• Published 27th Apr 2014
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Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction - KwirkyJ

Collection of stories too short to publish individually. There is ostensibly no consistent underlying theme.

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Fine Dining [Slice-of-Life, Drama]

Here's a comparison: patience is surprisingly like teeth enamel—when it's ground down, there is something like pain. Here's a tip: if Princess Celestia invites you to a dinner party, ask what kind of dinner party before saying yes. Here Lies Sunset Shimmer: She Died From Boredom.

Actually, that's a terrible epitaph, and not at all accurate.

"Which is all to say, your majesty, that the eastern buttress didn't get poured until a week behind schedule! Can you believe it? Not that was in any way a hindrance..."

And he's still talking. Guh. Sitting there, filling the time with his inane, useless blather, making me just sit here, mute, unable to do anything remotely interesting, and I can't even trust myself to pick up my fork anymore. Shame, that, as I'm really bucking hungry. Ha, or not. Who could eat when their ears are so full? And fish.

Celestia isn't even aware of me, anymore. She's just being the Princess, perfect, sitting there to the glory of the 'honored guests.' She barely has to say anything; just a word or two, and off Prince So-And-So or Baroness Blah-Dee-Blah goes, into whatever little world they have in their head and talk for ten minutes without pause.

It would be nice if there weren't also a half-dozen other conversations going on at the same time, down the length of the table. If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine a swarm of bees, buzzing their wings. The two are just about as interesting.

"Are you enjoying the meal, my pupil?"

So, not totally forgotten. As if it matters. I turn carefully to the Princess. "Of course."

"You have scarcely touched the third course. Was it not to your liking?"

No, it wasn't at all. Seriously, who serves fish? Answer: griffons. Guh. "Maybe I had too much soup, before."

She looks at me with that judging glance before returning her attention to Big Beaky and Little Mint Mare.

"Yes, quite," I hear beside me. Goldblood, or Bluemane, or whatever... 'Nephew', if his insistence on calling Celestia 'Auntie' is any indication. "The pea soup was positively divine, if paedestrian. The ganache—"

I tune him out effortlessly. Something about fish being a wholly wretched thing that shall never pass his esteemed lips, which is somehow ironic given the stink coming out the other way. Besides, I don't like the looks he gives me. Strike 'Nephew,' he is now 'Creep.'

And I'm just stuck here. I reach out to my fork, but Little Mint Mare looks at me: I'm a unicorn, unicorns don't lift eating utensils with magic. I redirect my hoof to shift the plate instead. I totally don't squirm.

I could be doing literally anything else, instead of being stuck here with all these little ponies and their little thoughts. I should be studying... practicing. But no, I'm here.

I definitely don't jump when a hoof touches my withers. "Yes, Princess?"

"Are you well, my pupil? You look distressed."

I try to keep a scowl off my face. It isn't fair to be angry at her. "Oh, do I?"

"It is only fish." To demonstrate the point, she extracts some of the flesh with a fork and places it in her mouth; chews; swallows; smiles.

I hate that smile.

"You're right, it's only fish." Maybe I'm smiling now, I'm not sure, but I am certain what's about to happen. Ah, the blessing and curse of being a filly with more magical talent than a dozen unicorn nobles combined.

I reach out with my magic to lift my fork. By the time it touches the flesh on my plate, it is glowing white and I can feel the heat on my face. The fillet sputters and chars as it is cut and cauterized with remarkably little smoke. I raise the empty fork towards me, then feign surprise.


I drop the slag that was once cutlery and it begins to burn through the table. I seize the goblet before me which instantly melts, the water inside flashing to a boil and splattering across the table.

I can feel my self smiling by now, a wide and crooked thing. It feels great to just do something, something that isn't sitting there like a porcelain doll, ignored and useless.

I turn to Celestia. She's got that really pissed look on her face. Regal Pissed... Nice.

I'm already trotting when I say, "Request permission to leave the table, Your Majesty." I say it with all the bitterness I can conjure.

"Sunset Shimmer—"

"I'll be in the study. Someplace useful." The door is opened for me. "Come chill when you get fed up with these chumps."

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