“It sure is beautiful don’t you think?” admired Twilight Sparkle, tilting her head back. The sky was a swirl of deep purples, bright orange and magenta as the sun set over the horizon of the Everfree forest. She was walking along the sunlit path with her two friends Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, who had invited her to hang out with them this evening.
“Sure is Twilight! I think it’s the warm weather that helps make the best sunsets, sometimes there are even PINK sunsets on the hottest days!” gushed Pinkie Pie as she bounced along the path
“I don’t care how awesome the best sunsets are, they can’t top any of the rainbows I’ve ever seen.” said Rainbow Dash proudly.
“Well I think they’re both stunning, and sunsets can be just as colorful as rainbows too,” replied Twilight kicking a rock out of her way “where are we heading anyway?”
“It’s this old stone hut Pinkie found at the very edge of the woods over here, it’s just one room but it’s the best place ever to relax on a day like this.”
Pinkie turned and smiled “Yup, it’s soooo super cool! It gets chilly on hot days and warm on cool days. Today it should be juuuust right.”
“Oooh, sounds intriguing, and thanks again for inviting me to come with you two today!” responded Twilight with an eager smile “I really appreciate it.”
Dash chuckled, “Don’t sweat it, I swear Twilight you hole yourself up in that library so much I bet you’ve read every book twice over.”
“Haha, noooo, that’s way too many books even for me,” remarked Twilight with an embarrassed blush. Her ears fell a little, she knew that everypony prodded her for being such a shut-in bookworm, and kicking that habit was still difficult for her. Her eyes glanced up ahead “Hey is that the place?”
Just as described, a small unremarkable hut stood a few hundred feet ahead of them. It squatted innocently in the fading light, overgrown with tangled vines and blending in with the growth in the background.
“Yeppo, that’s the spot! Good eye too! Rainbow Dash walked RIGHT past it the first time we got here.”
“Well YEAH, you didn’t tell me what I was looking for in the first place!” retorted Dash giving Pinkie a playful push.
Twilight trotted up to the door and turned around, “So I need to ask because it’s been bugging me the whole way here, how come you didn’t invite anypony else? I’m sure our friends were all free today.”
Dash and Pinkie glanced at each other, Pinkie turned to Twilight “Well, we invited YOU bacaaause you DO need to get out more, and I don’t think our friends would want to join in with what we usually do out here in the hut…”
Using her hoof, Rainbow Dash pulled a rock out of the stone wall, revealing a small satchel stuck against it. “It’s this plant that we found one day in the Everfree forest.”
Twilight nosed the pouch open curiously, revealing a bunch of leaves smushed in the small bag, they had an odd smell to them.
“What exactly is this then?”
Dash grabbed the bag in her mouth and trotted into the hut, pushing the small door aside with her hoof, Twilight and Pinkie followed in suit.
“I don’t know, NOPONY knows, or if they do then it’s some sorta HUUUGE secret that isn’t talked about for some reason which is weird because it’s the best thing ever and it makes everything like a million billion times more fun than it already is even the stuff that isn’t fun,” Pinkie rapidly explained “Right Dash?”
Rainbow Dash was fiddling with some sort of lamp in the middle of the moss covered floor, placing small amounts of the green leaves in a little pile. “Uh-huh,” she muttered, her eyes intensely focusing on her task.
“Pinkie, what is Dash doing?”
“OH, shes setting up the bubble bottle I made, see, we burn it using some hot coals, which turns to smoke, which goes through that little tubey on the side there,” Pinkie pointed her hoof at each part of the bubbler, “I got the idea from when I was in the library and I saw your neat-o chemistry sets and it worked out without a hitch!”
“Except when the first ones were exploding,” Dash said curtly looking up at Pinkie Pie, “I’d say those were some nasty hitches.”
“Well you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs!”
“Pinkie you don’t even make omelets.”
Twilight looked puzzled; her friends were burning these leaves and inhaling the smoke, which sounded awfully dangerous. She’d always learned smoke inhalation was a big health hazard from her classes at Canterlot.
“All ready to go, Twilight, can you light this for me?” said Dash stepping back with a pleased grin.
