• Published 23rd Aug 2016
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The Pony Dreadfuls - No one is home

A series of stories about ponies. Dreadful in both subject and quality. Enjoy :)

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Chapter 7- Another Day at the Office

“Alright you two, which paper is it? Equestria Daily? The Canterlot Enquirer? I’m not mad, it’s not like we print news, but if my employees are going to moonlight, I'd like to at least be in the loop.” Type Set fixed his glare on the youngest two member’s of the Pony Dreadful staff.

“Excuse me sir?” Picture Perfect cocked her head to one side in clear confusion. “I don’t think I know what you mean?”

“Oh come on, guys,” Ink Well grinned widely in reply, “We know you were at Rock Solid’s wake last night. Scuttlebutt is that you managed to interview Train Wreck Pastel himself. Honestly, Typo’s just worried he’s gonna have to give you both a raise to keep you on… or in Pip’s case, actually start paying him.”

“I thought you had ‘important family business’ last night, Pip?” Type Set fumed on, “You know we’re on a tight schedule. Is it the money? You’re a good enough layout editor, I guess it is past time we put you on payroll.”

“It’s nothing like that sir. I was at the wake tending to important business for my family, that’s the honest truth. I don’t work for any news paper.” Pip held up a hoof defensively. “I prefer to publish fiction as fiction. I find journalism distasteful. The truth is, I’m working on some business for my cousin.”

“Oh, really? That’s your story huh?” Type Set huffed angrily, “What about you Pic? Pip’s an intern, I expect as much loyalty as I pay for. You’ve been with us long enough that I’d expect better. At least that you wouldn’t pull something like this when we’re in a bind. But I’ll tell you what, how about you tell me what the deal really is?”

“I was helping Pip investigate the murder sir.” Pic sighed heavily, glad to be relieved of the burden.

“Alright, was that so hard? So which paper are you two moonlighting with?” Type nodded gruffly.

“We’re working for the Lunar guard, sir. At least indirectly. It was my cousin who set up the job.” Pip shrugged with disinterest.

“Seriously? The same cousin who lives in his mom's basement has you working with the Lunar Guard, AND has enough pull to get you in to see the Unspoken?” Ink Well guffawed. “I’ll give ya this, when you lie you don’t play around. It’s all balls deep.”

“His cousin is the Blind Goat, he lives in the basement of the Belfry.” Picture Perfect answered honestly in her most level voice.

Ink Well sprayed coffee across his desk in shock, and even Type Set seemed put off by the notion.

"What?" Pip asked innocently, "It shouldn't be that surprising. Honestly I would have thought it would be pretty obvious."

"Yeah, you're related to the most notorious fortune teller in Equestria and live in the most infamous lunar bar in East Decanter, how could we have not just made those two perfectly random assumptions?" Ink rolled his eyes, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"I've told you before I live in my Aunt Caramel Apple's basement." Pip gave a long suffering sigh as he began his explanation. "Now Apple's not THAT uncommon a name, but my family name is Orange, and you know I'm from Manehattan. There's only one family of Apples who are blood relation to a family of Oranges from Manehattan. These two families are both major players in the brewery business. The only Caramel Apple in Canterlot from THE Apple Family is known to be married to a lunar pegasus and half owner of the Belfry. From this point it's only logical that their adopted son, Tarotius William Solitaire is in fact my cousin. If you had never heard of the Belfry or the Blind Goat, the news wouldn't be surprising, it would be meaningless. Since you have, the conclusion should have been if not obvious, certainly not any sort of shock. I never made any attempt to conceal where I live. Also, Tarot is a soothsayer, not a fortune teller. There's a difference."

"And these 'errands' you run for your family... involve solving crimes?" Type Set asked skeptically.

"They involve solving puzzles." Pip corrected absently as he went about his work carefully arranging the columns of text and pictures on the layout board securing each piece with hot beeswax applied carefully with a specially constructed roller. "I find the moral boundaries that define 'crime' to be tedious at best."

“Okay, I’m gonna ask the obvious question,” Ink Well said flatly, “Are you a changeling?”

“Is that a serious question?” Pip asked with annoyance.

“No. Pip.” Pic rolled her eyes.

“Yes it is,” insisted Ink, “You know I have nothing against the local hive, but we all know there are still rogue changelings running around the city since the circus. You weren’t there Pic. That shit was terrifying.”

“Well, if it makes you feel better,” Pip’s voice dripped venom, “There’s at least one less ‘evil’ rogue changeling out there, because she was bludgeoned to death in an alley the night before last. Does that make you feel better?”

“Dammit, all of you! Pip is not a changeling! Ink is not a bigot!” Type Set stamped an angry hoof. “Fine, Pip is a detective. Up is down, left is right sane is crazy, crazy is sane, just get this next issue ready for the press. I don’t care!”


“The guard have hired a private detective!” A unicorn argued angrily.

“So what? How is that my problem?” an unseen speaker laughed from the shadows.

“They tried to bring in the Goat! We’re just lucky he was too busy, and sent in his damned dirt pony cousin, or we’d already be sunk!” The unicorn insisted. “My contact in the guard says they found your damn boom stick! You said they wouldn’t be able to tell it from any common iron pipe!”

“Well, it helps if the pipe’s not covered in blood.” The unseen speaker giggled uncontrollably. “You ponies are really bad at this sort of thing.”.

“How can you take this so lightly? I promise you, if I go down, I’m going to take you down with me!” The angry unicorn snorted in his frustration.

“Oh? You’re going to tell them where you got the boom stick? You’re going to drop a name maybe? This is just TOO funny!” The speaker stepped forward, revealing a tall, thin, male human wearing a green ski mask. “And just what name are you going to give them? I’m anonymous.”

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