Here's my entry for the contest being held by my good friend
. While I'm not an expert on the MLP franchise, I couldn't help but put a character together for this. It's been some time since I've Photoshop like this, so I'm a little rusty. So I figured the little story I wrote up to go with it would help out immensely.
If you want to enter this contest as well, the rules are here: nazegoreng.deviantart.com/jour…
You have until the 21st of December, and you need to be one of her watchers to take part.
With that being said, I hope you all enjoy:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chance Encounters
The Everfree Forest.
To say it was a pleasant place to take a leisurely stroll was out of the question. Few ever dared to venture through it without having a good reason to.
Some search for its plant life, using it for for agricultural or medicinal means.
Others use the wood of its trees to build some of the finest homes and furniture the region had to offer.
Cobalt Tangle, while not native to the area, used it as a means of escape.
The white-coated Pegasus was not exactly the outgoing type. Whenever her insecurities got the better of her, she would always find a sense of serenity away from society and on her own. She had several places to serve the purpose of defense mechanism, but any large wooded area was by far her favorite. Perhaps it was because it was as unnatural as many claimed her to be when she was younger.
Today was much like any other day as she made her trek down an older walking path. It had been years since she last took this trail, but she still knew it like the back of her hoof. She was originally from Horsetralia, but would often travel to this part of Equestria, either for business or to visit some of her closer friends. Today there was a going to be a series of contests in Ponyville, and she had been invited to participate by her friends who lived in town. Loving the chance to travel, she accepted the invitation immediately.
The sun peeking through the forest canopy made Cobalt's mane shine like gold, while the leaves in said mane seemed to rustle from the slight breeze blowing through the trees. Her legs and hooves were covered in a dry layer of mud. It was her means of standing out in more ways than one, and she had made it a habit to wade through whatever sized puddle she ever came across. She stopped for a moment to bask in the warm sun. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a terrible day, after all.
Such a thought vanished as dark clouds seemed to roll in from out of nowhere. The breeze became a howling gust of wind, causing the older trees to creak and moan. A rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance. Cobalt gulped, realizing a storm was on its way.
Before she even considered finding shelter, she heard branches snapping, followed by a loud 'thump' somewhere nearby.
“What was that?” She asked out loud. She saw a cloud of dust ahead, and rushed as fast as she could to investigate. Since it came from the air, she assumed it was a large predatory bird, but this assumption was proven wrong as the dust cleared. It was, in reality, a fellow Pegasus, sprawled out after an apparent crash-landing.
“Oh my...” Cobalt exclaimed, hurrying to the scene. She noticed that his dark gray coat and black mane were dirty, and his legs and body were covered in scrapes and bruises. What was worse, though, was that his right wing did not look the way it normally should.
Cobalt could not tell if he was conscious, since there was a pair of goggles with red-tinted lenses over his eyes. She bent down and nudged his shoulder with her muzzle in an attempt to wake him up. When that didn't work, she tried doing it again with her front legs. She gasped when the other pegasus stirred, albeit with a groan.
“Erg...what...happened?” He asked.
“You had a little accident, looks like,” Cobalt replied. “Can you stand? We need to get to shelter before the storm hits.”
“I think I can,” the stallion said, slowly getting up. He hissed in pain as he tried to stretch his wings. The left wing was just fine, but the right...
“Blast it, it must be broken,” he cursed. He tried stepping forward, and even though he was aching, it didn't affect his movement that much.
Looking on with concern, Cobalt went beside him and matched his stride. “At least you can still walk on your own,” she said. “Come on, there's a big tree back on the path. That should do for now...”
The rain started falling as Cobalt and the stallion reached the tree in question. Cobalt's description of it was an understatement; it was quite large, possibly the oldest one in that part of the forest. Part of its base was hollowed out, big enough for several large creatures to take refuge in times of need. The two ponies made it inside right before it began to pour. Cobalt breathed a sigh of relief as the stallion sat down, nursing his injured wing.
It was dead-silent for the next several minutes, with the rain and the occasional rumble of thunder filling the noiseless void. The stallion finally lifted up his goggles, revealing a pair of icy-blue eyes. Cobalt was almost mesmerized by their unusual glow, but shook out of it when she received a questioning look. Despite the situation being so awkward, the mare realized something.
