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After a long time--she would be more precise but Twilight has lost track of time--she emerges from the dark of the library. Her candles are burnt down to nubs. There is no food left in her pantry and furthermore, no coffee. So she goes to seek both.

And finds the town changed. Or is it Twilight who has changed?

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 187 )

This, wow... This is just... I can't even... Wow.. I don't even know what to say. This was, in one word, amazing. Like, super amazing. It was thought- provoking, and worrying, and brilliantly written, and everything that a story is meant to be. I am just... Wow...

It is for stories like this that we read. Thank you again and again.

8 #3 · Jun 27th, 2015 · · ·

Good one.

There needs to be a [Perfect] tag, because that's what this story is. Highly, highly recommended.

That was indeed.. dark.

i wonder what the book really is maybe its something like the pony-nomicon in the sense it possesses ponies and makes them less like themselves and more like it

Wow. That was one of the best dark fics I've read, and I used to read dark fics exclusively. Good job!

Very nice, I liked this. Read while it was thundering quietly outside, and it somehow made it that much better.

This is a damn good story. Dark but not without being needlessly so. Twilight is traumatized but her friends are right there. It seems like she had managed to break free of the book just long enough to escape, to go to her friends. She iwll recover, but it is not gonna be an easy prospect.

This is how a story with a dark theme should be. Something is lost but there is hope of renewal.

It feels like an analogy for drug addiction...I liked this a lot, thanks for writing this!

Did anyone else start reading this under the impression that Twilight was either a manifested shade or animate corpse? Because I honestly thought so initially. The actual reveal was a total surprise to me, but very well done.

Why do I feel this is what would've happened if Twilight found the Inspiration Manifestation book that possessed Rarity?

She'd research it, but not remember anything about it, so she'd research more and lose herself in it...

Poor Twi

Twilight, will you EVER learn to do a proper thaumatic scan of a spell or spellbook to make sure it doesn't have any traps of side-effects? :twilightoops:

Feh, and you're supposed to be the bearer of Magic! Bah!

Well, that was thoroughly disturbing.

But the ending... Twilight's immediate suffering aside, there's room for happiness. Ergo, I liked it.


Yeah, that though crossed my mind, too.

6141143 I am baffled I thought this one was kinda subpar...

6141383 I was thinking of similar things, so that's a reading I like
6141537 originally I considered doing that

6141605 huh! I had forgotten that episode! I guess my subconscious didn't!
6141615 heheh but she needs knowledge naooooo
6141712 I like hopeful endings. Surprisingly, sometimes

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

okay why was the comment i was praising the story with downvoted?


One word can sum up my toughts about the story... Woah



The thing that slightly itches me is the nature of the book in question, and the fact it is an 'incidental' object. Who? Why? And most importantly: How? Yet, that was not in the intent of the story. It felt a bit 'stretched' the way Twilight ignored all situations (I realize it's a effect of the spell), but I would have loved it if it started more mundanely, progressively building horror. Anyway, really nice atmosphere building there.

Love the reference.

Maybe you were so overwhelmingly positive that you made someone grumpy (also typos). That happens. I don't think it is a good idea to post 'Why comment downvote?' right here in the story, as it only aggravates the situation. Just like me; I'm replying needlessly.

6141537 Eh, the fact it almost immediately mentions her beating heart dissuaded me of that notion

I thought she would have somehow been shut away for a long time and everyone she knew had grown old or died

Granted, I'd imagine her friends would've rescued her long before that, but maybe they weren't able to

Ah well, still quite a nice read

Argh! Another cliffhanger! Grr!

My heart was about to stop itself...


I like hopeful endings. Surprisingly, sometimes

To me, that's one of the most important things about dark stories. Even if the light is nothing more than a candle's flame, when surrounded by darkness that flicker becomes brighter than it ever could have been. Hope in darkfics are like a stars set against the night sky.
Well, that's what I say, but the only dark story I have isn't like that at all.

6141778 I actually figured she had a heartbeat because she expected to feel one, not that it was actually pumping blood. My starting theory was she died during something stressful and dangerous, and her return to conciousness had her mind pick up from the last physcial sensations it remembered - elevated heartbeat and aching.

This was a good read: Nice one :twilightsmile:

Twilight at last noticed that her nervous energy was joke that--nervous.

Phasing finished the story, I have no idea what is going on.

I think I remember a old AD&D spell like this, catches you until you die. I am suprised though they left Twilight alone. Figured Celestia would have forcibly seperatists her from the book.

I really like your style, narration, and description, but I would really like to see this concept explored in a longer story. Other than wanting to see more, this is pretty good.

Poor Twilight. I wonder if she starts avoiding books on magic/scans everything before she reads it iincluding signs and flyers for traps.

6142033 Pfft, of course Celestia and Luna didn't save Twilight!

That would mean they'd have done something USEFUL!! And according to the show, there's no way they can ever be allowed to do that!


Dark stories with closure are a lot less dark than happy stories that get cancelled in the middle.

6142339 Nah, the sun and moon isn't important or anything.

6142339 Celestia is kind of useless. Isn't she?

6142464 Oh even Discord can make the sun and moon rise and fall! Celly and Loony are just there for eye-candy. :trollestia:


Ah, glad my musings weren't for nothing.

A question though--why wouldn't Celestia take the book away? Did I miss something reading this?

