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Oct
22nd
2019

Techie's SPICY Smokin' Toasted Self-Roasted Reviews #19: [Split Conscience]! · 5:18am Oct 22nd, 2019

Hey, it's another fic that has a major influence on my stories today!

ESplit Conscience
A man awakes to find a pony. In his mind.
TheMajorTechie · 4.9k words  ·  22  3 · 671 views

Funnily enough, apparently I considered this story a sequel to I Think I Summoned a Ponk. I guess I wasn't quite ready to let that fic die just yet after Equestria Forever ended up as a mess in a hole.

Anyway, the main thing about today's story is that it introduces the idea of internal conflict to my stories. Just about everything I wrote before this had purely external conflict, or at the very least focused more on things going on around the characters rather than within them. Though this story technically still follows that old formula in that it's not actually "internal" conflict (though, as far as I'm concerned, having Twilight's conscience stuck in your head is very internal), it was definitely a major step in the direction that would lead into my stories as they are now: focus on both the external and internal, to flesh out the characters in enough detail to fill a Twilight-grade list.

So let's get started, I guess. The chapters were all pretty short, so I'm fine combing through 'em all this time 'round.

Craig yawned loudly as he lazily tossed the messy sheets off his body. The sun was high in the sky, and the alarm was ringing quite loudly.

Wake up, Craig. Your alarm's been ringing...

The alarm... Craig thought as he scratched his side, attempting his best to shrug off the final wisps of sleep.

THE ALARM!

His eyes shot open, immediately focusing on the loudly blaring clock on the desk beside his bed.

This has happened to me IRL many times before, though I've been able to make the frequency of it happening quite a bit lower these days.

Not completely alone, y'know...

Craig shot up from his seat, alarmed at the sound of a new voice. The store rarely had any newcomers, let alone anyone with a voice like that. The only people who'd have such a soft voice would be folks who lived in the next city over.

It begins.

What do you mean? I'm not hiding... I don't really know where I am, anyways... all I can see is this counter, and the door, and--

Wait, Craig thought as the feminine voice rambled on, that's what I see...

Really? I honestly don't know what's going on... I just woke up, with this strange... numbness to myself. I tried to move, but I can't really seem do do much else besides follow wherever this body's taking me...

Whoo! Mental conversations! Is this multiple personalities?

I swear, Craig thought as he fumbled about in thought, if you, whoever you are, are in the same room as me, I'll call the police for stalking.

You'd have a hard time calling the police on yourself for stalking yourself, dude.

Mirror yourself? Craig thought as he pulled himself from the boxes, his hands still lightly glowing.

His right arm shot up in front of him, completely out of his control. Craig immediately reacted by slamming his left hand down on his elbowpit, in attempt to push it back down.

"WHAT IS GOING ON?!" He wailed, the clattering sounds of falling storage bins filling his ears, "SOMEONE PLEASE CALL THE POLICE, A HOSPITAL, SOMETHING!"

Seriously, the voice calmly stated in an unnervingly soothing voice, calm the buck down. I'm only casting the mirroring spell.

I remember writing this part! I had no idea how I wanted Twilight casting magic in the "real world" to work, so I just decided to roll with the idea that now Craig has magic hands.

Craig also happens to be one of the rare few OCs that I have yet to reuse anywhere. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

"What the fu--" Craig began, before being cut of by a blast of light shooting from his palm.

Looks like we're in the no-swear zone!

Also, typo.

I wasn't exactly great at self-editing quite yet back then. Even now I still fudge up a thing or two that ends up being caught by prereaders.

"Sorry... uh, Twilight, Craig replied as he strode past the lighted figure, "I've gotta get back on the job. Apparently the other guy bailed out early today."

"Twilight" nodded, and faded out of sight as Craig entered the storefront.

For the low, low price of $19.99, you too can have your very own ghostie horse hologram that you blast out of the palm of your hands when you're lonely!

"No," Craig replied, "This girl in my head did all the calculating for me."

The woman continued staring, though in a much more peculiar manner, before swiping all the cans into a small wagon that Craig had failed to notice.

That... could've come out a bit better, y'think?

Smooth.

Also, I find it just a little ironic how the top comment on this chapter is talking about slowing down the pacing and writing longer chapters, and then the author's notes literally straight-up says that I prefer writing shorter chapters instead. That's some powerful sass I've got packed there.

