Okay, so this is the first chapter of a four-part story I've created a while ago, and with Halloween around the corner, I figured that now would be a good time to share it. This is basically based on my limited knowledge of the fanfics Cupcakes, Rainbow Factory, The Story of the Blanks (which is actually a game, but has a story based on it) and Creepy Pasta as a whole. I got the idea for this from the comic mini-series, The Mane 6 Read 'Cupcakes'. The first one is about Sweetie Belle and her reaction to reading Cupcakes, and how it affects her. So here it is:
On a beautiful spring day, as Rainbow Dash cleared the clouds to let the bright sunlight in, Sweetie Belle walked through Ponyville after getting out of school for the day. She did have homework to do, but she wasn't going straight home. Instead, she was going to the castle of Princess Twilight Sparkle, in the hopes that she would be of help in her assignment.
On her way through town, she saw Pinkie Pie handing out cupcakes to passing ponies. These cupcakes looked quite interesting, and Sweetie Belle wondered what was in that cupcake. What kind was it? Was it new? Sweetie Belle decided to check it out.
“Hiya, Sweetie Belle!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed in excitement. “What brings you around?”
“Hi, Pinkie Pie.” said the young filly. “I'm on my way to Twilight's castle for some flower books. I'm suppose to be doing a report on zinnias for school next week.”
“Ooh! Sounds interesting!” “So what's going on here?” “Oh! I'm giving out samples of a new cupcake recipe: dandelion pollen!”
“Dandelion pollen? That's new.”
“Told ya! Want to try some? You can use it as a snack during your research.”
“Okay. Thanks, Pinkie. This does look delicious.” Sweetie Belle smelled the cupcake. “Smells delicious, too.”
“Well, good luck, Sweetie Belle.”
“Thanks, Pinkie.” Sweetie Belle put the cupcake into her saddle bag and went on her way.
As Twilight walked through the castle hallways, she heard a knocking on the front door. She was on her way in that direction anyway, so she hurried to the doors and opened them to find Sweetie Belle on the other side.
“Hello, Sweetie Belle.”
“What brings you around?”
“Well, do you have any books on zinnias? I have to do a report for school next week.”
“Zinnias? I'm sure I can find what you need. Come on in.”
Sweetie Belle walked into the castle and followed Twilight into her library. Twilight looked through the flowers section, then through the flowers that start with “z”. “Zambodias,” “Zany blooms,” “Zen blossoms,” the number of “z” flowers surprised Sweetie Belle. Finally, Twilight found just the books they were looking for.
“Ah, here we are! Well, good luck, Sweetie Belle. I hope your research goes well.”
“Thanks, Twilight,” said Sweetie Belle. “I'm sure it will.” As Twilight left the library, Sweetie Belle started taking a look at one of the books and taking notes on what she found.
A half hour into her research, Sweetie Belle started feeling bored. This was too much information to be taking in all at once. She needed to take a break from all these flower facts and pictures. But she didn't want to leave the room, as she didn't have everything she needed to meet the criteria. She needed something else to read; something fictional. But what? Sweetie Belle looked around the library to find something interesting to read. She could read Pony Pan, or she could read Wizard of Trotz. But she wanted something different. She wanted to read something new. Then, she saw something: on a stool at the corner of the library, there was a book on it. The book had an interesting title on it: Cupcakes. Sweetie Belle looked at the cover of the book. The name of the author was interesting, too: Creepy Pasta. But the book didn't look creepy. It was a pink book with a rainbow-colored cupcake on the cover. Sweetie Belle decided to take a look at it. It may be a cook book, since it was written by a pony with the name “Pasta,” and the title was pretty specific, so maybe it's a book about how to make delicious cupcakes, like the one in Sweetie Belle's saddle bag. Speaking of which, Sweetie Belle was getting hungry, so she decided to eat the cupcake that Pinkie Pie had given her. Maybe Pinkie Pie had a copy of that book and had used it for inspiration. After all, it was pretty good, so maybe that's where she got the idea. Sweetie Belle got curious and opened the book.
As it turned out, the book was about Pinkie Pie, and it was about Rainbow Dash, too. But Sweetie Belle wasn't enjoying the story. It was making her uncomfortable as she read each sentence. The details were so frightening that her whole body was trembling, and her breathing had become heavy. As she read the last of the sentences, she looked at her half-eaten cupcake, no longer feeling any appetite for it. She set the cupcake down and pushed it away, as if it were covered in mold. Then she backed away from it and the book, still open to its final page. She returned to her zinnia books, hoping that her research would get her mind off of the horrors that she had just read.
Not long into the research, Spike came into the library with another book under his arm. He found Sweetie Belle's half-eaten cupcake, still on the floor in its wrapper. Spike looked at Sweetie Belle as she read one of the books that laid in front of her. Then he looked back at the cupcake, which looked delicious.
“Um, were you going to finish this?” he asked.
Sweetie Belle looked at the cupcake. She had no intentions of finishing it, as good as it was.
Upon hearing this, Spike stretched out his long dragon tongue and put the rest of the cupcake into his mouth. The sight of this, coupled with the memory of the terrifying story that she had read, nearly made Sweetie Belle sick.
