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TBD · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Starlight Glimmer's Brand New Boinger
Starlight Glimmer blew the springy curl of hair out of her face, the thirtieth time she'd done so since leaving the stylist. "I'm never going to get used to this," she proclaimed.

Twilight, ahead of her, paused at the entrance to Sugarcube Corner. "It's a brand new haircut, Starlight. Give it time – it'll grow on you." She held the door open for Starlight with a flourish of magic, and Starlight stepped inside, scowling at her teacher.

Puns aren't funny, Twilight.

Pinkie was minding the store that morning, and was mixing the iridescent contents of a glass punch bowl perched on the store counter. Her ears perked as Twilight and Starlight approached, and she turned a pearly white grin on them. "Well, if it isn't my favorite 'corny twosome! What brings you in, girls? Come to try my spankin' new punch recipe?"

Twilight stopped at the counter and bumped Pinkie's forehead softly with her nose. "Actually, we're just having a girl's day out. I thought I'd treat Starlight to a milkshake, to go along with her new haircut." She beckoned at her student, who waved at Pinkie, a nervous smile on her face.

Pinkie waved back and wolf-whistled. "Nice boinger, Starlight."

Starlight tilted her head, confused. The motion made the coil of hair fall over her face again, and immediately, she understood. "Ah. 'Boinger.' Cuz it boings. Thanks." She blew her 'boinger' again, miffed.

Twilight chuckled. "But that punch actually does sound pretty inviting, now that you mention it. You don't mind if we—?"

Pinkie had two glasses of punch on the counter before Twilight had finished asking. "On the house, ladies!"

Starlight joined Twilight at the counter; the two exchanged a shrug, floated their glasses up, clinked them together, and downed them in a gulp.

Immediately, Starlight's mouth was on fire. Her tongue felt like she'd dipped it in molten lead, and a cloying, piquant taste flooded her sinuses, making her sputter and cough as her taste buds dissolved. Twilight fared identically.

Pinkie slid them a pair of water glasses, just as quickly as she'd served the punch. Starlight quaffed hers, and the burning sensation ebbed. Starlight sighed in relief, and glared at Pinkie, ready to raise hell.

The sound of Twilight's laughter stopped her from doing so.

"Is there," Twilight gasped out. "Is there hot sauce in this?!"

Pinkie broke into laughter too. "Sure is!"

"Because of the time—"

"With the hot sauce bottle that you thought was—"

"I remember!" Twilight laughed, even heartier this time. "And the color— don't tell me you added unprocessed rainbow to the mix!"

"Just a dash of the stuff – gives the whole thing a nice boom!"

"More like a rainboom!"

They leaned against the counter, on opposite sides, laughing. Starlight stood apart from them, utterly lost. She always felt like an intruder in Ponyville, but she didn't generally mind.

Just then, though, the feeling was intolerable.

"Guess you had to be there," Starlight muttered, squinting at the bottom of her glass.

Eventually, the ponies' laughter simmered to breathless giggles, and Twilight wiped a tear from her eye. "It actually is pretty good, Pinkie. You might've warned me to drink it slowly, though."

"I'll put a warning label on the bowl before I serve it to anypony else." Pinkie refilled Twilight's empty glass. "Seconds?"

Twilight beamed. But when Pinkie turned to ask Starlight the same, she cut her off with a boingy shake of her head.

"I'm not that thirsty, actually." She looked awkwardly between Pinkie and Twilight. "Y'know, it's been a long morning. I'm gonna head back to the castle. But thanks for the drinks, Pinkie."

She left without another word. But Twilight galloped after Starlight, rounding on her outside Sugarcube Corner. "Hey. Starlight. What's the matter?"

"Nothing. Everything's fine. Don't worry about me. You should go back, have a good time with your friend." Starlight forced herself to smile, and thumped Twilight's shoulder affectionately

Twilight caught her hoof with her wing and held it, smiling back genuinely. "She's your friend too, Starlight. You know that."

There was an invitation in her voice, which tempted Starlight for a heartbeat, but she pulled her hoof from Twilight's grasp anyway, and nudged past her. "I'll see you at the castle, Twilight."

Alone, Starlight made her way back to her cold, sterile crystal cage. The boinger fell over her nose as she walked, and she blew it away yet again.

I'm never going to get used to this.
« Prev   18   Next »
#1 · 2
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Fenton
I don't get the point of this story?

but I really enjoyed reading it, so much that it more than makes up for not understanding it. I loved how the characters talk here, and exchange jokes and puns with each other. Pinkie saying "favorite 'corny twosome" is ADORABLE ❤︎

I still feel like I'm missing some narrative arc here, or some joke that ties it all together. At first I thought the Boinger haircut was referring to Pinkie's bouncy hairstyle, and Starlight looking like her was a hilarious mental image. Well, I'll go with my gut feeling here. I may not understand the intent of this story, but I strongly appreciated it for what it was. I can live with it being a genuinely entertaining slice of life, and I'd rather have more stories like this existing in the world.

according to Urban Dictionary...
Boinger: Mid-Canadian slang term for Ecstasy.
#2 · 1
· · >>TitaniumDragon >>Fenton
Puns aren't funny, Twilight.