“Sure, uh, here you go,” Twilight carefully lowered her head and small purple sparks flew from her horn, igniting the coal.
“Totally sweet! Oh, do you want to go first?” said Dash eyeing the tube
“No thank you, I’ll watch you two first. Anyway, tell me more about this plant.”
Rainbow Dash made towards the tube, folding her legs and sitting “Okay sure… you start Pinks,” she said hastily, starting to breathe in to coax the coal to burn.
Pinkie giggled, “Welllll, it all started one day when Applejack wanted to go into the forest because her and Applebloom got into an argument and she thought she ran away. Sooo she asked us to come with her and help us find her. She was worried so me and Dash went into the woods and we went and looked EVERYWHERE all over the place for her the whole day nonstop. At the end of the day we were going home because it was getting late out and we were all super hungry and all I had with me was some bread and cheese because Mr. Cake asked me go pick up a few things earlier and I forgot to come back.”
Pinkie paused and gasped for air “So Applejack was like, ‘let’s stop and eat something’ and there were these plants all around us, so Applejack made a sandwich out of them and ate them and she started acting all sick and loopy and we had to take her home to lie down and found Applebloom was hiding in the barn and everyone was much happ-oh it’s my turn!”
Dash handed the tube over to Pinkie Pie “Dash, keep going,” Pinkie said as she started inhaling.
Dashs eyelids were a bit droopy now, “Hehe, so anywaaaays, the next day AJ was so upset at getting sick from the plant she wanted payback on it or something, so we went back there around lunchtime, and was like ‘I’m awful sorry I have work at the barn, can you two get rid of this horrible stuff for my sake’ and then left to go back to the farm. So I was like, no WAY she just dumped this on us, but Pinks here said we should do it, but I didn’t want to spend the day pulling weeds SO, being the most amazing clever pony ever, decided to enact tactical weather control time-saving maneuvers.”
The puzzled expression plastered on Twilights face went unnoticed by Rainbow Dash; Pinkie momentarily stopped puffing to explain.
“She kicked a lightning cloud and set the clearing on fire.”
Twilight gasped “Pretty reckless don’t you think Rainbow?”
Her friend rolled her eyes “Oh I put it out eventually, but while it was burning in the field, Pinks and I started getting lightheaded from all the smoke, and then happy for no reason. I don’t remember how it happened but we were laying on the floor laughing our heads off at something really silly that AJ said earlier that day,” Dash snickered “what was it again Pinkie?”
“HORSERADISH!” yelled Pinkie as Dash fell over laughing; Pinkie shuffled over and pushed the pipe to Twilight “Your turn! Your turn!”
She balked, this was it, she wasn’t backing down now, besides her friends had done this before and they were fine, so why should she be worrying in the first place? She magically levitated the pipe and inhaled.
Twilight didn’t have it in her mouth for more than three seconds before she pulled away coughing “It’s really strong….and it burns my throat.”
Pinkie pulled a small canteen out of her satchel “Drink this apple juice if your throat gets hot! Also, hold your breath a bit after you inhale,” she said brightly.
“Thanks Pinkie,” wheezed Twilight. She took another pull and, following Pinkies instructions, held the smoke in. After a few tentative seconds, she exhaled and made for the apple juice.
“Soooo, feel anything Twi?” giggled Dash grabbing the falling hose
“I feel like I swallowed a bottle of hot sauce,” she said in between gulps of the juice. She also felt a little bit of a tickle at the back of her throat, but didn’t mention it.
“That’s okay Twilight, we didn’t get used to the giggleroot until like, our fourth time trying this,” said Pinkie taking a swig of apple juice herself
Twilight perked up at this new word “Giggle what?”
“Giggleroot. It’s the name for the plant I made up. It took me forever to think up the best name for it. I have a WHOLE list of different ones!”
“Like what Pinkie?” replied Twilight, leaning forward with interest
“There was snickerbush, sillyweed, tickleplant, laughadaisy, chuckleleaf-“
Twilight was aware that a grin was creeping on her face and wasn’t sure why. Pinkies ramblings were usually silly but not hilarious; she felt the tickling in her throat growing stronger.
