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Featured In7

More Stories11

  • E No Quixote Here

    Prince Blueblood tries to do good things and fails.
    13,805 words · 3,956 views  ·  339  ·  2
  • T Huggled

    Ponyville's pegasi go crazy, and so does Twilight Sparkle.
    11,280 words · 12,143 views  ·  1,499  ·  30
  • E Whisper Sun, Silent Moon

    A young Celestia and Luna learn to master their new power.
    13,854 words · 5,889 views  ·  216  ·  3
  • T Unfinished

    Twilight Sparkle and Dusk Shine confront a horrible secret about their worlds
    111,841 words · 9,592 views  ·  472  ·  13
  • T My Little Metro

    After Doomsday forces ponies underground, a lone colt braves the Stalliongrad metro system to save his people from an unknown threat.
    232,320 words · 10,743 views  ·  245  ·  10
  • T Finding Harmony

    Ponies of the Wasteland fight their pasts and strive for the future.
    5,781 words · 451 views  ·  41  ·  0
  • E Severance

    A pony and a changeling learn how to trust.
    9,089 words · 765 views  ·  40  ·  0
  • E The Long Haul

    Two friends reflect on what brought them through war and pain as they teeter on the cusp of becoming legends.
    3,065 words · 527 views  ·  70  ·  2

Blog Posts98

  • Tuesday
    My Writer's Block is Broken

    2 comments · 47 views
  • 5w, 5d
    Farewell, Hub Network

    4 comments · 112 views
  • 8w, 3d
    Book Review: Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy

    0 comments · 111 views
  • 8w, 3d
    Can't Sleep

    It's 1:35 AM. I should be asleep. Should have been asleep two hours ago so I can get some actual bedrest. But I can't. I'm going crazy I think. Crazy about the future, about what I should be doing and who I am. Haven't written a word in three days. Kinda just shouting into the street now, or at least that's what this feels like. But it's a blog, and people have posted far stupider stuff. Guess I'll just say what comes to mind.

    I'm writing original fiction right now. Three chapters into a novel. Hopefully it doesn't stagnate. It's going to be a dark fantasy novel that (I hope) actually turns some tropes on their heads without being pretentious or self-righteous. For instance... hm. There's a bit about romance I want to address. Lemme rant about romance for a bit. Lemme rant about a lot of things for a little bit. This will be a ranty blog.

    Romance kinda sucks in writing.

    I'm saying that because it's mishandled in... well. Almost everything. I'm not an expert in how romance works, mind you, but I have seen plenty of examples, looked at it, and said "Nah, that's not romance." In my book, I hope to... well, prove you can have a good story without romance, in fact present a situation where romance would blossom in any other story, and turn it into something awful and jarring. See, I look at the dust covers of a lot of books. I don't pick up many because I can literally predict the plot in those few sentences... that's because the dust cover actually just gives away what happens.

    Character starts a journey to defeat some evil antagonist or force. Character gets paired up with another of the opposite sex. Invariably, opposite character is described as "mysterious" or "beautiful" or "dangerous" or some combination of the three, and somehow is more intimidating than the main character, no matter how intimidating or dangerous or handsome the main character already is. Together, they save the day and get married at the end but pretend like they won't to contrive a sense of dramatic and sexual tension.

    There's nothing particularly wrong with that synopsis beyond the obvious Mary Sue implications. It's just I see it everywhere. Literally. Everywhere. In everything. They're all blurring together into one giant swirl of hot bods mashing together in a sweaty orgy of purple prose and supposedly 'edgy' takes on relationships.

    We're even seeing that in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. See, the problem with Brad (Flash Sentry) isn't that he's a guy or that he's romantically involved with Twilight. It's just that... eh. He's romantically involved because he's romantically involved. He has feelings for her because he's supposed to, because he's "the hot guy in high school." The poor boy's entire existence revolves around how he reacts to Twilight. Sure, he might be given some character in those clips for Rainbow Rocks we've seen, but... but just look.

    Or don't if you don't like spoilers. Anyway, Flash is characterized as... as... well... head over heels in love for Twilight, pining away after her like some lovestruck Romeo. You know, basically exactly how he was in the first movie. And that's... that's sad. I was hoping he'd at least get some lines of his own that don't explicitly say "My entire purpose in life is to be in love." Nobody likes characters like that. That's Fifty Shades of Grey levels of writing. Yet so many romances in so many stories are played out exactly like this, over and over, without regard to how realistic or impactful or strange it is. So many romances are characterized as just being... there. Just happening. Because they have to. It's not organic and it isn't fun. Romance takes a while, guys. Romance is lifelong. It's about discovering someone intimately. It's about realizing who you are in relation to another living, breathing creature. That's why in Prince of Dust I'm trying to, you know, frame the romance as part of the overall story instead of just being the reason the characters even exist.

