• Member Since 17th Jun, 2017
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The Red Parade

Cars are still parked outside. If the rapture had happened, why was it unrecognizable? Why was the sky blue? Why did no one tell me? Do these things not announce themselves?


Lightning Dust’s life has been a perpetual mess. As she struggles to put her life back together and repair her relationships, the last thing she needs is another version of herself appearing on her doorstep: young, stupid, and ready to make the same mistakes all over again.

Based on the almost incomprehensible album Stomachaches by Frank Iero.

Entry for FanofMostEverything's Ponidox Contest.

Edited by Holtinater, Seer, and EverfreePony.

Cover art by rice!

Dedicated to Moonshot (hope you're well) and wishcometrue (hope you feel better).

Featured on EQD 12/5/20!

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 74 )

Wouldn't "Holiday" be better as a Pony name rather than "Holliday?" :twilightsmile:

This is a good one! How does it not have more views?

Er, hold on a second. Who's White Lightning?


It's more of a reference to an old character I used and a wild west legend but I'm inconsistent in spelling anyways

Sequel or what if story of that other dimension's events?


Not sure if I follow your question but the "other dimension" is essentially just Wonderbolts Academy as it's happening.

Fairly straightforward but very good, enough introspection to get invested in older Lightning without feeling like you've had an exposition dump.

So basically lighting dust life became a disaster and not only that she lost a wing that sucks and it looks like she just punished herself losing her girlfriend dang thats sad look I can't really say she deserve it because the stunt she pulled ever since the Wonderbolts Academy and almost got scootaloo killed there's always another way to get her life back up despite her reputation I wonder how's that going to work

Oomph, the feels. I admit I haven't read much Lightning Dust, never really a pony that stood out to me.
the way you captured the raw emotion in her as she struggles with what she wants in life. Is powerful.
Great work.

White Lightning bends over to get a look at the pony when she suddenly freezes. Her eyes go wide, then she glances up at me. Slowly, she pulls off the pony’s hood, revealing her face for the first time.

My heart stops. I look at the pony’s face and nearly fall backwards. “That…. That can’t be….”

“It is, chief,” White Lightning replies. “That’s you.”

Holy macro theres two lighting dust 😳

And then Lightning Dust died of stomach cancer. The end.

(Seriously, if it's ulcers or just general stress it should be made a bit clearer).

Whoa that was pretty heavy it looks like lightning dust really try to pet herself down a lot but then our huge storm came around and it looks like there was another lightning dust Who Came From the Past apparently this is some Back to the Future stuff lol

She stifles a giggle and waggles her ears at me. “Sorry, chief. It’s just there aren’t many ponies out there who can say they’ve been punched by themselves.”

Now that's just taking it literally lol

Braeburn gives me a weary glance. “My cousin is the Element of Honesty, Lightin’. I can spot a liar a mile away. What’ve you got on your mind?”

Of course it runs in the family right

So apparently Lightning Dust wanted to see if she can convince her younger self to change her attitude but of course when we will remember her back in season 3 she still as stubborn and small-minded too not only does she hit herself and she ran off now they need to find her before she gets herself hurt because she doesn't know about the future

“I just…” I almost choke on my words as tears fall to the ground. “I remember the week before the accident. I was confident in myself again. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. And then… and then I got cocky. Started thinking about getting revenge on Rainbow and the Wonderbolts. Look where it got me.”

Not to mention that you almost got scootaloo killed on one of your stunts

Well looks like lightning dust admitted to fiddle that she was having a tough time throughout her years but knowing her ex girlfriend knowing that she is a good person not like in the past and maybe she can convince her past self to change her ways but the thing is how would it affect the timeline

“It was, for the five or so seconds I had it under control. Then it slipped out. Got away from me. Bowled right over some of Rainbow’s friends in a hot air balloon nearby.”

“Huh?” Young Lightning scrunches her face up in confusion. “How was that your fault? Shouldn’t they have not even been there in the first place?”

It doesn't matter young one you almost took a lives of Rainbow’s friends

I sigh and nod. “Yeah, I think I came in a little hot then. I was scared too. You came out of nowhere, you know? But, listen to me, kid. You have a shot here. You can be something great… far greater than I ever was.” I pause again and take a deep breath. “Because… I hate my weaknesses. But at the same time, they’ve made me who I am. I am my own greatest enemy.”

Wow it looks like lightning Dust finally got through the young one maybe there is a chance for her

“Now then, I must apologize for your unexpected interdimensional travel. My personal student still has a long way to go, but Luster is very sorry for dragging you here.”

Oh dang luster did that wow that's a powerful magic she has

Wow this was a pretty good story same lightning Dust change for the best even convincing her younger self to change her ways and somehow things turn out pretty well but it's the Wonders what's the timeline change her life or anything like that because this is like a Back to the Future type of thing things would change but anyway this was a good story so nice job on it

“Whitey, what am I living for anymore?”

I'm honestly surprised someone who's given up on life to this degree - who literally sees nothing worth living for, who feels physically ill quite regularly - hasn't even thought of a noose yet. Not that suicide's the correct answer, but usually someone this depressed does view it as such...


Of course it matters that Rainbow´s friends invaded restricted airspace without permision or authorization. Also, why didn´t Spitfire have any Wonderbolts in charge of oversee the training of recruits?
Not everything was Lightning´s fault.

Who said it was "restricted airspace"? The balloon came in from the opposite direction from the cloud-busting exercise. It wouldn't have been a problem if Lightning Dust hadn't impulsively decided to create a tornado to remove the last of the clouds.

Some excellent heavy stuff in this one. Lightning's unspoken fears hanging over everything like a shroud, her interactions with everyone around her (especially herself,) the everpresent theme of what she wants from life after squandering so much of it... And that bit in the cave, with each Lightning offering the other something in return? Brilliant work. Thank you for this. Best of luck in the judging.

