"Ow" Big Macintosh grunted as the comb pulled at a tangle.
"Well maybe if you brushed your mane a little more often you wouldn't have so many knots." Fluttershy teased as she lightly tapped his head with her brush.
"There ain't no need to when applebuckin'." he grumbled as she resumed straightening out his unruly mane.
Once again it was Nightmare Night in Ponyville, not Fluttershy's favorite night of the year. It had always seemed so dark and scary to her even though she knew that the costumes and special effects were fake. They had spent the better part of the evening together at Fluttershy's cottage preparing for the night. The two had made plans for that night that Big Macintosh was to stay with her and help pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters; but at the last minute the Mayor had asked him to pull the hay wagon this year and, reluctantly, he had said yes. So rather than preparing for visitors they were preparing his costume for the night.
With his hair straightened out and his costume washed, Fluttershy gently draped his black cape with a white skull apple painted on over his back, smoothing out the wrinkles, and picked up his top hat. Big Macintosh stood up and pushed his head back through his yoke. Fluttershy placed the hat on his head, gently tucking a rose into the brim. She placed a small kiss on the end of his nose. "Don't strain yourself to much tonight okay."
"Sugarcube, them little kids don't weigh close to a cart fulla apples; so don't you worry about a thing." He said as he returned the affection by rubbing his nose against hers slowly.
The two of them walked out of the cottage and watched as the sun dipped below the trees. Soon the voices and laughs of excited foals came floating through the crisp autumn air. "Ah think ah might have to go Shy." Big Macintosh said as he looked down the path from her cottage to Ponyville.
"Do you have to?" she asked, leaning over and resting her head on his foreleg. He leaned down and brushed her mane.
"Eeyup, a promise is a promise and ya can't respect a stallion who can't keep a promise."
Fluttershy pouted a little and removed herself from him. "Alright, fine." She was smiling softly into his eyes. "Just be back soon please."
He smiled back "Ah promise." Right before he stepped off the porch to begin his walk to town a figure came charging at full speed towards the cottage. Sadly, Big Macintosh wasn't looking in front of him and walked into the galloping pony. He grunted in surprise, while the other pony was thrown to the ground, as the force of a head moving very, very fast rammed into him. Fluttershy gasped and ran over to the two.
"Are you alright?" she asked as she rushed over.
""Ahm fine," Big Macintosh said "but ya might wanna check this one out an' see if he
or she's alright." The other pony had fallen to the ground in a crumpled and
.multicolored heap? They both looked at the pony in front of them in utter confusion. Then, all of a sudden, she stood up quickly and shook herself. The only part of her that was visible was her face but it was no mistaking that the pony that was literally bouncing in front of them was Pinkie Pie.
She had on the oddest costume either of them had ever seen. It was made up of various animal parts. Two wings were on her back, one like a bats wing, the other looked more like a birds. All four of her hooves were decorated as well, painted to look a lot like a chicken leg, a bear's claw, a dragons foot and a donkeys hoof. A long red and spiked tail was attached to the back of the costume and flopped carelessly behind her. But the freakiest part of her costume was her eyes. Somehow she had managed to get her eyes completely yellow except for the pupils which were a deep angry red color. She looked a lot like
"Hiya guys, whatcha up to?!" the ecstatic pink pony asked as she bounced circles around Big Macintosh and Fluttershy.
"Ah was just about ta leave for the Ponyville Nightmare Night Festival." Big Macintosh responded, growing dizzier as Pinkie bounced in faster circles around him.
"Ooooohhhh gonna pull the hay cart again?! I would hurry if I were you, they started, like, fifteen minutes ago and some of them kids are getting reeaalllyyy antsy." She shoved him from behind and his eyes widened in surprise as he actually slid. "Scootch your bootch big guy!Hurry Hurry Hurry!!"
Big Macintosh finally yielded and started walking towards Ponyville. "Ah'll be back before tha end of tha night! Ah promise!" he shouted over his shoulder to Fluttershy.
"Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww. You guys are SO CUTE together!" Pinkie said with big sappy eyes as she lay down on her back, pressing her costume's wings beneath her.
Fluttershy blushed at this comment; she was so happy that her friends were so approving of their relationship. She had been a little worried that they might get a little jealous over all of the attention she gave to her coltfriend. Pinkie bounced back up. "Now; IT's Nightmare Night and I gots myself a costume so WHERE'S THE FREE CANDY?!" Pinkie asked excitedly, searching around Fluttershy for a bowl of sugary treats.
