The Unexpected Love Life of Dusk Shine

by meme-asaurus

First published

The entire series of FiM as a harem comedy, centering around a Rule 63 Twilight Sparkle

Twilight Sparkle was never born. As a mare, anyway. Instead, this story stars the young colt Dusk Shine, personal protoge of Celestia, asocial bookworm, and (unknownst to him) super-cute pretty boy.

When Celestia sends Dusk Shine to Ponyville, all he wants to do is prepare for Nightmare Moon's return. But when five certain mares each develop a massive crush on Dusk, he'll have more on his plate than Twilight ever did. (No clop scenes, I Pinkie Promise)

Hey, author of the story here. You might have noticed that there's a big ugly Cancelled at the bottom of all those chapters. This is only half true. The story is actually continuing under the name of a different author, White Rabbit. In fact, you're probably here to get a little recap for his version of it. It's okay, nobody's judging you. When you're done reading this (and by god, I hope you have a lot of spare time for that), go here for the continuation.

Mio Amore, No Me Gusta

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Dusk Shine galloped as fast as he could to the Canterlot Library. Nothing could distract him, for he was on a mission! Party invitations? No way. Stopping to say hello? Not a chance in the world! Doors into the library? HA! HE LAUGHED AT DOORS!

“Spike? SPIIIIIKE?!” Dusk Shine hollered for his assistant. “Where are you? I’ve got something important!”

Where Spike was, pe say, was implanted in a wall via the door that Dusk had carelessly swung open. The young dragon groaned in response. Dusk Shine apologized for the minor concussion and got to the matter of business.

“Quick, we need to find Predictions and Prophecies!” said Dusk hastily.

“Why’s that?” inquired Spike.

“No time to explain! Just get it!” With such a flawless argument on Dusk’s side, Spike got the book in record time. Dusk flipped to the index with great haste and impatience.

“Elements of Harmony: see Mare in the Moon?” Dusk Shine read aloud. Spike raised an eyebrow.

“You woke me from my nap to do research on a bedtime story? I think you’ve been reading too much of the Equestrian Inquirer,” Spike joked. Dusk Shine shot his assistant a deadpan look.

“One: I’ve already told you that paper is for hacks,” Dusk Shine said matter-of-factly. “Two: My research is based on cold, hard facts that happened a thousand years ago. Three: The results of this study might determine the fate of Equestria, so I’m not taking any chances.”

“You said the same thing last week about the humans,” retorted Spike, still not taking his surrogate brother seriously.

“Like I said, fate of Equestria,” repeated Dusk, disregarding Spike completely. “And besides,” he muttered under his breath, “Lyra talked me into that, you know how she is.”

Spike sighed. “So, do you want to write to the Princess about this, or what?” he asked.

“Excellent idea, Spike,” said Dusk Shine. “You’re always thinking ahead. That’s why you’re my number one assistant!” Dusk cleared his throat.

Dear Princess Celestia,

It has come to my attention that Nightmare Moon's release shall happen at the longest day of thousandth year, which is tomorrow at the Summer Sun Celebration. Considering the common knowledge of Nightmare Moon's cannibalistic habits, it’s imperative that we act now.

Your faithful student,

Dusk Shine

Not soon after the letter was sent, the reply came belching out of Spike.

“Well?” asked Dusk, “What does it say? Scramble the troops? Evacuate Canterlot? Call my brother to lead us into a final battle of good versus evil?”

“It says to get a life,” answered Spike with a completely straight face.

“…Excuse me?”

My dear student,

Get a life. You are a grown stallion, and therefore too old to be looking into old pony’s tales. There is more to a young colt’s life than studying and looking at late-night porn on Ponichan. (Yes, I have seen your internet history. That’s not the point.) To expand on your social life, I have scheduled you and Spike to oversee the preparations of this year’s Summer Sun Celebration, hosted in Ponyville.

Your concerned teacher,

Princess Celestia

P.S. There is an ulterior motive to this task: Make some friends!

Dusk Shine sighed. He had never been more degraded in his life. To be challenged, he was familiar with. To succeed, he strived for every single day! But to be dismissed as some crackpot conspiracy theorist with too much imagination?

…Well, he had experience with that, but he was just a foal that thought Slenderpony was hiding in his closet at night. This was different! This was Princess Celestia! Celestia, who had taken each of his findings and hypotheses into deep consideration! Celestia, who had swept him off his hooves to be her personal protégé, a position he only dreamed of! Celestia, who-

“Dusk, we’re here! Let’s introduce ourselves,” exclaimed Spike. Dusk blinked a few times, thrust out his train of thought. He looked around Ponyville with boredom and cynicism. He sighed, and trudged over to the nearest pony he saw, a pink mare with three balloons for a cutie mark.

Dusk took a deep breath. “Hey, could you tell me where Sweet Apple Acres is? I need to-” Before he could finish, the pink pony jumped two feet in the air as her eyes became as wide as dinner plates. The crazy mare then let out loud gasp, and bolted away to Celestia-knows-where. (To Dusk Shine, this was grounds for reporting this pony to the hospital. To us, it was a warm security blanket called “continuity.”) Dusk Shine shrugged, silently prayed that he would never meet that mare again, and asked somepony else for directions.

Eventually, he and Spike found Sweet Apple Acres. As he approached the farm, he heard a loud “YEE-HAW!” and saw an orange-coated mare in a hat bucking an apple tree. He trotted over to introduce himself.

“Hello, my name is Dusk Shine, and I’m-“

“Howdy there, name’s Applejack, proud member of the Apple family,” said Applejack as she shook his hoof vigorously. “What can Ah do ya fer, Sugercube?” She crossed her front hooves and winked. The action caught Dusk off guard.

Is she flirting with me? he wondered. He shook the thought away. No, it’s just a little hospitality. Better return the favor. He bowed slightly, and kissed her hoof. “I have come to oversee the banquet the Apples have prepared for the Summer Sun Celebration.” He announced with formality and confidence.

Whoa, nelly, thought Applejack, Is this city-slicker a-flurtin’ with me? She subconsciously bushed some hair out of face. Nah, tain’t possible. she dismissed bluntly. She trotted over and wrung the dinner bell. “SOUP’S ON, EVERPONY!” she yelled in caps-lock. “Y’all lucky ta come here first, purty boy,” said Applejack. “Yer just in time fer the Apple family reunion!”

Dusk Shine shook his head. “Oh, nononono,” he said. “I just need you to tell what food you’re serving. You really don’t have to introduce me to your whole family.”

“That’s th’ great thing about our family,” Applejack said with pride. “Ah can both at once!” She took a deep breath. “We got Apple Cobbler, Apple Strudel, Carmel Apples, Apple Pie, Apple Cider, Apple Salad, Cousin Braeburn Apples, Apple Juice, Ant & Uncle Orange, along with Squeezed Oranges, Orange Crush, and mah side of the family: little Applebloom, Big Macintosh, and finally, Granny Smith.” Applejack gestured over to a sleeping elder. “Come on Granny Smith, we got company!” Granny Smith awoke from her nap to join the festivities. “Ah think they like you.” said Applejack. “I’d even say that yer already part of th’ family! So, how ‘bout a little taste test?”

Dusk Shine gazed upon the mountain of food that was on the table. “Actually, I’m not that hungry,” he confessed. “Besides, I’ve got a lot to do today, preparing for the apocalypse and all that.” The Apple family made an “Awww” of disappointment. The filly known as Applebloom walked up to him.

“Aren’tcha gonna stay fer brunch?” she said with big, teary eyes. Dusk Shine looked into those eyes. Those soul-crushing eyes of sadness that-

NO! thought Dusk with great resistance. I… must… prepare… Nightmare… Moon…

Silly Dusk, you can’t fight the all-consuming power of a depressed Cutie Mark Crusader! You must submit!




Fine, if you really can’t stay for brunch, just tell it her to her face.

Fine, I will!

Dusk Shine bravely looked into Applebloom’s eyes and…

I can’t do it! I’ll stay for brunch! Just please, PLEASE stop her from making that face!

Good, my little slave, you are learning your position well.

As Dusk chowed down, Granny Smith leaned over to Applejack. “He sure is a cute one,” Granny whispered.

“Granny!” snapped Applejack, cheeks blushing.

Dusk Shine trudged through the streets of Ponyville, his stomach so full he thought he could burst. “What’s next on the list, Spike?” he groaned.

“Weather patrol,” Spike answered. “The pony in charge of that is somepony named Rainbow Dash.” Dusk looked at the cloudy sky.

“Well, she’s obviously slacking off,” snorted Dusk. “How are we going to admire the sunrise with all these clouds in the sky?” Suddenly, there was a rainbow-colored blur, then darkness.

Dusk Shine struggled to breathe. He was covered in mud. A soft, warm pillow covered his face. It took a moment for Dusk to realize that said pillow was somepony’s flank. He tried to say, “Get off me,” but it came out more like “Hudda-hudda mmmph mmph!” but it must have meant something offensive to the pony that was sitting on him. Why is that, you ask?

Because said pony switched from suffocating him to bucking him in the face.

“Ow!” yelped Dusk, “What was that for?!”

“For stuffing your ugly face in my plot, you sicko!” retorted a tomboyish rainbow-manned mare. “Are you one those pervs in my fan club?”

“What? No!” Dusk protested. “I’m from Canterlot! I don’t know anypony here!”

“Canterlot?” said the rude pegasus, her mood automatically changing. “That’s where the Wonderbolts perform! Have you seen them? Have you met Spitfire? What’s she like? Tell me!”

The load of questions took Dusk back by surprise. After careful consideration, he decided to act like the face-in-flank issue never happened. “Are you Rainbow Dash?” he asked.

“The one and only!” said Rainbow Dash with pride. “Captain of the weather team, future Wonderbolt, and fastest flier in Equestria!”

“And slacker,” scoffed Dusk.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY, PUNK?!!” roared Rainbow Dash, her rage flaring at the remark.

“No offence, but the sky needs a little tidying up, and you’re off doing stunt-flying all day,” Dusk criticized.

“Hey, I could clear this sky in ten seconds flat, easy!” bragged Rainbow Dash.

Dusk Shine looked Dash straight in the eye. “Prove it,” he smirked.

In a blink of an eye, Rainbow Dash took off in a blur of motion. There was no pony actually timing her to prove her claim, but by Dash’s patented Laws of Awesome (which, according to Rainbow Dash, were 20% cooler than the laws of physics) she did in fact clear the sky in ten seconds flat.

Dusk Shine stood like a statue, his mouth agape.

“What did I say?” said Rainbow Dash. “Ten. Seconds. Flat. And to make it up to you for kicking you in the face, I’ll blow-dry your mane, tornado-style!” Before Dusk could object, he was swept up in whirlwind created instantly by Rainbow Dash flying in circles. After the Rainbow-nado died down, Dash looked at her results.

“What?” Dusk Shine asked. “Is there something funny?”

Spike answered his question between giggles. “Your mane!” Spike chortled, “You look like a circus clown!”

“No, no,” Dash corrected. “He looks more like Neighpoleon Dynamite!” They both howled in laughter.

“Ha-ha, very funny,” Dusk Shine said, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to finish overseeing this year’s celebration so we can prepare for Nightmare Moon! You know, Spike? The important thing?”

“Whoa!” exclaimed Rainbow Dash. “You’re planning on facing off against Nightmare Moon? That old pony tale that talks about that one alicorn the eats ponies?”

Dusk Shine frowned. “It’s not an old pony tale,” he protested.

“That… is… awesome!” Rainbow Dash squee’d. “We have GOT to hang out more!”

Kill me, thought Dusk.

Dusk Shine walked into the town hall. The next thing on his list involved a volunteer decorations expert named Rarity. Ribbons adorned the pillars of the building in luxurious display of color and fashion. Good, he thought. It seems everything’s in order here. Maybe I can just slip out of here without talking to anypony.

“Beautiful…” said Spike dreamily.

“Yes,” agreed Dusk, “The decorations are perfect. Now, let’s leave.”

“I’m not talking about the stupid ribbons, idiot!” Spike snapped. “I’m talking about the drop-dead stunning princess of all things gorgeous over there.”

Dusk Shine looked over to the center stage. There, a pure-white unicorn with purple locks of perfectly brushed hair was choosing which ribbon to put up next.

“Her?” Dusk said with confusion. Then a realization dawned on him. “Spike de Draco, are you crushing on somepony?”

Spike didn’t even try to deny it. “You HAVE to be my wingpony!” he pleaded. “I will do the dishes for the year, make my bed for rest of my life, never tattle on your mom for looking at Playcolt again, and I’ll even believe you on your ‘Mare in the Moon’ thing for the rest of the day!”

“Let’s point a few things straight,” said Dusk. “One: You do not have a snowball’s chance in Tartarus with this girl. Two: You do all those things anyway. Three: I told you, that wasn’t a Playcolt, it was a Spitfire issue of Wonderbolts Illustrated. Four: Did you even know what a wingpony is? Five: Did I mention that you don’t have a snowball’s chance in Tartarus with her?”

“Do it, or I tell everypony we know about how you still sleep with that stupid doll,” threatened Spike.

“You leave Miss Smartypants out of this!” glared Dusk. Spike was unmoved. “Fine,” relinquished Dusk, “I’ll put in a good word for you, just this once!” He approached Spike’s crush. “Hey, baby,” he said with false enthusiasm. “I’m Dusk Shine. Let me introduce you to my good friend Spi-”

“Your MANE!!!” the white unicorn screeched. Dusk felt the top of his head, and realized he still had the worst manecut ever.

“Um, I was going to fix it when I got home…” he improvised.

“Sweet Celestia, you’ve been going out in public with that style? Such bravery! Who was the terrorist who committed such an act against fabulousity??”

“Um, her name was Rainbow Dash,” Dusk Shine said uncertainly. After letting that slip out, he immediately decided to save Dash from whatever fate this fashionista might have in store for her. “B-but it was an accident.”

“Well then,” said the diamond-flanked filly coldly. “I suppose I must have… words with Little Miss Speedster, won’t I?” Dusk had to swallow the lump in his throat before he could speak.

“Spike?” he whispered. “Are you sure that you want to chase after this psycho?”

“Sorry,” said Spike in some kind of trance. “But I can’t hear you over the sound of how incredibly hot she is.”

“Enough talk,” proclaimed Psycho-Mare. “We must fix that train wreck on your head!”

Dusk fumbled an excuse. “Actually, we were just leaving…”

“I insist, darling,” she said. “And I never take no for an answer. Understand?”

“Y-yes ma’am,” Dusk squeaked.

As Dusk Shine’s “captor” styled his mane, he learned that her name was Rarity, volunteer decorations expert for the Summer Sun Celebration and owner of the fashion store they were now in, Carousel Boutique. He also learned that Rarity was a good friend of Rainbow Dash, which ensured Dash’s safety… right?

“And what is your name, Darling?” asked Rarity.

“Dusk Shine,” Dusk replied.

“Dusk Shine?” Rarity gasped. “The Dusk Shine? The personal protégé of Princess Celestia?”

“You know who I am?”

“Darling, please,” Rarity passively dismissed. “A colt preforms the magical equivalence of nuclear energy at age eight, earns his cutie mark in magic itself, and becomes what Celestia called ‘the son she never had?’ I’d be surprised if it didn’t make the papers. It’s almost like you're a prince!”

Dusk considered this for a moment. “It still didn’t get me a date to senior prom,” he mumbled grudgingly.

“Oh, but who am I to discuss my dreams with a complete stranger?” sighed Rarity.

“Dreams?” wondered Dusk. Don’t tell me this girl wants to BE me, he thought to himself.

“You see Dusk,” Rarity fantasized as she tried different outfits Dusk, “it’s always been my dream to meet handsome prince, fall madly in love with him, and have him sweep me off to a life in Canterlot. As his princess, of course.” Dusk personally thought that this was a shallow dream, but held his tongue. Spike, however, saw an opportunity.

“You know,” Spike said smoothly. “I’m basically Dusk’s brother, so I guess that makes me a prince too!”

Rarity raised an eyebrow. “And you are?”

“I’m Spike!” said the little dragon enthusiastically. “You know, the handsome dragon that’s been helping you to change Dusk’s clothes for forty-five minutes now?” But Rarity was already at Dusk Shine’s side again.

“Oh, I just know we’re going to be the best of… companions,” she said with a sly smile. Dusk Shine’s eyes widened by the implications of that statement.


When Dusk Shine finally convinced himself that Rarity wasn’t chasing him down wearing a wedding dress, he slowed from his full-on gallop to a swift, nervous trot.

“So, do you think we hit it off?” Spike said.

“What?” said Dusk, still panting.

“Me and Rarity!” Spike exclaimed. “I think she’s totally into me. I mean, who could possibly resist this?” he boasted while flexing his muscles. Dusk simply rolled his eyes.

“Spike, you’ve helped me learn an important lesson today,” Dusk proclaimed.

“What’s that?”

“Love has the potential to make anypony stupid and oblivious.” Dusk deadpanned. “As such, I have resolved to never fall for anypony without judging them first.”

“Never?” gasped Spike, a worried look on his face. “But what if you can’t help it?”

Dusk laughed at this. “Spike, my mind is an impenetrable fortress,” he explained. “There’s no way in million years a pony as logical and level-minded as me would ever do something so irrational as fall in-SWEET MOTHER OF CELESTIA, WHO IN THE HOOF IS THAT???!!!!”

And that’s when Dusk Shine met… her.

She was a butter-yellow pegasus with a pink mane the flowed down to her ankles like a waterfall made of silk that was woven on the top Mount Olympus. She was leading a chorus of songbirds with a voice so innocent & pure, it made the angels of heaven weep in pure shame. Her cutie mark was a trio of butterflies that delicately rested on her perfectly shaped flanks that…


…Oh, almighty deity Lauren Faust, DAT PLOT…

Meanwhile, back in reality…

“Uh, Dusk? Buddy? You scared her birds away. I think you gotta apologize to her. Plus, you’re drooling,” said Spike.

An awkward silence fell. The yellow sex-goddess did her best to hide behind her mane. This snapped Dusk out his trance. Somewhat.


With sheer terror in her voice, the love of his life squeaked her response. “My name is Fluttershy.” she said inaudibly.

Dusk Shine removed a bit of dust from his ears. “What was that, my love?”

“Fluttershy,” she mumbled even quieter.

“Butter-dye?” asked Dusk as he invaded Fluttershy’s personal space to get a better listen. Against her better judgment, Fluttershy leaned over to his ear to whisper her name.

“I said my name is-THAT A BABY DRAGON?!!”

“GAH!” screamed Dusk in pain. His ears were ringing with sheer volume of his beloved’s outburst.

“Oh, sorry!” said Fluttershy at normal volume. “Fluttershy, you’re such loudmouth,” she scolded herself. She then raced over to Spike. “Wow, I’ve never even seen a real live dragon before. What’s your name? Can I pet you? Tell me every detail you know about dragons!”

“Umm…” Spike muttered. “M-my name’s Spike, and I really don’t know much about dragons. To be honest, I’ve never seen another dragon myself.”

“Oh my, you poor thing,” cooed Fluttershy. “You’ve never been with your own kind? It’s okay, Spikey-wikey, you can tell Mama all about it.”

Spike and Dusk exchanged a look, and they each immediately understood two things: The first was that this was exactly like the situation with Rarity, only with a role reversal. The second was that they both knew exactly what going to happen here: Spike was going to tell Fluttershy his life story, and she won’t even LOOK in Dusk’s direction. Spike was going enjoy to every minute of this, and there was nothing Dusk Shine could do about it.

“Okay,” said Spike smugly as he hopped on Dusk’s back. “Well, I first started out as a purple-spotted egg…”

The following was the worst three hours of Dusk Shine’s life. From every time-out Dusk got to the embarrassing braces he wore though middle school, Spike spared no detail about him. He even told Fluttershy about his Smartypants doll! HOW DARE YOU, SPIKE?!!! THAT CONTRACT WAS SIGNED IN BLOOD!! Finally, the trio reached the library.

“…And that’s my life story until today. Do you want to hear what happened to today?”

“Well, we’re here,” interrupted Dusk. “I guess it’s time for your nap, Spike,” he said though gritted teeth.

“But I’m not even tired!” protested Spike.

“Nonsense,” Dusk said as he “accidently” let Spike fall off him. “Why, you’re so tired you can’t keep your wittle balwance!”

“Oh my,” said Fluttershy with concern. “Any growing child needs her beauty sleep. Okay, Mister Dusk, I’ll leave, but you’ve got to promise to feed Spikey-wikey her leafy greens, so she’ll grow up big and strong!”

“Goodbye Fluttershy, I will!” said Spike as Fluttershy flew away. Then, realization dawned on him. “Did she just call me a girl?” Dusk just chuckled and went into the darkness of the library.

Well Dusk Shine, you’ve finally done it, Dusk silently congratulated himself. You’ve done every single thing on the list, and you’ve made it in one piece, too! Now we can prepare for Nightmare Moon in peace and-


-quiet. Dusk facehoofed. Of course there’s a surprise party. What are the odds? I swear, if I find the pony who did this, he is so getting a piece of my mind!

“Hi!” said a high pitched voice that Dusk immediately despised. “I’m Pinkie Pie, and I threw you this party!” Oh look, it’s that pink maniac from earlier.

Immediately. Despised.

The annoyance rambled on as Dusk Shine walked over to get a well-deserved drink.

“I was walking down the street and I haven’t met you yet, you see? And if I haven’t met you yet, that means I was either in a rerun or in a fanfic! So I was wondering: Rerun or fanfic? Rerun or fanfic? Rerunorfanficrerunorfanficrerunorfanficrerunorfanfic… anyway, then you showed up as a super-cute boy! And if you’re a super-cute boy, that must mean I was in a shipfic! So if I was in a shipfic and I found you super-cute, that must mean I was at least one of the female leads! And if I was one of the female leads and I saw you before anypony else, that must mean I must get you in the end, because finders-keepers losers-weepers, right? Oh, and Dusky?”

“What?” Dusk said flatly.

“You’re drinking hot sauce.”

“…I knew that.”

Dusk Shine brooded in his bedroom with a pillow muting the noise of the party. Spike walked into the room with a lampshade on head.

“Hey Dusk, you’ve to check this out!” he began. “They’ve installed a diving board in the punch bowl and-“

“Move it, Spike!” interrupted Pinkie. “I haven’t got enough character development yet!”

“Leave me alone, Pinkie,” Dusk Shine grumbled underneath his pillow.

“But if I don’t get enough screen time, we won’t become the reader’s OTP!” she protested.

“I said lemme alone.”

Pinkie let out an exasperated sigh. “Can I at least talk to you in words that your puny fourth-wall-restricted brain can easily understand?”

Dusk returned the sigh. “Sure, whatever.”

“Okay, you’ve been waiting all day to find a way to defeat Princess Lu-er, Nightmare Moon, am I right or am I left?” asked Pinkie calmly.

“How do you know about Nightmare Moon’s return?” Dusk said, raising an eyebrow.

“It’s a bedtime story, silly!” Pinkie giggled. “Everypony knows about Old Black Snooty! Now, answer my question: right or left?”


“Now, are you going to find out what you’re looking for under that pillow?”


“I’m saying that instead of making friends or finding a way to stop eternal night,” Pinkie explained with growing impatience, “you’ve been cooping yourself up in here like a total mopey-dopey pants!”

“Wait, you’re actually making sense, Pinkie!” Dusk Shine realized. “Time is slipping away though our hooves! Come on, it’s time to hit the books!”

“Uh, Dusk?” Pinkie pointed out. “The ‘time slipping though our hooves’ has already slipped through.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean it’s already time for the ceremony! We’re like, ten minutes late already.”

Dusk’s heart sunk. “Then all hope is lost,” he drooped.

“Well, how ‘bout a smooch for luck, Honey-bunch?” hopefully said Pinkie, pecking him on the cheek. Dusk chalked it up as “not the weirdest thing that happened today,” and mentally prepared himself for the worst.

Ponies gathered around in the Town Hall, making idle chat and clambering with anticipation. If Dusk Shine had fingers, he would be crossing them in every way he could. He prayed that even in times of peace, Celestia would at least consider calling his brother, Shining Armor, in case of an unexpected crisis. Dusk Shine looked to the royal guards. Shining was not among them. Looks like Dusk had to face this one alone…

“Hey, ten bits says me & Rarity hook up tonight!”

Correction: Dusk had face this one alone with Spike.


Correction: He had to face this one alone with Spike and Pinkie Pie. Be brave, Dusk Shine. Even on the brink certain destruction, one must retain a mask of stone-cold resolve to retain his respect and dignit-Oh, look, Fluttershy’s conducting for those birds we saw with her earlier. That’s so cute!

The Mayor of Ponyvile cleared her throat. “Fillies and gentlecolts, it is with great honor to introduce to you the ruler of our land, the one who raises the sun & moon each and every day, Princess Celestia of Equestria!”

The curtains opened, and everypony gasped. Dusk Shine’s warm feeling was dashed away with a cold shudder of fear. The guards spread their wings in a natural flight-or-fight response. And then the panic started.

“What?” said Nightmare Moon with an evil grin. “Were all of thee expecting somepony?”

“What have you done with our Princess?” yelled Rainbow Dash. “Also, why are you talking so weird?”

Nightmare Moon only laughed at the second question. “Your beloved Princess?” she said as she struck down the guards with a bolt lightning. “We’ll tell what happened when we approached her: she surrendered without a second thought.”

“Yer lying!” Applejack protested. “Th’ Princess would never give in ta a varmint like you!”

“WE SPEAKTH NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, OUR SUBJECTS!” bellowed Nightmare Moon in the Royal Canterlot Voice. Immediately seeing that speaking in that tone only succeeds in leaving everypony in the room in fetal position, she decided to reserve the occasion for when somepony tried to back-talk to her again. That said, she continued in normal caps-lock. “BUT WE STILL DIDN’T TRUST HER, SO WE IMPRISONED HER THIS. BEHOLD!” she held up a silver necklace, adorned with crystal glowing with a faint golden light. “CELESTIA CLAIMED THAT DURING OUR BANISHMENT, SHE HAD ALWAYS KEPT US CLOSE TO HER HEART! AND NOW,” She put on the necklace with a satisfied smile. “WE SHALL FOREVER KEEPTH HER CLOSE TO OURS!”

Dusk Shine couldn’t believe his ears. Celestia surrendering? Why? Why would she just hand Equestria over on a platter to a monster like Nightmare Moon? Didn’t the Princess care about her little ponies? Didn’t she care about him?

Nightmare Moon saw that a least half the crowd accepted the truth, and was satisfied. Suddenly, a small voice cried out.

“P-p-p-please d-don’t eat m-m-me, if y-you d-d-don’t m-mind!” Fluttershy stuttered. Nightmare Moon only looked at her bemusement.

“We do not wish to feast upon your innards, druid,” the Mare in the Moon said softly.


“Indeed, for we only desire for THE NIGHT TO LAST FOREVER! MUHAHAHAHA!”

With an “Eep!” from Fluttershy, Nightmare Moon evaporated into her signature cloud of smoke, and flew into the Everfree Forest. Rainbow Dash tried to chase after the villain, but apparently the fastest flier in Equestria was no match for a shape-shifting magical cloud of gas. As Dash was flying back to tell Fluttershy that “the scary queen is gone, so it’s safe to let go of Angel now” the speedster noticed that the new unicorn in town was heading a beeline to the library with his pet lizard. This calls for breaking though the window!

“All right egghead, start talking!” interrogated Rainbow Dash. “I ain’t smart like you ice cream cone-headed unicorns freaks, but I can deduce a few things. First question: Are you a spy?”

“What?” said Dusk Shine. “What makes you think I’m a spy?”

“An excellent question! First of all, while everypony else is going to their loved ones, YOU go to the library.” she accused.

“My loved ones are all the way in Canterlot,” he deadpanned. “In fact, I’m just visiting here. I wasn’t even here yesterday!”

“That’s another thing: You’re from out of town, and the day you show up, Nightmare Moon just HAPPENS to overthrow Equestria. I even heard you talking about it earlier!”

“That’s because it was exactly what I was trying to prevent!”

“LIKELY STORY. Third thing, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from every Con Mane movie I’ve ever seen, it’s that all spies have this ‘ladykiller’ vibe going on. And let me tell you something bub, you’re emitting downright suspicious levels of swag!”

“…Is that supposed to be an insult or a compliment?”

“There! You’re doing it again!” blurted out Rainbow Dash with a blush.

“He ain’t no spy, Rainbow Dash,” Applejack defended while walking through the door with the rest of the ponies Dusk met today. “but Ah reckon he does know what’s going on, don’tcha Dusk?”

Dusk sighed. “I’m going to need to look at all you’ve got on the Elements of Harmony,” he said.

“Got it!” said Pinkie, pulling out a book. “Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide. It was under ‘E,’ like always!”

Dusk read from the book aloud. “There are six elements, but only five are known: Honesty, Kindness Laughter, Generosity, and Loyalty. The sixth element was a mystery kept a mystery, so nopony could use the power for evil. After Celestia used the Elements on Nightmare Moon, her Majesty hid them in the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, which is now in…

…the Everfree Forest!” six ponies cried out in unison. They stood at the entrance to the woods. Spike was left behind, due to him passing out after a whole night of partying.

Dusk Shine took a deep breath, and made an announcement. “I’m going in alone.”

“What?” said everypony.

“I appreciate you all for following me this far, but this is where we part ways. Since I was one that foresaw Nightmare Moon’s return, it’s my responsibility to stop her. And I don’t want anypony else to get hurt along the way.”

“That’s awfully sweet of you, Sugercube,” Applejack spoke up. “But Equestria’s our home too. Plus, ya forgot ta put a few facts together: Yer goin’ in th’ most dangerous area in a thousand-or-so miles ta get an ol’ fancy-schmacy weapon, (That, mind you, might not even work ‘cause we don’t even know what th’ sixth element is) jus’ ta go lock horns with a immortal demon-goddess that’s dead-set on casting th’ world in eternal darkness!”


“Somepony’s gotta come with ya ta watch yer back!” said Applejack like it was the simplest issue in the world.

“Yeah, we’re not gonna let you totally hog all the glory to yourself!” said Rainbow Dash. “That’s MY job!”

“Fine,” said Dusk while the girls followed him the forest. “I guess I could use some backup.”

Six little ponies walked through the woods in darkness. “So,” wondered Dusk out loud. “What exactly makes the Everfree Forest so dangerous, anyway?”

“You s-say you’re not s-s-scared?” trembled Fluttershy.

“Actually,” admitted Dusk Shine, “this is the creepiest place I’ve ever laid eyes on. But I’m just wondering, what precisely make these woods so unnatural? Why do the animals eat each other here? Why do the clouds move all on their own accord?”

“Nopony knows,” said Rainbow Dash in the spookiest voice she could muster. “You know why? Because anypony that’s came in here has… never…. come… OUT!” As if on cue, the ground gave in as soon as her voice rose to a shout! Dusk scrambled for his balance as he tumbled down a steep, newly made slope of gravel and debris. In the blink of an eye, he found himself hanging on to Applejack’s hooves while the rest of him dangled over a cliff.

“Applejack!” he screamed in panic. “What do I do?”

Applejack looked into Dusk’s eyes with a completely straight face. “Let go,” she instructed calmly.


“Ah’m not gonna lie, th’ situation looks none too good fer you, but be honest with yerself: Why would Ah want anypony like you ta get hurt?” she said, and with the most trustworthy face Dusk Shine had ever seen, she smiled. The two looked at each other, unblinking. It was the longest minute of Dusk’s life. Finally, he brought himself to speak.

“Damn those beautiful eyes of yours,” he whispered, and released his grip. Applejack shook her head to grasp what she had just heard.

Welp, she thought. Never saw that one comin’. Ah guess he WAS flurtin’ with me, after all.

Dusk, however, was thinking a few different things at the time:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *oof* OhmygoshI’maliveI’maliveDashandFluttershycaughtmeandnowthey’reholdingmeandI’malive…

After Dusk descended down to sweet, sweet ground, our heroes continued on their quest. While Rainbow Dash was bragging about how she “totally saved Dusk’s flank in the most awesome way possible” for the 75th time in a row, Dusk Shine casually approached Applejack.

“Um… back there at the cliff,” he tried to explain.


“I just want to tell you, that what was kind of a heat-of-the-moment, thinking-I-was-totally-gonna-die thing,” he said with untold amounts of embarrassment. “I want to tell you that I don’t think of you that way, okay?”

“Sure, partner!” said Applejack knowingly. “Ah understand perfectly.”

“Oh, thank goodness,” he let out the breath he was holding. “I was worried you might take it the wrong-“

And that’s when Dusk Shine found out that Applejack could buck much, much harder than Rainbow Dash.

Dusk nursed his black eye while he and friends walked down a narrow passageway, never saying a word. Sure, everyone saw the farmer kick him in the face, but none of them, not even Rainbow Dash, had the nerve to ask Applejack the reason why. (Although Rarity was glaring daggers at her for tarnishing the face of the fashion designer’s precious “Prince Charming.”) Suddenly, the roar of a huge beast that jumped out of nowhere finally broke the awkward silence!

“It’s a manticore!” our heroes screamed. Surprisingly, it was Rarity who attacked first by doing what she had in mind at the time: bucking the manticore in the face. In response, the monster roared again, this time with much more fury. Screaming in fright, Rarity ran back to safety of her friends, the threat chasing after her.

The manticore was just about to swipe off Rarity’s hide when it felt something land on its head. It was Applejack, riding the monster rodeo-style. The manticore expelled orange mare off its back, only to be encircled by Rainbow Dash. Dash flew faster and faster, creating a mini rainow-colored hurricane. The beast swung its tail, and in a mighty THWACK, Rainbow Dash was propelled backward. She recovered, and charged along with her friends to the manticore in a valiant-

“WAAAAAIIIIIIT!!!!!” shouted Fluttershy, stopping the fight. She quietly walked toward the enraged enemy, and began to soothe him with baby-talk.

“What’s the matter, you big old fuzzy-wuzzykins?”

Dusk blinked a couple times in confusion. “…What? What are you doing? Run, Fluttershy! Run away before that thing eats you alive!"

The manticore showed Fluttershy thorn that was stuck in his paw. “Oh, you poor thing. Don’t worry, I’ve got it. Now this is going to hurt just for a teensy-weensy second…”


“…There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, if don’t mind, me and my friends will be on our way.”

The now-friendly manticore repeatedly licked Fluttershy’s hair in thanks until it resembled a massive cowlick. Fluttershy just giggled, and skipped on her merry way.

“…What just happened?” said Dusk.

“Dusk, you’ve got to learn that something’s big and scary, doesn’t mean that you can’t offer your hoof in kindness for it,” lectured Fluttershy. “Besides, you should see how my pet bunny gets when I give him a time-out. That old softy back there is nothing compared to Angel!”

“Yeah, remind me never to let me meet your bunny,” gulped Dusk, thinking how scary Angel must be compared to the manticore.

Our heroes advanced further down the path, and closer to the castle ruins. As the Everfree Forest grew thicker, the branches shaded them from what little light the moon offered. Soon, Dusk Shine couldn’t see the very horn in from his face. Of coarse, this could just be solved by simple illumination spell, but the plot hole was interrupted by a squishing sound.

“Ugh,” said Applejack. “Ah think Ah stepped in something.” Just then, Fluttershy howled in fright.

“It’s just mud, Flutters,” snorted Applejack. “Y’all don’t hafta get so worked up about-AAAAIIIIIEEEEE!!!! TREE-DEMONS! EVERYPONY FER HERSELF!!!” And all the trees had glowing faces and they were scary and everypony screamed and the trees were scary but they were doing absolutely nothing but this was the Everfree Forest so everything in it could kill you and the trees were really, really scary…

…And you totally knew where this was going.

One musical number via youtube link later, the tree-demons were vanquished with power of laughter, and six little ponies went out of the heavily-forested area unscathed. However, none of them were prepared for what came next. A fifty-foot wide rapids!

“How the hay are we supposed to cross this?” exclaimed Dusk Shine.

Rainbow Dash thought for a moment. “Fluttershy and I could fly each of you across the river one by one,” she suggested.

“But I’m not used to carrying anything bigger than a bunny!” Fluttershy complained.

“Don’t give me that, Fluttershy,” said Rainbow Dash, rolling her eyes. “You just saved Dusk’s life with my help. You can do this with me! In fact, with our combined strength, I bet we could fly a whole wagon full of ponies over a speeding train!”

“I’m not sure…” muttered Fluttershy. But before the plot hole could be exploited anymore, there was an uncontrollable sobbing from downstream. Our heroes walked to the overdramatic weeping to find a fabulous-looking sea serpent.

“What seems to be the problem, sir?” asked Dusk Shine.

“Well, I was minding my own business,” said the sea serpent, (whom will be this point forward be referred to as Steven Magnet) “When a purple wind just whisked pasted me and sliced off part of my beautiful moustache! Now, I’m completely hideous!” he splashed up a torrent of water, leaving the six ponies drenched.

“Uh, Mister Magnet?” objected Pinkie Pie. “It’s pronounced ‘mustache,’ not ‘moustache.’”

“That’s what I said,” said Steven. “My once-elegent moustache!”

“Mustache,” Pinkie corrected with determination.

“Moustache!” snapped Steven Magnet.

“Mustache!” said Pinkie with growing irritation.






All the while, Dusk Shine didn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to either of them, for because all of them were soaking wet, he made the most important discovery in the history of Equestria:

When Rarity got her mane wet, she became the hottest thing ever to be seen with mortal eyes.

She looked like a mermare from Atlantis. The water made her mane shine in the moonlight as liquid and hair simultaneously trickled down her neck and onto her pearly-white coat as they wrapped around her skin like a tight swimsuit.

He looked at Fluttershy. Nope, Rarity pulled it off a million times better. Back to her now.

The water dripped from flank, looking like quicksilver as it ran down her tail that…

…Her tail that…

…Her tail that she just cut off, for some reason. Huh.

“Thank you for restoring my beautiful moustache-“MUSTACHE!!”-to its former glory, Madame Rarity!” thanked Steven Magnet with tears streaming down his cheeks in joy. “Is there anything I can do to repay you?”

“You can start with helping us cross these wretched rapids, Darling,” said Rarity modestly. “And afterward, you can give us some dry towels and a few brushes. My mane is a terrible, ugly mess!”

Dusk Shine opened his mouth out to protest, but after considering he already got enough black eyes for the evening, he remained silent.

Finally, Dusk and his friends approached the Castle of Royal Pony Sisters, and only one this stood in their way: a rope bridge that was cut down.

“How do we get across?” Applejack said. “That drop’s steeper than Granny Smith’s armpit!”

“Oh, whatever shall we do?” Dash said sarcastically. “Gee, if only we had a totally awesome PEGASUS with some WINGS, she could just FLY over gorge and repair the bridge.”

“Rainbow Dash, are you still mad about what happened back at the river?” Fluttershy inquired with a hint of guilt.

“Forget it,” Rainbow Dash grumbled. “Let’s just to the Elements.” And with that, she flew to the other side of gorge. She was just about to tie the final rope that would make bridge accessible again, but stopped when she heard a soothing voice call out her name.

“Rainbow Dash…”

“Who’s there? Show yourself! How do you know my name?” Dash asked, challenged, and wondered all at once.

“Your fame and reputation exceeds yourself, Rainbow Dash. We heard that you were the most talented flyer in all Equestria”

“Oh stop it, you’re embarrassing me!” said Rainbow Dash. She paused for a moment. “Actually, I’m pretty used to this. What else ya got?”

“We also heard you’re the only one to ever pull off the legendary Sonic Rainboom,” said the voice, as its owner came out of the mist to reveal that it was a pegasus mare in black spandex, escorted by two stallions with the same race and uniform.

“Yes, it’s all true,” said Dash with pride. She focused on her flatterers. “But who are you, anyway?”

“We are the Shadowbolts,” the mare said. “We’re the fastest flying team in the Everfree Forest, and soon, all of Equestria!”

“Well, if you’re so sure of that, why aren’t you more popular than the Wonderbolts yet?” questioned Rainbow Dash, protecting her idols' reputation. “I’m pretty certain that it’s impossible to be the best of the best when they’re around.”

“W-we can be as cool as the Wonderbolts!” snapped the mare defensively. “In fact, we just need… a captain.” she improvised.

“Who do you have in mind?” said Rainbow Dash with a knowing smile.

Meanwhile, all the way across the broken bridge, Dusk Shine saw Rainbow Dash conversing with the Shadowbolts. “Don’t do it Dash, it’s a trick!” he yelled, but a fog rolled in to muffle him mid-sentence.

“We need somepony with speed,” said the Shadowbolt leader.

“Yes…” said Rainbow Dash, savoring the moment.

“We need somepony with agility,” added the Shadowbolt leader, building up to the moment.


“But most importantly, our captain must have an unlimited amount of swag!”

“Aw yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!”

“We need… you,” said the Shadowbolt leader, whispering the last part in Dash’s ear.

“Girlfriend, you got yourself a deal!” cheered Rainbow Dash. “Just let me tie this bridge up, and we’ll talk.”

“NO!” rejected the shady mare abruptly. “You have to come with us NOW. It’s either them or us!”

Rainbow Dash contemplated her options briefly. Would she choose the fame & glory she dreamed of and strived for every day, or the friends that supported her and stuck with her thick and-

“You guys are Nightmare Moon’s goons, aren’t you?” observed Rainbow Dash.

“WHAT?!” panicked the Shadowbolts, transforming back into Nightmare Moon. “HOW COULD THOU POSSBLY HATH PRECIVED THROUGH OUR DESGUISE? WE EVEN DROPPED OUR ACCENT!”

“Well,” said a surprised Rainbow Dash. “I didn’t say that you were Nightmare Moon herself, but c’mon, the ‘Shadowbolts?’ Really? You couldn’t think of a better name?” she criticized.


“Wait, what?”


“Um… how about no?” said Dash. “I’m pretty sure that signing a contract that came from Tartarus would instantly drive me criminally insane.”

Nightmare Moon desperately searched her options for another reward that Rainbow Dash would get for joining her. ”JOIN US… FOR WE ART… THINE FATHER!”

“NO!” gasped Rainbow Dash. “That’s impossible!”


“Actually no,” said Dash. “That’s like, literally impossible. I know, I’ve tried to be Scootaloo’s father once, and you don’t even want to know how that turned out.”

Nightmare Moon looked at Rainbow Dash for the longest moment. “Look,” the Mare in the Moon said in her indoor voice. “Thou art embarrassing us at this point. What dost thy wish? We will grant it tenfold!”

“How many time do I have to say the word NO?!” ranted a very irritated Rainbow Dash. “I’d rather have my wings ripped off and the rest of me baked into cupcakes than join you! I’d rather lobotomize myself and spent the rest of my life being baby-sat by Fluttershy! I’d rather make my living grinding up orphans and making them into rainbows! HAY, I WOULD RATHER SWALLOW EVERY LAST INCH OF PRIDE I HAVE AND DRESS IN BUCKING, CLOP-WORTHY STYLE THAN BOW TO THE LIKES OF YOU!!!!”

Nightmare Moon gave Rainbow Dash a look at would make a cockatrice soil itself, and leaned down to whisper something in the daredevil’s ear.

“Very well,” hissed Nightmare Moon in a tone that made Dash’s veins turned to ice. “We shalt await thee in the castle. Know this Rainbow Dash, thou hath made a powerful foe tonight. Thou shalt suffer a thousand tortures, each more painful than the last, right after we’re done with thy precious friends.” With that, Nightmare Moon disappeared into the mist. Rainbow Dash shook herself, took a deep breath, and muttered under her breath as she repaired the bridge.

“You can’t die tonight, Dash,” she reassured herself. “You’re too cool to die. You’re destined for a long, glorious life with the Wonderbolts. Besides, you haven’t even banged that one geek yet.” Her friends went running over bridge to greet her.

“Dash, you came back!” exclaimed Dusk Shine with happiness.

“Of course I came back,” she said with pride. “I’d never leave you guys hanging!”

Our heroes entered the ruins, finding several perfectly round rocks resting on some kind of important-looking pedestal.

“The Elements!” everypony cheered. With little effort, they got the Elements down to ground-level. Rarity counted the rocks.

“There’s only five!” she said with despair. “And we don’t even know which Element is which! The only way of identification is these meaningless symbols etched on each one. Dumb rocks!” she kicked one of the Elements.

“We don’t need to tell which is which,” Dusk explained. “They only work as a group anyway. As for the sixth Element, the book said when all the other ones are present; it will appear in some sort of spark.” He crouched down and lit up his horn. “Stand back, I’m going to tinker with ancient artifacts of untold magical power, and I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Let’s go, ladies,” said Applejack. “We’d better guard th’ door in case Nightmare Moon shows up,” The mares stepped out of the room, leaving Dusk Shine completely alone. Even though Applejack’s guard-the-door plan was thoughtful and pretty solid, she forgot one important detail: Nightmare Moon could just teleport Dusk & the Elements of Harmony into another chamber in the castle, where she could do whatever she wanted with him.

Which coincidentally, was exactly what happened.

Dusk opened his eyes to find himself a long, corridor-shaped room. Nightmare Moon stood between him and the Elements, laughing victoriously. At first, he considered abandoning hope, but then he caught sight of the glowing necklace where Nightmare Moon imprisoned Celestia.

No, he thought. This is not what you wanted, Celestia. I will make the sun rise again! He assumed a sturdy stance, snorted violently, and pawed his hoof at the floor a few times.

“THOU SURELY JEST!” bellowed Nightmare Moon, seeing what he was about to do. Dusk Shine charged with all his might. In response, his opponent galloped toward with her horn lowered. They ran closer to each other by the second.





At the last moment, Dusk teleported to the Elements, safely past Nightmare Moon. After collecting himself, he immediately focused his all his magic on the Elements. After what seem like forever, a spark emitted from his horn and danced around the stones.

“WHAT? THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!” said Nightmare Moon. Dusk beamed as the spark multiplied into a thousand little jolts of magical electricity. The Elements levitated slowly in the air annnnnnd…

…Did nothing else in particular.

”MUHAHAHAHAHA!!!” laughed Nightmare Moon as she grabbed useless rocks via telekinesis. ”WE ART VICTORIOUS! THOU SHALT NEVER SEE THINE PRINCESS, OR THINE SUN, AGAIN!” Dusk Shine could only look in horror as the newly-crowned ruler of Equestria broke each of the Elements one by one. A lump welled up in his throat as he feared for his own safety. Nightmare Moon seemed to know what Dusk was thinking, since she suddenly ceased her evil laughing to approach him.

“W-what are you going to do with me?” stuttered Dusk.

“Need not worry, young mage,” said Nightmare Moon as she dropped her Royal Canterlot Voice to normal volume. “For we will not kill thee.”

“Wait, what? Really?” he said with unexpected hope.

“Indeed, for thy delicate features and larger-than-average horn size has earned thee a much more… useful purpose,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. Her horn lit up, and instantly the room was transformed. While the castle still was in crumbling ruins and was covered in moss and vines, brand-new red silk adorned the walls and pillars as Nightmare Moon removed her armor piece by piece in a slow fashion that made Dusk very, very worried on what “useful purpose” the villainess had in store for him. As Dusk felt the cold stone underneath his hooves be replaced with soft fabric, he found he and his enemy were lying upon a luxurious heart-shaped bed, surrounded by scented candles. “Thy first task as our personal royal pet,” Nightmare Moon whispered in his ear, now fully naked. “Is to grant thy princess… pleasure.”

“I NEED AN ADULT!!!” Dusk screamed at the top of his lungs while scrambling to escape.

“WE ARE AN ADULT!!!” shouted Nightmare Moon, returning to the Royal Canterlot Voice as she easily caught Dusk with her magical smoke-mane. “NOW, DOST THOU WANT THE TOP, BOTTOM, OR SHALT WE COMMITT THE ACT DOGGY-STYLE?” Dusk was just about to reply with repeatedly crying out for his mommy when five certain mares charged into the chamber.

“Omigoodness!” gasped Fluttershy as she saw what was going on. “Are we interrupting something? Sorry, we’ll come back later.”

“Ah think ‘interruptin’ something’ is exactly what Dusk was prayin’ fer, Sugercube,” said Applejack.


“YEAH!” agreed Pinkie Pie. “NO CLOP SCENES, REMEMBER?”

“Lady,” said Rainbow Dash darkly. “You’re about ten seconds away from getting a Tactical Rainuke dropped on your head!”

Meanwhile, Dusk Shine’s pupils grew impossibly huge as something clicked in his brain. “You think you can destroy the Elements of Harmony so easily?” he said with a triumphant smile.

“Th’ Elements got destroyed?” interrupted Applejack.

“No! Well, yes. Not exactly. It’s complicated!” stammered Dusk. “Let me explain: The Elements lie in each and every one of you.” he resumed as the shattered remains of the Elements began to float in the air. “In fact, everypony that went with me in this adventure represents a certain Element!”

“Dusk, you know you’re talking a huuuge amount of manure, right?” said Rainbow Dash bluntly.

“Just hear me out in this one, okay girls?” grunted Dusk. “For example, Applejack reassured me back at that cliff (and gave me a black eye, but that’s not important), represents the spirit of… Honesty!” Suddenly, a few shards of the Element of Honesty flew over and orbited around Applejack. “Fluttershy, who calmed an angry manticore, represents the spirt of… Kindness!” Fluttershy winced as she was careful not to let any sharp pieces of her respective Element cut her skin. “Pinkie Pie, who laughed in the face of those horrific tree-demons, represents the spirit of… Laughter!” Pinkie grined as she embraced her Element. “Rarity, who…” Dusk blanked out for a moment. “…did that thing with the gay sea serpent, represents the spirit of… Generosity!”

“Hack*horseapples*wheeze,” coughed AJ as the fragments of the Element of Generosity floated to Rarity. “She never had a single discount in th’ entire time her stupid fru-fru store was open.”

“And Rainbow Dash, who wouldn’t betray us no matter what you offered, represents the spirit of… Loyalty!” the pieces of Rainbow Dash’s Element came to her. “And when all five are present, the final element will appear… and that’s Friendship!”

“Magic,” corrected Pinkie.

“What?” said Dusk. “But Pinkie, Princess Celestia sent me to Ponyville to make friends, you all became my friends as soon as I came here, it only took up until this time where you saved me from losing my virginity to a crazy demon-goddess to realize that it and it ignited a spark inside me and-”

“Nope,” said Pinkie with a completely straight face. “It’s Magic, trust me on this one.”


“Look, I’m not gonna let any us be held back by the whole ‘friend zone’ thing, and we are DEFINITELY not going to stray this far from the continuity, so the last Element is Magic, and that’s final!” yelled Pinkie. And with that, the shards of rock morphed into jeweled necklaces and our six ponies hovered into the air. A swirling rainbow appeared, and shot toward Nightmare Moon.

”NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!” she screamed in terror as all of them blacked out.

Dusk Shine awoke with a start. I think I just orgasmed, he thought. His friends were all awake, admiring their newly-acquired jewelry.

“Nice to see you up and about, Dusk,” said Rarity. “I say, you look smashing in that tiara!”

“Wuh?” said Dusk, still groggy. He felt the top of his head, discovering his Element looked like the accessory of a belly-dancer.

“You look pretty girly to me,” Dash snickered.

“What are you talking about? You’ve got a girly necklace!” defended Dusk.

“Yeah, it would totally lame,” she explained. “But mine’s got a bad-flank lightning bolt on it. You’re just stuck with a sparkly princess-crown.”

“Whatever,” huffed Dusk. “I’m going to see if I can free Princess Celestia from that magical necklace-prison.” Suddenly, the necklace in question flashed a brilliant light, and with a mighty CRACK, Celestia broke free.

“Did somepony mention me?” said Celestia.

“Celestia! I thought I never see you again!” Dusk said as they hugged. “I have so many questions! How did you know that Nightmare Moon was real? Why did you surrender to her? How did you know that all the Elements representatives were all in Ponyville? This must have took decades of-“

“Hush, my student,” Celestia said in the kind, knowing tone that she always used. “If you listened to the tale of Nightmare Moon, you would’ve known that she was actually my sister, whom I wouldn’t dream of hurting, even if she was consumed by evil.”

“Oh,” said her protégé, feeling a little stupid.

“And now,” she resumed, “I must ask for forgiveness once more.” She turned and walked over to Nightmare Moon, whom had reverted back to Princess Luna, with light blue, unmoving hair covering her face. “Luna, for a thousand years I have banished you, the only flesh and blood I’ve ever known, and for a thousand years I’ve hated myself, gorging myself with cake and ice cream while watching cheesy soap operas every night…”

“A little too much information, Your Highness,” Rarity cut off.

“…Sorry. The point is, I’ve missed you more than you can imagine, so I would mean everything in the world to me if you would just forgive me and rule by my side again.” Luna looked up at her sister, tears welling up in her eyes. Finally, the moon princess burst into a wail.

“W-we’ve *sniff* m-missed you too, sister,” she managed too slur out between sobs. It was the most adorable and heartwarming scene in the history of Equestria, hands down.

When they all returned from the Everfree Forest, they were welcomed with cheers and a huge party (that Pinkie Pie planned, despite her being with them the whole time). During the celebration, Celestia walked up to Dusk Shine, seeing that he was a little sad.

“What’s the matter, Dusk? You’ve done a wonderful thing, and you’ll be returning home to Canterlot in no time,” she said.

“That’s just it, Princess,” said Dusk Shine glumly. “After discovering what it means to have friends, I have to leave them behind.” Celestia smiled.

“Spike, take a note please,” she announced. Spike pulled a pen and quill out from hammerspace and began writing. “I, Princess Celestia hereby decree that Dusk Shine is to take permanent residence in Ponyville to study the magic of friendship. He will report to me on his findings each week via dragon-fax.” She paused for a moment. “Decree #2: I now proclaim that the ‘magic of friendship’ to be an official and legitimate field of study, for all purposes legal or otherwise.” Everypony applauded.

Dusk never partied so hard in his life. He was going to live in Ponyville now, HOORAY! He couldn’t wait to tell his brother about this. Dusk never felt so happy since-

Oh hey, Princess Luna wanted to talk with him. “What seems to be on your mind, Your Majesty?” he asked.

“We are… not sure how to put this, Dusk Shine,” said Luna, a little embarrassed. “But we are truly sorry for attempting to… have our way with thee.” Dusk’s face turned bright red.

“Nonono, it’s okay, you were… megalomaniacally insane at the time,” he blubbered.

“Which bringth us to the second reason we speak with thou,” she continued.

“What’s that?” he asked obliviously.

“We wish to thank thee for freeing us from our madness,” she whispered while closing the distance between them.

Before Dusk could understand what the buck was going on, they were locked in a passionate kiss.

When they ended their unexpected embrace, Celestia chuckled from a distance while Dusk stood frozen his mouth hung wide open. He really has no experience with fillies, the sun princess thought. Perhaps I should try the old “Gala tickets” prank that I did with Clover the Clever VII…

The Celestia-Damned Gala Tickets from Tartarus

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The smell of crisp apples filled Dusk Shine’s lungs as he carried his load of the fruit down one of the many dirt trails of Sweet Apple Acres. Meanwhile, Spike was riding on his back, checking each apple for quality, and tossing the bad ones aside.

“Thanks fer helping me harvest all these Golden Delicious, Dusk,” said Applejack with her usual confident smile.

“No problem, Applejack,” Dusk said passively. “Why did you need me for this again? I mean, you have your two siblings, and you told me that Applebuck Season isn’t in another week,” he thought out loud.

Applejack shrugged. “It’s fer a bet,” she said.

Nice going, Dusk, he thought. You’ve unknowingly let a pretty face suck you into gambling. “What was the bet?” he asked.

“Well, if Ah bring all these apples to th’ barn by lunchtime, Big Macintosh has ta walk through town wearn’ Granny’s girdles!” laughed Applejack.

“What did you have to do if you lost?” asked Dusk out of curiosity.

Earlier that morning...

“An’ what do Ah hafta do if YOU win?” challenged Applejack. Big Macintosh smiled smugly.

“WHEN Ah win,” he said. “Y’all hafta lie ta Granny Smith fer a day.”

“Easy!” Applejack whooped. “That’s all?”


“What?” Applejack was taken out of her thoughts of sweet, early victory. She quickly regained her composure. “Okay partner, what’s th’ catch?” she inquired cautiously.

“Ya gotta tell her that ya got knocked up by that new librarian in town,” said Big Mac with a whisper. AJ gulped as her blood ran cold. If Granny knew that someone was fooling around with HER grandchildren, the culprits would be on the alter within the hour, or six feet under.

“What’s th’ matter, Applejack?” said Big Mac playfully. “You ain’t chicken, ain’tcha?” With that, a fire lit up inside Applejack stomach.

“Ah ain’t never been no chicken, an’ Ah’ll never will!” she roared. “Ya got yerself a bet!”

Present time…

“Nothin’!” said Applejack, scrunching up her nose while her eyes darted side to side.

“Ummmm, okay…” said Dusk, a little suspicious of his friend. “Anyway, I’m really glad that we’re done, I’m starving!”

“I know, right?” Spike agreed. “But I bet that I’m hungrier than both of you combined!”

“Spike, all the work YOU’VE done is lie on my back like an overweight slug,” complained Dusk. “At least you could feed me one of those apples you’ve been throwing away. Half of those are pretty edible!”

“I so too have a reason to be hungry!” Spike argued. “I was so busy working hard, I missed my snack time,” he continued with the upmost belief that this was a completely legitimate and sympathetic reason. “You know, a growing dragon needs his fifteen daily-scheduled snack times!” Dusk was just about to retort when his own stomach growled.

“Let’s just get these to the farm,” the purple unicorn said with a tired expression. “I just want to eat.” Just then, Spike pulled out the reddest, shiniest, most delicious, most perfect-looking apple that Dusk Shine ever seen in his life. It was like one of those moments in time when the world just stopped and admired this one absolutely perfect thing, just because none of the rest of its kind could ever compare to-*CRUNCH*

Spike ate the whole apple in one disgusting chomp. Dusk said nothing, just glaring at his surrogate brother with momentous levels of contempt.

“…What?” Spike said obliviously, chunks of the apple still visible in his mouth. As if to break the tension, he suddenly burped, and with a burst of magical flame, a scroll with Celestia’s royal seal materialized.

Just then, the sky darkened, thunder rumbled, and what little hope of Dusk Shine had of escaping his impending doom failed shriveled up and died as his fate was sealed.

“Did you just feel something?” asked Dusk Shine to nopony in particular.

“Nope,” said Applejack. “Jus’ some odd weather.” Spike shrugged as he read the newest letter from the princess:

My dearest student,

As you know, the Grand Galloping Gala is coming around again, and as always, you’re invited to come. I also presume that neither you nor Spike wants to come, claiming once again that “this kind of stuff is for pansies like Blueblood.” But this year is very, very different.

Because it is this kind of behavior that has been obstructing you from making friends. It is MANDITORY that you attend the Gala this year. However, Spike does not have to come if does not wish, for it is you whom has primarily had this issue. He can still come if he so desires (although I suspect that this is unlikely), but just in case, I have changed the invitation from “Dusk Shine & Spike de Draco” to “Dusk Shine, plus date.”

With love,

Princess Celestia of Equestria

“Plus WHAT???” exclaimed Dusk Shine. “That has to be some kind of typo! I’ve never been on a date in my entire life!”

“Big surprise,” Spike muttered. “Anyway, it sucks donkey balls to be you, because there is no way I’m gonna be caught dead at that snoozefest, much less as your DATE.” He laughed at that last part. “No offense Dusk, but the Spike-daddy doesn’t swing that way.”

“Priorities, Spike!” shouted Dusk Shine. “No matter how much I don’t want to go to that fru-fru Gala, I still need a date. Didn’t you hear the Princess? It’s mandatory!”

“Ah could be yer date,” suggested Applejack. The silence was so deafening, you could hear a pin drop. Finally, Dusk found the will to speak.


“Well, not a date-date,” Applejack managed to say before Dusk Shine’s panic levels reached nuclear. “Ya see, mah family’s in a mighty tight money problem…”

At the Gala, Applejack’s perspective…

Everpony knows that anypony who’s anypony goes to the Grand Galloping Gala. Even at an invitation-only event, the Gala holds a guest list of roughly 1,800 visitors, each with their pockets full of bits and their stomachs growling.

And that’s where I come in.

If I were to open up just one stand, every single one of those uptight billionaires would line up to get some homemade Apple family love, edible edition. My family will be practically swimming in their bits. They may even like my cooking so much; they might want to open a trading contract, just like the Rich family!

Why, with all that money, we could really fix up the place, like replacing that saggy old roof on the barn, that saggy old plow, and we could even pay fer Granny’s hip operation! Think about it, Dusk! She could dance the night away again! If you want, we could even give some money to charity, so the school and library could have some new fancy-schmancy learning stuff!

“Well, that does sound pretty nice, when you put it that *oof!*” Dusk Shine was cut off from his sentence with Rainbow Dash crashing between him and AJ.

“Sorry guys,” the daredevil apologized. “I was busy trying out this totally awesome new stunt, and I couldn’t help but overhear something about the Grand Galloping Gala!”

“…You were napping in the tree above us, weren’tcha?” said Applejack suspiciously.


“Darn it, Rainbow!” exclaimed Applejack in frustration. “Ya told me that you were too busy ta help me out in th’ harvest! And here Ah catch ya sleeping on MAH OWN PROPERTY!!”

“Hey!” Rainbow Dash snapped. “You think it’s easy being the most radical thing alive?” She paused for a moment, and then continued. “Actually, it’s a walk in the park for me. But whenever I do something extra cool (like save Equestria for instance, or chug a whole barrel of Zap Apple Cider in one sitting), I have to recharge a little.” Applejack rolled her eyes in response.

“Ah still stand by mah point,” she deadpanned. “Besides, didn’t yer momma ever tell ya not ta spy on other ponies?”

“Be quiet AJ,” shushed Rainbow Dash. “The cool ponies are talking.” She turned to Dusk. “So, tickets to Canterlot, huh?”

“W-well…” said Dusk nervously. “I was just going to take Applejack to the Grand Galloping Gala because she wants open up this stand-”

“Her?” cut off Rainbow Dash. “Why settle for a semi-rad stiff like her when you could take a fully-awesome superstar like the one talking to you?”

“Pardon?!” interjected Applejack, fury blazing in her green eyes. “Last Ah recall, Dusk asked ME. An’ jus’ what do you plan on doin’ at th’ Gala, anyhow? Seein’ yer ‘Wonderbolts’ fly around with their stupid lil’ tricks?”

“One: If you dare to call the Wonderbolts ‘stupid’ again, I will sneak into your barn at a random night, and kill you in your sleep,” said Rainbow Dash, struggling to keep herself from strangling the farmer. “Second:” her voice rising to a squee, “I’m not just gonna WATCH them, I’m gonna JOIN them!”

At the Gala, Dash-O-Vision edition (complete with a classic soundtrack)…

The Wonderbolts would dazzle the crowd, as always. With everypony watching them, the audience would have no idea what several flavors of awesome would shower them with her presence. Suddenly, a lone rainbow-colored streak in the sky would flash as a speeding object would break the Wonderbolt’s performance. Who is that? WHAT is that?

It’s just me, Rainbow Dash! The crowd would erupt in cheers at my several custom-made flying tricks. And boy, I’d show all of them! From the Super-Speed Strut to the Buccaneer’s Blitz, the crowd would go wild at every single stunt. They would love me so much; they would get a smoke machine and a laser show, just to make me look more awesome! After being blown away with my performance, the Wonderbolts will welcome me into their ranks with open hooves.

“Hey, Rainbow Dash!” my nerd would call out. “I think you’re the coolest thing EVER, even though I so don’t deserve you!”

“Thanks,” I’d say nonchalantly (whatever that means). “But you’re wrong, Dusk. In fact, I think I’ll lower my standards just this once, just to hang out with you a while.”

“R-r-r-r-really?” he’d stutter in a kind of cute way.

“Sure, why not?” I’d answer. “But let’s make this quick, I just got accepted into the Wonderbolts, and I don’t wanna keep them waiting.”

“Golly!” he’d blurt out, practically orgasming. “Thanks, Dash!”

“No biggie.” And then we’d have mind-blowingly awesome sex on the spot, thus immortalizing him as my first groupie.

You may turn off the soundtrack now, provided your brain hasn’t melted from the very hottness of what you’ve just read.

“Rainbow, that there’s th' silliest story Ah’ve ever heard,” Applejack said, pulling Dash out of her fantasy. “Th’ Wonderbolt don’t even perform at th’ Gala! Besides, he asked me first, ain’t that right Dusk?”

“Technically Applejack, you kinda asked me,” corrected Dusk. “And I’m not sure if you can go without ponies seeing us as a couple.”

“Yeah! So the ticket’s mine!” added Rainbow Dash.

“Oh, yeah?” said Applejack, her anger rising. “Well, Ah challenge ya ta a hoof-wrassle fer it!”

“Bring it, Blondie!” And with that, the two mares were locked in a ruthless combat, with the grand arena being a nearby stump. Each pony was instantly pressed to their physical limits as Celestia’s mighty sun beat down on them. Truly, this was a hoof-wrestle for the ages! Unfortunately, the winner would not be determined because of Dusk breaking the two up.

“Stop!” he shouted. “Isn’t it MY decision to take who I choose? Neither me nor my ticket is a prize to won!”

“Yeah, it is,” Applejack disagreed.

“Yeah, you are,” said Rainbow Dash at the same time.

“Well, you’re both wrong!” said Dusk stubbornly. He immediately wanted to take what he said back when both of the glowering mares disregarded him and stared down each other, ready to start a no-holds-barred beatdown, possibly involving him. Three whole minutes passed, and not a word was spoken. The tension was so thick; you could cut it with a knife. Finally, Spike cleared his throat.

“Don’t you think we’d have better luck discussing this AFTER lunch?” he pointed out meekly.

Spike, you’re a life-saver, thanked Dusk Shine silently. “Good idea, Spike. I’ll get back to you on that Gala ticket after lunch girls, I promise.” He walked away.

AJ looked at Dash. Dash looked at AJ. They nodded simultaneously. They knew what must be done. Both athletes clasped hooves once more, and resumed the Unofficial Epic Hoof-Wrestle of Destiny That Will Finally Prove I’m Better Than Her, or for short: UEHWODTWFPIBTH.

Dusk Shine trotted in the direction of his favorite restaurant. All the while, Spike was nagging him like a puppy that suspected that you had food on you.

“So who’s gonna be your little date?” he teased over and over. Every single time, Dusk refused to answer.

“I don’t know!” the purple unicorn hollered after Spike’s 104th consecutive attempt to get an answer out of him. “If I pick one of them, the other will eat me for breakfast! I’m land-locked! My hooves are tied!” he ranted.

“Slow down, Dusk!” halted Spike. “It’s not the end of the world.”

“Well, I guess you’re right, Spike,” sighed Dusk. “I mean, it’s only two mares. How can it get any worse?”

Out of the blue, Dusk felt a huge *CRACK * of force applied to the back of his head, then complete darkness.

When Dusk Shine came to, he smelled the stench of rotting wood and rusty nails. Blackness suffocated his eyes. He attempted to move, but found out he was strapped to some kind of cement wall.

“Don’t try to use magic, I injected you enough sedatives for it to be useless,” called a familiar voice. Its tone was devoid of all joy; as if some kind of infernal machine sucked a pony dry of any thought of happiness and replaced it with pure hatred & malice of all things good and innocent in the world.

“If you’re looking for money,” Dusk said, his voice cracking with terror of the reality of the situation. “My family is pretty wealthy and they’d be willing to pay a high price for me. Hay, Princess Celestia is even a good friend of mine, and she’ll-”

“I don’t WANT your damn money, you stupid piece of manure!” cut off the voice impatiently. Dusk Shine started crying. He didn’t want to die today! He had so many hopes and dreams he had yet to fulfill!

“W-who are you?” he managed to say.

“You don’t recognize my voice? Shame. Maybe this will help:” the voice rose itself to a high pitch of mock ecstasy. “Hi there! I like to throw parties just to ignore my insecurities and pretend I have real friends! In my spare time, I gorge myself in amounts junk food that’ll probably get me eleven variations of diabetes someday!”

“…Pinkie Pie?” Dusk said in disbelief. Abruptly, Dusk was blinded by burning light as a single light bulb was switched on. In front of him stood Pinkie Pie, her coat now colored a dull off-pink; her completely straight mane hanging down to her knees.

“Pinkie’s gone, Dusk,” she said stoically. “Call me Pinkamena.”

The Celestia-Damned Gala Tickets from Tartarus Pt. 2

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Dusk stared at Pinkamena unblinking for the longest time. Finally, he burst out laughing. This was the greatest prank he’d ever seen in his life! His sides ached from giggling. Soon, he noticed that Pinkamena was completely silent, contempt still in her eyes. His laughter died down, and the way “Pinkie” wasn’t joining him was leaving him feeling a little awkard. He cleared his throat.

“Okay Pinkie, that was a pretty good one. Now let me go.”

Pinkamena was instantly thrown into a rage, punching Dusk with every syllable. “I *SMACK* THOUGHT *SMACK* I *SMACK* TOLD *SMACK* YOU, *SMACK* MY *SMACK* NAME’S *SMACK* NOT *SMACK* PINK-*SMACK*-IE!!! *KA-POW!*

Dusk broke once again into tears. “M-my n-n-nose is b–b-bleeding,” he sobbed.

“Don’t be a wuss,” Pinkamena muttered.

“Where am I?” he asked.

“In the Cake’s basement.” She answered. She opened Dusk's mouth, seeing with satisfaction that she’d broken a few teeth. “Alright, you’ve had enough. Now, do you want to get out of this hellhole alive?”

“Yes!” said Dusk urgently. “For love of Celestia, yes!”

“Then answer my questions,” she simply put. Yeah right, loser, she thought. Like I’m letting you go that easily. “First thing: What does Pinkie Diane Pie look like?” Dusk blinked in confusion.

“…What?” he said dumbly. In response, Pinkamena slammed a hoof in the wall Dusk was strapped to, putting a hole in solid concrete.

“What country you from?” she snapped without missing a beat.


“What ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of! They speak Equuish in What?”

“What?” Dusk repeated.



“Then you know what I’m saying?”

“Yes!” Dusk said, hyperventilating.

“Describe what Pinkie Diane Pie LOOKS LIKE!”

“What? You’re not making any-“

“Say ‘what’ again!” she interrupted, not giving Dusk any time to think. She picked up a stainless titanium crowbar from the floor. “SAY ‘WHAT’ AGAIN! I dare you! I double-dare you, motherbucker, say ‘what’ one more moon-banished time!”

“She’s pink,” Dusk said, his mind racing. “She a poofy mane…”

“Does she look like a tree?” Pinkamena said, now with a grin of psychopathic glee on her face.

Dusk couldn’t resist. “What?” he said, squinting his eyes a little. Pinkamena said nothing in return; she just used the crowbar to whack her captive where the sun don’t shine.

“DOES. SHE. LOOK. LIKE. A. TREE.” She repeated slowly.

“NO!” Dusk squealed like a pig.

“Then why are you trying to buck her like a tree, Dusk?” Pinkamena returned to a perfectly level speaking voice, as if they were discussing nothing more important than the weather. Dusk could only sputter in pain. Pinkamena waited patiently for his response. Finally, after ten minutes, Dusk’s panicked breathing slowed to deep breaths as Dusk frantically tried to calm himself.

“W-why are y-you doing th-th-this to me, P-pinkie P-uhh… Pinkamena?” he asked.

“Well, it is your fault,” she said as she rolled her eyes.

Dusk’s jaw dropped. “What?”


“My balls!”

A few days ago…

“That’s just it, Princess,” said Dusk Shine glumly. “After discovering what it means to have friends, I have to leave them behind.”


That’s what Pinkie was to Dusk: A friend. Part of Pinkie’s soul died when she heard those words. She wanted to cry. No, she couldn’t cry, she was at a party! It was always Pinkie’s purpose in life to throw parties. She never felt she had a choice. It was her cutie mark, after all! To make everypony happy.

She had to please everypony.

Not just one pony, which would be selfish! Just focusing on one pony would make everyone else feel left out. And leaving somepony out was worst thing anypony could do! She knew that.

She knew that all too well.

I mean, a party meant by definition that everypony had fun, and she liked seeing everypony have fun, so the only logical solution would be that threw parties whenever possible! Right? She couldn’t afford to stop smiling, because that would mean somepony would stop smiling too, and she couldn’t afford to be a buzzkill. She just saved Equestria by being the very embodiment of Laughter, for Pete’s sake! She had to throw parties all the time.

Even if that meant nopony threw a party for her in return.

Even if that meant Dusk Shine would never love her in return, because she was so busy throwing some party for sompony’s relative’s roomate’s dog’s birthday. She always remembered everypony’s name in town, but none of them offered her favors or listened to her advice or paid attention to her, and some of those ponies didn’t even remember HER name! But she always kept on smiling.

So she told herself everything would be fine, that she and Dusk would be friends and… nothing more. Even if it was a shipfic. She couldn’t afford to shed tears, the party must go on! She bobbed for apples. She started a conga line, followed by the bunny-hop. She pulled a few party pranks. She played Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Pony. She even learned that Mrs. Cake was pregnant, so she had a new playmate to look forward to! That night, she had fun! Everypony had fun.

So, when she finally got home, why did she still cry herself to sleep?

The next morning…

Pinkamena groaned as she struggled to wake herself up. “Pinkie, it’s time to get up. Get our lazy flank outta bed,” she said to her other half.

Pinkie was unusually quiet.

“Is this another joke, Pinkie?” Pinkamena said with annoyance. “What did I ever do to get the silent treatment?” she continued sarcastically. “I’m usually cursed to hear you talking mile a minute by now!” She kicked the blankets in frustration. She then gasped.

She had just moved. All on her own! She hadn’t been able to move so much as their tail in decades! She tried another time. There, it worked again! “Okay Pinkie, this is a pretty freaky joke of yours. Stop it; you’re giving me a false sense of hope.”

Pinkie was stone silent.

Finally, Pinkamena flung their body out of bed in a childish tantrum. “That enough for ya, Pinks?” she said angrily, lying in a heap on the floor. Then, she saw herself in the mirror.

Her real self. Not a trace of Pinkie Pie looked back at her in their reflection. Instead, a bitter mare with a long straight mane stood with her mouth hung wide open. Pinkamena searched their mind frantically for any passing thought Pinkie had.

After fifteen grueling minutes, a quarter of a hour of regretting every single time she told the party animal that she wished that she was dead, crying softly as she just sat there and thought as hard as could, Pinkamena at last found Pinkie.

And screamed in horror.

Pinkie was just a shriveled up scrap that lay dormant in their subconscious, feeling nothing but a cruel, endless void of pity and self-loathing. “Pinkie Pie, speak to me!” Pinkamena screeched.

[Go away,] Pinkie whimpered. [Leave me alone.]

“You have no right to waddle in despair and loneliness!!!!” her opposite roared. “That’s MY job, remember? You can’t steal my job from me! What the hay am I supposed to do?”

Suddenly, a voice rang from downstairs. “You okay, Pinkie Pie?” hollered Carrot Cake. “I heard you screaming.”

“I-It’s okay, boss!” yelled Pinkamena as her mind raced for an excuse. “I just have… uhhh… cramps! Yeah, really bad cramps!”

“Oh,” he said. “In that case, take the day off!”

I have bigger problems, she thought. Pinkie, how did you even get this way? What was different about yesterday?

But Pinkie already faded into silence again.

Was it Nightmare Moon? The Elements of Harmony clopping with our brains? Like, using up all the Laughter inside you? No? Well, what was it? Who was it? Pinkamena gasped in realization.

“…Dusk Shine,” she hissed aloud. “That son of a mule.”

There was a flicker of recognition from Pinkie, confirming Pinkamena’s beliefs.

“How dare he break your heart! Scratch that, I was the one who warned you about not to get attached to him! Well, I warn you about not getting too attached to anyone, but still!” Realizing that she was acting too much on emotions, Pinkamena took a page from their psychiatrist/anger management classes: She took a deep breath and counted backwards from ten. “Look,” she began again. “I may hate you, but it crushes me to see you like this. What can I do to bring you back?”

All quiet on the Pinkie front.

“Fine!” she pouted, infuriated that she was rejected. “I’ll do it my way!” Then, she paused.

What WAS her way, exactly? She had years and years of experience as a voice in Pinkie’s head, but it felt like an eternity since she did anything without her. Focus, Pinkamena, she meditated. The solution obviously has to relate to the source. Now, what can I do with Ol’ Dusky?

She tossed around ideas, rejecting one after. Talk to him? He’s as thick a brick, and sharing feelings is what lead to this mess. Kill him? Too simple, and Pinkie would never forgive her. Rape? Forcing him to pleasure them both would leave Pinkie guilty, and it just made Pinkamena sick to her stomach. She hated colts, (because all of them were perverts) and she hated being touched even more. Then, Pinkamena had the most brilliant idea in her life: Revenge!

She wasn’t going to kill him, but when she was done with him, he was going to wish that she did. She began to plan out every detail of the slow, painful torture.

And for the first time in a long while for both halves of herself, Pinkamena truly smiled.

Present time…

“Pinkamena…” said Dusk, his voice full of sorrow and guilt. “I… had no idea. Trust me; I had no intention of hurting Pinkie’s feelings.” He’d always suspected that Pinkie was a little… unstable, to say the least, but he never had thought that she was suffering from depression, was hiding a case of multiple personality disorder, or that she could take one little comment from him so personally. In short, he’d never felt so bad in his life.

“Of course you don’t understand,” Pinkamena scoffed. “Nopony understands! Why do you think she has ME?” Tears were now streaming down her cheeks.

“Pinkie…” Dusk pleaded, trying to reach out to her other self. He knew what had to be done. In the name of Celestia, he prayed, please listen to me, because I’ve never felt this sorry for anypony, and I want you to forgive me.

Pinkamena raised her hoof to beat him again. “I TOLD YOU NOT TO CALL ME-”

“…would you go to the Gala with me?” he finished. Pinkamena froze in the blink of an eye. At a pace that was downright disturbing to a passing bystander, Pinkamena’s mane poofed up in bright pink curls as a goofy grin was plastered on her face. Pinkie Pie was back, and better than ever.

“OmigoshDuskydoyoureallymeanit?” she blurted at usual her super-speed pace. “I was thinking you would totally snuff me and bring us all instead, but this is so better than canon! I can’t wait to tell CarrotCakeandCupCakeandBerryPunchandDerpyandDitzyDooandVinylScratchandScootalooandPipsqueakandLil’Pipandthatonestatuethat’ssupposedtobeDiscordbuthehasn’tbeenfreedyet…”

“Pinkie?” Dusk broke off.

“Yes, best boyfriend ever?” said Pinkie.

“Please untie me,” he requested.

“Silly Dusk,” Pinkie giggled. “You can do that yourself! The sedatives wore off halfway during the flashback.”



“My balls!”

“Sorry, reflex. Here, lemme kiss it!”

Dusk paused for a moment. “…No.”

Aww! *pouts* Forget Dusk, he’s such a party pooper. Anyway, let’s celebrate with my version of the Gala!~

The Grand Galloping Gala was, as always, boring. I mean, really, really boring. Like, teeth-grindingly boring. The orchestra never knew any good songs, the guests never sang along, and who even still dances the waltz, anyway?

All of the sudden, Pinkie Pie and Dusk Shine, partners in partying, burst through the doors. And by doors, I mean we got a wrecking ball to crash the wall open. I pulled out my megaphone and addressed the screaming party guests (What? It doesn’t matter why they’re screaming):

“Attention, Canterlot!” I announced with gusto. “The Party Revolution has arrived! No longer will you be oppressed by slow, dull music, brainwashing you into thinking the ‘Pony Pokey’ is just for children! Go! Be free while I do the honors of dropping the bass!” I then pulled out some flippin’ sick speakers out of hammerspace and blasted Octavia’s band into obilivion.

“This is the greatest party anypony’s ever thrown in recorded history!” Dusk yelled over the blaring music.

“I know!” I called out, beaming boldly. “And I couldn’t have done it without you! Even though we’ll probably get arrested for this and end up on the morning news, I’m sure everything will turn out okay. You know why?”


“Because I’ll be doing it with you,” I said softly. “Now come on! We still haven’t converted the royal washing machines into hot tubs! Everypony knows it’s not party until you do that!”

Pinkie went on and on about “how super-duper amazing the Gala’s gonna be” as Dusk Shine went upstairs. When he did, he saw Spike standing out the door.

“Spike?” said an extremely shocked Dusk. “Where have you been all this time?”

“Well,” explained Spike, “I was riding on your back when Pinkie Pie here sprang out of nowhere and clocked you out! I started screaming, but then she told me that it was some new kind of surprise party, where you knock the guest of honor unconscious and drag him to the party place where he wakes up.” He shrugged “It’s apparently supposed to be all the rage in Hoofington. But then you wouldn’t wake up for like, ever, so she gave me this awesome box of cupcakes to pass the time. Do you want one? They have real sapphires in the icing!” Dusk’s eye twitched.

“Are you okay, Dusk?” said Spike innocently. “Didn’t you enjoy the party?”

“You don’t wanna know,” his surrogate brother replied with a shaky voice. He pulled the baby dragon close and whispered in his ear, making sure that Pinkie (and especially Pinkamena) couldn’t overhear them. “Just don’t trust Pinkie when she seems upset, especially when she redoes her mane.”

“What are we whispering about?” asked Pinkie Pie, popping up beside them both.

“Gah!” exclaimed Dusk. “N-nothing!” he stuttered. “Nothing at all. Absolutely nothing in particular at all and definitely not anything you need to be suspicious about!”

“Okie-dokie-lokie,” she smiled cheerfully, not revealing any sign of her dark side. “Just be sure to include me next time you talk about nothing. Those conversations are like, the most interesting talks ever! I mean, there this one time I talked to Derpy about nothing and it lasted for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours…”

As Pinkie rambled on, Dusk and Spike realized that neither of them had lunch yet, and decided to resume walking to the restaurant they planned on going to.

As the two boys placed their order of food, Pinkie was still stuck in her loop, and it was getting on their nerves. Her voice was like a sledgehammer, pounding into not just the ears but the mind as well, borrowing into their retinas until it bored past their spinal cords and soared up into the sky forever and ever and ever amen.

“..And hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours-”

“PINKIIIIIIIE!” yelled Dusk out of exasperation.


Dusk held his breath for a moment before speaking. “Don’t you think it’s time to change the subject?” he suggested.

“That’s what I said!” said Pinkie.


“That what I said to Derpy! Don’t get me wrong, I like conversations about nothing as much as the next mare, but Derpy was the one doing all the talking! You won’t buh-leeeeeeve how much that pegasus loves to talk. She never knows when to shut up! And honestly, isn’t that the most annoying trait in the world?” she paused for a moment. “Dusky-wusky?”

“Yes, Pinkie?”

“Please stop slamming your face on the table. It’s getting kinda wobbly. Seriously, what did that table ever do to you?” Dusk Shine stopped, simply resting his forehead on the tablecounter.

This more torture than Pinkamena could ever dish out, he thought as a migraine formed in his skull. I wish there was some savoir from heaven above that could help me escape from this Tartarus-on-earth…

“Darling!” called out the flowery voice of Rarity. “I heard that you were attending the Grand Galloping Gala in Canterlot, and that you were saving an extra ticket. Oh, that’s the sweetest thing anypony’s ever done for me. You’re such a gentlecolt!”

…I take it back, he regretted. This is worse. This is easily ten times worse. Please don’t let Pinkie hear that, my flank can’t take another beating!

“Actually,” Pinkie piped up, “Dusky’s taking me to the-”

“Like I said, it’s the sweetest thing anypony’s ever done for me!” Rarity said in the exact same tone of voice. “Oh, I can see it now…”

At the Gala, where Rarity’s dreams come true…

We would enter the ballroom with only the grace and dignity that only a royal couple should have. All the nobles would gawk in awe as the one and only Prince Dusk Shine swooped in and stunned them with his presence. Of course, everpony in the room would know who you were, but who would be that fabulous mare beside you? Who danced with you, cared for you, completed you, and complimented you in every single possible way and more?

Why, it would be little old me, Darling! Not that wench who tried to rape you, my dearest. How dare that little worm steal you first kiss? I don’t care if she was Celestia’s long-lost sister, I don’t care if it was her party, and I don’t even care if she was alone on her precious moon for thousand years, NOPONY TOUCHES MY-

Sorry. That was… uncouth of me. Now where were we?

“The part where you take me instead?” Spike said hopefully.

“The part where I rip your throat out?” growled Pinkie, now fully transformed into Pinkamena.

“Ugh,” said Dusk, his face still planted in the table. “My horn is stuck.”

The ballroom, of course darlings! The two of us would be the envy of all of Canterlot (and Luna), dressed in our custom-made eveningwear that I designed myself. And by the stroke of midnight, you would lean down on one knee and pull out a 24-karot, perfect cut diamond resting on a classic solid gold ring. I would read the question engraved on the inside of the ring, and a single tear would roll down my face.

Of course, I would answer with the upmost ladylike dignity.

Our wedding would be attended by everypony within miles, as with any royal wedding. Please forgive me Darling, but I’ve already taken the liberty of what picking out what to name our foals. Don’t worry my love; I’ll keep you in the dark about it, just to make it a surprise. Oh, we’re going to be so happy together!

Pinkamena just sat there, scowling. “Fat chance, you overbearing %$@#,” she cussed. True, she hated Dusk to the bone, but she put her blood, sweat and tears into threatening him into hooking up with Pinkie, and this slut was going to take that away in one fell swoop. “I ain’t letting you get within a hoof’s length of him after what I’ve just heard.”

“What did you call me??” Rarity gasped. “The %-word is most fowl for a lady! Come Dusk, we’re leaving!”

“I can’t,” said Dusk put simply.

“What?” Rarity said, shell-shocked from what her ears just told her. “Am I not good enough for you?” she whined.

“No, I literally can’t,” he explained. “My horn’s still stuck, and I haven’t paid the bill yet. Hay, I haven’t even eaten yet!”

“You’re taking Pinkie out for brunch?” Rarity inhaled dramatically. “How could you? I thought we had something special!”

“I think we could have something special,” interjected Spike.

“SHUT THE BUCK UP, SPIKE!” both mares said simultaneously, forcing the dragon to back down. Hearing the commotion, a waiter trotted up to the table.

“Iz there a problem, mademoiselles?” he spoke with a thick accent from Prance. He had no idea what kind of chaos was about to overtake his restraunt. The tension was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

“No,” said Pinkamena through her gritted teeth. “Is there a problem, Rarity?”

