• Published 30th Dec 2012
  • 1,566 Views, 47 Comments

The Pinkiemian Rhapsody - Key Strix

"Is this the real life? Please tell me it’s just fantasy. I’m now tangled in strife with no friends left for me. With tears in my eyes I look up to the skies and plea: I’m Pinkie Pie and this isn’t my reality."

  • ...

See No Evil

“Applejack?” Fluttershy’s head tilted to the side. “Why are you here so early? I thought we were all going to meet you at the farm this afternoon?”

The cowpony nodded. “So Ah could meet Thornstar durin’ mah lunchbreak, Ah remember.”

Fluttershy stepped aside with a smile. “Well why don’t you come on in? I was just about to make some tea and you’re more than welcome to join us.”

“That’s sweet of ya, but unfortunately Ah’m not here for relaxin’ from mah duties just yet." Applejack shook her head. "Ah was actually hoping y’all might be willin’ to help me out.” Her eyes focused on Fluttershy after flickering between the two others that stood further within the living room. “As you know, it’s harvestin’ season; but once again, mah brother ain’t feelin’ right. Seems he came down with a bit of a sickness last night while Ah was away at the party.”

“Oh my!” Shocked by the news, Fluttershy’s eyes widened. “Will he be okay?!”

“He’ll be fine.” Applejack’s confident smile didn’t waver. “Big Mac might be soft as a bunny on the inside, but he’s still tougher than an ox. Give ‘im a couple days and he’ll be up n’ kickin’ like nothin’ else.”

Thornstar stepped up next to Fluttershy as he asked, “Did you say Big Mac? As in the Big Mac?”

“Well, Ah can’t say Ah ever heard of a Big Mac other than mah brother. So sure... the Big Mac.” Applejack shrugged.

Thornstar nodded before walking right out the door like he knew the way. “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s get going.”

“W-wait for me!” Fluttershy called out to him and flapped her way out as well.

“You're comin’ too, right Pinkie?” said Applejack as she peered into the very back of the living room.

“Hm?” Pinkamena’s head slightly shifted back, caught off guard by somepony actually speaking directly to her for once. “Oh. Yeah. Sure thing.” She did her best to hold a smile before trotting out ahead of Applejack, who curiously rubbed her chin before closing the door.

Applejack strolled right up to Pinkie’s side with a quizzical expression. “You okay there, sugar cube?” She glanced up and down the mare. “You seem a bit on the pale side. Plus, yer hair is a lil’... flat.” Applejack tried to look Pinkie in the eye, but she wasn’t looking back. “You’re really down in the dumps about what happened last night, huh?”

Pinkie granted the curious cowpony a glance, but nothing more, as they walked in sync to catch up to the others. As much as Pinkie wanted to go into a rant about nearly everything that had happened as of late, she thought it best to bite her tongue and keep herself from saying something she might regret. Something that might get her more strange looks like she had gotten from Rainbow Dash. Or a worse reaction, like more friends actually abandoning her.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Applejack said into the awkward silence. She walked closer to the other mare’s side and nudged her shoulder in a comforting manner. “Now Ah know how presumptuous you get, and trust me, it ain’t as big of a deal as you’re probably thinkin’ it is. Ah’m sure Twilight’s cooled her hot headed temper long ago, so don’t you fret, Pinkie. Though I should say,” Applejack said as she made sure to smile wide enough for the both of them, “when Ah came a-knockin’ at Sugarcube Corner an’ the Cakes told me they didn’t know where you had gone, Ah was a bit worried mahself. But, Ah’m glad to see you here. Maybe you can work off some of those pent up frustrations with a bit of physical labor. Almost always works for me durin’ mah bad days. What do you say?”

The Cowpony’s attempts managed to draw out a small smirk and a quick nod from Pinkie.

“Good!” Applejack grinned in return before she looked to the two others they had caught up with. She picked up her pace to properly take the lead towards the farm. As she walked on ahead, she spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. “It’s the start of the week an’ things are already beginnin’ to look quite hectic...” She kept chatting away as Pinkie slowly fell behind.

“Are you going to stop ignoring me?” said the reflection in the spoon as it was pulled up to Pinkie’s side.

The mare pursed her lips, narrowed her brow, and tried to keep her eyes straight ahead as she spoke quietly. “I don’t see why I should. Everything looks fine now. Nothing evil has happened at all. We’re just gonna go help out Applejack.”

