Sunlight streamed in between the slats in the blinds, waking the mint green mare from her blissful slumber. Minty pulled the blanket over her head. “Stupid sun. Doesn’t it know today’s the first day of spring break?”
While many of her friends had headed home for the week, and others had trekked to Haytona Beach for some fun in the sun, Minty had instead decided to spend the week with an old friend in Ponyville.
“Wake up sleepyhead!”
“Come back after noon.”
“Silly filly! You can’t spend all day in bed! That wouldn’t be very fun at all!”
“Ugh,” Minty groaned. She was still tired but she knew from past experience that arguing with Pinkie Pie was an effort in futility. Minty cracked an eye open and found herself looking into two bright blue eyes inches away from her snout. How they could possibly be so full of energy at 8:30 in the morning was a mystery to her.
“Why so sad? I even let you sleep in!”
“Pinkie, my earliest class at college starts at 11:00 and I think that’s too early. So why on Equus would I want to get up this early on my spring break?”
“Because we have a lot of fun to cram in! Come on!” Pinkie ripped the blanket off of Minty’s bed.
“I should’ve gone to Haytona with Sunny Daze,” Minty mumbled under her breath.
“What was that?”
“I said let’s get out there and enjoy this sunny day.”
“That’s the spirit! I made breakfast!”
Minty followed Pinkie Pie downstairs to Sugarcube Corner’s kitchen. Visions of a cupcake and brownie filled breakfast were dashed when she saw two bowls of cereal sitting on the table.
“Lucky Charms! Because today’s St. Patrick’s Day.”
“What’s St. Patrick’s Day?”
“Oh, that’s right, hehe, it’s not a pony holiday. Never mind then!” Pinkie moved the bowl of cereal out of Minty’s spot and next to her own, and replaced it with a plate filled to the brim with doughnuts. “Better?”
Minty bit into a cream-filled powdered sugar doughnut. “Much.” She grinned.
Pinkie polished off both bowls of cereal and then started drinking from a cup with a pair of golden arches on it.
“This? Oh, it’s a Shamrock Shake. It goes with the whole St. Patrick’s Day thing I was talking about earlier. Nothing to worry about.”
“But… it’s green. You know how I love green things.”
“It’s a mint flavored milkshake. Sooooooooo good!”
The word ‘mint’ caught Minty’s attention. If there was one thing that Minty liked more than the color green, it was socks. And if there was one thing she liked more than socks, it was mints. Her cutie mark was a trio of mints, after all. And her name wasn’t Socky.
“Where do I get one?”
“McDonald’s,” Pinkie replied, taking an extra long sip of the shake.
“Oh, a restaurant on the other side.”
“How do I get there?”
“Go down Mane Street until you get to the library and then hook a right. Go three more blocks and just keep walking.”
Minty dashed out the door in a green and pink blur. She found the library easily enough and made a right turn as indicated. As she continued galloping as fast as she could, her mind played back Pinkie Pie’s words. “On the other side of what?”
Smack. Minty came to a sudden stop and slid down an invisible barrier. She was immediately reminded of when she was a filly and had run into a sliding glass patio door. Shaking her head to clear the cobwebs out, she stood up and poked the air in front of her with a hoof, cautiously. It connected with an invisible force field. “Oh. She probably meant on the other side of this. Whatever it is.”
She turned around and bucked it as hard as she could. “Ow! My hooves! Oh. It. Is. On.”
Enraged, she ran to the Ponyville Stadium to grab a blunt object… preferably a baseball bat. She changed her mind when she saw there was a hoofball game in progress. The locker room was empty so she let herself in. She donned a regulation uniform and helmet and slipped unnoticed onto the home team’s bench.
As the offensive line was about to take the field, Minty tapped the aptly named Quarterback on the shoulder. When the blue pony turned around, Minty said “Hoofoff to me on the next play.”
“Okay. Wait a second… who are you?”
“Just do it! I’m the, uh, secret weapon.”
“Oh! Okay then. You look kinda small for a hoofball player.”
“Yeah, it’s why I’m so good at, uh, er…sneaking through holes in the other team’s defense. Yeah!”
“That makes sense. You got it.”
On the snap, Quarterback hoofed the ball to Minty, who turned tail and ran… straight towards the exit. The defending team’s linebackers chased her, as did the offensive line. She turned to look behind her and saw twenty-one bulky stallions right behind her. She punted the ball towards the invisible barrier and all of the players ran past her trying to recover the ball. It bounced off the fourth wall, but before any of the stallions could change direction several tons worth of hoofball players collided with the fourth wall. They landed in a heap at the base.
