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Will Friendship Be Enough? · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
“Ports are shutting down,” Mr. Basalt said.

Bornite would never get used to his voice. Normally, with a stallion that has been hauling stone from the crags of the mount for over fifty years, a pony would’ve expected a surly, guttural voice aged from the years. Ironically, the voice that had become the supervisor of Tiny Tile’s Incorporated was quite the opposite― nasally.

“What? How come?” Rhyolite asked, coming to the side of his boss. He lifted his clay-gray hooves on the other side of the boulder. Together, Mr. Basalt and Rhyolite heaved a jagged black boulder onto his cart.

“Cloudsdale says that they are dropping a kicker tonight.” He sighed. “I didn’t want to have to say this, but I need to let you off early. Harvesting is not safe with what’s coming tonight.”

Bornite didn’t like the sound of that. Rain or shine, they would come to these cliffs to harvest the igneous rocks. If Mr. Basalt was telling them not to work, then this storm was more serious than the others.

“How long is it going to last?” Spodumene asked. She was already gathering up the pickaxes and rock hammers strewn about the site.

“I was told by the weather crew that the clouds would be moved before sunrise.” Mr. Basalt answered.

“Are the ports going to re-open in the morning?” Rhyolite asked.

“Dunno.” Mr. Basalt said, shrugging. “The officials have all the boats docked and moored tight. I haven’t seen anything like this since the embargo.”

“One Tartarus of a Storm.” Spodumene commented as she latched the chest on the back of the cart.

Mr. Basalt nodded in agreement. “For now, let’s get this down to the storage shed.” He patted the boulder.

Everypony took their positions on the harnesses. Bornite strapped herself in, next to Spodumene.

Slowly, the four of them made their way down the rocky outcroppings. The sun was setting behind the silhouette of the mountain, bathing the hills below in the alpenglow. Nestled in the gentle hills was the town, the lights of the houses and businesses slowly coming on as the world grew darker.

Beyond the hills, lay the seashore, the dark grey sands washing in from the remnants of the lava flows. As Bornite looked further out to sea, she saw the waves growing in size and fierceness, looking like the bristling fur of a frightened cat. A wall of dark towering clouds could be seen approaching from the horizon.

This was going to be a mighty storm. She could feel it in the air.

“Look out,” Mr. Basalt called out. “Algae pool to your right.”

Spodumene and Bornite turned away from the incoming pool. Still though, Bornite couldn’t stop gawking at it. It was oddly… beautiful. The contrast of the bright green against the dark rocks was shocking. Nothing grew on the lava flow except pallid yellow weeds that seemed to belong from the desert.

It warmed Bornite’s heart, if only a little bit to know that something could grow and flourish in this harsh landscape

She re-focused on going down the mountain. She took a minute, thanking Celestia that she was wearing a new pair of work boots. Without the tread, she would’ve slipped and sent the cart careening down the jagged ridge of the mountain, both busting the cart and losing the rock they harvested.

Her thoughts were cut off as she heard a cracking sound followed by a thud. She looked to her right and found Rhyolite Brushing himself off.

“You okay?” She asked quietly.

He looked over to her and smiled. “Yeah. Sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

She smiled back.

Mr. Basalt closed the warped metal doors of the storage shed. He took a chain with a rusty lock and weaved it through the handles. Securing it in place, he tugged on it. Satisfied to know it wouldn’t budge, he turned towards his group of workers.

“That’s it. Thank you for your work.” He took off his hat and bowed.

Everypony dispersed throughout the industrial yard, gathering up their lunchboxes and equipment, loading up their carts, and taking off to go home.

Bornite picked up her lunchbox and stuffed it into her saddlebags. She hoisted her saddlebags off the hook it was cleated on and onto her back.

Huh… Oddly light, she thought. Which reminds me… I need to pick up some daisies before I forget. Can’t have a daisy sandwich without daisies…

She took a detour out of the industrial district. Quickly, the towering, corrugated metal sheds transitioned to brick and stucco buildings where the businesses of the town were flashing their neon signs.

Bornite smiled as she strolled down the road. The industrial district was nestled near the ports for the simple fact that the less expense you spend on moving material, the easier it was to manage. The ports were near the businesses, as the business had a silent conflict of who could get the freshest goods and at a decent price. So, here, next to the sea, one could get off work, get a daisy sandwich, and sit on docks, watching the scenery.

Since she was let off work early, that is exactly what she planned to do: get a daisy sandwich, sit on the table overlooking the marina, and watch the sunset glisten on the seas.

