• Member Since 13th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen 8 hours ago

AugieDog


I've been writing and selling stories for longer than a lot of folks reading this have been alive. Check Baal Bunny for more!


T

Pinkie bounces into the throne room of Twilight's new castle, invites her over to Sugarcube Corner, and reveals some dark secrets that make Twilight reevaluate everything she ever thought she knew about Equestria, its princesses, and its ponies.

Written for the More Most Dangerous Game Contest, this story didn't reach the finals.

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 53 )

I was a little surprised by the ending, though it's appropriate for a short, I suppose. Fittingly grueling, implicitly gruesome, and eminently horrifying. I like how Pinkie as we know her has an important role in the story and it's not just a complete divergence from the show.

I think I'm going to have to create a new bookshelf for things that are undeniably very good and yet I never want to think about again.

Exactly why I'm thinking this I don't know, but there was a giant robot strategy RPG for the Playstation called Vanguard Bandits, the main antagonist of which piloted an ancient evil robot awakened by the blood sacrifice of 10,000 people.

It's got a comedy path you can get on NG+, and at the end of the comedy path the ancient evil robot is fighting on your side, piloted by your party machinist. And when the end boss is like "wait, how did you kill 10,000 people?" your mechanic's like "Dude, how long ago was this built again? I overhauled the engine and now all I need to do is prick my finger." (Of course because it's the comedy path he still gets possessed by the ancient evil robot's ancient evil robot soul at the end.)

In related news, what the actual hell, Starswirl? You must have worked super hard at magic to make something so functional you had no clue about.

...wow....i'm rather sad its over...

5546089

Thanks!

I have a special place in my heart for David Lynch's film "Eraserhead." It's the only film I know of that everybody should see once and then never look at again...

5546298

Blood drinking robots:

Are the best kind of robots. My take on Starswirl is that he was really good at the sorts of magic he understood but that he had no idea any other sorts of magic even existed. That's how Twilight was able to complete his spell and get her wings and all: she was looking at it from a perspective that would never have occurred to him.

5546322

Thanks!

I've got to say that I'm glad it's done. I try to make each of my stories here on FimFiction into an experiment, but this one took me some places I'm not sure I'd wanna visit again. :twilightoops:

Mike

i necer imagined faving a cupcakes story. Bravo. Hope you win!

Well, this is a nicely ominous opening!

Gyaaaah! The contrasts are great, making the darkness stand out so much better.

I have the weirdest (and almost certainly very inaccurate) feeling this is going to end up with four Alicorn cenobites straight out of Hellraiser...

I didn't expect it to end like this, but... it's a good, if gruesome, ending for a good, if gruesome, story.

I thought Omelas was involved in the inspiration here. In any case, you took the "Pinkie reveals her true nature to Twilight" twist on this concept and did it far, far better than I did, and in a way closer to the original. Excellent work all around. You actually left me with high hopes for the future; ancient chthonic entities of suffering and equivalent exchange are one things, but Twilight Sparkle is quite another.

Thank you for this.

(As a bonus, when I reached the end of the story, "A True, True Friend" started playing on my iTunes. Morbidly appropriate.)

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Thanks, folks!

I'm kind of gingerly looking forward to seeing the stories inspired by this prompt and the others in the contest--even the "mostly offstage" gore I used here is skirting the line for me, to tell the truth. :twilightoops:

Mike

I'm glad I ended up making myself read this, as I ended up liking it. Thank you. :heart:

5549873

You're welcome:

I'm starting to warm up to it a little myself, I think... :pinkiehappy:

Mike

5551331

Is the "Slice of Life" tag a pun to boot?

It's certainly the first time I remember seeing that one alongside "Gore".

Weirdly uplifting. Well done!

Upvoted.

Although now I'm thinking: considering that having bystanders witness the torture helps, would we eventually have a situation where every acquaintance of a princess have to watch while she's tortured?

More to the point, how much time would be gained that way?

