• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 3,068 Views, 66 Comments

A Quest for Love: An Apple-Pear Family Story - Silver_Bolt

A story filled with adventure, tragedy, and most importantly, love. Grand Pear struggles to forget the life he left behind, while Buttercup and Bright Mac make a decision that forever changes the Apple family...

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Chapter 1: All Is Well

Cockledoodle doo!

The sound of a distant rooster echoed across the rolling green acres of pear trees, eventually making its way to a small wooden house, through a window, and into a small bedroom.

Groaning, an aged stallion, lying comfortably on a bed, began to open his eyes, awakening from a deep sleep.

“Morning already? Well then Grand Pear, you better get your old flank to it,” he muttered to himself as he stretched and inched his way out of his comfortable warm bed. “Those pears won’t pick themselves.”

He made his way through his empty house and to the kitchen, grabbing a ripe green pear off the fruit basket lying on the kitchen table.

The refreshing Vanhoover breeze greeted him as he opened the front door, the light from Celestia’s rising sun beginning to trickle through the tall mountain peaks in the East, giving him some warmth from the chilly, northern air. The view was, of course, spectacular. The small hill he had chosen to build his wooden house on offered a breathtaking view of the forested valley.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before biting down into the juicy pear. He stood there for a moment, admiring the beauty and majesty of all of his hard work before trotting down the stone path into the seemingly never-ending fields of pear trees.

He grudgingly pulled weeds that came across his way and harvested the ripe, juicy pears from the trees that were spread throughout the vast acres of land, fertilized the young saplings, then tilled the soil to make way for the new generation.

Later in the day, he would take the harvested pears into his barn, where the fruits of his labor were made into tasty jams, ciders, preserves, and other unique products that were to be sold later in the week at the Vanhoover market, where the eager townsponies gathered and waited for a chance to exchange their hard-earned bits for his renowned pear products.

This was his new routine, his new life. Gone were the days of having his flesh and blood help work the land. It was a never-ending battle since he gave up his previous life. He had fought long and hard to part away those precious memories and bury them to be long forgotten.

From sunup to sundown, he worked the fields, made pear products, and sold them in the Vanhoover market, with no assistance from friends or family. It was his pride and joy, and his alone -- that he made sure. Since he moved from Ponyville, business was skyrocketing as ponies from across the town regularly ventured to his fruit stand, gathering by the hundreds to buy some of his delicious pears.

“All is well,” he told himself day after day, night after night. “All is well.”

But the past had a funny way of reminding him about what he had lost.

During a particularly hot, summer afternoon, as he was working the trees in the north field, closest to the main entrance, he heard a friendly voice call out to him from a distance.

“Hello! Mr. Grand Pear?”

Tending to a pear tree on a ladder, he shifted his attention towards the front gate, squinting his eyes against the bright sun, just barely making out the familiar face of a young stallion with a postal hat and saddle bag.

“Sticky Stamp!” Grand Pear called out waving his hoof. He climbed down the ladder and trotted towards the gate. “Good to see you!”

“You too sir,” he said as he shook the older stallion’s hoof.

“What can I do you for?”

“Well sir, I have quite a bit of mail for you. Just sign here,” he replied, taking a clipboard and pen from his bag.

“Now how many times do I have to tell you lad? Just Grand Pear will do,” he said with a smile, signing the receipt.

Sticky Stamp nodded as he exchanged the signed receipt for a large packet of letters, held tightly together by a thick rubber band.

“So Grand Pear, how has the pear season been?” he asked as he removed his hat, fixing his blonde mane that was frizzed by the summer heat.

“Wonderful. Great so far. Business is doing very fine. Very... fine,” Grand Pear replied, not paying much attention as he shifted through the mail.

“I know I say this time and time again, but I must say that your pear jam is simply delicious!” continued Sticky Stamp, trying to keep the conversation alive. “I never had anything like it before! I kinda wish you had moved here to Vanhoover sooner so I could have had it sooner!”

He continued to shift through his mail silently.

“So… umm. I heard from some of the townsponies that you’re originally from Ponyville, right?”

At this, he successfully grabbed his attention. One of the larger letters slipped out of his hooves, and tumbled to the ground. He snapped his head up and blinked a few times at Sticky Stamp. “I-I, yes. Though that was sometime ago.”

“That’s a good distance from Vanhoover," the mailpony said as he picked up the letter and returned it to him. "What made you move here?”

“A number of things,” he said with a sigh as he stared blankly at the ground. "Just needed a change of pace.”

