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  1. Location: A Remedy to Cure (A medicinal/ointment shop.) A certain mare was running about her shop in a panic. Twenty minutes of searching hadn't yielded the herb she had been looking for all this time. "Quicklime is going to be here any minute! I have to find it!" Her hooves stopped in front of a tall shelved wall that spanned the entirety of one section of her shop. It was like a library... of herbs and spices. The yellow-pelted pony rolled over a ladder and climbed up to the sixth shelf up and examined the basket labeled "Wizard's Folly" She pulled it out of its cubby with her hoof and was relieved to see the herb there. Then she asked herself why she didn't look there sooner... Her mindlessness aside, Remedy grabbed a mouthful of the herb and returned to her section at the back of the store, just behind a thin green vail of a curtain that hung in the doorway. She set the Folly aside on a long table that had a bunch of alchemist items aligned in a row: mortar & pestles, calcinators, alembie, retorts, beakers, flasks, and crucibles. You know, the works. A pony could never be too prepared for an experiment. Now all she had to do was wait for her talented apprentice to arrive. Remedy made her way to the front of the shop, pulling aside the vail with her ear as she passed through. Perhaps she would make sure everything was neatly organize, that all of the containers and bottles were placed where they were supposed to. Things got a bit hectic during the day, and it was in the evening when things slowed down that she had the chance to clean up before going home for the night. Her thoughts wandered back to Quicklime as she rearranged a certain shelf. She looked at the corked bottles in front of her and smiled. 'Plum Shandy' was the first concoction the two herbalist ponies created together. It was a bit of a fluke in the lab, but their creation did what it was supposed to do: act as an pain-number for aching backs. "How often is it that two ponies born in two different places that share the same talent meet up and live their dream together?"
  2. Fillydelphia's Harvest Spook-Tacular event ! This was one of the few things Bumble Buns liked about the city, even as a foal. She had fond memories of going there with her family. Being farmers, it always was an important event for them. They'd put up a little stand, bring pumpkins, do something that would help their sales and make their farm better known. Bumble Buns was old enough to work (and actually had her own little group of bee hives to take care of) so this year she'd have to work at the family stand in Scarecrow Corner too. But she wouldn't be the only one, and would have plenty of time to enjoy the festival as well. And there was so much to do this year ! She didn't even knew where to start. Today the earth pony mare wouldn't have to be at her family's stand before much later in the evening, so she decided to wander around in Scarecrow corner. She was disguised as a bee, with a headband in her mane, holding two black antennas, fake bee wings on her back, a small dart tied at the base of her tail, and lots of black rings painted on her yellow mane. The honey-yellow mare admired the stands. There was a lot of pretty things to sale, arts and crafts and decorations, and a lot of art material too ! The ponies around all had impressive disguises, made out of original ideas sometimes, and it was great to watch them. All in all, this promised to be a great evening and a fun festival. The little pony mare was smiling all she could, happily wandering around Scarecrow Corner's many stalls. Perhaps she would even make some friends in Fillydelphia this year !
  3. Solstice Heights has always, since it was first settled, been a land of both extravagant and unique presence. Across its heights, buildings of all kinds have skimmed its many hills, scaled its countless slopes, and dotted every valley in between. The Chai Mare is one of these many places of business so daringly placed near the center of Equestrian authority. This very elegant (and equally expensive) tea shop has been the practical port of the finest teas from all around the world. It's owner, Masala Chai, is a mare who moved from Itaily to Equestria, seeking to run a business in what was then considered a more profitable environment. Though not many have ever had enough bits for a good cup of her tea at the end of the day, those that do often end up becoming regulars to the shop: pricy as it may be, it's great stuff. Since his move to Equestria, one such regular has been Senyor Apis. He and Masala have known each other since long before she had left Itaily, back when she was running a highly successful, but very small, tea shop in the border town of Troteste. Making his way up the slope of the street to the shop, Apis hummed a happy tune. Today, he was going to her shop on account of an invitation. Masala invited him to the shop to help promote a sale for her tea. According to Masala, she suddenly had the realization that if she gave the opportunity to have her tea sell cheaper, more ponies might be inclined to come to the shop, and, hopefully, equally inclined to return. Of course, she had made arrangements for banners and advertisements all over this town, so Apis smartly came trotting up before it opened, to make sure he avoided the predicted crowd when it came. Of course, promoting The Chai Mare was only half the reason he was going. A second reason was because he had invited a friend he had met from earlier in the month, and was hoping to see her again and perhaps get to know her. After all, this being a tea shop of notable prestige, how could she refuse? Apis's busy mind drew to a halt as he approached the door to the shop. The door was a very fine one, made of unpainted and well-sanded mahogany, with simple but polished brass hinges. A thin window at the top displayed store hours, and just as he predicted, Apis looked upon his reflection from the window with a marginal amount of confidence: He had arrived exactly ten minutes ahead of schedule. Apis raised his hoof, and gave the door a soft knocking. Shuffling could be heard from the other side, and the sound got closer as the door opened. Apis gave a warm smile to his longtime friend, Masala Chai, now standing before him in the doorway. Masala had maroon hair, pulled back from her face and in tousled waves. A