The Equus Club

by Sharp Spark

Chapter 1

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The sun peeked over the horizon, illuminating the quiet grounds of Canterlot High School. It was Saturday, meaning the campus was deserted. The crisp, cold air marked the season as winter, the middle of the off-season for outdoor sports. Fittingly, the fields were devoid of teenagers jogging or running drills.

It was quiet – as quiet as the school ever was, up until a grinding, chugging sound shattered the silence.

A battered red truck slowly crawled up the hill, its engine still complaining, and pulled into the roundabout. It coasted to a stop in front of the stairway up to the building, and the burly young man in the driver’s seat shifted the haystalk from one corner of his mouth to the other.

Next to him sat a girl in a stetson and checkered shirt, her arms crossed tightly against herself.

The haystalk swished back and forth.

“Y’sure you don’t wanna talk about it?” the boy said in a rumbling voice.

“Ee-nope,” Applejack replied.

The boy thought for a moment longer. “Granny says—”

The door to the truck slammed shut, Applejack on the other side already stomping up the steps in her boots. The boy frowned slightly, but shifted his truck back into gear, and it started rolling forward just as a faded station wagon pulled up behind.

A pink-haired girl in a plain pastel shirt and skirt stepped out, but hesitated, turning back to the man still in the car. She wrung her hands, her face twisted up in worry.

“I know, Fluttershy,” the man said. “It’s going to be okay, really. Just be yourself and behave and everything will be just fine.”

She opened her mouth and then shut it, her body still tense.

The man smiled gently and nodded. Fluttershy hesitated one moment longer, but closed the door, still standing and watching as the car drove away.

“Watch it!” a voice snarled, and a rainbow-haired girl on a bike nearly knocked her over as she sped past.

Without even looking back, Rainbow Dash pedaled onwards to slam her bike into the rack with a crash. She stood up and kicked at the back tire with force but no real malice.

“That’s a nice bike,” a voice chirped. Rainbow looked up to see a riotous mess of pink curls sitting on top of the handrail of the stairs. The girl attached to the out-of-control hair grinned. “Shouldn’t you take better care of it?”

Rainbow rolled her eyes and kicked the bike one more time for good measure. She strode past Pinkie Pie and headed up the stairs, but the girl trailed behind, still chattering away in a one-sided conversation that Rainbow ignored.

Behind them, a final car pulled up to the curb, a flashy white sedan driven by a man with an impressive moustache.

“Daddy, I hardly see why this is necessary,” the girl in the back seat said. She checked one last time to ensure that her hair was still in pristine condition, and then flipped her compact mirror closed.

“Honey, we’ve been through this. A day of detention isn’t going to kill you. It might even be a good experience!”

Rarity pursed her lips. “I find that exceedingly unlikely.” She reached for the door handle but hesitated. “You’ll be here on time to pick me up?”

“Of course, honey,” her father said, smiling.

Rarity grimaced and stepped out, trudging up towards the school building with her shoulders slumped.

“This is not playtime,” a gruff voice barked out. “This is not a daycare.”

The man who stood at the front of the library was almost as broad across the shoulders as he was tall, barely fitting into his blue suit. The black tie stretched around his massive neck seemed on the verge of snapping.

“You are here to be punished.”

His eyes swept across the library. In front of the large ornamental horse head statue, five girls were seated at the tables, each spaced more or less equally from the others.

“I am Assistant Vice-Principal Iron Will,” the man growled. “For the next eight hours, you will not talk. You will not sleep. You will sit here and reflect on what you have done.”

He stalked forward and with one arm swept Rainbow Dash’s feet from where she had them propped up on the table. She opened her mouth to protest, but he met her glare with one of his own, and she turned away, glowering.

“You will then write an essay about who you are, and why you are required to be here today. If you fail to do so, or if I am unsatisfied with the quality of your effort, you will return next Saturday. And the Saturday after that, and the Saturday after that, until I feel that you have learned your lesson. Are we clear?”

“Yes sir,” Applejack said.

Crystal clear,” Rainbow called out mockingly.

Iron Will’s fist slammed down onto the desk with a bang, and each of the girls jumped. He leaned over the table, his shadow falling over Rainbow Dash.

“Don’t think I won’t do it,” he said. “You think you’re special?”

She crossed her arms. “Yeah? Maybe I do.”

“You think just because you’re on the soccer team that you can’t get in trouble?”

A smirk crossed Rainbow’s face.

“Well think again. When you’re in here, you belong to me. And you’re nothing. Now are you going to show me some respect…?” Iron Will sneered. “Or would you prefer to miss a few games first? I would be glad to make that happen.”

Defiance flashed across her face, but Rainbow gritted her teeth and slumped down in her chair. “Fine,” she muttered.

Iron Will stood up straight again. “That’s what I thought.” He marched over to the front of the library to grab a cardboard box. “Now,” he said. “Phones in here. They will be returned at the end of the day.”

