PINKIE PIE: THE OPENER OF WAYS
Applejack’s hooves kicked up the dust as she ran. How could she have been so stupid? When Twilight Sparkle had asked her to come back to the bog she should have just said ‘No,’ and she should have stayed at home on the farm tending to her trees.
Stupid! But it was too late now. Whatever Twilight had wanted down here would have to wait- the Hydra had found them again, and like a couple of idiot foals they had bolted, herd instincts taking over, down the same path they had used last time.
“Maybe the viscosity of the swamp below the cliff can help us get to the other side again!” Twilight shouted behind her. The hydra roared, barreling up the steep hill after them.
“I don’t think that’ll work twice Twi!” Applejack shouted back, getting tired. She had no idea what they were going to do.
“Then what are we going to DO?!” Twilight yelled. They were rapidly approaching the cliff where the stone columns that had saved them last time were, but they were gone now; the leap was too far without wings, and although Twilight had made it last time it was due more to dumb luck than anything else.
Applejack reached the cliff, panting. She looked across the chasm, wondering if she had enough of a running start she could make the leap- she knew that Twilight would never be able to.
“Can you teleport us?” She said, rearing up and pointing to the other side.
Twilight looked to the other cliff, down at the swamp below, and back at the Hydra. She gulped. “I can try.” She rubbed a hoof over the side of her face, attempting to hide the tears that had welled up from her embarrassment. She had been too curious to consider the fact that the Hydra still lived here, had been thinking of the experiments she could do with the bog water instead of her safety. And now she had dragged Applejack into it too, endangering her friend’s safety. She walked up to the very edge of the cliff, screwed her eyes shut and concentrated. “Grab onto my tail Applejack!”
She felt Applejack’s teeth clamp over her indigo tail. She lowered her head, focused, and felt her horn heat up and vibrate. This would be the longest teleport she’d ever done. She knew that she wouldn’t make it, but they were out of options; the Hydra would be on them in less than a minute, and they had nowhere to run.
The Hydra’s roar was deafening, and its stench was already reaching their nostrils. They could both see it clambering up the hill toward them, all of its heads’ eyes focused on the two ponies.
“Here we go…” Twilight said, feeling the teleport spell come together in her mind. The vibration of her horn became audible.
She heard Pinkie Pie. “Heeey! Guys! Over here! C’mon!!”
Twilight’s horn sparked and she reared up. The spell had been ruined and she wouldn’t be able to try again in time. She looked around, startled, to see Pinkie sitting near a rock at the edge of the cliff where it rose up into the mountain.
“PINKIE PIE!” Applejack shouted, “What in tarnation’er YOU doing up here too? There’s a Hydra after us!”
Pinkie Pie kept waving at them for them to come to her. Twilight looked at Applejack. Applejack looked at the Hydra.
“The Hydra!” Twilight yelled.
Pinkie waved her hoof more urgently. “I know, I know! C’mon, hurry up over here!”
The Hydra was already halfway up the steep incline. They were doomed. Twilight began to panic. Applejack ran over to Pinkie Pie, intending to drag her back to Twilight for the teleport. To her surprise, Pinkie Pie grabbed her first with both hooves- she was strong for such a little thing- and continued to yell for Twilight, who was dumbly trotting over to them.
“C’mon c’mon c’mon!!!” Pinkie said. “Grab Applejack!”
Twilight did. The Hydra’s roar was deafening; it was right on top of them. She took Applejack’s tail in her mouth and shut her eyes. This was it. She was going to have to teleport more than fifty meters, with low mana from the botched attempt from earlier, with TWO other Ponies. They were going to die.
Suddenly, she felt herself being pulled- she’d botched the spell mid-teleport, she knew it, she had miscalculated the vectors and now they were all going to be vaporized, and it was all her fault. She opened her eyes, thinking to apologize to both of them, but what she saw was no teleport- failed or no.
