• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
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Cold in Gardez

Stories about ponies are stories about people.


Remember the time Ponyville was invaded by Parasprites? Or the time Cerberus, the demonic three-headed dog guardian of Tartarus, Equestria's underworld, wandered away and ended up in Ponyville?

What I'm trying to say is, it's an odd sort of town. Anything can happen.

This is the story of how a million star spiders came to live with Twilight Sparkle. It wasn't even the weirdest thing to happen to her that month.

Ponyville, man. Crazy place.

Edit: Now a reading, apparently!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 248 )

Heh. This story made my day.:pinkiehappy:

Yes, I did read it that quickly

This was at once hilarious and devastating, like you seem to have a wonderful talent for writing. Especially once Fluttershy said her piece, in her quiet, insightful way. I always love seeing what strengths and weaknesses Twilight's overly-analytical mind can bring to stories, and without a doubt, you're my favorite author for showing exactly that. I could probably wast five paragraphs on exactly what allegories and lessons and joys and thoughts this little story about spiders left me with, but instead I'd like to say: Thanks for writing another thoughtful and roaringly funny comedy. It made my day.

How did you even come up with this concept? What you did with it was very funny and perfect for Ponyville, but it's so... not obvious.

Nice work, though.

Aaargh mood whiplash!

A house full of phoenixes is intolerable, but everypony goes gooey-eyed over the entire town being covered in thousands upon thousands of spiders. :applejackunsure: Ponyville is weird.

Fluttershy wins all the things, and owch, that mood whiplash was physically painful.

This story made me happy and sad at the same time. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

I'm imagining the star spiders to have a six pointed star similar to Twilight's cutie mark.

The Apples are terrible ponies. You take little kids and lock them in dark room with thousands of spiders! What's wrong with them?! What's wrong with Ponyville?! How can they possibly stand the spiders?! Spiders are horrible creatures that should not even exist! This left me more annoyed than happy.

Sheesh, Fluttershy, that was a low blow. Other than that, Star Spider Day seems like a fun holiday. Unless you're like me and terrified of any spiders bigger than a penny (and smaller than a tarantula, for some reason).

However, despite the mental image of thousands of spiders crawling about, I really liked this story. It does seem like a holiday that could actually exist in Equestria (or Ponyville, at least). Good read, would read again:twilightsmile:

Ouch, Fluttershy, that was a little overly harsh.

Came for the spiders, stayed for the laughs. I pretty much died when Pinkie asked what the biggest number was. And I'm with John about Granny's "folksy wisdom", too.

This was awesome all the way through:twilightsmile:

It's alllll fun and games until

“Twilight, we know they can’t love,” Fluttershy said. Her voice was softer than Twilight could ever recall hearing. “We know they aren’t like ponies. We know these are our feelings, projected onto them. What does that say about us?” She paused, and when she spoke again it was barely above a whisper. “What does it say about you?”

And then you're like


*look down*


Loved it! The original was hilarious, but I think this is a better story in some ways.
What IS the biggest number, that's the question

"What does that say about us?” She paused, and when she spoke again it was barely above a whisper. “What does it say about you?”

Your soul is dead, arachnophobic scum! Feel the magic of friendship, and repent!

Georg #17 · Jan 13th, 2014 · · 2 ·

I'm sorry, but my ability to identify spiders is somewhat limited. Once they've been turned into a multicolored smear, it's hard to pick out identifying characteristics.

Okay, I don't think I've actually read anything of yours except bits of the short story collection (which, yes, was enough on its own to get me following you), and I could use a bit of a break from writing today, so I'm going to look at this guy while it's still remotely topical.

The intro felt a little dry to me. Too much description but not enough sensory input for me to really capture the scene in my mind. The similes were nice, but didn't have a lot of punch for me because of the aforementioned issue. The bit after she wakes up is exactly what I paid for, though, with some nice Spike voicing and Twilight characterization (cf. "Interesting."), and the first appearance of the star spiders I found genuinely creepy.

Four-legs Good, Eight-legs Better: A Book for Foals is golden.

