• Member Since 11th Jul, 2014
  • offline last seen 9 hours ago

naturalbornderpy


Just a nice, polite Canadian.

T

Twilight Sparkle is reading a book she can't seem to put down. It's not even a very good one, as the author keeps on writing directly to the alicorn. For three days now this is all she has done, as her friends desperately try and find her. Oddly, the author of the book knows more about Twilight than most... even if their only goal appears to be her death.

Chapters (7)
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Comments ( 82 )

Bloody hell that was good. Terrifyingly good.

5163771 I don't want to be one of those annoying people who pesters you to update but, what is your update schedule, if you have one?

5164139 I try for a few chapters a week, but it all depends on time or ideas. If an interesting short story comes up, I might sidetrack to it. Same with the other multi-chapter story I have going. I'll try my best though!

5164534 oh okay. Not begging for the next chapter, just making sure I know when a good time to expect the next chapter is. I try not to annoy people.

Ugh... a Xanatos Gambit... :pinkiesick:

I know this is going to be misunderstood, but is the watcher's name Giles?

5177462 Nope. And I'm definitely not following. :twilightoops:

5177769
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Giles is the watcher, which is the person who trains the slayer to slay vampires and demons.

5178228 Ha! Now I get. And I've actually watched that whole series. No, sorry. No british dude taking a keen interest in a purple alicorn. But what a twist that would make!


5178245
If only there were some rogue watcher. Then I could have made a more vague reference and it would make more sense, although Giles is the only watcher left.

Why did I not read this before now? This is really good.

5198001 Hey, I remember you! Thanks for reading.

5358585 With that knowledge, I'm guessing the next chapter will either increase that interest, or perhaps be too much. We will see! :pinkiecrazy:

5361220 Thank you! It's definitely not for the faint of heart. (Or those with souls. Or want to feel happy after reading something.)

Well, it might not be popular but I've liked it and looked forward to it updating, for what that's worth. =D

5380758 Thank you for saying so! It's a weird little story, so I really don't mind the dislikes. There are a lot of stories on this site with even worse ratings, so I don't feel overwhelmingly crushed. Just trying something different.

I do not even know what I am reading anymore.

5402429 A weird little story that may have gone off the rails at some point during construction. :applejackconfused: Sorry about that.

I have a theory! It sounds like Cadence is the stalker! I'm probably not right though. :rainbowlaugh:

Well, this was sure a neat read!:pinkiehappy: I like the way you took the villain, and also, what's her name?

5910187 Thank you for saying so! In the end I left the villain unnamed for a couple reasons. First: I hate coming up with pony names. :unsuresweetie: Second: I think it fits the theme I was going for--that a rival doesn't need to be huge and monstrous or even have a valid reason for hating someone. If they want to, they'll find a reason. So I left her anonymous and as basic in appearance as they come.

Thank you for reading and for commenting!

5914246 Ah. Nice! I wonder if I should do that in my story...:duck:

This fic was amazing. The characterization was damn near perfect, the villain was incredibly well written and thought out, the writing was very good, the pacing was good for the most part (it felt a tiny bit rushed in the last two chapters), and the fic was incredibly immersive. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

~Crystalline Electrostatic~

The bad guy should have won.

Still earned my like, though.

For most of the story I was half wondering if the villain was an author self-insert, but i eventually decided that even you weren't that evil.

Then I got to this chapter and i'm back to wondering if you are that evil. Either way, an excellent Fic.

6615625 I don't think I'm that evil. In real life, I'm actually very nice. Maybe that's why I don't tell anyone about these stories.

A self-insert you say? That's an interesting question. This story started off when I asked myself what the most ironic death of Twilight Sparkle could be--reading a book to death. Then I wondered who sent the book and that's how this story became an original villain study basically. How a villain of my own creation would fare against the Elements doing things they're not used to: keeping a distance, not having an ancient history with Celestia or Equestria, having an unknown motivation, using others to do their bidding, ect.

