• Member Since 6th Jun, 2019
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Sweetie Belle is best pony. | Avatar credit.


Rainbow Dash has a problem that she can't put into words. Hopefully, Applejack will know what's wrong.

It's too bad hopes often get dashed upon the rocks.

Cover art by Cherivinca and is used with permission.

The original version of this story was an entry to a writeoff round with the prompt Let's Make It Quick.

Thanks to _Moonshot and Seer for editing.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 16 )

“Yeah, of course. Thanks AJ,” Rainbow said, plastering a smile on her face as her brain screamed at her and her insides turned to acid and lead.”

This was a great description of what it feels like to at the same time, feel weighed down by depression, and how caustic it feels to have to fake it, and what's more, having to say something that's difficult to produce both feelings. And you balanced both of these very well!

Rainbow Dash scrambled to her hooves, smiling despite her heart racing and her chest tightening. “Yeah, no worries!” She really hoped her voice hadn’t actually just cracked.

This was beautifully done.

So with this reading completed, I come bearing both praise and critique. First, the bitter stuff, so you can chase it with the sweet. This didn't really feel like it had any development, and it just sort of tapered off. However, the sweet understands the bitter.

This wasn't, to me, a story of Rainbow expressing her problems to her best friend and getting to the root of her problems and solving this. This was the agonizing reality of fumbling in the dark that depression causes. And what's worse about this wandering is that it's labored, aimless, and often unintentionally self-destructive. It was a glimpse into the reality that sometimes your friends are too busy with their own problems to tend to yours. This isn't to say that they can't help you, or aren't willing to, but often, and especially now, people are incredibly busy and likely juggling their own problems. Adding onto this magnificence, Dash isn't in a good mental place either and interprets this harsh truth that her friend is busy as an attack on her. This is a place I've been myself, and that's a corner depression will guide you into.

What you do well, Wish, is emotions and the indirect. Even though this was written directly, there was a lot to read into, that I hope I accurately witnessed. And even though it was short, this was, as usual, a stand-out piece by you. Short isn't the right word to describe it, in this case, for how much there is here. Potent is. And potent is the raw, ugly, and unfortunately, relatable emotions found within Rainbow Dash. Wonderful, wonderful work!

As usual your prose and emotional appeal is legendary. What you don't directly say still hits as hard as what you *do* directly say, and the impact is all too really. Everything Rainbow is saying really hit home for me, and yet Applejack didn't come off as antagonistic to me at all: I think she does want to help but doesn't know how.

Brilliantly done.

Wow, that was rough. You did a great job showing Rainbow's mental state, and Applejack's impatience with her hit really hard. Hopefully Rainbow gets the help she needs after this.

On a side note, Applejack noting Rainbow's funks go away after a few days reminds me of a detail about Rainbow from the original series bible. One aspect left out of the show is that she'd sometimes disappear for a few days then return with no explanation of what she was doing. I doubt the intention was that she was staying at home in a depressive episode, but I think that would be an interesting way to interpret that.

And, as much as she hated to admit it, she was scared. She was scared of the way things felt pointless; she was scared of the way she couldn’t sleep. But most of all she was scared that she just felt empty. Hollowed out.

This bit in particular really hit me hard, that endless cycle of numbness and fear, sometimes bleeding into each other and other times standing apart.

The portrayal of both Applejack and Rainbow Dash in this is refreshing to say the least. Applejack is a busy mare who doesn’t have time for beating around the bush and overall isn’t the best with emotional talk. Rainbow, while not always as busy, is also fairly straight forward when it comes to talking. Overall, they aren’t two characters one would readily expect to see in this situation. Yet, once read, it makes perfect sense.

One thing I want to commend you on is not ending it on a high note. There’s no happy ever after, no magical explosion and one minute turnaround after a lesson is learned. Rainbow Dash is hurt, rightfully so, and we don’t see the inevitable ‘kiss and make up’ that comes after. We are left with a mare who is lost, confused, and now betrayed. As the reader, I was left just as lost as she is, and despite knowing that Applejack was trying her best, I too felt the sting of ‘rejection’, of a friend, a best friend, unable to help. And that, I feel, was the perfect ending to this.

I don’t know how but you cracked open your brain and let the thoughts and feeling spill onto the page and they came across perfectly. Everything that I’ve felt while depressed is here displayed perfectly for the viewing of everyone. Reading this feels like my skull was cut open and everything in my brain spilled out into perfect worded forms.

