Butterscotch's Adventures in Equestria starring Butterscotch Sundae, and two Pinkie Pies!?
It felt like
I was home.
I jerked upright in bed and looked around, blinking. There was a half-empty bottle of scotch on the dresser with a tumbler on its side next to it, while around my bedroom were scattered what appeared to be the remnants of a party pink streamers, crumpled crepe-paper and sad, half-deflated balloons lying on the floor in bunches.
"Just what in the hey was I doing last night?" I wondered. I got out of bed, expecting to feel that familiar dull throb of a hangover when I moved, but there wasn't one. Looking down, I saw that I was wearing my usual blue flannelette pajamas with the silver-embroidered stars on them.
Well, at least I hadn't gotten so drunk that I'd forgotten to get changed!
I visited the toilet, but as I was walking from there into the bathroom I suddenly heard the sound of someone operating the coffee machine in the kitchen. I quickly washed my hands and splashed some cold water on my face, then walked down the long corridor that led to my open-plan living room.
Luna was standing in the kitchen next to the waffle maker, and she turned and smiled as I walked in.
"Mornin' Lulu," I muttered.
"Morning Connie!" she said, far more chipper than I had managed. She ran her hands through her blue tufty bob, watching me as I sat down at the kitchen table and then went back to steaming the milk. Holding the metal jug in her left hand, she lightly touched the slender fingertips of her right to the bottom of it until it grew too hot to touch and then poured the steaming milk onto the coffee already waiting in my favourite mug the one with the sulphur-crested cockatoo on it which she soon brought over to me.
"Here you go, Miss Sleepy," she said, placing it in front of me. "The moon waffles are almost ready."
"Thanks," I replied, picking up the mug and taking a sip. It was hot and delicious. I watched as she opened the iron, took out the steaming waffles and flipped them onto some plates. She depositing a knob of butter on each of them and then poured on the caramel syrup and chocolate sprinkles that make moon waffles so delectable.
As Luna brought them over, I admired her petite form, dressed in that little sun-dress with the stylised solar-emblems on it that she likes so much, and I got up, my face hot and eager as I grabbed her around the dainty hips.
"Hey!" she giggled, juggling the plates. "Quit it! I'll drop them and then you'll have to make your own and you're terrible at making waffles."
"I guess I'm just a cupcake-kinda gal," I laughed, letting her go.
As we sat and ate, Luna cradled her usual cup of earl-grey tea with three teaspoons of sugar and a slice lemon while she scanned my face with an amused expression.
Suddenly she put down her cup. "'A cupcake kind of girl', huh?"
"You know that cupcakes are the only thing I can bake," I replied, taking another bite of the waffle. It was as delicious as usual all melted butter and cream and caramel and chocolate.
Luna rolled her eyes. "That little pink pony! She's a bad influence on you, you know."
"You're just jealous 'cause you think she has a crush on me," I teased, taking another sip of coffee. Luna suddenly leaned across and thumped me on the arm and I nearly choked on it.
"Don't joke about stuff like that," she muttered.
"If you're going to hit me again, I won't," I replied through a mouthful of waffle as I rubbed my smarting arm. "Besides, you're the only girl for me."
"I thought you preferred ponies," she sniffed.
"Just because my last girlfriend was a pony!" I snorted. "You know, you can be totally speciesest at times, Lulu." Then I smiled. "I only let you get away with it because you're so good-looking."
Luna glanced up at the dandelion-shaped clock that hung on the wall over the fridge. "Hey, eat faster," she said. "We're meeting your friend Esther today for lunch, remember?"
I stopped dead, mid-cut of another fat slice of delicious waffle. "Oh yeah," I said. "I totally forgot. You said you wanted to meet her, right?"
Luna nodded. "It's just that she sounds like such an interesting person." She got up and stepped behind me, slipping her slim arms around my shoulders and continued, "Also, I guess I just want to finally meet the woman I stole you from."
"You're terrible, Lulu," I gasped, squirming out from her embrace. As I did I noticed our calendar on the wall. Today was circled in red marker and I brought my hand to my mouth in horror.
"Oh my Princess - I totally forgot!" I cried. "I've got to go and teach one of Cheerilee's classes while she's away at a conference. Now how in the hell did I forget that?"
