Chapter 1: Raiders of the Lost Flowers
The morning was a typical one for Primrose Petals. Her alarm went off. The sound of bird song and flutes chimed from the enchanted clock on her bedside. She rolled over with a groan and tapped the device lightly with one hoof, silencing it. She went quickly through her morning routine, careful to brush her hair in such a way that it hid all but her true horn. Finally, she headed down the hall to the kitchen of her family home, where the delicious smell of breakfast wafted to her nostrils.
“So you’re finally up,” huffed her father from his seat at the head of the table. He was a stocky earth pony stallion.
Her mother, glancing over from her work at the stove top, smiled at her. “Good morning, Sunshine. How did you sleep?” Her mother was a sturdy earth pony as well. Her great great grandmother had been half unicorn, and by some fluke, so was Petals. Her slender, delicate frame made her parents dote over her, viewing her as fragile and weak.
She took her place at the table as her mother sat plates in front of each chair and her father sat aside his newspaper. “Even though the Hearts and Hooves day rush is over, we should still expect an influx of customers until this love bug infestation fully blows over.” The stallion addressed his family. “So I need everypony on their best behavior.” He eyed Petals, who resisted the urge to roll her eyes.
“Yes, Dad, I’ll be a good little girl and stay out of the shop,” Petals answered his pointed look, dragging out the “a” in Dad to express her displeasure. With some idle chatter, the little family of three finished their breakfast, and headed off to their “battle stations” for the day, as her father liked to call them.
Petals spent her days in the greenhouse connected to the flower shop her parents ran. They rarely allowed her to enter the shop proper and interact with customers. If she didn’t know any better, Petals would have thought she was a princess being hidden away in a castle. In fact, that’s often what she felt like. But her castle had low, domed glass walls and rows and rows of planters.
The day seemed to fly by quickly for the young unicorn. Despite her musing about feeling trapped, she did truly enjoy her work. She went about her morning tending to the various flowers; watering, weeding, and sometimes sometimes even singing to them. She estimated it was about lunch time when the sky over the greenhouse began to darken. She looked up the storm clouds curiously, certain they weren’t normal. Just as she was about to shrug it off when movement caught her eye. There were ponies in the clouds. Through the glass dome of the greenhouse, she saw a pair of pegasi led by a changeling swoop down and kick in the neighbors’ door. Alarmed, she galloped into the connected shop. “Mom, Dad, Somepony just-” She was stopped abruptly as she took in the scene around here. Two bat ponies had entered the shop and were staring down her parents, who stood together behind the counter.
“Petals” her father sounded angry, but it was tinged with concern. “Go back to the greenhouse.” The unicorn mare looked worriedly between her parents and the intruders. They didn’t seem the least bit interested in buying a bouquet.
One of the bat ponies eyed her up and down, as if assessing her as a new threat. The other had their attention locked on where her father stood beside the cash register. “I said, give us all the bits you’ve got!”
“Or the kid gets it!” the second added triumphantly,. In one swift swoop, he flew over Petals head and landed behind her, blocking entrance to the greenhouse.
“Now, now, I’m sure we can work something out,”
Petals mother was saying, as the young mare swiveled to stare down the pony threatening her.
To the astonishment of her parents, rather than backing away frightened, Petals narrowed her eyes. “Actually, I’d leave while you still can, if I were you.” Her horn began to glow with soft green light and the ivy creeping up the shop walls lifted its roots and began to sway, entranced under her natural telekinesis.
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