• Member Since 24th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen Nov 16th, 2018

Whirring Gears

A guy with crazy ideas and a little free time.


[Second Person Perspective]

Once a year, you come around with a simple task. Most of the time, it means nothing. You are normally dismissed without another thought.

However, when you find out Princess Luna has been asking for you, you can't help but worry that something is wrong.

(Scene written for confirmed-by-voting best pony Luna. A bit of a mystery fic. See what details you can glean from the dialogue to determine who the character is and what they are talking about.)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 125 )

Is the protagonist Death? Because if so it's one of the most unique takes on that character that I've seen.

i don't know how to feel about this. there are so many questions! my main question though is "what is this even about?"

This story, I like it.

Im glad more mystery ideas are being created, definitely is making me thinking on what the duty is. Definitely like Stars Over Manehattan.

I'm not gonna go and say MOAR!! But i'd definitely like to see another part :P

Sorry, fixed. Uploading at three hours before I normally wake up makes me make mistakes.


really good story


I just reread the story after reading your comment and the story got about fifty times more interesting. And sad, but whatever. :pinkiesad2:

I'm glad to know I enhanced your reading experience. :twilightsmile:

4995945 I do not think that, I believe the protagonist is a changeling, that has been given to the Equestrian world as a peace treaty.

I really liked this.

4995945 I agree completly:twilightsmile: few times has it been done so well.

This is rather interesting, but I'm left confused when the explanation of who/what he is isn't given. While I understand the basic concept, it's impact is lessened by no knowing what, exactly, is going on, and what the impact of her answering yes might've been. Good none-the-less. Looking forward to more.
Keep up the good work. Deus tecum.

4995945 holy shit that was one of the things i thought of, it made sense with how people were afraid of him.

im still confused who is the main character? is he the royal consort? Death? a noble seeking her hoof? a royal guard ? a therapist? who is He?:rainbowhuh:

A presence that is neither seen by mortal eyes, nor heard by ponies ears. One who is never known, but felt. Whose presence is assumed to be their duty, and vice versa. Whose existence chills the very air surrounding them. Some May plea to come with you, but are scared when their wishes come true. A part of every ponies lives that they wish would disappear, that they try to desperately ignore, but in the end will always come. For some, you are summoned by choice, for others you come because you must. But for a chosen few, (those granted with "eternity") you respond to their whim. You have visited the princesses many times, so many that you have all lost count. Those that are new to their extended longevity are anything but accustomed to you. You are feared and hated. Though the world cannot see you, they have formed an image. An empty shell, they picture you, devoid of body, mind, and soul. They imagine you perched atop the earth, ready to, at any moment, swing your blade across the land and reap the souls of the living. No one would think that you are but a timid being, scared of those around you. You are no different than the ponies, save for your simple duty. It wasn't more than a few hundred years ago ponies called you "Time". But as their fear and resentment has grown,you have gained a new name. You are now known as "Death".

*frantically shakes head*
Whoa... Sorry about that.

I actually happened to be reading this on a cold afternoon...outdoors...in silence. Jeez, way to simultaneously warm my heart and freeze my spine.

I...I don't even know what to say about this story, though I can see why you'd be hesitant to upload this, considering the rather...not morbid, not controversial, what's the word? "Cold"' I guess? The rather cold subject. Great work as always Mr. Gears, can't wait to see more from you in the future.

I'm gonna go stare at the wall and think about life and death now.

And upon reading other ponies comments: I see that I am nowhere near the first pony to guess this, and therefore did that long, drawn out speech for no reason whatsoever. Eh, I'm not getting rid of it, I'm still proud that I just sort of wrote that without thinking.

This is like a prequel to mort takes a holiday, like the story of how the sisters became friends with mort!

...and how could anyone miss the pony being death? I mean, c'mon.... read some Neil Gaiman.

Yeah, noticed it was Mort like 1/5 of the way in. I say Mort specifically and not death since the character seems to be written as such.

An easy favorite for me. Thank you for publishing it.

