Disclaimer: I do not own any of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters. They are owned by Hasbro.
"Alright, everypony! Here are your test scores!"
A collective groan filled the classroom.
"Now, I'm a little disappointed in some of you," Cheerilee said as she trotted through the aisles of desks, passing out each of her student's test papers. "I know this was a pop quiz, but this is all material that we've covered quite a bit. I want you all to start paying extra attention during class."
"Yes, Miss Cheerilee..." the fillies and colts replied as one.
Cheerilee placed a test sheet face down on Sweetie Belle's desk then continued on. Sweetie Belle eyed the piece of paper as though she were looking at a bug that had been squashed on her desk. Hesitantly, she reached forward and lifted the test sheet a few inches off the desk. The young unicorn squeezed her eyes shut, leaned down and slowly peeked at the top of the paper.
A red 65 stared back at her.
"Shoot!" Sweetie cursed under her breath and slammed the paper back down on her desk.
"Ouch. Not so good, huh?"
Sweetie swiveled in her seat to glare at Scootaloo sitting behind her. "Oh, yeah? What does yours look like?"
"Read it and weep!" the pegasus proclaimed and held up her own test paper.
"You got a 67..."
"Uh, Scootaloo, you failed just like me."
"But I still beat you, didn't I? By two whole points!"
"I don't think that's something to brag about..."
The two friends turned to the new voice. Apple Bloom walked up to them and said, "How'd ya'll do?"
"Terrible," Sweetie muttered. "My parents are going to have a fit."
"Ah, it's only one test," Scootaloo spoke up, trying to ease her friend's disappointment.
"Yeah, I suppose so. I hope they understand."
"Just forget about it and do better next time," Apple Bloom encouraged her.
"How'd you do, Apple Bloom?" Sweetie asked.
"Not much better. Ah got a 70."
"At least you passed," Scootaloo grumbled.
"Barely. Anyway, I wanted to ask if you guys wanted to check out that new sport thingie that opened the other day."
"What sport thingie?"
"It's some new game. I think it's called mini-golf. It's golf, only... smaller Ah guess. I hear it's really fun!"
Scootaloo tapped a hoof to her chin in thought. "You say it's a brand new game?"
"So not many ponies have played it then?"
"Ah don't think so."
Scootaloo slapped her hoof down on her desk, making Sweetie and Apple Bloom jump in shock. "Then it's settled! We'll go there and master that game before anypony else does! We'll be the first ponies in Ponyville to get mini-golf Cutie Marks!"
Sweetie Belle nodded her head in enthusiasm. "That's a great idea!"
"Hmm, maybe," Apple Bloom trailed off, mulling the idea around. "It's worth a shot, I guess."
"Then let's head on over after school," Scootaloo suggested.
As one, they all yelled out, "Cutie Mark Crusaders, Mini-Golf Masters! Yay!"
The three fillies cringed. They looked towards the front of the class and saw Cheerilee scowling at them.
"Back to your seats!"
"Sorry, Miss Cheerilee!" With that, they all ran back to their desks and waited impatiently for school to end.
"Finally!" Scootaloo cried out as she left the school building. "That had to be the longest class ever!"
"Never mind that!" Apple Bloom said. She was already galloping off. "Come on! Time's a wastin'!"
"Wait up!" Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo called and ran after the earth pony.
The spot where the mini-golf course was located was right next to the bowling alley. The three fillies gave the building a raspberry before continuing on past it. Not too much farther, a wooden archway with the title, "DiscoLand" marked the entrance to the new attraction.
"This is the place," Apple Bloom announced and walked under the archway. The others followed close behind. Beyond the entrance lay a stone path that led to a one-story wooden building. A lone earth pony stallion with a brown coat and green mane stood next to one side of the building and was watering a row of flowers.
That is until the stallion picked up a putter laying beside him with his mouth, lined up a large white flower and swung the putter with all his might. The flower exploded into a shower of drifting petals.
