Little Sugar Shop of Horrors
Preread, Edited, and Reviewed By
Nightsong, DeagleDued, Wraithguard, Rainbowdash64
Star Bucks and a Plant
-------------- Chapter 2>>
On a day of summer, in the year after Discord’s fall,
the equestrian race suddenly encountered a threat to its very existence.
Or the very least the existence of its sweets.
And this terrifying enemy surfaced,
as such enemies often do, in the seemingly
most innocent and unlikely of places...
“No Madam Flour, I couldn’t possibly have another carrot tart.”
Pinkie Pie turned over in her bed, snuggling into the warm blanket as the lingering images of her dream faded from her mind. It had been a wonderful dream, with all of her friends meeting the four inanimate objects she once pretended were her friends. They all had a huge party, and Rainbow Dash even lost a bet and had to kiss Rocky! It was something made even more hilarious because Rainbow didn’t know where to kiss him.
The dream, however, was over and a new day was calling to Pinkie Pie. She cracked open her blue eyes. The happiness in those eyes mirrored the glee filled smile on her face. Out her window, she could see birds chirping and a bright, wonderfully blue sky. It was such an inviting sight, she couldn’t keep herself from bounding out of bed and throwing open the window.
“Oh, this is going to be such an amazing day!” Pinkie Pie cheered to herself. She threw out her hooves, as if she was going to greet the day with a big hug. She then set her hooves on the windowsill and looked out across the town. She could see Rainbow Dash in the distance, bucking a few final clouds from the sky. Down below, the streets of Ponyville were bustling. In fact, they seemed busier then usual, and everypony was standing in a line.
Pinkie Pie leaned out of her window, her curiosity ignited by ponies below. “Ooooo, what’s going on? Why is everypony standing in a line? Are we trying to have the biggest game of leap frog? Are we trying to see how many ponies it takes to stretch across Equestria? Oh! Are we having a line dance!?”
At that thought Pinkie Pie disappeared back inside her room. She rummaged through her closet, and a few moments later leapt straight out of her window and onto the roof of Sugarcube Corner. Her curly mane was squished beneath the brim of a cowpony hat as blue as her eyes, and she also wore a quartet of matching cowpony boots.
Ready for the line dance, Pinkie Pie galloped down the roof of Sugarcube Corner and leapt to the street below. She went right up to the line of ponies, grabbing the nearest one and singing at the top of her lungs. “Oh, swing your partner ‘round and ‘round, right hoof up and left hoof down. Meet your honey and strut your stuff, and keep on dancin’ till you’ve had enough.”
Pinkie Pie just kept on dancing, eyes closed tight and wide grin on her face as she spun, turned, and dosey-doed with her partner. “Now circle eight and get on straight, we’ll all go east on a westbound freight. Turn your corner like a swingin’ gate, just don’t be trippin’ on that crate.”
“Go right, then left, and don’t you know, its okay to do-si-do. It may be the last time, but oh by Joe, just don’t you worry and go with the flow.”
“Now use that hoof to strike the ground while you spin ‘round and round’. Keep on spinnin’, don’t you fall, cause we’re all here to have a ball.”
The loud shout broke Pinkie out of her dance, and she turned to look at her partner. It was only at this moment she realized who she had been two-stepping with. “Oh, hey Rarity, are you here for the line dance?”
Rarity pulled herself out of Pinkie Pie’s grip and retook her place in line. “Hello, Pinkie Pie, and no, I’m not here for a line dance. I’m waiting in line for some breakfast.”
“Wow, is that what this line is for?” Pinkie Pie asked. She looked up and down the row of ponies which reached from one end of the block to another.
“Yes, that’s what this line is for,” Rarity assured her. “It is not a line for ‘line dancing.’”
“Well, that’s okay, we can all line dance some other time. Still, if all these ponies are in line for breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Cake must be so excited. They’ve never had this many customers in the morning before. Oh, I’d better get into the kitchen. We’re going to need a lot more treats to feed all these hungry ponies.”
“But-” Rarity tried to call out. Pinkie Pie, however, was already gone. With a single firm bounce, she got back up onto the roof of Sugarcube Corner. She then dashed inside, put her bright blue cowpony hat and boots away, ran downstairs to the kitchen and got straight to work. She got out everything she would need for one of the busiest mornings Sugarcube Corner had ever seen. Pots, pans, ingredients were all taken out of the cupboards at record speed and with a comparable level of noise. The commotion quickly drew Mrs. Cake into the bakery’s kitchen.
“Heavens, Pinkie Pie, what are you doing?” Mrs. Cake asked. She stepped back just in time to avoid getting tackled by Pinkie Pie, who darted by with a wire whisk she procured from a nearby drawer.
Pinkie Pie looked up from the bread dough she was mixing. “Morning, Mrs. Cake. I’m just making a bunch of stuff for all the ponies who are in line outside. We don’t have nearly enough cinnamon rolls or muffins or danishes. So, you just tell everypony to be patient. Some super delicious treats are coming right up.”
Mrs. Cake stepped over beside Pinkie Pie, using a hoof to stop the rushed pastry making. “Uh... Pinkie Pie, dear, that line outside isn’t for us.”
Pinkie Pie met this comment with a giggle. “Oh, Mrs. Cake, you really need to practice your jokes. Of course that line outside is for us. The ponies outside are lined up waiting for breakfast, Rarity said so, and we’re the only shop nearby that sells anything for breakfast. The only place nearby is the Horte’s Cafe, and that’s five blocks away. Ponies wouldn’t be lined up all the way over here if they were waiting to get into Horte’s Cafe.
“So,” Pinkie Pie continued as she used the wire whisk to mix up the ingredients she had just placed into a bowl, “they have to be lined up for us, since there isn’t any other bakery nearby. Besides, where else in Ponyville would ponies get muffins and danishes and scones and bagels? Oh, that reminds me, I found this new bagel recipe I wanted to try. Those things are so jam-packed and heavy, but this one recipe says it will make a really light and fluffy bagel. Doesn’t that sound good?”
“Well, yes it does, dear,” Mrs. Cake said, “but... well, I guess it will be easiest just to show you.”
“Show me what?” Pinkie Pie asked. Mrs. Cake just waved a hoof in reply, leading Pinkie Pie out of the kitchen and into the front room. There, they were joined by Mr. Cake and together the three ponies stepped out of the shop and began following the line in the street. They rounded the nearby corner, and saw the line was going into a shop about half a block away from Sugarcube Corner.
Pinkie Pie looked up and down the line in amazement. “Wow, now that’s just crazy. I mean, not only did Rarity lie to me, but all these ponies had their clocks break this morning.”
“Clocks?” Mr. Cake asked.
“Well, yeah, they’re all standing in line for Mr. Clockwork’s Clock Shop.”
“Pinkie, Mr. Clockwork moved his shop last month,” Mrs. Cake reminded her. “You threw him a ‘Congratulations on moving into the larger shop’ party.”
After momentary pause, Pinkie Pie energetically bounced. “Oh yeah, that was such a fun party. There was a delicious cake, and it was in the shape of a coo-coo clock and every section of the clock’s face read ‘Party Time’. I wish I had a real clock like that, then it could be party time all the time.”
Pinkie Pie’s energy diminished and a thought crossed her mind. “Wait, if Mr. Clockwork moved his shop, then what are all these ponies standing in line for?”
The trio reached the front door of the new shop at that moment and stepped inside. Their ears were assaulted by many sounds. There were ponies chatting, ponies shouting out customers’ orders, steam being vented into liquids, and a cash register ringing up sales at an almost constant pace. The room was decorated in a mixture of black and green, and the thick aroma of coffee beans and stale pastries hung in the air. Nearby, a customer finished at the cash register and a new one was stepping forward.
The clerk behind the counter happily greeted the new customer with, “Hello, welcome to Star Buck’s Coffee. What can I get you?”
Pinkie Pie sat with her head on the counter, eyes focused on the wood grains. About a week had gone by since the new Star Buck’s Coffee opened around the corner, and ever since business had dropped off at Sugarcube Corner. The normal morning rush dried up, which only depressed her more. The morning rush was her favorite part of the day. She’d say good morning to the ponies, give them their pastries and sweets, and bring a smile to their faces.
The morning rush was also when Pinkie Pie could ask ponies if anything big was happening in their lives. It was how she found out about birthdays, weddings, new ponies moving to town, and basically everything that was party worthy. Without ponies coming in the mornings, she wouldn’t know who she needed to throw a party for, a thought that only ruined Pinkie Pie’s mood further.
“What’s so great about Star Buck’s anyway?” Pinkie Pie asked herself. It was then a familiar ringing reached her ears, and Pinkie Pie snapped her head up with excited anticipation. Twilight Sparkle had just come in, and was walking towards the counter.
Pinkie Pie bounced out from behind the counter. “Oh, Twilight! I’m so happy to see you! You must be here for breakfast”
“I am,” Twilight confirmed, though she quickly came to regret it. In a blur of pink, she was scooped up by Pinkie Pie and placed at a table. The table then began to fill as Pinkie Pie zipped around the bakery, grabbing up different foods and placing them front of Twilight.
“Great! We’ve got everything you could want. We’ve got bagels, muffins, scones, danishes, donuts, cinnamon twists, cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies, cakes, and pies. All of it is fresh, really good, and ready for you.”
“This... huh... all looks great, Pinkie Pie,” Twilight said. She craned her neck to look around the mountain of food that had been placed in front of her. “But I just came by to get a muffin for myself and a donut for Spike.”
Pinkie Pie’s energy didn’t diminish at all. “Oh, what kind of muffin would you like? What about Spike’s donut? I know he likes them with extra sprinkles. Oh, do you think he’d like a donut made out of sprinkles? If you just give me a minute I’m sure I’ll be able to whip it up.”
Turning, Pinkie Pie began galloping towards the kitchen. She, however, didn’t get far. Before she even got half way across the room, she felt her hooves lose contact with the ground. She was wrapped in a magical glow. After looking back, she could see that Twilight was the one to blame.
“Pinkie Pie, relax, Spike doesn’t need a donut made of sprinkles,” Twilight said. While keeping Pinkie Pie suspended in the air, she put all of the food that had been brought out back where it belonged. She kept only a banana-nut muffin and one sprinkle-laden donut, which she put down beside the cash register. “I just need these two things.”
“Okay, Twilight,” Pinkie Pie said, just as happy to have somepony buying something, even if it was just a muffin and a donut. Once she was released from Twilight’s levitation, she moved behind the cash register and began ringing up the sale. “And sorry about that. It’s just been so long since somepony came in for breakfast.”
Twilight placed a selection of bits on the counter, more than enough to cover the cost of the muffin and donut. “Oh, why’s that?”
“It’s that new coffee shop that opened around the corner, the Star Buck’s. Everypony’s been going there in the mornings, and I just don’t get it. At first, I just thought everypony was being nice and welcoming the new shop owner to town. But every morning they keep lining up outside that shop to wait, and the pastries there aren’t even that good. They’re all dry and taste like they’re a day old.”
“That’s probably because they are,” Twilight noted as Pinkie Pie put the bits in the cash register.
“But why would they sell day old pastries?”
“It’s because it’s a coffee shop,” Twilight explained. “I read about it in the Canterlot Newspaper. Star Buck’s is a franchise that’s been popping up all over Equestria. It was started by a unicorn stallion named Star Buck, and it’s a franchise that’s become really popular with a lot of famous ponies. Now, because famous ponies get coffee from Star Buck’s Coffee, it’s the popular thing to do. That and, from what I’ve heard, they do have good coffee.”
“But then why don’t ponies just buy coffee there and then come here to buy their bagels, muffins, scones, danishes-”
“Because,” Twilight interrupted as she took her freshly bagged muffin and donut, “it’s all about convenience. They are already there at the shop buying coffee, so if they want a pastry it makes sense to some ponies just to buy it at the same place.”
“Even if it’s dry and bland?”
Twilight shrugged before turning to leave. “I guess so, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Pinkie Pie. Star Buck’s is just the new place in town. Once ponies have gotten used to it being here, they’ll start coming back to Sugarcube Corner.”
Pinkie Pie smiled and giggled, “Yeah, you’re right. It’s just like when I get Gummy a new toy. He’ll play with it for a long time before he’ll even consider going back to his old toys, but he always goes back sooner or later.”
Twilight turned when she reached the shop’s door and smiled. “Exactly. Just you wait, I bet in a few days ponies will be sick of that place.”
Twilight Sparkle wore a frown on her face and stood outside of Sugarcube Corner. Behind her, a line of ponies wrapped around the nearby corner and toward the Star Buck’s Coffee shop. It had been a few weeks since the shop opened, and still ponies were going there reliably. That left Sugarcube Corner all but abandoned in the mornings, and business was down the rest of the day as well.
Slipping inside, Twilight put on a smile for Mr. Cake, who was sweeping the floor, and Mrs. Cake, who was hanging up a sign advertising reduced prices. “Good morning.”
“Oh, good morning, Twilight,” Mrs. Cake said. She turned and tried to give Twilight a welcoming smile, though it was obviously forced. “What can we get you today?”
Twilight crossed the room so she could speak with Mrs. Cake. “Sorry, I’m just here looking for Pinkie Pie. I going to try and cheer her up. She didn’t seem her normal, cheerful self yesterday.”
Mrs. Cake deflated a little. “Well, that’s our fault, Twilight.”
“Why, what happened?”
Mrs. Cake adjusted the new sign advertising a discount on muffins before turning to face Twilight. “Mr. Cake and I were going over our books yesterday and, because of Star Buck’s, our sales are way down. If things don’t change, we won’t be able to afford to pay Pinkie Pie any more.”
“I thought Pinkie Pie worked for room and board,” Twilight noted.
“Yes, she does, and we’d never dream about putting Pinkie Pie out. It’s just, we also give her some bits every week so she can buy some things, like toys for Gummy and her party supplies. But now, because of the way business has been going, we may not be able to pay her those bits any more.”
“You aren’t going to have to close down, are you?” Twilight asked, concern ringing in her voice.
“Oh, now don’t you worry about that. Things are just... going to have to be tighter around her for a while. Still, Mr. Cake, Pinkie Pie, and I will figure this out, and I’m sure Star Buck’s is just a passing fad anyway. Once it’s blown over we’ll back to business as usual.” Mrs. Cake’s forced smile didn’t ease Twilight’s concerns. The thought of losing the bakery was something that had obviously crossed the two baker’s minds.
“I’m so sorry. I wish there was something I could do. Maybe I could write to Prin-” Twilight began, only for Pinkie Pie to burst through the door. She bounded across the room, knocked Twilight out of the way, and came to a stop just a few inches in front of Mrs. Cake.
“Do we have any old flower pots?” Pinkie Pie asked, not noticing she had just slammed Twilight out of the way.
“Uh... uh, well,” Mrs. Cake stuttered. Her brain needed a moment to process Pinkie Pie’s sudden appearance. “There should be one in the cupboard, but why-”
Mrs. Cake’s question trailed off as Pinkie Pie sprinted into the kitchen and sprinted out of the shop seconds later. Twilight, who recovered from being knocked to the side, walked over beside Mrs. Cake. “What was that about?”
“I haven’t the foggiest idea, dear. Oh, my... incoming!”
Twilight and Mrs. Cake stepped to the side just in time to avoid being bowled over by Pinkie Pie, who galloped back inside the shop, across the room, and to the front counter. There she put down the flower pot she took from the kitchen, which now contained a plant. The plant was a tough looking pod with flower petals around the edge and a thick green stem. Its leaves were a darker green, and it had claw-like thorns.
“There you go, Sweet Tooth, welcome to your new home.”
Mrs. Cake, Twilight, and Mr. Cake walked up behind Pinkie Pie and encircled the counter. Mrs. Cake was the first to speak. “Pinkie Pie, what is that?”
“It’s a plant,” Pinkie Pie chirped. “I think it may even be a flower, but I can’t be sure. I’ve never seen one like it before.”
“And what’s it for?” Mr. Cake asked. He leaned in closer to inspect the plant’s large, central pod.
“It’s going to help bring ponies back into the shop,” Pinkie Pie answered as she trotted into the kitchen.
Twilight cocked a confused eyebrow. “How is it supposed to do that?”
“Well,” Pinkie Pie began. She came trotting back from the kitchen with a watering can strapped to her head. “I was walking around Ponyville this morning trying to figure out a way to make ponies realize they should come back to the Sugarcube Corner. Then I started looking at what other shops did to get customers in.
“Ponies go to Star Buck’s because famous ponies go there,” Pinkie Pie explained, “but ponies also go to shops for other reasons. They’ll go to a store if it’s the only place they can get what they want, like I go to the joke shop in town because its the only joke shop we have. Ponies will also go to a shop if it’s having a sale, but we’ve already tried putting things on sale and that didn’t work.”
Twilight gave the plant a gentle poke. “And how is this supposed to work when you couldn’t get ponies in with a sale?”
“Sweet Tooth is going to bring ponies into the shop because it’s something no-ponies ever seen before. Don’t you remember when those orange farmers came to town and brought with them that really huge oranges, the one as big as a pony’s head?”
Twilight winced at the memory. “I do remember. Applejack kept coming to the library that whole week to complain about the fact those orange farmers were stealing business from her family’s market stand. She even asked me if I had any books about growing gigantic fruit. That way, she could ‘show the ponies who the real farmers were’ and steal back the business the orange farmers had taken from her.”
“Exactly,” Pinkie Pie chirped. “Ponies went to the orange stand instead of Applejack’s stand because of that really strange, huge fruit. Now, ponies will want to come in and see little Sweet Tooth here, and that will help bring in customers.”
Twilight picked the plant up in her magic, turned it around, and examined it close. “I’ll admit, it is a strange plant. I know I haven’t seen anything like this in any of my books. Where did you even find this?”
