• Published 17th May 2013
  • 1,951 Views, 111 Comments

The Thirty Minute Dash - Esle Ynopemos

Nopony's faster than the Dash!

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18: Squirt [Slice of Life]

((Prompt: The Calamity.))

Look at her go. She sure is something, isn't she? Fliers like that don't come more than once in a generation. Y'know, that might've been me up there flyin' like that... but never mind that. That's a whole other bundle of feathers. It's not about me anymore. It's about that filly up there, playin' tag with the sky like it's her old buddy.

'Calamity,' they're calling her now. Terror of the Skies, or somesuch. I'm not sure what was wrong with her old name, but I guess I never called her much by that name, either. To me, she was always Squirt.

You know, they once told her she'd never fly? What do you mean, 'who?' They. Doctors and folks. The ponies that are s'posed to know that kind of stuff. They told her right to her face, her wings never developed right. All she'd ever be able to do was buzz, maybe glide a few feet.

I tell ya, I've never seen a pony as low as that filly was when she got the news. It broke her heart right to pieces. Broke mine right alongside her, watching it happen. She cried till she didn't have no more tears left, then cried a bit more just for good measure. She used to go tearing across town on that scooter of hers, but after they told her, Squirt could barely drag the thing to school and back.

I couldn't watch her be like that. It hurt me too bad to see it. So I put together a plan.

Now, I'll be the first to admit, it wasn't the most brilliant of plans. I was a mare of action; I had a friend who I usually left all the planning business to. Wonder how she's doing? I oughta drop her a line sometime.

—I'm sidetracking myself, though. So yeah, I came up with a terrible idea. I figured I would give Squirt flying lessons, anyway. Don't know what made me think that would help any. My planning friend would've told me I was getting Squirt's hopes up just to have 'em crushed that much harder when nothing came of it.

But that's why I'm not in charge of planning. I'm a pony who does, so I did. I took Squirt out to a big old hill at the edge of town. Nice and quiet there, nopony to bother us, or gawk at the poor filly that couldn't fly.

And Celestia, she really couldn't fly. I did my best to walk her through all the steps, but the muscles in her wings just couldn't put it all together no matter how hard she tried. Squirt just lacked a setting between spreading her wings once and buzzing 'em too quick to be useful. Nerves wouldn't connect in the right way, or something.

I was probably harder on her than I had any right to be. I kept pushing her way past the point where any responsible pony would've told her to call it a day and start looking for a job at a ground-bound establishment.

But I couldn't give up on her. I just didn't have it in me to tell Squirt to stop. And as long as I kept smiling at her and telling her to try again, that filly would just keep picking herself out of the dirt, brush the grass-clippings out of the scrapes on her knees, and take another shot.

That went on for weeks. Every day, soon as school let out, she'd be there on that hill, and I'd be there waiting. The Weather Bureau got right ticked at me for cutting work so often. Threatened to fire me more than once, but I knew they were bluffing. They didn't have anypony to replace me.

Weeks, like I said, and any filly with any kind of sense would've realized I had no idea what I was doing out there. She went for weeks and never showed any kind of improvement at all. But Squirt had no sense at all. Instead, she had faith in me.

And then one day, it just happened. It wasn't even some kind of special thing, either. She didn't suddenly put it together as one of her friends was falling to their doom, or after being told some particularly inspiring piece on how she was capable of anything. Just one day, in the middle of practice, it all finally clicked into place. She stopped buzzing, and started really flapping. Just like that.

They said it was a miracle. I always figured They weren't the sorts to believe in miracles, but I suppose if anypony could convince a pony, it'd have been Squirt. Or maybe 'miracle' is the word they use for when they're wrong. I dunno.

She never came back down to the ground if she could help it. I bet she'd sleep while flying if she could manage it. I guess she figured she'd spent enough time with her hooves on the ground. It was time for her to fly.

Ah. Now I remember why they call her Calamity. It's her cutie mark. By itself, it's not really all that unique. Just a pair of wings reaching for the heavens. But on that orange flank of hers, it's something altogether different. Like fire itself grew a pair of wings and started soaring. A disaster that rose up from its own ashes to fly. Calamity.

I still think I like Squirt better, though.

Author's Note:

Bastion references! Yay!