• Member Since 19th Dec, 2017
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President Dead


Smile like a rifle, hate like a prism, love like a blood clot.

T
Source

It is a cold, dark night.
The wind howls, and the blackness closes in around Ponyville.
Inside the Castle of Friendship, Princess Twilight Sparkle prepares dinner.
Dinner for two.
Because Twilight has a secret.
And that secret is a prisoner.
It has been a year.
And tonight, the Princess and her captive sit together for the first time.
They eat together for the first time.
Because Twilight has a story to tell.
And a confession to make.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 101 )

Well... I'm going to be avoiding looking into mirrors for the next few days. I'm not sure which one of us is the real one...

This NEEDS a follow up

An interesting fic. And quite well written. +One Upvote

B_Munro #4 · 1 week ago · · 1 ·

I'm a bit unclear as to why the other Twilight looks like she's been through a woodchipper.

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My guess: kept in a locked room with not much. See Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror with Bart's 'twin' brother

Oooh, yeah, this needs more.

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Bart's twin had more a Traditional Hillbilly Mutant look than a Deadpool look.

Perhaps the Two Twilights came into existence as a result of some disastrous lab accident that left Twilight A horribly burned and Twilight B largely intact, and the only reason Twilight B is the imprisoner rather than the imprisoned is that she regained consciousness first.

Seeing the description and the comments, I immediately thought of Twilight Princess from Hammerfall.

They are completely unrelated, of course, but I keep drawing relations even after reading the story.

Ehhh. Doesn't work as well in a magical setting.

I loved how you built up to the ending! I'm curious as to how this came to be. (Time Travel episode maybe? )However I think the story is a tad more haunting and interesting if never explained.

I'm going to guess Twilight tried messing with the mirror pool and it didn't end well.

*Eyebrows slowly raise as he reads til the end* Oh.. Ohohoho~ This is... interesting.

Well done. For some reason it reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven".

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At a guess the two Twilights are the same pony. The tortured one is who Twilight sees herself to be (unlovable, bitter, angry) and the other who Twilight presents herself to be (show Twilight). That’s why Princess Twilight talks about the experiment about pretending to be someone else, about why she herself wishes she were someone else.

I’m sure we’re all a little like this. The person we are when we’re alone, who we truly are, and the person we show the world.

Eh, not a big fan of overly ambiguous story-telling. I prefer things neatly and concisely presented, and if a story is to rely on obscurity for dramatic tension, then at least explain things adequately at the very end.
One guess is that the Twilight prisoner is actually the real Twilight and the other is an imposter who has inserted herself into Twilght's life, but then that doesn't explain how she would be an alicorn.
Another possibility is that Twilight cracked under the pressure of being a princess and views her as a student and her as royalty as two separate entities.
Or, if we want to go the easiest route, one is a clone similar to the mirror pool's production and has taken over Twilight's life. Maybe she tortured the real Twilight in the hopes that enough damage would cause her to "dispell" thus proving she's real, but all attempts just made her bleed.

This was cool!

Soron #17 · 1 week ago · · ·

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Or one is the alicorn and the other is the unicorn.

The unicorn sees the alicorn as the imposter.

The alicorn does not truly know wich one is the real one.

Moar?

Pretty nice, but kind of predictable, and with not quite enough exposition.

I'm confuzzled.

Well it would have been a very promising start to something. Unfortunately it's a short story, and all your past works are short stories are as well. So any potential future it had for being an actually interesting story in the long run is shot to hell. Such a waste too.

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Basically when they switched minds during the experiment they couldn't tell who was who anymore. Ether of them could be twilight.

Wow the cover art reminds me of those creepy drawings from those Scary Stories to Tell in the dark books I used to read as a kid

Well then. This got pretty deep. Nice to have read this during my philosophy class.

I have to confess... this conclusion was pretty predictable.

Good effort on the ambiance and the pervading sense of dread near the start, but almost as soon as ‘the creature’ opens its mouth its kind of obvious where we’re going. The telegraphing with the ‘story’ about the identity experiment and the nature of consciousness hardly seem necessary.

It might have been better to focus on what exactly Twilight has done to ‘the creature’ to make it worthy of such a description, but it seems like you were going for subtility there to let the readers imagination fill in the blanks. A conventional choice, but one that I think blunts the impact of the reveal as much if not more than the rest of the foreshadowing.

Still not a bad effort.

Jest #26 · 1 week ago · · 1 ·

During what experiment? What is it? What is the description of this thing? This is neat, I guess, but after getting so little information and being so utterly blindsided by the "twist" Im left wondering, why exactly, should I care?
I dont empathize with the 'creature' due to knowing so little about it.
I dont dont care about the overly convoluted identity thing due to knowing so little about it, the creature is so poorly described and so unlike Twilight that her anouncement that she isnt sure comes off as just plain silly. If she was sitting across from a monster that acted like her, it would be profoundly impactful and there would be real doubt as to which is 'the real Twilight'.
But instead shes sitting across from a creature that does not look, or act like her, so when its anounced that she isnt sure, I just sigh and go obviously Twilight is Twilight. The creature is so foriegn and poorly defined that there isnt a single peice of doubt that it could be her. Its not a revelation so much as statement, an attempt to convince us of soemthing that you could not do without coming right out and saying it.
If we even had the slightest inkling as to what the other one was, how it came to be, or why they are in this circumstance I would give a shit but as it stands now, Twilight just rambles meaninglessly for several minutes while you give way too much description to the cliche lightning and bad weather then you just asert the thing that should have been a slow realization. Rather then draw us slowly to the conclusion then surprise us with the twist.
Tldr up until the 'twist' we have absolutely no reason to even believe that the twist might be possible or even probable.

