• Published 18th Dec 2011
  • 4,171 Views, 72 Comments

A Tale of Two Ponies - Silicas

Luna is pregnant with a colt sired when she was still Nightmare Moon. What will come of this?

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Chapter 11: Lost and Found

Chapter 11: Lost and Found

Fluttershy waited outside Ponyville’s schoolhouse. Several parents of the other colts and fillies in Starshade’s class stood nearby, chatting idly. The mare shied away from the other ponies, and moved closer to the red building’s door. School would be out soon.

Fluttershy tried to block out the conversations of the ponies around her; she just wanted to think in peace.

I hope everything went okay. What if Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were mean? Relax, Fluttershy. Just relax. Starshade can handle himself.

The mare’s thoughts wandered back to that morning, when Starshade and her picked up the astronomy textbooks. But she was not thinking of the books or the colt, she was thinking of the librarian. Again.

He seemed like such a nice pony. Why did I have to send him off? Why couldn’t I just have let Starshade sleep in my room?

Fluttershy paused and shook her mane.

Oh, why do I care? It was not like Cobalt had done anything special. Why did she feel so strange when she was around him?

The school bell rang and Fluttershy looked up. Its sharp sound signaled the end of Starshade’s first day at school. Within moments, several foals poured excitedly out of the building and rushed to their waiting parents.

The yellow pegasus waited for several minutes before Starshade appeared at the schoolhouse door, trotting alongside Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle. The group walked towards Fluttershy, heads leaned together and whispering quietly.

The mare caught only a short snippet of the conversation as they advanced. Scootaloo was speaking.

“… book. I’ve got to get home before–”

Starshade tapped the orange filly; she immediately went silent.

“Miss Fluttershy,” the colt asked, looking up at the mare, “Is it alright if I don’t come home with you? Sweetie Belle, Applebloom, and Scootaloo asked me if I could help them with something.”

“We promise he’ll be back way before nightfall!” interjected Sweetie Belle.

Fluttershy halted, unsure of her answer.

Scootaloo looked intensely at the mare, her lavender eyes wide. “Please!” the pegasus filly begged.

Fluttershy nodded. “Alright, Starshade. Please just remember to be safe.”

“Thank you so much, Miss Fluttershy!” squealed Starshade as he ran to the mare and hugged her. “Do you think you could take my saddlebags home for me?”

“Of course.”

Starshade slid the weighty packs from his back and placed them beside Fluttershy, ruffling his wings as he did so. “Thanks, again. I promise I won’t be gone too long.”

“Have fun,” the yellow mare said before picking up the saddlebags in her teeth.

She turned and slung the packs over her back, unsuccessfully avoiding sandwiching her wings under the weight. Trying her best to not look back, she made her way down the wide street in the direction of her cottage.

I sure hope Starshade will be able to find his way home. I guess Sweetie Belle, Applebloom, and Scootaloo do know the way, though. Fluttershy shifted the weight on her back and sighed. He’ll be alright, Fluttershy. Just relax. Just relax.

Sweetie Belle raised her head and looked around before ducking back in to the group of foals. “So what’s the plan, Scootaloo?”

Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Starshade were huddled around the orange filly, listening eagerly as she answered. “Well, here’s what we know.” Scootaloo planted a hoof on the clear ground in the center of the group and traced a square. “Cheerilee’s on her way home right now. We have to make it back before she does. Otherwise, she’ll see my copy of that astronomy book in the same place I left it this morning and realize I took Starshade’s.”

The filly drew two wavy lines from the square, each staring at opposing sides and curving outwards, eventually ending in parallel. “You see this first line? That’s Cheerilee’s path. She’ll try to go inside the front door.” Scootaloo indicated the second line with her hoof. It was considerably more contorted, showing a more roundabout route. “We can’t let her see us pass her, so we’ll need to head for the back door. With the way the streets are laid out, that’s going to be a lot longer of a distance, so we’ll need to go fast.”

“Can’t we just use tha scooter?” asked Applebloom.

“Even if we had the wagon, which we don’t, we wouldn’t have enough room for Starshade.”

Starshade rested his chin on an outstretched hoof. Not looking up, the colt asked, “Scootaloo, can you fit a second pony on your scooter?”

“Yah,” answered Scootaloo. “What are you thinking?”

“Let’s create a distraction. How about we send two of us ahead to occupy Miss Cheerilee while you take another around back on your scooter?”

“That’d work,” Applebloom chimed.