“You know, there’s a fine line between everything being fine and everything just looking fine. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who found that whole ordeal kind of fishy...”

“What ordeal?” Pinkie glanced back suspiciously.

“The magic fixup, the animals, the everything! Didn’t it just seem odd that-”

Applejack called out, “You say somethin’ Pinkie?”

The mare instantly stashed away her spoon and shook her head as she called back. “Nope! I didn’t say anything!”

Applejack looked back for a brief moment. “Huh. Coulda’ swore I heard you say somethin’. Oh well.” She shook her head and looked on down the road. “As Ah was sayin’, Ah’m glad y’all can join me. Was startin’ to worry Ah wouldn’t be able to get any help today. Ah first tried Twilight, but she started panicking about some research she shoulda’ been doin’. Ah then tried Rarity, but she was dramatizin’ over her own work and asked to be left to her, an’ Ah quote, ‘troublin’ thoughts an’ sister’. Couldn’t even find Rainbow Dash an’ Ah can never reach her dang cloud house. But, Ah think we got enough horsepower right here.” Her smile perked back up. “Ah’ll make extra sure y’all are more than compensated for your work. Maybe later we could-” She stopped as something caught her eye.

A dull yellow coated filly with bright red hair was running their way at full speed.

“Applebloom?” Applejack stopped in her tracks with the group remaining right behind her.

“Sister! Sister! Come quick!” The filly called as she ran before skidding to a stop in front of Applejack. “You...” she panted heavily, “y-you gotta come quick!”

“Woah! Hold on there!” The elder sibling tried to keep a calm tone as she looked into Applebloom’s worried eyes. “What’s the rush?!”

“V-venom piggies!”

Applejack scratched her head, which lopsided her hat. “Venom-what now?”

The little sister stamped a hoof as she thought hard before yelling, “Venom rotten piggy toast!”

“Applebloom, if this is a joke, it ain’t very funny. Plus, you’re supposed to be headin’ off to school right now.”

“No no!” The filly stomped several more times, shaking her head like she was trying to fling off a spider. “I ain’t tellin’ no jokes! I’m tryin’ to tell you that the doctor showed up to give Big Mac a checkup!”

“I doubt it was to tell us about toast pigs. So what’d he say?” Applejack slowly expressed concern as she straightened her stetson.

“That’s not what I meant!” Applebloom huffed and shook her head. “Look, it’s bad. It’s really bad! We need you to come back to the house quick! Big Mac really needs to go to the hospital!”

Even after hearing such shockingly bleak news, the mare kept a strong, sharp look in her eye. “Wait, it’s that bad?! But, why am Ah needed there to take ‘im? Isn’t that part of the doctor’s job?”

The filly didn’t even spare time to look to any of the others who watched the two sisters with intense stares as she quickly explained. “The doctor tried to get ‘im to go, but Big Mac ain’t listenin’ to anypony! He even went out to do some work when the doctor kept tellin’ ‘im not to!”

Applejack’s head shifted back as her ears perked up. “He’s doin’ WHAT?!” the mare exclaimed before she viciously stared daggers down the long road before them as she spat out, “Why that idiotic, foal minded...” Applejack grit her teeth and tilted down the front of her hat before she took off down the road with everypony else in pursuit. “Applebloom, get to class! You ain’t comin’!” the cowpony said without turning her eyes to the filly that fought to keep pace.

“But sis, I wanna-”

The protest was cut short as Applejack shouted, “Ah said you’re goin’ to school! Now git’ goin’ before you’re late!”

Applebloom slowed to a near stop and puffed out her cheeks as she watched the group take off ahead of her.

Pinkie glanced back a few times to watch the little mare’s pouting face fade into the distance before turning a worried look to the older sibling in the lead. There was one thing that was clear to Pinkie right then and there; Applejack didn’t want her little sister to witness how badly she was going to chew out Big Mac.

It wasn’t long till the quartet arrived at the farm. They made their way to the tail end of the hospital carriage that was parked by the front porch of the farmhouse. There, a unicorn and two earth ponies were busy conversing. Of the three, the unicorn had an amber coat, a dark brown mane and tail, blue eyes, a pulse monitor for a cutie mark, and a doctor's coat. He chatted with the two earth ponies, who both had grey buzz cut manes and patient handler uniforms. Upon Applejack’s solo approach to the smaller group, the unicorn in the doctor’s coat turned to her and dismissed the other two with a wave of a hoof. With a few steps off to the side, the patient handlers just watched in silence.

