• Member Since 11th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen 3 hours ago

Pascoite


I'm older than your average brony, but then I've always enjoyed cartoons. I'm an experienced reviewer, EqD pre-reader, and occasional author.

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Something bad has happened to Sweetie Belle, so why won’t anypony tell Apple Bloom what? At least she can keep her friend company, and Sweetie Belle can hear her talking. Everypony says so. She can hear.

If friendship really is magic, she sure could use some now.


An entry in the write-off event “There’s Magic in Everything.”

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 42 )

You have my interest...

Wow, here's a blast from the past!

I don't remember exactly what I had to say about this one in its writeoff version, but I like that you give us a sense, right from the start, of something being ineffably wrong with the setup. The payoff is wonderful and cute, and the buildup is steady without relying on the reader staying in the dark for exactly the same amount of time. In all, it was pleasant to (re-)read this.

9635805
The problem was that in the original, it was too obvious exactly what was happening, so I actually toned back the "something is wrong" feeling. It's still there, just not to the degree that you immediately assume it's implausible. The original opening scene tried to do the same to create that comfort level, but it had too long of a lead-in to the point it started making Apple Bloom privy to too much specific information she probably wouldn't have, and it just made the focus feel off. So rather than have her start outside and encounter well-wishers on her way in, I cut a lot of that out. I kind of liked that material, but I agreed with the reviewers that said it didn't really work to have it there.

This is the most heart wrenchingly beautiful story I have ever read!!!!!

Awww, that was sweet. So sad, but sweet. Amazing job with this one.
Got the feeling something was off from the start, but there was almost no way to tell until the reveal. This was dark, yet wholesome. Sad, yet happy.

I am but a simple man. I see Pasco, I upvote.

9636104
Your usual payment will be deposited.

9636105
It's times like these I wish we had Flim Flam brothers emoticons.

BAMBOOZLED.

One of the few dark / srs stories that is actually utterly fantastic. Bravo. I may make a Bookshelf just for this quality of work.

This was stunning absolutely stunning, I kept running possibilities through my head, "Did SB break her horn or neck? Was she sexually assaulted? Did her whole family die leaving her comatose?" I started to realize something was wrong with apple bloom because she never got hungry, but I never guessed she was the one in the bed.

I actually caught what was going on fairly quickly, but that doesn't take away from how good this story is. Very nice job, Pasco.

Applebloom awoke and looks down at her lower body, "Ok, first thing's first. Wiggle your big toe..."

...

"Ah, right. I don't got toes. That whole "Kill Bill" homage just dang went tight out the window."

:trollestia:

I definitely got a vibe, especially with nopony else being there. That feeling grew the more time went by without her meeting anypony, or when she stopped needing food and water. But I thought it was just depression kicking in, and everypony else taking it poorly. I was taken on the full ride, so to speak. And I enjoyed both the ride, and the ending.

This was really good! As others have mentioned, the feeling of something being wrong was definitely there, but I don't think it was revealed too early. There were definitely a few different ways this could have played out and I didn't feel like I knew exactly which one you were going for until you got there.

My only real criticism is that I don't think it's necessary to have a paragraph at the end that spells it out for the reader. Personally, I think it was all presented well enough in the story itself that just straight-up telling it at the end felt a bit redundant.

That same photograph. The same one. Had she imagined it all? Sweetie Belle’s voice next to her, scents of the food everypony brought with them, making it into a dream where Apple Bloom was the devoted caretaker for her dear friend?

Weird. But she might not have found the strength to fight through it, if not for her friends.

imho, I'd replace this whole bit. It just stands out a bit like a sore thumb compared to the tone of the rest of the story.

But make no mistake, this was a great read! Two thumbs up!

9636800
Interesting you pulled out that particular excerpt. Of all that, I only wanted to put in the first 2 sentences of it. But I had a couple test readers who complained they couldn't figure out what had happened, so I grudgingly agreed to spell it out. I had thought it was clear enough as is, but I guess I'd rather have some readers who felt it was a little too explain-ey than some who get lost.

I guess.

Anyway, agreed that I prefer the story without that stuff. It is a write-off entry, though, and one of the truisms of those contests is to avoid being very subtle, because inevitably several people won't get it, and you won't do well in the judging.

Sweetie Belle/Applebloom: "I think I see dead ponies. :derpyderp1:"
Applebloom/Sweetie Belle: "You are the dead pony. :derpyderp2:"
Applebloom: "Wai--whu--? :rainbowderp:"

Rod Serling: "Picture if you will, the moment for a pony in a coma: caught between the paralysis of fear and the fear of paralysis. When imagination met delusion, how sight, smell, sound, and touch were blended into a muddled mess, and where time had no meaning. And for perhaps ... three-and-a-half seconds ... she may have just caught a momentary glimpse ... into the Twilight Zone. :twilightoops:"

BTW, congrats on getting featured. :rainbowlaugh:

So... What I understand is that Sweetie got a accident, she was in a vegetable state and no one stayed around?

