Chapter 7, Part 3: Riftwing Fan Fiction

(Continued from: The Fanon world of MLP)

The ability to read  and write about absolutely anything about ponies is yet another reason why some Bronies love the fandom.   But there’s still more reasons why bronies love My Little Pony.  The next chapter will focus on art in more detail.  But first, I’ll delve deeper into my personal pony experience:

Riftwing’s Fan Projects: Original Character, Backstory
Remember in the previous chapter, how said I’d expand a bit on my character later? That time is now, and I will now demonstrate how the ability of this unlocked and infinite pony world plays into my character’s history.  In it, I created a place for Riftwing to live, fleshed out her personality, and created other characters that add to the story, whether friend or foe.  Then these elements were drawn together into the following story, which describes how Riftwing got her cutie mark:

Background:
Riftwing lives in Cloudsdale (or perhaps in another cloud city like Seaddle?) and has a very distinguished palate.  Even as a young filly, she knew some foods were better than others, and took a specific liking for mushrooms.  Of course, she had no idea where mushrooms came from for the longest time, as all food comes from the Earth Ponies, and she was raised and schooled with Pegasi.  As a school filly, she and her friends often spent their spare time roughhousing and daring each other to do aerial stunts or feats of bravery. On one such occasion, a colt bully named Star Maze approached Riftwing with the next challenge.

Riftwing took a step back unconsciously, knowing that Star Maze always tried to trip her up.  His blue eyes glared at her, and his brown mane whipped about his face as the wind picked up.  She raised her wings slightly to retain her balance, all the while on edge, ready for him to push her over.

“Riftwing,” he called.  “I did the double corkscrew, easy.  Now it’s your turn. And it won’t be easy!  Or fun!  In fact, it’ll be super scary!”

The other ponies ‘oohed’ in worry and Star Maze laughed.

Riftwing swallowed her fear and stared Star Maze down.  He was still a blank flank, just like her.  She had nothing to fear, she thought, though his black coat and shining eyes still intimidated her to no end.

“So?” she managed to ask.  “What is it?”

“I dare you,” he growled, “to go into the Everfree forest.”

Everypony gasped.

“That’s not it,” Star Maze said, his voice getting louder, filled with contempt.  “You need to bring back a plant that only grows in the forest, to show you were in there.”

Charity, Riftwing’s filly friend, stepped up and called out in anger, “Wait a minute, that’s two things! You can’t do two on one dare.”

“Yeah, it’s not a double dare!” the others echoed.

“How else will we know she went in there?” Star Maze argued.

“Can’t we watch her go in?” Charity asked.

“No way I’m going down to the ground,” the filly Blue Skies replied.  She took a step away from Riftwing, as if even thinking about being on the earth was distasteful.

“Do you want to watch her go in?” Star Maze asked Charity, stepping toward her menacingly.

Charity lowered her head and shook it.

“I thought so.  Then Riftwing has to go to the Everfree, and bring back a plant,” Star Maze jeered.

Riftwing looked at Charity, pleading in her mind for help, but Charity wouldn’t make eye contact.  She was on her own.  “Fine,” Riftwing replied.  “I’ll do it.”

The other ponies cheered.  Riftwing rolled her eyes.  No one was as brave as her.  Hay, she bet that Star Maze wouldn’t do it himself, and dared her just so that no one would dare him first.

She stretched out her wings and launched forward.  “You better wait for me to get back,” she shouted, and then she dove off the edge of the cloud, into the open sky.

~

Riftwing had no trouble finding the forest below.  It had an unhealthy color to it, a greyish green that was much duller than the surrounding lands of Equestria.  She rode the air currents, trying not to think about what was in the forest as she approached its looming darkness.  They had never really learned anything about it – it was all ghost stories about the creepy creatures that lived there and ate little ponies for lunch.  She shuddered.  But she didn’t have to go in far.  Just far enough to get a plant that grew in the forest.  She could do that, right?  But what if the plant was poison?  Or if it was actually alive and tried to eat her?

