• Member Since 3rd May, 2013
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago

SirTruffles



Comments ( 41 )

Really liked the way this story was written. Here's my review on it here-----> Link to Review Hope you like it. :scootangel:

4174198
Oh, wow! Didn't expect a review. Thank you very much, I'll check it out :pinkiehappy:

4174240 You're very welcome. :twilightsmile: Great writing, great writing indeed.

..Thank you. Words cannot express what I experienced upon reading this, only that you have my gratitude for sharing it. Have you ever considered submitting to EQD?

4178119
I'm 24 words short of their 2.5k submission requirement, I'm afraid, and I made every word count. I might submit it anyway at some point. We'll just have to see.

Either way, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Thanks a bunch for your comment!

4178735 Dang. Well, I hope you do sometime.:pinkiesmile:

decaying allies

alleys

Pretty good one shot.

4213230
Glad you liked it!

4212199
:facehoof:

Thanks for that. Fixed now. :twilightblush:

I'm actually wondering what the heck I just read.
But in a very good way. Oh, such a different writing style.
I'm sure there are many points to this story, fewer that I would have understood than you may like, but your excellent word use was enough to keep me engaged.
I haven't seen anyone else write quite like that before.

Here, have a thumb. And a Twi. :twilightsmile:

4235072
Thank you very much :twilightsmile:

Was tidying this story up for EqD and decided with the new description and all, it should probably be Dark rather than Slice of Life. It was difficult for me to get my head around how to label it at the time of writing because I wrote it more as an experience, and adding any tags at all felt like I was telling the reader how to feel about it rather than letting it stand on its own. However, reading it again, I see now that it definitely falls under the Dark tag, so I'm tagging it as it should have been in the first place.

I'm going through groups right now to sort out the new folder situation, but if I miss one in your group, feel free to shoot me a PM.

I would tell you to write more, but then one of the stories would be put to shame by the other. If you could write anything of even half of this standard again, it would be better than most of the stories on this site. It would not, however, be acceptable. I have read this and nothing can be as well-written and immersive as this. This is the kind of story that keeps me reading. Well done.

Note: I've been thinking of getting some practise with reviewing, similar to Fantasia, for the Pleasant Commentator and Review Group (Dark stories, of course), and this is the kind of story for which I'd be doing the reviewing. Stories like this make me want to do it, male me want to sift through the less than good stories. I might try reviewing this at some point, just to see if I can. Thank you. This has inspired me, made me consider this again. You're a good person.

4348644
I agree with this fine gentleman's sediments. :moustache:

4348644 4348712
Aww, thanks guys. Glad you liked it :twilightblush:

Comment posted by Superluminous deleted May 7th, 2014

A goblin market at the end of the world...

A wonderful tale of desperation and the cost of miracles. Thank you for it. :twilightsmile:

4642975
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment :pinkiehappy:

That was... That was... Weird. I'm not entirely sure what I just read, but I do know that I liked it.

I should probably reread this when it's not 1 AM.

4858273
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the fav :raritywink:

Little help? What happened in this story?

4916219
To be honest, the intention was to give the reader something they could put together however they thought the pieces fit best. It is a fairy tale written for impression rather than internal logic. That being said, I tried to keep to what felt logical while I was writing, so there should still be some sense hidden in there.

The most concrete thing I can give you is a summery of events with whatever explanation I can remember giving myself while I was writing it. If you're confused about anything else, you'll have to ask about it specifically -- after some of these comments, I no longer have any clear idea what I ended up communicating.

In any case, here is what I know:
We open on a war-torn Equestria. The apocalypse is tomorrow. Princess Twilight covertly travels to a magical Bazaar, likely outside of world or time. Others have come to the Bazaar as well, all seeking arms for the coming... trial? Battle? Not quite sure on that bit. The sky is on fire, and they're buying weapons, so there's that.

Twilight goes to have her armor repaired. The smith is too busy with his other orders, and common wisdom seems to indicate that Equestria is doomed, so her command has no weight. She tries to pay him in gold, but gold is worthless -- the metal itself is too soft to be of use in the battle, and apparently no one has expectations of later trade. He puts his stamp on her armor to say "It's good enough, now go away."