“It isn’t even dented. Huh, I guess I need a new strategy.”
The stallions picked themselves up one by one but Minty was nowhere to be seen. One of them grabbed the ball and they returned to finish their game.
Lost in thought, Minty wasn’t paying attention to where she was walking. She tripped over a tree stump and faceplanted into the dirt. “Awfully stupid place to put a stump! Somepony could get hurt! Especially clumsy ponies like me! Furthermore… is that an ax?” She grinned maniacally. “Of course! Brute strength failed, but I bet I can chop right through that thing!” She grabbed the handle in her mouth and trotted back to the invisible wall.
She turned to look directly at the fourth wall and said, “Kids, don’t try this at home. I’m a trained professional stuntpony.” Then with a mighty swing of her hooves she bellowed, “Here’s Minty!”
The fourth wall was apparently not in the mood for pop culture references and the ax bounced off, flying out of Minty’s hooves and embedding itself thirty feet up the trunk of a pine tree.
“Okay, chopping it didn’t work. I know! Muhahahaha!” She ran all the way to the quarry outside Ghastly Gorge and ‘borrowed’ several pounds of dynamite. She returned and faced the fourth wall once again. “One shall stand. One shall fall.”
The resulting explosion caused a crater seven feet deep on the Ponyville side of the fourth wall. The other side was completely unscathed. Minty had been blown off her hooves and had landed upside-down in a thicket. “Well played, invisible barrier, well played.”
Out of ideas, she sighed and walked back into town looking for inspiration. She found it at the site of a former hotel that was being torn down to make room for a senior center. Miraculously, she figured out how to start the crane and slowly drove it towards her new nemesis. She swung the boom back, releasing the wrecking ball on the unsuspecting force field. She leapt atop the iron ball as it drew closer to the fourth wall to ride her way to freedom. Unfortunately for the mint green mare, the wrecking ball ricocheted off the barrier and crashed through a rock guitar display at Noteworthy’s Music Store.
Noteworthy took a look at the devastation and was thankful he didn’t open the store until 10. “Eh, I’m insured. Can’t live in Ponyville these days without really good insurance.”
The wrecking ball rolled out of the totally demolished shop and Minty trailed after it, wobbling on her legs. “I totally meant to do that… yeah!”
“You okay there, miss?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Sure thing! I landed on my head so no damage done!”
“You’re Pinkie Pie’s friend, right?” Scootaloo asked.
“Sure thing, little filly. And you three are the Cutie Mark Crusaders, right?”
“Yup! That’s us! We’re on a quest to get our cutie marks!” the three ponies shouted in unison.
Minty thought back to everything she had heard about this trio. “Why didn’t I think of this earlier?” she thought. If anypony could break through the barrier it would be them… “Say, how would the three of you like to help me out with a problem I’m having?”
“See this invisible barrier here?”
“Oh yeah, right, it’s invisible. How about can you feel it?”
“Huh, that’s odd. I never noticed this here before,” Sweetie Belle said.
“Me either,” Apple Bloom added.
“You know, I don’t think we’ve ever come all the way over to this side of town before.” Scootaloo rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “Come to think of it, I never see any ponies come this way at all except Pinkie Pie.”
“So we’re going to knock this thing down. Are you with me? You might even get your cutie marks out of this!”
“Yeah! We could have invisible cutie marks! Diamond Tiara would be soooooo jealous!” Scootaloo pumped a hoof in the air. “Crusaders, let’s do this!”
Three hours later the Cutie Mark Crusaders collapsed, completely exhausted. With their youthful enthusiasm, creativity, and energy they had attempted dozens of ideas, most of which Minty never would have even dreamed of, let alone pondered trying – the acrid smell of smoke lingered from where they had attempted to use an acetylene-cutting torch on the fourth wall. Unfortunately it was all for naught as they hadn’t had any more luck than Minty had had.
She helped the Crusaders to their hooves and thanked them for their help. As she watched them leave, she reared up on her hind legs and leaned against the fourth wall with her right foreleg. She fell right through the barrier like it wasn’t there.
“They must’ve done it somehow! Amazing! I knew the Cutie Mark Crusaders wouldn’t let me down!” She danced back across the force field to where she had been standing a moment earlier and there was still no resistance. “Sweet!” She pranced towards where the fourth wall had been and smacked into it yet again. “Ow!”
She leaned against the wall in the same spot where she had plunged through a minute prior. “There’s gotta be a trap door or something here.” She poked, prodded, and pushed all around but had no luck duplicating her earlier success. “Fine! You win, wall. I give up.” She leaned back against the wall and shut her eyes in defeat. The barrier gave way and she landed on the ground with a thud. “I got through again! Sweet! Now to find this McDonald’s place!”
