"...And it was oatmeal!" Rainbow Dash giggled as she came to the end of her story. Rarity and Applejack broke out into guffaws of laughter as they rolled about the floor of the library. Twilight Sparkle was rather less amused as she sat in the corner, ears flattened and a look of extreme annoyance etched onto her face. She turned slowly to glare at her friends, before returning to her studies.
The glare obviously hadn't done its job, because moments later, the face of Rainbow Dash bobbed over her shoulder. "Ain't that something Twilight? What do you think she'll do THIS year?"
Twilight coughed loudly, made a show of unsubtly shuffling her papers for as long as possible, and turned to face the perky blue Pegasus. "What will who do when?" she hissed back, eyes narrowed to slants in an attempt at intimidation.
This didn't work either; the only reaction from Rainbow Dash was a roll of the eyes. "You weren't listening to my amazing story at ALL, were you? I mean, I know it wasn't about ME, so it wasn't as amazing as it COULD be, but STILL, Twilight! Tomorrow's April Foals day! What do YOU think Pinkie Pie will do?"
Twilight sat taking in Rainbow Dash's words. "Nope, I heard the words, but none of it made sense. April what day? Did you just make that up?"
"Don't be telling me you didn't have April Foals day in Canterlot!" This time it was Applejack who spoke up, the Earth Pony giving Twilight a look that one would give to a small filly who'd just asked a particularly silly question.
Twilight shrugged. "Well, perhaps..." Twilight had never been one for events on the social calendar; she'd spent most of her time in Canterlot locked away in her room studying hard. Not that this was a bad thing, she'd hardly have got the attention of Princess Celestia herself if she'd been out every night celebrating Lundatide or Minty Day or whatever excuse for a party popped up in the calendar that day. "Why, what is Pinkie Pie likely to do?"
Rainbow Dash and Applejack exchanged glances and grins, while Rarity gave a huff, which puffed her fringe up in a bob. "Twilight darling, April Foals day is a truly ghastly celebration where ponies play tricks on other ponies before noon, when the Mayor gives the pony who pulls the best prank a prize." She shook her head, somehow her mane still staying beautifully coiffured. "Awful, dreary, common stuff!"
Rainbow Dash stuck her tongue out at Rarity. "Only because YOUR weak 'pranks' never work, Rarity!" Rarity turned her head away, the flicker of a blush playing across her cheeks.
"We all try, but Pinkie Pie wins every year" Applejack drawled. "Last year she painted the entire town pink."
"The year before," piped up Rainbow Dash, "she made an exact replica of Ponyville a mile away, and moved everypony there while we were all sleeping!"
"And the year before that..." Rarity added, trailing off, as she, Rainbow Dash and Applejack gained a rather worried look on their faces. "...the year before that, well... we just don't talk about it..."
"Fact is," Rainbow Dash started strutting about, looking supremely confident as she tucked her wings behind her back, "it is every pony's mission to outdo Pinkie. And I've got a doozy this year. Sure to net me first prize, Pinkie won't know what hit her!"
"Gotta beat me first, sugarlump!" Applejack beamed smugly. "Ah think I've got you all outponied this time!"
Rainbow Dash signed and leaned into Twilight conspiratorially. "Sour apples!" she whispered. "Every year without fail." She gave a flick of her awesome rainbow mane and floated into the air on her wings. "Well, time for me to hit the hay, Ponyville's number one prankster needs an early night!" And with a flash of blue, she was off.
"Jus' you wait" Applejack muttered as Rainbow Dash flew out of the room. "She won't know what's gonna hit her." She winked to Twilight. "See ya bright and early, it'll be fun!"
Rarity moved to follow Applejack out of the library, but turned to Twilight as she went. "Don't worry Twilight, I know this isn't the sort of behaviour a pony like you would be into." With that, Twilight was left alone.
