So far, the game was a major disaster. Your team was now down by a large amount of points right from the get go from Discord’s turn. Goddammit, you should have known that he wouldn’t have been able to do this without ACTUAL use of his magic.
You grumble to yourself as you take a generic green ball from the nearby shelf and walk over to your lane. You had to start out strong, you had to make this throw. Come on! YOU CAN DO IT!
But before you can even prep throwing the ball, you hear Scootaloo call out your name. “Hey, Anon, wait!”
“What, guh?” You look back as you put the ball down. Was she calling for you? God, what could she want? Was she going to taunt you? Was she going to tell you that you have no hope? “What?” You say with some hostility in your voice.
“Woah, Anon...Hey, come on” Scootaloo hops off her seat and walks over to you with a frown, her ears folded. “I just wanted to ask you if you were ok. And, y’know, wish you luck.”
Wut? Now you were confused “You’re wishing me luck? I mean, I’m ok, I’ve taken worse. But why are you wishing me luck? We’re against each other right now.”
“I know, but I’m kind of excited to see how you’ll do now that you’ve been trained by Rainbow Dash. Plus, you’re my friend, why wouldn’t I wish you luck?” Scootaloo slowly begins to smile, hoping you weren’t still in a sour mood.
Wow, finally, a little respect. “Well, yeah...Thanks, Scoots, good luck to you too. And yeah, I’ve been meaning to try out these skills on something practical. I’m really hoping I can get a strike here.” Now you started to feel better, Scoots really knew how to better the situation.
“Thanks! I really can’t wait for tomorrow too! It’s gonna be you and me, racing to see who has improved the most” She then says…wait.
What the fuck did she mean by that? “Racing? You and me? What, during my final exam? Wh-when did that happen?”
“Oh, um, I asked Rainbow Dash if I could try out the exam too. She told me it was a little dangerous for a foal who hasn’t been doing the training. But I managed to convince her by showing her that I’ve been copying the whole training thing you’ve been doing, and that it’d be a great way to test how far you’ve really come. Heh, which I guess would mean how far I’ve come too. It’s gonna be awesome, Anon! I can’t wait to show Rainbow Dash what I’m made of! That’s why I say good luck to you again, for tomorrow this time! It’s gonna be really exciting!” Scootaloo was super excited for this, and there wasn’t even a hint of malcontent in her voice.
But, oh no. That was going to make tomorrow extra tough. What if you can’t beat her? What if she utterly thrashes you? Or hell, what if you crush her so badly that she loses hope in ever getting to fly? “Yeah….Scoots, erm. Are you sure you should race me tomorrow? I mean, what if something goes wrong?”
“What can go wrong? It doesn’t even really matter who wins, it’s more about beating that target time!” And then Scootaloo turns her head to the side to whisper “And maybe winning wouldn’t be so bad also…”
You don’t catch that last part, but you do hold in your sigh so you don’t seem rude. “Ok, erm. Then, uh, good luck tomorrow. Really, Scoots...” You give her a cheerful smile. If this was really going to happen, then you can only hope she at least crushes the target time...Because despite what guilt you may have, you didn’t plan on losing. “You’re gonna do great!”
Scoots gives you a short little hug and walks back to her seat feeling pride and confidence in her heart, something you may need now as you go back to concentrating on your throw. But how do you even throw the ball?
Well, maybe you can borrow a technique?
You try Bab’s technique. You hold the ball easily on the frog of your hoof and try to look at the pins like they were targets. Man, your focus really was better than before, but how about your skill? Only one way to find out! “HYAAAH!” You throw the ball along the ground the best you can, rolling it to the right with a leftward spin. While not as well executed as Bab’s throw, it did in fact get what you wanted as your ball spins just enough to hit the center pin and the third as well, causing enough of an effect to knock all the pins down in one roll. In other words... “YES! YEEEESSS! WOOOOOO!”
