• Published 11th Apr 2013
  • 5,925 Views, 109 Comments

The Many Uses of a Brush - Crimson Brush

A store that sells designer and custom hairbrushes opens in Ponyville with a very peculiar owner.

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Tracing Lines

The Many Uses of a Brush
Chapter 5: Tracing Lines

The next few weeks passed by quickly. Crimson Brush found her store doing quite well, for being in such a small town. Of course, being fairly close to Canterlot helped, as did Rarity’s continued promotion of her wares via the customers who came to Carousel Boutique for makeovers. Not that Crimson needed the money, as such. Her investments and inheritance would actually have been quite enough to live quietly but comfortably on all by themselves, had she wished to. But she loved her work, and enjoyed the time with her customers.

Even Twilight Sparkle had come by again, to place an order for a hairbrush for herself. The studious unicorn mare’s obvious delight at the brush Crimson had made for her, with its arrangement of polished amethysts and mother-of-pearl inlays on the back in an exact replica of her distinctive cutie mark, had been a joy to see.

Crimson had just finished her last work order for the day when she heard the front door open. She made her way to the front counter, and smiled at the newcomer – an earth-pony mare whose beautiful azure-blue coat was complemented by a much paler-blue, and somewhat messy, mane and tail. She noticed with interest that the mare was fairly petite for an earth pony; she was only about the size of the average unicorn mare, just without the horn. A deep black cape covered her back and flanks.

“Welcome to Crimson’s Brushes. How may I assist you?”

The earth-pony mare walked up to the counter and gave the owner a disinterested stare. “The Great and Pow... I mean... The Great Tracy wishes to make a purchase at your little shop.”

Crimson tilted her head a bit, giving the mare a quizzical look as “Tracy” corrected herself in middle of her rather grandiose introduction. “Of course. What can I get for you, my dear?”

The mare grinned in an almost sinister fashion. “The Great, uh, Tracy wishes to know if you have a heavy crop for sale!” she said in a loud, theatrical voice, flourishing her hoof as if she were making an announcement of great importance.

Crimson could only wonder at why the mare insisted on speaking in third-person like that, especially since she was so obviously hiding her true name. Crimson shook her head and sighed softly to herself, before putting on a big smile once more. It takes all kinds, I suppose. “Of course, my dear,” she said. “Do you have any preferences as to color, or...”

“The Great... Tracy will be satisfied with the usual, as long as the crop is sturdy,” the blue mare replied, still affecting her air of self-importance combined with vague disinterest. “Tracy is given to understand that black is traditional; that will be sufficient for her needs.”

Crimson turned towards the normally-locked “special products” room on the left, rolling her eyes at the other mare’s behavior as she went inside to fetch a heavy crop from the wall. She swished it a couple of times in her magic to be sure it was sound, then brought it out and set it on the counter. “That will be fifty bits. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Tracy” picked up the crop in her muzzle and gave it a few test swings, then nodded as she began to count out the requested bits from her saddlebag, tossing them onto the counter somewhat carelessly. As she swung the crop, her cape shifted across her back, revealing her cutie mark for a brief moment. A wand, with a flowing arc of stars.

“Now that’s a rather unique cutie mark for an earth pony,” Crimson said curiously.

The mare’s face showed a split-second of worry, before resuming her usual airs. She dropped the crop back on the counter, and smiled brightly. “The Great Tri... Tracy is a stage performer! She does magic tricks that amaze and stupefy! And so her cutie mark reflects this, naturally!”

Crimson chuckled a bit. That explains the dramatics and the talking in third person, I suppose... but I still wonder why she’s hiding her name. “Naturally,” she agreed. “Still, you must be quite the special mare, to earn that cutie mark.”

“Tracy” nodded as if Crimson’s compliment were the most obvious news one could state. “Yes, well, enough about Tri... Tracy. Would you happen to have inhibitors on hand, by any chance?”

Crimson raised a brow at the unusual request, looking at the mare warily. “I do, my dear... But why would you need something like that?”

“Tracy wishes to have a bit of... fun, with a certain purple unicorn,” the mare replied, with a dismissive wave of her hoof and a smile which could only be described as “wicked.” She seemed to mean it in a playful manner, but her eyes hinted at something hidden deeper.

Crimson examined her face for a brief moment. I’ve seen that look in her eyes somewhere before, but I can’t quite place it. “I’m sorry, my dear, but I must inquire... Is this unicorn your mate, or..?”

A brief flash of a blush appeared on the azure mare’s cheeks before she quickly shook her head quickly. “N.. no! No, she’s just some pony Tri... Tracy needs to have a good, long talk with. We have quite the history together, and there are some things Tracy needs to get off her chest.”

