• Member Since 17th May, 2013
  • offline last seen 10 hours ago

Daedalus Aegle

Black Lives Matter. Good things are good, actually. I write about wizards and wizards' apprentices. 90% of prophecy is just pattern recognition.


It's autumn in Ponyville, and Nightmare Night is approaching, when Sweetie Belle stumbles on a mystery.

Cats are adorable, and playful, and aloof, and they know more than ponies realize. Once they were revered as gods.

But have you ever tried to get a straight answer from a cat?

Cover art by iisaw.
Featured in the Everfree Northwest spotlight.
Reviewed by Estee.

"I loved this. It’s atmospheric from beginning to end... a delightful piece, capably written and smooth in its delivery" --PaulAsaran.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 69 )


I really can't say anything else.

I love it! (Of course) :pinkiehappy:

The lump in my threat threatened to choke me

throat There may have been one or two places where the wording was iffy but it wasnt enough to throw the flow.

Damn that ending hits hard.

Very good, very good indeed.

I know I fixed that particular typo because someone pointed it out in an earlier draft and I have absolutely no idea how it survived. Well, it's fixed now. Unless it's a zombie typo that keeps coming back on its own.

That ending brought out so many emotions. In some strange way, this all makes sense. My first cat, Smokey, who grew up with me when we were both baby and kitten, took care of me so often. Later on he passed the torch on to Krista who eventually took to me after a while. Before she passed, Lexi came into the picture and has only recently started to warm up to me, only after our other new kitten Penny also came to the family. Both seem to enjoy my company also. It's as if they all know Smokey's legacy.

I was not aware FimFic had an Opalescence tag. The more you know...

This certainly was an enjoyable story. I guess it is a mark of a good story that you feel satisfied by the closure the ending brings and yet simultaneously yearning for more.

Cats don’t have cutie marks. And there is a very simple, very good reason for that: because cats, unlike ponies, never have any doubts about who and what they are.

They are cats, and therefore the world belongs to them. What’s there to be unsure about?

I love these lines here. It reminds me of the differences between a cat and a dog:
- A dog says "You love me, you feed me, you pet me, you take care of me; I think you are god"
- A cat says "You love me, you feed me, you pet me, you take care of me; you think I am god"

Kittykittykittykitty kittykittykittykitty

That was not at all what I was expecting - but it was fantastic, and it's one of those stories where you don't necessarily know where it's going, but everything makes perfect sense in hindsight. Unfolding backwards, maybe.

Oh dear, what's this?

I'm here because iisaw said he liked it.

One by one at first, then in pairs and in threes, from out open windows and in every alley and jumping down from the rooftops, every cat in town had come out and were speaking together as we passed.

1. "out open windows" is very strange to me. I suggest removing "out."
2. "every cat" is singular. Thus, every cat in town had come out and WAS speaking together. Alternatively, change "every cat" to "all the cats," which would be plural form.

And somewhere along the way I heard that somepony, maybe an aunt, maybe my parents, had decided to take my granny’s cat, who was old and set in her ways, and wouldn’t be happy having to move and live with somepony else, and was likely to die soon anyway, to the vet and had her put to sleep.

1. This sentence is confusing at first with all those commas. I had to read it a few times before I deciphered how it fit together. I think it be a little more clear if you changed the commas after "cat" and "anyway" to dashes.
2. HAVE her put to sleep. Somepony decided to take my granny's cat and have her put to sleep.

I was sitting there slumped with my head on my arm, staring out the window,

... arm? You mean foreleg, right?

Enjoying what I'm reading so far! :)

Oh geez, now I'm tearing up. Well done, indeed. :twilightsheepish:

Amazing story. Very heartwarming indeed. Thanks so much for writing and sharing. :raritywink:

Oh man, that ending. Like a freight train into my heart! I loved loved loved this story. Great narrative and plot building, I kinda had a feeling I knew where the story was going but I couldn't exactly guess. Bravo!

Why are you doing this to me?

