• Member Since 11th Jun, 2013
  • offline last seen Last Friday


Ponies ponies ponies ponies ponies. And changelings too.


Derpy Hooves is rumored to be passing through the Everfree Forest on hoof faster than a pegasus can fly. What's her secret? A journalist from the Manehattan Herald intends to find out.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 16 )

It's almost three thirty in the morning and I have to work tomorrow. What am I doing with my life? Reading awesome stories, that's what.

Oh no. Well, I'm glad you liked it. Surely it'll help you sleep!

Wow. I've never read either of those King stories, but this was very well written. Does that make Derpy an alien?

Thank you! That means a lot. I guess I'll explain my own ideas for what happened in spoiler text, in case you are curious about my thought process.

The weird portal in the hole is... I don't know what, as far as its origin. Maybe a magic anomaly that was tied to Derpy herself. When Scoop went through it, he experienced every single experience possible in an instant, which would have driven him irreversibly insane, except it was merciful enough to let him forget it immediately afterward. Unfortunately, spending a near infinite amount of time outside your body makes you forget how it works, so he had to relearn pretty much everything.

For some reason, Derpy is immune to it, and simply thought it was a shortcut. In the end, I hinted that Scoop's memory started coming back the same instant she disappeared. Something caused the hole to close, too. It's implied that she found Acorn inside, and brought Dinky with her. But are they all just trapped in an infinity of maddening experience? Or did they find some other realm where they're happy? Scoop refuses to believe the former, because it's too depressing. It's supposed to be left up to interpretation whether they're all together, or perhaps suffering immeasurably, with Acorn never having been in there in the first place. Maybe he did get taken by timberwolves.

I really wanted the ending to be ambiguous, and the hole mysterious. But, in short, no. Derpy isn't an alien.

With that, I am super glad you liked it! This was a fun story to write. I appreciate the comment.

Horror can be a difficult thing to write, especially more... abstract horror? I think that's the right word. Obviously nothing is revealed for certain in regards to the answers, and there needs to be a bit of a balance between showing us what the horror is, and keeping some of it in the dark. Monsters with lights shone on them aren't overly scary. It turns the tall, scary man in the corner into a coat rack with a coat and hat on it.

So I liked the story here, but I'm still trying to think if there was a good balance in that regard. I certainly don't think we got too many answers, but did we get enough? It wouldn't take much for me to write a "horror" story about an evil house where evil things happen in it, but not have any of the characters go in, but hear about people who do.

I guess what I've been struggling with is if the horror you've presented here is... interesting. There's something in the Everfree Forest that gets Derpy to Hoofington really quickly. That's an interesting premise. There's a lot of good horror to be milked out of such a setting. In the end it's this... hole underneath a tree that makes you experience literally everything? I guess? Obviously I didn't want it explained. How did Derpy find it? Why doesn't it affect her? What happened to her and Dinky? All totally irrelevant questions that you did well to not answer. I guess the big question is... what was the purpose? It seemed like the story could have been another 5000 words. The reporter shows up, doesn't believe Derpy, hears her story follows Derpy, goes mad, recovers, then that's it. I'm not sure what to glean from all of that. Not every story totally needs to have a point, but that kind of idea lends itself more to Slice of Life, not something you're trying to use to scare or disturb me, which I assume is what you're doing since you wrote a horror story.

It was still a decent story, and you don't need to listen to a silly little pegasus like me, but those are just my thoughts.

No, I absolutely do want to listen to you. This feedback is incredibly helpful, thank you.

While I was aware the pacing felt a bit fast at some points, I also wasn't really sure what to fill it with. I really do want to write something unsettling and this was very much a trek into unexplored territory for me. While I am glad you liked it, I can't put into words how much I appreciate the criticism. I'd love to do this genre proper justice some day. I am going to keep your comment here in the back of my mind next time I write horror especially, and hope I can improve at it. Currently I haven't had any ideas I want to explore, but I feel confident they'll come.

Again, thank you, this is exactly the kind of help I was looking for and more.

Best Pony and transdimensional weirdness always make for a winning combination. Still, I feel like you overplayed Scoop's big city callousness to the point where he didn't even feel like he belonged in this setting. The attempt to build anticipation just kills any sympathy one might have for him. Similarly, there's barely anything to convey the sense of Equestria inevitably popping this particular bubble beyond Scoop's own jade-colored glasses. The concept is sound, but the execution needs just a few adjustments.

Thank you for the feedback. I really wanted to give the genre a shot, and I feel like this was a semisuccessful first attempt, with some glaring flaws that I didn't really know how to fix. I appreciate the input, will definitely keep it in mind. It's very very much appreciated.

I knew The Jaunt was part of this tale. I haven't read that in decades, but I still remember every detail.

Just like I'll remember this one.

Here's my take:

The key is bubbles. Derpy's talent is bubbles; they come as naturally to her as breathing. So naturally that it doesn't even occur to her that they might not be as obvious to everyone else.

Acorn is dead. He struck out across the Everfree towards Hoofington but only made it as far as a small clearing with an unusually large tree before whatever happened exactly is unimportant. Derpy follows his tracks until they end, and creates a bubble of possibilities from there to Hoofington, reasoning that Acorn must be somewhere between those two points. She starts with a straight line, then improves on it, bit by bit, trip after trip, looking for a line with him still alive on it. She makes double use of these searches to fulfill her delivery duties, because why wouldn't she?

Then she makes some comment about not actually flying all the way out to Hoofington and back all the time, which starts the rumor mill process, leading to Scoop knocking on her door, asking to see her "shortcut". No reason in her mind not to show him. Scoop goes in and is hit with every possibility at once. The experience very nearly destroys him. Derpy is fairly devastated herself, she just doesn't know what went wrong. But the search must go on.

Finally, on the trip back to Ponyville one day, she finds him! She runs home, elated and babbling, but a night's rest cools her head: there is still work to be done. She spends the next couple of weeks verifying that she can repeat the outcome and/or determining that she cannot bring Acorn out with her into this possibility, but will have to exit the bubble along his line. So she takes their daughter along and does just that; the bubble pops, collapsing around a different possibility, vanishing entirely from this one. They live happily ever after.

I don't know what good any of that information does anyone, but now that I've typed it all out, I'm loathe to just delete it, so there you go.

Instead, it is Scoop's bubble of self-assured cynicism which is inevitably popped.

This creepy tale is Featured in October for Tag-A-Long's Book Club

this reminded me of a weird short story. some people found what they called "the Hole", a place that could be used to travel to other dimensions...one way trips, HIGHLY unlikely to return to the original.
when the one guy's girlfriend (wife?) died, he started jumping into the hole repeatedly, trying to find a dimension here his double had died but hers had not.
after many tries, he finally found one that seemed to fit, but...
after "his" death she had VANISHED WITHOUT A TRACE!

Oh wow, sounds like an interesting story.

I think I’ve seen the beginning of a film adaptation of that. In the film it was the guys’ ex and he was being investigated for her murder (though the audience knows it was an accident)

The description reminded me of Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut, (I couldn’t remember the name of it, though.) but I didn’t even think of The Jaunt. I was more reminded of Rick and Morty.

In short, I liked it.

Login or register to comment