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Rarity's Fabulous and Frightful Fashions: Nightmare Night Costume Show and Contest


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*Reminder: Please be sure you've read the

event description first! As one of the special staff sponsored event threads, you are allowed only one character in this thread and they shouldn't be in any other sponsored threads!* ;)

A single mare stood in the long shadow by Carousel Boutique, looking out over the small makeshift stage that had been set up just outside it and decorated with ominously lit carved pumpkins and fake pony skeletons. She grinned quietly a moment and then threw back her mane, which fluttered back in the early evening breeze. She was ready for a most exciting time. The show she had planned would surely be one Ponyville would not be forgetting anytime soon.

She glanced over at the sign just to the side of the stage, which read in glittery letters: "Rarity's Fabulous and Frightful Fashions: Nightmare Night Costume Show and Contest". It was perfect. Ponies young and old would be coming this night to partake in this costume contest, showing off the seasonal wares they had put their all into crafting and she would judge each of them and present ribbons to those that best caught her fashion-savvy eye.

She took a moment to glance at the ribbons sitting on her judge's table, to see if all was in order. She had many prepared for the event. They were important. She had special first, second and third place ribbons prepared for the three best costumes, but she had a large number of participation ribbons, so as no one who entered the contest would leave without. It was only fair after all, especially with so many foals likely to drop by.

Smirking quietly at the thought, she took a few moments to ensure her own costume was flawless. The golden collar, crown and shoes she had selected matched her white coat perfectly. With a pair of false wings she had to say she looked uncannily like Princess Celestia herself, especially since her mane had been colored especially to match the princess--though of course with the unicorn's usual mane style still.

Satisfied with her appearance and satisfied with her preparations she decided it was finally time. She cantered ahead, toward the teeming Nightmare Night crowds to make her announcement.

"All right now, my darlings, listen up and gather round! Princess Rarity decrees that it is finally time for this most fabulous costume contest to begin! Anypony and everypony is absolutely free to join in, just come this way!" she shouted out, loudly and playfully ending on an excited giggle. She could hardly wait to see her show become a success.

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Cashmere had been very careful with his costume, his mane had been dyed just the right shade, and gently curled to mimic a certain mares style, his tail was treated similarly and his coat had also been dyed a nice shade of soft grey to match..six diamonds graced his flake, 3 on each side to mimic Miss Rarity's cutie mark, though they were 3d due to being real cut Gems on his flanks...He grinned as she announced it was open and strutted over to her bowing low "Your highness I wish to partake in your most glorious costume contest"

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Luna had spoken quite fondly of her time in Ponyville the last Nightmare Night, even though, as she understood it, it started off not to her liking. Celestia was too busy the last Nightmare Night to really do anything, however this time she decided to follow tradition, even so far as to don a costume, which Celestia usually did not do. But to her, it was less lack of wanting to joining in the festivities and more the inability. This year was different though, well rested and ready to partake in the nighttime festivities she made her way to Ponyville.

Celestia had decided to dress as the species as her pet, a Phoenix. Her pearly pink coat was covered in oranges, yellows and red for her face and neck which would be exposed, and her wings were likewise shaded to match those of a phoenix. She wore a fabric suit of mostly red colouring shifting to a vibrant orange towards her flank, so as to cover her cutie mark, after all, phoenixes didn't bare any pony like marking. Her mane and tail were far trickier though. She decided to use magic to darken her mane which was already powered by arcane aura, to closer match that of flames. This made her tail look very effectively look like the tail of a phoenix in flight, which looked like a fire trail. Celestia wasn't usually one to dress up like this, but when she decided to, she decided to have fun with it.

To maintain the illusion Celestia flew into Ponyville of her own two wings. She could have flown in on a chariot like usual, but not only was this not an official visit, but she wanted to enjoy the festivities. She wasn't sure she could let go as far as Luna had described, but all the same she intended to have fun. Celestia smirked as she flew over head and saw her own image making an announcement about a costume party. She could not pass up the opportunity.

As she landed in the town square where the announcement was made she gave a bow to 'Princess Rarity.' "Princess Rarity, it would be an honour to partake in a costume contest being organized by someone as regal as yourself," Celestia said playfully. Celestia was happy that she had chosen to don a costume, it would have been a shame if she couldn't partake in the fun of a contest, and for once she wasn't the judge or special guest.

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150px-Too_smelly.pngPigpen

Pigpen decided to go all out for Nightmare Night this year. His plan involved the shaggy, unkempt stallion to do something very drastic, something almost unheard of. In order to achieve the best Nightmare Night surprise of all, Pigpen decided to.... take a long bath and then make himself well groomed! He wanted to take all of Ponyville by complete surprise! He had his heart set on winning Rarity's Costume Fashion show. Rather than choosing something gruesome or scary for his costume, Pigpen chose to dress like a character from his favorite novel, "Upstairs, Downloft". The character of Topper, the dashing, Trottingham gentlecolt who was the hero of the story. Employing a fake mustache, gotee and glasses to complete his 'new look', Pigpen boldly walked into Carousel Boutique. He had spent weeks practicing walking like a true gentlecolt, and even slightly changed his voice to speak more like the fictional character he was portraying.

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Slowly walking up to the costumed Rarity, the dapper looking stallion bowed to her before speaking in a very regal voice.

