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Strawberry Cream
by on December 5, 2021
“And THAT, my friend, is why you’re the chicken!” Strawberry slurred through a barrage of giggles to an unamused bartender. The laughter produced a large knot in her stomach and she soon found herself leaning against the corner of the bar with one hoof on her freshly emptied glass and clutching her gut with another. The bartender simply blinked and continued to wipe down the glass tankard with a rag. “Alright, Bers. I’m gonna have to cut you off now.”
The unicorn dragged her flushed face up from the wood and gave him a dopey smile. Her horn flickered with a blue glow that channeled the shape of a hand. It danced along his shoulder, stopping only to give him a little boop right in the nose. “Aww! You’re so mean to me... I still got more cash. Can’t I just have one more itty, bitty little drink?” The bartender was not amused. "Barkin' up the wrong tree, sister. Got a husband at home. I'll go ahead and call you a cab." With an annoyed hum, Strawberry cancelled the channel and let the hand fizzle along with the flirtatious look in her eye. Shortly after, she'd push herself back up with both of her front hooves. "No, you’ll probably get someone stupid— like a guy who can’t strap his own reigns on his wagon! I’ll walk home! It’s not that—” a hiccup, “far!”
Before the bartender could get another word in, Strawberry reached for her glitzy pink purse and flung the strap over her shoulder. In her final act of defiance for the man’s rules, she grabbed an almost empty drink from a sleeping patron and downed it while looking the stoic bartender in the eyes. It was mostly watered down, damn near undrinkable, but it was the spirit of the act that outweighed the actual swill that slid down her gullet. They exchanged no further words as she wiped her muzzle and stumbled out the bar. What she didn’t appear to notice were the three sinister shadows who slithered out shortly after.
To say she was struggling was an understatement. She couldn’t even make it past a couple cracks on the sidewalk without stopping to rest. This continued for a couple blocks, up until the three shadows caught up to her while she hunched near a dumpster in an alley; the last drink of the night was a fighter and threatened to bust its friends out of her body's prison and on the sidewalk. One looked to be the leader, a pegasus all dressed up in warm clothes to combat the Manehattan frost, and a toothy grin that would scare the daylights out of anyone... well, anyone sober. “That purse looks pretty heavy, miss,” a pencil-thin unicorn lackey cackled. “How about we help you offload some of that?” The last of the three was a bit of a rounder earth pony, with bangs that covered near all of his eyes. He giggled, stepping beside Berry with a little nudge of his elbow. "Pretty girl like you shouldn't be out by yourself. Could get hurt!"
Strawberry barely noticed them in her inebriated stupor. They were like gnats in her peripheral, just buzzing... but ultimately, they made no impact on her mind. Her eyes were elsewhere, examining the ground and the filled trash cans bordering the alleyway. “One sec,” she told them through unexpected clear speech. “I’m lookin’ for... somethin’.”
This damsel's too drunk to even notice the danger she was in. The leader spat once on the ground and unfurled his wings, revealing small razor blades taped to the bone, only barely hidden by feathers. An animalistic snarl accompanied him as he pushed Strawberry's side with little force, which she managed to catch herself before falling completely. Her glistening, baby blue eyes looked up to the many blinding glints. The knives were pointed straight at her. The knife-wielding pegasus scoffed and screamed. “Hey, lady, pay attention! We’re tryin’ to mug you!”
"I know! I know what a mugging looks like!" Strawberry snapped back with an annoyed hiss. With an exaggerated roll of her eyes, she'd stumble on to the next dumpster. "I left something here. Wait, like, two seconds, please!" She lowered her voice and whispered "Oh, this is embarrassing," through a muttered breath. The skinny one looked back at the others. Each one exchanged a look like, "The nerve of this girl."
Rather than obey her pleas and wait, the lanky one charged his horn and lurched forward.At the same exact time, Strawberry announced her victory with a cheerful "Here it is!" The unicorn was granted one, maybe two steps closer before he'd get a solid whack straight across the cheek with an aluminum bat encased in a brilliant, blue glow. The man was out in an instant and fell slumped against the wall.
