Yes, another one already lol. I got this idea when I was refilling my dogs' water bowl. Random, I know, but that's where all of the best ideas come from, right? It's not what you may think when you hear the title Free, where the pegasi is physically kept from being free, and locked in a stall. Nope! This is more of a mental freeness. It’ll make sense later, I promise. Hopefully. This one is supposed to be less sad, and more make you mad at a character, and a slight love story. We all love a good ship story! Let's do this!
"Crystallight!"Her father's sharp voice yelled. "Come here, right now!"
She cringed at the bitterness in his voice, even though she had lived with it since the day she was born, and her birth mother died. She was nursed by another mare whose foal was still-born, but she died a little before Crystallight was supposed to be weaned.She couldn't recall her father, Stonefire, ever saying a single kind thing to her in all her four years. She was a grown pegasus now, but her father doesn't care. He's just as mean, cruel, cold, and evil as he was since she was a foal.
He would yell at her if she even played with anyone, claiming he was protecting her. Being raised in this horrible atmosphere has made her anxious, and scared. But he would yell at her for being jumpy, too. And then yell at her for being too still, and calm. She couldn't win.
She wondered what he was going to yell at her for, now. Most likely because he saw her with the stallion, Cinderwood. Stonefire was just promoted to captain a few years ago, and didn't have as much time to keep a constant watch on her, so she risked it and talked to Cinderwood whenever he wasn't around.
He was the only thing in the world that made her calm, and feel safe. They would talk for hours when Stonefire was in captain training. Now she sneaks off when she can, and he always waits for her. It took her awhile before she opened up to him, and when she finally told him about her father, he was furious. But he understood that she didn't want him interfering, and that it would make things worse. For now, he's settled with being Crystallight's safe place, and being a source of comfort for her.
She reluctantly walked over to her father, bracing herself. He was where he always was, his "yelling place" as she referred to it as. Not around him, of course. His large, dark, dapple gray coat was reflecting sunlight into her eyes, and she squinted. Big mistake.
Stonefire was FURIOUS. "OPEN YOUR EYES!" He barked. She didn't dare talk back. She hadn't spoken to her father without him telling her to in nearly three years. "YOU CAN'T AVOID THIS ANYMORE!"
She started shaking. Another mistake. "CALM DOWN!" Her ears were already ringing, thanks to Stonefire's enormous lungs. "YOU HAVE SOME EXPLAINING TO DO, YOUNG FILLY!" One thing to know about Stonefire is that he never speaks, he always yells. Never asks, always orders.
“I’m four now, I’m not a foal” She can’t help but mutter under her breath. He heard that. “What did you say to me?” He asked, deathly quiet.
Why did I say that? She thought. That was so stupid! “N-N-No-Nothing, Father.”
“Speak clearly when you speak to me, I can’t understand you when you mutter and stutter and like that!” He orders. Crystallight doesn’t say anything, worried she’ll mess up.
"Speak to me when I address you!” He yells. “Yes, Father.” She responds.
"Now, I saw you with someone when I was patrolling,” He said. "Who was it?” He leaned in close to her, threatening her. She could smell his breath. It smelled of rotten eggs and grass. A disgusting combination. Even though the herd wasn’t in famine, and they had plenty of grass to eat, Stonefire loved eggs. Crystallight thinks it has to do with the fact that if he hadn’t eaten them, the birds would have lived, and he enjoys killing and torturing. She shuddered.
“CALM DOWN!” He ordered. ‘Yes, Father.” She answered. She tried to control her trembling. “I’m going to give one chance to tell me who you were with, before I find and kill them.” He said.
She gasped. Not Cinderwood! “I-I can’t father.” He reared, slicing the air with his deathly sharp hooves. “You CAN, and you WILL!” His hooves slammed onto the ground, making the surrounding trees shudder, and animals run away in fright. Crystallight wished she could join them.
A pegasus was trotting to see what created the noise. Crystallight saw the figure in the trees. OH NO… the pegasus… was bay… with silver feathers...tipped in black… and… no, please no...a tiny pinto marking on his withers.
No. What’s he doing here?!?! He has to leave! She sent a pleading look to him. He saw it, but had had enough of Stonefire terrorizing her.
He slowly shook his head at her. Her eyes filled with tears. PLEASE. She mouthed to him. “No, Crystallight. I can’t let this go on any longer. He’s done too much damage.” he said.
Stonefire recognized Cinderwood. He narrowed his eyes. “YOU” He said. “I'm going to kill you,”
Cinderwood stood his ground, preparing to fight if he had to. But he had a plan. He neighed a distress call, that the herd will no doubt answer to. Stonefire charged Cinderwood, planning to use his size to get rid of the young stallion before the herd came.
“Cinderwood! Please! Go!” She cried, tears streaming down her golden face.
“I won’t leave you, Crystallight!” He dodged Stonefire, using his smaller size and natural agility to avoid the mad stallion. He whinnied another distress call. Soon, battle mares and stallions came charging into the clearing, but were met with confusion. This was their captain! Who whinnied the call?
Stonefire charged them in his rage, teeth bared. They had to fight, because he clearly would have killed them if they didn’t. The stallions pinned him down, waiting for their overstallion to come and decide what to do with him.
Cinderwood watched the scene, then quickly went to Crystallight. He wrapped her in his silver and black wings. She felt safe in them. She was trembling like crazy, and was sobbing. “Shh… You’re ok, he won’t hurt you.” He soothed. “Winterwing will either banish him, or kill him. Either way, you’ll never see him again.”
As if on cue, Winterwing emerged from the trees and surveyed the scene in front of him. “Let’s go,” Cinderwood said. He put his wing over her back, and led her away.
They laid together in the trees many hours later, curled up against each other for warmth. Winterwing approached them, his pale coat standing out in the darkness. They stood up to face their overstallion. “Would you like to know what we are doing with him?” He asked Crystallight gently.
She sighed, shakily. “Yes.”
He nodded. “Both his wings were broken, while my warriors were holding him. I have decided not to kill him, but to exile him. Although, with his broken wings, I doubt he will last the week. But you will never see him again, either way.”
Cinderwood was relieved Stonefire would likely die. He deserves it, for treating Crystallight so terribly since the day she was born.
“R-Really?” She said in disbelief. Stonefire had been bullying her since the day she was born, so it was hard to believe he was gone.
“Yes,” Winterwing confirmed. “He will never come back to the herd.”
Cinderwood wrapped his wing over Crystallight’s back. “Thank you, sir.” he said gratefully.
“Of course,” Winterwing said. He walked away from the pair, leaving them alone together.
“Will you be ok?” Cinderwood asked her, concerned. “I-I think so,” Crystallight said shakily.
He wrapped his large wings around her, and said “You will never see him again. You’re safe now.”
She started crying. “Y-You’re sure?” She asked, doubtful that she could ever be fully free of her father. “Yes. And if he even tries to come back, or hurt you, I’ll kill him myself.” Cinderwood promised.
“I can’t believe he’s gone…” Crystallight said. “Me too, but I’m glad he is.” Cinderwood said.
She leaned into his embrace, and inhaled his scent. Then she realized the magnitude of the day’s events. Stonefire was gone, he’ll never hurt her again.
She looked at Cinderwood. He was so devoted to her, to protect her. She loved him, and he loved her. And thanks to him, she was finally free of her father, forever.