• Published 30th May 2018
  • 3,792 Views, 102 Comments

A Simple Errand - Justice3442

Starlight and Trixie go to the store to buy groceries. A task so mundane there’s pretty much no way they can mess it up.

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Starlight and Trixie grab only nonsensical things

Author's Note:

Some quick references to The Order of Things and The Beard with a Jerk-Ass Hanging Off of It in this chapter.

Starlight Glimmer craned her neck one way and the other as she used magic, hooves, and the occasional bout of using her innate talents and tools to toss a pot, frying pan, or other potentially injurious objects as she searched the shelves and wares of the grocery store.

“No… No… Not here… No! Uggghhh!” A cast iron skillet was suddenly flung away in an aura of electric blue magic.

‘THUD!’ went the pan as a pony brought a short end to its flight.

“GHAH! My EYE!” went the possibly concussed pony as he stopped the heavy item with his face.

“My cabbages!” went the distressed stocker as the aforementioned fell backward into his display.

‘CLANG!’ rang the iron cookware as it landed on the floor.

As oblivious to the damage she was causing as always, Starlight continued her search. “No! No… GHAAAA! Doesn’t this store have ANYTHING useful?!”

“M-Ma’am…” A brown earth pony stallion with one azure eye, one already swelling eye, uttered woozily as he trotted up. His dark black mane was slicked back, and he had three bags, which clearly where money bags as they had a dollar sign on them, as a cutie mark. Said dollar signs matched the massive gold dollar sign on the pony’s red tie which completed the incomplete ensemble of a white collar over a dark blue suit collar like somepony had begun making two shirts, got bored after barely having started, and figured some pony would really want to put together Equestria’s most complex scarf… and was right. “Can… Can I help you find something? Preferably before you hurt anypony else or I pass out?”

Starlight turned and shot a glare at the new arrival. “That depends, does this store carry knife powder?!”

The pony did his best to focus his one unswollen eye on Starlight. “Ma’am… either I seriously need to go to the hospital or you just asked if I carried something that doesn’t exist. Now is that powder for knives, or powder made from a knife?”

“Knife powder! It’s just knife powder… Kniiiiiiiiife Pooooowdeeeer!” Starlight stressed as if saying the word more slowly somehow made what she was looking for any more real.

“Come to think of it,” the pony mused, “those things I suggested aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Starlight let out a terse scoff. “Do you have it or not?”

“I, uh, don’t,” the stallion admitted, “mostly on account of it probably never having existed.”

Starlight stomped her foot down. “That’s it! I want to speak to your manager!”

“Ma’am, I’m Filthy Rich and I own this store,” Filthy Rich said as he mustered some confidence. “Also, the store manager was excused to leave early on account of the entire bar-b-q grill that fell on top of him a few minutes ago.” Filthy Rich chuckled. “I even let him purchase the grill at a discount!”

“Okay, but your generosity doesn’t help me find knife powder!” Starlight hissed out through clenched teeth.

“Ma’am! I pride myself on stocking my store with everything the ponies of Ponyville might need!”

“Woo-hoo!” Trixie’s voice rang from elsewhere in the store. “Trixie found the whips, hoof-cuffs, and ball-gags in the ‘gently-used’ bin! ”

Filthy Rich continued, “But I ain’t ever heard of anything called ‘knife powder’!”

“Ugh, fine… I’ll make it myself.” With a glow of her horn, Starlight floated a chef's knife hanging from a hook on the shelf in front of her, and a clear bag of a white powdery substance labeled ‘Powdered Sugar’ from elsewhere in the store. Filthy Rich recoiled slightly as Starlight stabbed the knife into the bag. The glow from her horn increased as well as the aura around the two items, and in a blinding flash, the knife was gone and the white sugar had turned a metal gray as the label know read ‘KNIFE POWDER’ in a barely legible brutalist red font. She dropped the bag into a cart full of odds and more odds where it immediately burst in several places and began leaking the strange powder all over the floor.

“Great job stocking this store with everything the ponies of Ponyville need!” Starlight said sarcastically as she got on her hind legs and leaned against the cart.

