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The Twilight Zone · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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The Obsolete Pony
Twilight Sparkle and her friends galloped into this village at their own risk. Upon reaching the village, these six ponies had already begun to regret their decision upon being surrounded by several fraudulent smiles emanating from the drab ponies who appeared to be inhabiting the village. Once the comparatively vibrant unicorn Starlight Glimmer had introduced herself as their leader, it was clear that this village adhered by corrupted ideals: Cutie Marks were the enemy, and talent was a menace.

Having lost her cutie mark, as well as her five companions to the influence of Starlight, Twilight was sentenced to decide upon the method of her own execution.

"Please come in, Starlight, and thanks so much for coming." Twilight revealed no discernible malice for her executioner in her tone.

"How unexpectedly friendly, Twilight. Well, of course I came; you invited me! I would never be so unimaginably cruel as to not adhere to a dying pony's final wish." The dictator quickly pranced into Twilight's final residence, eager to witness the condemned pony's groveling for salvation.

However, Twilight had no intentions of losing her composure. "Yes, and I am grateful for your visit. I have very much wanted to speak with you before I'm gone." Twilight anxiously scans the walls surrounding them. "How much time exactly do I have left?"

"Oh, how silly of me! I must have forgotten to provide you a clock. It is currently 11:38 p.m., so your long wait will soon be over. Midnight is the time you requested for your execution, that's correct?"

"Yes, indeed it was."

A smile made it's way onto Starlight's face. "Wonderful! Then there are only twenty-two more minutes to go. Have you also made all the preparations for your execution?"

Twilight allowed a sigh to slip out, not completely ruining her confident demeanor, but still showing her reluctance to comply with Starlight. "Of course."

"Perfect! Then everything is in order! Then I shall take my leave. I wouldn't want to miss out on getting the perfect view of your execution!" She motions with her hoof towards the large window, revealing the audience of villagers.

"Starlight..." Twilight stops her in her tracks.

Starlight jerks herself around, staring impatiently at Twilight. "I really must be going, Twilight. Make it brief!"

"I just figured you of all ponies would want to know exactly what methods I have chosen for my death."

"Actually, I would much rather it be a surprise."

Starlight rushed to open the door, but the door refused to budge.

The color in Starlight's face had begun to drain away. "How d-did you---"

"Really now, it doesn't take that much magic to construct a simple lock spell, even if you did steal my cutie mark." What seemed to be the same smug grin that Starlight wore as she first entered the room was now shining on Twilight's face. "However, it would still take a remarkably noticeable amount of magic to unlock it."

Twilight gestures back to the crowd of villagers, confirming her goal to reveal Starlight's talent to the masses.

While Starlight could infer Twilight's ultimate goal, she couldn't help but ask, "What is the meaning of this?!"

"Well, if you must know, I've chosen Pinkie's once cherished Party Cannon as my execution method. While normally a tool used to promote celebration, its next shot will not be quite so inviting."

Twilight passed Starlight one of Sugar Belle's muffins.

It was now clear to Starlight what exactly Twilight had plotted. If the Party Cannon had been armed full of Sugar Belle's stale muffins and positioned just outside one of the room's walls, the impact would surely be lethal.

"You must be mad! Let me out, this instant!" Starlight desperately pulled at the door.

Twilight did not budge. She ignored Starlight's pleas for escape while pretending to be engrossed in one of the numerous "Equality" books that filled the shelves of the room.

Starlight continued to panic and beg Twilight to undo the lock spell, but to no avail. After several minutes, Starlight finally snapped. Lacking the stubbornness to accept her own death, Starlight quickly deactivated the lock spell, flinging the door open. As she galloped out the door and away from the room, a clock that had been positioned outside the room had just struck midnight, and a loud explosion of stale muffins flooded the room.

Starlight didn't have enough time to celebrate the execution before her once loyal villagers had begun rioting against their deceitful leader.
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#1 · 3
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
Well, that was unexpectedly tragic. It felt kind of jerky and awkward,and extremely tell-y verses showing things. I know the word constraints are part of that, but I think something could probably be done to make it a little less abrupt.
#2 · 5
Pretty much this.

