• Published 21st Aug 2022
  • 722 Views, 102 Comments

A Shoe Problem - EquestrianKnight97



Pipp buys some dancing shoes from an antique shop for a new video she's planning on showing to her Pippsqueaks. But when she tries them on, they give her "a bit" of a problem. A problem she can't seem to get rid off.

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Chapter 1: The Store

"So there's definitely been a lot of dead plants left behind now that earth ponies have magic again," Pipp mentioned, pulling out her phone from underneath her wing. The pegasus held it out in front of her with one hoof and used the other to take a picture with an audible snap.

Sunny, who was walking beside Pipp on the sidewalk, looked in the direction that the phone was being taken and saw the image that her friend was referring to. Littering the cobblestone streets of downtown Maretime Bay, there stood nearly a dozen dead or dying wilting plants of various shapes and sizes --- all of which were either sickly green or ashy black. Further ahead, Sunny could see more plants on the distance roads leading out of downtown, some of which were drooping while others were still in full health.

The sight before the earth pony made her shrink in embarrassment. "Yeesh. I understand that every earth pony here is glad they can do magic like the others, but it would be nice if they could clean up after themselves."

Pipp moved her phone to the side and took another picture. "Yep. Well, if Hitch will be on it, he'll probably fine anypony that does it again."

"I'd rather he didn't do that. I think a healthy, though effective, lecture will be enough to convince them. I can't really blame them for being excited to use magic. I'm sure that even the unicorns and pegasi are going a bit crazy with their own."

"Yeah, well around two phone calls ago with mom told me that she just passed a law that outlawed, like, racing at night because of how it disrupted a lot of ponies' beauty sleep --- including her's."

Sunny giggled. "Well, as the queen it makes since that she gets a good night's rest before a busy day. So what are you going to do about those pictures?"

Pipp placed her phone back underneath her wing. "Those? I'm just thinking about using them for a blog I plan on posting about how the earth ponies are adapting to magic."

"Heh, heh. I don't mean to be biased, but maybe you could leave that bit out? It might paint everypony in Maretime Bay in a bad light."

Pipp gave an unamused scowl. "Well, I would only talk about it for like a paragraph or two. I don't want to make it the main focus, after all."

Sunny could not help but give a pleading smile. "You could at least think about leaving it out, for me and Hitch?"

The pegasus placed a hoof under her chin, obviously musing over the suggestion in her head. "I... guess I could do that. Maybe I could just mention in one tiny sentence that the earth ponies went a little bit over the top with how---"

A loud gasp emitted from Pipp's mouth like a siren, almost causing Sunny to jump into the street.

"Oh, my HOOFNESS!"

Like a magnet, Pipp's face became instantly glued to the window that the duo came up next to. Sunny, curious, regained her composure and went up to the window to look inside. The background behind the glass barrier revealed very little to her, given that the sun was beaming down on her backside and obstructing a clear image, but from what she could see there were cabinets and shelves holding unknown amounts of objects.

"SUNNY! LOOK AT THESE!"

The earth pony looked in the direction that her floating friend was staring at. With a quick glance, Sunny saw Pipp with sparkles in her green eyes and a beaming smile across her face, before returning to the window.

On the other side was a simple, clothed wooden table that held a variety of items, each with a name tag that included their prices.

Las Pegasus Casino Plates: 20 bits

Constellation Binoculars: 30 bits

Bee Repellent Whistle: 25 bits

Snow-melting Snowboots: 40 bits

"What exactly am I supposed to look at?" Sunny asked.

With her only warning being an annoyed sigh, Pipp grasped hold of Sunny's neck with her left foreleg and brought her friend's cheek in contact with her own.

"These, Sunny."

With her field of view now limited, Sunny know knew what Pipp was referring to.

Before both of them were two pairs of feminine dress shoes laid out on the table. The shoes were mostly red on the outside, with the tips having been dipped with the light color of pink. Each shoe had a white bow tie in the center, while the sides each had elegant golden spirals etched. The interiors of the shoes were a vanilla cream color, and though neither mare could read it, a symbol --- likely the name or logo of the manufacturer --- was inscribed in each shoe.

Enchanted Dancing Shoes: 40 bits

"Shoes? But, Pipp, don't you have plenty of them?"

"No. I'm more into hoof polish and hoofiecures. I've only had to wear shoes for special royal occasions, and I left all of them home before I came here."

Able to get free of Pipp's grasp, Sunny walked away from the window and went to the front door of the building. Plastered on the glass of the door was supposedly the name of the shop.

"Enchanted Antiques," Sunny readout.

"Is that the name of the store?" Pipp asked. By now, the pegasus was able to pry her eyes off the shoes.

"Yep, and by the name of it the store sells antique items --- meaning that most of the stuff inside is old. So I don't really know why you would be into those shoes."