Pinkie had Applejack around the neck with one leg. She dove behind the rock as if doing a football tackle. Applejack was yelling that it was too small to hide behind. Twilight wanted to talk, but there was something odd about the rock. It had shimmered and… bent, as if it had been an optical illusion or one of Trixie’s conjurations. Pinkie Pie dove toward it, and suddenly all was spiraling; they were swallowed up by blackness.
What in the name of the Sun was happening?
All light from the world had vanished; she could feel Applejack’s tail between her teeth, but could see nothing. She heard speech, but it was distant- an echo, or a garbled radio signal, or a whisper from a friend in the middle of a wind storm.
She could tell that Pinkie was the one speaking, and knew they were moving. She tried to trot but her hooves found no purchase; it was like swimming without any water.
Suddenly, she got the distinct feeling that she was being watched- like when, sometimes, Spike tried to read her books or scrolls over her shoulder- but it was a million times more intense. She also knew that the eyes were not on anything but her. SHE was the one being watched; the eyes, hundreds of them, all were focused on her. She whipped her head around causing Applejack to shout at her- the sound was equally distant- but still Twilight could see nothing. The eyes burned into her, through her, and she thought to scream until she felt a hoof take her under the leg and wrench her forward.
Suddenly the light reappeared. She finally screamed, but barely had enough time to do so before landing in a heap on top of Pinkie Pie and Applejack. She was dizzy and nauseous- like the first time she’d teleported- and couldn’t hear herself think. At least there was firm earth underneath her. Pinkie was standing up, smiling like she had arrived at a party. “We’re safe!” She cried happily.
Twilight stood up on wobbly legs. Applejack opened her mouth to speak but suddenly turned around to vomit, although Pinkie still grinned. Twilight could see that the grin was forced; she was nervous. The Hydra roared from across the chasm-
Across… the chasm? Twilight looked over to it. The Hydra was standing there cursing at them in its gutteral roaring language and just turning to make its way back down toward the bog. They had made it to the other side of the chasm. But how? What had Pinkie done?
“Boy that was close!” Pinkie was saying. “I knew something was wrong when my feet got all itchy! When my feet get itchy it means that you’re gonna be in trouble, Twilight! And my whole body shuddered so I knew it’d be down here, just like before! What were you down here for anyway?”
“I… we…” Twilight said. “To get the bog water. I wanted to run some tests on it.”
“Well that was silly! Didn’t you remember the Hydra? Oh well! Better be more careful next time! I might not have found you in time! Well see ya later!” Pinkie said, and then bounced away down the path.
Twilight collapsed to her knees. Applejack finished her wretching and stumbled up behind her, still shaking from adrenaline. “Twilight.”
“I’m sorry, Applejack.” Twilight said. “It was wrong of me to take you up here, and I shouldn’t have been so eager to come back considering what I knew lived here.”
“I ain’t angry about that,” Applejack said, “Well I am, but what about… what did…”
Twilight looked down the path for a moment before resting her chin on the ground. “I don’t know what that was. It was all Pinkie.”
“Twi…” Applejack said, laying down next to her, “Where were we? It felt like that time I was down with the fever, like I didn’t know which way was up! And it felt like…” Applejack breathed. “It felt like somepony was there with us!”
Twilight shook her head and looked at her earth pony friend. “You felt it too, huh?” Was all she could manage. Applejack frowned at her.
“I don’t know, Applejack. I really have no idea. I felt like I was being watched the whole time too, though.”
“Then what in tarnation-“
“We’re going to have to ask Pinkie.”
Pinkie Pie had made herself scarce that week; odd, considering her personality, and conspicuous, as far as Applejack was concerned. She and Twilight had managed to go back to their normal routines after what had happened. She didn’t know about Twilight, but she hadn’t mentioned their near-miss to anypony.
She bucked another load of apples into her cart. It was almost full; just a few more, then she’d call it a day. She walked with her empty bushel baskets to the nearest unharvested tree, set them down, and prepared to kick.
