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Eye of the Storm · Original Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000


The following prizes are courtesy of horizon and Trick Question:

  • $25 USD to 1st place
  • $15 USD to 2nd place
  • $15 USD to 3rd place
  • $20 USD to the top placing entrant who has never entered a Writeoff before

A complete detailing of the prizes on offer is here.

Show rules for this event
A Different Beginning
The sun was going down and an array of red, orange, and yellow radiated on the low horizon; another thing unseen by the filly. It was also then that she discovered larger structures popping up. These were much larger and could most definitely hold ponies inside.

Similar to the white treasures, these structures became more abundant as she moved along and she eventually came across a wooden sign that read: "Welcome to Ponyville".

As Pinkamena continued to move through the town, she saw several ponies walking about the nighttime streets. She greeted them to the best of her ability, as the area appeared to be getting sparser.

However, the filly then noticed something. Out of the corner of her ear was a sound; one she has never heard before. She was drawn to it and was eager to find its source.

Using her hearing, she trotted along the streets as the sound appeared to get more audible. The filly still couldn't recognize it, however she was seduced by its charm.

Pinkamena then came onto a street, where she could see the light out the windows. The sound had grown and the filly could perceive voices of various ponies; as if they were talking. However another nuance was being played that she was unfamiliar with.

Wanting to know more, the pink mare moved to the nearest lit window and looked inside.

In there, she saw ponies of all colors congregated in the space. Almost all of them were smiling and seemed to take advantage of what they were presented with. Some were conversing AND others were participating in recreational activities. In addition, a banner was hung on one of the walls. It was splashed with light and read in big letters: "Happy 7th Birthday Puffy!"

"They all look like they feel...good...and there's other fillies in here as well."

Pinkamena was dazzled by the sight and wished to take part. The mare looked to the right and saw a wooden door affixed the front of the building. Trotting over to it, she knocked.

It didn't take long for her to be greeted by a green mare.

"Hello...are you one of Puffy's friends?" she asked.

"Um...no...I've never been here..."

The mare stared into Pinkamena's eyes as a wave of concern flashed in her own.

"I've never seen you before. Did you just move here?" she asked.

"...No...I don't live here..."

The filly then looked through the door to see the other ponies inside.

"The ponies in there look like they're...good. Why are they like that?" Pinkamena asked.

The green mare's face became even more anguished. The filly looked on confused as she saw the green mare becoming shocked.

"We're having a party...Have you ever been to one?"

"...No...or at least...I don't think so..."

The green mare continued to look at Pinkamena. The filly looked as the older mare's green eyes glassed over.

"Did I do something wrong? Should I just leave?"

The filly felt regret flush over her face; feeling guilty for her inadvertent mistake.

"I'm sorry..."

Pinkamena turned away and started to leave the door and the older mare.

"Wait!" she cried out.

Pinkamena looked to see the green mare still at the door.

"I can't send a young filly like you away! Please, come inside!" she pleaded.

The younger mare was touched by her request. Pinkamena gladly accepted it and entered the building.

The atmosphere was warm as the pink filly became engulfed by the jubilation the room brought. The green mare guided her across the room, through the various ponies. She then stopped.

"How foolish of me. I forgot to ask you for your name."

"It's Pinkamena..."

"Well I'm glad to meet you, Pinkamena. I am Mrs. Hoofton."

Mrs. Hoofton continued to walk with the pink filly, allowing Pinkamena to bask herself even more into the event. She then stopped in front of a smaller green mare. She looked very similar to the larger one.

"Puffy, say hello to Pinkamena." the older mare said to her.

"I didn't invite her! I don't even know her!" the green filly complained.

"Now, Puffy!" Mrs. Hoofton exclaimed before turning to Pinkamena.

"I'm terribly sorry." she said to the pink mare. The mother then turned back to her daughter.

"I know she wasn't invited, but she showed up and I want you to be nice to her. Go play with her along with your friends."

Puffy was visibly reluctant to follow her mother's commands. However, as if she was reminding herself of a past incursion, she sighed.

"Alright, come with me."

Pinkamena followed the green filly upstairs. She moved down the hall before opening a door. The inside contained mostly blue walls and had dolls organized around the room. There were two other fillies sitting around in a circle on the floor. One of them looked up and noticed the additional member.

"Who's that?" she asked.

"Some filly my Mom invited." Puffy answered, breathing under her words.

"Why did she do that?"

"I don't know!"

This younger mare sighed in a similar fashion to Puffy.

"Well...since there's no use throwing you out...you might as well sit down."

Pinkamena smiled and found a seat on the floor. Puffy then sat down next to her. The pink filly looked around and noticed that none of the others were talking.

"...So...did any of you see that thing in the sky today?" Pinkamena asked.

"Oh yeah, there was this blast while I was sleeping. Mom almost c-canceled the party." Puffy said, clearly showing disinterest.

"Okay..." she responded. The pink filly looked around and saw that the others had dolls in their hooves.

