• Published 15th Dec 2018
  • 3,557 Views, 91 Comments

Tales of the Ponyville Blacksmith - Parodyman64

Well, I can't exactly say things have ever been 'normal' here in Ponyville, but it got just a little bit weirder after he showed up.

  • ...

Set Fire to the Rain

Sunlight crept in through the drawn blinds, giving light to the otherwise dim office, reflecting off the dust particles dancing in the air, creating a soft, sparkling lightshow ignored by the three ponies hunched over the desk in the middle of the room, their soft muttering filling the otherwise silent space as they scoured over a stack of files and paperwork on the desk.

The amber earth pony finished writing a name down on the list in front of her before spitting the quill back into an inkwell and sitting back. She re-adjusted her glasses as she quickly glanced through the list. “That should be the last one,” she looked up at the lavender-blue pegasus sitting in front of her.

The pegasus mare shrugged, bobbing her light-yellow mane as she finished stacking the files in front of her. “Got nothin’,” she turned to the pinkish-gray pegasus sitting beside her, “How ‘bout you?”

She shook her head, causing her cerise and green mane to shift as she stacked one final file. “Nope. That’s it.”

The amber mare nodded, causing her gray mane to sway. “Good,” She swept up the files and tucked them back into the town registry folder, before pulling an empty folder out of a drawer. “I’ll go retrieve the matching files.” The pegasi mares nodded as the earth mare stood up and took the folders over to the filing cabinet along the back wall. She tuned out the dull chatter behind her as she put the town registry away and began pulling various files to place in the empty folder, allowing her mind to wander.

There was still one pony absent from this meeting. When was she going to deign fit to show up? She was usually a very punctual pony, and it wasn’t like her to miss a meeting without any forewarning, especially a meeting as important as this.

Mayor Mare turned away from the filing cabinets as the door to her office opened, admitting a lavender alicorn.

“Sorry I’m late. Starlight, Trixie and I were practicing magic and a miscast spell trapped us on the ceiling for two hours.”

Mayor Mare gave her a nod, “Princess.”

“Mayor,” Twilight Sparkle gave a slight twitch at being referred to by her title, but said nothing, instead moving to stand to the side of the desk. Mayor Mare turned back to the filing cabinets as Twilight looked at the other two occupants of the office. “Hello, Cloudkicker, Blossomforth. I didn’t know you’d be here.”

Cloudkicker smirked, “Expecting somepony else?”

“I was, actually,” Twilight looked around the office, “Where’s Rainbow Dash?”


That drew a look from Twilight.

Blossomforth nudged Cloudkicker and gave her a glare before turning to Twilight. “The next round of Wonderbolt training starts next week. She’s trying to get on a proper sleep schedule before then.”

Twilight nodded, “Okay. So you’re here in her place?”

Blossomforth shook her head, “No, we’re here for ourselves.”

Twilight tilted her head lightly and furrowed her brow.

Cloudkicker leaned on the desk and smirked. “Been a while since you met with the weather team, hasn’t it?”

Blossomforth shot her a look, “Kicky, be nice.” She turned back to Twilight. “I’m surprised you don’t already know this, but Dash isn’t Ponyville’s weather captain anymore. She hasn’t been since she joined the Wonderbolts.”

Twilight arched her brow, “Really? I hadn’t noticed.”

Cloudkicker shifted in her seat, her smirk fading to a soft smile. “Yeah, I don’t blame ya. I haven’t met a pony that works half as hard as Dash does. Officially, she’s only a member of the reserves; she doesn’t have to do anything outside of emergencies. But, well,” She looked Twilight in the eyes, “You know her, ‘Never leave a friend hangin’.’ She’s kept up weather work almost as if nothing’s changed. She even still takes charge out in the sky.” Cloudkicker gave a short laugh, “I guess the only thing different is that she doesn’t have to do paperwork anymore.”

Blossomforth nodded, “I’m sure she could have handled both and been just fine, but…” She looked at Cloudkicker for a moment before turning back to Twilight, “We didn’t think that she deserved to have her loyalty torn between two teams. So, as a team, we convinced her that it was alright to stand down and follow her dream.”

A sincere smile pulled itself across Twilight’s face. “That’s very kind of you to do that for her.” She looked between the two. “I take it her replacement is…”

“Both of us, Princess,” Blossomforth finished.

