• Member Since 27th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen May 11th, 2015

Midnight herald


E
Source

She's the artist of the two of us. She's always been the dreamer, and she always drifts off somewhere between a fantasy and the stars above us. And I'll always be nearby to pull her back to the ground. Every day she shows me how to be more, and I show her how to be herself again. It's not perfect, but it works, and that's what matters.

Cover art provided by the wonderful Esle Ynopemos. (Seriously, check his stuff out. He's wonderful)

Chapters (1)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 43 )

I enjoyed this

It was kinda random, but short. Just enough of both to admire it.

ppl might dislike this because the setting is subtle (dunno if its the right term to use, but i hope you get my meaning)

But I managed to get the full picture (ME SMART!)

1686727 I'm glad you liked it. I just kinda wrote it all out in one go, and I could see how it's a bit rambling and unclear...:twilightblush:

I really enjoyed this, thank you for writing this beautiful short and sweet piece. So few words, and you told me a tale that had me captured from beginning to end. Well done :twilightsmile:

1709196 Thanks for the feedback- it took me a couple workthroughs in my head to come up with this one scene, and I'm glad the history behind it all came through for you. I'm a bit worried that it's too unclear, but changing that takes away the feeling I'm after. Anyhow, I'm glad you liked it!

It's always one of the sad facts that with as much content that flies through the site, many hidden gems end up staying hidden. I do want to commend you on an incredible piece of work you've created here. It was touching and thoughtful and so very evocative. I could really see that thousand yard stare, and smell the Zap Apple jam, and feel the midsummer heat of the kitchen. I honestly found it impressive how much world building you were able to accomplish with so few words, implying so many things while not leaving the characters or past events feeling ambiguous or unsupported. I rarely felt lost and wondering how you arrived at a certain conclusion or why the characters ended up acting or reacting in a specific way, a testament to your character building and how well you stayed in character (with a few minor exceptions I'll put down later).

Overall, the concept is great and the very thought of exploring the 'Bloom-Belle relationship at a distant point in time is both intriguing and unique. This pairing isn't done nearly often enough and taking it that far down the timeline is a novel concept in-and-of itself. When I first started reading this I was worried that the characters would end up generic mature ponies that you could place anyone into and have it make just as much sense, as extrapolating years and years gives plenty of freedom for characters to grow and change in any conceivable fashion which leads many authors to revert to stereotypes. I'm thrilled to be pleasantly surprised by your characters. Both 'Bloom and Belle were full of character, life, traits, quirks that all fit perfectly into canon and fanon. So many things felt right about this and I want to applaud you for an excellent job.

If you don't mind taking a few criticisms, please keep reading. Otherwise, do skip down to the last paragraph and take the review above at its face value, because this was an absolutely fantastic piece.

For all I said above, there were a few things that ended up being rather unclear to me. Some of these barely affect a thing and might not need to be even mentioned as it has no bearing on the story, others might need a little clarification. The first is the issue of the timeline, where we are in terms of time. Obviously we are decades in the future of where the show is set, but how far is unclear to me, and therefore Applebloom's age is unclear. We open with jars of zap apple jam being handed off Appleseed to take to his mother. I can only assume that he's the grand-nephew mentioned later, meaning he's Applejack's or Macintosh's grandson, but that doesn't necessarily give a great reference point. If he's, let's say, 8 and his mother is, let's say, early 30s, that would probably place the first generation no more than mid sixties and 'Bloom would likely be in her mid fifties. That timeline is flexible since we're not given much to judge the age of Appleseed, but it begs to ask the question where are the grandparents? Moreover, Applebloom doesn't appear to suffering from any of the effects of advanced age, which is fine, but to that it sounds like she's not quite that old. It left me wondering slightly "when" we were.

To go along with that, I was a little confused as to what "Unicorn Cortex Degeneration" was. If Applebloom and Sweetie Belle are in their 60s or later, then that could very easily be the Alzheimer-like equivalent. If they are younger, then it becomes an un-expectable medical condition that changes my outlook on how Applebloom is handling it. While neither choice is wrong, or make less sense, ambiguity leaves me questioning what the choice means.

