Smooth, blue moonlight crept along the sturdy old desk as the pegasus scribbled notes in a fury.
The scratching of his quill was interrupted only by the occasional rustle of a page, or the whisper of a candle flame. Featherweight’s desk held books, manuals, and thick guides, all of them addressing a different aspect of a pegasus’ greatest ability: flight.
Fresh sheets of paper were covered in a childish scrawl, all piled in a neat column to his side. Topping the pile, a single sheet lay with the words ‘Special Project: A Pegasus’ Flight: By Scootaloo and Featherweight.’
Need to finish, need to finish, he repeated to himself as his drowsy eyes watered over, unable to focus on the page before him. The clock in the corner of his small bedroom ticked a hypnotising beat, to which he soon found himself nodding in time. Need to impress Scootaloo.
His head leaned forward, lightly touching the wooden surface of the desk as a last yawn escaped. Just a second...
His snoring was light and even, filling the room with its soft sound as the candle slowly became a stub, and the moon flew across the sky.
Mmm, one more paragraph on mid-air aerodynamics, then I’ll be done with that part, then I ca-- His mind froze as he felt the slight tickling of the hot summer sun against his face. An ear twitched, then an eye flickered open, immediately squinting shut under the sun’s bright glare.
“Gah!” he screamed, tumbling out of his chair to land with a crash on the hard floor. “I’m late!” Fumbling onto his hooves, he began picking up his work, throwing it into his trusty old saddlebags before snapping them shut.
A small stack of sheets fell off the edge, unnoticed by the hurrying colt. ‘How to Fly: by Featherweight, for Scootaloo’ was written in clear, loving text on it’s front.
He scurried out of the room, hooves clacking loudly against the linoleum flooring as he streaked through the corridor. The smell of warm toast and strawberry jam assaulted his hungry nostrils as he moved past the kitchen. “Feather, come eat breakfast!” called out a familiar and warm voice.
“No time, Ma, today’s the day!” Featherweight slid to a halt in front of the house’s door, opening it with a cheerful swing before jumping out. His eyes watered and his nose scrunched up as he collided with a hard yet pliable surface.
Two small ‘omphs’ sounded out across the small garden in front of his house and into the waking street. Featherweight crashed onto his rump, forehooves instinctively clutching at his bleeding muzzle.
“Ow,” said a gruff yet feminine voice.
Looking through his blurred, tear-filled eyes, Featherweight stared at the orange pegasus that lay sprawled at the foot of his door. “Scootaloo?”
“Hi, Featherweight,” said the filly as she groaned, climbing back onto her hooves.
The colt hopped forward, doing a quick run around the filly and inspecting her. “Are you alright? Did I hurt you? Do you need to go to the hospital?!” Worry and fear danced across his face, while small beads of sweat formed along the edge of his scalp despite the cool morning breeze.
Scootaloo laughed, her chiming voice making him dizzy with glee as she playfully shoved him away. “I’m fine... but you’re bleeding pretty hard. Maybe you should take the day off?”
“Hmm? No way! I’m fine. Really!” She’s at my house, I didn’t even invite her! Is everything clean? Oh goodness, I hope Ma doesn’t show up! he screamed to himself, sweat pouring freely down his head as his eyes found every imperfection around him. “So, um, what are you doing here?” The colt rubbed the back of his head with a forehoof.
Scootaloo coughed, looking at him skeptically. “Right, well I have the notes for the project. Hopefully everything’s there.” She reached around and into her saddlebags, pulling out a slightly tattered and very wrinkly pile of sheets. “I was wondering if you might hang onto these, I have things to do today, and, well...” She looked away in shame, the papers she dumped at his hooves rustling in the wind.
Reaching down, Featherweight flipped the first page over, eyes widening as he took it in. The entire page was covered in notes and small hoof-drawn depictions of wings, maneuvers and aerobatic stunts. “Wow, these are brilliant! You draw really well!”
“Um, thanks?” She took a half step backwards, face reddening. ”I really have to get going, sorry for dumping all that work on you!”
“No problem,” Featherweight waved it off. “So, where are you going?”
“Er-- just to the edge of town. You know that little clearing that leads up to the Apple’s farm?”
“Oh, yeah, just past Miss Rarity’s Boutique?”
