• 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.)


Running a library is a lot of work, especially when you're doing it all by yourself. But the Bearers are out of town, a little dragon wasn't allowed to participate in the mission, it's the sort of autumn day where all of Ponyville wants to curl up with a book -- and just to make things worse, Twilight was running a Print Your Own Story event. Add in the boxes upon boxes of fresh Release Day hardcovers, and Spike just has too much to do.

So why not let the patrons do it themselves? What's the hazard in allowing ponies to check out (and print) their own books with no supervision whatsoever? The library has rules. Surely you can't get a card unless you understand that.

Spike thinks ponies understand rules.

It's a mistake he's only going to make once.

(Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 54 )

Ah, memories of youth, when our misguided social studies teacher let everybody in the class print a copy of their report for each of the other students. Too long in a room filled with mimeograph fluid vapors is not really a child-friendly activity. It was educational, though. I think my mother kept all of the reports. Something to take to my (mutters quietly under breath) class reunion.

"Spike?" The adolescent's voice was also deciding what it wanted to be: there was some difficulty in committing to a register. "The printer is jammed."
Lone Star!

Without even having read it yet (sorry, fourteen hour day at work), I have a feeling this was inspired by recent events.

My sister's English teacher made the mistake of telling students to bring in a poem & got 27 poems by Rod McKuen :facehoof:

This story made me miss my hometown library. Made me remember when I was so frustrated that I couldn't check out more than three books at the same time and cursing at the unfairness of that rule or that when the new stuff came in, somebody else got it before me.

Ah memories.

Great story Estee

Oh and for a moment I thought with horror that Mister Flankington was here to print his own cookbook...

Spike has become Lord Spike of the Aethenium, Master of All He Surveys.

🧐 So Lyra is a zebra, eh? 🦓

Leave it to some snot-nosed, braindead brat and his failure of a father to come up with a scheme like that. And both be dumb enough to think it would actually work. This would be funny if it weren't for the fact we're living in times with people this stupid...

And this is why the world of Generation 5 is the mess it is. They don't need external enemies because their own stupidity, non-existent record keeping and herd instinct do quite nicely to muck things up.

Love your writing style; made what could have been a somewhat mundane story into something engaging, comic and wildly relatable for all 14k words, which is certainly much more than I expected to read judging from the title and description but managed to sustain my interest anyway.

I may have mentioned this before, but given anthractie's effects on Spike's digestion, I have to wonder if diamonds are an even worse booby trap. Though given how the alignment of the crystals has an impact on flavor, it could be more complicated than "It's just carbon."

And she'd also started the process of inadvertently creating a new mythology, because there were ponies all over town locking their bedroom doors against the approach of the Fearsome Gerund. None of them were entirely sure what it was, and every last pony had decided it could kill.

This got a big laugh from my roommate, the English tutor.

And it was obvious that ponies were reading everything, followed by sticking to the Rules. Because if they weren't, then they wouldn't checking things out!

Yeah, that's definitely Twilit logic right there.

dust meant to create feather highlights could take months to be fully brushed out of her teeth.

Huh. Does this explain Cadence's feather gradients in-verse?

Darn, Georg beat me to the Spaceballs reference.

A trembling right foreleg lifted itself from the soapbox, jabbed out towards the unicorn.

I didn't know Roseluck was from Genosha.

"Anything anypony else already did is easy. Or they wouldn't have been able to do it."

:moustache: "Really? Have you tried raising the sun?"

It astonishes me that one of the kindest, most empathetic ponies in Ponyville was inspired by, of all beings, Sheldon J. Plankton.

So far, all I've got is 'nomenclature squatting'. Which doesn't feel quite right...

"Identity theft" is right out. They clearly aren't changelings. :derpytongue2:

"So. Discord. You've been around for a while."
"And your sister is a bit high-strung. Your point being?"
"Were ponies always like this, or did you do something to them?"
"Ah. My dear boy, speaking as a fellow being looking at the herd from the outside, I wish I could take credit for it."

Hilarious stuff, if a bit sad in terms of what people try to get away with without supervision. Thank you for it. (And yeah, they definitely could've called in some assistants for Spike during the pre-holiday rush. 20/20 hindsight and all.)

