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Wishful Thinking [OPEN]


CurvyPony
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All night, Gravity had tossed and turned in bed, her tiny wings fluttering and stretching as her mind was a swirl of dips and dives, feeling weightless as she climbed high amid the clouds for the first time. In her dream, the little appendages usually tucked idly at her sides had grown and flourished into massive wings several times the size of her body, carrying her higher and higher as cloudy streams trailed behind her. Tears welled in her eyes as her heart was flooded with the purest joy she'd ever known, simple and exuberant, casting all her cares to the wind. She felt as though she could be like this forever, and never land on earth again, until dark storm clouds slowly gathered themselves around her, rumbling with thunder.

She climbed higher in an attempt to escape, but the dark clouds gathered faster and blotted out the light of the sun, until she could barely see her hooves in front of her face. The joy drained from her heart to be replaced with panic as it grew darker, and a streak of lightning pierced the blackness to strike the feathers of her wings. The strike sparked tiny glowing embers that climbed the length of her feathers to swiftly singe them away. Though, strangely, she couldn't feel any pain in this dream turned nightmare, the horror was all too real as she began to tumble down through the air, gaining speed as her large body twisted and bucked out of control. She felt her heart slamming in her chest as she screamed, trying desperately to grasp for passing clouds, for any chance of stopping her swift descent, but her heavy hooves only crashed through the grey fluff, as the earth seemed to rush up toward her.

"NOOOO!!" Gravity bucked herself straight out of bed and slammed to the floor below with a ragged gasp, her yellow eyes flung wide open as she panted for breath. Quickly realizing it had only been a dream, she sniffs roughly and brings her wrist up to wipe at the wetness on her cheeks. She was lying in a tangled heap of sheets and blankets on the floor, her pale pink hair frizzed and tangled as well from the fitful sleep. She takes a slow, deep breath, and lets it back out again in a husky sigh before carefully squirming herself out of the mess, not bothering to gather her bedcovers off the floor. She strides across the bedroom to the small mirror hanging near the door, looking at herself quietly. She was tired of these awful dreams, and of simply accepting defeat, accepting that flight was impossible. Maybe it was impossible to make her wings grow bigger, but that didn't mean she couldn't look for other ways. She sniffs and wipes what's left of the tears in her eyes away, her face drawing into a look of determination.

She spent several days drawing plans and building contraptions, until finally she had something that maybe, just maybe, could work, packing it up and situating it on her back before starting the short journey to the outskirts where some tall hills awaited. Leaping off a mountain was far too dangerous, and she needed somewhere at least a bit more private than the top of her house to jump off of. If she crashed, at least she wouldn't suffer the embarrassment of doing so in front of anypony else. Finally, she reached the top of one of the hills and looked back at her tail to be sure of which direction the wind was blowing. A lump was slowly growing in her throat as she unpacked the mysterious contraption and strapped it on, and with the pull of a cord, two huge wings made of sturdy wood and thin tarp sprang outward at her sides. The wind immediately swept under them, and Gravity could feel the slightest sensation of lift as the wood creaked gently beneath the tight wrap of tarp. Her heart raced; she knew better than to be too hopeful, but if she could even just manage a glide..

No more waiting. With a few deep in-and-out breaths, her heart thundering in her chest with anticipation, she charges forward and leaps off the edge of the hill. She almost seems to hang in the air for a brief moment as the wind gusts beneath her makeshift wings, and for that tiny moment she allows herself to hope, until...

CRASH! SMASH! TUMBLE! BANG!

Like a boulder, Gravity is true to her name, and goes hurtling down to earth after leaving the edge of the hill, gliding for all of a second or two before simply tumbling head over hooves all the way back down to flat land, her makeshift wings tattered and ruined by the time she reaches the bottom.

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After his few but unpleasant encounters with ponies in the forest, he wasn't particularly fond of leaving the 'safety' of Everfree. It offered comfort, familiarity, and solitude, free of judgemental ponies. He knew that he had to get over it if he wanted to learn about the world outside of the woods, and after a few hours spent internally debating with himself, he finally passed the treeline and found himself grimacing into the bright light of the sun. Clear blue sky, rainbows, and bright colors as far as the eye could see. He ducks his head down and squints out from under furrowed brows to block some of the light, walking slowly across the thick, vibrant green grass. His eyes are drawn down to it, finding it strange that it lacks leaf litter and bald patches. It made sense, of course. The trees weren't tightly packed here at all. In fact, the space was so open and stretched on for so long that it made him feel a little nervous.

