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Dregs :iconeskerata:Eskerata 1 0
Literature
Everypony STILL Hates Dash
      Whenever somepony says that a pony’s fillyhood years are the best days of their lives, I have to remind myself that almost nopony recalls their own past as well as they believe. If you think really carefully about those so-called “best days” and find yourself wincing, you aren’t nearly as starry-eyed as most ponies.
         One constant fact of my fillyhood was that I was almost always broke. Which is why I found myself planting my saddlebag-burdened butt in front of a want ad display board in downtown Cloudsdale. My buddy Gilda was filming me with her new video camera, providing commentary the whole time.
         “Hey, Dash!” chuckled Gilda as she zoomed in on a picture of a purple unicorn foal sitting in a high chair. “Here’s a good one. ‘Need foalsitter for a few hours this coming Friday night. Our little Twilight has good manners and loves having books read
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:iconeskerata:Eskerata 6 2
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Let Me See That Booty Bounce :iconeskerata:Eskerata 12 1
Literature
Guiding Light
(This is an E-for-everyone companion piece to my M-for-Mature story “The Unraveled World”. It has serious spoilers, but none of the violence. If you want to find out how Equestria was saved, and you have a tender tummy, read this story instead.)
         In the bleak landscape of collapsed buildings and shattered roadways, ponies were smiling and cheering. The cloudless sky was the perfect backdrop for the earth pony on the makeshift stage, which sported a white banner that read “Hear Guiding Light read from the Holy Book of Celestiaism. Let him give you hope!”
         Striding up and down the stage with pride and confidence, Guiding Light held his audience in absolute thrall. White flowing robes matched his bone-white fur perfectly. His long blond mane swayed in the breeze as he preached to the surrounding crowd.
         “For the past five years we have all suffered from the loss
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:iconeskerata:Eskerata 1 0
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Literature
The Unraveled World Chapter Five New Canterlot
       Ekon had seen postcards of Canterlot before the unraveling pulled it off the mountain. Where there was once a proud city of ancient beauty, only a gaping wound in the mountain remained.
         Since Ekon, Spring Step and Pinksworth arrived at New Canterlot in the middle of the night, none of them were interested in anything but food and rest.
        Surrounding the city was a high concrete wall, much like the ones Ekon had seen in history books. This wall had spotlights, one of which swung its beam onto the approaching trio.
          “Halt!” barked a voice behind the light. “Who goes there?”
         Spring Step grumbled. “You know who we are, Snails. Open the door.”
         Snails snickered. “Can you gimme the password?”
         “Open the door, monkey brain
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It's has a junkie pony ghost named needles that wants to be buddies with Berry Punch, a mare that wants to get a cheap high off of the hauntings of Summer Rose Mansion. But there are always consequences for getting wasted.
Needles will soon show Berry what it's like to live in that mansion forever.
And ever.
And ever.

Since "Dregs" is a mature story, I can't link it, but you can find it on my homepage. Enjoy!

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The walls were bleeding, which only drove Berry Punch to yawn wearily.

“Seen it.”

The hallway suddenly stretched into infinity within two seconds.

“You’ve done that already,” the purple mare reminded her new found companion.

Behind the walls, a colt’s voice sighed with resignation. “Look, I’m trying, Berry. It’s been a while since we’ve had anypony over.”

Berry rolled her eyes and trotted around the half-collapsed section of the foyer, being careful to not gouge a hoof on the fractured tiles and shattered floorboards.

The decayed remains of Summer Rose’s mansion had steadily gotten worse since the Rose family abandoned this once-proud ten room house a century ago. Every wall had curling peels of paint or wallpaper. The carpets were mangy and clotted with mold. All of the windows were cloudy with years of rain and compacted dirt.

Most of the furniture had rotted from too many years of termites and rain exposure. There was, however, a dust-caked but relatively unspoiled couch in the living room. Berry flopped down onto it, feeling as bone-weary as her octogenarian grandmother.

“Look, I was sent here because I needed to see a bunch of freaky shit without sticking a needle in my forelegs again.”

A voice under the floorboards whispered, “I used to get wasted on Dermorphin.”

Berry blew a raspberry. “Built a tolerance. Nowadays, I might as well drink Novacaine.”

