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Nightmare After Nightmare Night · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Two Girls, One Corpse
Sunset took a deep breath and grabbed the edges of the toilet bowl. Another portion of vomit hit the water with a loud splash that made Sunset’s bowels twist. After she was done, she sat on the bathroom floor, panting. Whatever happened on Nightmare Night—or Halloween, as humans preferred to call it—she definitely didn’t want to remember it.

After a while of getting her bearings, she stood up and examined the contents of the toilet for traces of blood. As much as she hated throwing up, it was still better than what’d happen to her as a pony – that is, painful hours spent waiting for stomach rupture to end her suffering.

She flushed the toilet, hoping it wasn’t clogged – after the last Taco Tuesday, when she let Rainbow Dash use it, she had every right to be afraid. Luckily, the toilet worked so Sunset, whose stomach didn’t hurt that much now, looked into the mirror.

Her first thought was that she didn’t need a disguise to look like a zombie. Her skin looked pale and the state of her hair and clothes suggested that her aim while vomiting wasn’t as good as she thought. To her surprise, she also found out that she had a black eye.

Sunset rubbed her face. Now, that was new. The events of Nightmare Night were still shrouded in a veil of intoxication and bad decisions; who punched her in the face remained a mystery.

She shrugged and sniffed her t-shirt. This ultimately convinced her that a shower was a good idea. Even with a pounding headache, Sunset could endure a few minutes of water rustling, even though it’d surely echo in her skull as if it was a cathedral. Her smell, on the other hand, was just unacceptable.

Cursing under her breath, she moved the shower curtain aside. Upon seeing what was behind it, she froze – although not as much as Pinkie Pie, who was lying supine under the shower. Someone apparently had poured cold water all over her. Sunset noticed an empty syringe next to her and immediately thought of Lizard King, found in the bathtub after an overdose.

However, upon closer examination of the package lying next to the syringe, it turned out to be insulin. Sunset, however, was still about to pass out, run away, throw up, or all of the above; Pinkie could’ve, after all, drowned, choked on vomit, slipped and cracked her skull, or otherwise meet an untimely death in any shape or flavour.

“Pinkie?” Sunset shook Pinkie gently.

“Not now Mr.Rumplestiltskin, I'll turn straw to gold later,” Pinkie muttered, opening one eye. “Get out, I’m sleeping.”

“And here I was about to ask you if you weren’t cold.” Sunset stood up. Normally, she’d try to be tactful, but dehydration and hypoglycemia weren’t helping her at all. “Also, it’s my shower, so if anyone here should get the hell out, it’s you.”

Pinkie looked around. “Hmm, this is not my bedroom.”

“You don’t say,” Sunset muttered. “Find some other place to sleep. I need to take a shower.”

Pinkie slowly got out of Sunset’s shower, groaning and muttering something about the sorry state of her clothes. No wonder – apparently at some point during the last night, they decided to wrap her in toilet paper, perhaps in order to create an impromptu mummy costume. Of course, after sleeping in the shower toilet paper didn’t look as good. Nevertheless, Pinkie finally left the bathroom and Sunset could finally take a shower and regain at least a semblance of dignity.

When she got out of the bathroom, wrapped in towels that somehow survived the party, she found Pinkie sitting on the couch, staring at something in the distance. Sunset glanced at her; Pinkie was pale and motionless and Sunset thought it was the first time she’d seen her friend hungover.

“Do you want some water?” Sunset asked. “Or painkillers?”

“I’ve been wondering...” Pinkie said. “If Halloween’s over, then why is Fluttershy still hanging from the ceiling?”

“Pinkie, you shouldn’t just ask people why they are–” Sunset’s mind skid to a halt with the sound of grinding gears. At the moment, those were rather rusty gears. “Wait, what?”

“She’s hanging over there.” Pinkie pointed towards the corridor.

Sunset looked, but the corridor was rather brightly lit by the rising sun, making her bloodshot eyes hurt. She could, however, discern some dark shape in there. “Like, is she hanging upside-down like a bat or–”

“Nah, hanging by neck, totally dead.” Pinkie shrugged. “Do you know that if you wear a hangman’s rope around your neck, it cures headaches?”

“What is it, some Amish superstition?” Sunset asked.

Pinkie rolled her eyes. “Now that I think about it, she mentioned something like, ‘I’ve seen everything. Now I can die in peace’ when Rainbow punched you in the face.”