She sat, mulling over the conversation in her mind. Pony like her? Pony like her? Obviously Twilight was the most intellectual pony in Ponyville, Did that mean her friends didn't think she could have fun? Did they still think of her as an outsider after all this time? Suddenly the library felt very empty.
Until Spike walked in, dragging a blue blanket behind him. He stifled a yawn. "Night Twilight, this little dragon is getting some desperately-needed shuteye!"
"Not so fast Spike!" Twilight leapt to her feet, startling the dragonling. "I'll show them, I'll be the best prankster in all of Ponyville, in all of Equestria even! I'll beat Pinkie Pie, and win the April Foals day prize!" She looked down at Spike, who was clutching his blanket half in horror, half in disappointment at the disruption of his naptime. "This will really impress Princess Celestia! Fetch my books Spike, it's time to research some jokes!"
Twilight blinked awake as early morning birdsong filtered through her window, a few rays of warm sunlight dancing through her mane from the dusty window. She lurched upwards, her face plastered in paper which had stuck to her face during her slumber. She had been awake half the night going through every prank-related tome she could find, and eventually ended up falling asleep at her desk by candlelight. Body aching from the uncomfortable position she had been sleeping in, she shouted to her faithful assistant. "Spike! SPIKE! It's morning already, why didn't you wake me!"
"NNargh!" came the reply as Spike jerked to life. The little dragon's eyes were bleary and red; he had been up all night involved in bringing to life Twilight's ideas, sawing and gluing and stitching and drawing, until eventually he had passed out on top of an amusingly shaped wooden duck. "Wassat, wassat? I didn't finish the duck!" he wailed.
Twilight leapt to her feet, galloping out the door. "Never mind about that Spike, we've got no time to lose! Bring what you do have, hurry!"
With a sigh as grumpy as Twilight was enthusiastic, Spike began to gather up the assortment of oddities he had constructed and trotted obediently out the door. "Only one day a year" he muttered to himself darkly. "One day a year..."
Twilight raced into the morning light and skidded to a halt, taking in the surroundings. She had planned to be up at the break of dawn to get her pranks in place, but Spike's failure as an alarm clock had put paid to that. Already several ponies were up and about, some on their daily routine, but others had risen early to avoid any pranks being pulled on them. Still, there were plenty tucked up in bed, blissfully unaware of any japes that their friends were about to play.
Impatiently motioning to Spike to hurry up, she slipped as sneakily as she could towards Lyra's house and, climbing a stepladder, began to carefully balance a bucket full of water on top of the doorframe. "Carefully does it..." she muttered to herself. "Carefully does it..."
"Hah, is THAT all you have?" The sudden outburst caused Twilight to wobble dangerously, managing to catch herself at the last minute and prevent a self-drenching.
"Rainbow Dash!" she hissed at the smug blue Pegasus who hovered above her. "Keep it down, you'll ruin everything!"
Rainbow Dash simply smirked back. "Pfft, something that weak will never win, I've been up since the crack of dawn pulling MY prank! Impressed?" She gave a pose, clearly expecting a reply.
Twilight stared. "Impressed... at what?"
Rainbow Dash crinkled her nose. "Don't pretend you've not noticed, Twilight. You've got no chance against what I did! Boy, everypony's gonna be SO surprised!" She laughed to herself, confidently.
Twilight tilted her head. "Not noticed? You mean... you've done it already?"
Rainbow Dash's face fell slightly. "The CLOUDS, Twilight!"
Twilight stared at the clouds. Hard. They looked perfectly normal and cloudy. "...another clue?"
Rainbow Dash threw her hooves up in the air. "C'mon Twilight, quit playing games! I turned all the clouds upside down! Every pony's gonna be totally confused!" Convinced that Twilight was pulling her hoof, she took to the skies looking for more ponies to boast to.
Twilight allowed herself a wry grin, turning to Spike. "If that's the best Rainbow Dash has, I've got this in the bag! Now, where's..." She trailed off as the form of a candyfloss-pink filly hopped into view.