You could've skipped the whole intro and just let the reader infer the setting from the dialogue and the actions. It doesn't add much to the story. You could call it... The Obsolete Intro.

...I'm sorry, that was uncalled. Anyway. I liked how Twilight managed to think of a plan to get back at Starlight, it was clever, and in-character for her, but then the story just kinda wraps up before we get to see how that pays off. So, bland intro, clever middle, and lackluster ending.

There's a good story in here, but it needs some work before it can show it.
#3 · 3
Twilight's plan of brinksmanship..... or maybe not. why didn't she follow Starlight out? that's kind of a nasty feeling, that it was all just a suicidal revenge plot. the story does a great job portraying an evil Starlight Glimmer we want to hate, her uncaring attitude and smug gloating. the cannon at the wall thing seems odd, as well as Starlight choosing not to know about it, but I guess I can let that slide. what bothers me more is that I can't understand Twilight's decision to sacrifice herself instead of going for a risky escape.
#4 · 1
· · >>Light_Striker
Wait, why are they rioting all of a sudden?

Like, the rest of this makes sense to me, even if it's a bit clunky word-wise. But I got to that last sentence, and it really threw me. What about this muffinsplosion caused a rebellion/riot? Was there something in there that I missed? It seems really non-sequitur.
#5 · 2
· · >>Not_A_Hat >>Anna

From earlier:

Twilight gestures back to the crowd of villagers, confirming her goal to reveal Starlight's talent to the masses.

It's implied that an adequate exertion of magic to unlock the door would somehow reveal that Starlight never actually lost her cutie mark, though I don't think it's clear why. Something of a world hole.
#6 · 1
>>Light_Striker ...huh. Okay, I can buy that. I'm not sure it's a convincing reason, but it is a reason. Thanks for explaining. :)
#7 · 1
Why, oh why; do I have the sence of a recap of an Episode we have already seen?
Starlight's Talent is Magic, so if she gave it up, her magic would be profoundly weak?
#8 · 3
It's not a bad story. This would have actually worked better with a pony like Pinkie Pie than Twilight. The reasons for that in my opinion are as follows: 1.) She's an apprentice baker and being "killed" by a cannon filled with baked goods would be poetic. 2.) She's shown the ability to build a variety of machines and what not so, her ability to create a complex lock that would take a long time work through without magic could be in her skill set. 3.) She's shown that she can basically break herself apart and put herself back together. This wouldn't kill her she'd just have to reassemble. 4.) This would be one heck of a "trick" to play on her enemy and you know she's good at pulling those off.
#9 · 1
Clever concept, though as has been noted, you didn’t make the best use of your available word count. Given more room to breathe, this should work quite well indeed.
#10 · 1
While it feels as if the story lack the energy to draw me in, it doesn't lack finess in the trickery to get Starlight.
#11 · 1
The trap Twilight sets is decently clever, but as has been pointed out, it has a few holes in it, such as why using magic would "reveal" Starlight to all the others, why Twilight lets herself die, etc.

Overall though, my main takeaway is that the writing needs work. There are lots of grammatical errors, even in the first couple of sentences (two clauses with "upon" in the second sentence, "adhered by" instead of "adhered to" and others. The story also bounces back and forth between present and past tense... a lot.

Bottom line is that it needs a lot of work, but there is a core premise that could make for a strong story if the proper effort is put into it.
#12 · 2
The sentence structures in this story strike me as often awkward, and the constant switching between past and present tense doesn't exactly help. Watch out for that in future writings, and read some books to get some ideas for how to keep your sentences fresh!

As far as content goes, I concur with the other comments: it's not clear exactly why this plan "reveals" Starlight and foils her plans, or why Twilight still had to apparently die. The inclusion of the party cannon makes the story feel overly comedic, but then Twilight actually dying plunges it all the way in the other direction to overly tragic. Just doesn't really work overall.

Props for telling a complete story, though, that alone is worth praise in a mini round. Better luck next time, friend!