• Published 20th Mar 2012
  • 2,969 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 3

Stormy laid face-down on her bed. It had been three days since the lightning strike. Dad was right. My clumsiness almost killed me, it almost killed somepony else, and it lost my only friend. I really am a freak. The books on flying and weather were scattered across the floor, awaiting their turn under the dust. Magic. What use is magic if all it does it hurt ponies? She flapped her wings dejectedly. I was happier when it was broken.

There was a light rapping on her door.

“Stormy?” her mother called. “There’s somepony here to see you.”

The door slowly opened. Stormy looked up and saw Strawberry standing in the doorway.

“I thought you were afraid of me,” Stormy said gloomily.

“I kinda still am, but I’ve been doing some thinking,” Strawberry said, avoiding eye contact, “and I still want to be your friend, and I feel really bad that you feel bad, so I think... I mean I want...” She took a deep breath. “Can you make the cloud again?”

---

Outside, under the oak tree, Strawberry stood staring at a cloud barely larger than she was, mostly white with a dark underside. There was only the sound of wings flapping as Stormy brought the fluffy object down to ground level.

“Sorry about the grey,” she said, “I tried to make it as light as I could.”

Strawberry swallowed. “It’s all right. Can you please sit a little farther away?”

Stormy moved to the other side of the tree’s shade. Strawberry was looking at the small cloud like it was going to bite her. It was like she was a different pony. What happened to the energetic thrill-seeker flying down bumpy roads in the wagon? This pony was just... staring at it.

Minutes passed as the pink filly watched the hovering cloud. A slight breeze blew through the tree’s branches, making the spots of light on the ground dance.

Finally, Stormy grunted with frustration and plopped down onto the grass. Strawberry started, but then looked over with a sheepish grin. “So what did I do,” Stormy asked, not bothering to lift her head, “zap you and break your happiness?”

Strawberry sighed. “I know it isn’t your fault. I know you didn’t try to hurt me.” She paused. “I guess I should tell you why, because I really do want to be your friend again.

“A few years ago, the last time it rained, I decided to explore the farm, play in the mud, you know? I’d never seen rain before and it made everything all wet and slippery. I had gone pretty far into a grove of... apricots I think.

“It was before sunrise, I think, and the wind was starting to pick up, and I tried to be brave, but then, all of a sudden... there was a flash, and... you know...” she trailed off.

“So when I saw you,” Strawberry continued, “and the big cloud, it reminded me of that, and then you...”

“Almost killed you,” Stormy finished the sentence. “So that’s how it goes. I find something I like to do and my clumsiness nearly kills somepony. Figures.”

“But,” Strawberry went on, “I thought about how the rain is coming again in another week. I was planning on being curled up in some corner during the rain while you enjoyed yourself. But then, I thought about how bad I must have made you feel. And knowing you... no offense Stormy but you’re awful hard on yourself.

“So I decided, I don’t want to be afraid anymore. And I don’t want you to be sad anymore. So, I figure you can help me get over this. Hay, just talking to you makes me feel a little better.”

Stormy looked up, and saw Strawberry looking at her for the first time since the accident. Stormy was feeling a little better herself. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do, then.”

“Actually, I was curious... what were you planning on doing during the rain?”

“Well, I was going to try some really stupid trick, but it would be pretty dangerous, and also be scary for you, I’m sure.”

“Do it! You can spend the week practicing, and I can watch, and maybe seeing you do it again and again will help.”

“If it will make you feel better, I think I will. Hmm, I’m going to have to get some of those books back out.”

---

The sun set on Stormy’s house as she began her routine’s practice. All right, fly up, around, and down. The flying’s the easy part. She took to the air. Up... a narrow- WIDE, a wide turn to the left. Forward a bit... maybe I’ll add a small loop before I head down... uh oh. UH OH. Up-up-up-up-up-up! Stormy panted heavily as she hovered inches above the ground. No loop. I don’t need a loop. The trick is fine without a loop. It’s not a flying trick.

She hoped Strawberry didn’t see that. Fortunately, Strawberry was busy incrementally befriending her cloud.

All right, let’s try this again. Up, a nice big arc around, back down, and stick the landing. Into the air again. Up to... about this high should do, keep up the speed... nice graceful arc, and dive. Pull out... and now for a graceful landing... OOF. All right, maybe I should flare just a little first. Ow. Let’s try that again.

---

The next day, after several hours of practicing in the sun, Stormy landed under the tree, opposite Strawberry and her cloud. Stormy visited her water supply again, then walked over and asked, “How’s your cloud doing? It your friend yet?”

“It’s not as bad as I thought, really. It is just water, after all. And for some reason my hoof goes right through it.”

“Want me to...?” Stormy motioned vaguely at the small cloud.