"I left them in the house." she responded as she tried to follow her friend's movements. "Umm Pinkie
if you don't mind me asking
why do you look so much like
"Discord? Well that should be obvious silly because that's who I decided to dress up as this year." Pinkie stopped her constant movement for a moment to proudly display her costume to Fluttershy. Fluttershy looked at the costume more carefully now; she had to admit that it did look a lot like the draconequus.
But Fluttershy still held a small angry coal for the creature changed her personality so much that she had stomped on flowers. "Why would you want to dress up as that big, dumb, meanie?"
"Because say what you want about him he really knew how to liven up this small town. Besides this is going to be the BEST Nightmare Night costume EVER! Now it took me two days to make this costume and I'm expecting candy for my hard efforts." Pinkie Pie looked like she was ready to explode.
Fluttershy smiled lightly at her friend and sighed. "Alright." She started her walk back towards her cottage but Pinkie was way ahead of already on the porch digging into the bowl of chocolates and other sweets.
"Blech you've got to many apples in here Fluttershy, you could at least coat them in caramel or something. It's all about the Sugary treats on Nightmare Night." Pinkie said pouring a few hooffulls of candy into her empty bag.
"Umm Pinkie if you don't mind could you save some of that for the other trick or treaters?" Fluttershy asked politely.
"Oh don't worry Fluttershy I'll leave plenty for them but I'm sure you have an extra bags somewhere just in case right?" Pinkie was now taking the candy from her bag, quickly unwrapping them, and shoving them in her mouth. She bounced away from the cottage and past other colts and fillies walking excitedly towards her home. Fluttershy looked down into her already half empty bowl and smiled. "Pinkie you are so random sometimes."
"Come one come all and see The Great and Powerful Trixie's Spectacularly Spooky Haunted Home!" The light blue unicorn stood in front of, what looked like, a broken down two story house. She had traded out her normal glittering purple cape and hat and was donning a pitch black witch's costume with spiders hanging off the end of her hat.
She stood behind a table with "One Amazing Scare: 10 bits" written on a poster draped across the front. She collected the money from a small group of teenage ponies and pulled a rope in the front, ringing a bell deep within the house, signaling for her workers to get ready as the front door opened and she ushered them in, cackling wickedly as they walked in.
Rainbow Dash was grumpily walking by when she saw the haunted house. The reason she was grumpy was her costume. She had wanted to dress as Spitfire, captain of the Wonderbolts, this year but instead she had been forced to dress in Pinkies chicken outfit from the previous year. Pinkie thought it would be funny so she had bet that she could beat her in a race across Ponyville, Rainbow Dash had of course accepted. She still didn't know exactly how Pinkie had won; she'd had a great lead and wasn't showing any signs of slowing down and she knew Pinkie wouldn't have cheated. But somehow she had gotten to the finish line first and a bet was a bet.
Now seeing the town outcast she had someone to truly focus her attitude on and she trotted over to the table.
"I thought we ran you outta town last year Trixie." she said glaringly at the show horse unicorn "I'm sure you remember; Ursa Minor, Twilight beats your sorry flank at magic, getting shunned, all that stuff."
"Why do you think I'm here?" Trixie responded with the same attitude.
"I don't know. To try and show just how 'Great and Powerful' you are again?"
"Humph. Close but not nearly close enough. I need to pull my reputation out of the mud in this little hick town so I can move on to greater things." she said smugly "So what better than to run the best haunted house in all of Equestria? And that's what I'm doing." She gestured behind her with a flourish.
Rainbow Dash looked the house up and down "Looks kinda cheesy if you ask Me." she said giving Trixie a doubting look. "How would I know this isn't another one of your cheap tricks and you're not just trying to soak us for bits?"
"I have an insurance plan." Trixie stated matter of factly "If you come out of this house without getting petrified in fear at least once I return your bits. My assistants let me know whether or not you're telling me the truth as well. Simple as that."Rainbow Dash looked over at an exiting group of ponies. Their mouths were slightly agape and their eyes were wider than anyponies eyes were supposed to be. As they walked by Rainbow got a closer look at them. The stallion of the group was visibly shaking. Trixie gave the rainbow manedpegasus a smug look
Rainbow Dash looked excited. A challenge? "Challenge Accepted!" she shouted as she dashed off. "Ohhh the gang's gonna love this." she thought, grinning as she ran off to find her friends.
