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Baal Bunny

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Four weeks after helping her new friends turn Nightmare Moon back into Princess Luna, Fluttershy's still trying to adjust to the changes that have come so suddenly into her life. Because sometimes it seems like having friends can be almost as hard as not having friends...

Written for "Closing Time," the February 2015 contest at The Writeoff Association, the original version of this story came in 12th. The rewritten version here takes place just after "Griffon the Brush Off" and owes a special thank you to Bad Horse for the inspiration and another to Thornwing for finding the cover image I wanted!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 34 )

This was such a wonderful story on so many levels! Each of your descriptions of Fluttershy were spot on for her personality and I really enjoyed how you showed her agonizing over the whole affair. The ending was just perfect....Rainbow realizing her missteps on her own accord and Twilight helping her see the situation. This was, IMHO, a perfect friendship lesson; so well told that I could feel the emotion and hear their voices...that is how I know it was good. Well done!

Loved this, you captured the characters perfectly.:moustache:

The way you portray Fluttershy's anxiety in this is great.


Thanks, folks!

Fluttershy and I share so many traits. it's always a pleasure to slice into my personal casserole of anxieties and serve them up as hers. :twilightsmile:

I enjoyed this version much more than the one in the writeoff. I think the extra exposition at the start, and the transition scene between Twilight visiting and Fluttershy freaking out, helped to frame Fluttershy's reaction in a way that made it much more believable, which was my main qualm with the writeoff version. The various trims and polishing up also made it a much smoother read.

However, there were several places where your sentences were weirdly phrased, such as:

Her gentle smile started the rest of the cold melting away inside Fluttershy.

Twilight's smile, instead of starting to melt away the cold inside Fluttershy, is starting the rest of the the cold. After a moment's thought, it's clear what you're saying, but it is still a bit of an immersion breaker.

There are also a fair few redundant words in there. Like, rich language, which revels in rhythm as much as content, seems to be part of your style, but even so there were a few places where I think your writing could be trimmed.

". . . tumbled back towards the treetops . . ." can be revised to ". . . tumbled towards the treetops . . ." for example.

But those are mostly little nitpicks rather than glaring errors.

So yeah, I enjoyed it a lot more than I did the writeoff version. The character voices were great, the writing captivating, and the story sweet and neat without being heavy-handed when it came to the growth/moral. Great stuff.

Favourite line:

The whole town was in on it, Rainbow had said, and Fluttershy couldn't draw a breath without the stench of those giggles gagging her.

Just for that lovely bit of alliteration. :twilightsmile:

Wow, this was so wonderful. Being rather introverted myself, I can totally understand Fluttershy's point of view in this. The only thing is, I'm not sure Twilight would have been so accepting of this prank. With how confused she must have felt, I think she'd be more likely to get mad at Dash and the others. Well, for a litttle while anyway, she'd probably see the humor in it after a bit and forgive them, but still, her reaction seemed a bit too calm for Twilight.

The cover art of this story scares me :twilightoops:


I'm happier with it, too:

Having it take place during Season One I think really helps. That melting line was my archnemesis all day yesterday, and I'm tempted to leave it all convoluted as a lesson to my future self. But I'll probably get in and fix it in a minute...


A good point:

Twilight should be happy about it because she's read in several books that friends often pull pranks on each other. I'll get in and add this when I'm fixing the line mentioned above.


It's actually:

On the back cover of the Season Four DVD collection, and as soon as I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for this story. But I couldn't figure out which episode it was from! I thought maybe "Trade Ya," but it wasn't there, so then I tried "Princess Twilight" and "Twilight's Kingdom," but it wasn't in any of those. Skimming through the collection of Fluttershy images on the MLP Wikia, I didn't see it, either. Finally, I put out a call for help on the Writeoff Group messageboard, and Thornwing found it in the epilogue of "Bats." The original screenshot has Applejack over on Dash's other side, so a bit of judicious editing, and there we were!


> [this story] owes a special thank you to Bad Horse for the inspiration

That's one way of putting it. :trixieshiftright:

This was one of my high scorers in the Writeoff, though, and I look forward to reading the changes.

To quote Pinkie

"Wowie zowie!"

I just read this (been a while since I read any of your stuff! Been a bit busy) and I totally forgot how deep your stories get emotionally. Another story well done!

