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Just Like Old Times · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
A Shame To Grow
“Flurry! Flurry!”

Twilight was searching the crowd for her niece’s cute purple curls, but the crowd of eager parents was dense. She wanted it to be a surprise at first — Surprise, Flurry! Auntie Twilight is here to pick an adorable little filly up from school and spend the entire afternoon with her! — but she had resolved to simply find her instead.

Finally, she caught a glimpse of her mane among the sea of colours.

“Flurry, over here!” she said waving. “It’s auntie Twily!”

Flurry Heart didn’t look like she had seen or even heard her. Probably because of the hoof she was keeping besides her head. If Twilight didn’t know best, she could swear her niece was trying to hide, which was silly. She was simply engaged in a deep conversation with her friends. Nothing else.

Twilight managed to slip into the crowd, still calling her oblivious niece. It was only when she got a lot closer that Flurry turned her head.

“Oh, hi Twilight.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Hi Twilight? That’s a bit short for an unexpected visitor, young filly. Come here.” She grabbed her niece with her magic, then with her hooves in a hug, while covering her brow with a big kiss.

“Twilight,” whined Flurry. “Put me down.”

She complied, but not before kissing her one last time. She then turned to the other fillies and colts who were trying their best to hide their giggles.

“Hi, you must be Flurry’s friends.” The ponies nodded. “Flurry told me so much about you. So I guess it’s Scarlet, Arctic Breeze and Cobalt. Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, Princess,” said Cobalt.

“Please, call me Twilight. Besides, it’s not an official visit. I’m here as the best aunt ever of this adorable little one. Which is not really less stressful when I think about it. I mean, you should have seen Flurry when she was just a baby. The cutest filly you could find but one that would always find a way to cause troubles.”

“Twilight, stop,” whined Flurry again.

“Did she tell you about the time she disappeared in Ponyville for a whole afternoon?”

“No,” said Scarlet.

“Well, she did just that. We search the town for hours, worried sick about what could have happened to her, before finally finding them.”

“Them?” asked Arctic Breeze.

“Yes, she and the twins were simply watching the trains passing at the station. We found them laughing, Flurry trying to imitate the sound of a locomotive. Choo choo!”

They all laughed, except for Flurry who was pushing on her aunt’s leg. “Can we go now?”

“Yes, yes, sweetie, we’re leaving” said Twilight with a smile. “I know a filly who gets fussy if she doesn’t have her supreme double chocolate snack.” That elicited a few more giggles from the young ponies. “Well, goodbye children.”

“Goodbye Pr-Twilight,”

“See you tomorrow, Flurry.”

The two alicorns walked away from the school, the youngest a bit behind and pouting.

“Auntie Twily, why did you do that?” she asked.

“Did what?”

“What you did. That was… embarrassing,” she added, avoiding her aunt’s eyes.

Twilight gasped. “Embarrassing? So I have become old-fashioned? I knew a day would come where my niece would not want to be seen with me, but I thought I still had time, especially with a teacher like Rainbow Dash.”

“I...I didn’t say that.”

Twilight nudged her niece. “Don’t worry, Flurry, I was just teasing you.” She sighed “I’m sorry, I sometimes forget that you’re not a baby anymore, and that a time will come when I won’t be Auntie Twilight.”

“No, you’ll always be Auntie Twilight to me! It’s just... “

“What? Not in public?”

“No…”

“Just noot in front of your friends?”

“... yes.”

“So I suppose that my plan to bring a little filly to the ice-cream vendor, then to the toy shop, then to the library before heading back home is still up?” Light burst into the filly’s eyes who vigorously nodded. “Good, let’s not waste anymore time.”

They trotted a few minutes before Flurry Heart spoke. “Auntie Twily?”

“Yes, honey?”

“I think I have a small crack in my hoof, and I don’t want to make it worse so, could you… could you carry me on your back?”

Twilight smiled, grabbed her in her magic, and set her at the usual place. And with that, the two ponies walked towards the ice-cream vendor, eager to enjoy a treat and the afternoon.
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#1 · 2
· · >>Fenton
I’m 100% on board with embarrassing kids in front of their friends as an adult family member – it is part of the Dad Code, the Mom Code, the Aunt and Uncle Code, the Grandparents Code, and the I’m Not Even Actually Related to the Kid But Am A Family Friend Code.

However, this story doesn’t really feel like it goes anywhere. It is just what it is, without any real greater sense of purpose or anything else, and it doesn't really feel like an independent entity as a result.
#2 · 2
· · >>Fenton
I can't pin down how old Flurry is here. The age of "my relatives are the ultimate embarrassment" is usually well after the age of "will you carry me," so I'm not sure if I'm looking at a tweener or a little younger. A few editing problems bouncing around.

If I can ignore the age thing, you do have a cute story, though the kid embarrassed by parents isn't exactly a new angle. There's kind of a weak point being made—that Flurry does still love Twilight and value their friendship—but that's pretty much what I'd expect anyway. So what point do you want the story to make beyond that?

At least that's the question you should be asking if you want something more hard-hitting. Somewhat pointless fluff does have its audience, and I certainly find myself at times wanting a quick read that's uncomplicated and cute, but a point I come back to with minifics is that they should surprise the reader somehow. That's how they get remembered. And everything here plays out just as I would have expected it to after the first couple of paragraphs. Maybe if we had a Twilight struggling to maintain a connection to her niece, or a Flurry who's feeling angsty but sees Twilight as an anchor (either the good or bad connotation of that, and possibly both) there'd be something to chew on, but as it is, it's just kind of an "oh, that happened" story. That is, there wasn't any character growth, and the conflict was very low-key.
#3 · 1
· · >>Fenton
Twilight's way too over the top and oblivious in the opening, which could work if this was played for laughs, but it's not. On top of that, Flurry's reactions and dialog seem far too mature for the implied age of a pony-back ride and ice cream still solving all by the end. The idea of the story could work, but it needs a lot of polish to make things feel less generic and real give depth to the characters here.
#4 ·
· · >>Fenton
Genre: Embarrassing Relatives

Thoughts: Shucks and dangit, the other reviewers have scooped most of what I might otherwise want to say. Just to riff a little though, I think there's a good core idea here that is simple in scope but has decent potential. I agree that pinning-down Flurry's age would probably help this scan easier. And Twilight being a little more self-aware up front could be fun, too?

Tier: Keep Developing
#5 · 1
·
>>TitaniumDragon
>>Pascoite
>>Xepher
>>CoffeeMinion

Time for the explanation.

I didn't mention Flurry's age because I had no idea how old she could be. I'm not sure when you start feeling embarassed by your elders' behaviour, so I left it blank. I guess that, like time, it's relative.
What I should have mentionned and insisted on is that it's been a while since Flurry had been carried by Twi on her back, so her request at the end is supposed to have it both ways:
- Flurry wants to ease her Aunt's feelings by doing again smth they were used to do when she was a toddler
- Flurry is torn between her desire to grow and to become an adult, and the simple joy of feeling loved that comes with these embarassing behaviours.
And if it wasn't clear enough, Flurry's doesn't have a crack in her hoof at all.

The point with that was more or less to emulate what happened with Rarity and Sweetie Belle, when the former has a hard time to accept that the latter has grown up.
And honestly, I'm surprised that I passed the prelims. Voting and its mysteries.
#6 · 1
·
Just noticed I've forgotten something.
Thank you for the feedback.