In Our House
PonySamsa May 23rd, 2018 (edited) 102 Never
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- “In our house we eat without spilling crumbs on the floor, Diamond Tiara,” Spoiled Rich said.
- Diamond Tiara looked at the single crumb that had escaped her plate and fallen to the carpet below. She sighed inwardly but her expression didn’t change.
- “I’m sorry, mother. I’ll do better next time.”
- “See that you do. We’re having the Oranges over for dinner on Tuesday, and I couldn’t bear for you to mess up the table like that in front of such esteemed guests.”
- “Yes, mother. I’ll make sure not to do it again.”
- “By the way, Filthy. I think we should bring out the expensive wines for them. You know, the ones from Griffinstone?”
- “Those taste terrible,” he said.
- “But they’re rare. I think it would impress them, and we could ply them for more of an investment.”
- “Oh, but you know—”
- Diamond Tiara stopped paying attention to the conversation. She was never included, so it didn’t matter if she heard their plans for Tuesday or not. She would show up, she would look pretty (which she was good at), and then she would eat and leave them to their talks of business. Her father was good enough at his job that she wasn’t needed. She wasn’t going to fill in his horseshoes anyway. They planned to marry her off to some other rich pony. Possibly some acquaintance of the Oranges or something. She didn’t know. It was out of her hooves.
- She finished eating her dinner, and she didn’t spill another crumb. Nothing marred the clean surface of the tablecloth—which would be switched out anyway—and only that single crumb on the floor indicated there had been anypony eating at the chair. The servants would clean it up.
- “In our house, we never do anything ourselves. That’s what the servants are for,” she said under her breath.
- “What was that, dear?” Filthy asked.
- “May I please be excused?”
- “Of course, dear. You run off to bed and finish your homework, okay?”
- “Yes, Daddy.”
- As she left the dining room, leaving her plate on the table for the servants to clean up, she heard her mother.
- “Why do you treat her like a foal all the time?” her mother said.
- “She is a foal.”
- “You’re coddling her.”
- “I won’t get to do it when she gets older.”
- “She won’t act any older if you keep coddling her like that.”
- “Anyway, you were saying the Oranges liked pineapple?”
- “Oh, of course. I think if we could get our hooves on a pineapple upside-down cake, possibly one made from outside Ponyville. We don’t want anything from that cheap Sugarcube corner, of course—”
- That was her father. Always knowing the right thing to say to direct her mother’s attention to something other than an incoming argument. She was always so focused on proving herself to be an equal or a better to everypony she met that she didn’t notice when she herself was being manipulated.
- Diamond started up the stairs to the upper floor and retreated to her room. She saw nopony, as the servants hadn’t yet come out, and she shut the door.
- “In our house, we don’t treat anypony as good unless they’re as rich or richer than we are,” she recited, copying her mother’s tone of voice and stuck-up nose. “If I were in charge of our house, things would be different.”
- She pulled out her homework and started scribbling in answers with the pencil in her teeth. Her writing was impeccable, despite being an earth pony, because Spoiled Rich wouldn’t accept anything else.
- In our house, a pony must prove themselves worthy of our attention, and that means everypony. Even you. Everything must be perfect.
- And so it was. She kept up with her work. Her grades were high, her work was perfect. She was the perfect daughter.
- And so she lived.
- In our house.
- In the morning, Diamond Tiara ate breakfast, and didn’t drop a single speck of food on the table, nor did she get any on her cheeks. She barely needed to wipe her mouth. She left for school with a peck on the top of her head from her father, and a nod from her mother. She met Silver Spoon and the two of them went off to school.
- When they returned home, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon retreated to Diamond Tiara’s room at the end of the day to work on homework together. Silver Spoon was allowed inside because she wasn’t assumed to be equal. She knew her place, and Diamond Tiara kept her in it. She was lesser than they were, and she visited them like it.
- In her room, Diamond Tiara sat at her desk to work while Silver Spoon sat on the floor. They chatted, and when dinner time came, food was delivered up to Diamond Tiara’s room. There was a knock at the door and when she went to open it, there was nopony there, but the tray was still steaming when she dragged it inside.
- In our house, nopony sits at the table unless they’re equal to us.
- They ate and talked. Diamond managing to keep the outside world at bay and enjoying time with her friend. They talked about colts and games, and how the blank flanks were doing. She talked poorly of them, and even made fun of Silver Spoon a little.
- But Silver Spoon made fun back.
- In our house, we are the masters. Nopony else.
- Spoiled Rich must have heard one of the comments she made as she came storming in.
- “What did I hear you say, young filly?”
- Silver Spoon cowered. This had happened before.
- “N-nothing, Mrs. Rich.”
- Spoiled Rich looked down her nose at the filly. She sniffed disdainfully and left, leaving the door to Diamond’s room open. “Then don’t let me hear such ‘nothing’ again! In our house, we give those who live there the proper respect!”
- When she was gone, Silver Spoon tried to give Diamond Tiara a small smile and a “what the hell was that?” kind of look, but Diamond Tiara couldn’t be cheered up so easily.
- In our house, we know she’s right.
- Silver Spoon went home soon after that, with Spoiled Rich watching her go from a higher window. When Silver Spoon was gone, Diamond Tiara was expecting her mother to come give her a good talking to, but she never came. Diamond Tiara was left in her room to think about what she had done, and the effect it had on her mother. Her father was absent and had nothing to say about it, so Diamond Tiara just got to stew in her own misery all night.
- She didn’t leave her bed that night. Nor did she shut the door.
- At night, the servants came out. She covered her head with her blankets as they went through the building, cleaning, cooking, and preparing for the next day. Every floor was washed, swept, and vacuumed. Every dish was cleaned. Every knick-knack was dusted, every book was replaced on the shelf. The rooms where they were sleeping were usually ignored as long as the doors were shut, but when Spoiled Rich left a door open, that was an invitation for that night.
- Diamond Tiara tried to ignore them.
- There wasn’t a single hoofstep that could be heard as they went about their work, but their whispers were audible. Her homework was arranged neatly on her desk, her toys were packed away. Her clothes were cleaned, ironed, and pressed, then replaced in the closet. Everything dirty was taken away and returned clean within only a few minutes. They were efficient and fast.
- In our house, we don’t settle for second best.
- Diamond Tiara stayed in her bed, waiting for them to finish. She could hear breathing right next to her bed as they looked at the lump she made in the blankets. She had pulled the edges up and underneath herself, not allowing any edge to get close enough to be grabbed by any of them. Their quiet, hissing whispers went back and forth as the servants decided what to do with her, but they eventually left her alone. She knew how they worked, and they wouldn’t risk upsetting or waking one of the owners of the house just to make a bed. Not yet, anyway.
- In our house, we command respect. We are the masters, nopony else.
- The susurration of the servants eventually disappeared. Diamond Tiara didn’t poke her head back out of the blankets, however. The door was still open, and the servants would be passing back and forth in front of it for hours as they continued cleaning the house. She didn’t like looking at them.
- In our house, we do nothing. That’s why we have the servants, after all. We’re better than that.
- Diamond Tiara was almost ready to cry, but she couldn’t allow it. She heaved with dry and silent sobs as she slowly fell asleep from exhaustion. Tomorrow it would begin again, and she would have to maintain appearances. No crumbs, no mess, no accidents. No crying, no getting along with anyone poorer than her. No emotions, no nothing.
- In our house, we’re better than that. We have to be. We MUST be.
- …or else.
- The End.
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