Apr 15th, 2020
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  1. >>35208736
  2. >Nerds don't exist
  4. "Babe, I'm back!"
  5. >"Hiiii!"
  6. >You let Applejack walk into your house, and walk in behind her.
  7. >She hasn't said a word since you left Moondancer's place.
  8. "I showed Applejack my O&O game, just like I said!"
  9. >From the kitchen, you can hear Minuette shout back at you.
  10. >"How'd it go?"
  11. "Pretty good! It was a short game this time because Lemon Heart had to catch a train to Canterlot, so we got home early."
  12. >"Tell them I'm free to join them again next week, okay? And don't let them do anything weird to my character!"
  13. " 'kay!"
  14. >You lightly nudge Applejack with your leg, and she jerks away from your touch.
  15. "How'd you like it, Applejack?"
  16. >Applejack just looks up at you.
  17. >She looks scared and worried.
  18. >She licks her dry lips before speaking.
  19. >>"It.... It, uh..."
  20. >D'aww, she's worried about offending you!
  21. >You can't help but smile.
  22. >Oh, man, you guess this sorta nerd shit just isn't for her.
  23. "I get it if you didn't find it very exciting, Apples. It's not for everyone."
  24. >Applejack just... stares at you some more.
  25. >The easy grin on your face slips away, and you start to feel a little anxious.
  26. "Apples?"
  27. >>"...Anawn, nopony was there."
  28. >You frown.
  29. "A few players had other business, so I guess things were sparse. But I wouldn't say that nobody was there."
  30. >Applejack gulps loudly, the sound louder than it should be in the silent hall of your entryway.
  31. >>"No, Anawn," she reasserts firmly, "Nopony was there."
  32. >You feel a scowl stretch your lips.
  33. >Okay, now she's just being rude.
  34. "Hey, now. If you didn't like the game, that's fine. Sometimes they're slow-going, bu-"
  35. >Applejack suddenly rears up and plants her hooves on your shoulders; you take a few steps back under her weight, and Applejack meets you step for step.
  36. >>"Anawn!" she barks hoarsely, "Nopony was there! Y'all sat at the table like a stump in the yard and talked at NOPONY!"
  37. >You blink in confusion.
  38. "Wh-what?"
  39. >>"Y'all rolled dice, and y'wrote on some paper, and y'moved around yer 'lil plastic mare and acted like you was talking to a big ol' group of ponies! You were ALONE!"
  40. "I-"
  41. >>"By yerself!"
  42. "Would you-"
  43. >>"Y'all were literally the only living critter in that there room, other than me!"
  44. >...what?
  45. >Applejack's huffing and puffing, and you can feel her moist breath on your face.
  46. >You shove Applejack away, heart pounding in your chest.
  47. >She stumbles away from you, barely recovering and nearly falling on her rump
  48. >This puts her on the other side of your door; she's now standing just outside your house.
  49. "What the hell are you talking about? If this is some shitty horse version of April Fools, then it's not funny."
  50. >Applejack stares up at you, expression unreadable.
  51. >>"I'm the element of Honesty, Anawn," she croaks, voice shaking noticeably, "Y'all know I'm about as good at lying as apples are at not bein' delicious."
  52. "I don't... What?"
  53. >You feel dizzy.
  54. "I-I-I..."
  55. >For not the first time this evening, Applejack looks concerened.
  56. >>"Anawn, what's going on with you? Are y'all feeling alright? You don't look so good."
  57. "I..."
  58. >You feel funny.
  59. >Like you're drunk, but also completely sober.
  60. >You have tunnel vision, but you also don't.
  61. >It's impossible to describe.
  62. "I need to go to bed now," you hear yourself mutter, reaching for the front door.
  63. >It sounds like your voice is coming from far away, like someone else is saying it.
  64. >In the split-second you can see her before the door slams shut, Applejack's eyes widen in surprise, and she reaches out with a hoof.
  65. >>"Anawn, DO-!"
  66. >SLAM
  67. >CLICK
  68. >You lock the door, just for good measure.
  69. >Applejack pounds on the door a few times, and you lean your back against it.
  70. >She's shouting something, but you can't make it out.
  71. >The words coming out of her mouth don't make sense.
  72. >It's gibberish.
  73. >Once the pounding on the door seems to fade, you slide down until you're sitting on your ass.
  74. >You're still breathing pretty heavily from your altercation with Applejack.
  75. >"Anon?"
  76. >Minuette's voice emanates from the kitchen, clear as crystal.
  77. >It acts as a balm on your confused mind, and you feel your pounding headache recede.
  78. "Yeah, Minnie?"
  79. >"Who was at the door?"
  80. >You just told her, but whatever.
  81. "Just Applejack."
  82. >A familiar tinkling laugh greets you.
  83. >"Was she trying to sell those rotten apples to you again?"
  84. >You laugh too, feeling almost giddy.
  85. >Finally, the world feels normal again.
  86. "Minnie, I keep telling you - she didn't know they were rotten! You're just mad that we only found out because YOU took a bite of one."