With no other options, Twilight goes off into the rest of the Bazaar, trading away a large quantity of personally meaningful items for... spell components? Magical ammunition? I am not quite sure, but the items purchased sound dangerous. In any case, she does not trade for nearly enough.

Out of options, Twilight turns to a spell pawnbroker -- the crow. She exchanges her memories of happier times for spells, which came from those who had great power but wanted to trade it for happier memories they wished they had pursued instead. Even this is not enough. She must incur spelldebt. The issue of collateral is raised. Twi tries to offer her Element of Magic, but since she does not have the set, it is worthless. She must put up part of her life force mixed with horn dust for the magic she needs to save her people.

She did not have enough life to spare. She is three spells short (though in hindsight, part of me would have preferred four), and is all out of things to trade. I assume to give up her previous purchases would set her back more than the spells they could be traded for, or perhaps magical items are not this pawnbroker's specialty. It is never addressed. She receives the spells she paid for by being granted the memories and abilities she would have had if she had devoted those happy times to study. She goes off to get three more spells.

Nothing turns up. Twilight drifts to an unvisited part of the Bazaar where she meets a spidery man. He deals in cutie marks. He notices she is greatly troubled and offers to see if he can help her. She confides in him that she fears she is not enough to save her people. He suggests that if she is not enough, then she could solve the problem by giving up her very self. Cutie marks are forever, after all, but the world is always changing and sometimes things no longer have a place. Even Celestia and Luna have moved on. Twilight makes her choice.

Sometime later, the Bazaar is closing. An empty Twilight drifts by Henry the Bear's tea cart, which he seems to be minding for a (permanently?) absent Fluttershy. Twilight tries to pay with bits, but Henry's stall does not work like that. The client gives him comfort, and he brews tea with it. Bits are irrelevant. Twilight offers the comfort: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Henry quietly brews tea.

The tea is served on a doily Henry did not have to offer. Twilight thanks him for his generosity. Henry realizes that Twilight is not comforted by her tea -- her comfort paid was too bitter to help. His loyalty to Fluttershy drives him to make up the difference, though he does not have to. Henry's only means to make it up is the kindness he had been given in the form of an ancient vial of honey of some personal meaning. He is tempted to keep it for himself, but he chooses to give it up for a friend. Twilight sips her sweetened tea. A memory surfaces, but it is no longer hers to remember. Still, she finds more comfort than she had before. She thanks him a second and third time and leaves for tomorrow without having found three spells to purchase.

Henry is the last merchant to close up. Darkness falls on the scene. It is for the reader to decide what might happen tomorrow. The only certainty is that the moon tells of war.

Apart from that emphasized events, I find it more fun and profitable to let the reader piece together the hows and wherefores as things interest them. Even the explanations I have offered above are only my thoughts. If I examine them closely, I usually find they do not fit together quite as well as I had intended, but there could perhaps be better explanations than mine out there.

My goal in writing was merely to put some fanciful elements together with a well developed voice and strong series of events to connect them, and then enjoy the resultant ride. The reader may get out of it as much as they are willing to put into it. At the very least, I seem to have convinced a few readers it is worthy of further thought, and I am happy for every discovery they make. I'm even happier when they share them with me, because it is always a pleasure to discover all the fascinating connections I apparently intended all along :trollestia::yay:

I hope that clears a few things up for you. In any case, it is an honor to have my months-old story on your radar. Thank you for reading and commenting.

4916572 I got much of that, though there were certain bits I couldn't puzzle out.

Princess Twilight covertly travels to a magical Bazaar, likely outside of world or time.

I never imagined it was outside world or time--I assumed this was simply the distant future.

Twilight goes to have her armor repaired.

That was one--I couldn't work out for sure whether she'd brought it there, or was trying to buy it, or something else entirely was happening.

She tries to pay him in gold, but gold is worthless

I had guessed that only Equestrian bits were worthless.

She receives the spells she paid for by being granted the memories and abilities she would have had if she had devoted those happy times to study.

I see the phrase that was meant to indicate this, but I studied it while reading without being able to decipher it.

Twilight offers the comfort: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

Twilight didn't say, or think, that. The narrator did. Perhaps if it had been in italics I could have attributed it to her.

