BadPacing

The Wizard in the Tower

Oct 17th, 2017
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  1. >Day the Wizard in the Tower in Equestria.
  2. >You love days like this.
  3. >The weather is nice, and the schedule doesn’t call for any change for at least a week.
  4. >That means you can basically lounge around and do whatever you like.
  5. >You wonder what Twilight and the others are up to.
  6. >Applejack is probably still kicking trees.
  7. >Fluttershy is taking care of her animals.
  8. >Rarity and Twilight are both probably happy going about their business.
  9. >But what are you supposed to do?
  10. >You lazily float over Ponyville.
  11. >Maybe you will just nap for the rest of the day.
  12. >You notice that you have flown over the farmers market in the town square.
  13. >It would be nice to pick up some apples for tonight.
  14. >“Where are my flowers? You said they would be here today.”
  15. >“I’m sorry, but the train is running late.”
  16. >“Sorry doesn’t help me. I need them now!”
  17. >You look down at the commotion.
  18. >It’s that weird monkey arguing with Daisy.
  19. >You scrunch your nose.
  20. >You hate talking with him.
  21. >Still, you move your wings so you quickly descend.
  22. >“What about regular roses? I could give you a good discount,” Daisy says in an attempt to appease him.
  23. >“Regular roses?” He scoffs. “If I wanted those I would have ordered them.”
  24. >He takes a rose and tosses it behind him like it’s trash.
  25. “Hey! Leave her alone.”
  26. >Anon turns to your voice.
  27. >He gives you a confused look, before scowling.
  28. >”Do you have my delivery?”
  29. “No.”
  30. >“Then why are you speaking to me?”
  31. >A small crowd of ponies gather around to see the commotion.
  32. >You fly to eye level with him.
  33. >He shifts his head slightly, but doesn’t move otherwise.
  34. “Who cares about stupid flowers? They all look the same. Just buy one and get out of here.”
  35. >You poke him in the chest for emphasis.
  36. >He smiles at this.
  37. >“Rainbow, was it?”
  38. “Rainbow Dash.”
  39. >“Very well, Rainbow Dash. Yo-”
  40. “That’s my name. Don’t wear it out,” you interrupt.
  41. 1/11
  42. >His smile slowly leaves and he gives you no expression.
  43. >After a moment he continues.
  44. >“You don’t understand. I need a crimson cactus rose from Appleloosa.”
  45. >You cross your forelegs.
  46. “Then wait for the train to come in, jeez.”
  47. >“This is the second time I’ve placed this order. I wouldn’t have to wait if ponies weren’t so incompetent. Like this one,” he points at Daisy and she shies away.
  48. “Don’t point at her with your dirty claws!”
  49. >He takes a long deep breath.
  50. >“When will the train arrive?”
  51. >Daisy pokes her head up from behind the stand.
  52. >She clicks her two hooves together.
  53. >Anon leans against her counter so he towers over her.
  54. >His shadow slightly covers the small mare.
  55. >A gust of wind blows, and his cloak shifts position.
  56. >Underneath, you see a simple garment.
  57. >“Tomorrow,” she manages to whisper.
  58. >“Tomorrow!?”
  59. >Daisy cowers before him.
  60. “Yeah, you don’t hear so good, Anon? You’re gonna wait, and you’re gonna like it.”
  61. >His smile returns, but this time it’s a smirk.
  62. >“And if I don’t like it?”
  63. “Then we’ll kick you out of your stupid tower like we should have last year.”
  64. >A few ponies in the crowd nod in agreement.
  65. >“You tried before, remember?” He touches his chin. “If I recall correctly, it took two weeks before you ponies finally gave up.”
  66. “We didn’t give up. You ran away. And when you came back, Princess Celestia said we had to leave you alone.”
  67. >He presses his lips together.
  68. >Some of the braver ponies in the crowd move forward.
  69. >Sensing the initiative, you continue.
  70. “And that’s just because she was being nice. I doubt she would look the other way again.”
  71. >He clenches his teeth.
  72. >You see his left hand turn, no doubt starting a spell.
  73. >Your body coils to lunge at him if he tries anything.
  74. >“I could destroy this whole town if I wanted to.”