“Both of you?”

“Careful, Princess,” Cloudkicker smirked, “You’re inexperience is showing.”

“Cloudkicker!” Blossomforth hissed through her teeth as she gave the offending pegasus a hard nudge and a fierce glare.

“What?” Cloudkicker flinched back slightly, “I’m just saying she doesn’t know much about weather work.”

Blossomforth’s glare hardened.

As Cloudkicker flinched back, Twilight stepped in. “Blossomforth, it’s fine. Cloudkicker’s right. For as long as I’ve been friends with Rainbow Dash, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I don’t actually know a lot when it comes to the intricacies of weather work.” She turned and met Cloudkicker’s eyes. “In the interest of correcting this: what do you mean?”

Cloudkicker shot a brief glance at Blossomforth before straightening her posture. “Well, most weather teams have at least two captains.”


Cloudkicker nodded, “Weather needs to be maintained at all times, so the captains’ shifts are split evenly across the day, while the rest of the team has staggered shifts, so that there’s enough ponies for the job and nopony is worked too hard. Since Ponyville has two weather captains, we’re split into two shifts; I have midday to midnight.”

“And I have midnight to midday,” Blossomforth said.

Cloudkicker smirked, “Dash is the only pony I know who could pull off a solo weather shift. She’s able to do the work of ten ponies in a fraction of the time. When she was captain, most days she was able to do most, if not all, the work herself.” Her smirk faded into a fond smile. “Left a lot a free time for the rest of the team to pursue hobbies and ‘other interests.’” She waggled her brow, causing Blossomforth to roll her eyes. Twilight giggled.

As she reflected in thought, Cloudkicker’s face slowly shifted from a fond smile to a frustrated scowl. She shook her head and huffed. “And to think there’s a bunch of ground pounders that have to the gall to call her ‘lazy.’”

Cloudkicker!” Blossomforth looked appalled.

Realizing who she was talking to, Cloudkicker wilted and gave Twilight an apologetic look. “… Sorry. Weather work is… Most ponies in Ponyville think managing the weather is just pushing a bunch of clouds around, but there’s so much more to it than that! And now that I’m in Rainbow’s spot, I don’t know how she did this on her own all day every day! The paperwork alone is killing me.”


Blinking, everyone stopped and turned to look at the forgotten occupant of the room.

Mayor Mare returned to her seat, placing a file folder on her desk alongside a paper list. She looked up at the gathered ponies before focusing on Cloudkicker. “I believe I speak for everypony present when I say we understand the frustrations of paperwork. However, I would ask that we now return to the subject at hoof.” She turned to Twilight, “Princess?”

“Right,” Twilight nodded, before straightening her posture. “Princess Celestia has agreed to expand Ponyville’s budget for this month so long as we catch the pony stealing the rainclouds.” She turned to face the weathermares. “Has there been any luck on that front?”

Cloudkicker’s mouth curled into an uncertain frown as she glanced at Blossomforth. “Eh, Kind of…”

Blossomforth turned to Twilight. “We’ve had ponies take turns watching over the cloud bank the last couple of days. The other night, Icy Rain reported a disturbance and overheard some muffled voices.”

“Voices?” Twilight furrowed her brow. “So there’s more than one pony stealing rainclouds?”

“Maybe?” Cloudkicker shrugged. “We don’t really know. Icy heard a name, but it was really muffled through all the clouds, so we don’t know exactly who it is; we just kinda know what their name sounds like.”

Mayor Mare pushed the paper list across the table towards Twilight. “Using the basic phonetic pattern of the name, we’ve gone through the town’s registry and compiled a list of ponies in and around Ponyville that are potential matches.” She slid the file folder next to the list. “I’ve taken the liberty of retrieving their files. I hope that this information will help with the investigation.”

Twilight gave the mayor a nod as she picked up the list and began to read through it.

Cranberry Crash

Holly Dash

Button Mash

Raspberry Bash

Mango Dash

Rainwater Cache

Silky Sash



Campfire Ash

Lemme Smash

Bright Flash

Cold Cash

Muddy Splash

Freshwater Splash

Saltwater Splash

Secret Stash

Hidden Cache

Silver Clash

Once she was finished looking through the list, Twilight opened the file folder and began to skim through the different files. After a moment, she picked up the quill on the desk and began crossing names off the list.

