• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


One moment leads to another. There's a box sitting outside a house at night. It brings thoughts about the contents during the small hours and in time, there's a new kind of box. Something small, something which leads to little meetings in the dark.

The smallest things can change a life.

(A stand-alone, no-prior-reading-necessary part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group. New members and trope edits welcome.)

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 83 )

"Because we are introducing something new into the world and we have been in charge of this nation for something more than five minutes."


(Sees that Estee has written a story on libraries)
"Hm, interesting."
(Notices they are those mini-libraries that have become popular)
"I sense doom."
(Notes that it has the Sex tag. And the Luna tag.)

"...it's not their fault, really," the caretaker eventually said. "Except that they're raccoons. They don't think about what they're doing, most of the time, not like ponies do. They can't. But they're closer to it than most animals. They're smart, smarter than most ponies prepare for. So sometimes they do think. They think of the thing you weren't ready for. But they're still raccoons, so when they think..." The incredibly full tail dipped somewhat, and more of the beautiful features vanished behind manefall. "...they don't care."

Fluttershy is intentionally starting a conversation with the scariest person in Canterlot. Granted, she knows someone scarier (depending on timeline) but it's still really nice to see.

I love seeing Luna be a Princess instead of an attack dog. Watching her make her rounds, talking to people, it's all so great.

Time-Bomb Twilight is going to be hilarious.

Anypony can open the door and remove a door. Anypony at all.

That colt must have been quite strong to carry a whole door. :derpytongue2:

This is a smashing little piece. Still, I have to ask, You wrote a story where someone had a good, publicly minded idea, thought it through clearly, and made it work with only minimal stupidity? Are you feeling alright Estee?

That quip at the end... that’s the monster the little libraries will unleash. The alicorn of books, going mad.

I’m enjoying these tales from the small hours. I hope to see more of Luna’s nighttime exploration. Lots of things for her to see and do during her dominion in the modern Equestria.

This... this is glorious. I love everything about your Luna, and here she is at her finest. I especially loved her conversation with the, uh, self-promoting writer.

Books saved their lives... the "nearly killed them" bit has come up before, but I think this is new. Did Luna learn about the EoH from a book?

I like the concept of mini library like that.

And so much butt pounding... Bronycon is comming soon isn't it... at least you know what to expect :rainbowlaugh:

"Good evening, Mister Tingle,"

I am not exactly proud of the fact I recognise this.

If its the one im thinking, nor am I.

Adding this to my RiL, since I just got one of these little libraries for my house. I actually had a random idea similar to this not long ago, that the Tree of Harmony grew back as a tiny copy of Twilight’s castle that you could put books in.

Amusing! We have quite a few of those here in Albuquerque, although I regret to say I have never seen a family of raccoons in one (possibly raccoons are rather bolder around ponies than people).

"Tingle?" Now what real-life person could that possibly refer to? :raritywink: (Small grumble: a writer who does not self-promote is often also known as a "starving writer." I hold to the principle that writers, even porn writers, deserve to eat)

An interesting idea, the little libraries. And a nice story, that was entertaining enough. I did spot a couple of typos, though.

But she was still disappointed, and so she resumed her journey down the empty streets (because Weather Bureau schedules had inertia and this night was no matter than the last), quickly spotting the box again --

Should be ''no better'', unless I'm mistaken.

Luna nodded, carefully chewing the last bit of kale before swallowing that part of her dinner. "True. But we are in Canterlot, Tia. And in Tia, the process of visiting the library can be somewhat -- shall we say, intimidating."

Pretty sure that's supposed to be ''And in Canterlot''.


I just got one of these little libraries for my house.


We have quite a few of those here in Albuquerque

* record scratch *
Wait, what? This is an actual thing IRL?

Yep. Flutters can be confident when she's on her own turf.

Quite often when the lack of manipulative digits comes up in an Estee story I find myself wishing to pop into that universe and design products that would be much more pony-friendly.


Yep. A mix of private and public initiatives: here's one in the NE heights https://d3el53au0d7w62.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/a01_jd_02mar_up1-640x484.jpg

Little libraries haven't come to my neck of the woods yet. I fear they'd become repositories for trashy paperback romances and copies of The Art of the Deal.