“Alright Doc,” Applejack demanded as she came to a halt, her eyes still sharp, “what the heck is goin’ on here?!”

“I’m glad you could make it, Miss Applejack.” He briefly bowed his head. “I was just talking with my associates here about getting Mister Macintosh to come along with us, but now that you’re here, I hope force won’t be necessary. I presume you’ve been told that he has been infected by Venoretinitis Pigmentosa, yes?”

The cowpony nodded as her sister’s strange ‘piggy’ ranting suddenly made some sense. “Sorta, although you might have to elaborate a little on what that is.”

Fluttershy flew up to the two with her blue eyes wide. “Venoretinitis Pigmentosa? As in what you can get from a none-eyed snake?!”

“Yup.” The doctor’s gaze shifted between the two. “At first, I thought he just ate some bad cooking again. However, it seems he was bitten by one sometime last night, right in his hind-left pastern. He said he thought he just got poked there by a stick while out working.”

Fluttershy shook her head. “Oh no, no, no! This is bad!”

“How bad is it?” Applejack raised a single brow.

“Very bad! Poison from a none-eyed snake can cause its victim to get really sick and slowly lose their eyesight.”

“That isn’t the only problem,” the doctor added. “We’re going to need a plant called the Tetria shrub to cure it.”

“So what’s the problem with gettin’ a dang plant?!”

“No one keeps a consistent stock of it for several reasons. First off, the disease is very rare. Haven't had to treat it in over fourteen years, myself. Secondly, the plant is very hard to grow and maintain; its chemicals for the cure, which is the plants only use, can go bad in less than a week.” He empathized with Applejack’s increasingly worried expression. “But don’t you worry too much. The hospital keeps a record of where it grows for times like this. We’ll just need to set up an expedition for the depths of the Hayseed Swamps and hope time is in our favor.”

Applejack breathed deep and held her head high. “Then sign me up! Ah’ll make sure that expedition gets there and back, lickity split!”

“As noble as that is of you, Miss Applejack, I must warn you that the Hayseed Swamps are very dangerous. Probably even one of the worst places a pony could go in Equestria, especially when venturing so deep.”

“Ah know, but it doesn’t matter.” The cowpony stood her ground. “Ah’m goin’. Gonna be there to make sure the job gets done, and done right.”

“Well I can’t stop you from going, but I must insist that we focus on finding your brother first. When I told him everything I told you, he went off about how he was feeling fine and pushed his way out of the house. I followed him not too far from here and tried to tell him that he needs to rest, but he went silent and ignored me as he went to work. I turned back to call for some help, but when I returned, he was gone.”

“Well, what about Granny?!” she said as she looked towards the farmhouse. “Ah’d imagine she would have been able to talk some sense into ‘im!” Her eyes trailed back to the doctor. “Or, did she already take off to run her own errands? Maybe Ah could just get Winona to sniff ’im out.”

He nodded. “Upon my arrival, I pardoned her to go do what she needed. She even took the dog with her. I honestly didn’t think I’d need help subduing a patient today, especially not Big Mac. I’ve never seen him act quite like this before.” Upon Applejack’s snort of frustration and attempt to rush past him to kick off the search, the doctor held his right foreleg out and blocked her path. “As much as you should hurry,” his gaze traversed from her to every other pony, “I urge all of you to help find him, and find him fast. The longer he’s out there exhausting himself, the faster the poison will spread. I recommend splitting up and spreading out, not to mention keeping an eye out for that snake.”

The doctor’s hoof was pulled from blocking Applejack’s path. She then turned an eye towards all of the others, “Ya’ll heard ‘im! Hop to it!” she commanded before bolting off to commence the search.

Pinkamena had been galloping her way through Sweet Apple Acres for several minutes with no sign of Big Mac. There was only trees, grass, and apples as far as she could see, making her think that she may have picked the wrong direction to explore when everyone had split up. As much as she wanted to keep an eye on that suspicious stallion, Thornstar, she thought it more important to follow through with the doctor’s orders and search for her sick friend. As she searched, Pinkie listened to the gentle winds that blew through the trees, and sniffed out what smelled like... rotten apples? The further she ran, the more intense the stench became, and the more she realized that she wasn’t smelling bad fruit.

