• Published 10th May 2014
  • 643 Views, 52 Comments

Shiver - 2D



Endless winter befalls Ponyville and drains colour from the world

  • ...
9
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Epilogue

Somewhere along the lines everything had become blurred. One moment the whole world had been screaming in his ears and tearing him apart in anguish, attempting to make him understand its pain; the next moment everything had been still, and a blanket of warmth had swept through his bones.

Like a father who scorned his son with fury and hit him in anger, only to embrace him and tell him not to again, because he was worried sick. It was a weird and alien concept that just didn't work. It was like having a coin with two faces on one side, the polar opposites just joined together and made a whole new concept of "penny".

Thunderlane had been given an extremely long time to think about what had happened that day, when the whole world had fallen apart then forced itself back together. At least that's what it felt like. The world was still silent to him and that was probably his fault really. Other residents of Ponyville had been standing far away from the barrier, from the pressure, when the second Shiver happened.

He'd been right next to it, right next to the blast that broke forth. The doctors wrote it down for him when he shook his head the other day, and told them he couldn't hear. At least, he tried to say that. He doubted he actually did. They did some checks and found out his eardrums had been ripped completely apart, and his Starswirl glands had overreacted to the magical fluctuation; rapidly multiplying for no reason, it would seem.

But there had been a reason. When he woke up the first morning his best friend was laying besides him, his coat still soft and unblemished while his wife stroked his mane. She'd told Thunderlane not to disturb him and given him one of her sweet, beaming smiles. Comforting darkness had embraced him soon after and he awoke to his friend's absence. He wrote down a question for the doctors and they merely told him he "wasn't there anymore."

Of course his friend wasn't there anymore, he'd left with his wife. Thunderlane had just wanted to know why.

Eventually Bonbon had come to see him as well, bringing more of those weird cake-things that she'd given him last time. Thankfully she'd returned to her normal and chirpy self, and wrote the messages with enthusiasm; not jarred by Thunderlane's handicap in the slightest. That'd made him feel pretty glad. Light seemed to skip off of her mane whenever she laughed, so she must have brushed it before she came to see him; or maybe her mother did, because Thunderlane never knew a time when she had been fashion conscious.

The little cakes soon disappeared because his mate and his other half visited, the two of them smiling and laughing and chatting like nothing ever happened. She scoffed the cakes like an absolute pig, and when Thunderlane mentioned that, she turned a cherry red. The two stallions had laughed a lot after that one. It was weird how he could hear the two of them but no one else, but it didn't really bother him. She spoke with the grace of nature while he had the rough, gravelly noise of something like the ocean.

Eventually they left with promises to come see him again some time soon, but they didn't come back to the hospital. Thunderlane didn't mind too much, he was always reading books or the newspaper. Sometimes Rumble came to see him, sometimes Bonbon. He once got a visit from Shining Armour, who gave him another medal and called him his "friend".

Eventually, they let him out of the hospital. He'd been given a bottle of pills but left before they explained them, he'd take them all later.

Ponyville looked different from when he'd last seen it, and when he walked out of that hospital he felt so warm inside. The grass was greener than ever and covered in pretty little flowers which swayed in the breeze. Thunderlane was so happy to see the town alive again, he felt like singing and dancing; except he couldn't, because he was deaf. So he laughed instead, laughed as his own handicap and the circumstances it arrived in. Mother always told him to laugh when he was really sad. He'd laughed at her funeral. That had been awkward.

Thunderlane wanted to stay forever.

=-=-=-=

"Will he ever wake up?" Rumble asked nervously from behind Bonbon; trying to shield himself from the sight before his young eyes.

"Honestly..." Nurse Redheart started, avoiding the boy's eyes and she struggled to phrase her words, "...it's a miracle he survived having a something that magically potent lodge itself inside his skull. I wouldn't be surprised if he never woke up." The nurse tried to smile but faltered when she saw the tears, from Bonbon, the stallions ex-girlfriend.

Rumble had come here determined not to cry, so he wasn't going to start. That's what he told himself as he looked over at his foster brother, who adopted him after his parents died. There was a tattered photograph put in a pure white frame, the only personal item within the utilitarian hospice. "Who are the ponies in that photo?" he asked with curiosity.

