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The Brightest Days · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
Lazy Weekend
The sun rose in the sky across Equestria right on time. Every creature was going about their morning business in Canterlot. They were pretty content with the state and it's affairs. This cool early spring morning found a creature that was pacing back and forth checking his notes for the upcoming next couple of days. He wanted to be prepared.

Spike the Dragon, regent in training and the most responsible teenager ever was making checklists and checking them twice. It wasn't because he was deciding who was naughty or nice. His sovereign ruler, friend and sister Princess Twilight Sparkle of Equestria was taking the weekend off and leaving him in charge. Her friend, musical artist and stressed out mom from the mirror portal Sunset Shimmer was waiting to take them out for some fun. Or so his current checklist that he was reviewing showed him.

Spike took a break to finished his Ogres & Oubliettes campaign notes before he triple checked his lists. A purple hoof tap him on his shoulder “Spike, you need to relax buddy.”

“Twilight! I am perfectly calm and excited!” Spike replied as he turned around and greeted the alicorn.

“Those are two different states of being,” Twilight giggled.

“Hey, I can do both. Just so you know that am I just that talented and so you have nothing to worry about whatsoever,” the purple dragon beamed nervously. “And look at you. You're looking so casual looking with those sweaters and casual jeans.”

“Why thank you. I pick them out myself...”

“I can tell.”

“...because I am tired of the mirror portal defaulting my clothes to a school girl's outfit. I am a little old for that.”

“You mean you don't want that type of attention from people?”

Twilight rolled her eyes “Yes Spike. You know I'm as tall as principal Celestia and the skirt is uhm...”

“A little short,” Spike answered.

“Moving on, you seem to be on top of everything Spike. Tkink you do need to relax a little though.”

“I am relaxed and prepared!”

“I am happy to hear that, but you know that Equestria practically runs itself now,” smiled Twilight.

“Well yeah. Still if something goes wrong, I'm going to have to fix it in your absence.”

“Not alone of course.”

“Of course Twilight. If it's domestic issues that I can't handle, I'll get the girls. If it's a natural disaster, I'll get a hold of the other princess.”

“A surprise invasion?”

“The armed forces can handle it and Discord owes me a few favors,” Spike said smugly.

Twilight sighed.

“Got this handled Twilight. You know me.”

“I know. You learned from me...”

“The best!”

“...but I trust you enough that you can handle things your way,” Twilight explained with a straight face. “Don't rely too much on those checklists.”

Spiked chuckled in disbelief.

“And if something comes up where you would have to ask 'What would Twilight do?', I want you to not have that thought.”


“Really. Everything is going to be fine,” Twilight finished.

On other side of the mirror it was mid-morning, warm and with many fluffy clouds. They hung in the sky, keeping the sun company. A red headed middle aged human woman was waiting by a statue for her friend to pop out though a magic portal. She was tapping her foot restlessly. This was supposed to be a relaxing weekend but there was too much going on in her head.

Sunset Shimmer was a little stressed out. The children were misbehaving again. The musical score she was trying to compose went nowhere again. The stove was broken again. At least her husband could help her with two out of three of those issues. Shame that the stove was beyond his expertise this time. It was time to call a repair person. He told her not to worry and that he was going to get one.

A week like this made her reconsider her life. The woman was talented enough and with ambition to go into a STEM field. Might be not too late to go back to school. Maybe go back to Equestria to become a wizard? But instead, Sunset had to fall in love with a great guy, pop out three mostly wonderful children and pursue a pretty successful career as an independent musical artist.

As Sunset was musing about relocating her family and life to the pony world, a tall purple hair woman with tight clothes appeared from the statue and fell on her face. Fortunately Sunset prepared for this and had a soft mat set up to cushion the other woman's fall.

“Right on time Twilight,” Sunset greeted she as helped the alicorn, now woman, up on her feet.

“Thanks. Though after a few years you think I would get used to being so...” Twilight struggled to find words.

“Top heavy now?” Sunset smiled.

“Yes. And the portal seems to get my clothing sizes wrong too,” Twilight sighed.