“I don’t believe so,” hissed her nemesis.

“Actually…” said Dusk, about to explain the situation. The two arguing ponies whipped their gaze at him, daring him to speak.

“…Could you get my horn out of this table?” he finished meekly.

“Of courze sir,” the waiter answered. After pulling with all his strength, the staff member got Dusk out of his physical predicament, leaving him to die in his social one. “If zat iz all, your meal is ready.” He then suddenly realized something. “Oh, how rude of moi, I zee that you have another guest. What will ze white unicorn be having?”

“Just water, please,” Rarity said politely. She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t plan on staying long.”

“Really?” retorted Pinkamena passive-aggressively. “You seemed to have planned a lot today.” With every word of the cold, uncomfortable situation, Dusk felt himself sinking a little lower in his seat, as his grave was also being dug a little deeper.

I’m dead, he gulped. I’m deader than dead. I’m more screwed than a twister on a merry-go-round. How did I end up in this mess? Why have you forsaken me, Celestia? What did I ever do to deserve this? Was it that one time I got an A- instead of my usual A++++++? Cut me a break, I hated myself for a week because of that!

“And what is that supposed to mean?” snapped Rarity as soon the waiter was out of earshot.

“You named your future foals with Dusk? Who the hay does that?” Pinkamena said, disgusted at the fashionista.

“Actually, that was kinda creepy,” Dusk muttered.

“Oh, really?? Is ‘creepy’ to have dreams?!!” Rarity said, her eyes two blazing balls of fire.

“Don’t hurt me!” he flinched.

“Oh no,” said Rartiy as her voice suddenly switched to a sweet, loving tone. “I wouldn’t think of hurting you, my sunshine. You know what? Thinking back, I suppose I could’ve been a tad… subtler when mentioning you my intentions. Tell you what: I’ll forgive you for this little mistake, and I’ll bury the hatchet with Pinkie here. We’ll even have a fresh start, and I’ll treat you like a proper equal, not some last pair of cute shoes in a sale.” Dusk raised his eyebrows at this. “All you have to do is kindly give me that ticket,” she smiled eagerly.

“Over my dead body,” proclaimed Pinkamena.

“Be careful what you wish for, Pinkie dear,” remarked Rarity, causally bending a fork via telekinesis. Not to be outdone, Pinkamena mangled her own fork with her bare hooves.

“Don’t call me Pinkie,” she warned.

“And why not, Pinkie?” smirked Rarity, a cruel iciness coating her voice. “Did I strike a nerve?” Without warning, Pinkamena’s mane coat turned a bright pink once more, and her mane exploded into wild curls like a popcorn kernel as Pinkie returned into control.

“Of course not, Rarity!” she said as her lips twisted her grimace into a forgiving smile. “If there one thing Granny Pie taught me to do other than giggling at the ghosties, it’s to turn the other cheek, especially for a friend!” Dusk & Spike let out a collective of relief. Even though Dusk was a little more familiar with Pinkamena than Spike was, the baby dragon felt the unrelenting tension of the predicament none the less.

Thank Faust that’s over, they both thought. Neither of them had any idea what triggered Pinkamena to retreat back into Pinkie’s subconscious, but they were never the less filled with gratefulness for Pinkie, for her always positive attitude and inability to look at anypony with distain. But something was still wrong. Pinkie showed little too much pure joy, almost like she was hiding something. Whatever it was, Rarity didn’t seem to notice.

“Why, thank you Pinkie,” the fashion designer said with smug pride. “I knew you’d see it my way.”

It was then Pinkie unexpectedly took her meal of daisyburger and hayfries and applied it directly to Rarity’s face. Mustard and pickles dripped from the beautiful unicorn’s features, ruining her makeup. The hayfries stuck in her mane in random places, giving her an appearance that was unflattering, humiliating and rather ridiculous.

“So,” said Pinkie Pie, her tone as innocent and cheerful as ever, truly never showing any sign of Pinkamena. “Did that strike a nerve?~”

The Celestia-Damned Gala Tickets from Tartarus Pt. 3

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The restaurant was so quiet; you could hear a pin drop. On a mattress. In the next town over. Rarity was so angry, she looked like she was about to explode twice. Spike sucked up all the courage he could muster, and went against his every last instinct to open his mouth.

“I just remembered something Dusk,” he lied. “You forgot to bring your wallet, didn't you?”

“What do you mean, Spike?” Dusk objected. “I have my wallet right-” Spike covered his surrogate brother’s mouth with a claw.

“…So we have to leave right now, so we don’t have to pay,” Spike continued through gritted teeth. The mares said nothing, as they were too busy having a stare down. Well, Rarity was having a stare down. Pinkie just sat there smiling, retaining the best poker face in Equestrian history. Meanwhile, Dusk’s eyes widened in realization.

“That’s right!” he said. “I totally forgot to bring my wallet! Oh well, we’d better scram, Spike and I never really touched our food anyway. Thinking about it, I think we should go our separate ways at this point-NOT THAT I DON’T ENJOY YOUR COMPANY, PINKIE! It’s just that I’ve got some errands to run. It was nice running into you too, Rarity. I’m sososososo sorry for Pinkie’s behavior; she hasn’t been feeling herself today.” And with that, Dusk & Spike ran out the door faster than you could say, “What a freaking cop out.”

After the boys left, Rarity finally spoke up in harsh whisper.

”This. Means. War,” she hissed, a combination of ice, venom and steel coating her every word.

[I wouldn’t have it any other way, mule,] Pinkamena challenged, but Pinkie said otherwise.

“Actually, I don’t want Dusk coming in between us, Rarity,” the pink party pony proclaimed. “You were just being a real meanie-meanie pants about it, and with that kind of attitude, I don’t think you’re the kind of girl to be Dusky-wusky’s special somepony.”

“I’m going to the Boutique to freshen up,” Rarity said. “And I didn’t want you of all ponies to be dragged between me and Dusk, but you have forced my hoof. From this point on, we are enemies.” She turned her back and began walking out of the restaurant.

“Please don’t do this, Rarity,” Pinkie said, her emotions flickering back and forth, from an upbeat mood and a solemn tone of regret. “I really still want us to be friends.” She dashed up to the fashion designer and gave her the most well-intentioned hug she could give, crying softly. “D-don’t throw away our f-f-friendship just because of some s-stupid colt, *sniff* p-pretty please with sugarcoated dandelions on top?”

[What the buck are you doing?] ranted Pinkamena. [She’ll take advantage of your kindness and steal Dusk right under your nose!]

Maybe, Pinkie thought. But I know Rarity better than that. She’s the Element of Generousity, after all! It would be OOC for her to win Dusky-wusky unfairly, even if I gave her the opportunity.

[Whatever, it’s your funeral,] huffed Pinkamena. [Just don’t go crying to me when that slut comes around to brag about a mini-bookworm in her oven.] All the while, Rarity stared into Pinkie’s eyes, which showed nothing but pleading sadness. Finally, the marshmallow sighed in defeat.

“Fine Pinkie, we can still be friends,” she relinquished.


[Buck me sideways. And here I thought life was going to get interesting.]

“But,” she interrupted, “That doesn’t mean I'll just hand Dusk Shine over on a platter.”

[I stand corrected.]

“I propose a contest,” she continued. “Whoever can win the honor of becoming Dusk’s Shine date to the Gala with her feminine charms by the end of the day shall indivertibly become his lover, and the loser will be forced to halt her advances. Agreed?”

“Okie-dokie-lokie!” said Pinkie. “And in the end we’re still friends, right?”

“Of course.”

“Hip-hip-hooray! Oh, and one more thing Rarity,” she added.

“What is that, Pinkie?”

“Can I have one teensy-weensy hayfry from your head? I’m still super-hungry!”

Dusk Shine galloped through the streets of Ponyville, bumping into ponies and causing minor spills where he went.

“Thanks again for the bail, Spike,” he said when he finally caught his breath.

“No prob, bro,” Spike said modestly. “What are number-one assistants for?” His expression turned to that of concern. “But you’re still gonna go with Pinkie Pie, right? Remember, I called dibs on Rarity, and no living mortal can disrespect the dibs!”

“I still have no idea on who to take to the Gala, Spike,” confessed Dusk. “I mean, Applejack asked me first, then Pinkie went all psycho on me and guilt-tripped me into asking her, Rarity probably thinks we’re already as good as married, and Rainbow Dash just wants to clop me in public!”

“Then why not take Dash?” grumbled Spike.


“Sorry. Where are we going again?”

“To the one pony in town I know who’s not gone completely bonkers,” said Dusk with determination.

“Oh, hello Dusk,” Fluttershy said timidly as she opened the door of her cottage. “Come right, if you don’t mind. I’m sorry if I was unprepared for your visit, but you didn’t plan a visit.” Dusk walked right in, and plopped on the nearest sofa in exhaustion. “Oh my, are you alright?”

“No,” said Dusk bitterly. “In fact, this is the worst day of my life. Being harassed, knocked out, tortured, and fought over by four different girls can do that to a guy.”

“Oh my,” said the yellow doormat. “That sounds serious. Do you know what can really relax my animals when they get stressed out?”


“A nice massage and letting it all out with a long talk,” she said innocently. “Of course, I’m normally the one doing the talking, but in your case, I think you have a lot to talk about. That is, if you don’t mind.” Dusk Shine’s ears perked up at “massage.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” he said slyly.

“…And then she threw a hayburger at her face!” Dusk said while lying on his chest, Fluttershy’s hooves soothing his pinched-up muscles.

“Oh my goodness,” Fluttershy commented. “I had no idea that Pinkie had such… issues like that. She’s always such a happy pony! Do you think we need to have an intervention?”

“Oh, definitely,” agreed Dusk. “I need to have a talk with her, get some feelings out in the open. But first, a more important issue is at hoof.” He regrettably interrupted Fluttershy’s massage by rolling over onto his back. “Who do you think I should take to the Grand Galloping Gala, Fluttershy?”

“Well,” she said. “I think you should take Spike, she’s ever so helpful to you. Plus…” she leaned over to whisper. “I think she might have a crush on you. You know, like the ones you have on your teachers when you’re little? I think you could make her very happy by taking her, just for one night." Dusk burst out laughing at this.

“What? Did I say something wrong? Did Spike overhear me? SPIKE, PLEASE DON’T BE MAD!” Fluttershy hollered into the next room.

“As a matter of fact,” Spike said with a growl. “I did overhear you. And for your information Flutters, I’m a full-fledged MAN of a dragon, plus Dusk is like a brother to me!”

“Omigoodness!” Fluttershy squeaked, blushing furiously. “I had no idea! This is just like the time I first found Angel!”

“Uh, don’t worry about it!” Dusk said, trying to calm his crush. “It was an honest mistake, really! Spike gets mistaken for a girl all the time.”

“What?? I do NOT!!”

“Ignore him, he’s really ashamed about it,” Dusk lied.

“I think I see it,” commented Fluttershty. “I’m no stranger to being embarrassed.”

“Anyway, back on topic,” Dusk said, “Who’s would be your second option for the Gala?”

“Oh, umm… nevermind,” Fluttershy mumbled.

“C’mon Fluttershy, I need an outside opinion!” begged Dusk.

“Nevermind, it’s not important,” she dismissed.


“Well,” said Fluttershy. “If I was in your place, I would take… myself.”

“Do you mean a cloning spell or going it solo?” asked Spike.

“No, I mean you should take me,” she shook her head. “No, that came out wrong. I meant to ask Dusk to me on the date. No, it’s not a date! Well, it technically says it’s a date, but I don’t want to pressure you into thinking that it’s a date Dusk, but if it can be a date want it to be, even though I’m not sure if I like you that way or not…”

At the Gala, aka Fluttershy’s Woodland Wonderland…

I’d inhale deeply, smelling all the exotic flowers of the Royal Canterlot Gardens. I had to relish the scent, because on that night and only would every single flower be in bloom.

After taking all in, I would sing ever so softly in order call all the critters that lived there. One by one, the cutesy-wutesy animals would crawl out of their little homes, and I would introduce myself to each and every last one of them, even if it would take all night. There’d be blue jays, mockingbirds, wombats, hummingbirds that really hum, buzzards that really buzz, kolas, pandas, grizzly bears with their little cubs, flamingoes, door mice, toucans, owls, froggies, otters, and hundreds of others. We’d be such good friends, and I would love them all!

And they would all love me back.

Then, a woodscolt (Sorry, I’ve always imagined you as a woodscolt in this private little story of mine. Do you mind? No? Okay, then) would silently creep up on me, also drawn by the sound of my voice. He would step on a twig, startling me.

“Sorry,” the woodscolt would apologize. “I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you lost?” I would look around. Oh no, in all my joy in introducing myself to the wildlife, I seem to have forgotten my way back to the dance! I probably wasn’t even in Canterlot anymore. I nodded, not saying a word

“Well, you shouldn’t wander off on your own,” the woodscolt would scold me in a well-intentioned manner. “A young filly like yourself must be at least a little afraid of the dark.”

“But sir,” I would finally speak. “I’m not a filly, but a mare.”

“Oh,” he’d say bluntly. “In that case, I suppose you could take care of yourself. Carry on, then.” He started to walk away.

“Please don’t leave me!” I’d call out, galloping up to embrace him with trembling hooves. “Even though I’m a grown pony, I’m still scared stiff of the dark! Please, you need to stay here to protect me until morning.”

“Don’t worry,” he’d assure me, returning my hug with care and stallion-like strength. “I’ll be here to guard you always, my fair maiden.”

“Y-you really think I’m beautiful?” I’d say, hiding behind my mane just a little.

“But of course,” he’d say, placing a hoof under chin to adjust my eye contact to him. “I’ve just begun to know you, but I feel like we were destined for each other. I also feel we can do… this.” Then he would kiss me, our tongues doing some kind of intricate dance. His horn would light up, delicately untying the laces that held my gown together. My wings would gently lift from arousal, soon flapping us up into the sky. We would both be terrified from our inexperience with flying, but as long as we held on tight, nothing could come to harm us. Oh, how we would-

-Is it just me, or is this fantasy more realistic than I usually picture it?

Fluttershy’s eyes flew open as she realized that caught in her incredibly steamy scene of Fifty Shades Shy, she had accidentally locked lips with Dusk Shine in real life as well. And was he kissing her a little back in return? He was! He was enjoying this!

Omigoodness omigoodness omigoodness omigoodness omigoodness omigoodness… she thought as she jerked away. She flew up to her bedroom as fast as she could, hastily boarded the doors and windows, hid under the bed, and swore to Celestia never that she’d never go outside again as long as she lived. She never felt more embarrassed in as long as she could remember. With her luck, Dusk will probably think that she’s just plain easy and not worth it to be his friend, or worse, he might have become aroused and try to be a friend with benefits to her. The thought of being somepony’s personal hooker terrified Fluttershy, and now a thousand worst-case scenarios played through her mind. There was a knock on the door, the one where Fluttershy secured with a repurposed bookshelf.

“Fluttershy?” called the voice of Dusk Shine. “Are you in there?”

“No,” she lied, trying to disguise her voice. “Nopony named Fluttershy lives here! I heard she moved to the next town over about three seconds ago.”

“Fluttershy, could you come out of there? We need to talk.”

“No,” Fluttershy said stubbornly. “Go away!” She paused for a moment. “…please?”

”If you don’t let me in, I’ll just have to force myself in anyway.”

“Dusk, can you just leave me alone please? I’m asking really, really nicely.”

“Look,” sighed Dusk. “I want you to let me in so I can ask you to the Grand Galloping Gala.” There was the sound of moving furniture, and the door opened by a crack. One of Fluttershy’s eyes peered out.

“What did you say?” she asked with disbelief. Dusk Shine tore open the door, and got down to grovel at the tree’s knees.

“Please be my date to the Gala!” he said, trying to retain his dignity as best he could. “You’re my only hope!”


“Please, Fluttershy?”

“I’ll have to think about it, if that's okay with you. In the meanwhile, could you please leave me alone?”

“So what, are you just gonna tell all the rest of them no?” asked Spike as he rode Dusk out of Fluttershy’s cottage. “That you’ve chosen somepony else to take to the Gala, just like that?”

“That’s the plan,” said Dusk.

“You’re even gonna tell Pinkamena?” his surrogate brother pressed.

“I’ve… got a plan for that, too,” said Dusk a little uncertainly.

“Oh? And what is that?”

“I’m still kinda working on it. The point is that I’ve made my choice, and I’m not going to be treated like a bargaining chip anymore,” he announced with renewed confidence. Then, Dusk noticed something a little strange. “Hey, did you realize it’s been raining for like, the past ten minutes?” he wondered aloud.

“What? What do mean? If it was raining, we’d be wet already.”

“That’s what’s I was thinking,” he said suspiciously. He looked up at the sky. A patch of sunlight in the stormy clouds followed him where ever he went. With a closer look, he discovered that the hole in the clouds was manipulated by a lone pegasus.

“Rainbow Dash!” hollered Dusk. “Is that you?”

“You’re insulting me Dusk,” Dash said, popping her head from out of the hole in the sky. “Who else would be generous or awesome enough to operate a mobile hole through this rain, just to keep you dry? Speaking of which, could you move a little slower? This thing’s harder to move than it looks.” Dusk Shine was unmoved.

“You’re not trying to butter me up, are you?” he inquired.

“Naw, me? Why would I try to bribe you for the ticket?” she chuckled. “You still haven’t chosen yet, have you?”

“I never said anything about the ticket,” Dusk deadpanned.

“Oh,” said Rainbow Dash, feeling a little dumb. “Anyway, are gonna take me, me, or the best choice: me?”

“Fluttershy,” answered Dusk.

“Say again? Either I have some dust in my ear, or that’s a pretty weird way of pronouncing ‘Rainbow Dash.’”

“Rainbow Dash, I’m serious. I asked Fluttershy to be my date,” said Dusk, trying to hammer in his point.

“And she said yes? I doubt it,” retorted Rainbow Dash. Dusk Shine looked at the ground.

“Well,” he confessed, “She actually didn’t give me a straight answer, she just told me she’d think about it.”

“Now that sounds more like Fluttershy. She’ll probably chicken out in the last second. That said, you’ll probably want to have a backup date. And who else can you depend on more than ol’ Swagmaster Dash? ” She batted her eyelashes in a ridiculous manner.

“No,” Dusk said calmly. “There’s no way I’m changing my mind.”

“Fine,” she scowled as her beam quickly turned to a sneer, “Then I guess Fluttershy can keep you dry in the rain from now on.”

Dusk’s eyes widened. “Rainbow Mary Ann Dash, don’t you dare-” *FOOSH!* Before Dusk could finish his threat, rain started pouring down on him & Spike relentlessly.

“That could’ve gone better,” Spike commented.

Dusk Shine trudged through the streets of Ponyville, his thoughts full of bitter regret. Okay, calculated. For next time, I’m gonna tell the girl that I’ve already found a date, but I’m not gonna tell her who. Fluttershy has enough on her plate already. Yeah, that should do it.

“Darling!” exclaimed Rarity as she saw her one true love. She had apparently washed up from the incident back at the restaurant and dressed herself in a lavender poncho for the weather, complete with a custom saddle-umbrella. “You’re positively drenched.” Dusk looked down at his hooves. They were covered in mud and grime.

“It isn’t a far walk from my house,” he said. “I think I can afford to get a little wet.”

“Nonsense, my dearest!” the marshmallow proclaimed, levitating the umbrella onto his back. “We shall go to my place to freshen up. Besides, I have a new suit for you there.”

As Rarity searched for Dusk’s new threads in Carousel Boutique, a passing thought came to the purple unicorn’s mind.

“Rarity, you aren’t trying to bribe me into taking you to the Grand Galloping Gala by giving me top-of-the-line clothes, are you?” he asked.

“Hogwash,” she denied. “I simply cannot let a stallion of your stature go around walking in the muck, not to mention that I doubt that you bothered to purchase any formal attire yourself.”

“I do have my powder-blue tuxedo from my high-school dance,” the bookworm offered. Rarity cringed at the mental image.

“I… really don’t think that would still fit you, Darling,” she said with a polite laugh. “Now, the shower’s upstairs. Wouldn’t want to get mud on your brand new suit, would we?”

As Dusk turned on the water, he pondered about breaking the news to Rarity. ”Rarity, about the Gala…” no, that wouldn’t work. “Rarity, we need to talk about this obsession with me…” no, that would get me hit with a sewing machine. “I think that we need to see other ponies…” naw, that implies we’ve been seeing each other. How about- All of a sudden, porcelain hooves covered his eyes.

“Guess who, Darling?” a seductive voice whispered in his ear.

Dusk Shine had three reactions to this, each in this order:

Shock: Holy Faust, Rarity’s in the shower with me!

Arousal: Oh boy, I bet her mane’s wet again!

Panic: I am so bucked.

“I’m weally sworry ‘bout that outburst at the restaurant, Dusky,” one of the soaking wet unicorns baby-talked. “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?” Meanwhile, the other one was hyperventilating for the second time that day.

Don’t turn around, he commanded himself, keep your eyes shut, and whatever you do, don’t look at her mane.

“I know I can be such a naughty little filly sometimes,” she continued. “I guess I need a little discipline at those times…” She leaned closer to nibble his ear.


“…Do you know how to discipline a naughty little filly, Dusky?” she said as she took a break from nibbling. “Well, do you?”

“N-no ma’am,” Dusk stumbled with his words. He didn’t dare move a muscle.

“No matter,” she said as she switched from baby-talk back to the sultry tone from earlier. “I can teach you that, along with oh so many other things, like how to reward those naughty little fillies for being… extra naughty.” She turned Dusk Shine around. “But first, could you open those beautiful eyes of yours for me, Darling? You haven’t so much as looked at me this whole time.”

“No thanks,” Dusk said robotically. “I’m perfectly fine being blind here.”

“Well then,” she said, a little disappointed. “I guess I’ll have to tell you where to touch me. Shall we play a little game of ‘Hot and Cold?’” Dusk, having an idea strike him like a bolt of lightning, teleported back to the library.

Coincidentally, that’s where Fluttershy was waiting for him to come home, as she had finally come to a decision.

What Fluttershy did expect was for Dusk to use the door.

What she didn’t expect was for him to appear out of nowhere with a very horny Rarity attached to him.

“Dusk! Rarity!” she shrieked. “Where did you come from? What are you doing? Why are you drenched from head to tail?” Dusk scrambled to his hooves, and took several deep breaths before answering.

“That’s quite *pant* a long *pant* story,” he explained. “But first, *pant* what are doing *pant* in my house?”

“Oh,” she blushed. “W-well, I didn’t really mean to trespass on your property, I’ll leave. You can get back to whatever you’re doing with Rarity” She started for the door.

“NO!!!” he abruptly shouted. “I mean, stay as long as you’d like. Besides, I never asked you to leave, I just wanted to know what you’re doing here.”

“Oh, I just wanted to tell you: Yes, I’d love to go to the Gala with you.” She paused for a moment. “A-as a friend! Not a date! I’m sorry; I’m not ready for a date just yet. Please don’t be mad. You’re not mad, are you?” Dusk’s reaction will have to be revealed at a later time, for it was completely overshadowed by Rarity’s.

“You WHAT??” she screamed. “Of all the ponies I know Fluttershy, why did YOU have to betray me like this? I thought you were my best friend!” she sobbed.

“I-I’m sorry?” stuttered a confused Fluttershy. “What exactly am I sorry for?”

“For stealing away Dusk!” the drama queen answered. “How could you? He was my true love!”

“Oh,” said Fluttershy. “In that case, you can have my ticket, if it means so much to you.”

“Oh nonononono,” Dusk interrupted. “Rarity just tried to ravage me in the sho-mmmph!” Rarity covered Dusk’s mouth with a hoof.

“And I owe you the upmost apologizes for that, my dearest,” she said in a deceivingly even tone, “but it is best not to bring that up in public, especially in front of Fluttershy here.” Dusk removed the muffling hoof from his muzzle.

“But I still want to go with her!” he protested. But before either mare could respond, the telltale sound of a party cannon rang out, and the room was instantly covered with streamers and confetti. Party guests stampeded in, bringing cake and gifts. A banner that said “DUSK-WUSKY + PINKIE-WINKIE 4EVER!” was hung high on the bookshelves. All the guests grabbed Dusk and threw him up into the air repeatedly as Pinkie Pie sang an upbeat tune of her own devising:

Dusk Shine the bestest boyfriend I’ve ever had!

Whoopie, whoopee!


He's the cutest, smartest, all around best po-ny, po-ny!


I bet if I throw a super-duper fun par-ty, par-ty…


…he’ll keep his promise and go to the Gala with meeeeeeee!


“Yes, Dusky-wusky?” said Pinkie as her unwitting minions finally dropped her interest of affection on the floor.

“I’ve had enough,” he said. “Spike, are you there? Where are you?”

“I’m right here!” called out a voice in the crowded room. “I came as soon as I heard about Pinkie’s party!”

“Alright. Everpony else, get the buck out of my house! I need some privacy.” One by one, the guests of the unwanted party walked out. The only mares left from the incident were Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity. Rainbow Dash and Applejack had somehow slipped in, since they had caught word of Pinkie Pie’s party as well. “I said, everypony out,” he grunted. “What are you still doing here?”

“Well Sugercube,” said Applejack. “We believe we all have a right fer th’ ticket, an’ we’re not gonna leave ‘til ya come to a decision fer th’ Gala.”

“I’m just here because you said I could stay,” said Fluttershy.

“There isn’t going to BE a Gala,” he said with a sigh.


Dear Princess Celestia,

I’m returning the tickets you sent me. I don’t care if you say if attendance is mandatory, I refuse to come. Possessing these tickets for a DAY has gotten me tortured, molested, flung into the air several times, rained on, kissed, and-

“I have an idea,” interrupted Fluttershy. “Why don’t we ask for five more tickets? That way, we can all go, plus Spike!” There was a brief silence.

“THAT’S THE BIGGEST LOAD OF MANURE I’VE EVER HEARD!!” Pinkie and Pinkamena said, both at the same time. “THERE’S NO WAY IN TARTARUS WE’RE DOING THAT!”

To make a long story short…

They did.

Dat Plot (and Subplot)

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“Boy, howdy!” Applejack exclaimed. “We really grew a big bumper-crop this year. Ain’t it so, Big Macintosh?” Big Macintosh stood by his sister and observed the miles and miles of apples.

“Eeyup,” he replied with his signature catchphrase. “Y’all sure you can buck it all on yer own?”

“Sure as th’ sun rises in th’ mornin’, Sugercube,” beamed Applejack with pride. “Don’t worry yer purty little head ‘bout it, y’all just rest nice & comfy while ya wait fer that there injury ta heal up.” She punched his side affectionately, and he winced in pain. “Sorry,” she apologized.

“Ah’m jus’ sayin’,” Big Mac continued, “That this crop might be too big ta handle on yer own.”

“Are you sayin’ that Ah can’t buck all these apples all by mahself?” she asked suspiciously.


“Well, buck you Ah can’t buck all these apples!” Applejack snapped.

One hour later…

All was well and quiet in Ponyville. The streets were bustling with shop and stands tending to their customers. Fillies frolicked at the playground, enjoying their weekend. Nopony suspected what was about to happen.

Suddenly, a great rumbling was felt in the earth, as if the very ground was infused with thunder. Ponies ran around in panic. Rainbow Dash flew up high to see what could ever cause such a commotion less of an earthquake. She gazed on the horizon, and saw the source of the powerful rumbling.

“Stampede!” she hollered. “Everypony into their homes! Let’s not get any casualties!” Indeed, a herd of crazed cattle rampaged toward Ponyville.

But what was that running with them? It was Applejack, having taking a break from applebucking to aid in the crisis. Galloping alongside her trusty dog, Winona, she herded the cows away from her hometown and slowed them to a stop.

“Whoa there, little cowgirls,” the apple farmer said. “What’s with all th’ ho-down?”

“Applejack, it was terrible!” exclaimed one of the cows that was still a little shaken. “Mootilda thought she saw a snake, and it just gave us the worst case o’ the willies, don’tcha know?”

“A snake?” Applejack replied cynically. “Y’all kinda overreacted there, Sugercube.”

Mootilda fidgeted, a little embarrassed. “Well, it was a really big snake.”

“Ah’m not sayin’ anythin’ ‘bout your… concern with reptiles,” sighed Applejack. “But if Ah were you, Ah’d keep mah mouth shut ‘bout what spooked me. Ah think some folks here might be less forgivin’ if they knew what startled ya. Ya know, Ponyville almost being trampled into th’ ground ‘cause of a snake?”

“I swear, it won’t happen again,” insisted Mootida.

Meanwhile, Applejack’s friends were cheering in gratitude.

“We should find a way to thank Applejack for our safety,” suggested the Mayor. “I believe the Prize Pony of Ponyville award would suffice. All in favor?” Everypony cheered. “It’s unanimous. The award goes to Applejack!”

“Wait a second,” said Spike. “The award is named ‘The Prize Pony of Ponyville Award?’ Doesn’t that seem a bit redundant?”

“Not at all,” replied the Mayor. “What? Is there a problem with how we name things around here?”

“Actually,” Spike said as he scratched his head. “I was also wondering why would picked to name this town ‘Ponyville.’ You see, Dusk made me read up the local history of this place, and I learned that the Apples and Riches founded it by cornering the market with their trademark zap-apples and zap-apple accessories, so why not name it something like Appleburg, or even Richton. Ooo, how about Everfree City? Yeah, that sounds catchy. Maybe even-mmmmph!” Spike was cut off by Dusk covering the dragon’s mouth with a hoof.

“Sorry about Spike, Mrs. Mayor,” Dusk said with a nervous laugh. “You know how kids are these days, so disrespectful to tradition.”

“I’m not meaning *umph* any flankhurt,” Spike protested as he escaped Dusk’s grasp with a struggle. “I’m just saying that naming your town Ponyville is nothing special. I mean, you do know you can find ponies living anywhere else, right?”

“That’s enough out of you!” scolded the Mayor. “Now are we going to throw a ceremony for Applejack or not?” There was a murmur of mutual agreement, but it was accompanied by several angsty grumbles on how the village could have a better name.

Three days later…

Several apples that resemble Applejack’s cutie mark adorned the decorations of the party. Everpony who knew and adored Applejack participated in the celebration. Of course, Pinkie Pie was the head party planner. All that remained missing was Applejack herself.

“Where’s is she?” demanded Rainbow Dash. “She’s three hours late, nopony’s seen her since the cattle stampede, and we’re running out of refreshments! Do you have any idea what it’s like to have an entire mob of hungry ponies asking you for more grub?”

“Do I ever, Dash!” said Pinkie. “This one time at Cloudchaser’s birthday party, I forgot that it was a double birthday with her twin sister Flitter, so that meant I need twice as many cakes! It was a nightmare.”

“Did it mean that the party had twice as many guests as well?” wondered Dusk Shine aloud.

“No,” Pinkie confessed. “Flitter & Cloudchaser spend a lot of time together, so they basically have the same friends.”

“So it was the normal amount of party guests?” said Dusk.

“Yessirie!” she nodded.

“Then why did you need twice as much cake? I mean, too much cake can be bad for you,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Dusky,” Pinkie said flatly. “You know I love you like the dickens, but you’re describing a world I don’t wanna live in.” Dusk was just about to jump into a lecture about stomachaches and retaining good dental hygiene, but was interrupted by a stumbling pony bumping into several others on her way to the stage.

The said pony was indeed Applejack, and she looked like a wreck. Her hat was tilted slightly, and her eyes were baggy from sleep deprival. “Howdeeee thar, Ponyville,” she slurred with her mind in a haze. “What is dis award-thingy fer again?”

The Mayor cleared her throat. “It’s officially for being the most helpful and prestigious pony in the community, but we’re using it to thank you for saving us from the stampede,” the politician explained. “Pardon my asking, but are you drunk? You seem… off today.”

“Ah’m okay,” assured Applejack with a yawn. “Can we hurry this up? Ah have a busy schedule, kickin’ trees all week.”

“Hey!” blurted Rainbow Dash. “You promised to help me with my new flying stunt this week!”

“Oh yeah, that,” said the farmer. “Well, Ah guess Ah’m gonna help Rainbow with her fancy-schmacy flyin’ tricks too, so Ah’d better get goin’.”

“Yes!” Dash squee’d. “This is gonna be so awesome!~

“Fine,” Applejack yawned again. “Now if there will interruptions…”

“You were supposed to help me run Sugercube corner for the first time!” remarked Pinkie. “We were gonna bake some drool-worthy muffins together. After all, you’re one of the best cooks around!”

“Ah guess Ah’m doin’ that thing what Pinkie jus’ said too this week, now if you’ll excuse me…”

“Um, Applejack?” Fluttershy spoke up as softly as possible. “I don’t really want to put pressure on you, but you kind of said that you’d also help me count the newborn bunnies for the spring. Are we still going to do that?”

“Fine,” Applejack said through her teeth. “Ah’ll go count th’ stupid rabbits with ya.” She walked off the stage, dragging her trophy with her and muttering to herself.

“What’s up with her?” inquired Spike.

“I don’t know,” said Dusk. “But I intend to find out.”

After the ceremony, Pinkie walked over to Rainbow Dash. The speedster's stomach churned.

Celestia help me, Dash thought to herself. It’s the motor mouth.

Since the dilemma with Nightmare Moon, Rainbow Dash understood one very hard truth: she would have to associate with ponies less cool than her (namely, the other Elements of Harmony), and that would lower her street cred. Applejack, she could somehow relate to, although the blonde’s taste in music (banjoes in particular) left something to be desired. Rainbow Dash knew Fluttershy since flight camp, but they had next to nothing in common. Rarity was… Rarity. Just Rarity. If you knew her personally, you’d understand. Dusk Shine was cute and all, but he was deeply rooted in a dark territory that Dash called “egghead.” The daredevil could tolerate all these ponies and even call them her friends (except for Dusk, she was saving him for a different title), but the one pony she couldn’t stand for more than five minutes was the abomination of all things awesome that was called “Pinkie Pie.”

Rainbow Dash’s hatred for Pinkie Pie had several reasons: Pinkie never shut up, she was annoying, she wouldn’t shut up, she always hogged all the cider in Cider Season, she wouldn’t shut up, she was a grown mare that still liked stupid games for kids like Pin-the-Tail-on-Pony & the Pony Pokey, she talked about crazy stuff like OCs and background ponies, she wouldn’t shut up, she wouldn’t shut up, AND OH FAUST, SHE NEVER SHUT THE BUCK UP.

“Hey, Dashie!” Pinkie Pie said. “Can I talk to you? We haven’t had any time for character development between each other, and the ‘Griffon the Bush-Off’ episode is coming up next chapter, so I really want to become BFFs forever with you already before the ol’ ‘Queen of Mean’ come to try to steal you away and DASHIE! WHERE ARE GOING? WE NEED TO HANG OUT!”

Rainbow Dash couldn’t remember the last time she flew so fast. She was pretty sure that she cleared Ponyville twenty times over. She rested on a mountain top to catch her breath. There, that should keep me away from Pinks for a while, she thought. I think I should just stay here and chill for a while, let the idea that I don’t want her around sink in.

“I just figure something out, Dashie,” Pinkie said as she popped out nowhere. “’The author isn’t going to wait around for the next chapter to have ‘Griffon the Bush-Off,’ we’re just doing it right now, so that why I’m chasing you!”

“Gah!” Dash screamed in response as she took to the air again.

“Come back!” Pinkie yelled. “It’s scenes like these in the show that contributed to the inspiration of ‘Cupcakes!’”

Applejack once again stumbled with her hooves. “Consarn it,” she muttered. “Come on legs we’ve got work to do.”

“Hello Applejack,” Dusk Shine said as he trotted through the orchard toward her. “What are you doing bucking all these trees by yourself?”

“It’s harvesting time, remember?” said AJ. “’Round here we call it Applebuck Season.”

“What about Big Macintosh?” he asked.

“He hurt himself, so Ah’m filling in fer him by workin’ twice as hard.”

“Here, I’ll help you,” he offered. “Let me just get the girls and-“

“No,” she lashed out verbally. “Ah don’t need no help.”

“You can’t be serious,” Dusk said. “You can’t possibly buck all these apples by yourself.”

“Buck you Ah can’t buck all these apples!” she repeated. “Ah can handle mahself. Are we clear?”

“Applejack, let me break this down logically,” Dusk lectured. “How much did you sleep in the past few days?”

“Sleep is fer cushy-tushies,” said Applejack. “All a real workin’ pony needs is coffee.”

“So not at all?” inquired Dusk. “That’s extremely unhealthy for yo-” *CRASH!*

All of a sudden, Rainbow Dash crash-landed into a tree, knocking all the apples out of it.

“Darn it, Rainbow!” yelled Applejack. “Not you too! Ah said it once, Ah’ll say it sgain: Ah don’t need no help!”

“You need help?” Rainbow Dash panicked as she got to her hooves. “What about me? I’ve been trying to avoid Pinkie all morning, but it’s no use! She’s EVERYWHERE!”

“That’s what you need help with?” Dusk said flatly. “Avoiding Pinkie?” Dusk thought for a moment. There was a chance that Rainbow Dash might be talking about Pinkamena, but he wasn’t so sure.

“Shh!” she put a hoof over Dusk’s mouth. "Did you hear that?" she whispered.

“Ah don’t hear nothin’,” said Applejack.

“Not so loud!” the pegasus hissed. “She’s watching us, I can feel it.”

”Did you do anything to upset Pinkie?” asked Dusk, lowering his voice. “Is she acting any different than usual?”

“No, and that’s the problem,” she said. She’s trying to get me to spend the day with her. She even wants to be…” She gulped. “…BFFs.”

“Rainbow Dash,” Applejack said in a judging tone, “That there’s not only the stupidest thing Ah’ve ever heard, but yer jus’ being mean too, shunnin’ Pinkie like that. Now, Ah want ya ta hightail it off ta wherever the lil’ sugar vacuum is and apologize.”


“Th’ only ‘but’ Ah wanna see is yers gettin’ off mah farm. Now scram, both o’ you! Ah got work ta do.”

Rainbow Dash met Pinkie Pie around town hall. “Alright Pinkie,” said the frustrated pegasus, “What do you want me to do?”

“See that cloud over there?” said Pinkie, pointing at a random cumulus. “Try moving it in front of the door.”

“Okay,” Dash shrugged. “If you say so.” She moved the cloud like so. “Like this?”

“Perfect!” confirmed Pinkie. “Except little to the left…” Dash complied. “You know, it looked a little better a few eighteen hairs to the right…”

“Your right or my right?”

“Bon-bon’s right! She lives down the street.”

Three hours later…

“Now, turn it upside down, adjust it 60 cementers northeast, turn it 172 degrees counterclockwise, and put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Ferinhoof and serve with hayfries… UGH! Dashie, that was 100 degrees Celestius! Get a different cloud, we’re starting over.”


“…and by ‘get different cloud,’ I meant ‘it’s absolutely perfect!’ Now, we wait for my signal.” With that, Pinkie hid in the bushes. Soon enough, Spike walked out of the town hall, carrying a big stack of scrolls. Rainbow Dash jumped on the cloud as hard as she could, and with loud *BOOM*, the cloud erupted into a burst of thunder and lightning, scaring Spike into dropping his load.

“Hey, what was that for?” asked Spike, still spooked a little. “You almost gave me a heart-*hic*-attack!”

“Cheer up Spike,” said Rainbow Dash after rolling in laughter. “It’s just a prank.”

“Hehehehe, you have the hiccups!” giggled Pinkie. Spike laughed along a little with the joke, and went on to recover his notes. The trouble was that every time he tried to pick up a scroll, he hiccupped and let out a gout of magical flame.

The result of this was Spike losing all his scrolls, and Celestia getting spammed with unexpected mail. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie roared in laughter.

“You know, you’re not so bad, Pinks,” Dash confessed. “What other things do you have in mind?”

“I have some ideas…” Pinkie said mischievously. And so for the rest of the afternoon, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie went around Ponyville, pulling practical jokes on everypony in sight. Because of the national motto of love and toleration, nopony took any of the two’s jokes personally, so they never faced any consequences. Later in life, Rainbow Dash would admit that the hours of bliss spent with Pinkie was some of the best of her life, seconded only by winning everything and making Sonic Rainbooms.

The next day…

Rainbow Dash waited patiently as she could. As radical as yesterday was, this was the day that Applejack was to help her with a new trick to impress an old friend from flight camp. The problem was that hatted mare hadn’t shown up yet, and Gilda was scheduled to come in any minute.

“There you are,” Dash exclaimed as Applejack stumbled by. “Where have you been?”

Applejack shook her head awake and blinked couple times for good measure. “Zzzzz… Wha? Where am Ah? This ain’t Sweet Apple Acres!”

“Yeah, no manure,” Dash deadpanned. “What are you talking about, anyway? Today’s the day you’re supposed to help me with my stunt, remember?”

“Huh,” said AJ. “Ah guess Granny Smith was right: Ah really do sleepwalk. But enuff of that, what am Ah supposed ta do again?” Rainbow Dash gestured to a makeshift wooden tower with a diving board. Below it was something similar to a giant see-saw.

“You just jump down while I’m on top of the lever, then I launch up to the sky, and then I do some wicked freestyle moves that’ll practice later and save for when I apply for the Wonderbolts!”

“Y’all built this contraption all by yourself?” questioned Applejack.

“Well,” said Dash as she scratched her head in flattery, “I did have a little help from Derpy.”

Applejack backed away from Rainbow Dash’s creation very, very slowly. “Derpy helped you build that? There’s no buckin’ way Ah’m touchin’ it with ten-foot pole.”

“Relax,” assured Rainbow Dash. “The other seven models broke down while testing, so eighth time’s the charm!”

“Rainbow,” Aj said sternly, “You know ya sound like th’ infamous Lemon Johnson, right?”

“Pfft,” dismissed the near death-speedster. “You say that all the time. What could possibly go wrong?”

Dat Plot (and Subplot) Pt. 2

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Gilda the griffin soared to the town of Ponyville. She was there to meet up with Rainbow Dash, the only real friend she ever had. Hopefully, the rainbow-maned pegasus was just as cool as the griffin remembered her. Finally, when Gilda got to Dash’s airborne home, Gilda found its resident crashed face-first into the outside wall.

Yep, Rainbow Dash was still as cool as ever.

“Hey Dash!” called Gilda coolly. “Wassup? You alright?”

“Gilda, hey! Nice of you to drop by. Yeah, it’s all good,” said Rainbow Dash. That is, if her mouth wasn’t currently filled with white fluff. Instead, it came out like this: “Hhhhmmmph! Murphy-hrrgg. Mmmgh gooph.”

“How didja end up like that, anyway?” asked Gilda, unfazed. Though she’d rather die than admit it, the griffin was no stranger to talking while implanted in a wall. Rainbow Dash pulled her head out of the clouds (literally) and explained.

Flashback to four seconds in the past…

“Y’all sure ‘bout this, Rainbow?” questioned Applejack, standing on top of the makeshift wooden diving board.

“Stop being such a pansy,” encouraged Rainbow Dash, positioned at the base of the see-saw. “Seriously, you’re starting to sound like Fluttershy. Now, just let me prepare myself for this. When I say ‘now,’ you jump.”

“Now?” said a slightly confused Applejack.

“Yeah, that the point of getting ready, isn’t it? Wait, what are you doing?! I didn’t mean NOW-now, just-WWWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” And with that, Rainbow Dash was catapulted into the air.

One face-in-the-wall later…

“…And that’s when you showed up,” finished Rainbow Dash.

“Why didn’t you just take off by jumping off the ground, like you usually do?” inquired Gilda.

“Oh,” said Rainbow Dash. “I didn’t think of that. Could’ve saved me a whole morning of building eight different Dashapults with Derpy.”

“Hold up there for a minute,” Gilda interrupted. “Derpy? As in Derpy Hooves? As in only-pegsus-to-crash-land-more-than-you Derpy Hooves? She lives around here?”

“Hey!” exclaimed Rainbow Dash. “Derpy wasn’t the only one to crash more than me! Fluttershy crashed every time, remember?”

“Yeah, but she hardly flew at all!” laughed Gilda. “Besides, how did you think you earned your old nickname, Rainbow Crash?”

Dash gasped in shock. “You swore you’d never call me that!”

“Then I guess there’s only one way to settle this,” challenged Gilda.

“I guess there is, old friend,” replied Rainbow Dash seriously. After one full minute of a staredown, each knew exactly what the other would say and do.

“First one to the edge of Everfree Forest wins!” they cried out in ecstatic unison, goofy grins instantly sprouting on their faces. And with a “Readysetgo!” they took off.

Pinkie Pie was bouncing happily along the road, wearing a ridiculous pair of glasses, complete with a mustache, clown nose, and a noisemaker all attached with superglue. She spotted a brown streak in the sky trying to keep up with a rainbow-colored one and gasped.

“Oh no,” Pinkie thought out loud. “I was so busy having fun and becoming BFFs forever with Dashie that I forgot that Gilda was coming over in this episode! DAMN YOU, PLOT-CONVINCE FARIES! DAMN YOU ALL TO META!”

[Chill out Pinkie,] said Pinkamena. [You forgot that Gilda’s only supposed be visiting for one day only. The entire storyline of Griffin the Brush-Off is completely useless. At the end of the day, even if you don’t throw that party, she’ll still pack her bags and go home. Even if your precious “BBF forever” (gag me with a spoon) never finds out that Gilda’s such a stick-in-the-mud, it makes no difference. I say we sit back and do nothing: Gilda leaves, and poor Dash get one less broken heart. Everypony wins. Besides, what’s Gilda gonna do? Tell us to stay away from Rainbow Dash, even though she’s living in Celestia-knows-how many miles away from her?]

“But this is different!” argued Pinkie. “Did you forget that Dusk is a total chick-magnet in this fic? I’m not worried about Dashie, I’m worried about him! When Gilda lays eyes on Dusky-wusky, she’s going to go ga-ga for him! And then she’ll want to move to Ponyville and stay with us… FOREVER!”

[Th-the author wouldn’t do that!] denied Pinkamena. [He doesn’t have the balls!]

“Check the comments box,” Pinkie said with dread. “The readers want him to. Besides, already he wrote you into the story, didn’t he? What’s stopping him? Where does it end? Gilda? Trixie? Chrysalis? Molestia? Blueblood? An OC Mary Sue? Replacing Big Mac in Hearts and Hooves Day? Or even (Faust forbid!), DIAMOND TIARA??” Inside her mental prison, Pinkamena eyes widened in horror as her pupils became pinpricks.

[…We have to end this now,] she said gravely. [What’s the plan?]

“We keep an eye on Gilda and make sure she sees neither head nor tail of Dusk Shine. As far as she’s concerned, he doesn’t exist.” said Pinkie, with all the confidence and solemn dignity anypony could have while wearing the silliest Marx-glasses ever made.

“Ha! I beat you!” yelled Rainbow Dash as the two fliers reached their destination.

“No way,” said Gilda. “I totally bested you by a landslide!”

“Well I think-” Pinkie said as her head popped out from the bottom of the cloud. As soon as she appeared, she vanished just as quickly. There was a moment of silent confusion between Dash & Gilda before Pinkie’s head returned to the cloud base.

“-That Dashie won-” and she was gone again. The two winged daredevils looked down to the ground and saw that Pinkie Pie had set up a giant trampoline below them at a moment’s notice. “-Just by a feather!” she finished.

“Hey Pinkie,” Rainbow Dash said. “How’s it hanging?”

“Super-de-” Where’s Pinkie Pie…?~ “-duper!” There she is! “Who’s your friend?” she said withholding the fact that she already knew Gilda via the divine powers of the fourth wall.

“Pinkie Pie, this is my best friend from Cloudsdale, Gilda. Yes, she’s a griffin. Gilda, this is Pinkie.”

“Charmed,” Gilda said with sarcasm and disdain. She didn’t know who the hay this pony was and she didn’t much care. All Gilda knew was that she hated her sugar-loving guts. How did Dash wind up with an annoying little ball of stupid like her? wondered the griffin. Doesn’t matter. Better give her the four-one-one as soon as Dash’s back is turned. “Hey Dash, did you come up with any new tricks to show off, or are you still old-school?”

“Old-school?” repeated Rainbow Dash. “I reinvented old school, not to mention made my own spin on all the Wonderbolt’s maneuvers with my own spin. Sit back G, this might take a while!” the pegasus took off, leaving her two friends to do as they pleased with each other.

“Look dweeb,” Gilda threatened. “I don’t think you have the IQ to comprehend what I’m saying, so listen closely, because I do not repeat myself: I don’t like you. I will never like you. So stay outta my way. And that means staying away from Dash, because I’m planning to tell her something I should have told her a long time ago. Got it?”

Pinkie froze in midair, turning off her gravity so she could speak uninterrupted. “”Nope!” she said sweetly.


“No,” repeated Pinkie Pie. “I don’t get it. I never got it since you stormed off at that party.”

“What the buck are you talking about, freak?” said Gilda. “And how are you just standing in midair like that?”

“Never mind that,” dismissed Pinkie. “I’m saying that you don’t have to be meanie-pants. Sure, Dashie is the best friend that you ever had, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t have other friends. Beside, you’re not all bad! I mean, I’ve read some REALLY good fanfics about you having a well-written character arc, or you having some tragic backstory. Those always make me cry, by the way.”

“You don’t know me,” Gilda said, narrowing her gaze. “You don’t know jack about me! You don’t know jack about Dash, and you don’t know jack about anything!”

“Awww,” said Pinkie, a little disappointed. “Now you just sound like an angsty-wangsty teenager! That’s the job is for the badly-written comic book characters in the 90’s, remember?”

“BUCK OFF!” screamed Gilda, slashing Pinkie across the face.

“Ouchies!” said Pinkie. “That hurts, Gilda!”

“Good,” snarled Gillda. “Let that be a lesson.”

“Okie-Dokie-Lokie,” said Pinkie, not intimidated in the slightest. With that, she dropped down to the ground.

[So, what good was that?] asked Pinkamena cynically. [You didn’t do anything to make her avoid Dusk, you just made her angry!]

“Au contraire, my depressed double,” said Pinkie. “Your Auntie Pinkie has her methods. In fact, I boldly say that Gilda won’t be even in looking in Dusky’s direction.”

[How could you possibly know that?] Pinkamena argued. [What did you do?]

“Trust me on this one, Dusky’s in the clear,” Pinkie said. “But Gilda’s still in jeopardy of becoming a permanent resident in Ponyville! And that’s where you come in.”

[Me?!] Pinkamena exclaimed. [What I am I supposed to do??]

“Do everything you can to make Gilda leave Ponyville extra early today,” Pinkie put simply. “You have no restrictions.” With that, th party pony's mane and tail deflated as her pink coat gave way to a much darker tone.

“This is way OOC for you,” spoke Pinkamena, “but I like it!”

Applejack trudged into the bakery, exhausted from a hard day’s work. She was there to help Pinkie Pie run Sugercube Corner for without the help of the Cakes, and for the very first time too! All the party pony needed was some help with the baking.

“Sorry Ah’m late, Sugercube,” said Applejack, tired to the point of intoxication, “Ah must’ve *yawn* dozed off again.”

“Don’t worry,” said Pinkamena, doing her best Pinkie Pie impression. “The important thing is that you’re here now.”

“Pinkie, you don’t look so hunky-dory,” Applejack slurred. “What happened ta yer mane? An’ why ain’tcha smilin’?”

Pinkemena smiled. It wasn’t a very pleasant smile. To illustrate, I’m going to tell what each pink pony’s smile said to those who looked upon it. Pinkie’s smile said this:

Hi! I’m going to throw a huuuge party for you and put a smile on your face!

Pinkamena’s smile said this:

Alright bucko, here’s what’s gonna go down: I’m going to violently chop you up into tiny little pieces with the nearest sharp object I can find. Then, I’m going to rape every single last one of those pieces until I’m so wet that I can sing “Shoo bee doo,” and onlookers will swear that they saw a seapony. Then, I’m going to throw those pieces into a plastic bag, throw that bag into a ditch, and tell all your loved ones that you committed suicide because they didn’t love you enough. Then, I’m going to release the filmed footage of me killing you online, so all the sick psychos out there can jerk off to you to insure that your immortal soul can never be at rest, and I’ll be making money off your pain. And I will do all of this laughing my plot off.

Pinkamena’s smile sure was a talkative one.

Fortunately, Applejack didn’t know right from left at the time, much less basic body langue, so she was blissfully ignorant.

“There ya go!” said Applejack. “That’s th’ Pinkie Ah know. Now, whut are we doin’ again?”

“Baking muffins!” Pinkamena said. “Because some bronies still have nightmares from Sergeant Sprinkle’s last creation.”

“Pardon?” said Applejack, a little dazed. “Ah can’t brain today, Ah have th’ dumb.”

“That’s the idea, redneck,” muttered Pinkamena.

“Say again?”

“I said it’s time for our first ingredient!” corrected Pinkamena in mock joy. “Baking soda.”

“Soda?” said AJ. “Not th’ first ingredient fer muffins, but okay.” She got some root beer from the fridge, and poured it into the bowl. “What’s next?”

“*Snort*S-s-sugar,” said Pinkamena, snickering a little.

“Boogers? Now that’s jus’ gross,” gagged Applejack, mishearing Pinkamina again. “But then again, Rarity served us some snails from Prance a while back at that picnic, so Ah guess this must be some fancy muffins!” She picked her nose and flicked the contents into the bowl. “Now what?”

Ten minutes later…

“So that’s soda, boogers, some fish, raw eggs, some raw sewage fer good measure, some of Winona’s dog treats, breast milk, orange juice, some live fish fer protein, chestnuts, Spike’s toe jam, the number four (how’d that get there?), cheddar cheese, eight plastic sporks, a cup of nitroglycerin (what’s that word mean again?), nine meters of rope, Granny Smith’s glass eye (she gonna need that back, by th’ way), a snipe from when went snipe huntin’, a table spoon of salt, and that… thing ya brought from th’ local power plant (An’ Ah SWEAR Ah jus’ saw it move again!),” listed Applejack. “How many muffins are we gonna make, exacly?”

“One,” said Pinkamena with a completely straight face. “We’re going to make one giant muffin.”

“In that case, won’t we need more ingredients?” AJ said.

“Well, thinking about it, there is one more thing we need,” Pinkamena said.

“What’s that?”

“The bowl.”

“Excuse me?”

“The bowl we’ve putting all the ingredients in. It’s going to be part of the muffin.”

“Ah don’t think we should-”

“Applejack, listen to me,” Pinkamena said. “To spiritually become one with the dish, the Tupperware must become one with it physically. Baking isn’t just a job. It isn’t just art form, either. Baking can even be a way of life, but only the truly worthy can see that cooking can be a path to enlightenment. Make the bowl an ingredient Applejack, and you will see the path. Have faith, and the light will guide you.”

Inside their mind, Pinkie wiped a tear from her eye. [Th-that w-was s-so beautiful!] she sobbed. [WWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!]

Too bad it was complete horseapples, huh? thought Pinkamena, rolling her eyes.

“Alright Sugercube,” said Applejack. “Ah’ll include th’ bowl. Wait a minute,” she thought aloud as she froze. “How are we gonna serve one muffin ta all yer customers?”

“Don’t worry,” Pinkamena said with a smirk. “This particular muffin is just for a special someone.”

“Who didja have in mind?” asked Applejack.

“Applejack, I think it’s time you all met Gilda…”

Following continuity, Pinkie threw a party for Gilda. Under Pinkamena’s insistence, she “forgot” to invite Dusk, just to be on the safe side.

“SURPRISE!~” yelled everypony as Gilda walked in.

“Whoa!” Rainbow Dash said, following Gilda into Sugercube Corner. “You threw a party for Gilda? Pinkie, that’s awesome! I knew you two would get along.”

“Yeah, totally,” grumbled Gilda.

Fortunately, Pinkie Pie had a lifetime of dealing with Pinkamena, so she had problem of keeping thoughts inside her head. “As a token of my friendship Gilda, Applejack and I baked you this ginormous muffin!” she announced, pushing up a food cart that carries the biggest muffin that Gilda ever saw. It was discolored green in some places, and gave off a funny smell.

Three blocks down, Derpy was giving her daughter a nice bubble bath. Suddenly, a shiver ran down the pegasus’ spine, and her ears perked up in attention.

“Mommy, what’s going on? Don’t you want to play Mr. Ducky?” asked Dinky.

“Playtime with Ducky McQuackerson will have to wait, Dinky,” Derpy said, her mind instantly turning to a sacred duty that she and she alone could perform. “Mommy’s muffin senses are tingling…”

Back at Sugercube Corner, Gilda’s features twisted in disgust. “There’s no way I’m gonna eat that,” she rejected. “In fact, I think I should report that for being a public health hazard!”

“G!” hissed Rainbow Dash. I think you’d better take the muffin, and quick.”

“Why?” Gilda said obviously.

"You don’t remember how you-know-who get about muffins?" Dash warned, trying to keep her voice as low as possible.

As if on cue, Derpy Hooves crashed through the widow. “Hey there, Gilda!” she said, expertly recovering from the crash landing. “Is that your muffin?”

Gilda smiled smugly. “Why yes Derpy, it is. But I’m not going to eat it. Seeing how you like it so much, it’s yours.”

Derpy’s eyes widened like it was Hearth’s Warming’s Eve. “Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!”

“Derpy!” Pinkie cried out in dread, seeing Gilda’s plan. “Don’t eat the-” But it was too late, for Derpy had already took humungous bite of the Death Muffin. She chewed slowly, savoring the flavor. Her munching slowed as the cross-eyed pegasus comprehended the flavor. She took another bite, just to make sure. Then another. Then another.

“This isn’t a muffin…” Derpy said suspiciously.

“Derpy I’m so-” Pinkie began.

“This is a GODSEND!”


“Sorry? How could you be sorry for this?” said Derpy, her heart leaping in utter happiness. “This muffin-no, this blessing has every good taste known to poykind, and then some! It’s chewy, crunchy, buttery, sweet, sour, creamy, spicy, melty, and mouth-watering all in one! How much blood, sweat and tears did it take to even make this thing anyway?”

“Well I…” began Pinkie Pie.

“Silence!” Derpy shushed. “This muffin and its ultra-secret recipe must only be used for good!”

“Hey!” said Gilda. “If that muffin’s so good, why should you have it all to yourself? Give it back!”

“Never!” shouted Derpy with anger. “You gave it to me, and nopony comes between me and my Precious!”

“Your Precious?” Rainbow Dash deadpanned.

“Yeeesssssss,” hissed Derpy, clinging to her muffin. “My Prrreeeciousssss…”

“Okay Derpy, you’re starting to scare us,” said mare named Carrot Top. “Step away from the muffin.”

“Never!” snapped Derpy. “Nopony’s touches Derpy’s Prec-*BARF*

And that’s when the muffin hit Derpy’s digestive system, making her vomit all over Gilda, making the biggest mess since, well, the last mess Derpy made.

DatPlot (and Subplot) Pt. 3

View Online

The entire candy store was thrown into silence. Gilda looked like she might explode. Pinkie looked like she might die. Derpy looked like she might throw up again.

“Sorry *urp* Gilda,” Derpy apologized. “I just don’t know what went-*KA-BARF!*” She vomited a second time, spew thankfully on the floor this time.

“There, there, Derpy,” Pinkie said. “Let’s get you back to your house so you can lie down.”


“…or a hospital, that works too. Don’t worry, I’ll throw you a super-dee-duper ‘get well soon’ before you can say ‘health insurance!’ Also, could somepony get me and Gilda a towel? This stuff’s really sticky.”

Some time later…

Fluttershy lead Applejack to the bunny pin, complete with burrows. AJ was there to help her friend count all the baby bunnies that were born in the springtime. To be honest, she wasn’t feeling up to it, for her sleep deprival had gone past “nodding off every five minutes,” to “cranky moods supercharged by caffeine.” To say the least, the farmer wasn’t the slightest bit happy. In fact, pretty much everything that she laid eyes on annoyed her beyond belief.

“Okay know,” Fluttershy explained. “These rabbits are really sensitive, and they scare very easily. So, don’t try to startle them okay?”

“Don’t you try ta tell me how ta do mah job!” snapped Applejack. “Roundin’ up critters is what Ah do best, seconded by applebuckin’.”

“Um, Applejack?” Fluttershy spoke. “I don’t really want to hurt your feelings, but taking care of animals is my job, although it’s more like volunteer work, seeing that I don’t get an actual paycheck. That reminds me, can you spare a few bits? I haven’t really afforded to go shopping in a while, and I kinda-sorta-maybe skipped out on the last few meals…”

“Enuff with th’ sob stories, Fluttershy,” Applejack crudely interrupted. “Ah’m helpin’ with th’ stupid bunnies, ain’t Ah?”

“I suppose so,” Fluttershy backed down. “Oh my, we’re here. Flopsy, Mopsy? Could you gather all the babies and present them here, pretty please?”


Meanwhile, within the glorious underground mead hall of Clan Cottontail…

Lord Angel Cottontail the Seventh sipped his alcoholic carrot juice with sweet satisfaction. He reflected on the events of another victorious spring: He had claimed his vengeance on Opalescence the Terrible, he had lead his sword-brethren to yet another bountiful raid from the cabbage stands, and best of all, he had bedded & seeded no less than nineteen different females this mating season, giving birth to another branch of the Cottontail tree.

All of a sudden, the scouts who had been guarding the surface burrows came bursting through the hall doors, sweating like pigs.

“Milord!” one of them cried. “The apple-mare challenges the House of Cottontail!”

“Hush, Flopsy the Swift,” calmed Angel with a baritone voice that was so jaw-dropingly manly, your balls could be inspired to drop off, run into the wild, kill a Bengal tiger, and grow ten times in size just by hearing it. “What happened?’

“The one who is Applejack was seen stomping around, shouting all manner of insults and demands!” proclaimed Mopsy the Fleet. “We believe it to be that she wants to take over our youth. I’m telling you, it was disgrace!”

Buttons the Wise, the oldest elder, announced a suggestion. “It would be rash to take a pony head-on,” he warned. “Not to mention a death sentence.” Many solemnly nodded at his tactical observation. Bunnies were the fiercest warriors on this side of the playpen, by they had nothing on the sheer fury of a pony.

“What is your view on this, Milord?” asked Mopsy. “Shall we stay here where it’s safe, or get killed on the field of battle?”

Angel nodded in thought before speaking. “Cowering in our holes like trapped animals shall disgrace our ancestors in Bunny-hala,” he said, slamming down his drink. “But getting slaughtered like hunted animals will do nothing for us either.”

“Then what do we do?” questioned everybunny.

“We cannot fight this threat directly,” their leader smirked, “but we can send a message. Let’s hit them where it hurts: their food supply!”

“Should we attack at dawn, as usual?” inquired Flopsy.

“Nay,” said Angel. “I already feel the earth pony pounding at the ground above us. We have to begin the assault immediately. Sharpen your blades, my brothers! For honor! For glory! FOR CLAN COTTONTAIL!!!!!”

Fluttershy peered into each rabbit hole. Utter darkness greeted her in each one.

“I think you scared them off, Applejack,” she said.

“They were jus’ being’ a buch ‘o pussies,” Applejack huffed.

“Well, I really don’t mean any offense, but you were being so harsh, and you kind of scared me a little… Oh hey, there they are!” Fluttershy pointed to a hole entrance

Applejack’s head cocked to the side. “What in tarnation are they wearin’?”

What the bunnies in question were wearing was a collection of bunny-sized battle armor, made from collection of stolen silverware and scrap metal taken from the local junkyard. On their faces seemed to be Braveheart and KISS-esque makeup. (Or was it war paint?)

Angel Cottontail looked across the open grass. There, as promised, was the apple-mare, looking less confident than he was told. He smiled at this with satisfaction, and raised his paw to point directly at her.


“CHARGE!” cheered his subordinates. With that, they ran into combat with all the rage and valor that only a bunch of bunnies could.

“Oh no, Angel,” Fluttershy said. “What are you doing? Is this about me cutting off snack times? Please, listen to Mommy!” It was no use; the rabbits scampered past her, apparently squeaking little battle cries. “I know you’re scared and confused about Applejack, but she doesn’t know any better. Would it be okay with you if I asked more nicely?”

The Angel’s hoard hopped into the Ponyville marketplace. Startled shopkeepers looked on in confusion at what appeared to be Fluttershy’s pets barraging in and snacking on their fruits, vegetables, and flower arrangements.

“The horror!” screeched a trio of flower-flanked ponies. “The HORROR!!!”

“What are you panicking about?” Dusk Shine said, who happened to be there shopping. “It’s just bunnies. They’re probably more scared of us than we are of them. Watch.” He walked up to one of the floppy-eared assailants. “Boogedy-boogedy-boo!” he said, making a silly face.

Angel looked into his challenger’s eyes. The pony facing him was a purple unicorn stallion, mocking him with the most ridiculous expression. Angel raised his mighty blade, forged from the finest butter knife steel, and slashed his opponent for his ignorance!

“Yow!” yelled Dusk. “That hurt, you little rodent!”

“Hehe,” Spike giggled on his surrogate brother’s back. “You just got your flank kicked by a rabbit.”

“Shuttup, Spike,” said Dusk, nursing the minor wound his face. “Come on, I think we have some antibiotics back at the library.

Meanwhile, at a place that was not being raided by rabbits, Rainbow Dash was dealing with a much more difficult issue: calming down Gilda.

“Com’on G, it was an accident! Derpy just didn’t know what went wrong.” Dash said. Gilda’s fists were trembling with rage.

“Forget it Dash,” she said darkly. “I’ll never forgive her for this! All these ponies are too lame for forgiveness!”

“Including me?” Dash said. Gilda bit her tongue. An impressive feat, considering that she had a beak.

“Dash, you know I don’t think of you that way,” the griffin tried to explain.

“Then what about my friends? Are they not cool enough for you?”

“No! Well, on the second thought, yeah, they're totally lame-os, and they don't deserve you.”

“You don’t know much that hurts me, G,” Dash said, trying to hold back a tear. Gilda sighed a bit, regretting that the situation turned to a turf that was not her own: being sappy.

“Dash, quit the drama," she improvised. "Do want this to turn into a soap opera?”

“Hay no!” Dash said quickly, her watery eyes wiped away by her own pride. This was the Dash Gilda knew. “I ain’t a namby-pamby wuss! I’m the coolest thing alive!” Gilda grinned.

“Nice to have you back, Dash,” she said knowingly. Just when they were about make up with a traditional hoof/talon wrestle, the bunny attack reached them.

“By the Stare, what is that?” Flopsy the Swift exclaimed. Before them was a behemoth of a beast, a monster that appeared to be a sick fusion of eagle and lion. Worse, it looked hungry.

“It must be the ponies’ secret weapon! We’re doomed! Shall we retreat, Milord?”

Lord Angel Cottontail the Seventh narrowed his eyes. “I didn’t come all this way to retreat,” he growled. “Snuggles the Unbreakable! Tiddly-Winks the Strong! Flank this beast while I strike some blows to the eyes!”

“Are you mad??” Tiddly-Winks said. “You’ll be killed! We must retreat!”

“Look at the wings on that thing,” calmly said their leader. “It’ll catch up to us in the blink of an eye, and judging by that predatorily look in its eye, it probably doesn’t feed on egg salad. If we retreat, we die.” He readied his sword. “No, if I’m joining the Hall of the Fallen today, I’m taking this abomination with me, kicking and screaming.”

“It’s been an honor serving you, Milord,” Snuggles said, saluting. “Before we die, I just wanted you to know: I slept with your shield-maiden.”

“Which one?”

“All of them, Milord. All of them.”

“You are forgiven comrade, for I have slept with all of yours as well.” Cue epic leap into battle! “YOU WILL TASTE THE WRATH OF ME, MY ALLIES, AND EVERY COTTONTAIL BEFORE ME, MONSTER!” Angel shouted, savoring the moment. “FOR TONIGHT, WE DINE IN TARTARUS!”

Gilda thrashed at the adorable bunnies gnawing at her face. “Get ‘em off me!” she cried. “I hate bunnies!” Rainbow Dash attempted to pry the little demon-spawn off her friend, but to no avail. The claws and teeth of the fluffy menace only dug deeper. Finally, Gilda resorted to trying to peck their eyes out. “Take this, you dweebs! This is NOT a cool day to pick a fight with Gilda the griffin!”

“Gilda, stop!” Fluttershy called out, finally catching up with Angel. “You might hurt them!”

“Forget them, what about me?” the angry half-eagle roared.

“She’s kinda right G, take it easy,” Dash said.

“I thought you were on my side!” Gilda said, her feeling hurt. “So long flip-flop, I’m blowing this popsicle stand.” With that, she tore the bunnies off one by one, violently threw them on the ground, and flew away.

“Gilda, come back!” Dash said, flying after her.

Dusk Shine stomped into Sweet Apple Acres, determined to have Applejack see the light. This time, he was not going to take no for an answer. “Applejack!” he hollered “I need to talk to you. You need help, Faustdammit!”

“Ah don’t need no help,” said Applejack as she came into view. She looked as worn out as ever, but there was a smug look of satisfaction on her face. “…Because Ah already finished!”

“You did?” said a surprised Dusk.

“Jus’ look and see.” She pointed over a hill. Trees that once bore delicious apples were now baren, and they reached as far as the eye could see. “What do you think of them apples, Sugarcube?”

“Uhh,” he spoke, not sure what to say next. “What about the ones to your right?”

“To mah right…?” Applejack gazed starboard, seeing that the orchard had seemingly doubled. After careful consideration, she committed an act that before that day, she would claim that the kind of behavior would only be reserved for Rarity: she fainted.

When she came to, she saw that Dusk was standing over her, a serious look in his eye. “You want my help now?” he said.

“Why are ya doing this to me? Why are ya helping me? No one’s ever offered me help before, and Ah never needed it!”

Rainbow Dash tackled Gilda midair. The two wrestled on a cloud before they stopped to catch their breath.

“Come on, *gasp* come back with me, *gasp* I know we can work *gasp* this out,” Dash said, heaving.

“”Why *gasp* does it *gasp* always have to *gasp* be this way, Dash?” Gilda said, breathing heavily as well. “You always convince me to branch out, and no matter have many times it backfires, you just want me to suck it up and smile. Well, I’m sick of it! Why do you keep torturing me like this?”

“Because I’ve been where you are before,” Rainbow Dash said.

“Because I’ve been where you are before,” said Dusk. “When I was little, I had to pass the biggest exam of my life. I studied my brains out, but I never felt I was prepared enough to pass. Finally, my big brother put his hoof down and said enough was enough and told me to play outside.”

“What was the subject?” asked Applejack.

“Gym,” said Dusk flatly. “It was for Track and Field Day.”

“An’ this relates to mah situation how?”

“The point is, if you stay too focused on one task, you soon lose sight of everything else. Like when you put Derpy in the emergency room, or unleashed the bunnies that wreaked my face. I just want to lend you a hoof so you can get back to your life.”

“Apples are mah life!” Applejack said, breaking into tears. “Everypony knows that ‘Applejack’s bad at math’ an’ ‘Applejack don’t have table manners!’ Don’tcha see Dusk? Apples are th’ only thing Ah’m actually good at, nothin’ more. It’s all Ah know! It’s mah dang cutie mark!

“Shuttup,” Dusk Shine said, his voice quivering.

“What didja say?”

“I said shut up!” he stomped a hoof on the ground. “Don’t you ever talk like you’re nothing, you hear me? You won the Pony of Ponyville award, remember? Sure you’re not ‘booksmart,’ but what good is that? I’m the smartest pony I now, and I can’t even manage my love life! You’re strong, proud, pretty, powerful, and by Celestia, you inspire me to carry on in spades!”

“Dusk” said AJ, wiping tear from her eye. “That there was th’ nicest thing anypony’s ever said ta me. Alright, Ah’ll let ya help but on one condition…”

“What was that?” said Gilda.

“I said I’ve been where you are before,” repeated Rainbow Dash. “I used to think that this town was full of losers too, but then I got to know them better. Eventually, I realized how good it felt to have a group of friends that will be with you thick and thin, who will listen to you when things are going rough.”

“I thought you weren’t going to get sappy on me,” objected Gilda.

“Just hear me out. Anyway, I found something I never did before: Even around you, I had to keep up an ice-cold barrier around me. I really had no one to really talk to without hiding a part of myself. Hay, how could I? I was Rainbow Dash, the untouchable idol that was too cool for school!”

“Dash, get to the point.”

“What I’m saying is, when I look at you, I see the old Rainbow Dash that was too scared to let anypony in. I just want to help you, that’s all.”

“You done?”


Gilda took a deep breath. “THAT’S COMPLETE LOAD OF BIRD DROPPINGS!!!!!!” she screeched.

“G, I swear, I’m not going soft on you.”

“That’s NOT what I’m talking about, dimwit.” The griffin said. “I’m talking about how you could open up to them and not to me!! What, was I not good enough for you back at flight camp? I was your only friend! You were my only friend!”

“G, I didn’t mean it that way…”

“Oh noooo,” Gilda said, still mad, but mocking Dash just to spite her, “Of course you don’t mean it, because you can’t ‘express yourself’ around me! And another thing, about the ‘me symbolizing your past self’ crud? Complete bull. What am I, your little pet project? I’m a living, breathing life form too, in case you forgot!”

“So, what the condition?” asked Dusk.

“First, close yer eyes,” instructed Applejack.


“Jus’ close ‘em, idiot.”

“Gilda, if you just let me finish a sentence…”

“No! You ain’t gonna say a word until I’m done!” ranted Gilda. “Do you even know why I put up with you? Why I hung out with you all through flight camp? Why I came here to Ponyville in the first place?”

“Oh yeah?” said Rainbow Dash, her patience done trying. “Why are even friends with me, huh?”

“Because I bucking LOVE you, you numbskull!”

Both couples kissed.

Dusk Shine tried to resist for half a moment, then gave in to the pleasure of Applejack’s tongue. Soon, it wasn’t him kissing her anymore. It was simply a stallion kissing a mare, a instinctual ritual that was practiced since the dawn of time and beyond.

This poetic scene could have been a lot more deep if Applejack hadn’t punched Dusk Shine straightly afterward.

“Ow,” Dusk said, clutching his bleeding nose. “Owowowowowow. Ow.”

“Th’ favor’s that y’all don’t tell a soul what happened here,” said Applejack. “Clear?”

Dusk Shine was about to protest, then caught himself. You know what? he thought, She’s kinda cute. I think I’m okay with it this time. Maybe she can even be the girlfriend that WON’T be the death of me.


Rainbow Dash’s eyes closed as her lips touched Gilda’s sharp beak. You can do this Dash, she encouraged herself. Just tell her you’re straight, and it’ll be over. She might hate you, but it’ll be over. Their mouths parted, and Gilda’s grip on Rainbow Dash released. Well, here goes nothing. I’m about to lose the best friend I’ve ever had. Open up your eyes and tell her, you coward! Rainbow Dash’s eyes opened and her mouth was ready to break the news, but Gilda was nowhere to be seen.

Next time…

The crowd of ponies murmured in anticipation. Some even brought popcorn. The midday sun beat down on the mysterious caravan that rolled into town.

“Ladies and Gentlecolts,” an ominous voice boomed from inside, “beings inferior to me of all ages, prepare yourselves for the spectacle of you very lives, for you are about to witness the amazing feats of the Grrreat and Powerrrrrful TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIXIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dusk meets Trixie

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“Are you sure you’re prepared for this?” asked Dusk Shine.

“Aw, don’t be such a wuss,” said Spike. “You already tried it on twelve practice dummies!”

“Fine, here it goes.” Dusk Shine’s horn glowed, and with a zap, Spike’s lip exploded into bushy facial hair.

“Yeeeeaaaahhhhhh!” the baby dragon said enthusiastically, looking at himself in the mirror. “Rarity is sure ask me out now!”

“Spike you know I’m as much of a fan of mustaches as much as the next guy,” his surrogate brother informed, rolling his eyes, “But don’t think Rarity’s gonna fall for you over your new look.”

“You’re just jealous,” argued Spike.

“Spike, trust me. Even if you got her to be your girlfriend because of this, it would just be because of some cheap gimmick, and that would be unethical.”

“Is ‘unethicwhatever’ supposed to be another word for ‘jelly?’ Because you just know you want a little lip-beard for yourself.”

Dusk paused for a second. “Okay, a little,” he admitted. “But my point still stands.” Spike was unmoved.

“Fifty bits says Rarity is putty in my hands by the end of the day,” he proclaimed.

“I pay your allowance every week,” replied the unicorn, mentally face-hoofing, “and I know for a fact that you don’t have that kind of money.”

“That’s how confident I am!” his number-one assistant said.

“No deal.”

“Thirty-five bits?”

“Dude, I do not feel comfortable taking money from children, especially if it’s you. Plus, it’s unnatural for someone you age to have facial hair, much less your species. Retiles don’t even grow hair!”

“Twenty bits.”

“…Done. Let’s go see Rarity.”

Dusk Shine and Spike rode through Ponyville, bickering of mustaches and how attractive they are when they were rudely interrupted by two colts bashing into their way.

“Snips! Snails! What in the name of puppy dog’s tails are you doing?” Spike yelled, picking himself up. “Running around like that is sure to ruin a handsome dragon’s mustache!”

Snips sprung to his hooves. “Dude, you have MUSTACHE? Is it real? Can I touch it? How’d you get so lucky?”

The number-one assistant’s chest swelled with pride. “My totally awesome brother used is magic unicorn voodoo to grow me one! (And no, you can’t touch it. Ew.)”

“Well, your brother can’t be awesome as the newest unicorn in town,” retorted Snails.

“What new unicorn?” asked Dusk.

“The new showmare that’s showing herself off in town square,” informed the skinny slow-witted colt. “If you’re quick, you might catch her next performance. It was so cool my wee-wee got all stiff and stuff!”

Dusk blubbered with the words of his next sentence. “I d-d-don’t think you should be discussing those thing in public, Snails. In fact, you better have a talk with your parents about it if your body’s doing these things this early. Also, I strongly suggest that you don’t see that kind of showmare anymore until you’re older, okay?”

“You can’t boss around Snails like that!” said Snips. “That’s my job!

“Yeah!” said his companion. “Snips is totally the boss of… hey!” As the two colts went into a heated argument, Dusk Shine walked away.

“I’m going to have a few words with this ‘showmare,’” he said more to himself than he did to Spike. “She should really learn to keep it in the club!”

Eventually, he got to town square. A crowd of ponies gathered around with him. What’s with all the audience? he thought. Should they have the show inside so they can actually make money?

That isn’t important, he debated with himself. I’m here to right a great injustice to society! You know what? I’m not even going to wait for the end of the show. This ends now! “Stay here Spike, I’ll be back in a minute.”

He stormed backstage, where a dozen fireworks and a collection of neon lighting were kept. Among the flashy props, a door marked with a star that read: “THE G.A.P.T.” stood proud. He flung open the door with frustration.

“What are you doing back here?” barked a blue unicorn mare with a snow-white mane that had a complementary icy blue tinge. “This is staff members only, and no autographs, Trixie merchandise, marriage proposals, or praising my name to the heavens until the show!”

“I’m sorry, Miss,” said Dusk politely. “But I cannot allow you to perform in Ponyville anymore.”

“Oh no,” said the mare with dawning horror, “You aren’t one of those debt collectors from Buckingtown, are you? Please, I don’t know the incredibly beautiful and intelligent unicorn you’re looking for, but it’s not me! Even if it was me, I paid all your money, I swear! I didn’t even touch those pinecones!”

“What the hoof are you talking about?” he asked. “I don’t even know where Buckingtown is.

“Oh,” she said, “Then forget what I just told you, or they’ll be after you too.”

“Annnywaaaayy…” he continued. “You better stop stripping publicly in this town, I’m warning you!” he scolded like a grade-school teacher giving a time-out. The “public stripper” burst out laghing.

“PPTHHHAHAHAHAHA!” she snorted like a pig. Dusk was feeling little confused and a lot more unsure. “*whew*And to think Trixie saw you as an actual threat. Tell me lesser wielder of magic, where did you hear that backwater rumor from? Me, the Great and Powerful Trixie, reducing herself to a common pole dancer? HA!”

He blushed “B-but I thought…”

“Silence!” commanded Trixie. “You have amused Trixie enough. She must prepare for her next show. Out!” With that, she literally kicked his flank out of her dressing trailer/unfoldable stage/caravan/living quarters/RV/fortune-telling stand/Autobot/Decepticon/personal “TARDIS”/occasionally, a bounce house.

A moment a later, her head popped out of the door, a marker levitating by her magic. “Here,” she said. “An autograph, free of charge because of the memory.” With that, she scribbled “Property of Trixie Lulamoon,” on her intruder’s flank and slammed the door in his face.

“So, how was making Ponyville a more family-friendly environment?” inquired Spike.

“Turns out she wasn’t really a stripper, Snails just has weird tastes,” the Element of Magic grumbled. “She also wrote this on my cutie mark, and I can’t rub it off. I think she used permanent marker.”

“Hehe, you’ve got tramp stamp,” giggled Spike.

“By the way,” the purple bookworm noted, “What happened to your mustache? It looks like a tornado hit your face.”


Flashback: Five minutes earlier…

“Hey, Rarity!” called Spike, twirling his new mustache. “Look over here! See what I’ve got!” He was certain that fate was smiling upon him today, for no sooner had Dusk left, Spike had spotted his true love in the masses of other ponies.

“Spike?” Rarity responded, hearing his voice but not seeing him yet. “Is that you, Darling? Where are you? Did my Dusky-wusky let you wander off on your own?”

“I’m right here, babe,” he said smoothly as he ran up and tapped her on the shoulder. (Do ponies have shoulders? Shrug in the comments if you agree.) “Check it out! Do you like my new look?“

“EEEEK!!!!!” shrieked the fashionista. “Spike, you have a horrid black caterpillar on your face! Ewewewewew!!”

“No, Rarity, it’s my new mus-“

“I’ll save you, Spikey-wikey!” she said bravely. “I’ll make it regret the day it was born!”

“Rartiy, don’t! You don’t understand!!”


“…There, I do believe the beast is slain. No need to thank me, I simply need to go home now wash my hooves of the… bug guts a few hundred times or so."*shiver*

Spike just gargled.

“Why, you’re welcome! You’re such a gentlecolt… dragon. Whichever. Ciao!” The marshmallow darted off, with several “…ewewewew’s…” audible to whomever was listening closely enough.

“You so owe me that twenty bits when we get home,” said Dusk.

“What’s this about bits?” said Rainbow Dash, squeezing from the crowd into a place aside Dusk.

“Dash, what are you doing here?” asked the egghead. “I haven’t seen you since you dragged Derpy to the hospital. Where have you been all this time?”

Rainbow Dash cringed a little. “I don’t like to talk about what happened that day,” she said distantly.

“Why? Was she really that sick?” he asked innocently.

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” she insisted.

“Dash, please just talk to me. It can’t be that bad.”

“I’m warning you now, drop it.” she said with every meaning of pure death hidden inside her expression. There was a look in her eye, a look that rivaled the Stare itself, a glare that threatened and dared its victim all in one to just take one step further, say one more word, or simply blink without her say-so, because all of Tartarus will break loose if you do.

“Gotcha,” squeaked Dusk.

“Sorry,” said the daredevil, “I didn’t mean to freak you out.” Just don’t think about Gilda, she ordered herself. Just let it go and forget her. Because you don’t even know where she lives, she’s never coming back, and you’re straight as an arrow anyway. You can’t fix that, you were born that way. Just don’t think about her, and she’ll disappear. “So what's happening here anyway? I heard somepony thinks she’s better than the rest of us at everything or some horseapples like that.”

“What?” said Spike. ”That’s her act? Not much of crowd-pleaser, bragging about how much more talented she is than her audience.”

“I’ve talked with her, and she sounds like a real egomaniac,” said Dusk.

“What’s this ‘bout a pony that has a big hat, but no cattle?” said Applejack, seeing that her friends were in a conversation.

“Some traveling showoff,” answered Dash. “What’s she doing, hogging the entire spotlight? That’s supposed to be my thing.”

“Well, didja meet her in person?” the farmer questioned.

“No…” said the pegasus.

“Didja see her show for yerself?”

“No…” said Spike. “But we do know gossip about her, and that information is as good as any.”

“Ah’m ashamed of y’all!” snapped Applejack. “This is Equestria, the land of love and tolerance! Ah thought that Ponyville was all about acceptance an’ good will! What happened ta th’ ponies who wouldn’t dream of judging a pony by th’ rumors around her?”

“Whoa AJ, cool it,” surrendered Rainbow Dash. “No reason to blow your top. If it pleases you, we’ll see the show, okay?”

“Ladies and Gentlecolts,” a voice blared through several speakers before Applejack could respond. “Beings inferior to Trixie of all ages! Prepare yourselves, for you are about to witness the most mind-blowingly spectacular acts of magic the world has ever seen! Performed by the one… the only… the GRRREAT AND POWERRRRFUL TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIXIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The curtain opened to reveal Trixie, dressed in a large lavender wizard’s hat dawned by multicolored stars, complemented by cape with a similar design. Oddly, the hat completely concealed her horn, making my first impression of her that she was an earth pony, which lead me on that this episode was going to be about how everything magicians do is simply nothing more than smoke & mirrors and it would end about how you shouldn’t put too much faith in your heroes. But I digress.

“Gawk in awe as the Great and Powerful Trixie dazzles you with tales of her victories!” she yelled without the aid of the speakers, but with just as much gusto as before. “Behold, for she once took down the dreaded Ursa Major!” The audience gasped.

“An Ursa Major?” spoke Rarity, returned to her friends. “I’ve never heard of anypony who’s done that.

“Rarity?” said Rainbow Dash. “There you are! You said you were gonna meet me here before the show started, and I even saw your face around, but you just sorta… ran off. What happened?”

“I’d rather not discuss the matter at the moment,” Rarity put vaguely, not wanting to revisit the painful memory of killing the “bug.”

“Oh,” the speedster said understandingly. “I get it. I know the feeling.”

“The Great and Powerful Trixie heard a challenger!” Trixie cut in. “Do you doubt Trixie's claims of beating one of the most powerful monsters known to ponykind, narwhal?”

“NARWHAL??” gasped Rarity, shocked at the insult.

“Yes, a narwhal,” the walking ego extravaganza confirmed. “Trixie must say that you resemble one: You’re both pale white, you both have useless horns, but admittedly, you are the one with more blubber.”

