• Member Since 11th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen 38 minutes ago


I'm older than your average brony, but then I've always enjoyed cartoons. I'm an experienced reviewer, EqD pre-reader, and occasional author.


Fair or not, most classes have that one perfect student, that one little flower that the teacher can't help but adore. Cheerilee's class is no different.

Lengthened version of the third-place winner in /fic/'s first minific write-off, "What Lies Beneath."

Featured on Equestria Daily!

Thanks to Uma for critique and cover art.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 88 )

Wait.. I... What? :fluttercry:

Loved it. Definitely needs more attention from everyone else. Congrats on the feature on EqD btw!

*nods* Yes, as per my expectations, but well handled without excessive melodrama which can ruin such a story. :twilightsmile:

Nice story! At first I thought Cheerilee was just giving a lot of attention to a mute filly, but slowly I came to realize that she's just imagining things. Still though, if it weren't for that bittersweet tag telling me that something wasn't right, I probably wouldn't have ever figured out that her 'favorite student' was simply imaginary.

I kinna figured out what's going on halfway through the story... but that didn't stop me from reading. I really... well, maybe "enjoyed" isn't exactly the right word (since it IS a sad story, after all), but still it was quite interesting and well written.

Predictable (and not in a bad way), but still good enough to convey the feelings. I'm never sure if I should say "good story" after these, because, well... you know.

I admit, I didn't see the ending coming. I though maybe the filly was mute or somehow disabled. It never crossed my mind that there could be another explanation!

I did not see that coming. That was... Wow. :fluttershysad:

Sad but wonderful. It's the best kind of bittersweet if that makes sense.

Bittersweet but beautifully done.

I knew what was coming and the ending still has me blinking back tears.

I was worried that she was loosing it, and maybe it isn't the best practice for her, but I really like this story you've got here. I wasn't sure what to expect at the end, and I hate what happened, was Joy really just a student? I just...I love this whole thing, in a way.

Joy was her daughter.

I swear, I thought the filly was Twist the entire time.

Well then, who's the father? Detail, man, details!:raritystarry:

Predictable, but nothing bad about it.

I actually came up with her color scheme as Cheerilee's coat and mane/tail reversed, but then realized it sounded like Twist and didn't mind at all using that for misdirection. So I am very, very glad you thought that!

You got me. Choose your own adventure on that one, I guess. I didn't have any character in mind.

Partway through, I had this weird feeling that Joy was a changeling, feeding on Cheerilee. Needless to say, I don't always check the tags before I read stories.

:pinkiecrazy:You just gave creative freedom to the wrong guy, bucko.

Naw, I'm just messin'. :raritywink:

Sometimes it's better not to check tags. You find some nice surprises and like some stories you may not have read otherwise.

3354157 Maybe you could do one of those 'Choose Your Own Adventures' where the best ending is accidentally inaccessible. Sorry, no good ending for you. :scootangel:

Wow, I wasn't expecting that ending at all. I almost got uncomfortable at some parts when it seemed that Cheerilee's favoritism was bothering the other students but with the ending in mind it all clicks. Did you ever come up with...how she passed?

Eh. Not really that interesting. Although it does have its moments.

Cherilee, what are you tulpamancing?

Aww, that was sad. Somehow, my favorite parts were Cheerilee describing her almost bizarre love of the minute details of teaching.

Comment posted by mimezinga deleted Oct 16th, 2013

welp, i saw the part where the filly was her daughter, but not the other part :fluttershysad:

awesome job you magnificent bastard :pinkiehappy:

And now I want to know more. :twilightoops:

Halfway through this story I thought it was going to be really dark. And then... it wasn't. Somehow this actually made it even darker upon reflection, though I doubt that was your intent xD.

Whoops, managed to partially spoil myself by glancing at the comments beforehand, but it was still quite good anyway.

