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The Darkest Hour · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
#1 · 15
·
Welcome to this new WriteOff round, this time sponsored by Horizon overseas ltd.

This round, you will have to write about flashy pastel four-legged animals with mane, barrel, and Oxford comma tail, more commonly called “ponies”. Sapient ponies if possible, otherwise dialogues risk being severely limited. Ponies endowed with some magic powers, though this is in no way mandatory. Please consider also pony princesses, it seems they are not enough cared for.

Please submit a reasonable prompt. “Ot” or “The last pony in Equestria” are not reasonable prompts, though the last one may still qualify. Avoid personal references, so “Dubs Rewatcher has a crush on Rarity”, while stating an open secret, has no chance of being picked. Neither has “Hat fantasises on Fluttershy’s butt”.

Please keep your meanderings into this marvellous, enchanted and sugary word between 2,000 and 8,000 words, lest you be unable to submit your prose. Additionally, if you try to cheat the server, we will set off Mr Numbers after you, and he is a redoubtable foe, especially when given a broom to fly with.

Equestria Girls™ fictions are reserved for Oroboro. Please do not impinge on his territory, he has a big blunderbuss he keeps loaded to swoop on offenders.

If you agree to comply, your piece might even been perused and criticised by Cold-in-Gardez®, provided that he’s in good mood. With rotten luck, you get one of my reviews, which admittedly are often shallow and pointless. Your mileage may vary.

As always, your pony story will be read, vetted and trashed by bigwigs, pony experts and other members of the Equestrian society of literature. You are invited to get even with the other contestants’ entries. Remember that disclosing any information regarding your fic before the end of the contest (or the end of the preliminary round if your story does not cut the mustard) is ground for disqualification. As a further punishment, RogerDoger, our ruthless tyrant, will UPS you a fucking ‘roo to give you a hiding. You’ve been warned.

Fancy medals are doled out to the three winners, except if you suffer from tooth cavities. All other partakers are awarded a sop in the form of a cute, swanky ribbon to pin on your room wall.

Now with these words, I wish you a good contest and the very best of luck.
#2 · 13
· · >>horizon >>horizon
"Sapient ponies if possible..."

Dobbin grazed closer and closer to the fence, enjoying the sweet green grass. There was a little more, just barely within reach from between the sharp thorns of the fence as he turned his head sideways and reached out with his lips. Just a little more. Ouch. Just a little more. Ouch.
#3 · 9
· · >>Not_A_Hat
>>georg
There was a sigh from behind Dobbin. He turned around to see a snow-white mare in gleaming armor, tapping one forehoof.

"Dobbin," Parade Rest said, "are you stealing from the National Strategic Wheatgrass Reserve again?"

"No," Dobbin said instantly. "... Maybe. I mean, no." He straightened up and brushed the grass from his lips. "I pay taxes, don't I? Don't part of it belong to me?"
#4 · 7
·
Hat fantasises on Fluttershy’s butt


...What? N-no!
#5 · 10
· · >>horizon
>>horizon
"Not after you've paid it, Dobbin." Parade Rest sighed. "We told you this already."

Dobbin's eyes glazed over and he whinnied, turning away.

"Pretending to be mute won't work again." Parade Rest groaned and massaged her forehead. "Of all the jobs in Equestria, they saddle me with foalsitting you."

"Weren't my fault, they framed me," Dobbin replied automatically. "How can a wheatgrass reserve even be 'strategic' anyway?"
#6 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Looks like i'm going to have to crank out the purple prose this time around...
#7 · 6
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Not_A_Hat
>>Not_A_Hat

* * *

Celestia took another measured sip of tea, floated a quill pen in her hornfield next to her half-full cup, and gracefully signed the committee report on top of her stack of paperwork. Then, without looking up, she said: "What's on your mind, Parade Rest?"

Parade nearly jumped out of her skin, and scrambled to cover for it by shooting to rigid attention. "Princess?"

"You've been squirming back and forth all shift," Celestia said, still not looking at her guard, and paused for a moment to sign the next report. A smile quirked her muzzle. "And while the awkward possibility of misinterpretation can never be ruled out, I believe I've lived long enough to distinguish between a potty squirm and a thinking squirm."

Years of Guard training told Parade to stifle her reaction to the princess' joke — but this was Celestia, who was fiercer than any battlefield general when it came to laying waste to formalities. Her smile proved infectious, and Parade gave in and let a chuckle escape. Celestia finally looked up, eyes shining with mirth, and Parade relaxed.

Mostly.

"It's …" Parade started, resolve already faltering, and lifted a hoof to cough into her solleret. She glanced away. "It's nothing, Princess."

A hint of disappointment crept into Celestia's smile before vanishing again into her maternal radiance. "If it's all the same to you … even if you don't feel it's worth my time, I'd much rather take a break from my paperwork and help you out than watch you squirm for another two hours."

Blood rushed to Parade's cheeks. "That's not it, Princess. It … I … uh." The urge to squirm was surging back, and she stammered, "Permission to speak freely?"