Fluttershy smiled as she waved goodbye to the small group of colts and fillies that had just visited her home. She was having a fine time at home just passing along candy. The smile that was accompanied by the treats made her happy. Why had she ever been afraid of this holiday? "Hey Fluttershy!" She looked past the group of kids as they walked away and saw Rainbow Dash flying at her quickly. Trotting behind her were Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie, and Applejack.
Fluttershy beamed as she saw her friends. When they arrived at her front porch they were all out of breath, except for the cyan pegasus. "Fluttershy you've gotta come with us Now!" she said as she did excited flips in the air. She grabbed Fluttershys hoof and started to pull of her porch. Fluttershy was confused but allowed herself to be pulled.
"Umm Rainbow Dash where exactly are we going? That is if you want to tell me. If you don't I suppose that's ok." she asked timidly as Rainbow pulled her away from the comfort of her home.
"Trixie's set up a haunted house near town." she said excitedly as she let go of her friend "I thought it would be fun if we all went there together and checked it out."
Fluttershy stopped dead in her tracks and looked up at Rainbow Dash. "A-a
haunted house?" Her voice grew small with each word as she thought exactly about what her friend was asking her to do.
"Yeah it's supposed to be wickedly scary. I know it's not your thing but you shouldn't worry so much cause we'll be with you."
Even with her friends reassurances Fluttershy still felt uneasy about the whole thing. She shuffled left and right, trying to stall her friend and think of a good excuse not to go. "Umm where's Rarity." she asked in a voice barely above a whisper.
Rainbow Dash was growing antsier by the second. "She said she had to take care of Sweetie Belle. Also she said something about not wanting blood stains on her costume but that doesn't matter. Come on let's go!!" Rainbow Dash flew behind her friend and started to shove her back down the road. Fluttershy resisted, digging her hooves into the dirt, but of course Rainbow Dash proved stronger than her and she eventually started slowly walking on her own.
As they passed through Ponyville Fluttershy saw Big Macintosh pulling a hay cart with five or six little colts and fillies riding on it. She shot him pleading glances hoping that he would see her and rescue her, but he didn't see her.
There was a platform in the center of town with turn tables, speakers and other DJ equipment on it. The blue haired electronic mistress, Vinyl Scratch, finished her song and leaned into her microphone. "Alright, alright everypony I'm gonna step down and take a break now but don't worry cause I ain't leaving you without jams!"
As she walked down off the stage a green pony with darker green hair with yellow streaks running through it stepped up onto it. He was dressed in a blood stained doctor's outfit and a mask over his face. He walked over to the turntablesand turned on his music. Deep and disturbing piano music started to play and the song started to filter through.
Now a rainbow's tale isn't quite as nice
As the story we knew of sugar and spice
But a rainbow's easy once you get to know it
With the help of the magic of a Pegasus Device!
The voice was harsh and sounded like it was artificial. Fluttershy didn't like it one bit and tried to tune out the harsh beating sounds by humming her favorite lullaby's to herself.
Though the progress was slow and Fluttershy tried her best to stall and stay behind her friends the result was inevitable and the group arrived at Trixie'sSpectacularly Spooky Haunted Home. When Fluttershy saw the sign that read ""One Amazing Scare: 10 bits" she gained some hope.
"Umm Rainbow, I didn't bring any bits with me."
Her hope came crashing down as Rainbow Dash pulled out a small pouch from her costume. "Don't worry Fluttershy I got you covered."
The five of them walked up to the table where Trixie sat vibrantly calling out for passerby's to come to her house. When she saw them she leaned on the table with one arm and smiled smugly at the group. "Well, well, well, look who decided to show up anyways." She shot a quick glare over at Twilight before she pulled out her bit box. "Ten bits a pop girls, for the scare of your life."
Applejack, Twilight, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash all paid and Trixie gestured them to the door leading into the house. "Remember girls, if you can make it out without being petrified by fear at least once full refund for you. Enjoy"
As she turned back towards the road the door opened slowly, ominously creaking to reveal a pitch dark interior as they all stepped inside.
As soon as the five friends walked inside the door swung shut behind them with a heavy thud and they were left inside of a suffocating darkness. Fluttershy was already more than terrified and was glad her friends couldn't see how badly she was shaking.
