• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Cold in Gardez

Stories about ponies are stories about people.


It's every young filly and colt's dream -- the moment they get their cutie mark. It is the instant they leave childhood behind.

For Firecracker, getting his cutie mark was a dream come true. Literally: he woke up, and there it was.

Now if only he could remember what his dream was about.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 39 )

Very nice!

Comedic and a ton of good similes and metaphors.

Dramatic and mysterious.
Touching and lovely.

Amazing, keep it up!

Posh #2 · Sep 29th, 2016 · · 1 ·

Pre-read comment: This was one of my favorite entries from the July Write-Off, and I'm excited to see it up here at last. Can't wait to read it again. :twilightsmile:

This means a lot to me, being a lot like he is. Thank you. Being adopted, that is.

Mireille was adorable! It's nice to see that Firecracker has such a good family. (Seeing the slightly-older-and-wiser CMCs was also nice!)

Uh. Okay.

So his special talent is figuring out he's adopted and being cool with it.

That's gonna come in handy for the rest of his life.

This was very beautiful. It is the best story I have read in months. liked the overall symbolism.

He could be a genealogist.


Are you saying love's not important?

After a moment, she spoke again. “Did you ever wonder, I mean, you know… I mean, you’re a pegasus, and your parents are an earth pony and unicorn...”

Well, the Cakes are both Earth Ponies... and they had a unicorn and a pegasus... so, yeah, pony genetics are screwy.

I wrote a little hypothesis on the possible mechanisms (assuming logic has anything to do with it!) back in 2012 on my DA page. It's also here in my blog somewhere.

Also, I'm curious to know who or what sent him that dream and why. He's somehow accessing information he should have no knowledge of; highly detailed facts arranged in logical order.

Has he gained the power to see the truth of things from the past and follow the history back as far as need be?

Or is he going to function like a living Ancestry.com? :trollestia:

designed for ponies for ponies to put things into.

Extra words!

Anywho, this was touching.
Annoyingly took me longer then it should have to realize he was adopted.
I should tell the wife about this one. She was adopted.

This was good-with-flaws in the Writeoff, and it's good to see not only that it made the transition here, but also the ways that it's changed.

Mireille remains a walking munition of concentrated adorbs. Several kilohugs at least. :duck:

Naming your fic after the best song on the Fear of the Dark album? Sir, you know how to get my attention.
Guess I'd better read it. Watch this space.

This is a very good one-shot.

That was almost exactly what I was going to say!

7605760 I've just developed the sudden and somewhat arbitrary urge to write some story about Mr. Cake learning about Mrs. Cake's infidelity. There'd be the suspicion, directly following the birth, and then some information hunting and conversation, with the conclusion being full discovery, confrontation, and both of them coming to terms with it. There could plausibly be some sort of flash backs to the adultery in question, maybe in reverse order from the conflict inciting birth. Y'know, so that the conception would align with the discovery. Yeah, that'd be neat.

This was a fun read but feels somehow... unfinished. Maybe it was the abrupt end but it seems what his cutey mark was, was answered with a non answer if that makes sense.

It didn't leave me with a way to see how it would define his future and/or what role he would play in the life of others.

This has the potential to be an amazing first chapter and I'm gonna keep it tracked in the hope to see it marked as unfinished and future chapters added.

7607859 They just need to consult the pony developmental geneticist named Helix Splice!

He'll tell them Mrs. Cake was likely impregnated by a cherngelerng. Cuz he hates chernglerngs. :trollestia:


It's a family album. Loyalty and love to the family. That's what his cutie mark means. His family is his passion, not just his parents and sister, but to anyone he calls family, so it extends to even his later life.

Really glad to see how this turned out. I agree with horizon; you ironed out a lot of the issues the Writeoff draft had. I'm especially glad to see that the uncomfortable moment where Twilight tries to slide her tongue into Firecracker's mouth has been removed.

7609472 probably but the other one was funnier

Firecracker turned that realization over in his mind, gnawing at it like a broken feather.

I love this line, and the family that adopted the adorable baby gryffon. Thank you for writing these little treasures for us, Cold in Gardez.

7610820 twilight! da fuq!

Went back to read this a third time through since its initial posting. CiG, you write character interactions so beautifully and the story just flows in a way that leaves me wanting more. I'm sure there's a literary term for it, but you've got this gift of withholding just the right amount of detail from the readers and letting us draw our own conclusions about what we see between the lines.

Maybe it's just called damn good writing. Looking forward to whatever comes next!

This was adorable and touching and full of lovely little touches. When I grow up, I want to write like you.

Author Interviewer

I, uh... I don't get it. o.O The meaning of what's happening has completely slipped me by. I'm seeing suggestions in the comments, but they don't quite satisfy all aspects of the story.

Author Interviewer

Which then begs the question of what his special talent is. c.c Though this may be butting up against personal biases, as I don't consider family all that important.

I think his cutie mark means . . . acceptance. How is that a talent? Well, he . . . doesn't get . . . angry . . .
Damn this incomprehensible cutie mark.

That ending was heart melting. :twilightsmile:

His talent is being adopted, duh.

Author Interviewer


It's the best talent.

A cute and warm story overall, with lots of nice elements. However, the ending has me wondering about why he was adopted and I'm still not 100% sure what his cutie mark means. Even if you don't write a full other chapter, could you at least address these issues?

Here's a shot at spelling it out, tho I'm no writer.
That the book is the scrapbook is clear, and the heart is hinted to be his love for his sister in an uncertain place. Society will test him sooner or later. The sister is innocent, almost a symbol per se, part of his life, from this short portrayal, like how most children are.

Twilight's comments are also relevant. Family is something you contribute to, in addition to being a part of.

I read this a while back, but I'm going through your stories again and book-shelving. Hoping you're not offended in any way by the names — one never knows...

She gave Sweetie Belle a one-sided smile that seemed thin and fragile.
“The real princesses, girls. Not me.”

This was one of those sharp points in the story that really hit me, as it feels too familiar.

In any case, this is a lovely story. You really have a great talent for reaching in and uncovering hidden emotions, and that played out really well for both Firecracker and Twilight.


I was surprised when I woke up to all those notifications! But it's fine, and it's neat to have my own bookshelf :)

This could easily have been so saccharine, given that it's basically a story of good kids being good. Instead it has a tone of somber melancholy, like a sunset, and like a sunset it heightens shadows and throws everything into sharp relief. That's a tricky effect in itself, and intelligently employed here as well.

And I understand Firecracker's cutie mark. It's an interesting metaphor, but I don't want to spoil anything. So instead I'll just note how many ways the term "bound" can be used.

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