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Newbie Artist Training Grounds 01 - 05

Written By Pineapple Skitter

Edited by Morkskittar

Day 01: A Pony Standing

        Four gold-shod hooves pushed down evenly on the cloud, supporting the alicorn as she stared blankly at the monstrosity before her. In the countless years she had lived, her sole celestial duty had been to tend to the sun, to raise the golden orb at dawn and then lower it again to herald the arrival of dusk. The pegasus would fill her empty blue sky with clouds, and the ponies below would bask in the simple pleasures that filled their lives.

        Keeping the rhythm of the heavenly bodies was difficult, true, and she had to vary the heat and light that rained down as the seasons turned, but it was a task that she had taken great pride in. Raising the moon had been the domain was her sister's task, and Celestia had believed since the dawning of their gifts that Luna shared the same joy. Until... until...

        The alicorn remained motionless. Although at this great height it was unlikely even other winged ponies would see her, she could not afford to show weakness. The sun had sat sullen and motionless in the sky for a week now as Celestia handled her grief in isolation, but the few crops that hadn't wilted in the lightless nights were now burning in the merciless sun.

        So she had lowered her sun, and raised something that barely resembled the moon Equestria had grown to know.

        It lacked the pure white colouration normally present, and was instead a sullen red orb that glared balefully on the land below. A squat, ugly thing that had slithered and crawled its way obscenely into the dark sky rather than gracefully ascending, and a perversion of Luna's greatest creation sent boiling tears streaming down her face.

        The wind at this height was a terrifying force that would have dislodged any pegasus that would seek to interrupt her, and the buffeting force felt like a creature of ice was pressing itself against her and screaming. Endlessly screaming.

        Celestia closed her eyes and...

        "Sister, is something wrong?"

        The alicorn shook herself, returning to the present. The moon was a perfect sphere, slowly descending to the horizon. Rather than being an empty void, the inky sky twinkled with an infinity of stars.

        ...and rather than an imagined presence of cold and hate, she felt only the warmth and love from the alicorn leaning against her.

        "No, Luna. Nothing could be wrong with the two of us here."

        “And then they made out!”

        No, Hardwood, that’s NOT how the story ends.

        “But that’s all how the BEST stories end! I mean, what kind of person doesn’t love Celestia x Luna? Lunacest even!”

        Look, we’ve been over this. Not EVERY story HAS to end with shipping.


        Because it would be inappropriate, perhaps?


        Because... you know what? Stuff it. I’m ignoring you for the moment. The important thing is that I’ve written something, and with this bit of waffle at the bottom it rounds out to be over five-hundred words, which is good for a start!

        I tried not to use the word ‘stand’ or any of its synonyms in the short story, but I made an exception when talking about the pony that isn’t being ‘drawn’. Oh well, onto the next one!

Day 02: A Pony Jumping


        Rarity braced herself against the peaty ground, reminding herself why she was here rather than focus on the odious task at hoof, and

        “I AM the element of generosity I suppose... I don’t REALLY have much of a choice.”

        Her mind drifted backwards.

        “WhatEVER is the problem Twilight?”

        “It’s Applejack, Rarity! She’s signed up for the rodeo!”

        At this point the purple and alabaster unicorns had been galloping side by side, hooves churning up clouds of dust behind them as they had rushed towards Sweet Apple Acres. Despite straining her side doing something that she refused to talk about (although Rarity had noticed that the bandages were in a similar position to the ones her brother had sported not too long ago), the stubborn apple-bucker was still determined to compete in the event.

        Despite Twilight and Fluttershy warning Applejack about the dangers of exacerbating the injury the orange pony had refused to withdraw, and Rainbow Dash had only made the situation worse by implying that the orange pony was too weak to win normally.

        “ON YER MARKS...”

        At first, Rarity hadn’t been able to get through to her friend, but then she’d dredged up memories of their first sleepover at Twilight’s, and had brought up the dare. After all, if Rarity was willing to ruin her mane then Applejack could surely refuse to enter ONE rodeo.

        Her logic had been flawless, especially against a pony who wore the title “element of honesty” so proudly.