Luna looked at the calendar and then at me, her face a mixture of bemused surprise and disappointment. "But what about lunch?" she protested. "I was so looking forward to-"
"Sorry Lulu," I replied, my voice muffled by final hasty bites of my waffle as I leaped up from the table. "I guess we'll just have to reschedule." I took a single bound in the direction of the bedroom to change when I realised I was already wearing my favourite yellow, brown and orange chongsam.
What the? I didn't remember putting it on!
I looked back at the clock. The hour and minutes hands were now both pointing at You're already late!
"Oh Celestia!" I swore. "The next train to Ponyville is in ten minutes!"
In one fluid movement I threw my plate and utensils in the sink, ran over to the couch, snatched up my handbag and sprinted out the door.
"Hey wait!" cried Luna as I ran down the front steps. "What about Esther?" She moved to follow me, but there was a sudden, violent gust of wind and the front door flew shut on her with a crash.
I looked back over my shoulder at the little blue-coated alicorn thumping on the front door with her hooves. "She'll have to wait, Lulu!" I shouted so that she could hear me through the glass. "I've got young minds to educate!"
With a final wave I hopped down the front steps two at a time and then raced down the garden path.
It was a gorgeous spring morning, and I noticed that the moonflowers I'd planted were just starting to bloom, sending up sparkling silver pollen. They probably did need a little water though, and I berated myself for not having left enough time to give them any. The poor things might wilt!
I threw open the gate and ran down the path to the street. There was somepony at the end of it near the letterbox, and as I got closer I saw it was Derpy Hooves the mailmare, out early delivering the mail as usual! She had her muzzle deep in one of her saddlebags, but as I ran past her she brought it out and blinked at me in surprise.
"Oh, good morning Connie!" she said in her adorably boyish voice.
"Sorry Derpy, I've got to run!" I cried to her from behind as I ran along the street. "Any mail for me?"
"Just muffins!" she cried back, waving as I disappeared down the street.
The bright honeyed light of the spring morning glistened on the water of the little bay as I ran. It was as if the ocean had turned to liquid gold, and here and there pelicans cut their way through it, leaving glittering trails. On my other side, on the slopes of the high hills overlooking the water the hibiscus and frangipani were blooming, making the landscape look as though it was dusted with hundreds and thousands, and at the sight my heart filled with sudden joy. Even though I was running late I waved and smiled at every person and pony I met in the street on the way to the train station.
When I got there, by some miracle the train hadn't arrived yet. There was the usual assortment of people and ponies on the platform who caught the same train into the city as I did: the earth pony in the blue chequered shirt that never wanted anyone sitting next to him and would lean over with his newspaper and block the whole seat; the red-maned pegasus mare whose mobile phone would play Pachelbel's Canon at the same time every morning to wake her two stops from where she was getting off. But today there was an unicorn pony I didn't recognise with striking glacial-green eyes and a dark black mane standing near the ticket machine, and as I waited for the train I caught her glancing my way.
I smiled politely, but then put her out of mind. Lulu would be furious if she found out I was flirting with strange ponies, after all!
A moment later there was a puff of steam from around the cutting and the sudden shrill whistle of the train as the burly stallions pulling it galloped past us and screeched to a stop, snorting and tossing their manes.
I got on board, took my usual seat and stared out the window as the train started up again.
We quickly left the bay behind, and the glittering waters were soon replaced by rolling fields of tulips that extended to the horizon. An almond-shaped moon, glowing a gentle teal-green against the brilliant blue of the sky, stared down over them and for a moment I thought I saw it blink. But soon the swaying of the train had me dozing and before I knew it my eyes closed and I fell asleep.
I quickly wrote my name on the blackboard in the little Ponyville schoolhouse while the little fillies and colts whispered to each other kids always think that just because your back is turned you can't hear them.
"Good morning class," I said, turning to face them at last. "Miss Cheerilee is absent, so I'll be teaching you today. My name is Miss Hayden."
"Goooooood moooooooorning Miss Haaaaaaaaayden!" The whole class of little fillies and colts joined in in the chorus-like greeting that was common to every elementary school. No teacher has ever worked out why kids chorus it, they just do.
