• Published 18th Apr 2016
  • 500 Views, 8 Comments

And Yet... - Xepher

A series of short vignettes centered around the theme of everyday miracles.

  • ...


Scootaloo banked to the left, angling for a thermal she suspected should be there. She felt her wings catch the updraft. There it was, pulling her higher into the sky. Ahead, Cloudsdale rested on the horizon, its billowing architecture a welcoming sight after the long flight. She always loved coming to the pegasus city. Part of it was just the beauty of the place. It was hard to look at the rainbows, pillars, and gentle spread of the place as it floated in the sunset and not smile. But more than that was the nostalgia. Here was where she'd first managed to fly, after very nearly throwing it all away. More importantly though, and for the first time in years, both Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle would be there at the same time. Actually, now that she thought about it, it may be the first time all three of them had returned since... since the "incident."

Looking back, it was hard to think of herself as even being the same pony. Her teenage years had been rough—not that she was unique in that regard, but she'd been in her final year of school, and still a blank flank, still flightless. It was a one-two punch to an already fragile, teenage ego. Her friends had found their marks in years prior, and while they always tried to include her, Scootaloo found she couldn't help but feel alienated as they developed their talents and moved on with their lives. She felt broken, useless, and as time went by, with less and less crusading, she'd gone into a deep spiral of depression. Yes, she thought, hard to believe that she was even the same pony that had done all that.

The "incident" had been in late spring. School was wrapping up, and all the ponies in class were talking about their plans for the future. Most had universities picked out, or at the very least, apprenticeships to make use of their special talents. She just couldn't take it any more. If the universe was determined to keep her down, then she decided she'd give it one last buck in the face on the way out.

She'd left a note, telling anypony interested that she was going up to Cloudsdale by airship, and coming back down, one way or another, on her own. She'd bought a ticket and left the port by mid afternoon, trotting to a park on a thin overhang from the main cloudbank. There she'd sat for what felt like hours, though it was hard to keep track of time, her mind whirling as it was, trying to work up the nerve to go through with it. It felt so fitting at the time, the pegasus that couldn't fly, would die while doing so. Well, it wasn't exactly flying, but she figured it would feel the same for a least a moment.

That's when Sweetie and Apple Bloom had shown up. The argument had been intense, of course, the other two immediately realizing what she was planning, and horrified at the thought. She knew they'd blamed themselves for letting their friendship slack, and for not realizing just how bad things had gotten for the pegasus. Everypony was crying, yelling, and in utter confusion when it happened. Sweetie's hastily cast cloudwalking spell faltered.

One hoof went through first, leaving just enough time for the others to see the shocked look on her face. Then the unicorn dropped through the thin layer of cloud at the edge of the city with a scream. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo shared a brief look of horror, then Scootaloo jumped.

This hadn't been at all what she'd planned, though even in her panic, her mind made a bitter note that it did feel a bit like flying, at least until she tried to exert any sort of control. No, it was just falling. Scootaloo managed to dive a little faster, trying to catch her friend, but unsure what to do after that. She gained some speed, but trying to get close was no use, she couldn't maneuver well enough. Then she'd felt a tug, and Sweetie's familiar aura, pulling them closer together as they fell. It was a long ways down from Cloudsdale, and as the two ponies drew near, Scootaloo shouted her apologies; how sorry she was that she'd caused this, how awful she was as a pony for getting her friends involved.

The rush of wind lessened as the two collided and grabbed onto one another in a high velocity hug. "I'm so sorry," Scootaloo had said, crying. "If only I knew how to fly!"

"It's okay," Sweetie had said, her face more peaceful and resolute than Scootaloo could have imagined. As the two fell, Sweetie squeezed her friend in a tighter hug, and then looked her in the eye. "Scootaloo, no matter what happens, it'll be okay. I don't blame you. I believe in you!"

There was nothing that special in the words, no spell behind them, no poetry to their form. She'd been told similar things by dozens of ponies for years and years. But right then, in that moment, it was something profound. It wasn't magic, and yet... she'd opened her wings and flown them both to safety.

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