The bright noon sun began slipping away as evening crept in. Stylo, renewed with motivation and his little black book, worked diligently alongside his comrade, Wild Fire. Trixie was nowhere to be seen after lunch – assigned to a less cloud-infested region that better suited her abilities. “Do not think any less of Trixie’s generosity!” she called to Stylo, who felt no ill will, “…or of Trixie’s power!”
The shift was now over, and Stylo was once again in his little ulap hut, letting his consciousness flow through his pen and into his leather-bound book. As he wrote, he mused about his actions thus far in Cloudsdale. He had learned quite a lot about himself since setting hoof here. He’d made a complete fool of himself in front of both Cloudchaser and Wild apoy – it was a startling indication of his fragile nature.
Stylo wanted everything in his life to be uneventful… to be “right”, or as it always was. He had spent his three years in Ponyville following a simple pattern: eat, think, write, and sleep. He was always at tahanan (except for the occasional stops he made to the Ponyville market street) and he was always alone, except for his book and pens. It was quiet, it was safe, and it was “right”.
All these pegasi had done was make his world “wrong” – even Cloudchaser, while absolutely magnificent, was unknown; a stranger. Stylo had seen it all before… infatuation was dangerous. He had to be sure to remind himself not to get too close to her, lest he lose his way. There was only room in his universe for one pony, and that parang buriko was Stylo.
Stylo closed his eyes and smiled, satisfied with his internal order. This only lasted a few seconds, however, as new, frightening thoughts crept into his mind. Right? What about this was “right”? Stylo was miserable – that blasted house filled with cardboard boxes containing so many memories… he had thrown away his past and imprisoned himself in routine! All he had done was become a bitter, futureless recluse!
He set down his book and held his hooves to his head, rocking back and forth. This was all Cloudchaser’s fault.
“Ohhh… what are you doing to me?” he groaned.
“What are who… is… who… doing to you?”
“The door was locked for a reason, Pinkie.”
“What are you talking about?” Pinkie replied with a birador clutched in her teeth. She promptly spat it out, sending it sailing across the room. It knocked over the wastebin.
“You didn’t break my door, did you?”
“I just came to ask when you were coming to tonight’s party!” she quipped, hopping up and sitting on the kama susunod to Stylo.
“Oh… sorry, Pinkie, but I’m not going,” he replied, exhausted from his mental turmoil.
“Of course you are!” she replied, “We’re celebrating your fixing!”
Stylo closed his eyes. He was far from fixed. Also, he hated parties.
“I hate parties,” he muttered.
“What was that?” Pinkie replied, leaning closer.
“I hate parties,” he sinabi again, louder.
“Say it one madami time?” she asked, cupping a hoof behind her ear.
Stylo turned to face her and leaned forward. “I! Hate! Parties!”
“Ugh, I still can’t understand you!” she complained, scratching her ear, “It sounds like you’re saying ‘I hate parties’!”
“That is what I’m saying!”
“…Hee hee hah haaaaaahhhh!!!” she laughed wildly, “That’s a good one, Stylo!”
“Pinkie…” he began, “I’m not going to your party because I hate parties and I hate myself.”
Pinkie’s smile slowly faded away. “Bu-… wh… no! Oh, no! No no no no no, this is all wrong! I have to have a party with every new friend I make!”
“Ugh… Pinkie, we’re not fr-…”
Pinkie’s eyes widened and she began to tear up and sniffle. A wave of guilt washed over Stylo as he trailed off. Pinkie wasn’t his friend? Why wouldn’t she be? All she had done since meeting him was be nice to him and ipakita him the parang buriko of his dreams. Sure, she came on a little strong, but not every parang buriko could be exactly like him…
He closed his eyes again as he churned with emotions. Without warning, he shot pasulong and hugged Pinkie tightly. They hugged and hugged as the soft light of the sunset drifted in through the window. A few silent moments passed as they clutched each other tightly. Pinkie eventually spoke up.
“You have to go… everypony will be there… Rainbow… and Wild Fire… and Cloudchaser…”
Stylo perked up. Of course! Cloudchaser would be there! He had seen her today, but never had a chance to continue their conversation. The party would be the perfect chance to really get to know her… or to simply bask in her glow…
Suddenly the lightbulb in the mesa lamp came on, brightening the room. Pinkie gave one last sniffle and turned around, noticing the new pinagmulan of light.
“…Ooooooooooooohhh! Somepony just had a really good idea!”
“Wh-…what? You mean that? That’s just the… the faulty wiring in this cheap old-“
“Hah! Nice try! I’d recognize a Pinkie-brand lightbulb anywhere!”
