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All the Time in the World · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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Their Princess
Twilight put her scarf on the nearby rack. She set her saddlebags down onto the hardwood floor.
“Good Evening Twilight!” a voice sounded from the kitchen. The faint clatter of utensils falling into the sink contested with various conversations. “How was your day?”
“Great!” Twilight replied “I finished off another book!” She followed the aroma of fresh bread towards the kitchen.
A mare, with purple and white mane and a magenta coat greeted her. “Woah! You are kinda light on your hooves a little down you think?”
“I often always forget that it comes with the wings,” Twilight smiled. She turned to a stallion with a darker coat, peeling some carrots over the sink. “How’s thing’s going, Dad?”
“Fine,” he replied. “Go on and take a seat at the table, dinner is almost ready”
Twilight made her way over to the table where food was already gathering. Doubling back to make sure her parents were occupied, she snuck a slice of cucumber and munched on it softly.
“…Annnnndddd…. Done!” Her mother swiped the dish of freshly minced vegies before Night Light could spare a chance to inspect it. “Don’t worry, Hun, I know the dish will be absolutely delicious, as always”
Night Light’s worried look melted into a gentle smile. He sighed softy and took his seat at the table. After a moment’s grace, and due thanks to Celestia, Night Light exclaimed “Dig in!”
Twilight reached for more cucumbers. She placed a liberal amount of everything on the table from stir-fry to rice, and fresh chopped veggies that her dad was trying to inspect for the hundredth time.
“One moment please, I need to check on something,” Her mom raced off to the other room. Her father chuckled softly and took that as his que to check the kitchen. A faint close of the oven door and the aroma gave away the surprise at the end of dinner- shortcake.
Night Light disappeared down a corridor into another room. Twilight shrugged and munched happily on the home cooked meal. It was hard to compete with meals at the castle made from Spike or Starlight Glimmer. However, memory had to chip in and rig the scores. If they found out she preferred her parent’s cooking over theirs, Spike would sulk in his bed and Starlight would create a parallel reality.
Suddenly, Night Light rushed bad into the kitchen “Oh no… Oh no… I forgot to set a timer,” he propped open the oven and shouted “NOOOO!” He fumbled into the drawers until he snagged an oven mit and a hot pad, quickly scrambling to pull his ruined masterpiece out of the oven.
Twilight Velvet walked into the room “What’s wrong honey? Did the Shortcake explode?”
“Quite the opposite, it shrunk” He looked at the shortcake in disappointment “I must’ve forgot an ingredient or two”
Twilight chuckled. This, was a first. Usually, Dad would try to prepare dessert, but often burnt it to a crisp. He would pout for no more than an hour, but make up with it with…
Suddenly the freezer door opened. Twilight’s ears perked up. She had to keep herself from leaping out of her chair, the pair of wings not helping to the bunch.
“I’m sorry honey,” Night Light started, as both of them made it back to the table “Dessert is going to have to be Ice cream,” He sighed.
Twilight Velvet brought a couple bowls of the table, with a look of disappointment. “Sorry Twili, dinner was a disaster” She set the bowls in front of each pony, giving Twilight the biggest bowl, although arguably, Dad’s bowl was bigger.
Twilight looked at her parents, unusually downtrodden. My, the Shortcake must’ve did a number on both of them.
“Mom, Dad,” Twilight started. Her parent’s eyes shifted off the floor towards her attention. Twilight slowly stated “Dinner was perfect,”
Twilight Velvet and Night Light gasped. “Really?” Her dad started “I thought your friend Pinkie Pie would’ve made a better meal,” He offered the ice cream to Twilight. Supposedly, Twilight thought this more of bribery, but she opened the container of ice cream and dished her parents a generous amount. Both her parents had a puzzled look on their faces. Her mother’s was a little more intense than her father’s. She knew, serving her parents first was a rarity. Usually, she would scarf down the deliciousily goodness before giving her parents a fair share.
Twilight started dishing her own, a modest amount filled her bowl. Red magic encircled the spoons. The spoons danced across the table before landing in their respective bowls. “I can’t choose between you and Pinkie Pie- your my parents, and she’s my friend. Knowing her, once I spoke her name, she would magically in our home, listening keenly."
A faint clatter in the background, behind the sink confirmed the suspicion.
Twilight chuckled "But, just as best, is a home-cooked meal with somepony you love. It's not the dinner, it's the company”
“I also thought after you’ve been with Rarity, seeing the table sparsely set up would insult your etiquette,” Twilight Velvet explained.
“Rarity would be proud of your set up- she has good taste and normally doesn’t like overly-regal, gaudy things- last time she did that, she was under the spell of the notorious inspiration-manifestation”. Twilight sighed “If only Spike didn’t eat it- I wanted to see what what was inside,”
Her parents stayed silent. Twilight laughed “Mom! Dad! Just because I’m a princess doesn’t mean you need to overstress yourselves with every minute detail!” Twilight giggled “I’m your daughter for crying out loud!”
“Just wanted to make this a special occasion…” Twilight Velvet eyes looked down at the ground “After all, you requested it out of the blue”
Twilight Sparkle answered “And you made it with your best effort, with all your heart and soul. I’m never disappointed”
“I need you to sit down with me and look me in the eye” Twilight pointed towards her purple eyes “Remember the time when you were with me when I was accepted into Celestia’s school?”
“Very well. Just like it was yesterday” Night Light said.
“Well, it hasn’t been yesterday,” Twilight explained “I want to know why you are so set on trying to impress me. I was inside that room during my test to impress you. What changed?”
“Well, you aren’t a filly anymore, that’s a first” Night Light ate a bite of ice cream gingerly.
“You’re right, I’m not a filly, but I do miss the times way back when,” Twilight followed her Dad, not scared to take another bite. “The reason why I wanted to come over is to purely, spend time with you,”
“What? I thought you were too busy with you princess duties, spending time with us was just something to keep everypony happy” Her mom looked dumbfounded
“Not to keep me happy,” Twilight pointed her spoon at her father, then her mother “I want you to be happy. You see, I’m not here to make sure everything is in balance, but rather, visit my parents and spend quality time with them,”
Her parents stayed silent.
“Remember Minuette, Lemon and Moon Dancer?” Twilight said.
Her parents nodded.
“Well, Moon Dancer was furious I left her,” Twilight said. “But I only spent a partial amount of my life hanging around her. I noticed she was lonely, and I didn’t want my parents to be that way either. After all, you spent eighteen years raising me, it’s unfair that I don’t pay my respects back”
Twilight continued, not even giving the bowl of ice cream a second glance “Ever since Shining has had his daughter, and me being off in some faraway place makes me wonder how you cope with it”
Her mother was very careful with her answer, yet seemed very natural at giving it “Twilight, all we want to see is our children to be happy,”
“And that’s the parent’s I know best” Twilight smiled. She explained while her parent’s listened closely “Overlooking my memories, there has been many, some that of my friends in Ponyville, some mended and rebuilt here in Canterlot. I could feel the most important one missing- my fondest memories. I couldn’t quite place it- but there is no place like home.
“Let’s face it--- I spend eternity out here, lifespan was increased along with the package with a beautiful pair of wings. They gave me freedom, they gave me peace. But, I could notice one thing missing for all this time away. How can I forget? Mom and Dad, the two very special ponies who give me all the freedom that time cannot buy- priceless little moments like these that- if I miss the opportunity, I will miss it forever”
Night Light gave off a smile as wide as Pinkie Pies. Tears filled Her mother’s eyes.
“So… what do you say, can we make a memory?” Twilight asked. Twilight smiled as her parents got out of their seats and embraced her.

