• Member Since 7th Aug, 2012
  • offline last seen Sep 5th, 2017

Just Horsing Around


Doing it wrong, so you don't have to

Sequels1

T

When things start to go missing around Ponyville, suspicion quickly falls on the two new ponies in town.
Twilight Sparkle, however, knows better. This isn't just somepony with sticky hooves, but possibly the start of something much worse. Sworn to secrecy by the princesses and with only her friends to help her, Twilight must unravel the mystery before the angry villagers take matters into their own hooves - and before it ends in tragedy.
For Princess Celestia has revealed a chilling state secret; something has been hunting ponies across Equestria for centuries. And now, it may be hungry again.

Chapters (11)
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Comments ( 94 )

Thanks for reading! I hope you're enjoying the story so far.

Good Intentions is actually complete, and I currently intend to post a chapter per week. Hey, it took me long enough to write!

Also, seeing as Knighty and co. have provided me a soapbox, I'll have a bit of a ramble in the Blog section about the story from time to time.

Cheers,

J H A

Windfall?
Someone likes LoZ. :scootangel:

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LoZ = ??

There are many, many references in this story - but that isn't one of them. Windfall was plucked out of the air at random as a vaguely tree-and-wood-related name. Sometimes a name is just a name!

Stand by for Chapter 2 :yay:

Thanks for reading! I hope you're enjoying the story so far. Special thanks to the kind souls who have mashed the Favourites button - much appreciated!

Blog, blog, bloggity-blog

J H A

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Windfall is a recurring location in the Legend of Zelda series.
:coolphoto:

So, here we go with Chapter 5! Things are starting to heat up nicely; brace yourselves for Chapter 6 on Friday.

This story is a bit of a slow-burner, but everything happens for a reason. Whether this is 1. effective, or 2. good writing is what I'm trying to find out. Hopefully I'll still have some readers left by the time we reach lift-off.

More random words on writing stuff.

Thanks for reading!

J H A

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I think you're doing a wonderful job! I've really enjoyed reading the thing, thusfar. It's solidly written, realtivley error free and is a great mix of OC and mane 6, each characterized correctly. I only hope that when the "dark" tag truley kicks in (which I assume by your commnent that it will), nobody ends up dead.

Notes:
1) Great job on Twilight and Celestia, seriously. You do a great job with the 6, anyway, but Twilight has been pretty darn spot on and it makes reading this so much better.
1a) As I said, same goes for the rest of the cast, iit pains me how often people mis-write the core characters.

2) I really like your OC's and their backstories. Good, solid writing with just the right hint of mystery to keep everything flowing. Great job with their backstories and with their interactions, it's very organic.

3) Pacing: as you mentioned, could be a little speedier but I'm enjoying the ride none-the-less

4) Nitpick: "Hallo" isn't english and it sucks me right out everytime I read it and have to place "hello" instead :pinkiecrazy:

5) Have you submitted to EqD? You should.

Look forward to the next update, hope you decide to let it out a littler sooner than Friday, I can hardly wait for it!

Cheers!

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Thanks, that's thoroughly encouraging! It's interesting that you pick Celestia out, as she's mainly an unseen presence. Also, I find that trying to write Pinkie Pie is an absolute nightmare, so poor Pinkie gets a little neglected.

Believe it or not, 'Hallo' is in fact English, along with 'Hullo'. Both are a little archaic these days, and very nearly killed off by global Microsoftisation of the English language, but valid nonetheless. So why do I use it? I think I've spent too long writing stuff set in the '40s.* :scootangel:

There's still a long way to go yet, and hopefully I can tie everything up without too much WTF? factor.

