• Published 1st Sep 2019
  • 1,732 Views, 231 Comments

No Longer Living In A Van Down By The River - Peni Parker

Since The Dazzlings agreed to be motivational speakers at CHS they're no longer living in a van down by the river, but the job may make them wish they still were.

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Aria and Photo Finish

“Okay, I just played the king of diamonds, so what does that mean for you?” Aria Blaze asked Scootaloo from behind her desk.

“It means…I have three chances to play a face card or an ace?” Scootaloo half-stated, half-asked in reply from in front of Aria’s desk.

“Right.” Aria said with a small smile on her face.

Aria was currently on her lunch break, playing a game of cards with Scootaloo. Ever since she’d agreed to be Scootaloo’s other big sister, the young girl had started dropping by every once and awhile to hang out with her at lunchtime.

Most of the time they either just talked or watched something on Scootaloo’s phone, but today Aria wanted to do something different. Today, she was teaching Scootaloo how to play her favorite card game, Egyptian Rat Screw. It was a game she didn’t get to play often because Adagio didn’t care much for card games and Sonata…never really got the hang of it, so she was really hoping it could be something she and Scootaloo could do together. Much to her delight, Scootaloo did seem to like it and was learning the rules fairly quickly.

“Okay, here I go.” Scootaloo stated with razor-sharp focus as she prepared to play her next card.

Eight of clubs.

“Dang.” Scootaloo said as she flipped over another card.

Three of spades.

“Ugh.” Scootaloo grumbled, causing Aria to give a small giggle.

“Only one more chance, kid.” The Dazzling playfully remarked.

Knowing full-well what it would mean if she didn’t draw an ace or face card, Scootaloo stared very intensely at her stack as she placed her hand over it.

“Heart of the cards, GUIDE ME!” She exclaimed as she dramatically flipped her next card and placed it in the middle.

Ten of hearts.

“Why did I think saying that would make any difference?” Scootaloo dejectedly asked herself.

“Tough luck, Scoots.” Aria priggishly said as she took the nine cards from the middle and added them to her stack, bringing the number of cards she now held up to 42.

As Scootaloo watched Aria add to her stack, she looked down at her own stack, now only ten cards, and quickly shook off her dejected mood and put on a gallant face.

“This game isn’t over yet, Aria.” She began to say with no shortage of confidence, and a bit of cockiness, in her voice. “Just wait, I’ve still got ten killer cards and that’s all I need to win!”

That’s what Aria loved most about Scootaloo; she was a fighter. She never backed down, never gave up hope, and never surrendered, no matter the odds.

“Alright then.” Aria blithely replied as she flipped over the card at the top of her stack, the five of spades, and placed it in the middle. “Let’s see what you got.”

Just as Scootaloo was about to flip over her next card, the door to the office flew open, gaining both hers and Aria’s attention.

“I, PHOTO FINISH, HAVE ARRIVED!” Photo Finish grandiosely proclaimed as she entered the room, carrying a messenger bag over her right shoulder.

“Why do I always get the loud ones?” Aria rhetorically asked as she started gathering up the playing cards, knowing that the game was over.

“Hey, Photo Finish.” Scootaloo amicably greeted the Photography Club president.

“Be gone, young one.” Photo Finish replied in a very stern voice, made all the sterner by her accent. “You do noz vanz zo bear vizness zo zhe shame zhat iz abouz zo befall zhis room.”

Feeling a mixture of confusion and dread, Scootaloo did as Photo Finish said and started to leave the room.

“S-see you later, Aria.” She hollered to her big sister just as she crossed the threshold.

“Scootaloo, wait!” Aria hollered back, but it was too late, Scootaloo was already gone.

Once she realized Scootaloo wasn’t coming back, Aria shot Photo Finish a rather nasty glare.

“Couple of things, Photo Finish.” She irritably addressed the glasses-clad girl. “First; please don’t kick people out of my office. And second; whatever this is about, did you have to phrase it like that? Scootaloo’s probably thinking you and I are about to…you know.”

“My apologies.” Photo Finish sincerely stated as she took a seat. “Buz zhis iz very difficulz for me zo admiz, und I do noz vant anyone else zo know abouz iz. I have noz even said anyzhing to Pixel Pizzaz or Violez Blurr yez.”

Aria could tell that whatever was bothering Photo Finish, it must really bothering her if she felt she couldn’t confide in her friends Pixel and Violet. She ceased glaring at the girl and regained her usual composure.