Scootaloo turned away from him, rubbing her forehead lightly. “Yeah, that’s the one!” She took another step back, her rear hoof tapping against the roadway. “Guess I’ll see you tomorrow?” she asked, smiling tentatively.
Gah, I can’t just let her go like that! Think Featherweight, think! “Wait!”
Scootaloo froze in the centre of the town’s road, some ponies going about their daily business circumventing her with glares.
“I-I have something for you!” Twisting around, Featherweight reached into his bag with a wing, fumbling around blindly for a while. “Oops. One sec, please!” he begged.
His hooves scraped against the floor of his home as he galloped back towards his room, the frames on the wall shifting as he streaked by. Arriving in his room, Featherweight’s eyes roamed the area, twitching around until they came to rest upon a small notebook. He smiled as he picked it up and scurried out of the room.
“Herph Scoothaphoo, I gotsh it!” he mumbled through the notebook. A blue unicorn with a hourglass cutie mark stared at him, blinking in confusion. “Yersh not Scoothaphoo.”
“Nope, I’m Colgate, nice to meet you!” The mare smiled at him, lifting a hoof to shake.
“Phukph!” He groaned in frustration, ignoring the extended hoof as he looked up and down the broad roadway. No signs of the orange filly remained as plenty of ponies trotted about, talking and laughing as they began the day’s business.
“What did you say?” asked Colgate, a look of surprise and irritation crossing her face.
Featherweight spat the notepad out, letting it slam against the ground with a slap. “I said fudge... Have you seen an orange filly? About yea tall?”
“Yeah, she fluttered by that way.” The mare pointed down the road, relief and humour plastered on her face.
Featherweight picked up the notebook and threw it into his bag. “Thanks!” he yelled as he ran off, kicking up a light dust as his wings buzzed. Soon, he was hovering over ponies on his way towards the edge of town, the sudden draft created in his wake sending papers and loose pieces of debris flying everywhere.
He spotted the Carousel Boutique. The small round shop was gaudily painted in bright and flashy colours, its windows proudly displaying mannequins bearing clothing and crazy apparel that nopony he knew would be caught dead wearing.
Featherweight flew by it, the bushes around the building rustling as his wingtips brushed against them. Seconds later he landed with a small thump against the soggy ground, filling his lungs with the fresh, dew-filled, morning air as he did so.
The sun was just cresting the nearest treeline, splashing long shadows across the field where a single orange pegasus stood. Featherweight breath caught as he gasped at the beauty of the scene.
Scootaloo was turned, back towards him, with her two tiny wings outstretched along her sides. Her stance, leaned forward and ready to jump, was the epitome of pegasus grace and flexibility. Sunlight glowed around her, making the tiny, almost imperceptible beads of sweat on her coat and mane glimmer as they waved in the light, lavender-smelling wind that permeated the world around him.
Featherweight gulped as her wings began to beat, a look of fierce determination plastered on her face as inch by inch she rose up, blades of grass waving and pushing away from her in a rough circle on the ground.
He could hear her grunting, forcing as her efforts redoubled to stay afloat. She’s so beautiful, he thought to himself, unable to swallow or even move.
Finally the filly yelled, voice filled with pleasure as she kicked out with her hooves. “I did it! I did it! I’m flying!” Just as the words escaped the filly’s mouth, her wings seized, sending her plummeting against the soggy grass with a loud thump.
“Scootaloo!” Within seconds Featherweight was by her side, having crossed the entire field in the blink of a worried eye. “Are you okay? Are you hurt? Do you need CPR?” Please say yes.
Scootaloo coughed, her face blushing a little. “Yo-you saw that?”
“Saw what? You trying to fly?” Immediately Featherweight cringed. Idiot, idiot, idiot!
Her blush spread further across her face as she practically steamed below him, becoming the sweetest, most adorable shade of red he had ever seen. Genius, genius, genius!
“You weren’t supposed to see that,” she said, turning her face away from him.
“What do you mean! You got almost ten feet of air! Do that a few more times and Rainbow Dash will look like a total wimp beside you!” Featherweight leaned forward, helping her up and thoroughly enjoying the contact between him and her.
