Let's Giggle At The Ghosties
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For Richard, Wherever He May Be
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“Do you think anypony would miss me if I died?”
Rainbow Dash snorted, casting the pink mare who had asked such a ridiculous question a funny look.
“What? Of course ponies would miss you if you died! Who else would throw these awesome parties?” she responded, snaking a hoof over and giving Pinkie Pie a playful push.
In the dark light of Pinkie Pie's room, the two were the only ones awake, their four other friends fast asleep from all the fun they'd had. A punch bowl lay tipped over on the table, the small alligator Gummy snoozing quietly from within it.
Pinkie Pie rolled onto her, back, looking up at the ceiling. Rainbow Dash could tell that something was bothering her friend.
“What's wrong?” she asked, pushing her torso up and propping herself up on a hoof.
Pinkie Pie remained silent as she continued staring up at the ceiling.
“Pinkie?” Rainbow pressed, growing slightly worried. What kind of question was that, wondering if anypony would miss her if she died?!
“It's just,” Pinkie finally responded, “I know my parties are super fun and all, but... is that all that ponies would miss about me? Is that all I'm good for, making ponies smile?”
Rainbow was puzzled at the kind of questions Pinkie was asking. She thought for a second before trying to give a decent answer. She wasn't good at this kind of support stuff, something she didn't expect the pink party pony to need.
“Well, they'd miss more about you, sure! You're Pinkie Pie, one of the coolest ponies in Ponyville! You throw awesome parties, sure, but you're always cheering everypony up, always good for a laugh, and you're a great friend!”
Pinkie Pie hummed to herself as she mulled over the answers Rainbow had given her.
“But...” she whispered loud enough for the pegasus to hear, “what else am I? Anypony could do that, right? Why does it have to be me?”
Rainbow winced at her friend. This was a side she hadn't seen from Pinkie. Pinkie Pie was always so cheerful and upbeat, she never would have expected this... second-guessing.
Rainbow Dash carefully got up and scooted over to Pinkie Pie, laying down next to her. A brief second later, Pinkie Pie scooted herself a little closer to Dash as well.
Rainbow smiled softly as she draped a wing over the other mare.
“Where's all of this coming from, Pinkie? I never took you as the type to talk about death and stuff like that.”
“I'm not,” Pinkie tried to explain, still trying to rationalize herself what was going through her mind. “I just... I just want to know how ponies would react. I'm great at throwing parties and all, I know that silly, but... what else can I give ponies? Is there anything else I'm meant to do, anything else I'm good at?”
Rainbow was confused. “I thought that's all that mattered?”
Pinkie huffed, turning her face slightly away from Rainbow.
“It's just... what about what I want? I love seeing everypony happy and all, but... what if, say, I wanted to do something else?”
“What else do you want to do?”
“Anything, anything at all!” Pinkie exclaimed, throwing her hoofs up in the air. “Maybe... oooh! I could climb a mountain! Or save the world!”
“Uh, Pinkie?” Rainbow Dash said with a smirk. “We've already done both of those. Like, more than once.”
Pinkie Pie rolled her eyes with a giggle. “Well, duuuh, but what if I wanted to just stop everything and do something like that? Do you think ponies would mind?”
Rainbow Dash didn't see why this was such a hard question to answer.
“If it's what you wanted to do, I don't see why you shouldn't.”
Pinkie Pie nodded, as if understanding some hidden meaning to Rainbow's words.
“I wonder if they throw parties up in Heaven.”
Rainbow cast another bewildered look at Pinkie. “That's kind of a weird thing to wonder about, Pinkie.”
“I know but, don't you think it gets lonely up there?” she asked, motioning up with her hooves. “You have to say good-bye to everypony you ever knew, everypony you loved. I think they should get parties.”
“What makes you think they don't?” Rainbow asked. Pinkie Pie brought a hoof to her chin, stroking at a small tuft of pink hair.
“I dunno, it just never seems like anypony who leaves really wanted to. So it got me to thinking, what if somepony wanted to go and cheer them up! But then I thought about how sad everypony who knew them would be. Now my head's all confused.”
Rainbow hummed as she tried to understand Pinkie's thought process, but she was honestly barely awake. She struggled to contain a large yawn, instead shaking her head slightly to give Pinkie Pie and answer.
“Well, uh, everypony would miss them, but if they meant well I guess it isn't all that bad. Everypony deserves to be happy, right?”
Pinkie Pie was silent for a while. Rainbow Dash smiled, glad she'd solved her friend's dilemma, and closed her eyes to let herself drift off to sleep.
Pinkie Pie stayed awake a little longer, though.
“But... what about what they want up there?” she asked herself. “I bet they'd want to be happy, too.”
With that on her mind, she fell into a fitful sleep.
* * *
Nopony could have foreseen Pinkie Pie's death. Pinkie Pie was always hanging streamers and banners for her parties, usually without anypony else around; nopony expected for her to one day fall and catch her neck on one.
But it was a nasty tragedy for the Cakes when they found her later in the day, dangling from a large congratulations sign.
Nearly everypony in Ponyville went to the funeral. Her family from the rock farm all showed up, to see her buried just outside of town in the local cemetery. She would have wanted to stay there.
Nearly everypony showed up, but only one stayed after.
Rainbow Dash sat alone for hours, even after her other friends had expressed concern for her. She was taking the death far too hard.
Perhaps she blamed herself, although what for was anypony's guess. Perhaps she was simply that close to the mare. Whatever the reasons may have been in the minds of the others, they eventually left, while she stayed.
Never stop smiling.
That's what her head stone read. Those were the final words her loved ones thought she would want to be remembered by.
Rainbow Dash sniffled hard, tears cascading freely down her face. Her cheeks were flushed and raw from where she'd tried wiping them away, but eventually she had simply given up.
“I told you everypony would miss you, Pinkie,” she choked out. “I told you we would...”
Rainbow Dash continued sobbing.
From behind her tombstone, Pinkie watched her friend with a sad smile of her own. She wasn't really there, but she wished she was. It was hard to throw a cheerer-upper party when she was only a ghost.
“I know you did,” Pinkie Pie said, her voice but a whisper in the wind to her friend. “You gave me the best advice any friend could have given me. And you know what?”
A soft breeze rolled by, carrying a gentle message along with it. It ruffled through Rainbow's mane, chilling her from the late air, but for a second, Rainbow could have sworn she heard a voice, one that was unmistakeably giggly and kind.
She could have sworn she'd heard it, but she had to be mistaken. It wasn't as though Pinkie Pie could actually hear her.
But Rainbow wanted to believe in Pinkie.
“I listened to you.”