"Were y-you using something?"

"We were playing dolls."

Pinkamena then noticed that there was an overall lack of activity in the room. The other fillies were merely sitting in plain silence.

"Aren't you...going to...play?" she asked.

"No." Puffy answered monotonously. The green filly sounded very similar to Pies back at the plot; a clear lack of emotion.


"Can you stop bugging us?" the green filly suddenly burst out. It became clear that there was additional baggage that she forced back. Pinkamena was thrown back and shut her mouth.

One of the other fillies stood up.

"I'm bored. Do you want to go downstairs?" she asked, intentionally excluding Pinkamena.

The rest of the unfamiliar fillies consented and walked out of the room. Pinkamena was the last out as she tried not to stir their attention. The pink mare moved down the stairs to join the rest of the party.

Pinkamena tried to reunite with Puffy, however every time she found her, the pink mare would receive a look out of the green filly's magneta eyes before an escape among the crowd. The mare wasn't sure why she was fleeing, however she knew something was for certain.

"I'm not making her...good."

Pinkamena was partly let down by this fact. She felt as if she was failing to understand how to make others feel good. And worse, if she couldn't please another filly- even if she were a year older than her- then she had no chance of breaking through the stone lips of the Pie family.

The former smile on the pink mare's face seemed to be distant and buried in the deep sands of forgetfulness. Pinkamena didn't want to return to a life of blandness and lack of jubilation nor did she want to see herself forget the blast of light that struck her. She wanted any chance possible for her to make at least one other pony in this building feel good.

But then, a voice filled the room.

"Alright, everypony, it's time for cake!"

Pinkamena saw the others in the room move over to a table and the younger fillies were especially excited. The pink mare used this cue to follow them to see the source of the commotion.

Pinkamena then saw an object on the table where everypony was gathered. It had a circular top and was covered in white. Along the round edge was pink. On the object's top were seven small wax candles and in the center writing in pink. Pinkamena couldn't see what was inscribed on the object's face, however. The mare then saw Mrs. Hoofton approach it with a light and left an ember on each of the candles.

"Why are they using candles? There's already light in here."

The older mare then walked over to a switch and flicked it; blackening the room save for the seven candles.

Pinkamena then heard everypony in the room begin to chant in unison. Unlike what she expected, the ponies deliberately allowed their voices to drag out.

"Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday dear Puffy!

Happy Birthday to you!"

The pink filly had never heard such a thing, however she was enticed by the joy being poured from their mouths and into her ears. The smile on her face had returned.

Puffy then blew the candles out, leaving the room completely dark. It wasn't long, however, before Mrs. Hoofton flipped the switch again; reviving the light. Afterward, the green mare trotted into a different room and returned moments later with a knife. Mrs. Hoofton approached the object and sliced it into a thin triangular piece and handed it to her daughter; who then proceeded to place it into her mouth.

"Oh, it's food!"

Pinkamena had only seen a knife used for food on one other occasion. Her father came home with a giant bundle of meat from the town center from some fortunate act of generosity. It was far too big to be eaten on the spot, so the brown stallion used his blade that he usually only used to cut grass and make haphazard slices into the substance.

The older green mare then looked at the pink filly that was looking on.

"Do you want some cake, Pinkamena?" she asked.

Pinkamena felt flattered. She nodded her head and took the paper plate with a slice on it. Feeling curious, the filly grabbed it and shoved it into her mouth. Pinkamena had never tasted something like it. It was creamy on the inside and the exterior felt frosted. On top of the cake's great texture, every bit of the slice was packed with an unmeasurable amount of flavor; something that was non-existent in Pinkamena's semi-daily rations. She wanted more of it; even going as far as to devour the entire cake. The filly restrained herself, however, when she saw others waiting in line.

After the feast, Mrs. Hoofton spoke up to the crowd again.

"Now let's open some presents!"

Although most of the fillies in the room were in an anticipated disposition, none of them exceeded Puffy's. Pinkamena couldn't help but follow them as they sat around in a circle.

Mrs. Hoofton trotted over to the corner of the room where a bunch of colorful boxes were piled up against the wall. She lifted one with her hoof and gave it to her daughter.

"This one came from Riley." she told Puffy.

The green filly then tore the colored exterior to reveal another box. This one had shades of pink and white and in addition had writing all over it.

"Oh my gosh, it's the Polly Pony Playset! Thank you Riley!" Puffy cried.

"You're welcome." the named pony answered.

Pinkamena continued to watch the green filly open present after present to reveal toys. All she ever had was a rag doll when she was four. Unfortunately, she lost it one day while farming. And worse, Pinkamena knew that she couldn't afford any of these luxurious gifts or any of the stuff she saw that night at the party.

After Puffy opened all of her gifts, most of the fillies went upstairs and returned minutes later wearing sleepwear. From what Pinkamena heard, this event was also known as a "sleepover". As the pink mare heard the fillies having fun upstairs, she remained still as she realized she had nothing to change into.

