• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe



Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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The Con Artists'

The Con Artists'
November 9th, 2012

Today is Cider Season. For three days, the ponies of Ponyville get a taste of Sweet Apple Acres cider until supplies runs out for the day. Twilight and Spike woke me up around five-fifty in the morning and that wasn't the best way to start off the day for me or Spike, but I really wanted to try that cider that everyone seems to like. After we did our morning routine, we headed out to Sweet Apple Acres.

“How does the cider taste?” I asked Twilight.

"It's pretty good. Has a strong, pungent aftertaste to it." Twilight said.

"Good or bad?" I asked once more.

"Good way." Twilight replied.

"Nice." I said. "How about you, Spike? Psyched up? You look a little down.” I said.

“Caleb, it’s six o’clock in the morning, i’m still waking up.” Spike said groggily.

“Right. My bad, Spike.” I said.

“But yeah, i’m pretty excited for it.” Spike said, trying to have a much more lively tone.

“Hang in there, Spike.” Twilight said.

“Ehhh.” Spike responded while swiping his claw lazily in Twilight's direction.

When we arrived to the supposed line, there were many tents that were pitched up. Pretty much the same thing as people pitching tents for Black Friday. The line of tents was fairly long, but I think we were a good distance to get some cider and some ponies were already awake and taking their tents down.

Spike was catching a few zzz’s up against a fence post which I thought was funny for some reason. As we waited longer in the line, more ponies were lining up behind us and the line got even longer.

About ten minutes later, the line was a whole lot longer. My best estimate had to be that to be about three hundred meters long. An hour had to pass by now and while we were in line, I heard Rainbow’s voice in the distance yell: 'WHAT?'" I also noticed another pegasus alongside her.

“See Caleb, that’s what happens when you’re late for a spot in line.” Twilight said.

“That's gotta suck. Glad I got you guys to be my alarm clock.” I joked, causing Twilight to giggle while Spike continued to nap.

A while later, the sun was high in the sky and I noticed Big Mac and Applejack stacking wooden barrels that contained the cider. Shortly after they finished stacking them up and hooking one onto a nozzle, the line began to move very slowly. The wait was very tedious. Me and Spike actually started a game of rock, paper, scissors and I Spy to pass the boredom, but we eventually got closer to the front of the line.

The sun was now on the south side of the sky. I shit you not that’s how long the wait was.

"C'mon, you damn line, not tomorrow, today!" I exclaimed, referring to the long wait.

After waiting to what felt like years, Twilight and Spike got their mugs of cider and finally, it was my turn.

“Hi Applebloom. You working the nozzle?” I asked.

“Yep. I felt I could do it this year.” she said as Applejack walked up behind her.

“Howdy, Caleb." Applejack said.

"Hey, Applejack." I replied.

"C'mere for a sec." she gestured for me to come closer.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Don’t tell anyone this, but your cider can be free. I figured you don’t have any money with you, so please, have one on the house.” Applejack whispered into my ear.

“Oh, thank you Applejack.” I said.

“No problem, Caleb.” Applejack said.

“Okay, Applebloom, one mug of cider please.” I requested.

“Comin' right up.” Applebloom said.

Applebloom pushed the nozzle downwards, causing a stream of clear, light brown, foamy cider to pour into the mug that filled up nearly to the top.

“Thank you, Applebloom.” I said.

“You're welcome, Caleb. Hope ya like it.” Applebloom replied.

"I got a good feeling about this cider." I said to Applebloom.

I walked back over to Twilight and Spike who were about halfway finished with their cider.

“Give it a swig, Caleb.” Spike said.

I did as instructed and sipped on some of the cider. The one thing that really stood out was that the taste was very strong, like what Twilight said earlier. My eyes opened wide as the warm cider ran down my throat. I could also taste a hint of apple within it aswell.

“Woah! That taste is really strong.” I exclaimed.

“Do you like it?” Twilight asked.

“It’s pretty good. The cider’s flavor is strong, but it’s also has a smooth feeling, which is something I like. But yeah, I like it!" I said.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a pink figure approach us and I easily figured out it was Pinkie Pie and she was carrying about four mugs of cider.

“Did you have to pay extra for those?” I asked

“Mm-hmm. I bought about twelve earlier.” Pinkie said.

“Twelve!? You can really hold down your cider.” I said as Pinkie chugged down the mug of cider.

“It’s really nothing.” Pinkie replied.

While all four of us drank our ciders, we noticed Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy getting closer to the front of the line. It had to be about 4 hour wait for them to finally get up to the point where they were. I waved at both of them and they waved back. Rainbow looked pretty ornery when she waved.

