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Will Friendship Be Enough? · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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My Fragments Shored Against My Ruin
I am always taking the last leap, a leap into forever, a blow that will never land.

My rear feet are planted in the stony base, my forelegs rampant like an old military monument, my mouth open with that last cry of anger that turned to horror. I am stuck now, always in the moment when I was stricken with Harmony and... arrested. The impulses that drove my powerful muscles in that desperate attack lie dormant in my frozen body like slim veins of gold in a mountain. I am at one with my past and present, I am always now, and my future is a course more fixed than the straightest arrow that ever flew.

I can't sleep, but I can still think along the sluggish neural paths. I can almost feel the thoughts crawling through my brain, glacial and unyielding, seeking their old trails as lightning seeks the path of least resistance through the air.

In the beginning... lots of fire. Somehow, plans to take over the world always have fire somewhere. There was plenty in the sky for me to use, after all.

Those I counted as my closest friends turned upon me, not long after I first got a chance to touch the reins of the sun. All I did was for their good; it was just that I was much better at arranging things than they were. They just never quite saw that. I had to resort to desperate measures in the end.

For a while I was able to hold them at bay as I remelted the world to a better future, but then that insufferable old goat had to pop in, sighing and putting down his half-eaten teacup. When Harmony thinks it necessary to invoke the aid of the Lord of Chaos, you may officially count that your plans have gone awry.

I snarled and leaped, seeking to dodge while I prepared a counterspell of instant inflagration, but it circled me too quickly. I felt the energy tear through and between the particles of my body, and I was half expecting the offer of redemption that I had myself dangled before others, but Harmony was not looking for mercy. It tore away the time from me, the ability to take action, and left me with no way forward, nowhere to exist, but now. Now, now and forever, as the whiteness crawled over my skin and permeated my whole body...

And since then, caught in my eternal now, I get to watch the world progressing, leaving me behind. I watch the trees being stripped of leaves and reclothed with green that fades to red and gold and brown. I see the river changing its height ever so slightly on the tides, the winds being sculpted around the clouds in the sky. I am rained upon but do not feel the damp; the sun warms me and the snows cool me, but none of this arouses my skin to any response. I can only see and hear, by some odd construction of magic, or perhaps as an act of mercy.

The field in which I was conquered has been converted into a sort of memorial park, in honor of my stunning defeat. Several times a week I see my old friends who performed the final act of betrayal; they're trying to redeem me or at least console me. I see the appealing banners, the flower wreaths left for me as if I was dead. Each one appears to me as a brief circle of color that quickly turns into a hole of decaying brown.

We've gotten beyond friendship, I think, old chums. But don’t worry, when I get out we shall have such a pleasant reunion.

They get older each time I see them, graying to match my own hue. Then some of them stop coming, and their children come for a while, and then they and the generation after seems to find better things to do. I have apparently become a legend, a story of no direct emotional import attached to a gray old statue. The children that play in the park lose their respect and start to draw on me with chalk; then paint on me, and one even uses a chisel to carve initials in a heart on my pedestal, then proceeds to have a revolting little assignation with an equally vacuous paramour right under my nose, as it were. Had it been in my power I would have tipped over my pedestal to fall upon them.

As the years pass, I watch the sun's path wriggling up and down in the sky and take comfort from the lunar phases as the stars slowly proceed in their celestial courses. It seems that I am not to be forgiven in any mortal lifetime, and my fires for revenge must be banked. I still hope for freedom, to complete that leap that I had been taking, but at the same time, I am getting accustomed to life at this tempo. No one is talking to me, save the wind and the grass and the sky. I find myself thinking rock thoughts, familiar pathways worn deep in my brain, taking comfort in the rhythm that flows in circles like the seasons, changing yet staying the same.

My surface is weathering deeper, there's a tingling as the lichens crawl over me. One of the cuts that were delivered to me in my final fight has gotten a seed lodged in it, and it has sprouted. I watch the thing pressing its roots deeper into my foreleg, and one day there is a tik swifter than lightning and a flake of stone falls away. It takes another decade for the bush to crack my foreleg off. Strangely this does not alter the frozen impulses that lay threaded within my sundered limb; though separated I felt its presence pressing into the soil. I felt remarkably detached from the whole event, though the meaning was clear; never again would my body awaken as it once was.

Centuries later, the pedestal fails me. My slender hind leg cracks free and I topple. The first I know of it is when I strike the ground and shatter, my neck snapping, my remaining limbs crushed and driven into the dirt. Nothing marks my humiliation save the passing clouds and the great blinding sun, into which I stare unblinking.

