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bookplayer


Twilight floated a second fritter up to her mouth when she realized the first was gone. “What is in these things?” “Mostly love. Love ‘n about three sticks of butter.”


T

Ponies expect certain things from a mysterious shop that appears at the end of a lonely side street, and Old Gob does his very best to provide that experience. The candlelight flickers, a thick layer of dust coats items of dark and fantastic powers, and the door creaks ominously as ponies enter and leave with their purchases to discover the costs and rewards. Of course, sometimes the costs outweigh the rewards.

They certainly did for Twilight Sparkle and her friends. So when they manage to get to the shop right before it closes and disappears, they aren't going to leave until they get a refund.

(Fic contains a small amount of comedic TwiJack shipping.)

Second place winner for the February Writeoff Association prompt "Closing Time."

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 129 )
bats #1 · Feb 16th, 2015 · · ·

I'm gong to have difficulty not calling Fluttershy 'Seymour' from now on.

Loved this fic when I read it in the writeoff, so glad to see it here.

I've always enjoyed characters that specifically try to invoke tropes, and Gob is a very amusing example of such.

5633668
The real reason Equestria Girls isn't live action is that Rick Moranis retired.

5633680
Thanks!

twilight doesn't seem to understand that she has the power to detain both him, and the items in that store until such time that a proper investigation can be completed. if police men can do it, then a princess of a country definitely can.

5633753
That depends on the Constitution of Equestria.

I really liked this fic. This deserves a sequel of which I'm unsure on how it would go down.

5633762 yeah, i guess. but even if the princess have something like what america has, i can't see them not having that power. to me, it just wouldn't make sense. but then again, that's me.

still, it was an awesome story!

bats #9 · Feb 16th, 2015 · · ·

5633789

Twilight wasn't able to do anything when Rainbow Dash accidentally sold Fluttershy into indentured servitude—a recognized form of slavery—against her will. Methinks the legal system of Equestria doesn't follow American laws.

5633806 she couldn't because it was a 'fair trade.' stupid, i know. but that's kind of recognized even in the real world. and she wouldn't be doing anything against the purchase itself, but would be stopping him from continuing with his business until she could get an investigation going. see what i mean?

5633814
Just wanted to point out that what Gob is doing is legal, in terms of selling the items. Twilight is just unsatisfied and wants a refund. An argument that Twilight can make, and she intends to make to the Magical Retailer Licensing Board, is false advertising, though Gob claims the nature of the shop should be enough warning for its contents.

This was really excellent. I can't remember the last time a comedy on this site had me laughing so much. It even has puns, which I wasn't expecting (for all that ponydom is replete with them).

'cause I'm all writerly (or should that be Writerly), I do want to mention two other things, though:

(1) Using Old Gob as a perspective character was genius. Which isn't to say it was an unexpected choice, but it was unquestionably the right choice. This story would have been quite a bit less good if you'd centered it on someone else. Choosing to tell a story involving all of the Mane Six but using an OC perspective is something I suspect many authors wouldn't shoot for, but good on you for doing so. I was really pleased with that.

(2) Not a whole lot to say here, but I think this is the best writing I've seen from you, on a lower-level technical side. I'm usually impressed with your skill on structure, characterization, etc, but this reads better than I remember your writing usually reading. Which also made me happy. And which isn't to say I don't usually like your writing. I do—but there are certainly other writers whose prose I like better. That's still true, but to me this felt like it came in a noticeable notch higher, and that was great to read.

So all around, great job! And congratulations on getting second (/beating me out of second) on this month's write-off!

This was excellent. I've only had a chance to skim-read it on my phone so far, and I'll be sure to give this a proper thorough read-through once I get home and have access to a stable internet connection and a proper keyboard. But from what I've seen, I know I'll probably enjoy it even more.

Also, side note, but this felt very Terry Pratchett for me (which is a good thing). From the description to Gob's attitude to the prose in general... though this may be influenced from just finishing Good Omens a few hours ago. Either way, great story. I can't stress that enough.

It feels really good to come here to say, "Great in the writeoff, and great here," and have been beaten to it twice already. :twilightsmile:

This was awesome! Cheered me up a lot! Thanks! It reminded me of a shop I once made fro a D&D campaign, "Jervik's Second Severed Hand Adventuring Goods Emporium and Mortuary."

Very amusing. I loved the feeling of recognition as I saw what each cursed item was about to be. Especially Audrey II.

Was the Amulet of Malfortuna supposed to represent any particular tale, or just some generic cursed amulet?

