1. Member Since 18th Aug, 2011
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Hey friends, Dubs here! I'm a tired college student, an EqD Pre-reader, a Formidable Feather, and a sixteen-time EqD published author. I hope you have a lovely day—be kind to strangers!

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It's been six months since Tirek was defeated, but Trixie still has nightmares. Nightmares of being pinned down, of the magic being ripped from her bones, of being thrown around like a worthless doll. It's been six months since Trixie has had a full night's sleep, and all she wants is peace.

But Trixie is fine. Trixie doesn't need Twilight. She doesn't need her family. She doesn't need anyone. Trixie loves being alone.

So why can't she stop crying?


A completely revamped version of a fic written for the Writeoff Association's May contest, "I Regret Nothing," which was originally published under the name Fight Back.

Loosely inspired by the song of the same name by Five Iron Frenzy.

Rated 'Teen' for some minor violent imagery.

Art by Kas92. Thanks to Manaphy, Floydien, Horizon, Trick Question, Majin Syeekoh, Imaginary Valued, and Pascoite for their advice and insights. I love you guys, and I couldn't do anything if it weren't for all of you guys putting up with my ceaseless nagging.

First Published
28th May 2015
Last Modified
28th May 2015
#1 · 99w, 6d ago · · · One ·

Huh... not sure how I feel about this.

Excellent imagery, very evocative. There was just enough of the real in there, especially at the beginning, for it to be believable as real. As to the ending... real, not real? An exercise best left to the reader, probably.

Honestly, up until the very end, I had been expecting that it was Luna showing up in the guise of Twilight Sparkle to help comfort Trixie and nudge her in the direction of finally seeking out Twilight.

Edit: See second comment here, because I wrote this one a little too hastily.

One point of punctuation, though. For the interrupted sentences ("who ruined her life, who stole everything from") you'll want to use a dash to clearly indicate the interruption and the jump to the new sentence/thought. (ie, "who ruined her life, who stole everything from—")

Anyway, have a Like. It was well constructed and well presented enough to earn it. I'll have to keep some of the ideas here in mind for Trixie horror fic that I'm working on.

#2 · 99w, 6d ago · 9 · · Three ·

Beautifully done. You had a strong foundation with the Writeoff entry, and you expanded it into an incredible bit of psychological torment and roiling emotion. And that ending sentence...

Thank you for this.

#3 · 99w, 6d ago · · · Three ·

Second comment because I made the first one in too much haste and somehow didn't notice chapters 2 and 3.

Having read them, let me say that I was expecting the idea with Luna to be more explicitly stated in the story, though one could easily argue inference for it.

Taking in just chapter 1 vs chapters 2 and 3? It does remove the horror. It removes the ambiguity. We do see the comfort and succour that Trixie needs being provided (or at least the start of it) at the end. Now, does that make it a better story?

Well, just the beginning affected me enough to ignore chapters 2 and 3 before commenting, thinking that was the whole deal. Make of that what you will. Do you want horror, or moving beyond horror? Your choice.

#4 · 99w, 6d ago · 1 · · Three ·

>>6028662

I don't think there's any greater compliment an artist can receive than "thank you." Thank you for reading, FoME.

>>6028669

Thank you for your insights, my friend.

On the emdashes thing: trust me, I know. That was a BIG point of contention between my editors and I. Trust me, I love emdashes as much as the next guy—they are quite honestly my favorite type of punctuation (/englishmajornerd). However, for this piece, I felt that a lack of emdashes worked better, as it allowed for snappier interruptions. For me personally, I read emdashed interruptions with a pause. Here, I wanted to do what I could to get rid of that pause, and make the frantic thoughts really smash into one another while still keeping it understandable.

And yeah, this really isn't meant to be an outright "horror" piece. As much as I love putting my characters through hell, I need happy endings to keep me going. If you want to keep thinking of it as a horror, tho, just pretend that the last two chapters are dreams as well. :raritywink:

Once again, thank you for reading. I appreciate you taking the time to leave such detailed comments.