She felt it again.
Applejack crouched down, terrified, looking this way and that. Someone was spying on her, just like from before. She felt it. She knew they were looking right at her. And she knew they would see her no matter where she went.
She began to hyperventilate. What was this? “HEY!” She yelled. “SHOW yer’self! I ain’t afraid’a you! Now come on out here so I can give you a right talkin’ to!”
Still nothing. Applejack didn’t like this one bit. Was she going crazy? She knew one of her cousins had suffered a breakdown in the middle of harvest season a few years ago. Did it run in the family? Was she losing her mind?
Was she going- gulp- mad?
“Er. Afternoon sis.” Came a voice. Applejack jumped and turned to see her brother, Big Mac, strolling up behind her. “Is… uh, someone here with you?” He looked around mildly.
“Yes!” Applejack said, glad for the company that she could see. “Er. Well. No. I don’t know. I guess I thought I saw somepony. Gave me a right spook, is all.”
Big Macintosh regarded her thoughtfully for a moment. “Yew’ve been workin’ too hard again, I reckon.” He said. “You git on into town to enjoy some R and R. I’ll finish up for you here.”
Applejack started to protest, citing her brother’s injury, but he cut her off. “Nope. Nuh-uh. You git goin’.”
She stopped and looked at him for a moment longer. He seemed worried about her. She relented. “Thanks, Mac.” She said, turning to slink off the farm into town. She hoped Applebloom didn’t see this. It’d give her bad ideas about work ethic.
“Pinkie.” Twilight said, walking through the park. “Pinkie!”
She was nowhere to be found. Twilight had been unable to sleep- feeling eyes on her- and had stayed up to study the night away. She was tired but determined. She had tried the Sugar Cube Corner, Rarity’s boutique, the café, and the market where Pinkie liked to buy her baking supplies. She still hadn’t found her. She had to get to the bottom of what happened last week; the unanswered questions in her head were really playing havoc with her nerves.
“Have you seen Pinkie Pie!?” She called up toward Rainbow Dash, who was just rising from a nap in one of the trees.
“Nah.” Rainbow said, stretching. “I haven’t seen’er for days. I assumed she was with you.”
“I haven’t seen her either!” Twilight said, getting worried. “This might be-“
She felt it. They were watching her again.
Twilight looked around. There were other ponies in the park with her, but they didn’t seem disturbed by anything; a few of them looked at her nervously when they saw her watching them; no, these hadn’t been the ones who were spying. Twilight looked into the woods, but could sense no life forms there either.
What was it?
Where WERE they?!!
“Uh, Twilight?” Rainbow Dash said, gliding down to her. “Something wrong?”
“I…” Twilight said. The feeling was oppressive. It was getting hard for her to breath, and the fact that no one else could feel it made it even worse. “Rainbow Dash, when was the last time you saw Pinkie Pie?”
“I saw her going through town to come up here a few days ago.” She offered. “You’re acting weird! What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know!” Twilight said, turning tail and running back into town.
Rainbow Dash stood there, perturbed.
Twilight had just made it into the Library resolved to get some sleep when there was a knock at her door. It made her blood run cold- was it… them? But she had forced herself to answer it. It was only Applejack- looking as haggard as she was.
“Hello Applejack.” Twilight said. She already knew why her friend was visiting.
“Hey Twi. Seen Pinkie lately?”
“I spent the whole day looking for her, and so far nothing.” Twilight said. “What happened at the cliff has really been bothering me… somehow.”
“Oh don’t tell me!” Applejack exclaimed, seemingly relieved. “I felt like I was losing my mind out there in the orchard! Big Mac noticed and sent me up here to relax, but it ain’t workin’.”
Twilight moved inside and Applejack trudged in behind her. “We need to find Pinkie Pie to explain what happened over there.” She said. “Our minds are cracking under the stress.”
Applejack nodded. “Darn tootin’.” She said. “Pinkie Pie always was an odd sort but that just took the cake.”