The real twist would be if she was actually alone in the room the whole time.

Interesting read, thank you.

link4 #28 · 1 week ago · · ·

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on the contrary, what do you think would happen to twilight if she is kept prisoner for a year?this is the point, implications are what make this story. there is plenty to go on, as this is a horror type situation. it's about atmosphere, and not knowing is a big part of fear.

think back to the experiment, it's implied she was one of those in the experiment. 'what does it prove' as she was asking, was more because she knew what it proved, and it wasn't what the creature said.

Srey #29 · 1 week ago · · ·

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This is funny. One comments on how the ending was too obvious while the other says pretty much the opposite!

Jest #30 · 1 week ago · · ·

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I think Twilight would be bitter, but also still intelegent enough to consistantly attempt to free herself, and prove that shes really her. I dont think she would give up completely so quickly. She has her entire life waiting for her to get back to it, just dangling infront of her, waiting for her to return, and yet she just give up and becomes an angry, depressed mess? She faced down certain doom like a dozen times and then just gives up here when she knows her life and everypony she loves is waiting there for her?

The atmosphere is cliche at best, and hardly sets up an air of dread. Rather I'm just constantly rolling my eyes like, of course its a dark and stormy night, because every metaphor has to be used as some sort of club to beat you over the head with.

As for the experiment, so little is explained that its utterly meaningles, litterly everything is a guess on our part. Look at alien, it is an amazing movie because although you hardly see it, you do see it. You are tantalized by its apearence, captivitated by its reluctance to stay in shot for more then a second. Here we have litterly no implication of what the experiment was. Litterly 0, nadda, zip. I know the imagination is a powerful tool but when there are over a hundred possible explanations it sounds more like a simple cop out, like. "Hey, I could hint at what the experiment was, but frankly I dont know how to tie together the monsters apearence with the fact that they possibly have an identity crisis so im going to leave litterly everything up to the reader to guess."

Using the audience's imagination is a tightrope walk that the author didnt so much as attempt as merely dove straight into the ground and prayed the audicene imagined him walking it.

link4 #31 · 1 week ago · · ·

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honestly? i kinda saw it coming 1/3 of the way through. or at least assumed.

Jest #32 · 1 week ago · · ·

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I did not word my comment very well, it was kinda obvious the instant the identity question came up but what I meant to hit on more was the fact that there is nothing to make us assume that the creature is Twilight. Other then the fact that its sort of intelligent, which isnt exactly something thats specific to Twilight.

There really isnt a reason to make us suspect the creature is Twilight other then the narrator telling us there is. Its not organic, we arent lead to the assumption that Twilight is potentially the monster so much as that we are told its her. There isnt a reason to make us believe it other then the author's ham fisted choice of dialogue.

TLDR Which leaves us with an ending that is both obvious and not obvious. Its obvious because, why would the author, and Twi bring up the experiment other then to lead to the 'twist' but also not obvious as there is no reason to beleive the twist is coming other then that assertion by the author as the monster is so unTwilight that there is nothing to make us believe that it could be her. Hell, right up untill the end it could just as easily be Spike, or anysingle one of her freinds. Replace “I confess… that I’ve never known for sure which of us is the real Twilight Sparkle.” with “I confess… that I’ve never known for sure which of you is the real Spike." And the story does not require any changes to make it believable.

You can change the last line to anyone and the story is the same as there is nothign to lead us to beleive that its Twilight in there, only that its someone, and Twilight doesnt know if its the real one.

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Welcome to the world of creepypastas.

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Meaning... What, exactly? That they present an interesting idea but then promptly refuse to do anything else with it?

Dude, I haven't even read it yet and already I'm hooked.

Edit: Now I love this!

Holy lol!

Amazing Story!

Buggo #37 · 1 week ago · · ·

Mildly disappointing spooky beans, but spooky beans none the less.

Srey #38 · 1 week ago · · ·

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Can't say that I agree, because the prisoner has been locked away in what seems to be pretty bad conditions with no hope of ever seeing the light of day or another pony or, well, anything and everything, knowing no one has or ever will notice her absence. At that point it's hard to say what could possibly be left of her personality after such an ordeal.

My only gripe was the prisoner not catching up immediately to what Twi was saying.

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Creepypastas have many characteristics, one of which is presenting an interesting concept and giving some details, but the most common characteristic among them is that they give enough details to piece together what happened without explicitly stating it, thereby not resolving the tension most other stories do. In fact, most of them create more tension at the story's conclusion.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love for this story to be completed traditionally. As this story has all the hallmarks of creepypastas, however, I find it much more intriguing to figure out what exactly's going on without being led by the hand.

