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And at the End, You Shall Remain Alone · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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In Manehattan, You're Never Alone
The doctor's office was modern and cozy, with large glass windows providing good view of Manehattan's cityscape. Coco stretched her hooves on the couch, watching the expensive carpet and the potted plants standing all around the place. The doctor levitated a clipboard, watching her from behind a large, mahogany desk.

Coco sighed. She kept visiting this doctor for the last three months and she still felt that for some reason, he wasn't really interested in her. This, along with his strange fondness of potted plants made her wonder if he was gay.

"Recently, I noticed that all the stallions in my life suddenly disappear," Coco said, staring at the particularly impressive snake plant standing next to the desk. "We meet, we start hanging out together, it's all fun... But then, out of the blue, the guy vanishes from my life, never to be seen again." She shrugged. "I know that I'm busy working and I don't really have time for long-lasting relationships, but this is just strange. Why does it keep happening to me? Will I ever be loved?"

Coco immediately noticed that the doctor winced. She furrowed her eyebrows – after all, weren't therapists supposed to listen to their patients, no matter what they said? Especially since he was apparently a very good doctor – Rarity herself recommended him.

"So, what do you think, doctor?" she asked.

"For starters, I'm not your psychiatrist," the doctor replied. "However, when it comes to infectious diseases, I am one of the best experts in Equestria. The problems of your love life, while undeniably interesting, are none of my concern." He levitated a stack of papers from the desk. "According to the lab tests, you have a rare genetic mutation which makes you immune to any sexually-transmitted disease in the world." He nodded and this time Coco noticed a tinge of respect in his eyes. "Which is actually good, since, as young kids say, you've apparently caught 'em all."

"Oh," Coco muttered. "Is it bad?"

"Not for you," the doctor replied. "However, it means you're still a carrier. And since your actual psychiatrist also diagnosed you with, as he put it, 'raging nymphomania', I regret to inform you that as a result of your actions, about ten percent of stallions in Manehattan were infected with unusually virulent strains of syphilis, gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, and Burning Knot Disease, which is especially interesting since this one normally only occurs in Diamond Dogs."

"I swear, that's the last time I ever go to that club above our store," Coco said. "Also, ten percent of stallions?"

"Not to mention a few dozens of mares," the doctor deadpanned. "I'm far from judging but I've heard one of them weighed about half a ton."

Coco smiled sheepishly. "I like challenges."

"Oh, I'm sure of that." The doctor nodded. "I'm not sure if you realise how much of a threat you are. Most of those ponies have partners. As you may guess, it all spread a bit."

Coco frowned. "What do you mean by 'a bit'?"

"Currently there's a detachment of royal guards at the every road leading to Manehattan, shooting anyone who tries to get out." The doctor sighed. "Same with the airspace. We pumped you full of antibiotics, which caused side effects such as short-term memory loss or you thinking I'm your psychiatrist."

"Wait, you are not?" Coco asked.

"Nevermind." The doctor rolled his eyes. "Anyway, I'm begging you, stop trying to flirt with every nurse who comes to your house to administer your medication. Some of the less assertive ones already ended up infected."

"It's the uniforms," Coco replied. "I can't help it, doc."

"I figured it out once your chastity belt mysteriously broke due to metal fatigue." The doctor shook his head. "Anyway, I think that's all for today. Come back next week to discuss the new results. And remember about the psychiatrist appointment tomorrow."

"Sure thing, doc." Coco replied, getting up from the couch and giving the potted plants one last look.

A short trip across the surprisingly empty streets of Manehattan later, Coco was back home. Unfortunately, nopony was there. Even her bed, usually completely ruined by countless lovers, was neatly made. Coco looked at it and sighed, shaking her head.

She walked to the closet and opened it, looking at the various unspeakable things inside. Leather and plastic, metal and glass... She smirked. She wasn't allowed to invite anypony home, so this had to do.