She might as well try to squeeze it in before the storm starts…

The bell above the door chimed as Bornite walked in. Only with one other customer, the owner glanced up. Instantly, her face lit up. “Bornite! So nice to see you! I’ll be with you in a sec!”

“Alright, that’ll be three bits,” she said, opening up the register’s drawer.

Bornite took a seat and looked out the shop’s window. Outside, she could see that the wind picking up. She would have to make her visit quick.

She heard the clatter of bits on the counter, the ripping of a receipt. “There you go, Mr. Pickett, have a nice day.”

“You too, Burrata.” The stallion said as he slowly trotted out the door.

“The usual?” Burrata asked, donning another pair of plastic gloves.

Bornite nodded. She stood up and approached the counter.

Burrata set to work, slicing two pieces of bread. She set them on a plate and proceeded to the daisy jar.

“I take it you got off work early?” Burrata asked.

“Mmm-hmmm.” Bornite smiled.

“Storm?” Burrata said, setting the plate down and assembling the sandwich.

“Mmm-hm.” Bornite said.

“There you are.” Burrata set the plate down on the counter. “This is going to be quite the storm! I’m just thankful that a shipment came in before they shut everything down.”

Bornite smiled awkwardly at her. She looked down at the plate.

“Oh! Sorry sweetie! I didn’t know you wanted it to-go!” Burrata took the plate over to the counter and proceeded to wrap the sandwich. She put it in a paper sack. As she set it on the counter, she slipped a strand of rock candy into the sack. “Here! On the house!”

“Oh… uhm. Almost forgot. Can I get a pound of daisies?” Bornite asked.

“Geez. Having me run laps!” Burrata teased playfully. She approached the jar and stuffed some daisies into a plastic bag. She placed them on a scale. After the scale read the weight, Burrata unfolded the paper bag and tucked the bag of daisies carefully into it.

“It’ll be five bits.” Burrata said.

Bornite took out her wallet from the Saddlebags. She took out eleven bits and set them on the counter.

“Nono sweetie. I said ‘on the house!’” Burrata pushed six bits back and took the five.

“Thank you.” Bornite said as she took the sack and set it in her saddlebags. She put the six bits back into her wallet and proceeded out.

“You have a nice night, Bornite!”

“You too!” Bornite waved as she exited.

Immediately, the wind whipped against her. The tattering work clothing she had on swayed as the wind rushed by. She looked overhead, as the embankment of clouds approached overhead.

Better make this quick.

She trotted briskly towards the harbor, not out of urgency, but with a leap in her step. She was let off of work early, after all, wouldn’t anypony else be just as happy?

Her mirth quickly turned to concern as she saw the many ponies milling about the docks. Most of them had the same style of uniform- some dressed in official attire with the royal crest of the sun on their left pockets. Some even had some armor on and were guarding the entrances with extreme vigilance.

As she approached closer, she could make out a couple conversations. The town was small and ‘off-the-map’ enough that not many visitors crossed the sea from the mainland to visit. Not to mention that the nearby businesses prepared for the shutdown.

Not that she mind… Her worry is the awkward silence between her and the guards as she sat on the bench eating her sandwich. She didn’t know what was about it, but she never felt comfortable eating alone while another pony watched.

Still though, she took a deep breath, zeroed in on the bench, then took a seat. Setting her saddlebags down, she took a deep breath and watched the sunset. Don’t worry about the guard. Maybe I should offer them half my sandwich? No… that would mean they would have to remove their helmet, which is really inconvenient and…

Suddenly, she caught onto a familiar voice.

“Is that a for sure?” asked a grumbly voice.

Bornite turned. Immediately, she recognized the stallion.

“Even though the pegasai can create and manipulate weather, the science meteorology can still be very unpredictable…” One of the ponies standing guard said.

“So, in other words, you don’t know.” Rhyolite said.

The guard grunted and stayed silent.

“Faaaan-tastic…” Rhyolite turned to head back into town.

Poor Rye. Must’ve been one heck of a month for him. Bornite remembered when Rhyolite came in. He was transferred from another branch of the company. Only been here for six weeks. He must’ve been planning to visit home once the weekend started, but Cloudsdale had other plans. Cloudsdale had sent everypony in town a letter telling of a mighty storm coming to help farmers store some water for the coming months when the land would be dry as a bone. At least, the leeward side of the mountains. Rhyolite must’ve not gotten the memo due to a change in address, if his address was here.

She didn’t know… she didn’t want to pry either.

“Heya! Bornite!”

“Eeep!” Bornite nearly dropped her sandwich.

“Woah… you were really zoned out, weren’t ya?” Rhyolite chuckled.

Bornite stuffed her sandwich back into her saddlebags and smiled.

