Fluttershy Gets a Paper Cut
Fluttershy wasn’t sure what was going on—she was in a daze. All she knew was that one: her wrist was bleeding profusely, two: there was blood all over the floor, and three: she left a trail of blood as she fled, a trail that led straight to her cottage. She bolted her door, ran upstairs, hid under her bed, and tried to think of how it all began as the others started pounding on her door, moaning her name...
* * * * *
It was a sunny afternoon in Ponyville. Fluttershy had just finished watering her plants and was about to tend to the birds around her cottage when she noticed that her current bag of birdseed had run out. She walked into the cottage and opened her cabinet of stocked birdseed when Angel ran into the room holding an envelope.
“Hello, Angel Bunny,” said Fluttershy with a smile. “What’s that you have there?”
Angel waved the envelope in the air turbulently before handing it to Fluttershy, then pointed vigorously out the door.
“It’s urgent?” she asked. “Let’s see here...” She turned over the letter and saw it adorned with a quill and parchment. “URGENT” was stamped on the face of the envelope in block red letters. “It’s from town hall. Does the mayor need me for something? I guess I should read it and find out.” Fluttershy moved her hoof to open the letter, but promptly withdrew it. “Oh, but what if I can’t do what she wants? What if I’m not good enough? What if—”
Angel repeatedly stomped on her hoof and shot her an angry glare.
“Oh, yes, the letter.” She opened the envelope, retrieved the letter from within, and sat down as she cleared her throat. “It looks like—Eep!”
Her hoof slipped as she read, causing her to drop the letter. As it fell, its sharp edge came across Fluttershy’s wrist. A small laceration appeared, followed by a bead of red, which itself was followed by several more.
“Oh dear,” she said. “I should probably—” A sudden gust of wind burst in through the open door, snatching the letter and blowing it about the room before carrying it out a window. “Oh, my,” she sighed.
As she began to walk out the door to pursue the letter, Angel pulled on her tail and pointed at her bleeding hoof, looking at her with concern.
“Don’t worry your little head about it,” replied Fluttershy. “It should heal in no time at all.”
* * * * *
“Right, the letter from the mayor,” whimpered Fluttershy to herself in the dark. She peeked out from under the bed, looking around her moonlit room for a bucket to hold her blood as the thumping on her door continued.
“Fluttershy...” howled a voice from outside.
Fluttershy squeaked and retreated to under the bed. She started to weep as bright red blood pooled around her hoof. “Oh, Angel Bunny, if only you were still here...”
* * * * *
Fluttershy sighed as she walked down Lasso Avenue. She finally found the letter after chasing it about town only for it to land in a puddle, causing its ink to run. “What if the mayor needed some animal records from me for something important?” she pondered. “Or what if... What if some animal was in danger? Oh, no; I’d better hurry.” As she picked up her pace, she saw Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash further down the road.
“...So if I’m correct, it’ll produce a lot more rain while still retaining most of its water,” said Twilight, looking at a open book on the ground. She turned her head upwards. “Are you ready with the cloud?”
“Yup!” replied Rainbow Dash, floating in the air and holding a raining cloud between her hooves. “Go for it!” she shouted.
Twilight concentrated, and her horn started to glow. More rain started to fall from the cloud. Then some more. And some more. And then even more. Soon, the cloud was releasing a waterfall, creating a deluge that spilled out onto the neighboring stalls, neighboring houses, and neighbors. Fluttershy winced as the pool reached and inundated her wrist, causing her to take to the air. She drifted closer to her friends.
“Well, eh,” chuckled Twilight, “what do you think?”
Rainbow Dash looked at Twilight with a deadpan expression, then glanced at Carrot Top’s now flooded produce stand next to a frantic Carrot Top trying to recover her drifting vegetables, then looked back at Twilight. She shook her head disapprovingly.
“Too much then?” asked Twilight as a carrot floated past her.