With a cheeky smile and now so suddenly *cured* of her drunkenness, Strawberry twirled her bat and let it fall back to her side. "Found it! Sorry, must've rolled to another dumpster. So, which one's next?" Her piercing baby blues watched over the two horrified muggers. The leader, the pegasus, he was probably the most dangerous. Judging from the crude way he taped those daggers to his wings like some wannabe steam-punk warrior, all of his power was in misdirection. Death by a thousand cuts, probably flapped his wings and threw a couple kicks here and there. Her careful eyes did notice his stance was... off. All his weight was on the other three legs, while his left hind was more or less just so subtly raised off the ground. There's her weak point. She switched to the round one... this man, he was barely a threat. Maybe if he had the guts, he'd use his weight against her, but the earth pony was clearly stuck in fear. Good. The knife-winged pegasus stomped once on the ground. "Hey! What the hell's going on, you were drunk, like, two seconds ago!" The mare simply giggled, "Ahaha... you fell for that? It's an old ruse of mine, you'd be surprised how many ponies fall for it. I had to get my stomach pumped at least four times in high school, no way a few measly cocktails are gonna do anything to me. Now, back to it... I think..." her eyes fell on the attackers once more, and her baseball bat pointed at them. It interchanged which one it focused on, thanks to Berry's cue. "Eenie, meanie, miney..." the round one. The punk looked strong, or maybe it was just his anger that made him seem more fearsome. Rather than try the two of them at once, Strawberry sent the tip of the bat flying into the throat of the chunky earthen one, who quickly grabbed his neck and started to sputter. His windpipe might be damaged, but he'll be able to breathe. Like lightning, the pegasus moved, using his wings like fans to try and cut along Berry's body, but she was dodging with a smile on her face. Each little duck and step back was met with a giddy laugh, and even a coo of encouragement right up until she was pressed into the brick. The pegasus unfurled his wings to a cone-like shape and thrust forward, but Berry saw the opening. That thrust, it left him only one hind to stand on. The good one, but that’d be corrected in time. Before the stab connected, Berry dropped her bat and let the magic guide it straight into the pegasus’ ankle… he seethed, lost his balance and instinctively used his bad leg to try and keep him from falling. The thug helped, and fell to his side, leaving Berry as the sole victor. Like the god of Thunder calling his trust hammer back, Berry’s bat would fly back to her side. She stood over her prey, smile wide like a creepy Cheshire Cat. The way he fell was almost like a Neighponese bow. Once she got that image in her head, she wouldn’t let it go. Berry also bowed, not as a sign of respect toward her opponent, but rather humiliation toward the frothing punk.
The thug found no humor in her antics. With a snort, he’d look up, desperately looking in the giddy mare’s eyes for some proof of reason. “The hell’s your deal? "You some kinda... fuckin' vigilante?” Crawling up had his ankle twist wrong, sparking a seething, “Huh?"
Her smile faded with a single blink. “What? Me? Ah, no. This isn’t about some nasty ideal like justice or anything. I’m just having fun.”
Fun. That’s what he was reduced to? Just someone’s plaything? The pegasus once again tried to get up, but felt a pressure push against the back of his head. “What’re you so mad about? Weren’t you gonna do somethin’ worse to me? Don’t you know hunters hunt even when they know full well their prey can turn the tables? You could be the best hunter in the world. Forecast the weather, pack warm, track some big game... All it takes is one stray hoof while a deer leaps over you, or some unlucky encounter with an animal *way* more hungry than you are...” Berry crouched to where her face were near inches apart. Like a switch, that silly little mare was gone and replaced with it was the epitome of a blank stare. The light in her eyes was gone, not even the shimmer of distant streetlights reflected off her irises. "...And it just becomes a cruel twist of fate."
Horrified, the attacker tried to stand, but the ache in his leg was far too potent to move. He could only scurry away, like a poor college camp counselor whose come face to face with the maniac of the lake. "Crazy bitch! I'll remember your face, we'll get you back!"
Berry followed him with just a few simple steps. "Oh, honey. After I'm done, you'll be lucky to remember your address."
Her final words were spoken, her departure for the poor soul doomed to lie on the concrete until his brain starts to work again. At this point, the knife-winged pegasus consigned himself to Oblivion and merely watched as the glimmer of the moonlight reflected off the bat's shining aluminum.
And then darkness.
A shame. Berry expected just a *bit* more of a fight from him, but the dogs with the loudest bark normally end up being chihuahuas on stilts. All bark, no bite, and the man was stupid to try and fight with an injury anyways. Now he lay, knocked out on the asphalt but otherwise fine. One hell of a headache awaited him when he woke up, though. She lingered in order to admire her handiwork. Three of them, rendered unusable for whatever gang or family of punks they worked for. This leader... reminded her of someone. A pegasus with a hair of white, and a gray coat. He was missing quite a few features to be a clone of her heart's missing song, but the resemblance was enough of to replay some sort of clip show in her head. Her eyes were wide... sparkling. Whoever this man reminded her of, she was enjoying each little hint. A conversation played in her head, but it ended with her lips twisted into another wide grin.
"Oh... I *wish* I could quit you." Her trademark cheery giggle followed after her cryptic statement. With no other movement from the others, Berry saw her job as done and made her way toward the exit and made the victory lap home, with the lovely memory of a certain someone's encouraging words keeping her warm the entire way.
Post in: Lore
Strawberry Cream
fun fact: this is two years old, i'm just fucking dumb and never posted it (cleaned it up a little but shrug emoji) also my combat writing sucks, so skip that, thanks
Bright Brave
Tell me about it. Oof
Strawberry Cream
we’ll both survive knowing that we know what we mean, but others won’t
Bright Brave
Oh my yes.