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Y'know, for someone who doesn't like Halloween much, I sure am having a good day. :D I knew about this one ahead of time, but that doesn't make it any less awesome!
Scribbler actually asked me to record a little thing about why I wrote Faun, so there's that too!
7 comments · 67 views
First, cool stuff. Fall Down got a reading by Cherax!
This is awesome for two reasons. First, because, hey, audiobook of my work, that is always cool! :D Second, because Cherax wrote Cerulean, which I did a reading of, and which was also a big influence on Fall Down. So it's like this awesome, incestuous circlejerk ouroboros of fic reading and writing and I love it.
(Allow me a moment to be conceited: I think Fall Down is one of the best things I've ever written. Yeah, I've been hard on it in the past, and even listening to it now, I can see tons of places where I could have added more or used a different phrasing or something. But the fact is, it's really a case of succeeding at doing the wrong thing, and I think I succeeded quite a bit. I can definitely see where I was pushing myself as a writer, and I vow to continue to do that while writing serious stuff, at least.)
So, what's new on the writing circuit? The Loneliest Laundromat was a decent hit, which pleases me. :) Some folks got the jokes without needing them to be explained, which also pleases me. And according to Csquared08, it was "actually not just a super dumb crackfic." I win!
(Huh. Looking at the stories page, the one that you get for editing stuff, they've moved unsubmitted fics to their own spot at the top. I'm not liking this. :| Though I can see why it was done. It may be time to retire the Fic That Shall Not Be Named forever.)
Other than the writeoff, which I can't even remember what my entry was, I haven't done a whole lot of writing this month. I've gone to two job fairs in as many weeks, I'm talking with employers for possible interviews (don't get exciting, I have it on good authority that this company is actually a pyramid scheme, just my luck), some music mag on Tumblr noticed my reviews and has been talking with me, and oh yeah, I'm going in for a medical procedure on the 17th, so life has been hectic. @_@ I usually go out food shopping with my parents on Fridays, but decided to stay home today so I could write, that's how bad things have been.
And on that note...
Funny story. I totally sat down Monday to finish off the draft of Epic Unicorn History 4, which I wanted to get done by the end of the month, when a fugue overtook me. I don't remember everything that happened, but it involved syrup and being upside-down and there were a lot of people laughing at me. Long story short, I wrote something else and you won't find out what until tomorrow. :B Maybe. Doubtless you will be disappointed in me, but that's okay, I'm doing it for the lulz. (That's a good thing, right?)
(Actually I'm not even all that mad at myself, given that November will mark a year since the last installment of The Elements of Awesomery. :( )
Oh, and Laugh, Laugh suddenly showed up in my top fics sidebar at #7. Surprise! (I miss having 10 stories there though. ;_;)
What lies in store? Well, my goal is now to finish the draft of EUH4 next month. Hopefully next week. While my #NoContests promise hasn't really gotten me to write more (okay, it has some, there were some interesting contests over the last two months that I passed by) and I've kind of broken it this week, I had plans to continue it one more month in the name of getting shit done. And I can totally get this shit done, I swear. D: God, I can't wait to finish this story so I can never write anything ever again. By which I mean not publish until a story is at least fully drafted, which will likely mean really low outputs for the near future. :B And on that note, my newest "huge fic that I will never write" idea is a two-book shipping adventure that starts with DashBlaze and ends in the Dazzlings coming back to Equestria along with the humane five and Sunset Shimmer to try and break Star Swirl's enchantment. I'll never write it though. :V Probably.
ThursdayFic recs, October 30th13 comments · 152 views
Hot dang, I love that there's a "new blog post" button in the drop-down now. Also, newer, easier-to-use story tagging system! :D
Things will be slow for a bit as I’m currently a third of the way into an audiobook of The Celestia Code, which will be my next vs. post. Unless, y’know, I read something else first. (I have a couple shorter ones lined up.) The upside is, my dad’s finally recovered from his heart surgery and will be going back to work, which means mornings are mine again! That means more time to listen to stuff, is what I’m saying. :B Also, when I said I wasn't doing Halloween recs this year, I meant it. Hope no one's disappointed.
H: 1 R: 2 C: 2 V: 0 N: 0
The Life and Death of April Fool by Prak
Genre: Surreal Comedy
A little filly named April Fool comes out from under a rock in the Everfree Forest once a year to play with the foals in the nearby town. This is a magnificently charming comedy, moving from whimsical fairy tale to bizarre random fic at the drop of a hat and without ever feeling disjointed. That is the biggest “thing done right” in this piece. I’m kind of amazed at how much comedy is packed into this, given that the fairy tale and nursery rhyme motifs are front and center. The twist at the end is the kind you’ll never see coming, but which makes perfect sense in hindsight. Definitely give this a read if you’re looking for something upbeat and cheerful (yes, in spite of “death” in the title, there is no darkness here) with maybe a bit of whimsy and carnival in addition.
Sacrifice by Mystic
Genre: Low Fantasy
Two pegasus knights climb a mountain, hoping to slay a dragon. This isn’t very pony, set as it is pre-Unification, and it’s rather telly, but man, it’s kinda cool. The dynamic between the two characters is compelling, and there’s a lot of little hints of world-building around the edges that really caught my attention. Plus, the fight against the dragon is a lot of fun. The ending is pretty well foreshadowed, so it likely won’t catch you by surprise, but if you ever wanted a tale of pony knights doing knightly things, check this out.
Recommended If You Don’t Mind Telling
Breaking the News by horizon
Oh yeah, horizon’s got a writeoff compilation too, so expect lots of him in the future. :B This has a great premise: how do you manage a disaster when they're all planned? Given the ponies’ control over weather, this seems a natural thing to consider, and the journalistic style makes this a hilarious read. This is absolutely brilliant, and its shortness means it doesn’t stretch out its central joke more than necessary.
