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Let's Make It Quick · Friendship is Short Shorts Short Short ·
Organised by CoffeeMinion
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#1 · 1
Genre: Groundhog Assassination

Thoughts: Creepy! Experimental!

...Somewhat unclear on that ending!

I rather like this, both as an invocation of the Groundhog Day concept, and as an example of clean writing that does a good job of capturing movement and emotion. I do have some quibbles with the ending, though I like how the story casually tricked me into ignoring that it's a mare who's supposed to get shot, while it's a stallion sitting there. Octavia's solution at the end hits a high note of poignancy, and I appreciate its cleverness.

With that said, I will grouse a bit that we never do get an explanation of what's going on, what its significance is meant to be, et cetera. The story plays this as a strength for much of itself, with Octavia's frustration about the scenario's futility coming through as clear, compelling emotion. And yet, with no payoff other than the presumed breaking of the loop, I'm left wondering what it all means. Groundhog Day made this work with the not-very-subtextual story of a jerk becoming a better person, which brought meaning to the otherwise arbitrary cycle. Here though, it's primarily (dare I say) empty despair that remains. Yes, Octavia feels a burst of inspiration at the end; but it's mostly funneled through a vein of l'appel du vide.

Honestly though, as I said earlier, I like this a lot. I will peg this slightly lower than I'd prefer to start with because it's my first review of the batch and I do feel there could've been more done to tie the meaning of it together. But this does an excellent job of tying the scenario itself together from beginning to end.

Tier: Almost There
#2 · 2
She was too detail-focused before, missing the armory for the rifle. In the end, perhaps, she learns how to C♮ly.
#3 · 1
This one is... strange. Worth mentioning early that, if one swaps out species for human and nothing else, there's nothing really connecting this to FiM. Especially with sniper rifles.

I don't see much of Groundhog Day in this one, for several reasons. While it is a time-loop story, whatever has stuck Octavia here has given here an imperative, and it doesn't explore any of the themes of self-improvement (because she can't, basically). It seems like the reader is asked to riddle out the identity of the looper (loop-causer), but that is impossible and ultimately irrelevant.

The descriptions of Octavia's struggles failed to really connect me with her; rather, I felt like I was just watching her try one thing after another, grasping at one straw after another.

The target being a mare where the one in the seat was nominally a stallion was a super-clever twist, and frankly the one thing this story has going for it. Given that, and Octy's final actions, it is reasonable to assume that she was the target, and the reason for it was because of her "mistake" of the mixolydian mode.

...Except that she was under no compulsion to play in that mode, or any other form of correctness or inappropriately. She just does. She felt that the universe wanted to force blues upon her just once before she died and/or obtained freedom?
#4 · 1
WOO, I loved this! I am such a huge sucker for ambiguous endings, and you nailed the tone of uncertainty super well. A lot of time loop stories tend to play out like lifetimes of reincarnations; you screw up over and over until you find a way to make it through without hurting anyone, and then you achieve transcendence. Though we don't get the transcendent moment here (and I'm personally more satisfied without it), the feeling of liberation from the wheel of time is palatable. This one's my number one this go-around. Well done.