Cotton Cloudy... Awww, sorta sad? Hope things go well for her...

Huh, speaking of parents and stuff, Cotton Cloudy's isn't any help?

Lol, that ending scene! Speaking of magic being gone... How's Science Fiction doing post-Tirek?



his feet his > his feet hit

"How were you able to keep Spike out of jail after he mauled and ate the Flower Trio?"
"'Aggressive, inadvertent littering.' Even has a statue in the penal code."
"...yea, I can see that. It works."


The little dragon sniffed the air, fought the urge to faceclaw. However, as a groan, "Raspberry?" was permissible.

Only one stallion would dare give me Raspberry... Lone Star...

It's always a good day when a young dragons fancies turn to bochords.

I like how Spike might have been part of the problem, but when he realized it immediately became part of the solution. That's something the Bearers need to learn how to do.

Good little tale here. "Spake" is always a fun perspective to visit. Thanks for writing it.

This was a cute one with a nice variety of things going wrong for poor Spike. Personally, I think Cotton Cloudy is a future best-selling author.

Excellent, Estee! Big fun, very funny.

I forgot to mention that I really appreciate that this was a Spike story. You write good ones and I it's always a treat to learn more about your interpretation of him.

Especially love how a growl or a roar from him can make a crowd stop in it's track. :rainbowlaugh:

As usual, you have caused me to laugh, rage, and despair. Mostly the latter.

"A lot of mares get premenstrual syndrome," Roseluck unlogicked. "It makes them irritable. And Princess Luna's irritable just about all the time, so can you imagine how bad it is when she gets it? It would just about turn her into a monster. So she channels it into Moon. Which radiates it. And makes more monsters."

"I just realized something about Nightmare Moon," Roseluck added in a reverent hush. "How many centuries of PMS coming back to her at once --"

Plot twist: Bon Bon was actually trying to mercy kill Roseluck before Luna found out about this, and had a chance to enter her dreamscape.:rainbowlaugh:

Heh, 20/20 hindsight has taken on a whole new meaning in this day and age. And we can't even blame Discord for it!

"'Then they had sex.'"

Congratulations, Cotton, you're the new Rainbow Dash!

What does this story have anything to do with G5:applejackconfused:

It points us to the mindset that leads to the mess made of things: the herd instinct, the blindness to history and precedent and the need to play the innocent are all still there.

thinks and calculates

Ok checks out.
The new film does have those themes (tho I don't know what herd instinct is)

Blindness to actual history I somewhat see what you're talking but I can only say it roughly matches because I think it's theme is more on misinformation or misrepresentation

As we see in the film, it's awfully easy to stampede them into doing something stupid. All you need is the right mixture of bullshit and the instinctive drive to run mindlessly in response to a perceived threat.


Welp nice talking but for now... time to make some theories on G5:pinkiecrazy:
this shit's gon' be goooood


It stop being funny when you think in the anti-mask and MAGA rallies, and realize those are just the more recent examples.

Critical thinking should be a mandatory course in public education.

Yes, it should. It would make it hard to stupid people to wield unearned power.

"then they wouldn't checking things out"
"then they wouldn't be checking things out"?

"All because he'd hadn't applied the lesson"
"All because he hadn't applied the lesson"?

"purse. a quarter-ream of papers clutched between her teeth"
"purse. A quarter-ream of papers was clutched between her teeth"?

"I think there were a few ponies were waiting for that one"
"I think there were a few ponies waiting for that one"?

"boring," the colt decide. "Or something"
"boring," the colt decided. "Or something"?

"Can't set me in fire, can't scratch"
"Can't set me on fire, can't scratch"?

"while a first were first-time efforts receiving strong promotion"
"while a few were first-time efforts receiving strong promotion"?

"what had become evidence box"
"what had become the evidence box"?

"can keep that up." A forehoof scrapped at the floor. "Introduce themselves. Then one of them says 'Give me your name.' Exactly that phrasing, Spike. 'Give.' And the"
"can keep that up." A forehoof scrapped at the floor. "Introduce themselves. Then one of them says 'Give me your name.' Exactly that phrasing, Spike. 'Give.' And the"?

Thank you, as usual, for writing. :)

I really hope Flankington has a resistance to his own cooking. He deserves a better lot.

