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It Could Have Gone Better · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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A Little Shortcut
Rarity crashed through the skylight in Twilight's room and sprawled across the floor, covered in broken wood and bits of stained glass. She picked herself up after a moment, dusted herself off, fluffed the detritus out of her wings, then folded them haphazardly at her side.

Twilight looked up from her book, quickly scanned over her friend, and went right back to reading.

"Ahem," Rarity gently coughed. "Twilight, dear, we—"

Twilight held up a hoof to quiet her friend. She continued reading to the end of the page before inserting her bookmark and dropping her leg. "Sorry. I don't know what's going on, but I can already tell it's going to give me a headache. Didn't want to lose my spot."

"Quite alright," Rarity replied with her usual tact.

"Starlight or Discord?"



"Counselor's office."

With a loud sigh and a purple pop, Twilight and Rarity teleported to Starlight's office at the school. Rainbow Dash was huddled in a corner next to Starlight, the former rubbing her empty shoulders while the latter waved a hoof over where her horn should be. Fluttershy was helping Applejack fit her hat over her horn without poking her in the face, while Pinkie walked upside-down on the ceiling.

"As you can see, we're in quite a pickle, darling. And I dare say these feathery ones aren't as nice as the silky butterfly ones I had last time... though I do appreciate not plummeting to my death so easily, I suppose."

"What in the world happened here? Sweet Celestia, this is a mess."

"It was an accident, I swear," the hornless mass of Starlight Glimmer said from her fetal huddle. "I was testing a spell to let ponies feel what it was like to be in somepony else's shoes. It didn't work. It. Didn't. Woooork." Starlight pulled Rainbow Dash into a tight hug and they cried into each other's shoulders.

"Well, the good news is I think Applejack can fix this."

"Say what now," AJ said as she poked a hole in her hat.

"Trust me. It won't make things worse, at any rate, and the sooner Starlight and Dash stop crying the sooner my headache will go away. I want you to focus on a commanding presence. Think of something big, powerful, and in charge."

"Like Granny Smith?"

"Like Granny Smith riding Big Mac in a calvary charge!" Pinkie yelled out from the ceiling.

"Put the letter 'Z' in your mind. Write it as big and clear as you can."

"Unicorn magic sure is strange, Twi, but alright. I got it. What next?"

"Power up your horn, and release the magic at the same time you touch both of those images in your mind."

Applejack closed her eyes and focused as hard as she could on her magic while thinking about the images. She scrunched up her nose, made her horn glow, and with a blinding green flash cast the spell. When her eyes adjusted, she saw everypony back with all the limbs they were born with. Pinkie, unfortunately, came crashing down from the ceiling.

"Quite the feat, darling, getting a magical novice to undo Starlight's work so easily," Rarity said. "How did you know that would work?"

"A little trick I picked up while visiting Sunset Shimmer," Twilight said, rubbing a hoof across her chest with pride. "It undoes the last big action, but it only works when used on by an Apple for some reason."
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#1 · 2
I have to appreciate how a story with this title opens with someone crashing through a skylight.

… XD

Hilarious work! Great imagery, great pacing, great writing all around, and that punchline! Of course, most other ponies can make it work by imagining a concept of great control.
#2 · 2
Thanks for the chuckle. I needed that.
#3 · 2
I had to reread those last few lines but when I finally got it I think I died a little inside.

In other words... gr8 job
#4 · 2

my god.

I like this one, Nice, nice.
#5 · 3
The punchline would've been better if you'd settled on "on" or "by" instead of accidentally writing both.

Not that I would know anything about borking my last line in a writeoff... >_>

Anyway, yes. Insubstantial and one-note, but properly groan-inducing. Character-destruction, but in a way appropriate to story tone. Does what it sets out to do. Carry on.
#6 · 3
That was a thing.

Hmm, yes, that was indeed a thing.

I like how Rarity having wings is treated almost passively so that the reader has to do a double take to notice something's very wrong here. I also like how Pinkie's walking-on-the-ceiling bit is kind of a reference to that one episode with the Cake twins.

Or maybe that was just a coincidence and I'm trying to pull more from this fic than is necessary.

It's pretty robust and consistently executed, and it knows exactly when and where to end.

Did I laugh at any point, though? Nah, man.

A chuckle, I think, but this is a pretty lightweight "absurd" comedy.

I'm feeling a very light 7 on this.
#7 · 2

This whole thing was an undo function pun.

