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Tricks and Treats and...Traps? (Trick or Treating!)

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One Week Ago:
Alright! This was it! They finally made it to the last floor of this dank, dusty, spooky dungeon. After fighting through waves of zombies and skeletons — sadly without Skellinore in sight, sigh— the intrepid trio had found a floor absolutely teeming with treasure, and while Mac made sure that the area was secure and Discord taunted the enemies with an impromptu dance routine, the wise and wonderful Wizard Spike went about detecting magic on the horde of loot. Waving his staff around and mumbling words of magic, nothing seemed to ping on the old magical radar...Which meant the loot was totally safe to grab! They could count it up later to split the share, but there was one piece that caught the little dragon's eye. A rather impressive looking idol covered in gems and shaped like a swirl of magic. "Oh! Dibs on that!" Spike said, letting the bag of coins he was gathering up drop as he hurried over and hopped up to grab the idol.

 

Of course, just because his detect magic didn't detect anything...didn't mean nothing was magic. When the dragon's paws grabbed hold of the now obviously cursed idol, there was a bright — and very, very pink —explosion of magic around the wizard. It was like something out of a Neighponese manga. Spike was lifted up and magical light swirled around him. His arms and legs were the first to be wrapped in the light, long stockings and cutesie sleeves appearing. The wizardly robe he wore shortened in length and lightened in colour until it was a soft baby blue. The stockings took on a vertical stripped appearance as little decorative gems  and ribbons appeared along the outfit. When the light finally cleared, Spike thumped down to the ground unceremoniously and began to panic. "What?! What's all this junk? Where's my robe? My staff? My manly wizardly beard!?"

 

Spike rushed over to Discord and shook him as best as a tiny dragon could. "Check the book there's gotta be something!" while he waited for Discord to look through the book, Spike looked over his own character sheet. Where Wizard had been before it now read Witch. Witch of all things. Spike let out a groan of frustration. That'll teach him to pick up any strange idols from now on...Before Spike could get any answers for anything though, a call from Twilight somewhere elsewhere in the friendship castle would call the dragon away. "Ugh...I guess we'll figure this out next session, I've gotta go, see you guys later okay?" Spike quickly rushed off out of the ensorcelled room and into the castle proper.

It wasn't until Spike arrived to Twilight's confused and bemused expression that the dragon realized...The costume didn't vanish.

"AUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!"

_____

 

Hours Ago:

 

Spike paced the floor frustrated, throwing another pair of broken and mangled up scissors into the pile. The dragon was still beset by the beautiful, but totally unmanly and decidedly un-wizardly, girly witch outfit. No matter what he tried the thing wouldn't come off! Scissors broke, fire didn't leave a mark, magic did nothing, he even nearly chipped a claw trying to tear things off! "Guh! This is ridiculous! Why won't this go awaaaaaay?!" Spike flopped face first onto the cold crystal ground. He hadn't left the castle in days! He refused to! He looked absolutely ridiculous. And worst of all, tonight was Nightmare Night! Of course, Discord had tried to convince the dragon to go out and was back again to do so, looming over the baby dragon. "For the last time Discord, noooo. I'm not going out like this, everypony will laugh at me. I am not going out there and that's final!"

_____

 

Now:

 

"...I can't believe I'm doing this. Spike said with a deadpan grumble as he waited for Discord to show up. Somehow, SOMEWAY, the sneaky draconequus managed to convince Spike to come out of his hidey hole and do some trick or treating. The dragon grumbled and grumped as he looked at his trick or treat back...that matched his outfit, courtesy of Discord of course. "He could have at least given me a cooler bag...then maybe I could just hide myself inside it and pretend it's a ghost costume..." the dragon tried to keep himself as small as possible and avoid the gaze of any passing creatures. He was so embarrassed..."Ugggh...hurry up Discord, where are you?"....

 

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"Maybe he's costume shopping!" spoke up a particularly peppy voice from right behind spike, "This night kinda snuck up on me too, I couldn't even think of a good outfit in time! The strange blonde kirin would giggle and hop a few times around the well dressed Dragon, appraising him. It was such a cute outfit on him, Yama could hardly believe it. She couldn't help but notice that strange scent lingering on the fabric: It was a bit... chaotic. Soon the strange mare came to a stop and bowed her head, "I'm Yamakara! I'm visiting from the far off land of Neighpon! Are you going trick or treating tonight? do you mind if I join you?"

 

Apparently this visitor was the exciteable sort, firing off a series of questions at the little dragon. Her tail also seemed to be eagerly wagging back and forth behind her, "Oh! I almost forgot to say! I love your outfit. It's so cute! How made it for you? Is it magic too?"

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Nightmare Night was Valen's favorite holiday of the year, bar none. The rest of the year he had to rely on Gilded, Valencia, Hazel Blossom, any number of other aliases in order to follow through with his more pertinent lifestyle desires. But on this night he could be as he willed without others giving it a second thought! As such he tended to treasure it, and made plans every year to try something else out. Something new and exciting! Not western work duds, schoolpony clothes, or something you'd see at a fashion show. And this year was going to be no real exception. He had something planned from Saddle Arabia in fact, something he had read about in one of his books from the region. It was very exciting!

Was, anyway.

Spike managed to get himself caught in one of Discord's traps. Happened during a tabletop game of some sort, he didn't have the details. The little dragon was now 'stuck' in a witch outfit, a particularly non-threatening one at that. Would not have been out of place at a Saloon's stage show during their Nightmare Night party, Valen did believe. It would have been funny if it wasn't a curse, and the poor dragon didn't even want it. A tragedy: the outfit was precious. Alas, it appeared he was stuck in it through Nightmare Night, and he had been convinced/threatened into going out with Discord and friends.

Starlight had suggested that Valen go and help Spike tonight. Being somepony more comfortable with such cloth, Valen could help Spike relax, calm down, and get through the night. Seemed fine enough, but then Starlight suggested and then informed him that his previous costume was out of the equation. He had to go in something that was suitably feminine to make Spike more comfortable, and that was a Prench Maid- classic outfit, black with white socks. Valen wasn't all the way pleased but it would do and besides, Spike needed the help and Number One Assistants needed to stick together.

With that in mind, Valen trotted on up to Spike and a new friend in his Prench Maid outfit, a black and white bag part of the ensemble. He was suitably feminine himself but not so much as to pass, not tonight. It was important that Spike not be alone in that regard, after all. He wasn't even going to do his Prench accent except on occasion. “I'm here, Spike! Love the outfit. Stick close and I'll see you through, friend. Speaking of,” he gave a nice curtsy to the Neighponese visitor, “a pleasure to meet you. I'm Valen! Who might you be?”

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fs1MW49.pngNightmare Night was never a huge part of Discord's life experience. Even the past few he never had a reason to participate. Given he was a regular resident of Ponyville, despite his home being located far and close in-between in Chaosville. He had dawned a fabulous cape with some paling powder painting his grey hide. With the addition of a false fang and a snazzy vest over a blouse the spirit became the spirit of lore as he dressed himself in the garments of an immortal, ancient undead count! Count Discord was ready for the night and with a slick of grease through his make he was ready to spook with the best of them. While it was no Fool's Day he could get behind an evening of tricks and treats! Of course it was difficult to convince his usual companions. Big Mac, unfortunately, was already signed up for a familial venture with the tiniest Apple and his parental entourage. Snapping the last of his vest's buttons and curling his beard the spirit would collect large sacks with spooky print and be out of his door in a flash! Let's see who else? Well aside from the Apples the resident CMC, of which he was an honorary member of, were out and about enjoying the evening most like together or with their authoritative figures. Luna, ironically so, was busy as well and Glimmer buried under paperwork. She would make a lovely cubicle zombie! It cut the list shorter and shorter.