"Evenin' me lady! Lovely evening for a party, quite a lively gathering indeed! I am called Topper, may I kiss your hoof?"

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Guess who was the luckiest filly in the Crystal Empire? Flakey Shards, that’s who! Back in her homeland, the celebration known as Nightmare Night was completely unheard of until a year or so ago. Having vanished from the flow of time for a thousand years, the Empire missed out on all the historical events leading up to the creation of Nightmare Night. So naturally, the festival would be celebrated up north for the first time in crystal pony history.

Yet Flakey would have none of that; why should she be content with a mere imitation of an Equestrian event? Why shouldn’t she have the bragging rights to being the first crystal pony EVER to celebrate Nightmare Night the way other ponies do? Spoiled to the core, the filly whined her way into letting her parents take her to Ponyville; just so she could collect candy miles away from her and gloat to her schoolmates about it.

Miss Shards also begged her way into having her parents make a scary costume for her. For her first ever Nightmare Night, Flakey wanted to dress up as Queen Chrysalis, the villainess who almost succeeded in bringing Canterlot to its knees. First off, she dressed in a dark gray bodysuit complete with white circles on the legs and a greenish-blue saddle covering. Next, the filly strapped on torn-up accessories to make her costume more authentically decayed; a wig, zigzagging horn, insectoid wings, and a pin-on tail all matching the Queen’s physical description. Flakey got a fake changeling crown too, and finally, she put fake fangs in her mouth. Truly, Flakey Shards had the scariest costume out there.

And she wanted to prove that fact too! When she heard the call that a costume contest would begin soon, Flakey knew what she had to do. “Outta’ my way, coming through!” the arrogant little Chrysalis wannabe pushed and shoved her way through the other costumed ponies before reaching the front; “Look at MY costume everypony; isn’t it the scariest changeling queen ever?” The filly vaguely recognized the host of the event, but didn’t indicate as such as she daydreamed getting first prize and shoving her ribbon in front of the losers she had to attend class with.....

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"Your highness I wish to partake in your most glorious costume contest"

Almost immediately, the contestants started to show up one by one. The first of the bunch was something of a surprise. The unicorn stallion, rather unusually, had opted to mimic the appearance of Rarity herself with his costume. The host hadn't been expecting such a thing, but she greeted this stallion with a cheerful smile.

"Oho, somepony is hoping I am one to succumb to vanity this evening, aren't they?" she said, flipping back her dyed mane and laughing boldly. "Thank you for coming out, darling," she added familiarly.

"Princess Rarity, it would be an honour to partake in a costume contest being organized by someone as regal as yourself,"

When it came to surprising guests, the first was no preparation for the second however. The mare's eyes went wide as a certain anxiety pulsed over her for a moment. Not in her wildest dreams had her plan for the evening included Princess Celestia, the mare whom she dressed as, partaking in her contest. She was unmistakable however, even in her well detailed phoenix costume. Her height and ethereal mane made it clear this was the most eminent of all ponies. For a good minute, she wasn't even sure how to react. Ultimately, staying composed was crucial to the success of the show. She couldn't just gawk at Celestia like an idiot. She had to do her best to just treat her normally.

"Your Majesty! I never would have expected that you might visit," Rarity said with a solemn low bow. "I do hope you do not think it so presumptuous of me to make myself up as you."

"Evenin' me lady! Lovely evening for a party, quite a lively gathering indeed! I am called Topper, may I kiss your hoof?"

She raised her head when she was approached by another pony. She studied this one for a moment, not really sure what to make of him. He looked decidedly normal for a pony coming to a costume contest. His ensemble was perhaps slightly old fashioned, but he seemed to just be a handsome mustachioed gentlecolt in a top hat. Was that part of the costume? Not knowing who this stallion might be, she could only assume it might be.

"Ooh, we have a charmer here, it appears," the mare said with a flirty sigh, raising a hoof to the stallion. "By all means, darling. I'm not a mare who can resist being fawned over by such a distinguished looking gentlecolt as yourself."

“Outta’ my way, coming through! Look at MY costume everypony; isn’t it the scariest changeling queen ever?”

Following the gentlecolt's appearance, yet another pony pushed her way before the judge. Rarity's eyes went wide as she recognized this one not for the pony but for the costume. She snarled slightly as she looked upon the image of Chrysalis. Thoughts of that tyrant's arrogance left a poor taste in the mouth. Honestly, shouldn't ponies have better things to dress as this night? Ah well, the costume was well made, she supposed even if the subject was unsavory.

"Oh, absolutely frightening..." Rarity said without much enthusiasm. She then quickly looked back toward the whole group.

"We'll begin the show shortly, my darlings. Once we start, I'll still be accepting last minute entries, but I'd like at least a couple more contestants before we set things off!" she declared with an energetic nod.

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If there was ever a colt who showed great sartorial care, it was Wordsworth Psmith. The loquacious lavender unicorn was not, at first glance, the sort of pony who would be any great participator in Nightmare Night. After all, out of all the holidays it encouraged foal-like behavior in all ages, and he was always one to try and act more mature than he really was. However, he was still a schoolcolt at heart, for all that, and he enjoyed dressing up.