"Oh, he got behind that one," the stallion said to himself. His voice contained a slight lisp. "I'd say about 200 to 250 yards." The stallion picked out another flower and once again lined it up with his putter. "One more shot like that and he'll make the green, no problem. This unknown, coming out of nowhere, going for... eagle... " His commentary trailed off as he spotted the young ponies staring at him with wide eyes. "Ah... hello?" He frantically backed away from the flowers and leaned against his putter, whistling innocently.
"Um, hi... " Apple Bloom greeted him uneasily. She pointed a hoof at the building. "Do we sign up to play in there?"
"Oh, uh. Yeah, go right in."
The fillies past by him, giving the stallion plenty of space and rushed into the building. The inside wasn't very big, only a few pony lengths across. A wooden counter with a pile of pencils and score cards laying on top of it was placed across from them. A rack of putters of various sizes stood on one end of the counter with a bin full of different colored golf balls below it. A few posters of ponies playing golf were arranged on the walls.
Apple Bloom trotted up to the counter and rang a small metal bell. The chime sounded through the room and a moment later, a middle-aged mare with a caramel coat and white main stepped into the room from an adjacent opening. "Hello, dears!" she asked brightly. "Here to play?"
"Yessum!" Apple Bloom responded.
"Well then, pick out a putter your size, a ball and one of these score cards." The mare pushed a card forward along with a pencil. "That will be six bits for all of you. Once you have everything, just head out the door you came in and take a left. There's a trail there that will lead you to the course."
The fillies handed over the appropriate bits and headed over to the rack of putters and bin of balls. Sweetie Belle chose a white ball, Scootaloo picked out a blue one and Apple Bloom grabbed a red. They each grabbed a putter, nodded to each other in readiness, and marched out.
Fortunately, the stallion from before was nowhere to be seen, but they did notice a few more flowers that had been pulverised in a day dreaming fit. Ignoring the spectacle, the Crusaders followed the path that lead to the course. They came to an area dotted with patches of green that seemed to follow some predetermined path. Several groups of ponies with putters in their mouths could be seen moving from one patch of green to another, while others were taking their turn in hitting their ball on the green patches.
"We need to start here," Scootaloo said to the others and made her way over to a green with a sign next to it that read "Hole 1." She plopped her ball down on the starting end and lined up the ball with her putter.
A minute went by.
"Come on!" Sweetie Belle cried out in frustration. "Are you going to hit it or what?"
Scootaloo took the putter out of her mouth and grinned sheepishly. "Ah ha. Um, what's the goal of this game again?"
Apple Bloom sighed and gestured for Scootaloo to move aside. The pegasus filly reluctantly did so and made room for Apple Bloom. "It's really simple. You just have to hit your ball in the hole at the far end. Watch!" Apple Bloom placed down her ball, took a moment to check where the hole was, then struck the ball with her putter.
It was a solid hit. The course was flat and straight and the ball rolled with precision right for the hole. It only took a few seconds for the ball to reach the hole and fall in. The sound of the ball hitting the bottom reached their ears.
"Yeah! Ah did it!" Apple Bloom cheered.
"That was awesome!" Scootaloo said and congratulated her with a hoof-bump. "How'd you get so good?"
"When I had the Cutie Pox, one of the things it made me do was golfing. Ah guess some of that stayed with me. Hey! Did I get my mini-golf cutie mark?" The earth pony twirled around, hoping to catch sight of her brand new cutie mark on her flank.
The others had bad news for her. "Sorry Apple Bloom," Sweetie Belle replied. "There's nothing there."
"Don't worry," Scootaloo tried to reassure her. "You keep playing like that and you'll have it in no time. Now let me try!" Scootaloo took position and readied her ball again. Now that she had seen how it was done, she was sure she'd sink her ball just like Apple Bloom did. She lined up her putter, raised it up, and brought it back down to strike her ball. The blue orb zipped across the green, flew over the hole entirely and continued on to impact the wooden wall surrounding the green. The ball rebounded but stopped several hoof-lengths away from Scootaloo's intended target.
"Shoot!" Scootaloo cursed and stomped a hoof. "I had it all lined up, too!"