  87. >More laughter bounces off the walls from the kitchen, and you join in again.
  88. "Need a hand in there?"
  89. >"No, it's fine. I'm just about done with dinner, anyway."
  90. >Minuette was always a weird mare.
  91. >She was the only mare you know who acted like knowing how to cook and clean wasn't the gayest shit in the world.
  92. >She acted more like a normal girl than most of the other mares in town.
  93. >Same with your O&O mare friends, for that matter.
  94. >They were like little slices of home, connections you desperately desired to everything you left behind.
  95. >These mares were the only thing keeping you sane in this strange, backwards world.
  96. "Oh yeah? What'd you make?"
  97. >"..........."
  98. "Minnie?"
  99. >"..................."
  100. >You feel the smile slide off of your face.
  101. >The house has an oppressive quietness, now.
  102. >It's heavy and sinks into the corners of the room, and you feel almost afraid to break it.
  103. "Minuette? You cool in there?"
  104. >"............................"
  105. >You slowly get to your feet, feeling oddly weak in the legs like you just ran a marathon.
  106. "C'mon, answer me."
  107. >You're still breathing pretty heavily.
  108. >Your heart is still pounding from your argument with Applejack.
  109. >In fact, that's not the only thing that's pounding - someone is banging on your door.
  110. >Probably some asshole trying to sell you something.
  111. >There's more shouting from the other side - more gibberish that makes your head hurt even more.
  112. "Are you holding something in your mouth?"
  113. >She's a unicorn, but she does things the earth pony way half the time; that's why she doesn't speak to you sometimes.
  114. >That's why the house is so quiet sometimes, even though you know she's there.
  115. >You grab onto furniture on your way towards the open doorway leading to the kitchen, leaning onto the wooden frame of your couch for support.
  116. "J-Jesus fuckin' CHRIST, Mins... Y-You cookin' something?"
  117. >Why is it so goddamn HOT in this room?
  118. >Did Minuette turn the heat on again?
  119. >Why does that mare like it so damn HOT?
  120. >Christ, you're sweating like a pig.
  121. "M-Minnie?"
  122. >You reach out with a weak, shaking hand and grab onto the doorway as you finally reach the kitchen, and you peer inside.
  123. >Empty.
  124. >The kitchen is completely empty.
  125. >The stovetop doesn't have anything on it; the table is bare; it doesn't look like anybody's used it since you made you and Minuette lunch before you left for O&O with Applejack a few hours ago.
  126. >The plate's still in the sink.
  127. "...Min? Min-max?"
  128. >You lean heavily against the doorframe, shoulder slamming against the wood.
  129. >Hard; harder than you intended or expected to hit it.
  130. >This is the ONLY entrance to the kitchen.
  131. >The window doesn't open at all - it's not designed to.
  132. >There's no way that Minuette could have left the room without you knowing.
  133. >So where is she?
  134. "Min'nuette?"
  135. >Why does your tongue feel too big for your mouth?
  136. >God, your head is pounding.
  137. >Your heart's beating a mile a minute, and the sound of hooves on your damn DOOR is getting more and more frantic.
  138. >It's like a jackhammer on your brain.
  139. >Your legs are like lead and jelly at the same time, and to your surprise, you find they can't support your own weight anymore.
  140. >You start to slowly slide down the doorframe until your ass comes in contact with the ground.
  141. "I..."
  142. >Christ.
  143. >You...
  144. "I c-can't breathe..."
  145. >Your vision swims, and you can't keep the room from prancing and dancing and twirling.
  146. >Why is...?
  147. >Why is the room...
  148. >...
  149. >Why is it....
  150. >......
  151. >......
  152. >Why is...?
  153. >.....................
  154. ---
  155. >Beep
  156. >Beep
  157. >Beep
  158. >"...ood thing you got him here when you did, Applejack. As it is, he nearly didn't mak..."
  159. >Beep
  160. >Beep
  161. >Beep
  162. >"...umor the size of a golfball right on his fronta..."
  163. >Beep
  164. >Beep
  165. >Beep
  166. >"...ucinations and delusions are common with this sort of thi..."
  167. >Beep
  168. >Beep
  169. >Beep
  170. >"...u mares telling me he's been all alone this entire ti..."
  171. >Beep
  172. >Beep
  173. >Beep
  174. >"...ho the RUT is Moondancer? I've never heard of her, let alone some mare name Minu..."
  175. >Beep
  176. >Beep
  177. >Beep
  178. >"...uilt-up magic in his system. It's simple biology. He's just not built to handl..."
  179. >Beep
  180. >Beep
  181. >Beep
  182. >"...n't help but feel responsible, mares, we could have checked up on him. We could have done a lo..."
  183. >Beep
  184. >Beep
  185. >Beep
  186. >"...ho wants to be the one to break it to him? I can't think of nopony who'd react well to being told their best friends don't exi..."
  187. >Beep
  188. >Beep
  189. >Beep
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