Scootaloo nodded, drawing several more lines in the dust and erasing the latter part of Cheerilee’s path. “That’s a good idea, Starshade.” The orange filly pointed to one of the new lines. “Applebloom, that’s you. I want you to distract Cheerilee first.” Scootaloo placed a dot on the remaining path and looked at Sweetie Belle. “You wait here. Just as Applebloom’s about to finish, jump Cheerilee. That should definitely buy us enough time.”

“So I take it you’re bringing me with you, then,” said Starshade.

“Yah. You haven’t been on my scooter before. It’s awesome. That, and you have the biggest stake in this. It’s not a big deal if Cheerilee finds out that I forgot my book. But if she finds out that you lied to her…”

“I didn’t think of it like that.”

Sweetie Belle pulled her head back into the group for a second time. “We’d better get going,” she said. “Cheerilee just went around the corner. She’ll be home in under five minutes.”

“Right,” confirmed Scootaloo. Pointing a hoof at Sweetie Belle and Applebloom, she ordered, “You two head out now. Meet us back at the clubhouse in fifteen minutes.”

The fillies nodded and rushed off towards the corner that Cheerilee had disappeared around, leaving Scootaloo and Starshade alone outside the schoolhouse.

“Come on. Scooter’s over here.”

Starshade followed the orange pegasus along the side of the red building to where a dilapidated blue scooter lay beside a helmet. Scootaloo picked up the purple headgear and brushed away a few errant blades of grass, looking at Starshade then back at the helmet.

“I don’t have another with me,” she said, shrugging slightly. “Just… remember to hold on tight.”

Starshade could barely hear Scootaloo as she talked back from in front of him; the buzz from her wings and the rush of air made her almost inaudible as the scooter blazed through the streets of Ponyville. He tightened his grip around Scootaloo’s waist. As the filly directed the scooter through groups of ponies and around tight turns, he did best to avoid interfering with her wings.

Starshade lurched forwards as the scooter came to an abrupt halt.

“This is the place,” said Scootaloo as she stepped off the scooter and removed her helmet.

Starshade shook his head. “You go fast.”

“That?” Scootaloo answered with a laugh, “You should see me on a straightaway without another pony slowing me down.”

Scootaloo walked to the door of the small two-story building in front of them, laying the scooter against the building’s yellow outside wall. Quietly, she pushed against the wooden panel and slipped inside the house.

“Come on,” she urged, looking back at Starshade. “Applebloom and Sweetie Belle probably won’t be able to distract Cheerilee for too much longer.”

Starshade followed Scootaloo into the house. Aside from the clops of their hooves on the wooden floor, the interior was silent.

Starshade skirted around a scattered pile of papers on the floor, eying them interestedly. He recognized the names of several of his classmates scrawled at the top.

“Is Miss Cheerilee always this disorganized?” he whispered.

“Pretty much,” Scootaloo answered as she used her forehooves to lift herself up to the level of a nearby table, as she searched its surface.

“Do you remember where you left the book?”

“Uh… No. Not really,” she admitted.

“Well, Miss Cheerilee said she saw it this morning, right? So it’s probably somewhere on the way out.”


“Okay. I’ll check the kitchen, you check by the front door.”

“Right.” Scootaloo pointed down a short hallway to the right of Starshade. “Kitchen’s that way.”

The colt nodded and headed in the direction Scootaloo had pointed. It was getting darker as he trotted further down the hallway; there were no windows in that part of the house, and any candles that might have lit the way had been extinguished earlier that morning.

The colt combed the table and counters, avoiding any stray papers as best he could. One, however, caught his eye.

Silver Spoon.

It was something short, but Cheerilee’s note at the top had drawn his attention.

Silver Spoon, this is really quite an eye opening piece of writing from you. I know things were difficult after your mother’s death, but I realize now how far-reaching it must have been for you. I don’t feel comfortable putting a grade on this, all things considered. I just want you to remember that I’m here to talk about things if you need to. As a teacher, it’s my job to ensure my students grow up well both on and off school grounds.

The colt’s eyes flicked to the writing prompt.

Describe a time when somepony you know well did or said something that you disliked. Elaborate on why you feel they did what they did, and how you handled the situation afterwards. It can be anypony: a friend, a relative, one of your siblings, or even a parent.

Silver Spoon had circled two words within the prompt: ‘did’ in the first sentence, and ‘parent’ in the final.

Starshade’s eyes shot to the block of hoofwritten text below the prompt. At the top, slightly off-center and underlined, was a title. The words formed on Starshade’s lips as he scanned them.

The Morning Father Left.

The colt raised an eyebrow in disbelief.

Mother dead. Father gone. Silver Spoon is an orphan too?