A deep echoing voice resonated through the blackness. "Welcome, you poor souls, to The Cursed House. Where you may enter alive, but No soul exits whole. I shall be your guide for this evening, don't bother to wonder for my name, I've been here so long that I don't even remember." His voice was taunting and moved in circles around them quickly.
Candles quickly lit up around the room and they could see their surroundings. Portraits of ponies dress in Victorian style dress lined the walls and glared down at them. The voice resumed, Fluttershy looked for the source but it continued to move and remain unseen, "These are the first of our many guests. They once lived in this home, and they still do, bound by their greed and corruption, doomed to stay here for all of eternity. And they desire company, and I'm sure You are more than willing to oblige."
The voice laughed as lightning flashed in the room; the pictures in the room changed so that the heads in the portraits changed to skulls, grinning down upon them. Fluttershy screamed and covered her head, whimpering. A door heavily swung open on the other side of the room and the lightning stopped flashing. "Now please step deeper into our home. The other guests are Dying to meet you."
Pinkie laughed and bounced over to the door, Applejack and Twilights eyed the pictures suspiciously and walked to the other side of the room. Rainbow Dash had to stay behind and coax Fluttershy out from underneath a table. "Come on Fluttershy we've gotta move on."
Fluttershy kept her head beneath her hooves and whimpered. "Can I go home now?"
"What? Of course not, we've gotta see this whole thing through. I mean, you already lost the challenge, but this is a good experience for you."
Fluttershy pressed her hooves firmer onto her head to try and hide from her friend. She wanted nothing more right now than to go home, make a cup of tea, and cuddle up against Bog Macintosh until the night was over.
Finally Rainbow Dash convinced her to come out from under the table by telling her that she was holding up other groups who wanted to come into the house. Fluttershy crawled out from under the table shakily and eyed the main exit door, but before she could make a run for it Rainbow had already grabbed her and started dragging her into the next room.
Barely a moment passed between Fluttershy crossing the doorway and it closing behind her. Now escape was impossible; she was going to have to see this thing to the bitter end.
The five of them stood in a hallway, barely lit by small white bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Six doors lined the hallways on both walls leading to a solid black one at the end. "Welcome to The Nightmare Hall" the voice continued. "When you entered this house we silently moved into your minds and found what scared you the most. Now behind each of these doors are those very things. Enjoy."
As the disembodied voice faded everyone was nervous to take the first step. It looked like a very long walk to the other door all of a sudden. Finally Applejack took a long gulp and stepped forwards. "Come-on everypony. We've faced scarier things before. Like Nightmare Moon or Discord or, heck, even that army of Changelings. There aintnothin' in here we can't get by."
Her words of encouragement did little to help but the five of them started walking forward slowly.
As they approached the first door on their left its hinges creaked open on their own revealing a roomcast in a green light. Inside the room three green warty mares sat around a cauldron that was bubbling ferociously with a weird blue potion. The mares began to chant in practiced unison and sway around the pot.
On this night a demon shall rise
For now we add the filly's eyes
When from his ancient slumber shall he awake
The first thing needed is a soul for him to take
And that soul is his for him to eat
We think yours will make a satisfying treat
All three of them cackled horribly as red smoke rose from the cauldron. The brew boiled over the sides and spilled on the ground. From the cauldron somepony rose, pulling its head out of the gooey substance and gasping for air. The witches continued to laugh as the substance slithered off it and itsfirey red coat became fully visible. The demon grabbed onto the edge of the pot it was in and fully rose from it, spreading its horrible bat like wings. When its eyes opened they set themselves right onto the five mares looking in. The creature let out a scream that radiated bloodlust and lifted itself into the air with a single flap of its wings. Its scream left unbroken it charged the door but before the thing could reach its intended targets the door had slammed back shut in their faces.
Twilight continued to stare wide eyed at the door; still transfixed by what she had seen. She turned to her friends who were likewise posed hoping that she wasn't the only one between them who had lost the bet. "Girls
I don't think we're getting our bits back."
"Ahm inclined ta agree with ya there Twilight." Applejack responded, shaking her head to remove the shock.
awesome!" Pinkie Pie said brokenly. Her smile was a little twisted from the fact that her face had yet to unfreeze from fear from what she had just experienced. "I mean that door just opened up and those mares were all like 'Demon's going to eat your soul' and then it came out and scream and came at us but the door just WHAMED and now we're here."
where's Fluttershy?" asked Rainbow Dash, checking under the four of them for her yellow friend. It was in that moment that they realized that the screams they were hearing were not echoes from that room but instead were coming from down the hall.