You jump back to look at your teammates, who were all applauding your masterful roll. Fuck yes! Even Discord was impressed?! Ohhhh baby! You take a bow before going back to your seat with satisfaction.
You looked over at the CMC, they seemed impressed, even Sweetie Belle. Yeah, life was good.
But then, Babs got out of her seat to say something to you. Was she going to be a dick? Was she going to get angry that you took her tech?
As it turned out, it was none of those things. “Good job, Anon, that was a pretty good throw. And I saw the way you spoke to Scootaloo over there, you don’t seem like that bad a guy, especially with the way my cousin Applebloom painted you as.”
Wut? “What do you mean the way Applebloom painted me as?” The fuck?!
“Y’know, when she had a crush on you and stuff. She sent me a few letters after you told her off that made you out to be this big jerk. She said she kind of exaggerated due to being all angry about it later on, but it didn’t seem like it to me when I first heard you talking when I got here. So hey, are we cool?” Babs holds out her hoof to you for a hoofbump.
You also couldn’t help but think that she also must have had a few whispers with Applebloom just then. The way Applebloom was silently looking at you, Babs may have asked her a few things about you when you were talking to Scootaloo. So that’s what it was, huh? Heh, man, that crush, it was so long ago. It was kind of funny how it still managed to sneak it’s way back in some way.
“Thanks, Babs. You’re not so bad yourself.” You reach over and give her a hoofbump “I’m gonna take a guess Sweetie Belle didn’t help your opinion of me either.”
“Yeah, she kind of said you were really ‘high and mighty’, that’s the words she used anyway. And I can kinda see it, but I’d have to hang out with you to really get a feel for you. Right now? We’re still facing off against each other, which means we’re still gonna bust your chops. So no hard feelings or nothing when you lose.” She then cocks a smirk at you. “So yeah, you’re going down.”
Oh really? You smirk back at her “Against my skill? We’ll see about that.”
A moment after saying that, Scootaloo manages to get a strike on her very first try. As Scootaloo goes to her seat hopping and excited, Babs smirk becomes a wry grin “Can’t win if your team score is lower than ours, Anon. Still…” Babs eases up, and takes a nod at your skill “You seem pretty good, if you can manage a perfect game, I might be willing to say you’re better than me.”
Really? Hmmm... “Funny you say that, this would be my first game of bowling, same as my Dad. So, if I do manage the perfect game, I’d say I’d be better than anypony ever.”
“Woah...huh, I’d actually like to see that. But now I know it ain’t happening. Nopony ever rolls the perfect game their first try. But…If you do somehow manage it, I’ll fix up your mane for free whenever you want, how does that sound?” Babs says as she eyes your mane.
You never really did anything with your mane. All you do is brush it back and it looks cute, especially cute for Diamond Tiara. So if it was cute, then you didn’t really require Bab’s services. Hell, what was wrong with your mane anyway? “Uhhh, what’s wrong with my mane? You don’t think it’s cute?”
“Anon, I’m gonna be real with you. Your mane? It looked like all you did was wipe it back some. Sure, that’s enough..for...I guess, things? Look, just…” Babs is actually trying to be courteous with this. “Handling manes is my talent, I even get paid for it when I go to my friend’s mom’s workplace to do a mane or two. You can say I got a knack for it. And I’m just saying that your mane can use a tune up. There’s...erm..’That’ style, and then there’s...some other styles that are pretty cool. Like, I’m not kidding, I can really get you looking smooth.”
Man, she really didn’t get it. You let out a chuckle as you decline her offer “Look, I’m like...super handsome, even my aunt tells me I am. I’m her little gentlecolt, you know?”
Babs suddenly looked at you oddly, like you said something weird. It was almost like she was trying to hold back a laugh “Gentlecolt...Right. W-well, I guess you don’t need my help then...erm, just gonna sit back down” The more she spoke, the more like she was going to bust a gut. She went back to her seat, shaking as if she was gonna explode.