No, seriously - this was brilliant - the voice of Sweetie, the subtle details, the unfolding mystery, the cats, the lore-

Just take my fave and upvote.

This was a great read. Sweetie learned all sorts of amazing things from some unusual sources. You never know what you can learn once you're curious enough about something. Seriously, I wish I had some better words to describe how I liked this story, but all I can say is nice work, I like your writing style, and the subject matter was excellent! Thank you!

Oh wow, this was amazing!

The dialogue and descriptive scenes are very well done, and I am upvoting just for those.

There seems to be a mismatch in mood, though, and some scenes don't really seem to belong. With the scene with Discord, then "crazy cat lady" Goldie Delicious, and her suggestion that cats were once worshipped as gods, and that Equestria itself is a tiny, tiny bubble of light and warmth in a vast dark sea, you seem to be building up to a revelation of some sanity-blasting Lovecraftian horror. When Opalescence starts talking, we're going further in that direction.

And then Sweetie Belle gets a new kitten named Mr. Fluffynuff. The end.

The Law of Conservation of Detail--Chekhov's Gun, some call it--led me to believe you were going somewhere very different with all of it. As it stands, the scenes with Discord and Goldie Delicious could be edited out pretty painlessly, unless you're doing this intentionally to subvert the expectations of the reader. Which a writer is allowed to do, of course, but it can break immersion and take us out of the story.

Oh well. I just realized that I haven't paid the cat tax, which is a matter of great import when we're talking about stories that are about cats.


Is that Mr. Fluffynuff? He's adorable.

A wonderful story :pinkiehappy:


:duck:This story has some Opal/Angel fun:moustache:

That was great, very emotionnal without being too sad. You don't give all the details and it's better that way, as it let us imagine how to fill in the blanks.
Moreover, I liked how you keep the shipping very low. Fluttershy and Discord live together but we don't know if they are a couple or not. Even the kiss on the cheek doesn't point towards any direction. Same thing with Spike and Rarity. It's a story from Sweetie Belle point of view and she doesn't have to explain everything.

Upvoted and faved, I'll try to promote it around me, because it deserves more views.

Why won't you help me? Why must you always speak in riddles?

Because I be, what I be. I would tell you what you want to know if I could, mum, but I be a cat. And no cat anywhere, ever gave anyone a straight answer.

To quote Sir Terry Pratchett, "In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods. They have not forgotten this".

Trying to kill us with emotions, I see. It was pretty effective.


With the scene with Discord, then "crazy cat lady" Goldie Delicious, and her suggestion that cats were once worshipped as gods, and that Equestria itself is a tiny, tiny bubble of light and warmth in a vast dark sea, you seem to be building up to a revelation of some sanity-blasting Lovecraftian horror. When Opalescence starts talking, we're going further in that direction.


I had a similar reaction, except instead of ending with Lovecraftian horrors, it ends on a hopeful, protective note. You get a (brief) glimpse of the true nature of the universe: dogs may protect ponies from physical threats, but cats allow ponies (and other lesser beings) to take shelter with them from the Many-Angled things lurking in the Outer Darkness... Sort of like a meowing, purring Teddy Bear Guardian. It is both terrifying and comforting at the same time, like snuggling up to your parents during a particularly violent thunderstorm at night when you were a wee sprog.

Still, that ending with Opal "going home" and Sweetie seeing Rarity one last time was really sweet and emotional

I've rarely been more pleased to have clicked on a story moseying through the feature box. Well played, start to finish. Heavy emotional tugs woven about extra bits of magical lore, all held together with quality prose and pacing. You've plucked all of my strings impeccably.

Some English-language charts I’ve seen do call equine forelimbs arms, presumably to distinguish them quickly and easily from the rear limbs. I use “arm” myself for the same reason, on the assumption ponies would want to use similarly unambiguous terms.

