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Ot · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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The Odd Testament
In the beginning was the Word. And the word was “FUCK!”

The Earth was without form and void, but darkness moved upon the face of the deep, and in that darkness suddenly was a flare, and from the flare came a butt. A horse butt, white, with a solar design on it, that protruded from a tight little hole between fictional realities and became stuck.

“Oh, for the love of -- FUCK!”

A surge of white hot energy enlarged the hole, and the Sun Goddess emerged in a blazing halo of anger, and there was Light, divided from the darkness. She hovered in place, flapping her wings and frowning at the abundance of water and the absence of anything remotely useful.

“Faust’s flaming teats!” she shouted. “YaHVeH, where are you? We’re here as you asked us, stop fucking around!”

Suddenly in the air, a silvery circle appeared. There was a rush of pressurised air from a fairer land, which was suddenly plugged with an enormous ssshhloormp! as another butt plugged the hole, this one black and blue. The tail thrashed and muffled cursing was heard.

Celestia sighed and grabbed the tail, giving it a mighty tug. The hole expanded and there was a Light called Day and a Darkness called Night, and both of them were sorely pissed.

“Ugh, where the hell is YaHVeH?” said Luna,combing the teethmarks out of her tail. “This is when and where he said to come!”

“YahVeH!” Celestia called again. “You won the fucking bet, okay? We’re here to settle up, you can stop being a prick about it! Where’s this world for which you wanted our help?”

“Ah, Sister…” said Luna, having discovered a post-ot note tacked to the subpotential matrices, the ghosts of locations where atoms might become likelier than not to exist:

Hello, Dear and Dread Deities of the Equuiverse! I much appreciated your kind offer to come out of retirement and give me a hand with corraling my little humans and introducing to them the concepts of Friendship and Tolerance, in settlement of our wager. Sorry to stick you with this mess, but I had to start the whole thing all over last night when they started to play around with teaching rocks how to think. An almost literal attempt at Deus ex machina. What can I say? I’m a jealous god, I guess, and the Babel trick just wasn’t cutting it anymore. You’d think a pack of sex-obsessed murder monkeys would be a lot easier to manage. Give them something to kill and something to fuck and you’re golden, right?

Anyway, I rebooted the whole Cosmos, and if you fine ladies could just get the thing up and running again in my absence, I’d much appreciate it. I will have had to had to run and instantiate(d) a Polytheistic uniblock a trillion years ago, sans the Winslow. Tschau!

Your dearest YaHVie.

Celestia looked around at the undeveloped face of the Deeps. “What? He wants us to bring the whole system up from scratch? All by ourselves? That pus-dripping hog’s anus! This was just supposed to be a hundred year consulting job, a thousand tops! We’re supposed to be retired now!”

Luna sighed, carefully examining the note for loopholes, or indications that it was all a joke. “Well, you just had to go and test your skill at (N!)card stud with him, didn’t you? Not to mention all that time you spent, ahem, ‘walking with him around the Celestial Gardens.’ I will not be so gauche as to inquire further, but one may infer…

Celestia gently raised one eyebrow. “Well, if it’s time to trade inferences, there was that one Norse chaos god with his interest not only in cross-species romance, but… Argh, don’t let’s start, Lu. I still don’t remember most of that night, and you were tossing back those Ambrosia Fannybangers yourself…” She groaned. “There’s something about the Monotheistic ones. Such intensity…”

Luna nodded. “Well, let’s go ahead and get a Firmament mounted and see how to take it from there. Any sign of the Operator’s Technical Reference?”

“For a Cosmos this old? Try looking for stone tablets.”

Luna fished around in the Deeps, seeking a handle. “I have a feeling this is going to take all day…”

And lo, at long long last the Firmament was raised and the waters divided, and the Heavens stood above the Earth, and the land was separated from the waters below with much hearty cursing and several mighty kicks, worthy of a platoon of old army mules, that blew craters into the landmasses that were the size of the Caspian Sea.