“Well, do you remember when I left this morning because Mrs. Cake didn’t want me pacing around the kitchen any more?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“No, I wasn’t here,” Twilight answered, “but pretend I do.”
Twilight, Mrs. Cake, and Mr. Cake jumped. From behind the counter Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy appeared, singing the “Da Doo”. Pinkie Pie, however, was unfazed by the trio’s sudden appearance and continued to tell her story. “I was walking down the street today.”
Shoop Da Doo
“When I passed by this garden with lots of flowers in it,” Pinkie Pie continued, her eyes lighting up at the memory of the many colorful buds.
Bloom Da Doo
Pinkie Pie leaned into the plant she had just brought into the shop. “I decided to stop and smell those flowers-”
“Cause, you know, flowers always smell really nice and make me smile.”
Da da da da da da-doo
A frown formed on Pinkie Pie’s face. “But they couldn’t make me feel any better today.”
Nope Da Doo
“So I was just about to turn and walk away,”
Poor ol’ you
“when suddenly, and without warning, my tail started to twitch!”
Twitch it did!
“I looked around, trying to see what was falling, but then I heard a thunk, and my tail stopped. That’s when I turned around, and saw this little plant just sitting there.”
Whoop See Doo
“Poor thing was just lying there, looking all sad and lonely.”
Little Sweet Tooth
“I was sure I hadn’t seen it there before, and it wasn’t planted in the ground or anything. I’d never seen a plant like it before, so I decided to bring it back here.”
Sha la la, la la la, la la la loo
At that Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy disappeared behind the counter, much to Twilight, Mrs. Cake, and Mr. Cake’s confusion. Impromptu songs weren’t an uncommon thing in Equestria, and it wasn’t the first time they’d seen Pinkie Pie break into a song with little provocation. It was, however, the first time they’d seen those three acting like back-up singers.
“So, wait, are you saying this plant just fell out of the sky?” Twilight asked. She craned her neck to look behind the counter and try to find Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy. The three flower-themed mares, however, were nowhere to be seen.
Pinkie Pie shrugged. “I don’t know, maybe. Oh, maybe a dragon was carrying it?”
Twilight turned her head to one side, trying to understand Pinkie Pie’s logic. “Why would a dragon worry about something so small as this?”
“What? Can’t dragon’s have potted house plants too?”
Twilight placed a fore hoof against the bridge of her nose and shook her head. “Pinkie Pie, dragons don’t have houses. They have treasure hordes and caves, not houses.”
“Well, a dragon still could have dropped Sweet Tooth.”
“And why are you calling it Sweet Tooth?” Mr. Cake asked, if only to keep Twilight from continuing her efforts to explain to Pinkie Pie why a dragon wouldn’t have a house plant.
“Because I’m hoping this little guy will help bring back everypony’s sweet tooth for Sugarcube Corner’s baked goods,” Pinkie Pie answered.
“That’s very nice, dear,” Mrs. Cake said. She placed a hoof on Pinkie Pie shoulder. “And it is a very nice plant, but I don’t think its going to bring in customers. I mean, it’s just-”
“Wow, where did you get that plant?”
Everypony turned to the front door of Sugarcube Corner. There, one of the stallions who had been standing in line for Star Buck’s came trotting over to the plant, looking it over with an astonished grin. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. What’s it called?”
“It’s called Sweet Tooth,” Pinkie Pie happily answered. “I think it’s a totally undiscovered species of plant.”
The stallion gave an impressed nod. “It sure doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen before and-” The stallion paused to lift his nose and sniff at the air. “And are those cinnamon rolls I smell?”
“Oh... oh, yes, of course, they’re fresh out of the oven,” Mrs. Cake said, quickly jumping into the conversation. “Perhaps you’d like to have one?”
“I think I would,” the stallion said with a smile. He followed Mrs. Cake over to the cash register while Twilight and Mr. Cake stared in disbelief. The stunned pair then turned to Pinkie Pie, who was grinning proudly and patting the plant, Sweet Tooth.
“Thatta boy, Sweet Tooth. We’ll show those mean ponies over at Star Buck’s that they can’t take our customers away with cheap, dry muffins.”
Mr. Cake wore a huge smile on his face as he looked over the packed storefront of Sugarcube Corner. Somehow, someway, Pinkie Pie’s random thought to put a single strange plant in the shop to draw in customers was working. Ponies were slipping inside specifically just to see the plant, and then were often enticed by the sight and smell of freshly-baked pastries to make a purchase. Even if a pony didn’t buy anything, simply having such traffic in the shop was helping Sugarcube Corner combat against the popularity of Star Buck’s.
“Can I get a dozen cinnamon rolls?” one customer asked as he approached the register.
Mr. Cake flashed a big smile. “Of course, I’ll get that boxed right up for you.”
“Can you also add a half dozen double chocolate chip cookies as well?”
“Gladly, we’ll just need a few minutes,” Mr. Cake said before turning his head to shout into the kitchen. “Honey Bun,” Mr. Cake called out, “we need more cookies, double chocolate chip.”
“They’ll be right out. Pinkie Pie and I are working as fast as we can,” Mrs. Cake called back from the kitchen. Every oven was in use, the sink was piled high with dirty dishes, and the counters were covered in flour, but neither Pinkie Pie nor Mrs. Cake had time to stop and clean. They were working as fast as their hooves would allow, and that let them just barely keep up with the demand for sweet pastries.
“Oh, Pinkie Pie, you’d better take those brownies out of the oven.”
Pinkie Pie put a hoof to her forehead in a salute. “You got it, Mrs. Cake.” She dashed over to the over and, after taking the oven mitt in her mouth, she quickly drew out the brownies and set them on a cooling rack. She then took the next batch of sweets, the double chocolate chip cookies Mr. Cake needed, and put them into the awaiting oven.
“There, just a few minutes and we’ll have another fresh batch of cookies,” Pinkie Pie said with a bounce. “Oh, this is so amazing! We’ve never been this busy before.”
Mrs. Cake nodded. “Yes, and to think it’s all because of your little plant. Oh, at this rate, we may just be able to make that addition we’ve been planning.”
Pinkie Pie’s eyes lit up. “The ice cream freezer addition!?”
“Yes,” said Mrs. Cake, just as excited.
“Oh boy!” Pinkie Pie cheered as she began to bounce around. “If we can add that big ice cream freezer then we can sell ice cream and ice cream cake and ice cream sandwiches and hot fudge sundaes and-”
“Yes, Pinkie Pie,” Mrs. Cake interrupted, “we’ll be able to sell all those things, but we’ve got to make these cookies first. Now come on, there’s a lot hungry ponies out there looking at your plant and-”
“The plant’s dying!”
Mr. Cake sprinted through the door, carrying the pot with Sweet Tooth on his back. He turned and skidded to a stop, causing Sweet Tooth to slide off his back and land on the counter. Pinkie Pie and Mrs. Cake quickly circled in, looking over the sickly-looking Sweet Tooth. It had lost a couple of its leaves, and its stem had wilted to the point the pod in the center of its blossom was resting against the side of the flower pot.
“Customers are already leaving to get back in line for Star Buck’s,” Mr. Cake said. “What do we do?”
“I’ll tell you what we’re going to do,” Mrs. Cake said. “You’re going to take this plant back out there, but keep it next to the register. That should at least keep the customers we have from leaving. I’ll stay back here and keep baking whatever we need.”
“What about me?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“You go to your friend Twilight and ask her for every book on plants and gardening you can find. We cannot let this plant die. It’s the only thing letting us compete with Star Buck’s. We can’t lose it now.”
“Don’t you worry, Mrs. Cake. Twilight is the smartest pony I know. With her help, I’m sure we’ll be able to find out just what Sweet Tooth needs to feel better.”
Twilight stared intently at the sickly plant sitting in front of her. Next to it, a book on home plant care was set open, and next to that was another book on herbology and plant identification. The table was also littered with a number of gardening tools, some bags of soil with different textures, and even a sun lamp.
Pinkie Pie watched anxiously from the side. The pair were in the empty front of Sugarcube Corner. The shop had been closed for a few hours and, ever since she had arrived, Twilight was trying to apply her impressive skills in reading and magic to try and make Sweet Tooth healthy again. The plant, however, was either sicker than anypony realized or was being stubborn, for it refused to improve.
Twilight tossed her head in frustration and flipped through the pages in her books. “This doesn’t make any sense. From the analysis I did on one of the leaves that fell off, these should be ideal conditions. Modestly wet soil with a moderate plant food content. I trimmed the leaves back to appropriate lengths, and even supported the stem with a small dowel and yarn. What else do you want?”
Twilight slammed her fore hooves on the table and glared the plant down. “Why won’t you grow!?” Her shout became punctuated by a small snap as another leaf broke off the sickly plant.
Gritting her teeth in rage. Twilight stormed away from the table and towards the door. “Twilight, where are you going?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“I’m going to get another book from the library, ‘Overgrown’s Guide to Stubborn Plants’,” Twilight explained. She stopped at the front door to look back at Pinkie Pie. “It’s mostly about getting rid of weeds, but maybe it can tell us what we’re doing wrong.”
“But what should I do with Sweet Tooth until you get back?”
Twilight took a step and struck out of the shop and into the early evening air. “Just try and keep it from losing any more leaves.” With that Twilight was gone, striding down the street towards the Ponyville Library. Pinkie Pie watched her friend through the shop’s windows until she fell out of sight before turning to look at Sweet Tooth. She walked over to her sickly little plant, a small frown on her face.
“Oh, poor Sweet Tooth. I wish I could make you feel better,” Pinkie Pie said as she looked over the books, tools, and different soils Twilight left out. “But I really don’t know that much about taking care of plants. I only know how to make ponies feel better.”
Pinkie Pie’s frown turned into a small smile and she bounced happily. “Hey, there’s an idea! Maybe I could try to cheer you up like I cheer up ponies. Oh, and I know just the place to start.” Pinkie Pie galloped upstairs to her bedroom, and returned moments later with a box. She set that box right next to Sweet Tooth.
“Are you ready?” Pinkie Pie asked. Even though she knew Sweet Tooth couldn’t respond, she gave the plant the chance anyway before she threw open the box. Streamers, confetti, and balloons erupted out from the box along with the sound of several noise makers. It was something that always made Pinkie Pie smile, since it was like an explosion of party. Sweet Tooth, however, didn’t show any sign of improvement.
Frowning a bit at her failed attempt, Pinkie Pie ran back to her bedroom and soon returned with a record player. After turning the crank a few times, the player began belting out cheerful music and Pinkie Pie began to dance along to it. “How about dancing? Does dancing make you feel better, Sweet Tooth?”
Pinkie Pie picked up her potted friend, and began twirling around with it. She laughed, giggled, and sang along with the song, despite the fact it didn’t have any words.
Still, even after a few minutes of dancing, Sweet Tooth didn’t look any better. Seeing this, Pinkie Pie ended her dancing and went straight onto her next idea. She ran back upstairs, and came down a few moments later with her Pin the Tail on the Pony game. She hung the poster on the wall, hung the blindfold off of Sweet Tooth’s pot, and set a paper tail in its leaves. She then carried Sweet Tooth over to the poster, and helped the plant pin the paper pony tail right on the target.
“Yay! Way to go, Sweet Tooth! You pinned the tail on the pony! You must be feeling better now.”
Sweet Tooth didn’t look any better, and Pinkie Pie was having trouble deciding if her little plant didn’t, in fact, look worse. Since her playing games idea lost, she put Sweet Tooth back down by Twilight’s books and took the blindfold off the pot.
“Okay... um, what else makes ponies happy? I could throw you a party, but then I’d need invitations and guests and balloons and streamers, and I just can’t get all that setup before Twilight gets back with her other book.” Pinkie Pie furrowed her eyebrows and tapped the sides of her head. “Oh, what can I do?”
Huffing, Pinkie Pie walked away from Sweet Tooth and in the direction of the kitchen. “Maybe a snack will give me an idea.” After rummaging in the kitchen for a few minutes, Pinkie Pie came back out balancing a cookie jar on her back. It was the leftover jar, where Mr. and Mrs. Cake slipped some of the left over cookies that were too old to sell for customers. They were always a bit stale, but nopony could beat free cookies.
Setting the jar down beside Sweet Tooth, Pinkie Pie stuck her nose inside and withdrew a cookie. She then gave her head a toss, sending the cookie high into the air. She watched the cookie flip and turn, positioning herself right beneath it before opening her mouth wide and letting the whole cookie fall onto her waiting tongue.
“Now,” Pinkie Pie said through her full mouth, a few cookie crumbs spilling out, “what can I do to make you happy, Sweet Tooth?”
It was then Pinkie Pie took notice that Sweet Tooth was moving. Her little plant was raising its little petal lined pod and, for a moment, she dared to believe it was coming back to life. She then saw it was tilting its pod in the direction of the cookie jar. Its pod even opened up, revealing a somewhat moist interior that almost looked like a mouth.
Pinkie Pie glanced back and forth between Sweet Tooth and the cookie jar for a moment, watching as it continued to try and reach it. Then, on a curious whim, Pinkie Pie retrieved another cookie from the jar. She balanced that cookie on her hoof, and waved it around in front of Sweet Tooth. The plant bent its stem to follow the cookie, its little pod mouth wide open.
Pinkie Pie smiled, and inched her hoof closer to Sweet Tooth. When she was just close enough, Sweet Tooth bit down on the cookie and took it out of her hoof. The little plant then worked to scarf down the sugary treat, which was just as large as it was. As it ate, its leaves began to stand up straight again and its movements became more fluid and full of life.
Pinkie Pie couldn't contain her excitement. She quickly fished another cookie out of the jar and fed it to Sweet Tooth. It chomped the cookie down just as greedily as the first, making Pinkie Pie’s grin only widen. “Oh, this is so fun! You eat cookies, just like me! Oh, I got to go and tell Twilight!”
Bouncing happily, Pinkie Pie left the shop to chase down Twilight and tell her the good news. In her wake, she left Sweet Tooth resting beside the open jar of cookies, the plant munching down the last crumbs of its second treat. It then began to lick up the crumbs that spilled onto the side of its pot and leaves. It wasn’t going to leave a single morsel of the cookie uneaten.
Still, even then Sweet Tooth was not satisfied. When it was unable to find any more crumbs, it turned its pod in the direction of the unattended cookie jar. It looked around and craned its stem so it could look out the window. Once it was sure Pinkie Pie wasn’t going to return too quickly, the seam of its pod mouth turned up a tiny smile.
With a grunt of effort, Sweet Tooth began to strain itself, using the sweets it just ate to fuel its growth. Its stem and body gained bulk, and fresh leaves sprouted from where the old ones had broken off. In the span of a few short minutes, Sweet Tooth grew substantially. It now stood at an equal height to the neighboring cookie jar.
-------------- Chapter 2>>
Questions, Comments, Concerns?
My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic © Hasbro
Little Shop of Horror © Warner Bros.
I do not own the intellectual properties this fan-fiction is based on.
Little Sugar Shop of Horrors
Preread, Edited, and Reviewed By
Nightsong, DeagleDued, Wraithguard, Rainbowdash64
In the heart of Manehatten, a middle-aged pegasus couple stood outside one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city. They were from Cloudsdale, and up to that day owned a small, family coffee shop of their own. It was a shop that had been passed down through three generations, and it was a shop that was also about to be sold.
“Are you sure you want to do this, honey?”
“It’s either we sell it to him or the bank takes it,” the pegasus stallion said to his wife. He put a wing across her back and guided her to the front doors. “We tried our best, but we just couldn’t compete with that new Star Buck’s down the street.”
“But it was my father’s store, Soft Brew. He’d be so disappointed to hear we sold it.”
“I know, but we can’t sink any more money into it. We’ve done all we can, and sometimes... sometimes that isn’t enough. Now, come on Cloud Tart. We don’t want to be late for our appointment.”
Cloud Tart hung her head, but offered no resistance as Soft Brew guided her inside. They crossed the large foyer of the skyscraper's ground floor, and then stepped into one of the elevators. The unicorn bellhop offered them a smile, despite the frowns on their faces, and then used his horn to operate the elevator’s pulley system. Soon, the couple were whisked to the very top floor of the tower.
When the elevator doors opened, the pegasus couple stepped out into a clean, sharply decorated waiting room. A single pegasus receptionist was working behind a desk at the far end of the room, her mane cut to medium length and styled in a way that reflected the cold, modern decor of the room. Behind her, on the wall, hung a giant logo: a sharp ‘M’ with a smaller ‘M’ cradled inside. There were a few other ponies in the room, and they all shared the defeated frowns that Soft Brew and Cloud Tart currently wore.
Soft Brew guided Cloud Tart up to the secretary’s desk, and cleared his throat to get her attention.
“Yes?” the secretary asked without looking up from her work.
“Hello, we’re Soft Brew and Cloud Tart, the owners of Cloud Corner Coffee. We have an appointment with Mr. Magnate.”
The secretary pointed a hoof across the room to an unoccupied pair of seats. “Mr. Mogul Magnate will be arriving shortly. Please wait until I call for you.”
Soft Brew and Cloud Tart nodded, slipping over to the couch and taking a seat next to a earth pony mare. As they waited, they began to slowly look about the room, meeting the eyes of the other ponies who were sitting and waiting for Mr. Magnate’s arrival. Their eyes were then drawn to a collection of pictures that hung on the wall next to the elevator.
Each picture was of a group of ponies circled around a contract, with one of the ponies pictured working to sign the legal document. The other shared feature amongst the several dozen pictures was a single unicorn who was present in every image. He was always wearing a big smile, a perfectly tailored suit, and a pin on his lapel of the double M logo which hung on the wall behind the secretary’s desk.
Above all those pictures was a plaque that read “Mr. Magnate’s Biggest Deals.”
Cloud Tart scrunched up her nose at the display. “Soft Brew, can’t we try to find somepony else to buy the store? I don’t like the idea of Mogul owning my father’s shop.”