Cloudkicker leaned over to look. “What are you doing?”

Twilight continued to read through the files, occasionally crossing names off of the list. “I’m further refining our search. While all of these names are phonetically similar, we’re looking for a pony who is stealing rainclouds, which means we’re looking for a pegasus. Not all of these ponies are pegasi.” She picked up a file to show Cloudkicker as she crossed off another name. “Raspberry Bash is an earth pony, so it couldn’t have been him.”

Blossomforth hummed to herself in thought. “There were two voices, though. Maybe he got help from a pegasus?”

Twilight paused. “Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that. The idea that it could be a non-pegasus with a pegasus accomplice certainly increases the number of potential suspects, which isn’t helped by only having one name.” She sat still for a moment, glaring deep in thought at the list before she shook her head and continued. “I’ll start with the pegasi listed. If that turns up nothing, I’ll go through the rest of the list.” She sighed, “I hope we get to the bottom of this soon. Daisy sandwiches just don’t taste the same slightly dry.”

Cloudkicker shrugged, “I dunno. I kinda like the slight crunch.”

Blossomforth shook her head. “That’s because you’re weird.”

Cloudkicker gave her a playful nudge as they devolved into giggles.

“Mares, focus,” Mayor Mare interrupted, “We need to solve this as soon as possible. It reflects poorly on the town if we can’t maintain a steady budget.”

“Right,” Twilight nodded, turning back to the files. As she finished going through the files and crossing names off the list, she noticed something. “Where’s Dash?”

Cloudkicker raised a brow. “I told you, she’s napping.”

Twilight shook her head and looked up. “No, I mean on the list. Her name is a phonetic match, why isn’t she on the list?”

Cloudkicker and Blossomforth gave each other looks before turning back to Twilight.

“Why would she be on the list?” Cloudkicker asked.

Blossomforth nodded in agreement. “Yeah. Rainbow Dash is the former weather captain. I would think that she of all ponies would know not to mess with the cloud stores.”

Twilight was silent for a moment, eyes closed in thought. Sighing, she opened her eyes and looked at the pegasi. “Even if something was provoking her? Don’t forget what happened at the Cloudsdale weather factory when Tank started hibernating.”

The pegasi winced and looked away. It was hard to forget that disaster. First winter was late. Then there was too much winter all at once, not only leaving a huge mess for ponies on the ground to clean up, but the impact left on the atmosphere and the weather schedule took weeks to normalize. All in all, it was “one hay of a clusterbuck.”

Cloudkicker looked back at Twilight. “Okay, I mean, she can be rash, sure, but surely she’d be aware what she’s doing.”

Twilight frowned in thought. “She might not be.”


“Hmm.” Mayor Mare nodded, “Princess Twilight brings up a good point. Rainbow Dash no longer manages the weather budget, that task falls on you two now. If it really is Miss Dash, then it’s entirely possible that she is unaware of the damage she is causing.” She sat back in her seat. “Perhaps we were too quick to write her off.”

Both of the weathermares wilted.

Twilight nodded, adding “Rainbow Dash” to the bottom of the list. “I’ll talk with her first. If it ends up not being her, then she should at least be able to help me with the rest of this list.” There was a flash of magic, causing the files and other paperwork to disappear. “I’ll return the files once I’m done with the investigation.” Twilight began to walk towards the door.

Mayor Mare nodded. “Understood, Princess. I wish you well.”

Cloudkicker and Blossomforth waved.

“Bye, Princess.”

“See you around.”

Twilight gave a short wave as she walked out of the office. “I’ll be back as soon as I’m done.”

The door clicked shut.

Rooms are often given bright colors in order to make them feel bigger than they actually are. This works because lighter colors reflect more light, and as light bounces off the walls, it gives them a sense of openness.

Of course, none of this helps when one is a tired pegasus whose bright blue cloud walls are doing a tremendous job of reflecting all the natural sunlight streaming through the open curtains that she foolishly forgot to close earlier, and is too lazy to get up and close now.