  75. 2/11
  76. “You’re threatening us now? We don’t care that you know magic. Twilight could rip your tower stone by stone any time she wanted.”
  77. >He considers this for a moment.
  78. >Suddenly a calmness takes him.
  79. >“It’s been a while since I’ve had to fight. It would be interesting to see how powerful she has grown this past year.” He looks at the crowd dismissively. “I can see this conversation has run its course.”
  80. “Yeah, ‘cuz we’re tired of listening to you.”
  81. >The crowd gives a cheer and you beam at them.
  82. >Anon’s cloak billows as he turns back to Daisy.
  83. >“Send me the flowers as soon as they arrive,” he says in a tone that suggests he is telling her, and not asking.
  84. “Did you know that please, and thank you are magic words, Anon?”
  85. >The ponies laugh at this.
  86. >Anon frowns, but doesn’t respond.
  87. >He flings his hand in a wild jerking motion and you move away to keep from being hit.
  88. >When you look back at Anon, he is gone.
  89. >All that’s left is a small cloud of smoke.
  90. >The ponies mutter amongst themselves.
  91. >”I’m sorry for being such a bother, Rainbow Dash.”
  92. >Daisy is now standing instead of trying to hide.
  93. “No, you didn’t do anything. Anon was just being a jerk.”
  94. >Still, you should probably tell Twilight just in case Anon tries anything funny.
  95. >You zoom to Twilight’s castle and let yourself in through a window.
  96. >She is usually busy reading, so you don’t bother checking anywhere else.
  97. “Twilight?”
  98. >You see Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie sitting next to the fireplace.
  99. >”Hello Rainbow Dash,” Twilight smiles.
  100. >”Hiya!” Pinkie adds.
  101. “Oh, hi, Pinkie,” you offer. “Listen, Twilight. Anon is at it again.”
  102. >“Really? We barely ever hear from him.”
  103. “He was yelling at Daisy. Something about wanting flowers.”
  104. >“Flowers?” Pinkie perks up. “Sounds like he is finally going to spruce up his place. Did she not have enough?”
  105. 3/11
  106. >“That’s hardly something to be worried about. He is always,” Twilight scrunches her nose. “Persnickety.”
  107. >She’s one to talk.
  108. “No. He wanted a special one. Like a red rose or something from Appleloosa. He was really mad and threatened the whole town.”
  109. >Twilight turns her head in concern.
  110. >“What exactly did he say?”
  111. >You do your best to imitate his monkey voice.
  112. “I could destroy this whole town if I wanted to.”
  113. >Pinkie laughs.
  114. >“All that over some flowers? I could have gotten him even better ones.”
  115. >“This is no laughing matter, Pinkie. I can definitely stop him if he goes crazy, but a good part of the town would be burned down.”
  116. “We need to attack him tonight! Give him a lesson he won’t forget.”
  117. >Twilight stands and turns away from you to think it over.
  118. >“Anon wouldn’t throw everything away for a flower. Or would he? He has always been erratic.”
  119. “That’s why we have to get this over with and banish him for good.”
  120. >Twilight turns back to you.
  121. >“What kind of flower did he ask for?”
  122. “I don’t know. Some dumb red cactus rose or something. Who cares? He’s a threat to us.”
  123. >Twilight presses her lips together.
  124. >“I’ll have to look through the books to see what he could do with that.”
  125. >“He’s just being grumpy because he didn’t get what he wanted. We need to turn his frown upside down. Let’s throw him a party!”
  126. >You scoff at your friend.
  127. “Throwing a party doesn’t solve every problem, Pinkie.”
  128. >”Watch out!” A pony yells.
  129. >She flies in uncontrollably through a window, and crashes into a bookcase.
  130. >Books fly everywhere, and the shelving totters.
  131. >The pony balls up to protect herself.
  132. >After a moment she opens one eye, and sees that she hasn’t been crushed.
  133. >She notices all of you before offering a weak smile.
  134. >”My bad.”
  135. >Twilight sighs loudly and magics the books back into place.
  136. >“Ditzy Doo, we’re busy right now.”
  137. >“Yeah, we’re planning a party for Anon.”
  138. 4/11
  139. “No we’re not. That was never part of the plan.”