Following on the time line, the penultimate paragraph mentions the latest foster-filly. I was left wondering who's kid this was. Was this a filly 'Bloom and Sweetie adopted? I can't really imagine placing a foster child in the hands of a someone with a degenerative mental disease. This is no slight on the two of them nor saying that they couldn't be excellent parents, but its irresponsible to take that sort of risk. So then is it Appleseed's foster sister? Why adopt after you know you can have your own? I do understand there are reasons to do so, and I don't intend to disregard those choices, but it leaves questions to the reader as to why. I have to question it because it feels the same as saying "and then Spike landed carrying the day's load of apples". It comes out of left field, unsupported and leaves me wondering "Wha?"

I do want to commend you for keeping Applebloom's character so well without resorting to making everything nigh-on unreadable in a full on southern accent. Pretty much all the grammatical issues felt like they were part of the character, like they were what Applebloom would say. That being said there was one spot that I couldn't make work in 'Bloom's voice.

It holds her steady and safe when I cannot, soothes her when I am miles away

It only really stood out to me because everything else was done so well. I read it and reread it and I couldn't fit it into her voice. There's a distinct diction change, and its a very pretty line, very poetic. I just can't hear Applebloom expressing it that way. There's also a period missing at the end of the sentence.

Again, please don't take any of this to say that I didn't enjoy reading it. I absolutely adored it and I can only offer my praise and thanks for sharing it. It is truly a work of art and I do hope you are proud of it, because you should be. As for my opinions, everybody has them and you are more than free take or disregard the comments as you see fit. I do think there are some questions to think about and I hope you will look through them.

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck in what you do.
-Duskrider

1780506 Those discrepancies you pointed out are all issues I've noticed myself, and that I may go back and try to edit later, once I have my life back. I can see exactly what you mean about Appleseed showing up. He doesn't belong in this story, and it was a classic moment of too much headcanon on not enough sleep to tone it down. I can see how the 'ageless' descriptions of Applebloom would be confusing, and that's something I'd try to pin down. Right now, I'm seeing her around her mid to late 50s, although she doesn't really move that way. I guess I was trying to contrast her graceful aging with Sweetie's condition and it fell a bit flat, making her seem younger than it should have. And yeah, I'm not a huge fan about how Bloom's voice comes across at certain moments - the sentence you pointed out may well be the worst of it. I will probably do some reworking when I no longer have finals and recitals destroying my free time. Thank you very much for your helpful feedback; I'll take it all into account.

Wow, this was just phenomenal! So bittersweet and poignant :fluttercry:

quite a touching story:fluttercry:

Gorgeous, phenomenal, splendiforous, other, sometimes made-up, words for 'good'.

It always seems to be the short, indistinct ones that truly can tug on the heartstrings. Great work, author, great work.

Stories like this are why I read fanfics. This is a perfect little gem. It's brief, but not a word is wasted; every element helps build a piece that is sweet, subtle, understated, and wholly satisfying. Beautiful.

This... this is beautiful. I am glad I indulged in my curiosity, because this piece is really, incredibly touching.

Apple Bloom's voice rings so very true; I can feel the weight of the years on her words as she narrates, but it's still undeniably the same pony we see in the show. The characters feel so real and solid as I read. Little things like Sweetie Belle still getting stage fright after decades of a successful musical career--I never would have thought of that, but as soon as I read it, it immediately sounded just like Sweetie Belle.

And toward the end there, "the music always brings her home." That line... just... ngggh. They don't make feels like that anymore.

It is an absolute heresy that this is so desperately underrated. It takes all of maybe ten minutes to read, and packs emotion with it worthy of a fic ten times its size. If this is exemplary of the kind of writing you do, then I think I need you to do more of it.

:flutterrage: NOW!