And atop the Firmament of the Heavens on the fourth day, Night herself was striving to weld together a Moon from Caspian-Sea-sized divots and Day was working to fuse a similar pile of scraps into a functional Sun. And as they labored, a winged humanoid figure dressed mainly in glowing light appeared, full of masculine charm and wearing a winning smile.

“How do you do, I take it that I address the Divine Presences that the Almighty designated as his locums. I was appointed by my fellow angels to come to you in greeting. My name is Satan. It translates to Adv… er, Advisor.”

“Ah, this is good to hear, Satan.” said Celestia. “Frankly, we aren’t sure about meeting all the targets in the timetable we found…” Here she waved a wing at a stack of granite, slate and dried-mud tablets dredged from the Deeps, some of which were still fitfully dripping on the alabaster floor tiles. “...So, in sooth, a bit of help would be appreciated.”

Luna looked up, cooled the welding spark her horn was emitting and lifted her welding goggles appraisingly. “Well met indeed, Satan! We wonder if perhaps you would inform your fellow angels of the work yet to be done and elect among yourselves one to supervise the rest. While we shall be adhering in the main to the strictures laid by YaHVeH in His designs for this Cosmos, we shall be adding fresh elements from our own experience to enhance and stabilize his creation, working to promote the concepts of Friendship and Harmony.”

“Truly noble goals, O Holy Ladies, and I shall do my very best to ensure that your wishes are carried out and you are freed to accomplish your vital tasks. I depart now to inform my associates.” He shimmered away in a corruscaton of light.

“What a pleasant fellow!” exclaimed Celestia. “If he and the other angels can start the vegetation going and populate the land masses, that will keep us on track.”

Luna nodded thoughtfully and bent back to her work.

Elsewhere, on an iridescent cloud, the Angelic Host stood in their thousand-strong ranks and debated amongst themselves, striving to decide which of them should be deputed to approach the Mighty Equine Personages that YaHVeH had manifestly left in charge of things.

The angel Satan appeared before the Archangels, just as Gabriel and Uriel were arguing heatedly enough to be literally steaming while reading through a hundred-meter-long scroll of precedence listings.

“Good morning, my siblings, and good news!” said Satan, cheerfully clapping his hands and smiling. “While you in your righteous zeal strove to make sure of the correctness of your actions, I made bold to approach the August Personages themselves, and all is well. They have approved of our assistance in rebuilding and repopulating the world, and furthermore they have appointed me the position of Supervisor…”

Uriel and Gabriel almost dropped the sacred precedence scroll and gave each other a look of devastated dismay.

And so the Angelic Host was set to work under Divine direction and the newly finished lights of the Sun and the Moon, and the water was filled with the fish that swim and the air with the fowl that fly and the ground covered with the beasts that crawl. And so well did things run that the targets were met, and Celestia and Luna were able to declare the seventh day a day of Rest, Reharmonization and Getting To Know One Another, Perhaps With Spontaneous Group Singing.

“Dear Angels!” cried Celestia as she and Luna stood at a divine pavilion, speedily tossed together. “My sister and I are most pleased at your progress. Together we are building a new world, true to the spirit which YaHVeH intended for this Cosmos!”

The Angelic Host applauded and beat their wings.

“That we have kept under deadline so far shows the benefits of working together in harmony towards a common goal,” said Luna. “In this connection we also wish to recognize the sterling efforts of Satan, whose unstinting efforts and generous suggestions have set the pace for this project, while bonding us all!”

The applause this time was markedly quieter and accompanied by much shuffling of sandals.