  140. >“A party? Can I help?” Ditzy says as she gets up.
  141. “No.”
  142. >“Sure. You can come up with activities.”
  143. >Her ears perk up.
  144. >“What about a scavenger hunt?”
  145. >“That would be perfect!”
  146. “We’re not throwing him a party!”
  147. >“You don’t have to yell, Rainbow.”
  148. >“I’ll get started right away,” Ditzy says as she flies into the air.
  149. >She almost escapes before turning back.
  150. >“Oh, yeah. Here is your package.”
  151. >She places it gently on a table before flying off.
  152. >“Rainbow is right, Pinkie. We barely know Anon. We’ll just visit him tomorrow to tell him he shouldn’t be mean to ponies.”
  153. >Pinkie doesn’t try to hide her frustration and slinks to the ground.
  154. >You press your lips together.
  155. >Anon is getting off easy again.
  156. >This should have been enough to finally get rid of him.
  157. >You shake your head in disagreement.
  158. “This is the wrong move. He is a threat. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
  159. >With that you fly back to your house.
  160. >You already wasted too much time over Anon.
  161. >Several hours are spent tossing and turning.
  162. >You feel your heart racing.
  163. >Anon could attack at any moment.
  164. >Every hour or so you look out the window to look at his tower.
  165. >A few lights are on, but otherwise you don’t see Anon doing anything menacing.
  166. >Somehow you drift off to sleep.
  167. >You wake to a bright light shining on your eyes.
  168. >Without thinking, your body reacts and you jump up ready to fight.
  169. >After a few seconds you relax.
  170. >You just forgot to close the window.
  171. “You need to relax, Rainbow. You’re losing it.”
  172. >After a few shakes of your head, you feel clearer.
  173. >The new day is just as lazy as the last.
  174. >Anon didn’t ride into town on a golem to destroy everypony’s houses like you expected.
  175. >The town is just the way you remember.
  176. >Though, the ponies are running around a little bit more than usual.
  177. >You see Bon Bon sitting with crossed forelegs next to the fountain.
  178. 5/11
  179. “What’s going on?”
  180. >“Hm?” She turns to you. “Ditzy Doo is holding a scavenger hunt. Whoever gets all the stamps gets unclaimed packages.”
  181. >That doesn’t sound right.
  182. >Pinkie agreed not to have a party.
  183. >Also, who said she could give those away?
  184. “Why aren’t you playing?”
  185. >“Ditzy asked me to stamp cards, so I have to stay here. Besides, the whole thing is silly. Just look at this.”
  186. >She hoofs over a card.
  187. >One side has room for nine stamps.
  188. >The other side describes what you need to collect.
  189. >You have to get something blue, a rock shaped like a pony, a salt shaker and so on.
  190. >Then your arrive at the last one.
  191. “A kiss from Anon?!”
  192. >“I know, right? There’s nopony desperate enough for packages to finish it.”
  193. >Why would Ditzy put that on the card?
  194. >She should have put a high hoof from him.
  195. “He’ll never do it.”
  196. >“That’s what I said. Still, Lyra is trying.”
  197. “What?”
  198. >Bon Bon shrugs.
  199. >“She was always a strange pony. I try not to look too deep into these things.”
  200. >You shake your head.
  201. >This is crazy.
  202. >Ponies have always been fickle.
  203. >They change their minds all the time.
  204. >One day they will form a mob.
  205. >And another day they could make Anon the town hero.
  206. >The slightest thing could set them off.
  207. >You have to get to Anon before any of the other ponies get there.
  208. >Who knows what he will do.
  209. “Can I keep this?”
  210. >“Go ahead. I’m not playing.”
  211. >You zoom off in search of something blue.
  212. >It takes a few minutes to find the first thing.
  213. >A blue rock shaped like a pony.
  214. >That’s a two ‘fer.
  215. >Every time you return to the fountain, the piles of discarded treasures grow around Bon Bon.
  216. >Apparently you only need the stamps.
  217. >After proving you received the item you can get rid of it.
  218. >You look down at the card.
  219. >Only Anon’s stamp remains.
  220. >You look into the distance at Anon’s tower.