Fluttershy got her mug of cider, but what really made me feel bad was that Fluttershy’s was the last mug of the day. Rainbow didn’t get any cider.

“Oh God! That’s such terrible luck.” I said, outloud.

“I know. Cider season is a very important event for Rainbow.” Twilight informed me.

“Pinkie, you have anymore mugs of cider?” I asked.

“We drank the rest, silly.” she said.

“Oh yeah, that’s right.” I said, feeling rather dumb, which made Spike snicker.

“Laugh it up, lizard boy.” I said with annoyance.

“I will.” he said while still snickering quietly.

“Sorry everypony, that’s it for today.” Applejack announced.

All the other ponies in line groaned in frustration to the announcement.

“Surprise, surprise. You ran out again!” Rainbow yelled.

“Yeah! You always run out!” a stallion yelled.

“Um, I really don’t min-” Fluttershy said before she was cut off by Rainbow.

“Why can’t you make enough cider for all of us?! Or at least for me?” Rainbow asked which made all the crowd of ponies chip in by yelling questions similar to Rainbow’s at Applejack.

Applejack slowly started to back up and hopped up onto the apple cider stand.

“Now hold on everypony, we’ve done our best to improve supply this year.” she said.

“That’s what you said last time!” yelled the same stallion.

“I know, but it's always true. Apple family cider is made with love and integrity and only the highest quality apples in Equestria. Sorry, but that recipe takes time.” she stated which made the crowd only chatter angrily at once again.

I suddenly felt like I needed to back her up and told off the crowd.

“She’s right! Perfection is something that is very time consuming, but the payoff is always great in the end.” I supported.

“Easy for you to say! You got your cider!” retorted the stallion.

“Ok, sure, I did get cider. But if I were you, I would be grateful for even having a cider season. See what I mean?” I asked the stallion.

“Y-yeah, I guess so.” the stallion stuttered.

“No, you know so.” I completed his statement.

Some ponies within the crowd started to quietly agree, including the stallion. But not everyone else took my point of view, only some. The ones who didn’t agree with me walked away from the stand in frustration.

“Ya’ll be patient, we’ll have plenty more tomorrow.” Applejack declared while nodding her head at me in thanks.

Most of the ponies started to disperse while about forty some stayed and chatted with others. The same stallion who argued with me walked up to me to apologize.

“Hey, I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I should’ve controlled my temper better.” he admitted.

“That’s ok. I understand you’ve been out here all day waiting for that one mug of cider and after all that time, you didn’t get it. That has to be very frustrating.” I said.

“Thanks. You pretty much summed up how I felt. I’m Caramel by the way. And I believe you’re Caleb; the human everyone talks about?” Caramel asked.

“Yep, that’s me.” I said.

Me and Caramel continued to talk until we were cut off by the sound of a horn in the distance. Everypony looked in the direction of the sound and I saw something that looked like a car at first, but that’s impossible, ponies can’t drive.

As the vehicle or whatever got closer, I could audibly make out other sounds that were like little, quiet train horns. The vehicle looked like a train engine car, but it was on wooden wheels, something very similar to a wagon you would see from the 1800's.

“What in Equestria is that?” Applejack asked.

"Looks like a train on wheels." I said.

The train-car slowly came to a halt in hit one of the fence post, causing it to bend out of place. I and the crowd of ponies moved closer to get a better look at the train-car and then two twin ponies hopped out.

They both had matching manes which were the colors of candy canes and a cream colored coats. They also wore blue and white striped shirts with a brown hat. The only characteristic distinguishing them from one another is that one had a mustache and the other didn’t. Both looked around and then non-mustached one pressed some button on the side of the machine and this carnival like tune started playing. Then they started to.... sing.

“Well, look at what we got here brother of mine, it's the same in every town.” the non-mustache stallion sang in a voice that sounded like he was singing a musical. “Ponies with thirsty throats, dry tongues, and not a drop of cider to found. Maybe they’re not aware there’s really need for this teary despair.” he sang to his brother.

“That the key that they need to solve this sad cider shortage you and I will share.” the other sang back in a high note at the end.

His voice being a bit deeper than the other stallion.

“Well you’ve got opportunity in this very community. He’s Flim.” said the mustached pony, pointing towards Flim.

“He’s Flam.” said the other.

“We’re the world famous Flim Flam Brothers! Traveling salesponies nonpareil.” they both said in unison.

“Nonpa-what?” Pinkie asked.