“Tomorrow will be time for a major milestone,” said Celestia, “For we shall introduce the first instances of Earth’s intended dominant sapient life form, humanity, which will henceforth live in harmony with all the creatures of this planet…”

“It’s all over,” said Celestia to Luna, as from the Firmament they watched yet another group of humans killing each other, not just with any handy rock or stick taken up in self defense, but with hatred and intent, using weapons specifically designed for the purpose of killing each other. It had only taken them a few generations to reach this point from the starting stock of two people who had been gently raised in a garden with near-constant friendship lessons and the most nutritious fruits to eat. Even with the holy angels consorting with them to set good examples and bring forth giants in the Earth, it had come to this.

“I should have guessed it,” said Luna. “All the way back on the Seventh Day, when Satan mentioned that, oh by the way, humans don’t have any magic. NO MAGIC?! No innate sense of the natural goodwill that pervades all living things? No direct way to perceive Harmony? I could scarcely believe it at the time…”

“YaHVeH did mention the troubles he was having, but I just didn’t realize how difficult it would be in practice,” sighed Celestia. “So what can we do? Reset and reboot? And then have to redo all of our progress? No fucking way!” She stamped a hoof onto the floor that shattered the alabaster into a cloud of white dust.

“Soft, soft, sister,” said Luna. “Here, it’s in this section of the manual, a soft reset. All we have to do is implement a binary archive of existing species and flood the Earth with the reserve water from above the Firmament.”

“Cruel,” said Celestia. “But they’re already slaying each other without our help, and other species as well.” She sighed. “Very well, let’s do this binary arc thing. How do we proceed?”

“I had Satan locate the structural plans used on previous occasions,” said Luna. “On a systems level, the data structure uses a cubic bit representation, cu-bits for short. We effectively select one human family to be the basis of the next iteration and send them the plans in a form they will comprehend, and they also do the work of sampling the species by twos into the arc, and uncompressing them once the flood is complete.”

Celestia nodded, frowning. “Do you have a list of the species to be preserved?”

Luna took up a scroll. “Let’s see... green alligators, long necked geese, bi-humped camels and chimpanzees, cats, rats, elephants…”

Celestia read the list over her shoulder. “Oh dear, there’s been an important omission…” She closed her eyes and shuddered. “No unicorns. No pegasi. No species that can carry magic, and can be true companions and moral guides for these poor benighted…”

“...sex-and-murder-monkeys,” finished Luna. “It is tragic, but such creatures as the ponies from our own Cosmos are simply not specified in the parameters for this one. To introduce them would be going against the wishes of YaHVeH for what He wished to achieve with this world.”

“This is true, and yet…” Celestia stared out from the Firmament and down across the unfortunate and benighted Earth below. “I wonder if a loophole might not be found. Let us consult with our resident expert. Satan! A word with you, if you please?”

Upon a distant cloud, the Celestial voice reached and interrupted him while he was dreaming up new and more interesting weapons that he could send into the dreams of humans. Satan sat up and smiled. The next phase of his plan was just beginning, and he already had them eating from the palm of his hand. There were so many deliciously interesting and wild events that lay in the future; he could feel it.

And when the glorious and terrible end finally came for this Cosmos, he was sure it would be riding both a pale and a dark horse.
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#1 ·
· · >>Meridian_Prime >>GroaningGreyAgony
Sans the Winslow? Who cares what other deities are in place if the most important one is missing?

In any case... I mean, it's a fun idea, but the sisters being this foul-mouthed threw me off, and not a single member of the host politely mentioning Satan's work history seems a touch contrived. And the sisters aren't stupid. They're going to catch on at some point, right?

... Right?

In all, the concept is sound and the cubits made me smile, but this reads more like the first chapter of a story I'm not sure if I'd want to follow.
#2 ·
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
...Well, Odd is definitely the word for it.

This story is distinctly odd, for better and worse. The idea is fun, and execution is great, but as >>FanOfMostEverything justly pointed out, the sisters are just... odd. The foul-mouthed thing didn't bother me so much but I did find their (as well as the other angel's) total obliviousness to Satan's shenanigans baffling.

A well executed and fun idea, but once more I have to agree with FoME - if this was a first chapter, I'd be cautious about the rest of the story.