But now that you mention it, my biggest sin of all is envy. I get very, very jealous of others sometimes, so maybe this is a type of self-insert. The villain was jealous of Twilight for very little reasoning, but used that reasoning to drive her regardless. So... maybe I am evil. :twilightoops: Thanks a lot, doc!

Amazing. :raritystarry:

I know you didn't intend it, but after the initial book scare, this story adopted some similar vibes to Trigun, one of the greatest anime ever made. In that show, the main character, Vash, refuses to take lives due to his convictions. However, a certain individual, through the use of their hypnotic powers, forces him into a series of conflicts with many lives at stake. With his skills as a gunslinger, Vash manages to stop the violence without breaking his own taboo. At the climax, when he has the villain backed into a corner, he must either end this person's life or let his friends die. He is forced by the villain's powers to do the former, and wallows in misery for a long while afterwards.

I'm going to call this mare Bluesummers. I can't help but wish she lived up to that name. Though, the way you chose to end things worked equally well.

6617952 Sorry. Never been a big anime fan. The strongest parallels I was feeling (especially in the last chapter) was with this villain and The Joker, both of who were willing to be hurt and die in order to prove a point. Or in this case, die and be remembered alongside those they hate forever, staining their name from here on out.

I think my original ending was close to what you mentioned. It was a long time ago, but I think I might've chicken out at the last minute because this story was being pretty negatively received at first and I didn't want anymore backlash by having a darker ending. Think the movie Seven, if you will.

Still, it seems to have found a tiny cult following since then, which I am quite happy about. :twilightsmile:

6618048

Well, more like I'm just going through the story backlogs of all the people I'm following. It was a very good idea on my part.

PT

Holy shit...Holy shit, holy shit

I went into this not knowing what I would be reading, but as I went through the beginning of the first chapter, I found myself riveted. It was terrifying, it was horrendous, but I couldn't turn away.

Now I've read a handful of scary stories on the site before, and I always found myself indulging on the morbid curiosity that is the fate that would befall the characters in a story, and I was expecting a satisfying fulfillment of that as I went on. However, as I neared the end, expecting Twilight to perish in a macabre manner that seemed befitting of her, you did something unexpected--something that made my fingers quake, made my breath grow short, and made shivers run down my spine.

You gave her hope.

No more was this simply a horror story where a grizzly end awaited the main character; it became a thriller--a race against time as all the others fought the mechanisms and machinations of the one that gave Twilight that book.

Stephen King once wrote that nightmares exist outside of logic and there's little fun to be had in explanations. They're antithetical to the poetry of fear. In a horror story the victim keeps asking why, but there can be no explanation and there shouldn't be one. The unanswered mystery is what stays with us the longest and is what we'll remember in the end. And another quote from the game where I got that quote from also states that in a horror story, "you never know if the character is going to live or die" and this is played in good measure throughout the story.

And even as you gave perspective to the elusive and mysterious watcher on the hill, it really gave an effect that amplified the mystery and panic. Getting into the mind of this cold calculating psychopath and seeing their plans and motives unfurling, put me well on the edge, with the pacing of unnerving action, and disturbing interludes really digging into your chest.

Coming back now to the description and the comments section, you highlight that this was supposed to be a one shot that spiraled out of control. I agree that I see the foundations of it in the first chapter, but it all pans out rather well into an end that is both lacking and satisfying. Even as other clamor against the conclusion of the story that you have written, I don't think that this horror story or its readers (including me) deserve any closure to the horrendous events that lead them to the end and the beginning. After all, sometimes the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all...

There's a lot more I want to say about this story, -but I think I've gone on long enough and I'll save those words for another time. Good job, author. You've kept me awake into the wee hours of the night once more.

===========
EDIT1:

I think I need to say a few more things that I've been itching to put into words rather than blabber to myself in my room as I shakingly clutch my glasses.

Now, I won't be delving into much (or at all, really) about the flaws in this story. Everyone else who commented or even the author himself has highlighted the weak points contained in these sets of words, and I don't think I'd be contributing anything that haven't been said before. However, I'd like to highlight some good things that have left a visible crimson imprint in my mind which have wormed their way into the section of my brain that controls muscle movement, forcing me to write this additional comment.

