• Published 28th Nov 2023
  • 975 Views, 57 Comments

All Day, Everyday. - Penanka72



Follow the journey of a little girl who takes her football to the next level!

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Stop the dogs!

Sorry, Derpy. I trust that you can handle one, lousy letter.

Amelia smiled and raised a thumb up to Fluttershy, speeding off a second later. The one good thing is that she didn’t have to chase each individual dog at once, they were all connected to one lead, making it easy for Amelia to chase all the dogs at once. The problem however was the dogs were like a trip wire to each and every pony that they stormed passed, taking out a crowd at once, barking all the while. It was like watching a lawnmower loudly cutting grass.

“Watch out!!! Dogs on the loose!!!” Amelia called out to the rest of the crowd that was about to be caught. Hearing the warning most of the busy streets of Ponyville turn to see the commotion, for some, it was too late as the dogs tripped and for most, flew away or started running from the stampede of dogs.

I kept running despite the prone bodies, stepping on some of the ponies by accident. Amelia sped up her pace, catching up quickly. When she was within reach of the lead, Amelia picked up the leash and pulled hard on the lead, digging her heels into the dirt. However, Amelia didn’t account for the force the dogs combined at a full sprint, adding the weight of the different breeds of dogs too. Amelia found herself being dragged by her heels, making two trails behind her.

Oh, Amelia, you divvy! Why did I think I could stop these muts like this!?!?!?!?

Amelia pulled, pulled and pulled, trying to get an ounce of control over the dogs but, she wasn’t strong enough, all she could do was hang on for dear life and hope that Derpy caught that letter or for the dogs to tire out.

"Bladdy stop, you mungrels!" Amelia cried out, pulling desperately to no prevail, the dogs were still fixated on Derpy who was still running after the scurrying letter.
It’s 9 o’clock in the morning! This is not what I had in mind this morning!

Suddenly, the dogs stopped running at a crossroad, making Amelia fly over the top and slam down with an oof. “Good, doggies…” Amelia groaned, looking up at the dogs who had their snouts in the air and sniffing. Then out of nowhere, they started running in a different direction. “Bad doggies, BAD DOGGIES!!!!”

Amelia now was being dragged across the ground, screaming all the while. She couldn’t get up from this wild ride, the speed the rate at which these dogs were running was too fast, their paws kicking up dirt and dust, Amelia’s eyes closed to not get any of it in her eyes. Amelia knew she had to get up somehow and stop the dogs before someone really got hurt but, how? Then, something happened. Her body felt light, the feeling of being dragged against the floor changing to being dragged in the air like a kite. Amelia peered one of her eyes open only for her eyes to shoot open in shock, her heart stopping.

She was flying!

“WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!” Amelia shouted out in terror, eyes watering from the wind crashing against her face. Amelia was flying! Actually flying! It would have been amazing if it wasn’t for the simple fact that she was scared of heights. Amelia hung on tightly, her fear driving her to pull herself closer to the lead, wrapping her whole body around the leather leash as she screamed her head off. When did her wings open? How is she even flying!? She didn’t know how to fly! Amelia thought you had to flap her wings to fly, but she wasn’t flapping at all, her wings were just… out. Wait, does that mean she is gliding?
Oh god, how the hell am I getting down?

Her answer would have to come quickly as Amelia saw what the dogs were running for, the Ponyville Market. Amelia could only close her eyes and hope for a soft landing, her heart pounding rapidly.
I’m gonna crash, I’M GONNA CRASH!

Amelia’s flight declined significantly when the dogs came to a halt all of a sudden, a southern “SIT!” Stopped the dogs in their tracks outside of the market, making Amelia head straight down to the floor into a nose dive. Amelia panicked as she let go of the lead, wildly swinging her arms around. She closed her eyes in terror, unable to watch the quickly closing in ground.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH—OOF!” Amelia’s screaming was cut off as that pressure of falling ended with a huff, surprisingly not face down on the ground, but instead, in the arms of a red, strong stallion, looking down at Amelia with a brow raised. Amelia blushed as she stared up at the green eye of a familiar hunk of a stallion: Big Mac, The Captain of The Toffees.

