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* Princess Not Included · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Castle For Rent
"The first floor will remain a public area—a library, mostly—but there are private stairwells on the East and West sides of the castle leading to the second floor living areas. From there, the third and fourth residential levels can be accessed. Now, since the castle wasn't designed with long term residents in mind, the showers are spread out through the building rather than there being one in each room. Any questions so far?"

The three ponies stopped in front of a large archway. The doors underneath were shut tight. "What's this room, Princess?" asked the young Palomino mare.

"That's the Throne Room. This area will be sealed off most of the time. I've left a standing order with Mayor Regalia that any official business conducted herein is not to disturb the residents so there shouldn't be any problems."

"Could... I mean, can we see it? Just for a second?" asked the Palomino's stallion companion.

Princess Twilight checked over each shoulder, looking up and down the hallway. None of the other residential guides seemed to be nearby. "Sure, but just for a moment. We have to keep to the schedule." The young couple nodded earnestly, and with that Twilight pushed open the great doors of the Throne Room. Five of the chairs inside and the large table in the center were covered with heavy dust cloths. In the largest chair, bearing the cutie mark of Princess Twilight herself, sat Princess Celestia, quietly enjoying a book.

"Princess not included in rental agreement," Twilight said pointing at Celestia. "See lease contract for details." She smiled back at her companions. "Could you two give me a few minutes, please? There should be refreshments on the second floor landing."

"Of course, Princess." The two ponies bowed and trotted off, whispering excitedly amongst themselves.

"I hear you were abdicating the Throne, Princess Twilight," Celestia said. She placed a marker in her book and set it beside her. "I assumed you wouldn't mind my borrowing your seat."

Twilight flew into the Throne Room and closed the doors behind her. She landed in the large chair next to Celestia, emblazoned with a green flame near the top; the only other one not covered in the room. She looked up to the roots hanging from the ceiling and let our a long breath. "Never and never, Celestia. It's just a chair, really."

"And those?" Celestia gestured wide across the table.


Celestia smiled for an instant. "If she's not abdicating her throne, then why is the Princess of Friendship renting out her castle?

"I've decided to take a sabbatical." Twilight straightened herself in the seat. "I think I'll be gone a while, and I figured the castle could do more than collect dust and rumors in the mean time. What better use than giving ponies a place to live and learn?"

"That's quite generous, Twilight." Celestia shifted in the seat to face Twilight more directly. "What is it you plan to do with your time off?"

"My first instinct was to lock myself away somewhere and be depressed for a while. Then I thought maybe I'd bury myself in work or research until I went crazy. I snapped myself out of that phase pretty quick," Twilight said with a nervous laugh. "It hit me when I came in here one night. I looked at the map and all of a sudden I knew what I wanted do. I'm going to travel. Not just Equestria, but the entire world. Everywhere I possibly can. But not as a Princess. Just plain, old Twilight. And I'm... I'm going to..." she stood up in her seat, fire smoldering behind moist eyes.

Celestia looked on, silent and proud.

"I'm going to make some friends."
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#1 ·
This is an old MLP trope, done very well.

I think the "never and never" is a bit confusing, as the words are extreme and I wasn't sure I was reading her meaning right initially. "No and no" or "no to both" would be much better.

I didn't like Celestia referring to Twilight in the third pony when she did—it seems very out of character for her. Celestia is direct, not aloof (at least not aloof in this way).
#2 ·
So, this has a complete arc, which is nice. It's an old trope, which is less exciting, but it's fairly well done. I think it might have worked better for me with a bit stronger hint at what's going on here? It didn't all really come together for me until after the end, robbing that last line of some of its impact.
#3 ·
I've been struggling to figure out what to say.

I think I'm gonna stay short. It was pithy, and I liked it. Yes, it retreads old ground. But that's okay.
#4 · 1
What do you mean it wasn’t designed with long-term residents in mind? It’s a castle, not a motel. Castles generally see nothing but long-term residence, save for very interesting political climates.

Aside from that little illogicality, this was quite nice. It’s an interesting counterpoint to Death Party, a more serious, less cynical look at Twilight feeling weary after her first friends pass on. I do have to agree with Trick about the “Never and never” being tricky to parse, but overall, this will need minimal polish before seeing Fimfiction.
#5 ·
“I hear you were abdicating the Throne, Princess Twilight,” Celestia said.

Tenses should match. Either “I hear you are” or “I heard you were”.

Twilight says they just have a moment for a diversion, but then takes a few minutes to talk to Celestia. This sounds weird after talking about the importance of the schedule. I think she should make more of an acknowledgement that she’s changed her mind: “Actually, I’m going to take a few minutes; we can make it up later…” I think we should also see more of a immediate reaction from the couple to Celestia’s sudden appearance, even if it’s just to tell us they’re frozen in place.

Other than that, well done.
#6 ·
Castle For Rent — A — First reaction: Princess Sparkle is sub-leasing. (+) Although ‘Twight Sparkle outlives her friends’ has been done before, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done again and well. This proves the saying.
#7 ·
I found myself wishing this had just started at the sabbatical line. The rest of it feels like unnecessary setup for that one moment of genuine emotion.

It's a very good moment, though.

Tier: Almost There