• Published 20th Mar 2012
  • 2,968 Views, 51 Comments

Stormy Nights - Void Chicken

The desert is a hard to place to grow up for a pegasus who loves the rain.

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Chapter 1

Stormy Nights

The pegasus hovered over the roiling sea of black clouds, looking over her domain. The earth ponies would not be seeing the moon tonight. The clouds trembled in anticipation as Stormy Nights dove towards them. They were full of power, and the deep purple pegasus knew the best way to release it. The ponies below watched the sky in wonder as lightning rippled overhead, with tremendous booms as stray bolts lashed the earth below. Stormy Nights expertly weaved her way through the inky blackness, her dark grey mane flapping behind her. The way was lit for her electric blue eyes only by million-volt flashes. All of Equestria marveled at her skills.

And then Stormy clipped a tree.

The filly skidded to a halt across the grass. “Ow ow ow ow! Moooooom!” Stormy patiently waited for three whole seconds for her mother to come running out. “MOOOOOOM!” Ten seconds and still nothing? Mom and Dad must be arguing again, she thought.

Stormy got to her feet and glared at the large oak tree looming in the darkness. That tree provided hours of cool shade out of the scorching sun during the day; how could it have betrayed her like this? Stormy could only hope that her daytime ally wouldn’t make a habit of sampling her feathers.

She walked towards her house as the moon set behind her. The moonlight on the soft blue paint seemed to dim as the rising sun overwhelmed it. The new dawn lit up the surrounding sands, glinting off the artificial oasis the house called its lawn. Stormy briefly considered flying up to the balcony connected to her room on the second story, but her wing changed her mind.


“Because books are too expensive out here, Vanilla. Besides, children learn faster from experience than just reading. It’s better for her to learn on her own.”

“But you can’t just throw a filly off a—” Stormy’s mother stopped as the back door opened. Stormy walked in, sat down on the floor, and extended her wing.

“I hit the tree.”

“You need to be more careful where you fly, sweetie. It's time to get ready for school anyways; go on upstairs,” her mother said. She turned to her husband as Stormy made her way across the room. “See? This is what I’m talking about.”

“She could stop flying in the dark,” her father replied.

“I can see just fine, Dad!” Stormy shouted back down the stairwell.

“Stormy, I said get ready for school,” her mother called back. “Sterling, you can’t expect her to learn everything she needs to know on her own. She might never figure out the weather.”

“Not every pegasus becomes a weather pony, you know. Besides, somepony as clumsy as her...” Stormy shut the door to her room. She slung her backpack on and saddled up her water tanks as she heard the familiar sound of her mother raising her voice. She exited onto her balcony, closing the door behind her, then hopped the railing and glided down to the ground, despite her wing’s protests. It was better not to risk going through the house while her parents were yelling.


Sunlight shone through the classroom windows and mingled with the dust riding the breeze through the open doors. Stormy sat at the back of the group of about twenty students, taking notes on Equestrian history. A page with various equations stuck out of her bag. There was a circled B- in the header.

The teacher, Orange Blossom, started on her next lesson. “Yesterday, as I hope you’ve all written down, I taught you all about unicorns and how their magic behaves, with a nice demonstration by Steel Valor here.”

The colt in the front row beamed.

“Today,” Ms. Blossom continued, “We’re going to learn about pegasi.” A sense of dread hit Stormy as she realized where Ms. Blossom’s line of thought was going. “Now Coltumbus was founded by unicorns and earth ponies, and we’ve had no pegasi in the town as a result. Normally I have to use paintings and a mannequin to teach this lesson. But today we’re lucky to have Coltumbus’s only pegasus right here in our class. Please come up to the front, Stormy Nights.”

Stormy gulped as every face in the room turned towards her. She stood up and slowly made her way to the front of the class. She was used to ponies staring whenever she flew anywhere, but a room full of other foals was something else.