“And you need a magic inhibitor for this?” Crimson asked in a doubtful tone.

“Tracy” huffed impatiently and nodded. “She’s not the easiest of mares to convince to listen, without blaming Tri... Tracy and trying to start a fight. Tracy does not want the situation to escalate into a battle if she loses her temper before Tri... Tracy has had a chance to speak her piece, that’s all.”

Crimson considered the mare’s words and curious actions thoughtfully for a minute or so, trying to decide whether selling “Tracy” what she’d asked for would be wise or not. She’s hiding something, she thought to herself. But then again, nopony’s used an inhibitor to harm another pony in ages. Such things simply weren’t done. With the three pony races at peace, earth ponies no longer had any need to use such things as weapons against the unicorns, and Princess Celestia herself had issued strict edicts about the permissible and forbidden uses of magic inhibitors (and flight inhibitors, for that matter) a long, long time ago.

These days, magic inhibitors were mostly used for medical purposes, to keep a unicorn who had lost control of their magic – due to delirium, sickness or senility, usually – from accidentally harming themselves or others, or to keep one who had cracked or damaged their horn from casting spells through it until it healed. Occasionally (and thankfully, rarely), law enforcement would use them if it was necessary to detain or incarcerate an uncooperative unicorn criminal, and no magic-proofed cell was available. But there were some unicorns who liked to use them as part of the “spicy” love lives Crimson catered to, as well; allowing your mate or lover to deliberately block off your magic could be a powerful act of trust and submission all by itself...

“Very well, dear. You will have to sign some papers before I can sell it to you, though. Celestia requires that all inhibitors be registered.” She placed the forms on the table, along with a quill, and waited expectantly. The mare looked mildly annoyed, but picked up the quill and began to fill out the forms. Crimson noticed that the mare signed them as “Tracy Lilac Moon”, clearly an alias, but it didn’t matter. “Tracy” either didn’t realize that these kinds of forms and quills were magically enchanted (by Princess Celestia herself, no less!) to make a positive record of the signers’ auras no matter what name they used; or, she just didn’t care.

Once the forms were signed, Crimson added her own signature as the seller of record, then put them away and pulled a small box out from under the counter. Her horn glowed a soft purple, as did the lock, and after a few moments the lock popped open. She raised the lid, revealing five rings of varying designs. Each ring opened at a clasp on one side, and each bore a string of small engraved runes along the outer edge. She had ordered these from Hoof Kong, in case they were ever requested. She picked one of the golden rings out of the box and placed it on the countertop, then locked the box and placed it back under the counter once more.

“Perfect!” the azure mare grinned as Crimson pushed the ring towards her. “Just what The Great Tri... Tracy needs!”

Crimson sighed softly to herself as, once again, she briefly questioned whether this was a good idea. But “Tracy” had filled out the forms, and her aura was on record now, so... “That will be one hundred and seventy-five bits, total. Fifty for the crop, and one hundred twenty-five for the inhibitor,” she said. “Will there be anything else, dear?” she added, rather hoping that there wouldn’t be.

“Tracy” blinked, clearly taken aback by the price. For a moment, Crimson thought she would balk at the price and just walk away, but after a moment the mare shook her head and grumbled something that sounded rather less than complimentary before grudgingly counting out a larger pile of bits onto the counter. “You’re just lucky The Great Tracy needs this very much. But Tracy will not be coming back with such outrageous prices!” She grabbed her crop as well as the ring, slid them into her saddlebag, then gave an irritated toss of her mane as she stormed out of the store in a huff.

“Well... that was an experience,” Crimson said to herself. Purple unicorn... I wonder if she meant Twilight? She shook the thought away. Twilight’s personal life was her own business, and even though Twilight had never come out and said as much herself, Crimson had been given to understand through various conversations with others that the studious unicorn librarian was one of the most powerful magic users in Ponyville. Of course, Princess Celestia would hardly have taken her as a personal student of magic if all she could do was make a few fizzy sparks! she thought to herself in amusement. She decided not to worry about it too much for the moment. Twilight could handle herself.

She locked up for the night and, as had become her habit over the last few weeks, stepped outside for a short walk around Ponyville to relax and stretch her legs after a long day’s work, giving polite smiles and casual greetings to the other ponies she saw out and about their own evening-time errands. Spotting the lights of Sugarcube Corner still open for business, she decided to wander over for a quick cup of tea, and maybe a spice muffin if they still had some left, before the bakery closed for the night. Those muffins really were exquisitely delicious, and the bouncy, bubblegum-pink earth-pony mare who always seemed to be working there always seemed to know just how to make another pony smile...