    I see that a lot here too, yet it's okay because "it's fanfic" or "don't judge too harshly because we're just having fun." Wait, excuse me? "It's fanfic" so I can't have a sense of taste? "It's fanfic" so we can write about things we say we hate?! "It's fanfic" so I should just kick back and laugh while the fandom drowns under the sound of a million bronies clopping to the newest fad?! I'm sick to death of that excuse when it comes to objectively terrible writing! Because that's all it is, an excuse to avoid being criticized! You wouldn't bake a terrible cake and serve it to people and then turn around and say "Oh well I'm sorry, this is just a fanfiction of a better cake! Stop complaining!"

    NO. STOP IT.


    I'm sorry, but fanfiction is still writing. And writing, like all artforms, has at least a modicum, an appearance of some objective standard of quality. We should at least try to hold it up against that yardstick, shouldn't we? Right? You guys agree with me... don't you?


    Bah, who am I kidding. I don't see any of the other popular authors railing against this kind of stuff. They just write. I guess that's the healthiest attitude to have. Do what you love and all that. Hey maybe if I turn "Unwritten" into the dark and edgy version of "On a Cross and Arrow" it'll get featured more. Then I too can slap the date it was featured on the synopsis and 420yoloswag it to the end of the fandom. I'll never have to write anything again. I'd rant some more about authors who get to be popular because of that one story they wrote years ago and haven't published a thing since then, but it's 2 AM and I'm tired now.

    Anyway expect a oneshot and the next chapter of Prince of Dust and Unwritten whenever I feel like it.

    Also thanks to all those who faved and followed, especially for Unwritten. I hope to pour as much heart and soul into it as I did Unfinished.

    3 comments · 63 views
  • 13w, 3d
    I'm Feeling Thoughtful

    I'm not a historian, but something about what I just read has left me depressed, thoughtful, and more than a little frustrated.

    You may or may not know that this year is the centennial of the First Great War: World War 1, that "War to End All Wars" as we so cynically call it. In the middle of all the horror and atrocities going on right now, it's hard to remember that one hundred years ago, around thirty-seven million men, women and children were eaten up in the greatest armed conflict humanity had ever seen. It toppled empires, left scars that haven't even come close to healing, and in many ways set us down the road that led to the exact conflicts we're fighting today.

    The Atlantic recently rolled out a commemorative issue for the war that I bought on a whim, since World War 1 has always had a special place in my heart: in spite of the sheer scale and the changes it wrought, hardly a man alive knows or even cares that it was even fought. Time marched on and left the bones where they fell and man's fierce dispositions were not dulled, but inspired to even greater feats of savagery. The Atlantic brought together several excerpts from many different people who wrote about a variety of subjects, from the home front to the causes of war to the diaries of the men in the trenches. There's even an article about meteorologists debating whether or not the sheer amount of explosions going on in Europe was causing climate change. Go figure: you think arguing about the weather is something new? Something only liberal scientists or conservative think tanks brought up? No, no, what fascinated me about this issue is that it brought home a sobering reality: that the problems of yesteryear were discussed with the same fervor, the same ignorance, the same wisdom, and the same alacrity as they are today. We have come no closer to answering the questions these people asked now than they did.

    Whether or not a war is fought for "the right reasons" is something that haunts a nation's psyche. America has been involved in dozens of wars in its short history. Whether or not any or all were "just" is something we still wrangle with.

    To denounce war as a crime is to denounce something which a nation when it is entering a war never thinks it is committing. Invariably in modern times a nation goes to war to stop another nation from committing the crime of war. As the Austrians saw it in 1914, they did not make war on Serbia. They believed they were acting to preent Serbia, backed by Russia, from making a criminal attempt to destroy the Austrian empire. The Germans did not make war upon Russia. They made war to prevent Russia from making war. The French did not make war. They defended themselves. The British did not make war. They stopped an aggression. We [the Americans] did not make war. We tried to make the world safe for democracy ... The choice as it presents itself is not between the crime of war and the righteousness of peace, but between ruin and disgrace on the one hand, and self-preservation, courage, and honor on the other.

