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Over the course of several years, Rarity has achieved a fabulous career, contributing to both Equestrian fashion and the Ponyville community.  She is admired by her clients, envied by her peers, and cherished by her dear friends, proving that she's a dependable shoulder to lean on.

Then one day, a mysterious pony visits from out of town.  She wishes to meet Rarity, but not to thank her.

First Published
22nd Oct 2012
Last Modified
22nd Oct 2012
#1 · 104w, 16h ago · · ·

Interesting

#2 · 104w, 16h ago · · ·

Yay, more SS&E! I need to get up to date on BG pony.

Must read.

#3 · 104w, 16h ago · · ·

HOW DO YOU WRITE SO MUCH?:rainbowhuh:

#4 · 104w, 16h ago · · ·

inb4:

gifs

reaction images

exclamations of awe

featured

all manner of et cetera

#5 · 104w, 16h ago · · ·

A gift? For me?!

Oh Shorts you shouldn't have.

#6 · 104w, 16h ago · · ·

Tragedy, Sad, Skirts... Let's do this.

Edit: Well, I finished. I don't know what else to say. I'm gonna go be sad now, have a thumb and a fav.

#7 · 104w, 16h ago · · ·

Best of luck to you, Brian.

#9 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Inb4 feature

#10 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Where do you find the time to write all these stories. Just have many words do you have in that head of yours >=/

#11 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Fuck, you wrote something featuring the superior pony.

I have to read this

#12 · 104w, 15h ago · 6 · ·

SS&E short one-shot story : 17k words.

#13 · 104w, 15h ago · 2 · ·

Huh, that's not quite the reaction I would have had. Why would she lie about her life in Stalliongrad, then simply poison herself ? I was almost expecting a "V for Vendetta" type scene where she poisons the changeling, confronts it, then lets it die. All those good works, deeds, etc. are all a lie, a lie to soothe a guilty conscience. I could understand Rarity's motives if anything she said to the changeling was true, but none of it was.

....and right until the end, I thought the pony in question was Lyra.

#14 · 104w, 15h ago · 2 · ·

inb4 practically everybody comments before reading

Wanderer D
Moderator
#15 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Heh, knew who she was from the very beginning... and I love you dude. And yet... that ending. :raritycry::raritydespair:

>>1483214

Why would she lie about her life in Stalliongrad, then simply poison herself ?
Because it's the most generous thing she could do. A beautiful lie to lay a tortured soul to rest and entrust her with the future of her friends and family. And like we saw, it might have begun as a lie, but slowly that changeling became more than the lie... she became what Rarity could have been. And she was honestly a generous mare.

#16 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Woah. I'm speechless. Brilliant story.

#17 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

>>1483286

Yes, but you still have a life built on a lie, and when the truth emerges (and it always will) the destruction wrought by it will be magnified. You can't justify kidnapping, imprisonment, and very nearly death, with some good deeds; no matter the number or magnitude. Maybe I'm selfish, but if someone stole my life for over 20 years, I'd want it back.

#18 · 104w, 15h ago · 2 · ·

That was hauntingly beautiful. One of your best "shorts," if I do say so myself.

#19 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

This was, as with much of your work, absolutely amazing.

And, as well, a very new take on the aging story idea of one of the Mane 6 being a changeling in disguise.

#20 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

:pinkiesad2:

#21 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

:pinkiesad2::applecry::fluttercry::raritycry:

#22 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

*sniffle* Why? :fluttercry:

#23 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Well... hmm... I guess I got what I wanted.

That's very... sweet.

#24 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Warning: This comment contains elements that spoil certain elements of the story. If you have not read the story, I advise you NOT to read this comment.

A very moving story! The characterization was not only perfect, but moving. I felt as if the narrator (no spoilers) had a good reason for telling the story, it being a swan song for the character; that was excellent. The inclusion of characters and places showing up in a certain order was excellently done, methinks. I definitely liked how the narrator toted on on certain details, taking on a wistful-yet-accepting tone. Everything just seems excellently done.

Very sad, and a nice Slice of Life. A wonderful story.

#25 · 104w, 14h ago · 3 · ·

Ouch. Beautiful, though. A good, original take on the somewhat cliched "One of the mane 6 is a changeling!" concept.

[SPOILERS!]

Gonna be honest, though, I didn't like the suicide scene at the end. Frankly, this community has too many emotionally fragile people to be tossing that kind of glorification around. Just some friendly advice -- be careful with this sort of thing.

#26 · 104w, 14h ago · 3 · ·

And then, changelings. :rainbowlaugh: Seriously, has anything in this show given us fan fiction writers so much potential and so much to work with?

All I can really say is, that was beautiful. The world-building was fantastic and the ending was so emotional...damn you for tricking me into thinking she was actually living a happy life. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

#27 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Christ on a cracker, Skirts, ya did it again. Nice damn job.

Wait a minute.

I thought you said that you hated changelings?

#28 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Did that part near the end mean that she lied and didn't have a family in her new home?

Yeoman, out

#29 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

I am trying to sleep and now I have sad feels. Great.

Seriously, amazing story. You had me gripped throughout, and I didn't figure out the twists until the reveal. Also, very in character for the narrator, how she resolved it.

