• Published 13th Jul 2012
  • 6,392 Views, 154 Comments

Impressions - Lusewing



When all you want to do is to get back to where you belong it is easy to make mistakes.

  • ...
12
 154
 6,392

A hunting we will go

Quick and nimble fingers continued to push and pull the needle along a torn seam, slowly bring the two edges back together.
"There we go, and this time you had better stay closed," scolded the stitcher, as she tied off the thread and cut the extra away, before carefully placing the needle back with its cousins, the pins, in a small cushion that rested on the arm of her rusty red sofa.
"What's that? If I used real thread, you might have a chance to hold together? I know, I know, but it's not like I can just pop to the shops and get some, so you will just have to make do with this. Remember, if you can't stay together, you will have to be turned into thread yourself." Feeling that she had gotten her point across to the red T-shirt, which was now ribbed with a blue scar down the right side, it was gently placed onto a hanger and then put up and out of the way with the rest of her clothes on the curtain rail. It was a messy sight, but at least it kept the cold from pushing its way into the room.

Pulling back one of the closed curtain edges, a single eye peaked through the dirty window. "Looks like Mark is having to work a Sunday again, and he still hasn't learned how to fasten a belt to those jeans. What do you think, George? Will it be two more days or three before they fall down while he is out on his paper round? It would certainly give Mrs Cartwright a shock." The solitary figure stood still in her living room and listened, but the smile on her face slowly faded as the freed curtain edge fell back into place, rocking a few of the clothes on top of it before coming to a rest.

"Still not talking to me?" Another pause was also met with silence until the human sighed, and reached up with her two hands so she could bury her face in them. "Maybe I really have just gone off the deep end and I'm just mad." A shiver ran up her spine followed by laughing of such enthusiasm and mirth, you would think someone had just told a very good joke.

"Not mad, at least not by any decent standard." said a voice behind her. "Now, cheer up, it looks like we might have guests for tea."

*******

"What the hay is a troll doing in the Everfree Forest? I thought they only lived in mountain caves and places like that." Applejack was now really worried. A bear was one thing, but a troll running around and getting into her trees, the sort of damage it could do was unthinkable. The orange mare's eyes suddenly grew large with worry as she grabbed Apple Bloom. "I told you to stay out of that there forest, you could have been troll food!"

"Get off. I'm okay. What's so bad about trolls anyway?" The young earth filly was still trying to pull herself out of her sister's hooves as she spoke to Twilight.

"Apart from them being really, really ugly," said Sweetie Belle who pulled a disgusted face at the picture in front of her.

Twilight Sparkle brought the book back to her face and read from the pages:
"Trolls are most often found in high mountain caves, either solitary or in small family groups. They are mostly scavengers and live off a diet of anything they can find around their home, from plants to insects, though they favour meat when they can get it and are known to push travellers off mountain ledges in the hope that the fall will either kill them or cripple them enough to-"

"Twilight! There are foals here." Applejack had now put her hooves over Apple Bloom's ears.

"Aww, don't stop. This is just getting good." Scootaloo was already seeing the praise they would get for capturing this dangerous creature. True, they couldn't name it, but if it was dangerous then they could still prove themselves and save all of Ponyville.

"Sorry. Um, I will just skip to the important bits." Twilight slipped into scanning the pages to pick out what information was needed, and what was best left out for the younger ears.
"Sometimes trolls get lost or they run out of food which can bring them down from the mountains. It probably likes the dark closed in nature of the forest, and is living off the plants and animals there. The book says they are gluttons and will continue to eat anything they can find until there is nothing left, forcing them to move on again. Which means-"

"Which means we have to make it move out before it eats all my trees!" Applejack had lost her scared tone and was now confident in what had to be done. No hulking great troll was going to make a meal out of her farm and family.

"Cool! Cutie Mark Crusaders Troll Trappers!" shouted the three fillies together. Both Twilight and Applejack winced while a shocked shout could be heard upstairs as Spike was woken up from his nap. The following bang also meant he had likely fallen out of his bed.

"Not on my watch you ain't. You three are going to stay away from that forest until this troll has been sent packing. Y'all hear me?"

"Yes, Applejack," the three deflated fillies said as they hung their heads. A troll was one thing but an angry Applejack - now that was scary.

"Good. I'm gonna take these three to their homes and make sure they stay there. Think you can come up with some sort of plan to drive off this varmint?" Twilight looked down at the book and then back up at Applejack.

"Well, it's going to take some time. I will have to plan out where we can drive the troll, there are the supplies we need to gather, and getting everypony round to go over how we can get rid of it. Spike?" At her call a purple baby dragon poked his head from around the stairs rubbing at one eye.

"What's going on Twilight?"

"I need you to take down a list on the things we need to get ready to relocate a troll." Spike yawned and headed over to grab a quill and some parchment before his sleepy brain was able to brake out of autopilot and make sense of what had just been said.

"What did you just say? A troll?"

"Twilight, I don't have time for you to go all listy on me. What if last night was just a light snack and tonight he'll be coming back for seconds. We need him out now!" Applejack was herding the three fillies through the door, while also ignoring their suggestions on how they could help. The orange mare, however, was not about to leave until she was sure her friend was not going to go and over plan things so much that Sweet Apple Acres would be nothing more than a collection of stumps by the time Twilight had completed all her lists.