Sugar, Cubed by BlazzingInferno
Genre: Slice of Life
This story is a giant middle finger to anyone who took “Don’t use your fancy mathematics to muddle the issue” to mean “Applejack is terrible at math”. Here, we see just what math means to her, both in the present and the past. Despite the Sad tag, the emotional overtones are subtle, and the result of the contest deftly avoids either of two poor outcomes. My only real complaint about this piece is the use of the title; it’s extremely cheesy, specifically as it appears in chapter 3. Still, the writing is good, and this is a very unique look at Applejack.
Sonata Grabs Twilight’s Peaches by Admiral Biscuit
Sequel to Twilight Eats Sonata’s Taco
Oh dear, we’ve crossed the memes. Never cross the memes! Anyway, all you have to know about the prequel to approach this story is that Twilight Sparkle ate a taco that was Sonata’s and it wasn’t sexual in the least. I find I like this story more, for a couple of reasons. First, while it’s mostly just an excuse to again have a silly sexual title, the characters feel a little more real and the situation is less far-fetched. The inherent ridiculousness is left to hang in the air while the characters move on with the story, rather than the setup. Second, it’s mostly just the Dazzlings arguing, and that’s always fun. Third, the touted locker room scene just barely passes muster by leaving all the true details to the imagination. And fourth, the ending has quite a twist to it. I hope we get more in this series.
Recommended for Sonata Fans
SundayFic recs, October 26th24 comments · 282 views
Man, do you realize Leap of Faith is a look at how scammers play on the fears of the elderly? Heavy.
Griffin from City of Doors has started posting redirects to his blog on his Fimfic account, along with rewrites of old reviews! So if you didn’t have a way to follow his site, now you can be one click away by following him here!
This is another monster review blog because I wanted to get one story out from each of the collections I’m now trying to get through. Expect lots of Cold in Gardez, Esle Ynopemos, Benman, Chris and Pascoite in the future!
H: 0 R: 7 C: 10 V: 1 N: 0
I’m Afraid of Changeling by Cold in Gardez
We kick off the story collections with a short piece about a changeling going to a psychiatrist. What a comedy this is! The centerpiece is the psychiatrist, who remains unflappable and entirely professional while his client does very changeling-like things. There’s a lot of great wordplay in this, and the punchline is fantastic. For feeling shorter than it is, it manages to pack in a lot of laughs.
A Night in the Barn by Esle Ynopemos
Granny Smith can’t sleep one night, which ends up being rather fateful. Honestly, I’d hate to think what would’ve happened if she hadn’t been up to see Applejack leave the house. This is a pretty solid little piece, giving us some nice background on Granny and approaching Applejack’s reaction to the loss of her parents in an original way. Definitely check this out if you’re into stories about that.
One Giant Leap by Benman
Sequel to One Small Step
Princess Luna seeks to reclaim her role as Princess of Equestria starting with a few titles, including... Captain of the Wonderbolts? I was kind of hesitant to get into Ben’s collection, because so many of the stories are abandoned, but despite being marked so, and being a sequel to a story of his I haven’t read yet, this stands on its own remarkably well. It comes in two parts, first Celestia and Luna playing Go and discussing Luna’s plans, then Luna and Spitfire racing for control of the Wonderbolts. It’s obvious that there’s room for continuation, but I was satisfied by the ending, not to mention it’s pretty funny. As for connections to One Small Step, all I saw was a mention of Luna’s assistant Lodestar, who I’ve seen in other stories of Ben’s, so I wasn't bothered by it and now you know enough to deal with her yourself. This is a good followup to Luna Eclipsed, and it’s well-written to boot.
Doppelganger by obabscribbler
Rarity takes over for Vinyl Scratch. The whole situation is as well-explained as it is far-fetched. My only complaint is that this is all setup with no denouement; I wanna know how the show goes! Still, if you ever wanted to see two characters interacting who normally never would, this is your chance.
Recommended as Light Reading
Dream Pony by Dimondium
Pinkie recounts her relationship with Twilight. This is pretty average as shipping goes: Pinkie likes Twilight, finally works up the courage to tell her, and finds out Twilight secretly liked her back. The draw is the follow-through and the voicing. I started off feeling like this was too serious to be Pinkie, but in short order the narrative really takes a turn for her style, and the serious bits are understandably mixed into that. As for the follow-through, we don’t see much of the courtship, but this goes into the wedding, and them dealing with other life issues: losing friends, relationship troubles. That said, it is all told, so YMMV.
Recommended for Shippers Only
One Day in the Crystal Library by FanOfMostEverything
The last three collections are (mostly) writeoff-based, and rather than read and review the literal dozens of entries for my writeoff edition, Imma just do ‘em with these guys. This one deals with Sombra and Cadence before all that “taking over the Crystal Empire” business. The ending scene feels rushed, but otherwise this posits a scenario that is both believable and interesting. I do wish a little more had been done with it.
Recommended If You Like World-Building Vignettes
Of Course, You Realize… by Chris
Rarity and Rainbow Dash play War; it doesn’t end well. This is maybe the definition of “just enough” as stories go: at not even 300 words, it's sufficient to get the scene established and lay out the punchline. I will make some bones about Rarity’s behavior, but it’s kind of worth it given that it's Rainbow Dash falling for it. Reading this won’t put a dent in your day, anyway.
Recommended as Light Reading
Sweet Temptation by Pascoite
Dinky Doo is taunted by a muffin. This is mostly light comedy for the sake of cuteness, but it takes a bit of a turn when Derpy Ditzy shows up. Also, there’s something truly amazing about Dinky saying “By Celestia, I’ll unmake you!” There’s a good balance of adorable and super-serious meant for comedic effect, but I can see a few places where word choices could have been improved. Granted, that’s comparing something two years old to the author’s current works; had anyone else written this, I might not have even noticed. Definitely worth it if you’re into cute stuff, especially as it doesn’t go overboard.
From a Filly on a Hill by littlerobotbird
Genre: Slice of Life
This is written very strangely, making it hard to suss out what’s going on. What I think it is is Dinky recounting a time she lay out on a hill after either a fight with her mother over having gotten into a fight at school (likely started by Dinky trying to protect her), or that fight itself. There are concrete things I can point to, like the tense shifts and certain spots where repetition doesn’t work, that are definite errors. And then the perspective starts getting all wonky toward the end, and the overall effect is simply confusing. I’m not sure what the purpose was of writing the story this way. (Up until the very end, I thought the narrator might be the spirit of Dinky’s departed father, watching over her.) I’m just baffled by it.