Rainbow Dash curled up, pulling her blankets up over her head in a desperate attempt to get away from the brightness surrounding her in a way that didn’t require climbing out of bed. And as she embraced the darkness, her mind slowly succumbing to the weariness within, Dash felt happy.

The door to her room opened.


Twilight poked her head in through the door, the light from the hallway spilling in somehow further brightening the room. “Dash, are you awake?”

Dash pulled the blankets off her head, rolling over to squint into the light. “Twilight?”

“Sorry to disturb you, but,” Twilight looked hesitant for a moment, “we need to talk.”

“Alright,” Rainbow Dash climbed out of bed and did some stretches to wake herself up. When she finished with that, Dash trotted out of her room into the hall. “What’s up, Twi?”

They began walking down the hall. “Dash… Have you been taking rainclouds?”

Dash furrowed her brow as they trotted down her stairs. “A few. Why?”

As they entered the kitchen, Twilight gave Rainbow Dash a level look. “Are you sure it’s just been ‘a few?’” With a flash of magic, she summoned the budget expenditure and set it on the table. “Because I think you and I have different definitions for ‘a few.’”

Rainbow Dash gawked as she looked over the paperwork. “What the hay?! Did they raise the price of clouds or something?” Her eyes darted across the paperwork until they landed on the order manifest for clouds. “I didn’t take this many clouds.”

“Are you sure?” Twilight did her best to maintain a neutral expression. “You don’t handle the weather budget anymore. It’s easy to make these types of mistakes when you can’t see the immediate consequences.”

Rainbow Dash looked up with an almost stern expression. “Twilight, I was weather captain for years. I know how to handle the budget even if I don’t have it in front of me. I know how many clouds I can get away with taking.”

Twilight shook her head. “Dash, why are you even taking rainclouds in the first place?”

Dash said nothing, instead silently looking away.

Her silence spoke volumes.

Twilight sighed. “Are you two still fighting?”

Rainbow Dash frowned, “I don’t know what you’re expecting, Twilight.”

“I just don’t like seeing my friends fight.”


Twilight glared at her. “You know what I mean. I don’t like seeing anyone fight, and you and Parody have been at each other’s throats for months.” Dash stayed silent, causing Twilight to sigh. “Eventually you two are going to have to apologize.”

Dash scowled, “Why should I apologize? I didn’t do anything wrong!” She crossed her forelegs.

Twilight shook her head, “Even so, this fighting has to stop. Especially if it’s going to cost the town.”

Rainbow Dash looked away. “Look, I’ll just buy my own rainclouds from now on.”


Rainbow Dash whipped back to glare at her. “Twilight, I’m not going to apologize. Not to him. Not for something that isn’t my fault.” She sighed, her glare melting away. “Look, I leave for training next week. I’ll try to avoid him until then. Don’t need any drama following me into practice anyway.”

Twilight wanted to argue. She wanted to say that that wasn’t the way she should handle it. That letting this continue even longer would only make things worse.

But she didn’t.

Sighing, Twilight nodded. “Alright. Get some rest, Dash. I’ll see if I can convince Parody to leave you alone, at least for the week.”

Dash shook her head. “Nah, I’m already up. I’ll see if I can figure out who else is taking clouds.” Seeing Twilight’s deadpan look, she tapped the budget paperwork. “Trust me, Twilight; I’m not the only one. Now, do you have any clues, or am I gonna be flying solo?”

Softly shaking her head, Twilight summoned the list of names. “Mayor Mare, Cloudkicker, and Blossomforth compiled a list of possible suspects based on a disturbance overheard in the cloud bank.” She passed the list to Dash. “I crossed out all the non-pegasi, but Blossomforth pointed out that there were at least two voices, so there’s a chance somepony had an accomplice.”

Rainbow Dash read through the list, arching her brow. “And they all rhyme with my name, because…?”

“Those names are the best phonetic matches to the muffled name overheard by-”

“Alright, never mind.” Dash smirked, trotting out her front door. “Don’t worry, I’ll find whoever’s taking all the clouds and make sure they don’t do it again.”

Twilight gave her an unamused glare. “Need I remind you that you were also taking clouds?”

“Yeah, yeah.” With a flare of her wings, Dash took off into the sky.

Twilight watched her friend fly away in silence. Eventually she shook her head and took off herself, angling her wings so that she was flying towards the blacksmith shop.

