Competition. Something not all fillies and colts get into up in the clouds. For Nightshade. It was something more than a game, but a thrill. A chance to test her speed, flight and pure power of will and strength. If only she was given the chance. The flight teachers didn’t let just any filly or colt race in their weekly competitions. They went by test scores and flight speed. Unfortunately, Nightshade had speed down to a T. It was test scores that lacked a definition in her vocabulary. Being the one that lacked friends in the school didn’t help either. Every week she watched the chosen fillies and colts race in pairs. Every week a different duo would cross the finish line together, both smiling ear to ear as they high hoofed each other or locked each other in an embrace. Either way, they were happy. Of course this sight did more than just discourage Nightshade, it encouraged her to keep practicing, hoping she’d be chosen the next week, or the week after that. It usually never came though. Until one faithful day.
“Feather flue? Are you telling me all eleven of these absentees are sick with the feather flue?” Asked the bulky stallion. He wore a whistle around his neck, accompanied by a green hat. His eye shooting quickly at all the remaining fillies and colts who arrived for school.
“Sorry, sir. Guess you’re going to have to cancel race day today,” suggested the scrawny pegasus with large glasses. The coach snorted stubbornly.
“No! We’ll just have to get everypony to participate today,” he said before scanning the small ponies, examining all of the different expressions that swam through the small crowd. The small green pony next to Nightshade gasped in fear. Her smile however couldn’t be any wider.
“Are you sure? I mean some of them aren’t that great skilled fliers yet-” the scrawny pegasus slowly trailed off in the middle of his sentence after receiving the death glare from the bulky pony across from him. He gulped.
“We’re doing what I said,” he said sternly. The pony nodded and stepped back.
“Alright, whatever you say.”
The coach turned to the young pegasus ponies and glared before clearing his throat.
“Alright! Since there isn’t enough ponies today, all of you are going to have to participate in today’s race. No more standing on the sidelines! So partner up and get to the starting line!” He said before walking off. The usual time given to partner up was a minimum of three minutes. Usually because the ponies would quickly partner up with a friend or sibling.
“Oh! Finally! This is gonna be awesome!” Cheered Nightshade. She leaped up and bounced in place before bumping into a fiery yellow pony.
Nightshade rubbed her head before looking at the cause of her klutzy accident. The first thing that caught her eye was the fiery hot mane the young filly obtained.
“Wow,” she managed to say. The rest of her bright colored coat came second and then finally her eyes that darted at her. She faded out of her daze after realizing the filly spoke to her. She shook her head and stood up. “Huh?”
“I said, are you okay?” Giggled the pony. Nightshade cleared her throat and nodded.
“Um. Yeah, sure am. Sorry about bumping into you like that,” replied the blue maned pegasus. Intimidated, she ran her hoof through her mane, purposely avoiding eye contact with the bright filly.
“I’m Spitfire, what’s your name?” She asked. Nightshade looked at the pony and blushed at her inviting smile.
“Nightshade, nice to meet you,” she replied.
“Nice to meet you too, Nightshade,” Spitfire grinned. A whistle was heard and caught both fillies attention.
“Oh. The race,” Spitfire said, reminding herself and no one else in particular. She looked over her shoulder to see the coach and other ponies paired up and heading to the starting line.
“Hey, um, Nightshade. Do you have a partner yet?” She asked eagerly. Nightshade blinked.
“Uh-No. Not really, do you?”
“Well if I did I wouldn’t be asking you to be mine,” she winked and smiled. Nightshade smiled and nodded.
They both ran over to the starting line, side by side. The coach instructed the ponies of rules they obviously already knew and fed them directions they already had memorized. Nightshade’s heart was pounding with excitement from how anxious she was to dash off. Even more excited now that she had a friend beside her to claim victory with. That’s if she did win. No! She is going to win. No negative thoughts are gonna ruin this moment. Same went for Spitfire.
Being alone never bothered her since all she focused on was flying, but never got a chance to participate in the weekly races. Mainly because the coach felt she wasn’t ready yet to fly in a competition. Having that opportunity to prove herself has now come and she gained a partner with it. Both fillies were more than thrilled and excided, filled with adrenaline; and the race hadn’t even started yet. They got in their flying stances and prepared themselves to charge off. As soon as the whistle was heard, the ponies took off.