As I sat down at my desk, I noticed a pink-coated little earth pony filly with a luxurious lavender mane lean over to her friend. "I don't know why we had to have a human substitute teacher," she sniffed.
I said nothing and glanced down at the folder of notes Cheerilee had left me. There was a class photo inside, and both the little filly who had just spoken and her friend sitting beside her were circled in red and labelled "Watch like a griffon!", underlined three times for emphasis.
I looked up again, smiling my own version of the butter-won't-melt-in-your-mouth smile the fillies were wearing in the photo. "That's what the word substitute means, Diamond
Terror is it?"
"Tiara!" said Diamond Tiara, scandalised. The rest of the class laughed.
"OK, quieten down," I said, stifling a giggle myself. "Miss Cheerilee has left me some work that she wants you all to do."
"Awwwwwww!" chorused the class.
"Can't we go on an outing instead?" asked a unicorn filly as fluffy as a marshmallow. "It's a beautiful day outside!"
"Even running laps would be better than schoolwork," muttered the orange-coated Pegasus filly beside her.
But the rose-maned earth pony filly between the two of them was already raising a forehoof. "Ooh! Ooh!"
Questions already? I glanced down at class photo again. "Yes
Applebloom, is it?"
"Uh huh!" nodded the enthusiastic little filly. "Miss Hayden, Ah was wonderin' why don't humans have cutie marks?"
"What a lame question!" said Silver Spoon, but she flushed red and went quiet when I looked at her sternly.
"There's no such thing as a 'lame' question," I said, addressing the class as a whole. "Asking a question makes you a hero to all the rest of us cowards who didn't dare ask it but who want to know the answer." I got up and sat on the front of Cheerilee's desk yes, I'm one of those teachers! "I guess humans aren't as lucky as ponies we have to find our secret talents as well, but we don't have a mark to show us when we've found it."
"So all humans are blank flanks, Miss?" asked Pipsqueak, an adorable little pied colt sitting in the front row. His question caused paroxysms of laughter throughout the class and Applebloom leaned across and elbowed him.
"Tha's a bad word, Pip!" she said. "Yah shouldn't use it."
"But I've heard other fillies and colts use it all the time!" protested the little colt, rubbing his side.
I thought I knew which ones must have put him up to it, for Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were looking at each other and stifling their own giggles.
The poor little colt was getting upset, so I did my best to defuse the situation. "It's only rude if you use it to talk about ponies who you want to make feel bad," I explained. "I'm a human and we're all 'blank flanks'." Hearing a teacher use the word made the class gasp, but then I had their undivided attention. "So it's like saying 'You have a big rump!' to a pony it's a very rude thing to say to a human, but since every pony has a big rump, it's not rude, it's just the truth!"
I saw the little light-bulbs go on in the class's collective heads and they began to whisper amongst themselves, and so I left them to it for a while it's the best way for kids to learn, by challenging a cherished belief and then let them discuss it. Even with very small kids it seems to work. Yes, I'm one of those 'Everything you believe is wrong' teachers as well. Sigh.
After a few moments discussion, I decided it was time to get on with the lesson. "Okay everypony," I said. "Books on the floor, please. It's pop quiz time!"
The entire class groaned in unison.
"Oh, Miss Hayden!"
In the back was an adorable little alicorn filly who had a blue coat the colour of the darkening night sky and arresting, wide green-teal eyes. She was raising her little forehoof, eager to get my attention.
I looked down at the class photo. Now what was the little filly's name? Oh, there she was! "Yes
Luna, is it?"
"Yes it is, ma'am!" said the little filly cheerfully. "It's just that I don't think we have time for a pop quiz this morning Miss Cheerilee organised a speaker to come and talk to us."
"A speaker?" I replied, looking over the list of things to do that Cheerilee had left me. "It's not on the
oh wait, there it is! A lady or mare called Esther." Esther. What a beautiful name!
"I don't want to listen to any boring speaker," muttered Diamond Tiara, and I was about to reprimand her for her rudeness when suddenly the PA system crackled to life, and a female voice, a voice that sounded strangely familiar, came across over it.
"Miss Hayden, would you please come and see Principal Celestia in her office right away please?"
"Uhhhhhhh ohhhhhhh!" chorused the class.