4924063

I see the phrase that was meant to indicate this, but I studied it while reading without being able to decipher it.

I suppose quite a bit of the story is like that. It is what I get for writing everything spur of the moment and being too excited to get a pre-reader before publishing. Lessons were learned.

Twilight didn't say, or think, that. The narrator did. Perhaps if it had been in italics I could have attributed it to her.

The narrator told the gist of what had been said, in line with the previous conversations. I was relying on the specificity and position of the phrase relative to the mention that something that had "filled" the cup to convey the direct quote where the style would not allow formatting. Granted, given its placement in the middle of the sentence and that all the other "speaking" is on its own line, I can see how it was out of left field.

I am curious as to how you ended up interpreting that phrase: what was the cause of the cup becoming "not so empty anymore" or the sense in saying Twilight had underpaid if that phrase was not hers and nothing else had happened?

4925014

I am curious as to how you ended up interpreting that phrase: what was the cause of the cup becoming "not so empty anymore" or the sense in saying Twilight had underpaid if that phrase was not hers and nothing else had happened?

I don't remember now, but this isn't the kind of story where you can stop and try to interpret everything. The overall impact of the scene with the bear was very good: one small act of kindness on the eve of the apocalypse.

Hap

This reminds me of some of the more experimental scifi that you can find in anthologies from the 60s. In that, I have no idea what's going on, even after reading the summary, but it made me feel worse having read it. I suppose that is better than reading a story and feeling nothing?

The impression I got was that there was a world-ending apocalypse, something that would end time itself. Therefore, a time-travel bazaar located outside of time itself was doing brisk trade, sending ponies back in time to re-live happy moments, or trading those happy moments to others for... some unspecified benefit?

I thought that each of the girls had been turned to objects: Fluttershy the cart, Rarity the diamond doily. Because they had each given up their cutie marks, they were no longer ponies, though Fluttershy's bear friend was still caring for her and for Rarity. I read it again, looking for the other ponies mentioned in the cutie mark interlude, to no avail.

In the end, I got the impression that the more ponies dealt in memory trade, the more inevitable the end became, and it was each ponies' selfishness that made the end unavoidable. The bear's generosity at the end was a stark contrast with the selfishness that was destroying the world (and had already claimed the mane six and the diarchs), even though it wasn't enough to do anything but offer some vague almost-comfort to a pony who vainly gave up everything that meant anything to her.

4983729

This reminds me of some of the more experimental scifi that you can find in anthologies from the 60s. In that, I have no idea what's going on, even after reading the summary, but it made me feel worse having read it.

But you did not have to endure the requisite three pages of the latest ten syllable words from "modern" physics and their alleged consequences mapped out for the next several generations and five parallel universes etc. etc. Therein lies the improvement :trollestia:

or trading those happy moments to others for... some unspecified benefit?

Perhaps trading past happiness for current hope? The apocalypse is not certain until the hour comes, after all. From the standpoint of the desperate night before, anything could happen if only the power could be found.

In the end, I got the impression that the more ponies dealt in memory trade, the more inevitable the end became, and it was each ponies' selfishness that made the end unavoidable. The bear's generosity at the end was a stark contrast with the selfishness that was destroying the world (and had already claimed the mane six and the diarchs), even though it wasn't enough to do anything but offer some vague almost-comfort to a pony who vainly gave up everything that meant anything to her.

I find myself more hopeful when I read the ending. Three spells were needed. Twi finds herself given three helps, however small, with three thank yous. Perhaps these gifts are spells enough to win a new tomorrow? Granted, it cannot be anything but a new beginning: the entirety of the past has already been paid for the little hope there is. Yet it is a hope, and that was how it all started in the first place.

Granted, your take certainly has its merits. I had not considered the memory business might tie back to the end of the world, but it does make sense that memories could be pursued beyond reason or price and the consequences could certainly be colossal. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Hap

4984500 I find there to be no hope, if all memory of why you'd want a future are lost. If she can't remember her best friends, or any happy times, then even if she "wins," she's still lost everything.