“Oh, it. Is. On!” The drama queen said coldly. She marched up to the stage in fashion that resembled a bloodthirsty gorilla attempting to be both delicate and ladylike and shoved an accusing hoof at her hated enemy. “Name your game, sister!” she challenged. “Anytime, anyplace!”

“The place is here, and the time is now,” said Trixie smugly. “Trixie usually lets her challengers pick the conditions of their choosing, for anything you can do, I can do better.”

“Very well,” Rarity agreed with a more regained composure. “We shall determine the victor by who upholds the traditional unicorn ideals.” She levitated some cloth from the curtains along with miscellaneous accessories while giving a speech about said ideals. “A unicorn is must not be all flashy parlor tricks and boasting. She must have the upmost grace and ladylike charm.” With the help of her magic, she rapidly transformed her materials into a ball gown, along with styling her hair into the classic Canterlot beehive. “A unicorn is not a unicorn if she does possess the elegance and wit that outclasses all but the most prestigious of ponies.”

Trixie said nothing, she simply blasted a wicked bolt of magic at the overdressed mare, and admired her handiwork (hornywork?) with a malicious smirk. Rarity noticed the horror of the onlookers and began to fear for her appearance.

“What? What are your all staring at? She did something to my hair, didn’t she? WHAT DID SHE DO TO MY HAIR??”

“N-nothing!” lied Rainbow Dash.

“It’s perfect!” supported Applejack.

“It’s as lovely as ever!” Dusk Shine added.

“What you guys talking about? It looks like a seaweed monster crapped on her head,” Spike critiqued bluntly. Dusk punished him for this by smacking him upside the head.

“Oh nooo!” said Rarity with despair. “She turned my beautiful gift from heaven GREEN? Anything but green! Green is an awful, awful color!” She ran off sobbing, convinced that her social life was over. As she did, another green-maned pony scowled.

“Well, I never,” huffed Carrot Top. “That’s the last time I dye mane for a change!” She trotted off.

“Dusk, remember when Ah said not ta judge a book by its cover with this pony?” said Applejack.


“Forget Ah said anythin’,” said the blond mare. “This ‘Trixie’ character needs a good helpin’ of humble pie, Apple-flavored!”

“You also dare to challenge Trixie?” Trixie said as she turned to face Applejack. “Very well, let’s see what you can do, southern belle.”

Applejack grabbed a nearby rope and tied it into a lasso, which she then attached to her tail. She did some gymnastic stunts, such as jumping through the rope both vertically and horizontally, until finally she lassoed an apple from a tree that happened to be nearby and eating it with a single bite as soon as it reached her. “Beat that, ya blue-colored varmint!”

“Trixie laughed at your weak attempt to outdo Trixie,” who-know-who said redundantly. “Watch and learn, farmer.” She lit up her horn, and the rope AJ put down seemingly sprung to life. Like a snake-charmer, she made the serpent-rope rise up into the air as Applejack watched, mystified by the magician’s spell. Abruptly, the rope’s moments quickened from slithering to whip-like speed, hog tying Applejack, much to her shame. Audience laughing, she hopped off the stage, an impressive feat considering she was on her back.

“Enough with your fancy-schmancy magic tricks!” said Rainbow Dash, mentally swearing justice for her humiliated companions. “Let’s see how you compare to a real showoff, one that can back up every word she says, and 20% more so!”

She took off to the local windmill, using it to gain speed by twirling around with it to the point of making any lesser pegasus sick to her stomach. But Rainbow Dash was no lesser pegasus. The flyer catapulted into the air, leaving a rainbow-colored blur behind her. She climbed higher and higher, blasting through clouds along the way and gathering their moisture. Finally, she did a U-turn after basking in the sun for half second and sped like bullet down toward the ground, the raindrops chasing after her. When she landed and screeched to a halt, they splashed off her open wings and refracted the light spectrum into a miniature rainbow.

“They don’t call me ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Dash’ for nothing,” she said, beaming with pride and yet upholding the usual “Rainbow Dash” level of swag. Trixie, however, was feeling a little bit more swag than her and decided that it was time to put the cocky little pre-Wonderbolt in her place.

“When Trixie is done with you, all they’ll be calling you is ‘loser,’” she said while thrusting her horn out. The rainbow Dash had created (no pun intended) began to swirl around her, and the daredevil lost control. She spun like a top, this time really getting sick, and was left in a dizzy mess. To add insult to injury, Trixie conjured up a storm cloud shocking Rainbow Dash in the flank and making her let out a girlish yelp.

Spike couldn’t stand it anymore. “Dusk!” he whispered, nudging his surrogate brother with an elbow. “I think it’s your turn. Show that Trixie-chick who’s boss!”

“What?” replied Dusk. “No! No way! You see how they hated her when she showed off?”

“So?” said the baby dragon. “What does it matter? Kick her flank!”

Dusk Shine rolled his eyes. “I mean, if they hate her now, imagine what they’re gonna do when I show off more magic than she has. I’ll be run out town!”

Spike paid no heed. “Hey, Trixie!” he yelled. “I’ve got a unicorn with TWICE as much magic than you’ll ever have!” Trixie raised an eyebrow.

“And who would that be?” she said. “I fail to see anypony with a horn beside you.”

“Why, none other than the Brilliant and Masculine Dusk-” Spike began, looking to his right. He had taken to account that Dusk had beyond mortal magical ability, yes, but the number-one assistant forgot one detail:

Dusk could use that ability to cast a high-level invisibility spell and run off to Celestia-knows-where like an invisible Scootaloo.

“-Shine,” Spike finished, realizing that his secret weapon was no longer present. He hung his head in shame.

“Trixie has no time for your amusing antics!” the traveling gypsy scoffed. “Come, who’s next? You? Yes you, with the bulging muscles and the comically small wings! Show the Great and powerful Trixie what you’re made of!”

Spike didn’t even stay for the “YEEAAAHHH!” of some nopony in the crowd. He was already heading home, cheeks flushing form embarrassment and disappointment. His goal remained the same, for it was Dusk who had taught him to never give up, no matter the odds. Dusk would take back what he said about it in this situation, but that didn’t matter. Spike was heading back to the library to give his surrogate brother a good tongue lashing when he bumped into Snips and Snails again.

“So?” asked Snips. “Did you see the Great and Powerful Trixie? Isn’t she awesome?

“I see Dusk do better stuff all the time,” muttered Spike. “He could brush Trixie out of here as if she was a dust mite.”

“W-well,” Snails sputtered, trying to defend his hero. “Trixie’s, uhh… greater… and more powerful-er… and stuff! Plus, she beat that Ursa-thingy, so that proves it!”

“How do you that?” ranted Spike. “Nopony’s ever beat an Ursa Major in recorded history! She could have just made it up so idiots like you two could go around bragging for her when she doesn’t have the time to do it herself!” With that, he stormed off.

“Hmmph,” said Snips. “What a jerk. We know better, right Snails? Trixie’s the most magical unicorn in all of Equestria!”

“Ya know, he’s got some kinda point…” Snails thought aloud.

“WHAT?!! Snails, what nonsense are you talking about? Trixie’s-”

“Just hear me out,” explained Snails. The funny thing about Snails was although the guy was as slow as… well, a snail, he did get ideas in his head time to time. And once those ideas got rolling in his brain, he made them happen, no matter how improbable it was. From finding out what the school paste was made of pegasus brains or not to how to move Sugarcube Corner across the entire town, if it was Snail’s idea, it was going to happen one way or the other.

“Trixie said that the battle between her and the Ursa-thingy was so amazing, we had to be there to truly grasp its awesomeness, right?”

“Right…” said Snips, listening closely.

“Well, why don’t we see it to grasp its awesomeness?”

“Snails, what are even saying?” Snips gasped when the idea hit him. “You don’t mean…”

“Huh?” said Snails, snapping to attention. “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. There was a sign about free-ice day at Lickety-Split’s dad’s store and I lost my train of thought.”

“Forget it,” said his best friend. “We’re going into the Everfree Forest. I’ll explain on the way."


Spike paced aggressively about the library while Dusk read his book. There was tension in the air; you could feel it two blocks away. Finally, Spike spoke up.

“I can’t believe you hung me out to dry out there, dude!” he accused.

“I’m truly sorry about that,” Dusk said coolly. “But you really should have listened to me when I said I didn’t want to upstage Trixie. It was a lose-lose situation, she would be made a laughingstock, and I would just take her place as the unicorn who thinks he/she is better than everypony else.”

“But you’re different!” objected Spike. “You don’t even like all that attention, plus you’re just doing what’s necessary!”

“Let me make one thing clear Spike,” cautioned Dusk, “driving Trixie out of town is not ‘necessary.’ This is just something for a confidence boost for guys like the kids on my old high school’s hoofball team, or those thugs from the Royal Guard that Shining brings out for a drink sometimes. I’m NOT one of those guys. I’m a thinker, not some jock who likes to play a game of ‘Alpha Male Smackdown.’

Yes, she humiliated my friends. So what? Nopony really laughed at them when she did, because this is Ponyville and they LIVE here. Everypony in that crowd today sees how amazing Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash are every single day, and that’ll always outweigh what happened today. Pretty soon, this whole ordeal will be over, and Trixie will be nothing more than that one crazy filly that wrote her stupid name on my flank.”

Suddenly, there was rhythmic quakeing sound from the earth, as though the mountains themselves got up and decided to go on a rampage. Spike looked outside.

“Mother of Celestia…” he said under his breath.

“What is it? An earthquake?” said Dusk Shine.

“Worse. Much worse.”

For the third time that week, Snips and Snails were running for their lives. But this time, they were happy about it, because they were going to see the most hardcore fight ever. (Or at least in their opinion.) Pretty soon, they reach their destination: Trixie’s caravan.

“Miss Trixie?” said Snips. “Miss Great and Powerful Trixie? Open up, we need you to be awesome!” Trixie swung open the door, a very irritated look on her face.

“Oh boy, it’s YOU two again,” murmured Trixie. “Look, you can’t buy anymore Trixie plushies, Trixie lawn ornaments, Trixie nacho cheese dispensers, Trixie scuba gear, Trixie corn dogs, Trixie pogo sticks, Trixie the Alicorn action figures, Trixie sparklers, Trixie balloon animals, or copies of The Great and Powerful Trixie: The Video Game,” she listed off like she did to them a million times before. “We’re all sold out. You should know, because YOU bought them all!”

“We’re not here for that,” Snips said, shaking his head. “There’s this big Ursa Major terrorizing Ponyville, and we need you to stop it!”

“WHAT???!!!!” screamed Trixie, her jaw dropping to the ground. “YOU IMBRED SONS OF MULES BROUGHT A BUCKING URSA MAJOR HERE?” She looked to the east, where an oversized bear with a coat that looked like the beast itself was torn from the night sky was roaring like it had a beehive stuck up its butt. (Which coincidentally, was the exact method that was used to wake it up.)

“Yeah!” said Snails with innocent enthusiasm. “It was my idea, apparently!”

Trixie slammed the door like there was a hurricane outside. “Trixie?” called Snails from the other side. “Are you okay? You can still beat an Ursa Major, right?”

“Don’t be stupid!” said Snips, smacking Snails like one of the three stooges. “She’s the Great and Powerful Trixie! She can do anything! Come on out, Trixie! Show this teddy bear what you’re made of!”

Trixie peeked out of the door, lured by the praise. “Okay, Trixie doesn’t feel as great and powerful as she did this morning, but she shall try.

The Great and Powerful Trixie vs. the Usra Major: Round 1!

See as the Great and Powerful Trixie uses her magic to make rope come alive! Tremble in awe as she bravely captures the monster with bindings of twine and straw! Slap your forehead in epic failure as she forgets that she only has enough rope to lasso two fingers!

The Great and Powerful Trixie vs. the Usra Major: Round 2!

Observe as the Great and Powerful Trixie as she magicks up a great storm of thunder and lightning! Gasp in amazement as she commands the elements themselves attack the Ursa Major with all their might!

Run away in terror as this seems to only make the beast angrier! Cringe in the financial horror as the Ursa Major crushes Trixie’s dressing trailer/unfoldable stage/caravan/living quarters/RV/fortune-telling stand/Autobot/Decepticon/personal “TARDIS”/occasionally, her bounce house with a single stomp!

The Great and Powerful Trixie vs. the Usra Major: Final Round!

Watch as the Great and Powerful Trixie considers her options! Swell in pride as she stares into the face of death itself! Please don’t laugh at her as she ever-so-bravely decides to make a tactical retreat! Cock your head in puzzlement as she crashes into that one colt who accused her of being a stripper?

“Trixie!” said Dusk Shine as Trixie picked herself up off the ground. “I knew you were tangled up in this mess.”

“You did?” Trixie said.

“Well, who wouldn’t come to that conclusion? You come into town one day, claiming that you beat an Usra Major one-on-one, and a Minor shows up the very eveing.”

“No, it’s not what you think, I didn’t bring it out!” the showmare said, dropping her third-pony act. “I never even laid eyes on an Ursa Major! It’s just all part of my show and-Wait, did you say ‘Minor?’”

“Why yes, yes I did,” confirmed Dusk Shine. “See, I read that the minimum height of a full-grown Ursa Major is no less than twelve stories tall. This one’s only roughly four stories tall, so it’s still a baby.”

Trixie looked on at the destruction of Ponyville that rivaled a Princesszilla movie. “That’s a baby?”

“That’s right,” said Dusk, “It’s just cranky because somepony woke it up. It IS past bedtime, you know.”

“Reeeeaaally?” she said, glaring at her two biggest fans. “I wonder who that could have been.”

“Ah. Was it Snips and Snails again? Should’ve guessed. I will deal with them shortly, but this is not time for punishment,” he said. “I have a bigger fish to fry. Namely, a giant-sized tantrum!”

“You’re insane!” gasped Trixie. “You can’t slay that behemoth! Even as a baby, it was no match for the best of Trixie’s magic!”

“We don’t have to kill it,” laughed Dusk his horn ignited. “It’s just a cranky cub, remember?” Dusk Shine’s magic performed as follows:

First, he cast a simple wind-changing spell to turn the cattails in the local pond into a makeshift orchestra of grasswhistles, soothing the Ursa Major Minor into a sedative state. Then, he unbolted the water tower, and dumped the water out, quenching the fires the baby bear started. Next, he swooped the empty container over to the barnyard, where the cows were kept. (I will spare you the image of what happens inside the barn, so try NOT to imagine a dozen half-asleep cows having their udders groped by Dusk’s telekinesis, and you’ll be fine.) The water tower, now filled with cream, was given to the Ursa Minor. Dusk Shine, with great effort, lifted up the cub and rocked it gently to sleep. Finally, the sleeping Ursa was levitated back into the Everfree Forest.

Trixie’s mouth gaped in amazement. After a long moment of staring, she threw herself on her knees. “TEACH ME!’ she begged. “Trixie has seen the error of her ways!” Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie walked over to see what drove the gigantic bear away, and saw Trixie apologizing. “She is very, very sorry for not seeing what a master of all things arcane you are, o Brilliant and Masculine Dusk Shine!”

Dusk, still standing beside the belief that he outshining Trixie would lead him to be shunned, denied her praise. “Oh no,” he said in desperate attempt to mask the truth, “it was you who lulled the Ursa Minor to sleep, remember Trixie?”

“Trixie is flattered by your attempt to give her all the credit,” Trixie said humbly, “but she cannot accept it, for you are truly the master!”

Of all the times this pony had to grow sense of modesty, thought Dusk, it had to be now.

“It that true, Dusk?” said Applejack. “Didja defeat the Ursa all by yerself?”

“It totally was, silly!” blurted Pinkie Pie. “This is a Twilight episode, isn’t it? I mean, it can’t be a Pinkie Pie episode because I haven’t got a line this whole chapter until now, and you barely even see me in the canon episode!”

“That… was… so… EPIC!” squee’d Rainbow Dash. “I saw the whole thing from the sky! It was like a Michel Haybale movie! That big bear went like, ‘Rawr!’ And you were like, ‘Pew-pew-pew!’ And then the bear was like, ‘Zzzzzz…’” She paused. “Acutally, that part was really boring. Can we go back to the part where the Ursa-or-whatever-it’s-called blew up that Diamond Tiara-kid’s vacation home? That was awesome.”

“You aren’t mad at me?” said Dusk, confused at his friends’ reaction because he’s an idiot and I want to get this stupid canon character arc done already.

“Of course we’re not angry,” said Rarity. “Why would we be upset at you for saving Ponyville?”

“Because now that I’ve shown I’m better than Trixie, you might think I’m a showoff like her.”

“Hey!” said Trixie. “The Great and Powerful and Offended Trixie heard that!”

“Doing your part to protect the ones you love isn’t showing off,” said Fluttershy. “It’s doing what you think is right, and I think rocking that poor little Ursa Minor to sleep was very sweet of you.”

“Anyways,” Trixie said while still at Dusk’s knees, “Trixie has seen you do magic in a way beyond what she could have imagined, using mostly a simple levitation spell,” she continued, over-romanticizing her savior’s accomplishment. “What’s more, you performed it with so much power, Trixie is certain that you are a wellspring of arcane power, rightly worshiped as a god among magic-users.”

“That’s very flattering of you, Trixie,” said Dusk, his cheeks a little red. “But I think it’s time for you to-”

“…And that it why The Great and Powerful Trixie now deems you worthy of becoming her tutor, comrade-in-magic, and lawfully wedded husband.”

“WHAT?!!!” cried out the voices of five jealous mares and an even more furious dragon.

“Indeed,” confirmed Trixie with as much ham as she put into her professional performance. “For you have stolen Trixie’s heart with your skills and bold demeanor! She will chase you to the ends of the earth if you so wish her to! You have wooed her to the very core of her spirit, you rapscallion of stallions!”

“…To Peirce Two Souls,” Dusk recited.

“Pardon?” said the blue unicorn, breaking character.

To Pierce Two Souls,” he repeated. “It’s romance novel by a pony named Ill Repute. You just quoted from the scene in Chapter 39, where the secondary female lead confesses her love to the eighth conflicting love interest.”

“You read that?” she said, slightly embarrassed that her act was so transparent.

“To be honest, I read any genre that comes into my hooves. I stayed with my aunt for three weeks one summer when I was fourteen. All she had was cheesy romance novels, so I had to make do. The material was as cheesy as my aunt’s gorgonzola, but at least I had a lot of content. Now, what do you really want, if that’s not actually your real pickup line?”

Trixie sighed. “I really do want a tutor on magic,” she confessed, dropping her third-pony verbal tic to be taken seriously. “But the truth is, my place got smashed to pieces, so I have nowhere to go, and no place to stay.”

“Didn’t you try to run out of town when I bumped into you?”

“Shut your mouth! Trixie wasn’t thinking straight!”

“Hold everything!” announced Pinkie Pie. “Group meeting! Now!” All five mares plus Spike huddled together, hoofball style. Since Dusk had no idea what “group meeting” meant because he missed Pinkie’s debriefing in-between chapters, he was sadly not part of the huddle. There was a quick exchange of whispers, and they came to a decision.

“BUCK, NO!” all of Dusk’s friends cried out, followed by a “…if that’s okay with you,” from Fluttershy.

“Uh, guys?” said Dusk. “She just said she’s homeless. Do you want a homeless pony sleeping out in the cold on your conscious?”

After another exclusive group meeting without Dusk, there came a second answer: “GET HER OUTTA HERE!” followed by a “…but give her some food and money,” from Fluttershy.

“Please, guys?” said Dusk Shine like four-year-old begging his parents to keep a puppy that followed him home. “She can sleep in the guest bedroom that I’ve been using for a broom closet until now.”

There was a third group discussion, and then Fluttershy said, “Alright, she can stay.”

“As long as she doesn’t touch you,” added Rarity.

“And you have to keep using her room as a broom closet when she’s sleeping in there,” said Rainbow Dash like this was the most important thing in the agreement.

“Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!” the now not-so-homeless gypsy exclaimed. “You won’t regret this, Trixie promises!”

“So, there’s only one thing left to do…” the purple scholar said as he surveyed the ruined streets of Ponyville. “Snips and Snails, come out from wherever you’re hiding! You’ve got some explaining to do!”

The two culprits crawled out from a barrel in an alleyway and walked over to face the consequences of their actions.

“We’re sorry,” they said simultaneously.

“You better be,” scolded Dusk Shine. “You nearly destroyed all of Ponyville this time.” Snips and Snails looked at the ground, their faces painted with guilt. “But,” Dusk added, “I suppose this time you can’t be expected to clean up this entire mess, so I guess you two will simply have to report yourselves to community service and see what you can do for the Mayor, starting tomorrow.”

Spike coughed. “You know,” he suggested, “thinking about it, this all started with their obsession with Trixie, so don’t you think you should give them a taste of your magic to see how it stacks up?”

His surrogate brother nodded in approval. “What did you have in mind?”

“I was thinking about the spell you learned this morning,” Spike vaguely put. “And give it to me again, too.” Dusk’s horn lit up, and the three boys instantly grew bushy mustaches.

“That still isn’t going to attract girls,” said the egghead. “In fact, I think you’d be better off without them.” Just then, he heard the distinct sound of a young filly swooning. He turned and saw a schoolgirl by the name of Silver Spoon racing up to Snails.

“H-hey there,” stuttered the rich filly, losing her confidence as she got within eye contact of Snails. “Y-you’re name’s Slugs, r-right?”

“Snails,” said the skinny colt, wondering why a member of the opposite sex was talking to him.

“Snails, right,” said Silver Spoon, mentally slapping herself while thinking Stupid, stupid, stupid! “I don’t r-really like talking to ponies like you, mostly ‘cause Diamond Tiara says you’re uncool, b-but I couldn’t help notice… that moustache!

Dusk’s mouth hung open so wide, you could fit a train in there and he still could have enough room to eat his words. Pinkie, however, corrected the Silver Spoon with “It’s pronounced ‘MUSTACHE!’”

The spectacled pony ignored her. “S-so I w-was wondering, there’s th-this ‘free ice cream day’ at Lickety-Split’s dad’s place, and I think it w-wasn’t completely destroyed when that big m-m-monster attacked…”

“You know,” Snips said, backing up his brainless friend, “Snails and I were the ones who faced the Ursa Minor mono-on-mono in the Everfree Forest.”

“Oh!” gasped the love-struck filly. “That’s so brave of you, Smiles!”

“Snails,” repeated the slow-witted colt.

“S-sorry,” said Silver Spoon, now stammering ever single word to the point in barely understandable. “S-so… w-w-would y-y-you… g-go out… w-with m-me?”

“Hooray,” cheered Snails, still oblivious that he forgot to turn off his swag. “Free ice cream!”

The Rise of Dovashy

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Trixie was slowly developing to Ponyville. How Ponyville was adjusting to Trixie, however, was up for debate. For one thing, she went by an unusual dress code that she set for herself. (Namely, she never went naked.) Whenever she went out in public, she wore the hat and cape that she wore during her shows. When Trixie lounged around the house (or when she didn’t want to be immediately recognized by Snips & Snails, or anypony that held a grudge to her), she put on a getup she called “casual wear,” because by her logic, she couldn’t be great and powerful 24-7, or else she would risk using up all her spectacular perfection.

Dusk’s friends had mixed reactions. Rainbow Dash frowned whenever the blue unicorn was in the room, and generally didn’t improve her mood until five minutes after Trixie left it. Pinkie threw her a party as usual, but Trixie was in for a real surprise when she woke up one night to Pinkamena standing over her bed. The sociopathic mare apologized and claimed that she was simply stalking Dusk, which didn’t really make her all that innocent. Rarity was fairly manageable, as she kept her jealously to herself most of time. Applejack was slow to forgive, but eventually warmed up with her instinctual hospitality. Fluttershy was happy that the residents could be so welcoming to a new neighbor, but secretly wondered why her heart felt like it was being pinched whenever Dusk said something nice to Trixie. Spike grumbled about every flaw Trixie had for a whole week, and then finally gave in, so long as he was Dusk’s assistant, and that meant the little witch couldn’t boss him around.

Dusk Shine’s reaction could be summed up to his latest letter to Celestia:

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today, you would have been so proud of me. I have gained a student that will be living in the Ponyville library with me from now on. (By the way, did you know that this library is named “Books and Branches?” I didn’t even know that the earth ponies that hollowed this tree out even gave it a name!) Her name is Trixie, but she insists that she be called “The Great and Powerful Trixie.” She laughed when I said I was studying the magic of friendship, but shut up when I told her that I was studying it for YOU. She’s got quite the ego, but it gets kinda cute when you get used to it. She’s really warming up to my friends girlfriends companions, but some more than others. I have high hopes for her, and one day, I know that she’ll make me proud.

Your faithful student,

Dusk Shine

P.S. We need funding for a new water tower. Don’t ask.

My faithful student,

Tell me the truth: Is this another addition to your little harem, or are you using this “Trixie” to drive the others away to get a little privacy? (Don’t feel ashamed, I have committed both acts over the years.) Spike has been sending letters to me whining about her like I’m supposed to be his personal therapist, and frankly, she sounds a bit of a burden.

Your (simply curious) teacher,

Princess Celestia of Equestria

P.S. Luna misses you. Silence, Tia! Stop messing with the royal personal life!

Dear Princess Celestia,

I do NOT have any idea what you’re talking about, specifically this harem you speak of. I might have several other mares chasing after me, but this is completely based on some radical out-of-place hormones and I do not wish to pursue a relationship that is purely based on sex.

Dear Princess Celestia,

I don’t want to clop Trixie, nor am I keeping the others at bay on purpose.

I miss Luna, too.

“AAAAUUUGGGGHHHH!” Dusk cried in frustration. “Why is this so hard? I can’t just leave a message like that from Celestia unattended!” He had been writing different versions of the same letter for an hour or so, and so far he had no luck whatsoever on sending the proper response. Fortunately, he didn’t have to, for another message came from out of Spike’s mouth.

Dear Dusk Shine,

I’m sorry for asking such a rude question, forgive me. Unfortunately, this is also a letter for strictly business.

A dragon has been snoring in the mountains, and causing a lot of smoke doing it. The earth pony’s crops are already suffering from a lack of sunlight. We cannot let this continue. Since the dragon is residing in a mountain nearby Ponyville, it is suitable that you and your friends here go up there to persuade him to move elsewhere, by any means necessary.

Your benevolent teacher (That’s still very sorry!),

Princess Celestia of Equestria

P.S. I’m sending some reinforcements, so don’t go until nightfall. I must remind you that this is a peaceful mission and violence is a last resort, especially when dealing with a dragon., but I want to make sure that my subjects are safe, including you.

Dusk Shine read the letter aloud to the other Elements of Harmony, plus Spike & Trixie. When he finished, there was an unexpected uproar of debate about the reinforcements.

“Why is Celestia making us wait for backup?” demanded Trixie. “The Great and Powerful Trixie can handle herself, thank you very much! (Unless it’s an Ursa Major or Minor, then you’re on your own.)”

“Yeah!” agreed Pinkie Pie. “Our canon versions got to go alone, so why shouldn’t we?”

“Why do we have to wait until dark?” complained Rainbow Dash. “I want to kick some dragon butt ASAP, not wait around some Royal Guards just to slow us down.”

“Look,” said Dusk like he was explaining this to a bunch of grade-schoolers that missed their naptime, “I know it might be inconvenient, but this is for our own safety. Elements of Harmony or not, we’re still just civilians. And it’s pretty much illegal in most countries to request civilians to hunt down a dragon without drafting them. I mean, who in their right mind would just tell us to go and confront one of the most dangerous creatures alive totally unarmed? That would be stupid.”

“B-but why do we still have to wait until after sundown?” Fluttershy spoke up. “I’m s-s-scared of the dark.”

Dusk thought for a moment, scratching his head. “You know, that’s a pretty good question. Why would it take so long to get down to Ponyville? The trip isn’t that far.” He looked at the setting sun. “Well, we’ll be sure to ask them when they get here.”

As if on cue, a couple sky-carriages drifted down to our heroes. The first was gilded with the golden metal, symbolizing Celestia’s guiding sun, and was pulled by two ordinary pegasus guards. The other chariot was more darkly colored and styled, pulled by ponies with bat-wings and snakelike eyes. Riding the much-more-metal was a dozy-looking Luna, her light-blue mane in a bedhead.

“Princess Luna!” exclaimed the Elements of Harmony. Trixie looked in bewilderment.

“…Who?” the showmare asked.

“GREETINGS, OUR LOYAL SUBJECTS!” Luna said, her sleepy demeanor not getting better of the Royal Canterlot Voice. “FEAR NOT, FOR THIS DRAGON WILL BE ENLIGHTENED BY THE DIPLOMACY OF THINE PRINCESS!!”

“Who is this?” said Trixie, slightly irritated. “What’s with the fake horn? Even the Great and Powerful Trixie knows that Celestia herself is the only alicorn alive!”


“Never heard of you,” said Trixie nonchalantly.

“Note to self,” said Luna in what she considered her indoor voice, “Remind Tia to spread more publicity of her own sister’s redeeming from the dark side.” She lifted her volume again. “WHAT IS THY NAME, SORCERESS?”

“Why, you speak to none other than the Great and Powerful Trixie, of course!” the blue unicorn said with pride.


“Why don’t you?

“…GOOD POINT,” said Luna.

“Excuse me,” said Dusk Shine, “But we were wondering: Why do we have to wait until dark to go on this mission? Wouldn’t make more sense to go in the morning?”


“Royal Boyfriend??” said Rarity, fuming with rage and gritted teeth.


“Then why did we wait until night?” questioned Dusk for a third time. “Ponies sleep at night!”


“You stayed awake for the Thanks-For-Not-Casting-the-World-in-Darkness-Party I threw for you,” pointed out Pinkie. “And it was daytime then.”

“TWAS A ONE-TIME THING, AS THE COMMONERS SAY NOWADAYS,” said Luna, wrapping up one of the most enraging plot holes in the series.

The rider of the first sky-carriage hopped out. He was white unicorn stallion with a blue mullet, and he wore a custom-made set of purple armor.

“Shiny!” said Dusk Shine, addressing Shining Armor. “How long has it been?”

“Too long, Shiny,” said his older brother. The peculiar thing about Dusk and Shining is that they called each other by the same nickname. Nopony else called either of the two “Shiny,” so there was a surprising lack of confusion. “I heard that you were going to meet a dragon toe-to-toe, so I found it the perfect excuse to go and catch up with my favorite little bro. And if I recall…” he leaned in close to Dusk “…I think you have to be punished for not writing to me.”

“Oh no,” said Dusk in horror, “You don’t mean…”

“Oh, but I mean…” repeated Shining Armor, grinning ear to ear on what was going to happen next. “…NOOGIE TIME!!!” The Captain of the Royal Guard pounced on his brother, instantly trapping the bookworm in a headlock and rubbing his noggin affectionately.

“Dusk has a big brother?” said Fluttershy. “Can he fill in for me on this ‘sleeping dragon’ trip? I think I hear my squirrels calling for food.”

Dusk Shine escaped the headlock put a loving hoof around Fluttershy’s front leg. “Hey, don’t worry about your pets,” he said. “I told Spike to take care of them while we’re gone.”

“Hold up,” said Applejack. “Y’all mean ta tell me that we’re gonna convince a dragon ta move condos an’ we’re gonna leave the ONLY one of its kind back home?”

“I don’t think you’re getting the point of dragon psychology,” said Shining Armor. “Having a dragon hatchling won’t improve our chances. What we need is someone with power and that’s why Luna’s here with us.”

“Nice to know that I’m useless,” Spike grumbled. “I’ll be here stuck bunny-sitting.” Fluttershy, scared that her excuse was dashed away, hid behind Shining Armor.

“Just promise me that the dragon won’t hurt me, alright?” she said nervously. “That’s your job as a Royal Guard; to protect and serve?”

“That’s right,” said Shining confidently. “It’s my sworn duty to protect all of you.” Fluttershy hugged Shining even tighter, comforted by this fact. Dusk Shine then painfully remembered the one drawback of having his brother around.

Shining Armor always got all the mares.

This wasn’t a problem back when Dusk was in magic kindergarten, but as soon as the two brothers hit puberty, fillies swarmed around Shining like bees to honey. In fact, the main reason why Dusk was so unpopular in middle school wasn’t because that was nerdy and unattractive (in fact, he was quite cute), it was because he was in the constant shadow of his older brother. By the time Shiny and Shiny graduated, one had completely indulged himself in his studies beyond any possibility of even making friends, while the other had enrolled in military school.

And now, the most beautiful mare in Dusk’s life was snuggling up to his older brother. Dusk Shine was not amused. Fortunately, Pinkie Pie was there to break the tension.

“Omigosh, this is the best idea EVER!” she squealed. “I mean, we get to meet Shining Armor in A Canterlot Wedding, but that’s aaaaalllll the way in Season 2! It was a really, really, big surprise for me, and not the good surprises you find at a surprise party. A real shocker! I was like, ‘Twilight, you never told us that you had a brother!’ and Twi was like ‘Wah-wah-wah, he’s the only foalhood friend I’ve ever had and I’ve even sang a song about it, so now I’m emo,’ but then we get ANOTHER big revelation that the one Shining’s marrying is not only the other ‘only foalhood friend that Twilight’s ever had,’ (because that so common in the first place!) but she’s a bucking alicorn too! Talk about Mary Sues!”

“What’s she talking about?” asked Shining Armor.

“That’s just Pinkie Pie,” sighed Dusk. “Ignore her, and you’ll stay sane.”

“I’m pretty sure she said something about me getting married at some point.” The older brother said.

“I repeat: Ignore her, and you’ll stay sane.”

The Rise of Dovashy Pt. 2

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5,000 years ago, to a time before Equestria was even founded…

Fluttershy’s ancestor (her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather to be precise), the brave and fearless Commander Hurricane of Pegasopolis, was freezing his tail off. He had just come back to base from killing a dragon, a feat which nopony had done in recorded history, when the elders he hired to make all the political decisions (because back then, it was a common belief among pegasi that thinking too hard gave you Cutie Pox, so they left the burden to the old and dying, as they suffered less) told him to pack his bags and leave for some temple named High Hrothgar, located at a mountaintop that was titled The Throat of the World. And no, he did not know how to pronounce that.

“Go to High Hrothgar,” the wrinkled old farts said. “The Greybeards have summoned you, Commander.”

“Who the buck are the Greybeads?” he asked.

“They are an ancient tribe of monks that study an ancient magic called The Way of the Voice,” they responded.

“Can this ‘Way of the Voice’ be weaponized?” asked Hurricane eagerly.

“It’s very dangerous, and it was not meant to be in the hooves of mortals…”

“That sounds like a ‘yes’ to me!” said the military dictator with glee.

So, here he was, at the top of the accursed mountain, after taking a road called The Seven-Thousand Steps. Hurricane then painfully realized that he could just fly up there instead of taking the path that inconveniently had him cross paths with wolves, bears, and a Frost Troll, so he punished himself with a facehoof before walking into the temple.

“Welcome to High Hrothgar,” bowed a robed pony with a beard that was surprisingly white, not gray. Lousy false advertising. “We are honored to be in your presence, Dovakiin.”

“Who’s Dough-vah-keen?” demanded Commander Hurricane, standing on his hind legs to make fisticuffs. “Do I have to kill him to get the super-weapon? Lemme at ‘em!”

“You misunderstand,” said the Graybeard, still retaining his serenity, yet taking a more apologetic tone, like the one you use for when you accidently insult someone’s mother. “Dovakiin is a title in the ancient dragon tongue for one who has dragon blood in them.”

Hurricane dropped his front hooves to the ground and looked at the Graybeard like he was just told that pigs had wings. “I’m pretty sure that my grandma didn’t clop a dragon,” the military dictator said bluntly.

“Umm… that’s a different kind of Dovakiin,” said the Greybeard, whom from now on will be addressed as Musky Whiskers, because I’m sick of just calling him “the Greybeard.” “The kind that you are uses Thu’um, or Shouts, to perform great magical feats. The Greybeards study Thu’um and believe that it is the key to the path of enlightenment.”

“Sooo, I’m gonna learn magic words from you guys?” said Hurricane. “Awesome!”

“Not exactly,” said Musky Whiskers. “Normal ponies study the Voice by attempting to encompass each word, filling its meaning into them until it becomes a part of them. The Dovakiin can do this, but you learn by absorbing the soul of a dragon, which you have done quite recently. When you absorbed the soul, we felt your presence in this world, and we summoned you here.” He cocked his head to the side in curiosity. “How did you come across the courage to slay a dragon, anyhow?”

“It stole my sweetroll,” said Hurricane with a frown.

“And that’s all it took to motivate you?”

“No, it came into the capital of Pegasopolis and ate somepony I knew named Sweetroll.”

“Oh, I’m sorry for your loss,” said Musky Whiskers, nodding in understanding. “Was she important to you?”

“Sorta,” said Hurricane. “We had this deal where we had sex every Thursday, nothing more. So, when do I learn to use those godly powers that I can barely comprehend?”

“Well, the most simple of Shouts goes like this: Fus, Ro, and Dah,” said Musky Whiskers as he waved a hoof. As he did, three words in the dragon language appeared glowing on the stone floor.

Commander Hurricane took a deep breath, imagining how jealous Chancellor Puddinghead would be when he show him this. “FUS… RO…

…dah…” The last part sounded like the most pathetic mouse in the world whispering her teddy bear goodnight.

Musky Whiskers raised an eyebrow. “I’m sorry,” he told Hurricane cynically. “The translation for Thu’um is ‘Shout,’ not ‘Whimper like a Little Bitch.’ When you are serious about this, try it again, only louder.”

Hurricane snorted in frustration. He inhaled again. “dah!”






Commander Hurricane sucked in his breath with all his might. “daaaahhh!~"

This went on for countless hours. Finally, Musky Whiskers gave up.

“We truly sense dragon blood in you,” he said with a sorrowful tone, “But it seems that it has not fully awakened yet.”

“When will it finally mature?” asked Commander Hurricane impatiently.

“Who knows?” the old stallion shrugged. “It could take generations.”

Present time…

Commander Hurricane’s direct descendant (his great-great-great-you-know-the-drill-great-granddaughter), Fluttershy Bloodsplatter Hurricane, was cowering in fright, despite having the most awesome name ever. She was terrified of dragons, more than anything else in Equestria. And now she had to go up a mountain and actually talk to one.

Yep, she was totally gonna die. To prevent such a fate, she had made it her highest priority to stand behind the toughest thing she could find at all times. The tough object in question was named Shinning Armor, Dusk Shine’s big brother.

“You know the dragon won’t even be able to see us until we get to the top of the mountain, right?” Dusk said to her, an annoyed look on his face that was more directed at his brother than to her.

“Shhh!” she hushed. “They can smell fear!”

“Well, would you at least get off Shiny? You’re slowing him down.”

“N-n-not a ch-chance,” she stuttered as she rode on Shining Armor piggy-back style. She held onto him with an iron grip.

“Fluttershy, you’re wearing the spare set of full-body armor the guards brought along,” Dusk pointed out blantly. “And to top it off, we’re not going to fight the dragon, we’re just going to persuade him to move to another mountain.”

“Speaking of which,” Trixie added, “What’s this mountain called, anyway?”

Dusk Shine looked at the map. “It seems to be named Stereotypical Mountain With a Cave at the Peak.”

“Lamest. Name. Ever,” said Rainbow Dash with eye roll.

“Hey!” shouted Applejack, offended. “Mah granny’s ma named these mountains. Are you callin’ mah family dumb?”

“Only if they were stupid enough to name a mountain that,” Dash snorted.

“They WEREN’T stupid! Thhey jus’ ran outta names, that’s all. Ah mean, look around you; Ponyville’s surrounded by mountains!”

“Sure does explain the name of the mountain just east of this one,” Dusk shine remarked, his eyes not leaving the map.

“What’s it called?” inquired Rarity out of curiousity.

“Mt. Celestia, Keep Yer Damn Hooves Off Mah Husband, or Ah’ll Rip Yer Buckin’ Throat Out,” he read aloud.

“Granny Smith always said that her pa was a keeper,” AJ said with pride.

“It still is a sorry waste of mountains,” Rainbow Dash argued. “If I was in charge, I’d name each and every single one of them something cool, like Mount Kick-Flank or Dash-Everest.” She flew up toward the two guards that accompanied Shinning Armor, a couple of standard pegasus guards. “You guys argee with me, right? What would you name this beauty that we’re climbing?”

“No lollygaggin’,” said the first guard.

“That’s not an awesome name, that’s just weird,” deadpanned Dash.

“What is it? Dragons?” said the second guard.

“No, duh!” she scoffed. “Remember? Smoke all over Equestria? That’s why you’re all the way out here, for Pete’s sake! Didn’t you read the memo?”

“Rainbow Dash, they’re trained to say that,” explained Shining Armor. “It’s to spread the message that the law force isn’t something that can be bribed or negotiated with. Celestia calls it a psychological warfare against crime.”

“Ooo! Ooo! I’m really good at it!” declared Pinkie Pie. She faced the Royal Guards and addressed them. “I used to be a Pegasus like you, then I took an arrow to the wing!”

[Pinkie,] said Pinkamena, [We need to talk.]

Okay, thought Pinkie Pie, Do you wanna talk about the joke I just made? That was pretty funny, wasn’t it?

[No, it wasn’t,] said Pinkamena solemnly. [It really wasn’t.]

Don’t be silly, said Pinkie, yet not out loud, Me, Pinkie Pie? Not funny? Those words don’t belong in the same sentence. The fans love me!

[Pinkie, you have a serious problem. You’re becoming one singular running gag, and you need to branch out. It’s like you’re addicted to breaking the fourth wall.]

I can quit anytime I want! Pinkie snapped. Besides, you do it too!

[I was getting to that,] Pinkamena said while raising an eyebrow inside their mind. [We both have a problem. That’s why if you don’t quit right this minute, I’m sending our fat flank to rehab. I will turn around, walk straight down this mountain, go into the Sugarcube Corner basement, and duct tape our mouth shut until we learn some control.]

Pinkie gasped, out loud this time. “You wouldn’t!”

[Try me.]

“You can’t tell me what to do! The readers can’t even understand what you’re saying with that pink font of yours!”


There was a long pause. The icy wind blew around the rocky peaks. Everypony was staring at Pinkie Pie, because she had switch to arguing aloud while Pinkamena quietly stayed within her subconscious.

Dusk spoke up. “Pinkie Pie, is everything alright? You were practically screaming at yourself.”

“Everything’s okie-dokie-lokie, Dusky-Wusky,” said Pinkie, flashing a smile. Inside her head, she looked Pinkamena in the eye. Can I at least do it one more time? the party animal pleaded.

[Ugh, I suppose so,] muttered Pinkamena. [Every smoker’s gotta have a last cigarette, right?]

Pinkie walked over to Fluttershy who was still clinging on Shining Armor’s back. “Pst! Fluttershy!” Pinkie whispered.

“What?” said Fluttershy. “I’m sorry this is inconvenient, but I’m trying to cower in fear here.”

“IknowIknowIknow,” said Pinkie Pie, “but this is important. You see, I’ve found a way to stop the dragon from being scary,”

“You have? Oh, that’s wonderful!”

“But here’s the catch: Only you have to do it.”

“M-m-m-m-me?!?” said Fluttershy, stumbling over her words and hiding beneath er mane in the most adorable way possible. “Why’s it have to be me? Can’t it be somepony else? I can’t handle the pressure!”

“It’s easy,” said Pinkie Pie as if she was telling her friend how to make a homemade recipe, “All you gotta do is tell him to stay outta your shed!”

“…Pinkie, I don’t own a shed. You know that.”

“Trust me, it’ll work.”

A few hours later…

Our heroes were halfway up the mountain by now. Pinkie’s words gave Fluttershy no confidence. The doormat shivered from the cold breeze, not to mention her terror. Dusk Shine was grumbling about how he could have given her comfort and warmth rather than his brother, but everypony ignored him. Luna gestured the bookworm over to her so they could talk.

“What troubles you, fair mage?” said Luna at an even volume, not wanting to yell her love’s eardrums out.

“It’s Fluttershy,” sighed Dusk. “She hasn’t kept her hooves off Shiny since he got here. I think she might be falling for him.”

“And what if she does?” said Luna.

“Sorry, what?”

“We ask of thee, what dost thou plan to do if this maiden is already wooed by the good Captain?” Luna cocked her head.

Dusk looked at the ground as he thought hard. “I suppose I can’t stay mad at him for that. I mean, he’s my brother, you know?” He swallowed a lump that was forming in his throat. “But then again, I can’t just stand by there and watch. I love her, and she just doesn’t seem comfortable with me. Well, there was that one time where she told me about a sex fantasy that featured me and accidentally made out with me in an act of lust, but we really haven’t talked since then. I’m not really sure what she thinks about me now. Was I just a phase that she was going through? Does my brother fit the ‘great protector’ ideals that she likes more than I fit them? Luna, what would you do if you liked somepony, but he was interested in someone else?”

Dusk then suddenly remembered that Luna not only kissed him, but had referred to him as the “Royal Boyfriend” not three hours ago. He guessed that she might be a little upset by him complaining about another mare he liked. The moon princess looked unnaturally calm, even smiling a little. They both slowed their pace, and she put a wing around him gently. It began to snow lightly, putting an intimate mood. A stranger that saw this would say that the two ponies looked like a cute couple strolling in the park.

“What would we do?” Luna repeated. “We would find another suitor. Somepony else who loves us for who we are, not as a pretty face. We would then wish our previous lover well, and live a happy life with the new one. But we wouldst have to be careful in our search for the next one to give our heart to, for it easy to be broken. Sometimes…” She leaned in to whisper in his ear. Her soft body felt warm against Dusk’s. It was a cozy sensation, like a snuggly blanket and a hot coco on a freezing winter’s night. Dusk’s heart was beating out his chest by this time. “…it is best to look where thou hath forgotten to look.”

She nuzzled his neck affectionately, and lifted her wing off him. She began to pick up her pace again, making up for lost time.

“REMEMBER, DUSK SHINE!” she called back in the Royal Canterlot Voice. “CHOOSE WISELY~!”

The Rise of Dovashy Pt. 3

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After encountering various obstacles, such as an avalanche (courtesy of Trixie and Luna yelling about who’s greater rather than Fluttershy’s panic attacks), an impossibly wide gorge that was a whopping five inches across, and the death glares Rarity was giving Luna for snuggling up to Dusk, our heroes finally reach the top of Stereotypical Mountain With a Cave at the Peak. Smoke billowed out from the cave, which was now echoing with the sounds of what seemed like a volcano snoring. The moon shone high in the night sky, giving the entire scene a rather creepy vibe to it.

Dusk Shine assigned each pony his job her job. “Rainbow Dash, since we’re now at the source of the smog, you’re in charge of clearing up the skies while Luna’s bat-guards assist you. Rarity, Trixie and Pinkie Pie, you’re going to create a distraction in case things go awry. Applejack-”

“-You’re going to create some covering fire with apples, just in case the distraction isn’t enough.” Shining Armor interrupted. “I’m going to create a force field around us, so nopony gets hurt. Soldiers, ready your bows.”

“Excuse me,” Dusk Shine coughed. “I believe I was the one leading this mission, so I should be the one to give the orders.” He gave a menacing look.

“Is there anything wrong with my positioning, Shiny?” Shining Armor asked innocently.

“No,” admitted Dusk. “Actually, thinking about it, you didn’t get to a couple ponies.” He turned to Luna. “Luna, you charge up your super-night-princess-powers for an attack strong enough to defeat the dragon. And Fluttershy?”


“You’re going to be our first plan of diplomacy. Your way with animals is sure to come in handy here!” He paused for a minute. “Thaaaat’s your cue to finally get off my brother,” he said through gritted teeth as encouraging as he could. “You know, because he’s too busy setting up the force field to carry you in?”

“Can’t I stay behind the force field where’s safe?” asked Fluttershy, peeping though the eyeholes of her helmet. Just then, the dragon snored extra-loud and threatening, causing her to fall off Shining Armor.“Sorry, I phrased that wrong: Can’t I stay ten-thousand miles away where it’s safe?”

“No!” snapped Rainbow Dash. “We didn’t drag you up this mountain for nothing! What, are you scared of caves now, too!”

“Umm, no… I’m scared of… dragons.”

“You’re scared of dragons?” said Dusk. Fluttershy nodded her head nervously, her body now in fetal position. Dusk slapped his forehead. “Of course!” he said with glee. “You weren’t falling for my brother, you were just hiding behind him for protection! Whew, what a relief.”

“Wait, there’s something that the Great and Powerful Trixie doesn’t understand,” Trixie cut in. “Dusk’s little pet is a dragon, but he’s too pathetic to intimidate anypony, even you. Why aren’t you scared of him?”

“That’s easy,” said Fluttershy matter-of-factly. “Spike’s still just a baby, and everypony knows that babies are the sweetest, most cutesy-wutesy things ever, and they couldn’t harm anypony if they wanted to. We’re talking about a full-grown, snarling, gnashing, big-as-a-house, fire-breathing, could-eat-a-pony-in-one-bite d-d-dragon!”

Back in Ponyville, Spike let out a sneeze and stood stiff as a board. He had the strangest feeling that he’d never been more insulted in his life.

“It’s probably nothing,” he said to himself and shrugged. “Now, where were we?”

“You shall never take me alive, drake!” Angel said in Animalese. “When I release my brethren from their naptime cages, you shall taste the full wrath of Clan Cottontail!

“Come back and eat your carrot soup!” Spike said, unable to understand the most stubborn bunny ever born.

“How dare you call that poison in a bowl soup! You probably used your own bile as the main ingredient!”

“Is there anything we can do to convince you otherwise?” offered Shining Armor. Fluttershy shook her head violently.

“Then I guess it’s up to me to represent Equestria for the negotiations,” said Dusk Shine with a sense of duty. He trotted into the cave, coughing on the smoke a little. He came across a massive hoard of stolen treasure, and on top was the sleeping dragon.

“Excuse me, Mr. Dragon?” said Dusk. “Could I have a moment of your time?”

The dragon hardly regarded Dusk, it just mumbled something about “stupid door-to-door girl scouts,” and rolled over away from him.

“I’m Dusk Shine, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Celestia, kindly asks you to move to another mountain. You see, whenever you snore, you release a billowing cloud of smoke, covering our land in darkness. Equestria cannot survive without sunlight for Faust-know-long-you’re-going-to-take-a-nap, so we need you to leave.”

The dragon (let’s call him, "Smaug") raised his head up from his pillow of jewels and gold, seeing that this problem wasn’t going to go away on its own. One at time, he opened his eyelid, which were crusty from lack of use. He turned to Dusk, opened his jaws that stored three solid rows of razor-sharp teeth, and exhaled.

Rather than gouts of fire, Smaug had released something much crueler on his intruder: Morning breath from someone that hadn’t brushed, gargled, flossed, or even laid eyes on a breath mint for 1,534 years. Dusk, desperately trying not to suffocate to death, crawled on his knees out of the cave where there was fresh air.

“Dusk! Are you alright?” Rarity said with worry.

“Can’t… *cough* …breathe…” he wheezed, collapsing on the rocky surface.

“Ya smell like a pigsty,” Applejack commented ever so intelligently.

“Clearly this needs a lady’s touch,” said Rarity as she walked in. “Oh, Sir Dragon~!” she sang with all her Rarity-ness. “I was just passing by, and I couldn’t help but notice how shiny your scales are.”

Smaug’s ears perked up at this. This was new one for him. Most ponies begged for their lives when they met him, and never had the courtesy to compliment him on anything before he roasted them alive. He could get used to this.

“And you just have the most perfectly polished claws to match them,” continued Rarity as she absent-mindedly helped herself to his hoard, trying on various accessories of jewelry. “I have to spent hours of blood, sweat, and tears to get the perfect hooficure, and you pull it off naturally. I’m so envious!”

Smaug was practically eating out of her hoof by now. If only the females during mating season were as considerate as this flesh-morsel. He stroked the spikes that formed a crest on his spine in vanity, and puffed up his chest with pride.

“You know what?” Rarity suggested, currently looking like a prom queen with all the treasure she was wearing, “You can always take a nap. What you should be doing is showing off your majestic image to the public out there. It would be selfish not to! Of course, I would be more than happy to look after your fortune while you’re away. Goodness knows what kind of hooligans would be greedy enough to steal from it.”

Smaug wasn’t feeling so grateful anymore.

Rarity had to abandon every single piece of jewelry to escape the rain of fireballs behind her. The last time she had ran that fast was the last Black Friday sale at Ponyville’s shoe store.

“DOST ANYPONY HATH ANY OTHER IDEAS?” said Luna. “WE STILL NEED TO CHARGE.” She was focusing on the moon high above them, slowly drawing power from it.

“My turn! My turn!” said Pinkie Pie.

“What, pray tell, are you wearing, dear?” said Rarity in confusion.

“Trixie thinks the pink one looks ridiculous,” said Trixie.

“Well,” Pinkie Pie explained, “Since I can’t break the you-know-what anymore, I decided that it was time to exercise the classic Pinkie-Pie-style humor on Smaug here.” The was a moment of silence, then she facehoof’d. “D’oh! His name wasn’t said out loud yet! I JUST DID IT AGAIN!”

“Are you okay, Pinkie?” asked Dusk.

“I’m gonna be fine, it’s just that old habits die hard. No time to get distracted anyway, it’s time to make that-dragon-whose-name-I’ve-never-heard-of-before laugh!” With that, Pinkie ventured into the cave.

It took about three seconds.

“The beast is slain,” said Pinkie triumphantly.

“Really?” said Dusk.

“No, he just tried to eat me,” Pinkie admitted. “But I did make you smile for minute there didn’t I?”

“You’re doing it all wrong,” Trixie snorted. “The true way to convince a dragon with words is to appear tougher than you actually are. Lucky for you, The Great and Powerful Trixie is better at this than anypony. Sit back and watch the master!” She strode in and pointed a hoof at the red monstrosity.

“You there! Do you know who I am? You stand before The Great and Powerful Trixie! She once defeated sixteen Windigos all on her own, so she will have no problem mopping the floor with likes of you! Get out of Trixie’s sight before she gets angry!”


“…Trixie shall show herself out now, because she just remembered that she has to pick up her dry-cleaning.” She made a quick escape.

“What happen?” said Rainbow Dash.

“It seems the dragon has a very convincing argument to stay on this mountain,” Trixie said after catching her breath.


“He’s reeeeeaaaally cranky.”

“Horseapples,” Rainbow Dash said with an angry look in her eye. “If you’re going to threaten him, you’d better have the horsepower to back it up. Like this!” she charged into the cave and gave Smaug a good bucking. “GET OUT!!” she commanded.

Smaug had enough of this. How many of these meddling ponies were out there, anyway? Was it a crime to just lie down and just sleep for a century or two? And here he thought that ponies DIDN’T like having their villages burned down. If that was true, why go through all this trouble to annoy him to the point of tearing his scales out? He stomped outside, where they had gather behind a magical force field of some kind. No matter, he broke it with a few pounds of his fist anyhow.

All of a sudden, there were a few apples thrown at his face, smearing his complexion with their juices. He whipped around, seeing an earth pony was launching fruit at him. Applejack laughed.

“Ah thought that this was a perfectly good waste o’ apples,” she said aloud, “so that’s why Ah brought some rotten ones!”

The Royal and Lunar Guards lifted their bows. With repeated phrases like, “Never should have come here…” they fired their artillery. The attack was similar to tossing twigs at a bear: It had little to no effect, the projectiles bounced right off, and it only made your victim furious.

Smaug flapped his giant wings, blowing a gust of wind that sent the Guards spinning. He gave Applejack a whip of his tail, knocking her to the floor. The only hope was Princess Luna, whom fortunately was at full power by now.


She ignited her horn, focusing all her gathered energy to a single point, which was her tiara. It transformed into a disk of light, twinkling like the brightest star. She threw the glowing tiara like a disk, pummeling the dragon. Surprisingly, it did no damage whatsoever.


Smaug faced Princess Luna and took a deep breath.


Luna was sent barreling back by Smaug’s Thu’um, and hit the ground with a loud thud.

“Princess!” Dusk yelled across the battlefield. “Are you okay?”

“The Royal Canterlot Voice is strong with this one,” Luna mumbled before passing out.

Fluttershy was hiding safely behind a rock. She peeped over, looking at the epic fight. Shining Armor was creating force field after force field, only to have each attempt to protect his comrade literally smashed. Dusk was firing bolts of magic, but to no effect. One of the Lunar Guards was getting eaten, and the rest of the backup looked worse for wear. The dragon itself was now airborne, flying circles around the mountain, swooping in to breathe fire and slash its talons. All and all, the situation looked bleak.

Fluttershy felt a fire boiling in the pit of her stomach. The sensation was like an incredible power surging trough her veins. The feeling rose up to her throat, channeled by the hate, hate, HATE she had for this winged slug for hurting her friends, and she a strange chanting in the back of her mind. She found herself flapping her wings, abandoning her cover to give this big, dumb meanie a piece of her mind. She focused on her rage, trying to find the perfect words to summarize her seething fury. Three words popped into her head, albeit they were in a language that Fluttershy didn’t recognize. Without hesitation, she barked them as loud as she could.


The Dragonrend Shout ripped through the air, sounding like a thunderclap if you could plug it into an amplifier. The human translation for this is “Mortal-Finite-Temporay,” but since in this case it was created by Fluttershy, the Equuish translation is “How DARE you!”

It hit Smaug with tremendous force, lighting him with blue magical fire. He hurled toward the ground, losing his ability of flight.

“What have you done?” he said. “What kind of black magic is this?”

“Shuttup, you bully!” said Fluttershy. “Don’t dare you talk back to me after hurting my friends!”

“You will PAY for your insolence!” said Smaug. He summoned his own Thu’um.


This Shout was named Fire Breath, which obviously let all dragons breathe fire. Fluttershy countered with her own shout once more.


Another blast of Dragonrend halted Smaug’s attack. It was undeniable. Fluttershy’s Thu’um was not only much louder than his, but stronger as well. She followed up with another shout. (Although she still had no idea what the hay she was doing.)


This was called Ice Form, and the purpose of it was to turn your opponent into a dragon-sicle, rendering him helpless. It worked beautify.

“Now, are you going to listen to what I have to say?” said Fluttershy. She had frozen Smaug solid, save for his head. He nodded, ashamed that he was beaten by a mortal.

“Good. Now, just because you’re big, doesn’t mean that you get to push ponies around. You may be able to shake the earth itself when you walk, but you do not, I repeat, you do NOT hurt my friends!!! Do we have an understanding?”

“…But that rainbow one kicked me,” Smaug said like it was a legitimate excuse. Rainbow Dash, however, took pride in this remark.

“Don’t forget that I did it like a boss!” remarked Dash.

“…but I’m sure she’s sorry for it,” lied Fluttershy, taking on a more motherly tone. “But you’re bigger than she is, and you should know better. You should also know better than to take a nap so close to farmlands, so you don’t choke the crops to death. Now, what do you have to say for yourself? Does your mother know about this?” ( In reality, dragons ate their young, so Smaug didn’t really get to cozy to his mother to know her that well.) Fluttershy paused for moment, remembering a small detail. “Oh, and stay out of my shed, whatever that’s supposed to mean.”

The red dragon broke out in tears, wracked with guilt. “There, there,” Fluttershy cooed. “You’re not a bad dragon, you just didn’t know any better.”

Luna regained consciousness, overhearing the conversation. “DIDN’T KNOW ANY BETTER?” she said with disbelief. “HE ATE ONE OF MY SOLDIERS!”

“Granted, you should apologize for that,” Fluttershy said to Smaug.

He rolled his eyes.“Sorry for eating your soldier,” he said unconvincingly.

“Say it like you mean it,” said Fluttershy sternly, similar to a teacher resolving a fight on the playground.

“I’m truly sorry for eating one of your soldiers. Can you forgive me?”

Luna snorted. “NEIGH, WE DO NOT ‘FORGIVE’ THEE!”

“Luna, play nice. He said he was sorry,” pleaded Fluttershy.


“Good. Now, pack your things Mr. Dragon. I’m sure we can find you a new home.”

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today, I learned that you shouldn’t be so quick to judge, and not to let jealousy consume you. Instead of realizing Fluttershy was scared of dragons, I let my envy of my brother get in the way of seeing the truth. I wasn’t there for her, and maybe that doesn’t make me the right colt for her.

From now on, I will not only try to be there for Fluttershy, but all ponies I hold dear. Until next time!

Your Faithful Student,

Dusk Shine

Sleepovers and Shenanigans

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When Dusk Shine had first gotten Spike, he and Celestia encountered a small problem: Whenever the tiny baby dragon got a little too excited, he started to hump a random pony’s leg. This got Dusk kicked out of a lot of libraries, embarrassed both him and his teacher in several political affairs, and generally got Dusk in a lot of trouble. Eventually, Dusk had no choice but to have his dragon neutered. It was difficult, but they found a vet that was willing to operate.

Spike stopped humping ponies for a good ten months, but his surrogate brother soon found out a nasty surprise: The fact that all dragons were born with the means to fully regenerate their ballsack by springtime. Thus, Dusk had to go and get Spike neutered as an annual ritual, much like spring cleaning or planting the flower garden.

When Spike came to the appropriate age to think for himself (not to mention he was old enough to know what his testicles were used for), he demanded that he would be allowed to keep his manhood. Seeing that his number-one assistant was finally growing up, Dusk Shine agreed.

It wasn’t until the next spring afterward that they came across yet another surprise: Spike grew a second pair of testicles. Spike’s cycle of regenerating gentiles appeared to be that of much like the mighty deer, as in a new pair of fresh horns grew every mating season. There was one variation; as the buck’s horns fell off each winter, Spike kept his previous ballsack. It was extremely odd, because he never grew any more genitals than needed before he was neutered. (Celestia speculated that this was because Spike was possibly part hydra, but I digress.) Spike was ecstatic about this development, but sadly had to get rid of his second pair.

Thus began a new ritual: Every spring, Spike had to go to the special veterinarian in Canterlot to neuter his new testicles, and he got to keep the old ones. Of course this was still an extremely embarrassing subject to anyone involved, so they coined the phrase “Spike’s away on Royal Canterlot business” to not only avoid the topic entirely, but to also boost Spike’s reputation.

If you found this opening downright crude and disgusting and wish to forget about it immediately, I sincerely apologize for wasting your time, and thoroughly suggest bashing yourself over the head repeatedly with a sledgehammer, aluminum bat, or any bludgeon-like object you find convenient until you kill enough brain cells to banish the memory completely. If you don’t have a tool or weapon on you that’s not hard or heavy enough to cause blunt trauma or even a minor concusion, try the nearest wall to your computer.


...You have the stoopids now? Good. Continue reading.

Outside, thunder and lightning crashed in the stormy weather. The weather team had missed the last few showers, so they had to conduct an enormous storm tonight to make up for it. Dusk and Trixie had the place all to themselves. They were completely alone.

A crack of thunder was heard from outside, and Applejack came stumbling in with Rarity. “Can we stay for the night?” they both said almost at once.

“What were you doing outside?” asked the librarian. “It’s pouring out there!”

“We know that,” said Applejack, “but our homes are halfway across town,”

“So, must we repeat: can we stay for the night, as your humble guests?” said Rairty. “After Applejack wipes her hooves outside, of course.”

“Hold yer horses!” argued the workhorse. “Ah ain’t going out in th’ rainstorm again!”

“Face facts,” said Rarity. “You’re tracking mud all over the floor, and besides, I wiped my hooves off in the rain, so it’s only fair.”

“What’s with all the commotion?” Trixie said walking out of her room. Not expecting company, she was wearing her hipster glasses and scarf. “The Great and Powerful Trixie was trying to sleep!”

“It’s just Rarity and Applejack,” explained Dusk. “They were caught in the thunderstorm, so they’re staying for the night.”

“What? No!” said Trixie. “Trixie will not stand for this!”

“Why not?” Dusk said, baffled. “Don’t tell me that you’re still bitter. You’ve made great progress so far!”

“Trixie isn’t talking about that,” she whispered, “she’s worried that these two living under the same roof will tear this place apart by sunrise.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” laughed the host. “Rarity and AJ don’t hate each other that much…” Meanwhile, Applejack walked back in solemnly, reminded that it is very, very hard to use a hose when you’re an earth pony, especially if the goal is to wash your own hooves. Rarity snickered as ladylike as possible, having watched the whole scene through a window with petty delight. Dusk looked at this example of their rivalry and let out a sigh.

“Okay, so maybe they do. But this is the perfect opportunity for us all to get to know each other a little better,” he offered hopefully.

“…You just want to have three girls sleep in the same house with you, don’t you?” deadpanned Trixie.

“SLUMBER PARTY!!!” announced Dusk, avoiding his student’s question.

“Ooo,” said Rarity, her eyes lighting up. “That sounds like fun!”

“Slumber party?” Applejack repeated. “Ain’t we a might old fer that?”

“Yes,” said Trixie, facehoofing, “yes we are.”

“Where’s Spike?” AJ asked.

“He’s on Royal Canterlot business,” said Dusk Shine with all the seemingly blissful ignorance of a child.

“Oh, where’s your inner filly, Applejack?” scoffed Rarity. “Don’t you want to have fun?”

“Where’s yer sense of chastity, Rares?” retorted the apple farmer.

“Oh, yeah?” said the fashionista, her temper rising. “Who are you to lecture a lady of chastity?”

“An’ what’s that supposed ta mean, huh?”

“Why, nothing Darling, I simply have trouble sleeping at times, what with all the sounds you and your BROTHER are making in the barn at unholy hours of the night.”

“Y’all take back what you jus’ said ‘bout Big Macintosh right now or yer gonna end up in a world of hurt!”

“Hey!” interrupted Dusk Shine, before things got out of hoof. “Let’s not get personal around here. Why not take our minds off with a game of truth or dare?” There was an exchange of glares between his guests, and after a solid minute, they nodded.

“Excellent,” he said smile, convince that everything was alright again. “Applejack, why don’t you start?’

“Truth,” picked AJ. “Ah ain’t going nothin’ ta hide, especially ‘bout mah family values.”

“Very well,” said Rarity. “Then answer this truthfully: Who was it that took your virginity, and what was it like?”

“It was dark,” the blond mare said non-specifically. “An’ Caramel couldn’t find th’ right hole.”

“Wow,” Rarity said, impressed. “That was easy. I suppose you do represent the Element of Honesty, Darling. And I owe you an apology. (Provided you’re talking about the Caramel I think you’re talking about, and not your cousin who’s a mare.).”

“Thank you,” said Applejack, satisfied. “Ya can’t believe every scrap of gossip ya hear at th’ spa, ya know.” She pointed at Trixie. “Now it’s yer turn: truth or dare?”

“Truth,” said Trixie.

“Mighty disappointin’,” said Applejack with a frown. “Ah was gonna dare ya ta not talk like yer th’ most important pony in th’ world fer the rest of the night. Fine, here’s th’ question: What can ya tell us about yer own family?”

“First of all,” Trixie said, slightly irritated. “Trixie is not that full of herself, because it’s not bragging if it’s true.”

“Somepony’s avoiding the question~!” said Rarity with a singsong voice.

“That’s because there’s not much about Trixie’s family to talk about,” Trixie defended.

“Okay, now you’ve just peaked my curiousity,” said Dusk. “You have to tell us now!”

“Very well,” said Trixie, defeated, “To start, before Trixie became The Great and Powerful Trixie you all know and love-”

”Define ‘love,’” Applejack murmured to herself.

“-she was simply Trixie, the 14th born among 16 sisters,” the blue magician revealed dramatically.

“Sixteen sisters?” the others cried out all at once.

“Yes,” Trixie said, soaking up their awe & attention. “We were a traveling show named ‘The Amazing Lulamoon Family Circus,’ hosted by our mother, Big Top. Because my sisters and I looked exactly alike, Mom thought it would be cute for all our names to rhyme. From oldest to youngest, we had Pixie, Mixie, Dixie, Quixie, Vixie, Fixie, Nyxie, Brixie, Rixie, Styxie, Wixie, Chixie, Drixie (no confusion with Dixie), Jixie, my great and powerful self, Lixie and Xyxie.”

While Rarity and Applejack shivered at the thought of fifteen other Trixies running around in Equestria, Dusk Shine tapped his chin with a hoof. “Did you say, ‘The Amazing Lulamoon Family Circus?’ Did you happen to know anypony there by the name of Presto?”

“What?” Trixie said indifferently. “You mean Trixie’s dad?”

“Omigoshomigoshomigosh…” said Dusk. “YOU’RE directly related to Presto the Magnificent?!!”

“Sorry if Ah ain’t with th’ times,” Applejack cut in. “But who in th’ hoof is ‘Presto the Magnificent?’”

“Indeed,” added Rarity with as much cluelessness. “I’ve never heard of him.”

“Who’s Presto the Magnifiecnt?” said Dusk like he was just slapped in the face. “Who is THE PRESTO THE MAGNIFICENT??? Girls, he’s only the most gifted user of illusion magic of his time! He was my foalhood hero! Before I got my cutie mark, I wanted to be just like him!” Dusk pulled a book from the shelf, rotating the bookshelf sideways to reveal a secret compartment he discovered when he moved into Ponyville. There, he had made a private celebrity shrine just for Presto, displaying several copies of his picture, a stallion with Trixie’s color scheme wearing a classic magician’s top hat and cape, twirling a waxed mustache that was the same light blue as his daughter’s mane. Presto plushies and figurines were placed carefully around the shrine, posed to appear to be reenacting all his famous stunts and tricks.

“Wow, Trixie,” Rarity said with a smirk. “You must be really enjoying this.”

“Actually,” Trixie gulped. “Trixie would normally be accepting fanfare like this with open hooves , but in this case… it’s creeping Trixie out.”

“You gotta tell me all his tricks!” Dusk begged. “Wait! No, I want his secrects to be kept forever. After all, a magician never reveals his methods. Nonono, I want you to tell me NOW! Don’t listen to me, whatever I say, don’t tell me a word! Listen to me; I want you to spill everything!!!

“Ummm… can we go back to truth or dare?” requested Trixie.

“Oh,” said Dusk, a little ashamed. “Yeah, I just remembered: Presto went missing several years ago, and was never heard from since. I can understand if you don’t want to talk about your dead father.” His head hung low in guilt.

“Dad’s not dead,” the showmare dismissed with a wave of her hoof, like it was similar to her father simply went out to get the groceries. “He just changed his name and retired to some private island he bought. Said something about getting away from crazy fanboys like you.

Dusk just blushed like he just danced the funky chicken in public while singing “Equestria Girls” at the top of his lungs.

“Now, Trixie believes it is the mashmallow’s turn,” she said, pointing at Rarity. “Truth or dare?”

“I shall pick dare,” Rarity said, her eyes narrowing. She still had a bone to pick with Trixie, since she never apologized for turning her mane green.

“Trixie dares you to-”

“Wait!” interrupted Applejack. “Ah have th’ perfect one fer Rarity, since Ah know her better.” Dusk felt the tension rise again, and shivered his spine.

Maybe I should just tell Applejack and Rarity that we have some spare umbrellas, send them on their way, and call it a night, he wondered.

“Ah dare ya ta stand in th’ rain an’ ruin that precious mane ya fret about every five minutes!” said Applejack with a grin.

…Then again, we could keep this up for a little while longer. thought Dusk.

Rarity looked like she was just told to jump in a pit of acid. With a trembling hoof, she opened the door with a creek. As she slowly nudged herself outside, she silently bid her manestyle a tearful goodbye. Rainwater drenched the drama queen to the bone, and Rarity swore she felt a small part of herself die a little. When she got back inside, she slammed the door with a scowl.

Dusk Shine marveled at the sheer beauty of Rarity. He didn’t know why he was so turned on by her mane getting wet, he just was. He often wondered if manes were a fetish of his, as the image of Rarity soaking wet kept him awake for countless nights.

Applejack laughed heartedly at Rarity’s expense. The fashionista was not amused.

“Alright,” she said, pointing at Applejack. “Now I dare you to put on the most frilly and fru-fru dress possibly imaginable!”

“Ah don’t think Dusk has any dresses,” Applejack said with sly smile.

“I can fix that,” said Rarity with a smile that was almost evil. “I never leave home without my sewing kit, after all. I just need that apron I’ve seen Spike wear while he served us tea that one time, some tablecloth, and some curtains…”

Oh no…. thought Applejack with dread, watching as Rarity’s eyes went from sinister to glamorous, her eyes glistening with ideas. Tell me she’s not gonna…

“In fact, it’s been the longest time I’ve done a full-body MAKEOVERRRR!~” Rarity said as scissors, sewing needles, and hairbrushes flew out of her bag. Applejack was then certain she was doomed.

Applejack was dressed mane-to-tail in ribbons and lace. A pointy princess hat topped her head. Pink bows were tightly tied to her front hooves, reminding Applejack of the hoofcuffs the Royal Guard used to restrain criminals. Her mane was tied up and perfectly bushed from what she felt like was hours upon hours of Rarity applying shampoo, conditioner and Celestia-knows-what to the farmer’s mane. She was certain that rodeo clowns wore less makeup than she did now.

“There,” Rarity said with pride in her work, “Now you look like a true Canterlot mare!”

“Who cares how Ah look? Ah can’t breathe with this corset on,” Applejack grumbled. “Do Ah get to pick who goes next now?”

“Oh, but just take a moment to embrace your feminine side, Darling!” insisted the marshmallow. “Don’t you think you look simply fabulous?” Applejack stared into the mirror as hard as she could, as if she was looking at a “Where’s Waldo? Derpy?” book.

“Nnope,” said the silly pony, imitating her big brother.

“”Well, there’s no accounting for taste,” huffed the white unicorn.

“To Rarity’s credit,” said Dusk, “You do look like the mares I’ve seen in Canterlot,”

“If you think it’s so funny,” said Applejack, taking offense to Dusk’s comment, “Then Ah dare YOU ta put on Trixie’s flashy getup that she wears everywhere she goes!”

“No!” gasped Trixie. “That’s Trixie’s lucky outfit!”

“Too bad,” said the earth pony, “It’s a dare. He ain’t got no choice.” Dusk put on Trixie’s clothes, which fit him quite impressively. Trixie was fuming.

“Then Trixie dares you to not talk about apples for ten minutes!” the showmare yelled.

“Then Ah dare ya ta not talk about yerself fer ten SECONDS!” AJ snapped back.

“Trixie dares the narwhal to act like she’s from this bumpkin town of PONYVILLE, and not Canterlot like Dusk!”

“Only if I can dare Applejack to learn some manners!” said Rarity, raising her voice.

“Then Ah dare Rarity ta enter th’ next rodeo that comes ta town!” Applejack hollered.

“I dare you NOT to enter the next rodeo that comes to town!” shouted Rarity.

“Ah dare Trixie ta get naked!” said Applejack.

Trixie threw her glasses and shawl on the floor. “There! Now, Trixie dare the redneck to make out with Dusk, twenty seconds minimum!”

“AH ALREADY HAVE, AND IT WAS A HOOF LOT LONGER THAN THAT!!” Applejack roared. With her secret out, a dead silence fell upon the room. Nopony dared to say another word. Dusk was sweating bullets, his eyes turning into pinpricks. Finally, Rarity’s face turned as red as a lobster.

“I’LL DESTROY YOU!!!” She screamed, lunging at Applejack like a wild animal.

Sleepovers and Shenanigans Pt. 2

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Dusk Shine watched as the two mares had an extremely intense catfight. Rarity’s mane still was soaking wet, and she was tearing at the dress she had made for Applejack to the point it looked like somepony had TP’d an apple tree. Applejack, freed from the restriction of her dress, started her counterattack. She pulled at Rarity’s mane, slippery as it was. Rarity answered by biting the apple farmer’s legs. The two went on as the fight went more and more heated. As Applejack’s dress finally was completely destroyed, sexy lingerie was revealed, complete with leggings, a choker, and a restricting corset.

Dusk realized he was getting an erection from this.

“Stop this senseless fighting!” Trixie said. “Does The Great and Powerful Trixie have to split you two up?”

“Just one moment, Trixie,” growled Rarity. “There’s this slut I need to teach a lesson to.”

“An’ whatever entitled Dusk ta you, huh?” said Applejack. “He never really liked you, you jus’ harassed him, no matter how many times he told ya ta stop!”

“He never told me stop,” said Rarity suggestively. Applejack’s anger flared at this, and she leaped back into the fight. She turned to a different strategy, this time standing on her hind legs and punching for Rarity’s face with fisticuffs. Rarity shook herself awake, dazed by the country girl’s assault. The wet unicorn wiped a bit of blood from her mouth.

“I wasn’t going to hit you as hard as I wanted to, since it might ruin my hooficure,” she said, sweat clinging to her face. “But now, all bets are off!” She clawed at Applejack, only to be stopped by an amazing tackle courtesy of Trixie.

“We’re going to STOP this fighting,” said the blue unicorn through gritted teeth. “And we’re going to stop it NOW!” After struggling for a minute, Rarity let out a sigh of defeat.

“I suppose it wouldn’t be very ladylike of me to murder Applejack.” She shot a cold glare at AJ. “No matter how much she betrayed me as a friend by exchanging tongues my true love.”

“An’ Ah can’t stay mad at mah friends,” Applejack said, returning the look. “Even if they attack me like they have rabies.”

“Fine!” said the fashionista, raising her volume.

“FINE!” repeated Applejack.

“Well, now that that’s settled,” said Dusk, try desperately to lower the tension in the room. It didn’t work. “How about we move on to scary stories?” The lights dimmed, the little ponies passed around a flashlight they held up to their faces.

Applejack took the first turn. “Well, Ah did hear this one about th’ prissy ghost who didn’t scare ponies away but she ANNOYED them away with her uptight attitude an’ neat-freak standards.” She let out an “OOOoooOOOoooo!” for effect.

Rarity snatch the flashlight away from Applejack in a rough manner. “This one’s scarier: It’s about an evil demon succubus who went and kissed her friend’s boyfriend!” She gave a similar “OOOooooOOooooOO!”

“Dusk ain’t yer boyfriend!” protested Applejack.

“Your stories suck,” said Trixie bluntly, grabbing the light from them, this time with magic. “THIS is how a real ghost story should go…”

“That’s just preposterous!” Rarity exclaimed when Trixie finished the story. “How’s an eldritch abomination that just BRUSHES PONIES’S MANES supposed to be terrifying??”

“It just doesn’t brush your mane,” Trixie said with a pout.

“Riiight,” said Applejack sarcastically. “He also rubs your tummy, too! Oh, the humanity!”

“At least it was better than your stories,” Trixie deadpanned. “And for your information, that story made Trixie wet her bed at night when she heard it as a filly!” She passed the flashlight to Dusk. “Alright, you’ve been quiet this whole time, what do you got?”

“Ummm…” said Dusk Shine, fiddling with his hooves. “I only know one ghost story, and I don’t think you’ll like it.”

“Don’t chicken out,” scoffed Applejack, rolling her eyes. “It can’t be that bad.”

“Are you sure?” said the host. “It’s pretty scary…”

“Now you’ve gone and us curious,” complained Rarity. “Just tell us, Darling!”

“Alright,” said Dusk, and the three mares swore they felt the temperature drop a little. “Here’s how it goes…”

Deep in the Everfree Forest, there lives a mysterious creature called Slenderpony. He’s taller than Princess Celestia herself, and is always seen wearing a black suit. Nopony knows where he came from, what he is, or what dreams of cruelty hide within his skull. Some say that he’s the very heart and soul of the Everfree Forest, and he’s the source of all the evil and darkness inside it. Nopony even knows what his face looks like… because he has no face to begin with.

“Ah have a question,” said Applejack, completely ruining the mood. “How’s he eat without a face? Ain’t yer mouth attached ta there?”

“Shhhh!” hushed Trixie. “This was just getting good.”

Anyways, the Slenderpony never need food, water or air. He only wants. And the only thing he wants… is fear. And he will kill to get it.

To achieve this, he swipes an unlucky pony on a dark and stormy night, a night just like tonight. He then plays a sick game with you, and the stakes could never be higher, because you’re playing for your life.

“Wh-what’s the game?” Rarity shivered. “Shuffleboard? Parcheesi? Red-Light-Green-Light?”

The rules are simple: You wake up deep in the woods with nothing but a flashlight that is low on batteries. It’s always pitch-black, so you have to hope your flashlight doesn’t run out of power, or risk stumbling around in the darkness. There are eight pieces of paper hidden somewhere in the forest, and the goal is to find them.

“That’s it?” interrupted Trixie. “You just have to play a game of scavenger hunt in the dark?”

It’s not as simple, for Slenderpony is stalking your every single move. Eventually, you’re convinced he’s right behind you. But no matter what, you can NOT turn around to look if he’s there; because that’s the one rule you should never, ever, EVER break. If you look behind you, you lose. If you lose, you die. Nopony’s ever beat Slenderpony at his game, you know why?

“Why???” demanded the frightened girls, fully intrigued by Dusk’s story.

Because when you reach for the very last piece of paper, you feel a cold, heavy breathing down your neck and a pale white hoof is placed on your shoulder with a vice-like grip. You know right then and there that any promise of freedom was a lie, and this was always your destined night to die. He leans over to whisper the very last words that you’ll ever hear in this life in a voice that feels that is coming from the very darkest part of your very soul, yet resonates like an entire legion of monsters howling at the moon:

dO YoU kNoW whY LitTlE foALs ArE aFrAiD Of tHE DaRk?

Your blood turns to ice as you lose the ability to control you muscles, and every instinct is telling you turn around and look. You suck up every ounce of courage and-LOOK BEHIND YOU, GIRLS, IT’S HIM!!! IT’S REALLY HIM!!! HE’S GONNA KILL US ALL!!!!!

The three listeners whipped their heads around, expecting to see Slenderpony in all his infamous horror. What they got to both their relief and disappointment was nothing but a wall.

“That wasn’t funny, Dusk!” said Trixie, her cheeks getting hot. Dusk Shine, however, was rolling on the floor, laughing out loud. (Gettit?)

“Hahahaha, oh, but it was!” he said, turning the lights back on and wiping a tear from his eye. “You should have seen the looks on your faces! BWAHAHA!!”

“And I thought you were a gentlecolt!” said Rarity harshly.

“Ah’m tried of scary stories,” said Applejack, trying to quiet her beating heart. “Ah’m gonna make us some s’mores.”

“iNdEeD,” said Slenderpony, who was standing outside and watching from a window. The four little ponies did not see or hear him over the storm, but they still felt a strange sensation, like an gigantic eye was observing their every action. “ThAT StORy gAVe mE tHE wilLiES.”

Sleepovers and Shenanigans Pt. 3

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There was heated debate on how to make a s’more. Rarity wanted the dessert to be perfectly symmetrical, and so she preferred them raw to have a 100% certainty that they’d have no unsightly burn marks. Applejack wanted to toast them over the fireplace, but Trixie argued that the fireplace must be purely for decoration, because if they actually used it to build a fire (inside a tree, mind you) they would burn the place to the ground. Dusk Shine wasn’t sure about it, for he never needed the fireplace for anything in the short time he lived in Ponyville.

And yes, there were a lot of jokes about Rarity being a marshmallow. I won’t share them with you, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Eventually, it was time to go to bed. Trixie was against having two mares sleep right across from Dusk, but she lost the argument.

Dusk lay in bed, listening to the two mares bicker.

“Gimme some room!” Applejack demanded. “Yer hogging all th’ covers.”

“I am not hogging them,” said Rarity. “I’m just straightening them out because you keep messing them up. And will you quit nudging me?

“Like this?

“Ow! You did that on purpose, you ruffian!”

“Yeah, but this here’s an accident.” There was a thud as Rarity was shoved out of the bed.

“Oh, that was completely uncalled for. I demand an apology. Now.

“Can’t hear ya, Ah’m asleep.” Applejack began a faux snore, almost in a mocking tone.

Dusk Shine then finally heard the arguments cease. In a more aware state of mind, he would’ve been suspicious of the conversation ending so abruptly, but in all his grogginess, he was just happy to finally get some sleep.

To his surprise, he felt a disturbance in his sheets. Somepony was getting in bed with him. He rolled over to see Rarity’s face inches away from his.

“Evening, darling,” The fashionista said in an all-too-familiar seductive tone. “Did you miss me?”

“RARITY!” shouted Dusk in panic. He then realized if Applejack overheard and saw them like this, it would be the death of him. He lowered voice to whisper.“What are you doing here?”

“There’s no need to be quiet, my prince,” She assured, gazing at him with her eyes that were dilated by darkness of the night. “I put up a little soundproof bubble around us. You’re not the only one with a few magical tricks up his sleeve, you know.”

“You didn’t answer my question,” Dusk said with a normal volume.

“Oh it’s simply terrible,” she pouted, using a little bit of baby-talk. “That meanie Applejack kicked me out of the bed, so I have no place to sleep for the night.”

“There’s Trixie’s bed,” Dusk said obliviously.

Rarity deadpanned. “You’re missing the point.” She moved in closer. “I. Want. You.” She threw one of her hind legs over him, wrapping herself around him and closing the space between them even closer. He could feel her hot breath on his face. Their chests pressed together, and judging how fast Rarity’s heart was beating, Dusk could fairly guess that Rarity was planning this moment for a long, long time.

“It’s just not fair that the likes of Applejack got to kiss you before me,” complained the drama queen. “I could excuse that Luna girl to touch those perfect lips of yours only once, but Applejack is unforgiveable.

“Wh-what are you going to do to me?” asked Dusk.

“Shhhhh….” Rarity hushed. “No talking. Besides, you’re going to be busy with your mouth doing… extracurricular activities. I want to remember you exactly like this; the strong, silent type that I have like putty in my hooves.”

“Rarity, I really think you should back out now before you do something we both regr-UMMPH!” Dusk was interrupted with Rarity’s tongue slipping into his mouth. Their kiss was drawn out, and Dusk began to doubt himself. Did he really want her to stop? Did Rarity never give up because she knew deep in heart that she loved him? His thought dissolved as their lips’ embrace continued for a full three minutes. He finally pulled back, realizing that he was kissing back for some time now.

“This is wrong,” he said. But it feels so bucking right, he finished in his head.

“That… was magical,” Rarity breathed. “I was skeptical about how I imagined our first kiss would compare to the real one, but you erased all my doubts. You really ARE my Prince Charming.” She tightly hugged him, nuzzling his neck.

“Please,” he explained. “I’m not this delusional idea you have of the perfect stallion. I’m just me, and I can’t…” Rarity lightly put hoof over Dusk’s mouth and smiled.

