• 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.

  • ...

Chapter 5: The Performance

"Okay. This is not good," Zipp said.

Startled, Sunny put a hoof over her mouth to muffle her gasp. "Oh no! How long has she been there?"

"Beats me," Izzy chimed in. "But it looks like she has quite an audience."

The three mares stood amongst other ponies within a semi-circle that formed on the street that led outside of town. Within the crowd was a very familiar pink pegasus mare who was dancing without the aid of any instruments or overall music. The moves she performed were very athletic, seen by the ponies surrounding her as more like exercises than regular dancing. In one motion, ZIpp, Sunny, and Izzy saw Pipp jog in place for a few seconds and then stand up on her hindlegs to swing one of them in front of her in turn. And on her hooves, the trio spotted two pairs of red shoes.

"SOMEPONY HELP!" Pipp cried out, tears running down her face. "DON'T JUST STAND THERE!"

"We already tried to help!" a stallion said to her, nursing a large lump on his head. "But you keep knocking us back!"

"Pipp!" ZIpp shouted. She, Sunny, and Izzy went deeper into the semi-circle to meet up with her sister, but the sight of Pipp's loved ones did nothing to ease her hardship. "What happened?!? Why are the shoes back on?!?"

"I don't know!" Pipp whined. "I was just trying to get a bit of shut-eye before my hooficure when all of a sudden these things crept up on me."

"What do you mean they crept up on you?" Sunny asked.

"I don't know! They just did, Sunny! I, like, threw them in the ocean far from home. There's no way they should have made it back to land. These shoes are super cursed!"

"Cursed shoes?" Zipp muttered to herself, digging out her phone from underneath her wing. "Note to self: some magical items seem to have a certain degree of sapience. This could also include the Unity---"

"ZIPP!" her sister snapped. "This isn't the time to be a detective right now, unless your detective skills can help me get out of this mess!"

"I don't understand," Sunny said. "How did you make it this far without having danced at Mane Melody?"

"The studio next door started playing jazzercise music when I went by, and I guess the shoes must have picked up on the sounds. That's how I ended up here."

"What should we do?" Izzy asked.

"Argue about something!" Pipp pleaded. "Like the day before. That got the magic to stop working for a bit, maybe the same thing will happen if you guys argue again."

"Well, what you do we argue about?" Izzy asked again.

"ANYTHING! Talk about something that bothers you but that you've kept to yourself because you didn't want to hurt that other pony!"

An awkward silence passed by as the three mares before Pipp did not know what to proceed with for a while. Much of that time was spent fumbling their hooves on the ground or looking up into the air --- all in an effort to ignore the princess' dancing.

"Um..., hey, Izzy," ZIpp said. "I really don't appreciate how you leave your art supplies around the house from time to time. It's kind of a house hazard."

"Oh, I'm sorry," the unicorn apologized sincerely. "I just get so lost in my artistic brain that I forget to put stuff back. I don't blame you for being upset."

"No, Izzy, you're supposed to argue with me. You know --- defend yourself?"

Izzy's eyes widen. "Oh! Right!" She cleared up her throat. "Well, buddy, if you don't like how I arrange my crafts and whatnot then maybe you should find a new place to live!"

Zipp seemed unconvinced. "That... felt off. Are you really angry with me, or are you just saying that because I told you to?"

The unicorn crossed her brows at the pegasus. "The latter!"

"Well, then you and I don't have much to argue about."

"Well, Zipp," Sunny butted in, "I still have some trouble with you."

"You do?"

"Yep. And it has all to do with your mane!"

"My mane?"

"Your style isn't a good look for you! I've been thinking for some time that it would look much better if you grew it out a bit more. You know, like Izzy's."

The white pegasus glared at Sunny as if to retort, but soon the frustration went away as quickly as it appeared. "Eh. I'm not feeling it."

"What do you mean?"

"It's not your fault, Sunny. It's just that I've been given so much grief by my mom about my hair that I've kind of grown a thick skin about how it looks. I genuinely can't get mad at you about something I've just accepted will be a problem."