“Or very right!”

“I don't want that kind of attention this weekend. Let's go clothes shopping.”

“Knew you were going to say that. Got a fun place we can go this time!” Sunset said as she led Twilight to her vehicle.

As Sunset Shimmer sat inside the drive seat, most of her stress melted away. She enjoyed being around her other friends but something about being around Twilight Sparkle did calm her nerves. Though right now Sunset sensed that Twilight seemed more reserved today. Maybe something was up? Either way, she wasn't going to press the issue. Instead she pressed the accelerator and speed off to enjoy their day while they could.

The sun was positioned just after noon and sitting on the throne was Spike being pleasantly bored. The teenage dragon spent the morning listening to a few petitioners and reading bland reports. It was perfect. Right now he was spending some time catching up on some homework and maybe sneak in that comic as well. Then the throne room door opened. He looked up and saw an old friendly face.

A regal voice greeted him “Spike, what a pleasant surprise.”

“Hey there Princess Celestia. Did Twilight suggest,” he put in finger quotes “that you stop by and check up on me?”

Former alicorn ruler of Equestria, former mover of the sun and current second best traveling sales mare for timeshares cocked her head in confusion.

“I guess not,” Spike answered.

“To be honest Spike, I was here to check up on Twilight and her Round-the-Clock amulet version two point three.”

“That automated thing? It's been working fine moving the sun and moon around. Mostly. Anyhow, Twilight is taking the weekend off and spending time with Sunset on the other side of the mirror portal.”

“This is good to hear she is making time to relax.” Celestia beamed.

“Tell me about it. Twilight really mellowed out over the years, but she still has this habit of working too much.”

“How about you then? Have you slowed down any in your teenage years?”

“Me? Nah... I'm a chip off the old block. Got things to learn, projects I want to complete and fans to impress. Plus I'm in charge this weekend,” Spike bragged.

“I can see. Has it been very busy for you?”

“Nah, not at all! A couple of petitioners came in today and most wanted to get a picture with me or an autograph. I did have one creature come in with an issue. He just wanted some advice on how to be as smooth as me.”

“Really? What words of wisdom did you impart to your subject on your smoothness?”

“That I wasn't really that smooth of a dragon,” Spike laughed.

Celestia giggled “When you are done with your duty here, would you mind coming with me to check on the amulet? Twilight asked if I could tweak the settings on it.”

“Sure, I am done now. So you know, I've been helping Twilight on it and she has been mentioning the amulet could use some more work. It does need to be adjusted monthly to account for the changing seasons. Boy that's a pain. Mean, not really since it's just a couple of hours out of the month. Still...”

“...It would be wonderful if the kinks were ironed out.” Celestia finished.

“Yeah it would. Plus it would be kinda fun to hang out with you,” Spike added.

It was late afternoon when the fluffy clouds turned dark and filled the sky. The rain was starting to come down hard as the two friends unloaded their stuff from the vehicle. They were at Sunset's rented cabin near the woods and it was theirs for the night. She figured after a long but fun day of hanging out, Twilight would like some quiet time from the world. So did Sunset as well. Tomorrow they were going to have a late lunch with her family before Twilight went back, but right now what was on their minds was dinner.

As they settled down afterwards and started to cook it, Twilight thoughts drifted around in her head. The zucchini she was frying started to burn on one side.

“You should flip the zucchini Twilight,” Sunset pointed out the obvious.

Twilight nodded and flipped it over.

Sunset started to cut carrots “So, what on your mind ?”

“The future is at the top of my list. Where's Equestria going, how to tweak things to be more optimal and what I can do to help my friends and family,” Twilight answered as she turned off the heat on the burner.

“Everything alright with them?”

“Of course it is. Spike in particular has really started to grow into a fine uhm... adult. I made him acting regent this weekend. You should have seen him prepare for it! He brushed up on the laws, contacted the staff to get advice and made lists. So many lists!”

“Are we talking about lists on your level of detail?” Sunset asked amused.