“Do you mind showing the class your wings?” Ms. Blossom asked. Stormy hesitated, then spread her wings. “Now as you can see, a pegasus’s wings are very small relative to its body.” The students began taking notes as Ms. Blossom lectured. “If its wings were proportionally sized to its weight, a pegasus would have a wingspan the width of this room!”

Stormy began to sweat, although whether it was from the hot breeze passing through, or the twenty pairs of eyes on her, she couldn’t tell. She felt like a museum piece to be studied and criticized. She wished that Ms. Blossom would finish soon, and that none of this would be on the test. “So the question is,” the teacher asked, “how can a pegasus fly with such small wings? Anypony know?”

Stormy did not know how she could fly and at the moment she did not care. Oh please don’t ask me to fly, she silently prayed, I don’t think I can do it right now. I’d probably bounce off a wall or run into the board or something. Her dark coat was developing a visible sheen.

“Anypony? No? The answer is, of course, magic.” That wasn’t the answer Stormy was expecting. Ms. Blossom elaborated, “Pegasi have magic like unicorns do. But they can’t control it directly like a unicorn can. Their magic is passive, that is, it works without them having to think about it.”

Stormy couldn’t believe it. She was actually learning something potentially useful in school! She listened intently.

“In addition to giving it the ability to fly with a small wingspan, a pegasus’s magic enables it to alter the weather. Here in Coltumbus, we have to hire pegasi from other towns to fill up the reservoir every few years. In towns with a native pegasus population, like Fillydelphia or Ponyville, the weather changes much more often. Of course, not all pegasi become weather ponies. A pegasus can get any ground-based special talent, or get a talent based on its flying skill. If you ever get the opportunity, you should see a group like the Wonderbolts perform. They do all sorts of spins and loops and upside-down speed flying. Oh, thank you, Stormy, you can sit down now.”

Stormy returned to her seat and fumbled for her water bottle. I have magic? Me? She drank thoughtfully. As in, real magic? Her mind began to wander. I can move stuff with my mind... or put together the things I break... or, I don’t know, turn ponies into frogs? Hah, maybe I can make it rain. Stormy took a few minutes to ponder. A stage performer? The Incredible Stormy, performing great feats of magic!

“Stormy?” Ms. Blossom interrupted Stormy’s train of thought. “I said class was dismissed. I’m sure you’re eager to see me demonstrate my earth pony abilities, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow with everypony else.”

Stormy noticed that every other desk in the room was empty. “Oh, sorry Ms. Blossom!” she said as she hastily gathered her things and left.

Outside, she opened her wings in her excitement, but the desert sun convinced her to stay on the ground. Ugh, way too hot to fly. Maybe... magic can wait just a little longer. Stormy took another drink of her water as she started the walk home.


Stormy leapt into the air and alighted on the railing of her balcony, then gently stepped down onto her deck. She entered her bedroom and dropped her supplies on the floor. Her room finally made sense now. The ceiling was black, with stars and constellations painted across it. Three of the walls transitioned from the darkness of the sky to the blue carpet. The remaining wall was a bright orange, with a painting of Princess Celestia raising the sun.

The pine bookshelf sported a modest collection of books on magic techniques and history, as well as a thin layer of dust. The rest of the shelf’s space was filled with toys shaped like various magical symbols, and some magical doodads that Stormy never was able to figure out.

The bedroom door opened and Stormy’s mother appeared. “Oh, I thought I heard you come in, Stormy. Did you learn anything new at school?”

“Mom! I learned I have magic powers! Like, um... magic!”

“Well,” her mother chuckled, “I always told you you were my magic little princess. Oh Stormy, you’ve covered in sweat.”

Stormy noticed how wet she was. “Heh heh, I guess I am. I’ll go get in the shower.”

“Actually...” her mother pretended to ponder, “the lawn needs watering, so—”

Stormy was out the door and over the railing before Vanilla could finish her sentence.


