• Published 13th Sep 2014
  • 5,653 Views, 258 Comments

The Seventh Element - PaisleyPerson



Thestrals are thought extinct. But what will happen when one moves to Ponyville? Disguised as an earth pony, Acrylic does her best to fit in. Can she keep the secret, or will she expose her entire race?

  • ...
20
 258
 5,653

Chapter 11: The Grand Galloping Gala

Chapter 11
The Grand Galloping Gala

Though I had once made fun of those ponies who were preparing for the gala nearly a year in advance, I soon found myself doing the same. All of my friends were more than willing to loan out their orders for my portfolio. Applejack reasoned that showing it around instead of keeping it in one place might attract more customers. Fluttershy was reluctant for her face to be shown off to the whole world, but the radiance of the finished product combined with peer pressure from the others caused her to cave. As Rainbow had predicted, I had time to do several more, including the gleaming red dragon lying in mountains of shining gold coins and gems. I did a few landscapes too, most of which I put up for sale in the shop. A valley with towering snow topped mountains made it to the portfolio along with a forest ablaze with the colors of autumn. Rarity readily consented to my painting an 8x10 portrait of her, and just for fun, I’d completed an even smaller one of all of us together. They convinced me to add it to the collection, too. In all my haste to get the pictures ready, I’d forgotten that I needed to find an actual portfolio to carry them in.

As always, my friends looked out for me. They’d purchased one for me, a sleek and sturdy brown leather. (Not real leather, of course. The artificial stuff. I promise, no cows were hurt in the process.) A side strap would allow me to tie it around my waist and wear like a saddlebag, though it almost dragged on the ground. Still, its large size would accommodate even the 16x20 inch canvases.

“What do you think?”

“Do ya like it? Huh? Huh? Huh?”

“You... you all did this for me?” My eyes watered with joy.

“Well, duh! After you made us all those super-duper pictures, we wanted to give you something artsy to say thanks! Only, we had a hard time trying to figure out what to get you, since you have your own art shop and all. Applejack suggested it be something you can really use, and realized that you didn’t actually have a way to carry these to the gala. So, Rarity ordered enough leather with her other fabrics to make this, and we all got to help. See? We even signed it, just like you do!” I looked as the presented gift was flipped over. They’d all signed their names on the back, and Twilight offered me a marker to do the same.

“Go on,” she smiled. There was space left for me in the dead center. I took the marker as Fluttershy and Rarity set the portfolio down flat. I lay on the floor so it wouldn’t be such an awkward reach, and hesitated before signing my name.

Acrylic Storm

“Acrylic Storm?”

“But that’s...” Rainbow remembered our conversation and smiled.

“My full name,” I finished. “Acrylic Storm.


The months had flown by. Between work and the crazy adventures we always found ourselves getting into, days turned into weeks, weeks into months until finally, the eve of the Grand Galloping Gala was upon us. Rarity wanted us all at her boutique by three so we could start getting ready. Applejack thought that was a bit excessive, but Rarity insisted on full makeovers this time, including mane washing, hoof polish, and makeup.

Since I lived so close, I put off my arrival until just before the clock struck three. Pinkie, Rarity, Twilight and Spike were already there with Fluttershy and Applejack on the way. Rainbow was zooming in from the other direction, so I broke into a gallop to catch up. This earned a scolding from Rarity.

“Slow down, Acrylic. You’ll leave sweat stains on your gala dress!”

“Perfect. We’re all here. Spike, I’m ready.”

“For what?” Spike brought forth a shiny red apple, and placed it carefully on the ground.

“An apple! Are we having pie?” Pinkie guessed.

“Shh! Just watch,” Spike hushed. With a powerful surge of magic from her horn, the apple began trembling, shaking, bouncing, until it burst out into a beautiful carriage.

“Awesome!”

“Wow!”

“Lovely!”

“Thanks, but that’s just the start. Fluttershy, did you bring your friends?” Four white mice scurried out of Fluttershy’s long, pink mane.