"You never need ask that of me, my little pony. But yes."

Parade felt like her blush could set the curtains afire. This is stupid. Insane. But she was committed. She cleared her throat, stared at her hooves, and went for broke: "Um, how can a wheatgrass reserve even be 'strategic' anyway?"

Celestia went silent.

Parade risked a glance up at the princess — and froze. Celestia's muzzle was deep pink.
#8 · 3
· · >>Moosetasm
>>Moosetasm
Welp, if you're in, I'm in. Too many stories... but must write more...

>>horizon (and others)
You guys may as well just toss this together and post it on FF and be done with it. Buckin' brilliant!
#9 · 10
·
The writeoff hasn't even started yet and my entry has already been outdone by some people goofing around in this thread.
#10 · 7
· · >>horizon
EDIT: >>horizon I somehow lost this while editing. I'd be worried the reply wouldn't register, but we don't register replies anyways. :P

----------

There was a long moment of silence.

"Are you certain that wasn't a potty squirm?" Celestia asked plaintively.

Parade Rest's eyes widened. She threw her head back, stomped a hoof, and whipped out a parade-perfect salute. "We in the Royal Guard do not have bladders we are aware of! Ma'am!"

Celestia snorted, nearly inhaling her quill pen.

"Or," Parade continued, leaning in conspiratorially, "at least not that we will admit to on guard duty. Although recruits with a cutie mark in bladder control are certainly sought after."

"I see Shining Armor's reforms are making their presence felt," Celestia said dryly. Uncomfortable silence returned for a moment, but she continued before her fading blush could return. "I apologize. You asked me about the... wheatgrass reserve."

"I spoke out of line!" Parade Rest yelped. "No need to--"

"No, no, it's not... classified or something like that." Celestia sighed. "There are simply some memories associated with it I would prefer to let lie. You see, I was a teenager for nearly two hundred years."

---


"Princess, it is time for court."

"Just five more minutes..."

---


"And although my sister tempered the worst of my mistakes, I was far from invulnerable to common foolishness."

---


"Pies are weapons of war, and so should be outlawed."

"And cakes, your highness?"

"EDICT REDACTED!"

---


"Truthfully, I have been through just about every single phase that affects ponykind at one time or another." She smiled wryly. "Including, of course, the health fads."

---


"Luna, I have decided to go hypervegan."

"Celestia, we're frakking ponies. I don't think you can go any more--

"I shall require much hay. Royal Scribes! Prepare an edict!"

---


"And the National 'Strategic' " - Parade could hear the scarequotes - "Wheatgrass Reserve was part of one of those. The name is, I admit, a bit of an overstatement. Truth be told, I should decommission it. But it serves as a useful reminder to think things through. And it does get some use. We mow it every year, of course, but it's truly more of a tactical reserve."

"A... tactical wheatgrass reserve."

"Mmm."

"How can a wheatgrass reserve be--"

Parade Rest cut off as three loud raps sounded on the study door. She nodded to the Princess and cracked it open. Six pairs of golden eyes peered in at her. She swung it wider to reveal a cohort of Night Guards, some of whom she recognized.

"Private Parade Rest?" The leader's voice was night breeze on silk curtains.

"Captain Brightmoon!" She saluted.

"We've been sent to relieve you. With your leave, Highness?"

Celestia frowned, but nodded judiciously. Parade stepped out, and Cloudshadow stepped in, passing her with a wink. When the door closed, Parade turned to Brightmoon.

"May I ask what this is about?"

"Princess Luna requires your presence." Brightmoon shrugged. "Something about a... tactical reserve?"

--------

I'm going to hit post and this is going to be ungodly long isn't it. >.<

Writing music: David's Jig - Natalie McMaster
#11 · 10
·
I created a monster. Well, other than Monster, who I created some time ago.
#12 · 1
· · >>Monokeras
>>CoffeeMinion

Agreed, the material being produced as a result of that pseudo-prompt is far better than most of what I put out. T_T
#13 · 1
·
>>Moosetasm
What should I say!
I'm happy to have started it, though :P
#14 · 1
· · >>Chryssi
what are you doing guys
#15 · 1
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
Dubs Rewatcher has a crush on Golden Gull
#16 ·
·
>>Syeekoh I don’t know
what’s going on
#17 · 7
· · >>CoffeeMinion
>>Not_A_Hat
When Parade Rest entered Luna's darkened chambers, the princess was hunched over at the window, peering through a hornfield-tinted gap in the closed blinds. Luna glanced back at her, touched a hoof to her lips, and frantically gestured Parade over.

Parade, raising one eyebrow, walked across the room -- trying her best to set her hooves down lightly on the obsidian floor and muffle her steps. She quietly saluted as she reached the window, hoping for some explanation.

"Dost thou see that?" was what she got instead -- delivered in what most ponies would have called a stage whisper, but what was most likely just the somewhat-recently-returned Luna thinking that she was being quiet.

Parade turned her head to the closed wall of blinds. Then back to the princess, who was insistently jabbing a hoof toward the window. Parade leaned in and raised a hoof of her own, shoving one of the slats up to get some sort of view of the outside world, and craned her neck.

