• Published 31st Oct 2016
  • 1,028 Views, 46 Comments

Inside the Forbidden Room - EverfreePony

What misadventures await Intern Cheerilee and her collegues behind the door of a school staffroom?

  • ...

The Threat Arrives

"What are we gonna do?! Stay calm, Parable, stay calm..." a blue earth pony mare muttered to herself. She tapped her hoof on the table nervously, occasionally shooting a death glare to her colleagues. She, Chart and Brassy Heron sat around the long table in the staffroom, the rest already returned to their duties after the meeting. Miss Cheerilee took a seat in a corner, preoccupied with her notebook.

Everypony already managed to calm down since the news about the incoming inspection arrived, but Parable Parallel didn't seem to share their resignation.

"Parable--" Chart raised his voice, leaning closer to the distressed mare.

"Don't say anything, especially you!" She pierced him with her stare. "If the inspector finds out how your students use the rule of three, we are doomed! Not speaking about the mess you and Rubicon usually leave in class registers!" She stomped her hoof on the table, a pair of compasses in her hoof glinting with murderous intent.

"Parable!" Brassy turned to her, pushing the compasses from the mare’s hoof. "Don't you think that Scribble Colon's nervous breakdown is enough? All you can change with this whining is Spark's mood." She gestured in the direction of the deputy head’s office.

"Yeah, our beloved deputy is tired of work when he finally gets some... This will be a disaster if the headmaster doesn’t return in time!" Parable cried, gesturing to the mess of half-eaten sandwiches and piles of tests still waiting to be corrected scattered all over the table. "Also, can somepony find the janitor? I've been having troubles with the windows for over two months now." She huffed. Seeing no reaction, she indignantly stomped out the door.

"I'd rather look for a needle in a hay stack than a janitor in this school... Pardon me, I have Zebrica to focus on," Chart mused, exiting the room. "Oh," he stuck his head back into the room, "and if I'm found dead with compasses or a ruler sticking out of my body, you know who did it."

Cheerilee raised her head, eyes glinting with fear. "Is... is inspection always like this?" The words filtered through the lump in her throat.

"Yes." Heron turned to her, muzzle stuck in her mug. "Parable is just trying to have everything alright when the inspection arrives. But sometimes she goes a little overboard... Though she hasn't killed anypony... yet." Tapping her chin, she continued, "That reminds me... I should get rid of the sign plastered on the skeleton in my classroom..."

"Sign?" Cheerilee cocked her head. “I don’t think I have ever been in the Biology classroom.”

"I see. Well, somepony put a sign saying 'This guy didn't wipe the blackboard' on the skeleton," Heron mused from the door, then turned and trotted away.

Cheerilee just shook her head, looking back into her already overfilled notebook. "Hm... a cutie-patootie lovie-dovie sentence? That just sounds off. 'Lovie-dovie verb' sounds much better." Receiving no objections from the deserted room, she neatly jotted it in.

There was a timid knock on the door. Cheerilee raised her head, scanning the empty staffroom. "Come in?" She stood up, heading hesitantly to the door.

She barely jumped back when the door swung with incredible force, revealing two grey earth pony fillies.

"Good morning," the taller one said, her voice utterly monotonous. "Little Octavia here wanted to tell you something." She pushed forward the smaller filly. Cheerilee looked down, giving Octavia a brace-clad smile. The diminutive filly stumbled back a little, letting out a quiet squeak.

Gulping audibly, she started speaking, "I... eh... um... ProfessorGlobe-Trotterforgothiscoffeeheresohesentmetobringittohim, butIgotlostandthisfillyfoundmeandsaidthatshewillknockbutIhavetotalk.CanIhaveMrProfessor'smugnow?"

"Ehh... Come again?" Cheerilee said, rubbing the back of her neck. She couldn't shake the feeling that the last letters of Octavia’s flood of words still sloshed around in her ears.

"Simply, Mr. Globe-Trotter sent this one here," the older filly motioned to Octavia, "to retrieve his coffee. But she got lost and run into me when I was looking for my pet. Can you please bring us his mug? It should be the big round one made of clay and crushed marble."