Let down, Sunny's ears dropped. "Oh. Well, I can't think of anything else to criticize."

"UGH!" Pipp finally yelled. "Just go to Zephyr Heights and find Rainbow from the antique shop!"

"How are we supposed to find her?" Zipp asked. "We don't even know her last name! There could be a bunch of Rainbows in the city!"

The dancing was beginning to take a toll on Pipp, as she struggled to catch her breath. "Mom should know! She should have, like, an address book or something at the palace. Just ask her for something like that and find out which Rainbow is our's!"

"And if we can't find her in the city?" Sunny asked.

"Then ask her friends, her family --- just anypony that knows her and where she could be!" Pipp replied impatiently. "Please, just try to find her so she can fix this!"

"I guess the sooner we leave the better," Zipp said before turning to Izzy. "Izzy, can you keep an eye on Pipp in case something changes? Me and Sunny are going to take a little trip."

"Aye, aye!" the unicorn affirmed with a salute.

"You ready, Sunny?" the older pegasus asked.

The earth pony nodded. "Yeah, just let me concentrate for a bit."

With closed eyes, Sunny breathed in and out in a way that resembled simple meditation. As she slowly inhaled and expelled air from her lungs, a golden glow radiated from her body as if she had turned into the sun. Soon enough, a pair of translucent, golden wings sprouted from Sunny's back, along with a similar translucent horn on her forehead.

The sight of the alicorn drew out "ooo's!' and "aah's!" from the crowd in the semi-circle as if they were foals witnessing the presents under a Hearth's Warming tree for the first time. Immediately, several ponies began to draw out their phones and take pictures of Sunny, with some of the spectators murmuring words such as "alicorn" and "princess".

"We'll be back as soon as we can, Pipp," Sunny assured her friend with a calm look. "Just hang on tight. Izzy won't leave your side."

Sunny and Zipp flew into the air, growing smaller and smaller in the distance as they faded into the cloudy sky. With the two ponies gone, Izzy went closer to the dancing pegasus.

"So...," Izzy started. "Is there anything you want to eat? It might be a bit messy with you moving around, but I'm sure I can try to put the food in your mouth. I don't mind a challenge!"

Pipp gave a mix of a sigh and a pant. "I guess. Maybe something from the Golden Horseshoe would do. It's not far from here."

Izzy's smile grew wider as she turned around. "I know where that is! Just hang tight --- even though you don't have a choice!"

Fours hours. Four long hours had passed since Sunny and Zipp went away to Zephyr Heights, and within those four long hours, Pipp continued with her jazzercise routine.

And for the young princess, the task was laborious and unforgiving.

Sweat perspiring from her forehead and pits dropped down to the cobblestone ground, and the muscles and bones that involuntarily guided her legs had begun to wear out from constant use. And like with the day before, her hooves had become painfully numb with each pressed against the ground. The movements that hurt the most were ones were she had to swing her hindlegs and jump up.

As expected of somepony under constant grind, the toll that Pipp took was evident upon her sullen face. When she started to dance this clear morning her eyes --- she suspected --- must have been full of panic and uncertainty for her future. But now, those very same eyes were dead of any passion or emotion. Like a marionette doll, Pipp was helpless against the strings pulled on her by her shoes. So, knowing best, she did not even try to put on a fight.

As time went on and the sky got cloudier, the crowd surrounding Pipp diminished, but for every audience member that left another passerby took their place, intrigued by the sight of a pony dancing in the streets. Those with phones recorded the incident, ignoring or left unaware of Pipp's dolor, and ponies who had not been there earlier to hear her pleas were left rather amused at the sight before them. But the laughs and smiles did little to raise up the pegasus' spirits.

"Does your tongue still hurt?" Izzy asked as she sat next to a light pole.

"No...," Pipp said lethargically. "It's gotten ... better."

"I'm sorry about that. I should have used a tiny bit of magic to keep your head still before putting that daisy sandwich in your mouth."

Pipp sighed. "It's... not your fault. Nopony knew... that... that... I would twist my head around before taking that bite. At least I... got to eat."