"... The wheatgrass reserve?" she said.

"The spies," Luna hissed.

Parade looked again, and inwardly sighed as a brown figure loped across her narrow field of vision, swinging his shaggy head side to side and then craning it through the barbed-wire fence. "I'm sorry, Your Highness. As Dobbin's parole officer I really should be out there overseeing him, but when Sunchaser called in sick and I had to guard your sister's room --"

Luna blinked. "What sayest thou?" She yanked two slats apart with her magic and peered through the window again, then let them go and frowned. "Confound it! Nay, not the simple one. The spies." The volume of her whisper dropped quite nearly to the level of a normal pony's speech. "They must have gained awareness of our observation and absconded."

Parade glanced through the blinds again. Just Dobbin, eating the princesses' grass. Empty skies. Empty courtyard.

"Of course, Your Highness," she whispered back. That was the safe thing to say. That was always the safe thing to say, when somepony above your pay grade was acting this weird.
#18 · 1
·
I have no idea what's going on; I'm confused and strangely aroused.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to actually being in this one; I missed the last two Originals and didn't finish my FiM minific in time back in August. Been out of the game too long.
#19 ·
· · >>Not_A_Hat
guys what are you doing
#20 ·
·
>>Haze
DUDE
#21 · 4
· · >>Moosetasm >>Not_A_Hat >>horizon
Ooo, let's make this corpse EXQUISITE!

>>horizon

"Thou must FIND THEM!" Luna shouted. The combination of volume and air pressure blasted Parade Rest halfway across the room, where she landed hard at the base of a weapons stand. She squeaked, moments before an assortment of polearms clattered down upon her.

"My apologies," Luna said, keeping her voice regulated. "But in sooth, I think it only fair that thou shouldst choose a mighty weapon from our private arsenal, with which to smite this foul skulduggery!"

Parade Rest disentangled herself from the weapons and surveyed them. Without exception, their wooden handles were splintered, and their curved or hooked ends were notched or blunted.

"Um, Princess... with respect... I'm not certain if these are the best choice for... uh, mighty combat."

Luna waved a hoof dismissively. "Our private arsenal is somewhat depleted of late. These are, how you say, loaners, until the royal smiths can finish our order. But, true warriors are undeterred by such trivialities! Choose thy weapon, and go forth!"

Parade Rest set her jaw to keep herself from grinding her teeth. She looked down at the weapons again, hoofed several aside, and raised one that looked like a snapped-off weapon haft. The end had been whittled down to a point.

"How about this?"

Luna grinned. "Aha, the pointy stick! A classic! Go forth, noble servant of the night, and give the shifty eyes of injustice a swift poke!"

"Y-yes, your majesty," Parade Rest said, turning away.

Being a parole officer had never been her first choice as a career direction, but she began to fear it could be better than being drafted into Princess Luna's personal service.

"I need a pint," she muttered.
#22 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Not_A_Hat
>>CoffeeMinion
Can anypony join in on this? My knowledge of forum etiquette is either rusty or nonexistent.
#23 · 4
· · >>Morning Sun
>>CoffeeMinion

Parade Rest sighed as she stepped into the hall, the doors to Luna's rooms closing solidly behind her. Brightmoon, who had waited outside, smiled sympathetically.

"Whatcha got?" The Night Guard looked at the... 'weapon' she had been assigned.

"A pointy stick." Parade swished it haphazardly through the air.

"Woah! Careful with that thing!"

"...Sorry." Parade tucked it under a wing. "What was all that about?"

"Something something spies?" Brightmoon smirked.

"More or less."

"Your guess is as good as mine. I don't want to call my commanding officer paranoid, but..." Brightmoon shrugged. "She spends much of her day watching that 'wheatgrass reserve' and mumbling - quite loudly - about spies. Now you're usually out there?"

"Yes, thanks to Dobbin." Parade rolled her eyes.

"So just watch for spies and swing your stick around while you watch him. It's probably nothing, but if you see anypony suspicious--"

"Besides Dobbin."

"--besides Dobbin, give them a poke I guess."

"Alright, I can probably handle that." Parade sighed. "Look, I need a cider. You coming?"

"I guess." Brightmoon frowned. "But it's not apple season. Where...?"

"Pff." Parade Rest snorted and led the Night Guard down the hall. "I'm currently paroling the pettiest thief in Equestria. Sure, he's an annoyance, but if anypony knows where we can get a cider out of season, it'll be Dobbin."

"And if he's not feeling cooperative?"

"I have a pointy stick." Parade Rest smirked. "What could possibly go wrong?"
#24 · 1
·
>>Moosetasm
I would assume so. Nopony gave me permission!
#25 ·
·
I wonder if someone will compile these into an entry...
#26 · 2
·
>>Syeekoh
Wriiiiiting.

