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Keep Pretending · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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No Need
“Well,” Little Hope said, rubbing her tiny forehooves together as she avoided making eye contact. She lifted her gaze to one of the many kitten posters on the wall, then closed her eyes and squeezed a plush toy. “My daddy beats me.”

Mrs. Turnbuckle nodded somberly as she scribbled onto a notepad she held in her magic. She spent a moment staring over the top of her glasses at her notes. “Wait,” she said with a furrowed brow. “Didn’t you say that you’re an orphan?”

“Yes, ma’am,” the filly replied with a polite nod.

“So, you mean to say that your stepfather beats you? Or somepony who has adopted you?”

Little Hope shook her head. “No, it’s my father.”

Turnbuckle pursed her lips and studied the young filly while a clock on the bookshelf ticked softly. After a moment, she took a shallow breath. “Ah, I don’t mean to put this indelicately, but… Are you saying that your deceased father beats you?”

“Mmm-hmmm. He’s a ghost, and he haunts me.”

“I… suppose that stranger things have happened in Ponyville.” She turned and glanced out the window at a courtyard where she had seen magical duels, mythical beasts, and malevolent demigods. Ghosts, though? She cleared her throat. “Has your… mother’s ghost tried to stop this?”

Little Hope gave a tiny smile. “Oh, yes, she tries.” The smile melted away. “She mostly tells him that I’m not worth getting excited about.”

Turnbuckle scribbled into her notes. “I see. Do you believe your mother really feels this way?” Or do you realize that you’re projecting your own feelings onto your imaginary mother? she didn’t add out loud.

“Well, that is what she wrote in her suicide note. ‘I’m tired of dealing with your bullshit, Little Hope,’ was her exact words.”

“Oh my go—” Turnbuckle dropped her notepad. She bent over to pick it up from under her desk, taking a moment out of the filly’s sight to catch a few deep breaths. When she sat up, it was with a firmly plastic smile. “I’m sorry, Little Hope, and I almost never say this, but, your mother was a terrible pony. It was wrong of her to blame you for her mental illness.”

Little Hope sighed. “Oh, she wasn’t so bad. She just had a lot to deal with, you know? Like me, for starters.” She buried her muzzle in the stuffed puppy in her hooves. “And my cancer.”

“You have cancer!?”

The filly chuckled. “I don’t know. The doctors said the chemotherapy would probably work. It did make my fur fall out, so I think it must be working.”

Turnbuckle sighed and shook her head with smile. “You’re quite a storyteller, miss Little Hope. But your fur is a beautiful blue with a very healthy sheen.”

“Oh, that. The dermatologist at Ponyville General said it’s, uh… sporotrichosis. A fungal infection due to my suppressed immune system. I don’t complain about it because I think it’s pretty, and I’m glad that you do, too, but my fur is actually yellow.”

The mare set her notebook on the desk and squinted at the child. “Your fur is… actually just blue fuzz from mold that’s growing over your entire body?”

“It itches. Bad.” She sniffled. “The doctor said I got it because I sleep on a pile of moldy hay ever since my cardboard box melted from the rain.”

With a heavy sigh, Turnbuckle rested her chin on a hoof and stared at Little Hope. The filly smiled back with impossibly large eyes. Turnbuckle opened a desk drawer and pulled out a little book. “Let’s see if we can’t find you a foster home, then. I’m sorry that your life has been such a sad story, but many ponies who have gone through such difficult situations can still find purpose and fulfillment in life.”

“Oh, it’s not all bad.”

“Oh yeah?” Turnbuckle glanced up from her book. “I’d love to hear about the joys in your life.”

“Well, lots of folks feel too guilty to downvote a sad story.”

“Wait.” Turnbuckle dropped the book to her desk. “What?”

« Prev   32   Next »
#1 · 1
· · >>Hap
Hmm, Little Hope is either full of shit or a genius. Possibly both. Most definitely she's genre savvy. Meta, even.
#2 · 1
· · >>Cassius >>Hap
This story is very unrealistic from the outset, which ends up being its downfall. I ended up assuming the girl was a liar or insane because nothing she said made sense or had any outside corroboration. If you had made the story believable, I might have felt sympathy for her. But I felt nothing for the protagonist, and so the ending didn't work.

You need to tug at my heartstrings if you want me to chuckle at the end, and that didn't happen here.

Also, just to cover all the bases: meta is hard, especially in a writing competition.
#3 · 7
· · >>Cassius
sips drink

I came out to have a good time and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now
#4 · 3
· · >>Miller Minus >>Hap

This story was funny from the beginning. I liked most of it, and it got a chuckle from me out of sheer absurdity, but the meta joke lands a bit flat.

I'm not sure how you can criticize a story that within like 100 words is introducing the concept of an orphan with a ghost dad who's a child-beater as being unbelievable when it's so clearly the intention.

>>Miller Minus

I wouldn't be too worried. I wouldn't call this entry being mean-spirited, and I think it would be misreading the author's intent to say that's it's supposed to be a jab at Clumsy,

EDIT: Haze said that this story would read better as a parody of Bill Cosby's Ghost Dad, and I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment.
#5 · 2
· · >>Hap >>Hap
If that's the case then I guess I'm just here to have a good time.
#6 ·
· · >>Hap
This story seems to be as much commentary on the saltiness in the comments (including mine) of >>Miller Minus 's story as it was about the story itself. The ending, at least, seemed like a pretty direct reference to Monokeras's comment about sad stories being medal bait.
#7 · 1
· · >>Hap
The only way this story failed by was by not having Scootaloo be adopted by the end as well.

Overall pretty silly, with insanity that seems to ratchet up at every step until it all came crashing down with the reveal.
#8 · 2
· · >>Hap
Genre: Meta-comedy

Thoughts: I laughed. A lot. Now I suspect that I missed one or more of the stories that this was meant to stick it to, but I think it succeeded as an absurdist comedy with flying (albeit possibly fungal) colors regardless. The writing here is very strong, the scene-setting is simple but adequate... oh, and great choice of names for the ponies, BTW.

I suppose there's a chance that I might feel differently if I was more attuned to the underlying controversy that this seems to be trying to skewer. But taken purely as a thing unto itself without that much context, I feel like I got my money's worth.

Tier: Strong
#9 · 3
Well, I'm not at all surprised that it didn't make finals. I'm surprised anyone thought that it might!

I wasn't going to write for this round, but on a whim I whipped up a dumb story.

Heh, actually, I couldn't decide whether she was telling the truth, mentally ill, or really good at bullshitting.

This story is very unrealistic from the outset


Glad you picked up on that.

Was this a jab at Clumsy? Yes. Was it also a jab at all the folks in the comment section who got their panties in a twist about Clumsy? Also yes.

>>Miller Minus
This story was as much to make fun of myself and the other commenters as it was to make fun of Clumsy. I didn't realize you would take it personally, so when I saw you getting upset in the discord, I tried to come here and point out that it wasn't a personal attack.

What are you doing here?

Heh. That could have been pretty good.

I'm just glad that someone liked it!
#10 · 1
· · >>Hap
Quick shout-out to Hap. I thought this was a hilarious satire, and the punchline sealed it for me. This was number four on my ballot, and I'm sad to see it not make finals.
#11 ·
Yeah, I'll be interested to see the spread once the event is over.