"Hullo Twilight!" Pinkie Pie trilled, with a big smile on her face, as she paused to greet her friend before hopping off into the distance.
"She's smiling Spike, why's she smiling, what's she up to?" Twilight's brain started working overtime; Pinkie had to be busy pulling the biggest prank in Ponyville. She had to beat Pinkie to win, but how could she beat her without knowing what she was up to? "Change of plan Spike, we're following Pinkie!"
But it wasn't Spike who was standing beside her at that moment. Spike had wandered away from Twilight, hands behind his back and whistling innocently. Lyra stood where Spike had been, glaring at the stepladder, the bucket of water balanced on her doorframe, and a rather guilty looking Twilight Sparkle.
"My..." Twilight coughed, ready to make a quick getaway. "How DID that get there?"
A few hours later, all the inhabitants of Ponyville were up and about. The day had started slowly, but soon came the usual yelps and hollers of April Foals Day. Mrs Cake had baked some chilli cakes; Mr Breezy had somehow made all his fans go into reverse at the same time, and Cloudsdale's weather factory had begun to produce upside-down rainbows. Rainbow Dash was already complaining to everyone who would listen that the weather ponies were just copying her upside-down clouds idea.
But from Pinkie Pie, there was no sign of mischief.
Twilight's head bobbed up from a bush, eyes squinting at the pink filly, who had spent the morning hopping about town, smelling flowers and eating cakes. "I don't get it Spike, what's she PLANNING?" Twilight hissed. "Do you think she's forgotten what day it is? Or perhaps she's trying to lull everyone into a false sense of security? Or perhaps..." Twilight froze in horror. "Perhaps her prank is that she ISN'T going to be pulling any pranks!" The colour drained from her face. "I can't compete with a meta-prank like that!"
"Pull yourself together Twilight!" a pair of little purple hands rose from a smaller bush and began to shake Twilight's bush. To an outside observer it would appear that the bushes had come to life and begun fighting. "You don't even like pulling pranks, why do you care?"
"Because I have to win!" she hissed back. "I have to show every pony here AND Princess Celestia that I can go outside my comfort zone, that I'm not a one-trick pony! This prize is the perfect way to do it, I nyaaargh!"
Twilight's monologue was interrupted as the face of Fluttershy suddenly loomed into view. Twilight leapt into the air, shooting out of the bush before crashing back into it with a thump. Fluttershy recoiled from this display.
"Oh sorry Twilight" she whispered. "I was just coming to see if the bushes were okay, I didn't realise it was you." She paused meekly. "Don't worry, I like to dress up as foliage too, your secret is safe with me."
"But what I don't even..." Twilight gibbered, her brain racing to process what was coming out of Fluttershy's mouth. "No Fluttershy, I was just hiding in the bush to spy on Pinkie Pie."
"Oh." Fluttershy paused. "Yes, that is what I do sometimes too" she stated back slowly, unblinking. An awkward silence descended. Then she perked up, lifting a tray of cupcakes in the direction of Twilight.
"Would you like a muffin, Twilight?" she smiled. The instant she said this, a little purple hand shot out of the smaller bush to grab a cupcake.
Twilight frowned. "But those aren't..." She trailed off as she looked at Fluttershy, who stood before her smiling and hopeful. "...okay Fluttershy." She took a cupcake and bit into it gingerly, in case Fluttershy had put anything nasty in it. The cake... tasted nice!
Fluttershy broke into a smile, and a small tinkling laugh came out of her. "Ha ha, oh Twilight, April Foals! Those aren't muffins, they're CUPCAKES! I tricked you!"
"Yeah Fluttershy, you got me good!" Twilight deadpanned. "Can't possibly compete with that. Brilliant!"
"Hey, this is a cupcake!" cried the smaller bush in horror as Spike popped out, his mouth bulging with cupcake. "I thought... ooooh good one Fluttershy!" Fluttershy smiled back happily. Twilight rolled her eyes.
Then Spike started to choke.
