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Benman

Joined May 2012
497 followers

Benman belongs to a class of bipedal ape notable for its use of tools and clothing, highly adept at symbolic communication such as language and art.

Stories (12)

Source

Shining Armor will do anything to save his marriage. Anything.

(Featured in the Pony Fiction Vault)

First Published
24th Oct 2012
Last Modified
24th Oct 2012

Comments ( 76 )

#1 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

Ben have you been reading my secret wish diary again because I wanted something like this so bad

Benman
Site Blogger
#2 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 6d ago · 3 · ·

>>1493238

I have previously described this as "the story where I go full Vimbert," so basically yes.

#3 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

It's hard to quantify if this piece wants for expansion, or if its brutally short length serves its purpose here. On the one hand, it might be nice to have a little more development on what's causing Shining Armor's waning love for Cadance. On the other hand, this is a feeling many folks will come to recognize right away -- when something they think defines them and gives their lives direction fails to give them that same assurance, day after day, and that it's their fault that they're allowing this to happen.

There's no neat answer to the question Ben proposes here, and I think that ambiguity makes this story worth reading -- if only to have readers interrogate what they consider their passions and the shadows they cast over their lives. [/overly pretentious bullshit]

#4 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 6d ago · · ·

... :raritydespair:

so... depressing... have an upvote, cuz it's good. But I think I'm just gonna go... go to bed. I don't feel like being awake anymore.

#5 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 6d ago · 7 · ·

You know, I've read a lot of fics. A lot. Most of them are long because the author is convinced that in order to get their point across, or to explain in detail, or to make sure someone gets the joke, they need a few hundred words per point, explanation or joke. I myself am occasionally like that. This fic, on the other hand, is the perfect example, and I mean the perfect example of how you don't need to write a million words to write a well written, excellent piece and still have it reach out and touch someone.

You're an excellent writer, and I'm glad I took the time to read this jewel of a story.

#6 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 6d ago · · ·

Hmm, quite the tragedy Indeed I have to say, and ironic too if one thinks about it. At first Shining Armor is faced with a dilemma where he questions his absolute love for his wife as he feel hollow inside, where as Cadence's love is absolute. Now, it seems that Cadence is faced with the same dilemma that his lover was placed in, even with the enchanted Shining Armor's absolute love (much to Cadence dismay) is not enough to comfort her. Makes me wonder how terrible Shining Armor ordeal was before he made his wife enchanted him. Maybe this goes this goes with a saying (there is quote for this I think, but I forgot so bear with me here) that time apart strengthens the love, as love do get stale to a prolonged exposure as do friendship.

Anyhow, really good short story. You got me interested into seeing more of your worked. Best of luck my friend, best regards :eeyup:

#7 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

I tried reading this as 'alternate universe where Chrysalis never revealed herself', and it worked.:twilightoops:

#8 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

EqD Additional Tags: Cadence's Special Talent Is Terrifying

QFT, and tracking. Will read later.

#9 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Turned the cliche on its head. SA is the one asking to be mind zapped.

#10 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

At least it's not mindless shallow love like the love poison.

#11 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

This is kinda dark. I like. I wonder if Cadence could cast the spell on herself.

#12 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Oh, oh shit.

At least it's not as bad as it could be.

#13 · Chapter 1 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

here we go

#14 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

wow...nice job.  For being so short it portrays alot...nice job

#15 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Shining couldn't take the roller coaster of love (and life) so he decided to have his wife enchant him so that the coaster would always be high and never low. A common dilemma for couples of all origins, and a very nice narrative to illustrate this point. Very well done sir.

#16 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Dude...feelings...

#17 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Nicely written. I can't really give it an upvote just for that, though. The portrayal of weak-willed, wishy-washy Shining and brainwasher Cadance is so far outside my headcanon for these characters that I could only buy this as an AU fic. Still, it's a superb example of what can be done in a few thousand words - "brevity is the soul of wit" and all that - and for that alone it probably deserves its EQD feature.

#18 · Chapter 1 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Oh, a Star Wars reference!

I_S
#19 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1498467

This, would make this one of the darkest works of the fandom, especially if we had an outside prospective after the final enchantment.

#20 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Very nice piece. Brief, but well characterised, and entertaining for what it is.

#21 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Reminds me of The Monkey's Paw, if Mr. White didn't make that third wish. Easy upvote.

#22 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

An interesting little gem of thought. Cadance's special talent is fucking terrifying. :twilightoops:

#23 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Yeah... It is pretty scary. FORCED Love is the worst kind, especially when it's the hardest thing to get out of.

#24 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

This fic is a bit suspeneseful, in a good way that is.MORE.CHAPTERS!! :flutterrage:

#25 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Does her special talent technically count as Brain Rape??? :unsuresweetie:

#26 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

And this is why I would rather bite a bullet than be mind controlled. Free will is the only thing that we can truly have.