“You can’t be serious,” Rarity gasped. “That’s… that’s inhumane!”

“I’m sure you’ll survive a day without talking to your boyfriend,” Applejack said, rolling her eyes.

Pinkie grinned. “I don’t think—”

“Quiet!” Iron Will roared. “I did not ask for commentary. Phones, now!”

Rarity carefully placed her bedazzled smartphone in the box. A moment later, Rainbow tossed in a sleek black phone of her own, followed by Pinkie’s appropriately pink sticker-covered one.

Applejack hesitated as the box stopped in front of her. Iron Will shook it slightly, motioning her to hurry, and she winced as she pulled out a phone from her pocket that was about a decade out of date, the cheap plastic and nine-digit keypad contrasting with the other three fancy smartphones. She risked a glance over to see one of Rarity’s eyebrows raised and Rainbow Dash openly smirking.

Iron Will continued over to Fluttershy, who was sitting rigidly in her chair, hands together on the table in front of her. “Your phone,” he said.

Her lips moved, but no sound came out.

“Phone!” he barked again.

Fluttershy quivered, leaning forward so that her pink hair hid her face entirely.

“I don’t think she has one, sir!” Pinkie chirped, smiling broadly.

Iron Will looked down at the girl in front of him. “Doesn’t have a phone? Is that correct?”

Fluttershy barely managed a nod.

“Last chance. If I find out you’re lying, you’ll regret it.”

“I think you’re scaring her, sir,” Applejack said.

“If I wanted your opinion, I would have asked for it,” he snapped. He scowled at Fluttershy for a long moment before his face relaxed into a hard smile. "Fine,” his voice rumbled. He tucked the box of phones under one bulging arm and moved away, as Fluttershy nearly collapsed in relief.

At the door, he stopped and spun around. “As I said, no talking. No sleeping. I will be across the hall, listening.” With one final gesture he raised his index and pinkie finger and pointed them at Rainbow as his eyes narrowed. He marched out of the library, slamming the door shut behind him.

The girls didn't move a muscle. A few seconds passed, then the door swung open again. Iron Will grunted as he kicked the stopper down so it remained propped open. "And this door stays open," he said, voice dripping with accusation, before turning to storm out again.

They waited, listening, as his thudding footsteps faded away. A thick, uncomfortable silence fell across the library, broken only by the ticking of the clock above, and that particular sound only served to bring to mind just how much longer the day would be.

Rainbow Dash propped her feet back up on the table, leaning back once again. “What a dick,” she said, not bothering to lower her voice.

“If you didn’t antagonize him, maybe it’d be easier for the rest of us,” Applejack said under her breath.

Rainbow’s head turned. “Did you say something to me?”

“Nope,” Applejack said.

Rainbow stood up from her desk, jamming her hands down into the pockets of her letter jacket as she stalked over to Applejack.

“I heard you say something. How ‘bout you say it to my face, Little Miss Redneck?”

Applejack stood up, leaning forward. “I said, why don’t you keep your damnfool mouth shut.”

“Hey!” Rarity cut in sharply. “Both of you cut it out. If he hears you, we’ll all get in trouble.”

Applejack paused, warily glancing across the room at the open door. Not hearing anything, she shook her head, and muttered, “Oh woe betide that Miss Popularity gets a mark on her permanent record.” She heard Rainbow Dash snigger.

“I’m sure someone like you wouldn’t understand,” Rarity said, her cheeks turning pink.

“And what’s that s’posed to mean?” Applejack countered.

“Girls!” Pinkie chimed in. “Stop! We shouldn’t be fighting, we should be smiling!” She raised her fingers to her mouth, drawing a big smile as she grinned.

The three stopped to consider her. “Sometimes I think there’s something wrong with you, Pinkie,” Rainbow said.

“Don’t say that,” Rarity snapped. “She’s more pleasant than certain others here.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Sure thing, Princess.”


Rainbow blinked, her head tilting to the side.

“My name is Rarity, thank you very much.” Rarity’s nose lifted in the air. “Hmph.”

“My name’s Pinkie Pie!” Pinkie said.

Rainbow sighed. “Everyone already knows that. Everyone in school knows you, Pinkie, for better or worse.”

“And you’re Rainbow Dash, and she’s Applejack, and she’s Fluttershy!" Pinkie flung her arms out wide. "Tada!”

Fluttershy sunk down in her chair as the other girls glanced at her.

“Whatever,” Applejack said. “Great. We all know each other.” She grimaced as she pointed to Rainbow’s abandoned seat. “Now y’all sit down and write your essays and we can get through this crappy day without having to do it all over again next weekend, okay?”

Rainbow Dash tilted her head to stare upwards, tapping one finger against her chin slowly as she made a production out of considering the request.

“Nah,” she said.

Applejack ground her teeth together. Rainbow Dash spun on her heels and strolled over to the library’s circulation desk, flipping through the flyers and papers sitting on top.

“Just ignore her,” Rarity whispered. “So what if she gets in trouble?”