Trixie’s Favourite Pony by Blueshift
Reading by Sleipniiir that I am not linking to because the cover image is kinda NSFW
Trixie finally works up the courage to tell her favorite pony she loves her. This is an extraordinarily silly (and old) piece, written by the master of silliness himself. The central joke is amusing, things ramp up nicely, and it’s no longer than it needs to be. If you want Trixie silliness, look no further.
Recommended If You Like Silly Things
Scent by DegeTheMighty
After Ponyville’s first Nightmare Night celebration featuring Princess Luna, Big Macintosh goes in search of his missing little sister, all the while aware of an unfamiliar scent in the air. This does at least one thing majorly right, which is using an unusual sense to instill foreboding over the narrative. And “foreboding” is the right word, for that’s what I was filled with by the end. I was waiting for the proverbial skeleton to jump out, but this story doesn’t bother with trying to explain itself. I however was intrigued and wanted to know what the heck was going on. The answer is in the comments, but I’ll say this much: the one thing missing is an indication that the scent is a signifier in the first place. Once you know that, it’s just a matter of piecing together the fridge horror yourself, spoiler comments or no. Going through the story myself, I wasn’t quite looking at it from the right angle to get the full effect, and that’s fine, because I did at least get something out of this. If you’re looking for a spooky scare this Halloween, check this one out! (And if it spoops you too much, check out the parody in the comments.)
Recommended for Horror Fans
Rainbooms and Marshmallows by electreXcessive
Rainbow Dash visits Rarity, her self-esteem crushed after her encounter with Prince Blueblood, and cheers her up with sex. I’ll hand it to the author, the intro to this is pretty well-crafted, though it also contains my major issue with the piece. Rarity is clearly shown to be in the throes of self-doubt, her self-worth entirely nil. So is it okay that she has sex with the first pony to compliment her, genuine compliments or not? Beyond that, this has some weird issues with POV and cheesy dialogue. Face it, if you’re coming at this story for anything but the clop watch out for the fisting, you’re doing it wrong.
Recommended for Cloppers Only
The Words Won’t Come by True Blue Spark
Fluttershy tries to work up the courage to tell Applejack how she feels about her. At its core, this is pretty much every shipfic with Fluttershy on the attack. In true anime style, she “accidentally” cooks too much food, invites AJ out for a picnic, and then tries her damnedest to say the words she wants to. In true February fic form (I think; it’s been a while since I used that term), she starts out already liking AJ, and they end up practically married by day’s end. Non-shippers will definitely want to skip this, but if you like shipping — and this is one of my favorite pairings, I should add — this is fluffy and cute and features a great cameo by Apple Bloom.
Recommended for Shippers Only
Maud’s River by ArtichokeLust
Genre: Character Study
Maud’s reaction to Pinkie’s first party. As character pieces go, this is quite good. Maud’s voice subsumes the narrative, and it makes a good case for her having some kind of mental issue. (Not autism, though, she’s too good with metaphors. If anything, her inability to understand the actions and emotions of others sounds more like sociopathy, at least in this story.) It’s also a very admirable and believable effort to reconcile season four canon with season one. (Remember that period of time between Pinkie Pride and Maud Pie where the question on everyone’s mind was “Who is the third sister?”) Though I will say that adding in Maud finding Boulder was a bit of an overreach, but probably the only issue I have with this. I’m just glad someone not only tried to do this, but got it right.
The Brief Reign of Princess Twily by Forthwith
Wanting to give Celestia a day off, Twilight Sparkle finds a loophole in Equestrian law that will allow her to do just that. Hopefully. This story has a “Lesson Zero but not terrible” vibe to it. (The scene when Twilight is contemplating ways to cause a national crisis got me worried, but the execution pays off.) It’s a really fun piece, even if it drags just a bit in the middle. We get to see both Twilight and Shining Armor as kids in the palace, and Celestia having a little fun at Twilight’s expense. Plus, filly Twilight as a cranky tyrant is just lots of fun. Also, there’s plenty of Cakelestia. If you missed this back when it was in the featured box, now’s the time to check it out!
PETAshy by Chelis
Fluttershy ends up as part of an animal liberation raid on a facility, coordinated by the Eco Kids from school. What strikes me about this is how she gets involved in this: she’s got a crush on the kid with the green dreadlocks, if you remember him, and what she thinks is going to be a midnight tryst ends up being, well, this. That’s hilarious. That said, the ending is played rather straight, so this isn’t quite as funny as it could be. This is in major need of proofreading, with colon misuse and “they” instead of “the” all over the place, but if you’re here for lols, you’re probably not going to care much.
Recommended If You Like Silly EQG Stuff
Bad Sonata! by Syeekoh
The Dazzlings accidentally meet up with Twilight and Sunset at Donut Joe’s after their defeat, where a horrible truth comes to light. This story is kind of amazing for a number of reasons. First, it shows the Dazzlings post-defeat as actually caring about one another, Adagio for Sonata in particular. That’s definitely not how the trope has been going lately. Second, Sonata has a “stupid attack”. Third, it balls up a bunch of EQG-related fanon into a single explanation that manages to be the most Cards Against Humanity-style hilarious thing ever. And then we learn about the power of forgiveness. This is pretty good, but be warned, it does take a turn.
