• Published 13th Nov 2019
  • 446 Views, 8 Comments

Cozy Shadows - StubobNumbers

Dusk Shadow has a great responsibility placed in front of him. But he has his family and others to help him. And he'll need it.

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Interlude: Mystery Train

Canterlot’s central hub of the train station hummed with activity. Ponies, Gryphons, Minotaurs, and even a few Diamond Dogs mingled and discussed the events of the day while keeping an eye on the wall ticker of arrival and departure times.

Kiosks sold snacks and keepsakes for travelers who needed a last-minute souvenir for their family to play with for a day and then forget about.

A brightly-colored neon green and canary yellow booth labeled “Tourist Information” passed out literature and gave new arrivals directions to Canterlot’s tourist traps.

In this barely controlled maelstrom, a navy blue and ash grey pegasus colt named Dusk Shadow and his parents awaited the arrival of the nightly train to Ponyville. A new start awaited the trio down the tracks.

“Hon, did you get everything squared away with that lovely Ms. Inkwell?” his mother, Smoke Signal, asked.

“Yes, sweetie. She helped me get in contact with a reliable moving company. They will be able to bring the rest of our stuff at the end of the week.” his father, Morse Code, replied.

“That is good news. At least the mayor of Ponyville was able to rustle up some basic furnishings for us at the last minute,” Smoke Signal said. Then she added, “Though I do not know why we were offered quills to go with our sofa.”

A passing Earth Pony stallion stopped and cleared his throat.

“Excuse me. I have been to Ponyville a few times on business, and just thought you may be interested to learn there is a shop named ‘Quills & Sofas’ in Ponyville. It seems to be a bit of a local mystery how such an odd combination store works, but it is Ponyville. Stranger things have been known to occur there.” the Earth Pony stated.

“Thank you,” Morse Code said to the fellow stallion.

“The 8:30 PM train to Ponyville is now boarding.” a voice over the station’s intercom announced.

“That’s our ride!”, Dusk Shadow yelled with excitement. He looked like a typical energetic colt in that moment and his parents exchanged a weary grin with each other.

“Well, it was nice meeting you, Sir. I hope you have a lovely evening.” Morse Code said to the stallion they had just met.

Smoke Signal was gathering up their tickets and small hoofbags. As well as keeping their colt from darting off ahead.

“Enjoy your time in Ponyville.” the unnamed stallion replied as Morse Code had begun trotting toward their train with his wife and colt.

“Tickets please”, an aged mare wearing a uniform of the Equestrian Union Train Company requested as the family reached the waiting train.

Steam was starting to billow out as the conductor’s warmed the engines.

“Here you go, miss.” Smoke Signal said and handed over three tickets.

“Thank you, ma’am.” the mare said. “The dining car will open up in a few minutes. Enjoy your trip.” the mare added.

The family of pegasi climbed up the train steps and quickly found their private room and placed their bags under the bunk beds the spartan room included.

“Mom and Dad,” Dusk Shadow started, getting their attention, “May I go to the dining cart and get a snack?” he asked.

“You may, but don’t be gone long, and do not go exploring other cars, son.” Morse Code said firmly as he hoofed over a few bits.

“Thanks, Dad!” Dusk Shadow said happily as he pranced through the door.

“And now we’re alone for the first time today.” Smoke Signal stated as she winked at her husband.

“Surely just a coincidence.” Morse Code grinned back before climbing into bed beside his lovely wife.

Meanwhile, the excited Dusk Shadow had literally bounced off the wall a time or two in his desire to see what desserts were available.

Dusk Shadow paused, images of sweets dancing in his head temporarily forgotten, as he observed a group of four ponies dressed like Gum Horseshoes in old detective comics his father showed him when has was just a little foal. Dusk Shadow remembered how it was discussing a “whodonedidit,” or however his father put it, with his mother when Dusk Shadow had gotten his cutie mark.