"Uh, sure," Cheerilee strode to the table, grabbing the vessel. The scent from the liquid inside nearly knocked her over. "Did he really say it was coffee?" She raised an eyebrow at the fillies. The older just stared and blinked while Octavia shrugged helplessly. "Just make sure to not put your muzzle close to it. And don't break the mug."

"Will do, thanks, miss!" The little one took the beverage in her mouth, gingerly trotting away.

"I have to go look for my pet, he's surely wondering where I am by now." The other turned to leave as well.

"I'm pretty sure animals are forbidden on the school grounds," Cheerilee tried to sound as stern and convincing as possible.

"But my pet is not an animal. He's a rock." The filly blinked again and continued down the corridor.

Cheerilee swung the door shut, frozen. " A rock? A rock as a pet?! What in Tartarus? I knew I should have taken up gardening instead.” She paced around the room, trying to bring her breathing under control again. At least something where the psychology classes she had taken proved useful. She was about to sit back down, completely calm again.

However, her peace of mind did not last for long. There was another knock on the door.

"Yes?" Cheerilee turned to the door, not bothering to get up this time.

The doors nearly flew off their hinges, sending the nearby key rack on the wall tumbling to the ground.

"This is the last drop! I hope you have a good explanation for this, young mare. I warned the teacher lot of yours before!" An elder stout mare in dirty apron dashed into the room as an angry bull, albeit an angry bull with arthrosis. "If you can't do anything with this, we will go on strike. Just say goodbye to the finest carrots and sandwiches of our stock! I wonder how long will it take for you to start starving and eating the books of yours. You'll crawl to us, begging for our return, but we will stay defiant and refuse!" She finished, glaring down at Cheerilee and took what she assumed to be a heroic pose.

"Uh?" was all Cheerilee managed to say. Seeing the mare was preparing to fuel another fiery monologue, the intern quickly continued, "Pardon me, but who the hay are you? And what happened?"

"I'm Muck Hogwash, the head of the school kitchen! Don't tell me that you don't know. You have been stealing the tableware for quite some time, but this one crossed the line. What did you need all the glasses and pots for? And why did you rummage through our cider stock? Where is the imitation of a stallion called Gauge so I can kick the sorry flank of his?" The old mare turned around, glancing under the table as if the deputy could be hiding there.

"The deputy headmaster is in his office and he is not to be distracted. None of us has stolen glasses or pots, nor cider. And I'm just an ordinary intern not authorized to be in charge of making such decisions. Have a nice day!" Cheerilee pushed Muck out and bucked the door shut, the impact throwing off the remaining keys from the fallen rack. That was probably the bravest and most self-critical thing Cheerilee said in her life so far.

She wiped away the venomous saliva that got stuck on her scarf during the chef's monologue, and knelt down to sort out the keys.

There was a knock on the door, followed by the double doors flying to both sides. One of them hit Cheerilee’s backside, sending the mare rolling over the floor.

"We don't have any coffee or cider here! Go away," she cried, barely lifting her head of the ground, her vision swimming madly.

"I applaud you on the absence of such a country drink. Cider is something not worthy one of the best Canterlot academies... However, I'm thirsty after my trip here and the lack of coffee isn't something to soothe my nerves. Especially not when I have an inspection to do." An orange earth pony mare, just a little older than Cheerilee, towered above her. Her cold, calm voice and her too big creased purple suit radiated the feeling of insecurity and danger into the room.

Cheerilee felt beads of sweat form on her forehead.

Author's Note:

To aid your orientation, here's the list of yet revealed characters.

Fluffy Cotton - unicorn mare, Equestrian language

Spark Gauge the Deputy Headmaster - unicorn stallion, Physics

Chart Globe-Trotter - unicorn stallion, Geography and Math

Brassy Heron - unicorn mare, Biology and Chemistry

“Ruby” Rubicon - unicorn stallion, History and Equestrian language

Spring Symphony - pegasus mare, Music

Parable Parallel - earth pony mare, Math

Scribble Colon - secretary

Muck Hogwash - head of school kitchen

Questions, comments, remarks?
Please report typos in the form of PM.
My earnest thanks go to Boulder for editing.