And with the princesses rotating in this duty, would all this truly be so bad, to prevent the suffering of millions?
(And is it only princesses who can be tortured but not killed? Inquiring minds want to know)

(Yeah, in another life I probably was one of the Discworld necromancers who cut down the liters of virgin blood involved in demon summoning to a couple thimbles of rat's blood)

5551606

Just about the first thought:

I had when I came up with this idea was how "Slice of Life" was the perfect way to describe it. :pinkiehappy:

5553043

I remember distinctly thinking that I should address this point by making a certain amount of secrecy an operating condition for the Panacea spell to work, but it looks like I never actually wrote it into the story. I could slip it in at the top of part five pretty easily--might be I'll sneak in there and do that right now... :scootangel:

Mike

This was pretty cool cupcakes with a twist.

5553815 Nice! I'd say you've fleshed out the idea nicely from that , but that would be gilding the lily.


Also, kudos for this particular knife-twist.

Twilight's mouth went dry. "Both of them?" she managed to ask.

"Just Bon Bon," Panacea answered, and this time, there was nothing of Pinkie about her at all.

Ouch...

I wrote a review of this story. It can be found here.

EDIT: Dammit, I meant for this comment to go on chapter 2.

You've got a real problem with the end of chapter 2. A horror story stirs up powerful emotions because it whips us in 2 directions at once: There is some horrible thing that we don't want to look at, but there is no way out; we must go through it. I mean we, the readers. The characters have to be forced to confront something horrible. The readers have to be forced too, but in a different way.

In this case, we know something horrible will happen in chapter 3. What is our motivation for turning the virtual page? To find out how Twilight will solve the problem. Which I'm pretty sure she will. So here, at the end of chapter 2, we're told that we're going to be introduced to some good pony and watch them be tortured, and if we suffer through that long enough, as a reward we'll get to see Twilight come up with some clever magical loophole.

That's not enough of a reward for me. I don't want to look. I don't know this pony yet and don't want to. A basic rule of fiction is that you make the audience care about a character first, then you give that character a problem. Here, you've told us some pony is going to be tortured before even introducing us to that pony. Well, gee, now I don't want to turn the page and meet that pony. I'm onto you.

A typical horror story--and there are exceptions, like "The Cask of Amontillado"--piles on suspense and mystery and human caring and then forces us to go through the horror to resolve it. Here, everything is already resolved. This is what we know:

- Pinkie has a terrible secret
- But Pinkie has a good reason for it
- Pinkie tortures innocent ponies
- She does this to bring joy to the rest of Equestria
- Celestia & co. agree that they should do this
- Pinkie will pick another innocent pony
- Pinkie will torture it
- Twilight thinks she might be able to solve the problem
- The other princesses think Twilight might solve the problem

This was all told us in the least-suspenseful order possible, as if you were trying to be kind to your readers and not cause them any worry,, but then you run into the end of chapter 2, where you need to push us through the torture, and you've got very little left to push with. Any other order would create more suspense. Like:

- Pinkie has a terrible secret
- Pinkie tortures innocent ponies
- Pinkie picks another innocent pony
- Pinkie tortures it
- Celestia is in on it
- Pinkie does this to bring joy to the rest of Equestria
- The other princesses think Twilight CAN'T solve the problem
- Twilight thinks she might be able to solve the problem

Wow,

I have to say, I didn't want to read the story, because its subject nature is not my cup of tea. But you are one of the writers I most enjoy on the site, so I decided to anyway. I'm glad I did, I think you hit upon Twilight's reaction to such a situation nearly perfectly. The story also hit on several themes I wish more fiction explored.

Nothing is black and white, everything is a spectrum of gray.
No easy solutions, and what solutions there are always come with a price.
Solutions that work are not always the best solutions there are.
Progress is a continuous struggle along a path that never ends, and just because you find an answer to a problem doesn't mean you should stop looking at the problem.

In short, another great story.

5560376

It sounds like:

The biggest problem might be that I don't read horror stories and have never written one before. So yeah, I'll definitely cop to going about the whole thing way too gingerly, and I didn't even think about the structural elements you bring up here. :twilightsheepish:

To me, this is a story about Twilight taking Celestia's place as "The Princess" of Equestria. So my concern was introducing the problem, showing how Celestia has dealt with it, then contrasting that with how Twilight deals with it. The last couple paragraphs of chapter V are where I was heading with the whole thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if I got my through-line tangled on the way there...