“Pinkie has taken a lot of cakes.” Twilight said, chuckling in spite of herself. Then her eyes dilated. “Wait.”
Applejack neighed in surprise. “They… they’re watchin’ again ain’t they? I mean they always were, ever since that cliff and the Hydra, but-“
“No Applejack.” Twilight said. “I mean… yes. But.” She took a breath. “Pinkie Pie. She does weird stuff all the time, but we never really noticed because it happens so fast.”
Applejack looked at her oddly. “Um.”
“Like how she’s… she always…” Twilight looked around the room. “She pops out of nowhere sometimes.”
Applejack pondered that for a moment. “I always figgered she can jus’ move quick and hide herself easy.”
“I know she can. But sometimes she… well, remember that music number she put on over in Appleloosa?”
“Remember what she did with the piano? Oh Celestia! I can’t believe I didn’t even notice it until now!”
Applejack thought hard for a second. “She was dancing, then she climbed through it or somethin’ while Spike was playing. So?”
“Spike’s music wasn’t interfered with.” Twilight said, shaking. “And I thought she climbed through it too, somehow. But there was no hole in the back of it for her to fit through. I looked. I saw it. But I didn’t see it until now.”
Applejack was getting nervous now, too- more nervous than she had been, in any case. “You think she… you think she did… that… thing… with the piano?”
“I don’t know how else it could have happened. The strings should have been messed up. It would have ruined her whole song.”
Applejack began trembling as much as her friend. “Twi, I don’t know if I can take much more of this.”
Twilight collapsed to her knees again, just as she had back on the cliff. Fear. But this time, it was worse than the Hydra; the Hydra was a known variable; something she could see, and measure, and calculate, even if the calculation would have added up to a result she would have hated. But this… her friend Pinkie Pie… was becoming more than she could handle. It was like the time she had attempted to study her ‘twitches,’ but instead of a mild annoyance it was filling her with dread.
There was a knock at the door.
Applejack and Twilight froze. They knew who it was. They both knew they should have been relieved, but instead they were both scared stiff.
“Maybe…” Applejack said timidly, “Maybe we ain’t supposed to know. How she does it.”
The knock came again. “Guuu-uuys!” a familiar voice called. “C’mon, guys! I’m sorry for running off!”
Twilight tried to stand, but slipped, and instead curled into a fetal position. “We’re damned if we know and damned if we don’t,” she moaned pathetically.
The knocking became more insistant. Applejack took one fearful step toward the door. Then another. The knocking stopped. She reached for the doorhandle, and flung it open before her courage failed her.
There was nobody there.
“Hi guys!” Pinkie Pie said, stepping out from underneath the blanket in Spike’s basket toward Applejack.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHH!!!” The other two ponies screamed. They panicked. Twilight scrambled up the stairs while Applejack bolted to the other side of the room- Pinkie was blocking the exit now.
Twilight had tripped, spraining her front hoof badly, and was dragging herself along in blind terror. Applejack had picked up a dictionary and was holding it in front of her, cowering in the corner.
Twilight was sobbing and Applejack babbled incoherently.
Pinkie looked down at the floor. Both of her friends continued to panic. She sniffled.
“I-I’m sorry, guys.” She said, her voice breaking.
Twilight peeked from the upper floor that served as her bedroom. Applejack lowered the thick book she had been shielding her body with; they both saw Pinkie sitting there in the middle of the room, holding a small paper bag and crying bitterly to herself. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I’ll go away now.”
She picked up her bag and sadly trotted to the door. She nudged it open with her muzzle and stepped outside. “I ho-hope we can still be friends after you’re done being scared and mad at me.”
She pushed the door shut, and it was almost closed when Twilight called out. “Wait!”
Pinkie looked back at her sadly.
Applejack wiped her muzzle and stood up. “We gotta talk.” She put the dictionary back on a table. “Ahem. Ya just spooked us is all, sugarcube.”