After she had finished her research, Sweetie Belle started making her short journey home. As she walked, she carefully examined the area, looking for a certain pony that she had read about. As she slowly crept through the town, she spotted her: Pinkie Pie, still giving out cupcakes. Sweetie Belle looked at the cupcakes; they weren't the same ones that Pinkie had been giving out earlier. Sweetie Belle concluded that she must've run out of the dandelion cupcakes and was now trying a different recipe. They were very pretty, with the rainbow colors and all, but Sweetie Belle looked at them as if they contained a horrifying secret. Feeling as if she may be in danger, Sweetie Belle hid in a nearby bush and waited for the coast to be clear.
There was one cupcake left when Apple Bloom came along. She had just finished researching her flower, calla lilies, at the flower shop and decided to check out what Pinkie Pie had in this batch. It was then that Sweetie Belle realized that Pinkie Pie was changing the cupcakes each time she ran out, which frightened her quite a bit. Was there a reason the number of cupcakes were limited? Sweetie Belle watched and listened to the two ponies from her bush.
“So, what'cha got this time, Pinkie Pie?”
“Ooh, a very colorful recipe this time!”
“Yeah, I can see that part.”
“I call it the 'super-pretty-rainbow-berry cupcake!'”
Apple Bloom giggled. “That's pretty catchy.”
“Hey, you want one? There's one left just waiting for you!”
“Great! I'd love one!”
Pinkie Pie handed the cupcake to Apple Bloom and ruffled her mane as she took a bite out of it. Sweetie Belle had to cover her mouth to keep her own cupcake from coming back up.
Then, as Apple Bloom took her second bite, Rainbow Dash flew down from the sky, looking wore out from her cloud busting. Sweetie Belle tensed up as she watched her land right next Pinkie Pie and Apple Bloom. The helpless filly could only listen to see what was going on.
“Whew! There were a lot of clouds today!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed as she breathed and wiped the sweat from her forehead.
“I know!” Pinkie Pie agreed. “I didn't think you'd be busting those things as long as you did!”
“Peh. Tell me about it.” Rainbow Dash scoffed. “Hey, Pinkie, you want to go pranking? I've got some new ideas.”
“Ooh! That sounds super fun!” Pinkie said in excitement. “And I believe I have some new ideas, too!”
“Great!” Apple Bloom chuckled. “I'll be watching my step for the rest of the day.”
“You'd better.” Rainbow Dash warned. “'Cause we just might trip it up.”
The three ponies laughed at that.
“Oh! And after we're done, you wanna help me make some more cupcakes?” Pinkie asked Rainbow. “We've got some new recipes that we've been testing, and they seem to be pretty successful. Well, except for the sugar-free cinnamon.” She coughed at the memory. “Terrible idea.”
Rainbow laughed. “Well, I'd be happy to help.”
Sweetie Belle became horrified when she heard this. She thought “No, no, no, no! You're gonna be the next recipe!” But there was nothing she could do about it. Rainbow had already flown off with Pinkie Pie on her back, and Apple Bloom was on her way home.
Sweetie Belle cautiously crawled out of the bush. She really had no reason to be cautious, since Pinkie Pie had already left, but the details of the book left her feeling nervous. However, she didn't look where she was going; she was just staring at where the three friends had been standing for the past half minute. She had just come out of the bush when she finally turned her head and realized that she had nearly bumped right into Twilight.
“Whoa!” she exclaimed in surprise. “H-hey, Twilight! I didn't see you there!”
“Oh, Sweetie Belle!” said Twilight. “I thought you had already gone home!”
“Well, I was on my way there.”
“Okay. So how did your research go?”
Sweetie Belle was still rattled from that one book that wasn't about flowers.
“Oh, just dandy. It was about as... s-sweet as cupcakes!” She couldn't believe her ears. Was she still focused on that book and the cupcake that she had eaten earlier?
Twilight noticed that something felt a little bit weird about Sweetie Belle's response. “Um, are you feeling alright, Sweetie Belle? You seem a little spooked.”
“Ah, um, I'm fine, Twilight. Really I am. I c-certainly didn't ready anything that may have gotten me a little scared of anypony. Ha, ha. Especially not Pinkie Pie.”
Twilight was puzzled by this response. “Uh, why do you say that?”
Sweetie Belle found herself in a puzzlement as well. “Um, I really don't know. I'm not even sure where that came from.”
Twilight was still a bit concerned about the little filly, but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. “Okay, then. Well, I hope you do well on your report.”
“Thanks, Twilight. See ya.”
Twilight walked away as Sweetie Belle gave a smile. She didn't want her to think that she was crazy for being afraid of a friend.
A little while later, Sweetie Belle was on her way to Sweet Apple Acres. She had a meeting to attend at the Cutie Mark Crusaders' clubhouse.
As she entered the clearing to the clubhouse, she didn't see the trip wire near the ground and stepped on it. She felt the wire underneath her hoof, and when she realized what she had stepped on, she looked up, just in time to see a bunch of water balloons falling on top of her, most of them breaking on impact! The water that came out of the now broken balloons was cold, causing her to shiver as she dripped! As she took in the shock of the sudden surprise and the chill of the water, Sweetie Belle heard laughter from the top of the apple trees. She looked up to see Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie laughing at her for setting off the trap. Sweetie Belle realized that she had forgotten that these two ponies were going on a pranking spree.
“Is that cold enough for ya?” Rainbow asked her, tauntingly.