“Well whatever it is, I can assure you it will be held in the strictest of confidence.” She very professionally replied, sounding almost like Vice Principal Luna.

A small smile crossed Photo Finish’s face after hearing that. She felt a little more at ease knowing that Aria would keep things between just the two of them.

“I…I have…” She began to say, still finding it a tad difficult to admit what was troubling her.

“It’s okay, Photo.” Aria gently assured her. “I promise I won’t be judgmental or anything.”

Photo Finish took a long deep breathe before trying again.

“I have lost…da magiks.” She bombastically revealed.

It took all of Aria’s self-control to not facepalm. She knew full-well what Photo Finish meant by ‘losing da magiks’, but she couldn’t believe that that was what had her so bothered. The first reply that came to her mind was, ‘Welcome to the club, sister.’, since she knew a thing or two about losing ‘magiks’. However, she had promised not to be judgmental or anything, so she figured a smart-ass comment like that was a bad idea.

“So how did you lose ‘da magiks’?” She said instead, trying to stay focused on helping Photo.

“I am noz sure, buz zake a look az zhese.” Photo Finish said as she reached into her bag and pulled out three photographs, handing them to Aria.

One of the photographs was of Rainbow Dash scoring a goal during a recent soccer game, another was of some snow gently falling onto a flower, and the last one was an overhead view of Canterlot City taken just as the sun was setting. All three of them were stunning, at least to Aria.

“Damn, Photo, these are really good.” She said as she continued to look at them with a sense of amazement.

“Are you dafz!?” Photo Finish exclaimed as she dramatically stood up and snatched the photos from Aria’s hand. “Zhese are zerrible, disgraceful, shameful!”

Granted Aria didn’t know as much about photography as Photo Finish, but she failed to see how anyone could consider those pictures terrible, disgraceful, or shameful.

“Why do you think that?” She asked, both because she wanted to get to the root of Photo Finish’s troubles and because of personal curiosity.

“Ugh, zhere is no szyle, no subszance!” Photo Finish heatedly began to explain as she threw the photos down on Aria’s desk. “Zhese have no soul!”

Aria still didn’t understand.

“Okay, well, how do you get them to have more style, or soul, or whatever?” She inquired, trying to be helpful despite her confusion.

“I havea zheory; I musz find somezhing zhaz I have never phozographed before.” Photo Finish began to explain. “Somezhing beuziful, somezhing graceful, somezhing vundabar! Only zhen vill I once again find…da magiks!”

At this point, Aria wasn’t sure how much help she could be to Photo Finish. She was definitely more of a left-brained person, so artistic and creative things didn’t come all that naturally to her. That, and she knew Photo Finish had taken many, many photographs over the years of many, many different things. Finding something she’d never photographed before would certainly be a difficult challenge.

It’s going to take a miracle for me to be able to help this girl. She semi-defeatedly thought to herself as Photo Finish once again took a seat.

Just then, Aria’s cellphone started ringing in her pocket. The Dazzling took her phone out and looked at the number on the screen. There was no name under it, but she did recognize the number. In fact, she’d been expecting a call from it.

“Sorry, Photo , I need to take this.” She said as she got up from her seat.

Photo Finish simply nodded her head in understanding as Aria made her way over to the other end of the room for a little privacy.

“Hello?” Aria answered the phone. “This is she…Yes, that’s right…Really?...No, no, today is fine…5:30…Okay, thank you...Bye.”

As Aria hung up the phone she let out a very audible sigh, which caught the attention of Photo Finish. Despite how difficult it usually was to pick up on Photo’s expression because of her glasses, she could tell that the girl was curious by her single raised eyebrow. Either that or she was silently judging her.

“Hehe, sorry about that.” She embarrassingly apologized as she made her way back over to her desk. “I’ve just been waiting for that call about getting my emus moved.”

“Emus?” Photo Finish replied, sounding more intrigued than confused.

Just as Aria was about to sit back down, she realized what she’d just said.

Why did I bring up the emus? She thought to herself once she was reseated.

“Emus.” Photo Finish reiterated, though more to herself this time.

“Yeah, emus.” Aria deadpanned, figuring she might as well fill Photo in on the secret. “I bought an emu farm a few weeks ago.”

“Of course, emus!” Photo Finish grandiosely proclaimed, like she’d just come to a great realization, as she once again dramatically stood up. “So beauziful vizh zheir sofz feazers! So graceful vizh zheir long necks und legs! Zhey vill help me find…da magiks!”