>>Moosetasm
Hey, I don't care. And Horizon is super easy going, and Coffee Minion just jumped in so it's not like he can get mad. :P I don't think anyone will mind. Take a crack at it if you feel inclined. Just try to set up something interesting for the next guy to work from.
#27 · 5
· · >>JudgeDeadd >>horizon >>horizon
>>Not_A_Hat

"Right, come on then, Dobbin. You have to be full now, right? Don't make me prod you with this!"

"C'mon, I ain't done yet. Just three more bites. Look how big it is! Oughtta thank me, really, keeping it from getting overgrown and the like."

"Look, if we leave now, the first round is on me, okay? We'll call it a truce. I need a drink. The Princess was going on and on about -"

Suddenly the grass parted, and a rasping voice hissed, "Interlopers! To come here amidst our field! You must know of the operation!"

Emerging from the grass was some sort of pony...snake...monster? "You will be CLEANSED!" it hissed in a comically high pitched tone.

"What?" stammered Parade.

"The Princess must never know!" the creature continued as it suddenly slither-galloped towards her.

"What." Parade stammered again, even as the creature lunged at her - and got the pointy stick right in the eye.

"OWWW! We are vanquished! Curse you, interloper! Curse you! Though we are destroyed, the legions will come without rest!" And then it suddenly exploded into a series of magical sparkles that fizzled and popped in the air.

"What?!" Parade yelled now, dumbfounded as the stick fell from her mouth - and in the air appeared 'XP +15. Bits +3. Found item : Old Shirt'.

As celebratory music began to play from nowhere and the sound of fireworks exploding at a not-unpleasing volume filled the air, and the words 'Level Up!' in big glowing letters sparkled about, Parade Rest could think of only one word.

"WHAT?!?!?!"
#28 · 4
· · >>Derpmind
Don’t mind me, I’m just sitting here in the corner, imagining the prompt list as Pinkie’s stream of consciousness as she bounces along the streets of Ponyville.
#29 · 2
· · >>Southpaw
>>GroaningGreyAgony
Would "Pinkie's Stream of Consciousness" make a good prompt?
#30 · 2
· · >>That_Oliver
>>Derpmind
30+ 2000 word stories, each encompassing a different, normal Pinkie Pie conversation...

That would be a lot to take in, but I'd love to see one where she has existential conversations with her mirror pool selves.
Post by JudgeDeadd deleted
#32 · 1
·
>>Southpaw

Make that 500 words, and that would be a lot of fun to read.
#33 · 4
·
Maybe I’ll try one later where I rearrange them for better effect, but this is just how they showed up on my roster, with some punctuation:

With Faith In Ourselves, Heroes and Villains, On and Ever On–Forbidden Love, Imagine Dragons! Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep… Feghoot About It. Never don’t not feel your feelings; What Can Change the Nature of a Mare? Death and Taxes. We Have Such Sights to Show You; October Surprise; A Second Chance! Keep Calm and Carry On… Oooh, What a Night. I’m Not Crazy–Changelings! Redo from start; Confirmation Bias. The Missing Letter, Defiance, Twilight Sparkle Kills God… All is Not Lost! Fractional Reserve Harmony. Think of the Children, Let’s Do That Again! Serendipity, Distant Horizons… When Snouts Collide, The Solution Is Mind Control! The Darkest Hour, Virtue and Vice, That idea you had in the shower one week after the last writeoff–Wait, I Ate WHAT?! A Treatise of the nature of Violence Between Sun And Moon. Small Town Saturday Night, Random Pretentious-Sounding Phrase, Tightly Crafted Plot Arcs… Tired of the same ole routine. The Unwanted Return (Not a Doctor), Home is Behind, the World Ahead!
#34 · 5
· · >>Not_A_Hat
>>Morning Sun
There was a moment of blessed, blessed silence.

"What," Parade Rest repeated. The word sounded musical, comforting, in her muzzle. "What." She savored it like Zesty Gourmand sampling a new morsel on Restaurant Row. "What." The word had a piquant flavor, she decided, refreshing and versatile, with a crisp bite of dark humor.

"Well, that's new," Brightmoon muttered from behind her. "What's an 'XP'?"

"Woohoo!" Dobbin crowed, and Parade heard the clinking of bits and the rustle of fabric.

Parade Rest slowly turned and stared helplessly up at the blinds-shuttered window in Princess Luna's tower. There was a tiny gap near the bottom of the blinds, and she imagined a beady pair of cyan eyes boring into her soul from the darkness beyond. The gap snapped shut. The window went still.

"What," Parade said faintly. The word was starting to taste bland from overuse, and she contemplated digging through her linguistic pantry for something a little fresher.

But before she could, an eager young voice rang out through the courtyard. "Ah-HAH! Roll for initiative, evil minions of the evil Squizzard!"

Parade whirled toward the newcomer, wings flaring out. At the entrance to the National Nominally-Strategic-But-Actually-More-Of-A-Tactical Wheatgrass Reserve's courtyard, a shrimpy purple dragon with an outlandishly oversized green hat and a similarly exaggerated walking-staff was posed heroically, with a red earth pony in layered black armor towering over his shoulder. A blast of trumpets sounded, and an odd chill rippled through the air -- followed by a square grid of blue lines springing to glowing life on the ground.