#27 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 5d ago · · ·

Jesh, uplifting and really depressing at the same time.

Good show.

#28 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 4d ago · · ·

Huh, this makes me think more about the two arguing ponies in the show.

If her magic really works that way... oh man, that's messed up. :fluttershbad:

Incredible. Well written and straight to the point. And more importantly, lived up to that tragedy tag.

Good job! :pinkiehappy:

#29 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 4d ago · · ·

ouch, right in the feels:applecry:

#30 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 4d ago · 9 · ·

As much as mind control creeps me right the hell out... I also happen to believe damn near anything is justified with proper consent. He asked her for it, and he's happy. I feel sorry for Cadance, but only in that she has trouble accepting what Shining has become. He may have changed, but the last chapter tells me he's not just a mindless zombie. He's a real pony who feels genuine love for his wife.

I'm as surprised as anyone, but... I'm okay with this.

What Cadance should be doing is getting to know Shining as a whole person, rather than trying to suss out which parts of him are "fake". Communicate and understand; don't soak yourself in silent doubt and suspicion.

Benman
Site Blogger
#31 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

>>1507251

Sweet Celestia yes thank you someone gets it.

Cadence's mistake isn't using mind control, it's using mind control in a stupid way.

The tragedy isn't that Shining Armor is different than he was before. The tragedy is that his happiness is built on a precarious foundation of lies and willful ignorance.

#32 · Chapter 1 · 90w, 4d ago · · ·

>>1499211 huh?  Where?

#33 · Chapter 1 · 90w, 4d ago · · ·
#34 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 4d ago · · ·

Loved every second of this story. When I saw the season 2 finale, that's what terrified me the most about Cadence, is how dangerously subtle her powers can be. Messing around with another's mind is something never done lightly :pinkiecrazy:

Have a favorite and thumb up :twilightsmile:

#35 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 3d ago · · ·

You have struck me right in the soul. YOU WILL BUY ME A NEW ONE.

#36 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 3d ago · 3 · ·

You know...Shining might be right.

Maybe he really is okay.  It really is him.

But Cadence can't accept that now.  She's trapped always doubting, and it is tearing her apart.

Oh Shinie...why couldn't you understand that if you really loved her, she needed you to do it the natural way?

#37 · Chapter 3 · 90w, 2d ago · 3 · ·

Concise.

#38 · Chapter 3 · 88w, 6d ago · · ·

Kind of a depressing story. I would wonder what she would do after shining dies. How that would torment her for the rest of her rather long life. But still a great story.

#39 · Chapter 3 · 88w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

You know, perhaps I'm thinking this a little to "technically" but at the beginning when Shining Armor mentioned that his love was decreased I figured it was due primarily to Queen Chrysalis feeding off of his love for Cadance. Basically, his former boundless supply of love (enough to defeat the Princess Celestia!) had been getting sucked dry by the queen of the changelings... but amazingly he's still got enough left in him to want to stick with his beloved.

I was kind of expecting an epic journey where they track down Chrysalis to somehow get his love back or at least ensure nopony else suffers this fate.

But all in all this was a nice take on Cadances power, albeit a sort of 'glass half empty' sort of take on it. Instead of treating Cadances magic as a temporary thing, like a little 'push' to get two lovers to admit they love eachother and build on it naturally it treats it as if Cadances magic is a permanent effect. I guess it's like the differences between bandages and an artificial heart. Bandages are temporary, to stop the bleeding so that the body can heal itself naturally, at which point the bandage is removed and life goes on. An artificial heart however is a permanent thing, it can save a life but you'll always know that the heart isn't your "real" one. Unless of course one can somehow remove the artificial heart and regrow or restore the original... which would be an extremely risky feat involving alot of resources.

Though... since I found this in the LessWrong group, I kind of expected this to be about Shining seeking immortality or something, at the very least so he can stay with Cadance.

Anyway, great story. I admit I feel kind of guilty posting these ideas because it feels like criticism, but the fact that you posted a story and I didn't means you have every right to feel proud. I'd just love to see your next stories and how they improve.

Benman
Site Blogger
#40 · Chapter 3 · 88w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>1584826

I was kind of expecting an epic journey where they track down Chrysalis to somehow get his love back

You are the third or fourth person to suggest taking this concept in a changeling-oriented direction. I stayed away from that intentionally for this fic, but I find myself hoping someone else takes the time to explore that route.

since I found this in the LessWrong group, I kind of expected this to be about Shining seeking immortality or something

Not every story with rationalist themes is about a quest for a deathless utopia. Then again, I'm also writing something along those lines, so you may be on to something. (If you want me to add you to my stable of beta readers, send me a PM. I could use a LessWrongian perspective on the next draft.)

I admit I feel kind of guilty posting these ideas because it feels like criticism

Receiving thoughtful critique is a positive, not a negative. Heck, it's about half the reason I post this stuff publicly instead of letting it sit on my hard drive.

