A Pony POV Series-Inspired Tale
Written by OracleMask
Somehow, Tome Heart's walk to Kimono's home ended a few doors away from the Ponyville Library with him at the bottom of a two-pony pile-up. He wasn't sure how it happened: he'd been walking, the things he'd read in the letter bothering him (not bugging, that wasn't nice to say about Glossary and all his other bug friends!) and then a great big flying orange thing was hurtling toward him out of nowhere!
“Oops! Sorry, Tome Heart, I didn't see you there!” came the voice of the other half of the pony pile.
Only a bit sore, Tome Heart scrambled to his feet and chuckled a bit. Not a flying orange thing at all...just a flying orange sportsmare, Scootaloo. Though normally Scootaloo didn't fly, considering her lack of wings. Not too far away, Tome Heart saw that Puzzlemint was pulling Scootaloo's favorite scooter out of a bush that it had landed in. For some reason, there was a great big kite attached to it.
“I think I've got the problem figured out, Scootaloo,” Puzzlemint was saying, “The kite isn't big enough to keep you in the air for long, and your little engine needs more power to get you properly airborne.”
“Well that's no good,” Scootaloo said, “Hmm...maybe if I used a bigger kite and scooter...?”
“What are you working on?” Tome Heart asked.
"Oh, it's a fun new game idea I had! After I read that book on flying machines you showed me, I found it mentioned stuff about racing them! Not sure why they called them 'speedy trials', but I got really interested in having a flying machine race! I know we already had a balloon race, but this could be really fun! ...If we figure out how to make a flying machine that works.”
“I'm helping Scootaloo out,” Puzzlemint added, “Since making a flying machine is jolly hard work. She's been having trouble getting them to stay in the air long enough to race, so I offered to take a look and see if I couldn't spot the trouble.”
“And I really didn't mean to crash on top of you!” Scootaloo finished, “Can you forgive me?”
Tome Heart blinked once, then twice. And then he remembered the book on flying machines that he'd lent to Scootaloo two whole months ago, and laughed.
“Of course I forgive you!” Tome Heart exclaimed, “Gosh, I had no idea you'd get this interested in that book! But if you're going to build something like a flying machine...I think I have some books on putting a machine like that together in the library. You should come and look at them, I think they'd be really helpful.”
He had already taken a step back in the direction of the library when Tome Heart remembered that he was trying to go see Kimono about that letter. The idea that he could help Scootaloo with one of his books had nearly pushed the very idea of going to Kimono's out of his head.
“Oh no, I almost forgot. I was going to visit Kimono...”
“That's okay, I promised to go surfing with Sunny Daze today,” Scootaloo replied, “But those books sound really helpful! I'll scoot on over to the library tomorrow, Tome Heart!”
And then, in order to 'make sure her scooter was still working', the orange mare hopped on and scooted off. It looked a bit silly with that kite still attached. Puzzlemint and Tome Heart both waved as Scootaloo left, before Puzzlemint turned to Tome Heart.
“Now then, what's worrying you Tome?”
Tome Heart startled.
“Puzzle, that's amazing! How did you know I was worrying about something?”
The clever white mare laughed.
“Elementary, my dear Tome Heart! Normally you walk very slowly, just to make certain you don't miss seeing any bugs that might end up underhoof. But you were trotting along jolly fast just now, and not watching where your hooves were going. You're also missing your regular satchel, even though you never leave the library without a few books to share with everypony. And most importantly, everypony saw that you just had a lot of new books delivered! I know you like to read through each and every new book first, and nopony sees you for three whole days after you get a whole load of them in one go. But here you are outside the library!
“So you can see, it's jolly clear to me that something's bothering you. Especially since you said you're on your way to see Kimono, and she lent you a book from her private collection just last week. I could tell because you always stay up late to read books you borrow from Kimono. So my deduction is that you've found something with one of the new books that bothers you, and you're on your way to see Kimono because she's likely to know what it is. Is that right?”
Puzzlemint's biggest pride and joy was her unbridled curiosity. She simply had to puzzle out how things worked and why ponies did what they did. No little detail was too small to be overlooked, in her opinion. Ponies who wanted help usually asked her to spot any little thing that might be the source of their problem, like she had being doing for Scootaloo earlier. In response to Puzzlemint's explanation, Tome Heart clapped his hooves together in applause. It was always fun to see Puzzlemint deduce things from a single look at a pony! It made it hard to surprise her, true, but it was still really fun to watch.
“That's it exactly, Puzzle. I was checking the new books when I found a letter inside one. And it had some really...scary stuff written in it...and I think Kimono will be able to understand it.”
“A mysterious letter? Oh, can I read it Tome? Can I please?”
Tome Heart hesitated.
“I don't know...it really was scary, Puzzle...”
“Oh please, Tome? Now that I know about it, I can't think of anything I want to do more than read it! All these tantalizing hints are making me feel like I've just got to know more, oh please please please?”
Puzzlemint's earnest pleading broke through Tome Heart's resistance. Reaching into his mane, he untucked the letter from where he'd put it and handed it over. Immediately, Puzzlemint had it open and was drinking in every word. And as Tome Heart watched, Puzzlemint's eager smile melted away, replaced with a confused look at first...before changing into a frown.
“Well...now there's a sticky one...”
“It's scary, right? We could all have been completely identical ponies!”
“That's not it,” Puzzlemint said, “I mean of course it's a jolly good thing that didn't happen, but there's something else that doesn't fit...I can't quite put my hoof on it.”
Tome Heart watched as Puzzlemint began to pace, clearly thinking very hard. While he waited for her to finish thinking, Tome Heart folded the letter back up carefully and stuck it back in his mane for safekeeping. And still Puzzlemint was puzzling over whichever thing in the letter was bothering her! It seemed like hours before the white mare finally stopped pacing and muttering to herself.
“Right then, I'm coming with you to see Kimono.”
“Huh? You are?”
“Of course! I want to get to the bottom of this mystery, and nopony in Ponyville knows more about anything that Kimono does! I reckon she'll have a few jolly good clues up her sleeves – that's just what I need to puzzle this out.”
Puzzlemint began trotting off, leaving Tome Heart to scramble to get moving and catch up.
“Wait! Puzzle, that's not right...Kimono doesn't even have any sleeves!”