It hadn't taken much too absolutely terrify Fluttershy with that room and she had just decided to take her chances bolting down the hallway.A huge mistake at best. Each room she had passed depicted more graphic scenes than the last but the door she currently stood before was her own personal nightmare.
The walls of the room were a deep rust color, with streaks of blood running down the wall. Grim decorations lined the walls, the skulls of all sorts of creatures staring in all directions. The dissected bodies of woodland creatures and ponies alike lay on the floor like rugs and covered the walls like gruesome wallpaper, their organs hung messily in little bows and knots. In the center of the room a stallion stood over a surgical table holding a stained and dull scalpel, cutting slowly into his victim. Blood stained his white coat and doctor's smock, which covered his cutie mark. His sweat soaked black hair lined his face as he turned to look at the crouching and crying pegasus. Gesturing with the hoof not holding his scalpel he grinned a deaths mask grin at her. "Would you like to gather my next patient? Or perhaps you would enjoy a surgery instead?"
Rainbow Dash forced the door closed, both mad at the house, and scared for her friend. Fluttershy was cowering on the floor, her hooves covering her head and tears running down her face. Her friends were gathered around her, but Rainbow dash kept her distance, knowing she was responsible for her friend being there.
"Can I go home now? Please?" Fluttershy begged with a quiet whimper.
"Ahm sorry Sugarcube, but ah think we need ta walk through ta get out." Applejack shot a daggery look at Rainbow Dash.
"We'll get you out of here, Fluttershy. I promise." Twilight assured her friend. "And when we do we'll never ask you to do something like this again."
Fluttershy got back up shakily. "*sniff* Okay."
Fluttershy had her eyes clenched tightly shit, and if they had been open they would be looking at the ground. She did her best to not listen to the different horrors that opened with the doors. Her other four friends continued to terrify themselves with scenes of butchery, cannibalism, and overall horror.
Finally they reached the end of the hallway and tentatively opened the door.
The hallway they now stood in was a startling contrast to the last. Pure white and clean, it looked amazingly like a hospital.
"Welcome to the Ponyville Sanatorium." the eerie, dark voice from nowhere greeted. "We've taken Ponyville's most dangerous, clinically insane and locked them all up here for you viewing pleasure. But you're here after visiting hours, so you'll be staying the night."
The lights dimmed as the five friends made their way across the rooms. Each cell had some poor stallion or mare in it. Some would lunge at them, screaming through the bars. Others were muttering to themselves or hitting their head against a wall. Nearing the end of the gauntlet of insanity, the ghost voice returned. "Some of our patients need to be fixed. Why not stop a while; I'm sure we could help you!"
The next cells they witnessed showed old methods of treating the mad. One mare had her head dunked into a bucket, her hooves bound behind her back, with ice water in it. When the bubble stopped the two orderlies dragged her out, slapped her awake and repeated the process.
A lobotomy was being performed with an ice pick and a mallet. The metal point aimed at the inside of a colt's eye and the mallet raised to hit it home before the clinic doors closed shut the sight.
Lights flickered in the final cell. A stallion sat in a long metal chair, a cap, looking much like a cage, sat on his head. He was twitching and frothing at his mouth as electricity shot through his body and he let out a horrific scream. Fluttershy's eyes cracked open a little at the sound but she slammed them shut at just the peak, trying to hum away the screams.
"You're going to rise to the top of your terrors." At the end of the room a swirling flight of stairs wound its way upward. Thunder boomed and lightning flashed all the way up their ascension. Luckily, Fluttershy was in between Applejack and Rainbow Dash so she felt more or less comforted, though she jumped at every sound and still refused to open her eyes.
Upon reaching the top of the stairs they entered a completely empty room with bare walls, bare floors, and only a chandelier to light the area. The five friends gathered to the center of the room, expecting the worst.
"I lied," said the voice in a deep jeering tone. "Going DOWN!" With that the floor beneath them collapsed. Not even Rainbow Dash's amazing reflexes were able to bring her wings out fast enough to slow her descent.
They fell, screaming, or in the case of Pinkie, laughing, down a slide that spiraled down as holographic images of crackling skulls danced around them.
The slide dumped them outside and they took a moment to gather their surroundings. "Only the dead may know peace from evil," the voice echoed from around them "but sometimes the dead are the true evil." A path of jack-o-lanterns dimly lit their path through a cemetery.