The plants continue their work of dividing me. Insects crawl over me, some wandering hiker takes a horn fragment home for a souvenir. I can still extend my awareness of the sundered pieces if I concentrate and they are near me, but the horn strains my capabilities.

I slowly merge with the soil as the stars spin and constellations change overhead. Things burrow through me and make their home in me. My chest cracks from tree roots and my heart is split asunder, never to finish its beat.

More centuries pass. The memorial park is now a grove of dead trees that no one comes to visit, surrounded by rusted fence and crumbling stones. My old comrades are long buried, along with anyone else I’d ever had cause to hate. Still, that ember of resentment burns deep inside me as if reflecting the sphere of fire in the sky. The unicorns must be guiding it now, without one such as me to take the reins.

I have been hearing the distant waves for decades now. The sea is getting closer as the land spreads and splits and drifts at the pace of its own currents, slower than ice sheets but surer. The ground has its own tides and with nothing else to occupy me I watch the subtle rising and falling as the river widens into a gulf, and the gulf into a shoreline.

I am now part of the beach, and the waves are gently carrying chunks of me out to sea. I am becoming less of one thing, and more of a process, instead of feeling the wave, I am the wave.

Bits of me are being made into other things, joining the seashells and corals. Each time there is a storm, it scatters me further, each time a fish bites at a sea worm and gets some sand in its gullet, I am carried further adrift. I spread out in curling currents, mingled with tiny sea skeletons and whale bones, sculpted by fins and claws.

The heat of the undersea volcanoes bubble the water into steam, and the mighty folds of the ocean floor push past each other, carrying fragments into the fault line, melting my substance into the mantle of the world, pulling and rolling me into the deepest flows, mightier and more majestic, vaster and weightier, than the currents of sea and sky.

And now I start to feel the beat of the world in earnest, the cracking and sliding of thrusting strata and the roiling of magma under the crust. I am a thing like the seasons, the flow, I feel the glaciers sliding down over me and receding, the sliding of the continents over me. Despite the turmoil and the heat, I am at peace now, content to spread through the globe like color on a soap bubble.

In tune with the great radiating core at the heart of the world, I feel the knot inside me start to melt away. Grudges and resentments seem things that are meant to distract the temporary beings that flitter across the surface, live their brief lives and return their bones to the soil. I now experience directly what true power feels like, and it reshapes my soul; no other emotion has ever been able to constrain me, or alter my course.

Millenia are passing as I drift and my distant matter flows with the heartbeats of the world. Life continues in one way or the other on the surface. But this life is more and more formed of the atoms that once were me. It has, via the vagaries of chance or the pressing concerns of fate, quite a lot more of what was me than has accumulated elsewhere. Perhaps Harmony has at last decided that I have served my time and completed my penance. I cool and coalesce, slow and come to the surface, pressed up into hills and mountains.

Eventually enough of my remains come together in unified places, and from my almost timeless geological dream I rise to new awareness. From deep dreams of blood I take root in another’s womb, and in another eyeblink of time I am once again cast out into the world.

As I am cleansed and licked by mother’s tongue, I stare around and am confused for a moment to see myself in stone-white flesh again, but I realise that the body in which I am reborn simply has a white coat color.

I feel power and movement around me again, and gasp for clean air as my infant body lies squalling. I look out at the world again with fresh untainted eyes, colors rich with fresh potential, scents teasing my memories to rise, sounds calling to those whom I once knew, the friends who sequestered me for the good of the world that I might learn temperance, patience and mercy. Perhaps they themselves persisted and shall reunite in one form or another, and I may meet them and thank them in subtle ways for their good deeds in times past.

I already perceive remote areas that also harbor my original substance, though much of me remains bound deep in the world and connected to its power. In years to come I shall go seeking for these areas, and shall likely build a new castle at one tall spire that has accumulated more of my atomies than the others. It is sure to be a sacred site, full of ancient power and secrets.

This new life of mine will be a marvel. I shall take a grand place in the world, one that encompasses all the spheres of magic, from rock through sky to stars. Cleansed of my ancient ire, I shall make of myself a paragon to lead the world naturally to the prosperity that I tried to force upon it in my weakest moment, and reunite myself and the world in Harmony. I swear this to myself in an oath written with all the fires of the sky

No more shall I live merely to break the day; whatever my new birth name may be I will write my own identity.

Something celestial.
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#1 ·
· · >>PinoyPony >>GroaningGreyAgony
This officially has stolen the first place spot on my slate. Why? It instilled feeling and provoked thoughts for me (see below for details).

This fic is effective in the fact that it has one purpose only: to tell an alternate story of Discord. Yes, we all know canonically that Discord is conscious in the centuries he spends in stone. However, this goes deeper to make the reader feel the merciless passing time and give them an existential crisis along the way.