Three days passed without any further word about the strange visitor. Perhaps I was worrying over nothing, she decided.

\/ * /\ * \/ * /\ * \/ * /\ * \/ * /\ * \/ * /\ * \/ * /\ * \/

“Hey Spike! Come down here for a minute!”

The little dragon hopped down the stairs with a bit of impatience as he walked to see what Twilight wanted this time. “What’s up, Twilight?”

Twilight smiled happily at the little dragon. “Oh good, there you are. Rarity asked if I could send you over to her place tonight. You’ll be spending the night.”

“Really?” he said, tilting his head curiously. “Not that I’m complaining, Twilight, but this is the third night in row. Last time, she just needed someone to keep an eye on Sweetie Belle while she worked.”

“Well, you know how Rarity can be when she’s got a big project due,” she said, chuckling to herself as she thought of the white unicorn mare’s tendency for drama. “And Sweetie Belle can be a hoof-full, or so I’ve heard.”

“That’s true.” Spike agreed with a chuckle of his own. “Especially when she tries to be ‘helpful’...”

“Well, there you go. I’m sure Rarity just enjoys having her ‘Spikey Wikey’ around to help keep things under control,” she added, using the nickname Rarity had given him.

“Are you sure you don’t need me tonight?”

Twilight caught the worried note in Spike’s voice, and trotted over to give him a hug. “Oh, you know I’ll always need my number-one assistant, Spike,” she said, while gently brushing an affectionate hoof over the crest running down his head and back. “Always. But I know how much you like helping Rarity... and she is my friend too, you know!” she added, teasing him a little. “I’ll manage. There’s really not a lot left to do tonight, anyway; you’ve already done just about everything except the late-returns books, and there’s only a couple of those. Go on... ‘Spikey-Wikey.’ Rarity needs her number-one assistant’s help tonight.”

Spike relaxed within the reassuring embrace, smiling and nodding happily at the soft caress along his crest-scales. Though they rarely spoke openly of it, they both knew Spike’s deepest, darkest fear was that someday, Twilight might not need him or want him around anymore, and would send him away. It would never happen, of course, but it was still a fear he struggled with sometimes, and it always made him feel better to hear Twilight say she would always need him. “I guess so... Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then, Twi. Don’t forget to lock up!” he shouted as he ran out the door. Third night in a row? Maybe I’m finally getting to her! he thought excitedly.

Twilight shook her head and chuckled to herself. He’s so easy to read. It was pretty much an open secret in Ponyville that the baby dragon had a crush on Rarity. She turned away and started walking towards the stairs leading to her upper-floor bedroom, then sighed as she heard the door slam shut behind her. “Spike! What’d I tell you about slamming the...?”

She paused in mid-sentence as she turned around, only to see nopony there. Huh. Must’ve been the wind. She shrugged and started back towards the stairs... but she only made it a few steps before she heard, and felt, something click around her horn. “Hey! What the...!” Her eyes widened to the size of saucers as she saw a familiar blue unicorn standing before her, in her usual star-spangled cape and hat. “Trixie?!

Trixie grinned wickedly. “That’s ‘The Great and Powerful Trixie’ to you, Twilight Sprinkle!” she snapped haughtily. “And Trixie has been waiting a long time to get back at you for all you’ve done to her!” Trixie’s horn began to glow blue as she stared at her nemesis with evil eyes.

Twilight immediately tried to cast a shield spell – only to find that her horn wasn’t working! The magic was still there, but it was... stuck, somehow! Something was blocking it from getting out, like a clog blocking up a sink drain. She raised a hoof to whatever was attached to her horn, but before she could touch it, a blue ring of magic wrapped itself around her hoof and yanked it back to the floor. Her other hooves were quickly wrapped in similar fashion before she could react.

"Ohhhh, no no no, Twilight Stinkle. We don’t want that coming off until Trixie has had her fun, now do we,” Trixie sneered as she moved closer to the helpless unicorn.

"My name is Twilight Sparkle! Now let go of me!” Why is she doing this? And why does she only get my first name right?! she thought to herself, with a tinge of anger building.

“Now is that any way to talk to your superiors, Twilight Barkle? The Great and Powerful Trixie thinks you need to watch your tongue – or better yet, be quiet!” she snapped as she summoned a bit and bridle, fastening it to Twilight’s muzzle before the trapped unicorn mare could even try to stop it. Like many unicorns, Twilight was so used to having her magic to defend herself that by the time she remembered to try any sort of physical resistance, it was already several precious seconds too late.