“-chortlebush, snortlestem, cacklebrush-”
She was really struggling to keep a straight face now. The tickling feeling had spread to her lungs now as she attempted to control herself. ‘It’s funny how I’m laughing at this’ Twilight thought to herself, grinning even wider ‘I’m laughing at myself laughing, what in Equestria is in this stuff?’
Dash started giggling again as she handed the tube over to Pinkie “Look at Twilight, she’s cracking up.”
“Oh yeah, looks like it’s finally getting to her,” Pinkie said starting her second turn.
Twilight said nothing, her innards were made of feathers now, and every breath tickled her crazy. Face contorted into a huge smile she struggled to keep herself under control, clenching her lower lip in desperation.
“Hey Twilight, wanna hear a joke?” Pinkie said with a mischievous smirk.
Dash leaned forward smiling; this was going to be good.
“What’s a hungry clock do after it’s already had lunch?”
Twilight shook her head, not daring to open it in response.
“IT GOES BACK 4 SECONDS!”
“PFFFFTHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” erupted Twilight releasing the laugh she’d been bottling in, falling over on her backside. That was the last straw, she was laughing harder than she could have thought possible. A little voice in the back of her head was busily scolding her about how irresponsible it was to inhale the smoke of this mysterious plant, how obviously impaired she’d become and how nonsensical that joke she just heard was.
“Do you think we should let her go again?”
The cool moss on the floor was so unbelievably comfortable, more so than her own bed. ‘I should replace my bedsheets with this stuff when I get the chance’ Twilight thought to herself wriggling around. She pushed her back and shoulders into it, feeling it tickle her mane and letting it brush her cheek as she kicked her hooves in the air aimlessly.
“Of course Pinks, we all gotta go at least twice, it wouldn’t be fair.”
‘This is amazing, I feel so happy, must be what it’s like to be Pinkie Pie’ thought Twilight as she let out another laugh. She could definitely hear her friends talking about something, but couldn’t concentrate right now; the felt moss distracted her wholly. She tilted her head towards the other two ponies, silly grin stuck on her face.
“What’s going on?”
Rainbow Dashs laughter filled the room again. “You’re whats going on right now! You look so funny rolling around on the floor.”
“Can I have more applejuice Pinkie please please pleeeease I need some,” Twilight requested rapidly, eyes wide looking for the drink.
“Sorry Twilight, we drank it all, there’s none le-”
A small bottle of apple juice suddenly popped into thin air in front of Pinkie Pie, startling her backwards.
“AAAH! What happened, oh more juice?” she said rubbing her head
Twilight instantly guzzled the apple juice, some of it missing her mouth and staining her coat, “Thanks Pinkie so much I was so thirsty.”
Dash had been in stitches for the past few minutes. Only one turn and the little purple unicorn already had her head in the clouds! Her whole idea turned into a great success and seeing Twilight acting almost like Pinkie was such a riot. Dash pulled the hose over to her friend, “Here Twilight, laaaast round.”
Giggling, she fumbled the hose in her mouth, trying to orientate the nozzle with her lips. Using magic was completely beyond her right now and she couldn’t focus enough to do if she tried. The little voice in her head spoke up again.
Where did that apple juice come from?
Twilight blinked, she remembered that Pinkie said the juice was all gone, but when she wanted some it showed up for her. It was delicious, and she was sad that she had to drink it all so quick. Wherever it came from was beside the point for Twilight now, she craved that blissful happy feeling, and inhaled deeply. She held her breath and counted, releasing the smoke from her lungs and her last shred of lucidity with it.
“Dash, I dunno if this was a good idea ya know?” Pinkie prodded her friend’s side with a hoof “Maybe we should’ve asked her all scientific-like first before making her-”
“UGH I keep forgetting how you are when we do this. How come you don’t get super hyper-active crazy off the wall nutso like I do sometimes?”
“Well Dash, maybe it’s because I’m already so super duper dynamic that this stuff counter-acts it and just…cancels me out.”
“That’s silly, it made AJ all loopy, and me and you the first few times.”
“Which is why I thought it would be a little itsy bitsy better if we tried just telling Twilight instead of making her our own test subject?”