"Oh no, I hope that wasn't my cupcake!" Fluttershy gasped, placing her hooves against her mouth in aghast shock. But instead of needing the Heimlich manoeuvre, the little dragon simply coughed up a plume of green smoke, which formed into a neatly rolled scroll.
"A letter from Princess Celestia?" Twilight uttered. It was usually a letter from Princess Celestia, no pony else usually wrote to Twilight apart from that one pony in Hightail who was playing postal chess with her. Her face brightened. "I wonder if she's heard about my foray into joviality already!"
Spike cleared his throat, puffed out his chest, unfolded the scroll and with an officious air, began to read:
"Dear Raspberry Sprinkle,
Please may I order five servings of your finest raspberry flans, and a Marmite muffin. You may deliver to my usual address. Wear those special socks.
Spike frowned, then turned the scroll over to see if he had read the wrong side. "Uh Twilight, are you living a strange double life by any chance?" he boggled. "You know, I'm not one to judge, but... urp!"
Another plume of smoke rose from his mouth, and another scroll popped out. This one was red. He frowned and opened it up. "Dear Trotsky, yada yada, the ponytariat hereby... blah blah glorious revolution yada yada...!" Spike froze, tapping his chest. "It's all messed up! Some dragon's gone and messed up the mail system! That's an awful prank!"
Twilight looked momentarily shocked, before patting Spike on the back. "Don't worry Spike" she soothed. "There aren't any other dragons here; that means whoever did it doesn't live in Ponyville, so I don't have to outdo that rather clever prank to win!" She stroked her chin, looking towards Pinkie Pie who was slowly munching on a cream cake. "I just have to outdo whatever Pinkie's up to. It is ON!"
Fluttershy stared as Twilight drifted off into a world of thought. She moved up to Spike and patted the little dragon on the back as well, as he vomited up another scroll. "Don't worry" she smiled. "I like dressing up as a bush too..."
As the morning sun shone brightly down on Ponyville, Derpy smiled. Today everyone was extra happy, which made her extra happy. The mailpony fluttered down from the sky, hopping towards the mailbox.
"Ready Spike?" Twilight whispered from her hiding place around the corner of the Post Office.
Spike just shook his head. "I dunno Twilight..."
Twilight shot her companion a stern look, and then as Derpy got out her special key to open the mailbox, Twilight lowered her head to concentrate. A warm glow of magic erupted from her horn, and the water balloon that she had made the shaking Spike carefully insert into the mailbox exploded, drenching Derpy and soaking the mail that was in the box.
Twilight erupted in fits of laughter and leapt out. "APRIL FOALS!" she shouted to a visibly annoyed (and wet) Derpy.
Spike kept himself hidden. "I'm pretty sure that's a criminal offense" he muttered to himself.
As the morning crept on, Twilight felt more confident in her own abilities as the town's number one prankster, and was sure that the prize was in her grasp. Rainbow Dash had returned to her cloud to find a ticket for speeding (and it had to be real, it had Princess Celestia's royal crest on it!). Bon-Bon had discovered love letters from Lyra to Chocolate Sprinkles dropped in the marketplace. Screams had erupted from Rarity's dress shop as she discovered the bundle of caterpillars that had been dropped down the chimney.
And Twilight Sparkle had gleefully watched all this, jumping out and shouting "APRIL FOALS!" as appropriate (though she had not yet done so to Bon-Bon, Bon-Bon was scary when angry. But she'd see the funny side, Twilight reasoned).
In an inverse proportion to Twilight's joy, Spike was looking more and more uncomfortable, taking the opportunity to edge away from Twilight whenever she jumped out and pretending that he was some other dragon who didn't know this increasingly crazy mare. Finally, he leaned over to her. "Do... do you think you've done enough yet?" he sighed, hoping they could go home and forget about all of this.