:fluttershysad: Please?

2308294 Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh OH MY GOSH thanks for the comment. I'm a huge freakin' fan of pretty much everything you've written, so this is a pleasant surprise.

This story just kinda happened while I was on a greyhound bus to New York running on about three hours of sleep, and I spent maybe two hours half-asleep, thinking about ponies and old age and music therapy, since I was in a weird headspace. I knew it would have a senile Sweetie Belle brought back to reality by song, and then figured out that the Crusaders' theme song was the perfect song for the picture I was trying to paint, and everything else fell into place off of that.

The characterizations were a bit difficult until I realized that the actions Applebloom took were the only real plot, with memories and train-of-though to explain them. And making Sweetie Belle for this was probably the easiest part. As a shy, self-deprecating, hopeful musician myself, it's easy as anything to get into her head.

Anyhow, I'm glad (honored) that you enjoyed this little story and took the time to tell me. As for writing more, I definitely plan on it. I've got some half-baked ideas I'm slowly but surely working on right now. For one, you've planted the ApplePie seed deep within my subconscious, so once I let some ideas percolate, that'll happen, along with some RariPie goodness and whatever crazy ideas jump me on my commute to school.
Cheers!

2308367 :twilightblush:

Ah, sleep deprivation and public transportation. A fertile combination indeed.

Apple Pie and Rari-Pie? I'm definitely looking forward to those and whatever else you come up with!

Oh, would you mind terribly if I tried drawing up something for cover art for this? I've got a mental image of the scene with Apple Bloom singing to Sweetie that I want to put to ink.

2311605 I would love that so much. I'm not much for the drawing and couldn't find any screencaps to do it justice, so it stayed blank, but I would really appreciate that. Thank you!

Ow, ow, ow.
That story hurts from all the feels.
I love it.
It hurts so much because it calls on an emotion I don't really have at this point: sadness.
That takes talent.
Now, if only I could cry...

I got sent here by a recomendation and all I can say is that this really deserves alot more views.

I would have loved it to be just a little bit longer, but its great even as it is.

SweetieBloom really is a cute pairing isn't it?

The only complaint I got would be that I'd love to have some more spaces, there's some larger huge blocks of text at time.

2351056 I'm sorry for the gigantic walls of text, but I haven't yet found the time and/or energy to go back and fix the formatting, or really anything big over here right now. I think in part it's because I'm afraid of how much time it would take to fix this up completely, and in part because this story become my baby and I love its little flaws and quirks too much to red-pen it.... though I'll probably red-pen it this summer.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for leaving a comment. And yes, SweetieBloom is a delightful pairing.

I know I should feel some sadness, especially since Sweetie-Belle's state reminds me of how my great grandmother died...But, if anything, it fills me with warmth. The love between the two, and most notably Applebloom's affection, just shines past all the gloom. Which is how I think they would both want it.

Loved the story, and I am honored to add it to my favorites.

2368297 Sweetie here was based off what little I saw of my grandma when we moved her to a nursing home, as well as some other people with Alzheimers that I've spent time with... But the intent of this story was to show that not everything is doom and gloom, that caring for someone like that doesn't have to be a tragedy, and, to some extent, the healing power of music and love. I'm glad it came across well for you, and thanks for your feedback.

Okay, I don't usually like sadfics, but this one is extremely well written and manages to stay true to the show's themes and tone. Too many stories of this type sacrifices most of what I like about the show for the sake of making enhancing the "feels", or simply expects you to already be attached the characters simply because of the show, which always struck me as a rather cheap way of invoking feelings in the audience.

This story sidesteps that issue quite well; any of the sadness here is because the story itself creates those feelings, not merely because "Something bad happened to a character I like and it's so sad!" The other great thing is that you manage to give the story just the right degree of bittersweetness by describing all the good memories. The descriptions of what they used to have make the description of what they have now all the more poignant. That juxtaposition of happy memories against the less happy reality enhances the whole thing.