Twilight blushed in reply, “Yeah... I am proud of him. Am kind of worried though.”

“From what you wrote and what I've seen of him, I think he'll be okay while you are gone.”

“I know. Not worried about him handling things. Honestly he takes better care of himself than I do, and I take pretty good care of myself.”

“You haven't skipped arm or leg day that's for sure.”

“Right. It's great that he is interested in helping me, but I wonder about his future.”

“Spike has family, friends and someone sort of special? He'll be fine and I'm sure his future is going to be bright.”

“Your assumptions are probably correct. Spike has a lot of varied interests to explore. So do I as well.”

The two friends started to finish up the cooking and set up the table.

Twilight broke the brief silence “What really is on my mind is I wonder if I'm losing interest?”

“What? In ruling Equestria?” Sunset asked.

“In part. I've certainly been delegating more and more over the years.”

“And that's pretty smart in the long term there Twi'. Recall your first year you almost burned out without realizing it.”

“Yeah, and you know I've got everything running better now with lots of help. I also find that things I used to love the most, books and learning and friendship, aren't exciting me like they used to be. This bothers me a lot,” Twilight sighed.

“That's normal. I've been there and done that. Heck, I was wondering early today if I should upend my life. I like my life. No, I love my life. But it gets monotonous or a pain at times. So I try to keep at it and do new things once in a while.”

“You sound a lot like Celestia,” Twilight smirked.

“Thank you!” Sunset beamed.

“Well I have been dabbling in other interests. Right now I was considering updating the armed forces and spreading friendship across the world. Maybe invade this world and fix its problems too after I'm finished. Every being will know... HARMONY!”

Sunset's jaw dropped.

“Got ya.”

“What was that all about?”

“I am working on my sense of humor and comedy. I have also started to improve my dancing!” Twilight laughed.

Sunset laughed with her “Okay, this I got to see!”

It was a clear and beautiful night in the city of Canterlot. The moon danced smoothly across the sky, mostly. Celestia and Spike were taking a walk though the royal gardens. She was admiring the new additions of statues and happy that they weren't former living creatures. He was going over some daily paperwork and was happy that they reported nothing out weird. They stopped by a random shrub that looked like an adult dragon.

“You are almost as tall as this shrub Spike,” Celestia mused.

Looking up from the paperwork Spike nodded and agreed, “Yeah I remember when this was put in. Does kinda look like me.”

“Is there an interesting story behind this?”

“No, not all. I don't think so,” he shrugged. “Celestia? I got to something to ask.”

“What is this question you have?”

“I don't know what to do with my life.”


“Do you have any advice on where it should go?”


“Is answer something other than following your heart?”

“No, not really.”

Spike sighed.

“I had a wonderful time today and I think that you did too. You kept me entertained while juggling your duties,” Celestia smiled.

“They were pretty light.”

“For normally a workaholic like you? Indeed.”

“So believe in myself and all that jazz?”

“Of course.”

“Also, don't be snarky Spike?” he added while being snarky.

Celestia rolled her eyes “As somepony who had a slight hoof in raising you, I think it's okay for you to have these thoughts and this is normal if you are not so sure of yourself. You have time to figure out where you want to go in life. You are a fine dragon and friend.”

Spike was thoughtful “Are you happy being a timeshares salespony? Do you think that'll last?”

“I am happy for now but in twenty years I think the market will fall out due to what I see as the improving economy. More homes are being built. Real wealth is going up for all creatures. More vacation spots are opening up and that will drive down the value of those properties. It'll allow for more second homes.”


“I think so. Either way I'm not going to worry if I'm right or wrong in this case. Nor should you. I'll find something else that I like... maybe open up a casino or start a dating service. I'd give you a discount if you want.”

“Ugh that be too weird,” Spike's face scrunched up.

Celestia laughed at this response “Oh really?”

It was sundown the next day when Princess Twilight Sparkle greeted Spike the Dragon, who was busy reading behind her desk.

“I see that everything is still in one piece,” Twilight said cheerfully.

