• Member Since 11th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago


I'm older than your average brony, but then I've always enjoyed cartoons. I'm an experienced reviewer, EqD pre-reader, and occasional author.


Sunset Shimmer weathered the storm. She returned from the darkest depths, and now she has good friends. People like her.

If I haven't sunk too far myself… maybe she'll help me. Then I can help Sonata and Aria.

Please, Sunset.

Thanks to Present Perfect for his help.

Featured on Equestria Daily!

A pair of sequels, of sorts, are posted here and here.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 63 )

That was... touching. Can't actually find a better word for it; did you consider making this a series? I think it would be great.

That was a great read, thank you for writing it.

Woah. There's a lot of things I liked about this story, though I will admit I'm a little bit biased seeing as I much prefer stories where the Dazzlings stick together. That being said, I think you did an excellent job of showing what they might do and Adagio's struggle to reconnect with them is extremely touching. The part with the knife in particular really got to me, though several other scenes got some tears out of me as well.

Overall, I would really love to see more of this. Amber is such a great character so far, and I'm hoping that Sonata gets some love eventually as well.

Lastly, awesome choice of cover art. I wholeheartedly approve. :twilightsmile:

Author Interviewer

So glad to see this finally up. :D

*wipes tears* No words. No words.

So... scrolling through the comments has risen my hopes. Let me see if the story holds as much value as the viewers say.

That was beautiful, thank you for writing it. :twilightsmile:

What does ambergris mean?

7640295 It's a specific kind of waxy substance from a sperm whale's intestines. As it ages, its properties changes to become very fittingly valuable for perfume makers. Extremely expensive by the pound.

I've read a lot of stories, both on this site and in my free time with actual books and actual novels. I've read many genres. I've read drama, adventure, mystery, horror, dark, mature, teen, everyone. I've exposed myself to many ideas, thoughts, and themes that writers have to share.

A lot of those stories did something that made me read them. They piqued my interest, or asked an interesting question, or were genuinely funny, or made me feel something, like anger, or sadness, or hope.

This story isn't one of those stories.

Let me explain by way of going over what I liked.

The battered sign calls this a park, but there’s little here beyond rusting fences, weeds growing up through cracks in the concrete, and a scattering of naked basketball hoops. People only come here after dark for one reason. Well, two, now that I’ve shown up. I’m the only piece of debris who prefers the spot under the streetlamp.

The opening paragraph is one of the strongest and simplest ones I've seen. Just the first sentence alone sets the tone and mood of the piece brilliantly. You get the feeling of this worn-down place that probably has had its fair share of strange comers and goers in its day; it's ancient, creaking and crumbling, yet familiar, too. "Battered," "rusting," "weeds," "cracks," "scattering of naked..." are words that convey that same feeling, of being old, of being worn down.

We also glimpse into Adagio from the first person perspective. Even if we had no idea that it was Adagio narrating, we knew her plight and situation from the get-go. "Debris" implies she is down on her luck, so we know she's in on some hard times. In the context of the paragraph, we can assume that she has been this way for quite some time: note the consistency between worn-down connotation in the first sentence, and the worn-down connotation in the last one. It's a parallel of tone and insight that portrays what we are to see in the rest of the story.

Sunset acts as Adagio's mirror, I would argue; her reflection, in a way, if I may be so bold as to suggest such. Yet, unlike a perfect reflection, we know that she's different in many ways. She scowls when Adagio curses; smiles more than our narrator. She wears a jacket against a hot sun, while Adagio tries to keep herself cool. She is the antithesis to Adagio's thesis, but not a negative one.

penetrate that aegis

Her [Sunset's] jacket is a shield against both the heat and the negativity, yet it is an open garment that is not completely zipped up. She has her guard up because it is necessary for Adagio to face a harsh truth, and she doesn't need to be on the receiving blunt end. Yet a shield is supposed to take punishment, and punishment does Sunset take; staying with Adagio, visiting whenever she can, meeting up where they meet. It could just as easily be said that a shield reflects the pain back onto the inflicter. Perhaps that is what Sunset's jacket means. Sunset knows where Adagio is coming from; her aegis reflects her understanding of the situation. It reflects her experience against Adagio's; it's why she can understand.

These are just a few of the things I liked about your story. There is a ton of symbolism and thematic insights in here that could take a good long while to uncover (one of my favorite time-wasters, incidentally). But now I wish to shed some more light on, beyond the elements of the story, why I can't place it where I would normally place my highest ranking stories.

