• Published 15th Dec 2018
  • 3,556 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.

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Capes

“I bet I could outrun you.”

Those were fighting words if Dash had ever heard ‘em.

… Probably why things escalated the way they did.

Rainbow Dash mused to herself as rope was cinched around her wings, gazing out at the crowd around her. The evening sun radiated light over the market, the still, tense air did little to obscure the clatter and chatter of vendors selling the last of their wares to passing ponies perusing products who went about their business, casting the occasional glance at the developing situation.

“Ptah,” Applejack spat out the rope as she finished tying up Rainbow Dash’s wings. She took a step back to look over her work, “There, now ya won’t be tempted to cheat.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Dash rolled her eyes as she glanced at her opponent.

Parody stood off to her side, bouncing between a variety of exaggerated stretches, all while singing to himself. “Dadla da da da daaaaaa!”

“I don’t need to cheat.”

“Ain’t the first time ya’ll’ve said that.”

Dash’s ear twitched.

“Yer a competitive pony, Dash. We both are,” Applejack smirked and set a hoof on Dash’s shoulder. “Ya have a hard time holdin’ yerself back; that’s why we gotta do it for ya,” Applejack gave her a quick pat before removing her hoof and gesturing at Parody, “Now go on, ya got a race to win.”

Rainbow Dash smirked as they trotted in Parody’s direction, “So you think I’ll win?”

Applejack snorted, “Of course! Yer almost as fast as Ah am; there ain’t no way he’s outrunning you.”

“‘Almost as fast as you?’ Oh whatever!” Rainbow Dash slugged Applejack in the foreleg. They both broke into laughter as they approached Parody.

Noticing the laughing mares, Parody stopped humming. “Hey guys,” he continued to stretch, “All ready to go?”

“Yep,” Applejack gave Rainbow Dash a quick pat, “Got her wings all tied up an’ everything.”

Rainbow Dash made a show of trying to flex her wings, wincing as they chaffed against the rope. “There, you got your handicap,” she smirked, “Ready to get this over with?”

Parody scoffed, “I’d hardly call it a handicap. I said I could outrun you, not outfly you; I already know that’s a lost cause.” The three of them started laughing.

Applejack shook her head, “Whelp, Ah gotta go pack up mah cart,” She gave Parody a light punch on the arm as she passed. “Good luck, Parody.”

Rainbow Dash watched her trot away, “What, nothing for me?”

“Ya’ll don’ need mah help.”

“Traitor.”

Applejack looked over her shoulder and playfully stuck out her tongue.

Rainbow Dash shook her head and turned back to Parody.

He smirked, “Your friends side against you, Dash. No shame in backing out now.”

She rolled her eyes, “Whatever. You ready to lose?”

“Well, you seem pretty confident.”

Her mouth curled into a cocky smirk, “I’m the fastest pony in Equestria. I’m not worried.”

“In the air.”

Rainbow Dash flicked her ear in annoyance and she turned to face forward. “So where are we racing to?”

Parody shook his head and held up his hands, “Oh, no, nothing nearly so complex.” He began gesturing, “I figured we’d keep it simple: I have to run; you have to catch me.” He smirked, “Like tag.”

Rainbow Dash gave him a look, “I have to catch you?”

He nodded.

She smirked, “Easy.”

“Pff, if you say so.”

“So what do I get when I win?”

“Well, if you win,” Parody glanced upward as his face turned thoughtful, “Y’know what? We’ll just leave that open to further deliberation. Add some extra incentive.”

Rainbow Dash shrugged, “Works for me. Now let’s get this over with.”

“You know,” Parody crossed his arms, “I feel like you’re not taking this seriously. I’m faster than you think I am.”

Rainbow Dash scoffed, “I’ve seen you run. You’re not that fast.”

“Ah, but I wasn’t making full use of my experience in the field.”

“‘Making full use of your-’ what?” Rainbow Dash gave Parody a confused look. “What are you talking about? We’re running.”

“Doesn’t mean you can’t learn some tips and tricks,” Parody laughed, “If my time running from monsters has taught me anything, it’s that being chased is an excellent motivator.”

“What’s that got to do with-?”

WHAM

Rainbow Dash staggered as her head snapped to the side. Regaining her balance, she lifted a hoof to her stinging cheek, blinking as her brain worked out what just happened.

He hit her.

She looked up to see Parody darting through the crowd of shocked onlookers. He looked over his shoulder and smirked, “Tag!” He started to cackle wildly as he made his way out of the market.

A scowl pulled its way across Rainbow Dash’s face as she bolted after him, pushing her way through the crowd. Bursting out into the street, her eyes darted around until she noticed Parody halfway down the street, sprinting. She took off after him, mouth curling into a vindictive smirk as she noticed how quickly she was gaining on him. He really wasn’t that fast.

Too easy.

Parody’s cape flickered against her nose as she caught up, putting on a burst of speed to close the remaining distance. Heart pumping, muscles burning, hooves beating against the ground, Rainbow Dash could feel her body preparing to pounce, to end this foolish challenge against her. She didn’t know what she wanted from him yet, but she would have plenty of time to decide while reveling in her victory-

In a single stride, Parody pivoted 90° and darted down another street.

Rainbow Dash scrambled to stop, hooves scraping against the cobblestone road as she tried to change direction. Getting control of her momentum, she looked up to see Parody smirking at her over his shoulder as he made his way down the street.

She could hear his laughter.

Gritting her teeth, Rainbow Dash bolted after him, weaving around the few ponies that remained on the streets. Legs pumping, breath heavy, Rainbow Dash closed the distance between the two. The road had a slight curve to it, but there weren’t any side streets to turn onto. Nowhere for Parody to go but forward, and she was gaining on him fast. It was only a matter of time before-

Parody leapt to the side with a twirl, causing Rainbow Dash to barrel past him, before running back down the road they came from.

Rainbow Dash skidded against the cobble road as she reared up to turn around, wincing as her wings tried to flare for balance and were stopped by the rope that bound them. Hooves slamming back down, she took off after Parody, who was already most of the way back down the road. Hooves clacking against the ground, Rainbow Dash once again closed the distance between them.