Aria didn’t know how to respond to that. She simply stared at Photo Finish with a blank expression as her mind tried to understand how emus were the key to finding ‘da magiks’.

“Come.” Photo Finish instructed as she grabbed her bag, went around the desk, and took ahold of Aria’s hand. “Ve go zo zhe emus!”

“Wait, right now?” Aria asked in surprise as Photo pull her up out of her seat and started dragging her towards the door. “But there’s still afternoon classes.”

“I SAID VE GO!” Photo Finish shouted right in Aria’s face as she stopped and turned around to face the Dazzling.

“Yea, ma’am.” Aria meekly replied, feeling like she’d just been yelled at by Adagio, as Photo once more started dragging her out the door.

“Okay, just so we’re crystal clear, if anyone asks where we were this afternoon I took you to the hospital after you started having chest pains while in my office.” Aria candidly said from the passenger’s seat of Photo Finish’s car. “Got it?”

“Yah, yah, I heard you zhe firsz zime.” Photo Finish dismissively replied as she drove down a long, straight highway road towards Aria’s emu farm.

Aria just rolled her eyes in response as she stared out the window, trying to figure out how she’d allowed herself to be, for lack of a better word, kidnapped. Oh sure, she could have fought back against Photo’s hold on her, but she really didn’t want to get confrontational with the girl, not after what happened to Raven when she and Sonata got into it recently. That, and she realized there was no stopping Photo from following her artistic desire. Even if she’d managed to successfully refuse Photo’s demand to take her to the emus, she knew the photographer would have found some way to track them down, so it was probably best for the emus if she accompanied her while she captured their ‘magiks’.

“How much furzher?” Photo Finish asked, clearly getting impatient.

Just as Photo said that, Aria noticed that they were passing mile marker 193.

“Just a few more minutes.” She plainly replied. “You’re going to get off at the next exit and turn right, the farm’s only about two minutes away from that point.”

“Vundabar!” Photo Finish joyfully stated with a smile on her face.

“Yeah, ‘vundabar’.” Aria softly, and sarcastically, said to herself.

The rest of the car ride was spent in silence until Aria pointed out the farm when they’d reached it. Photo Finish quickly turned and drove the car up the dirt driveway, only to stop about halfway up it once she saw the farmhouse and barn.

“Mein gott.” She said in astonishment. “Zhis place is so…so…desolaze.”

It was true. The farm was, by all appearances, desolate. The single story farmhouse was dilapidated with holes in the roof, missing side panels, and an awning that was only half hanging onto the house because of a down support pole. The barn about 100 yards to the left seemed to be in slightly better shape, since there were no apparent holes in it, but it still looked like it had seen better days. The land itself didn’t look all that great either with dead grass, dead plants, and few dead trees as far as the eye could see. It was hard to imagine that anything, especially emus, could survive here.

“Vhy on earzh vould you buy zhis place?” Photo asked in shocked confusion.

As much as Aria didn’t want to admit how she’d come to acquire the emu farm, she knew there was no way of avoiding the subject.

“I was really drunk when I bought it.” She embarrassingly began to explain. “I had had one too many drinks down at The Red Stallion one night and these two smooth-talking con-men convinced me to buy the place.”

“I see.” Photo Finish simply replied, trying not to sound judgmental, as she pulled the car up the rest of the driveway.

Once the car was all the way up the driveway, Photo turned it off and got out to get a better look around. Aria followed suit, but went straight for the barn.

“I’m going to let the emus out.” The Dazzling instructed as she walked away. “Gather whatever you need for taking pictures and meet me at the back of the barn.”

“Underszood.” Photo Finish replied as she went to the trunk of her car.

Once Photo had opened the trunk, she took out a small 12 x 11 x 6 inch black case and placed it on the ground. She opened the case and pulled out a D850 Digital SLR camera, one of her favorite cameras, followed by a 20-70mm lens. After carefully attaching the lens to the camera, she turned it on and took a few sample pictures of the house and barn to make sure it was working properly.

“Good.” She said to herself after seeing the sample pictures came out alright. “Now, I go!”

Photo Finish began dashing towards the barn, eager to photograph the beautiful and majestic emus. She quickly made her way around to the back and noticed a small fenced off area surrounding it, presumably for the emus to roam around in. There was just one problem; the fence was constructed of a closely spaced woven wire and about seven feet high, so there was no way to take pictures from the outside without it being in the shot.