The tranquil sound of wind rustling through the trees was pierced by a chilling howl.

Her eyes darted to the direction the sound had come from and caught sight of distant figures dashing through the trees.

Pinkie watched from a great distance as Big Mac panted heavily, already looking tired and weary as he ran with all his might from pursuing Timberwolves. She knew that normally he might have been able to fend off more than a few wolves, but the poison that was coursing through his veins taxed his physical strength and there were far more than a few predators that stayed right on his trail. Having turned to follow, she quickly gained on the distant stallion.

Big Mac glanced back, likely not having seen her in pursuit far off to his right side. He seemed to have sighed comfortably, having seen that the predators were a good distance behind. Maybe, he just might make it home to the security of the farm house.

Big Mac looked straight out in front of him to watch where he was going before he started shaking his head and blinked rapidly. Pinkie’s first thought was that he had something in his eye. Her second thought was that the poison was already taking its toll on his vision. Disoriented by the irritation of his eyes, Pinkie gasped as he failed to avoid clipping his left forehoof on a sharp dip in the ground that brought him, and hopes of escaping painfully crashing down into the dirt.

A timberwolf bolted to the front of the pack and made a vast leap for the stunned pony. However, it was abruptly stopped as Pinkie crashed into the wood-crafted creature with enough force that it exploded into pieces. As the wooden chunks scatter, she thought about how taking down the predator felt kind of good. Maybe Applejack was right; some physical labor would help calm her restless conscience. However, even though she was fast enough to intercept the first timberwolf, she failed to react in time to intercept the pair that dodged around her and went straight for the weaker of the two ponies.

By the time the two had gotten to Big Mac, however, he had already found his footing and managed to fend them off with several powerful bucks. Each strike scattered the predators into chunks of wood.

“Are you okay?!”

The stallion was surprised to have discovered that, of all the ponies that could be out on the far reaches of the family farm, his savior was Pinkie. “Eeeyup,” he nodded in return. Through rapid blinking, his vision had cleared up as the two ponies looked around, noticing that they were surrounded. They both subconsciously stepped back to the nearest tree and watched as the timberwolves slowly circled around them.

The sharp-eyed Pinkie observed that the eight deadly creatures slowly traversed counterclockwise around them in unison. The two earth ponies were being closely examined with hungry stares that searched for an opening to exploit with their gaping maws. She didn’t know if she could fight them all off, but she knew for certain that she could outrun them with ease. However, that wasn’t an option as the obviously tired Big Mac wouldn’t be able to keep up. She may not have been the Element of Loyalty like Rainbow Dash, but there was no way she could abandon a friend to face such a threat alone. Hoofs digging into the dirt, she readied herself for a fight as she watched the circle slowly close in around them.

Enough time had been bought for the three broken Timberwolves to pull themselves together and join the rest of the pack. With their numbers fully restored, the large group had nothing blocking them from a full on assault. That was until another large pony landed in front of the two others.

“You?!” Pinkie exclaimed as her and Big Mac looked to the stallion that seemed to have dropped out of the sky.

Thornstar didn’t look back as he kept his eyes on the enemies. The timberwolves had all stopped in their tracks, clearly baffled by the sudden intrusion. Once they decided to proceed a little closer, Thornstar lowered his head and readied himself.

Pinkie could only wonder just what he was up to. Was Thornstar going to charge the wolves? Use some sort of massive magic attack to fend them off? Or maybe he’d teleport the trio to safety. Whatever it was, she was glad at least someone showed up to help.

After a long pause, Thornstar lifted his head and howled at the top of his lungs.

The Timberwolves stopped dead in their tracks, looked at the howling pony, looked at one another, then ran away. All of them hastefully disappeared through the thickness of the cluttered trees.

Pinkie’s jaw dropped. What she had witnessed looked utterly silly and outright dumb, but yet, she couldn’t laugh from how unbelievable it was. Before she could raise any of the many questions that suddenly cluttered her mind, Applejack interrupted.

