• Published 11th Dec 2019
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The Legend of Daring Do - The Red Parade



As Hearth’s Warming approaches, Rainbow Dash seeks Twilight Sparkle’s assistance in retelling an adventure story in an effort to bring back the sister she never knew.

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Daring Do and the World Beyond

When I blink I’m back in the library. Twilight lowers the book back onto the table, stifling a yawn while she does so. “Sorry, Rainbow, but it’s getting late.”

I glance out the window to see that it’s already dark outside. “Oh. Right.”

Twilight goes over to the table and starts gathering the books and papers in her magic. “I think that was an interesting experience, don’t you?”

“Yeah, it was alright.” I suddenly remember some of the stuff Daring said earlier when we fought the bullies. “Twilight, why were Hoops, Score, and Dumb-bell there?”

Twilight blinks and pulls out a piece of paper in her magic. “Oh. Well, I was just going off the papers and notes Daring left in the pages. This letter was one of them. Although it would make sense if it wasn’t supposed to be included in the story. The truth is I kind of lost myself in the rhythm of things and wasn’t really paying attention to what exactly I was reading.”

She hooves me the letter, and I skim through it. “So, this was like a personal thing?”

“Maybe. I’m thinking that Daring was still tweaking it, so she might have left some personal notes in there that she didn’t mean to.” She rubs the back of her head sheepishly. “So I guess you weren’t supposed to know about that.”

I shrug and stuff the letter and book into my saddlebags. “I don’t know. It’s just weird, you know? I thought I knew her, but she never told me about any of this.”

“I’m sure she was planning on telling you at some point,” Twilight reassures. “She just… ran out of time. But still, this is amazing! It’s almost like this story has a mind of its own!”

“Yeah, maybe. I’ll come back tomorrow then. See you,” I say.

Twilight nods and walks me down the stairs to the door. “See you tomorrow,” she says with a wave.

I nod and wave back before spreading my wings and flying off towards my house. As I fly through the air, my thoughts drift back to the story and the others. I wonder what Minute meant when she said Daring did tell me?

“She’s right, you know.”

I do a double take and see Daring on my right, flying next to me. She gives me an awkward wave.

“What--how are you here? We’re not even in the story anymore! And Twilight’s not even here!”

Daring just shrugs. “Like I said, it’s something to do with your imagination or something. I’m only here because you want me to be here.”

I falter in my flight a little bit. “So, what are you? A ghost or something?”

“No idea,” she replies neutrally. “But the point is I’m here whether I want to be or not.”

She looks pretty much the same as she did in the story, still wearing her helmet and vest. But she seems a lot less active now, more calm and a little bit tired.

“Uh, alright, but why would I want you to be here, outside of the story?”

Daring shrugs again. “I don’t know. Maybe you don’t realize it yet. Either way, I can’t answer that for you.”

“Sis, Minute said that you were asking me for help, but I didn’t realize it. What was she talking about?”

My sister chuckles and shakes her head. “Well, neither of us are the best at sharing our feelings. Think about it, whenever you needed help, did you outright say it?”

I guess she’s got a point there. “So, you’re saying I just missed it?”

“I guess. I can’t blame you though, I was pretty subtle about it all. And besides, I did have some friends to help me out.”

“Like Minute and Redblood?” I ask.

She shrugs. “Sort of. But it’s hard to explain. I guess I tried to hint it towards you, but I was so sure I could handle it myself that I never told you.”

My house appears in front of us as we talk. I open the door and head in, Daring trailing behind. “Why don’t you just read the letter Twilight gave you? It might help explain some things.”

I shrug, dropping my bags to the side and fishing out the letter. I sit down on the couch and unfold it, reading it to myself. I can’t help but hear Daring’s voice as I read the words.

“Hey. I’m not really sure how to phrase this, but I think you’re right. I don’t think I’m okay. It’s just so hard to see tell figure out what’s wrong with me. I’ve just been having trouble lately. I’ve told you about those three idiots, Hoops, Score, and Dumb-bell before. They’re the black, tan, and brown pegasi with only half a brain cell between the lot of them. They’ve been bullying harassing me lately. I think I can handle it though.