The thing I wound up really taking note of here was the voicing. Pinkie's voice on Day 1 is enjoyable, if perhaps a touch overly random. No, that's not right. A touch cliche? That's closer. It sounds like show dialogue, but perhaps just a bit too much like show dialogue that's been adapted to the scene rather than natural Pinkie dialogue. I'm harping on something very minor here, though. This is still excellent voicing for Pinkie. Twilight, on the other hand, feels slightly too cynical to me. Again, her voicing is very good, but the lines about "completely insane" and "They are incapable of it" don't fit quite right in my mind. I can basically hear Cathy Wiseluck and Andrea Libman on your Spike and Pinkie dialogue, but Twilight wanders a little for me. That's also true in her scene with Applejack, though elsewhere she feels completely natural. Voicing for all the other mane six ponies is rock solid.

I quite like the twist, and the fact that it's delivered by Fluttershy, and the meta implication that comes along with it. It's also very nicely not overstated and left for the reader to delve into at his or her leisure.

The whole thing doesn't really wind up feeling like much of a comedy to me, though there were a couple incidental laughs. But it's well-voiced and sweet (albeit a little skin-crawling), and I find that I quite like it.

Anyone else feel like there are spiders crawling on them now? Because I can't shake that feeling.

That was not the ending I anticipated. But perhaps it was the ending that was inevitable.

No spiders were harmed in the making of this story... And this saddens me greatly.

Nicely done, for what it is, but far too predictable. Once we hear how everybody else is okay with Star Spider Day versus over-cynical Twilight's take on it, there's zero doubt (especially since the story lacks a Dark tag) how it'll turn out. Much like 3777845 pointed out, Twilight comes off as a little too acerbic here. Maybe she didn't learn her Winter Wrap Up lesson about odd Ponyville traditions after all? Almost feels like a Christmas story published three weeks behind schedule: Twilight says "Bah, Humbug!" but learns an important lesson in the end. Otherwise it's the typically wonderful writing and eminent readability we expect from Gardez.

You know, they should have given the Star Spiders some sort of canon hook in the show. Maybe if we're lucky they'll make a comeback and have some proper importance in the show.

I have no idea what I just read, but I liked it.

She couldn’t see him, as her eyes were still blurry with sleep and that crusty stuff that forms in your eyelashes

Put it in third person. "that forms in one's eyelashes"

This went from humorous to sad disturbingly quickly.


You know, I went back and forth on that for a while. Eventually I settled with 'your,' since 'one's' seemed too formal for the setting.

Sometimes you have to choose from the least-bad option.

Why couldn't they be scorpions? Scorpions are best arachnids, spiders are just evil little balls of chitin and death.

Did not expect the lesson. Thanks for more thought juice. :twilightsmile:

Don't worry, Granny Smith has a nice and effective way to cure you of that arachnophobia of yours, just go along wth her into the nice dark totally not filled with spiders room and you will be all better soon.

I expected some ghastly twist ending, really.

I got nothing.

I hate the feeling of a spider on me, but...

GODDAMNIT MAN. Why must I be so confused?

~Skeeter The Lurker

This was nice.

Also, did you just want to rewrite The Trouble with Phoenixes?

This broke my WTF o' meter but damned if I didn't find it entertaining, liked and fave'd.


This is more how I wish Phoenixes had gone. Phoenixes was a comedy without any sort of moral development; this story is barely a comedy by the time you get to the end, but ultimately it's not the humor that's important here.


It was just a bit jarring.

I was laughing my ass off for most of the story, then you went and gave it a moral and stuff.

I don't object to morals in stories on principle or anything, I was just enjoying Ponyville being aggressively weird and Twilight suffering through it. It's one of my favorite FIMFic topics.

Also, this feels relevant.

“We know they aren’t like ponies. We know these are our feelings, projected onto them. What does that say about us?” She paused, and when she spoke again it was barely above a whisper. “What does it say about you?”

That you are crazy and on the first step to recover from your problem and I am not? No, really, that sounds like gibberish to me. People project because we are made to. It means we are ruining correctly. To ascribe further meaning is odd to me.

What is she trying to say? I did not get it.

PS: town overrun by spiders = me on unplanned vacation.

“Pinkie,” she said. “How many star spiders come to Ponyville?”
“Hm.” Pinkie spent a distressingly long amount of time in thought. “What’s the biggest number?”

“Well, it’s like Granny Smith says. You can let a foal go through life afraid, or you can lock her in a dark room with a thousand spiders until she stops screaming.” Applejack put her basket under another tree and lined up for a kick. “She’s just full of folksy wisdom.”
They were quiet for a while after that...

I don't always laugh out loud when reading, but when I do, it's at lines like this. And the moral was the cake that made the icing more satisfying.

Also, spiders do have hearts.