Only for him to turn down the next street.

Scowling, Rainbow Dash slowed down enough to make the tight turn before picking up speed, noting with frustration that in the time it took her to turn, Parody had already picked up a sizable lead on her. She could hear her heartbeat in her ears, breath heaving, as she again closed the distance between them, her eyes scouring ahead, searching for any roads Parody might turn down. Noticing an upcoming intersection, Rainbow Dash tensed slightly, waiting for Parody to make a move. This time she would-

He jumped to the right -she pounced- only to sidestep to the left, twisting out of Rainbow Dash’s way.

As she skidded on the ground, Rainbow Dash turned to glare at Parody, who was running down the other street backwards. Making eye contact, Parody gave her a wild smirk and held out his hands, extending his middle fingers, before twirling around to run forward, cackling all the while.

Rainbow Dash growled as she got to her hooves.

She knew what that meant.

It didn’t take long for her to catch back up to him, though this time Rainbow Dash kept a steady pace behind him. No sudden burst of speed for him to take advantage of. She would wait until she was sure he was turning, and then cut him off. No more unexpected surprises.

Only victory.

Coming to a sudden stop, Parody bent his legs and jumped, arching his back and flipping as Rainbow Dash ran underneath him.

“Aieugk!”

Rainbow Dash staggered to a halt, whirling around in time to watch Parody scramble to his feet, clutching his head, before taking off down the street.

“Shut up! It would’ve been cool!”

With a quick shake of her head, Rainbow Dash galloped after him. Once again, Parody’s cape flicked against her nose. Lungs gasping, heart pounding, she slowly closed the remaining gap, watching for anymore tricks. She would catch him this time.

Just a little farther-

Her world turned blue as she ran through Parody’s cape.

“Ack-pfth!”

“Olé!”

Not expecting the feeling of cloth over her head, Rainbow Dash recoiled back, causing her to stumble and lose her balance, sending her tumbling to the ground. After she stopped rolling, she groaned and lifted her head to look at Parody.

He stood off to the side, holding his cape out with one hand. He gave it a few flicks, “Toro! Toro!” before laughing and darting down an alley.

With a growl, Rainbow Dash scrambled to her hooves and ran to the entrance of the alley.

Parody sat on a wall at the end of the alley, propping himself up with his hands, his dangling legs gently kicking. He looked up at Rainbow Dash and, with a smirk, gave her a mocking salute before leaning back and falling out of view.

Rainbow Dash dashed after him, galloping down the alley, bounding up on a dumpster before leaping over the wall. Landing on the road, her eyes darted around looking for any sign of Parody.

A bird call whistle behind her caused her to turn around.

Parody smirked as he hung upside down, having never let go of the wall, legs dangling awkwardly by his head. He blew a raspberry before kicking up and pulling himself back over the wall.

Rainbow Dash felt frustration work its way through her system. She knew what he was doing. He thought that, without her wings, she couldn’t get back over the wall, and that she’d have to run around to the other side.

She narrowed her eyes as she crouched low.

Not this time.

With a quick run up, Rainbow Dash jumped up as hard as she could, wings flaring against their bindings, managing to hook her forelegs on the wall. Her back legs scrambling for purchase, she struggled to pull herself the rest of the way over.

Parody, who had been jogging down the alleyway, turned and did a double take when he saw Rainbow Dash. With an alarmed hop, he turned and began sprinting the out of the alley and into the street.

Rainbow Dash finished clambering over the wall and chased Parody out into the street.

She would catch him.

Even if it took the rest of the day.


The sun set over the Whitetail Woods, its final rays of light scattering amidst the gently swaying leaves. A gentle breeze blew through the air. The animals returned to their dens to rest.

All was silent.

The silence was immediately ruined by the two figures crashing through the woods. Growls, grunts, and laughter filled the air as they wove around the trees, bushes rustling as they were pushed through, twigs snapping underfoot, clods of dirt being torn from the ground and sent flying through the air.

Rainbow Dash trailed behind Parody as he ducked and weaved his way through the forest, steadily growing closer. Her breath was steady, her heartbeat in her ears, her legs sore, but she pressed on, eyes focused, wise to his tricks, watching his every movement, waiting for the right moment to act. Parody may have had a point about being chased being an excellent motivator, but he forgot one thing:

Chasing someone was just as valid a motivation.

Parody’s cape flickered and waved just beyond her muzzle. Her eyes were narrowed, expecting. Now would be the time for him to make a move, and this time, she was ready for anything.

She would not be caught off guard again.

“GAGHK!”

Rainbow Dash was caught off guard as Parody was suddenly yanked backwards into her. Unprepared, she slammed into him full force, sending them both tumbling to the ground. Groaning, Rainbow Dash lifted her head up and looked around.

What happened?

Looking back at the way they came from, Rainbow Dash noticed a piece of tattered blue cloth snagged on a tree. Shifting her gaze to Parody, who lay splayed out not far from her, she saw that, sure enough, there was a hole in his cape that had been torn away.

She huffed. Served him right.

Parody shifted, hands reaching for his neck, “Aughahaha, my neck. Augh.”

Rainbow Dash slowly got to her hooves. Now that the chase was over, and the adrenaline was beginning to fade, she could feel her exhaustion wash over her. Once on her hooves, she staggered over to Parody. At his side, she looked down at him.

“I win.”

Parody looked up at her, his mouth pulling up into a smirk, “You haven’t tagged me back yet.”

Her face set in deadpan, Rainbow Dash lifted one of her hooves and brought it down on Parody’s face.

Crack

“GAHGH!”

Blood spurted out of Parody’s nose as his head snapped back into the ground, hands flying up to hold his nose.

“Tag.”

Rainbow Dash watched Parody with a level glare, but as a bit of blood began to seep through his fingers, her expression began to soften.

Maybe that was too much?

Any semblance of guilt she may have been feeling was washed away as Parody began to laugh.