"So what happens now?" Sweetie Belle wanted to know.
"She just needs to keep hitting it until she gets it in," Apple Bloom explained.
Scootaloo rushed up to her ball and gently tapped it with her putter. Her aim was true once again and she made the shot. The pegasus gave a whoop of triumph. "That's how it's done!"
"I'm next!" Sweetie Belle cried out. She eagerly set up her ball and putter, reared back and swung.
Her swing was so powerful that she lost the grip of the putter in her mouth. The club sailed through the air and finally stopped when it struck a stallion at an adjacent green in the head.
"Ow!" he yelped. "Hey, watch it!"
"Sorry..." Sweetie Belle squeaked. She smiled innocently up at the stallion, hoping he'd take pity on such a young and helpless filly. Whether it worked or not was up for debate as the stallion picked up the offending putter, thrust it into Sweetie Belle's forehooves and then stomped off, grumbling the entire way.
Apple Bloom trotted up to her and patted the embarrassed unicorn on the back. "Don't worry it, Sweetie Belle. Just... don't lose yer grip."
"Right..." Sweetie Belle sighed and began her next attempt. This time, she managed to keep a hold on her putter and connect with the ball. The ball rolled down the green before slowing to a stop. The ball still had half of the distance to the hole to go.
Sweetie Belle frowned and stomped her hoof in frustration. She trotted over to her ball and hit it again. The ball came to a stop right at the edge of the hole.
"Oh, come on!"
Giving the ball a glare that would have sent a cockatrice scurrying away, Sweetie Belle nudged the offending ball lightly. At long last, the kerplunk of the ball landing in the hole was heard.
"N-Nice going, Sweetie Belle," Scootaloo nervously congratulated. She stepped away from the fuming unicorn as Sweetie Belle retrieved her ball and stomped her way towards the next green. Scootaloo sighed and shook her head. "This is going to be a long day, I can tell."
The next course brought the three mini-golfers up short. Whereas the first hole was a simple straight line, this green curved at a sharp right angle, with the hole positioned after the bend.
"How are we supposed to get it in?" Scootaloo asked out loud. "Isn't the point to get the ball in the hole in as few hits as possible?"
"Yep," Apple Bloom confirmed as she marked up the score card with the previous green's results. "The lowest score wins."
"That's weird. All the games I've played has the winner with the highest score."
"Hey, I didn't come up with the rules," Apple Bloom shrugged in response. She set her ball and putter and prepared herself. "Now let's see..." The filly looked over the green with a critical eye. There had to be some trick to get the ball around the bend without having to hit it twice. After a few seconds of searching, she spotted a raised portion of the green opposite the bend. "Ah, ha!" Before the others could ask what she was yelling about, Apple Bloom connected with her ball.
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle watched in amazement as the ball traveled across the green, climbed the small uprise, curved due to the bowl shape of the hill and rolled down towards the hole. Seconds later, the satisfying sound of the ball landing in the hole was heard.
"Yeeehaaaaw!" Apple Bloom exclaimed. "That's another hole-in-one!"
"Totally rad!" Scootaloo cried in delight.
"You'll have your mini-golf cutie mark in no time!" Sweetie Belle proclaimed. "You're a natural!"
Skipping in glee, Apple Bloom fished out her ball and stood by for her friends to go next. She couldn't wait to get to the next green and continue her hot streak.
Scootaloo tried to duplicate Apple Bloom's feat, using the hill to her advantage, but her attempt didn't quite reach the hole. Her ball skimmed past the edge and stopped a short ways away. She sank it on her next stroke.
Sweetie Belle's turn was next. Taking a deep breath to calm herself and to forget what happened last time, she aimed and swung. The ball raced towards the hill, just like the others before her did, and began its climb. However, the ball's momentum died before it could reach the bend that would cause it to turn. Sweetie Belle watched in despair as the ball rolled back towards her.
"Don't give up!" Apple Bloom encouraged her. "You'll get the hang of it!"
