• Published 9th Mar 2018
  • 2,647 Views, 56 Comments

Ouija - Knackerman

Apple Bloom reaches out to her parents across the gulf of eternity. Something else reaches back.

  • ...

Chapter 2

Apple Bloom didn’t exactly steal the ouija board... not exactly.

That would have been wrong.

Even so, after the girls woke up the next morning, Sweetie Belle had left the game where it had been abandoned last night. It seemed like she wanted nothing more to do with it, for some reason. She didn’t even glance at it as they had left to go up to the big farmhouse for breakfast.

It wasn’t a school day, but Apple Bloom still had a long list of chores to take care of before she’d have any free time. So while Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle set off to find out what the day might have in store for them, Apple Bloom set to her daily tasks. She did note, however, that neither of her friends returned to the club house before they left.

It wasn’t unusual for any of them to leave things in the Crusaders Clubhouse. The treehouse was a kind of second home to each of the girls. But as a result, Apple Bloom spent the day thinking about the ouija board, still sitting out there in the orchard. She thought about all of the questions she had asked last night, and the hundreds of questions she had *wished* she had asked.

The sheer enormity of having contacted her parents, where ever they were now, had left her flabbergasted. Yet it hadn’t taken long for her to open up to the kind and loving parents she’d only ever heard about. It was like meeting them for the first time, though she could tell from how they talked that they already knew all about her.

“Apple Bloom!” The filly jumped at the sound of her name. So lost in her revery that she didn’t realize that she had managed to screw up feeding the chickens. The ground all around the coop was covered in chicken feed! Applejack was stomping across the yard, a stormy look on her face, “Just look at this mess! Are ya tryin’ ta make our hens obese or do ya just like wastin’ their feed!?”

“Ah’m sorry Applejack,” apologized Apple Bloom, trying to shovel some of the feed back into her bucket. “Ah don’t know where mah head is today.”

“Up in the clouds from the look’a this!” yelled Applejack as she did her best to help her sister clean up the corn and birdseed. “There’ll be plenty of time for day dreamin’ when yer done with yer chores. All yer doin’ right now is making more work for yerself. Try to concentrate, okay?”

Apple Bloom didn’t like being scolded at the best of times, but especially right now when all she had been doing was thinking about her parents. Sure she had made a mess, but she was trying to clean it up, wasn’t she? Sometimes Applejack could be so unfair!

She didn’t say any of that though. Apple Bloom wasn’t sure what Applejack might think of her talking to their parents with the ouija board, but she had an inkling her older sister wouldn’t be too happy about it. So instead she just said, “Sorry sis, Ah think Ah’m just a little bit tired. Me an’ the girls was up pretty late past our bedtimes last night. Maybe if Ah went and had a little nap it’d perk me up and then Ah could finish up these chores this afternoon?”

Applejack could be stubborn and very stern. She could be even stricter than Miss Cheerilee when she had a mind to be. But the farmer noticed there were dark circles under Apple Bloom’s eyes and her tail and mane seemed just a little bit droopier than normal. Honestly, Apple Bloom looked like she might be coming down with something.

Strict as she was liable to be, Applejack had a soft spot in her heart for her little sister, and that led her to say, “Alright. Ah suppose a little nap won’t hurt. But don’t ya go sleeping the day away! You’ll just end up having an even harder time fallen asleep tonight and then you’ll be right back to where ya are now, come tomorrow.”

“Ah won’t be long,” promised Apple Bloom.

As she watched her sister go, Applejack wondered why her sister was heading back towards the treehouse instead of to the farmhouse and her room. She woulda figured it would’ve been easier for the filly to fall asleep in her own bed. It was odd, but she just shrugged it off. There were more chores to do, and she might never get them done if she sat down and tried to figure Apple Bloom out.

Applejack just shook her head and went back to work.

Of course she felt bad fibbing to Applejack like that. But then it was more like she had told her a half truth than a lie. Apple Bloom really had been up late, and probably could do with a nap... She just wasn’t going to take one.

As she trotted back towards the club house, Apple Bloom enjoyed the warm sun shining on her back through the crisp leaves that still clung stubbornly to the apple trees. As a cool breeze swept through the orchard, causing the leaves to rustle, Apple Bloom didn’t even bother trying to suppress her smile.

She was so excited!

So excited, in fact, that she didn’t notice how the plentiful sunshine seemed to fade from gold to grey as she neared the clubhouse. How the shadows beneath the trees seemed to thicken, as if they were flocking to the shadow of the treehouse. The wind, a comforting breeze moments ago, became a mournful thing that whistled between bare tree limbs, fitful and melancholy.