“We already tried, nopony else will touch it knowing that Mr. Magnate wants to buy us out.”
Soft Brew touched his hoof to Cloud Tart’s. “I’m sorry honey, but try to look on the bright side. We’ll have more than enough money to get by for a while, we may even be able to get a house. Also, I’m sure Mr. Magnate will take good care of the shop. He is a very successful business pony.”
“Business pony!?” Cloud Tart snapped. She pointed a hoof at the many pictures on the wall. “What kind of business pony looks that happy when he’s buying out some family’s small business?”
Outside the skyscraper, a carriage being pulled by a team of four stallions rolled up to the sidewalk. The door swung open the moment the carriage came to a stop, and a single unicorn stallion stepped out. He wore a large, confident smile and used his magic to run a comb through his mane, ensuring not a single follicle was out of place. He was a tall, well built stallion wearing a perfectly tailored, black business suit with a white under shirt and a red tie. His coat was a steel blue, his hair black to match his suit, and his eyes were hidden behind a pair of sleek sunglasses. There was a small, silver pin on the lapel on his suit which was a large ‘M’ cradled inside a smaller ‘M’. His cutie mark was a golden dollar sign.
He took a step forward, and the pony working the door smiled and opened it for him, offering a “Good morning, Mr. Magnate.”
The unicorn, Mogul Magnate, didn’t offer a reply. He strode into the lobby of the building, his hooves falling in a steady rhythm as music began to fill the air, as it sometimes does in Equestria. Everypony inside the lobby cleared a path for him, and the sight of the parted crowd only widened the smile on his face.
“When I was younger, just a bad little colt, my mama noticed funny things I did,” Mogul sang in tune to the music as he strode across the room. “I sold toys that weren’t even mine. I swindled colts, and when they whined, I laughed, turned, and tossed my head.”
Mogul paused to remove his sunglasses, revealing a pair of greedy eyes as red as his tie. “That’s when my mama said.”
“What did she say?” a familiar trio of flower-themed mares asked. They stepped out of the crowd wearing matching business suits, and walked in the Mogul’s wake.
“She said, ‘My boy, I think someday, you’ll find a way to make your natural tendencies pay’,” Mogul answered. He reached the elevator, stepped inside with the three mares. Within moments the unicorn working the elevator took the group to the top floor, and with a proud stomp Mogul stepped out of the elevator the moment the doors opened.
“You’ll be a baron,” Mogul sang as be crossed the room. “You have a talent for swindling and pain. Son, be a baron. You’d even sell your grandmother’s mane.”
Mogul reached the far side of the room, and the three flowered-themed mares that had followed him up from the lobby opened a pair of grand doors. “Your temperament's wrong for medicine, and teaching would suit you still less. So son, be a baron.” Mogul stepped into his office, looking back over the ponies waiting to meet with him. “You'll be a success.”
The office doors were pulled shut at this, and the secretary called a pony’s name. It was an elderly unicorn, who shakily approached the door before being whisked inside by Mogul’s magic. He was planted in a chair and a piece of paper was put on the table in front of him. Mogul then came around, levitating a pen and ink bottle, all while the three flower-themed mares from the lobby stood off to the side and sang.
“Here he is folks, the leader of the pack! Watch him sign that merger, oh my stars! He’s a baron, and he’s almost too good. He’d shut down any shop. Oh, you know he would.”
The elderly unicorn signed the paper document with a sigh. “Well, I guess that’s it. I’m done.”
“You got that right,” Mogul said happily. He snatched the contract away and then levitated the elderly unicorn out of his seat. “Now get out, ya bum!”
The doors to Mogul’s office burst open as the elderly unicorn was thrown across the room and into a waiting elevator. Mogul then stepped out of his office after this, continuing his song. “I am a baron, and I enjoy the career that I picked. Yes, I am a baron, and I laugh at the pain I inflict.”
He moved to the many portraits hanging on the wall, looking over what were, to him, very fond memories. “I thrill when I run a business under. I beam whenever I look at all my plunder.”
Mogul then turned and strode to a window of the skyscraper, using his magic throw it open as a gust of wind blew his mane back. “And though it may cause some ponies distress, somewhere, somewhere high, high above me, I know, know, that my mama’s proud of me.”
Across the street from the skyscraper, on the top of the neighboring building, an elderly unicorn paused from watering her rooftop garden. She waved down at Mogul. “I’m so proud of you son!”
Mogul waved back before he sighed and turned away from the window. “Oh mama.” He then struck out again, whisking Soft Brew and Cloud Tart into his office. Soon, the pegasi couple were seated at a table with contract and pen setting in front of them.
“Cause I'm a baron and a success.” With the smile on his face widening, Mogul pointed at a line on the contract resting in front of Soft Brew and Cloud Tart. “Sign here.”
“Here?” Soft Brew asked.
“And here,” Mogul continued, pointing to another line.
Cloud Tart took the pen in her mouth and pointed at a line. “Here?”
Mogul nodded. “And here.”
“Okay, here,” Soft Brew said. Both he and Cloud Tart signed the contract.
Mogul smiled at the now complete contract. “Good, now get!”
With that the music in the air ended and Mogul kicked Soft Brew and Cloud Tart out of his office, leaving them sprawled out on his waiting room floor. He then shut the doors and made his way over to his desk, flashing a smile at the three flower-themed mares who had so graciously accompanied him on the song.
“You three want to hang around for lunch?”
“Sorry, we were just here for the song,” one of the mares said before they showed themselves out of the room. Mogul huffed at being so coldly rejected, but then smiled as he took a seat at his desk. He took out a piece of paper, a quill, and some ink before scratching out a note.
“Note to self: figure out a way to monetize Equestria’s naturally occurring musical magic. Maybe charge a quarter per minute for every pony in a song.” Mogul’s smile widened. “Oh, just think at how much money I would make off the Grand Galloping Gala alone. There is always some big musical number there.”
Mogul looked up from his note. His secretary had poked her head in the door. “Yes, what is it?”
“Bottom Line is here to give you your weekly business summary.”
“Wonderful, send him in.”
His secretary nodded her head and disappeared back into the waiting room. A few moments later a lanky, beige unicorn with chestnut-colored hair stumbled into the room, fumbling with several papers as well as a easel and some presentation cards. His eyes were obscured by large, thick glasses and his cutie mark was a accountant’s book with a quill. “I’m sorry I’m late, Mr. Magnate. I know you were expecting this report yesterday.”
Mogul laughed and reached into a drawer of his desk. He withdrew a newspaper and flipped it open. “Don’t worry, Bottom Line. Just go ahead and tell me how my empire’s growing while I catch up on the comics.”
“Of course, sir,” Bottom Line replied. In a few moments and with some rushed magic, he set up the presentation and taken out a wooden pointer. He began tapping at the presentation panels while reading off from his notes.
“The Cloudsdale Inquirer is showing a ten percent increase in readership since they started the new ad campaign you wanted. It’s now the second largest newspaper in Equestria, only behind the Equestria Daily out of Canterlot.”
“Oh... oh, you should read this comic, Bottom Line. This pegasus just dropped a water balloon on a cat,” Mogul said, turning his newspaper in Bottom Line’s direction.
“I’ll be sure to do it later, sir. Now, um... where was I? Oh, yes. Speed Spin Record’s just signed a new contract with Sapphire Shores to secure her new album, which will make her the second major vocal artist we’ve managed to take away from Record Needle Music. Your investment in the railroad system is also showing growth. Ever since the buffalo and ponies of Appleloosa started working together, the town has become something of a tourist attraction.”
“I told you ponies would be heading out there to see those buffaloes,” Mogul mused. He turned over the newspaper to check the sports section.
“Yes you did, Mr. Magnate,” Bottom Line agreed, trying to keep his boss’s minor interruptions from ruining the flow of his report. He cleared his throat before continuing. “Star Buck’s Coffee is showing a four percent increase in market saturation and-”
“Whoa whoa, four percent?” Mogul asked. His full attention was now fixed on Bottom Line. “You said we could expect at least a ten percent increase in market saturation.”
Bottom Line swallowed nervously. “Y-y-yes sir, I did, but... um... there’s been some complications with the new store in Ponyville.”
“Well, s-sir, if you check the front of your paper-”
Mogul Magnate cocked an eyebrow and grabbed up his newspaper. He turned over the pages to get back to the front page. There, on the cover, was a large picture. It had been taken from the inside of what looked like a bakery. There were three ponies in the picture, and behind them was a very large plant. The headline to the article read “Bakery Business Blooms.”
“What does this have to do with why market saturation is down?” Mogul asked.
“Well, you see, sir, that bakery, Sugarcube Corner, is located in Ponyville. It is just a half block away from where we opened the Star Buck’s. Sales were doing as expected for the first few weeks, sir, and it looked like we would be securing a firm hold of the Ponyville market. Then, one of the mares in that picture, Miss Pinkamena Diane Pie, found that plant and put it on display in the bakery.
“Now, they’ve turned their sales around and our store there is struggling just to break even,” Bottom Line concluded. “Personally sir, I think it might be a good idea to pull out of Ponyville and-”
Bottom Line snapped his mouth shut as the presentation pointer was snatched out of his magic. Mogul Magnate was glaring daggers from his desk and using his own levitation spell to hold the presentation pointer to Bottom Line’s neck, as if it was a sword.
“You weren’t just about to suggest we close the Star Buck’s in Ponyville, were you?” Mogul asked.
Bottom Line shook his head as sweat formed on his forehead. “N-n-no, sir!”
“Good... because nopony runs Mogul Magnate out of business. No, I’m the one that makes other ponies run.”
“Of course, sir!” Bottom Line choked out. “Y-y-you’re the best business stallion in Equestria, sir.”
“You do know how to flatter me, Bottom Line. Though, is it truly flattery when it’s true?” Mogul mused. He lowered the presentation pointer away from Bottom Line’s throat and levitated it back towards his desk. Then, with a resounding rip, he used the pointer to skewer his newspaper and the front page picture of Sugarcube Corner. “In any case, we’re not about to let some curly-haired mare and her tacky plant put one of my stores out of business. Pack your bags, Bottom Line. We’ve got a weed to deal with.”
“We’re here, sir.”
Mogul Magnate flicked his horn to open the blinds on his carriage window. It was the afternoon of the next day and, after a long carriage ride, Mogul was eager to get a look at the source of the local Star Buck’s woes. He couldn’t deny, Sugarcube Corner was quite the eye-catching little bakery. Making a building look so much like a dessert undoubtedly brought in customers. Why, he was getting hungry for a cookie just looking at the place.
Forcing down his sudden desire for a sweet, Mogul opened the door to his carriage and stepped out. He took a moment to adjust his tie and ensured his double ‘M’ lapel pin was straight. That gave Bottom Line time to climb down from the carriage’s driver seat. He was levitating a suitcase just behind him, which contained within all the materials Mogul had requested the previous day.
“You ready, Bottom Line?”
Mogul gave an nod and began walking towards the bakery’s door. “Good, let’s go do some business.” Bottom Line followed right on Mogul’s hooves, and soon the pair entered the crowded shop. A line of ponies snaked all around the room, and many of them were passing the time in pleasant conversation, chatting about the delectable sweets on display or about the plant in the corner.
Mogul and Bottom Line stepped into line, and as they waited, they turned to look at the plant that had brought so much attention to Sugarcube Corner. Sweet Tooth, as it was called, looked even larger than it did in the newspaper photo. Resting in its own corner of the shop, the plant’s pod was the size of a small pony. Its many leaves embraced that pod, keeping it supported vertically while a number of vines spilled out over the edge of the pot. Those vines spread out across the floor and even climbed up the nearby wall.
“My, it really is a strange plant, isn’t it sir?” Bottom Line asked.
Mogul huffed and turned his nose up at the plant. “Looks like an overgrown weed to me. They just better hope their baked goods are actually worth the trouble.”
Mogul and Bottom Line sat in the back dining room of the shop, which at times doubled as a private party room. They had already dug into their selected baked goods, and Mogul was once again denied the satisfaction of being disappointed. His muffin was quite good, and Bottom Line obviously enjoyed his scone a great deal.
The fact the bakery actually had good food made Mogul feel better about the situation. He was willing to let Sugarcube Corner run the local Star Buck’s out of business if that meant he could get his hooves on a new franchise. He was already picturing it. Buy the shop out, get the recipes from the owners, and start a whole line of packaged baked goods. The shop’s gingerbread house exterior was the perfect label and marketing image for boxed sweets.
He could even consider selling the brand in Star Buck’s. Even if the recipes needed to be modified to make the products last longer, Mogul didn’t doubt they would still be better than the currently passable baked goods they were selling at Star Buck’s Coffee.
“Sorry folks, it’s closing time.”
Mogul perked his ears up. Now this was what he was waiting for: a chance to speak with the owners without so many ponies around. He motioned to Bottom Line, who gave a nod and followed directly behind him. They joined the ponies shuffling out of the shop, but just before they reach the door they turned and made a b-line for the shop’s owners.
“Excuse me, Mr...” Mogul began before trailing off. Bottom Line quickly slipped up beside his boss and began whispering in his ear.
“Their names are Mr. and Mrs. Cake, sir.”
Mogul put on a wide smile, raised his voice, and recovered from the odd pause. “Excuse me, are you the Cakes?”
“Why, yes we are,” Mr. Cake answered.
“I’m honored to make your acquittance. My name is Mogul Magnate,” he said while extending a hoof. “I’m sure you heard of me.”
“Well, I can’t say that I have, but its nice to meet you,” Mr. Cake said as he shook Mogul’s hoof.
“Oh, well, then let me properly introduce myself. I’m the President and CEO of the Mountain Mogul company, one of the largest corporations in Equestria. My company is the parent organization to a number of businesses I’m sure you’re familiar with: Cloudsdale Inquirer, Stamped Railroads, and, of course, Star Buck’s Coffee.”
“Oh my, you own Star Buck’s?” Mrs. Cake asked, quite impressed by the businesspony’s resumé.
“I sure do,” Mogul stated proudly. “It’s thanks to me they’re a household name, and now I’m here to make your dreams come true. Bottom Line?”
“Right away, Mr. Magnate,” Bottom Line said before clicking open the suitcase he was levitating. In mere moments, Bottom Line set up an easel and a collection of large presentation cards. He then began to flip through the cards, which showed a number of bars, graphs, and conceptual product images.
“Mr. and Mrs. Cake, Mr. Magnate would like to extend you an opportunity to franchise your bakery into something much larger. Under our business model, we would use the Sugarcube Corner brand name to create a line of pre-packaged baked goods that could be sold at stores across the kingdom. We could then branch off into merchandising and product placement. Your baked goods could be sold in every Star Buck’s in Equestria, and fillies could be playing with their very own Sugarcube Corner tea sets and magic Simple-Bake ovens.
“If you agree to this offer and sell Mr. Magnate the rights to your store, the brand name, and to your likenesses, you’ll find your personal wealth will skyrocket. Star Buck, the one who founded the original Star Buck’s Coffee Shop, is currently enjoying early retirement in one of Equestria’s most prestigious coastal communities. His manor-sized home even has its own private section of the beach front.”
“Oh my, that does sound fancy, doesn’t it?” Mrs. Cake said as she and Mr. Cake were shown pictures of Star Buck enjoying his beach side property.
“Oh, it is,” Mogul assured her. “And it can all be yours. Just sell me this little sweet shop and that plant, and I can have you out there shopping for your new, luxurious home by the end of the day tomorrow.”
Mogul lit his horn and pulled a prepared contract out of the suitcase along with a mouth workable quill and ink bottle. “I just need you to look this contract over and sign at the bottom.”
Mr. Cake smiled and used a hoof to gently nudge the contract away. “That’s sounds like a very generous offer, Mr. Mag-”
“Please, call me Mogul.”
“That sounds like a very generous offer Mogul, but we’re not interested in selling.”
Bottom Line winced at the rejection and turned to look at his boss. He was still wearing a smile, but it now looked forced. “Oh, I’m sure you are. I mean, just think about it: you could get your wife anything she wants. Fancy clothes, daily trips to the spa.”
“Well, we never needed any of that,” Mrs. Cake said. She leaned into her husband. “We’re just happy that our shop is so successful, and that we can bring smiles to so many ponies’ faces.”
Mogul forced a chuckle. “Oh... so you’re that kind of business owner. The ones who run their shop for the community... who are content with their lot in life.”
Mr. Cake smiled and gave a nod. “Yep, that sounds like us. Just a couple of school sweethearts who like being bakers.”
“Of course you are,” Mogul laughed through gritted teeth. He put the contract back in the suitcase, which was Bottom Line’s cue to pack up the easel and presentation boards as well. Soon, everything was back in the suitcase, which Bottom Line levitated up with his magic.
While Bottom Line moved towards the door Mogul turned and walked towards the plant in the corner. “Well, I’ve met business owners like you before, and I can... respect your decision.” He glanced over his shoulder at Mr. and Mrs. Cake while his horn glowed. He drew a handkerchief from his suit jacket. “Are you sure I can’t change your mind?”
Mr. Cake nodded. “Yes. Even if we wanted to sell, we couldn’t do that to Pinkie Pie. She loves living in our loft and loves working here too much for us to just sell it.”
“Sweet girl might end up inheriting the shop from us,” Mrs. Cake commented. “I can’t even imagine what it would be like if anypony else took over for us when we are ready to retire.”
“Pinkie Pie, the young lady who found this plant? Yes... I imagine she’s quite attached to this place,” Mogul said. He turned his attention back to the plant, and then faked blowing his nose. At the same time, he took a small vial out from his handkerchief and quietly poured its contents into the plant’s pot.
Mogul finished his fake nose blowing before he tucked the handkerchief and empty vial back into his suit and turned away from the plant. “My apologies, I’ve got bad allergies. Well, it’s been nice meeting you, Mr. and Mrs. Cake, and I hope that your success continues.”
