• 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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A Nightly Stroll Through Canterlot

A Nightly Stroll Through Canterlot
April 21st, 2013

The streets of Canterlot were relatively clear and dead, mostly due to the fact that many of the residents are attending the Gala, but there were a few ponies that were out and about. Some even said that they were just out for a nightly walk. While walking, I could hear the fancy music faintly playing in the background as I walked the quiet, lonely streets, my leather shoes emmiting slight footsteps on the concrete.

"I wonder if things have gotten better for the girls." I said to my thought to be lonesome self.

"I beg your pardon? Were you talking to me?" Fancy Pants asked, who walking not far behind me besides a tall, slender, white mare with a greyish-pink mane and white streaks.

"Oh, hey!" I said, a little bit startled by the sudden voice. "No, I was talking to myself, Mr., uhhh..."

"Fancy Pants." he finished.

"Fancy Pants. My bad." I said.

"Are you okay? I'm noticing that you seem a bit on edge." Fancy Pants noticed.

"Actually, you kind of startled me because a random voice coming from behind can make someone a little jumpy." I said.

"Oh, well, I do apologize for the scare." he apologized.

I then walked alongside Fancy Pants as well in order to speak to him more formally.

"Well, it looks like the gangs all here." Fancy quipped once I joined them.

"Yes, yes," I chuckled. "Are you two taking a break from the Gala?" I asked.

"Pretty much well said right there, Caleb. We're just having our occasional leisure night walks together. We decided to not attend this year." Fancy Pants replied.

"Really? If you want, I can head off so that you two can walk together in peace." I said.

"No, no, stay. It's nice to have a human companion by our side." the mare said, invitenly.

"Indeed it is, my dear," Fancy Pants agreed. "What about you, Caleb? What are you doing out here in the streets of Canterlot by yourself?"

"I'm actually looking for some doughnut shop. I was thinking about heading over there." I replied.

"A doughnut shop?" Fancy Pants asked.

"Ran by a stallion named Joe or something. Do you happen to know him by any chance?" I said.

"Of course I do. I can't say that I've been there recently, but I do know that his shop is somewhere in the second level of the city." he replied.

"Okay, thanks." I said before abruptly changing my direction towards the lower level of Canterlot.

"Hm." I heard Fancy Pants hum as I walked away.

I proceeded down a set of stairs in order to get down to the lower level and the part of Canterlot was absolutely dead. Nopony was outside, it was just me. But I did eventually find a doughnut shop, a doughnut sign being the really obvious giveaway.

"If this is the wrong place, I'm gonna be surprised." I said before entering the shop.

Upon entering, I immediately picked up the smell of fresh baked doughnuts and the aroma of frosting. I smelled glazed doughnuts the most for some reason.

"Woah! You're the human named Caleb Barlow! Man, I read all about you in the newspapers!" a stallion wearing a white baker outfit complete with a hat said in surprise.

"That's who I am. The one and only," I said, backing up the claim. "You're Joe, right?"

"Yeah, I'm Joe. You want somethin'? I got all kinds of doughnuts here." Joe offered, showing me the assortment of types of doughnuts and flavors.

"Uh, sure," I said as I walked over to the counter and took out my bit pouch. "I'll have a sugar coated jelly doughnut."

Joe then gave me the doughnut I requested. I then took a bite of the doughnut.

"Huf ou' see-" I said with my mouth full of doughnut and jelly filling before I realized the words weren't going to come out real clear.

"Huh?" Joe said.

"I was trying to say, 'have you seen Spike come in here?' Small, purple dragon." I said.

"Spike? No, I haven't seen him at all." Joe said, the front door swinging open after he said that.

We both turned our heads to the door and it was Spike, sporting a rather grumpy expression.

"Speaking of which, here he is now." Joe said.

Spike's scaley feet slapped against the tiled floors as he walked over the counter of planted himself on a seat next to me.

"Give me a glazed doughnut and a cup of cocoa." Spike said, grumpily.

The room then went silent for a brief moment while Joe went to get what Spike ordered.

"Hi, Spike." I said.

"Hi, Caleb." Spike replied, not making eye contact.

"Is someone a little grumpy tonight?" I asked.

"Hey, I actually have a reason to be grumpy!" Spike exclaimed.

"Yeah, I guess so." I agreed with him.

"Seriously. They just left me right at the entrance with nopony to at least talk to." Spike said.

"Well, it seems a few of them are having a crappy time, anyways." I said.

"Crappy?" Spike asked.

"It's basically a way of saying terrible." I explained.

"Gotcha'. And such as?" Spike said.

"Uh, Applejack can't get any sales, Fluttershy can't get any interaction out of the animals, and Rarity's date seems like a jerkhead." I said.

"For real?" Spike asked.

"Yeah, for real." I replied.

"Lucky me." Spike said.

That comment got me to scoff a little.

"What about Twilight?" Spike asked.