“Nein, nein, nein! Zhis vill noz do!” She angrily stated as she looked towards the barn. “I musz gez phozos from zhe inside!”

As Photo Finish hastily made her way around to the front of the barn, she heard the sound of a door opening behind her followed by the loud grunting and booming noises of large birds. Hearing the emus only invigorated her more as she reached the front doors of the barn, wasting no time opening them and stepping inside.


“AHHH!” Photo Finish screamed as she fell backwards, nearly losing her camera, as she was startled by a six foot tall and loud emu that was right on the other side of the door.


The emu backed up a bit after hearing the scream, but was still too close to Photo for her comfort. Despite her eagerness to photograph the creatures, she was a little bit intimidated by them due to their large size and their sharp tow claws, which could eviscerate just about any other living thing. She desperately wanted to get some distance between herself and the bird, but she found that she was unable to move.

“Easy, Glen, easy.” Aria gently said as she approached the large bird and began stroking it’s neck with one hand and stroking it’s back with the other. “She’s okay. She’s a friend.”


“Come on, let’s get you outside with the others.” Aria said as she started leading the emu, apparently named Glen, towards the back of the barn leading out to the fenced area.

The emu now farther away from her, Photo Finished got back on her feet, dusted herself off, and watched in amazement as Aria lead Glen through the barn. The Dazzling had approached the large bird with such ease and made physical contact without any hesitation.

“Incredible.” She euphorically said to herself as she quickly brought her camera up to her face and began taking photos of Aria and Glen, feeling a sense of inspiration she’d never felt before.

Once Aria had gotten Glen to the threshold of the barn’s back door, he broke free from her and joined the other dozen or so emus out in the fenced off area. Happy that Glen was now amongst his few emu, Aria turned around to face Photo with a very stern expression.

“I thought I told you to meet me at the back.” She hollered back at Photo through the barn, making no effort to hide her irritation. “You nearly gave poor Glen a heart attack.”

“Vhat?!” Photo Finish heatedly replied as she lowered her camera, upset that Aria seemed more concerned about the emu than her. “Zhaz bird nearly gave me a hearz azzack!”

Rather than get into an argument with Photo, Aria simply rolled her eyes and decided to let the matter go. She waved the photographer over to her as she returned her attention to her emus.

Photo Finish heeded Aria beckoning gesture and made her way through the barn towards her. As she walked, she couldn’t help but notice the architectural design of the barn. There were a number of stalls with nameplates on them for each animal, but they looked more like they were made for horses rather than emus.

“Has zhis alvays been an emu farm?” She inquired just as she reached Aria.

“Don’t know, don’t really care.” Aria bluntly replied without taking her eyes off the emus. “All I know is that the emus were here when I bought the place and nothing else.”

It wasn’t hard for Photo Finish to figure out that Aria wasn’t in a very talkative mood at the moment. She turned her attention to the emus for a few moments and noticed most of them grouped together near the fence on the left side of the roaming area, with few scattered about but still fairly close to the group. There was one, though, that was all alone on the right side of the area; Glen.

“Vhy iz zhaz one all zhe vay over zhere?” She curiously inquired as she pointed over to Glen.

A small frown began to form on Aria’s face as she looked over towards where Photo was pointing and noticed Glen wandering by his lonesome.

“Glen has…trust issues.” She somberly explained.

Photo looked over to Aria again and saw a pained expression on her face. There was clearly a story behind that statement, but she wasn’t sure if it was one the Dazzling was willing to share with her.

“He seemed zo zrusz you.” She pointed out, hoping that fact would help Aria’s mood a bit.

“Yeah, but it took a lot of work to gain that trust.” Aria answered, still sounding somber. “See, when I first got here most of the emu took to me fairly quickly. Emus are curious by nature, and once they started seeing me as a friend they let me get close to them with relative ease. Glen, however, was very skeptical of me.”

Photo Finish listened intently to Aria’s story, picking up on the growing distress in her voice.

“He wouldn’t let me get close to him at all for the first few days, not even when I brought him food.” Aria continued. “I don’t know why, but it made me sad. Eventually he let me get close enough to bring him food, and that’s when I first saw his scars.”

“Scars?” Photo asked in consternation.