Parade startled, glancing down at the lines. "What what what." The word had developed some unexplored textures and a savory aftertaste.

Then she felt a sharp claw and something large and fuzzy against her sides. Parade yelped and thrashed around as they clenched down firmly and she was lifted off the ground. Just as she was really starting to panic, she was returned to the ground, a half a meter to the left of where she started. "Stay in your squares until the movement phase, dear," a smooth masculine voice crooned, and a giant lion's paw patted her on the forehead.

Parade whirled around, heart hammering, just in time to be half-blinded by the flash of teleportation. She swiveled back toward the newcomers to see them joined by a cartoonishly tall chimera which appeared to be assembled from the cast-off rejects of a dozen different animals. "What have we here?" Discord continued, raising his eagle-claw contemplatively to his chin. "A Level 1 Night-Knight, a Level 2 Whatbeast, and ... Oooh! A Level 16 Mildly Avaricious Larcenist!" His eyes lit up and he shook two little fists in the air excitedly. "Here I thought we were just going to fight Slitherspies, but we've stumbled on the Quirky Miniboss Squadron!"
#35 · 6
· · >>georg
Let us all take a moment to remind ourselves that this all started with a scene written purely for the sake of irony.
#36 ·
·
>>Everyday You could never tell that Bad Horse got me started in ponyfic, could you?
#37 · 4
· · >>Pascoite
Same deal as last short story round. I'll help one person a day with their story. On Friday, that might mean only helping flesh out the premise and warning of any pitfalls I can envision with it. On Saturday, that might be seeing the start of the story or maybe even a rough draft. On Sunday, that might be giving a full review of the finished product. Whatever you have done at the time. Just provide me a link to the work in progress, if there is one, and I'll go over it before making myself available for an hour for live discussion.

So here are the rules. Send me a PM on FiMFiction saying what day you want. Obviously, Sunday is more useful, but that means most people will pick it, so that also makes any one person less likely to get it. So do you want to play for better odds or feedback on something that's as close as possible to being finished? The choice is yours. I will randomly choose one of the people who requested each day and notify them by 1 PM Eastern time on Saturday via FiMFiction PM that they were selected, in order to give folks who want those days a little longer to respond. The person chosen for Friday will be notified by 3 PM on Friday. I will only contact the selected ones, so if you don't hear from me, you weren't picked. I will be available any time between 7:00 PM and 11:59 PM Eastern each day. The clock gets triggered when you send me a link to your in-progress doc. I will spend an hour leaving comments and suggestions on it. Take whatever time you want to look over those, then contact me by a method of your choice (FimFic PM, email/Gchat, Skype chat, Google hangouts, Skype call). I will spend up to an hour talking to you about your story and answering questions, and I will leave it up to you to establish that contact. Just make sure all of that happens during those hours. Keep in mind that you'll need to send me a contact request on Skype first if you want to use that, and identify who you are if your Skype ID differs much from your FiMFiction one. I use this same user ID on Google, gmail, and Skype as on FiMFiction and here. I will not reveal which authors I did or didn't help, but if you want to tell people, that's your business. I will not be entering the write-off myself, so I have no conflict of interest.

Will this actually help? That's up to you to decide. In short story rounds, I've made the finals often enough, but it's been a long time since I got a medal in one. I also often differ quite a bit on what stories I think deserve to be the top finishers, so take that for what it's worth. I may persuade you to do things that other reviewers don't like. In fact, that's probably guaranteed to happen, since most choices you make will appeal to some readers and not to others. Almost nothing is universally liked. Still, I think it will be a net positive.
#38 · 5
· · >>horizon >>horizon
>>horizon

I'm going to attempt to resolve this silly story so I can focus on writing tomorrow. If anyone really wants to continue it, feel free, but I hope I can wrap up what we've started here, ridiculous as it might be. This was fun, and we'll have to do it again sometime - but I'm not sure it's a good idea to keep something so distracting around during the contest proper.

Maybe we should resurrect it when reviews start petering off. :P

---


"Weren't my fault, they framed me," Dobbin said automatically. Parade Rest blinked. Hadn't there been an old shirt over there a moment ago? And maybe some bits?

"How?" she muttered.

"No, no!" Discord waggled a claw at her. "It's wha-- glurk! Hurk! Coff! -- chocolate horseradish?" His eyes crossed as he tried to stare at his tongue. "--have you done to this poor word?"

"Huh?"

---


"You sent her out there with a pointy stick?" Celestia elbowed Luna away from the blinds, leaning down to peer through. "What sort of game do you think this is?"

"Funny thou shouldst ask that, K.K."

---


"Sixteen." Brightmoon picked up the die and tossed it to Parade Rest, who stared uncomprehending. "Roll it!"

She kicked it gently. It tumbled across the lawn and came up 'one'.

"Oh dear." Discord frowned. "Critical initiative failure." He tsked. "Typical of the Royal Guard." He snapped his claw.

