• Member Since 10th Jul, 2011
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Shrinky Frod

Exploring the depths of the equine psyche! Now with ko-fi link and Patreon!


Limestone Pie. The family grumpy gus. The ruthless dictatrix of the Pie family rock farm.

Hard as rock, because that’s what the job needs.

But once in a while, the facade cracks, and shows the real mare beneath the stone.

CW: Pie family angst, depression, suicidal ideation, dissociative episodes

Cover art by the exceptionally patient and understanding Snow Quill.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 34 )

OK, it's a nice start, will track :twilightsmile:. Two things:

  1. Do you have an idea about how long it will get (more or less)? We're talking 5K, 25K, 100K words?
  2. I always imagined that the bare living conditions on the farm represented the traditional lifestyle, not lack of money. After all, when they hired Trixie to help, she was able to make enough bits to buy herself the Alicorn Amulet. Granted, it was never mentioned explicitly that she earned it all on the rock farm, but...

OK, gonna stop playing a smartass now :unsuresweetie:

Okay, jackass, happy now? Got a reminder that you’ve got something up on the Apples after all, that what you wanted? She stopped herself before she could get lost in her self-recrimination, shaking her head sharply.

What does that mean?

Basically, she was mentally ranting about the Apples having it easier, and then was abruptly reminded that there are ways she's better off - like having her parents. And now she feels like an ass for the ranting.I

It's actually all written, I'm just planning on spacing sections out. I'll probably be publishing one chunk each Friday (and there's only another 3-4 chapters.)

Oh - as for point 2, I would have agreed up until Hearthbreakers. Their traditions all struck me as being the sort of things that a family trying to pretend money wasn't a problem might do. Especially the gift hunt where, most years, nopony finds any gifts.

Which isn't necessarily incompatible with Trixie making off like a bandit. Swipe one good gem, and it could be worth a fortune.

I have thoughts on how rock farming works, but they aren't integral to the story.



Fair enough, that sounds logical.

Gonna be waiting in anticipation for the next chapters :raritywink:

There you go! Two more chapters after this, so it should all be up riiiiight before Halloween!

The next one is where it gets kinda heavy.

Oh, and about 6k words total. Most of which come next week.

“Applejack doth speak the truth,” Igneous explained to Mudbriar as Limestone got ready to leave. She was just about to close the door when she heard the second part of what her father was saying.

“It will do thee good to see what is involved in running the farm. Give thee time to adjust to the idea before thou takest it on, with Maud.”

Is that a bad thing?

It's... complicated.

The next chapter goes into why, but the short version is this:

Limestone's entire life, from a very early age, has been devoted to running the farm, keeping things going, being in charge. She's developed a certain routine, even if it's one that she's thoroughly miserable in.

And now she's just heard her Dad saying that the pony who said "nah, I'm going to leave you to the farm and go live my best life" is probably going to be the one who inherits it.

She's got a lot of layers of emotional scar tissue, and it's getting poked and prodded quite a bit today.

Is that what her father is saying to Mudbriar or is that what Mudbriar is saying?

That's what her father is saying to Mudbriar; that he expects the .two of them to take over the farm eventually (assuming, of course, that they stick together, end up having kids - you know, all those things parents tend to assume)



Thanks for the info and looking forward to it, but... damn. This story is hitting so close to home I'm starting to think you put a camera in here and based Limestone on me... The damn thing is just way too relatable :applejackconfused:

Let's just say there's a scene or three in here that I've lived.



I dare not to ask which scenes those were exactly, but I hope you're OK.

... and, don't get it the wrong way, but it makes me want to read the story even more now.

It's mostly the dissociative episodes and the thought cascades, along with something near the end of the next chapter.

GAD is fun! :pinkiecrazy:


That's what her father is saying to Mudbriar; that he expects the two of them to take over the farm eventually (assuming, of course, that they stick together, end up having kids - you know, all those things parents tend to assume)

saying to Mudbriar... ...that they stick together

Mudbriar... ...stick

Well, you learn something new every day.

Growing up in the Pie family meant speaking at least six languages fluently. Ponish and Middle Ponish, obviously, for dealing with the outside world and their parents. But then each of the Pie children had their own language, their own way of expressing themselves through their quirks and the scars that they’d built up over the years. Their own ways of expressing the things that they couldn’t actually say, not without making trouble.