And she'd also started the process of inadvertently creating a new mythology, because there were ponies all over town locking their bedroom doors against the approach of the Fearsome Gerund. None of them were entirely sure what it was, and every last pony had decided it could kill.

Just wait until they hear about the Dread Gazebo.

ponies all over town locking their bedroom doors against the approach of the Fearsome Gerund. None of them were entirely sure what it was, and every last pony had decided it could kill.



"You told me who you were," the colt smirked. "And I wrote down your name first. So that means I own it."

:facehoof: Does this colt have a death-wish or is he really that arrogantly stupid?

10989833 Beware, if you damage his books he'll have you torn apart by angry autonarchs atronachs!

10992601 They just need to attack it with fire. :pinkiehappy:


:facehoof: Does this colt have a death-wish or is he really that arrogantly stupid?

Embrace the healing power of "and."

Somebody posted a bunch of plagiarized stories using autoapproval, and then got banned.

Not the first time that’s happened, either. There was one other notorious account not that long ago, can’t remember the username. I think they followed me but apparently didn’t find any of my stories were worth stealing. Oh well.

You're referring to TheScottishbroney2 who plagiarized tons of stories on here. They continue to make new accounts and get banned a lot.

This was long and detailed for a one shot story.

That seems like such a silly hobby to have, but I suppose to each his or her own.

This was rather well fine haha. Oh poor spike. Also loke what you did with the curry stallion. I totally forgot he existed


Words of advice...

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals; and YOU KNOW IT!!!"

~ Agent K, 'Men In Black'

Yet you still hit "post comment." Hypocrite :^)

Is this story the same time period as Advance Directive? Cause there are some seriously different moods between them. Love your writing!

Miranda really needs her own story.

Okay, lemme see....gonna let it all out...

Waking up the next day, Twilight Sparkle learned just how bad it'd gotten in her absence.

She learned this when, only halfway done getting a thorough - if sheepish - explanation out of Spike, a furious series of knocks pounded against the library door. She'd barely gotten it fully open when a lilac muzzle came within an inch of smashing into her lavender.

"Are you out of your hoity-toity skull, Sparkle?"


"You left a bucking minor to run the entire library all by himself on the busiest day of the bookselling world?!" It was, indeed, Flitter. And she didn't look happy. True, that tended to be a universal constant, but this morning had her practically flaring her wings in an aggression display. "I thought you, at least, had brains!"

Eardrums ringing, Twilight tried to collect herself enough to answer, "Th-the Princess...she said-"

"To drop everything and run, yeah. I heard. So what else is new?" Flitter's glare trumped any indignation Twilight returned, because she pressed on without skipping a beat. "Wanna know how many parents around town are filing complaints because their foal read R-rated material, ranging from graphic murder mysteries to raunchy romance novels to sex-ed?" Twilight had not, though she'd gotten far enough in Spike's explanation to know that Miranda had a list of some kind waiting for her to pick up. "Sweet Tartarus, probably scared half the school into eternal virginity."

Twilight heard Spike let out a very loud, very long groan of total, utter dismay behind her.

"I...look, it was on such short notice-"

"Cow patties!" Pegasi didn't have Earth Pony strength, but Flitter didn't seem to care as she slammed her hoof on the ground. "You had two days to get it together before Big Important Trip Number Whatever; you could've asked anypony for help, any responsible adult who knew the rules better than a kid left to their own devices to help him run a library swamped to the ceiling. Buck, I would've helped if I knew what was happening sooner! Instead, I gotta hear about it from Chaser after work, about how little Rumble was given The Talk from somepony who wasn't his big brother! Who, by the way, is fuming."


"Seriously, Sparkle, you did more than drop the ball on this one. You dropped the whole dang hoofball stadium!" With one final glare, punctuated by a snort, Flitter spun around on her hooves - coming centimeters of clocking Twilight with her tail in the process - and stalked off into town proper, leaving Twilight staring after her in the doorway.

I didn't know how else to end it and I didn't want to make it too long. I just wanted to, well, voice my opinion on Twilight's choice of leaving an unsupervised minor alone on a busy work day to man the store. No offense intended towards Estee's work, I think they're all awesome!

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