wide, short, and saggy scarf colored just the same way coiled her neck in a very simple and perhaps lazy manner. Her cutie mark, a cylindrical cup of very foamy tea, with a tea plant coming out of the foam, was pronounced and fully visible of her flank, despite Itailian custom for ponies to cover theirs in polite environments. Masala welcomed Apis inside, and closed the door behind her with a bit of force. Apis looked around: The place was obviously a good bit fancier than before, with a few bookcases to keep customers busy, a game or two on the tables to the side, even a deck of tarot cards, placed in preparation of another guest Masala had hoped might arrive. Apis turned to his friend after sitting on a small chair near the entrance, and said, "Miss Chai, it's good to see you again, since you've had the shop closed for a few months! I can see you did some redecorating." Masala replied. Her voice was not particularly loud, but her level of attitude spoke volumes. She was, after all, a mare with some serious spirit. "Well, Mister Apis, you don't expect me to be closed and come back without anything changed, did you? No, this time, I'm going a step back to my start-out. Lowering the prices, raising the population, and believe me when I say that I won't rest until I can't do so much as move around in this shop during business hours!" She laughed, almost sarcastically. "I just hope enough ponies caught wind of the ads and decided to show up here! Until then, business is business, so what can I get you, sir?" Apis smiled and said, "One ginger tea, and since I'm feeling adventurous I'll go with a gunpowder tea. I'm expecting another pony to show up here when the store hours st-" Suddenly, the bell on the clock Masala kept on the counter rang. Store hours had begun. Masala hastily scurried to the entrance and removed the closed sign, opened the door, turned some sign around in the front porch, and then briskly closed it once again. " I guess she'll be coming real soon then!" Masala hurried over to the bar-like counter against the side of the large room, where she kept boxes and boxes of tea from all around the globe. Picking out a bag out of one box all the way to the right end, Masala brought two steaming cups of water out from behind the counter, and put the tea bag in to steep in the right one. Then, she rushed over to the door outside, where Apis knew she kept her tea garden. She came back out with a bundle of fresh leaves. Taking a kettle, Masala placed the leaves in a strainer, set it over the kettle, and poured the already boiling water over the leaves in the strainer. Then, she carefully put the kettle over a covered stove, set the fire on, and left it to boil for a moment. Masala left Apis to his own business as she waited at the bar for the bell on the door to ring, and another customer to arrive. This time, she hoped, she was going to get off the ground on a different hoof.
  4. Cracker Nut (Click for OC Information) It was s a cold morning over the Acorn farm. Cracker Nut had just woken up and was getting ready for the day's work. It was the last harvest of the season and the Acorn Nut Family needed to get all the Acorn stored in the barns before the snow fell. Pegasus Ponies could already be seen gathering snow clouds in the distance. The first thing Cracker does is grab his mallet and his pouch of assorted nuts, which is relatively getting low on nuts. He realizes that he is already late as he notices his older brother, Acorn Seed, bucking away at few Oak trees and at the same time, yelling a few orders to the other pony helpers immediately near him. He would get swatted again for being late so he rushed out of the house and went straight to his designated portion of the field. Unlike what most Ponies would do, he rarely bucked a tree. Instead he would use his mallet to do the job. Holding it with both his front hooves, he would stand on his hind legs and take a swing at the Oak Tree. This usually proved effective since he was able to exert more power into the mallet as he swung. This in turn would make more Acorn fall to the ground. This was especially effective for the larger Oak Trees, where bucking alone would impossible for a single Pony. Usually, two or three other Ponies would simultaneously buck at the Oak in order for the Acorn to fall. But with his mallet, he could easily do the work of two Ponies. The hours pass by until midday hits. The work progresses smoothly but due to the rush of things, Cracker manages to damage his wooden mallet. Having looked at the damage, it appeared that a crack started to form at the base of the neck where the mallet was connected to the handle. From experience, he knew that it was time for replacement. It was time for a visit into town and this excited him as he hadn't been to town for at least a few weeks. Making sure that he would make the best of his business into town, he takes enough bits with him and heads off. "Lemme see..." He ponders and continues to ramble to himself. "I'm gonna need more nuts! I wonder if I can get one of those Oak Mallets as well, I'm not sure I brought enough bits. Oh I wonder if the bakery has a fresh batch of Acorn Cake!" In no time at all he reaches the center of town. At this time of the year, Trottingham turned into a quiet town since most of the tourists only came during the hot summer months. There were a few establishments open and that meant that there were few Ponies around as well. Plus, the cold had started to settle in. Ponies preferred to stay at home near their fireplaces in the cold winter months. "Hmmmm... What should I get first?" He asks himself while looking at the few open establishments. "Of course, silly me! I need a new mallet!" Cracker manages to find the local tools shop and secures a new Oakwood Mallet. The owner suggested that the only wood that could stand a beating from Oak Trees was Oakwood itself. Plus he got a good bargain out of it as he tools shop had a year end sale going on. Satisfied with his purchase, he decides to stay a while, looking around and checking the other remaining shops, if they had year end sales as well. The excitement made Cracker's urge for cracking a nuts build up. And like he always did, he took out a few assorted nuts from his pouch and cracked the heck out of them with his front hooves. With the urge quelled he continued to do a little window shopping without noticing the time passing by.