Recommended for Terrible People
Hooves of Clay by iisaw
Twilight attacks Lyra in broad daylight, revealing her as a changeling, then vows to do something about them. It doesn't turn out well. I have my misgivings about this story, and though it tackles most of them during its course, the primary one remains: I can’t imagine Twilight getting that angry. I mean, we’ve seen her that angry, two seasons after this story was written, but problems of using later show canon for critique aside, it took a clear and present threat to all five of her friends, the princesses, and Discord before she acted on her emotions. Still, this ends up being more about Luna, and Twilight bonding with Luna, and the state of modern American politics than anything. Yeah, that last one’s totally in there. This gets maybe a little tangled up in the allegory, focusing on it more than is necessary, but I nevertheless appreciated it, and that it ends on a positive note. Given how things stand at the start of the second chapter — from where most of my misgivings stemmed — I was expecting another The Hanging of Twilight Sparkle. It’s just a matter of getting everyone to calm down so they can talk things out like rational ponies, after which they don’t seem to be so out of character. And Twilight learns a letter about politics. Definitely a worth read, as it left me with a lot to chew on.
6d, 9hIf you liked Awful Rumors...6 comments · 113 views
The Elements of Awesomery
It was a fine spring day in the magical land of Ponylandia. There were no clouds in the very blue sky and the birds were singing and everything was wonderful and everypony was happy. Well, except for one pony. A pegasus pony with rainbow mane and a cutie mark that was an awesome rainbow lightning bolt coming out of a thundercloud who was named Wondercloud Lightningbolt was talking to her friends. She was kind of sad, because even though she had a lot of friends, and they were pretty cool, she thought that she was really lame. This wasn't true, of course; Wondercloud was a totally awesome pony, but for some reason, she didn't think so, and she wouldn't listen to her friends when they tried to convince her otherwise.
"You should cheer up, Wondercloud," said Fashionface. She was a pretty unicorn with purple mane, and she tended to whine about things a lot. Her cutie mark was FASHION. "You're really a very cool pony. I wish I was half as cool as you are!"
"Fashionface is plum right," drawled Johnniepear in her funny accent. She was a really strong orange filly and not a colt like you might think from her name. Her cutie mark was a pear that had a big mouth with lots of teeth. "I don't know anypony else who's as cool as you, 'ceptin' fer me o' course, I reckon."
"Wondercloud, I'll bake you the biggest, most bestest cake ever if it makes you stop being so sad," added Sugar Rush, who was the pinkest pony ever and Wondercloud's closest and very best friend. On her butt was a big pink firework, exploding with sugary candy-coated goodness and sprinkles. "You're so cool, you deserve a hundred cakes! Also, I think you're really hot." She spoke the last part really quietly so no one would hear.
Wondercloud's fourth friend, a yellow pegasus named Whisperlite, didn't say anything, but that was okay, because when she talked you could never hear what she said anyway, and she was really cute so it didn't matter. Her flank-a-dank was a butterfly with a flashlight for a body.
"Gee, girls," sighed Wondercloud, "it's really nice of you to say all those things to me. It's just that I haven't done anything really cool lately and I'm pretty sure that means I'm lame." She sighed again. All her friends thought it was a really cool sigh, but it didn't matter. She just went off to mope on a cloud.
Later that day, a new pony showed up in town, and Wondercloud was the first one to meet her. She was a weird purple unicorn with a cutie thing that looked like a brain reading a book, who wore black clothing and said her name was Midnight Twinkle.
"Wondercloud Lightningbolt, I demand you take me to whoever runs this town immediately, because I know a lot of important things that have to be told to that pony right now and no one else!" Midnight Twinkle was kind of bossy and didn't like telling other ponies what she knew.
Wondercloud shrugged and showed Midnight Twinkle to the city hall, where Mayor Sexynickers lived. Once Midnight Twinkle was talking to the Mayor, Wondercloud gathered up her friends and told them about the weird new pony.
"She doesn't sound very nice!" whined Fashionface. "And her fashion sense is awful!"
"I woulda kicked her hindquarters right back to where she came from, consarnit!" Johnniepear frowned. She flexed her hooves and somewhere a bird exploded.
"Well, I think we should throw her a party!" squealed Sugar Rush, bouncing around in a circle. "Parties are the best way to make weird new ponies love everyone!"
If Whisperlite said anything, nopony heard it.
"Maybe we should find out what it is this new pony knows," Wondercloud thought loudly. "I mean, she seemed kind of agitated. Maybe it's something important."
Just then, Midnight Twinkle burst out of city hall! "Just you wait, Mayor Sexynickers!" she yelled behind her. "I'll show you that I'm right and we're all in terrible danger!" Behind her, the mayor, who was really sexy looking in a totally mature way, slapped her flank with a hoof and closed the doors.
"Terrible danger?" asked Johnniepear. "Why, I reckon that sounds downright mighty dangerous!"
Midnight Twinkle stuck out her tongue. "Well, duh! I was reading some moldy old books, when I found out that aliens from the planet Badhorsia are coming to this town, tonight, to destroy the whole world!"
"Oh noooo!" wailed Fashionface. "Whatever shall we doooo?"
"They can't destroy the world!" cried Sugar Rush. "That's where I keep my stuff!"
Whisperlite whimpered and hid underneath Wondercloud because she was scared.
"We have to stop them!" declared Wondercloud firmly. "We can't let the world be destroyed!"
"That there's the spirit, Wondercloud!" Johnniepear whooped, slapping Wondercloud on the back so hard her teeth rattled. "We'll kick them there aliens in their cotton-pickin' teeth! Tarnation!"
Midnight Twinkle rolled her eyes and scoffed. "Ugh. What a bunch of dummies you guys are. Obviously, you can't just go around kicking aliens or whatever. We have to go to the Everlame Forest and find the Elements of Awesomery first. They're the only things that can save us!"
Everypony gasped again.
"The Everlame Forest? But it's the worst place in all of Ponylandia!"
"Yeah, nothing fun ever happens there! It's totally lame!"
"Lame is right, Sugar Rush. I'd never want to go there!"
"Fine," Midnight Twinkle said, rolling her eyes, "whatever. You all can just stay here and let the world get destroyed. I'm going, and don't let me say I told you so when flying saucers burn your house down with exploding laser beams!" She turned in a huff and sauntered off toward the dark, spooky mouth of the Everlame Forest.
"We'd better follow her, girls. There ain't no tellin' what'll happen if'n she moseys on into the Everlame Forest by herself, gol durnit!" Johnniepear charged ahead. The rest of the friends looked at each other and shrugged, and then they all followed.