"You don't want to know," Nurse Redheart nearly spat, her voice suddenly spiking as she glared at the frame. "Thunderlane is, was, the only pony left alive who cared about one of those two." She softened her expression as Bonbon glared at her, realising she was overstepping her bounds a little. "It was a sad case, what happened to that couple."

"What did happen?" Bonbon suddenly asked, her interest piqued. "Thunderlane would never talk about it, not even when the Canterlot Captain of the Guard pressed him for answers."

"His friend was... unique. He had a very special condition that is extremely rare. To this day it's one of only twelve recorded throughout our history as a nation, and it's why the Shiver was so bad. Combining a magical phenomena like a Shiver with an extremely rare condition like Fractious Helix Syndrome. Rather than being a small magical explosion, it became a magical cataclysm that decimated around sixty square kilometres of territory. The worst case was that first observed in Magical Science, which spanned an entire square league."

She sighed and rubbed her temple with a hoof, putting down a few notes on a clipboard before wrapping up. "That first Shiver is the reason a lot of Zebra land near our border is desert." Trying her best to smile, Nurse Redheart put a hoof on the young colt's shoulder as she looked down at him sadly.

"I need to ask you a very serious question, Rumble. Because you two don't have parents, the choice is falling to you." She shuddered as he looked up at her with innocent eyes. "It's not an easy question and you get a whole week to decide, alright?"

"A-alright..." he said with a whimper, suddenly unsure of himself.

Nurse Redheart braced herself.

"Rumble. Are we leaving him like this, or do we turn off his life support?"

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Comments ( 48 )
TGM

I cri everytiem

in all seriousness though, excellent story mate. of course I told you the exact same thing the other day, but I feel like I can't say it enough. truly excellent.

I'll miss you bby pls don't leave </3

2D

4368591

Thanks a lot, TGM. I'm glad you enjoyed the story for all it was worth, and I'm glad it's a fitting end.

I'm currently not posessing the capabilities to read pretty mufh anything on this site due to final exams, so for now for now all I could do is put it on my read later list and give it and upvote.

Why did I give it a rating without reading it? Because even without doing so I have high respects for a writer who leaves this site in a friendly way with a fitting last story, rather than a random "Fuck you guys I'm gone" rage quit blog post. While it is always sad to see someone go away, in the end they are just moving on with their lives, and sometimes may even look back on the nice times they had.

I do not want to ask why you want to leave and it's not even my business to know. All I want to say, for leaving this place with so much style and thia story you have my respect. Farewell, dude!

Nice job mate.

I have no idea what just happened.
I'm okay with this.

Holy fuck.

That was brilliant.

... I'm actually crying. :fluttercry:

What a great way to say goodbye.... best of luck to you.

2D
2D #7 · May 14th, 2014 · · ·

4384688

Managing to get Bad_Seed_72 to cry?

Having my work called brilliant?

Yeah I'd say that's a good way to leave, too. :twilightsmile:

That was particularly dark view of Equestria. So many things so far out of left field, yet all coherent and "meaningful." Thanks for sharing, and best of luck!

2D

4393913

It was kind of like... one big metaphor for my life, and how I see things. So there was bound to be a lot of deep, dark and depressing things in there. However I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

Mother fucker
i couldn't handle
i wasnt ready
damn you
this is honestly one of the best things have ever read
you glorious bastard
so long, and thanks for all the fics :rainbowdetermined2:

















:fluttershbad:

2D

4397680
4397725

You'll be chuffed to know I went through Hospice before I finally finished this, just to refresh my mind on the atmosphere I'd need. Glad you think it's one of the better fics, man.

Hah... none of us were ready for that endless winter.

4399107 by the way, I expect you to read those chapters once I write them, even if it's in google doc. :raritywink:

2D

4402450

'Course man!

By the way, I hope to see Shiver in "The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best" by the time God reveals himself to the plebeian race.

4403346 b-but then i'd have to drop something else
nah mang, go czech it

2D

4404904

oh bby <3

Made me get all introspective.

I hate that mood.

Dammit.

