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Seeing Double · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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H Bomb
(To Bad Horse)

No sooner had Celestia put a hoof on the floor than she figured something was wrong.

For her hoof sank through the floorboard as if it didn’t exist.

She cautiously retracted her leg, then tried again.

This time, to her relief, the wood resisted.

She proceeded likewise with her three other hooves, and when she found a posture where all four rested on firm ground, she endeavoured to walk toward the window. She was already behind sunrise's schedule.

After five minutes and only a mere few inches trodden, she changed her mind and teleported across the remaining gap. She pushed the curtains away. A beautiful night, but she felt something was wrong with the stars. What’s that? She had no time to think it over. She focussed and cast the spell that would raise the sun above the horizon.

And was sent tumbling away by a blast of gamma rays.

She didn’t even try to get back on her hooves before reversing her spell. The gamma ray storm abated immediately.

It was incomprehensible. Slightly groggy, she clambered back to all fours, teleported again to the window, and looked down. She saw ponies running hither and thither, bumping into each other; others at their window, gaping at the sky. Canterlot was in the dark, except for… the TV tower, whose aerial was blazing.

That doesn’t make sense, she thought. Has the whole world gone crazy?

‘Ihhhhh!’ somepony screeched behind her. She jumped for fear, about-turned and found herself face to face with… two Lunas.

She winked and shook her head, but the two Lunas wouldn’t go away.

‘What happened to you, sister?’ she asked.

‘I’m not sure’, both Lunas answered in synchronicity. ‘I was on the roof playing with the cat, when… I was whisked here unwillingly.’

‘The cat?’ Celestia asked.

‘Yes’, the Lunas replied.

‘Hmmm…’ Celestia pondered. ‘Could it be another Discord’s silly—’ She broke off as a folded paper popped out of nowhere in mid-air. It unfolded spontaneously. Celestia barely had time to read ‘I swear by you I’m not involved in this.’ before the paper flashed out of existence.

Celestia rolled her eyes. ‘All right’, she said. ‘Then who can be responsible for this mess?’ She clapped her hooves and giggled. ‘Do you think what I’m thinking?’ she said. ‘A certain mare who is carrying out experiments in theoretical physics at this very moment?’

Both Lunas grinned and nodded.

All of a sudden, Celestia was gone.

The huge steel door of the laboratory, located deep under the castle, was ajar when Celestia materialised. The grating sound it made when she pushed it wide open startled the pony inside.

‘I’m going to fix it now. I’m going to fix it. Please. It’s an accident. I—’ Twilight Sparkle squeaked. She fell on her knees. ‘Don’t expel me!’ Her bloodshot, baggy eyes searched for Celestia’s face.

‘What did you do?’ Celestia asked.

‘I— I had this formula, quantum related. I’m sure it’s right, but the result is slightly off. So I figured I could tweak – oh, ever-so-slightly – the Planck constant to make it jibe perfectly. I was dialing up its value on the machine when my hoof slipped and–’ she broke off and burst in tears.

‘I can’t dial it back down’, Twilight added between sobs. ‘The knob keeps tunneling away from my hoof.’

Celestia put a hoof over her mouth, trying to stifle an outburst of wild laughter. ‘Alright’, she said. ‘I’m going to reset it.’ She walked past Twilight to the opposite wall, where she dipped her horn into the hole of a nondescript copper box. Inside was a big red button that Celestia pushed. The machines hummed briefly, then resumed their silent operation.

‘Easy-peasy!’ Celestia chirped. ‘Everything should be fine now.’

Twilight was grovelling on the floor. ‘Thank you, your highness! I promise—’

‘I think you’ve learnt your lesson’, Celestia interrupted. ‘Now if you would excuse me, I have a sun to raise. I’m already way late.’

‘So you won’t expel me?’

Celestia guffawed. ‘Of course not!’

‘Did I cause much disturbance?’ Twilight asked.

‘Apart from an unexpected blast of gamma rays, and a few thousands ponies running amok in the streets and crashing into one another, I don’t think so.’

‘Thousands of ponies crashing into one another?’ Twilight repeated.

‘Pretty much, yeah.’

‘Just like Brownian motion!’ Twilight exclaimed. ‘How interesting! What… What if I increased atomic weights to study that in more detail?’

Celestia sighed.
« Prev   2   Next »
#1 · 2
· · >>Monokeras
Excellently constructed! The pacing on this entry felt really strong--breakneck, but firmly in control all the way through. Really fun read.
#2 · 1
· · >>Monokeras
At first, I'm thinking... it's a dream. But, the next idea tossed my way is that it is Discord. The letter from him appearing and reappearing did nothing to confirm/deny the idea of this being a dream (But, if I may add, I like the humor in him sending a letter saying 'It wasn't me!'). Turns out its just Twilight messing with something she shouldn't have.

Personally, I feel like this one is all over the place. True, Twilight messing with quantum physics can open up a world of unknowns and twisty physics. I can see how gamma rays and Celestia's hooves falling into floorboards I can wrap my mind around it, but I'd like an explanation about the double Lunas or this 'cat' they mention (I feel like this is supposed to be a reference, but unfortunately, the thing's gone completely over my head).

Perhaps I'm overthinking this one. If so, just ignore me.

Thanks for writing!
#3 · 1
· · >>Monokeras
I think this story would benefit from a more careful prewriting process. There are lots of ideas flying about--it's a "gamma ray blast" of its own.

See if you can "see" the whole piece before drafting--not every detail, but having a sense of the beginning, middle, and end.

This will help you decide what is necessary or not as you revise your story.

Keep going!
#4 · 1
· · >>Monokeras

My comments are mostly small and nit-picky. As a reader based in the U.S, for instance, I prefer double quotation marks, and the presence of a TV tower in downtown Canterlot made me stop and blink. I also found myself unconvinced that messing with Planck's Constant by itself would lead to all these different effects: maybe Twilight could have tried to compensate for her first misadjustment by making tweaks to other fundamental principles of the universe as well? Like I said, though, a lot of fun here.

#5 ·
>>Baal Bunny
Hey guys, 'grats to the other writers (especially to the two winners, good job mates!) ans thanks for the bronze! ❤️

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last FIM story. Three weeks ago, I decided to give a complete makeover to one of my old stories (published under the Callipony moniker) and – don’t ask me how – after uploading the new version of it, I stumbled upon Bad Horse's last story, which more or less deals with quantum mechanics, but in a way I found quite unsatisfactory. I pondered a bit upon the subject, and came back to my mind a line I'd read a long time ago in God knows what book, which claimed that if the Planck constant was allowed to scale up to, say, 0.0001, then elephants could all of a sudden teleport in the middle of your living room, just by tunnel effect.
I thought it would make a good comedy if somehow Twilight was allowed to tweak that constant, and, of course, botch it.

Now, if the Planck constant was suddenly raised, light would become much more energetic (which means light waves would turn into gamma rays, and radio waves into light waves), macroscopic matter would probably tunnel randomly, and …

Schrödinger's cats would fill rooms.

Of course, the whole world would fall apart instantly, but eh… who cares for strict scientific likeliness in a pony fic? :p

Now this was really more a skit than anything else. If it has succeeded in eliciting a laugh, or even a grin, from you, then my goal has been more than met. Thanks Baal and Band Brony for your appreciation, and, yes, I agree, it was a bit scattershot, more like a stand-up sketch than a true story.

In any case thanks a bunch for all, and see you at the next mini round (or maybe, if I’m inspired, next round)!

PS, EDIT: Also yeah, 'single quotes' are standard in British English, which is the 'dialect' I write in!