Jest #40 · 1 week ago · · ·

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Would you give up that fast? I wouldnt, and I doubt Twilight who was up untill then a nigh omnipotent goddess would either. To beleive that after a single year she was completely and utterly broken is a little far fetched without delving into it. A single off handed remark about Twilight casually torturing herself would remedy this but Twi is treated as her cannon self for the most part and she is not the type to do that, indeed our only real insight into how the monster is treated is with a nice albiet boring dinner and being allowed to sit at the table. Which isnt exactly despicable behavior.
Thus we are forced to believe that the monster was treated relatively well and was still utterly broken? What a weak, pathetic cop out.

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I read it as the prisoner not giving her the satisfaction of the easy way out.

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Or the alicorn just came into existence after then ascension? and just assumed it were the real one?
And afterwards saw the unicorn past as the impostor.

Pretty sure I read this one in high school. But that is the danger of the short story. The chance of writing the same story as someone else drops radically with length.

This story reminds me a bit of the film The Prestige. This is what happens if you do not qb abg xvyy lbhe qbccrytäatre/pybar vzzrqvngryl (rot13). It just leads to awkward dinners and situations.

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Well... I'm going to be avoiding looking into mirrors for the next few days.

That is OK. Your reflection in your bedroom mirror would much rather prefer to sit up and watch you sleep in the middle of the night in private...

I hate to say this, but the twist at the end kind of reminded me of this:

I would love this as a full on/long story, however it works very well as a one-shot story too. Excellent writting President Dead.
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Good theory.

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i found it confusing that at the beginning it said the monsters fur but then almost at the end it said the monster swiped a claw so how can a pony have a claw if it has hooves am i supposed to believe its a hybrid of spike and twilight like in full metal alchemist with the dog and girl

The delivery is adequate, but this premise has been done enough times that probably most people realize what's going on within the first few paragraphs before they even start talking. Overall I'm left thinking "meh, it's ok I guess."

My only real complaints are:

1) The explanation of the experiment detracts rather than adds to the story. We all know what's going on here, but the way the experiment is hastily inserted is generally unsatisfying. You're explaining a thing that didn't need to be explained, and you're doing it poorly. It would have been better if you'd left it ambiguous. Of if you did feel the need to explain it...a better explanation is needed. As is I'm simply left not entirely clear what led up to this. Why did Twilight do this? hat in the world possessed her to think it was a good idea? If it were simple scientific curiosity, why did she include herself in the experiment? What did she expect to learn by deliberately setting it up so that she wasn't an impartial observer? Since she did decide to experiment on herself, why did she experiment on others too? Are the identity swap/copies taking place in identical bodies, or different bodies? The assumption going into the story is that the Twilight who is prisoner is wearing a body identical to the one who is not a prisoner. But if that's the case, then how does the "convincing other's" part of the experiment make any sense? If she's wearing Twilight's body and has Twilight's memories...yeah, convincing others is going to be pretty easy, right? So that suggests that the Twilight in the chair is not wearing an identical body, but has the memories only. But if that's the case, then why is the Twilight who has both a Twilight body and Twilight's memories unsure which is the real Twilight?

I didn't feel the need to ask any of these questions until you tried to explain, but now that you have...I have all these unanswered questions. Unanswered questions would have been ok if you'd deliberately left this as a mystery, but instead you simply gave a bad explanation.

2) You lightly brush over the philosophical implications, but completely fail to deliver on them. You assert a materialist worldview with so little fanfare that I'm left wondering why you even brought it up. A story like this needs to leave us wondering, or thinking, or feeling...or something. Instead you basically say " yeah...materialism, ok next?"

So it's not a bad story. But overall the delivery leaves it as a missed opportunity.

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As for the experiment, so little is explained that its utterly meaningless

It's actually worse than that. The experiment detracts from the story because it doesn't make sense. If it had been deliberately unclear how this happened, then we'd have a mystery. instead, we're given an explanation that appears to contradict itself.

Question: The Twilight who was prisoner: did she have a Twilight Sparkle body to go along with her Twilight Sparkle memories?

If yes, then what was the purpose of the experiment? If she had both Twilight Sparkle's body and Twilight's Sparkle's mind, then how could she possibly fail to convince anyone she was Twilight Sparkle?

If no, then why did not-prisoner-Twilight have any doubt which of them was the original?

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First off, I'd just like to express how delighted I am that you dove so deeply into this story. For that I thank you. And I apologise for not living up to any expectations I initially established through the early passages of "Second Thoughts", but I guess a little controversy never hurt anyone, so oh well.
So it goes, right?
I was tempted just to keep my own personal interpretations of the story to myself, but seeing as you've clearly spent a fair amount of time on this, I will part with a few small morsels as my way of saying thank you:
1. I never once considered the possibility that Twilight ever participated in any kind of experiment, either that which she describes to her prisoner or one that would directly lead to the situation depicted,
and
2. This is not a dream (or at least, I don't think it is), but in many ways, it is slave to the logic, or rather lack of, of dreams. There is no rational explanation for what is happening.
Peace. 🤘

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