Firstly, the fear of the unknown is ever present, growing, and oppressive. A good chunk of the first chapter, we never truly know much about who sent the book, and how it did that to Twilight. All we know is it is some very powerful magic that has bound the alicorn princess in a grip that she cannot get out of.

This coincides well into the fear of ambiguity as we slowly get to know more about this stranger through the following chapters. We find ourselves clawing in our minds, in our bellies, trying to collaborate clues and understand who this stranger could be. This lingers on and on and on, simmering as the story reaches it's final chapter. Yet, even with the details provided, with the backstory unearthed, and the appearance revealed, we still do not know who this monster is. As to Twilight and as to us, they are still exactly that--a stranger.

Finally, even with the mastermind of malice revealed under the spotlight, we also sense the gnawing feeling crawling it's way from the back of our necks into the open--the fear of realism. This figure, this character, albeit a colorful pony in a fictional story also holds weight in our own universe. This realism that anchors them to the chilling plane of plausibility is the reminder that there is more of them out there. Figures unknown, unseen, blending into the crowd of people we bump into every day, seemingly normal. Yet within themselves, they hold something sinister--something incomprehensible that makes them do terrifying things that is not in the parameters of sanity or reason. No remorse, no guilt, no sympathy or compassion, only cold machinations of unspeakable acts lingering within. They exist and they are among us. And to see these figures embodied in a universe of cute magical ponies...well, the jarring contrast is enough its own kind of fear.

I like to think these words have already been said by someone in the comments, but I needed to put them to light again. I liked the story a lot, and I wish you the best of luck in your future writing endeavors. Stay sleepless.

6648888 Damn. Another review-sized comment. Thanks once again!

Hmm. It's hard to say a lot about this story as it's been over a year since I wrote it and I think my head space has changed a lot since then. As I said in an earlier comment, this story was at one point my most hated, and I finished the last three or so parts as quick as I could just to complete the story for those very few still interested. It's too bad people are coming to enjoy it only recently, because I really don't have a lot to add to their comments.

I wish people's opinions on my stories didn't matter so much to me, truthfully. People tell me they don't like the story, I tend to agree with them even if I might like the story quite a bit. Same with people that liked a story of mine that I thought was mediocre. The last three comments on this definitely make me want to re-read this story, just to see what kind of a storyteller I was a year ago and how I've changed. Could be interesting. :rainbowderp:

As I said in other comments, the heart of the story was the villain. Everything sort of revolved around her and I tried to keep characters (somewhat) in character, even if I've never been very good at that. I liked your thoughts on keeping the villain as "The Stranger", or I guess "The Watcher", as I called them in the story. They could have led a life of their own, but decided Twilight's life was the real life stolen from them. Even if they were obviously gifted in magic (doing all the things she does), she decides to ruminate on what makes them hurt rather than move on. Jealously. Envy. Wanting what others have so bad it hurts and all you want to do in return is make them hurt as well, even if it's the last thing you might do.

I would still consider this the darkest story I've ever written and I'm glad you liked it, regardless. This and "Open Door" are as dark as they get from me, so sadly, you can't go downward anymore. Not unless I cough up something new... but it seems I've changed my tune as of late. You never know, though. I might just say fuck it one day and let out a little wrath again. :pinkiecrazy: Hard to say.

PT

6649213 I get carried away sometimes. I read 2/3 of the piece in one sitting as I was waiting for some hotdogs to cook, and I was on edge the entire time. Hence, I needed an outlet afterwards, thus this lengthy thing-y came out.

I apologize if I suddenly brought this thing back from its deep slumber; I had been on a dark-horror-thriller trip the past few days and had been downloading ePUB fics to my phone for easy access, and the latest in my list was this. I only realize now that it was written in 2014, and while I understand (and recognize) that you churned this out in a rush for those still following it, I must still say that it was a lovely piece of work, and that my praise still stands.

Your characterization of the watcher still impresses me in the way (intentional or not) that it strikes the fine balance between revealing too little and revealing too much. As with my points with fear and ambiguity in my original comment, your dance around the stranger grips you around the neck and drags you to the past and the present, into the mind and mischief of this troubled soul. Really, it left me thirsting for more about this figure's vendetta, but like I said, you've given away just enough.