  221. >Nothing seems out of the ordinary.
  222. >You might even call it peaceful if you didn’t know better.
  223. 6/11
  224. >You hesitate for a second.
  225. >What are you going to say?
  226. >Screw off?
  227. >Just give me your stamps?
  228. >Tell the others that Anon isn’t seeing anypony?
  229. “Let’s just get this over with,” you mutter.
  230. >In a flash you’re zooming toward your target.
  231. >You easily dodge the buildings in your way.
  232. >Before you know it you’re at his door.
  233. >Several ponies are pounding on it insistently.
  234. >They're all yelling.
  235. >“Anon! Open up!”
  236. >“We have our cards!”
  237. “What’s going on?”
  238. >One of them turns to you.
  239. >Her name is Berry or something.
  240. >You never really talk to her.
  241. >“I don’t know. Anon isn’t opening his door.”
  242. “Ugh.”
  243. >Well this is probably for the best.
  244. >In the distance you see a small filly approaching with her card.
  245. >There’s gonna be a lot more if this keeps up.
  246. >Who knows when he’ll snap and start throwing fireballs and lightning down on them.
  247. >He might even be waiting for a few more to arrive before he begins.
  248. >You grip your card tighter so it crumples in your hoof.
  249. >This has to be taken care of.
  250. >Now.
  251. >You fly to the top of his tower, and try the door there.
  252. >It’s locked.
  253. >You fly around his tower, looking for an opening.
  254. >Finally, you see one and enter the window.
  255. >You instantly stop when you see Anon at the far side of the room.
  256. >He is facing away from you, and looking at an open chest.
  257. >Your breathing is heavy, and it’s enough to catch his attention.
  258. >His head lifts, but he doesn’t move to face you.
  259. >“Is it that time already?”
  260. >You take a few breaths before answering.
  261. “Yeah.”
  262. >He puts on his wizard hat, and adjusts it slightly.
  263. >When he is satisfied, he reaches down again.
  264. >“Master! Master!” A voice shouts from the stairwell. A changeling climbs the last step and continues. “They’re here!”
  265. >“Don’t you think I know that!?” Anon growls.
  266. >Suddenly the changeling notices you.
  267. >“An element of harmony!”
  268. >You shift to fight him off.
  269. >Instead he takes a step back, and nearly trips on the stairs.
  270. 7/11
  271. >He quickly regains his balance and readies himself.
  272. >His face looks concerned.
  273. >Anon ties something around his waist, before turning slowly toward you.
  274. >His eyes are hidden under his wide brimmed magician hat.
  275. >He is wearing his trademark brown cloak.
  276. >Underneath it is a cuirass of some sort.
  277. >It looks like it was made in the Griffon Kingdom.
  278. >At his side is a sword.
  279. >Probably also made by a griffon.
  280. >“How do I look?”
  281. >You weigh your words.
  282. >He looks like he wanted to be in full regalia for his many kisses, but he is acting like he is expecting a fight.
  283. “You look ready,” you offer.
  284. >Anon smiles at this.
  285. >“To be honest, I was expecting you to attack at night. That,” he says with too much emphasis, “would have been classic. Much more dramatic, don’t you think?”
  286. >So he does think this is an assault.
  287. >It's a good thing you came here first.
  288. >This way you can protect the other ponies.
  289. >You notice the changeling shifting place so he is behind you.
  290. >Without thinking you float a step back.
  291. >You don’t want to be between them.
  292. >The changeling reaches up toward a window and cracks it open.
  293. >Is he expecting reinforcements?
  294. >Before you can react he jumps out the window and flies off.
  295. >“He was always a coward,” Anon says flatly. “He will be dealt with later.”
  296. >You hear the crowd below getting restless.
  297. >“Open up, Anon!”
  298. >Anon takes a step forward, and moves his cloak behind him so his hands won’t be blocked by it.
  299. >“I have to admit, starting in the morning kept me from being prepared. I wasn’t even able to set up any traps. Then the ponies wouldn’t have made it to the door.”
  300. “We’re not here to fight, Anon.”
  301. >This makes him laugh.
  302. >”That’s not what you said yesterday.”
  303. >You shake your head.
  304. “These ponies are here because of a scavenger hunt.”