  5. It had been a few days since Seeker and Radiant Steel had parted ways that night in the outer districts of Canterlot. Finding shelter close to the university had been harder then expected. He had been close to give up, but he quickly found out that the locals didn't take lightly to putting up a camp in a park. One of the local guards did take pity on him and was nice enough to point him into the direction of an affordable inn close by. He had also been so kind as to take a message for Radiant Steel with his location and a time and date for their meeting, which he said he would deliver personally. Things went a lot better after that, though. Seeker had still some bits left from working on his way through the heartland, and had found that the local market had an amazing selection of vegetables, both local and foreign. Luck had it that he even found a vendor selling the spices and herbs of his homeland, and after some pleasant talk, the vendor made him a good price for it. Desert folk had to stick together after all. However, it had taken him some time to find a local animal specialist. There were pet specialists in Canterlot, of course, but the first one he had met seemed far too keen to send Blacky into a "spa", whatever that was. After asking a bit around at the market, he did find an animal healer that took care of most of the local farm animals, which sounded perfect to him. Seeker had left Blacky with her overnight, and when he picked him back up, he was as good as new. He now had some herbal medicine and instructions for the next few days. Seeker was very happy about that, it meant he could now concentrate on preparing the food. The inn keeper had been very supportive of Seekers wish, and allowed him to use the inn's kitchen to prepare the food. It was the biggest kitchen Seeker had ever been in, and he was used to cook over an open fire, but he was a quick learner. Telekinesis was Seekers specialty, there was no doubt about it. However, he rarely used it in full effect. Working on clockworks for so long, he had mastered the art of moving insane amounts of objects at the same time, but he had reached a point where he could operate this kitchen all by himself. The weight wasn't the hard part, but it took years to master the coordination and concentration required. Pans and kettles floated around him and landed on their proper places, behind him knifes were dicing mushrooms and roots into little pieces. The inn keeper, who had just wanted to see if everything was alright with his kitchen stood at the door, marveling at the ballet of food and metal. He was halfway done with his preparations. He had even thought of buying a desert, which he only ever had on his birthdays back in his youth. He didn't know what to pick, so he had a local pastry maker recommend something. Now, a package with two glossy, snow white pieces of cake rested on a counter near him. Blacky lay in the far end of the kitchen, napping. They had played a for quite a while before coming here, and Seeker was behind on his schedule. 'Miss Radiant Steel could be here at any moment.' he thought, while covering one of the pots. 'I need to hurry.'
  6. The gazebo, Berry had concluded once having investigated all possible avenues, presented some very fantastic open opportunities for business in a romantic setting. in fact, she had set up a reasonably temporary yet stable mini-vending bar for ponies visiting the gazebo to buy their small drinks and snacks from. Having put the finishing touches to her setup, she then proceeds to place bowls on the table and, using vast amounts of skill and dexterity, pour her specialist Punch brews and wines into each of them... Soon, Strawbloody and Pumpkin Frogberry Punches, GooBerry Juice, along with VineLime and,Deadberry Wines flowed and filled the various bowls that line the table before the purple pony - she had made the finest concoctions for this event and was determined to attract many a customer and maybe witness many an interesting evening along the way. Nightmare night definately had an interesting effect on other ponies. There were, of course, alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions of both drinks, just so that absolutely everypony was able to have a sip of the fine beverages on offer! The mare herself was dressed up in a white all-over toga...a laurel wreath placed above her brow and resting comfortably. Her costume was a fairly basic representation of diponysus, the old legendary pony of alcoholic beverages ...it wasn't the most complicated costume, but Berry thought it appropriate! " Well, I do think that's everything for now! " Berry says with an air of satisfaction - she was ready for the evening to commence truly, and thus she placed a small open for business sign on the side to let other ponies know that the refreshments were readily available for purchase. " Wines an' Punches for sale - 2 bits a glass...finest ingredients and dedicated attentions of Ponyville's finest! " For the next few hours, Berry Punch was prepared to stand guard and sell her wares...she had plenty on hand to supply, so all she really had to do right now was just be the attentive barmare that she on occasion had to be - There was just no telling what was going to come over the coming evening! Berry Punches Frighteningly Fangtastic Pumpkin Punch Bar now officially open for business! Come on in, have a drink and share a quiet romantic moment with a loved one, escape from the noise on your own and talk to berry, or just drop on by for a drink and then go back to another RP location if you desire! Have fun, and drink...as much or as little as you want !