    -Walter Lippmann, in a short titled "War Is Someone Else's Fault," originally, "The Political Equivalent of War," 1928.

    There will never be a magnanimous discussion on war. There will always be "that side," "those people," "the ones who started it." Even The Atlantic provides absolutely zero diaries or letters or papers from German and Austrian and Russian writers, though perhaps it was just more difficult to get them. When we talk about The War, we talk almost exclusively of World War 2, wherein we fought a great battle for freedom and liberty against genocide and oppression. Yet not decades after that war we supported, both financially and militarily, utterly despicable men who visited death on their countries, in the name of preserving order or peace. We like to talk about how we might be masters of realpolitik or how the United Nations was supposed to save the world. We talk about the advancement of freedom across the globe. We were selfless and good and without blame.

    But we forget that in World War 1 we fought for the exact same things, or at least many people wanted to believe it.

    In a war involving the nations of five continents, the United States alone fights without expectation, without desire for reward other than the common security of the seven seas. For herself alone she demands absolutely nothing. She enters the struggle purely for a world idea. France, most heroic of nations, fights for her life; Russia for power; Italy and Roumania for territory; unhappy Serbia and Belgium because their rights as nations are destroyed; England because her empire, even her existence, is at stake; the Central Powers, from a coarse mingling of fear and greed; but if we fight, we fight because a world ordered like this one is intolerable to all, remote and near. In such a world, security, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are forever impossible.

    -Ellery Sedgewick, 1917

    And we all know where fighting this great war to establish peace ended up.

    My husband was born in the United States; he never saw Germany, he does not even speak German with fluency. His father, like so many of his countrymen, left his native country that he might have freedom of speech, of life ... My husband came home [after learning about the sinking of the Lusitania] exhilarated by a dark passion ... The passengers should not have sailed, he said: they had been warned. It was their responsibility, and they must take the consequences. The war had been forced on Germany, and it was justifiable for her to do whatever would enable her to win it ... The strangest part of it all is this: my husband had, until this war, been a particularly kind and tender-hearted man. He thus seems to represent in his own person a nation changed and obsessed by the false ideal held up before it ... I could no longer maintain neutrality. I cried out against such doctrines—against teaching our sons such things. It was horrible. Our family peace was gone. After 18 years of dwelling with us love had fled.

    -M.L.S, 1917

    Cold in Gardez recently featured this blog about rightness or wrongness of action and inaction. It doesn't provide any answers. What man can? Who can say if we allowed Germany to win that World War 2 would have been averted? If ISIS wouldn't exist if we just left Saddam Hussein to torture his own people? If Russia and China wouldn't be threatening our supremacy if we had used The Bomb on them when we had the chance?

    All I can say is this: after reading that magazine, all I can conclude is that military action is simply trading loss of life in one place for what would have been loss of life in some other place. Millions of people who had nothing to do with the war died regardless in World War 1. There was rape, torture, and famine in this most just war like in any other. Millions of people are in danger of dying right now, too, in spite of all the bombs we dropped.

    But taken from the long view, everyone dies eventually. We could stop fighting every war right now and everyone committing atrocities in Syria and Sudan and Iraq will still die sooner or later. Hitler will always replace the Kaiser who replaced the Holy Roman Empire, which, while not Hitler, also fought wars that killed millions for reasons just as petty and greedy. As have all nations across the face of the earth.

    So what do we gain from this long blog post? Well, just my rambling about the state of the world, and hopefully a greater understanding of how terrible war is, no matter what reason it's fought for. Eventually, I understand we have to fight. I'd never just sit down and die while someone nearby suffers—or at least, we all hope we won't. But don't entertain foolish notions that what happens in a war is "good." I suppose it's part of my beliefs as a Christian: humanity is not ultimately supposed to die. Speeding that along with violence and hatred is always a tragedy.

    Which, I suppose, is another reason I'm so in love with ponies.

    Yeah, I like that. This entire post reaffirms my love of ponies. Why? Because ponies actually try to be good even in a world that hurts them. That's more than can be said for a lot of us.

    Tl;dr: Friendship is magic. It can, and does, change your life. Make peace wherever you can, and if violence is the only option, remember to try and stay human, and never be too eager to assign blame. Narrow is the road that leads to life, and it is all too easy to be swept from it.

    6 comments · 138 views
  • ...