The three ponies sat in the middle of the library. Applejack and Twilight had begun trembling again; this was the moment. Pinkie picked up her bag and set it on the table between them. They both regarded it fearfully.
Pinkie Pie, acting strangely quiet for a moment, watched her two friends sitting at the other side of the table.
“I brought something for you.” Pinkie Pie said. She reached into the bag. Twilight and Applejack had taken to leaning up against each other for support. They both quailed as Pinkie slowly withdrew an item. They wanted to know, but they wanted not to know.
“Cupcakes!” She said happily. She handed one to Applejack, and then to Twilight. They were both loaded with frosting and sprinkles; one had a small piece of apple on the top, the other had a piece of indigo candy. Pinkie Pie watched as her friends took tentative bites, and then devoured them. Cupcakes were wonderful things, she thought.
“Mmm” Twilight said. “Tho’re good!” She said with her mouth full. Applejack nodded in agreement, gulping the last of her treat down.
“When was the last time you two ate?” Pinkie Pie asked.
Applejack and Twilight looked at her. “Nevermind.” Pinkie said. “I guess you guys need me to tell you some things.”
She looked at both of them. They both sat there, staring at her like… well, like the stare-ers. “I had to go away for a while to figure out how to tell you all this. I didn’t want to scare you.”
“Bit too late for that, sugar.” Applejack said.
“Go on.” Twilight said.
“I knew you guys were going to get into trouble up at the cliff. I can’t explain how I know things like that,” she said, “But, anyway, I knew it, and so I went up there, and when I saw what was happening I knew I’d have to help you.”
She looked at the two of them. “I have a trick I can do, but I don’t do it all the time because sometimes it scares ponies, and I don’t talk about it or show anypony because they freak out. Like you guys did. But this time you didn’t stop talking to me over it, so that’s good.” Pinkie Pie sighed.
“I used to live in Fillydelphia, but when this happened nobody would talk to me and they stopped coming to my parties, because they were all scared of me. I think they thought I was a ghostie.” Pinkie Pie’s face, normally so bright and cheerful, fell into a sad frown. She was on the verge of tears. “I had to move and make new friends in Ponyville, because everypony was mad and scared and wouldn’t talk to me.”
Applejack looked over at Twilight; they both felt like asses.
“So. This trick.” Twilight said. “And we’re sorry for reacting the way we did, Pinkie Pie. It’s just that what happened has been kind of bothering us all week.”
“Yeah.” Applejack said. “So where did you take us?”
“Let me think.” Pinkie said. “Okay. Here’s what I was going to say. How many ways can you go?”
“What?” Applejack said.
“Forward backward,” Pinkie said, leaning as she did so. “Left right,”
Applejack was looking at Pinkie like she’d just turned orange; Twilight stared at her. “Up… up down?”
“Yeah!” Pinkie said.
“What in the hay are you two goin’ on about now?” Applejack asked, feeling left out.
“She’s talking about dimensions! Applejack, you know? We have three sets of directions to go in, so we’re in the third dimension.” Twilight said, thrilled at her understanding. “Or four, if you count time.”
“Yes! Sorta.” Pinkie said. “Dimensions! That was the word I was looking for. But we’re lucky.”
“Di… Dimensions.” Applejack said, unfamiliar with the word.
“Yeah!” Twilight nodded. “Think back to school, remember geometry?”
“Yes.” Applejack said ruefully. She had not been very good at math in school, and hated being reminded of those classes. She’d always been the slowest in it, and the teacher had to explain everything to her twice.
Twilight noticed her friend’s change in demeanor and thought for a moment. She picked up the paper bag and tore a piece off of it, laying it flat on the table. “This paper is flat.” She said.
Applejack narrowed her eyes at the paper, concentrating. “Right.”
Twilight used her horn to levitate a pen and a jar of ink down to their table from upstairs. “It’s flat.”
“So you can only go two dimensions on this paper.” Twilight said, drawing two lines crosswise on it, with arrow points at each end.