 

Than there was Spike. 

 

The spirit had, a week prior, been playing Ogres and Oubliettes with the guys, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash missing the session due to prior commitments. Perhaps they were lucky, or unlucky in that regard. But without the mares it seemed to have left Spike with the sole responsibility of handling a most auspicious idol and the noodle himself was not the sort to debase himself to such manual efforts, plus he had appraised the item to be worthless, so found no point in collecting it, dibs aside. This totem in question had some sort of enchantment attached to it that Spike's Detect Magic couldn't confirm, due to its level gap. The trap was triggered as soon as the wizardly dragon grabbed hold. Discord had looked through the module's manual, but was having difficulty understanding the details of the conditions as it was far from anything he's seen! During such games one would surmise some simple curse! But alas he had been unable to decipher it. Once more Spike had left before the game could end causing a glitch in the system of sorts. 

 

"I have returned!" He declared, appearing above a very discontent looking Spike and fabulous looking Valen. "Oh..." he wasn't expecting the prancing pony to present such a provocatively Prench outfit in public! "Well, well if it isn't the little Orange." The noodly count mused as he lowered down onto his hind legs. With talon and hoof touching to the ground he would hold out the dutifully needleworked potato sacks. They had fierce some designs on the fronts. Valen's an angry orange with fangs and Spike a ferocious rendition of himself as an adult dragon with a smoky sneer. "Here, you can't expect to fill such paltry sized sacks!" He handed Yama his which had a peculiarly profoundly pouting wolf with a devious grin on his maw. 

 

The spirit's own sack had a devious red balloon design with a toothy grin. He seemed to have been working on them last minute. The spirit of chaos did some fine work with the needle. You should see his crocheted sweaters! With personalized sacks there would never be a question of whose was whose! But why the massive bags? Surely they were just to go down the block and enjoy some of the games. No, no. Discord had done some reading up on this tradition. It seemed that collected candy was to be paid in full to the spirit of the terrifying Nightmare Moon, but given the absolving of her hideous fables the collected candy seemed to hold no purpose of sacrifice save to the small bellies of overfeasting foals, colts, and fillies! No Discord had declared to Spike that had he come out to trick and treat with him there was to be great reward.

 

"Is that everycreature?" Oh it probably wasn't, but he would not be delayed as time was everything for an eternal serpent of madness. Pulling his picket watch from his vest one would come to realize the curious, bat-like shape of it. He tossed it to the side, leaving the clockwork creature to fly away into the night. "So as you may know I have gathered you all here for a very important mission." he pressed his paw and claw together as he nodded a solemn head bob. "You see I was doing a little research on this Pony holiday and it seems before Nightmare Moon the collection of candy had served a different purpose." Now knowing Discord he could be making it up, but when it came to candy and treats the spirit did not play games... mostly. 

 

Discord stared off to the houses. Parties being held, lights filling the streets and candies being passed out to good fillies, colts, nymphs, and other itty bitty creatures. "Have any of you ever heard of the Ghoul?" he swiveled an ear to the crowd. "Well it seems when you collect enough candy, at least your weight of it, a strange house shaped like a gourd appears on the edge of the Everfree Forest. In that house lives a Ghoul and for the most dutiful goblins and fiends who had collected their treats are to be rewarded with a candy equal, of not greater, than their size." Now Discord was not one to befall to legends and rumors of ponies, but this mystery had other parts. "It was even said that Celestia herself has seen this Ghoul and gotten a chocolate sized Celestia in return!" He clenched ups paw into a fist. "I'll not have it!" W-what? "She won't be the only one to meet this Ghoul!" So it wasn't just about the candy.

 

The competitive chaos spirit would perhaps never change in that regard... 

 

"But there was just one catch... for any house to fail to offer the tastiest of treats we must return a trick." He manifested a tiny notepad and a pair of spectacles on the end of his nose. "I made a note of the conditions in the book to summon the Ghoul."

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Can you die from embarrassment? What did dying feel like? Spike was pretty sure that he was going to die from embarrassment before the night was over. What would they put his grave? 'Here Lies Spike. What the heck was he wearing?'. Maybe if he was careful he could just slip back inside and wait the night out. Before he could contemplate his sweet escape any further than taking a step, an unfamiliar voice broke the silence and nearly scared the little dragon's bones out of his skin! Thankfully it only toppled him over, clutching his chest in surprise as the mare talked a million miles a minute. Was she a distant relative of Pinkie Pie's? Catching his breath from the impromptu terror, Spike got back up to his paws and dusted off the hem of his skirt...groaning afterwards as he realized what he was doing. Stupid girly outfit...Well he knew sooner or later that he'd have to deal with socializing in this thing..."Uhh, nice to meet you. I'm Spike. Sure you can join in, there's plenty of candy to go around I'm sure!" at the compliment to his outfit though the dragon looked down and groaned again. "Thanks, I hate it...I uh...left a game too soon and now I'm stuck in it. I hope it's not forever." rubbing his face, Spike's shoulders slumped. Remember Spike, it's for the candy. It's for the candy. Let's hope Rarity doesn't see him like this.

 

While still waiting on Discord to arrive, another voice had chimed in. This one was both thankfully, and sadly, familiar. It wasn't that he didn't like Valen! Valen was cool. It was the fact that if more ponies he knew saw him like this, the more it could spread he was wearing it to begin with! Starlight's idea of helping Spike through the night was...what exactly? To have Valen be in a girlier outfit than him? Well, they were about equally girly, but Valen did this kind of stuff for Rarity a lot! "Hey Valen...thanks..." he just wasn't going to escape this un-embarrassed was he? Was everypony going to comment on this stupid getup? "This is Yamakara, they're from Neighpon. They're going to be joining our trick or treating. We've just gotta wait on Discord to show up. He's probably going to be fashionably late." Spike chuckled and folded his arms. You can't rush a chaos spirit, Spike knew better...But still, he hoped that the noodly nerd would get here soon, before the crowd grew and Spike be confused for a tomato with how hard he'd be blushing.


Thankfully, no sooner thought than done, Discord arrived in typically chaotic fashion. No wonder it took the draconequus so long to show up, he was making Trick or Treat bags for them!...But...how did he have ones made for Valen and the new arrival? HOW DOES HE DO THIS. Urgh, whatever, at least Spike wouldn't have to deal with the pretty fru fru bag that Discord gave him earlier. However as soon Spike took the offered potato sack in his claws, there was a comically large puff of magic around it, and the sack had changed. It was still very much a potato sack, but now matched quite well with the pretty pretty costume. Even the dragon on the front of it was in a matching outfit. Spike promptly stuck his head into the sack and let out a frustrated scream as Discord went on to explain tonight's itinerary of sorts. Do it for the candy, Spike. Discord had used the story of The Ghoul to lure him out to begin with. The story sounded super farfetched! Candy the size of yourself? I mean that made sense, but some magical house that appears at the Everfree? That...Okay now Spike couldn't lie, he's seen stranger. And that part of him wanted to believe, who wouldn't want a free sculpture of themselves made out of chocolate?


With his frustration all screamed out for the time being, Spike withdrew his head from the pink and blue sack with a sigh. It was going to be a very, very long Nightmare Night, and there was no time like the present to get started...the sooner it started the sooner it was over and Spike could hide and gorge himself on candy until this whole cursed costume thing blew over. "Alright so we've got a course of action. Let's go go go. What's the first step, Discord?" Spike said as he moved behind the other three to try and start pushing them onwards.

