Twilight brushed her legs against the floor, and the scuffing sound echoed in the quiet library as Applejack stood beside her, staring at the brown earth pony mare with a rough mane standing with her nose in a book, turning the pages with surprising speed. Applejack’s face was all twisted up in more competing emotions than Twilight could count, just like it had been ever since she brought her former pet to Twilight’s library the previous afternoon.
“Discord said he didn’t do it,” Twilight said. “And there’s no trace of poison joke in her coat. I’m sorry, but I’m just as confused as you are.”
Applejack’s face suggested that she was skeptical such a thing was possible.
“Yeah, that’s fine,” Applejack said. “But why’s she readin’? Hell, how’s she readin’?”
Winona glanced up from her books at smiled at Twilight for a moment before getting back to reading.
“Oh, that.” Twilight blushed and chuckled. “I was reading last night, trying to figure out what happened, and she watched me. She asked if I could teach her.”
Twilight glanced at the stack of books on Winona’s flank.
“She turned out to be a quick study.”
Applejack took off her hat and pressed a hoof to her forehead, and she clenched her eyes shut like she was trying to keep something out. “Alright. Fine. That’s alright. You figure out how to turn her back?”
“Nopony’s getting turned back,” Winona said.
Fluttershy opened the door to the library and was greeted by the sudden silence of interrupted conversations and six ponies looking at her.
She reacted accordingly. With an “Eeep” and a step back she tried to leave the treehouse again, but the white unicorn stallion behind her blocked the path.
He gently but firmly pushed Fluttershy into the main room, brushed a hoof through his short cropped dark grey mane before he addressed the other ponies. “Good morning, I’m Angel Bunny,” he said. His voice sounded not unlike Big Mcintosh, in fact he even looked quite like the farmer, except for the different colors and the horn. And the blank flank, the pony had no cutie mark despite looking more than twenty five summers old. “Excuse me for skipping the introductions, but I can see the gang is almost all here. I’ll just assume that you ponies are the other pets? And you woke up just like me this morning? As a pony?”
The assembled ponies nodded and voiced their agreement. Angel noticed that Rarity wore a smug face and that she collected a few coins from Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Next to Rarity sat a white earthpony mare with a light violet mane. Just by the way she looked at him he could tell that this was the annoying cat. “Opalescence. Winona”, he nodded at her and at the pony next to her and tried to keep a neutral face. Next to the cat sat a brown pegasus mare, her unkempt long white hair hanging down over her eyes. To his amazement Winona, no other pet could have been it, seemed on good terms with the cat. They resumed chatting right after he had greeted them. How could anyone like to talk to that stuck-up cat?
“Alright, don’t you worry. Twi’s gonna be right over and we’ll get this all figured out.”
“Right. Thanks, AJ.”
“Heh. Kinda nice to talk to you, though.”
“I reckon it is, yeah.”
“Anything… I can do for you?”
“…Yeah. While I’m all ponified, you think I could taste an apple?”
“Sure thing! Here, you enjoy.”
“Winona? Are… are you cry—”
“No. I ain’t. Just got juice in my eye, is all.”
The prompt: One (or more) of the mane six’s pets is now a pony.
This is a thirty-minute writing prompt; you have thirty minutes (not including time spent thinking and planning) in which to write a story inspired by today’s prompt. You have six hours from the start of this prompt to submit your stories; submissions will be closed at 9:00pm Pacific, 12:00am Eastern, and 4:00am GMT. If you don’t happen to have a Tumblr account, you can submit your story by emailing it (in the body of the email, not as an attachment) to email@example.com; do not submit using Tumblr’s email submission system, as it tends to deliver us only the titles of the stories submitted using it.
Two mares sat across from one another at a table made out of an overturned crate inside the barn at Sweet Apple Acres. Sunlight filtered through the slats, casting bright lines over the heaps of hay and empty barrels.
“Ya sure ‘bout this, sugarcube?” Applejack held the mug reluctantly in her hooves. She frowned deeply at its contents.
Rainbow Dash tapped her hoof impatiently. “You said it was free. Yeah, I’m sure about this. It’s cider!”
Applejack shook the mug, sloshing its contents around a bit. “It really ain’t,” she said, scowling at the mug. “More like applesauce an’ sawdust. I meant it more as a joke when I said it was free; we don’t ever sell the stuff that’s left in the bottom.”
“Are you saying I can’t have it?” Rainbow asked.
Applejack sighed and, with a moment’s hesitation, pushed the mug across to Rainbow. “If ya get sick, do it outside, okay? I don’t wanna have to clean it up.”
Six mares. Fifteen combinations. Infinite possibilities.
Rainbow strutted around in the black flight suit that clung to her lithe body, and Rarity’s eyes followed every twist and turn of the smooth, nearly glistening fabric as Rainbow tested it with every stretch of her limbs.
“Damn, Rarity. This feels awesome.”
Rarity gave Rainbow a kiss and slid a hoof against Rainbow’s chest, feeling her handiwork, before grabbing the zipper.
Rainbow grinned. “What’re you doing?”
Rarity snorted. “Taking it off.”