He sat up, propping himself up with one hand and holding his nose with the other. He glanced at Rainbow Dash, amusement in his eyes and a smirk on his mouth, “I deserved that.”

Rainbow Dash huffed, rolling her eyes as she swatted the back of his head and turned to walk away.

“KYAUGHC!” Parody’s whole body convulsed.

Eyes bugging out, he clasped at his neck. He flung one of his arms out, “Whoa whoa whoa! Watch the back of the neck!”

Rainbow Dash turned around, hoof lifting to swat him again, only to stop when she saw something she had never seen on Parody’s face before:

Genuine alarm.

She lowered her hoof, ears starting to fold back.

In everything that had happened, all their fights, the back and forth pettiness, the verbal sparring; for every scowl, every grimace, every reaction he had ever given, even when he was dropped to the ground bleeding, there was always a twinkle of amusement in his eyes. Even after their fight in his workshop, after he backed her into a corner and she swung his hammer into his arm, he just clutched his broken arm and made mocking comments about how scared and desperate she must have been. Good or bad, petty or serious, nothing she ever did seemed to stick, to incite any genuine reaction. It felt like everything she did was nothing more than a source of amusement for him. It was…

Frustrating.

It was so frustrating that there was a part of her that wanted nothing more than to knock that smirk off his face. For months, a part of her wanted to finally, just once, make him genuinely feel anything other than that ever present amusement. Now she had.

So why didn’t she feel good about it?

Teeth grit, Parody rubbed at his neck beneath his hair, “Yeah, yeah. Something got knocked loose, I noticed.”

His voice drawing her out her thoughts, Rainbow Dash turned to respond. Only… he wasn’t looking at her. “… Parody?”

Without looking Parody held up a finger. He rolled his neck and shoulders with a groan, “I’ll fix it when we get home.” Shaking his head, he got to his feet.

“Who-?” Rainbow Dash shook her head. That wasn’t important. “… You alright?”

Parody glanced at her, no discernable expression on his face. “… I’ll be fine,” he turned and began to walk back to town.

Rainbow Dash watched him walk away before turning to fly away. Or, rather, trying to, as her attempt to flare her wings reminded her that they were still bound. Sighing, she turned back to Parody, “Hey.”

“Hmm?” He stopped and turned around.

“You gonna untie me?”

He blinked, “Oh, right. Sorry.” He walked over and began to silently untie her.

Sorry?

That was a first. Rainbow Dash couldn’t recall a time where Parody ever gave a sincere apology. Even his apology to Pinkie felt more like an excuse than anything.

Finished untying the rope, Parody pulled back and began wrapping the rope around his arm. Noticing a drop of red fall out of the corner of her eye, Rainbow Dash looked up at his face.

“Parody, your nose.”

After coiling the rope, he slung it onto his shoulder. “Hmm?”

“It’s still bleeding.”

Parody rubbed at the trickle of blood before looking down at his hand, “Huh.” He pinched his nose with one hand and slid the other under his hair to rub at his neck before silently walking away, grabbing the tattered piece of his cape off the tree.

No exaggerated movements. No animated expressions. Just a sullen silence and a slow pace. She had never seen him so… subdued. It felt wrong.

… Was this really what she wanted?

Whatever the answer, the silence was making her uncomfortable. It was time to go. Opening her wings, Rainbow Dash crouched low, ready to take off-

His eyes bugging out, shock and alarm written across his face as he clasped the back of his neck, fighting through twitches and small convulsions across his body.

Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and let out a frustrated huff before folding her wings and trotting after him. They walked in silence for a few minutes.

Rainbow Dash looked up at Parody, “You sure you’re alright?”

He kept looking forward, “… Yeah, I’m sure.”

“Alright,” The silence and the subdued atmosphere were beginning to bother Rainbow Dash. Looking up at Parody’s expressionless face, she found that she liked silent Parody even less than normal.

She didn’t know how to feel about that.

Rainbow Dash sighed. She had to get him talking.

She just hoped she wouldn’t regret it.

“So, what did I win?”

Parody turned to face her, his brow raised, “‘Win?’” He looked back down the path to where they crashed, arms dropping to his side, “I’d hardly call that a win.”

“A win’s a win, so what’d I win?”

Parody shrugged, “Y’know what?” He turned back to her, mouth pulling up into a grin, a twinkle of amusement in his eyes, “I don’t even care. What d’ya want?”

“I can have whatever?”

“Yeah, sure.”

Rainbow Dash felt a smirk pull its way across her face as she decided to push her luck,
“Alright then, how about a shield?”

Parody stopped and stared incredulously, “… A shield?”

She shrugged, “Why not? I’ve already got the sword and armor, all I need is a shield.”

Parody was silent for a moment before he started laughing. Shaking his head, he threw his hands in the air, “Fine, fine, whatever. I’ll make you a shield. Shouldn’t be too hard.” He dropped his arms and began walking again.

“You’d better not just throw something cheap together.”

Parody shot her a look before rolling his eyes, “So, what’re you looking for? A kite shield? A buckler? A square shield? Isometric triangle? Some other random polygon?”

Rainbow Dash blinked. Apparently there was more to shields than she knew, “Just… go with whatever looks best.”

“Got it.” He shifted his focus forward as they continued walking.

She smirked, “And don’t forget to enchant it.”

“No.”

That one word was said with enough force that Rainbow Dash was taken aback. Her brow furrowed lightly, “Why not? You said I could have anything.”

“And I’m drawing the line there.”

“Alright. Well now I definitely want it enchanted.”

He stopped and turned around, “Well too bad. For whatever reason I was willing to put myself through that the first time.” He shook his head, “I’m not doing that again; especially not for nothing.” His expression was stern, the twinkle in his eyes gone.

She had pushed too far.

Even still, Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but scoff, “I didn’t think talking to ponies was that hard for you. Was hiring an enchanter really that bad?”

Parody clasped his hands together, a humorless smile on his lips, “Okay, couple things. Those enchantments? They cost far more than what you paid me for the armor. Second, that wasn’t what I was talking about.”