Definitely an original story, and different from the usual run of post-apocalyptic/dystopian/whatever fics that you see everywhere. For whatever reason, this story didn't quite manage to get under my skin, though. I could glimpse what it maybe could have done, but in the end it just left me feeling a bit indifferent. Props for a nice portrayal of Rumble, though.

2D

4772162

Perhaps a feeling of indifference means it did get under your skin, or at least the way I intended it to. I wrote this story with a projected outcome of a hollowness, so while people being saddened by it is nice, a true feeling of nothingness was what I hoped for. It was also my first journey into this style of writing, so it's of no surprise it wasn't as good as I'd hoped for.

Thank you, also. I feel that character interaction is my strong point; so I'm glad Rumble was portrayed well.

4774070 That's fair comment. I wonder whether it might be one of those stories that will grow on me. I'll keep it in mind and maybe give it another read down the line, to see if that is what happens.

2D

4774076

Well, no matter the outcome later on, be sure to comment your thoughts again. Feedback is always welcome.

4774664 Certainly! It probably won't be any time soon (my Read Later list contains 97 stories at time of writing), but I'll certainly come back and give my thoughts if I do re-read.

That last line.:raritydespair:
I really enjoyed the sense of despair and grief that permeated the entirety of this story, like that which the character himself surrounds himself with as a result of the tragedy that befell him. It's quite tangible.
How wonderfully dark.:yay:

Falling through a shade so dark and dear,
you no longer wander,
no longer care.
The light no longer searches for this soul departed!
Oh woe,
the nightmare would never end;
so wonderfully foolish and beloved,
yet another cold night.

Excellent work, dear Author!:pinkiehappy:
What wonderous despair.

2D

4942113

I believed that, when writing this story, I should attempt to convey the emotion I feel on a daily basis. That crushing, defeating weight that bears down upon me, the ice in my soul, the mask on my face.

Glad you enjoyed it!

4942518
Having an outlet for despair is nice. Believe me when I say the feeling isn't unfamiliar to me:yay:
I'm happy to read it. Less prosaic fiction is a pleasant thing sometimes.:twilightsmile:

I want to edit this story. Can I edit this story?

2D

4957512

If there are issues with the story, then by all means; my other story has very robust editing, but I wrote this prior to my advanced English literature course.

EDIT: Well I just went through and fixed up what I spotted, but I'd still enjoy a second pair of eyes tearing my work apart.

This... Again, I am not sure what to make of this. It... This story... My soul weeps.
My mind aches. Something here made something click. The pain... Resurfacing.
I must rest. I shall read more later. They scream. She weeps. I die.

2D
2D #28 · Oct 7th, 2014 · · ·

5108337

Appreciate it.

2D

5121437

Our world is both macabre and picturesque. His world was cold and grey. I didn't tell a story, a story told itself through me.

2D

5122956

I try my best.

5121936 well chosen words indeed.

2D

5123292

I recommend reading Path to Infinity, next. I'm putting the third chapter out today. If you enjoyed this, then Path to Infinity is more of the same albeit differently.

5123299 i just may have to do so. If it has the same work and dedication i am certain i shall enjoy it as well.

So question is shiver really a sequal or is it like tge same story but with different characters

2D

5124548

is shiver really a sequal

It's not a sequel to anything. It's a prequel to Path to Infinity, and the only reason is that they're both in the same universe. They have different stories, characters, events, scenes, themes, and traits.

2D

5123869

It's probably more so. I've had people tell me it's the best thing they've ever read.

man that was surprisingly good

2D

5169262

Oh, thank you. What about it did you find good?

5169357 mostly the writing and imagery, and how it was crafted and put together. the mystery of not telling who the friend was also made it even better

2D

5169363

Aye, whoever it was, is up to you to decide. Thank you for reading.

If this isn't disserving of a favorite I don't know what is.

This is actually the very first story to make me tear up.

2D

5175460

I'm glad to hear this. Thank you for reading.

So this guy brought ruin to Ponyville in his grief over his wife's death?

Overall, I'm glad the story was much less dark than I expected.

Comment posted by Kato The Green Being deleted Feb 19th, 2015
2D

5641210

Because I'm allowed to. Duh.