In a small town on the borders of Equestria, a little colt learns how to forge weapons from his father. But swords are not always friendly to the pony that wields them. As time goes by the colt must also confront the harsh lessons of the world outside the forge, and come face-to-face with the cost of protecting what he cares for.

Winner of the Ponychan March write-off!

First Published
22nd Apr 2012
Last Modified
22nd Apr 2012
#1 · 134w, 6d ago · · ·

Glorious. I see now why My Little Metro has been on hold as of late, and in all honestly I couldn't care less. You got yourself another masterpiece here. Although complete, you just built yourself an excellent background for a huge adventure story. I'd love to see it one day become that. Keep up the good work.

(eagerly awaits the next My Little Metro chapter)

#2 · 134w, 6d ago · · ·

This is really good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm favoriting it, and I'm hoping there will be more to it.

#3 · 134w, 6d ago · · ·

great story:yay:

#4 · 134w, 6d ago · · ·

Thank you all. I'll definitely be working on Metro overtime now that this is out of the way.

#5 · 134w, 6d ago · · ·

I read this orginially as part of the PonyChan contest, it was my #1 pick out of the 19 and one I rated as 10 out of 10 on a review to that contest.  I was really happy to see it win.:pinkiehappy:

I have not seen your story "Metro." but I will check it out. I also hope you might continue this story line as well.:twilightsmile:



I just found your "My Little Metro,"  I DID read the first few chapters of this last August but then lost track of it. I been trying to find it again for a while but couldn't remember the name, author, or enough specific details to locate it again. I tried reading some of the other post apocalypse MLP stories but found them too video-game like. This reminded me of a book (and Movie) called "City of Ember."  Did you read that?:twilightsmile:

#6 · 134w, 5d ago · · ·


In fact I have not! But I'm glad you think Metro is a bit more "realistic." That's the actual feel I was going for; it wasn't just a "video game crossover." It was a story about ponies actually living a post-apocalyptic lifestyle against horrible monsters. In fact, I was going more for the feel of the book Metro 2033 than the video game. Of course, I had to make a few sacrifices here and there. It's about ponies and magic after all!

#7 · 134w, 7h ago · · ·

Holy shit, this is REAL good! :pinkiehappy: Sequel pretty please with extra sprinkles and a cherry on top??

#8 · 134w, 6h ago · · ·

Wow. This seriously deserves more attention. Excellent work!

#9 · 134w, 5h ago · · ·

I'm not a fan of post-apocalyptic stuff so I'm skipping on MLM, but I have to say that this one is great. Good job on this. I particularly liked the long bits about how a sword is a tool, and it's the being behind the sword that defines intent. A very important lesson not just for swords, but for any kind of power one holds, and one civilizations forget at their peril.

#10 · 134w, 2h ago · · ·

only one thing to say.... beautiful.

#11 · 134w, 2h ago · · ·


Maybe! But I felt the story was pretty complete when I finished it, and anyway I'm working on my next winning write-off entry. :ajsmug:


Thank you!


That's too bad, MLM is gonna be my magnum opus of ponyfic, so to speak! But thank you for the comment, and I'm glad the message was so powerful and so clear.


Only one thing to say in return... thanks!

#12 · 134w, 1h ago · · ·

Well, color me suitably impressed. And you're also the writer of My Little Metro? I loved that story!

This fanfic caught my eye mostly because some of its elements are somewhat similar to my own story. And I'll admit, I was jealous at first that you had so many comments so soon. But after reading it, well, I can safely say you've earned all of this attention and more.

You do fantastic work with words. Some of your paragraphs ran long, but there was nary a weak sentence or a passive word that caught my eye. The characters and the pacing were especially good, I might add. I only wish you hadn't skipped the fight scene with the Timber Wolf.

I'm assuming this was a oneshot? If there's more, I can't wait to see it. If there isn't, this still works as one hell of a solid short story.

#13 · 134w, 1h ago · · ·

Man, that's good. Epic fantasy, coming-of-age, and ponies. I like it!

#14 · 134w, 5m ago · · ·

Great story. References to Earth pony magic reminded me a lot of "Its a Dangerous business, Going Out your Door".

#15 · 133w, 6d ago · · ·

Never been a fan of Oc's cause they tend be over the top at times, but damn, this totally deserved the EqD feature. Bravo good gent.

#16 · 133w, 6d ago · · ·

Very nice tale you've put together here, it's no wonder you made it to EqD. Solid four stars from me, and I look forward to whatever you pen next!

#17 · 133w, 6d ago · · ·

Sweet heavenly mercies this is beautiful. Legitimately beautiful. Wow.