"Nonono!" Twilight's head popped up from inside a bale of hay. "If I don't play a prank on every pony, how else am I going to win the town prize! Now, shhhh!" Slowly her head descended back into hiding, and Spike wheeled around to see who Twilight was spying on. His little heart sank.
Apple Bloom dazedly woke from the impromptu mid-morning snooze she had taken in the town square. It was a bright sunny day, and she could hear the giggles of ponies, and the buzzing of the bees as the sweet April air drifted through the sky. She slowly rose to her little feet and blinked in the sunlight. She'd bought a funny mask at the market that morning, which she was going to trick Scootaloo with for April Foals Day. Maybe she'd win the town prize and get her cutie mark for being a comedian and...
"AAAAAH!" she squealed in shock and delight, craning her neck around to look at her rump. Where her flank was once blank, there was the perfect image of an apple. Her little eyes opened in unmitigated joy; all thoughts of trickery fled her mind as she galloped off. "APPLEJACK, APPLEJACK, AH GOT MAH CUTIE MARK!" she cried, happy tears rolling down her face as she raced to find her big sister.
From inside the bale of hay, next to a pot of paint and a stencil of an apple, Twilight Sparkle rolled onto her back and burst out laughing.
Spike meanwhile, stood frozen to the spot, his mouth agape in horror. Twilight must have done that when he was pretending not to know her. "You... you...!" he raised a little hand. "Twilight, that's awful!"
Twilight tutted at Spike. "Lighten up Spike, it's all in the spirit of April Foals day! Now the other ponies will know for sure that I'm not just a boring stick-in-the-mud!"
"I...I..." Spike struggled to regain his composure. "I think you've more than... proved it Twilight. Now let's take a break before the awards ceremony at noon!"
Twilight's head shot towards the clock tower. An hour to go. "And still no Pinkie-pranks..." she murmured, confused. And then as if on cue, Pinkie's head popped into view at an impossible angle.
"Hi Twilight!" she squealed, bouncing up and down in her boundlessly energetic way. "How are you today, I saw you watching me, do you do that often, it's such a super nice day to hide in hay, don't you think? That reminds me of a song!" Pinkie Pie cleared her throat, ready to sing, as Twilight extracted herself from her hiding place.
"Pinkie!" she muttered darkly at the silly pink thing in front of her. "Do... do you know what day it is?"
Pinkie Pie paused and looked strangely at Twilight. "Why, don't you? Are you okay? It's Friday!" She bouncedgleefully around Twilight, who turned to keep up with her, getting slightly giddy. "I love Fridays, on Fridays I bake cakes and blow up balloons and hold parties!"
"You do that every day" Twilight snapped back. "Do you know what's special about this day?"
Pinkie Pie grinned an impossibly large grin ear to ear. "It's April Foals day of course!" With that, she promptly hopped off, leaving Twilight twitching frantically.
"She's up to something Spike, I know it!" She grabbed a book from the unwieldy knapsack she had been forcing Spike to haul around town. "I can't beat her with what I've got; I need to do a better prank, a bigger prank, one which no pony will ever forget!"
Spike sighed. This meant more work, with the added bonus of probably never being able to show his face round town ever again.
"Please, for the last time!" begged Spike, tugging at Twilight. "This is a really, really bad idea!"
Twilight was hidden around the back of the large makeshift stage which was to be used for the noon awards ceremony, sorting through the last of the equipment needed for her coup de grace. She made a face at Spike. "Don't worry, I've worked it all out, this will be the greatest prank in all of prankdom!" She let herself have a little smirk. "And it's nearly too late for Pinkie Pie, maybe she WAS doing the 'no prank' prank. But whatever she does, I'll do one better!" With that, she hoisted herself into the harness that she had spent the last hour instructing the poor little dragon to construct. "Remember the signal Spike! Let nothing stop you!"
There was a muttering of excited voices as ponies from all over Ponyville flocked to the stage. Soon the noon bell would strike, and the Mayor would announce the April Foals Day prize. Not all ponies looked so jovial though. Lyra currently had a hoof in a sling, for reasons that would best be left unsaid, Applejack was standing protectively over Apple Bloom, whose little face was still red and puffy from crying, and Blues was covered from head to hoof in magical red dye.