“Oh come on!” Twilight complained “Landing on the boardwalk! I don’t have any money left!”
“Hehe… now you’ll have to pay!” Night Light grinned mischievously. Twilight looked in horror as more of her properties were mortgaged. She wanted to give off an “ACK!” but instead came out a long yawn.
“Oh, I somepony sleepy?” Her mother observed.
“Yes,” She admitted “Princesses still need their beauty rest. That doesn’t change with a pair of wings” She started off to the guest room of the house, which used to be her bedroom.
“Oh honey, you can take our bed, Dad will sleep on the couch, and I will take the guest room”
“Banishing me to the couch?” Night Light teased “Is it because you landed on Appleloosa flats and it cost you a quite a bit?”
Twilight Velvet gave her husband a firm nudge “Do you want to be sleeping there for the rest of the week?”
Night Light held his peace with a smile.
“Dad, is it okay to use Mom’s shampoo?” Twilight’s voice echoed from the bathroom.
“Why are you asking him for?” Her mother trotted past the bathroom, closing the door with her magic. “Of course you can!”
The water started, as the humidity began to rise. Twilight hopped into the porcelain tub and lathered her fur with soap. She took the shampoo and washed her hair with Mom’s shampoo. She felt the cooling of her mane and the aroma of Lavender hung thick in the air.
After all the suds were washed off, she stepped out of the tub and toweled herself off. She looked at the sink and remembered “Oh, mom! Can you give me my saddlebags? My toothbrush is in there!”
“Sure thing, Twi!” A couple of hoovesteps and a set of saddlebags levitated in as the door creaked open a pinch.
“Thanks mom!” Twi said as she reached into her pack and dabbled a drop of Toothpaste on her toothbrush. Her tongue tingled as the Toothbrush rushed around her set of teeth. She was doing quality as she could with the resources she had. After all, a princess needed her teeth sparkly and white, or the foal-free press would get on her tail end again.
As she opened her pack to put her toothbrush back, she read a note in familiar writing stating “Meet in our room for a surprise”
Twilight carried her saddlebags out of the bathroom, down the hallway, and into her parents room where they were smiling and motioning her to get into bed.
“We came to tuck you in, sweetie,” Dad explained.
Twilight rolled her eyes playfully “I’m over a decade too old… but if you insist.” Twilight didn’t have to be told twice when she hopped onto the king size mattress. She felt the blankets rush over her and wrap around her. “Goodnight” she yawned.
“Oh you are forgetting, your story!” Dad waved a book in front of her "Your favorite! Smartypants and the wand of Starswirl"
"Best night ever!" Twilight whispered to herself.
Her parents hopped onto the sides of the bed and began with the first line "Once upon a time..."
A couple stanzas later, their Alicorn Princess fell asleep.
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#1 · 3
· · >>Miller Minus >>PinoyPony
It's a cute little story, but there's a lot of technical errors, like missing punctuation or capital letters. Also, the writing seems a bit inexperienced, with most sentences being basic Subject-Verb-Object, with little variation. It gets pretty monotone after a while.
#2 · 2
· · >>Xepher >>PinoyPony
Genre: Slice-of-cute