“What about Heroin? It’s what got me through college. Well, it also got me in jail. That’s where I got the nickname ‘Needles’.”

“Makes me hyper. But so does coffee.”

“Xylazine?”

“Puts me to sleep.” She shook her head. “That’s the story of my life, Needles. I never seem to get anywhere, not even stoned. No matter how hard I try to get high, I always end up on the ground way too soon. I have the highest drug tolerance of any pony I know.”

“How did you find out about this place?” asked Needles from a distant shadow.

“When I got out of jail, some Royal Guard pony pulled me aside and told me that Summer Rose mansion is where the hauntings are as severe as any acid trip. It’s where a lot of thrill seekers have gone to get loaded, so here I am.”

“He told you about how ponies get high in this place and you still came?”

“My mom once told me that ghosts can’t hurt you. Only the living can do that.” Berry sighed, frowning. “It’s about the only useful thing my mother ever told me.”

“Let me guess. Broken home? Parents just don’t get you?”

She replied, “Nothing that melodramatic. My parents never beat me or anything, but I never did anything to make them proud of me, either. I’m kind of a blank slate when it comes to any real accomplishments.”

“But you have a selection of fruits for a cutie mark. Doesn’t that signify some special talent?”

Berry snorted. “It means I’m moderately talented at making wine. When I started drinking more and more of my home brewed bathtub booze, I got a buzz that I never got from doing anything else. Pretty soon, being drunk off my flank was all I ever wanted to do.”

“You never wanted to come down after that, I bet. Just like me.”

“I started hitting harder and harder alcohol, but not even Absinth, that steroid monster of a drink, could keep a grip on me for long. That’s when I hopped on the Heroin train. After I pissed away my college fund on that stuff, my parents yanked me down from the clouds. When they sent me to rehab, they disowned me, calling it ‘tough love’. After I got out, I just kind of . . . drifted.”

Berry picked up a dusty framed photo from the floor. Three ponies stared back at her from a century ago. “I suck at making friends. My jobs have never lasted longer than a week. The local jail always keeps a bed reserved for me for when I get drug-busted for the umpteenth time. I can’t think of one thing to look forward to.”

A translucent white hoof slipped over the couch and patted her on the shoulder. “The world gave up on you, that’s all. It’s given up on everypony that’s ended up here. You’ve led a lonely life, Berry,” said Needles sympathetically. “But you’ll never be alone here. You’ll never be bored, only as high as the moon in the sky.”

She smiled and tossed aside the photo. “Prove it. Take away my pain, Needles.”

Her fur trembled at the sudden chill that swirled around her. Then she steadily rose from her couch as the loss of gravity lifted the discarded photo and the couch from the decrepit floor. Berry chuckled. “Oh, yeah.” She said. “This is waaay better than Xylaxine.”

She drifted like a purple cloud all around the couch. She closed her eyes, feeling the numbness of a coma patient. One thought began to itch in the back of her mind, however.

“Hey, Needles?”

“Yes, Berry?”

“You mentioned other ponies ending up here. How many of them have come and gone?” She inquired.

“None of them have ever left, Berry.”

Her eyes snapped open.

“What?”

“They’re not that far away, I assure you. You’ll meet them all soon enough.”

“When will that happen?”

He snickered. “When you die, silly!”

Her back snapped back, as if hit with an electric current. Gravity returned, dropping her next to the couch. Ears flattened, Berry cried, “What? I never agreed to that!”

“That doesn’t matter,” replied Needles, matter-of-factly.

“Like fuck, it doesn’t! I’m getting hungry anyway, so I’m taking off.”

“Sure. Go ahead. Just trot out the front door.”

Berry tried to find where Needle’s wandering voice was coming from, but it was like trying to spot an agitated mayfly. Frustrated, she simply yelled behind her, “Watch me!” She opened the door, not watching her hoof turn the knob. “Sweet Celestia, if I knew you were a psycho, I wouldn’t have . . . “

She turned to see not the front steps, but the living room.

Her hunger suddenly forgotten, she cautiously stepped past the front door. Wide-eyed, she whipped her head between the two rooms. Both were exactly the same. Only the world was missing.

Gritting her teeth, she growled, “Let me out of here, Needles.”

The voice got closer somewhere in the rafter’s shadows. “What was the name of that Royal Guard, Berry?”