Sweetie Belle paid no attention. She was looking at Pinkie Pie, as she laughed her head off, being careful not to fall out of the tree. She stared at her in fear, wondering if she was planning a different kind of trap, one that wasn't quite so harmless. Pinkie Pie noticed this and stopped laughing in concern.
“Uh, Sweetie Belle, are you alright?”
Sweetie Belle didn't answer. Pinkie Pie became more worried.
“We didn't hurt you with our prank, did we? Sweetie Belle?”
Sweetie Belle started to back up.
“It was just water balloons. Come on, Sweetie Belle.”
Sweetie Belle continued to back up.
“Sweetie Belle? Sweetie Belle!”
Sweetie Belle turned around and started running away.
“Sweetie Belle! Wait!”
Rainbow Dash was shocked at Sweetie Belle's behavior. She looked up at Pinkie Pie.
“What'd you do to her?”
“I don't know.” said Pinkie. “She seemed happy to see me earlier.”
Sweetie Belle continued to run through the orchard. More focused on escaping Pinkie Pie's wrath than following her usual path, she had trouble finding her way out. As she ran at top speed, avoiding the trees in her path, she suddenly ran right into Apple Bloom, who was on her way to the clubhouse herself.
“Whoa, Sweetie Belle!” Apple Bloom exclaimed. “What's your hurry? And why are you going this way? The clubhouse is in that direction.”
“Oh, sorry, Apple Bloom. I was just trying to get away from Pinkie Pie.”
Apple Bloom became confused. “Why were you trying to get away from Pinkie Pie?”
Sweetie Belle took a deep breath. “Well, I read this book about her, and now I'm afraid that she's gonna do something terrible to me. I just saw her in one of the...”
Then, Sweetie Belle remembered something. There was a certain detail in the book that she had forgotten about, but now that she thought of it, she realized who she was talking to. She suddenly became scared of her friend.
Apple Bloom noticed her frightened expression. “Uh, Sweetie Belle, are you alright?”
Sweetie Belle started to back away from her.
“Sweetie Belle, what's wrong? Why do you seem so scared of me all of a sudden?”
Sweetie Belle didn't answer. She just ran around her to get away.
As Sweetie Belle ran, she past an unsuspecting Scootaloo, spinning her in the process.
“Whoa! What was that about?” Scootaloo asked as she regained her composer.
“I don't know.” said Apple Bloom. “Apparently, Sweetie Belle read something that seems to have gotten her all freaked out.”
The two fillies looked at Sweetie Belle in concern as she ran out of the farm.
That night, Sweetie Belle was sleeping uncomfortably. She was dreaming that she was going into the basement of Sugar Cube Corners. The dream really gave no reason for her to be doing this, but she went down anyway. The basement was dark and dreary and had a very creepy feel to it. She looked around the room as she took in the spooky atmosphere. Then, all of a sudden, she heard something. It sounded like a voice, but it was faint and inaudible. Still, the sound of the voice scared the little filly as she wandered through room, which was filled with bags of flour and sugar, and platters of cupcakes with unusual toppers. She continued to walk through the maze of items, wondering what she would find in there, hoping that it wouldn't be too scary. Then, she heard the voice again. It was a little clearer, but it was still inaudible. She continued to walk around, trying to figure out where the voice was coming from. Then, she heard it again. This time, she could make out what this being was saying.
The sound of the voice calling for help sent a chill down Sweetie Belle's spine. Even so, she wanted to find out who that voice was coming from, or rather, where it was coming from. Especially since she had lost sight of the stairs where she had come in. She continued to walk through the maze as she listened for the voice. She heard it again.
It was much clearer now, and Sweetie Belle knew that she was coming closer. The voice sounded helpless and seemed to lack energy. However, there was no shortage of urgency in the tone, so Sweetie Belle quickened her pace.
The voice was very close now. Sweetie Belle came to an area that lead in two different directions. She listened to find out which way she should go, as she stood there, shaking in fear.
Sweetie Belle looked in the direction of the voice and followed it. At the end of the path, she found a corner. She started to turn it when she heard something. Startled, she turned around and looked in the other direction. But it was just Gummy, knocking over one of the bags of sugar. Relieved, she turned back around and started to walk forward. But after taking just three steps, she suddenly found herself face-to-face with a battered and exhausted Rainbow Dash. Startled, Sweetie Belle jumped back with a gasp. She had never seen Rainbow Dash this weak and helpless before in her entire life! She was all beat up from head to toe, and her entire body, including her head, was cuffed to the wall. Her eyes were closed, but she couldn't relax with all the cuffs on her. Sweetie Belle gasped in horror as she looked at the poor Pegasus. Sweetie Belle looked to the side of her and saw a cupcake sitting on a plate on the floor. It was a rainbow-colored cupcake, which was very pretty looking, even in the dark, but it had a familiar looking topper on it. Then, it dawned on her: this topper was actually Rainbow Dash's cutie mark! She looked back at Rainbow Dash, feeling ready to cry for her.
She whispered her name. “Rainbow Dash.” Her little voice was choked.
Upon hearing her voice, Rainbow Dash opened her blood-shot eyes and looked at Sweetie Belle with a helpless expression. She seemed to be in pain, but her position had taken a toll on her.
“Help me.” Her voice matched the one that Sweetie Belle had been hearing.