        Well, it HAD been flawless until Applejack had pointed out that she had completed her part of the dare by dressing up in that fru-fruey outfit. The orange pony had gone on to say that if Rarity wanted to keep her out of the rodeo then she would have to enter in her stead. The fashionista had eventually caved to Fluttershy’s puppy-dog eyes and agreed to enter, although when she heard which event she would be entering, she had nearly swallowed her own tongue in shock.

        “GET SET...”

        She looked ridiculous, she just knew it. Her pristine and well manicured hooves were clad in ill fitting and slightly charred flippers , on loan from Pinkie Pie, while her lustrous purple mane and tail had been tightly rolled and hidden inside a pair of swim-caps.

        Even her face was shrouded from view, her blue eyes stuck behind a thick scuba-mask while a snorkel plugged her muzzle.

        Hopefully Applejack would recover quickly so that she could kill her. It wouldn’t surprise her if bog snorkelling turned out not to be a real sport.


        Rarity pushed herself forwards and upwards, arcing into a graceful dive that was marred only by the hideous costume. Time slowed down to a standstill and she trembled in mid air as the long trench of filth rose slowly to meet her snow-white body.

        “It’s an outdoor spa, it’s an outdoor spa, it’s an outdoor...”

        “I’d bog snorkel her any day!”

        That doesn’t even make sense, unless you relish the thought of swimming over a hundred meters in cold, muddy water?

        “Well... no... but the point is that it SOUNDS dirty!”

        Of course it sounds dirty. I doubt anyone , or anypony for that matter, could swim through that much peat bog and emerge clean. Anyway, this one kind of felt like a cop-out as there isn’t any jumping until the penultimate paragraph. Still, it was fun to write!

Day 03: A Pony Dressed as The Great and Powerful Trixie

        The Great and Powerful Trixie didn’t have regrets. Regrets implied that she had made some sort of mistake, which was something only lesser ponies did. Yet she was worryingly close to tears as she tried to work out where she was galloping to, and what she’d do there without her cart, clothes, money, fireworks, neon-pink ponies, photographs...

        Wait, what?

        The magician skidded to a halt just short of an earth pony that was standing motionless in the middle of the road. No doubt another of the slack-jawed yokels that lived in these parts.

        “Look in awe, pony, for I am...”

        Trixie realised that her last smoke bomb had been used to add an air of mystery to her exit from Ponyland. Or was it Ponyburgh? Bah, such things were of no importance, and a simple show of multi-colour sparks should be enough to impress this lone traveller.

        “...the GREAT and POWERFUL TRIXIE!!!”

        Braying her title to the skies as she reared onto her hind legs, Trixie then brought her forehooves down with a mighty crash that sprayed bright lights in every direction. Well, she would have if a puddle hadn’t devilishly insinuated itself between her finely manicured nails and the road.

        The resulting damp splash and spray of multicoloured mud wasn’t quite the effect Trixie had been trying to achieve. However, the pink equine looked suitably impressed proving that even when things did not go as planned, the Great and Powerful Trixie always came out on top.

        “Now then, mare, the Great and Powerful Trixie has decided that she should know your name too. Do tell her.”

        The pink pony looked up from prodding a piece of mud that was slowly losing its rainbow hue.

        “I’m Pinkie Pie! You must be new to Ponyville, although you’re going the wrong way. Did somepony at least throw you a party, because if they didn’t then they should’ve but it’s okay ‘cause normally I throw the parties and I wasn’t there on account of spending the day...”

        “Enough! Trixie has no need of your pity, I mean, no, SHE means she has no need of your parties! The Great and Powerful Trixie needs only know where the nearest town is so that she may rest in style, as her wagon was destroyed by the most foul of machinations!”

        Pinkie retreated backwards a few steps, her mouth briefly an ‘o’ of confusion. This didn’t last for long though, and she quickly recovered from being party-blocked.

        “EVERYPONY needs a welcome party, and I can’t imagine ANYPONY from Ponyville destroying your wagon. I’m friends with ALL of them!”

        “You DARE call the Great and Powerful Trixie a LIAR!? Come, listen, and Trixie will tell you of the monsters that were unleashed upon her...”

        ...and so Pinkie sat back down on her haunches as Trixie listed the trials and tribulations endured in the town she had just left.

        ...and there we have it: A pony addressed by The Great and Powerful Trixie!

        "...really? You're going to claim you misread the title?"

        Erm, well... at this point the G&PT is naked, and so is Pinkie, so one is technically dressed the same as the other?