7814834 I've walked side by side with lions.

Sekhmet was one of the most powerful of the ancient gods, you know. :raritywink:

7815366 I know somepony who can settle this dispute. I think we can both agree she's a strong authority on what pony limbs should be called. :raritywink:

at 0:24

7814620 Each scene had a specific purpose.

Twilight explained the equine belief that there was only one universal magic—the Weave—with ponykind resting at the center as the most powerful, being borne from it and rejoining it upon their death. She unwittingly revealed ponykind's fallibility by setting up a foil to the truth. Though she expressed an important fact: Discord was an exceptionally strong creature whose powers surpassed even ponies' power.

Fluttershy established that, historically, cats were worshipped as divine beings. She also explored the relationship between animals and magic, then connected it to cats by describing some of their more otherworldly feats.

Discord hinted that there was more to cats than we knew, and put Sweetie Belle on the right path to discovering the truth. Twilight's earlier admission regarding Discord's power gave his claim credibility.

Golden Delicious, a keeper of history and knowledge, cemented cats as the custodians of equine legacy and memory, hinting at an almost dynastic passage of responsibilities.

Opalescense and Rarity revealed that cats were almost like angels to equinekind, shepherding them throughout their earthly existence, and perhaps even beyond as they passed on to join the Weave.

Of course, considering the end, it could all be an allegory for coping with grief. Maybe Sweetie Belle only imagined Opal to be speaking. Maybe this wild goose chase in seeking out the truth of cats was her desperately trying to find a way to scrounge up whatever vestiges of a connection she could make with her sister. Maybe she was only using Opal as a medium upon which to meditate on her memories of Rarity because Opal was the only living creature who had been there for both Sweetie Belle's and Rarity's lifetimes.

Crying right now, dammit. I love cats so much and this tore at heart strings. :fluttercry: I grew up with so many cats--generations of cats. This story just hit me so hard in the feels.

Excellent work, author. :heart: :fluttershysad:

This story gives me a good, odd feeling. Like I am supposed to have chills but I am warm instead. It is also worth mentioning my cat, Alycia who is currently my icon, had walked into our home as a kitten, purposely and intentionally watching us and waiting until the day we finally said yes. She even tends to watch me as I begin to doze off, only leaving when she believes I am fully asleep. Cats truly are amazing.

Edit: And to add to that, she has the same tabby marking my old cat, Noel had, although I barely remember her since I was young then. And my Mother said she resembles her old cat, Fisher, from when she was only a child as well.


Wow. This was extremely well-thought through. The blend of fear and wonder at the unknown is simply brilliant.


Well, yes. I'm not arguing against the merits of the story, or its emotional impact. In all seriousness, it hits all the right notes. Yet it moves me to a bit of whimsy, for which I hope that I can be forgiven:
"I still want to know what the cats know," I said, giving her Sad Puppy Dog Eyes Look #47, to which Rarity had been especially susceptible.

"We know that the most beautiful sound in the universe is that made by a can opener," smirked Opalesence.


"Unless you wanted to know about entropy, or that there are greater powers in the cosmos than your kind or mine, as far beyond us as we are beyond bacteria, and that they are one and all at best incomprehensibly alien, at worst capricious, cruel, and implacably hostile to all life. Really you're better off with the bit about the can opener, though."

"Well, that seems fair."

"Also, Discord is one of those incomprehensible greater powers. One of his names is Nyarlathotep."

That was my cue. "Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night..."

Opalescence gave me disapproving stare. "Now you're just being creepy. And ripping off Alan Moore."

"Says the one ripping off Lovecraft wholesale."

"You've got me there, but remember Lovecraft was a cat person too. Also, what fun is it to be a cat, if you can't be mysterious and eldritch now and again, especially on Nightmare Night? It's one of our big cultural," she gestured with a paw, "things."

I smirked. "Cutie Mark Crusaders Cultural Anthropologists!" And then Frans Boaz's face appeared on each side of my butt.

"Whatevs," said Opalesence, tossing a fuzzy gray kitten at me. "I hate to be That Cat but my ride's here."

And just for a moment I could almost see my sister, and hear her despairing wail, diminuendo: "1980s graphic novels? This is the worst! possible! thing!"