That didn’t sound right.

“Oh come on. It couldn’t have been that expensive. I’ve been to enchanting shops, and the prices are never that high.”

“Oh, it adds up. Trust me.”

Rainbow Dash shook her head, “What I don’t understand is why you even hired an enchanter in the first place. You always try to do everything on your own anyway, so why not that? Couldn’t be that hard for a ‘man of many talents.’”

He huffed, “You’d be wrong. I mean sure, simple stuff like making something glow is easy enough that even you could do it, but more complex and nuanced stuff like ‘keep this person from dying when they hit the ground at terminal velocity’? That’s a bit harder to do. Layering several of those together without negating any of them or destroying the object?” He paused, a distant look in his eyes. He tensed, his body seeming to shudder for a moment before he sighed and looked back down at her. “Trying to do it myself is the reason I had to remake your armor from scratch.”

Rainbow Dash blinked, “… You actually tried enchanting it yourself?”

Parody crouched down, staring into her eyes, “I did,” he started slowly shaking his head, “And nothing you could ever say will make me willing to go through that again.”

Silence.

Parody stood up and starting walking away, “If you want your shield enchanted, you’ll have to hire an enchanter yourself.”

“… Okay.”

“And honestly? You should be glad I’m even humoring you on this.”

“‘Humoring me?’” Rainbow Dash looked up into Parody’s smirking face, the twinkle back in his eyes. “What do you mean ‘humoring me’? I caught you; I won the bet.”

He shrugged, “Yeah, but you only caught me ‘cause my cape got snagged.”

Rainbow Dash glanced at the two-tone blue cape as it fluttered behind him, shaking her head at the cartoon image of a rubber duck printed on the fabric. “Why do you even wear that stupid thing?”

“Why wouldn’t I? It’s a symbol of accomplishment.” He turned around and flourished the cape, “Behold: The Skillcape of Awesomeness!”

Rainbow Dash’s expression was deadpan, “… ‘The skillcape of awesomeness’?”

“Physical proof of mastery. I maxed out my awesomeness skill; I can’t get any more awesome than I am now.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes, “Please, I’m way cooler than you are.”

“Oh?” Parody raised his brow, “Then where’s your cape?”

She scoffed, “I don’t need a cape to know how awesome I am.”

He shook his head, “That’s not how that works. If you don’t have the cape, you haven’t maxed out the skill.” A sad smirk crossed his face, “Sad, really. I honestly thought you of all people would’ve had one by now. Guess some things just aren’t meant to be.”

Opening her mouth to retort, Rainbow Dash paused, biting her tongue at the last second. Taking a moment to calm down, she closed her mouth and scowled, “… I know your game, Parody. You’re messing with me. I know you are.”

Parody folded his arms, smirk dropping as he quirked his brow, “Really?” He shook his head and sighed, before gesturing at her flank, “You’ll believe in magical butt marks of destiny; physical manifestations of your realization of self-purpose, but you won’t believe in the gods bestowing capes as symbols of achievement to those who have attained mastery in a skill?” He shook head and began to walk away. “Talk about double standards.”

Rainbow Dash worked her mouth for a moment, trying to find a response. “… It’s got a rubber duck on it!”

Parody turned around and held his arms out, “What’s more awesome than a rubber duck?”

“… Me?”

“Then why aren’t you on it?”

“I don’t-”

“Dash, look,” He sighed, crouching low, his expression soft, his tone comforting. “I understand that this is difficult for you. You have a lot of insecurities,” Rainbow Dash’s face contorted in anger, “and you don’t like it when something challenges your self-image. But you’re just gonna have to accept this one,” His comforting smile pulled up into a smirk, “I’m more awesome than you. I have the cape to prove it.”

Rainbow Dash scowled deeply. Lifting her hoof, she pulled it back, ready to smack that smirk off his face-

His eyes bugging out, shock and alarm written across his face as he clasped the back of his neck, fighting through twitches and small convulsions across his body.

Growling, Rainbow Dash stomped her hoof and flared her wings, “Whatever!” before taking off.

She could hear Parody cackling behind her all the way back to Ponyville.


“This is it. Are you ready?”

“I was born ready.”

“You sure? This might be a little too awesome, even for you.”

Scootaloo looked up at Rainbow Dash to give her a cocky smirk, “Trust me; I got this.”

Rainbow Dash returned the smirk and glanced forward at the stunt she had set up for Scootaloo. They were up who knew how high, with a steep hill down to a loop-de-loop ramp that would take her over the lake and through several flaming hoops as fireworks went off.

It was the ultimate stunt.

“Well then, what are you waiting for?”

“Right,” Giving her helmet a quick pat, Scootaloo kicked forward on her scooter and began to roll down the hill.

Rainbow Dash took off and flew parallel to her as she made her way down the hill. When Scootaloo shot a glance at her, Rainbow Dash gave her a reassuring smile, “I’m with you the whole way.”

With a nod Scootaloo returned her gaze forward, tucking her body in to build up more speed.

Rocketing forward, Scootaloo cleared the remaining distance to the ramp, and with a lightning quick loop she found herself airborne. Fireworks went off as Scootaloo, with Rainbow Dash flying by her side, sailed through the flaming hoops. Halfway through the hoops, she kicked off her scooter, sending it tumbling into the lake as she spread her legs out, her buzzing wings and forward momentum carrying her to the other end of the lake.

As Scootaloo neared the far shore of the lake, a bright glow began to emanate from her back. A blinding glow; enough to force Rainbow Dash to stop mid-air and cover her eyes.

When the light faded, Rainbow Dash pulled her hooves away from her face and watched as Scootaloo fluttered gently to the ground, a cape folding across her back. It was light blue, with a dark blue trim and hood, and had an image of a rubber duck printed on it.

Rainbow Dash gawked at the cape.

It was identical to Parody’s.

Noticing the feeling of something on her back, Scootaloo turned around and began to hop around in excitement, “I got one! I got one! I gotta tell the others!” She hopped on her scooter and rolled off down the path, out of sight.

