Trixie stood in the doorway to her husband’s mansion as she watched her step daughter leave for the night's festivities. Already the sun was setting, leaving the sky a dim orange hue.
"Have a good time, dear." Trixie wished her step daughter, Diamond Tiara off for evening, "Make sure to thank Applejack for me."
Diamond Tiara wore her standard princess costume that her father would buy her; however, this year its colors were purple, violet, and pink. Next to Tiara stood Silver Spoon. The little filly wore a similar outfit, except hers consisted of pale yellow and white colors. Tonight was Nightmare Night. While the fillies were out sporting their costumes and knocking on doors for candy, Trixie and her husband, Filthy Rich, stayed home, giving treats to any foals that came by the mansion and perhaps eating a few of their own treats.
On the front porch there were a couple of pumpkins that both Trixie and Diamond Tiara had carved two nights ago. Their crooked grins appeared both goofy and sinister.
Tonight, Apple Bloom had invited Diamond Tiara over for a slumber party held after they had finished trick-or-treating. Just Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon and the Cutie Mark Crusaders would be there, telling spooky stories and eating Nightmare Night candy in the tree house.
"Okay, thank you." Diamond Tiara said before turning to walk away.
"Yes, thank you, Mrs. Rich." Silver Spoon said as she followed her friend. Hearing that name made the snakes in Trixie's mane rustle. Trixie had yet to grow accustomed to that name. However, Diamond Tiara was happy, and that made Trixie happy, so she couldn't really complain.
Sometime ago, Diamond Tiara used to be an annoying brat who bullied every pony she deemed inferior and flaunted her father's money wherever she could. When the Cutie Mark Crusaders had shown her the true meaning behind her Cutie Mark, Diamond Tiara turned over a new leaf. Although, admittedly, Filthy Rich divorcing his previous wife probably also had a hoof in it.
Spoiled Rich had been verbally abusive of her own daughter, patronizing her for not doing things her way. Sometimes, she had even told Diamond Tiara that she was an "accident," a statement that continued to break the poor filly's heart.
While Filthy Rich had done everything he could to stand up for his daughter, his work schedule precluded him from always being there. Filthy Rich had sought out counseling at times to address his wife's behavior; however, nothing seemed to work. Rich had considered divorcing his wife; however he felt his daughter needed a full family, so the two of them remained married. This, of course, changed after Spoiled Rich was caught cheating with the Ponyville School principal. That had been the last straw.
After watching Diamond Tiara and her friend walk down the street, Trixie closed the door and walked to the kitchen. Tonight, Trixie wore an old witch costume which wasn't too different from her regular attire, aside from how it was all black and accented with stockings that had black and green stripes. A green gem brooch fastened the front of her witchy garb.
Taking her wide-brimmed hat off her head, Trixie set it down on the table and began looking through the television schedule in the paper, trying to see what sort of shows were on tonight. This allowed for her serpentine mane to move and stretch, each snake hissing at how cumbersome the hat had been.
One of the serpents drank some of Trixie's coffee while she looked through the paper.
Two years ago, Trixie had sought an artifact to aid her in settling her little grudge with the annoying Twilight Sparkle. She met another unicorn who shared the same the same anger Trixie had for Twilight. The unicorn gave Trixie a special magical artifact she promised would aid her. It was an amulet with golden snakes intertwined with ruby eyes. Ultimately, it failed; instead, Trixie had undergone a terrible transformation.
Her mane became serpents; scales grew underneath her coat; and she developed a gaze that turned everyone she came in contact with into stone. While Trixie had desired revenge, she hadn't wished for this sort of power or a revenge with such permanence, so, not wanting to harm anypony, Trixie exiled herself. It wasn't until after she had learned to control the power of her gaze that Trixie returned to society.
However, during her exile, Trixie had felt betrayed and found it difficult to trust other ponies. After all, such trust had led to her transformation. Hadn't it?
It seemed they were running horror marathon tonight on television consisting of: Attack of the Killer Apples, Tartarus Raiser, Nightmare Night 3, Six Nights at Your Mom's House, and the Pink Slime.
"Well, these certainly sound amusing." Trixie giggled. No doubt, she and her husband would enjoy tonight's entertainment, along with... other things. Just then, Trixie heard the door open.
"Honey, I'm home!" Filthy Rich called out.
"I'm in the kitchen." Trixie answered.
The stallion made his way to the kitchen and smiled upon seeing his wife.