  7. Starburst's stall sits on the very edge of Scarecrow Corner, a good distance away from the main attractions of the Nightmare Night's Harvest Spook-Tacular. Set on a neatly designed wooden table, are various goods and sundries. Large metal pokers with marshmallows on the ends are set up on the table, along with warm, fresh baked cinnamon buns dyed black and orange like a pumpkin. To the left of the stall is a small fire, surrounded by stones to keep the fire from spreading beyond a moderately sized flame, and stumps for the ponies purchasing things from her to sit at near the warm fire. It's a cold night in fall this evening, and a chill bites at noses and hooves exposed to the elements. Whenever her fire starts crackling lower and lower she shifts the fire with a small piece of timber and flaps her wings to spread the flame onto the unburnt wood. One of her costume's wings falls off and she quickly resets it on the wing before sitting back down on her stump, her front-side warmed by the now roaring flame. From a distance she admires the social interactions the other ponies are taking with those around them, sighing, slightly envious of their ability to speak to one another, she looks down at the table and notices an imperfection in its glossy surface, and begins buffing the flaw out with a piece of cloth. She reaches over to the side of the fire and pours a warm cup of hot chocolate for herself, dumping a few marshmallows into the cup with her hoof. She tips the cup upwards and lets the warm liquid mull over in her mouth for a bit. She pulls her neck in for warmth and sets the cup down. Starburst alone is a pony of moderate attractiveness, albeit shy. Her Nightmare Night costume is a bit unique. It consists of large lay-over wings strapped to her real wings, two fake antennae, and a large black and yellow bumblebee abdomen dressed around part of her tail.
  8. The town had been buzzing for days over the news of Maximillian Rockefilly's plans to turn Appleoosa into a trade hub and build a Summer Home there. Now that negotiations were in the final stages locally, the town councel decided a Hoedown to celebrate was in order. Banners and streamers were strung around town, with an area marked off with ropes and haybales for the dance as soon as Celestia's sun sets. Signs were hung at the railroad station directing anypony who arrives late toward inns if they didnt' want to join in on the fun. The stage is brighty lit as the band and the dance caller gets ready for the hoedown. Thorn brays happily as he delivers the punch to the buffet table and heads back to the Bed and Breakfast. Watching the last minute preperations from her front window, Madam Caramel Bistro nervously checks her dress. she literally cannot remember the last time she had a "date" date and is fretting with her dress, a vanilla flower haircomb in her styled mane...
  9. Gilda had a huge grin on her face as she waited in the darkness. She really did love this time of year. She could totally get behind the spirit of this so called Harvest Spook-Tacular. Any event that had at its heart scaring the stuffing out of lame ponies was alright in her book. She personally couldn't wait to do her part ensuring certain unlucky ponies would get a fright they never forgot. That's why she had flown deep into the heart of the corn maze. She knew there was a haunted house set up, but for her money at this time of night, this had to be the creepiest place this festival had to offer. It was sprawling, desolate and provided this wonderful sense of isolation. The thought of getting lost here was surely enough to make anypony go timid. Gilda was determined to make it even worse. She had painted herself up really good. There was black makeup around her eyes, which gave them a sunken look. Glowing neon green dye coated most of her feathers, creating an otherworldly effect. Her fur was dyed pitch black, allowing it to blend into the darkness of the night. To make it even better, she had streaks of red painted trailing off from her beak, mimicking the look of blood. The look was sure to terrify any pony. Heck, this far east most these ponies had probably never seen a griffin in the first place and would be terrified even without the dyes and make up. Gilda hovered just above the corn watching intently for how it moved, waiting for a target. This was just going to be great. She snickered very quietly and then flew back down into the maze at the slightest sign of movement. Hiding entirely, she watched for the approaching pony or ponies, waiting for the perfect opportunity to give them a scare they'd never forget.