Snapping out of it, Rainbow Dash shook her head and took off after Scootaloo. She found her at the Cutie Mark Crusader clubhouse, excitedly showing off her cape to the other crusaders, who wore matching capes.

When Rainbow Dash landed, Scootaloo rushed over to hug her leg, “Thanks, Rainbow Dash. I never could have gotten it without you.”

Still unsure how to feel, Rainbow Dash managed a smile, “Oh, yeah. No problem. Hey, if you want, I can show you a few more tricks.”

Scootaloo pulled back a little, “… I dunno.”

Rainbow Dash’s smile faltered, “What do you mean?”

Scootaloo avoided meeting her eyes, “Well, it’s just, now that I’ve got the cape, there’s nothing you can teach me.”

Her heart sank in her chest, “… what?”

Backing away, Scootaloo looked up, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you helped me, but… well, I have the cape, and you don’t. You understand, right?”

“I-I-I don’t-” A sick feeling began to build up in her stomach.

Hopping on her scooter, Scootaloo gave Rainbow Dash a soft smile, “Hey, let me know when you finally get yours. I’m sure it won’t take you too much longer.” Kicking forward, Scootaloo scooted away, pulling her friends in the wagon behind her.

Stunned, Rainbow Dash just sat there, a sick feeling churning in her stomach. Her chest felt tight, and her eyes had begun to sting. Taking a moment to breath, she got up and flew after them, darting past a confused Princess Luna.

Flying over town, Rainbow Dash tried to spot Scootaloo amidst the crowd of ponies. She needed answers; she had to know why.

But she couldn’t find her.

Instead, her heart only sank further as she saw each inhabitant of Ponyville wearing identical two-tone blue capes. As she landed in the market to look around, the voices of crowd found their way into her ears.

“Has she still not gotten one?”

“You’d think she’d have one by now.”

“It’s a shame; she had such potential.”

“I feel bad for her.”

“Do you think she’ll ever get one?”

“I don’t know. If it’s been this long…”

Rainbow Dash folded her ears to block out the voices as she made her way over to Applejack. “Applejack, I-”

“Howdy, Rainbow Dash,” Applejack turned around, a fluttering movement on her back drew Rainbow’s attention to the cape she wore. As Rainbow Dash stared in horror at Applejack’s back, the earth pony leaned over to return the look, “Still nothing?” She gave Rainbow Dash a gentle pat, “Don’t you worry none; you’ll get it eventually. These things jus’ take time.”

Rainbow Dash swatted her hoof and backed away, mouth trying to form words, until she bumped into somepony.

“Hey, Crash. Listen…”

Rainbow Dash spun around to look into the eyes of Spitfire as she stood accompanied by several Wonderbolts, matching capes added to their usual uniform.

“We need to talk about your place on our team.”

Shaking her head, Rainbow Dash backed away. She tried to speak, but her mouth refused to form words. The tightness in her chest made it difficult to breathe, and the sick feeling in her stomach had risen to her throat, making her feel as if she was going to throw up. Her eyes stung fiercely as she looked around desperately at her surroundings.

Gone was the market, replaced by an endless crowd of ponies around her, their voices reaching her ears no matter how hard she pinned them to her skull.

“Is she the only pony in Ponyville without one?”

“I can’t imagine what that must be like.”

“I hope she’s okay.”

“How could she be?”

“It must be awful.”

The voices fell silent.

Rainbow Dash looked up to see that the crowd had parted to let Parody through. She silently glared up at him as he approached.

Standing in front of her, Parody shrugged and gave her a soft smirk, “You know, Dash, it’s perfectly fine being average. Not everypony is destined for greatness.”

It took all she had to find her voice, “… You’re wrong. I have done great things.”

Parody quirked his brow, “Oh? Where’s your proof?”

Her voice caught in her throat.

Parody crouched down, a soft smile on his face as reached out to gently cup her cheek, “Face it, Dash: You’re not as great as you think you are.”

She glared at him, tears beginning to trickle down her face. “… You’re wrong,” She managed to choke out.

Parody smirked, before standing up and walking away, the voices around her reaching an all new crescendo.

“I’m sure it won’t take much longer.”

“It wasn’t that hard.”

“Maybe something’s wrong?”

“It should have been easy for her.”

With voices crashing down all around her, Rainbow Dash stood upright and shouted after Parody.

“You’re wrong!”

ENOUGH!!!


With a strangled gasp, Rainbow Dash tumbled out of bed. She laid on the floor quivering for a moment, before propping herself up with a few choked gasps.

“… you’re wrong.”

After laying there for a few minutes, Rainbow Dash got up and wiped her eyes.

She needed to see Rarity


Tap tap tap tap tap

A rapid knocking on her window pulled Rarity from her slumber. She rolled over to try and ignore it, but the tapping continued. Growling, Rarity pulled off her sleeping mask and stomped over to open the window.

What?”

Rainbow Dash looked away, “Hey, Rarity. I- I need your help.”

“With what? What’s so important that it couldn’t wait until tomorrow?”

“I need a cape. Like Parody’s, but better.”

Rarity blinked, “Why do you-?”

Rainbow Dash’s ear folded back, “Please, I- I can’t. Just- please.”

Rarity glanced at her alarm clock and shook her head. “Rainbow Dash, Darling, it’s two in the morning. I’m not-” She noticed Rainbow Dash’s eyes had a bit of redness to them. Upon closer inspection, she saw that there was matted fur on her cheeks.

Had she been crying?

Rarity let out a sigh before stepping to the side and beckoning Rainbow Dash in, “Alright, fine.” Rarity yawned and gave her a light glare as she flew in, “But you owe me.”


The rising sun peeked over the horizon, casting beams of light across the field of apple trees. A gentle breeze brought the sweet smell of morning dew, and carried gentle bird calls and the sound of rustling leaves. The air was chill, the grass was soft, and there was just enough light to begin working.

Applejack set a basket down next to a tree.