“What the shit does that have to do with . . .”

“Was it Sharp Lance?”

Berry gulped. “Y-yeah. Oh, fuck.” Her skin trembled. “He sent you here too, didn’t he?”

“That’s right, Berry. I and dozens of other junkies were guided here by that wonderful pony.”

Her jaw dropped. “Wonderful . . . he sent you all here to die! He had to have known that this place was a trap!”

White mist began to coalesce in front of Berry. He replied, “It’s not as if any of us dregs had better options, Berry. It’s okay to be scared, you know. The other ponies here knew that I didn’t want to starve like so many others before me, but I just didn’t have the guts to cut open an artery.”

A white pony formed from the mist. Something was odd about the head, Berry noticed. “Luckily, one of the ghosts found an old shotgun in the basement. He was kind enough to load it for me. It only took one moment for me to finally turn my life around.”

The top third of his fully-formed head was missing. Bone fragments floated above the blasted crater of his skull like a shattered crown. The colt’s clouded gray eyes leaked thick rivulets of milky goo down his sunken white cheeks. His yellow jagged teeth were displayed in a split-lipped grin.

“As you can see, I’ve never felt better.”

Berry slowly crept away from Needles, who held out a hoof that sported dozens of needle holes. “Soon, you’ll be as happy as me. Isn’t that what anypony ever wants? An escape from the pain?”

“You’re not going to shoot me, are you?” Her eyes darted around, looking out for his shotgun.

He chuckled as the rest of his solidified body reached the floor. “No, I’m sorry. I used the last two rounds on myself. I guess you’ll just have to starve to death. Or maybe you can hang yourself. Either way, you’ll never be homeless or lonely again.”

Backing away from Needles, Berry said, “All things considered, I’d rather be in jail.”

She turned and ran down a hallway. A few frantic moments later, she realized that the hallway was infinite again. Rows of doors whipped past her like train cars.

Needles cried out behind her, “Why are you running? I thought you said your life was a blank slate! What are you so afraid of?”

Berry resisted the urge to look behind her as she galloped, fearing that he might reach her if she slowed. “My life isn’t a lot,” she shouted defiantly. “But it’s still mine!”

“And yet here you are, trying so desperately to escape it. You’re obviously afraid of dying, but you don’t seem to want to deal with the world, either. I was brave enough to kill myself, Berry! Look at me now!”

“Oh, I got a real good look at you.”

“What do you think is waiting for you out there? The world tossed us all aside like gutter trash! Equestria gave up on us!”

“No, Needles. You just gave up on yourselves.” She skidded to a stop and reached for a door handle. “But I’m not giving up on me.”

She saw, for a fleeting instant, Needles closing in on her. Then the door flew open and Berry fell flat on her back into the disintegrating foyer. She yelped from a deep stabbing pain. A cracked floor tile had driven a sliver of linoleum into her back.

When she jumped to her hooves, she shook her head, bright spots dancing in her vision. The door she had leapt through shimmered away like a waking dream.

She blinked. “Wait a second . . .”

Berry peered into the other end of the house. There was the front door.

Needles rose from the floor behind her. “That’s a nasty wound you got, Berry. I know how to make even nastier ones.”

The front door popped loose and floated away as the house’s walls exploded into a black void.

She turned her head and smiled at him. “So do I.”

She lifted a hoof and slammed the tile shard two inches into her back. The sudden explosion of pain made her scream.

The house was normal again. So was the front door.

“The pain’s the only thing that’s real,” she whispered as she broke into a full gallop towards the door.

“NO!” screamed Needles as he scrambled to catch up with Berry. “Can’t you understand? I’m trying to help you escape from the pain!”

“That’s my life in a nutshell, isn’t it? I’m done with escaping.” She grinned at Needles. “Well, almost done.”

Her hooves wrapped around the doorknob, which turned into a swarm of spiders.

Flexing her back muscles, the tile piece caused another shockwave of pain that blew the spiders away.

The door swung open. A tidal wave of blood washed over Berry.

The fragment was already hurting her back as much as possible. Frantically thinking of a solution, she struggled to keep hold of the door knob. The river of blood roared up to her chin.

Berry opened her mouth, bared her teeth and bit down on her right hoof as hard as she could. She screeched through the bloody mouthful of flesh as her teeth dug deeper.