Mr. Cake shook Mogul’s hoof again. “Thank you, and thank you for your offer. It really was flattering to hear you think our little shop is so valuable.”
A chuckle filled Mogul’s throat. “Well, I know an opportunity when I see it. Now, I believe I’ve kept you two long enough. It is, after all, closing time. Still, if you ever change your mind, come find me in Manehatten. I’d be happy to talk business with you anytime.”
“We’ll keep it in mind,” Mrs. Cake said cheerfully as Mogul turned to leave. “Oh, and have a safe ride.”
“I will. Come, Bottom Line.”
“Right away, sir,” Bottom Line chimed as he and Mogul left the shop. Soon, the pair were back at the carriage. While Bottom Line worked to secure the suitcase and climb up into the driver’s seat, Mogul looked back at Sugarcube Corner. Through one of the windows, he could see the plant, and it already wilted somewhat.
A smile spread onto Mogul’s face. “Your business is going to wither up just like that plant, and once you’re on the verge of bankruptcy I’m sure you’ll change your tone. They always do.” With that, Mogul climbed into his carriage and shut the door. Bottom Line called out to the team of ponies pulling, and soon the carriage was bouncing down the street to Ponyville’s one and only hotel.
“Oh, that was so fun!” Pinkie Pie cheered. She slipped in the back door to Sugarcube Corner. A lopsided party hat was resting on top of her mane, and pieces of confetti and streamers lingered in the curls of her mane and tail. “I don’t really remember what that party was for anymore, but it was still a great party.”
Tossing her head, Pinkie Pie tried to shake of the confetti and streamers before crossing the kitchen. She used a hoof to take off her party hat, and was about to set it down on the counter when she noticed a note. It was in Mrs. Cake’s mouth-writing.
“When you get in, Pinkie Pie, please check on Sweet Tooth. The poor thing looked like it was starting to wilt when we left.”
“Aw... Sweet Tooth isn’t feeling good? Well, I know how to fix that,” Pinkie Pie said cheerfully. She zipped right over to the leftover cookie jar. She took the whole jar and balanced it on her head before she bounced out into the front of the store. “Don’t worry Sweet Tooth, Mamma Pinkie Pie has your medi-WHAAA!?”
Pinkie Pie almost dropped the cookie jar at the sight of Sweet Tooth. Its pod had collapsed onto the floor, and its leaves were brittle and sickly. A single touch might have been enough to cause half of Sweet Tooth to collapse into dust.
Sprinting forward, Pinkie Pie knelt down beside Sweet Tooth’s pod. “Don’t you worry, Sweet Tooth, I’ve got just what you need right here.” Tossing her head, Pinkie Pie launched the cookie jar into the air. The few leftover cookies it contained tumbled out into the air. Positioning herself carefully, Pinkie Pie used one hoof to open Sweet Tooth’s pod mouth so that the cookies could fall right in.
At first, Sweet Tooth laid lifelessly, despite the presence of cookies. Pinkie Pie was even starting to fear the worse when Sweet Tooth finally moved. It began to slowly chew, and as it did it began to regain some of its strength. It wasn’t enough to make Sweet Tooth as healthy as it was at the beginning of the day, but it was still an improvement.
“Oh, my poor Sweet Tooth. Are you still hungry?”
“Don’t you worry,” Pinkie Pie said. She patted the top of Sweet Tooth’s pod before she turned and began walking in the direction of the kitchen. “I’m going to go and fix you up some nice-” She froze up in her tracks, and slowly looked over her shoulder. “Did... did you just?”
“Feed... me...” Sweet Tooth whimpered in a feminine voice.
Pinkie Pie remained stunned for a time before a huge grin spread onto her face. She turned and bounced back over to Sweet Tooth, unable to hide her excitement. “Oh my gosh! You did, you did just talk! This is so exciting! I’ve never heard of a talking plant before, but here you are talking! We can play so many more games now! We can play Simon Says and Charades and we can even sing songs together! Oh, this is going to be so super, duper-”
Sweet Tooth whimpered again in an austere tone. She struggled to lift her pod off the floor, but was only able to heft the heavy load a few inches before having to drop it back down. “Feed... me...”
Snapped out of her excited stupor, Pinkie Pie darted off into the kitchen. “Oh yeah, I know just the quick treat you need, Sweet Tooth.” The loud crashing of pots and pans soon began to fill the shops and, after only a few minutes of hurried preparations, she returned carrying a plate laden down with a dozen s’mores.
Sweet Tooth greedily opened her mouth and let Pinkie Pie pour all the s’mores in. “There ya go, Sweet Tooth. This will make you feel better.”
With the wet slurping and smacking of her lips, Sweet Tooth gobbled down the s’mores. The sweets, again, helped improve her condition, but only enough that she was able to lift her pod off the floor. “I need more, Pinkie Pie,” Sweet Tooth pleaded in her smooth, mildly deep feminine tone.
“I don’t have any more s’mores. I just used the last of the gram crackers.”
“But I’m starving,” Sweet Tooth whined.
“How can you be starving? This is more than you’ve eaten in a single night. You must be stuffed.”
“Well, excuse me for having an appetite,” Sweet Tooth snipped before lifting a vine and placing it against the top of her pod. “I would think after I was poisoned you’d be willing to nurse me back to health, especially after all I’ve done for the shop.”
Pinkie Pie gasped and moved right up to Sweet Tooth, placing her hooves on her pod. “Oh no, my poor wittle Sweet Tooth! Somepony poisoned you?!”
“Yes, it was simply awful!” Sweet Tooth lamented with a flare of her vines. “There I was, minding my own business. I was just sitting in the corner and bringing in all those paying customers when these two unicorns started talking to the Cakes. They were trying to get them to sell the bakery.”
“No! They’d never sell Sugarcube Corner! Never ever ever ever never ever!” Pinkie Pie said as she firmly shook her head from side to side.
“You’re right. They told that fancy unicorn, Mogul Magnate, they’d never sell.” Sweet Tooth assured her. “I thought he was actually going to just leave, but then he came over here, faked a sneeze, and poured something into my pot. Then, I just started feeling so awful.”
“Oh, that big Meanie McBully! How could he hurt such a cute little plant like you?”
“I don’t know, but he did, and now the only thing that can make me better is...”
“Is what?” Pinkie Pie asked. “I’ll get you whatever you need.”
“Hmmm... I guess I could really go for a pie... and a cake... maybe a dozen cupcakes, and a pan of cinnamon rolls,” Sweet Tooth explained. She licked her lips at the thought of all those sweets. “Oh, and a super sweet milkshakes to wash it all down.”
Pinkie Pie patted the top of Sweet Tooth’s pod again, “Well, don’t you worry, Sweet Tooth. I’ll just go into the kitchen and whip all that up for you. You’ll be feeling better in no time.”
“Oh, thank you Pinkie Pie,” Sweet Tooth said with a grin. “I’m so glad I was found by such a nice pony like you.”
“Awww, I’m glad I found you too, Sweet Tooth. Now, you just sit right here and save your strength. I’ll get started on those treats.”
Pinkie Pie turned and bounced off to the kitchen, the clatter of cooking sounds soon drifting into the front of the shop. Sweet Tooth listened to those noises and smiled as if she was listening to the most beautiful symphony in Equestria. She lifted her pod up, and leaned against the nearby wall while her vines reached out. She grabbed the newspaper of the day and gingerly opened it in her vines.
She flipped through the articles while waiting for her dinner, and then smiled when she saw an ad. “Oh, Pinkie Pie, can you make some brownies too? I’d kill for some brownies.”
“You’d what!?” Pinkie Pie asked incredulously. She stuck her head out of the kitchen door while continuing to mix a bowel of ingredients with her hooves.
Sweet Tooth quickly hid the newspaper and forced a smile. “Uh... I said... um... I’d... fill. Yeah, I’d fill up with, uh... joy if I could have some brownies too.”
Pinkie Pie chuckled and went back into the kitchen. “Aww, anything for you, Sweet Tooth.”
Drawing a vine across her pod of a head, Sweet Tooth breathed a sigh of relief. “Whewww, got to be careful with stuff like that. These ponies don’t really have the backbone for that kind of fun.”
“No, I wasn't the one that stole the golden apples, Princess Celestia. It was the purple kangaroo,” Pinkie Pie mumbled in her sleep.
“Pinkie Pie, can you hurry up with those danishes. The customers- Pinkie Pie!”
Jolted awake by Mr. Cake's shout, Pinkie Pie reared back and fell on her flank. She then jumped back to her hooves and looked around in a panic. “What!? What is it!? I'm awake!” Pinkie Pie's sniffed at the air, picking up on the smell of smoke. Her eyes went wide and she bolted to the oven, grabbing up an oven mitt along the way.
Opening the oven's door released a large ploom of smoke into Pinkie Pie's face, causing her eyes to water. Despite this, Pinkie Pie reached into the oven and took out the cookie sheet which held the burnt smudges that were supposed to be danishes. She then placed the cookie sheet on a cooling rack while Mr. Cake opened the shop's back door as well as every window.
“I”m so sorry, Mr. Cake,” Pinkie Pie said after spitting out the oven mitt.
“It's all right,” he assured her. He began swishing his tail in the air, trying to drive the lingering smoke out the windows. “It was just one batch of danishes. We can always make more. I'm just glad we caught it before it could turn into a kitchen fire.”
Pinkie Pie joined in with Mr. Cake, her curly tail proving better suited for fanning the smoke out of the room. “Oh yeah, that would have been so much worse.”
“Still, Pinkie Pie, it’s not like you to fall asleep on the job. Is everything all right?”
Pinkie Pie forced a smile, despite the tired bags beneath her eyes. “Oh yes, everything's fine.” She paused to stifle a yawn. “I just haven't gotten a lot of sleep the last couple nights.”
“Oh, it's Sweet Tooth. After she wilted the other day I've been staying up to make sure she's taken care of.” Pinkie Pie explained.
“Well, try to get to bed early tonight,” Mr. Cake said. He left Pinkie Pie to finish fanning out the rest of the smoke while he went to work making another batch of danishes. “Sweet Tooth brings the customers in, but this wouldn't be much of a bakery if the three of us weren’t baking.”
Pinkie Pie giggled. “Yeah, you're right. I promise I'll try to get to bed early tonight.”
The kitchen's back door swung open and a blur of cyan sprinted into the room. Before Pinkie Pie could jump clear, she was tackled to the floor by a very excited Rainbow Dash. “Pinkie Pie! They're here!”
“Who's here?” Pinkie Pie asked.
Dash got off of Pinkie Pie, letting her stand back up. “The Wonderbolts, they’re here in Ponyville! They're at the Star Buck's place down the block, and they're signing autographs! I need you to come down there with me right now!”
“Why would you need me?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“They're only giving out one free set of autographs per pony. Otherwise, you have to buy something or pay for the extra set. I've got zero bits on me right now, and I have two things I want them to sign. Please, I just need you to come with me so I can get both my things signed!”
“I'd love to Rainbow Dash, but we're swamped here and-”
“Oh, go ahead and take a break, Pinkie Pie,” Mr. Cake said. “You haven't taken a day off in a while, and Mrs. Cake and I will manage without you.”
“Really, are you sure?” Pinkie Pie asked. “There are a lot of customers out there.”
Mr. Cake nodded while he worked to mix some dough. “Mrs. Cake and I will just limit how many things each customer can buy at once. It won't make some ponies happy, but it will let us keep ahead of things by ourselves. Now go on and enjoy yourself, you've earned it.”
“Sweet, thanks Mr. Cake. Come on Pinkie Pie!” With that, Rainbow Dash grabbed Pinkie Pie by the tail and flew out of the kitchen, dragging her happily cheering friend through the air.
After detouring to Rainbow Dash's house to pick up the items she wanted autographed, the pair began making their way back to town. Pinkie Pie was wearing Rainbow's saddlebags, which contained the soon to be signed items, while Rainbow Dash swooped through the air, doing a barrel roll above Pinkie's head. “Oh this is going to be so cool! The Wonderbolts are here in Ponyville! Hey, you think they'll remember me? Do you think they'll ask me to join them? Do you think they'll want to hang out?”
“I don't know,” Pinkie Pie chirped. Rainbow's excitement and the fresh air was helping her catch a second wind of energy. “Maybe.”
“Oh, maybe is good. I'll take maybe.”
Pinkie Pie giggled. “Yeah, maybe is great. So, what are you going to have them sign?”
Rainbow Dash landed beside Pinkie Pie, using her nose to open the saddlebags and let Pinkie Pie see their contents. “I've got a poster from their Grand Galloping Gala airshow, and I've got a clipping of the newspaper article about how I saved them at the Best Young Fliers Competition.”
“Oh, I remember that. You were like a super hero! Rarity and you kept flying higher and higher. Then Rarity spread the wings Twilight gave her and it was so pretty, but then they burned up and she began to fall. The Wonderbolts tried to help her, but Rarity knocked them out. Then you swooped down to save them. You kept going faster and faster and then Boom! You did a Sonic Rainboom and it was so amazing and beautiful! And then Fluttershy started cheering really loud while Applejack, Twilight, and I were just sitting like this.”
Pinkie Pie paused to drop her jaw, in a playful reproduction of the shocked expression she had worn that day. Rainbow Dash couldn't keep herself from laughing. “Yeah, that was one crazy day. Still can't believe I was so nervous. I mean, a Sonic Rainboom isn't that hard. I can do it now no sweat.”
The line for autographs advanced, letting Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash enter into the shop. “Yeah, you have gotten really good at it,” Pinkie said. “Twilight even told me how you used it to tear down an old barn of Applejack's.”
“Oh yeah, I call that my Rainbomb. It's one of the new tricks I've been working on. Hey, do you think the Wonderbolts will want to see it?”
Pinkie Pie nodded her head vigorously. “I want to see it, and if I want to see it they'll really want to see it because they're amazing fliers, just like you.”
Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie perked their ears, coming to realize they were at the front of the line. Rainbow quickly withdrew the newspaper clipping from the saddlebags Pinkie Pie was wearing and then stepped forward to the table where the Wonderbolts were seated. Even from where Pinkie Pie was standing, she could tell the Wonderbolts were happy to see Rainbow. They were talking and laughing, and were more than eager to sign Rainbow's newspaper clipping.
“Excuse me, but are you Pinkamena Diana Pie?”
Hearing her name, she turned to face to see a well-built unicorn in a business suit with small double 'M' pin on his lapel. “Yes I am, but everypony just calls me Pinkie Pie.”
The unicorn smiled. “Of course, Pinkie Pie. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Mogul Magnate, and I wanted to talk to you about that plant of yours.”
“Oh, you mean Sweet Tooth?” Pinkie Pie asked happily. Her demeanor then quickly shifted. Her eyebrows furrowed, and she pointed an accusing hoof at Mogul. “Hey, you’re the pony that poisoned Sweet Tooth and made her sick!”
Mogul didn’t bat an eye at the accusation. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, though I am sorry to hear your plant is sick. I do hope it will make a full recovery.”
“She will, no thanks to you.”
“In any case,” Mogul continued, “I was wondering if I could interest you in a business deal. Sweet Tooth is a very rare and unique plant specimen, and a lot of ponies all around Equestria would be eager to see such a strange sight. If you allow my company to manage your careers, you and Sweet Tooth could become the next big celebrities in Equestria.
“Just think of it,” Mogul continued as he waved his hoof through the air. “Pinkie Pie, hero of Equestria, and Sweet Tooth, the rarest plant in the world. You could be rich, famous, and have everything you could ever want.”
“But I've already got everything I could ever want.”
Mogul froze up, his eyebrows arched in confusion. “Come again?”
“Why would I need to go all over Equestria to get what I already have here in Ponyville? I have my friends, Gummy, the Cakes, and Sweet Tooth. I get to throw a lot of really fun parties, and sometimes have really cool adventures. Like this one time, me and my friends went up a mountain to try and get a dragon to take a nap someplace else. Now that was a fun adventure, even if the dragon didn't laugh at my silly costume.”
“So... so you’re content to just stay here, in this little town? You’re happy working as an assistant at that bakery and throwing parties for your friends?”
Pinkie Pie nodded her head firmly and turned away from Mogul. “Yep, I got everything I need right here in Ponyville. Well, except a pogo stick, but that's going to be coming in the mail any day now.
“Besides,” Pinkie Pie said, putting a hoof forward as Rainbow Dash finished up with the Wonderbolts. “You hurt Sweet Tooth. Until you apologize to her, I’m not inviting you to any parties and I’m not interested in any of your business deals.”
After saying those final firm words, Pinkie Pie regained her pleasant demeanor and she bounced up to the Wonderbolts. She presented them with the poster Rainbow Dash wanted signed, and didn’t notice or chose to ignore the cold glare she was receiving from Mogul.
That evening, Pinkie Pie slipped back into Sugarcube Corner with a yawn. She had enjoyed her day off, though it wasn’t as restful as she could have hoped. After getting the poster autographed for Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie hung out with her fast flying friend the rest of the day. They got in some good pranks, joined a pick-up game of hoofball in the park, and had a lot of fun. All that, however, came with a cost. She was exhausted. She didn’t have the energy to bounce.
“Oh, I’m going to sleep like Rocky tonight,” Pinkie Pie said to herself. She began crossing the room, only for a vine to reach out and tap her shoulder. She turned in the direction of the tap, and saw Sweet Tooth giving her a big grin.
“I’m sorry, Sweet Tooth, but I’m just too tired. I can give you some of the leftovers, but I can’t bake for you tonight.”
“Oh, but Pinkie Pie, just look at my stem.” Sweet Tooth whined. She lifted her pod and used her vines to motion towards her stem. “I’ve got nothing. I could snap right off. And look at my leaves! Pinkie Pie, I’m wilting here.”