“What?” Sunset muttered, rubbing her temples. “Why did Rainbow punch me in the face?”

Pinkie shrugged again. “Something about proboscis monkeys. It’s a bit blurry because then Fluttershy brought a rope and I was like, surely you can’t be serious, but she said she was serious and I shouldn’t call her–”

“Pinkie, could you shut up for a moment?” Sunset asked. “My head hurts, my friend committed suicide in my house and when you’re hungover, your voice sounds like scratching a glass pane with the mother of all knives even more than usual. And that’s not good when I’m trying to figure out what to do!”

Pinkie raised her finger. “I don’t know how it looks in your world, but in here we usually call the police.”

“Yeah, but what will happen if magic starts seeping into this world again?” Sunset dropped on the couch with a sigh. “We’ll need someone to help us deal with it!”

“Well, Fluttershy isn’t helping us anytime soon,” Pinkie replied. “Unless magic causes zombies to raise from the graves, then we may see her again. Unfortunately, she may want to eat our brains, but at least Rainbow Dash and Applejack will be safe…”

“My brain isn’t working well either,” Sunset muttered. “But I know we can’t call the police. Not now, at least. There must be a way to bring her back to life…”

Pinkie scratched her head. “Well, we may go and find seven dragon balls…”

“I’ll go to Equestria and catch Spike,” Sunset said. “That’ll make two.”

“I’m afraid those won’t do.” Pinkie looked around Sunset’s apartment. “But if you really think reviving her would be easier than giving her geode to someone else, we may contact Twilight…”

“Sci-Twi?” Sunset furrowed her eyebrows. “Now that’d end with an Einstein’s monster…”

“Frankenstein,” Pinkie muttered. “Get your knowledge of this world straight. And I meant the other Twilight. You have all that magical mumbo-jumbo, don’t you?”

“Yes, but if Princess Celestia caught us anywhere near books on necromancy, we’d already be freezing on the moon…” Sunset smirked. “Who cares? She can’t reach us here.”

She grabbed the notebook from the shelf and started writing in it. The sound of the pen was unusually loud, but she kept writing anyway. “Okay,” she said after a few minutes. “Now, while we wait for the reply, we may get some painkillers.”

“And untie Fluttershy,” Pinkie said. “You know, when the body decomposes while still hanging, the head falls off.” She bobbed her head as if it was rolling down the stairs – quite an impressive feat, given her state. “Not to mention that it smells.”

“I wouldn’t know, we don’t hang ponies in Equestria,” Sunset said. “They’re dealt with in a humane way and sent to mercury mines so they can atone for their crimes.”

Before Pinkie could respond to that, the notebook started to vibrate. Sunset opened it and looked at the page. “Twilight is on vacation? Why now? At least Starlight Glimmer is there.”

“Who, that strange girl who sells Che Neighvara t-shirts?” Pinkie asked.

Sunset raised her eyebrows. “Must be her pony counterpart. She says we have to bring Fluttershy’s body to Equestria and she’ll think of something.”

“How?” Pinkie asked.

“How what?”

“How do we get to the portal?” Pinkie scratched her chin. “We didn't go to school. Even if we say we’re late, it’s gonna be full of people! You can’t just tell them we’re carrying a carpet!” She looked at Sunset. “Or rather you can, but nobody is that dumb… Except maybe Snips and Snails. Once, they-”

“SHUT UP, PINKIE!” Sunset yelled, wincing when her head exploded in pain. “We’ll worry when we’re at school. Now, you have to drive us there.”

“Why me?” Pinkie asked. “I don’t even have a driving licence.”

“And I’m pretty sure my BAC is still off the charts.” Sunset groaned. “Why did I even drink so much?”

“That's what you get for trick-or-treating with jello shots,” Pinkie said. “Anyway, you are the driver here.”

Sunset sighed. “No, I’m not driving Fluttershy’s corpse to school!”




“What am I even doing…” Sunset blinked, trying to focus on the road.

“Driving Fluttershy’s corpse to school.” Pinkie looked back, at the trunk of the car. “Not to mention my mother’s favourite daughter.”

“Who?”

“That’d be me, silly!” Pinkie chuckled. “Though on a second thought, this could be Maud. I am more of a black sheep.”

“I’m pretty sure I’m a black sheep now,” Sunset said. “I mean, my parents probably weren’t happy when they heard I ran to another dimension. Assuming they got what that meant. They never understood me when I talked about any advanced magic.”