The blood torrent disappeared. Only the sunlit woods could be seen. That was all she needed to see before she leapt as hard as she could across the front steps.

Struggling to not pass out from her two bloody wounds, she turned to see that the front door had closed. Needles banged on the windows, shouted at her, but she couldn’t hear him. Berry didn’t care. It’s not as if he had anything relevant to say to her.

Summer Rose mansion was five miles away from Ponyville. She had a long walk ahead of her, so she pulled out the tile shard and began to walk. The pain from her wounds were constant naggings, but they also reminded Berry that she was still alive.

My life may have been a blank slate, she pondered, but the best part about having a blank slate is that you can draw whatever you want on it.

She had no idea what she was going to with her life, but she knew what she would now never become; a pathetic ghost who could only scream at the growing distance between himself and the wounded, but now optimistic, mare.

Author's Note:
While I was writing this, the neighbor across the street from my house died from a steady diet of pills and beer. On the night he died, the neighbor on the left side of my house gave birth to a baby boy. One life leaves, another arrives. Circle of life, man.
I couldn’t help but think that perhaps the neighbor who died thought the same things that Needles did. Or maybe he was didn’t give care whether he lived or died.
Considering what a dreg he was to me and my neighbors, now no one else cares, either.
Mind how you live your life, folks.
Tsk, that filly just can't stay out of trouble, can she? Having a bully Pegasus and having no bits can wear anypony down.

"Everypony STILL Hates Dash" is another filly-Dashie story taking place in her Junior Speedsters Flight Camp days. I hope you folks like it.
      Whenever somepony says that a pony’s fillyhood years are the best days of their lives, I have to remind myself that almost nopony recalls their own past as well as they believe. If you think really carefully about those so-called “best days” and find yourself wincing, you aren’t nearly as starry-eyed as most ponies.

         One constant fact of my fillyhood was that I was almost always broke. Which is why I found myself planting my saddlebag-burdened butt in front of a want ad display board in downtown Cloudsdale. My buddy Gilda was filming me with her new video camera, providing commentary the whole time.

         “Hey, Dash!” chuckled Gilda as she zoomed in on a picture of a purple unicorn foal sitting in a high chair. “Here’s a good one. ‘Need foalsitter for a few hours this coming Friday night. Our little Twilight has good manners and loves having books read to her. Not at all fussy and probably no longer uses transfiguration spells on foalsitters. “

         Blowing a raspberry, I shook my head. “You lost me at book reading. I’m nopony’s egghead.”

         “Considering how low your book report scores are, it’s just as well. I still can’t believe you tried to read that foal’s book ‘Goodnight, Luna’ in front of Mrs. Cirrus’s English class.”

         “Hey, I told the teacher that reading that book put me on the edge of my seat. Which is what happened as I read to the class.”

         “Right before you nodded off and dropped to the floor. Because that book is supposed to put foals to sleep!”

         I crossed my forelegs indignantly. “That dumb teacher thought I had a heart attack. I spent the rest of the day in the nurse’s office. And I still got an F!”

         Her camera lens crept closer to my head. “Keep talkin’, Dash. This is totally going in my movie library.”

         “Why do you have cool stuff like that camera and I’m stuck with my dad’s hand-me-downs?”

         “Well, Dashie, that’s why I dragged you out here. If your folks aren’t paying you an allowance, you can make a nice stack of bits from these job fliers. Thanks to them, I worked my lion’s tail off mowing lawns and moving furniture over the summer while you were in detention. Now I’m the eye in the sky who sees all.”

         “I would have an allowance if my dad didn’t cut me off. He’s gotta pay for those Ponyville windows I accidentally broke, so bang goes my regular cash-flow.”

         “That’s what happens when you break the sound barrier too close to the ground. Was Hoops pestering you again?”

         Impatiently tapping a hoof, I frowned into Gilda’s camera. “Yes, eagle-eye. He’s still ticked about us knocking him and his dorky buddies around like bowling pins the day you first showed up. He kept kicking me out of my nap-cloud, so I bugged out before I gave him the poundin’ he’s beggin’ for. When I get mad, I get fast.”

