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Baal Bunny


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E

While trying to help Applejack with some baking, Starlight Glimmer accidentally shatters a mixing bowl that belonged to AJ's mother. This leads to frenzied research, a discussion of the universe's fundamental nature, several whirlwind races across Ponyville, an attempted theft, and the possible creation of a new form of magic. You know: the usual.

This is the story I would've written for the July 2016 Writeoff Association contest, "The End of an Era," but I didn't get a chance to actually put it together till two weeks after the writing weekend. Many thanks to Blazzing Inferno for comments on the first draft.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 30 )
Georg #1 · Aug 4th, 2016 · · ·

The excitement and warm glow of the night behind her, Applejack waved goodbye to her friends as they each departed to their homes. Sometimes it seemed as if using an ancient artifact to save Princess Luna from the grips of Nightmare Moon was only a trivial side-effect of the Elements of Harmony, and the real magic was in the absolutely impossible things six ordinary mares seemed to kick up every day. She closed the door and gave the glittering gold-tinged bowl a brief pat before putting it back into the pantry where it had resided for more years than Applejack had walked the orchard, although she paused before going upstairs to her own bed.

Opening a paper sack in the corner of the kitchen, Applejack removed the replacement bowl she had purchased just a few hours before, checking to make sure the label was still on it and the receipt inside the bag before putting it back. Tomorrow, before the rest of her friends found out, she needed to make a quick trip to Rich's Bargain Barn and the Customer Service department for a return.

"Sheesh, Twilight," Applejack muttered with a quiet smile as she walked upstairs to her bedroom. "It's just a bowl."

7453242

Thumbs up for that, sir! :pinkiehappy:

I was originally heading in a similar direction with the story, actually, with Starlight dragging Applejack through an increasingly explosive series of magical experiments trying to fix the bowl until AJ finally got her to understand that she was identifying way too closely with the bowl. But things changed in the writing, and since I was doing My Own Private Writeoff and only allowed myself 72 hours to come up with a completed draft, I had to follow where the story went.

Mike

Do you think you would've won the writeoff?

Excellent. This is a fun, fast-paced story that really feels like it would be in the show, and to me those are the best kind of stories. Love how you wrote Starlight, and her eureka moment at the end. Very interesting way you describe how magic works, too. And I like your style; I'll be sure to follow for your future works.

It's really hard trying to come up with horse-pun equivalent of "Van der Waals forces", darn it all. :rainbowlaugh:

You've really captured Starlight's particular brand of crazy in this; I loved it! :pinkiehappy:

(also, thank you for reminding me about kintsugi!)

7453577
7453766

Thanks, folks!

I started researching after writing the first scene to see what ponies might be able to use for glue, and that was when I discovered that none of the current real-life theories about how glue works actually explains things to everyone's satisfaction. And that's when the story went spinning off from where I thought it was going to go... :twilightsheepish:

7453437

I can in all confidence say:

It would not have won. :eeyup:

As evidence, let me point you toward two of the stories that did win: Posh's "'Teach Me Goodness'" and Fahrenheit's "Solitude for the Modern Businessmare." Go read 'em if you haven't: they're pretty ding-dang good!

Mike

Oh, nice! I like your characterization of everyone here, but most of all Starlight's. She frets and feels frustrated and clings to friendship like a lifesaver, because she's terrified of going back to who she was... yet when she goes overboard with that, it drives her right back into her old mindset where she's the only sane mare surrounded by idiots. All of which is reminiscent of Twilight during her occasional breakdowns, but from another angle. Starlight Glimmer is not Sunset Shimmer is not Twilight Sparkle, and it works beautifully.

Also, I loved how the story is both metaphorically and extremely literally about Friendship being not just Magic, but also Glue. (And yes, when Twilight teleported in, spooked by Starlight's spell, I had a quick chuckle at the thought of Starlight ending up as the Princess of Glue.)

7454519

Thanks!