“Speaking of things we need,” Filthy Rich grumble under his breath, “this village could REALLY use a police force, or even a well-intended militia to make sure you take your meds… or at least ponies willing to dose you with rainbow friendship beams from time to time...”

“What was that?!” Starlight snapped.

“I said, ‘Thank YOU for shopping Rich’s Barnyard Bargains’!” he replied as a put on a well-practiced smile. “As always, we appreciate your patronage and the fact you’ve kept your spree of frustration-fueled chaos from destroying the entire store!”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought!” Starlight added as she began walking away, creating several trails of knife powder behind her.

Filthy Rich frowned heavily at the trails and touched one, recoiling as he did. He brought his hoof up to his good eye and noted it was now trickling blood out of several small lacerations. “Cleanup on Aisle 14!” he called out. “Bring a broom, dustpan, safety goggles, and a breathing mask…” Filthy Rich continued to look on as quite a bit more blood dripped from his hoof. “…and maybe a couple pair of greaves.”

“Ready!” Starlight called out.

“Me, too!” Trixie replied.

Both mares rounded the end of aisles where they met up at the pile of medicine boxes now sticky and soaked in various colored liquids, the center of this medicinal doughnut being a formerly white unicorn now covered in splashes of bright colors like an abstract artist was going through their ‘neon’ phase. “Hahaha, Oh man… How many planets are there in the solar system?! ‘Cause I count at least nine!” Vinyl uttered as she stared up at the ceiling in a haze, one of her back legs twitching.

Starlight couldn’t help but groan as she looked over at Trixie and the assortment of items she had gathered. “Really?!”

Trixie returned Starlight’s groan with a glare. “Yes, really! This is what friends do, Starlight!” Trixie said as she deposited two forty ounce bottles of a fizzy brown liquid next to Vinyl. “Friends enable each other!”

Vinyl gasped. “Brown party liquor! My mare!” she said excitedly as she took one of the bottles in a warm lilac glow, jammed it against her horn causing some of the liquid to spray all over her before she brought the hole up to her mouth and tried to drink the rest of the entire forty.

Trixie continued in her indignant tone, “Or is that something that’s only covered in the PhD-level classes at the made-up friendship university in your head?!”

“Not that!” Starlight exclaimed. “That!” she motioned to Trixie’s carts mostly full of ends and more ends.

“These are all things Twilight needs!” Trixie insisted.

Starlight rolled her eyes and trotted over to the cart. She began rummaging through it. “Your favorite flavor of ice-cream, your favorite cereal… a light-blue towel with stars and moons on it that’s monogrammed with the initials T.L.”

“Yes!” Trixie insisted. “For Twi-Light!”

Starlight shook her head and continued to rummage through the cart. “Okay, well those are clearly just items you want! But you also have a whip… ball gags… two sets of hoof-cuffs,” Starlight squinted. “Some sort of wiggly… phallic… thing that smells like a burrito…”

“Ah-ah! All lightly used items!” Trixie exclaimed.

Starlight rolled her eyes. “Of course they are!”

“Trixie just thought Twilight needed to relax a little!” she insisted.

“Oh!” Starlight continued. “And my personal favorite, an entire rack of magazines,” she said giving Trixie a bemused grimace. “Not even just the magazines, but the rack they’re on!”

It was Trixie’s turn to roll her eyes. “Well, I needed something to carry all those magazines! And it’s not like I grabbed Twilight every magazine! Just the diet and fitness ones!”

Starlight let out an exasperated groan. “Trixie, it’s pretty clear the rest of these items are just to further your campaign of sexually frustrated-fueled hate against Twilight!”

Trixie’s face scrunched up in annoyance. “Oh yeah?!”

“Uh… Yes,” Starlight replied.

Trixie leaned closer to Starlight as her expression became increasingly infuriated. “Oh yeah?!”

“Yes! I already said ‘yes’!”

“Well Trixie doesn’t actually have a compelling counterargument!” Trixie exclaimed. “She just thought yelling would solve her problem!”

“Yo! You tell that psychedelic, half-melting, mushroom Leprechaun, Trix!” Vinyl chirped.

