Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

Keep Pretending · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
Warning: contains Pinkie Pie
"I'll have a double shot of whisky," Twilight said.

The bartender whistled as she poured the drink. Twilight grunted thankfully as she took it in her magic and sipped. She coughed at the burning in her throat, and completely missed the other mare's double take.

"Princess‽ Princess Twilight Sparkle?" She dove into a bow.

"Don't," Twilight droned.

"I—sorry—it's just—what are you doing here? If you don't mind me asking."

"Got word of a monster here in Trottingham. My friends and I came to deal with it."

"I mean, what brings you to my bar? I'm Old Fashioned, by the way.."

Twilight thought for a while. "Pinkie Pie," she said finally.

"Ohh, she's one of your friends, right? I don't get what she has to do with this though? There's nothing wrong, is there?"

Twilight waved a hoof. "No, no—well besides the monster—she's just—mmm, if I could explain it, my life would be a lot simpler. I'll leave it at that." She sat for a moment, drinking. "I don't suppose you've heard anything about what's been going on?"

Old Fashioned shook her head. "'Fraid not. I've heard that there's something moving around the city, but nopony's been able to describe it. They just scream."

Just then there was a bang and a shout from outside. "It's here!" she said. "Just stay inside and we'll take care of it." She disappeared with a flash.

There was not a single pony in the building that took her advice. They all came filing out to see what had been haunting them the past weeks.

They screamed. A lot.

There were not many other things to do at the sight of the giant, disembodied muzzle floating down the street. It was fuzzy and pink—a normal nose, if it hadn't been two stories high and detached from any owner.

"Sweet Celestia," Old said. Then she resumed screaming like everypony else.

The muzzle glided along. At the corner, down the street, a building crumbled, debris littering the ground, where the thing had not been able to clear the turn completely. It let its tongue hang out, lapping up whatever came into its path. Carts and newspaper stands were swept up and discarded. Thankfully, there were no ponies in sight to be—Old didn't dare finish the thought—no ponies that is, except who she realized must be the Mane Six.

A blue pegasus swooped around the thing, darting in to kick and punch. Twilight was trying to stop it from the ground, firing blasts of magic. Although neither had any visible effect, the screams started to be joined by cheers. Until it became apparent the muzzle was not going to stop before it reached them and everypony started rushing back in. Old kept the door open, even after the last pony was in so she could keep watching.

Twilight was right outside the bar now, walking backwards and firing another shot with each step. Old was starting to get seriously worried for the princess, in the part of her mind that was bothering to try to keep track of what was going on.

She saw what seemed like desperation sneaking on to Twilight's face. That turned to annoyance, as a violently pink mare skipped up to her side, sucking on a lollipop.

"Took you long enough," Twilight grumbled.

"I needed supplies!" Pinkie reared up, facing the muzzle, even as its tongue came ever closer. She put one hoof on the opposite shoulder, and then wrenched the limb off.

Old Fashion fell down in shock. What in Celesti—she wasn't even bleeding. It looked like liquid candy was pouring from her shoulder. It was striped like toothpaste. Then Pinkie hurled her leg at the creature.

The muzzle wrapped its tongue around it and took it into its mouth. It licked its lips, and ascended into the sky with an awful purring sound.

Old Fashioned bit her lip hard, but sadly did not wake up. She just sat, until she felt something poking her shoulder. She looked up at Twilight holding out her empty glass.

"Pinkie Pie," she said.

Old Fashioned poured her another drink. She poured herself one too. In the middle of it Pinkie hobbled behind the bar and opened the fridge back there. She took out a severed leg, announced that she was going to the hospital, and cheerfully hobbled away. Old Fashioned poured herself a big drink.
« Prev   4   Next »
#1 ·
Okay, this one followed Hitchcock's principle: it started with an earthquake and then the tension rose.
#2 · 3
· · >>Bachiavellian >>axxuy
I don't get this.

Seriously, I don't get it. There must be a joke or pun or something that will make sense of the ending, because it doesn't make a lick of sense otherwise. Is this dadaist, like, weird for the sake of weird? If that's the case, I'd say it's not working because I'm just left confused and irritated. (Clearly the mouth is supposed to be Pinkie's, but why would it eat garbage?)

Minor comments follow.

My cutie mark is an interrobang and I still would never use one in writing. ?! or !? are much easier to read and will translate to any font.



I don't get what she has to do with this though?

This doesn't make sense. Twilight only just started telling you.

"It's here!" she said.

I'd make this 'said Twilight' because the previous sentence is action-oriented and the speaker here is less clear as a result.

There was not a single pony in the building that took her advice.

The 'there was' is awkward here (and it would be 'who' not 'that').

"Sweet Celestia," Old said. Then she resumed screaming like everypony else.

Do people really react like this? I'd expect scattered screaming for a brief moment, then lots of running.

Old kept the door open, even after the last pony was in so she could keep watching.