“Timberwolves?!” She trotted her way towards the three. “Started runnin’ here as soon as Ah heard ‘em! Looks like you guys managed to scare ‘em off.” Applejack managed to catch her breath with little trouble between sentence breaks. “Thank goodness you’re all okay, but first none-eyed snakes and now these things? What the heck are all these critters doin’ all the way out in these parts?!”

“Seems the timberwolves were desperate for some prey they chased this far,” answered Thornstar, who was looking between her and where the wolves ran off to.

Her question answered, it was time to ask another as Applejack pointed a sharp look to Big Mac. Her nostrils flared as she stood in front of her much bigger brother and tapped a hoof on his chest. “And just what do you think you’re doin’ all the way out here?! You tryin’ to make us all worry to death you buckin’ idiot?!”

Such a hostile exclamation had both Pinkie and Thornstar stepping back in unison, thinking it wise to keep out of Applejack’s way as she continued.

“You better get your flank right back home this instant! It’s time for you to take a ride with the doctor for a stay at the hospital!”

Big Mac looked her right in the eye before bravely walking right past her. “Nnnope.”

“Nope?!” She was quick to barge back into his path and get in his face, placing herself nearly nose to nose with Big Mac. “Nu-uh! Don’t you dare blow me off like that! You’re sick an’ need medical attention! Ah may be your lil’ sister, but that ain't gonna stop me from draggin’ you all the way to the hospital if Ah have to!”

Pinkie glanced over during the confrontation and noticed that the others were arriving at the scene one by one, keeping to the sidelines to stay out of the family affair. They all must have followed the sound of the howling as well.

“Ah ain’t sick!” Big Mac suddenly erupted and drew all eyes to him. “Ah’m feelin’ just fine and Ah dun need to visit no hospital!”

“The heck you don’t! Look at you. You’re tremblin’ like a hairless cat caught in a rainstorm.” She tapped him in the chest once again, but with a little more force than last time. Everyone watched as he wobbled before he regained his footing.

“Oh my!” At the sight of such violence, Fluttershy flapped her way in to try to intervene. “Please, don’t fight you two,” she pleaded, but was hushed by their annoyed glares. Taking the hint, the mare whimpered, tucked her head low, and landed behind Thornstar to hide from the argument.

Big Mac’s attention turned back to Applejack, again facing her nearly nose to nose as he looked her right in the eye. “Ah’m just a lil’ tired from all that runnin’! That’s all it is! Now let me get back to work!”

“When did you become such a fibber?!” she said as she stayed in the sickly stallion’s path. “That ain’t like you at all! Plus, you’re no good at it. Or are you just tryin’ to play yourself up like a tough guy? I thought you were better than that, Big Mac!”

The longer she stayed in his path, the more he raised his voice. “Ah ain’t playin’ around in any way!”

Applejack was quick to cut in before he could add anything else. “Then what are you fussin’ about?! You plan on makin’ the whole family worried sick about you? Do you plan to stay out here, overworking your sick self ‘till you’re as blind as a bat?! Ah’ll let you know, Harvestin’ Season ain’t that important! So, you’re gonna get yourself to a hospital bed so Ah can get busy on finding you that dang plant!”

“Ah knew it, Ah knew it!” There was a loud thud as Big Mac stomped a hind hoof. “Ah knew you were goin’ to start stickin’ your neck out where it doesn’t belong! You always do!”

“The heck are you talkin’ about?!”

“You ain’t goin’ down into the depths of those swamps! I ain’t gonna let ya!”

The cowpony’s ears tilted back. “What? Is that what this is all about? That you think I won’t be able to handle myself when I make the trip?!”

Big Mac’s voice boomed even louder. “Well, you ain’t goin’ at all! You’ve vanished from this family once before, an’ Ah refuse to be the reason you vanish from it again!” He snorted and stomped a hoof once more.

Applejack starred in silence and bewilderment.

A long moment of silence passed between the two siblings. During this awkward pause, Big Mac’s eyes flickered from his sister to the other ponies. He noted that he had shocked the others, and had even made Fluttershy tremble. The stallion quickly realized that he stepped too far out of line. Big Mac’s head lowered very slightly. Having lost the strength to look Applejack in the eye, he instead looked off to the side in order to partially hide his shameful expression.