“Well she’s been pretty good so far, acting like the complete opposite of her normal self and it’s been HILARIOUS.”
“Not as hilarious when you tried flying to the moon because you wanted moon cheese.”
“ITS TOTALLY TRUE THOUGH PINKIE!” shouted Dash, grabbing Pinkie and pointing her hoof towards the sky “Lunas keeping the moon cheese for herself, it’s hanging right there in the sky every day!”
“Yeah suuuuure, then why doesn’t anypony else fly up there and go get some?” she chortled.
“BECAUSE IT’S A CONSPIRACY OR SOMETHING!” Dash spun her head around the room looking for invisible eavesdroppers “I mean, just look at all that cheddar. It’s there for the taking and Lunas got it all for herself I swear.”
Pinkie snorted with laughter, she loved messing with Dash “I think that idea is just cheesy”.
“Oh whatever Pinks, I’ll figure out how to get that cheese ‘till my head hur-OW, why’d you hit me with this…this….where’d this come from?”
Rainbow Dash firmly held up a bright yellow cheese wheel between her hooves.
Twilight who had been giggling to herself by the bubbler, suddenly found her voice again “What are you ponies talking about? Cheese?! Why are you talking about cheese!?” She fell over laughing again. “That’s the most random thing I’ve hear all night WHY are you chatting about cheese!?”
Twilight was completely gone at this point. The last hit resulted in her thought process and rationality going completely out the window. She had sat momentarily detached from the world, frozen in a heavenly stupor and basking in the happiness she hadn’t felt for years; her first “A” in school, graduating at the top of her class, everypony cheering and applauding her….
“Delicious scrumptious mouth-watering cheese! This is so awesome!” Dash took a huge bite out of the golden wheel. “Besht night EVER!”
Pinkie sighed “I don’t get your crazy cheese crave you have every time we smoke this stuff.”
“FWELL, I don’t undershtand yrr, leffel-headed ‘havior effery time we do!”
Twilight was watching them argue again in her murky stupor, mouth hanging open in a silly smile. Dash was eating cheese somehow. Where did the cheese come from? Dash was talking about going to the moon before to get cheese.
“Dash there’s cheese in the moon?”
A sudden purple flash filled the room. Wind rushed past them as Pinkie, Dash and Twilight looked down to see they were now falling from a great height.
“AHHH WHATS HAPPENING! HOW’D WE GOT UP HERE?!” Pinkie screamed
“I CANT FLY RIGHT IN THIS STAAAAATE” hollered Dash falling in a spiral
“WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” shouted an ecstatic Twilight
Pinkie hectically grabbed at Twilights face “TWILIGHT, TAKE US BACK!”
Twilight laughed, “WHY’S IT SO WINDY HERE, WHERE ARE WE GOING?”
“WE ARE GOING SPLAT IN A MINUTE IF YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING!” yelled Dash frantically.
Pinkie looked at the ground, it was coming closer and closer, soon she would be flat as a pancake.
“WOULDN’T YOU RATHER BE LYING ON THE MOSSY FLOOR?!” she desperately asked Twilight. The ground was just about to close in on them. Pinkie shut her eyes and-
Pinkie opened her eyes and got a faceful of green, she wasn’t dead, but back in the hut safe and sound. “Dash? Where are you?”
“I’m over here Pinkie,” groaned Rainbow Dash, she had landed in a pile of cheese. Pinkie couldn’t tell if she was annoyed or happy.
“Ooh that was fuuuuun,” snickered Twilight, rolling in the moss again. “We should do something like that again, but without the yelling because I could hardly hear you two with the wind so loud it was way too loud did you think it was loud?"
Pinkie Pie was concerned, she had an idea about what was going on, and didn’t want to get teleported into space again.
“TWILIGHT! What do you think about, um, early bedtime?”
Another fit of giggling from Twilight “Pfft, bedtime already? No waaay, early bedtimes are for little fillies and Spike.”
Purple light filled the room again, and Spike dropped out of the air in front of them.
“Spike?! How did YOU get here?” asked Twilight frantically sitting up straight.