  10. "Ah'll see you tonight at the festival, everypony!" Apple Bloom shouted at her rapidly emptying classroom before dashing off herself. The little yellow filly was SO excited to get out of school that she didn't even wait for her friends. She ran home and gobbled her dinner before dashing off to the hayloft in the barn. This is where she had hidden her costume, a less-than-spectacularly creative costume she dubbed "The Ghost Rider"; after a old comic book she had seen one of her cousin's out in Appleloosa reading, about a ghost horse in the old west who fought crime. Her costume was, simply put, a sheet with holes cut out for her eyes. More elaborately, the little filly had carefully sewn the costume to be form-fitting, complete with independently-moving leg-coverings, and several layers of a gauzy material, the second-to-outermost painted using this special kind of paint that would glow in the dark. The rest of her legs were painted with the same phosphorescent paint, and her mane and tail utilized the same paint in a mixture with some conditioner that would be easy for her to wash out later. She even cunningly installed a special thin saddlebag to hold any treats she might get during the festival that was nearly indistinguishable from the rest of her costume. She painted a bare apple tree surrounded by the ghosts of apples on both of her flanks, looked in the mirror that she has smuggled into the hayloft, her secret hideout even from her best friends, for a second. "Lookin' good, Apple Bloom" she laughed. This was going to be the best joke ever. The normally straightforward, and practical....if not a tiny bit bossy...filly wasn't one who would ordinarily pull pranks on her friends. But something about the harvest festival just brought out an orneriness in her. Maybe it was the whole "trick or treat" idea, but she just had to play a good joke on her friends and family. "Ah jus' hope I can fool all my friends into not knowin' it's me." she beamed at her reflection. "An' then trick that ol' sister o' mine into believin' that I got my cutie mark, and that it's jus' somethin' so awful that she'll take pity on me and get me some of them caramel apples! Home-made apples is good, but those ones at the carnival are SPECTACULAR!" She shook her flank to dry it off, then carefully donned her costume, doing a funny little dance as she shook the costume to cover all of her posterior. Finally she crowned the look with one of Applejack's old hats that she had painted with the phosphorescent paint, and for good measure an old toy sherriff's star and a paisley bandana painted in the same paint to make sure that everypony got the point that she wasn't just any ghost, she was a ghost from the ol' West! As a final added touch she blackened the area around her eyes with some charcoal and assessed herself again. Her vibrant red and amber eyes shone back at her, rather sinisterly surrounded by the glow and her shrouds, and she shivered. "Ah sure do look spooky!", she added, standing in the light for a few moments to make sure that her costume was fully charged for maximum glow. She hid the purloined mirror under the hay where it had been hidden, climbed out of the loft and took off with as much speed as she could muster to the direction of the festival. Nopony was going to be able to figure out who she was!
  11. There were defiantly better places then the middle of the desert to be hauling such a large wagon, but Page Turner wasn't complaining. Still, he was envying those on the train that was rushing past. While a portable bookstore bought in good business, a stationary one would certainly be a lot easier run and maintain. It wasn't until the last carriage had flown past that Page finally perked up, remembering just why his business was on wheels. The small town of Appleoosa greeted his tired eyes, giving the rest of his body the serge of energy it needed to travel the final stretch. It had been quite a while since Page was here last. His stay in Canterlot wound up taking a lot longer then expected, due to an offer to purchase a collection of old spell-books. But he was home, st least what he considered his home. While Appleoosa was hard living, it was pleasant, and some of the most wonderful ponies he know lived there. But there was nothing that could keep Page from traveling and seeing the wonders of the world, so he hadn't bothered purchasing any sort of land. The wagon slowly creaked through town, its owner waving at the occasional pony. Rounding a corner, Page finally found himself at the far end of town, his favorite spot sitting vacant. The stallion’s grin widened as he parked perfectly with years of practice. He sat down for a bit without even unhitching, enjoying the brief moment of rest. Nothing had changed since last time. His view of the untouched dessert was still as beautiful as ever, the light drone of ponies in the town going about their business, and the terrible heat of the afternoon sun beating on his back. Everything was perfect. With a contented sigh, Page slipped out of the harness and trotted to the back of the wagon. After a quick check to verify that everything was in order, he lockup up the wagon and began heading to the town center. His hooves were killing him, but he just wanted to make sure with the Sheriff that he could still stay here and set up shop for a little while. Then he was getting something from the tavern. Something much stronger then apple juice was called for.