I sighed. "Sorry class, looks like I have to go for a little while."
but what about our speaker?" protested Luna.
"I'm afraid I have to see the Principal first," I said. "Don't worry - it won't take long." I walked over to Silver Spoon's desk and put the chalk on it. "Silver Spoon, while I'm away you're in charge of the class. Give them the pop quiz will you?" I left her staring at the little white cylinder as if it was a spider, and as I walked out the door I heard the inevitable eruption of noise as the class went totally off the rails.
I hoped it would teach Silver Spoon an important life lesson.
I walked down the long corridor away from Miss Cheerilee's classroom and towards where I knew the Pricipal's office was. I stepped through the door to find an beautiful black-maned unicorn pony sitting behind the secretary's desk. She was wearing horn-rimmed glasses connected with a beaded string and was busy scribbling notes with a quill glowing with telekinetic energy that flew back and forth over the page.
It continued to scribble as she looked up at me and smiled a somewhat mocking smile. "Oh hello, Connie. The Principal will be with you in a moment. If you'd like to sit down?" She indicated the couch on the other side of the room, and it was then that I noticed that two girls were already sitting on it one a rainbow-maned pegasus, the other a griffon. They were both dressed in pleated tartan skirts and white blouses, and looked rather fierce. The pegasus was glancing around the office, bored, while the griffon was checking her talons for dirt under them.
As I sat down next to them, the pegasus turned to me and whispered. "You're totally in for it now, Connie."
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"Yeah, dweeb," said the griffon, leaning over her friend. "We went and put you in it. We said it was you who egged the Principal's chariot."
"What? But I'm not-" I looked down and noticed I was wearing a schoolgirl's uniform just like they were. "But I didn't egg anything!"
"Let's see you get out of this one!" laughed the pegasus.
"Please ask Miss Hayden to come in," came a voice over the speaker.
"Yes ma'am," replied the secretary, and again there was that hint of mockery on her gorgeous lips. "The Principal will see you now, Connie."
I got up, my heart in my throat. Behind me the two mean girls were snickering. The secretary opened the door for me and then leaned so close that I could smell the mint on her breath.
"Have fun," she whispered.
The Principal's office was a large room, with a large mahogany desk and shelves of scrolls on every wall, except for the far one where a fire was burning in a great fireplace. By far the most arresting thing about that office was a portrait of the Principal herself, dressed in riding chaps and with a crop in her mouth, that glared sternly down at all who entered the room.
But the painted image was nothing compared to Principal Celestia herself, sitting at her desk beneath it. Raising her eyes from the scroll she had been reading, she considered me with stern magenta eyes and the lightest flicker of a smile crossed her lips.
"Please come in, Miss Hayden," she said.
Her horn glowed and I heard the door close telekinetically behind me and lock with an ominous click.
As I crept up towards the desk, I was reminded immediately of the reason why Celestia was so feared by the girls and even the teachers of the school. It was not only her love of strict discipline there was also something about her presence that made you feel as if your every sin was exposed to her. Some said that she'd run the school for over a thousand years, but of course that was impossible...
My nervousness increased the longer I was exposed to the cool stare of those magenta eyes. They roamed up and down me, as if searching for a crack in my armour, and I started to sweat. Gilda and Dash had really left me out to dry after our little prank went awry. Those bitches!
"So... is there anything you want to tell me, Connie?" asked the Principal, her voice oozing sudden and threatening friendliness.
"N-nothing, ma'am," I said, my words tripping over themselves in a hurry to escape my mouth. I always stutter when I'm feeling nervous.
"Oh, we've been here before, Connie, haven't we?" said Celestia. "You know that you have two choices. Either you can tell me everything that happened, or you can have it extracted from you and your punishment will be all the more severe for your lack of compliance."
She got up and walked almost absent-mindedly over to where I was standing. I began to shiver. She really was the most intimidating pony little wonder all us girls called her 'The Tyrant'!
it was Gilda and Dash's fault," I whispered as I felt her breath on the back of my neck. "They made me look out for them while they egged your chariot. They said if I didn't that they'd..." I couldn't complete the sentence, but blushed.
