I, Weirdowithcoffee, did not write this MLP grimdark fanfic. The story was written by MisterGunpowder on everypony.com forums. All credited should be directed to him, not me.
Applejack doesn't want to do this.
She stands in front of a small cafe and confectionery store, Tablet Cup, owned and ran by one Liquorice Marzipan, the cold night air blowing through her mane, the moon blocked by the clouds. She isn't wearing her hat at the moment. It has been selling rather well, building a reputation as a place for great coffee and food, and as a lounge. It sells to an average of one-hundred-seventy ponies a day, nearly matching Sugarcube Corner's two-hundred-ten. It had opened only a little while ago, but is quickly building its reputation.
Unfortunately, Sugarcube Corner is losing business. The Cakes, in order to feed their twins, are on the verge of laying off Pinkie and taking away her room and board in order to feed their twins alone because of the severe loss in income. The Apple Family has, of course, taken action in order to prevent this, Sugarcube Corner being one of their many...investments.
Another unfortunate set of circumstances is that all actions they've tried so far have failed. Sending Caramel didn't work, as Marz refused to cooperate with his offer. When Red Delicious had been called in to burglarize and set fire to the place, her insurance covered the damage, which was repaired in very little time. Eventually, they hired a saboteur unicorn to render the place unusable, but that plan was foiled when Marz, in turn, bought warding after the first attack.
And now, they are finally taking that final, drastic action. Big Mac is nearby, carting a wheelbarrow of hay. Red Gala is ready to move in with her “cleaning crew” shortly. The place had been scouted out by Golden Delicious. And, above all else, Applejack is wearing her suit. The black stallion's suit with the red tie she always wore to events like this, custom-tailored by Rarity to be easily washable and easily repaired.
As she takes the first few steps toward the Tablet Cup, currently closed with Marz sleeping upstairs, the weight in the pocket near her neck seems to grow heavier with every step, despite her knowing exactly how much it weighs. She deeply wishes, with every bit of honesty and fiber of her being, that it hadn't come to this. But it has, and now, she has a job to do. The night seems to get darker with each solemn step she takes, the wind harsher and colder, almost howling in her ear. She is thankful that the jacket of her suit holds her tie down.
Finally, she arrives at the front door, after what felt to her like a million years. She manipulates the handle and, as she was told, it opens inwards. She steps into the lobby, a heavy shadow over everything. The lobby is a separate room, containing only chairs a few couches. Each seem to bend and twist in the darkness, and Applejack shivers. She shakes her head, reminding herself that it’s just her imagination, and turns towards the stairs and walks to them, grabbing a vase in her mouth as she went. She goes up the stairs quietly, and spots Marz's door, which opened outwards according to Gold. She stands where it will hide her when it opens, making sure she is far enough away so that it doesn't bash her in the face when Marz opens it.
She puts the vase on the ground for a moment, using her teeth to pull something out of her neck pocket: Piano wire, with two loops to put her hooves through. She slides her left hoof through one of them, then picks the vase up again, this time throwing it across the hall, flying down the stairs, finally crashing a breaking loudly. After this, Applejack, quickly but carefully, puts her right hoof through the other loop.
Applejack hears a gasp, and rustling directly after. She hears hoofsteps, and the door slowly opens. Marz is probably looking outside before leaving. The door opens more, and Applejack hears more steps. She leaves the door open, and the sound of each step separated by a longer silence; Marz was moving slowly.
Applejack carefully pushes past the door, careful not to make any noise, and moves towards Marz, the wire hampering her movement only a little. And soon, as Applejack's head is right next to Marz's left flank, right at the top of the stairs, she lifts her front hooves up, and pushes with her back right hoof to propel her forward. She loops the wire around Marz's neck, Applejack tightening it just as Marz gasps out in shock, Applejack kicking out her backlegs and standing over Marz's back.
The ensuing struggle is, unsurprisingly, uneventful. Applejack is stronger than most ponies her size, and Marz, a thin purple-coated green-maned mare, is incapable of shaking Applejack's grip at all. Applejack mumbles something into her ear as her bucks and jerks start to fade.
“Ah'm real sorry 'bout this, but you've been causin' some trouble fer us. Nothin' personal--jus' bus'ness.”
Eventually, Marz goes completely limp, Applejack holding on for several more minutes after that. Finally, she pulls one of her hooves free from on of the loops on the fiber wire, winding it up and placing it in the neck pocket again. She shakes her front hooves a little, despite not feeling anything. Never know when you'll get a cramp after something like that, she tells herself.
She grabs the body of Liquorice Marzipan by the scruff of her neck, and drags it down the stairs, leaving it at the bottom. She goes back to the front door, opening it, and Big Mac is sitting there, waiting for her with the cart.
“Ya okay, AJ?” He asks, as Gala looks towards them as her “cleaning crew” goes inside, clearing any mess and preparing to drop a lantern to burn it down, with the same question in her eyes.
“Ah'm alright, Big Mac,” she tells him. “Ah'm always ahlright with this.”
Gala nods. “Ahlright, honey, you two get on home. We'll take care a' things here.”
Applejack nods, and walks off with Big Mac, the cart left behind because it contains the “cleaning tools,” and towards their farm, thinking about various things, none of which were related to what she just did.