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The Twilight Zone · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 11
You knew it.

You should never have turned left at that crossroads and blindly followed the directions of that fucking GPS. Now you’re crawling along that road – but can it even be called a road? Trail would be more appropriate – while the headlights of your car fail to pierce the dense fog that swathes everything ahead in its grey and smothering embrace.

You stop in the middle of the road and direct your attention to the smartphone that you’ve abandoned on the passenger seat. The screen has gone black. Yet another ominous portent. Feverishly, you grasp it with your right hand, click on the power button, but all that appears is a dumb icon betraying the battery’s demise. Fuck, fuck, FUCK! You’re done for. Your USB charger doesn’t even hitch into the car’s 12V outlet. Game over, you’re lost, and your only tie to the civilised world just gave up on you. In a fit, you toss the phone aside; it rebounds on the seat and flops on to the floor.

What should you do? Go back? Since that kiss-of-death turn, you recall passing several junctions, where other roads came from both left and right. If you drive back, which one should you take? There’s no way to know. No, the best solution is to carry on, hoping that sooner or later you’ll either encounter a bigger road or a house whose owner could help you out of this fix.

You shoot a glance at the fuel gauge. Fortunately, your tank is still quarter-full, so you can go on driving for hours before running out of gas. Mildly reassured, you engage the clutch and bump along the road, where patches of old, dilapidated tarmac alternate with crude, rocky, uneven stretches of raw earth. All around you, the fog builds an impenetrable wall of woolly darkness which blocks both light and sound. Even the onboard radio has given up blaring anything but hiss.

One hour later, you’re still driving along that improbable path. You’re miles ahead now, and have encountered nothing. No house, no oncoming car, not even the fleeting form of a skittish hare. If limbo exists, you’re certainly in the heart of it. It occurs to you that you may be the only living being in a thousand mile radius…

But at that very moment, the fog suddenly clears, and your car tilts slightly up. The road curves and starts to rise, heading to the top of a rocky mound you hadn’t noticed before because of the murkiness. Beyond the ridge, for the first time, you see the night sky, studded with stars. That sudden change perks you up, and with a surge of optimism you trample the throttle, eager to discover what lies behind the crest.

You’re about to reach it when the headlights unexpectedly flicker and die, while the engine lurches and cuts out. Upset and puzzled, you look at the gauge, which stubbornly stands by its former judgment: quarter-full. You jerk the ignition key, once, twice. Nothing. Silence. Not even the rattle of the starter. Yet, the dashboard is alive, so the battery has not failed. What’s going on?

You grasp the torch you store in the glove compartment, set the parking brake, fling the door open and step outside. A bitter cold pounces on you, and you shudder. You are about to switch the torch on when you realise that a dim, eerie glow bathes the ridge, as if something very bright was shining on the other side. Maybe it’s a house? Maybe you’ve finally reached the end of that stupid road, and you’re about to find a village where someone at last will tell you where you’re stranded?

You shuffle up. Your feet crunch on the ground, and you realise the path is covered in a very thin layer of rime. Midways, the beam of your torch picks up an ancient, rundown wooden sign, as those once used to mark the entrances of isolated villages. Curious, you sweep it, and barely make out some letters: w, t, f. The others, illegible, have been weathered away.

Intrigued by this discovery, you stride to the hilltop. Arrived there you freeze, flabbergasted.

In front of you, in the middle of a vast expense of turf that reaches as far as the eye can see, a strange metallic vessel rests, bright coloured light oozing out of all its portholes. A small gangway spans the gap between its bottom and the ground, where a score of people sit, each one in front of a laptop computer, deeply engrossed in an activity you cannot guess. They don’t even look up at you, oblivious to your presence.

You shake your head and blink a few times, to make sure what you behold is real.

It is, undeniably.

You are about to yell something, if only to attract the attention of that strange crowd, when from inside the ship a tall shape silently walks down the gangway and towards you. In the glaring backdrop you cannot see its face, only its silhouette: scraggy and rangy. It appears to wear something on its head, something tall and metallic than glimmers in the twilight. Maybe a pschent?