Sweetie Belle didn't know what to do. She desperately wanted to help, but she wasn't sure how to release the cuffs. She started with one of her hind legs and tried prying the cuff off. It was on very tight and had a strong grip. She pulled as hard as she could to get it off, but it was barely budging. Then, all of a sudden, she heard a different voice coming from behind her.
“I wouldn't do that if I were you.”
Sweetie Belle turned around and saw Pinkie Pie with straight hair and an evil smile. Frightened at the sight, Sweetie Belle froze in fear, her hooves still on the cuff. She leaned her head against Rainbow Dash's body, not knowing what to do. Finally, Rainbow Dash, excepting her fate, gave Sweetie Belle an idea.
Sweetie Belle reluctantly obeyed. She ran right past Pinkie Pie and through the maze. Panicking as she ran, she lost track of which way she was going as Pinkie Pie's maniacal laugh filled the basement. At one point, Sweetie Belle stopped in a clearing, wondering which direction she must go. She suddenly heard a loud scream as she looked around at the many exits.
Hearing Rainbow Dash's yell in pain, Sweetie Belle ran down one of the paths in the hope that it would lead her in the right direction.
Finally, she found the stairway out. She felt that she was finally home free as she ran down the path of flour, sugar, and cupcakes, which were topped with what Sweetie Belle now knew to be other ponies' cutie marks. But as she neared the stairway, Pinkie Pie appeared from behind one of the stacks of flour bags and stepped right in Sweetie Belle's path. Sweetie Belle screeched to a stop, her stairway to freedom now blocked. Sweetie Belle sat helplessly as Pinkie Pie stared at her with a frightening smile.
“It's too bad you never got your cutie mark, Sweetie Belle,” Pinkie said in an unsettling tone. “It would've been perfect for my new recipe.”
She let out a loud laugh and grabbed Sweetie Belle as she screamed in terror.
Sweetie Belle woke up with a start, frightened by what she had dreamed. She sat up in her bed, looking around her room as she trembled and breathed heavily. After a while, her heavy breathing turned into sobs as she laid her head into her knees. She had never felt so frightened in her life.
The next day, Sweetie Belle was having trouble staying awake during class. The frightening dream that she had the night before had kept her up and it was now taking a toll on her body. She tried her hardest to keep herself awake, but she kept slumping over her desk and dropping her head. Her eyelids felt heavy as she struggled to keep them open. She was so focused on trying to keep herself up that she couldn't concentrate on any of the lessons. She eventually blacked out as her chin rested on her desk and her eyes closed, unable to stay open for her.
Sweetie Belle was suddenly awakened by Cheerilee, who had smacked her ruler against her desk. She shook herself awake as other classmates giggled at her. She looked up at Cheerilee, who had an annoyed look on her face.
“Sweetie Belle, why don't you try going to bed earlier from now on?” the teacher told her.
Sweetie Belle blushed. She didn't know whether or not to tell her about the nightmare that had kept her awake.
“I'm sorry, Miss Cheerilee,” was all she could say.
With that, Cheerilee continued her lesson.
Later, during lunch, Sweetie Belle sat at one of the picnic tables by herself. She was resting her head on her hoof as she ate her cookies that her mom had made for her. But she made no effort to locate her friends so that she could eat with them, as she normally would. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo on the other hand, were trying to locate her. They knew she wasn't absent, as she had already been scolded by Cheerilee for falling asleep during class, and wanted to talk to her about it. They finally found her sitting all alone with her cookies and hurried over to her.
“Sweetie Belle!” Apple Bloom called. “Hey, Sweetie Belle.”
Sweetie Belle recognized the voice that was calling her name and instantly tensed up.
“Hey, Sweetie Belle, what's going on?” Scootaloo asked. “Are you feeling alright?”
Sweetie Belle ignored Scootaloo and stared fearfully at Apple Bloom. She scooted away from her, uncomfortably. This made both of the fillies even more worried.
“Sweetie Belle, what's wrong?” asked Apple Bloom. “Did we hurt you in some way or something?”
Sweetie Belle got out of her seat and started to evade the two girls. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo followed her, trying to talk to her.
“Sweetie Belle, come on,” said Scootaloo. “We just want to talk.”
Sweetie Belle frantically backed away from them, whimpering.
“Come on, Sweetie Belle,” begged Apple Bloom. “Please don't do this.”
Sweetie Belle continued to back away from her friends as they followed her, trying to get her to talk to them. She tried evading them by getting a playground equipment between them, including a merry-go-round, which took them on a run-around. Then she tried getting other ponies to get in between them. This left the classmates confused. She even went as far as to hide behind Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, bewildering them.
“What's going on here?” Silver Spoon asked.
“Yeah,” Diamond Tiara added. “What's the matter with her?”
“That's what we're trying to find out,” Scootaloo informed them. “But she won't cooperate.”
Finally, Cheerilee came out of the school to find out what the commotion was.
“Hey, what's going on out here?” she demanded.
Upon seeing Cheerilee, Sweetie Belle made a beeline for her and grabbed onto her. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo ran up to them as she cried on Cheerilee's shoulder.
“Girls, what's going on here?” Cheerilee asked.
