• Member Since 11th Apr, 2012
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Bad Horse

Beneath the microscope, you contain galaxies.


Philomena is reborn after she dies. Ponies are reborn before they die. But always changed.

It's hard for a bird to understand.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 104 )

This was surprisingly good, even if a little hard to interpret through Philomena's scattered thoughts.

There aren't enough Philomena fics out there.

That was odd.

Very weird, but very cool. I enjoyed reading this quite a lot.

Sometimes, Philomena's thoughts reminded me of doge pictures. And I like that.

The cover is from the Celestia Microcomic, right?

How delightfully unusual! The scatterbrained effect was particularly entertaining.

Was this written for the outside insight contest?

Anyway... I don't know about this story. I get the underlying idea.

But I didn't really like the story a whole lot. I've read similar things with broken thoughts like this, and they can be interesting, but they're mostly interesting because they give us a different view on things and reveal something new to us that the animal would know that a human would not, or otherwise see things which let us fill in the gaps. But here, it didn't really feel like it was part of something larger, and I think that hurt it a bit.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. Touching in a way. Thank you.

A beautiful piece of xenofiction. Immortality blues by way of minimal sapience. I especially love the moments of synesthesia that hinted at thought processes unfathomable to non-phoenixes, or at least ones more complex than the narrative would indicate.

Thank you for this. :twilightsmile:

Author Interviewer

This is the first time the description of a story has made me emotional. D:

oddly refreshing
I am amused

Brilliant story. Love the idea, love the style.
Only thing I don't get (or only one I think I don't get) is why Apple Bloom cries. Anyone have insight I'm missing?

Was that Cheese Sandwich? Is this the closest we'll get to having Pester Pink in a Bad Horse fic again? Last time I think she was seen was jumping on a manhole cover repeatedly, saying the same number over and over again...

I remember reading an article (can't remember the name) that said relating one person too much to another can be a bit of a fault, forgetting that there are differences that make us individuals. And I guess it pisses people off who prefer to not be compared to anyone. That's not to say relatability has its uses, but it can apparently have an extreme.

There was a point, when my grandparents were alive, where they would confuse me for my younger brother and vice versa. I dunno why, exactly. Maybe it's because we both liked video games and card games and other crap? Maybe we both look alike if you have bad eyesight? I guess we sound alike (not really). It might've simply been that they were both old. It rather annoyed me to be mistaken so many times. Like, whereas he's shorter, smarter, logical, level headed, and mature, and I'm taller, a bit dense, emotional, mercurial, and childish (professed child at heart), they still confused us. Then again, I don't think they ever actually saw those individual sides of us enough.

I dunno.

This fic was somewhat hard to read. Besides the very simplistic writing, which is extremely jarring for a Bad Horse fic, it was hard to see Philomena seeing things so childishly. I guess my headcannon is that Philomena is an extremely intelligent animal. It became easier to read the second time around when I stowed the thought.

Speaking of undue and uncalled for relatability and comparison, I think this might be a bit of a mirror to Hope (I mean insert pretentious Greek word here). Whereas Hope is about hope, and the change that inevitability comes with it, Old Friends is Philomena's desire for a lack of change. Can I compare this to the ways of Grandfather Nurgle, where death brings a sort of stagnation, unchanging after awhile, and Hope to the ways of Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, who, despite being a god of Chaos, is representative of hope, his forms ever shifting, fluid, and bright?

Maybe the point of the story completely flew over my head. It's hard to interpret this one, eh?

Yeah. Didn't get that part either. Maybe something in that scene reminded her of her parents? Applejack?

What the... there's no equivalent for Twilight. I don't think there is. Philomena runs into five ponies in her adventure outside the castle, I'm pretty sure.

It must be significant.

Philomena tipped over the apple bucket so maybe she's just frustrated the bird is getting in the way of her work?

It took me a while to realize the fancy white pony who throws well was Sweetie Belle xD

I understood and liked this immediately and would not hesitate to read it to a young child.