Starshade looked up from Silver Spoon’s essay. He was only a few lines in, but he could hear a disturbance coming from the hallway. The front door was open and the colt could just make out Applebloom and Sweetie Belle’s voices as they vied for Cheerilee’s attention.

The little pegasus froze. Scootaloo had a perfectly good excuse for her presence, but he was definitely not supposed to be in the house.

Starshade’s eyes darted about the room, looking for an exit. There was only one, the hallway. The same hallway that Cheerilee’s voice now echoed down.

The colt slid a few papers over Silver Spoon’s essay and backed down from the table.

Starshade surveyed the small room again. He had only a few options. There was the pantry at the opposite end of the small kitchen. Its door was closed, and the colt did not know if it would be spacious enough to hold him.

Starshade stopped momentarily. He could hear Scootaloo’s voice now, but Applebloom and Sweetie Belle’s had stopped. The orange filly was speaking much louder than Cheerilee was.

“Oh?! So you’re going to get a snack in the kitchen, huh Cheerilee?”

Starshade shook his head. There was the dining table that he had found the essay on. It had a long tablecloth that, with a little bit of tugging, would easily reach the floor and hide him.

The colt perked up his ears. Hoofsteps. He could hear them now, and they were getting louder. The hallway was no longer an option. That left the only table and the pantry.

Starshade’s eyes flicked instinctively down the hallway. He had seen something move. His gaze fell on Cheerilee’s foreleg as it peaked around the corner. Immediately, Scootaloo rounded the corner, clinging to the disembodied magenta hoof.

Neither the filly nor the mare saw Starshade as he dove under the small table and yanked the tablecloth to the floor.

The pegasus waited beneath the table. The only relief to his anxiety that he granted himself was a small opening at the bottom of the tablecloth. He could see the bottom of the pantry door across the room and little more.

Several sheets of paper floated to the ground in front of Starshade, pulled from the table above him when he had moved the tablecloth.

“Scootaloo,” Cheerilee insisted, “please stop.”

Starshade could just barely see Scootaloo’s hind legs from his low vantage point. She was circling around Cheerilee, apparently trying to block her progress around the kitchen.

Scootaloo darted for the pantry door. “So, Cheerilee,” the filly asked, pausing between each word, “how would you, uh, like me to fix you a totally awesome snack?”

“Oh?” asked the mare. She sounded quite surprised. “I’d really appreciate that.”

As Scootaloo began shuffling through the pantry, Cheerilee bent down and started picking up the papers scattered about the floor. As quickly as he could react, Starshade let the tablecloth fall back to the ground.

The colt backed slowly away from the table’s outer edge, holding his breath. He could see the shadow of Cheerilee’s head as it moved along the surface of the tablecloth.

Amid the crinkling of papers, Starshade heard the hoofsteps of Scootaloo approaching the table. Several large thuds resounded against the tabletop above home, and one more came from the floor in front him.

A jar of apple butter rolled clumsily beneath the table, stopping just in front of the petrified pegasus pony.

“Let me get that for you,” offered Cheerilee.

The mare’s shadow grew against the surface of the hanging tablecloth.

“No!” Scootaloo shouted, perhaps a little too loudly. “Uh… I’m making you the snack; I’ll get it.”

“Don’t be silly, Scootaloo. I’m already down here anyways.”

A magenta hoof extended beneath the table, feeling around for the jar. Starshade closed his eyes and pushed the apple butter slowly towards it. Cheerilee’s foreleg bumped against the jar and quickly curled around it, pulling butter out from beneath the table.

“Got it!” Cheerilee chirped as she placed the jar and the papers down on the table. “That looks… interesting. Are you sure you know what you’re making?”

“Yah. I think so,” Scootaloo said. “Sweetie Belle told me how to make this once. Do you, uh, know where the toaster is? She said all I have to do is add the butter to the mix and then stick it in a toaster.”

“You are not putting that mess in a toaster, Scootaloo,” deadpanned Cheerilee. “It’s liquid.”

“Toasters can’t handle that?”

“No, they can’t.”

“Then why did Sweetie–?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you just put that in the sink and we’ll skip the snack for now?” Cheerilee said. “Suddenly, I don’t feel so hungry.”

“Oh? Alright then.” Scootaloo sounded relieved. “I’ll get this cleaned up. At least let me do that for you.”

“Okay, Scootaloo. I appreciate you trying.”

“You’re… uh… welcome, Cheerilee.”

Starshade heard the mare trot out of the kitchen. For another half a minute, the only sound the colt could hear aside from Scootaloo’s hoofsteps was the chink of a glass hitting glass.

“Starshade, are you still in here?” Scootaloo asked in a voice just barely above a whisper. “You can come out now. Cheerilee’s gone.”