         Gilda laughed. “Since he knows I could toss his blank flank into a trash can with one claw, he figures you’re fun-sized and therefor easier to duke it out with.”

         “That makes me feel oodles better,” I replied, rolling my eyes. Then a light bulb went off. “Hey, maybe if he picks on me again, you can film that and land him in a ton of trouble with Principle Tsumani.”

         “I only have so much video tape, Dash. I can’t watch you all the time. You’ll have to deal with Hoops one way or another.”

         Looking over the want ads, I sighed. “Thinking about that numbskull makes me grumpy, Gilda. Help me find a job that doesn’t involve foals. Or work.”

         “Here’s one. ‘Ponyville retiree Sharp Spur needs lawn mowing on a weekly basis. Good pay’.” Gilda’s golden eyes lit up. “Hey, wasn’t he a Wonderbolt at one time?”

         Shrugging, I replied. “I dunno. I don’t pay much attention to sports.” I saw that the job ad that Gilda read had phone number and address slips dangling on the bottom. Since the job market seemed to be skinnier than a changling’s legs, I peeled off a slip and stuck it in my saddle bag.

         “Well, that’s one, Dashie,” said Gilda encouragingly. “It took me about a dozen jobs to get this camera, though, so let’s keep looking. Oooh, this looks cool. ‘Need assistant to keep me from having interior monologues while we travel to other worlds in my police box . . .”

         “AGH! No, I don’t feel like dealing with the tin-foil hat brigade,” I cried, holding out my hooves, as if I were warding off the job’s craziness. “Let’s call it a day, Gilda. Flight camp starts up again tomorrow and I gotta get ready. I just hope Hoops is finally bored with bothering me.”




                                                                             *          *          *




         Nope. He wasn’t.

         Hoops’s dark brown bangs obscured his eyes as he flew around me in the Junior Speedster’s Flight Camp playground. He waited until Gilda had to go to the bathroom and started razzing me. Since neither of us had gotten our cutie marks yet, he couldn’t call me a blank flank. But that fact didn’t slow down the snark train.

         “Hey, Crash! I heard you busted some ground pounder’s windows. Are you trying to make your dad go broke?”

         “Keep it up, Hoopty-loop,” I replied, gritting my teeth. “I can break more than just glass.”

         He waggled his hooves at me. “Ooh, boogah-boogah! I guess your dad ought to just rename you Rainbow Smash!”

         My wings were twitching. I wanted to fly away from this dork, but since recess was almost over, I couldn’t travel too far from school.

         Hoops rubbed his chin, trying to find two brain cells to rub together. Finally, he landed in front of me and yelled, “Maybe I should just call you balderdash!”

         Kids love to press each other’s buttons, don’t they? Hoops finally stomped on mine.

         I slammed my chest into his, knocking him off guard. “You know what, Hoopy-doofus? I’m kinda just not giving a care about putting my hoof into your hollow head!”

         As he regained his footing, he smirked. “If you want to knock me out, try reading me ‘Goodnight, Luna’!”

        Standing on my rear hooves, I swung back my right foreleg and drew a bead on Hoops’s stupid haircut. “Let me read you ‘Goodnight, Hoops’ instead!”

         My right hoof was grabbed right before I was lifted off the ground. Then two familiar angry eyes filled my vision. Those bloodshot peepers have burned a hole into my mane enough times for me to know that they belonged to Principle Tsunami.

         They darted toward Hoops, who was trying to ninja-sneak away. “Hoops! Rainbow Dash!” He barked. “ My office! Now!”

        The gray Pegasus with the blue mane and tail loomed over both of us in his office like a lightning-filled thunderhead. “Do you enjoy detention, Miss Dash? You didn’t seem to mind spending a month in summer school.”

         Even in my filly years, I always spoke my mind, even when I had the collective smarts of goat cheese. Which was often. This one time, however, I tried to choose my answer carefully.

         “Hoops keeps pickin’ on me!”

         Tsunami pointed at him, while keeping his eyes on me. “Do you think hitting this colt, or any other pony, is the best way to handle teasing?”

         I almost said the remark, “It would make me feel better”. It sat on the back of my mind, waiting to get used. It’s still waiting, because I chose to instead say, “Can’t you just tell him to stop bothering me?”

         “Very well. Hoops?”

         Hoops looked up, puppy-eyed. “Yes, sir?”

