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Sprouting Bulb
by on October 31, 2023
Three young foals -- one dressed as an astronaut, one dressed as a changeling, and one dressed as a skeleton -- approached the Nightmare Moon statue for the yearly ritual of offering candy.
"Be careful," the astronaut warned.  "I've heard there's a monster around the statue this year."
"Please," the skeleton scoffed, "there's no such thing as monsters!"
"What do you call cockatrices, then?!" the astronaut asked.  "Or manticores?!  Puckwudgies?!"
"Animals, ya ding-dong!" the changeling replied.  "Just cuz they're scary doesn't mean they're monsters!  What, are BATS monsters, too?"  Changeling and skeleton laughed.
"Yeah, doofus!" the shark added.  "What are you, some kind of scaredy-pants?!"
"I-I'm not!!" the astronaut protested.
"Then prove it!" the changeling said.  "I dare you"  A mischievous grin grew on his face.  "I dare you to climb up and give Nightmare Moon a big ol' kiss!"
"What?!  N-no way!  You guys are just gonna take pictures of it and show the whole class!!"
"Come on, go give Nightmare Moon muchas smooches!"  The skeleton made kissing noises.
"Or we'll eat all your candy!!" the shark added.
"Fine..."  The astronaut grumbled and made his way up the statue.  The skeleton and changeling pulled out their cameras.  The shark smiled wide.
Soon, the astronaut was at the face of the Nightmare Moon statue and gave it a kiss.  Flashes went off as the skeleton and changeling took pictures.  "Ugh!  You guys are dillweeds!"  The astronaut jumped down as his three cohorts laughed.
Realizing something, the changeling stopped.  "Wait, weren't there only three of--"  A sickly green substance covered his muzzle.  He tried to scream, but no noise would come out.
His friends looked around for the source of this, only to find a changeling where the shark once stood.  "Took you long enough," she said, rolling her eyes.  "A real changeling woulda seen right through me immediately."
The astronaut and skeleton clung to each other.  "Wh-wh-what do you want?!" the skeleton asked, his costume growing wetter by the second.
"I congratulate you, young colt, on wearin your skeleton where it's supposed to be!"  She booped the skeleton.  "You mammals and your those bones with pride, I say!  And you," she said, pointing to the astronaut, "you need better friends, dude.  Light ribbin is one thing, but these guys?  Just bein dicks."  She turned around and finished wrapping up the changeling.
"Where, where are you taking him?!" the astronaut demanded.
"None of your business.  Now run along, before I get hungrier than I already am."  She walked off into the forest, whistling.
The colt in the changeling costume wriggled desperately inside the cocoon, trying to break free.  "Don't bother," the real changeling said.  "If Princess Celestia couldn't break out of it, no way a brittle pegasus like you could, either."  She laughed as she came to a stop in front of a tree.  The changeling grabbed her prisoner's cocoon in her mouth, climbed up the tree, and hung it from a high branch.
"Nightmare Night, what a fright, give us somethin sweet to bite..." she sang as she admired her hoofiwork.  Just before the colt succumbed to the changeling's venom, he was able to look out at the other trees, and the other cocoons, each containing another foal in a changeling costume.
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