“Don’t worry. I was zoned out too. I tripped earlier on the mount because I was worrying about these ports. But, I guess, there is nothing I can do about it, huh?” Rhyolite said. Bornite could tell that he was throwing a jab at guards with his tone of voice.

Bornite nodded carefully.

“Say, since I’m stuck here, you want to go to the Red Hat?” Rhyolite asked.

“I don’t drink Cider…” Bornite said. Anymore… too many bad memories

“Oh… well, okay.” Rhyolite said. “I just wanted to know if you wanted to hang out?”

“Sure.” Bornite said.

“Mind if I have a seat?” Rhyolite asked, motioning to the open spot next to her.

Bornite nodded.

Rhyolite took a seat close to Bornite. Not too close that their flanks were touching, but close enough that she could tell that he was comfortable around her.

“Sandwich?” She offered the other half, quietly.

“Oh! Thank you!” He gingerly took it and set it on his lap.

Nervously, Bornite munched on her half of the sandwich. Keep it together, Bornite. He’s your co-worker after all, don’t make it awkward…

“So… I notice that you aren’t a mare of many words.” Rhyolite started.

“Mmm-hmm.” Bornite said.

“Is there anything in particular that gets you talking?” Rhyolite asked.

Bornite shook her head. “Mmt-mmm.”

“Really? Not even the slightest thing?”


“Okay then.” Rhyolite winked. “Strong silent type. I like a little mystery.”

Bornite’s cheeks turned red. “Strong?” She could feel her head swelling up. Nono, Bornite… too fast… it was just a simple compliment… She took a bit of her sandwich, distracting herself from her racing thoughts.

“To be completely honest, when I first came here, I was wondering what the company was thinking hiring a scrawny mare. But then, you pleasantly surprised me. I didn’t realize that you could lift rock salt onto your back like it was nothing.” Rhyolite nudged her.

“T-thank you.” Bornite said, rubbing her neck. One compliment, then another… was it possible that he had a crush on her? Nono… get it into your head, Bornite. Be cool. Still though, she looked into those ice-blue eyes.

“Is that your special talent?” he asked, motioning to her cutie mark.

Bornite swished her tail to cover her cutie mark. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Rhyolite nudged her again. “C’mon. Cutie mark stories are always fun! Even the most mundane ones shine!”

Bornite shook her head. As the time passed, with the awkward silence hanging in the air, and only the sound of lapping water against the docks, she wished she said something more.

“Okay then, I’ll go first.” Rhyolite said, breaking the long pause. “So, I was a colt around the time Mt. Saint Hay-lens erupted. I was helping my dad, who was a geologist take surveys of the landscape after eruption. Little did he know, the mountain would billow out another plume of pyroclastic. I was there just in time to help him climb to safety before a lahar swept him away!” He waved to his cutie mark, which was a trio of three ash-gray pebbles.

It oddly matched hers… only with Bornite in her name, the key difference was color.

“Okay, your turn!” He said.

“Actually, mine is quite mundane.” Bornite scratched her hoof. She chomped down on the last bit of her sandwich. Maybe that’ll give her at least a delay on her response.

“Well?” Rhyolite asked.

“I got mine in a similar way, but I was helping my mom. Also, nothing life-threatening.” Bornite answered. Technically the truth, but not quite…

“Okay...” Rhyolite smiled, then took a bite of the sandwich. “Keep your secrets.”

“You’ve mentioned family. Are you trying to get back to them?” Bornite asked.

“Yup. Mom, dad, sister, brother.” Rhyolite said. “I usually take a boat back to them on the weekends, then come back on Monday. I guess the weather ponies had other plans.” He turned to her. “What about you? Have any family around?”

“Not for hundreds of miles.” Bornite sighed. Don’t go into any more detail. Answer him at face value.

“You live alone?” Rhyolite asked.

“Mmm-hmmm.” Bornite said.

“Strong one indeed.” Rhyolite said. “I wouldn’t know what I’d do being that far away from family.”

Bornite looked down at the ground. I wouldn’t necessarily call it strong.

Rhyolite got up. “Well, hey, if you ever need somepony to talk to, I’m here.” He looked over towards the residential part of town, some apartments with only a second floor. “I’m going to have to finagle with my stay at the housing. I’m sure they’ll understand the mix-up.”

Bornite smiled and put her saddlebags on. She waved. “See ya!”

“See ya!” Rhyolite said. As he trotted away, he stopped and turned around. “Funny story, I was wondering why the front desk was being insistent that I stay an extra night. I guess hindsight is twenty-twenty!”

Bornite snickered.

“Have a goodnight, Bornite!”

“You too!” Bornite answered.

