• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen 8 hours ago

horizon


Not a changeling.

T
Source

Principal Celestia always has wings in her dreams.

They got her into trouble, once. She let herself believe that they meant she was an angel. Then she grew up, and learned some hard lessons about what being an angel really required.

Now six magical girls have just fought a demon in front of her school. And her phantom wings are itching.

Her life is turning upside down ... and she hasn't even heard about Equestria yet.


Highly Recommended (Top 15 stories sitewide) by Present Perfect! "It's f**king flawless, you guys. … The first [6]00-word chapter by itself is a masterpiece."

"Literally the single best EqG story on the site." —Professor Plum
"[One] of the best stories on the site, period." —Pearple Prose

Rated 5/5 by csquared08! "The opening chapter here was truly something else. ... Then I hit the end of chapter 3. holy crap."

Rated ★★★★ by Louder Yay! "A lesser writer might have made a horrible, cliché-ridden mess of this story, but fortunately horizon is not a lesser writer. For a start, it's by some distance the best portrayal of the human world's Celestia I've read."

Third place in the "Under the Sun" June 2017 Writeoff!  (That first draft has been revised and expanded for FIMFiction.) Praise for the Writeoff version:

"Holy cow ... That's how you write an EqG fanfic! You captured the heart and SOUL of this/your version of Principal Celestia, wrapped it up in bi-universal consistency, and sold me on an idea of redemption I didn't even know I needed." —Xepher

"This is gorgeous. A thorough, exhaustive, incredibly moving portrait of a character who I don't think I've ever seen get quite this much development or attention." —Posh

"This is actually, after all these years, an original take on a story on Luna's banishment. If that's not something to be celebrated I don't know what is." Quill Scratch, Radio Writeoff

MORE REVIEWER PRAISE: Rated "Definitely Read" by Super Trampoline! Reviewed by City of Doors! Reviewed by Titanium Dragon! Featured on Equestria Daily!

Rated T for brief cursing and alcohol use. Cover art by Seniloko, used under Creative Commons license.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 209 )

First comment reserved for author's notes. Which are mostly here, so instead I'm going to post one of the thematic inspirations for this story and the source of its original Writeoff title:

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

--Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Afternoon on a Hill"

This has quite a bit more Sturm und Drang than Millay, but at its heart that's the calm center around which all the storms whirl.

Now to get Time Enough For Love polished and published!

8312360

I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

My college choir did a setting of this poem one year and I specifically remember this line a lot.

Why are you doing this to my feelings?

8312360

Now to get Time Enough For Love polished and published!

About. Bucking. Time. :ajbemused:

Posh #5 · Jul 21st, 2017 · · · 1. Now ·

Then the alarm clock bleats, and her fingers fumble for the snooze button, and she stares out toward the rising sun, and she showers dresses cooks eats, drives parks opens greets, loves chides warns guides

BREAKS ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE, BREAKS ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE

:trollestia:

8313096
Maybe that's the irony of it?

It's time to make some friends.

Frick yeah!

This may well be the best opening I've read to a story in, like, I don't even know how long. Holy fucking hell, horizon.

as her hair begin to involuntarily billow out in the hot humid stillness

Little typo here, tho

I actually don't even know what to say about this chapter. It's blowing me away.

"Is ones of those ponies another me?"

Another little mistake I noticed.

8313163
This is what happens when you only re-read the story thirty-seven times before posting. :rainbowwild: Thanks for the catch!

This story is legitimately one of my most favourite stories on fimfiction. Like, ever.

Okay, so Principal Celestia made some mistakes after their parents deaths, but you don't really make the case that her earliest instincts were wrong. So all her mistakes come from trying to do the right thing. Or was she being paranoid or misjudging this guy earlier?

like...goddamn.

Thank you.

Sunset Shimmer is fidgeting in Celestia's office.

Sunset Shimmer: Scientifically Designed to Melt Hearts

"Alas, yes," Luna says heavily. "But in the other world, it was I who welcomed you back from your exile."

So is this referring to some other exile or alternate dimension? Because if it's referring to Luna’s thousand year exile, then I'm confused by the wording.

Celestia twirls a finger nervously through her hair, and looks at that instead, trying not to think about its fading dye. "I was hoping you'd know," she admits. "I could have handled it if she was the angel I always tried to be. But she's so much more. "

Wait...I'm confused...but I suspect that I'm supposed to be here. This sounds like Principal Celestia talking here, and the use of 'finger' and the 'fading dye' re-enforces that. But then there is this, which implies Princess Celestia is talking.