I suppose some of the methods to discourage mammals from taking up residence in the little libraries might work for insects. However, you'd get a huge NOPE! from me if I found a big ol' spider on a book I wanted to read.

All the stock characters acted appropriately, and Butt Pounder -- I mean, Mr. Tingle -- was well-written.

Applause for your effort, dude.

There was Hope in his voice because in many ways, Hope was about as Dumb as it got.

Wow. Scary cynical.

Great story, though.

The rant against the porn author was weird, but it was an enjoyable story.

Huh. When I saw the title, I was expecting something about ponies who hang around newsstands and read all the magazines, taking up space but never buying anything. This is a pleasant surprise!

Stable sales? 'tis the fine details like these that mark an Estee story.

i must say, this is a charming concept, though I would not be able to participate. I covet my hoard too dearly, I will not part with a single tome!


A ponified Chuck Tingle is now a canonical part of the Continuum.

I don't know how to feel about that.

She ditched her Guards so regularly that she suspected there was a betting pool in the armor changing rooms: place your bet on a fifteen-minute square, then prepare to accept either profit, loss, or blame. But it wasn't because she didn't respect them: she actually liked the majority of that portion of her staff, although there was a natural difficulty in telling them that. She appreciated their efforts in keeping her safe (although frankly, most of the time, they were completely unnecessary in that regard and she was perfectly capable of protecting herself. The exceptions were things which occasionally saw her using private moments to visit some very old graves). It was just that...

Yeah, except for keeping crowds back they’re about as useful to her as a parachute on a submarine :eeyup:

Luna understands the starfish problem. You can’t save everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save anyone.

Also, just a good fun story.

Mini-libraries around Ponyville.

Someone's going to assume they are all official government institutions, check out a book from Twilight and "return" it to the nearest shelf. And think no more of it until they wake up to four hooves landing on their bed.

Huh. So that's how Equestria ends.

Books had nearly gotten her (and so many others) killed.
Books had saved all of their lives.

It's one of those questions you don't really think about: Who wrote The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide? And by extension, how did the previous Bearers learn of the actual items?

"Because you would need to know which building to visit," Luna politely set the trap.
"Right --"
"-- of the more than two dozen which comprise the Archives."

Another minor benefit of the abeyance. The millennium crept up on Celestia, but Luna has an outside perspective on all the little change that piled up while she was indisposed.

"I will not be --" was this the appropriate term? "-- branding this."

I do have to wonder how the term came into use in a world where the cows have opinions on such matters.

They both ate for a while. There was the usual struggle over the rambutan: Celestia took the round through using the hairs on the shell to tickle Luna's nostrils.

I love these little touches of the sisters being sisters.

"What do you figure," the elder said, with her tone not as light as it potentially could have been, "for the odds of this summoning a monster which tries to destroy the world?"

Would now be a bad time to mention that bookworm from the comics who defictionalized literary characters as it ate their books?

Heroes were, by the standard definition, at least a little bit well-meaning, and so the only ones who wound up being carried along in a field bubble were those who had gone for the other definition: 'only perceiving what they wish to see while being too stupid to convince of anything else.'

Rainbow Dash oscillates between the two like a metronome.

Staggering to think of a millennium-old author still in print. But with a change-averse species and governmental continuity over that whole time, it certainly works. And we have preserved a few works with similar or older pedigrees, but not many. Not in the West, anyway; I'm thinking in terms of the wrong hemisphere for drawing these comparisons.

"Good evening, Mister Tingle,"

Oh. I thought that's what you were talking about in the Patreon post...
That said, the title of That One Book doesn't quite seem accurate for a Tingler. An alicorn is too physically feasible. Surely the narrator should've been pounded by the concept of insufficient historical butt-pounding. :raritywink:

In any case, it's always nice to see something work in this universe. Something that makes the world a little better, another step forward, another pony helped... it warms the heart.
At least until Twilight hears about this program. Then it chills the spine.

In any case, thank you for a wonderful tale of Luna doing what she does best.