I do hafta say, though, that I'm glad they didn't go with "My Little Pony: Glue is Magic" as a title for the show...

Mike

At the end of season five I was REALLY not a fan of Starlight. Well, not of her redemption, anyway, it seemed way too easy and too pat.

But, after a couple of episodes of season six, when I realised that she basically is still clearly Evil - having friends and learning about friendship not actually precluding the other - I started warming up to her. and I hope they keep that aspect.

And this Starlight - I LIKE. I very rarely identify with any character, but I did with Starlight here (being more than a little bit Evil myself); both her attitude to magic "universe - do what I say!" and her frustrations.

VERY nice job.

7460206

Thanks!

Starlight's omnipresent undercurrent of anger is something the show can't really deal with--like the "Carts Before the Ponies" episode reminded us, it's nice that us adults enjoy the show, but, well, it's not really designed for us--but it's definitely there and something she has to learn how to deal with if she really wants to rejoin Pony society. It makes her a fun character to write.

Mike

I was hoping for a horse-glue reference somewhere, but apparently all glue on that planet is made from vegetarian sources.
Otherwise, good stuff.

7481830

That's the hidden reason:

Why Equestria needs magic to make a proper glue. :scootangel:

Of course, a person could speculate that the reason we've yet to see a cemetery on the show is because they have glue factories instead...

Mike

What a lovely story. Thanks for such a great read.

As much as I'd like to explain everything that I loved about this story, I'm afraid there's nothing left for me to say that everyone else hasn't said. So have a meme instead.
quickmeme.com/img/99/99e48edb66aabd424b8dd07998152e038d7b4a5524ea76619186df99b472e6ac.jpg

7463544
Well said. This is exactly why I like Starlight so much - she is interesting and complex character. Of course the show can only hint at what you called "undercurrent of anger", but it's definitely there. Really, one of the best stories I read in a long time, thanks for sharing! :twilightsmile:

She truly is the successor to starswirl the bearded. That was an amniomorphic spell!

7488840

It's true!

Like Clark Kent and Superman, you never see Starlight and Starswirl together at the same time.... :pinkiegasp:

Mike

the princess of glue huh? alright headcanon begrudgingly accepted

Ah, what a great story! Paced just right for a slice-of-life one shot, and can I just say I loved Starlight's explanation of how magic works, and her internal narration. You really nailed that undercurrent of ruthless pragmatism surfaces from time-to-time with her. Great work!

I reviewed this story as part of Read It Now Reviews #92.

My review can be found here.

7497669
7500207
7522186

Thanks, folks!

Now I'm starting to wish I'd actually gotten this done in time for the Writeoff that inspired it... :twilightsheepish:

Mike

I like this. If Applejack can't have Sad Hat, she can have Sad Bowl. And Starlight's view on magic actually would explain a lot about Pinkie Pie.

7551312

Thanks!

Yeah, sometimes you just have to sit the universe down and give it a little talking to. :pinkiehappy:

Mike

This story should be made into an episode! My congratulations on a very well written story that had me laughing all the way through! :yay:

7558112

Thanks!

I'm looking forward to the season finale in a few weeks since I guess Starlight plays a central role.

Mike

I'm sorry it took me so long to read this. It's a wonderful piece, full of delightful insanity and one of the most valuable lessons Starlight can learn. (One that she seems to be struggling with in canon, actually...) Wonderfully executed. Thank you for it.

7599885

Glad you:

Liked it. As I say above, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with Starlight in the upcoming season finale especially after last Saturday's twisted little episode... :twilightoops:

Mike

Congratulations--I was forced to create a Starlight Glimmer bookshelf just for this story. I never thought that would ever happen.

Congratulations, you made Starlight Glimmer likeable for me. No small feat.

Good story, bro.:ajsmug:

7630743
8010965

Thanks, folks:

I took another metaphorical whack at writing Starlight a few months after this story with a thing called "At the Break of Dawn" if you might be interested... :twilightblush:

Mike

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