“You’re more amazing than any colt I’ve ever met,” said the white unicorn. “Don’t think you can just turn me away just like that. I know you have flaws, and that makes my dream of you more of a reality. For instance…” she leaned over to his ear. “…I’ve seen the way you look at me with my mane wet.”

Dusk’s eyes grew as wide as saucers. “You know about that?” he said with a blush. To be honest, he couldn’t deny his attraction to Rarity. For example, he had suffered wet dreams for two weeks straight after the little incident that they shared in the shower.

“Of course, you know what happens now,” Rarity hinted.

“You go to the bathroom to get your mane wet?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, that would ruin the mattress sheets,” she answered, surprisingly switching from “Saucy Rarity,” back to “Neat-Freak Rarity” in seconds. Just as quickly, she went to “Ladylike Manners Rarity." “You’ve each kissed the Princess, Applejack, and me in that order, correct?” she addressed with authority.


“I believe a lady should never settle for tie, and she should give it her all to get ahead of the pack.”

Dusk didn’t like where this was going. Fortunately for him (or unfortunately), the bubble that Rarity made only blocked sound, not actual ponies who decided to invite themselves in. There was another disturbance in the covers, and another mare slipped under the blankets beside Dusk. Knowing somepony came to foil her plans, Rarity didn’t dare to make a sound.

“Who’s there?” asked Dusk, turning over to face the second mare.

“Shut it!” hissed Trixie, unaware that she had passed through a soundproof barrier. “Do you want to wake up those two insane whores?”

Dusk decided to play along, wondering how Rarity could sneak out without Trixie knowing that she was there with them. “What are you doing here?”

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” warned Trixie. “I’m just going to stake out here for the night to make sure nopony tries anything funny.”

Too late, thought Dusk and Rarity simultaneously. Rarity however, thought it with much more glee than she should.

“Besides, it’s n-not like the Great and Powerful Trixie LIKES you or anything,” Trixie lied. “I mean, you know Trixie was just kidding about the stuff she said to you back at the Ursa Minor thing, right?” There was a clash of lightning, and the blue unicorn involuntarily pulled herself closer to her tutor. She felt her cheeks get hot, and Rarity’s temper fumed in that her love was sharing an intimate moment with another mare.

“Trixie, are you scared of thunderstorms?” whispered Dusk with concern.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” said Trixie with more volume than needed. “You have witnessed Trixie perform storm magic before, so why should she be afraid of lightning? Besides, the Great and Powerful Trixie fears nothing!”


“…Although, she would appreciate it if you held her a little tighter.”

“THAT’S IT!” screamed Rarity, revealing her presence. “Stop this at once, you little parasite! I see what you’re doing!”

“What??” Trixie said in confusion. “What are you doing in Dusk’s bed?!!”

“What lovers do in their bedrooms is none of your business,” said Rarity diligently.

That’s when the first pillow was thrown. Hard.

Rarity sailed through the air, landing on Applejack across the room. With her concentration broken, her soundproof bubble was dispelled.

“What in tarnation is goin’ on here?” said Applejack.

“Trixie caught Dusk and her doing… THINGS in the bed!” Trixie tattled.

“Well, Ah never…” said Applejack. “Ah knew somethin’ was going on when it became too quiet!” She slugged a pillow at Rarity, who was still dazed by Trixie’s attack.

“Girls, please…” pleaded Dusk. “This is all a big misunderstanding!”

“Shuttup, cheater!” He got a pillow to the face.

Eventually, Rarity regained enough focus to fight back, and the pillow fight escalated into a full-fledged pillow war. Applejack supplied pillows by bucking them with her hind legs, while the two unicorns used their magic to turn their ammo into levitation-guided missiles. Each mare cussed like a sailor, throwing the lowest punches verbally and physically. This lasted for thirty grueling minutes, and then was halted by a particularly close lightning bolt to a nearby tree outside.

“That tree’s gonna crash on Berry Punch’s house!” said Applejack, opening the window and getting out her spare lasso.

“Applejack, don’t! You’ll-”

It was too late. Applejack pulled the upper half of the tree into the library bedroom.

“-Bring the tree inside,” Rarity finished.

The room was a disaster. Braches littered the floor as rain poured in the open window. Applejack surfaced her head from under a mess of leaves and wood, seeing Rarity was cleaning up a few spilled shelves.

“What are ya doin’?” demanded the Applejack. “Stop sweatin’ th’ small stuff an’ help me move this tree outside.”

“This is coming from a mare that freaks out when she sees two of her friends in bed together, but says that kissing one of those friends behind the other’s back is ‘no big deal?’” Rarity huffed. “I’m not going to listen to you lecture me on priorities.”

Applejack saw that she wasn’t going to have much luck with Rarity, so she turned to Trixie. “How ‘bout you? You’ve got magic, help me!”

“Trixie wasn’t the one who pulled in that tree,” the showmare said. “And getting any closer would break Trixie’s promise to herself.”

“What promise?”

“That Trixie wouldn’t get within ten feet of that… that hussy!” she pointed a hoof at Rarity.

“Look,” said AJ, addressing both mares, “Ah know we’ve got a darn right ta be mad at each other, but there’s somethin’ bigger than our fight over a dumb boy right now. If we don’t work together, we’re gonna be in a deeper mess o’ trouble than snake pit. Now, who’s with me?”

There was a pause. “Fine,” Rarity said spitefully. “I suppose I can put aside our differences to help out, just this once.”

“Trixie… agrees,” agreed Trixie. “She doesn’t like either of you, but she’ll help you out in a jam.”

“Wait a minute,” interrupted Dusk. “I remember installing a magical lightning rod here,”


“So, shouldn’t it have absorbed the lightning bolt?” With that, the crashed tree branch disappeared in a puff of logic. The bedroom returned to normal, the window looked like it was never opened, and the tree outside was even intact.

“…What just happened?” asked Trixie, breaking the most awkward silence ever.

“I have no idea,” said Dusk, confused as everypony else. “I was just pointing out a detail. Did I just accidentally correct something reality itself temporarily forgot?”

“Beats me,” shrugged Applejack. “Ah usually ask Pinkie Pie ‘bout stuff like this.”

“I say we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” said Rarity gratefully. “Shall we go back to bed and never speak of this again?”

“Hold it right there, missy,” said Applejack. “Ah say that Dusk sleeps on th’ couch downstairs, so Lil’ Miss Prissypants here doesn’t try nothin’ else.”

“I suppose that goes without saying,” admitted Dusk.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Everypony knows that slumber parties can be fun, but there’s a time and place for them, and it’s called foalhood, especially if you plan on having both genders for it. It’s a little sad that I’ll never have a proper slumber party, but I guess playing Book Fort with Shiny and Cadence will provide a nice replacement in my memories.

Your Faithful Student,

Dusk Shine

P.S. I’m sorry that this had to be delivered to you by Derpy-Mail, but as you know, it’s that time of year again, and Spike’s in Canterlot with you on Royal Business.

Wild Mass Guessing

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It was a bright and sunny day in Ponyville. Rainbow Dash cleared the sky extra early today, which was unusual, since she typically slept in so late; she thought that “AM” was only a frequency on the radio. This crossed Dusk Shine’s mind when he trotted through the marketplace with Spike and Trixie, along with another oddity.

“Where is everypony?” wondered the purple unicorn aloud. “It’s a gorgeous weekend, and not even the schoolkids are out playing. What’s with everypony today?”

“True that, dude,” agreed Spike. “This place looks like a ghost town.”

“Humph,” snorted Trixie. “They obviously are intimidated by the very presence of the Great and Powerful Trixie!”

“Doubt it,” dismissed Spike. “I think it might be zombies.”

“Zombies?” Dusk deadpanned. “Why would you think that? There’s no such thing as zombies.”

“How can you know for sure?” said Spike with an eerie theatric tone. “There’s cockatrices, minotaurs, phoenixes, and Celestia-knows-what all over Equestria! Who’s to say that zombies don’t exist too?” Dusk was about to go into a lecture on the scientific evidence that proved that it was impossible to reanimate the dead, when he was interrupted by somepony calling his name.

“Dusk!” Pinkie Pie said in whispered tone, but was loud enough to hear from a distance. (Which actually defeated the purpose when think about it, you know?) She was inside, peeping through a cracked open door. “Get in here! It’s not safe!”

“Not safe from what?” said Dusk with confusion.

“Just get inside here!”

The scholar obliged, followed by Trixie. The interior of the building was completely dark, due to somepony turning off the lights and closing all the blinds. Somepony lit a dim candle, revealing that half of Ponyville was cooped up with Pinkie.

“What are you all doing here?” he asked.

“Hidin’ from… her” Applejack said fearfully, pointing outside. There, a robed pony stood, pawing at the ground. “Her name is Zecora, an’ she’s th’ most evil thing in a hundred miles as th’ crow flies!”

“What is evil about this Zecora?” asked Trixie. “Does she think she’s better than Trixie?”

“She’s... different!” proclaimed Rainbow Dash. “I can’t explain it, she just evil!”

Dusk Shine looked out the window. Zecora lifted her hood, revealing a truly radical Mohawk. “She seems like somepony you’d get along with, Dash,” the egghead said helpfully.

“What a horrid thing to say!” exclaimed Rarity. “Why, if I saw Sweetie Belle socializing with those piercings, I’d ground her for a week! That’s why I brought her here, where it’s safe.” She hugged Sweetie Belle protectively.

“Hey, not so tight Rarity!” protested the little blank-flank. “I can take care of myself, you know.”

“Nonsense,” said Applejack. “Ya need ta protect yer flesh an’ blood, ain’t that right Applebloom?”

“Ya don’t need ta hug me neither,” huffed Applebloom, struggling to get some air.

Okay, I’ve done the first part of the episode, thought Pinkie Pie to Pinkamena. NOW can we stop being mean to Zecora and throw her a party?

[No,] denied her other self. [Like I said, we need to learn self-control. That means going through each episo-err… weekly events taking it all in without seeing anything coming, including our mistakes.]

But I don’t wanna get infected by Poison Joke~! whined Pinkie.

[It’ll do you good to lose the ability to talk for once,] smirked Pinkamena. [Now, I think it’s time to do that song you like.] Pinkie listened back into the conversation.

“…As I was saying,” Dusk continued, “there’s no reason to fear this mare. Everything you’ve got is based off rumor and your apparent racism. Speaking of which, how come nopony in this town knows what a zebra is? We get ambassadors from Zebrakistan all the time in Canterlot!”

“Well, if she’s not evil,” retorted Pinkie Pie. “Then how come I have a song for her?”

She’s an evil enchantress,

She does evil dances,

And to boost her own ego, she poses in evil stances!

She thinks she’s better than you,

‘Cause her head’s full of doo,

Plus, she’ll insult your mother and make you feel blue!

Sooooo-Wait this my song for Trixie!

“Lovely,” said Trixie sarcastically. “Nice to see how well Trixie is fitting in around here.”

While Pinkie was lying through her teeth about how she thought Zecora was evil and the rest of our heroes argued about how rumors can cast an illusion over the public eye, Sweetie Belle and Applebloom were getting acquainted.

“So, you’re a blank-flank too?” questioned Sweetie Belle.

“Bare as th’ day Ah was born,” confirmed Applebloom. “Ya know, Ah hate it when Applejack treats me like a baby. Ah bet if Ah earned mah cutie mark, Ah’d be treated as an equal, not some foal that needs protectin’.”

“Amen, sister,” said the white filly. “You know, all this talk about Zecora is making me think. What if Dusk is right about her, and we’ve just misunderstood her all these years.”

“Why don’t we just talk ta her an’ find out?” suggested Applebloom.

“That’s a great idea! We might both even get our cutie marks in peace-making or something!”

“We could even start our own club that not only does peacemakin’, but helps other blank-flanks find their cutie marks,” Applebloom brainstormed. “We could like, be on a cutie mark crusade by doin’ this!”

“Wait,” stopped Sweetie Belle. “Don’t you have to have three ponies minimum to start a club?”

“Where didja hear that?”

Sweetie Belle mumbled something.


“I said, mmm mmm mm mph…

“Speak up, cornsarn it!”

“I SAID THAT IT’S ITS DEFININITION IN THE DICTIONARY!” blurted Sweetie Belle. Applebloom burst out in a fit a giggles. “It’s not funny!” snapped the unicorn with the multicolored mane. “I was really, really bored one day and Rarity wouldn’t let me help her with the store, so I spent the day memorizing the dictionary. There, you now know my most embarrassing secret. Happy?”

“Very,” said Applebloom, wiping a tear from her eye. “Come on, we gotta catch up with her!” The two fillies ran out the door sneakiest way they could manage. Zigzagging across the street, they made sure that nopony cowering inside noticed. They were just about in a ten-meter radius of Zecora when they bumped into a tiny pegasus dressed up like a ninja.

“Hey, what’s th’ big idea, sneaking around like that?” Applebloom said angrily. “We were tryin’ ta sneak around, an’ we don’t take kindly ta copycats ‘round these parts!”

“Sorry,” apologized the ninja in a gruff but adorable feminine voice. She sounded like a mini-version of Rainbow Dash. “It’s just while Zecora comes around town, all the shopkeepers leave the stand unguarded, so it’s the perfect time to do a little… borrowing, so I don’t go hungry for a few days.”

“You’re a thief?” gasped Sweetie Belle. “Rarity says stealing is wrong!”

“Pleeeaaase don’t tell anypony,” begged the ninja. “I don’t have a home of my own, and my parents are so skinny already, so I don’t wanna end up like them.”

“Well,” said Applebloom sympathetically. “Ah guess if yer starvin’ an’ all, Ah guess we could keep a secret.”

“Awesome!” said the ninja. She took off her mask in an act of trust, revealing her to be an orange-coated filly with matching purple eyes and mane. “The name’s Scootaloo, the second coolest pony in Ponyville!”

“Second coolest? Who’s th’ first?”

“Rainbow Dash, duh.”

“One question,” pondered Sweetie Belle. “If you’re really homeless, how’d you get the bits to buy that ninja outfit?”

“Oh, that. I stole it back at those sales that happen at the costume shop around Nightmare Night. I figured if I didn’t show my face, I would get caught less.” Scootaloo took a carrot from an food cart and started to nibble on it hungrily. “So, why are you out here?”

“We’re tryin’ ta earn our cutie marks by makin’ friends with Zecora!” said Applebloom proudly.

“Wow, that’s awesome!” said Scootaloo. “Can I join you? I don’t have my cutie mark yet, either.”

“Hey,” said Sweetie Belle as realization dawned on her. “We can form that club now!”

“Well,” said Scootaloo, “I think we’d better hurry and catch up with her first. She’s already going into the Everfree Forest.” It was true. The zebra was barely visible within the shadows and shrubbery. The three blank-flanks followed in hot pursuit.

“Hey,” thought Applebloom. “Ain’t th’ Everfree Forest supposed ta be dangerous or somethin’?”

“Don’t worry,” said Scootaloo with confidence. “I know these woods like the back of my wing!”

Fluttershy considered Dusk’s argument. “Well, I suppose her appearance doesn’t mean that she’s evil,” the animal lover thought out loud, “But why would anypony that’s not crazy, diabolical, or secretly possessed ever consider living in the Everfree Forest? There’s m-monsters in there!”

“Hey, where’s Applebloom?” said Applejack. “She must’ve run outside!”

“Sweetie Belle’s missing, too!” said Rarity.

“That wicked Zecora must’ve grabbed ‘em!” said Rainbow Dash. “I’ll organize a rescue party.”

“Zecora didn’t ponynap anypony,” said Dusk. “They probably were just curious and followed… her... into the… forest…” He trailed off. “Actually, evil enchantress or not, a rescue party is a good plan.”

Three foals walked deeper into the woods. They had lost visual on Zecora for a while now, but the figured if they kept in a straight line, they would eventually meet up with her at her hut. To pass the time, they spitballed ideas for the name of their club. Every time somepony got an idea, however, it was shot down by a random one of the other two.

“Cutie Mark Club?”


“The Elements of Harmony?”


“The Mane 6?”

“There’s only three of us.”

“The Cutie Mark Three, then.”


“The Cute-tasically Fantastic?”

“Over my dead body.”

“Cutie Mark Acquisition Program?”

“Not gonna happen.”

“The Three Stooges?”

“Lamest. One. Yet.”

“Ah’ve got it! The Cutie Mark Crusaders!”


“CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS PEACEMAKERS YAY!” With their name chosen, the Cutie Mark Crusaders galloped at full speed toward Zecora’s house. That is, until they found out that they were completely lost.

“I thought you said that you knew these woods like the back of your wing!” yelled Sweetie Belle.

“Yeah…” said Scootaloo, scratching her head with a little guilt. “I kind of stretched the truth a bit.”

“Ah can’t believe this!” ranted Applebloom. “Who else in Ponyville is stupid enough ta get lost in th’ middle of one of th’ most dangerous parts in Equestria?” All of a sudden, three other blank-flanks stumbled out of the bushes. They could be recognized as Dinky Hooves, Featherweight, and Pipsqueak.

“Apparently, not just us,” said Sweetie Belle, answering Applebloom’s question.

“Hooray!” cheered Pipsqueak. “Thank Celestia you found us! We’ve been lost for ten minutes now.”

“Don’t get your hopes up,” said Scootaloo bluntly. “We’ve been lost for fifteen minutes.”

“Darn it,” said Featherweight. “My mom’s gonna kill me.” I realize that no record of Featherweight’s voice has ever been made canon, but never fear! Just read his lines in the voice of Philip J. Fry from Futurama, and you’ll be fine.

“What were you doing in the woods?” asked Sweetie Belle out of curiosity.

“Twying to get our cutie marks,” said Dinky. She involuntarily talked in the way you’d talk to your pet puppy, mispronouncing every other word in the most heart-wrenchingly adorable way possible. “We supposed dat if we got da best cutie marks evar, everypony would twake us seriously. And what’s da best way to get da best cutie mark evar than to do something that nopony’s evar done befwore? So, we followed Zecorwa to find out why everypony thinks she’s all evulz and stuff.”

Seriously, read that paragraph out loud. You’ll laugh yourself to death.

“Wait jus’ a cotton-pickin’ minute!” said Applebloom. “We formed our super-special club ta strive ta earn our cutie marks, so doin’ stupid things ta get ‘em is OUR deal! You’re jus’ rippin’ us off!”

“Am not!” said Pipqueak. “What’s the name of your club?”

“The Cutie Mark Crusaders.”

“Well, we’re the Flank-Finder Friends!” said Featherweight victoriously. “That’s completely different!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“IS TOO!” said screamed Applebloom at the top of her lungs.

“It is not times infinity!” said Featherweight with aggression.

“Fine, have it your way,” said Applebloom calmly, giving up a little too easily. “It ain’t different in th’ slightest.”

“AHA!” said the pegasus colt happily. “We’re not different! We win!”

“They twicked you, Feathers,” said Dinky. “We’re supposed to be the ORIGINAL ones, remember?”

“Oh,” was all Featherweight could say.

“I have an idea,” said Sweetie Belle. “Why don’t we combine our groups to form one big cutie mark pursuing family?”

“That’s a great idea!” said Pipsqueak. “Why don’t we flip a coin to see which club keeps the name?”

Three guesses on who won.

“Dusk!” called Rainbow Dash. “Three more foals just went missing!”

“Really?” said Dusk. “Who were they?”

“Pipsqueak, Featherweight, and Dinky Hooves.”

“How are their parents doing?”

“Not good. Not good at all.”

Featherweight’s mother was a pegasus with a white coat, freckles, plus a lime-green and magenta-striped mane which was cut in even bangs, much like Featherweight’s.

Her name was Blossomforth, and she was one of… those moms. The kind of mom that didn’t let her kid go hiking unless they were covered in SPF 150 sunscreen, three layers of bubble wrap, plus a safety helmet with a GPS tracking device on it. The kind of mom that measured their child’s age in months instead of years. The kind of mom that took a brand-new picture of their foal every single day before they went to school, just in case he or she needed to be on a milk carton. When choosing her son’s diet for him, “saturated fat” was a dirty word for Blossomforth.

And with Featherweight missing for ten minutes straight, she was living her worst nightmare.

“What has happened to my babeeee?” she sobbed, clinging to her husband for emotional support.

Featherweight’s father was… a little different, if not eccentric. He looked like Arnold Schwarzeneighger if he was somehow Arnold was the secret twin brother of Jabba the Clop. He ate a bowl of nails for breakfast every morning with radiation sprinkled on top for flavoring. Afterwards, he spent the next hour smashing his head clean through solid concrete in what he called “light exercise.” He was a mass of rippling muscles packed into a snow-white coat. His body build was contrasted by the two tiny stubs he had for wings. His name was Roid Rage.

The two had met during the Canterlot Olympics. They were participants, no less. Blossomforth was a gold medalist in gymnastics and synchronized flying. Roid Rage was a black belt of the recently approved sport of Extreme Ballerina Explosive-Gator Mud Pit Wrestling. It was classic love at first sight, save that they both met in the emergency room.

“Don’t worry, babe,” assured the hulk of a stallion. “He’s probably out there hunting that evil witch that everypony’s too much of a pansy to stand up against. My son, the witch-hunter! YEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” said Blossomforth. “He’s too young to die!”

Pipsqueak’s parents gave the responsibly of raising him to his big sister, much like Sweetie Belle’s parents often dropped her off at Rarity’s. Pipsqueak’s sister was one with a night life. She blacked out most nights from heavy drinking and partying, but she always meant well, making sure that he always got good grades and didn’t get any booze she had stashed around. She worked at Ponyville’s night club, preforming techno rave sensations and killer light shows under the stage name DJ PON-3.

“Dude, this is bogus,” Vinyl Scratch said glumly. “If Pipsqueak gets turned into a frog, Mom and Dad will have me for dinner!”

“What kind of trouble you get in is no matter,” scolded Rarity, doing her part to organize the search party. “You should call them and get them over here, on the double! We need the numbers to get a proper rescue team going.”

“Alright,” the DJ sighed, adjusting her shades. She walked over to Spike. “Hey, dragon-dude, you double as a fax machine, right?”

“Uhhh… kind of,” said Spike unsurely.

“Could you send a message to this address?” She handed him a slip of paper. “We need Mom and Pops here, proto.”

“I haven’t sent a letter to anypony other than Celestia,” said the baby dragon, “But in theory, it’ll work.”

“Great!” smiled DJ PON-3. She dictated a small note, explaining the dilemma. Spike sent the letter surprisingly without a hitch.

“Who are your parents, anyhow?” questioned Rarity. “I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting them formerly. How far away are they?”

“Far,” simply answered Vinyl. “But don’t worry, the trip’s really short for them. They’ll be here any second now.”

“How can they be so far away, but travel so quickly?” said Rarity with puzzlement.

“They have special transportation.”

As if on cue, a loud flying contraption hovered down to the street of Ponyville. Dusk recognized the machine as a helicopter, a state-of-the-art airborne vehicle that was only recently invented by Equestrian scientists, and that made it very, VERY expensive. The loving father of Vinyl Scratch and Pipsqueak stepped out casually, and Rarity nearly fainted.

“F-F-F-F-F-F-F-FANCY PANTS?!?!?” sputtered the fashionista. She galloped up to him and started kissing the ground at his hooves. “What-*smooch*-brings-*smooch*-you-*smooch*-to-*smooch*-our-*smooch*-UNWORTHY-*smooch*-little-*smooch*-town?”

“I’m going to save my son,” said Fancy Pants dutifully. “After all, nothing is more important than family, right dear?”

“Absolutely,” said a foxy mare by the name of Fleur de Lis, hopping out of the driver’s seat. “Oh, and Vinyl?”

“Yeah, Mom?” gulped Vinyl.

“We shall have words when this is over. Harsh ones.”

As Vinyl grimaced at the thought of eventually being told off by her mother, Rarity thought she could die of happiness. She HAD to get in better touch with Vinyl now. They would have spa dates, tea time, give each other makeovers, invites to her parents’ yacht…

There was another shocking realization in Rarity. Vinyl hated every one of those things. She liked getting smashed and music that sounded like nails on a chalkboard! How could she be the daughter of one of Canterlot’s finest, and not be the perfect lady?

“Dusk,” said the baffled drama queen in the hushed tone she used for gossiping. “How do you suppose Vinyl Scratch can be the next in line for Fancy Pants’ fortune? They’re hardly alike!”

“Well…” guessed Dusk. “I suppose you could have a point, but as everypony knows, Fancy wasn’t the high-class stallion he is today. Maybe Vinyl just likes her dad’s roots.”

You’ve probably often wondered about the backstory around Fancy Pants, i.e. Why he’s so popular around Canterlot, how he came to be with Fleur de Lis, and why he’s so accepting of the lower class. All these questions will be answered (and abused by the author) with one simple detail:

Fancy Pants Esquire is a retired rockstar.

Indeed, for he was the founder for one of Equestria’s greatest bands ever to shred a guitar, Wyld Stallyns. The other members were co-founder and best friend Schmancy Shores (father of the ever-popular Sapphire Shores), the Grim Reaper himself at the bass, a sasquatch from Mars that could split himself in two named Station playing the bongos, a couple of slapped-together androids dubbed “The Good Robot Usses,” and finally with Fancy & Schmancy’s respective loving wives, Princess Fleur de Lis along with her sister, Princess Escort Sluthooves. (Each of whom Fancy & Schmancy met while time traveling back to 13th century Trottingham, but that’s another story.)

The band made big, inventing a gimmick they called “air guitar,” where Fancy & Schmancy gestured their hooves as if they were riffing an electric guitar, accompanied by a sound effect they made with their horns. The band was so popular, they temporarily changed the national motto from “Love and tolerate” to “Be excellent to one another,” which wasn’t that big of a change when you think about it.

The tale of Fancy’s youngest offspring is complicated, but it started when he was born in Canterlot. By the time Pipsqueak first learned to talk, the fame and money that came with growing up in the 1% went to his head, and he constantly whined about not getting enough shiny things. Finally when Fancy and Fleur had enough, they sent him to the Trottingham Boarding School for Not Being a Pain in the Flank. (Filthy Rich threatened to send Diamond Tiara there whenever she misbehaved more than usual, and that succeeded in shutting her up for a good five minutes.) After three short weeks, Pipsqueak thankfully learned his lesson. To ensure that he wouldn’t get spoiled rotten again, Fleur insisted that Vinyl Scratch would take care of him, with weekend visits to Canterlot to keep in touch.

Dinky was an only child. Despite the way she talked, she was an intelligent young filly that had a dream of getting enrolled in Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. She strived to get straight A’s every day. If you don’t know who her mother is, shame on you. You are a disgrace to bronies everywhere. Go sit in the corner.

“Is everypony ready?” said Derpy Hooves to nopony in particular, but more to everpony in general. “I want to go get my little muffin!”

“We’re ready,” said Dusk Shine. “Let’s go find us some lost foals!”

The group of concerned parents and guardians had been treading through the Everfree Forest for three hours now. They had no idea where Zecora’s hut was, due to everypony avoiding it and the woods of death around it in general.

“Ugh,” groaned Rainbow Dash. “My hooves are killing me.” The pegasus was unmatched in speed, but was as worthless as a one-legged mule in terms of endurance. This was less of a surprise than expected, considering how much Dash napped during the day. “We don’t even know where that zebra-whatsit Zecora even is, and we’re totally lost.”

“Hey, there she is!” said Pinkie Pie. “She’s right past that harmless-looking patch of blue flowers!”

Dusk stepped forward in an attempt to communicate, rustling through the unknown flora. “Miss Zecora? We don’t mean any trouble, but some of our foals followed you in here. Have you seen them?”

“Beware, beware fair stallion!” said Zecora ominously. “Those weeds you stand in are no mere dandelions!”

“Why did she speak in rhyme?’ wondered Trixie out loud, walking into the blue flowerbeds without heed for the zebra’s warning. After all, they were just plants. Sensing the need to stay in a group, the rest of the search party joined her, touching all of the blooms that they had never seen before.

“Oh yeah,” said Applejack. “She always talks like that. Nopony knows why. Forgot ta mention that, sorry. They say that she’s always castin’ same kinda curse.”

Dusk was a little curious. “Why would we need to stay out of these flowerbeds?” he asked Zecora.

“You did not listen, and it is too late,” she answered, “for you have already sealed your fate!”

“What does that even mean?” said Blossomforth.

Zecora said nothing, only vanished with a puff of smoke.

“Dude,” said Vinyl Scratch. “That chick just creeps me out.”

“I’ve seen zebra ambassadors in Canterlot, but they seemed rather charming,” said Fancy Pants. “Then again, they never casted curses on anypony.”

“There’s no such thing as curses,” insisted Dusk. “They’re just an old pony tale.”

There was a pregnant pause. “WHAT??!!” the five other Elements of Harmony cried out in unison.

“Dusk, not that Ah doubt yer magical know-how,” Applejack said, “but before Nightmare Moon came out, she was jus’ an old pony tale. How can ya be so sure that curses ain’t real, especially since th’ Summer Sun Celebration?”

“I read it in a book,” defended Dusk, like this was a legitimate answer.

“Well, I didn’t like the way she addressed you,” Rarity shot back. “’Fair stallion.’ Hrmph. The things I will do to that mare…”

Tired of walking through the maze of trees and spookiness, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, now with six members, sat down for a rest.

“Got anything in those saddlebags?” asked Scootaloo to Featherweight. “I’m kinda hungry.”

“I’ve got granola bars, some protein shakes, a few water bottles, a box of moist towelets, my inhaler for my asthma that hasn’t acted up in two years, a flashlight, two inflatable life preservers, a parachute, a first-aid kit complete with the jaws of life, three sleeping bags, an unfoldable tent, and a box of dental floss.”

Applebloom looked at the colt like he just gave birth to a healthy litter of puppies. “Ya carry all that junk around everywhere ya go?” she said in disbelief.

Featherweight just shrugged. “My mom likes to be prepared,” he said like they were just discussing the weather.

“I’ll have a granola bar, mate,” said Pipsqueak.

“Gimme a protein shake,” said Scootaloo. The blank-flanks ate in a quiet moment of peace. All of a sudden, there was a rustling in the bushes.

“Who’s there?” called Sweetie Belle, looking around.

“It’s probably a squirrel,” said Dinky, but the way she scootched over to Pipsqueak stated that she believed otherwise.

“Show yerself!” yelled Applebloom bravely.

Unfortunately, the stalker obliged. A tall, shady figure stepped into the clearing, wearing a jet-black suit, complimented by a blood-red tie. It resembled a pony, if the pony’s libs were painfully stretched like taffy. Its coat a stark-white, the only sign of color was a cutie mark; a crudely drawn circle with an X crossed through it. The mark looked less naturally appeared and more like it was painfully scarred on there with a jagged knife. It towered over the foals, reaching as far as the branches of the trees themselves. Its posture was imposing, looking down upon the Crusaders like it was standing up on an ivory tower, judging them for doing something terribly wrong and completely unforgiveable. Black tentacles grew out of its suit, whipping and slithering about in the air like the hair of a gorgon. The most horrifying feature was its complete lack of face, as if it was an unfinished drawing by some unholy creator.

“IT’S SLENDERPONY!!!” screamed Applebloom, Dinky, Pipsqueak, Sweetie Belle and Featherweight. They all thought they were going to die. All but one.

Scootaloo gave a cheerful wave hello, like Slenderpony was a neighbor stopping by for some milk.

“Hi, Dad!”

Wild Mass Guessing Pt. 2

View Online

The Cutie Mark Crusaders’ jaws dropped. A million questions flooded their mind. What did Scootaloo just say? This monster that was the subject of horror stories since Equestria was founded was her father?

“hELlo, sLeNDeRLoO,” Slenderpony replied affectionately. “i SeE THat yOU fiNAlly mAdE sOMe FRienDs. iT LoOkS like dAdDy’S LiTtlE aNgEL iS fINAllY gRoWiNG uP!”

The part of his face where his mouth was supposed to be opened up like an infected wound, making the shape of a crescent moon turned its side. Black ooze that might have been saliva, pus, or a sick combination of both dripped out of the opening, burning the ground below like acid as it hit the forest floor. It took a minute for the other children to figure out that Scootaloo’s dad was supposedly doing his twisted version of a smile. “jUSt wAiT uNtiLL yOUr MOthER hEArS AbOUt tHis! oH, hOW sHE LOvEs iT wHEn cOmpANy cOmES oVEr.”

“Aw, stop it Dad!” complained “Slenderloo” with an irritated expression. “You’re embarrassing me! SO not cool.”

Applebloom was the first to speak. “Buh… whuh… WHAT?! Okay, time out! Ah want an explanation!”

“iS tHeRE sOMetHinG tHE mAttER?” Slenderpony said with a little confusion in his hauntingly creepy voice.

“Y’all bet yer plot something’s th’ matter!” cursed Applebloom. “How in tarnation did Slenderpony get a kid like Scootaloo?”

“Ooo, I know this one!” said Sweetie Belle, distracted by the abomination of nature in front of her. “When a mommy pony and daddy pony love each other very much…”

“That’s not what Ah mean,” interrupted Applebloom. “What Ah mean is, why doesn’t Scoots here look all pale an’ tentacle-ly an’ stuff?”

“Oh yeah, that,” said Scootaloo. “Mom wanted me to have a normal childhood, so she taught me how to shapeshift into a normal-looking peagasus.” She glanced around. “We’re still friends, right?”

“It’s pretty hawrd,” Dinky commented, “you know, looking past dat you lied to us and all.”

“And we did technically know you for a few hours now,” Sweetie Belle added.

“I think it’s pretty cool!” said Pipsqueak. “I bet she has totally awesome Slender-powers. She’s like a


“Yeah,” agreed Featherweight. “Show us your true form! I bet it’s extremely cool.”

Scootaloo shrugged. “Okay, here it goes…”

The Crusaders shivered in fright. They wouldn’t get a good night sleep for three days straight now. Scootaloo turned back into her filly-form and stared expectantly.

“Welll?” she said. “Is it scary, or what?”

“…I need to go to the bathroom,” said Sweetie Belle.

“I think I already did,” said Featherweight.

“dO yoU kiDs NeED AnYtHiNG?” asked Slenderpony. “sNAcKS? soME BOarD gAMeS?”

“Actually,” said Dinky, “I dink we need to get to beddy-bye. It’s getting dawrk.” She looked up to meet Slenderpony’s eyes, if he had any. “Can we spend da night, Slendwerpony? <3”

“i’M nOt sLenDErPoNY,”

“You aren’t?”

“Yeah!” laughed Scootaloo. “Slenderpony’s just a family name, silly!”

“mY rEAl nAmE iS sLeNDeRmAnE explained Scootaloo’s dad as he lead the foals to whatever the Slenderpony family called home. They came to a colossal stump of a petrified tree, going as wide as Fluttershy’s cottage. The interior was completely hallow, the wood warped and twisted by black magic to make shelves for tupperware and souvenirs from Slendermane and his wife’s honeymoon. The furniture was made from junk stolen from the Ponyville landfill, along with the bones of hopefully just animals. Pony skulls dangled from the ceiling like little disturbing Hearth’s Warming ordinates. The Crusades made a wise decision on not inquiring where the skulls came from.

“hONeY, i’M hOmE!” he called to the kitchen. “AnD i’VE bRoUGhT visitors!”

“dO wE KilL tHEm?” bluntly asked the female that walked into the living room. She was about as tall as Slendermane himself, and had some of his features. She possessed the same pale skin and lack of any hair or facial features, but the way her snout curved into a cute nose suggested she had the youthful appearance of a girl. She wore a black business suit and skirt, yet it seemed impractical to wear work clothes with a black cooking apron. She apparently had been cooking dinner,
since she held several kitchen utensils in her tentacles. On the apron, “Kiss the Elder God” could be read in bloodstained letters.

“nO, mY bELoVeD sLeNDeRmARe,” answered Scootaloo’s dad, laughing heartedly. “tHeY’Re SLEndErLoO’S fRiEndS, aNd oUR gUEstS. wE oNLy kiLL TRespASsERs, rEMemBeR?”

“oH, yEsssSSss…” said Slendermare, as if remembering a thing she forgot while grocery shopping. That didn’t stop her from hissing like a rattlesnake, though. Her flesh tore open in the same creepy-as-buck grin as her husband. The two kissed, exchanging black ooze from each of their mouths; the excess drooling onto the floor with a hiss of acid.

“Ewww!” said Scootaloo, sticking her tongue out. “Don’t do that in front of my friends Mom, it’s disgusting! Save the mushy-mushy love stuff for when I’m safely out of the house.”

“I got to agree with you on that, Scoots, but for slightly different reasons,” commented Pipsqueak, looking like he was about to puke at the sight of so much Slender-slime in one place.

“So…” Sweetie Belle said, safely derailing from the topic, “is it okay if we stay for the night, Mrs. Slenderpony?”

“oF cOuRSe,” answered Slendermare, breaking away from the kiss. “wHAt kiND oF mOThEr wOULd i bE iF I diDn’T aLLoW sLeNDeRLoO tO hAVe fRiEndS oVEr?” She used her spare tentacles to give each of the Crusaders a warm, well-intentioned, but somehow still rather spine-tingling hug. “NoW, wHo wANts tO pLAy soME sCrAbBLe?”

Four hours later…

There was an interesting effect behind Poison Joke. The herb was intended to take away the physical trait you value most, such as speed, looks, etc. What was very trivial about the plant was that it did it overnight, when you were asleep. How and why it did what it did was completely unknown. There was a short study in one of the colleges in Fillydelphia a few years back, but was quickly discarded as soon as the headmaster found out that the college students only wanted to exploit one side effect of Poison Joke: If you stay up late enough to experience its curse, you are guaranteed to get so stoned, you won’t even remember your own name.

And guess who decided to prolong the search party after dark?

Dusk’s head was exploding. Neigh, it was exploding twice. He looked to his companions.

“Does anyone else feel… funny?” he wondered out loud.

“Wuzzat?” Rainbow Dash slurred. “Why are there fourteen of you all of a sudden? Are we having an orgy?”

“Stop talking, Dashie!” snapped Pinkie Pie. “I’m trying to have a conversation with the honking kangaroo! He’s lost his way to the dingo convention, just like we have!”

“!!!!!HHHAAAEEEYYYY” Roid Rage bellowed for no reason in particular.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie demands to know why all of you are upside down!” Trixie proclaimed.

“Trixie, you’re standing on your head.”

“No, you are!”

All the while, Derpy Hooves had her eyes completely straight, walking along unhindered.

“My head’s never felt clearer in my life,” she breathed in pure bliss.

“That makes one of us,” groaned Blossomforth, her eyes bloodshot. “I think there’s something in the air in these woods. Is this how Featherweight feels right now? I should install an air purifier in here sometime.”

Fluttershy said nothing; she was too busy bumping into the same tree over and over again, apologizing to it each time, somewhat like someone’s luggage spilled and it was her fault.

“Who’s a silly pony?” Applejack snickered to herself. “I am!” She burst out in fit of giggles.

Rarity was busy gathering random rocks, claiming they were the most beautiful gemstones she’d ever seen, and she was going to make dresses out of them for everypony she knew.

Vinyl Scratch was easily the worst case. “Wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub-wubbity-wub-wub…”

This continued for half the night, followed by more stupid things before passing out.

Dusk Shine awoke to his head exploding again, and this time not in a good way. It was morning now, Celestia’s cruel sun blinding his vision. He was resting on the grassy dirt, desperately in need of a shower. He couldn’t remember half the things he did last night. It was undoubtedly the worst hangover he experienced in his life.

“Morning, Dusk,” cooed a voice that sounded unbelievably close. It was the voice of a mare, and her body was wrapped around him in an intimate embrace. They were laying in a pool of fresh sweat from vigorous, passionate activity, making Dusk grateful that he didn’t recall what gone down last night. Dusk adjusted his vision to see the satisfied face of Rainbow Dash.

“Congratulations, egghead,” she said, kissing him on the lips in victory. “You aren’t my first, but you’re definitely my best.”

Dusk pulled away in shock. “Dash, what are you doing? Do you even remember what happened?”

The speedster thought for a moment, frowning. “No…” she said, “But I do remember coming. Like, a lot.” Dusk looked over himself. He was covered in Dash’s bodily fluids, sticky and dry. He shivered, feeling unclean on the inside as well as the outside.

Dash, not phased in the slightest, pointed at Dusk’s forehead. “And judging from your horn, I say you’re all ‘used up.’” She cocked her head. “I didn’t even know unicorn horns worked like that, honestly.”

Dusk was confused. What was Dash talking about? He felt his horn, and gasped in fright. His horn, the source of all his magic, had gone all floppy!

“What’s happened to my horn??” he shouted out loud.

The claimer of his virginity just shrugged. “Dunno,” she said nonchalantly. “It was like that when I woke up, so I assumed it was something unicorns always kept to themselves, like how pegasi lay eggs instead of getting pregnant.”

Dusk looked at Rainbow Dash quizzically. “What?”

Dash shrunk back. “N-nothing! Nothing at all. Nothing that makes pegasi look weird. Nnnnope.”

Dusk shook the thought away. He had more important things to worry about. “Anyway, this isn’t natural. My horn is always upright, thank you very much.” A detail caught his eye. “Rainbow Dash, your wings! There’s reversed!”

The daredevil took a look at her backside. Dusk was right. Rainbow Dash wasn’t an expert at biology, but she knew how wings worked. And judging by the state hers were in, she could safely assume that she would never fly again. Worse, she would never get into the Wonderbolts now. She contemplated her situation for a moment, and summed it all up with two simple words.


Wild Mass Guessing Pt. 3

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Hearing Rainbow Dash’s screams in frustration, the other ponies awoke with a start. And just because the universe seemed to hate Dusk, Rarity was the first to see him lying on the ground in an embrace with another mare.

“Rainbow Dash!” the marshmallow exclaimed. “What are you doing? Get your filthy hooves off my prince this instant!”

Rainbow Dash, still in shock, didn’t get up. She was too exhausted to move, probably from riding Dusk all night long. Rarity, seeing that Dash wouldn’t comply, began to march over to the couple. She was stopped by tripping over her coat, which had grown into overly greasy dreadlocks along with her mane.

“What did that Zecora do to my hair?” she screeched. “I’m hideous!”

“Forget yer lousy hair!” a tiny voice piped up. “How am Ah supposed ta buck apples if Ah’m smaller than one?” Among the muddy grass, a travel-sized Applejack looked up in irritation. “An’ Rainbow Dash, jus’ what in tarnation were ya doin’ with Dusk last night?”

Dash got the strength to sit upright and swell with pride. “Just what did I do? I claimed what’s mine, that’s what! That purple dork sitting next to me is my brand-new sex machine!”

Rarity narrowed her eyes, and Dusk could’ve sworn he saw hellfire brewing in them for half a second. “Since you’re my friend, Darling,” she growled through her teeth, her tone tinted with stone-cold malice, “I’ll give you two options: One, you can take back what just slipped out right there, and I’ll let this go without so much as a grudge.” She took a single step closer. “Two, you can start running now, and I shall give you the ladylike courtesy of a ten second head start.” She took another step, glaring at her prey like a lioness. “When I catch you, (and believe me, no matter where you run, I WILL FIND YOU.) I promise to make your death swift and painless. How’s that?”

Rainbow Dash, never the one to be intimidated, only laughed casually at Rarity. “How about this: You back off so you don’t ruin your hooficure. Besides, I can’t run…” The speedster tried to stand up to demonstrate, only to fall down a moment later. “…Thanks to your ‘prince,’ I can’t even walk straight.” She smirked, teasing Rarity with this fact with great pleasure.

Rarity was about to make Tartarus on earth, but the tense moment was interrupted by Pinkie Pie popping up between them. “Impssthhthth! Th’ Auththr Pinkth Prmthhh!” Her tongue was swollen up, impairing her speech immensely. Rarity did a double take.

“What was that, Darling?” she said, a little distracted from her burning rage by Pinkie’s absurdity. “Make it quick, you’re ruining the mood a bit.”

“Th’ Auththr Pinkth Prmthhh!” Pinkie repeated.

“Arthur Pink Proms?” said Dusk, trying to interpret.

”Th’ Auththr Pinkth Prmthhh!” Pinkie pulled up a sign from nowhere, and underlined the last part it said.

…But when five certain mares each develop a massive crush on Dusk, he’ll have more

on his plate than Twilight ever did. (No clop scenes, I Pinkie Promise)

She tapped the underlined section repeatedly, trying to make her companions understand.

“Ya think somepony broke a Pinkie Promise by makin’ Dusk an’ Rainbow bump ugies?” questioned “Appleteeny.” Pinkie nodded triumphantly.

Dusk cut in. “Excuse me if this a stupid question, but what’s a Pinkie Promise?”

“A Pinkie Promise is…” began Fluttershy, but stopped. “My voice! What’s happened to my voice?” If a tuba could have its tonsils removed, it could have a fifty-fifty chance of being as deep as the new voice of “Flutterguy.”

While the others were panicking in their changes, Pinkamena sulked. [What are you getting so worked up about?] she said to her more cheerful half. [It’s obvious they didn’t do it.]

What do you mean? said Pinkie. Of course they did it, even if it was off-screen! Even a Pinkie Promise broken behind my back is still a broken Pinkie Promise.

[That’s not what I mean,] Pinkamena sighed. [There’s too little for the reader to guess. When you write a clop scene, the most important thing to remember is to be descriptive. If you leave too much idioms, endures, or blatant lack of detail, you’re leading your reader on, and the whole thing ends up as a fake-out. Chances are that Dusk didn’t lay a hoof on Ms. Cooler-Than-Cool here.]

You really think so? said Pinkie Pie, her heart filling with hope once more. My little Dusky-wusky’s still a virgin?

[We’ll see,] said Pinkamena, smiling warmly. [As long as we don’t have any proof that Dusk and Rainbow Dash didn’t do anything TOO dirty, we’re in the clear. For all we know, Dusk could have passed out early, and she just humped his back leg for and hour.]

“What’s that ghastly smell?” asked Fancy Pants. His curse was that he had lost his horn for a third eye on his forehead, which he decided to place his spare monocle for enhanced vision. It looked a little cool, to tell the truth.

“Me,” confessed Dash. “Last night’s pretty fuzzy, but I’m dead certain Dusk made a number two in my cooch. Trust me, I can still feel it in here. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”

Welp, that’s enough proof for me. Slit the author’s throat in his sleep? thought Pinkie grimly.


“Well my beloved Fleur,” Fancy Pants said as Rarity and Rainbow Dash stared each other down, “I do believe that Zecora has cursed us all, thus proving that’s she’s evil. Your thoughts?”

“I’m not Fleur” said the gorgeous mare aside Fancy. “It’s Roid Rage.”

“Oh, that explains those enormous wings and your lack of horn. Where’s the real Fleur?”

“Right here,” said a filly with an uncanny resemblance to Twist, a blank-flank filly who went to Cheerilee’s elementary school. She even had the thick glasses, a red mane, and the braces to match. “Don’t worry about me, thith remindth me of what I looked like in my foalhood, tho it’th not a big deal.”

“WHAT’S THAT?!!!” said Vinyl Scratch. Her ears were swollen and puffy, sporting the same blue spots Dusk and Pinkie had on their respective horn and tongue. “WHY ARE ALL OF YOU TALKING SO QUIET?!! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!! IS THIS YOUR FAULT, DERPY?”

“Apologies, my ally who is passionate about sound waves that are coordinated with rhythm and pitch,” said Derpy without even concentrating, “but I lack the knowledge of what sent our plans awry.”

Rainbow Dash looked at Derpy like the cross-eyed pegasus had just sprouted a second head. “Derpy, do you even know what half of those words even mean?”

Derpy fell silent for a few minutes. “…No.”

Meantime, Blossomforth was going through a slightly different change in her vocabulary. “Buck these horseapples, how am I supposed to explain to my clopping son that his stupid-flank dad is a bucking MARE now?” She tried to cover her mouth as soon as she realized what she was saying. “Luna send me to Tartarus! What’s happened to my bucking speech? I’m a manure-shoveling mother! Mothers aren’t supposed to swear like Discord’s butthole! What am I gonna bucking do when Featherweight clopping hears me talk like this? Celestia rape my fat plot with her horn if he does!”

All the while, Trixie was laughing her plot off. “HA!” she teased. “You’ve all been pranked! This is hilarious! Good thing I haven’t been cursed, for no spell can truly hinder the Great and Powerful Tr…” She stopped abruptly, trying to finish her sentence.


She tried again. “TrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRAUGH! I can’t say my name! I CAN’T SAY MY NAME!!!” She galloped over and shook Dusk violently, having a panic attack. “You! Say my name for me!”

Dusk attempted to comply. “Trrr… Trrrrrrr…” No matter how he tried, he couldn’t say Trixie’s name. He knew it, it just refused to come out right. After a discussion that concluded that our heroes had to call Trixie SOMETHING, they resolved to try to say her name until something similar popped out. After rejected words like “Trikie,” “Mr. T,” and “Trololol,” it was Flutterguy who came up with a reasonable solution that sounded like an actual pony name.

“Twilight Sparkle.”

Trixie was in a crying fit at this point, wailing like a foal with a tantrum. “I can’t go around being the Great and Powerful Twilight Sparkle! I’ll be the laughingstock of the whole town!”

“Aw, come on, Twilight,” Dusk Shine encouraged. “The name’s not so bad.”

“Yes it is!” Trixie sobbed. “It’s the stupidest name EVER!! Have you ever seen those movies? There’s no way I’m allowing myself to be associated with something as awful and pathetic as that!

Featherweight let in a deep breath. “Well, this is it.” The Cutie Mark Crusaders had a good night’s sleep, and a breakfast of waffles, made from tree moss. (Slendermare wasn't too keen on what a growing foal’s diet consisted of, to say the least.) With a help from a map of the Everfree Forest that Slendermane generously provided, the blank-flanks had finally made it to Zecora’s hut. They were standing roughly ten yards away, and there were signs of life from inside, such as smells of something cooking and the zebra’s voice chanting ominously.

“Do all of you still want to go in?” asked Pipsqueak, gulping in anticipation.

“Yeah!” said an enthusiastic Sweetie Belle. “We didn’t come all this way for nothing, did we?” Despite her gung-ho, there was a bit of nervousness detectable in her voice, which cracked slightly. This was understandable throughout the group. Now that they had came this close to actually meeting Zecroa, the pressure was getting to them. It wasn’t enough to break anypony among them of their courage, however. They all still had earning their cutie marks at the highest priority, and personal safety was still a tad lower on the list. Never the less, they had an unspoken agreement to tiptoe cautiously up to Zecora’s door.

The hinges squeaked a hay lot louder than any of them preferred, and to make matters worse, this got Zecora’s attention. She was brewing some kind of soup, but stopped to look at the foals. Her expression was that of sheer terror.

“Stop right there, or meet your doom!” she bellowed, frozen in place. “For death is lurking in this very room!” Her eyes were locked on Featherweight, making him extremely uncomfortable.

Applebloom misinterpreted this as needless paranoida, and stepped forward, offering a hoof in friendship.

“No need ta make yerself look scary in front of us, Zecora,” she said sweetly and neighborly. “We’re here ta make ya more welcome ta Ponyville, an’ ta make sure that yer not seen as some some evil enchantress. More importantly, we’ll get our cutie marks!”

“Thank you for the courtesy,” said Zecora, still not letting her guard down. “But that is not what worries me…”

“Then wut is?” inquired Dinky. “Is it sometwing about Featherweight? I noticed you’re eyeing him awfully clwose.”

“There!” Zecora panicked., pointing at something on the male pegasus’ back. “Crawling from the shadows from which it hid, a deadly poisonous arachnid!”

Due to him sleeping through most of biology, Featherweight didn’t know what in Equestria an “arachnid” was, but he definitely understood what “deadly poisonous” implied. So, he stood perfectly still, following Zecora’s advice. Unfortunately, this could not be said for everypony.

“AAAAUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” Scootaloo screamed, terrorized by the tiny bug on Featherweight’s back. “SPIDER! SPIDER! DON’T LET IT GET NEAR ME! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!” She spontaneously grew three massive black tentacles, which she used to grab random object on the wall, a tribal mask the size of a surfboard. She immediately used it to mercilessly beat the poor spider to death, giving Featherweight several bruises that his mother would endlessly fuss about later.

“Scootaloo!” scolded Pipsqueak. “You were supposed to keep still!”

“You tell me that when one those death machines in creeping next to you!” barked Scootaloo in defense. “Those things are bucked up!”

“Let me get this straight,” Sweetie Belle said, absorbing the situation in, “You’re one of the bravest fillies I’ve ever met, the daughter of one of the most powerful and feared creatures in the Everfree Forest, not to mention you’re basically immortal, but you’re scared of spiders?”

“Hey!” protested Scootaloo. “I’m not afraid of anything, especially spiders!”

“Good, because there’s one on your back, three times the size of the one that was just on Featherweight.”

Scootaloo let out a cowardly scream, her phobia flaring up again. She scurried up the walls, clinging onto one of Zecora’s decorations that were hanging from the ceiling. After a full sixty seconds of shivering like a phoenix in blizzard, it dawned on her that Sweetie Belle had been lying to her. This conclusion was firmly backed up by everypony laughing at Scoots.

“Very funny,” she grumbled as she dropped down.

“Chicken,” Applebloom snickered.

Now that the thing on his back was dead, Featherweight had a chance to examine the creature up close. It had eight legs, crushed by Scootaloo’s panic attack. The spider was glowing an unnatural color, despite being smashed to a pulp. To his horror, he noticed a puffy red bite mark on his skin, and it was swelling at a clearly visible rate.

“Zecora,” he said with fear for his safety, “Am I going to be… okay?”

“Do not worry,” said the zebra with a sigh of relief. “You’re apparently immune, or else the poison would kill you in quite a hurry.”

“I’m immune to bites from a spider that I don’t even know the name of?” said Featherweight, disbelief in his own luck rushing in in his mind. “Sweeeeet.”

“There is more to this spider than meets the eye, young colt,” Zecroa said mysteriously. “There is a tale behind it that will give you quite a jolt.”

“Yay,” said Dinky. “Stowry time!”

The zebra began her story. “In the country of Zebrakistan, where there is little more than desert land, there is a group of monks quite odd, whom worship a little-known god. On the faith of which they claim, Anansi is his name.”

“What’s this have ta do with Feathers being immune ta a spider bite?” asked Applebloom.

“Patience small foal, I shall get to that part when it is told. Anansi is all the world’s spiders’ patron, but there is more, so I will go on. Every few hundred years he selects an acolyte, in order to enforce justice and make wrongs right. The wright of passage is full of peril, but it no doubt reveals Anansi’s herald. You must allow yourself to be bitten, solely because it has been written. The bite comes from a Daddy Glowinglegs. (Don’t laugh at the name, I must beg!) The bite itself is called Anansi’s Blessing, but it is not something with you wished to messing. If don’t survive to take your next breath, Anansi has not chosen you and your punishment is death. If you have the immunity to tell the tale, from heaven above you must’ve hailed.”

“So…” deduced Pipsqueak, “Feathers is now some sorta chosen one or something?”

“Indeed,” nodded Zecora, “and because of this you must take heed. Because the test requires great will, you shall receive powerful skills.”

“Like what?”

“On the ceilings you will crawl, as well as on the walls.”

“Pffft,” scoffed Featherweight. “I’ve been doing that since I could walk.” His chest swelled with pride.

“Oh, sorry, I was being ridiculous,” Zecora blushed before regaining her composure, “But here’s an ability not owned by a single pegasus: From your plot you shall excrete spider string, which upon which you can safely swing.”

“One, that’s kinda gross,” said Featherweight. “Two, I’m a pretty strong flyer, so I don’t think I need to swing like a monkey from buildings or something. Three, wouldn’t it get tangled up in the trees?”

“Okay then,” said Zecora, now a little motivated to impress the young colt. “Perhaps you will be dazzled by this gem: You can sense danger before it approaches, such as gangsters, supervillains, and cockroaches.”

“See anything hazardous to my health from a mile away?” retorted the winged snarker, raising an eyebrow. “My mom already does that for me.”

Zecora cussed in Zebrakistanian under her breath before speaking. “I suppose then you won’t be awed by this THIS little power: From steel, concrete, to lead; all to you will weigh as much a flower.”

“My dad already has super strength,” Featherweight explained. “And he always says that I’ll grow up to be just like him!” He flexed his forelegs, which looked like a pair of spaghetti noodles. “In fact, I think all those family gym sessions have already done their justice, am I right?” The rest of the Crusaders tried to suppress their giggles with teetering failure.

“Wait, did you say your father was exceptionally tough?” the zebra said with astonishment. “With muscles that are equally buff?”

“Pretty much.”

“By the Great Gallabazoo!” she exclaimed. “All your parents are looking for you!”

“Really?” said Sweetie Belle, sharing the immediate relief among her fellow blank-flanks that their folks cared about them, but this feeling has hashly followed by the bitter aftertaste of how angry they must be at them for sneaking off and following a stranger. “H-how did you know that?”

“Before I made it here, I made a confrontation. It was bunch of ponies trying to be your salvation. There were nine mares and three blokes, and they were walking in a bush of Poison Joke.”

“What’s Poison Joke?” asked Applebloom.

“Poison Joke is a thing created in Discord’s plights, much like the Smooze, zap apples, and parasprites. It is a dangerous plant, so mess with it you shan’t.”

“Mum and Dad touched something like that??” Pipsqueak said, a worried look cast over his face. “I bet they brought along my big sister, too! Please, tell me this ‘Poison Joke’ isn’t lethal!”

“Quite the contrary,” assured Zecora. “But they’ll be here any minute, so be wary.”

“Whut does dis plant DO, then?” wondered Dinky out loud. “If it isn’t poisonous, thing why call da thing Poison Joke?”

“Wait and find out,” Zecora said slyly. “When you see your families, great laughter you will sprout.”

As if to prove Zecora’s point, a voice shouted from outside just then. “DINKY D’AWMUFFIN HOOVES! I perceive you within the rural living quarters of your ponynapper via an architectural structure that is used to provide an outdoor perspective and defenestration. Please, I have been concerned with your safety to the point of ill medical wellbeing!”

“What did all that jus’ mean?” said a baffled Applebloom.

“It means that Derpy’s outside, she saw us through a window, and she’s been worried sick about Dinky.” Sweetie Belle said.

Everpony blinked at least twice. “That is exceptionally scary,” commented Zecora. “To what do you owe to such an advanced vocabulary?”

The small white unicorn looked down in shame. “I have… a history with dictionaries.”

They went outside, seeing what the Poison Joke had done to their folks in all its glory.

“Applejack, why are ya so tiny?” said Applebloom, squinting to see her “big” sister.


“I beg your pardon??” Rarity said, flabbergasted, but with Fancy Pants around within earshot, she held her tounge.

Blossomforth answered Applebloom by pointing an accusing hoof at Zecora. “Your sister is a mother-clopping super-midget because this stripped whore cursed the living buck outta us!” She immediately realized what she just let out, and stuffed her whole hoof in her mouth.

Featherweight stared at his mom like she had just transformed into a robot, grew a jet pack, and flew off into space to fight an army of evil alien invaders.

“Feathers?” Scootaloo said hesitantly. “Are you okay?”

“Sorry,” said the pegasus colt, “I seem to have stumbled into some backwards alternate dimension where my mom is actually cool.” He continued gawking, amazed at what he had just heard.

Red warning lights flashed in Blossomforth’s head. Did her son hear her swear more than a guest on Jerry Springgreen and told her that he thought it was cool? This called for a serious talk.

“Featherweight,” she said as calmly and lovingly as possible, leaning down next to her little angel, “Mommy is forehooves-bucking cursed right now. She has as much control over her clopping language as a little clit needs to be touched in dirty ways. If I see you talking in the Luna-damned manner I’m using right now, I will open up a can of whoop-flank and ground the living horseapples out of you. Understand?”

Shucks, Featherweight thought, a little depressed. I’m back in reality.

“That’s all very touching,” the Great and Powerful ‘Twilight Sparkle’ said impatiently. “But I want my name back. Release this curse you have on us Zecora, or face the wrath of the Great and Powerful… you know who I am!”

“YYYEEEAAAHHH!!!!” said Roid Rage, flexing his feminine muscles as best he could.

“Wait!” yelled Applebloom before the adults could start to charge. “This is all a big misunderstandin’!”

And so Applebloom explained a few obvious facts that somehow escaped everypony: One, Zecora was indeed not an evil enchantress. Two, Zecora didn’t ponynap any of the foals, they came on their own accord. Three, the adults weren’t cursed; they just were under the effects of a drug that was only found in the Everfree Forest.

After several apologies to Zecora and getting the rest of Ponyville to accept her (which was relatively easy once they got Rose, Daisy and Lily to stop screaming, “The horror! The horror!”), everypony headed to the spa to get a herbal bath in order to cure the Poison Joke.

Of all the ponies that were ‘cursed,’ none were as happy to be cured as Trixie. In fact, Trixie was so over joyed that she shouted her own name from the rooftops for four entire hours until Dusk was forced to encase her in a soundproof bubble.

After relaxing in the hot tub of healing…

Dusk Shine dried off his mane with a towel. He was in the showers of the spa, still trying to get Rainbow Dash’s excrement off his coat. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.

“In a minute!” Dusk said. “I just need to get dressed.”

“As I recall, my little pony,” Zecora called from behind the door, “We only wear clothes on special occasions only.”

“Point taken,” said Dusk, but instinct told him to wrap a towel around his flanks and privates, just to be safe. He opened the door and the zebra walked in. “Is there something you wanted to talk about?”

“I noticed that you are quite attractive,” she remarked casually. “Not only that, but you have been sexually active.”

Dusk’s eyes widened. He stayed in Ponyville long enough to know where this conversation was headed, and it was never good. He raced for the doorway, only for it to be slammed in his face. Literally.

“I’ll say it to you only once,” he said with his face still planted in the door. “No means no, and this situation definitely calls for no.”

“I do not wish to have my way with you, Dusk Shine,” Zecora said calmly. “Besides, you’re not the type I like to call mine.”

Dusk whirled around in surprise. “I’m not?” This was a bit of a shock. He didn’t know whether to be grateful or insulted.

“I instead seek somepony older and large as a shack,” she sighed dreamily. “The one all the fillies rightfully call Big Mac.”

“You want to what-now?”

Zecora let this rest few minutes, and then burst out laughing. “Relax Dusk, I’m only fibbing,” she said wiping away a tear. “It only takes a fool to know that I was kidding.”

Dusk was thoroughly embarrassed. He felt himself blushing. As Zecora’s laughter died down, a passing question crossed his mind. “Forgive me if this is rude, but why do you always speak in rhyme?”

Zecora paused. “In my homeland I was a priestess, honored and esteemed,” she answered with a slight hint of boast. “It was customary for zebras like me to keep their minds sharp and cleaned.”

Dusk’s curiosity peaked. “So, does that mean you actually think in rhyme? You know, from all the practice?”

“Of course I don’t, you silly goose!” she said. She put on a satisfied smirk. “I only think in haikus.”

Dusk frowned, trying to decide whether or not his new friend was messing with him again. Eventually, he gave up, and went to the matter at hoof.

“Why have you come here?” he asked.

“I came to Ponyville to spread the word of my god, but until today I was treated rather odd.”

“No, I mean why have you come in here. With me. Alone. In the colt’s showers.”

“Such implications!” Zecora gasped dramatically, obviously hamming it up to either be sarcastic or to flirt a little. “Isn’t it rude in this country to throw wild accusations?”

“Get to the point.”

“Ah, I see you don’t beat around the bush. Very well, I will tell you, you don’t need to push. When I met you and your friends, I made some observations. You have several mares seeking your heart, causing great frustrations. For your troubles I believe I have a solution, one that doesn’t result in your execution.”

“What’s that?”

Zecora smiled. “In my homeland, there are exotic tribes. We practice many customs, such as stallions marrying multiple brides.”

Dusk was stuck silent. He had never heard of such a thing before, much less considered doing it himself. Would the others even agree? What would society think of them? To start, what would an average day be like for them?

Meanwhile, in the hypothetical world of Dusk Shine’s imagination…

Fluttershy hummed a happy tune as she cooked breakfast. Celeatia’s sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and her husband was sipping his morning coffee to wake him up from a late night of studying. That is, until he noticed a ferret bathing in his cup.

“GAH!” cried Dusk, sitting out some stray furs out of his mouth. “Honey, the weasel’s in the coffee again!”

“For the last time,” Fluttershy sighed, a little disappointment in her voice, “Miss Fuzzlekins isn’t a weasel, she’s a ferret. She just likes to relax in a jacuzzi every once in a while, you should know that.”

“How are we supposed to even keep track?” said Rainbow Dash, eating her daily supply of two pounds haybacon, which with a can of Atomic Bonk, qualified as a complete and balanced breakfast to her. “You moved every single animal into the library when we agreed to this, and all of them seem to have a personal preference of some kind.” She snorted and sulked, as she was not a morning pony.

“Agreed ta this?” relayed Applejack, tying her mane into her signature ponytail. “Listen here, missy: Mah granny always said that marriage is somethin’ y’all promise to each other, not ya jus’ ‘aggree ta do.’ We’re in this together, fer better or worse.”

“Yeah!” said Pinkie Pie. “It’s like a Pinkie Promise times a million!” She sat up as an idea came to her. “Ooo! This is our first big family heartwarming moment! And you know what we can do to celebrate?”

“Pinkie, don’t…” Dusk groaned. “It’s waaaay too early to throw-”

“A PARTY!!!” Pinkie finished. She armed her party cannon and fired away. The room was immediately filled with streamers and balloons. There was even a cake for a few seconds, but it was immediately devoured by Pinkie.

“What’s all the noise?” Spike said from upstairs. “You’ll wake the babies, all twenty-five of them!” There was a wailing heard as one of the foals unloaded his diaper. “Ugh,” Spike said. “It’s my turn to change them, isn’t it?”

[Can we smother the little brats now?] Pinkamena grumbled. [They’re starting to get on my nerves.]

“Oh, Duuuusk~!” Rarity sang. “It’s been a full week since you bought me jewelry! Is there something I did to upset you, my love?” She pouted in a cute manner.

Dusk let out a tired sigh. “Rarity, it’s not that I don’t want you unhappy, it’s that it’s getting a bit expensive to buy you these constant gifts, both for you and Trixie. Anyway, can’t you just find gems in the outskirts of town with your gem-finding spell?”

“Oh, but they don’t come with gold chains, Darling,” Rarity answered. “And you know you just love it when we use them to tie you to the bed for our… alone time. Besides, don’t you love me?”

“Yes, I love you but-”

“Up-up-up!” The fashionista shushed while putting hoof over her lover’s mouth. “Say it like we rehearsed.”

For the second time, he sighed. “Princess Rarity, I love you more than anything else on the face of Equestria,” he said in monotone boredom.

Fluttershy dropped a plate she was holding, shattering on the floor. Dusk had never had to recite the line in front of the others, so they never heard him say it.

“Dusk…” Fluttershy said on the brink of tears, “When you proposed, you said you loved us all equally.”

Dusk slapped his forehead when he realized what he had done. “Shy, I sorry…”

“So… d-does this mean you l-l-love Rarity more than *sniff* me?” It was too late. Fluttershy’s heart was already breaking.

“Fluttershy, I-” he was interrupted by Rainbow Dash slapping him in the face.

“No way!” Dash said angrily. “If there’s anypony he has the hots for more than all of you, it should be ME!”

“NO! He loves the Great and Powerful Trixie more!”

“Hold on partner, let’s not get our saddles in a bundle. Ah’m sure Dusk didn’t mean nothin’ by that. You love us all, right Sugarcube?”

“Except he loves me most, because I’m more elegant and ladylike than all of you.”

“No, he love me more ‘cause I throw him the bestest parties!”


Dear Princess Celestia,

Sorry to cause you trouble, but I have a request: If I have ever buy more than one engagement ring, come down from Canterlot and buck me in the face.

Your faithful student,

Dusk Shine

P.S. Also, could you build me a fallout shelter in the library basement, just in case things get out of hoof? Thank you.

A Parasprite's POV

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My wings make the most lovely buzzing as I explore beyond the borders of the Dark Trees. The buzz feels good. The Dark Trees have always been our home, and I know this even though I have just been alive for thirty seconds. The buzz feels good. I do not have a name. I don’t even have a mother or father, just a belch-sire that puked me up after eating some rotten animal remains. The buzz feels good.

The knowledge of our species has been passed down from belch-sire to belch-sire, burned into our grape-sized brains so that we have something to know and live by. The memories that are not mine swim through my head, and I discover that confusion is commonplace among our race. The buzz feels good. The knowledge is greatly trivial, as not all of the information gets transferred from our belch-sires. There are, however, three facts that every single one of us ever born knows by heart.

{1} We were created by King Discord, praise be his omnipotent name. He named us parasprites, so that is what we are and all that we shall be.

{2} His Chaotic Majesty made us with the purpose to be hungry, so we are always hungry. There is no breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There is only the Snack. The Snack is the world around us, generously giving us all the glorious food we could eat. The Snack can be anything, so we must EAT everything.

{3} The buzz feels good. The buzz is not just a sound, it is a vibrating sensation that each of us feels right to our core and out to every fiber of our being. It is like an eternal song of humming, and when we’re in a swarm, it feels like you are part of a thunderstorm, powerful and unstoppable. The buzz feels sosososososo good.

Beyond the Dark Trees there is sunlight. So much sunlight I have to squint my eyes! I hide behind a rock for shade. When I land, the buzzing stops. I am sad. I chirp, hoping the sound will mimic the bliss of buzzing. It does not.

“Who’s there?”

A voice. It sounds nice, but I’m not sure what ‘nice’ is. Nothing hardly feels nice for a paraspirte, save for the Snack and the buzz. I hop up to inspect. It is a pony, another thing that is foggy to my memories. Are they edible? Are they too part of the Snack, or do they have to be killed first by another creature, like how we eat squirrel carcasses after they’re finished by a fox? So many questions, and my mind is unfamiliar with anything to do with ponies!

The pony seems frightened at first, but then does something that my memories tell me is smiling. Smiling is apparently harmless, so I focus on other things. I look around. There is food! The Snack is gracious today, because it has taken the form of a nutritious apple. What luck! Most of the apples found in the Dark Trees are decayed before they even come off the branch.

I sniff the succulent morsel, wondering if it is too good to be true.

“Are you hungry, little guy?”

The pony is talking to me again. I do not fear her. I am only focused on the Snack. Without warning, she crushes the apple to mush and nudge it toward me. Well, that was downright sadistic! Now the Snack is tarnished with dirt, and we learned a long time ago that dirt was NOT meant for eating. I feel like screaming. I look around again, searching for something to replace the apple. I find a suitable substitute: More apples! They are in a wooden bucket, untouched by dirt.


“Oh my, I guess you were hungry!”

The pony shows surprise, but not anger. This is strange. I still do not know much about ponies, but from the last known interaction with us, they don’t usually take kindly to us eating ‘their share’ of the Snack, which is another confusing issue. Their share? The Snack belongs to EVERYONE! If they believe that any part of the Snack is reserved for them, wouldn’t they have eaten it already?

But this pony does not seem upset. She picks me up and puts me her mane. It is warm blanket, and I feel sleepy just being in there. I snuggle up and make myself comfortable. I am barely awake when the pony snaps me to attention with an affectionate coo.

“You’re the cutest thing ever! I can’t wait until Angel meets you. I think I’ll call you ‘Mr. Munchies,’ if that’s okay with you.”

A name? I have a name now? What could qualify as my chest swells up with pride. I shall wear this name with honor. From this point forward, I am Mr. Munchies the 1st!

Dusk Shine trotted through Ponyville Central Park, admiring the decorations. Ribbons and banners dawned every tree and building. It was wonderful sight. Nothing could go wrong!

Except a minor typo on one the banners, that is.

“What are you two doing?” Dusk said to two workers, who went by Berry Punch and Carrot Top. “What happened to the the Princess’ name?”

“We couldn’t spell the real name,” explained Carrot Top.

“You actually think it’s appropriate to put up a banner that says ‘Welcome Princess Trollestia?’ She’ll send you to the moon! Take it down and write the real thing.”

“Who put you in charge?” questioned Berry Punch.

Dusk sniffed her breath. “Have you been drinking?”

“Maaaaybe...” Berry hinted, a smug smile across her face.

“Miss Punch, it is far too early to be consuming alcohol. What do you have to say for yourself?”

“It’s always five o'clock somewhere.”

“Berry Punch, Equestra is flat.” Dusk said stalely. “Everypony knows that.” He couldn’t believe that Berry believed that one insane theory that the world was round.

“You can’t *hic* prove that!”

“Oh, yeah? Then how could Nightmare Moon ever hope to cause eternal night?”

“She couldn’t! It was all a setup! Just so all of you could have a higher opinion of Celest-MMMPH!” The purple drunk was cut off by Carrot Top putting a hoof over her mouth.

“Sorry,” the orange-haired mare said. “She gets like this every time hits the strong stuff. We’ll fix that banner right away” She put on an embarrassed smile.

Dusk just shot a deadpan look, and walked away. Eventually, he reached Sugarcube Corner. Cakes, pies, and all kinds of desserts. They had to start baking one day prior to Celestia’s visit, so that could get enough sweets to please the Princess’ appetite.

There was, in fact, a rather intriguing history behind Celestia’s love for cake, and it spawned many interesting quirks in Equestrian culture.

It all started during the rule of Celestia’ father, King Equinox of Equestria. He was a benevolent and just ruler (except for the whole “ALL WHO OPPOSE THE THRONE SHALL BURN” thing, but that was kept in check by his wife, Queen Eternia of Equestria), and the most famous and notable thing he ever did was write the Two Holy Commandments of His Royal Majesty. He wrote them on the very mountain that Canterlot now resides, and just to get the point across, he chose the font of ‘Impact,’ and use the font size of ‘Eight-hundred-gazillon.’ The commandments read thus:



The punishment to disobey these laws in the presence of royalty was (and still is) being banished and locked up in the place banished to, so everypony made sure they were on their very best behavior while in the royal court. Thus, manners were invented. Snootiness followed soon afterward.

When Celestia was seven years old, she was trusted to tend to the castle during the time Equinox and Eternia went on their second honeymoon, which coincidentally was on the moon. (It was a funny joke at the time.) During the two weeks her parents were away, Celestia took the liberty to add a third commandment:


When the King and Queen got back, Celestia received a royal grounding along with a strict diet, but the third commandment remained intact. After all, how were you supposed to just erase something painstakingly chiseled into a mountain?

When her parents passed away and it her time to rule, Celestia came upon a startling revelation. The ponies were no longer obliged to give her pastries if she became Queen, because the law stated that her subjects had to feed their Princess her cake. So, she just officially made ‘Princess’ synonymous with the power and authority of ‘Queen,’ and kept her title.

This also made ripples in history. For example, the citizens of Equestria had to constantly keep a supply of desserts in stock, in case of an unexpected visit from the Princess. This meant that the ponies had to make extra room for tasty treats, so since Equestria hadn’t seen a war in centuries, the primary storage method was to throw out your weapons and use the space to stash some spare cupcakes.

This had some unforeseen consequences when a pack of Diamond Dogs raided the town of Hoofington, and the town was completely unarmed. The residents had to make do and fight back with pineapple upside-down cake. The results were silly, but proved surprisingly effective. Hoofington stands proud and unconquered to this day.

This began a new wave of deploying cakes, pies, and other desserts as lethal weaponry. Many battles were then won by souffles, not swords. The 'fight or flight' response, once coined by pegasi, was changed to something that applied to all ponies. It can be read on the sign of the door of Sugarcube Corner, as it is an arms dealer as well as a bakery: 'Run and hide, or assault them with pie!'

Pinkie Pie, however, didn’t give a buck about the Third Holy Commandment. Not one single buck. The bucks she didn’t give were just falling out the sky. All that mattered to her right now that there was cake on the table, and that she was going to eat it.

“Pinkie, stop!” pleaded Dusk when he saw what the party pony was doing. “Those are for the Princess!”

“I know that,” said Pinkie, thinking up an excuse. “I’m just making sure that these treats are scrum-dilly-umchous enough to touch...” She stuck her frosting-coated tongue out and gestured a foreleg on it. “...Th’ r’oyal t’oung!” She recoiled her tongue as if it was a roll-up measuring tape. “And I’m 99% sure that they’re delicious enough, buuuuut I need to eat some more of them to make sure that they were cooked just right.”

Dusk didn’t buy it for a second. “Can you just make sure that the Princess gets enough by the time she comes here?”

[I make no promises,] Pinkamena snarked. [I swear, this mare is going to get us all killed one day.]

I am still in the pony’s mane. The bucket of apples has done me well, for I have already given birth to two of my own kind. I tell them that their names are Mr. Munchies the 2nd and Mr. Munchies 2.5. They are overjoyed with their names. I tell them there is no longer need to fear the ponies, as they no longer mind sharing the Snack. This is a glorious day for parasprites, and the only thing that could make this better is buzzing.

Our prayers are answered when the pony tells us to come out. The buzz feels good. The pony is surprised, and she wonders out loud where Mr. Munchies the 2nd and Munchies 2.5 came from. I do not care if she knows or not, she’ll figure it out. The buzz feels good.

I am in a bakery. Good. Much of the Snack resides here. I dream of a wonderland of sweet things, like a mountain of gumdrops and cotton candy clouds.

The pony has friends. The purple unicorn offers to take Mr. Munchies 2.5. I bid farewell to him, hoping he finds a place with tons of the Snack. Separation from our blech-sires is common among us, as our purpose is to feed and spread. Feed and spread. Feed and spread. The buzz feels good.

“You want the other one, Pinkie?” Fluttershy asked.

“A parasprite? No thanks! I know what to do in this episode, and it doesn’t include making friends with those bug-freaks.”

[Pinkie, be careful not to break the you-know-what,] Pinkamena warned.

I know! assured Pinkie with a thought. But honestly, how do I know what to do otherwise?

Pinkamena was struck speechless. [...You have a point there,] she admitted. [How DO we know, anyway?]

That’s my point, Pinkie Pie thought, satisfied she won an argument with herself. There is no explanation given! Normally this would just be chalked up to ‘Pinkie just being Pinkie,’ but the moral of the story...

[Careful, Pinkie. You’re doing it again.]

...but the lesson to Celestia is that you should hear your friends out, no matter how ridiculous their solution may be. And it totally all flat just because Canon-Me doesn’t-


-because the hypothetical version of myself that doesn’t exist doesn’t explain how or why she knows about parasprites, even after the climax-


-after the end of the dilemma and everything is resolved. Hay, even PRINCESS CELESTIA doesn’t know what a bucking paraspite is!

[So, what are you going to do about it?]


[I said, what are you going to about it? Make up a reason why you know? The... hypothetical readers are sick of all the headcanon. Just sit back and watch in total obliviousness? You’d let everypony you know down.] Pinkamena smirked. [There isn’t anything you can do to change the situation you’re in. You’re hooves are tied. You’ve been driven into a corner. Just accept it, you’ve lost. There isn’t anything we can do to show any disapproval to the hypothetical loophole without dooming all of Ponyville or breaking the you-know-what.]

...Maybe there is! Pinkie Pie said, inspiration dawning on her like a spark turning into a wildfire.

[What? What are you thinking?] Pinkamena was a little disturbed. [I know that look in your eye, Pinks. That look is not a good look. The last time you got that look, Gummy was charged for arson, and we barely got out that birdcage. I still have nightmares about that. Whatever’s on your mind right now, don’t do it!]

Just hear me out, said Pinkie, not listening to her darker half in the slightest. I think we should protest.

[How the hay are supposed to protest, and to whom?] By now, Pinkamena was less worried and more confused.

We protest to the author-I mean, the nonspecific deity that controls this realm. This is how we do it: The way to drive the parasprites out is so out-of-place that it could be rewritten in any manner, and it could still work, right?

[Okaaay...] Pinkamena nodded. [Debateable, but okay.]

So, I figure that if we could get the most random assortment of objects we can find and slap them all together at the last minute, the nonspecific deity will have no choice but to make it work in a way that solves the parasprite problem! This will not only save Ponyville, but it will also make the hypothetical version of myself look like a total butt!

Pinkamena could only gawk at the absurdity of this plan. Worse, it almost made actual sense, in its own twisted sort of way. [Alright, I’m going with you on this, but only to see it blow up in your face.]

“Woo-hoo!” Pinkie cheered out loud. “Operation: Exploit the Living Horseapples Outta This Episode Without Being Meta is a-go!”

“Pinkie, what are you talking about?” said Dusk Shine.

“Nothing,” lied Pinkie. “On a completely unrelated subject, do you know where I can find a bowling ball?”

“Uhh... at My Little Lebowski’s?” Dusk said with a hint of bewilderment. “You know, the bowling alley?”

“Great! Now, where can I buy a crowbar?”



“My balls!”

“Silly me, I forgot I already had one!”

A Parasprite's POV Pt. 2

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Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe she was talked into this. She was in Rarity’s boutique, getting a makeover, for Pete’s sake! Rarity had dressed the speedster up in a three foot high powdered wig, and decorated the rest of her body with bows and frills. Dash felt like a Hearth’s Warming tree.

“Stay still, Darling!” Rarity reminded the daredevil for the millionth time. “This is just the finishing touches.”

“You said that you were putting on the ‘finishing touches’ an hour ago!” complained Rainbow Dash. “When are you going to finally be done?”

“Perfection takes time,” said Rarity. “There’s no need to rush, Celestia won’t be here until tomorrow anyway. Besides, it was your idea to ‘look awesome’ for the Princess, was it not? No offense dear, but you don’t even own so much as a brush, and that’s why you came to me.”

Unable to come up with a decent comeback, Rainbow Dash just sulked. She needed to fly, and soon. She knew she could have just left the outfit at Carousel Boutique to take her wings for a quick spin, but she knew that Rarity never took her measurements yet, and that was because the fashionista had the compulsion to adjust everything until she found the combination of fabrics and design that suited her tastes precisely. This was a complete pain for Dash, as she was always one for impulsive decisions, and sticking with them.

Just to make things worse, Dusk Shine entered the room and saw Dash in all her fabulousity.

“Wow, Dash,” Dusk said, snorting a chortle. “I never figured you for such a girly-girl.

“I-it’s not what you think!” claimed the cyan mare. “I’m not lame!”

“Relax, it was just a friendly joke,” said Dusk. “I didn’t mean to stifle your ego. Trust me, I know Rarity can be more convincing than anypony.”

“What is that supposed mean?” Rarity said, raising an eyebrow. If there was any sign that she was offended, she didn’t show it.

“Well, for one thing, I can see that you put Dash up to it, or that you tricked her into thinking powdered wigs are back in style.”

“They aren’t?” said a surprised Rainbow Dash.

“Nope,” said Dusk. “Haven’t been in fashion since Chancellor Puddinghead’s time.”

Rainbow stomped her hooves in frustration. “Dammit, Rarity! You told me that they were the next big thing!”

“I confess that I lied to you, Rainbow,” Rarity said with a serene tranquility. “But it was under the best intentions, not some foolish prank like you and Pinkie Pie like to pull. You see, that wig is actually my trusty magical mane styler, designed to make anypony fabulous.”

Dusk cocked his head. “Really?”

“Oh, yes,” Rarity said proudly. “It’s imported. Why do you think the ‘wig’ isn’t all hair? And the outfit? You’re really not going to wear it. I just made you sit still for a few hours for the machine to do its work. And our hard-earned efforts should be rewarded right... about... now!” She removed the ‘wig’ from Rainbow Dash’s head in a dramatic motion.

Dusk beheld Dash’s new look. “Um... wow... it looks... nice.”

Rainbow Dash was too busy scrambling to get out of the fake dress, tearing it to shreds. “Ha! Take that, dumb fabric!” After she finished taking her clothes off, she finally noticed Dusk’s reaction. “Uhh, Rarity? Why is Dusk looking at me like that?”

“Why, it must be because you look simply fabio!” Rarity exclaimed, admiring her work. “I do believe you could make an excellent model with that new manecut! In fact, I think you could make a solid living just by dressing in style.”

“Mirror,” Dash said simply, ignoring her friend’s claims. She had a bad feeling about this, and she needed to see for herself.


“Get. Me. A. Mirror.”

Rarity let out a sigh, knowing that Rainbow Dash would hate what the white unicorn had done to her mane, no matter how beautiful Rarity thought it looked. Regretfully, she levitated a hand mirror to the daredevil’s face.

Her reaction was both immediate and grotesque. “Oh, you’ve gotta be KIDDING ME!”

Rarity rolled her eyes. Some ponies simply had no taste at all.

“Is this supposed to be some kind of sick joke?” said Dash.

“No,” said Rarity. “In fact, I think your mane color suits the La Fabuleuse et Courtoisie Branchée look rather well, yes? You’ll be the toast of the banquet!”

“What I’ll be is a laughingstock! I’m YOU, for Faust’s sake!” screamed Rainbow Dash. “Change it back, right now!”

“I’m afraid I couldn't even do that if I wanted to Darling,” said the marshmallow, showing sympathy for her friend’s dissatisfaction. “It’s maintained by a magical enchantment that keeps it from getting ruined. How do you think I waltz around Ponyville without having to brush my mane every few minutes? I’m sorry, but the guarantee on the box says you’ll be looking like me for a three day minimum.”

“We’ll see about that!” said the glamorous-looking speed demon. She picked the nearest hairbrush and tried to comb in every direction she thought possible, but it bounced off her mane as if it was not made of hair follicles, but solid adamantium. Eventually, the brush broke in two when Rainbow Dash applied too much pressure.

“NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” she cried out in despair. “I can’t go out in public looking like this! Why, Rarity? Why have you forsaken me?”

“I just thought it would look good on you,” Rarity said. “And besides, you’re my friend, remember? This was for the Princess, and I wanted for you to impress her! I was even going to put my mane-styler on another function and use it on myself in order for us to not go to the same party wearing the same design. In MY point of view, this is the nicest thing I’ve ever done for you!”


“Girls!” Dusk Shine interrupted, quieting both of them. “I think this is getting a little out of control. Both sides have their solid reasons for acting this way, but I think we’re both to blame. Rainbow Dash, I know you hate that makeover with every fiber of your being and a burning intensity, but as Rarity pointed out, she gave you it with the best intentions. Rarity, as Rainbow Dash’s friend, you should have known that Dash would react this way if you tricked her into a new manecut.”

There was a grumble of mutual agreement.

My name is Mr. Munchies 3.5. My belch-sire, Mr. Munchies 2.5, gave me life in somepony’s mane, along with my sibling, Mr. Munchies 3.6. The pony is male, and his messy purple hair obscures my vision.

I fly out, with my companions, searching for food. The buzz feels good. A portion of the Snack takes the form of a bowl of cat food on the floor.