“Uhhh… Are ya okay? Ya got dirt all over yer face” The massive, red, stallion said, his calm eyes putting Amelia at ease.

"Eh, yeah... I'm sound.” Amelia said, watching as he tilted his head from the use of Amelia’s accent and slang. It’s something he had never heard before and that confused him greatly.

"Well, alright now, I gotta ask ya, what in tarnation were ya doin' up there, partner?"Amelia's blush had gotten worse by the embarrassment, climbing out of his arms and standing on her wobbly knees, with her fear of heights being enhanced by falling to the ground at high speed, Amelia felt her stomach churn.

"Y'wouldn't believe it even if I told ya.” Amelia rubbed the back of her head, feeling her cheeks heat up. Big Mac smirked.

"Well, now, reckon ya wouldn't believe it, but 'round these parts in Ponyville, I'd believe just about any ol' thing that happens 'round here. This here place sure does have a knack for attractin' chaos, I tell ya what." Big Mac chuckled, making Amelia nervously laugh with him, she didn’t know what was funny about it — concerning if anything — but she felt awkward in an embarrassing situation and kinda nervous to be in front of Ponyville’s celebrity.

"Hoo wee, Sugarcube! Y'all sure had yerself a handful with these here dogs.” Said another southern voice. Amelia looked behind her to see another familiar looking pony, this pony being the Manager of The Toffees! Applejack! And she had the leash for the dogs, each of the dogs having an apple in their canines. Ever since that loss a couple of days ago, Amelia looked into the players that played for her — near enough — identical club back on earth! So, to stand here, in front of Big Mac (the captain) and Applejack (the Manager) was proper boss. Before Amelia could think of a coherent sentence, a huffing and puffing Fluttershy spoke up.

“Sorry… sorry for the… trouble, the dogs… are a… are a troublesome bunch.” Fluttershy tried to say in between each heavy breath. Everyone turned to see the pink-maned pegasus, exhaling deeply as Amelia noticed Fluttershy rubbing her right knee softly.

"Y'alright, Fluttershy? Hurt yer knee?” Amelia said, walking over to Fluttershy.

“My knee is okay, it’s just I haven’t ran like that in—forever.” Fluttershy huffed, facing Amelia with a small smile.

"Well, I'll be danged, it's been a spell, Fluttershy. It's mighty fine to see y’all again!" Applejack said in surprise, walking over with the dogs in hand. "Well, now, let me take a wild guess, darlin'. Y'been keepin' yerself mighty busy with them critters, ain't ya?"

Fluttershy smiled more at the comment. “Of course! My animal friends need me, especially in the winter to come.” Fluttershy replied, standing up straight to look Applejack in the eyes.

"Well, now, it's right nice to lay eyes on ya again, Flutters! It's always a pleasure." Applejack wrapped Fluttershy in a one-armed hug, Fluttershy also hugging Applejack until Applejack separated. "Why don't y'all mosey on down to the Apple Orchard sometime so we can have ourselves a good ol' catch-up?" Applejack suggested, taking a step back from the rosy-tinted cheeked Fluttershy.

“I think I’d like that.”

Amelia needed to reboot her brain and replace a fuse in the fuse box to process what was going on right before her eyes. Applejack is talking to Fluttershy, and Fluttershy is talking back like friends!? What is going on right now? Why didn’t Fluttershy tell me that she was friends with the town’s football manager!?

Before Amelia could try and make sense of this, behind Fluttershy and Applejack, a familiar looking letter flew on by, Derpy chasing it like a Scooby-do scene. She still hasn’t got it? Bloody hell!

"Right! It was boss meetin' ya, Applejack, Big Mac. Fluttershy, I'll see ya back at the cottage, I gotta leg it! Catch ya later!" Amelia said quickly before dashing off, leaving the three ponies stunned by the sudden dismissal and dashing away, seeing that she was chasing a grey pegasus.

"Well, now, do... do y'all know that filly, Fluttershy? Her accent is... nothin' I've ever heard before.” Applejack questioned, making Fluttershy chortle and rub the back of her head.

“Sort of, yeah.”