Scootaloo smiled a little. “Better than Rainbow Dash, riiight.” She rolled her eyes, her smile growing.
I need to cheer her up! Suddenly his eyes widened. “Look, I have something for you.” Reaching around, the colt hurriedly opened his saddlebags and pulled out the notebook and gently placed it on the grass in front of her, beaming all the while.
“What is it?” she asked, flipping the cover page over to show hoof-drawn diagrams depicting exercises and simple lessons.
“I-Its a training program.” The beige colt became a bright red as he shuffled from one hoof to another. “I used it to learn how to fly. I was thinking, maybe, you know... I could teach you?”
Scootaloo cocked an eyebrow apprehensively, uncertain. “Teach me?”
“Yeah, if-if you want to...” Please say yes, please say yes!
“Um, sure.” She shrugged. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Featherweight smiled before flicking the page of the notebook over and shrugging off his saddlebags. “Okay, let’s start with basic hovering! Now position yourself like this.” He set his hooves apart, forming an invisible square where he stood, blades of grass tickling along his short legs. Scootaloo looked at his position then mimicked it with her own. “Okay, great! Now spread your wings out, and buzz, but don’t fly off just yet.” The field was then filled with the light sound of their wings flapping up and down. Scootaloo’s rump rose up a little before she lowered herself to the ground. “Okay, now, we move up a little, but not too high!”
Both Featherweight and Scootaloo lifted until they hovered on the spot, their hooves trailing mere inches away from the ground.
He took that moment to look up and almost fell as her beaming smile broke his concentration and melted his heart. “O-okay, now scoot to the side a little, and lean forward.” Featherweight turned slowly, showing Scootaloo how to do the same as they both faced the nearby woods. Then they leaned forward, moving slowly as the grass behind them flickered and fluttered.
“This is so cool!” she cried gleefully, wind rustling her mane and whipping her mane and tail around.
“Let’s go faster?” she asked.
No, it’s too soon, she might get hur-- his thoughts were interrupted by her huge smile and expectant eyes. “Sure.”
They increased their pace, Featherweight slowly banking into a sweeping arc and occasionally turning to see Scootaloo right behind him. With a rush, they flew by the woods, trees blurring into a brown wall as they buzzed by.
“Let’s head back towards the roadway!” he shouted over his shoulder, one hoof pointing towards the small path that snaked its way between the town and Sweet Apple Acres. A single cart pulled by a red stallion occupied the road, a thin tendril of dust rising up towards the sky.
Scootaloo nodded her agreement before blasting past him. Featherweight couldn’t help but laugh at seeing her enjoy herself. Bubbling, gut-wrenching joy spurting out of him as he too leaned forward, intent upon catching up.
Both of them weaved and bobbed around each other in a race without a goal. “First to the tree!” shouted Scootaloo, nudging her head toward a gigantic oak that jutted out beside the roadway.
Not waiting for an answer, Featherweight redoubled his efforts, laughing as he inched past her. The tree grew larger and larger as they both focused on it with a single-minded determination.
Suddenly, Scootaloo yelled out, “Hey, how do you stop?”
What? Looking behind him, Featherweight saw the worry written between the lines of her happy expression. Uh oh.
Scootaloo began to slow down, one hoof trailing lightly amongst the blades of grass. Seeing her trying to stop, Featherweight pulled up, looping around and back towards her wide-eyed frame. “I can’t stop!” she screamed.
No no that’s not how you stop, if she does that she’ll-- he watched in horror as one of her legs snagged on the ground, pulling her into a mid-air spin that was leading her right towards the great oak-- she’ll spin out! His eyes quickly traced her trajectory. Oh, Celestia, she’s going to hit that tree!
Without thinking he placed himself between Scootaloo and the tree, cringing seconds before she rammed into him. Both of them flew backwards until they rammed the tree.
The last thing he felt before his world went black was the panicked breathing of an orange filly on his chest.
You asked for it! Then I sorta dilly dallied until I came up with a half-baked idea, then wrote it on here for no apparent reason.
Edited and Proofread by:
Frederick the Saiyan
and Fred Astaire (lol, I wish)
That’s a lot of Editors O.o! You should watch them, they’re sexy buggers, them.
Actually, blame ‘em for any semblance of quality on these things!