• Published 29th Jun 2020
  • 399 Views, 15 Comments

Horizons and Stormclouds - Fiddlesticks

Rainbow takes a flight with an old friend.

  • ...

Raindrops and Rooftops

The world was falling apart around her. Deep within her Rainbow felt a surge of panic, as if she was falling from the sky without a wing, plummeting ever closer to the ground.

Her chest tightened as she desperately searched for freedom. It felt as if wave after wave of invisible wall was crashing around her, even though she was perched on a skyscraper rooftop. Her eyes scanned the horizon, hoping that something would move and guide her, or that something would reach deep into the ocean to pull her to the surface.

But nothing did.

Yet in the wind that graced her mane she heard voices. Voices of her friends and of her families, of her idols and her heroes and of those who looked up to her. Whispers in the wind. Ghosts that tugged at the corners of her eyes, staying just out of reach while prancing through her mind.

It was infuriating.

The world slid by in fragments, as pieces flew past her like bullets. Ceremonies and parties came and went, celebrations and grieving fought each other for dominance. Graveyards and houses and clouds and mountains all whirled together as the world was pulled apart.

Rainbow looked down over the city, feeling the emotion that ran beneath the streets and the heavy feeling that hung in the air like a thick blanket on a chilly winter morning. All around her the lights went off building by building, shrouding the city in darkness bit by bit. Rainbow didn’t want to know what would happen when all the lights went out.

But underneath it all Rainbow could feel a spark, one that came in the form of a chorus of voices.

She could hear Applejack’s soothing drawl and Twilight’s cheery tone, mixed with Fluttershy’s subtleties and Pinkie’s giddiness. And she heard her mother’s lullabies and her father’s deep laughter, mixed in with the cheer of some far-away crowd and hidden beneath Daring calling out her name.

But through the haze there was another voice. One of command and power, cutting through the noise like a blade through the air. “Rainbow Dash!”

On instinct she snapped to attention and looked up. A pegasus hovered in front of her, arms folded across her chest. “This isn’t a time to be resting, Crash,” yelled Spitfire. “Look alive!”

Rainbow hopped to her hooves as Spitfire fell backwards, spreading her wings and spiraling parallel to the building.

She glanced behind her to see a sea of black in the sky, swirling and brooding aggressively as it closed in around the city. Rainbow squeezed her eyes shut and dived for her life, feeling the wind rush past her face and sting at her eyes.

As the street came closer and closer she pulled up, following Spitfire’s trail. They weaved in and out of city streets as ghosts of life reached out at her, their ghastly limbs going through her and leaving a pit of dread in her stomach.

Spitfire pulled up into the clouds and Rainbow followed, letting herself be swallowed up by the field of white around her. When Spitfire dove down again they were over the stadium, and as they passed Rainbow swore she could see a gray trail dipping around the seats.

But Spitfire pressed on, flying further out of the city. Rainbow gritted her teeth and flew faster, as a shout of thunder shattered the sky. They flew into the mountains and over the camp, where Rainbow saw a single light turn on within the dining hall.

Spitfire glanced behind her, as if checking to see if Rainbow was still there. She shouted something before spiraling up into the sky again and looping back to the city.

Rainbow followed with ease, even as an army of dark clouds began their invasion of the pristine sky. By the time they flew over the subway station, fat drops of rain left the clouds like paratroopers leaping from planes, throwing themselves into Rainbow’s coat.

Glancing down, Rainbow saw a blur of a pony seated at the bench, seemingly ignorant of the rain around them. She wanted to pause to get a better look, but a voice in her head told her to keep going.

Spitfire dipped lower into the streets, and they flew past the museum, where a blurred purple form was seated on the steps. Rainbow blinked back tears as the wind ravaged her body and put on another burst of speed to keep up with Spitfire.

By the time they pulled over the trees of the park, Rainbow was neck and neck with Spitfire. She was so focused on looking forwards that she almost missed the violet hue that sat on a park bench, looking like nothing more than a blob in the rain.

Spitfire flashed her a smile, one that gave her reassurance. Because she knew where she was going now. She flew faster and faster, glancing up as a yellow airplane briefly ducked out of the clouds before disappearing again.

A flash of lightning lit up the city and Rainbow dove down, Spitfire on her tail. As they passed the corner store a light flickered inside, and a pink ball of color moved about behind the glass.

Rainbow flew down the streets like a race car, her chest inches above the street as rain assaulted her backside. She banked right at an on-ramp and flew down the highway, narrowly avoiding a white cluster dancing about the street.

And finally, she pulled up and twirled into the sky, closing her eyes and feeling the rain splash against her. She took it all in as she ascended, feeling the rain caress her skin and the wind play with her mane. And the din of the storm faded away, leaving the ambience of the city.

Rainbow leaned backwards at the peak of her climb and fell, smiling as the wind once again rushed by her. She fell slowly and quietly, not bothered by the laws of the world around her. She flared her wings out and landed.