         “Stop teasing Rainbow Dash.” Leaning back to face both of us, he continued. “If I catch either of you fighting each other or anypony else again, I will have both of you expelled from flight camp. Do you understand?”

         We both nodded, which seemed to satisfy him. “Good. Hoops, go back to class. Miss Dash, stay here for a minute.”

         When Hoops left the office, Tsunami sat down in front of me. “Rainbow, you know that simply telling that colt to stop teasing you isn’t going to work.”

         My ears flattened. Man, I hated it when grownups told me stuff that I needed to hear. “My dad’s still mad at me for having to take summer school, mister Tsunami! If I get expelled, he’ll tie me to my house’s weather vane until I’m an old mare!”

         He snickered. “I doubt he would be that cruel. In spite of your numerous . . . shortcomings, you are a very bright pony. You’re brimming with energy and aggression. Why can’t you channel your active nature towards something more constructive?”

         “Like what?”

         Patting me on the shoulder paternally, the principal said, “As long as it’s something that won’t get you expelled, I don’t care. Perhaps you should make it less fun for him to tease you. Bullies tend to get bored quickly if you don’t give them anything to work with.”

         “That’s what my dad keeps saying.” Sighing, I said, “I’ll think of something.”

         As I left his office, Gilda flew over to me. “Hey, Dash. I heard what happened. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to cover your back.”

         Giving her a pat on the shoulder, I replied, “Ah, it’s cool. I didn’t hit Hoops.”

         “You don’t strike me as a violent kind of pony. A little dweeby, sometimes . . . “ When she heard my low growl, Gilda held up her hands and quickly added, “But that’s a good thing. For you. I guess.”

         “I don’t want to punch that stupid colt, but I would like to beat him at something.”

         Gilda pointed at a poster. “Maybe you can beat him at that.”

         I stopped and looked at a picture I walked past a thousand times but never really noticed. It showed two Wonderbolt colts racing each other on a cloud-lined obstacle course.

         “Hey, Dashie?”

         “Yeah?”

         “You’re rubbing your hooves together and grinning. That means you’re hatching a plan.”

         “That’s right.”

         “That will end up with everypony hating you.”

         “If I can get the best of Hoops, I won’t care. I’ll need your help, though.”

         Gilda grinned and shrugged. “Hey, as long as I’m not the one that gets expelled, I’m game.”




                                                                           *          *          *




         Hoops stared at me as if mushrooms were growing from my mane. “You want me to do what?”

         “I want you to race me to Ponyville city hall after school. If I win, and I will because I’m awesome, you have to promise to stop bullyin’ me.”

         Hoops shook his head like a disappointed father. “And when I win, and I will because I’m a colt and you’re just a bite-size mare, what’s to stop you from lying about winning the race?”

         Suppressing the urge to strangle Hoops, I pointed at Gilda, who was filming us. “My buddy will wait at the finish line to film me beatin’ you. What do you say?”

         He grinned. “When you lose, you’ve got to let me bully you whenever I want until you graduate from flight camp. No tattling to any grownups. Not even Gilda. Got it?”

         I spit in my right front hoof and held it out to him. “Deal! Put ‘er there.”

         Every Pegasus who’s old enough to know how to go to the bathroom unattended knows that a spit covered hoofshake agreement is a sacred bond. I just wish that Hoops hadn’t drunk milk right before he slapped his loogy-coated hoof on mine. The splat of our swapped spit sounded like a bug exploding across a windshield.

         Gilda turned off her camera, sticking her tongue out. “Ech! Why did I film that?”




                                                                              *          *          *

         

         This race was supposed to be known only to the three of us, so naturally anypony who was anypony had lined around the flight camp entrance to watch Hoops and I tune up at the starting line. A few of the younger fillies even held waved our names on banners that sparkled with half-dried glitter glue.

         Some yellow, quiet mare held up a checkered flag. When she was sure we were both ready, she swung down the flag and got blasted aside by our mutual launch.

         There’s a reason why some Pegasus parents keep their foals on leashes until their teeth grow in. Flying feels awesome. Only the most powerful unicorns can make themselves hover like pegasi. Earth ponies can use hang gliders, sure, but even a young Pegasus like me can leave those wannabes ten miles behind me in a few minutes. Nothing beats having natural born wings.