Flim quickly rushed over towards Pinkie and sang:

“Nonpareil, that’s exactly the reason why you see. Nopony else in this whole place will give you such a chance to be where you need to be. And that’s a new world, with tons of cider, fresh squeezed and ready for drinking.” Flim sang.

“More cider than you could drink in all your days of thinking.” Fiam sang as he slid down a funnel.

“I doubt that!” Rainbow retorted while crossing her forelegs.

“So take this opportunity in this very community. He’s Flim.” sang Flam.

“He’s Flam.” sang Flim.

We’re world famous Flim Flam Brothers! Traveling salesponies nonpareil.” they unisonaly sang again.

“I suppose by now you’re wondering about our peculiar mode of transport.” Flim said while pointing at the train.

“I’d say, our mode of locomotion.” Flam clarified.

“And I suppose by now you’re wondering, where is this promised cider?” Flim asked.

“Any horse can make a claim, any pony can do the same.” Flam sung.

“But my brother and I have something most unique and superb, unseen at anytime in this big new world.” Flim said.

“And that’s opportunity.” they said in unison once again with a high note.

“Folks, it’s the one and only, the biggest and the best.” Flim sung.

"The unbelievable!" said Flam.

“Unimpeachable” said Flim.

"Indispensable!" said Flam.

“I can’t believe-able” added Flim.

"Flim-Flam Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000!" they both declared.

"What do ya say, sister?" Flim asked Rarity, causing her to faint onto Twilight.

Suddenly, the crowed began to chip in with the song and started to sing as well. Me, Twilight, and Spike remained silent.

"Oh, we’ve got opportunity in this very community. Please Flim, please Flam, help us out of this jam with Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000!" the crowd sung like a choir.

Young filly, I would ever so honored if you might see fit to let my brother and I borrow some of your delicious, and might I add spellbindingly fragrant apples for our little demonstration here?” Flim asked Applejack.

“Uh, sure, I guess.” Applejack responded, hesitantly.

"Opportunity, in our community!" the crowd sung.

"Ready, Flim?" Flam asked.

"Ready, Flam." Flim responded.

"Let's bing bang zam!" Flim and Flam said as they activated their magical horns and shot two green beams of magic into the machine on top of the locomotive.

This caused some kind of funnel to move towards and sucked the apples clean off the nearest apple tree.

"And show these thirsty ponies a world of delectable cider." Flam exclaimed.

The crowd than started to chant the word “Cider” over and over again. Rainbow had her tongue lolling out and hunching herself back up and down in unison with the chanting. Twilight, Spike, and I just looked at each other in confusion.

“Watch closely, my friends.” Flim said.

“The fun begiiins.” Flam said with a high note.

“Now here’s where the magic happens. Right here in this heaving, roiling, cider-press boiling guts of the very machine, those apples plucked fresh are right now as we speak are being turned into grade-A, top notch, five-star, blow your horseshoes off one of a kind cider!” Flim explained while two giant jugs began to fill up with cider all the way to the top.

“Feel free to take a sneak peek.” Flam said while pointing at a tiny window on the side of the machine that displayed the apples on a conveyer belt being checked as either good apple or bad ones.

Granny Smith than stepped up and said:

“Now wait, you fellers, hold it! You went and oversold it! A guarantee what you have there won’t compare. For the most important ingredient can be added or done expedient. And it’s quality, friends, Apple Acres quality and care!” she stated boldly which also made some ponies in the crowd nod in agreement with her. Flim then moved towards and said:

“Well, Granny, i’m glad you brought that up, my dear, I say i’m glad you brought that up. You see we are very picky when comes to cider if you’ll kindly try a cup.” he said as he handed her a cup of cider. She than sipped on it and her eyes went wide, but she quickly hid her expression.

“Yes, sir, yes, ma’am, this great machine lets just the very best. So what what do you say then, Apples? Care to step into the modern world and put the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 to the test?” Flam sung with a high note at the end causing the crowd of ponies to once again chant the word “Cider.”

"What do you think, folks? Do you see what the Apples can’t? I see it clear as day! I know she does! So does he! C’mon Ponyville, you know what i’m talking about!” Flim said.

“WE’RE SAYING YOU’VE GOT OPPORTUNITY IN THIS VERY COMMUNITY! HE’S FLIM! HE’S FLAM! WE’RE THE WORLD FAMOUS FLIM FLAM BROTHERS! TRAVELING SALESPONIES NONPAREILLLLLLLLLL!” Flim, Flam, and the crowd boomed, causing me to get chills for some reason.