It was the match of the century: Stormy Nights, the dark pegasus, versus The Mighty Lever, Keeper of the Sprinkler, the One with the Power of Rust. The pegasus pushed her forehead against the lever with all her might, but alas, the pony was covered in sweat, and slipped off! The tension was tangible as round two began. The dark pegasus swung to the opposite side, gripped the lever in her mighty jaws and pulled as hard as she could. Her muscles strained and her wings flapped, but sadly, the immovable object won this bout.

Stormy silently renewed her vow of vengeance as her mother exited the house. Vanilla’s horn illuminated and the lever flipped in a burst of rust. Around the yard, sprinkler heads popped out of the soil and began to renew life in the little slice of desert.

Stormy cheered and took flight. She flew laps around the house, over the sprinklers, past the tree and the mailbox again and again. Her hooves skimmed the wet grass. Her wings cut a path through the sprays of water. Her head was filled with thoughts about magic.


A lawn’s thirst was quenched, a day was ending, and a pegasus was soaked. Happiness was wet feathers.

“All right, let’s get you dried off before you go inside,” her mother said, horn glowing.

“Aww Mom, do I have—” A sparkling towel flew into her face.

One vigorous drying and several complaints later, Stormy entered the house. “Hi Dad! Did Mom tell you that I have magic?”

“Oh really?” her father’s horn dimmed as he set down his newspaper. “TK me my cider then.”

Stormy looked at the bottle on the kitchen counter. “Um... well... I don’t think I know...”

“Of course you don’t. You’d probably drop it anyways.”

Crestfallen, Stormy started up the stairs. Her mother walked in as Stormy left. “What did you tell her this time, Sterling?”

“Nothing she didn’t already know.”

I’ve got to have some magic in me, Stormy thought as she closed her bedroom door behind her. I just need to figure out how to use it. Telekinesis, mom and dad both do that, so I have to be able to, too! Stormy spied a simple magical toy on her shelf, a small fake-crystal lamp. She had experimented with it in her younger years; according to the text on its base, it lit up in the presence of magic, but Stormy had never been able to get it to work.

She stared intently at the device. Now... move. Move. She visualized the toy moving through the air, but the real one didn’t budge, or even flicker. She strained and concentrated with all her might, but there was no reaction. Move? Please? Come on, move. Move ... Stormy sighed. Dad’s right, as always, she thought. I’m not magic at all.


Stormy perched on the corner of her roof as the sun set. It had been several days since Ms. Blossom told her that pegasi were magic, but she had failed to manifest any latent magical abilities, so she decided to take a break and do some flying. She loaded herself up with water; the lack of sunlight was good, but it was still fairly warm out.

She took off and headed towards the town. The air moving over her wings always felt good. Sometimes she would spend hours just drifting around over the town, her deep purple coat blending into the sky where nopony could see her, with only the occasional flap to keep her airborne. But not on school nights. At least none that her parents knew about.

Tonight though, she had a destination – but there was still no rush, plenty of time to enjoy the journey. She looked down on all the buildings in the dark. There were so many little forgotten treasures up on the roofs that nopony ever bothered to fetch. Sun-bleached frisbees, balls of every sport imaginable, three wagon wheels, a backpack that had been there as long as Stormy could remember. There was nothing new tonight, though.

Stormy landed at the edge of a rocky field and set down her water supply. The flight had provided a nice warm-up for her performance.


The moonlight shone down into the arena and the crowd murmured in anticipation of Stormy Nights, the newest Wonderbolt, as she prepared for her debut performance. The ponies in the audience cheered as Stormy took to the air and performed... performed...

What do the Wonderbolts do, anyways? Stormy thought, looking out over the field. I’d better figure it out. If I’m not magic, I can at least fly.

Ms. Blossom had said something in class about flying upside-down. Stormy had never tried, but there was a first time for everything. She started at a slow flight, just above the ground, and then carefully rolled over.

Hey, this isn’t so bad. Feels kind of funny for my wings to be holding me like this. I think I can go faster than this... there we go. Hehe I can see the stars below me. This is fun! Now just a quick left turn and glide on over to—

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