“I’m sorry,” Pinkie Pie said as she trotted up to Sweet Tooth, “but I’m too tired.”
“So you’re too tired to feed me but you’re not to tired to go and hang out with your friend, Rainbow Dash? Huh, nice to know how much you care about me.”
Pinkie Pie lowered her ears. “Oh, yeah... Sweet Tooth, I’m sorry. I just... I’ve been working a lot lately, and I wanted to have some fun.”
Sweet Tooth stretched out a vine and gently lifted Pinkie’s chin. “Oh, now don’t frown, Pinkie. I know how you can feed me and get all the sleep you could want.”
“Really, how? Do you know a secret, super sugary, quick recipe?”
“Oh, you could say that,” Sweet Tooth answered. “Here, I’ll even tell you what you’ll need. You’ll need a black sweater, soft-soled shoes, a black ski-mask, your saddlebags, and a crowbar.”
Pinkie Pie bounced, zipped upstairs, and returned a few moments later wearing the ski mask, sweater, and shoes while carrying the crowbar in her saddlebag. “Oh, this sounds like a fun recipe!”
“Oh, it is. Now all you have to do is scamper on down the street to Star Buck’s. When you get there, use that crowbar to smash their windows. Then all you have to do is take all their sweets, stuff them in your saddlebags, and bring them back here.
“Okie-Doki-wait a minute! You want me to rob Star Buck’s?!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed with wide, disbelieving eyes.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
“It is a bad thing,” Pinkie Pie scolded. She tossed her head until the ski mask flew off and landed in Sweet Tooth’s vines. “Stealing is wrong, super wrong.”
“But Pinkie Pie, I’m starving and... oh no-” Sweet Tooth collapsed into her pot. “The poison, it’s taking hold again. I... I can see a bright light. Daddy... daddy, is that you?”
“But... but... it’s stealing.” Pinkie Pie whimpered. Her resolve was starting to crumble.
“Oh, it’s okay,” Sweet Tooth said before coughing weakly. “I mean, all I’ve done is save the shop from going out of business. I’m sure the Cakes won’t mind losing their livelihood... and I’m sure you won’t mind moving away from Ponyville and all your friends.”
Pinkie Pie frowned. “I’d have to move?”
“Oh yes,” Sweet Tooth said before coughing again. “After all, you can’t live in the loft of a closed bakery, now can you?”
“But... but Gummy loves Sugarcube Corner... and I love Ponyville,” Pinkie Pie said. She looked over her shoulder at the crowbar in her saddlebag. She bit her lip, and began looking around the room. Fond memories began to play in her mind, and they became mixed with the idea of having to leave. That was one kind of party she never wanted to throw or attend: a going away party.
Looking back to the crowbar, Pinkie Pie swallowed nervously before taking it in her teeth. She then walked toward the door.
“Don’t forget this,” Sweet Tooth called just as Pinkie Pie was about to leave. She held out the discarded ski-mask. Pinkie Pie reluctantly took it and then departed into the night, leaving Sweet Tooth smiling to herself. She ended her faked sickness and waited patiently for her dinner. Sure, they weren’t the best pastries, but Star Buck’s baked goods contained just as much, if not more, sugar.
Mogul Magnate stepped over the broken glass at Star Buck’s, a strong frown on his face as he looked across the room. Bottom Line was a few steps behind, using a broom and dust pan to clean up the mess.
“Did anypony see what happened?”
“No sir,” Bottom Line answered without pausing from his work. “The employees are still speaking with local law enforcement, but from what I’ve heard everything was safe and secure when they closed up yesterday.”
Mogul huffed and checked the cash register, which was still locked and secure. Using his magic, he undid the lock and gave the bits inside a quick inspection. “Are we sure it wasn’t just some punk kids in the neighborhood causing trouble?”
“Yes sir, there are signs that a pony was in here after the window was broken. The shop’s entire supply of baked goods is missing.”
Mogul turned his attention to Bottom Line, his gaze hardening. “Did you say ‘baked goods’?”
“Yes sir, I did. Why?”
Mogul opened his mouth to say something, but no words left his mouth. Instead, he walked past Bottom Line and to the shop’s broken window. Using his magic, he gingerly plucked something off one of the glass shards. It was a tuft of curly pink hair.
Bottom Line finished sweeping up the broken glass into his dust pan, and stepped up beside Mogul to examine the tuft of hair. “What is that, sir?”
“A sign that I underestimated my opponent,” Mogul said, a smile starting to spread on his lips. “I wouldn’t have never imagined that naive ball of pink would even know how to play dirty. It’s actually somewhat elegant. She didn’t steal enough to get the town guard out in force looking for a thief or vandal, but she did enough to ensure that this place won’t be selling any pastries today.”
Mogul’s eyes flashed with determination. With a small spark of his horn, he set the tuft of hair on fire while his grin grew into a eager smile. “No more colt shoes, Bottom Line. Now, I’m going to show her just what it means when I play dirty.’”
Despite the frown on his face, Bottom Line gave a nod. “Yes, sir.”
Mogul waited patiently in the shadows between two buildings. Across the street from him stood Sugarcube Corner, and through the windows he was able to watch the Cakes and Pinkie Pie as they closed up for the evening. They were just about to finish, and with a pleased smile Mogul stuck his head out of the alley and a gave single nod.
That nod signaled Bottom Line, who trotted up to the shop’s front door. He knocked, and engaged Mr. Cake in conversation as soon as the baker stallion opened the door. Mogul didn’t know what Bottom Line was saying, and in truth he didn’t care. All he cared was that Bottom Line succeeded in his task: getting the Cakes and Pinkie Pie out of the shop.
“There we go,” Mogul said when he saw Mr. Cake stepping outside with Bottom Line. They talked for a little longer, were joined by Pinkie Pie and Mrs. Cake, and then Bottom Line led the small group away from Sugarcube Corner. Mogul waited until he saw them disappear around a distant street corner before he advanced on the shop.
Trotting around to the back door, Mogul made sure nopony was around before turning his attention on the door. He tried it once, to make sure it hadn’t been left unlocked. The handle didn’t budge, but that only made Mogul’s eyes glint. “Wouldn’t want it to be easy, now would I?” he mused before lowering his horn to the lock. The mechanisms inside clicked and shifted under the gentle encouragement of his levitation magic.
The lock clicked open a few moments later, and Mogul slipped inside triumphantly. He was in the bakery’s kitchen, and without a moment’s hesitation he began to check the drawers and cupboards. He continued his search until he came across the knife drawer, from which he withdrew the biggest knife.
“Hmmm... I suppose this will work,” Mogul said. He looked down the length of the knife while closing one eye, inspecting the blade. “It isn’t as sharp as I’d like, but maybe-” Mogul turned, and began waving the knife through the air. He slashed and stabbed, getting a feel for the weight. He then jumped and made a quarter turn, landing and driving the knife forward.
Mogul then dropped the knife, but it was intentional. His playful, dramatic spin had turned him towards a small closet in the kitchen which was left open. Inside the closet he saw a mop, a bucket, and other cleaning supplies. Yet, leaning up against a back corner of the closet, with a spiderweb on its handle, was an ax.
Like a colt who had gotten just what he wanted for his birthday, Mogul picked up the blade with his magic. “Oh, beautiful, what are you doing in a place like this?” He inspected the blade. It was old, but sharp. “Poor girl, it looks like you haven’t been swung in decades. Probably used to chop wood for an old stove or something.
“Well, don’t you worry, beautiful,” Mogul spoke sweetly. He carried the ax in front of him as he moved from the shop’s kitchen to the front room. “I’m going to put you to good use tonight.”
After giving the ax a test swing, Mogul focused his eyes on Sweet Tooth. The plant looked even bigger than the last time he saw it, which was astounding considering how much weed killer he had poured in its pot. It was a shame to kill such a hardy plant, especially one with such potential. In his hooves, Sweet Tooth would have been a goldmine. Right now, however, it was just another obstacle in his path of corporate domination.
Drawing in a deep breath, Mogul enjoyed the lingering smell of baked goods in the air. He then smiled and lifted the ax, an old thrill pumping through his veins. It had been a few years since he had gotten down and done his own dirty work, and in truth he missed it so.
He stepped towards Sweet Tooth, taking aim with the ax. The plant really was a behemoth, and its vines were starting to flower. Once again, Mogul couldn’t deny he wished he could have gotten the plant away from Pinkie Pie. Still, maybe if he smashed open the pod he could find some seeds.
“Say good night, sweetheart,” Mogul quipped before swinging his head. His magic drove the ax in a wide arc, its blade aimed directly at Sweet Tooth’s stem. However, before metal could meet plant, the ax was snatched out of Mogul’s magic by one of Sweet Tooth’s vines.
“Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to mess with somepony’s else property?” Sweet Tooth asked as she lifted the ax away from Mogul.
Mogul stared bug-eyed with his jaw hanging open. “You can... but... how... you can talk?” was the only thing he could stutter out.
Sweet Tooth let out a boisterous laugh. Her vines lashed out at Mogul, wrapping around his hooves and dragging him closer. She lowered her pod, so that the tip of his nose was just an inch from the front of her. She tilted her head and got a good look at him with her unseen eyes.
“How d’you do?” Sweet Tooth asked in song. “I see you’ve learned my special, little secret. You just thought you could kill me, because when you saw me, I seemed like a harmless thicket.”
Sweet Tooth tightened her grip around Mogul and shook him, though it was only enough to make his eyes spin. “Don't get cocky by the way that I look. Don't judge a book by its cover. I'm not much of a sight, in the public eye, but really I'm one haaaay of a fighter.
“I'm just a lethal little sweet trap, from far beyond Equestriaaaa-ha-ha!”
Sweet Tooth brought the terrified Mogul closer so he could better appreciated the rows of razor sharp teeth in her mouth. “Let me show you who’s boss, maybe I’ll... give you a toss. I must say you look pretty tasty. Or if you want something visual, that's much more abysmal, I could maybe bake you into a sweet little pastry.”
Mogul finally managed to squirm his way free of Sweet Tooth’s vines. He dropped onto the floor and sprained his ankle in the process. Still, wincing through the pain, he tried to back away from Sweet Tooth, not taking his eyes off the plant for a moment.
“Now, there’s no need to be rash,” Mogul chuckled weakly while forcing a smile onto his face. “I was being brash... we don’t want to be too hasty.”
Mogul inched towards the door.“I'll just leave you alone. I’ll stay out of your zone... Oh, and I’m really not that tasty.”
Mogul had only just reached the door when a pair of vines grabbed him from behind. Sweet Tooth hauled him into the air by his back hooves, letting hang upside down while she brought him close and poked him in the chest.
“But you know far too much now, this I can’t allow. Well sonny, you should panic,” Sweet Tooth warned with a grin. “By the light of the night, when it seems alright, you’ll learn that I’m a deadly botanic.”
Sweet Tooth tossed Mogul in the air. He flailed his hooves in a panic until Sweet Tooth caught him again, holding him upright this time while she waved her other vines in a grandiose fashion.
“I'm just a lethal little sweet trap, from far beyond... Equestriaaaa-ha-ha!”
Sweet Tooth brought another vine and traced it around Mogul’s chest. He was shaking like a leaf. “Why don't you stay for the night? Or... maybe a bite? I could show you my favourite... obsession.”
Sweet Tooth waved a vine towards the kitchen. “I've been baking a flan, with custard in a pan. It's good for relieving my... tension.
“I'm just a lethal little sweet trap, from far beyond... Equestriaaaa-ha-ha!”
“Yeah, believe it!” Sweet Tooth yelled. All of her vines, including the one holding on to Mogul, swung around dramatically. “I'm just a lethal little sweet trap, from far beyond... Equestriaaaa-ha-ha!”
Sweet Tooth brought Mogul closer to her mouth, and brought a vine close to his face. It was covered in long, thick, sharp vines. Mogul whimpered as those sharp points were pressed lightly against his coat.
“So... how do you like my vine. Aren’t my thorns quite fine?” Sweet Tooth cooed. She lifted her thorns from Mogul’s skin, only to wave them around in the air in front of him. She never hurt him, but the sight of those thorns alone was torture enough.
“I see you shiver with antici-” Sweet Tooth completely froze, becoming still as a statue. Mogul blinked in confusion, wondering if his life had been spared. That hopeful thought, however, disappeared when Sweet Tooth’s smile began to widen. “Pation!”
Sweet Tooth took her thorns away from Mogul’s face and, instead, brought one of her flower-covered vines close.“But maybe that fate... isn't really that great. No, I'll put away my rage...” Sweet Tooth chuckled darkly. “And instead show you my phage.”
Questions, Comments, Concerns?
My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic © Hasbro
Little Shop of Horror © Warner Bros.
Rocky Horror Picture Show © 20th Century Fox
I do not own the intellectual properties this fan-fiction is based on.
Little Sugar Shop of Horrors
Preread, Edited, and Reviewed By
Nightsong, DeagleDued, Wraithguard, Rainbowdash64
<<Chapter 2 ---------------
Pinkie Pie made her way down the stairs, well rested and ready for the day. The dinner with Bottom Line the previous evening had gone better than she would have expected. He treated them to a meal, hoping to convince Mr. and Mrs. Cake to sell Sugarcube Corner. She was happy when the Cakes politely told him no, but unlike Mogul, Bottom Line didn’t press the issue. He just accepted their answer and they spent the rest of the evening having a pleasant meal. He even let her order two desserts.
The desserts, however, hadn’t tasted as good as Pinkie Pie hopped. Their flavor was soured by her own writhing guilt. Bottom Line wasn’t a bad pony like Mogul, and neither were any of the ponies at Star Buck’s. Yet, she had stolen from them. She had broken the window and taken every pastry and sweet, just so she could feed Sweet Tooth and get a good night’s sleep in the same evening. She was tempted to admit her guilt right there, but fears of jail and being separated from her friends, the Cakes, Sweet Tooth, and Gummy all made her keep the secret.
At the very least, Pinkie Pie swore to herself she’d never steal anything ever again, and so far Sweet Tooth hadn’t tried to convince her to break that vow. The previous evening Sweet Tooth was surprisingly content with the day’s leftovers. Maybe it was a sign that Sweet Tooth’s appetite was finally dying down, something that she could only hope for.
“Good Morning Mr. and Mrs. Cake!” Pinkie Pie greeted when she reached the bottom of the stairs. The Cakes were already working to get the shop ready for the day, filling the displays with freshly baked treats and making sure the floor was clean.
“Morning, Pinkie Pie,” Mrs. Cake replied. “Did you sleep well?
“Yep,” Pinkie Pie said with a nod. She did have one bad dream about ponies finding out she was a pastry thief, but that wasn’t something she could tell the Cakes.
“That’s good to hear,” Mrs. Cake said. “We need to be on the tip of our hooves today. We got a couple big orders to fill, and there’s already a pony outside waiting to be let in. So, Pinkie Pie, could you please unlock the door and then start working on the orders? I’ve left the list out on the kitchen counter for you.”
“You got it!” Pinkie Pie said with a playful salute. She bounced to the door, unlocked it, and turned the sign from “Closed” to “Open”. She then pulled on the handle, putting on a warm smile to greet the first customer of the day. It was a smile that faltered when she saw Mogul Magnate standing on the shop’s front step.
“Oh...h-hello,” Pinkie Pie stuttered a little, straining to keep a smile on her face. Coming face to face with the pony she had arguably stolen from made guilt flare up in her chest. She, however, managed to stop herself blurting out the truth and stepped to the side. “Please, c-come in.”
Mogul gave a courteous nod of his head and stepped into the bakery. “Thank you. I was wondering if I could have a word with the Cakes.”
Mr. and Mrs. Cake perked up at the sound of their name. The paused from what they were doing and walked up to Mogul. “Oh, Mr. Magnate,” Mr. Cake said. “It’s a surprised to see you here this early.”
“Yes, I do hope you don’t mind the intrusion. I wanted to speak with you about something,” Mogul said. He lifted a hoof to adjust his tie as well as ensure the bright red flower in the chest pocket of his jacket was standing perfectly upright.
“If this is about us selling-” Mrs. Cake wearily began, her patience for Mogul’s badgering running short.
“It is not,” Mogul interrupted her. “I just wanted to say that I’m very impressed by how much of a fight your little shop has put up. Between my Star Buck’s and my generous offer, I would have expected this place to become my most recent acquisition. Still, since that is not the case, I’m here to admit defeat.”
“Excuse me?” Mr. Cake asked, not quite understanding where Mogul was going.
“I wanted you two to know that I’m closing the Ponyville Star Buck’s branch indefinitely. You have proven to be the superior business, and to the victor goes the spoils.”
Mr. and Mrs. Cake looked at each other before Mrs. Cake looked back at Mogul. “Oh, well, we’re sorry to hear that. We never wanted to run your store out of business, Mr. Magnate. We just didn’t want to lose our own.”
Mr. Cake nodded. “Yes, and we didn’t want to make anypony lose their job either. We know some of the ponies that your shop employed, and they liked working there. They even felt guilty when we were having trouble. We knew it was nothing personal, of course, but they were still very apologetic.”
“Well, you don’t need to worry about any of the ponies that worked there,” Mogul said with a reassuring grin. “I know how devastating it must be to lose a job, so I’ve given them all very generous severance packages. I’m sure it’ll be enough to keep them afloat until they’ve found work elsewhere.”
Mogul winced, reached under his coat and scratched at a spot, as if he had just been nipped by a bug. He then shook his head and regained his strong smile, as if his sudden itch never happened. Mr. and Mrs. Cake didn’t seem to think much about it but Pinkie Pie felt her Pinkie Sense acting up. It was a sensation she wasn’t familiar with, but she knew it was there.