Moons echoed and intensified around them and several shadowy figures approached the path. As the shadows stumbled into the light their grey and green coats became more visible. Dried blood covered most of them in patches. Chunks of flesh were removed and bones stuck out from legs and necks. An eyeball dangled out of a closed socket of one. The zomponies continued their unrelenting straightforward path towards them.
Twilight screamed and bolted down the path. It was like a signal to the others. Even for fearless Rainbow Dash it was too much and they all bolted from the house. In mid flight Rainbow Dash stopped and took a head count. Twilight, Applejack, Pinkie, and herself. Her eyes widened in sudden realization. "Oh crud." They, in their fright, had left behind Fluttershy. The cyan pegasus did a quick turn about and shot back to where she had left her best friend.
Fluttershy was pulled into a tight ball on the ground, her tail surrounding her body and her hooves covering her head. One of the zomponies walked over to Rainbow Dash and she prepared to hit him.
"Hey now hold up and calm down" he said in an annoyed tone. Rainbow stopped dead in her tracks and sense returned to her. "Actors, they're just
actors." She shook her head to clear the cobwebs of fear clouding her brain.
"I'm guessing that one's your friend?" he asked, gesturing to the yellow ball.
" she looked wracked with guilt.
"Well she's holding us up." the irritation in his voice growing "And every time we try to get close she screams, so we can't reason with her, and we're not allowed to touch anypony who's coming through."
Rainbow Dash facehoofed, this wasn't going to be easy. She landed and trotted over to her cowering friend. "Fluttershy?" she asked, stepping closer to her friend.
Fluttershy squealed in fright and pressed herself tighter onto the ground. Not used to her friend being so loud and sharp Rainbow Dash stopped dead in her tracks. "Fluttershy we've got to move on." She tried her best to be comforting with her voice but no response was given from Fluttershy. "Fluttershy come on we've gotta go. Listen, I'm sorry I made you come here tonight. It was stupid of me."
Still Fluttershy only shivered in fear and kept her head to the ground.
"Hey can this move along any faster because you girls are getting bad for business." The zomponyasked, the annoyance in his voice extremely obvious.
"Cool yourself." Rainbow Dash spat back. "*sigh* I know how to fix this. Give me like, five minutes." Not waiting for a response she shot up into the air and dashed as quick as thought in the direction of Ponyville.
Big Macintosh rolled his shoulders, stretching out the muscles. He'd spent all night pulling the cart without break, and he was preparing to pull it around town again.
She hovered at eye level with him speaking fast."Hey we're having a problem with Fluttershy, can you help us out?"
Without a thought Big Macintosh walked over to the platform Mayor Mare stood. "Ma'am ah don't mean ta be an inconvenience, but can ah take a break from wagon pullin'? Ah got an issue ah gotta work out."
"Of course, Mr. Apple" the silver haired leader of Ponyvillesaid, waving a hoof dismissively "It's getting late as it is, why don't you just go home."
He nodded politely. "Thank ya kindly ma'am have a nice night." He turned back to Rainbow Dash who was impatiently flying back and forth and started in the direction she had come from quickly.
"Now what exactly is the matter?" he asked looking up at his cyan companion.
Rainbow Dash chuckled nervously and avoided his eyes "I umm
brought her to a haunted house
and now she's so scared she won't even budge." Her voice moved quicker and rose in pitch the more she talked.
Macintosh could only sigh. Without another word from either of them he started galloping with Rainbow leading the way.
. . . . . . . . . .
"Are you here to do something about the chicken blocking the path?" Trixie was clearly pissed as they arrived at the dark house.
Big Macintosh did his best to remain calm at the insult directed at Fluttershy. "Ah think ah can get her out sure enough."
"Good. She's held us up so long I had to cut short come groups experience and refund them. I can't teleport her out of there without there being potentially harmful side effects because she's so blasted scared. Get herout before I lose any more money." The blue mare closed her eyes and concentrated. Her horn startedto glow a light blue. Macintosh suddenly felt like he was sucked through a tube. The next thing he know he wasn't where he had been a moment before. Now he was in a graveyard, the world swimming in his eyes.
"Give yourself a second to adjust." Trixie said beside him. "Flash teleportation's alwaysweird the first time."
Macintosh shook the stars out of his eyes and took an inventory of his surroundings. "This way." Trixie started to lead him to the right.