"Yeah, right," Sweetie Belle grumbled. It took two more tries to get the ball past the bend and then one more to sink the putt. Fuming at her poor performance, the unicorn followed after the others and vowed that things would turn around next time.
Five holes later and Sweetie Belle was ready to snap her putter in half.
"I can't believe this! Why can't I do this?"
"Sorry, Sweetie Belle," Apple Bloom apologized. "Ah guess mini-golf just isn't your thing."
"Whatever. How much more is there?"
Apple Bloom told her.
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo physically winced at Sweetie Belle's shrill cry.
"We're not even halfway through yet!"
"Hey! Ease off!" Scootaloo shouted back. "Don't ruin things for us just because you're doing terrible."
Sweetie Belle flinched back. "Sorry..."
"Just watch me!" Apple Bloom spoke up and readied her next shot. "Watch where I hit my ball and try to match it." She took stock of the current course. This one had a sculpture in miniature of Canterlot Castle. The statue was placed right in the center of the green, and was painted to match the colors of the grand palace. It even had running water to simulate the waterfalls that flowed down the steep cliffs. At the base of the sculpture were three tunnels that cut through to the other side. The center one lead to the hole. The other openings were larger, but wouldn't take the ball directly to the goal. "Just take your time and... Ya!" Apple Bloom struck and watched as her ball rolled towards the center. As always, her aim was true and her ball streaked towards the center tunnel.
Without warning, a hidden metal door came down from above the tunnel entrance. The ball bounced off the door with a metallic "TING!" and rolled away from the sculpture for a few hoof lengths before coming to a stop. The trap door rose up and out of sight.
"Hey! No fair!" Apple Bloom cried out. "Ah didn't know that was going to happen!"
"Well, I guess I know what tunnel I'm not going to shoot for," Scootaloo commented.
Grumbling at the injustice of ruining her perfect playthrough up until now, Apple Bloom marched up to her ball and smacked it towards the right tunnel. This time, the ball passed through without incident and reached the other side of the course. Her next stroke sunk it.
Scootaloo was true to her word and aimed for one of the side tunnels. No sudden doors stopped her ball's progress and she ended up on the other side of the sculpture. She made the hole on her second swing.
Sighing, Sweetie Belle set up her ball chose to follow Scootaloo's path. "Well, I can't do any worse than I have been. Might as well get this over with." So saying, Sweetie Belle took her swing. The ball entered a side tunnel but ricocheted off one of its walls, bouncing back and forth within it and stopping before it could exit. Sweetie Belle was forced to fish out her ball on the other end, losing a stroke, but was able to sink the putt on her next try.
"See, we tied!" Apple Bloom congratulated as Sweetie Belle retrieved her ball. "Even if the hole cheated."
"Thanks," Sweetie Belle replied softly. She felt a little better now that she had a decent record on her card.
"Come on!" Scootaloo said, hopping up and down in impatience. "Let's keep this game going!"
"Who puts a hole right over a lava pit?" Scootaloo shouted out to the world at large.
"I don't know, but those teenage dragons didn't seem to mind," Sweetie Belle answered while wiping her forehead of sweat.
"I have half a mind to go back there and buck 'em in the teeth for throwing those fireballs at us!" Apple Bloom seethed in rage. "And the other half agrees!"
Scootaloo was quick to zip in front of her friend and hold her back. "Forget them! Let's just get this game over with and get out of here." She gave a firm push that sent a clear signal to the earth pony that Scootaloo wasn't going to budge on this.
"Fine," Apple Bloom grumbled and turned towards the next green. When she and the others reached it, she stepped back in alarm. "A-A-Are those things... real?"
Sweetie Belle followed her fellow Crusader's gaze and shrank back. "I sure hope not."
The three fillies gulped at the sight of four hydra heads hovering above the thirteenth hole. Their long, green necks protruded from a pond just beyond the course's boundary. The heads swayed back and forth, occasionally flicking out their forked tongues and showing off rows of razor sharp teeth. They appeared to be waiting patiently for anything to enter into striking distance.