Eventually, Amelia started to catch up to Derpy, her lungs on fire and throat dry but yet, she kept running. Amelia saw Derpy was worse than herself, sweating buckets as she looked to be at her limit. When Derpy was within reaching distance, Amelia could hear how out of breath she was, her run appearing more sluggish and frantic, desperately trying to catch the letter.

No matter how her body screamed at her to stop, her core in a knot, to take a breather, she kept running for that God-forsaken letter, even to the point of coming side by side with Derpy. When Amelia looked over, Amelia was surprised to see Derpy thwarted, determined and pissed off like a seagull just nicked one of her chips. Amelia’s and Derpy’s eyes met momentarily, a mutual understanding between them as Amelia eventually overtook Derpy and just like that, Derpy’s running came to a halt, her body spent.

Now it was just her and the letter, the race of the century, the showdown between the wind and a pegasus, a fight that will be told for generations to come. That’s what it felt like when all eyes were on Amelia, the Ponyville’s citizens watching as Amelia sprinted along the street, confused by the chaotic scene of a letter being carried by the furious wind and the pursuer being right on its tail.

In other words — a casual Thursday…

Sitting on a bench outside a café, a coffee in their hands sat a cream-coloured earth pony and a lime green unicorn, sitting silently together as they just enjoyed each other’s company… well… that was until the green one started to talk.

“So… humans, ay?”

“Don’t you dare start.” The cream-coloured pony quickly said, her mane being split in half in a pink and blue colour. This pony being Bon Bon, the defender for the Toffees.

“Come on, Bon Bon! Don’t you find humans to be the slightest bit interesting? They are the race that introduced hoofball to us, you know.” The green unicorn said, taking a sip of her hot coffee. This is Lyra, Bon Bon’s partner in the defensive line for the Toffees.

“That’s just a myth, Lyra. Just a made-up story we were told when we were fillies, that’s all it is.” Bon Bon said harshly, making Lyra narrow her brows.

“Sheesh, you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” Lyra puffed her cheeks out, looking frustratingly at Bon Bon who responded with a roll of her eyes. That tension didn’t last as long however as the calm morning they were having was rudely interrupted by the feel of a gust of wind and the sound of a filly going ape-shit for the letter.

“GET BACK HERE!!!”

The two watch with a blank face, watching as their faces go from left to right slowly, seeing a blue pegasus sprint after a gracefully flying letter, a frustrated look on her face. As soon as the pegasus left their view, they both took a sip of their coffee, listening to the filly that cursed the letter like a drunken sailstallion. When her voice faded away, that’s when Lyra spoke up with a nonchalant tone.

“So… Mrs Cake is pregnant again…”

Amelia had come close a few times to the scurrying letter, her fingertips touching it a few times before the teasing wind intensified after coming close. From a left turn to a right turn, to a left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, right, left turn, going in circles around the Ponyville’s library, confusing the Liberian that was at her desk, seeing Amelia dash by every few seconds.

Amelia came the closest when she outstretched for it, diving for it in a desperate attempt to end this madness once and for all but, that wasn’t the case at all as right before she went to grab it, it escaped through one of the windows of a house, a baked pie resting on the window-sill to let it cool. Amelia felt how cool the pie was when she got a face full of it, her face purple with berries. Amelia growled as she jumped through the window, sliding off the kitchen counter, frustration reaching her tone.

"All this... FOR ONE BLOODY LETTER!!!!!!" Amelia screamed through the house, seeing the letter slip through a crack of a door. With steam tooting out of her ears, Amelia marched over to the door and swung the door wide open, knowing there was no place to hide in this house. In front of her however was a family of 4 looking back at the pie-faced pegasus, a look of murder on her face. “Where is it!” Amelia hissed, breathing heavily like a lunatic. The two adults and two kids pointed up the stairs, a shocked and fearful expression on their faces. They didn’t know what the mad filly was doing in their house. Amelia looked up the stairs and sure enough, there was the letter heading up the stairs casually. Amelia gritted her teeth, her boiling point reaching her limit.

"Get 'ere NOW, LA!"

Amelia charged for the stairs, stomping up the stairs quickly, the family worried that the steps would break with each step, that’s how furious the maniac in the house was.
Hold on… THEIR’S NO WIND IN THIS BLEEDIN’ HOUSE!