The news did little to sour Pipp's mood. "I don't mind taking a few hand-me-downs," she said dismissively. "I mean, if Izzy can do her unicycling with all that trash that nopony wants, maybe I can do something with all this old stuff."

Sunny was not prepared for Pipp's optimism. "Really?"

Pipp nodded. "Sure. I've heard that it's hip for young ponies to have like appreciation for old culture and stuff. I'm sure that the Pippsqueaks won't mind me showing these off as long as there's a positive message at the end."

With her mind set up, Pipp walked past Sunny and opened the door --- greeted by the sound of a ringing bell. Though a little hesitant, Sunny soon followed in after her before the door could completely close.

The interior of the antique store reminded Sunny of an old library that had gone without renovation for ages. Though there was a huge lack of dust sitting or floating around, and an absence of spider-filled cobwebs as well, the atmosphere of the environment gave off a sense that things here have remained undisturbed for quite some time.

As an antique shop, its shelves, glass cases, and cabinets held miscellaneous items of various shapes and sizes. There were too many for Sunny to count, but the items that stuck out to her the most were a jaded tea set, a bicycle suspended in the air, a stack of comic books, and a water painting of a boat sailing off into the morning sea. Attached to each item was a tag with a description and a price.

Excitement Sparkle Tea Set: 45 bits

Leviating Bicycle: 60 bits

Enchanted Comic Books: 10 bits a piece

Weather-Based Painting: 20 bits

A rustling sound made Sunny turn her head to the left, where she saw a pony emerging from a curtain suspended in between a door behind a display counter. The pony was a light blue pegasus mare with a brown coat around her body. Her ponytail mane was the most noticeable feature about her, as it held a mishmash of colors.

The mare noticed the two newcomers and greeted them with a small smile.

"Hello, there!" she greeted the two.

Happy to see a friendly face in the store, Sunny welcomed the mare with a similar greeting.

"Well, hello there, too! Is this your shop?"

The mare nodded. "It sure is. Just moved down from Zephyr Heights a month ago. Business wasn't going so good up there, so I figured I try my luck here."

Sunny tilted her head. "Huh. I had a feeling this place seemed new. I've been around nearly every part of Maretime Bay, so I can tell when something is new or out of place."

"Well, I hope you're at least interested in what I have to offer," the mare said.

The earth pony's eyes wandered a bit more throughout the store. "I've definitely been looking, Miss...?"

"Rainbow. You can just call me Rainbow. No need to be formal."

The mare walked out through a small door connected to the counter and came right in front of Sunny. The earth pony was stunned at the sight of the other mare. From the counter, Sunny assumed that Rainbow was around the size of an average mare, but with the pegasus up close Sunny could see how lean and tall she truly was. She must have been at least a few inches taller than the earth pony.

Sunny examined Rainbow from head to hoof, and took notice of the high heels on her hindhooves. The earth pony was sure that even if she took them off, she would possess her incredible height.

Rainbow's tail held the same colors in her mane, but was arranged in a more stylized or elegant curly fashion. Her brown coat was a bit beaten down, as if it had been through its own hardships. Last of all was Rainbow's eyes, which were a nice crimson shade, had long lashes, and were painted in dark purple eyeshadow.

Sunny was definitely intrigued by the mare's appearance, but she quickly reminded herself that staring for so long was probably not the politest thing to do, even if Rainbow was eyeing her, too.

"So...," Sunny said, slowly drawing out her words. "Did you collect all of these antiques yourself, ... or did you inherit the store?"

Still staring down at her, Rainbow chuckled. "It's a little bit of both. I opened up the store on my own, but all of the stuff here is from my great-grandmother."

"Your great-grandmother?"

Rainbow nodded proudly. "Yep. All of this is hers. After she passed away, she gave it over to the family in her will. Grandma wanted to throw most of it away --- I still don't get why --- but I was able to convince her to let me take the bulk of it. I saw a lot of potential with them."

"What kind of potential?"

"Well, if you've been reading the tags, and even noticed the sign at the door, there's a gimmick to all of these antiques. For example..." Rainbow went over to a shelf and picked up an item. When she brought it over to Sunny, she revealed it to be a yellow toy duck with a screw on its back. "This is a toy duck that, when you wind it up, is supposed to tell you what your blood pressure is like and what might be causing it to act up."

Sunny leaned down to further examine it, without being able to hide the curiosity in her eyes. "Does it really work?"

Rainbow's smile lessened a bit. "Not really. It's used to do that, but ever since magic disappeared long ago, whatever properties they used to have just vanished."

"Well, magic is back now," Sunny stated. "So maybe all of this will start working again."

The store owner's smile returned. "Now that you mentioned it, magic has returned in a way. After those crystals were found, and unicorns and pegasi got their horns and wings working, I was curious enough to see if any of this stuff would do what it was meant to do. Though I'm not certain, I do think that the 'Feather-Flu Detector' and 'Giggle-Powered Flashlight' might still have enough magic to work."

