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May 30, 2011
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I Dream Reality Is My Dream
By mykowskiis


When the nights change,
So do my nightmares too-
I dream reality is my dream.



Kid Cudi, "All Along"
Man on the Moon, Vol. II: The Legend of Mr. Rager



-----------------------------------------------------------


"What makes you think you're good enough to join the Wonderbolts?"
The sky-blue Pegasus swallowed the lump in her throat. The three Pegasi in uniform stood before her, unmoving, their question hanging heavily in the air.
Never before had their blue flight suits been so intimidating, and never before had she been so nervous. The insignias on their flanks seemed to scream with a sense of authority. She could feel the stares from behind their goggles, their eyes well hidden within the glassy frames. A sharp wind licked at her mane and her hooves dug shakily into the cloud beneath them. This is your time, she thought, trying to shake away the feeling.

You won't fail now.

The Pegasus took a defiant stance and lowered her head, her right hoof pawing at the cloud, her eyes narrowing in determination. The fear had left her now, not even the slightest trace remained in her mind. "Because I'm the best dang flier in Equestria," she replied through gritted teeth, her words dripping with confidence. The three Wonderbolts remained entirely unamused, their expressions blank. But the blue Pegasus did not falter, her fiery rose-colored eyes clashing with their everlasting gaze. After a moment, they spoke again:

"Then show us."

With a slight flick of their heads, the three gestured to the expansive blue sky beside them. They seemed to convey everything in unison. The Pegasus blinked, but was able to keep her hardened composure. She knew what was coming, and was well aware of what they expected. Warily, she stepped lightly towards the edge of the cloud, her eyes locked with theirs all the while. The three ponies never moved an inch. As she approached the cloud's end, she turned her head and looked down. She exhaled slowly at the sight before her.

The display was incredible. Their cloud towered over the others, the nearest resembling little more than a white speck against the vast expanse of green far below them. "It must go for miles on end…" she breathed softly. She had never been this far off the ground before. She quickly glanced upwards, and noticed how the sea of blue sky gradually faded to the black of space. No kidding, she thought anxiously.
But as daunting as the sight appeared to be, it didn't bother her. Flying was her life. It was her freedom. She was born in the sky, born on these winds. She swallowed again. She had trained for this moment from the very beginning, taking her hits, enduring the doubts of others, told she'd never make it on her own.

But here she was.

"Are you afraid of failure?"

For the slightest of seconds their words resonated within her, her legs locking in place. Was she?
Can I really do this…? She quickly shook her head, dismissing the thought. It's now or never. With one last glance and a flick of her tail, she called out to them: "You just try and keep up," she shouted, and without a second thought she leapt into the waiting sky.

The air rushed over her as she fell, stinging her eyes, her mane whipping wildly about. She immediately angled herself downwards and squinted through the blistering wind, her forelegs out before her, picking up speed. She hadn't bothered to check whether or not the others had begun their descent after her, but that was the least of her concerns. She kept her focus on her flight and planned out her next course of action. All right, she thought quickly, her routine playing out in her head. Here we go. Keep going, pull up, roll right, glide and dive… All she needed to do now was unfurl her wings. She immediately felt for them, and then…nothing. A numbing feeling swept over her, and her eyes widened as the realization quickly came; she couldn't open her wings. Oh no. She leveled out, her heart leaping into her throat as she continued to fall. Fear overtook her as she began to hyperventilate.

Ican'topenmywingsIcan'topenmywingsIcan'topenmywings…

She flailed helplessly as she continued to rush towards the ground far below her, the wind rushing still. She could make out the details of the land now, the distance between the two rapidly closing.
Suddenly, the Wonderbolt team appeared around her, their wings angled in their steep dive.
"Something's wrong, I can't feel my wings!" she shouted over the screaming wind, her mind racing. "Help!" The three Pegasi simply looked at her.

"You stupid foal," they said with a sudden anger as they begun to slowly spin around her as they fell.
"'The best flier in Equestria'? You can't even fly!"
"Please!" she squeaked, tears flooding her eyes. "You have to help me! I can't stop!"
She had never been so frightened in all her life. She craned her neck behind her to see what had gone wrong with her wings – and a scream was caught in her throat. Oh Celestia, NO! Her wings were as small as they were when she was a little filly, but there was more; she was a little filly. Her body resembled what she was as she had begun to learn how to fly years ago.
A new, unfamiliar feeling washed over her; complete helplessness.
"HELP! HELP! HELP!" she cried, her eyes wild, her legs in a frantic frenzy as the ground drew closer, the wind howling in her ears.