Oof. I get this feeling. Especially that moment when Rainbow realizes it's a bad time, tries to backpedal, and can't. Kinda stuck in a really rough position where she can't leave but she also knows staying won't help... I've been there. It's awful. But you do a great job of exploring all the nuances behind these feelings! Your writing is amazing, you always make me empathize with the characters!

Seer #7 · June 23rd · · ·

Lovely stuff wish
As always you're excellent at getting into a characters head and making the reader empathise with them
And, as I pointed out in the editing, theres plenty of well executed and very heartbreaking lines in here too, such as the olive branch line
Excellent work!

Excellent fic, it describes how these situations tend to play out all too well. The characters are used perfectly even if the entire situation isn't really show material. Applejack is definitely the perfect character for the role she's in. She's always show as being so dependable and well functioning to a fault, it's perfectly believable how she just can't begin to imagine what a shit show Rainbow's going through. Several of the lines hit way too close home.

ive said this about your writing before but your use of language as this beautiful vehicle for a specific feeling is incredible. every character and indeed almost every line is tailored to pry the readers hands open and force a feeling into their palms. it hurts! it hurts to hold something as painful as someone you trust not giving you the love and affection that you feel, that you KNOW you deserve. and you communicate that perfectly here. knowing what you have in the pipeline makes me beyond overjoyed. thank you for writing this

This story reminds me a lot of Untwisting the Knot, except where that fanfic deals with social anxiety, this one deals with clinical depression. Both feature Rainbow Dash as main character, and both have her talking to Applejack.

Posh #12 · June 24th · · ·

Rainbow might not have known what was wrong with her, but she was sick of running in mental circles.

She wanted to fly in mental circles.

She was scared of the way things felt pointless; she was scared of the way she couldn’t sleep. But most of all she was scared that she just felt empty. Hollowed out.

And Han Solo kept trying to stuff people inside of her. It was getting old, fast.

“Just ‘cause I’m busy doesn’t mean I can’t spare a minute for a friend,” Applejack said, offering a small smile. “Could we walk and talk, though? Work waits for no one and all.”

“Applejack, we talked about liberating you from the shackles of capitalism, didn’t we?”

“Yeah, of course. Thanks AJ,” Rainbow said, plastering a smile on her face as her brain screamed at her and her insides turned to acid and lead. So much for leaving well enough alone. She followed as Applejack walked to the next tree. “I’ve just been down lately, and I’m not sure what I should do about it.”

Well, your insides just turned to acid and lead, so, I’m sure that isn’t helping matters anyway.

Incidentally, maybe you should swing by the ponyville alchemist, and see if you can’t transmute your leaden liver into gold.

“Sure, I’ve tried doing that stuff,” Rainbow said, watching Applejack set up her baskets under a couple of unbucked trees. “I’ve tried practicing some tricks. I’ve tried every flying exercise I know. Hay, I’ve even tried just waiting this out, but nothing seems to be working.”

“Well, you tried beatin’ off?”

“Oh fuck, no I haven’t, thanks.”

*roll credits*

“So, you don’t know what’s got you down,” Applejack said slowly, breaking the silence, “And you decided the best course of action was to come here and not to, say, write down your thoughts or something?”

Way to assume Rainbow Dash is literate.

I really enjoyed how you contexualize Rainbow’s depression. But I feel like Applejack’s end of this is a little weaker. It’s perfectly in character for her to not grasp Rainbow’s emotional state properly, and the fact that Rainbow misreads their friendship so badly, and goes looking to her for solace that she’s not equipped to provide, is... well, it’s great.

But I feel like you overplay things by having AJ snap so badly at Dashie. I can see that working for some characters, but not Applejack.

Anyway, 11/10, it’s okay.

MopeyMop #13 · June 26th · · 15 ·

why's it about rainbow dash? i like pinkie pie more, you should do a pinkie pie story

That one hit hard - good job conveying those emotions!! *clap clap clap
Friends aren’t perfect and can mess it up sometimes, but it still left me feelin’ a little sad for Dashie:fluttershysad: artwork is beautiful too.

Now this.

I liked this.

Very few stories tailor depression to how it would impact the specific character. This is one of the stories that breaks the mold.

Oh man, this fic hits close to home. Depression consumes me in a way where I don't feel anything. No happiness or sadness, just hollow. I feel like talking to someone about it, why I'm tired and unmotivated all the time, but the words never come out and they don't understand why I'm talking.
Love this

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