"What do-- Blech! Yuck!"

The world blurred.

---


As the world resolved, she heard yelling. She shook her head and her vision cleared. Whatever Discord had done, it seemed things had changed in the moments she was out of it.

"Watch out, Sir McBiggun! The M.A. Larcenist is behind you!" The dragon was pointing over the stallion's shoulder to where Dobbin stood.

"Never set nuffin on fire," Dobbin claimed, looking hurt.

"Enope!" The red stallion jumped away, but as he did, his helmet and sword disappeared.

"Weren't my fault, they framed me!"

"Hey, Parade!"

She turned as Brightmoon's yelled.

"Give us a hoof here! You're the only one with an actual weapon!"

"Oh, right." She looked down and scooped up her pointy stick.

"Hold!" Discord yelled, shrilling a whistle and clapping a sound marker. "Is that..."

"Eeyup."

"A pointy stick of plus seventeen bloody maiming!" Discord finished. "We can't play with that!"

"Oh, but firebreathing is allowed?" Brightmoon snapped.

"Natural weapons." The dragon shrugged.

"Haven't you heard?" Discord interjected, "everything's fun and games until somepony loses an eye!"

"Surely you don't mean--"

"Everything."

"Would somepony please tell me what's going on?" Parade Rest mumbled plaintively around her pointy stick. She sighed as the group broke down into petty squabbling.

"Pst." She turned as something snakey tapped her on the shoulder. "If anypony asks for the Slizzard, I'm hitting the can."

She gave the scaled... thing a long look. "Slizzard?"

"Do I look squiddy to you?" It scowled and galumphed off.

"Fine!" Discord yelled and and threw his arms in the air. They landed nearby, twitching. "You win! But I still think you're being unfair."

"I'm technically correct," Brightmoon retorted. "And technically correct is the best kind of correct."

"Munchkin."

"Say it!"

"Fine. We concede!"

"HUZZAH!"

Discord snapped his paw, and everypony vanished in a puff of illogic.

---


"And that," Celestia said, signing one last document and placing it in her 'out' box, "is how it can be a tactical wheatgrass reserve." She smiled. "Any other questions?"

"NO MA'AM!"

The End???
#39 · 4
· · >>CoffeeMinion
>>Not_A_Hat
*applauds*

... and I really hope that *somebody* noticed that Dobbin wasn't just a Larcenist, he was an M.A. Larcenist. :trollestia:
#40 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
I'm in.

Provided I can remember this contest exists after getting my brain zapped roughly 90 minutes from now, that is. :derpytongue2:
#41 ·
· · >>horizon
>>horizon
***GROANS***
(If this does get collected and published, that should of course be in the author's notes...)

>>Trick_Question
Godspeed, TQ. <3
#42 ·
·
Ooo, a prompt i have an idea for. Let's do this.
#43 · 2
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Not_A_Hat
>>CoffeeMinion
So, speaking of "collected and published" ... Two questions! One for my co-whimsicalists, and one for the audience!

1)
>>Not_A_Hat >>Morning Sun >>CoffeeMinion >>georg
Are y'all OK with your words being posted to FIMFic? And would any of you like to call dibs on posting this silly thing? I think this should make the leap, but I have no need to hog the credit and/or blame if someone else would like the views and upvotes for it.

2) Do all y'all think it's appropriate to add the Wheatgrass Reserve story to the Writeoff FIMFic group under the "Darkest Hour" folder, or should I make a separate folder for Writeoff-adjacent works? (Or not add it at all you fun-haters?)
#44 · 1
·
I had the best idea for this story just now about the sun briefly going out and the cast having to wait while Luna and Celestia fixed it. Then I remembered that wasn't my idea; it was Georg's. And it was hilarious.

Shoot, this'll take some thinking.
#45 ·
·
>>horizon
1) I'm cool with it. I'll publish it if people want and/or don't care, but I'm not going to fight anyone for the right to party do so.

2) I daresay why not? Is story; is Writeoff; is Writeoff story, da? :trixieshiftright:
#46 · 2
· · >>horizon
>>horizon
Hey, if you're willing take the time reformatting my stuff here for fimfic, I'm fine with you doing whatever with it. Or anyone else, for that matter. Take my words! Go! Post freely!

And either folder would work, I think. 'associated works' might make it easier to find, but might also create confusion about what goes where for people at some point. I guess you could lock it? The contest folder is probably the safe bet, though, and since this was prompted and written within the time limit of this contest, it seems like it fits fine there.

...and I totally missed the M.A. Larcenist joke. But now I'm tempted to edit it into my 'ending' there, where Spike points and yells.
#47 · 1
· · >>Not_A_Hat
>>Not_A_Hat
But now I'm tempted to edit it into my 'ending'


do it filly
#48 · 3
·
Okay, I've sent out the notification for Friday. Still almost a day for people to request Saturday or Sunday if they want.
#49 · 1
·
It's been a while since I've done one of these. Maybe I'll try this one, I've got what I think might be a workable concept.
#50 ·
·
>>horizon
Done dun dun!