The Everlame Forest was really dark and really creepy, but mostly it was just lame. The plants were dark and had all kinds of spikes and stuff on them, but up close they were all veiny and covered in warts and junk and looked really dumb. Sometimes an animal would jump out at you, but then you'd realize its teeth were dull and it was way smaller than you first thought. Still, most ponies stayed away from the forest anyway, because it was totally nerve-wracking to be there, what with all the not-dangerous animals jumping out at you all the time.
The six ponies stayed together as they wandered down the path, and the dark, lame trees pushed in closer and closer from every side. Suddenly, an enormous fire-breathing dragon jumped out! It gnashed its huge, pointy teeth and roared and snorted flames at them! All the ponies screamed, except Johnniepear, who strode forward and snorted back at the dragon. Then, they all realized that it wasn't breathing fire at them so much as it was lobbing fiery, explosive boogers. That was kind of lame, since they were expecting actual fire breathing, but it was still dangerous.
Johnniepear didn't care, though. She knew she had to protect her friends. A flaming booger got snotted right at her, and she did a jumping spin-kick over top of it and kicked the dragon right in its lame face! She looked way cool while doing it too, and landed on all fours like a boss. The dragon roared and backed up, trying to hit Johnnie with its wing, but she ducked at just the last minute, making all her friends gasp in fear. But Johnnie wasn't worried; she flip-kicked into the air and smacked the dragon right under its stupid head! She kicked it so hard it went flying up and spun around end over end! And before it hit the ground, Johnnie did a cool-ass spinning dragon punch uppercut and knocked it out! Then she put a cigarette out in its eye, because she didn't give a fuck.
"That was so scary!" cried Fashionface. "I thought I was going to diiiie!"
"Wow, Johnnie, that was so cool!" gasped Wondercloud excitedly. "I wish I could do cool stuff like that."
"You can, Wondercloud, I believe in you," said Sugar Rush quietly.
Johnnie nodded sagely and put on some sweet shades. "It's easy. Y'all jist gotta believe in yerself an' stop givin' two shits." Johnniepear spit on the ground. "Hayseed." And then she walked on and they all followed her.
Soon they came to a bunch of big stone pillars that blocked the path and made them have to go in single file. There was a gate at the end of the path. All of a sudden, a big mean demon dropped down in front of the gate and said, "Halt! You shall not pass!"
The ponies all gasped. They looked at each other. Johnnie tried kicking the demon, but it blocked her kick with its enormous hand. Sugar Rush tried tickling it, but it wasn't ticklish. Fashionface moaned, "Ohh, come on, just get out of the way, we're really in a hurry here!" But the demon ignored her.
Finally, Whisperlite stepped forward. "Um, excuse me, Mr. Demon, sir," she murmured. It was really hard to hear. "We'd like to move past you, if you wouldn't mind. We have something very important to do on the other side of this gate." Then her eyes got really big and watery and she looked at the demon.
The demon looked at Whisperlite. Suddenly, its eyes got all watery too. "Oh my!" it exclaimed. "You're so adorable! I just want to pick you up and cuddle you forever!" It did so, much to Whisperlite's surprise. But it didn't really cuddle her forever, only for a little bit. "Since you're so cute, I'll let you all go on ahead," it continued saying, and put her back down. It opened the gate for them and bowed gracefully. "Bye-bye, you adorable pony! I hope you come back this way soon!" And it balled up its hands and made a happy face and did a little dance, thinking about how cute Whisperlite was.
"Wow, Whisperlite," said Wondercloud in awe. "That was some trick!" Whisperlite didn't say anything.
Sugar Rush murmured to herself, "I think Wondercloud's cuter," but nopony heard her, except that Wondercloud blushed a little, and she didn't even know why.
Then they came to a wide, wide river, and it didn't look like there was any way they could cross it. Suddenly, Wondercloud shouted, "Look!" and pointed to the middle of the river. There were three big Diamond Dogs in a big boat paddling their way.
"Maybe they'll take us across," mused Midnight Twinkle.
"Yes, we will!" the first dog said, rubbing its paws together. "Please, climb into the boat!"
They all climbed in, and the Diamond Dogs began rowing back across the river. But halfway to the shore, the leader dog started laughing.
"Hahaha, you foolish ponies! You have fallen into our trap! Now we will sink the boat and you will all drown and then we will eat you! Hahahahaha!" He started rocking the boat back and forth and all the ponies were scared that they were going to drown.
"Oh nooo!" cried Fashionface. "Whatever shall we doooo?"
"Stop that!" cried the leader, putting his fingers in his ears. "Don't do that!"
"What do you mean?" she whined. "What don't you want me doing? You're loud and mean and smelly, and I just want to get across this yucky river and out of this awful, dirty boat and onto the other shore so we can find the Elements of Awesomery!"
"All right, that's it!" yelled the dog. "We kill you first!"
"Like hay you will, ya dirty varmint!" shouted Johnniepear, and then she kicked the dog in the face and he fell out of the boat. Wondercloud and Midnight Twinkle kicked the other two dogs and they fell out as well and they all drowned in the river. No one ever said that Diamond Dogs were smart. I mean, what do they even do, really?
"Fashionface, you almost got us all killed!" Wondercloud yelled. "You suck!"
"Well, it isn't myyyyyyy fault!" Fashionface cried. "Those stupid dogs tried to drown us all!"
"Just can it," huffed Midnight Twinkle. "We're almost there."
"Hey Midnight," asked Wondercloud, "what are these Elements of Awesomery supposed to be, anyway?"
"Yeah," added Sugar Rush questioningly, "and what do they do?"
Midnight Twinkle blushed. "Actually, uh, I dunno."
"What???" everypony shouted questioningly.
"I just know that we can find them here, in this forest, and they'll help us stop the aliens. I swear I didn't make it up or anything!"
"So you mean we're risking our lives for something that might not even work or exist?" Wondercloud clucked her tongue. "Sheesh, you suck too, Midnight Twinkle."