A perfect morning.

Applejack trotted over to a nearby wagon to retrieve more baskets. She didn’t have that many with her, as she was only going to be harvesting enough apples for morning market. Big Mac would take care of the rest of the apple bucking today.

As she set a basket down, Applejack felt the fur on her neck rise a little, as a prickly feeling of discomfort washed over her. It wasn’t severe, only just enough to be noticible, but there was only one person that could cause that.

“Howdy, Parody,” She turned to face the approaching human, “Yer up early.”

Parody shrugged, jostling the coil of rope he had slung around his shoulder, “Eh, I’ve been up a while. Had to get up at four for a project.”

“Hmm,” Applejack set down another basket, “… That was mean of ya, what ya did yesterday.”

Parody shrugged, “She got me back.”

“That don’t make it right,” She set down the last basket she was carrying and began to trot back to the wagon. “So what brings ya by?”

“Bringing you your rope back,” Parody tossed the coil of rope at Applejack.

With a flick of her tail, Applejack caught the rope, twirling it around before slinging it around her neck.

Parody lifted his hands and started clapping.

Applejack gave him a nod before turning back to her wagon to retrieve the last few baskets.

“So you guys just kick the trees?”

Applejack looked up at Parody, who stood at the base of a tree rubbing the trunk.

“Sure do. Why? Ya wanna give it a shot?”

Parody glanced between her and the tree a few times before removing his hand and taking a few steps back. With a final glance at Applejack, Parody lifted his leg and kicked forward.

Thwump

Whump

The tree didn’t move; the force of the kick instead sending Parody tumbling backwards onto his butt.

Applejack let out an amused snort as she began setting the baskets down at another tree.

Parody looked up at her, blinking owlishly, “… That is a solid tree.”

Applejack nodded as she set the last basket down, “That she is. Now, Ah don’t mean to be overly critical of yer technique an’ all, but Ah usually use both of mah hind legs fer apple buckin’.” To prove her point, Applejack turned and bucked the tree she was next to.

THWACK

Rustle

The tree shook violently as a shockwave traveled up its trunk, dislodging all the apples from its branches and dropping them into the baskets below.

Parody huffed, “Yeah, well, for all its many advantages, being bipedal typically means I can’t kick with both my legs without getting a face full of dirt.” He gave her a smirk, “We call it a dropkick for a reason.”

Applejack shrugged, “It’s alright if’n ya can’t do it. It ain’t fer everypony.”

Parody rolled his eyes and scoffed, “Well, now I have to.” He stared at the tree, a thoughtful expression on his face, before looking down at his hands. He glanced between the two for a moment before shaking his head and laughing, “Oh, this is gonna end poorly, I can already tell.”

“Ya gonna try punchin’ it?”

“Nah,” He turned around and began to get down on all fours, “Wouldn’t want to break your tree.”

Applejack quirked her brow, “Break mah tree?”

“That or my hand. Either way, bad idea.” Down on all fours, he shifted in place for a moment, before kicking backwards.

Thwump

“Gack-pftht!”

Again, the tree didn’t move, and the force of Parody’s kick served only to propel himself face-first into the dirt.

THWACK

Rustle

Applejack bucked another tree before trotting over to Parody, a slight smirk on her face, “Y’alright there?”

Parody turned his head and spat out a mouthful of dirt before looking up at Applejack, amusement written on his face, “That went exactly how I thought it would.”

“Then why did ya-?” Applejack was interrupted by a single apple dropping to the ground next to Parody’s head.

“… Almost exactly.” He amended as he propped himself up onto his knees. Grabbing the apple, he held it up and looked at Applejack with a serious expression, “This is mine now.”

Applejack shrugged and gestured for him to keep it, “Go ahead, Ah reckon ya’ll’ve earned it.”

Parody laughed as he stood up, tucking the apple behind his cape. He looked back at the tree for a moment before turning to face Applejack, a look of playful disappointment on his face, “Guess this mean I can’t add ‘kicking trees’ to my list of skills.”

Applejack snorted.

Parody walked around the trees, looking at the baskets of apples, “So, where are these off to?”

“Ah’m buckin’ ‘em fresh fer market.”

“Makes sense.”

Applejack glanced over at Parody, before taking a breath and doing her best to push aside her lingering discomfort. “If’n yer gonna stand there chattin’, could ya start loadin’ them baskets in the wagon?”

“Wow, you really choked that one out, huh?”

Applejack shot him a light glare before sighing, “Ah’ll be honest with ya, Parody, Ah don’t like talking to ya.” She shook her head, “It ain’t anything ya’ll’ve done, ya just… make me feel uncomfortable.”

Parody crossed his arms and gave her an appraising look, “Hmph.” He smirked, “Y’know, I get that a lot, acutally.” He looked down at the apple baskets and shrugged, “Anyway, don’t really have anything else going on, so, might as well,” He leaned down and picked up one of the baskets, “Oof, these are kinda heavy.”

THWACK

Rustle

“If it’s too much, ya can go home, but Ah gotta get this done, and Ah don’t need nothin’ distractin’ me.”

Parody rolled his eyes, “I said it was ‘kinda heavy’, not ‘breaking my back’.” He smirked, “It’s a basket of apples, not heavynanium,” He hefted the basket onto the wagon, “This just isn’t how I typically transport materials.”

“Uh-huh.”

THWACK

Rustle

They worked in silence for a few minutes. As Applejack started loading baskets into the wagon alongside Parody, she noticed him occasionally glancing up at the sky.

“What’re ya lookin’ at?”

He smirked, “You’ll see.”

Any attempt to inquire further was interrupted by Rainbow Dash landing with a stumble, her eyes baggy and her breath haggard. A cape settled on her back.

“That was fast.”

Applejack rushed to her side, “Land sakes, Dash! Are ya alright?”

Rainbow Dash ignored her friends worry, instead lifting a hoof to point at Parody, “Ha!” She panted, “I got one!”

Parody nodded in approval, grinning as he slowly paced around her, “I’m impressed.”