It is only a few steps away when it stops. It bends his arm and waves his hand, in what you interpret as a sign of peace, and you notice how its pinkie balks at joining its other fingers, as if it was phoney. You venture a feeble “Hello?”. To which the stranger, in a strong Australian accent, tersely replies: “Hi! My name’s Roger Dodger. Wanna write?”

(Edited by Quill Scratch. Thanks ❤️)
#2 · 7
· · >>billymorph >>Moosetasm
You have entered... (checks the prompt) the Twilight Sparkle Zone...
#3 ·
>>georg Welp, I know what my prompt submission is :D
#4 · 2
Naw, Rod Sterling always did his intros at the beginning.
"Hello and good evening. In tonight's story, we find someone stranded, alone on a road. But are they truly alone? Because they are about to find that this road leads directly to... The Twilight Zone"
#5 · 5
“Picture, if you will, a vast dimension that lies beyond the sight and sense of man. A realm of pure thought where any possibility can materialize. A realm beyond all physicality, yet pervaded with the damp and persistent odor of old musty socks. We’ve entered a world of concepts unrealized, of laundry disquieting… and have just crossed over into Starlight Glimmer’s bedroom closet Zone.”
#6 · 5
You're sitting at the computert.You're totally alone and your imagination is shot. Then out of the corner of the internet you see it...
Fim fic Writeoff

It kindles something, deep in your mind. It taunts you with promise. The waiting begins...
Fim Fic Writeoff

You submit a prompt and hope it'll win, then you go to vote, there are all sorts of prompts, my god there are prompts every where!

Writing full of strife!
Fim fic writeoff

Ignoring your wife
fim fic writeoff

Running short on submission time
Television fan story Fim Fic Writeoff

Tiny pony story
Fim Fic Writeoff

Don't reveal who you are
fim fic writeoff

Vote for the star
fim fic writeoff

Crazy minific contest Fim Fic write off

... That's all I got... I'll see myself out.
#7 · 2
· · >>Posh
There was
It's gone now.
#8 · 6
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>georg
>>AndrewRogue Hmm. Beginning. End. Missing a middle, though.

#9 · 3
· · >>FrontSevens
#10 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
>>Morning Sun
This would've been my new favourite prompt. xD

But for now, that title goes to "Something Coffee_Minion can read to his kids" :D
#11 · 1
· · >>Posh
OMG. Who did that? >>Posh, this is your doing, isn't it? 😝
#12 · 2
>>Posh The shortest fairy tale ever. "Once upon a time, they lived happily ever after."
#13 ·
Oh boy, time to write horse words after a 70+ work week. Much booze will be had to numb things.
#14 · 4
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
I am both amused and bemused by the fact that one of the submitted prompts is literally just [Memes].

There's a lot of interesting ideas here though. :O Can't wait to see what I'll be panicking over in less than twenty hours, haha
#15 · 1
· · >>Misternick >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>JudgeDeadd
What's the spoiler policy on writing about characters that haven't been introduced in canon yet?

I mostly wanna know if it's okay to write about characters that'll be in the MLP Movie (Link contains movie character spoilers).
#16 · 4
· · >>shinygiratinaz >>GroaningGreyAgony
As an experiment, I forced myself to come up with at least one story idea for each prompt. Even if the prompt was a troll prompt or the story idea was completely inane, I persisted until I had one for each.

I found the mental exercise to be quite fruitful, as among the silly ones are several that are very promising and which I may use elsewhere even if the related prompt is not selected.
#17 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
As long as it's pony related it works. They had one story that was about two farm ponies waiting for the sun to begin to rise and worried about it not rising now that Luna was back. So, it's fairly broad. It just can't have nothing to do with my little pony or equestria girls as far as I can tell.
#18 ·
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony >>GroaningGreyAgony
I'm really curious what you came up for with [Memes], Random Pretentious-Sounding Phrase, and Pick a Random Conversation Heart and Use It as Your Prompt, because I have no idea what I'd even start to write for those or what exactly a conversation heart is.
#19 · 1
>>CoffeeMinion I will neither confirm nor deny.