This particular costume had been chosen with great care, and was worked out to impressive detail. Psmith had dressed himself up as a Saddle Arabian officer, an elaborate get-up that had taken all morning to put on. The first layer was a white robe, to ward off the heat of the desert. On top was an old, faded blue jacket with bright brass buttons, held closed with a purple sash, in which was stuck a curved scimitar (dulled, of course). On his head was wrapped a white turban, surmounted by a scarlet fez. Not only was it a snappy look, but the Saddle Arabian tradition of florid compliments suited the wordy colt down to the ground.

Upon arriving at the door of the costume contest, Psmith swept into an elaborate bow before Rarity, rising with flattery on his lips. "Beauteous flower of the oasis, from whose window the bird of paradise never strays! I bring greetings from the far lands of the desert, parched as they are without your graceful presence." Okay, that might have been taking things too far, but he was enjoying himself far too much to stop halfway.

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Nightmare night held a special place in this changeling's heart. Aria's true form was discovered on a nightmare night spooky house event at her school in Dodge junction and her classmates just thought it was magic costume. Ever since she was a filly she would drop her long lasting Illusion spell and could walk around as she truly looked... and now she wouldn't have to worry about being scared and dropping her disguise by accident.

"Thank Luna fer Nightmare night!" she shouted at the top of her lungs to nopony in particular before galloping off into the night so full of happy ponies in costume. The changeling mare bore and happy and sincere smile as she walked past several of trick or treaters," Don't eat it all at once fellas, Ah learned that the hard way" she said to the passing group with a chuckle as he accent slipped through.

Soon the changeling's eye fell upon the stage before the Carousel Boutique. "A costume contest, eh?... well Ah always did kinda think o' my illusion as how Ah really am... so I guess this could count as a costume!" the happy changelings wings gave a buzz before she began to casually trot over to the unicorn in charge who was all dressed up as a certain sun princess who was having her hoof kissed by a gentlecolt looking stallion. Looking down she also noticed a small filly dressed up as the Queen of the changeling and with a playful bow she said to Flaky shards,"Good evenin' yer highness!" considering to the outside viewer the pony in the convincing changeling outfit had a few of the traits the queen did bare although with a purple motif and less weathered look and a having a sort of feeling of pleasantness around her that didn't seem becoming of somepony trying to be the changeling queen.

Aria went wide eyed as she laid eyes upon the princess in her phoenix costume, she couldn't help but give a slight chuckle but soon enough she gave a polite little bow,"Good evenin' miss er Phoenix."

"We'll begin the show shortly, my darlings. Once we start, I'll still be accepting last minute entries, but I'd like at least a couple more contestants before we set things off!" she declared with an energetic nod.

"'Scuse me, Miss Rarity Ah'd like ta join the costume contest!" said the eager little changeling waving her hoof in the air.

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Cashmere smirked slightly at her comment about her giving to vanity and shook his head, chuckling softly "Depends is it working?" He teased, before leaving her be, his gaze instantly taken to Celestia's comment, moving towards here, eyes boggled "Oh my Highness! Your costume is absolutely beautiful! Did you make it?" He asked looking her over "The dyejob is perfect, the costume is flawless, and your mane and tail are a work of art!" He tried to not gush but it was just so well done "Princess Celestia I never knew you were so into dressing up "

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Now there were even more ponies who had arrived to participate in Rarity's Fashion Show. Seeing and hearing Wordsworth Psmith turning on the charm, the disguised Pigpen quickly kissed Rarity's hoof, as he said he would.

"Tis a pleasure to be in yur presence, me lady, and to be a part of this rippin' good contest!" Pigpen said, tipping his hat at her before gracefully retreating. The formerly messy and smelly stallion was having the time of his life. No pony recognized him, thanks to his good grooming and the cape that covered up his trash can cutie mark. Looking over all the contestants, Pigpen did a double take when he spotted Princess Celestia in a Phoenix costume! Incredible! The co-ruler of Equestria was here, and dressed to participate in this contest! He decided to approach her, in character, to see if his completely new look and fake facial hair could fool even her.

"Yur costume looks jolly good there, miss," the disguised Earth pony said with a polite bow. "Best of luck to ya in this competition!"

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"Oh, absolutely frightening..."

That was it? That was all Rarity had to say about Flakey’s costume? In the little time that the crystal filly had previously spent collaborating with Rarity for a travelling fashion show, Flakey thought that the fashion designer was somewhat cool for an adult. Evidently though it was all a phony act, for not only did Rarity not seem to recognize Flakey, but she even dismissed her Queen Chrysalis costume out of hoof. How dare Rarity betray Miss Shards! If the crystal filly didn’t get her rightful prize, she’s going to call shenanigans!

"Good evenin' yer highness!"

Adding on to the list of accumulating indignities, an older pony also wearing a changeling costume dared to call Flakey Shards “Your Highness”; a grossly improper way to address a changeling queen. “It’s ‘Your Majesty’; NOT ’Your Highness’!” the filly complained, now dangerously close to temper-tantrum territory; “Can’t any of you blockheads get it right? UGGGGGGGGGH.....”

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The last time Sketch had been seen out in public was... Wow, had to have been Winter Wrap-Up about a year ago! He was in charge of the animal team, yeah! Oh, but different event!