J H A

*Pointless aside of the day; some steaming nutjob over in the States tried to get 'Hello' banned a few years ago. Apparently HELLo was invoking the devil in your greetings, or some such... interesting... interpretation! :applejackconfused:

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Believe it or not, 'Hallo' is in fact English, along with 'Hullo'. Both are a little archaic these days, and very nearly killed off by global Microsoftisation of the English language, but valid nonetheless. So why do I use it? I think I've spent too long writing stuff set in the '40s.*

Funny enough, I looked it up before I commented and only noticed the "to shout" part of the definition, not the "variant spelling" portion. I cede the point with the caveat that I think it makes them appear to shout instead of speak; it still throws me out of the story.

Thanks, that's thoroughly encouraging! It's interesting that you pick Celestia out, as she's mainly an unseen presence.

I derpred. (I should not write comments after midnight) I meant to highlight Twilight in particular, and point out that I thought it was a smart move to keep Celestia on the sidelines. That said, the limited interaction complete with vague warnings suits everything quite well. Really, though, I'm super impressed with how you've written all 6, even the neglected.

There's still a long way to go yet, and hopefully I can tie everything up without too much WTF? factor.

I have no doubt.

Okay, I'm completely at a loss for what the monster might be. Is it something of your own creation, something from the D&D monster manual, or is it slendermane or something like that?

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peoplejam.com/files/u1811/MrBurnsExcellent.gif
Now imagine how poor Twilight feels about all this! :twilightangry2:

I can't say a whole lot, other than to confirm that the brown stuff has left the station and has started its descent towards the rotary ventilator. We're currently in 6/10, and 7 will appear on Monday. I trust it will all make sense to you in the course of... well... I'm really not at liberty to say.:pinkiehappy:

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I'm just irritated because between what Zecora said about the monster and what Fluttershy saw, I feel like I should be able to figure this out.Please, just tell me jf it's an original creation or not. I want to know if I can stop wracking my brain trying to figure out what the monster is.

Cool! First view- I look forward to reading more

~Dess

First Breaking Bad and now you!? When will the cliffhangers end!? :pinkiecrazy:

Keeping me on the edge of my seat...

:trixieshiftleft:

Good chapter as always. Since you said earlier that you're aiming for ten chapters, I'm guessing that next chapter is going to be the reveal/climax?

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Thanks! Chapter 9 approacheth, where most things will either fall into place, or everyone will be scratching their heads and going, "OK, so what the hell did I just read?"

Is this the part which has concerned me all along?

:eeyup:

Chapter 10 got another buff last night, and will go up on Friday together with a short epilogue (c. 3,000 words). Exposition! Shamelessly rubbish puns! A Brian Blessed gag! And a happily ever after? Well, all I'll promise is that it's not a Scooby Doo ending.

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Awesome, I'll be sure to read it and post my thoughts.

Why the hell does this only have ten likes?

Hooray! Moar cliffhangers! Fun. I await the continuation.

~Dess

So: 6 months' writing, 5 weeks' posting, 93,032 words.

Stick a fork in it, it's done! :yay:

Most importantly; many thanks to everyone who has read, commented, Favourited, or Liked. I've had a blast writing this, so I can only hope that you've all enjoyed reading it.

I did wonder if I ought to do a general wrap-up and explain thing, but there is the old maxim that if you need to explain, you haven't told your story well enough! With that in mind... I've written a general wrap-up and explain thing.

Cheers,

J H A

I'm glad to see that Silver got out alright and managed to get a happy ending out of this. So was the creature fey in origin? I ask this because cold Iron is one of the major weaknesses of fey creatures in mythology. . . and a weakness for ghosts, witches, and other malevolent creatures. So. . . yeah.