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Now this was a clever costume! Since she went as Princess Celestia LAST Nightmare Night, Little Wind Walker decided she would go as the second best Princess, the reason-for the season, Princess Luna! The filly took her costume to the next level, and she had Princess Luna as a filly wearing an costume! That was two costumes in one! However, since the first costume took time to create and apply, she only had a moment for the second. Thankfully her father had a big pile of scrolls on his desk that probably weren’t important. One made an excellent temporary ADVENTURE hat.
 
Still, she looked pretty good! Since the dream princess’s coat and mane was slightly similar to the filly’s, she simply needed to get the right coat darkener. The shoes were easy to find, and while the contacts made her eyes feel funny, she could get used to them. The paper hat also did a good job at covering Luna’s missing horn....The one thing Wind forgot to get. The moon cutie-mark was artfully applied by her brother Moon Walker, and the bib thing was purchased along with the shoes at the nearby costume store.
 
“YOU ARE LOOKING LIKE THE ROYAL PONY!”, Wind bellowed in the traditional, royal Canterlot voice. She would have to find her old friends...Who was in Ponyville this year? She knew her Canterlot friends were staying in the big city, and after overdoing it with the bonbons, her buddy Fast Track was staying home due to a MASSIVE tummy-ache. But what about Scootaloo? Or Bebop? Guess there was only one way to find out!  After she grabbed an goodie bag, the filly waved at her parents as she trotted off. Her mother Write Stuff had already started to hoof out candy, while her dad, Brass Hat was watching a movie that had been deemed a little ‘too scary’ for fillies! Bah! She saw it twice already!
 
As the ‘royal princess’ cantered about ‘her’ lands. Something odd popped up. Spike! And hokey-smokes he was an costume disaster! While the colors were nice, the little dragon did not have the thighs to pull off that costume off. Did he lose a bet? Discord probably had something to do with this. “HAPPY NIGHTMARE NIGHT!”, she shouted in the proper tone. Along with Discord and Spike, there was an VERY impressive Kirin costume, along with a guy in an maid costume. Hrm. Maybe he lost a bet as well. Her big sister mentioned that she should go trick or treating with the little dragon if she could not find any of her usual friends. Guess she'll do this. Weird costume or not. "Heya Spike.....I mean."
 
"GREETINGS DRAGON CITIZEN OF PONYVILLE!"
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Were dresses the in thing for this Nightmare night? With the arrival of Valen Orange, Yama couldn't help but feel even more under-dressed than before. If she could step around a corner or something, maybe she could conjure up some cute shrine mare outfit like mom would wear. With all this thick fog around though she couldn't help but think all she had to do was tak a couple steps back and she could get something... although might be a bit suspicious. The kirin would pull her head back down from the clouds and bow her head as Spike introduced her to the admittedly cute maid.

 

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Valen-chan!" Again the mist around her would shift as her tail whipped about, "I told him that he really pulls of the look well too, but he seems a bit down on it. I'd offer to take it off his paw--er, hoo-- er, claws! That's right. Claws... but it looks like it's a pretty clingy garment!" 

 

Then came the wondrous arrival of the spirit of chaos himself! As soon as he popped in Discord would hear a round of applause all around him while the kirin clapped her hooves... and then it all stopped at once when she took a hold of her bag. The little design on the front of hers made her pucker her lips and make an "Ooooooo!" sound with her mouth before she did her best impression of the face on the bag with her pony face. "I love it! Can I keep this sack one the night's over, Discord-Sama!" With a delighted smile s he slung the sack over her side, "How'd you know I was even here?!" 

 

The answer to Yama's question would have to wait as the spirit launched into the explanation of the plan for the night. A ghoul? A monster of myth? Now that was something Yamakara had absolutely not experience or knowledge about. None. At. All. She had cracked open a monster manual for Oubliettes and Ogres now and then though, so the concept of a ghoul wasn't an alien one. If there was a special ghoul that gave out ultra rare candy around... well, Yama was NOT gonna miss out on that. No way, No how. Once Discord pulled out that little notepad, the little kirin's head slowly emerged from behind his shoulder. Curious eyes tried to get a look at this notepad over the noodle's shoulder, "Oh! I know a whole bunch of tricks we can try! What's the first thing we gotta d--"

 

“HAPPY NIGHTMARE NIGHT!”

 

Yama grit her teeth as she felt that incredibly loud shout meet her ears. She fell right down off the spirit's shoulder and plopped on her back. In a flash she was right back up with a delighted grin on her face, "That's incredible volume!" She pointed a cloven hoof Wind  Walker's way, "You! You need to take up Opera! You'd be famous!"

 

 

 

 

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Spike was looking at this askew. Valen pulled Spike in without any semblance of permission, hoof to the sky. “Oh, Spike! You doom yourself to misery only if you try to cower from it! Tonight, all across Equestria, there are untold number of wacky and random costume combinations. Ponies smile, ponies compliment, and by the end of the night nopony remembers any of it. That is, unless you're awkward about it. Own the night, this one night, or it will own you from now on! Relax and act natural, and then nopony will care,” He said as he released the dragon. It was common to have stage fright, triply so when it was not of your choosing and you were embarrassed. But this was Nightmare Night. Many stallions were dressed as mares and mares as stallions and all combinations therein. Some had desires being given time to stretch, most did it for a lark, and nopony would care as long as it seemed dressed weren't stressed for one cause or another. If Spike relaxed, Spike would be fine.

Discord's arrival was not unexpected, nor unwanted, though the look he gave Valen did not inspire confidence. The fact he immediately had a bag suited for Valen prepared was alarming as well. Alas, he had learned to stop looking for answers or searching for logic in the actions of Discord. His very name was a pox on such efforts, after all. “Thank you, Discord. This bag is certainly larger than the last!” Valen laughed as he tossed the old bag inside. No reason to waste space, especially since much of the candy was heading to the school collection anyway. He had a sweet tooth but only to a certain extent. He listened to the story of the Ghoul. Hmm...wasn't one he knew, but he didn't care whether it was true or not. With Discord leading the way some version of the 'truth' was bound to reveal itself. “Sounds like a plan. Lea-” Valen began before his world exploded in noise.

He had to stop himself from bowing reflexively at the sight of Princess Luna, noting quickly that it was a very nice costume. The hat did well enough to cover for the missing horn, especially from an adult's angle. From somepony their age though? Still, a nice costume. And very loud. “Well, Princess Luna,” he said with an exaggerated curtsy, “a pleasure to spend a night in your honor with you. Hopefully you can keep anything too frightening away from us,” he said with a slight giggle, knowing the competitive fellow named Discord fancied himself the strongest at all. He looked over at Yama. “Well, it looks like we'll be safe. A fierce witch-dragon, Discord, and Princess Luna! Nous sommes bien protégés, oui?” He laughed and then pointed to the town at large. “Candy time!”

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Oh boy, it was happening. Finally.

It was that time of year again in Equestria, and Candy Cain was more than prepared for it. The pink-haired colt was okay with creating and giving out candy creations any time of year, really. After all, he loved seeing their reactions, their sparkling eyes and laughs. He lived for that. But tonight, though, everyone would be coming down to town to go Trick-or-Treating. It was Cain's time to shine.

Candy Cain was currently setting up his 'cart' (a large covered wagon full of his supplies and other things to create candy and entertainment on any day) with only a slight amount of difficulty. The darn tarp wasn't going up right. Cain sighed and used a wave of magic, levitating the sheet and its poles. It all game together with a series of clanks. Perfect. With the front of his cart (structurally) ready, Cain proceeded to decorate the thing with spooky accessories he had inside. Cobwebs, spiders, and a couple jack-o-lanterns for effect right up front. Perfect. For now, at least. Cain could modify it later. He whistled to himself cheerfully as he worked.