Pinkie understood Maud’s the best. Maud was the only pony who even came close to speaking fluent “Pink-ese” as her sisters had come to call it. Limestone had learned to be the most straightforward of the four, having to deal with other ponies more than most and being the oldest of them. But Marble was the one who truly came closest to speaking another language, putting more meaning into two syllables than most ponies did into everything they said, if you knew how to understand her.

That’s actually interesting.

Limestone was in her bed, feeling sick, her head spinning and aching, her tongue bleeding slightly, her gut unsteady. Her eyes darted around, trying to figure out how she’d gotten into bed, just as Marble wrapped her up in a tight hug, tears on her muzzle.

“You- did you hit me?”

And at that moment I would have tackled Maud to the ground and probably killed her.

Also, I have a lot of questions.

For what it's worth, Limestone is incredibly disoriented here.

Unconsciousness has a way of doing that to you. Like hitting a hard reset on your short term memory. Not fun at all.

Feel free to ask those questions though, because I've got no idea if I'm going to answer them in the end. :twilightblush:

Was that a reply to to limestone being knocked out?

Honestly, nearly the entire chapter was confusing. I don’t know what question to ask first.

Oh, wow, this chapter is a massive step upwards :pinkiehappy:

Limestone and Trixie is an interesting thought. I hadn't considered that angle before, not sure I quite see it, but it's not like Limestone has had a lot of options. Good idea to include!

“Please be Marble,” she whimpered softly.


This was a great moment. Those two are a fascinating study in co-dependence, and the one comfort they have in that barren place is each other.

Everything heating up with Limestone towards the end there was great to see, and well written. I particularly liked the idea that she sees only the downsides in both outcomes, and can't be happy whatever happens. She can't decide which side she's on, except for the losing one.

I'd been reading this kind of passively so far to see how it turned out, but now I'm really looking forwards to the conclusion. Thanks for writing! :twilightsmile:

Well, we'll see if anything is cleared up after the ending, but I'll probably have an explanation of my mental processes in a blog post once it's up that may explain parts of this.

Glad to know it took a step up for you. :) Hope that the conclusion works for you too, though this is probably a world I'll be coming back to in the future to see how it actually ends.


Ouch... this chapter really hurt... f*ck, Limestone is way too relatable for my taste here. Also, Limestone and Trixie, huh? That's not a ship you hear about every day.

Looking forward to the final chapter and especially the resolution :unsuresweetie:

So you want me to ask the questions now or...?

If you'd like, go for it. The worst that happens is I say "it'll come up."

Or "I don't think even Limestone knows."

“Maud… Sis, I’m sorry, I didn’t me-” The words died on Limestone’s lip as Maud shot her a sharp glance.

Lie to me, and I will hit you, it said.

I would have taken that as a challenge. Also, does that mean maud didn’t hit her?

“Apple Bloom told me what you said about fading out,” Maud explained, sitting up on the side of the bed.

Fading out?

“We’re grown up now, Limestone. Just ask Mudbriar,” the corner’s of Maud’s mouth twitched up momentarily.

“Mmm… okay, I’ll give you and Marble credit for that,” Limestone conceded with the faintest of smirks. “If Pinkie ever grows up, I probably will keel over.”

It took me some time to understand that, but I think I got it.

She just wasn't sure how she was supposed to get away from herself.

What does that mean?

No, Maud didn't hit her; she hyperventilated and passed out, hurting herself when she fell. However, Maud recognized what was happening and was trying to catch her just before she blacked out. Since Limestone didn't realize what was happening, she took "Maud moving at me fast" and "ow, my head, what happened" to translate into "wait, did Maud hit me?"

To put the proper words to what's going on in here - all words Limestone doesn't know, since they're kind of in a field she isn't - what's happening to her is a massive chronic anxiety disorder. She's been having dissociative episodes, sleepwalking/sleepworking, and doing a number of other unhealthy things.

Unfortunately, it's not something that's as easy to get away from as taking a break. A big part of it is built into how she responds to situations and life around her, and things she's trained herself to fixate on. Leaving the farm... well, I'm planning to come back to Limestone in the future, so I won't go into the full details here, but she's as likely to spend her time worrying about what's happening on the farm then as she does growling, snarling, and cussing in her head about the workload when she is there.

I'll have a blog post later going into some of my thoughts here; when the POV is in the head of a character who doesn't understand what's wrong, it's hard to explain what's wrong in the story.


So she had a panic attack? Interesting...

It was a nice read, but the ending screams for a sequel... any plans for it :unsuresweetie:?

Probably. I feel bad for poor Limey, and want to try and get her somewhere happy. At least a little.



Will look forward to it :raritywink:

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