I simply stood by a pond in solitude, meditating on what lie ahead. The only things I had with me were my hungry determination and my silent confidence, and the only sounds that came from me were those of my breathing lungs and sturdy heart. These things reminded me not just that I was alive, but why I was alive. I saw the soft breeze create dozens upon dozens of ripples in the pond – too many to count. They were patternistic distortions that made the glassy surface of the water tremor before my mere presence.
As the cool wind began to accelerate, I slowly untucked and lifted up my aerodynamic wings. I closed my eyes and felt the air rush through my feathers. The soft gust hurried through them and caused my wings to faintly sway in its direction. I could feel so intimately the environment around me: the warmth of the exposed sun on my being, the soothing scent of the fresh countryside air, the coolness of the wind combing my feathers, and the familiar singing of perched birds. I heaved an anxious sigh before a final, deep inhale.
It was time to practice something dangerous…something that would make any ordinary pony faint.
I positioned myself for take off, lowering closer to the grass and dirt beneath and tensing up. I opened my large, magenta eyes and looked up to behold the sky above. It was colored the familiar blue I love, the blue that coated my body. My heart racing with excitement, I made a sly grin and did a mental countdown.
Three, two, one…
FWOOSH!!! I leapt off the ground and thrusted myself upwards. My nimble wings immediately propelled me at a forty-five degree angle toward the blue above. The air began to roar loudly within my ears; I imagined that the atmosphere was a mass of cheering fans, screaming my name. I could almost see it: thousands of ponies clamoring as I took off, with the Wonderbolts eyeing – judging, yet secretly eager to glimpse the prodigy they had been hearing about.
Many clouds lived up in the heights, but I dodged them with ease as I stuck to a clearer part of the sky. My velocity increased…and increased…and increased, all while I kept curving until I was flying straight upwards. Gravity did its best to try tug me back down, but I disobeyed it. Friction tried to impose a speeding ticket, but I was too fast to worry. G-forces piled up in front of my face, but I just broke through their defenses. It felt like nothing could wipe the eager smile on my face – nothing!
I was lost in the purity of the blue, the radiance of the sun, and the lazy stillness of the clouds. When I looked around a bit more closely, however, I could see Cloudsdale in the distance, my place of origin. I smiled and dwelled on the memories the city in the sky evoked…
…until, for some reason, I remembered the bad ones.
“Nice going, Rainbow Crash!!!”
I slowly braked. My smug look had faded into a grimace. The city loomed far away as I recalled my early days in flight school: terrible bullies, everyone laughing at me, my humiliation… Now there was something heavy in my chest. It was enough to make me doubt my aerial freedom for a moment.
“Rainbow Crash! Rainbow Crash! Rainbow Crash!”
The gorgeous sky around me felt contrasted by something akin to a dark cloud within me. I closed my eyes.
“Rainbow Crash! Rainbow Crash!”
…But then a small ray of the sun’s light reached out of those stormy clouds, a reminder of my accomplishments.
Leave her alone!
“Ooh, what are you gonna do, Rainbow Crash?”
Keep making fun of her and find out!
“You think you’re such a big shot? Why don’t you prove it?!”
What do you have in mind?
I envisioned myself, a filly, up against my dreaded competition. Their self-assured looks only bolstered my drive to take them down. Nothing could prepare them for my sheer drive to win!
“You’re going down!”
In history, maybe! See you boys at the finish line!
I smiled proudly at Cloudsdale. If the laws of motion couldn’t tether me any longer, then neither could a couple of bad experiences…especially when there were countless moments of bravery forever etched into my legacy.
WOOSH!!! This time, I took advantage of gravity, using it to propel myself downwards in the start of a dive-bomb. I had the familiar, yet nerve-racking, sensation of butterflies in my gut. The wind attempted to force itself into my lungs with a consistent, painful push, also drawing back my colorful mane. In spite of the tension, I just cut through the air like a knife through butter. I could strongly feel that this was what I was engineered for, what I was meant to do, my purpose – even as the shades of green below drew closer at a terrifying rate. If I messed this up, I was toast.
The wind in my ears was yelling, trying to tell me to slow down…but I wasn’t listening.
The ground prepared to confront me…but that made me want to confront it all the more.
Nothing could stop me from achieving my full potential.
FWOOSH!!! I shot out my wings, several meters above the ground, and made an insanely sharp curve upwards, going from perpendicular to the ground to parallel in less than half a second. I was low enough for my hooves to skim through the grass momentarily, the blades whacking like they were giving me congratulatory high-hooves. The enrapturing sensation of a heart-pumping adrenaline rush manifested as a wide, wickedly confident smile on my wind-blasted face.
“WOOOHOOHOO!!! YEEAAH!!!” I yelled ecstatically. I did it! Everything was left in the dust – even my doubts. Nothing could’ve caught up now. Well, I mean, what in Equestria could ever have caught up with me?! I’m Rainbow Dash, for crying out loud! Faster than any bullet, I was the one in the air, shouting for joy as I skillfully weaved my way around the hilly landscape, dodging the occasional tree.
After a few moments, I zoomed towards the pond and its singing birds, hollering my own song. As soon as I reached the water, I tilted myself to have the tip of my wing skim the water’s surface for a second – in that moment, I was slicing both air and water! I returned to my normal position and took a look back to see what I had done: I had created a thin, arrowhead-shaped ripple that spread across the whole pond, the cowering waters quaking in my trail as the birds fled and shrieked.
The feeling was the awesomest! It was…the insanest, amazingest thing, the feeling I get every time I so skillfully conquer the air, every time I do what I do best. It was like I was…free!
That freedom was unlike anything I’ve ever felt! The speed, the adrenaline, the wind in my mane… I liked it…