The Catastrophic Case of the Cutiemark Crusaders
Hello, my name is Pinkamina Dian Pi, and I suggest you pick up a much happier story. Perhaps one in which good things happen to little fillies who do everything right, and the sun always shines. If it sounds as though you would like such a story, then please close whatever form of media you are reading this on, and go to the "Normal" section of Equestria Daily, where such stories are stored. This is not a happy story, this is the story of three little fillies, and the terrible events that were to befall them.
They were not sisters, they were in no way biologically related. The only thing that tied them together was the cruel hoof of fate. A phrase which here means "Really, really bad luck". Their names were Applebloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Bell. As far as my research -much of which was pulled from the remains of various 'accidental' fires- can trace, it all began a few weeks after Applebloom was born. Her sister, Applejack, who grew to be a consort of mine, was but a filly during the event. It was a great time for the family. Apples from far and wide came to celebrate the birth of the child who's mane and tail were as red as a golden delicious and who's skin was the color of the sun at midday. There was great joy, a word which here means 'something not to last long'. After all the various aunties, uncles and cousins nopony is quite sure how they're related to had left and the happy parents had put their baby to bed for the night, something terrible happened.
Back then they lived in Hoofdale, on a great farm much bigger than they do now. That night there was a fire, an all consuming fire that no amount of water could quench. Nopony was quite sure how it started, but it was said that on the horizon, there was the faintest twinkle, a word which is far too nice to describe something that started an event so vile, right before the blaze. I would like to say that none of the Apple family was harmed. I would very much like to say that Hoofdale was rebuilt soon after and everything went back to normal, that they spent their evenings baking pies and other various happy things. I cannot write this.
Mr. and Mrs. Apple were said to have never woken up from their sleep. No one heard them scream, or cry for help. It was their son, Big Macintosh, who saved the rest of their family that night. Applejack and Applebloom were spared that same fate, perhaps a cruelty in itself. Hoofdale burned to the ground by sunrise. The remains still stand as a testament to the event. A cauterized wound at Equestria's edge. The children were given to their Grandmother. The rest of the family, who had been so welcoming at the party not so long ago, were suddenly tight lipped now that talk of adoption and orphans was in the air. What would the neighbors think?
Eventually they were taken in by Granny Smith, a nice, if distant, mare. One of those types nopony can quite remember ever being young, though they might be older than she is. And they lived on her smaller, but pleasant farm, Sweet Apple Acres. Once again, I would very much like to say that this is where the story ends, that they lived happily at this new farm, and that Ponyville offered no danger to the young ponies. Once again, I cannot type this.
Sadly, tragedy is something that seldom befalls only one pony. Be it a single filly, or an unfortunate circus troupe that happened to leave their anti venom at home. Such catastrophic events would follow many others, only two of which we shall focus on for the sake of brevity and avoiding suicides.
The second, a filly named Sweetie Belle, was born to an average suburban family of no great note. She was the sister of Rarity, another one of the friends I would come to know.
Though she does not like to mention it, she also comes from the once uncharred community of Hoofdale. Her house was near the center of town, her parents were fabric workers, from whom many of the residents purchased their Sunday best. They were quite respected and hardworking, often hosting parties and events at their modest home. It happened on one such day, in fact the very same day two very similar parties were happening for very similar reasons that they had an excuse to celebrate. They had a daughter, Rarity's sister Sweetie Bell. At this very similar party, held for very similar reasons, a very similar, very terrible fate would befall them. Perhaps it was more terrible in the way that fabric shops are a great deal more flammable than most other businesses one might care to open. It only took a few minutes for the whole shop to be lost in flames. A twinkle, again, far to nice a word, was also seen before hand. Rarity's mother and father suffered a very similar fate, at this very similar party, held for very similar reasons, because of this very similar disaster. It is said her father was clear of the blaze, but dived back into the the burning shop when her mother wasn't found. Neither of them were seen again. It is presumed their habit of wearing cotton contributed to the almost complete lack of remains. Perhaps, if this were a happier story I could say they simply got tired of country life, and snuck off to some pleasant island with a hard to pronounce name and might someday return and reclaim their daughters. Sadly, the words "Almost complete" placed before the words "lack of remains" does not bode well for this theory. Though what was found was significantly blackened, and thus quite hard to identify.
Rarity and Sweetie Belle, in one of the few strokes of luck in this story, happened to be down the street fetching some fabric at the time. The blaze was already done by the time they returned. Ironically, the new fabric was for a line of flame retardant clothing.
Rarity was old enough to take care of herself and her sister by this point, and came to Ponyville to open up a very successful fashion shop. All of her fabric, on an unrelated note, is flame retardant. Sweetie Bell, raised by her sister, despite all odds turned into a fairly mild mannered filly at this, the beginning of our story. It is often this kind of person that nothing of particular importance happens to. Unfortunately she is in this story, and quite unfortunately she is terribly important.
The last of the three unfortunate fillies to be the focus of our story, is one Scootaloo. Another important attendee to the last parties of Hoofdale, again a very similar event, for very similar reasons with very similar results. The accounts of the party are more hazy around her than the others. Her parents were secretive, and shall remain secretive, as the dead hardly tell people much of anything. But eyewitness accounts say it was a small affair, held in the living room with hardly anypony in attendance. She was the daughter of a very famous flyer and a far less famous earth mare of no real regard, though she is not aware of this at the moment. The twinkle, for which I shall have to find a better word, was seen before hand, and as with the others the house was completely lost. Both of her parents were seen in the blaze, tossing the small filly out of a third story window. Nothing I would suggest doing with a filly, unless of course you find yourself about to die in a terrible fire, in which case by all means, it is better than the alternative. Especially if you happen to live next to a busy sidewalk which attentive ponies with good eye-hoof coordination happen to frequent.
It is wondered by many why the famous flyer simply didn't simply fly out of the burning house. This is often asked by people who did not know him, and are also unaware that it would have been impossible for a Pegasus who had recently inhaled a rather large amount of smoke, to carry a certain earth mare out of a third story window.
Scootaloo was caught by a Mare by the name of Creme Cake, who took care of her, until a mysterious fire that very same month. After which she had no choice but to put the filly up for adoption, in the Ponyville House for Girls. It is here that the end begins, and the beginning of the story ends.
To be Continued.