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Loganberry
Group Admin

Okay, with the weather warming up (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere) and the days getting longer (ditto), it seems quite appropriate that thoughts should turn to gardens. Impossible Numbers' prompt offers plenty of scope for interpretation, so get to it!

Here are the full rules.

Remember, there is no prize, as such, for this contest -- but if you win, you will be able to choose the prompt for the next contest. You'll also get a mention on the group's front page, though you may have noted that I've never actually specified what kind of mention you'll get. I mean, it might be along the lines of "Loganberry won this month, but that's only because he bribed the judge with a year's supply of smokey bacon flavour Pringles". So, you know, you might want to bear that in mind. Especially the bit about the Pringles.

Title: "Kindness and a Garden" (selected by last month's winner, Impossible Numbers)
Rating: E or T
Word limit: 150
Closing date: Monday 21st May 2018, 11:59 pm UK time (world clock)

Please reply to this post with your entry. This makes it easier for me to keep track. Please do not leave feedback until after the closing date.

Entries are now open! Have fun!

6417890

:yay: Allow me to kick things off with the obvious suspects for that gardening prompt: Daisy, Lily, Roseluck, and – of course – Somnambula.


Before a Garden Becomes a Legend

“What’re we ‘making anew’?” Daisy dangled the flowers.

Somnambula bowed. “The Hanging Gardens of Stally-On. Ah, me: the loveliest in the kingdom, with mighty Fountains of Tranquillity…”

“Will a garden pond do?” said Roseluck.

“The Rosetta-Baskets of Phoenixias… so fragrant…”

CRASH!

“Oops.” Daisy winced. “Uh… free replacement?”

“The Sacred Crocodiles amid the Lilies of Judgement…”

OW!” Lily jumped.

“Apologies!” Somnambula helped her. “My friend Pinkamena insists ‘Gum-Mee’ is harmless.”

The trio exchanged glances.

“I don’t think this’ll work,” said Daisy. “We’re just… small-town florists.”

“We’ll try,” said Roseluck.

“Really, though, you need world experts.”

Somnambula laughed. “Was I a world expert when the Sphinx invaded, and none stepped forth to stop the suffering!? I, a small-town peasant!? Yet I prevailed!”

“Wow…” Daisy blushed.

“I had faith; now I have faith in you.”

Roseluck saluted. “Ma’am! We’ll do it!”

OW!” Lily whimpered. “Look, can we please skip the Sacred Crocodile bit?”

6417890
In 'Final Fantasy 8', the term 'garden' is used to imply a school. I'm going to be using that meaning here.


This could cause a tumor.

(Go to open house, she said. Learn about them, she said. Be polite, she said. That stuck up bi-)

"Sour Sweet! What a surprise to meet you here for open house."

"Are you kidding? I wouldn't want to miss this for the world!" (Who wouldn't miss the opportunity to feel like a cat at a dogshow?)

"You seem upbeat today."

"It must be your infectious attitude." (That's giving me a rash.)

"Well, let me show you around the school."

"I would love that!" (If you would just drop dead.)

"Here's the Library."

"Awesome." (-ly boring.)

"Now the Science Lab."

"Amazing." (That it hasn't exploded yet.)

"This is our Garden."

"Pretty." (Awful.)

"The Band Room."

"Oooooooo!" (So boring.)

"Our Gymnasium."

"I see." (That you won't SHUT UP!!!!)

"And the Cafeteria! Here, take a bite of my award winning pie."

"Why thank you." (But I insist, you take the first bite.)

*SPLAT*

6417890
This one has a bit of a stretch on the prompt, but I think it applies. Came in well under the word limit, but I like it enough as it stands.


Obelisk, by KwirkyJ

“Who put a block of calcite out in the granite garden?”

“I might have.”

“Maud! You might have? What is my rule on what rocks are allowed where?”

“Only granite in the granite garden.”

“Exactly!”

“I must have forgotten.”

Must have?”

“Boulder suggested it.”

“And you just do whatever he suggests? Is this some kind of practical joke?”

“He made a solid argument.”

“And what was that, exactly?”

“You’d be sure to think of me every day while I’m away studying for my roctorate.”

“Well! Okay then! I guess it can stay for a little while!”

“Love you, too, Limestone.”

6430178

Flashfic May 2018: Featuring Guest Star Ceffyl Dwr. Bring your hippogriffs. :trollestia:

6417890
This is a tough prompt!
Well, here is something....

-------------------------****--------------------------

The Night of Heros

In a lonely corner of the Canterlot sculpture garden, beyond where Discord had once been inprisoned, stands a massif and weathered statue of an armoured bat pony. In the pail moon light, a dark Alicorn approaches and bows in reverence before the stone figure.