In fact, thought the Mayor as she nervously poked her head out from the stage curtains, there were a lot more injuries this year. Still, at least it wasn't as bad as that year when Pinkie Pie...
She shook her head, clearing those traumatic memories as she stepped onto the podium. An expectant hush descended as she cleared her throat, and then began: "Fillies and gentlecolts. I hope every pony has had a..." she glanced down at the tear-stained Apple Bloom "...lovely April Foals day. But before we reveal the day's best prankster..."
There was a sudden kerfuffle as the audience of ponies was suddenly thrown into a tizzy, and parted to reveal the majestic form of Princess Celestia. The pony god-princess swept her mane to look across the crowd as she stepped up to the stage. Every pony in the audience gasped in shock. More slowly, moving through the crowd crept the form of her younger sister, Princess Luna, looking at the crowd with nervous eyes.
Princess Celestia took the podium from a startled Mayor gracefully. "My ponies!" she began. "I apologise for the lack of notice of my visit, but it seems that some dragon had been fooling with the dragon-mail. Please, I do not wish to get in the way of your April celebration, simply to visit my people, as I do to a different town each week."
The Mayor gulped hard. She had to deal with not just Celestia , but Princess Luna, who had barely been seen in public since her return, and who even now looked out across the sea of ponies with a cross between fear and embarrassment in her large shining eyes. Anything could happen on April Foals day, and she half expected Pinkie Pie to come sailing across the crowd and plant a custard pie in the Princess's face. Thankfully there was no sign of the pink filly.
Unthankfully, Celestia had stepped down into the crowd.
"Uh, ah, Princess, thank you for your visit!" the Mayor cooed. "D-do you know what day it is?"
"Of course!" Celestia beamed up. "It is Friday! Now my subjects, how are you all!" She gaze swept across the crowd, until she alighted on Applejack. Stepping regally towards the orange Earth pony, she nodded at the basket of apples slung about her neck, which bore the legend "FREE APPLES."
"Applejack, yes? May I?"
Applejack froze as if a rabbit in front of a rather large and terrible wagon. She forsaw a future in which the Princess ate one of her sour apples and instantly banished her to the moon. There were no apples on the moon. "N-no your m-majesty!" she stammered. "They're uh, all bad. All of them. Here!" She leant over to a protesting Fluttershy and plucked a cupcake out of her basket. "Have a muffin CUPCAKE MUFFIN CUP DARNIT!"
She winced, holding the cupcake towards Princess Celestia, who took it, and munched a dainty bite. Fluttershy meanwhile, was whimpering, holding her hooves over her face, expecting to be struck down at any moment. "Nooo my trick muffin!" she wailed.
If Fluttershy was to be banished to the moon by a vengeful goddess, it would not be on this day. Princess Celestia licked her lips and smiled. "Thank you Fluttershy, that was delicious. Now..." she turned to the next pony, Roseluck, who was standing stiff with fear. "Hello Roseluck, that is a beautiful flower you are wearing, may I smell it?"
Roseluck's eyes were wider than they had ever been. She clutched the trick water-squirting flower to her chest. "N-no Princess, it uh... it smells awful! Absolutely awful!" With that, the pony did her best to melt backwards into the crowd.
Celestia turned back towards the stage, her face a mask of confusion as she approached the Mayor. "Is everything all right?" she queried. Luna nervously crept around her legs, hiding from the gaze of the on looking ponies. "I hope it is not Luna who is making them nervous, she is pleased to be out amongst her people once more!"
Luna nodded, gulping hard as she looked out at the mass of ponies before her. "Y-yes, please, my time as Nightmare Moon was a dark time for me, p-please believe me, t-this is a harder thing for me than y-ou..." She froze in shock mid-sentence, her face a rictus of horror. Every pony turned to see what she was looking at.