“Not really, but, I guess I have to at some point. Go ahead,” Strawberry cringed.

Stormy firmly prodded the cloud, which responded by sending a spark to the ground with a loud pop. Strawberry opened her eyes. “Well, that wasn’t bad. Kinda sounded like wood snapping.”

“But,” Stormy said, “I need to bring out the big cloud again for my practicing. Sorry.”

“Maybe if you... just put it far away, you know, so I can look at it without being, um, close.”

“I’ll see what I can do, Strawberry. I’m glad you’re putting up with me for all this.”

Several hours later, on the opposite side of the house from where Strawberry was taking shelter under the tree, Stormy was putting the finishing touches on the large black cloud. There. Now all there was to do was fly into it. Piece of cake.

Forty-five seconds later, Stormy landed hard under the tree. “Ow ow ow ow ow ow!”

“There was a lot of noise,” Strawberry said, “are you okay?”

“My fault. I got... well... zapped.” Stormy rubbed her side. “Didn’t think it would hurt that much. I just need to be a little more careful, that’s all. How are you doing?”

“Um... I think I’ll stay under the tree.”

---

I can do this. Just have to keep my speed up going through. Let’s go. And... yes! Easy as pie. One more time! Ooh that was close, gotta be careful. Next time, down.

In... dive... ... pull up... get ready FLARE and... land. BOOM! Yes!

I hope Strawberry’s okay.

---

Stormy washed the lather off of her body. She enjoyed the spray of the cold water, but all good showers must come to an end. She twisted the valve off, but the water didn’t stop. The shower was broken. The tools to fix it were in her room. She made her way out of the bathroom, shower head washing her the whole time. The shower head above the bathroom door was on, too. That needed fixing. She made her way down the hallway, still being drenched. It felt good, she couldn’t deny that. She opened the door to her room, and there was a bright flash.

Stormy awoke. She wasn’t in her bed for some reason. She was on the roof. Because she went to sleep there. Because it had started raining overnight! Thunder boomed across the landscape and through Stormy’s heart. She had produced dark clouds, rain, and lightning, but this was so much bigger. In the distance, a multicolored glow hovered around the horizon as reservoir workers magically gathered as much water as they could out of the air.

Stormy leaped off the roof and flew as fast as she could through the torrential rain. She landed at Strawberry’s door and knocked loudly. “It’s raining! It’s raining!”

The door opened, and a bleary-eyed Strawberry looked out. “I know,” she stated matter-of-factly. Lightning flashed and Strawberry cringed.

Stormy’s mood dampened, despite being rained on. She didn’t want to pull her friend through this. Strawberry seemed to notice how conflicted she was, and added, “but I can still go and see your big trick. I want to see it, really.” Another bolt of lightning sent Strawberry cowering. “You have to do this, and I have to do this, too. Let’s... let’s go.”

Stormy lead Strawberry to the field, wondering if this was really a good idea. She tried to reassure Strawberry: “It’s all right, as long as I’m here. I’m a pegasus, remember? I can control the weather; you’ll be fine.” I hope, she added mentally.

---

Stormy looked up at the rolling clouds as the rain washed down her. “Maybe I shouldn’t do this after all.”

“Please Stormy, I came out here, in this, to see you perform. Come on, show me what the great Stormy Nights can do.”

Stormy swallowed. “All right. Stand right there. Don’t move, and you’ll be safe.” Was she trying to convince Strawberry, or herself? The sky above rumbled. It was reassuring, in its own way.

It worked every time in practice, so it’ll work now. I hope. Here I go.

Stormy began her flight upward without incident. The wall of blackness approached. Stormy entered the massive cloud. Immediately, she was buffeted by fierce turbulence. She gritted her teeth and tried to power through it as best she could, but it was taking much more effort than she anticipated. It felt like the winds were trying to tear her wings off. How far had she turned so far? Was it even possible to tell? And she felt the energy in the clouds around her, there was so much power, too much power.

She heard her father’s voice in her head, “Well now you’ve done it. Your idiocy has finally gotten you killed. And not only you! What happens when you fall out of the sky? Guess who’s going to go running across the open to your corpse? Then there will be two orders of zap-fried ponies, hoof-licking good!” Shut up shut up shut up! She flapped as hard as she could.

How long had she been turning? Did it really matter with the turbulence throwing her around? She was getting too tired; she had to start her dive. Stormy dropped below the cloud layer and quickly attempted to get her bearings.

She had not turned nearly far enough. She looked for an alternate landing spot, and quickly found a decent candidate, despite the low light. As she descended, she could sense that electrical potential following her path, steadily getting stronger.