Humph, she just didn't get it. If even Fluttershy could see your cuteness, then you didn't need any help.
While this was all going on, Big Mac’s turn had already passed as he came back to sit on the couch to tell Spike to mark down a nine. Spike was looking over the scorecard, specifically Discord’s score. “Discord, things aren’t looking good right now, we need you to pull off...like...a ton of strikes.”
“Relax, Spike. It was a practice turn, that’s all.” Discord says as he notices Sweetie Belle’s less than perfect set of rolls, she only gets five pins down this time. “This time, I’m sure to get a strike.”
“We’re gonna need all the strikes we can get, Discord. There’s only ten rounds here, and unless we all pull together, we won’t be able to win past the fifth frame.” Spike said as he tried guessing what the final scores could be just from everyone’s current showings.
Discord scoffs as he takes the ball and walks over to the lane. “Like I said, don’t worry. I’m sure to get it down the lane this time!” Discord says as he preps his throw “I may have lost the perfect score, but I’m not about to lose to a bunch of fillies.”
Discord throws the ball along the ground…and into the gutter.
“....ohhhnnn…” Spike looks on with utter astonishment at such a piss poor roll.
“What? I atleast got it down the lane this time! Again, a practice roll. Don’t worry, Spike, I can at least pick up the spare if I just fine tune my roll, like so...annnnnnnddddd! HA! I knew adding a little more power would get it down the middle…” Discord said as he threw the ball. And boy did he throw it, quite literally. The ball flew just above the middle pin and straight into the mouth of the lane...hitting nothing.
“We’re doomed…” Spike says, frozen from shock on how bad that was before slamming his face on the table.
“Eeyup…” Big Mac said, even he was stunned.
“Oh Discord…you really should have fucking practiced for real…” You say silently to yourself. Surprisingly, your team was pretty rock solid, even you were pulling your weight. But with Discord failing so miserably, it was clear that the win was an impossibility.
Discord sat down, with worry and shame on his face. It was finally starting to sink in that he was a detriment to the team. But rather than say anything, he just stays silent.
Babs does her turn, and pulls off a spare this time. Not bad.
Then it was your turn. You look to Discord, and try to give him some words of encouragement. “Dad, it’s alright. It’s just a game, ok? You’re just not that great at bowling, that’s all. You’re great at everything else though.”
Discord slumps onto the table “But I need to be good at everything.What’s the point of going on if I’m not good at every single thing in the world?”
“What? But Discord, that would mean you’d also want to be the best at being the Princess of Friendship. Y’know, you’d have to be like Twilight to be able to do that.” Spike tells him
“WHAT?! EWWWW!” Discord suddenly springs back up as he shivers and starts spitting out globs of food that looked like Twilight’s head. “Noo! No ! No! No! Noooooo! No! Be like Twilight?! I’d sooner give up my magic and whimsy before I’d even attempt to try something like that. You know what? You’re right, who needs to be good at this stupid game anyway? I’m Discord, the spirit of chaos! I only need to be good at games that actually matter, like O&O.”
Spike nods to Discord, then gives you the thumbs up. It seems he noticed what you were trying to do, and backed you up in cheering up Discord.
Spike was a pretty cool guy. When he was with you, he always tried to get your back, just like when that no good Good News came barging into the castle that one time. You just wish you were able to take his offer for bowling the first time, you didn’t feel that great having to see Discord get depressed.
Hell, the first time he offered, it was for a perfectly rolled game, which even if you didn't do, would have just been a friendly game of bowling anyway. But you gotta admit, you rolling a perfect game right now really would make up for all this losing. But what were the chances of that? Huh?
Well...maybe the chances were better than you thought. Because as you make the roll on the ball, you manage to get another strike.
When you look back, all eyes were on you, everyone on both teams silent. Not just because you made another strike, but because it was you, who has presumably never bowled before, making that strike.
No way...C-could you do it?
Maybe? No….you could!