“I dunno, you’re the one who teleported me here,” replied Spike looking around, “What’s going on anyway, what’s that smell?”
“NOTHING SPIKE GO BACK TO BED!” Suddenly another flash and Spike had vanished.
“Wait, what just happened? Was that Spike?” said Dash pulling her face away from the cheese.
“I think so,” said Pinkie Pie, she quietly shut the window to the small hut, dimming the room significantly. This was getting worrisome, maybe if she just pretended to go to sleep her friends would follow suit…..
“Pinkie you turned out the lights, I can’t see anything now,” whined Twilight. Her horn glowed to life, and multi-colored streams of radiant light began to illuminate the hut. Dash and Twilight stared at them in amazement.
“So pretty….” awed Rainbow Dash, her eyes growing wide “it’s like, what if I was made of light and then exploded…”
“It reminds me of the light show at H.F.P Shetland, they stopped by Canterlot once, it was so amazing! I remember getting popcorn and cotton candy for the first time,” she reminisced as various circus confectionaries fell from nowhere onto the floor.
“Snacks!” Dash cried out happily, taking a big bite out of some cotton candy.
Twilight didn’t even notice the sweets; the lightshow had her completely mesmerized. Strings of light continued bouncing off the walls before her, splitting off and looping into different colored bursts and swirls. Her belly started rumbling and she became acutely aware that she was getting hungry. Pinkie made food; maybe she had some food with her.
“Hey Pinkie! Got any sweets with you? I’m staaaarving!” she asked absentmindedly.
“Nope! I only brought some drinks and light snacks, I was baking a banana Bundt cake before we got here but it’s probably still gooey and-
Twilights jaw dropped “I LOVE banana cakes! Sooooo much, let’s go get it right now!”
“It’s too late out right now, we can’t just leave the hut here and go back into town-“
“We’ll bring that too! C’mon Dash! Let’s go get some banana caaaaaaake,” sang out Twilight exiting the hut in a giddy trot.
“But you just-” Pinkie stopped short, the stone hut began to rumble before shakily rising into the air, noiselessly floating after Twilight Sparkle “-can’t do that….”
Pinkie was now sure about the theory that had been cooking in her head since the apple juice carton startled her earlier. That when a unicorn like her friend loses touch with reality she loses direct control of her magic too. Twilight was a pretty powerful little pony with all of her study and practice and having that power running around unhinged and loose like that was going to cause much bigger problems unless Pinkie figured out how to calm her down quickly before she accidentally hurt somepony.
“Okay, let’s go after her Rainbow Dash…Dash?” she glanced over to her friend and burst into laughter. Dash was fast asleep with the happiest smile ever plastered on her face, curled on a big pile of popcorn, cotton candy and cheese.
“Sweet dreams Rainbow Dash,” giggled Pinkie, trotting after her friend.
The cool night air was tickling her lungs and her walk was turning out to be so refreshing. Twilight was having the time of her life right now, and it was about to get even better. The pretty lights that had shown up in the hut lit the path ahead and guided the way. A few scary looking things kept popping out of the bushes but they would always disappear before she could get a good look at them. Delicious cake awaited her at Sugarcube corner, and nothing was going to stand in her way.
Pinkie galloped cautiously behind Twilight keeping a fair distance from the aloof unicorn. She didn’t want to get in her way at this point and she was heading in the right direction anyhow. Apparently her lightshow was attracting a lot of attention from the local wildlife, but Twilights rampant subconscious seemed to have no trouble dealing with it.
“Two accordions, a pile of rope, a trampoline, a bunch of owls in silly dresses jeesh,” muttered Pinkie as she bounced along the path behind the detached unicorn ahead of her. Pinkie didn’t want to get too close to her friend, not with the stone hut ominously floating above her. A very upset four headed squirrel with heavy eyebrows skittered past her hoof. “I wonder if Twilights getting tired from all this yet….”
Sugarcube corner was nearly in sight now; Twilight excitedly did a little jump. She was finally getting something good to eat! She didn’t feel tired yet, but it seems that her body did. Her purple coat was slick with sweat, as was her brow. Her head had also begun to ache during her trek into town. As she walked up to building the locked door began to rattle and loudly ripped itself off its hinges and set itself to the side. The bakery came to life as she walked in, filling with bouncing streams of light and floating pastries. The banana Bundt cake that Pinkie promised sat before her on the counter, tantalizing her watery mouth with that chocolate icing and crème flowers.