Celestia chuckled somewhere behind me I wanted to turn and see what she was doing, what expression she was wearing on her face, but I knew that punishment would swiftly follow, so my eyes remained glued on her portrait above her desk.
"Yes, those two girls are quite intimidating, aren't they?" she continued. "What did they threaten you with? That they'd hold you down and cover you in hickeys? Pull off your skirt and throw you into the boy's bathroom? I know their little games." Her breath grew suddenly hot and I stifled a yelp. "But you shouldn't be afraid of them - it's me you should be afraid of."
"I-I'm not afraid of you, Miss Celestia," I lied.
Suddenly I felt her move again and the next thing I knew she had placed her forehooves on my shoulders and had begun to gently knead them. "You're not afraid of me? Then why are you suddenly so tense?"
I gulped. "I-I'm not tense."
"Hush," said Celestia, and then I felt her mouth touch the back of my neck as her forehooves slid down along my sides. And as I felt them slip up inside my blouse I suddenly remembered that the girls had another name for the Principal Molestia, and I realised all the rumours I'd heard must be true.
I squirmed as she continued to kiss my skin, and my heart began to race. "Don't be so afraid," she whispered. "I'm not really angry. I mean, girls will be girls, especially precocious youngsters like you three. But I will have to punish you for your part in the little prank with a prank of my own!" And with that she pushed me forward so that I was lying chest-down over the desk, and a moment later I felt suddenly cold below the waist for Celestia had removed her forehooves from inside my blouse and was lifting up my skirt.
"What are you doing?" I cried.
Celestia arched her graceful neck over me so that her face was next to mine. "Disciplining you, my dear," she breathed into my ear. "Now do be quiet there'll be a chance soon enough for you to scream when I bring my forehoof down on that little rump of yours! And feel free to shout all you like nopony will hear you!"
I closed my eyes, desperately wishing to be anywhere else at that precise moment, and waited for that forehoof to fall onto my unprotected rump, dreading the sudden spark of pain that would no doubt follow the impacted of her hoof with my bare skin
- but it never did.
Instead, I felt somepony or someone licking my face at first I thought Celestia had decided to prolong my agonies by further humiliation, but when I opened my eyes I saw that the long pink tongue that was licking my cheek belonged to a little pink pony.
"Pinkie Pie?" I cried. I tried to bat her tongue away, but she kept licking, and I realised my face was sticky with something. I lifted a hand and then brought it away to find that it was covered in vanilla frosting.
"Connie!" Pinkie literally threw herself at me, and I was forced to grab her in my arms as I was enveloped in a maelstrom of pink candy-floss mane and marshmallowy-pony. "It's so super-amazingly awesome to see you again!"
I staggered backwards, and when I finally wrestled the enthusiastic creature off myself, I looked around to find that I was in Sugarcube Corner in the middle of a huge party.
Every pony in Ponyville seemed to be there, and the entire space was standing room only with floating islands of pink balloons and crepe-paper hanging off every surface like bright pink vines in the middle of a dense technicolour forest. Music was playing and everywhere I looked there were ponies dancing or talking or drinking sarsaparilla or eating cupcakes or popping party-poppers or
My mind reeled. How long had I been in the middle of all this craziness?
"What's going on?" I asked, dazed. It might have seemed a strange question, but Pinkie Pie just took it in her stride.
"It's a party of course, you silly billy filly you!" laughed the little pink pony.
"Yeah, nice you could make it finally!" said Rainbow Dash, who was standing to one side with Fluttershy. "What kept you so long?"
I tried to remember, but nothing came. "I
I guess I just forgot about it." I looked about, but I couldn't see a banner or anything that would let me who exactly the party was for. So I decided to just come straight out and ask. "What's the occasion?"
"Oh, a party doesn't need a reason," said Pinkie Pie, hopping up and down happily. "Sometimes a party is its OWN reason!"
"We're so glad you could make it," said Fluttershy shyly.
"Yes, darling," said Rarity, trotting up with Applejack beside her. "It just wouldn't be the same without our newest friend in attendance!"
I smiled, flattered, but Twilight Sparkle suddenly appeared from the seething mass of chatting and dancing party-goers and quickly latched onto me. "
but Connie, we didn't finish our conversation earlier about your world." She floated out a scroll and a quill from her saddlebag and quickly read what she'd already written there. "Now where were we? Technology
sun a giant ball of hydrogen gas
. Oh yes!" She put quill to scroll and ticked off the question as she asked it. "So the weather patterns in your world are determined totally by the effect of the sun on the water and air?"