Suddenly, though, she felt a hoof on her shoulder.

"Are you going to stay here tonight?" she asked in a soothing voice.

"...I...guess..." Pinkamena simply answered.

"Do you want me to call your parents?"

"...It's a long walk back to my house..." she said.

"No, silly filly. On the phone." Mrs. Hoofton chuckled.

"We don't have a...phone..."

"Is there any other way I could reach them?"

"...You can walk there...but it'll take a while..." the pink mare answered slowly.

Mrs. Hoofton froze; recollecting their encounters from the evening. Something about it seemed odd to the mother.

"Did you...walk here?" she asked, trying to keep her concerns subtle.




The green mare paused again, however she tried to recover herself.

"Do your parents know where you are?"

"...I don't know." Pinkamena answered statically.

Another pause, however this one was much briefer.

"You can take a seat if you want...and I'll be right back."

The pink mare complied and found the nearest seat to her.

"Do you want anything? A drink? A snack?"

"No thanks."

Mrs. Hoofton returned moments later empty hoofed and sat down next to Pinkamena.

"Now...I don't mean to be nosy...but if you can could you tell me about your home." she asked.

The pink mare took in a breath before starting.

"Like I said...I don't live around here...Ponyville...I live on a rock farm. I have a father and a mother as well as three sisters: Maud, Marble, and Limestone. It's hard because we get up, work a little, and none of us feel...good. We all talk in the same way all the time and there's nothing to make us feel good.

But today, I saw something come by our farm. There were colors I haven't see before. And I suddenly felt...good. But none of the other ponies saw it and they couldn't feel good. I like feeling good and I never want to not feel good again. But I didn't know how. I took a walk down the road to see what could make them feel good. I found myself all the way here. And I saw this. I felt good. I think this might make others feel good too."

Mrs. Hoofton took several moments to fully digest Pinkamena's story. Although there isn't a power plant around her hometown, she was educated about how electricity is conceived and how it powers the land. She drove by some rock farms several times from driving outside of town and they seemed to fit the pink mare's description. They looked desolate, dull, and depressing. Although Mrs. Hoofton had never stopped and visited a rock family, she figured by the visual signs that they have been untouched by the warmth of love.

"Well I think that is a very nice thing of you to do, but you shouldn't just walk off from your parents. They could be worried about you."

"They'll do that because they have one less pony working. If they think I'm gone, they could just get another." Pinkamena thought. She then spoke to the older mare.

"I know. But I was hoping if I could find some of this stuff to bring back home." the pink filly said.

"Okay. Tomorrow morning, I'll take you down to a very special place." Mrs. Hoofton answered. "But for now, you should join the others upstairs. I'm sure you'll get along."

Pinkamena saw a smile on Mrs. Hoofton's face and happily got up and ascended the stairs.

There were a total of eight fillies divided into two rooms: Puffy's room and a spare room. Hoping to get friendly with the hostess, the pink mare chose Puffy's room. Puffy and the same two fillies occupied the space; a chance at redemption.

Opening the door, she saw the fillies on the ground with a playset. However, they seemed to freeze upon hearing the door swing.

"Hello." Pinkamena said in a good tone.

"Oh, hi." Puffy answered nonchalantly.

The pink filly found the others scattered about the room and looked as if they were formerly listening intently to each other.

"...So...I see you're using the gift you got." she noted.

"Yeah...it's a lot of fun." Puffy said.

"Can I...join you?"

The green filly paused. She remained silent for several moments before sighing.


Pinkamena smiled and got down on her haunches.

"So what do I do?" she asked.

"Just take this." Puffy answered as she gave the mare a pink dress.

"What are we going to do with it?"

"We're going to dress up Polly Pony." the green filly said blandly.

Pinkamena saw that the doll Puffy was holding already had a sailor suit on.

"But she's wearing something right now."

"We're going to change her." Puffy said, getting slightly irritated.

The green filly proceeded to remove the sailor suit from Polly Pony. Pinkamena saw the other three fillies holding their own dolls wearing their own attire. One of them- a red one with a yellow mane- placed her's in room on the bottom floor of the playhouse. The room seemed to have no purpose aside from having a couch for the doll to lie down. The doll remained standing, however, in the middle of the room.

To the mare's surprise, Pinkamena didn't seem to enjoy the event. It seemed rather boring and mundane; similar to the work on the rock farm. There wasn't much aside from changing the pony doll's clothes and placing them in different rooms. However, the pink mare knew that was Puffy's interest and that she herself should see it through with her.

By now, Puffy had removed the clothes from her doll.

"Can I have that dress?" she asked.

Pinkamena answered and gave over the pink fabric. The green filly quickly slid it on and then placed her doll in the same room as the other.

"Hey Polly, how are you doing today?" Puffy said while holding the doll.

"I'm doing good. That's a great dress you have on!" the red filly replied while having a hoof over her doll.