Starlight just sighed. “Yelling doesn’t solve anything, Trixie! Only magic and friendship solve problems!”

“Okay, well where does common sense fit in there?” Trixie asked.

Starlight blew a dismissive gust of air. “In the garbage where it belongs is the answer to that question!”

“Also booze and drugs!” Vinyl chimed in. “Don’t forget all the problems they solve! Like… sobriety!

Starlight bobbed her head back and forth for a moment as she considered this. “Yes, soporific substances often solve problems or are at least suitable distractions.”

“Boom! You just made up a word!” Vinyl declared.

Starlight’s forehead tightened, and she thought for a moment. “What word?! Soporific?! Ugggh! Maybe this store carries a dictionary or even a thesaurus.”

“Oh man, right?!” Vinyl replied. “How cool would it be if the store sold dinosaurs!”

Starlight’s forehead tightened. She looked at Trixie. “You know… Wouldn’t it be great if your friend just… didn’t talk? Like… she only responded via nods and shaking her head?”

“Dude, super not cool!” Vinyl protested.

“Hmmm… I suspect that would be rather disappointing,” Trixie replied.

Starlight gave Trixie a helpful smile. “I know the spell off the top of my head! Just one little spell and things get much quieter! Not only is it magic, we’d be using it on a friend!”

“Dude, super not-cool two turbo edition!”

Trixie shook her head. “Honestly, Vinyl’s quips help drown out all the crying and pained moans from the other ponies in the store.”

“Ugh, fine!” Starlight snapped. “Your cart of items is still not anything Twilight would actually want!”

Trixie grit her teeth. “Well, let’s have a look at your items!” she said as she walked gingerly over the boxes, puddles, and sprayed out and strung out pony in the aisle.

“Uh…” Trixie stared at the items in Starlight’s cart in confusion as she lifted them one by one and strained her eyes to make out the labels. “Taco spray… Cool wrap… Ouija flakes… tick acid…” Trixie pursed her lips at the next item. “Emo Dip…” She shook her head. “Starlight, almost all of these items couldn’t have possibly come from inside the store, let alone this reality!”

“I know!” Starlight said. “This store selection is disappointing! REAL LIFE is disappointing! I had to improvise to cover all our bases!” She sighed. “I even had to make up a slogan for the Ouija flakes.”

Trixie floated up the box up to her face in a lilac glow. “‘Part of a legitimately haunted breakfast!’” She put the box back down, which let out a soft, disconcerting moan, and then stared at Starlight. “Starlight, why did you make these?!”

Starlight chuckled. “I thought they would really raise spirits around the castle!”

Trixie cringed and sneered angrily at Starlight.

“Dude, that hurt my soul!” Vinyl exclaimed. “And in this state, that’s like the worst pain ever!”

Trixie shook her head. “I can’t believe you got on my case about that legible comment…”

“Pffft! HAH!” Starlight replied. “You’re just mad that mine was way more clever.”

Trixie’s glare only increased. “Trixie chooses not to confirm nor deny that… Anyway, I doubt Twilight is going to be interested in stuff she’s never even conceived of…”

Starlight smirked. “Clearly you don’t know her as well as you think you do or how many times she has accidentally summoned abominations from other planes of existence.”

“Does she know Jeff?”

Trixie looked down at Vinyl quizzically. “Who or what is a ‘Jeff’, Silly Rabbit?”

“He’s like… this abyss spider?” Vinyl answered. “Seems like a pretty chill guy… Think he’s hitting on my spirit, though…”

Starlight closed her eyes hard and raised a forehoof to her forehead. “Vinyl just, float away…”

“Dude! Don’t tell me how to live my astral life!”

“I’m sure she’ll be fine, Starlight,” Trixie said, “or left a no more bizarre mental mess than usual... ” Trixie shook her head. “Twilight’s bizzare interest in the things-no-pony-was-meant-to-know, aside, the only thing useful in here that you clearly made from magic is the towel polish, and that’s only because I’ll need it for my-er-Twilight’s new towel.”

“Okay! So maybe I got a little creative!” Starlight admitted as she threw a forehoof up in the air. “Just going for friendship extra credit points, here!”