But, incidentally, I didn't see the Gabby episode from season six until long after I read Petunia and the Silly Fish, and I had no idea that Petunia was an actual character from the show.

When I was it, I was like "huh. CoffeeDad didn't make her up. How about that."
#20 · 2
I am likely to post selections from my list after story submission is over.
#21 · 6
And people seem to enjoy it when I do a prompt mashup, so here’s one for this round:

The Haze Fan Club: The Lamest Story Never Told! Something Coffee_Minion can read to his kids. Red and Black Gourdspatter, Random Pretentious-Sounding Phrase, And Then, Things Got Worse…


You Have to the Count of Five; Pick a Random Conversation Heart and Use It as Your Prompt.

Ponies Behaving Badly While the Princesses Sleep. Changing of the Guard. All Work and no Play; Praise the Sun!

An Early Spring, Kicking the Habit. We’re Not Gonna Take It Under The Surface. That’s supposed to happen. Best of Both Worlds.

Who Do You Think You Are? An Oddity, Stolen Identity, Your Hidden Side. Sequels Are Never as Good as the Original.

A Glass Case of EMOTION – Don’t Touch That! That’s What Forever Means! The World At Times May Veil Its Blessings.

The Unwelcoming Children of the Night Flying High, Somewhat Off the Mark. The Mare, The Myth, The Legend. It Wasn’t a Dream. She Really Is Calling Me to Go to the Lake. The Twilight Zone Fairy Tale; An Acquired Taste.

Take a Long Walk. I Didn’t Look Back at the Wreckage. Let the Guards Find It. A Night To Remember, Miracle of Love–And Then There Were None.
#22 · 4
I doubt anyone will be tremendously peeved about spoilers, but remember that a lot of readers probably aren't gonna know who they are.
#23 · 2
Placed my bets. Don't let me down here, fellas/fillies.
#24 ·
Okay, this time let's try to not f**k up by being too vague.

Also, if it is 'Sequels Are Never as Good as the Original' that is the prompt, I challenge everyone to not write about Daring Do.
#25 · 2
The most appropriate of all possible prompts.
#26 · 1
Well now. I think I have an idea for this one.
#27 · 1
Anyone surprised?

I think not.
#28 · 1
· · >>Moosetasm
Curses, my plan to wake up before the family and do some early writing has been foiled.

Great prompt, though. Go team!
#29 · 3
So I'm employed at a job where I work Saturdays most of the time. Fortunately, I'm off relatively early tonight, and I get an hour-long lunch break. Time for an experiment in leveraging my hilariously poor time management skills.
#30 · 2

Um. I'll be frank, personally I'd rather not be spoiled at all. To everyone else who would have the same question: If your story includes spoiler characters, then I'd appreciate a warning at the beginning, even a single word "SPOILERS" if you don't want to cut into the word limit too much. (EDIT removed glitched duplicate text)
#31 ·
arg, i think the above comment looks screwed up. Sorry, I'm on an old phone and cannot use the site properly right now, can't even edit posts.
#32 ·
Well, this sounds like an interesting prompt. Alas, I will be unable to participate this round, as my day will be spent visiting the Arizona memorial in the rain and flying between islands. Even if I could find an hour or two to write, I have no computer.... and trying to write even a minific on a kindle or cellphone sounds like an exercise in frustration. :/
#33 ·
Well I fear my laptop might be busted.

...shit. Gonna have to pass on this one.
#34 · 3
Well, my first idea fell through, but my backup turned out rather nicely. At least, I think so. We'll see how it goes.
#35 · 2
Anyone wants eyes on their story, send me a PM and link via FiMFiction (this puts it in my email so I'm sure to see it). I'll randomly pick 2 or 3 people and leave comments in your GDoc sometime tonight, roughly between 8 PM and 2 AM Eastern.
#36 · 5
· · >>horizon >>horizon
Huh. I think this is the first time that a prompt has been talked up in the thread and still managed to win anyway. Time to see whether everyone writes weird creepy AUs or not.

