A disaster at sea strands Caramel on an island with one other survivor: a human immigrant. They agree to work together, but Caramel's new friend may not be as benevolent as he seems.

Parody by Super Trampoline: The Cabbage Way.
Audiobook by Illya Leonov and Neighrator Pony.
Archived in the Pony Fiction Vault.
Louder Yay
The Royal Guard

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 93 )

Plot holes patched by request of Professor Hugbox.

Hello, everyone. Some have said this should be sent to Equestria Daily, while others have implied it should be burned, along with its author. I want to know what you think. Shall I send it, or get out the gasoline and matches?

It is a good story. I say send it in.

So the pre-readers said this would go up some time over the next few days. Gonna be my first encounter with the EqD readership. I'm getting performance anxiety.

Anyway, I'd like to give a warm welcome to the EqDers when they arrive, and big thanks to the five people who favorited this thing before EqD saw it.

Your first EqD-er is here! Hi!
I quite enjoyed this. :twilightsmile: Gave me flashbacks to Lord of the Flies. It's nice to see ponies being treated as just as flawed as humans for once. Great work!

Oooh. I like this!

I like how it is slightly ambiguous in the end. I mean, we're pretty sure that Alex intended harm for him... but there's a little seed of doubt. Maybe, he really was dizzy and needed a walking stick. Maybe Caramel was paranoid? The narrator's veracity is called into question, thought perhaps not so much.

Good read. :)

Oh god, this is excellent. I kind of saw it coming, but it was intense nonetheless. Short and sweet, and hey. Can't fault the guy- You gotta do what you can to survive.

Although I'm not sure I could bring myself to kill and eat another person.

Thank god, originality in a HiE story. You get ALL the thumbs up for this.

I thought it was pretty good, but then again I can enjoy bad writing as unintended comedy, which this was certainly not.

damn good! cool original mlp/hie theme ive never encountered before, very neat story :-)

777064 I think Alex had ulterior motives; he said that he brought the spear to lean on, but at one point when Caramel saw him, he looked in no way dizzy.
I quite enjoyed this, it's a nice departure from the usual HiE tripe that surfaces every day. Not everyone is all nice-nice.

I would never stoop to eating another sapient life form! My will is stronger than anyone else's!

*is stuck with the Mane 6 on desert island* Erf... 7 days... so hungry... but still strong enough to resist. *feels a bite on his leg* Ack! PINKIE!!! WHYYYYY!!!

*Pinkie grins* Tasty! Ever thought of being a cupcake? :pinkiecrazy:

*Twi* Survival of the fittest. It's scientific! :twilightsmile:

*AJ* I ain't gonna lie. i ain't proud of it, but I'm gonna eat my share of ya. :applejackunsure:

*Rarity* I'm sure it's unpolite to eat one's fellow cast-a-way, but I simply must have protein for my mane to hold its body! :duck:

*Fluttershy pouts* I-I'll only eat a little... if that's ok. :fluttershyouch:

*Dash* DIBS ON THE LIVER!! :rainbowwild:

*me* OMG!!! D: *is devoured by the ponies, who turn out to be Equestria's top predator in the 'real' world! What a twist!* :derpytongue2:

Hey, maybe he wanted to see if Caramel really tasted like caramel.
Mmmmmm, sugary horse meat :rainbowwild::rainbowwild::rainbowwild::rainbowwild::rainbowwild::rainbowwild:
Also, congratulations getting featured on EQD, which is a difficult achievement for many a writer.

770367 Cool story, bro. :trollestia:

Ah, seriously, though, I really enjoyed it. I kinda think that Caramel might have been imagining it, but the fact that you can't quite know really gets you, doesn't it? I loved it. You really expect it to be about Alex thinking about killing Caramel, but instead, it turns out to be about Caramel killing Alex. Perfect. :pinkiecrazy:

The originality, it burns!

I quite enjoyed it, very original, great idea and a great read... take my thumbs!

Interesting concept, a nice, well-written one-shot. The fandom would've burned you at the stake if Alex had eaten him, though.

Watching you like a hawk now.

Big thanks to everyone who thumbed, favorited, and responded! I'm glad to have shown you all a good time. Within the next 48 hours, I'll write a postmortem blog post and try to give you an idea of where the Horse Voice plans to go with all this. In the meantime, responses. I wish I could respond to everyone, but this post would be too long. They all know who they are, though.

I was halfway done when I realized it was shaping up like a cross between that and The Black Stallion. In truth, there are many more influences, which I'll probably list in the blog post.

People are debating the meaning of something I wrote. I am now grinning like a maniac.

You'll get originality every time from Horse Voice Productions, or your bits back. (Exception: parodies.)