“MacIntosh,” Applejack’s voice lowered as her anger quickly diminished, “that was a long time ago. Ah’m sorry Ah ran away like that, but Ah did what Ah had to do for our family and Ah thought you knew that. Heck, Ah thought you’d forgotten all about that; after all, we were just lil’ fillies back then.” She kept her eyes upon her brother even as he refused to look back. “But just the same as back then, Ah’m makin’ this trip for family too, and you can’t stop me. But, unlike back then, Ah’ll be coming back right away. Probably won’t even take a few days. Ah don’t even care how dangerous the trip will be, ain’t no way I’m gonna vanish from this farm anytime soon.”

The stallion exhaled deeply but remained still.

“Come on now.” She smiled encouragingly. “Ah’m touched that you’re worried about me. However, Ah ain’t the weak lil’ filly you once knew. Ah can handle myself now. Ah just ask that you please have some faith in that. So, let’s stop this drama and get you to a nice warm bed. What do ya say?”

Pinkie was almost able to see the terrible images running through Big Mac’s head. Everyone knew the dark depths of the Hayseed Swamps was filled with unstable wetlands, likely to make equine easy prey for the many meat-hungry monsters that live there. Even if Applejack safely returned, such a trip would be an adventure to remember.

Big Mac’s saddened green eyes looked to the honest mare’s smile as he seemed to do his best to find hope in her words. With doubt surely ringing in his head that there was little he could do to stop her, another sigh passed through his lips before he raised his head up high. Big Mac thought carefully about his response before opening his mouth to speak... only to be cut off.

“Excuse me,” said Thornstar as he stepped up and cut right in between the two.

“Woah! What the hay are you doin’?!” Blurted Applejack, seeing that herself and her brother had been rudely interrupted.

“Uh...” Pinkie looked to the top of Thornstar’s head and noted quietly with wide eyes, “this is starting to look very familiar,” referring to the stallion’s horn that was glowing with a soft, white magical aura.

With the tip of the horn placed upon Big Mac’s forehead, a bright flash immediately sparked. Moments after the light faded, Thornstar stepped back and remarked, “Sure was a strong poison. Really took me a while to save up enough power to cure it.”

Pinkie Pie went dead silent.

“Cure it?” echoed Applejack, her eyes shifting between her brother and Thornstar. “As in... as in you got rid of it? No more sickness? No potential blindness?”

The equally confused Big Mac looked around with several rapid blinks. Despite his earlier protesting, he couldn’t help but speak up with disbelief. “Ah... feel fine! Great even!”

Upon hearing such a claim, the doctor quickly broke away from the two assistants that were at his side and made his way over to the seemingly healed stallion. He checked the eyes, “no more dilation or redness.” Then the bite mark, “I can’t even see the wound anymore.” He even touched upon Big Mac’s forehead, “his temperature plummeted down to a normal level as well. This here is amazing!” He stepped back from Big Mac with a wondrous expression. “I would have to do a few minor tests to confirm it, but so far, I see no signs of the poison.” The doctor looked to Thornstar. “I was unaware such magic existed that could precisely dilute poison from one's bloodstream so effectively. I mean, I’ve studied the healing potential of both science and magic my entire life, but have never come across anything quite as effective as what you just did. Please, you must tell me how you did it!” The doctor stepped in closer to Thornstar, eager to hear his response.

“Sorry.” Thornstar said as his head slowly shifted from side to side. “Even if I wanted to, this healing power only seems to work for me. So, I’m really not that useful.” He added with a rather self-disappointed frown.

The doctor tisked. “Such a shame. Unless... you’d be willing to work at the care center here in Ponyville?”

“I might have to think over that.” Thornstar said, turning his frown into a humble smile.

Fluttershy, who had then been standing next to Pinkie, flapped her way over to the group. “How wonderful!” Her big smile perked up her cheeks as she spoke “I was so very worried, but I’m glad everything is fine now.”

Applejacks eyes scanned from side to side, watching as everyone but Pinkie slowly pulled into the crowd. “I... I guess so.” She spoke softly, as if trying to soak in the sudden, unexpected emotional change of the moment. She then did her best to shake away that shock. “Well,” she said, quickly cheering up as she spoke, “thanks to Thornstar here, with savin’ mah brother and all, Ah guess a celebration is called for!”