A poet sees poetry everywhere: I see it in how you use a sort of repeating, a refrain: another day, another sword, and the like. It was lyrical when it needed to be and simple when it needed to be. A wonderful read.

#18 · 133w, 6d ago · · ·

Oh wow, this is just fantastic! 5 stars and 2 thumbs up. :rainbowdetermined2:

#19 · 133w, 6d ago · · ·


And let me tell you, your fanfic is quite a story in itself. I just started reading it and I'm glad I did! I certainly hope you don't give up, and get more attention. You deserve it. Also, I'm glad you enjoy Metro, it's my favorite story too.

I think skipping the fight with the wolf was necessary for that little sucker punch I threw in at the end... I didn't want to go into too much depth and lose the impact of the last section. And yes, I believe this is the only story Reveille will get... OR IS IT? :pinkiegasp:


Three awesome things wrapped in one small package. I am glad to be of service. :trixieshiftright:


Good! Super good! Because "It's A Dangerous Business" is probably my most favorite MLP fanfic ever! It inspired many others, I'm sure.


OCs deserve more love than to just be engines for an author's personal wishes, I agree. I strive to make OCs... well, their own original characters! Thanks for the comment.


Thanks a lot!


I'm glad someone noticed the repetition. Thank you!


If only you could give two thumbs up on FIMFic...

#20 · 133w, 6d ago · · ·

>>519800 Well, I did add it to my wall of awesome one-shots on my user page, this really is an excellent story.

#21 · 133w, 6d ago · · ·


Oh wow, you actually went and read it? Thanks! You did kind of choose an awkward time, though - I'm a few hours away from updating the story by replacing all the chapters and adding an extra one toward the beginning as an in-betweener.

If you write any more stories about Reveille, I'll be keeping an eye out. In the meantime, My Little Metro has updated a ton of times since I last saw it... *cracks knuckles* Challenge Accepted.

#22 · 133w, 5d ago · · ·

>>519800 You're quite welcome! Keep at it!

#23 · 133w, 4d ago · · ·

This is excellent. Two thumbs up. Everything about carrying a sword and having to use one is directly applicable to any weapon.

Anytime someone I know talks about getting a firearm to carry I always try to talk to them about proper use of force and the responsibilities carrying entails. I always ask them to think about if they can really pull the trigger under the assumption that the other person will die. Males always tend to answer in the positive immediately, Ive found, but I ask them to really think about it. If they cant do it then it is more of a risk for them to have it.

I try to enforce that it cant be pulled out for any scuffle they may get into and indeed they should try to avoid, de-escalate, and/or exit situations that are getting bad. No macho testosterone fueled bullshit.

I also tell them that they own every bullet that comes out of the muzzle, and everything they hit they also own. Whether that be the intended target or possibly someone else down range.

Ive had coworkers mention I appear paranoid when Im walking through the parking lot. Well, not really. I try to be observant. A weapon is not a magic talisman that wards off the bad just by the fact that one has it. One must be aware of their surroundings.

Anyway I think I went off topic but oh well.

#24 · 133w, 4d ago · · ·

This is an absolutely magnificent tale!  The climactic scene facing the timberwolf was perfect; gripping and suspenseful.  There really was no need to show the battle at all.  As you mentioned, it would have detracted from the later scenes.  Sometimes more is said when certain things are left unspoken.  The absense of the scene kept the mood and pace of the rest of the story in line, smoothly and fluidly moving along to Reveille's maturation.

I also enjoyed the lessons from his father, but I must disagree that swords can only be used for harm!

*suddenly flashing signs appear all over the screen as Flim & Flam dash out*  ORDER NOW!!!  The new and improved, Super Sword 3,000!!  It can slice even the biggest wheels of cheese in a flash!  Use it as an opener for those annoying over-taped shipping boxes!  Trim even the thickest hedges with a single swing!  AND WAIT!!!  THERE'S MORE!!  Overgrown fetlocks?  Tangled mane?  Not a problem for the Super Sword 3,000!  Use it for laying tile!  Removing makeup!  Performing surgery!  No job's too big for the Super Sword 3,000!!

(Order yours now for the special low price of 3 easy payments of $199.95  Order right now and get the special Super Sword Sharpener (a rock) FREE!!)  :pinkiecrazy:

#25 · 133w, 1d ago · · ·

Wow. This was a really great little piece of story craft. The characterizations were three dimensional and dynamic, the plot was tight and coherent, and the description accurate and efficient. I really enjoyed this one, so thank you! Keep up the great work!

