket fence, which was less common in the center of town. Not willing to internally contemplate the rarity of rural housing designs in a slightly more urban setting, she ran frantically to the front door, a complete and utter nervous wreck, and banged on it three times.

An older beige Earth pony answered with a smile. “Yes, can I-“

Ditzy thrust the package into the mare’s home like it was a time bomb. “Here! Take it! Take it before it consumes me!” she screamed.

The mare blinked. “Uh… Okay?” She said meekly.

Ditzy heaved her chest, filling her lungs with the breath of freedom. She could feel the control returning as her limbs stabilized. With a calm exhale, she soon returned to her usual self. The sudden transformation only worried the beige mare at the front door even more, who was now backing away worriedly. Ditzy ignored it.

“Oh! And you’ll need to sign this, please and thank you!” Ditzy said cheerfully, handing over the clipboard and pen.

Transaction complete, the door was shut on her hurriedly, and the grey pegasus happily walked back down the small cobblestone pathway that connected the house with the main street. She was proud of herself for repelling the enticement for so long, knowing she had done the mail industry proud.

Back on the main street, she noticed the wind had picked up even more so since her run from the outskirts of town. She could feel the wind like waves of energy rustling sinuously through her coat. The warm air mixing with the cool breeze made for the perfect degree of comfort, and she closed her eyes to enjoy it for a moment.

Suddenly, the wind’s velocity increased dramatically. A gust she wasn’t prepared for blew directly against her right side—the side of her mailbag—causing her to tip dangerously to the left. Her mind flooded with panic as she desperately tried to right herself, but she knew she was too far gone, and the bag was too heavy. There, in the middle of the street, surrounded by ponies, she tumbled, tripping over her own hooves.

When Ditzy’s body hit the ground, her vision spun and she lost sight of her surroundings. She felt the bag weighting down on her, making it hard to breathe. As her vision slightly cleared, she was able to push the bag off her, and that’s when she noticed something confusing.

A white rectangle floated across her field of vision.

Ditzy looked down in horror at the mailbag, now opened with letters spilling all over the street. Just then, a brutal wind picked up and sent the letters flying in every direction. She didn’t know what to say or do, she could only murmur fretfully while trying to get to her hooves, but her dizziness always forced her back down.

Noo! The letters are getting away!

Ditzy felt like she was on the verge of tears. She was watching her livelihood fly away without the slightest care. She desperately tried to reach out for the letters around her, only managing to secure one while several more slipped from her bag. She groaned frustratingly when she noticed, and she looked around pleadingly for some form of help. Her desperation was apparent in her watery eyes and jerky attempts to grab letters.

And that’s when her ears finally tuned it. It started out as a buzz in the back of her mind that suddenly grew in intensity.

Laughing. She heard laughing.

Questionably, she cast her gaze around, and was horrified to find that everypony around her had stopped and had begun laughing at her display. Tens of ponies were giggling, snickering, and chattering amongst themselves while others just gave amused grins. Nopony moved to help her. Nopony ceased laughing.

Nopony cared. Nopony ever cared.

That’s it, she was done. Defeated and embarrassed beyond reason, she buried her face into her forelegs, as slow, painful teardrops dripped out the corner of her closed eyes, wanting to not exist. Perhaps if she grew still enough, some benevolent force that had been absent from the day she was born would take mercy and take her out of her misery.

Then suddenly, an angelic voice came from right in front of her. “You look like you could use some help.”

Ditzy sniffed, and slowly raised her watery eyes to the source. Her vision was too blurry to see well, so she wiped a hoof across her eyes, and gave another glance up.

Before she even noticed the pony, she noticed a purple aura penetrating the whole world around her. Everything sparkled with an unnatural purple hue and was frozen as if time itself was at a standstill. The laugher had died down as most ponies had went off to continue their business, but the dozens of letters were frozen in time, suspended off the ground in the same purplish haze.

Curiously, she finally focused on the pony responsible.

Standing before her was a unicorn mare with a lavender coat and deep purple mane. The mare looked to be around Ditzy’s age, maybe even a year or two younger. The unicorn’s horn was alight with the same purple glow that surrounding all her letters. She was also extending a hoof to help Ditzy up.