Taking a step back, Applejack examined the cape that adorned Rainbow Dash’s back.

The main part of the cape was the same cyan as her coat, while its trimming and hood were the same cerise as her eyes. It was held in place around her neck by two gold lightning bolt pins, and her cutie mark was stitched into the center of the cape.

Rainbow Dash puffed out her chest as a self-satisfied smirk crossed her face, “It looks even better than yours.”

Parody nodded his head to the side, “Well, that’s subjective.” He shrugged, “Still, it looks great on you,” his grin tightened into a smirk, “Rarity really outdid herself.”

Rainbow Dash started to nod, before blinking tiredly, “Wh-wha? How did you-?”

Parody just smirked as he reached out to adjust one of the gold pins holding her cape on. After that, he stepped back and unclasped his cape, swinging it around to hold it up for comparison. “I can see where she got the inspiration from, though I can’t help but feel she was limited by my design.”

Rainbow Dash blinked, “Your design?”

Parody blinked, as of only realizing what he had said, before looking between Rainbow Dash and his cape. “Oh, yeah. I,” his eyes gained distant look as gazed at the cape, “…used to draw this all the time as a kid.”

Applejack noticed a shift in tone, but before she could say anything he shook his head and continued, smirk having returned full force.

“Cyber was the first person to actually make one for me.”

Rainbow Dash furrowed her brow slightly, “Cyber?”

His smirk faltered ever so slightly, “He’s an…. old friend.”

Rainbow Dash felt a frown cross her face as her brow furrowed farther, “Wait, so your friend made your cape?” She stomped her hoof, “So I was right! You were lying!”

Parody rolled his eyes as he swung his cape around his back and put it back on, “Well, Cyber made the original one. I got this one from Entia, though, so it’s legit.”

Her eyes narrowed, “Is he your friend too?”

“I don’t think our relationship could have lasted this long if he wasn’t.”

Rainbow Dash’s face contorted in anger before she lunged at him, tackling him to the ground.

Applejack darted forward to stop the fight. She slowed when she heard laughter, and stopped when she saw that there wasn’t really a fight.

Rainbow Dash had Parody pinned to the ground and was stomping on his chest, though it looked like her exhaustion prevented her from putting any real force behind her strikes. Parody was on his back, laughing as Rainbow Dash tiredly stomped on his chest, making no effort to fight back. Growling, Rainbow Dash’s stomps grew weaker and weaker as she struggled to stay awake, until she finally passed out from exhaustion, Parody laughing all the while.

Applejack stood there, unsure. At the very least, she was glad that it hadn’t escalated into a fight, but… Something in the back of her head told her that there was something wrong about all of this. That something was off.

But it wasn’t clicking.

Parody rolled an unconscious Rainbow Dash off his chest and sat up. As the last of his giggles died down, he got to his feet, looking down at the sleeping pegasus, “Probably shouldn’t leave her passed out in a field.”

“Huh?” Applejack blinked, before shaking her head, “Right. Come on, we’ll bring her back to the house.”

“Got it. Alley-oop,” crouching down, Parody hefted Rainbow Dash up and slung her over his shoulder. Standing upright, Parody turned to Applejack and gestured forward, “Lead the way.”

As they walked to the farmhouse, Applejack kept sneaking glances back at Parody as he held Rainbow Dash, occasionally poking her side and making her squirm in her sleep. Something was up, she could almost feel it screaming in the back of her mind. She shook her head. Regardless, she had them both in the same place.

Maybe she could resolve this once and for all.

“Parody.”

“Yeah?” He gave Rainbow Dash another poke.

“We need to talk.”

“What’s up?” He turned to look at Applejack.

She leveled a serious gaze at him, “It’s about you an’ Dash.”

Parody glanced at Rainbow Dash, quirking his brow, “… Okay?”

Applejack sighed, “Look, Ah’ve already talked to Dash about it, but ya’ll need to let it go. This fightin’ an’ bickerin’ of yers ain’t healthy for either of ya. Ah get that ya’ll were upset, an’ rightfully so, but that ain’t no excuse,” she shook her head, “Ya’ll can’t keep goin’ on like this, ya gotta realize that.”

Silence.

“… Parody?” Applejack turned around and saw Parody mouthing something under his breath, not paying attention. “Parody!”

Parody blinked and snapped to look at Applejack, “Sorry, got distracted. You were saying?”

Applejack glared at him for a moment, before shaking her head, “Ah get that yer angry, but you an’ Dash need to-”

“I’m not angry.”

Applejack blinked, “What?”

Parody shrugged, “I stopped being angry months ago.” He turned and started poking Rainbow Dash again.

“Then what…” Applejack trailed off as she watched Parody continue to poke Rainbow Dash, making her squirm in her sleep, with a smirk on his face.

Memories flashed through her mind; all the times she witnessed interactions between Rainbow Dash and Parody. Shouting matches in the street; rain being dumped on his head; even flicking her nose in the hospital; one thing remained present throughout, even now: The amusement dancing in his eyes and the laughter in his voice.

It clicked.

“You think this is funny.”

Parody turned to look at her, “Hmm?”

Applejack glared at him, “You think this is funny, don’t you?”

His smirk widened as he lifted his hand and held his fingers together, “A little bit, yeah.”

“So that’s why ya ain’t let it go. Yer not angry, yer messin’ with her.”

“What? It’s funny.”

“Ah ain’t laughin’.”

Parody shrugged, “Well, thankfully, you aren’t the one I have to entertain.”

“Is that all this is to ya?” Applejack felt a scowl form on her face, “Some game for yer own amusement?!”

Parody rolled his eyes, “What do you even care? I’m the one getting hurt.”

“Ah care ‘cause she mah friend, an’ Ah don’t like seein’ her bein’ treated like this.”

“Come on, it’s just a bit of harmless fun.”

“Is this yer idea of ‘harmless’?” Applejack gestured at Rainbow Dash.