The duo was in first place, ahead of any other. Both in perfect sync. Every turn, and dodge. Even their speed was identical. Both of them flying through the race like a show of fire in the night. The coach stared in amazement as he flew to keep up with them. Both fillies leaving the other ponies in the dust. Other supervisors and teachers caught the sight of the ponies flying as fast as their heart’s content. Each one impressed. Nightshade grinned at the sight of the finish line ahead of them and glanced at the filly next to her. Spitfire grinned and held out her hoof to her. Nightshade smiled widely and took her hoof as the sped towards the finish line at top speed. Crossing it hoof and hoof.
“Yes!” Nightshade shouted as they landed on the cloud. Both fillies cheered and leaped for joy after realizing their accomplishment.
“We did it!” Spitfire cheered.
“Yeah! It was incredible! We were incredible!” Nightshade replied. Spitfire held out her wing and waited for a highwing. Their wings slapped together and both fillies laughed before seeing their coach approach them.
“Wow! That was incredible! How long have you two been able to fly like that?” He asked. The two fillies glanced at each other before looking back at the bulky pegasus wearing the whistle.
“We’ve always have!” Spitfire replied.
“Yeah! You just never gave us a chance to prove it!” Nightshade said before stomping her hoof in the cloud, a cocky grin painted on her muzzle. The coach chuckled.
“Well maybe I never gave you the chance,” he said while glancing at Spitfire. He then turned to Nightshade with a frown. “But you still need to raise your test scores in order to participate in these races. Get those up and you can race every week. Until then this one will be you last,” He said. His honest comment managed to break Nightshade’s confidence as her grin fell to a blushing frown. Spitfire glanced at her new friend and noticed her change in attitude. “Good job, Spitfire. I’ll make sure to get you in the race next week. For sure!” He smile and walked over to the other students that barely crossed the finish line. All of them exhausted.
“Hey, you okay?” Spitfire asked, coming closer to the discouraged filly. Her head hung low.
“No,” Nightshade said, she walked over to the edge of a cloud and plopped her bottom down to stare at the view of the mountains and ground beneath them. Spitfire followed and sat next to her.
“Hey. Don’t get so down on yourself. You were amazing out there! I should know, you were right next to me!” She smiled. Nightshade sighed and glanced up at the mountains in the distance.
“Yeah but that’s the thing. I’m terrible at school work. It’s like flying is the only thing I’m good at. And without good test scores, I can’t fly with the other ponies. I’m just stuck being…being…UGH! I don’t even know what I am!” She complained. Her head hanging low again before letting out a depressing sigh. Spitfire smiled.
“You’re an amazing flier, that’s what you are.” Her soft words caused Nightshade to glance over to the blazing filly next to her. Her smile as warm as her mane appeared. Like a heartwarming fire. Nightshade smile and blushed at the compliment.
“Thanks,” she chuckled but then looked over to see a bird fly by in the distance.
“But you’re the one that’s an amazing flier and pony. I mean, you’re test scores are probably great AND you can fly super fast. You’ve got the best of both worlds, Spit,” She said. Spitfire laughed.
“Spit?” She giggled.
“Oh!” Nightshade blushed. “Sorry I was caught up and kinda-er- I meant Spitfire!,” she smiled nervously. Spitfire continued to giggle.
“You can nickname me whatever you want, but try not to use that one. Alright?” She smiled. Nightshade nodded, still nervously smile.
“Right. Sorry about that,” she said.
“No worries, Nighty,” she teased.
“What?!” Nightshade blushed. Spitfire laughed at her reaction and waved her hoof in her direction.
Nightshade smiled and rolled her eyes.
“Hey, I just thought of something. My parents are always wondering when I would bring some friends over to my house. Why don’t you come over? It’ll be fun!” Spitfire suggested. Her smile soon matching Nightshades.
“Really?!” She smiled, standing up on her hooves.
“Yeah, and maybe if you want…I can sorta help you with your homework and study for tests? Only if you want!” Spitfire said, hoping not to offend the filly. Nightshade slowly smiled and nodded.
“Yeah. That be fun,” she said warmly.
A whistle was heard and the fillies knew it was dismissal and time for their next class.
“So um. I’ll see you here tomorrow?” Spitfire asked.
“Yeah! Maybe I can come to your house tomorrow too?” Nightshade replied, hoping for a positive answer. Spitfire nodded before Nightshade could even finish her sentence.
“Yeah! I’ll see you tomorrow, Nightshade!” Spitfire hugged the unexpecting pony and then ran off. Nightshade stood there a bit surprised before smiling to herself and running off to her next class.
Today was the best day ever!