You know this has taken a saddening amount of views, it definitely deserves more that what it received. I mean really, It's a well written, well researched, and creative story.
And with that I must add A 'well done good sir' :moustache:

1276227 As you say, it's a common defence against faeries, demons, ghouls, etc. but I didn't have anything particular in mind other than it seemed appropriate. I was going to work something in about Fluttershy's cottage being protected by the pair of horseshoes nailed to her front door (partially where the "good luck" concept of horseshoes comes from), but I never really got around to it.
Considering the endings for most things I write, this is a surprisingly happy one - the last line is even a throwback to Chapter 6 for added D'awwwwww! Around the end of Chapter 8, I did actually consider either having Applejack really do Silver in thinking that he'd killed Apple Bloom, or worse, create a scenario where it looks like she did. In other words, after she kicks his butt and runs off, a short scene of Silver hauling himself outside, then have Twilight teleport in and look down at... *vomits uncontrollably*. You can imagine Chapter 10 - "So, Miss Sparkle... a creature from the Everfree forest did this, you say? What was it? Rather convienient that it seems to have vanished entirely, then, isn't it?" etc. etc. It would have fit in well with the other themes of the story but the main reasons I didn't were 1., that promised to be a nightmare to write (Or at least, to write well), 2., it would be a sprawling train-wreck and I'd already written a reasonble-sized novel, and 3., c'mon, it's a kiddies cartoon about cute, pastel-coloured horses and I'm a great big sook at heart!

1241787 1277934 Probably because it's not everyone's cup of tea. As I said above, this story demands a certain amount of patience from the readers – especially when I am basically an unknown with no previous “good history” to cause them to grant such patience. At the end of the day, I've written the story that I intended to write and I'm delighted that so many people have stuck with it, but I completely understand those that looked at the first chapter and went, “Wha... meh, whatever. *close*"

ETA:- Cheers for the moustache! I shall hang it next to my ZZ Top beard! :pinkiehappy:

Wow... I just have no clue why this has so few upvotes or even views. I mean, really, this absolutely is one of the best stories here on fimfiction, at least of those I know.
Especially the character design and development was pretty great. They were all pretty plastic and nothing appeared out of the ordinary. I also really liked the included love story. In most stories there is some point that just shouts "Hey, look, I'm going to ship these two ponies!" but the development here felt completely natural.
Regarding the plot itself... well, I liked the idea and again I didn't find any mistakes, though I guess the story title is a little misleading. No, not misleading, but when I hear "Good Intentions" I automatically think of something kind Celestia does that doesn't work out like it should... eh, whatever.
What I actually didn't like so much was the monster. Though its symptoms and the given background history were again completely sound and logical I think that creating the monster as an ethically bad being you can't reason with that also isn't sentient or alive... well, it seems to be the easy way out of any dilemmas the princesses would find themselves in if they had to decide between the life of ponykind and the life of something like a sentient race that unfortunately consists of carnivores (like pony-eating dragons in some fanfictions). That's criticism on a quite high level of detail though because except for that little thing this story is practically flawless...
Oh, right, there were some small mistakes here and there, usually missing inverted commas or an inverted comma too much. Things like that.

All in all I have to say that I deeply enjoyed this story and would really love to read more of these characters. Apparently Cloud Chaser doesn't have her own search tag though. Damn...

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Thank you for such a detailled review, I really appreciate it.
This is actually the first thing that I had written for an outside audience (i.e. other than me). There are parts of it which I'm not entirely happy with but overall I think it went pretty well. Part of the learning exercise was to try not to come to a crashing halt searching for the perfect word all the time but to press on and make it work. I was mostly successful on that front.
Titles are always tricky (Tags can be worse - please, Knighty, can we have a Mystery tag?!), but I was aiming at all the things that went wrong which weren't neccessarily meant to turn out badly - like Celestia choosing to deal with things on the quiet, or the villagers trying to protect themselves (albeit from the wrong thing!), or even Twilight trying to be deceitful and underhanded (underhoofed?). The last was one of the elements I tried to focus on - put Twilight in a situation where she has to fight her instincts to do the right thing, even when she's not sure what that right thing is. She has good intentions, but often very limited choices.
The monster was one of the things that I wasn't always entirely happy with (see above!), but the choice of something that was almost a force of nature was quite deliberate, as was the sort of Lovecraftian horror of condemning it for a decent chunk of eternity into a tiny box which is anathema to it.
I write for my own amusement and have a nasty habit of poking fun at things rather than strictly telling a story, which meant that elements of this story were never going to be popular. OC ponies come to town, meet Twilight and friends, Pinkie does something weird... abort! Abort! Abort! Most people aren't going to read my waffling on for 15-20k words before they realise that actually, after the initial meeting, those OCs have pretty much got on with their lives independantly. Likewise, it starts pretty sedately and slowly gathers pace in the hope that by the climax, ponies will have valid reasons for their actions when everything turns to custard.
Wow, I've really gone to town here, haven't I? TL;DR - thanks for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