"Thank you! Do you think Kevin is going to like it?"

"Yes! He'll love it for sure!"

Pinkamena was thrown off by the fillies' weird conversation.

"Are they talking about the dolls?"

In addition, the pink mare noticed how Puffy called the other Polly. To her, that should be her name.

"I wish I could have a good dress too, Polly." the red filly said.

"Isn't her name Puffy?"

"Well, you can!" Puffy answered.

The green filly then got up and trotted over to a drawer. She opened it and sifted through its contents. Puffy returned a moment later with a small piece of blue fabric.

"Here you go, now you have a nice dress." she continued.

"Oh, it's wonderful! I better go try it on!"

The red filly grabbed her doll and placed it in another room upstairs. It was complete with a mirror and closet. The filly took the dress and put it on the doll before lifting it and putting it down in the first room.

"How do I look?" the red filly asked.

"You look great!" Puffy said.

Another filly- one with a white coat and violet mane- got her doll out and tapped on the house's door.

"Who is it?" Puffy asked.

"It's me: Polly!" a voice rang out. Pinkamena noticed its elegance for its young age.

"Is everypony named Polly?"

"Coming!" the green filly said before grabbing the plastic entrance and swinging it open.

"I heard that you have great dresses! Do you think I could have one?" the white filly asked.

"Definitely!" Puffy answered.

Instead of getting up though, the green filly turned to the white one. The white pony used this as a cue to dig through her purse and take out a miniature coat rack with a bunch of dresses hung on it. The white mare took several moments to analyze each dress; struggling to single one out. Eventually, though, she took an exuberant violet dress that matched her mane. The fabric was coated with small shining beads that enhanced the tapestry.

The filly carefully removed the dress from its small coat hanger before handing it to Puffy.

"Here you go!" Puffy said, allowing the dress to dangle in the plastic doorway.

"Oh thank you!" the white filly said before changing her doll into the dress.

"You look nice! We all look nice! And Kevin will really like it!" Puffy announced.

The three friends cheered.

Pinkamena suddenly realized the small grin that perked as a result of the fillies' play.

"...Um...can I have a doll?" Pinkamena asked.

Puffy looked up at the mare as if she had just remembered her.

"I don't have a...doll." she answered, now monotonously.

The pink filly looked around and it was very obvious that there were other miniature ponies in the room.

"...But you have a bunch of them all over the place."

Puffy started to become more irritated, but was able to keep her composure.

"They're not for you."

Pinkamena began to realize the green filly's yearning for her to leave, but she couldn't understand her reasoning.


"Just leave us alone!"

Not wanting to aggravate the situation, Pinkamena took the cue to exit. The green filly reminded her of her family in some respects; not wanting to get close with her and expressing irritation in her shortcomings. However, while she was informed of what she did wrong back on the farm, Puffy's reaction seemed to come abruptly.

"I'm not making her feel good..."

Pinkamena suddenly felt exhausted. It truly had been an eventful day that was ready to close.

Going across the hall, she entered the spare room where the other fillies were. The space was more crowded with five other fillies. A couple of them were playing while the more mild pair were hoping to get in some rest on the floor. Wanting to take that route, the filly found her own spot and sleep came shortly after.

"Tomorrow, I will make my entire family feel good."

Her eyes opened and she could see. Her vision was still blurry, however, she was accustomed against sleeping anymore.

"Time to get to work…"

As her vision cleared at the hands of consciousness, she absorbed her surroundings. Other fillies her own age were still sleeping; two others beside her, and three scattered across the floor.

"Oh yeah. They don't live on the plot."

She closed her eyes and attempted to shut down the colorful images that have enhanced her mind since their introduction the previous day. Unfortunately, sleep didn't come as easy for her as before. No matter her attempts to conform, she remained conscious along with the images that made her want to express her appreciation. The only thing left was to get up and go down the alien stairs.

"But what if they wake up and they say...bad things to me? One time, Maud woke up early and opened the door and made me wake up. I got mad and said bad things to her…"

She lied still on her spot on the floor and waited for one of the fillies to wake up. Similar to past mornings, it was still dark at the time; as she could tell by the lack of light from the windows. She watched as the sun seeped its way through the window and its light into the room.

"It's never been this bright two days in a row."

Despite the brightness of the early sun when compared to the black night, the other fillies were not disturbed by the great contrast.

"How are they not seeing this?"

She could feel a relaxing tension forming under her muzzle. It was the same one she experienced the previous day when new wonders were discovered.

The rays grew brighter with every passing minute as red beams turned orange, then to yellow, and finally invisible; leaving the entire window blue.

She then heard some rustling. Turning to her right, she saw the nearby filly opening her eyes. She brought a hoof to them and rubbed; hoping to improve her acuity. It was then that she saw her.

"Who are you?" the other filly asked drowsily.

"I'm Pinkamena." she answered; confused by the question.