Starshade stuck his head out from behind the tablecloth and looked up at Scootaloo. The pegasus colt grinned. “That was close,” he said, matching the orange filly’s volume.

“And then, the jar rolled under the table and Cheerilee went to go grab it.” Scootaloo paused for dramatic effect.

The interior of the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ Clubhouse was silent. Sweetie Belle and Applebloom were sitting on their haunches just in front of the orange speaker, enraptured. Starshade, meanwhile, stood by Scootaloo’s side, looking slightly embarrassed.

“Were you scared, Starshade?” asked Sweetie Belle.

The colt nodded. “Quite a bit.”

Applebloom looked bored. “Well, wha’ happened next, Scoots?” she said impatiently.

“So Cheerilee put her hoof under the table. And…”

“… And?” Applebloom and Sweetie Belle gasped in unison.

“She pulled out the butter and put it on the table.” Scootaloo finished with a flair of her hooves.

“That’s, uh, it?” Applebloom asked slowly.

“Yah. Pretty much,” said Scootaloo. “Except one thing. Sweetie Belle, where did you get that recipe for toast that you told me about?”

“I made it up!” the white unicorn answered proudly. “Did it taste good?”

“Cheerilee wouldn’t let her put it in the toaster,” said Starshade. “It was a liquid.”

“So?” replied Sweetie Belle, looking offended.

“Uh… apparently toasters don’t like that,” Scootaloo explained.

“Why not? It worked fine for me.”

Starshade looked puzzled. “Did you turn the toaster on?”

“Yes. It came out nice and toasted on the other side.”

“The other side?” Starshade and Scootaloo asked simultaneously.

“It’s supposed to pop out the top, Sweetie Belle,” insisted Scootaloo.

At Sweetie Belle’s continued silence, Starshade said, “Not leak out the bottom. It’s a toaster.”

“Well it came out nice and toasted,” Sweetie Belle said in her defense. “Isn’t that what toasters do?”

Applebloom looked at Sweetie Belle. “Did it taste any good?”

“Well no,” the unicorn admitted, her head sinking to the ground. At her next thought, however, the white filly’s ears perked up a bit. “But it’s still a work in progress. I’m sure I’ll get my cutie mark in cooking, eventually.”

The foals were quiet for a moment as they pondered their blank flanks.

“We’ll find somethin’ eventually,” Applebloom said with a sigh. “Speakin’ of that,” she continued more energetically, “do any of ya have some ideas for what we should be doin’ next?”

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle shook their heads.

“What about you, Starshade? Ya got any ideas?”

“Not really,” he answered. Starshade had not thought about getting his cutie mark very much, but ever since the carriage ride to Ponyville he had been thinking more and more about flying. “I really want to try flying, but my wings aren’t strong enough yet.” The colt looked up at the ceiling. “Which reminds me: Rainbow Dash said I could get ticket to the Wonderbolts show from Rarity. Do any of you know where Rarity lives?”

Scootaloo’s mouth failed to close after her last breath.

“She’s my big sister,” answered Sweetie Belle.

Scootaloo was still unable to speak, though her lower jaw was beginning to bob up and down as she started thinking of words to say.

“Oh?” said Starshade.

Rainbow Dash offered you tickets to see the Wonderbolts?” Scootaloo yelled, staring blankly at Starshade.

“Yah,” said the colt. “Is that a big deal?”

“The only thing that would be more awesome than going to see the Wonderbolts is going to see them with Rainbow Dash! You’re so lucky, Starshade.”

Sweetie Belle interjected with an idea. “Well, why don’t we try and find a ticket for Scootaloo too? Rarity knows so many well-connected ponies in Canterlot that I’m sure she could get us one.”

“So we’re heading to Rarity’s then?” asked Starshade.

The other foals, however, did not answer. They were already standing in a small circle, each one with a single hoof extended into the middle.

“Come on, Starshade,” urged Applebloom.

“Huh?” the colt said as he squeezed his way into the group. “What are we doing?”

Scootaloo whispered to him, “On three, raise your hoof and shout, ‘Cutie Mark Crusader ticket hunters’.”

“Ticket Hunters?” said Sweetie Belle. “I thought we were doing Cutie Mark Crusader ticket negotiators.”

“No, hunters,” Scootaloo insisted. “What does ‘negotiators’ even mean?”

“Why don’t we all just agree on ‘ticket finders,’ for now?” Applebloom suggested.

“Alright.” “Sure.” Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle answered.

Starshade put his foreleg into the center of the group.

All at once, the four foals raised their hooves and shouted in unison, “Cutie Mark Crusader ticket finders!

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