"Guess it's just you and me now..." she muttered.
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#1 · 1
I had to reread the middle section a couple of times, being thrown off by your description of royal guards shooting anyone who tries to leave the city. Seems kinda severe, doesn't it? Unless, somehow, Coco can spread her nymphomania to other ponies, turning them into sex-crazed zombies, I don't know why they'd take such drastic measures to contain the outbreak. We'd have a real fun B-movie plot on our hands if that was the case, though. But even after re-reading it, I still don't think I completely understood what was happening.

I do like how utterly blase Coco was about the news of single-handedly infecting ten percent of Manehattan. That, coupled with her memory loss made me imagine her as a sexual sleeper agent, which was pretty amusing. Though, I wonder how they determined she was the source of all those cases.

From a technical standpoint, I thought this story held up well. No jarring punctuation or phrasing threw me out of what was happening. What did throw me was gradually learning who and what Coco was. The way ponies treated her condition seemed odd, and in some cases (like the containment) didn't make sense to me. Though her short-term amnesia had some interesting implications, in this small story it came across as an crutch to withhold information from the reader. I also don't understand the rules governing her amnesia. She can remember her appointments, but not who she's seeing? Does her forgetfulness play into how many ponies she's slept with? I would have liked to see that explained a little better, but I understand the limited word economy might have affected this.

At first I mostly disliked this story, but that's more for subject than quality. I'm going to abstain from ranking this, but I hope my feedback was helpful, and I wish you the best in this round!
#2 ·
Hmm, to disagree with the above, this one felt a little jarring. Before we get into that, though, I'm going to be a pedant.

Coco immediately noticed that the doctor winced.

The bulk of the sentence is window-dressing for the last three words - the added length just makes it slower to read.

"Wait, you are not?" Coco asked.

The lack of a contraction feels unwieldy.

She furrowed her eyebrows – after all, weren't therapists supposed...

"After all" makes little sense here, and isn't needed.

I'd also revise the usage of commas:

This, along with his strange fondness of potted plants made her wonder if he was gay.

There should really be one after "plants", and this isn't an isolated case.

The voicing also feels a little off. Consider:

"Nevermind." The doctor rolled his eyes. "Anyway, I'm begging you, stop trying to flirt with every nurse who comes to your house to administer your medication. Some of the less assertive ones already ended up infected."

"Rolls his eyes" implies a dismissive or sarcastic tone - which is immediately undermined by "I'm begging you". Try reading it out aloud - it doesn't feel like the way anyone would speak.

All-in-all: I appreciate the subversion attempted, but the prose was jarring, and the tone felt off; the story brushed off a city-wide quarantine for comedic effect, and it didn't really feel earned.

There's merit in the idea, but it could use some polish.
#3 ·
Amusing, but it feels like the author was making it up as they went -- like this was an exercise in freewriting that they decided to post as a story. The ideas all sound like the author came up with them while they were in the process of typing, hence why Coco and the shrink's characterizations, roles, and even the plot details/context, just come out of nowhere.

A decent crackfic, though. I won't pretend I didn't laugh at it.
#4 ·
I'm with everyone else here - while there is a thing (character destruction comedy) where characters' traits are taken to an extreme extent, this just felt rather arbitrary on the whole - not just with Coco's personality, but the stuff in general. While hyperbole and exaggeration can be funny, here, it ended up coming off kind of flat, in part because it was all so extreme; variation in extremity can help some parts stick out relative to others.
#5 ·
I just don't have much to say about this. It's not to my taste, but the only thing I'd put forth toward actual criticism is that it seems to be trying too hard. It uses a lot of ridiculous plot twists, but other than that, there's not a lot of madcap stuff happening, and it's not uproariously funny. It's more situational than there being actual jokes. It's a really odd ending line, too, for the same reason: it's still situational instead of an actual joke, and that's not a ringing ending note for a story that thrives on being ridiculous.

I'm tempted not to vote on it due to the taste disconnect.