Ditzy was dumbstruck and didn’t know what to say or do. She numbly took the mare’s hoof while giving another sniff to clear her sinuses.

Gracefully, the purple pony pulled her up off the ground and up to her hooves, where Ditzy wobbled unstably. The mare beside her didn’t let her go until she had fully righted herself, and could stand without swaying.

“That was a pretty bad fall you took there,” the mare said worriedly, “are you okay?”

Too shocked to answer, Ditzy just stood there with her mouth slightly opened, but unable to form words. After a few moments of unresponsiveness, the unicorn spoke up again.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” She smiled gently, and then all the letters that were once still in the air started moving towards her. Ditzy watched incredulously as all the letters went back into her mailbag, seemingly in the same order as when they spilled out. The unicorn looked around nonchalantly to note the progressive of her handiwork; almost every single letter was now back inside the bag, with the rest of them soon joining.

“And that should do it!” The unicorn announced, satisfied. Using her magic once more, she lifted the bag up for Ditzy, allowing it to fall over her shoulder and against her side. She slowly faded her magic as to not immediately put all at once the weight back onto Ditzy’s frame.

The purple pony’s ears tweaked when a chuckle was heard coming from two Earth colts that were still spectating. They were talking amongst themselves when they caught the unicorn’s glare.

“Hey! We all make mistakes, and it’s not very friendly to laugh at others’ misfortunes.”

Ditzy’s heart nearly stopped.

She…she’s defending me. SAY SOMETHING!

Still, her voice was incompliant with her wishes and she only managed to exhale a few gnarled breaths.

After the Earth colts had walked off, embarrassed to be called out, the unicorn refocused her attention on Ditzy once again. “Hey, don’t let them get to you. They weren’t laughing at you, just at the scene you caused.”

Ditzy remained silent.

The unicorn shifted uncomfortably at the silence. “Well it looks like everything is in order: your bag should be exactly the way it was before the wind blew everything, and you appear to be fine. Have a good day, okay?”

Ditzy made eye contact with her for a brief second. The slightly wavering eyes upon the magical mare betrayed nothing but honest kindness and genuine concern. Ditzy knew she was staring into the eyes of somepony who actually cared about her. It held her firmly in her spot; her limbs were frozen and heart rate beating so fast she could hear it in her ears.

Was this it? Was this her chance to make a friend?

The purple unicorn gave one last smile before she began to walk away. Ditzy watched, mouth agape, trying to spit out some form of gratitude.

Before long, the mare had reached the horizon and was soon out of her sight.

“THANK YOU!” She finally managed to yell, letting all the pent up energy out.

She knew it was too late.

~*~*~

After remaining frozen in her spot for what felt like an eternity, she was finally able to force her legs to walk. She half-heartedly began distributing the mail that remained in her bag, but her mind was in a separate place. Before she even knew it, she was already done and an hour had passed.

She decided to fly back to her work to help clear her mind, but ultimately was unable to keep the purple unicorn and her display of kindness out of her thoughts, she decided to be constructive and remember what she could about the mare.

Ditzy tried her best to remember her name; it was on the tip of her tongue. Several times she had seen the mare around town. Ditzy even remembered that she lived in the library because Ditzy often delivered books to the tree house. They had spoken indirectly before, but never on any level of meaning.

The unicorn was also the coordinator for the yearly Winter Wrap Up. She had done a great job turning chaos into harmony.

Finally, it clicked. She remembered.

Twilight Sparkle! Yaaaahh, that’s her name! And she lives with the baby dragon.

An idea popped into her brain, causing her to pause in flight.

Heeyyy, I know where she lives! Maybe I could pay a visit and…and…

…And then nothing came to mind. How would she rationalize showing up without being creepy? Ditzy feared rejection from the one mare that had shown her true kindness; not pity masked with kindness.

Could making a friend really be as simple as asking Twilight Sparkle if she wanted to be her friend?

Ditzy twirled her hooves around each other while her brain began to dully throb. She was getting a headache just trying to find a solution. Also, she couldn’t help but consider what would happen if she was wrong, and if Twilight was just helping her out of pity? Twilight didn’t have many reasons to be friends with Ditzy—While Twilight was brave, magical, adventurous, and brilliant, Ditzy was cross-eyed, accident prone, forgetful, and completely unsure of herself. Just thinking about approaching Twilight’s doorstep made her breathing increase nervously.