It was nice to be back in Ponyville, though. A nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Everypony was pretty welcoming, and not only that but this place had some great history! Sure, the Elements of Harmony had saved the country on... One... Two... Thre- No, just two occasions in this town. But the Princesses seemed to favor the place highly!

And a costume contest? Well he had originally come to town to take in the holiday scenes but... Well, he DID work really hard on his costume this year. He was an Inquisitor from Battleaxe 4k! Serving the mighty Empress of Ponykind in all her exploits against the forces of Tartarus! He wore an old tattered duster with some armor plates upon the shoulders, a double-headed phoenix decorating one of them quite extravigantly! Pasted to these shoulder pads were some 'Harmony Seals' he made himself, to protect him from all evil!

Under that was some detailed armor of an Inquisitor, the badge of his office adorned to his chest as well as some victorian-era patterns to make it look pretty. Around his waist was a 'codex'... Okay, it was a dictionary painted up and wrapped in chains. He also had a little lantern at his side, which he even came up with a neat backstory for! Covering his left-hoof eye was a neat 'mechanized monocle'. Unfortunately he had to use a real monocle and it was messing up the picture to his left a bit... But it was worth it. While it wasn't a breathtaking semblance to the soldier-scientists depicted in the books, it was still a decent representation. It was amazing what a pony could do with some foam, plastic, paint, and a LOT of spare time.

Oh, but how could he be so dense?! He spotted a rather large mare among the crowd. At first he thought it was just another convincing costume... But it was really, truly Princess Celestia herself! In the flesh! Hoboy. Hoooboy, he was getting nervous. Public outings were one thing, but meeting royalty? This was the rarest of the rare for Sketch. But he wasn't just going to cower somewhere. Why should he? Oh, Rarity was there too. At least if all else failed he could say hello to her, having worked with her briefly during Winter Wrap-Up. Oh, the Princess was competing as well? Fun! She did make a pretty great phoenix. He went to the mare in charge of the little event, waving "Hello there, Miss Rarity! I'm Sketch Troy, remember me? We worked together briefly last winter? U-Uh... Anyway... I hope it's not too late to enter...?"

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Apple Bloom had done so many fun things for Nightmare Night in the past. Her closet had more to do with her costumes than it did with what she would actually wear on a day to day basis, which consisted of a single bow on a messy mane. Once or twice she had considered throwing them away and once or twice she had slapped herself silly for thinking such treasonous thoughts against the greatest Equestrian holiday of all, Nightmare Night. Older ponies may look at Hearths Warming Eve as the big one but Nightmare Night was about the universal energy charge of all fillies and colts, candy. And it was about legends and myths and blah blah blah, but candy! Sweet, delicious candy.

And it was about costumes. Brilliant, fun costumes. Everypony who was anypony had ideas and dreams of the perfect costume. Apple Bloom had been everything from a monster to an alien to a princess to a cowgirl to a hero to an adventurer. She had gone all out a dozen times in the past to pull something crazy off and had a few first and second place ribbons at costume contests to show for it. Gave her an even deeper appreciation of what ponies like Rarity did in designing their clothes, and that was kind of cool because except for that they shared little else in common. Costumes was the crossover but this year the crossover wasn't all that enthralling.

She had decided to go off kilter a bit. She had been pulled into the world of non-fiction which she found far more exciting than maybe others in her family did, and knowing Mister Carrot Fields didn't hurt as she started to read about the Royal Equestrian Army. It was sorta sparse which only made what material she could find more exciting, as their stories may not have been popular or well known but never abandoned or forgotten. For a filly all about family and pride an organization predicated on loyalty and honor was appealing. With no other good ideas for costumes she had at least one idea that was unique for a filly her age.

She was going as an officer in the Royal Equestrian Army. A nice officer's cap stitched to a realistic finish, a captain's rank on her shoulder badge that was similarly sewn on by hoof on her good . Cheaply tattooed into her flank was a cutie mark of a burning sword, and her name that was sewn in above a chest full of ribbons and medals was, "CPT. Apple Bloom". Teeth brushed, mane combed, accurate military saddlebag on her back, she trotted to Rarity's costume contest confident that if nothing else, it was a good costume to wear outside of the holiday even.

She trotted through the front door, head held high. Once in she spotted Rarity and trotted up, saluting her.

"Ten-hut, Rarity! Looks like ya have a whole buncha costumes ta judge this year. Ha, remember last year?" Apple Bloom laughed, only then looking around and spotting Celestia. She did a double take- two Celestias!- and then out of recently acquired taste saluted the ruler of the land.

"'Ello, uhh, Princess!'

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Having made the proper greetings to his hostess and judge, Psmith determined to give a Saddle Arabian verbal floral arrangement to each and every one of his fellow contestants. A daunting task to be sure, but did Psmith quaver? Did a true khedive of the Arabian ways fear the desert? Not he, who could talk at length on any subject under the sun.

Speaking of which... "Great bird of fire, winged one of flame! Your calls be clear, and your feathers fall not in vain." It wasn't quite a rhyme, and he hadn't intended it to, but why shouldn't he? A proper compliment ought to be poetry, after all, and he fancied himself an artist in words. After all, wasn't his cutie mark a speech bubble?