"How is my enchanting wife doing?" Filthy Rich asked as he kissed his wife on the cheek.
"She is doing good." Trixie smiled. "Tiara is going over to spend the night with her friends tonight, and I give Randolph the night off."
"So it is just the two of us." Rich spoke with a grin.
"Indeed," Trixie said, "Just the two of us and whatever is on TV."
Using her magic, Trixie showed her husband the TV schedule. Filthy Rich examined the show titles and smiled.
"Wow, tonight's entertainment looks so full," Rick deadpanned, "I don't think we'll have time for anything else."
"Oh, very funny." Trixie chuckled.
Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie giggled to themselves as they stood just outside the Rich estate. They wore black, skin-tight suits as they rifled through some bags they had brought.
"Oh, this is going to be great!" Rainbow Dash snickered to herself.
"Yeah, we're going to have SO much fun!" Pinkie said, rubbing her front hooves together.
The rainbow-maned pegasus produced a goofy-looking mask, which Pinkie had crafted for the occasion. It resembled Queen Chrysalis. Pinkie, on the other hoof, had a mask that looked like Discord's face. The masks had also been customized with special lenses that would glow in the dark. The lenses on Rainbow's mask were green, and the lenses on Pinkie's mask were... pink, for some reason. They also had creepy voice changers built in.
They both had a pair of rubber knives, which were too bendy to hurt anything despite looking like the real thing.
"You sure these aren't real?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"Of course, silly," Pinkie said before jamming the blade into her side, the rubber bending and squeaking but leaving not a mark. "SEE!?!"
Now that it was clear that they were sure that the daggers weren't real, the two pranksters threw their bags into a bush and donned their masks before sneaking up the driveway toward the house.
"Now, you're sure she won't turn us to stone?" Rainbow Dash whispered anxiously.
"Of course not!" Pinkie giggled. "Trixie loves jokes, I'm sure she'll love it!"
"There's too many of them!" a mare screamed.
Trixie and Filthy Rich were seated on the couch and eating popcorn as they watched large vampiric apples attacked ponies on the screen. It was almost comical how anypony might find this movie scary. The couple laughed at most of the scenes, although occasionally something would cause them to jump.
The living room consisted of white carpet flooring and white walls with cement pillars supporting the ceiling. In the center of the room was a matching couch, which faced a large, wall-mounted high definition television. To the left of the couch was a glass-framed doorway that led to the outside patio and pool.
The room was dark, except for the light coming from the television.
After the couple had dinner, Rich had gone upstairs to the bedroom and had changed into his vampony outfit, which consisted of a black-and-red cape and some fake fangs.
"I don't think it is safe here." The male protagonist spoke as he and the love interest of the show hid inside an abandoned warehouse. Then, suddenly, an apple fell from the ceiling, digging its fangs into the stallion's neck, evoking a scream from the mare.
The intense scene startled Trixie, making her mane hiss in discomfort.
"Is everything alright?" Filthy Rich asked, concerned for his wife.
"It's fine," Trixie dismissed, "the scene just startled me."
"While I did suggest we watch this one," Rich spoke compassionately, "it doesn't mean we have to watch it."
"As long as you are here, I'll be alright." Trixie encouraged.
The two of them smiled. Rich leaned in and kissed his wife on the lips. Trixie returned the kiss, and soon the two of them had forgotten about the horror movie marathon in the background. Even the snakes that functioned as Trixie's mane seemed to be having a good time rubbing against Rich's face.
As the two of them shared each other's passion with their tongues, Trixie remembered back to how this whole relationship had started. After gaining control over her gaze, Trixie had gone from town to town trying to perform her regular routine; however, both her reputation and the fact that she was now a gorgony made her job difficult for her. Very few ponies were willing or brave enough to watch her magic shows.
It had been winter time, and Trixie had been running low on supplies when she decided to stop by the nearest town. As it turned out, it was Ponyville. Putting on a gray cloak to conceal both her identity and her gorgony traits, Trixie left her cart at the outskirts of Ponyville and trepidatiously entered the small town. It wasn't until she was halfway into the town that Trixie noticed the decorations all around her and realized that it was Hearth’s Warming Eve.
Trees were decorated with various ornaments, and lights with colors from every shade of the rainbow lined the roofs of numerous buildings. There were even groups of ponies who would sporadically sing hackneyed Hearth's Warming songs while running around the town.
Then there were the candy canes. Trixie hated candy canes. They were just too sticky and took forever to finish.