A year ago was not a splendid one for me, and this story reminded me of that time. That is not to say that I was in Adagio's shoes. It is more apt that I say I was in Sunset's; perhaps I still am. A year ago a friend of mine was indeed "down on her luck," and in the worst way possible. Abusive parents, abusive household, unwillingness to get better. It was only through a toughness I had no desire to use did she come clean with her matters.

Indeed is tough love tough; and that does not bring a good taste to my mouth. In this instance, my friend revealed the darkest secrets that she had, because she knew deep down she had to, even though she was unwilling to accept my help. In that instance, then, I had to be tough on her, in order to make her understand and see a better end.

A year ago my friend would have killed herself out of a desperation for escape. Were it not for a toughness on her that I never knew I had--a toughness, mind you, that I never wanted in the first place--she would have done the deed cleanly.

This short anecdote ended on a high note; my friend, much like Adagio, has gotten better. It has been a year since, and she continues to grow and adapt to change.

In this story, I saw myself as I was a year ago, in Sunset's eyes. And I saw my friend through Adagio's. But that does not mean I was blinded by the similarities. The mere fact of the sisters being a factor led me down the path of still liking the story. Why shouldn't it?

Herein lies the reason why I cannot for certain place this story where I have placed other favorite stories. Those stories made me feel. This story didn't.

But that's not a bad thing. It made me think, this story did; and it made me not feel, because it reminded me of the not-feeling I had a year ago, and the not-feelings I had before then. It left its mark in a subtle manner, appealing to my personal tastes, my own experiences. It is a story unlike many others. It gave me reason to reflect, to think, to feel without feeling.

To learn from our past, to forgive our present, and to not forget our future, is a prime motivator to reach the ends of possibility and try for a better tomorrow.

That, I think, is one of the core messages given to me by this story. Beyond the trip down my memory lane, beyond the symbols, beyond the expert weaving and storytelling, is this simple message.

This story will forever remain one of my personal favorites to have ever read, anywhere. For the reasons above do I upvote and add this to my Favorite library; even though it deserves more.

You have my thanks for writing such a wonderfully intrinsic tale.

7640295 There's an explanation of it in the story.

Nicely done! I'm not used to seeing stories about a sympathetic Adagio. It worked well.

7640318 Thank you very much for your long and thoughtful response. I've been in a position myself where something just resonated with me so perfectly that it was actually unpleasant. That's definitely a positive thing for the author, filmmaker, songwriter, or whatever, and it's unfortunate that it means I can't enjoy it like I want to. The movie "Girl, Interrupted" is like that for me. It hit a little too close to home, and I can't watch it, but it's a point in its favor that it portrayed the scenario so well for me that it gave me that intense a reaction.

Others have waxed extensively on the finer points of this fic- I don't think I could do justice wth comments of my own. But something about this fic was incredibly cathartic. The resolution isn't here yet, but it's on the horizon for Adagio. It's that kind of shift over time from despair to hopefulness that really gets me- and I think it's best symbolized by the bus stop at the park itself. Shrouded in night at the start, and yet when Adagio finally sees it during the day it's not quite so bad.
This was an excellent story, thank you for sharing it.

This is going to be one of those few stories that I think about for the next few days as I lay in bed to sleep.


The world needs more stories with these four. I mean, there's plenty, but most of them are unfinished.

How do you write an insightful fic named after whale vomit?
No really, how? Also it was okay I guess

I like it.

OK... that was bloody beautiful! I would dearly love to see you continue this!

This is a story I enjoyed and I enjoyed it most for its construction and subtleties. The use of sea metaphors from our sea based narrator. The use of lighting and description to set the mood and feeling of our narrator. You do a very good job of using first-person description to do the dual duty of not only describing a scene but describing the narrator's thoughts and feelings as well.

I don't put this in my favorites because the story itself isn't fully my type of story but your ability with construction and narrative does mean that you have a good future ahead of yourself. Good luck in the future.

7641658 It left me spechless. I second it. Please, please pleeease write at least a continuation of this. It's beautiful, heartwarming and awesome.

I wonder if Sirens poop out ambergris in their hippocampus forms... :derpytongue2:

This was nice!:scootangel: I would love to see a continuation. Keep up the good work!