“Yes. Will they be safe, Twilight?”

“You have my word.” After another surge of magic, the mice were transformed into great big... horses? Not quite. They still had whiskers, mouse ears and twitchy noses. “Ta-da!”

“Oh, uh...”

“Um, okay...”

“Interesting choice.”

“Neat, huh? And don’t worry. They’ll be mice again by midnight.”

“Opalescence, no!” Fluttershy cried. We looked over in time to see Rarity’s persian cat jump out and attack one of the mouse-horses, scaring them all off.

“Wait! Come back! Those horses were supposed to pull our carriage. How will we get to the gala?”

“Oh, whatever shall we do?” Rarity sarcastically whined. She proceeded to trot over to a group of strong looking stallions gathered off in a nearby field. “Uh, ahem. Excuse me. Would you boys mind pulling our carriage to the gala?” They were no match for Rarity’s flirting.

“Oh. Yeah. Right.”

While Rarity finalized arrangements with the boys, the rest of us stepped inside to begin preparing. Three of us split off to wash our hair while the other three gathered makeup, hair curlers, brushes, hoof polish and the works. I was one of the first ones for a mane scrubbing along with Pinkie and Twilight. Fluttershy’s mane was so thin and breezy that it didn’t really need a wash, but Rarity insisted. She stepped in the bathroom with Applejack and Rainbow to put her mane up in curlers just as I was coming out to dry. Pinkie’s frizzy, curly mane was impossible to work with and almost seemed waterproof, because it took hardly any time to dry. My thick blue mane, on the other hoof, required a heavy duty blow drying. I barely heard Spike pounding on the door, demanding to be let in over the sound of the powerful fan.

“Come on, you guys. Let me in!”

“Sure thing, Spike.” Applejack and Rainbow were both starting for the door when Rarity zoomed in front of it.

“Heavens, no! We’re getting dressed.”

“Dressed? Uh, beg pardon, Rarity, but we don’t normally wear clothes.” Rarity sighed in defeat.

“I’m sorry, Spike. Some of us do have standards.” I shut my blow dryer off and moved onto the hoof polish station. Since we all had shoes of some sort that would cover it up, I wasn’t sure why this was necessary, but I didn’t feel like starting an argument with Rarity either.

“I still can't believe we're gonna be at Canterlot tonight. Our home town, Twilight! And the best part is that we all get to hang out together all night long!”

“Uh... I-I don't know, Spike.”

“We'll just have to see.”

“We're gonna be a mite busy.”

“Busy having fun!”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Don't worry, Spike. We'll all get to spend some time together.”

“Great!”

Twilight helped me with my makeup, and I braided Applejack’s mane. Rarity had even prepared a suit and tie for our chaperone, Spike. We slipped into our dresses, fixed any hair that had come loose in the process, and scuttled out to the waiting carriage. While the stallions pulling us were perfectly capable of driving themselves, Spike held the reins. Big Macintosh was going to bring his sister’s apple cart to her, and he’d been kind enough to transport my awkwardly sized portfolio while he was at it.

The rest of us girls eagerly chattered inside, worked up over the prospect of such an important event. I was shaking with excitement, clutching my stomach as we joked to pass the time. Our expectations of the night were modified again and again in the conversation. When Rarity made the joke about the idea of the rest of us finding true love too, even my gears began churning. I’d resolved that I wouldn’t put myself through the pain of even considering it, since I knew that it could never be. But what if? For the rest of the ride, I dreamed of finding my very special somepony.

“We’re here!” Twilight gasped. All of us scrambled for the window, knocking heads in the process. Pinkie finally made it, and gasped with excitement. There was only room for one of us to stand in the center, and Pinkie claimed it to do a happy dance.

“Pinkie! What did I tell you about sweat stains?” With a sheepish grin, she returned to her seat.

“Finally! I’ll get to meet the Wonderbolts!” Rainbow dreamily sighed.