"This place just keeps getting weirder and crazier," Scootaloo said as she warily watched the snake-like heads.
"You're telling me," Apple Bloom seconded. "It's like some lunatic made up this place."
"W-W-Well, show us how it's done, Apple Bloom!" Sweetie Belle stuttered and pushed the earth pony forward.
"What?" Apple Bloom cried out. "But the last few holes have been terrible! Maybe one of you should go first this time..."
"Naw, that's okay!" Scootaloo replied just a little too quickly. "This is your come back hole, I can feel it! Show us how it's done!"
Apple Bloom gulped and stepped forward. "Okay..."
The path to the hole was short and wide open. Only the hydra heads appeared to be the only obstacle, whatever it was they did. Taking a deep breathe, Apple Bloom hardened her gaze, settled into position and took her swing. The ball streaked for the hole, on target to sink it in one stroke.
That is until one of the hydras snapped down and swallowed the ball in one gulp. The head licked its lips and smiled in satisfaction.
"My ball!" Apple Bloom screeched. "It ate it! How do I finish-"
Before she could complete her thought, a small door hidden near the start of the green lifted open and spit out a red ball. The ball rolled until it stopped at Apple Bloom's hooves. The filly blinked before looking up and glaring at the hydras.
"So that's the way you wanna play, huh?" Fueled by anger at being made a fool, Apple Bloom whacked the ball so hard it flew into the air. The ball struck one of the hydras in the snout and then bounced between the rest like a out of control pinball. The hydras reared back in pain and surprise while the ball plopped down from its aerial attack right next to the hole. Apple Bloom rushed forward, tapped her ball in the hole, plucked it out and then rushed back to the others. "How'd you like them apples?" she called back to the whimpering hydra heads.
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle looked upon their friend with slack jaws and wide eyes.
Scootaloo was the first to recover and shook her head. "You scare me sometimes." Deciding this was her best chance while the hydras were still out of it, she quickly set up her ball and took her shot. Unfortunately, one hydra managed to recover and lunged for the rolling blue object. Its aim was off though and missed biting it, but knocked the ball off course. Another one tried and missed. Soon, all four heads were battling to be the one to catch the elusive ball, getting into each other's way and guaranteeing that none of them could get it. Finally, the war of the golf ended when the ball bounced up from an impact from one of the heads and landed in the hole.
"Uh, does that count as a hole-in-one?" Scootaloo asked in the ensuing silence.
"You only hit it once, so it works for me," Apple Bloom answered with a shrug. "Your turn, Sweetie Belle!"
The unicorn gulped and inched forward towards the green. The hydras by now were snarling and looked ready to attack anything, golf balls or ponies, that managed to get in their range. Shaking in fear, Sweetie Belle set up her ball and readied her putter. However, to the surprise of each creature nearby, she looked up at the hydras and asked, "Um, c-could you, maybe, go e-easy on me? I've been having a bad game all day and would really a-a-appreciate it if you could, you know, not take my ball?" She finished with the most pitiful and sorrowful look she could manage.
The hydras blinked and looked to each other in confusion. Slowly, they all lost their savage and angry expressions and backed away. Taking this as her cue, Sweetie Belle struck her ball and watched it roll across the course. The hydras didn't move, even when the ball reached them. The white ball eventually stopped just before it fell into the hole. Sweetie Belle groaned in disappointment.
That's when one of the hydras bent down and nudged the ball the rest of the way.
Sweetie Belle lost her gloomy look and beamed in gratitude. She trotted up to the hole, picked up her ball and then patted the helpful hydra on its head. "Thank you!" The hydra happily purred in response.
When she got back to her friends, she noticed their stunned expressions and said, "Hey, it's just like Fluttershy always says. It never hurts to ask and show a little kindness."
"Finally!" Scootaloo gasped as she came up to the final hole. "We're almost done!"
The sentiment was shared with the other two, dragging their tired and disheveled selves up to the last green of the course.
"Ah feel like I've run the Running of the Leaves, but with no pie at the end," Apple Bloom slurred out before collapsing to the ground.