Bornite walked up the lonely roads. Streetlights illuminated her path, giving her ever a few more steps to keep going. She could feel the drizzle of the first rains of the storm. She hoped that the lampposts would stay on long enough for her to get home. The lampposts were typically leaky, and even the slightest moisture would extinguish the candles.

The neighborhood was close enough that each pony took turns lighting the posts. She remembered to have finished lighting one summer night as Mr. and Mrs. Pickett enjoyed an evening stroll. She loved the sight of the cute old couple enjoying the rest of their days together.

…She hoped that one day, just like them, she would be strolling with the stallion of her dreams on a quiet evening. But she knew that dream had been long gone. Once, she was lovestruck, but before it could grow into something more, it was extinguished.

She approached her front door, the porch creaking underneath her hooves. She had it fixed earlier in the year, but somehow, someway… the creaking came back. Must’ve been the dry season to cause the wood to warp and crack.

She fished for her keys, unlocked the door, and stepped inside. Stepping towards the staircase, she dropped her keys in the nearby bowl and then sat down on the landing. She uncleated her work boots, and set them aside in a nice nook next to the landing. That nook, no matter what, seemed to be the unspoken home for her shoes. Nice and far away so that she never smelled the musty scent of them as she walked by.

Her home was quaint, but what made it a bargain is that it had an upstairs. Most homes on the streets were ramblers. She couldn’t stand ramblers… she needed something different, and this presented itself nicely. Sure, it was dated, with a mishmash of styles and updates over the years from owners coming in and out, trying to do what they could with the resources they had.

That was probably why she was able to get it so cheap.

She approached a nearby mirror recessed into the wood-paneled wall. Looking at her reflection, she saw a dirty, scuffed… and scrawny mare looking back at her with tired, faded violet eyes. Violet was the only color on her, and even then, through the dust and the debris, the only color on her that wasn’t entirely grayscale was fading.

She took off her black winter coat and violet beanie. Her hair fell from being pinned, and dangled in messy strands.

…Take a shower… you’ll feel better.

With a silent hesitation, she went to the bathroom and grabbed a towel. Anything was better than letting her mind wander aimlessly.

She dressed in her pajamas. A gift crafted from her mother. Usually, parents would sew clothing for foals. But, gingerly, one night, when the weather was especially cold, her mother saw her shivering. Over the next week, she quickly made a set of pajamas for her.

Despite being put together swiftly, it was sewed with care. Her cutie mark, in surprising detail, was sewn on the flank.

Another thing she was thankful for is how it felt. It was soft, kept her warm, but was breathable enough that she wasn’t sweating up a storm.

As she approached her bed upstairs, she took another look in the mirror. This time, a clean, kempt, and bright-eyed mare looked back at her. Satisfied, she decided to retire to bed. As she stepped up the flight of stairs, lightning struck outside, flashing through the transom window. She jumped and ran upstairs as the growl of thunder followed.

Hastily, she closed the blinds, blocking out the raging galestorm outside. After she was done with the blinds, she leapt into her bed and wrapped herself in blankets and hid in them.

As the lightning flashed and the wind and the rain beat upon the windows, her mind heard the whispering voices inside of her head. Normally, she could keep them at bay, but tonight, she knew that the lightning storm would only exacerbate it.

Slowly, the cunning whispers started to ink and drift in like the light rain. Of course he left… you were too slow… Why would anypony love you? You don’t return it… Who could love a mare like you? Scared of lightning? Most foals get over this fear…

Amidst tears, she started to hum softly. A lullaby that her parent used to sing to her during storms like this… Hush now… Quiet now, it’s time to go to bed you sleepyhead… Hush now… Quiet now…

Her heart slowed. As she continued, she could feel her mind drifting, her breathing slowing…

As she settled, she smiled and sniffled, the last tears dropping from her eyes. The war inside her was far from over, but at least tonight… she won.

Morning had come. The alarm had woken her up. She had forgot to turn it off for the weekend. No matter. She shut it off and nestled back into her blankets. The pitter-patter of rain slowly eased her back to sleep.

This time, a different alarm came, right on schedule. A knock at the door. Fine and Bold, the twins, were probably delivering the local paper this morning. Donning a robe, she yawned and made her way down the stairs.

She looked in the mirror, fixed up her ratty hair, and opened the door.

“Hi, you two, how are the par―”

Suddenly, a yellow stallion with brown bubbly hair tackled her.

“Eeep!” She yelped as she hit the floor.

“How are the parents?” A pink mare stepped in. “Well, our parents are doing pretty well actually, if that’s what you’re asking. Dad recently rotated the rocks, but other than that.”