  305. >“A game? You’re lying.”
  306. >He puts a leg forward in a defensive stance.
  307. “Stop playing dumb. I know you were in on it," you lie.
  308. 8/11
  309. >You hope accusing him of setting this up will keep him from seeing the ponies as a threat.
  310. >Anon’s brow furrows.
  311. >“I was in on what?”
  312. “I know you tricked Ditzy Doo into making you the last goal. That way you could eat the few ponies who found everything.”
  313. >He shakes his head.
  314. >“You talk too much.”
  315. >He launches lightning at you and you barely dodge him.
  316. >A few books behind you burst into flame.
  317. >“You’re fast.”
  318. >He makes a fist and yanks it toward himself.
  319. >The bookshelf behind you springs forward, but only the edge catches you.
  320. >You falter but quickly recover.
  321. >One of your wings sing in pain, but you ignore it.
  322. >His left hand flicks and you see fire emerging.
  323. >You expertly dodge and fly toward him.
  324. >He spins before you can tackle him, and you sail to the furthest part of the room.
  325. >You turn in midair and glare at him.
  326. >That didn't go like you expected.
  327. >He was supposed to realize this was all a game.
  328. >Better to just be direct.
  329. >That's probably all he understands anyway.
  330. “Stop it you idiot. Just look at this.”
  331. >You take the crumpled sheet and throw it at him.
  332. >It lands between you, and he magics it over.
  333. >All the while his eyes remain on you.
  334. >With one hand he slowly flattens it.
  335. >The other hand remains up ready to cast as he reads the paper.
  336. >His eyes glide back and forth.
  337. >“A kiss from Anon?!” He says incredulously.
  338. “That’s what I said!”
  339. >He lowers his arm.
  340. >“Why would I give a dirty pony a kiss?”
  341. >His face shows genuine disgust.
  342. >The distrusting him angle might work this time.
  343. “So, you didn’t come up with this?”
  344. >“No. This is a stupid game.”
  345. “Well, Ditzy Doo didn’t think it was dumb. She wanted to help you fit in.”
  346. >”Who is that?”
  347. “The mail pony,” you say exasperated.
  348. >Does this guy not talk to any ponies?
  349. >He points at his face in a waving motion.
  350. >“The one with the…” he raises his eyebrows.
  351. “Yes, that one.”
  352. >He laughs at this.
  353. >“Well, that explains everything.”
  354. 9/12
  355. >Anon stands taller, no longer expecting a fight.
  356. >You allow yourself to relax slightly and approach him.
  357. “So, now that you know this is all a game, you won’t have to fight the ponies below.”
  358. >He weighs your words.
  359. >“I suppose not.”
  360. “Great.”
  361. >”But!” he pauses for emphasis. “It would be wrong to ignore this gesture of good will. Still, a kiss would be absurd.”
  362. >He holds out the card, and the room darkens.
  363. >You feel the air growing heavier and dryer.
  364. >The card sucks in the air with an unholy whooshing sound.
  365. >Suddenly the room’s light returns to normal and that sinking feeling in your stomach leaves.
  366. >“There. The deed is done.”
  367. >He hoofs?
  368. >Hands?
  369. >Anon holds out the card to pass it to you.
  370. >Before you can take it he pulls it back.
  371. >“By accepting this card, you accept being cursed for a thousand generations. Your children’s, children’s, children will serve as my slaves. And if I die, they will worship that spot until the end of time.”
  372. >Again he offers you the card.
  373. >You cross your hooves.
  374. “I’m not taking that!”
  375. >“Why not?”
  376. “The deal was for a kiss, not being cursed for a thousand generations.”
  377. >He presses his lips together.
  378. >His right foot taps on the wooden floor.
  379. >“Fine. Five hundred generations.”
  380. “No.”
  381. >“One hundred?”
  382. “Not even close!”
  383. >“Very well, just during your lifetime. But this is my final offer.”
  384. >You scoff.
  385. >He can't possibly be serious.
  386. >Your resolve weakens and you make him an offer.
  387. >This could all be finished for cheap.
  388. “One day, and I get to choose when.”
  389. >“No. That’s too little. A great wizard such as myself would never accept such a meagre offer. Imagine what the other wizards would say.”