Turning away from the Princess, he came to look over the more mundane candidates. Hm, Cashmere, who had elaborately dressed himself as... their hostess. An in-character compliment was in order, then! "Ah, fair one, whose hoof the desert never soils! May your disposition be ever sweet, no matter the tempest's roils!" And he leaned over to kiss 'her' hoof, though he had to quickly reach up to keep his fez from falling off.

Ah, and here was a dapper one! Psmith glowed with internal approval at the natty gentlecolt before him. Such obvious care in the clothes, and just the right bearing and accent as well. Pigpen really was quite good; the Saddle Arabian soldier never suspected that this was really the local garbage pony. "Mysterious milord, may your hat be the tower strong to all winds; may you be neat in all your ways, no matter the ends!" Psmith was rather proud of that one.

Hm, two changelings were next, each probably deserving a composition of their own. First there was the queen, who in every sense of the word could be done well by being taken down a peg or two. "Foul emanation of the mouth of Tartarus; only in your nose do we speak of 'highness'!" Oh, he was on a roll!

The other changeling looked a gentler soul, a softening of tone was called for. "May your heart be constant, whatever form you wear; may you be full of love, and your chitin never tear!"

Two more, each of them in a similarly military line to Psmith's own costume. He drew out his scimitar, giving each of them a warrior's salute. To the more futuristic one, he addressed himself first. "Knight of the Book, serve your duty though ten thousand crows plague you; and may those crows be made into your armor's glue!"

Finally, Applebloom. "Fellow soldier of another realm, may your honor glow with the light of ten thousand suns, and may your beauty outshine each one!"

Well, that hadn't been very hard at all, though perhaps he should ditch the rhyme. That was really more of a Zebra thing.

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"Beauteous flower of the oasis, from whose window the bird of paradise never strays! I bring greetings from the far lands of the desert, parched as they are without your graceful presence."

The mare had to smile as the next competing pony arrived. He was an older colt dressed up handsomely in some manner of foreign garb who quickly revealed his gift for effusive verbiage. Giggling affectedly, she nodded toward the colt.

"My, my, another here that knows how to talk to the mare. Miss Rarity is most impressed," she said approvingly. "Though of course charm alone isn't going to win first prize in the contest!" she added coyly before glancing toward the next to approach.

"'Scuse me, Miss Rarity Ah'd like ta join the costume contest!"

Rarity did a double take at this one. She was another changeling, but this time not the queen. No, she was just an average female changeling with a long violet mane. The part that gave pause was that there didn't seem to be a costume involved. The changeling looked as real as any the host had ever encountered previously, down to the holes in the hooves. Was it a real changeling or just a costume good enough even to fool a discerning eye? Either way it was certainly something to note. The pony or changeling asking, seemed earnest in her request and she certainly wasn't here to make a fuss. She supposed the proper course would be to just treat this one like she would any other and just stay on guard.

"Of course you may, dear," Rarity said, offering up as warm a smile as she could affect. "I must say you look quite lovely! The untrained eye might mistake you for the real thing."

This changeling then went on to greet the Chrysalis, who in turn threw a bit of a fit. This drew a hard chuckle from the white unicorn. Much could be said about her choice in costumes, but at least the filly in the Chyrsalis costume was willing to commit to the part.

"Depends is it working?"

Turning back to the first stallion, she smiled and laughed at the stallion's comment.

"We'll see, darling .It's certainly a most becoming look on you!" she said with a nod.

"Tis a pleasure to be in yur presence, me lady, and to be a part of this rippin' good contest!"

"And it's a pleasure to have you, sir," she said nodding now to the stallion in the fetching top hat who had kissed her hoof. "There's little I appreciate more than somepony with such a keen sense of style."

"Hello there, Miss Rarity! I'm Sketch Troy, remember me? We worked together briefly last winter? U-Uh... Anyway... I hope it's not too late to enter...?"

Rarity turned to find another new contestant make his approach, dressed as some kind of armored warrior. He greeted her by name, indicating they had met before. She couldn't say she had the luxury of being able to recall him, but she of course wouldn't let him know this.

"How could I ever forget such a darling face as yours?" she started coyly, smiling at the stallion. "It's certainly not too late. We'll be allowing new contestants even after we've begun. For an event like this, the important thing is that it's fun, after all--and besides, I have lots of pretty participation ribbons prepared!"

"Ten-hut, Rarity! Looks like ya have a whole buncha costumes ta judge this year. Ha, remember last year?"

Next to arrive was a child and one that she was all too familiar with. Apple Bloom, sister to one of Rarity's close friends and friend to Rarity's own sister. She was dressed as a pony soldier and looked quite cute.

"Oho, Apple Bloom, we shouldn't bother to dwell on last year. An event like this calls for focus! Previous failures and successes are immaterial compared to the here and now! Every show is its own unique and special moment," Rarity answered the child with a playful smile, patting her head briefly before stepping away.

"Anyway, darlings, we'll start shortly. For now, you can all start lining up on the stage," Rarity said, nodding as she moved toward her judging table and used her hoof to start a nearby record players, which started playing some spooking Nightmare Night music.

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"Your Majesty! I never would have expected that you might visit," Rarity said with a solemn low bow. "I do hope you do not think it so presumptuous of me to make myself up as you."

