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* Princess Not Included · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Reason to be Proud
Applejack took a long, slow sip from her mug of coffee. It was dark, bitter, and so hot it stung her tongue into numbness.

Perfect. She smiled and set the cup down on the wood table. “Thanks for coming out, Rarity. We don’t get together much like this, I guess.”

“We don’t, don’t we?” The fashionista took a dainty sip from the teacup floating before her muzzle. Around them, ponies filled the chic sidewalk cafe’s seats, enjoying the lingering warmth of early autumn. “Sometimes it feels like I only have these little soirees with Twilight or Fluttershy.”

“Well, this ain’t really Rainbow Dash’s thing.” Applejack tapped her mug with the edge of her hoof. “So, how’s Sweetie Belle?”

“Good, good. Excited to be back in school. More excited to be turning 16, I think.” She sighed. “Amazing how time flies.”

“You ain’t old, Rarity.”

“Oh, let me be dramatic, Applejack. It keeps things interesting.”

Applejack chuckled. “Fair enough. Anyway, had something I wanted to talk with you about.”

“Hm? You mean this get-together wasn’t just for the pleasure of my company?” Rarity batted her eyes and took another sip from her tea.

“‘Fraid not. Wanted to show you something.” With this Applejack stuck her muzzle into her saddlebags, pulled out the item she’d ‘borrowed’ from Apple Bloom, and tossed it onto the table between them.

Rarity stared down at it, confusion plain on her face. Then her eyes took in the square, flat shape, the foil wrapping, and the faint raised ring in the center. She coughed politely.

“Applejack.”

“Mhm?”

“Applejack, that’s…” She glanced around and lowered her voice. “That’s a condom, Applejack.”

“Yup.”

Rarity pinched the bridge of her muzzle between her hooves. “Why are you showing me a condom?”

“Found it in Apple Bloom’s room. Had a nice, long talk with her, too.”

“Well, you know, she is about that age. But why are you showing me this?”

Applejack took a long, slow swallow from her coffee. It had cooled to the point of merely burning. Blissful. She closed her eyes to savor it. “She said she got it from Sweetie Belle.”

A silence followed. Applejack opened her eyes to see Rarity staring at the offending object with a little frown.

Finally, “She said that?”

Applejack nodded.

“You don’t suppose she was… No, of course she was telling the truth.” Rarity sighed and seemed to slump in her seat. “Well, I suppose I should schedule a little chat with my sister as well.”

Her horn glowed, and the condom did as well. Just as it lifted into the air to float its way toward Rarity, Applejack stopped it with a hoof. She slid it across the table, dropped it back in her saddlebag, and closed the latch.

“Sorry, sugar. Promised Apple Bloom I’d give it back.”

Rarity raised an eyebrow. “You don’t mind her having it?”

“Would you prefer she didn’t?”

Rarity opened her mouth to respond, and then paused. After a moment she closed her jaws with a clack.

“No, you’re right. That would be stupid.” She set her chin on her hoof and gazed out at the ponies trundling by in the street. “When did life get so complicated, Applejack?”

“Right about when we grew up, I guess. Or when we got little sisters.”

“Ha, little sisters. You know, I still remember the day mom and dad brought her home from the hospital, a little squirming ball of shrieks and screams. I swear they named her as a joke.”

“Would you be offended if I said there was a strong family resemblance?”

“Ha ha, laugh it up.” Rarity let out a long, slow breath. “But even then, she was the most precious thing in the world to me, so sweet and innocent. And now…” She trailed off, her eyes fixing on Applejack’s saddlebags.

“This gonna be a problem?”

Rarity took her time before answering, and shook her head. “No, no. She’s being smart and responsible, and I should be proud of her for that. Apple Bloom too – we both should.”

Applejack smiled behind her coffee mug. “Already am. Any idea who the colts might be?”

“Hm, I have a few guesses. Since we’re being adults about it, we should probably just ask.”

“Sensible.”

“It is.” Rarity set her teacup down with a thud. “Odd, I always thought Scootaloo would be the first. Rainbow Dash will be disappointed.”

Applejack shrugged. “She’ll get over it. Wanna invite her for coffee next week?”

“Sounds delightful, darling.”
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#1 · 1
· · >>Orbiting_kettle
Very nice:

A lovely slice of life scene with spot-on character voices and the setting described with exactly the proper amount of detail. What would make it perfect would be a clearer connection to the prompt. I can see one if I squint, but it would've been easy enough, author, to have Applejack say something like, "They ain't princesses, y'know. Never have been" while Rarity nods slowly. So as a story: top marks. As an entry in this sort of contest: just shy of top marks.

Mike
#2 ·
·
Nice slice of life. I like good slice of life, not sure when that happened but at least it means I'm happy with this story.

There's not much to say here, no criticism comes to mind and I agree with >>Baal Bunny on practically every point.