         When I broke through a thick patch of clouds, I saw Hoops turning into a speck of dirt as we got closer to Ponyville.

         My heart thumped into my gut. I forgot that Hoops may have been a doofus, but he was a fast doofus. Since I didn’t want his unbridled teasing to haunt the rest of my school days, I pounded my wings even harder.

         When we were two miles from Ponyville, I found myself gasping for breath. My wings were threatening to cramp on me soon, so I had to catch up to Hoops quickly. At the speed I was going, my eyelids were peeling away from my face.

         Not being able to blink made my vision blurry. I had to slow down to wipe my eyes so I wouldn’t accidentally smash into a building.

         Holding a hoof over my eyes, I squinted at the town. I couldn’t see Hoops anymore. I was only a mile from the finish line. Which meant he was even closer. Oh, sholey hitballs.

         Panic can make you do a lot of things. It made me speed up. The back of my mind kept trying to remind the front something about flying that close to the ground, but I was too frazzled to focus on anything but winning the race.

         The buildings zipped past me faster than the last time I was in town. When I saw city hall looming beyond the trees, I whooped with joy. Then I heard flapping behind me.

         “Hey, Rainbow Crash! (Gasp) You’re (wheeze) going to lose!” heckled Hoops as he inched closer.

         Only a half mile remained. Gilda was sitting on top of the building, camera at the ready.

         Looking behind me, I hollered, “Dream on! I got this race in the bag!”

         His eyes bugged out and he widened his wings vertically to stop. “You’ll going to get roofing tiles in the face if you don’t . . .”

         The world exploded around me in a hail of splinters and pain.

         “Stop.”

         When I crawled out of the wreckage, Gilda hauled me upright. “How many fingers am I holding up?”

         “Those are upturned thumbs, Gilda.”

         “That’s because you’ve won!”

         I whooped as much as my sore body allowed. Man, I felt like I had spent an hour in a tumble-dryer. Gilda picked me up and flew us both down to the ground. I couldn’t help but smirk when I saw Hoops stamp in frustration.

         Gilda held up her camera triumphantly. “I got a lot of great footage, pal! Rainbow won by at least ten hooves!”

         “So what! That doesn’t mean squat to me because I got my cutie mark!” He pointed at his flank, which now had three basketballs on it. “At least this way I’m still ahead of you. I’ll keep my promise to never bully you again, Cra . . .uh . . .Dash, but my buddies are faster than me. They’ll want to race you, too.”

         I scratched my head. “Why would a Pegasus get a basketball cutie mark?”

         Gilda pressed the rewind button on her camera, hit the play button and let me take a peek at her footage. Hoops had lost control and crashed into a basketball court. When he bounced off a backboard and slipped through the net, his mark appeared.      

         Tears rolled down my cheeks as I rolled around laughing. “Hey, Hoops! It looks like you got two points!”

         Stammering and blushing, he flew away.

         Wiping away my tears, I heard larger wings flapping towards us. I looked up to see my father frowning at me. “Well, I’m glad to see you’re having so much fun wrecking Ponyville property again, young filly.”

         Gilda gulped and smiled nervously. “Hello, Mister Dash.”

         I jumped to my hooves. “Dad! It’s not what you think!”

         Rubbing his temples, he closed his eyes. “That’s what you said after you shattered all of those windows. Do I have to tie you to my weather vane to make you settle down?”

         My skin trembled as if ice-water had gotten dumped on me. “N-no, dad! Listen, I was racing Hoops because Principal Tsunami said that if I hit him like I wanted to, because Hoops kept teasing me, he’d expel me and . . . and I beat Hoops! But in a race, not with my hooves!”

         “Rainbow?” said my dad.

         “He was really past, but not so fast that I had to break the sound barrier because you told me not do that anymore but I wasn’t watching where I was going . . .”

          He coughed. “Rainbow, I’m not . . .”

         “and I accidentally by accident crashed into city Hall . . .”

         “Hey, Rainbow Dweeb!” Yelled Gilda. “Shut your cupcake hole!”

         Good old Gilda. Even to this day, in my so-called adult life, I sometimes need her to snap me out of hyper-speed blather-mode.