If you like non-pony fantasy, I recommend Come Lady Death, a short story by Peter S. Beagle (author of The Last Unicorn, in case you're familiar). There are a lot of parallels between Please Don't Say Yes and his work, and I think you both did a fantastic job.

.... honestly, I could have a better grasp on what I think of the story if I actually had any idea on what was going on.

The best I can weasel out is that it's a Death-type pony and that the question he freaks about is to either kill her, or have him kill someone.
Other than that, the near-constant stuttering was physically painful to read.

4998677 I belive it is that is something along the lines of, they are immortal so they can't die, so this death like figure comes around and asks them if they are ready to die and he/she/it hopes they always say no so he never has to take them

4998639 ... now the storry makes sense, and peter s. beagle.. i love his work

It's not just 'Death', it is death incarnate in a pony, a fairly specific pony. Has anyone else noticed the clues? :trixieshiftright:

I'm going to guess this mysterious person is not actually Death. Or the Grim Reaper. Or anything like that.

It's supposed to be a mystery, right? And just reading it without actually thinking about the mystery led me to thinking he was Death.

Like Sandman said, the stuttering was a bit overdone, and served to interrupt the story more than characterize our mystery narrator.

However, this is one of the better uses of second-person that I've seen. Though, as always, I suspect it would have been just as strong, if not stronger, written in first-person.

Anyway, I thought it a bit obvious that the pony was Death. But then, I'm used to the Discworld incarnation of that concept, and the two seemed a bit similar, though this one definitely more emotional.

you know I just got the strangest theory what if Fluttershys immortal and has the task of taking care of all the animals and reformation of villains? I mean it could explain her fear of everything she's seen so much she made some sort of mental defence aka her fear and the fact that she got tasked with reforming discord.

That was fucking beautiful.

Long time, no see, Sandman! :twilightsmile:

Thanks for the honesty.

4998924 he's my favorite published author!

4999485 i don't have a favorite... but for manga, Kazuki Takahashi (Creator of yu-gi-oh)
comics... alan moore
but not books
but he's in the list

This was well written, but it was vague to the point of tedium. I'm a patient guy, and I still found myself skipping around after the halfway point, looking to build some context. I had no idea if this character's duties were his choice or not, if his interest in Luna was somehow irresponsible in light of his position, why he feared Celestia, if people liked him or hated him, if there was done reason he couldn't live a different life, etc.

Without context, an encounter like this could mean too many things to mean anything at all.

Still! The writing itself was solid, so I won't upvote or downvote.

Okay, so this works great as a one shot, and it's truly a fantastic story, and I get that it should probably stay a one shot.
But OH GOD do I wish it wasn't. It just left me wanting to read more despite the fact that i worked so well as it was...

I'm going to assume it was Mort.
It certainly seemed like it was that adorkable little Shade.

It can't be Mort as written, because A) Mort's character in "Mort Takes a Holiday" is decidedly not all makey-outy with Luna and vice versa, and B) Mort would not be permitted to stay, given his boss. But it's very, very similar.

huzzah, your the first author/story i read on fimfiction. I read "Number One" and its a great story. So i know who the mystery character is It makes sense since you kindly wrote the clues there and i liked the story very much, you are a gifted writer!:twilightsmile::rainbowlaugh::rainbowkiss::trollestia: PS those emoticons are hilarious. :moustache:

Hah, I see you post this fic just before I go to bed, then wake up later to find it on the Featured Box! No great surprise mind, seeing how great this fic is. :yay:


Problem is, you wrote it the worst possible choice of POV.

“All questions I-I can’t… answer…” Your head sinks down lower. “I’m sorry…”

“A-Are you ready, um, t-to…”

This is not me. There is absolutely no way this could be me. I would never talk like this. So, apparently, the main character of the story is someone named "you" who acts nothing like me. Making readers feel as though they aren't the character is immersion-breaking for second-person. This should have been written in first-person, honestly. You would still be able to pull of the ambiguous narrator just fine—even better, actually. But in first person, it would have been "him" telling me the story, rather than you trying to tell me I would act like that.