A pair of powder blue unicorns were pouring what appeared to be martinis from a pitcher for the quartet. The stallion had a martini glass for a cutie mark and the mare had an olive stuck with a toothpick as her cutie mark. The mare of the duo then noticed Dusk Shadow looking at them with a starstruck expression on his muzzle.

“Oh, hello there, young colt. Were you looking for the waiter or the food cart?” the unicorn mare asked kindly.

“Oh, excuse me miss!” Dusk Shadow blurted out. “I was thinking you and your company look like characters in an old detective story,” he added.

Both unicorns busted out laughing while an Earth Pony stallion with a slate grey mane, a red coat and a magnifying glass cutie mark snorted. The fourth pony, a black pegasus stallion with a bright white mane with grey highlights and a cutie mark of some kind of hat, just stared flatly at his compatriots.

“Well, funny you should mention that because we’re detectives going to investigate a murder.” the unicorn stallion said cheerfully.

“A murder!?” Dusk Shadow gasped and paled.

“Oh, don’t listen to that old fool.” the unicorn mare re-assured Dusk Shadow.

“What these two mean,” the pegasus said, breaking his silence, “is that we have been invited to a murder mystery weekend at the Filthy Rich estate. We have been given these outfits, and once we arrive we will be given characters to play over the weekend as we try to solve the crime.” he further explained.

“That is awesome!” Dusk Shadow yelled excitedly.

“Ah, the exuberance of the young.” the Earth Pony stallion said tiredly. “But where are our manners? I’m Red Herring.” he added.

“I’m Spade Archer.” the pegasus stallion stated. “And this troublesome twosome are Shaken Gallantry and Stirred Gallantry.” the pegasus continued.

“Oh, you know you love us.” Shaken Gallantry said cheekily. “If it wasn’t for us, you’d never find the Maltese Gryphon statuette.” he added.

“You told me you lost that to the Mare In The Lake!” Red Herring blurted out.

“Gentlecolts, that adventure is ancient history.” Stirred Gallanty said as she smiled at Dusk Shadow. “Surely, a handsome colt like yourself has a name.” she said.

“I’m Dusk Shadow.” he replied trying to appear confident, “and I will be a detective when I grow up.” Dusk Shadow boasted.

“A detective, hmm?” Spade Archer asked.

“Yes, it’s my destiny.” Dusk Shadow stated with conviction.

“Do you want some advice?” Red Herring asked.

“Yes, that would be great!” Dusk Shadow yelled.

“Find yourself an honest and reliable Mare Friday.” Shaken Gallantry immediately offered before he was kicked in the ribs by Stirred Gallantry.

“What Shaken meant is to find people you trust to tell it to you straight.” Stirred Gallantry said.

Red Herring snickered at the two unicorns exchange before he added his two bits.

“If all the evidence is pointing in one direction, then be cautious.” Red Herring said.

Finally Spade Archer leaned forward and stared directing into Dusk Shadow’s muzzle.

“Always trust your instincts. They will not steer you wrong.” Spade Archer said with finality. “Now, go grab some food and get back to your cabin.” he ordered.

“Thank you all. I won’t forget this. I’ll be a detective and I will even write y’all about my cases!” Dusk Shadow excitedly called out as he grabbed some cupcakes off a tray and headed back towards his room.

“Cute kid.” Spade Archer said after Dusk Shadow left the dining car.

“What are your instincts saying?” Stirred Gallantry asked.

“That he’s got some big things ahead of him.” Spade Archer replied thoughtfully.

The conversation soon settled down as the party sipped their margaritas as the Ponyville Express thundered into the night.

In a passenger cabin a few cars down, a family of pegasi finished off a tray of cupcakes and then they got into bed, the parents curling up on either side of their colt. Their sleep was uninterrupted as the train rolled on.

Author's Note:

All four of the OC's introduced were intended to be references to specific famous detectives in film. I ended up being unable to ponify Philip Marlowe, so instead you get Red Herring. Hope you enjoyed this.

Also, if anyone is interested in helping edit or proofread my writing, please pm me.

And please share your thoughts in the comments below.