Well, I certainly don't want to second-guess the author here.

I think part of it may be that when we meet Twilight Sparkle, for her part in the story--well, I'm used to thinking of her, especially when she's used this way in stories, as the Pro from Dover. She's nigh-godlike in her power, even when we meet her in Season 1, well before she gets her wings (something something Red Bull something something) and becomes one of the princesses of the land. Her special talent is magic itself, and if she doesn't know it, no one ever knew, at least concerning magic. I took her description of magic, for that reason, as being, in-story/in-universe factual, to the best of her knowledge. It may be that both she and Sweetie Belle are unreliable viewpoint characters here, but I am used to thinking of her as the one who knows everything there is to know about magic, and the magical problem-solver everyone else relies on. I had not expected to think of her as having incomplete knowledge, but that may have more to do with my perception of the character.

This here, this is a quality story. Change just a few names and such to separate it from mlp and you could publish it as a short story. It's good and I shall give you the highest honor I give a story. An up vote, a favorite, and David Tennant clappingreplygif.net/i/580.gif

Now if you'll excuse me I need to dry my eyes.

This is not our world. We're just taking care of it for the cats, because they don't feel like opening cans.

That was wonderful! At the start, it actually felt a bit disjointed, as the beautiful language sounded too mature for Sweetie Belle, but once i realized this was sometime in the future, it fit her perfectly. I kinda felt I knew where the story was going the whole time, by the conspicuous absence of Rarity, but... unlike with most other stories, where "predictable = bad" it really makes this stronger. Being able to see a vague destination (one you don't really want to get to) makes each little step of the journey all the more important. And with each little step, you managed to ratchet up the emotion another notch. By the end... :fluttercry:

All in all, bravo! A beautifully written and touching work, with an atmosphere that was just perfect the whole way through.

Wow, this is a great story.

Still hauntingly fascinating. Thanks again for giving me the chance to take a look at it ahead of time.

This.... this story.... very... kind of conflicted.

Okay first off, this was WONDERFULLY done, I cannot say anything against the clear skill that went into this, it.. it really was a beautiful feat of wordsmithing. Everything worked, everything fit together, it all built naturally and well to the reveal(s) everything about it, and now that I know what to look for, the subtext...... yes this.. this really was an amazingly well crafted, and certainly powerful story.

Buuuut I... I can't say I loved it. I can very, very much appreciate it for the raw skill that went into it's making, and it is beautiful in it's own right but.. just something about it failed to really get me. But I think it was.. mostly what it was about.. on the whole I... just don't really tend to enjoy or get into stories like this, where what isn't said is what is really going on, but really just, ones about this type of topic, and well..... having to deal with death of characters I love, especially just.. so off screen and... and... I don't like it.

I could go on and on about every scene about all the details that were there, how each works... there is just so much meaning to everything. I very much love this story for the shear skill that went into it, but... I simply can't really get into it and love it for what it is, however, that is nothing at all on the story itself, just my own personal tastes. Still this was so, so beautifully written and well crafted.

7820816 Oh right also..

unlike with most other stories, where "predictable = bad"

I so so dislike that mindset, and have yet to have one good solid reason ever given why that is objectively and universally true. *Barring situations where the story is clearly TRYING to keep something a surprise and failing.

He smiled, and the smile was not reassuring at all. “What do we call things that don’t change, Sweetie Belle?”

Objects held at absolute zero in a null spatial quasi-locality?

SCIENCE!!! :twistnerd:

and everypony gets to look into the darkness and see themselves there, reflected as in a mirror.

The darkness instead attempted to look into me. And it fled when it spied what dwells there.

Two of our cats were poor little kittens found near death. One, Lucky, my brother saw hopelessly sitting by a puddle in a torrential summer rain. He's nearly 17 now. The latest, Sarah, I found on a sudden turn I felt I had to make down a small dirt road while biking. I saw her, small and thin, weakly limping into the long grass and called to her, and she cried out at once and dragged her bony, torn form to me. Something, likely a dog, had grabbed her and bitten her tiny body severely. It took weeks for the many gaping wounds and infections on her to heal. Now she's strong and healthy and very grateful, even if she is always a bit timid from the trauma of her early life.