*Alondro gets the Monkey's Paw*

Heh heh heh heh... no matter how my wishes are twisted, I still win... For I have mastered Xanatos Roulette! :trixieshiftright:

5633806 And we all know Spike is basically a slave... :trollestia:

5633753 Nah, according to THAT ONE COMIC, Twilight can't even use her magic to stop criminals in the middle of the act of committing a crime.

Even though that's utterly retarded... :facehoof:

Isn't Twilight a princess? Couldn't she just make selling this stuff illegal?

5634953 Yes, but Twilight is "lawfull stupid" to use a D&D term. Even if she liked her positron, I doubt she would decree stuff. Additionally even if she was the sort to decree things to solve her problems, she wouldn't do it for everything. Twilight is too intelligent to do that, she knows that laws have far reaching consequences, especially in a complex legal system like we assume Equestria has.

And I can see Tirek finding this place with the old pony going into a total panic...

This was awesome.
An amazing read, even the second time around.

That was stupid. Kissing sleeping mares was no basis for a relationship. True love came from a steadily growing emotional connection between two ponies, not some farcical cure for cursed fruit.

VS.

"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony." —Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I love you

Holy shit, your fic currently has a 1:2 like to view ratio.

What is this?

I wonder if Gob knows about his competition? The Alicorn Amulet being a relatively high-profile artifact, I can see why he might need that no refunds policy. Business must be killer.
EDIT: Or, re-reading the description of Gob, has he relocated? It didn't seem like Trixie was getting her merchandise in Ponyville...

Rainbow Dash shrugged. “With all the ‘sure, Twi!’ and ‘whatever ya’ say, sugarcube!’ and ‘will do!’ whenever Twilight wants something? Plus you keep saving her life, and you’re always real quick to apologize to her when you mess up.” She smirked. “What I’m saying is you’re a tiny bit more subtle than Spike.”

Dashie has a point. If AJ is attracted to mares, she's definitely attracted to Twilight. And it started in the Season One opener, so they've been showing this since the start of the series. Applejack definitely likes Twilight a lot, and has since they first met.

But why would AJ be subtle anyway? She's Honesty.

Princess Twilight shook her head. “Even so, what if I wasn’t interested in mares?”

Rarity raised an eyebrow. “Twilight, darling, all of your closest friends and associates are female. You seem fonder of your sister-in-law than your brother is. And the only male you’ve ever shown the slightest interest in was that… monkey boy through the mirror, and that hardly counts.”

Ouch. :twilightblush: :rainbowlaugh:

Dark Magic isn't inherently evil, or it would be called Evil Magic.

5635290 the shop vanishes everytime he closes and reappears somewhere else randomly in the world when he opens. he wasn't in ponyville when Trixie shopped there, but he was for this story

At least Gob is a little more up front with his items than the wizard that runs Spells r Us. (google it. but be warned that some SRU tales are NSFW)

I'm spellbound to this wonderful story :pinkiecrazy: I do love stories involving strange magical cursed objects. They're even better if the victim manages to figure out a loophole.

5635548 Now I just had to go and look those up, and now I don't like cursed object stories anymore. :twilightangry2:

D'aaaw! Now I really want to see Flutters and Gizmo!

....Hehehehehehehe,,,,

After reading this, Bookplayer, you owe me a new set of sides. This story is indeed (dubiously) enchanting.

“Next you’re going to want me to put a warning label on the magic lamps, beware of djinn?"

“So you’re selling cursed mustard now, too?”

For this joke, I offer you my condiments.

i.imgur.com/icDAk.gif

This was too good. I can't even give you feedback because I keep giggling whenever I try to think over it again.

This was a really funny and enjoyable read. I loved the classic cursed items and the Twijack element was very well done. Overall, great comedic exploration of a classic trope. :twilightsmile:

Dust, heavy incense, flickering candlelight, shelves of jumbled objects with a few of the exotic, higher price point items kept in an even more cluttered back room. It was all part of the appeal of a mysterious shop that appeared and disappeared without warning. He was selling more than enchanted items of a dubious nature, he was selling an experience.

HE GETS IT.

5633839

Just wanted to point out that what Gob is doing is legal, in terms of selling the items. Twilight is just unsatisfied and wants a refund. An argument that Twilight can make, and she intends to make to the Magical Retailer Licensing Board, is false advertising, though Gob claims the nature of the shop should be enough warning for its contents.

