• Member Since 14th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen Saturday

Ether Echoes

A star drifting through the cosmos.


We all dream of beautiful lives.

Shady Blossom need no longer dream; she has everything she ever wanted. Stepmother to Babs Seed and her sister, mother of two foals of her own, aunt to Applejack and Apple Bloom. Her life in Manehattan is all she could have wished for.

When Applejack and the Cutie Mark Crusaders come visit to open up the Manehattan Branch of their club, however, it turns out that the past is not so easily forgotten.

Sometimes, the things that haunt us just won't stay buried.

Fourth place winner of the Time and Time Again /fic/ mini-fic competition. Originally, I wrote this over a period of 48 hours. After the end of the contest, I expanded it to better fit my original vision, and to fix its broken ending. Now, it's something I feel I can be amazingly proud of.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 70 )

This is looking really good.

Three nearly identical comments which fill me with glee but say so little!

I'm curious, what are your thoughts on the material so far?

2961730 Few words are needed to show the amazing quality of this story.:rainbowdetermined2:

I'm liking this story, but the lack of accent is a little disconcerting. Especially from Babs. After reading several stories with an extremely well-done NE accent, it is difficult to hear her talk with an Anchorman Accent. Applejack's accent is almost spot-on though. Try to improve it and you may overshoot.

Otherwise, the story has a really good introduction and am looking forward to more.

I made a conscious effort not to put too much cheese into either Babs's or her father's accents. I felt it would be too distracting. If you have a fic with a good Babs accent I may reconsider!


It's actually a trilogy at this time, with the third story nearing completion. Here is the first story.

*whistle* That accent may be a mite thick for my purposes. I didn't want to overdo it. Thanks though!


I just realized you're the writer of A Mile In Her Shoes and Through the Well of Pirene. What's up with those?

Through the Well of Pirene is very much alive, it's just putting up with edits.

A Mile In Her Shoes is a more serious problem and will demand some restructuring before it can be continued.

Very captivating and mysterious. It makes me want to read more but alas ether made the chapters to long I love them being long it just takes longer to put them out when there longer. Anyways getting off track can't wait for the next chapter to be put out. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter so I hope my chair/bed doesn't fall over.:eeyup::pinkiehappy:

I've been doing edits on it today in fact!

Wow, this is great. You've painted a great picture of family life. The only thing I dislike, which isn't a fault of yours, is Barry's overprotective attitude toward Lin. I know I'm probably exaggerating this, but I don't like the idea of fathers putting their daughters on pedestals and insisting that they remain pure and virginal against their wishes. I think it's disrespectful and just a little bit creepy. I hope he lightens up somewhere down the line. And I know he probably doesn't want to see her get her heart broken, but maybe he should let her experience the risk for herself to let her grow as a person?

But otherwise, this is really quite interesting and I couldn't wait to see the other shoe drop. I don't know where this story's going, but I'd love to find out.

Barry is largely exaggerating. Lin's past boyfriends probably had a lot more problems than she's willing to admit in public, and Barry is playing up the Big Papa Bear thing anyway, since he's Big Mac scale. :eeyup:

Thanks for the fav and the watch, they're always appreciated. :pinkiehappy:

I love this story and Well of Pirene, so it's about time I started following you. And if there are actual circumstances behind the attitude, I can understand that.

Query: did you people favoriting this get an alert that it updated? I was having some trouble publishing the second chapter.

huh it almost sounds like shady can't control her body...like some sort of mental control/conditioning that the buzzing she hears seems to activate?:rainbowhuh:

Interesting theory, but not quite :pinkiehappy:
Consider some of the factors here.

Yeah, I got the alert, and all I can say is, are you fucking kidding me? :applejackconfused:

I have to just hope that Applejack makes it out okay. As for Shady... I don't know. I have to... ugh. I can't think about this right now.

3157153 I've been alerted to time of it, in fact.

Yes, yes! Tell me how you feel!

And of course AJ survives. SPOILER.

Alright, sure. Well, I feel a bit betrayed, but I'm almost positive that Shady isn't doing cult activity of her own free will. I'm not sure what's going on, but I think there might be a Manchurian Candidate plot going on around here. You said earlier in a comment that an earlier suggestion to this effect wasn't entirely correct, but like I said, I'm not in the mental state to reread this story and comb through it for details and clues that'll point the way to what's coming up in the last part. I think I'll have to wait and see.

What part of that convinced you, the unconvincing false memories, the weird dream sequences, or her creepy monotone? :pinkiehappy:

The last one. I... haven't noticed the false memories yet, and I though the dream sequences were just PTSD trauma triggered by the attack on her house.

Comment posted by Holo deleted Sep 20th, 2013

I could comment on where I've seen this idea done before, but since I love it so much I don't mind seeing it again. Originality is overrated anyway.

If you're not my favorite author of horse words, you're certainly in the top five. i know I should wait until I've read your other two stories to say it, but you have wonderful ideas and I aspire to your work ethic if nothing else.

I stumbled upon this via Pirene (via EQD) and enjoyed it quite a bit! Thank you for publishing it; I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your works when I have the chance.

A minor editing note — one line towards the end of chapter 3 looks like it got truncated at some point along the way:

“As far as I’m concerned, you’re still the most beautiful mare in the city. You’re my [...]