Soon they came to a group of undead ponies in a group, keeping a solid distance from the cowering mare. One of them, his eye dangling from a closed socket, walk out to them. "He gonna get her outta here Boss?"
Trixie threw a glance up at her red companion, still in black cape and top hat. "I hope so."
Big Macintosh stepped over to the familiar yellow ball on the ground. He saw her tense as he drew closer to her. Leaning in he brushed her neck with his nose and she screamed.
It took a good amount of willpower to stop from pulling away from her. "Fluttershy." His deep voice rumbled soothingly.
She sniffed and kept her head down. "Mackie?"
"I'm so scared."
"Ah know Sugarcube, ah know."
Big Macintosh poked his nose under her and scooped her onto his back. "So we're back to this are we?" he thought grinning to himself. "Keep yer eyes closed Sugarcube, ah'll get ya outta here."
Fluttershy wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in his rust colored mane. Macintosh carried her past the groups of actors, moving back to their places. Big Macintosh walked back over to Trixie "Take us back ma'am."
Trixie teleported Big Macintosh and Fluttershy back to the entrance. After he got his legs back he began to walk her home. The cooling air shifted and whistled in the trees and soon her cozy cottage came back into view. He walked onto the porch, past the empty candy bowl, and into her home. Crouching by the couch he allowed Fluttershy to lower herself onto it.
She grabbed a thick throw pillow and hugged it tightly, buryingher face in it. Macintosh took off his cape and draped it over her like a blanket. He lay on the floor next to the couch and rested his head on the cushion next to hers.
"There we are Sugarcube, it's alright" he said, rubbing his face on hers "the night's almost over and I'm with ya."
Fluttershy sniffled and showed him a watery eye "I hate this holiday so much."
"Ah know darlin'. It's alright though. We're all allowed to be scared sometimes."
Fluttershy's lip quivered and she hid her face back in the pillow "But not All the time." Her voice was muffled by the thick cushion but Big Macintosh could hear her sobbing into it. She looked back at him with tears streaming out of the corners of her eyes. "Why am I so scared all the time? *sniff* I'm such an inconvenience to everyone else because I can't do anything but cower and let others take care of everything."
Big Macintosh waited patiently for her to finish before speaking himself. "Fluttershy yer one of tha bravest ponies ah knows. You were tha one who scared a dragon off a mountain o' gold when yer friends couldn't convince it ta leave."
"And what about tha time ya saved Ponyville from a thousand years of darkness by standin' up ta Nightmare Moon?"
I suppose." Fluttershy stopped crying and looked deep into his eyes.
"Ya see darlin'. You've done plenty a brave stuff." Big Macintosh smiled softly and nuzzled her head. "And ya wouldn't be tha same Fluttershy ah know if you was different any other way."
She smiled back at him "I just wish that I was as fearless as Rainbow Dash, or you."
Big Macintosh lay his head on top of hers. "Ah ain't exactly fearless." He mumbled into her head.
"But I've never seen you scared of anything before. Ever. You always handle situations with such calmness. And you're the biggest pony in all of Ponyville, if anything everything else should be afraid of you."
Big Macintosh looked to the other side of the room. "Fire." Fluttershy was confused.
"Ahm afraid of fire. It's
..it's how mah parents died." His voice choked a little at the memory.
Fluttershy's eyes grew wide and she looked up at him. "Mackie
"When ah was smaller, Applejack was still little and Applebloom was just a foal. We didn't put tha fire out in the fireplace proper one night but we all went ta bed anyways. I woke up to the smell of smoke and mah parents yellin' fer me ta get Applebloom and get outta tha house. When I ran outta mah room the hallways were all red and everything was smoky smelling and hot. Ah got Applebloom outta her cradle and ran from that house. Granny Smith had Applejack out by tha barn and we stood out there and watched tha house burn down. Ma and Pa never made it outta tha house. The fireponies found their bodies caught beneath a rafter. Ah knew I coulda done somethin' ta help but ah didn't. Ah was to scared. And ever since then ah can't be around large fires."
Big Macintosh's eyes were distant as he wove his story. Fluttershy had tears running down into the pillow. "
I'm so sorry." Fluttershy whispered as the full effect of what Big Macintosh had just told her hit her. The subject of their parents was a very taboo subject with the Apples and the fact that Macintosh had just shared such a personal story... Silence reigned in the house for a while and Big Macintosh almost fell asleep using Fluttershy's head as a pillow. "Mackie?"
