Brush with death
Mango w.oke with a dull feeling of dread in the pit of her furry pony stomach and the smell the stomach acids of the Everfree beast that had almost ended her journey, diminishing thanks to the friendly hooves washing it off.
It was only after a period, in which she mumbled thanks to the pony, and ask some confused questions of the feisty orange pegasus with her itty wings (‘Scootaloo’), that the realisation dawned on her that she had not woken from a nightmare but had been attacked by one of the forces of nature that now call Ponyville their home.
In a jagged flash of memory she recalls the wind being knocked out her as pain lit up her sliced midriff, and then the roar of adrenaline in her pony skull, all fighting discipline abandoned as she scrabbled madly against something that didn’t seem animal but rather as if a razor-vine tree had come to life - an enormous, thrashing, indomitable hoary thicket slamming into her. More terrifying than the pain was the sense of hopelessness as she felt her limbs go weak and limp as her body succumbed.
As the trauma settles on Mango, she sits close to the others, but is still and doesn’t speak, eyes glistening but not sobbing, panic rising, doom creeping up on her.
But Mango grits her teeth, calling to her fighting spirit. She forces herself to remember the first time this had happened. She had been exploring one of the ruins on the Canterlot slopes with her companion Berry Haze. They had disturbed a beast in the darkness, which would have dragged the unfortunate Mango into its lair if it hadn’t been for the heavy hind-hooves of her friend smashing the rat in its evil whiskery snout.
Mango’s thoughts turn to the period of crippling fear that had nearly unmared her – the months she would tremble whenever Berry Haze left her, when she couldn’t bear to be seen by anypony, not even by her parents.
Finally, Mango thinks of the day the trauma lifted, a day long dwelt on by the pegasus. On that day she and Berry had been near one of of the pools formed by the Canterlot waterfall spray in the early morning. The familiar feeling of dread had begun to descend, when the sparkling spray formed a rainbow. Just as the panic was about to overtake her she looked into the still-dark depths of the pool, on the surface of which the rainbow’s reflection formed a vivid circle.
She heard a voice, which later she swore was Berry’s, although her friend denied saying anything but the last part:
“You are the light that creates the rainbow, your life is the rainbow and I am the sun. Your friends are the pool so that your end will only be a beginning. Let the ring be your symbol as the sun is mine. Oh and also look at your butt-”
Mango returns to the present as she recalls the words, finally able to break down and sob. ‘Your friends are the pool’ the voice seems to say and she lifts her eyes to the companions who had saved her. ‘Thank you’ she mouths, not immediately to her companions, but towards the sun. After a goodly period of hugging from the huggier ponies* and many snotty mumbled tearful effusions of thanks, her sorrow began to lift. Relief dawns, to be followed in turn by the noon-day light of determination to save her friends and make her rainbow count.