“We're not sure, Miss Cheerilee,” said Apple Bloom. “She's been acting kinda funny since yesterday, and all we know is that she read something about Pinkie Pie that's got her all freaked out, but we don't know what that has to do with us.”
Cheerilee rubbed Sweetie Belle's head as she asked “Sweetie Belle, is everything alright?”
Sweetie Belle hugged her tighter. “Don't let her get me! Don't let her get me!”
Cheerilee didn't know what to do. She couldn't let Sweetie Belle stick around with somepony that she was afraid of. She decided that all she could do was have her go home for the time being until this gets all cleared up.
“Alright, everypony, I'm going to take Sweetie Belle home for the day, so the rest of you behave yourselves until I get back, okay?”
After gathering her things, Cheerilee walked Sweetie Belle from the school as all the other students watched in concern, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo showing the most worry.
Meanwhile, back in Twilight's castle, Twilight was going into the library for a book to read when she found one sitting on the floor. She turned to Spike, who was sweeping the throne room.
“Spike, I thought I told you not to leave books sitting out on the floor!” she scolded.
“But I haven't even read any books today!” Spike protested.
“You still gotta make sure they're all put away so they're not just sitting on the floor!”
Twilight walked up to the book, wondering who was reading it. Maybe it was one of the books that Sweetie Belle was using for her research and had forgotten to put away. There really was no other reason for this to be out if Spike hadn't read anything and neither had she. Even if she had, she wouldn't forget to put it away after she was done. But when she looked at it, it didn't look like it would be about any kind of flowers. It was still open to the last page, but there wasn't any picture on it, nor were there any in any of the other pages.
“That's weird,” Twilight thought. “This isn't one of the books that I let Sweetie Belle use yesterday.”
She looked at the cover, and instantly recognized what kind of book it was. It was one of her new books that was written by a new author. The pony seemed to know her and her friends, put but them in a rather unsettling light. Rainbow Dash thought it was pretty funny, because she knew that it was fake, but Twilight could never finish it without her there. But why was it out? Did somepony read the title Cupcakes and assumed that it was about how to make certain cupcakes? Then something occurred to Twilight: maybe Sweetie Belle needed a break from her research and make that very mistake. Twilight gasped in horror, hoping that that wasn't the case.
Back in Ponyville, Cheerilee and Sweetie Belle were walking through town. Sweetie Belle had settled down some, and was now just walking whilst holding Cheerilee's hoof. Along the way, Pinkie Pie bounced by and met up with them.
“Hey, guys! What's up?”
Before Cheerilee could respond, Sweetie Belle yelped and started clinging onto her and crying again. Both Pinkie and Cheerilee were caught off guard by this.
“Sweetie Belle, what's wrong?” Cheerilee asked. “Why are you behaving like this?”
Sweetie Belle begged her “Don't let her hurt me! Don't let her hurt me! Don't let her hurt me!”
Cheerilee and Pinkie Pie looked at each other in puzzlement.
“Sweetie Belle, what are you talking about?” Cheerilee started to say when Twilight came running up to them with the book being levitated by her magic.
“Sweetie Belle,” Twilight panted. “Did you read this book?”
She held out the book for Sweetie Belle to look at. Sweetie Belle looked up at it, and the instant she saw the cover, gasped and hid her face on Cheerilee's chest.
Taking it as a yes, Twilight groaned “I was afraid of that.”
Pinkie Pie looked at the book and realized what was going on. “Oh! That explains why she's been acting funny yesterday! She read this book and got a bad image of me stuck in her head!”
Cheerilee was still confused. The title said Cupcakes, but Twilight and Pinkie seemed to be talking about a horror story.
“Um, what's this book about anyway?”
“Trust me,” said Pinkie in a warning tone. “You don't want to know.”
“All we can say is that Rainbow Dash is the only pony who can read this and laugh,” Twilight added.
Cheerilee still didn't know what they were talking about, but she got the idea.
“Okay, well, I'd better get back to the school. Can't keep the students waiting.”
Upon hearing this, Sweetie Belle looked up at her.
“Don't worry, Sweetie Belle,” Cheerilee said in a soft voice. “You're going to be okay.”
As Cheerilee left for the school, Sweetie Belle switched over to Twilight and clung onto her. Twilight held her as she trotted over to the Carousel Boutique. Pinkie Pie watched with a concerned look on her face.
Rarity was surprised when her friend came to her door with her little sister with her.
“My heavens, whatever is she doing here? School's not even out yet!”
“Apparently she's been having some fears that have been disturbing her,” Twilight explained. “See, she seems to have read the book Cupcakes, and now she appears to be afraid of Pinkie Pie.”
“Good heavens, darling!” Rarity gasped. “Why ever would you believe such a ridiculous story?”
“But Rarity, It's so realistic!” Sweetie Belle cried. “And if she's done it to Rainbow Dash, she's bound to do it to me!”
“Um, I'm over here!” called Rainbow Dash, who was modeling for a dress that Rarity had yet to finish. “And I'm okay! Pinkie didn't do anything to me!”
“Come on, Sweetie Belle,” said Twilight. “It's just a story! If Rainbow Dash is over there, then there's no way any of that happened.”
Sweetie Belle still wasn't convinced. “But what about Apple Bloom?”
“Apple Bloom?” Rarity was caught off guard.
“She's Pinkie Pie's apprentice,” Sweetie Belle explained. “I've already told her that I've read this book! What if she helps her with her revenge?!”