"You're a failure," the three Wonderbolts hissed as they continued to circle.
"PLEASEOHCELESTIAPLEASE!" she pleaded, her eyes fixed at the earth below.
"You were always a failure."
"HELP ME, NONONO, HELP ME!"
"You worthless wretch. What ever happened to you?"

Suddenly, the three Pegasi broke their spinning circle and pulled up sharply, leaving the sky-blue Pegasus alone to her fate. She watched, horrified, as they quickly departed from sight, and screamed as the ground rushed up to meet her…

------------------------------------------------------------


Rainbow Dash jolted upright in her bed and screamed. Her eyes snapped open and her screams died in her throat as she slowly came to; she was in her room. She was safe. The darkness of the night painted over her billowy walls, the moonlight the only source of light flooding the room from a hole in the cloud above. She panted, cold sweat beading beneath her forelock. She shook violently. With a forced sigh, tears formed in her eyes, and she brought her hooves against her face and sobbed.

It was a dream, a horrible, horrible dream. "What a nightmare…" she muttered to herself, her voice cracking as she wept. As the tears slowed, she let herself fall back into her cloud of a bed and stared upwards at the glowing moon above, her eyes half-open. It had all felt so real. The fall, the winds, those words…she shuddered and tried her best to dispel the memory.
Slowly, she propped herself up on her forelegs and unfurled her wings. She turned her head to look at them, and sighed with relief at the sight. They were there all right, normal as ever.

She fell back against her bed, her hoof rubbing at her cheek, attempting to settle her thoughts. "It's okay," she breathed. "You're okay. Get it together, Rainbow Dash. It was only dream. You're not a…" she stopped midsentence, and slowly thought about what she was saying, "…failure."
Shut up, she urged, frustrated, once again trying to push away the thoughts.

It's just a dream…you are fine. Just try to get some sleep.


For what seemed like hours, Rainbow Dash tossed and turned in her bed, unable to find the slightest feeling of sleep. Much to her displeasure, her thoughts continued to dwell over her horrific nightmare, the scene playing over and over. She turned onto her belly with a groan and wrapped her forelegs around her head.

"I hate this," she said to herself, her voice muffled by the cloud. "I really, really do…"

A new thought slowly formed in her mind. Maybe I just need some fresh air. Her eyes opened as she continued to consider this. I'll just step out for a moment, calm myself down, the only way I know how. She sighed. At this point, she was willing to try almost anything. She needed to get out. With a slight groan she rolled onto her back, rolled again to her right, and again, and again until she fell from her bed, through the clouds beneath her and out into the open night air. The air rushed through her mane, an all too familiar feeling. She was falling again, but this was real, and she was in control. She quickly unfurled her wings and with a few pumps of air she slowed her descent into a glide and flew off quietly into the dark.

The night was nearly silent save for the steady rise and fall of her wings. Rainbow Dash banked to the left slightly, letting the soft brisk winds guide her across the night sky. Princess Luna sure as hay did a great job, she thought to herself, admiring her surroundings. And she sure as hay did indeed; the starlight spread over the ground with its brilliance, illuminating all that was beneath her with a soft glow. Soon enough the familiar shapes of the town of Ponyville came into view. She looked on silently as she passed the darkened buildings of Sugarcube Corner and the Carousel Boutique, imagining her friends well on their way in their own dreams, tucked in within the comfort of their homes. The great tree of the Library was no different. "Even that egghead Twilight Sparkle makes time for sleep," she muttered to herself, supplying a small smile. But as she soared passed the dimmed windows a sense of sadness flickered in her mind. She had half-hoped that the purple unicorn would be awake, figuring she'd maybe be studying. At this hour, if there were anyone she could talk to it would have been Twilight Sparkle.

But she was alone.

Soon after she cleared the numerous trees of Sweet Apple Acres her eyes set upon a lake glinting in the moonlight. Intrigued, she lowered her head and began her descent upon its banks. She touched down softly on the surrounding grass and began her walk to the still water, the cold wet dew brushing against her hooves. Like it was up in the sky the world was nearly completely silent, the soft rustle of leaves in the wind providing the only source of noise. As she came upon the water's edge, she sat back on her haunches and peered into the mirror-like surface. Her ears drooped sadly at the sight before her.
There reflected in the water was a familiar looking sky-blue Pegasus. Its rose eyes were red and puffy, her striking rainbow-colored mane disheveled and unkempt.
Rainbow Dashed sighed and hung her head. By Celestia, I'm a wreck…

Gloomily, she cupped her hooves into the lake, scooped out a pool of water and promptly splashed it upon her face, eager to wash away the dreadful sight. It was a considerably cold albeit refreshing feeling against her skin. When she again looked at the surface, her reflection all but lost in the ripples that begun to spread along the lake. As she watched them go, she began to think about her startling dream.

