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* Princess Not Included · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Princess Party
It had been a normal Wednesday for Party Favor. He’d double checked his inventory on balloons and placed his weekly order for napkins, helium, hats and a few other odds and ends that he would need for the weekend. After that he’d sent out various invoices and estimates to clients for his party planning services. Finally he contacted the bakeries, restaurants and entertainers whose services he would be employing that weekend.

Then she walked in. She was a very thin pale teal unicorn with bright stringy green hair. Her eyes darted around the store as if searching for a lost item. “Hey,” she hollered at Party Favor, “Who do I talk to about gettin’ a party planned.”

Party Favor quickly brushed his bushy blue hair back as he walked toward the potential customer. As he did he smiled politely to her and said, “I can help you. Welcome to Party’s Favorite Planning. Are you looking for…”

“Yeah, listen you got a book or something I can look at? You know something that shows the type of stuff you do?”

Party Favor nodded and levitated a binder toward her. It was fairly large and contained basic examples of the types of parties arranged. The different parties were separated by type and theme and had a basic cost breakdown listed on each page.

The teal unicorn flipped the binder open to a random page. She mouthed the name of each type of party as she glared the page. Party Favor watched her for a few minutes before asking if she was looking for anything specific to which she grunted and continued flipping until she stopped on a bright pink page. “This one,” she declared.

Party Favor turned the binder to face him and nodded, “Ah the Princess Party. That’s a very popular one for little fillies. They get a crown and a cake in the shape of the castle of their…”

“That’s great,” interrupted the unicorn, “But when do they show up?”

“Excuse me miss but, when does who show up,” asked Party Favor.

“The princesses. I mean I’d figure they must be pretty desperate to just show up for a filly’s party. They got some money problem or something?”

Party Favor laughed. “That’s a good one! I’ll have to remember that.”

The teal unicorn tilted her head to one side, “If it’s a princess party then they’ve gotta be there right?”

He stopped laughing and stared. “I’m sorry I thought you were,” he paused and looked into her vacant gaze his voice upping an octave, “Joking?”

“No,” she said with a huff, “If it’s a princess party then Celestia or the midnight peeper or what’s her face… “

“Who’s the midnight peeper?”

“Her sister.”


“Yeah,” she said, “I was falling asleep to that book A Knight to Remember and I caught her peeping on me. Only she had paws, a striped bushy tail and a face with a mask on.”

“I think that’s a raccoon.”

“Don’t tell me what I saw!”

“Well okay,” said Party Favor his eyes darting back and forth.

“What about the purple one who talks all the time? She’s gotta be available ol’ what’s her name. Light Sparkplug?”

“No,” replied Party Favor quietly, “It’s Twilight Sparkle.”

“She’s gotta be coming then,” as she began to shake slightly.

“No, ma’am,” said Party Favor with a sigh as he retrieved the binder and put it back on the desk, “It’s just a theme. No princesses are included.”

“You’re a liar,” she replied with a huff.

Party Favor blinked and asked, “How?”

“You keep saying that it’s a princess party. That means princesses are showing up. I don’t care who it is, it can be peeper, Celestia, Toilet Sparkle, whoever.
But one of them has to show up or I’ll sue and you’ll go to jail. Party jail!”

“Lady, you’re obtuse!”

The teal unicorn narrowed her eyes, “You callin’ me fat?”

“No! Obtuse not obese! I think you need to…”

“Because I lost eighty pounds in two weeks. Wanna know how,” she said as she stared at him her tremors getting worse.

“I really don’t…”

“Crystal soda is fan-freaking-tastic,” she said with a smile, “Just drink that and don’t eat!”

“That’s not healthy and...”

Party Favor never finished the sentence as he watched the unicorn pass out in front of him. He checked to make sure she was breathing before carting her outside on a dolly and calling the paramedics. He closed early. Party planning could wait another day.
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#1 · 1
Well. That happened. I get the sense this one was written from real life. The problem is that there’s a marked lack of narrativium in this universe. As such, drawing inspiration from real life means massaging it a little to get a satisfying story structure. Of course, the word limit didn’t help. There just wasn’t any room left for an ending, so the story simply stops. Add a less cursory conclusion and some more customer service nightmares and this could go quite well. Heck, string enough of them together and you could have the reason why Party Favor wanted to give up his cutie mark in the first place.
#2 · 2
Party Jail sounds vaguely terrifying.

I give this story a rating of kazoo.
#3 · 2
The idea of Party Jail alone justifies the story. I want to see a story about that now!
#4 · 1
I liked how the prompt was integrated, and I'll echo having laughed at Party Jail. The quality of prose was high. Description was minimal, but did the job, and I liked the body language used.

This is definitely an interesting encounter that makes for a fun exchange; I liked the creativity on display here with the subject and wordplay. I do end up wondering just why Ms. Teal is looking for the princesses.

This is an entertaining and well-crafted scene, but doesn't really feel complete as a story.
#5 · 1
This is kind of a strange story. To explain that opinion I'll have to talk a little bit about theme and tone. Theme is what the story is about: not what happens in the plot, but the bigger concepts that those events explore. Tone is what the story evokes, the feelings you want readers to feel.

The theme I'm seeing here is a customer service nightmare. All the quibbling is just setting that up. It might be individual arguing lines that set up the piece's comedy but the overall effect is about the customer's intransigence.

The tone here … that's where this gets weird. It's mostly comic in the middle, but there's a long build that's not particularly funny, and the big finale is her being carried out by the paramedics. What am I supposed to feel? Am I supposed to laugh? I'm uncomfortable laughing at, well, what looks ultimately like mental illness followed by hospitalization. Am I supposed to be uncomfortable? The bits about the raccoon and the "obtuse" pun break the mood and make her a punch line. Mixing comedy and discomfort is … well, a very tricky combination. Discomfort requires that the story give us sympathic characters so that we can care about what happens to them. Comedy requires keeping us at an emotional remove from the characters. It's pulling different directions.

That's why I don't think this ultimately works, despite the funny parts being reasonably funny and the uncomfortable parts being pretty uncomfortable. It's trying to do two contradictory things at once. Think about which tone you want to set and rewrite this in one direction.

Tier: Almost There
#6 · 1
Princess Party —- A- —- First impression: Hey, Estee is in the writeoffs. It certainly sounds like his life experiences (+) By minimizing the characters involved, it allows more concentration on them, and the salespony does get a fairly good treatment (-) but the customer seems totally erratic and just out of left field. It may be intentional. It is disconcerting.
#7 · 1
· · >>FanOfMostEverything
Ah my story. So, what's my excuse for this? Well, the prompt popped up and at first I thought "Wow so TBD IS the prompt! THANK GOD!" Then I hit refresh and it came up with the "Princess not included." I uttered a mild swear and then drove to the store. After having spent the better part of my day at work I didn't want to go to the store but there I was.

So I wandered around and got some not really needed items and headed back and bounced between two plans. The first was something that I read at least three other people write. The second was this. A story that I quickly found out I hadn't enough room to pull off the way it needed to be pulled off but, something I could squeeze in some of what would make me chuckle. So I went with Party Jail, Midnight Peeper, Crystal Pop, and two variations on Twilight's name that a strung out customer goes on about.

The customer here is one I've seen before many times with many different faces. I jammed it in there knowing this was going nowhere and said, "Well, that's a thing."