She had a human to talk to.

With a swoop and a light stumble, Twilight landed on the road in front of Parody’s house. Taking a moment to compose herself, Twilight began walking towards the front door. She began to think about how best to talk to Parody. His feud with Dash was no secret, so bringing it up would require a great deal of tact. And patience, but talking with Parody required that anyway. Stopping at the door, Twilight took a deep breath and prepared herself for what was sure to be a frustrating conversation.

Her ear twitched, and she became aware of the sound of screaming coming from within the building. Her eyes widened in alarm as she realized it was Parody screaming in agony. Worried, she rushed forward and began frantically knocking on the door.

“Parody! Parody, what’s going on?! Parody!

Immediately the screaming stopped. Ears straining for any clue as to what was wrong, Twilight heard the calm steps approaching the door before it swung open.

“Oh, hey Princess, what’s up?” Parody leaned on the doorframe casually. He was dressed in his usual black shirt and pants, two-tone blue cape and shoes, with his long brown hair shifting slightly in the breeze, parted to reveal the soft smirk on his face as his blue eyes sparkled with amusement.

He was also engulfed in flames.

Twilight gawked in horror, unable to tear her eyes away from the flickering flames that danced across his body. Charred holes forming in his clothes even as the ends of his hair curled and burnt. His skin slowly burned red from the heat. Her nose was overwhelmed by the overbearing smell of burning. Her already straining ears caught the crackling of the fire and the sizzle of Parody slowly being cooked.

She snapped out of it.

“Oh my gosh! Parody! You’re on fire!”

His smirk widened. “Believe me, I am aware.” He turned around to briefly look back inside his house. “I was actually starting to put myself out when you knocked.”

“What? Why didn’t you finish?”

He shrugged. “It’s rude to not answer the door when someone’s knocking. ‘Sides, it sounded like an emergency.”

Twilight stared dumbly at the flames that continued to slowly consume his body. “Parody.”


“You’re on fire.”

Parody quirked a brow. “Yes, I know. We’ve established this.”

She couldn’t believe she had to spell this out for him. “Go put yourself out!”

“Oh, okay.” After a brief pause, Parody threw his hands in the air and resumed screaming as he ran back inside.

Wincing as she recovered from the sudden verbal assault, Twilight followed Parody inside and found him running panicked circles in his kitchen, seemingly making no effort at all to put himself out. “Parody! Stop drop and roll!”

Still burning, Parody whirled around and thrust his hands in the direction of the mess that was the majority of his floor. “Where?!

Twilight looked down at the clutter of scrap metal and unfinished projects that would make rolling around deeply unpleasant. Realizing that he needed her help, Twilight summoned up a powerful water spell and blasted Parody with it, slamming him into the wall with the sheer force of the panic fueled spell.


Cutting off her spell, Twilight watched a soaking Parody slump down to the floor, coughing up a copious amount of inhaled water.

He wasn’t on fire anymore, so that was a relief.

As the adrenaline left her system, Twilight took a step forward. “Are you alright?”

He rubbed his head as he stood up, dripping water everywhere. “Yeah,” He coughed, “Thanks for the save.” He started to wring out his hair. When that went nowhere, he gave a few futile attempts to shake off the water before looking to Twilight. “Hey, do you think you could…”

Nodding, Twilight’s horn lit up as she used magic to pull the water off of Parody and dump it down the sink.

Parody watched as the water drained away, “Thanks.” He turned to look at Twilight. “Hey, not to sound unappreciative or anything, but what brings you by, anyway? You never come over unless you need something.”

Twilight opened her mouth to respond and froze. “I… don’t know.” She raised a hoof to rub her head in thought. “You being on fire caught me so off guard that I’ve forgotten why I came here.”

“Hmph,” Parody smirked, “Well, I’ve got work that I need to do, so if you don’t have anything to say, you’d best get going.”

Twilight nodded as she turned to the door before freezing in place. She knew she came over to talk to Parody about something, and that it was important, but the fire startled her so badly that she forgot what it was that was so important. That seemed almost too convenient.

She turned around to stare at Parody and caught his grin. Her eyes narrowed, “You planned this, didn’t you?”

Parody’s grin widened as he quirked a brow. “Princess, are you insinuating that I set myself on fire to get out of a lecture?” He folded his arms. “That seems a little extreme, don’t ya think?”