Midnight Twinkle got a really indignant look on her face, and then she hmphed and turned her back on them and kept walking without saying anything.
"Don't look now," whispered Sugar Rush to Wondercloud, "but I think you just got 20% cooler."
Wondercloud blushed a little more.
They all decided that they would keep going, because they'd gotten this far. If Midnight Twinkle was wrong (even though she didn't think she would be) then they'd all go home and laugh at her. Eventually, they came to a really really deep, really really dark part of the forest. There was no light except for some glowing mushrooms, but they were lame because the light was plain old white and not blue or pink or something neat like that.
Suddenly, there was an enormous, ferocious beast in front of them! It had the body of a lion, the head of an eagle, the ears of a rabbit, and the butt of a monkey! It was big and mean and ugly, and even though it was really totally lame, it was also really dangerous, unlike the rest of the monsters in the Everlame Forest!
"Oh no!" cried Midnight Twinkle. "It's a nifforg! The most powerful creature in the Everlame Forest! We're doomed!"
It roared loudly and all the ponies shrank back, scared, except for Sugar Rush, who stepped forward (even though she was scared too) and said in a brave voice, "Hey you big, mean meanie-pants! Why don't you go away and leave us alone? We've come way too far to stop here because of some dumb ugly monster!"
The beast sneered at her. "Huh, as if. What's some stupid pink pony gonna do, huh?"
Sugar Rush smiled back. "I'm gonna play a game with you!"
"A game? You think I'm playin' here or somethin'?"
"Yup! It's called, 'Where's Sugar?'!" And then she zipped behind a tree.
The nifforg roared and sliced the tree in half with one giant swipe! All the ponies gasped in fright because they thought Sugar Rush was dead for sure, but she had disappeared!
"Yoo-hoo!" cried the pink pony, sticking out from another tree and waggling her hooves. "I'm over here, you big dumb, ugly, dumb thing you!"
The nifforg turned around and swiped at that tree, but once again, Sugar Rush was gone! She appeared inside another tree, and then she came out from under a rock, saying, "This one time, I saw a thing that was ugly and slimy and totally stupid, and I thought it was the dumbest thing I ever saw, until I saw your gross butt just now, and now I know that's the ugliest thing ever!" And then kicked the thing in its big, ugly butt!
She appeared out of the foliage and stuck a pillowcase over the beast's eyes, and then she showed up in its mane and gave it a huge noogie!
"Argh!" cried the nifforg. "I'm outta here, you weirdos! I thought this place was lame, but you're dorking it up!" And it spread its huge, ugly, stinky, dumb wings and took off over the trees.
"Hooray!" cried the ponies, and they all gave Sugar Rush a hug.
"Wow," Wondercloud said, "that was really random, Sugar Rush! But it was really funny to watch!"
"Thanks, Boltie," Sugar Rush said shyly. "I'm glad you liked it." And then when nopony else was looking, she mustered up her courage and gave Wondercloud a tiny peck on the cheek. Wondercloud blushed really deeply this time, and her wings stood up straight, and she couldn't get them to go back down for five minutes, and she didn't really understand why.
They crossed a big chasm on a rickety, swaying rope bridge. It was scary and high, but they did their best not to look down, and somehow they all made it across.
That is, they almost did! Just as they reached the other side, another pony showed up out of the mist. He was an earth pony, who was all grey, and he was way bigger than any of them. He was even twice as big as Johnniepear! He scowled at them and grumbled, "My name is Hokey Smokes, and I'm here to stop you all from getting to the Elements of Awesomery!"
"Oh yeah?" cried Johnnie. "You wanna fight or somethin'?"
"Pfft, please. You look kinda girly and shrimpy. I'd probably kick your flank from here to Badhorsia."
"Hey!" cried Wondercloud. "You can't talk to my friends that way! If you wanna fight one of us, you gotta fight all of us!"
Then something weird happened. Hokey Smokes' jaw dropped and he stared at Wondercloud.
"Whoa," he breathed breathlessly, "where'd you get that awesome rainbow color in your mane?"
Wondercloud almost didn't know what to say. "Uhh, it's natural, I guess. I mean, I've always had it."
Hokey Smokes started freaking out and jumping around. "Wow, dude, that's so awesome! Oh, I wish I was as cool as you! I mean, I'm just grey all over, what kind of color is that? Bo-ring! I totally can't stand up to a pony as cool as you! I mean, I'll have to let you through to face my friends, and they'll probably tear you apart because they're cooler than I am, but gee! You just look awesome! Remember me, okay? I'll totally be your biggest fan when you get famous!"
And he stepped aside and let them pass. Wondercloud looked kind of bewildered, but Sugar Rush gave her a hug.
"That was awesome, Wondercloud! You did great!"
"But... I didn't do anything!"
"I guess you didn't have to," smirked Midnight Twinkle with a smile. "You do look pretty cool, after all."
"Gee, thanks," Wondercloud blushed.
In front of them was a big huge castle, made out of moldy old blocks of stone and covered in portcullises. I mean portcullises everywhere, it was just crawling with 'em! Anyway, they were trying to figure out a way in when suddenly a big black pegasus with a monocle swooped down and landed in front of the gate!
"Who goes there?" he cried, his voice all snobbish. "I am Black Snooty, and I am here to see that none may enter the castle!"
The ponies all looked at him. "We could fight ya," declared Johnniepear.
"Oh please," Black Snooty huffed. "While I absolutely detest fisticuffs of any sort, I believe that my superior skill in the martial arts would render your actions most ineffective."
"Well, how can we get past you then?" asked Midnight Twinkle.
"If you can impress me somehow, then perhaps I'll consider allowing you to pass."
So Johnniepear kicked over a tree, but Black Snooty yawned, "How crass!"
Whisperlite tried making big, cute eyes at him, but he snorted, "Oh please, you're so common!"
Fashionface whined, "Oh please please please, let us in! We're so close to our goal, and we've come all this way, and my hooves are sore and my legs are tired, and my eyes have those yucky crusty things in them, and I'm hungry and I'm cold, and I just want to find these Elements and go hoooooome!"