Fluttershy flew up to Twilight from behind. “Well,” said Twilight, “I guess we could try it again with—”
“Hello, girls,” interrupted Fluttershy. Caught by surprise, Twilight panicked and fired off the spell she used on the cloud again with no particular target, affecting everything nearby. The cloud rained even harder as water began to out of its sides, nearby fruits and vegetables exploded and caused a juicier mess than they ever would without magic, and Fluttershy’s paper cut, not yet fully healed, started gushing a red torrent of its own.
* * * * *
“Twilight’s spell did this to me,” said Fluttershy as she crawled across the floor to a bucket on the other side of the room. “It should wear off eventually, but...” She sighed. “It’s too late.” Fluttershy grabbed the bucket, but as she returned to her bed, the silhouette of a pegasus pony appeared in a window.
Fluttershy’s jaw fell, causing her bucket to hit the floor with a dull thud and a wet splash. “Rainbow Dash,” she said quietly, “not you, too...”
The blood-covered pegasus pony, with feathers, tail, and mane ruffled and patches of coat missing, slowly floated higher and came between the window and the moon, casting an all-enveloping shadow on the room. As she rapped on the window with a ragged hoof, Fluttershy backed into a corner. The thumping downstairs grew louder.
“Come out, Fluttershy,” screeched Rainbow Dash—or at least, what was left of her—as she began to pound on the window.
* * * * *
Rainbow Dash, soaked from the cloud raining in all directions, pushed her wet, flopping mane out of her eyes. “Fluttershy,” she said angrily, “don’t sneak up on us like—” She saw the growing pool of red in the previously clear pond, and her pupils constricted. “Whoa.”
Twilight wiped the remnants of an apple off her face and shook herself off, splashing Rainbow Dash’s shocked, unchanging face. “Rainbow Dash?” she asked. “What’s the matter?” Twilight turned around. “Fluttershy, what—” She saw Fluttershy floating in the air with her hoof gushing blood.
A moment passed in silence as the pond turned red and Fluttershy watched unexploded produce float by until Twilight finally said, “Fluttershy, we need to get you to the hospital.”
Fluttershy was initially shocked by the fountain of blood her wrist had suddenly become, but then she remembered what Twilight said: The cloud would retain most of its water while raining more than it actually held. Seeing that the cloud was the same size as it was before, she figured that her hoof would be the same.
“Uh... Oh, no,” she said. “I’m sure it’s, uh...” She raised her hoof to get a better look at it, only for it to splash her in the face. “I’m sure it’s fine,” she said as she wiped the blood out of her eyes. “It’s only a paper cut, after all.” She explained her rationalization to the other two ponies. “Besides, I have, um, urgent business to attend to.”
She turned and started to float off, but Rainbow Dash cut off her path. “No way, Fluttershy,” commanded Rainbow Dash. “We’re getting you to a hospital, like, now.”
Fluttershy squeaked and flew off towards city hall, having to evade Rainbow Dash’s repeated attempts to retrieve her, which in turn caused her to splash her blood all over the town’s roads, rooftops, and citizens, including Twilight, who followed the pegasus ponies from below.
“Get back here!” shouted Rainbow Dash. “The more you move around like that, the more you’re going to bleed!” She caught up to Fluttershy and grabbed her tail. “Gotcha!” she shouted through her clenched teeth.
Letting the worst of her imagination get to her, Fluttershy said, “I’m really sorry to do this, Rainbow Dash, but there might be animals that really need my help right now.” Fluttershy then raised her torrentially bleeding hoof to splash Rainbow Dash in the face, much to the shock, dismay, and disgust of onlookers below as the blood came raining down upon them. Rainbow Dash was stunned, causing her to weaken her grip, allowing Fluttershy to fly off. “Don’t worry about me, Rainbow Dash,” she said. “I’ll be fine.”
* * * * *
Rainbow Dash pounded on the window as the dissonant thumping below continued. “It’s for your own good,” she wailed.