Yet, before Pinkie Pie could get a proper gauge on what had caused her Pinkie Sense to flare, it was gone. Mogul was heading to the door, and the Cakes were following a few steps behind. “Now, I’m afraid I have to go,” Mogul said. “After all, you have your quaint bakery to run and I have my corporate empire.”
Mogul reached the door, and was about to leave when he turned and looked at the Cakes over his shoulder. “Oh, but before I go, I hope you don’t mind if if give you some advice. If I were you, I would suggest giving some of those flowers from that plant to customers.”
“It does seem to have a surplus of flowers, doesn’t it?” Mrs. Cake commented.
“Yes,” Mr. Mogul confirmed. He stepped out of the bakery and began walking towards the nearby, waiting chariot. “Nothing makes customers happier than getting something for free.”
Pinkie Pie found herself in front of the cash register a few hours later. She worked quickly to exchange the customer’s bits with the desired baked goods. Star Buck’s closure had made things busier than ever before. The bakery was packed to capacity and a line snaked around the interior and stretched out the front door. At the rate ponies were buying food, Sugarcube Corner would be sold out by early afternoon.
The concern of running out of food wasn’t at the front of Pinkie Pie’s mind. In fact, she was kind of looking forward to it. She hadn’t enjoyed a real day off since she found Sweet Tooth. No, the thing that worried her was that every customer who came up to the cash register had a flower tucked behind their ear, in their mane, in their tail, or looped around their wrist like a bracelet.
The Cakes had thought about Mogul’s suggestion, and decided to take it. They enlisted the help of Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy, and now the three flower ponies were seated on the far side of the room, next to Sweet Tooth. They trimmed blossoms from Sweet Tooth’s vines and, with a happy smile, presented every customer in line with a flower.
Pinkie Pie was worried that all the snipping was going to hurt Sweet Tooth, but the giant plant had yet to protest. Blossom after blossom was being snipped from her vines, yet Sweet Tooth was growing the flowers back as quickly as they were being removed. The new flowers also seemed to be grown just for the ponies in line. Sweet Tooth always seemed to have at least one flower that was a perfect match for a customer’s coat, hair, or saddlebags.
“Um... excuse me.”
Pinkie Pie shook her head, realizing she had once again gotten distracted. She turned her attention to the customer who was standing by the cash register. It was Fluttershy, and she was wearing a gentle smile. Like everypony else, she had one of Sweet Tooth’s blossoms tucked into her mane. It was a big, teal flower that went with her eyes perfectly.
“Hey Fluttershy. What can I getcha?” Pinkie Pie asked, pushing her concerns to the back of her mind.
“Oh, I’d just like a small sugar cookie please, and a bit of carrot cake for Angel,” Fluttershy answered quietly. She deposited the exact amount of bits for the purchase onto the counter.
“Sure, just let me grab them for you,” Pinkie Pie replied. With well practiced speed and efficiency, she fetched the two treats and placed them into a small bag. She then nudged the bag towards Fluttershy before scooping the bits of the counter. “There you go. I hope Angel likes the carrot cake.”
Fluttershy sniffed at the bag, smiling at the sweet aroma. “Oh, I’m sure he’ll love it. Though, um...”
“What is it, Fluttershy?’
“I just,” Fluttershy began. She looked over at Sweet Tooth. “Would it be okay if I asked for another flower? I know we’re only supposed to get one, but I saw this little, itty-bitty flower that would just look so cute on Angel. Still, if you say no, I’ll understand. I know a lot of ponies want flowers and-”
Pinkie Pie pushed the cash register’s door shut, cutting Fluttershy off. “Don’t worry, Fluttershy. No ponies going to mind if you ask for another flower, especially if it’s just a small one.”
“Oh wonderful,” Fluttershy cheered in her own quiet way. She turned to leave, paused to scratch at her mane, and then turned back to Pinkie Pie with the sparkle of an idea in her eyes. “Oh, do you think I could get a little flower for all my animal friends too?”
Pinkie Pie’s smile weakened. “Well, that’s a lot of flowers to be cutting of Sweet Tooth... but I suppose you could ask Roseluck. If she thinks it’s okay-”
Fluttershy hopped into the air happily. “Oh, I hope she says yes. All my little animals would look just so cute if they each had their own little flower.” With that Fluttershy grabbed up the bag containing her purchased treats. She fluttered into the air, and flew over to where Roseluck, Lily, and Daisy were working.
Pinkie Pie stood back, watching as Rarity flitted about the room. Papers, pencils, fabric samples, and other seamstress tools floated in the air, suspended by magic as she worked at a feverish pace.
For Rarity, this was nothing nothing out of the ordinary. Pinkie Pie had seen her friend go on similar creative binges when she was struck with inspiration, managing to multi-task like no other pony in Equestria. It was just how she got when she was having a lot of fun planning a party. She’d just bounce around putting up decorations so quickly, the party would be ready before she even knew it.
The oddity of the situation, however, was the location. Rarity had set herself up in Sugarcube Corner after closing time, taking over the front of the shop. In the few days since the Cakes began giving out Sweet Tooth's blossoms, flowers had became the latest hip trend of Ponyville. The ponies who possessed a flower never went anywhere without it, and the sight of the colorful buds was inspiring other ponies to come by the bakery and get their own.
For Rarity, it was a golden opportunity. She saw flowers being the next big fashion trend in Equestria, and was eager to be the one to kick it off. Over the course of a few hours of work, she had sketchd out a few dozen designs in different color palettes. She also wasn’t showing any sign of slowing down.
Plucking another flower from Sweet Tooth's vines, Rarity levitated it over to the dress maker form she had brought over to Sugarcube Corner. She placed the flower behind the mannequin's ear, and then used her magic to change the mannequin's color. The white fabric shifted into a spectrum of colors, Rarity taking very detailed notes of which colors seemed to go well with the blossom.
“It's so amazing. I don't know why flower fashion didn't catch on sooner. Yes, there is the issue that cut flowers tend to wilt after a few days, but Sweet Tooth's buds are just so resilient.” Rarity lifted a hoof to touch the white flower that was placed elegantly in her mane. “I've had mine for almost a week now and it’s still as beautiful as the day I got it. It's just astounding.
“Don't you agree, Pinkie Pie?” Rarity asked. She looked over at her friend, who smiled back.
“Yep, that's my Sweet Tooth. She's a tough little plant.”
“Tough, yes, but I wouldn't quite say little,” Rarity mused. She turned to Sweet Tooth and titled her head back. The plant now dominated the whole corner of the shop, its pod scrapping the roof while its vines covered the nearby walls and flower. “I dare say, Pinkie Pie, that you may need to consider moving Sweet Tooth outside.”
Pinkie Pie walked up beside Rarity. “I don't know. Sweet Tooth might like it outside, but what happens when winter comes? I wouldn't want Sweet Tooth to freeze.”
“Hmm, a valid point. Oh well, it was just a-” Rarity tossed her head and crinkled her nose, like she was suffering a horrible ice cream headache. She then looked back at Pinkie Pie, fresh inspiration flashing in her eyes. “Wait a minute, I just had a wonderful idea.”
“Oh, what was it? Is it that peanut butter and chocolate really go well together?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“Uh... no,” Rarity said flatly. “What I was thinking was how much good Sweet Tooth did for Sugarcube Corner, and how much good it could do for the whole town. What if we moved it to the town hall, and opened it up so anypony in could come and see Sweet Tooth? We’ll make her like a tourist attraction.”
Rarity's smile widened, her mind continuing down the inspirational train of thought. “Oh yes, now that's an even better idea. Just think about it, Pinkie Pie. Ponies from across Equestria would come to see Sweet Tooth, especially if it keeps getting bigger. It will be a boost in business not only for Sugarcube Corner, but for the entire town. Tourism means more business, and more business means a better economy, and before you know it our little town would be booming. There would be new ponies, new homes, new business.”
Pinkie Pie looked at the ceiling and thought about the idea. “Well, I do love throwing welcome parties for new ponies, and you're right, Sweet Tooth is getting too big for the bakery. Still, do you really think the mayor will want to put Sweet Tooth in the town hall?”
“Oh, I'm positive she'll absolutely love the idea. In fact, I'm going to run right off to discuss it with her.” Rarity turned to leave, but paused a moment to pick one of Sweet Tooth's flowers.
“What's that for?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“Oh, just a little something for the mayor, just in case she hasn't gotten one. I think it will help me convince her this is a good idea,” Rarity answered as she trotted towards the door. “Now, be a dear and watch my things until I come back.”
“Sure, I'll keep an eye on everything, Rarity,” Pinkie Pie called just before Rarity trotted out the door. Once Rarity was gone, Pinkie Pie walked over beside Sweet Tooth. “So, did you hear all that?”
Sweet Tooth bent her pod down and nodded. “I sure did.”
“And are you okay with it?” Pinkie Pie asked. “I mean, you've been here in Sugarcube Corner almost your entire life, and I know what it's like to move away from your home. It was really hard when I left my family's rock farm, and I want you to know you don't have to leave if you don't want to.”
Sweet Tooth smiled and bent her pod down near Pinkie Pie. “Oh, that's sweet of you, but you don't have to worry about me. Your friend is right. I'm just getting too big for this little shop. If I keep growing, I'd break right through the roof. That town hall, though, that place has plenty of room for me to spread out my vines.”
Pinkie Pie smiled, moving up to and nuzzling one of Sweet Tooth's vines. “Oh, my little Sweet Tooth is all grown up and ready to move out of the bakery and help the whole town. I'm so proud.”
“And I couldn't have done it without you, Pinkie Pie,” Sweet Tooth said. She drew a couple of her flowering vines near Pinkie Pie, plucking one of her own flowers and placing it in Pinkie's mane. “But don't you worry. I'm sure I'll love living at the town hall, and you're always welcome to come by, as long as you bring a treat.”
Pinkie Pie giggled. “Uh oh, sounds like someone is hungry. Don't worry, I'll go grab you something to snack on before Rarity comes back.” Pinkie Pie turned to leave, and lifted a hoof to the flower Sweet Tooth just had put in her mane. She was just going to make sure it was securely in place, but when she felt the flower she quickly drew it out of her curls. It had already wilted and lost a number of its petals.
“Huh... I wonder what's wrong with my flower.”
Sweet Tooth took the wilted flower from Pinkie Pie and tossed it away. “I'm sure it was just a bad blossom. Once I get moved into the town hall I'll get to work growing a very special flower, just for you. One that won't ever wilt. You'd like that, wouldn't you, Pinkie Pie?”
“Of course I would!” Pinkie Pie chirped. “Now, how about I make you those frosting squares you love so much?”
Sweet Tooth liked her lips. “Oh, such a sinful delight. Whichever pony decided to just put frosting between two graham crackers was a genius. So quick, so simple, but so good.”
Pinkie Pie bounced into the kitchen. “Well then, two dozen frosting squares coming right up.”
Sweet Tooth kept smiling until she was sure Pinkie Pie wasn't coming back out the kitchen. It was then she let her smile turn into a frown. She looked down at the wilted flower, and tapped one of her vines against the ground.
Pinkie Pie stood in the front room of Sugarcube Corner, looking at the empty corner where Sweet Tooth used to sit. A week had gone by since Rarity had her idea to move Sweet Tooth to the town hall, and it had been a few days since the move had actually occurred. Rarity was right; the mayor jumped at the idea of using Sweet Tooth as a tourist attraction for the town.
Banners and posters were already going up around town advertising Sweet Tooth's presence. “Come see Sweet Tooth, the most amazing plant in Equestria.” “Only in Ponyville, the Astounding Sweet Tooth. Free flower for every visitor.” “Get your picture taken with Sweet Tooth!” From what Pinkie Pie had heard, similar advertising were also going up in several of Equestria’s bigger cities.
Sweet Tooth had also taken to the move well. Once she was out of her cramped corner of the bakery, she underwent a growth spurt. Now, she was easily as twice as tall as Celestia, with most of that height coming from her huge pod. Her vines spread out all across the floor of the town hall, and were already crawling up the walls.
Pinkie Pie was happy to see Sweet Tooth doing so well, but she kind of missed having her little Sweet Tooth around. She wouldn't deny, it had been rough in a couple places. She had committed a pastry burglary to keep Sweet Tooth satisfied, and it was something she regretted. She did not, however, regret doing what she could to keep Sweet Tooth alive and keep Sugarcube Corner open.
Moving to the corner, Pinkie Pie scrapped her hoof at some of the trailing bits of dirt and dead leaves that lingered where Sweet Tooth once stood. She knew she could visit Sweet Tooth whenever she wanted. She was just down the street, after all. A smile crept onto her face. She resolved to go see Sweet Tooth the next day, and to take her favorite little plant a huge plate of cookies.
Still, that would have to wait for the morning. After sneaking a few leftover cookies for herself from the kitchen, Pinkie Pie went upstairs to her bedroom. She brushed her teeth, tucked Gummy into his basket, and then leapt dramatically into her own bed. She giggled, bounced on the mattress, and snuggled beneath the covers.
She looked out her window, and began thinking of all the ponies that Sweet Tooth would bring to town, both tourists and new residents. She couldn't wait to throw all those welcome parties.
Pinkie Pie groggily opened her eyes a few hours later. She sat up in bed, checked her clock, and saw it was a little after midnight. She didn't know why she had woken up until she felt a tingle run up her spine and her mouth turn sour. She dismissed the sensation at first, but when it repeated she paid more attention. It was her Pinkie Sense, a combo she had never experienced before. Yet, whatever was happening, it was happening outside.
Getting out of her bed, Pinkie Pie made her way to her bedroom window and stuck her head out into the night air. It took her eyes a moment to adjust, but when they did she saw that the streets of Ponyville, which should have been empty, were full of ponies. They were all marching towards the center of town, and many of them were carrying plates covered with cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and other desserts.
In almost an instant, the lingering cobwebs of sleep that clung to Pinkie Pie's mind were blown away. Her blue eyes widened with excitement and she bounded away from her window. There was only one reason ponies would be taking so many sugary treats towards the center of town so late at night.
They were going to have a party!
Not wanting to miss out, Pinkie Pie slipped downstairs and quickly whipped up a few dozen s’mores. She then bounced right out of Sugarcube Corner with the tray of treats balanced on her head and joined the crowd. It didn't take Pinkie Pie long to spot one of her friends.
“Oh, hey Applejack!” Pinkie Pie called out. She bounded up beside her friend, who was pulling a cart full of apple tarts and pies. “Why didn't anypony tell me we were having a party tonight? I would have so totally decorated! Oh, what's the party for? No, wait, let me guess. It's somepony's birthday, isn't it? No, wait, I change my answer. It's a wedding! Wait... wait, that doesn't make sense either. Ponies aren't usually supposed to bring food of their own to a wedding.”
Pinkie Pie giggled. “Oh, I don't know, and that's what makes it so fun! Okay, I give up. What's the party for, Applejack?”
“Sweet Tooth,” Applejack answered, though her tone was flat and her accent was weaker than usual.
“Oh, really? You're all throwing this big party for Sweet Tooth? That's so amazing! I know everypony really liked the flowers they've been picking off of Sweet Tooth, and I know that she's going to be helping out the town a lot. Still, I didn't think ponies would want to throw her a party this soon. I wish somepony would have told me. I would have baked such a huge cake. It would have been chocolate and would have had frosting and sprinkles and strawberries and candles and...”
Pinkie Pie trailed off when she and Applejack reached the town hall. She expected the room to be decorated. She expected to hear music and see ponies laughing and having a great time. She even kind of hoped to see Sweet Tooth dancing and talking to other ponies, since up to that point Sweet Tooth had only ever spoken to her.
What was going on in the town hall, however, was far from what Pinkie Pie would have considered a party. The ponies arriving from outside were forming a line in front of Sweet Tooth. There, two pegasi went back and forth, taking the freshly delivered sweets and dropping them into Sweet Tooth's waiting maw. Then, once the ponies delivered their treats, they either left the town hall or went on to another task. There were ponies using files to sharpen Sweet Tooth's thorns. Others were messaging Sweet Tooth's vines. One pony was even painting Sweet Tooth's portrait.
“Hey... what's going on? This doesn't look like a party.” Pinkie Pie nudged Applejack, trying to get her attention. “Uh, Applejack, helllloooo. I asked what's going on.”
Applejack didn't even turn her head in Pinkie Pie direction. She just moved with the line of ponies heading up to deliver sweets to Sweet Tooth. Not sure why Applejack was ignoring her, Pinkie Pie looked around the room and caught sight of Rarity and Fluttershy. The pair were working with a pair of sewing machines on one of the town hall's balcony.
“Hey, Rarity, Fluttershy, can you tell me what's going on?” Pinkie Pie asked once she had bounced over to her friends. They, however, were just as silent as Applejack. They remained focused on their work, stitching new banners for the town hall which were embroidered with a simple rendition of Sweet Tooth's pod and vines.
“You-hoo, girls, can you hear me?” Pinkie Pie asked. She waved a hoof in front of Rarity, but the fashion designer didn't so much as blink. She would have continued to try and press those two for information, but her eyes were drawn by a familiar chromatic blur.
“Oh, hey, Rainbow Dash, can you tell me what's going on?” Pinkie Pie asked. Rainbow Dash had just flown by with a cloud. She positioned it right above Sweet Tooth, jumped onto the top of the cloud, and began to trot in place. The gentle strikes caused the cloud to release a fine mist, which fell onto and refreshed Sweet Tooth's leaves.
Pinkie Pie furrowed her eyebrows at being ignored for a fourth time. She hunkered herself down, twisted her tail in the air, and then sprung off the balcony where Rarity and Fluttershy were working. She wasn't able to jump far enough to reach Rainbow Dash's cloud, but she did get far enough to snatch Rainbow's tail in her teeth.
With the sudden additional weight of Pinkie Pie hanging off her tail, Rainbow Dash fell off her cloud and the pair crashed to the floor. There, Pinkie Pie quickly helped Rainbow back to her hooves. “I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash, but everypony is acting so weird and I just want to know what kind of party this is.”