#5 · 99w, 6d ago · · · Three ·

>>6028744

Ah, okay. As long as you're aware and that it was a conscious choice. I'm just so used to it being an unconscious mistake around here with writers forgetting the punctuation at the end or forgetting to finish the sentence (or something along the lines eating part of the sentence) that it's more disruptive as it twigs the editor in me.

I've also been on a bit of an unintentional horror binge of late, which is why this struck me so. In the last day I've read Room To Grow by BlndDog, I.D. Entity by Goldymarg, and Panacea by AugieDog. And now this.

#6 · 99w, 6d ago · 7 · · Three ·

That last sentence tho. That was subtle, but not enough to get past me. :ajsmug:

#7 · 99w, 6d ago · 4 · · Three ·

Oh. wow.

This story is impressing. I like this take on Trixie.

And what could I say - I love happy ends.

So have my like for writing this work. My fav, because it's worth to be read again.

And finally a moustache for this unusual immersing style of narration. :moustache:

#8 · 99w, 6d ago · 4 · · One ·

Ptsd?

#9 · 99w, 6d ago · · · Three ·

>>6029408

While I hesitate to give any sort of official diagnosis, that was what I was going for here.

#10 · 99w, 5d ago · 2 · · One ·

I'd like to meet someone who can sleep well after reading this.

#12 · 99w, 5d ago · 5 · · Three ·

Oh wow. Powerful. Moving. I loved it.

I'm not too fond of dark stuff, but this... yeah, it had a strong punch. It brought out the emotions. Not to mention that I can probably learn a lot about descriptive writing from this. Excellent work.

I'll admit, though, without the happy ending I probably wouldn't have liked it nearly as much. Putting a character through the wringer, sure, if it gets them anywhere; but I need a positive wrapup at the end.

Yeah, loved it.

#13 · 99w, 5d ago · 5 · · Three ·

I really like that the piece has such a strong and distinct narrative voice. The present tense narration helps enhance the unease that Trixie feels throughout the story. The way you describe Tirek's actions makes me think that the story is a metaphor for surviving sexual violence.

#14 · 99w, 2d ago · · · Three ·

>>6028788 I see you didn't comment in "Room To Grow" and I'm not sure if I should read it.:unsuresweetie:

~Leonzilla

#15 · 99w, 2d ago · · · Three ·

>>6044885

It is added to my Enjoyed shelf, and may be upgraded to Favourite if it ever finishes. It's a really well done piece of atmospheric horror, the whole story being a nice slow burn so far. The author calls it a mystery, but the whole thing so far is steeped in decay, and isolation, and dread. It makes very good used of the long-abandoned city in winter setting and there's tons of great imagery.

The protagonists are a wonderfully realized father and daughter griffon pair scavenging through an empty pony city. We know it's on an island, we know it was hastily abandoned, but we don't know exactly why it was abandoned; we know there were extreme racial tension between griffons and ponies in the father's time right before the city was abandoned, but not how they came to a head or why; we also know they're not alone and something is hunting them. Or at least toying with them.

I didn't leave comments because I didn't have anything to add beside a cry of "MOAR!!"

Oh, and I'd also read The Devil's Trick by Soundslikeponies as well before reading this. That was another contributor to my horror vibe.

#16 · 99w, 2d ago · · · Three ·

>>6044946 Sounds good I have added The Devil's Trick  to my to-read list and "Room To Grow" to my "Read if it's finish" folder.

Thank you for that descriptive reply,:scootangel:

~Leonzilla

#17 · 98w, 6d ago · 4 · · Three ·

This......is amazing. Only three chapters but so much emotion. This really needs a sequel.

#18 · 98w, 6d ago · 3 · · Three ·

Since I tend to ramble, I will start by saying that this was exceptionally good. It was an evocative emotional story with a good grounding in a pony's personal trauma. The ending leaves hope in more ways than one, as a personal transformation like what we see is a major first step on the road towards recovery.