4986649
Though the personal cost is still very, very steep, I do not think she will have lost everything. Twilight may have traded her memories away, but we do not know if everyone else did the same. At the very least, if she is so insistent upon saving her people, she will have them if her side is victorious, and you do not necessarily need memories to make a new life that is worth living. Her subjects might even be able to share their own memories of her friends to replace what she gave up, though it would still be second hand memories.

There might be a sequel idea here, actually...

4989198

I feel I should encourage that. The premise begs the question of 'What?'

'What was going to prevent tomorrow from coming?'
'What was done in the attempts to stop it before now?'
And finally the most important one; 'What will happen now?'

5556906
Perhaps I will have to revisit this one at some point then.

Also, thank you for the like, fav, and comment.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Excellently done. :D

8553523
Wait, I wrote stories at one point? Huh, so I did.

In any case, glad you enjoyed it!

Hmmm, my gut tells me to be in awe, and I will certainly follow that. My mind requires to read it all again in a calm setting and to dissect it sentence by sentence. I'm looking forward to do just that.

Thank you for this story.

8554532
And thank you for reading it :pinkiehappy:

This was an example of excellently done impressionism, but I'm left feeling somewhat ambivalent about it because apart from "Bad thing is probably going to happen and Twilight needs to sell off every bit of herself to stop it" most of the substantive detail needs to be projected onto the story by the reader. I guess that's fine, but it's not the kind of thing I really prefer, at least to this extreme. ... It kind of ties in to how it was originally tagged SoL, I think. I guess since it basically ends in failure, the surrounding detail matters less. On the plus side, I think it's an example of getting a lot of mileage out of tropes/ideas readers are expected to bring in and, in this case, using the medium of fanfiction to get more than would be possible from a generic fantasy setting.

Okay, I liked how this entire story was told without the use of specific names or character dialogue. I appreciate the effort that went into it. But, I have a few questions.

On a night yet to come when the skies were alight and the forests burned, a cloaked pony glided along the straight cobblestone streets where the last stones were upon stones.

Stones were upon stones? What in the blazing Tartarus does that mean? I have tried and failed to think of any meaning. Foundation stones? Archway keystones? Neither sound correct, and thus I have to ponder.
That entire scene with the crow. What was THAT? I could barely make any sense of it. Words were written, true; but what use are words when meaning is unseen?
By the end, I can get the gist of this story. Princess Twilight Sparkle is alone. Something apocalyptic is to happen soon, and she's trying to stop it by reversing time or some other form of magical bargaining so she can, at the very least, spend the final hours with her friends. But there are too many unknowns here. It feels like I need to read supplemental material in order to fully understand this, and, in my own opinion, that's never a good thing. Not everyone will be interested enough to seek out the rest of the tale, so this part needs to impart enough for people to fully understand without needing more information.

In all, this was a good effort that fell flat. I honestly can't say anything more without being redundant. Other than, I read the description and thought this would be Twilight directly bargaining with someone to stave off their plans of Armageddon with tales of "how the world is worth it if you give it a chance" or something. So it's a little misleading. Though I'm glad to have experienced this anyway. It at least gave me knowledge of a tool to use in my own writings.

Fox
Fox #40 · Sunday · · ·

I'm marvelled by how something so nearly indecipherable could evoke these feelings, as though the heart understands prose the mind does not.

From a critical standpoint, the vagueness and simplicity really don't help the story at all - it borders on clichéed with its plot points, and there's nothing that happens in it that could really be called unique. On top of that, it's all so purple that it's almost hard to read.. but it's not. Somehow, it goes down smoothly and conveys something so efficiently that I'm not sure what to make of it. I hate it, but love it? How does this work?

Looking through the comments I've already noticed many people had trouble deciphering what you were trying to say, which shows that your attempt to sound sophisticated, though good, turned out pretentious and hard to understand. The story's vagueness doesn't build any tension, you seem too afraid to be concrete and tell something directly, and in place of concrete examples, you place down all this abstract language that overall confuses people on what a phrase or sentence means. As you yourself have said, you could not tell what people got out of your story because your abstractness gave a less than general idea of what's going on. The idea is not to be wordy or mysterious, but rather to be concise, and what I can suggest is to ask yourself this question: How can I shorten this to still sound nice and be concise at the same time? This story's pretty old by now, so it's possible you've changed in the gradual time.

Eh, just my thoughts.

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