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On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)


Everypony gets sick sometimes. A number will try to ignore it. Some fight through it, even when they shouldn't. Others make sure they succumb as quickly as possible, and that everypony around them knows it. One or two might refuse to admit anything's wrong at all. But eventually, everypony will fall ill.

Seven short stories.
Six sick Bearers.
And one dragon.

(A stand-alone, no prior-reading-necessary part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group: new members and trope edits are welcome. )

Now with author Patreon page.

Chapters (7)
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Comments ( 189 )

The first half I enjoyed AJ getting to act a little childish for once. Then after we went into the attic I started crying. One of my favorite stories here.

You know, at some point somepony will notice that Sweetbark isn't doing her job.

ANd, wow. This kinda toes the line between amusing and horrifying. I'm not sure where.

You know, all things considered I'm kind of impressed with the police department. They took understandable precautions without causing harm. Far more impressed with Mr. Rich. Do he and Spike know each other?

And Roseluck screamed.

"HE'S GOT A --"

I really want to know how she was going to finish that sentence. Technological limitations aside, why would a dragon carry a gun?

<clicks story link expecting a quick read>

...well, then.

Best get cracking.


Two of them are quick reads. And they're all stand-alones, so if someone really wanted to, they could just stick with their favorite character and not miss out.

Oh, no, Imma read all of it. Sleep is for the weak.


...right. So you won't sleep. Which will make you weak. And vulnerable. So then you'll get sick. And as you gently empty the contents of your stomach into the decorative MLP wastebasket, the scroll will appear before you as if in a hallucination, carrying the words THE LESSON WAS RIGHT THERE @#$% IT.

Good luck with that.

"I don't know..." Twilight thoughtfully countered. "Somepony put it on the tapestry that one time." The signature had been too faded to read. She'd tried. A lot.

This one line shall separate the new comers from the old timers.

Twilight versus a machine

That also would have been an awesome chapter title.

Twilight thought about it, and came up with what, under different circumstances, just might have been the worst last words in Equestrian history.

To be fair, they're still pretty cheesy. Awesome, yes, but cheesy. Goes to show what context can do to a good line.

Ah, so Big Mac was a six month wonder too. Amazing how the first child of a marriage can develop in only half the time of the rest of them.

Huh... I can actually imagine a show Fluttershy being manhandled by her animals trying to help. It is kind of a funny image, and at the same time, dang. Mental fortitude. Go, go Kindness!

Its fun to watch a train wreck in slow motion.

so, apparently (and this is just a guess, something might have flown over my head and I have yet to read the other chapters) celestias attempt to rid herself of the worlds ugliest piece of art just so happend to cause the thieves who apear here to get caught? is that right or did I miss something glaringly obvious?

I've probably said this before, but you write one of the best Spikes, period.

Also, very valuable lesson for Twilight. More valuable than she yet knows, really. And that ending... Discord probably felt the urge to applaud without knowing why.

Confession: I had Meniere's disease. You described it well. If they ever find a way to weaponize it, the Geneva Convention will be reformed just to ban the process. I still have some hearing loss and a little bit less balance than before, but I recovered. When you're having an attack, just like RD, you tend to denial and thinking "Oh, it's only a minor episode. It will get better." It doesn't. I've been stranded *twice* after it got too dammed hard to drive and I had to stop somewhere for the night until it calmed down. Thank God for Valium.

Remember when you were on the Merry Go Round and some other kid would spin it really fast until you all staggered off it and couldn't stand up? That's much like a minor case of Meniere's, only it doesn't go away for hours, or sometimes *days* as the cellular membranes in your inner ear rupture under pressure and the dissimilar fluids mingle, triggering random nerve impulses in the balance section of your brain. (Your mileage may vary. Every case of Meniere's is different. Literally.)

Well, I think Spitfire put it with immense accuracy. That was both the most impressive and stupidest thing Rainbow Dash has done in a long time. I mean, I get it, but damn. Rainbow. Dying in a tryout is even worse than dying on a mission. How did you make it work?


The last word was going to be "gem." Locally, dragon flame is fueled by gems, and different types can have effects on the flame itself, including making it much more intense. In that sense, the right jewel can be a reload and weapon in one.

If you live in Ponyville and make purchases at Barnyard Bargains, Mr. Rich probably knows who you are. (Which is a really impressive accomplishment, when you think about it -- and perhaps a minor aspect of his mark.) Spike's just a little more distinctive than the majority of shoppers.

And that is why you actually ask if they had it instead of making assumptions, Pinkie.

Huh. I don't think I've ever seen someone unintentionally apply "Reality Ensues" to a Magic card before.

In any case, a fascinating exploration of a possible mechanism of Fluttershy's talent and the consequences thereof, to say nothing of the quiet strength on display. I especially like how the birth emphasizes the counterpoint to A Thousand Little Murders.

Oh Rarity, your melodrama is so entertaining, and surprisingly poignant. The Nevers, huh? Well, luckily, you didn't die and get actually buried with that dress. That might have forced ponies to reconsider putting you in a museum. Then again... they forced Celestia to keep the tapestry, didn't they?

Applejack you stupid.... she never learned how to do a majority of the things without magic, so it doesn't matter if others can do it because they never have a horn

What's especially heartbreaking here is how Applejack legitimately isn't sure how much of anything she says actually registers with Apple Bloom. Even here. Even this. And on Apple Bloom's end, she's so defensive that she thought she needed to hide even this from her siblings.