This also gives depth to the reason why Celestia and Luna, his friends, sentenced him to stone. Maybe the reason why isn’t to store a villain until a determined date in the future. Maybe the reason why is because the passage of time would allow such malice to dissipate with the flow of time, much like many, many other processes that take place in the universe.

Being all prose, this fic stands boldly, as these types of fics have to hit the right notes to be effective. However, this one knocks it out of the ball park. I have no chink that I can expose nor advice to give since this one’s rock solid (pun intended).

Thanks for writing!
#2 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Pretty cool fic. But I have a hang up with it. Firstly I feel like the prompt gets lost within this story, this freakin horror story about Discord falling apart over eons and not being able to do anything about it. Like being rendered paralyzed by venom as it slowly kills you or something. In that case this story is very well written, but I by the time it was over I forgot what the prompt was.

The passage of time beat down Discord's wrath and that is because Celestia and Luna turned him to stone. And then he was reincarnated. as an adorable white kitten. My first thought was "did he just get reborn as Celestia?" But that wouldn't make sense she isn't the only thing that can have white fur. So that's a mystery.

I suppose the idea is Discord's punishment had an almost divine element of foresight ingrained into it. Over the millennia his soul was filtered by the planet and cleansed and technically he's been given a second chance. I just loose what that all has to do with friendship. Is friendship enough? Yes? No? By the point of his reincarnation does it matter? I sadly can't tell.
#3 · 3
· · >>PinoyPony >>GroaningGreyAgony
...I don't get why other commenters think this story is about Discord.

Discord's in it, but it's pretty clear that the main character was opposed by Discord -- "For a while I was able to hold them at bay as I remelted the world to a better future, but then that insufferable old goat had to pop in, sighing and putting down his half-eaten teacup. When Harmony thinks it necessary to invoke the aid of the Lord of Chaos, you may officially count that your plans have gone awry."

The main character tried to take over the world by controlling the sun, was defeated by Harmony, Discord, and her friends, spends so much time in stone that it bleeds away all her malice and makes her sincerely believe in Harmony, and then she's reborn as a white foal. Who thinks to herself that no longer will she live to break the day; she'll take a new identity, something celestial.

... How is it not blatantly obvious who this is?
#4 ·


Welp, I messed up. Sorry writer for the misconception. By my review going first, I think I've tainted the viewpoint with an incorrect presumption.

Thanks for the clarification >>alarajrogers ! Good thing you caught it before it got out of hand!

...I'll see my way out before I cause any more damage.
#5 · 1
So the story is actually about Daybreaker? Well color me fooled. I figured this was some alternate interpretation of events. But I never thought it was a completely different set of events. So in my mind I was locked into what was canon and slightly alternate versions of canon. To me everything about the story screams Discord.

I never would have assumed this is a pre Celestia origin story and Discord is a good guy. Now I wonder where Luna is. I assumed this was a reformed Discord who had backslid into evil and had to be petrified again. Oops.

But now the white fur thing makes a heck of a lot more sense. Daybreaker's design is so ugly I kinda forgot that alt version of Celestia ever existed.
#6 · 2
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
This was super radical. I didn't mix up the narrator for Discord, like some others, but I wasn't sure until the end either, which I believe was the point. Frankly, my money was on Twilight for a while there. SciTwi did have a similar "just shut up and let me unmake reality real quick" moment, after all. But, there's clues that it's Celestia, or at least a precursor. The melting, the fire in the sky references, the hateboner for Discord.

As written in the lore, I'm a huge fan of first person present tense work, and this is exemplary. Varied sentence openings and a strong description of the going ons (goings on?) around the rubble as it travels sell the spreading sensory input and fractured body. Relating back to the concept of fire, it's great that it takes the core of the world to finally unravel Protolestia's hunger for vengeance.

This is only the second fic I've read, but it's a strong contender for 1st in any round, and I'm happier having read it.

Edit: Also shout out to extending the history of Equine-ish civilization back a whole geological era. That's super cool too.
#7 · 1
>>PinoyPony, >>pigeonsmall, >>alarajrogers, >>Rao

My Fragments

Thanks for the silver and the great comments! Congrats to Pinoy and Pigeon, and a salute to Anon, whoever you are.

I followed my own advice on this one and did a crossover with the prompt that I had wanted to win. : D

I actually had most of the story written before deciding who the narrator would be; I had originally envisioned the fic as portraying a future Equestria, with Twilight/Glimmer/Young 6 as candidates, but choosing proto-Celestia and setting it in the past proved to be compelling enough.

Thanks again, and see you all next round! Enjoy the art in the meantime.