And I added another joke, because why not?
#51 ·
· · >>georg
Oh goodness, am I behind the times. Kind of had a thing. Darkest Hour? I can maybe probably work with that. Possibly. We'll see.
#52 · 6
·
>>FanOfMostEverything "In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape--"

"Hey! You there! The zebra with the ring! Gimme that back!"

"Oh, my. Gotta fly."
#53 · 1
·
I think my idea is a fun one... now to be serious or silly...
#54 · 1
·
I may don't not have an idea.
#55 ·
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*looks at title*

The Darkest Hour.

*Looks back at audience*

I am intrigued.
#56 · 6
· · >>Morning Sun
Oho, it looks like our misguided silly thing got posted!
#57 · 1
·
>>CoffeeMinion
We are bad people, we are
#58 · 1
·
I managed to break 2000 words. Hooray! (2500 now)

And I'm only three and a half scenes in. Surely I can pull this off before the deadline. Here's hoping for the best. And to all of you as well!
#59 · 2
·
On this day, I've written ~2300 words...

of outline. :raritydespair:
#60 · 1
·
I'm one scene and 2000 words in.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Yeah... we're gonna have to scale back a tad, I'm sure.
#61 · 1
·
Hoo boy, this story's a live one. I just hope I get adequate writing time this weekend to complete it.

/off to spend day away from computer :-(
#62 · 2
·
1.2K words later, all motivation has died. Might have to switch to Plan B.
#63 · 3
·
Pfft. It's only Saturday; I'll start tomorrow... Probably... Maybe... Hopefully... There's always Monday... at 11... pm
#64 · 3
·
I meant to post almost 5 hours ago saying the Saturday and Sunday folks had been notified, but I didn't, and I'm still getting requests rolling in. So I'm going to try helping two people today and two tomorrow, and I've confirmed with those folks already. But I'm going to have to officially cut off requests now.

Good luck to everyone!
#65 ·
· · >>georg >>TheCyanRecluse
Huh:

I didn't even look at the prompt till this morning before the episodes aired--I forgot this was a Writeoff weekend apparently--and yet I seem to have hashed something together over the past six hours. What's the world coming to??

Mike
#66 · 2
· · >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny Heck, before the prompt was announced, we (together) had already gotten an entry completed.
#67 ·
·
>>Baal Bunny
I'm in a similar situation here myself. I've been out of town all week, and forgot that this was a write off weekend until this afternoon...

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to work on anything yet... I'll have a bit of time tomorrow though. Hopefully I can cobble together an idea and a story before the deadline. O.o
#68 · 2
·
>>georg

I saw, yes:

Quite fine. I was hoping a pony named "Exquisite Corpse" might make a cameo appearance, but one can't have everything. Where would one put it, after all?

Mike
#69 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>CoffeeMinion
I started to pull an all-nighter, laid down to take a short nap during a break, and fell asleep for seven hours.

Need to remember that I'm not in college anymore.

Anyway, I'm behind schedule. But I think I can auger this in before the deadline.
#70 · 2
·
Have an idea down, but only one day to finish. I can do this.

~Broman
#71 · 2
·
I am writing like a fiend this time around. I may need to resort to drastic stay-up-late measures (hopefully having better luck than >>Posh), but I should be able to get one in!
#72 · 1
·
Just broke 3200 words. (4200!)

Not bad considering I'm trying several new things for this story. Now let's hope I can wrap this up before the deadline.

Chin up, everyone. Let's do this!
#73 · 2
·
This is reminding me what a slow and unfocused writer I've been lately. Gonna go it, even if it is bad and kills me.

*takes a deep breath and gets back to work*
#74 · 4
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Posh
Ugh. This is terrible. I have an idea. I have a basic plot. It fits the prompt decently, and it's not horrible...

So why does starting it, just writing the first sentence, feel like lifting a giant lead weight? :/
#75 · 3
·
>>TheCyanRecluse
Write the second sentence and then go back to the first one once the rest is done. ^ ^
#76 · 2
·
So, am I the only one who anticipates a notable amount of Nightmare Moon stories...?
#77 · 3
·
Eeeeeugh. It's 1 AM here. Still have like... so many words to go. EEEEEEEEUGH.
#78 · 1
·
I have a thing. It may or may not be a story. I leave that for you all to decide.
#79 · 2
·
Although the format and the prompt are both directly up my alley, I fear I must bow out.

I have lots of ideas, but I lack the interest to write anything at present. I can't write unless I have something to say, and I don't have anything to say right now.

Good luck everypony!
#80 · 3
·
Well, I'm out of time. I set aside these last few hours for college work.

It's so unfortunate to pour so much of yourself into something, so much of your past experience and your dreams for the future. I've had an amazing friend who influenced me so much, and I wanted to make a tribute to her. I've been milling over an allegory for my life, a stylized autobiography, if you will, for quite some time, now. I thank the Writeoff for finally getting me to write it.