Bravo, sir, on an exceptional narrative.

#19 · 95w, 1d ago · · · Three ·

Very well done, overall! Glad I read it after the other chapters came out - the cliffhanger on that first chapter's a doozy.

>>6029116 I just caught that after reading your comment - Dubs, you sly dog... :trixieshiftleft:

Only thing I could comment on that I think would improve this story at all is the ol' 'show, don't tell' critique. I think more steady description and narrative and a little less 'telling' would have deepened the reading immersion. In many cases, her actions/reactions/emotions/etc. are pretty well showcased in a smooth flow - but suddenly, the flow is cut short by a stiff statement that keeps the reader nearly falling out. Definitely not a story killer, but constructive feedback can only help! :twilightsmile:

Thanks for the read!

#20 · 84w, 20h ago · 3 · · Three ·

Now I want to write a story about a therapist with a thousand new patients after Tirek's defeat.  I never really thought about how traumatizing that experience probably was.

#21 · 84w, 18h ago · 1 · · Three ·

Brilliant, absolutley brilliant.

#22 · 84w, 18h ago · 4 · · Three ·

Just when I thought pony fanfiction wasn't worth reading anymore...  Seriously, it feels like it's been years since I've come across a story that's been worth my time to sit down and read.  And that led to a lot of trepidation to actually give this one a shot.  So many 'Dark' tagged stories that are more akin to 'Grimderp' than 'Grimdark'.  But this story...  This story deserves recognition.  Powerful, flowing narration that laid the concept plain right away without being hamfisted along the way.  Very strong imagery that never went so far as to sound like a kid with a brand new thesaurus trying to sound poetic.  And a fantastic ending that I'll admit I would have completely screwed up had I tried to write something like this myself.  Plus that last line!  Such a perfect little twist!

I'm left astounded.  Thank you so much for making this.  Thank you for helping me remember that there are actually things on this site worth experiencing.

And now you have made me want to write again.  :twilightsmile:

#23 · 84w, 12h ago · 4 · · Three ·

>>6028744

An excellent piece. You capture Trixie's character beautifully; both in her inability reconcile her trauma and helplessness with her self identity as the Great and Powerful Trixie, and her ultimate self awareness of how bleak her lot has become. You really did do a remarkable job of letting Trixie's voice shine through in spite of her own dark feelings.

It occurs to me to wonder just how many other ponies were left badly traumatised by their encounter with Tirek? In many ways the treatment he delivered was reminiscent of rape, at least after a fashion. Trixie at least has a princess in her corner, she'll probably be okay now. That may well not be true for many others :fluttershysad:

Thank you for such a thought provoking fic, I shall greatly look forward to your future endeavours :twilightsmile:

#24 · 84w, 9h ago · · · One ·

Hm. Well, it was interesting.

#25 · 83w, 6d ago · · · One ·

Im extremely curious what that last word was supposed to be.

#26 · 83w, 5d ago · · · One ·

"Trixie crawls forward, sobbing, trying to call out for her only friend, but Tirek steps on her thr"... scrolls down page to go to the next page and sees ad for BLACK JESUS! :rainbowlaugh:i don't know why i found this so hilarious but i did.

#27 · 83w, 5d ago · 2 · · Three ·

Woah.

...It's not often that something slams me emotionally.

#28 · 83w, 2d ago · · · Three ·

I reviewed this story!

My review can be found here.

#30 · 83w, 1d ago · 7 · · One ·

Because this is a children's show, even though they've touched on some sensitive issues, I doubt they'll deal with the aftermath of Tirek's invasion. I can't imagine being in possession of something as ethereal as magic, and having it taken forcibly away from you, but there has to be some who would react differently ( worse ) that others. I can only hope Trixie gets the help she needs from these nightmares.

Evocative, original and thought-provoking. Well done!

#31 · 80w, 5d ago · · · Three ·

I NEED MORRR....pls ;_;

#32 · 77w, 4d ago · 3 · · Three ·

Quite well done, I'd say.