Also, to speak on the power of superstition, note how strongly those involving cats have survived even to this day. I suspect it's due to their similarity to the large felines who hunted humans long ago... a little lion cuddled in our laps.

But, I am one who's cuddled actual lions. Not on my lap. They're a bit too heavy for that. I like my blood flow in my legs.

7826093 It's not the "lack of surprise" that's the problem. The issue when stories become predictable is that they are telling us nothing new. If I can truly predict the outcome of a tale, then what am I, as a person, possibly learning by reading it? It doesn't mean it's a bad story, or that it didn't tell said tale better than the others, but... Art (and therefore fiction) is supposed to make us expand our horizons. We should see and understand new things as we read. If we don't, then there is room for some (small) complaint I feel.

That said, you'll note I said this story was an exception. It was NOT bad because of the predictability.

7827633 How does any of that actually matter? So what if you know where the story is going? Have you never enjoyed rereading a story? If 'predictability' is a flaw in and of itself, then doing that must ruin stories given it's not just a vague idea of where things are going, but knowing every single step along the way. It's not the destination it's the journey that matters.

As to 'you don't learn anything" well, you learn all the facts of the story, unless you are so good you can guess with 100% accuracy every single line, action and plot point of any kind, but more importantly, again, so what? "Learning something from it" is only one possible reason for stories. What about simply being entertaining? Something that is just good, plain simple fun is automatically lesser for not teaching you anything but simply making you feel good?

On top of all that.. I'd argue being 'predictable' is more a good thing overall then a negative. Since it means that if nothing else, the story is following a logical progression that can be extrapolated based on available data. That the characters are all acting in logical, consistent manners that allow you to anticipate their reactions, the the story has proven to hold to it's own internal logic and not just randomly do things for the sake of the story. It means there is a good, solid logical foundation to the story. On top of that, knowing what is coming can make it far far easier to enjoy a story, as it narrows the possibility of bad things happening, if you know where it's going, you don't have to be worried about where it MIGHT be going. Which would you rather have, a safe drive where you know exactly where you are going and that you'll get there securely. Or a wild drive that could send you over a cliff at any moment?

Yes being unpredictable CAN work in a story's favor, can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. Can stem from the story simply pulling some random Deus ex machina out of it's plot. neither is, intrinsically, good or bad, it's is all in the very specific details of each story.

Sorry for the delay, everyone. It's been a busy week, and replying to comments, never easy for me at the best of times, seems more difficult than usual with this story.

Thank you all for reading and commenting! As always, even if I don't reply to you specifically, comments are always the best part of putting out a new piece :twilightsmile:

7813115 7816082 7817097 7826183
I love this :heart:

(Also, look, everyone! I got Alondro to post a mostly-serious comment! :yay:)

7814620 7815283 7815973
Well... I don't want to argue with critics, on the principle that if the author has to explain the story then they have already failed at their job. So please don't take this as me telling anyone "you are wrong about my story".

I do find it interesting that when I suggested that this is a story about the unknown, about things we don't understand, some readers immediately thought "Oh, this is a Lovecraft story. I understand those." And then it's actually something else entirely, and the readers are surprised.

Suffice it to say that the story works exactly as I wanted it to work, and I wouldn't cut any of it :raritywink:

7815366 7815804
I too have seen "arms" used by reputable sources, and since there is variability, I think I get to choose whichever I like. I chose arms :raritywink:

And thank you :twilightsmile:

7817498 7820816
Sweetie's voice really makes the story in a lot of ways. I usually don't write in first person, either. I was very happy with the result ^^

7833024 yes but this does nothing to validate me i need validation i need it

I thought your post at 7815973 was very interesting and insightful.

7834529 i thought your face was insightful

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