Suddenly, this wasn’t a game about beating the other team. If you could manage the perfect game, then glory would be yours. Babs had already messed up, and you were on a roll.
Indeed, even after Scootaloo played her turn, she had only managed a spare this time, just like Babs.
And the game went on like this too. And while everyone was getting varying scores, with the exclusion of Discord, who was just now trying to make his misses look elegant just to save face, you...You...were doing it. With every turn, you were managing a strike. You couldn’t believe it, they couldn’t believe it, even the other bowlers, who were gathering around to see the game, couldn’t believe it.
Frame after frame, roll after roll, you were making consecutive strikes! You were close to the perfect 300 for your very first time playing bowling...In Equestria...BUT STILL! HOLY SHIT! Everyone was excited whenever your turn came up. The CMC, the bowlers, Spike, Big Mac. Hell, Discord was now running around the bowling alley exclaiming that it was his son, the hero colt, that was going to be making this record breaking event happen right now, right here, in this spot.
It was the 10th frame, the bonus roll, you only needed one more strike. Suddenly, the competition didn’t exist as now everyone on both sides just wanted you to pull this off. Even Sweetie Belle was excited and wanting to see you make history here in Ponyville. You were truly a hero… Holy crap! THIS WAS IT! TRUE GLORY!
You must never audibly thank Rainbow Dash for this…
She must never know her training let you pull this off…
“Anon, you almost have this. But don’t be a putz and choke, alright? I ain’t never seen nothing like this before, and I want to see you pull this off. Remember, the only thing that exists is you and them pins, got it? I was serious too, even if you don’t want it, I’ll fix up your mane for free whenever you do decide to let me. I know you can do it! Show them pins what you're made of!” Babs was giving you words of advice, she wanted to see this happen as badly as everyone else.
“Yeah…” You say as you started to sweat profusely. You were telling yourself not to choke, not to let the ball slip, to not let your sweaty hooves to cause you to fumble. You stood there, focusing the best you could as the bowling alley started at dead silence, with the quiet chanting of your name building with each passing second.
It was like time stood still…
It was like your entire life rode on this single moment…
This was it…
You could feel your excitement quaking beneath your hooves…
“What’s that noise?” one of the bowlers in the audience state when the sudden sounds of stomping began to pervade the room.
“It’s getting louder!” Another bowler said as she started to look around frantically.
And then there was a deafening roar, causing everyone to duck down and hide for cover.
No! NO! WHATEVER THAT WAS, IT WILL NOT TAKE THIS WIN FROM YOU!
As if nothing else exists,you throw the ball for that final strike, that perfect game.
The ball was halfway there...THIS WAS IT!
And then suddenly, a ferocious dragon, large and yellow in color, with a hooked mouth and red frills, stomped through the roof of the bowling alley and started to tear everything apart as it sniffed for something.
“A DRAGON! EVERYPONY RUN!” Someone says as everyone starts to run away in a panic.
Indeed, Big Mac himself takes the responsible roll of brother and starts to get the CMC and other scared foals out of the alley. Spike is trying to pull you away as you stare at your ball… The ball had been stopped into a spin by the Dragon’s entrance...but it was still slowly making its way to the pins due to the spin itself. “Anon! It’s a forest dragon! I think it’s sniffed the ball when it cracked open! I think that’s what it’s after! We gotta go! Your Dad can handle this!”
But you were so...NO!
And just like that, the Dragon’s foot comes down on the ball, crushing it into rubble as it lowers its head and starts to sniff around.
Spike is frozen in fear now as the large dragon sniffs near his mouth, picking up on the scent of gems, and then notices one of the halves of the ball on the table. It then stands straight up, and roars at the both of you as it starts to build up it’s flames.
“A-Anon…” Spike gulped “I’m scared…” Indeed, it was too late to run now. And when Spike did look back to see where Discord was, it seemed he left with the crowd. Not because he was scared, but because he was trying to convince them to come back to see your perfect game.
As for you...your eye was twitching.