Sunny's ears perked up. "Really? Could I see them?" she said, barely able to contain the intrigue in her voice.

"I guess, but like I said, most of this stuff is obsolete. But, hey, I figure that formerly enchanted antiques are better to sell than just regular antiques. Ponies usually have an inkling for magic, especially before the crystals brought it back to Equestria."

"Where exactly did your great-grandmother get all of this?" Sunny asked.

Rainbow tapped a hoof under her chin. "From what my grandma told me, some things she got from a few places spread out throughout Old Equestria. But for the most part, it all came from Canterlot. That's where she used to live, I think."

A high-pitched gasp shamelessly escaped from the earth pony's mouth. "Canterlot?!?" Sunny exclaimed. The curiosity in her eyes turned into sparks of wonder. "The capital of Old Equestria?!? If that's the case, then I'll definitely---"

"Excuse me?"

Without warning, Pipp zoomed right next to Sunny, holding one of the red dancing shoes in her hoof. "I've been fawning over these shoes for, like, ages now," she said with a beaming smile. "I just spent the past five minutes taking pictures of them at every angle that I could because they are soooo adorable, in like an old-fashioned, doll-house way. You don't mind if I take these off your hooves, do you?"

Though Sunny shot her friend an annoyed glance, the store owner brought a hoof up to her gasped mouth.

"Princess Pipp! I am so sorry that I didn't notice you before," Rainbow apologized, giving the smaller pegasus a small curtsy. "I was too busy with your friend at the moment. I would be honored if you bought something from my store."

Pipp's smile grew even larger. "And it would be my honor to help you out. I just have a quick question, if you don't mind."

"Of course, my princess."

The pegasus examined the shoe, hanging it by its bow. "Are these really enchanted? I'm not accusing you of lying, but I've never seen anything really magical before besides from the crystals."

"Well, as I was telling your friend, all of these antiques used to be enchanted, but when magic disappeared they stopped working. Some of these may have a little bit of magic left, but that remains to be seen. As for these..." Rainbow leaned in further to examine her merchandise. "If I can remember correctly from my great-grandmother's notes, these shoes improve the dancing abilities of whoever wears them. I tried them on a few times, but I never really felt a spark with them."

"So, they're just regular dancing shoes?"

The taller pegasus nodded. "Yes, my princess. I am sorry to disappoint you. If you've changed your mind, I completely understand."

With a skeptical glare, Pipp gave the shoe another look. For a while, she simply stared at it with the intensity of a bookworm intrigued with a piece of literature. Both Sunny and Rainbow looked at the princess with concern as the seconds ticked away, and for a moment it seemed like Pipp would reject the item.

"It's.... no big deal!" she finished with a smile. "I'm sure with the right dress on, these shoes will be a perfect match for me!"

Relief washed over Rainbow's face. "That's excellent! I had a feeling you were still fond of them. Would you like those in a box?"

"Absolutely!" Giving the shoe to the store owner, Pipp reached inside one of her wings with her free hoof and pulled out a bag of bits. Rainbow, in the meanwhile, went over to collect the remaining shoes near the window, and then headed back to the counter. Pipp, along with Sunny, went over to the counter and paid the appropriate amount of bits. In return, Rainbow handed the princess a brown shoebox placed inside a shopping bag.

"I hope you enjoy them!" Rainbow said.

"I'm sure that I will," Pipp replied. "And if you're ever on the Canternet, be sure to watch out for a new video I'll be posting soon. It'll be a dance routine with these lovely shoes." The pink pegasus looked at Sunny. "Are you coming back with me to the brighthouse? I want you to be there when I try these out."

Sunny was hesitant to give a straight answer right away, and looked back at Rainbow. "You wouldn't happen to be opened tomorrow, would you?"

"Sorry," Rainbow answered. "But the store is closed for the weekend. I'll be out of town to do some traveling, and I won't be opening the shop again until Monday."

The disappointment was evident on the earth pony's face. "Oh. Sorry, Pipp. I really want to take my time seeing what I can buy before she closes. I don't want to miss out on buying something awesome, especially if somepony else gets it before I do. You don't mind, do you?"

Pipp gave her friend a reassuring smile and nudge. "It's alright, girl. Take your time. I'm sure Izzy or Zipp will be there to see me do my magic."

With a hoof placed underneath the handles of her bag, Pipp floated off the floor and headed over to the door, activating the bell. When the door closed and rang again, Sunny around and examined the items of the store again, this time with much more enthusiasm for learning as much as she could about them.

"My dad would have loved this place," she said with wonder in her voice. "Can we look at those two things you mentioned?"

"Sure," Rainbow affirmed, unable to keep her proud smile in check. "I had a feeling you were a history-buff pony."