Eventually, everything was ready. Or, almost everything. Cain closed his eyes and concentrated, generating a faint cloud of candy-scented air. That would be sure to draw them in when they got there. The only speed bump was actually meeting them. He could deal with that later as well. He finished the tune with an evil laugh, wandering back around and into the cart. Of course, it was spacious enough for him to fit inside and work on his candy creations. He got to work setting up jars of sugar, natural dyes, and other ingredients. No need for anything so formal as frames or plans today. It was all about imagination. The only time Cain got even more hyped was for the end of the year. But that's another story.

For now, he waited, adjusting his costume a bit. Cain had decided to go as a sort of skeleton, painting the skinny frame and everything all over, save his vibrant, pink hair. He thought it was a nice touch to the dull colors of black and white. Finally, everything was set. Cain inhaled, and shouted as loud as he could.

"HAPPY NIGHTMARE NIGHT, FOLKS!"

He chuckled. No one could miss him now. He wasn't directly at the front of town, he was more around the center, where he could preform his works. It was only a matter of time before they arrived. . .!

He always got giddy by then.

 

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fs1MW49.png The vivacious spirit chortled at Spike's predicament. It was one brought on by his own haste and would not be pressed onto the spirit! Oh, no no! Even his candy sack seemed ever so inclined to raise a fashion statement with Spike's new, oh ho ho -- job class. He pressed his claw to his chest and looked over Valen.

 

"I must say you should stop rummaging in Bluey Blue's collection of outfits! Unless that is of your own personal design~?" Said claws reached up to scratch at his beard thoughtfully before his ears perked up. "Hmph, at least somepony here appreciates my needlework, and I suppose -- somecreature." He arched a busy brow and wiggled his paw at the kirin.

 

Oh what fun.

 

"Yes, yes well the first step is obvious is it not?" He held up the sack. "We fill these to the brim with goodies! Come along if we dawdle any longer the zombies will get to all the treats before we." He cocked his head, clapping his paw and claw together to get some grease on their wheels.

 

Ever the demanding spirit! 

 

It wasn't until he had focused on the task that a shout overtook him, causing his mane and tail puff to bristle. His ears snapped back as he winced. Smoothing down the flat expression that drew upon his face was followed by an eyeroll and a puff of poof when he vanished, only to appear behind the little Wind Walker. He observed her costume for a moment before perking up.

 

"Ah well if it isn't little Woona~" He cooed. "And here I thought you were over that phase in your life!" He commented offpawedly, as if referencing something out of the realm of everypony's understanding. 

 

As he was wont to do.

 

"Well I suppose we should add the princess to our entourage. The more candy the better chances we have..." Oh yes Discord was quite inclined to collect his weight in the dark, milky gold! 

 

Plodding along with his herd, the spirit toddled on his hind legs observing the houses. Now a plan was needed. One couldn't just go to any house. Lights being off usually indicated a lack of candy supply or none at all. Such places demanded to be vandalized for such clear infractions of the Nightmare Night spirit, but alas Discord had but one egg and half a roll of toilet paper. It wasn't until he had considered heading to the cake's to borrow some eggs that a pony with a voice near equaling Wind Walker's would cry out! His ears perked and swiveled forward. He curled his head back as a glint of desire painted a grin on his lips. 

 

"I think we found our first stop..." But could Candy Caine full such an order? And one concerning a certain, mischievous spirit who all but fit like a puzzle piece in Nightmare Night! "Onward my minions!" And what little choice had they to carry such a title on this night, of all nights! With a flash and bang the Count of Chaos would vanish. A door would appear in front of Caine's stall proceeded by a vigorous knock. That door was than burst open to reveal the parade of candy hunters!

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Now that she was closer, that kirin costume was.....Nah, that was a real one. Although was she really a real one, or one that could turn into a dog? Or was the guy who helped Fire find Swift Squall a dog who could turn into a kirin, or do they have that abilities? Wind Walker wouldn't mind such a power. She could be her own best friend if she could turn into a puppy! "Well, one needs to know how to speak in the 'Royal Canterlot Voice' when dressed as Princess Luna." she (thankfully) spoke in her regular tone of voice. "You should consider getting a costume for tonight's holiday. I believe Mister Masquerade has a small booth near the castle...And he's renting costumes." There was also a fun costume and joke store nearby, but they had long closed down for the holiday. She always liked that place.. 'Tricks, jokes, fun..fool your friends.' Not only did they sell the usual pranks and yucks, they also had at least seventy kinds of fake dog gunk. From Chihuahua to Great Dane. However, they were closed, and if you needed to get a costume real quick, you needed to stop at the booth. And it made sense to rent your costume as how many times would you need to wear it after Nightmare Night?
 
The little filly had to correct the pony known as 'Valen Orange', "Discord? I don't see Discord!", she smiled at the spirit of discord. "I see a dashing vampire!" She was pretty sure he was supposed to be an blood-sucker. Or did he normally have fangs? Or just that one, lone snaggle-tooth? She did not care what her sister thought of the guy, she thought he looked pretty good dressed in a suit. Still, the guy was also right. Princess Luna kept the bad things away. Maybe the Pegasus pony should have gone as Nightmare Night instead. She brings the nasties!
 
"No...Not Woona....Loooona.", she corrected. It was obvious Discord knew who Princess Luna was, as she was one part of the Princess team that put him in stone for all those years.
 
"THAT IS RIGHT, ROYAL SUBJECT.", Wind Walker had doubts that she could keep this up. Already her throat was starting to get a little scratchy. "I WILL ZAP AWAY THE EVIL WITH MY MAGIC...Erm." Whoops. No horn. "I WILL HIT THEM WITH MY HAT!" That's better. He was right again..again..It was CANDY TIME. There would be much praise and adoration to those who leave fun sized SBLOUNSKCHED! and CooCoolicious bars in their bags and a house that will be forever egged if they try to give her healthy candies....Or even that one crazy mare that hoofs out tooth brushes...TOOTH BRUSHES!! Discordracula will be of great use as he could probably summon a million chickens to lay a million eggs. That they then could toss at the houses of those who gave out sucky treats!
 
As they moved on, another pony moved into view. A pink haired guy who appeared to be a sales-pony! Ha! Nightmare Night was the night of FREE candy. But she could not be rude and ignore the poor guy as that would not only be a smudge against the Walker name, it would also be a mark against her princess-hood! "HAPPY NIGHTMARE NIGHT!", she bellowed back at the pink haired pony.
 
"So, whatcha selling?", she asked Candy Cain. Did he have a brother named Dinner T-Able?
 
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Kumo, or as she was known in this form, White Rose, trotted down the street happily, humming a little song to herself. The ‘filly’ was dressed in a spider outfit, which just gave her a chuckle every time she noticed it. In all honesty, she could’ve just gone as herself, but she kinda enjoyed this little joke only she was in on. 

 

In any case, she slowed to a stop nearby a group of what appeared to be trick-or-treaters, apparently just in time to hear a story about a ghoul giving out chocolate statues. Sounded pretty far-fetched, honestly, but she supposed she had heard worse that turned out to be true. 

 

As they seemed to move off to a nearby cart, she followed them, smiling a bit as she came up behind them. Well, this looked like a fun group, the noodly creature and the kirin were particularly interesting. 

 

“Well hello! I don’t suppose you have room for one more in your group?” The white filly asked, smiling at them all. 