Will I ever have a chance to make the Wonderbolts? What if I fail on along the way…?
Rainbow Dash frowned at her troubled thoughts. She never thought of herself as a pessimist, especially towards herself. She always carried around the composure of being the bravest, the most fearless…

"What did ever happen to me?" she asked aloud, echoing the words spoken in her dream, the soft voice breaking the silence around her. Suddenly, anger rose within her, and with a snarl she dashed at her reflection with her hoof, sending a splash of water every which way. "Look at yourself," she cried aloud. "This isn't you! What would anypony think if they saw you, if you told them anything!" Her head drooped in defeat. So I am afraid of failure, she thought glumly. But no one can ever know…what would I tell them? I can't, not like this…
Rainbow Dash looked up at the moon, tears welling in her eyes.

"But I wish they could…"

------------------------------------------------------------


The Pegasus crawled back into her bed, her mind numb, pulling a thin layer of cloud over her. She was exhausted, the evening's events finally taking their toll over her body. It would only be a matter of time until she had to wake again, as somepony needed to move the clouds across the sky. Listlessly, her eyes looked towards the moon once again, her eyelids drooping with every passing second. "I'll never give up…" she mumbled to nopony in particular. "I'll make it on my own…"
Her eyes shut, and her head slowly fell to its side, comfortably resting on the feathery cloud beneath her as sleep began to take her.

"You'll see...my hooves won't even touch the ground…"
As a character, Rainbow Dash had me intriguied since the beginning of the series. She's so cocky and so arrgoant, but carries this blatant self-confidence around everywhere and she's first to take the hits for her friends.
I suppose even the bravest have their insecurities.

I'm also throwing thoughts around for a second part to this, but we'll see how this goes.
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:iconvaperfox:
Vaperfox Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011
Tonight, I was looking for a fan fic to help pass the time. I looked at the opening paragraphs of one or two of them before finding yours, but something about your writing caught my eye.

There's a sense of professionalism in your work and it's very strong. You have an excellent handle on the style of your words and they flow very easily, which is good, considering how Rainbow Dash must flow in her motions. I think the two work well together.

The center of this story is the nightmare and how it affects Rainbow Dash. I don't know what it was about the other stories that didn't work for me, but there's something I sympathize with in the tales where these cheerful ponies try to maintain a hold on the joy of their world when they have to face fears that plague them. I think, more than anything, those types of personal confrontation stories are very endearing to me.

Excellent work. Being a writer myself, I don't often get the chance to read other's works like I used to, but this was a treat. If I could find more fan fics with your level of professionalism, I wouldn't mind reading them as well.

-Vaperfox
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:iconmykowskis:
mykowskis Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011
Let me first thank you for taking the time to read my little story and for giving a moment to write such a pleasing comment! I certainly appreciate it.

It was always about those "cheerful ponies", their watermelon smiles and endless bouts of laughter, that compelled me to explore what could be hidden underneath such sugary personalities. It was always these notions and stories here and there of the like that always interested me the most.

I found my inspiration and eventual analytic interpretation of character in Rainbow Dash who, under that undeniable overconfidence and blistering bravado, seemed the most vulnerable to any theories of underlying insecurities. I only hope I managed to convey that properly; this short little work you see here took me days to complete because I literally stared at each paragraph trying to decide whether or not it worked rather then continue in writing the rest, haha.

But I digress. I do very much appreciate your words, and although I cannot agree to the thought of my writing as reflecting a sense of professionalism, it does sincerely help the old self-esteem bit, hahaha.

Once again, I am glad you took a liking to it, and I extend my utmost appreciation =)
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:iconvaperfox:
Vaperfox Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011
I know what you're talking about when you say you're intrigued by what's under those sweet smiles. There's so much happiness in their world, I think a lot of viewers wonder where the threshold lies in what these ponies can handle. Rainbow Dash is one of those characters whose maturity and gung-ho attitude appears ready for anything, especially some of the more grimdark tales fimfic writers really enjoy.

I once wrote a fimfic called The Fortress of Time. It dealt with all six characters placed into a situation where they questioned each other’s friendships. I can so many opportunities to try out questions of friendship with such a positive world, as each writer brings their own experiences to their stories.

I’ve always enjoyed tales of the “fish out of water,” where you have a new character, and sometimes human, placed in a situation with the characters everyone loves. I like those stories because they provide new views on things readers are already familiar with and give a chance for that sense of wonder to be expressed by someone who’s never seen the world these ponies live in. I mean, when your story inspired me to think of a scenario of what it would be like if I rescued Rainbow Dash, then you must’ve done something incredibly good to make me want to put myself into that scenario.