“Sorry, in all this confusion I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Cobalt, Cobalt Tangle.”
“Blitz,” the stallion replied. “I'll be honest, I didn't think there would be anyone else around if something happened.”
“What did happen?” Cobalt asked.
Blitz sighed. “I was in the middle of flight training with friends when the storm came in. I told them to go on ahead, thinking I could outpace it and make it back home safely. I guess the forces of nature thought otherwise. The last thing I remember was hearing thunder.”
“A gust of wind, perhaps?” The mare thought.
“Maybe. I just hope my friends are alright. I wonder if they made it back, or if they're looking for me right now...” Blitz shifted his weight to get more comfortable, but quickly regretted it as a sharp pain shot through his side. He looked over to see some of his skin was burned.
Cobalt noticed at the same time. “Oh no...that's from a lightning strike...it's a wonder you even survived it...”
“I guess Celestia was looking out for me today,” Bltz replied. “Though it doesn't help much...”
“We need to take care of that, and your wing, too...” The mare tapped a section of the tree, and a compartment folded out. “Luckily I always have a secret stash just in case.”
Blitz's eyes went wide. “How did...”
“It's been ages since I've come here, but this was one of my favorite places to be as a filly when I came to town. I'm surprised these supplies are still here and at the ready.” Cobalt replied as she fished out bandages and a bottle of green liquid. “If I or an animal got hurt out here, I wanted to be able to make things better as soon as I was able to.”
“You keep an eye out for other creatures?” Blitz asked. “Even if they're dangerous ones?”
“There's a difference between being dangerous and being misunderstood. I've always wanted to help out those who are mistreated, pony or wild animal. That's what my cutie mark is for.” Cobalt pointed to the silver snake design. “You should see my pet snake, Chad. He's got fangs, for sure, but he's always been one of the few to always stick by me.”
“Must be nice, being able to make those kind of connections,” Blitz mused.
“How about yours?” Cobalt asked, referring to the black lightning bolt the stallion wore. “I've seen many lightning designs, but never like this.”
“A couple of reasons,” Blitz replied. “I have a talent for making pinpoint strikes of lightning from the clouds I gather. I can singe a bit from half a mile up. But what's more important is my ability to make quick decisions when it really matters. If I am needed for anything, I will not hesitate to respond.”
“Wish I knew others with that kind of personality,” Cobalt murmured, as she began adding some of her ointment to Blitz's wound.
“Sounds like they don't get along with you that well. Can't exactly see why.”
“It's hard to explain,” the mare said, “and it's something I'm not that comfortable with talking about.”
“Bullying?” Blitz asked.
Cobalt flinched, dabbing a little too much of the ointment at the darkest part of his wound. Blitz cried out, while Cobalt jumped up in fright, nearly reaching the natural ceiling.
“Oh Celestia, sorry!” Cobalt whimpered. “That was so stupid of me...”
“No, it's my fault,” Blitz replied, deciding to spread the excess ointment himself. “That's what I get for prying when it isn't welcome...”
“Well...you're right. I've been bullied ever since I was little. It's because of my coat.”
“Your coat?” Blitz asked. “I thought anyone would be jealous of having a pure white coat like yours.”
Cobalt sighed. “You'd be surprised. All of my classmates made fun of it, or pretended I was invisible. One day I tried to fly in the clouds during a stormy day so they'd all be sure to notice me, but I ended up in your current mess, and a giant puddle of mud to boot.” She lifted her front legs, showing her muddied hooves. “I've always tried to stay as dirty as possible since then.”
Blitz looked amazed by this. “That's terrible. They had no right to be so cruel. If I was around, I'd have put those idiots in their place.”
The mare gave a weak smile. “Since I live all the way in Horsetralia, that's a bit of a stretch...but it's the thought that counts, I guess.”
The stallion shook his head. “I'm not from this part of Equestria, either. I live further north, where there's nothing but ice and snow to look at. Doesn't lower my spirits, though. I've always been competitive - speed trials, lightning-making, you name it. You can thank my father for that.”