Thoughts: A'ight, let's start with the elephant in the room: this has quite a lot of technical roughness. My absolute #1 recommendation would be to get some editing assistance with this.

But hold up--that's not a death sentence. I actually like the underlying idea of this very much! I think it's a cute concept, and the execution is complete. This is the kind of story where I'd rather encourage the Author to keep honing their craft and working on spreading their wings, rather than sit here dwelling on the technical issues.

Because when you strip everything away (and/or read this with an eye much more for the plot and high points rather than focusing on the text), I think you'll find a solid start to a cute fic. The tension of the Parents Sparkle being unsure of their place with a daughter who has surpassed their "station" is there, albeit blunted by the issues. But it's there. Any fic can probably be cleaned up if there's something there to be cleaned up. And this has absolutely got that.

Tier: Keep Developing
#3 · 3
· · >>PinoyPony
Style guide! This is very hard to read on a screen.

I have to agree with >>Samey90 that the writing seems inexperienced. Apart from what he mentioned, a look through resources on dialogue tags and dashes might also help. Unless, of course, you simply ran out of time and didn't have time to edit your story. It wouldn't be the first time that happened on this website.

You have a very good idea coming into this story, Author. A rift has appeared between Twilight and her parents ever since her ascension, and she wants that to go away, with the added bonus of getting to feel like a kid again. It's a great opportunity for a writeoff entry.

Overall, though, the impact doesn't really hit for a few reasons. One, because some of the dialogue is a little mechanical and doesn't sound like these characters. Two, because the emotional arc of the story—having Twilight and her parents reconcile and understand what's really important about their visits—is stated in plain words instead of being something that we get to figure out on our own based on the characters' interactions. And three, the formatting and grammatical errors can be a little distracting.

The first issue can be helped by watching more of the show and seeing how the dialogue flows a lot more naturally. For the second, I would suggest simply ingesting more stories, whether they be from writing, movies, TV shows, etc., that you yourself like (as well as some critiques and reviews of said stories), and figuring out what makes you like them on an emotional level. And for the third, having a friend look over your work and describe the errors can be a huge help.

Speaking of help, I hope this comment was helpful. Thanks for writing and good luck!
#4 · 4
· · >>PinoyPony
>>CoffeeMinion has already said most of what I would. There is a lot of work needed here. The idea though, is nice. Being treated differently because she's become royalty, and the family conflict on that ripe for story material. Keep at it!
#5 · 3
· · >>PinoyPony
To keep my impression short and to-the-point: The amount of typos is execrable, as though you didn't proofread it once, or even pay that much attention while typing it. The choreography is serviceable but nothing memorable (except for the part where Twilight seemingly teleported from the Ponopoly board into the shower). Nonetheless, the characterization and genuine warmth of the storytelling was consistently above many of even the better authors here, which is rather remarkable.