As for me, I'll have to get a story or two out later — after a full day of Wilderness First Aid training, plus a nap to replace the all-nighter I had to pull to deal with a compromised server. :-/

… Or maybe I should write before the nap. Sleep deprivation might make for interesting stories.
#37 · 1
I have some great ideas, but I'm distracted by pain-relieving drugs today, and I'm still on a tear with Twilight's Secret Journal (I recently published over 22,000 words in less than a week) and I'm enjoying working on it too much to write anything else.
#38 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
I was hoping to enter this and make it my first write-off. Unfortunately, my attempt is already over the word limit.
#39 · 3
· · >>Nodqfan
Nothing wrong with that. Keep a copy of the original, then take a copy and cut it down to size!
#40 · 3
I actually just spent the evening (as in, more than 45 distractable minutes; hours in fact!) writing something. And stayed up later than I should have to finish it. It's literally been months since I've done that, and definitely over a year since I've been immersed completely in writing.

I'd forgotten how it feels. It feels good! Definitely errors in my entry, but eh, I'll take it. :)
#41 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Go, team, woohoo!
#42 · 1
Shine on, you crazy Mooseketeers. You guys gonna make it?
#43 · 2

Thanks your advice really helped and now I am right under the word limit.
#44 · 4
· · >>georg
I swear, these minific rounds are the hardest. Twenty minutes brainstorming, forty minutes writing, then two hours editing down to size.

But... first entry done. Headed to board game night, but should be able to maybe get a second entry in between midnight and the deadline.
#45 · 4
>>Xepher I think it was Mark Twain who said (paraphrased) "If you want me to talk for ten minutes, it will take me six months to get prepared, if you want me to talk for an hour, it will take me a month to get ready, but if you want to let me talk for four hours, I can start right now."
#46 · 3
Welp, I wrote a thing. Now to wait anxiously for 7am. No sleep before shift? Worth it.
Post by Nodqfan , deleted
#48 · 2
I just finished my entry. I just have to say that it feels great to participate in these write-offs hopefully, this can be somewhat regular endeavor for me.
#49 · 1
· · >>Syeekoh
This, like, took no time at all. Wow.

That's probably a bad sign.
#50 · 2
The deed is done! I apologize in advance.
#51 · 3
· · >>Posh
#52 · 1
· · >>Syeekoh
>>Syeekoh http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scaryasuka2.png
#53 ·
#54 · 7
the first 100 words are hard.
the next 1000 words are TOO EASY.
then comes the most grueling -350 words you've ever written in your life.
#55 · 2
I got one in.

The night is young and so am I.

It's on like Donkey Kong.

EDIT: OK, it's 1 hour later and I'm still sitting here looking goofy and feeling overconfident. **ABORT** **ABORT** **SLEEP MODE ENGAGE**
#56 · 2
I have submitted a story of great emotional depth which certainly will not only win all the awards, but also will be forwarded to the Nobel Prize committee for immediate acclaim, and the Literature prize will soon be mine.


Just kidding. I put in two stories, both of which I'm pretty happy with. If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say one at the 50% mark and one at around the 20% for final scores.
#57 · 1
I am definitely in!
#58 · 2
Well, that certainly just happened. Hope it doesn't crash and burn TOO bad. But then again, my track record isn't the nest...
#59 · 2
I entered wow
#60 · 1
Well, that prompt was unexpectedly easy. The difficult part is the concision. Looking forward to reading the competition!
#61 · 1
Yaaay I did a writing! This was a pretty interesting prompt, I can't wait to see what angles everyone took on it.
#62 · 2
I… just got a second fic in.
I don’t ever do that.
What happened?
#63 · 1
If this prompt had come up during a Short Story round, I would have written a story about Twilight dealing with Ponyville's Planning and Zoning Board as she tries to wade through the legal paperwork of the Crystal Castle.

Oh, well. Life goes on. I hope my entry still manages to catch the interest of some of you.