This definitely turned out for the best, but it really does highlight the heavy strain the Crusade has put on this family.

Wow. The world from Roseluck's perspective is a scary place in every sense of the phrase. And now there's four of them. Hoo boy...

As for Spike, it's hard being the only member of your species in a given community. Fortunately, he still made himself part of that community, so those ponies not blinded by fear and paranoia care enough about him to make sure he's treated right. Good to see it.

Rainbow Dash is many things. Brash. Arrogant. Stubborn. At times, a blithering idiot.

She also has determination that can, in its own way, outlast mountains. She has incredible friends who only want the best for her. She's more capable of a long view than even she realizes. And she is a damn. Good. Flier.

Way to show her at her best and worst at the exact same time.

Well, as far as parties go, that one probably could've gone better.

Though really, they couldn't just land to get their schedules? Rude.

I swear to god, if police chief is named Miranda Rights...I'll laugh my ass off.

The thieves don't seem too bright. If they succeeded in stealing the books without harming Twilight, she'd chase them to the end of Equestria and beyond to catch them. If they harmed Twilight...well, that's when the entire machinery of the state and two furious demigods come down on them. Always a losing proposition.

As I think I've mentioned before, I think Cranky makes for an excellent grandfather-figure for Pinkie (and potentially several others in Ponyville). Of course, the problem with being a grandkid is that even when your grandfather has excellent advice, you don't always listen to him, and when you do, you're often listening to what you want to hear instead of what he's trying to say...I guess it's fortunate for her that she listened to him during the souffle wars.

And also fortunate for her that despite their grandkids doing really stupid things, Grandpa will still be there the next time you need to talk.

For the record, it is currently about two hours after I meant to go to sleep tonight.

In any case, a wonderful, sweeping example of marshmelodrama. I dare not even imagine that fevered creation. Also, just how long were you sitting on that pun?

A magnificent collection through and through. Thank you for it. Here's hoping I don't contract something in my need to read all of it. :derpytongue2:

Of course the Trio are subscribers to a conspiracy magazine. The greatest drawback of which is when there is a "click bait" title, you have to wait four to six weeks to find out what to be scared about.

And every time he appears, I like your version of Filthy Rich even more. I'd happily read a story where you have him as the main character.

Hey, Estee? Twilight mentions "microscopic amounts," but didn't you say in a comment on A Mark of Appeal that while Equestian medicine hypothesizes the existence of bacteria, they don't quite have the magnification needed to actually see microbes? Do they have microscopes, but not good enough ones? Just wondering.

My comment would have been something to the effect "You remember when the doctor told you that this usually isn't fatal? One of the exceptions is if you give it to me."

7428636 We already know they have the means to make a crude microscope, what with Twilight's lab having similar stuff. So that's likely the case.

:facehoof: Hock line?
:moustache: Sharp claws...real sharp claws.


It's not the cough that carries you off.
It's the coffin they carry you off in.

At some point Fluttershy should apply The Stare and say "STOP. HELPING."

7428395 Don't feel too bad for them. It really seems like they ENJOY being scared.

I know you probably won't ever write a shipping story...

...But if Applejack remains intent on that odd courtship custom of hers, Snowflake might stand a chance if she manages to look past the wings.

I'm very glad a parent was the one who figured out what was wrong with Spike

7428705 I think Rarity sewed part of her mane that was still attached in

Alright I need to ask. Just what is fewmet supposed to mean here? Is there an english equivalent?

Comment posted by Estee deleted Jul 27th, 2016


In quite a bit of fantasy literature, it's the term used for dragon-produced fecal matter.

So basically, during that one exchange, they're each calling the other a piece of @#$%.

Okay... the previous chapter was kind of a struggle. But this one was delightful :applecry:

7429777 Hock line? I don't sew , so I know she is sewn in her dress. But what's a hock line?

:moustache: Ma lady wishes to be alone.....:duck: My gallant knight!

:facehoof: come along Casanova

:raritycry: This abomination! GET IT OFF!

:ajbemused: SPIKE, NOT THAT..Oh never mind

:twilightoops: Spike!

:rainbowlaugh: He did now didn't he!

:pinkiegasp: Did he just. . .?

:yay: get it on! yay!

7430007 if I had to guess it'd be the pony equivalent of a hemline


so, apparently (and this is just a guess, something might have flown over my head and I have yet to read the other chapters) celestias attempt to rid herself of the worlds ugliest piece of art just so happend to cause the thieves who apear here to get caught? is that right or did I miss something glaringly obvious?

Not quite. In Trav(ap)est(r)y, the sisters steal & hide the tapestry, and Cluster recruits the Bearers to get it back in an offscreen Noodle Incident. Twilight is said to have mentioned running into a security spell which she had believed only Star Swirl knew how to cast. So Twilight's aware somepony can work it, but doesn't know the sisters were involved.


And that ending... Discord probably felt the urge to applaud without knowing why.

It's an aspect of the lesson Pinkie still hasn't quite managed to teach her: it's really hard to defend yourself in a situation where nopony entirely understands what's happening.

Read this while still recovering from a bugger of a throat infection, quite apt.

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