The Latest and greatest
It was almost midnight in Ponyville, but nopony was tucked into bed yet. They all had the same very good reason for staying up past their bedtime: There were only four measly minutes to go until it was time. Time for the most epic adventure ever to be released—Daring Do and the Volcano of Destiny!
"Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh!" said Rainbow Dash, a blue Pegasus pony with a rainbow-colored mane. She bit her lip and began to pace around the patch of grass outside the Ponyville bookshop. Even though she would have the precious book in her hooves in less time than it took for her friend Pinkie Pie to throw together a party (her current record is four minutes, seventeen seconds), Rainbow Dash still felt so fizzy with anticipation that she thought she just might explode. As awesome as a rainbow firework would look, however, Rainbow didn't have time for it. Not now. Not on the release night of the most incredible adventure book ever! Plus, if she exploded, she'd lose her place in line.
Three more minutes, she thought. Hardly any time at all! Yet it seemed like an eternity for the biggest fan of Daring Do in all of Equestria.
"Can't you ponies hurry it up in there?!" Rainbow whined as she peered through the window of the bookshop. "I need that book right now!" The light was on and there was some movement inside, but the CLOSED sign had not been flipped around to OPEN just yet. Giant posters of Daring Do adorned the shop windows. They showed the famous adventurer Pegasus wearing her signature outfit—a khaki pith helmet and an olive green shirt. On the new book cover she was shown standing at the mouth of a volcano bubbling with fiery red lava. The words above bore the book's title: Daring Do and the Volcano of Destiny. Below the cover, the poster read MIDNIGHT RELEASE PARTY! GET YOUR COPY BEFORE EVERYPONY ELSE!
Rainbow snickered as she glanced at the large crowd behind her. It had grown a ton in the past few hours. It looked like two hundred ponies were there. Thank Celestia, she was first in line! Nopony else loved Daring Do as much as Rainbow Dash did. To prove it, she'd been camping out since the morning. She brought all of the Daring Do books with her and had spent the day rereading them so she could have the stories extra-fresh in her mind. When midnight struck, she wouldn't have to wait a single tick of the clock longer to find out what happened to Daring next. It. Was. Going. To. Rock!
The Daring Do series of books had become extremely popular lately, and Rainbow Dash suspected it was mostly because of her. After all, she was a major trendsetter in Ponyville. Other ponies looked to her for anything extremely awesome or cool. So it was only natural that the bookshop had decided to make it a special event. It had closed early in the afternoon to prepare for the festivities. Some of the ponies in line wore homemade Daring Do costumes, and some munched on goodies from Applejack's treat cart. But they all had one thing in common—they were beyond excited to continue reading about Daring Do and her thrilling adventures.
"Get yer Apple Fritters ... of Destiny!" Applejack said, trotting up and down the line with a tray of treats for sale. "Fresh Caramel Apples ... of Doom?"
"Hey, Applejack?" Rainbow asked her friend. They just looked like normal treats to her. "Uh ... what are you doing?"
"Figured I'd try to make my treats from Sweet Apple Acres sound as Daring Do as I could," Applejack explained. She picked up a mini apple pie and passed it to Rainbow. "Apple Pie of Fate? It's my last one!"
"Thanks, but no," Rainbow said, pushing the treat away. "It's almost time!"
Plot Twist, the yellow Earth pony with an orange mane who owned the bookshop, poked her head out of the door to count the ponies in line. "So many readers!" she observed with delight. It was fun to see so many young fillies and colts interested in reading.
"We're almost ready, everypony!" Plot Twist shouted at the line. She was glad she had recruited Pinkie Pie to help her with the party. They had expected a large crowd, but nothing like this. She needed all the help she could get.
"Oh, man!" Rainbow squirmed. "This is taking for-ev-er!"
"Hiya, Rainbow Dash!" Pinkie Pie chirped, poking her bushy fuchsia mane out of the window. "Are you, like, so totally excited that you feel like you're going to burst into a rainbow firework of happiness and super bubbly joy now that you're going to get the new Daring Do book first?! Are you?! Are you?!"
"Exactly!" Rainbow nodded. "Now, can we get this show on the road? I have a story to read! I just have to know what happens with Dr. Caballeron! Is the Volcano of Destiny his secret lair? Or is it just a decoy to distract Daring from finding the Secret Stables of Crickhowell?" With each word, Rainbow inched closer to Pinkie's face like she was interrogating her.
Pinkie shrugged and smiled wide. "I don't know, but it won't be long before you do! We're just putting the finishing touches on the replica of Ahuizotl's temple we made. It's built completely from books! Isn't that totally readeriffic?!" Her eyes sparkled with delight.
"Yeah, yeah. Very cool. But hurry it up!" Rainbow said, jogging in place. She'd been waiting outside for a long time. Her legs and wings were starting to majorly cramp up. And since she'd been waiting alone, she hadn't even had one chance for a flying break.
