Rarity's employees at the Carousel Boutique had just finished drawing the blinds and hanging the "Closed" sign in the window when they heard the gentle tapping of their boss' hooves on the polished floor to draw their attention.
A brisk smile crossed her alabaster face as her red rimmed glasses settled onto her nose. "Well done, darlings. Now that you've finished I'd like to take a few moments to discuss all the orders for the GGG as well as give you the overview for this year's Fall collection."
She turned and summoned a cork board festooned with drawings and fabric swatches from the back room with the glittering magic from her horn. "I'll be returning to Canterlot tomorrow to oversee the work at The Bijou personally, so you'll be on your own until I return for the Summer Sun Celebration."
At this her two assistants, Snips the apprentice tailor and Thimble the seamstress, exchanged a concerned glance. Rarity usually preferred to keep a tight rein on the Gala dresses her boutique produced.
She let out a small sigh. "I do so wish I could stay a bit longer in Ponyville, but that's how it is, I suppose." She caught herself and gave them a warm smile. "Not that I don't trust you darlings to do an excellent job while I'm away. I have absolute faith in the both of you."
Her employees both returned her smile with a grateful nod, beaming discreetly at the compliment. A wistful look crossed Rarity's porcelain toned face as she resumed her speech. "No, it's just I'd hoped to be here for..."
She shook aside her reverie and drew herself up, assuming a businesslike expression as she turned to the board and focused a spot of glittering magic from the tip of her horn on one of the drawings, causing it to light up slightly. "Well, enough woolgathering, as it were. Lets get down to it, shall we? The overall theme I'm going to be exploring with the fall collection is..."
She cut off abruptly as the front door to the boutique slammed open. All three unicorns turned as one to see a vibrant pink pony frantically jogging in place in oversized galoshes, each hoof fall sending a burst of rainwater out the top of each boot and onto the growing puddle of muddy water on the meticulously cleaned floor.
Her face was matted and streaked with pallid white, and her mane hung straight in heavy, dripping sheets, framing a pair of wildly glazed blue eyes. She stopped dancing in place and planted her hooves, suddenly overtaken by a vibrating shudder that sent a cloud of water droplets into the air around her, splashing onto an organza ball gown that stood in an alcove next to her.
Rarity's hoof went to her mouth with a gasp of shock, but the crazed mare in the door abruptly stopped shaking and started rapidly jogging in place again, letting loose a barrage of rapid fire speech in a rising crecendo.
Her frantic prancing swiveled her away from the three dumbfounded unicorns and just as suddenly as she'd appeared she accelerated back out the door, splitting the puddle she'd made into a V shaped wave splashing more muddy water on the delicate dresses to either side of the entry.
Rarity's employee's heads swiveled to face her as she stood boggling, mouthing the torrent of words to herself with her ears laid back in concentration. She blinked, then her eyes went wide as well. "Fluttershy? Now? Is something wrong? Your mane's never like that unless something is wrong!"
The white unicorn's horn sparked to life and wrenched her glasses off, tossing them carelessly aside as she bolted for the door, rushing pell mell into the downpour. "Pinkie, wait for meee!"
Snips floated his employer's spectacles from where his magic had caught them in midair and folded them carefully before slipping them into a small hidden pocket behind the lapel of his vest, and then turned toward the door, willing it shut with a flick of his horn.
Thimble gave him a sidelong look. "Could you make sense out of any of that?"
The chubby, blue-green unicorn stallion sauntered over to the mess by the door, giving it a quick glance over before he turned and headed for the back room. He gave the seamstress a genteel smile. "I've got some educated guesses, Miss Thimble, but only because I've lived here all my life and am acquainted with Miz Rarity's friends. I'm going to get on the horn to the girls up at the Bijou. If what I think is happening is happening, then the grape vine needs to start shaking, as it were. If you'll be so kind as to see to the stock up front, I'll be back in a moment with a mop."
With a short bow to the older mare, he glided out of the room as Thimble tentatively stepped forward to examine the mud splattered organza gowns.
She leapt back with a shriek as the door slammed open, narrowly missing her flank and revealing the waterlogged form of a tan stallion draped in a dark green rain slicker with muddy, bright magenta galoshes squeaking on his hooves.
He spat out the handle of his umbrella, allowing the canopy to rest on his sodden head. "Did a bright pink mare just pass by?"
The seamstress pointed a shaking hoof past him into the night and rain shrouded town square. "She-she went thataway..."
He nodded to her and gripped the umbrella handle in his teeth again. "Thankfth!"
With that, he turned and galloped away, the umbrella flipping inside out with a pop as he trailed it behind him.
Thimble numbly nudged the door closed with her horn. She shook her head to clear it as she turned her attention to the gowns again.
Another slam, another shriek, this time accompanied by a prodigious leap backward on the beige unicorn mare's part that sent her crashing into a rack of sun dresses.
The tan stallion in the pink boots was back, panting with his teeth clenched on the inverted umbrella, an earnest but glazed look on his face. "Fthorry about fthartling you there!" With an apologetic little half bow, he turned and galloped away again.
Thimble climbed shakily to her hooves and closed the door, and then began to shove ponikins and display cases against it with her magic.
The characters depicted in this fiction are copyright and trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. This is a work of fan fiction, and the author makes no claim on Hasbro's copyright or trademarks.