Celestia chuckled at the thought of being even remotely offended by somepony dressing up as her. Not only was Rarity not the first, she was sure she wouldn't be the last. Rarity though did it exceptionally well. "My dear Princess, if I had thought as such I would have surely let you know." Celestia put Rarity's worries to rest almost instantly. "Besides, of all the costumes of myself that I have seen, I would say your costume is one of the few that look exceptionally close to how I looked as a filly." Celestia complimented Rarity, and it was true, after all mimicking her height and ethereal mane were impossible, or at least nearly impossible. And aside from mane and tail style, Rarity really did it well.

"Good evenin' miss er Phoenix."

A changeling? In Ponyville? Celestia was able to tell it wasn't a costume. However, it didn't appear that she was here for any nefarious reasons, but Celestia would still keep an eye on her. "Good evening to you, miss changeling. I do hope you aren't planning to steal our love," Celestia said in a playful tone.

"Oh my Highness! Your costume is absolutely beautiful! Did you make it?" He asked looking her over "The dyejob is perfect, the costume is flawless, and your mane and tail are a work of art!" He tried to not gush but it was just so well done "Princess Celestia I never knew you were so into dressing up "

Celestia was taken aback by the pony whom was dressed as Rarity's enthusiasm. "Why, thank you for your kind words. I did indeed make it myself. I am lucky to have a pet phoenix that gave me a good reference." Celestia graciously accepted the kind compliment. "I used to love dressing up as a filly, but it has been many many moons since I've done it last. I am happy I am still able to put together a costume. I am quite pleased how it turned out." Celestia smiled.

"Yur costume looks jolly good there, miss," the disguised Earth pony said with a polite bow. "Best of luck to ya in this competition!"

Celestia couldn't shake the feeling that she had met this pony before but couldn't quite place her hoof on it. She did however recognize the character. "Thank you, and I can say the same for yours Topper." Celestia gave a knowing wink to the reference that the strangely familiar pony was making. "I wish you the best of luck as well."

"'Ello, uhh, Princess!'

Apple Bloom was dressed as a Captain of the REA who saluted Celestia. "At ease, Capt. Apple Bloom." Celestia said with a regal tone as if she was talking to an actual captain. "I hope you will do your best protect everypony this Nightmare Night, Captain."

"Great bird of fire, winged one of flame! Your calls be clear, and your feathers fall not in vain."

The pony dressed as the Saddle Arabian officer was rather eloquent with his words. The costume itself was extremely accurate, the manner of speak was a bit overdone, but still the effort could be clearly seen. "I thank you for the beautiful words officer." Celestia really wasn't sure how to respond to that, it wasn't so much a compliment as a short form poem. But still the poem and gesture was appreciated.

"Anyway, darlings, we'll start shortly. For now, you can all start lining up on the stage,"

"I look forward to the contest Princess Rarity." Celestia smiled as she made her way to the stage to line up.

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"You are quite a charmin', bird. melady," the disguised Pigpen said to Celestia, quickly kissing her hoof before turning towards the costumed Saddle Arabian addressing him. "Good show, governor! I rather fancy Saddle Arabian tea. Those blokes brew the most delightful tea in all the land! Best of luck to ya!"

Pigpen had done it! His new 'look' apparently fooled even Princess Celestia! The formerly unkempt stallion took great pleasure in his deception. Seems more ponies actually enjoyed being around him rather than running away or holding their noses in his presence. Now Pigpen was eager for the real competition to begin. Win or lose, he was really enjoying himself tonight.

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“It’s ‘Your Majesty’; NOT ’Your Highness’!” the filly complained, now dangerously close to temper-tantrum territory; “Can’t any of you blockheads get it right? UGGGGGGGGGH.....”

The Changeling was taken aback by the sudden outburst in her direction. With a huff she stepped forward and said,"Sorry, but with that attitude yer no Queen o' mine." With annoyed look she turned and began to take a few steps away from the arrogant little filly but stopped when she heard somepony seemingly trying to put her in her place.

Hm, two changelings were next, each probably deserving a composition of their own. First there was the queen, who in every sense of the word could be done well by being taken down a peg or two. "Foul emanation of the mouth of Tartarus; only in your nose do we speak of 'highness'!" Oh, he was on a roll!

The other changeling looked a gentler soul, a softening of tone was called for. "May your heart be constant, whatever form you wear; may you be full of love, and your chitin never tear!"

The first line got a heart laugh from the purple maned changeling mare put her hoof to her muzzle as she tried to stifle a giggle at the filly's expense. One the stallion laid eyes upon her she chuckled a bit and gave him a kind(if still fang bearing) smile, Soon enough though that smile turned to an honest to celestia blush at his statement to her. "Well thank ya! Ah'll wish ya luck in the costume show!" she said a now slightly more shy looking smile.

A changeling? In Ponyville? Celestia was able to tell it wasn't a costume. However, it didn't appear that she was here for any nefarious reasons, but Celestia would still keep an eye on her. "Good evening to you, miss changeling. I do hope you aren't planning to steal our love," Celestia said in a playful tone.

Aria chuckled and shook her head,"o' course not... Why steal love when you can earn it without lyin' to ponies?" Even if the princess did know she was really a changeling it didn't seem to matter to Aria seeing as the princess of the sun was just as kind looking as she envisioned. "Good luck to ya Miss Phoenix! may the best costume win!"