Reaching the top of the stairs, Amelia just about saw the letter slip under the door at the far end of the hallway.
Who does this letter think he bloody is!?

Amelia had her hands in a fist, clouded by anger and hatred, so clouded that she didn’t notice the sound of water hitting a bathtub and smoke crawling out beneath the door, so clouded that she kicked the door open, expecting to see the letter flying around, looking for a way to escape once again. Although that’s exactly what she saw, it wasn’t the only thing she saw in the foggy bathroom. Amelia’s eyes shot wide, her face going red under the splatter of pie on her face.

“AY! WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!? HOW THE FUCK DID YOU GET IN HERE!! FUCK OFF!!! FUCK OFF NOW!!!” Said the mare in the shower, her fur the colour blue with her hair being a deep purple and light grey, her eyes being purple too. It was Minuette! The midfielder for The Toffees!
What are the odds?…

“SORRY!!!!” Amelia exclaimed; her eyes closed as she slammed the door shut. It was to her horror that she heard wet slaps against wood behind the door, rapidly getting louder. Amelia ran for the stairs, not daring to look back as she heard the bathroom door slam open.

“GET BACK HERE YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!!”

Never has Amelia run down the stairs so fast in her life and straight out the front door, closing the door behind her. Amelia didn’t have a clue whether Minuette was still on her tail or not, she didn’t care however as she just kept running in fear of being caught. Is this what the letter was feeling this whole time?

Amelia didn’t know why but, she felt someone was chasing her. Gathering her nerves however, she took a look from over her shoulder, and she could only deadpan as the thing that was chasing her was the bloody letter itself. As soon as Amelia stopped, the letter made a complete U-turn.
Cheeky fucker…

However, before the letter could skedaddle away, Amelia halted her charge and was amazed as the letter stopped in mid-air, the wind blowing away furiously but, despite its attempts to fly away, it couldn’t get away from the hand that pinched it tightly, a particular coloured orange-furred hand that Amelia recognised, a dusk orange colour that Amelia has only seen on one pony before in her short time of being a pony. Amelia looked up from the hand that grasped the letter, coming face to face with a purple-eyed pegasus glaring down at her, her muzzle frowning into a sneer.
Oh yeah, I remember now… this is the generational talent, The Toffee’s Assassin, the number 45!

It goes without saying that Amelia was a straightforward person and was easily triggered if the wrong buttons were pushed. This was evident in the rollercoaster ride the letter took her on. Now that the letter was caught, a sigh of relief escaped Amelia’s lips. However, Amelia didn’t like how the pegasus in front of her was looking down on her. There was a look in her eyes that oozed arrogance as she held the letter at her side. Amelia knew that glare well—it was a challenging glare, the bad kind.

Despite the clear dislike towards her, Amelia put on a smile and stood up straight. “Hey, thanks for catching the letter. It sure gave me a run around.” Amelia said with a smile, rubbing the back of her head softly. The purple-haired pegasus didn’t seem like she was going to answer, so Amelia took her silence as an opportunity to keep talking. “You know, I recognise you from somewhere. That orange fur you have, I only know one pegasus that has that shade of colour, and that pegasus is Scootaloo. Am I wrong?”

The pegasus didn’t flinch or blink at being called out, unbothered by being recognized. Her eyes just roamed over Amelia’s body, scrutinizing her legs, body structure, and muscle development. It was like Scootaloo was analyzing a piece of art. They stood in silence for a few seconds, Amelia feeling awkward as she maintained her smile.

“What’s wrong with this bird?” Amelia wondered.

“Left wing.” Scootaloo suddenly said, catching Amelia’s attention.

“Huh?” Amelia replied with confusion, tilting her head slightly.
Wait… Is she talking about a left-sided winger?

“If you played hoofball, you’d play as a left winger.” Scootaloo explained simply, making it difficult for Amelia to keep her smile up.
Is this how she greets people? By telling them where they would play? Strange…

“Okay, firstly, that’s wrong, and secondly, no… do I need to bring up a third reason?” Amelia responded with a hint of annoyance, trying to maintain her friendly smile, but finding it increasingly difficult with Scootaloo.
What’s her problem?

