• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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Blizzard

When the blizzard hit, Rainbow Dash thought she would be prepared for it. It struck with such severity that she could barely fly a straight path. A huge downdraft cascaded across the mountainside, pelting her with relentless flurries of snow and powder. Every time she attempted flying straight up, the draft flung her at an awkward angle. For fear of being tossed blindly into a mountainside beyond the veil of frosted clouds, she stuck to the mountainous slopes, crawling her way forward against the winds in hope that the sheer body of the craggy landscape would eventually block the throes of the relentless blizzard and give her some relief.

In such a grounded fashion, Rainbow Dash scaled the cliffs and slopes of the eastward ridges. At least, she hoped that she was climbing her way towards the east. The blizzard had struck in the middle of the day, and the sunlight was evenly dispersed through the translucent soup of ice and frost. What was more, the storm had sent her in a dizzying spiral as soon as it struck. For all she knew, she could just as easily have been trekking north, south, or—worst of all—back west.

The hellish grayness was closing in on all sides. Everytime Rainbow Dash opened her mouth to breathe, she nearly choked on the bone-chilling flurry. She clung to the rocky walls, using her wings to steady her. Her vision was reduced to about ten feet, and she used it to find her way up. Her only progress was the feeble knowledge that—despite her predicament—she was ascending the stony peak. It was her slim hope that she'd reach the summit and have a firm platform to rocket herself skyward as soon as there was a break in the winds.

This, of course, was a noble pursuit. However, it was starting to take too long. The blizzard would not let up. From the windblown icicles she was spotting along the ascent, Rainbow figured that the ghastly phenomenon was common to that particular section of landscape. She was having to deal with the very real and utterly horrifying fact that the sun would fall before she'd enjoy a respite.

Rainbow Dash's teeth chattered, but she couldn't feel it. She couldn't even hear it, much less the muscles in her jaws or the breaths coming out of her nostrils. Moisture was freezing over her nose and clinging to her lashes. She wished that she had somehow acquired for herself a canvas mask back at Windthrow. Years of exercising her wings and hooves had made her unprepared for protecting her face first and foremost. It was one thing to purposefully launch herself into danger for the sake of a well-planned stunt. Rainbow Dash wasn't entirely equipped to deal with the consequences of marching directly into prolonged peril.

Her thoughts bounced back to the truly hectic moments of her life as of late: quarry eels, hydras, minotaurs, and extra-dimensional bat-creatures. She had endured so many chaotic and unpredictable hardships. Surely she had it within her to survive a single blizzard.

And yet, the light was fading from the milky world of madness surging around her. She felt the cold intensifying, if that was even possible for her frayed nerves. Marching into the flurrying flakes felt like swimming through knives. Regardless, Rainbow Dash persisted. On wobbling hooves, she pulled herself up cliff-face after cliff-face, struggling not to slip and fall into unfathomable nothingness just mere inches from her quivering figure. She hadn't used her wings for hours, and she wasn't sure the feathers had what it took from the constant punishment to give her a much-needed lift.

The day was dying. A stone gray darkness melted over the howling cyclone. Rainbow Dash paused to press her back against a wall of stone, panting. She hissed through gnashing teeth as she reached a hoof up to her ruby pendant and rubbed it. A dim glow emanated, then slowly intensified, warming her ever so slightly and bringing a miniscule glow to the frozen hellscape descending all around her. Rainbow Dash wondered if this would be the last thing she would see—a bubble of crimson luminescence hopelessly veiled by snow on all sides. The mountain whistled from the sheer force of the winds slicing past its granite shoulders. It sounded like a swarm of invisible creatures soaring towards her from a distance.

Rainbow Dash closed her eyes, attempting to meditate, to find her center. She had lived a very hazardous life. She was prepared to experience many things. She was ready to stumble, ready to hurt herself, and even ready to die. One thing she never wanted to experience before the end of her days was panic.

So, with a sharp breath, she opened her eyes, and took one step forward. Only... the mountain had disappeared beneath her. To her shock, a swift gale had side-swiped the mountain, shattered a throng of icicles, and flung them hard into her side like a blast of glass shrapnel. Rainbow Dash could no longer make broad assumptions about the usefulness of her wings. As she sailed off the mountainside, she had no choice but to exercise them. She found the entire endeavor taxing, for try as she might to extend her feathers, her appendages were failing her. The blizzard had done its damage, and half of her body wasn't responding to what her nerves were telling it. Soon, she found herself plummeting—twirling—and ultimately diving towards a deep crack in the earth, a sudden gorge that threatened to swallow Rainbow Dash whole.

She hardly had the breath to scream.

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