I guess they are," I replied. Being an English teacher, my knowledge of science was largely based on the classes I'd slept through in high school.
"Fascinating!" said Twilight. "An entire planet just like our Everfree Forest!" She ticked another place on the scroll. "So, how do humans, with no magic and no natural weapons, deal with the many monsters that must infest your world?"
"Mon- monsters?" I repeated. "Oh, there are no monsters
"But there must be!" protested Twilight. "If you have no Princesses to protect you, then how in Equestria did you ever manage to create a workable society in the first place?"
"Stop boring the poor girl, Twi," said Applejack, taking her gently aside. "Parties are for chattin' about nothin' much in particular, not interviewing ponies
Or 'peeple'." She smiled at me. "Am ah sayin' that right?"
"You are," I replied. But I suddenly felt a little dizzy. "But it's so strange! I thought I was somewhere else and then I woke up here and
"Oh, that happens to me all the time!" said Pinkie Pie. "The strangest things happen when you're asleep. Like just the other night I was having a dream I was eating a huge marshmallow, and when I woke up my pillow had disappeared!"
"Uh, Pinkie Pie," began Rainbow Dash, but then she thought better of it.
I blinked in bemusement. "Well, I can't have been dreaming," I said. "I think I just must have had a bit too much to drink." I looked about me but could find none of the usual tell-tale signs of alcoholic overindulgence empty whiskey bottles, items of clothing in weird places
"Well, of course you did, silly!" laughed Pinkie. "Don't you remember? You challenged me to a hotsauce drinking contest! But after one glass your face went red and steam started coming out your ears and then you fell face-forward onto the cake!"
" Of course. How could I have forgotten so soon? The taste of the hotsauce was still raw and burning my mouth, so I grabbed a bottle of sarsaparilla from the table next to the one that had the remains of the cake on it and downed it.
It went some way to dulling the pain, but my mouth still prickled as if I'd eaten a cactus.
But I quickly forgot my discomfort as I busied myself in chatting with the various ponies that were there oh, it didn't feel like I'd been living in Equestria for a whole month now! Ever since I'd arrived here my zany adventures had seemed to have had no end.
I was discussing the strange rituals attached to the harvesting of zap-apples with Applejack when I suddenly I noticed Pinkie's face appear from behind the cake I'd so shamefully face-planted. She arched her eyebrows, scrunched up her snout, twitched her ears and gestured for me to approach her with as much surreptitiousness as the over-excited pink pony could manage.
I decided I'd better humour her and see what she wanted. As I slipped across to the cake table I wondered at how strange it was. I thought I'd just seen her over at the snacks table with Spike but that was Pinkie for you! She could move so fast that sometimes it seemed like she was in two places at once.
I glanced back at the snacks table and there, behind some balloons, was Pinkie.
But wait two Pinkies?
I snuck around the back of the cake without anypony noticing and I grinned at the Pinkie who had called me over. "That's some trick!" I laughed. "Two places at the same time?"
Pinkie's face was uncharacteristically serious. "Oh, that's not me that's the dream Pinkie!"
"The dream Pinkie?"
"Oh, I'm so glad I got you out of there before that evil Princess Celestia gave you a spanking!" said Pinkie. "It looked like she was going to make your rump rosier than a red delicious!"
I blinked in surprise. "Wait, so all that was real?"
"Well, it was a dream, but it was a real dream!" laughed Pinkie. "And so's this one, of course. But everypony here is a dream except for me, you and of course Princess Luna!"
"Princess Luna?" I suddenly felt as if an entire history of memories was trying to flood my mind, but something held it back.
"Of course, silly!" she giggled, hopping up and down. "Princess Luna sent me! She said she was having a humungous amount of trouble dealing with some of your dreams and that I should go ahead and find you and make sure you were OK."
"Well, I'm very flattered that you guys have been concerned about me," I replied. "But everything's fine." I blinked at her again. "Wait, you saw Princess Luna? Where is she?"