I found this story a bit confusing. You mention pills, but don't say what they are for. You talk about frustration but don't say what's causing it. You mention apocalypse but don't go much beyond of 'an emotion caused it all'. There are some exploding orbs, which origin or purpose is never revealed.

And many things aren't explained until the second part of the story. I feel as if I'm purposely being held in the dark as a reader. As if incomprehensible chaos is the name of the game.

I sense some emotions in the background, but I can't pick up on them, let alone follow them because their causes aren't plainly revealed.

There's another thing I missed, and that is progression. The story is more of a description of the state of things. It's like a slice of static time. Nothing gets accomplished. Nothing changes (except maybe for the worst).

Technically, you keep switching with present tense and past tense, which I consider to be bad. I saw no need for that. I would recommend you pick either past tense or present tense and stick to it throughout your story.

I did like your premise, though. The story has a bit of Fallout Equestria feel to it. If you showed me more of the world, I'd probably be more overtaken and immersed.

You are, however, a master of description. You always stick to show and don't succumb to telling. You have a making of a great writer in you.

2D
2D #47 · Nov 9th, 2018 · · ·

9280212

If you don't mind, I'm going to address your points out of order just to keep things succinct. I actually went through and re-read the story (it's been a long time since I wrote it) to re-familiarise myself with the content, as opposed to just the story itself.

You mention pills, but don't say what they are for.

There are some exploding orbs, which origin or purpose is never revealed.

You mention apocalypse but don't go much beyond of 'an emotion caused it all'.

The unnamed protagonist has a disease, a very, very tragic one. Throughout the story, from beginning to end, this is inferred. The details of its effects are left vague, all except one, which is the aforementioned "Shiver." The disease began before the event, as suggested by the fact that he was receiving treatment before the world went cold. This treatment came in the form of magic ornaments (the balls), and later the pills. The pills aren't directly stated to be related to them, but they are likewise a preventative measure.

When he first takes the pills, you witness the pain it causes him, and the way it makes his horn burn up (figuratively). This was intended to infer that, whatever they are, they have some kind of effect on his magic. Likewise, after he recollects on when he was first given the balls, he comments on their purpose - to focus his magic. This ultimately failed. Through the beginning to the end of the story, it's shown that spooking the protagonist causes them to "act out" unintentionally: the first example being the chandelier.

This is due to the nature of their disease at its core. The Shiver isn't a part of the disease, rather, it was an event made worse by the disease. In a sense, the protagonist is constantly leaking magic into their surroundings. Think of magic like raw chaos in this sense, raw magic with no specific function just "acts" on things around it. It makes the shadows in his house move, it makes his broken table melt together, it warps his own body. When spooked, it surges up on primal instinct, often destroying something in the process. This is how Thunderlane was scarred: by an exploding crystal ball.

The tragedy of it all is, then, that the protagonist knew that their disease was a problem for those around them. They secluded themselves far from civilisation, hoping to merely warp their surroundings and live their horrid life to completion as best they could. Sadly, their wife followed them, and suffered the brunt of their illness. Already having been affected prior, that last night with the protagonist ultimately lead to their death, as the untapped magic warped their body before the widower's eyes.

The Shiver, then, was the physical culmination of the feelings of that moment. The grief, the shame, the regret, the anger, the disgust... all of it exploded, literally, from the protagonist themselves. As expressed previously, in this setting, magic is driven by emotion and impulse. When a widower whose magic is uncontrollable feels the grief of not only losing his soul mate, but being the one responsible for their death, it has terrible consequences on the world at large.

I sense some emotions in the background, but I can't pick up on them, let alone follow them because their causes aren't plainly revealed.

I think the above explanation might help clear some of that up. When it comes to Thunderlane and the protagonist, it's rather simple. They were, and are, best friends. Thunderlane feels grief over what circumstance has turned his friend into, and takes it upon himself to visit him. To keep people at ease? To give the protagonist a sense of normalcy? To check on him? Thunderlane himself states that, despite what others might think, his reasons are entirely selfish.

When it comes to Bonbon and Thunderlane, although it's left unsaid, she has some form of attraction to Thunderlane. The way he casually refers to her as a family member when she's about to leave is, unintentionally, rather cruel.