"I've never seen you before…"

"I'm new and Mrs. Hoofton said I could stay here…"

Ignoring the filly, the recently awoken pony slowly got herself up and slumped herself to the door. She opened it and walked out; leaving Pinkamena and the other fillies.

"They didn't wake up?"

Yet Pinkamena lied on the floor; limbs planted. She wanted to wait for another filly to rise from slumber and walk out.

The light outside the window didn't change now that it was day time and she watched the other four sleeping on the floor. She couldn't tell how long it was before the next one woke up; this one being the other sleeping on her side of the room. This filly didn't even notice Pinkamena and merely walked out of the room.

Yet Pinkamena continued to wait; her lower body completely frozen.

Another filly rose, but she waited.

And another, and Pinkamena intended to wait. To her surprise, however, this filly noticed to lone one sleeping beside her and nudged her body. After several movements, the filly on the ground groaned before opening her eyes.

"The others are already awake. We're gonna miss breakfast." she told the filly on the ground as Pinkamena.

The last filly slowly got herself up and started to move towards the door when they turned their eyes to the stranger.

"Who are you?" she asked, confused.

"I'm Pinkamena. Mrs. Hoofton said I could stay here." the mare explained.

"Well, you better come downstairs if you want breakfast." the other filly explained.

Pinkamena attempted to stand up, but found the task to be difficult; given her still exhausted limbs on the flat floor. However, the mare managed fine on her own and followed the two fillies behind her.

Downstairs, Pinkamena saw the active fillies at a table; talking amongst each other. Although most of the chairs were occupied, she found an empty reserved for her at the end of the long table. Taking the opportunity, the mare sat down.

Pinkamena noticed Puffy sitting at the other end; hanging out with the couple of fillies she was playing dolls with the previous night. Looking down at the other fillies, she saw them conversing as well. And the two nearest to her were having a talk regarding dolls; comparing the number they had, the accessories, and different playsets.

"They must also be named Polly!"

Pinkamena continued to listen to the two fillies' conversation. She could distinguish them as the one her left had an orange coat and green mane while the one on her right had a purple coat and yellow mane. She was convinced after last night's play time that she knew a lot about Polly Pony. Enough to join in.

"I wish I could have some, Polly," she finally said, loud enough for the two fillies to hear her. They turned to face the unknown mare.

"Some what?" the orange filly asked.

"Dolls that you put in dresses and in little toy house. I wish I could have some like you Polly," the pink filly then turned to the other, who was listening, slightly thrown off,. "as well as you, Polly." The fillies stared at the pink mare; confused by her sudden remark.

"My name isn't Polly. It's Riley." the orange filly responded.

"Mine isn't Polly either. My name is Swirly." the purple one added.

Pinkamena stared at their faces; muscles forming unsettling marks. She then moved her eyes to the table and fixed them on its surface. She heard the two fillies pick up on their discussion as she listened.

Breakfast arrived several minutes later as Mrs. Hoofton came in with a large platter of plumb,round circles stacked high. She placed it on a separate table for the other fillies to indulge. The mare quickly trotted back to the kitchen and returned shortly after with a bottle of syrup.

"Dig in!" she cheered as she placed the bottle on the smaller table.

The fillies rose and formed a line at the small table; starting with Puffy and her two friends, followed by the ones that slept in the spare room. Pinkamena noticed them and slowly stood to join the back. The line moved quickly as each of them were desperate to get their meal. By the time the others had gotten their share, Pinkamena was lucky to find one left for her. Picking it up, she placed it on her plate and moved to the bottle.

"The others put that stuff on their things, so why not me?"

Pinkamena took the bottle, opened the cap, and squeezed it; allowing the syrup to fall onto the circle. Once she was content with the amount she put on, she returned to the table, grabbed it, and took a bite. Similar to the cake she had eaten the previous night, the pink filly was infatuated with the meal.

"I've never had this at home! This is good!"

The filly took deep bites into the circle as she became enveloped in the cake-like, syrupy food. As she finished, she noticed the syrup that had gotten onto her hooves. She got up and found Mrs. Hoofton watching the eat.

"Can I wash my hooves?" the pink filly asked, showing them off to the older mare.

"Certainly, Pinkamena. The bathroom is down that hall on the left." Mrs. Hoofton answered, pointing her left arm towards the stated direction.

Following it, Pinkamena trotted over to the door leading into the bathroom. She opened it and saw all of its advanced features. She noticed the toilet and sink; common appliances even her house provided. However, she found something strange on the wall just above the sink. She knew it was a mirror, judging by the familiar face she saw in it, however that wasn't the odd part about it.

"Their mirror is much smaller than the one back home. But it's so clean!"

Pinkamena had never seen herself so clearly. There was some dirt on her face from yesterday and some syrup was stuck around her lips. Her blue eyes beamed more so than she ever could have imagined. Despite this, one feature in particular took the filly by surprise.

