• Published 7th Aug 2016
  • 6,161 Views, 302 Comments

Sunset Past the Horizon - Ponealone

Things happen when Anon-a-miss doesn't fess up. Good things and bad things, but mostly bad things.

  • ...

Chapter 4: Shopping

“It sure was nice of you to give me a ride to the mall.” Sunset stepped out of the car and flopped the door shut.

Flash grinned. “I wouldn't wish public transportation on my worst enemy.” He slammed his car door shut and locked it with the wireless key. Beep.

“Ooh, I thought your world didn't have magic,” Sunset remarked, feigning intrigue of the car magically locking itself.

“That's right. I'm actually a wizard who can lock car doors with my mind.” Flash brought his fingertips to his temples and stared intensely.

Sunset snorted and rolled her eyes. “If only you knew.” They started heading across the parking lot to the entrance of the mall.

“Speaking of magic, I still haven't decided which phone I should get, but I narrowed it down to two options.” She turned to Flash. “The Neighxus 5X or the iPone 6S. Which do you think is better?”

“The way you talk about it makes me think you know more about this stuff than me. But, since you asked, I use an iPone and it works pretty good so I guess I'd recommend that. They're kinda expensive though.”

“Money shouldn't be a problem. Gold in this world is worth way more than I thought it would be. In Equestria one gold bit will get you a box of girl scout cookies. Over here, one bit got me a computer which I used to find out that I got ripped off. It turns out I could have gotten three computers for one bit. So, long story short I'm sorta rich.”

“Dang, I kinda wanna visit Equestria now.”

“Bad Flash, no inflating the value of gold.” Sunset approached the front door of the mall.

Flash opened the door and held it open. “After you.”

Sunset entered the mall. “You're such a gentleman,” she teased.

The mall was as empty as one could expect for a late Tuesday morning. It would have been silent if it wasn't for the murky unintelligible music reverberating down the halls. Sunset spotted a directory and located a shop that should sell phones.

“Okay, this way.” She began walking down the large empty corridor with Flash in tow.

Flash looked around as he walked. “I've never been at the mall at this time of day before. This place is kinda creepy when it's empty.” He eyed an old man sleeping on a bench in an upright position.

“Yep I agree, but I don't want to be here when school lets out.”

“Oh man, I just realized we can still run into Canterlot High students outside of school. Like, we changed schools, but we didn't change cities!”

“That's... a good point. It would also be nice to live closer to our new school. Hmm, I'll have to check some places out later, you can help right after you mow my lawn and do my taxes.” She winked at him.

“Oh man, what did I get myself into...” He looked away nervously.

“Ah there's the store.” Sunset pointed at a large entrance with giant letters above it reading Wise Electronics.

Flash scratched his head. “I wonder what's so wise about it.”

“Hello and welcome to Wise Electronics. We're having a sale on ergonomics,” the saleswoman by the entrance rhymed.

“Or perhaps I may help you with what you seek. Customers, I assure you I'm quite the geek.”

“I'm looking for a new smartphone,” Sunset said.

“Follow me my child, I'll show you just what you need. A next gen smartphone, satisfaction guaranteed.” They followed her to a glass case containing assorted phones of various makes and models.

“Do you sell the new iPone? I'd like a gold colored off-contract one.”

“Indeed we do. I'll get it for you.” The saleswoman unlocked the glass case and retrieved a boxed iPone 6S.

“Would that be all? Done with your haul?”

“Yeah, just that.”

“If you are sure beyond a doubt, then follow me to the checkout.” They walked over to the cash register.

“There's ten percent off if the price tag is starred, but only if you have a membership card.”

“I don't have one.”

“Would you like to register for a membership card? The process is quick and not at all hard.”

“No thanks.”

“If it is your wish to not lessen the expense, then it will be seven hundred eighty seven dollars and forty nine cents.”

Sunset rummaged through her purse and removed a wad of hundred dollar bills and counted out eight of them. “Here you go.”

“Here is the change for what you pay. Thank you very much and have a nice day.” Sunset accepted her change and took the bag with her new phone in it.

“Thanks, you too.” Sunset headed back out into the mall, she noticed a few more people roaming around than before.

“It must be lunchtime. You hungry Flash? I'm hungry.”

“Yeah I could go for some food, but uh aren't you going to say anything about back there?”

“Yeah, I got a new phone and it's gold! I should thank Gilda for giving me an excuse to splurge.”

“That's not what I... nevermind, lets go look for the food court.”

* * *

The air was abound with a mish-mash of delicious aromas ranging from greasy fast food to refreshing health food and everything in between. Sunset took interest in the burrito counter while Flash followed his nose to the burger stand. After ordering and picking up their lunches they sat at a relatively clean table amidst the chatter and chaos of the lunch rush. The ambient noise made it difficult to hear each other talk so they focused on their meals instead. After they were satisfied, Flash volunteered to carry both trays to the lunch tray receptacle. Sunset Figured it was time to leave, she stood up and walked in the direction of the exit stopping momentarily to wait for Flash to catch up. Flash jogged up to her looking like he was going to say something about not wandering off without him when his eyes went wide.

“Uh Sunset? I just remembered that today at CHS is a half-day due to the exams.” Flash said with a note of concern in his voice.

“I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but alright. Good to know I guess.” She replied.

“It has to do with the fact that your old friends are standing over there.” Flash pointed behind her at a group of five girls.

“Hey, that's not funny.” She assumed he was joking until she looked over her shoulder. Sunset's heart stopped and she dropped her shopping bag on the floor. Rarity noticed Sunset and pointed at her which drew the attention of the other four. Sunset took a deep breath to calm down. She steeled her nerves.