6142502 And Luna is so useless she can disappear for a season or two... and falls asleep during changeling invasions...

About the only thing she can do is help foals with their childish fears. And let's face it, Barney the Dinosaur can do that!

Yep, 'bout the only really useful Princess is Cadance... since she can be used as a projectile weapon.



6142591 I actually have a little headcanon where Luna storms into the Chapel during Chrysalis's villain song and beats the crap out of her


Then, leaving Chrysalis a twitching heap, she goes back to bed

Cue awkward pause when Twilight and Cadence arrive


About the only thing she can do is help foals with their childish fears. And let's face it, Barney Brony the Dinosaur can do that!

There. I fixed that terrible typo for you. :)

This... Is a new level of a breakdown that I have ever seen. Or conceived. Absolutely brilliant.

Twilight on the outside just seemed thoroughly... distant, even to a point where I would call her peeking into her own insanity.

But I wonder; Why the hell did Celestia NOT intervene? I mean, Rarity did have Spike. Unless this would have been another test for Twilight to figure out. Unfortunately, I do not think Celestia isn't really aware of Twilight's unstable physiology. Yet I feel as if that was exactly the case. To let Twilight know that there are somethings that you cannot crack, even with your friends. Twilight has shown that she could handle nearly anything with her friends. Until everything starts to fall on her shoulders. She would need to know when to stop since she is going to be Princess later on.

It just so happened to backfire. And did more than what was REALLY intended.

Or that's just me being deep about it... I don't know any more really. (:applejackconfused:)

As bad as it is, it gets better. Works for me. Well done.


Aye, as wonderfully chilling as the story was, the fact that Celestia (or Luna ... or Cadence) didn't peel Twilight away from the book stands out as somewhat of a sore point. Celestia even knew what the book was, so you can't even sell it as a test of Twilight's character (and if it was intended to be, Celestia needs to be smacked upside her head with that same book. Several times), because she is being influenced by a mind-raping spell.

I know the older Princesses aren't portrayed as overly (or at all, really) competent in the show, but a task as simple as keeping Twilight physically away from the book for 30 minutes or so ... well, it comes across as borderline criminally negligent not to do so.

Doubly so because Twilight would have evidently starved herself to death if her friends hadn't kept bringing her food, not to mention the risk that Twilight could have easily killed the lot of them had she snapped a wee bit too harshly during one of her apparently many outbursts - it really wouldn't take much from someone with Twilight's magical power to murder someone else if she isn't keeping check on what she's doing. Them eventually dogpiling Twilight was incredibly risky as well, for the exact same reason - because if they had angered Twilight to the point of murderous rage before managing to disable her, this would have likely ended in many a funeral.

By comparison, either Celestia or Luna (or even Cadence) likely could restrain a barely coherent Twilight with little in the way of mortal danger to themselves. I can understand them not doing it if there was some mental danger associated with violently separating the subject from the enchanted object in question, but that doesn't seem to be the case - all that was needed was forced physical separation for less than an hour. Something, it feels like, either Princess should have been able to easily provide 30 minutes after they were made aware of the situation.

I couldn't help but feel disappointed. It was built up as some great and terrible artifact that was almost Lovecraftian in nature. That invokes a very specific type of fear in stories that would make the absence of the other princesses understandable. Loneliness and dealing with troubles infinitely beyond a character's scope of frame of reference are par for the course. If that was the truth behind the book, it would be very understandable to limit all possible contact with it, thus explaining why people never ventured into the workspace.

But if it's just some undergrad dickhead's excuse to screw over his classmates? That's hardly a reason for this to have gone on for so long. It creates a great disparity that's handwaved here and doesn't do the final punch any favors. Sorry. You had an excellent setup, but the payoff was subpar at best.


I think that's just one interpretation of the reason behind the book, not the actual one, and I don't think the Why of the Book mattered at all.

The story was more about the nature of false happiness which could be drugs or writing or relationships or magic books.

That wasn't happiness; that was satiation. The book was filling an enforced need, not enforcing positive Pavlovian enforcement. She can say she was happy, but that's not happiness. From a character perspective we don't see her fully immersed in the book, so that's out. From a reader's meta perspective, her own statements are tainted with biased because it's a cursed artifact, so that can't be believed either. That's not happiness. The book is a narcotic. There's a word for that: infohazard.

And the why is very important because the why would explain why no one called the princesses when Twilight was dealing with a clearly cursed artifact. Depending on the curse and the source, it explains that plot hole. As only one is given, I have no choice but to believe that one because I would otherwise have to step into unsubstantiated Devil's Paradox territory. The curse and by extension the reason why a princess did/didn't come is very important.

6142339 My guess is one of two possibilities: the only way Celestia (for example) could stop Twilight while close to the book would be to literally kill her, or they were worried that Twilight would know how to use Tirek's spell and potentially become even more dangerous. (Remember that Twilight was able to copy Rarity's Cutie Mark spell by having watched it be cast once.)

... what the flank just happened?

All I can think about now is Twilight laying on the floor like XXXX at the end of Layer Cake, except not dying, and with her friends not screaming and panicking.

This reminds me too much of a Steven King novel. Especially the very anticlimactic and somewhat disappointing ending.
Also, the issue was serious enough to force Spike to move out, but not enough to ask for princesses's help or even confront her directly? Just doesn't feel right when you think about Spike, just sitting in Sweetie Belles room and hoping that it works out eventually?

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