• Published 20th Sep 2018
  • 1,904 Views, 309 Comments

Fifty Shades of Neigh - GaPJaxie

A collection of short stories, based on fifty prompts given to me by FiMFiction.

  • ...

Dragon Gold

A request by Cold in Gardez:

Twilight discovers that Rarity has been claiming Spike as an 'exotic pet' for tax purposes.

Twilight kicked open the door to the Carousel Boutique. “So!” she exclaimed, “the criminal mastermind revealed at last!”

The two customers in the store stared at her with wide eyes and frozen expressions. Sweetie Belle smiled. “Hi, Twilight!” Then she waved.

“Sweetie Belle?” Twilight frowned. “Where’s Rarity?”

“Oh, I’m watching the shop for her while she’s in Canterlot. But if you want to leave a message I can—”

But Twilight was already gone, galloping off into Ponyville.

“So,” Twilight kicked open the door to Canterlot Carousel. “You thought you could run from the law forever, did you?”

Sassy Saddles hissed through her teeth. Then she leapt into action like a striking serpent, grabbing one of the customers as an equine shield as she pulled a revolver from somewhere under her skirt. “Long live the revolution!”

Quick reflexes saved Twilight’s life, and the threw herself to the floor moments before two bullets tore through the space she’d stood moments before. “Woah woah. I’m looking for Rarity.”

“Oh.” Sassy paused. She lowered the gun. “Well. She’s in Manehattan. Do you want to leave a message?”

“No!” Twilight got up and brushed herself off. “What was that about?”

“Nothing.” Sassy put the gun away and released the mare she was holding. “I was just uh… demonstrating. A new accessory we’re selling. It’s a holster.”

“Right. Well. This place is obviously a hotbed of criminal activity. Rarity’s influence no doubt. You’re just lucky I have bigger fish to fry.” Twilight spread her wings and took to the air, calling back over her shoulder. “I’ll be back for you after I’m done dealing with your boss!”

“Ah…” Sassy sighed, turning to her customer. “I’m sorry about that. Where were we?”

“Excuse me.” Twilight cracked open the door to Rarity for You. “Is Rarity in?”

“Hello Princess. Not right now. She’s at lunch.” The thin-faced mare who handled the morning shift smiled at Twilight. “You can leave a message though.”

“No, it’s okay. I’ll wait.” Twilight stepped inside and found a seat in the back. There were no customers, so she and the store-clerk ended up staring at each other. “The hats are nice this season.”

“Do you want to try one on?”

“No.” Twilight nodded. “But thank you.”

Customers came and went. The cash register went ching. A few of the passers-by asked Twilight why the boutique hired a princess impersonator.

Forty minutes later, the bell over the door jingled. “I’m back!” Rarity called. “How are things—”

“So!” Twilight lept to her hooves, and with a swift buck from her hind legs, kicked open the door to the storage closet. “The criminal mastermind reveals herself at last!”

“Twilight?” Rarity took a half step back. “Goodness, what’s the matter?”

“Oh, nothing. I just wanted to talk to you…” Twilight ripped a bundle of documents out of her saddlebags, holding them up to Rarity. “About your taxes.”

Rarity froze for half a second. Then she recovered her composure and pursed her lips. “Why my dearest Twilight, I haven’t the faintest idea what you mean. Everything in those documents is perfectly legal.”

“You haven’t paid your taxes once in your entire life.”

“Oh, but you’re mistaken, Twilight.” Rarity circled Twilight where she stood, pausing a moment to pretend to inspect a rack of clothing. “I file my taxes every year.”

“I didn’t say file, I said pay. You send little pieces of paper to the government, but when was the last time you actually had to give up money during tax season?”

“If the government of Equestria wishes to offer small businesses certain tax breaks or incentives, it would be silly of me not to take advantage of them.” Rarity smiled a serene smile, and her voice took on the smoothest of tones. Hearing it was like watching liquid caramel flow. “And I suppose, if a business had an unprofitable year, the incentives could add up in such a way that their net tax burden ended up being zero.”

“You own three upscale clothing boutiques, and this year you reported a taxable income of one-hundred and twelve bits.”

“Ah, but you are mistaken.” Rarity flicked a hoof. “I administrate two non-profit entities. Specifically, centers for the arts in Canterlot and Manehatten. And a non-profit doesn’t pay taxes. They may purchase some raw materials from a for-profit business I own, but that’s an ah…” She held the breath. “Independent relationship.”

“Carousel Boutique should still—”

“Donate cloth to the school for the education of the children? Help Ponyville qualify for development aid funds? Serve the community as an animal shelter? It should still invest in the pomp and circumstance required to attract it’s clientele?” A giggle escaped her. “All business expenses of course, though I must confess, I’m a frightfully inept buisnessmare.”

“So you lied.”

“Careful, Twilight.” The mirth vanished from Rarity’s tone, and she pointed a warning hoof. “That’s a strongly worded accusation. Every word on those forms is true.”

“Oh really? And how precisely is Carousel Boutique an animal shelter?”

“Exotic pet breeders can qualify. Admittedly, I only have one exotic pet so far, and it’s male. But I’m sure I’ll find another eventually.”

“I don’t think you can write off your boyfriend as an exotic pet.” Twilight snorted.

“Really now?” Rarity tsked. “Such comments are beneath a princess. Spike, Twilight. Spike.”

“That’s absurd!” Twilight threw her hoof into the air. “Besides, you can’t write off Spike as an exotic pet. I already wrote him off as a dependent.”

“Oh, really?” Rarity asked. “Fascinating.”

"I hereby find the defendant, her Highness, the Princess Twilight Sparkle, guilty of one misdemeanor count of tax evasion.” The judge slammed his gavel to the bench. “Honestly. Trying to write off your friend’s pet as a dependent. This is a sad day for the monarchy, Princess, and an embarrassment for all of Equestria.”

From the seats in the back, Rarity waved at Twilight.

As she sat fuming in the stands, Twilight decided that Rarity wasn’t invited to Sunday brunch with the girls anymore.