#33 · 74w, 23h ago · 3 · · Three ·

Whew.

It's a good thing it's a children's show, right? :trixieshiftright:

With even a little more realism, those scenes of Tirek's conquest could have been far darker... not to mention the aftermath. Even though he was defeated, even if the Rainbow of Harmony wiped away all the widespread physical and magical harm he'd caused... What about the memories? Even if the Elements laid on some pretty hefty mind-mojo to help ponies deal with it, the sheer number of victims would make it hard not to find foals, and even some adults, still suffering to some degree. And what if there was no such balm, and ponies had to deal with it on their own -- or more likely, given the spirit of the setting, with the help of their friends?

That's something I was forced to consider regarding a story I'm writing, and in the end I decided the setting simply had to be pre-Tirek. This story really brings home the reason for that decision.

Trixie is a great main character for this. Her desire for self-sufficiency and the public persona she puts on make it quite believable that she'd be hit hard by a situation in which she was powerless to help herself and as a result had even that taken from her, and would find it difficult to admit that she needed help to recover from that experience. The shift to first person in the last line is great (although I didn't actually notice it until after reading about it in Titanium's review) -- she's setting aside that mask even in her own mind after deciding it's okay to let somepony see her at such a low, feeling vulnerable and not really all that great.

#34 · 71w, 3d ago · 2 · 1 · Three ·

I have to admit, I didn't much like Trixie after her appearances on the show. But, I have been giving her more thought and and feel that she has more depth than I originally perceived. A story like this brings out the insecurities that she has that drive her to be great and powerful. I like the fact that she feels the need to get help and turns to the one pony that would be able to give it to her. I would like to see this story expanded (longer/more chapters) and maybe a sequel.

#35 · 69w, 3d ago · 5 · · One ·

Put the - symbol to indicate he sentence is being cut off. Other then that, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL

#36 · 69w, 3d ago · · · Three ·

>>6772171

First off, it's —, not - :raritywink:

Secondly: >>6028744

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

#37 · 65w, 2d ago · 1 · · Three ·

i love this story!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#38 · 54w, 6d ago · 5 · · One ·

You're sending me pretty far down my own rabbit hole here c.c

#39 · 54w, 6d ago · · · Three ·

>>7104428

I don't got no idea what that means :)

#40 · 54w, 6d ago · 2 · · Three ·

Fantastic.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#41 · 52w, 3d ago · · · Three ·

>>7105322

Nor do I, on a second read. :V

#42 · 45w, 4d ago · 2 · · Three ·

I read this a long while ago, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't really jump out at me as anything special. I like to think that I've gotten better at reading over the past year, and noticing good writing. Bad writing certainly bothers me more than it used to.

After seeing this story pop up in the round robin reviews, I decided to give it another go, and I'm glad I did. The first time, I didn't notice how perfectly the writing set me inside of Trixie's head, not just reading a story but reading a real person. I didn't notice all of the little things, like Twilight sharing a scent with Trixie's estranged mother. And I certainly didn't notice the last sentence, which hit me like a brick wall.

So thank you. Have a like and favorite, long overdue.

#43 · 45w, 4d ago · · · Three ·

>>7296037

I appreciate you giving it a second chance. Thank you! :twilightsmile:

Hap
#44 · 41w, 4d ago · 1 · · Three ·

Huh. I knew the title seemed reeeeally familiar.

#45 · 40w, 4d ago · 1 · · Three ·

This was brilliant. I don't always get on well with Royal Guard fics, which occasionally seem to reward superb prose without similarly superb ideas, but no such worries here. I was certainly touched by this, and even though it's far from being a barrel of laughs I'm glad I read it. The chapter structure... I see the idea, but it didn't quite work for me; I found it annoying!choppy rather than disconcerting!choppy, I suppose. Also, I have no idea who Reese Roper is, which probably doesn't help. Still, although I'm not sure I could ever love a fic like this, I certainly was impressed by it. Especially that last line. Wow.

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