  390. >He continues on his monologue for a minute or so.
  391. >With each sentence he becomes more dramatic.
  392. >Anon is trying to explain why only accepting one day would disgrace him.
  393. >You’ve had enough of this.
  394. >You didn't waste all this time not to get a package.
  395. 10/12
  396. >The deal was for a kiss and nothing else.
  397. >You float toward him as he continues speaking.
  398. “Anon?”
  399. >“What?!”
  400. >Anon's head snaps toward you.
  401. >His nostrils are flared in anger.
  402. >Like he can't believe you interrupted him.
  403. >It's now or never.
  404. >You take this opportunity and give him a peck.
  405. >Somehow you keep yourself from gagging.
  406. >He drops the card and you quickly snatch it.
  407. >You fly toward the window.
  408. >With each beat of your wings you try to spit out his taste.
  409. “You should have taken my offer of one day. Now you get nothing!”
  410. >Anon stands motionless, before slinking into a nearby chair.
  411. >A hand covers his mouth as he stares into the distance.
  412. >His body sways slightly like he is about to pass out.
  413. >You look at him confused.
  414. “What’s wrong with you?”
  415. >Anon doesn't answer you.
  416. >You bite your lip, wondering if you broke him or something.
  417. >Finally he looks at you, wondering if he should respond.
  418. >He takes a deep breath.
  419. >“That was my first kiss.”
  420. >For some reason this is hilarious to you.
  421. “Yeah? You were a kissless virgin? And I stole your fist kiss?!”
  422. >You laugh and laugh.
  423. >As you leave your hoof touches a quill on his desk.
  424. >You quickly grab it and descend to the ponies below.
  425. “Anon isn’t taking any more guests, but I can stamp your cards.”
  426. >The crowd cheers.
  427. >One by one you make your mark on the cards.
  428. >When you look up, you see Anon watching from his window.
  429. >If you didn’t know any better you would think that he was looking at you longingly.
  430. >What a loser.
  431. >He got all flustered over a little peck.
  432. >You giggle at this.
  433. >What an idiot.
  434. “See this, Anon?!” You shout as you mark the last card. “Now you will never get another kiss. That’s my curse to you! For a thousand years you will never get to kiss anypony else! How’s that feel? Huh?!”
  435. >He slams the window shut.
  436. 11/12
  437. >Triumphantly you return to the town square.
  438. >Every time you meet a pony with a card, you give them a free mark.
  439. >Ditzy Doo has a pile of packages.
  440. >Each has a name and an address, but they are all smudged and unreadable.
  441. >Some show obvious signs of water damage.
  442. >Ditzy hoofs over a package and you hold it over your head in celebration.
  443. >The crowd cheers.
  444. >Looks like everypony gets something today.
  445. >"I can't believe Ditzy Doo did the scavenger hunt even though Pinkie didn't throw a party," Twilight says.
  446. "I know. I'm just glad everypony got a stamp without kissing that freak."
  447. >Twilight looks at you with concern.
  448. >"How exactly did you convince Anon to just let you stamp cards?"
  449. "It was easy. I just told him that he would never get to kiss anypony but me, and then I stole his pen."
  450. >"Stealing isn't right, Rainbow Dash."
  451. "Borrowed then. Whatever. Who cares. I just saved the town."
  452. >Twilight thinks it over.
  453. >"I don't see how this could possibly come back to bite us. Anon probably didn't want to talk to ponies anyway."
  454. "Exactly."
  455. >Twilight changes the subject.
  456. >“What did you get?”
  457. “I haven’t opened mine yet.”
  458. >“I got a book. It’s about cooking.”
  459. >She holds it out for you to see.
  460. “I hope I got something good.”
  461. >You rip open the package, not caring about the cardboard.
  462. >When you see it, you’re confused.
  463. >Inside is a wilted flower.
  464. >It kind of looks familiar.
  465. >You move your head to get a better look.
  466. “It kind of looks like...”
  467. >You pause.
  468. >It couldn’t be.
  469. >”What is it?”
  470. >You hesitate for a moment.
  471. “A crimson cactus flower.”
  472. fin
  473. 12/12
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