All too soon she was at the edge of the Everfree forest.  She landed, her hooves thudding against the hard ground.  It felt so unnatural, compared to the soft coolness of clouds.  She took a step forward, and then hesitated.  Should she fly in?  The trees were looming, and vines crisscrossed the dark reaches that she could see.  “I can do this,” she said, and jumped back into the air.

Riftwing slowly flew through the forest, cringing every time a leaf or vine brushed her wingtips.  She saw a small clearing ahead, and weaved her way through the tangled growth before landing in the grassy area.  Here the sun shone, but it was not too far into the dark forest. She could still see the light of the woods’ edge from here.

Silly Riftwing, she thought.  I should have just landed here in the first place.  She looked around, hoping to find a plant and get out of there.  Her heart was racing and her mind was filled with fears of the unknown forest inhabitants.

In the middle of the clearing was a fallen tree, which hung on by its branches so that it made a ramp from ground into the treetops.  It looked fun to take off of, she thought.  She started to judge the distance from the trees’ leaves that she would need to catch air, but only a short ways up from the ground, she caught sight of some mushrooms growing on the dead tree trunk.

“Mushrooms?”  Riftwing couldn’t believe it.  “Here?”  She stepped up to them, sniffed them.  They sure looked like mushrooms.  She was captivated, and plucked the mushrooms, but did not dare eat them, as the forest was said to be cursed.  “These will be the best!” she proclaimed and tucked them into her school saddlebag.  Then, after warily looking around one last time for the killer mysteries of the forest, she ran up the tree’s side and returned to the sky, victorious.

~

Nopony seemed to be too excited about her find.

“Mushrooms?” Star Maze laughed.  “We can get them at the sales stable,”
“But they’re not edible!” Riftwing argued.  “They’re from the forest, I’m telling you.”
“Oh yeah, prove it!”

Riftwing sighed and began to ask her elders if they could identify the mushrooms for Star Maze, tailed by her schoolmates. Her flight instructor was clueless, so she took it to the academy’s chefs.  Though not the best by far, they recognized it as a horribly dangerous mushroom and shooed them out of the kitchen, and off the cloud that their building was located on.

Riftwing was jubilant.  She won the dare, but the game was by far over.  Most had left before she even got the chefs to help her.  She felt a bit dejected.  The mushrooms did look so tasty, but they were poison?  It wasn’t fair.  She threw them off the cloud in anger, and went to mope on top of a rain cloud.

~

The next day, curiosity had gotten hold of her, and she flew back down to earth.  This time she went to a greengrocer, and asked about mushrooms.  Within the sales cart there were many different kinds, more than she had ever seen before.

“How did you get all these mushrooms?” Riftwing enthusiastically asked.

The sales pony, a weathered unicorn with a green pelt, yellowy brown mane and a lettuce cutie mark, laughed.  “They grow like any other vegetable, silly.”

Riftwing blushed and turned away, but the smell of the mushrooms’ earthy, dark deliciousness drew her back.

“I’ll buy one of each,” she said.  It would cost a weeks’ allowance, but it was so worth it.

The sales pony smiled and said, “If you want, next time we go-a-foraging, you can come with us and see just where they grow.”

“Really?” Riftwing was elated, and promised that she would be there, no matter what!

~

Yet, as she wallowed through stinky muck out back behind Sweet Apple Acres Farm, into the caves under the hills between Ponyville and the rock farms beyond, Riftwing couldn’t believe what she was doing.  She had been had.  She was duped into walking through manure, and she had no idea where she was or what they were going to do with her.  Her wings sagged, feathers trailing through the muck, caking with grime.

Then, she smelled it.  The distinctive scent of mushroom, which actually smelled light and airy fresh compared to the manure she had trudged through.  Her ears perked up and she strained her eyes to look into the darkness beyond the unicorn’s horn’s light.

