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It Could Have Gone Better · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids
"I don't know about this, Cadance. It feels a little weird."

Princess Mi Amore Cadenza smiled gently. "Now, now, Shiny," she said. "It's good to be adventurous once in a while! After all, we have no idea what sort of customs and traditions they have in the lands beyond the magic mirror. I think it would be a good step toward fostering interdimensional cooperation and understanding for us to try some of them out."

"But doesn't it bother you at all that Twiley sent us something this...intimate?"

"Stallions!" said Cadance, with a playful scoff. "Always sexualizing things! It's just a simple bottle of preening oil. I, for one, would love to know how pegasus ponies keep their wings neat and attractive in this strange 'Canterlot High' place that our sister keeps talking about visiting. Plus, based on the label, I think it has a warming agent in it." She grinned, a bit devilishly, running a tendril of sparkling blue magic up the side of Shining's neck. "Doesn't that sound nice, my brave Prince-Consort?"

"Now who's sexualizing things?"

Cadance turned from devil to angel in one moment of coy metamorphosis. "I'm just saying," she said, tracing a pattern in the rug with one impeccably-manicured hoof, "I could make good use of a spare set of teeth in my grooming rituals tonight." She spread her shimmering, violet-tipped wings wide, rustling her feathers enticingly, and she was gratified to see her husband's pupils dilate, his breathing quicken.

"I'm on board," said Shining Armor, snatching up the strange little bottle in his telekinetic field. "How much do I put on?"

"Just a little, at first," she said, delicately arching her left primaries in his direction. Shining Armor uncapped the bottle and poured a measure of thick reddish fluid onto the curve of her alula. "Mm," she said. "I definitely feel something."

"Okay," Shining Armor said, running his tongue across his teeth. "Now, I know I'm nowhere near as good at this as a natural-born pegasus, but I hope I can give you at least a little satisfaction. Just like we practiced, right?"

"Right," said Cadance, her voice becoming a bit dubious. "Shining, wait. I'm suddenly not so sure about this."

"Just relax, Honey. I'll be the first to admit this hasn't always gone well for us, but I really think I've got the hang of it."

"All right, if you're sure," said Cadance, offering her wing again. "It's just that the warming sensation is getting pretty intense—"

Mustering his confidence, Shining Armor gave his wife's plumage the most delicate of nibbles.




Fifteen minutes later, in the opulent crystalline kitchens of their palatial home, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and Prince-Consort Shining Armor stared haggardly at one another over a heavy pitcher of cold, white milk. Cadance's violet eyes had turned an angry red around the edges, and Shining's coat was drenched with sweat.

Cadance's lip twitched. Then, a chuckle.

"Wow," she said.

"I'm, uh, sorry—"

She laughed. "No lasting harm done, Shiny."

"I want to say it. Sorry for panicking and getting it in your eyes."

"Apology accepted," she said, "if you'll accept my apology for knocking you onto your dock in my haste to get to the bath."

"Accepted in turn," said Shining Armor, his gallant gesture dissolving into a series of coughs. "That," he said, when he recovered his breath, "was the worst preening ointment I've ever tasted."

"I don't doubt it," Cadance said. "It didn't much feel like a peach either." She studied the offending bottle. "'Texas Pete Wing Zing. For Super Hot Wings.'" Cadance shook her head, putting the bottle down. "I don't know much about Canterlot High, and I'm not sure who this 'Texas Pete' is, but his preening aids are absolutely ridiculous."

"Obviously grossly mislabeled, anyway," said Shining. "There is no doubt in my mind that you have super-hot wings, honey, and that bottle was clearly not for you."

"Aw," said Cadance. "How sweet. Kiss?"

Shining Armor leaned in. Their lips touched.

Cadance's eyes went wide.
Pics
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#1 · 3
·
A cute little tale that competently delivers a joke. I have no criticism to offer. Upper mid tier, I think.
#2 · 2
·
Genre: BWAHAHAHAHHAAHAAAA

Thoughts: Yep. Yep yep yep eeeeyup.

I mean, on the one hand, this is a little bit of a one-trick pony. But on the other hand, the trick is pretty dang hilarious. There’s real-feeling-ness in the “marital” parts of this, the comic timing is tighter than a tight thing, and the ending successfully leans on its central joke without feeling cheap like a feghoot.

Tier: Top Contender
#3 · 1
·
Aw man, now I have to choose between this and “A Little Shortcut.” Exquisite comedic timing and a punchline that I never saw coming. I knew it wasn’t going to end well, but I never imagined that.
#4 · 3
·
“This food is delicious!”
“It is! I wonder why it’s on these white sticks...”
“Those are the rib bones.”
“... this was an animal?”
Thank you, Masters of the Universe, for introducing me to the hilarious concept of food culture shock, that I might better appreciate this fic.

At least they didn’t try a dry-rub.
#5 · 1
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
This entry touched me.

...in a weird place. But not necessarily the wrong place!