She saw the Golden Arches in the distance and made a beeline for them. “I shall let nothing distract me from my goal… is that a playground?” The McDonald’s PlayPlace beckoned with its slides and ball pit. Minty spent the next hour and a half enjoying herself playing. She quickly made friends with the children already in the ball pit, all of whom were delighted to play with a talking pony – not that any of their parents believed them after the fact.
Eventually she was thirsty enough to remember why she had come to this exotic location in the first place. She reluctantly left the playground and attempted to get into the building, only to discover that the door handles weren't designed to be opened by either mouths or hooves. She was so close to her goal and yet so far away.
Dejected, she walked around the building. “Hello, welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?”
Minty jumped ten feet in the air. “Who said that?”
“Uh, I did, miss.”
“The building talks! I would like a Shamrock Shake, please.”
“Sorry, but in order to use the drive thru you must have a car of some sort.”
“What’s a car?”
“Look directly behind you.”
Minty’s eyes widened as she stared into her reflection in the chrome horse on the grill of a Ford Mustang. Whatever this car thing was, it was huge. And shiny! But most definitely not green. She stuck her tongue out at it and giggled.
“Where can I get one of these car things and do they come in green?”
“There’s a used car lot right next door. And yes, they come in green.”
“Thanks!” Minty dashed off and the Mustang took her place in line. The driver ordered into the clown’s mouth and less than two minutes later was on his way with food and a strong desire to repress having seen anything out of the ordinary.
Minty arrived on the car lot and started walking around. There were rows of cars, trucks, and SUVs, but most of them were beige or silver, with a spattering of blue, red, white, and black. There was a hunter green Subaru wagon, but that shade of green was too dark for Minty’s tastes. As she walked around the building the cars got older and more dilapidated. And then she saw it – a neglected car in the far corner of the lot, hiding under a tree. It was smaller than most of the other vehicles, squarer, and it was bright green. The paint was a bit faded, but there was no mistaking it was originally an extremely bold shade of green. “I want it!”
“The Gremlin, miss? Are you sure I can’t interest you in a nice Chevy Impala instead?”
Minty grabbed the salesman by his tie and yanked him down to her eye level. “Listen, this car is green. I want it. Unless this Chevy thing is green I don’t want it. You got it?”
“Yes. That’ll be $400.”
Minty fished a half dozen bits out of her saddlebag. “Will this cover it?”
The salesman took a close look at the coins. “Are these solid gold?”
“Yeah, this’ll just about cover it.” Even if the coins turned out to be something other than gold, the dealership had been trying to unload that car for over a decade. This was win-win either way.
“Awesome! Now can you show me how to use it?”
“Uh, sure. But first I should draw up the paperwork…”
“Blah, paperwork’s boring and I’m thirsty. I just want to drive to McDonald’s and get a Shamrock Shake. They told me I needed a car to get one.”
“Right, well, I guess there’s no harm in letting you take the car for a quick test drive.” He showed her how to operate the vehicle and sent her on her way. He didn’t bother filling out the paperwork – no one would believe a horse just bought a car, anyway. He decided to just write off the Gremlin and pocket the gold coins. There would be liability concerns if he sold the car to an unlicensed motorist, but if it was stolen, well… no one could hold him or the dealership responsible.
Minty drove the Gremlin through the McDonald’s drive thru. “ I’d like to get a Shamrock Shake, please.”
“The biggest one you’ve got!”
“One super-sized Shamrock Shake. That’ll be $4.23. Please pull up to the second window.”
As she pulled up to the designated window, Minty tossed a bit coin onto the counter. “Will this cover it?”
“Great!” She grabbed her shake and pulled away. The cashier looked at the coin, pulled $4.23 out of her own purse and paid for the pony’s shake personally. She kept the coin – the picture of the pony on the front was too adorable to let it get melted down for its gold content.
The Gremlin chugged back towards the fourth wall and passed through without a single problem. She parked in front of Sugarcube Corner and triumphantly barged through the door. “You’re never going to believe the day I had…” Minty trailed off.
“Oh, I might,” Pinkie replied. Behind her were Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Applejack, standing alongside the Cutie Mark Crusaders. To their left were a construction foreman, a lumberjack, Noteworthy’s insurance adjustor, and two entire hoofball teams.
“Would you look at the time,” Minty giggled nervously. “Hehehe, I think spring break is over, I better get back to school. It’s been great, gotta go now, k, thanks, bye!” The Gremlin peeled out in a cloud of dust.