"Yeah!" both Flim and Flam ended.

I at that time was just lost in amazement on how two ponies, who obviously had a catch to this entire situation, could convince an entire crowd to buy their cider over the original Sweet Apples Acres. I hated these two already. I don’t give a crap if they can do some musical number shit with their Dr. Seuss machine. After all that just happened, Applebloom rushed over to Flim and Flam and said:

“You got a deal!” she exclaimed, which made me go wide eyed.

“Not so fast!” Granny yelled.

Granny Smith grabbed Apple Bloom and then the Apple family huddled together to discuss something.

“What the heck is Applebloom doing?” I rhetorically asked Twilight.

“I was just about to asked you same thing.” Twilight responded.

Flim and Flam snuck their way into the huddle and started discussing something alongside the Apples for a moment until Applebloom shouted: “Deal!”, making me facepalm myself.

“Now hold on, who gets the seventy five?” Applejack asked.

“Why us, naturally.” Flim said.

“And, we’ll throw in the magic to power the machine for free!” Flam stated.

Applejack walked back over to her family and discussed whatever they planned to do. Judging by the conversation, i’m guessing the Apples might buy the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 and get twenty five percent of the profits while Flim and Flam get seventy five percent. But when I thought about it more, if they were to agree, they would lose the farm. If it were fifty-fifty, they might have a chance.

“So, what’ll it be?” Flim and Flam asked Applejack.

“Please say no, please say no, please say no!” I said, mentally.

“No deal!” Big Mac said.

“Hah!” I yelled out loud.

“Very well. If you refuse our generous offer to be partners; than we’ll just have to be competitors.” Flim said smugly to Applejack’s face.

“You wouldn’t dare!” Applejack sternly retorted.

“Oh, no?” Flim said while nodding his head slightly towards Flam.

“Don’t you worry everypony, there will be plenty of cider for all of you.” Flam declared to the crowd.

I was getting pretty pissed off at these two. Everybody here was minding their own business and these two sleazebags had to show up and stir things up.

Flim then leaned over towards Applejack and whispered something towards Applejack. Just then, the entire Apple family’s face went from an idle face to absolute shock.

Flim and Flam hopped back on their locomotive while I ran over towards Applejack.

“You okay? What did he say?” I asked.

“He said they’d run us out of business!” Applebloom whimpered.

That was my breaking point, I had to talk to these two and see what they were up to. The locomotive began to move, but I stopped them right in their tracks.

“Hold up there, buddy!” I yelled.

“Ah yes, we saw you within the crowd, but never got to make your acquaintance.” Flam said.

“Yeah, yeah. Hey, what’s the big idea with running the Apples out of business?” I asked.

“Why business of course. That’s how it works. ” Flim answered.

“I know that, but Sweet Apple Acres had been here for a long time and is a part of Ponyville. Can’t you guys go pick on a business your own size?” I asked.

“Why, you silly ape. The weakest links must go first.” Flim said.

“Hey, screw you!” I shouted.

“Woah, calm down there.” Flam said, sarcastically.

“You know what? I don’t have to waste time on you sleazebags. Go run into a tree or something.” I said angrily as I stormed away from the locomotive that drove away.

“You okay, Caleb?” Twilight asked.

“No. I’m just real fired up from those two.” I said.

“Just take breaths and calm down. That’s what Twilight tells me to do when I-” Spike said before having his mouth covered by Twilight who was smiling.

"The hell was that for?" I thought to myself.

I did as instructed and soon enough, I was calmed. I walked over towards Applejack.

“Pretty intense.” I remarked.

“Never thought Sweet Apple Acres might have a competitor.” Applejack said.

“What are you guys going to do if they come back?” I asked.

“I have no idea.” Applejack replied, flatly.

“Hey, if you guys ever need help, just hook me and the gang, we’re all friends here.” I reminded.

“I know Caleb, i’ll keep that in mind.” Applejack said.

“Alright, I guess i’ll see you tomorrow, AJ.” I said.

“You too, Caleb.” Applejack replied.

For the rest of the day, the mood between me, Twilight, and Spike had changed drastically. We were kind of quiet and didn't really say much to each other. The only sentimental thing that happened today was when Spike showed me some comic books, they were pretty neat. But yeah, the day was very slow after the event at Sweet Apple Acres.

Author's Note:

Credit goes to M.A Larson for writing Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000.

In case anyone was wondering, I include the episodes from the show not because i'm lazy and have no originality. The reason why is because it's vital for the direction I want to go with this story.

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