Also, this story is definitely under-rated.

Thank you for making it.

But even now that I have the power to change it, I find myself at a loss as to how to do it. Sure, I maybe streamlined some parts and removed some old, outdated, stupid questions, but on the surface it’s the same exam that I had to take when I first signed up years ago.

This is a mood.

And that’s what bothers me. Because one of the first questions we ask is “what do you want from life?” And I don’t know.

Ouch. Relatable.

“How’s your stomach by the way?” she asks. “Is it still botherin’ you?”

Yeah. More than you could ever know.

“No, it’s been alright lately.”


But I can’t have any of those things.

So no. All I want is nothing. Nothing at all. And that’s the hill I’ll die on.

The amount of times I've said this to myself and to others is... probably too many.

I had a friend back then. Now I have an enemy, even if that enemy is myself.

God damn.

Off to a good start with this chapter! Lightning's emotional state is so real and relatable that it's a bit of a gut punch. A stomachache, if you will. You establish everything going on with Lightning well here, and I'm so ready to read another Red Parade character piece about her. I'm left with some questions, of course, but more in the "I'm hooked and want to read more" sense, not the "come on, get on with it already" way. That balance is harder than I think a lot of people appreciate, but you're generally very good at it anyways, so I'm not super surprised.

Time to keep reading!

Yeah, so, I was planning on doing a comment after every chapter like I did for chapter 1, but just... god damn. I had to keep reading. I had to see what happened next, where things would go. And wow. What a fucking fantastic ride. I loved this. This might be my favorite story you've written? It's so damn good. Let me struggle to be more articulate instead of just endlessly complimenting you and your story.

So, first off, Lightning Dust is great here. Both of them are. The older Lightning, our POV Lightning, is so different than the pony we see in the show, and yet she still feels like Lightning Dust. This genuinely feels like who she could end up as, which is great. Her struggles throughout the fic, with her emotions, her fears, herself... they're all so real and relatable and god damn it hurt. I could relate more to Lightning here than I would care to admit.

The arc she follows here, from depressed and lying about it to everyone, to helping her younger self avoid making the mistakes she made, to her younger self helping her in turn find the courage to stop lying, to lay herself bare to the pony she loves... It's beautiful, frankly. It's also very tight, and I really don't think there's a single word or scene wasted here.

God, the scene in the cave... I know there's a spoiler tag but I don't even want to say anything even with that. It's really one of those things people need to experience themselves. It made me tear up though.

Fiddlesticks is also great. The love and care and concern that she has for Lightning, the way she just wants Lightning to talk to her but also respects her personhood (ponyhood?) enough to give her space too? It's fantastic. And god, after everything, that ending was so satisfying and I'm not above admitting that I cried a little.

I don't know what else to say, really. You should seriously be proud of this one, because it's something special.


Thanks wish, really glad you liked it ^^

Hope this makes you feel a little better :U

Thank you for reading! Glad you liked it!

My life’s been a mess. I’ve been a world destroyer, and I’ve been my downfall. I’m missing a wing, and I’m weak. My stomach is still tied in knots, and my heart aches for a life I could have had.

But tonight, my head feels clearer. The knots in my stomach finally unclench. I feel like I can breathe again.

As a result of knowing people with a variety of chronic stomach-affecting problems, I admit that I wondered what the cause was the whole time. I'm still not entirely sure if that's saying that she's going to recover from her stomach aching in general or just gets some relief for the night?

That aside, this was an excellent dive into Lightning Dust giving her younger self some much-needed advice; the reciprocity in that regard ties it together nicely.


Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

My reasoning was that the primary cause was stress rather some specific ailment. So in a way, your second answer would be correct. As she says in the chapter, things aren't going to just magically get better once she faces her fears, but it'll be a start.

Thanks for clarifying! I'm no stranger to what stress can do, and I did have my money on that option after the first couple of chapters. I just… couldn't be sure.

Indeed. Perhaps I could have made it more clear and definitive but at the time I didn't feel it was necessary.

There are far to few views likes and faves on this but i did my part to remedy the tragedy.

holy fuck this was devastating. everything about this was so grounded and real and lightnings feelings surrounding her failures is just so visceral its impossible not to identify with her. youve done incredible work with her character and really with every character that appears here. the last chapter definitely nearly brought me to tears. i wanted lightning to learn, to get better, and watching her make those first steps really hit me. absolutely fantastic work



Thank uuuuu dawn! That rlly means a lot coming from an author I look up to!! Thank u for reading and I’m v happy you liked it! ^^

This was a good morning read. This definitely goes in my top 3 of Lightning Dust stories. There's also plenty of notes to take in the way you did introspection, so I imagine I will find myself coming back to this story.

In this first chapter, I want to highlight a few things. Your depiction of depression is extremely guttural and real! Not just in the physical sense, like the inability to keep food down, a messy house, or even more subtle aspects like the room being dim. No, you did more than that. It's in the mindset. Not in the same way that others right it, where generally they get it right, but specifically, when zoomed in, get it wrong in a sense. Your depiction of depression is one that's correct zoomed out, zoomed in, and inside-out. The aimlessness, the sense of inferiority, the sense that once you had it all but now are a shell of that. The sense that there's innumerable mistakes that led you to this path, and the feeling more importantly, that it's wrong. These elements combined make for an excruciating picture of depression, and one that's realistic and set to scale.

Further, the place you've put Lightning Dust is extremely interesting and intriguing. I want to know more about her life, present and past, and I want to know more about how she interacts with her world. You've excellently set everything up here, and then in each set piece, crammed as much genuine emotion and raw gritty, relatable details as you could in the chapter. Lovely work!

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