“Well, I respect that. Vanhoover is a great place isn’t it? It’s a great place to unwind and settle down. I grew up here my whole life an—“

Grand Pear heard the chattering mail pony abruptly stop, rightfully so, as an overwhelming sense of frustration began to build inside of him. It wasn’t his chattering that angered him, rather, it was what he had found in his mail. In his hoof was a pink envelope, a letter from a past he had almost long forgotten, a letter from Sweet Apple Acres.

“Grand Pear?” Sticky Stamp said in worry. “Is everything alright?”

He snorted, shaking his head in an attempt to clear his mind. “Now you listen here,” he said in a scolding manner, glaring at the innocent pony that stood behind the gate, “Next time you see a letter from this here pony, get rid of it! I never want to see a letter like this ever again! Do you understand me boy?”

He took the envelope from him, his eyes widening as he looked at the hoofwriting.

“Pear Butter?” he said in awe. “You two related or somethin’? It’s addressed from Ponyville.”

“That’s enough out of you!" he shouted, the sound of her name stinging him all the more. "The only thing I want from you is my mail with not a single letter from that name and that address! For your sake boy, never bring this topic up again.”

He stomped his hooves at the ground, kicking up the dirt behind him as he marched back to the house.

Years had passed since then. For Grand Pear, it was business as usual. He carried out the same duties and routines as before, but things were never quite the same since that envelope made its way to his hooves. As he pulled weeds in the fields, his mind would picture Pear Butter, her curled mane filled with sweat, glistening in the bright sun as she pulled the weeds in the old farm in Ponyville. As he picked the ripe fruit from the trees, he could hear the sound of his daughter's laugh, a sound he would hear while he stood on a ladder, picking fruit and tossing it down for her to catch, a game that she would love to play when she was a filly. While he patiently waited for customers behind his fruit stand in the market, he would remember Pear Butter, standing next to him in their old stand in Ponyville as she kept him company, eagerly talking to him about the exciting day that she had with her friends.

The memories he recalled were like a plague, an illness that he desperately wanted to be cured from. As the days dragged on, he began engrossing himself in his work, putting every fiber of his being into labor, hoping that in doing so, it would forever keep his mind away from those memories.

Until one day, while tending to the same trees in the north field, the same pony that inadvertently brought this plague years before, called out to him once again.

“Mr. Grand Pear?” Sticky Stamp called out gently, standing behind the front gate. “Got some mail for you.”

“Just leave it in the mailbox like you always do,” he called out as he busily picked fruit from a tree. “No need for my signature.”

“Yes sir”, Sticky Stamp mumbled as he placed the letters in the mailbox. “Actually, sir? May I speak to you for a moment?”

He heard the nervousness in his voice as he stopped his harvesting. He looked at him sternly from atop the ladder, before making his way down and over to the gate.

“Yes?” he said calmly, meeting Sticky Stamp once more.

“I know you asked me to never bring this topic up again, and please don’t get angry sir. But I thought you should know that the pony who sent you that pink letter a while ago hasn’t sent you a letter for quite some time now,” he said in a soft voice.

He proceeded to grab the mail from the mailbox, carefully trying to hide his intent. “So what? It shouldn’t be surprising, being that I never write back.”

“I understand that Mr. Grand Pear, but you should know that she has been writing to you almost every week since then for several years, up until recently that is.”

He gripped the stack of mail tightly. He couldn’t believe her persistence. Anypony else would’ve given up long before. Stubborn? Maybe. Urgent news? Perhaps. Honestly, it was about time she finally threw in the towel, but then again, she was never the type to do so. Why now?

Was she alright?

He shook his head and turned his back from the young stallion, making his way back to the house in a poor attempt to flee from his past once more.

But the chattering pony continued.

“You should know sir that I kept all those letters, hoping that one day, you would read them. I know that it probably isn’t my place to tell you this, but I feel that you should let go of any past feud you may have had with your family. My family is so precious to me and I haven’t got the slightest clue what I would do without them. I can’t imagine how hard it must be trying to keep that kind of love away. This, Pear Butter, obviously cares a lot about you.”

He stopped in his tracks.

The lad is right, he thought to himself. But after all these years, after what he did, how could he ever set things right? How could a daughter ever forgive her father for leaving her at a time when she needed him the most?

He slowly turned his head towards Sticky Stamp, his old eyes meeting his, and gave him the answer he would give himself time and time again, whenever he began to ponder about the family he had left behind.

“The past is the past,” he said coldly. “Best not to dwell on it.”