Not yet, not yet! she thought to herself. She pulled out of the dive and flew low across the ground towards the small flat patch of land. A blue glow flickered around her wingtips. That line of potential, running past her, THROUGH her, grew and grew. A little too late to change my mind. Stormy had sorely underestimated how much power these clouds could hold.

This is it, she thought. My clumsiness will mess up the landing, and then I will die. Just... remember to flare. The ground rushed past as she began to hear an electric buzzing. Not yet, Celestia not yet...

...

NOW!

---

Strawberry, still glued to the spot, watched her friend come down in the distance. Suddenly, there was a brilliant flash, a bolt leading from where Stormy left the cloud, down towards the ground, along it, and right to where she stood.

And around her.

The bolt of electricity had, just inches from her tail, split into eight smaller ones, arched around her, and landed in eight spots around her feet.

The thunder boomed past. Strawberry exclaimed, “Holy cow that was awe—”

Another bolt came straight down on Stormy.

Strawberry closed her eyes as tight as she could. Through her eyelids she saw more flashes, less than half a second apart. Thunder rolled nonstop as she curled into a ball.

The lights and noise soon subsided, replaced only by the sound of the pouring rain. Strawberry slowly opened her eyes.

Something was moving up ahead. Strawberry, forgetting the instructions she had been given, ran to her friend. Fortunately, the clouds’ power had been exhausted, if only temporarily, and no surprises met her on the way.

Strawberry found Stormy laying on her side. “Stormy! Are you all right? Tell me you’re okay!”

Stormy stirred, then opened her eyes. “Yeah... I’m fine... but in hindsight... that really was a bad idea.” She struggled to her feet. “And I have to admit... I didn’t expect that last part.” Stormy tried walking. It seemed to work. “I hope you were watching; I don’t think I can do that again anytime soon.”

“I saw it. It was awesome.”

“I’m glad I had an audience,” Stormy chuckled. The rain helped soothe her aching wings. “Come on, let’s get inside before anything else happens today. Oh geez, look at these.” She extended her wings. They were in tatters, many of her feathers were missing, and most of the remaining ones were singed. “Good thing feathers grow back.”

Stormy looked back towards the site of her stunt, but it wasn’t the landscape that caught her eye, but herself. Rainwater splashed off her ragged wings, and ran across her back. But the water sheeting off of Stormy could not wash away the three yellow lightning bolts newly emblazoned on her flank.

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Comments ( 20 )

And that's all. Sorry if you were expecting something longer; giant epics aren't really my strong suit.

But don't untrack just yet! In a day or two I'll be making a blog post / author note about this little pony, so if there's anything you would like clarified, pipe up.

Edit: Here it is!

369607
So on the site where this was originally posted, there were comments about Stormy Nights 2. Is that gonna be posted here too?

369692

Yup, eventually. But do me a favor and don't discuss details. I want to keep it a surprise for those who haven't read.

369711
Of course! I loved this story so much, keep up the great work!

369711
stormy nights, TWO?
Now I'm excited :D

Btw, how is she a Pegasus? :P

Love. This. Story! :pinkiehappy: :rainbowkiss:

370395
Pony genetics I'd guess, consider the cake twins.

This story was great and and an inspirational story of overcoming your fears and learning to love yourself.
Stormy's introduction was great and didn't feel abrupt,
I got to learn a bit about her and get a good sense of her personality.
Reading your blog post also confirmed the suspicion of mine. Both parents were unicorns and I could tell something wasn't right.
Although I didn't really get the sense that the dad was actually mad at the mom. I just labeled it more as a person that wasn't meant to be a father.
Still, the story was great and I cant wait for Stormy Nights 2! :pinkiehappy:
Congrats on getting featured in EqD!

385333
Actually i found out through the guys blog on here,
Illegitimate child :P

:heart: I read a fair bit here on fim and I have to say this has to be in my top 3 stories to date, it's a interesting take with a genuinely 'real' feel too it. This gives it a depth I enjoy reading in a story, and I'd like to take ma hat off to ya :ajsmug:

Great story well thought out and relatable

I get such a chill every time a pony gets a cutie mark. :pinkiehappy:

Don't be such a baby, feathers grow back... don't they?
i31.photobucket.com/albums/c359/KMCA/tumblr_lxwi39v2081r5d23ko1_500.gif

Well done.
I applaude you.

So wait. The trick was to aim lightning around her friend?
:applejackconfused:

1787920 No, it was to aim lightning around herself. No mean feat, considering air is about a billion times as resistive as skin (to the best of my ability to estimate) and blood conducts far better than either of them.

characters-AWESOME
story-AMAZING
author- I WORSHIP
sequel-Is there one?
if not- when willl there be one?
never mind found it

Pretty nifty performance on Stormy's part, especially given she's untrained and the only pegasus in town. Rainbow Dash, eat your heart out.

Now for her to go home to her parents and be all like

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