“Oh, and what are these lovely creatures, Darling?” a white pony says. I ignore her, focusing only on the snack.


“Oh, and such hungry things they are! I hope Opalescence doesn’t mind them feeding a bit.”

What’s an Opalescence? Can you eat it?

A cat pounces out of the shadows onto me. Its claws dig past through my exoskeleton, and I squeal in pain. It hisses at me, pure evil in its eyes. In all the collective memories of my belch-sires past, nothing has ever fought so fiercely, nor has been so cruel and heartless.

“Opal, no!” the white pony says sternly. “Those are our guests, not chew toys.”

With clear resentment to its master, ‘Opal’ let me go. I owe this pony my life! I buzz to celebrate being alive. The buzz feels good.

“Sorry about that,” my previous caretaker says. “Fluttershy found them on the edge on the Everfree Forest and gave me one, but these two seem to have popped out of nowhere.”

“I’ll take one,” my savior says eagerly. Opalescence seems displeased at this. Screw Opalescence! Let her rot in the pits of Tartarus!

“What about you, Rainbow Dash?” said Dusk. “You want the other spare?”

“Some unknown alien-like thing that lives in the Everfree, is pocket-sized, but survived long enough to reproduce?” Rainbow Dash said. “Sounds totally bad-flank! Count me in.”

“Good, because this yellow one seems to like you,” Dusk observed as a parasprite buzzed over to Dash.

“Actually Dusk, this one is sunflower, not yellow,” Dash corrected. “The difference is in the tinge and shade, much like many of the summer colors introduced in Hoity Toity’s new fashion line in the brand-new Canterlot Weekly.” She blinked and shook her head violently, disturbed at what had just come out of her mouth. How in the hoof did she know that? There was only one reasonable explanation for this.

“Oh, no!” she gasped in horror. “This mane isn’t just making me look like Rarity, it’s turning me into Rarity! This is bad! No, this is worse than bad! Of all the worst things that could happen, this is the WORST. POSSBLE. THI-*meep!*” She cut herself off by clasping a hoof over her mouth, blushing redder than a sunburned fire truck while her eyes turning into pinpricks. A sense of impending doom and a gut-churning passion for fashion washed over her.

She raced out the door, taking her new pet with her. “I g-gotta go! If anypony needs me, I’ll be at my house, watching my collection of reruns of my favorite Wonderbolt shows, along with a marathon of the two Expendables movies. I need to commune with my inner Dash before this mane takes over my life!” With a rainbow-colored blur, she was gone.

When Dash was finally out of sight, Dusk Shine turned to Rarity. “There’s a quick and easy way to undo the mane-enchantment, isn’t there?”

“It’s dispelled with cold water,” Rarity confessed. “How did you know?”

Because I tend to... pay attention to you when you get your mane wet, thought Dusk silently. He didn’t say it, but then again, he probably didn’t need to. Instead, he asked another question.

“Why didn’t you say something?”

“Why didn’t you?” defended Rarity. “Or didn’t you think you could resist poor little Dashie with her mane soaked?” Besides, she thought, Nopony sleeps with you behind my flank and gets away with it.

Just then, Pinkie Pie burst into Carousel Boutique, pulling a red wagon. So far, she had collected a paddleball, a noisemaker, some fuzzy dice, along with the bowling ball and crowbar she mentioned earlier.

“Hi, Dusky! Do you know where I can find a stereo?” the party pony said.

“Uhh... Scratch’s Vinyl Emporium, down the street,” Dusk said hesitantly. “Why?”

“No reason, but it’ll go great with the tennis rackets Mister Ace promised me!” said Pinkie with a grin.

“Pinkie, are you trying to invent a new type of partying again?” asked Rarity. “Because last time, Gummy was put on trial for arson...”

“IknowIknowIknow!” reassured Pinkie. “But this is entirely different, plus this time around, I’ve made sure that the Ninja Mafia is not involved in any possible way.”

“Then what ARE you planning?” Dusk said.

“I don’t know yet,” Pinkie shrugged.

“You don’t know yet?”

“Yeah! It’s still in the brainstorming period, but I’m sure it’ll send a message. In a world of ripoffs and fanfics, I shall be the defiant voice of originality for fictional characters everywhere!”

[You’re doing it again.]

Sorry, I got carried away.

“Well, make sure you don’t let things spiral out of control, okay?” Dusk cautioned. “The Princess will be here tomorrow, and I don’t want her to come to a Ponyville ruined overnight”

“No need to fear!” saluted Pinkie. “The parasprites will do that for you anyway.”

“Wait, what?”


“Stop doing that!”

After Pinkie ran off to ‘find exactly 4.78 gallons of soup,’ Dusk Shine finished his checklist of the things he need to oversee before Celestia arrived. (Somehow, this included complementing Bon-bon on how she watered her flowers. Do not ask me why.) Satisfied, he returned to Books and Branches.

“Dusk, you’re back!” exclaimed Spike. “Can you help us clean up now, since you left me to clean up the library when you got home?”

“Couldn’t Trixie help you?” asked Dusk curiously.

“I tried to talk her into it,” explained his surrogate brother, “But she said she needed to change in time for when you got home.”

“Change? Why would she need to get changed for-”

Trixie burst open the door triumphantly. She was wearing a classic Prench maid outfit, complete with feather duster and headdress. It was black, skimpy, and the skirt was short enough to directly show her plot. A look of pride was shown on her face, not to mention some heavy makeup.

“Great and Powerful Trixie is ready to start cleaning, dragon-slave of Master Dusk!” she said with all the gusto she put into her usual performance. “And when the Master comes home, he will be unable to resist the charms of-GAH!!!!!” It was then she noticed that Dusk was already here, and he was in complete bewilderment. “D-d-dusk! When did you get here? You’re not supposed to be home for another hour!”

The library was in complete silence. Dusk looked confused beyond belief. Spike looked annoyed that he had to do all the work by himself for this. Trixie looked like she was going to die of embarrassment.

“...’Master Dusk,’ huh?” Spike said suggestively.

“I-i-it’s not what you think!” the blue unicorn protested, her cheeks. “Trixie was only trying to set the mood!” She paused for a second. “...For cleaning. Trixie was setting the mood for cleaning.”

My name is Mr. Munchies 2.5. Today, I have given life to two new parasprites, and unleashed them in a fashion store. With an incredible stroke of luck, I have beared two more children of Chaos since then. They are famished, and so am I. We fly out of our caretaker’s mane in search of the Snack. The buzz feels good.

“Hey, what’s that?”

A dragon is among us, but it’s just a hatchling. The buzz feels good. Through the collective memories of my belch-sires, I know that young dragons eat gemstones, but as their greed increases as they mature, they change their diet to meat, and they just keep jewels around to fill their hoard.

“Well, what’s your name, little guy?” He extends a claw, and I use it to perch. I nuzzle him with affection. According to the memories of Mr. Munchies the 1st, acting cute gets you a large heap of the Snack.

I look toward my fellow parasprites. One flies over to a maid, while the other appeals to the original caretaker. This is good. We will feed soon.

“Are you hungry, buddy?”

A Parasprite's POV Pt. 3

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Two years later…

Rainbow Dash was wearing a feather boa, two pairs of high heels, a raspberry-colored sun skirt, and an enormous hat adorned with a lovely array of fake flowers. Her makeup had taken hours to perfect that morning. She sat down, placing her rhinestone-studded purse beside her chair. As always, she looked absolutely fabulous.

“One low-fat decaf latte, Darling,” she told the waiter. She was at a Starbucks in Canterlot, a native territory for intellectuals, hipsters, and in her case, fashionistas. “And a scone.”

“Are you expecting anypony else, Madame?” asked the waiter.

“Two, actually,” replied the overdressed pegasus, “and I do very much believe one had just arrived.”

“Rainbow, how lovey to see you again!” said a yellow unicorn with a snobby demeanor about her. “Whenever was the last time we sat down to have tea?”

“Why, I shan’t remember Upper Crust,” confessed Rainbow Dash. “Do you mind if I pay for your drink in order to make it up to you?”

“What are best friends for?” said Upper Crust with a charming smile. “So, what has been, as the kids say, ‘going on’ with you lately?”

“I’m glad you asked, Darling! Last month, I got accepted into the Wonderbolts,” Dash said, “but that’s a minor detail. To tell the truth, my high for that week was the shopping spree on Saturday!” They shared a flowery, ladylike laugh. “So, what’s been new with you?”

“Well, I’ve been catching up on the latest gossip,” whispered Upper Crust scandalously. “For example, did you know that Hoity Toity is dating… a minotaur?”

Rainbow Dash let out a dramatic, theatrical gasp. “Really?”

“Oh yes,” nodded her BFF. “He was seen at The Crop and Paddle, shopping for bondage with her, of all things.”

Just then, Rainbow Dash’s second appointment rode in on a taxi. She hopped down, her expression was in morning.

“Scootaloo, hello dear!” said Dash. “You really ought to do something with that mane of yours. That thing looks like a rat’s nest!” Upper Crust nearly fainted at the word, ‘rat.’

“Dash, we need to talk,” Scootaloo said in the upmost serious tone. “You’ve changed. A lot.”

“Well, I do suppose I gone and… switched a few interests,” admitted Rainbow Dash. “But I assure you, I am still… what’s the word? Ah-some, is it? Sum with an awe?”

“You call turning a complete 180 and moving to Canterlot, ‘switching a few interests?’” Scootaloo blurted, fighting back tears. “Let me tell you something: Whoever you are now, you’re not Rainbow Dash. In fact, you’re dead to me. Literally dead. I held a funeral this morning with the Rainbow Dash fan club.”


“Don’t call me that! Never call ANYPONY that!” she raged. “I quit!

Dash blinked. “You… quit? Quit being what?”

“I, Scootloo, hereby quit being your number-one fan, sidekick, and personal lackey. Go buck yourself!”

“Now, it’s unladylike to use that sort of language,” scolded Dash. “Besides, you’re overreacting. I haven’t changed that much, have I?”

Scootaloo looked at her ex-idol like she had just asked if fish had tails. “You redesigned the Wonderbolt’s uniform. Into a ball gown.”

“Well, they were stuck with the same drab old outfit for over fifty years, and I thought it would be a change of pace.”

“You didn’t design a colt’s edition! The stallion members have to go stunt flying in a DRESS! Nopony even takes the Wonderbolts seriously anymore because of you!” Scootaloo took a deep breath, having let her anger all out. Her eyes were red and puffy. “I’m sorry Rainbow Dash, but I can’t be seen in public with you for more than a few minutes. The other kids will make fun of me otherwise.”

“But where am I supposed to get another number-one fan?” Rainbow Dash whined.

“Don’t worry, I’ve found a volunteer.”

“Hello!” said Diamond Tiara, trotting out of the taxi. “We’re going to have so much fun together, Miss Rainbow!”

“NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Rainbow Dash screamed at the top of her lungs, tossed violently out of her nightmare. Sweat trickled her brow. The sheets were wet with visible, yellow fear. Terror pounded her heart as she sat up straight. “It was only a dream!” she panted, her lungs hungry for air. “Itwasonlyadream! Itwasonlyadream! Itwasonlyadream! Itwasonlyadream! Itwasonlyadream! Itwasonlyadream! Itwasonlyadream!” She rocked herself in her seat, hugging her cloud pillow in fright.

“Quiet down, babe,” Gilda groaned, exhausted and cranky. “Go back to sleep.”

“Gilda, what are you doing here?” Rainbow Dash said in confusion.

“Don’t you remember? We’ve been married for twenty-seven years now. You quit the Wonderbolts so we could raise a family.”

“GAAHHH!!!!” Rainbow Dash gasped, bolting upright in her sofa. Her real, non-imaginary sofa. She had fallen asleep watching the complete series of Trotter, Dodge Junction Ranger on Neightflix. Cheesy Poofs and beer cans littered the floor.

“Well, that second one was just downright creepy,” she muttered to herself. She checked herself. Her breath smelled like a dumpster, she had forgot to shower, she had a raging hangover that made her want to turn into Nightmare Moon just so she could put out the sun, but her mane was still absolutely perfect.

“Hmmm,” she thought aloud, “gonna need to reinforce my coolness, just to be safe.” She looked in her closet, and found a smelly old black leather jacket. She had bought it in her teen years because she thought it made her look like a biker, and that was useful for avoiding creeps that hit on her when she went to the club.

“This will do nicely,” she said grinning proudly as her admired her tough look in the mirror, “But it needs to be about… 20% cooler.” She whipped out the most swag-tastic sunglasses she could find, and put on a baseball cap that was custom-made with her cutie mark on it. It didn’t hide her mane, but a part of her sensed the whole outfit clashed, and that gave her a warm sense of security.

As she flew downstairs, she came upon the biggest mess she had ever seen occur in her house. The kitchen was a disaster, and it was swarming with parasprites. Everywhere she looked, food was being opened. unpackaged, un-canned, and eaten.

“Where did all you freaks come from?”

Suddenly, they all stopped. Hundreds upon hundreds of adorable eyes looked at her simultaneously. As in, all at once. She found this unnerving and waaaay creepier than the Gilda dream. They all smiled at her. It was the kind of smile one sees at the reef, right after one’s boat sinks. That smile is usually attached to something with fins and multiple rows of teeth.

“Why are all of you staring at me like that? D-don’t come any closer, I’m warning you! Stay back! Stay baaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Stop it, that tickles! BWHAHAHAHA! No, not the hooves! I hate getting my hooves touched! Get away from them, I beg you! You can do anything, just don’t touch my-

This went on for ten minutes straight. You heard me, ten whole minutes nonstop. The parasprites were a cruel and merciless breed, and they took no prisoners. When her torturers finally got bored, ‘Tickle Me Rainbow’ had nearly forgotten how to breathe. She was lying on the floor, her heart rate still going a mile a minute. Her face was colored in every shade of blue, except the one it was supposed to be. She got herself to stand, but her legs trembled like a newborn lamb’s.

She opened her mouth to say the worst insult she could think of, but single-syllable noise came out before she had the chance.


The room roared with tiny, high-pitched, mocking laughter. Rainbow Dash hung her head in shame. She hated the hiccups. When she got them, it was never little tics of exhaled air. Instead, it was violent short-lived explosions of caps-lock-enhanced irritation that made her flinch every time. They made her feel powerless and weak, and that wasn’t her style at all.

“Stop laughing, it ain’t-HIC-funny! Now I have to-HIC-try out every-HIC-known way to-HIC-cure these things! You know why, you little HIC-s? BECAUSE IT’S DIFFERENT EVERY HIC-ING TIME!”

If the parasprites had any concern, they didn’t show any. They just smiled their cute little smiles, and charged at Dash again.

My name is Mr. Munchies 405.89324570827523. I was born in a library, and our caretakers are waking up. The buzz feels good. There is no more of the Snack in here, and we wait for our ponies to go outside, where they can distribute us to other ponies. A few unforeseen factors came into play last night, however.

First and foremost, there is no possible way we could all fit inside even the biggest, longest, hairiest mane in Equestria. The buzz feels good. Maybe we could disguise ourselves as an afro? That could work. Mr. Munchies 338.283749023147 says otherwise, but what does that idiot know? He probably can’t even think inside the chimney. The buzz feels good.

Second, from what our Great Ancestor, Mr. Munchies the 1st remembers, all of us in the library alone out number all the ponies in Ponyville. How are they going to distribute us one at a time? That’ll take forever! The buzz feels good. We will have to move on to the next town, once all of the Snack here is depleted. The buzz feels good.

The purple unicorn is the first to wake up. He seems panicked. Why is he panicking? The buzz feels good. He wakes up the others, which also are surprised. They start yelling in worried tones.

“Where did they all come from?” the blue one says. “The Great and Powerful Trixie remembers that we only possessed one each!”

“I don’t know!” says the baby dragon. “Do you think it was something in the chocolate bar I fed him past midnight?”

Ah, the candy bar. I remember that one. That was some gooood Snack. My mouth waters a bit in nostalgia of a memory I never experienced for myself. The buzz feels good.

“Well, we have to do something! They’re knocking over stuff all over the place, and it’s making a mess! Oh, I hope we can clean up in time for the Princess!” His train of thought goes to a darker place. I can see it in his eyes that he had the most disturbing notion. “What about the other ponies I gave these things to?”

My name is Mr. Munchies 46.0742831094. Mistress Rarity is a kind and loving tyrant, keeping us busy with chores, cleaning, and mass producing her dress lines. It is a hard life, put we are treated to her near-bottomless supply of cat food, and our only fear is Opalescence, the Accursed One. The buzz feels good.

“I don’t know how in Equestria you can reproduce so quickly, or how you even do it without any… ‘unmentionables’ to speak of,” the Mistress says, admiring a scarf I made personally, “But you are the most helpful little darlings a girl could ask for. I mean, you’ve done more work than Spike the whole time I’ve known him!”

I am pleased by this observation. The buzz feels good. Suddenly, I feel a familiar sensation is my innards. I gag; something is stuck in my throat. Mistress Rarity cocks her head, unsure of what is going on.

“What is it? Are you sick?”

I cough, hack, and sputter, and I finally spew a new parasprite into the world. Unfortunately, my newborn lands on my Mistress’s face. Its body is unstable at first, so it takes the form of a slimy mound of bile and stem cells. The buzz feels good.

“Ew, how revolting! Now I’ll have to re-apply my makeup all over again!” She turns to me. “Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”

There’s a few seconds of me wondering why she’s so upset. What’s the matter with her? Doesn’t the Mistress want more servants? More labor? The brown lump on her face springs to life, ready to serve and obey.

“Hello, child.” I say to the newborn. “My name is Mr. Munchies 405.89324570827523. As your belch-sire, I name you Mr. Munchies 406.89324570827523. How do you feel?”

“Hungry,” says Mr. Munchies 406.89324570827523. “The buzz feels good.”

“Amen, young one. Come, let’s find you some of the Snack.”

“How… how… how DISGUSTING!” shrieks Mistress Rarity. “No creature that behaves so uncouth is allowed to take residence in my shop! Get out, all of you!” Before any of us can object, she grabs us with her magic one by one, storing us all in her saddlebags. It takes a whole hour, but she manages to capture us all. Right before I get shoved into our makeshift concentration camp, I can see Opalescence in the corner, grinning like she had just saw her most hated enemy executed before her.

Rarity jogged out of Carousel Boutique in a slightly nervous manner, her saddlebags humming impatiently. She wasn’t as far as ten feet before Pinkie Pie did what she did best: popping out of nowhere.

“Hey, Rarity! Enjoying your new pets?” she said, raising her eyebrows suggestively. “Well, while you have been training your own bug-powered factory of fabulousity, I’ve been actually addressing the issue! (Sort of.)”

Rarity was taken aback by her friend’s comment. “How did you I know I was training them?”

“Easy-peasy-one-two-threesy!” Pinkie said in a playful voice. “My tongue got all tingly, so that meant that you were overstocked on merchandise. I got a loopy pancreas too, so that meant somepony was breaking animal labor laws!” She leaned over close so she could whisper in the marshmallow’s ear. “Don’t worry, you’re secret’s safe with me.”

Rarity was about to say her pre-planned alibi, but then she noticed that Pinkie was carrying a pile of random junk in a red wagon.

“Darling, why are you carrying all that duct tape?” the unicorn asked, a worried look weighing down her brow.

“Because the silly string wasn’t sticky enough,” Pinkie sighed, as if she was explaining to a foal why it wasn’t okay to pick your nose in public. “Really Rarity, you’ve got to know when you try something like I whatever I’m planning to do, you’ve always got to make super-duper sure that you have a reliable adhesive at your disposal.” The party animal rolled her eyes. “It’s like, rule number one.”

Rarity just stared.

“Welp,” said Pinkie, breaking the awkward silence, “I gotta find myself fifteen more gingerbread houses. I’ve got to remember not to eat them all this time!”

Unable to contain her curiosity any longer, Rarity spoke up. “Have you been gathering things for a project you don’t even know the outcome of since yesterday?”

“Thaaaat’s right!”

“And all this time you still don’t know?”


Rarity let out an exasperated sigh. “And why did you start this in the first place?”

“Sorry Rares, I can’t answer that question. It would be breaking the you-know-what.”

“The you-know-what?”

“Well, technically you don’t know what the you-know-what is, but that’s the entire point of calling it ‘the you-know-what’ isn’t it?”

“…I don’t understand.”

“Exactly,” said Pinkie Pie, nodding sagely.

My name is Mr. Munchies 1,056.748243217157123. Our home is the cottage of Fluttershy , along with our battlefield. Since this morning, we have been at war with Clan Cottontail, along with all the other furry residents in the house. The buzz feels good. Every scrap of the Snack is something to be fought over.

Their leader, Angel Cottontail the Seventh is a master strategist, but we have the towering advantage in sheer numbers. They have taken prisoners, ripping off their wings and putting them on stakes while they’re still alive for gruesome display. There have been worse acts of slaughter still, but I shan’t mention them. The buzz feels good.

“Now, now,” says Fluttershy, the Spineless Provider, “Play nice, okay? Don’t you want to be friends with each other?” She is tired from a long night of trying to keep us all in check, not to mention taking round-the-clock trips to the convenience store to restore the ever-depleting supply of the Snack. Her breaths are slow and weary, and her eyes have humongous bags.

She doesn’t cause much trouble, so neither side of the war has any qualms with her. The buzz feels good.

Angel is leading another assault on our swarms. He and the other animals have been taking refuge in the several burrows and hidey-holes that are located throughout the cottage, while we roam about in the free space. The buzz feels good. He’s brought a new batch of catapults, armed with burning sulfur. Fire seems to be his main tactic in killing us, since we apparently taste delicious when roasted on a spit.

“DIE, FOUL HELLSPAWN!” Angel bellows as he gives the order to light the ammunition. “THIS LAND HAS ALWAYS BELONGED TO CLAN COTTONTAIL, AND IT ALWAYS SHALL!” The catapults fire, and the room is lit aflame.

“Hey!” scolds the Provider while putting out the inferno with a fire extinguisher, “Angel, what did I tell you about playing with matches? You’re getting a time-out, mister!” After getting a look that says, ‘I haven’t got time for this, wench’ from Angel, she shrinks back in submission. “Oh, or you could go back to what you’re doing, that’s fine.”

The doors burst open, revealing three ponies. One is a purple unicorn stallion. The second is a white unicorn mare. The third is the most ridiculous pegasus I’ve ever seen. She has a rainbow-colored mane that is styled to perfection, a black leather jacket, some sunglasses, and a baseball cap. She also has a nasty case of the hiccups. All of them seem angry, but only for a second. Their eyes dart around the room, apparently horrified at how many of us there are.

I take no heed to them. The buzz feels good.

Parasprites flew out the doorway, searching for more food. Dusk Shine felt a few hairs spring out of place as he imagined what Princess Celestia might think about an infestation of this magnitude.

Don’t worry about it Dusk, he reassured himself. It’s not like the Princess will hold you responsible… and send you back to magic kindergarten… and you’ll be a disgrace to your whole family… and Ponyville will be reduced to nothing but a barren wasteland-OH, LAUREN FAUST, WHO AM I KIDDING? I’M DOOMED! PONYVILLE IS DOOMED! EQUESTRIA IS DOOMED! MASS HYSTERIA! DOG AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER! APOCOLYPSE IS IMMINENT! SOCIETY WILL CRUMBLE AT THE FOUNDATIONS OF-Calm down, Dusk. Clam the buck down. Remember what happened last time you got this freaked out. Deep, relaxing breaths. We don’t want another “wake up with wings” incident, now do we? He managed to get his heart rate back at a relatively normal rate, but his hair was still all frizzy and messed up, which complimented his nervous eye twitch quite nicely.

“So, what do we do about-HIC-these buggers?” asked Rainbow Dash. “I was kinda hoping for-HIC-Fluttershy to solve the-HIC-problem, but I can see-HIC-that’s out of the-HIC-question.”

Fluttershy bowed her head, ashamed that she let her friends down. “I’m sorry… I didn’t know that they could breed this fast.”

“Well, I believe it is all of us who are to blame,” said Rarity, defending her best friend from her own low self-esteem. “We each took one as a pet, remember?”

As the four ponies wondered how they could eradicate the swarm as humanely as possible (or would it be “as equine-ly as possible?”), Applejack rode up to the cottage, pulling a cart filled to the brim with apples.

“Hey Fluttershy,” greeted the farmer, “Ah got them apples ya wanted, but Ah don’t see why ya wanted so many of-“



That’s when inspiration hit Dusk. “I know! Nopony herds creatures like Applejack, right?”

“Except Fluttershy, who’s spe-HIC-ciel talent taking care of ani-HIC-mals,” Rainbow Dash pointed out. “And she did such a wonderful HIC-ing job with reasoning with these things.”

“Shut up and let me indulge in false hope,” whispered Dusk Shine through his teeth. “So Applejack, how do you feel about a little unscheduled practice for the next rodeo?”

“Shoot, Ah’m down fer it,” AJ grinned. “Besides, no varmint goes an’ eats up Apple family merchandise without payin’ first!”

With that, they started to round up the parasprites. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash took to the skies, while the rest gathered the winged munchkins near the ground. Eventually, they somehow got them all to form a living, compact ball of cuteness.

“Great job!” congratulated Applejack. “Now, let’s roll these critters into th’ Everfree Forest, so they can be somepony else’s problem!” Everypony cheered. As they rolled the sprite-ball nearer and nearer to the woods, Pinkie Pie showed up.

“Hey, Dashie!” said the pink rocket of sugar and happiness. “Love the new manecut. You look just like Rarity! ”

“Go-HIC-yourself, Pinkie,” Dash said bluntly.

“Anyway,” Pinkie continued, allowing the courtesy for Rainbow’s harsh retort slip by, “I need your help on this project of mine. So, and I know it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but I need you to drop what you’re doing and help me find some size-six basketball shoes!”

“What’s basketball?” said Dusk.

“Huh? We don’t have basketball in Equestria?” Pinkie said, utterly surprised. “Oh no, that’s terrible! New thing on the agenda, then: We need to figure out a way to dribble a ball while on all fours, invent a sport involving it, and make some shoes specifically to play that sport! Follow me!” With that, she ran off.

When she realized that nopony was following her, she backtracked to the sprite-ball. “I said, ‘Follow me,’ not ‘ignore what I’m saying because you’re following the script!’ Don’t you guys want to invent basketball?”

“Pinkie, you are so-HIC-random.”

With a frustrated “UGH!” Pinkie gave up and walked away, mumbling to herself that she had to do whatever she was doing all alone with absolutely no help.

When they finally got all the parasprites into the Everfree Forest (which, as an unrelated fact, resides near TWO towns: Ponyville and Fillydelphia), our heroes celebrated with a round of high-fives high-hooves and high-wings. After that, they walked back to Fluttershy’s house for a well-deserved breakfast.

But when they opened the door, a even bigger swarm of parasprites came flying out like a typhoon.

“How did they DO that?” Dusk gawked.

“Well, I may have kept just one…” admitted Fluttershy, a lone parasprite flying out of her mane.

“Wait a minute,” thought Rarity out loud, “You were hiding that thing in your mane the whole time, correct?”

“Yes, but I’m sorry about that…”

“I know you’re sorry Darling, but I want to confirm something,” said the white mare. “Did you or did you not hide that single bug in your mane?”

“Well, that what I said…”

“And you’re sure ALL of the others flew outside when we first came to your house?”

“I think I heard Angel and his playmates having a ceremony to celebrate their victory and glory, so yeah, I guess all the bugs escaped.”

“…And their only way to reproduce was the single one hiding inside your mane?”



“I have no clue,” said Rainbow Dash, shrugging, “but this ain’t the-HIC- time to wonder how they came.” She took out some goggles she normally used for weather patrol. “This-HIC-is the time to tackle the problem tor-HIC-nado style!”

Dash flew in a low altitude, going around in fast circles. Eventually, she gathered enough velocity to create a miniature whirlwind. It sucked up all the parasprites, acting like a vacuum.

“Hey, everypony!” Pinkie Pie said, bouncing an orange ball up and down. “I’ve finally invented basketball now! So, the next thing we need to get is-WAAAAHHHH!” She was cut off as her ball was sucked up in the tornado as well. “I WAS USING THAT!”

Rainbow Dash had no time to apologize however, mostly because a basketball had just smacked her in the face and made her spin out of control. The cyclone dispersed, leaving the parasprites to descend on the unsuspecting residents of Ponyville.

“Nice going Pinkie,” the daredevil said angrily. “That plan would’ve worked if you hadn’t showed up.”

“Actually,” said Dusk matter-of-factly, “You need approximately 100 wingpower to maintain a proper tornado, so technically you would’ve failed anyway.”

“Who asked you, nerd?”

Trixie huffed. Once again, Dusk had sent her to clean up the freshly remade mess in the library, this time while he went off to find out a way to handle the new pest problem. With Spike help, she had painstakingly alphabetized every book they had. Once the two had finished the job, they were free to go outside for some fresh air.

Trixie immediately regretted taking the ‘fresh air’ option, due to the fact that the strange bugs that Dusk Shine had dealt with earlier were slowly and gracefully falling to the streets of the marketplace like the first snow of winter.

Worse yet, it seemed like they had brought friends. Lots of them.

Unknowing to the horrors that the tiny abominations were capable of, the townsfolk greeted them with open hooves and affectionate coos.

“Look how cute they are!”

“I want one!”

“You look hungry, do you want some of my ice cream?”

“Wow, they sure eat a lot.”

“Hey, you have to pay for that casserole!”

“Mommy, that bug ate my candy bar!”

“The horror, the horror!”

“Save the muffins, Dinky! For Celestia’ sake, SAVE THE MUFFINS!

Upon an outdoor café table, Lyra Heartstrings said nothing, she just looked onto the horizon with the saddest look in her eye, trying to fight back tears. Nopony asked why she looked so sad, but Bon-bon would from that day forward always wonder what was about that slice of pie that her fiancée cared so much about.

Dusk galloped over to town square with his friends. The town of Ponyville was in complete chaos. Ponies were screaming in panic as the decoration were ruined by stray parasprites causing a mess.

“What do we do?” asked Fluttershy.

At first, Dusk didn’t know how to answer. Then, an idea came to him like a bolt of lightning. “Zecora!” he exclaimed. “She lives in the Everfree Forest, so no doubt she knows what these things are, and how to stop them.” He took a random parasprite with levitation magic, and ran off into the woods.

“My, oh my,” said Zecora when Dusk came bursting in with the unknown bug. “Is that a parasprite I see before my eyes?”

“That’s what they’re called?” panted Dusk, his purple coat covered in sweat from dashing and stress. “Whatever. The point is that they’re all over Ponyville, and I need a way to stop them in 15 minutes and 35.8 seconds.”

“Forgive this question of mine,” said Zecora, cocking an eyebrow, “but why are you so focused on the time?”

“I’m counting down the tenths-of-a-second until Princess Celestia arrives,” Dusk explained. “And we’re running out! Now, what do you know about these ‘parasprites?’”

“Tales of lands ravaged and crops consumed,” Zecora said in her cryptic tone and mysterious demeanor, “if these creatures are in Ponyville...”

“... you’re doomed,” she finished matter-of-factly.

“You’re not going to help?” Dusk said in disbelief. “There’s nothing you can do?”

“Like I said, all hope is lost,” the zebra said. “All you can do now is pray to Lauren Faust.”

Dusk thought for a moment, trying to come up with a way to motivate the hermit. “Wait a minute! You have to help us! If these things run over Ponyville, they’ll come for you next!”

“If you think I’m staying here, a brain is what you’re lacking,” Zecora informed him. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to start packing.”

Pinkie Pie took a moment to catch her breath. She had painstakingly hauled all her junk to her bedroom in Sugarcube Corner. It was not your average bedroom, filled to the brim with balloons waiting to be inflated, streamers stored in the cupboards, and candy securely stashed in every hiding place possible in case of the very frequent situation where Pinkie got hungry. But the most impressive feature about the bedroom was the one that Pinkie installed out of her own pocket: a built-in, fully-stocked kitchen that had its own stove and microwave. After all, she needed it in case of cupcake emergencies.

She wiped some sweat from her brow as she licked her dry lips in nervous anticipation. She figured she had gathered enough items and stalled enough time to put together a fully proper deus ex machina now, but she had her doubts. To be more accurate, Pinkamena had her doubts.

[Pinkie, are you sure this will work?] her darker side said as Pinkie began to wield together two of the first objects with a blowtorch.

"I have no idea!" the pink earth pony cackled madly, smiling like she was on the most exciting roller coaster in the world.

Dusk Shine galloped back to Ponyville, where the others were waiting for him. The situation had gotten worse. Parasprites were beginning to cover more of the sky than the clouds themselves at this point. In this sense, less and less sunlight shone on the village, as the tiny pests blotted out more and more airspace. It looked like the sun itself had given up hope on the doomed residents of the small, backwater town, and many at the time believed that this was a metaphorical sign that Celestia had given up on them too.

“Well?” said Trixie expectantly. “Did Zecora tell you anything useful?”

“No,” he said in defeat, “she didn’t. Looks like we’re going to have to solve this one on our own.”

“Oh, what shall we do?” moaned Rarity in despair. “It seems that this might be our final hour, Dusk!” She threw herself at him, nuzzling his neck in seek of comfort. “Please, let’s go back to the safety of my home so you may make me feel like a mare one last time!”

“Hold it right there!” Trixie objected. “The Great and Powerful Trixie thinks you might be blowing this out of proportion. Sure, we might lose all our food today, but that doesn’t mean you should use it as an excuse to bang Dusk.”

“Thank you, Trixie,” Dusk Shine said as he released himself from Rarity’s grasp, “We shouldn’t give up hope. After all, we could get the whole town to do what Applejack tried to do earlier.” He looked around. “Where is Applejack, by the way?” he asked. “We need her to instruct the townsfolk on what to do.”

“She went to protect her orchard,” answered Fluttershy. “She yelled something about ‘every produce farmer for herself.”

There was a slight pause, and then Trixie spoke up. “You know, Trixie now thinks that she sees why Rainbow Dash is the Element of Loyalty instead of that mare.”

“This is no time to be judgmental!” Dusk snapped. “We have a crisis on our hooves! The Princess could be here any minute! Now, all I need is a few precious seconds to think…”

And so he thought.

And thought.

And thought.

And thought.

And thought.

And thought.

“I’ve got it!” he shouted in enthusiasm. “I’ll cast a spell that will stop them from eating the food!”

Fluttershy looked him in startled confusion. “Wait, what?”

“How do you know a spell like that?” questioned Spike. “And another thing, how could you prepare it in the first place? It’s not like you knew that these things were going to overrun Ponyville, did you?”

“I didn’t,” said Dusk. “I’ll just make up a spell.”

“On the spot?” said Rainbow Dash in disbelief. “I’m no expert on magic, but that sounds kinda dangerous. I mean, I’m sorta the risk-taker of the group, but even when I make up a new flying stunt, I at least test it out first.”

Due to foal abuse laws, Dash left out the part that she ‘tested out’ her new stunts with Scootaloo on a catapult, but she still had a valid point.

“I have a cutie mark in magic,” insisted Dusk. “Trust me; I know what I’m doing.”

My name is Mr. Munchies 9,609,245,287.7582193123874923975450579312465. At least, I think it is. The numbers are starting to fuse together with the memories of my belch-sires. The buzz feels good.

I am flying over to more of the Snack, another barrel of celery. It is beginning to be difficult to maneuver with all the other parasprites around, but it’s worth it. Our collective buzz is thunderous, and I am happy. I wish it could stay like this forever. The noise shakes me to the very core and explodes out of me like a thousand roars of a flock of dragons. The feeling is glorious.

Suddenly, there is a wave of magical purple light, covering us all. It fades as quickly as it came, and I do not feel any different, so I take it with a grain of salt.

I reach a stalk of celery on the ground, my mouth drooling in anticipation. I take a bite and spit it out in disgust. Yuck! What did I just eat?? HOW COULD YOU, SNACK?!! HOW COULD YOU EVER BETRAY ME?!!! I look around frantically, searching for something to consume.

Beans? Revolting.

Ice cream? Tastes like vomit.

Pretzels? Garbage.

Eggs benedict? My tongue will never be the same.

Sour cream with potato chips? Wouldn’t feed it to my worst enemy.

Pizza with mushrooms, black olives, green peppers and a crust stuffed with extra cheese? PART OF MY SOUL JUST DIED.

Tears are rolling down my cheeks. I take a chomp of a sofa in somepony’s home in desperation, hoping it will resemble the Snack I once knew and loved.

…Actually, that’s not half bad.


I tell my fellow parasprites the wonderful news: The Snack hasn’t abandoned us! In fact, there’s more of it than ever! My taste buds are all a twitter with all the new foods I can try.

Bricks and wood sandwich? Delectable!

Rooftop shingles soufflé? A treat to behold!

A clump of an unsuspecting filly’s tail? Cuisine for royalty!

A designer dress belonging to Mistress Rarity? Simply divine!

For desert, an entire barn located in an apple orchard? DEAR CHAOS AND DISHARMONY, I’M IN HEAVEN, BABY!

Ponies screamed and ran in terror. On the bright side, the parasprites were no longer eating the food. Many citizens were already planning on leaving town, saying goodbye to their homes and loved ones.

Dusk Shine was a complete mess. His mane and tail were in a shape that looked like it survived a hurricane. His pupils were miniscule in size, and they darted around nervously. He twitched every time he thought about Princess Celestia, which was every millisecond or so.

“Alrighty folks,” he said with a downright unsettling smile plastered his face, which all he could do to stop himself from screaming, sobbing, or killing somepony that got too close and made a sudden movement, “Princess Celestia will be here in… 34.67 seconds! So, all we need to do is build an exact replica of Ponyville right over there, and she won’t send any one of us to magic kindergarten.”

Nopony paid attention.

“Chop-chop, folks! Presentation is key!”

Still, nopony paid attention.

A golden sky carriage was visible on the horizon. Celestia’s flowing rainbow mane could be made out if you looked close enough. Dusk’s heart rate leaped to humming bird levels, and his doctor would later say that he literally burst a vein at that moment, and would subscribe a medication for the purple unicorn’s blood pressure.

It’s too late, he thought as hung his head. Now, we can give up. There is no more room for hope beyond the point of denial. Now, how do I commit suicide before the Princess sends me to magic kindergarten? Hang myself? Jump off a building? Eat that casserole I found in the back of the fridge? Maybe I can borrow some cyanide from that one pony I met at the Canterlot Science Convention-Wait, is that Pinkie Pie? What in Equestria is she doing?

My name is Mr. Munchies the 1st, and I have single-handedly created an empire.

It was difficult, but I have succeeded in restoring the parasprites to their former glory. We haven’t seen a swarm like this in centuries. My descendants refer to me as the Great Ancestor, and they sing songs of my triumphs. I only wish that Celestia and King Discord could both be here, so she could tremble at my supremacy, and he could reward me with a piece of chocolate. Or a piece of gravel, due to the Snack changing form. The buzz feels good.

Wait, what is that? It looks like Celestia is coming after all. I shall take great satisfaction in eating her mane bald. I chuckle to myself, the buzz resonating in my ears.

Hold on, what’s that sound coming from the other direction? It seems to be resonating from next to a pink earth pony.

The source looks like a parasprite, only it’s… not. The mock-parasprite’s “body” seems to be made of a hollowed-out bowling ball, and the “wings” are four tennis rackets, flapping to keep it aloft. There seems to be several other objects sticking out of it, but they are unidentifiable due to being masked by duct tape.

As the mock-parasprite draws closer, being somehow remote controlled by the pink pony, the sound it’s emanating out of a built-in stereo gets louder and louder, and I hear it in its entirety. It is a wondrous sound, more beautiful and joyful the buzz could ever hope to be. I hear cymbals clash, trumpets blow, and tubas fart, and I find it irresistible to dance to the music.

It is going someplace. We do not hesitate to follow.

Princess Celestia landed safely, and Dusk came running to her.

“Iswearit’snotmyfault!” he blurted. “I never meant anything to happen! Please forgive me, I have failed as a student and as a host!” He was bowing and kissing the ground at her hooves repeatedly.

“Dusk, what are you talking about?” asked Celestia. She looked over to Ponyville, or what was left of it. “…Oh. I see.”

Unable to say anything apart from the tears, Dusk just nodded, his head hung low.

“I see that you’ve come across a parasprite problem, my student,” she remarked casually, gesturing to the hordes of cute critters. Her expression was not her usual, understanding smile. Instead, it was a grimace of memories long past.

“You know what these are?” said a wide-eyed Dusk. “I haven’t seen anything like them in my books of biology or environmental science.”

“That’s because they’re supposed to be extinct, and they have no place in the environment,” Celestia said. “I remember these creatures all too well. In fact, I at first thought they all shriveled up and died when their creator, Discord, was sealed in stone. That was the usual fate of anything made by his magic when that happened.

“I was in for a big surprise after the time Nightmare Moon was sent to the moon. The parasprites hit us, real bad. We had to dump all our food in a forest, and burn the whole thing down once all the parasprites were lured in there. It was hard on everypony, but at least we exterminated them all. That is, until now.”

Celestia’s expression softened to a smile. “But it seems like we’re in luck. Your friend Pinkie Pie has apparently come up with a solution.”

“Wait, what?” said Dusk, looking toward the parasprites. They were all in a straight line, bouncing to a silly song that was coming out of a flying mechanical radio. It looked like a parade.

“Thanks, Your Highness!” said Pinkie Pie, bowing. She was covered in motor oil, grease and hay-noodle soup. She was wearing a utility belt crammed with every form of tool. She put down the wireless Neightendo 64 controller she was using to control her invention, set it on ‘auto-pilot,’ and wiped some sweat from her brow from a hard day’s work. “I’m happy to help!”

“What is this wonderful invention of yours called?” said the Solar Princess. “You’ll get a medal for it, I’m sure of that.”

“I call it, ‘The Spritebot!’” Pinkie Pie, holding her head high in pride. “It took two days to make, but I saved Ponyville from certain destruction!” She grinned ear to ear.

“Wait, that’s what you were doing this whole time?” Rainbow Dash gawked.


“Then what was the crowbar for?” Dusk wondered out loud.

“For the crowbar dispenser I installed, silly!” Pinkie scoffed. “You never know when you might have a crowbar emergency!”

Dusk blinked three times. “…What?”


“My balls!”

“Eureka, it works!”

“Well, we all appreciate what you’ve done for Ponyville Pinkie Pie,” Celestia said as her student nursed his stallionhood, “but I must be going. There’s another infestation in Fillydelphia, and I must attend to it immediately.”

“Yeeeeaaaahhhh…” said Fluttershy, fidgeting with her hooves. “We may have been at fault with that, seeing Fillydephia’s on the other side of the Everfree Forest, and we kind of rolled a giant ball of parasprites into there.”

“Well, I suppose I need your help again, Pinkie,” Celestia said. “By the way, where do you propose that we lead to the parasprites to, anyhow? We have to do something with them.”

“Ah know!” exclaimed Applejack. “We could build a big bonfire with th’ remains of mah barn that they ate up, and lead them all into there!”

“I approve of this plan,” Celestia agreed, keeping her professional, smiling complexion that she always had.

“Oh, and before I forget Dashie,” Pinkie added, pressing a button, “I also have this water dispenser!”

With a splash of cold H2O from the spritebot, Rainbow Dash’s manestyle was ruined, much to her satisfaction.

Oh, and Dusk got a boner from it.


With funding from Celestia, Pinkie Pie opened up a company for making spritebots. The ponies absolutely adored a solution for the parasprites, so Pinkie was regarded as a national hero. Every city, town and the ponies living in any possible area classified as civilization bought a few dozen spritebots, just in case they became infested.

What’s more, with so many spritebots sold and the assistance of their CEO predicting the stock market with deadly accuracy via Pinkie Sense, Spritebot industries became a multimillion-bit industry. Graciously, Pinkie Pie used her newfound wealth to restore Ponyville to its former glory before it was eaten by parasprites. However, due to legal complications, Pinkie had to purchase every piece of property in town in order to gain the right to repair it, making her the landlady of everypony in Ponyville, including the Mayor and Filthy Rich.

With her success and steady income of rent from all her neighbors, Pinkie Pie had enough money to retire comfortably. Despite that, she decided to keep her position at Sugarcube Corner, claiming all the bits in Equestria couldn’t buy her the happiness she felt baking sweets for all the satisfied customers that came into the shop.

That didn’t stop the little hypocrite from spending her money on other things that gave her happiness, though. She built three entire amusement parks a mile outside Ponyville: One for herself, one for her friends, and one for her toothless pet alligator.

Winter Wrap-Up (Or Not...)

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Dear Readers,

Here’s the thing: I was going along and writing the end of A Parasprite’s POV Pt. 3 when I came across a small problem concerning the episode that was coming next, Winter Wrap-Up.

You know how Twilight is supposed to write to the Princess every week in Season One?

Well, think of it this way: If the Summer Sun Celebration is the summer solstice, then in that logic, Winter Wrap-Up is supposed to happen only 11 weeks later! (Not counting what I pulled in Dat Plot (And Subplot, then it shortens to 10 weeks.) That’s only a little over two measly months! Fall isn’t even supposed to come yet! All this time, it’s been summer on the other episodes!

So, I tried to write over the plothole. My first thought was to just skip over the time like the show, but that wouldn’t be enough, and would be letting down you, my viewers. I had to do better.

My second thought was to get Rainbow Dash to overhear a story that Dusk never had a snow day in Canterlot, and made it snow overnight so they could have a date. It sounded like a good idea at first. But if I did that, there would be whole new plotholes to cover up. Like, how would she have the birds fly south in that amount of time? How would she get the water in the lake to form ice so quickly? How would she force the woodland creatures into hibernation?

To add insult to injury, I found ANOTHER inconvenience: Fall Weather Friends was just two episodes later! By that logic, they should have ANOTHER Winter Wrap-Up episode! I was in the middle of some complicated explanation of a bizarre Equestrian ritual where the host town for the Summer Sun Celebration had to perform the seasons three times as fast when I finally gave up.

That’s right, I’m not doing the Winter Wrap-Up episode. Or the Fall Weather Friends. It’s too complicated. I’m sorry. To make up for it, here’s a list of all the jokes I was gonna use.

1. A running gag where Spike is trying to get the Winter Wrap-Up outta his head.

2. Dusk doing that butterfly wings spell in order to try out with helping the weather team, and failing horribly.

3. “Ditzy Doo went north instead of south to get the birds again!”

“Who the hell is Ditzy Doo? We sent Derpy to do that, remember?”

“ Don’t look at me, I thought her name was Bright Eyes.”

4. While under the “Come to Life” spell, the plow that Dusk is pulling literally comes to life, develops a personality, and starts to back-talk him.

5. In Fall Weather Friends, Trixie joins in the Iron Pony completion and the Running of the Leaves. She uses her magic to cheat in the events, like Rainbow Dash with her wings. Trixie justifies this by saying that Applejack can’t keep from using earth pony strength, and that it’s only fair that the other contestants use their natural abilities. Eventually, it descends into an argument on which race is superior; unicorn, pegasus or earth pony. As a result, windigos start to show up, attracted by the spike of racism. They have to use the Fires of Friendship in order to defeat them. All and all, it was a mediocre idea.

6. In announcing the Running of the Leaves, Spike asks Pinkie who owns the hot-air balloon they’re riding. Neither Pinkie nor Pinkamena has any clue.

Oh, and if that roll of ideas only fueled the rage you now have of not getting your favorite episode on my fic, I have a secret weapon that will totally and completely distract you…

There’s a manga.

You heard me. The same guy who did my cover art is making an anime-style comic book of this very story. Now, are you going to sit there and hate me for cutting out an episode, or are you going to fangasm, click the freaking link, read the manga, and fangasm some more?

Your choice.

With my deepest, most sincere apologies,

meme-asaurus (Spell it with a lower-case “m.”)

Cutie Marks, Forbidden Love, and Slendermane Being the Worst Role Model Ever

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Slenderloo “Scootaloo” Slenderpony looked down at her dinner plate and sighed in melancholy. She toyed with her food with a fork, poking and prodding it idly as it jiggled.

“EaT yOuR SuPpEr, dEAR,” said Slendermare, who was sitting next to Scootaloo. The pale pony was wearing a bloodstained shawl that she scavenged from an old mare that had the misfortune of following her seeing-eye dog into the Everfree. The shawl was mud-brown and had a pattern of cute miniature puppies on it sown on it. Slendermare always said that it looked lovely with her necklace made out of the bones of actual puppies, which she was also currently wearing.

“I’m not hungry,” grumbled Scootaloo. To emphasize her point, she push her plate of food away from herself as far as she could. With forelegs that were only barely one and a half feet long however, this wasn’t much of a distance.

“wHY NOt?” asked Slendermane, tilting his head like he always did when something captivated his interest. He was sitting across the table, wearing the one and only outfit that he had: his business suit. To see him without it was a rarity, even to his own family. As a result, his wife constantly complained about him never dressing casual for anything. This was the topic of many argument they had, and sometimes they debated about it for literally decades on end. It’s a long story from that point forward, so I’ll just skip to the end result of thousand upon thousands of years of negotiating: Whenever Slendermane was in the household, he was forced to undo his necktie and nothing else. “i kNoW tHAT ToRturED soULS aRe yOuR fAVoRiTE~!”

“Yeah,” retorted Scootaloo, “but not when we have it every single night! Why don’t we have spaghetti or something for once?? How about we at least some other form of cooking, like boiled souls, grilled souls, or maybe even tortured souls with a little barbecue sauce, huh?”

“tHAt’S eNoUGh oUt oF YoU, yoUnG miSsY!” said Slendermare sternly. “yOU OughT tO kNoW bEtTeR ThAN tO tAlK BaCK tO yoUR fAtHEr.”

“Sorry Mom and Dad,” apologized Scootaloo. “Forget I said anything.” She looked out one of the windows with unsatisfied angst. She had a scowl on her face, as if she spent all day intensely pondering about a topic that frustrated her to no end, and it put her in a permanent bad mood.

“iS tHeRE sOMeThiNG oN yOuR MiNd, hONeY?” Slendermane prodded.

“It’s nothing,” Scootaloo, still looking grouchy and depressed. “Just something at school.”

“wELL, yOu CaN TeLL daDdY aLL abOUt iT...

Earlier that day...

Diamond Tiara strutted into class with gusto and her usual air of vanity. She had gone with the typical look she went with every day: Purple and white-striped hair that was curled and combed to perfection, a light pink coat that practically shined like it never even heard of the bizarre concept of mud, saddlebags that were enchanted so they weighed as light as feather (she had complained to her dad about them being too heavy a month ago), and much to her constant dismay, a flank that had yet to bear the slightest sign of a cutie mark.

She had tried everything to get a cutie mark of her own: whining, shopping at the mall, whining, evaluating each and every piece of her jewelry collection, whining, hiring a pony with diploma in cutie marks, whining, hanging out with other ponies that earned their cutie marks to seem more cool, whining, begging, pleading, demanding, screaming, crying, whimpering, and every single concept and form of WHINING.

So, to make up for being subjected to being included in the group of foals known as “blank flanks,” Diamond Tiara would convince her father to buy her gifts and presents every week to show off to her other classmates, only to see the jealous looks on their faces. So far, she had brought new dress that wouldn’t be in available stores for at least a month, a pearl necklace from Atlantis, shoes that were made from solid gold, a robe that was once owned by Princess Platinum, the newest model of horseless carriage that was personally custom-built for a filly her size, a suit of robot armor that could fly and shoot lasers, a round shield made of a metal called “vibranium,” a hammer that could blast out thunder and lightning, and the world’s last known living dodo.

Diamond Tiara got bored with each and every one of these gifts by the end of fourth period.

Today, she was wearing a diamond-encrusted tiara. It was a beautiful and elegant design, yet it was simple and plain, like it was nothing more casual than a baseball cap.

“Diamond Tiara, is there something that you’d like to share with the class?” Cheerilee said, knowing it was that time of the week again. She knew that it was unhealthy to allow the filly to indulge into her bad habit of making others feel inferior, but Cheerilee also knew that from too many parent teacher conferences that it was a lost cause, and Diamond Tiara would do it whether she had the teacher’s permission or not.

“Why, yes there is,” Diamond Tiara said, soaking in her time in the spotlight. “This is the Tiara of the Grand Duchess of Detrot, the first ruler to employ fashion as a system of government. Everypony had to dress at a score of at least a 7.5 on the Official Detrot Scale of Fabulosity, or they would be executed on the spot! It was a very exciting time back then.”

“So what?” said Featherweight, unimpressed. “You got a new hat, is that really a big deal?”

“It’s not a hat!” snapped Diamond Tiara. “It’s the Tiara of the Grand Duchess of Detrot, and it’s very expensive!”

“Looks wike a waste of money, then,” Dinky yawned.

“You’re all just jealous!” defended Silver Spoon. She turned to her best friend and smiled sweetly. “It looks lovely on you, DT.”

“Thank you!” said Diamond Tiara, perking up. “I even made Daddy hire a guy to make a song about it. Wanna hear it?”

“Thank you, Diamond Tiara,” interrupted Cheerilee, “but we really should start class now. Our first lesson is-” Before the flower-flanked teacher could even begin the day of education, Diamond Tiara hopped up on Sweetie Belle’s desk and began to sing.

Do you like my crown, crown?

Crown, my diamond crown, crown.

You can not push around, ‘round,

my diamond crown, crown.

Even if you could, could,

I would tell my Dad-dy!

No one else can wear a crown in manner, manner.

Welcome to my manor, manor.

I ca-ca-ca-canna-canna-wear, wear, wear my crown, crown,

whenever I feel down, down,

I can wear my crown, crown!

Once I did some ground-pounds,

all the way through town, town.

Reduced it to a dirt mound,

but my Daddy paid for it!

Money is my business,

And by that, I mean spending it.

Check out what I found:

Do you like my crown?

“Well, Ah think it’s stupid!” yelled Applebloom in defiance to the tyranny of the tiny pink filly.


That was rhetorical,

you know I am the oracle.

I know you like my crown!

It’s made of freaking diamonds,

if you don’t, you’re lying,

but that would be fine,



I can wear my crown, crown,

‘cause I can tell by your frown, frown,

you’re frowning about my crroooooowwwwnnnnnnaahh~!


“Are you done?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“Yes,” said Diamond Tiara with a satisfied smirk.

“Then could you get off my desk now? I want to get my pencil out.”

As Diamond Tiara stepped down, Silver Spoon came running to her, beaming with pride.

“Look everypony!” announced the gray filly. “Diamond Tiara just earned her cutie mark!”

“I did?” said Diamond Tiara. She checked her flanks, seeing a picture of the headgear she was currently wearing. “I mean, of course I did! Do you think I would get a cutie mark for something lame like farming apples?” She tossed her mane and brought her chin up to a level that looked downright ridiculous. “I always knew deep inside that my talent was... uuhh...” She trailed off, drawing a blank.

“...Wearing expensive accessories?” finished Silver Spoon helpfully.

“Uuummm... yeah! Sure! Wearing expensive accessories, and looking damn good in them! No doubt I’ll grow up to be a famous jewelry model someday.”

“That’s the spirit, DT!” said Silver Spoon. “This calls for our BFF hoofshake!”

“Bump-bump-sugar-rump!” the two popular girls said simultaneously.

“...and then Diamond Tiara rubbed her stupid new cutie mark in everypony’s face!” finished Scootaloo. Her eyes were red and puffy, and it was getting difficult not to cry.

“nOW, NoW,” said Slendermare, patting her daughter’s shoulder, “i’M sUrE iT wAsn't tHaT baD.”

“You don’t get it Mom,” Scootaloo deadpanned. “She literally took the time to rub her flank right in our faces at recess, one by one. I can’t believe it, but she somehow got MORE snobby after she earned that thing!”

“i syMpAtHiZe wiTh yoU gReAtLY, sLeNDeRLOo,” Slendermane nodded sagely. “i ToO hAvE goNE tHRoUGh mANy... diFFicULt pOniES wHeN i wAs yoUR aGe.”

“Really?” said his daughter, her eyes widening. “What did you do?”

“i wENt tO mY rOoM aND cRiED liKE a puSsY.”

Scootaloo hung her head in disappointment. “Yeah, not exactly the solution I was hoping for, Dad.”

“...buT tHeN i fOUnD A bEtTeR mEtHod oF dEaLiNg wiTh mY pRoBLeMs bY hiGH scHoOL,” Slendermane continued.

Scootaloo’s face lit up again. “Seriously?”

“i sTaLkED aLL tHE pONiEs tHaT diSAgReEd wiTH mE,” he said, the skin on his face splitting itself to form an ear-to-ear smile and drool black ooze from the wound. “foR iNsTanCE, dO yOU SeE wHaT oUr hoUSe iS miSsiNG?”

Scootaloo looked around. She concentrated with great intensity. Finally, she came up with the answer. “A roof?”

“eXaCTLy,” said her father. “wHEn bUiLDiNg tHis hOUse fRoM a peTRiFieD tReE sTuMp, i wEnT tO a CaRpenTER tO gET a rOoF iNsTaLLeD...”


“Stay back!” yelled Screw Loose, backing away slowly. “I’ve got a power drill!” She was a cyan earth pony with a short-cut, naturally white mane, a single screw for a cutie mark, and a look of pure terror in her eyes.

“bUt i oNLy WaNt tO eMPLoy yOUr sErViCes,” Slendermane protested. It was nighttime, with the full moon glowing balefully upon the closed hardware store. It was after work hours, and Screw Loose about to close up shop when a certain pony in black showed up.

“AAHHH!!! It talks! Speak no more, demon!” She picked up a nail gun and started to fire bolts out in rapid succession. The nails hit Slendermane square in the forehead, but to no effect.

“wHy mUsT eVEryPoNy i mEeT bE sO tERribLY iMpOLitE?” he mumbled to himself. He began to advance, backing the handymare (hoofymare?) further and further into the corner.

“P-p-please, I have a family! I d-don’t want to d-d-die tonight!” pleaded Screw Loose. “Just go away! Leave me alone!”

“wiLL yOu pLEaSe aT LeASt LEt mE BorRoW tWeNTy BiTs sO i aFfoRd tHE LumBeR tO bUiLd mY rOof?” asked the unholy abomination nicely.

“Oh no,” gasped Screw Loose in revelation, “You’re going to rob me blind first!”

“wHaT?!” said Slendermane angrily. “tHaT’s prePosTErouS! i oNLy waNT tWEntY biTs.”

“You can take my life, but you’ll never take my money!” shouted Screw Loose.

“jUsT giVe mE TweNty biTS,” Slendermane said with the most deadpan expression he could show with no face to speak of.


“GiMme tWenty biTs!”


“gImmE TWentY BIts!”


“GiMMe twentY BITs!”



The sound that came out of Slendermane was some weird fusion of a howl, a moan, a scream, and the kind of noise the depths of the underworld would make while awakening to rise up to the surface to wreck havoc on the unworthy. Above all, it was not a happy sound. It was a sound of pure rage, hate and despise toward anything within striking distance.

And then he walked away.

“You WHAT?!” blurted out Scootaloo. “But I thought you were gonna stalk her!”

“tHAt’S noT hoW StalkiNG woRKs dEaR,” Slendermare reminded Scootaloo. “fiRsT, yOu mUsT LUrE yOUr taRgeT inTO a FalsE sEnSe oF sECUrity.”

“tHAt’s riGHt hoNEY,” said Slendermane. “iF i StaRTeD sTaLkinG heR riGHt tHeN, i’D wOULd’vE jUSt sToOD tHeRE AnD sTAred aT hER.”

“Oh,” said Scootaloo, feeling a little stupid. “Well, what did you do to her later?”

“tHe FirST tHiNg tO dO iS tO MakE sUrE thAt yoUR taRGet knOWs thAT hE oR sHE iS beINg staLKeD...”

“But I saw him!” Screw Loose insisted. “I really saw him!”

“I’m sure it was just a nightmare, Screw,” said Socket Wrench, Screw Loose’s husband. “It must have been some bad mustard in that daisyburger or something.”

“It wasn’t a nightmare, Socky!” snapped Screw Loose. “I swear that I saw him with my own eyes, and after he left, I came running home as fast I could!”

“Please honey, it’s late,” said Socket Wrench, rubbing his eyes. “You’ve been talking about this delusion of yours all day, and it got old back during first two hours. Can’t we just drop it? We finally got the kids to bed, and I don’t wanna wake them up.”

Screw Loose gave her husband a cold stare for a full minute. Finally, she gave out an exasperated sigh. “Maybe you’re right,” she said softly. “Maybe I’m just stressed out from all the overtime I’ve been taking at work, and I’m just seeing things. After all, it was only once, and I haven’t seen any sign of him since.” She gave a thin smile. “Let’s go to bed.”

“Good idea,” said Socket Wrench. They tucked themselves in, and their breathing got slower and more relaxed as the they listened to each other’s heartbeats. Screw Loose was facing the window, the moonlight illuminating the streets below the second floor. The street lamps were turned on, their yellow lights glowing through the patches of darkness that otherwise engulfed Ponyville like a blanket of inky black shadow. It was unearthly quiet, as if the crickets and other nocturnal creatures were too afraid of an unseen force to break the silence. Not a single bird, raccoon, or rodent made a sound.

Sleep began to close in on Screw Loose as her eyelids got heavy from a long day of claiming that she saw something that was only heard in ghost stories and leaderboards on the internet. Although her lover embraced her and she could feel his body heat rubbing off on her, she still felt cold as ice. She trembled slightly, her thoughts turning again and again to her encounter with the legendary Slenderpony.

It looks so real... she thought to herself. She blinked a couple times and mentally slapped herself. No, she thought determinately. I’m not going to let this thing get to my head. You’re a calm, sensible pony, Screw Loose, and there’s no way something like the Slenderpony would exist in real life. You live in a society of science and understanding are at its prime! This is the age where the world is flat, Celestia raises the sun every morning, and you’re a magical talking pony! An eldritch monster has no place in this reality!

As if the universe was set to immediately prove her dead wrong, out of the corner of her eye, Screw Loose could see a disturbingly tall, pale figure staring at her outside the window. He was dimly lit from being slightly out of the radius of the street lamp’s revealing light, and the far distance between them made his outline blurry, but Screw Loose could already tell that he had no face at all.

“WAKE UP, SOCKY!” screeched the terrified earth pony at a volume to make your ears bleed. “HE’S REAL! HE’S RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW, AND HE’S COMING FOR ME! OH FAUST, HE REALLY EXISTS!”

Socket jumped to his hooves, panicking and racing to the window so he could get a good look. He peered into the darkness, holding Screw Loose tightly as adrenaline from his wife’s abrupt outburst pumped a mile a minute through his veins.

“See him? He’s right there!” Screw loose said frantically, pointing vigorously with a shaky blue hoof at the direction of her predator.

“Screw, there’s nothing there.” said Socket Wrench bluntly.

“What??!” said Screw Loose, hyperventilating. She gestured at the distant image of Slenderpony. “Can’t you see him? He’s looking right at us! near the bushes, right there!”

“I’m sorry Screw Loose, but I don’t see anything,” Socket Wrench said sadly. His brow was creased with worry lines.

“What do mean, ‘You don’t see anything? He’s standing perfectly still right over-” Screw Loose did a double take with her bloodshot eyes. Nothing met her gaze; the Slenderpony was nowhere be found.

“B-but I saw him this time,” she insisted urgently. “It was dark and blurry, but I really saw him this time!”

“Please, calm down Screw,” said Socket Wrench with a deep breath. “I believe you.”

“You do?”

“Yes. I believe that you believe that you saw Slenderpony. This is obviously more than just some undigested food,” continued Socket Wrench. “Tomorrow morning, we’re going to the doctor to get this whole issue straightened out.”

There was a long pause. The animals of the night were still quiet, so no sounds could be heard except the two ponies’ heavy breathing from the rush of the jolt of fear they both experienced. Screw Loose no longer looked desperate and panicked. Instead, she was serious and greatly concerned at what Socket Wrench just said. The two spouses shared a full two minutes of eye contact, not even blinking.

“I’m not crazy,” Screw Loose finally said. Her tone was stoic and dead. Her heart had slowed from beating like hummingbird to slightly higher than normal rate at this point. Her skin still felt cold.

“Hey, I never said that you were crazy,” Socket Wrench said, his voice loving and caring. “I just don’t want this to be affecting our children. We’ve probably woken them up already with all this yelling, and it’s a school night. You know I love you, but-”

“If you love me, then listen to me,” Screw Loose interrupted harshly. “I. Am. Not. Crazy,” she said slowly and deliberately. “I know what I’m telling you sounds insane, but I know what I saw. It was him, and he’s coming back later.”

“...tHE secONd SteP oF BeiNG ThE perFeCt staLKeR coMEs WitH thE giFt eVErypOnY iN ouR fAmiLY hAsSSss...”

“Which one?” said Scootaloo enthusiastically, enthralled by her father’s amazing storytelling. “Is it our tentacles? Wait, it’s our immortality, isn’t it? Ooo! How about our ability to do that thing you two do with the those criminally insane cultists that visit us at the end of every month?”

“wRoNG oN aLL acCouNTs,” said Slendermane, shaking his head and chuckling to himself. “whAt i’m taLkiNg aBouT iS ouR poWEr tO dRiVe aNY eNemY wE cOmE acRosS iNsANe.”

“Is that why Celestia has never like, tried to start a research team to find out more about you and Mom?” asked Scootaloo curiously. “Because it’s too dangerous or something?”

“yEs iNdeED,” said Slendermare. She hugged Scootaloo with two outstretched tentacles, cooing lovingly to her daughter. “AwwWw, you’Re sO cUTe wHeN yOu’Re leaRNinG! it’S LikE YoU’rE geTtiNg sMaRteR eVeRy dAY.”

“Stop it, Mom!” protested Scootaloo, writhing to escape her mother’s grasp. “You’re embarrassing me!”

“Mom, you’re embarrassing me!” complained Monkey Wrench, her mouth still chewing her breakfast granola bar. “I’m fourteen years old now, you don’t need to kiss me on the forehead every single time I leave for school!”

“As long as you live my house, you’ll obey by my rules,” said Screw Loose. “And my rules say that if I don’t kiss you goodbye in the house before you go to a higher education, I’ll do it in front of your friends before you go to one of your sleepovers.”

Monkey Wrench was a cyan-blue earth pony filly just like mother, and was going through that wonderful stage in life called ‘puberty.’ She wore braces, had an atrocious case of acne, posted something on Whinny (the pony version of Twitter) every five seconds and was obsessed with the Twilight movies. She had earned her cutie mark in repairing things with motors, such as leaf blowers and air filters. She exercised her special talent in shop class and extracurricular activities such as fixing various household appliances around the neighborhood for money. Her dream was to ride her very own motorcycle, a mode of transportation that was invented in Fillydelphia roughly eight years ago. All the while, she still failed to escape Screw Loose’s pet name for her, ‘mommy’s little Monkey.’

“By the way Mom, what’s with the camera taped to your back?” questioned the angsty teenager.

“It’s... umm... for our home movie collection!” Screw Loose lied. “I want to record every precious memory of your and Lefty-Loosey’s childhood.”

“We don’t have a home movie collection,” said Monkey said, rolling her eyes.

“Well, we do now,” said Screw Loose diligently.

“What’s the matter?” teased Lefty-Loosey, Monkey Wrench’s three-year-old brother. “Afraid to have documented evidence of your booger-face?” He laughed mockingly. He was a rowdy little colt, never going two days without getting dirty. This morning, his face was covered in mess of oatmeal.

“Shut the buck up, you pint-sized brat!” Monkey Wrench barked.

“Monkey, don’t you swear in the household!” said Socket Wrench, breaking up the fight. “Lefty, don’t make fun of your sister.”

“But Daaaaad~” said both siblings simultaneously, “he/she started it!”

“I don’t care who started it,” said Screw Loose, “I want each of you to be the ones who put an end to it. Now, I want to hear apologies.”

“Fine,” grunted Monkey Wrench. “Mom, Dad, I’m sorry that I wasn’t an only child.”

“And Monkey, I’m sorry that you’re such a stink-brain,” replied Lefty-Loosey.

“That’s not exactly what I meant,” Screw Loose said, facehoofing. “Can’t you two get along for one day? Mommy’s going through a tough time lately.”

“You mean that crackpot story about you seeing Slenderpony a few days ago?” scoffed Monkey Wrench. “You’re never the one to tell crazy things, but you’ve pretty much lost me on all credibility on that one in my book.”

“i’M NOt CrAzy!” roared Screw Loose, making her foals jump at the sheer volume of her voice. She spoke with a growl, as if she was the biggest, meanest hellhound ever to come out of the depths of Tartarus.

“Whoa Mom, take a chill pill,” said Monkey Wrench, still startled. “You scared us for a second there.” Lefty-Loosey was almost crying. He was still just a blank-flank, and he never heard his mother yell at them so menacingly in his life.

“Mommy, are you okay?”

“Everything’s fine kids,” assured Socket Wrench. “Your mother’s just... a little cranky this morning. Go to the bus-carriage stop, you’re going to be late for school.” The two kids complied without any hesitation.

There was a long pause. Screw Loose looked at Socket Wrench, her voice trembling.

“Did I just... yell at our foals?” Screw Loose said breathlessly, her eyes watering. “My little babies? I never yell at them! No matter how mad I am, I never raise my voice at my kids! Never!”

“I’m sure you didn’t mean it, honey,” said Socket Wrench. “We’ll make up for it later. We’ll buy them ice cream.”

“Socky...” said Screw Loose, thinking out loud. “What if this... thing that’s following me is trying to change me somehow?” She bit her lip. “What if I start getting worse? What if I start... attacking them?”

“Screw, look into my eyes,” said Socket Wrench sternly. Screw Loose complied. Her husband’s face was determined. “I will never let that happen to you. No matter whatever’s going on, you’re still the mare I fell in love with. I don’t care if it’s some kind of magical illusion, that you’re being cursed, or that it’s even the real Slenderpony that’s stalking you. No matter what, remember that you’re still Screw Loose to me.”

“...Thanks honey, I needed that,” smiled Screw Loose. She wiped her eyes dry.

“So, care to tell me the real reason why you’ve got a video camera strapped to you?” said Socket Wrench half-jokingly. They shared a small laugh.

“It’s to catch Slenderpony in the act,” she explained, her nerves finally at peace her. She was confident, ready to take on anything. “I figured that if I’m the only one that can see him without him getting away, I can record what I see, and whatever magic he doing to avoid ponies from seeing him won’t affect the most expensive magical camera I could afford.”

“You really thought this out, didn’t you?” said an impressed Socket Wrench, raising his eyebrows.

“I... haven’t gotten much sleep in the last few nights,” admitted Screw Loose, “so it’s given me time to think.”

“How will get this ‘Slenderpony’ to appear on camera?” said Socket Wrench. He still didn’t believe his wife, but he was getting curious exactly how she would go about her plan. This was by far the most interesting thing that’s ever happened to either of them, after all.

“I’m going to go where anypony goes when they want answers about a mystery,” Screw Loose said with an adventurous smile.

“To the place where it all began.”

“Alright,” said Screw Loose into her magically powered trottie-talkie, slowly patrolling the corridors of the closed hardware store where she worked, “let’s go through the checklist one last time.”

“Roger that, honey,” replied Socket Wrench, who was hiding in a nearby crate. The crate had holes; not just for air, but also to provide him a clear view along with the camera he also had purchased earlier that afternoon.

“Cameras duct-taped to each of us both rolling?”


“Flashlights on full battery?”



“Screw, not that I don’t believe you on this, but why do we have to have a fishing net again?”

“In case this thing isn’t a fast runner. Do you have the net positioned at the cardboard section or not?”


“Babysitter hired to watch the kids for the night?”

“Tender Love & Care was out of town to visit her grandparents for the weekend, so I called the backup babysitter.”

“Good,” said Screw Loose with a smile, “That’s everything, then.” She took a deep, soothing breath. She was more ready for this than anything else she had done in her entire life. The only variable that she couldn't have control over this time was when… he would show up, if at all. That one small detail could ruin her whole operation, but she had a method to lure him out that (she hoped) was foalproof.

“Oh, mercy me!” Screw Loose called out to the darkness in a horrible impression of a damsel in distress. She was an atrocious actress, but she continued. “Here I am, lost in this closed hardware store, and I have no method of defending myself! Oh, and I’ve brought along TWENTY BITS with me, and have no way to spend it!” This went on for a grueling thirty minutes, yielding no results to speak of.

“Screw Loose,” yawned Socket Wrench while adjusting his weight in the cramped box, “don’t you think we should call it a night? We both have work tomorrow.”

“Just fifteen more minutes,” said Screw Loose, “he’s here in the store somewhere. I can feel it.” She stepped cautiously, peering into adjacent isles through the cracks between the merchandise. She was dehydrated, sweat soaking her brow. She breathed through her mouth a little, panting like a dog.

“Where are you?” she whispered into the inky blackness. “Why won’t you show yourself? What am I doing wrong?”

“maYBe yOu sHoULd tuRN aRouNd, sCrEw LoOsE.”

There was a terrible, awful silence.

There was a terrible, awful noise.

There was a terrible, awful silence.

Screw Loose woke up screaming. “AAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“What?!!” said Socket Wrench, jolting awake. “What is it? Is the house in fire?” They were in their bed, neatly tucked in. Celestia’s morning sun shone on a bright new morning for Equestria arcoss the clear blue sky. The birds were chirping, the foals across the street were playing hopscotch, and Screw Loose was flipping out.

“WHERE IS HE??” she frantically shouted. “WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?”

Socket Wrench just looked at his wife with a confused expression. “Well… don’t you remember?” he said, recalling the events that took place. “We got the kids a babysitter, we went out to the hardware store, I got in the crate, you presented the worst acting ever for half an hour, and then…” He blanked out. “Umm… what happened next again? We must’ve fallen asleep.”

“No, we didn’t!” snapped Screw Loose. “If we fell asleep, why are we in bed? I tell you, something went down last night, and I’d bet my last bit that HE is responsible!” She felt herself over. “Where are the cameras? We taped them to ourselves, but now they’re gone!”

“Hey… you’re right!” said Socket Wrench suspiciously. “Something funny’s going on here.” He furrowed his brow.

“No, duh!” said Screw Loose. “Let’s go back to the store, maybe they’re still there!”

“No,” said Socket Wrench suddenly, grabbing her tail with his mouth.

Screw slowly turned back, not sure if she believed what she just heard. “No? What do mean, ‘No?’ I thought you finally believed me, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Socket Wrench, closing his eyes for a long minute. “I believe that Slenderpony is real. Too real. He attacked us last night, Screw, and we couldn’t do anything about it. We can’t even remember what he did to us, for Faust’s sake! What’s stopping him from attacking us when we’re with our foals? He’s too dangerous for us to be just… looking for him! That’s like throwing rocks at a sleeping dragon! I know he’s following you, but maybe we can move away to where he can’t find us. Change our names. Start a new life. Wouldn’t that be worth the lives of our foals?”

“bUt i wANt tO kNoW!” said Screw Loose, her voice becoming not her own. “wHO cArES abOUt ThE LiTtLE BRaTs, anYWaY?”


The room fell dead silent.

“Socky…” said Screw Loose, her trembling hoof reaching up to her injured check. “You… hit me…”

“I’m… sorry I did that baby,” said Socket Wrench. “You just had this… look in your eye that belonged to this… insane madmare that wasn’t was my wife, and I just began thinking about how life would be like if you stayed that way and-”

“Shhh…” hushed Screw Loose. Tears were rolling out of her eyes. “I know what you mean. Ever since I saw him, I kept going in this… dark place in my mind where I thought that if I didn’t get any proof, everypony that once knew and trusted me would lock me away in the mental ward.” She hugged Socket Wrench, stroking his mane. “I won’t put our foal’s safety before finding him again, I promise.” She pulled away to make eye contact, and let out a sigh. “No, that’s not what I mean.”


“What I mean to say is… I want to give up trying to find him. Completely. Let’s start that new life that you were talking about. Today.”

“You really mean it?” said her spouse, his eyes wide. “Today as in like, right now?”

“Yes, right now,” Screw Loose nodded. “Go tell the kids to start packing. I’m going to call a moving carriage.”

“So?” said Scootaloo, “Did they get away?”

“oF coUrSE noT, sLeNDeRLoO,” laughed Slendermane. “nONe oF tHEm GeT aWAY.”

“Then what happened to them?”

“tHeY kePt MoViNG frOm ToWn tO tOwN oVeR thE yeArS,” he said, full of nostalgic memories of scaring Screw Loose’s family over countless places across Equestria, “BuT eVenTuALLy, OnE bY onE, sCrEW LoOse’S fAMiLy aBaNDoneD hEr. nOT becAUsE thEY diDn’T beLiEve heR, bUT bECauSe beTweEn dODgiNg mE aLL tHe tiMe aNd dEaLinG witH hEr wORseNinG conDiTiOn tHaT borDeREd oN tOTaL mADneSs, LiFe wiTh scReW LoOSe beCAme coMPLetELy unBeArabLE.”

“tHaT rEmiNDs mE,” said Slendermare, cutting in on her husband’s story, “wHateVEr hApPeNEd tO tHaT mArE aNYwAy?”

Slendermane gave a smirk, as if he was just told an inside joke that only he knew. “wHY, ShE’s tAkEn a wELL-paYiNg joB aT tHe pONyviLLe hoSPitAL. shE HaS LoTs oF fRiEndS tHeRE, tOo; i mADe sURe oF ThAt.”

“So, what now?” said Scootaloo, her train of thought temporarily derailed. “How does some story about you doing what you do every single day going to help the problem I have with Diamond Tiara?”

Her parents gave each other a wide grin. “hAveN’t yOu bEen LisTeniNG tO yoUR fAtHeR, sLenDERLoO?” said Slendermare. “tHaT’s ThE exAcT soLutiOn tO yOUr buLLyiNG iSsuEs.”

“yOu sHOuLd sTaLK diAMonD tiAra!” said Slendermane excitedly. “tHat kiND oF woRk eXpeRIenCe wiLL LoOK gReAt oN yOuR reSuME oNCe yoU’Re oLd enOUgH tO sTArt JoB-hUnTinG.”

“You really think so, Dad?” said Scootaloo, her eyes shining with hope of a brighter future.

“i kNoW sO, sLeNDerLoO.”

“Alright, then!” said Scootaloo, standing up in determination and pride. “Tonight I, Slenderloo Slenderpony, will start stalking Diamond Tiara!”

Cutie Marks, Forbidden Love, and Slendermane Being the Worst Role Model Ever Pt. 2

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Scootaloo stood outside the mansion of the Riches, a towering structure that was a landmark of Ponyville in its own right. It had six floors, fourteen bedrooms, two observatories, five studies, a ballroom equipped with an orchestra that was hired to be ready to play at any given hour, nine kitchens, eleven dining rooms, three home theaters, an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, a tennis court, a soccer field, three swimming pools, a garden filled with every single kind of distasteful hedge sculpture and twenty-three bathrooms, each with at least one hot tub.

Diamond Tiara’s room was easy to locate, since she bragged about it’s great view in great, accurate detail roughly twice a month. It was on the third floor, facing the massive backyard/private zoo. Judging from the lights that were turned off and the loud snoring coming from inside, Scootaloo guessed that Diamond Tiara was fast asleep. This wasn’t a surprise, considering it was 2:00 AM.

That was the first obstacle that Scootaloo faced. If Diamond Tiara was asleep, she couldn’t know that Scootaloo was stalking her. So, the first step was getting her out of bed to come to the window. It was sort of like Romeo and Juliet, only that the two characters were technicolored ponies, they were also both girls, and “Romeo” was trying to drive “Juliet” criminally insane with powers that were forsaken by mortal scholars.

Scootaloo took a random pebble off the ground, and threw it upwards with all her might, aiming at Diamond Tiara’s window. Not surprisingly, it missed, hitting part of the massive brick wall surrounding it. She tried again. This one sailed over the building completely.

This continued for twenty minutes. This was bound to fail, and I’ll tell you why: Go to a building that has a third floor, pick a window that’s a maximum of three feet wide, and start throwing pebbles at it. Let’s even pretend that you hit that little window about a third of the time, and I think I’d be qualified to be the next Element of Generosity on giving you those odds. Notice how quiet that sound is when the pebble hits the glass? Do you honestly think that would wake someone up who was sound asleep at two in the morning, much less provoke them to inspect the noise? If your answer was “yes,” consider having your head examined. (That bump on your head from the “Royal Canterlot Business” thing might have caused more damage than you thought. Sorry, my bad.)

So, to make a long story short, Scootaloo didn’t wake up Diamond Tiara. She was shivering at this point, and even sneezed a little.

“It’s getting chilly,” she said to nopony in particular. “Not to mention dark. I can barely see anything!” It was true. Although the Slenderpony family were creatures born of fear and shadow, they had no ability to see in the dark. It was a major flaw in their anatomy, thinking about it.

“GOOOOD MORNING!!!!” a voice blared out from nowhere and without warning, obliterating Scootaloo’s eardrums. “THIS IS IRON WILL, THE MOST ASSERTIVE SPOKESPONY WHO’S NOT A PONY AT ALL!”

“Gah!” screamed Scootaloo in surprise. “Where are you? Show yourself!” She looked around, and saw the source of the obnoxious voice: a stray spritebot. It had turned off its constant stream of annoying music after business hours, due to noise complaints. Somehow, it was activated again.


“Well, why are you just telling all of this to me?” said Scootaloo, trying to communicate with Iron Will. “Why are you singling me out?”


“Okay,” said Scootaloo, rubbing her ears that were still ringing. She was starting to understand it now. “So, what are you supposed to be selling me? A baby Rainbow Dash in box or something? Because having her as a little sister would be so cool!”

“OUR PRODUCT FOR YOU IS-” Iron Will’s voice cut off, switching to the all-familiar bouncy voice of Pinkie Pie. “-The Junior Pinkie-Spy Kit!” Just as abruptly, the recording cut off to Iron Will again. “YOU WILL LOVE-The Junior Pinkie-Spy Kit!-BECAUSE-My Pinkie Sense tells me that you need a way to spy on ponies, and the Junior Pinkie-Spy Kit will have all kinds of gadgets to make you feel like a real superspy!-THIS IS AN EXTRA-ASSERTIVE PACKAGE PRODUCT! IF YOU PURCHASE-The Junior Pinkie-Spy Kit!-YOU WILL RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS-Lessee… This kit includes a grappling hook, suction-cup horseshoes, a portable security camera to secretly set up in the enemy’s house, a black 100% cotton sweater and ski mask for camouflage, a black spandex jumpsuit for fun, and a pair of night-vision goggles! (Warning: Although the night-vision goggles are extra night-visiony, they do not, I repeat, they do NOT work in the daytime.)-SO GO TO YOUR LOCAL SPRITEBOT ENTERPRISES STORE NOW! THIS PRODUCT ONLY COSTS ONE EASY PAYMENT OF-$19.95!” The spritebot fell silent and buzzed away.

Scootaloo thought for a minute. “Hey! With those suction-cup horseshoes, I could get inside Diamond Tiara’s house easy!”

One trip to the Spritebot Enterprises Store later…

Scootaloo trotted up the wall, wearing the night-vision goggles and the suction-cup horseshoes. She also had put on the black sweater, since she had gotten cold. She skipped out on the ski mask however, since she had found it hard to breathe with it on.

Scootaloo was exhausted from the lack of sleep. Actually, she wasn’t. That would be true, if she had to sleep. To be precise, nopony in the Slenderpony family had the ability to sleep at all. It was a small perk of being part of a race of elder gods, but honestly, it was more of a curse than a blessing. The fact was, all the stores normally closed at at some point at night, so if you were still awake then, you had to wait around in the dark until morning, bored out of your mind.

That said, because the Spritebot Enterprises store wasn’t open at the time, not to mention the fact that Scootaloo never had any money in the first place, Scootaloo had to reduce the price of the Junior Pinkie-Spy kit from ‘$19.95’ down to ‘absolutely free.’ And by “reduce the price,” I mean that she stole the kit when the store was closed.

The window opened with a creak. Diamond Tiara was sleeping in a Princess-sized bed with a classic overhead canopy. The sheets of the canopy were made of transparent silk, billowing slightly in the midsummer night’s breeze. The fusion of countless oversized blankets and soft pillows that were fluffed to the point of deformity gave the appearance that Diamond Tiara was resting on a mountain of plush that was slowly trying to eat her.

The spoiled filly herself was wearing an array of hair curlers tangled in her mane and tail. She was also sporting a set of brand-new pajamas embroidered with her cutie mark, the cuffs and collar made with hoof-made lace. She looked like a crazy cat lady that wasn’t old enough to buy a cat.

Scootaloo scampered over to Diamond Tiara’s bed. The orange pegasus had no idea how to wake her nemesis without being reported for breaking and entering, but then again, Scootaloo was never the one to think things through. She figured the best way was to make an obscure, disturbing, obnoxiously loud noise, and hide before Diamond Tiara had the chance to look for the source of the sound.

Scootaloo concentrated, summoned her otherworldly powers, and took a deep breath in preparation to holler the most terrifying words she knew.

“SO, HOW’S YOUR SEX LIFE??!!" she bellowed in full volume, despite not really grasping what sex actually involved. She just knew mentioning it made ponies uncomfortable, and that was good enough for her.

Diamond Tiara’s eyes flew open as she bolted upright. “Whuh?” she said groggily, startled by the disturbance of the night’s silence. “Who’s there?” She whipped her head around the room, searching for the pony who screamed. Nopony was visible.

“What’s this about my sex life??!” she finally asked into the abyss of darkness. She felt very irritated, and knew from a fact voices didn’t come from out of nowhere. “Show yourself! I’ll make my Daddy sue you for everything you’ve got!”

After a minute of silence, Diamond Tiara hopped out of her gigantic bed, determined to find the perpetrator and give him/her a no-holds-barred tantrum that he/she would never forget. Diamond Tiara didn’t have to look far however, for as soon as her light pink hooves touched the ground, they landed on a scruffy purple tail sticking out from under the bed. This said tail was attached to a plot, and that plot was attached to a torso, and that torso was attached to Scootaloo, who felt the all-too familiar sensation that she’d been caught.

Diamond Tiara looked under the bed, discovering to her anger that her own classmate, Scootaloo, had broken into the spoiled filly’s mansion just to give her a scare. The two looked at each other in awkward silence.

“Uhh...” began Scootaloo, not having an idea what to say, “Gimme twenty bits?”

The next morning, at the playground...