The stallion got up and helped her to her feet. “Apologies. It’s just that your sister would want to tackle you, but because ―”

“Shush Cheesy! You Pinkie Promised!” Pinkie slapped a hoof on her husband’s mouth. “Anyways, how are you doing, Marble?”

“Uhm… good!” Marble said. “Haven’t had breakfast yet…”

“You haven’t ate yet?” Pinkie squinted. “Sis, are you…”

“I wasn’t skipping meals. I just got up.” Marble said.

“Good! I’ll make us some breakfast!” Pinkie said.

“Nono, sweetie pie, allow me.” Cheese said. He turned to Marble. “Where is the kitchen at, by the way?”

“Down the hallway, first door on the left.” Marble said.

“Race ya!” Pinkie bounded quickly down the hall.

Marble froze for a second as Cheese chased after her, pleading. “Pinkie, please be careful!”

As she approached the kitchen, she could hear bickering. Not the harsh bickering, but kind of playful ones like “Oh no you don’t!” “That’s mine! “Nah-nah! I got here first!”

The bickering simmered down as she heard a chair screech across the floor.

Finally, Cheese said calmly, “I’ll make us some French toast.”

Marble stepped in right as Cheese opened the fridge. “Uhm, sorry if it’s sparse, I don’t usually have company.”

“It’s okay, we came uninvited!” Pinkie said. “Do you have another chair?”

“I can improvise.” Marble took out a step-stool from the pantry. One of the leftovers that the previous owners forgot. She used it occasionally to store her valuables on the top shelf of the pantry. By valuables though… was spare change she got from eating out at a diner or something.

She put the stepstool in a corner across from Pinkie.

As she sat down, Pinkie leapt on the opportunity to talk, as usual. “It was hard to find you, Sis! This town is weird! Everypony calls you Bornite!”

“Mmm-hmm.” Marble nodded. “How’d you find me?”

“Pinkie sense.” She tapped on her muzzle, crossed her eyes, and stuck her tongue out. “It’s hard to ignore since we now have three Pinkie… or Cheesy―” She winked at her husband, who glanced back and winked while he was cooking the toast in the frying pan. “―senses.”

“Wait… don’t you mean two?” Marble asked.

“No, I’m right.” Pinkie said. “It goes into what Cheese was about to say before I cut him off.”

Marble covered her mouth, stifling a gasp. Was she….?

“I’m pregnant, Marble! You’re going to be an aunt!” Pinkie shouted.

“Oh! That’s wonderful! How long are you…?” Marble asked.

“I’m only three months in.” Pinkie said. “Though this little one, like I said, already has some type of Pinkie sense.”

Made sense. She remembered vaguely of her mother telling her stories of how oddly Pinkie would move while still in her womb. In hindsight, their mother could’ve avoided some things such as falling objects, opening doors, and swarming bees.

“Any names picked out?” Marble asked.

“Still deciding. I like the ring of Junior Cheese Sandwich, or Lil’ Cheese, though.” Pinkie said. “Naturally, I pick out the name if it’s a colt, and Cheese picks out the name if it’s a filly.”

Marble looked towards Cheese, who was just sliding the French toast on a plate. He glanced at her and smiled nervously. “I haven’t decided on a name yet, if that’s what you are about to ask,” Cheese said.

Cheese came to the table and set the plate down. “Have any syrup?”

“Oh! Uhmmmm.. in the pantry.” Marble said, barely remembering that she had a bottle of syrup sitting in the pantry for a couple months.

Cheese came over with the syrup and with two forks. He held out one to Marble. He scratched the nape of his neck and said “Sorry about tackling you earlier. Pinkie insisted that I greet you that way. She wanted to do it herself, but you know…”

Marble nodded. “No problem. It’s her way of showing affection.”

As they dug in and ate, Pinkie didn’t hesistate to bury her muzzle into the French toast. “H-hey! You gave me four! That’s what both of you have!”

“Well, you are feeding two, sweetie pie.” Cheese dabbed at Pinkie’s messy mouth with a napkin. “I could get used to this, though.”

With her mouth full of French toast, Pinkie asked, “So, Sis, why in the wide of Equestria did you change your name to Bornite?”

“Oh… uhm… last thing I saw on the rock farm.” Marble said quickly.

“C’mon. Why would take the name of some old rock?” Pinkie motioned for her to keep going.

“It was purple and I thought it was pretty.” Marble said.

“But I like the ring of ‘Marble’ a lot!” Pinkie complained. “Why would you change it?”

“Because I… I uhm… I…” Marble’s ear fell flat. “Because I didn’t want to be followed.”