“Okay.” Applejack nodded. She could already feel a headache coming on.
“WE live in three dimensions, so we can go like this.” Twilight gestured with the pen up and down over the paper.
Applejack noticed that Pinkie was beaming; Twilight seemed to be on to something, so she stopped herself from complaining as she was feeling compelled to. “Gotcha.”
“So…” Twilight said, faltering. Now what did she do? She thought she understood, sort of, but not well enough to relate it to her friend yet.
“Let’s pretend!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed. She took the pen in her teeth, and crudely drew a third line with arrow points over the first two. Next to it she drew a small cube- it was crude, but the affect was to make it seem as though the paper had depth. “Now we can pretend that the paper has three dimensions, see?”
Applejack took her hat off and scratched her head with her left hoof. “Alright, I see. But what does this-“
Pinkie drew a stick figure pony on the edge of the paper scrap. “And this is me!” She said happily, sliding the paper over and showing it to AJ. “And I can do this!”
With a little effort, Pinkie scooped up the paper itself now in her hooves and carefully folded it into a small tube. She held it and looked through it at Applejack. “See?”
“You can… fold… paper?” Applejack asked her.
Pinkie Pie pouted while Twilight touched Applejack on the shoulder with her hoof. “No AJ. Pinkie Pie can fold SPACE. And then walk across the fold somehow.”
Applejack stared long and hard at the paper. There was a little pony. It was standing on the left side of the cube and the lines. When Pinkie Pie folded the paper, she had brought the little pony around to the other edge of the paper.
So that meant that the pony was on the left side of the paper. According to the paper, that was. But if the little stick-figure pony could jump across the edges, it’d end up on…
“…on… the right… side… of the cube.” Applejack said, her eyes wide. She looked at Pinkie, and suddenly remembered how the rock had shimmered and stretched somehow. She realized now what she’d seen. The rock had been like the edge of the paper, and Pinkie had folded it. And then Pinkie had jumped across, dragging her and Twilight along with her to escape the Hydra. That’s what the weird place was. That’s why nothing had felt right. They weren’t even in Equestria anymore. They hadn’t even been in space. They’d been completely outside of it. Outside of it all.
“Oh.” Applejack said. She grasped for her hat shakily. “Oh. Oh hayseed.” She began trembling again.
She vaguely felt eyes on her again. “Oh horseapples.” She looked up at the ceiling of the library; her head felt light. “Oh Celestia.” She said, and then fell backwards to the floor. She had fainted.
Twilight looked at Pinkie Pie worriedly before kneeling down next to AJ, who she was glad to see was still breathing.
“Is she alright?!” Pinkie Pie asked, leaning over the table.
After Applejack came to, they fed her some apples and made her drink water. She couldn’t believe that she’d fainted. Just like Rarity- nice as the pretty filly was, Applejack had always felt a little superior to her for being able to keep her head straight in stressful situations. A little dirt or a monster didn’t bother her too much… but here Twilight and Pinkie had made her pass out with a little piece of paper.
“I’m mighty sorry y’all.” She said. At least the trembling had stopped, but she was still quaking inside over what she had learned. “Uh. Don’t tell anybody that happened, okay?”
“Cross my heart and hope to die stick a cupcake in my eye!” Pinkie Pie gushed, thrilled to be party to another secret. Twilight had just shrugged and pointed toward Pinkie Pie, nodding.
“So that leaves one more thing.” Twilight said, looking over at Pinkie Pie. “When you took us… there… Applejack and I both felt something weird. Well, weirder. Than everything else.”
“Uhuh?” Pinkie Pie said. She seemed even more happy than usual now, but strangely calm. Applejack guessed it was from sharing this information without getting shunned for it. But who really knew with Pinkie Pie, she thought; Applejack sure didn’t.
Twilight gulped. “Applejack and I both felt like there were ponies in there… out there, with us. Like they were staring at us.”
