Spiral: Book of Unreality
The open fields outside Ponyville were coloured with life this time of year. The grass was painted its brilliant shade this clear November dawn, the weak yet serene rays of the sunrise awakening the quiet place's beauty.
It was here that Fluttershy felt most at peace with herself.
The calm, the soft sounds of the birds, the feeling of being surrounded by, in touch with, at the mercy of nature. It was simply magical.
For some time she softly walked about the field, the chill of night – warm though the days were growing – hung in the air like a cool mist shrouding the countryside.
Dispersing the bitter dew, she moved forward to greet the sun.
She felt truly alive.
Little did she know, there was a surprise waiting at home for her.
The surprise was a book. A strange blue hardcover book with nothing on either cover but a silvery square-spiral on the front. There was also an attached note. Curiously removing and unfolding it, she read:
“As I don't have any use for this anymore, maybe you'd like it. I was clearing out and I wanted to get rid of it. ~Pinkie Pie”
It was certainly Pinkie's handwriting, but it was even shakier than normal.
“How nice!”, Fluttershy thought aloud to herself, setting the mysterious book down on her coffee-table.
One week passed quietly. It was quiet because nopony had seen Fluttershy until Pinkie and Twilight inexplicably received invitations from her. Pinkie, never one to miss anything like that, was only too happy to comply.
“Fluttershy? You ok in there? You haven't come out for days!”, Pinkie said loudly while knocking on the door, with Twilight Sparkle following close behind.
Puzzled by the lack of a response, Pinkie scrambled to have a look through the nearest window. She only needed one second's view before she dashed straight back to Twilight's side.
“That...”, she began before stopping to take a breath, “was a really bad idea.”
“What was?”, Twilight demanded concernedly.
“I thought at least she could use the book responsibly... just like I wasn't.
“Which book?”, Twilight asked with gradually increasing force.
“The book... of cupcake recipes. I gave it away because I feared that one day it'd take over and something really bad would happen. And something did.”
Pinkie winced, remembering a scene of horror, bloodshed, and guilt.
“Why she invited us here I have no...”
Her face twisted into an expression of realisation.
“Let's get out of here!”
“Agreed”, Twilight replied solemnly. “Let's leave her be.”
Inevitably, Fluttershy wasn't left alone. Mere minutes later, Scootaloo knocked on Fluttershy's door.
He opened the door without waiting.
“Hi there! I just wondered if I could--”, and that was as far as he got before Fluttershy sprung from the shadows and bashed him on the head with a hard object he had no time to comprehend.
Elsewhere in Ponyville, Pinkie and Twilight were conversing with lowered voices.
“Ok, here's the plan.”, Twilight said. “How about I magick her back door open – she'll see it drift open but won't know it's me, she'll think it's just the wind. She'll be distracted by it, go over to it, and close it.”
Pinkie butted in.“And while she's doing that, I sneak in the front and take the book?”
“Not yet, Pinkie. You're getting too far ahead. I'll open the door a second time, and this time she'll definitely think something's up. She'll go outside to investigate.”
Twilight's voice dropped further, to a whisper.
“I'll... abscond before she sees me. I'll hide in the grass or something. Then, you can do as you said, go in the front and take the book.”
“Booooring!”, Pinkie replied. “Think of everything that could go wrong! Too many variables, too much prediction and manipulation, too many what-ifs. And I HATE what-ifs.”
“Well then.”, Twilight replied matter-of-factly. “Do you have any better ideas? We can't just leave her like that.”
Pinkie thought for a moment.
Twilight rolled her eyes victoriously, or at least she did until Pinkie spoke again.
“I know! I'll go into her house at night, and I'll take it then. With a knife. I like knives.”
“Don't, Pinkie. How do you- that is to say, what would happen if she wasn't asleep after all? I have a bad feeling. I don't want to let you go there alone.”
Pinkie acted as if she didn't hear. Her thought must've been too loud.
“Or, you know, why don't we forget about the night part! Day or night, it doesn't matter. Fluttershy's up a lot at night anyway. And it's so much less cool if you can't see what you're doing. I'm going to Sugarcube Corner to pick up a knife right now!”
“Wait! Pinkie, don't!”
“Ugh! Why won't somepony be rational and reasonable?”
Several hours later, but still several hours before sunset, Pinkie once more approached Fluttershy's quiet cottage.
Reaching the door, she thought of knocking, but then realised that would defeat the purpose. Deciding to carefully peer through the windows, she noted that Fluttershy was nowhere to be seen.
Feeling more confident now, she pushed the door open and strode in.
“Hi there!”, said an uncharacteristically cheerful voice.
Fluttershy appeared from behind one of her many pieces of furniture.
“Agh! You scared me!”
Pinkie noticed the state of the place.
“Fluttershy, why is there so much blood on the floor? I told you to be more careful with those scissors I gave you...”
“You can't tell me to be careful! I'm a year older than you! Anyway, never mind that stuff. Would you like some cupcakes?”
“Well, I wouldn't mind...”
Pinkie snapped back into focus. The cupcakes had orange icing and purple sprinkles. In fact, not only did she snap back into focus, but probably quite a bit further.
Pinkie kicked the plate of cupcakes out of Fluttershy's hoof, sending cupcakes flying everywhere and the plate crashing to the wooden floor, where it smashed into ten or so sharp ceramic fragments. Backing off, she brushed against a table, sending it toppling and a familiar-looking book careening into a darker corner of the room.
“Now what did you do that for?”, Fluttershy asked, sounding noticably upset.
Pinkie breathed heavily.
“You are... A MONSTER”, she reiterated, lunging at Fluttershy in thoughtless rage. Fluttershy avoided by quietly ducking to the side, then immediately trying to kick Pinkie's head, a failed attempt resulting in a momentary loss of balance for both of them.
Turning ninety degrees to face Fluttershy once more, Pinkie got out her knife, and held it in front of herself threateningly. “Hand over the book, Fluttershy. This is your... final chance.”
“Don't you... like me? I thought it was a gift! You can't just...”
Fluttershy began sobbing. “You know, we're still friends! There's still time! I'll go and make some more cupcakes right now. Won't that be fun? So tasty...”
Pinkie moved forward again with renewed anger, and attempted to stab Fluttershy in the side, all the while dhouting something indecipherable, a war cry of sorts.
Fluttershy dextrously tripped her up as she moved.
However, Pinkie still had the knife, climbing to her feet and spinning around. Before she could act further, Fluttershy lashed out yet again, catching Pinkie offguard and thowing her ot the ground, her knife now spinning as it slid across the floor, moving underneath some sort of armchair before halting out of sight.
Her eyes stopped following it as Fluttershy laughed threateningly, before deliving one final dcrushing kick to Pinkie's head.
“MORE CUPCAKES. MORE!!”