Regaining her flight path, Ditzy suppressed all those thoughts with a shake of her head. She didn’t have anything to lose at this point, and everything to gain. Ditzy smiled to herself.

Alright then it’s settled… I’ll head over after work to…umm… oh! Thank her for being so nice and then….then I’ll improvise from there.

Ditzy shrugged, not seeing how it could possibly go wrong. It was obviously a well thought out and endurable plan.

The wind had died down a great deal since her fiasco near the center of town. She was able to fly with ease as the storm moved farther away towards the horizon; it never hit Ponyville directly, leaving a slightly disappointed grey pegasus who would have to wait until the weather team cooked up a storm so she could play in the rain.

Still, it was a bit dreary outside; the sun still hid behind the few scattered clouds that remained in the sky, casting dull grey shadows upon the town. It gave such a lonely ambiance to the area, one that Ditzy usually would have ignored without care, but today it only motivated her.

Finally back at the post office, Ditzy set about completing her work in the most efficient way possible. Instead of pandering about, like filling out paperwork was a big deal like she normally did, she sat down and completed her shipping reports and statuses. Her surprising rise in productivity did not go unnoticed by her boss, who unbeknownst to her was giving her weird stares from his desk. Finally, he decided to approach her.

Mr. Forthright strode forward carefully until he was standing right over Ditzy. The grey mailmare was still intently focused on her report as the pencil in her mouth furiously scribbled. To get her attention, he cleared his through with a cough, which finally was caught by Ditzy’s acuity.

“Oh, Hiya Mr. Forthright,” Ditzy mumbled through her pencil. She spat it down on her desk, “do you need help with something?”

She was met with thoughtful silence, in which time neither pony blinked. Eventually, he spoke up. “What’s you’re angle Derpy? Are you trying to get a raise?”

Ditzy looked at him questionably. “Why would I want to be raised? I’m fine here on the ground thank you.”

Mr. Forthright should’ve known, but still he walked right into it. Exhaling a tired sigh, he decided to rephrase his previous statement. “No, I’m asking why you are suddenly so keen on finishing your work on time? By the rate you’re going at, you’re going to be the first one out of here which is…” The brown stallion was trying to find a way to say what he wanted without sounding rude. “…unlike you.”

Ditzy’s eyes sparkled when she finally got what he meant. “Oohhh! Well it’s ‘cause I have plans after work.”

The news earned a surprised head jerk from her boss. “You do, do you?” It was rhetorical, but he began talking right after for fear that Ditzy would answer it anyway. “Well then… keep up the good work, Derpy.”

She gave a salute, her stern demeanor offset by her googily eyes. “Can do, boss!”

Her boss gave her one last stare before he inched back to his office, where he resumed his own scribbling. Every now and again, however, he’d look up to make sure Ditzy was still doing her work. It was so surprising because he’d usually have to tell her four or five times a night to get her paper work done and to stop fooling around. She tended to be much more interested in chewing on her pencil and spinning in her chair.

Finally convinced that the mare meant to finish her work without interruption, Mr. Forthright shrugged. “She must have some decent plans.”

~*~*~

As projected, Ditzy was one of the first to clock out that night. The sun was just beginning its routine descent over the horizon, and the brightest stars were becoming visible against the gentle bluish purple sky where day and night met. With her game face on, Ditzy spread her wings, and with a leap, she was soon soaring.

She knew if she thought about facing Twilight, she’d just get nervous and probably chicken out, so instead she focused her attention on her rhythmic flapping and the wind blowing against her face. Before long, the giant treetop of the library became visible. She slowed her flight and began to lazily glide down from the sky, landing perfectly on the doorstep.

This was it; all she had to do was knock.

Ditzy stared blankly at the wooden panel door. All she needed to do was raise her hoof, bang it a few times, and the rest would just unfold. She psyched herself up and shook her body to loosen up.

Alright, about to knock on the door.

She bent down to stretch her forelegs out; she didn’t want to get a cramp while knocking or during the conversation. Both were very strenuous activities, so she thought it logical to stretch to avoid serious complications.

