• Published 22nd Mar 2018
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Pound and Pumpkin Tales 2 - Never2muchpinkie



The continuing adventures of the now seven years old Pound and Pumpkin

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3-4: Flurry returns

Pound went to school the next day in high spirits again. After helping her twice with personal problems Flurry was all too eager to return the favor. And when he told Twilight about the situation she agreed to teleport Flurry over after school so he could implement his plan.

The only thing left to do was get Drill Bit to agree to meet Flurry. Obviously it couldn’t be at school, so it had to be afterward. He didn’t think it would be too difficult. He just had to present him with a challenge.

As he expected Drill Bit ignored him when they started class. He left the colt to his own devices, focusing on practicing his flying.

During lunch Drill was messing around with his friends, and he thought it made the perfect opportunity.

He flew over to the group. “Hey, Drill Bit!” he called out.

Drill gave him a dirty look. “What do you want, nerd? I’ve got better things to do than waste my time with you.”

“There’s a friend of mine who wants to meet you.”

“Why should I care?”

“She’s heard about how good you are, and she wants to test herself against you.”

Drill rolled his eyes. “Again, why should I care?”

“Well, I think it would be good manners to at least meet her. After all, she is a princess.”

That got his attention. “A princess?”

He nodded. “Her name is Flurry Heart. She lives in the Crystal Empire, and she’s the daughter of Princess Cadance and Shining Armor.”

Nimbus whistled. “Wow.”

“Seriously?” asked Sandstorm.

Pound nodded again. “Yes, indeed.”

Drill gave him an odd look. “You’re telling me she’s traveling halfway around the country just to challenge me to a race?”

“Well, the distance really doesn’t mean anything. Twilight can just teleport there and back with her. Even so, I think it’s a great honor that you’ve captured her attention.

“You said that you want to be great and impress your parents. Trouncing an alicorn in a race would do wonders for your rep, don’t you think?”

“Go for it, dude,” said Cumulus, slapping Drill on the back.

Pound knew he had to accept, if for no other reason than it would make him look bad in front of his friends.

Drill shrugged, trying to look nonchalant. “Eh, sure. Why not?

“She any good?”

Pound shrugged now. “I don’t know. I’ve never actually seen her race someone. As you can expect, the difference in locations makes it hard for us to see each other too often, even with Twilight’s help.”

“How do you know her, Pound?” asked Heavy Downpour.

“My aunt is good friends with Princess Twilight, and Twilight’s brother is the father of Flurry. So it’s a friend of a friend kinda deal. She came over for my birthday party.”

“Pretty cool.”

“And where did I come up in this?” asked Drill Bit, sounding a little suspicious. “How does she know about me?”

“That’s easy. If you remember I only started flying right after my birthday, so I told her about my training and how you’ve been training me.”

“And how old is she?”

“She’s six. It would hardly be fair if she was an adult.”

Drill got his game face on. “Sounds interesting. An alicorn as an opponent.”

He sat out on the competing for the rest of lunch, wanting to save his strength for the race.

Pound mentally pumped his hoof. That had gone smoothly.

The only thing he was concerned about now was Flurry. He knew how sensitive she could be about her wings. And, honestly, he had no idea how a race between the two of them would go. Her bigger wings might give her better acceleration, but he didn’t know if she had any flying talent.

Of course, he knew the race itself was unimportant. It was just the means to bring the two of them together outside of school. However, Drill might not listen to Flurry if she lost. Or if she won, either. That might just anger him to the point he stormed off. The only thing he could do was wait and hope that everything turned out okay.

After their final class ended and he went outside he was glad to see she was already there, along with Twilight.

“Hey, Pound!” Flurry cried out as she ran over and hugged him. “It’s nice to see you again.”

“Same here,” he replied, hugging her back.

Flurry’s horn glowed, pulling Pumpkin over and including her in the hug as well.

“I’m here too!” Crystal Mines said as she trotted over.

“Oops,” said Pound as he released Flurry. “I missed you.”

“That’s okay.”

“What brings you here?” asked Pumpkin.

Crystal put her hoof around Flurry. “Hey, she’s my best friend. Where she goes, I go.”

Pumpkin grinned, glad that their friendship was still going strong.

Drill kept his distance, sizing Flurry up. Regardless of her personality she was still an alicorn. Her potential was almost unlimited. The only question was how much of it she had tapped. Was she naturally gifted and pulled off stunts like nothing since she got off the ground, or was she someone who had to spend every day training to make something of herself?

He could feel his heart beating in his chest, a sense of tension through his body. It was the anxiety that always came before a big race. Train or teleportation, she had travelled so far just to meet and race with him. There was no way he couldn’t be nervous.

“Something wrong, Drill?” asked his mother.

Drill blinked, pulling his gaze away from Flurry. “I’m not going home today,” he said. “I have a big race to take care of.”

“Oh?” she asked curiously. “But we haven’t signed you up for any competitions today.”

“I know, but someone went out of their way to challenge me, so I have to go take them down.”