“You’re a pegasus, your natural strength is speed and agility, just like me.” Scootaloo muttered, narrowing her eyes. “But unlike me, you don’t have that burst of speed to play in the attacking role. However, you do have the stamina to play in the midfield. That’s common knowledge.”

Amelia now understood where Scootaloo was coming from, what Scootaloo was trying to say. Earth Ponies, Pegasus, Unicorns—what do they all have in common? Magic, but that’s about it. Unicorns are the masters of spells, Pegasus are the masters of flight, and Earth Ponies are the masters of their own strength. Equestria had a diverse set of ponies, each with different roles in life.

That’s no different in “Hoofball” terms.

Thanks to ponies' individual gifts, different roles suited different ponies, creating an unfair dynamic in the game of hoofball. But that’s just how it is and has been for centuries.

Earth Ponies were known for their strength and height, making them more useful in defense than anywhere else on the pitch. However, on rare occasions, an earth pony may be used as a holding midfielder or a goalkeeper, maybe even a striker for the aerial threat. Ultimately, earth ponies were known for their defense.

Unicorns had it the hardest in Hoofball, with the rule of having absolutely zero magic involved in influencing the ball or others. If found guilty of breaking this rule, the player or manager would be handed an immediate red card, a 5-game suspension, and a hefty fine of 1,000 bits, making them a liability to the team. But that didn't take away what they could do on the pitch. As much as they didn’t have speed or strength to their advantage, they made up for it in passing, control, and skill, making them perfect in the midfield or even on the wings. Anywhere else, they would have a hard time unless there was a strategy in place.

Pegasus, however, were the bread and butter of the game. Just like the unicorns and their magic, Pegasus were restricted from using their wings in any way, shape, or form. If used in any way, the player would be handed an immediate red card, a 5-match suspension, and a 1,000-bit fine. Using magic and wings in hoofball had a zero-tolerance policy.
Out of the Earth Ponies and Unicorns, Pegasus were the ones that every team wanted, thanks to their speed and dribbling. They were a constant threat to the goal and defense. They were the strikers, the wingers, the center forwards and central attacking midfielders, the goal scorers of the game.

Amelia couldn't help but understand how Scootaloo mistakenly assumed she was a left winger. But she had to ask, "Why do you think I'm a left winger? I could have easily been a right winger."

Scootaloo simply replied, "I noticed that you push off your left foot when you run." Amelia raised an eyebrow, impressed by Scootaloo's observation. Touché...

"Well, mate, you've got it all wrong. I'm not a winger at all. In fact, I'm the best goalkeeper around," Amelia boasted, crossing her arms and wearing a smug smirk. Scootaloo finally showed a hint of emotion, raising an eyebrow and clearly unimpressed by Amelia's claim. But then, out of nowhere, Scootaloo burst into laughter, a laughter so contagious that it made Amelia take a step back in shock. Where did that come from?

Amelia raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms, asking with a cheeky grin, "What's so funny?"

Scootaloo continued to mock, "A goalkeeper... a pegasus... did you fall on your head when you were younger?" Amelia narrowed her eyes dangerously in response.

"What did you just say?" Amelia growled, her temper flaring as her hands clenched into fists.

"Didn't you hear me? Are you brain-dead? A pegasus can't possibly be a goalkeeper! It's been like that forever! Besides, you're smaller than me. What are you going to do in goal with your small arms and legs?" Scootaloo pushed on with her mockery, sporting a sly grin that made Amelia grit her teeth.

"Take that back!" Amelia stepped forward, getting dangerously close to Scootaloo. But Scootaloo remained unfazed.

"Or what? Are you going to do something, birdbrain?" Scootaloo taunted, pressing her head against Amelia's. Both of them locked eyes in a fierce glare.

"I hope you like hospital food!"

In a split second, both Amelia’s and Scootaloo's left hands reached out for each other's collars, and with their other hands, they pulled back their fists to strike. But before they could throw a punch, a voice rang out.

"Hold your horses there, gals!" a sudden voice interrupted in an orderly tone, a familiar voice Amelia had heard not too long ago. The two turned to see Applejack walking over with a cross look. “Scootaloo! What are you doing bothering the village folk?” Applejack scolded Scootaloo, making her let go of Amelia and huff with annoyance.