"Oh, no fair!" Trixie growled. No doubt, due to it being the holiday, most of the stores would be closed or crowded by ponies trying to fit in whatever last-minute shopping they could. Still, she needed supplies, and the sooner she found them and left this town, the better.
After walking around town for a while, Trixie managed to find a store that didn't look too busy. The sign out front read: Rich's Barnyard Bargains. The bell jingled as Trixie stepped inside, and it was rather surprising to see how massive the store itself was. It took Trixie about an hour just to find all of her supplies.
"The shop is closing in ten minutes!" A raspy voice warned over the intercom.
Moving as fast as she could, Trixie made her way to the register and stood in line. Surprisingly, the store had become busier during her search leaving lamentably long lines for all the registers.
Eventually, it was Trixie's turn to checkout, and after paying for her groceries with what few bits, she had, the unicorn grabbed her bags and stepped out of the store back out into the snow. The wind was cold against her face as Trixie tried to make her way back to her cart. It was so strong, it almost seemed like the wind was trying to tear the cloak from her body.
There was a tearing sound as one of the plastic bags ripped open and its contents spilled out into the snow.
"Aw, shoot!" Trixie called out as she tried to envelop the items with her magic. As the wind howled, Trixie thought she heard someone calling out to her, but she ignored it. It wasn't until the pony had run up to her that they caught her attention.
"Ma'am, would you like some help?" The stallion asked.
"I'm fine." Trixie growled, "I can do this myself!"
Filthy Rich looked at the disheveled mare before him. Clearly, she was trying to maintain what little dignity she had, and this bag incident wasn't helping.
"Then please allow me to help you with some of your bags," Filthy Rich entreated, "it is the least I can do for you, considering the sorry excuse of a job the cashier did. Seeing how many items you have, they should have double-layered the bags, at least."
Trixie eyed the stallion standing before her.
"Well, if you insist," Trixie said, levitating some bags to the stallion, "just don't spill any of them."
Rich nodded. "Of course."
That was how they met. Later, Trixie managed to perform some shows around Ponyville and earned more money to live on and at every show. Trixie could count on seeing that same friendly stallion watching her. It wasn't long before she discovered his name and that he owned the store she had first met him at.
After some discussion, Trixie had learned of Filthy Rich's divorce, and the stallion learned about Trixie's condition. Despite learning the fact that Trixie was a gorgony, Rich continued to support her. Trixie got to meet Diamond Tiara and showed off some of her magic tricks, and even the young filly had started to feel comfortable around Trixie. Gradually, Trixie and Rich's relationship grew until one day they were married. Sure, there was a slight age gap, but that didn't seem to bother the two of them.
Looking back, Rich's generosity had been the best gift Trixie had that Hearth's Warming. Trust wasn't what caused her transformation, but her pursuit of vengeance. That it wasn’t what was on the outside that mattered but what was on the inside. Perhaps that was why the difference in age didn’t matter to them.
The sound of the doorbell ringing brought Trixie back to reality.
"Sounds like some fillies are here." Filthy Rich noted.
"I'll get it." Trixie said, a little annoyed that the romantic moment had been cut short. Pulling herself off of the couch, Trixie stopped when she thought she saw something moving outside the window. However, when she looked, there was nothing.
Trixie shrugged. It was probably just her brain playing tricks on her due to the scary movie. Grabbing her witch hat and a bowl of candy, Trixie made her way to the door. Not wanting to scare any children with her mane, Trixie had the snakes clump up at the back of her head as best as possible.
"Nightmare Night! What a fright! Give me something sweet to bite!" One filly and a colt called out as Trixie opened the door. The filly wore a pharaoh outfit while the colt wore a robot costume.
"Hello, children," Trixie exclaimed, "would you like a piece of candy from the great and powerful Trixie?"
"Yeah!" The two young ponies yelled as Trixie levitated some candy from the bowl into their bags.
"Alright, now take care, you two."
"We will." The children said as they ran off into the night.
Closing the door, Trixie set the bowl of candy aside and removed her hat. Grabbing a couple pieces with her magic, Trixie walked back into the living room.
"You get the next shift." Trixie said as she sat back down on the couch and tossed her husband a piece of candy. Filthy Rich chuckled as he unwrapped the candy.
"Indeed," Rich spoke in a cheesy vampire accent, "and when I do I will drink their blood. Ah! Ha! Ha!"
