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TheGLQwardvark

Joined February 2012
70 followers

Brony(duh), TS's biggest (height-wise) fan, author of the Equestria Daily featured story Barking Mad. Also a willing editor and pre-reader.

Stories (4)

  • Barking Mad
    Echoes of a past horror hold firmly to a mare’s mind, altering her reality. (Featured on EqD)

    3,781 words · 5,309 views · 194 likes · 2 dislikes
  • Barking Mad: Echoes
    The history and life of a certain insane pony are revealed.
    4,325 words · 1,174 views · 36 likes · 0 dislikes
  • Punch Drunk
    The thoughts of the pure often give great insight into just how tainted some of us have become...
    3,794 words · 315 views · 6 likes · 2 dislikes
  • Rage Against the Memes
    The forces of the internet are unleashed on the mane-six; taxing their nerves, wit and patience.
    6,891 words · 821 views · 9 likes · 8 dislikes

Blog Posts (24)


A mare, trapped in her own mind. What is a day for her like? And what horror could drive such a sweet pony to madness? If only she weren't barking mad, maybe she would tell us. Maybe, she still can.

Thanks to Bronymaster for editing and pre-reading.

Credit for Cover Image goes to Stardust XIII

(Featured on Equestria Daily)

First Published
14th Mar 2012
Last Modified
14th Mar 2012

Comments ( 87 )

#1 · 133w, 1h ago · · ·

At first I was like :derpytongue2:

But then I was like :rainbowhuh:

Then I was all :pinkiegasp:

And then I was like :raritydespair:

And the last line broke my :heart:

#2 · 132w, 6d ago · · ·

Fantastic, I really hope this story gets some attention with a feature! Really, this did everything right; the character, the interaction, the subtle hints, the emotion it was all great, thank you for this story!

#3 · 132w, 6d ago · · ·

This, by far, is one of the best stories EVER! I loved it! Everything was just perfect, the title, the writing style, just.....AWESOME! :pinkiehappy:

#4 · 132w, 6d ago · · ·

Why isn't this featured?!

#5 · 132w, 6d ago · · ·

>>322318

You're welcome. I'm glad you liked it!:twilightsmile:

#6 · 132w, 6d ago · · ·

:fluttershbad: IS SO SAD!

#7 · 132w, 3d ago · · ·

>>322765

Thanks for the compliment :pinkiehappy:! I think it's because it was made available a bit too late, around 1 A.M. Oh well, there's always next time.

#8 · 132w, 3d ago · · ·

>>333969

Still... should be up there. It's amazingness. (And for the record, Pegasis here :twilightblush: )

#9 · 132w, 3d ago · · ·

>>334256

Pegasis here? What do you mean:applejackconfused:?

#10 · 132w, 3d ago · · ·

>>334275

:facehoof: "Thanks for the compliment man"

:derpytongue2: Sorry, I'm never clear - I'm a girl :twilightblush:

#11 · 132w, 3d ago · · ·

>>335358

Whoops...

Well, this is awkward:twilightoops:.

#12 · 132w, 2d ago · · ·

>>335588

... definitely.

#13 · 132w, 23h ago · · ·

Why does this have so few views?! :flutterrage:

This is amazing. It made me feel. It made my heart feel. God, this is good stuff.

#14 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

Wow... normally I avoid stories with those tags, but this was very well written.:fluttershysad: Bravo.

Now I just want to see some kind of happy ending... maybe a longer sequel where she finally starts to heal/recover/etc. I don't expect such a story, mind you, but would love to see it.

#15 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

This was great:pinkiehappy:

even if the ending made me:fluttercry:

#16 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

Hmmm... I was expecting a more indirect reference to dogs or maybe dogs not being an active part of her condition; like in Freud: The Secret Passion. The brain wouldn't actually make her bark like a dog because, by doing so, it would actually remind her of what it's trying to suppress.

But nonetheless, the story was very enjoyable. It is a shame that it focuses so much on the emotional aspect, but not enough on the psychological aspect of the subject.

#17 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

I took me a while to realize what was going on, but this is one of the best fanfics I have ever read.

#18 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

>>346193

I plan to make the sequel focus more on her psyche while remaining as emotional. I'm glad you liked it nonetheless though:pinkiehappy:!

#19 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

hope you write a sequel to this :pinkiesad2:  oh, and congrats on getting mentioned on Equestria Daily :twilightsmile:

#20 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

>>346211 A sequel as in; one more chapter to this story or as in a new story?

#21 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

Neat.  Fairly obvious where it was going, especially given the image that goes with it, but still manages to be engaging.  Upward thumb.

(Y'know, at first I didn't really like the thumb system, but it makes judging a story a LOT easier.)

#22 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

>>346221

An extension on her backstory as well as her future. So sort of a new story, but not really if that makes sense:derpytongue2:.