Rainbow Dash paused, as if she was going to answer Pinkie Pie's question. She instead turned and bucked. The only thing that kept Pinkie Pie from getting a hoof to the chest was her Pinkie Sense, which gave her enough warning to duck beneath Rainbow Dash's hooves. Then, without a word of apology or explanation, Rainbow Dash flew away. She resumed trotting in place on the cloud, misting Sweet Tooth, as if nothing had happened.
“Rainbow Dash...” Pinkie Pie trailed, confused why her friend would try and buck her.
“Oh, Pinkie Pie, what’s wrong? Why the long face?”
Pinkie Pie got up off the ground and looked in Sweet Tooth's direction. The plant paused from her glutinous feast, and smiled down at Pinkie Pie.
“Sweet Tooth, what's going on? Why is everypony feeding you and sharpening your thorns and making banners for you? Why aren't any of my friends talking to me? What kind of party is this?”
“They're feeding me because because I told them to,” Sweet Tooth answered before giving her vine a flick. One of the nearby pegasi swooped down, grabbed a half dozen pies from Applejack's cart, and dropped all of them in Sweet Tooth's mouth
“But when did you ask them to do this? The only pony you've ever spoken to is me, and I think my friends would have said something if they were going to bake you treats.”
“Oh no, Pinkie Pie, you don't understand,” Sweet Tooth said through her chewing and smacking lips. “I didn't ask your friends to make me these sweets. I told them to.” Sweet Tooth reached out a vine and stroked the side of Applejack's face. “And they obeyed like the sweet little servants they are.”
“But they aren't your servants,” Pinkie Pie snapped, not liking the tone in Sweet Tooth's voice. “They're ponies and my friends.”
“About all you got right there is that they're ponies,” Sweet Tooth retorted. “Despite what you may think, they are my servants and they sure as sugar aren't your friends anymore.”
Sweet Tooth flicked her vine again, beckoning a pegasus to dump a small mountain of brownies into her mouth. “You see, Pinkie Pie, I'm a Sweet Trap. I eat sweets. The bigger I am the more sweets I need, and the more sweets I eat the bigger I get. It's a wonderful little cycle that continues until I’m fully grown. Then, I just eat sweets because I want to. Now, I’ll admit that, for a while, I was satisfied with those little snacks you were giving me at Sugarcube Corner.
“But then I got bigger, got hungrier, and you just weren't cutting it any more.” Sweet Tooth explained. She paused to pick a stray pie tin out of her teeth and toss it across the room. “I was sure my hunger was going to get the best of me and I would have to do something drastic, but I got lucky. Mogul Magnate came into Sugarcube Corner to try and cut me down at the stem. Normally, anypony that takes a swing at me doesn't get to see the sunrise. Yet, just when I was about to give him a proper introduction to my thorns, I had a thought. Mogul is a business pony that the Cakes respect, and he was in my vines. A pony that, with the proper influence, would be able to make a single, little suggestion.”
Pinkie Pie's eyes went wide. She remembered what Mogul suggested the morning he announced he was closing Star Buck's. He suggested that the Cakes give out Sweet Tooth's flowers. She could also remember that Mogul had a red flower in his suit's chest pocket: one of Sweet Tooth's flowers.
Sweet Tooth grinned devilishly at the shocked look on Pinkie Pie's face. “Looks like somepony finally put two and two together. Took you long enough.”
“So... so this entire time, this has been your plan.”
“Well, not this specifically,” Sweet Tooth admitted. She leaned her pod on some of her vines while she waved another nonchalantly in the air. “I had the gist going, of course. First, I eat sugary foods and get bigger. Second, I convince some ponies to give me more food and get bigger. Third, I take over a few ponies' minds with my flowers, eat sweets, and get bigger. You know, it was a rough plan, but you and Mogul helped out so much.”
“But the flowers, how are they-?”
“Look, do you really care how it works?” Sweet Tooth snapped, her patience in the conversation was running out. “All you need to know is that when I put one of my flowers near a pony, it takes over. I’ll even admit that it took me a little while to get a feel for how a pony’s mind works. I was only able to implant ideas at first. I gave Fluttershy the idea to get flowers for all her animal friends, and Rarity wanting to move me here to town hall? That was me too.”
“But why? Why would you do all this?” Pinkie Pie asked. She took a step towards Sweet Tooth, a few flickers of hope flashing in her eyes. “Were things so bad at the bakery? We were all so happy then. I fed you treats, and you brought in customers to keep the bakery open. You were my little Sweet Tooth and I loved you.”
Sweet Tooth reached out a vine and pinched Pinkie Pie’s cheek. “Oh, isn’t that just so adorable? Little Pinkie Pie actually thought I cared about her and that shop of hers. Well, tough cookies kid, but all you and the Cakes were to me was a meal ticket.
“Now I don’t need you any more.” Sweet Tooth flared her vines, wrapping around several dozen ponies and drawing them into something of a hug. “Now I've got all these ponies doing whatever I want, whenever I want. They’re my little mules, and they live to serve me, their sweet trap queen.”
“They are not mules!” Pinkie Pie barked with a bounce. “They’re my friends and I won’t let you do this to them!”
Sweet Tooth reached out a vine and poked at Pinkie Pie’s chest. “Oh yeah, well what are you going to do about it, Pinkamena?”
Gritting her teeth, Pinkie Pie swatted away Sweet Tooth’s vine. She focused a harsh gaze and pointed a hoof at the plant. “I know exactly what I’m going to do.”
“Yeah?” Sweet Tooth taunted. “Well, I know exactly how to stop you. Grab her!”
Before Pinkie Pie knew it, her hooves were pinned to the ground. She looked around, and saw that Rarity and Twilight were standing nearby. Their horns were glowing, and her hooves were wrapped in a similar glow.
“Hey! Let me go! Twilight, Rarity, don’t do what she says! You can fight it!”
“Uh, no, they can’t,” Sweet Tooth corrected. She stretched her vines around Pinkie Pie, encircling her with threatening thorns. “And soon, neither will you.”
Pinkie Pie took notice as one of Sweet Tooth’s vines was moving in the direction of her head, carrying a massive flower. That one bright pink blossom was three times as large as the flowers being worn by any of the other ponies.
“I don’t know how you killed that flower I put in your mane back at the bakery,” Sweet Tooth said. She used some of her other vines to hold Pinkie Pie’s head still as she brought the gigantic blossom closer. “But I’m not taking any chances. This beauty will put you so far under my influence, you’ll practically be an extension of my vines. Your mind will be buried so deeply beneath my will, you won’t even know your own name. Doesn’t that sound fun?
“No! It doesn’t!” Pinkie Pie shouted. She continued to struggle against Sweet Tooth’s vines, but they were simply overpowering her. She couldn’t get loose.
“Well, maybe not for you, but it will be fun for me,” Sweet Tooth commented. She placed the flower in Pinkie Pie’s mane, and almost instantly, Pinkie Pie felt a strange sensation wash over her. Yet, at the same time, Sweet Tooth reared back. Her vines flailed, releasing Pinkie Pie and knocking a few by-standing ponies off their hooves. With a cry of pain Sweet Tooth held her pod.
“Get... get it out! Get it out of her mane!” Sweet Tooth shouted in desperation. The flower controlled Twilight was the first to jump to the plant’s aid. Her magic riped the extra large flower out of Pinkie Pie’s curly hair and tossed it across the room.
The moment the flower was away from Pinkie Pie, Sweet Tooth’s vines went limp. She panted, and turned her pod in Pinkie Pie’s direction. “What is wrong with you?”
Pinkie Pie shook her hooves to ensure they were no longer magically pinned before returning a glare at Sweet Tooth. “What do you mean ‘what’s wrong with me’?”
“I mean what is wrong with your head, girl!” Sweet Tooth shouted back. “How can you even function with so much static? You’ve got random thoughts bouncing around in there like rubber balls, and your train of thought is a train wreck! I was connected to you for two seconds, and you managed to give me a pounding headache!”
Pinkie Pie smiled. “And that means you can’t control me like you’re controlling everypony else. And do you know what that means? That means you can’t stop me or my plan.”
“Plan?” Sweet Tooth echoed.
“Yes, my ultimate plan. The plan that will let me save all my friends and teach you not to be such a big mean bean.”
“What... what are you going to do?” Sweet Tooth shakily asked. The serious tone of Pinkie Pie’s voice and the peek Sweet Tooth had just gotten into the pony’s mind made her believe that Pinkie Pie could easily have a plan to do just what she was promising.
“Oh, you want to know what I’m going to do?” Pinkie Pie asked. She was smiling devilishly. “You really want to know? Well... I’ll tell ya.” She began walked towards Sweet Tooth, causing the plant to pull back her vines in attempt to keep her distance from the threatening pony.
“I’m going,” Pinkie Pie began. She then pointed an accusing hoof at Sweet Tooth. “To tell on you!”
Sweet Tooth froze up for a few moments, the two simply staring at one another. She then broke out into a roaring laughter. She held her pod with one vine, and waved a few others. At her beckoning call, all the other ponies in the room began to laugh as well. It was a scene that made old memories of Discord bubble up in Pinkie Pie’s mind.
“Hey, what’s so funny!?” Pinkie Pie demanded.
“You are!” Sweet Tooth answered through her giggles. She waved a few vines near her face, fanning herself. She then changed her mind, gave her pod a toss, and had a few pegasi fly up and use their wings to do the fanning. “Oh, you really had me going there, Pinkie Pie! I thought you actually had a plan, but you were just bluffing.”
“I’m not bluffing! I’m going to tell on you!”
“Tell who?” Sweet Tooth asked. “Princess Celestia?”
Pinkie Pie gave a confirming nod. “Yes, I’m going to tell Princess Celestia. Then she’s going to fly down here, save everypony, and teach you not to be such a bad plant.”
“And just how you going to do that?”
“I’m going to go and find Spike and-”
Sweet Tooth cut off Pinkie Pie’s explanation with another laugh. She brought a vine close to Pinkie Pie’s face, and pointed to a corner of the room. When Pinkie Pie turned to look, she saw a few ponies were using Spike’s dragon fire to roast marshmallows and flash cook other treats. He had one of Sweet Tooth’s flowers secured around his wrist like a bracelet.
“Give me some credit, Pinkie Pie,” Sweet Tooth said as several dozen of the dragon-flame roasted s’mores were delivered to her by Rainbow Dash. Rainbow dumped the whole batch into Sweet Tooth’s mouth, and she continued to speak while she chewed. “I wouldn’t dare make my move unless I knew that little dragon was being controlled by one of my flowers. And... hmmmm, s’mores tastes so much better when cooked with dragon fire. It tastes so magical. You want to try one?”
“No, I don’t, and I don’t need Spike to tell Princess Celestia what you’re doing!” Pinkie Pie spat. She turned, and began walking towards the door. “I can just go tell her myself.”
Before Pinkie Pie could reach the town hall doors, a pair of ponies sprinted forward and slammed them shut. Pinkie Pie, not to be deterred, started bouncing for one of the smaller entrances, but they were blocked by other mind-controlled ponies. Sweet Tooth even used the pegasi she had under her power to block the windows. There was no escape.
Smiling, Sweet Tooth flicked her vines. Twilight Sparkle snapped to attention and turned her magic on some of the carts and dishes ponies had used to deliver the treats Sweet Tooth had desired. With a small pop, the many items became instruments, and ponies around the room took them up. They began a beat, and Sweet Tooth began to sway along with it.
Pinkie Pie looked over her shoulder. “You aren’t?”
“Oh, I am.” Sweet Tooth replied. She reached out with her vines, and spun Pinkie Pie around so they were facing one another. “Now just wait a minute. Let’s not act in haste. Don’t make me kill you. It be such a waste.” She poked Pinkie Pie in the chest, hard enough that it made Pinkie wince. “Let me spell it out, girl. You’re up against a wall. We’re gonna do things my way, or we won’t do things at all!
“You don’t know what you’re messing with. You have no idea!” Sweet Tooth sang. “You don’t know what you’re looking at, when you’re looking here. You don’t know what you’re up against, no, no way, no how. You don’t know what you’re messing with, but I’m going to tell you now.”
Ponies around the room began to join the song, their voices forming a frightening chorus as they encircled Pinkie Pie. Their intent was clear: they were going to try and pin Pinkie Pie. Still, just as all the ponies leapt forward to grab her, Pinkie Pie bounced clear and began galloping around the room, looking for a way out.
Sweet Tooth laughed, and motioned with her vines so that most of the ponies in the rooms, except those playing the music, were chasing after Pinkie Pie. “Yeah, get this straight! I’m just a mean green sweet trap from a far off place and I’m queen.”
“Big Green Queen!” The ponies in the room sang out, some diving at Pinkie Pie only for her Pinkie Sense to allow her to slip away, uncaught.
“I’m just a mean green sweet trap from a far off place and my court’s going to convene. I’m just a mean green sweet trap you should embrace, because you know what, I own this place.
“Yeah, I’m mean and green, and I am queen,” Sweet Tooth sang with the ponies about the room. Her flower-controlled minions had cornered Pinkie Pie against a wall. Her normally energetic blue eyes were filled with panic. She looked for a way to escape, but found none. It was a sight that made Sweet Tooth smile and lean her pod in close.
“Want to save your skin, girl? Then let me lay the law. Want to see tomorrow, you better shut your maw,” Sweet Tooth lectured. “You should fall in line, girl, and join my merry herd. You cook me some sweet treats, or prepare your final word!
Sweet Tooth brought out her vines, trying to snatch Pinkie Pie. She, however, jumped at just the right time, dodging the vines. She then landed on top Sweet Tooth’s vines, and used them as a ramp to gallop up to the town hall balconies.
“You don’t know what you’re messing with, no you never did,” Sweet Tooth sang. She watched as Pinkie Pie bounded between the balconies, dodging the swooping attacks of the pegasi in the room. “You don’t know what you’re looking at. Well, that’s tough cookies, kid. The lion don’t sleep tonight, and if you pull his tail he roars. You say that’s not fair, you say that’s not nice. You know what I say, up y-”
“HEY!” Pinkie Pie shouted, interrupting the song. She came to a stop on a balcony, and was glaring at Sweet Tooth. “You can be mean, but you can’t say things like that!”
Sweet Tooth just chuckled, and pointed with a vine. Pinkie Pie looked in the direction of the point just in time to see Rainbow Dash barreling at her. There was no time to dodge as Rainbow tackled Pinkie Pie and the pair crashed into the ground floor of the town hall. Sweet Tooth was laughing her pod off as Pinkie Pie struggled to escape from Rainbow Dash’s hooves.
“I’m just a mean green sweet trap from a far off place, and I’m queen. I’m just a mean green sweet trap, with royal grace, and you’ve got a new routine. I’m just a mean green sweet trap, from a far off place, so do what I say or there’ll be no trace. Cause I’m mean and green, and I am queen.”
Sweet Tooth grabbed Pinkie Pie out of Rainbow Dash’s grip, and suspended her mid air. She brought her pod within a few inches of the party pony, letting her sharp teeth slide into place. “Don’t talk to me about Nightmare Moon, I’ve got more bite than that old loon. Forget them all, Discord too. Upset about it? Well boo-hoo-hoo.”
Pinkie Pie struggled to try and free herself from Sweet Tooth’s vines, but all it did was elicit a laugh from the plant. She brought more vines up close to Pinkie Pie, showing off her freshly sharpened thorns. “I got killer barbs, a power stem, nasty thorns, and I’m using them. So you better step in line. Nature Rules! You get the point? You’re all my mules.”
“But why are you doing this, Sweet Tooth?” Pinkie Pie asked. She was making no effort to sing along with the song.
“Why?” Sweet Tooth echoed as the ponies below began to sing in their chorus. “Because I’m mean and green.”
“She’s a mean green sweet trap from a far off place,” the ponies around the room sang in chorus, forming a large crowd beneath where Sweet Tooth was holding Pinkie Pie in the air.
“Oh yeah, I’m mean and green.”
“She’s a mean green sweet trap from a far off place.”
“I’m mean and green, and I... Am... Queen!” Sweet Tooth sang before letting a roaring laugh escape her throat. “Game over, Pinkie Pie.”
With that the ponies who had been given the instruments finished the music, and everypony in the room began to applaud. Sweet Tooth smiled, and bowed a few times to the applause.
“Hey, you’re making them cheer for you!” Pinkie Pie accused. She continued to struggle to free herself from Sweet Tooth’s vines.
“So what if I am?” Sweet Tooth asked. She soaked up the applause for a few more moments before turning her attention entirely onto Pinkie Pie. “Now, while that was fun, it’s time to get down to business.”
“Oh, and what business is that?” Pinkie Pie asked. She glared at Sweet Tooth and crossed her hooves. “Being a big bully?!”
“No, it’s the business of making sure you know how things are going to work around here,” Sweet Tooth answered. She snapped her vines, and in a flash Pinkie’s five friends snapped to attention and formed a line near Sweet Tooth’s pot. She lowered herself down, letting her pod drift just above the heads of the five mares. “After all, you wouldn’t want something to happen to your friends.”
“Leave them alone!” Pinkie Pie shouted.
Sweet Tooth brought her vines in close to Applejack, pressing one of the thorns against the pony’s neck. “I will, if you do what I say, or maybe I need to give you an example? Maybe you need to see just how serious I am?”
Pinkie Pie shook her head furiously, real fear flashing in her eyes. “No, don’t! I’ll do whatever you want!”
Sweet Tooth lowered her vines from Applejack. “That’s a good pony. You play along and don’t cause any trouble, and your friends will be fine. You try to tell anypony what’s going on here, anypony at all, and the next party you’ll attend will be a funeral. Now, go back to Sugarcube Corner and start baking me some treats. Your queen is starving.”
“You get six hours, then it’s back to work.”