There, out of the slimy, muddy muck of the cave sprouted bright white mushrooms. They looked spotless, pure and… delicious!

“Here,” the unicorn said, and with his magic plucked out one mushroom and floated it over to Riftwing.  She squealed with delight and launched her mouth at the mushroom.  It was amazing.  She felt shivers of delight course through her as the muddy, deep taste of the mushroom was chewed slowly, savoring its fresh, deep taste.  “So good,” she managed to say before diving headfirst into the patch for a voracious snacking.

Riftwing worked off the mushrooms that she consumed that day, and the farmers took her on as an apprentice.  Soon, she was able to identify the different types of mushrooms by sight and smell, as well as taste.

To mark her first year of work at the Apple Family Farms, Butter Crisp, the unicorn sales pony that mentored her, took Riftwing out to the Everfree forest.  Riftwing’s mind went back to that fateful day when Star Maze dared her to go down here.  She couldn’t be more thankful.  He might be in the flying academy, but she was glad that she was studying abroad.

“Come now, Riftwing,” Butter Crisp said, breaking her out of her flashback.

Riftwing raised her wings and swooped forward, a lazy hop that brought her back to her mentor’s side.

“Now, we put your skills to the test!” Butter Crisp said.  “Go on, find me some mushrooms!”  He nudged Riftwing forward, and she trotted into the forest.

This time, she knew a lot more about the Everfree thanks to her time in Ponyville.  It was indeed a place to be cautious, but not a place to be frightened of.  She walked through the forest, since her wings could easily get tangled if a vine snake decided to fall out in front of her.  Instead, she took her time, looking for signs of moisture, rot, and areas where the sun could not reach.  This took her deep into the forest.  Although she had been told there were secret mushroom caves in the forest, she had not been told where they were yet.  She didn’t think she would find them, either, so she followed a marsh into the depths.  Her hooves made sucking sounds as she stepped through the knuckle high mud.  It was cold, and every step felt like the mud didn’t want to let go.  She tried to keep herself from getting scared.

After what seemed like ages, she smelled the unmistakable scent:  mushrooms were near!  Riftwing tried to run forward, but the sticky mud forced her into a strained canter.

Behind a patch of ferns, there they were: a cluster of skinny, wrinkly mushrooms.

“Morel,” she whispered.  She knelt in the mud, not caring about it anymore, and sniffed the mushrooms once more.  That was right.  And these were quite the distinctive-looking mushroom.  They had to be edible.

Riftwing took a deep breath.

She was scared to try it, but she was confident that it was edible.  It had to be.  Delicately, she leaned forward and placed her teeth around one mushroom hat.  She tugged and it smoothly came out of the ground.  Riftwing closed her eyes, threw back her head, and dropped the mushroom into her mouth.

It was the best taste that she had ever experienced – salty and deep and with a flavor that could not be described as anything but delicious.  Every bite drew out more flavor, and made her feel happier than she had ever been before.  She reluctantly swallowed the last bite and opened her eyes.  The forest somehow looked brighter, more welcoming.  And her stomach wasn’t poisoned, it was hungry!  She hadn’t died, she had… wait… Riftwing’s heart skipped a beat.  She turned her head a bit more and looked at her flank.  It was there!  A mushroom cutie mark!  How perfect!  In the forefront was that mushroom she had just found, with two others that she had learned were her favorite: hen of the woods and chanterelle.  She was a true mushroomer (mycophagist)!

The end.

That was fun, wasn’t it?  Now multiply this by hundreds of thousands of works, many better than this, and you begin to see how awesome fan fiction is in the My Little Pony genre.

Footnotes

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About isaunter

I'm 30 years old and I have been living in the District for six years now. I love all things geek: from tabletop to video gaming; from computers to manga. I am a brony. I wear glasses, have short hair and sport a dragon tattoo (gasp!). I enjoy wearing tall socks and short skirts, and tend to dress more goth and Lolita than chic. It's just a fun thing.

Posted on February 17, 2012, in Chapters and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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