"Oh, she's on her way," replied Pinkie. "I was sooooo pooped after the party that I jumped into bed and fell asleep right away! And then I found myself in the dreamworld, but something seemed very strange so I went to check it out. And I found Princess Luna fighting all these monsters! Oh, she was so totally awesome! Her horn flashed, her wings jabbed this way and that-" Pinkie karate-chopped with her hooves and almost knocked the cake off the table in the process. "But then she told me 'Pinkie Pie, I think Connie's in trouble. You have to go find her right at the double!'" She giggled at her rhyme. "And so I hopped as quickly as my little hoofsies would carry me. When I found you about to get spanked, I just pulled you out of there and into this dream!"
"Another dream?" The little pink pony didn't make a lot of sense at the best of times, but I was finding it particularly difficult to follow her in this particularly crazy conversation.
"Oh, you have so many zany dreams, Connie!" chuckled Pinkie Pie. "It took me ages to find out where you were. First I found a party where Twilight had drunk a liiiitle bit too much sarsaparilla and was acting super strange and trying to poke everypony with her horn, and then I wandered into a surprise party that another dream-me was holding just for Dashie!" She giggled. "You have such a super-duper imagination you know! I mean, sure, I LOVE parties and poppers and paper-streamers and piñatas and playing pin the tail on the pony, but I've never organised a party where I confessed to loving Dashie!" She brought her little muzzle close to my ear and whispered. "She's Spitfire's girl! I actually have a crush on somepony else."
My heart leaped in excitement. "You do? Who is it?" I asked.
"It's a seeeeecret!" said Pinkie in a sing-songy voice.
"Wait? So this is all a dream?" I asked, looking around me.
"Oh, but this is a dream of a party that's in a dream!" Pinkie said, and then she laughed. "I know, it's totally crazerific and totally confusing, isn't it?" She winked. "But what if I told you that this party dream was in a story as well!?"
I blinked at her. "Then I'd say you were crazy!"
"But that's not even the most amazerific thing!" continued the little pink pony, as she jumped into a mass of steamers and hung down from them like a trapeze artist, her hind-hooves hooked around them. "Ooh, ooh, ooh! This is really going to boil your noodle!"
"And what's that?" I asked.
Still hanging upside down, she swung over and whispered conspiratorially in my ear, shielding herself from being overheard with a forehoof. "The you who's dreaming this dream is actually in a story as well." And then her eyes turned into swirling green spirals. "A craaaaaazy story!"
"Wait," I said. "So this is a party within a dream within a dream that's actually part of a story?" My head started to hurt again, and it wasn't the hotsauce I'd been drinking either. "You're right, that is totally amazerific. Too amazerific to believe, actually."
After taking a few moments to extricate herself from the streamers, Pinkie hopped back down "Maybe this'll make it easier to understand." With her forehooves she drew a diagram in the air, lines appearing as she did so. "There are three layers, just like a scrumptious creamy trifle!"
I shook my head. "Wait, is this trifle one of those ones that has a cherry on top?"
"Of course it does!" nodded Pinkie. "It wouldn't be very much of a trifle if it didn't, would it?" She drew a little circle at the top of the line-art cake. "The cherry represents the one who's making this whole thing up. I guess you could call them the author."
"Wait, that's me, right?"
"Oh no," said Pinkie, shaking her head. "The author's a teeny bit like you, but she's not you. I guess you have bits of her, and she has bits of you. Kind of like when you mix a trifle up so that you get a nice mixture of custardy cream and creamy custard and sticky, wobbly jello - if you understand what I mean."
"Yes," I replied. "Wait. I mean no." Was it possible to dream a headache? "And so the top layer is this person's who's not me's story?
Pinkie clapped her hooves together. "Exactly! Oh, I'm so happy you understand my allergy!"
"It's 'analogy'," I explained gently.
Pinkie nodded. "Uh huh! I only have one any more would be confusing. Actually, one is already pretty confusing."
"So what's the top layer? It's cream, right?"
Pinkie began nodding her head so quickly it had become a blur. "Rightamundo!" she said.
"And that top layer, the cream layer, is this dream I'm supposed to be having?"
She shook her head. "No, it's the story! That crazy story the author is writing."
"Wait, so the second jello layer is this party? The dream within a dream?"