#41 · Chapter 3 · 88w, 3d ago · · ·

im sorry, i jusr did not liked it,it was too fast and not dramatic, besides, it contradicts cadance canon who loved shining way too much.

im aware not many people share my thoughts as few people disliked it, i think that a longer story would be perferc, who knows, maybe crysalis could enter as she could eat love

#42 · Chapter 3 · 88w, 2d ago · · ·

I have never before felt such drama and tragedy in a package as concise as this one. In my opinion, every sentence and scene was executed with absolute efficiency in delivering the story. I never felt like the story was becoming too simple or not dramatic enough due to such brevity. It's a brief burst of such strong emotion- a literary bullet to the heart- that earns a thumbs-up and a fave from me. I'll definitely be left lingering, thinking about this fic for the next few days.

Also, the fact that the solution to Shining Armor's misery causes Cadence to herself become miserable is a beautiful piece of irony.

Please, continue.

#43 · Chapter 1 · 87w, 10h ago · · ·

If new love is like a bonfire, then mature love is a hearth that keeps a pony warm for a lifetime.
That sounds so familiar.

#44 · Chapter 2 · 87w, 10h ago · 7 · ·

Mind magic is a dirty, terrible thing.

#45 · Chapter 3 · 87w, 10h ago · 2 · ·

This really makes you think. Is a fake fix a fix? Is it even fake if he would willingly allow his mind to be messed with? Congrats on a story that provokes a lot of thought. I'll probably be pondering this one for a while.

#46 · Chapter 3 · 85w, 6d ago · · ·

Sad, kind of depressing, with an increasingly pronounced vein of horror as the implications of the mind magic sink in. I like it.

#47 · Chapter 1 · 85w, 2d ago · · ·

I wonder if Shining Armor tried chocolate.:derpyderp1:

#48 · Chapter 2 · 85w, 2d ago · · ·

poor shining armor:fluttershysad:

#49 · Chapter 3 · 85w, 2d ago · · ·

:applecry: and he has no idea.

#50 · Chapter 3 · 84w, 15h ago · 3 · ·

Well, that was dark. And not even in a gruesome or even emotionally wrecking way, but delivered in perhaps it's most striking form; with subtlety. And it deal well with other questionable themes like 'do the ends justify the means?' I'm reminded of that one saying that Kkat kept using in Fallout: Equestria, about the road to Hell being paved with the best intentions.

: "I'm not here for what you had intended to do... I'm here for what you did."

Even though it's short, it hits what it needs to quickly and with intense prejudice. Shining and Cadence's concerns are perfectly established and their anxiety well characterized. And that ending leaves me with a queasy feeling in my gut, and composes a sinister dance between an explanation and ambiguity. Has Shining really had the unmitigated passion of new love restored, or is he just an unknowing slave to his own alien compulsions? And if it's the latter like I'm deducing that it is, it just makes it even more disturbing and dark. Sometimes, the most terrible things aren't entirely dark, but have just noticeable enough of sparse remaining shreds of light and goodness in them to remind observers of what a mocking counterfeit it is.

And how you managed to so snuggle fit all of that into less than three thousand words? Truly remarkable! And not just because I'm fully capable of writing reviews that are longer than any of the given chapters you've written here.

This brings up another thought that others in the fandom have brought up before me, but still begs to be asked here; how is it that the 'Want It, Need It' spell is looked upon with such scorn but what Cadence is not only capable of doing but is the one thing that she's better than anypony at; forcing ponies to fall in love, is looked upon without batting an eye? Hell, while I'm at it, how could this extraordinary juxtaposition exist when both 'A Canterlot Wedding' and 'Lesson Zero' were written by the exact same writer? I'm not even making that one up; Wikipedia that sh:yay:t. And as long as I'm going off tangent, how could the same writer behind 'Lesson Zero,' not only my favorite episode by one of the most liked episodes in the series (and fortuitously ironic enough, the first episode I ever saw) also be the one to have written something so terrible, so nauseating, and so awful that just thinking about it makes me shudder like Angry Joe waking past a copy of Sonic Free Riders? So atrocious that just saying it's name makes me feel drenched in fear; the... *gulp*... The Crystal Empire?

And I'll send you a cookie if you can spot  the subtle In Flames reference in the last paragraph... I've gone way off tangent....

This actually reminds me of my last (and to date, first and only) relationship; I was so desperate to hold everything together that I was willing to give up everything about myself to be remade in a blasphemy more comparable with her. That never happened, but it still didn't keep it from failing miserably and sending itself off on a dead man's march to the shore where dead ships dwell.

And this isn't an exact match by context, but I found it's theme to be oddly, eerily fitting.

Not to spoil anything, but we The Brothers were actually planning on touching onto similar themes in our own ongoing premiere story. Even though it isn't the main focus, I hope we'll be able to write something as evoking as what you've written here, because it sure as sh:yay:t won't be as concise.

- Christian '#12' Harisay

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