Trixie was about to join in the chuckling when something behind her caught her eye. Looking in that direction, the unicorn was able to see someone standing at the door to the patio, peering in. A dark figure wearing a Discord mask, watching with glowing pink eyes.
The unicorn screamed upon discerning the strange figure on the other side of the door.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Rich asked as he turned to see what his wife was looking at, his face becoming pale as he saw the imposter.
"Nightmare Night. What a fright." The intruder spoke in a deep, masculine voice as they tapped the glass of the doorway, "Give me something sweet to bite!"
Trixie’s serpentine mane unfurled, hissing in response to the intruder’s presence.
"I-It's okay." Filthy Rich spoke in fright despite his words. "As long as the security system is on, it will keep them locked out!"
The knob turned and the door opened. Trixie contemplated turning the invader into stone; however it became clear that as long as they were wearing their mask, the gorgony wouldn't be able to make eye contact with the imposter.
"Yeah, if it’s ON!" Trixie yelled. The imposter spookily repeated their chant as they stepped inside.
"In that case, you know what we must do." Immediately, the two of them broke into a run heading toward the stairway. They ran upstairs with Filthy Rich in the lead.
The intruder giggled in a deep tone. "Oh come on, sillies."
Reaching the top of the stairs, Trixie almost squeaked as somepony grabbed her and pulled her to the side. Trixie could feel a hoof over her mouth and was about to bite down on it when she recognized that it was Rich that was holding her. Thankfully, her mane had recognized that it was Rich long before she did; otherwise, they would have had to run to the hospital. Listening intently, Trixie could hear the sound of flapping wings as another intruder moved through the upper floor.
Looking to her right, Trixie could see some green light around a corner as the second intruder moved around.
"oooooOOOOOooooo..." The intruder spoke in a menacing contralto.
Making motions with his hoof, Filthy Rich indicated that they should move to his study. Trixie nodded, and the two of them sneaked quietly to the study, the sound of the second intruder growing louder as they moved through the upper level.
Delicately opening the door, both Trixie and Filthy Rich stepped inside the study and closed the door behind them. The room was lined with bookshelves and a large wooden desk stood grandly in the center. It was a strong desk, which Trixie and Filthy Rich could testify to. Walking over to one of the bookshelves, Rich pulled on one of the books.
Slowly, the shelf moved away, revealing a large metal door concealed behind, along with a small keypad. After typing his password into the door, Filthy Rich and Trixie stepped through. As soon as they closed the metal door, the bookshelf slid into place, concealing the secret entrance. Now, the two ponies were standing in the estate’s secret panic room. All of Equestria could be nuked and this room would still be standing with enough supplies for several lifetimes.
On one side of the room were rows of small television screens, giving Filthy Rich and Trixie a complete view of what was going on in the house. The gorgony’s mane blinked as the snake’s eyes adjusted to the lights of the screen. One screen showed an earth pony in a black outfit and Discord mask moving around in the kitchen on the first floor of the mansion.
"HelloooOOOooo." The intruder said, their voice emanating from the speaker.
Upstairs the second intruder was flying around the hall in a similar outfit but with a different mask. One of the cameras revealed that a window was open, which was probably how the second imposter entered the building. As they flew this intruder continued to make the goofy ghost sounds.
"So... what do we do now?" Trixie asked. As she spoke, the second intruder moved down the stairway to the living room, where the other intruder, too, was heading.
"From here, I can put the entire house under lockdown." Filthy Rich pointed at a big red button. "Then, with them trapped inside, I can call law enforcement and have them deal with it."
Trixie was about to give her approval when one of the intruder's voices came over the speaker.
"Hey Pinkie I don't think this is working at all."
"What are you talking about?" the other imposter asked, "They ran upstairs. You were supposed to scare them down here."
"Well, I never saw them." The intruder said taking off their mask. As the mask of the changeling queen was removed, a rainbow-colored mane became visible along with a face familiar despite the room’s relative darkness.
"Rainbow Dash?" Trixie uttered in disbelief.
"Oh, gummy bears!" The second imposter growled, "I knew it would have been better to do this with the apples!"
Rainbow Dash looked at her watch, "It's ten o’clock, so we still have time if you want."
"Yeah, let's do it." The second imposter giggled.
"And take off that mask!" Rainbow Dash yelled, "It doesn't sound that scary when your wearing it."
"Oh alright." The invader groaned before taking off their mask revealing her to be Pinkie.