“Oh, you should see my parents,” Pinkie replied. “If I started to talk about magic, they’d start to prepare wood for a stake.”

“What stake?” Sunset asked.

Pinkie sighed. “You know, witches, stakes, Spanish Inquisition? Well, no one expects that one anyway…”

“Pinkie what are you–” Sunset looked in the rear mirror. “Oh, shit.”

The siren wailed right next to her. When Sunset stopped at a red light, the police car stopped right next to her. Its door opened. Sunset gulped, wondering what’d happen to her now. Deportation to Equestria probably wasn’t an option, but if she told them the whole story of her life, they could always treat it as a plea of insanity.

“Your hubcap fell off,” the policeman said, giving Sunset the hubcap.

“Thanks,” Sunset muttered, smiling at him. “We’ll fix it soon.” She threw the hubcap to Pinkie and, as soon as the light changed to green, pushed the accelerator.

“Celestia’s tits, that was close,” she said when the police car disappeared in the distance.

“Celestia’s tits? Seriously?” Pinkie rolled her eyes. “I must start using this one.”

Sunset shrugged and turned towards the school. The parking lot and the school grounds were empty; apparently the lesson was in progress. Sunset looked around before parking the car as close to the portal as possible.

“Okay, now we have to get her to Equestria…” Sunset opened the trunk and looked at the body wrapped in an old carpet. “At least she isn’t heavy.”

“Vegan diet,” Pinkie said, grabbing Fluttershy’s legs. “It also gave her stomach problems. Like bad gas.”

“My life wasn’t complete without that information.” Sunset grabbed Fluttershy’s arms and they carried her out of the trunk. “Steady, we don’t want her to fall out of that carpet.”

Pinkie nodded. They were close to the monument, when they saw that someone was looking at them. Sunset froze, seeing a student sitting on the stairs, reading some book.

“Oh, hi Lyra,” Pinkie said. “What are you doing here?”

“The theatre group meeting didn’t quite work out,” Lyra replied. “On a semi-related note, Sophisticata got suspended for defacing Shakespeare and assaulting Flash with Laertes’ foil. All that because Flash mistook a foil for a rapier.”

“Sounds fun.” Sunset smiled sheepishly and gestured Pinkie towards the portal.

“What do you have there?” Lyra asked.

“A corpse,” Sunset replied before she could think of some better response. “I mean, umm…”

“A corpse?” Lyra chuckled. “That’s a good one… And you want to throw it into the portal to the land of ponies?”

Sunset nearly dropped Fluttershy’s corpse. “You know about it?”

“Dude, everyone knows that,” Lyra said. “I tried to get there once because I love ponies. Unfortunately, it was closed or something, so to cheer myself up, I bought that horse-shaped thingy from Naughty Drake, you know…” She opened her purse.

“I think it’s not the time,” Pinkie said. “But come to me later, we can compare and exchange our, umm… experiences.”

Lyra smirked. “I’ll be waiting…”

“Yeah, sure.” Sunset nodded. Together with Pinkie, they swung Fluttershy’s body and threw it into the portal before following it to Equestria.

“Yay!” Pinkie exclaimed, jumping out of the mirror. “Wonder if we’ll meet the other me!”

“Just not in front of Twilight, she gets ballistic when she sees more than one Pinkie at a time,” somepony said in a muffled voice.

“Starlight?” Sunset asked. “Where are you?”

“Lying on the floor after getting hit in the face with a dead pegasus,” Starlight replied.

“Sorry,” Pinkie said.

“No problem.” Starlight lit her horn, revealing a large pentacle drawn on the floor with some reddish substance. At every point of the pentacle there was a pony skull with a candle on the top. Starlight stood in the middle of it, levitating an old, leather-bound tome titled “Necromancy for Foals.”

“Wow,” Sunset muttered. “Did you remember to add some salt to manticore’s blood in order to prevent demons from running away and possessing someone?”

Starlight rolled her eyes. “Please. Do you think I’m a newbie? But unfortunately, full revival would take about a month, given her state.” She poked Fluttershy’s body and levitated it towards the centre of the pentacle. “We don’t have that much time. When Twilight heard that I revived some kid’s dead hamster, she flipped.” Starlight sighed. “Blah, blah, blah, you can’t use necromancy, blah, blah, necromancy-schmancromancy.”

“So…” Sunset, who’d already used her magic to cure her hangover, levitated Pinkie away from one of the skulls. “What are you going to do?”