Cheese dropped his fork. Pinkie stopped munching on her pancakes.

“Didn’t want to be followed?” Pinkie asked. “You can’t hide from Pinkie and Cheesy sense!”

Cheese Sandwich chuckled. “It’s hard to ignore a Cheesy sense that is pulling me towards a foreign place. I guess it’s turned into a sense of wanderlust that helps me and Pinkie explore Equestria.”

“And it’s hard to ignore a Pinkie sense telling me that my family is in trouble. Limestone and Maud were easy enough to find, but for some reason, the twitch in my baby is telling me that they really want to meet their aunt Marble.” Pinkie rubbed her barrel.

The happiness from the both of them caused an unholy swirl of emotions in Marble. She was happy for the both of them, but at the same time, she knew she couldn’t have it for herself.

“Sis? You okay?” Pinkie tilted her head and frowned.

“Yeah. I just need some air.” Marble said, getting up, then trotting over towards the living room.

As she exited the room, she heard the sweet nothings that Pinkie and Cheese shared. Immediately, Marble changed her course and booked it up the stairs. Tears started to form in her eyes.

What is wrong with me?! I should be happy for her! Why do I always drag the mood down with my sulking? Marble! Stop!

Right as she was about to yank open her bedroom door, she turned around. Those last two words were uttered by her sister.

“Marble… what’s the matter?” Pinkie asked.

Marble crumpled to pieces. She fell on the hardwood floor. She cried.

She heard the approaching hoofsteps of her sister and brother-in-law. She felt hooves wrapping around her. “Marble, it’s okay. What’s wrong?”

Pinkie was always the one to do this. Comfort her whenever she needed it. Why could it be the other way around? Why was she the broken one?

“Take your time, Marble. We are here for you.” Pinkie took her sister’s hoof and laid it on her barrel. Immediately, Marble felt a kick. Pinkie looked endearingly at her barrel. “I now know why we came here. My foal really wants to be near her auntie. He or she knows that auntie is having a hard time.”

Marble cried as she felt the tiny life, a brand-new family member whom she never met, greet her.

Evening came gradually. The rain and wind stopped, slowly opening up to a sky full of stars.

As Pinkie, Cheese, and Marble sat on the porch, they enjoyed the nice, earthy breeze running through the neighborhood. The next set of neighbors were beginning to light up the lanterns.

“So, Sis, I know you live all the way out here now, but would you like to foal-sit?” Pinkie asked.

“Oh Uhm…” Marble scratched her hoof.

“It’s okay, take your time.” Pinkie said. “Foal-sitting is a lot of w―”

Marble placed a hoof over her sister’s mouth. “I will.”

Pinkie smiled. “Thank you.”

Cheese Sandwich chuckled. “Has she told you the one about the first time she foal-sat for the Cakes?”

Pinkie blushed. “Cheesy…”

Cheese winked. “So, get this… two earth ponies have a unicorn filly and pegasai colt. Twins. Pinkie gets herself into deep trouble……”
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#1 ·
Looks like a common theme with this round is a little bit of somber.

I’m still learning how to review, so please take this with a grain of salt.

I can kinda see where you are going, writer. Post-G4, we wonder where everypony is at and how they are fending. Marble pie is one that we forgot about. We can wonder, how is she doing after all is said and done post-season 9

But, to be terse, this needs a lot of work. First off, length. This is almost 5k words, and the beginning is slow. Maybe use a little more action to speed it up? Maybe the rock starts to roll uncontrollably down the hill?

That, and the interactions with Marble and the ponies of the town is a good touch, but seems pointless? You can probably fix this with more characterization of Marble. Maybe make her more unsure around Buratta? Maybe make her a little more aloof from Rhyolite? Which kind of brings me to the next point…

I understand as much that Marble is a little more cautious after her crushing on Big Mac. That may make her a little more cautious about talking to Rhyolite, who doesn’t hesitate to complement her. The interaction is very wooden and needs some work.

Lastly, the ending needs some work. You’ve added a nice touch with Pinkie comforting her sister with a Lil’ Cheese still in her womb, but rather communicated poorly. This is where the fic should shine, so spend a little more TLC on it. Fit it with more things that would make the reader laugh/cry at the Pinkie and Marble interactions.

That is my ten cents. Again, take it with a grain of salt. I’m not exactly the best reviewer.

Thanks for Writing!
#2 · 1
· · >>PinoyPony
Humorously, my first thought going through this was "oh wow a story about rock ponies not related to Pinkie somehow, what an absolutely novel concept. I can't wait to see how this plays out."


