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

Alone Together · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
Crowns and Mimosas
The rising sun gave Celestia new thrills of pride—and jealousy—as her overnight train pulled into Canterlot station. The honor guard that met and escorted her to the castle stirred lingering unease about her retirement.

But an almost comforting familiarity washed over her as she entered the throne room—now the demesne of Princess Twilight Sparkle—and observed the worries etched into her greatest pupil’s brow.

“Princess Celestia!” shouted Twilight, eyes brightening. “Thank you for coming!”

“Former Princess. And of course. Luna wanted me to stay for her ‘mimosa week’ kickoff, but she’ll manage… it’s not every day that one’s sovereign liege summons one to ask questions a face-to-face.”

“I’m sorry… it’s taken a while to put my hoof on the problem. I hope you’ll forgive my seeking a more immediate answer.”

“Such is a Princess’ prerogative.”

Twilight sighed. She glanced back at the blazing sun through the balcony’s grandest window. “I worry that Equestria isn’t listening to me, or to the principles of Harmony I share.”

Celestia stifled a grin at Twilight’s familiar, yet unwarranted, self-doubt. “Sometimes even the most attentive ponies have their ears tugged by day-to-day matters. Crops and foals leave little room for ‘principle’ as such.”

“That’s not what I mean. Recall that, for few terrifying moments, Equestria almost let itself be dragged back under the Windigoes’ power. They cast aside the unity that bound them above tribal differences, as well as all I’d taught them as Princess of Friendship, and anything they’d learned of Harmony through their own experiences or a few thousand years of cultural inheritance. And I can’t help but wonder… did I fail them? Or was Equestrian culture so fragile that it could be shattered by mere whispers?”

“Heavy thoughts, indeed.” Celestia kept her tone even and strong, though her mind raced through possibilities of what Twilight might need to hear to maintain faith in herself and her ponies.

Twilight turned damp, pleading eyes on her. “It’s tempting to blame Chrysalis, Cozy Glow, and Tirek. They’re villains, after all. They grew their influence and used it against us. That’s just what villains do—”

“But they did it so quickly,” Celestia added. She shook her head, then approached the throne slowly, reflecting as she went on how tall her former student seemed upon the high platform. Step by step she ascended to meet Twilight, stopping just far enough away to leave a head of height difference. “Few ponies know thentruth of how fragile this ‘Equestria’ truly is.”

“I refuse to be so cynical. Friendship is…” Twilight paused, drawing breath, visibly collecting herself. “Friendship should make us strong. Especially against divisions like this.”

“It isn’t cynical to highlight the truth.” Celesita’s words drew a glare from Twilight, but she continued: “A Princess must accept the truth about her ponies, regardless of what that truth might be.”

“What good is ‘truth’ if they’ll just throw away everything I know to be right at the drop of a hat?!”

Celestia didn’t let the outburst faze her: “It reminds us that all things are fragile. Ideas, ponies, even Equestria itself… they can change. They will, in fact, change during your time with them—and not always for the better. Sometimes high-minded virtue will triumph; more often, you may feel you’re the last pony left trying to hold it together. And at its darkest, you’ll know that you’re truly walking the path alone.”

Twilight shuddered. She turned away, squeezing her eyes shut, hiding what Celestia knew must be bitter disappointment. “I thought they were with me. That I was bringing Equestria along on a noble path.”

“But you are! Twilight… the fact that ponies falter, get distracted, or face a hundred other things that limit the purity of their walk with friendship and Harmony… it doesn’t mean that they’re not walking the path, or that the path isn’t worthy. Their walk may be different than yours, but they need leadership on it, lest they turn away even more easily. They need you to be that leader.”

After a few moments of silent contemplation, Twilight gave her a wan smile. “You know, for a retired mare at the start of her ‘mimosa week,’ you aren’t very comforting.”

Celestia returned the smile. “I earned my mimosa week by leading through the bad times, not the good ones. But I have every confidence that you’ll earn it, too.”

Twilight’s grin turned mischievous. “We don’t have to wait till I retire for mimosas with breakfast, do we?”

“Tartarus no, Twilight. Let’s start this week off right.”
« Prev   3   Next »
#1 · 2
Twilight Sparkle Caught Drinking While Country Faces One of Its Harshests Social Crises
by puff piece

Be it after the banishment of Nightmare Moon, the second coming of Discord, or the Great Butterfly Kerfuffle, creatures of all kind inhabiting the lands of Equestria have looked up at its Princesses for reassurance during harsh times. However, that does not seem to be the case with our current regent.
Multiple reports coming from Eastern Canterlot shed an unflatering light upon Equestria's newly appointed Princess.
Dynamite Stick, 68, had this to say, "You could see her in that balcony, waving that champagne flute around, blasting music. I don't rightly know how much she must have drunk to start having seizures." Additional reports indicate that the Princess was, in fact, dancing. "This didn't happen when Celestia was in charge, I tell you. That mare knew how to be regal."
Local brewer, Stiff Drink, 26, was confused. "What's the big deal? I for one, can get behind a ruler who can handle a good drink." After being informed the Princess was drinking mimosas, she launched into a two hour diatribe against fruity drinks. "Those things are an insult unto alcohol itself!"
#2 ·
In which a princess drinks alcohol.

The dialogue seems too fast-paced: the greetings, a somewhat semi-philosophical debate which gets cynical, and reassurance. I believe that this could be because the set-up for the story's setpiece (which I think begins with the debate) is too long and ends up suffocating the prime part of the story. Shortening the beginning (like starting with Celestia already in the throne room and/or reducing the beginning exposition about the events of the series finale) would provide more space for the debate and everything afterwards.

Overall, this is a good story that can be a scene in some Season 10 next-generation episode of the show, with a good moral to follow. Should see this in the middle of the pack at least.
#3 ·
The language, especially from Twilight, feels at once both too eager (childish) and too formal. "Recall that, for few terrifying moments..." Super formal and weird sounding from Twilight. But then, near the end, the bit about a retired mare and mimosa week sounds like an entirely different character.

Overall, I fear this reads like a moral in search of a story. The author had a message to get across, but the characters just clumsily explain it, rather than showing us their insight into it.
#4 ·
Crowns and Mimosas
This piece is very much a talking heads fic, and that contributed a lot to both what I like about this fic and what I dislike about it. It's not really a story, it's just some musings on a subject.

I really like the subject they're talking about and their responses to it, to the point where I would say it is rather profound.
The mimosa joke is pretty solid and cuts the tension just before the end. I could see naming the piece after the joke ruining it for some readers though.

Typos ("a wan smile," "know thentruth")
I think the biggest thing that can be done to fix the talking heads vibe is to add more characterization outside of what Twilight and Celestia are saying to each other. Have them do more things to add depth to their emotions.
“You know, for a retired mare at the start of her ‘mimosa week,’ you aren’t very comforting.” - I don't agree with Twilight on this line in the sense that Celestia didn't say something obviously discomforting enough to warrant it, at least in the manner it's currently phrased.
#5 ·
Genre: Talking Heads

Thoughts: I get the feeling that this story is meant to pack more oomph in its central conversation than it currently does. It builds to the moment where Twilight shouts about her disappointment and Celestia tells her it comes with the job. It's a bit blunt in its execution, though there are flashes of comedy and liveliness with the "mimosa week" concept.

Ultimately I'd want to see this acquire some more meat on its bones. It could have a broader scope than just the conversation. The scene-setting before that is extant, but limited--I really feel the word count ceiling here. Maybe just developing that more would provide a stronger foundation to build the central conversation on.

Tier: Keep Developing