“…Trixie is completely uncertain as to how one can quantify friendship like that…”

Starlight smiled. “Well, you see, Twilight has a given me friendship tasks to be completed on a sliding scale of how well I did that she’s translated to a numerical system that also converts to a letter-based grade—”

Trixie held up a forehoof to stop Starlight. “Trixie also doesn’t care.”

“Ugh, right!” Vinyl exclaimed. “Boring!” She floated up a bottle and shook it. “Here! Have some of these candies! They really take the edge off!”

Starlight glanced at the bottle. “These are grape flavored pain killers for foals…”

“Hah!” Vinyl replied. “Well, that’s a stupid name for candy… maybe a cool band name, though…”

Trixie continued going through items in Starlight’s cart. “Out of a cart full of things you decided to magically alchemize on the spot, I can only find one type of thing you actually grabbed from the store, and that’s the shovels.” Trixie did a quick count. “Five shovels.” She turned and stared at Starlight quizzically. “Why would Twilight need five shovels?”

Smiling, Starlight let out a “Hah!” before answering. “They’re not just for Twilight! I got one for everypony who lives at the castle! So that way we can all bury our horrible mistakes together and be buddies!” she added enthusiastically.

Trixie’s lilac eyes opened wide as they began to fill with tears. “You… you didn’t think to get a shovel for Trixie?!”

“What? Of course, I did!” Starlight said. “You’re around often enough and keeping your cart right by the castle dumpster practically makes you our roomy!” Starlight scrunched her lips slightly. “You know Twilight said you don’t have to keep your cart by the—”

“That location is convenient for Trixie!” Trixie snapped.

“Uh… alright,” Starlight said.

Trixie glanced at the shovels. “Well, if one of these is for me, then you’re missing a shovel.”

“What?” Starlight looked at the collection of shovels and counted. “No, I’m not! There’s five! One for everypony who sleeps in the castle and one for you!”

Trixie shook her head. “But five of you live in the castle!”

Starlight thought for a moment then laughed. “What, you mean Order?! Hah! Well… I guess I could always get another shovel and then shrink it… But I doubt it’ll do anyone that much good if he’s just burying stuff six millimeters under the ground.”

“… Who?!” Trixie replied in confusion.

“Order! You know… the all-seeing tiny dog that lives in Twilight’s table?”

“Duuuuuude...!” Vinyl exclaimed. “How high are we?!”

“Uh… riiiiight….” Trixie replied in an unsure tone of voice. “Well, I wasn’t talking about any tiny dogs…”

Starlight looked at Trixie in confusion. “Well, who then? There’s a shovel for Twilight, Spike, you, me, and I even got one for Tempest!”

“You forgot Grubber!” Trixie exclaimed.

“… Who?!” Starlight replied in confusion.

“Tempest’s minion!” Trixie clarified. “He runs around doing anything Tempest asks! And also, anything Trixie asks when Tempest isn’t around.”

“Oh, right…” Starlight thought for a moment. “I guess I always saw him more as a pet.”

“A pet that opens doors for Tempest, asks ponies how their days were, and makes Trixie tiny, delicious sandwiches when she asks?”

“… A well-trained pet!” Starlight clarified.

Trixie sighed and looked over the collection of items. “So, we have a bunch of items that never existed until a few minutes, ago, five—”

“SIX!” Starlight continued as there was a ‘THUD!’ a scream of “My OTHER eye!” another scream of “My CABBAGES! AGAIN!” and then another shovel floating from elsewhere in the store which was added to her cart.

“— six shovels, and then my items… of which Trixie freely admits she either got for herself or to annoy Twilight…”

“And ONE wasted pony!” Vinyl said enthusiastically.

Trixie nodded. “Right, and one wasted pony as well as a bunch of not-so-gently-used pharmaceuticals.” Trixie shook her head. “As much fun as this has been, we should probably cut our losses, buy everything we gathered here, and then go back to ask what that last item is.”

Starlight smiled and smacked her lips. “Nope! I have a better idea!”

Trixie sighed, picked up a mostly empty bottle of beer and mostly empty jug of cough syrup and quickly quaffed their contents.