         I slumped to the ground, ears flattened. Quietly, I said, “I really didn’t want to do anything to make you even madder at me.”

         My dad sat down next to me and patted my back. “You chose to race somepony rather than get in a fight with him?”

         “Uh-huh.”

         “Did you remember to get him to spit-hoofshake on an agreement to never bully you again if you won?”

         “Yeah! Wait, you did that when you were in flight camp?”

        “A few times, yeah. I’m proud of you, my little Dashie. You have a lot of pent-up energy and aggression, but when you try, you come up with great ideas. I’m not mad at you about the race. I’m not even angry about the hole you punched into city hall.”

         My eyes gleamed. “Really?”

         Rubbing his chin, he pondered, “Well, I’m a little annoyed about that particular property damage. One more bill for me, I guess. You and I are going to pay a visit to a friend of mine. It seems that when you zipped past his house, a few tree branches snapped off and smashed his patio window.”

         “Aw, nuts! Who is he?”

         “He used to be one of the best Wonderbolts around. Super Speedy Sharp Spur, we used to call him.”

         “Wait a minute! I have his phone number from a job flier he posted in Cloudsdale! I bet if I mowed his lawn, that would pay the debt!”

         Dad chuckled. “That patio window cost a lot of bits, Rainy. You’ll have to mow his lawn for free for at least a month to compensate him.”

         “Look at it this way, Rainbow,” said Gilda. “You’re going to need the exercise if you want to get fast enough to beat Hoop’s friends in future races. They all probably hate you for making him look bad.”

         I looked at Gilda as she aimed her camera at me. “Yeah, you have a po . .  . wait, were you filming us this whole time?”

         Grinning, she nodded. “I sure was, ‘Rainy’. Man, that’s definitely going in my movie library.”

         Standing on my rear hooves, I pointed at her and hissed, “Only my parents can call me that, okay? Don’t you dare tell anypony else!”

        Holding up a hand, Gilda replied, “You got it, Dash.”

         Slitting my eyes, I asked, “Do I have to make you spit-hoofshake on that?”

         Ruffling her feathers with a nauseated shudder, she shook her head.

        Patting my head, Dad said, “You have great speed for such a young filly. Have you ever given any thought about being a Wonderbolt? I’m sure Sharp Spur could give you some flight tips.”

         I shrugged. “Eh. I’ll think about it after I pay for his window.”

        That’s my fillyhood in a nutshell; they were definitely not the best days of my life, but they weren’t too bad, either. I was almost always without bits, but thanks to people like Gilda and my father, I was also almost never bored.
Everypony STILL Hates Dash
It's not easy being a filly at Junior Speedsters Flight Camp. Rainbow Dash struggles with not only being broke but being bullied by a slope-browed Pegasus named Hoops. Can Dashie make bank before she decides to bonk Hoops's skull? Can Rainbow's pal Gilda film the action with her new video camera?
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Torrid Tales of the Wild West.
Hopefully the light shipping won't trigger the overly sensitive types out there.
(Come on, you guys buy these MLP figures so you can ship them. Don't tell me you don't.)
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It's has a junkie pony ghost named needles that wants to be buddies with Berry Punch, a mare that wants to get a cheap high off of the hauntings of Summer Rose Mansion. But there are always consequences for getting wasted.
Needles will soon show Berry what it's like to live in that mansion forever.
And ever.
And ever.

Since "Dregs" is a mature story, I can't link it, but you can find it on my homepage. Enjoy!

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Eskerata
N. B. Seaborn
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Writing is a passion of mine. I know I can't make a living off of it, but as Stephen King has pointed out, writing is not about making money or fame. It's about being happy.
True happiness, the kind that lasts beyond the usual fleeting timespans, is found in following your passions.
As a result of following this simple insight, I always have something to look forward to. Ain't that grand?
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Thanks for the watch!
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Thanks for the Watch! ^^
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Thanks for the faves and the watch.
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Thanks for the fav! :D
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Thank you for faving my PinkiePie animation.
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Thank you for watch!
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LennonBlack Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Hey man thanks for the Core! I appreciate it! Merry Christmas!
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Eskerata Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
No problem. I figure you're worth it. With DA's core promo, I got myself three months of Core membership for free, so it's beneficial for both of us.
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Happy that you chose me then friend! :D
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