Who are you, and what have you done with Bad Horse? ;-)

There was no Fluttershy-equivalent either. There was Celestia, Luna, Random Guard, Cheese, Bloom, Belle, and Scoots. Unless I missed a pony described.

I think the guard was the Flutters equivalent because of the abundance of yellow. Also, I guess the guard's stoic manner can be interpreted as being bashful. Also curling up into her metaphorical shell is a rather Flutters thing to do.

It does have the word "shit" in it once. Perhaps BH is regressing a just a tiny bit to better understand how it was to be a colt through this exercise, but couldn't do it completely? Oh wait, I don't have my paranoia hat on tight enough.

*pulls black hardhat on tighter upon head*


Read the caps lock in monotone for extra effect (or lack thereof).

Lol Philomena took a dump on "Fluttershy".

Nope, that's just guards being guards. Nothing Fluttershy-ish there.

We shall see when "Barney" finally comes to sing "I Love You" after a night of rest.

Or, y'know, he might not regale us with an answer because he really likes to see us keep on guessing.

4862215 The falling apples reminded her of Applejack. At least, that's what I got out of it.

Oh, who am I kidding. It seemed like the only idea at the time.

I'm glad you said it. I think I pulled something in my brain trying to read—

Ahhh... I'm on to you, you evil equine! Trying to sabotage the competition by inducing an aneurysm!

I'm on to you!

Here, have this gift-wrapped but suspiciously large box. Look at the pretty pink bow tie before you open it.


*has Spy vs. Spy flashbacks*

EDIT: As a point of note, this is the strongest use of the prompt I've seen so far!

You know, this story reminds me of something that happened to me.

At a costume party I ran into an old friend. I knew him by his face and by the costume he was wearing when I saw him last, which was twenty-odd years earlier.

I greeted him by name and said "You look like you've been keeping well--haven't aged a bit!" He smiled and said "Um, sir, you must mean my father--he's over there" and pointed to an old fellow in the corner.

In conclusion:


I... Think I understood... Mostly. Definitely picking things up, especially towards the end. The game with the guard was funny too.

Writing the story with such a strongly entrenched point-of-view must've been very hard. I applaud your effort: it was well worth reading.

4864328 Huh. I can honestly say since I am only fourteen that that has never happened to me.


Huh. I can honestly say since I am only fourteen that that has never happened to me.

Eh, it'll happen, mazel tov and you should live so long :trollestia:

4864643 Thanks! I'll definitely share this story should it happen XD :rainbowlaugh: :ajsmug: :twilightsmile:

Well, that was pretty nice.
Good job!

4862701 The guard's canon armor is gold. It could just be a reference to the armor we see background guards in. Philomena does have canon interaction with the guards in her episode, she likes to pull tricks on them.
Maybe it's suppose to be a long stretch reference to Flutters but Guards are very different from Flutters, it takes strength bravery and calm to be a Guard if its anything like the human army. It's more likely the guard would be a reference to Shining Armor than Fluttershy.
But whatever to each their own unless the writer weighs in with their canon then it's respect to the writer's canon.

Good idea, bad idea? Old game, new game. LOVE IT!

That picture suggests a story (perhaps it suggested this one as well). Who is that supposed to be with Celestia in the framed photo?

4867275 Think that's from the comics-- The one where there's a storytelling pony that Tia remembers from when she was younger, who helped defeat a baddie-- And now she's old and senile and foals make fun of her, and she works at Celestia's school. Uh, that's a bad synopsis.. Maybe find the comic, it was beautiful.

Also, Philomena finding the spirit of the elders in the crusaders made me cry like a baby, thank you very much. :raritycry:

4867275 4860979 The picture is from a comic, but I don't have the comic, so I can't explain it.

4861802 My head-canon, probably acquired from Harry Potter, is that phoenixes can smell virtues and vices, and probably other character traits.