Her mane- usually straight- had exploded into an unknown shape. The dull strands were now vibrant and curly as they combined to form an immovable piece. Pinkamena then remembered the gust that had blasted into the face.

"That must have made my mane all…"

The filly couldn't find a word to describe her new look. She knew, however, that she was somehow able to sum up her new sensations nicely. And something finally struck her.


Pinkamena stared at her mane some more before remembering why she was in the bathroom. Turning on one of the sink's nozzles, water ran from the pipe. The filly placed her hooves underneath the stream and splashed her face with some of the water. She repeated this process several times before letting her hooves rest in the flow; allowing them to receive a proper soaking. Taking a wet hoof, she turned off the sink and grabbed a small towel next to it. She first dried her hooves before wiping her face of any water; removing the leftover syrup with it.

Before leaving the bathroom, she took one last look at herself. Taking in the image, she felt a smile emerge onto her face. Pinkamena saw the wonderful expression with her own eyes.

"It all looks good!"

Trotting back to the kitchen, she saw one of the fillies walking out of the door to greet a larger mare; most presumably her mother.

"Thank you for the sleepover, Puffy!" she said cheerfully as she walked away with the mare. Pinkamena was stunned at the filly's departure. Even though she barely interacted with her, the loss touched her.

One by one, the other fillies left; each to either a father, mother, brother, sister, relative, or friend. Although there were no tears or visible sorrow, with every leave, Pinkamena couldn't help but feel hurt. Each one had something special in her eyes; even if they weren't willing to show it.

Eventually, the only ones left aside from Pinkamena was Mrs. Hoofton and her daughter, Puffy, who was still sitting at the breakfast table with her.

"Okay Pinkamena, are you ready?" Mrs. Hoofton asked, getting herself up.

"Ready for what?" the pink mare asked.

"I want to take you to a special place in town."

The word 'special' seemed more than enough for Pinkamena to jump to the occasion. She rose from her chair and approached the older mare.

"Puffy, you're coming with us too," Mrs. Hoofton said to her daughter.

The green filly groaned.

"Do I have to?" she complained.

"Yes, now come on."

It took several moments for Puffy to find the will to stand up. She slumped her upper body as she got up and dragged her hooves.

The group of three walked out the front door and into the Saturday morning street; mostly empty following the long work week. Mrs. Hoofton trotted alongside Pinkamena while her daughter reluctantly followed behind.

"So you want to make your family happy?" Mrs. Hoofton asked the pink filly.

Pinkamena's mind froze upon hearing that one particular word.

"Happy?" she asked unsurely.

The green mare responded with a chuckle.

"You want to make them-"

"Feel good? Yes! More than anything!" Pinkamena cheered, interrupting Mrs. Hoofton. However, the older mare didn't mind.

"Well, there are some things you can do. Have you tried making them laugh?" she asked. Again, Pinkamena couldn't comprehend a word.

"What's...laughing?" she asked. That comment nearly caused Mrs. Hoofton to stop dead.

"You've never laughed?" Mrs. Hoofton asked, confused.

"...No...how do you do it?" Pinkamena requested, wanting to know.

Mrs. Hoofton smiled.

"It's easy!" she explained. The older mare then demonstrated with a genuine giggle. Pinkamena attempted to repeat the action, however she found herself having to exert effort.

"It's kind of hard," Pinkamena commented.

"Well that's alright. If you get someone just right, they will never stop…" Mrs. Hoofton said before stopping to think. It didn't take her long, though, to prepare something. "Okay! Why couldn't the filly sing?" she asked.

"I don't know. Why?" Pinkamena asked.

"Because her voice was very...hoarse!" the mare finished before bursting out in laughter. Even the pink filly joined in; amazed by how little work she needed in order to giggle. From behind, they heard a groan from Puffy.

"Not that joke again!" Puffy said with her eyes squeezed shut.

The two of them continued laughing for several more seconds before they were able to speak again.

"That was...funny!" the pink filly said.

"I told you!" Mrs. Hoofton replied.

"I should say that to them! They'll find it funny too!"

"I'm sure they will."

Mrs. Hoofton looked and saw the certain building. She turned to Pinkamena.

"We're here," the older mare said as she pointed towards the building. It was three stories, with the third thinning out into a small pillar. The roof was dark brown and had a white layer running along the edge; the entire display looked edible. The top of the building had a similar sensation with its pink crown. Finally, three giant candles could be seen towering above all else as it proved to be the perfect decoration.

"Those kind of look like the candles from last night!"

"What is this place?" Pinkamena asked as she gazed at the marvelous building.

"This is Sugarcube Corner; a place that makes all kinds of desserts," Mrs. Hoofton answered. Pinkamena paused at the third unfamiliar word.


"Good food." Mrs. Hoofton said; assisting the young filly, "you'll really like it!"