“I tried to drop hints to Rainbow about it. I asked her how she would hypothetically deal with annoying ponies, but she just kept saying she’d tie their wings and throw them off a cloud. I don’t think she took me very seriously. I mean, yeah, she stood up to them during Flight Camp, then she showed them up during the Best Young Flyer Competition and stuff, but that didn’t keep them away from me.

“And before you can ask, I’m fine. It hasn’t gotten physical yet, and I know that I’ll have to bring it up when if it does. I can take care of myself. I know you’re worried for me and just want the best, but trust me. I’m fine. They’re just a bunch of idiots looking to have some fun. Besides, better me than someone with thin skin. I can take it, right?

“So what I’m trying to say is I’m not okay I’m perfectly fine I don’t need help Oh, screw it. I don’t how the buck I’m supposed to feel. I keep making mistakes, and it’s starting to show. It’s like there’s this nagging voice in the back of my head, saying you can do better than that, Daring, you NEED to do better than that, Daring, but it’s like I can’t. And everytime I see them I hear it. Don’t fight them, don’t make it physical, leave them alone. Because you are BETTER than them, Daring, and if you fight you stoop to their level, Daring, and it’s just

“Oh buck this. This was a failure from the start.”

I blink, putting the letter back on the table.

“Kind of heavy, huh?” Daring asks. She sat down while I was reading, watching me with sad eyes. “And no, I never sent it. I tried to, but I couldn’t word it right. That letter was my last attempt before giving up.”

My mind’s racing now, trying to remember my conversations with her. I search through my memories, trying to figure out what clues I missed and how I could have let this happen.

And it comes to me, in bits and pieces. Her asking weird questions and me brushing them off, because I was trying to train and thought she was joking. Her tensing up and shying away when we passed them in the streets once, while I thought their insults were directed at me. Her giving me a weird, sad look when I was explaining who they were to Rarity, telling her they were harmless idiots.

Daring lays a hoof on my shoulder. “Hey, it’s not your fault.”

“But it is!” I blurt out. “Damnit, how did I not see this?”

“Rainbow, listen to me. It’s my own fault for not clearly asking for help. I knew that you would never fully understand what I was implying. That’s because I was too scared to ask. I thought, if you can handle them then why can’t I?” She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. “So, I tried to just ignore them. Let them have their fun. Told myself it didn’t bother me and that I could take it.”

I grit my teeth. “When I see them again, I’m going to--”

“You’re going to do what? Beat them? Hit them? Kill them? What would that accomplish?” Daring rubs her head in frustration. “That’s the whole point. I didn’t want to just become them. If I started fighting then I’d be no better than they are.”

“No, because they deserve it. If that’s all they understand, then you have to beat them with it,” I reply.

“Fine, if that’s what you want to believe,” Daring says, throwing her hooves up in the air. “Not like it matters to me.”

I shoot to my hooves. “It should matter!”

“Why?”

“Because maybe I’m not okay with you being dead!”

The room falls quiet after that outburst. Eventually I look up to see that she’s gone. I take a few deep breaths, realizing how fast my heart’s beating now. “It matters,” I say aloud. “You mattered.”

Eventually I wander into my room and collapse onto my cloud bed. I clutch the book in my hooves, absently turning the pages but not reading any of the words. “You matter. You matter.”


The next thing I know my alarm’s ringing. I knock it off my nightstand with a swipe of my hoof, letting out a huge yawn while I do so. I set the book on the nightstand, rubbing the back of my head as memories of yesterday fill my head.

I blink a few times before looking around my room. The sun’s just starting to rise outside, sending rays of light through the window. The book’s lying by my side, opened to a random page. Daring’s nowhere in sight.

After a few more seconds of sitting on my bed, I swing my legs off, heading for the bathroom. I stand in front of the mirror, staring at my own reflection.

