• Published 17th May 2013
  • 1,977 Views, 111 Comments

The Thirty Minute Dash - Esle Ynopemos

Nopony's faster than the Dash!

  • ...

13: Don't Sweat It [Slice of Life]

((Prompt: Write a story about a character experiencing an extreme emotion without mentioning that emotion or its synonyms.))

Rainbow Dash's jaw pressed firmly, uncomfortably shut. Her jaw muscles ached from the pressure, but she kept her mouth clamped shut regardless. She knew that if she relaxed, her teeth would start making that chattering noise again. She hated that noise.

She took deep breaths. In through the mouth—past her closed teeth—and out through the nose. Repeat. Again. Calm. Yeah, she was totally calm. Everything was cool, no problem. Now, if she could just stop her hoof from tapping unconsciously on the cobbles.

Rainbow shook each leg out one by one. Get those kinks out. You can never be too loose, right? Yeah, she needed to be loose, in case there was a, uh, a dragon attack or something. Then she could just shoot off into the air and take care of the scaly menace, Rainbow-style, while all those other ponies were still on the ground, too stiff to react.

Dang, she sorta wished there would be a dragon attack. Or something. It didn't have to be dragons. Just some kind of excuse to have to fly off and save the day. That would be way better than standing here, waiting to find out if... well, she just wanted something to do, was all. That's it, she was bored. Her ears swiveled, listening for any signs of trouble. You can never be too careful; dragon attacks can come out of nowhere.

If only her wings weren't numb. That could be a problem if there was a dragon attack. She stretched her wings out, wincing as needles seemed to shoot through them. Apparently she had been squeezing them too tight against her body. She shook her wings out, letting the blood flow back into them.

This was ridiculous. Rainbow Dash snorted. Was she—was she pacing? She forcibly stopped her legs. Eggheads paced. Rainbow Dash was not an egghead, she was Rainbow Dash. She beat her wings against the air and began hovering.

There was no reason for her to pace, or to bite her lip, or to clamp her wings tight. She had this. It was a done deal. After all the stuff with Lightning Dust, Rainbow had been indisputably the top cadet at the Academy. There was no question what the results were going to be. Either she was in, or this year's entire class had failed.

Her eyes widened, and she quickened her breathing just a little. They couldn't do that, could they? Fail a whole class? Sure, there had been a handful of her colleagues that hadn't been especially impressive, but surely some ponies had made the cut, right? She had made the cut, right?

The stern officer at the front of the crowd read the next name from his list. “Flitter.”

The mare stepped away from her twin sister and perked her ears forward.

“Deferred,” the officer said. “Try again next year.” Flitter's posture sagged. Her sister placed a comforting hoof on her shoulders.

A bead of sweat formed on Dash's brow. Flitter had been a great flier. Sure, her speed could use some work, but she'd had an excellent turning radius. Rainbow Dash gulped. Maybe the standards were tougher than she thought.

“Rainbow Dash,” droned the officer.

This was it. The moment of truth. Don't let them see you sweat, just be cool. You know you've got this. Everypony knows you were made for this.


Rainbow Dash's heart stopped. “What?”

The officer adjusted his tinted glasses and cleared his throat. “Sorry, I mixed up the lines, there. You're in, Miss Dash. Next is, uh, Snowflake.”