Tags: Normal, OC
Description: Every pegasus foal must eventually step outside the comfort of her home and take a leap of faith. Dusky Down was no exception and tonight she recounts that moment in her fillyhood.
This is my submission for the Writer Training Grounds’ week 13 theme: write about a pony outside his/her comfort zone.
Rarely do I ever write a story entirely about OCs, but this happened to be one of those themes that sent me in that direction. She tends to not get a whole lot of attention for me, so it was kind of nice to work on her background a bit. Um, aside from that, I wrote in first person, another rarity and the story is unedited again, which seems to be becoming the norm.
Leap of Faith
I remember standing on the edge of the cloud, staring down at the ground below. Stray strands of white blotted out the landscape, little bits of green and brown flickering in and out of existence. Beyond that, there were clouds, clouds and more clouds, the clumps of familiar fluff providing several safe midway points. And yet none of that did anything to calm my nerves.
“Come on, Dusky, you can do it!” my dad’s encouragement wafted over my shoulder. I turned to face him.
“I don’t know… can’t we go back in and read that story about flying again? That’s just like the real thing, right?”
That was probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever said. And even as a filly I knew it. I knew the idea was a no sell from the start and yet I sat there, painfully fake smile hanging across my face.
My father, a tall, yet skinny stallion, frowned. He shook his head, long sky blue mane flipping across his royal blue coat as he did. Being a seasoned businesspony and a charismatic one at that, he wasn’t about to budge. He could easily talk anypony into anything, and usually on the first try, too. Well, anypony except his own daughter, apparently.
“Now, Dusky, you promised today would be the day,” his voice was gentle and soothing, like a songbird’s. “And even if you hadn’t, you can’t stay in the safety and comfort of our home forever.”
“Why not?” I asked, staring at the cloud beneath my hooves.
“Because then you’ll never grow,” as he spoke I felt a firm nudge and I looked up to meet his soft teal discs. “Now I know you’re scared, but you don’t have anything to worry about. If you have any problems, mom will catch you. She was almost a Wonderbolt, you know.”
“I know that!” I gave him an annoyed glare. To be fair, I’d already been told at least a dozen times already and, well, he used that as the reasoning that mom would bail me out of anything, even if it was totally irrelevant.
“Good. Then be a brave filly and give it a try. I know you can do it,” he gave me a reassuring nuzzle before nosing me back toward the edge.
I gulped as I peered toward the ground again. I didn’t understand why I was so scared either. I’d see other pegasi do it, I’d ridden on both of my parents’ backs, feeling the wind rush by and I’d read some extensive (and rather dry) books on proper technique. Not only that, but ever since I could remember, I’d longed to do what the other pegasi. To feel that same rush of air under my own power, to flit gracefully through the sky. My mind knew how and wanted to be ready, but my body was quick to remind it just how different knowing and doing was.
‘What if I mess up? What if mom messes up?’ were the questions I kept asking myself.
Finally my mind had had enough, taking control as it screamed, ‘Just do it already!’
With each step backward I ignored the dryness in my throat, the shaking of my legs, the flutter of my stomach, the racing of my heart. I galloped forward with a guttural cry that would have been but a squeak to anypony else. But for me, it was my courage, blotting out my fears long enough to hurl myself off that cloud.
As I entered freefall, what I had just done caught up to me. I flailed, legs and wings flapping like a crazed pony. Which, of course failed and just made me tired.
‘Stop being dumb,’ was basically what my mind said as all the observation and instruction came rushing back. I somehow mustered enough calm to force my wings to stay open and my legs to be still.
I smirked broadly, as young foals learning something new are wont to. The wind caught under me and I grew giddy, fears fading away, as I began to glide. The gentle breeze caressed my mane and coat as I drifted, feeling out my equilibrium.
Feeling a little daring, I flapped quickly, leading into an awkward little dive. As I pulled up, I did a little spin. Well, little is probably the wrong word since I over-spun by about ninety degrees. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to right myself and after a few moments of disorientation, I was gliding along again, a firm decision in my mind to leave attempts at any other tricks for another day.
But just when I thought I was really getting the hang of things, a strong gust struck me hard, knocking the wind out of me and sending me off at an odd angle. I tried to fight through it, but my little wings weren’t strong enough. At least not for the level of experience I had at the time. I tumbled head over hooves, hardly even able to breath.
The fear was suddenly there again. I let out a tiny squeak of distress, tears forming at the corners of my eyes as I realized I had completely lost control. I wanted so much to be back on the safe, solid softness of the clouds.
My face was buried deep in lavender as my world stopped spinning. The wind was still blowing fiercely, but at least I could feel myself moving purposefully in a single direction. As I free myself from the soft purple mane, I looked up.
“Mom…?” I croaked out feebly.
“Shhh, everything’s okay now,” my mom glanced over her shoulder, flashing me a reassuring smile.
I allowed my chin to rest on her charcoal coat, letting her worry about the flying while I calmed my heart and recovered my air.
With a short jolt, I noticed we were still. Staring down, I don’t think I’ve ever been so euphoric to see the white fluff of a cloud. And yes, that includes everything else I’ve seen during the rest of my life.
I hopped down and collapsed, waiting for my still queasy body to return to normal. My mom laid beside me without saying a word. After what seemed like forever, I felt well enough to look up.
“You did well,” she said in her usual upbeat, melodic voice.
“Really?” the giddiness was back, pushing aside the last of my uneasiness.
“Yep!” a cheerful smile washed over her face. “You’re a natural, if a bit too cautious.”
I smiled back, confidence welling up, “It was fun.”
“I’ll bet,” my mom nodded, her smile melting into a mischievous grin. “So you wouldn’t mind trying again tomorrow?”
She tilted her head, as though urging me to continue.
“… how about after supper?”
My mom giggled, “Okay.”