Okay, time to knock.

Ditzy eyed the door, inspecting every inch of it. It was a nice door really; carved in a curved, elegant design on the top half and with a simple square frame on the bottom. It even looked like the top half the door could open while the bottom remained closed. Does that make it a double door?

Ditzy hadn’t really planned on taking this long to knock on the door.

Seconds turned into minutes as she stood her ground outside Twilight’s home. The night sky had just taken over, and the only source of light came from the candles in the window sills, and the flickering light inside maybe hinted towards a fire in the fireplace. It was so warm and inviting; surely Twilight wouldn’t mind Ditzy’s company.

Stop being a silly filly and knock on that door! It’s all you! You were born for this moment! If you could get another cutie mark, it’d be for being awesome at knocking on doors!

She straightened her posture, and riled by her own persuasion, she immediately raised her hoof and banged on the door three times.

“Coming!” A mare’s voice echoed from the other side.

Dear sweet Celestia what have I done!?

Losing all composure, Ditzy frantically looked around for a place to hide. Her wings were hinged shut, uncooperative and unresponsive to her attempts to bail out and take to the sky. Sweat started to form on her forehead, and she tried to dive into the bush right next to her, but it was too tangled with branches and foliage to allow her to move in any deeper than a few inches.

She dived under the welcome mat, concealing her face and forelegs but leaving her lower half exposed. After a few seconds of that, she jumped back out; unsatisfied that it provided the necessary cover.

Stop it! It’s time to buck up girl! Now you stand there and talk to Twilight like you’ve done before today. It’s easy, just remember to open your mouth and say words at the same time.

With a calming breath, Ditzy followed her own orders. She stood rigid on Twilight's door mat waiting for the inevitable.

Oh colt, what did I want to say?

Too late; the door creaked as it slowly swung open to reveal a slightly surprised purple unicorn. It was soon replaced by a smile. “Oh, hi Ditzy Doo. Do you have a package for me or something?”

If Ditzy had the slightest clue as to what she was going to say, she lost it right then and there. Her heart caught in her chest, and she had to physically stop herself from reaching a hoof up to her chest to make sure it was still beating. “Y-you…you called me Ditzy Doo,” she whispered. Twilight had no idea how much that meant to Ditzy. After being called Derpy for so long, to hear her own name out loud was a breath of fresh air.

Twilight’s eyes flashed with regret. “Oh, I’m so sorry; do you not like to be called by that name? I mean, I heard that you had a nickname but I just assumed-“

“No no no,” Ditzy interrupted, “I…I like my name. B-but you can just call me… Ditzy.”

The smile resumed on Twilight’s face. “Okay, Ditzy.” Twilight waited patiently for Ditzy to say something, but Ditzy was too far gone to even remember she was having a conversation. So she stood there with a goofy smile on her face. “So,” Twilight coughed, “is there a reason why you’re here?”

A cold wind rustled against the both of them, causing Ditzy to shiver. “Here, why don’t you come inside?” Twilight offered.

YYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

“O-okay.” She said more timidly than she meant.

Twilight held the door open for Ditzy and she slowly walked through the threshold, immediately hit with the warm glow from the fire. In the distance, Ditzy spotted Spike, who was busy shelving several books after an apparently busy day at the library. The inside was much bigger then it looked from the street; it was spacious with pieces of furniture around the center and bookshelves towering along the far wall. Flickering lively in the fireplace, the logs provided ample fuel for the fire that lit every surface of the room.

“So Ditzy, is there something I can help you with?” Twilight reiterated.

Ditzy had completely forgotten what she had wanted to say.

Just improvise! What would a friend say?

“NICE WEATHER WE’RE HAVING.” Ditzy stated bluntly, louder than she wanted.

Friends talk about the weather, right?

Twilight eyed her strangely. “Uh, yeah I guess it is a nice night.”

Quick! What else do friends talk about?

“SO HOW ‘BOUT THEM WONDERBOLTS?” Ditzy asked just as bluntly. “I HEARD THEY’RE PRETTY NEAT.”

Twilight’s head inclined and she gave a soft giggle. “Yes Ditzy, they are pretty neat.”