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With a half gagged 'ack!', Spike was pulled into an 'encouraging' hold by Valen. It was a nice sentiment and all, and it wasn't like the colt was wrong, if anything Spike knew deep down he was right, if it wasn't for one teensy fact. "Maybe they'll forget about it for tonight, but this thing has been stuck on me for a week already!" he gave the chest of the dress a little tug, it snapping back into place. It was easy for Valen to do, he was used to this sissy frufru stuff, but not Spike! The only thing that got him into things like this was if he was helping Rarity! And even then he wasn't the biggest fan...but aaah Rarity~ "I'll try...no promises. Turning to Yama the little dragon chuckled and sighed. "Wouldn't be much of a curse if I could just give it to you, but believe you me, I would if I could." Not long after Discord's explanation of tonight's plan, a voice cut the stillness that followed. A very, very loud voice.


And that loud yell sounded familiar...Oh no...Was that? Oh no it was. Wind Walker was here. Again this wasn't a case of displeasure at the filly's arrival. No, this was Spike's shame and panic riddled brain running through the absolute worst case scenario of her showing up. Wind Walker was friends with the Crusaders. The Crusaders had connections with the school's newspaper. This greatly increased the chances that Spike could end up in the newspaper like this!! He internally screamed and the urge to just hide in the still girly but not nearly as horrible burlap sack was rising with every passing moment...And now his ears were ringing too! Guh! "Hey...Wind Walker. Happy Nightmare Night to you too. Nice costume!" here was hoping she'd not keep up the Royal Canterlot Voice all night. There'd be way to much attention drawn their way and that's the LAST thing that Spike needed for his mental health...

 

"So Discord, exactly how many treats are we supposed to gather up for this 'Ghoul' anyway?" it stood to reason that if you got more than your weight in candy for trick or treating, turning it in just to get a statue the size of you made out of chocolate, you'd be downgrading...unless it was just really, really good chocolate. Which would make sense if it was so legendary!...And if it existed at all.

 

Another yell broke through the conversation once again. Thankfully this one wasn't right in his ears like Wind's conversation with Valen, yeesh. What did tinnitus feel like? Discord had the right idea, a candy booth seemed like a great start! Spike followed along with the group over. A cute stallion that Spike couldn't recall seeing before had set up quite the cart with all kinds of tasty treats if the smell in the air was anything to go by. Before anypony else could really say anything, Wind Walker asked what was obviously on everpony's mind. Just what sorts of delectable snacks did the stallion have? While they had made their way over to the cart, it seemed another filly had found the ruckus and a desire to join in. Just how many more strangers were going to end up seeing Spike like this?! At least Rainbow Dash or Pinkie Pie weren't around to see this, he'd never hear the end of it! "Eheh, sure! The more the merrier! I'm Spike, what's your name?" it's not like Spike would say no, that would be rude! Even if he did look ridiculous, he couldn't just shoo anyone away. Still...tonight was only going to get more stressful.

 

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Valen stuck out a rear leg and gave it a look, taking in the uniform's fine stitching. “Blue? Who do you take me for, a gaudy seductress? This is simply a work uniform that has been stitched in a...better fashion,” Valen said with a laugh as he put the leg down and put a soft hoof on one of Discord's claws. “Your accusations are as hurtful as your needlework is impressive, Vous créature mystérieuse, vous. Dis-moi, pourquoi as-tu piégé Spike de cette façon? Vous faites peu de choses sans raison, malgré vos efforts pour nous duper autrement,” Valen asked in Prench, knowing full well that Discord was high-minded enough to know what he was saying.

Valen had to shake his head. Spike's vision was narrowed by fear. “Yes, but you've been inside the whole time. As far as anypony else is concerned, you put it on a few hours ago for Nightmare Night. Act like that and it was a choice for a night and you'll be fine. Just stop stressing about the dressing!” Valen said as he gave the dragon a light pat on the back. He couldn't force Spike to act comfortable or be happy but the little fellow needed to understand the stakes. The calmer and more casual he acted, the more successful he would be. “Now, ponies are going to ask what you're going as so you'll need a good story. How about Grilda, the magical dragon-witch from an adventure story?” Valen suggested. It was a fake name and a fake story but from somepony who lived such fakery it seemed natural.

Almost as natural as 'Luna'. She was right though. “A vampire? Well yes. Dashing? Well, that is in the eye of the beholder,” he teased, and then braced himself for the ROYAL CANTERLOT RESPONSE. She could zap away evil with the hat? Good enough. “Thanks for all that protection, then. Can't be safe without you around it seems, Mon héroïne, he said with a bow. He was finished with the bow in time to see a spider approach. A spider pony. A spider costume on a pony. Who wanted to join. Valen saw no reason why not. The more the merrier! “Well, I won't say no to somepony else joining. I'm Valen, welcome aboard.”

And what a candy hunting group they would be, appearing in front of a stand in record time thanks to Discord. Also a loud one, but on this night a candy pony was very much allowed and expected to be loud. Pink maned with a ton of candy options- his name had to be candy related in some way, no doubt. Giving a small curtsy, Valen went into the popular refrain: “Nightmare night, what a fright, give us something sweet to bite!”

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The miniature princess' talk of costumes made Yama think, technically she was already in her own form of costume at the moment. Did this not count though since others wouldn't recognize it as such?  "I suppose just saying that I'm actually a changeling in disguise would be a tad too easy a way out, right?" She tilted her head at the youngest addition to this growing entourage, "I'm not terribly sure what I could wear though, any idea what I might be able to pull off looking as I do, your highness?"

 

Yama smiled brightly over to the fancy maid, "Candy time!" she would bark back with delight. Another yell came from not far away, coming from a handsome looking pinkish pony. He had a fancy candy stand! One could only assume that he was safe from any tricks thanks to that impressive supply of sweets. A small giggle came form the Neighponese kirin as she watch Discord conjure up a door in front of the stall and then knock. Seeing the work of a spirit of chaos up close was so awe-inspiring!

 

Not long after the door had been conjured, yet another was attempting to get into the group. This one had a very curious aura to her. It seemed this Nightmare Night was just full of the doubly disguised.  She bowed her head towards Kumo, "I'm sure we'd all be happy to have you come along, friend!"

 

 

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Candy Cain hadn't expected anyone to show up until later in the night, maybe after a little trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. He hadn't expected them to. . . appear at his cart. And with a magic door, of all things! Cain needed to learn that kind of magic. Maybe he could be a magician or something?

Anyway, Cain was caught almost completely unprepared by the visitors. He had been kicked back on a small stool, leaning against the wall of the cart, about to enjoy a black and orange-colored candy cane, when they had popped up right there. He did his best to mask any dramatic reaction. It wasn't enough. A small yelp escaped his lips as he fell backwards off the stool, catching himself on a shelf, before the shelf itself collapsed, sending jars of sugar and other ingredients crashing down on him, some cracking open. After a few seconds, Cain stood up, composing himself and brushing some candy dust off of his coat. There was still a bit of the glittering stuf in his mane, though. He cleared his throat. "Ah, welcome to Candy Cain's Confections and Art, all!" He gave them all a grin that said 'I totally didn't just make a big flop like that. That was another guy'. His voice was sort of like that of 'big-city showman', loud, but only loud enough for them all to hear. 

He still had to do something about the mess, though. With a quick flick of his horn and a short, sharp whistle, the jars and candy all floated through the air, coming back together and going back into their containers, a disaster in reverse. He continued to speak as if it hadn't happened; he was determined not to look like a fool. 
"And Happy Nightmare Night to you all as well! It's nice to meet you all. I, of course, am Candy Cain, owner of the one-man business."

Cain took a step out of the cart, but only that. He turned back towards the mess he had made. Or rather, where the mess had been. It was gone now, the candy all set up again, as if it had never happened. Cain gave a small sigh of satisfaction, before turning back to his audience. "Sorry 'bout that. I tend to get a little jumpy when folks appear unannounced. . . not a problem!" Cain shook his head at Wind Walker's remark, though. "No, no, I'm not selling anything. On days like these, it's all free, ya hear? It's on me. That's what Nightmare Night's about, right?" He chuckled.