"Right, okay. I can do this. No list." Twilight tapped her hoof on the floor for a moment. "If you can grab Rarity and Fluttershy, I will get Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash."

"Now that's my sort of plan. See you just outside the Everfree forest by the path that leads to Zecora's. Giddy up, girls." Applejack closed the door behind her as Twilight grabbed her saddle bag, and put the book inside for reference. Spike stood watching her, still with quill and parchment in hand.

"What troll?"

*******

Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash had proven fairly easy to round up, though neither seemed too happy that they were going to have to spend any amount of time in the Everfree Forest - again. They had also managed to convince the Cakes to let them have some of the stale breads and flapjacks to be used as bait for the 'problem'. They didn't exactly tell the Cakes what it was they wanted to use the food for, however, feeling it best that Ponyville wasn't in a panic about something that would, hopefully, be gone by the morning. What surprised both Twilight and Rainbow Dash however was that Pinkie Pie had had dealings with trolls before, though being surprised by Pinkie Pie was hardly new.

"Every few years the trolls would come down from the mountains to steal the rocks from the farm. You see our rocks were the best in the whole area because we kept them free of moss and any lichen that might spoil them," explained the particularly bouncy pink pony.

"What would trolls want with rocks?" asked Rainbow Dash

"These weren't just any rocks, Dashie. These were our super special basaltic and Sphalerite mix, silly." Both Twilight and Rainbow Dash exchanged looks and shrugged.

"I think what Rainbow Dash meant was what did the trolls want with the rocks. What did they do with them?" Twilight could see the edges of the Everfree Forest coming into view now. Applejack and the others were not in sight, however, so they still had a bit of time.

"Oh, well, they would take them all the way to the tippy-top of their mountains, push them off, and then watch them fall all the way to the bottom. I think it was some sort of a game but they never invited me to play, which was quite rude now that I think about it, because they were using our rocks."

"Okay, but how did you stop the trolls, Pinkie?" Twilight knew she would never get the answer in time if she was not direct with her questions.

"How am I supposed to know? My dad always got rid of them." Rainbow Dash groaned and slapped a hoof against her forehead.

"So the plan is to just go in and either chase, or be chased, by this hungry troll until it finds a cave to call home?" Rainbow Dash did not sound very convinced and, truth be told, neither was Twilight.

"Okay, so maybe it's not the most well thought-out of plans, but I was hardly given much time to think and come up with anything. The book I have on them mostly just says to keep out of their way." Twilight levitated the book from out of her saddle bag and held it out in front of her as she trotted flicking the pages back and forth in case she had missed anything. She hadn't, and it was frustrating. Still, maybe this encounter could shed some light on trolls, then maybe she could ask for a revised version of this book to be printed with the information she gathered. "The six of us should be able to handle one troll though."

"Five," corrected Rainbow Dash who was looking along the path that lead to Fluttershy's cottage.

"I can see Applejack and Fluttershy, but no Rarity. Looks like Little Miss Fancy has managed to weasel her way out of this one."

A few minutes later, the five mares were making their way into the Everfree Forest and, more importantly, to Zecora's cottage as she was the only one that would be able to show them where the prints were.

"I left the girls with Rarity. Thought it best to make sure somepony was keeping an eye on them. Ah tell you, ah don't know what goes through those fillies' heads." Applejack shook her own head at the thought of the little fillies trying to take on a troll. Even she was having a few doubts as to how they would deal with this creature. Thankfully, she had not come unprepared, and was loaded up with a lot of thick rope, just in case they needed it.

Getting to Zecora's cottage didn't take too long, now that a path had started to be worn through the trees from the traffic that now made its way to and from the herbalist. As soon as the group got close the door opened with a very agitated zebra beckoning them inside.

"The five of you I'm glad to see. Come in quickly, I have boiled the tea." The girls could smell the green tea wafting out from behind Zecora, and were happy to get inside and rest their nerves a little, even without a troll living here the Everfree Forest was not the most relaxing place to be during the dusk hours. Inside Twilight could see numerous books scattered about Zecora’s tree home, which lead her to believe that the Zebra had realized that the prints were not from any of the normal oddities found in forest.

Twilight sipped her tea. "Zecora, I wish we had longer to stay but we need you to take us to where the girls and you found those strange prints." Applejack was tapping one hoof on the floor, her tea drunk in just a few gulps and she looked ready to push them all out if they didn't hurry up and get to the task at hoof.

"Those marks are strange - of that I'm sure, but I know I've seen them once before." Zecora was grinding something in her mortar that smelt hot and spicy, and seemed to give the air a buzz.

"We think they might be from a troll. Are theses the marks you saw?" Twilight levitated the book in a magenta glow over to Zecora who studied the picture carefully.

"The print looks about the same, but the one we saw were from smaller game." Zecora now carefully brushed the orange powder into a cloth pouch and fixed it to her own saddle bag.

"So, it might only be a little one, then?" Fluttershy spoke up a quietly though still barely a whisper. She hated the Everfree Forest, but her friends needed her help, so it was not like she could just say no. Besides, the troll might just be lost, and needed help to find its way back home.

"Small is good," said Twilight, feeling like a layer of stress had been lifted from her. "But, it will only get bigger the longer we wait to move it out of the Everfree Forest."

"So what are y'all waiting for? Lets go wrangle us a troll!"

Author's Note:

Smelly_SockZ did a great job on this one making sure the dialog flowed well. Now for a little bit of adventure.