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Rot · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Final Glimmer
The flesh on Starlight’s legs was starting to slough off. Desperately, Twilight tried, again, to break the magical barrier Starlight had placed around the entropic field she was generating. It didn’t work.

“You have to do something, Twilight!” Trixie wailed, as if Twilight had not been trying to do things ever since Trixie had come to her and told her the situation. “You’re supposed to be the special one, the alicorn princess! You need to save her!”

“I’m trying, I’m trying!”

Sunburst found another spell. “Look at this one, Twilight! It crystallizes entropy.”

Quickly Twilight read through it, and sagged with disappointment. “I’d need to be a dragon, Sunburst. This wouldn’t work from a pony’s horn.”

“Ah, well, there’s a thing I can do!” Discord said, his face lighting up. He’d taken it very hard that Starlight had woven the protective barrier at tolerances that chaos could not match or overpower, like a weave so tight even a sword couldn’t cut it.

“No, Dis-“ He snapped, and Twilight was an adolescent dragon. “-cord! Put me back, I don’t know how to cast magic as a dragon and I don’t have time to learn!”
Starlight was laying down now, her legs skeletonized. Her face was starting to sag with rapid aging. Her own horn flashed as she tried spell after spell to get the entropic field under control.

“I don’t think she can hear us,” Fluttershy said softly. “When I put my ear to the barrier, I hear a loud roaring.”

Discord nodded somberly. “Accelerated entropy does that.”

“Can you maybe send her a scroll?” Sunburst asked Discord.

“I can try,” Discord said, and the scroll vanished. It appeared in front of Starlight for a moment and then fell to pieces.

A flash of teleportation lit up the room, and Celestia and Luna appeared. “Oh, no,” Celestia said. “I know what she’s trying to do.”

“What is she trying to do?” Twilight asked.

“If she masters entropy, she can heal, and prevent death. But it’s impossible. I had to watch three students dissolve like this, Twilight. I’m so sorry.”

“No! I can see what she’s trying to cast and I think it could work, but it doesn’t have enough power, and her magic is getting weaker. Discord! If you can transfer me some of your magic, maybe I can break the barrier, and then transfer it to her!”

“You’re that adept with chaos now?” Discord raised an eyebrow. “Well, let’s give it a shot!”

Power, twisted upside-down churning power that made her mildly nauseous, slammed into Twilight’s horn. The world went white. She channeled it into a laser pinpoint against the barrier.

It cracked. Starlight lifted her head. Her horn glowed with the transfer, and the barrier filled with brilliant light.

For a moment, Starlight smiled, and then she crumbled to dust.

The barrier fell. “No!” Twilight wailed. “No, no, no!

Celestia’s ears pricked up. “Excuse me,” she said, and vanished.

Twilight stared at where she had been. Excuse me?

“Hold your tears, Twilight, Trixie,” Luna said. “I believe they are misplaced.”

Misplaced? Trixie’s best friend has just rotted to nothing and—”

Teleportation light filled the room again. Celestia was back… with Starlight. Who was taller, and had wings.

“I’m sorry I worried everyone,” Starlight said. “And thank you, Twilight, I’m not sure I’d have been able to get it without that last boost you gave me.”

“You idiot! ” Sunburst swept her up in a hug. “Never, never try a new spell without involving me, ever again!”

“I don’t understand,” Twilight said. “How--?”

“When you create new magic in the domain that you are destined to govern, that is what makes you an alicorn,” Celestia said. “But I thought it would be Time, Starlight.”

Starlight shook her head. “Time’s too risky. Been there, done that. Trying to control entropy only risked me.”

“Does this mean you can end death?” Fluttershy whispered.

“Even an alicorn’s not that powerful,” Starlight said.. “But I can make sure nothing dies before its natural time runs out… and I can extend life.” She looked at Twilight. “I did it for you, Twilight. I was so scared of what would happen to you if you live on for thousands of years, but your friends all die, and your brother, and who knows what would happen to Cadance and Flurry then? But now we can all be together, for as long as we all desire.”
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#1 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>alarajrogers
The Anti-AT Field is approaching infinite zero! At this rate, independent bodies will soon be unable to hold their form!