Rainbow had tried to get her friends to come, but none of them had wanted to wait all day long. Fluttershy and Rarity had stopped to visit but had to go tend to some newborn goats and finish sewing hats for them, respectively. Twilight Sparkle loved Daring Do, too (she was the one who'd originally introduced the series to Rainbow Dash), but she had decided to wait until her copy arrived in the mail the next morning. She mumbled some nonsense about needing sleep so she could get up early to do some studying before her Daring Do book arrived. She said reading would "distract her," so she'd better get her work done first.
It was so silly! What could be more important than this?! At least Applejack and Pinkie Pie were there, even if they were both working.
"Only one minute left, everypony!" Rainbow Dash shouted to the line. Her call was met with cheers. The sound of the crowd triggered something inside of her. Hundreds of ponies watching? Excited fans? One minute left? It was more than enough time to make a grand entrance into the bookshop! If she flew at the door at just the right angle ... yeah, she could do this. She would do it for Daring Do!
Rainbow Dash turned to Applejack's big brother, Big McIntosh, who was in line behind her. He was wearing a Daring Do helmet and chewing on a piece of hay. She'd have to trust him to keep her place. "Watch my spot, Big Mac!" Rainbow shouted.
"Eeeyup," he said, nodding his light orange mane.
"Hey, Daring Do fans! Watch THIS!" Rainbow hollered. The ponies all started chattering. What crazy thing was Rainbow Dash going to do now? The store was about to open!
Rainbow bolted into the air, beating her blue wings as hard as she could. She shot off into the distance, a rainbow trailing behind her that was so bright it was visible in the night sky. It happened so fast that if a pony had blinked they would have missed it.
"Hey, where'd she go?" asked Apple Bloom, pointing to the sky. "I don't see her anywhere!"
"There she is!" squeaked Sweetie Belle in her little filly voice. "She's headed straight for the door!"
Up in the sky, Rainbow Dash could see the sign on the door flip from CLOSED to OPEN. The door was still closed, but if she'd calculated the timing correctly, everything would work out perfectly. She'd be the first to get the book and she'd do it with style.
"Daring Do, here I coooooome!" Rainbow shouted as she completed a perfect triple barrel roll across the sky, leaving a corkscrew rainbow in her wake. Rainbow Dash swooped down like a kamikaze pilot. Everypony in line held their breath. She was getting dangerously close to the shop! Would she crash into the door? Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle shielded their eyes with their hooves.
Several ponies gasped as Rainbow hurtled herself forward, about to make contact. Then, at the very last second, the door opened!
"Iiiiincomiiiiiiing!" Rainbow Dash hollered as she dived through, narrowly missing Plot Twist, who had come to greet the eager fans.
Bang! Boom! Crash!
When the dust had settled, all that was left of the grand towering replica of Ahuizotl's temple was a big pile of books with a rainbow Pegasus in the middle. Even though Rainbow's stunt had ruined the display, it was a good thing the books had been there to soften the landing. At least that's what Rainbow told herself as she looked around at the destruction. Sometimes it took a little sacrifice to do something impressive, so the trade-off was totally worth it. Plot Twist frowned. Clearly she didn't agree.
"My display is ruined!" Plot Twist cried, throwing her hooves in the air.
Rainbow gave a weak laugh as she stood up, books falling off of her. "Whoops, sorry about that. I know it looked great." Then Rainbow snatched up a book, dropped her bits on the counter, and took off for Cloudsdale to read through the night.
Patience Is an Issue
"And then what about the part where Daring swooped through the massive barricade the henchponies had constructed?! I couldn't believe she made it! Even though they were blocking the path to the secret stone that unlocked the hidden gates that led to the road to the Volcano of Destiny!" Rainbow Dash yelled.
She spread her blue wings out wide in excitement. Her voice was so loud that anypony within a mile radius of Ponyville Park could have heard her. The only other times she got this worked up was when she was flying, performing a Sonic Rainboom, or when she saw one of the Wonderbolts do a sweet new trick.
"Spoiler alert! La, la, la ...!" Twilight sang as she held her hooves over her ears. She shook her head back and forth in protest.
"Uh, Twilight? What are you doing?" asked Rainbow Dash, raising a skeptical eyebrow. "Don't you want to talk about how so totally awesome the book is?! Especially the part where—?"
"No!" Twilight yelled. She softened her tone and added, "Sorry. I mean, no. No spoilers, please?"
"You're not finished yet?!" Rainbow whined, doing a dramatic twirl before falling to the ground. "This is the worst! I thought you of all the ponies in Equestria would be done reading it by now! Don't eggheads like you just, like, look at books and absorb what's in them, anyway?" She groaned.