“Nothing, I’m just telling this filly what is and what isn’t in hoofball. She still doesn’t understand.” Scootaloo snarled, crossing her arms as she gave Amelia a side eye.

Amelia’s eye twitched, the urge to show Scootaloo what a goalkeeper’s fist could really do. “Cheeky sod…” Amelia mumbled, crossing her arms too as she glared at Scootaloo.

“Amelia! I hope you're not getting yourself into trouble!” Another familiar voice spoke up behind Applejack, this time being the pleasant sight of Fluttershy, her mutts on a leash seeming calmer than before. She was still angry at them for what they put her through.

“She started it! All I wanted was to get that stupid letter for Derpy!” Amelia exclaimed, pointing a finger at Scootaloo with the letter in her hand. Fluttershy didn’t look amused, a brow rising slightly. Fluttershy sighed, looking towards Scootaloo and lowering her head.

“I’m sorry, Scootaloo. Forgive Amelia if she caused you any trouble.” Fluttershy said sincerely, making Amelia widen her eyes in shock.

“What… Don’t apologize to her! She’s unbearable-”

“Amelia! Apologise” Fluttershy interrupted, raising her voice for the first time since living with Fluttershy, shocking Amelia more than it should have. She didn’t think Fluttershy had it in her. But that shock quickly turned into anger, and Amelia clenched her teeth in frustration. Fluttershy’s head shouldn’t be so low, she shouldn’t have to apologize on her behalf, she shouldn’t have to apologize at all! Not to someone as stuck up as Scootaloo! Amelia had tried to be nice, but Scootaloo spat in her face in return. This was wrong, dead wrong.

“No! I don’t have to apologize to her!” Amelia said in outrage, making Fluttershy’s head rise in shock. Amelia then turned to Scootaloo, who wore a cocky smirk. “And you! I don’t want you to tell me what I can and can’t be again. I’m a goalkeeper, and a damn good one at that. I can prove it!” Amelia’s head snapped to Applejack, a determined look on her face. “Applejack! If you’ll have me, let me prove in the Toffee’s training tonight that despite who I am, I can play in goal!”

“Get real, squirt. You’ll only be wasting our time. We don’t need to give you any more attention than you already have.” Scootaloo brushed off, sniggering to herself.

Fluttershy was stunned and frozen, a look of awe on her face. She didn’t know whether to be worried or amazed by Amelia’s determined boldness. She didn’t know what was said, but it really did start a fire in Amelia’s eyes. An emerald flame burning brightly.

Applejack, on the other hand, said nothing and didn’t even look amused by Amelia’s claim to be a goalkeeper. Amelia couldn’t tell if she was lost in thought or debating whether to acknowledge the idea of having a Pegasus playing in goal at her training quarters. Now that Amelia thought about it, she had no right to ask Applejack, the manager of a professional football club, to prove herself. That’s not how it worked, certainly not where she was from as a human. If it was as simple as asking for a chance, there would be a mile-long line, and Applejack would be harassed endlessly. That wouldn’t be fair. So… why hadn’t Applejack turned her down yet?

“Applejack… don’t tell me you’re actually thinking about it.” Scootaloo said skeptically, narrowing her brows. Applejack had one hand over her mouth while the other crossed her chest, leaning to one side in thought.

“As odd as it may sound, Scoots, this filly has caught my attention. I’ve never heard of a Pegasus in goal in my lifetime… it makes me think… hey! How long have you played in goal?” Applejack suddenly asked, making Amelia perk up.

“Oh, as long as I can remember. Since I was five, maybe…” Amelia muttered, scratching her cheek with a finger. She watched as Applejack assessed her, capturing every minor detail, from her height to her width, from her structure to her features, eyes, and hands. Applejack considered her. Her eyes widened a little when they landed on Amelia’s hands, and she stepped forward to get a better look.

“Show me your hands!” Applejack requested, kneeling down to Amelia’s height, confusing Amelia greatly.