My reflection morphs into a picture of my sister, staring right back at me. Her words ring in my head. “If that’s what you want to believe. Not like it matters today.”


I shake the thoughts off, tearing my eyes away from the mirror and step into my shower. I give the shower cloud a quick buck, letting the water wash over me. I close my eyes as the water rushes over me.

Suddenly the water becomes raindrops, and instead of being in my shower I’m running down Ponyville’s main street, the wind whipping through my mane. Someone behind me calls out my name, but I ignore them. I leap off the street and into the air, spreading my wings and heading for the clouds. An accident. Somewhere in the mountains. Crystal Empire. Critical condition. The words fly through my mind faster than I could ever hope to fly.

Then I blink and the memory fades. I curse, giving the cloud another buck to shut off the water. I don’t have time for this. I’ve got to get to work. Without my direction the weather team is going to fall apart in ten seconds flat. Not to discredit them or anything, but the last time I left Cloud Kicker in charge it took weeks of formal apologies and mountains of paperwork to get things running again.

After running a towel through my mane, I take flight, headed for Ponyville to grab some breakfast before I go to the weather office. The town’s just starting to wake up, a few ponies trotting up and down the street on their way to work.

I do a few corkscrews in the air to limber up my wings before executing a perfect landing in front of Sugarcube Corner. The smells of freshly baked good reaches my nose, forming a smile on my face.

“Good morning,” chimes in Mrs. Cake from behind the counter. “Ah, hello Rainbow!”

“Morning,” I greet. “Could I get my usual please?”

“Of course,” Mrs. Cake answers. “And I’ll let Pinkie Pie know you’re here.” She disappears into the kitchen, and the noise of kitchen machinery bleeds through for a brief second. I trot over to one of the tables and sit down.

I sigh, staring out the window as ponies move around outside. I realize that there’s only two more days until the anniversary, and there’s still a lot I’ve got to do. Slowly, my thoughts turn from my sister and her book into the long list of errands that I’ve got left.

I’m suddenly pulled out of my thoughts when the door opens again and a white-coated mare trots in. She looks around before going to the counter and ringing the bell.

“Give me a second,” Mrs. Cake calls from the kitchen.

“Take your time,” the mare responds.

Wait, that voice. I narrow my eyes and turn to stare at her. The mare’s got a white coat and a pink mane tied up in a bun. Her blue eyes scan the menu. I’ve seen those eyes before.

“Redblood?”

She looks exactly like her, minus all the battle armor and the signature scowl. Redblood turns around to give me a confused glance. “Were you talking to me?”

I stand up and approach her. “So you are a real pony?”

Redblood takes a step back, glancing towards the door. “Uh, do I know you?” Her voice sounds exactly like Redblood’s, although it’s missing her aggressiveness.

“I’m Rainbow Dash! I think you were friends with my sister!”

She opens her mouth and shuts it again, before she shakes her head and tries to regain her composure. “I’ve worked with many ponies, I’m afraid. What was her name?”

“Daring,” I reply. “Daring Dash.”

At the name, a million emotions flash across her face. First she looks surprised, then angry, then sad. Redblood opens her mouth to speak when Pinkie Pie suddenly appears at the counter. “Hiya Dashie! Oh, hiya Nurse Redheart! Y’know I had the feeling that you were coming today because when I woke up I sneezed four times, which meant that both of you were going to come and ask for your usual, and then--”

Redblood--Redheart’s face goes neutral. She nods blankly and takes the brown bag Pinkie offers her. “I’m sorry, I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Red-whatever says to me.

“Wait--” I try to stop her, but Pinkie gets in between us.

“--thought it was kind of weird because usually when that happens it means that I’ve done something wrong, but I was watching carefully and--”

Redheart takes advantage and turns for the door. She walks out without looking back. Pinkie keeps talking, but I’m not hearing her. Out of the corner of my eye I see Daring, sitting in a chair facing out the window, sadly watching her friend walk away.