“Yeah,” he shrugged, looking at the sleeping pegasus, “Nothing permanent. Nothing that can’t be fixed later.” Parody turned back to Applejack, “Like I said, I’m the one getting hurt, if at all.”

Applejack gave him a level look, “Is that really how ya see this?”

“Yeah.”

Applejack closed her eyes and shook her head with a sigh.

Parody smirked, “If you’re that frustrated about it, go ahead and kick me. I don’t care.”

Applejack stopped walking. “‘Kick you’?”

“Yeah,” Parody stopped and gave his leg a pat, “Come on, you’ll feel better.”

Applejack shook her head, “Ah ain’t kickin’ ya.”

Parody shrugged, “Your loss. I’m told it’s quite satisfying.”

Applejack paused, giving him an almost concerned look, “By who?”

Parody’s expression turned thoughtful as he started to count on his fingers, “Uh…” After a couple seconds he looked up with a smirk, “Almost everyone I’ve ever met.”

“… That’s sad.”

He snorted, “It’s funny.”

Applejack took a deep breath before she shook her head and took a few steps toward Parody, leveling a stern glare at him. “Parody; Ah’m gonna ask ya nicely: Leave Rainbow Dash alone.”

Parody looked down at her with a raised brow, before smirking and leaning forward, “If you’ll permit me to be childish: You’re not my mom.”

Applejack gave him a withering look before turning to start walking down the path, “And what would she have to say ‘bout all this?”

When Parody didn’t respond, Applejack turned around.

Parody hadn’t moved. He stared forward, a distant look in his eyes, all traces of amusement wiped from his face, replaced with a measured expression.

“… Parody?”

He sighed, muttering under his breath, “… Doesn’t matter,” before stepping forward.

In a few strides, Parody closed the distance between them and flopped Rainbow Dash onto Applejack’s back before turning and walking away.

Caught off guard by the sudden change in atmosphere, as well as the sudden weight on her back, Applejack turned to watch Parody walk away. “Where are you-?”

“Gonna go take inventory,” he didn’t turn around, “See if I have to make another material run.”

The subdued response from the normally exaggerated Parody caught Applejack off guard enough that she didn’t respond, instead silently watching him walk away. It was enough that it took until Parody was out of sight for her to notice that the ever present prickle of discomfort had faded away.

It was a silent walk the rest of the way to the farmhouse.

Inside, Applejack carefully set Rainbow Dash on the couch, wrapping her cape around her like a blanket.

Rainbow Dash stirred, “… Applejack?”

Applejack gave her a gentle pat, “Get some rest, Dash. We’ll talk later.”

“… Mm’k.”

Applejack pulled the coil of rope off her neck and set it beside the couch before turning and trotting through the door to go back to work, wondering about what had happened.

The door clicked shut.

Author's Note:

Edit: Switched this to embed because I should have done that in the first place.
Music Parody was singing/humming.

Well, this certainly took a while. School has this way of kicking you in the teeth and just killing all your motivation for anything.

Some cut/alternate lines:

She would catch him.

Even if it took the rest of the day.


The Rest of the Day Later


The sun set over the Whitetail Woods, its final rays of light scattering amidst the gently swaying leaves.

Parody huffed, “Yeah, well, for all its many advantages, being bipedal typically means I can’t kick with both my legs without eating shit.” He gave her a smirk, “We call it a dropkick for a reason.”

Honestly kinda preferred that last one, but wasn’t sure if I should put it in. Might switch them out, I dunno. What do you think?

And thus ends Act 1/ Arc 1/ Whatever I Never Consistently Refer To It With One Word 1. This is more for me, as there really isn’t an over arcing story in each act, it’s more of a way to organize what information is presented when in the story. Don’t want to have an Act 4 moment to happen in Act 2 because there wouldn’t be any context or explanation for it then.

I did want to bring up a couple things.

First, allow me to fix a mistake I made in my newness to posting content.

In a well meaning attempt to keep the initial author’s notes clean, I put important information in a blog post instead. That blog post (as of right now) has 66 views, whereas Tales of the Ponyville Blacksmith has 824. Looking back, I probably should have put some of that info in the main story. Allow me to fix that.

I did sort of prattle around a bit with that blog, so I’ll just grab the important info: What this story is meant to be, and what I want to do with it.

It’s a learning experience as I practice and refine my writing style.

I want it to be entertaining.

And it serves as a way to introduce the character Parody and his story.

For the most part, that’s what this story is for. Over the years, I’ve done a lot with Parody, and I wanted to introduce him in a more organic way, rather than enormous exposition dump.

Which brings me to the other thing I wanted to bring up: Since this story is a way to introduce Parody and his story, what have you learned? (On top of the usual what do you think so far?) I’ve been seeding bits of information about past and future plot points throughout the chapters with varying levels of subtlety, and I’m curious as to what’s being picked up on. And what’s being picked up on will have some effect on future chapters, make some adjustments to what’s being brought up when.

A silly example of this: There’s a plot point that’s been introduced, and whether or not anyone’s picked up on it will determine if Ruby and Dinky braid Parody’s hair in a future chapter.

To give you at least one question to focus on…

I put this in a blog post a while back, but I’ll ask again: What were Parody’s first moments in Equestria?

(I actually wrote out a short bit that I was planning to post when someone answered, but no one did, so it’s still sitting there.)

Anyways, sorry for taking so long with this one, and sorry in advance for the next chapter, ‘cause it’s gonna take a while too. Next chapter (no name yet) is Parody’s promised school visit, where he’ll talk about his home and history and stuff like that, and it serves as a bridge between Arc 1 and Arc 2. It’s going to be a pain to write, though, because (in keeping line with the writing style I’m practicing) there isn’t going to be a scene change/flashback. It’s going to be Parody telling the stories through dialogue, with meanderings, children asking questions, and losing track of he’s talking about all mixed in. I already know this is gonna be difficult, but it’s how I want to write the chapter, so…

Sorry in advance.



I hope you all are still enjoying the story, and I’ll see you whenever I figure this next bit out.

Chapter art:
Rainbow Dash's Skillcape

Heavynanium