He cracked an eye and looked down at her. "Hmm?"
She twiddled her hooves for a moment before making eyes contact again. "Umm can we go back to the haunted house; please?" Big Macintosh was legitimately shocked by her proposition.
"Are ya sure Sugarcube? Why would ya want to?"
Fluttershy looked away again, blushing. "I just want to try and face my fears. I'm tired of being so scared all the time and I think I'll be OK if you came with me. We don't have to if you don't want to but I was just hoping that maybe
if you're willing to do something as brave as tell that story to me
then maybe I should try and be brave for you." She pressed her face into the pillow yet again and Big Macintosh laid a small kiss on her head.
"Alright sweetie. If yer sure yer up to it we can go back. And I'll be with ya tha entire time."
Big Macintosh donned his hat and cape again and they left the house, making their way back towards Trixie Spectacularly Spooky Haunted Home. Upon arrival it looked like Trixie was letting her last customers through. "Are you back to make me lose even More money?" she asked with obvious distain in her voice.
Fluttershy cringed a little at the harsh statement. "I'm sorry
" she said feebly, pressing against Big Macintosh.
Big Macintosh stepped in on the conversation quickly. "We're here so she can give yer spook house here another go around. Don't worry about being held up." He wrapped a forehoof around her. "This time, ah gots her."
Trixie gave a snort of disapproval, "Whatever, bits are bits, but if you take as long as last time I'm charging more when you two get out."
"That's fine ma'am." Big Macintosh dropped the money into Trixie's waiting hooves and she gestured for them to enter without looking at them.
Entering the first room Fluttershy knew what to expect and she pressed up close to Big Macintosh before the Ghost of the House started to speak. The unmovable mass of muscle beside her made her feel braver than she had ever before in her life. When the thunder and lightning struck she only had to imagine that she was home with him.
Walking through the Nightmare Hallway Fluttershy still screamed at the things that would jump out at her and Big Macintosh but his silent presence was ever there and she would just flinch into his body. When they passed the room with the crazed doctor cutting into an animal she turned her head, still unable to witness the gruesome scene.The entire time something would try to scare them Big Macintosh remained solid and unflinchinghis face showing its usual boredom towards everything.
In the Ponyville Asylum Big Macintosh raised an eyebrow at the stallion in the electric chair and shuddered a little. When they reached the top of the stairs to the tower Fluttershy quickly grabbed onto his neck just before the floor fell from underneath them.
Landing at the bottom of the slide Big Macintosh quickly recovered himself from his descent. Cracking his neck, he watched as the hordes of zomponies stumbled towards them. He lowered himself to the ground and Fluttershy crawled onto his back, biting her lip and forcing herself to look around. Big Macintosh walked briskly through the groans and hooves waving in his face and teeth snapping at him.
At the end of the trail he stopped in front of a broken down shed. "Welcome to the end of your journey." The voice spoke again "Now I must warn you, since you have been Such good guests, that there has been an escape from the Asylum. We managed to trap him in here, but since it's the only way out maybe if you go through fast enough he won't notice you. I doubt it though." The creepy voice laughed into silence and the door opened.
Big Macintosh stepped through the door way into the shed. Following a hallway riddled with sharp turns he stepped into a room and froze solid. Inside the room a green unicorn in a straight suit ran around, laughing to himself with flames bursting from his horn. The whole room was catching fire as it licked its way towards the red work stallion hungrily. Big Macintosh's eye was twitching like crazy and his body prepared itself to run backwards. But the flames reached behind him, leaving no way to go but forward. Big Macintosh felt the heat from the magically produced fire around him and his knees started to buckle beneath him.
He felt somepony rubbing his neck and he flinched at the touch before realizing that he still had Fluttershy on his back. She leaned forward and whispered into his ear. "It's alright; I'm here; we'll get through this; I promise."
Big Macintosh forced his quivering muscles to move forward, past the still laughing unicorn, who had now caught himself on fire and was rolling about, through walls of flame, and out of the door on the other side.
He took a large gasp of fresh air and exhaled, feeling that he was sweating harder than if he had been working that day. Fluttershy leaned forward and gave him a peck on the cheek. "You see. I told you we'd get through there."
Big Macintosh forced a smile onto his face. "Ah suppose. Come on; let's go home and have some tea." He walked away from Trixie's Spectacularly Spooky Haunted Home, and never looked back.