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The Red Parade

Cars are still parked outside. If the rapture had happened, why was it unrecognizable? Why was the sky blue? Why did no one tell me? Do these things not announce themselves?


Love is so much more than warm hugs and kisses. Love is a language. Love is what we dream of, what we never had. It's everything we've left behind. Above all, love is being brave.

Content Warnings: this story involves the discussion of deceased loved ones in various forms. The story itself contains no actual on-screen deaths.

An entry for the Quills and Sofas Princess Cadance Contest, where it placed second. Thank you to Snow Quill, Shaslan, Emotion Nexus, Lofty Withers, wishcometrue, AFanaticRabbit, Applezombi, Seer, Decaf, Undome Tinwe, and NovelleTale for letting me break your hearts.

Other characters in the story: Big Mac, Cherry Berry, Daring Do, Cheerilee, Luna

For Lost. I hope things get better. <3

Featured on EQD 4/29/21.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 29 )

This story is absolutely incredible, Red. The way you use each vignette to so deftly show the different forms and shapes of loves, and the various hardships of them, is fantastic. Everyone feels in character too, which is even more impressive. I feel no hesitation in considering this story a masterpiece.


<3 Thanks wish! Could never have done it without you, thanks for showing me that Cadance is in fact pretty epic

Really enjoyed this one. Cadance doesn't get enough love (hah), but you did her justice here.

Wonderful. Simply wonderful. Your skill is obvious. I salute you! raises ice tea

love; not wrong (brave)

To me, this song is a personal favorite :twilightsmile::heart:

I knew the title of this was familiar. Been a hot minute since I listened to EDEN.

Have a look back and get a hit of nostalgia! :pinkiehappy:

Stop writing such brilliant stories. I'm gobsmacked.

Brilliant, just brilliant. Always love to see Cadance get some love. Nice work

Wonderfully done story. I knew I recognized the title from somewhere, and the AN confirmed it for me.

This was a really nice story, and it was neat seeing Cadance help various ponies, each representing a different aspect of love. I will say that I found Daring's story odd, though. A miscarriage being a female character's motivation for everything after is a bit of a trope, and I was surprised to see it in an MLP fic.

That was wonderful. Thank you for it.

Ouch, this story was a series of gut-punches. But it really shows just how strong Cadance is, dealing with all that pain of others, and with far more than just romantic love.

Hello, a review to your story has been posted. I hope you find it helpful. :raritywink:

Nicely done!

Greetings. Your reading has been completed and can be found here. I hope you enjoy.

Twilight's arrogance in the first segment is amusingly on-character. :twilightsmile:

It is good to see Cadance applying her job's duties in an all-encompassing way. I am surprised you took this in a different direction than just examining the four Greek ideals of love (eros (romantic), philae (friendship), agape (sacrificial), storge (family)), or the love languages, which is what I would have expected from most stories. Instead, you appear to have taken the concept here in an inventive way beyond the expected with vignettes based on dichotomies: parents known, parents not-known, child not known (with another one coming soon(?)), lover departed, friends departed (told to a friend present), and lover present. Best wishes! :twilightsmile:

This is a great take on Cadance and her role as a princess. It's a shame the show doesn't really explore what it means to be a princess of love, and I find your take both interesting a heartbreaking. Love is great, but also brings with it the deepest pain one can imagine—sometimes even greater than that. Your series of vignettes highlights the very real struggles Cadance would have to solve, and her actions demonstrate that, even for a pony princess, the answers are messy. She puts on a brave face and projects confidence, but being a therapist takes its toll, especially with the heavy trauma and doubts she confronts every day.

You've done a great job with this story, and I can't wait to see more.

Each story reaches out with varying situations, but what they have in common is how love transcends the barrier of death. If I got it correct, each scene is an anecdote of Cadance’s as she lightly tells Twilight that love was much more than a type of friendship..

The two lines that particularly strike me are:

”When I was young,” Big Mac continued, “I was scared. Scared one day I’d forget ‘em. What they looked like. Sound like. Their names, even.”

Never thought of it that way, but one of the signs you’ve thought deeply about the characters.

“But that has led me to question some things,” Cheerilee finally said again. “Princess… is it wrong for me to love again?”

Very common, yet valid concern.

Even though I don’t relate, it still has that emotional resonance. It’s hard letting go especially if fear complicates the matter.

But the one that gets me the most:

“When I was finally cleansed from Nightmare Moon… it was a strange and surreal feeling,” Luna continued. “But it was nothing compared to the months after. The world I knew was gone, Cadance. The ponies I knew nothing more than the spoken names and memories. The places I knew wore different faces, and were called different things. Even my beloved sky is different. And when I spoke to the moon…” Luna trailed off for a second. “I felt it didn’t recognize me.”

A lot can change over a year, let alone a thousand. It’s suffocating. Nothing is there for comfort, for the familiar has passed away. You awaken to an alien world where you live in constant fear. One you struggle to understand.

Undoubtedly, Luna will be struggling with this for quite some time. Even then, the scars will never truly be healed.

Still, Cadance’s listening ear will help. And that is all that is needed.

Howdy, hi!

I'm adding this fic to the "list of fics where Twilight needs a good shaking". Loved this. The different facets of love explored were super enjoyable and loved the characterization of Cadane in this. The vignette style of storytelling here really suited the atmosphere and feel of everything, just a cozy fic about Cadance talking ponies through their troubles.

The final moment with Shining was also really great. Its also interesting because though friendship and love can go hand in hand there are cases where love becomes something entirely different then what one would expect.

Anyways, really enjoyed this, thanks for the read~!

such a beautiful meditation on what love is. you do such a great job in drawing out each of these characters in these short vignettes, and your talent in filling out the details of background ponies in a way that makes them feel like real and full versions of themselves is on full display here. Cherry Berry's section was a particular favorite of mine, with

“Princess-- Cadance,” she blurted, “Is it… Is it wrong to love someone I never knew?”

just hitting with the full weight of its complexity and subtlety. the origin of the initials A.K. in the Daring Do section was also a very nice touch, and i really liked the variety in the relationships explored to get at the full contours of love: parents, children, lovers, and friends.

it was a beautiful piece full of moving lines, but one line near the end really struck me in particular:

She may have been the Princess of Love, but love was something that knew no limits, nor sense nor rhythm. Love was not always happy: love was grief and loss and pain, just as much as it was warm hugs and kisses and marriage.

and i may carry that for a while. thank you for this, Red

I too, love to meditate on meaning of love aplenty :twilightsmile:
Quite fascinating...

But I also think that it is a struggle. That's why I've written/will write, what I wrote. Love of any kind is something worth to strive for, to show your character. Often, more than not, it is something that needs action, if even miniscule, not just musings and feelings. Love is something to be act upon, in various forms as well. Something to be sustained and not taken for granted.

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