Trixie buckled down the bit and bridle good and tight, making it quite impossible for the lavender unicorn to say a word, then spun Twilight around in her magical grip so that her backside was facing Trixie. “Yes, Trixie thinks that’s much better. Don’t you, Twilight Blinkle?” she cackled.

Hehh eehh hohh!” Twilight could only make incoherent sounds around the tightly-fitted bit gag as it pressed against her tongue, while the bridle straps prevented her from pushing it out or opening her mouth wide enough to relieve the pressure of the bit. She began to shiver with worry as she realized her helplessness. She tried to look over her shoulder, only to find her head forcibly turned back to face straight forward by even more magic. She struggled against the magical bonds to no avail, whimpering in anxiety over her situation as she realized she was utterly powerless to resist the web of blue magic lines ensnaring her, and completely at the mercy of the one casting them.

Trixie grinned malevolently as she slid a thick riding crop out of her saddlebag, suspending it in midair as she stepped up to stand just behind the trapped unicorn. “Hmm... Trixie thinks something’s not quite right here.” She summoned a bit more magic to tighten the web of magic still more, forcing Twilight’s head and forelegs to the ground, leaving her hindquarters raised up high in the air before her. “Yes, that’s much more to Trixie’s liking.”

Twilight felt her tail being brushed aside, exposing her flanks, and felt a sudden surge of the same fear and embarrassment she’d felt that night she’d placed herself over Crimson Brush’s spanking rack. Just like before, her bent-over position was placing her on full, open display, with absolutely nothing hidden from Trixie’s gaze... except that this time, she couldn’t get up from the position. She couldn’t even move so much as a hoof.

Trixie took in the sight before her with no small amount of pleasure as she lifted the crop, then brought the rod down with a firm lash across Twilight’s left flank, aimed directly at the center of her cutie mark. Twilight screamed loudly through the bit gag as she felt the crop bite deeply into her flank, a tear already forming in her eye from the vicious sting it left in its wake. Trixie had struck her far harder than Twilight had done while experimenting on herself that other night, and the blossoming pain was almost as bad as the belt Crimson had later punished her with. Not quite, but almost.

“You humiliated me, Twilight Crinkle!” Trixie snarled as she gave the helpless unicorn mare another firm lash of the crop, just below the first. “Trixie became the laughing stock of all Equestria because of you!” Another lash, to Twilight’s right flank this time. “Your friends heckled me when I was just trying to put on a show! And then they dared to challenge The Great and Powerful Trixie’s magic to try to make her look ridiculous! What did I ever do to them to deserve that? Then you banished that Ursa Minor, and everypony thought it was all my fault that thing got loose! Word got around, and Trixie couldn’t find work anywhere near Ponyville, or Canterlot, or anywhere else!!” she yelled, punctuating each statement with vicious swipes of the crop across Twilight’s flanks.

“And then that fiasco with the Alicorn Amulet! Trixie admits, that was partly her fault, but only because The Great and Powerful Trixie wanted to beat you herself! Trixie didn’t know what that amulet would do! Nopony ever said anything to Trixie about it being dangerous! Trixie was told it was just the opposite of an inhibitor, that it would boost her magic instead of blocking it! That’s all! But even after Trixie apologized to everypony and tried to help undo what she did, Trixie’s life was still ruined again! She had to go all the way to Trottingham before anypony would let her do so much as perform at a foal’s birthday party! Well, now Trixie has a chance to pay you back for all the wrongs you’ve caused her, Twilight Frazzle!” With that, she began bringing the crop down quickly and precisely, each stroke hitting a different part of Twilight’s upraised backside, covering her flanks in splotchy dark marks as the skin beneath the helpless mare’s lavender coat turned redder and redder under the skillfully-controlled cropping.

Even as Twilight cried out in pain under the punishing smacks, she found herself thinking about Trixie’s words and considering them honestly. Despite Trixie’s obvious anger and frustration, and the deep grudge she clearly carried, Twilight had to admit there was still some ring of truth to what the unfortunate magician mare had said. I had no idea... she’d had it so rough all this time... she didn’t deserve all of that... the Ursa wasn’t her fault, that was... Snips and Snails’ fault if it was anypony’s, and... the amulet wasn’t really... all her fault, either... Twilight’s thoughts were broken up by the growing pain in her flanks as each strike of the crop built on the previous one, just as she’d suspected it would that first time she’d struck herself with one... though considering the circumstances, she would have been happier to have had that particular theory proven wrong instead.