With those words, the group moved through the front doors. The interior was coated in subtly colored walls. A beige that Pinkamena had never seen. Despite the odd color, the room seemed appropriate for its business with candy cane pillars and wood shaded like the scrumptious roof outside. In addition, the room was filled with the cake she has seen the previous night. But they came in a wide variety. Things of all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures could be found in the display cases.

In the midst of taking in the scenery, Pinkamena looked up and saw two older ponies behind the case. One of them was a yellow stallion. In spite of some aging features, the figure managed to maintain life in his orange mane and green eyes. Beside him was a blue mare with a crimson mane. Both of them held assuring smiles.

"Good morning, Mrs. Hoofton," the mare said.

"And you too, Mrs. Cake," she answered back.

It didn't take long for the couple's eyes to dart down at the new addition.

"Hello there," the stallion cheered, directed his focus at the pink filly. "What's your name?"

"Pinkamena," she answered, smiling at his friendly nature.

Although it took several extra seconds, Mrs. Cake turned to face Pinkamena.

"Well aren't you a sweet little filly!"

"...Thank you...Mrs. Cake."

"Is there anything here you want?" the blue mare asked with a prominent smile.

Pinkamena used the opportunity to look around. She was eager to see every last option; even the smallest thing that could be sticked into the mouth. After absorbing the information, the filly drew her attention specifically to the larger items; similar to what she saw the previous night. It was then, though, that she found an exact replica of what she enjoyed there. Memories of its wonderful taste exploded in her mind like the colors did yesterday morning.

"I want that one!" Pinkamena answered, pointing her hoof at the white cake. Mrs. Cake followed it and noticed.

"Okay! Is there anything you want written on the top?" she asked.

Pinkamena stopped to think. The thought hadn't even come to her.


Several ideas came to mind, but none of them worked for her. As she continued pondering, the perfect response registered.

"I hope you feel good!" she said eccentrically.

Mrs. Cake smiled. She saw no reason to disagree and she got right to work; grabbing a tool to squeeze out a pink substance. Pinkamena noticed its similarity to the rim of the cake.

After working with the tool, the blue mare went over to another end of the room and took out a white box. She grabbed the cake and slid it inside; leaving enough room for its comfort. To top it off, she wrapped it with a cut of blue fabric; tying it up into a nice knot.

"Here you go!" she cheered, handing over the box.

"Thank you!" Pinkamena said while receiving it.

"No problem!"

The filly looked up as she saw Mrs. Hoofton hand over several bits to the blue mare.

"Thank you and have a nice day, you all!"

Pinkamena grasped the white box as she trotted out with Mrs. Hoofton.

"Is there anything else you want?" Mrs. Hoofton asked.

The filly's mind tried to create an image to answer that question. She thought of what else made her feel good, but she couldn't bring anything up. It disappointed her that she couldn't anything to make her feel good, but was still at peace with what had succeeded.

"No thanks! That will be enough!" she answered.

Mrs. Hoofton's face was calm and content as she saw sweetness in the filly. However her mood darkened subtly when something inevitable came to mind.

"Do you want me to take you home?" she asked, keeping her composure.

"Okay! I can hardly wait to see my family's faces!"

An invisible groan could be heard from behind. Mrs. Hoofton turned to see her daughter expressing her impatience.

"Now come on, Puffy, it'll be fine." Mrs. Hoofton said. Turning back, the mare faced Pinkamena. "Now where do you live?"

Pinkamena froze. It took her a minute to recollect her journey from the plot to this town. She was surprised to see how vivid her memory was. It was never that good before.

"I live on a rock farm. I'm not sure how long it'll take, but I do know how to get there."

Mrs. Hoofton still couldn't help but feel concern for the filly, but she had faith in her.

"Well...okay then. Feel free to guide us."

Pinkamena accepted her invitation and moved back from where they went this morning. This didn't take long and they saw the home within moments. Pinkamena proceeded to lead them back through the streets and to the town's sign. Mrs. Hoofton was marveled at the filly's success as she independently took them back to her home; back through the lushness of life.

Some time later, the color faded. The vibrancy of the air and atmosphere had been stripped; leaving a dreary wasteland. Mrs. Hoofton had heard about the rock farms situated outside of her hometown and they depressed her. The clouds hung over the barren ground; preventing light from seeping in. There was no reason to enjoy life and no purpose to it other than to stay alive. Any expression of goodness had been drained from her face, however she tried to remain strong for the filly that survived here as the days went by.

"This is so boring!" her daughter complained, feeling energy sag off her body.

"Puffy, whining isn't going to get you home faster. Please stop," Mrs. Hoofton responded.

Several long minutes afterward, Pinkamena turned the corner. On the intersection was a mailbox with the name "Pie" painted onto its side. It wasn't rusting, however it showed obvious signs of age.

They walked down the gravel path where a small house could be made out in the flat terrain.

"This is my house," Pinkamena said with slightly less exuberance. Her smile was still present, though.

"It's looks...nice," Mrs. Hoofton said, her face growing tense. She struggled through a haggard breath before following Pinkamena.