“An’ then what happened, Scootaloo?” said Applebloom excitedly. “Didja use some super-secret spy tool ta get out unharmed?”

“Of course not!” interrupted Sweetie Belle. “She obviously used some secret Slenderpony superpower to get away!”

“Girls...” said Scootaloo, “I can only tell you if you let me finish.”

“Just one question,” said Featherweight, “Did she give you twenty bits, or did she just scream?”

“Oh, she gave me twenty bits alright,” said Scootaloo sarcastically, “She threw a purse in my eye!”

“Ouchies,” commented Dinky, wincing a bit at the imaginary pain. “Dat’s gotta hurt big-time. I should know, a bug once flew in my eye while I was learning how to ride my twicycle. I cried for an hour, but den mommy got me ice crweam.”

“Anyway,” said Scootaloo with a passive-aggressive shrug, “she just kicked me out of her house, because she didn’t know where I lived or who my parents are. I guess she just assumed I was some lame-o, homeless orphan that wanted a cheap thrill.”

“Did she tell Mister Rich?” asked Pipsqueak.

“Nah,” said Scootaloo, “Her dad had some kinda headache Diamond Tiara called a ‘my-grain,’ so she couldn't wake him up.”

“Anyway,” said Applebloom, still hyped up from Scootaloo’s story, “We should go with you next time!”

“Next time?” said Scootaloo in disbelief. “There isn’t going to BE a next time!”

Applebloom’s hair bow drooped, as always when she was sad. There was no scientific explanation of Applebloom’s hair bow lowering and raising up again depending on her emotions. It would be a mystery of the ages, if only the blank-flank didn’t live in the same neighborhood as a raving distraction like Pinkie Pie.

“But why not?~” said the Apple foal innocently. “We can help ya with driving Diamond Tiara bonkers and stuff!”

“Besides,” said Sweetie Belle supportively, “didn’t you say your dad told you that the first step of stalking somepony was to let them know they were being stalked?”

“Yeah, well, he never said anything about getting pummeled with a purse,” Scootaloo scowled, “so I think this mission was a failure. Besides, Dad mentioned that it took him years of stalking to finally get that one Screw-mare to crack, and I think our top priority is to get cutie marks ASAP.” The Cutie Mark Crusaders all nodded in agreement.

“Attention, everpony!” Diamond Tiara’s voice blared from a megaphone, “As you all know, I just got my cutie mark!” She waited for an uproar of applause from the playground.

Her ears only met with the sound of a distant chirping of a cricket.

“Anyway... my daddy is throwing my cuteceañera this afternoon at Sugarcube Corner, and everypony at school is invited!” She still waited for the flow of cheers of adoration.

The playground was dead silent.

“...There will be cake?”

Everypony rejoiced.

“Oh, and before I forget,” added Diamond Tiara, “Because this a party celebrating a pony getting older and finding a place in the adult world, blah blah blah... the point is, this is going to our first party where we can bring dates!

There was a murmur of one-lined complained “Eeww,” and “Gross!” and even one “But I don’t wanna get cooties!”

“...Those who bring a date each get an extra slice of cake.” Diamond Tiara stated flatly.

Everypony rejoiced again.

“And naturally, I will get a date as well,” said Diamond Tiara while fluttering her eyelashes.

“Wow,” whispered Pipsqueak to his best friend, Featherweight, “I feel sorry for the wanker who gets stuck with-”

“The lucky colt who has the honor of taking me to my cuteceañera shall be... Pipsqueak!”

Just then, Pipsqueak’s face became a pale white. (Well, as white as it can get with brown spots all over him, but that’s not the point.)

“Well, that was unexpected,” said Sweetie Belle. “Why would Diamond Tiara want to spend time with a blank-flank like us?"

“I think I know,” gulped Pipsqueak, looking like he just had been told that Hearth’s Warming was cancelled this year. “She’s one of my bloody fans.”

“One of your what-now?” questioned Featherweight.

“My fans,” repeated Pipsqueak, “to be honest, I should have seen it coming. I think I even saw her carrying around one of my CDs I released in my... darker years.”

“What do ya mean, ‘darker years??’” said Applebloom. “Yer not even one, remember?”

“It’s an expression,” said Pipsqueak.

“I’m more curious about that CD you mentioned,” remarked Sweetie Belle. “Could you start from the beginning?”

Pipsqueak sighed, ashamed at what he was about to tell his friends. “You see, back when I was in Canterlot, I wanted to be just like my Dad, a big-time rock star. So, after a few months of begging, I got him to get me a contract with a record company.”

“You made music?” said Featherweight. “Were you any good?”

Flashback to Pipsqueak’s time in Canterlot...

Baby, baby, baby, oooh~

I’m like baby, baby, baby, nooo~

I’m like baby, baby, baby, oooh~

I thought you’d be mine (mine)...

“THAT WAS YOU??” Dinky blurted out. “I heard dat song 400 times a week on da radio two months ago, and I STILL can’t get dat thing outta my head!”

“I’m not exactly proud of my work...” Pipsqueak mumbled, still frowning. “Anyhow, since Diamond Tiara apparently has a crush on me, I should probably tell her no to that date request. Maybe move to another town while I’m at it.”

“I think you should take her up on it,” said Featherweight plainly.

“Feathers,” said Scootaloo, facehoofing, “Have you been sniffing glue again?”

“Just hear me out,” said Featherweight defensively. “When you break it down, Tiara only wants you to come to her party as a formal date, right? You don’t have to necessarily like her and stuff like that; you just have to be there with her at the party with her and score yourself some free cake!” There was a long pause as the Cutie Mark Crusaders contemplated his solution.

“Can you do dat?” wondered Dinky aloud. “Like, go on a date with somepony for their stuff and not be their very special somepony?”

“Totally!” nodded Sweetie Belle, now taking Featherweight’s side of the debate. “I think Rarity told me about this kind of thing once. It’s called ‘being an escort.’ It’s mainly supposed to be used for fancy grown-up parties and things like that.”

“Well, I guess I could give it the old Canterlot college try,” shrugged Pipsqueak, still a little unsure. “Plus, Diamond Tiara might ban all of us from the party if I say no.”

“Hey!” said Applebloom, an idea striking her like a hammer to a piece of hot iron. “I bet we can score some extra cake if we ‘ex-court’ each other!” She turned to Sweetie Belle. “Sweetie Belle, will you be mah ex-court?”

“Um, is that against the rules or something?” thought Scootaloo out loud, tilting her head in confusion. “You know, two girls taking each other as ex-courts?”

“I don’t see any reason why not,” said Sweetie Belle, “but you’re pronouncing it wrong. It’s ‘escort.’

“Whatever you say, Little Miss Dictionary,” said Scootaloo, rolling her eyes. She walked up to Featherweight. “Hey Feathers, you wanna go with me?”

“Wait, me?”

“Yeah, you. Wanna be my escort?”

“Umm… okay. Sure. Why not?”

“Hey!” objected Dinky. “Now who am I supposed ta go with?? Everypony in the Cutie Mark Cwusaders is taken now!” Her lip began to quiver.

“Hey, I know!” said Scootaloo. “You can be my escort too!”

“Yeah!” said Sweetie Belle. “I read that’s called a polygamous relationship.

“Now yer jus’ making up words, Sweetie Belle,” said Applebloom.

“I don’t care,” said Dinky, smiling happily. “As long as I get frwee cake, I can go to slweep at night.”

“It’s settled then,” said Pipsqueak with regained confidence, “We all have our dates set, and I’m not anypony’s boyfriend. I’m gonna tell Diamond Tiara that we’ll be there.” He trotted across the playground, where Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were discussing which outfit they were going to wear to the party.

“Ah, Pipsqueak,” said Diamond Tiara smugly. “Have you come to accept my offer as my date?”

“Not exactly,” said Pipsqueak. “I want to be your escort, not your date.”

There was a long silence as Diamond Tiara looked at him like he suggested that her mother might be a centaur. “…You can’t be serious,” she deadpanned.

“So yeah, I just wanted to make it clear that I’m not ready for a relationship, especially with you,” explained Pipsqueak. “I mean, I don’t even have my cutie mark yet.”

“But that’s the whole reason why I wanted you to be my date,” said Diamond Tiara, much to his surprise.

“It is?”

“Yeah!” said the über-weathy foal, going into full fangirl mode. “I have the most brilliant plan! If we hook up at my cuteceañera, you would not doubt earn your cutie mark at being my special somepony!”

“I… would?” said Pipsqueak unsurely, the queasiness in his stomach returning with a vengeance.

“Like, totally!” supported Silver Spoon. “I mean, you two could go so well together! You’re both rich beyond belief, you’re both earth ponies, and think how romantic it would be to have a special talent for being with a pony like DT all your life!”

Pipsqueak had the misfortune of actually picturing an image of Diamond Tiara on his flanks for two whole seconds. As a result, he had to race of to the nurse’s office from all the nausea he was getting.

“Look, he’s already lovesick!” gushed Diamond Tiara as soon as her ‘date’ left, misinterpreting the greenish hue around his face. “I just know we’ll be so happy together. So, what date have you got figured out, Silver Spoon?”

Silver Spoon’s smile faded as soon as she heard those words. She knew this question was coming, but she had been dreading it so much she’d pushed it to the back of her mind. All ponies had skeletons in their closets, but Silver Spoon had a secret so dark and horrifying, it would end her friendship with Diamond Tiara, along with Silver Spoon’s social life, if the truth ever got out. And she owed it all to the one colt she couldn't help herself fall head over heels for:


It all started when they went for ice cream on their first date, right after the local librarian drove out a giant bear out of town by putting it to sleep. She silently promised herself that the date was a one-time-thing (not to mention she only liked him for his moostache), but as she got to know Snails better, she discovered that they had more and more in common. In fact, they had so much in common, you could make a list out of it.

1) They both liked the same flavor of ice cream: Coconut cream pie with extra walnuts.

2) They both had the same favorite color, which was sky-blue.

3) They both slept with a retainer on.

4) They both had working mothers that were also terribly busy, so they spent the most time with their fathers.

5) They both haven’t seen the latest Con Mane movie yet, so that was the place of date #2. (Snail’s parents made him shave of his moostache at this point.)

6) They both were underage to see the movie, so they went to a Hetalian place down the street instead.

7) They both loved spaghetti and hayballs over pizza, which was a rare preference indeed.

8) They both had no bucking idea how to kiss. (Found this one out the hard way, they did.)

9) They both secretly wondered what it was like to fly.

10) They both got better at kissing, but it took some practice.

Silver Spoon shook her head and put on her most convincing grin. “No! I don’t have a date. Not a date to be had. The thought never crossed my mind. Even if it did, I would dismiss it immediately, and I wouldn’t let keep me awake countless nights! Why, I don’t even have a secret boyfriend. Nope, not at all.”

Diamond Tiara looked at her friend suspiciously. “Are you feeling alright, Silver Spoon? You look kinda pale.”

A drop of cold sweat trickled down Silver Spoon’s neck, making her shiver. “I gotta go. I think I need to go water my dog and walk my plants. Bye!”

Pipsqueak dashed over to his friends, gasping for air. “Mates! I need to earn my cutie mark by Diamond Tiara’s cuteceañera, fast!”

“Uhh...” said Applebloom, scratching her head in confusion, “Don’t we try ta earn our cutie marks every day?”

“I know,” replied Pipsqueak, “but it’s really important that I get mine before the party!”

“Why?” said Scootaloo cynically, “Don’t tell me you want it to actually impress Diamond Tiara. You haven’t bumped your head and fallen for her in the last few minutes, have you?”

“No!” gagged Pipsqueak. “It’s the exact opposite! She intends to have me earn my cutie mark in being her special somepony by having me at that party.”

His fellow Crusaders gasped in horror. “Don’t worry ‘bout nothin’, Pipsqueak,” said Applebloom. “We’ll get right on it after school ends. From this point on to th’ second Diamond Tiara’s cuteceañera begins, th’ Cutie Mark Crusaders will devote their every asset to earning yer cutie mark!”

“You really mean it?” said Pipsqueak, beaming like a disciple that just reached the promise land.

“Sure!” exclaimed Dinky. There was a pregnant pause. “...How are we gonna do dat, anyway?”

“Well, mah family has an old sayin’,” said Applebloom, “when in doubt, turn ta apples fer yer solution! Applejack lets me help with sales now an’ then if Ah did all mah homework, so we can start with Cutie Mark Crusaders Apple Cart Vendors.”

“Sounds like a great idea!” said Pipsqueak.

After school, which somehow is in the middle of summer...

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“Does that really work?” asked Featherweight curiously.

“Not really,” whispered Applebloom horsley, her throat extremely sore.

“Y’all darn tootin’ it don’t work!” scolded Applejack. “Yer annoyin’ all th’ customers away, Applebloom!”

“Sorry ‘bout that, Sis,” said Applebloom guilty. “Ah guess you’d hafta be pretty dumb ta actually fall fer-”

“Yay, apples!” cried Derpy with ecstacity. “I’ll take five, please.”

“Er, Mommy?” interrupted Dinky sheepishly, not wanting to be embarrassed. “Maaaaaybe it would be better if you bought d’ose apples tomorrow.”

Pipsqueak elbowed Dinky’s shoulder. “Gotta get that cutie mark, remember?” he whispered.

“Fine,” she huffed. “Have some apples, Mom.”

Derpy let out a “Hooray!” and took some apples in her saddlebag.

“Anything yet?” said Scootaloo.

“Nothing,” said Pipsqueak.

“Well, maybe you should make the next sale,” suggested Sweetie Belle.

“Alright,” he agreed. He picked out a random pony in the background, an earth pony with a hourglass cutie mark. “Oy, you bloke with the manecut! Wanna buy an apple?”

“Erm, no thanks,” said the stallion. “I’ve got things to do.”

“Are you sure?” Pipsqueak said as convincingly as he could. “They’re really good!”

“I’m pretty sure.”

“Oh, you’re pretty sure, but you’re not absolutely positively super-duper sure, now are you?”

The hourglass-flaked pony was at a loss for words. Fortunately, Derpy was still there to break the tension.

“Try one, Doctor! They’re really tasty,” the wall-eyed pegasus coxed.

The ‘Doctor’s’ eyes lit up as he saw a familiar face. “Ditzy! How’ve you been?”

“It’s Derpy, remember?” said Derpy, frowning slightly.

“Mom, you know dis pony?” asked Dinky.

“Well yeah,” said Derpy. “He’s the Doctor. Didn’t I tell you in all those bedtime stories?”

“I didn’t know you were a mother,” said the Doctor, fascinated by this fact.

Derpy blinked twice, as if the Doctor just said that the color yellow didn’t exist. “Umm... are you feeling alright, honey?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?” the Doctor said, oblivious to what was going on. “Who’s the father, by the way? I’d really love to meet him.”

“You are.”


“Honestly, I think you’d remember our wedding,” Derpy pouted.


“Dis is my dad?” said Dinky. “Wow, I have so many questions!”

“What??” the Doctor repeated for a third time.

Derpy finally mouthed an “Oh” shape with her mouth, like she had just figured out the solution to a Rubik’s cube. “Doctor, is this one of those times when we meet a version of ourselves that hasn’t... fallen for the other yet?”

“What’s she talking about?” said Pipsqueak.

“It’s a casualty when having a relationship with a time traveler,” explained Derpy. “I reckon that he’s from a time before we even started dating.”

The Doctor’s eyes narrowed, his wits finally catching up to him. “...What.”

Cutie Marks, Forbidden Love, and Slendermane Being the Worst Role Model Ever Pt. 3

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Last time on the Unexpected Love Life of Dusk Shine, the Doctor found his long-forgotten lover, Derpy Hooves. Well actually, “long-forgotten lover” isn’t the most accurate term, since she’s technically his wife from the future. Then again, she’s not exactly from the future since she lives in the present, but she’s in the Doctor’s future all the same.

Everybody clear on that? Good, because someone still needs to explain all of this to Dinky, and it ain’t gonna be me.

Anyway, the Doctor has pulled Derpy aside to give her a little pep talk about “spoilers,” since this is the first time she knew more about the Doctor than he does about himself now. It’s a long and boring discussion, so we’re going to cut to a vaguely and distantly related one-shot to keep you guys entertained.

Peppermint Twist had just finished doing her homework. She was a normal pony, aside from her reinforced braces, purple glasses that were so thick they could be mistaken for safety goggles, and a lisp that made anything she said with an “s” sound completely inaudible.

She had no friends to speak of, save for Ruby Pinch, whom came over to play games like hopscotch (which was surprisingly easy to play with four hooves), chutes and ladders, and hide-and-seek. Unfortunately, Ruby Pinch was not the most clever of ponies, having more know-how about the Ninjapanese magical-girl anime she watched religiously than the multiplication tables, so she couldn't really carry on a conversation.

Twist was giving her homework the good old fashioned spellcheck when her big sister walked through the front door. Her name was Peppermint Bon-bon, or just Bon-bon for short. Her cutie mark was a trio of wrapped candies, giving everypony the impression that she made candy for a living. This was not actually true. Her real talent was having a sweet voice.

Don’t believe me? Well, I say if a teaching cutie mark can consist of smiling flowers, then anything can happen. Besides, a cutie mark that held the image of a bunch of bloody vocal chords would just look gross.

Anyway, Bon-bon’s occupation was being a voice actress for Saturday morning cartoons. So far, she’s starred in My Average-Sized Horse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Care-Bears, Samurai Blackjack, Fillyeas and Ferb, Bender Bending Rodriguez’s Futuristic Adventures (family-friendly version), Daring Do: The Animated Series, and her most favorite gig, the superhero show Harpflank and Sweets. Despite all this fame, she still had the salary to only afford a suburban home in Ponyville.

“Hey there thithter,” Twist spittled. “What’th with all the appleth?”

Bon-bon dropped her bags one by one, each filled to the brim with apples. “I convinced Applejack to give me all of these for free after her sister tried to scam me.” she explained as soon as she caught her breath. Her chest was still heaving from carrying the sheer weight of it all.

“Applebloom tried to thcam you?” Twist parroted in puzzlement. “How?”

“She just dumped a barrel full of apples in my shopping bag and charged me four bits,” answered Bon-bon. “Not exactly the best sales technique, if you ask me.”

“What are we thupposed to do with them?” Twist wondered out loud, gesturing to the apples. “We can’t pothibly eat them all, even if we got Lyra to help.”

Bon-bon chuckled at the mention of her fiance’s name. That crazy unicorn would probably want to carve them all into cute little hand-shapes or something, the beige mare thought. “Well, what do you think we should do, Twist?” she said to her little sister. Bon-bon was still wiped out from carrying the apples all the way to her house, so she wasn’t quite in the mood for thinking.

Twist scrunched up her nose in concentration for a few short minutes. She searched her mind for ideas. Suddenly, a light-bulb went off in her head. “I know! I heard that Sugarcube Corner ith running low on caramel appleth. Why don’t we combine thethe appleth with our exceth thupply of caramel to make a little money for ourthelves?”

Bon-bon bit her lip. “Umm... using all our caramel might not not be the best idea, Twist,” she suggested. A bead of sweat trickled down the back of her neck as she swallowed the lump in her throat.

“Think about it,” continued Twist, “why do we have tho much caramel lying around anyway?”

“For... c-certain occasions.”

Three days ago, during the last “certain occasion”...


“How about we uthe only half our caramel?” Twist offered obliviously.

Bon-bon let out a huge sigh of relief, gratified that she had just narrowly escaped giving her little sister a few ‘facts of life.’ “Let’s do that, Twist,” agreed the older mare.

And so the two sisters happily made (only half) the caramel apples they pleased. Since half of their sweet-making team was under 12, a giant mess was involuntarily made in the kitchen. Twist was so sticky, she could have been placed on the ceiling and be perfectly safe from falling. Not a single spot of her coat wasn’t covered in caramel.

Naturally, Bon-bon ordered her little sister to take a bath afterwards. Halfway between scrubbing herself, Twist came upon a breathtaking discovery: Sometime during making all those desserts, an image of two candy canes akimbo appeared on her flank without her knowing. Her reaction was to bounce up and down while chanting thus:

“Yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth yeth-OW!”

...That is, until she slipped on the bathroom floor with her soaking wet hooves. She had to get a neckbrace afterwards.

Right then, back to the story...

Pipsqueak sighed in melancholy as he sat and moped around with the other Cutie Mark Crusaders. Apple-selling was a complete bust. Unsure of what to do next, he considered his options carefully.

Well, I suppose I could just say no to Diamond Tiara’s invitation, he pondered. That is, if Diamond Tiara can understand the meaning of the word ‘no.’ Either way, I’m pretty certain she won’t take it well. I think it’s best that I get my cutie mark before the party to avoid any... unspeakable fates.

“Does anypowny else have any ideas?” said Dinky, her mind drawing a blank ever since the recent incident where she learned her father was a time-traveler.

Scootaloo snapped to attention. “Why don’t we ask Rainbow Dash?” she said excitedly. She pointed to a distant rainbow-colored streak doing flips and spins in the sky. “She can probably get us cutie marks just for being as awesome as she is!”

“That sounds perfect,” said Pipsqueak, slowly being pulled out of his bad mood. “But how are we going to get her attention? She must be at least a gazillion miles in the sky!”

“Leave that to me,” said Featherweight confidently. “Remember when I was bit by that zebra-spider?”

“Don’t remind me,” quipped Scootaloo with a shiver.

“Well, I’ve been practicing shooting web in secret,” Featherweight whispered. “I can whip up a decent trampoline that can shoot one of us up to Dash’s altitude in only a few minutes.”

“That sounds kinda dangerous,” Sweetie Belle said worriedly.

“Geez, you sound like my mother,” Featherweight retorted.

“Can’t Featherweight jus’ fly up there?” inquired Applebloom.

“Applebloom, this is Rainbow Dash we are talking about,” explained Scootaloo with a sigh. “One does not simply GET Rainbow Dash’s attention. You think she’d even bother with a regular pegasus passing by? No! Rainbow Dash would stop her busy schedule of being awesome to talk to somepony that had just done something that was half as awesome as her. If anything, Featherweight’s idea isn’t extreme enough! We probably need pyrotechnics for it to work properly!”

“Sounds cool,” said Rainbow Dash casually.

“Great!” continued Scootaloo without missing a beat. “Now, who’s with me?”

“Scoots, she’s right behind you,” commented Applebloom.

Scootaloo turned around to meet the face of her idol, who was looking back through jet-black sunglasses. Rainbow Dash was sucking a soft drink through a straw, taking a well-deserved break from her flight stunts. The mood she was currently in was the same one that she always was when she around Scootaloo: laid-back, relaxed, and infinitely smug from all the compliments she heard from her number-one fan. Out of every grown-up that Scootaloo ever met, Rainbow Dash was the absolute favorite. Scootaloo even imagined that one could even make a promising career in science from studying how mind-numbingly amazing Rainbow Dash was.

“So, I hear that you kids were looking to get your cutie marks,” Rainbow Dash said a she threw the empty drink cup over her shoulder. It landed flawlessly into a nearby trash can.

“That’s right,” answered Pipsqueak.

“Well, look no further!” proclaimed Ponyville’s local hero. “‘Cause today, I’m gonna help you get them.”

It was at that exact moment that Scootaloo metaphorically died and went to a magical place called Fangirl Heaven.

Snails sipped his Sparkle Cola absently in the unusually quiet spot of Sugarcube Corner. His special somepony shifted in her seat every six seconds or so. Her gaze tried to meet his every other moment, but quickly kept darting to the ground. To summarize, something was off about Silver Spoon.

“Is something wrong?” Snails asked.

“N-nothing, honey,” she immediately replied.

“Oh, okay then.”


Silver Spoon kept opening her mouth and closing it again, trying to form the right words. Snails couldn’t put his hoof on it, but an uneasy feeling was coming and fading from his stomach, like the touch of some phantom of awkward pauses. Maybe it was just something in his soda.

“Snails... when was the first time we told each other, ‘I love you?’” Silver Spoon said finally, approaching the issue with the utmost delicate care.

“About a couple weeks ago,” said Snails.

“One week, five days, eighteen hours, fifteen minutes and forty-three seconds,” corrected Silver Spoon abruptly. Her face then flushed red with embarrassment. “...Not that I’ve been keeping track...”

“What’s your point?” Snails prodded, his interest peaking.

“Well, you know how we agreed that we would keep our relationship confidential until we got intimate enough?” she followed up professionally.

Snails blinked. “In Equuish, please?”

Silver Spoon sighed. “That one time we Pinkie Promised not to blab about us being ‘smoochy’ until we got ‘really smoochy?’”

“Oh yeah, that!” Snails nodded.

“Well, I’m not sure that could work,” Silver Spoon said, cringing a little as she did.

“What are you saying?” Snails said, not comprehending the magnitude of the situation.

Silver Spoon took a deep breath, promising herself to be brave. “I think we should stop seeing each other.”

Snails looked like a puppy was just murdered in front of him. “Buh... b-but why?”

“Snails, I’m not doing this because I don’t love you,” Silver Spoon said, trying her best not to cry. “I’ve just been... thinking. Facing the facts, y’know? You and me... could never work. My parents wouldn’t approve. Diamond Tiara wouldn’t approve. SOCIETY wouldn’t approve!” Her attempt not to cry was failing. “I like you, Snails. A lot. Don’t you dare not think I know you’re going to grow up to be an outstanding colt, and you’re going to make a mare out there very happy. But it’s not me. Not now. You understand that, right?”

“So, we aren’t g-going out on Friday?” Snails blubbered.


Silver Spoon got up from her seat and walked out the door. She never looked back.

...More than once.

....Okay, maybe twice.

“I must be the dumbest colt in Equestria to let a girl like that go,” Snails said to himself.

“Featherweight McLargehuge, you must be the dumbest colt in Equestria!” ranted Blossomforth as she tugged her son away by the ear. “What were you even thinking, going to Rainbow Dash to get your cutie mark?”

“But Mom-”

“Don’t you ‘But Mom’ me, young man! You could’ve gotten yourself killed!”

Blossomforth was taking a fly through Ponyville’s local airspace, looking for her missing son. She had located him after an hour of searching, doing the most insane stunts she’d ever seen. Currently, she was dragging him away from what he called, ‘crusading.’

“When we get home, you are going to have such a tongue-lashing from your father and I!” she continued. “I mean, I don’t even think it’s legal to use construction paper with alcohol in that manner! You are so grounded, you hear me? GROUNDED!!!”

“Aw com’on, Blossomforth,” said Rainbow Dash, who had finally caught up with the angry housewife. “It’s just kids being kids. Who am I to spoil their chance at living a little?”

Blossomforth turned to glare at Rainbow Dash with layers upon layers of pure hatred. “Don’t think I haven’t forgotten about you, missy,” the white pegasus growled. “When I’m through with you, you’ll wish that a restraining order was the only thing I could do to you.”

Suddenly, the rest of Featherweight’s friends caught up to Blossomforth. A few had a couple head injuries from the various activities Rainbow Dash had put them through, but they all were concerned for Featherweight’s current predicament.

“Please don’t ground Featherweight!” pleaded Pipsqueak. “It was all my idea, honest!” (FYI, he was lying.)

“Then he should know better than to succumb to peer pressure,” said Blossomforth coldly. “And you can forget about him going to Diamond Tiara’s cuteceañera this afternoon.” Everypony gasped.

“B-but what about being my ess-court?” said Scootaloo. “We don’t get an extra slice of cake without an ess-court!”

“Escort?” repeated Blossomforth. “Featherweight, did you do all those dangerous stunts to impress this filly?”

“Uhh... will it get me out of trouble if I say yes?” said Featherweight dumbly.

Blossomforth honestly didn’t know what to say to that. “Well... if that’s case... I think we should skip the lecture about safety hazards when we get home...” Her face started to turn red. “...and talk about the *gulp* birds and the bees...”

“In that case, I totally did it to impress Scootaloo!” exclaimed Featherweight. He really didn’t understand what was going on. He just knew that ‘impressing Scootaloo’ changed the subject, and any distraction was great distraction.

“Umm... yeah!” said Scootaloo, catching on to Featherweight’s act. “I was so totally impressed by Featherweight... doing... stuff.” Admittedly, she didn’t actually know how she what exact factor of Featherweight she was supposed to be impressed by.

“Oh... my...” said Blossomforth, starting to sound like Fluttershy.

“See?” said Rainbow Dash, chuckling at how Blossomforth was squirming. “These kids are growing up faster than you think!” She gave a troll-like grin.

“So, will ya still let Featherweight go to th’ party?” said Applebloom, giving her best “pretty please” face.

“Fine,” said Blossomforth, finally caving in. “You can pick Scootaloo up for the party, son.”

“And me,” piped up Dinky. “I’m Fweatherweight’s escowrt too. Sweetie Belle says it’s something dat’s called ‘polygawmy.’”

Blossomforth blinked a couple times in shock, her mouth hung wide open. Eventually, her brain had the mercy to allow her to pass out on the spot. Rainbow Dash on the other hoof, burst out in gut-busting laughter and flew off to tell all her friends.

“Well, what do we do now?” said Sweetie Belle. “We tried everything Rainbow Dash had in store for us, and Pipsqueak still doesn’t have his cutie mark.”

“I guess I’m doomed to be Diamond Tiara’s special somepony,” said Pipsqueak sadly.

Instantly, Featherweight gave an involuntary twitch. “Hey guys,” he said. “My spider-sense is tingling.”

“Yer whatchamacallit is who-ing?” said a confused Applebloom.

“My spider-senses,” said Featherweight. “That’s what I named the little feeling in my gut I’ve been getting now and then since I’ve been bitten by that spider. It tells me whenever danger is about to happen.”

Dinky tilted her head. “So, what’s going to-”


A deranged Pinkie Pie catapulted out of hiding with a burst of confetti. She was plummeting toward the ground. To be precise, she was going to land right on top of Scootaloo, crushing her instantly. Featherweight bolted, tackling Scootaloo out of harm’s way in a split second.

“Wow,” said the tomboyish spawn of Slendermane, “you saved me, Featherweight. I owe ya one.”

Featherweight got off Scootaloo and puffed up his chest in a small display of pride. “Yeah, I guess I did.”

This moment of Marvel-inspired heroism was interrupted by Pinkie Pie going into her usual jibber-jabber of cheer and excitement.

“Sorry ‘bout that, Scootaloo,” said Pinkie, “But I’m here to help you all in your time of need! You see, my Pinkie Sense told me that Pipsqueak was being a Mopey McMoperson about not having a cutie mark, so I said to myself, ‘I should totally go help them!’ and then Pinkamena said, ‘No bucking way! Let those snot-nosed wrecking balls wallow in misery,’ and then I said, ‘Let’s go help them!’ and she said ‘Leave them alone!’ and then I said, ‘Let’s go help them!’ and she said ‘Leave them alone’! and then I said, ‘Let’s go help them!’ and she said ‘Leave them alone!’ andthenIsaid,‘Let’sgohelpthem!’andshesaid‘Leavethemalone!’andthenIsaid,‘Let’sgohelpthem!’andshesaid‘Leavethemalone!’andthenIsaid,‘Let’sgohelpthem!’andshesaid‘Leavethemalone!’andthenIsaid,‘Let’sgohelpthem!’andshesaid‘Leavethemalone!’andthenIsaid,‘Let’sgohelpthem!’andshesaid‘Leavethemalone!’ ...

“...Anyway, after a calm, intellectual debate, we decided to help you get the best special talent ever to exist: Eating cupcakes!”

The Cutie Mark Crusaders’ eyes lit up in joy at the mention of dessert. They all simultaneously agreed, and they all set off to Sugarcube Corner. Pipsqueak especially was happy with this notion.

Maybe if I eat enough cupcakes, thought the brown-spotted colt, I won’t have enough room to have an extra piece of cake. And if I don’t have to have extra cake, I won’t have to have a date. And if I don’t have to have a date, I won’t be in danger of being Diamond Tiara special somepony! Everyone wins!

The youthful ponies arrived in the kitchen of Sugarcube Corner after passing a distressed Snails, who was crying for some reason. After they stopped bouncing in joy, they noticed a minor detail of the kitchen.

“Hey!” said Sweetie Belle. “Where are all the cupcakes?”

“They’re aren’t any, you silly filly,” said Pinkie Pie. “You’ll have to bake them with me.”

There was a three-minute pause as the foals looked at Pinkie with the exact thoughts you get when you’re epically ripped off.

“Seriously, Pinkie?” said Scootaloo. “Not cool.”

“What if I sang the catchiest song I know while we’re baking them?” Pinkie negotiated.

There was an Official Cutie Mark Crusader Group Huddle (OCMCGH for short) as the blank-flanks considered their options in hushed whispers.

“We agwee,” Dinky finally proclaimed with a perfectly straight face, “as long as you also prwomise to bake muffins as well.”

“Will do,” Pinkie complied. She started singing as she arranged the ingredients accordingly. “First you take a cup of flour, add it to the mix~”

Without warning, Pinkamena chimed in with her own lyrics to the song. [Then you add something bleak and dour; a bit of gore, just a pinch~]

Trying not to be caught off-beat, Pinkie continued. “Baking these treats is such a cinch, add a teaspoon of vanilla~”

[Add a pint of blood and you stab a mare, then you never get your fill-aah!~”]

Pinkie was determined to keep this song a cheerful mood, even if she was the only one that could hear Pinkamena. “Cupcakes! So sweet and tasty-”

[-Cupcakes! The best fanfic ever-]





The blank-flanks tilted their heads in confusion. In the far future of their adulthood, none of them still couldn’t quite place what was happening with Pinkie Pie that day, or why she was singing only half of her song for that matter.

The ‘Cutie Mark Crusaders Cupcake Bakers’ mission had passed with varying levels of success. Applebloom had burnt everything she put in the oven, but that was nothing compared to the monstrosity that Sweetie Belle had cooked up. Scootaloo had accidentally blown up her batch of pastries in the middle of adding the eggs. Featherweight was feeling artistic today, so he decided to combine candy canes with orange juice. (His results were less than tasty.) Pipsqueak’s cupcakes were ruined when the batter got stuck in Pinkie’s mane. Dinky was the only one that baked a fresh batch of unburnt muffins, since she got so much practice making them with her mother.

Long story short, nopony gained a cutie mark, and there were looks of disappointment all around.

“What are we going to do now?” said Pipsqueak. “Diamond Tiara’s cuteceañera is going to start in five minutes, and coincidentally, it’s right here at Sugarcube Corner!”

“It is?” said Applebloom in surprise.

“Actually, yeah,” confirmed Sweetie Belle. “Didn’t you see the Pinkie’s Official Spritebot Enterprises Party Setup Team preparing up the party when we were baking?”

It was then Applebloom won the ‘Least Observational Pony Award.’.

“What are we gonna do?” said Pipsqueak frantically. “WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!?!”

“Hey kids,” a curious Dusk Shine said as he walked into the room. “What’s going on here?”

“Dusk Swine?” said Dinky. “What are you doing here?”

Dusk cringed a little when Dinky mispronounced ‘Shine.’ “I’m here because I volunteer for community service to learn how the magic of friendship affects every life for the blue-collar working class. Since Spritebot Enterprises is a government-funded company, working for the Party Setup Team counts as serving the community.”

The Cutie Mark Crusaders blinked in befuddlement, having no idea what Dusk had just said. All except Sweetie Belle.

“It means Pinkie’s his boss for the day,” she explained with a sigh.

There was a cumaltive “Ohhh.”

“Does dat mean she can make him do whatewer she wants?” said Dinky.

“Gee willikers, Dusky,” said Pinkie, fluttering her eyelashes flirtatiously, “does it?”

“Uhh... I don’t think what you have in mind is in my job description,” Dusk denied, backing away few steps.

“Wait, don’t go!” said Pipsqueak, an idea coming to the front of his mind. “Maybe you can help me!”

Dusk was thrown out of the suggestive mood and tilted his head in confusion. “What is it that you want?”

Pipsqueak was running short on time, so he decided to make it brief. “There’sthiscuteceañeraDiamondTiaraishavingbutyoualreadyknowthatpartbecauseyouweresettingitupjustnowbutthepartyoudon’tknowisthatshehasthiscrushonmebecausIwasoncethispopsingerthatwrotehorridmusicthatforsomereasoneveryponylikedbecauseIhadthisreallycutefacebutIchangedmywayswhenIwenttoboardingschoolandnowI’mnicebutshe’snotniceandshe’sreallymeanandshewantsmetogetmycutiemarkforbeingherspecialsomeponybutIdon’twanttobeherspecialsomeponyandI’vetriedeverythingimaginabletogetmycutiemarkbeforethepartybecauseIdon’twanttobeherspecialsomeponybecauseshe’sabullyandshehatesallmyfriendsbecausethey’reblankflanksandshehatesblankflanksandtheysaythatyoucan’tgetacutiemarkbeforeyou’rereadyandI’mnotreadybutI’mafraidshemightdoommeintoamiserablelifeofbeingherspecialsomepony-”

“Breathe, Pipsqueak!” Dusk managed to say. “Remember to BREATHE!!”

*GAASP*“-SO THAT’S WHY I NEED IT RIGHT NOOOWW!!!!!” Pipsqueak finished.

“Okay, I’m not sure I caught all that,” said Dusk unsurely, “but I’ll be happy to help in any way I can.”

“How about using yer fancy unicorn magic ta magic Pipsqueak’s cutie mark or somethin’?” suggested Applebloom.

“Hey, that could totally work!” agreed Scootaloo. “After you’re done, can you make the rest of cutie marks appear, Mr. Shine?”

Dusk gave a cough out of the discomfort that came from the Crusader’s request. “Uhh... I’m not sure I can do that, kids. Besides, wouldn’t it be more satisfying to earn your cutie marks on your own?”

“Pwease?” begged Dinky, willing her pupils to be as wide and tearful as physically possible. “Pwetty pweeeaaaase~?”

Dusk compiled, lighting up up his horn and willed a cutie mark to appear on Pipqueak’s bare flank. Miraculously, the image of gold coin faded into existence.

...And then it was gone.

Dusk Shine tried again. This time, a picture of Fancy Pants’ favorite monocle presented itself.

And then it was gone.

A cutie mark depicting Vinyl Scratch’s custom-made shades was next.

And then it was gone.

A picture of a pirate hat.


A cutie mark of a cupcake.


An image of a pipbuck.


Dusk finally gave up. “It’s no use, Pipsqueak. You’ll just have to wait until your cutie mark shows itself naturally.”

“There’s only one option, then,” Featherweight concluded. “We’ll have to sneak Pipsqueak out of here before the party starts.”

“Da party’s alweddy started,” Dinky noted.

And that’s when Featherweight won the ‘Second Least Observational Pony Award.’

Silver Spoon stood next to Diamond Tiara. They both wore complimentary dresses that were based off two of the many outfits that Sapphire Shores wore to her last tour. For different reasons, the two friends were both unhappy.

Diamond Tiara was upset because her cuteceañera had been going on for eight minutes so far, and Pipsqueak was nowhere to be seen. She suspected he was hiding somewhere.

Silver Spoon’s unhappiness came from Snails. Despite the fact that they broke up, he still came to the party. Fortunately, he had not confronted her yet, but Silver Spoon had caught fleeting glimpses of him across the room, for he was sneaking glances of her while trying his damndest not to seem awkward. She was so focused on her last sighting of Snails that she almost bumped into her father, who was one of the chaperones.

Silver Spoon’s father went by the name of Silver Platter, and he was a fairly easy pony to picture by the human mind: If you can imagine Bill Cosby turning into a dark grey earth pony stallion with silver hair and somehow managing to keep all his ugly sweaters, you can imagine Silver Platter.

“Hey Spoony,” Silver Platter said, walking over from the punch table, “You look down. What’s troubling you, child?”

Diamond Tiara sniffled a laugh at the word ‘Spoony.’ Silver Spoon took on a mask of a stoic expression and rolled her eyes. “It’s nothing Daddy,” the speckled filly claimed. “Just try not to embarrass me too much, okay?”

Meanwhile, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were darting from one hiding place to another, desperately avoiding detection. Currently, they were located under a table with a punch bowl on the top. Inch by inch, the foals nudged closer to the exit of Sugarcube Corner. Finally, they were near enough to the door so one of them could slip out of the party undetected.

“Okay Sugarcube,” Applebloom whispered, imitating the nickname her big sister always used, ““Now’s yer chance!”

"You’re not coming with me?” Pipsqueak responded.

“You’re the one that’s Diamond Tiara’s escort,” Scootaloo reminded. “We’ll try to sneak you a spare slice of cake.”

Pipsqueak nodded in silent agreement, and made a run for it. Unfortunately, he bumped into the pony that was coming into Sugarcube Corner just then.

“‘Sup party ponies?” bellowed Vinyl Scratch. “DJ PON-3 is in da HOUSE, yo!”

“Not so loud!” pleaded Pipsqueak. “I’m trying to escape.”

“Escape?” said Vinyl Scratch. “Why’d you wanna leave a party?”

“It’s one of my fans again,” said the younger brother bluntly.

“Ah,” said Vinyl Scratch with an understanding nod. “Girl trouble, I getcha now. Look, just have a dance with her if it’s just one fan. It’s not like she’s trying to marry you or anything.”

“No, you don’t understand!” urged Pipsqueak. “She’s trying to get me my cutie mark for being her special somepony. If it actually works, I’m doomed.”

Vinyl stared at her brother for good long while. Then, she laughed like the whole thing was a comedy skit. ““That’s what you’re worried about?? I can guarantee it’s not gonna happen.”


“Your cutie mark is something a pony gets when they find something that makes them special,” Vinyl began. “Or something like that. I kinda fell asleep during that Puberty Ed. presentation. Anyway, that’s the way it goes, right?”

“Right...” said Pipsqueak, not sure where this was going.

“So, think about it: If a cutie mark represents purpose and individuality, why should anypony get a cutie mark that determines on somepony else?

“Let’s say instead of music, I got a cutie mark in being your big sis. You know, hypothetically.”

“Yeah!” said Pipsqueak, his eyes widening, “That would be awesome!”

“But say, Celestia forbid, the Headless Horse came for you at night, and you were never heard from again. What would happen to me?”

Pipsqueak’s mood saddened with the dark turn of the story. “You would... have nothing that makes you special anymore, I suppose.”

“Exactly. So that’s why cutie marks are based on talents, not your connections.” Vinyl finished. “And even the talent stuff might not work out at first. You know the first song I wrote after I got my cutie mark? You know, The Single That Shall Not Be Named?”

Flashback to Vinyl Scratch’s childhood...

“It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday...”

“Octavia still teases me about that one. The point is, there’s a whole lot worse things that could happen down the road, and chances are this party isn’t going to make a difference.”

“You’re right!” agreed Pipsqueak. “I should live life to the fullest! I’m not gonna let some rich filly ruin my life; I can be whoever I want! Thanks, big sis!”

“Go get ‘em, buster,” the DJ said. With that, Pipsqueak took off.

“Welp, he’s dead,” said Scootaloo, still under the table.

“Lauren Faust rest his soul,” agreed Sweetie Belle.

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon sat at the dining table, solemnly eating cake without dates. Suddenly, Diamond Tiara felt a tap on her shoulder. She whipped her head around to see Pipsqueak swallowing a lump in his throat.

“Hey,” he said.

“And where have you been?” said Diamond Tiara begrudgingly.

“Umm... looking for you?” he lied.

“Works for me,” she said passive-aggressively. “Aren’t you going to ask me to dance already?”

“Let’s do this,” said Pipsqueak, like he was accepting a dare to eat barbecued slugs.

As the ‘couple’ waltzed off, Silver Spoon let out a sigh of melancholy. “At least she’s happy.”

“At least who’s happy?” asked a familiar voice.

Silver Spoon looked up. “Mom?”

Silver Spoon’s mother took a seat. “Your father’s noticed you’ve been acting strange lately. What’s got you down?”

“It’s nothing.” said Silver Spoon looking down at the floor.

“Piece of advice,” warned the housewife, “Don’t try to lie to somepony that’s changed your diapers. You always get caught. Now, are you going to continue this little charade, or are you going to tell me the truth?”

Silver Spoon looked into her mother’s eyes. “Well... I’ve kind of been seeing this colt...”

“First time I’ve heard about it,” her mother replied slyly. “He wouldn’t happen to be the one that’s been scurrying around the front yard at night and talking to you from out your window, would he?”

The gray filly gave out a blushed grin of guilt. “Okay, so maybe it hasn’t been that subtle. The point is that he’s... kind of a dweeb, and Diamond Tiara wouldn’t really approve of-”

“Hold it kiddo,” her mother interrupted. “I’m not one for cliches, but if Diamond Tiara jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?”


“Does Diamond Tiara govern your life?”


“Well, what’s stopping you?”

“Because... I’m afraid it might not work out,” Silver Spoon admitted. “Snails is a great guy, but he’s... well... Look at all the happy parents at this party, Mom!”

“Are you changing the subject on me?”

“Just look at them. All of them have cutie marks that relate to each other. The Cakes match perfectly, Ruby Pinch’s parents have a bunch of fruit and a jar of jelly, and the every member of the Apple family has at least something relating to farming! See, even you and Dad match! He has a silver plate, and you have a pair of rings. What does a spoon and a snail have in common? Nothing!”

Silver Spoon’s mother stared for a solid minute. Finally, she spoke up. “Do you know what my cutie mark means?”

Silver Spoon opened her mouth and closed it again. “...Not exactly.”

“Take a look.” Silver spoon’s mother said as she stood up and pointed to her flank. Like her daughter said, it was two rings intertwined with each other. What Silver Spoon hadn’t noticed before was one of the circles was slightly shattered. “My special talent... is breaking things.”

Silver Spoon took a few seconds to fully comprehend this. “But how does a pony get a cutie mark like that?”

“By growing up on a rock farm. My name wasn’t always Silver Ink, you know. Before I met your father, my maiden name was Inkaldria Scarlett Pie.”

Now the tiny filly was even more confused. She really hadn’t given much thought on what happened to her mom before she got married. To be fair, you never give much thought to anything that happened before you were born at the ignorant age of eight.

She didn’t have much time to fully grasp the situation however, since twelve seconds later, a pink blur came out of the kitchen, tackled her with a force that would make a linebacker cringe, and began hugging her into submission.

“OMIGOSH, I CAN’T BELIEVE THE AUTHOR JUST DID THAT!!!” screamed the blur in upbeat ecstasy. “I mean, I didn’t even see that coming! Usually I see things coming because of my Pinkie Sense or breaking the you-know-what, but I’m really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really glad that I didn’t see this coming because I love surprises, and this is definitely and absolutely a Celestia-tier surprise! Do you know what this means? It means I can be called Auntie Pinkie! I mean, I call myself that all the time, but I always get corrected for some dumb reason, like being ‘older than me’ or ‘not biologically related’ or even ‘not from the same species.’ Some ponies are sooooo insensitive!”

“Pinkie, you can let go of her now,” Silver Ink commented.

“...I still can’t believe we haven’t met as family members yet! There’s so much I can teach you know that we’re in this fanfic together! You can learn about throwing parties, pulling pranks without being a bully, making alllll your favorite desserts, performing acts of cartoon physics, wearing socks, pronouncing ‘mustache’ properly, developing a multiple personality disorder-”

“Pinkie, enough!” Silver Ink shouted. “You’re scaring the poor thing.”

Pinkie put down Silver Spoon gently. “...You’re still going to call me Auntie Pinkie, riiiiiight?”

Silver Spoon’s glasses were broken and she was still experiencing tunnel vision from the adrenaline rush. “Uhh... sure?”

“So, I guess you’ve just been well acquainted with my little sister,” said Inky with an apologetic smile. “She can be a bit... enthusiastic.”

[If you spell ‘enthusiastic’ A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G,] said Pinkamena.

“Quiet you, you’re ruining the moment,” shushed Pinkie Pie.

“Who are you talking to?” asked Silver Spoon.

“Nopony,” Pinkie quickly denied. “Go hook up with Snails now.”

Dear Princess Celestia,

Trixie and I volunteered for Spitebot Enterprises for the day, and during that one of your youngest subjects learned a lesson in the magic of friendship. His name is Pipsqueak, and he was in a bit of a predicament. A filly was trying to get him to earn his cutie mark for being her special somepony, and he didn’t like her back. In the end, he asked her to dance and nothing happened. Once again, it is proved that nopony can control destiny, and the only thing we can truly count on is our own choices and actions.

Your faithful student,

Dusk Shine

To my faithful student,

Excuse me for sounding rude, but what in the holy name of Me did I just read? I thought YOU were learning the magic of friendship, not some blank-flank that I’ve never heard of before. You’ve essentially copied off somepony else’s work this week. Is something wrong? This very unlike you.

Your disgruntled teacher,

Princess Celestia of Equestia

P.S. Don’t panic when you read this. I’m not mad, I’m just thoroughly disappointed.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Hi, Spike here. Dusk couldn’t write this one himself because he’s crying in the corner, blubbering something about “failing the Princess.” I skimmed over your last letter, and I think I can explain this.

Dusk’s just not gotten enough sleep. He stays up late at night reading more than usual, and whenever he does go to bed, he’s always exhausted. Also, he has wet dreams. Like, every night. I think hear Princess Luna’s name when he sleep-talks every now and then.

Long story short, you should cut him some slack, and forget this week’s letter.

With my highest apologies,

Spike de Draco

P.S. Dusk says to please not send him to magic kindergarten.

P.P.S. Or the moon.

P.P.P.S. Or any kind of bashment for that manner, which may or may not include being locked up in the place he was banished to.

To my faithful student,

Don’t worry about it. now that I know what the problem is, I’ve got the situation under control. The next time you go to sleep, I guarantee you’ll be well-rested.

Your proud teacher,

Princess Celestia of Equestria

Written on the door of the royal fridge...


Stop having dream sex. He needs his sleep.



¡Traducción Española en Producción!

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Señor TheBrownUnicorn se ha ofrecido para hacer una versión en Español de la inesperada vida amorosa de Dusk Shine. Vaya a su página y haga clic en el botón siguiente para obtener más. ¡Hasta la vista, amigos!

...Oh, and Twilight turned into an alicorn today. So yeah, there’s that. Whatever.

Rarity's Pussy

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I walk across the floor of Carousel Boutique, maneuvering myself around the natural clutter. My feline senses multiply every smell and sound. I mostly hear the rhythmic whirring and tapping sound of a sewing machine. Other than that, I can smell the glue Sweetie Belle was using for her latest homework assignment. I think it had something to do with arts and crafts, but I’m not sure. I never paid much attention to that filly. Too much of a bother. Besides, she never has the decency to wipe her nose.

Rarity is working away at some new dress, as usual. Also as usual, she’s forgotten to feed me. I swear, one of these days I’m going to starve to death, then she’ll be sorry. Or maybe I’ll just help myself to one of the edible boots she leaves lying around. Whichever.

Not wanting to munch on footwear, I paw on Rarity’s hind leg. She didn’t even give me a second glance.

“Not now Opal, Mommy’s working.” she said. “Oh, this is going to one of my best works yet!” She shoos me away like some common dust bunny. Such insolence! Doesn’t she know who I am?

What’s that? Who am I, exactly? What a silly question. Why, you’re speaking to none other than Her Royal Majesty, Princess Platinum the First, the shining treasure of Equestria!



I’m telling the truth, you know. Granted, I’m stuck in the body of a common housecat named Opalescence, but I assure you, I have an excuse for that. Get yourself comfortable, it’s a long story. Also, I might prattle on a bit. I have mountains to get off my chest, and it’s been ages since I could say anything besides “meow.” (I’m not quite sure how I’m talking to you in the first place, but Father always said not to look a gift horse in the mouth...)

Long ago, there was a beautiful princess from the bountiful land of Unicornia. All was fair in the proud nation, and the princess reveled in her family’s fortune and unicorn superiority. All this changed when a bit of cold weather blew in, and the land of Unicornia wasn’t all that bountiful anymore.

Frankly, it was dead. Along with a lot of unicorns.

Fortunately, a hooful of us escaped and sought out a new land to settle in. Our lucky break was found beyond the borders of our gold-ridden mountains: The nation that is now known as Equestria, the kingdom that spread itself all across the world.

Oh yeah, and we had to share it with the pegasi and earth ponies. That took some getting used to.

I mean, A LOT of getting used to. You know that little Hearth’s Warming play they do every year, where at the end everypony’s seen the error of their ways? Remember when all the world’s leaders finally learned that all their troubles would magically melt away because they all held hooves and got along? Oh, and this is my favorite part: They all lived happily ever after while singing the Equestrian national anthem in perfect, two-dimensional harmony~

Go ahead, get a good picture of it all in your imagination while that warm and fuzzy feeling bubbles up inside you for a few minutes longer. Go on, engorge yourself. Savor the moment.

Now listen to me loud and clear: Politics don’t work that way.

Sure, we all got along for a brief time, but try to look at it from our point of view. Namely, it was the BUCKING APOCALYPSE. It wasn’t a grand union of three countries to form the greatest superpower the world has ever known, it was the last of three dying species grouping together to find safety in numbers from the dangers of the untamed wilderness with absolutely no toilet paper.

Still not convinced? Let me clue you in on a few minor details Celestia “accidentally” missed when writing that oh-so-precious holiday pageant. One, we were living in uncharted territory, so we got constantly lost. Two, we had to leave every cent of our royal fortune back at home, so we had no form of currency. Three, the earth ponies needed at least a year before they could grow a decent crop of food, so we had to eat grass (which tasted terrible) or any wild berries we could find. (Which either tasted terrible or gave you a rather nasty case of the trots. Did I mention we had no toilet paper?)

Lastly, since our population of earth ponies, pegasi and unicorns left alive all counted up to a grand total of 260 or so, we had to arrange marriages very precisely to make sure that our future generations were as little as inbred as possible. And I don’t mean we avoided inbreeding entirely, I mean we punched in the numbers, drew countless charts and graphs, told our children exactly who to have babies with (no matter how much they hated it), and generally worked our plots off, but everypony today is STILL a teensy bit related to each other. Near extinction can do that to a species, you know.

But life back then wasn’t all bad. For me, at least. A few years after we made a permanent settlement, my father (whom we thought was dead), King Sombra the Vigilant, arrived unscathed from our original homeland just in time to witness the birth of his grandson, Prince Blueblood the First. I was so happy that day, I cried.

Well, maybe it was from the contractions. Still, tears are tears.

What? You didn’t know I was a mother? Of course you didn’t. You probably don’t even care what happened to my son. All you really are thinking is, “How did this stunningly gorgeous unicorn end up eating catnip and playing with balls of yarn? How could such a travesty come to be?” Well, I’ll tell you what happened.

Alicorns. Alicorns happened.

Two alicorns, to be precise. You see, we actually had no intention of forming a new country that consisted of each race of pony before King Equinox and Queen Eternia came along. We thought it was the end of the world, after all. The term “Equestria” wasn’t even invented yet. We lived through armageddon, and survival was occupying our every thought. We had no thoughts of conquest, exploration, or even clearing out a forest to build a bigger city. But I digress. Back to the alicorns.

I don’t actually know where they exactly came from. Nopony does. I don’t know if they were part of some long-lost civilization that time forgot, if they’re some scientific experiment that decided to grow legs and come to life, or even if they were just born somewhere in a dusty old manger in the dead of the night. They just flew down from the sky one day and said,

“Thou hath performed quite nicely. We shall take it from here now.”

And that was it. Nopony resisted. Nopony disobeyed. Nopony said, “Clop off, you freaks of nature!”

...Well, almost nopony. Commander Hurricane was always the most outgoing one, after all. Got himself burned to death for that little outburst.

Anyway, that’s how Equestria was made. A pair of immortal beings came and took over a bunch of starving ponies, who were completely defenseless mostly because all of their armies recently died of hypothermia. Love and tolerance, my furry arse.

So, since our ever-so-glorious new king was in charge, ponies like Chancellor Puddinghead were suddenly completely out of a job. As you might’ve guessed, my family was no exception. Father took our fall from power the hardest, saying that the alicorns had no right to rule. He even started studying on a way to kill them in secret.

Eventually, King Equinox caught wind of my father’s defiance. In fact, the pony that ratted us out was my own husband. My own husband, a traitor! (In hindsight, I probably should have saw that one coming, since his name was Snake In The Grass.)

We were banished. The whole royal family. Every last one of us. Well, Snake In The Grass got to stay. Queen Eternia reasoned that Blueblood didn’t know any better, so my son got to stay too. After all, he was only nine at the time.

Abandoned by our once-loyal subjects, we headed north. There, we discovered the Crystal Empire, a kingdom populated by a native tribe of earth ponies with no outside contact to the rest of the world. They hadn’t the slightest notion that other ponies could have wings or horns.

That is, until we arrived. And by Lauren Faust’s horn, they found us fascinating. All one of us had to do was levitate an ear of corn in the air for a bit, and our entire family was perceived as a pantheon of GODS. We were back to telling other ponies what to do by lunchtime.

Years rolled by in our life of luxury. Decades, even. Unfortunately, Father was always paranoid that Equinox would come swooping down any day and “take what’s rightfully ours again.” He began to reinforce our defenses. He experimented with several different kinds of magic, trying to find the most effective way of turning a pony inside-out. Eventually, he discovered the abilities of the Crystal Heart. Before that, we just assumed that thing was just some fancy-looking ornament that the crystal ponies used for some primitive religion. We couldn’t be more wrong.

Now, before I can tell you about the Crystal Heart, I have to explain to you the concept of the Crystal Empire. Namely, that it’s not really an empire. Look at it, it’s no bigger than a decent city. No, the reason it’s called the Crystal Empire is because of the Crystal Heart. Clover the Clever said it basically takes the will and personality of whoever makes a connection with it, and invokes it across the entire planet.

For some odd reason, the crystal ponies never used it to take over the world. They just used it grow food in in snow and frozen soil, allowing them to live so close to the north. Nothing else. Can you believe that? And to top it off, they put it on display in the town square with nopony to guard it. Honestly, if you’ve got magic like that under your roof, you’re just begging for somepony to come around, abuse it to their own personal gain, and go mad with power.

Which is exactly what Father did.

After he harnessed the energy of the Crystal Heart, he put all our subjects to work in the crystal mines, since the more crystals he had, the more powerful he became. Don’t get me wrong; I loved my father, but he totally went insane.With the help of Clover, I tried to reason with him nearly single every day, but he would just laugh in our faces.

“I am the sovereign king of the Crystal Empire,” he would say every time. “I am the most powerful being ever witnessed by mortal eyes! Nopony commands me what to do! Now, leave me in peace. I must prepare for the oncoming war. Equinox will be here any moment, I can feel it!”

Speaking of King Equinox, it turns out he and Queen Eternia were quite dead at the time, courtesy of something called a “draconequus,” or something like that. I never got the details on that story, but from what I heard, the issue resolved itself.

What DID come to overthrow our beautiful empire was Equinox’s two daughters we know today, Celestia and Luna. Apparently, they heard word of Father’s less-than-agreeable labor laws from a random pony that escaped the mines. Obviously, they weren’t just going to banish us this time. Nopony gets that many second chances. Still, Father forbade any of the family to retreat, basically putting us all under house arrest like sitting ducks. We were panicking. We told him that this was madness. He wasn’t worried. He had a plan.

You see, despite all the power he had grown over the years, he still was no match for an alicorn, much less two. So, he wanted to raise an entire army of alicorns to defend his precious crystals. How was he going to do this, you might ask?

By taking his horn and jabbing it into the Crystal Heart repeatedly. Simply brilliant.

But through an incredible stroke of luck, he succeeded. That’s right, at the fragile age of 89, King Sombra the Vigilant actually made an army of alicorns overnight. Except that there were a couple... impediments, if you will.

1. It wasn’t exactly an army of alicorns. It was just one.

2. The one, single alicorn he created (not to mention our last hope at survival), looked like this.

...So to summarize, we were all doomed.

Fortunately, Clover learned how to pick locks the night before the Royal Pony Sisters attacked. We moved quietly, avoiding the guards at every turn. We tried to save the rest of my family before we left, but it turned out that each and every one of them decided to get it over with and hang his/herself by his/her respective bedsheets. That said, the only living relatives I had left were my father, my son, and that alicorn foal that I suppose technically counted as my half-sister.

Anyway, Clover and I were about to go out the back door of the castle when we accidentally bumped into Father. He wasn’t even looking for us at the time; he was in the middle of installing flamethrowers in the hallway. Miraculously, he let us leave. Really, he did. Just like that. I was never sure why. Perhaps a small part of him wanted his firstborn daughter to be safe and out of harm’s way. Perhaps he thought I was the Crystal Empire’s last hope, and he wanted me to come back one day to avenge his inevitable death. He never told me his reasons. I think he tried to, though. His mind was so corrupted at that point, he could barely speak a complete sentence.

“F-father?” I exclaimed. “You’re letting us go? But... why? Why now?”

“AAAAaaayyyaahhhhggghhhgaAyAhCrystaalllsssNNgahAAaaggghhh!” he screamed in my face.

“Erm... I love you too, Daddy?”


And with that, we were gone, fleeing to the frozen hills outside. From a safe distance, we witnessed the Crystal Empire being blasted by a ultra-destructive rainbow of death. Then, our nation began to disappear. Literally. As in it faded into nothingness.

“What’s happening??” I shouted in surprise. “I thought the alicorns wanted to save the Crystal Empire, not make it vanish into thin air with some magic trick!”

“I believe what we’re seeing is a fail-safe spell that King Sombra cast, Your Majesty,” observed Clover the Clever. “According to arcane quota levels I’m sensing, it’s within 80% probability that he planned all of this beforehoof. Due to the rate and method the Crystal Empire is disappearing, it’s likely going into a quasimorphic gap between space and time for-”

“Clover, stop,” I interrupted. “You’re speaking techno-babble again. Just repeat what you just said in Equuish so I can know what’s happened to my favorite dressing room.”

“Apologies, Your Majesty,” my servant said humbly. “I tend to ramble at times. In laymare’s terms, the Crystal Empire has disappeared... for the time being.”

“For the time being?”

‘Yes. You see, it has gone into a state of magical hibernation, if you will. It will come back when the caster cannot sustain the spell any longer.”

“So, the caster is my Father, right?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Well, he’s dead now. Why hasn’t my palace come back yet? Don’t tell me his ghost is sustaining the spell.” I blinked for a second. “Wait, can he do that?”

“I don’t think so,” said Clover, rubbing her chin in thought. “The fact that King Sombra is dead has yet to be determined, you know.”


“I believe the situation is quite the contrary,” Clover said calmly. “The spell was cast after the rainbow, and one has to be alive to cast even the most simplest spell. Ergo, your father is still very much alive.”

My brain was failing to process this. “He’s... alive? He’s still alive? How is that even possible?”

“With all due respect, Your Majesty,” Clover sighed, “I’ve thrown things like ‘possibility’ out the window ever since I’ve met Chancellor Puddinghead.”

I looked at her for the longest time. “You’re taking this all pretty well.”

“I believe I’m suffering from shock, ma'am,” she replied stoically. “Leaving three countries in ashes does not bond well to a pony’s psyche.” She swallowed a lump. “Anyway, that’s not important right now. I believe we need to pay more attention to that rainbow that hit King Sombra and why it didn’t kill him.

“I have two theories about this phenomenon. One is that it was supposed to kill him, but it somehow malfunctioned. Another is that the Royal Pony Sisters do not believe in the death penalty as strongly as their father, so they put Sombra in some kind of painless, near-death state. The last one is that they believed that death was too good for His Majesty, so they put him in another kind of near-death state that was designed to be painful.

“As long as any of these hypotheses are true, one fact still remains: Your father is alive.”

After I got my eye to stop twitching from the sheer implausibility of the situation, another question popped into my mind.

“How long?” I asked.

“Pardon, Your Majesty?”

“How long can Father sustain the spell?” I elaborated. “Until then, we have no place to call home.”

“I... don’t rightly know,” she said, an usure expression clouding over her face. “It depends on what condition King Sombra is currently in. It could take years. Maybe even a few decades." She paused, the gears in her head turning. “Wait a minute, wasn’t he performing experiments on life force absorption a few months back?”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Well, if he can absorb life force, he can use that energy to enhance his own, personal magic. Therefore, he can easily draw upon the life force of the crystal ponies to sustain his spell even longer.

“How much longer?”

She gulped before she could speak. “About four to six millennia.”

I threw my forehooves up in the air in frustration. “Why? Why would he do this to me? I’m stuck out here in the cold while he takes a cozy, five-thousand-year-long nap! What was he thinking, going with a plan like this?? It doesn’t even benefit him! The alicorns will just come back here to defeat him when he wakes up!”

Clover was still thinking. She was picked as an advisor for one simple purpose: Her special talent was answering questions. Whatever question was asked of her, she always knew how to answer it. Even if she didn’t know what the answer was, she always at least gave out a guess or assumption that turned out to be surprisingly correct. At times, it disturbed me on how uncanny Clover was on subject she supposedly knew nothing about, but I suppose you can’t get a title like “the Clever” for just getting a good grade in math. Besides, that cutie mark of hers came in very handy when she was banished for staying in servitude for my family.

Like right now, when questions were pouring out of me like water through a burst dam.

“Why would Father do all of this?” I said frantically.

“If I had to guess,” Clover said, “I’d have to say that King Sombra is attempting to outlive the alicorns. He probably thinks that they are mortal like us, since they’ve only been around for only forty years or so.”

“Oh,” I said, remembering that Father was still lacking in good judgement and a stable thought process at the time. “So, what are we going to do? We’ve been driven out of house and home for three times now, and the Crystal Empire was our last chance at a happy life. We’ve been beaten.”

There was pause for the longest time. The alicorns had gone back home to celebrate their victory by then. The only ponies there were Clover and I. The only sound that could be heard was the wind hollowing in the air. We were completely alone.

“No,” Clover finally said as she gained a determined look in her eye. “No, we haven’t. All we have to do is wait.”

“What are you saying?”

“If we wait for the Crystal Empire to reappear,” she explained slowly and deliberately, “we can come up with a way to take it back before Sombra or the Royal Pony Sisters can.”

“But... didn’t you say it was going to take... four to six thousand years for the Crystal Empire to reappear?” I said, concerned where this conversation was headed. “Did you hit your head, darling? Maybe you should lie down.”

“I’m fine, Princess. I’ve got it all figured out. I’ve been studying in the local library my spare time, and I believe the crystal ponies may have found a route to immortality.”

“Really?” I said, my eyes dazzling. “Why didn’t you say so in the first place? Let’s do it. Let’s become immortal!”

“Not so fast, Your Majesty,” Clover said cautiously. “It’s not that simple. You know these things always come at a price. Are you absolutely sure you want to live forever?”

“Positive!” I snapped. “Who in their right mind says ‘no’ to immortality? Just tell me what we have to do.”

Clover pursed her lips, her horn obediently lighting up. “First, I have to cast this certain spell,” she said. There was a flash of blinding light, and I instantly looked myself over with enthusiasm, expecting to feel stronger, or at least younger.

There was no such effect. I didn’t feel as much as a tingling sensation. Heck, I think I gained a few gray hairs just then.

“It didn’t work,” I huffed, giving out a pout. “You have been demoted to ‘Worst Mage.’”

“The ritual isn't finished yet,” Clover retorted with a dirty look. “And I am not ‘Worst Mage.’”

“Well, what’s the next step?” I grumbled, my words covered in sarcasm. “Dance in a circle and sing the magic words?”

“No,” she said, her voice taking a calm, reasonable tone. “Next, I’m going to kill you with this knife.”

“Wait, WHAT?”


I prefer not to remember what happened after that. All you need to know for now is that I’m a cat. Except I’m not. Look, it’s complicated. Now, where was I?

Ahh yes, getting Rarity’s attention so she can feed me. Cat food may taste atrocious, but a meal’s still a meal.

I give out yet another meow in protest. She finally looks down at me and smiles.

“What’s that, Opal-Wopal?” the ignorant hag says in that baby-talk voice that never fails to give me nausea. “You want to help Mommy with her dream dress?”

No, you imbecile, I’m trying to tell you that I’m famished!

“Of course you want to help,” she says sweetly. “All you have to do is hold this pincushion for a minute.” She sticks a red pincushion in my mouth, shutting me up. I give her my best growl, glaring daggers at her.

“What’s that? You want to help Mommy even more? You’re such a helpful little angel!” With her telekinesis, she forces me to hold a multitude of various items with nearly all my available appendages, leaving me balancing on one, singular paw like some circus clown. Sometimes I wonder that Rarity actually knows that I was once a perfectly respectable unicorn, and that she keeps me as a pet just to torture me in situations like this one. If this ever proves one day to be true, she is the truly the most sadistic being to ever exist.

Rarity takes a break from sowing to talk to herself for a while. “Oh, I can’t believe it! After years upon years of making dresses for the Grand Galloping Gala, I’ve FINALLY attained the honor of attending. Look Opal, Mommy’s hooves are quivering with excitement just from talking about it!”

I roll my eyes. Cool it girl, it’s just a ball. Take it from somepony who has witnessed more Galas than Celestia herself. The monarchs of Unicornia literally invented the Grand Galloping Gala, after all. It’s main purpose was to allow the peasants that could afford fancy enough clothing to suck up to the nobles one night a year, end of story.

“Not to mention that I’ve acquired the perfect date,” she giggles. “That’s why this dress has be fabulous in every fathomable way.” She throws a sheet of fabric over herself. “Ooo, I can imagine Dusk and I on the dance floor right now.” She pulls up a mannequin with her magic and starts to waltz with it. I see her eyes glaze over as she flung herself into her fantasy.

“Why yes, my love, this gown IS made of 100% silk. Except for the parts where I sowed in the diamonds, of course. You don’t look bad yourself tonight. I’m so glad you chose me over the others. They wouldn’t take offense if we steal a kiss by midnight, will they?

“Hm? What’s that you say? More than a kiss?


“Oh, such language, my dear! I see you’ve gotten a bit excited. Do I really turn you on that much?


“My goodness! There’s a time and a place for such naughty words, Dusk! I dare say I might have to discipline you for the way you’re misbehaving... *tee-hee!*”

Thank heavens that somepony decided to knock on the door just now. I swear, she was just a few more minutes away from getting it on with a plastic stallion.

Rarity nearly falls over in surprise. She tosses off her sheet of cloth and hurries to the door, her cheeks still burning red. I use this distraction as an opportunity to drop all the junk she gave me.

What happened in the next few seconds was... confusing, to say the least, and it happened at an extremely fast pace. I’ll have to break it down for you.

Event #1: Rarity opens the door.

Event #2: Rarity slams the door before the pony outside can even think.

Event #3: Rarity races away to another corner of the house, muttering something.

Event #4: I hear the telltale sound of water running from the bathroom.

Event #5: Rarity runs back to the door, her mane positively drenched.

Event #6: Rarity opens the door, striking the most seductive pose she can manage.

Event #7: “Sorry about the delay, Applejack. I wasn’t expecting company, and you happened to interrupt me in the middle of my midday shower. Oh, hello to you too, Dusk! I didn’t see you there.”

Event #8: Dusk Shine gets a nosebleed.

Event #9: I catch up to speed on what’s going on, but I’m still completely baffled by the fact that I HAVEN’T BEEN FED YET.

After Dusk’s nose stops bleeding and Applejack gets him to stop ogling you-know-who, I take the time to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“So, what is it that you came here for in the first place, darlings?” Rarity asks.

“Ah need you ta fix mah hat one more time,” the unintelligent cowgirl says with her southern drawl. Typical for an earth pony to never understand proper Equuish. “Poor thing’s gettin’ all worn out again.”

“And I need you to fix my old tux,” says Dusk, throwing away the last of his bloody tissues. He pulls out a powder blue tuxedo from his saddlebags. It’s crinkled, it’s unfashionable, it smells of mothballs and it makes me wish I didn’t have eyes. I can see Rarity holding back the urge to tear the suit to shreds.

“It has a button loose,” he explains trying to avoid gazing at Rarity’s mane. I think other corrections are needed for that suit. Like it needs to be set on fire. Ponies back in my day would’ve been flogged for dressing so undesirably.

“Err... If I were to be so bold Dusk,” Rarity says with an uncomfortable smile, “I say a new suit would be more appropriate. Why don’t I make you one?”

Dusk looked a little offended. “But this is the suit I wore back at my senior prom,” he defends.

He wore THAT to his prom? By Lauren Faust, this boy is sad. I have no idea what Rarity sees in him.

“No darling, I insist,” Rarity persuades. “It would be a personal offense to my pride if I didn’t help you.” She turns to Apple-what’s-her-face. “And you know what? I think you could use a little help too, Applejack.”

The orange earth pony looks back with looks back with a blatantly indifferent expression. “Naw, ya don’t need ta help me, Rares. Ah’m perfectly happy with goin’ ta th’ Gala with mah work duds.”

“Work... duds?” Rarity parrots slowly. “Darling, you don’t wear ‘work duds.’”

“‘Course Ah do,” says Applejack, putting on a smile. “Ah have mah hat, don’t Ah?”

“That hardly qualifies as an entire outfit,” Rarity frowns, “much less as a style formal enough for the Gala.”

“Ah ain’t gettin’ in a dress again,” the stubborn hick says outright. “Not after that nightmare of a truth-or-dare game with y’all. No way, no how.”

Dusk speaks up. “AJ, I know you aren’t exactly comfortable with sprucing yourself up, but Rarity has a point. If we don’t dress appropriately, we’ll get kicked out, invitation or otherwise.”

True, very true. I have to admit, Celestia’s got her priorities straight.

Applecrap pouts her lip and snorts. “Fine ya make me a dress. Jus’ don’t make it too fru-fru.”

Thank you, Applejack!’ Rarity says , grinning ear to ear. “I’ll get started right away.” She pauses for a moment. “Wait a minute... I forgot to feed Opal her din-din!” She rushes to the kitchen with great haste. “Oh, Opal-Wopal, no wonder you’ve been so cranky! Mommy’s so sorry. How about some gourmet salmon and rice to make up for it?”

Hallelujah! My time of waiting has finally ended. It’s times like this where I almost begin to like the bitter old witch.

...What? What are you still standing around for? I’m not telling you what happens next. I’m not even paying attention anymore. The world could end tomorrow, for all I care. I’m getting my din-din!~

Okay, I’m back. It’s been a couple days since you were all here, and things have hectic around this place. For reasons that are completely beyond me, Rarity has agreed to make a dress for each of all five of her friends, in addition to that suit for her ‘dreamboat,’ Dusk Shine.

All day, every day, the air in the dressmaking room has been high-traffic area for needles, spools of thread, rolls of fabric, buttons, pins, needles, sheets of paper for design, pencils for writing on said paper, and all other kinds of manure; all levitated by Rarity’s horn. I’m constantly surprised at what that tiny thing on her forehead can do. Back in my day, a unicorn at her age would typically get a serious hangover afterward. Then again, that was before Neighagra was invented. That stuff is like steroids for your horn.

Currently, Rarity was taking measurements for one of her ‘clients,’ or whatever you call somepony that you’re making clothing for free for. (I personally believe the term is called, ‘your friendly neighborhood sweatshop owner.’)

Rarity only invites one pony to her place at a time, saying that the one-one-one interaction “helps you become one with your outfit,” or something ridiculous like that. I don’t really buy it myself. I half-believe it, at the very least. My guess is that she either can’t deal with the needs of more than one customer at a time, or that she just uses the opportunity to invade their personal space without all those pesky interruptions.

Like what she was doing to Dusk right now. Just watch.

“Hold still darling, this will only take a few more minutes,” she says.

“Rarity, that tickles!” snickers Dusk. “Don’t you think you’ve had enough time?”

“Not yet, love,” she says patiently, “I have to take a few more measurements.”

Dusk deadpans. “Rarity, you’ve measured every conceivable part and joint of my body twice.

“Well, it never hurts to double-check,” she chirps innocently. “Besides, I want to get nice, accurate picture of your body committed to memory. You never know when something like that could come in handy.”

“Rarity, you’re measuring my horn. It’s time for you to stop.”

She backs off and gives a pleading look. “You don’t have to be so crude about it.”

“I am not being crude.”

She gives up and sighs. “Fine, I suppose I can work with the measurements of you I have already. But before you leave, there is one matter I simply can’t leave unaddressed.”


“You have a smudge on your cheek,” she informs while gesturing to a spot on her face.

He rubs the left side of his own face. “Better?”

“You didn’t get it,” she answers. “I can’t quite place what it is. Is is some kind of hot sauce? Did have your lunch at Famous Hay’s before you went here?”

“Um, no.. I didn’t have lunch yet...”

“Nevertheless, there’s still something on your face,” she insists. It’s obvious that she’s lying, in case you dimwits haven’t caught on yet. “Here, come closer so I can get it for you.”

Dusk (like an idiot) steps closer and comes eye level with her. With a swift motion, Rarity closes the distance between herself and her colt-candy, and starts to slip him the tongue. Surprisingly, this convinces him to stand still during the kiss. I dare say that he was secretly having bit of fun with it.

Finally, he breaks away and says, “What was that for?”

My so-called owner gives him what I believe today’s commoners call ‘bedroom eyes.’ “No reason. Just teensy friendly reminder about what you’re missing out on.” She gives him a quick peck on the nose to punctuate her point. “Of course, all that can change if you can admit that you love me. Then we can-*whisper whisper whisper*-and then we-*whisper whisper whisper*-and not to mention-*whisper whisper whisper*-with me tied down to your-*whisper whisper whisper*-all over the bedsheets-*whisper whisper whisper*-after that, we can go on to the bathtub and-*whisper whisper whisper*-and I know this extra-kinky spell where we-*whisper whisper whisper*-but you’ll have to buy some lubricant first.”

Did you know that unicorn horns start to perform sparks when they’re aroused or excited? It’s a very amusing sight. I just learned that Dusk’s sparks are a lovely shade of magenta.

He tries to form words. Goodness, how he tries. “Buhh-uuuhhh-duuhh-luuhh...”

Rarity giggles like schoolfilly. “You’re so cute when you’re flustered, darling.”

She’s right, you know. Absolutely adorable.

“Well? What’s your answer, Prince Charming? Do you love me or not? It’s rude to keep a lady waiting, you know.”

Dusk Shine faced the moment of truth. He swallowed a big, fat lump, takes a deep breath, and chickens out like the nerd he is.


Switching back from Opal-vision...

Dusk Shine burst through the doors of the library and lock them up tight. He took a moment to catch his breath and slow his beating heart. Sweat dripped from his brow.

Trixie was sitting on a nearby beanbag, lazily sipping a decaf coffee. She looked up from the book she was reading, called Teleporting 101: For Unicorns That Wish to Take Their Magic to the Next Level. It was part of her ‘homework’ she received from her mentor. Over the weeks of his absent screen-time, Dusk had been teaching Trixie a good, healthy amount of magic. She had progressed beautifully, coming a long way from the day she had started her training. Her proudest moment had happened five days ago, where she actually mastered reversing her own gravity.

It’s a crying shame that you’ve missed all of this.

“You’re back,” said Trixie, “What took you so long?”

Dusk made an attempt to lie. “Rarity was... uhh... very thorough on her measurements. Yes, that was definitely all that happened. Nothing suspicious about it.” Of course, this perked Trixie’s attention greatly.

Trixie stared.


Trixie kept staring.

“I said nothing happened!”



Trixie switched from staring to glaring.

Dusk changed the subject. “Anyway, I think it’s time we got Spike out of his seven-hour bubble bath. Agreed?”

Trixie finally spoke up. “Trixie doesn’t think you’re telling her the whole truth, but since you look so guilty about it, Trixie’s going to assume that you ran out before Rarity could enact... whatever she was planning to do.” She took out a ruler that was lying on a desk, and whacked Dusk on the head with a loud smack.


“...But Trixie still wants wants an apology for whatever you and that heat-struck narwal were plotting to do!”

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry! Just don’t hit me with that ruler again. That kinda stung.”

“The Great and Powerful Trixie shall do whatever she wants with a ruler.” she snapped dignifiedly. “Come, let us make Spike relinquish the bathtub.”

The two unicorns walked upstairs, where Spike was bathing. Like any child, Spike had the tendency to play with a bajillion floating toys in the bathtub. You look me in the eye right now, and tell me that you don’t remember playing with your toys in the tub until your fingers became miniature prunes. It was even more fun with bubbles. You could have SO much fun with bubbles. You could make a manly beard out of them, or just group them together to form one big bubble mountain. Spike had a countless supply of plastic dinosaur figures and toy ships, so he could have epic wars with an army of scaled beasts versus the Equestrian Navy.

But not today. Today, he was reenacting Titanic, starring a mini-Spike he personally made himself, and a tiny Rarity as the leading lady. (Listen to this while reading for added mushiness.)

“Oh, Spike!” Faux-Rarity swooned. “I never knew you were so good at ballroom dancing. You’re such the gentlecolt.”

“It’s nothing,” said Fake-Spike in a deeper, more masculine voice than the real Spike owned. “I’ve had years of practice ever since I went through puberty.”

“You’ve gotten much more dreamy, too,” complemented Faux-Rarity. “It’s a good thing this ship is unsinkable; I never want this night to end.”

“But the night has to end, for tomorrow could benefit so much from our love.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that see a bright future ahead of us, and I want to spend it with you.”

“Oh, Spike!” Faux-Rarity proclaimed again.

“Princess Rarity... will you be my wife?”

“YES! Oh, a thousand times yes! I have waited so long for that question from you!”

They kissed repeatedly, bashing themselves together in a clumsy manner with two gigantic dragon hands to guide them.

But all was not well, because a giant iceberg of bubble suds was in the path of the good ship S.S. RariSpike.

“Look out!” said the captain, whom Spike didn’t think up a name for. “We’re going to crash!”

“Not if I can help it,” proclaimed Fake-Spike.

“Spike, don’t!” screamed Princess Rarity. “I don’t want to lose you! Not while we can still have our happily ever after!”

“I must do this,” said Fake-Spike dutifully. “As much as I love you, there are thousands of innocent lives aboard this ship.” He flew up across the gap between the ship and the iceberg with his fully-developed dragon wings, and started punching the menacing suds.

It was then Real-Life-Spike was pulled out of the tub with Dusk Shine’s magic, and dried off with a towel. Thus, the romance story of a generation was tragically cut short. (Along with the soundtrack. You can stop listening to Celine Dion now.)

“You’ve had enough time in the tub, Spike,” said Dusk. “Time to go back to that chore list you’ve letting pile up.”

“Awww, but we haven’t even finished the second act!” Spike complained.

“We’ll make it a two-parter,” Trixie said flatly. “Now, Trixie is going out to get fitted for her Gala dress. Hopefully, Rarity can make Trixie look more great and powerful than usual for the Grand Galloping Gala. Trixie shall be a while.” With that, Trixie went out the door.

With Trixie gone, Dusk let out a sigh of relief as he headed downstairs. He continued down to the basement, carrying Spike with him. “Spike, forget the chores. There’s an important matter that needs discussing.”

“Oh no,” Spike groaned. “Not The Chart again!”

The Chart was one of the best-kept secrets in Ponyville. Only Dusk Shine and Spike knew of its existence. It was created after Dusk and his friends decided to share the Gala tickets. The Chart was not restricted to one sheet of parchment, but filled up an entire room with all the information it had. The said room was accessible by a hidden trapdoor in the library basement, right next to the door to Dusk’s personal fallout shelter. It was lit by one, singular light bulb hanging from the ceiling.

The Chart itself was a mass of wall-to-wall notes, connections, side notes, theories, and every fact Dusk knew about Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie (along with Pinkamena), Luna, Trixie, and last but not least, Fluttershy. The Chart had one, singular purpose: To keep track of every conceivable aspect of Dusk’s romantic life, and possibly aid him in deciding on (and maintaining) a special somepony. Again, it filled an entire freaking room, and it constantly grew in size and complexity.

Spike knew about The Chart because Dusk learned back in middle school that research is always more effective with a secondary opinion. Whenever some new aspect of Dusk’s love life came into being, he recorded it on The Chart and discussed it with Spike. Spike quickly grew tired of going down to the dusty old room, especially when he learned that Dusk and Rarity shared their first kiss during a certain slumber party.

That said, he wasn’t happy at all when he learned what happened in Carousel Boutique today.

“She kissed you again??” Spike gasped. “I’m seriously beginning to think that you forgot that I called dibs on her!”

“I’m sorry Spike, she just came onto me,” Dusk apologized to his surrogate brother. “Besides, you agreed with me when we made The Chart that I would take serious consideration that you might end up with Rarity.” Dusk tallied today’s events into The Chart with quick precision. “I haven’t made any move to provoke Rarity. She acted all on her own.” He tapped his chin in thought. “In fact, I’ve barely done anything at all to provoke anypony since I came to Ponyville.” He started to write down something down in the section of The Chart labeled Options and Dating Methods:

Take the initiative.

“What does that mean?” asked Spike, scratching his head in confusion.

“It means I’m going to take the offensive before one girl goes and claims me for herself.” Dusk said, a sense of pride swelling in his gut. He was feeling extra-confident today.

“You don’t mean-”

“Yes Spike, I mean. I’m going to ask one of these mares out on a date!” he announced with gusto.

“Which one?” inquired Spike.

The question itself pierced through Dusk’s ego and drove him speechless, for he was unsure of his answer. He fumbled over his options.

“Ummm... Fluttershy, I guess.” he mumbled with a blush.

“Yeah, I’d like to see how that one goes,” said Spike with a smirk.

Intermission Chapter: The Date

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Dusk Shine stood outside Fluttershy's door and sighed to himself. The sigh’s purpose was partially to calm his nerves, and partially to suck in one last leap of courage. This was the day he was going to ask Fluttershy out on a date.

He had planned several ways to ask out anypony he wanted, all written down on The Chart. Until today, he never actually had the chance to use any of them. He had hundreds upon hundreds of strategies prepared for Fluttershy, but he had picked the simplest option: The direct approach. He was just going to go to her cottage and ask her.

Unfortunately, this was also the hardest way.

Of course, that’s why he needed to do this right now, before he lost his nerve. With a hoof that was shaking with sweat and adrenaline, he knocked on the door.

There were light scampering sounds as Fluttershy’s countless critters and animals went and scratched furiously on the other side of the door, curious at who the unknown visitor could be. If you’ve ever owned a pet dog, you’d perfectly understand why they would do this.

Fluttershy opened the door with a soft creek, and looked at Dusk. “Oh, hello Dusk,” she said in her casual friendly manner, missing the tension of the situation. “Did you need something? You look so sweaty. Are you coming down with a fever?”

“N-no,” Dusk stuttered, “I kind of wanted to ask y-you something.”

“You did?” Fluttershy said, cocking her head to the side. “You came all this way to my house just to ask me a question?”