Nicely written story with a heart.
#3 ·
· · >>Morning Sun
This is a fine slice-of-life story, but I'd like it more if it went a little deeper, pun not intended.

"We don’t, don’t we?"


I think you mean, "We don't, do we?" If you make it end with "don't we", it sounds like Rarity is not agreeing with Applejack on the topic, and is requesting clarification on whether she actually believes what she said.

"Sometimes it feels like I only have these little soirees with Twilight or Fluttershy."


This would be great foreshadowing for Rarity having Alzhinny disease, but alas.

"More excited to be turning 16, I think."


If this weren't a Writeoff, I'd expect porn to follow in about three paragraphs.

(continues reading)

Oh, wait. That sort of happened.

All that said, I think the age drop is cliche and bad. I'd try something like "it's been several years since she got her mark" or something instead, because I find age-baiting stuff to be super distasteful.

The story could use a twist. I was under the strong impression that the condom was for Sweetie's horn, and that would have been perfect. Again: alas.

Also, where is the prompt? The fact that Twilight wasn't at a meeting between two of her friends? That's pretty weaksauce, but I don't bother rating the prompt usage anymore.
#4 ·
· · >>Cold in Gardez >>Trick_Question
This one gets dinged because I can't figure out how it relates to the prompt.

Otherwise mostly good. Character voice fits although Rarity seems not quite taken back enough - I kept expecting it to come out she was the one to have The Talk and set up Sweetie Belle with proper safemeasures in the first place.

Still, solid.

>>Trick_Question

You are a bad, wicked pony, Trixie. Such gutter-mindedness!
#5 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
>>Morning Sun

I think it's what Trick pointed out -- there's no princess in the story.

Literally, princess not included.
#6 ·
· · >>Monokeras
>>Morning Sun
Is a condom on a horn more gutter-minded than horsecock?
#7 · 2
·
>>Cold in Gardez
(*Prompt Not Included)
#8 ·
·
>>Trick_Question
It's not gutter-minded. It's cesspool-minded! :P
#9 ·
· · >>Syeekoh
Okay, this was nice. The dialogue feels very natural, and so forth. CMC’s sexuality is not a brand new concept, but this take smacks of authenticity.

So, since I don't think AIDS is a horse thing, what would be a condom used for? Contraception? Couldn't that be achieved by magical means?

In any case, this was as scrumptious as the coffee AJ sips from. Well done! Right at the top of my slate. Would be first, if it wasn't for the lacking connection with the prompt.
#10 · 5
· · >>Monokeras
>>Monokeras
There are other STDS than HIV/AIDS
#11 ·
· · >>Syeekoh
>>Syeekoh
Do they affect horses?
#12 · 1
·
>>Monokeras
I'm pretty sure horses have their own host of STDs without bringing zoonosis into the fray.
#13 ·
·
Awww.

This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

So warm and fuzzy I was about to forget it never actually addressed the prompt :-<

I guess I'll put it as the lowest ranked of the highest ranked stories :-/
#14 ·
·
Given “Somepony to Watch Over Me,” I suppose I should be grateful that Applejack isn’t getting Apple Bloom fitted for a chastity belt. Still, she seemed to learn that lesson well, and the result is a lovely, respectful slice of life with excellent atmosphere and characterization.

I quite like Horizon’s take on the prompt interpretation. “Princess” as a symbol of purity isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind with this fandom, given the other baggage it adds to the term, but it does work. Kudos for novelty if that was your intent.
#15 · 3
·
This one teeters on the brink of Misaimed for me, because it's a message-heavy piece whose message I don't really agree with. (I know, /outed as terrifying conservative.) But the thing is, this is so well-written, and believable, and it nails the character voices... I can't deny how incredibly well done this is, nor do I really want to, because the content here does far more than just put forward the message. It makes its case, and makes it well, and I respect the hell out of its approach, even if I'm not 100% on-board.

Tier: Top Contender
#16 ·
·
Well, I have to agree with Baal and the others... I can just about make out a link to the prompt, if I squint right.

That is, more or less, my sole objection to this fic. It's a thoughtful, well written little slice of life. Well done!
#17 ·
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Nice story. Good ending!
#18 · 1
·
The story itself is well paced. It flows well with enough description to set the scene without being overly detailed and focuses on the issue/story at hand. That said, I think my biggest issue with the story is I don't believe the story.

It isn't so much because of which characters are involved. In fact I could see the older sisters having the conversation with their younger sisters respectively and accepting the fact that at least their younger sisters were sexually active and were acting more responsibly than others their age. I could then see some worry that even if they are using condoms that something could go wrong. I could even see them getting hold of the little dinguses who are shtuping them and kicking the hell out of them.

I can't see them being proud though. I also can't see how Rainbow Dash would be disappointed that Scootaloo wasn't the first to give it up. I guess I just don't ultimately buy the scenario.