“Something faster,” Starlight replied. “Luckily, this world’s Fluttershy is still in town. Also, Maud agreed to help.”

“Maud?” Pinkie’s ears perked up. “My sister is here?”

“More like, your sister’s counterpart from this dimension, but that’s not important at the moment,” Starlight replied, cancelling her magic and leaving them in almost complete darkness, dispersed only by the faint light of the candles. “Anyway, I need to start the ritual. Whatever happens, don’t move a muscle.”

Sunset nodded. Starlight walked to the corpse and opened the book. “Chapter Twenty-three: Memory Transfer.” She furrowed her eyebrows and lit up her horn. “Volcam lonshi tox! Volcam drilp! Hoath iaida!

The candlelight dimmed. Starlight raised her hooves, her eyes lightning up. “Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!”

“She got serious,” Pinkie whispered. The castle’s walls trembled at a frequency that shouldn’t be possible.

“Shut up,” Sunset whispered back, moments before a lightning struck in the distance.

ZACARE CA OD ZAMRAN, ODO CICLE QAA, ZORGE, LAP ZIRDO NOCO MAD, HOATH IAIDA!” Starlight exclaimed. All the lights lit up, revealing that Fluttershy’s body disappeared from the circle. “Volcam ehnub ror,” Starlight muttered before collapsing on the floor, panting.

“Is everything alright?” Sunset asked. At first she wanted to run to Starlight, but she stopped at the edge of the circle, remembering the tales of necromancers who walked into the circle before the ritual ended and their brains got fried by some loose demon.

Starlight raised her hoof. “It is. I managed to transfer all her memories to my brain… I think. You have those machines that allow you to access all the knowledge in the world, but you use it to watch cat videos or other humans, umm… copulating?”

Pinkie and Sunset looked at each other. Pinkie grinned. “It’s always the quiet ones, I knew it,” she said. “What’s her favourite one?”

Starlight winced, her face turning green. “I’d rather look into the eyes of the Black Goat of the Woods again.”

“So, now we have you with human Fluttershy’s memories,” Sunset said. “How does that help us?”

They heard knocking on the door.

“You’ll see,” Starlight said, running to the door. Soon, she came back with Maud and Fluttershy who were dragging a heavy sack.

“Do you have it?” Starlight asked. “Did you knock her out as soon as she emerged?”

“Yes,” Maud replied. “Boulder did.”

“You sure you knocked out the right one?” Starlight looked at Fluttershy.

“We could do the watching paint dry test,” Fluttershy said. “But if I was a clone, I’d be yelling ‘critters! critters!’ all the time.”

“Indeed.” Starlight nodded.

“Pinkie?” Maud asked. “What are you doing here?”

“More like, it’s your sister’s counterpart from another dimension, but that’s not important at the moment.” Starlight rolled her eyes and levitated the sack. “What we have here is Fluttershy’s perfect clone. Maud happens to live next to the mirror pool, which creates a clone of whoever takes a bath in it.”

“That’s awfully convenient,” Pinkie muttered.

“Actually, it was your Equestrian counterpart who used it to create enough clones of herself to give Twilight PTSD, so shut up,” Starlight muttered.

“PTSD?” Fluttershy asked.

Starlight scratched her head. “Must be human Fluttershy’s memories seeping into my brain. I’m afraid in Equestria we still call it ‘Lack of Moral Fibre’.” She opened the sack, revealing another Fluttershy, lying unconscious on the floor. “Okay, time to get rid of those memories…” She touched the clone Fluttershy’s forehead with her horn. “Back off. Something may explode.”

She lit her horn. The air around her trembled. Nothing exploded, but Sunset’s nostrils were suddenly hit with the smell of ozone.

“Okay.” Starlight stood up. “I also added a few things about not killing yourself, so we don’t have to do that again.”

“Thanks,” Sunset said. “I guess we all owe you one.”

“I should bring my sisters here next time.” Pinkie smiled at Maud. “You could bring your sisters and we’d have an interdimensional sister-only party.”

“Yeah, sure, maybe later,” Sunset muttered, looking at the clone. She turned to Maud. “You sure you didn’t knock her too hard?”

“Boulder says no,” Maud replied. Sunset sighed.

Suddenly, the clone opened her eyes. “What happened?” she muttered. “My neck hurts… Why are we in Equestria?”

“Long story,” Sunset said. “I’ll tell you next time we drink together. Which is never, because I don’t wanna drink again. And you shouldn’t either. We have to go back home now.”