Okay, you got me. I totally did not foresee that ending. What I thought was that somehow, by climbing into bed, she entered some sort of weird, deserted version of her house, sort of like the art gallery in Ib.

9637012
I mostly put the dark tag on it for the brief moment Apple Bloom's thoughts turn to suicide. Other than that, no, it isn't that dark, just a little on the eerie side, and even less so than the original version.
9636972
Apple Bloom was the one in a vegetative state all along, but while there, she imagined herself as the one taking care of an injured Sweetie Belle. She got the situation mostly right because she could see and hear what was going on around her, and it got brought into her dream. Then she finally woke up and realized she was the injured one, and that she'd imagined her position being swapped with Sweetie Belle.

9637628
Somehow it surprise me the vegetative, don't get me wrong is a good story, but with all the magic in Equestria, Princess Luna ability to dream travel and Discord that can re-write reality, well...

9637647
Discord just presents too much of a problem for drama in general, even in the show. How many bad things in episodes could have been headed off simply by having him snap his fingers? A lot of stories have to tie themselves into knots to show why he can't solve the problem for everyone, so I prefer to do like the show and conveniently ignore him when I don't want to use him.:rainbowlaugh:

9637661
Is what happen when you have a Deus Ex Machina or ultimate weapon, that when is not used people ask why is not used.

Really enjoyed this story, and that surprises me as I don't normally go for Dark Slice of Life. It's superbly well written. The dialogue felt very in-character. Also the subplot about a child struggling to understand and come to terms with a friend suffering from a major disability felt very authentic. Locked-In Syndrome is truly horrifying and you've displayed that really nicely.

Also, I'm glad you went for the happy ending.

I often vocally and violently object to reading any sort of story with "Dark", "Sad", or "Tragedy" tags as I often end up in a depression afterward. But this story caught my eye. Most of the time, sad stories don't tend to stay in the #1 spot as long as this one did, and that odd little Slice of Life tag caught my eye. What could that mean? So, in a leap of faith, I read this story.

It's now one of my favorite stories.

Fantastic writing and wonderful storytelling, I felt every emotion of the characters as if I was really there experiencing it. Some of those, I had personal experience with, and I definitely say that it brought the same feeling back.

Well done!

9637884
I tend not to like hopeless endings myself.

9637957
Same here. But I’m also someone who thinks hopeless endings are for lazy writers.

As for the story itself, it’s good but... it’s a story I would have to read at least twice.

It took a bit for me to understand what was happening in this story, but that reveal... wow. That was powerful. Good job with this story.

9636927
This is perfect. This story kind of does feel like a Twilight Zone episode.

Eh...I've been spoiled by reading

EDreams About Friendship Are Magic
Twilight Sparkle wakes from a coma after being cursed. However not everything is as she remembers.
Soft Story · 63k words  ·  557  32 · 5.9k views

I'm sure that without having first read the aforementioned story, that this story would be a good story, but since I have read the aforementioned story this story feels just a bit...underdone.

9636927
If this had been the story's ending, it would have made the story for me.

I don't think I've put a story in both my Dark and my Cute bookshelves before. But this deserves both spots, I think. I could have just whacked into my 'not otherwise specified', but... It's still a cute story, though the subject of the story is darker than cute.

I actually have put a fic in both Dark and Cute before- Only the Good Die Young, also featuring Applebloom. Something about her, I think.

9639314
Hey now. I saw the word coma in this story. Just be glad that I made sure to reread the story before commenting on it, otherwise, I would have been a lot worse with what I commented.

9636927
Is that adapted from a real narration? It'd explain the title of this fic.

Either way, I greatly enjoyed this. I figured out that Applebloom was the one in a coma about halfway through, but I loved the buildup to the reveal.

It took me a while, but I eventually worked out that it was Apple Bloom in the coma when the IV bags didn't need changing. Good storry :)

9640522
The title comes from the interval between Sweetie Belle's blinks. Apple Bloom keeps counting it out during the story, and it always comes to three and a half seconds:

Blink. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thou—blink.

Beautiful writing, a compelling level of characterization, and a deeply moving story. I give this 10/10 with five stars to match. You have written solid gold here.

9640992
Huh, I never picked up on that. Well played!

I loved the story, so well written so very emotional. Of course now I'm crying again!
There's nothing I can say other than praise for this. Thank you for posting this.

Really liked this! Love the usage of the counts throughout the story, really helped draw me in.

I featured this on episode 262 of my podcast, Pony 411.

I really like this!

I figured the story was gonna end up the way it did, but that didn't make it any less impactful. This was pretty great.

Oh wow. That was a weird mix of trippy and heartwrenching.

Very intense and mysterious atmosphere.

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