“Uh, alright…” Amelia said unsurely, showing Applejack the palm of her hands. Applejack took Amelia’s hand into hers, feeling the palm, and what she felt and saw made her eyes widen fully, her mouth slightly open. She had seen hands like these before.

“I want to see what you’ve got, Amelia.” Applejack said, standing back up. “Tonight, 8 o’clock, at the Toffee’s training ground. Don’t be late.”

“What!? AJ! You can’t be serious! She just can’t-”

“You got it! You won’t regret this!” Amelia said with a beaming smile. “Thank you so much!” Those were the last words Amelia said before running off home to get her things ready for tonight.

Fluttershy was speechless and confused. She knew for a fact that the only way to train with the senior players was to climb up the ranks from the academy. Amelia was neither a listed player nor a graduate of the Academy. Unless… Applejack saw it.

“What were you thinking, Applejack? She’s just some random filly! Why does she get the chance to train with the first team!?” Scootaloo shouted, a mix of anger and confusion in her voice, her grip wrinkling the letter.

“That’s enough, Scootaloo. I’ll see you tonight.” Applejack said abruptly, making Scootaloo growl.

“But Applejack!”

“I said that’s enough! This is none of your concern.” Applejack said more sternly, the rigor in her voice enough to make Scootaloo snarl and sulk.

“Whatever... Here, this letter is for you. That birdbrain was chasing it for whatever reason.” Scootaloo muttered, turning away with her hands in her pockets. She walked off without another word, though Applejack could hear her muttering to herself. Applejack frowned, seeing that young Scootaloo's attitude hadn't changed much since her debut match. She had hoped that it would mature her, to wipe that negative competitive side from her mindset. But now it seemed to be a mistake; it only made her worse.

"Applejack... You didn't have too, y’know.” Fluttershy spoke up, her voice tinged with a mix of anxiety. She stood beside Applejack, her gaze fixed on her friend. Applejack turned to face her, a knowing grin spreading across her face.

"Don't you go tellin' me you ain't noticed what she's got in her hands. It only took me a few ticks to see it. Surely, y'all saw it too," Applejack exclaimed, her excitement palpable. Fluttershy, however, looked ahead, her expression guarded, as if trying to hide her thoughts. But Applejack saw right through her, as if peering through a fragile glass. The tension between them grew, hanging in the air like an unspoken secret. "You've seen it... Do you understand what that means, Fluttershy?"

Fluttershy's frown deepened, her head lowering further, as if burdened by the weight of her knowledge. A heavy sigh escaped her lips, filled with a mixture of sadness and apprehension. Her voice, barely above a whisper, carried a sense of urgency. "I have seen it... And I do understand what it means," she admitted, her words laced with unspoken fear. "I noticed it the moment I met her. I've always wondered how someone like her ended up with those hands. The worst part is, I don't even think she realizes how special they truly are. She goes about her days without a clue."

"I don't rightly understand, Fluttershy. This here's a good thing! As peculiar as it may sound, she's got a heap of potential to be the best darn goalkeeper of her whole dang generation! So why in tarnation do ya sound... sad?" Applejack said with a frown dawning on her features, genuine bafflement written all over her face. “Don’t you want her to see her grow up to be an amazing goalkeeper?”

Silence hung in the air for a moment, the tension so thick between them that the background voices and sounds seemed to be blocked out. Applejack narrowed her eyes, wondering why this conversation had suddenly become heated. Why was Fluttershy upset? Wait... was it because of that incident?

“Fluttershy... don’t tell me it’s because of what happened to you.”

Fluttershy didn’t reply, nor did she look like she was going to reply, with her distant look and disdainful frown.

“You can’t keep letting that one bad experience define what hoofball is.”

“Amelia talked me into going to the match on Sunday, you know. She loves hoofball, and I can’t protect her from a sport that she has so much passion for. I can only hope for nothing but the best for her now.” Fluttershy shook her head slightly, a gloomy look on her face.

“What are ya trying to say Flutters?... Don't you want her to play hoofball or something?”

“I guess what I'm trying to say is, those hands are not a gift, but a curse on Amelia’s life.”


Chapter 6.

PS: Hope you liked my little experiment to let you choose the outcome of the chapter despite leading to the same thing. Let me know if I should do more of that!