One by one, Candy Cain greeted them all, giving them a small smile and a short bow.
"Awesome costumes, ya'll! I'm sure you'll be getting tons of candy from houses downtown, eh?" He laughed. Quickly, Cain turned and grabbed multiple jars of sugar, candy and colors out of the cart, placing them on his back and trotting outside. He placed them on the ground before starting back toward the cart. He glanced their way, thinking. "This might be a different stop from the others, though. Y'see, I. . . make things, yeah? Outta candy and sugar. Like. . ." Cain closed his eyes and whistled, a pitched tune. One of the jars rattled and popped open, a bottle of sugar crystals. Off to the side, a bag of apples opened up, green and red apples floating out and swirling above Cain's head. Cain's whistling tune changed to a lower pitch, and the ingredients all swirled around one another, the sugar shifting from white to a translucent brown. It was turning to caramel! While the apples and sugar swirled, wrapped candy, like chocolates, fruit candies, and gum floated from Candy Cain's cart and into the candy hunter's bags (if they had any), all of them seeming to hop to the tune of Cain's whistling. Eventually, the candy stream ceased, and the bags had their first candy in them! Of course, not so much that no more could fill. It was still a generous serving, though. 

Cain's smile faltered slightly as he concentrated on the apples above his head. The sugar (or rather, the caramel) and apples had finally stopped swirling above his head, revealing. . . candy apples, one for all of them! Cain ended the tune with an upbeat trill. He opened his eyes and exhaled, as if he'd been holding his breath. "I know it's kinda simple, but here ya go!" The apples floated toward the group. "There's enough for all, heh. That was a bit of my, ah, candy magic. Don't have a name for it, sadly."  

Cain then paused, a smile creeping across his face once more. ". . . Y'know, I make bigger things than candy apples and little sweets. It's fun 'n' all, but hey. It'll take a bit, but I can make a model of something in candy of your choice, if any of you wanted. You'd have to come back later, though. It takes a bit outta me to do it." It was up to them, of course. Cain certainly loved making those models. He had a good eye, so his art was usually spot-on. It might be a bit taxing, but hey. These folks sure seemed nice. It would be a stain on his business not to make something for them. It was Nightmare Night!

"I'm gonna be running this kinda thing later tonight, when folks are either halfway through their night, or ready to turn in. Not selling 'em, just gifts. I like you six, though. . ." Cain gave a nervous laugh. "So, whaddya say? I'll custom-create something, whatever ya like!" Cain glanced at them all in turn as he spoke, stopping on each individually for a moment. He honestly wished that he'd put forth the effort they had into preparing their costumes. They looked great. . . "I mean, hey. It's never too much work if it's for nice folk. Take it as a token of my appreciation for ya'll visiting so quick, eh?"

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fs1MW49.pngDiscord held his sack of candy, ears folded back with a smug grin as Wind Walker declared his Counthood with obstinacy.  Oh he liked this one, she knew exactly where it was aaahh-- his ears pinned back at her shouting. He did to try and remain on his hind legs throughout his treating as a floating vampire was probably too spooky for ponies. That and it was easier for the group to keep up with him when he wasn't dipping in and between dimensions as he fluttered about. More joined their merry trio -- a certain entourage of strange creatures. While White Rose certainly stood out for the spirit, it didn't much matter what creature joined the party, so long as they were able to collect enough candy. 

 

He looked to Spike, ears picking up as he waved his claw dismissively, paw tight on the sack. "Your body weight," Not that there was any real measurement beyond that in the story. "Something about equivalent exchange. If you expect a candy mold in your shape I would think that you need enough candy to trade for it, yes? If you don't bring treats than you get tricked and I am sure I don't want to be tricked by some old Ghoul in the woods." After all he was the trickster, thank you very much.

 

Valen's question caused the spirit to smirk, pleading him to vanish for a moment leaving naught behind but a Discord-shaped scarecrow. The devious chaos spirit appeared behind the Prench maid, his muzzle painted up in a sharp grin, ears pulled back as he floated over the Orange's shoulder in a miniature shape in an angel's costume, complete with halo and pitchfork. Wait -- He moved to prod the idol's cheek and chuckled.

 

"Oh please, Spike brought this upon himself for not sticking to our schedule." Despite Discord's chaotic nature the spirit was much inclined to run on a schedule. he did not keep pocket watches for show as he zipped and zapped to and from time. It made handling one's time imperative when your friends' days were but seconds in compare. Every moment, every second, ever half tick of a tock. "But you are a clever one. Maybe I forgot to tell him about the consequences for leaving my game board before time was up." He chuckled. "Perhaps Spike just needed a little push. It isn't easy being the only boy in your group of friends." he wiggled the pitch fork and turned it into a flower before tucking it behind Valen's ear, 

 

As quickly as he had manifested from the group's front the spirit peeked around the scarecrow. "What are you all doing? Come now, don't dawdle!" He snapped his claws, the scarecrow shrieking before bouncing away into the town. O-oh dear that won't bode well...

 

Cain seemed to be prepared for the night as a whole. So many delightful treats and tasty confections. Discord would nearly drool as his eyes danced around the collection of goodies. At the offer for custom made candy Discord had the immediate thought, one of which he was remiss to say the Cake's never sold in their store despite it being a most popular treat in Chaosville. The spirit, all aglow with the holiday spirit floated off the ground, his tail curling beneath him. 

 

"Well if that's the case than how about a Manic Marshmallow Marmalade Cake pop?" he wiggled his paw, spooky colored glitter puffing from his paw. "You know a cake pop coated in marshmallow with orange marmalade filling sprinkled with chocolate stars!" Oh he had to be able to make such a treat! Honestly he was unsure how it never caught on in Ponyville. He was particularly fond of marmalade, especially on scones!

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Trick or Treaters!  Berry Punch had been looking forward to greeting them this Nightmare Night, and not just because her little Ruby was somewhere among their number.  No, the burgundy mare was taking this opportunity to introduce and promote a new, experimental product, inspired by one of her daughter's lunchtime favorites.  Normally not in the candy trade, Berry still fancied herself a dispenser of treats, though not usually of the sort that foals could partake of.  Wines and fermented fruit beverages were her main stock in trade; though not apples, as competing with the resident masters of that fruit would be crazy in this town!  She still made and sold normal juices for little colts and fillies on their way to school in the morning, packaged in boxes instead of bottles, which was where her idea came from...

 

But that would have to wait until this first party was finished with Mister Candy Cane.  A newcomer stallion to this town, it looked like.  Rather cute too, if the earth pony mare's opinion counted for much.  Opening the top half of her shop door, she leaned out to catch a glimpse of the party outside, orange candlelight from within outlining her costumed form in shadowed silhouette.  She had chosen an outfit that, coincidentally, was remarkably similar to Spike's!  Just a little darker in tone, less frills, and stockings designed to attract attention to equine legs and thighs.  And unlike the poor young dragon, Berry did have the body to pull it off.

 

"Ahahah, So wonderful to see all you lovely children here.  Don't worry, momma will have treats for you when you're ready, even if you're.... only young at heart."  She shot a wink at Discord and Cane in turn, leaning out of the open half-door.

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'Princess Luna' waved at the well dressed 'Spider-White-Rose' or White Spider Rose? Rose White Spider? "Of course!", she replied.  There was always room! Thankfully her friend Fast Track did not see this gal in her suit as he was mortified of spiders.
 