Tears continued to flow down Fluttershy’s cheeks as she stared Rainbow Dash in her bloodshot eyes. I’m sorry, she thought. Please go away. Please go away. I’m sorry. Her heart raced. She knew it was horrible of her to think that of a dear friend, but as Rainbow Dash kept trying to open her window, it was all she could think of.
To Fluttershy’s relief, Rainbow Dash floated away from the window. To her horror, Rainbow Dash immediately appeared again in the next window and pounded on for a bit it as well. To both her relief and horror, the thumping below stopped, and Rainbow Dash floated downwards.
Anxious yet hopeful, Fluttershy edged closer over to the window and peeked below. The ponies at her door, along with several animals that accompanied them, were slowly backing away from her cottage. Fluttershy sighed in relief, thinking all would soon be well until the horde below charged her door.
* * * * *
With Twilight and Rainbow Dash out of sight, Fluttershy entered town hall and proceeded to the mayor’s office. She lightly tapped her uninjured hoof against on the office door. “Come in, the door’s open,” said the mayor.
Fluttershy walked up to the mayor’s desk, and the trail of blood followed. The mayor was busy with legislation, scribbling her signatures on papers in one pile while stamping papers in another. “One of these days, I’m going to get neck strain; my coverage had better...” The mayor glanced up from her papers. “Oh, Fluttershy! Just the pony I wanted to see. Did you bring the records I requested?”
“Records?” asked Fluttershy as blood pooled underneath her. “No, you see, I, um, lost your letter before I could read it. It said ‘urgent’ on it, so I came over as fast as I could.”
“Is that so?” replied the mayor as she resumed her paperwork with pen in mouth and stamp in hoof. “Well, that’s unfortunate, but now that you’re here, I can tell you in person. I need the results of the annual bunny census for this somewhat unpopular piece of legislation, and—”
The mayor was interrupted by Rainbow Dash who crashed the office window, seizing Fluttershy’s and the mayor’s attentions. Rainbow Dash was missing clumps of fur all over her body. “What on... What’s going on here?” asked the mayor.
“Fluttershy!” shouted Rainbow Dash from behind the glass as she peeled herself off the window. “Get out here!” Fluttershy took a few steps back.
“Rainbow Dash?” asked the mayor incredulously. “Is she actually turning in her report on time for once? Goodness, what happened to y—”
Twilight Sparkle burst in to the room, out of breath and coated in blood from head to tail. “Fluttershy, we need to get you to the hospital!” she puffed. “Even if most of the blood is from the spell, a lot of it is still yours!”
“Blood?!” shouted the mayor. “Can somepony tell me what is going—” The mayor turned around to the two other ponies. She shrieked. “F-Fluttershy! Your hoof! Twilight Sparkle! Your everything!” She looked a little further over and saw her previously beige rug now stained a solid red and shrieked again. “My rug! My beautiful rug!”
“Yeah!” interjected Rainbow Dash. “I had to shave off clumps of fur because I was stained in your blood!”
“I don’t mind as much,” joined in Twilight Sparkle, “but uh... The many ponies below you as you flew over here sort of do. A lot.” She turned towards Rainbow Dash. “You do know that blood doesn’t stain fur, right?”
“Seriously?” flatly asked Rainbow Dash.
“Yes, Rainbow Dash, seriously,” continued Twilight. “They make soaps for this, you know. Anyways, Fluttershy?”
“Y-Yes, Twilight?” replied Fluttershy.
“I would’ve come here sooner if Rainbow Dash didn’t crash into a building after you... you...” Twilight stood for a moment with a disgusted look on her face, then shook herself out of it. “...After you blinded Rainbow Dash. And after I helped her up, she went off to find scissors, but I came straight here to warn you that the ponies you splashed on your way here are—”
“Right here!” shouted a mob of ponies from beyond the door. Assembled were an assortment of ponies, all splattered in one way or another with red.
“I had to throw out my all my groceries!” shouted one pony.
“I had to throw out my entire stock!” shrieked another.
“She painted my roof!” yelped a third.
“She stained my dress!”
“She ruined my furniture!”