#23 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

>>346229 No, no. I mean: A new chapter on this story (on the site) or as a new story completely (on the site)?

#24 · 132w, 11h ago · · ·

>>346234

New story, though it will be linked.

#25 · 132w, 10h ago · · ·

Shit, I wanted to track to read it later, but instead hit the thumb up. Nothing left to do than to read it, then. Maybe tomorrow, when I'm not so sleepy. :pinkiesad2:

#26 · 132w, 10h ago · · ·

Good job. Almost Faulknerian how you put us inside the mind of madness. My only substantive feedback is that Screwloose's thoughts and the sentence structure and grammar you use are perhaps slightly too coherent, logical, and correct to fully let us into her head. It's almost as we are reading the story from a combined perspective of both her and the author, and I think it would be more powerful to have total immersion, even if it made it much more challenging to read. Anyway, this story was (substantively) great and (emotionally) powerful. :trixieshiftright: Loved it.

#27 · 132w, 10h ago · · ·

>>346330

I'm glad you associated my story with Faulkner. I got the idea to write this after reading As I Lay Dying and I tried to write stream of conciousness like him.

#28 · 132w, 10h ago · · ·

>>346337

Yes, I saw what you did there, as it were. I was immediately reminded of Benjy in The Sound and the Fury, so nice job! :raritywink:

#29 · 132w, 10h ago · · ·

I lost it after that last line. I'm gonna go pick up the pieces of my broken heart now.

#30 · 132w, 9h ago · · ·

Good stuff, bravo. MOAR.

#31 · 132w, 9h ago · · ·

Now that was quite the interesting read, even if it did give me just the vaguest air of deja-vu. :rainbowhuh: There aren't that many first person fan fics out there, so it's always good to see more. I suppose my only complaint is that, while this is a nice short read, it's a little too short and could use with a lot more development. Writing from the POV of a mad character is very tricky, and here it felt maybe a tad too rushed. While I normally wouldn't recommend this sort of thing, I feel that a sequel would definitely be a good idea in order to elaborate on this character, though it would have been nice to have seen it in this story.

#32 · 132w, 8h ago · · ·

>>346690

A sequel is already in the making:twilightsmile:!

#33 · 132w, 8h ago · · ·

I found it a little difficult to follow, both in the good, mind-bending way and the less good confusing, unclear way. For the first half of the story I thought the purple-maned pony was Screwball, especially given the repeated references to her hat. The blurring of the line between past and present worked for the most part, but by the end I was unsure if it was written out of sequence or if any actual incursions into the past had occurred. I also can't tell whether the barking was in our heroine's head or if she was actually barking throughout, which leads to the further question of how the nurse was able to understand her, if at all. It's surreal enough that I can tell it's not meant to be straightforward, but instead of the uncertainty invoking a sense of wonder in me I just felt confused. Also, given the amount of trauma that it actually takes to give someone a lifelong crippling mental issue, I found the reveal at the end to be a little weak.

But that aside, don't think I didn't enjoy this. The characters are wonderfully well-realized and I felt a range of clear emotional connections between them. When I wasn't distracted by the chronology I loved the scenes with Screw Loose and her "family." The character is equal parts lovable and tragic, and I actually felt a little sad at the ending. Not a favorite, but definitely worth reading.

#34 · 132w, 7h ago · · ·

Well this is just awesome. Poor pony. I'd like to know her real name... you think you'll do a continuation with her real name and real cutie mark? And I liked the guard, too. Kind loving heart to a poor disgraced pony.

#35 · 132w, 5h ago · · ·

I don't always read tragedy/sad fics, but when I do, they blow my mind.

#36 · 132w, 5h ago · · ·

AAAAAHHHHHHH DAMMIT

I ALREADY STARTED a 1st person present tense stream-of-consciousness story detailing Screw Loose :fluttercry:

Sighhh....  You and I think alike, author

#37 · 132w, 4h ago · · ·

this needs a lot more views. :heart:

#38 · 132w, 1h ago · · ·

WHY SADFIC WHYYYYYY?! :raritydespair: I don't know why I decided to read this sadfic. But hay, it was good.

#39 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

yOkay. Seriously. A lot of this reminds me of Screwball in the Pony POV Series. Okay, maybe it's simply due to both being mad ponies in a mental ward with those who still care for them. But still the line 'Her name isn't' is right out of Rarity's Reharmonization chapter.

Someone whose insane in the pony verse was obviously traumatized by something. I'll admit I never figured that her family being slaughtered by dogs would be the reason. I wonder if the three dogs she saw in the woods were real, or a delusion of hers. Telling a POV from the point of view of  a lunatic always has that problem.

I'll admit her 'eating a tomato out of a salad', I would have NEVER GUESSED was her biting a doctor! She's not even aware that's what she's doing!