“Yeah, if you get close enough to him you can see a few scars on his left side, just below his neck.” Aria clarified. “I don’t know if it was another emu that did that to him or what, but I figure that whatever happened to give him those scars was the reason he developed trust issues. Anyways, Glen eventually warmed up to me enough that I could apply some medicine to his scars, and after that he started sticking to me like I was his mother or something.”

There was a slight change in Aria’s voice as she said that last part. She didn’t sound quite as distressed as before. In fact, there was almost a comedic tone to the way she said it, as if it was funny that an emu would get so attached to her. Still though, there was sadness in her voice, one that Photo didn’t understand. That is, until she remembered something Aria had said earlier, back at school.

“Vhy are you moving zhe emus?” She softly asked, though she was fairly certain she already knew the answer.

Aria bit her lower lip and tried to fight back tears as she steeled herself to say aloud what, up until now, she’d only silently admitted to herself.

“Because I can’t take care of them.” She sorrowfully said. “I don’t have the time or the money to do so, and even if I did they’d still have to be moved because they can’t survive here. That phone call earlier was about renting a special trailer to move them to Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack and her family are going to take them in.”

“Zhaz doesn’z sound so bad.” Photo comfortingly said. “I’m sure Applejack und her family vill zake good care of zhem.”

“I’m sure they will.” Aria replied, still sounding sorrowful. “For the time that they can. Applejack said they can take them in until harvest season, but then they’ll be too busy for them after that.”

The sadness in Aria’s voice was getting stronger. It was becoming harder and harder for her to hold back tears, and she began feeling weak in the knees.

“Und…vhaz happens zo zhem afzer zhaz?” Photo hesitantly asked, a sense of dread in her voice.

“They’ll be put down.” Aria quietly, but very emotionally, answered as tears started to flow down her cheeks.

All of a sudden, Aria’s legs gave out on her and she fell to her knees as she began to bawl. She quickly brought her hands up to her face to hide her tear-stained face and muffle her weeping while letting her emotions pour out of her like water from a downspout.

“I…I don’t want them…to die.” She managed to say through her sobs. “I…I love these big, dumb birds.”

Almost instinctively, Photo Finish put down her camera, got down on her knees, and wrapped Aria in a comforting hug. Aria didn’t return the hug though. She instead kept her hands over her face as she continued to weep for here emu. Soon enough, Photo started crying herself out of sympathy for the distraught Dazzling. The two girls stayed like that for about a minute and a half before Photo heard a noise.


Photo Finish looked up from Aria to see Glen standing only about five feet away from them, his neck lowered to the same height as their heads. One would think such a sight would have startled Photo like it had before, but Photo wasn’t afraid this time. She stared back at Glen, into his eyes, and could have sworn she saw sadness within them. For reasons unknown to her, she ceased hugging Aria, got back to her feet, and took a few steps back.


Once Photo was backed up enough, Glen slowly approached Aria and gave the girl a small, gentle headbutt to her left arm. The gesture cause Aria to lower her hands and stare at Glen through tear-soaked eyes.

“It’s alright, Glen.” She managed to say with a bit more composure as she stood up and wiped the tears from her eyes.

Glen gradually raised his head as Aria stood up, returning it to its usual height once she was fully up. At which point, Aria wrapped her arms around his long, slightly curved neck.

“I’m okay, buddy. I’m okay.” She assured the bird.


As Photo Finish watched the heartwarming scene unfold in front of her, she felt the same sense of inspiration she’d felt before when Aria lead Glen through the barn. She quickly picked up her camera and put it up to her face, but as she stared at the Dazzling and her emu through the lens, she found that she couldn’t take the shot. This moment, this beautiful and sad moment, spoke not to Photo Finish the photographer, but to Photo Finish the person. Once she realized that she lowered her camera, and even took off her glasses, so that she could see without distraction.

And just like that, Photo Finish once again found ‘da magiks’.

“Now go on.” Aria said to Glen as she let go of his neck, looking up at him with a sad smile. “You need to socialize with the other emu.”


Glen did as instructed and headed off in the direction of the group of emu. He didn’t wedge himself into the group like some of the other emu were doing, but he was at least he wasn’t by himself now.

The heartwarming scene now over, Photo Finish put her glasses back on and moved in closer to Aria.

“Are you alrighz?” She concernedly asked the Dazzling.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Aria solemnly replied, keeping her attention on Glen and the other emu. “Sorry about all that.”