Rarity sighed. “If only she could spend some one-on-one time with Pinkie Pie, that way we can show her that she's nothing like that book says. But she can't do that if she doesn't trust her.”
Twilight thought for a second. Sweetie Belle wouldn't want to spend any one-on-one time with Pinkie Pie, especially since she now knows what she thinks of her. Or at least, she wouldn't want to be alone with her. But maybe she doesn't have to be. She just needs to be with somepony she trusts to protect her and who trusts Pinkie not to hurt anypony. But how to get them together, Twilight had to work out. She did.
Early the next day, Rarity and Sweetie Belle started hauling a wagon full of camping gear (as well as other luxuries) and going down a path through the woods. Rarity had on her finest traveling outfit, but she kept a look out to make sure that nothing would ruin it. Sweetie Belle kept looking over her shoulder as they walked.
“Rarity, are you sure about this?”
“Of course, darling. Twilight wouldn't have us going on this outing if she didn't think this was a safe idea.”
“But what if she's wrong? What if Pinkie Pie really is like the book says?”
“Sweetie, Pinkie Pie would never do any of that, nor would she be able to get away with it. Besides, you saw Rainbow Dash at the boutique, and she's fine.”
“I know, but what if it does happen?”
“Honestly, Sweetie Belle, you're acting like the book is prophetic. This is why we're going through this exposure therapy... And why I told Pinkie to hang back.”
A few yards back, Pinkie Pie hopped along the path with her own wagon of suitcases. It wasn't quite as full, so it was much easier to carry, not that she would have much trouble with Rarity and Sweetie Belle's. However, she tried to maintain a good distance between her and the two sisters. She didn't want to make Sweetie Belle too uncomfortable and ruin her own excitement for their re-development.
As soon as Sweetie Belle and Rarity got to the campsite, they pulled out the box that contained Rarity's very large tent. Rarity pulled on the ribbon, allowing it to inflate until it got to full size. Sweetie Belle placed some rocks in a circle a safe distance from the tent, making sure that they were close together. As soon as she placed the last rock, she became startled when Pinkie Pie dropped some sticks in the middle of the circle. Sweetie Belle quickly backed away and stood close to Rarity.
“Pinkie Pie, please,” Rarity scolded. “In order for this therapy to work, you need to maintain a good distance from Sweetie Belle until she regains her trust in you.”
Pinkie's hair became slightly deflated. She was only trying to be helpful. But she knew that Rarity was right. She needed to wait a while before coming close to Sweetie Belle.
That night, the three ponies were sleeping in Rarity's tent. Sweetie Belle was put in between Rarity and Pinkie Pie, who was a little too close for comfort to her. But this was part of Twilight's exercise; in order for Sweetie Belle to regain her trust in Pinkie Pie, she needed to stay in the same environment with her, as long as Rarity was there as well.
Once again, Sweetie Belle was having bad dreams about Pinkie Pie, except now, there were no cupcakes involved.
Sweetie Belle was running through the forest, trying to get away from Pinkie Pie who, once again, had straight hair and an evil grin. Pinkie Pie laughed maniacally as she chased the little filly through the thick trees. Sweetie Belle was able to lose her, but her laugh was still audible. She ran, and ran, and ran, making sure that Pinkie wasn't behind her. Just as she started thinking that she was safe, she suddenly came to a ledge. The ledge hung over a raging river with water that thrashed violently against the rocks as it flowed. Sweetie Belle backed up to avoid falling off, then turned to run in the other direction. But as she turned, she was startled to find that Pinkie Pie was right behind her! Feeling herself cornered, Sweetie Belle froze in her tracks, not knowing what to do. Pinkie Pie grinned as she watched the young filly back away from her towards the edge of the ledge.
“Sweetie Belle, look out!”
Sweetie Belle slipped and, unable to catch herself, fell off the ledge. As she fell, the last thing that she saw was Pinkie Pie, grinning evilly as she watched her fall into the water.
Sweetie Belle woke up with a start. She looked around and saw that she was back in the tent. She breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that it was all a dream. But then, she heard a snore. She turned to look and saw Pinkie Pie, snoozing away in her sleeping bag. Although she was shaken at the sight, Sweetie Belle knew that as long as Rarity was with her, she was safe. But when she turned the other way, she saw that Rarity wasn't with her. She had disappeared from her sleeping bag and was nowhere in sight. Sweetie Belle panicked. Did Rarity leave? Was she coming back? What if Pinkie Pie made sure that she wouldn't come back? Then she'd had Sweetie Belle all to herself! Sweetie Belle didn't know what to do! She ran out of the tent and started looking for her sister in the hopes that she would soon find her. But in her haste, she left the tent flap open.
Sweetie Belle ran through the forest, calling her sister as she hurried through the trees. She looked all around, but couldn't find Rarity anywhere. She ran deeper and deeper and deeper, not knowing where she was going. Finally, she ran out of steam and slowed her pace to a walk so that she could continue her search.