Are they just going to feed, wash, and house her until she dies of old age? Or do they actually have any treatments in store to try and repair her psyche?

I'll admit the 'shouting over the dogs' was not something I would have thought up. I'd have gone the simple 'thinks she's a dog' delusion. This is a completely different take on this sad broken pony. How DO you heal a pony this lost in her own world? Does the nurse really understand what she's saying, or does she just figure it out form her body language?

#40 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

Well done.

#41 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

Well, PTSD doesn't work like this, there are many instances of children seeing their entire families killed (Holocaust, Rwanada, various major natural disasters, for examples) and were not driven to this level of insanity.  But it's an interesting first-person story.

It becomes plausible, however, if I add in an assumption that she's also autistic, in which case the mental trauma would be much more likely to lock itself into a continuous loop, due to the obsessive and repetitive nature of severely autistic personalities.  (biologist, focusing on developmental neurobiology and genetics)  :twistnerd:

#42 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

>>350918

Well you have to take into consideration a few other things in the case of this pony. First of all, this is Equestria, where, supposedly, there are such few evil things that it is basically a utopia, and had been for a long time. When you live in such a peaceful place all your life, with the most violence having been seen was caused only by yourself, seeing a pack of wild dogs/wolves kill your entire family is going to be much more traumatic than if you grew up in a place like Earth. Also, she is repeatedly reminded of the event almost every night because she relives the event in her dreams. Imagine seeing your entire family slaughtered, and then dreaming about it every day for the rest of your life, and waking up remembering every detail. You wouldn't be in a good mental state either. Just stating my own opinion here. Feel free to put in your ideas on what I say :derpytongue2: Good day to you sir :twilightsmile:

#43 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

>>351477  That's the classic literary device for this level of insanity.  However, research has quite thoroughly proven that for such a severe psychological disturbance, an organic disorder of the brain is the primary culprit, with the traumatic event exacerbating/accelerating/triggering the final irreversible onset.  

Single traumatic events, no matter how horrible, do not lead to such overt behavioral and mental derangement.  I've seen young patients in PTSD literature noted as very withdrawn, sometimes with violent outbursts and a tendancy for criminal behavior depending on the individual, but never anything close to this extent without an underlying neuropsychiatric disease.

She doesn't appear to have any of the classic schiziform syndrome pathology, plus her onset trigger was the emotional trauma as a filly places her too young for any of the classic schizophrenia psychotic breaks; therefore it's most likely she was moderately autistic and the severe emotional damage triggered a cascading mental breakdown.  Autistic children recall trauma VERY astutely, and can occaisionally react with very violent and savage behavior when they recall it or are confronted with something they associate with the trauma.  Barking Pony's repetitive episodic behavior and many of her ways of thinking (especially focusing almost obsessively on the liking/disliking of the hat and tie) remind me very much of moderate to severe autistic children I have known.

#44 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

>>351599

Wow, you have thought about this deeply, huh? I'm glad, because I'm learning a thing or two in this debate. Anyway, I forgot to mention in my last comment that you also have to take in the consideration that BM is not human. Also, she is technically from another world, which could mean any number of things like this are possible. Personally, I think she focuses on the hat and tie alot because her parents either A) had similar jobs to the nurse and the guard or B)They may have been wearing a hat and/or tie similar looking ot what BM sees the nurse and Vigilance wearing. It would make sense to me. Then again, I am not yet a trained psychologist, and am only going on what I know so far. I plan to major in it though!

#45 · 131w, 5d ago · · ·

:raritydespair: so sad! grats on EQD, by the way!

#46 · 131w, 4d ago · · ·

Really liked the story. At first the writing style put me off, but it worked well in establishing the mindset of the character. However, I believe that changing it on the sections "outside" his mind would make for a better story, with a better contrast between both sections. Not that it detracts a lot from the final product, but I believe it would make the final scene more impacting.

#47 · 131w, 4d ago · · ·

It took reading a few of the comments in order for me to understand what was going on. I'll try not to ruin it for those who want to figure it out, but when I figured out what the true significance of her "family" was, I was chilled to the bone. I'm working on my Psych degree and I have spent my fair share of time in asylums and mental hospitals. While you didn't exactly capture the character of a madman (madmare?) perfectly (No sane person can truly understand it though...), you made a damn good story. I look forward to the sequel if it means you explaining what happened to Screw Loose to cause her trauma.

Cii
#48 · 130w, 3d ago · · ·

My first Favorite, great job! Quite the interesting narration, one that I hope to write like soon!

P.S. woah, dude...similar titles, lol: youtube.com/watch?v=BUHylymfhjg

#49 · 129w, 3d ago · · ·

Yeah, I figured it was all in her head. Poor dear. :pinkiesad2:

#50 · 129w, 2d ago · · ·

>>423774

Yeah:fluttercry:. Sorry to say that she won't get any better in the sequel.

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