I am glad to know that people are picking up on your tales, and with my previous encounters in your other stories is any consideration, I rather like your grimdark style. Now before I go, I'd like to ask a few questions:

1. If you were given the chance to change things, edit the story, re-write from scratch, what would you change?

2. What are your thoughts on the ending? If you could change it (or give alternate endings) how would they play out? (I'm thinking Stephen King's 'The Mist' when I got to the ending, and the differing natures of the novel and the film. Though personally, I had a thirst for the stranger to be punished by being forgotten--by being a normal pony--and all their efforts never being remembered. Yum.)

3. Do you have specific inspirations in the way you write these dark tales? Or the way you write in general?

4. Are there any Dark/Horror/Thriller/Gore/Mystery stories on FiMFiction you'd recommend? I'm still on a hunger for these tales. Maybe even some general recommendations of good solid writing from other authors?

Best of luck over there, and stay sleepless.

6649351 1. Probably some simple edits, for sure. Re-read the bastard and fix any little thing. Now that I start to remember this story a bit, I recall I thought of the first chapter and liked it so much, I wrote it and released it without thinking how the rest would play out. Obviously, in a rewrite, I'd infuse more of the overall tone and theme into the first part: villain motivations and personality.

I'd also change the dynamic between Twilight and the villain. As it is, the villain screws around with Twilight and she takes it and tries to fix things from there. There's no back and forth here. Perhaps I was trying too hard to present a villain that was "better" than the mane six. If I could, I'd add a new plot of the villain's that actually doesn't work and she's almost caught. Twilight pieces a few bits of information together or something like that.

Writing wise, I wouldn't change much. This was back before I understood this site all that much and wrote as longwinded as I felt like. 4k chapters to 7k chapters, it didn't matter. Just as long as it contained what it needed to. Now I've learned most readers really won't jump into a story with a first chapter longer than 3k, unless they're a well-known author. Most of my stories nowadays start on a 2k chapter to hook people in easier.

2. Endings? Hmm. Endings are tricky. My first ending (as I think I mentioned somewhere) involved Twilight killing the villain and getting their way. Maybe Twilight has a monologue or something to wrap it all up, but otherwise doesn't go crazy because of it. Maybe just saddened by it all.

Perhaps I went with the "happier" ending because I was on a string of negative endings, where no one wins and even the reader suffers. Still, it's not a cheerful ending in any regard.

3. A few people have asked me for writing advice and I tell them that's the worst thing they can do. I've never taken a creative writing course or became interested in writing until a few years ago, and have only been showing them to others for the last year and a bit.

I really don't know what I'm doing. I wrote screenplays and made films in high school and university, so I've always had an interest in storytelling. I only decided way too late to try and tell stories via writing, as that's the most expressive way to go about it. Writing for me is very trial and error. I've deleted a third of my stories on this site because they didn't work, and I'm sure I'll delete more in the future.

My favorite author is Steve King, so I guess that's where some of the horror elements come from. Also, just from being human and if something scares me, it might scare others, same with interest in a story idea. If an idea pulls me away from a book I'm reading and demands that I stop everything and start thinking about it, then it just might do the same for someone else.

I sadly don't know how best to write horror/thriller type stories. I've always just had an interest in them. Nothing too crazy like portals into other dimension or rocket ships, but what I've always called "real life with a twist", which is what I think Steve King does best. You mentioned parts of this story had a "real" feel to them and I guess that's my favorite type of horror story. You can almost see it happening to you. You go to the grocery store, right? Say a thick fog rolls in and there are monsters lurking within?

4. Before I wrote mlp fiction, I read a lot of mlp fiction. Now that I write a lot of mlp fiction, I don't read very much mlp fiction... or catch up with new episodes, either. :twilightoops: I think a reason for this is because I don't want to be too influenced by what others are doing. Maybe I also don't want to see how much better people's stories are then mine. :unsuresweetie: Anyway, the only "dark" stories I read on here and probably ones you already read, as they're the biggest of the big: "Hard Reset" and "Fallout: Equestria". Other than those, I've mainly stuck to short comedies that don't require much thought. Maybe that has something to do with writing dark and not feeling like reading dark as well.