It's not a total loss, however. Her birthday is coming up soon...
#81 · 1
·
All right. Less than 10 hours to write more than 1100 words (and hopefully make them not suck, though I'll file that under "stretch goals"). Let's do this.
#82 ·
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Argh. Dear story, please end soon. Let's not make this harder than it needs to be. kthxbye, -CoffeeMinion, xoxo
#83 · 4
· · >>Bachiavellian >>Bachiavellian
So, it looks like after about 25 of these things, you do begin to run out of ideas. :P

I've had about three hundred words sitting in a word doc since yesterday, and no idea what to do with the rest of the story. I guess this is one of those "file it away for later" sort of deals. And I think it goes without saying that I'll have to be sitting this one out.

Still! I refuse to be unproductive this round. I'll do at least a slate of reviews to make up for my dreadful participation last round. Also, I've been wanting to fix my abyssal Writeoff-to-Fimfic publication record for a while now, and now seems like as good an opportunity as any to do just that. And just so I don't give in to the urge to back out of it, let's put that down in writing:

Before this month's final results come in, I plan on editing and publishing one of my previous FIM Short Story entries on Fimfic.

So there! Now, I have to do it, or I'll look like a tool. Only thing now is to decide on which one to spruce up. TBH, all of them seem like a lot of work...
#84 ·
·
Ugh.

It's 4 AM. I have class in just a few hours.

I don't think I'm finishing this story. I had four ideas for this prompt, and didn't write a single story. Ugh.
#85 ·
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Yeaaaahh.. I'm ashamed, but I've got nothing this round. Good luck to everybody else working on their stories though!
#86 ·
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>>TheCyanRecluse Because that's the universal writing experience that anybody who's ever had a story to tell has been through.

You're one of us, pallie. Gooble-gobble.
#87 · 1
· · >>Posh
I got mine in. Pretty happy with it overall.
#88 · 4
· · >>Posh >>georg
Man, the drop-out rate this round seems pretty brutal.

I've got eight hours to finish my thing. I've got momentum. I've got silly amounts of caffeine. I think it'll get done.

After the deadline, I'm gonna need to vanish for a while. And then I'll need to get cracking on my Time Enough For Love edits so I can get that published this month in among all my schedule madness. I'm not sure I'll be able to pitch in on reviews. :(

Hopefully the story-jam thing and a moderately entertaining entry should make up for that.
#89 · 2
·
>>horizon Just means more opportunity to succeed for those of us whose entries will be below par.

Nobody likes an overachiever, >>Oroboro. You. With your. Humans.
#90 · 2
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>CoffeeMinion
>>horizon Hey, I got mine in, and thanks to Pascoite, it's about 20% cooler than I started with. (I think he's Rainbow Dash in disguise)

Tremble, mortals!
#91 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
>>georg
I always forget to ask Pascoite for advice. Usually due to me trying to get my story done in a frantic pace.
#92 ·
· · >>Posh
>>georg
>>Zaid Val'Roa
I'm proud/terrified to admit I worked with him on Friday. I can only pray the work reflects well on his help, which was considerable.

>>Posh
Speaking of college-era antics: here I sit at an ungodly hour, fresh-brewed cup of coffee in hand, ready and willing to ride this mofo straight 'til morning if it takes that. WITNESS ME!! :pinkiecrazy:
#93 · 1
·
And my mess is in.

Gonna try and do a little needed cleaning and fixing but hey, worst case? If I pass out, I have something finished and locked in, and I have successfully forced through the writer's block that's been haunting me lately.
#94 · 3
·
My editor for PGS gave me some advice and feedback on the outline of my story, but he went to bed before I could show him the finished rough draft. So. I guess I'm flying more or less on my own gut with this one. My gut is telling me it's terrible and that I'm going to fall on my face, but it told me the same thing about Bonnie, so... the obvious lesson is to never trust my own instincts.

Oh, speaking of - rough draft? Done! And three thousand words over the maximum! So that's gonna be fun to fix up.

>>CoffeeMinion If you brew me up a pot, I'll give you a hug.
#95 ·
·
Oh man I got so distracted. I wasted a whole day yesterday thinking on what I wanted to do but instead drew a blank. Then today I had my idea and I was going into it but I got distracted by other deals and now I might have to sit this one out. I got such a good idea too. I was hoping to share it with you all. (and probably get criticized becasue the story was not well done when only I care on the substance of the story.) But, other than that, hopefully I can try next time.

Good luck to you all.

~Broman

By the way, once the competition is over, is it still possible to submit the story for the contest entry after its all over?
#96 · 3
·
My entry is in. Going to bed!
#97 · 2
·
Submitted something for the first time in... a year and a half, almost.

Not expecting it to do terribly well, but we'll see.
#98 · 2
·
I can't believe I'm done! And under the time limit! I don't have to sit out of an event again! Exclamations!

Now I only need to proofread and submit.

Oh, and think of a title.

...

Crud.
#99 · 1
·
Ha! And again, ha!

All done.
#100 ·
·
I have submitted!

...Fool that I am, I'm off to get maybe 2 hours of sleep before the day ahead.

EXCELSIOR!