“You have nozthing to be sorry for.” Photo sincerely assured her as she placed a supportive hand on her right shoulder. “You are concerned for your emu, iz is only nazural zo feel zhaz vay vhen you are vorried abouz zhem.”

Aria gained a more genuine smile as she placed her left hand over Photo’s hand.

“I just don’t know what to do.” She dolefully admitted. “If I can’t find a permanent home for them, then they’re goners.”

It wasn’t difficult to tell that Aria’s mood was changing for the worst again after mentioning the emu’s impending fate once more.

“Vhaz if you goz a loan zo renovaze zhe farm?” Photo Finish speculated, trying to keep the mood positive.

“Tried that.” Aria dejected. “The bank said I didn’t have enough collateral for one that size.”

“How much do you need?” Photo inquired.

“About $70,000.” Aria answered.

Photo Finish was, admittedly, a little disheartened when she heard Aria say she needed $70,000. That kind of money wasn’t easy to come by, and if Aria couldn’t get it from the bank where else was she going to get it from? She wanted to help, but all she had was her camera and she wasn’t going to save the emu farm with pictures.

But then, as if by some divine intervention, Photo Finish had an idea. It would be a long shot, but it might have very well been the only thing that could save the emu. She quickly put down her camera and grabbed aria by her other shoulder, forcing the girl to look straight at her.

“Aria, do you zrusz me?” She bluntly asked.

“What?” Aria asked in surprise with a confused look on her face.

“Do you zrusz me?!” Photo repeated a bit louder, giving her a little shake to emphasize her earnestness.

Aria wasn’t really sure why Photo was now shaking her by the shoulders, but despite that she couldn’t think of a reason to answer ‘no’.

“I…guess so?” She half-asked, half-stated.

“Good.” Photo simply replied as she released her.

Like a bolt of lightning, Photo picked her camera back up and began taking pictures, first of the emu outside then of the inside of the barn. Once she was done there, she quickly ran outside through the front doors, much to Aria’s bewilderment. The Dazzling decided to follow her outside and saw her taking more pictures once she was also outside.

“What are you doing?” She asked the suddenly photo-crazy girl.

“I am creating…da magiks!” Photo Finish dramatically proclaimed as she continued taking pictures.

Well, at least she found her mojo again. Aria silently thought to herself.

Photo continued taking pictures of the farm for about another minute before abruptly ran over to her car.

“Und now…I go!” She shouted out to aria as she got in.

“What?!” Aria shouted back in stunned confusion as she started running over to Photo’s car. “You’re just going to leave me here?!”

“Zhere is no zime zo lose, I musz gez szarzed immediazely.” Photo said as she started the car and backed down the driveway. “Just vait for your zrailer.”

Aria didn’t catch up to Photo before it left the driveway. She could only watch as her only mode of transportation for the next three or so hours drove away. It was at that moment Aria realized, maybe she shouldn’t have told Photo Finish that she trusted her.

After having been ditched by Photo Finish, Aria really didn’t have any other choice than to wait for the trailer she’d rented to come pick up the emu and take them to Sweet Apple Acres. She’d tried calling Adagio and Sonata a few times, but she never got any bars. In all honesty though, it wasn’t too bad. She’d spent the waiting time looking after the emu and when the trailer did eventually arrive she didn’t have much trouble getting them onboard it.

The move itself was fairly painless as well, and getting them out of the trailer once they’d arrived at Sweet Apple Acres was even easier. Once it was all said and done, and Aria made sure all her emu were accounted for, Applejack offered to give the Dazzling a ride home. And that’s where Aria was now, in Big Mac’s pick-up truck with Applejack on her way home.

“So she just left yah there?” Applejack asked for about the fifth time, finding it difficult to believe that Photo Finish would just leave Aria alone the way she had.

“Eeyup.” Aria answered for about the fifth time as she thought about all the things she was going to tell Photo the next time she saw her.

“Well, I’m sure she had a good reason.” Applejack said just as Sunset’s apartment came into view.

“Oh, I’m sure she did.” Aria replied, not sounding very convinced, as Applejack slowed down and pulled off to the side of the road.

“Welp, here yah are, Aria.” The farm girl said as she came to a complete stop and unlocked the doors.

“Thanks for the ride, AJ.” Aris replied as she buckled her seatbelt and opened the door. “I owe you one.”

“Aw shucks, yer mah friend, yah don’t owe me nothin’.” Applejack said back as Aria got out of the truck. “See yah later.”