No, but your character arc is.

Anyway, I'll echo >>Haze here, and say that I, too, needed an underlying theme here to really make this shine. Starlight starts somewhat grumpy, gets annoyed, then still is grumpy by the end. She hasn't learned anything, she doesn't come to terms with her new haircut, and all we got out of this was a small vignette where they drink napalm punch with Pinkie.

Amusing, but I'm left with no real impression after reading it.
#3 · 1
· · >>Haze >>Fenton >>Posh
dissenting opinion: i loved the genuine well written friendship between Pinkie and Twilight for its own sake, and thought the juxtaposition of it with Starlight and her being left out, and her new "friendships" being fake and forced was both beautiful and obvious. the only thing that takes marks away from that is how many people have whined about "Starlight's redemption being too fast" (Which it was), but if that leads to nice character interaction like this I can't fault it too much
#4 ·
· · >>Posh
interpretation sounds plausible.
but it really sours the fic for me because it feels so cynical and futile. it's like a fix-fic that has to point out "no they're not great friends" and no one gets what they want, because both sides are acting passive-aggressive toward each other. it makes the disappointment at the end more powerful, but because it's now nihilistic instead of bittersweet.
#5 ·
· · >>Fenton >>Posh
This is funny! It's also sad. Both are done well.

However, the abrupt shift is jarring to the reader and feels unrealistic to me. That's the big problem here. I don't think you can go this high on the comedy, then shift one-eighty to sad drama when the two aren't thematically related in the story (the relationship is 'narrative' in nature, but not key to the source of the drama—if anything, Starlight should be having moments in this story just like the one Twilight is reminiscing about, so I'd expect this to be funny rather than sad for her). It's too quick of a shift between unrelated elements, without a special gimmick to make it work. In a longer fiction this could be pulled off, though.

On a side note, Rarity would be among Pinkie's favorite 'cornies long before Glimglam. That's unrealistic and also an opportunity missed because it feeds the very drama you're trying to express. "Two of my favorite" would be much more believable here, or even "not counting Rarity and Sweetie Belle" or something else with delicious, hot-sauce-flavored foreshadowing.
#6 · 1
· · >>Fenton >>Posh
Starlight's got a new hairdo that she's unsure about and is grating on her. Much like her entire new life.

I dunno. Context helps this one a bit, and I don't particularly see the ending as sad or cynical? I mean, the emotions are, but that's the nature of huge life changes. Sometimes they feel like far too much. This is a place where having the additional context of the show is interesting though, because we KNOW Starlight does adapt. The hair ends up working out for her, as do the friendships.

That said, word choice matters and boinger -really- makes it hard to focus on the more tightly wound emotions. Like, I really have trouble taking things seriously when that word keeps getting repeated. :p
#7 ·
· · >>Fenton >>Posh
Another review where I can point to all the existing comments. I couldn't figure out what the theme of this piece was; if it's about Starlight feeling left out, that starts way too late in the piece and the hair thing seemingly has nothing to do with it. If it's general character fluff, I don't know why Starlight's so down.

Twilight and Pinkie's interaction does feel strange. I think it's just plain out of character for them to leave Starlight out of the conversation like that, especially for Pinkie.

And then... it ends. No sense of resolution, the arc just doesn't come together for me. To quote Zaid, I'm left with no impression after reading it.

Thanks for writing, though. I'm not sure exactly what the aim was, but I can see that this was shooting for something and fell short, and aiming high is better than aiming low.
#8 · 1
· · >>Fenton >>Posh
This is too emotionally flat. You need to give this more variation - as >>Zaid Val'Roa notes, nothing ultimately happens in the story, and we're left with Starlight in the same state at the start and end without any real change.
#9 ·
· · >>Fenton
I have to agree with the general sentiment: there's not enough to this one.

I see a thrust in some directions of character and emotion exploration, but I think maybe the word limit was just too constraining to get where this needed to go at the slower, more reflective pace it tries to move at.
#10 ·
· · >>Fenton
Genre: Slice of sad

Thoughts: All right, here's the wackiest-sounding title on my finals slate. I came close to checking this out during prelims based on title alone but time hasn't been on my side.

Anyway, Starlight gets a new "boinger" and then we do a sadder version of the What About Discord episode.

No, seriously, that's kind of it. Ultimately it ends up being something I can get into, though. I like how the trappings of silliness accentuate the stabs of isolation that Starlight is struggling with. Her reform was fast but she's still not quite part of the group. Twilight wants her to be but it's not that simple. Kinda like we see on the show.

So in that sense I would say the plot here isn't terribly ambitious, but I think it does what it does very well. I can't find any real flaws to pick on, even if it doesn't knock my socks off.

Tier: Strong
#11 · 2
· · >>Trick_Question >>CoffeeMinion >>TitaniumDragon
I'm surprised no one mentionned the meta in this story (at least, that's how I read it).