Pinkie Pie didn’t have the energy even to nod her head. She barley had enough energy to climb the last few steps. Behind her, the door to her bedroom was shut and locked. Pegasi fluttered outside her windows, on a constant guard. She was a prisoner in her own home.
Still, at the moment, Pinkie Pie was just too tired to care. To keep her friends safe, she had spent the last twelve hours working in the Sugarcube Corner kitchen. She baked up everything from Almond Cookies to Zecora’s Everfree Tart recipe without a moment’s rest all while being under constant watch.
Flopping down onto her bed, Pinkie Pie struggled to keep her eyes open. She wanted to sleep, wanted to recover from the twelve hour cooking spree, but she couldn’t just go to sleep. She had to think of something. She had to think of a way to free her friends and stop Sweet Tooth before she took over everypony in Equestria, including the princesses.
The problem was she wasn’t that good at plans. Her friends were always the ones that came up with ways to solve things. The times when she did have solutions, they just come to her randomly. That was how she was. She’d have a random idea or two, and she’d just roll with it. She could be thinking about anything. How blue the sky was, or how many times Gummy had beaten her at a staring contest, and then she’d just have-
Pinkie Pie bolted up in the bed, her blue eyes flashing with fresh energy as a single random idea popped to the top of her mind.
Sweet Tooth chuckled to herself and leaned against the nearby wall. After only half a day, the town hall was decorated from ceiling to floor with banners featuring what Sweet Tooth considered her royal emblem. Ponies were tending to every one of her vines, constantly polishing her thorns and caring for her many flowers. Two particular flowers were getting a great deal of attention: one a summer white while the other was a midnight blue.
While her every need was catered to by the rest of the town, Sweet Tooth was whiling away the afternoon by entertaining herself with Pinkie Pie’s friends. The five mares were in the center of the room, dressed in ridiculous costumes and were attempting to perform a play. The play itself was a classic, but it had been reduced to a laughing stock as the five mares were forced to play all twenty roles in the story, including the stallion characters.
The performance was just about to reach the climatic scene, and Sweet Tooth was snickering to herself. Rainbow Dash strode into the center of the room dressed like a fine, high class mare and was striding away from Applejack, who was dressed to look like some rough, debonair pirate.
“You do not know what you ask of me!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. She distanced herself from Applejack, and put a hoof against her forehead dramatically. “Would you have me forsake my home, my family, my very country?”
“I would do no less for you,” Applejack answered, speaking in a deeper tone than her natural voice. “If it would let us be together, I would forsake the wild seas and the only life I’ve known. Yet, if I do these things, you know what will happen. I would stand trial, be found guilty of the crime of piracy, and you know what punishment I would face.”
“But I... I cannot. I am not a mare of the sea. I cannot lead a life like yours. I’m... not strong enough.”
Applejack walked around to Rainbow Dash, and put a hoof to the pegasus’s face. “Then it seems that while our paths in this life have become intertwined, they are not yet ready to merge. There is nothing left but farewell, my precious Sky Wind, but know that I shall always care for you. Should you ever find the strength to face the sea and her woes, then seek me out. There will always be a place for you by my side.”
“Oh Jolly Roger,” Rainbow Dash whispered. The pair began to lean in, and Sweet Tooth began to grin at the sultry kiss she was about to force Rainbow Dash and Applejack to share. She was debating lifting her control of the two ponies once the kiss began, to see their reaction when they discovered they were swapping saliva. It was such a devilishly tempting idea, and Sweet Tooth leaned in as she prepared to lift her mind control. The moment was about to begin; Applejack and Rainbow Dash were about to kiss.
“Hey everypony, who’s ready to party!”
Sweet Tooth and everypony in the room turned their head towards the far wall of the room. A deep rumbling shook the town hall, forcing every pony on the floor to stumble while Sweet Tooth struggled to keep her pod level. Then, in a cascading rain of splintering wood, something blew the far wall of the town hall to pieces, creating a massive hole.
Sweet Tooth quickly grabbed up Pinkie Pie’s friends and held them at thorn-point. The voice that had called out was Pinkie’s, and the plant wasn’t about to take any chances. “Pinkie Pie, you better explain yourself or your going to find your friends-”
“Oh, don’t worry, Sweet Tooth! I’m not going to hurt you!” Pinkie Pie called out from the cloud of dust and confetti that lingered in the hole in the wall. From the cloud, a large dark silhouette began to take shape. It was accompanied by the rumbling of wheels and the clanking of a steam engine.
The monstrosity rolled into the town hall, breaking free of the concealing dust. It was a cake: a cake that was equal parts confectionery delight and spectacle. It rolled into the room on wooden treads, and filled the space with the richest smelling chocolate aroma Sweet Tooth had ever smelled.
Every inch of the building-sized cake was dotted with hundreds of strawberries resting on small cushions of sweet whipped cream and frosting flowers, and the whole dessert was sprinkled with white chocolate shavings. Peppermint cannon barrels stuck out from the sides, and were launching bursts of powdered sugar in time with music. The whole thing was driven by a steam engine attached to the back, which looked as if it was yanked out of a locomotive.
Pinkie Pie was at the very top of the cake, dancing in time with the music as it rolled into place in front of Sweet Tooth, who was watching with jaw hanging open.
“What... what is...”
“Do you like it?” Pinkie Pie asked as the peppermint cane cannons continued to launch off clouds of powdered sugar. “I just came up with it. It’s my Party Tank! It’s like my Party Cannon, but not only does this bring the party wherever it goes, but it’s totally and completely edible!”
Sweet Tooth visibly shook. She dropped Pinkie Pie’s friends and began reaching out for the dessert, which was bigger than she was. She was visibly salivating, and was just about to take a bite out of the cake when she forced herself back.
“N- no!” Sweet Tooth forced out, trying to regain control of herself. “This... this is a trick. You’re... you’re planning something. This cake... you poisoned it or something.”
“Now why would I go and ruin such a scrumptious cake with something yucky like poison?” Pinkie Pie asked. She used her hoof to scoop up some of the cake she was standing on, and she stuffed the whole chunk into her mouth at once. Her cheeks bulged from the sheer amount of sugary goodness, and she slurped and chewed noisily. “Hmmm... quintuple chocolate cake.”
“Q-q-quintuple?” Sweet Tooth merely echoed, her voice weak.
“Yep,” Pinkie Pie said through her mouthful of cake. “Chocolate cake made with chocolate chips and fudge bits, and the frosting is chocolate with chocolate marshmallows. I’m not even supposed to make this cake any more, not after I sent my dad to the hospital from chocolate overdose.”
Sweet Tooth reached out for the cake, but once again caught herself. She turned her pod away, and held her vines up to shield herself from the sight of the behemoth of a cake. “No... no, get it out of here. Get it out of here now or your friends are toast.”
The music from the back of the cake died, and Pinkie Pie frowned. “Aw... you don’t want any? I made it for you.”
“Do I look like I was planted yesterday?!” Sweet Tooth bellowed. She refused to turn her pod in the direction of the cake. “You made it to get rid of me! I know your games, Pinkie Pie! You’ve got something planned.”
“No I don’t,” Pinkie Pie said as she happily bounced down the cake, her hooves leaving deep impressions in the frosting. “I just thought that, with so many ponies hanging around the bakery not doing anything, I’d make the biggest cake ever.”
Sweet Tooth lowered her vines. “You... you got the ponies I put to guard you to help?”
Pinkie Pie nodded. She reached the bottom of the cake and bounded off onto the wooden platform that was supporting it. “Yep. They were like ‘we’re just here to guard you’. But then I was like, ‘but don’t you want to make Sweet Tooth the happiest plant in the world’? Then they were like ‘Yes, but-’ and then they didn’t say much after that because I each gave them something to do. Then, while they were mixing the batter, I went and grabbed everypony I could find to help. We must have been using every oven in Ponyville. Do you know how many cake bricks it took to make this? Honestly, I don’t know either, but it sure was a lot.”
Licking her lips, Sweet Tooth allowed herself to lean into the cake. She drew in the sweet scent, and almost collapsed. She was getting hungry, and she had been wondering why there weren’t any fresh deliveries of sweets. Pinkie Pie must have recruited everypony in Ponyville, excluding those at the town hall.
Sweet Tooth drew a vine across the surface, scooping up a sample of the frosting and placing it in her mouth. She smacked her lips, and then curled her vines. “Oh... oh that is good! Really good!”
“Try the best thing in Equestria!” Pinkie Pie cheered. “Nothing beats my Quintuple Chocolate Cake.”
“But... why would you make this?” Sweet Tooth asked. She lowered her pod down by Pinkie Pie. “I’ve threatened your friends, I’m planning to enslave all of Equestria. Why would you bake me something like this?”
“Well, I can’t beat you. If I try, you’ll hurt my friends. Still, instead of just being grumpy about it I decided to just make the best of it. Just because everypony’s a mindless flower slave doesn’t mean we still can’t have parties, and as long as I can throw parties I’m a happy Pinkie Pie,” She commented energetically, like a child explaining a simple truth to an adult.
Sweet Tooth laughed, and wrapped a vine around Pinkie Pie’s shoulder. “You know what? I like you. You’re a random scatter brain who’s just looking for a good time, which is something I can use. How about after I finish of this little treat you get to work baking me something the size of Canterlot? A whole cake city for me to eat.”
Pinkie Pie sprang into the air, unable to contain her excitement. “That sounds like so much fun! I’ll use sugar glass for windows, and graham crackers for the doors. It will be just like making a gingerbread house, but it will be a city!”
Sweet Tooth patted Pinkie Pie condescendingly on the head. “That’s exactly what it will be. Now, why don’t you get started on that while I enjoy this little confection?”
“Oh, wait, I forgot something!” Pinkie Pie shouted. She zipped to the back of the cart, and then began bounding up to the very top of the cake. Once there, she placed a single candle very delicately into the frosting and lit it. “It wouldn’t be a Party Tank without at least one candle.”
“Of course,” Sweet Tooth said, willing to put up with Pinkie Pie’s antics considering the sugary feast she was about to enjoy. She let Pinkie Pie bounce down from the cake, and then she took a moment to blow out the little candle. Then, releasing all restraint, Sweet Tooth dove into the cake. With slurping and greedy giggles she swallowed down the cake.
A groaning sound filled the room, and soon Sweet Tooth’s roots had burst out of their pot, a bulge swelling up to accommodate the massive intake of food. Sweet Tooth, however, took no notice and continued to eat. She began swallowing hunks of the cake whole, not even bothering to chew.
All the while Pinkie Pie stood back and watched with a happy smile as her Party Tank was destroyed by Sweet Tooth. It only took a few minutes for Sweet Tooth’s massive mouth to devour most of the cake, and within fifteen minutes she was licking the wooden platform that had supported the cake clean.
“Oh... oh yes... oh, that was good,” Sweet Tooth swooned to herself. She slurped up a few trailing bits of frosting from her vines. She leaned back against the wall of the town hall. “You keep baking things like that, Pinkie Pie, and I may just let you play with your little friends once in a while. Maybe every other weekend. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
“Yeah, but do you know what sounds even more fun?” Pinkie Pie threw her hooves into the air, and cheered at the top of her lungs. “Blast Off!” She looked up at Sweet Tooth expectantly, and for a time nothing happened. Pinkie Pie began to glance anxiously about, and even tapped her hoof a few times, as if waiting for something. It was an act that lead Sweet Tooth to tilt her pod in confusion.
“Blast off? What do you mean by blast-”
In that moment, a resounding boom filled the room as Sweet Tooth burst apart. The earth-shaking explosion covered every inch of the town hall’s interior in plant bits, chocolate cake, and powdered sugar, leaving almost nothing left of Sweet Tooth.
All the ponies in the room were thrown back by the explosion, either to be plastered against the wall or thrown out the hole created by Pinkie Pie’s Party Tank. The only pony who managed to stay standing was Pinkie Pie, who lowered her hooves to the ground and pouted.
“Aw, my timing was off.”
“So then I jumped to the top of the cake to light the candle, but when I lit that candle I also lit a fuse I hid inside the cake. Then, all I had to do was let Sweet Tooth eat the cake and my peppermint, powdered sugar cannons. I was kind of afraid cannon three wouldn’t go off, because it was being a little fussy when I put it in. Still, they all went off inside Sweet Tooth and blew her to pieces, and that’s how I saved all of you.”
Pinkie Pie finished her very long winded explanation with a bright, full smile, one that wasn’t shared by the ponies she was speaking with. In front of her, still in their costumes from Sweet Tooth’s play and drenched in a mixture of chocolate cake and gooey plant bits, was her five friends. Standing just behind them was Princess Celestia and Luna.
The explosion that marked Sweet Tooth’s demise had been audible all the way in Canterlot, striking with the same bang of a loud firework going off. It was enough to draw the attention of not only the royal guard, but the princesses as well. Fearing not only for the town but for the mares that were the current wielders of the Elements of Harmony, Luna and Celestia lead the group of royal guard that was dispatched to Ponyville. None of them, however, were ready for what they would find.
“That... is a very interesting story,” Princess Luna commented. She looked over her shoulder at the Ponyville town hall, where the end results of Pinkie Pie’s plan were still clearly visible. “It certainly does explain why the interior of that building is coated in a concoction of chocolate cake and what looks like mashed alfalfa. Though, I am puzzled just where such a plant could have come from. There certainly weren’t any such sugar-eating monstrosities a thousand years ago.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a lingering trick of Discord’s,” Princess Celestia commented, her gaze hardening at the thought of the draconequus. “I would not put the creation of such an abomination past him.” After a pause, Celestia let her expression soften to a smile. “Still, no matter the plant’s origins, I am happy to hear that you found a way to deal with the situation, Pinkie Pie.”
“I’m happy too. After all, I can’t think of anypony that would like to live in a place where everypony is controlled by a mean bean plant.”
Celestia chuckled. “Neither can I. Still, since the situation seems to be under control here, I believe it is time Luna and I departed. We do, after all, need to stop by Manehatten and make sure Mogul Magnate is also free of the plant’s control. I also feel it may be good if the three of us sat down and discussed his business practices, if only to ensure he keeps the Ponyville Star Buck’s closed.”
“Okie Dokie Loki,” Pinkie Pie chimed, waving a hoof as the princesses took off. She then put her hooves to the side of her face and shouted, “Oh, and be sure to come back! Once we clean up all this I’m going to throw a party to celebrate everypony getting back to normal, and it would be so fun if you could come!”
The princesses paused mid-air, nodding their heads at Pinkie Pie’s shouted invitation before they resumed soaring off in the direction of Manehatten. Pinkie Pie watched them fly away for a few moments before turning back to her friends, who were still trying to wrap their minds around what happened.
“So, let me be sure I have this straight,” Rainbow Dash said. “That plant you found could talk, and it was controlling all of us using its flowers?”
Pinkie Pie nodded her head. “Yep, and she was making you all do so many crazy things. She made Fluttershy and Rarity make all those banners, and she made you trot on top of a cloud to make a mist.”
“Yeah, yeah, you told us all that, but how did you beat it again?”
“I tricked her into eating my powder-sugar cannons and then they went off inside her belly... or inside her. Do plants even have bellies? Did she even have eyes? How was she able to see without eyes? Oh, maybe-”
“Now hold your horses there, I got one more question,” Applejack said. “Now, I get all that what happened, and I get how you saved us, but how in tarnation did you get Sweet Tooth to actually eat that cake? From the way you told it, it sure don’t sound like she trusted you at first.”
“Oh, that was easy. I just acted like how she thought I was,” Pinkie Pie explained.
Applejack wearily nodded her head, and then looked over at Twilight. “You mind eleboratin’ on that, Sugarcube? Cause that made as much sense as orange apple.”
Twilight paused to wipe some of the green and chocolate muck from her face before answering. “I think what Pinkie Pie is trying to say is that Sweet Tooth thought she was just a random pony, so Pinkie Pie acted like that. She acted silly and made herself look like a fool. That way, Sweet Tooth wouldn’t suspect she was capable of anything. It’s actually a very cunning plan.”
“Oh, thanks, Twilight! That means a lot coming from you,” Pinkie Pie said.
“Still, I think it’s time we got to the truly important question,” Rarity interrupted. “Why in Equestria are we wearing such tacky clothes?”
“Oh, those are costumes,” Pinkie Pie explained before she dove into another long-winded tangent. “You see, Sweet Tooth was having you all put on a play just before I rolled my Party Tank in. I almost decided to wait to because I wanted to see the end. It was a really good play, and you were all playing your parts so well. Twilight was a general, and Rarity was a baroness. Applejack was a pirate captain, and Rainbow Dash was a the daughter of the baroness. It was the big climax too. Applejack and Rainbow Dash were about to kiss, and I wanted to see what would happen before I brought the tank in. But then-”
“Pinkie Pie!” a voice called, drawing her attention. The mayor was standing near the wooden, steam-powered platform Pinkie Pie had used to roll her Party Tank into the town hall.
“Yeah?” Pinkie Pie shouted back.
“Can you move this out of the way? We need to check underneath to see if any part of the plant is still alive”
“Oh, sure, be right there,” Pinkie Pie answered. She began to bounce in that direction, leaving her five friends stunned in her wake. Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy turned their heads to look at Applejack and Rainbow Dash, who both stood with their mouths hanging open, their pupils the size of pinheads.
“Did... did she just say we were about to-” Rainbow Dash began to ask, only for Applejack to cut her off.
“Yes, she did.”
“And do you think we?”
“I don’t know.”
Rainbow Dash nodded her head and then, without further warning, sprinted off. Applejack was a few steps behind, and they both shouted at the top of their lungs “Pinkie Pie! Did we kiss!?”
<<Chapter 2 ---------------
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My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic © Hasbro
Little Shop of Horror © Warner Bros.
I do not own the intellectual properties this fan-fiction is based on.