That comment, sans quote, could be posted on basically any story Estee has ever written and still be accurate. In fact, with most of them it wouldn't make sense to single out any given line...

Chuck Tingle is an international treasure and how dare you slander him in this way. :derpytongue2:

I’ve just recently rewatched the sister vacation episode and that catchy little tune is still in my head.

With this story, I’ve now got other things in my head.

I’ve been singing “It’s time for expounding~ on a rectum that needs pounding!~” since about halfway through this story and I can’t stop.

Try not to imagine Tingle's cutie mark.

... Dunlap Tennessee has these.

There is a way to make guards for the Princesses useful even in verses where alicorns are hyper-powerful. To paraphrase the Dresden Files "For surviving on the street it's not power or smarts that matters the most, it's awareness. It doesn't matter how badass you are if you don't see it coming."

A team of alert trained observers watching your back and increasing the odds of thwarting an ambush is always nice to have. A fraction of a second warning can be a lifesaver even or especially for demigod tier individuals.

By this train of thought, the best guards for Celestia and Luna wouldn't be recruited from the ranks of the frontline soldiers or battlemages but from the scouting and intelligence branches.

Something similar tends to happen in traveling communities (sailors, vans, possibly truckers).
A lot of cities will have a bar or cafe where travelers meet up and usually there's a bookcase in a corner somewhere. General rule is you take out as much as you put in.
My parents traveled a lot so it's where I got most of my books as a kid.

THANK you! I've been irritated by all the bashing the guards get. The princesses can defend themselves, but if they guarded themselves, they wouldn't have time to get anything done. Some things you just have to delegate.

The fact that there do seem to be an unusually large number of incompetent guards (at least among those with a daytime shift) is beside the point.

Wait, hold on...

Mr. Tingle is a real person?

Several, even many.

A positive Estee story is something I almost hate to pick at, but it's been bothering me from the beginning...

The palace had changed, because it had been a thousand years and so some degree of change could be seen as inevitable. But the old secret passages had simply required that some of the spells be recharged or recast

Before abeyance, didn't the Sisters live in an entirely different, Everfree palace? Or has that been changed in the Continuum and I missed it?

Achievement Unlocked: Implied Apocalypse :twilightoops: GET!!!

Psah. It's obviously a pound sign! £ :trollestia:

An interesting story that went through a few different pieces; The street library, the street artist and the erotic-fiction-writer.


And think no more of it until they wake up to four hooves landing on their bed.

Huh. So that's how Equestria ends.

Meanwhile, waking up to four hooves landing on their bed is how several of Mister Tingles' stories start.

The thought occurs that the guards can also deal with a pestering muckraker without the Princess' hooves being directly soiled or talk to a witness or street-petitioner without them curling up into a monosyllabic ammonite through nervousness or injuring themself via over-obeisance.
A guard can open the door while the Princess' head is embedded firmly within the pages of a book.

If nothing else, a guard is a fashion accessory which make the noble seem nobler.

Start or end; both involve bangs and whimpers.


That's okay, buckaroo. You can feel however you want to feel.

I can't decide if I love you or hate you for that pun.

In the Continuum, the Canterlot Palace got built before abeyance. Luna's half was closed off and walled up.

The Night Before Nightmare has more on that.

Thanks for the Tingle shoutout. I hadn't realized "Pounded In The Butt By Area 51 While Attempting To Storm It" was out yet.


"One disaster at a time, Tia," the younger sighed as she went over the bridge. "One disaster at a time."

Twilight = Chapterhouse Doom

Wilmington, North Carolina too!

Also, there's a certain amount of showmanship involved. By showing the quality of the people you retain and who swear loyalty to you, it reflects well on your own power.

Or to put it another way: Queen Maab doesn't stoop to effortlessly wiping out the opposition. She has people for that.

Clearly the term 'branding' came from Bovine tribal scarification. Ponies do Cutie Marks, Cows do Clans. Presumably there's some kind of clan magic involved with which one you choose to join, and once you do it's permanent.

How much more mass does Celestia have than Snowflake? Or does she? We know she's taller, but her build is much slimmer.

Booooo! That was so bad, it Herbert my brain!

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