Wish you all the best!
#64 · 4
· · >>Fenton
I'm in. Be gentle; it's my first time. ^^'
#65 · 1
… Or maybe I should write before the nap. Sleep deprivation might make for interesting stories.

I split the difference. I used my idea from before the nap, and wrote it after the nap.

This was a terrible idea. I should double down on that and write another.
#66 · 1
Not proud of it, but in.
#67 · 2
Ha ha ha! I'm in! I haven't done one of these in forever. Woooo! Funnily enough I didn't find the short length difficult at all. Some ideas work best in that format.
#68 ·

Don't worry. You'll recieve real criticism here. For my first time (and epic fail) one month ago, I got only one stupid comment. But be prepared because folks here won't spare you anything. If there is a little thing that could have been better, they will tell you.

I got 2 hours left and I still have so much to do. If I make it, that's gonna be worst than the last one.
#69 ·
Hey, I actually got one in for this one!
#70 ·
I feel like this time around I really nailed the prompt. This is a good feeling. I also avoided my initial mental trap for the prompt, so that's cool too. Maybe not my strongest writing ever, but thematically on point, I think.

Write and read on, boyos!
#71 · 2
Well, it turns out that writing a minific entry on a kindle IS an exercise in frustration. But it is not as frustrating as spending 4 hours in an airport because your flight is delayed by 2 hours, and you foolishly arrived the requisite 2 hours early.

So, in the interests of turning lemons into lemonade (as opposed to burning the airport down with incendiary lemons, which the TSA would'll d take issue with), I managed to churn out some low quality swill disguised as a story. It is mediocre at best, and largely unedited. But it is something which is, hopefully, marginally better than nothing.

Good luck to everyone else who's still writing! (Or stuck in an airport)
#72 ·
I don't have a 24/7 access to the computer, unfortunately, so I had to spend the last evening scribbling things down in a notebook and today, furiously typing in an internet cafe. Hope it won't come out that badly!
#73 ·
And done.

I'm so sorry for this one.
#74 ·

This will be my first Writeoff in a while. Excited to get back into it!
#75 ·
I'm in too. Been more than a few turnarounds for me
#76 ·
Woot, 3rd one in, 90 seconds to spare!
#77 ·
Done and done. I think I managed to slice more than a hundred words out of that last one, so that's going to end well :P
#78 · 1
And... holy crap, 61 stories in! Average length of 686.73 words, which is (if I'm not mistaken) actually on the low side. I know I'm almost always butting right up against the 750 word limit in previous contests, so I'm thinking a lot of people have second or even third stories in this time. Or we have a lot of silent entrants who aren't in this thread.

Okay, 42k words to read this week. That's totally doable. Writing 20k words of review is the hard part. :-P
#79 · 3
· on Are There Any Paranoids in the Writeoff Tonight?
Ponies will never tolerate one who is red and black.

you racist
#80 ·
· on True Ascension
In before "All you zombies!" Or maybe just an older reference. Ouroboros, perhaps?

I like the literal/direct canon, with a 90 degree turn there in the middle, but it also feels a bit lazy, as so much is copy paste from an episode, and I'm not sure the twist given offers much more than a glimpse or an idea.
#81 · 2
· on The Changelings are Due in Canterlot · >>SPark
Well... that didn't go where I expected. I'm not sure if this was being poltiical or not, but I couldn't help but see echoes of a current US immigration ban and paranoia here. Apologies, author, of I'm wrong on intent, but as someone who previously wrote "Filthy Rich President Elect" because I needed the catharsis, I sympathize, but... this just doesn't work for me. The drama that should be there in the twist is diffused by the argument itself, and by the number of different voices you tried to pack into this short format.

It's not bad, it's just not doing much for me is all.
#82 · 2
· on The Shortest Coup d'état in Equestrian History · >>Ritsuko >>Dubs_Rewatcher
If this one doesn't medal I will be deeply disappointed.
#83 · 1
· on Reveries · >>M1Garand8
Before reading: "This better be a Westworld reference."