“Oh, them!” Pinkie said happily.
Twilight had been expecting Pinkie to look at her quizzically. Or to at least brush her off as suffering a side affect of interdimensional travel; or at least to ask her what she was talking about. ‘Oh them’ had been the last thing she had expected to hear. It had been the last thing she’d wanted to hear.
Twilight laid her ears back. Her voice was quiet, like Fluttershy’s. “Them?”
“Them!” Pinkie nodded. She was grinning widely. “They watch us all the time, don’t they? It’s kind of annoying but you get used to it.”
Applejack coughed on her apple. “Just… always? Like everywhere? All the time?”
“Weeellll… not all the time. It’s usually just when something interesting is happening.” Pinkie said. “I was scared of them at first too, but nothing bad’s ever happened to me from them and I’ve known about them since I was just a little filly.”
“You still are a little filly.” Applejack said dully.
Twilight looked at Pinkie Pie in awe. “Have you ever talked to… to Them?” she asked, knowing the answer already. She’d always assumed Pinkie to be one of those ponies that liked to talk to herself. She knew better, now.
“Sure! But they never really answer me. I don’t think they can talk that much.” She said sadly.
“But why? Why us? Why do they watch us?” Twilight asked, looking around frightfully. “What makes us so interesting?”
“Because they like us!” Pinkie Pie said. “I think. I can’t think of any other reason.”
Applejack set her water down on the table. Twilight was stewing in her own thoughts, unconvinced. What could they have to gain?
“Don’t you ever look at Spike?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“What? Well, sure I do. He lives here.” Twilight said.
“But while he’s asleep? Don’t you ever just like to watch him be Spike?”
Twilight thought for a moment, back to the time she’d first received the baby dragon as her helper from Celestia. She had become a sort of surrogate mother to him- and she supposed she had taken to watching him sometimes. She did like to watch Spike sometimes while he was asleep in his basket, or while he was munching on gems. It made her happy to see him.
“Or Applebloom?” Pinkie Pie said, turning to Applejack. “When she’s playing? She’s fun to watch, isn’t she?”
Applejack thought about the times she’d quietly watched Applebloom and her little gang play around in the clubhouse they’d fixed up in the orchard. She nodded slowly.
“That still feels a little weird, sugarcube.”
Pinkie Pie shrugged. “THEY are a little weird.”
Twilight shook her head. “But to just watch someone do stuff… without ever, you know, doing anything… That’s not normal Pony behavior…”
“Oh they’re not Ponies.” Pinkie Pie said. “I don’t know what they are. But they’re not Ponies, no way.”
“You’ve seen’em?” Applejack asked her.
“Only a little bit. Sometimes. There’s a hole. I can usually only see them right before it closes, only for a second.” She thought for a moment. “They look... rough. Kind of like a rock. Or a diamond dog. But rougher. We’re very smooth next to them.”
When Pinkie Pie had said “There’s a hole” Applejack had grabbed her hat and stood up to head out the door. This was about as much as she was willing to take in for now, or ever. “I think I best be goin’ now ladies.” She said quickly. “Thanks fer settin’ us straight on all this inner dimen… dimenshuh… geometry stuff Pinkie.” She was out the door in five seconds.
Twilight looked over at Pinkie, who had become concerned. “I think she’ll be fine.” Twilight said. “If you’re sure these things are nice I’ll try not to worry. I need to catch up on sleep now, though.”
“I’m sure they’re nice!” Pinkie Pie said. “We’re nice, and nice things like nice things. So I think we’re fine. Bye bye!”
Twilight was about to say something about the Diamond Dogs but thought better of it. Pinkie Pie bounced out the door, humming a tune. Twilight walked up to her bed. She could feel eyes on her, but put it out of her mind. She slipped into bed and drew the curtains closed with her horn. “Well.” She said. She yawned, and would soon fall asleep. She rested her head on her pillow and drew the covers over her shouler. “Well. Good night.”