She sat down at one of the tables, the cake gracefully floating towards her as a napkin flew around her neck. Pinkie poked her head through the door as Twilight took a few big bites from the cake.
“Pinkie this is the best thing I ever had!” she said between mouthfuls of delectable cake “You are the best baker in all of Equestria! I am so glad we got to hang out tonight!”
Pinkie couldn’t help but close her eyes and smile, getting compliments always brightened her mood “Thank you Twilight, that’s super nice of you to say, but I need to talk to you abou-“
A loud crash jolted Pinkies eyes open, the stone hut which had been silently floating next to her had abruptly dropped, almost crushing her. She looked into the bakery again seeing nothing but inky darkness. Pinkie bounced into the room and turned on a light.
“Oh Twilight you silly pony,” she said with a smile. Twilight was out cold, head planted face first in the banana cake. All that unchecked magic use had finally taken its toll on her. Pinkie looked around the messy shop and the stone hut that was now blocking the doorway “I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me tomorrow…”
The sunlight beat down on Twilights face, pushing her eyelids opens as she stirred under the blankets. ‘Ohhhhh my head, I promised myself I wouldn’t pull anymore all nighters studying’ she thought hazily. She blearily rubbed her eyes with her hoofs and yawned. She leaned over to grab her glass of water and fell out of the bed.
“Ouch! Oh that hurt…..wait a minute….this isn’t my bedroom,” she sat up rubbing her noggin, looking around the room she saw candy wrappers and streamers littering the floor, and some colorful balloons were aimlessly floating around her head. ‘I must be in Pinkie Pie’s place’ she notioned ‘Where is Pinkie? How’d I get up here? What happened last night?’
She collected her thoughts as she carefully walked downstairs. Sugarcube Corner was quite a mess, but the Cakes weren’t down there today. She regarded the odd stone building sitting near the broken doorway with familiarity, but couldn’t place her hoof on where she’d seen it. Twilight was nearing her home when she spotted Pinkie exiting her front door.
“Oh hi Twilight! How you doing this morning?”
“Confused, do you remember what happened last night? We were hanging out and…wait, wasn’t Dash with us?”
“Yessiree she was! Her mane was such a sticky tangled messy mess that as soon as Rarity spotted her she dragged her inside her shop to help clean up. You should’ve seen the look on Rainbows face! Priceless!”
“Right, but can you tell me what we were doing?” she clutched her head with her hooves again “and how I could have gotten such a pounding headache?”
Pinkies ears perked up, she forgot what happened “Well, we were having a super exciting sleepover last night and I brought lots of snacks and stuff and you were showing us all those tricks of yours over and over and you got carried away a bit and passed out.”
“I guess that makes sense, if my head didn’t hurt so much I’d try harder to remember,” said Twilight massaging her temples “It was fun right?”
“BOATLOADS OF FUN!” shouted Pinkie nervously “Too much for you though! It looks like you should lie down a bit and take care of your achey head.”
“Lying down sounds nice right about now…” disjointed memories and thoughts were still floating around her head, one of them pushing forwards “and some apple juice too.”
“Welp! I’ve got some things to take care of; glad you had a good time Twilight!” Pinkie bounced away hastily to Sugarcube corner where some ponies were curiously inspecting the stone hut.
Twilight pulled the front door open with her mouth, using magic right now would probably make her head explode. Spike was sitting at the table giggling at her for some reason, maybe something Pinkie said to him. Not bothering to ask she dragged herself upstairs and over to her bed. She looked through the dirty saddlebag that was lying next to her bed and nosed through it for her water bottle. Before she went to rest her head she found a little bundle of leaves wrapped in a satchel had made its way into her bag. A quick whiff of it and she pulled her head back in disgust.
‘How’d that get in there?’ she thought blearily to herself as she shut her eyes, sniffing it had suddenly relaxed her ‘Oh well, I’ll inspect it later’