You’re doing great champ; it’s in the bag just keep the ball rolling!

“MUFFINS ARE MY FAVORITE FOOD.” She said a bit more confidently.

Twilight eyes closed lightly as she giggled once more, a bit louder. “Ditzy, what’s going on here?” Her voice was kind and rich; not condescending in the slightest, but sincerely curious. Ditzy finally let her guard down.

“I don’t know Twilight,” Ditzy admitted, looking down at the floor,” I just… I just thought that’s how…” She trailed off. Twilight nodded and waited patiently for her to finish. Ditzy felt reassured that she was willing to wait for something she had to say. It gave her the motivation to finish the thought.

“…friends talk.” Ditzy said meekly. She gazed at the ground unable to muster the courage to raise her head. After a few moments of silence, Ditzy felt her shoulder being poked. Her head rose faster than her eyes, but when she finally glanced over to Twilight she found her smiling supportively.

“You came all the way out here because you want to be my friend?” Twilight didn’t wait for an answer, but she wrapped a hoof around Ditzy’s neck and pulled her in for a hug. Ditzy was taken by complete surprise and was unsure of what to do. Does she hug back? Should she just stand there and be hugged? How long are these hugs supposed to last? Before Ditzy could even react, Twilight broke the embrace.

“Yah, kinda.” Ditzy decided to answer her question.

“Of course we can be friends, Ditzy. You can never have too many friends!” Twilight said excitedly.

“You really mean it!?” Ditzy gasped. “Yes!” With a flap of her wings, Ditzy jumped at least ten feet in the air, nearly hitting the ceiling, giving a victory pump. She couldn’t believe it; she had actually done what she set out to do and it all turned okay. No—better then okay. Great. Excellent. Fantawesome!

Ditzy paused, realizing she still had no idea what to do. She slowly lowered herself to the ground. “But…” she started but once again drifted off. Eventually she picked it back up, shuffling a forehoof nervously. “I-I don’t really know how to be a friend.”

She heard Twilight gasp. “A chance to teach!?” Ditzy looked up in time to see Twilight rushed over to her almost instantly, her smile so big that it looked like it might consume her face. “Ditzy, you happen to be looking at a mare who studies friendship for a living.”

Ditzy’s mouth flew open. “No way!”

“Yes way!” Twilight clopped her forehooves together excitedly. “I can teach you everything you need to know about friendship.”

This seemed too good to be true, like some dream where if Ditzy wasn’t too careful she’d wake up. If it was all a dream, she wanted to prolong it as long as possible, so she stayed motionless. “That would be so awesome! You really wouldn’t mind teaching me?”

“Not at all.” Twilight waved her off. “In fact, I think this is a great opportunity to reflect on how much I’ve learned.”

“Well, do you wanna start tomorrow? I’m off work and stuff.” Ditzy offered sheepishly.

Twilight rubbed her chin with a hoof. “Hmm… I’m pretty sure the schedule’s clear for tomorrow… Okay, I can work with that! Tomorrow it is.” Twilight confirmed.

Somehow during the course of the conversation, the pair had made it back over to the doorway. Ditzy was too busy smiling to care.

“So I’ll…see you tomorrow I guess? Where?”

“Well where do you live?”

She wants to come over to my house! Ditzy nearly exploded inside. She managed to fumble out her address to the purple unicorn.

With a satisfied nod, Twilight opened her front door with magic. “Alright, I’ll come by around noon, okay? See you tomorrow.” She smiled brightly.

Ditzy didn’t want to leave yet, but her own hooves betrayed her and she walked out the door. “Tomorrow…” Ditzy said unbelieving, smiling wide.

“Tomorrow.” Twilight reassured.

“Tomorrow…” Ditzy was stuck in a replaying track. Twilight noticed it and gave another gentle giggle.

“Goodnight Ditzy.” With that, Twilight closed her door, leaving Ditzy on the doorstep.

Ditzy stood there for the longest time, not able to process what just happened. The cool air refreshed her body; she hadn’t realized how hot she was. There were even a few beads of sweat on her forehead. Her heart was still beating faster than it had been in a long time, and finally alone she lifted a hoof and pressed it against her chest to feel the lively throb against her rib cage.

“I…I just made a friend.”

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