Mike

5560888

Thanks!

This one was definitely a stretch for me--even more than my trio of clopfics! :twilightblush:

But now I guess I'll hafta find another genre of story that I don't read and give that a try. Maybe a Western...

Mike

This was great, Mike. Far, far better than the original story, and definitely one of the top contenders for this contest.

Well that's not ominous at all

I won't imagine all the pain
I won't imagine all the pain
I won't imagine all the pain
I won't imagine all the pain
I won't imagine all the pain
I won't imagine all the pain


...I imagined the pain :unsuresweetie:

"Then I think I need to stay and watch."

...Wat

Oh man. I loved this one. I'd really love to see a continuation, too. It felt nicely wrapped up for what this short story wanted to do, but it feels like there's excellent potential for continuation. Great stuff.

What is the sacrifice of one compared to thousands?
Too. Damn. High.

5547449 me to
Pinhead: I don't know...
Silence, or I close the door

Amazing use of magical properties, this is beyond amazing, this is divinely dark

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Thanks, folks:

Now that the story's been officially bounced from the contest, I've got some revisions I wanna make here and there--mostly to chapters four and five. Heck, it could even continue, now that I think about it... :pinkiehappy:

Mike

5618321 Well that would be cool to read

It's a real shame that I've read so few of your stories, because if this one is any indicator I'm missing out on a lot. This story absolutely nails the atmosphere - it's easy to sympathize with all of the characters and imagine the pain that Celestia and Twilight felt, despite how little description you provided. I especially loved the use of onomatopoeia, it makes the torture sound/feel so much more horrifying.

I'm really glad to see that it's tagged incomplete, though I'm curious as to what direction it could move towards. :pinkiehappy:

5728080

Thanks!

I seem to have started dividing my stuff between my two pseudonyms. The longer stories end up over here under AugieDog while the short pieces I've been doing based on the prompts from The Writeoff Association all live over at Baal Bunny.

With Panacea, it started off as a short story for the most recent Dangerous Game contest, but after it got bumped, I decided to follow it to its ultimate conclusion once I get done with a non-Pony story I've got to finish before the end of April. And by "ultimate conclusion," I do mean the farthest reaches of time and space... :pinkiehappy:

Mike

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I think this is off to a good start!

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NO NOT BON BON D:

I am so impressed by Twilight in this.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

#protectbonbon ;_;

I'm impressed with your ability to be dark in all the right ways.

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Author Interviewer

5732856
This is a complete story, though! :O You should consider making any extension into a sequel instead.

5797804

This has now:

Been de-oops-ified. Thanks!

Mike

5797877

My current thinking:

Calls "Diagnosis" here Part One of the whole adventure. The next five chapters, then, would be Part Two, "Prescription," and would follow Pinkie and Twilight letting the other four of Our Heroines in on the whole Panacea thing and six of them resolving to put an end to it once and for all. And the last five chapters would be Part Three, "Cure," as they travel into the spaces-between-space to give the Lovecraftian beings there the "Discord or Tirek" choice. :twilightsmile:

Mike

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5798451
Frikkidy sweet buns :D

Cupcakes, with a plot, and self sacrificing heroism. I am impressed! :pinkiehappy:
Just not looking forward to 5 years from now! :twilightoops:

"Oh, that's not what I'm saying 'no' to." Twilight held up a hoof. "I mean, I don't object to you taking my place on the table, Princess. It's just that, if you do—" She prodded at the partially formed theory in the back of her brain and hated the conclusion her studies all now seemed to be pointing her toward. "Then I think I need to stay and watch."

Meheheh...

5602366 One life it's priceless after all.

~Leonzilla

6029513 Exactly, all life is precious and to think that you can sacrifice it is abhorrent.

But to sacrifice your own life to save another is noble, if foolish.

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One of the things:

I hope to address when I can get back to this story is the idea both Twilight and Celestia touch on--just what does it mean to be a princess among ponies?

Mike

6034030 Sounds like something I'll be waiting for with baited breath

A guess of what's going on, before I read the next chapter: Pinkie is going to reveal to Twilight that they're fictional.

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