Twilight stared at Parody, trying to get any discernible information out of his expression. Nothing. Nothing but that frustrating smile. She shook her head, “Never mind. I’ll come back once I remember what it was.”

Parody shrugged, “Got it. I’ll be sure to keep some matches on hand.”

Twilight shot him a glare as she walked out the door. Trotting towards the street, she turned her thoughts inward. Why had she come over? It was important, and… it was for a friend. That was right. But who for?

Twilight’s attention was suddenly drawn upwards as a rainbow contrail arced across the sky. It was probably Rainbow Dash doing something-

Rainbow Dash!

Remembering why she came over, Twilight turned around and walked back through the door. “Parody, I just remembered what I was-” She stopped when she saw Parody holding a lit match up to his hair.

Noticing her arrival, Parody turned and gave Twilight a smile. “Hey.”

Twilight’s face curled into a distinctly unamused expression.

Parody rolled his eyes as he leaned in and blew out the match. Tossing it aside, he turned to face her. “Alright, what’s up?”

Twilight took a deep breath and let it out slowly in an attempt to rebuild her patience. “I need you to leave Dash alone this week.”

“Alright,” he crossed his arms, “why?”

Twilight managed a stern expression. “She has Wonderbolt training next week that she’ll need to focus on, and she doesn’t need any of your fighting dragging her down.” Her brow furrowed. “This is important. Do you understand?”

Parody met her gaze with a neutral expression before rolling his eyes. “Fine,” He smirked, “But only because you asked so nicely.”

Twilight raised a brow. “Really?” That was too easy.

He gave a dismissive wave. “Yeah. I’m running low on materials anyway. I’ll wrap up work today and take off tomorrow. Then none of you will have to deal with me.”

Twilight struggled to not rise to the bait. “If that’s what works best.”

“Yeah.” He looked at the door separating his living room from his workshop before walking towards it. “Whelp, I’ve got some things I need to wrap up. Hey, if you see Derpy, let her know I’ll be out of town for the next couple weeks.”

Twilight nodded, “Okay.” She started to walk towards the front door, but stopped just before it.

Then none of you will have to deal with me.

Her mouth twitched.

You never come over unless you need something.

“Parody,” She started to turn around, “I-”

“Princess,” Parody cut her off with a soft smirk. “I really need to be getting back to work.”

Twilight averted her eyes. “Right,” she sighed, before walking out the door. “I’ll leave you to it.”

As she trotted towards the street, the familiar, creeping feeling of failure and defeat started to build up within her before she stomped it out.

It wasn’t her fault. She was trying to be his friend, she really was. He was just so…


When she reached the street, she turned around and looked back at Parody’s workshop as the sound of Parody rummaging around emanated from within.

She remembered the frustratingly silly human she met in Canterlot, the fascinating conversations they had on the train ride to Ponyville, the creeping curiosity and longing to learn more. She shook her head as she started down the street. She sighed. One day, they would be able to be friends.

One day he’d be able to see that.

Rainbow Dash glared at the ponies cowering before her: an earth pony stallion and a pegasus mare. “And I’d better not catch wind of you two stealing anymore rainclouds, got it?”

Raspberry Bash trembled on the ground, hooves over his head. “I’m sorry! I just wanted to make sure my raspberries were watered- I-I didn’t think it’d be such a big deal!”

Rainbow Dash turned to glare at the pegasus. “And you! You’re part of the weather reserves. What’s your excuse?”

Rainwater Cache shivered as she tried to make a placating gesture. “It was just a few clouds! I didn’t think they’d be missed!”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “Well sit down, because I think you need a refresher course in basic meteorology.” She turned to Raspberry Bash. “You too!”

Both ponies whimpered.

Author's Note:

Remember when I said this was going to be the same length as Breakfast Banter?

Yeah, it quickly got away from me. I have to thank MustangII and Nobody Nick Particular for that. Their comments last chapter got my mind spinning which resulted in the first and last scenes of this chapter, which pretty much doubled its length.

So, thanks for the inspiration.

Anyways, I hope you guys continue to enjoy this story. Hopefully I can get some work done on the next chapter during spring break, but it's a longer one so it'll take a while.