        Thank you for your insight, Hardwood...

        “I’m here to help!”

Day 04: A Pony Eating Fruit

Warning: If you find anything here inappropriate, then A] you have a terribly dirty mind, and B] you should skip right to the end and google the two words after ‘google/wiki:’

        Twilight growled hungrily, forcing more of the vast dick down her already packed throat. A small part of her mind silently whispered that this was a mistake, a moment of weakness, but it was drowned out by white noise of joy that that flooded her mind and screamed for more.

        The taste, the texture, the sensation, it was almost too much. Why had she never been able to find this in Canterlot?


        Applejack’s shocked exclamation and the sound of the kitchen door slamming open brought the purple unicorn out of her reverie. Twilight tried to swallow, but the sheer volume overwhelmed her. Gasping for air she tore the dick out, and turned to face the orange mare’s accusatory stare. Sticky fluids dribbled out the corners of her mouth, mixing with strands of saliva.

        “Oh... okay... I see you started without us... that’s fine too I guess...”

        Twilight blushed deeply as Fluttershy peered around the door, followed by the other three ponies that she’d spent the majority of her time with in Ponyville.

        “REALLY Twilight, I am MOST disappointed in you... could you not have waited just a TEENSY bit longer?”

        Rarity’s head was the last to round the door, a look of displeasure crossing her features briefly before she collected herself again. Seeing Twilight cringe, Big Mac spoke up in her defence.

        “Now don’ be tooooo hard on young Twilight ‘ere. She was jus’ a bit hungry, and you know that I have more’n enough for everypony.”

        “True enough Macintosh. Perhaps you would care to service these other hungry ponies then?”

        The crimson draftpony turned back to one of the kitchen worksurfaces and then lifted a second dick onto the table, this one several times the size of the first, and placed it on one of the plates. Rarity eyed it hungrily, and reached forward.

        “Now this, dear Twilight, is how a pony of good etiquette dines!”

        The fashionista’s horn took on a dull glow as she used it to lift a cake knife from the table, before bringing it down on the steaming dick. As it slowly pierced the skin, clear fat ran in rivulets from the incision and the others salivated noisily as a delicious aroma filled the room.

        Time passed quickly in the cramped Sweet Apple Acres kitchen, and the six friends moved outside to let their distended stomachs settle in the cool evening air while Big Mac cleaned away the various dishes and plates left in their wake.

        “Why doesn’t your brother cook that pudding more often?”

        Applejack raised the brim of her hat with one hoof and peered at Rainbow Dash’s inquisitive face.

        “Ah don’t rightly know, but he gets the darnedest looks when he tells people what he needs the ingredients for...”

        My mother’s dick is the best thing I’ve ever tasted and that’s a fact. I’m aware that spotted dick contains suet, but I’m sure magic, vegetable oils and suspension of belief can combine to overcome Ponies being herbivores.

        Now if you’ll excuse me I have to attend to Hardwood, as he ran off midway through the story with a nosebleed. Whether or not it’s from a rather painful looking head-desk or something completely unrelated I honestly have no idea.

        ...oh, and there was dried fruit in the boiled pudding, so it totally counts.

        The one point I will concede is that I can’t remember if the pudding has a skin or not, but I took some liberties in the name of squick good-natured fun[1].

        Oh, and if you’re STILL confused then google/wiki: “Spotted dick”.

Day 05: Your Favourite Pony With Wings, Breaking the Sound Barrier

        “Mmmm.... delicious!”

        Pinkie pie swallowed the cupcake down in one mouthful, and lunged for a second which she greedily rammed down her cake-encrusted maw.


        She paused for a moment, and realised that something felt a little... off.

        “Umm... Twilight? What’d you put in these cupcakes?”

        “Oh, nothing much.”

        Twilight flashed the pink unicorn a smile saccharin even by HER standards.

        “Flour, sugar, some revenge for last week’s prank, a few rainbow-coloured hairs, some scales...”

        Pinkie Pie blinked and crumpled forward, face-planting on the ground with a glazed expression on her face. Twilight kept an eye on the clock, counting down the seconds.






        “Urgh... my head... you really know how to blow a dragon off his feet, Rarity...”

        Pinkie Pie slowly fumbled upright, but only managed to get to her knees before collapsing back down again.