* * * * * *
Fallen apples litter the orchard, and Applejack stands at Fluttershy’s side instead of walking down the rows of trees picking up every last one, and they watch as an army of rabbits, squirrels, and birds clean the apples hungrily.
“I told you they could do it,” Fluttershy said, smiling as she leaned against Applejack.
Applejack grinned at her. “Wonder what we could do to pass the time instead.”
Fluttershy squirmed and spread her wings as Applejack’s lips met hers.
* * * * * *
Pinkie Pie stares into the room in silence, looking at all of her friends, the party hats, the cake, the confetti, the presents.
“You… you surprised me,” she finally said.
Twilight just smiled even wider as she walked up and gave Pinkie a kiss.
“I told you I was studying Pinkie sense for a reason.”
Okay, so, there’s this really cheerful pink pony, right? Right. And she’s basically the best pony in the entire world, nay, the entire multiverse, because she loves everybody and she wants to make everybody happy and yet she has hidden depths and gloriously angsty backstory, because absolutely nobody wants to grow up on a gray and lifeless rock farm.
I mean, how do you even grow rocks? What do you do with the rocks once they’re grown? There are a lot of unanswered questions here.
So anyway, there are these other ponies, who are the pink pony’s friend, and they are all secretly in love with the pink pony because, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be in love with her? I’m just saying. Anyway, so they’re all in love with her, but none of them tell her, because they do not want to be the ones to upset the delicate and volatile dynamics of the entire friend group. The pink pony goes on sadly unaware of her five friends’ feelings, never knowing the truth, never knowing the sweet, sweet embrace of another mare.
It is tragic. Completely and utterly tragic. But isn’t love unrealized always a little tragic? Yes. Yes, I think it is.
Well, me and Dash, we looked at each other, and we each said… “Okay.”
And we wrote the first thing that came to our heads,
Just so happened to be,
The Best Fanfic in the World, it was The Best Fanfic in the World.
Look into my eyes and it’s easy to see
One and one make two, shipping’s that easy,
It was destiny.
Once every hundred-thousand years or so,
When Celestia shines and Luna glows
And the love doth grow…
Needless to say, Discord was stunned,
Whip-crack went his serpent tail,
And the beast was done.
He asked us, “Be you alicorns?”
And we said, “Nay. We are but ponies.”
Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh-ah-ah,
Ohhh, whoah, ah-whoah-oh!
The Prompt: This is not The Greatest Fanfic in the World, no, this is just a tribute.
This is a thirty-minute writing prompt; you have thirty minutes (not including time spent thinking and planning) in which to write a story inspired by today’s prompt. Because this is Super Saturday, you have seven hours from the start of this prompt to submit your stories; submissions will be closed at 7:00pm PDT, 10:00pm EDT, and 2:00am GMT. If you don’t happen to have a Tumblr account, you can submit your story by emailing it (in the body of the email, not as an attachment) to firstname.lastname@example.org; do not submit using Tumblr’s email submission system, as it tends to deliver us only the titles of the stories submitted using it.
A long time ago, me and my marefriend Dash here… we was racin’ down a long and lonesome road…
(The prompt is in three hours, at 12:00pm PDT, 3:00pm EDT, and 7:00pm GMT.)
“‘Tis Twilight’s fault.” Luna’s voice was muffled by the pillow she’d buried her head under. She was sprawled across the luxurious sofa in the Royal Sisters’ shared entertainment room. A half-full bottle of mead sat on a nearby table. An empty lay on the floor.
Celestia, sitting on the loveseat with a wineglass floating beside her, found the energy to smile at her sister. “Why would you say that?”
“She has stolen the ambassador’s intelligence and taken it for her own. There can be no other explanation.”
A wisp of green smoke swirled in through the fireplace. It gathered itself up over Celestia’s head, spun and imploded with a small pop. A crystal materialized as the smoke vanished, which Celestia caught with her magic.
“It seems my student has sent us a report, and she used her new toy. Perfect timing, wouldn’t you say, Luna?”
Luna peeked out from under her pillow. “Verily. Please, put it on lest I return to that griffin with baster in hoof.”
Celestia hid a chuckle behind her glass as she levitated the crystal over to the contraption they’d imported from the Crystal Empire.
Dear Princess Celestia,
I blink the tears from my eyes. I feel a little calmer already.
I realized yesterday that I never wrote you a letter after defeating Discord. Maybe in all the excitement of defeating him and the award ceremony I just forgot. Maybe I’ve been avoiding it. I had to take a hard look at myself after what happened and I’ve realized a few things.
As much as I’ve enjoyed being in Ponyville, and as much as I’m grateful that you let me stay here, I realize now that I’ve gotten lazy. I believed once that friends didn’t matter, and that they just took time away from study and work. And I think I might have swung a little too far in the other direction. My checklist for yesterday only had three things on it, and I didn’t even bother checking them off.
The fate of Equestria really did rely on my making friends. And now it relies on me keeping them.
I see them walking away from me again, and I have to hold my eyes shut for a moment before I continue.
I thought it would be easy. I won’t make that mistake again. I have to be prepared for everything now.