Keep at it!
#6 · 3
· · >>PinoyPony
This is a cute slice-of-life with decent character development. It also hits me close to home for reasons I'd rather not go into right now. I don't have any real complaints about the story itself, except it might be nice to start at a different point, maybe when Twilight arrives home, so we can see the setting established less chaotically.

The biggest flaw by far here is technical. You need more experience with writing in English, and that's just going to take time and effort—there's no easy fix. You might want to get somepony to go line by line through your work and point out every little detail, because there's a lot you need to learn.

One large thing: put spaces between paragraphs. You either need to indent or line-space paragraphs, and space isn't a premium online so spaces are preferred. The number one thing writing should be is clear and easy to read, and clarity is something you should be pushing for as you learn.
#7 · 3
· · >>Trick_Question
Is it safe to thank everyone for the reviews yet? I saw Baal Bunny do so without repercussions, so I take it that I'm safe!

First of all, >>Samey90
hit the nail on the head. Concept is extraordinary. Yet, my hubris (am I using that correctly? Eh… Meh) is the inexperienced writing. Have yet to harness voice and emotional arcs (Thank you Coffee Minion and Miller Minus). Now, the hard part, does anypony have pointers? I need a little more practice… a lot of practice. Got it under control. Bad habits I need to correct- provide spacing and make sure I have dialogue correct.

Now, >>CoffeeMinion
discovered my tracks easy. Yes, it was a hurry, with 3 hours to prep it before heading off to work. I mean, I started work two hours before the deadline, just enough fuel to set my rump on fire in the middle of the night. I had a hard time coming up with an idea that sticks to the prompt, yet didn't trap me in a dead end. Every Idea I jotted down missed the mark or ran out of pixie dust. Then, Inspiration! Only, one slight problem: I didn't have all the time in the world! With the Midnight Muse disturbing my beauty sleep, screaming “You want the best Idea? HERE IT IS!” My muse woke me at 11 o’clock in the evening before the premature deadline! Best idea ever! so, yes, TLDR: I submitted an unpolished story in a crucial moment. For sake of time, I didn't have time to sculpt everything… spacing and punctuation included

As for what many of you touched on, but >>Trick_Question
has suggested, “have somepony run with me line by line" I have yet to find a exceptional editor that has the time and patience with all the bad writing habits I have. Any references or pointers that can help me find an editor?

Unfortunately, I'll give a counter-argument to >>Miller Minus
(please don't hurt me!). The reason to why it's a little jotty is that I have taken a long hiatus from writing or view other works of writing. The reason? Killer number one to my fictions is that they are unoriginal. As you can see with a story on this site “Super Secret Mission" copied Calipony’s “Lava Monster" on Fimfiction. You can see more examples if you look for them. But, lets face it- there are rarely any original ideas left in the world. This includes this idea. The more I invest time in looking into other’s works, the more my subconscious copies it. It's real problematic. That's how I got this idea, pure and true. But, along with the upside of ostracizing myself from other ponies’ works, the more rough and flat my writing goes- it loses it’s magic. I'll take your advice in small steps. I need to start finding my voice- without imitating another’s. Balance is key. All in all, Thanks! This comment is super useful!

Thanks again to others who touched on the same topics!
Yes, thank you, I look back, and that part was a very rushed

Thank you for the comments… I was expecting worse since my unpolished story probably aggravated several readers, but the pleasant surprise was that the comments I had were still constructive, yet didn't ram me with a train of long, undying nitpicks and details. Or… my second suspicion is that many saw through the anonymity veil (I try to be sneaky and undetected, but I stick out like a sore thumb). I’m an amateur in the midst of professionals! Nonetheless, I Prefer to believe the first, not the latter. Thanks again! See you in another round!
#8 ·
· · >>PinoyPony
Any references or pointers that can help me find an editor?

Apart from begz0ring for help on the Writeoff Discord chat, I know some ponies offer professional editing services for a fee.
#9 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
I'm interested. But, to keep this brief, can I PM you on Fimfiction?
#10 ·
You can, but I don't know anything more than I've just said. I don't have time right now to help you out personally. But PM me if you have questions or something.