  12. The Gallopocus Island's weather was always hot and sticky, it was a tropical island after all. The plants relished in the moisture. Green was abound everywhere, from the treetops in the canopy to the floor of the forest. There was many different animals going about their daily lives in this green heaven. Their calls and cries combined to make a sort of peaceful and very serene background noise. This was shattered intermittently by a rather rhythmic “PING" coming from somewhere in the distance. These strikes came at regular intervals just a tad slower than a moderate walking speed. If one were to listen closely they would be able to her a faint melody twisting and twirling its way around these sharp and harsh strikes. There was a metallic quality to the strikes that was alien to the very natural environment that they were pealing through. They may have been strange and alien but they were definitely the cadence that the lighter more familiar tune was using to keep its self in time. A quick walk through the forest in the direction of the tune and the cries of metal a small shop could be found. The whistle was emanating from there and so were the strikes of metal on metal. It was not a large shop, but then again not too small. Two stores in the main part seemed to be embedded into the side of the mountain that sheerly rose up into the clouds. There was a small house connected to the shop, this was also embedded into the face of the cliff. Large white barn doors were open on the front of the Shop and the whistling poured out of there. The inside of the shop was dingy, dusty, and most of all dark with smoke and soot. There were four forges in the shop proper. The two towards the front were normal forges, albeit large but they had two stage billows and up-draft chimneys. The two towards the back, however, seemed to be of a different sort. They looked like that they were almost part of the mountain that formed the back wall of the shop. Formed out of the stone and fired by an unknown source. Flames leaped from the maw of one of these forges. Before this forge stood a truly massive pony. He wore an odd smirk on is face as he watched the fire heat some unknown object. He retrieved a pair of tongs and quickly pulled the almost white hot metal out of the forge, the front edge of which sparked and sizzled in protest of the sudden temperature change. He roughly placed the wedge shaped metal onto the anvil that was close at hand. He reared up on his hind legs, he stood rather tall for a pony. He made sure that his aim was dead on and brought a hoof down on the steaming lump of metal. “CLANG!" Sparks flew out in all directions. Again. “PING!" The metal seemed to be protesting this beating. And again.“CLING!" The colour of the metal had changed from white hot to a dull red. He returned to all fours and put the metal back in the furnace. He looked away from the furnace and sighed. He wiped his brow with a dirty piece of cloth and smiled up into the rafters of his shop. “Akh lookin' mer an mer leek ahn acks ain't eet?" His voice boomed over the shop. It seemed from years and years of working in very loud conditions he had forgotten how to talk softly. “Yah yah, dat stheel iz herd tah geet tah co-up-er-ate bah unce et dahs. Ye gut ahn acks dat wheel last ya fer-evah." His voice was up-beat and bright in comparison to his surroundings, the“R's" rolling ever so slightly. He chuckled at his unseen companion before returning to his work. The whistling and the cadence of metal on metal soon filled the shop and the surrounding area yet again.
  13. Crystal Towers had not been expecting the sandstorm. It made sense, really. They were on the border of a desert, and they'd had wind even back in the city. Despite the research she'd done (all four hours of it), it just hadn't occurred to her that sometimes wind and sand might get... really friendly. She was an earth pony, not a pegasus! She didn't spend a lot of time thinking about wind. Well, this was what she'd signed up for. Her mother had tried to convince her to start her venture out somewhere easier. Somewhere closer to home, like Saddleveil Plains. “At least they get rain there, sweetie,” her mother had said. “But chili peppers are spicier when they're grown in hot, dry places!” Crystal had replied. It seemed like a good rationale at the time. There had been some ruckus and hurrying when she'd got off the train; perhaps she should have paid attention. She'd just assumed that ponies greeted relatives really enthusiastically here. Occasionally she heard someone shout, “Get inside!” But she had just thought that it was intended for one of the hoof-ful of other train passengers, and that the next garbled phrase she heard over the wind was something like, “Get inside! It's time for pie!” She had been rather groggy at the time. Perhaps she should have tried to get some sleep on the train ride down. She'd gotten about quarter a mile out of town, towards her newly-purchased plot of land, when the sandstorm struck. Fortunately, if growing up mostly indoors had taught her anything, it was how to build forts out of whatever's available. She was currently cowering under three suitcases and an overnight bag, forming a three-sided shelter with a roof. This left one side open, with her purple, chili-pepper-marked flank sticking out the end of it. She rather hoped the wind didn't change directions. The wind picked up for a moment, and Crystal braced her makeshift shelter. “This is going to ruin my Poni Vuitton luggage,” she grumbled, trying to pretend it was her biggest problem. The wind slacked, and after a minute or so, Crystal could swear she heard hoofbeats. It was either that or it was her eardrums pounding after all that wind. Not daring to peek out of her safe haven, she called out. “Hello? Is anypony there?”