“Did you say Thornstar?” Big Mac’s ears perked up as he looked straight to the stranger who saved him for a couple seconds before his eyes went wide with a glimmer. “Holy toledo, it is you! Thornstar, Ah haven't seen you in ages!”

“Wait, you two really know each other?” asked Applejack. “I mean, I know Thorn here has mentioned you, but I didn’t think too much of it.”

Big Mac looked to his sister and nodded, “Eeeyup! Way back when you had left, he was a good friend of mine before, uh...”

“Before Twilight was selected to be taken in by Celestia.” added Thornstar.

“That’s right.” Big Mac nodded to the other stallion while adjusting his yoke. “It’s just been so long, Ah hardly recognized ya! Where have you been all these years?”

“Well,” Thornstar’s head dipped a little, “It’s mostly a secret. I might answer your questions later on, though, at a more comfortable time.”

Applejack chimed in, “well Ah’d like ta’ hear all about it later. Right now, we should hoof it on back to the house. So come on everypony! Gonna be servin’ up a round or two of cider!”

“Wait a minute!” Pinkamena suddenly called out, halting everyone mid turn towards the house. All eyes were upon her as she could no longer sit back and say nothing. “Question.” She gave Thornstar a rather challenging look. “How did you scare off those timberwolves?” She brushed her long bangs from the front of her eyes, making sure to watch him closely with no obstruction as he’d respond.

“Well, if you really want to know,” His head tucked slightly, almost looking guilty of a crime as he admitted, “I’ve learned to speak timberwolf.”

The others looked amazed at the response while Pinkie, on the other hoof, stepped closer to him with a single brow raised. “Learned... to speak timberwolf?” Again, something she’s never heard of was done with ease by the new pony in town that, coincidentally, she had also never heard of. Her eyes narrowed as she continued with her questions. “And how exactly did you possibly become friends with Big Mac when you were little? Didn’t you, Twilight, and Shining Armor live all the way out in Canterlot?”

Thornstar shifted back a few steps, his head sheepishly kept low, and his eyes shifted uncomfortably. He locked up and said nothing. To Pinkie, it was quite an unbecoming look for a guy who could do so many amazing things.

“Come on, tell us!” She tried to press him for an answer with a sharp, unwavering gaze.

“Pinkie!” Applejack scowled as she surprisingly stepped up to the accused stallion’s defense. “Didn’t he just say he’d answer questions later?! You’re makin’ him uncomfortable!”

“Huh?” Pinkie blinked rapidly at such a snap reaction. “I was just-”

“That was rather rude, Pinkie.” Even Fluttershy added to the stallion’s defense, but her look of disappointment couldn’t compare in harshness to the cowpony’s. “Mister Thornstar has been extra nice and helpful all day today. He doesn’t deserve the harsh look and tone you just gave him.”

A deeply worried feeling sunk in as every other pony gazed upon Pinkie with disapproval. “B-but what he said just didn’t make any sense to me! His way of helping was really weird too.”

Applejack scoffed. “Who cares if it was weird! He just saved you n’ mah brother! Least’ you could do is respect his desire for some privacy!”

“But, I just really want to know!” Pinkie said. “Besides, everything has been really strange since he showed up!”

“Oh! So now yer accusing ‘im too? For your information, you’re the only one here who’s acting strange. Tell you what, if you learn some patience and manners, maybe you’ll get what ya wanna know! Until you do,” Applejack turned her back and glanced at Thornstar, who smiled gratefully at her intervention, “come on everypony else. Let’s git’ on out of here for some cider while Pinkie thinks about her attitude.”

The lone mare watched as, one by one, each of the ponies left. Most granted her a judging glance before disappearing behind the thicket of trees. She was speechless, unable to believe how her friends were so quick to get mad at her. It was almost like what she had seen once before... with Twilight.

“What’d I tell you?”

Pinkie looked down to the spoon in her hoof.

“Should have kept your yap shut and watched from afar.”

Her heart sank as she looked back to the same set of trees the group faded past and muttered softly to her inanimate friend. “Did they just... ditch me?”

“It seems so,” the reflection spoke sympathetically. “But, I’m sure once we get this all figured out, it’ll all be fine.”

Pinkie, feeling more drained of energy than ever before, slowly nodded. “Okay. You were probably right all along.” She then pressed down a hard swallow. “Though... if everything’s going to be fine, then why do I feel like crying?”

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!