“Pushed you to be the very best, hm?” Cobalt mused. Using a piece of wood as an improvised splint, she started wrapping a bandage around it and Blitz's hurt wing.
“He had every right to. He was part of Princess Celestia's Royal Guard even before I was born.”“'Was'
part of? What happened to him?”
“That's just it,” Blitz growled, slamming a hoof into the ground. “I have no idea. One day he took off on what should have been a routine patrol, but no one never heard from him again. I don't know if he died, if he abandoned his old life to start anew, or...” He stopped himself, hanging his head in disdain.
Cobalt suddenly felt an ache in her stomach. “Wow, now I
need to apologize for prying.”
“Again, not your fault. I may not know what happened, but I intend to find out myself. That's why I'm aiming to join the Guard once I'm old enough.”
Cobalt finished the bandage work “If it means anything, wherever your dad is, I'm sure he's proud of you right now.”
Blitz grinned. “Thanks for that, and for helping me out. How others didn't want to acknowledge you is beyond me.”
Cobalt gave perhaps her first heartfelt smile in a long time. “Helping others is what I do best...and hearing that does mean a lot...even if it's from someone I've only just met.”
The stallion smirked. “You can thank my dad for that, too. His philosophy was to treat others the way you want to be treated, regardless if you know them or not.”
“He raised you well, then.” The mare turned her head to hide the blush she had, just in time to notice that the rain had stopped. “Hey, the storm's passed!”
“Quicker than I thought,” Blitz said. “Shall we get going?”
“You sure that's a good idea?” Cobalt asked. “The ointment's going to take a while to work.”
“I'll feel much better once we're both back to safety,” Blitz replied as he stood up. He was aching, but the treatment seemed to start taking effect. He made his way out of the tree, Cobalt following close behind him.
“This path will take us right out of the forest,” she stated. “Ponyville is a few miles away. I'm staying with a few friends there for the next few days, and I'm sure they won't mind extra company. If we're lucky we can make it there before nightfall.”
Blitz pondered as they walked down the trail. “Ponyville...is that where-”
They were quickly interrupted by low growls from within the treeline. Several pairs of bright green eyes appeared through the darkness as the growling became louder and louder.
Slowly but surely, the owners of these eyes began to emerge. They were clearly canine in shape...if shape meant being made almost entirely out of wood. Tree sap seemed to ooze out of their jagged teeth-filled mouths like saliva, while their razor-sharp claws dug through the earth and plant life with each step.
“Timberwolves...” Cobalt murmured, backing away nervously. “We must be in their territory...”
“...or they've been tracking us...” Blitz replied, hunching down in a defensive posture. “Stay close.”
The timberwolves spread out, forming a line outside the treeline. The one in the middle of this formation, perhaps the Alpha of the pack, stepped forward, eying the equines cautiously. It began to circle the two, as if to scout them, but maintained a distance.
Blitz grit his teeth, thinking for sure the wolf had noticed his injured wing, but tried as best he could to keep his cool. “There's no way we can run,” he whispered. “They'd bring us down with little effort. You'd better fly now, while you still can.”
“I'm not about to leave you behind like this,” Cobalt whispered in reply.
The Alpha completed its circle, then gave a swift bark, stepping forward in emphasis.
“What's it doing?” Blitz asked confusedly.
“I think it means it wants us to leave,” Cobalt said. “Might not be a bad idea to comply.”
Blitz nodded as the two began to egress. “Better get going now while we still have the option.”
Suddenly, lightning struck again, hitting the ground in front of the Alpha. It yelped in surprise, but the shock was short-lived. It growled menacingly, and as if on cue the rest of the pack began to surround the two travelers.
“What's going on?” Cobalt exclaimed.
“Long story,” Blitz replied, replacing the goggles over his eyes. “I'll tell you if we make it out of this...in the meantime, I hope you're ready for a brawl...”
Without warning, one of the wolves leaped in. Cobalt flinched, but Blitz reacted quickly. He turned around and bucked his hind legs, catching the wolf square in the jaw. As the hapless victim was sent sailing, the rest of the pack attacked.