I thought I the same, but the comment was about what the guy thought was happening, so instead it was weird because I'm looking at everything through the wrong lens. Like watching a murder mystery after being lied to about who the killer was.

I enjoyed this quite a bit, although I do have to worry for Cheerilee's mental state.

Wow. You play hard-ball, don'tcha?! No slow pitch for you!!! Right for the heart and the jugular vein.

Must be why I like to read your stuff so much!!!

No, I didn't decide on that. It'll probably be in the story she tells the CMCs, but it wasn't important for my purposes to go into that.


Faved so I can read this later. I must prepare myself for the H'NNNNNNNGGGG.

I thought she was doting on Twist, her top student. But then I was confused, because Twist is actually pretty sociable. I... I had no idea... :fluttercry:

3357752 Knowing is Growing!

i will read:ajsmug:

when i saw the picture i thought i saw a chain and the chair was locked with the desk.:applejackunsure: turns out thiers a flower and its a slice of life:twilightsmile: go cheerilie!:pinkiehappy:

Well, that hit me right in the feelings.

I saw it coming about halfway through, but even so, when it landed... let me just say, well done! :fluttershysad:

Just one minor typo that I did notice:

and Scootaoo—no surprise—

oh man, that punch at the end is powerful. well written.

Right up until Cheerilee's explanation of why "Joy" couldn't talk, I was convinced Cheerilee was merely insane and Joy a complete fabrication a la A Beautiful Mind. I'm still not sure if the truth is less, more or simply differently disturbing.

Either way, I quite liked this.

That was beautifully written, especially the little descriptive details of her life in teaching. Well done:twilightsmile:

Wow... My eyes watered at the end. That hasn't happened since the sad-bomb that is "My Little Dashie" came and made other emotion-wrenching fics look weak in comparison.

Well, given my general lack of interest in such short pieces, you have done a wonderful job of highlighting something that I've been meaning to write a blog post about.

It's one thing to have a rough story—beginning, middle, end, misdirection, twist, etc.—but executing it without setting off traps is another matter entirely. I'm not sure many authors spend that much time thinking about it, but I distinctly get the sense that you do. It's an excellent demonstration of how staying on-topic is vitally important in storytelling. So many other fics of this nature would have slipped in some bit of asinine headcanon or made some direct reference of the show of tried to push some kind of point, but no, this is crisp, clean, straight to the point, and it really stands out as such. It feels like you knew exactly what you wanted going in and you stuck to that, not needing distractions because the core concept was solid. Add in your usual flair for tight prose and it hits home hard enough to put a shine on even my cold, dead heart.

That, and of course, you have the knack for subtlety of emotion that I find absolutely necessary in a good story. Explanations are almost non-existent; let the action speak for themselves. The effect is so much more potent for it.



Man, that... was not what I was expecting. Given the character tags, my idea going in was that Sweetie would be the star student. Then the color scheme had me thinking Twist, though the behavior didn't fit. Then I gradually started to figure out that there was no star student, but didn't see that explanation coming. :fluttershysad: Poor Cheerilee. Still, it's good to see that she hasn't let the loss cripple her, and is still able to function and enjoy teaching.

It's an old trick, but it still caught me off guard.This story is a well-written delight.

Placing a single character in 2 or 3 short scenes and letting in so many minor details about their life really got me invested, so that twist really cranked my head.

The sensory descriptions were top notch, and the whole diorama felt vivid. I never thought taste could be put to so much use.

All that said, the reveal is kind of counter-intuitive, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. For being the linchpin of the emotional punch, putting it at the end of a paragraph doesn't feel appropriate, but the way it stands now lets the tension transition directly into it. I can honestly say this piece has made me re-evaluate how to write.

I enjoyed this very much. Keep up the good work:twilightsmile:

Shouldn't have read this after a string of horror stories. Given how she seemed to be neglecting the other students over her beloved students came out as much more creepy than endearing, and that certainly didn't help the story.

Maybe I will come back to this with a fresh set of eyes.

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