After reading: Forgot I was looking for a Westworld reference.

WTF just happened? The first bit was was sweet, excepting a tad bit of lavender unicorn syndrome, what with all the hyphenated adjectives.

But that next bit... WTF? It didn't connect at all, until it did, and then, WTF? I wasn't sure how it ties back to the canon timeline. I wanted to see some imposter parents brought in or something... something to explain (in an even darker way) the canon version we know. But word limits and such I suppose. So yeah, I'll leave this at "WTF?"

And, now that I think about it, I guess that alone makes it enough of a Westworld reference!
#84 · 1
· on Back to Freedom
Aw man, I was hoping this would end on a joke. Instead, it just ends with the mocking little NEXT link down there that won't lead to the actual end of this story.
#85 · 2
· on Are There Any Paranoids in the Writeoff Tonight? · >>GroaningGreyAgony

That's the sound this reference just made as it flew over my head. I know it must be a reference, because if it's not, it's just nonsense. The title gives me a hint, so I'm going to google, as I've heard about a game called Paranoia, which was some sort of post apocalypse, computer-is-god thing, right?

Google complete: Yeah, seems that's probably what this is about, but, having never played it, I have to say this story fell flat for me. It certainly doesn't stand on its own.
#86 ·
· on The Tirek Zone
#87 · 1
· on The Outer Limits · >>horizon
Oooh, atmospheric! (No pun intended.) This crams a lot of world-building into very little space, while still showing us some character building as well. That's a nice trick to pull off here. I do think it might've been slightly over balanced on the sci-fi side, but that's nitpicking. Nicely done!
#88 · 1
· on The Masquerade · >>Fenton
couple of typos, but not bad. Cute little scene.
#89 ·
· on The Town
#90 · 1
· on Discord Libs · >>Firelight Flicker
This is a quick and cute comedy, and I don't think I've seen this approach to a Discord story before.

I was confused at the first Twilight Sparkle part, I kept trying to figure out what it was "supposed" to be. It already seems to be correct? That really distracted me from the rest of the scene, and I caught on to the joke a little late, after some awkward confusion.

I liked the octopus.

The last scene and ending felt like a letdown, because instead of more of the core idea/joke, it seemed like it was trying to throw in some cheap non-sequitur humor instead.

Still, I enjoyed this minific for the quick pacing and fresh possibilities. I wish I'd thought of the idea of Discord Libs myself.
#91 ·
· on The Thousandth Year
Okay, I like this one.
#92 · 1
· on Yet Hope, In Part, Found Purchase · >>Corejo
I do not know diddly about poetry or poetic structure, but this was pretty impressive.
#93 ·
· on Twilight Sparkle Seeks a Zoning Permit
cute. Really made me smile.
#94 · 2
· on Playing the Game · >>billymorph
Here's a Twilight's zoning-laws story (though zoning is not specifically discussed), cute and competently executed. The bit about Celestia's strategy made me smile. As usual in minific rounds, it feels a bit rushed towards the end.
#95 ·
· on Crazy Talk
#96 ·
· on Just a Test
holy crackers! This is the best one hands down!
#97 · 2
· on Quackers Goes to the Fair · >>Ritsuko
This one's so simple.... it simply works. I can't dislike it.
#98 · 4
· on The Town · >>Jordanis
This is a try at Lovecraftian horror that goes too far, too soon. The author may be emphasizing the gore on the grounds that you don’t have room to be subtle in a minific round, but sadly this means that I can’t accept that Twilight would be captivated by it so rapidly. This is just blood for the sake of blood and insanity because the author said so. This sort of thing doesn’t actually creep me out; I just pass over it with a feeling of revulsion and don’t become engaged with the story.

If you want an example of subtle horror, try Twilight’s dream in In the Twilit Place.
#99 ·
· on Just a Test
(obligatory joke about how this is a masterpiece of literature!!!111)
#100 · 2
· on Quackers Goes to the Fair · >>Ritsuko
Cute, funny, charming, and little typographical tricks. I like this one.