It may seem callous, but I'm calling most of this a waste of space. If it's about "saving" Starlight, then the resolution is a deus ex machina. If it's about Princess of Entropy, what was the point of the first five hundred words?

Also, the last paragraph contradicts itself. Starlight replies in effect that she can't end death, yet continues to say that she will prevent death "for as long as we all desire". So she can for all intents and purposes end death after all? The two are consistent if and only if death will eventually come, though perhaps only after an indefinite (infinite) period of time.

Probably 'She'? : “No, Dis-“ He snapped,
Also missing a line break following that paragraph.
#2 · 1
· · >>alarajrogers
Genre: Orange Tang Apotheosis (hi >>KwirkyJ)

Thoughts: Now that's an attention-getting opening paragraph. Hits one like a ton of bricks, and immediately establishes the stakes.

Or sort of does. I genuinely didn't expect this would end in Starlight's ascent to Alicornhood, so props for pulling off that kind of surprise! I guess if I'm going to complain, I'd say that this juggles a lot of characters for such a small word count, and the story gets crowded at times. I also think the final paragraph could give a stronger summation of what Starlight believes her new domain to be, and how exactly those powers would work.

However, with that said, this passes the likeability test for me. It maintains a strong emotional intensity and the prose is very clean, if dense at points. I really want to see the ending tweaked, but I think this gets the job done even as-is. What puts this over the top for me is that it manages to be gripping throughout.

Tier: Strong
#3 · 2
· · >>alarajrogers
Your opening here is amazing, in my opinion. You immediately raise the stakes with a situation that has a clear and concrete problem that begs the main character to come up with a solution. The thriller tone of the story is set right off the bat, and you've introduced the entire scenario and most major pieces within the first hundred words. This is a top-tier beginning, in my book.

However, I think it's kind of clear that you're running really hard into the constraints of the minific format. After Celestia and Luna literally pop into the scene, things start happening really rapid-fire, without a lot of exploration of the ideas the events represent. To illustrate my point, there are a mere sixty-seven words between Glim-glam's dustification and the reveal that she is now an alicorn. Having such a short period between a stinger like that and a reveal as big as a character's alicornification really makes both events feel less significant. In the end, we get a short paragraph of dialogue from Starlight that just tells us another set of big, high-concept ideas, and the story ends before we get a chance to actually explore any of them.

So personally for me, this story is not one I would have attempted to write within 750 words. There's a whole boatload of game-changing ideas that need a lot of space to develop without making them feel like afterthoughts or fake-outs. I'm just not sure that there's a way to fit all of that into a minific properly, as much as I did enjoy the set-up here and the conceptual idea of these revelations.

Thank you for entering!
#4 · 2
Strong opening, but it kind of falls apart as it goes on. The sudden appearance of many characters who aren't already established to be there, like suddenly Discord or suddenly Sunburst, makes me think of that episode of Rick and Morty where there are alien parasites who keep inserting false memories to make everyone think they have always been there. I mean, it's not like it's illogical for them to be there, but with no description of their presence other than them suddenly saying something, it feels like they're pasted in. The whole thing seems like you either mentally or actually physically cut out half the text you intended to be there to make it fit the size, and then the business with Starlight's apotheosis is... an intriguing idea, but badly handled. Reads like an amazingly detailed outline for a story rather than an actual story. I recommend expansion; this might actually work at 2,000 words.
#5 · 2

Yes, you're all absolutely right that this thing hit the limit hard... my first draft, which was already spare and rushed and almost more of an outline than a story, was 1100 words and I had to cut 350 of them. I'm probably going to treat this as more of an outline for a future story than an actual story; it needs a lot more expansion to make sense.