Black Snooty made a disgusted face. "My dear lady, your manners are simply atrocious!"
Sugar Rush made funny faces at him from every angle she could think of, including a few that don't really exist, but he ignored her. Midnight Twinkle even tried to cast some magic at him, but at the last second a bug flew up her nose and all that came out was a puff of smoke and a noise that sounded like a fart.
"Laughable," coughed Black Snooty, polishing his hoof on his cravat. "If only it weren't so pathetic. So, does anypony else have any tricks up their sleeve, or shall we call it a night?"
"I do!" declared Wondercloud. She reared back and launched herself into the sky, and started doing all kinds of somersaults and making the clouds spin. She zoomed over the treetops and shook all the leaves down. She even wrote her name in the sky with a rainbow contrail. The ponies all began cheering, and Black Snooty's monocle popped right out of his eye!
"My word! Such aerial skill! In all my days, I have never seen anything so breathtaking! Please, I must insist that you all go inside. There is one more pony waiting for you, of course, and you will no doubt be unable to impress her so easily, but I am defeated! Enter!"
And he raised the portcullis in front of the gate and bowed deeply as they went inside. Then the gate shut behind them with a huge BOOM and they were in the castle. It was cold and dank and dark, so Midnight Twinkle made a light on her horn.
"That was really cool, Wondercloud," she gasped. "I didn't know you had it in you!"
"Yeah, me neither!" said Wondercloud, feeling a little embarrassed.
"You were really cool, Wondercloud!" exclaimed Sugar Rush excitedly. She wanted to give Wondercloud a big kiss on the lips, but before she could do anything, a giant trap door opened underneath them and they all slid screaming down into the basement!
"Welcome to my dungeon!" called a hideous voice. They all saw a dark purple unicorn, dressed in leather and holding a whip, standing atop a platform in front of a throne. She laughed evilly and declared, "I am Queen Meanie, and your quest for the Elements of Awesomery ends here!"
She cast a spell, and they all found themselves being wrapped up by vines and chains and tentacles! Wondercloud was able to avoid the spell by flying up super fast, but the rest of her friends got caught. Fashionface was tied to a rack, while Midnight Twinkle was chained spread-eagled to a rotating wheel. Sugar Rush had a blindfold over her eyes and was tied facedown to a table, and Johnniepear and Whisperlite both were trussed up and hung from the ceiling with big red balls shoved in their mouths! It was awful!
"What do you think you can do to save them, little pegasus?" crowed Queen Meanie. "I defeated all of your friends easily. One pony is no match for me!"
"That's what you think!" cried Wondercloud. But inside, she was afraid. What could she do against this powerful, evil sorceress? Suddenly, she had the answer. She thought about all the things that her friends had done to help get them through the trials of the Forest. They had all done something really awesome (well, maybe except for Fashionface, who just whined a lot about everything) but it was her, Wondercloud, who had been able to defeat two ponies in a row, just by being cool!
"It all makes sense now!" she smiled. "All this time, my friends have been telling me how cool I am, but I ignored them because I thought they were only trying to be nice to me! But it's true! I really am cool! In fact, I think I might be the coolest pony in all of Ponylandia!"
Suddenly, there was a bright light that shone from inside of Wondercloud. When it faded, she had gotten her cutie mark a second time! Only this time, instead of a rainbow lightning bolt on her flank, she had rainbow lightning bolts everywhere! She looked 120% cooler than she used to, and she could fly faster too, because rainbow lightning bolts make you fly really fast.
Queen Meanie screamed and tried to hit Wondercloud with another spell, but she was faster than magic now! She swooped down and knocked Queen Meanie off her throne and into an iron maiden, which closed on her up to the neck. Screaming, but also making oohing sounds, she screeched, "How can this be? How did you defeat me?"
"It's simple," said Midnight Twinkle. "She harnessed the power of the Elements of Awesomery!"
"What? I did?"
Midnight nodded. "I figured it out just now. The Elements aren't some kind of treasure to be found; they were in all of us the entire time! We just needed to realize it for ourselves!
"Johnniepear, who gave not a single fuck when fighting that awful dragon, represents the Element of... Badassery!"
There was a glow, and Johnnie was freed from the chains that had held her to the ceiling. When the light faded, she was wearing awesome shades and a huge fucking gold necklace with a ginormous bit sign on the end.
"Shee-it," she said, chomping on a fat cigar.
"Whisperlite, whose unending adorableness charmed the pants off a demon, represents the Element... Moe as Fuck!"
Another light, and Whisperlite was freed from the black, gooey tendrils that had held her captive. She was now wearing a bunny costume, and it was too adorable, you really have no fucking idea omg.
"Fashionface, who couldn't fucking shut up for two fucking seconds the entire fucking time, represents the Element of... Whining!"
Fashionface was suddenly free, and wearing a baggy jogging suit. It looked like she might have suddenly put on a few pounds, too, and her hair was all up in curlers. She screamed and fainted.
"Wait," said Wondercloud haltingly, "whining isn't exactly awesome."
"Shut up, okay?" rumbled Midnight Twinkle irritably. "I didn't just make this shit up or anything, this is old magic, dammit. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Sugar Rush, who confounded that nifforg by breaking every damned law of physics, represents the Element of... Randomness!"
Sugar Rush was freed, then, and she appeared wearing a pair of funny glasses, a fake arrow through her head, and a big red nose. She tweetled on a party tickler and flopped around, wearing big blue swim fins.
"And because I figured all this crap out, I get the Element of Smartypantsitude!" Midnight Twinkle smirked and rose up from the wheel, landing gently on her hooves. She was wearing a big, grey wig, a bushy grey moustache, and really thick, horn-rimmed glasses.
"That's not even a real word!" Wondercloud grumbled.
"Shut up already, I said!"
"Well, then what about me? What's my Element?"
Midnight Twinkle looked at the rest of the ponies. They smiled at her. "Isn't it obvious?" she said.
"Y'all done wowed that Hokey Smokes feller. He's yer biggest fan now, hooves down!"