My editor recommended me an online serial called "Worm" that's been finished for a few years. It's an original story and around 1.7 million words. (Yes. Very fucking long.) But I must be at the midway point by now and I'd easily call it one of the best stories I've ever read. And dark and dangerously gross. As in I worry about the author's mental state. So if you think I write dark...

Anywho, there's some longwinded answers for you... sort of.

Timing

Also...I'm guessing this is an alternate universe take on Trixie. Just throwing it out there.

And in all that time I have never considered you to have done a single thing worthy of such venomous hate

Oh? So....getting somepony's home destroyed, making them look like a fraud, causing them to never be able to practice their livelihood again! THAT'S NOTHING?! NOTHING?!?!?!?!?
Sorry.
I'll behave...
Maybe...
Possibly...
Not EVEN within the realm of possibilities, now that I think about it...

“Usually. But then sometimes she botches it so bad she learns a lesson afterward. Maybe now’s one of those times.”

Like Mare Do Well? Is that what you mean?

I honestly can’t think of anything I’ve done that could deserve this.”

Gee...I wonder! I FREAKING WONDER!
How about destroying somepony's life? Could that do it for you?!

6653874
But who was it?! I thought that it was Trixie, but she would never have a death wish, not even an alternate universe version of her...so who was it?!

6657446 It was a complete stranger with no name. One that decided to hate Twilight due to a single grievance and let it control their life. It wasn't anyone important to Twilight or even worth remembering, which perhaps makes it even worse. Just a pony that decides to hurt someone else. Or something like that. Some of the other comments make more sense on the subject.

I understand your misgivings in the closing comments, but I still believe this was a wonderfully executed story. The problem I often have with MLP-based horror is either shock and gore simply for their own sake or characters acting completely OOC. You avoided both.

You also managed a clever ending with Twilight not compromising her principles, though she came damn close. Her violence towards the stalker was, I felt, still in character. Seriously, one only needs to look back to her titantic battle with Tirek to see that she does have a berserk button that can be pushed, and she can be fucking DANGEROUS when it is.

If I had been in her position, I'm not sure I would have restrained myself, to be perfectly honest.

6708562 Thank you for saying so! :twilightsmile: I dunno... at the time when I finished the story, it was receiving a lot of hate, so that might have clouded the story for me. It's still not perfect though, but I've come to enjoy it more since then. Thanks for the comment and for reading along! :pinkiehappy:

And yet they keep missing the most obvious clue they have...

A well done and interesting dark story. I like how you managed the villain, the fact she was just a normal pony as far as anyone cared. Very much a sociopath with a desperate need to prove herself against an unknowing foe. I also approve of her never getting a name, I find that to be a nice touch.

I'm still interested in why she killed Mr. Leaf. She didn't need to get him out of the way, and the book was clearly made to hit a specific button as an ironic echo. Oddly it feels like there is a far more personal beef there then the one with Twilight. I suspect it's probably the remains of your original cat and mouse idea, still it's to bad it wasn't followed up upon.

6735832 Glad you enjoyed the story, and I think the death of Mr. Leaf might've been an accident due to poor planning. I think I rushed out the second chapter because there was mild interest in the first without thinking how everything would connect in the end. It's the worst way to write and yet I've done it time and time again. :pinkiesick: I wish I had more patience.

6738285 I know how that goes, and sometimes that happens. You never know, maybe that could be the root for a squeal story... Dangling plot threads are good for that.

Then again, I'm also a mystery buff, and the odd man out on the serial killers hit list is usual the important clue (doubly so if it's also there first kill).

While I wasn't particularly impressed by the ending (I would have preferred a more melancholy feel to go with the rest of the story), this was definitely an excellent fic. One that I -ahem- could not put down (definitely intended). Congrats on writing one of the single most chilling pieces I have found on here.

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