“Oh yeah. While you were gone, I made so many improvements that every creature elected me the new Prince. You are out of job Twilight,” Spike snarked.

“Oh dear, guess I'm going to have to spend all my time reading books and advancing science.”

“Yup. Plus you are going to have to do that from a dungeon. Trying to spread HARMONY across the world as Nightmare Bookworm is a big no no.”

“I tried that joke on Sunset.”

“How did it work Twilight?”

“She was speechless.”

They both laughed.

Twilight continued, “We had a good time and her family is a gem to behold.”

“The kids are still acting up?” Spike asked seriously.

“It's a phase they are going though.”

Spike stood up from her desk and offered it back to Twilight.

“No thanks. You are still in charge today and I have a dance class to prepare for.”

“You want to get food after you're done?” Spike offered.

“Sure. I also wanted to talk about getting into the Ogres & Oubliettes campaign you wanted to start up."

"Really? Sure thing! Let me guess what you want to be... a wizard?"

"I was thinking about trying a barbarian," Twilight smirked.

Spike was speechless.
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#1 ·
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
I want to like this one. This thing is trying so hard to be all the lighter, sweeter parts of slice-of-life, and a story that shows us some positivity and joy is a really important thing sometimes. It's a valiant effort. Unfortunately, I think that in trying to be such a pure slice-of-life as it is, it loses something. A story needs to have a conflict. Does this story have conflicts? it does, but only mundane, internal ones concerning abstract decisions about personal growth. None of them are enough to jump to the foreground. None of them are really solved or addressed, other than the characters either still feeling them out or professing to have a plan, and that's... not really a story. It's a setup to a story, and you could make a story about any of a number of things mentioned here. Explore some of these more deeply. Focus in the challenge that a character faces, their decision process, and how they solve it.

Another big issue is that so much of this is told through dialogue. Sometimes that's fine, when it's natural dialogue in natural amounts. I get it, easy way to make the reader a fly on the wall and give them a good way to observe the same stream of information that the characters might realistically have about some things. It's not so good when that becomes a crutch to get *too much* across, and the prevalence of dialogue starts to cut into the space that's left for character actions and insight into their internal perceptions. Particularly distracting is when dialogue ends up restating information we'd already gotten in some other way, or it ends up being unnatural sounding, which both happen here and they both broke my immersion.

Mechanically, there's also some spelling and grammar errors. Normally I don't get too bothered and I have a lot of leeway for those in a writeoff because of the time limit thing, but at a certain point they really start to hurt how well I can stay inside the story.

Overall - there's several potentially interesting threads to pull on here that are probably worth the time. Pick at some of 'em, pull them, see what unravels, and use what comes out to weave some stronger stories that centralize a specific conflict and resolution.
#2 ·
>>Winston is on the exact right track here. There's an incredibly interesting conflict here, with Twilight, Spike, AND Sunset all hitting a sort of semi-mid-life-crisis at the exact same time.

And of course, because I'm a biased little shit, Sunset's is what I'm most interested in. Sunset, the eternal rebel, becoming a housewife is so opposite to her established character and I want to see more.

But yeah, although the conflict is great, it doesn't really go anywhere. Spike has a cool scene with Celestia, but neither Twilight or Sunset change in any appreciable way.
#3 ·
First off thank you for the story. I think it's a story with a lot of potential and it has some good things going for it. Generally speaking it has a nice tone that remains fairly consistent throughout. It also does a pretty accurate job of capturing the characters at these points in their lives.

I'd also like to compliment you on trying to do multiple tales at once. It can be difficult to weave all of it together and make it work. That's sort of my issue with it. I don't find myself really interested in what either Spike or Twilight are going through. Sunset's issues feel a lot more real and are more grounded they're a lot more fertile territory to cover. Plus it might be something to have Twilight and Sunset actually spend a weekend together at the cabin maybe hashing things out, perhaps Sunset even makes inquiries as to being a wizard but they're really just inquiries because other parts of life are happening here and it would mean maybe uprooting the family and whatnot.

Just a few thoughts. Thanks again for writing.