Pinkie shook her head. "No, silly! Well, the jello layer is a dream, but it's not this one. It's the dream you're dreaming right now. The third layer, the sponge layer, is the second dream my dream! This dream!"
"And so the bottom layer is this party right now?" I grimaced at all the brain power this conversation was demanding of me. "A party in a dream in a story in a dream in a story?" This last bit of thinking made something flip over in my head and I suddenly started to feel dizzy again.
"Actually, I think I need a new allergy," said Pinkie, holding her head as well. "I think I just confused myself! Maybe if I used a doughnut it would be easier to understand." With a sweep of her hooves she made the little line-drawing dissolve away and began to draw a circle in the air to replace it. "You see, we're kind of like the hole in the centre of the doughnut
All the talk of cake and doughnuts was making me hungry! "Oh, don't worry about that Pinkie," I told her. "Your ana
allergy was totally easy to understand."
Pinkie grinned happily, but then she brought a hoof to her chin."Oh, but wait! What was it that Princess Luna asked me to do again?" Her forehead furrowed in deep thought. "She said something about a friend of yours... a friend you were talking to me about before. Elsa or something..." She brought a forehoof to her head and stuck her tongue out. "Oh Pinkie Pie! You'd forget your head if it wasn't glued onto your neck! Wait, it is still glued on, right?" She pulled her head a few times in a panic, but then she uttered a sigh of relief. "Phew! I guess it is." Finally her eyes went wide. "Wait, Esther was her name. Esther!"
"Esther?" The name was awfully familiar.
It was then that I noticed that Rainbow Dash had been listening to our conversation and, having clearly endeavoured to stifle her laughter for a long while, finally burst out in a huge set of guffaws. "Oh Pinkie, that's a good one!" she said as she finally got control of herself. "Of course this isn't a dream, Connie. Pinkie's just pranking you. That's our Pinkie Pie So. Totally. Random!"
Pinkie was about to say something in her defence, but her eyes bugged out suddenly and with a yelp she bounded away into a nearby mass of other partying ponies. A heartbeat later, the dream Pinkie stepped up to join me and Rainbow.
The pegasus looked back and did a double take. "Wait, Pinkie Pie, weren't you just-"
Pinkie nodded up and down. "Oh, I'm sorry Dashie I got a bit snacky, so I just had to bounce over to the snack table and eat a muffin!"
"A muffin, Pinkie Pie?" asked Rainbow through narrowed eyes.
Pinkie blushed and looked at the floor. "Well, okay would you believe two muffins?"
Rainbow kept her gaze on Pinkie, and the little pink pony finally caved in. "OKAY OKAY!" she cried, and the music and talking suddenly stopped. "It was two dozen muffins!"
I slumped against a nearby table and looked about the room. The party had started up again after Pinkie's outburst, but everything seemed strange, now, as if everything was out of place in some strange way. Had I really seen two Pinkies? I shook my head, and I felt as if my brain was full of cotton wool. Oh, why couldn't I concentrate? And what had that other Pinkie been talking about? Something about trying to find me to tell me about muffins?
No, before the muffins... she'd been talking about looking for someone, or waiting for someone.
Well, of course we were waiting for someone. I looked up at the clock. The big hand and the little hand were both pointing at "Any moment now!"
"So is she here yet?" asked Pinkie, who had clearly recovered from the public announcement of her muffin problem and was again bouncing up and down with excitement. "Is-she-here-yet!? Isshehereyet!?"
"Who?" I asked, bewildered.
"Wow! That hotsauce must've really packed a punch if you can't even remember that!" said Pinkie with sudden concern. "We're waiting for your friend Esther to arrive from Earth, silly!" She lifted a forehoof and I followed it up to read the massive banner hanging over our heads.
WELCOME TO EQUESTRIA ESTHER!
I stared at the banner. Why on earth hadn't I noticed it before?
"Esther?" I repeated. "But I thought
" Why was that name so awfully familiar?
Rainbow looked up at the clock. "In fact, she should be here any minute now."
The clock started chiming, and as it did everypony's eyes were drawn to the front door of Sugarcube Corner - for the knob had begun to slowly turn...
To be continued in Adventures in Equestria Part 6