Rarity did a double take at this one. She was another changeling, but this time not the queen. No, she was just an average female changeling with a long violet mane. The part that gave pause was that there didn't seem to be a costume involved. The changeling looked as real as any the host had ever encountered previously, down to the holes in the hooves. Was it a real changeling or just a costume good enough even to fool a discerning eye? Either way it was certainly something to note. The pony or changeling asking, seemed earnest in her request and she certainly wasn't here to make a fuss. She supposed the proper course would be to just treat this one like she would any other and just stay on guard.

"Of course you may, dear," Rarity said, offering up as warm a smile as she could affect. "I must say you look quite lovely! The untrained eye might mistake you for the real thing."

Aria took notice of the Hostess' odd looks at her and chuckled wryly at the comment, She was aware she was born a changeling but in her mind she was as much a pony as the one looking right at her,"Thanks, Miss Rarity. Ah had a lot o' time to work on it... even used a bit of magic and Ah promise Ah'm as Eqestrian as anypony here!" she said with every ounce of honesty in her body. Once she heard Rarity tell everypony that they could get on stage she eagerly cantered over and sat down, even if she lost it did seem to promise some fun!

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It was probably only fair to the other contestants that charm wouldn't win any prizes, considering that Psmith was going out of his way to liberally distribute it to all and sundry. With a quick tap to set his turban and fez at a more jaunty angle, the unicorn stepped lively onto the stage, along with the other contestants.

He found himself between the dapper Topper and the changeling Aira, though a formal line-up was still to be made. The air was filled with ambient music, and Psmith couldn't help but smile at some of the instrumentation. A lot of Saddle Arabian instruments tended to be used to create a weird and exotic atmosphere, and a few were used to good effect in this ensemble. The colt maintained character all the while, bowing to the grey stallion. "Indeed, offendi, your words are pleasing and true. On three cups of tea, a stallion may face anything the desert may bring."

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Cashmere realized now his costume was very simple, it would not stand up to an elaborate guard outfit, a beautiful Phoenix, or a changeling queen, but Cashmere did not care! He had worked hard to model a pony he had started to look up to as a inspiration and she was not insulted, He glanced at Rarity and gave her a wink since she knew by now his flirting was just in jest, glancing to Celestia he beaned "Well Princess I certainly hope you get to make more costumes, you have a right talent for it and the work is amazing, I'm a designer myself and I cannot help but love good quality craftmanship such as you have done"

The "Saddle Arabian" that complimented him made Cashmere both blush and giggle as his hoof was kissed "And a very good evening to you as well sir!" He praised..

If someone didn't shut that crystal brat up Cashmere might just shove an apple in that gaping maw of hers to silence her <3

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Starsprite found himself at rarities competition a bit later then he anticipated but he still made it. as he entered the perimeter of the competition he was surprised by rarity and princess celestia! as he walked even closer he wanted to make sure his costume was correct. he may be a teacher at the university of clouds dale but that doesn't mean he can't have fun. his outfit included his mane dyed yellow and turned into a giant spiked ball of hair. it looked like if you tried to touch it a spike would stay as stiff as a needle. he wore a jacket around his waist that could somehow zip up and the zip part was a crown.his tail was also bright yellow but it was just normally flowing down. on his back he attached with a grip to the jacket was a strange looking key. it was almost as long as his body and it had a handle at one side. the other side of the key was bars coming out. his jacket was wight and had pockets in them. he has a necklace that has a x with big points at the end of it going down his neck. he wore long white leggings that were baggy at the end. underneath the unzipped jacket was a black t shirt with no real design. ( his costume is roxas from kingdom hearts 2) he was very proud of his design as he walked up to rarity and said in a very elegant voice "excuse me miss's rarity am i late or can i still participate in this beautiful activity going on today." he looked around and saw there was tough competition for the first place ribbon but he still would try his all to get it.

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When you were named after a mythological figure, there wasn't much of a problem in deciding on a Nightmare Night costume. Calliope was thus dressed as her namesake, the ancient Muse of Epic Poetry. She wore a simple knee-length robe, with a golden tiara on her head and a scroll tucked in among the folds. What with Canterlot being all wrapped up in masquerades and the like, and candy gathering being what it was in the suburbs, she had opted instead to go to Ponyville. When she had stumbled upon this contest, figuring it was worth a shot, had decided to join.

She trotted up to the end of the line with only slight hesitation. "I'm not too late to join, am I?"

((OOC: Epic Poetry includes works such as The Iliad and The Odyssey.))

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((ooc: reading the last couple posts, I do want you all to keep in mind that Equestria is not the real world. Familiar works of fiction are not necessarily going to exist there [and especially so if there are video games, as Equestria isn't so advanced when it comes to that at the moment]. You should be wary of importing characters directly from other sources as costumes ideas. You can of course, try and change it up and make the ideas more of a pony version of itself if you have to.))

"My dear Princess, if I had thought as such I would have surely let you know. Besides, of all the costumes of myself that I have seen, I would say your costume is one of the few that look exceptionally close to how I looked as a filly."

