• Published 16th May 2014
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Dear Cuz' - theNDinspector

Babs Seed writes to her cousin about her life in Manehattan and the advancement of the Cutie Mark Crusaders there. Will things turn out as well at she hopes?

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Blaze of Glory

Dear Apple Bloom,

You are so lucky right now that there are two things keeping me from pouncing on you. The first is that you are in Ponyville and I can’t take a train without my parents or some “unaccompanied minor” stuff. The other reason is that I have too much on my mind because of something that just happened today. Rolling Blaze got her cutie mark! As amazing as that is, it was what happened afterwards that I’m still thinking about. It’s so hard to describe what had happened. I guess I should start at the beginning.

I guess it actually started a long time ago, but where we came in was last week after my time with Rocky at the movies. We learned that Roller was practicing at the skate park. She had been practicing for an upcoming skate tournament, which happened today. This was why she had been away from so many of our crusades. Well, part of the reason anyway, but I’ll get to that.

I thought it was pretty awesome and didn’t care that she had been blowing us off for a while. Roller is very good, from what I could tell, and we encouraged her to practice. We even skated a bit. I’ve gotten a lot better, but Rocky still has some problems.

The funny thing was that when the time for the competition came around, Roller got really nervous. She almost ran away, but we stopped her. She said something about Pony Hawk being there. I remember hearing that name and that he’s a great skater and a pegasus. Apparently he is Roller’s idol, she wanted to meet him, but then thought that he would hate her for some reason. We told her that she would be fine and he couldn’t possibly “hate” her.

So Rocky, the Patch twins, their father and I sat in the stands. Pony Hawk opened the competition by doing some of his signature moves on his skateboard. It’s interesting that he’s a pegasus, yet he doesn’t use his wings most of the time on the skateboard, but he can still do amazing things that I can’t even describe. Apparently he was a “celebrity judge” and announced this as a “Junior Skaters Competition.”

There were two categories divided by age and Roller was stuck in the younger one by only so much. She clearly had it in the bag. Most of the other fillies and colts weren’t that much better than me, to be honest. Obviously, she won in that part.

The older division had a lot better skaters, probably because they had more experience. None of them were quite as good as Pony Hawk, but they were still pretty cool. Soon that was over and some colt whose name I can’t remember won that part.

Then came a showdown between the two winners, Rolling Blaze and this colt. They moved over the huge half-pipe to do one last ride. Apparently the colt won the coin toss and got to go first. He was very good. In the end, he got an almost perfect score from the judges.

Now it was Roller’s turn. She went to the edge of the platform on her roller blades and went down. Something went wrong and she wiped out before she reached the bottom. She was okay and the judges didn’t pass a score and let her try again. I couldn’t see very well, but I was sure that she was nervous again. I was just praying that she would calm down and go through with it.

My prayers must have been answered because she went off that second time and did amazing. It was the best performance I’ve ever seen her do. And I swear that I saw a glimmer of light that didn’t come from the sun while she hung in the air during one of her passes.

It was very close, but the colt won in the end. That made me sad, but I saw Pony Hawk walk right up to Roller and talked with her. She was so excited after that. She later told us that he said that she did great and he wanted her to win, but the other two judges thought otherwise. He encouraged her to keep practicing and maybe one day she could beat him.

That was also when Roller noticed her cutie mark. It was a pair of roller blades leaving a fire trail. She was so excited. She practically bounced her way out of the park while we walked back home. It was adorable how Tomato and Flower Patch kept trying to figure out what her cutie mark meant. Then Tomato asked if this meant she couldn’t be in the Cutie Mark Crusaders anymore. That’s when it all happened.

It took us a moment to realize that Roller wasn’t with us anymore. I looked back and saw that she had frozen on the spot. Then she started crying, and I mean the “raining cats and dogs” kind of crying. We asked her what was wrong, but we couldn’t understand what she was saying.

Finally the Patches’ dad managed to calm Roller down and asked again what was wrong. She told us about how she never really had any friends and that things were not good at home. Her dad left her family when she was young. So Roller’s mom had to do all the work and was away most of the time. Even when she was home, her mom was always distant and acted funny, and not in the “ha ha” way. When that happened, Roller had to look after her younger brother. That was the other reason she had been avoiding us so much these past couple of weeks. I had no idea. None of us did. How long has she been holding this in?

Rolling Blaze also told us how alone she always felt and not even other ponies at the skate park could understand, especially since she was still a blank-flank. Then she met us and had the chance to belong somewhere with other fillies and colts without cutie marks, the Cutie Mark Crusaders. But now that she had her cutie mark she would have to leave and be alone again. She didn’t want to leave.

I didn’t know what to do. Nopony else did either. I thought that she would have to leave too, since she found her special talent. I had thought that the Cutie Mark Crusaders was to help ponies that didn’t have their cutie marks. How could we help a pony who found her special talent? I started to cry too.

Then I thought of something. I wasn’t just going to abandon her. Roller was more than just a crusader, she was my friend. She was our friend. I told her that she never had to go and that we would always stick beside her. She could stay and help us with our cutie marks if she wanted to. We would also try and help her any way we could.

Roller sniffed a bit and then hugged me. I was surprised to see this from her, but giving what had just happened I hugged back. She whispered “thank you” and finally let go. Then everypony else came up and we had a crusader group hug. Mr. Patch also said something about getting a friend of his to look into her situation. He hoped that it might make her situation better. I don’t know how his friend could help exactly, but I do know that I will never leave Roller or push her away.

And that’s what happened today. I never expected any of that to happen when I woke up this morning. I know that Roller has her cutie mark now, but I think that maybe the Cutie Mark Crusaders can have ponies in it that already know their special talents. Maybe you could do that Cuz. I noticed that one red-maned filly with the glasses and heart shaped cutie mark made of candy canes while I was in Ponyville the first time. She always seemed to be lonely and looked at you three when you were around. Maybe you could invite her to join the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

Things are definitely going to be weird now, but I think we can handle it. The search for our cutie marks isn’t the only thing that keeps us together.

Your Cousin,


p.s. I can’t believe how long this letter is! It took me five pages and I had to sharpen my pencil seven tim___
Make that eight times.

Author's Note:

My goodness, will this ever end?

I've always intended to write this chapter, but I never anticipated it being the twentieth chapter. Part of the reason for that is due to the fact that I was initially on the fence on whether or not to include the letters from Apple Bloom. I was thinking that maybe I would do it as a bonus one day, but thanks to one of my readers leaving a comment demanding a response from Apple Bloom, I finally did it and I'm glad I did. It certainly added a whole new and interesting dynamic to this story and led to some great moments--particularly the chapters centered around one of my favorite episodes of MLP:FiM, "Flight to the Finish."

So this is a milestone for me; my first story to have twenty chapters and is currently (at the time of this writing) my longest story in terms of words. Now, another story of mine will soon pass it in word length and might possibly reach the "twenty chapters mark" too, but this is the first. So to all those who have stuck with this story up to this point, thank you. You are awesome!

Here's to more chapters to come.