...I did like the early stuff about Celestia and Luna's drunken hookups though!
#3 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
This sort of:

Character assassination comedy where the biggest source of the humor comes from the characters we know not acting like the characters we know is always "hit or miss" with me. This one hits fairly often, but that just made me want more of it: have Satan be more unctuous, for instance, and have other angels try to tell Celestia and Luna about Satan but have the ponies completely unable to understand the concept of someone who's deliberately nasty.

And as long as I'm asking for stuff, I'd like the story not to pop into Satan POV the two times it does. I think it'd give the whole piece more of a kick if we only ever see events through Celestia and Luna's eyes, and the ending would be more fun, too, if there's some disaster they're rushing off to fix and Satan has to ride them off into the sunset. Something anyway so we never hear Satan's plans directly but are able to figure them out from context.

#4 ·
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
So this is just really silly, and ends up being chuckle-worthy several times, which is a win in my book. I especially liked the re-framing of the Great Flood as a troubleshooting procedure. Overall, this is just a great excuse to enjoy a completely irreverent setting/tone.

Now, I don't really write comedies, and I don't consider myself as someone with a great deal of understanding of how they work. So feel free to take it with a grain of salt when I say that this piece kind of felt a bit insubstantial by the end of it. We get a (pretty good) string of jokes, but we don't really get a satisfying plot arc. The closest thing we get is Satan's shenanigans, but the story deliberately cuts itself off before those really amount to anything. So in the end, to me this ended up feeling more like an excuse to tell jokes rather than a self-contained work.

Like I said earlier, I'm still giving this one a lot of points for making me laugh several times. But there's a lot of room to take this idea and go beyond a simple joke delivery machine, which is something that I really wanted to see by the time I got to the ending.

Thank you for writing!
#5 ·
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
In which a Reformed reader reads the story in dreading uncertainty.

As a mere comedy, it is quite funny, I must admit, if quite vulgar. As has been pointed out, Celestia and Luna swearing about is unusual, and not to mention having God swear in his letter was unusual to. The fact that this implies a loop since Celestia and Luna, while doing things differently, just end up having the same things happen that led to sin, the Flood, and probably the rest—and all because they believed in Satan's lies—is both something genius and something pettily hilarious.

However, I feel that this is too crass for my taste, and that I might have enough biases that I could not vote in good conscience. While this would be good in the middle of the pack and maybe having a chance to snatch a top spot if it ends up being very funny with others, I am not sure if I would be okay with my own vote considering my convictions.

Thus, I give this an Abstain.
#6 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Honestly, this feels like it would work best as a minific. You could end it at the first soft break, and have a complete comedic arc. Everything after that... don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about it, but it seems to me you're mostly doing two things. First, extending the original joke of C&L being stuck making the best of our absentee deity's half-cocked plans, which isn't terrible, but does get a little repetitive. And second, doing the whole "Satan" thing, which isn't bad in a vacuum, but feels to me like it pulls against the original joke.

Because that joke is how C&L are much more competent than Y, and how his universe is a poorly-designed murder-sex-monkey dystopia. But then everything with Satan is about how C&L are actually super incompetent themselves, which undermines the joking about the setup of this universe that Y left them.

You could expand that into more of a "all gods are incompetent" idea, if you wanted. But honestly, I feel like you've got a great, punchy minific on your hands, and that you'd be better served making your first joke land and land hard than on expanding the backend. Whether you agree or not, though, there's certainly no question that you've got some fun ideas here!
#7 ·
>>FanOfMostEverything, >>Meridian_Prime, >>Baal Bunny, >>Bachiavellian, >>Comma Typer, >>Chris

The Spoiled Testament

Ah, I had such grand visions for this one, and wanted to show highlights from the whole Bible rewritten with clever commentary, but I did myself out of enough time to do the concept justice, a common failing of mine.

Thanks for the kind and perceptive comments!