This was a really interesting start. You've done a great job of building up your OCs. Now let's see where this goes...

This seems so happy, so normal. But at the same time, I can really sense the sinister undertone. I'm actually a bit scared right now... :unsuresweetie:

I can entirely sympathize with Twilight. This whole underlying bit about the killer running rampant throughout Equestria makes this entire story, everything about it, so incredibly creepy.

She's fast all right, but she's a sprinter. Endurance flying is an entirely different kind of flying altogether.

You have no idea how happy this makes me. Thank you so very much for understanding this.

In other news, this story, man. I'm really enjoying it, but holy hell, is it creepy and rather terrifying :unsuresweetie:

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You've done an excellent job with your characterizations. Seriously. Canon characters are all in-character, and you've done a wonderful job of establishing and building your OCs. As for the darker elements, you've done an incredible job there. Everything seems so happy and simple and cheery and totally not dark. However, you throw in these snippets here and there that hint at a significantly darker undertone and the contrast is incredibly apparent. That contrast, then, makes everything so very dark. Excellently done so far.

This has been absolutely superb so far. Seriously. You've spun a dark, terrifying tale and given it the cover of a simple, happy story. I know I've said it before, but I really like that contrast. You've executed that contrast excellently.

I'm actually resisting the urge to skip my customary comment-per-chapter and just keep reading. It's the rare story that gives me those sorts of urges.

This...this is something. I think I'm just gonna head on over to the next chapter, now!

I'm incredibly confused... :rainbowderp:

That was absolutely fantastic, good sir! Now for the epilogue...

This was an absolutely fantastic story, good sir. You've heard most of my praises scattered throughout my previous ten comments, so I'll try not to repeat myself that much.

Your use of contrast really made the story earn its [Dark] tag right from the start. Everything seemed so happy and simple, and that's why it felt so dark and terrifying. Your characterizations were excellent and story-telling top-notch. This is definitely a story you have every right to be proud of, sir. Amazing stuff, here.

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Thanks for the review - I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm probably not going to shock you when I say that this story was my 'baby', and seeing it get some love always makes me smile.
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Pet peeve of yours? :twilightsmile: Yes, Usain Bolt could run an ultramarathon because he's an incredible athlete - but he'd probably need to spend at least a year reshaping his body because his entire musculature and metabolism is set up differently to do what he does. Same thing for ponies.
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I was kinda worried about that. Chapter 9 has a lot of changes of scene and perspective in the hope of drawing everything together in a way that explains why things evolve the way they do, when they do. In the end, I tried to keep the subject of each scene as clear as possible and knew that I had the enormous infodump/talking heads in the next chapter to mop up afterwards. It sort of works.

I normally detest such slow starts, but from the recent reactions this has been garnering I'll continue.
Technically, the piece looks great; few if any typos, and the OC's are actually decent characters with distinct personalities. All other ponies are perfectly in character, so you've got a thumb from me for all areas baring an actual plotline being great, so far.

I am quite enjoying the reservoir of new words your chapters are turning out to be; you're not only providing me with a fantastic story, but you're helping me as a fellow author, as well. :twilightsmile:

Boss and Class points to Silver Braise. Man, Silver Braise and Summer Clip, two great OCs in a great story. This is how, well... how stories should be done. Although it was a bit of a shaggy dog with the monster (just my feeling). Great work! I want to read more stories about those OCs if you can eke them out.

