Adventures in Speedfiction

by SaddlesoapOpera

Chapter 1: Gummy, Mister Cake, and an Ursa Cave

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Characters: Gummy and Mister Cake
Setting: An Ursa's Cave

Mister Cake trotted up to the mouth of the cavern like a Pony condemned. Autumn wind whistled around him, stirring through the brown grass and his butter-yellow hide.

He craned his neck to stare down at the the baby alligator sitting on the strap of the saddlebags slung over his back.

“Are you SURE this is the only way, Gummy?” he asked. “The rest was tough, but...”

The alligator blinked its wide, staring, purple eyes one at a time.

“O-Okay.” He swallowed hard. “H-Here goes.”

Mister Cake crept into the cavern inch by inch, the cool, damp air and his cold sweat combining to rob the warmth from him.

The cavern was larger on the inside than it had appeared; the uneven blue-grey stone stretched up and out beyond the reach of the meagre daylight pouring in from the entrance.

For a moment the place was as silent as a tomb, but then a deep, rhythmic rumbling hummed through the still air and the smooth stone under Mister Cake’s hooves.

He paused.

“Thank Celestia!” he whispered after a minute of listening to the sound. “It’s still asleep!”

Gummy made no reply.

Mister Cake wiped his brow with a foreleg and continued on deeper into the cavern. It didn’t take long for him to find his quarry.

The sleeping Ursa Major’s sidereal hide illuminated its den with soft starlight, revealing its impossibly huge form and the cruel edges of its scythe-sized claws and fangs.

Its Ursa Minor cub was curled up next to its parent, its building-crushing bulk dwarfed in comparison.

Mister Cake’s jaw dropped.

He turned back to the alligator. “There HAS to be another way! This is INSANE!”

The Ursa Major snorted and shifted in its sleep; Mister Cake winced.

When he whispered again, it was at a lower-still volume:

“I’m gonna get KILLED in here!”

Gummy stared into Mister Cake’s eyes with a face devoid of the slightest hint of emotion. He slowly shook his head.

Mister Cake sighed very, very quietly. “Okay. All right. Let’s do this.”

He rummaged in his bags and retrieved a pair of scissors with his mouth. He crept up to the sleeping behemoths inch-by-pulse-pounding-inch.

The Ursas were as warm as a summer night. The humid breeze from their snores tickled across Mister Cake’s flanks.

Mister Cake sat down and then slowly slipped his front hooves into the scissors’ wide-looped handles. He brandished the tool, leaned forward, took a deep breath... and brought the blades together around a lock of midnight-purple fur.

An eye the size of a lunch table snapped open less than two yards away from him.

Mister Cake dropped the scissors, smiled awkwardly, chuckled more awkwardly still, and then grabbed the lock of fur and galloped faster than he ever had in his life.

The Ursa Major’s roar shook the entire cavern like an earthquake; needle-sharp stalactites rained down around Mister Cake as he strained to run faster.He screamed in panic through his clenched teeth.

After what seemed like an eternity, he saw the light at the end of the cavern.

The Ursa was groggy from its sudden awakening, but it covered more ground in a single stride that a Pony could in a dozen galloping hooffalls. It was gaining on him.

With a final rush of desperate speed Mister Cake cleared the cavern entrance and emerged in the open air.

A paw as big as a locomotive engine reached out after him, but then recoiled from the harsh late-afternoon light. An irritated growl sent one last tremor through the area.

Mister Cake let out a sigh that all but deflated him. He stowed the lock of fur in his saddlebags and then turned to trot back toward the road.

* * * *

Pinkie Pie sat on a low wooden stool in Sugarcube Corner’s main room. Her customary broad grin had been replaced with an appraising frown.

“Well?” she asked accusingly.

On the opposite side of the room, Mister Cake stood surrounded by several containers of varying sizes and shapes. He wore the black-and-white costume of a sad-faced Pierrot clown.

Mister Cake reared up on his hind legs, inhaled deeply, and sang:

“I’m so super-duper sorry that I broke our special trust,”

He ducked down and grabbed a pinch of Phoenix down from a small velvet bag between his hooves, and then blew on it. The orange fluff burst into a flash of crimson flame.

“When a pony breaks a promise, making amends is a must!”

He stomped on a large clam-shell, which popped open and unleashed a cloud of seawater bubbles. Faint scat-singing echoed from nowhere.

“I didn’t mean to be a blabber-mouth, I’m so sorry I could cry,”

He grabbed a canvas sack of tiny volcano-rubies and spilled them out on the wooden floor, hastily arranging them into a silhouette-portrait of the pink Pony before him.

“So please, oh please, oh please, won’t you forgive me, Pinkie Pie?”

He picked up the lock of Ursa fur in his mouth and then spat it upwards, releasing a shower of twinkling motes.

Mister Cake stood in the remains of his display, panting and staring expectantly.

Pinkie Pie rubbed her chin with a hoof and let out a lengthy “Hrmmmmm...”

All at once, her expression brightened. “Okie dokie lokie! I forgive you!” She giggled.

Mister Cake sighed in relief. “Thank you, Pinkie. It was all a misunderstanding, honest!”

Pinkie Pie smiled wider still. “Aww, it’s okay, Mister Cake!” Her expression briefly darkened. “Just DON’T let it happen again. Pinkie Promises are SERIOUS BUSINESS.”

Mister Cake nodded hastily.

Pinkie Pie bounded off, humming cheerfully.

Mister Cake sighed once more, and then busied himself in cleaning up the mess.

Missus Cake raised an eyebrow from her vantage point at the kitchen doorway and then trotted over to her husband.

He gave her a pointed sidelong glare.

“All right, all right, point taken,” she said after a long pause. “I won’t ask you for any of Pinkie’s recipes again.”

The End: ~57 minutes

Next Chapter: Tank with Propeller, a Manticore, and the Schoolhouse Estimated time remaining: 17 Minutes
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