“I greet thee Evening Star and offer our devotion , you where the greatest of our generals, who stayed true and upheld our cause even after our banishment.” A hint of sadness seeps in to her voice. “I...She...We loved you and still do. The Night Mare vowed to protect your kin and I will uphold that promise as my sister has done all these centuries.”

A shimmer of magic illuminates the statue and a bouquet of Jasmine and moon flowers is gently placed between the generals fore hooves followed by a shy smile and a blown kiss as the dark princess slips away into the night.

Loganberry
Group Admin

Thanks very much for the entries so far! :twilightsmile: For anyone else, there's just under three days to go, as entries close one minute before midnight UK time on Monday.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6440399
The one-day Griffish Isles con in Manchester, too. I nearly went to that, but Real Life got in the way, as it does. Seems to have gone well, though.

Anyway, just under two days left now!

Loganberry
Group Admin

Right, last day, everyone!

6440399
The Royal Wedding isn't a problem, but... I read through the entries already posted, and one's too similar to what I was thinking of writing. The differences aren't enough for me to just write it anyways, really. Unless I come up with another idea tonight, guess I'm skipping this one, since I was already running pretty last minute.

--Sweetie Belle

6417890
150 words again. I imagine this is pretty close to what everyone is writing, with this specific a prompt, but I haven't looked through the other entries yet.

Can’t Say Good-bye

“Some of my critters were complaining,” Fluttershy said as she sawed off another rotten branch and tossed it on the compost pile. “They were afraid the tree might fall on them.”

Applejack wouldn’t look her in the eye, just staring vaguely beside her with her jaw set.

“Somepony had to, and I thought I’d help—”

“You don’t understand!” Applejack said.

The trunk would take more doing. “We could mulch this, and all your trees would grow better.”

Applejack sniffled. “If—if Angel died, w-would you feed him to a starving wolf?”

Fluttershy stuck her spade in the dirt and leaned on the handle as she rolled her eyes toward the treetops. “I’d have to think about that.”

But as hard as Applejack tried to glare at her, Fluttershy just gave her a hug.

“Would it help if I said a few words?”

After a few seconds, Fluttershy barely felt a nod.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6418894 6421036 6428326 6430178 6439264 6443086
And that's a wrap! Entries are now closed. Just a round half-dozen this time, of which five are eligible. Seems to have been quite a tough prompt for many. Thank you to everyone who entered. :twilightsmile: I'll try to get a winner announced on Thursday.

Feedback is now open!

KwirkyJ thinks!


6418894 Before a Garden Becomes a Legend
I'm not familiar enough with Somrandomia to really connect with her voice, nor am I confident in my reading of what she's after… some new Wonder Of The World, but not being particular about what it is? As she's supposed to be driving what the Floral Trifecta are responding to, that really hindered my getting much out of this one. I'm also of two minds about Lily shouting "Ow!" at the idea of crocodiles: on one hoof, it's a perfectly respectable exclamation (ejaculation); on the other, it's not one that one reads in this manner very often, so it feels odd. I'm also also a little lost about the "CRASH" and what's driving Somnambula to keep changing her case examples.

6421036 This could cause a tumor. (sic)
Someone being dragged along on a tour of a school (or similar facility) and finally finding opportunity to vent their frustration? If I had to guess, this is somehow related to the Friendship School, but I can't pin it down. The execution is clever (unspoken addendum to each response), but, because you don't have any exposition to give clarification and the situation feels rather generic, it didn't really ring true for me.

6428326 Obelisk
The reader is left waiting too long to be certain who both speakers are (specifically, Limestone), the lack of scenic detail will put off some, and the portrayal Limestone's reaction expects the reader to be quick on picking up the subtext (narration showing her face or somesuch might help).

6430178 The Ghosts of Tides and Currents
Is… is this about Sea Swirl, others whom she is remembering/honoring, or both, being reflective on her future self? I just don't have a good read on what this is trying to portray. Monthly pilgrimage to a memorial, and it's detailing that place and her thoughts? How does the home/museum tie in, and for that matter what is that about Ponyville? :rainbowhuh:

6439264 The Night of Heros (sic)
Another(?) memorial story, and it pretty much works. There are a bunch of basic technical errors, unfortunately. Lavender Unicorn Syndrome strikes ("a dark Alicorn", particularly—the "dark princess" at the end, however, works?). Fighting with the word count, but not knowing what said promise entails lessens this story's uniqueness, and thus its impact.