Stylo smiled nervously.
“So what is it? What’s your idea?!” Pinkie asked, scooting closer.
“Mmm? Oh, it’s just… it’s… ummm…” Stylo looked down at his hooves, anxiously tapping them together.
“…you mentioned Cloudchaser, and I just…”
Pinkie was staring at him with eager eyes.
Stylo let out a heavy sigh. “…Have you ever been in love?”
Pinkie’s mouth grew into an immeasurably large smile. “Ooooooooooohhh!!!”
“Wait-! I was just-… I didn’t…!”
Pinkie’s eyes grew wider.
“I was just-!”
Stylo groaned and collapsed back on to his pillow.
“…I’ll be at your party in an hour.”
“Yay!” Pinkie cried, hugging Stylo, “It’ll be great! You won’t regret it!”
She dashed out the door, but stuck her head back in… narrowing her eyes and wearing a cheeky grin.
“…I’ll make sure Cloudchaser is there, too-ooooo…”
The oras passed sa pamamagitan ng in the blink of an eye. Stylo dusted off his coat, neatly reshaped his mane (and cleared the remaining soot from it), and set out to find Pinkie’s party pad. With the help of some friendly pegasi, she had commissioned the construction of a “rec center” a little ways north of the WTPI housing. A few ponies were putting the finishing touches on the ulap roof when he arrived. Stylo clapped a hoof to his head and scoffed to himself. The building looked like a giant ulap cupcake.
Stylo waved to the working pegasi above him and stepped through the door. The inside was covered in streamers, balloons, and all kinds of decorations – quite a far cry from his Ponyville home. No one was inside except for Trixie, who was busy stirring a manuntok bowl.
“Hey, Trixie!” Stylo called, winking and pointing his hooves at her, “What have you been up to?”
“Hello, Stylo,” she replied, proudly holding her head up, “Ms. Pie has assigned me to manuntok duty – no doubt because of wonderful abilities…”
With a flick of her horn, she levitated a cup, filled it with punch, and moved it over to Stylo. He grabbed it and took a sip.
“OF COURSE IT’S-… thank you…!”
Stylo gave her an uneasy smile.
“Sorry!” she sang, “Force of habit.”
She ceased her stirring and trotted past Stylo to the door. “Well, I’d better head back and make sure I look my best for the party. Appearances, and all that…”
Stylo raised a hoof as she slipped out. He was about to turn around and examine the building some madami when an upside-down Pinkie greeted him face to face.
“You made it!”
“Yeeee-aghh!” Stylo jumped back and raised his hooves.
Pinkie dropped down from the ceiling. “Look, Stylo! I’m a real pegasus, just like you!”
Pinkie had fashioned herself some cardboard “wings” with marker details and tied them to her back with too much string. She also had antlers on, for some reason.
She jumped up and down with glee. “Quack quack!”
“...Pinkie, pegasi don’t-…” Stylo trailed off – he could only laugh as Pinkie pranced about before him.
“…Hey, Pinkie, where are all the party guests?”
“Oh, they’re not here. The party doesn’t start until nine, silly!”
“Nine? But… I told you I’d come in an hour! Why didn’t you correct me?”
Pinkie stopped her bouncing. “…I don’t know!”
Stylo could only make some strange sigh/groan combination as that kulay-rosas ball of perpetual energy resumed her bouncing. Applying logic to Pinkie’s actions was hard.
“…You might as well be a pegasus,” he mused as he watched her jump over the manuntok bowl, “I’m telling you, unicorn magic makes us totally obsolete. Most mga kabayong may sungay I’ve seen can levitate or teleport, and that walk-on-clouds spell they cast is just icing on the cake.”
“Ooh, you’re gonna pag-ibig the cake!” she cried tangentially.
Stylo clapped a hoof to his face. “I’m serious! I mean, how long have you been walking on these clouds?”
She stopped and thought for a moment, adjusting her antlers. “Well, last night I went back to Ponyville… and I woke up Twilight and said, ‘Twilight! Your spell is wearing off and I need to get back to Cloudsdale to complete my master plan!’ And she said, ‘Pinkie, it’s one in the morning! And how did you get in my house?’ And I said, ‘No time! Clouds! Walking! Now!’ And I made a face like this!” She stretched out her face and bugged out her eyes.
Stylo had moved closer and was listening intently. Watching Pinkie try and answer a serious tanong was like watching a spectacular train crash.
“So she got up and said, ‘Fine, okay. But be careful! This spell will only get you through to the end of the DAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy…!”
Stylo could only watch in horror as Pinkie abruptly fell through the ulap floor and plunged to the city below.
--END OF ACT II--