5653133 I just re-read that section, nice change. It works much better now. I still think there should have been a little anger on Twilight's part but with her focusing on the positive points of the prank, it makes sense that she isn't angry, well it makes sense now anyway.:twilightsmile:



As some in the Writeoff Association know, this one was inspired by true events. They are, however, events about which I have sworn never to speak, so I had to write about them instead! :pinkiehappy:


I wonder how New Fluttershy would have handled things

Now that's just perfect! Thanks :-)

I just realized that I have not seen NEARLY enough Season 1 stories. So much had to happen off screen that we never saw.

That was so adorable, I just melted a little inside. :twilightsmile:

That was awesome. The amount of d'awww that story has should be illegal. I loved the story, the message and the emotions. The characters l were spot on as well.

Excellent job :ajsmug:

A very good look at Fluttershy before her development throughout the show. Me gusta.
Possibly even better, though, is Rainbow getting a bit of her development right here. :rainbowkiss:



Thanks, folks!

When I wrote the original version of this story for the Writeoff, I set it after the Season Four closing, but that not only made Fluttershy way too timid, it took the revelation away from Rainbow and had Princess Twilight announcing the moral of the story. I'm much happier with the story this way.


With more:

Rhyming couplets would be my guess... :eeyup:


This is how you do S1 Fluttershy.

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



I find it a little disconcerting that Fluttershy has grown more in four years than I've grown in forty, but that's always been the difference between reality and fiction. Fiction hasta make sense... :pinkiehappy:


That was as good as I'd expect one of your stories to be, Bunny. Felt like it could be an episode of the show, maybe a part two to Brush Off.

I've had this opened in my browser forever, and I finally got around to reading it! I'm certainly glad I did, too. It was very well done, Baal, and as I'm sure many have already said, very show-like as well. I must admit that part of me wanted to see Twilight upset at the prank, but I must concede your ending was the more fair one, and better portrayed the moral. It's not that pranks are wrong, it's just to who and how you do it that counts.

Loved all the humor with Fluttershy too. "She only stayed under her bed for a couple of hours"--only with Fluttershy could that be a good thing. Such improvement! :trollestia:


I've never been one:

For pranks myself. The closest I ever came when I was growing up was on April Fool's Day. I would point at someone, gasp theatrically, and announce in as phony a voice as possible, "Look out! There's a horrible bug on your shoulder!" :pinkiegasp:


Ha! Once when I was little and driving with my dad I suddenly pointed to the road and shouted "Squirrel!".

I never tried that again.

Yeah, I've never liked pranks either, though I do enjoy little jokes like the spider on your shoulder (unless it was to someone who hated bugs). To me, what distinguishes a prank from a fun joke is that there's some amount of meanness in it, and I hate being mean, especially for no good reason other than my personal enjoyment. I don't mind getting pranked though; prank me all you like, if it'll make you avoid doing it to others who may not be able to handle it.

Though I suppose I ought to say that those who enjoy pranking don't see it as being mean. Often it's a sign of affection. Unless it's with someone they don't like. Then it's mean, and all at their expense, which in my estimation is a poor way to handle dislike for someone.

I'm loving the S1 characterization of everypony in this story. They've all come a long way, but especially Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.

Flutters is still shy and quiet and introverted, of course, but she's no longer crippled by her anxieties like she used to be; and Rainbow has matured a lot over the seasons. And the best thing is, their personal journeys are parallel, from Dragonshy to Hurricane Fluttershy and beyond. :yay::rainbowdetermined2:



When I first wrote the story, I set it after the Season 4 finale, and everyone who read it said, "Cute, but it doesn't quite work." So I went spinning back in time, and here we are!


Fuller review here, but in brief: I appreciated the S1-appropriate characterisation here, and the twist on the letter to Celestia was clever. Nice RD development, too. On the downside, that (together with how upset 'Shy was for much of the time) meant I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd have liked. Still a very easy upvote, though.



As I constantly say, Fluttershy and I share way too many neuroses, so writing for her often just entails me unpacking some of my own baggage and putting it into her saddlebags. And what with this being based on a true story, it was pretty easy to tap into all the unhappy feelings and spray them out onto the page. :twilightsheepish:


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