"Me too," Sweetie Belle agreed, panting in an effort to catch her breath. "Escaping that nest of parasprites-"
"-the pack of diamond dogs-" Scootaloo added.
"-and getting away from that sea serpent that wanted to style mah mane-" Apple Bloom continued.
"-I NEVER WANT TO PLAY MINI-GOLF AGAIN!" they all yelled as one.
"Then quit your whining and finish up."
A collective blink passed through the Crusaders and their heads all turned towards the last course. This green was shorter than all the rest with a ramp at its end leading up to...
… the most disfigured creature head they had ever seen.
The creature winced as the decibel levels of the fillies' scream reached ear piercing magnitudes.
"Ow! Stop! Stop! Enough with the noise!" Wishing it had hands to cover its ears, the creature could do nothing but wait for the young ponies' wailing to stop. Finally, the fillies ran out of breath and calmed down.
"Feeling any better, now?" it asked them.
"Yeah, actually," Apple Bloom answered.
"My throats a little sore, but can't complain," Scootaloo supplied.
"Um, what are you?" Sweetie Belle asked of the strange head.
"The eighteen hole, of course," the creature explained with an indignant frown. "Just get the ball down my throat and you're done. Get it in one shot and you win a free pass to DiscoLand mini-golf on your next visit."
The girls cringed at the idea of ever coming back here again, even if it was free.
"Okay, but, what kind of animal are you supposed to be?" Sweetie Belle pressed again.
"What? Never seen a draconequus before?"
"Oh! Oh! I know this one!" Scootaloo exclaimed and hopped up and down in excitement. "Miss Cheerilee told us all about you! You're chaos!"
"No, he's evil!" Sweetie Belle corrected hotly.
"Let's not start this again!" Apple Bloom interposed herself between her friends. "Besides, you're both wrong. He's confusion!"
Suddenly, the draconequus' snake-like tongue stretched out and wrapped around the three arguing ponies and lifted them up into the air. It then twisted its tongue so that they were upside down and released them. The girls landed on the ground, heads first.
"For ponies who wanted to end this, you sure are wasting time about it," the draconequus chastised them. Once the Crusaders regained their hooves and rubbed their heads, it continued, "Now, who's first?"
"I am," Apple Bloom said through gritted teeth and stepped up to the green. The draconequus smirked and opened its mouth wide. Apple Bloom gulped at the sight of the large jaws with rows of sharp teeth (and one lopsided fang). Still, she reminded herself that only the ball had to go in and not herself. Taking a deep breath and setting her stance, she lifted her putter and smacked her red ball. The ball zipped down the short green, was launched into the air by the ramp and sailed towards the gaping maw of the beast. Apple Bloom jumped for joy as she saw it land on the draconequus' tongue. The mish mashed creature snapped its mouth closed and swallowed the ball.
"Ah did it! Ah did it! I'm done! Yeehaw-OW!" The earth pony yelped as she felt something pelt her head from above. She rubbed her sore noggin and looked down to see her ball laying in front of her. "Hey! What gives? I did just what you said I had to do!"
The draconequus chuckled darkly. "I said you had to get it down my throat; not in my mouth. Try again. Oh, and that still counts as a stroke."
"I'm about ready to have one mahself," Apple Bloom said bitterly as she set up her ball once again. Too frustrated to take her time to aim, she whacked the ball and watched it fly straight for the draconequus' mouth. This time, it landed right down the gullet of the creature. The draconequus gulped it down and smiled.
"Well done, but no free pass for you!" it sang in a taunting tone.
"Whatever," Apple Bloom muttered, all good cheer gone from having one of the worst gaming experiences of her life.
"Next!" the draconequus head called out.
Scootaloo trotted forward eagerly and got herself ready. "Okay. Watch this!" With that, she struck her blue golf ball. Like Apple Bloom's before, it rolled up the ram and catapulted into the air.
The ball passed by the mouth, gracefully arched in the sky for a glorious second then came down to strike the draconequus' left eyeball.