“I’ll get to meet my prince,” Rarity added in the same romantic tone.

“I’ll get to talk with the Princess all night!” Twilight squealed.

“Here we are!” Our carriage came to a halt, and Spike opened the door. Rarity was the first one out, followed by me, Twilight, AJ, Pinkie, Rainbow, and Fluttershy.

“Whoa! You all look... AMAZING!” Spike exclaimed.

“I can't believe we're finally here. With all that we've imagined, the reality of this night is sure to make this... The Best Night Ever!” I’d never broken out in song before, but Twilight led us in an improvised melody I felt I had to join into.

“At the Gala,” she began. Other guests decided to join in as the chorus.

...

“At the Gala!”

...

Fluttershy took the lead in her own verse.

...

“At the Gala

“In the garden

“I'm going to see them all

“All the creatures

I'll befriend them at the Gala!”

...

“At the Gala!” the chorus cried again.

...

“All the birdies

“And the critters

“They will love me big and small

“We'll become good friends forever

“Right here at the Gala!” Again, came the chorus.

...

“All our dreams will come true,

“Right here at the Gala!”

“At the Gala!”

It was Applejack’s turn.

...

“At the Gala

“I will sell them

“All my appletastic treats.

“Hungry ponies

“They will buy them:

“Caramel apples, apple sweets

“And I'll earn a lot of money

“For the Apple family!”

...

“All our dreams and our hopes from now until hereafter,

“All that we've been wishing for will happen at the Gala!

“At the Gala!”

...

Rarity was up.

...

“At the Gala,

“All the royals,

“They will meet fair Rarity.

“They will see I'm just as regal at the Gala!”

...

“At the Gala!”

...

“I will find him,

“My Prince Charming,

“And how gallant he will be!

“He will treat me like a lady

“Tonight at the Gala!”

...

“This is what we've waited for to have the best night ever.

“Each of us will live our dreams

“Tonight at the Gala!

“At the Gala!”

...

“Been dreamin'

“I've been waitin'

“To fly with those great ponies:

“The Wonderbolts, their daring tricks,

“Spinning round and having kicks.

“Perform for crowds of thousands;

“They'll shower us with diamonds!

“The Wonderbolts will see me right here at the Gala!”

...

“All we've longed for;

“All we've dreamed;

“Our happy ever after

“Finally will all come true

“Right here at the Grand Gala!

“At the Gala!”

...

“I am here at the Grand Gala,

“For it is the best party,

“But the one thing it was missing was a pony named Pinkie!

“For I am the best at parties, all the ponies will agree.

“Ponies playing,

“Ponies dancing,

“With me at the Grand Gala!

...

“Happiness and laughter at the Gala!

“At the Gala!”

...

A lull in the song briefly ensued before I took the opportunity to pitch in my verse.

...

“At the Gala,

“I will show them;

“Everypony will then see

“The talents I possess

“Are unmatched here at the Gala!”

...

“At the Gala!”

...

“Months of work

“Will pay off;

“Keeping busy was the key.

“And perhaps tonight

“The one will appear

“Who can make my life complete,

“Tonight at the Gala!”

...

“At the Gala,

“With the Princess

“Is where I'm going to be.

“We will talk all about magic and what I've learned and seen.

“It is going to be so special,

“As she takes time just for me !”

...

“This will be the best night ever!

“Into the Gala we must go

“We're ready now, we're all aglow

“Into the Gala, let's go in and have the best night ever

“Into the Gala, now's the time

“We're ready and we look divine!

“Into the Gala.”

...

“Meet new friends!”

...

“Into the Gala.”

...

“Sell some apples.”

...

“Into the Gala.”

...

“Find my Prince.”

...

“Prove I'm great

“As a Wonderbolt is.”

...

“To meet!”

“To sell!”

“To find!”

“To prove!”

“To whoop!”

“To show!”

“To talk!”

...

“Into the Gala!

“Into the Gala

“And we'll have the best night ever!

“At the Gala!”

...