Still, there's a lot going on in the first act that supports the relatively short second. And the fact that I had no idea Bornite was really Marble until Pinkie showed up, despite actively describing her cutie mark, speaks well for how engaged I was in the current character rather than digging for historical attachments. All the pieces didn't really click until I starting writing this, but in retrospect everything is laid out nicely.

I question who exactly she's stuck on, though. The obvious answer is Big Mac but there's a not insignificant time gap between when he wanders off to get a cup of sugar and now, if the age of Lil' Cheese is anything to go by in the finale. But, love is powerful and calm waters hide multitudes, so it's not unreasonable to think that her dashed crush would leave such a lingering wound either way.

All in all, a super cool piece, even if my initial rock pony thrill was stomped out toward the end. I'd be eager to see how Bonite handles her emotions going forward, and I'd especially love it if she stayed in this quaint little seaside town.

Edit: Oh, and the title is cool, too. Sloom: a light sleep : doze, slumber. Works to describe the cozy little town and the sort of low-key life Bonite's living.
#3 · 1
· · >>PinoyPony
Muwahaha see I didn't mess up on this story like I did on the fragments fic. I figured it was Marble Pie the moment she started musing about her lost opportunity at love. When talking to Ryolite, the description of her cutie mark, and the character's shy behavior also made it pretty clear who this was. But I was interested in the name change angle. Indeed it seems Marble has been hung up on her lost love opportunity for several years.

As Rao said, the title is well picked considering Marble has essentially decided to not pursue her desire for love, and instead seemingly sulk the rest of her life away. I'd imagine she probably hasn't been in this port town for super long. Maybe around the time Big Mac got married. Granted we never know how old foals are in this show, or anyone for that matter.

I have to admit I felt a bit daunted by the word count. Going in cold with no descriptions on these things makes it hard to brace myself. But this was a nice story about family-friendship bonds and how we should always try to be there for one another.
#4 · 1
· · >>PinoyPony
This story was honestly quite a journey for me to unpack, so much so that I wasn't particularly sure how to approach reviewing it for the longest while. Despite understanding most of what's happening fresh off my first read, I wasn't exactly sure if I enjoyed what I was given here, and it really only took subsequent reads for me to actually come to appreciate the ideas at play here. Nevertheless, in spite of my opinions, I will preface this review by stating that I think you've managed to tell quite a profound story here. What you have right here is really something to behold, especially if this is a first draft for something bigger down the FimFiction pipe.

The concept itself is very bold yet very carefully executed. I really liked the fact that you played the cards super close to your chest with this one. In fact, way before knowing who our protagonist really was, I was actually enjoying reading about Bornite and her general musings within her day-to-day life. That, in of itself, signifies already how great her characterization was, plot twist notwithstanding.

Regardless, I do think some of the scenes could be worked in a little better, particularly the ones when she's alone at home. I think those are the scenes that, when I take away the plot twist from the entire structure, are the ones that felt a bit out of place. Perhaps smoother transitions between them might make it work? Or perhaps they could relate back to the preceding scenes to further build upon the ideas that were unfolded there. You know, have a train of thought that we could trace alongside our protagonist as the story moves along.

Similarly, I do wish the final scenes where Pinkie and Cheese step into the picture were more defined in helping shape Marble's perspective as the story closes itself out. Currently, I don't think it's that clear what exactly changed for the better in Marble, only that a positive change happened. I don't think there's a need to be explicit about it, but I am curious about how exactly she overcame it thanks to Pinkie and Cheese showing up. Also, minor gripe, I wished the story ended on Marble's note instead of her sister's, since she's the protagonist of the story after all.

Also, I just want to mention that I really liked the dialogue throughout this story, especially in the scene involving Rhyolite. I like that each of the scenes had just enough tension and purpose to keep the ball rolling. Now, I'd usually just mention this as an aside, but having now known who wrote this, I just wanna say I'm genuinely glad that I get to see such an astounding improvement from your past work. Just keep doing what you've been doing! You're on the right track.

All in all, this is a very thought-provoking yet very heartfelt story, one that I'm sure would be amazing once everything's all polished and fluffed up. There's a lot of potential with what you already have here for it to be a remarkable story on FimFic. I, for one, would be eagerly waiting should you choose to go ahead with it.

Thanks for writing, and once again, congratulations on your win!
#5 · 1
· · >>PinoyPony
Congrats to you for winning! This was a fun experience. Albeit the initial writing part was kind of stressful to me. I can see myself getting the stride quicker next go around.
#6 ·
· · >>pigeonsmall
After Sloom: Retrospective

Thank you for the Gold! I wasn’t expecting it! After what Rao said in WO chat, I thought I would be at most lucky to secure a Silver (which I would be more than content with). But GOLD! REEEEE!