Back at the tent, Pinkie Pie was starting to stir in her sleep. She knew that something was wrong, but she didn't know what. She woke up and look over to her friends. Except, they weren't there. Both of the sleeping bags were empty, and the tent flap was open. Pinkie Pie gasped in horror, worried that something might've happened. But what could've happened? Did something open the tent and take her friends? Did something scare them off while she was sleeping? Why was she still there? Did she do something to cause her friends to abandon her? Pinkie Pie had to find out. She rushed out of the tent and called for the two girls. Rarity came out of the bushes, shocked to hear Pinkie Pie calling for her and Sweetie Belle.
“Pinkie, what is it?!” Pinkie was relieved to see her.
“Oh, Rarity! Thank goodness you're okay! Have you seen Sweetie Belle anywhere?”
“No, I'm afraid I haven't!”
“Well, I just woke up and saw that both of your bags were empty, so I wondered if something nasty happened!”
“Oh dear. You don't think Sweetie Belle ran off to find me, do you? I just went into the bushes to relieve myself.”
“Well, now we're gonna have to find her so that we both can get some relief!”
“Right! Now you go that way, and I'll go this way, and if we can't find her, we come right back and go down that way together!”
“Gotcha! Let's find Sweetie Belle! I just hope she trusts me enough!”
The two ponies parted ways and started calling for Sweetie Belle.
Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle was still wandering around in the forest. She called out for Rarity, hoping that she would answer. But she didn't hear her. The only sound that she heard was the sound of crickets, chirping in the grass. Sweetie Belle called out again. She listened to see if Rarity would answer. But it wasn't Rarity who answered. It was somepony else. Sweetie Belle turned to see who it was, and as soon as she saw who this pony was, she became shaken. It was Pinkie Pie, off in the distance as a silhouette in the moonlight. Sweetie Belle panicked and ran as quickly as she could. Pinkie Pie ran after her.
“Sweetie Belle, wait! Come back!”
Sweetie Belle continued to run as Pinkie Pie called for her to come to her.
“Sweetie Belle! Please! Stop! I won't hurt you! Please!”
Sweetie Belle ignored her pleas as she ran and ran and ran. Then, as she looked back to see if Pinkie was still behind her, she suddenly found herself on a ledge. The ledge hung over a raging river with water that thrashed violently against the rocks as if flowed. It wasn't quite as violent as the river in her dream, but Sweetie Belle still didn't want to fall in. She backed up to avoid falling off the ledge, then turned to run in the other direction. But as she turned, she was startled to find that Pinkie Pie was right behind her. Feeling herself cornered, Sweetie Belle froze in her tracks, not knowing what to do. Pinkie Pie spoke to her as she watched the young filly back away from her towards the edge of the ledge.
“Sweetie Belle, I'm not going to hurt you. Everything you read in that book, everything that happened in it, it's all fake! I would never do anything like that! Nopony's that sick! At least, I hope nopony's that sick. But you've gotta trust me, Sweetie Belle. We've got to get back to the campsite so that Rarity knows that you're okay. I'm not going to hurt you, Sweetie Belle. Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my-- SWEETIE BELLE, LOOK OUT!!!”
Sweetie Belle slipped and, unable to catch herself, fell off the ledge. As she fell, the last thing she saw was Pinkie Pie, looking horrified as she watched her fall into the water.
Sweetie Belle struggled to keep her head above water as it swept her downstream. Each moment she could take a gasp for air, she yelled out for help as loud as she could. Pinkie Pie ran along the edge of the river, trying to keep up with her. She was not about to let the river take her away. As Sweetie Belle struggled to stay afloat in the rapids, Pinkie Pie hopped across the rocks sticking out of the water. When she ran out of rocks, she jumped into the river and swam over to Sweetie Belle, grabbing her as soon as she was close enough. More afraid of the water than of Pinkie Pie, Sweetie Belle clung on to her and held on for dear life. Pinkie Pie swam as hard as she could to the side of the river and grabbed onto a rock. She held on as she and Sweetie Belle breathed for a little while. No sooner had the two ponies caught their breath when the water rose up and swept them both off the rock. Sweetie Belle and Pinkie Pie tightened their grip on each other, not wanting to let the strong rapids break them apart. Desperate to save Sweetie Belle, Pinkie paddled as hard as she could with one leg toward a branch that was sticking out over the water. It was a last resort, as it was right next to a large waterfall. But Pinkie had no other choice. There was nothing else that she could grab on to; no rocks, nothing. She had to rely on the only branch that was in front of them. Just as it looked like the waterfall was going to take them down, Pinkie Pie grabbed onto the branch and held on. She fought the current as she struggled to keep her grip.
Then, she shouted “Sweetie Belle, grab the branch!”
Sweetie Belle nervously reached up, trying desperately to grab on. She could barely reach as she struggled to not let go of Pinkie's body. Finally, she was able to grab a hold of the branch and pull herself up. Pinkie released her grip on her as she climbed up onto the branch and crawled safely to land. Pinkie Pie then pulled herself up and followed Sweetie Belle to safety.
Sweetie Belle hugged Pinkie Pie as she cried on her shoulder. She didn't know what she was thinking when she read that book. She knew that she would never hurt her no matter what that book said, especially after that daring rescue. Anypony who was willing to risk their life to save a friend from danger was sure to be trustworthy. Pinkie Pie hugged her back, holding her and she rubbed her hair, comfortingly.
“It's alright, Sweetie Belle. I've gotcha. I was really worried when I woke up and saw that you were missing. I wasn't sure if something terrible had happened to you, and going through what we've gone through, something terrible almost did happen. But I promise you, cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, do anything to harm you, or Rainbow Dash, or anypony else, especially in the way that I did it in that book. You got that, Sweetie Belle?”