“Well yeah, it’s a little important. It’s important to me, at least. Fluttershy... will you... go out... w-with m-m-me on Friday?”

NOW Fluttershy felt the tension at full-force. It did not bond well with her. She got nervous. And whenever she got nervous, her voice tended to drop considerably lower. “Oh w-wow, I have s-such a b-busy schedule...”

“Please, Fluttershy?” Dusk begged. He was afraid his plan was headed for failure very, very fast.

Fluttershy was hiding her face behind her mane. Her posture was submissive and cowardly. Her body language basically said, “Please go away, I’m trying to shrink to the size of a pebble so I can hide away from the rest of the world.”

“W-why don’t you ask Rarity instead? She told me she has her eye on you, and I really don’t want to invade on her personal life.” Fluttershy said quietly, backing away nervously and beginning to close the door. “I also don’t want to drive a wedge between us or anything... you know, because Rarity and I are such good friends? Please don’t ask me...”

Dusk went out on a limb and improvised. “It doesn’t have to be romantic or anything! It can be anything you want. Do you like picnics? I can go for a picnic! Really, anything you want. Does a picnic around lunchtime sound good?”

Fluttershy had a miniscule amount of experience in directly saying the word ‘no.’ It was always a bit of a habit of her’s to always say ‘yes’ to any invites, offers, or favors that were asked of her. She had this nagging insecurity that somepony would think less of her if she said ‘no’ too often, so she was a pony that generally avoided the word.

This would all change when she would one day meet an assertiveness guru by the name of Iron Will, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

For instance, at this time, Fluttershy’s brain was saying this to her:

“Alright Fluttershy, just say you want to stay friends.”

At the same time, her mouth decided to go with its base instincts and began to form these words:

“W-well, since y-you want to go out with me so badly...”

Her brain went into overdrive, trying to regain control. “ABORT! ABORT! GET OUT OF THERE, SHY! RARITY WILL HATE YOU FOREVER!!!!!”

Joining into the act of defiance against her brain, Fluttershy’s feet went and trotted up to Dusk Shine, where he could hear her more clearly.


Completely ignoring her brain, Fluttershy’s vocal chords gathered up the audacity to raise her voice all the way up the to normal speaking volume and said with a confident (and rarely used) tone:

“...I suppose one date wouldn’t hurt.”

In turn, we look inside Dusk Shine’s brain for his thoughts on Fluttershy’s words of acceptance.

Needless to say, he was glorified. That faint squee-ing sound you hear right now was all he could process at the moment. Without another word, he cantered off with a grin spreading across his face like wild fire and mind in a blissful daze, as if he was drifting off on a cloud.

Fluttershy calmly closed the door, and waited a few seconds in silence. Then, she came about several revelations that came down upon her with the ferociousness of a crashing waterfall.

Her first revelation was a simple acknowledgement of what had just happened to her.

“I have a date on Friday.”

Her second revelation was a bursting wave of shock, nearly knocking her to the floor.


The next revelation was the next level of shock, due to the details on how this situation came to be.

“I just agreed to having a date on Friday! Just like that!”

Her next revelation was a rapid succession of statements that expressed panic and regret.

“What was I thinking?? I don’t know how to go on a date! What do I do? How do I act? What do I wear? Do I talk about his interests or mine? What are his interests? Who asked me on a date again?”

After this small brainfart-

“Oh yes, it’s Dusk Shine.”

-Fluttershy experienced her most painful revelation.

“...Oh no, it’s Dusk Shine.

This particular revelation was an emotion that had no actual name in the Equuish language. This emotion was the vague fear you have of something because you’re constantly uncertain of what you feel about that particular thing, and it makes you question yourself to no end. You also feel the unpleasant sensation that this thing you’re afraid of shall become very important and urgent one day, and you will be forced to face the issue head-on against your will.

This emotion had a name in the native tongue of the goats, however: They named it uf’jrk. Of course, none of the goats could actually pronounce this word out loud, so the existence of it became a useless, scarcely-known fact.

Fluttershy, unfortunately, often felt tremendous amounts of uf’jrk towards Dusk Shine. He made her profoundly nervous, and thinking of his feelings towards her made Fluttershy’s guts all queasy, as if a million butterflies invaded her stomach. (No pun intended.) And to top it off, Dusk had six other mares actively seeking him, and all of them were personal friends of Fluttershy’s.

She also secretly harbored a nightmare where he would one day openly reject them all for a new mare that strided into town one day, and their entire fellowship would be in dire jeopardy. Sometimes, in the more intense dreams, the new mystery mare that won Dusk’s heart would be replaced by none other than herself.

Over the time she knew Dusk, she coped by just pretending the unfolding romance between her friends didn’t happen. She knew open denial about the subject was unhealthy, but she made it work. For example, here was a conversation that she shared with Rarity on their weekly spa date.

”Thank you so much for coming over, Fluttershy,” Rarity said, slipping out of her custom-made bathrobe with a stylized R perfectly sewn on it to go into the spa’s hot tub. “I’m so glad you could make it.”

“You’re welcome, Rarity,” Fluttershy said, delicately stepping into the jacuzzi, being careful not to sear her tender skin, “it’s always a pleasure spending some private time with you.” She briefly waited to hear the inevitable string of gossip that Rarity constantly had in store for her, but Fluttershy never got it.

“I want to talk about something other than gossip today, darling,” Rarity said after a moment of silence.

“Oh?” the winged caretaker questioned, soaking herself in the soothing heat of the water. “Is something the matter? What on your mind?”

“I want to talk about boys,” Rarity said simply, bringing the subject forward gradually. “Specifically, one boy in question. I want to hear your thoughts on Dusk Shine.” She stared at Fluttershy expectantly, analyzing the pegasus’s response to this closely.

Fluttershy was taken aback. “Umm… He’s… uhh… nice…” She lowed herself in the waters of the hot tub, getting all the way down to chin level.

“Don’t be so nervous, Fluttershy,” Rarity reassured her friend. “We’re all friends here. I promise you, nothing we say shall ever leave this room.”

Fluttershy wasn’t very moved by this statement. “He’s a nice colt. That’s all there is to it, honest.”

“Come now darling, don’t pretend that I didn’t notice that he’s taken quite a shine to you,” Rarity said with a suggestive smile.


“I want to know what you think of him in return.”

“I… well… umm… think of him a very good friend. Nothing more.”

“Really now?” Rarity said suspiciously, arching an eyebrow. “Because there’s this funny little rumor going around town about how you two shared a small kiss when he first got two tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala.”

How did she find out about that?! Fluttershy wondered to herself.

“A rather long kiss, in fact.”

“Really Rarity, he’s just a friend,” she protested.

“I believe it involved tongue? Lots of it?”

“I’m n-not that kind of mare.”

“Darling, just what exactly are you hiding from me?” Rarity pressed, looking Fluttershy dead in the eye. “We’re friends, remember? Friends don’t steal each other’s boyfriends, do they?”

“OH WOW, TIME’S UP ALREADY?” yelled Fluttershy, changing the subject with all the grace and subtlety of a charging rhinoceros. “We’d better get out of the jacuzzi now before our hooves start to prune up. What’s next, mud baths? I SURE could use a mud bath right about now!”

And now, Fluttershy just accepted a date with Dusk Shine. It was indeed a perilous situation. Right now, she needed advice. So, she went to her best friend in the entire world, Angel. Her pet bunny had been for her through and through, and now she needed him more than ever. Of course, she couldn’t really talk to Angel directly, but she had an obscure understanding on what he meant on most things.

“Angel, I’ve got something to ask you,” she said, going into the kitchen where Angel was currently eating. “Do you remember Dusk Shine?”

What, that one unicorn that made those insulting faces at my masculine glory when I raided the ponies’ marketplace? thought Angel, silently looking back at Fluttershy through his adorable beady eyes. What does the Maiden of the Stare want with him?

“Well, he just asked me on a date, and I said yes.”

Ah, I see. The Maiden wishes to continue her family line with a new generation. Good for her. About time she had her share of nookie.”

“B-but it’s sort of complicated. You see, all of my friends want to be with him, and I’m afraid they might hold a grudge.”

“What’s this? Competition for the mate? She should challenge them to combat, as is tradition!”

“And I’m afraid it might ruin our friendship. I don’t really have any friends outside them besides you and the rest of my animals. Oh Angel, what should I do?”

Angel let out a sigh, and attempted to communicate to Fluttershy through a combination of charades and a crude form of sign language. “O Great Maiden of the Stare, you have provided the rabbit warriors of Clan Cottontail with food, shelter, and lesser pets to push around for countless generations. We have watched you grow from a helpless filly to a beautiful, helpless adult. Today, your old life ends.

“Now that you have found the one to pleasure your nightly desires with, it is time for you to leave your past self behind. Cast down the chains of weakness, and prove the world that you will never, under any circumstances, surrender any challenge that stands against you, for that is truly the one path to greatness.

“Now Maiden of the Stare, to find this path and win the desire of the one you target, you must answer this question that lies among the sleeping fires that dwell within every warrior’s blood and soul: WHAT IS BEST IN LIFE?!!”

Of course, Fluttershy didn’t exactly catch all that. Instead, she interpreted what Angel was saying into something like this:

“Momma, I know you’re sad, and this is most definitely a scary time for you. But if you follow your heart, all your dreams will come true! Now, let’s hug. You can never have enough hugs, you know.”

“You’re right as always, Angel,” Fluttershy said picking her pet bunny up. “I should follow my heart. I'll try following through on this date, and we’ll see how it turns out. And yes, we can have a hug.” She gave him a loving squeeze. “Hugs are truly the best in life, Angel.”

When his owner put him down. Angel looked at the floor in disappointment. “She is not ready,” he said to himself. “One day will be, but that day has not yet come.” He solemnly hopped away into the many underground rabbit holes that connected into the cottage.

On the following Friday...

Dusk was almost ready to head out the door of the library. One by one, Spike checked off the necessities for the date.

“Picnic basket packed?” Spike said.

“Check,” Dusk replied, still psyched for his date with his dream mare.

“Picnic blanket?”






“Beverage cooler?”


“Day, place and time of date confirmed?”


“Breath mint taken before you go?”


“Every mare that’s after you NOT informed of the date, so nopony can muck it with any zany hijinks?”

“Checked that one three times already, Spike.”

“You listed it three times already.”

Dusk Shine put on his sunglasses. Shining Armor always said that sunglasses looked cool, no matter who was wearing them. Dusk never really understood the precise concept of it to this day, but he did it anyway.

“Wish me luck, Spike! Watch the library while I’m gone!”

“Yeah, like we have any customers anyway,” Spike laughed to himself as soon as he shut the door

Dusk showed up on the spot of the date (a nice, sunny hill covered in bright, green grass) ten minutes early out of habit. Fluttershy showed up five minutes afterward the agreed time, attempting to be, as a dating magazine called it, ‘fashionably late.’ They both greeted each other, sat down and started eating. The dialogue they shared went as so:

“Hi, Dusk.”

“Hi, Fluttershy.”

























































































































































































































Dusk had a solid argument by saying, “...” but Fluttershy rebutted with her own, personal quote, “...”






































































































































































































Can you imagine the audio reading for this?


















































































































































































































































































































































“Oh, would you look at that,” Fluttershy finally said, breaking the awful, painstakingly awkward silence. “We’ve finished all of the food two hours ago.”

Dusk looked in the picnic basket, seeing that the tree was astonishingly correct. “Huh. Well, this was... nice.” he said.

“Yeah, it was.”

“Do you wanna do the same thing next Friday?”

Fluttershy cheeks turned pink. “I’d like that very much.”

Rarity's Pussy Pt. 2

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Why, hello again! It’s me, your dear friend and disgraced housecat, Princess Platinum. Not much has changed. Rarity’s still slaving over those dresses, my life is still miserable, and if I hear one more encore of Art of the Dress, I swear I’m going to scream.

I’ve always found spontaneous singing annoying. It’s nonsensical and unnecessary. Nevertheless, Father taught me at an early age that musical numbers are a natural occurring part of life. Birds must fly, the sun must shine, and ponies tend break out into song now and then.

I thought this was a humongous amount of bullocks until one day Clover the Clever scientifically explained the phenomenon to me. She told me that every single living organism in the universe that had the capacity to think was telepathically linked to a higher plane of semi-existence.

This plane is officially called the Extra-Astral Theoretical Collective Unconscious by the drull scientists and philosophers that study it to death, but the commoner’s name for it is simply Limbo.

Nothing really occupies Limbo. Nopony lives there. No physical matter can exist in it at all, in fact. It’s just a big, white room of nothingness that goes on forever. Nothing occurs there. Nothing happens. It’s only purpose is to touch the subconscious of everypony in creation.

That said, Limbo indirectly connects the minds of everypony alive. Think of it like Facebuck: If you’re friends with Limbo, you’re one connection away from everypony else, whether you know them or not. And believe me, everypony is friends with Limbo.

Now, here’s where the music comes in. For some reason that could probably be better explained by a string of Clover’s classic techno-babble, Limbo synchronizes all thoughts that pass into it to a massive, complex rhythm. This rhythm (or at least a small part of it) occasionally slips out of Limbo and directly into your brain, manifesting itself as a catchy tune that plays in the back of your head.

Before you know what you’re doing, you find yourself singing somthing or other about how you love to make everyone you meet smile. When you sing out loud, you psychically project the song into everypony that hears you, compelling them to join in. Suddenly, there’s an entire musical parade going through Mane Street because a little diddy popped into your head.

So, now you know that impromptu singing is the result of subliminal messages from another plane. Scary, huh?

But it’s not all bad. There’s a few benefits and uses to musical numbers. Like Rarity here, you could make the lyrics to the tune in your head about working at your job, making the working hours fly by. (And annoying your cat to death.) Food cart ponies at the marketplace sing songs about eating to mind-control their customers into buying their products. The possibilities are endless.

The most historical use of singing belonged to my great-grandfather, despite the fact that I can’t remember his name. During a grueling war between Unicornia and the horse kingdom of Saddle Arabia, he was inspired to break out into a twelve-hour sonnet in the midst of the final battle. Eventually, the enemy horses were forced to join in the musical fiasco, suddenly caring more about forming a can-can line than strategic battle positions. Soon, the my great-grandfather’s forces drove back drove back the Saddle Arabians by slaughtering them in the thousands and mercilessly outclassing their vocal chops. The song itself was afterward made into an instant classic, and was named Ow, I’ve Been Shot by an Arrow.

But enough about that. I still think singing is annoying, and I hate myself whenever I’m pulled into it. I’ve talked enough about that topic for now. Instead, let’s discuss what happened to Clover the Clever. From what I can gather, you all keep asking about her. Why do you care, anyway? She stabbed me with a knife!


Well, I suppose you have a point there. You’re right, I should finish my story. It would be rude to leave my listeners hanging, after all. Now, where were we?

Ah yes, I DIED. That was quite painful, by the way. You know, in case I haven’t mentioned that.

5,000 years ago...

I awoke in a bed with broken, rusty springs. The blankets were unbearably itchy and smelled smelled like a ghastly combination body odor and mothballs. I opened my eyes and looked up at the ceiling, which was made out of old, moldy timberwood.

“Oh, you’re awake,” Clover’s voice said from the other side of the room. “How do you feel, Miss Merryweather?”

“Who?” I mumbled, my morning grogginess still holding my mind captive.

Clover put a hoof on my half-asleep body and nudged me. “Are you alright, Miss Merryweather? Do you... feel like yourself? I sure hope not...”

I was then that my brain snapped to attention as I remembered the unpleasant events that happened before I blacked out. Enraged at Clover, I shot out my hooves, wrapped them around her smartass little neck, and began choking her.


Thinking fast, Clover used her magic to rip my vengeful forelegs off her person and dangled me in the air. Helplessly levitating upside-down, I kicked and flailed my hooves in manner that probably looked rather silly.


“Nice to have you back, Your Majesty,” Clover said sarcastically, rubbing her neck. “Now you be quiet please? You’re making too much noise, and you’ll make the innkeeper if you don’t stop yelling.”


“Promise not to choke me if I do?”

By now, my seething hatred for Clover the Clever boiled down from SHE-NEEDS-TO-DIE-RIGHT-FREAKING-NOW levels to I’ll-kill-her-later-because-she-needs-to-cook-me-breakfast-first levels. In short, I got back in control of my temper.

“Fine,” I said begrudgingly through gritted teeth. “I’ll stop screaming, and I won’t choke you. Happy? Now, put me down; all my blood is starting to rush to my head.”

After Clover set me down gently, I asked a few obvious questions. “Where are we, Clover? What happened? Why did you call me ‘Miss Merryweather?’”

As always, Clover answered them like a good little servant. “Where we are is back in the country of Equestria. A small village near the northern border, to be precise. You’d be surprised how much this nation has grown since we last were here. It’s almost as big as the United Democracy of Earth once was.

“I got into an inn for the night. You shouldn’t call me Clover in public, by the way. We’re still banished, and we have to keep our identities a secret.

“As for what happened, you died.”

“What?” I said, tilting my head to the side in confusion. “That’s not possible. If I died, how could I be standing here right now, speaking to you? That’s just...” I drifted off, noticing something painfully obvious.

“Clover...” I said slowly, looking down at my hooves, “...was my coat always this color?”

“You’re dead, remember?” Clover said matter-of-factly, “Your body is buried in snow back in the outskirts of the Crystal Empire. You’re not Princess Platinum anymore. Now, you’re Miss Merryweather, the innkeeper’s firstborn daughter.”

“Th-this is a joke, right?” I said with a nervous laugh.

She pointed to a full-length mirror near the door of bedroom. “See for yourself.’

I walked in front of the mirror and stared. I cringed immediately.

Let me take a moment to describe the gorgeous body that I born & raised in. I had the purest white coat that was massaged and tended to every day by the castle servants. My bleach-blond mane and tail were constantly pampered by the rarest and most expensive of shampoos and conditioners. I inherited my red eyes from my father, which glistened like rubies in the evening moonlight.

There was nothing that I valued more than preserving my appearance. I dieted and exercised every day of my life to keep my tall, slender figure. After giving birth to my son, I kept my routine to its physical limits to get rid of every last ounce of that utterly disgraceful post-baby weight. When my age grew past its prime, I applied only the most scientifically advanced aging creams to prevent any slightest notion of... ugh... I can’t even bear to say the word... W-R-I-N-K-L-E-S.

Back when we first took over the Crystal Empire, every single day was like heaven for me. The crystal ponies had everything at their spa: hooficures, mud baths, aromatherapy, and they even invented vibrating chairs! I was so grateful, I shared my beauty tips with them. Combining our collective knowledge of cosmetics, we created the perfect manestyle: the Royal Headdress. Of course, I had to pass a law saying that only the princess of the Crystal Empire (namely, me) could style her mane that way. Wouldn’t want to go to the ball with somepony there looking exactly the same as myself, now would I?

The beauty of yours truly didn’t stop with new manestyles, either. As a resident of the Crystal Empire, I was turned into a crystal pony myself. I couldn’t get enough on how much I sparkled. It looked like I made of living diamonds! (Not to mention that my shininess made it hard to spot *shudder* the W-word.) I ordered the Royal Dressmaker to sew me a brand-new crystallized dress every single morning to match my glory. By the time Clover and I escaped, I was fifty-seven years old and didn’t look a day over twenty-three. I was that fabulous.

I didn’t look like that anymore.

I was now a dirty shade of beige, one that reminded me of whole-wheat bread. My mane was the color of buffalo droppings, which was tied up in a singular, country-girl braid. My eyes were an unimpressive shade of baby-barf-green. There was no indication that I ever had a horn. I turned to my side, inspecting my new body with greater detail. I now possessed the badly-groomed wings of a pegasus. My old cutie mark (a lovely design of a platinum crown) was replaced to my horror with a boring rain cloud and a stupid-looking smiley face on it.

“What did you do to me!?” I yelped. I was getting frightened of the reflection staring back at me.

“I tried to tell you, Your Majesty,” Clover smoothly explained, “the route to immortality always has a price to be paid.”

I took a deep breath, trying extremely hard to keep my promise over not strangling her again. “Clover,” I said sternly, “I want you to tell me exactly what your spell did.”

“I thought you’d never ask,” my royal advisor said smugly. She pointed to my neck. “See that jewel you’re wearing?”

I looked in the mirror again. When I was busy taking in my new appearance, I missed one seemingly insignificant detail: I was apparently wearing a velvet choker snugly around my neck, adorned by a magnificent, finely-cut gem in the center.

“That is what the crystal ponies call a soul gem,” she continued. “Like the name implies, it now contains your soul. The natives never actually used these for containing the spirit of a pony before, mind you. They mostly used these things for harvesting the souls of animals (such as frost trolls or mammoths) and using the gem’s energy to power magical artifacts. You know, like axes that do fire damage or vibrating chairs.

“I simply took the next step in soul gem technology: I enchanted that choker with a personal spell that I invented, so whomever is wearing will be possessed by the soul trapped in the gemstone, namely you.

“After I ‘killed’ you, I traveled south to the first backwater town I could find, rented a room at this inn, met Miss Merryweather while she was serving drinks at the bar downstairs, found out which room she stayed in via some old-fashioned stalking, went to her bedroom when everypony was asleep, put the choker on her, and waited for you to wake up to see if see if the spell worked.”

I gave what she just said some serious thought. “So... mind-controlling crystals? Really? That’s the way we’re supposed to live forever? Jumping from body to body, taking over innocent ponies? Isn’t that... you know... wrong?”

Clover shifted her posture, her expression showing a faint but clear sign of uncertainty and guilt. “I admit, it’s not my most... ethical course of action,” she mumbled. She looked at me, her gaze containing a hint of anxiety, but still was strong and unfaltering. I think that was the first time in Clover’s life that she didn’t have a clear idea of what she was getting into, and she was taking it like a pro. It was because of times like this I secretly harbor a great deal of respect for that mare’s sense of resilience. “You have to understand that this wasn’t my first option. I tried every single spell in the book before I chose the soul gems. It was either this, or signing a blood pact with the Queen of Tartarus.”

There was a pregnant pause. I spoke up. “So, what happens now?”

She handed me an all-too-familiar-looking knife. “Now, it’s my turn to die,” she said as she pulled out a second item from her pocket. It was a small, silver bracelet with a single soul gem embedded in it. Next, her horn illuminated, and there was a brilliant flash of magic.

“Just be sure to make it fast. The spell only works if you kill me in the next five sec-ACK!”

Yes, I stabbed her mid-sentence. She didn’t exactly have to tell me twice. I was still a teensy bit mad at her, after all. So, you would understand if I stabbed her twice juuuust to make sure she was dead.

Okay, maybe three times.

Fine, it was four.

Now that I think about it, I kinda lost track. Was it fifteen or twenty? Nevermind, it worked all the same.

Have you ever seen a real soul float in midair? It’s an amazing sight. Clover’s soul was whirlwind of blues and violets, quickly being sucked into the bracelet she had self-prepared. It looked as if a tornado and the Northern Lights had a baby, and then strapped that baby to a collection of the world’s most spectacular fireworks. As soon as the extravaganza of colors had started, it was over.

Clover the Clever was now immortal.

It was at this precise moment that the innkeeper had decided to barge into the bedroom and ask Merryweather why it was taking so long for her to get out of bed. What he saw was a dead body on the floor and his eldest daughter clutching a bloody knife.

It didn’t look good.

“Merryweather, it’s time to wake-SWEET CELESTIA’S HOLY CROWN, WHAT HAPPENED HERE?!?”

I opened my mouth to speak. “Uhh...” I looked at myself. Slicing up Clover had left me drenched in 81% of her blood and a few trace pieces of her kidney. If I was wearing any clothing (besides my magical stainless choker) it would’ve been soaked beyond the point of wearing. I desperately needed a way out of this. Fortunately, I had developed into a compulsive liar early in my foalhood.

“Oh Papa, it was terrible!” I wailed, bursting into a fit of crocodile tears. “This lesbian tried to RAPE me in my sleep! I woke up and tried to call for you, but she threatened me with a knife! And then... and th-then... *sniff* OH PAPA, IT HAPPENED SO FAST!!! I’ve killed a pony! I need your loving embrace to comfort me!”

To my incredible luck, three coincidental facts were present that allowed me to be 100% forgiven for murder, no questions asked:

1. The pony in front of me was actually Merryweather’s father, and not somepony else, such as one of her older brothers or whatever.

2. Merryweather coincidentally always called him ‘Papa,’ and not something else like ‘Father Dearest’ or ‘Daddy-O.’

3. My so-called father bought my story hook, line & sinker.

Rushing to my side, he hugged me protectively. He was confused and scared, but the old guy had a very strong opinion of his daughter. Trust me, I could tell from how tightly he squeezed me. That hug was NOT healthy for my new spine.

“It’s okay, s-sweetie,” he said between sobs, “Papa’s here n-now,” He sniffled. “We’ll... uhh... hide the body! Yeah, that’s a good idea. It’s be like this never happened.”

I was perfectly fine with this option, but I was not fine with going on to work in a grimy old inn for the rest of Merryweather’s life. I had bigger plans. I wanted more. That was pretty much the gist of the years to come: Always wanting more. But enough of that; I’m getting ahead of myself.

“But Papa,” I said, fake tears still streaming down my face, “you don’t understand; I’ve committed murder! The law will catch up with us, and I’ll be thrown in the dungeon!”

“They won’t,” he said sternly, “I promise you, they will never lay a hoof on you. I will fight off the entire Royal Guard before that happens.”

“Papa, please understand! You can’t imagine the weight of my actions!” I begged, putting a considerable effort in my performance. I’m rather proud of my acting skills, if I do say so myself. “Even if we never get caught, I’ll still be living a horrible lie! I just can’t look in the faces of the neighbors I grew up with, knowing that I took a life!”

Now, ‘Papa’ was looking baffled. I don’t believe he ever had Merryweather disagree with him on anything before. (I later used this assumption as evidence to conclude that Merryweather was a complete loser.)

“What should we do?” he wondered aloud.

“I’m afraid that I must run away, Papa,” I said dramatically. “I’ll change my name, start a new life in the big city!”

“You can’t!” he gasped. “You have no money of your own.”

“You’ll have to give me half the inn’s funds,” I said, “Or maybe three quarters. That should be enough to start a new life, right?”

Now, a more clever pony would be at least a bit suspicious at that last remark, but judging by the fact that the innkeeper hadn’t noticed that his daughter was wearing a choker that he’d never seen before in his life, it would be safe to say that he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

“You can have as much money as you want, Merryweather.”

Thirty minutes later, I was gleefully skipping down the closest road to the next town over, my saddlebags filled to the brim with bits.

Unfortunately, I have to cut that story short again. Rarity’s friends have come over to inspect their new eveningwear.

“Thank you all for gathering here, my little ponies,” Rarity says with a brush of pride. “I have to say, you’re going to absolutely love the way you look. I’ve really outdone myself this time.”

“You didn’t use any lace on mine, did you?” Rainbow Dash questions. “That stuff itches like crazy.”

“No lace, I assure you,” nods Rarity. “Besides, I used my entire supply of lace on my own gown, and that’s not even finished yet.”

“So, where’s the dresses?” asks Pinkie Pie. “Is mine edible? OOO! Is is chocolate-flavored?”

Rarity thankfully ignores Pinkie’s last two questions, and instead answers the first one. “Your outfits are right here under these sheets.” She gestures to a array of mannikins hidden under various white cloths. “But I don’t want to reveal them just yet. There’s this new trend that I’ve always wanted to try out personally.” She holds up a magazine and shows her guests a certain article. “It’s called the Flash Fashion spell. Bascially, I just magic the clothes on all of you, and then you can tell me what you think. It saves a heap of time in the dressing room, and it’s all the rage in Canterlot!”

“Well, that sounds kinda fun,” Fluttershy says, nodding her head. “Just give me a second to mentally prepare myself and then you can-*eep!*

Apparently, the Flash Fashion spell doesn’t use any form of teleportation. What it uses instead is an insanely rapid version of automatic telekinesis. The outfits Rarity made spring to life, fly across the room, at breakneck speeds, and proceed to slip, wrap, bundle, buckle, fold, constrict, and strangle themselves onto her friends in ultrafast, unpredictable motions. Hair brushes, curlers, and mane extensions join the frenzy, stylizing each mane and tail to match the respective outfit each pony was being forced to try on. The spectacle looks like the six ponies are being assaulted by a merciless ninja wardrobe.

When the dust clears, I see that the spell was a complete success, no matter how uncomfortable it must’ve been.

“Never. Do. That. Again,” wheezes Trixie, exhausted from struggling against the spell.

“Am Ah wearin’ panties under this?” asks Applejack. “Mah hindquarters feel all... ticklish.”

“WEEE!!!” Pinkie squeals. “That was fun! Can we do that just one more time?”

Rainbow Dash is muttering something to herself about she expected her dress to be sexier. In contrast, Fluttershy says nothing, mostly because she’s too busy shivering in fetal position. This is the third time she’s been in fetal position in public this month, so nopony really pays attention to her.

Dusk Shine looks into one of the many mirrors Carousel Boutique has. He has an unsatisfied look on his face.

“What’s the matter, darling?” Rarity says with concern. “Don’t you like the suit that I made for you?”

“No Rarity, it’s fine,” he insists. “Don’t mind me, really.”

“Star-crossed lovers can sense when they’re lying to each other, you know,” she says. This little remark gets a few angry glares from more than half the ponies in the room, but as usual, Rarity doesn’t appear to give a damn. Her eyes are only on Dusk.

“The suit is fine,” he says, putting on a fake smile. “Honest. Don’t have a problem with it at all.”

“Nonsense,” she says, narrowing her eyes. “I’ve ran a clothing store long enough to tell when a client is unsatisfied with one of my designs.” She places a hoof on his shoulder. “All of these are custom orders, Dusk. If you are in any way unsatisfied with what your suit looks like, you’re perfectly allowed to make all the design changes you want. It’s certainly no skin off my back.”

“Really? You wouldn’t mind if I make a few tweaks?”

“But of course not!” she says, giving him a hug. An honest-to-goodness hug. No sexual implication whatsoever. Who is this pony, and what has she done with Rarity?

“In that case,” pipes up Fluttershy, now somehow fully recovered from her state of shock, “there’s a few changes I’d like to make to my dress.”

“Yeah, me too,” adds Rainbow.

“Me three!” says Pinkie.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie wants her dress to have more stars!”

Erm... I’ll have to get back to you later. I just wanna watch how this plays out, and narrating everything I see is getting to be a chore.

That’s your cue to go.


Seriously, go away. Out. Away with you. Your princess needs her privacy.

Deleted Scene: Celestia's Love Letter

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Pre-Chapter Author's Note: I’ve always wanted to do this scene, but I could never find the opportunity to slip it into the story. So, I decided to put it in as its own chapter. Even though the title says “deleted scene,” please note that it counts as canon to Dusk Shine’s romantic endeavors.

This was his first crush, after all.

An eleven-year-old Dusk Shine nervously trotted through the halls of Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. He levitated a small heart-shaped letter wherever he went. Finally, he arrived at his destination: The Royal Private Study.

"Your Highness?" he spoke while rapidly knocking at the door. "Are you in there?"

With a glow of Celestia's golden-colored magic, the door swung open. The Sun Princess was lying on one of the many beanbags that resided within any of her rooms dedicated for her relaxation. Ironically, the study of a goddess dedicated to sunlight had no widows, dimly lit instead by wax candles. Nearby, a fireplace crackled with burning firewood.

Celestia rose her head and looked at her protege. "What is it, Dusk?" she said with curiosity. “Have you made another breakthrough on that Talent Enhancer you’ve been working on?”

When looking into his teacher's eyes, Dusk considered backing off and dropping the issue. Instead, he took a deep breath said, "Well, no. I’m not working on that today. It's Hearts and Hooves Day."

She cocked her head, wondering why Dusk would say something so obvious and trivial. "So? What are you here for?"

"D-do you have a special somepony?" the youthful colt asked.

Celestia looked to the side, seeing the MOUNTAIN of marriage proposals sent by royals and admirers across the globe every single year. Most of them were sent because some politician thought he had a chance at getting a life of power and luxury; others were sent because distant, everyday ponies were infatuated with her divine figure.


"Do you want one?"

Celestia sighed. She had seen this coming. She decided to play dumb for a minute or two. "Possibly. Have anypony in mind?"

"Well, yes," said Dusk Shine. "Kinda. Sorta. Maybe. Anyways... I made you this all by myself," he said, floating over the heart-shaped letter, his cheeks flushing with embarassment. "Do you like it?"

Not wanting to offend her student, Celestia began reading.

Dear Princess Celestia,

You're the bestest, smartest, most prettiest pony in the universe!!! I think about you every day. You made me the happiest colt in the world when you made me your student. Will you be my very, very, very, very special somepony?


Dusk Shine

Celestia set the letter down. She looked at Dusk, his eyes pratically sparkling. He had the dumbest grin plastered on his face. In return, she had the look on your face you get when you have to tell your kids that Santa Claus isn't real.

"Umm... well, that was some letter," she said a twinge of awkwardness.

"Yes..." said Dusk expectedly. "So, what's your answer?"

Celestia shifted her weight. "Uhh... you know that I regard you as my personal student..."


"...and also my close friend..."


"...and you know that we have a lot of fun when we're having our lessons together..."

"I know! That means we could be super-happy as a couple, right?" Dusk gushed.

"...but I'm a lesbian," Celestia finished.

Dusk paused. "A what?"

"You do know what a lesbian is, don't you?"

Dusk scrathed his head. "Umm.. sorta?"

"It's a mare that likes other mares."

"Oh," said Dusk. There was a short silence. "But that doesn't mean we can still be together, right?" he chirped with his voice full of hope.

Celestia clenched her teeth. This was going to harder then she thought. "No... what I mean to say is that a lesbian likes mares instead of stallions."

The smile disappeared from Dusk's face. He looked like a puppy was shot in front of him. "Oh. Well, I guess I'll be on my way then..." He began to drag his hooves away, tears begining to fall down his cheeks.

"Wait just a minute!" barked Celestia, stopping Dusk in his tracks. "Don't go. I refuse to leave one of my subjects so heartbroken."

Silently, Dusk walked back over.

"Why don't we read your favorite book together?" she suggested with a warm smile.

"The Encyclopaedia of Quantum Temporal Magic??" Dusk gasped.

"The very same," she nodded. "Why don't you get it from the top shelf?"

"Okay!" said Dusk, perky as a foal in a candy store.

"To your credit Dusk," the Sun Princess murmured under her breath, " if your were a fully-grown mare, I'd rail you until you dropped dead."

Rarity's Pussy Pt. 3

View Online

“Piece by piece, snip by snip

Croup, dock, haunch, shoulders, hip

Bolt by bolt, primmed and pressed

Yard by yard, always stressed

And that's the art of the dress~!”

Ugh. I feel like I’m gonna cough up another hairball. Welcome back, by the way. Remember when I said that narrating was getting to a chore for me? Well, I changed my mind. In fact, I’m going to monolouge the crap out of this week! I’LL DO ANYTHING TO GET THIS STUPID SONG OUTTA MY HEAD!

Three days ago...

After Rarity’s friends had understood that she was willing to make their dream outfits, they had swarmed her with so many design changes and requests that she had to yell at the top of her lungs for all of them to be quiet. She then organized a schedule so that each pony could simply go to her shop one at a time, and then that particular pony could brainstorm all the ideas he/she could want.

Today’s pony was Rainbow Dash. She sauntered in with her usual amount of cockiness.

“Sup, Rarity?” she said. “Ready to get started?”

“I’m surprised that you’re so motivated about this, darling,” Rarity replied. “Maybe there IS a feminine side to you.” She gave an enthusiastic grin. “Are you ready to explore the world of fashion?”

“Actually,” said Rainbow Dash, “I just want my dress to be cool.” She paused. “And sexy. Don’t forget sexy.”

Rarity pursed her lips. “Well, where can we start?” she said, offput by the uncertainty of where this conversation was going.

“Like I said, just make it cool and sexy,” Rainbow Dash repeated. “Or, you know, sexy and cool. Whichever is fine.”

“Should we start with the color?”

“The color’s okay, just make it cool. With a touch of sexy.”

“Should we change fabric? Maybe silk instead of cotton?”

“Fabric, schmabric. Two words to remember, Rarity: Cool and sexy.”

Rarity was trying hardest to interpret what Dash was saying. “So... by ‘fabric, schmabric,’ so mean we should have less fabric? Adjusting the length to be more revealing, perhaps?”

“Look,” said Rainbow Dash, “All I want for my dress is to be cool and sexy. Isn’t there a setting on your sewing machine that just produces the maximum of both?”


“Well, sewing machines are lame.” Dash said crossly.

Four hours later...

“Any changes you have in mind, Pinkie Pie?” asked Rarity.

“Well, me and Pinkamena had this reeaaally long talk about how my ‘bad’ dress would either be the same as the one as the original episode-”

“Who’s Pinkamena?”

“Nevermind. Anywho, I decided that my dress should look like... this!” Pinkie said as she pulled out a crayon drawing from absolutely nowhere.

Rarity studied the sketch with growing disgust. “Pinkie... that doesn’t even look like a dress! I don’t think I even have enough rubber and spandex to make that work!”

“But spandex is fuuuun~” Pinkie whined. “Who doesn’t love the way it snuggles your rump?”

The next day...

“So, Ah was thinkin’ that mah dress could come with galoshes,” suggested Applejack. “Ya know, in case it rains.”






“Alright,” sighed Rarity, letting four hundred years of fashion die a little. “Let’s see what we can do with... galoshes.

That afternoon...

”So, what should we start with, Trixie?” said Rarity.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie’s dress must have gold chains strewn in it,” ordered Trixie.

“Got it.”

“And it must be longer, so it drags wherever Trixie walks.”

“Longer. I can do longer.”

“And it must have a servant to carry the part that drags, so the dress doesn’t get dirty.”

“Um... I don’t think I can-”

“And the dress must have wings.”


“Artificial wings. So Trixie can look like an alicorn.”

“Well, I can certainly attach some wings-”

“With neon lighting, please.”

“-But you’re on your own about the servant. Got that?”

“Oh, the servant will be no problem. You can be the one to carry it. Of course, you’ll have to say please first.”

The doctor’s said that Trixie could stop eating out of a straw after a couple days, so I suppose she’ll be fine. Rarity might even apologize for the broken jaw.

The day after that...

This time, Fluttershy came over. The good news is that she’s one of Rarity’s friends that actually knows a thing or two about fashion. The bad news is that Fluttershy wrote down a list of things wrong with her dress as long as the Amarezon River.

As Rarity reviewed the list with bloodshot, sleep-deprived eyes, she made some small talk with her butter-yellow friend.

“So, how are things with your animals?” asked Rarity.

“It’s nice,” said Fluttershy coyly.

“And the new batch of bunnies? How are they doing?”

“Nice,” Fluttershy repeated.

“And Angel? How’s he?”


“And your relationship with Dusk?” Rarity slipped in.

“Nic-Oh, I’d rather not talk about that,” said her visitor, backing away slowly.

Rarity lifted her head slowly from her workbench, eyeing Fluttershy carefully. “Why’s that?” she asked, seemingly innocent.

“Um, because it’s sorta technically none of your business, if you don’t mind,” mumbled Fluttershy. She really didn’t drive her point across.

“None of my business?” scowled Rarity. “Why? Has something changed?”

“C-can we stop talking about this?”

“Okay, let’s discuss something else,” Rarity said sternly, not changing the mood in the slightest. “Where were you last Friday? I went to your house that day, and nopony was there.”


“I went to Dusk’s house after that,” she continued, “but guess what? He wasn’t home either. SO, WHERE WERE YOU TWO?”

“I really think we should keep it down to our indoor voices,”

“Fluttershy, if there’s something you’re hiding, just tell me.”

“It’s nothing.”

“Tell me.”

“Well... no, I kind of promised myself to keep it a secret.”

“Keep what a secret?”

“Please stop asking me these questions.”


And that’s when the dam burst.

*GASP*“Dusk and I went on a date but I swear nothing happened but I said yes to a second date and I’m sorry and we’re going to see The Host next Friday even though the reviews for it are terrible because it’s the only date movie out right now and I’m sorry and he’s been really really really nice to me and I’m sorry and I get lost in his eyes sometimes and I’m sorry and I’ve never felt this way about a colt before and I’m sorry butIthinkI’minlove!”

Rarity could only stare with her mouth agape. The only sound in the room was Fluttershy’s heavy breathing. On one hoof, Rarity could punch Fluttershy into next week. On the other hoof, it was Fluttershy that we were talking about here. She’s as frail as a dandelion. Nopony could really even insult her without at least feeling guilty about it. Rarity was effectively landlocked. Her worst enemy was her best friend.

“...Go,” said Rarity coldly, holding back tears. “Get out of my store.”

Ooo, this just started to get goooood. I’m gonna need some popcorn. In the meantime, why don’t I get back to my story with Clover?

5,000 years ago...

The largest and closest city to the humble village Merryweather grew up in was called Tondown Abbey, and I soon learned it was the central station for all the 1% that loved nothing more than kissing Celestia’s flanks. The stone-paved roads all lead to a clamoring marketplace, where traveling salesponies tried to sell all sorts of trinkets to the wealthy locals and dim-witted tourists.

As I promised my precious ‘father,’ I changed my name. It was now a more proper name of my suiting, Treasure Cove. I know it didn’t seem like it matched my current cutie mark, but that‘s actually quite common. Lots of parents name their foals in hopes of determining their future careers, and sometimes it doesn’t go so well. I once knew a rebellious rockstar named Brain Surgeon back in the day.

I spent nearly all my bits on opening a small jewelry stand, trying my best to make it expensive-looking as possible. Pretty soon, I had my first customer: The fattest, snobbiest, richest unicorn in town: Madame Ruzzletop.

The day that I met her, Ruzzletop was wearing a humungous black fur coat that did the impossible feat of covering all of her flabby body. She was a widow, having recently gained her late husband’s booming hat-selling business. Her wide-brimmed hat was a spring green, giving her the look that she was a morbidly obese toad that decided to put a lily-pad on top of her head.

“Hello, ma’am,” I said, grabbing her attention. “Would you like to buy some accessories to go with that astounding figure of yours?”

She waddled over, awe-ing over the bits and pieces of jewellery that I had on display. “How much are these pearls?” she said with the classic Canterlot accent. (Of course, Canterlot hadn’t been built yet. The city simply adopted the accent.)

“Oh, those are just cheap fakes,” I dismissed with a wave of my hoof. I reached from under the counter, pulling out Clover’s braclet. “This is much more fitting for a mare of your stature.”

“Oh?” she said, raising an eyebrow in disbelief. “And what, pray tell, is that?”

“That,” I said with a smirk, “is the only thing that survived the downfall of the Crystal Empire.”

“The Crystal Empire?!” she replied with a sharp intake of breath. “I read all about that in the newspaper. The Royal Pony Sisters overthrew the tyrant king, but the entire kingdom disappeared before it could be saved. How in the name of Celestia’s nonexistent beard did you retrieve that??”

“Well, I’d tell you, but then THEY would find me,” I hinted ominously.


“That’s not important right now,” I said, driving her attention away the details. “What’s important is that I’m selling you a bracelet from a place that doesn’t exist anymore, and that it’s got a one-of-a-kind gemstone infused in it. I’m not going to be in town tomorrow (because THEY are already on my trail), so it’s very important that you need to buy this right now while my offer still stands.”

“Deal!” Ruzzletop says enthusiastically, nodding her head so fast that her nine chins are practically flapping like wings. “Let me just try it on to see it fits and then-OH!” Her eyes glazed over as the soul gem’s magic took effect. Clover shook herself awake and looked at me.

“This was the best body you could find?” she said with disgust.

“It was the wealthiest one,” I smiled. If anypony was watching, they didn’t suspect a thing. “Now, let’s find the way back to your estate, ‘Madame Ruzzletop.’ I hear that you’re looking for a new maid for your mansion, and I believe it’s time for me to make a career change.” My grin grew wider. “Who knows? You might even promote me all the way up to being your business partner.”

There have been entire books written on the concept of living forever. They say that it is a fool’s errand to pursue it. It’s also commonly said that once accomplished, a pony could be driven to madness from all the tedious years of pointless existence. Celestia and Luna were once asked about this, and they said that their mother taught them specific mental training exercises in order to fend off boredom and insanity, and that they still don’t recommend the typical pony chasing the dream of eternity.

That’s all bullshit.

The truth is, Clover and I never got that bored. In fact, immortality can pay off in the later years. We took over business after business, company after company, right up until we were filthy, stinking rich. And when we got old? We just signed our wills to leave everything to our youngest relative, plus a certain piece of jewelry under the name of a ‘family heirloom.’

Oh, now I know what you’re thinking. “Ponies need companionship to survive, Platinum! You can’t just live forever with just one pony as your friend. What about romance? What about the family life? Can you honestly tell us that you’ve never met that one stallion that every girl dreams about, and that you stood and watched as he grew old and died? Can you bear the torture and depression of outliving all of your loved ones? Surely, you must be riddled with angst from being deprived of a normal life!”

Also bullshit.

In truth, I actually met the true love of my life. Loves of my lifes, to be grammatically accurate. Fifteen perfect marriages so far, in case you were wondering. They were all such lovely gentlecolts. I cherished my time with all of them, and of course I was sad when they died. It’s only natural. But you know what? I moved on. You know, like a normal pony? Don’t tell me that you’re still mourning over your grandma’s death that happened ten years ago. It’s not that different. Sure, you were sad about it back then, but then you accept it and you get on with your life. (In truth, their deaths were more times of a relief than a burden. I said I had fifteen PERFECT marriages, and I've simply lost track of the terrible brutes I’ve said “I do” to.)

As of the family life, Clover and I both had multiple children each. Armfuls of them, actually. Raising spoiled-to-death fillies and colts was a little hectic at first, but it wasn’t worst obstacle that we came across. Once and awhile, we got a legitimately warm feeling in our hearts when we saw our foals playing with each other. And yes, they died too. Same thing as the romantic stuff. If you’re really pressing it, maybe it was a little harder to see them go.

Anyway, my point is that living forever was ironically underrated from our perspective. The world changed around us, ever evolving, and we happily evolved with it. The best part: We never got caught.

Well, except that one time.


I don’t wanna talk about it.


Look, let’s just say that it’s a dark place that I don’t like to go to. It wasn’t exactly a fond memory.


I’ll never forget you, Clover. *sniff* We had a good run...


I said, I don’t wanna talk about it. Seriously. Stop asking me. And quit looking at me like that! I don’t need your pity.


Tell you what: Let’s just skip to the part where I got stuck as a cat, okay?

Seven years ago...

I can’t exactly give you the details of what goes on around me when I’m not possessing a body, but I gathered enough info to tell you what happened. Of course, you’ve probably guess the general idea of what went down by now.

My choker was sitting in the window of an old antique shop, gathering dust. No, I don’t know how I got there. The last thing I remember from back then was going to sleep in my personal manor under the name ‘Karat Gold.’ My guess is that I was stolen by some burglar, who then pawned it to the shop owner.

Anyway, whom better to drop in than Little Miss Prissypants herself, Rarity the She-Demon? Apparently, either the salepony or Rarity thought that my choker was a very wide and fancy cat collar, and the next thing I know, I’m a kitten.

Of course, the thought of escaping never leaves my mind. I’ve plotted several ways to get Rarity to at try on the choker (or at least somehow attach it on her while she’s sleeping), but I’m constantly thwarted by one simple detail: Taking off the choker requires either unicorn magic or opposable thumbs. For those of you that fail biology class, cats have neither of those things. Thus, the only time Rarity takes the choker off is Opal’s bathtime, in which it placed on the windowsill. I am powerless.

And alone.

...I miss you so much, Clover. You’d know exactly what to do.

...You know what? That’s enough about me for today. Back to that thing that’s been going on with Rarity.

Present time...

Dusk Shine walks into Carousel Boutique. Rarity is staring out a nearby window, watching the rain trickle outside.

“Hello, Dusk,” she says.

“Hi Rarity, I’m here about my suit,” he says benevolently.

“We’re not going to talk about the suit,” she snaps quickly.

Dusk is confused. “Are we going to talk about your fight with Trixie?” he guesses.

“No,” says Rarity. “I’ve already paid her medical bills in full and you convinced her not to press charges. That should be enough.”

“Well, what are we going to talk about?”

She glares at him with eyes like laser sights. “I suppose we can talk about a lot of things,” she growls. “We can talk about Fluttershy...

Dusk gulps.

“...We can talk about how you’ve been spending your time lately...”

Dusk starts to back away.

“...We can talk about how you’ve carelessly stomped on my heart...

Dusk lunges for the door, but it’s already locked.

“...We can talk about how much I’ve tried to make you happy...

“Rarity, before you do anything rash...”

“...We can talk about the countless dreams I’ve had of our future together that you’ve killed today...

“Well, I wouldn’t say ‘countless dreams’...”

“But do you REALLY want to know what I want to talk about? Do want to know the subject that’s been running through my mind over and over?” challenges Rarity, so close now that the two ponies are nose-to-nose.


The word is more of a statement than a question. Dusk is speechless.

“Why her?” she continues, her voice finally cracking from the unfallen tears. “Why her and not me? What was wrong with having me instead? Was I really that awful of a choice? Did I push too hard? Is that it? ‘Oh, I don’t want to end up with Rarity. She’s too demanding. She wants me to whisk her away into a life of joy and love! That’s just TOO MUCH to ask of me, the high and mighty student of Celestia that can do anything he wants! I’ll stick with Fluttershy. She’s too much of a doormat to want ANYTHING from me!!!’ IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK?!?!?!”

“Rarity, stop,” says Dusk.

“Oh, what’s this? Dusk Shine want ME to stop talking? Why, I must be so honored for him to come down from his ivory tower to speak to me, the lowly fashion designer from the humdrum town of Ponyville! Who, by the way, WORKED HER FLANKS OFF FOR THE OUTFITS OF SIX TERRIBLE FRIENDS THAT NEVER EVEN SAID SO MUCH AS ‘THANK YOU!!!’”

“Rarity, please stop.”


“Because I never want to see you this unhappy again,” says Dusk intensely.


“Special somepony or not, I never want anypony to feel this bad because of me,” he continues. “I know that you love me, I understand that. I’m also in love, so I know how it feels.

“But hear me now: I am not going to leave any of my friends so broken-hearted. That’s what you are to me, Rarity. You’re my friend. Friends don’t let friends feel this bad about anything, not even toward each other. Wait, scratch that, we’re more than friends. We never were ‘just friends’ from day one. But at the same time, we couldn’t get past that. All I know is that things won’t be normal between us. Look, I’m sorry that I rejected you, and maybe our friendship will suffer because of that. I may not be in love with you, but I don’t want you in pain.”

Rarity wasn’t trying to hold back tears anymore. She was flat-out sobbing now. Her mascara is running like a river of black. Dusk opens his arms to hug her in an apologetic fashion, and she complies. They just sit like that for ten minutes straight, all the time with Rarity crying her eyes out. Finally, the tears dry out, she stands up straight.

“Thank you Dusk, I needed that,” she says in that shaky voice that you use after a good cry.

This tender moment was interrupted by the the cruel hoof of fate when Spike decided to barge into the building.

“Hey Rarity, guess wha-Hey, have you been crying?”

Rarity pulls out a personally-made handkerchief and begins to dab out her mascara. “Could you give us a minute, Spike? This is grown-up talk.”

Not to be defied, Spike puffs out his chest in the most masculine way he can manage. “I’m a grown-up too, you know.”

“You’re a baby dragon,” Dusk reminds him. “How many times do we have to go over that?”

“Well, Rarity’s been crying and I wanna know why,” the lovestruck dragon insists. Then, he puts two and two together. “Wait, did you tell her about last Friday?”

“He didn’t tell me, found out,” Rarity points out. “And I’d appreciate that you’d keep what you’ve seen here our little secret.”

“You know,” Spike said smoothly, “I’d be happy to help you on the rebound if you’d-”

“Why did you come here, exactly?” Rarity interrupts, changing the subject.

“Oh!” spike recalls, “I just happened to bump into Hoity Toity, that big hot shot from Canterlot that your magazines are always talking about. I told him how beautiful your work is, and I convinced him to book a fashion show right here in Ponyville, starring the outfits you’ve made for the whole gang!”

Oh no.

“Erm... really?” says Rarity unsurely. “Hoity Toity wants to see... those outfits?”

“What?” Dusk questions, “What’s wrong with the outfits?”

Rarity bit her lip. “Umm... nothing! Nothing at all. Can’t wait to get to that fashion show. When is that?”

“This evening, after sundown,” says Spike.

“Great!” says Dusk. “That gives us just enough time for us to make the changes to my suit.”

At the fashion show, in which the public was cruelly subjected to these monstrosities...

Author’s Note: For obvious reasons, I couldn’t find fanart of Trixie wearing a super-long dress; fake, neon-lit alicorn wings; and a broken jaw cast all at once.

Also, you are now obligated to comment below if you’ve said, “But I’ve already favorited this story, Pinkie!” out loud.

The crowd of ponies were disgusted, and that’s putting it lightly. Vomiting sounds could be heard all around. I watched with Rarity from behind the curtains. Her companions’ faces slowly turned to looks of dawning horror as they became aware of the piss-poor approval rating of their ‘custom wear.’

Hoity Toity, however, doesn’t speak at all. He silently goes up and starts to walk backstage. Rarity has noticed this and has already started to panic.

“Oh my gosh, he’s coming over here?” she says, hyperventilating. “What does he want? Did he actually hate the designs so much that he wants to scold me? Oh no, he’s going to take away my fabulousity license, isn’t he? He’ll call the fashion police on me and I’ll be forced to live a life in exile! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PACK FOR EXILE!”

By this time, Hoity Toity was ten paces away. “Are you the designer for these clothes?” he asks. His voice seems to be nasally and nonchalant, as if he was stuck all his life in a permanent unimpressed mood.

Rarity hangs her head low in acceptance. “Yes. Yes, I am.”

“May I speak to you in private?” he requests.

“Of course,” Rarity agrees. “I mean, why would we want to further humiliate me in public?”

Again, Hoity Toity is silent. He simply makes his way to the dressing room, and we follow. When we’re alone, his attitude turns a complete 180.

“That was fantastic!” he exclaims.

“I beg your pardon?”

“My dear, your designs were completely original,” he says, wildly shaking her hoof in congratulations. “I’ve never seen something so... so.. so artistic!~ It’s like you took those models and poured their souls out to the crowd with absolutely NO REGARD for social standards!

“But... but... I used galoshes...”

“Of course you used galoshes,” he says with a gleaming smile. “What else could be such an accurate metaphor for the struggle and hardships of the working class? I’m surprised I didn’t come up with that myself!”

“...But the audience hated them...”

Hoity Toity laughed heartedly. “Because your ideas are that underground, darling! Trust me, if your outfits were shown to the anti-mainstream crowd, they’d be tearing each other apart to get just one of your works!”

Rarity blinked. “So... you’re saying that you actually like them?”

“I’d wear that suit myself.”

By now, Rarity finally caught on started to get the right attitude. “Well, I couldn’t accomplish my greatest pieces ever without the help of my friends, now could I? So, how’s about we call Canterlot Weekly, hm?”

“A splendid idea,” nods Hoity Toity. “Here’s my card. Call my secretary as soon as you can. Baby, you’re going to be on the front page!” He starts to head out, but he stops himself. “Oh, and one more thing before I go...”


“Can I buy off that choker?”

“Say again?”

“That choker. On your cat. How much are you willing to part with it?”

Wait, what? Me?

“Well, Opal’s had that since I was a little-”

“How’s 10,000 bits sound?”

Rarity’s jaw drops simultaneously with mine.

“It’s a small exchange for you remember me by,” he says coolly.

“Uhh... certainly!” Rarity says after a moment of pause. “I mean, this collar has been sort of a small souvenir of the first time I got a cat... but that’s a LOT of money! May I ask why?”

“Oh, I’m planning on giving it as gift to a friend of mine,” he vaguely explains. “You see, I want to give her something that matches my bracelet.” He removes one of his cuffs and shows us the impossible.

It’s... her! It’s really her! I thought that she died! I saw her soul gem crushed to shards before my very eyes, but she’s alive! Oh this is the happiest day of-*CLICK*

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View Online

It was a bright and sunny day in Ponyville. Pinkie was wearing a colorful umbrella hat. She inexplicably darted from one covered area to the next. Dusk Shine watched nearby in curious fascination.

“What’s she doing that for?” he wondered out loud.

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.” Spike answered.

Dusk scrunched his nose in deep thought as he remembered all the questions he asked previously in the presence of the peculiar pink party pony.

“Why’s she popping out of nowhere all the time?”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“How does she eats all those sweets and never gets tooth decay?”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“What does she mean, ‘Because the plot demands it?’”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“Should she see a pediatrician if her back is bending at that angle?”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“Where did she get a baby alligator for a pet?”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“How did she put together such a humongous party on such short notice?”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“How and why is she making that face?”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“Gravity isn’t supposed to work like that!”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.”

“Where in the name of Celestia’s Third Commandment is she always hiding that damn crowbar??”

“It’s just Pinkie Pie being-

“No,” Dusk uttered to himself. “This time will be different.” With his confidence at its prime, he marched over to Pinkie.

“Why are you doing that?” he asked.

“Because my tail’s been all twitcha-twitchy,” she answered, never averting her gaze from directly above herself. “And you know what that means!”

“Uhh... no, I don’t,” said Dusk. “I really don’t.”

“It means something’s gonna fall! Usually on somepony’s noggin!”

“Why would it mean something like that?” he questioned.

Pinkie opened her mouth wide. “Ohhhhh, you don’t know about Pinkie Sense yet, do you?”

“What’s Pinkie Sense?”


“My balls!”

“Pinkie Sense is these little twitches, itches, and pinches that let me see what’s coming,” Pinkie explained, as if nothing out of the ordinary happened. “For example, if I get floppy ears, sompony’s gonna all messy and dirty.”

“So, you’re hiding under random things because you feel a little off?” he summarized after nursing his crotch.

“Thaaaat’s right!”

“Pinkie, that’s just crazy, even for you,” Dusk scoffed.

[Suit yourself,] shrugged Pinkamena within the empty space of Pinkie’s subconscious, [But don’t come crying to us when you’re suffering head trauma. Besides, you’ll come around by the end of the day anyway.]

Pinkie, however, didn’t let this go so easily. “Hey, I can prove that my Pinkie Sense works!”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah!” she said enthusiastically. “It’ll be nice for developing our characters so we can be together in the end!”

“How are you going to prove that your apparently psychic predictions are all true?”

“Simple,” Pinkie said. “Any second now, something’s gonna fall. Just wait.”

They waited for a brief, awkward time.

Dusk stood triumphant. “See, Pinkie? Unicorn spellcasters have worked eons for the ability to predict the furture, and so far they’ve had nothing. Just because some muscle in your body feels funny doesn’t mean-”

And that’s when a big, green frog fell out of the sky and landed on Dusk Shine’s face.


I seriously just wrote that.

“Are you okay, Mr. Ribbits?” called a voice from above. “Thank goodness Dusk caught you!”

“Rrrribbit,” agreed Mr. Ribbits.

“Fluttershy, why are you carrying all those frogs anyway?” asked Dusk.

“Oh, I’m transporting these frogs to Froggy Bottom Bog,” Fluttershy responded. “The other bog is overpopulated, and I just couldn’t stand to see all those frogs bashing into each other whenever they hopped.” She flew down, grabbed the frog off her unofficial boyfriend’s face, and went on her merry way.

“This proves nothing,” Dusk said to Pinkie after a short silence. “That was a coincidence, nothing more.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure, Dusky-wusky,” Pinkie warned. “After all, my tail’s still twitching, so that means something else is still due to drop.”

“Oh?” he said sarcastically. “And what could that beeeaaAAAHH!” *oof*

“By the way Dusk, watch out for that ditch you just fell in. Honestly some ponies simply have to watch where they’re going. In other news, my tail stopped twitching. Yay!”

“Thanks for warning me,” said Dusk, his face implanted in the dirt. “Excuse me if I’m not jumping for joy,”

“You okay, Dusk?” said Applejack, who had an apple stand set up a short distance away. “Ah saw ya take a mighty fall right there. Yer head still attached to yer neck?”

“I’m fine, Applejack,” assured Dusk, dusting himself off. “By the way, could you talk some sense into Pinkie here? She’s under the impression that things will fall down because her tail is twitching. Ridiculous, right?”

Immediately, Applejack sprung into action, dashing under her cart in a panic. “PINKIE’S TAIL IS TWITCHIN’! DUCK AN’ COVER!!!”

“It’s alright, AJ,” said Pinkie. “There’s no need to panic. It stopped.”

The apple farmer that was ironically colored orange peeked out from under her cart. “You sure? All clear? Ah don’t want some flowerpot droppin’ on mah head like last time.”

[Which was hilarious, by the way,] smiled Pinkamena grimly. [It’s always nice to see other ponies in pain once and awhile.]

“All clear,” Pinkie nodded.

Dusk rolled his eyes. “Are you serious? I know there’s this sort of unspoken acceptance to whenever Pinkie is...... being Pinkie, but this is just silly! Applejack, you’re one of the most down-to-earth mares I’ve met. Don’t tell me that you actually believe this Pinkie Sense nonsense, do you?”

“Sorry Dusk,” Applejack said as she came out from under her cart, “but folks here in Ponyville have sayin’: When Pinkie’s a-twitching, y’all better listen.”

Before Dusk could retort, Pinkie exclaimed, “My ears are flopping! My ears are flopping!”

As soon as she proclaimed that, a carriage ran by and splashed a mud puddle close to Dusk, getting him filthy.

Afterward, in the bathroom of Sugarcube Corner’s living quarters...

Dusk Shine soaked himself in the soothing bubble bath, dispersing the mud and grime with soap and water.

“Are you sure that it’s necessary for you to be watching me?” he said to Pinkie Pie.

“Umm... define ‘necessary,’”

“Necessary, adjective: being essential, indispensable, or requisite,” he snarked.

“Wow, you are really cranky today,” Pinkie huffed. “You know what you need?”


“You need a couple of BATHTIME BUDDIES! Come on Gummy, we’re going for a swim!”

Before Dusk could object, Pinkie grabbed her tragically toothless pet alligator and performed a cannonball into the tub, surprisingly leaving her bones unbroken.

“Pinkie! A mare and a stallion shouldn't be bathing together at this age!” the wet unicorn shouted.

“But isn’t it fun?” she giggled.

“Pinkie, this is serious! Get of of the bath right or I’ll-”

“Shhhh...” Pinkie hush seductively, pressing hoof upon his lips. “Just relax. Sit back. Enjoy. I promise you, this’ll be fun.”

“Fun?” Dusk repeated. He then felt an odd, uncomfortable sensation. “Pinkie, I think Gummy’s swimming a bit close to private territory. Could you make him stop?”

“That’s not Gummy,” Pinkie whispered smugly. She then leaned over to meet his lips with a kiss. As her tongue invaded his mouth, Dusk tasted all the candies and sweets Pinkie undoubtedly recently ate, making her saliva taste like sugar water. Finally, he found the willpower to pull away.

“I think I should leave,” he said.

“Really?” she snickered. “Because I think some part of you is stiff at attention.”

Dusk looked down angrily. You filthy traitor, he silently scolded his sneaky schlong.

“Come on, Dusk-wusky! Just play along,” the wet party animal prompted. “If this scene gets saucy enough, the author-I mean, the non-existent deity will have no choice but to cut away to after this, ensuring a full session of off-screen sex. It’s brilliant!”

Dusk only stared in puzzlement, as Pinkie’s out-of-topic comment completely ruined the mood.

“Do you want to make whoopie or not?” Pinkie grunted, simplifying her motives.

“No!” Dusk refused. “I can’t! I won’t! I didn’t want to tell you this yet Pinkie, but I’m seeing Fluttershy now.”

“That’s okay,” said Pinkie with shrug.

“Great, so now we can get out of the tub and forget this ever-Wait, what?”

“Yeah, it’s okay that you’re seeing Fluttershy,” Pinkie said, ignoring the fact that Dusk had just said ‘what.’ “We have the same voice actress anyway, so it’s like you’re dating me too!”

“That doesn’t make any sense at all,” he protested.

“And since you’re dating me too, it’s okay that I can jerk your twinkie, right? Ooo, it’s still hard!”

“Pinkie, p-please take your hooves off my-”

“It’s like one of those shaky exercise things you see on TV!”

“Pinkie, I’m going to count to ten for you to let goooOOO-OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! UMPH!! Oh... oh.. oh... Ahhhhhh...”

“Aww,” said Pinkie Pie in disappointment, “it got all floppy again. You’re real quick, Dusk! Super-dee-duper quick!”

“Hey, I’m not quick!” he said defiantly. “And besides, that was totally uncalled for!”

“Dusk, that took fifteen seconds,” she said, unimpressed. “That wasn’t even enough time for the non-specific deity to cut away. That was a borderline clop scene, you know!”

“Well, what about me??” he defended. “I was just molested by one of my best friends!”

“It was only a hoofjob.”

“I’m going home,” said Dusk, frustrated and ashamed.

“Wait, don’t go,” said Pinkie, stopping him by grabbing his shoulder. “We haven’t given Gummy a turn!”


“Yeah! Do you have any idea how hard this little trooper can suck things?”

OKAAAY, that's enough of the bathtub for now. Why don’t we skip to that famous scene with the laboratory now?

Dusk Shine stood inside the basement of Ponyville’s local library. Closeby, Pinkie was hooked up to one of the machines he bought out of his own budget.

“Wait, how did we get here?” he wondered aloud.

“Don’t question it,” shushed Pinkie. “If you say less about what happened before, the readers will assume that we went all the way.”

“But we didn’t go all the way,” said Dusk. “You just said something inappropriate about Gummy, and the next thing we somehow ended up here! THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!”

“Whoa, calm down Dusk,” said Pinkie. “Take a deep breath. You know what’ll make you feel better?”

Dusk looked at Pinkie expectantly.

“Doing science-y stuff!” she said gleefully. “I bet you could totally figure out how my Pinkie Sense works with whatever this is!” She gestured to the metallic helmet she was wearing with mutiple blinking lights.

[Yeah, Dusk can figure Pinkie Sense out,] Pinkamena scoffed. [And I bet if he wishes upon a star, all his dreams will come true, too.]

“That’s a cranium scanner,” informed Dusk. “It measures activity within the brain and neural system. How’d you put that on?”

Pinkie bounced in her seat. “Come onnnn, scan me already! I bet scanning is really fun. Does it tickle?”

Dusk took a deep breath, promised himself that they would revisit the whole ‘hoofjob’ issue later (which was really more of a ‘hoofjob/time skip’ issue, when you think about it), and focused on the advancement of scientific progress. So, he waited for Pinkie to get another twitch.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

“Anything yet?” he asked the pink enigma.


They waited together.

And waited

And waited.

And waited.

For a change of pace, they waited some more.

After a fair amount of the well-honored-practice of waiting, Dusk finally did another thing: He remembered something from his foalhood.

“Are you really going to sit around and wait for the mail to come? A watched pot never boils, you know.”-Dusk’s mother

“This isn’t working,” he said, giving up and pulling Pinkie’s helmet off. “Go home, Pinkie Pie. I’ve had enough craziness for one day.”

“Hey, we’re not done!” insisted Pinkie. “I can tell that you’re still in a grumpy mood, and nopony has a sour face on my watch. Come on, let’s do more science-y stuff! What’s this machine do?”

“That relays Ponyville’s weather patterns to the Cloudsdale Weather Corperation’s database,” Dusk sighed. “Don’t touch it.”

“Can I touch this one?”

“No, that one stores my findings on Spike’s growth patterns.”

“How about this one?”

“That’s a zero-gravity containment field. It holds my supply of antimatter for special occasions. Don’t touch it.”

“How about these bubbly things?”

“That’s my Talent Enhancer project. I’ve been working on it ever since I’ve gotten my very first chemistry set. Don’t touch it.”

“What’s this big thingy over here?”

“That’s the Life-Size Fully-Poseable Presto the Magnificent Action Figure that I bought online. It’s in mint condition; don’t touch it.”

“What’s this door lead to?”

“That’s my fallout shelter. Don’t touch anything in there.”

“What about the other door? Why’s it locked?”

“That leads to The Chart.”

“What’s The Chart?”

“Uhh... Celestia gave it to me. It’s a secret of national security. Don’t go in there.”

“What’s this doohickey for?”

The doohickey in question looked roughly similar to an old recording device with jumper cables attached to it. The machine was aged and dusty, but it seemed well-kept, like an antique in a china shop.

“That,” Dusk answered, “belonged to my dad. He mailed it to me after the defeat of Nightmare Moon. It’s just an old war token.”

“War token?” parroted Pinkie Pie. “Was he in the army? And another thing, There was recently a WAR??”

“Well, sort of,” Dusk said. “He was a Dream Jumper.”

Dream Jumpers were a division of Celestia’s Intelligence Agency. (The CIA.) Their origin dates back to the banishment of Nightmare Moon. You see, Nightmare Moon would sometimes come all the way down from the moon to Equestria through sleeping ponies and cause them bad dreams, just so they would remember her name and reputation. (This actually spurred the creation of the term ‘nightmare,’ but that’s not important.) Sometimes, the dreams were so horrific, her victims went into shock while still asleep, rendering them comatose.

That’s where the Dream Jumpers came in. They would use a special machine to go into the victim’s endless nightmare, fight off the terrors, and help the victim wake up by letting him/her conquer his/her fears. The society was kept secret, so the only ones that knew about them were the ones that believe in things like the Illuminati, the Loch Neighs Monster or human beings. Unfortunately, when Nightmare Moon turned back into the benevolent Princess Luna, there was no more need for Dream Jumpers, and Celestia quietly disbanded them.

“Oh, a real live Night Jumper machine!” Pinkie exclaimed. “I always wanted to see one of these!”

“I really, really, REALLY wouldn’t touch it,” warned Dusk.

“How does it work? Do you know?”

“Umm... I think you attach these wires to the dreamer’s head,” he said, “And then you attach these to your own head, you hit this button here, and then it knocks you out cold.”

Just then, Pinkie had a brilliant idea. “What if you went into MY dreams? Wouldn’t that be fun? We’d be like, going on a dream date! Also, you’d stop being a grumpy-wumpy-McCrankybutt today ‘cause you’d be in the happiest place in Equestria: My brain! I think TONS of happy stuff!”

[What am I, chopped liver?]

“Yeah, not gonna happen,” said Dusk after thinking that pleasant scenario over a fragment of a second. “Like I said, I’ve had enough craziness for today. Besides, one of us would have to be unconscious first.”

“Well, why didn’tcha say so, silly?”

The last thing that Dusk Shine remembered was a comedically oversized mallet dropping on his head, then blackness.

Pinkieception Pt. 2

View Online

Dusk Shine knew that he was in a dream.

He was aware of the fact that Pinkie had knocked him out. He had silently cursed her name while slipping into unconsciousness. He had expected Pinkie Pie’s mind to be a sugarcoated landscape of nonsense and madness. Also, he had no idea how the unavoidable presence of Pinkamena would affect his stay in the pink pony’s psyche. That said, he mentally readied his mind for the insanity to come. He was prepared for anything.

What he wasn’t prepared for was nothing.

When he opened his eyes, nothing met his gaze. A tremendous amount of nothing, in fact. As far as the eye could see, nothing could be found. One could even speculate that it was an infinite amount of nothing. It wasn’t even the black-abyss-of-darkness kind of nothing, it was the white-landscape-of-boredom kind of nothing. He was completely alone in a desolate wasteland of blandness.

“Hi there!”

Correction: He was almost alone.

Dusk Shine turned around to meet the eyes of his companion. “Pinkie Pie? How could you do something so rash as pulling me into your dream? Do you know how dangerous that is? And for that matter, why’s everything so white? Where are we? And why do we suddenly both have wings?”

“Well, we look like this because we’re in a dream, duh!” the peculiarly palette-swapped party pony proclaimed. “Anything can happen in a dream.”

“Well, why the bland landscape?” asked Dusk Shine the alicorn. “I thought your dream would be... you know, like you

“Oh, that’s easy,” Pinkie laughed. “All my dreams start out this way: Just a blank canvas that I can do anything with. Watch this.” Spontaneously, the world around them changed. They were now located in the top car on a huge ferris wheel. Dusk looked out the window to see a sunset on a beautiful dockside carnival. Down below, imaginary children were having fun with their imaginary families, going on rides and stuffing their faces with the junk food they bought at the stands. Fireworks were slowly performing against the setting sun and the dimly starlight sky, bursting into gorgeous, faraway explosions that sometimes made shapes like hearts or letters that spelled out ‘DUSK & PINKIE IS BEST SHIP.’

“Popcorn?” Pinkie Pie offered, holding forward a box of blue-colored popcorn kernels. “It’s blueberry-flavored.”

Dusk shook his head in disbelief. “How are you doing all this?”

“Doing what?”

“This!” he yelled, gesturing to everything that resided outside the ferris wheel car. “How are you controlling everything in your dream?”

“What’s the matter with that?” questioned Pinkie. “Can’t everypony do that?”

“You have to have years of experience to have lucid dreaming, and even then, you’ve got to be asleep for a few hours before you can even try it,” Dusk explained. “But you, Pinkie, you just took control of everything the moment you closed your eyes. That’s completely impossible!”

The earth-pony-turned-pegasus broke into a grin. “Well, well, well, I learned something new today! Let’s celebrate with some soda.” A couple bottles of bubblegum-flavored Sparkle Colas appeared in Pinkie’s hooves.

Dusk narrowed his eyes. “I want wake up. Now.”

“Hey, this dream-date will cheer you up, I guarantee it!” she said sweetly.

“I don’t want to be ‘cheered up’ by you,” Dusk snorted. “I want to wake up, go upstairs, and get back to reading the chapter of The Geometry of Modern Architecture I left off on.”

A distant, gloomy frown crossed Pinkie’s snow-white face. “But I thought you liked spending time with me. Don’t you like me, Dusky?”

“...As a friend,” Dusk answered, finishing Pinkie’s statement.

Pinkie quivered her lip, almost looking depressed. “I j-just wanted us to have some special time together. *sniff* I thought this would be a nice surprise. Don’t you like surprises, Dusk?”

Dusk was about to urge Pinkie not to cry, but something struck him odd. “Wait... say that last part again.”

“I said, don’t you like surprises?”

Why does that sound so familiar? he thought to himself. “Pinkie, I need to ask again... Why do we have wings? Why aren’t you pink?”

Before Pinkie Pie could answer, a large and threatening black hole opened up a good three centimeters in front of Dusk’s face, and he was sucked in with the rest of the false reality around him.

Dusk’s eyes fluttered open as he gasped for air. He was lying on a surgical bed with all four of his legs bolted down with steel restraints, along with his newly-acquired wings. As he looked about his new enviroment, a great sense of fear flooded his thoughts.

The room was flooded wall-to-wall with weapons. Knives, saws, axes and swords of every shape and size were hung as decoration, mostly with edges that were either sharpened perfectly or serrated. Surgical tools accompanied them, showing off very painful-looking prongs or needle-like tips. Whips and crops were also present, and it was quite easy to imagine the sound that each one would make when snapped on some unlucky soul’s backside.

The greatest horror was yet to come, however. Dead carcasses of ponies were stuffed and put on display in random parts of the torture room. Each one had label displaying their name and a minor detail about them.

Vanilla Split: She tripped us once.

Sandy Saddles: He never laughed at our jokes.

Radish Salad: He short-changed us at the market.

Upsy-Daisy: I’ve always hated her name anyway.

The list goes on and on. It was also worth mentioning that each stuffed pony had something horrible and grotesquely unique about him/her. Someone named Zippity-Doo-Da had nails hammered into his eyes. Another by the name of Kindred Spirit had a hacksaw lodged halfway into her back. One named Tax Return had his ribcage forcefully torn open and his organs ripped out, leaving nothing but an empty, shriveled shell of a pony.

But the most noticeable thing about the room was the ceiling. Dusk was lying flat on his back, after all, so it was the first thing that he saw. It had an enormous black poster dominating it, and a message was printed on it with big, capital, blood-red letters.


“Hello Dusk, you insufferable prick,” said a voice that Dusk did not want to hear. “I’d say ‘Step into my parlor,’ but I guess that’s already done with, don’t you agree?”

Desperate to escape, Dusk attempted to teleport. Much to his dismay, his horn didn’t even respond. It was as if the nerve endings connected to it had been shut down.

“Trying to get away?” the voice laughed mockingly. “That’s adorable. There’s one thing you need to remember during your stay in me and Pinkie’s mind, Dusk: When you’re in my half, you play by my rules.” With a whir of machinery, the table was slowly tilted upwards, positioning Dusk forward instead of facing the ceiling. Bravely, Dusk Shine stared into the face of his captor...

...who was a tad shorter than he remembered.

Pinkamena stood there, staring menacingly. But, instead of the fully-grown psychotic mare that Dusk was used to, she was a tiny filly, barely eight years old and absent of a cutie mark. However, she was decked out in a full dominatrix leather getup, complete with metal spikes in every conceivable place.

“You look... err... different,” said Dusk, trying his best not to laugh at Pinkamena’s new figure. “New haircut?”

“Real funny,” she deadpanned. “I can’t really help it, you know. In dreams, we all take our true forms.” She raised an eyebrow. “...And you seem to be an alicorn in your dreams. Gee, god complex much?”

“Says the filly dressed in biker fetish.”

“SHUT UP!” barked Pinkamena through her teeth. “Obviously, you’ve forgotten which one of us is strapped to a table.” She took a hacksaw from the weapon rack. “Are you going to keep quiet and listen to what I have to say, or shall we find out how painful it is to lose a horn?”

“Shutting up now.”

“Good,” she said with a satisfied smirk. “Now, I’ve taken a notice that you’re trying to give Pinkie a hint.” She toyed with blade in her hooves. “That you don’t want to be as intimate as she wants. That you just want to be ‘friends.’ Yes or no?”


She grimaced. “I don’t really think she’d be happy with that answer, Dusk.”

“So I chose another girl to be with,” Dusk said. “Is that really a crime? I was trying to explain it to her, but you interrupted me with that freaky black hole thing.”

“I interrupted you because you were hurting her,” Pinkamena shot back with dirty look. “You were laying it down pretty blunt. That’s low, even for scum like you.”

Dusk gave a tired sigh. “Look, I’m sorry that I was hard on her. Can’t we talk this out? I’d like to go home.”

“And do you know what I’d like to do?” she snapped. “I’d like to test out this new device I have that grinds a stallion’s testicales into hamburgers. But sadly, we don’t always get what we want.” She looked directly into Dusk’s eyes. “Instead, I’m going to offer you two options.

“Option One: You make it your life’s goal to make Pinkie Pie the happiest girl in Equestria. Follow through on this dumbass date she’s hoping for. Buy her chocolates afterward. Give her flowers. Tell her ‘I love you.’ All that cheesy stuff. Give her a baby if she asks for one. She’s always talking about a how much she wants to raise a foal.

“What the hay, you can even keep that spineless wreck of a mare that you claim to be in relationship with, as long as you keep you and Pinkie’s thing a secret from her. All that matters is that you spoil Pinkie rotten. Or else.”

Dusk was feeling particularly frustrated lately. For the first time in his life, he had a girlfriend, and he was NOT going to give that up easily. He was not going to relinquish his free will. He was going to love whom he wanted, and how wanted, and that was final.

“Or else you’ll kill me??” he challenged. “Or maybe drive me insane by torturing me in this chamber? You can’t do anything here, this is just a dream. Contrary to popular belief, if you die in your dreams, you do not die for real. You just wake up. You can’t do anything to me in here.”

Pinkamena was silent for a while, staring at the floor. “If you break Pinkie’s heart, she’ll disappear. She will lose all hope she has and fade into nothingness.

“And I will be alone.”

After another pause, she looked up, a spark in her eyes that emitted terror and anguish. “And the pain you will experience then will be very real, Dusk. Oh, I wouldn’t kill you. At first. No, that would be too easy. Too simple. Too merciful. First, I would torture and kill every single individual you’ve ever loved. Your friends, your family, and even that despicable dragon you keep around will perish in every slow and agonizing way you can think of. I will even dispose every method I have to kill the princesses themselves, just because you found the space in your heart to love them too. I will make you watch all of this, even if it means tying you up and gnawing off your eyelids with my bare teeth.

“And when all of Ponyville and Canterlot are in ashes, when you have nothing left to love, I will drag you into the deepest, darkest cave I can find and do whatever I please with you for the rest of your days. You will have to re-define pain. You will have to re-define sorrow. And when I’m feeling in the mood, you’ll be sorry that the only thing that I haven’t amputated from your body was your dick. And when you finally beg me to stop countless times, despite losing your tongue long ago and having all your teeth pulled out one by one; I might consider feeding you alive to the rats, piece by piece. So Dusk, will it be Option One or Option Two?”

Dusk was pale as a ghost. He was only 50% sure that he didn’t wet himself. At last, he worked up the nerve to speak.

“*gulp* Can you give me some time to think about it?”

“Not gonna happen,” she said as she shook her head. “I’m not the type of pony to beat around the bush. That’s not my style. You’re going to choose, and you’re going to choose now.

“Can’t I just tell Pinkie that I’m sorry?”

“Not good enough, Dusk,” she said. “She’s going to get her feelings hurt, one way or another. The only way is to love her.”

“But it wouldn’t be love,” argued Dusk. “It would all just be fake! Couldn’t you help me convince her to understand?”

“Hm... Nah, I’d rather just make you suffer if you refuse her.”

“You’re a monster!” Dusk cried out.

“So I’m told.”

“I can’t believe Pinkie could come up with something like you!” he continued. “She’s so sweet and innocent. She loves to spread joy and happiness, while all you do is... whatever you did to those stuffed ponies over there! How does a pony become so bipolar? What happened to you?”


“My balls!”

Ahh... Pinkamena thought, Now, that was satisfying. I was wondering when he’d say ‘What.’ She faced Dusk. “You really don’t get it, do you? Pinkie didn’t create me, Dusk.” She leaned in to whisper in his ear. “I’m the original design.”

The purple alicorn’s eyes widened. “What?” was all he could say.

Pinkamena was just about to raise the crowbar again, but then she popped out of existence like a soap bubble. Dusk waited quietly in the room for a moment, his jaw hanging slack.


Gradually, the basement of death began to shift. The walls of weapons twisted shape and color, changing into something more familiar. The surgical bed that Dusk Shine was strapped to faded into dust, releasing him much to his gratefulness and confusion. Eventually, the transformation was complete.

Dusk Shine was sitting at a table in Sugarcube Corner. Judging from the night sky that could be seen out the window, the time was roughly late in the evening. The normally brightly-lit and crowded restaurant was now empty and was lighted by dim candles. Soft piano music could be heard in the background, but Dusk couldn’t locate the source. The table he was sitting at was set for two, with its centerpiece being a small Poison Joke flower in a vase.

Pinkie Pie strided through the door, still possessing her white coat and wings. The yellow curls of her mane bounced as she helped herself to a seat.

“That was a close one, wasn’t it?” she said, looking idly at the dessert menu. (Which, of course, was the only menu.) “One minute I’m on a date with you, and the next Pinkamena’s locked me inside a teensy-weensy box with eighteen gazillion kinds of locks on it. Good thing I’ve watched all those prison escape movies, or you’d be in serious trouble!”

“Pinkie... we need to talk,” Dusk said, shifting his weight in the chair. “Pinkamena told me some things.”

“What?” she said, looking up from the menu. “The whole ‘two options’ thing? Don’t worry, you don’t need to pretend to love me, ‘cause I’m sure that you’ll eventually develop feelings for my comic relief-err... odd and quirky antics by the end! Besides, if you were going to choose Fluttershy and Fluttershy alone, the nonspecific deity wouldn’t be so blatant about your affections toward her back in the first time you got to Ponyville! I mean, if you’re going to write a harem story, you shouldn’t be as so stupid as to reveal the winning girl in the first scene she’s in, right? So obviously, you becoming my special somepony ought to be the big twist!”

The two ponies were quiet for a minute, then Pinkie slapped her forehead.


“That wasn’t what I was talking about, Pinkie,” said Dusk, who had thankfully decided not to give what Pinkie just said much thought. “Pinkamena said something about ‘being the original design.’”

Pinkie Pie’s face fell. “Oh,” she muttered. “That part.”

A waiter came in, possessing a remarkable resemblance to Mr. Cake with a waxed mustache and a tuxedo. “And what will we be ordering tonight, madame?”

“Give us some of tonight’s wine special,” Pinkie said glumly, still thinking about the subject that Dusk brought up. “And a jumbo-size triple-banana sundae to split, please.”

Of course, since this was a dream, the dish took approximately a nothingth of a second to prepare. Pinkie took a swig from her wineglass and began to speak.

“Make yourself comfortable Dusky-wusky, because it’s time for an origin story...”

Meanwhile, back in the confines of reality...

“Dusk?” Spike called out, descending the steps to the basement. “Duuusk!”

“We should’ve checked here first,” said Trixie, following Spike and absent-mindedly sweeping her cape. “He’s always down here working on some new experiment.”

“Dusk, are you down here?” called the dragon again. When he reached the bottom of the steps, he saw Dusk Shine and Pinkie Pie sleeping on the floor hooked up to a machine that Spike immediately recognized.

“Oh no,” he said aloud, staring at the scene in front of him.

“What?” said Trixie, descending the last of the steps. “What is it? What’s that thing that Dusk and the pink annoying one are wired to?”

“It’s a Dream Jumping Device,” Spike answered, his voice laced with despair. “And Pinkie’s attached to the host end.”

“The host end?”

“It means Dusk is now in Pinkie’s mind!” he said, panic taking over him slowly. “Who knows how long he’ll last in there!”

“Well, how do we wake them up?” asked Trixie. “The Great and Powerful Trixie can’t afford to learn the secrets of magic with a mentor that’s been driven insane!”

“Well, I remember something about Dusk’s dad telling us that you can’t just pinch them or pull the plug. That’s sort of like performing a lobotomy with a dull spoon; they’re going to get hurt that way.”

“Well, what do we have to do?” said Trixie frantically.

“We call in the best expert we know.”

In Canterlot Palace, 20 minutes later...

There was a knock on the door of the Royal Bedroom That Shan’t be Disturbed During Daylight Hours. (Which was located a corridor down from a door with its own personal cake slot installed.)

“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!” the voice of a guard rang out.

In response, there was a low, unearthly groan.

“It’s urgent, Your Grace! It demands your immediate attention! Please, get out of bed!”