“What?” Pinkie exclaimed. “Without the party?”

Sunset sighed. “Okay… But make it a little one.”




“And this is why we didn’t go to school,” Sunset said and took a large bite of her pizza. “Did we miss anything interesting?”

“Not much,” Twilight replied. “Although Rainbow Dash and Applejack also didn’t come. Guess that means my hangover cure worked.”

“Twilight, as far as I recall, you drank one beer,” Sunset muttered. “And it was root beer.”

Twilight blushed. “Maybe…”

The door to Twilight’s lab bursted open. “Hello, guys!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “You eat pizza? Without me?” She snatched a piece of pizza from the table.

“What’s up?” Twilight asked.

“Fluttershy’s a bit weird,” Rainbow Dash said. “She sits in Applejack’s barn with, like, ten other people and she keeps telling them that they should free themselves of the limitations society imposes on them, living in accordance with nature, building a village in the mountains, and other new age crap. A few times she mentioned something about cutie marks.” She shrugged. “Do you think it’s Equestrian magic or did she finally get crazy and started a cult?”

Sunset froze, still holding a piece of pizza in her hand.

Rainbow Dash smirked. “No wonder, after she got that rope at the party… Life-changing experience and all that crap.” She looked at Sunset. “You okay? Sorry about punching you, by the way...”

“I think we made a grave mistake…” Sunset whispered.


« Prev   6   Next »
#1 · 1
·
When I read that Sunset had a black eye, I expected Clumsy v. 3.0, but then it went right up the WTF alley...
#2 · 1
· · >>Miller Minus
I really like the prose here. The first 1/4 of this story has a surprising amount of scene-setting and tone-setting imagery, but it still read easily and pleasantly, and I think that has a lot to do with the strong sentence and paragraph construction.

As for the jokes, I did think there were a few great ones (like Starlight's "Getting hit in the face" joke), but I have to admit that I bounced off of most of them. I don't consider myself someone with a great understanding of how written comedy works, so take this with a teaspoonful of salt. If, gun to my head, I had to diagnose the cause, I'd say that something about the absurdist-deadpan style of comedy feels like it might be getting defused by the constant chattering dialogue. When characters talk, it's often tension-relieving, and this kind of humor needs the reader to feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole ridiculous situation for it to really work.

In the end, I still think this was a very strong piece. But I'm also eager to see if other reviewers had the same reaction to the comedy as I did, or if I'm an outlier (again!). Thanks for writing!
#3 ·
· · >>Samey90
I'm with >>Bachiavellian, I mostly bounced off this one. And I think he puts it really well that the absurdist deadpan humour just doesn't really fly in such a dire scenario, especially not when everyone's so chatty.

See, even in comedy fimfics, I like seeing the characters act how they normally would to some degree, and having everyone make light of their dead friend just feels like a cop-out for the funnies. Sorry.

And even if I strip the characters I know and love out of the story, I think the comedy needs strengthening too. It's a lot of references to other things that are funny, like the spanish inquisition or the "don't call me Shirley" gags, without really adding anything to them—and the rest is pretty low-brow. Sex jokes and lots of stuff that I've heard before, like the nerd being a lightweight or the cop investigating a car for the wrong infringement (which, by the way, you glossed over so hard that I wasn't sure you even wanted it in there). Also, I totally whiffed on what the PTSD joke was supposed to mean. Moral fibre? What does that have to do with post-traumatic stress?

I also have a similar complaint to Safely Doomed where I don't think your opening is setting up your story very well. It's kind of a standard description of someone waking up from a rager, without much new and funny imagery or backstory put in. Hell I wasn't even sure, for the first few paragraphs, that this was going to be funny. It's quite intentionally gross, instead, which doesn't do you many favours.

That said, I really liked the creativity of the plot here! The solution to the problem was really quite clever, and I loved how you used aspects of the show in your dark little plot here. Honestly, if this were less comedy and more of a legitimate horror/thriller story I think it'd be be, like, tenfold stronger. Really great work on that front.

That's all I can say here, Author. I hope my comments makes sense, and thanks a lot for submitting. I've seen this comedy on fimfiction and writeoff alike with very positive results, so you might just need to be patient and wait for the right audience members to happen on by.

Take care!
#4 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian >>Samey90
Bottom of the slate for that last line.