I honestly want to read more fimfics, but of good quality like yours. :)
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:iconmykowskis:
mykowskis Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011
Exactly. Even within the show do the characters briefly flash their "breaking points", giving a glimpse of something else we have never seen before. I speak of examples such as Pinkie Pie in "Party of One" and Rainbow Dash in "Sonic Rainboom". It was a little odd and yet interesting all the while to see such a foreign trait and dramatic change of character. I've always liked the "other side" point of view some works have given us. Of course, it's examples like these that have given the inspiration to the more notorious grimdark 'fics we all love so dearly, haha.
I don't suppose your FiMfic is in your Gallery, is it? It does sound quite interesting, and I would like to read it.
As for the "fish out of water" topic, I feel that it is a somewhat difficult scene to pull off. Most of the time I skim through a few 'fics just to see how "forced" some of the familiar characters are depicted, and I usually just let them be and go on my way. But there are a few here and there that piqued my interest.
And there are plenty of FiMfics I can name that are certainly more exciting than anything I can conceive, hahaha. One I came across totally "shut me down", I guess I could say, and I wondered for a while how ingenious it was and how nothing I could write could ever hold a candle to the works some people have created. We certainly are very creative.
But here I am, rambling on again, haha.
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:iconvaperfox:
Vaperfox Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2011
I think the reason I find the darker stories interesting is because they’ve already setup the characters with such close connections between one another, that you start to wonder about the deeper parts of them. And yes, some writers who explore that can force certain character traits they may not otherwise have, but I think it’s possible to approach even the harder, more serious emotions if you do so one step at a time. Harold Ramis in the Ghostbusters commentary said that it’s possible to get the audience to believe what you want them to believe if you do so in steps, leading up to the key focus through a series of logical jumps taken in the right direction.

Sadly, I don’t have The Fortress of Time anymore. I wrote it when I was starting my journey into the fandom and even submitted it to the April Fool’s competition on Equestria Daily, but through a series of events, I had to withdraw it (which I’m sure surprised the entry judge) and even erase it. It wasn’t the fault of the subject matter. It was just due to a bunch of things that were not specifically tied to the story. So I don’t have a copy of it anywhere. It was pretty sad to get rid of it, but I will say that writing it took time away from a wild west fantasy story I’m writing right now in hopes of publishing at the end of next year. Believe it or not, it involves horses as main characters, a few of which are ponies. :)

You know, I’ve often wondered if some people could just take their fan fiction, rewrite the names and then see if they’re made an entirely new tale in their own style, which they can now publish because they’re removed the licensed character references. I think it would be cool to do that and have an anthology of pony-inspired work but with the names changed to see how the story stands on its own. Also, the character descriptions would have to be different so that “Dusk Twinkle” wouldn’t happen to be a purple pony with fuschia highlights and a star formation on her flank.

I think the key to helping this fandom grow in the long-term is to be able to jump back and forth between MLP and other creative outlets where inspiration gained from the show and the community can be used to create non-MLP works of art. That way, the inspiration can be used to help the person grow creatively.
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:iconduplexfields:
DuplexFields Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is a super slice of life. A bad dream can sour a whole day.

Courage is facing fear, not the absence of fear.
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:iconnines-tempest:
Nines-Tempest Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Heh, this is one interpretation of RD's character we, somehow, haven't seen much of yet. Her arrogance and confidence most likely does spawn, in some canon scenario, from exactly what you are presenting here.

I went the way of her desire to be fast and strong as a way of protecting her friends; it is one of the better ways to explain her element of harmony. Otherwise, it might be hard to explain why she'd be friends with ponies like Fluttershy or Rarity or Twilight. The ones who can't keep up and aren't athletic and aren't like her or AJ at all.

This was... a good read, though I don't feel that it concluded as strongly as it could have. But I suppose here actual conclusion is explained so it would be hard to invest anymore into the scene.
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:iconmykowskis:
mykowskis Featured By Owner May 31, 2011
Ahhh, I really do like this comment, as I would also agree.

As for the ending, I left it somewhat...open. As I neared the end of my outline, I started to have conflicting feelings about whether or not I wanted to really end it, and thus how to conclude it.
That being said, I may actually plan to expand on it further as this really got me into analyzing RD, which I very much enjoyed.

Thanks =)
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:iconnines-tempest:
Nines-Tempest Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Heh, well, more would be good I suppose. "Optional sequels," as I'm going to start calling them, are interesting. But I think it's fine as a standalone.
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