Also, the nonexistent backstory was slightly confusing. I would have liked to see a bit more of what had previously happened between them. It felt to me like you skipped the first, second, third, four, fifth, and sixth "dates," then said, "Oh, by the way, you're here with your relationship." Basically, Luna and this pony who acts nothing like me but who you keep telling me is me are in a relationship on the seventh date. But I don't even know if I like her. This pony who you keep insisting is me likes her for reasons unknown to me. Okay, why should I like her? This story is about me. Why don't I know why I like her? We talked; so what?

Overall, the story felt rather botched, to me.

Disliked, and happy writing.

Realistically, you are never going to find a 2nd Person story that defines "you". Unless you write one yourself, of course.

. . . Which is why second-person is oft regarded as weaker and/or less useful than first or third.

I wouldn't say that. It's great for involving the reader in the story; sure it may not match the readers personality, but the reader could alter their perspective to fit the role. Not all second person will fit a single reader, but when a reader that does fit comes along it will increase their enjoyment of the story compared to first/third person view (unless they don't particularly like the 2nd person perspective in the first place).

And on another note: If you find 2nd Person Perspective to be lacking then why would you read this In the first place?


If you find 2nd Person Perspective to be lacking then why would you read this In the first place?

I'm not completely opposed to it. If done well, I can enjoy it.


This is not me. There is absolutely no way this could be me.

I don't think you'll like me, then. I write 'you' characters to specifically do things and act in ways a normal person wouldn't.

To me, someone would read a 2nd POV story in the same way they'd roleplay, immerse themselves in a videogame, or anything of that sort. It's to get the chance to be someone different. Let their own beliefs off coulda-woulda-shoulda fall off and look through the eyes and mind of someone else.

5000269 I can agree that 2nd person perspective is jarring when it doesn't jive with the reader. It's basically a big gamble and narrows the potential target audience. That said, it totally jives with me, and I loved putting myself in the narrator's horseshoes.

For the previous relationship between "you" and Luna, I think it was handled well, really, considering this is a one-shot. The author does go into detail with what their previous meetings were like, and it's not as though "you" start off at all comfortable with the affection she shows "you." I can't see how you'd think it was botched, honestly. I can see how you might be biased against it because of the incompatible p.o.v., though. Basically, readers like you are excluded by it.

I caught what the main character's purpose was after merely skimming the first page's worth of text, but maybe my experience with previous literature made that easier for me. I admit, I think more readers would find it interesting if it were clear off the bat who "you're" supposed to be (i.e. death), but at the same time I really like that "you" and "your" mission go unnamed. Maybe it could be made clear in the description or title who "you're" supposed to be, but it seems the author's intention of making it a mystery would be spoiled then.

Simply put, a lot of readers want to know what they're getting themselves into, and, especially with a 2nd person narrator, if they can't figure out who they're supposed to be really quickly, it takes that much longer before they can become absorbed in the story, and that puts a big damper on things.

5000670 well put, Mr. Gears

5000269 and, if you read the description of the story (which you should do more often, rather than just clicking featured stories and just reading through them willy-nilly) you'll see that the "lack" of backstory is 100% intentional. The point is for the readers to try and fill in the blanks left by the narrator.

And furthermore, I don't like how you dismissed 2nd POV as the "weakest". While I will admit it is less effective than the other two, I don't believe that this is because of it's nature. I believe that 2nd POV's problems simply come from it's lack of existence. So much literature exists in the first and third person, that some people learn that that is all that exists and then when they stumble upon a second person, they are simply unprepared on how to read it.

To read second-person stories is a skill that they don't teach in school, so most people really just can't, and because they can't understand it, they judge it by the rules of first and second fics, and then it appears bad. 2nd POV's weakness is not it's own fault, simply the fault of those unwilling to try and understand.

I would love to see an epilogue or a sequel for this story !:twilightsmile:

... I don't get it...

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