More seriously though... a solidly well-written story that pulled a few real smiles out of my unreasonably grumpy self this evening. The prose is all competently delivered, dialogue works, structure is maybe a little weird (the cop and Lyra interludes don't really end up adding much, the Starlight bit goes by real fast given the way you paced earlier scenes, etc).

Voicing I struggled with a bit. Sunset was fine. Sunset has a surprisingly flexible attitude that translates well across a multitude of scenarios, including weird black comedy. Pinkie on the other hand felt surprisingly understated and honestly a bit mean the way she snipes a couple times (the AJ/RD zombie comment, the Frankenstein correction). Like she really wasn't that loud or boisterous or even strange; she was just super blase about the whole experience. Which feels like a waste of your Pinkie Pie if you're going go with a black comedy.

The ending also feels like it just fell a bit flat. The punchline... exists? It just didn't really feel funny outside that groaner of a pun. The remainder of it... I guess, if I really try to apply myself to the analysis of humor, the issue is that the joke sort of exists outside the sphere of Sunset and Pinkie. It really isn't their fault, it doesn't really matter to them, it isn't going to come back to bite them, etc, etc. It's a sort of disconnected punchline because it comes back to Starlight who was honestly written as kind of a tertiary plot device here. So the joke ends up really not mattering because it doesn't tie back to our characters in any way. Or something.

I don't know. As I try to write this, I'm struggling a bit to really figure why this story didn't super work for me. I mean, don't get me wrong. It was fine. I'm fairly sure you'd get some laughs out of it and do well on FiMFic. I guess the best advice is I could offer would be to try and tighten it up a bit. Cut some of the fat and keeps us against the humor. Like the hub cap thing doesn't really add anything but a few second distraction. Lose that. If you want to maintain the Lyra scene, it either needs to barely exist (basically be the horse dildo joke and that's all) or tie back into the main narrative in some way. Etc, etc.

Looking up at the other comments now, I think I'm going to suggest the opposite solution: you need to lean into your absurdist comedy a bit. The stakes we have set here are "Fluttershy's death is an inconvenience that we need to deal with." Once we've got the mortality of a best friend at that level, we've basically established a world where death doesn't -really- matter. And thinking on it, I think that's maybe how you should approach this. Life is cheap and meaningless. There should be bodies piling up in the wake of whatever Sunset and Pinkie are trying to do. Death should come fast, stupid, and unfair. And then they should arrive in Ponyville with a heap of corpses that they force Starlight to fix, leading to the colossal fuck up wherein Starlight accidentally scrambles everyone's memories, leading to some punchy final joke and a lead out on Sunset and Pinkie having learned nothing. Hell, have it end with Fluttershy returning with Lyra's lust for horse. Or something like that. But I think with the tone you've got going on, that's probably the better pattern.

Also, I totally don't get the PTSD joke either. I guess it is a pony culture is kinda fucked up thing, but yeah, it is also another joke that is surprisingly cutting given how normalish things can be in this fic.

Thank for writing!
#5 · 1
· · >>Samey90
I'mma be real, Author. Between the toilet humor, the comedic sociopathy, and the pop culture references, I think you're trying way, way too hard to be funny. And it backfires.

Like, a lot.

On a surface level, this resembles two stories from previous write-offs: Spin the Wheel, Win a Prize, and Solving for Death. Both of those had similar premises, but succeeded by doing things drastically differently, and more effectively, than this one. In the former's case, Soarin' and Spitfire remained well-voiced and in character (given what few snapshots we have of them from the show canon), despite the subject matter and the conflict. In the latter, the humor came from the fact that everybody was horrified by what Starlight Glimmer did, except for Starlight Glimmer herself. Her sociopathy was funny because it was treated like sociopathy.

(I'd also add that the elements which contributed to the conflict were set up more effectively, whereas this has a Hangover premise that it quickly abandons)

In this, the characters feel like unnatural, Abridged Series recreations of themselves. The humor doesn't derive from the characters, and doesn't feel in character. And, germane to that, absolutely nobody is even remotely put off by the fact that Fluttershy, one of everyone's dearest friends, straight-up killed herself.

And I can see why that might be funny. I loved Wheel and Solving, after all. But those stories did the same subject matter and conflict leagues better than this one.

I'm sorry for being so blunt with my critique. If it helps, I thought that some of the lines were genuinely witty.

It's just, they didn't feel right coming from these characters.
#6 · 1
·
>>AndrewRogue
Looking up at the other comments now, I think I'm going to suggest the opposite solution: you need to lean into your absurdist comedy a bit.