They stare out at the horizon together. Celestia's need for touch overcomes her fear, and she tentatively unfolds a wing and drapes it over Luna's back.

and

"Alas, yes," Luna says heavily. "But in the other world, it was I who welcomed you back from your exile."

"Wait," Celestia says, "what?"

Since Principal Celestia would know full well what happened between her and her sister, this confusion implies it it the Princess version here. So...is this two conversations with two sets of Lunas and Celestias overlapping? Or am I just being dense?

8313218

8313220
I think Princess Luna is talking to Principal Celestia like she was Princess Celestia, either without realizing or for some sort of affect with Principal Celestia

8313220

It's Principal Celestia talking to Luna in her dream (hence the wings) and realising belatedly that it's Princess Luna. I assume the intent is that wires got crossed somewhere and Luna ended up in Principal Celestia's dream?

8313218

Sunset Shimmer: Scientifically Designed to Melt Hearts

Also an excellent title for a story.

Professor Plum
Story Approver

Equestria Girls is over four years old, now. To date, this is the only EqG story I've read that I actively enjoyed. It also truly feels like it could only have been done with EqG, as most others I've seen are either poorly-fitting highschool dramas with horse names, or stories that could easily have been horse stories, but the author wanted to make human for whatever reason. Literally the single best EqG story on the site.

And trust me, I've seen a lot of EqG stories.

Damn amazing work, Horizon.

Professor Plum
Story Approver

Also, fuck you for this incredible piece of wordplay:

In front of the mirror the next morning, Celestia spends a long time staring at her wingless form, and then she sighs and pulls out the hair dye she uses to touch up her graying roots.

She thinks about Immortal Her while she's dying.

Lovely story. I only wish we could see more highlights of Principal Celestia's strengths, and not just focus on her weaknesses.

8313329
Aw man, you're totally right! Or a prompt! I think I might investigate this for potential.

So, wait. I'm confused... :rainbowhuh:

"Alas, yes," Luna says heavily. "But in the other world, it was I who welcomed you back from your exile."

Is The Equestria on the other side of the mirror an AU where Celestia was banished instead of Luna, or am I getting my mental wires crossed?

Edit: Never-mind, I get it now... Silly Multiversal crossover mechanics screwing with my head... :trixieshiftleft:

On the one hand it was really pretty and pretty moving. On the other I just don't care for the sudden drop at the end. Questions were asked that were never answered, possibilities mentioned, all of this teasing and you didn't even follow through with one. I'll like it, but you were so close to a fav...

This started out being a very fine exploration of one of the most heartbreaking (to me) parts of Equestria Girls—the mundane cognate's longing for the fantastic forever denied them.

Then it turned into a kick straight in the gut, to me personally.

More I cannot say but perhaps we've had enough offline talks for you to glean a little of what I'm feeling here. Straight to faves, not much choice.

Probably the finest written piece I have seen on fimfics.
Masterful control of tone, implication and storyline.
Making a wonderful and enjoyable story out of an otherwise benign, characterized, or overly hallucinogenic concept.

You used a bit of slice of life to make profound themes come alive in a fragile realism.

What particularly impressed me was your strong grasp of the ideas you pontificated.
It takes great intelligence to write a story about the struggles and worries of intelligent people.
I'm sure you would be fascinating to meet IRL.


I truely enjoy this story.
I personally prefer much less shallow plots, but you have all the makings of someone who could do justice to a much longer and much more exaggerated characters.
In a sense this is an easy kind of story to write, and you wrote it to the greatest extent that it *practically speaking, of course* can be extended.
However I would be beyond interested in seeing you try to handle stories of a higher grade so to speak.

Most stories worth talking about are longer because they have too much to say, *and not just because they like the sound of their own voice, Austraeoh*
They also have an average of 2-6 strong lead roles, followed by a dozen or so backup roles.
Good stories have a bare minimum of 3/4 lead.
*Note, the greatest stories often don't differ between lead and support, as their grasp of character eliminates the need to focus on any one.*

This story, is merely a short, a very good one, but a short no less, you have barely 10k words, only one lead role, and one supporting.

My point being, kudos, amazing, now l am intrigued by your display and want to see the product.

8313218
8313220
Obviously, Principle Celestia (who always has wings in her dreams) is talking to Princess Luna (little miss Dreamwalker she is). In the EqG world, Celestia moving to Europe was her own sort of "self-imposed exile" that Vice Principle Luna welcomed her back from, and in the normal ponyverse, well, we all know how that went.

The two of them don't even realize who they were talking to until the very last part of the scene.

Even better than the (already superb) writeoff version. Thanks for sharing

]With that sort of power, if Princess Celestia had done anything as horrible as sundering her family for a decade, their world would be a smoldering cinder.

