• Member Since 2nd May, 2013
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AShadowOfCygnus


'I am made from the dust of the stars, and the oceans flow in my veins: here I hide in the heart of the city, like a stranger coming out of the rain.'


T
Source

Even in our darkest moments, the stars shine coldly down – distant and remote, but bright in the blackness. Refuse them, shut them out, and they remain. Let them in, and they may convince you of the warmth in their embrace.

This is not a story about stars.

This is a story about people and ponies, and what they visit on each other in moments of darkness.


With thanks to Neighrator Pony, Thornquill, Illya Leonov, and the ever-loving Dark River, who put themselves all through pre-reading this.

Inducted into the Royal Canterlot Library, 28 October 2017
Reviewed by Seattle's Angels, 4 November 2017

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 45 )

What's this? A new SoC story out of the blue?

<commences to read>

8309797
winces

I'm sorry for the kick in the teeth -- I really wasn't expecting anyone to still be awake to read this. But, then, it's five in the morning, here, so . . . hard to judge, I guess.

Jesus H.
Good read. Odd... but good.

8309930 Well, to be sure. The reader is given absolutely no context, (without spoiling anything) one of the characters is just sort of magically... there... because reasons (ok, I gathered more than that, but you know what I mean). Yeah. It's odd. That's not a bad thing at all, it's actually quite nice when you can get invested in a story without knowing jackshit.

8309999
Guilty as charged, I suppose. I absolutely wanted it to become apparent what was going on as the story progressed, but, yes, you start out utterly in the dark, here. And some of that hinges on ye olde unicorn lore that not everyone may be familiar with, and which I'm fully expecting to have to explain at some point.

That was touching.

The title made me do a double take.

Nice story!

Ouch. I suppose that's one of the emotions you wanted me to feel, though.

8348774
Oh. Well, I'm hoping I wasn't hanging the big neon sign saying 'Feel sad now'. I try not to adhere to the Spielberg school of storytelling.

But, yeah. Not a nice story, not a pleasant story. Still, thanks for the read. :twilightsmile:

Poor girl! But, what can you do, really?
Just to make sure we understand correctly, this girl was victim of aggravated rape, right?

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

oh shit D:

I'm cry ;_;

I love how much is said by the unspoken in this story. I guess that should be obvious, but, still... I bow to you. Beautiful, beautiful work. My heart hurt reading it.

Love the gradual building of what happened, and the way it fits both the events and the apparent cause at the start.

Damn, dude. This is how you write a story.

8453782
Really wish I had something more witty or cogent to say than 'thank you' -- for reading, and for sharing your thoughts. It ain't a happy story, but as long as it gets the message across without being preachy, it did its job.

Shit.


I... I wasn't sure that's where you were goin'.

So, I was rather sure what had happened to the young woman rather early in the story, mainly at the point she didn't take off her shirt when she first got home.

The "You can't lose what wasn't freely given" line was very well done. The whole interaction between the two was done well.

I have one major problem with this story that kept me from fully enjoying it and that is the fact that apostrophes are used to denote speach instead of quotation marks. I'm not overly picky about grammar or writing rules but that is one that isn't really meant to be broken when it comes to normal speech.
Still, faved and thumbs up.

Wow. I mean... just wow. Yes, that was brutal (as I'm sure was your intent), but I also love that you ended on a note of healing. In fact, if I had to put my finger on a "larger theme" for this story, I'd say it is healing, and you put it across very well.

On a different note, I like the "ponies-as-guardian-angels" situation you seem to have set up. (And I don't say that to trivialize your story in any way.) I just find that notion comforting.

8310021
The old concept of unicorns as incorporeal avatars of hope has helped me through more days than I can count. I deal with depression pretty much regularly. (You don't want to know how many days this week were completely blown off while I've been struggling out of the latest dark spell.)

Even though the story was about the girl, it helped a little with my own depression. Although if my own experiences are anything to go by, I must be on the watch list of a whole herd of unicorns.

Thanks for this story. It really helped today.

