• Member Since 19th Dec, 2017
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago

President Dead

Heretic born of shrieking mud.


The Presence, an extraterrestrial, insists that all ponykind must be taught a morbid poem. Twilight is determined to find out why.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 23 )

Thats an uncommon concept.

I didn't spot any errors.

Have a thumb up.

I sing praise, for you.

Haunting. Loved it.

Thanks, yo. Appreciate it. :twilightsmile:

Thank goodness for that, and thank you for finding your way to my small corner of pure existential dread.

Care to elaborate? I could always use the constructive criticism.

Is this narrative a self reflection of twilight or is it something more personal?

Well, let me put it this way: among other things, I wrote this particular story as an exploration of the most primal, most deep-rooted desires present not only in Twilight, but in all the characters involved. Honestly, the title is dead giveaway. Not very subtle, but oh well.

Very chilling and very enjoyable.

Ayy, it's you! Told you I'd be back, didn't I? Sorry it took so long, and I hope this was worth the wait.

It's me! It was very well worth the wait! C;

No comments about the writing itself – it is powerful, evocative, and precisely what it needed to be — but I feel somewhat confused about what the point of the fic was.

As I see it, the whole story is about Twilight's relationships, and the desire to return to a time where she wasn't aware of just how complicated things are. The lovecraftian entity devouring worlds then acts as just a metaphor for that writ large, the ultimate expression of that desire. However, it feels to me that is just what I want the fic to mean, and all the other aspects — the entity, the poem, the idea of teaching a whole world something like that — paint a picture that something much simpler is going on, yet something that has little set-up or payoff. Then we have Celestia's reaction to Twilight going off with the Entity, which makes absolutely no sense to me.

Comment posted by President Dead deleted Oct 1st, 2018

Yeah, honestly, pretty much every aspect of this story is a manifestation of that same idea (that is, Thanatos, the death drive), and all of the characters involved essentially wanting the same thing, albeit different facets of it (with regard to Celestia, she's basically lived so long she doesn't want to know or remember anything anymore).

However, the thing about my writing is that I almost never have a concrete reason for writing anything. It's usually just because I've heard, read, seen, or experienced something new that I found I could relate to, and this is simply my way of expressing it. This particular story, for example, was inspired by when I looked up the lyrics to Nine Inch Nails' "The Big Come Down" and discovered that the line "gotta get back to where I'm from" can be interpreted as a reference to Thanatos. And then, of course, I've always been very interested in Freud's theories.

Another thing about my writing is that I always unintentionally insert all sorts of interesting symbols throughout, which I usually only pick up on afterwards. I don't want to be too specific, but concerning the death drive, the most predominant symbolism present is that of light and dark (related to this is the repeated tendency of the characters to stand by the window and gaze out of it), the most archetypal of constructs ("fathomless dark and pictorial light", if you recall). The fact that the story ends with light and not darkness is important when considering this, as is the notion that this is not what the characters involved believe to be desirable.

And then there are the poem and the very first line of the story, both of which, in hindsight, can be construed as painting a very different picture of the events that follow (...or perhaps even preceded?)

Either way, thank you, both for reading and commenting! I very much appreciate your taking the time to do so.

I flagged this so I can come back and read it a third (and probably more after that) time. So bleak and disturbing, i can taste the Nihil.

Many thanks, many thanks. I wrote this so long ago that I'd probably despise it if I gave it another look, but you ought to try "The Dirge Tree" (that's the optional epilogue to "Into the Other") if you delight in all things pessimistic and life-negating.

I read both of those, and I'm afraid they did not blow me away the way _Retrograde_ did. I've read it at least five times now, i guess it just happens to hit the right triggers for me. (But i guess if you don't like this story anymore I won't bug you with a litany of what i did like)

Can't despise something I haven't (re)read. I'm all... er, eyes for your thoughts.


My only regret is that I have but one thumbs-up to give.
This is going to a rambling bunch thoughts; i hope is... useful? entertaining? not too stoopid?

I like how Twilight's attitude towards Celestia is very frankly worshipful but not sexualized at all. That is just a personal peeve of mine. She's clearly very obsessed, but not improperly so.

I enjoyed the Melancholiad as a device. The poetry itself was competent, but positioning it as a nihilistic hymn to appease, or rather deceive, an omnicidal psuedodeity was an interesting twist on the Lovecraftian theogeny. Trying to fool Azathoth, as it were.

"Celestia averted her gaze because she didn't want the image of me leaving with The Presence in her head"

The entire first scene with The Presence was incredible. Celestia's reaction, her desire to protect Twilight -- and no doubt her guilt for choosing Twilight to recite the poem this time were quite vivid. Even though you don't detail it, I can see her Highness realize that Twilight is right and with the world hanging in the balance all they can do is comply. Given the maternal feelings i ascribe to her Highness, this would be agonizing for her.

"literally explodes."

Um, i am pretty sure this was subjective until some time after the final line.

Alien sex was handled extremely well. I think she's saying that she enjoyed it, even if she doesn't understand it. Her relaxed state a moment later, and the content of her song lend credence to this theory.

"very probably forbidden text"

That is a little weak, in my humble opine.

"...only one of ten worlds..."

I think maybe you need some more worlds, Mr. The Presence. But who can imagine what struggles were involved in recruiting those ten?

"...at least we may finally rest."

Oh, so you ARE an optimist! (See Stross's A Colder War to see exactly what i mean)

"Oh, so, it's hollow rhythms, is it?" I ask, feeling slightly mischievous. "Plagiarism or homage, I wonder?"

I must be missing something here. I like the fact that Twi has enough energy to be playful, but i do not understand the joke.

"Sing the universe to its sleep."

Beautiful. the song, again, merely competent but it fit very well.

There is definitely something there.

So perfectly ominous without giving any detail. And you are better pony than i for resisting the urge for the old device of:
the last line was in italics.

I think the joke was that The Presence is unintentionally (?) quoting its own poem.

Got it. Clearly you need more intelligent readers.

Intelligence is overrated. Kindness, though...

Hey, if you're into the nihilism/pessimism, I can't recommend Atrax Morgue enough:

He killed himself 14 years ago today.

I'm sorry I didn't catch your post in time to honor Atrax's deathday, but I did give all three a try. They did nothing for me, but I thank you for taking the time to mention him; my life is richer for having experienced a new thing. (Oh, Cee, what kind of namby-pamby feel good B.S. am I spouting now? I guess i suck at nihilism, what an absolute zero i am.)

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