#26 · 133w, 1d ago · · ·


I'm glad it was so thought provoking!


I'm glad you agree. Less is more, as the saying goes.

Also: Flim Flam Brothers picking up defense contracts? We're doomed.


Ah! A person whose stories I like likes my story! Yes, yes, everything is going as planned... thank you!

#27 · 133w, 1d ago · · ·

>>542360  Meh, the Flim Flam Brothers can't be much worse than what we've got here.

I'd be more worried about them getting into pharmaceuticals.  :fluttershbad:

#28 · 129w, 6d ago · · ·

Welp, it's official, you are now going into my Watch list.

Author Interviewer
#29 · 114w, 6d ago · · ·

Oh yes! You wrote this, and I was so stoked to know it was you! :D This fic is so fantastic!

#30 · 102w, 4d ago · · ·

omgwat. This cannot be the end. NO. There are so many adventures to tell of Reveille left... ;A; I really like the twist with how Opal and Reveille developed... didn't see that coming lawls XD I really liked how your characters talked in the story... they really seemed like kids... the dialogue felt very natural.

Gosh, I cannot believe this came from MLP:FiM. Oh please please continue this! :(

#31 · 102w, 2d ago · · ·

Very nice story. Keep up the good work.

#32 · 85w, 1d ago · · ·

Aww, such a sweet ending. Solid story and themes too!

#33 · 83w, 6d ago · · ·

Yes, so much yes! This was an absolutely fantastic story. I'd really love to see more of Reveille, though. You've done a lot of wonderful setup with him.

#34 · 82w, 5d ago · · ·


#35 · 54w, 4d ago · · ·

I liked the setting and the premise, but this story has a few serious flaws that made it less than enjoyable for me.

Primo, Reveille as a character needs more balance. The way he is now, he more or less does everything right: he's good at his swordfighting lessons, does his homework right on time, doesn't let bullies provoke him into fighting. He seems to know everything about what a "real stallion" is supposed to be, and acts on it, too. No wonder his parents and teachers are so proud of him! In other words, he's dangerously close to being a Marty Stu, and that makes him annoying and barely relatable.

Secundo, the story doesn't have a lot of conflict. Sure, there's the conflict against the monsters from the forest, but what about conflict between characters? The only sources of that are Opal's bullying of Reveille, and Songbird's objections to Reveille going into the Guard. Both of those are touched on only briefly, and they hardly create any tension or drama. If you fleshed these conflicts out a bit more, the story would become a great deal more interesting.

Tertio, the relationship between Opal and Reveille could use a lot more development. Show us more of how and why they go from bully and victim to lovers. Right now, this is mostly skipped over: you cut to several years later, and oh look, they're a couple now. I found that a deeply unsatisfying resolution.

So, I'd suggest you work on those points a bit. I hope this helps you as a writer. :twilightsmile:

#36 · 24w, 1d ago · · ·

Wow, this was beautifully written. I really enjoy stories like this.

I wish I could upvote this twice! :ajsmug:

#37 · 21w, 2d ago · · ·

This is an excellent fic. Well written, well paced, engaging and heartfelt. A great coming of age story for Reveille, starting off as a flighty colt to a dependable guards pony. I think that there was enough of everything in this story, just the right amount.


#38 · 9w, 5d ago · · ·

As someone with a tendency to ramble and worry over details being left out, I find the brevity of this story breathtaking.  There could be so much more, but the way you have written it invites the reader to add it themselves, rather than forcing them to see it one way. Instead, you hit a few striking notes that define a scene, a character, a twist, and proceed on.  

And yet, from time to time, you toss in a small detail, as if to remind us that you are not omitting things by accident but with a purpose-- the description of the sword handle was one such detail that jumped out at me.

I love the way you use work, physical work, as a way to build characters and show contrasts.  I love how you reveal a conflict that's spanned by a relationship.  I love how you portray the passing of traits from one generation to the next and how that's not a perfect process, but one that is sometimes subject to the forge and hammer of life.

And I especially love the way you dwell upon the concept of sacrifice, duty, and the touch of guilt that goes behind it, justified or not.  I've read through this a couple of times now, and it's just as good each time.

Thank you for taking such care in crafting this story-- this is the reason I pay attention to fanfiction, because once in a while a real gem will reach out and slap you in the face as you read.

I am so very, very glad I opened this story up

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