Sweetie Belle sniffled and wiped her eyes. “I'm sorry, Pinkie. I don't know why I would think you would do anything like that. I should never have read that book. “
“Hey, you didn't know,” Pinkie reassured her. “The title said Cupcakes, and that's a very misleading title. Not to mention the fact that the book was pink and had a pretty cupcake on the cover. I mistook it for being about cupcakes, too. Imagine my shock when I realized what it really was.”
The two ponies giggled and walked away from the river's edge.
Rarity ran back to the campsite, frantically hoping that Pinkie Pie would be there with her. She didn't see them there and she worried that something had happened to them. Did they run into any wild, dangerous animals? Did Pinkie Pie lose her way? Did they fall into a river and get swept over a waterfall? Rarity became so frantic that she started to go in Pinkie Pie's direction to look for her. But she didn't get very far. She only ran a few feet when she saw Pinkie Pie trotting up to the campsite with Sweetie Belle clinging onto her back. Rarity was so relieved to see them that she didn't notice what Sweetie Belle was doing, nor did she notice that they were both soaking wet. She ran right up to them and hugged them both together.
“Oh, girls! Thank goodness you're alright! When I came back to the camp, I didn't know where you two were! I wasn't sure if something had happened or if you girls got lost! And Sweetie Belle, when I realized that you were missing, I became so worried! I didn't know where you had gone, or if you had gotten yourself in trouble, and I wasn't sure you'd trust Pinkie Pie enough to come back with her, and I--”
Rarity finally took a good look at them.
“You're clinging to Pinkie's back. ...And you're both soaked. But, what happened?”
Pinkie Pie explained the whole thing. “Well, let's just say that I found Sweetie Belle, she tried to get away from me, she fell into a river, and I saved her before we both went over the super large and super scary waterfall.”
Rarity gasped in shock. “Oh my goodness, girls!”
She hugged them even tighter, horrified that they were in a near tragedy. She couldn't believe the ordeal that they had gone through.
Rarity started to release her grip when Sweetie Belle said “Please don't let go, Rarity.”
Rarity and Pinkie Pie looked at her in puzzlement. Sweetie Belle looked up with a begging face.
“Please, I'm cold.”
Pinkie and Rarity laughed as she continued her hug.
Later, all three ponies were back in the sleeping bags. Because of their wild water ride, Pinkie Pie and Sweetie Belle had to have towels under their heads to keep their pillows dry. With the knowledge that she was in the tent with a trustworthy friend, Sweetie Belle slept more peacefully as she dreamed a dream that, at long last, wouldn't become a nightmare.
Sweetie Belle was riding in a hot air balloon with Pinkie Pie riding with her in the same basket. As they flew over a hill, Sweetie Belle saw Apple Bloom, watching them from the top. The balloon came in just close enough for the two fillies to give each other a high hoof as it drifted by. Then, just as they past the hill, the balloon flew upward into the sky, filled with fluffy clouds that floated in the gentle breeze. As the two ponies flew by, the clouds started to change into many colorful cupcakes, including one rainbow-colored cupcake with Rainbow Dash's cutie mark. Sweetie Belle looked at the cupcake, wondering what was going to happen next. Then, right before her eyes, she saw Rainbow Dash herself, flying out of the cupcake as if it were nothing, and over to the balloon basket where Sweetie Belle and Pinkie Pie stood. Rainbow Dash ruffled Sweetie Belle's mane playfully, giving her the know that she was a-okay. Then she flew over to Pinkie Pie to slap hooves with her.
They were both wearing hoof-shake buzzers. The three ponies laughed at the irony before Rainbow Dash flew off into the wild blue yonder. Then, Pinkie Pie place her hoof around Sweetie Belle and held her close as she leaned her head against her body. Sweetie Belle felt safe as she rode in the balloon with Pinkie Pie right by her side.
Days later, back in Ponyville, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were hanging out by the clubhouse, thinking about their friend, who had been gone a few days.
“Do you think she's gonna be alright?” Scootaloo asked.
“I don't know,” said Apple Bloom. “She seemed pretty freaked out the last time we saw her.”
“Gosh, I wonder if she's ever gonna come around. I hope she does.”
“Me too. I really miss her.”
“So do I.”
As Scootaloo kicked at the ground, Apple Bloom looked down at it, feeling as if she may have lost a friend. She was just near to tears when, all of a sudden, a pair of white legs wrapped around her body. She looked behind to see who was there. It was Sweetie Belle, hugging her from behind.
“Sweetie Belle!” Apple Bloom gasped. “You're back!”
Scootaloo turned around, surprised to see that Sweetie Belle had returned and was now on top of Apple Bloom, hugging her. Sweetie Belle loosened her grip.
“I'm really sorry about how I've behaved before,” she said. “But you remember that book that got me scared of Pinkie Pie? Well, that book also had me believe that you were working for her, and I believed it. I really should've known better than that.”
Apple Bloom smiled. “No worries, Sweetie Belle. We understand.”
“Yeah, we're just glad you're okay,” Scootaloo added.
The three fillies all gathered together, and they shared a group hug as Pinkie Pie watched from a distance with a smile.