The sun was going out.
The sun wasn't going out of course. However, via a carefully constructed mechanism of levers and pulleys, a large disc had rotated up from a faraway tree to eclipse the sun for those by the stage. As darkness fell, Luna began to whimper. Celestia moved in to bring a protective wing around her sister and swung her head, keen eyes looking for whoever had masterminded this mockery. She didn't have to look far.
"OOGA BOOGA PONIES! I AM STUPID EVIL NIGHTMARE MOON COME TO GET YOU ALL!" From above the stage descended a pony wearing a crudely made Nightmare Moon costume, suspended on a winch that was operated by a rather tired purple dragon. As one, the crowd recoiled in abject horror at the scene unfolding in front of them.
"OOH NOW I WILL CAST MY EVIL MAGIC ON YOU AND..." The pony on the winch paused as on the stage, Luna began to wail, clutching Celestia and crying desperately into her mane, a mass of shaking sobs. 'Nightmare Moon' hung in the air, swinging from side to side, the squeaking of the rope and the crying of Luna the only noises that filled the hushed area. Then in the distance the fake eclipse snapped, letting back in the sun and 'Nightmare Moon's head fell off, to reveal Twilight Sparkle grinning awkwardly.
As she hung in front of the horrified crowd, the wailing little princess, and the rather angry looking god-empress, it finally clicked in her head that she may have gone just a bit too far. She cleared her throat loudly. "Ahem. Dear Princess!" she announced. "Today I learnt that whilst pulling pranks on your friends can be good, you must be careful not to overstep their boundaries, or you might end up losing friends, and RUN SPIKE RUN!"
With a flash of magic, Twilight teleported herself away, leaving a rope attached to the remains of the Nightmare Moon costume swinging from side to side. The Major gibbered slightly as the crowd continued to watch, all mouths agape at what had just happened.
"P-please your majesty..." the Mayor stuttered, looking nervously as the shaking form of Luna. "P-please don't be angry..."
Without a word, Celestia took to the podium again, looking sternly at every single pony in the audience, her eyes boring into their very souls. Finally, she looked down at the speech that the Mayor had prepared, and began to read:
"Fillies and gentlecolts. May I now present the winner of this year's April Foals Day competition..."
'Celestia' took off her head.
Murmurs and gasps rippled through the crowd. One or two ponies fainted. On the podium was Pinkie Pie, wearing a terrifyingly lifelike Princess Celestia Costume, looking like the pony who'd got the sugarlump.
"And don't forget Rainbow Dash!" 'Luna' leapt next to Pinkie Pie, removing her head to reveal the form of Rainbow Dash who was grinning like a loon. "Best prank EVER!" she shouted out, hoofbumping Pinkie Pie. "EVER!"
She leant into the microphone. "Though I don't think we should share the prize, I did that cloud thing too, so I win double!"
As Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash did a celebratory moonwalk across the stage, the Mayor handed over the trophy for best prank, grateful that she wasn't going to be banished to the moon. "Well done you two, that was certainly..." she paused. "Original."
Rainbow Dash clapped her hooves and moved closer to the Mayor. "There's prize money, right? Cos I got a speeding ticket earlier, you see..."
Pinkie Pie was still beaming as she hugged her prize. "Please every pony, don't be mad at Twilight, she's just not that good at pranks! Don't worry, I told Spike what we were doing, he'll tell Twilight and she'll come home and we can have a big party! With balloons!"
"Are they gone yet Spike?" Twilight sat in the back of the cave, eyes wide from lack of sleep, twitching and shivering. She looked towards her faithful dragon companion who was keeping watch at the cave entrance. Once the coast was clear, she could escape to Fillydephlia and start again under a new identity. The Princess would never find her!
"Nope" Spike called back, not looking up from his book. "Still loads of Royal Guards in the sky, all searching for you! With big, sharp pikes!" He turned the page. He'd give it another hour.