Just to clarify, my main point in bringing up the absurdist humor style isn't that I didn't like it, it's that I thought it clashed with the tension-relieving dialogue. Like, I felt like the jokes were trying to catch me off-kilter with their weirdness, but the steady back and forth between Sunset and Pinkie kind of drained that nervous energy away. So I'm not really in the emotional state to get tipped over by any of the gags.
#7 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian >>Samey90
Pretty cleanly written manuscript and the story holds together, especially considering the time restraints we wrote under and despite the pun.

I will mention that I was off-put by the initial graphicness, but that's wimpy me so take it from a one readers's pov.

Then I thought, would Sunset be this cool around the collar under the pressure of the ultimate discovery in act 1? I eventually decided yes because of her bad girl background and that in-canon she only seems to get flustered about non-concrete issues of relationships and feelings she doesn't quite understand. That I had to substantiate that mentally may mean you should lampshade it with an appropriate sentence or two.

The main issue I had was how you used the plot device of worsening. Act 1 and act 2 were perfect. Toilet, tub, rope, carpet, police, Lyra—escalating stakes and reasonable outcomes.

Act 3, though? I prefer to think you ran out of time writing and paraphrased your outline/treatment. Though plot advancement by stupidity, which Sunset explicitly avoids is nice... really, you wanted something to go wrong with the ritual, didn't you? Not a digression to have a fight scene here. Starlight in-canon is stronger magically than Twilight and arguably even Celestia, and you kind of implicitly show that, but EqG Pinkie gives you an out to let something slip out; indeed, I took that as foreshadowing. Between Starlight and Sunset, they could handle a stinking demon, and since you mentioned it, what would an MLP demon look like? The story needs that worsening to make the feat of bringing back the dead feel earned, and that's really all your story lacks. I think you also showed and didn't tell fetching the clone and the comedy you implied there. Would seem natural to send Sunset to help catch Fluttershy. I look forward to your rewrite!

Again, I put the flaw down to time constraints.

Otherwise, the story was a hoot.
#8 ·
· · >>Samey90 >>Posh >>scifipony
>>scifipony
Starlight in-canon is stronger magically than Twilight and arguably even Celestia


Wait, really?? When did that happen?
#9 ·
·
>>Bachiavellian
>>scifipony
Celestia? I doubt it. If Starlight was as strong as Celestia, she'd have dropped the sun on someone she didn't like a long time ago. Possibly sometime during her evil phase.
#10 ·
· · >>Samey90 >>AndrewRogue
>>Bachiavellian It's debatable. The show has variously depicted her as weaker, or equal in power, to Twilight, but it's never shown her to have surpassed Twilight in strength.

I think she's just more willing to cut loose than Twiggy is, and doesn't hold herself back to the same extent.
#11 · 1
· · >>Bachiavellian >>Samey90
>>Bachiavellian
Asking for an academic discussion? Okay. In the spirit of friendship...

Twilight and Starlight had a magic duel. Starlight obviously beat Twilight horn on horn. (I stipulate friendship magic is a unicorn of a different color altogether.). Judging by the number of high level spells uniquely Starlight's, like her flying spell, her invisibility spell, her mind control off-hand concocted spell, and her turning Discord into a ghost... Need I say more?

As for Celestia, that's debatable but the scores are Celestia vs Crysalis 0:1 and Starlight vs Crysalis 1:0. And don't forget somepony switched some royal ponies' cutie marks, essentially announcing she could also nullify their powers by transferring them to a third pony. For Celestia, raising the sun is a powerful trick, but just a trick. There is that immortality thing, but she insists she was made (not in a vampire sense) and not born an alicorn. Who's stronger is still debatable, but other than blasting clouds or Crysalis or a long distance teleport, I haven't seen any additional impressive spells.
#12 ·
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>>scifipony
Oh, I actually knew about those things! It's just that I haven't been keeping up religiously with the new season (have yet to see the finale, among other episodes), so the way you worded it made me think I missed something.
#13 ·
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>>scifipony
turning Discord into a ghost...

Well, this one didn't work as intended, since she wanted to banish him from school altogether. Also, as >>Posh pointed out, Starlight just has a shorter fuse. Twilight had her "mind control gone wrong" episode in Lesson Zero, and I don't think we've seen any other unicorn using that spell before. Does that mean want-it, need-it is unique for Twilight, though? I guess Starlight's spells aren't unique for her either.