Izzy looked up at the sky. "Just felt a little drop of rain. Looks like it's about to pour."

"It is? I can't really tell with all this... ugh.... sweat."

A violet magical shield popped up above Pipp's head, following her wherever she stepped. At a moment when her dancing permitted it, she looked up to see raindrops hit the shield and run down to the ground. Soon, the pitter-patter of rain filled her ears and her eyes could barely see anything clearly through the screen of falling water.

As expected, the crowd dispersed, no longer able or willing to enjoy the spectacle as they got wetter and wetter.

"It's a shame that everypony is leaving," Izzy said. The unicorn's horn glowed purple, and a similar shield protected her from the rain. "You really had a huge audience."

The pegasus moaned. "I'm not really into that right now..., Izzy."

The unicorn was confused. "But don't you think that something like this would be great for Ponygram or Clip Trot? You could be the newest trend..., for like the fifth time in a row."

"Oh, I have no doubt that I'm the newest trend on the internet. Just not in... the best way."

"Hi, Pipp!"

A young voice caught the pegasus' attention and in doing so she turned her head around. Behind her were three familiar fillies --- Glory, Seashell, and Peach Fizz, with the later using her magic to cast a shield over all three of them. The fillies smiled at Pipp as they held their phones in their forehooves.

"Oh... Hiya, girls," Pipp greeted, trying her best to muster up a smile. "Whatcha doin'?"

"We just got back from playing when we saw some videos of you on Clip Trot!" Glory exclaimed.

"Yeah!" Seashell chimed in. "We saw you dancing and wanted to see you do it live!"

"I know that it's raining and that everypony else is gone, but do you mind dancing just a little bit for us?" Peach Fizz requested.

Despite the situation, Pipp chuckled. "Well, girls, I don't really have much of a choice but to dance. These shoes won't let me stop."

"What do you mean?" Seashell asked.

"To put it simply, these shoes I'm wearing have magic in them. And for some reason, I can't stop dancing because of them."

Peach FIzz gasped. "Oh, no! What can we do to help?"

"Yeah, Pipp. Just tell us!" said Glory.

"Girls," Pipp said, "It's really sweet... But I don't think you all can do---"

In one fluid motion, Pipp felt her entire weight lift off the ground. The next thing she knew, her back was on the wet ground with an impactful thud.

"OW! What in the---"

As she got up to sit on her haunches, Pipp placed two hooves over her mouth to stop herself from screaming. Before her on the ground was a single red shoe that had fallen from her left hindhoof. Slowly, Pipp brought her forehoof down and touched the shoe, like a foal would do with a bug that might have been either dead or alive. When contact was made, no reaction occurred on the shoe's behalf.

Without further hesitation, she gripped the shoe on her left forehoof and threw it off before proceeding to the one on the right forehoof. Once she got up, she violently shook her right hindleg until the last remaining shoe flew off.

Panting, Pipp looked at Izzy. "Izzy, do you know what day garbage day is?"

The unicorn tapped underneath her chin. "It should be sometime tomorrow, I think. Why?"

"I need you to put those things in the trash can --- right now. I'm not taking a chance with touching them again."

Obliging, the unicorn levitated the shoes in a purple glow and floated them over to the nearby trash can between Pipp and the trio of fillies. When the aura went away, the shoes fell down into the hole, the sight of which droved out a satisfied sigh from the pegasus' throat.

"I can't believe it's over again," Pipp said. She moved to take a step forward, but a pain shot up from her hooves, causing her to jump in a panic and hover above the ground. "Ow!"

"Your hooves are hurting again, aren't they," Izzy asked.

Pipp nodded. "I'm going back to the Brighthouse. I can't be anywhere near... those. Hopefully ZIpp and Sunny will find us there."

"I"m coming, too. There's not much to do with all this rain."

Pipp looked at the three fillies. "Well, girls. It's been nice talking with you all, but I really, really need to take a nap. I'll see you later, though."

The pink pegasus raised herself higher into the air and flew off in the direction of her home. Izzy, having no wings of her own, was content with simply bouncing throughout the streets as she reached the outer limits of Maretime Bay.