“Later.” Aria said as she closed to door and head up the walk to the front door.

The sound of the pick-up truck pulling away could be heard as Aria put her key in the lock. She quickly unlocked the door and stepped inside to get away from the frigid night air, only to be immediately greeted by a concerned, yet somehow giddy, Sonata.

“Aria, where have you been?” The pony-tailed Dazzling asked her sister. “We’ve been trying to reach you.”

“Sorry about that, it's been a really crazy day.” Aria exhaustingly apologized and explained.

“Oh it doesn’t matter now, come on!” Sonata exclaimed as she grabbed hold of Aria’s hand and began leading her into the kitchen. “We have to show you this!”

“Show me what?” Aria inquired as she was dragged into the kitchen, where she noticed Adagio and Sunset were staring at a laptop screen on the table.

“You’re not going to believe this, Aria.” Adagio said in astonishment once she saw her sister enter the room.

“This is just…wow.” Sunset said as she continued to stare at the laptop.

Sonata quickly brought Aria around the table to see what was on the screen. At first, Aria just saw a random website but the more she looked at it, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. It was a crowdfunding site with the words, ‘SAVE THE EMUS’ written across the top of the page and pictures of her emu farm shown below it.

“What the…” She said in disbelief as she went in for a closer look.

Upon closer inspection, the website had a small green bar with ‘$7,142 raised of $70,000 goal’ displayed above it and a yellow button that read ‘Donate now’ below it. Aria quickly began to scroll through the page and saw even more pictures of her farm displayed, along with an explanation of why the emus were in danger and why donations were needed to save them. There was also a sidebar that displayed the names of people who recently donated and what amounts they gave. The whole thing was incredible.

“I don’t…how is this…” Aria rambled on, finding it difficult to form a complete sentence.

“Dashie texted me about it two hours ago.” Sonata began explaining. “Everyone from CHS is talking about it, and it’s only been up for about three hours.”

“Three hours?!” Aria stated in absolute shock as she turned to Sonata, unable to believe that so much money had been raised in only three hours.

“Uh-huh. Photo Finish was the one who put it up.” Sonata stated.

Upon hearing Sonata say that Photo Finish had been the one who started this, Aria returned her attention to the laptop and scrolled all the way to the bottom of the webpage. Sure enough, at the very bottom of the page Photo Finish’s name and picture listed her as the fundraiser.

Aria was speechless, for a number of reason. She couldn’t believe that Photo had done this, she couldn’t believe how many people were donating, and she couldn’t believe the picture right above Photo’s name; it was of her and Glen walking through the barn.

“I…I…” Was all she could get out before she started crying for the second time today.

Only this time, she was crying tears of joy.

Both Sonata and Adagio quickly wrapped their sister in a warm and loving hug as they too were touched by the kindness and generosity that was being shown to them.

“Holy Toledo!” Sunset suddenly shouted, gaining the attention of all three Dazzlings. “Someone just donated the whole $70,000!”

“What?!” Aria, Adagio, and Sonata all shouted as they returned to the screen.

Sunset wasn’t lying. The sidebar showed that an anonymous donor had just pledged $70,000 to their cause, bringing the total donation amount up to $77,228.

Aria nearly fainted. The only thing that kept her from doing so was the great sense of happiness and relief of knowing that her emus were saved.

“What the hell.” Adagio plainly stated, completely floored by what had just happened on the computer screen.

“I wonder who that anonymous donor was.” Sonata chimed in, also sounding completely floored.

“Who cares?” Aria laughed out of sheer happiness. “We can renovate the farm and save the emus now.”

More tears of joy flowed down Aria’s cheeks as she stared at the screen. Soon enough, Adagio, Sonata, and Sunset were all crying with her.

“Wait.” Adagio spoke up in a manner that suggested she’d come to some great realization. “If we fix up the farmhouse, than we can finally move out of this apartment. No offense, Sunset.”

“None taken.” Sunset affably replied, happy that the Dazzlings were going to have a place to call their own soon, even if she would miss their company.

The three sisters once again joined together in a loving hug. Aria was happy that here emus were going to be okay, Adagio was happy that she’d soon have a true home again, and Sonata was just happy that everyone else was happy. Each of them began to let their minds wander as they imagined what they’re new lives would be like…on the emu farm.

Author's Note:


If you have a suggestion for a future chapter let me know in the comments.

The next chapter will feature Sonata and Octavia Melody.