Spitfire was waiting. “Not bad, kid,” she said. “Not bad at all.”

“You weren’t too shabby yourself, Spits,” Rainbow replied.

Spitfire shrugged. “You know it. How you holding up, Crash?”

“Better,” Rainbow replied. “A lot better, thanks.”

“Good.” She sighed, glancing up at the sky. “But you know that you’re not out of it yet.”

Rainbow nodded, following her gaze. Thick black clouds were closing in on the parking lot now, bringing with them promises of storm and rain. Her ears pinned back but she stood taller. She wasn’t afraid of the storm.

“This part just might be the hardest,” Spitfire said. “But I’ve got faith in you, Dash. Your friends do too.”

“I know that,” Rainbow remarked. “I’ve made it this far. I’m not quitting now.”

“Good gal,” Spitfire remarked, giving her a solid pat on the back. “You’ve got this, Crash. You’ve got this.”

A part of her knew what was behind those doors. But that didn’t make things any easier.

But Rainbow wasn’t afraid, even as Spitfire vanished from the lot.

If anything, she was almost excited. Her journey was almost over, but as Spitfire said, this part would be the hardest. She wasn’t exactly sure what lay behind those doors, but she had an idea.

A light went on somewhere in the mall, as if inviting her in. Rainbow passed through the doors, letting the darkness take her. At the end of the hallway there was a flickering light, radiating with warmth and invitation. Asking her to come closer.

Unfamiliar voices whispered to her. “It's that general sense of uneasiness, and yet of familiarity, that one feels in a place that should be bustling with life, and yet... Isn't.”

“There’s something with these stories, they’re connected in a way.”

“It's very, very interesting, how every story doesn't seem to connect, but they do.”

“Dash may be due for another pause.”

“Eventually, things are forgotten.”

“And it looks like she’s more aware of that now, and she’s getting stronger.”

“Yet it still has a job to do. It's still needed.”

“I look forward to seeing where Dash's boulevard takes her next.”

“Living a life once is a powerful thing, why waste it on living forever?”

It was time.

Comments ( 15 )

“Eventually, things are forgotten.”

well, i'll be damned. glad to know she heard our voices though. the toughest part.... yeah, this is gonna be a toughie for all of us. not everything lasts forever. and this was a wonderful way of presenting that. a story about the challenge of letting things you love end, and letting us know this is where we have to face that challenge ourselves. i sincerely thank you for letting us be a part of your story, and for seeing it through

As beautiful as this is, I don't think we're done yet.

I finally managed to catch up after some time away... My emotions are all over the place, but we are being forced back to Number One.

See you all there :raritywink:

Wow. This is a grand representation of the “show don’t tell” rule that is a common tip among writers. It doesn’t have to be explained that Spitfire is leading her out of the storm - literally and metaphorically. It doesn’t have to be said that she’s remembering her friends and her family, and - most importantly - that they believe in her.
This was a magnificent installment, indeed.
The fact that you took a lot of our comments throughout the stories and integrated them into this one, was nothing short of masterful. The placement of each comment even flowed together, as if all of us were sitting together right then, talking. (But I suppose, in a way, we were:twilightsmile:)
It was beautiful, and (I’m gonna slightly quote Pins-N-Needles here:derpytongue2:) you should know that we’ve all enjoyed the ride very much and we so honored to be apart of it (sometimes literally:rainbowlaugh:)
Since receiving access to Number One, I think it’s safe to assume it’s not quite over:raritywink: I read that one first not realizing that this story was up, so now I’m curious as to what the difficult part is. Because when I read it I figured “oh, how nice, she’s back + getting pizza with AJ” , but now I’m thinking that’s part of the test...

All of it, developing in a ringing crescendo to this moment.

She heard us, all of us, the readers that stuck it through, and now what’s next seems to be up to us. Let’s see where Rainbow Dash takes us.

Also, 10 stories, and 12 blogs, 1012 is the angel number for renewal, routine, advancement, and knowing you’ve done good in the world. It’s such a fantastic thing to leave on.

But there’s one more chapter, and I need to check it out.

Alright, whose quotes are whose? I recognized dashite’s

“There’s something with these stories, they’re connected in a way.”

And, obviously, my own:derpytongue2:

“And it looks like she’s more aware of that now, and she’s getting stronger.”

A lot of them look familiar; I remember reading them, certainly, just don’t recall the user. :rainbowhuh:

I’m actually in there twice, once again with,”To live once is a powerful thing, why waste it on living forever?”

Is that it?

No, check their blogs.

Click on their links

Where’s the link?

In their blogs, the ones that start with ‘number’.

from the hidden chapter. It seems Spitfire is old and gray. Rainbow and her were racing through the city. They were going to go for a second round. Will there be another story or is this the end?

What was the password?

It's the name of the song. Spelt exactly the way its shown (with capitalization and all)

Thank you.

It ends on a bittersweet note. It seems that Rainbow Dash has accepted that she’s going to die, but she knows that there’s more. Life is short, use it to the best of your ability.

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