As for levitating herself, Twilight's limit seems to be stopping the whole fight with her magic in Hooffields and McColts. Guess lifting her own weight would be easy in comparison. She just doesn't have to do that since she has wings.

Also, as for unicorn strength, I wonder how Alicorn Amulet!Trixie and Shining Armor place on the scale.
#14 ·
· · >>Rao
>>Posh
I haven't read this story yet, but I gotta get in on the pony power level discussion.

EDIT: I actually thought this was a different story: apparently I did read this one.

In direct confrontation, Starlight has definitely not shown herself to be more powerful than Twilight unless I am misremembering the finale. Their actual Twilight to Starlight fight was equal at best, with Twilight being able to shield herself from Starlight's best offense (as demonstrated in the premiere where she no-sold the death laser). What she was failing to do was stop Starlight from disrupting a race involving kids, so I don't think her losing at that repeatedly is really the same as being outmatched by Starlight.

EDIT: It is possible I'm forgetting a later episode or something though. I dunno. I really need to rewatch the last couple seasons at some point.

On the subject of Celestia... well. Pony power level is ultra-inconsistent. The best appearance we have of Alicorn power is Twilight vs Tirek. If you compare Twilight's feats against Tirek to her feats against Starlight, the power gap is insane, meaning that the older Alicorns are likely on an entirely different level since, even accounting for that being the combo of Celestia/Luna/Cadence.

But honestly pony power level is 100% inconsistent and untrackable, with magic being pretty handwave-y so there really isn't much you can do but flail at examples and try to reconcile them. But my general takeaway would be Starlight is at Twilight's level, she's just a bit more obsessive and leans on dangerous effects more often.
#15 · 1
· · >>Samey90
>>AndrewRogue
Building on this a bit: Starlight is very much an emotive caster, I think. Her baseline skill and strength are higher than average to begin with, plus she's damned clever, but seems to jump dramatically when she gets really fired up about something (i.e., Trixie being a little too Trixie). Starlight v. Twilight comes down to a lot of one pony not wanting to break time any worse (like when Twi accidentally blocked Rainbow Dash) and one not giving a hoot because she's using [BITES THE DUST].

Now as for the story itself, I think I agree that you don't quite lean hard enough into the absurdity with Fluttershy's suicide. Unlike the above, I'm not sure exactly how to go about fixing it in a comprehensive manner. I will say, though, that the final gag with FlutterClone starting the cult feels really off-tone for the rest of the humor. Just my fevered instinct talking, but I sense there's a better joke to be told there. Maybe if Starlight set the whole incident up to gain a foothold in the human world? I dunno.
#16 · 3
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Retrospective? What retrospective?

>>Miller Minus
Also, I totally whiffed on what the PTSD joke was supposed to mean. Moral fibre? What does that have to do with post-traumatic stress?

It's an actual WWII term for pilots who, due to stress, refused to fly.

It's quite intentionally gross, instead, which doesn't do you many favours.

Frankly, I didn't like the prompt so I decided to go with "let's write Sunset throwing up and see where it goes". It's still not as bad as it could be, since my first idea was to have Pinkie die of overdose and, unlike Fluttershy whom we barely see, that description would be rather graphic.

>>AndrewRogue
the cop and Lyra interludes don't really end up adding much

Eh, what'd be driving with the body in the trunk without the thrill of getting caught...

Pinkie on the other hand felt surprisingly understated and honestly a bit mean the way she snipes a couple times

Well, I'd be understated and mean too if I spent a night lying in cold water under the shower, not to mention the hangover... But also, as you can see above, Pinkie was supposed to be the corpse in this story. Since I changed my mind and she survived, I was kinda stuck with her and let me tell you, there's no other character I struggle with more than Pinkie (Fluttershy is a close second, hence why she's dead).

the Starlight bit goes by real fast given the way you paced earlier scenes

Running out of time, I'd say. I'm currently making rewrites on it.

>>Posh
In search of a starting point, I based the whole setting on my older story Springtime for Shimmer. For the love of God, don't read it. This one is rather tame in comparison.

>>Rao
Now as for the story itself, I think I agree that you don't quite lean hard enough into the absurdity with Fluttershy's suicide.

She kills herself because she witnessed Rainbow Dash punching Sunset during a discussion about proboscis monkeys. Frankly, I'm unsure how is that considered not absurd enough.