Scootaloo cringed in sympathy. "Oops. Sorry."
"The mouth, you dodo! The mouth!" Using a bushy eyebrow, the draconequus flicked the ball back towards the pegasus. "Do it right!"
Feeling too ashamed to correct the creature on his choice of bird insults, Scootaloo quickly took another shot. The ball flew off the ramp and landed at the very back of the draconequus' tongue. She was about to sigh in disappointment when she saw the ball continue to roll and disappeared down the throat.
"I'll let that one pass," the draconequus said after swallowing. "Now, the last of you."
Sweetie Belle nervously came forward and placed her white ball down. "Um, please be nice to me. It's been a long game and I-"
"You're not getting any sympathy from me, missie."
The unicorn pouted at having her foolproof plan foiled so quickly. "Why are you being so mean? Don't you have a heart?"
"I'm just a head, so no."
"But still, I'm just a little filly and you're a big meanie that doesn't know anything and I just wanna go home and-"
"Enough complaining! Just shoot!"
"But I'm not complaining! I'm whiiiiiniiiiiing!"
"Ugh! Why are you doing this? AAAHHH-ULP?"
"So you'd open your big dumb mouth," Sweetie Belle said with a grin and leaned against her putter.
The draconequus gasped and wheezed before managing to finally gulp down the ball lodged in its throat. It took a few deep breaths before tilting its head and glared at the filly. "You're lucky I can't move."
Sweetie Belle just turned up her nose and marched away, passing by her flabbergasted friends. "Hmph. Whatever. We're done. See ya." She didn't look back as she headed towards the cabin where they had signed up to play.
"Oh yeah?" The draconequus called to her retreating form. "Well, you just earned a free pass so someday you'll come back here and I'll get you for this!" The source of its ire didn't answer nor even acknowledge that it had said anything. Once the fillies were out of its sight, it grumbled, "I hate kids."
When the Crusaders placed down their putters on the main office counter, it felt like a great weight had been lifted from their shoulders. They had done it. They survived mini-golf.
"Did you girls have fun?" the receptionist asked as she put away their equipment. "Who won?"
"It was... alright, Ah guess," Apple Bloom carefully answered. She took out the scorecard and took a few minutes to figure out the totals. Finally, she announced, "It looks like I won but not by much. Sweetie Belle came in second. Sorry Scootaloo." The earth pony grimaced and peeked her head around to get a look at her flank. She sighed in relief when she spotted nothing there. "Thank goodness. Ah never thought I'd be happy to be a blank flank after winning something."
The receptionist gave the trio an odd look before shrugging and placed down a brown circular token on the counter. "I hear one of you got a hole-in-one on the last hole. This will give you a free game the next time you come. Isn't that nice?"
"Swell," Sweetie Belle muttered and picked up the token with her mouth. 'I suppose I could give this to Diamond Tiara the next time she annoys me,' she thought with an evil smirk.
"Good-bye!" the receptionist called after the fillies as they exited the cabin. "Come again!" When they were gone, the mare grinned in satisfaction. "Success. A little discord in the lives of my dear little ponies makes me a happy chimera."
The brown coated and green maned stallion from earlier rushed in the room and stood at attention. "Yes, sir?"
"It looks like things are going better than expected. Be sure to reset any of the traps that need it. Oh, and for Pete's sake, don't forget to feed the parasprites again! Trixcord had to remake half the course last time!"
"Alright, everypony! Here's your homework!"
A collective groan filled the classroom.
Scootaloo stared at the piece of paper that had been placed in front of her. Slowly, she lifted the paper and peeked under it. The score read 68. "Crud." Suddenly, an idea came to her and she lifted up a hoof. "Miss Cheerilee?"
Cheerilee looked up from her desk. "Yes, Scootaloo?"
"Can we change our grades to a mini-golf based scoring system where the lowest score is the best?"
Cheerilee gave her a flat stare.
"I guess not..." Scootaloo flopped onto her desk and moaned, "Wouldn't you know that the scoring systems are always off in relation to the points that I make."