Wait a second? Spike was CURSED? He was stuck with the costume? He could not take it off? That was a curse worse than a song verse sung by a nurse pulling a hearse! How could he use the little dragon's room? And deal with that smell? She had a few suggestions, but knew the clever dragon probably had tried them all, and more. Even with one of the greatest living spell-casters as his 'mom' and the very skilled curse-breaker Zecora not that far from where they stood...Had they all tried and failed? The filly knew she would not be as calm as Spike was if she faced such a terrible fate. She would also make an mental note to visit the zebra as she always had a few really cool SPOOOOOOKY stories to tell for Nightmare Night.
 
"Thanks Mister Spike!", she managed her best smile, but it was very obvious that she was a tad bit worried about the little purple dragon. Bound for life to dress as a sassy maid. Would the clothes grow up with him? From what she had read about, curses usually could not be zapped away, but there was usually a special trick to defeat such a magical misfortune. One that would mirror how he managed to get cursed in the first place! Usually there was a lesson involved as well. Poor Spike.
 
One of Spike's friends tried his best to assure the dragon that his cursed costume was not that all embarrassing. And she agreed. It was nowhere near as awful as the sheep costume she was made to wear a few years ago. It might as well have been a curse. Thankfully an invasion of Changelings gave her a good excuse to ditch the wooly nightmare. Still, he was cursed. Maybe he could say he was Colonel Ponyncheon's maid who suffered an curse alongside the doomed family in the beloved book, 'The House Of Seven Stables'.  The filly smiled back at the Orange. Hopefully feeling positive would defeat the curse.
 
Spoiler

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And there was also this Kiren gal...
 
"We should get you some sort of costume. Don't want Nightmare Moon to see that you're a pon...er..Kiren and then gobble you up! You need to be in disguise.." The original idea was that ponies would dress up to 'fool' the 'Dark Queen Of The Night' into not eating them. But would a pony who dressed up as a doctor fool Nightmare Moon? Probably not, but it was fun to dress up for one night! There was also a Nightmare Moon statue ponies would offer candy so she would eat that instead of them. "Well, we could always stop over at Mister Masquerade's booth if you want...I'd let you borrow my hat, but it probably would be too small for yah."
 
And there was the candy-stallion. For such a small village, Ponyville had a rather large collection of those who made and sold candy. This, Wind Walker had no problem with. Not at all. "Hey Mister Cain.", the filly spoke up. "Maybe instead of making candy for us...Maybe you should make something fun for each pony that gives us candy? So when we knock at the door, when whoever gives us candy...You can in turn give them something special? Eh?", she held up her front legs, "What do you say?"
 
They were at the first door. "Trick or Treat, smell our hooves, give us something we all approves!", the filly shouted, thankfully in her normal voice. It was Piña Colada's big sister behind this door, Berry Punch! The filly held out her bag in anticipation!
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Image result for princess big macintosh

 

Big Mac trotted down the road feeling all the power of a pony princess! However, even though he felt this power he also felt a bit self conscious. 

 

"Hope I made the right choice..." He muttered quietly to himself as he carried on.

 

NIghtmare Night was his one and only chance to sport a very special costume. A costume that served as a replica from a magical invasion a few years hence. For the briefest of time in the best of dreams he himself had been a prince! An alicorn princess with all the royal trappings! It felt good to wear the crown and all the royal regalia. OF course he also had on a set of false wings and a false horn. It was quite the outfit and it had taken him quite a bit of time to fashion it. Mac was a hard worker, and very dedicated. He saw the project through till the end and he on a very realistic costume as a result of his time and effort. 

 

The only problem was, it was quite a feminine get up and he was quite a masculine stallion. He had lots of confidence in himself but this was a stretch even for him! Would others look at him funny? He didn't really care if they did but still... maybe he did care a little bit?

 

"Nope!" He shook his head in defiance, being careful to keep his horn in place. He was going to pull this costume off!

 

Up ahead he saw groups of trick-or-treaters going from home to home. He trotted closer, his eyes focusing on one group... was that...Spike? Apparently Big Mac wasn't the only one doing up the feminine side of things this Nightmare Night! There appeared to be more than one male leaning towards the mare side of things in the costume department! Perfect! But would they be interested in having him join the group? They looked like they were having a great time together! Was that...Discord? It was! 

 

"Yep!" His O&O group! Now he knew he'd be welcomed into the group. The twist in his gut untied as he trotted up Berry Punch's walkway. Clearing his throat, he greeted his friends and whoever else was there.

 

"Howdy!" He flourished his wings and struck a pose! It was Nightmare Night after all! Why not go all out?

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Spike squinted at Valen's suggestion. That was...a terrible name. Plus it was way to close to Gilda and if she ever got wind this A: he'd never live it down for sure and B: she'd probably be angry that something so girly was almost sort of associated with her name. The dragon opened his mouth to say as much but just sighed and shook his head "I'm sure I'll think of...something." he hoped. Something better than that at least. Since the outfit reminded him of something out of Neighponese manga...maybe he could come up with something based on that?...It'd help if he had read more though, ugh. He'd have to come up with some sort of name for it eventually though. And while Spike was pondering this, it left him unaware of the whispered conversation between Valen and Discord. Baaah, the name could wait. Back to the candy matters at hand

 

Collecting your body weight in candy wasn't an easy task in the slightest, especially since some houses would probably run out of candy long before the night was over. The ever growing group would be hard pressed to collect half their individual body weights! And if more ponies ended up joining, maybe not even a quarter. Still though, Spike was willing to try. And...The dragon eyed the floating candy apple before taking it in a paw...a little energy boost to get him through the long night wouldn't hurt, right? CHOMP! Oooh that was good! Oh yeah, he'd be coming back by here for sure. "Yeah! Once we get more candy, I'll at least come back for something. We've gotta save up a bunch for this legend Discord heard about." he replied to Cain's offer before taking another chomp of the apple. Speaking of tasty treats, it sounded like Berry Punch had some candy up for offer as well! It seemed like Wind Walker had the same idea as the dragon, no time like the present to get started! After all, these bags didn't fill themselves...did they? Spike peeked inside the bag...Yep. Still empty.

 

Not one to be left behind on treats, Spike was quickly over and waved in greeting to the mare. "Happy Nightmare Night, Berry! Really nice costume you've got." they said, completely not realizing the similarities between their outfits at all. While Spike held out the lovingly crafted treat sack, a familiar 'Howdy!' hit Spike's ears. Glancing back over his shoulder, Spike waved to the stallion who...Wow he really went all out on his costume this year! Was he taking lessons from Masquerade? It was top notch! "Hey Big Mac! Glad you could make it out tonight!" It had been a few days since the dragon saw Mac...Not since the...last...session. The realization returned and smacked Spike in the face that Mac hadn't seen him since the OnO session that he got cursed! Did he know he got cursed? He was pretty busy in that game...Okay. Relax Spike, breathe. He was in something girly too! That made it better, it looked good on him, so maybe what Spike was wearing actually did look good on him to. Did Discord plan this? Not the whole curse thing, but the group meeting up? He glanced over at Discord somewhat suspiciously. Spike wouldn't put it past the draconequus to do something that would simultaneously embarrass and help him out at the same time...

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Oh yeah, introductions... it’d been a while since she had to deal with someone who didn’t already know who her forms were... oh well, this would be worth a few introductions. 

 

“I’m White Rose, it’s a pleasure to meet you all!” She smiled at the group at large, pausing at the kirin for a few moments. Seems like this was quite the interesting group, even more so than what she’d initially thought. 

 

With that out of the way though, she turned her attention to the stallion running the candy stand. Quite the neat trick there, reversing that accident, as well as this candy magic. Would that be called dulcimancy? 