6443086 Can’t Say Good-bye
My own stupid fault for missing/misreading "staring vaguely" to imply distraction/preoccupation/upset, I think, but I was completely lost on the emotional tone on the first read-through… also, "vaguely" seems inferior to "vacantly"? That's just me, I guess. I'm having difficulty connecting the analogy Applejack makes with the situation described, but I'm going to say that this tree was very, very special to Applejack, somehow. (I mean, I guess it isn't unprecedented…)
By the by, thank you for getting me to review that episode—I forgot how a-freaking-dorable AJ is when she's cooing over Bloomberg before the intro song.

6443446
The school was Canterlot High, and the one being dragged was Sour Sweet.

6443702
It was Pinkie, and yes, she was a bit tamed in this. Pinkie is a pretty talkative character and I believe Sour Sweet wouldn't be able to handle her 'annoying friendliness' without making or saying something to shut her up. I was short on words too, so I thought about getting the point across and getting fancy with the words would compensate.

*Notices heart.*

...Whatever.

*Drops link while leaving.*

6443446

Now it occurs to me I failed to get across a fairly major point, which is that the Flower Trio are actually trying to make this garden right now while the four of them talk. Hence the "CRASH" and Lily going "OW!" (Not at the concept of crocodiles, but because Gummy bit her in the lilies).

Please allow me to apply my hand to my face in self-irritation. :facehoof:

EDIT: Also, she's not changing her case examples. Somnambula has just gone into full nostalgia mode here. I wish I could expand this entry a little to convey that in action and facial expression, but there you are.

6443651

You are correct; sometimes I just flat-out resent the word limit and try little cheats like that. In light of Kwirkyj's comment above, I wonder if you also read that the four of them were just talking and not what I originally intended (that the Flower Trio are actually making this garden while they're talking: see my reply to him above).

6445229

Ah, good. Good. I still wish I could have made that clearer, but it is good to know the intention is getting through, at least for some readers.

6445223
I could tell that they were doing something in the background, but could not say what is was amounting to. Being lost with Somnambula's behavior may have driven much of my confusion, but even so armed in hindsight I am not very confident in my "mental image" of the goings-on. An extra fifty words probably would go a long way, I think.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6418894 6421036 6428326 6430178 6439264 6443086
This one was damnably tricky to judge -- but I'm plumping for KwirkyJ's entry. As some will know, I'm more open to all-dialogue stories than some, and by the third line I was sure the other speaker was Limestone. I was also tickled by the fact that all of Limestone's sentences end with a question or exclamation mark.

If this were a best line contest, Pascoite would have won for Fluttershy's reply to AJ's question about Angel. But it isn't, and so KwirkyJ gets the nod.

Congratulations to you! :yay: Usual setup now: please come up with a prompt for the June contest and then post it in this thread.

6446880
Funny thing is that 6428326's entry is actually the one I thought was too close to the idea I had, because I was also thinking about a rock garden, just with Maud Pie and Tree Hugger instead, and I didn't really think the difference in characters would make the situation significantly different, not to mention that having already read his, it would've made it difficult not to unconciously borrow from it. :unsuresweetie:

One of these days, I need to write something with Tree Hugger, tho'.

Congratulations, KwirkyJ!

--Sweetie Belle

6446880
Victory at last! I am glad that my weak words have struck thus much fire from you. :twilightsmile: And yeah, Limestone's got gusto, doesn't she?

I've given it some thought, and I have decided that the prompt for next month should be:
Now We're Friends

6447014

:twilightsmile: Congratulations on winning the round, Kwirkyj. I enjoyed your entry, even if I couldn't muster up the effort to give it and the others a full critique. That's also a good choice of prompt; I look forward to tackling it come June.

6447063

For me, it's either a full critique or none at all. I don't like doing half-jobs, so it works out the same either way.

In other news, only two more flashfics to go and I'll be ready to publish Volume Two of my flashfic collection. I only wish I'd found out about these events months earlier than I did; I missed out on the first few, and they looked quite interesting.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6447014
Prompt accepted! As usual, the new thread will go up on the 1st.

6447076
Largely because I barely promoted the place. I was expecting it either to fail completely or to get about six members.

Anyway, feel free to continue talking and feedbacking and so on should you wish, everyone.

6463396
Loganberry hasn't actually been on fimfiction since last Friday, which I think was the first, and his last blog says he was going off on holiday Saturday, so I'm guessing he forgot to post it before leaving, then left...

--Sweetie Belle

Loganberry
Group Admin

6463396 6464106
Correct! I left for my holiday early on the 2nd and meant to post the thread the afternoon before, but what with all the packing etc it got overlooked. Happily, KwirkyJ has stepped into the breach and posted a thread anyway, for which I'm grateful. Sorry!

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