There's nothing to worry about anymore.

“Fancy meetin' you here, secret stealer,” Applejack greeted.

“Why are we even talking to her? C'mon guys we're supposed to be takin' it easy,” Rainbow Dash complained. The others stood around looking uncomfortable.

Rainbow's remark awoke in Sunset a calm resolute anger. A moment ago she felt like running, but now she found herself at ease and no longer concerned about the repercussions of what she was about to say. Sunset cleared her throat.

“You know what? No. I'm not taking this from you anymore,” Sunset said, her furled eyebrows and gesturing hands embellished her words.

“Back when you beat me at the Fall Formal I thought that laying defeated in a crater in the ground would be the worst point of my life, but it wasn't. The worst thing that ever happened to me was when my closest friends decided that I was no longer their friend for reasons completely beyond my control. You didn't even stop to question it, you just took one look at that web page and decided 'yup! she dun it!'. I'm not even going to try and convince you that I'm not Anon-a-miss anymore because I've given up. I don't care. We're not friends, we probably never were friends, and we're not even classmates because starting at the end of break I'm a Shadowbolt, so screw you and goodbye forever. Bitches.”

Sunset turned sharply, picked up her shopping bag, grabbed Flash by the wrist and stormed off towards the parking lot.

The girls stood slack jawed at Sunset's fiery speech waiting for her to walk out of earshot before commenting.

“She's leaving our school?” Rarity broke the silence.

“Good riddance I say. She's their problem now,” Rainbow said.

“Ah gotta admit. Once she leaves I'm sure the posts are—” Applejack halted, “—um Shy? Are you feelin' alright?”

Fluttershy tried to hide her tears behind her long pink bangs, but everyone noticed. “I'm sorry, it's just that what if she's really not Anon-a-miss? Sunset sounded like she was really upset. It breaks my heart to see her like that.” Fluttershy rubbed her eyes.

Rarity rested her hand comfortingly on Fluttershy's shoulder. “I'm sorry to hear that Fluttershy dear, but we all must move on.”

“Come on guys, I don't want to think about this anymore.” Pinkie interjected with her hair cotton candy hair drooping into her face. The group moved on to the food court.

Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle sat at a table on the far side of the noisy food court. “Hey! What took you guys so long?” Applebloom asked. “Yeah, we already finished our food.” Scootaloo added. Sweetie Belle was sipping a milkshake.

“We ran into Sunset on the way over,” Applejack answered.

“She told us that she is transferring to Crystal Prep,” Rarity said.

The trio collectively looked very worried. “O-oh, that's... great? So now the Anon-a-miss posts will stop. Ha ha ha.” Applebloom said while looking to the side.

“Y-yeah those posts are sure to stop now!” Scootaloo reiterated. Sweetie Belle slurped her milkshake faster.

“A-anyways we already got y'all a seat.” Applebloom said.

“Yeah! You guys go get food, we'll guard the table.” Scootaloo added.

The five other girls all dispersed to get their lunches.

“Oh man, what did we do?” Scootaloo said in a hushed voice.

“We got Sunset expelled is what we did!” Applebloom said in the same hushed voice.

Sweetie Belle looked extremely uncomfortable with tears in her eyes. “Uh Sweetie Belle are you okay?” Scootaloo asked.

“D-don't sniff worry guys, I just have a brain freeze.” She immediately burst out in tears and put her head down on the table to muffle her sobs.

Applebloom turned to Scootaloo and said, “We really messed up.”

* * *

Sunset was angrily plodding across the linoleum floor sending reverberating echoes up and down the sparsely populated halls of the mall. Flash struggled to keep up with his wrist grasped tightly by the force of nature dragging him along. He felt their walking pace slow down and the grip loosen. Then he felt their walking pace halt to a stop and the grip release. Sunset stood with her back to him and her head drooped to the ground.

“Uh Sunset? You alright?” Flash asked hesitantly. When she didn't respond he walked around to her front and bent his knees to be eye level with her. Cautiously looking past her forlorn bangs he could see her cheerless face.

Sunset glanced up at his worried blue eyes. “I wanna go home,” she mumbled, and they began walking again.

It was a quiet ride home. Sunset rested her chin on her palm and gazed out at the scenery rushing by her passenger side window while Flash was laser focused on the road. After watching a few miles of buildings and streetlamps whizzing by, Sunset turned in her seat and turned her melancholic gaze to the hypnotizing road. Flash drew air into his lungs as if he was going to say something, but instead exhaled. Rounding a corner, the car pulled up by Sunset's apartment complex. The engine slowed to a low rumble as Flash put the car in park and disengaged the ignition.

Sunset turned to Flash. “Thanks for today Flash. I had fun except for... you know.” She looked down.

“I also had fun today and hey, try to take it easy.”

“I will, thanks, and um, can we do something like this again tomorrow?” She gave him a smile.

“Aw man sorry, I promised Gran Gran I would come visit her tomorrow. How about the day after?”

Sunset was frowning internally. “Yeah, that's good too. I'll look forward to it!” She waved goodbye as she opened the car door.

“See ya Thursday.” He smiled and waved back.

Sunset stepped out of the car and closed the door behind her. She felt a tinge of loneliness as she waved at the car driving off into the distance. She to her apartment and took a step when the car reappeared around the corner and drove back up to her. It came to a stop and Flash stepped out holding a shopping bag.

“Hey, you forgot your phone.” Flash handed the bag over to Sunset.

“Oh wow, I can't believe I forgot that. Thank you.”

“Don't mention it. Well, I better get going.”

“Wait!” Sunset called out.

“Huh?” Flash felt a warm embrace and something wet on his cheek.

“Thanks for everything, Flash.”

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