"Oh, it seems like she's getting her wanted time with Princess Celestia." I replied.

"That's good." Spike said, sipping on his cocoa.

Spike suddenly contorted his face and loudly spat his beverage back into his cup, some spraying onto the mug handle.

"Is it hot, Spike?" Joe asked.

"Jus' a lil' bih." Spike mouthed with his tongue stuck out

I then tried to think of what to say to Spike next to keep our conversation going. I could tell that Spike was still a little bit tense, so I had to watch what I said. But, I did think of something that got him out of his grump mode.

"So, do wanna take a walk through Canterlot and show me that one place where you and Twilight used to live? You kept on talking about it earlier." I said.

Spike's blank expression immediately changed into enthusiasm in the blink of an eye.

"Mmm," he hummed, gulping his cocoa. "We can totally do that! And I thought you would never ask."

"I do my best to not forget. Hey, I'll be waiting for you outside and then we can get going." I said.

Spike only nodded since he shoved the entire doughnut in his mouth. Must've really been in a hurry.

"Alright, let's get a move on." Spike said, rather chipper.

"And you know where you're going, tour guide? Because this city is relatively big." I asked.

"Like I said before, I used to live here, so I know these streets like the back of my right claw." Spike said.

"What's wrong with your left claw?" I asked.

"Well, I'm a righty." Spike replied.

"Gotcha." I said.

"But just follow me and we'll get there." Spike said.

"Alright, lead the way." I said.

I continued to follow Spike through the many twists and turns of Canterlot. Heck, we even passed through a few alleyways, which is what he called 'shortcuts,' but some of those alleys are a little claustrophobic, to be honest. Yeah, they're a little narrow, but that could just be me.

"So, is there a particular reason why you're wanting to show me where you and Twilight previously lived at? I mean, I know I brought it up a couple minutes ago, but you kept on talking about it a week ago, too." I asked.

"I miss that place." Spike replied.

"You miss it?" I asked.

"Well... kinda. Me and Twilight lived there for about five years and that tower is where most of my memories are from. And Canterlot, too." Spike replied.

"And you two have lived in the Golden Oak Library for eleven months, right?" I asked.

"Yeah, we moved there in June when Princess Celestia sent us to live there in Ponyville." Spike said.

"Which one is better? The tower or Golden Oak?" I asked.

"Golden Oak all the way. But still, the tower is still cool and a place I'll always remember." Spike replied.

"Do you think we could go inside?" I asked.

"Eh, probably not. It's most likely locked up because nopony is living there." Spike replied.

"Right." I agreed.

Shortly after, we walked across a bridge that went over a river that leads to the drop-off of the mountain and into a lake down below and that led us to the back of the royal castle.

"And here it is! The tower where Twilight and I used to live at." Spike said.

The tower itself was taller than I expected, but the designs on it made it clear that the tower was an extension of the royal castle. It had an entrance, stairs on the outerwall with gold railings that spiraled to the top, and, a design trope I noticed for buildings involving royalty in Canterlot, had one of the egg-like dome thingys for the roof. I don't really know what to call them, but they seem to resemble those things on the roof of a capital somewhere in Russia.

"Dang. Seems awfully big for just a unicorn and a small dragon." I said.

"It was the best place Princess Celestia could give Twilight," Spike said. "But I agree with you that the place is pretty big. Doesn't make it bad, though."

"No kidding. And if only one pony lived in there, then they might as well being compensating for something." I said, stifling my slight laugh.

"What's so funny?" Spike asked, noticing my laugh.

"Aw, you don't get the joke?" I asked.

"Oh, it was joke? Uh, ha-ha, good kneeslapper, Caleb." Spike mocked, slapping his knee.

"But you don't get it?" I asked.

"No, honestly, I don't get it." Spike admitted.

"C'mon, think into the context." I hinted.

He thought for a moment with his index claw and thumb around his chin.

"I got nothing." Spike said after doing his deep thinking.

"Forget it. You might get it later on down life." I said.

"No, no, tell me. I actually wanna know." Spike said, seeming both confused and amused.

"Believe me, it's much better when you figure it out on your own." I said.

"Fiiine, I'll think about it later." Spike said.

"But anywho, what's inside the tower?" I asked.

"Twilight essentials. Enough books to satisfy a bookworm, that kind of stuff." Spike replied.

"Oh, so it's a version one of the Golden Oak Library?" I assumed.

"Pretty much, but I still think it's pretty awesome." Spike said.

"Hmm. Well, thanks for showing me this fine landmark, tour guide." I joked.

"Aw, it's nothin'. Hey, do you want head back down to Joe's and get another doughnut?" Spike said.

"Sure." I said.

As we began our walk through the streets of Canterlot once again, I could faintly hear Spike mumbling, "compensating for something," over and over again to himself, but he just couldn't figure it out. He'll figure it out someday, but I'll never tell.

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