This is awesome, i was crying in some parts. It's amazing how you write Adagio and all the things that are in her head. Sunset being there for her, not pushing but only being there, that's enough for most of us when we have a hard time.

I hope there's more of this, you are awesome.


I had to read this twice to find all the nuance in it.

Gods, I want more of this! Aria, don't give up!

This story is one of the most beautiful things I've read. Your wording, your characterization of Sunset, of Adadgio is perfect. It's been awhile since a story has touched me in such a manner. I found myself not wanting the story to end, but I have to say that you ended the story in the best way possible. I'd love a continuation if you felt the need to write it.

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. And I have to disagree somewhat with some of the commenters: though this story could technically use more chapters, I think that it's perfect just as it is. As
7640547 put it, this story goes from despair to hope, not just for Adagio, but also for Aria and eventually Sonata.

This was just an amazing story. I really do want to see more content like this :) (and maybe a sequel)

Siren redemption is one of those subgenres where I'm at my most critical. I have a default state of zero sympathy for these characters.

I really enjoyed this.

Between the logical consequences of Adagio's leadership style, the poetic narration, and Sunset being a generally incredible human being, this actually made me enjoy watching these three get back on their feet and come into the light... more or less. Thank you for it.

God that was fucking brilliant. It's rare to find stories that pull at your emotions on anything more than the superficial level, even if it's something that resonates with you personally, and this entire thing had my gut clenching.

I don't personally deal with feelings of low self-worth, as I can admit to being very much full of myself, but I know how it feels to be the Sunset (kinda) of this story and try to work others up to what they can be. It's immensely difficult, consuming, and frustrating, especially when the person you're trying to help doesn't seem to want to help themselves.

On top of that, this was so beautifully written, the imagery just so well done that you could picture every bit of everything that was happening and feel the mood. Goddamn.

My God...this was so freaking amazing! This was such an emotional story, that it nearly moved me to tears at the end! I don't know about you, but I'd LOVE to see a possible sequel to this. Heck, a series would be even better!

I really felt for the Dazzlings in this. You captured everyone's personality superbly! Especially Adagio's and Sunset's. It warmed my heart at the end where Aria decided to make the right choice. Perhaps one day, after getting Sonata back, they can be a family again. They can be sisters.

I am definitively adding this to my favs! Please do let me know if you decide to expand on this.

P.S. Loved the Ambergris (Amber Grace) thing too!

This was so inspirational and amazing!

7640338 I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I love your art, too! Man, I wish I'd gotten you in that More Most Dangerous Game prize assignment.

7737479 Thanks for the kind compliment... I admire your work as well! I may have to get involved in another contest like that sometime... I'm always reluctant to commit to anything that will make my hobby feel too much like work, and needing to deliver someone else's vision always makes me nervous and reluctant in that regard.

Well done! In particular, I like the use of marine and maritime metaphors and similes—appropriate for a former creature of the ocean.

Gosh, I needed to read this!

That was a nice read.

It's not too terribly often I get to come across a fic where Adagio not only reforms but is the /first/ one to do so.

Kudos on such a wonderful fic

I wish i could give in depth comments to this fic- one ive done a great disservice by waiting so long to pick up until now, but this is seriously well done stuff. i loved it. thank you.

Just... damnit this story is always so good.

Oh, coming back for a reread? This is the one of mine that I most often reread myself.

Yeah, it was one of the first Dazzling fics I read, and still one of the best.

The part I was honestly most taken with was the way The metaphors felt like they'd be a thing a siren might use. Too often, even outside eqg context, the language characters use really breaks immersion because it doesn't seem natural. This does, and I love it for it.


Just. Wow.

All too often, EQG stories have the sirens coming back as some sort of deus ex event, or even Aria and Sonata leaving Adagio. For their leader to have the courage to pick up the pieces of her shattered life like this is a rare treat.

Solid work.

Holy dang, I should have read this when it first came out. The writing is amazing and it’s emotionally ragged in all the best ways. :heart:

I never get tired of this one. I went a little less edgy with my story, but I respect this one all the same. Actual tears, bro. Actual tears.

That would require them eating whole squids.

8978829 They look like they might be big enough to eat some moderately-sized ones...

This must be examined. FOR SCIENCE!! :twistnerd:

Wow. This was really well put-together. I tend to enjoy present tense stories in spite of the present tense, but man did it work here. Adagio's voice was just excellent.

Login or register to comment