  14. The sun was starting to set as Northern Lights approached the Corn Maze. Her saddle bags were already full of goodies and treats. She almost never left the Everfree Forest, except to go back home to Canterlot, but the festival in Fillydelphia was a family tradition when she was a little foal. Her sister informed her she was too big for that little filly stuff anymore, but Northern is nothing if not a foal at heart, and couldn't resist. The dark blue unicorn mare's horn glows as she pulls out her fair map. "So, I wanna do the haunted house after dark, and I don't want to carry a pumpkin around, so I guess next is the maze, eh, little guy?" She tosses her shaggy, unkempt mane out of her eyes and grins as a small brown nose peeks from her bags. Her hedgehog friend, Ipsum, was happily eating some toffee, a small golden crown perched on his head. Cap bells jingling, the pony giggles. "Oh, greedy King Ipsum, if you eat too much of those, you'll get a tummy ache!" Her costume is a court jester, with a two pointed cap and a red and black harlequin outfit, all bedecked in bells. She never had much time for spooky outfits, preferring fun and playful. And what is a court jester without a king? Ipsum wrinkles his nose at her, then peeks around.The little quilled ruler rarely got to eat candies and he was taking full advantage of every minute. Heading to the maze entrance, she pays her entry fee and starts to wander. After a few turns, she's already well lost, the tall corn cutting off her path in front of her. "Rats... stuck already.. any ideas, your majesty?" she asks, turning to peek at Ipsum in her bags. But all she finds are empty candy wrappers. She checks her other saddlebag, but no hedgehog. Oh no! Did he climb out to try and find more treats? Biting her lip, she looks around frantically. The little fat hedgehog would never be able to find his way out of this maze on his own.. he's certainly lost. "Ipsum... IPSUM!" she cries, dashing off through the stalks.
  15. Grim Moire walked slowly, deep in thought. Tonight he was attending the First Annual Traverse the Maize Challenge, where ponies and other creatures attempt to make their way through a maze of corn before sunrise. Grim was dressed up in a purple suit, his face painted white with a big red grin stretching from ear to ear. He carried with him a sack filled with various items that he intended to scare others with, no matter who it was he scared. He hoped beyond hope that one of the princesses would attend the Challenge, just so he could scare them. As he approached the maze, he saw that there were very few ponies here, but that was to be expected; many ponies would be out trick-or-treating, or visiting the haunted houses. So Grim waited patiently near the entrance to the maze, his sack of "gifts" at his side.
  16. Tinny beamed with excitement at the sight of his little stand finally... well, standing. Sure, it was a ramshackle little thing, but the spicy smorgasbord on top more than made up for it; there were peppers fresh and dried, sauces and oils of every sort, and even a few pleasantly (or painfully) piquant baked goods out on display. The bounty of his fall harvest and all the family know-how he could muster had gone into this little endeavor, it was finally time to put his skill as a salesman to the test. With all the grit and grin of an old cart seller, he drew out out his beloved banjo and leaned on the counter to strike himself a fanfare. Come one an' all, y'all gather round, Anaheim Peppers are back in town! Big ripe bells for your salad mix, habaneros for your firey fix! Oils to soothe your muscles sore, clean your commodes and much, much more! Special t'day, our salsa treats, Peppers fresh and tomatoes sweet, Out for free for y'all to try, so grab a sample! Stop on by! True to his word, Tinny had ladled out paper cups of his very best salsas, each set beside a basket of flatbread and few price-tagged jars of the very same. There were some full of a rich red paste, chunky with onions and tomatoes; others were filled with a fine green sauce speckled with diced jalapenos and spices; and then there were a few filled with a brilliant orange salsa that seemed as though it would like nothing more than to set fire to its containers. “Come on, come on, now! Anypony here think they got the pallet for a taste of the Ol' Anaheim Fire?!”
