• Published 22nd Sep 2014
  • 2,599 Views, 691 Comments

Dueling Keyboards - FanOfMostEverything

FoME's submissions to the Writeoff Contests, along with other bits and bobs.

  • ...


Fluttershy sat before the stage of the Carousel Boutique, a small smile on her face. She wasn't quite a fashionista herself, but she came the closest out of Rarity's friends. As such, Rarity had devised another way to keep her edging forward on the road to assertiveness: constructive criticism. Fluttershy was the first to see Rarity model her newest designs, and she gave her honest, unfiltered opinion with every glimpse.

At least, that was how it went in theory. In practice, Fluttershy might say something that could conceivably be construed as negative every six or seven dresses. Still, it was time spent with a friend, and she really did feel like she was getting more assertive and discerning.

"I should warn you," Rarity said from behind the curtain, "this one is a bit experimental." She swept into view, clad in a silvery gown that hugged the curves of her withers and hips while staying loose enough to billow about her legs. The sequins shimmered like the sun on a stream. She struck a pose and said, "What do you think?"

Fluttershy was agog, eyes wide and jaw dropped. "Oh, Rarity, it's beautiful! I think it's the best thing you've shown me today!"

"Hmm. Do you?" Rarity looked back at the rack of other frocks in the changing room.

"Oh! Not to say that the others were bad. This one just..." Fluttershy struggled for a word. She borrowed one of Rarity's. "It pops!"

"Pops?" Rarity adopted a thoughtful moue as she pinched part of the gown in her magic and lifted it, watching the fabric flow. A grin edged across her face. "I suppose it does rather pop, doesn't it? Well, this turned out better than I expected."

Fluttershy tilted her head. "Why wouldn't it?"

"Well, I've never worked with this mineral before." Rarity gestured towards the sequins. "I had no idea what to expect from it. I'm not even sure what it is."

"Where did you find it?"

"Believe it or not, Discord gave it to me." Rarity's horn lit up, and a tiara floated into view from the changing room, adorned with five clear, perfectly straight crystal stalks. "I even had enough left over for a lovely little accessory."

"Oh. Um. I see." Fluttershy's eyes darted about.

"Fluttershy? Is something the matter?"

"No! Nothing's the matter. Why would anything be the matter?"

Rarity raised an eyebrow. "Well, for one, you bolted a few inches into the air when I asked. And you're still there."

Fluttershy blinked, then deliberately let herself descend. She smiled, or at least showed her teeth. "There. All better. What's the next dress like?"

Rarity sighed. "What did Discord do?"

Fluttershy shut her eyes. "Please don't be mad at him."

Hoofsteps approached. When Fluttershy opened her eyes again, Rarity was next to her, their sides touching in a comforting presence. "I won't be mad at him or at you. Just tell me what's wrong."

Fluttershy checked the dress. Yes, the sequins were hexagons, slices of the same crystals as the ones on the tiara. "Discord... when he eats, he digests the inherent chaos of the material."


"And what's left is very..." Fluttershy chewed her lip, "unchaotic."

Rarity gazed at nothing. "As in crystals."


"Crystals identical to the ones he gave me."


Rarity stepped away from Fluttershy. She removed the gown and tiara with quick, precise movements; balled them up, metal included; and set them on fire with a thought. "Let us never speak of this again."

"Next dress?"

"Next dress."

Author's Note:

Not actually a Writeoff entry, but inspired and entitled by a Writeoff in-joke.

Everyone gets a stupid story now and again. I'm cashing in one of mine.