4862505 Cheese Sandwich: Yes.
No Twilight: Means I could not think of any recognizable character for Twilight. I didn't go with OCs because it would be harder for readers to pick up on the similarities between characters.
(and 4865723) Flutterguard: No. I mean, yes, if it works for you, but that's not what I was thinking. I was thinking generic guard. And I disapprove of guards who shut their eyes rather than respond to a threat, but I guess he knows he's basically eye candy for the princesses.

4864017 4862215 4862613 In my mind, Apple Bloom is not quite up to the task of doing her sister's work, tired, stressed, and maybe I'll let the reader think she's alone now. I'm not saying she is. Just maybe. And it's just a last-straw kind of thing. But I could've handled that better, if I'd had more time. Contest deadline.

4862629 Nailed it.

4866119 4865232 4864498 4862623 4862215 4862190 4861911 4861802 4861432 4860984 4860892 4860859 I'm glad some folks liked it! I've never had so many doubts about a story. Doubts like "Maybe this is total crap." I still have doubts. I wrote it too quickly, on account of the contest deadline. Maybe I should have gone for OC children of some of the Mane 6... Maybe I could have tweaked, reordered, or changed the scenes for a different emotional progression.

I love this story, especially how it's Philomena's point of view. :heart:

Given the time limit you had for this.
I would say you did rather well with what you had to work with.


It is from the Celestia micro comic.
It is not the cover, but a panel from the comic, almost half way in.
Its a picture of Sunbutt with Professor Inkwell

I haven't finished this chapter yet, but, THIS IS GREAT, I DODNT KNOW YOU COULD GET SO MUCH IMAGREY FROM SUCH NONSENSE SPEACH!!!! :pinkiehappy:

Wonderful visualization, actually. It went very very very fast. I like it.

But still there's the remains the question in the back of ones mind that says "what the fuck did I just read"

Well that was pleasant. You know, this works really well as an analog to moving away from old friends (minus the shitting on strangers' heads, unless you're into that kind of thing).

I laughed at the title. Good game.

4867517 It may well be my favourite thing you've ever written. I like experimental and oddball stories. Also, I assumed that you kept Twilight's fate ambiguous deliberately. If you were looking for a family member you could tie to Twi directly, you could have gone with Spike. But, again, I like it better that it's unclear whether or not she's dead, given she's an alicorn but also not known to be immortal.

Hmm, is each day for Philomena actually her being reborn again?

People who don't know me and my brother can't tell us apart (even people who do know us sometimes have trouble if we aren't both there). (Doesn't help that we're Identical Twins).
That may actually be why it doesn't bother us when people think we're the same person. We kind of are.

4867517 112 people say this story's worth a thumbs up. You did an impressive job, sir.


I feel like I need to read this comic. It sounds like an unusually melancholy premise for a kids' cartoon and I'd like to see how they handle it.


The comics are a bit darker and grittier then the show is.
The comic panel used for this story has nothing to do with philomena. Celstia's micro comic is about her relationship with an old friend and how the other pony's view her in a negative way.

Inkwell is a bit of a bad ass in her younger years, and as time progresses, things change and what and how she teaches seems well crazy. So they want her retired from teaching at Celstia's school.

There are a definite must read. They are also secondary canon according to Hasbro, so unless the show contradicts the comics its all legit.

Plus the fun for me in reading them is trying to suss out all the allusions they put in to other genres. It's a lot by the way.Some are easy to catch others are rather obscure.

Weird, alien, exuberant, sad, rewarding. Philomena turns out to be quite an interesting bird!

the writings style was FANTASTIC, the interwoven perspectives and everything....BEAUTIFUL. Brilliant job. Brought tears to my eyes. :,)

A little surreal, but works well. I admit, I didn't catch who the non-mane 6 ponies really were, but then again, I didn't think that was the point. Overall, I like and feel a little bit more cultured for having read this. Kudos :)

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