As Apple Bloom climbed up the ramp to the clubhouse, it creaked ominously as if it were burdened by centuries of dry rot and would snap in half under a heavier burden. The door, too, squeaked open on noisy hinges that sounded as though they had never known a drop of oil. If Apple Bloom spared any thoughts for this, it was just that she’d have more chores to do soon, fixing up the clubhouse.

Inside, things were exactly as the girls had left them earlier that morning. If anything, it looked like someone might have tidied things up a bit. Again, Apple Bloom didn’t notice any of this, and instead her eyes went right to the ouija board. Lighting the candle again to dispel the suddenly gloomy day, Apple Bloom sat down and took a deep breath.

“Mom... Dad... Ya there?”

Nothing happened. Then Apple Bloom smacked her forehead with her hoof and put the planchette on the board. She asked again, and this time she felt the familiar tug of her parents spirits guiding the arrow to the word “HELLO” it then glided to other letters spelling out “YOU ARE BACK SOON”.

“Yeah, well Ah couldn’t exactly keep mahself away,” Apple Bloom replied, a little color rising in her cheeks. “It’s just so nice ta get ta talk to y’all. It’s really amazin’!”


“Well, yeah, of course I do,” Apple Bloom assured. “There’s Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, and all sorts of other ponies who are my friends.”


“That’s true,” agreed Apple Bloom. “It’s not like I can’t talk to Big Mac, Granny Smith, and Applejack though. It’s just...”


“They’re always so busy,” Apple Bloom heaved a heavy sigh. This wasn’t anything she had told anyone. Not even the other Crusaders. “Either they’re doing chores, or Ah’m doin’ chores, or they’re running off to do errands or going on some adventure without me. Ah mean, Ah get in’ta mah fair share of trouble with the girls and helping folks out with Cutie Mark problems, but sometimes...”

The room grew darker. The shadows grew longer. The candle flame seemed to shrink down to a bright dot on the end of its wick. The atmosphere was growing thick and oppressive.

“Sometimes we don’t feel like much of a family...” It was tough for Apple Bloom to admit that. Being an Apple was all about family. It was about knowing your roots and spreading out across Equestria like a mighty apple tree. However... “Ah got a big brother and sister who loves me. Granny has taken care of me practically all mah life. But a family ought to have a mom and a dad, you know? Ah’ve never really known what that’s like.”


There was a soft pattering sound as the first tear drops fell on the ouija board. Apple Bloom had never told anypony how she felt. Her parents saying those words though, that they were here for her, that’s exactly the kind of thing she had always wanted to hear. She knew that her parents would have been kind and loving if they had lived. They wouldn’t have been aloof like Big Mac, or scatterbrained like Granny Smith, or strict like Applejack.


Apple Bloom took a deep breath and let out a shuddering sigh. It felt terrible to cry, but having cried she felt a calm tranquility and a bone deep tiredness. She wasn’t too tired to reply, however. “It’s nothin important. Just Applejack yellin’ at me for havin’ mah head in the clouds. She didn’t mean nothin’ by it.”


The room darkened further. The candle flame flickered brighter as if to fight off the encroaching darkness, but the shadows were all around now, closing in fast.

“Yeah...” Apple Bloom whispered.


A little before lunch, Applejack stuck her head under the water pump and let the cold water run through her mane. She’d have to pump the handle a few times to get it going, but after she had taken a drink she had plunged her head right into the freezing spray. It caused her to gasp for breath and give a little shiver, but it was invigorating after all the work she’d put in. It was probably the only time of day, aside from when she laid down to sleep, that she voluntarily took off her hat.

Giving herself a little shake to dry off, she picked her hat up with her teeth, and without looking plopped it down on her head. Chicken feed showered down over her muzzle and shoulders, getting all in her mane.

With a look of cold fury, Applejack’s eyes darted around the farm. While there were plenty of places somepony could hide, none of them were close enough by that somepony could have dumped the seeds into her hat and get away again before Applejack would have noticed.

Was it possible she had somehow gotten some chicken feed in her hat and not realized it? That didn’t make a lick of sense, but it was the only explaination she could come up with to account for what had happened.

“Ah guess even I can be a little absent-minded sometimes,” Applejack said aloud with a confused look on her face.

The farm pony started pumping more water so she could clean out her hat and wash her hair. Not far away, Apple Bloom had to cover her mouth with two hooves to stifle her laughter.