Suddenly, the wooden door opened to reveal a pale brown stallion. Pinkamena handed the box to Mrs. Hoofton before trotting over to him. The mare could see the figure shakily breathe as Pinkamena approached him.

"Pinkamena," he said, staring at her with concerned eyes. As he walked closer, however, they turned to stone. "You're alive," he finished frigidly.

"Yes, sir. Why wouldn't I be?" she asked in a striking contrast. Despite her enthusiasm, the stallion was unfazed.

"The explosion. We were sured you were killed. I was afraid I'd be a worker down."

Pinkamena's smile didn't die.

Mrs. Hoofton could only watch as she noticed her silent breaths were slipping into audibility. She attempted to quell them with difficulty.

"Well I'm not! And I'm so glad because now I can make everypony feel good!"

Pinkamena turned back and hopped back to Mrs. Hoofton.

"May I take this?" the filly asked politely.

Mrs. Hoofton slowly nodded as Pinkamena took the white box from her shaking hooves. Her eyes grew strained as she watched her trot confidently back to the stoic stallion.

"I brought us all something! It's called a cake and it's something you eat!"

Pinkamena's smile grew as she saw four other mares fill out of the doorway. Two small ones had their mouths open a little and her mother had her eyes wide open.

"You are here! Now we can all feel good!" she cheered as she opened the box to reveal the white cake. "All you do is set yourself a piece and you eat it!"

Pinkamena carefully cut the cake with her hoof; creating a slight mess. Pulling out the hoof-made slice, she shoved it into her mouth; absorbing its euphoric taste. As she chewed it, she held up the box to the other statues.

"Who wants one?" she asked in anticipation with a beaming smile.

Each of the other ponies were unable to move at first. None of them had ever seen such a delicacy full of life or one of their own acting in a new way. Most of them did not know that such light or emotion could exist.

After the initial shockwave subsided, Pinkamena noticed small reactions from some of them. The two younger mares smirked a grin.

"It's working!"

It was little, but noticeable in the filly's eyes. She saw a third one- slightly older- flash a break in her motionless face; a quick burst. But it stuck itself back to normality.

Looking up, she saw her mother bite her bottom lip before sucking them both into her mouth. It was a quick action before they were expelled. It wasn't clear how she was feeling.

Finally, it came back to the stallion, whose body was unmoved, unconvinced, and not good. Any movement went right through him without his attention being grasped.

Silence continued for a couple more seconds.

"Come inside, Pinkamena," the stallion said emotionlessly.

The words brought down the filly as she felt a slight escaping feeling from her mane. The hairs were somewhat flattened, however they retained their curls. She solemnly turned back to Mrs. Hoofton, who desperately attempted to look presentable.

"I guess this is goodbye then," Pinkamena said slowly.

"Goodbye, Pinkamena," Mrs. Hoofton answered. She went up to the filly and wrapped her arms around her; enveloping her in an embrace.

"I hope we see each other again," Pinkamena said, her voice muffled by the green mare's body.

"I hope so too,"

They broke the bond and Pinkamena went back to her house. She walked in to see her father standing in the kitchen. The others were nearby. She rested the box on the table as she looked to the brown stallion.

"Pinkamena. Why didn't you come right back here after the blast?" he asked firmly.

The pink mare took a deep breath before answering.

"I...don't know...the thing...made me feel...good. I felt this other thing under my muzzle stretch out as I saw it and it felt good. Everything felt good...but I didn't want it go away…I wanted to keep it forever and I wanted to make you feel good as well...but I didn't know how. So I needed to go somewhere else to know how to make others feel good. I walked for a while before I came into this town and I walking through it until I found this...party going on...and it looked really good so I chose to stay and being at it made me feel good...So I wanted to make a party for you all so you would feel good as it made me feel good. And the party had cake, so Mrs. Hoofton helped me get some cake for you to make yourselves feel good."

"Pinkamena," he responded immediately. "Losing a worker makes taking care of everything much harder. We can hardly afford that. And rather than let us know that you're fine and getting back to work, you instead wasted time on making a vice."

The stallion stared intently to the pink mare.

"Life is about rocks, Pinkamena. It's the only way we can stay alive. If you let yourself or the others get carried away with such useless matters then you'll lose sight of the rocks. You'll want more of it, you'll try to coax your sisters to stop working, and we'll lose money. We can barely pay the mortgage and food as it is. Your "parties" will make us lose the plot and we'll have nowhere to go from there,"

He then paused momentarily, before concluding.

"Do you understand?" he asked.

Pinkamena's head was down, the mane had gone limp, and her body petrified. Her breaths were silent and her eyes closed. She gradually nodded.

"Yes," she answered plainly.

The stallion got up and went to the door. As he opened it, he turned to his daughter.

"Come along, there's harvesting we need to do."

Pinkamena reluctantly raised herself out of the chair and walked out the door into the bland field.
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