How peculiar, must have gotten chopped out when editing. Thanks!

Oh, hi again. :P

This story has also been approved and added to the folders of the Good Grammar Directory. :D

You and my editor, Morning Angles, should have a Cute Twilight in Glasses off.

I dunno... Mine's a Cute Filly Twilight in Glasses. I'm not sure if it's fair for him/her. :rainbowwild:

Hi there! I found this story via Seattle's Angels' review post, and I'm glad I did. Most enjoyable. What I liked best is the slice-of-life aspect, exploring Manehatten life with this interesting blended family.
The mystery was exciting as well. I was caught off guard by the reveal of who the attacker was, and glad to how it all came out. Thanks for a good read! :twilightsmile:

"themselves back under the harsh glare of night."
"day", I think you meant to type?
Nice-looking story, by the way. I don't have time to read the other two chapters at the moment, but they're certainly on my list.

Do you know how many people missed that?
So many editors.

...Well that was fantastic. That's all I've got to say about that.

Odd; for some reason, your reply didn't trip the reply notification thing. And yeah, that happens. I'm an editor myself, and the readers always find things that we missed. And then later readers find things that they missed...

Anyway, I apologize for any degree of incoherence in this (my local time is currently 0554), but I've just finished the story and found that the impression of quality left on me by the first chapter was indeed borne out by the other two. And, um... Yeah, sorry, I'm not very good at providing feedback, unless it's simple mechanical stuff like missing commas. Good job, though!

I will not lie; the world presented here is terrifyingly close to reality. It seems we are now entering the inferno underpits of canon - brace yourselves!

Wow, how had I missed all the hints? Nice work slipping this elephant of a plot twist right under my nose!

If you excuse me, I need to re-learn subtlety.

Well, at least you lamp-shaded that there would be quite a bit of sappy and corny material, which does not diminish the quality of this story at all!

Above all other appraisal, the execution was absolutely perfect! The pacing, the increasingly dark tone, and the slice of life touch struck true in all the right places.

Though I still wonder - what catalyst broke out the old memories? I might have missed it the previous chapters.

It was slowly slipping free.
The real catalyst, the point at which Old Shady and New Shady collided, was when Applejack exposed her. For a while, Old Shady took over, and then Old and New Shady blended together.

Above even that, a blimp lazed its way to one of the tallest skyscrapers, where tiny black shapes darted out to catch its mooring lines and pull it towards the building’s airship dock.

And now I'm having flashbacks to Fringe. Perhaps I should rewatch an episode or two sometime.

Anyway, interesting story so far. Looks like there's a lot going on here, and I'll get to the other two chapters soon. Until then, I did catch a few small typos, and while I don't remember where all of them are, here are the ones that still come to mind:

She reached inside the carriag and took out Dandelion’s basket.

'Carriage' is missing an 'e.'

“She’s not lying. I saw an old man with one eye get up and dance near the climax. It was terrifying.” Barry shivered.

In a world where Human in Equestria is so commonplace that no one bats an eye at it... :trollestia:

Star Gazer seemed especially conscious on her ward's opinion and well-welling, doting on the small filly,

I'm not sure what well-welling is supposed to be.

Oh wow. Well that caught me completely by surprise. I was planning to leave the third chapter until Monday or Tuesday, but after this, I might just want to move this up my schedule. Not right now though; there's a podcast I must watch.

Also, I'm a bit surprised that this story wasn't tagged Dark considering the subjects that it handles. Other than that, three small typos:

She looked up at the others, then down again, studying the white, bubbled scar linse on her hooves and ankles.

'Linse' should be 'lines' I think.

There was very much rain—indeed, it was really little more than a sporadic drizzle—

I think you meant 'There wasn't much rain'.

“Dreaming?” She reached her hooves up to rub at her eyes. “I was… a nightmare.”

Should that be 'It was...'?


“Dreaming?” She reached her hooves up to rub at her eyes. “I was… a nightmare.”

Nay, she was starting a different sentence. It's broken deliberately.

Author Interviewer

Much improved from the original. The ending is better foreshadowed, we get more Shady's backstory throughout the story rather than dumped at the end, Lin's a better character, and the addition of Rarity, though sparse, was good. I still think Shady's a bit of a Mary Sue; she's just too perfect. Not to mention, with all these words, quite a lot of them felt like chaff. This could really stand some major tightening for wording, unneeded repetitions, etc., but it's still a good read.

Didn't you agree in your discussion with me that your impression of her being a Mary Sue was based on a misinterpretation? :pinkiehappy:
For instance, we went over how she wasn't really a great actress, it was literally her feeling how fake her life was and trying to find some way to express that need within herself, etc.

I'm glad you liked it, though, especially the changes. I know a chunk of the writing is chaff, but it's been hard to find an editor worth their salt of late.

Author Interviewer

I still got a lot of the "she's the most important thing in Manehattan" going on. :B I think you improved the actor angle, at least.

Could you elaborate on that a bit? I'm genuinely curious.

Author Interviewer

Like, her catching the football. Why was that scene necessary? They're walking down the street, she's already getting stares and rude comments, some kid asks if she's a vampire, and now she gets tangled up in some more kids' game? Why did that happen? It just draws more attention to her, not to mention bogs down the rest of what's going on.

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