Also, spiders do have hearts.

Yeah, that was more of a figurative statement.

3779043 Yeah, I mean, that's the biggest asshole thing Fluttershy has ever said. And I'm not excepting the Iron Will episode. "Oh Twilight, I just realized, you're a goddamned robot with no feelings in her heart. Because you don't think spiders are cute."

I do kind of like the half-formed idea I'm working on that they were so cozy with her because she's like them. She's got a star mark, and she only is friendly because she's reflecting back other ponies' friendliness just like the spiders do. I'm working on my handwave for Episode 1: "too silly! I'm not reflecting that! I've got srs bsns." She's a great student? It's cause people keep on teaching her stuff.

Or I could just dumb it down. Twilight Sparkle, reluctant Queen of the Swarm. Only she truly sees them for what they are. The perfect position from which to love them more than anyone!

Comedy with a moral and a lot of potential themes that were brought up slightly but left alone for the reader to think about. I like it.

Very good story. It is quite like how I write—no matter what the story is about, I try to make it have a theme.

if I woke upwith hundredsof spiders in myy house I would burn my house down.. Simple as that. Then would move as far away from said spiders as I could.

Several laugh-out-loud moments, there. Granny Smith's folk-wisdom being one of the loudest! And a very sweet ending... very much in keeping with the tone of the show.

3779205 That is not was I was going for. But it works to I guess.

Everyone in town is projecting happy feelings onto the spiders. Except for Twilight, who, even though she isn't projecting feelings onto the spiders, spends the entire story being cynical, high strung, and miserable.

I'm not totally sure what point is being driven at. Because Twilight failing to project happy feelings onto the spiders doesn't mean she's unhappy herself, or that she's somehow unbalanced. It just means that she isn't crazy about spiders.

Honestly, I would be concerned about a spider migration on this level. Clearly, some instinct drives them to "cuddle" with ponies. Is there an instinct that might drive them to bite ponies, too? Are they poisonous? What about ponies that are allergic to them? Allowing the spiders the kind of free reign they're given seems irresponsible.

3779205 I kind of have to agree with this, though my take on it is slightly different.

I like this story: It was funny and clever and thoughtful (and as usual extremely well-written).

I was a bit confused when I first read this story, though, because it ascribes some things to Twilight that don't make any sense to me unless you remove certain aspects of her life from the picture: her clear, sincere love of her family, of her friends, of her mentor; her happiness in the fact that they all love her and care about her and respect her for who she is and what she has accomplished.

"You don't like these spiders that everyone else is happy to have inundating the town, because you don't have any love of self." As though the single expression of her emotions against the spiders is the sum total of all that describes her self-worth.

The only thing I can think of to make this conclusion work is to skip over that conclusion and interpret it as that Twilight is devastatingly lonely despite the love of those around her, and is simply displaying her unhappiness as jealousy at the fact that these creatures with no 'heart' so easily win over the affections of every pony in the town. Which still leaves her lonely in her bed at the end of the day.

Sorry Gardez: I always feel like a horsefly when it comes to commenting on your stories, which I have a lot of respect for. I'm totally good with being wrong about my own conclusions. If I'm just "not getting it" I suppose I'll just have to come back and read more commentary, and keep hammering away at it...

3779370 Those are good points as well. That is close, but it still does not quite get me the answer I was hoping for.

Wana' lay it out for me author person?

“Well, it’s like Granny Smith says. You can let a foal go through life afraid, or you can lock her in a dark room with a thousand spiders until she stops screaming.” Applejack put her basket under another tree and lined up for a kick. “She’s just full of folksy wisdom.”

I don't know why, but this part made me laugh until I nearly fell out of my chair. Probably says something bad about me...

I liked the story. It was short, interesting and I think there was a message?

Not sure.

And just like that, everything suddenly snapped into focus.

Twilight not projecting her feelings onto the spiders is not intended to demonstrate her inability to leave logic behind for whimsy. It's allegory: Even though Twilight is surrounded by ponies that love her, she feels isolated from them, and feels on some level that she doesn't understand friendship and is only capable of engaging them in ways that are inferior to the ways they engage with each other.

Or, if you prefer an interpretation that is not quite as dark, Twilight still feels like a bit of an outsider in Ponyville, and part of her wants to go back to Canterlot where her family and old friends and Princess Celestia are. I.e. she's homesick, but is afraid to express those feelings out of concern that her friends won't understand.

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