Rarity giggled elatedly at the words said to her by the pony princess. There was certainly something fulfilling about receiving such lavish praise from Celestia herself, especially considering what her costume was. For someone who took great pride in her ability to make herself look beautiful, it was positively invaluable to receive such compliments.

"I do look quite lovely like this, I suppose," Rarity said, smiling at the princess. "The color I put into the mane really stands out and the crown, collar and shoes have the look of craftsmanship and detail not so far off the real things."

"Of course, any loveliness I could manage is only in emulating the great loveliness of the so very lovely inspiration," the mare added, giggling coyly.

"Thanks, Miss Rarity. Ah had a lot o' time to work on it... even used a bit of magic and Ah promise Ah'm as Eqestrian as anypony here!"

The changeling mare's words made Rarity all the more curious. Unicorn magic certainly was a curious thing. She couldn't fathom to understand all that it could manage. Perhaps somewhere in its mysteries was the ability to give oneself the look of a genuine changeling. However, even if not, she supposed it didn't matter. She could tell from this one's intonation that she was beng entirely earnest. Perhaps this meant this was a genuine changeling, but with a loyalty to Equestria rather than forces of conquest. If so, the mare would respect that and treat her the same as any of the rest of her guests. Of course, if this was a genuine changeling, Rarity still wanted to find out. She wasn't going to let someone win her costume contest while not technically wearing a costume!

"Hehe, That's a relief, dear. The changelings I encountered were such frightful, awful creatures. We wouldn't want any of them around," Rarity said, smirking slightly, wondering how this one might react.

"excuse me miss's rarity am i late or can i still participate in this beautiful activity going on today."

"I'm not too late to join, am I?"

Two more ponies approached, both asking for entrance in the competition. One had a spiked mane and an unusual large key, the other was dressed in a rather classical looking robe and an accompanying tiara. Rarity nodded and smiled to them both.

"By all means, darlings. New entrants will be allowed up until the point I have to decide who the winners are!" she explained in a warm voice. "Just line up on the stage with everypony else."

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Apple Bloom was pretty darn pleased how it was all turning out. Truth be told she had expected a few others to go with similar themes once she had really given it some thought and she wasn't wrong. A stallion went as a Saddle Arabian Officer and his costume was pretty convincing, very much like the pictures from her old books about Equesteria and Saddle Arabia. he spoke a bit too flowery for the Saddle Arabians though, who were described as being taciturn and awkward in speech rather than being chock full of purple prose. But acting like you didn't know what to say was far less fun than running around with charm turned to twelve.

"Well, Ah guess Ah shoulda worn mah sunday best with the formal cap on tight for ya," She laughed as the Saddle Arabian officer went about his business, charming the mane off of the rest.

Next was Rarity who seemed...err, a little off, but then again Rarity was always pretty weird and with Princess Celestia right there it only made sense that her mind was frazzled and popping in a dozen different directions. Even in the best of cases she was three nails short of a cart, so Apple Bloom shrugged off her odd reply about last year and smiled as she complimented her. Coming from Rarity, that meant a lot! She knew as much about clothing as Applejack knew about farming and Apple Bloom knew about cutie marks.

"Ah guess yer right, Rarity. Ah'm as focused as the sun through a magnifying glass- hehehe, no pun intended," She giggled to both Rarity and the Princess.

Speaking of, she had taken to Apple Bloom's costume with some energy. It felt good that she wasn't called a cutie or something else by the Princess, but that she was treated like an adult! It wasn't as if she was planning on joining the Guard or anything when she got older, but the thought of the Princess placing some sort of responsibility on her shoulders sure felt good. Besides, Apple Bloom felt like the toughest and smartest pony in the boutique tonight, and not just because she maybe probably kinda possibly was. Her costume doubled as a motivational tool!

"Ah'm on it, Yer Majesty. Nopony's gonna get gobbled up or taken under mah watch!" Apple Bloom replied with energy as she trotted onto the stage, taking her place and standing at attention to complete the look.

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"Sorry, but with that attitude yer no Queen o' mine."

Bah, that stupid big pony didn’t know anything about changelings. Flakey Shards may be the younger, but she felt in that inflated noggin of hers that she understood a whole ton about those bug ponies. Didn’t that other mare with the changeling outfit know that Queen Chrysalis was supposed to be all authoritative and everything? Sheesh, ponies these days were too prideful to admit when they butchered proper forms of address. Angrily glaring at the dumb mare who clearly knew naught about how hives worked, Flakey swore to pay her back for her insults before the night was through.

"Foul emanation of the mouth of Tartarus; only in your nose do we speak of 'highness'!"

THAT. WAS. IT! Flakey wasn't going to take this blatant disrespect anymore! That goofy unicorn kid wasn't going to make a fool out of this crystal filly!!! For unexplainable reasons, Flakey's entire face turned red as steamblasts of hatred blew out of her ears. Mere moments later, the volcano named Mt. Flakey Shards finally erupted in a spectacular eruption for the ages; "FOR THE LAST TIME, IT'S... YOUR... MAAAJEEEESTYYYYYY!!! ARRRRRRRGH, NOW MOMMY WILL HAVE TO COME BY AND MAKE ALL OF YOU IDIOTS SAY IT CORRECTLY!!!!!"

Stay classy, Flakey; better to throw fits than go up to the stage when asked.....

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