You talk about frustration but don't say what's causing it.

Even after re-reading I have no idea what you're on about there, sorry.

There's another thing I missed, and that is progression. The story is more of a description of the state of things. It's like a slice of static time. Nothing gets accomplished. Nothing changes (except maybe for the worst).

I did like your premise, though. The story has a bit of Fallout Equestria feel to it. If you showed me more of the world, I'd probably be more overtaken and immersed.

You're absolutely right when you assume this is a slice of static time: that's exactly what it is. Shiver is a window into the event it's named after, The Shiver, and the people who were involved in it. You can think of it as a character study in that manner. It exists to depict the characters just as they are; the victim, the mourning friend, the innocent child, and the childhood friend. The story is presented as a reflection of grief, and a window into how I felt at the time. The endless winter, the lingering sense of regret, the feelings of inevitability and sorrow; they're all analogues to myself at that time. You could consider it a character study "of my emotions" at the time, in a sense.

And many things aren't explained until the second part of the story. I feel as if I'm purposely being held in the dark as a reader. As if incomprehensible chaos is the name of the game.

As you say yourself, "You always stick to show and don't succumb to telling." This could in some regards be a fault of mine to a degree. Everything I explained right at the beginning of this post, the background, the circumstances, the character, etc - I "showed" all of that at the start, in little ways here and there. Although I put some of the puzzle together in the second half, I really do want you to feel lost and interested at the start, to take those pieces you were given and put them together as the story goes on. I've never had anyone else reflect on this, so it could be unique to you (or perhaps other readers who thumbed this down), or widespread and just not reflected on. I have no real way of knowing, but that said, your feelings definitely aren't invalid. As I've just stated, my tendency to "show" and drip-feed information can sometimes be a downside, especially if I'm not clear enough.

Technically, you keep switching with present tense and past tense, which I consider to be bad. I saw no need for that. I would recommend you pick either past tense or present tense and stick to it throughout your story.

I consider two things important in literature: spelling and grammar. Presentation, I believe, is a tool to be used as-is appropriate. I wanted to present the protagonist personally, to make the reader empathise with him more thoroughly, and keep the rest of the cast at arm's length. Personally, I feel I mostly succeeded at this, however there is one part where I had to re-read my own writing to check what I was reading. When the protagonist describes themselves in third person, then say's "that's me" - that was awful. I have no idea why I decided to mix them in one distinct "section" of the story. Different sections? I think that's fine, but to switch on a heel like that mid paragraph is awful. Still, this isn't something I plan to do again in the future. I vastly prefer third person, and I only mixed both third and first person in this story because I felt it could help convey the narrative more easily.

You are, however, a master of description. You always stick to show and don't succumb to telling. You have a making of a great writer in you.

Thank you, that's some very high praise 😊

It's a dream of mine to write a novel. My writing style has evolved over time, and matured along with me, to a point where I'm very happy with it today. I took that test on your page a few days ago after responding to one of your posts, the "I Write Like" one - I got Agatha Christie from this, my other published story, and the one I'm currently writing. I was rather flattered.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story, I really appreciate it. I'll be getting around to yours soon enough, and hope I'll be able to enjoy another enlightening post from you on my next work. 😉

9282056 Perhaps I'm a bit at fault here, as well. Most of the stories on Fimfiction are easygoing and easy to understand. I didn't read your story as a puzzle. If I did, I'd probably prepare a pen and paper to scribble the clues.

You sure took your time, explaining it to me. It all makes more sense now.

If the pills were designed to combat the disease, one had to have a good knowledge of what it was. Yet, your story presents it more like a mystery.

If these individuals are really so dangerous, I don't know why they aren't treated as a threat to Equestria. The whole cataclysm feels like a cockroach losing a leg. It just goes on without it. So too does the story. It's like everyone just takes it all for granted. They live as if there were no cataclysm.

Personally, I didn't notice any switching between first and third person. I did notice switching from present tense to future tense, though. I'm still not sure if that's as intended or not.

Good luck with your novel. Note that if you do write it, it will take a lot of time from your life. I was writing mine for years. It's quite a daunting task. Make sure you really want to sacrifice other things for it, else you might give up on it mid-way.

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