Applejack frowned as she sat down again, her arms tightly crossed. The blank sheet of paper in front of her went ignored as she glared daggers at Rainbow. “Just because she’s being a jerk doesn’t mean I want her to get chewed out,” she muttered.

“Seriously?” Rarity said. “Who cares.” Her eyes lingered on the rainbow-haired girl for a moment. "She's obviously maladjusted."

Rainbow’s head perked up, focusing on Rarity. A cold smile crossed her face and she strode back over to stand in front of the other girl’s table, looking down at her.

"I'm sorry. Were we having a conversation?"

Rarity remained silent, her mouth set in a defiant line as she stared off to the side, refusing to meet Rainbow’s gaze.

“What? Do you have a problem with me, Princess? Jealous of my star popularity? I know that’s all you care about.”

Rarity’s mouth quirked up in a smile, and she turned to look at Rainbow. “Hardly. You may enjoy some notoriety for your... athletics. But we’re in different universes entirely, darling.”

“Oh?” Rainbow adopted a casual tone. Her eyes swept up and down Rarity. “I thought you liked jocks. After all, from what I hear you're perfectly happy to hop into bed with any football player who’d give you the time of day.”

Rarity’s face paled. “That’s… that’s a ludicrous accusation.”

“Leave her alone,” Applejack said wearily.

“Yes, exactly!” Rarity chirped.

“It’s her business who she sleeps with, and how often.”

Rarity’s teeth clicked shut and she turned the fury of her glare on Applejack. “It’s not. like. that.

“Hey,” Pinkie cut in, her voice uncertain. “Seriously. Maybe we could all be a little nicer here?”

“Shut up, Pinkie,” Rainbow said. “So tell me, then. What is it like?” She paused, her smile turning venomous. “Oh, of course. You only spread your legs for someone if it means you get to climb up a few rungs on the popularity ladder.”

Rarity closed her eyes, her lips pressed tightly together as she shook her head.

Rainbow’s eyes narrowed. “You’re not a slut, after all. You’re a whore.”

“Whoa there,” Applejack said. “Knock it off, she didn’t—”

“What’s wrong with you?” Rarity said, quiet, but with an intensity of voice that cut Applejack off. Her eyes opened, and she stared at Rainbow Dash with some mixture of disgust and pity. “There’s unkind and there’s hateful. Just what happened to you to make you so angry?”

Rainbow bared her teeth in an expression more threat than smile. She spun on her heels and walked off to stare at a bookshelf.

The resulting silence was painfully uncomfortable. Pinkie’s eyes flashed back and forth between the other girls, her mouth twisting. “Maybe we could all sing a song together?” she squeaked out.

Rarity and Applejack both turned to look at her, withering scorn clear on their faces.

“Or not…”

“Maybe we could just all be quiet and write our damn papers. She seems to be doing fine,” she said, pointing at Fluttershy. Their fifth member sat hunched over, her hair covering her face as she tried to take up as little space as possible.

“Yeah, but she’s dumb,” Rainbow Dash said, flipping through a book without really looking at it.

“Really.” Rarity's lips twisted as she shot a disapproving glance in Rainbow's direction. “That’s just rude, you know?”

Rainbow Dash slammed the book shut. “No. Dumb. Mute. I thought the jocks were supposed to be the stupid ones. Do you need me to find a dictionary?”

“Really?” Applejack said.

“Well, I’ve never seen her talk.”

They all turned to stare at Fluttershy. She somehow managed to shrink down even further in her chair, shivering.

Applejack shrugged. “Least she’s not gonna get Iron Will all up in a tizzy.”

Rainbow exhaled loudly. “No kidding. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the ass vip.”

“Maybe… hmm!” Pinkie said. A smile slowly spread across her face. “I have an idea!”

“Do tell,” Rarity said dryly.

“Hmmmm!” She bounced upright and skipped her way over to the door to the library.

“Where are you—”

She didn’t even hesitate before disappearing out into the hallway.

Applejack leapt up to hastily run to the door herself, peeking out across the hall. The door to the administration offices was open, but despite steam still wafting from a cup of coffee on a desk, the other room was empty.

“Better hurry if you wanna catch up,” Rainbow said, as she pushed past Applejack to stroll down the hallway after Pinkie.

A conflicted frown crossed Applejack’s face as she glanced back into the library, where Rarity and Fluttershy were still seated. She shook her head slightly and hurried after Rainbow, leaving the two alone.

Rarity let out a sigh and rose from her table. “Coming?” she called out lightly.

There was no response, and Rarity shrugged as she hurried after the rest.

Fluttershy exhaled softly, relaxing slightly as she sat in the library alone. Up until a realization caught up with her. If Iron Will were to come back now, he’d be furious and want to know where the others went. And if she was the only one left…

She squeaked as she leapt up and scurried after the other girls.

Next Chapter: Chapter 2 Estimated time remaining: 54 Minutes
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