Cobalt took to the air, while Blitz charged head-first into the fray. His limbs and broken wing were screaming with pain, but he knew it would be suicide to quit now. His front hooves slammed into two wolves' snouts with a satisfying crunch. They doubled back as he ducked just in time to avoid another wolf diving at him. He bucked it in the stomach for its trouble.
Meanwhile, Cobalt was dodging and weaving as a trio of wolves attempted to bring her down. It was ironic how her classmates pretended she was invisible years ago; now she wished she was. One of the wolves finally got the jump needed to catch its prey, but Cobalt responded with a sharp kick between the eyes. Seeing an opening, she dove down and slammed into the second wolf's back. She heard a crack, but considering the nature of their design, she knew it'd survive from it. She flew off just as the third tried to pounce. Instead of a nice tasty mare, it crashed face-first into a nearby tree.
Despite his injuries, Blitz was doing quite well fending off his part of the pack. The timberwolves, while frightening in terms of looks, were surprisingly frail. He found a good kick to the head or midsection was enough to either knock them out or make sure they didn't try attacking again. Even a sharp bite to their tails seemed to hurt them, as he found out with his latest aggressor. He followed up by slamming into the wolf's side, and it quickly backed off.
The bad news was, he was running low on energy. He knew he wouldn't be able to keep up the pace for much longer. He saw Cobalt was holding her own, but he wasn't sure if it would last, especially with the pack regrouping and surrounding them again.
“Listen to me!” Cobalt suddenly exclaimed. “We don't want to keep fighting you like this!”
The Alpha's back seemed to frill up as it snarled, bearing its teeth.
Blitz made a tough decision. “Keep my companion out of this. I'm the one you should be after.”
Cobalt was confused. “What are you doing?”
“Owning up to what my friends must have were doing earlier,” the stallion replied. “Remember when I said we were out training? They have similar lightning-making abilities as I do. Something tells me these wolves were being used by them as targets...”
Cobalt's eyes widened. “Oh Celestia, how could they...but wait, that doesn't mean you should take responsibility for their actions!”
“Yes I should. Had I known what they were doing I would have stopped them in their tracks. As far as I'm concerned I'm no better than they are...”
Lifting his goggles, he sat down and bowed his head in surrender. “I'm so sorry for what happened to your pack...do what you want with me...but please, let my friend go...”
Cobalt looked on in horror as the Alpha approached Blitz. It got so close, the stallion could feel hot air blowing from out of its snout onto his mane. He dared not look up, thinking his fate was all but sealed.
A bark from the Alpha prompted Blitz to slowly raise his head, and he found himself eye-to-eye with the beast. Its growling had become somewhat quieter, and its eyes were glowing in a different light than before.
The air was tense for the next several seconds. Both equines were holding their breaths, not knowing what would happen next. The other timberwolves were on the edges of their proverbial seats, as well.
The Alpha then reached out a front paw, its claws touching the side of Blitz's face. He nearly flinched as it slowly raked its way down, leaving straight cuts. It promptly tasted the blood collected on its claws. Suddenly it stepped back, rearing its head and giving a long howl. The rest of the pack followed suit.
“Amazing...” Cobalt whispered.
Blitz was surprised as the Alpha seemed to give a bow before turning its back. With another bark, it made its way back into the forest, the pack following close behind.
The danger seemingly over, the stallion collapsed. “What...just...happened?”
“Timberwolves are quite noble creatures when you think about it,” Cobalt replied, “and they can sense this in other living things. They must have felt your honesty from your words and actions just now.”
“How is that possible?” Blitz asked.
Cobalt smiled. “Simple. It's in your blood.”
Blitz put a hoof to his now cut face, pulling away to see the extent of the damage. “Never before have I had so many brushes with death in a single day. Forget a letter, I need to write a short story for the Princess tonight...”
The mare laughed. “Let's wait until we're out of the forest before making plans...”
Some time later, the two Pegasuses were out of the forest and on the safe trail to Ponyville. Just when it seemed like it was going to be a quiet trek...
“Hey, Blitz! There you are!”
