‘Rainbow Crash’ cuts deeper than they think.
Rainbow Dash sat in front of her parents’ graves below Cloudsdale. The ground was soggy and there was a light drizzle, like always. She sat, wondering what it would have been like if they hadn’t died so long ago, how many lives would be different.
She hadn’t been to visit her parents in years. She was only there because of Gilda, this time. When they found her, broken on the ground… Dash was the first to know. She had paid, out of pocket, for her burial. It wasn’t much; just a cheap casket and a hole near Ponyville, really. Only a few of her friends had come with her to the funeral. Rarity had been too busy, and Rainbow understood. She hadn’t known Gilda at all. AJ and Twilight had come, though. Fluttershy, too. Pinkie… Nopony had seen Pinkie since she heard. The Cakes said she was in her room, just sobbing all day. They would make sure she didn’t… do anything.
The little ceremony had reminded Dash of her parents. Dash had decided she would try flying a bit earlier than most other pegasi her age. Well, she ended up falling off of Cloudsdale. Her father had heard her screaming on the way down, but almost too late. He fell to catch her, threw her back away from the ground so she could catch herself with her wings and flutter to the earth.
The last thing she remembered about him was the kind, happy smile as he slammed into the ground. Dash started crying, just like she always did at the graves. Why couldn’t she have just waited? Just a few more months, then it would have been off to flight camp, and she could have really learned to fly.
Mom hadn’t taken it well. She never got mad at Dash, just… so melancholy and depressed when she saw her daughter. She started drinking, first wine, then harder and harder brews. One night, she got a bit tipsy and slammed into a hard wall.
Another funeral had to be planned.
Dash got put in flight camp right then. Most pegasus orphans did; they had beds and food, and you could stay as long as you wanted, really. She’d met Gilda there, another orphan like her. They got close, real close. With Gilda, Rainbow found a kindred soul, one full of pain and loss, but not without hope. Together, they had morphed their grief into something useful and beautiful.
It almost wasn’t that way, though. Rainbow blamed herself for her parent’s death. She was just a filly, bright eyed and so sad. Just a day into flight camp, she’d thrown herself off the clouds again, but not to fly. Gilda’d seen her do it and jumped down to save her. Just in time, too. Rainbow saw her father in Gilda’s eyes as they flew back to the camp, but she never said anything.
And then Dash’d gone and killed her too, just like her dad. Now, though, she had her friends. She wasn’t going to throw herself off of anywhere high any time soon. Didn’t mean it didn’t hurt so badly, though. Pinkie was probably blaming herself, but she shouldn’t. It wasn’t her fault. Those dumb pranks… Maybe if she’d thought about it, thought about how Gilda had acted…
She knew she was hurting, now. Dash would never know why, but she knew it was terrible. She could have seen it before, too, if she had just payed attention. Gilda could be a bit rough around the edges, but she’d never threatened anypony like she had Fluttershy.
Dash left a bundle of flowers on her parents’ grave. She’d sat for hours, and she was soaked with water. Cloudsdale obscured the sun, giving the graveyard an even more somber feeling than it should have. Dash shivered, not entirely because of the cold. Her face was wet, not entirely because of the rain. She left the graveyard and stepped out of the shadow of the city. She flapped her wings to dry them out and started her journey home. She would need to stop by Rose’s stand; she had another visit to make.
Ooh, another dark one. It’s always interesting to see Rainbow Dash with a checkered past like this, since she always seems so full of bravado. Good job!