He keeps his head low as he makes his way gradually around a steep hill, stopping when he comes across a large, iridescent-carapaced insect, hunking down and narrowing his eyes at it. A grin spreads across his face, reaching out to tap it with his hoof and chuckling roughly in his throat when it arches up on all six legs, too small to be truly menacing. The abrupt crash behind him makes him nearly jump out of his skin, twisting around and staring with wide, wild eyes. He was out of Everfree, there weren't creatures like that out here - where there? - and it was almost impossible for anything to sneak up on him.. His look of fear is instantly replaced with confusion the moment he spots the enormous, tumbling pony, slowly tilting his head to the side. Embarrassed, he straightens his posture as well, holding his head high. At this point, he only looks incredulous, having noticed the tattered wings.

"Did you really think that would work? Why are you even bothering? Earth ponies are meant to be on the ground." He stares down at her, seeming to have forgotten his odd appearance, slowly moving closer to the draft. His muzzle is curled in both mild confusion and disdain, pale eyes sharply narrowed. The moment he sees her tiny wings, he stops in his tracks, quirking a brow. "Oh. Well.. Carry on, I guess. But you won't ever get far with a ridiculous contraption like that."

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"Oooowww..." Not immediately noticing the other pony, Gravity struggles to get herself out of the tangle of bent and broken wood and ripped tarp, one of her back legs hung up in a hole that had been torn in the makeshift membrane. She frowns at the broken mess strapped to her back. What a stupid thing to do. How did she ever think that it would work? An angry expression comes over her face as she rolls onto her side, kicking and biting at the mess to untangle herself from it. Good thing she had waited until the Harvest Festival was in full swing, so that most ponies would be out enjoying the festivities instead of wandering across her path. She was certain the embarrassment would lead to a swift death.

She gives a sudden jerk and a yell when a voice pipes up out of nowhere, her heart leaping up into her throat as her cumbersome body leaps up and onto all four hooves, ripping the homemade wings even further asunder until little more than the belt strap is left clinging to her midsection. Her yellow eyes had shrunk to practical pinpricks, her mouth tightly shut as if to prevent her heart from flying out of it, and she stares down at the odd looking pony who owned the voice that had startled her onto her feet. Earth pony? She starts to open her mouth to correct him until she catches his eyes looking at the tiny wings folded at her sides, her cheeks immediately burning when it dawns on her that not only did he seem to be insulting her, had witnessed her awful fall, and he was scrutinizing her handicap.

"Oh yeah?! Well...w-well..." She fails to retort, feeling the sting of tears in her eyes and the dread of this unpleasant pony seeing them growing in her gut. She sniffs roughly and scowls as she turns her head to bite at the strap on her belly and undo the belt, letting it fall with a thunk into the grass. She shakes her head and willfully banishes the tears from her eyes as she turns away from the stranger to stoop down and start picking up the mess she'd made. She was quivering with embarrassment and humiliation, quietly vowing to herself she would never, ever do this again. No more dreaming of big, beautiful wings, no more hoping for the impossible. No more making a complete fool of herself for anypony passing by to see.

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Her tears don't seem to phase him in the slightest. He didn't care that she was crying, nor does he feel more judgemental due to it. He simply moves around the larger pony and begins scooping up the broken pieces with his hooves, pushing them toward a gradually growing pile. "You need magic." He does a slow trot around their immediate area, head bowed to pick up all the little pieces, carrying them back to the pile without complaint. He wouldn't be surprised if the enormous pegasus had hurt herself in the fall, and it was the proper thing to do. "I'd help you, make you lighter than you really are, but I can't use my magic." He goes quiet for a moment, considering, then scoops up the belt in his mouth and carries it closer to the debris, dropping it in the grass. Quietly, he starts to re-arrange the broken wood and tarp very carefully, pushing her a bit further away with a rear hoof. He didn't need her getting in his way.

"Sort of like you, not being able to use your wings." He looks over his shoulder at her, twitching one of his ears. "Dry your eyes." The unicorn mix stands on his rear hooves and starts packing down the debris, tying it securely with the belt before carring it over to her, planting his hooves on her shoulder to drop it on her back, between her wings. "I'm sure you could find a unicorn to help you, though. Maybe they could permanently enchant some horse shoes or a saddle to make you lighter. Spells last longer on inanimate objects. My name is Gallow." He sneaks in the last part, almost mumbling it. She hadn't run from him, so he supposed it was courteous to tell her his name. "Throw that mess away, stop obsessing over what you've lost, and do something that will make you happy instead of disappointing you. I'd like to be able to use magic, but I'm not going to try it with the cost of hurting somepony else or myself looming over my head. Knowing you ponies, I'm sure you have some event or festival going on somewhere. Doesn't that sound better than jumping off cliffs and crying?"

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