        “Oh Spike, you’re not a dragon anymore!”

        Twilight giggled and clopped her hooves together before helping her number one assistant onto his claws. Hooves even. The unicorn smiled to herself and wondered how the other pranksters were getting on.

        “All right down there?”

        Pinkie Pie opened her eyes, and then scrunched them tightly shut to protect herself from the glare of a sun that should have been hidden by the library roof. After a few brief seconds she forced them open again, and got to her hooves.

        “Yes Twili...”

        It dawned on the party pony that the librarian was remarkably orange, and the hat perched at a jaunty angle wasn’t something the purple unicorn usually wore.

        “Nope, I’m not Twi. I’m Applejack ya silly pony. Question is... are ya Spike or Pinkie, or did Twi’s spell not work?”

        Pinkie Pie unfurled her wings, irritation from the strange question cracking her normally indefatigable cheerfulness.

        “Are you loco in the coco? I’m Pinkie Pie: perfectly pernicious and precociously prepossessing pink pony who’s purview is parties and...”

        She trailed off as it sunk in that she had wings. Cerulean blue wings. A rainbow coloured tail too.

        “I’m... not pink?”

        Applejack’s  grin just kept getting broader.

        “Nah sugarcube, I guess you ain’t. Think of this as payback for those stunts the three of you pulled last week.”

        Pinkie Pie was more than a little miffed at the recent turn of events, but being able to appreciate a good prank as much as the next pony (assuming the next pony was Pinkie Pie, which more often than not it was) she had decided to make the best of the situation and give her new wings a whirl.

        With a body as well suited to flying as Rainbow’s the party pony had taken to the air like a fish to water (or a Pinkie to a party), and after a few hours of gliding around Sweet Apple Acres, she felt ready to try something a little more... exciting.


        “Hmm... nopony around to see... time for phase one!”

        Pinkie angled her wings and plummeted earthward, slaloming around a handful of the taller trees.

        “Phase two!”

        Pulling upwards sharply, and giggling at the strange sensation of the air trying to hold her back, she soared to the lowest of the nearby clouds and used her momentum to spin it at high speed.

        “...and now, phase three!”

        Face locked in a rictus of concentration, Pinkie drew her wings tight to her flank and once again sped towards the ground below her. This time she felt more than just the wind trying to slow her down. Her forehooves started to tingle and spark, and she felt an alien sensation infuse her body.

        The feeling built up rapidly, and the resistance increased with it. Soon it felt like she was falling through treacle rather than air, and she could barely maintain her speed.

        “Just... a little...”

        Something snapped, and Pinkie found the sensation of immense pressure was replaced with an intense heat. Giggling in surprise at the sudden change, she turned for a split second to look behind her.

        The clouds behind her were being forced to either side by a wave of golden liquid that turned everything below it a dull yellow. Changing direction so that she was now flying towards the expanding ring, Pinkie stuck out her tongue and let a few of the drops that were beginning to fall land on it.

        “Mmm... the Sonic Syruplosion is a saucy success!”

        Moving on: I could have avoided splitting this into two by having the perspective stay with Pinkie Pie, but I’m aware that “pony is drugged by cupcakes” is a plot line that comes up in a rather grimdark piece of fiction[2]... so I wanted to dispel that as quickly as possible with some Spike.

        “Meaning Spike was Spiked?”

        So that I don’t only reference fan-works I’ve yet to read, it’s worth noting that I’ve labelled Spike as a prankster after reading The Purple Menace(s)[3]. If he’s willing to do something as dark as frame Owlicious then I’m certain he has it in him to team up with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.

        In other news, I’m less than pleased with the ending. I felt like I was rushing to fit the “breaking the sound barrier” prompt within the 500-1000 words I’d set myself as a target, and even then I only cover it in the final few paragraphs.

        Hopefully you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing these! In the next few pieces I’m hoping to try stretching my wings a little and dabble in something SAD, GRIMDARK or perhaps even SHIPPING? Hardwood might even get his own part... who knows?

        ...and while you wait, do please check out my editor’s site and perhaps purchase his books?

[1] I always get those two things mixed up for some reason. Might be why I don’t get invited to too many parties.

[2] Cupcakes by Sergeant Sprinkles:

[3] The Purple Menace(s) by Usea: