• Published 19th Feb 2013
  • 5,297 Views, 141 Comments

Screwhead - meme-asaurus

Twilight shares a body with Screwball

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Chapter 1: The Fun Begins

It was past sundown at Golden Oaks, Ponyville’s local library. My friends were wrapping up their first friendship letter to Celestia. It mostly consisted of how you should listen to your friend’s problems, no matter how small they are. In retrospect, it really wasn’t much of a lesson they learned. It was more or less their way of saying sorry to me. It didn’t really address the issue that I almost destroyed Ponyville with a doll, and the letter itself was more personal then professional.

And you know what? I didn’t really care.

It may sound a bit selfish, I needed them to feel sorry for me. I need them to feel guilty for me. I was having the worst day of my life until they barged in, begging Celestia not to send me away. When the Princess walked me home, I was beginning to think that she was planning to do a lot worse than send me to magic kindergarten. The ‘Want it, Need it’ spell was outlawed in twenty-nine different countries for a reason, you know. I crossed a major line today. Any other unicorn in my position would be sitting in prison by now. What was I thinking?

But much to my surprise, I faced no consequences. I didn’t get arrested. I didn’t get a stern talking to. I didn’t own up to my mistakes. I never was punished for breaking the law. A pardon wasn’t even necessary for me. It seemed like all of Ponyville blushed in embarrassment, looked the other way and said to me, “Let’s pretend this never happened, Twilight.” In short, I got off very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very lucky.

It felt wrong.

Then, my friends wrote that letter. They took my big, heavy, growing ball of self-inflicted guilt, brought it all out in the open and outright forgave me for my failure. It was surprisingly comforting.

That’s all I needed. I didn’t need somepony to punish me or lock me in a dungeon. I needed somepony to notice that I screwed up and tell me that it wasn’t entirely my fault, somepony will always be there for me when I fall down, and everything will be alright now.

That’s it. All I needed was a hug. A proverbial hug, if you will. It was big relief on my part.

After my friends left, I went through my get-ready-for-bed checklist, step by step.

Make sure that I checked all my checklists that I wanted to complete for today? Check.

Go read Relaxation for Eggheads while taking a well-deserved therapeutic bath with scented candles? Check.

Dry off with a towel? Check.

Brush my mane? Check.

Brush my tail? Check.

Brush my teeth? Check.

Floss? Check.

Gurgle, rise, and spit? Triple check.

Remind Spike to brush his own teeth? Check.

Watch my Tuesday episode of Quantum Physics and Love Affairs while wearing that snuggie Rarity gave me? Check.

Make my bed? Check.

Make Spike’s bed? Check.

Open the bedroom window in case Owlicious wants to go outside tonight? Check.

Tuck Spike in and give him a kiss goodnight? Check.

Ignore Spike’s complaints about receiving a kiss goodnight? Check.

Tuck myself in? Check.

Recheck everything on the checklist to see if I didn’t forget everything? Check.

Go to sleep? No check required.

That night, I dreamed that a filly was laughing at me.


Mmmmph. Too early. Lemme sleep.

“Twilight? Wake up.”

Just five more minutes, Mom…


My eye shot open as I was jolted awake. Before I could even think, I fell out down a good ten feet to the ground. The surface I fell on was hard, grassy and was covered in dirt. I was somehow outside. I looked up to meet the irritated face of Applejack.

“What in tarnation were ya doin’?” AJ snapped. “We were lookin’ fer ya all day. Ya had all of us worried sick!”

I took a good look around. For some bizarre reason, I was in Sweet apple Acres. Judging by the position of the sun hanging in the clear blue sky, I guessed it was around two ‘o clock in the afternoon. Applejack was accompanied by Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Spike. Their expressions varied greatly, from worried and relieved to frustrated and confused.

I stood up as I failed to answer Applejack’s question. “What happened?” was all I could say. I was still in a bit of a daze.

“That’s what we want to know,’ said an annoyed Rainbow Dash. “Spike didn’t find you in bed this morning, so we formed a search party. After we looked, like, forever, we found you sleeping in this apple tree. Napping in trees is my thing, and I have a right mind to-”

Pinkie Pie cut Rainbow Dash off short with her usual Pinkie-ness. “But now that we’ve found you, we can celebrate with a PARTY!” A small burst of confetti exploded behind her to punctuate the last word of her sentence. My eye twitched at the violation of the laws of physics. (It’s a reflex.)

“You know,” Rarity mused, “Twilight is probably just another victim of the Phantom Prankster.”

“Phantom Prankster?” I inquired. “What are you talking about?”

“I think it’s best of we show you,” said Fluttershy. “That is, if you don’t mind.”

I walked into the streets of Ponyville with my companions, not sure what to expect. Looking back, I believe it was for the best that I didn’t expect anything in particular. Otherwise, I would’ve died of shock at what I was about to see. This didn’t mean I still wasn’t horrified, though.

Ponyville looked awful! Everywhere I looked, something was vandalized in an unnatural and unusual manner. It was like a bunch of ponies looked at this town and said, “Hey, you know what would be funny? We could turn every other thing we find upside-down or inside-out. It’ll be a riot!”

Somepony had superglued cantaloupes on every roof. The local elementary school had badly-written profanities scribbled all over it with lime-green spray paint. Ponies everywhere were trying to walk about normally, but this proved difficult with half of them covered with the world’s strongest itching powder. All the plates in the antique store were smashed to pieces. The brick walls that made up the buildings were magically turned into pineapple-flavored jell-o, which was slowly melting in the summer heat. Furniture had been moved out onto the streets and was inexplicably… dancing?

“I haven’t seen mayhem like this since Discord broke out,” I said as a crowd of disembodied afros politely waddled by.

“That’s what I said,” Spike added as he glanced at a team of four ponies trying to stop a deranged ostrich from painting a window blue. “I also thought he was behind all this, because of the freaky magic and all.”

“Is he?”

Spike shook his head as passing pegasus continued an argument with her second head, which had grown overnight. “No, I sent a letter to the Princesses. The old dude’s still safely in stone. They also said it would be a gazillion years before he could break out again.”

“The police are majorly going bananas about this,” remarked Rainbow Dash. “They’re searching for witnesses like crazy, but they’ve found nothing yet.”

“The newspaper calls the culprit, ‘the Phaaaantom Praaaankster,’” Pinkie said in the spookiest voice she could muster, “because noooopony’s ever seen him!”

“Or her,” noted Rarity.

I scrunched my nose in thought as Berry Punch worked to wipe of the eggs that were pelted against her mailbox, just like everyone else’s.

“If this isn’t Discord’s doing,” I began, “then logically, whoever did this must be using must be using some form of weaker magic than him. And if that’s true, then I can do… THIS!”

I focused as my horn began to glow brightly. With great concentration, I cast the fail-safe spell I had prepared when Discord first started to cause trouble. There was an earth-shattering wave of purple magic, spreading throughout Ponyville.

Much to everyone's surprise, it worked perfectly. The spray paint on the schoolhouse disappeared, the afros went back and attached themselves to the respective heads that owned them, and every single piece of furniture stopped dancing. As an added bonus, I even made the ostrich I mentioned beforehoof stop mindlessly painting things, and it went on about its business. Everything was back to normal. Order was restored in Ponyville.

Ponies broke out in cheers and clopped in applause as I smiled in satisfaction of a job well done. With praise like this, I should use that spell more often.

The rest of my day went by quickly. Pinkie Pie threw her ‘We found Twilight Sleeping in an Apple Tree Party’ by combining it with her ‘Thanks to Twilight for Stopping Ponyville from Itching Party.’ As an ironic joke, she served pineapple jell-o. Not too many ponies found that very funny, but since it was a party, they laughed anyway.

The Royal Guard came by afterward and asked few questions about the Phantom Prankster, since I was not only absent during the events of his/her pranks, but I was also the only pony around that knew a way to fix all of them at once. (I have to admit, that does sound a bit suspicious when you look at it with a fresh eye.) I told them that I was happy to help return Ponyville to normal, but I otherwise had nothing to do with the case.

Other than that, my day was pretty uneventful, which was perfectly fine with me. I’ve had enough excitement for one week.

It was after dark again. I was closing up the library for the night, since we were once again not getting any customers. It disturbs me how little Golden Oaks gets business. Nopony in this community even has a library card. I don’t mean to sound rude, but how the hay does this town’s population even know how to read? I’ve seen Cheerilee’s classroom, and the most advanced-level book on the children’s shelves is named Captain Underpants and the Poopy Plotholes from Uranus. I swear, not a single encyclopedia in sight.

I’ve been meaning to fix this by recently hosting lectures on the importance of literacy. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck in getting any attention. You see, my speeches have been said to “last too long,” “bore ponies to death,” and of course, the most frequently heard complaint: I apparently “use too many big words.”

Umm… yeah, you might say my relationship with the rest of Ponyville is a little complicated. Very complicated, in fact. On one hoof, I saved the whole of Equestria twice, so I’m a bit of a town hero. On the other hoof, I’m often closely associated with big mistakes that tend to be remembered, such as the parasprite incident or the ‘Want it, Need it’ spell. Finally, if you disregard the first two, I’m just a unicorn that tends to be a teensy bit nerdy from time to time.

To make things short, I carry a reputation around Ponyville, but at the same time, I can’t really carry any influence, neither politically nor socially. So yeah, my friends and I get ignored most of the time, and some days it gets a little frustrating. I mean, what do I have to do to get some respect around here? Sprout wings and become royalty?

But I digress; it’s time to go back to what I was doing. I was once again going through my get-ready-for-bed checklist. Namely, I had started making my bed.

As I gave my pillow a good levitation-fluffing, I discovered (to my slight startlement) something I’ve never seen before. It was a small object, and I didn’t think relatively much about it at the time. It seemed so insignificant; I barely gave it a second glace.

However, it did make something click in my brain.

I called down to Spike, who was back downstairs. “Spike, could you come up here?”

“What is it?”

“Remember when I cast that fail-safe spell?”

“Yeah, why?”

“And it erased every last bit of chaos in Ponyville, magically created or otherwise?”

“What's your point?”

“Answer me this: If my spell worked perfectly, then why did I find this propeller beanie under my pillow?”

Author's Note:

Ever been inspired to write a fanfic just by a piece of fanart? They’re a dime a dozen on this site. So yeah, I must confess I’m being a bit unoriginal here. I still think this is a good story, though.

That said, kudos to thattagen for making the pic I’m using for cover art. Also, I’d like to make a shout-out to WarrenHutch for writing Screwball in a Jekyll-Hyde-style story a bajillion years before me, not to mention that one got featured on EqD.