“I like painting the town red as much as the next pony, but this is ridiculous!”
Twilight Sparkle bowed her head. “Sorry, Fluttershy. It looks like I was too late.” She crossed her forelegs. “So uh... You should probably run.”
And run Fluttershy did, all the way back to her cottage, leaving the trail of blood behind her.
* * * * *
“Heave!” shouted the ponies below. They, joined by many bunnies and squirrels, ran their collective body against the door. “Again! Heave!”
“Oh, no,” whispered Fluttershy, “they’ve woken up all the animals. Maybe I should let them in...” She heard a loud crash below, louder than the vindictive mob’s previous attempts to break in. “...Or I guess they can let themselves in.” She squeaked again and backed away as she watched the ponies streamed up the stairs into her room.
“There she is!” screamed a mobber.
“Get her!” screamed another.
As they closed in on her, Fluttershy fainted.
Fluttershy awoke in a white room to bright sunlight through a window and the sound of mechanical beeping. She lay in a bed with several tubes and wires attached to her foreleg. Several cabinets lined the walls. “Where... Hello?” she called out. “Is anypony there?”
“Is she awake?” she heard a voice say through the door.
“It sounds like it!”
“Goodness, ah hope she’s okay.”
Twilight Sparkle came through the door, followed by Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie. “Hey, Fluttershy,” said Twilight. “How’re you holding up?” She chuckled. “When I said, ‘Run,’ I meant to the hospital, not home.”
“Where am I?” asked Fluttershy. “Is this the hospital?”
“Yeah!” said Pinkie Pie. “There was this angry mob, and when they tried to drag you out, you fainted!”
“Fainted?” asked Fluttershy.
“Yes, Fluttershy,” replied Rarity. “With all that blood you lost, you fainted. It’s amazing how you managed to stay conscious for as long as you did.”
“You have a pretty rare blood type,” continued Twilight. “Luckily for you, the spell didn’t wear off until long after you were brought in. The nurses managed to collect a lot of your blood and uh...” Twilight smiled uneasily. “...put it... back in you.”
Fluttershy looked down at her hoof. “It healed already?” she asked.
“Well, yeah!” joined in Applejack “You only had a paper cut; wha’d ya expect? Oh, if yer worryin’ about the mayor, Angel Bunny gave her some papers and she looked pretty pleased about it.”
“Looks like you’re all better now, huh?” asked a still-mottled Rainbow Dash. “Once you get out of here, you can help clean up the mess you made!”
“Mess?” replied Fluttershy. “But... I... Oh, my. That means...”
“That you have to take responsibility for your actions,” said Twilight.
“Well,” interrupted Rainbow Dash, “me and some other weather ponies cleaned up a chunk of your mess, but...” She held up a bucket of paint. “...Some stains just don’t wash out easily.”
Fluttershy bit her lip.
“Here,” said Twilight. She gave Fluttershy an envelope with the mayor’s quill and parchment cutie mark on it. “The mayor worked out a schedule for you to help clean up this mess.”
Fluttershy tore it open. “Mm,” she said as she read her new itinerary. “Oh, uh... For... I see...” She looked at Twilight. “This is a lot of time away from the house. Who will take care of my animal friends if I’m gone?”
“Spike will,” answered Twilight with a smile. “He volunteered to right after he heard about what happened to you.” She then rubbed her chin with a hoof and looked away. “He also mentioned something about a score to settle, but I wouldn’t worry too much about him. He’s very capable, you know.”
Fluttershy started to get up. “But—”
“No buts,” said Rarity as she pushed Fluttershy back down. “For now, you need your rest.” She and the other four ponies started to leave. “We’ll come visit you later,” she said, and she shut the door behind her.
Fluttershy sighed and resumed reading her schedule in the warm morning light. “Let’s see. Tomorrow, I’ll be painting the houses off Stirrup Street from three to—Eep!” Fluttershy’s hoof slipped, causing her to drop the schedule. And as it fell, its sharp edge came across her wrist.
She sighed again. “Oh, dear.”