Okay, I’ll try to contain my excitement. There is a first time for everything. Slowly, but surely, this is going to my head.

This retro was originally longer, so for sake of brevity, I whittled it down to the most important parts. (Also, I dropped the spoiler tags since the competition is done. If anyone has a problem with it, let me know and I will promptly edit this Retro.)


Looks like my plot-twist worked! I was hoping that someone would read it, but not catch onto the fact that Bornite is actually Marble Pie! However, there are more rocky things to go over (pun intended).

When your review came, I had a little brainstorm session about making Bornite a completely separate individual from Marble. In the end, I decided against it since the plot-twist of Bornite’s identity was essential for the story.

More importantly was your point on the implication of her sulking because of Big Mac. This fic still has a little work to be done. Yes, the whole idea was that Marble decided to put some distance between herself and Big Mac. I think it was a pinch too vague since I was trying to pull a sneaky on ya. I mean, if I mentioned the name ‘Big Mac’ outright, it would’ve been a dead giveaway. But, yes, I could’ve mentioned more after Pinkie entered the scene.

As for the question with how long Marble has been in the seaside town, see my reply to pigeonsmall (they asked a similar question).

Lastly, since you mentioned you like the name, here’s a little tidbit: I actually got the name from an Of Monsters and Men song I was listening to as I was finishing it the night of. Their music (at least albums one and two) work eerily well with the atmosphere of the fic if you want to have a listen.


Give yourself some credit too! Bronze is nothing to sniff at. First time too! You are doing wayyy better than I did when I first entered. Sure, it takes some practice and getting used to, but that’s the fun of it.

Anyways, back to your review. It goes to show that my plot-twist wasn’t completely veiled.

Also, going into the same vein as Rao, the timescale that I had in mind was meant to be ample, but negligible. The theory is that as soon as Marble had received word that Sugar Belle and Big Mac had consummated their marriage, she decided to flee from home and start again. (Since Lil’ Cheese and the foal that Sugar and Mac had aren’t too different in age, it only makes sense that Pinkie is pregnant around that time that Sugar had just barely had their foal)... maybe that’s the first thing I clarify in the first edit of the piece :pinkiesmile:.


As always, your reviews are great! Thank you for the kind words on behalf of the fic. I had no idea that this random shot would strike gold! Knowing the caliber of this idea, I do hope it ends up on Fimfic (funny coincidence, but I think my slots for publishing on Fimfic are beginning to open).

Anyways, onto the meat of the review. I do agree that the scenes at home are detached from when she is in town. Part of the reason is because I didn’t want to jeopardize giving away the plot-twist prematurely. Still though, home and town scenes are as different as night and day, and may need to be connected better.

Not going to lie though, the ending is a little rushed since it I had to pull through on the final stretch the night of. The ending was better than I expected. At first, I was planning to have Pinkie and Marble go into a heated argument, but alas, writing such a scene and controlling the dialogue wasn’t a feat I was ready to handle with little sleep. So, I took a shortcut. Marble is a quiet pony, so if there was something bothering her, she would withdraw from the situation. Having Pinkie let Marble feel her baby brought me to tears as I was writing it, so that part’s definitely a keeper.

I’m surprised that the Rhyolite interaction worked well. I was getting the impression that it was a weak spot in the story, plus I was pushing my luck with hinting at Bornite’s ‘hesitation’ toward a relationship presenting itself. Big point I want to emphasize is that Marble is not necessarily bitter about Big Mac, but she is overly careful about who she lets into her life. She just doesn’t want to hurt again.

There is a lot more I can go over in this, but I better stop. Retro is getting a bit girthy from my ramblings.

All in all, I am very tempted to swipe aside all the projects I have and focus on this one, but as I will say in the final verdict, I’m afraid of killing the golden goose. Sure, I managed to Nat-20 this round, but will I be able to pull it off again?

No, if I’m going to need the help of an editor. I think that Pasco would be a fine fit, but I think I pinged the poor editor enough as it is. Not to mention they have a lot on their plate.

With that, my burning question is do you know of a particular editor that would be able to help me polish this? Or is the original idea the best idea and just contact Pascoite?

>>Final Verdict

Because this was a success on the WO, I kind of want to expand it to a full-length fic on Fimfic, but I fear I’d kill the golden goose if I tried. So, for now, to anyone who is interested, PM on Fimfic or on Discord if you want to see where I plan to take it (or just want to see an update). Lastly, if it works better for anyone, I can set up a Google Doc link in this comment.
#7 · 1

Omg I just realized you commented on your own fic.....


Clever girl.