I have no idea what the law is like in America, but in Australia Gob is totally breaking the law. It doesn't really have anything to do with the buyer being unsatisfied, and more to do with what explicit and implicit promises the seller made when he sold them. See, unless all the items specifically stated what they would do, then the fact remains that they cannot perform as advertised, or to an acceptable standard assumed by a layperson. As its written, this is an open and shut case of false advertising, but it goes even further than that, its illegal to make a false or misleading impression. To quote the ACCC, "Businesses are not allowed to make statements that are incorrect or likely to create a false impression" which Gob more or less outright states he does. Furthermore, also from the ACCC "For example, businesses cannot make false claims about...the sponsorship, performance characteristics, accessories, benefits or use of products and services". So yeah, suuuuper illegal.

This is grounds for a refund regardless of what the seller says. In fact, I think its actually a fine-able offense to even claim the contrary. I guess it comes down to expectations, and yes I guess that is somewhat covered by what Gob says about the nature of the shop but it still remains that the items all had unadvertised negative aspects that a layperson would not be reasonably expected to assume and this story makes it clear Gob went out of his way to avoid advertising these un-assumable functions.

....anyway, all of this is moot because, like I said, that's only applicable to Australia, and the laws are probably very different in America, to say nothing of the laws in Equestria. Still, just an observation I'd thought I'd make.

This was an outstanding little story :)

5635987
The only impression Gob is really trying to present is that he's running a creepy shop full of mysterious magical items. He's actually trying to exaggerate the true impression. The question is whether that and his phrasing of "dubiously enchanted" are enough to warn ponies that the things they're buying are not what they seem.

All of the items did work as advertised-- as he says, the apple brought Applejack her true love. Just not in the way she expected. Rainbow Dash was made a Wonderbolt. Fluttershy was enjoying her plant, and he and Twilight went over the legalities of possession of the Neighcronomicon. They just have... side effects, but finding those (he argues) is part of the experience.

I love this story. It could very well be the basis for an entire 'verse of hilarious stories.

I just love how Twilight is familiar with the shop and how it works. It has a reputation, I imagine there are advisories put out for it and the moving nature of the shop is to temporarily avoid reprisals more than anything else.

That is, unless there is a whole collection of shops that magically move around Equestria because they are so specialized that they can only expect a few jobs per town. That'd be an interesting premise.

Reminds me in the story "Chasing The Moon" by A. Lee Martinez of the Mexican restaurant that randomly disappears and reappears, and anyone caught inside while it moved is never seen again, but is considered an acceptable risk because they make the best tacos.

She definitely looked like she was asleep, Twilight assured herself, which was a relief because when it came to uncomfortable fetishes the alternative would be one of the few things worse than being exclusively into humans.

This, this right here was where you completely had me. (I actually had to stop reading right there just to favourite.)

Priceless.

This is absolutely stellar. Great comedy, fun classic references, and just all around a good read. I'm a wee bit disappointed that we didn't see Celestia arrive to take the Neighcronomicon, but I won't hold that against you.

“The Neighcronomi— NOPE!”

Curious; that's exactly my reaction to the pun too. :rainbowlaugh:

"If AJ wants to talk to a pony, she's gonna talk to 'em. She's got a lasso."

:ajsmug:

“Feed me!” A deep voice boomed.

oh crap :twilightoops:

“Oh Pinkie, look at this cute little thing!” Fluttershy said, holding a furry, brown and white creature the size of a teddy bear, with big eyes and huge pointed ears.

:twilightoops: :twilightoops: :twilightoops:

Bookplayer, please never cease being your awesome self. This is brilliant.

She definitely looked like she was asleep, Twilight assured herself, which was a relief because when it came to uncomfortable fetishes the alternative would be one of the few things worse than being exclusively into humans.

Well excuse ME princess. You aren't much of a catch yourself.

*storms off in a huff*

“Fluttershy… I have something that I need to talk to Princess Celestia about containing. Maybe I can talk to her about someplace safe to move the plant.”

“Where somepony can feed him properly?” Fluttershy asked, with large, sad eyes.

Well, if she's going to be talking to Celestia about moving the plant, just feed it Blueblood. Heck, if anything he'll taste so bad it'll turn the plant off pony blood.

Was this really just a one shot? Please don't tell me this was just a one shot. Please tell me this was the first chapter in an amazing story that will go on.

Yeah, I can see why he's having trouble. He doesn't have professionally dribbled candles, or an ominous creature's skull with a raven on it.
Cutting costs like that'll definitely bring in the wrong kind of customer. The kind that want... refunds. Or worse, enchanted items that aren't of dubious nature and intent!

This story is amazing, though. I loved all the references, and the humour is handled very well. Great job.

But what did the Swan Cloak do? I want to know.

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