Sound Barrier looked towards where Drill had been looking before, and her eyes widened. “I sure hope you’re not talking about Princess Twilight.”

He shook his head. “Nope. The one with the blue and purple mane.”

His mother sounded a little skeptical as she said, “Her?”

“According to my classmate she’s Princess Twilight’s niece and the daughter of Princess Cadance.”

His mother’s eyes bugged out as her head whipped back toward him. “Are you serious?” She looked back at Flurry with newfound wonder. “That’s hard to believe.”

“Well, it’s true.”

She stomped a hoof in frustration. “I really do have to be getting to work. I was just supposed to bring you home real quick. I can’t believe I have to miss such a fine test of your skills.”

Drill’s eyes looked away. He wouldn’t say it out loud, but he was glad she wasn’t going to be there.

Pound directed Flurry towards Drill Bit. “Hey, there!” he said to Drill. “I want to formally introduce you to Princess Flurry Heart of the Crystal Empire.”

Drill respectfully bowed. “Hello there,” he said in an unnaturally stiff voice. “My name is Drill Bit.”

Flurry playfully rolled her eyes. “You can drop the forced politeness bit. I’m no snob. Just treat me like you would treat your other classmates.”

Drill eyed her suspiciously, wondering if this was some kinda test.

Flurry chuckled at his look. “Look, the way I see it I’m only a princess through birth. I haven’t earned it by doing amazing things like my mother and my aunt. So I don’t need special treatment.” She gave him a playful shove. “You got that, loser?” She winked.

Drill frowned at first, but then his smug grin quickly popped onto his face. “If you insist. Just don’t blame me when I send you home crying.”

“No problem.”

He gestured to his mother. “This is my mom, Sound Barrier.”

Flurry bowed her head. “Nice to meet you.”

Sound sighed. “Wish I could say the same. Nothing to do with you, Princess, but I have to get to work so I’m not going to be able to watch the two of you go at it.”

“That’s a shame, but from what Pound tells me your son is already a champion. Do you really need to see yet another victory?”

Sound look pleased with that statement. “I guess not, but aren’t you selling yourself short?”

Flurry shrugged. “I’ve never raced Drill before, so I have no idea how his skills match up to mine. That’s partially why I’m here.”

“That’s quite a ways to travel for just a race.”

“Well, I’m friends with Pound and Pumpkin, and my Aunt Twilight can just teleport me out here when I want to play with them. I figure since I’m here already I might as well see what Pound’s trainer is like.”

“Trainer?” she asked, her eyebrow going up and her expression growing haughty.

Pound saw Drill freeze. Now wasn’t the time for this kind of confrontation.

Laughing awkwardly he put his hoof behind his head and rubbed it. “I keep challenging Drill when he’s not busy trouncing his friends, but I stink right now. I haven’t beaten him once.”

He wasn’t sure if he said the right things to defuse the situation, but Drill looked slightly less uncomfortable.

Sound had a bit of a dismissive look on her face as she gazed down at him. “Perhaps you should consider challenging someone more among your own skill level then. Drill is trying to reach his full potential, and he can’t reach that without the toughest opponents. He doesn’t have time to pick up someone else’s slack.”

Although her voice was polite enough, her wording made it clear that she thought he was unworthy of Drill’s time.

He knew he couldn’t afford to get hotheaded. This wasn’t about him. This was about Drill’s happiness.

Flurry seemed to grasp she had said the wrong thing, because she didn’t pursue the topic.

Twilight approached. “Hello there,” she said, addressing Sound Barrier. “I hope you’ll entrust your son to my care for the next few hours.”

The disdainful expression on Sound’s face faded, and she inclined her head respectfully. “Of course, Princess. I know you’ll take good care of him.”

She let out a rough sigh before forcing a smile on her face. Putting her forehead on Drill’s she nuzzled him, saying, “Do your best. I’ll be waiting for the good news. Sure wish I could see it, but I guess I’ll have to live with the thrilling tale.”

With a kiss on the top of his snout she said, “I love you.”

“I love you too, Mom,” he replied dully.

“Aw, there’s no need to be nervous. I have absolute faith in your abilities.” She gave him an encouraging smile.

Drill felt like his mind was being pulled in two directions. He loved her praise, but it also gave him a sense of anxiety.

He tried to smile back, but he didn’t quite manage it. It was overwide and not very convincing, but she didn’t notice before she said goodbye and flew away.

Flurry put her hoof over her heart as a tear rolled down her cheek. It was like looking at a real life version of her deepest fears. It was no wonder Pound had sought her out specifically. She could practically feel his inner turmoil.

There was only one thing to do, and that was to show him a different path. She had no desire to see someone sinking in the same pool of despair she had been submerged in not too long ago. It was time to start earning her alicorn status.

Author's Note:

Good news. I had a productive night of brainstorming at work, so I now have this arc pretty well mapped out.

Much like Masky's arc, I see it taking a while to resolve, though not AS long. A prideful kid like him, no way it's going to go easy, especially with equally prideful parents.

There's still a few things to work out at the tail end, but the next 3 chapters are all done in my head.

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