An unusual twist on a cliche story, well done.

#30 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Wow. Such an amazing story and that ending sent shivers down me. As soon as you began to describe Stalliongrad, my mind kicked into tradgedy mode. Well done on such a bittersweet and beautiful story :pinkiesad2:

#31 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Aaaand.... featured.

Seriously though, it was amazing. I especially loved how you describe ponies and let us divine which is who, and how you hide who the main character is till the very revelation. I couldn't even stay still on my chair during the attempted poisoning scene.

#32 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

A single tear is only needed to express the emotions this wonderfully writen story has bestowed upon the vast amount of readers that are willing read such remarkable work.

Truely a 'Gift' indeed.:raritydespair::raritycry:

#33 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

>>1483833

Ditto to all of this, though I have to admit that the ending worked. A beautiful lie indeed... :pinkiesad2:

#34 · 104w, 13h ago · 2 · ·

...Well.  Sadfic is sad.  And now I'm sad.  Curses.

#35 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

>>1483214

The highest form of generosity; Rarity gave the tortured thing her life.

#36 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

>>1483962

Yes it did. The lie was to sooth the pain the changling felt from twenty years worth of grief.

#37 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

So you say you hate changelings... Then go and write a changeling fic? Using an idea that someone else thought up of (albeit, with a different twist)? Using the same character no less?

#38 · 104w, 13h ago · 2 · ·

This was an amazing read. You never disappoint.

What really hit me hardest was not actually the ending. Well, not directly.

Rarity's suicide was an extremely poignant moment, don't get me wrong.

But that lie she told to the changeling about her life in Stalliongrad... fuck, man. :fluttercry:

This story is a prime example of the proper usage of the [Tragedy] tag.

You built us up with stories of handsome husbands, and loving children. Only to tear us right the fuck down.

That, is a tragedy, not just something sad, but the glimmer of hope before you claw out our hearts. Anyway I'm rambling again, sorry I'm neurotic about the definition of a tragedy.

Suffice to say that this story *puts on shades* is a real gift to the readers.

Live long and dash apples.

#39 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

....I have no words.

Well played.

#40 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Finely written, as usual, though with caveats. Not my favorite changeling story, nor my favorite SS&E story. The reveal was visible a mile away, so much so that skipping a few thousand words wouldn't have mattered because the middle portion felt like rehash of the teaser we'd already seen and digested. The ending felt artificial, as if had been tacked on just to convince people that it's really an SS&E story. Beautiful prose, nice take on an increasingly overdone concept, just a wee bit overdone and (in places) excessive.

#41 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Oh my goodness, this was so good.... I'll admit I was confused for a while, but man this turned out really beautiful. I figured when she talked to 'Rarity' that she was lying... she really is the element of generosity isn't she?

#42 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH




....

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

#43 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

>>1483409 That's why she is the Element of Generosity not you... I guess :duck:

#44 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Best thing I've read from you in a while. The setup and reveal were well-placed and I can't find any flaws in the first three-quarters of the story except that it's a little long-winded.

I, too, disliked the suicide at the end, but while I normally think that ending a story with a scene like that is kind of crass and emotionally manipulative, it's definitely grown on me a little since I finished.

#45 · 104w, 12h ago · 1 · ·

>>1483409

That's the point, though, isn't it? Rarity is SO selfless that despite being forced to endure very strenuous hardship for 2 decades, while an impostor lived her life, she recognized that the reveal would do more harm than good for the community. Now, one could argue that it's martyrdom or that there are no true selfless acts, but c'est la vie; Rarity is as Rarity does. The real character story is not in the twist, it's in Rarity deciding to not seek vengeance, and I wish that was a little more prominent in the story. The first 3-quarters of the story trudge along slowly, mercilessly (you can cal it a parallel for Rarity's experience's but I would call that a stretch), designed to build up tension and apprehension. Sadly, I think that a lot more harm than good is done with that sort of length, instead of building tension it builds tedium. What are important slice of life scenes in the context of the story's apex, meant to convey strict contrasts and build up the concept of "a gift," end up slogs through "ho-hum" scenes.

Ultimately, the end sequence suffers. What should be a gut-wrenching display of pure selflessness, a final, grand lesson on what generosity actually is, ends up a pretty art piece set to cello music, passed by and underdeveloped in a hall of photographs.

#46 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Adding to reading list, but only because it's you SS&E... ;)

#47 · 104w, 12h ago · 2 · ·

>>1484518

My hearty and unencumbered agreement, my fine fellow.  No finer words can be spoken in contemplation of this tale.

Up until Scootaloo's entrance, this was a work worthy of Poe.  And then, impossibly, it became more.  My only consolation against the crushingly perfect tagging of this story is that no such Stalliongrad or changeling strategy have been evident in canon.

#48 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

>>1484629

You do of course realize that due to Stalliongrad's isolation and the perfection of a Changeling's imitation powers, we would never actually know from the show?

AYC
#49 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

By celestial. This is brilliant. And sort of scary.

#50 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Wow. Just wow. That was really beautifully done. Very sad, but beautiful nonetheless. I'm gonna thumbs up this story so hard.

Also, funny coincidence, I was listening to a song called "Gift" when I saw this in the features box. Just felt like I needed to say that lol.

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