Speaking of which, holy crap that chapter length is What If-sized.

"...And third of all, no. We're not open anymore. In fact, just... go. Don't bother me anymore..."

Same, bro. I feel you.

Craig grumbled as he lumbered through the narrow hallway of the apartment. The power was still out, and it was currently cold enough that he could see his breath accumulate as he walked.

That happened, I guess. Not much else happens here.

"So, what you're saying is," Craig began after Twilight's explanation, "you're basically taking the energy of the lightning, and diverting it into my apartment complex's electrical grid?"

Do I smell magical mystery smoke coming from my electronics?

Craig nodded. "So, what's your home like?"

"Home?" Twilight replied, "Oh, there's plenty to talk about. There's always something to do there, even if it's occasionally a monster attack spelling potential doom."

"Bu--"

DOOM!

The mare scrunched her face. "What, did you think I had no social life? Of course I have family and friends! Though...
to be fair, I didn't exactly have any social life up until a certain princess dropped me off in a random town."

MY LITTLE PONY, MY LITTLE PONY, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA--

Twilight raised a brow. "Wait, so you don't get free education through college or university levels?"

Craig made a face. "As if the government didn't have enough debt. Did you have free education?"

"Yeah."

"Lucky."

🤔

Let's see here... Craig thought, It's nearing the weekend, and the current forecast is saying that we'll be getting another dousing of rain, so--

Wait, nobody here can control the weather?

What? No, Twilight. How would that be possible?

Um... just, nevermind. So it's going to rain?

I mean, you can seed the clouds to make it rain, but it'd probably be much harder to stop the rain.

So, do you have any idea why your store manager seems so cheerful today?

Nope. Craig mentally replied, straightening out a display stand with a grunt. No idea why.

Perhaps he reconnected with a childhood friend?

Nah. He's not really the friend-making type. My guess would be that he got some sort of freebie from one of those contests that he sometimes signs up for.

Oof. Sick burn!

The Manager stuffed his hands in his pockets as he strolled towards his single employee. "I heard some talk not too long ago. Gettin' friendly with the lady customers, eh Craig?"

"Uhhh..." Craig stuttered, "It's... it's not like that."

o no

"Sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep..."

Craig glanced towards the shimmering projection of Twilight for a brief moment before shaking his head and returning to cleaning the floor.

"Sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep..."

"Y'know," Craig began, rolling his eyes, "You could at least try to be helpful outside of chanting sweep endlessly."

Lemme just leave this here:

Craig's eyes widened as he watched the broom swish across the floor in gliding motions. He turned once again to Twilight, who was becoming visibly transparent again. "Twilight," He murmured, "Twilight, I think you should stop. You're draining yourself..."

Twilight shook her head. "It's fine, Craig. I know when to stop."

#famouslastwords

Twilight nodded as she lit her horn, immediately growing more transparent again.

"Twilight-"

"I already told you." Twilight grumbled, her back still turned to the man, "I know what I'm doing. I know my limits." A high-pitched squeal reminiscent of TV static ripped through the air as the smell of ozone began to drift from the mare's glowing horn.

Mmm, cronchy noise!

Twilight frowned as the last of the image faded into nothingness. "Fine." The mare pouted, "You don't have to baby me, y'know." Her eyes focused on Craig's own as she herself began to fade. "Anyways, I'm taking down my projection for now."

The last of the mare's form fizzled out into flecks of stray photons, her conscience once again retreating into Craig's mind.

That's a lotta words to say that she decided to yeet herself back into his head.

"Hey." The man began, setting the TV remote down, "I thought you were gonna stay away from magic?"

Twilight's image shook her head, a faint fizzle flashing through the translucent mirage. "No, you said that. I only agreed to it temporarily."

Tricky.

"I can't stay here forever, Craig. You know that, don't you?"

Craig nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I do."

Time to wind down the story without a plot (and possibly even a soul)!

Craig,

By the time you are reading this, I will already have returned to Equestria. You fell asleep on your couch again last night, so I moved you to your room before leaving. I have also set your alarm to go off earlier, so that you'd hopefully avoid any future problems with your tardiness at work.

-Twilight

Ok.

Aaaaaaand that's all for the story. I don't have any other comments to make.

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