The two looked up to see another pair of Pegasus flying down to them. They were each wearing flight suits reminiscent of the Wonderbolts, but in shades of black and red. Blitz looked relieved to see them.
“Are these the friends you were talking about?” Cobalt asked.
“That they are. Messer, Wulf, I'm glad to see you're both alright.”
“Likewise,” one of the Pegasuses said as they landed. “That storm was pretty nasty. We almost thought we had lost you back there.”
“You almost did, Wulf,” Blitz replied, motioning to his wing.
“Yikes, that must have been a doozy,” Wulf winced. “And you're still up and about?”
Blitz tilted his head down slightly as he smiled. “Well, I have my new friend to thank for that.”
Messer turned his attention to Cobalt. “Ooh, and who might this new friend of yours be?” He asked, as if smitten. The mare took a step back instinctively.
Blitz's mood quickly changed. “I'd back off if I were you.”
“Come on, it's just some harmless flirting. How can I not when there's a gorgeous mare in our midst?”
Cobalt laughed nervously. “That's...very nice of you, but I'm already seeing someone.”
“The oldest excuse in the book,” Messer said. “It's not like this so-called coltfriend will know if we...”
“That's enough,” Blitz interjected. “She's not interested. Right now we need to talk about what you two were doing earlier.”
“What, you mean our lightning practice over the forest?” Wulf asked. “That was just harmless fun.”
“It wasn't harmless for the timberwolves you were targeting!” the gray stallion snarled. “Those things would have killed my friend and I had I not taken the fall for you knuckleheads!”
“Whoa, take it easy,” Messer said. “It's not like we were out to hurt anyone. And you're still alive and kicking, right?”
“You're right about that,” Blitz replied, swiftly turning around and bucking both flight suited Pegasus in the jaw. Cobalt was shocked at this display, but realized that Blitz was doing this to let off steam and to teach his friends a lesson.
“Next time you want to aim your lightning at something, make sure it's a non-living thing with no possibility of someday coming back to do you in. And if I hear about you pulling a stunt like this again, I'll personally make sure you're kicked off your team. Got it?”
The two hurt Pegasus sighed as they rubbed their jaws. “You're the boss,” they said simultaneously.
“Good. Now do me a favor and send a message to my family. They're probably worried half to death about me right now. Just let them know I'm fine, and I'll be back home as soon as I'm able.”
“You sure you don't want us to help you back?” Wulf asked.
“I'll be fine,” Blitz replied, looking back to Cobalt. “I'll find a place to stay in Ponyville tonight. Besides, I want to make sure my friend gets back home safely.”
Wulf and Messer chuckled. “Whatever you say,” the former replied. “Just make sure you two behave yourselves and stay out of trouble, eh?” Before Blitz or Cobalt could respond to this, the flying Pegasuses zoomed off to the north.
The stallion shook his head. “Chowderheads, the both of them, but they'll do what I asked.”
“With a kick like yours, I'm sure they'd do whatever you ask,” Cobalt said. “Thanks for sticking up for me back there.”
“It's the least I can do after everything that's happened today. By the way...what you said to Messer...is that true?”
Cobalt chuckled, pecking him on the cheek. “That's for me to know, and for you to find out. Come on, it's not going to stay light forever.” With that, she began to gallop towards Ponyville.
Blitz stayed back for a moment, a smirk on his face. He honestly had no idea where life would take him, but he was determined to see it through to the very end. His resolve set in stone, he followed Cobalt to town in hot pursuit...
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dear Princess Celestia,
It is strange how some of the most exhilarating moments of one's life come from the most unexpected of sources. Today I had, not one, but two brushes with death, and yet I managed to cling to one's most prized possession – life. I have a complete stranger, a young mare by the name Cobalt Tangle, to thank for getting me through it. I cannot say for certain if it was pure coincidence, or if she was meant to be there to help, but I am certainly grateful in either case, and eternally indebted for her altruism. I am certainly glad I was able to return the favor, and perhaps we can continue to look out for each other for a long time to come. Friendship can come from anywhere, and at anytime, and those who have the courage to embrace it can reap its rewards. May your guiding light continue to shine on both Cobalt and I.
Your loyal subject,