Principal Celestia starts to wonder what Princess Celestia's biggest regret is.

Now that is some good leveraging dramatic irony right there.

Time Enough for Love is probably still my favorite Writeoff story, but only just barely now. This is downright gorgeous.

8313218
8313220
8313768
Yea, it's clearly Horse Luna and Human Celestia talking here - they parallel each other without realizing it, and well, magic is as magic does.

The Celestia-Luna scene on the mountain peak seems much more clear now. Perhaps something changed, or maybe it's a case of "once you know, the clues are obvious." The continued ending feels good, and important, but perhaps at the cost of some emotional sharpness that leaving off with Celestia and Sunset gave the original.

Still a brilliant piece that I'm happy to have had the good fortune to have read. Twice, no less!

You and your damn hitting it out of the park. Welp. Straight to favs with this one.

Still, in my opinion, within the Top 5 best Writeoff stories ever. Top 3, maybe.

Not including mine, of course. :trollestia:

This was stellar. Efficient, impactful and relatable. Bravo. I'm a little unsure as to what and why exactly Celestia was writing to Princess Luna, but I get the gist of the character development. Favorited.

8313218 8313220
Just to add Word of Author: What 8313801 and 8313768 said.

8313232 8313234 8313465
See my previous comment (which was left on Chapter 3). FIMFiction, unfortunately, gets a little wacky about replying to comments from the main story page — unless you've clicked through to the same chapter as the comment you're responding to, it never sends out a notification.

Wow, that was just... beautiful. There's always been that... contrast between Principal and Princess Celestia, that gulf between an immortal sun goddess in one world and a high school principal in another. Sometimes I still wonder who has the better life (mundane vs. dealing with a thousand year banishment of family). Thank you for the excellent fic.

Wow, this was one of the best depictions of Principle Celestia I have seen. I love the reversal of fates between the two worlds, and the final sentence was a perfect place to end. That we are not perfect and have a lot left to learn is a fantastic takeaway.

She realizes it's Saturday.
She goes home.

...:rainbowderp: .....:pinkiecrazy: ..........:rainbowlaugh::trollestia::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

Now this is interesting. It's rare to see a story written this way, but it is certainly captivating.

Right... I don't really know what to say. I feel like this story is unique in a way I can't quite put a finger on. It deals with familiar themes of betrayal, regret, and longing, but it works them in a way I'm unused to. Majority of that is the way it's written. It feels like, upon a brief introspection, a story with much more focus on showing us the emotions of those it is about, rather than going from point A to point B, which is the typical nature of a story.

It's strange, not knowing exactly how I feel about a story just after reading it. And I'm not talking a Like vs Dislike kind of confusion, but rather not knowing quite what to feel. Happiness? Relief? Hope? Or a simple, quiet, joy that things turned out well in the end, mixed with appreciation for a great piece of writing? I feel like I'm closest with that last one. So safe to say, I liked this story. It's familiar, yet a novelty. Taking the old and making something new with it.

This story is both perfect and yet deserves a sequel. Not sure which feeling wins out more.

You get a fave on the strength of this opening chapter alone. Like 8313163 says above, this is a masterful opening.

The comments were right. This is, I think, a unique take on Luna's banishment. :pinkiegasp:

It's kind of a reverse, really. Sure, Luna ended up "banished" to the second family home... but it's Celestia that ends up throwing herself into near madness, lost away from home, almost destroying her life until her sister helps her come back with forgiveness.

I'm going to join in with the others in praising this. This is the best ponyfic I've read in a good long while, and given how many brilliant authors this site has, and how many great fics are being posted, that's saying a lot.

Bravo!

Just a question.

Is there any words of praise left unsaid for this masterpiece? Asking for a friend.

Took me a few reads to understand what's happening, but that's because I haven't had my daily dosage of caffeine today, but you don't need caffeine to know that each and every sentence is beautifully crafted in this masterpiece. This is definitely one of those stories that will resonate with me for a long time.

Just wanted to comment as I'm reading this (side-by-side with the writeoff entry, because I am a massive nerd :twilightblush:) that I think you've done a fantastic job clearing up the final scene in this chapter. I'm a little sad you cut "Something tickles faintly at the back of her mind", though, 'cos for me that one line did a fantastic amount of signposting for what to look for, but I suppose it's a tad unnecessary now, with the changes that have been made.

I had to read that last scene a second time. Then I had to go up and add this story to my favorites bookshelf. I do believe that that's the first time I've ever added a story to my favorites bookshelf before finishing (the available portions of) it. That's a hell of a scene there.

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