In Equestria, the farm animals eat you!

Thanks! But I'm curious: a number of stories get posted there per day; why is mine in particular worth the congratulations? It's of no consequence; I'm just wondering.

Even I'm not sure who was at fault anymore. Crazy, no?

Very generous of you! I'll just get out my trusty bolt cutter, and take you up on that.

Well. I guess I had better write another, hadn't I?

Awesome story dude. Liked the part where Caramel wasn't eaten.
Keep up the swag.:moustache:

Amusing and original! Dashes of realism in the survival content, but flavored with pony.
This fic makes me a mite peckish.

This was refreshing, I'd like to see more stuff like this.

Great story, it reads like a psychological thriller. It seems to lean towards 'Alex was going to eat Mel' and less on 'all a big misunderstanding.' However that's just how I interpret it. Either way, Mel was ready to defend himself. Green thumbed!

This was a quite enjoyable diversion. A couple typos and minor errors, but definitely a good read. 4/5 Warden stars.

I hope Equestria doesn't get infested with humans anytime soon. :applejackunsure:
My .02 - Mel would totally do it. What I found surprising, though, was that Caramel actually tried to defend by striking first. Very interesting approach.

Interesting indeed. You question ones motives may show ones paranoia but denying could be a sign of guilt. Can only find out if you get off the island.

The boot: an integral part of a survivor's diet.

Well, this is new. I was kinda worried he going to eat Caramel at the end. Kinda reminds me of a similar (minus ponies), but very disturbing story Stephen King wrote.

I refuse to believe that he actually would have resorted to eating Caramel xD

Great story though :D

I am glad the story has a happy ending.

I too got a Survivor Type vibe from the story.
(You know when a story is horrifically grisly when Stephen king himself describes it a "[going] a little bit too far, even for me").

There was enough ambiguity to question Alex's motives, but I also agree that he would not have resorted to making a meal of Caramel.

1557552 It's nice to think that he wouldn't actually kill Caramel no matter how desperate he was. :scootangel:

It's not bad, but I was actually more interested in this whole interdimensional cultural exchange as opposed to the story itself. That said, the ending felt a bit rushed, like the pacing was too fast.


Funny you should say. I based it on an idea for a novel-length fic that would have fully explored the concept. But I'm in no shape for a project of that size right now. We'll see how things go later.

(And yeah, I fully admit endings have always been a weak point of mine.)

Well, damn. This one's inaugurating the "HiE fics to recommend to people who hate HiE" list.

I'm going to have to come down on the "Alex would have done it" side of the equation, though:


1) Caramel's correct in his assessment of the "let's not get too close" bit. I know enough about survival to know that Alex's other moves were damn smart in a way that suggests not just experience but premeditation -- with the singular exception of going it alone. Without more context (like ponies killed his father or something), "we might not like each other" is too flimsy to pass the smell test; if they truly discover they can't coexist, they can later on agree to split the island. By preemptively separating, Alex is giving up a source of conversation, warmth, morale, and labor. There's no sane reason to do so unless he's gaining something in return.

(It's a shortsighted decision, too; even if he does kill Mel, the food source is temporary, and the odds of getting rescued between starvation time and starvation+horseflesh time are slim compared to his odds of getting rescued, morals intact, before starvation time.)

2) Alex didn't have to take the spear to visit Mel. He had a second, broken one that was just a big stick.

But the question is ultimately irrelevant to the tragedy of the story's ending, which hinges not on the truth but on the fact that Mel's trust in humans has been permanently shattered. By the time he asked whether Alex would have done it, there was already no answer that would have made everything alright (although a confession might have made things slightly better). Since a "no" could have plausibly come from either an innocent human or a sociopath human, the paranoia that drove Mel to ask it in the first place will never be able to rule out the worst.


>Well, damn. This one's inaugurating the "HiE fics to recommend to people who hate HiE" list.

Funny you should say. When it ran on EqD, I advertised it with the tag line, "No HiE Cliches". At least one person said he would read it for that very reason. Non-crap HiE is my favorite ponyfic genre, and I'm honored to be the opening act. (Psst--this one would make a good addition too.)

>Caramel's correct in his assessment of the "let's not get too close" bit. [...] Alex didn't have to take the spear to visit Mel. He had a second, broken one that was just a big stick.

It's humbling when a reader notices things about one's work that one didn't catch. You may have turned my deliberately ambiguous story into an Encyclopedia Brown-style logic puzzle, but this may be my favorite response yet.

>But the question is ultimately irrelevant to the tragedy of the story's ending, which hinges not on the truth but on the fact that Mel's trust in humans has been permanently shattered. [...] a confession might have made things slightly better [...] the paranoia that drove Mel to ask it in the first place will never be able to rule out the worst.