Basically, Starlight is having a hard time blending in with Twi and her friends, something we've seen, in the show as >>CoffeeMinion said. But do you remember when did Starlight change her mane? Between the season 5 finale and the season 6 opening, at the exact moment when she became redeemed.
Throughout the story, Starlight keeps on blowing on her 'boinger'. The name is even in the title. What is it? It's a strand of hair that's constantly in front of Starlight's face, annoying her. So she blows on it to get rid of that little annoyance, but unfortunately, it keeps coming back.

I may be digging too far but this boinger is Starlight for many bronies. I draw that conclusion especially with the last lines:
The boinger fell over her nose as she walked, and she blew it away yet again.

I'm never going to get used to this.

Even though they are trying hard to forget about Starlight Glimmer, she keeps coming back in the show. They still enjoy the episodes but Starlight annoys them, they doesn't want her to be a part of the main cast. Unfortunately, it's not for them to decide. Thus, they have to roll with it.

I absolutely love this one. It stands on its own with some great interactions, conveying deep feelings, but the meta angle makes it shine even brighter for me.

So please, >>Haze, >>Zaid Val'Roa, >>Exuno, >>Trick_Question, >>AndrewRogue, >>Ranmilia, >>TitaniumDragon, >>Winston, and>>CoffeeMinion. Give this story another chance. If you still don't agree with me, that's fine, but please try.

Thank you for sharing.
#12 · 2
I liked the story.

Everypony seems to think the more I critique a story, the lower I rate it.

This is not the true.
#13 · 1
In fact, I read this one this morning before going to lunch in a mountain chalet, and it was fun. I agree it might feel incomplete, but I guess the nub of the story is clearly stated and exposed: Starlight will never feel at home with the main 6. It takes more to build a friendship than to state someone's your friend from now on; more specifically, it takes things done together, moments shared. It's like, you don't get married overnight with the girl/gal you just met two day ago, right?

So yeah, definitely a good read, and I sympathise very much with the Starlight who is depicted here.
#14 · 1
...so what you're saying is that Bronies in general have the weirdest boinger for Starlight Glimmer? :trollestia:

No, I actually like your interpretation there. And fear not, this is in my top 3 and seems unlikely to be shifted.
#15 · 1
I don't think it has anything to do with bronies; I'm pretty sure the boinger is really just representative of her larger situation within the show, with it being one more thing on top of it.
#16 · 3
Before I get started, apologies for not reviewing all the stories; I wanted this to be the round where I finally did that, and I failed spectacularly. Partially because of Oroboro's dumb contest for smelly jerk losers, partly because of chronic migraines, and partly because life is not worth living I had stuff to do.

With that out of the way...

Starlight Glimmer's Brand New Retrospective

(Can we have an award for Least Indicative Title?)

So, first, I think a lot of people read this as an attack on Glimglam, or on her role in the show. It's neither. It's strictly a character piece. The boinger refers to her new, season six 'do. This story comes immediately after she got it re-styled. In a larger sense, it's a metaphor for her own life, and the way she sees herself fitting into the Ponyville dynamic. >>Haze is right, in that it ends on a depressing note, but it's supposed to be a little ironic, because we know how this story ends. We, as readers, know that she'll eventually find her own niche, and that Twilight's friends are her friends (thank you >>AndrewRogue), but she doesn't feel that way right now.

I think I struggled to convey that, though, if the reviews are any great indicator. Heh.

The points that >>Exuno and >>TitaniumDragon raise are well-taken; I don't believe there's much of a narrative arc here, either. If and when I revise this for FiMfic, I'll work to resolve that. I'm thinking Starlight will venture home, find Twilight waiting for her in her bedroom (uwu), and they'll have a quick talk where Twilight tries to assure her that she is a part of the community, and the best way to make her feel like that is to start making new memories with her. She still won't be entirely convinced, but it'll give her the courage to try.

And it'll end with them hugging, because ponies and hugging go together like whipped cream and nipples.

On a side note, Rarity would be among Pinkie's favorite 'cornies long before Glimglam. That's unrealistic and also an opportunity missed because it feeds the very drama you're trying to express. "Two of my favorite" would be much more believable here, or even "not counting Rarity and Sweetie Belle" or something else with delicious, hot-sauce-flavored foreshadowing.

This occurred to me as I was re-reading the piece post-deadline, actually. I think "favorite purple 'corny twosome" would narrow things down enough to not exclude any of the other ponies.

Twilight and Pinkie's interaction does feel strange. I think it's just plain out of character for them to leave Starlight out of the conversation like that, especially for Pinkie.

This also occurred to me after finishing the story. I'd like to add a part where they notice Starlight's not laughing, and sorta pick up on why, just before Starlight heads off.

Maybe also a mention of a "sorry for making you feel excluded by leaving you out of our awesome inside jokes" party that Pinkie's planning in Glimglam's honor.

Thank you, too, to everyone I didn't respond to personally. I appreciated all your takes on this story. Except for horizon, who drunkenly messaged me to articulate a viewpoint about the hardcore Maoist propaganda woven throughout the scene in Sugarcube Corner. We... we should probably stage an intervention for him.