As the pain continued to build, Twilight tried to fight against the magical bonds holding her, but Trixie had her too tightly ensnared. She tried to beg for mercy, to offer Trixie her apologies, but the bit gag and bridle strapped around her muzzle turned her words into unintelligible moans and gasps. Even more embarrassing, she couldn’t even stop herself from drooling on the floor with her mouth forcibly held open like this. There was nothing she could do except squeal and cry out as the crop rained down without pause across her exposed and vulnerable rear, fresh pain blossoming under every stroke, until every inch of her flanks felt like it was on fire.

“Trixie hopes this hurts,” she heard a voice whispering viciously in her ear, as the cropping paused for a brief moment. “Trixie hopes this hurts a lot. Trixie hopes this hurts every bit as much as her life has hurt, every... single... day!!” Twilight howled as Trixie punctuated those words with swipes of the crop right at the most sensitive spots along the bottom edge of her rump, desperately trying once more to beg, to apologize, to tell Trixie that yes, it did hurt, and that she’d never meant things to happen the way they did, and she was so very, very sorry for everything Trixie had gone through... but nothing came out except garbled, incoherent sobs of pain as the crop seared her backside.

And then the crop shifted lower, taking aim at Twilight’s thighs, and the pain grew so very much worse, each stroke of the crop landing like the sting of a dozen angry hornets, driving all thoughts from her mind as she squealed and sobbed and fought to escape the pain with all her strength... until finally, spent and exhausted, she did the only thing she could do. She stopped struggling, stopped fighting and resisting, and just lay there, crying brokenly, accepting the punishment as it was delivered, stroke by painful stroke.

Trixie, meanwhile, could only grin triumphantly as the crop did its wonderful work on Twilight’s exposed flanks, slowly reducing her nemesis to a struggling, crying, drooling mess as the dark heat spread across the lavender unicorn’s burning hindquarters. She finally stopped when she realized Twilight was just lying there, sobbing and broken, no longer putting up any resistance, and leaned in a bit closer to study the lavender unicorn’s flanks with a critical eye to assess the damage. The crop’s strokes had been firm and harsh, but well-controlled; Twilight’s hindquarters were covered in blotchy dark patches of painful, burning red underneath the lavender fur, but Trixie’s precisely-targeted strokes hadn’t even left a visible welt, much less broken the skin.

“Be lucky The Great and Powerful Trixie is being soft on you,” she said mockingly as she let the crop fall to the ground. “Though Trixie doesn’t know what she’s so concerned about. You probably enjoyed every minute of it, Twilight Spankle!” She laughed uproariously at her own joke, then floated the unicorn up and turned her around in midair to face her. “Well, The Great and Powerful Trixie hopes you’ve finally learned your lesson, Twilight Sparkle...”

Trixie looked as if she was about to say something more, but the look on Twilight’s face gave her pause. She could see Twilight’s tears were genuine, as her face was contorted in pain... and to Trixie’s amusement, she looked for all the world like a humbled, woefully-sorry filly who’d just received a well-deserved spanking at the hooves of her mother, rather than a grown mare who’d suffered the painful revenge of an enemy who’d caught her by surprise. Trixie raised a brow as she studied that humbled expression on Twilight’s face, then slowly let her down and released her magical bonds from Twilight’s body – although she did hold on just enough to support the exhausted, still-crying unicorn mare as her shaking legs went out from under her, so that Twilight wouldn’t hurt herself with a bad fall as she slumped to the floor. The irony was not lost on Trixie, and she had to laugh at the thought as she waited for Twilight to pull herself back together.

“So, Twilight Sparkle... do you have anything you’d like to say to The Great and Merciful Trixie?” she asked as she removed the bit and bridle, smiling wickedly at her captive.

Twilight took a long while to recover before she could even attempt to speak. When her tears and sobs finally stopped, and she could start to think coherently again, she took some time to get her mind back in control as the vicious hornets’-nest stings in her rear slowly faded to a deep, throbbing burn. She released my hooves? That... that wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting... I mean, it was bad, oh sun and moon that was even worse than the belt, I think! But I really thought she’d do a lot worse to me than just... that... Wait... Did she just get my name right?! Twice?!

Finally, Twilight stood up on shaking legs, then looked up at Trixie. She opened her mouth, and spoke only one word.


Author's Note:

Sorry about the short chapter this time. To be honest I feel something's wrong with the beginning... but I just couldn't come up with a way to fix it. So I'm posting it as is.

The next chapter is done, but I want to leave your minds to wonder for a few days. I usually don't like cliffhangers but this one was too much fun to pass up.

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