 

In any case, she accepted the treats with a smile, putting them into her bag before taking the apple and beginning to eat it. After giving another smile and wave to the stallion, she moved on to the next stop as well, this time a mare apparently named Berry. Unsure of what the others had said in terms of an unfamiliar rhyme, she tried her best to imitate them as they said it, hoping to blend in more. 

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Eaten by a princess of the night? Now that was a curious thing to celebrate, but still oddly charming. If the costumes truly had to be 'worn' then Yama most certainly didn't fit the criteria at this moment.  The suggestion of taking a trip to mister masquerade's booth was a good one, but she left to do that now...there was no telling on the candy that she'd miss out on! "Hmm..." The mare put her hoof to her chin and thought, "... I think I've got a better idea!" An audible ding could be heard from the kirin when she spoke up this time, as if one could hear the light bulb flickering on in her head. 

 

Once she'd gotten her treats from Mister Cain, Yama would take a deep breath and call out the excitable spirit of chaos mid bounce in a very accurate impression of the Royal Canterlot Voice.  "DISCORD-SAMAAAAA! WOULD YOU DO ME THE HONOR OF CREATING ONE OF YOUR MOST ARTISTICALLY INCLINED COSTUMES IN THE VEIN OF OUR GREAT DRACONIC COMPANION?" The kirin's voice seemed to make the house nearby shake and rattle Candy Cain's stand! 

 

... 

 

Then just when those caught within earshot thought it was over,  "OH! AND COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT THAT "MANIC MARSHMALLOW MARMALADE CAKE" THING? IT SOUNDS INCREDIBLE!" The mare's tail wagged rapidly back and forth before she looked over to the blue filly at her side, "How was that as a voice impression?" The approach of White rose made Yama tilt her head for a moment before smiling brightly at the spider pony. She certainly hadn't expected another like her tonight, but lately it seemed that this town had been chocked full of interesting visitor. 

 

 

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Valen had to save the eye roll for later, lest the playful spirit decide to make his eyes roll out of his head for real, such was the season of scares. Discord's logic failed to penetrate Valen's head, even though he did appreciate the flower tucked away next to his ear. Spike didn't seem to Valen as being uncomfortable with all the feminine influences in his life. As somepony with a more direct line on such matters it didn't seem required. Nor did he necessarily buy the hook that it was a mixup because of the game. Still, Valen knew better than to press. "Thanks for the flower," he said with a giggle, repositioning the flower slightly. No use wasting it, nor any real use in pursuing the matter further. What was done was done and Spike was Valen's concern, nothing else. "I'll take the rest into...consideration," Valen ended with a wink, focusing more so on matters on hoof.

 

Such as Big Mac. The giant Apple brother certainly made a giant pony Princess. My word, what is it this Nightmare Night with the costumes? If Valen had known how the night was going he would have made a better effort on the Prench maid portion. He could have sold it a lot more than he currently was, no doubt. He gave a curtsy. "Now we have another Princess?! Well, good thing about that. Now ponies can just be ordered to give us all their candy. Good to see you, Big Mac," Valen said with a flip of the mane, eyes focusing now on another new entry. Her name was White Rose- a very pretty name for a pretty filly. "Nice spider outfit. Fetching legs!" He offered with a pleasant smile. That smile was nearly blown off by the sheer volume of the Kirin. Her imitation of the Royal Canterlot voice was a little too close to Valen's ear and while a nearby house shook, so did his noggin. He wobbled for a few seconds, the only real point of reference being Cain's excitable candy shenanigans.

 

He had been caught by surprise and initially, there was a mess. Luckily, like all good showmares and many good salesponies, he turned it to his advantage. He made a show out of putting wrapped candies in their bags, whistling and magic playing their part but that was just for starters. He wasn't just a candy salespony, he was a creative talent, an artist whose canvass was the world of candy. As Valen was shell-shocked from the yelling Kirin he was still able to be thoroughly entertained by the candy master at work. When it was done, Valen could little more than clap. "Fantastique!" He said excitedly, inspecting the candy given. No time for eating, but it certainly looked scrumptious. His offer was equally enticing. "Hmm....I'll have to think of it some more. I will definitely be back later, Mr. Candy Cain. I'll try and have some interesting ideas by then!" Valen said excitedly, his mind swimming with options.

But he didn't have enough time. 'Luna' was already off and to the next door, a resident that Valen had only tangentially known. Valen trotted off and gave a curtsy, and then twirled in place to show off the excellent design of the Prench maid uniform. When Luna had finished her part of the rhyme, Valen finished his movement next to her and in front of Berry, excited to get more candy. 

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Oh, now everybody was up and going. It made Cain feel good that people still did this kind of thing en masse. Back home, Candy Cain was more used to things such as Nightmare Night parties, or other things. Usually smaller things. That wasn't really Cain's thing. He preferred action, maybe some color. He wanted some pop, and bang tonight in his works.

Cain gave Discord a small smile at the mention of the marshmallow pops. "Well, you gave me a pretty accurate picture of what those are. 'Fraid to say that I'm not an 'exotic-treat expert' yet. Or, at least, I don't make things from. . . other places. I'll do what I can with it." Cain tilted his head upwards slightly. "An insanely sugary treat, my friend, but you're talkin' to Candy Cain here. What can't this pony do, eh?" Cain was confident he could come up with something this creature could enjoy, even if he'd never tried something like it before. "Marmalade. . . where did I put the. . ."

Cain took one step into his cart. Oh, there it was, bottom shelf. He levitated the jar, a bag of marshmallows in the corner, and other various decorative ingredients out of the cart. He began construction on the cake pop, but turned back at the young Wind Walker's proposition. Make something to give to other candy-givers, huh. . .? Cain's face remained blank for a moment as he considered the idea. Finally, it cracked into a grin. "Why, that's not a bad idea after all, kiddo. Didn't catch your name by the way, sorry. I'll do what I can 'bout that. . ."

While he considered what kind of treat he'd give the filly to give to others, he listened to what Spike had to say. What was this that Discord had told them? Cain raised an eyebrow. "Sounds interesting. Maybe Mister Discord here can fill in Mister Cain on that later, huh. . .?" It was a test, really. He wanted to see what Discord had in store for them, possibly. If not, Cain was fine with that.

The cake pop was just about done for Discord. Cain sighed, lowering it for Discord to snatch out of the sky. It was slightly larger than the normal size, with plenty of marshmallow covering and orange/black sprinkles scattered about. Of course, if one bit into it, the filling could be tasted as well.
"Well, it ain't art, but I did my best for taste. Here ya go!" As for Valen, Cain grinned. Someone there that really liked art. They'd come back later, apparently. Cain nodded. "I'll be here waiting for ya!" Cain paused, turning to Wind Walker. "Oh, and here, kiddo." Small bags of treats (sort of like a party favor bag of candy) floated into one larger gift bag, then slid towards the filly. "Your gifts, by yours truly."

Jeez, there were a lot of ponies out. Cain hoped he could keep up. He stepped into his covered cart, and picked out a pink-striped candy cane for himself. He was about to enjoy it, when another voice called out from the neighboring home. Cain leaned backwards out of the cart, candy cane in his teeth, trying to spot them. It was mare at the house, one wearing a costume similar to the young dragon's. Unlike them, though, the mare had the body for it. Cain found himself staring, and shook his head. "Oof." Gotta stay focused. Maybe he'd introduce himself to her and the others giving candy when the little ones stopped pouring in. He took the candy can out of his mouth and waved. "Hey there, neighbor! Name's Candy Cain! I do candy stuff!" Well. . . maybe he wouldn't go over. Cain had. . . issues with conversing with mares, one-on-one. Maybe he could enjoy a conversation with them from where he was, around thirty feet away?

(I'm sorry if I missed anyone with the post. . . just ping me on Discord if Cain skipped your response to him!)

 

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