Your Faithful Student,
* * * * * *
Rarity, Applejack and Rainbow Dash were running some errands in town while the Cutie Mark Crusaders were off crusading, but were surprised to see the three fillies moping in the town square. Concerned, they walked up to the trio to see what was bothering them.
“It’s no use,” Sweetie Belle said as they apporached, “we’ll never get our cutie marks.”
“We’ve tried everything, and we still haven’t found what we’re good at,” said Applebloom.
“We should at least have gotten a cutie mark in looking for a cutie mark by now,” Scootaloo said, kicking at the ground.
The three mares looked at each other, and set out to give the young ones some encouragement. To tell them that it didn’t matter if they had found their special talent yet or not, that there was something more valuable than knowing what it is you were meant to do. And what better way to do that then through song.
“Twi, you wanna tell us why you’re not casting a light spell? Cause it’s seriously starting to bug—”
Rainbow’s voice was silenced when Twilight’s hoof touched the floor, and a line of light ran across the walls, lighting the dark room. Twilight smirked at her for a moment, but she said nothing as she walked out of the hall into the chamber before them. It was a wide circular room with a high domed ceiling, and the walls were covered in carvings depicting ponies, as well as zebras, griffons, donkeys, and buffalo. There was a large circle carved on the floor, with an intricate pattern of lines and swirls filling it.
Braeburn shifted uncomfortably in his chair, no less unsure about this whole debacle than he was when he’d first arrived at the restaurant. Part of him wished he had just said no to the whole mess and stayed home. That part accounted for the vast majority of himself. If he had to declare it specifically, he’d have said that his heart, mind, skeleton, muscles, other internal organs, skin, head, body, mane, and legs would have all been wishing to be back at Applejack’s farm, having no part of this. Maybe a little part of his tail would have been okay with being here, but it was severely outvoted. Yet here he sat, waiting for what was sure to be a terrible experience.
He supposed, though, that he’d already been through such a terrible experience that this one might pale in comparison. It was about a month ago that he’d finally come to terms with some of his innermost feelings, some of which were so far in that even he had not been aware of them. Many ponies, both within his own family and outside of it, had always wondered why he hadn’t settled down with a mare yet. They called him lots of nice things. Handsome, charming, charismatic, funny, sweet, strong. They were all awful nice things to say, and he appreciated them at their base level, but there was something about the tone of them that he didn’t appreciate quite as much, something he couldn’t quite place his hoof on. Perhaps it was the fact that they were always said in reference to his failure to find a mare to settle down with. Something about that had always felt wrong to him, but it was a feeling that he was unable to put into words. They’d wondered why nothing came of his one or two dates with Little Strongheart. They’d ruminated, often a little too loudly, over his decisions to stay in when the other single stallions in town would go out and hit the Salty Spitoon in search of pretty young things to talk up. Sometimes he questioned them too.
Applejack was dying, and that was the ugly truth. Already, her vision was tunneling, it was getting hard to focus. Her heart stuttered again before beating on doggedly, tiredly. She turned her aching, stiff neck to look out the window again, to catch the weak red sunset as it glinted off the castle walls and, further out, sparkled beautifully through Canterlot falls. She sucked in another strained breath and wheezed it back out, grinning even through her stomach’s latest flare of near-blinding pain. Not that she wasn’t nearly blind by now anyways.
Maybe, she thought blearily, watching the sun dipping below the horizon, maybe it isn’t too bad, death. T’was only natural, after all. She shifted again on the downy mattress, anything to lessen the aches in her ancient and gnarled spine. The bedroom door opened with a slow creak, and Applejack let her eyes wander over to take a look. Twilight, rumpled and tear-stained, slinked inside on quiet hooves. A nervous young cadet followed behind her, shaking and shivering and rattling his ill-fitting armor. Applejack managed a shaky, sluggish smile as she met Twilight’s eyes, although it fell away when she saw the desperate, fiery shine in them, halfway between love and total madness.
You know what to do. Applejack shuddered painfully and ignored the voice, ignored the trembling filly who peered at her from behind Twilight’s wings. Twilight hopped onto the bed and gently cradled Applejack in her strong forelegs, tears shining in her wide purple eyes. Applejack raised a wrinkled, weakened hoof and wiped away a tear before it fell.
Rainbow Dash was drowning.
That wasn’t some kind of poetic metaphor, or anything. She wasn’t pouting on a cloud somewhere, sobbing at the unfairness of life. She wasn’t crushed by depression, or overwhelmed by all her feelings—though she was currently a bit overwhelmed by the feeling of all that water rushing above her head.
She gagged on a lungful of icy water. Okay, to be fair, the water wasn’t really all that cold, but being where it wasn’t supposed to be—namely, in her lungs—made the relatively cool water’s temperature a whole lot less comfortable.
Drowning was not cool. Rainbow made a note to herself to tell Twilight, if she saw her again, to get out her list of Things That Might Be Cool—she was certain that egghead had a list like that somewhere—and cross drowning right off of it. Then she could add it to her list of Things That Are Definitely Not Cool, right next to slavery and not being Rainbow Dash.