I... um... oh wow. Truth be told, I was more interested in making readers contemplate their navels than consider the ramifications for the characters. Now you've got me thinking. I'll remember this, if I ever get around to writing the long story whose universe this takes place in.

Thanks for reading!

Very gripping story! I couldn't help but think of Lord Of The Flies as I read this.
Not being very literary-savvy, I can't dissect the story as the smarter people in previous comments, unfortunately.
Nonetheless, great job! Got any spare talent you could share with a horrible writer?:rainbowlaugh:


I wish talent worked that way; I could rent it out. But here's my advice for aspiring writers, taken from my Pony Fiction Vault interview.

Master English mechanics first. That way, you won't write a zillion-word epic, only to find out half the sentences need to be re-structured. Plus, once you know the rules well enough, you can start finding good places to bend them.

Read every damn type of thing you can find – fiction and nonfiction; stuff you agree with and stuff you don't; stuff you like and stuff you don't.

Everyone has his own way of going about the actual writing. The key is to figure out what works for you.

Most important, remember to think outside the box.

Calling this before I get halfway in- I'm at the point where (alex?) steeples his fingers and puts a ban on speaking about their personal lives. I think he's going to kill/ eat Caramel. Could be the most obvious plot line in history- or maybe I'm out to lunch, but I'm calling that.
Edit: Not quite but I think that was what I was supposed to think- Horse Voice, once again you absolutely kill it with your writing! Awesome story!! Thumbs up and a follow for you sir :D


Thank you, thank you. True, it's not exactly a mystery. More suspense, really. Hope you like my future work, too.

I've read a boatload of your other work now- had a trip to and from Vancouver to pick up some students returning from Uganda and loaded some webpages before I lost service; I LOVE them:pinkiehappy: Your writing style is fast paced, well thought out, detailed and complex at a level a very few others on here have managed to produce. Keep up the wonderful work!

wow, that was not the ending I expected! I really enjoyed it, I'm glad it got EQD'd

APS #40 · May 14th, 2013 · · 6 ·

Alex could "milk" Caramel :twilightblush: (but then the rating go to mature).

If this was marked dark or tragedy, I would have been much less likely to predict the ending.

Guess I should try to avoid looking at tags, huh? :twilightblush:


The tag system does make it difficult to surprise people. I admit I sometimes dislike having to use it.

Funny you should mention the ending. Originally, I was going to have them fight to the death. A friend suggested the ambiguous ending, and I'm glad I went with it.

Frankly, I think it is much better for the subversion of where the story was "supposed" to go. There are enough terrible darkfics, something that subverts that is a good thing.



Aah, memories. When this story ran, I was a crazy kid with a dream, and couldn't believe how many people liked it. Your comment comes at just the right time. I've been despairing because my latest attempts at writing a new story have fizzled. Imma take it as a sign. :pinkiehappy:

Oh, and merry Christmas!

Just found you through another author who blogged.

So anyways, I love this. You're getting a watch, a thumbs up and a fav.

The watch might not seem like much, seeing as how I follow everyone who's published something that's on my read-later list. But, this is not the reason I'm watching you. I'm watching you because you're slightly better at writing than most of the authors I've seen on this site so far. :pinkiesmile:

The thumbs up is so I can lave a rating for the story that fits my overall opinion of the story.

And the fav is because it's epic. I have a bad habit of faving every story that's incomplete (I hate unfinished stories), but this is something that deserves being added to the favorites.:rainbowkiss:

edit: Forgot to tell you that this fic added a few words to my vocabulary. That's just epic man.



this fic added a few words to my vocabulary.

That alone makes the effort worthwhile. Out of curiosity, which words?

3715566 I don't exactly remember all of them, but these look like they're some of them.


Yeah, that's about it. Ever since I began reading fanfics daily, I've added about fifty words to my vocabulary, and my reading speed have improved.

Thanks for that man. :yay:

Ah, good to come back to this fic for a good read and to see an example of a well done HiE. :ajsmug:

God, was I really this lame back then? :rainbowlaugh:


I remember that time vividly. As I recall, you were called "God of Chaos," and had zero stories to your name.

It's a funny world. Who could have guessed you would end up in the Top 50, and I would go on to win a whole slew of awards? :rainbowhuh:

Caramel probably should forgive Alex because he was crazed with hunger. I do not know about Equestrian law or the Maritime conventions of Equus, but the Maritime conventions of Earth and US-law state that it is lawful to eat people who died on their own, from let us say dehydration, starvation, exposure, disease, infection, et cetera in survival conditions; but if one kills someone for food, it is 1st Degree Murder.

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