I'm still wondering about the 'impossible' illusion spell:unsuresweetie:...

Wow, this was certainly a well-written horror story that started out with, as Csquared pointed out, a chilling undertone that fit just right to make the story creepy whilst being happy and cheerful, only for that undertone to increase with the rising tensions. And because someone has to point it out, it leaves us with enough room for a possible sequel if desired (Because I'd sure like to know a bit more backstory about the monster)...

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I managed to miss this somehow. Curses!

Anyhow, yes, that is possibly my biggest pet peeve. See, I ran varsity track and cross country all throughout high school. I know what distance running takes. And we always had some really good sprinters, so I know what it takes to be a good sprinter. And I know that those two do not mix at all. Coach would often have his better sprinters train with us when he wanted them to have a really tough workout. No matter how good they were, we always broke them. They could never make it through a full workout. So when people try to tell me Dash can run, er, fly the distance events just as well as the sprints, I start throwing things. :twilightangry2:

As for Chapter 9, that was less of a confusion comment and more of a, "Did you just do that? Oh mai." comment. :twilightsheepish:

Why so few views on this? This is great! And very chilling.

Ooooh, monsters from the Id?

An absolutely beautiful story, and in particular I'm so glad to see horror done properly: I don't think King could have done it better! I'm both way impressed and thankful for the great read.

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Thanks! I kinda agree with recent reviews that it falls down a bit when Twilight (and you) actually find out what it is, but in a way it was always going to - there's nothing quite as scary as the thing you build up in your head...
I had all kinds of fun on the way, though.
Pinkie! Load the Cupcake Catapults! :pinkiegasp:

I enjoyed the story, and your characterization was wonderful. This was what drew me in and kept me reading, but I think you missed the mark on the horror/terror aspect. The story becomes dull in the second half because of this. To me, the real terror was never the monster. Instead it was the reaction of the town ponies. Sure the monster has a quite horrifying description, but it never actually killed anypony and its ending was resolved off screen. Instead the biggest threat was the paranoia that infected the crowd.

This was when I felt the most fear for Sliver and Summer, two characters I have grown fond of because of your characterization. Every time it was mentioned that a crowd of angry ponies were gathered, I asked myself 'was this it? Are Silver and Summer about to be hurt? Will the ponies of Ponyville do something they'll regret'. Each time, the situation was resolved, but suspense was created because I 'just knew' that the next time was going to be event that drives the ponies mad.

Yet before any serious harm could be done, the crowd was dissipated with a quick letter and the arrival of the princess. Unfortunately the only crime that had been committed was an act of vandalism and aggravated assault by a pony that I could never hate.

The ending came quick and easy and not as satisfying as it should have been because by the end I knew none of the characters were in real danger.

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Thanks for your review. I appreciate your time in both reading the story - and setting down your thoughts.

To me, the real terror was never the monster. Instead it was the reaction of the town ponies... Instead the biggest threat was the paranoia that infected the crowd.

Huzzuh! That's exactly what I was aiming for. It's interesting that a number of people have pegged this as horror, because it wasn't quite intended that way when I started writing. Suspense, yes. Dark overtones? Certainly. But I ended up having built up a nasty Big Bad that I needed to do something with - and I didn't entirely succeed. I wanted a distinct dichotomy of Twilight and friends being in the know (and having various degrees of meltdown about it), and the others - Silver and Summer in particular - being blissfully ignorant and going about their lives in the usual bright, happy, approximately show-like manner. You'll notice that I deliberately kept things pretty tame, so it was never going to end in buckets of blood, but perhaps it still needed to be more satisfying somehow.
By putting this out on the web, having an idea of what was wrong has become knowing what was wrong. Knowing what to do about it is the next and most difficult part - and that's the part that I am trying to learn!

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