I'm not sure if this is the best comedy I've read for this contest, since it basically hinges on one joke and sticks to it in a rather single-minded way, but I will say it's more consistent than my favorite, if not quite as satisfying.

It gets pretty close, though. The relationship stuff between Cadance and Shining is pretty damn good; it's cute and a little sexual without going overboard in either direction. You can tell they love each other, and have been together for a long time now, but they're still two ponies who desperately one want to bang each other at some point.

Come to think of it, this is the only romantic pairing I've bought into so far, and it just so happens to also be canon.

As for the joke, which this entry relies on so heavily, it works well. It didn't make me laugh out loud, but it almost got there; it made me laugh internally, if that makes any sense.

The ending and dramatic (but actually comedic) irony leading up it were both delicious.

And also very saucy.

I'm feeling a strong 8 to a light 9 on this.
#6 ·
·
Alas, this is another "tee-hee" tale which just so happens to not be a genre I care for. I'll grant you the characterization is careful in balancing those elements that >>No_Raisin describes, and the joke does build up to the payoff appropriately. If I were to provide any technical advice, it might be to pick up the pace a bit and maybe make more room for the payoff's fallout (the eyes widening is a bit of a vague reaction for me to read), but maybe that's just me being clueless.

That said, I might as well fly my flag: I don't care about romance. So I sure don't care much for erotic humour. Don't get me wrong, I see why the joke with the hot sauce and the subtle hint of EqG meat-eating works. It's just I see it in the same way that, say, I see a bird enjoying a bird table full of seeds; I get the abstract reasoning for their species preference without in any way connecting emotionally with that preference.

The characterization is competently executed, but it's also much too nice and much too pleasant for me, like milk in place of spice. There's no flaw, no edge, no likeable off element for me to sling my hook onto and grin at. So without a quirky, distinctive character to root for or much worldbuilding beyond the joke, it just comes back to whether you like the romantic-comedic. Since I don't, I rapidly run out of any reason to come back for more.

Again, I'm trying to be constructive, and ultimately for something clearly not written for my tastes anyway. Ah well. Take it as you will. Apologies: I can't match the other reviewers, and this is ultimately a subjective thing. I suppose I'll have to abstain, or else this'll place low on my slate.
#7 · 1
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This is amazing, and I usually don't care for comedy. Right to the top.
#8 · 1
· · >>Skywriter
Also, it's canonically spelled "Twily".
#9 · 1
·
Texas! 'Murica!

(Yes, that is one set of hot wings indeed)
#10 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
>>Trick_Question
I'm so confused, can you help me remember where it's ever appeared in print?

I'm glad this story didn't show up on my voting docket. I have no idea how I'd rate it. I'm not sure why they don't recognize hot sauce as hot sauce, since it's been a canonical thing since literally the first episode. Still, more Shiny and Cady is a good thing.
#11 ·
· · >>Skywriter
>>Skywriter
I generally take the episode transcripts as canon.
#12 · 1
·
I thought the imported marital aid was going to be a beanis. I'm glad it wasn't.
#13 · 1
·
What can she say. Shining Armor is a hot kisser.
#14 ·
· · >>Trick_Question >>BlueChameleonVI
>>Trick_Question
Oh, I just thought those were fans listening to the episode and writing down what they heard. I didn't realize they were official.
#15 ·
·
>>Skywriter
Maybe I'm wrong, but I've always trusted the transcripts.
#16 · 2
·
Funny, succinct, and effective. This is a good'n.

The one thing I'd look at adding is some explanation for why Twilight sent this in the first place (I assume ponies don't eat a lot of chicken wings). If you've got room, adding a vaguely-worded letter from Twi near the start (perhaps Cadence reads the note when Shiny expresses dubiousness?) might be a nice touch. But honestly, that's just me spitballing. As-written, this is very effective at delivering its joke. Nice work.
#17 · 1
· · >>Skywriter
>>Skywriter

Congratulations for the medal win, and for bagging the best new entrant award too. Well done!
#18 ·
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
>>BlueChameleonVI
Thank you, though I've been here before so do not deserve that second one I think. It only thinks I'm a new entrant because I was attempting to capitalize my username and ended up creating an alias. I have no idea who to talk to to fix this and get it to the rightful owner. I'm very bad at this, I'm afraid.
#19 ·
· · >>Skywriter
>>Skywriter

Oh, OK. Didn't know that...

Well, as far as I'm aware, >>RogerDodger is the one who runs the site, so you should probably talk to him about it. I know he fixed the site when it went loco a few days ago, so I guess he's the administrator here. He also has a FIMFiction account, if you prefer to contact him that way:

https://www.fimfiction.net/user/8468/RogerDodger
#20 ·
· · >>Paracompact
>>BlueChameleonVI
Thanks. I've tried to contact him here before but failed; perhaps a PM over on FiMFic will do.
#21 ·
· · >>Skywriter
>>Skywriter
You mean I could be the best new entrant after all? Hurray!
#22 ·
·
>>Paracompact
It was a good fic! I haven't heard from the mod in either channel he's been poked in yet, unfortunately.