"You impressed the heck out of that snobbish Black Snooty," mumbled Fashionface, who had woken back up and was trying to get the curlers out of her mane.
"You beat Queen Meanie without so much as batting an eye," Whisperlite added.
"And you look totally freaking sweet!" Sugar Rush yelled, jumping up and down and making floppy noises with her flippers.
Midnight Twinkle nodded. "So your Element is..." All together, they yelled, "120% COOLER!"
Suddenly, Wondercloud was wearing an awesome rainbow helmet that swept to a point in the back, and a cool red lightning-bolt cape and gold wing shoes. Fashionface stuck her tongue out.
"Eew, that's so tacky!"
"Shut up, Miss Tracksuit," yelled Wondercloud, and pulled on some sweet shades out of nowhere. "Deal with it. Let's go kill some aliens!"
"Hah!" barked Queen Meanie, who everpony had forgotten about. "You'll never stop the Badhorsia invasion fleet! My people will swarm down from the skies and rain fire upon your homes! You will never--"
"Can it, lady!" shouted Wondercloud, and she bucked the iron maiden that Queen Meanie was in. It toppled backward and landed in a pool of acid that was also on fire, and then Wondercloud used her Element powers to throw lightning at the burning acid. Queen Meanie exploded. Twice.
They all cheered, and then Wondercloud busted a hole all the way through the roof of the castle and they all took off after her (because the Elements could make them fly). And when they got back to the city, the alien invasion fleet was coming down out of the clouds! Ponies were running and screaming through the streets, and lasers were making explosions that burned their houses down! But then Wondercloud and her friends swooped in, and through the powers of sheer Awesomery, they created a sweet, sweet rainbow beam that destroyed all the flying saucers and sent the aliens packing!
And when it was all over, there was a big parade for them, with Wondercloud at the head. The parade went all through town and ended right at city hall, where Mayor Sexynickers gave a speech.
"Citizens of Ponylandia, I present to you your saviors! Also I need to apologize to Wondercloud and Midnight Twinkle for not believing them about the Elements of Awesomery!"
"But I was the only one who told you about them," objected Midnight Twinkle.
Wondercloud elbowed her in the ribs. "Shut up, already. Rude, much?"
"In honor of our heroes, I must ask -- nay, demand -- that Wondercloud choose one of her friends to kiss, right now, in front of everypony!"
Wondercloud turned bright red. "R-really? But who?"
"It should be me!" whined Fashionface. "After all, I am the prettiest pony in Ponylandia!"
"Yeah," grumbled Wondercloud, "but you're also really whiny and kind of a bitch. No offense."
Fashionface gasped. "Well, if not me, then who?"
Wondercloud considered. Midnight Twinkle was really irritating. Johnnie was too... manly. And she'd never really heard Whisperlite say anything before today.
But wait, she didn't have to think so hard after all! There was only one answer. It should have been obvious from the start.
"It would have to be my bestest friend ever in the whole wide world," Wondercloud cried, her eyes filling with tears. "The pony who was there with me every step of the way, to cheer me on and encourage me and believe in me, even when I didn't. Sugar Rush, would you do me the honor of this kiss?"
Sugar Rush's face turned from pink to bright red. "Oh yes, Wondercloud! I love you so much!" She wrapped her hooves around Wondercloud and they kissed, tenderly. The crowd cheered. And then Sugar Rush tackled Wondercloud and they started making out.
It was hot.
"It... was... hot. There!"
Pinkie Pie hit 'save', smiling in self-satisfaction. As she savored that last scene, the glow from the computer monitor illuminated bright red spots on her cheeks. It was a masterpiece. If Rainbow Dash saw this, she would certainly be cheered up, no matter how bad she was feeling. Not that Pinkie would ever show her, of course...
She closed her eyes, thoughts turning to her friend. Rainbow Dash had been so... un-Dash-like lately, moping around and complaining that she was no good at anything, for no reason at all. It tore at Pinkie's heart to see her so sad. Rainbow meant so much more to her than just a friend. She'd tried throwing Rainbow Dash a party, but when that hadn't helped, she'd been at a total loss. Writing was the only way to work through those feelings. There was just no way that she was ever going to show it to...
"Hi, Pinkie Pie."
"AAAAAGH! RAINBOW DASH!" Pinkie, in a single motion, hit the power button on her monitor and spun her chair around until she was nose-to-upside-down-nose with her friend.
"Don't scare me like that, Rainbow Dash!"
The rainbow-maned pegasus laughed softly. "Sorry, Pinkie. What were ya doin'? Not writing creepy slash fiction about your friends again, I hope?"
"No, Dashie, of course not!" She giggled and put on her best 'I wasn't doing anything' grin. "I learned my lesson last time, remember?"
Rainbow Dash stuck out her tongue. "Ugh, I'd rather not think about it. Anyway, well..." She grew quiet, rubbing her hooves together nervously. "There was no one downstairs, so I let myself in, I hope that's okay. I just... Well, I made you something."
Pinkie Pie's smile relaxed. She took a deep breath. "You did?"
"Yeah, some, uh... cupcakes."
Pinkie's face split into a huge grin. "Rainbow Dash, you made me cupcakes?"
"Well, Applejack helped," she said quickly. "The muffins didn't go so well, you see, and..."
Pinkie threw her hooves around her friend. "That's so sweet, Rainbow Dash! Nopony ever makes me things like that!"
Rainbow blushed deeply. "And I thought, maybe, we could talk for a while too."
Now Pinkie was just a little worried. Baked goods, from Rainbow Dash, and a 'talk'? She swallowed the sudden rise of fear, replacing it with something from deeper inside herself.
"Okie-dokie. And afterwards, maybe I can show you something too, okay?"
Rainbow Dash nodded. "Well, hey," she said with a slightly nervous laugh, "those cupcakes aren't gonna eat themselves! Let's go!"
Pinkie smiled. "Okay, Rainbow Dash, lead on!" She smiled as she watched her friend trot back downstairs, and wiped at her eyes.