This is a big dangling participle.
#3 ·
· · >>axxuy
I'm afraid I'm kind of with >>Trick_Question here. I am not sure what the payoff is supposed to be. You've definitely succeeded in making this weird and disorienting, but that's really all I'm taking away. I would have expected some jokes or deadpan humor from a premise this intentionally ridiculous, but I don't think this is trying to be a comedy. In the end, I just don't know what this story is trying to do, other than to confuse and pull imagery from the picture, so I didn't have much of an emotional reaction to this.
#4 · 3
· · >>horizon >>axxuy
I'm trying to restrain my reviews to stories with two comments right now, but my extended slate just had me read this back to back with A Trail Of Sugar Blood, and I want to say something because it's a fascinating compare-and-contrast.

The two stories work from the same starting material (the "Bleed" pic) and then take almost exactly opposite tacks on it. Here, we are introduced to serious characters fighting a serious problem, and then the camera pulls back and we are invited to laugh at Pinkie being impossibie (in multiple ways) far past the point of absurdity. In Trail, all of the absurdity is presented up front (with Pinkie bleeding to death on AJ's tree), and while the story does crack a number of jokes about that core absurdity, it's also not afraid to leave that in the background and go for both humor and feels from the natural interaction of the characters. And in fact, my favorite jokes from that piece have nothing to do with Pinkie bleeding to death.

And I think this is a fantastic illustration of the difference between an idea, and a story about an idea.

That's a tricky concept, and potentially a little insulting if I don't explain this right. Let me give it a try.

The distinction I'm trying to draw is, in one case, there's an extra layer of abstraction before a single finger ever hits a single key. Both of these fics have their fundamental premise in the Venn diagram intersection of blood, sugar, and Pinkie Pie. But one of them took the idea and made it into the entire structure of the fic: the words are here to deliver the idea to the reader, they do that job, and then get out of the way. The other fic took the idea, used it to lay a foundation, and built something entirely different on that foundation. Every word of that fic relies on the idea, but if you asked me what the story was thematically about -- the point of it, if you will -- I wouldn't say "Pinkie bleeds almost to death in AJ's tree", I'd say "Pinkie uses her self-sacrifice to make a point about AJ's." Here, I'm not sure I see any deeper meaning beyond "Pinkie Pie is an eldritch being, and it's funny that her friends endure it."

I bring this all up because it neatly ties into my editing suggestions for this fic (if, that is, the author's interested in editing it; aggressively random fics sometimes aren't meant for serious polish) -- and a good principle to keep in mind for future story plans. Both stories are shooting for humor, but here, it's wrapping enough padding around the Core Idea to use it as a punchline -- and it's just got that one punchline, because that's the joke. The other story packs a lot more in, because the original idea -- the original joke -- is just the starting point, and it's free to hit other targets. There's a lot less depth here, and that's not something you fix in the stage of sanding off the rough edges. That's something you fix in the stage of deciding what to write.

So, when you're planning on writing (or rewriting), take the one-sentence version of your story, then start mercilessly interrogating it -- do the things which turn the idea from the core of your fic to the platform for it. How am I framing that core idea? What themes can I explore when I set the stage with it? What's my hook? What's the conflict?

What is your story about?

Example: Back in The Morning After minific round, I decided my core idea was "the first regular morning after Nightmare Moon was defeated and the sun returned". Ponies would, obviously, be scared Luna wasn't reformed and would do it again. But that's not the story, that's just the premise. I kept going and asked what stories I could tell with that. I settled on a tight focus on farmers distant from Canterlot, exploring the themes of isolation and powerlessness. I realized that the physical shift in the moon's brightness (without the shadow of the Mare in the Moon) would also have its own consequences, and touched on that. I medaled with that story, and it's because I wouldn't settle for the core idea: I dug into the ideas that that idea gave me.

I'm sure this is serious overanalysis for a fic this random. But it's not really about this fic. It's about the writing process which can lead to it, or lead to something like A Trail Of Sugar. I know we've got a tight writing period and there's not a lot of time to worry about process, but ...worry about process. That's what makes the difference for top-tier stories.

Anyway, author, thanks for enduring my monologue, and thanks for writing. I think you explored this take on the core idea here about as well as it was going to be explored; I just don't think that the fundamental idea here has enough legs to go beyond what made it to the page.

... Well, that's not entirely true. It does have one leg. A pretty sweet-tasting one, at that.

Tier: Keep Developing
#5 · 2
What! it didn't make finals! how can this be?

All joking aside, at least now maybe my eye will stop twitching over that uncapitalized 'c' in the title.

I can't dispute this criticism, I'm afraid. Looking back, I can't seem to remember that I was trying to do anything with this beyond present a very weird situation. It was one of those stories that started out as a clear mental image, and ended up just being a description of that, rather than trying to live on its own as a story.

One thing I want to mention, which I'll relate to the stories failure to really say anything, since I can't figure out how else to segue into it: I stole the idea for this (in broad strokes). The image this story is based off of is a rip off of a scene from Gravity's Rainbow ("It was a giant Adenoid!..." pg 14), a book which, while even more absurd than this, certainly has quite a lot to say.

Thank you for the advice, it is much appreciated. This particular story I think I might just take behind the shed instead of rewriting (my only hesitation in doing so is the first line, which I'm a little attached to), but I will think about this stuff the next time around.

Thank you all again, for the feedback and not calling my piece a trollfic. Have a wonderful writeoff.