It's also the only one I've read that had a beginning, middle, and end, characters making a decision, and a resolution.
#8 · 2
· · >>axxuy >>BlueChameleonVI

I really like these characters, and I've never been a fan of seeing them stripped of their personalities just for the sake of absurd comedy and a pun.

Twilight isn't startled by Rarity's wings, or her bombastic entrance. Rarity and Starlight seem to be filling opposite roles—I would expect Starlight to want to fix her own screw ups as fast as she can, even if that means running to Twilight, as opposed to crying about it (one of Rarity's favourite pastimes). And Applejack successfully employing complicated magic on her first try is awfully convenient for someone who has been an earth pony her whole life.

At least Pinkie sounded like herself... but then she's already absurd.

I just... I like these characters, man. And these aren't them.

But this isn't on my slate! Just wanted to drop by and give my two cents. Good luck!
#9 · 2
Ow. I bow before the superior punster.
#10 · 1

Good, absurd humor. I like it.

>>Miller Minus
To be fair to Starlight, she was traumatized by losing her horn.
#11 · 1
I love me a good absurdist fic.

“Press any key to continue... Where’s the ‘any’ key?”
#12 · 4
Ow. Ow. Ow. I don't even know what to feel right now.

I think Miller Minus has some good points, but apart from that I have no suggestions.
#13 · 2
What >>Miller Minus said. I'll add that Twilight's non-surprise at Rarity's pegasussitude briefly misled me into thinking this was an Alternate Universe. If it's the result of a spell gone wrong, there ought to be some surprise there. Some comedic surprise, I grant you, but surprise nonetheless.

I think I'll also add a possibility here. Maybe in this, there's a hint as to how this could be improved? It at least could be something for you to think about.

So fair enough, there is a modicum of cleverness here. The reason for performing the spell makes sense, and the Apple pun is well-constructed. But the two don't gel for me, and as a result both are extremely undernourished in practice. The idea of the main characters switching roles on the one hand, and the computer-related wordplay on the other, are two elements that I don't think mix very well.

You see, the first part serves a show-friendly premise, which opens the door for exploration of the concept of switching... races, species, tribes, however you describe the distinctions. But the second part is basically an in-joke for computer peeps. Clever wordplay and references, sure, but then it'd probably be stronger if the whole fic just went for broke and was a series of increasingly ludicrous computer puns, a dazzling kaleidoscope of sheer verbal playfulness.

But here's the thing: They're functionally unrelated, whereas here you're making them relate, and I find it awkward to watch. The result is a premise that feels like you're rushing past the comedic potential or any kind of exploratory interest just to deliver a belaboured punchline that's tonally a 180. I mean, there's not even a hint about computers beforehand.

Perhaps dedicating the fic more wholeheartedly one way or the other, instead of making two underdeveloped concepts clash, would have served this better?

At least, that's my two cents. Up to you whether you want to pick them up or not; some people like this stuff, so it's probably just a matter of taste.
#14 · 3
Not much to say that hasn't been said already. Though, I might add that I found the start rather slow; there was minimal reason other than filler to spend any time developing Twilight at the start as a jaded, Rainbow-Dash-Presents-like version of herself.

Also, it's cavalry, not calvary. :e
#15 · 1
I normally loathe stories of this nature.


But this one made me chuckle. That's telling enough.
#16 · 1
I like the set-up:

But when addressed to someone like me who's largely unfamiliar with the ins-n-outs of how computers work, the punchline might as well have been "No soap, radio!" Still, I can see from the comments that folks are groaning appropriately, so I can only assume the story's having the desired effect.

#17 · 2
Genre: Swapsies

Thoughts: I don't get it. Or I almost don't get it. it took reading through all the comments and puzzling it out for a while before I realized the ctrl-Z thing, which I'll grant is pretty droll, if (IMO) a bit easy to miss. For the life of me, though, I still can't figure out what Applejack has to do with it.

Unless... Apple computers? But that works on Windows... I dunno.

The opener with Rarity crashing in with wings, though? That's good stuff. That's attention-grabbing. That showed a strong level of intensity and fun that kinda didn't sustain throughout. But overall this feels like a good start to a very silly story.

Tier: Almost There
#18 · 3
Yep, this one had me going.

"Not bad, this is pretty interesting worldbuilding of how unicorn magic works and.... waaiiiit a minute."