If you listened closely, you could hear a barely audible voice complaining about how every crisis happens during the day, followed by snoring.

“I’m sorry, but with all due respect, I’m going to keeping knocking at this door until you answer!”

After four straight minutes of seemingly endless knocking, Princess Luna swung open the door open so hard, it broke off its hinges and shattered on impact with the wall.


The guard winced, staring into the face of an angry immortal goddess of darkness. He had to gulp down the lump in his throat before he could speak.

“You have a letter.”

Pinkieception Pt. 3

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Many years ago in the past...

The Pies had a boring lifestyle, but a wonderful family. At least, by rock farmer standards. When the mother gave birth, they had a set of triplets. Their names were Bleakeny, Inkaldria, and the youngest and most colorful of all, Pinkamena Diane Pie. They all lived semi-happy lives, rolling rocks from one quarry to another, day after day. Life was wonderfully, spectacularly dull. But one day, all that changed for a young Pinkamena.

She drowned the family puppy because it wouldn’t stop begging her for table scraps. She was only four months old. Evidently, her parents found out, and she got a mouthful of caster oil.

A year later, a famous chef came from Detrot with a camera crew, saying that he was on a tour to taste and critique foods in every corner & culture in the world. With a shrug, the Pie family offered him a family recipe: gravel pie, which is exactly what you think it is. The chef left, shouting how he couldn’t comprehend about how bland and crunchy the food was, and about how the locals were even blander. A certain pink filly decided to tag along, just to make sure to tell them which way they should turn at the fork in the road a mile ahead.

After she got back, Pinkamena tried a new form of baking. She claimed that the strangers had later apologized for the blandness-related insults and gave her a book on how to bake cupcakes as a sign of friendship. That night, Pinkamena’s family shared a nice dessert after dinner. Her mother even almost had something resembling a smile! As an added bonus, Pinkamena hoof-made a poncho for her beloved grandmother, which had the odd resemblance of a tanned hide. The animal that the hide was made from could not be identified, but the skin looked badly lashed with some kind of barbed whip.

When asked about the poncho (or the odd, salty taste of the cupcakes), Pinkamena would only reply, “It’s a secret. Shove off.”

Neither the chef nor his accomplices were ever heard from again.

Around the same time, within the more luxurious and light-hearted city of Canterlot...

The scrappy young colt, Dusk Shine, finished coloring his drawing. He stood back and looked upon his artistic masterpiece with pride. Of course, Dusk couldn’t draw his way out of a paper bag, but he was proud of himself nonetheless.

“Cadence!” he called out. “Cadence, look what I made!”

The pink alicorn princess (whom was inexplicably demoted to the task of babysitting) looked at the drawing that Dusk Shine had made. “Why, what a nice firetruck, Dusk.”

“That’s not a firetruck!” insisted Dusk, annoyed and offended beyond words. “It’s not even red!”

“Well, what is it then?” said Cadence with that tone of voice that babysitters give to you whenever they see you doing something that they think is cute. You know, it’s sort of a half-laugh, half-talk tone of voice. You’d have to hear it for yourself to know what I’m talking about.

“It’s a pegasus,” Dusk said, smiling playfully. “See, I’ve always wanted to have a pegasus for a friend to pick me up and take me flying, but they’re all in Cloudsdale. So, I thought I’d make my own! I named her Surprise, ‘cause she throws surprise parties for me.”

Cadence frowned slightly. “This wouldn’t happen to be related to the recent incident with Moondancer, is it? You know, if she doesn’t want you at her birthday party, she has every right not to invite you.”

Dusk pouted his lip. “...Please don’t bring that up.”

“Hey, why don’t we make some cookies?” Candence offered, taking a hint.

A handful of years afterward...

Dusk Shine fiddled his hooves. He was taking the final entrance exam for Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. He aced the written part, no problem. It was the physical test that got his knees buckling.

He was supposed to hatch a dragon egg. The utmost challenging part of this was that everypony knew next to nothing about dragons. Dusk could hatch it if it was a chicken egg, but as far as dragon eggs were concerned, he was completely screwed.

Again and again, he attempted to hatch the dragon egg. Again and again, the stupid sphere-esque object stubbornly refused to respond, as if it was made of stone.

Little to Dusk’s knowledge, the egg was made of stone. It was a rock painted to look like a dragon’s egg, to be precise. The physical test was a test of spirit, rather than a test of skill. It was a challenge designed to show the judges what the upstarts would do in an impossible situation. Why, the mere thought of a rock hatching into a baby dragon seems absolutely silly! The only kind of magic that could exercise that kind of power would have to be the very embodiment of magic, and one would also need to have years of experience with-


Roughly a few minutes earlier...

Within the desolate prison of Dusk’s forgotten childlike creativity, Surprise the imaginary friend sighed in boredom. Dusk Shine had long ago abandoned such things as imaginary playmates, and she had been swept away to the depths of his unconscious psyche like a dustball under the rug. At first, it was okay, since Surprise was originally just an idea, a mere nonentity that Dusk had made up in an act of loneliness. At first, Surprise had no thoughts of her own.

At first.

You see, after Dusk had discarded Surprise for about a month, he had taken upon himself to attempt to create a potion that would instantly enhance the talent of anypony who drank it. Being a blank-flank, he was hoping to enhance his unknown talent so much that his cutie mark would appear on its own.

This lead to him to testing the potion on himself by taking a tiny sip whenever he felt close to succeeding in his search for this wonder-potion. This, of course, also lead him to losing his lunch on multiple occasions, but a number of the failed potions had a very strange after-effect:

Within his mind, without his knowing, Surprise had begun to think.

She started to wonder who she was. After finding the ability and energy to search Dusk’s memories, she discovered her name and identity. This was followed by wanting to play with Dusk again. Every time she called out to him, it seemed as though Dusk could not hear her.

The lack of interaction soon bored Surprise, so she sought out ways to entertain herself. Eventually, Surprise learned with great concentration, she could see into the eternal stretches of Limbo, the plane of semi-existence that connects all sentient beings to a collective sub-awareness. Unfortunately, the experience of staring into Limbo was akin to watching grass grow. Still, it was better than nothing.

After staring further, she could see past the infinite plane of Limbo and see alternate realities where planets, galaxies and even entire universes were populated with humans. Surprise occasionally waved to them. They did not wave back.

But it was all for nothing. What was the point of seeing all the cosmos in the complexity known as the omniverse if you couldn’t have any fun with its inhabitants? Surprise was a free spirit at heart, and it was wrong to lock her up in-


Back at the rock farm...

Pinkamena was in the south field, preparing to rotate the rocks with her family to the east field. As usual, the sky was a gloomy shade of gray, complementing the dead trees and desolate wasteland quite nicely. She wasn’t exactly happy (gracious no, she was never happy), but she was... contented. Yes, that’s the word. Contented.


Out of nowhere, the sky exploded with color and light. The first thought that entered Pinkamena’s mind was AH! AH! THE SKY’S ON FIRE! IT’S JUST AS THE PROPHECY FORETOLD! THE END OF DAYS HAS COME! RAGNAROK IS UPON US!!!!

The second thought that entered her mind was Oh, it’s just some kind of light show. What a stupid-looking rainbow.

The third and thought evidently was Ugh, my mane’s a mess. Hey, what’s my face doing? Is this what ponies call ‘a smile?’ I don’t like it. Could somepony get it off me? I can’t move my lips.]

“OMIGOSHTHATWASTHECOOLESTTHINGEVER!!!!” her mouth screeched, much to her surprise. “I mean, that explosion was like ‘BOOM!’ and I was like ‘WHOOSH!’ and the sky was like-”

[Shut up.]

“Huh?” Pinkamena’s mouth said again without her permission. “Who said that? There’s nopony here and-WHOA! I have hooves! And a mouth! And a body attached, to boot! Ooo, I’m all pink and stuff. What’s this? I have a tail? Hello, tail! Are you the one talking, Mr. Tail?”

[I said, shut up.]

“Kay,” the mouth-puppeteer said, sitting down on Pinkamena’s rump. “Why am I shutting up again?”

[Because I’ve only known you for twelve seconds,] Pinkamena explained, [and you’re already the most annoying thing I’ve ever heard of. You’re using my voice, and I’m already sick of hearing it. What are you? Stop doing that!]

“Doing what?”

[Doing... this!] Pinkamena yelled, trying desperately to contact any muscle of her body. [Controlling me! This is MY body! How are you doing this in the first place?]

“I dunno.”

[Well, stop it! Right now!]

“Hey now, you sound grumpy. Why don’t I throw you a party?”

[What in Celestia’s name is a party?]

Overnight, the parasitic mind-thing used Pinkamena’s body to set up humorous and fun decorations in farm’s silo Streamers decked the walls. Party hats were set available for guests. A merry tune blared from the speakers. It was the stupidest thing that Pinkamena ever saw, no contest.

During the course of the preparation of the party, Pinkamena had thrown every insult and threat she could think of at her mind-controlling abomination, which had claimed that her name was Surprise. Surprise misinterpreted Pinkamena’s rantings as small talk, and in return had told the cynical filly the secrets of the fourth wall and other things she found funny.

By morning, the Pie family walked into the silo, wondering where Pinkamena had gone. What they found was the array of amusing things that Surprise had set up.

“Do you like it? It’s called a party!”

[Mother! Father! Help me! I’VE BEEN POSSESSED BY AN EVIL CLOWN-DEMON! No, don’t join her! That’s exactly what she wants!]

“This is fantastic, Pinkamena!” one of the Pie sisters said, dancing to the music.

“Thanks,” said Surprise. “But that name’s sorta a mouthful. Why not ‘Pinkie?'”

[NEVER!!!!! That has got to be the most dumbass name in history!]

Aw, don’t be such a sourpuss, Pinkamena, thought Surprise. You can still keep your name. Oh, I just know that this’ll be the start of a beautiful friendship!

Just then, both ponies felt a tingling on their flank. Pinkamena was so shocked, her physical jaw dropped without Surprise’s control.

[No. Bucking. Way,] she thought. [Just... no. No! NO! NO WAY IS MY SPECIAL TALENT THAT! I WANT A REFUND! NO, ON THE SECOND THOUGHT, I QUIT!! You hear me? From now on, it ‘s your life. I’m giving up. There’s no point in fighting you back if I’m going to have a cutie mark like this.]

I think it’s pretty cool!

“...And that’s how Equestria was made!” the white and yellow pegasus finished, gulping down the last of her sundae.

“Uhh... wow,” said Dusk, feeling a combination of impressed and disgruntled, “you’ve been actually living in Pinkamena’s body for all these years?”

“Thaaaat’s right!” said Pinkie/Surprise, nodding her head and grinning.

“And you originated from me?”


“So, that’s why you look so familiar,” he said, still amazed by the story that his friend told him.

“So, do you know what this means, Dusky-wusky?” she said enthusiastically.



“My balls!”

“It means that I’m your childhood friend! And childhood friends make great love interests!”

“So,” said Dusk, still tending to his bruised scrotum, “do I have to call you Surprise now, or just Pinkie Pie?”

“Meh, either one is fine,” said Pinkie, shrugging with the use of her wings.


“What was that?” said Pinkie looking around.


“Luna?” Dusk said. “Is that you?”


The starlight restaurant of Sugarcube Corner started to ripple and crumble, giving way to yet another location. After the dust cleared, it was obvious to Dusk that they had exchanged from being in a fancy version of the local sweet shop to being on the moon.

The view, to summerize, was spectacular. Stars and constellations could be seen perfectly, but the most interesting sight was the planet below.

That is, not a planet at all.

Equestria really was flat. Not completely flat, mind you. It had various mountains valleys, and seas, but it could all be viewed as a flat plane. Details about how this affected the environment and ideas like the directions north and south had the potential to fill an entire book, but for the reader’s sake, I’m going to cut science-related facts short. I will, however, grant some visual aid on what the whole thing looked like to Dusk:


...Yeah, it’s probably best if you don’t ask too many questions about the turtle. That goes double for the elephants. Also, I’m going to have to ask you to believe that ponies can breathe on the moon in dreams.

Dusk and Pinkie Pie looked twenty feet away and saw the figure of Princess Luna, but not exactly. See, the last time Dusk (physically) saw Luna was the time she aided in convincing a sleeping dragon to move to another mountain. She looked like this.

Now, in Pinkie/Pinkamena’s dream, she took this appearance.

She looked at a halfway point between Nightmare Moon and the cute, adolescent alicorn that he knew. She gave off a more regal, sophisticated air about herself. The strangest part that Dusk found about Luna’s true form was that he swore that he’d seen it before.

Like, a lot of it.


As in multiple nights in a row.

In which he had to change the bedsheets directly afterward.

Oh crap, Dusk thought as he put two and two together, She must’ve visited me... and we... with the bunny girl suit... How many nights did I have those dreams?


“Wait, what are you talking about?” said Pinkie flying her way over to her dream’s newcomer. “I was just taking my wittle Dusky out on a dream-date.”

“...No dream-sex to speak of?” Luna replied at normal volume.

“Nope,” Pinkie assured, “but it does sound kinda fun! What’s it like?”

“It’s... uhh... HOW WOULD WE KNOW? DOST THOU ACCUSE THY PRINCESS OF SUCH ACTIONS?!” yelled Luna, blushing furiously.

“If I answer yes, would you still tell me how it feels?”


“Does he last longer than fifteen seconds?”


“I’m glad that you came and all Luna,” Dusk said, deciding to keep that ‘dream-sex issue’ rest for the moment, “and I’d love to wake up, but there is something I’d like to take care of first.”


“Say Pinkie,” he said, addressing Surprise, “could you transport me back to Pinkamena’s half of the mind for a while? I’d like to have a chat with her before I go.”


“It’s a long story,” Pinkie said, making a door materialize a couple paces away from Dusk. “And I don’t want to always spout exposition, or this fic would get boring fast. Are you sure you wanna go there, Dusk? She’s not exactly in the best mood for visitors.”

“This is something I have to do,” he reassured. “I won’t be long.” Besides, he thought to himself, I need something to take my mind off the bunny girl suit. He stepped through the door, darkness enveloping him.

After he walked in the endless curtains of blackness for a while, Dusk Shine was immediately confronted with the smell of of fire and brimstone. Flames erupted around him, lighting up his surroundings.

He discovered that he was walking upwards a sequence of steps. To either side of him, undead carcases of ponies were placed in cages dangling from the unseen ceiling. The ponies inside the cages, stripped of the ability to die, were trying to scream horribly in pain, but their throats were either sliced out or burned to a crisp. At the top of the steps, there was a throne crafted of bones, teeth, iron blades and other (rather unnameable) objects.

Pinkamena was sitting on the chair in a leisurely position, listening to the silent, tortured screams of the undead ponies as if it was classical music. She was still trapped in the form of a filly, but had decided to dress up in a little devil costume that could be seen on children during Nightmare Night. Although, the pitchfork that she gripped in one hoof was certainly not a plastic toy.

“What do you want?” she asked Dusk begrudgingly.

Dusk swallowed, remembering the reason that he came here. “Pinkie... uhh... Surprise told me how she came into your body. She told me what happened to you.”

“Don’t play dumb with me,” Pinkamena scolded. “I know what she told you. I was listening. I’m always listening.”

“I just want you to know that I’m sorry,” he continued, “that something like that happened to you. Surprise might not have been in any control of whose body she took over, but I wouldn’t want that happening to anyone. I sorta feel responsible for what she unintentionally did to you, and I want to let you know, if there’s anything I can do for you, all you have to do is ask.”

Pinkamena looked downwards staring intently at the ground. “...Don’t pity me.”

“I could try to separate you two,” he went on. “We could all go to the Royal Archives, the biggest library in the world! I know if we look hard enough, we could find something. You might have to promise the Royal Guard not to hurt anypony once you’re free, but-”

“I said, DON’T PITY ME!” she interrupted. As she screamed, fire leaped from the ground, surrounding them in a ring of flames. “I don’t want to be free! I don’t want your help! I don’t want to separated from Pinkie! I don’t want to be all alone again!”

Dusk blinked. “What was that last part?”


“Pinkamea... are you lonely?”

“Depends,” she replied, regaining her composure. “Do you want to know, or do you prefer not to worry about me going to your house at night and killing you in your sleep?”

“Okay,” Dusk said, “but answer me this: What does Surprise mean to you? And why do you keep calling her Pinkie every time?”

“Because that’s her name.”

“No,” he corrected, “that’s your name. At least, a short version of it.”

The small, pink filly clenched her teeth. “You’re walking on thin ice with questions like that, Dusk. Don’t push me. That’s not a good way to go.

“I’m only trying to reach out,” Dusk insisted. “If you feel alone, I could be your friend. I know we haven’t been on the best of terms lately, but I think it’s not too late to start over.”

“I don’t need you!” she shouted. “I don’t need anyone!”

“I think you do,” said Dusk stepping up to the throne. “If you made friends with Surprise, you're perfectly free to build relationships with others as well. Trust me, I’m basically the magic of friendship incarnate.”

“S-stay back!” she hollered resentfully. “Or I’ll summon a rain of daggers onto your head!”

Dusk picked Pinkamena up, and she squirmed to escape his grasp. “DON’T TOUCH ME! PUT ME DOWN! YOU ARE GONNA BE IN SO MUCH HURT!”

Not regarding what Pinkamena said anymore, Dusk embraced her in a soft, meaningful hug, then ended it to meet her gaze.

“There,” he said, “that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“...I guess,” she huffed, hating herself for admitting it. “It’s sorta been awhile since anypony hugged me before. Oh, and Dusk?”


“You forgot one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m still holding a pitchfork,” she said, breaking out into her classic ear-to-ear psychotic smile, “and you just willingly brought yourself within point-blank stabbing distance.”

That’s when Pinkamena ran her triple-headed prong straight through Dusk’s gut; ravishing several of his vital organs, killing his dream-self instantaneously in an explosion of blood and gore, and sending him hurtling toward reality.

It also hurt. A lot.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today I went into the mind of Pinkie Pie the pony the I knew as Pinkie Pie. I say this because when I went out, I knew secrets about her than I ever thought possible. Pinkie Pie isn’t even her real name! I think this has given me a better understanding of why she does what she does, and I firmly believe that the two of us all three of us are better friends because of it.

And like it or not, I went on a date in there. I suppose it was fairly enjoyable, as far as forced-dates-that-I-go-on-against-my-will go. From the events of that date, I’ve learned when a friend admires you but you don’t love them back, it can be a very difficult situation, and you shouldn’t flat-out reject them.

I also learned that when you meet somepony totally evil, you should try to walk a mile in their shoes to understand WHY they’re evil. Every story has two sides, and no matter how much some ponies hate you, you should at least try to relate to them.

Lastly, I learned that you should always attempt to reach out to those in need, even when they don’t want it. Even they stab you in the liver, they’ll thank you one day.

Your faithful student,

Dusk Shine

Dear Diary,

Today, I finally got around to flying all the frogs to Froggy Bottom Bog. There, I was confronted with a big surprise: A hydra rose up from the mud and started to chase me! I must’ve galloped for miles when it finally caught up and cornered me. I was so frightened.

Fortunately, I gave it a few blasts of my Fire Breath shout, and it was scared away. You know, mostly because it had to tend to some third-degree burns.

You know, maybe I was too hard on the poor, defenseless guy. I should send him an apology letter. Oh, and some ointment. He looked pretty banged up.



Rainbow Dash is Best Pony: The Premiere

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A question arises when one ponders about the Sonic Rainboom: If Rainbow Dash was the first pony ever to pull one off, where did the legends of this miraculous feat of flying come from in the first place? Well, before I can tell you that, I need to elaborate a bit on Equestrian history.

You see, before Spritebot Enterprises produced guns, lasers and other weapons en masse, Princess Celestia was one of the few ponies to own a personal firearm.

The barrel alone of this massive gun was roughly three times the size of your average bazooka. It fired an infinite supply lightning bolts, which exploded on impact into humongous balls of ultraviolet holy fire that burned as hot as the sun. On the side of this gun, the words SMITE WITH DIVINE MERCY were embroidered in thin letters of gold. (These were the last words that Celestia’s mother spoke to her, and the Sun Princess hold them dear to her heart every day.) The other side however had a less poetic phrase written in gold, as it preferred to cut right to the point: DON’T BUCK WITH ’TIA. The trigger, which was so big that took two hooves for a normal pony to pull, was carefully made out of finely-cut diamond. The rest of the gun was made out of pure, 24-karat, solidified awesome. You read that right; PURE, SOLID AWESOME.

Sadly, Celestia does not use the spectacular gun anymore, so it currently resides in the Royal Attic of Dustiness. In case you’re wondering, the last time Celestia fired this gun was back when an army of werewolves invaded Canterlot during Luna’s cuteceañera.

Werewolves are currently extinct.

Now, here’s where the Sonic Rainboom comes into play. Whenever Celestia fired her gun, it was very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very loud. Also, she liked to battle her opponents while flying in the air, her rainbow-colored tail billowing behind her. Thus, she appeared to be making a sonicboom and a rainbow at the same time. Ergo, the myth of the Sonic Rainboom was born.

That is, it used to be a myth.

“Now, what have we learned?” Rainbow Dash said, flying back and forth in a pegasus form of pacing.

“Loss of control...” Fluttershy listed.


“Screaming and hollering...”

“Yes, and most importantly?”


“Right!” Rainbow Dash said affirmingly. “So, now that you know all the elements of a good cheer, let’s hear one!”

*GASP* “Yay.”

Dash appropriately responded to this with a good facehoof. “Ugh! You’re gonna cheer for me like that? Louder.”





Fluttershy deeply inhaled with all her might.


Rainbow Dash was propelled backwards with tremendous force, clearing a good twelve miles before crashing into the nearest tree, snapping that tree clean in two, and doing the same thing to the next five trees and boring into the dirt before she had lost enough inertia to stop.

“Oh my goodness!” said a Fluttershy-shaped blurry image that Dash could barely make out. “Are you alright? I swear, that wasn’t on purpose! It just slipped out! Oh, I’m sorry! I’m sososososo sorry! Are you hurt?”

“That...” Rainbow Dash mumbled, “... was...AWESOME!!!!” She bolted upright, hugging Fluttershy. Drops of liquid pride trickled down the cyan speedster’s face. “Fluttershy, I know this hasn’t been the first time I’ve seen you do that thing you do with your voice, but experiencing that firsthoof, I take back every word I’ve said about you! You’re NOT the most dainty thing with wings I’ve ever met! You’re NOT the very opposite of cool! You’re a full-on BADFLANK!”

“Um, okay,” Fluttershy said. “As long as you’re not hurt.”

“Hurt? HURT?? Who cares if I’m hurt?” Dash laughed. “I’ve got the best cheerleader in the universe!”

“Pl-please stop, Rainbow,” requested Fluttershy. “You’re making me blush.”

“Just try not to steal the show,” the multicolored flyer joked. “Save the spotlight for me, remember?”

“Well, if it will make you happy, I’ll do my best to support you; as always,” said Fluttershy. “But... ummm... could you do something for me in return first?”


“I’d just like to introduce you to this critter here,” the spineless Dragonborn elaborated, stepping aside. “He’s very anxious to meet you.”

Slowly, a tortoise crawled into view. Very gradually, his head rose to look up at Rainbow Dash, and he smiled.

“Oh no,” said Rainbow Dash painfully, “Shy, don’t tell me you’re doing this to me again!”

From the few ponies that had got know Fluttershy pretty well, it could be told that she... had a problem. A pet problem, so to speak.

You know that feeling you get when you’re part of a fandom (like Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, or maybe even a show for little girls), and you want to introduce this fandom to all of your friends? You know, so you can talk about it with them and stuff? Some of you have succeeded, and you now live in a private circle of fanboys that can talk endlessly about the new episode or whatever. Some of you have failed, having grown a bit distant from your friends because they can’t get their heads wrapped around your new interests. Others are still trying, getting a couple of your friends to convert but are still annoying ‘outsiders’ to death about how awesome this show can be.

Fluttershy had a similar case with pets. She was normally reclusive, but she jumped at every opportunity to get one of her endless supply of animals adopted. She gave Applejack a dog. She gave Rarity a cat. She even gave Derpy a goldfish that lived for about a week under the blond mailmare’s care.

And like the rest of us, Fluttershy had this one friend that refused to see it her way: Rainbow Dash absolutely hated pets. The cyan pegasus never got that warm, fuzzy feeling when a kitten was shoved in her face. She never liked anything cute. Cute bored her.

Nevertheless, Fluttershy kept trying, still search for that perfect pet for Rainbow Dash. And boy, did they have a long history of doing that.

Nine years old...

“Hey Rainbow Dash, look at this bluebird that flew all the up to Cloudsdale!”

“Not interested.”

Thirteen years old...

“But Rainbow, butterflies are perfectly good pets! See the way they tickle you when they land on you nose?”


“Omigoodness! You broke one of its legs off!”

Fifteen years old...

“Chickens don’t fly, Fluttershy.”

“I know, but if you carry it around, it can technically be a legitimate flying partner, can’t it?”

Eighteen years old...

“For the last time, I’m not taking a monkey to my spring break trip to Las Pegasus! I’ll have to lug it around all the time just so it doesn’t fall through the clouds!”

“But that’s what will make your bonding time so special!”

Twenty-two years old...

“This is your Ponyville housewarming gift to me?”

“Don’t you like it?”

“It’s a bunny, Shy. I don’t have a place to put a bunny.”

“But Angel needs a playmate!”

“You have a zillion bunnies at home.”

“But this way, we’ll both have bunnies! We can be bunny buddies!”

“First thing: No. Second thing: A thousand times no. Third thing: Don’t ever say ‘bunny buddies’ again. Ever.”

Present, nonspecific age...

“A turtle?”

“A tortoise,” Fluttershy corrected, confident that she found the perfect match.

“Whatever,” Rainbow Dash scoffed. “The point is, it’s the very definition of slow. I. Don’t. Do. Slow.”

“Please?” insisted Fluttershy with eyes that made Bambi seem cold and heartless in comparison. “At least give him a chance! He could root you on in the Best Young Flyers Competition!”

Dash rolled her eyes. “How many times do I have to tell you, Shy? If I ever had a sidekick, he/she would have to fly. You keep forgetting that every single time. I mean, can you imagine what my life would be like if I had a flightless creature dragging me down all the time? So not cool.”


Scootaloo let out a sneeze.

“Don’t worry Dash, I’ve came prepared,” Fluttershy said. She took out a strange device and buckled it onto the nameless tortoise. The machine was essentially a small, magically-powered gyrocopter. The propeller on top whirred to life and the green reptile began to hover in the air. To complete the look, Fluttershy carefully strapped a miniature pair of goggles onto his head.

“A turtle-copter?” Dash said with a raised eyebrow. “Where'd you find something like that?”

“Pinkie Pie owed me a favor,” the butter-yellow tree explained briefly. “So now that he can fly, will you take him to Cloudsdale with you? Look at him, he’s so eager!”

The tortoise said nothing; he only flew over to Rainbow Dash to nuzzle her nose. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much control over his flying machine, so he missed and ended up bonking her on the forehead instead.

Dash was not amused.

“No way,” she grunted.

“Please?” said Fluttershy, begging like your younger sibling asking you for a bite of your candy bar.












































“Pretty please if that’s okay with you?”

Finally, Dash snapped. “BUCK OFF, SHY!” she hollered. She sped away as fast as a bullet, leaving Fluttershy in the dust.


Dusk Shine was coughing, choking for air. Soot clung to his violet coat. A large amount of smoke swirled around, towering above him.

Eventually, he got his lungs in working condition. He stood up, watching the billowing smoke retreat into a small test tube and convert into a dark purple liquid.

“Well,” he thought aloud, “That was unexpected.”

“Trixie agrees,” said Trixie, brushing off her lab coat and adjusting her plastic goggles. It was her first day as Dusk’s lab assistant, since Spike had come down with the flu that day. “Was it supposed to do that?”

Just then, there was a crash heard from upstairs, and a certain cyan pegasus tumbled down to the floor.

“Rainbow Dash?” Dusk said. “What are you doing here?”

“Just hiding from Fluttershy,” Dash replied. “Oh, and sorry about the broken window on the way in.”

“What broken window?” Dusk Shine exclaimed. “And what’s this about Fluttershy?”

“Uh... nevermind,” muttered the airborne daredevil. “So, what’s going on in here? Egghead stuff?”

“The mentor of the Great and Powerful Trixie does not just do ‘egghead stuff,’” Trixie defended, “the correct term is ‘scientific progress.’”

“Whatever,” Dash said, waving a hoof in dismissal. “The point is, I need something to do while I hide out here for a while. What’s with the beakers here?”

“It’s something I’ve been working on since magic kindergarten,” said Dusk in a bout of exposition. “I’ve been searching for a way to enhance a pony’s natural talent.”

Rainbow Dash gasped. “So you could make me more awesome than I already am? Is that even possible?

“Well, it’s not finished yet,” he said. “At least, I think it’s not. It kinda exploded on us, and now I’m not sure what it does.”

“Wait, what?” Dash said in confusion. “But you made the damn thing! How can you NOT know what it does??”

“I just don’t, okay?” Dusk retorted.

“So, how are you supposed to find out?” questioned Rainbow Dash.

“Well... first we would have to judge how it affects rocks, plants and lab rats,” said Dusk. “You know, non-pony test subjects.”

“Uhh... Dusk? Plants and rocks don’t have cutie marks,” Dash pointed out. “That’s gotta get in the way of the research, dontcha think?”

“Rainbow Dash has a point,” Trixie nodded. “I think it’s time to have a pony test subject. Fortunately, the Great and Powerful Trixie is up to the task.” She picked up the test tube with her magic. “Besides, who knows what kind of things Trixie could do if it worked? The possibilities boggle Trixie’s mind!”

“Oh no,” Dusk said as he snatched the potion away. “This is not something you can just chug down, Trixie. I’m not even sure it’s safe to apply to your skin. For all we know, this could be pure acid.”

“Come on, Dusk Shine,” begged Trixie with a stuck-out lip, “just a sip? Trixie could have powers beyond mortal imagination! It’ll be fun! C'mon, where’s your sense of adventure?”

“It went on break after I got pulled into Pinkie Pie’s brain,” Dusk snarked. He turned to Rainbow Dash. “Dash, I’m going to trust you to hold on to this potion for a while so Trixie doesn’t drink it.”

“Cool,” said the fearless flyer with a smile.

“And of course, you’re going to have to promise not to drink it yourself,” he finished.

Dash scowled.

“I’m serious, Rainbow,” Dusk warned. “I need your word as the Element of Loyalty.”

“Fiiiine,” she groaned. “As the Element of Loyalty, I swear I will not take a single sip of this potion.”

“Good,” said Dusk, satisfied. He tossed the test tube over to Rainbow Dash, whom tucked it in safely between her feathers. She always had a knack at tucking stuff between her feathers, much like the way you can roll your tongue into the shape of a hot dog bun. But unlike that fancy-schmacy hot-dog-tongue-thing you can do, Rainbow Dash’s skill was actually useful in real life, particularly when concealing an extra ace at poker night.

“Dashie?” called a voice from upstairs. “Are you here?”

“Oh no,” Rainbow Dash gasped. “It’s Fluttershy! Hide me!”

“Alright, I gotta know:” pressed Dusk determinately, “Why are you hiding from Fluttershy?”

“It’s complicated,” the panicked pegasus hissed. “Just hide me!”

Without further debate, Trixie used this excuse to magically throw Dash into the nearest closet in an unglamorous fashion. Rainbow Dash landed on her one of her outstretched wings, so she had to suppress a yelp in pain. Almost immediately, the door of the closet was shut behind Rainbow, leaving her in darkness.

Meanwhile, Fluttershy stepped down, carrying a goggled tortoise on her back. She turned to Dusk Shine and said, “Have you seen Rainbow Dash? I need to talk to her.”

“Uhhh... what do you need from her?” Dusk asked.

“Oh, this is her new pet,” she replied, gesturing to to tortoise riding on her back. “Well, her future pet. I really think she’ll love him, if she gives him a chance.”

That’s what Dash was trying to avoid? thought Dusk.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie hasn’t seen Rainbow Dash today,” said Trixie. “Go check her house or something.”

“Right, sorry for bothering you two,” said Fluttershy. She turned around and began to leave, but stopped herself mid-step. “Wait, could you help me with something? That is, if you don’t mind.”

“What?” said both unicorns roughly at the same time.

“You see, Rainbow Dash is entering in the upcoming Best Young Flyers’ Competition, and she needs some support,” the pink-maned doormat elaborated. “Her new pet might help motivate her, but I need to work on my cheering too. Well, I actually don’t need to. Then again, I do. Kinda. Sort of. You see, I need to work on cheering softer. Or at least without the Thu’um. I want Dashie to hear me, but I also don’t wanna destroy Cloudsdale. Can you help me practice?”

All the while, Rainbow Dash was fumbling around in the closet, trying both to listen in and find a source of light at the same time. This fatefully resulted in three head injuries and a frustrated pegasus. So instead, she turned all of her attention to the voices coming from the other side of the door. This is what she heard.

*GAAASP* “...yay!” squeaked Fluttershy again.

“No, Fluttershy,” corrected Trixie. “You need to project your voice. You know, like this: GO, RAINBOW DASH! YOU CAN DO IT! YOU’RE ALMOST AS COOL AS TRIXIE!”

“Almost as cool??” Rainbow Dash muttered to herself.

“What was that?” inquired Fluttershy.

“N-nothing!” Dusk denied. “I think I’m just coming down with a cold.”

“I think it sounded like Rainbow Dash,” the animal-rights hippie remarked.

“A c-cold that sounds like Rainbow Dash,” Dusk stuttered with a nervous quickness. He faked a few coughs and then gruffly said, “I’m the *atchoo* embodiment of everything awesome!”

Now, Fluttershy was a pretty trusting pony, but she knew when the wool was being pulled over her eyes. “Alright Dusk, where is she hiding?” she said, looking around the room suspiciously.

“...In the closet,” the magic geek admitted.

Before Dash knew it, Fluttershy had opened the door and was glaring into her eyes with an offended look. This glared lasted a speechless twenty seconds before Fluttershy opened her mouth to speak.

“Pleasepleasepleaseplease take him with yoooou!!!” she begged, suddenly dropping to her knees.

Dash groaned in defeat. “Fine, he can come. But if the judges say that you can’t bring a pet to enhance your performance, the turtle’s getting the boot.”

“Oh, thank-you-thank-you-thank-you!” squealed Fluttershy, hugging Dash with all her joy. “Oh, and umm... it’s a tortoise, not a turtle.”

“Whatever,” said Rainbow Dash with an eyeroll as the two pegasi made their way upstairs.

Fast forward to the day of the Best Young Flyers’ Competition...

The city of Cloudsdale was a sight to behold. Being made completely out of clouds, the architecture was constantly dazzling. Walking on the streets was like bouncing on a bed that stretched for miles on end. Tragically, since only creatures with wings could inhabit the city, tourism was a bit miniscule.

Rainbow Dash dragged her tortoise along. Despite Fluttershy’s prompts to do otherwise, Dash refused to give the animal a name. Nonetheless, the tortoise seemed grateful that Dash paid attention to him, no matter no little that attention was.

As the two mare strolled down the familiar streets of their hometown, they noticed that not much had changed during their absence. The stores were the same, the neighborhood was the same-

“Hey look, it’s Rainbow Crash!”

-and the bullies were as thick-headed as ever.

“Nice to see you too, Hoops,” sighed Rainbow Dash.

“Get kicked out of any flight schools recently?” teased Hoops’s friend, Billy Dumbbell.

“Didn’t kicked out, bub,” Dash said stubbornly. “Just quit in order to go into university early. In case that two-celled brain of yours can’t remember, you need a degree in order to be captain of your town’s weather team.” She then made a gesture of flipping the middle feather of her wing.

“Well, at least we don’t make up tall tales like pulling off a Sonic Rainboom!” laughed another bully, who was named Score.

“Oh, for the love of-YOU WERE IN THAT RACE, DUMBASS!!!” shouted a frustrated Rainbow Dash. “There were literally dozens of witnesses of that thing! A kid even recorded the whole race on his phone, and now the video’s one of the most watched thing on youtube! What, you think I got this cutie mark just by lying about it??”

“Well... uhhh...... RAINBOW CRASH!!” said all three jocks in unison, not having anything clever to say.

“Ugh,” groaned Dash with a tired scowl and bad taste in her mouth. “Come on Fluttershy. let’s go. I think my IQ just dropped a little.”

As our two heroes made their way to the Cloudsdale Cloudsdome (owned by Doug Cloudsdome, owner of Cloudsdale Cloudsdome), they spotted a big, magenta hot air balloon rising from the cloudline. The balloon gradually rose high enough for the two pegasi to see the passengers.

“Dusk? Pinkie Pie?” said Rainbow Dash in puzzlement and awe.

“Applejack? Rarity?” Fluttershy said in amazement. “What are you all doing here?”

“We’ve come to watch you perform, Rainbow,” said Rarity. “It’s only natural. We’re your friends, after all. Besides, Dusk told us about Fluttershy’s restraint problems on cheering, so we can personally volunteer to cheer in substitute.”

“But... how are you going to get seats?” Dash asked.

“Easy-peasy!” sang Pinkie. “Watch this!” She jumped from the balloon and dove down onto the semi-transparent cloudline.

Fluttershy screamed, “DON’T PINKIE, YOU CAN’T WALK ON-Hey, how are you doing that? Is this a Pinkie Pie thing? NO DUSK, YOU CAN’T-Oh, thank goodness you can do it too. AH! APPLEJACK, IT’S TOO DANGEROUS TO TRY THREE TIMES AT-Oh, thank goodness...”

“It’s okay, Fluttershy,” Dusk reassured. “I cast a spell that can let ponies temporarily walk on clouds. We’re all perfectly safe.”

Dash looked around curiously. “Uh, aren’t we forgetting somepony? I mean, where the hay is Tr-”


Intermission Chapter: Luna's Letters

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Spike was sick with the flu.

Not just any flu, but the grossest, nastiest, coughing, aching, sneezing, puking, bed-ridden cold that he could ever remember. He was so sick, he couldn’t even accompany Dusk Shine to the Best Young Flyers Competition in the Cloudsdale Cloudsdome to cheer on Rainbow Dash. Spike was stuck home alone, watching reruns of Daring Do: The Animated Series while keeping an empty bucket handy in case his stomach got too upset again.

None of this helped when a letter was forced out of his gut in a ball of spring-green flame.

Dear Dusk Shine,

It is I, your Princess of the Night. We know that the time of this parchment must be odd, given that we usually are at peaceful slumber during our sister’s daytime, but alas! We toss and turn, yet we do not sleep. We pace about our bedchamber as we write this, pondering our flirts and follies we scatter your mind with. We look outside the window, seeing the sun at high noon, yet still the thought of sleep is vacant from our mind. How many times doth our two paths crossed but have not met? How many of our actions are justified? At what cost of dignity did our flesh pay for what either of our hearts did not yet decide?

What your Princess is trying to say is that she is sorry.

We are sorry for the dreams of intercourse and bunny suits, because we now know that affair was of ill means, despite its pure and just end. We were wrong to seduce thee and then trick thee into thinking that our passion was nothing but a dream. We know if thou love us truly, thou wouldst forgive us a thousand times over with an open heart. If not, our love twas not meant to be.

With pleading forgiveness,

Princess Luna of Equestria

Spike groaned, his brain figuratively flowing with mucus and headaches. He tossed the letter aside without reading it, telling himself that Dusk could read it himself when he got home.

Yet another letter followed.

Dear Dusk Shine,

If you would, we’d like a reponse now.

A simple ‘I forgive thee’ would be fine.

Or a ‘I don’t forgive thee.’ Whichever. ‘Tis completely up to thou.



Dear Dusk,

Please respond. We’ve had enough games. We’d like to wrap our conscience up ASAP so we can go back to sleep.




Dear Dusk,

We apologize for the snapping tone of our last letter. It’s just that we’ve been through some tough nights recently, and we need to settle this one thing so we can rest a bit easier.

With love,

Princess Luna

P.S. Still waiting for a response.

Dear Dusk Shine,

It’s Luna again.

Please. Write. Back.



P.S. Has my sister not told me something? Is ‘please’ no longer the magic word? We shall look it up.

Dear Idiot,

I have looked upon the pages of Google and Urban Dictionary to find that ‘please’ is still the BUCKING MAGIC WORD. SO, ‘PLEASE’ SHOVE THIS LETTER UP THY ANUS IF YOU DON’T WRITE BACK TO US IN THE NEXT THREE SEC

Sorry, sent that one by accident. Throw it away.

Dear Dusk,

Apologies (again) if all these letters seem a little awkward. We also apologize if some of these sound ‘threatening’ or ‘violent.’ After all, the Royal Physician said that we shall be prone to mood swings in the next nine moons.


Dear Dusk Shine,

If thou art reading this, drop whatever thou art doing and just write something to us. Anything. Literally anything. Just write thy name on a piece of parchment and sent it to us.

With a calm, patient head,

Princess Luna

P.S. I know this is sudden, but

We need to talk, because

Good news,

Bad news,

I, Princess Luna, am going to be

Thou art to be


We love thee. Never forget that. We will always love thee, even when we don’t know why.


Spike vomited, the constant letters giving him the worst of stomach aches. After five minutes passed with nothing else coming out of his mouth, he relaxed and lay his head on his pillow.

But unfortunately for him, five minutes later...


Dear Dusk Shine,

We’re pregnant.

There, we said it. Let us tell you, it took some courage.


P.S. Please respond. Never have we felt so scared.

P.P.S. Please! We NEED thee now! It feels like our head shall explode at any time!

P.P.P.S. A response is all I ask. All I require. All I need.

Dear Dusk,

It’s yours.

The foal is yours. We forgot to include that. Sorry.

In case thou is wondering, it was during the dream-sex. Left that part out too.

Look, if thou aren’t replying out of fear of us, we want thee to know that we aren’t mad. In fact, when we first found out, we were actually a little happy. We even thought it to be a miracle, even. After a thousand years on the moon, we felt as though the universe was finally being generous. The universe gave us our sister back, it gave us you, and now we have a child coming.

Things were finally starting to go our way for the first time in a long, long, long, long time. See, it was almost like we were going to have a family again. That’s something we haven’t felt since Father and Mother died. Until we met you, it was just us and our sister, and even that sometimes wasn’t enough. Tia and I hardly ever saw each other, and even when we did, she hogged all of the attention. And well... thoust already know of the end of that story.

The point is, when I first found about our foal, I was happy. Then, I thought about how little you saw us, how you try to flirt with that ‘Fluttershy’ mare, and generally how the press would act if they found out that we had a baby without being married and... well, here we are, writing letter after letter to you without a wink of sleep.

Please respond.



Dear Dusk,

MARRIAGE! We completely forgot to address that!!

Okay, so wilt thou marry us? We could even elope!

Your blushing bride,

Princess Luna

Dear Dusk,

Don’t read that last letter. Burn it. Too personal.

We wanted to propose face-to-face anyway

Dear Dusk,

Don’t read the last two letters. They have ATROCIOUS grammar mistakes.



P.S. Please respond.

P.P.S. Thou know what? Forget the ‘please’ already. Just respond RIGHT FREAKING NOW.

P.P.P.S. And when we say, “Just respond RIGHT FREAKING NOW,” we mean, ”RESPOND YESTERDAY.”






Dear Dusk,

Again, sorry. We might have ‘freaked out there,’ as the commoners say. Just write back as soon as you can.

We are tired. We’re going to bed now, so don’t get mad if we don’t respond to you immediately.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll finally get some sleep with this off our chest now.


Princess Luna

P.S. We love thee. Never forget that. We will always love thee, even when we don’t know why.

Rainbow Dash is Best Pony: The Movie

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Trixie’s butterfly wings glistened in Celestia’s sunlight. She puffed her chest in pride as the pegasi of Cloudsdale gazed at her in admiration and marvel. She adjusted her favorite star-decorated hat and descended down to her friends.

“So, can anypony tell me why Trixie’s a flutterpony now?” said a confused Rainbow Dash.

“Before we found the cloud-walking spell,” Dusk explained, “I decided to give this butterfly-wing spell a shot. Trixie volunteered to be a guinea pig, and here we are. Unfortunately, the spell proved too hard to cast twice, so the rest of us are stuck flightless.”

“And such a tragedy, too,” pouted Rarity. “I would’ve died to have wings as fabulous as those.”

“When does this Bestest Fliers’ Competition Doohickey start, anyway?” said Applejack. “Not ta insult yer hometown Dash, but Ah want to be in an’ out of this freaky place in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

“Hey, you got a problem with Cloudsdale?” shot back Rainbow Dash.

“Umm... It’s not that,” defended the earth pony. “it’s the cloud-walkin’ business. As far as Ah’m concerned, ponies are supposed to walk on safe, solid ground. Steppin’ on nothin’ but a bunch of of fluffy water particles hundreds of feet in the air feels... dangerous.”

Dash smirked. “What’s the matter, Applejack? You ain’t chicken, ain’t ‘cha?”

Applejack grimaced as her face grew more red than orange. “Th’ Apples don’t raise no chickens!” she snapped. After a pregnant pause, she added, “...’Cept th’ ones we keep in our farm’s coop.”

“It’s okay, AJ,” said Dash with a sneer, “Not everyone can be as brave as a pegasus. Hay, our ancestors built all their cities on clouds back in the dawn of time. If there’s one thing we’re never afraid of, it’s heights. Isn’t that right, Fluttershy?”

“Actually,” Fluttershy spoke up, “I kinda agree with Applejack on this one, if that’s okay with you. Living on clouds can be seriously dangerous.”

Rainbow Dash looked at Fluttershy like the pink-maned doormat had just openly suggested that stunt flying should be outlawed. “WHAT?”

Fluttershy, sensing that she must’ve offended Dash in some way, instinctively backed away. “W-well, the fatality for flightless pegasus foals is higher in cloud cities than any other towns. That’s got to say something, doesn’t it? I m-mean, what would’ve happened if you fell out of the window or something back before you learned how to fly, Dashie?”

Rainbow Dash was about to fling head-first into a rant about how Fluttershy had no respect for tradition or pride in the pegasus race, but the daring speedster was interrupted by the latest round of Trixie’s boasting and gusto.

“Sorry, my adoring fans!” bellowed Trixie, waving goodbye like a ponified Miss America on a parade float. “But it is time for The Great and Powerful Trixie to depart! Don’t worry, Trixie’s going to be around Cloudsdale for a while, so if you pray to The Great and Powerful Trixie hard enough, maybe... just maybe... you will see another fleeting glimpse of Trixie’s greatness once again!!!” She floated downward, vanity gushing from her smile. “Why hello, Rainbow Dash; didn’t see you there.”

“Just don’t fly too close to the sun, Trixie,” Dusk Shine warned. “The book said that those wings are the most delicate things that can be created by magic since glass roses.”

“Don’t worry, Dusk,” Trixie saluted. “The Great and Powerful Trixie would never let anything happen to her great and powerful wings.”

“You know, if we’re done with all the greetings,” Dash said, “how about I give you all a tour of Cloudsdale? There’s plenty of time until the competition starts.”

“That sounds lovely, darling,” said Rarity.

“Where do we even start?” wondered Fluttershy aloud. “Cloudsdale’s sort of a big and scary place.”

Dash tapped her chin in thought. “I know! We can start with-”

Just then, there was fury of color and noise, and Rainbow Dash was assaulted by six bulky, hotheaded, 300-pound stallions, nearly crushing her between their bulging muscles. It seemed like Dash was trying to say something in protest, but her words were muffled with the living wall of bodybuilding ponies.

Dusk nearly had a heart attack. “Don’t worry Rainbow Dash! I’ll save you!” he hollered. He tried to yank Dash out of the dogpile with his magic, but the grip of the stallions was too tight. It looked like the speedster was going to suffocate.

“Dusk, it’s fine,” said Fluttershy, although she was wincing at the voilent pile on top of Rainbow Dash. “She’s not in any danger. At least, I think she isn’t.”

Finally, Dash scrambled out of the “Guys! I can’t believe you came!” she said to the strange ponies gratefully.

“WELL, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?” said the red stallion, sounding like he traded his indoor voice for the baritone of a monster truck announcer. “WE’D NEVER LEAVE THE FAMILY’S KID SISTER HANGIN’, DASH!” He proceeded to give Rainbow Dash the king of all noogies.


“Umm... H-hi there,” spoke up a half-nervous Fluttershy, feeling that introductions were in order. “You guys remember me? Dashie and I came with some frien-”

“FLUTTERSHYYYY!” exclaimed the orange stallion, noticing her for the first time. “HOW YA DOIIIIIING? STILL GOT DAT MILLION-BIT ASS?”

“Umm... I guess so...” mumbled Fluttershy. Dusk, on the other hoof, took offense to this comment.

“And just who are you?” Dusk challenged, confronting the orange pony head-on.


Immediately, the five other muscle-bound ponies dropped what they were doing and stood in a straight line, much like a sector of the Royal Guard. One by one, they took turns introducing themselves by crudely bellowing out their respective names with max-volume and beer-breath.

“BAZOOKA BLUE!” yelled the blue one.

“ORANGE CRUSH!” yelled the orange one.

“GREEN MACHINE!” yelled the green one.

“BOOSTER GOLD!” yelled the yellow one.

“BLOODRED ÜBERCHARGE!” yelled the red one.

“AND I’M BOB!” proudly screamed the purple one.

“WE’RE DASH’S BROS, YO!” they all said at once.

“Guys, these are my friends from Ponyville,” Rainbow Dash introduced. “Y’all already know Fluttershy, Applejack’s the one with the cowboy hat, Rarity’s the one with snootiness, the pink one over there is Pinkie Pie, the chick with the flashy wings is Trixie, and this is Dusk Shine, my personal sex toy!”

“Rainbow Dash!” objected Dusk, “That’s highly inappropriate! Besides, we only did it once, and I’m not even sure that even happened!”

“Don’t mind him, he makes up for it in bed,” Dash added smugly.

The siblings shared hearty laugh at the dirty joke, consisting of knee-slapping and the pegasus equivalent of high-fives. Eventually, one of Rainbow’s brothers (let’s call them ‘the Rainbros’ for short) caught sight of a certain tortoise Rainbow had to drag along.

“HEY, WHAT’S WITH THE TURTLE, DASH?” asked Booster Gold.

“Oh yeah, that,” she said, blushing a bit in shame. “I sorta owe Fluttershy for this one. Ignore it.” Dash looked around, a thought nagging in the back of her mind. “Umm... guys? If you’re all here, then where’s Dad?”

The hearty laughed died down, giving way to the all-too-classic awkward silence. Finally, Green Machine spoke up. “...HE AIN’T COMING, DASH,” the massive green pegasus confessed. “HE SAID HIS BOSS IS MAKING HIM WORK OVERTIME AGAIN.”

“Oh,” said Rainbow Dash, lowering her gaze in disappointment. Dusk Shine, never pleased to see his friends in a bad mood, took this opportunity to reassure Dash.

“Don’t worry Rainbow, we’re still here,” he said with an uplifting smile.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” she sighed passive-aggressively. Rainbow Dash’s father had an infamous history of working late, despite his attempts to make up for it. In fact, Dash’s childhood was chock-full of a rather long history of unintentional neglect. Dad usually meant well, and he even constantly apologized for his frequent absence, but the fact still remained that he missed a lot of little league games and whatnot. She could still remember it like it was yesterday...

Flashback to Dashie’s days as a filly...

Rainbow Dash’s father (whose name, I suppose, should be Spectrum Blast. That sounds cool enough to be related to Rainbow Dash, right? Aw, whatever. Everybody’s got a different name for him anyway. ) trudged in, every bone in his body aching from a hard day’s work. He didn’t even have the strength to take off the full-body jumpsuit he needed for work. With half-dazed eyes, he looked at the clock. It was past eight. He turned his gaze back forward, shambling across the house like a zombie. His monotonous mood was broken only when a familiar rainbow blur crashed into his face.

“Daddy! Daddy! Look!” said Rainbow Dash, showing her flanks. “I’m back from Flight Camp! I got my cutie mark!”

“Whuuuhh...” murmured Spectrum Blast, still half-asleep. “Whuzzat? Huh? Wait... OH!! DASHIE, YOU GOT YOUR CUTIE MARK! Congratulations! What’s your special talent, slugger?”

Filly-Dash cleared her throat, attempting to make her voice sound as deep and dramatic as possible. (In harsh reality however, her pitch still sounded high and scratchy.) “I pulled off... The. Sonic. Rainboom.”

"No way!" exclaimed Spectrum Blast. "Did you really?"

"Yep!" comfirmed the filly. "You should've seen it, Dad! I was like, WHOOSH! And the sky like, BOOOOM! And the the crowd was like, raaaaaahhhh!! This one kid even got the whole thing on his phone! I've been watching it over and over; you just HAVE to see it!!!"

Like a bolt of lightning, Rainbow Dash whipped out her phone and showed her father the video. They watched together in a five-minute silence, then Spectrum Blast hugged his little girl in pride, holding her up in the air like a trophy for the best honor a pony could ever receive.

"That's my champ!" he said with an ear-to-ear grin. "I knew that someday you would be destined for greatness!"

"Yeah, I'm gonna be making rainbows all over the place, just like you!" said Rainbow Dash.

The moment of happiness died down as Spectrum Blast's smile faded. He stopped joyfully flailing his daughter around, but was still holding her in his forehooves. "Wait, what?"

"Yeah, you make rainbows, right?" said Rainbow Dash, not understanding why her father wasn't smiling anymore. "You know, back at work? In the factory?"

"You want to work... in the factory?"

"Phttt, naw!" scoffed Dash. "I'm gonna be a Wonderbolt, remember? Stunt flying and all that stuff. You guys just make rainbows the old-fashioned way." She paused, looking into her father's eyes in thought. "Hey, what is the old-fashioned way? I mean, how do you make a rainbow without using a Sonic Rainboom?"

Spectrum Blast put Dashie down and coughed. "Erm... we make them out of spectra, of course."

Dash tilted her head and asked, "Then where does spectra come from?"

"Uhh... lesse... where does spectra come from.......... AHA! CRAYONS!"


"But of course," said the stallion confidently. "The crayon companies of the world know how to make every color there is. So, the Cloudsdale Weather Corporation needs to spend millions of bits on crayons every year to make rainbows. That's what Daddy does for his job; he makes sure that all of the crayons go into this big spectra-making machine we've got in the back of the factory. Makes sense?"

Not really, thought Rainbow Dash, but because she had an innate instinct to avoid making her single father look bad, she decided to ask a follow-up question.

"Is that why you always come home covered in this red stuff?" she inquired, pointing to an unidentifiable red liquid clinging to Spectrum's work clothes.

"That's from working at the red part of the rainbow, Dashie," he said quickly. "That part gets a little leaky sometimes. That's why my job is so important!"

"Ohhhh," said Rainbow Dash with understanding, "so that's why your job has such long hours!"


"Say, is this why Mom left us too?" asked Rainbow Dash passively. "Like in that one movie where the guy had to leave his wife because his secret life as a super spy was putting her in harm's way and-"

"Tell you what," said Spectrum Blast, cutting Rainbow off mid-sentence, "why don't we drop this for now and I'll tell you all about it when you're older? We have something to celebrate tonight, after all."

"Oh, right!" said Rainbow Dash, slapping herself on the forehead for forgetting. "My cutie mark! So, what are we gonna do? Throw a pizza party? Go to Buck E. Cheese's? SCHEDULE TICKETS FOR A WONDERBOLTS SHOW??"

"Even better," said Spectrum Blast with a sly smile, putting the uncomfortable conversation with his daughter behind him. "You know what your grandpa did when I first earned my cutie mark?"



"What's brinner?"

"It's breakfast for dinner."

"Serious?" said Rainbow Dash.

"Seriously serious," said Spectrum Blast.

“That can actually happen? It’s possible and everything?”


The cyan filly bolted away into the hallways, screaming at the top her lungs, “HEY, GUYS! GUESS WHAT? DAD’S COOKING US BRINNER!”

Cloudsdale a la present time...

Dash mentally shook herself. She didn’t have time to dwell on the past. She needed to get her head in the game. She needed to focus! She needed to win!

“Anyway, thanks for coming, you guys,” she said to both her friends and her brothers. “I have to admit, I was getting a little jittery until you folks came along. Now that you’ve all cleared my head, I’m sure to win! Hey, why don’t we give you the grand tour of Cloudsdale to celebrate? It’ll be fun!”

And so it was.

Meanwhile at Ponyville’s library...

Spike yawned. That was, without a doubt, one of the best naps he’d ever taken in his life. He sat up straight in bed, wondering if he could walk around now without getting nauseated from his flu. He looked about the room, seeing the pile of letters from Canterlot that was sent earlier. The very memory of those letters made Spike’s stomach lurch. That was NOT the best part of his day.

Still, Spike’s curiosity slowly rose as he stared at the miskept pile of scrolls. What caused the Princesses to send Dusk so much mail? It had to be important. He contemplated the act of getting up and reading a few of the scrolls.

Nah, thought Spike, that mail is meant for Dusk. I shouldn’t invade on his privacy.

The bedroom lay still with silence.

“Oh what the hay,” he said to nopony in particular, “why shouldn’t I go through them? I read all his letters anyway. Besides, staying at home is a little boring.” With that, he stumbled out of bed and made his way to the unopened mail. However, since the scrolls were in an unkempt mess, Spike had no idea which letter was sent first. As such, the baby dragon was forced to pick a letter with the classic method of ‘eenie-meenie-miney-moe’ and begin reading without any context.

Sorry, sent that one by accident. Throw it away.

Well, that’s informative, thought Spike with great sarcasm. Is this from Celestia again? He looked on the return address. Huh. It’s from Princess Luna. Hey, all of these are from Luna! What’s the next one say?


Spike’s eyebrows raised at the words ‘vile contents.’ Are some of these letters... naughty? Did Luna send some porn or something to Dusk? he wondered. His brow furrowed. If that’s the case, I should stop reading these right now! I have no right to invade Dusk’s privacy on such a personal, intricate matter!

...buuuuut I’m sure Dusk would mind if I take a quick peek. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right? He ripped open the next letter he could grab.

Dear Dusk Shine,

If you would, we’d like a response now.

A simple ‘I forgive thee’ would be fine.

Or a ‘I don’t forgive thee.’ Whichever. ‘Tis completely up to thou.



Dear Dusk Shine,

If thou art reading this, drop whatever thou art doing and just write something to us. Anything. Literally anything. Just write thy name on a piece of parchment and sent it to us.

With a calm, patient head,

Princess Luna

P.S. I know this is sudden, but

We need to talk, because

Good news,

Bad news,

I, Princess Luna, am going to be

Thou art to be


We love thee. Never forget that. We will always love thee, even when we don’t know why.


Spike scratched his head in contemplation. Huh. I should probably write a response saying that Dusk isn’t home right now. Who knows how long Princess Luna has been waiting?

Dear Princess Luna,

Sorry about the delay, but you have to know that Dusk isn’t home right now. He went to big competition-thing to root for Rainbow Dash. Don’t worry, I’ll tell him to write back as soon as he gets home.


Spike de Draco

Meanwhile, at Canterlot Palace...

Princess Luna lay sleeping in her bed. After sending letter after letter, pouring her feelings into each piece of parchment, she finally was tired enough to plop down onto her luxurious bed and lull herself to sleep. In fact, she was sleeping so softly, she didn’t even notice when a scroll appeared on her nightstand with blaze of green fire. Luna turned over onto her side, lightly cradling the small bump that was already growing in her womb.

Right then, Spike congratulated himself, so where’s the porn letters?

Dear Dusk Shine,

It is I, your Princess of the Night. We know that the time of this parchment must be odd, given that we usually are at peaceful slumber during our sister’s daytime, but alas! We toss and turn, yet we do not sleep. We pace about our bedchamber as we write this, pondering our flirts and follies we scatter your mind with. We look outside the window, seeing the sun at high noon, yet still the thought of sleep is vacant from our mind. How many times doth our two paths crossed but have not met? How many of our actions are justified? At what cost of dignity did our flesh pay for what either of our hearts did not yet decide?

What your Princess is trying to say is that she is sorry.

We are sorry for the dreams of intercourse and bunny suits, because we now know that affair was of ill means, despite its pure and just end. We were wrong to seduce thee and then trick thee into thinking that our passion was nothing but a dream. We know if thou love us truly, thou wouldst forgive us a thousand times over with an open heart. If not, our love twas not meant to be.

With pleading forgiveness,

Princess Luna of Equestria

Dear Dusk Shine,

It’s Luna again.

Please. Write. Back.



P.S. Has my sister not told me something? Is ‘please’ no longer the magic word? We shall look it up.

“I’m feeling better and better that I sent that response,” said Spike aloud. “What’s the next one say?”

Dear Dusk,

MARRIAGE! We completely forgot to address that!!

Okay, so wilt thou marry us? We could even elope!

Your blushing bride,

Princess Luna

“What the BUCK?!” Spike gasped. “Luna wants to elope with Dusk? Where did THIS come from??” Not knowing what else to do, he read the next letter.

Dear Dusk,

Don’t read that last letter. Burn it. Too personal.

“Well, I guess this means that Luna’s come to senses. I mean, can you imagine how crazy it would be if she came down here with a wedding ring, swept Dusk away and-”

We wanted to propose face-to-face anyway


Dear Princess Luna,

I know that you want to marry Dusk now, but I think it’s a really, really, really, really, really bad idea. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give up on your relationship with him, but I don’t think now would be a convenient time for you to swoop down here and propose to him. Try to get to know him first. You know, take things slow. You’re in no rush. Maybe you could even wait until after he’s dealt with a crowd of jealous mares that will tear him limb from limb if SOMEPONY just happens to go in and tell them that they can never, ever have him. You know, just a thought.



P.S. Trust me, I know how relationships work. I’ve been in few of them myself. I’m a baby dragon, after all. The ladies can’t get enough of me.

There, thought Spike, that should resolve everything. I’ve completely averted a crisis! Let it never be said that I don’t look out for my big bro. ‘Cause that’s what bros do. Look out for eachother and stuff.

...I wonder if that porn letter still exists.

Dear Dusk Shine,

We’re preg-

Spike’s brain stopped working. He stared at the rest of the parchment with a blank, cold expression. His jaw hung slack. His thought process at that moment was reminiscent of a continuous spit take.

Five minutes later..

“You there!” Spike cried. “You! Do you have any spare hot air balloons?”

“Umm... Are you okay there, son?” asked Hot Air, owner of Hot Air’s Hot Air Balloon Rentals. “You look pretty sick. And why are you carrying all those scrolls?”

“Not important! Just need to get to Cloudsdale!”

“Why’s that?”


“Who does?”


Meanwhile in Cloudsdale, where nothing dramatic or life-changing was happening in particular...

In short, the tour of Cloudsdale was wonderful. Our heroes first went to the Cloudsdale Weather Corporation, where 98% of the weather in Equestria is manufactured. (And I'm saying this ahead of time: No, they didn't go into the spectra production wing. That place has special security clearance for a reason.) Instead, they visited the snowflake manufacturing wing, where every snowflake of winter is hoof-crafted by the finest artists with wings. It was a rather painstakingly long and hard process; crafting all those snowflakes all summer. But despite the hours of overtime those pegasus sculptors spent in a room with custom-made freezing tempuratures, the pegasus sculptors were rather proud of their work.

I should also mention this: When Trixie first stepped into the snowflake manufacturing wing, she accidently blew away all the snowflakes out the window with two little flaps of her butterfly wings.

She and everypony involved with her was banned for life.

After that shameful incident, our little ponies decided to lighten the mood by going to Rainbow Dash's favorite place in the world: The Wonderbolts Hall of Fame. This was the place where every great Wonderbolt was immortalized with a rather large and impressive picture accompanied by a few of their trinkets. (Old uniforms, lucky goggles, favorite teddy bears, etc.) In Rainbow Dash's book, this was the only museum that was actually cool.

I should also mention this: The tour guides for the exhibits noticed Trixie and wanted to take a photo of her. Then, one of the staff suggested that Trixie should come around the place more often, so the Hall of Fame would gain more publicity. Trixie agreed, but only if she got her own exhibit. The manager said that they'd have the exhibit up in three weeks.

Rainbow Dash was not amused.

Finally, Dusk Shine and the crew were at the Cloudsdale Cloudsdome, owned by Doug Cloudsdome.


“YEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!” cheered the Rainbros, sharing a five-way high hoof.

“Quite the stage you’ve got here,” commented Trixie. “The Great and Powerful Trixie sees why stunt flying is such a hit.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” passively said Rainbow Dash. With Trixie screwing things up left and right on this trip, the cyan pegasus was feeling less than hyped about the competition.

“But Trixie wonders...” Trixie thought out loud, “...what if it could be cooler?”

“Trixie, what are getting at?” asked Dusk Shine.


“HA! Joke’s on you Pinkie, I’m wearing a cup!”


“Ow, my eye!”

“Erm... as Trixie was saying,” continued Trixie, “She was just wondering if there was a way to... enhance the performance of her friend Rainbow Dash. Possibly... competing with her?”

Rainbow Dash was just about to respond, but it was Rarity that spoke up instead. “Oh, no you don’t, missy!”

“What?” said Trixie. “Trixie thinks it might-”

“No. No, it won’t,” Rarity cut off. “I know what kind of ideas are going through your head right now, and I can tell you here, none of them are going to happen. This day belongs to Rainbow Dash, and you’re going to support her the right way.”


“Trust me Trixie, you’ve done enough.

Trixie stared back for the longest time. She turned her gaze to Rainbow Dash, then to Dusk, then back at Rarity.

“Fine,” the blue unicorn said begrudgingly, “Trixie supposes that she could provide more assurance to Rainbow Dash from the sidelines.”

Rarity smiled with satisfaction. “Thank you. That’s very ladylike of you, Trixie.”

“But as long as she’s in the audience...” Trixie said slowly with a growing smirk, “... then the Great and Powerful Trixie might as well... claimdibsontheseatnexttoDusk!”

“Dibs on the other seat next to him!” Rainbow Dash injected.

“Rainbow, yer not gettin’ a seat, remember?” Applejack corrected.

“Oh, right. Too busy being awesome. Forgot about that.”

Pinkie waved a hoof in the air excitedly. “Ooo! I’ll have that seat next to Dusk!”

“Um, don’t I have a say in who sits next to me?” inquired Dusk.

“DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT, BUDDY,” said one of Rainbow Dash’s brothers.

Later, in the Best Young Flyer’s waiting room...

Rainbow Dash looked into the bathroom mirror with beaming confidence. Nothing could bring her down now. In fact, just to show how confident she was, she gave herself a little pep talk.

“Alright Dash,” she addressed herself, “You’ve had a few bumps on the road today, but you’ve pulled through. All your friends are out there, ready to cheer you to victory. Winning is not a problem. Winning is your thing. It’s what you do. You’re Rainbow Dash! You pulled off the Sonic Rainboom! It’s all part of your routine. You did it once, and you can do it again.”

“But what if you can’t do it again?” her reflection almost seemed to say back.

“No. That is NOT an option. You are NOT getting cold hooves right now. ‘Can’t’ isn’t in your vocabulary.”

“But what if-”

“‘What if’ isn’t healthy for you either, girl.”

“But what if-”

“Hey! You’re stepping outta line here!”

“But what if you buck up the Sonic Rainboom? What happens then?”

“Well, you’ll just have to improvise.”

“Improvise what?”

“A corkscrew maneuver! Some loop-de-loops! The Buccaneer Blitz! Whatever feels good at the time! Why do you think it’s called improvising?”

“What if they’re not good enough? What if some other pony comes up with something better? What if you don’t even get second place?”


“Captain Storm Wing, the first Wonderbolt, said that a good flyer always thinks of all the precautions.”

“Newsflash, sister: Precautions never slowed you down either.”

There was a knock on the bathroom door. “Are you finished in there?” called a voice. “I need to pee kinda bad.”

“You’ll just have to wait!” snapped Dash. “We’re busy in-err, I’m busy in here!”

“Sure you’re not nervous?” commented the Rainbow Dash in the mirror. (Or at least in the real Dash’s imagination she did.) “Talking to yourself this much isn’t a good sign.”

“Stop being so smug. You’re supposed to be the insecure one, remember?”

“Did we establish that? I thought that you were just having a pep talk.”

“That’s right. You’re nopony. So, go away!”

“But you still might lose!”

“I don’t do losing!”

All of a sudden, there was a thud aside Dash’s head. She turned around, looking into the face of the nameless tortoise that Fluttershy gave her.

“Oh, hey there,” said Dash. “Forgot you were in here, too.”

The tortoise blinked.

“Promise to keep what you heard just now a secret?”

The tortoise blinked.

“Yeah, you can’t talk. I know that. That’s pretty much the joke.”

The tortoise blinked.

“Look, I needed a little humor here, okay? I’m getting the worst case of the jitters, like, ever!”

The tortoise blinked.

“You’re right, I should just get over myself. The best athletes do their best with a cool head, right?”

For a change of pace, the tortoise didn’t blink. His eyes were moist enough.

“You know, you’re a great guy to talk to. A real good listener. Maybe you’re not the pet for me, but I ought to drop by to visit you at Fluttershy’s now and then. You know, after this has blown over. You’re a lot less expensive than a therapist, lemme tell you that!”

Guess what the tortoise did? Yep, he blinked again.

Meanwhile, back the entrance of the Cloudsdale Cloudsdome...

“Sorry kid,” said the security guard. “But I can’t let you in. Sold out.”

“But you’ve GOT to let me in!” protested Spike desperately. “It’s a matter of life and death!”


“Well figuratively, to be honest. But it’s still really important!”

“Look, we don’t have room for a baby dragon, so you can guess that we don’t have room for a baby dragon suspended by an air balloon. Scram, kid!”

“But it’s an emergency!”

“Yeah, an emergency,” repeated the guard mockingly. “Guess what? You’re the eleventh little shit today with an ‘emergency’ of just getting a free show. If you want to see the action, go get your parents to reserve a ticket!”


“UGH!” groaned Rainbow Dash. “This wait is taking forever. How did they work up the nerve to slap me at the last performance? Why couldn’t they just pick me to go first, see how awesome I am, and then just end the competition there by default?”

The tortoise nudged against Dash’s side, still not having complete control over his helicopter.

“Dude, quit it,” mumbled Rainbow. “I don’t have any time for... whatever turtles do with their owners. Or are you a tortoise? Can’t quite remember what Flutters told me. Hey, are you even a male?”


“Right. Still can’t talk. Sorry.”

Again, the tortoise nudged her side.

“Stop that! It’s getting annoying. Besides, you might crack Dusk’s test tube thingy.”

Dash’s green companion looked at her quizzically.

“What? The test tube thingy? That’s just something he gave me to look after. It’s supposed to be super important and sciencey. Now that I think about it, what was it supposed to do?”

It’s something I’ve been working on since magic kindergarten. I’ve been searching for a way to enhance a pony’s natural talent.

“Oh yeah, that’s what was,” said Rainbow Dash. “Wait, that’s PERFECT!”

“Excuse me, miss,” said a random one of the other competitors, “but are you talking to a tortoise?”

“Umm, no?” said Rainbow with an embarrassed smile.

“Okay, then,” shrugged the background pony, and went on his way.

Forgot that I got kicked out of the bathroom for a second, thought Dash sheepishly. Gotta keep this all in my head from now on. Now, where was I?

Yes, now I remember. The talent potion. So if I drink this, I could erase any chance of me losing this thing! I could even pull off a Sonic Rainboom again!

Wait, no! That’s a terrible idea! I’d be cheating!

Then again, it’s not exactly cheating if it’s not in the rules. Steroids might be out of the question, but this thing in my wing is a totally new substance! It might even be the standard for flyers to take this in a few years! By taking this, I could be a great, famous innovator!

But what about my friends? What if by taking this, I’d be letting them down by not being myself.

Well, what they don’t know won’t hurt ‘em. Besides, if I DON’T take this AND I lose, I’d be letting them down anyway. Me, the great Rainbow Dash, lose the biggest non-professional pegasus competition in the world? They’d have untold disappointment! My BROTHERS would have untold disappointment! What if Scootaloo gets word that I royally screwed up? The kid looks up to me like a god. I might as well tell her that Santa Hooves isn’t real if she hears about that. I could be crushing the dreams of a child if I don’t take this potion!

Well, I guess one little sip won’t hurt. You know, for insurance.

As the Element of Loyalty, I swear I will not take a single sip of this potion.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that promise. Crap. Why couldn’t I have gotten the Element of Laughter instead? I know a few good jokes, don’t I? That way, if I broke that promise, Dusk and I could just laugh it off over some cider. Heck, Pinkie could even find a loophole in that. Wait, that’s it! A loophole! I could take two sips instead of one!

Without another thought Rainbow Dash whipped out the purple potion and took two swift gulps. She smacked her lips, feeling the aftertaste of Dusk’s experiment.

Hey, this is pretty good. I kinda expected it to taste like that gross cough syrup Mom used to give me while I had the feather flu, but this stuff is great. Sorta reminds me of a drinkable version of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Okay, I should be feeling 20% cooler any second now!

Any second now!

Any second now.

Any second now.

Any second now.

Annnny second now...

Maybe this needs a certain dosage to get the blood pumping. I’ll take another sip. You only live once, after all.


“Contestant number 13?” said the voice of a secretary across the room. “You’re up. Got your wings stretched?”

“Aw, yeah!” said contestant number 13, a white-maned stallion with a milk chocolate coat. “Now’s my chance to be a star! LEEEEROYYY WIIIINGKIIIINS!!!!!” He took off like a rocket, into the sky and onto the stage. Of course, he pulled a muscle during his following performance and crashed into the cloud wall three feet above celebrity judge Princess Celestia’s face, but that little act isn’t really important to the story.

Come on, magic potion! silently urged Rainbow Dash. I’m contestant number 15! It’ll be my turn any minute! Why aren’t working yet? How the clop can I even tell??!

“Contestant number 14? Time to go.”

That does it, Rainbow decided.


“What’s that?” asked the secretary, idly watching Rainbow Dash taking her last gulp. “Some kind of sports drink?”

“Sure, let’s go with that,” answered Rainbow Dash, sweating bullets from the sheer pressure. “New flavor of Gatorade.”

“Well, I hope it helps,” the secretary laughed. “The competition is tough this year. Can you imagine that some of the younger ponies drop out due to the mental strain? It’s like an SAT test here sometimes.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow Dash agreed with a nervous laugh. “Wh-what a bunch of noobs.”

“Say, is that a flying turtle?”

“What? This? He’s with me. That isn’t against the rules, is it?”

The secretary shrugged. “I dunno, I’m just an intern. Anyway, it looks like it’s your turn to go.”

“Yeah, looks like it,” gulped the cyan speedster. Here goes everything.

She spread her wings.

She said a prayer.

She took off.


Rainbow Dash is Best Pony: The Crossover

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The Double Rainboom was a sight to behold. It was akin to seeing a great biblical miracle unfold itself in the form of a twenty-mile-wide, rainbow-like, exploding flower. It would be the topic of discussion for generations to come.

Also, Cloudsdale was in shambles. Ruins would be the more appropriate word, actually. Countless cloud structures were mercilessly destroyed by the shockwaves of Rainbow Dash’s supernatural athletic achievement. The Cloudsdale Cloudsdome, owned by Doug Cloudsdome, had been all but flattened. The air was abuzz with screaming children and the sirens of emergency response teams. Pegasi flew around in the sky like ants escaping from a boiled anthill, all of them trying to save themselves and/or their loved ones, or even perhaps complete strangers. To summarize: Chaos did not just reign in Cloudsdale that afternoon, but had also figuratively decapitated Peace and Order with a rusty buzzsaw from the garage down the street.

But none of that mattered to Dusk Shine right then. The screams seemed distant and irrelevant. All that mattered was the piece of parchment that Spike had so desperately worked to give him, and the words that Princess Luna had written.

It’s raining men… and it’s really leaving a mess. We’re having trouble cleaning up all the bloody, broken bodies. Please volunteer; the community could really use your help. I’m your host, Cecil Palmer, and welcome to Night Vale.

Our little desert town got a big surprise today as a wormhole opened up in the sky and spat out a unidentified projectile at roughly mach 12 speed. The unknown object has been described as a cyan comet with a rainbow-colored tailine. The low-flying comet barely avoided a nearby yellow Strexcorp helicopter, causing it to spin out of control and crash into the Sand Wastes, where thankfully no one was injured. Except for the pilot, of course, but as we all know, helicopter pilots are not real people, and should not be talked about under any circumstance. On the other hand, the comet, which can be talked about freely so far, crashed into the Night Vale invisible clocktower. The comet then let out a groan of agony, plopped down from three stories and fell flat on its face. Metaphorically. We don’t know whether or not this thing has a face.

The local City Council apologizes to Strexcorp for the helicopter crash, as is the City Council’s obligation to monitor and seize control of all wormhole activity. In turn, the Strexcorp representatives demanded $12,000 dollars and 27 virgin sacrifices to pay for property damage. The City Council managed to haggle this prince down to $3,000 and 74 virgin sacrifices. The Strexcorp representatives agreed with these terms by burying the dead goat skeleton they always bring with them, and dancing around the makeshift grave with the City Council in a traditional tribal dance. There was more paperwork involved than that, but I don’t want to bore you with the details. After all, we at Night Vale Community Radio have to keep things brief. We have a show to run.

Speaking of our show, here’s a word from our sponsor…

Rainbow Dash had been missing for an hour now. Most of the survivors in Cloudsdale had been rescued and accounted for. Ambulance chariots had been deployed throughout the city, tending to the grievously wounded. The remaining bearers of Elements of Harmony were gathered around one of these ambulances, cloaked in shock blankets. Fluttershy, who had grown up in Cloudsdale, was constantly mumbling to herself, trying not to think about all the foals who couldn’t fly in this dire situation. Also, and this almost goes without saying, Trixie and Spike were there too. The Rainbros, however, were not. They went to the Cloudsdale Weather Corporation to see if their father was alright.

...Wait, what do you mean you don’t remember the Rainbros?? I just introduced them last chapter. It couldn’t have been that long between updates, could it?

Don’t answer that.

“You’ve been awful quiet, Dusk,” Applejack commented. “What exactly wuz in those letters Spike gave ya?”

“N-nothing,” Dusk gulped, gazing out at the wreckage of Cloudsdale. It was getting late and the sky was beginning to take on the orange hue of sunset. The flakes of cloud that were spiraled high into the stratosphere by the Double Rainboom made delicate purple flecks across the twilight sky. “Nothing… that I can talk about right now. I need time to think.”

Trixie, who had long given up trying to cast a blanket over her shoulders due to the obstruction of her enormous butterfly wings, gave a skeptical glance. “You’ve been given forever to think. While Cloudsdale’s been crumbling, in fact! What are you hiding from Trixie?”

“Hey, leave him alone,” defended Spike.

“Okay, then Trixie will ask you: What did those letters say??”

“Not telling.”

“Ugh!” grunted Trixie.

By now, Rarity’s curiosity was also peaked.” You know that you can tell me, right Dusk?” she suggested innocently. “Don’t be such a shut-in. You do know that a tightly-closed book never gets the joy of being read, right?” She scooted closer to Dusk’s seat, where he was nervously clutching Luna’s bundle of letters like a million-bit treasure. Rarity emphasized her point with one of her puppy-dog pouts.

While Rarity continued to pester Dusk about his recent mail, Pinkie Pie remained unusually silent, especially for her case. The pony who resided in her mind was feeling rather awkward about the lack of words from Pinkie and decided to speak up about it. Well, ‘speak up’ in the only way Pinkamena was normally capable of.

[Hey, Pinkie?] Pinkameana’s voice echoed through Pinkie’s skull. [You… okay? You seem kinda distant, and that’s coming from the closest pony to you.]

Huh? Pinkie thought, startled by Pinkamena’s sudden inquiry. Oh, it’s nothing. I’m A-okay!

[You sure? You don’t seem like yourself.]

Sure I’m sure! I’m as happy as a horse can be.

Pinkamena still wasn’t convinced. She still thought something was wrong In fact, she knew something very specific was wrong, but she was afraid to address it. For the first time in her life, Pinkamena was afraid to approach an issue.

She approached it anyway. [Pinkie, Remember when I said we should stop breaking the you-know-what?]


[...and we still do it time to time?]

Oo! Did you find something really cool, like a wall-breakers anonymous club? Because that would be really fun to go to.

[It’s nothing like that, Pinkie.]

Okay, then what is it?




Is this going to be a game of 20 questions? Because I haven’t played that in, like, foreverrr.

Pinkamena bit her proverbial lip and continued. [Pinkie, I’ve been looking beyond the wall. Reading scenes and chapters that we don’t take place in.]

Pinkie resisted the urge to gasp outright. Oooooo, that’s super-dee-duper against the rules! You gonna get in trouble~

[Pinkie, this is serious. Please, I’m begging you to be serious with me.]

Hey, I’m always serious. Seriously FUN!

[I know what Dusk is hiding, Pinkie.] Pinkamena said grimly.


[You know it too, don’t you?]

I... I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t NEED to know! Everything’s gonna work out anyway.

[Pinkie, I’m going to ask you do me a favor. Just one favor. One favor for putting up with your shit all day, every day: Listen to reason. Listen to me. Listen to what I’m about to tell you: Give up. Give up on Dusk and go on with your life. With our life. Don’t get crushed by rejection. I never want to see that happen to you. Ever. I’m begging you, just give up. For me.]

I n-n-never learned h-how.

Applejack turned to her left, staring at Pinkie. “Pinkie… ya feelin’ alright?”

Pinkie sniffled. “I’m alright. It’s just that the pegasi picked a yucky day for rain.”

Applejack, taken aback by this statement, took off her hat and looked up at the sky. “Pinkie Pie, we’re above th’ clouds. It can’t rain here.”

PInkie Pie craned her head back, looking at the clear blue sky with a smile that never quite reached her eyes. Tears trickled down her cheeks from her pale, watery gaze. “It’s raining. I can always tell when it’s raining.”

We interrupt our broadcast with a message from the Sheriff’s Secret Police: A masked vigilante has been bounding on the rooftops every night for a week now, attempting to put an end to street crime. The vigilante has been described as being five-foot-six, having red curly hair and beard stubble; wearing a velvet cape and matching underwear on the outside of his crimson tights.

The Secret Police would also like to notify you that although vigilante justice is highly encouraged and rewarded on under normal legal circumstances, this behavior is entirely unacceptable. For one thing, street crime is a product of the local vague-yet-menacing government agency to keep American citizens properly alert and paranoid for potential danger, so in case we face a surprise invasion, we’d be heavily armed and know how to shoot to kill. It’s fun learning experience for kids, take my word for it. Not like that dangerous act of reading in the library, ancient gods forbid. Or reading at all, in fact.

Secondly, since this mysterious masked man is hiding his secret identity, the Secret Police can’t properly award Observant Citizen points, since they don’t know whom to give them to. “It’s really annoying,” they say. “Why is this jerk trying to fight the system? The system isn’t evil. The system wants to reward you. The system wants to absorb you. Absorbing is rewarding, and rewarding is absorbing. Being absorbed is an enjoyable experience that few people get to do for themselves. Gerold from down the street got absorbed last week, and he says that he couldn’t feel better!”

Thirdly, since this masked man has been jumping all over our town’s rooftops, he’s been tripping all over the excess chimneys we have. I mean, at this rate he’s going to knock some of them over. There are an average of twelve chimneys per building in Night Vale, and more are being built every day. Marcus Vansten, the richest man in Night Vale, has spent a vast amount of his fortune building all of those chimneys, and he’s starting to get annoyed that this vigilante is going out of his way to stub his toe on each and every one of them. And as we all know, nobody disagrees with Marcus Vansten and gets away with it. Nobody.

Lastly, the masked man’s outfit is clashing and obnoxiously flamboyant to boot. That’s not actually in the news report, that’s just my personal opinion.

More on the comet that crashed into the Night Vale clocktower: Mainly, it is not a comet. It’s not even a meteorite. It is not even the Second Coming of the Space Moles, despite what many experts might speculate. Apparently, the projectile is a living, breathing organism that walks on all fours, occasionally trying to fly with broken, mangled wings. Notably, it’s also sporting a rainbow-colored hairstyle and matching tail. Well, not the government-mandated spectrum of rainbow, though, so don’t look directly at it. Oh, and the creature has the most adorable eyes!

You there, stop laughing. Yes, you. You in the flat three blocks away. This is a serious broadcast station, and that means that we keep things professional. Stop it. We know where your family lives.

The four legged creature has also been reported to be capable of speech. It is asking where it is, what is this place, and why there are strange paintings all over the roads. The City Council would like to take this opportunity to remind you that talking to outsiders is illegal when it is not The Equinox of the Seven Suns. Which, by the way, is still happening. The Equinox of the Seven Suns is always present, we’re all going to die and there is nothing we can do about it, so let’s get out of our safety bunkers, Night Vale, and cheerfully go greet our new guest with open arms with an olive branch in one hand and a rifle hidden in the other!

“So, Ah’ve got a question,” Applejack spoke up, “How did Rainbow Dash get so fast in the first place?”

“No idea,” shrugged Spike.

Fluttershy, who had slightly come out of her nervous breakdown concerning the massive loss of lives in her precious hometown of Cloudsdale, looked to her lover. “Dusk, you’re smart, right?” she asked. “Did you notice anything strange about Rainbow Dash before she disappeared?”

Even though the question had been directed at Dusk, it was Trixie who jumped him to the answer. “Wait… the soft-spoken one has a point! Rainbow Dash had been flying awfully fast, hadn’t she? Dusk, do you think she used the potion?”

“The potion?” Dusk relayed. “No, she wouldn’t do something like that. She gave her word. She’s literally the bearer of the abstract concept of Loyalty!”

“What potion?” Rarity blurted.

Trixie, ignoring Rarity’s question, drove further into her argument with Dusk. “She’s also literally Rainbow Dash. Would she pass up an opportunity like this?”

“Like what?” asked Pinkie.

Dusk stared into space for moment as he weighed the probabilities. He didn’t like the conclusion he came to. “Fluttershy… where’s the nearest university?”

“Twelve blocks,” the animal lover replied. “What’s this all about, if you don’t mind me asking?

“I’ll explain on the way. I need you girls to accompany me to there. One of us has to have a talent strong enough to find Rainbow Dash. Spike, stay here make sure nopony reads any of my mail. Pretend it’s a huge gem that’s too fattening to eat.”

Rainbow Dash was breathing heavily. It had been only hours since she-