Filthy Rich sighed, "It's these two pranksters."
Stepping away from the controls, it was clear that Rich was just going to let the two of them get away; however, Trixie had a better idea. With a sly smile on her face, Trixie hit the big red button. Immediately, metal shutters appeared over all the walls and door, sealing everypony inside. All the rooms became illuminated with a bright red light.
The sudden change in their surroundings caused the two pranksters to panic. Pinkie looked and saw that the doorway she had entered through was sealed off. Unsure what to do, the two of them made their way to the kitchen.
"This was a really bad idea." Pinkie remarked defeatedly.
"THIS WAS YOUR IDEA!" Rainbow Dash yelled.
"Ha! Ha! Yeah." The party mare giggled.
"Why did you do that?" Filthy Rich asked.
"Don't worry," Trixie said, walking to the door, "It was just a prank. Keep an eye on those two. There is something I need to do."
Once the bookshelf had moved aside and the door opened, Trixie made her way down to the first floor. As she walked down the stairs, Trixie could hear Rainbow Dash in the entryway messing with the keypad to the front door.
"What do you think the password is?" Rainbow Dash asked with panic in her voice.
"Hmmm..." Pinkie Pie scratched her chin, "Cupcake!"
"There's only numbers!" Rainbow Dash yelled. Trixie looked around the corner and watched the two tricksters, who were completely oblivious to her presence.
"Oh, well, in that case, try 2872253." Pinkie guessed.
"That won't work!" Trixie said, startling Rainbow Dash, while Pinkie stood stoically, unfazed.
"Look, it was just a prank, okay!" Rainbow Dash pleaded, "We didn't mean any harm by it! L-look even our knives are fake!"
Rainbow Dash demonstrated by stabbing herself with the rubber knife.
"See! No harm!"
"Just a prank, right." Trixie growled, "What if Diamond Tiara was here?! You might have traumatized her!"
Truth of the matter, Trixie was sure that, given such a situation, her step daughter would emerge fine. Still, it was her turn to trick these troublemakers, for they had disturbed a romantic evening with her husband, and Trixie wanted to see them both sweat. So far, it would seem that Trixie was halfway there. Pinkie was still calm as ever.
"It's okay, Trixie," Pinkie answered, "if we had scared Tiara so badly, I would have baked her a cake to make up for it."
"In addition to that, you disturbed my husband and I while we were having a romantic movie session." Trixie glared at Pinkie. "Do you know how difficult it is to find time to do that, with both of our schedules?"
Pinkie's ears drooped, "I guess this prank was kind of stupid."
"Now, what am I going to do with the two of you?" A wicked grin grew on Trixie's face as she turned her attention to Rainbow Dash, "Perhaps I should give you both the night off."
As Trixie and Rainbow Dash's eyes made contact, the pegasus could feel herself turning to stone. Unable to protest, Rainbow Dash simply watched as her vision faded away. Pinkie watched in stunned silence. Trixie was worried the party pony would scream or something...
"Oh! Oh! Me next! Me Next!" Pinkie begged, bouncing up and down, before running over to her petrified friend. she reached her front hooves around also as if she was trying to pull on Rainbow Dash's lips. She then turned to Trixie and made the widest smile Trixie had ever seen. The gorgony had to blink a few times to make sure that this was real.
"Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." Pinkie smiled.
Rolling her eyes, Trixie focused her attention on the party pony's eyes, and soon, she, too, was a statue. Looking at the two statues, Trixie contemplated what she would do to them. Perhaps she could have them as lawn ornaments for a few days before turning them back to normal. No, there was a risk that they would be damaged while still stone, and the great and powerful Trixie wouldn't want to be held responsible for any missing hooves, ears or noses.
No, it would probably be wiser just to keep them here until the morning and then turn them back to normal after a quiet breakfast.
"It's alright, darling," Trixie spoke, "they won't be bothering us for a while. You can turn off the lockdown."
The lights returned to normal and slowly the shutters began to rise. Cautiously, Filthy Rich descended the steps and walked toward the kitchen to see Trixie standing in front of the petrified pranksters.
"You are going to turn them back to normal, right?" Filthy Rich asked. Trixie glanced at the two statues before grabbing her witch hat off the table.
"Oh I'll turn them back in the morning," Trixie said as she started walking upstairs to the bedroom. "However, right now, there’s this great and powerful witch upstairs whose cauldron is boiling over, and she would really appreciate it if her vampire would stir it for her."