8528007
Thank you for your kind words. Though I'd say you can't fault me for being raised under a different system of English here across the pond . . . :rainbowwild:

8528723
Huh. This is something I've seen a couple of people say up to this point, and it's a little distressing. I certainly didn't mean to write it as brutal -- I was more hoping to just stick the landing on 'honest'. :fluttershysad: Never been much of one for mincing words, and this is one subject there's much too much chaff in the air about, so I cut it down to the most important points: pain, and -- as you pointed out -- healing. One process, in microcosm.

And, heh, I won't say I wasn't trying to avoid that particular trope. I do appreciate what you mean when you say it, because (reading between the lines here) yeah, I've seen that concept done badly too. Avoiding that was one of the reasons I used a stranger for the Unicorn, someone unknown and outside the Mane Cast.

8528751
I'm glad I was able to provide a little warmth through my scribbles. Take care of yourself, alright?

8528831
I didn't say brutal was a bad thing. Let's face it, the act you're writing about is brutal; there's no getting around it. To write it honestly is to write it brutally. The two go hand-in-hand. At least, that's what I'd argue.

8528848
Can't argue with that logic, so I won't. :raritywink:

"Unicorns are for beginnings," he said, "for innocence and purity, for newness. Unicorns are for young girls."

Molly was stroking the unicorn's throat as timidly as though she were blind. She dried her grimy tears on the white mane. "You don't know much about unicorns," she said.”
8310021
The moment where I remembered who unicorns traditionally appeared for hit me like a kick in the guts. I figured it out early on but still... ow.

Comment posted by Viddaric deleted November 4th

Is it bad that once things got to going, and we got hints of backstory, that I began thinking of the two characters as Phoebe and Marigold Heavenly Nostrils in my head?

8529570
Oh fuck. :fluttershbad: Way to take something that was already hard to write and shoot me in the leg with it.

8310021 Are you telling me that what happened to her is also going to cost her a friend?

8530454
The whole point of the story was to say the exact opposite.

8530460 Oh. Sorry, sometimes it's hard to understand people perfectly, especially with a lack of tone and the possibility of being out of a certain critical loop.

The style of writing is pretty slick. Visceral, I like to title it. Hits you right off the bat with shit, and gives context as you go along. Reminds me of how Stephen King's dark tower series starts out.

"The Gunslinger walked down the street, and the man in black followed."

Or something like that. Point is, I fucking love not knowing what the fuck is going on - at first, I mean. Plus, the whole 'Picked it up. Showered. Did a thing.' Instead of putting She in front of everything. Really cool. Liked, faved. Go make more things, preferably using quotations and not apostrophes. :)

8530549
No worries. If you'd like to discuss it in more detail, shoot me a PM -- I'm happy to explain my thought process and anything else that may need clarification. :twilightsmile:

8530881
Thank you! I'm definitely not done with the making of the things.

I will, however, continue to use correct English. :raritywink:

This was really well written, but I feel like the story would have been better served if there was a scene of the girl before she was traumatized. That way, seeing her later despondency would have hit harder.

8532603
Interesting point, even if I don't agree with it. What else did you need to see to contextualise this?

8532748
Tragedy and comedy are two sides of the same coin, in that they both deal with the unexpected. To use that analogy, you basically wrote a really good punchline without any buildup. This is by no means a poor story, it just came across as unfinished to me. What was this girl's routine like? Her usual personality? Etc.

8532773
'kay.

Everything you needed to know about 'who' the girl is you can get from the context of the story -- the way she reacts, her choice of language, the brief glimpses you get of internal monologue. Beyond that, she's a cipher -- stamp your own circumstances or personality onto her as you see fit. She's an everywoman, and the purpose was deliberately not to make any one part of her situation too specific, because there are so many versions of the situation that she's been through that narrowing it any further would take away from the magnitude of what happened to her -- cheapen it, even. Look at what little she does comment on, and understand how insurmountable it seems when the story starts. Any context I added would be cheapening her journey towards an answer because we'd already have it.

tl;dr Less is more.

A hell of a story. Not an easy read, and I assume not an easy one to write, either. But mighty good.

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