  17. All night, Gravity had tossed and turned in bed, her tiny wings fluttering and stretching as her mind was a swirl of dips and dives, feeling weightless as she climbed high amid the clouds for the first time. In her dream, the little appendages usually tucked idly at her sides had grown and flourished into massive wings several times the size of her body, carrying her higher and higher as cloudy streams trailed behind her. Tears welled in her eyes as her heart was flooded with the purest joy she'd ever known, simple and exuberant, casting all her cares to the wind. She felt as though she could be like this forever, and never land on earth again, until dark storm clouds slowly gathered themselves around her, rumbling with thunder. She climbed higher in an attempt to escape, but the dark clouds gathered faster and blotted out the light of the sun, until she could barely see her hooves in front of her face. The joy drained from her heart to be replaced with panic as it grew darker, and a streak of lightning pierced the blackness to strike the feathers of her wings. The strike sparked tiny glowing embers that climbed the length of her feathers to swiftly singe them away. Though, strangely, she couldn't feel any pain in this dream turned nightmare, the horror was all too real as she began to tumble down through the air, gaining speed as her large body twisted and bucked out of control. She felt her heart slamming in her chest as she screamed, trying desperately to grasp for passing clouds, for any chance of stopping her swift descent, but her heavy hooves only crashed through the grey fluff, as the earth seemed to rush up toward her. "NOOOO!!" Gravity bucked herself straight out of bed and slammed to the floor below with a ragged gasp, her yellow eyes flung wide open as she panted for breath. Quickly realizing it had only been a dream, she sniffs roughly and brings her wrist up to wipe at the wetness on her cheeks. She was lying in a tangled heap of sheets and blankets on the floor, her pale pink hair frizzed and tangled as well from the fitful sleep. She takes a slow, deep breath, and lets it back out again in a husky sigh before carefully squirming herself out of the mess, not bothering to gather her bedcovers off the floor. She strides across the bedroom to the small mirror hanging near the door, looking at herself quietly. She was tired of these awful dreams, and of simply accepting defeat, accepting that flight was impossible. Maybe it was impossible to make her wings grow bigger, but that didn't mean she couldn't look for other ways. She sniffs and wipes what's left of the tears in her eyes away, her face drawing into a look of determination. She spent several days drawing plans and building contraptions, until finally she had something that maybe, just maybe, could work, packing it up and situating it on her back before starting the short journey to the outskirts where some tall hills awaited. Leaping off a mountain was far too dangerous, and she needed somewhere at least a bit more private than the top of her house to jump off of. If she crashed, at least she wouldn't suffer the embarrassment of doing so in front of anypony else. Finally, she reached the top of one of the hills and looked back at her tail to be sure of which direction the wind was blowing. A lump was slowly growing in her throat as she unpacked the mysterious contraption and strapped it on, and with the pull of a cord, two huge wings made of sturdy wood and thin tarp sprang outward at her sides. The wind immediately swept under them, and Gravity could feel the slightest sensation of lift as the wood creaked gently beneath the tight wrap of tarp. Her heart raced; she knew better than to be too hopeful, but if she could even just manage a glide.. No more waiting. With a few deep in-and-out breaths, her heart thundering in her chest with anticipation, she charges forward and leaps off the edge of the hill. She almost seems to hang in the air for a brief moment as the wind gusts beneath her makeshift wings, and for that tiny moment she allows herself to hope, until... CRASH! SMASH! TUMBLE! BANG! Like a boulder, Gravity is true to her name, and goes hurtling down to earth after leaving the edge of the hill, gliding for all of a second or two before simply tumbling head over hooves all the way back down to flat land, her makeshift wings tattered and ruined by the time she reaches the bottom.
  18. CRASH! KABOOM! The weather team had really outdone themselves this time; it was still early evening, but the sky was already darker than Nightmare Moon's dreams, save for the ocassional flash of lightning ripping across the skies, illuminating the billowy black clouds and silhouetting everything on the ground. The rain poured down in buckets, creating small streams in the dirt, smacking the leaves in the trees and creating an awful racket. Tatatatatatatatatatata... Most of the inhabitants of the peaceful Ponyville had long since made their way indoors to avoid the torrential downpour; after all, a storm of this magnitude could hardly be stopped at this point, it would be much too dangerous to fly into a lightning storm! Still, a lone carriage made it's way into the storm-besieged town, drawn by one pony, and strangely enough being pushed by a second pony. The pony at the back was a strange sight in the peaceful town; a pegasus fillie garbed in a set of bulky, clunky iron armor, chipped and dinged, rusted in places (certainly the rainstorm did little to help this) and now caked in mud. The wheel of the carriage appeared to be cracked, and so the fillie had taken it upon herself to help the travellers safely reach the town. "We can take it from here, ma'am!" The pony drawing the carriage shouted over the downpour. "Thank you so much for your help! If there's something we can do to repay you..." "It's no problem at all, just doing my duty!" The fillie replied. "Safe travels!" With a nod, the driver took the carriage on down the road, leaving the armored stranger standing in the rain. Her name was Kite, and as she watched the carriage proceed down the road and get lost in the haze of the downpour, she wondered nervously if she'd done well; after all, it was the duty of a knight to help others, and her dream to be a knight! Standing in the rain, she certainly felt good for helping, but she didn't feel anymore knightly than before; if anything, she was just soaked. A REAL knight would have gotten them to town before the brunt of the storm had hit, after all. Looking around, the wannabe knight sought someone else to help out, though it seemed that the storm had scared the population indoors. "I wonder if maybe I could stop the storm... certainly the townsfolk would appreciate that..." She looked up at the sky, which seemed to grumble ominously in response. "Eh... maybe not..." Kite shook the idea from her mind; what she had in desire to become a knight, she certainly lacked in confidence and self esteem. The pegasus instead averted her eyes from the sky, looking for shelter; standing in the rain was helping nobody, and she was tired and sore from her journey from Canterlot. The fillie could barely see her own hoofs in the downpour though, and instead opted to grab shelter under a nearby tree, hoping to wait out the storm. From the looks of things though, it was going to be a long, stormy night!
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