There are a few criticisms though. 1780506 got most of it. The two main things I'd point out are these:
1. The mention of the foster child at the end sort of came out of nowhere and I'm not sure what the significance is to the rest of the story.
2. I'm not sure how much the prose captures Apple Bloom's voice. If it weren't for the story's summary I wouldn't have even known it was her until she mentions Sweetie Belle. That said, this is Apple Bloom decades down the road, so it's not too much of a deal if it doesn't match what she sounded like as a kid.

Neither of these are really major issues though; the meat of the story is in the shared moment between them while they sing, and I have no criticisms to make of that.

Overall, it's a beautiful story.

(Also, it's a shame that EQD has a 2500 word minimum, because this totally deserves to be featured).

2457269 I'm constantly conflicted over what to do with this story, to be completely honest. It came from a two-hour session of mad, sleepless typing on a touchscreen at the back of a bus and it really shows. The textblocks are daunting, the scene it paints is fragmented, and the narration is definitely swinging all over the spectrum of hit-or-miss. A lot of the time, I'll look at it and think, "oh god, why did I write this?" and start thinking about ways I could try to clarify and improve it, but I'm a bit scared to go down that path, to be honest.

Every time I look it over with revisions in mind, I find myself tearing down different parts of it, running circles around myself, and finally giving up and doing something else that doesn't leave my brain tied up in pretzels of self-doubt. I was aiming for painting a little portrait in on a potential future, but I think it ended up more like a sketchbook, with a bunch of sketch-lines and half-erased figurines surrounding the real meat of the story, which is definitely the part where the two of them are singing. That little moment is what birthed this entire story, and it's the only part that feels entirely true to me every time.

So for right now, this flawed and short little vignette is being a bit of a benchmark for me, showing me what my first real attempt at ponyfiction turned out to be, until such a time as I can finally make myself sit down and deal with the little inconsistencies and unnecessary side-notes. It's on my list of things to do, probably over the summer, but it's not exactly my highest priority. It's just a short little story about ponies growing old and the healing power of music, and in the end it doesn't really need to be more than that.I'm of the opinion that all art, writing especially, needs to start from a little grain of truth, and I'm glad that the bittersweet overtones in this didn't come across as manipulative or forced.

That being said, I'm very glad you enjoyed it, humbled that you clicked on the little gold star, and incredibly thankful you took the time and effort to leave some detailed and honest feedback. Thanks for your comment!

2457394

Honestly, that's very understandable. In many ways, this does stand on its own. You should be proud of it regardless; for any attempt at Ponyfic this is stellar work. Take the lessons learned and experience gained and continue doing what you want to do. Personally, I can't wait to see what else you can come up with. Irrespective of whatever comes next, this will always be one of my favorite shorts.

If you're not feeling revising, or if it drags you down, then don't do it. There's absolutely nothing saying you must perfect each and every fic you write. Many of the great fics on this site are flawed from their beginnings, and their authors won't go back and rewrite things because it adds to the charm of its originality. Again, simply do what you feel like and what you like, period.

Good luck to you in all you do.
-Duskrider

2457394>>2457474

I'm going to second this. If you don't feel up to revising this, it's strong enough to stand on its own. Just keep the comments in mind for the next thing you write.

2457474>>2457534 haha... I'll be the first to admit that I'm a hopeless perfectionist as well as one of the worst procrastinators I know... which tends to leave me sitting with a bunch of semi-complete or flawed things that I have every intention of improving or finishng, but that never quite get there. So I'll probably end up leaving this alone for the most part, even though a little part of me wants to go back and rewrite everything. And as noisy as that little part of my brain is being right now, if I'm really honest with myself, that's probably not gonna happen.

I have learned a lot from writing this to be sure, and I plan on remembering the little things when I become brave enough to post any of the longer-form stories I've been hatching in my spare time.

This is... wow. It took me far too long to actually read it, and now that I have I'm kind of sitting here in silent wonder. This is excellent stuff - it's just the right mix of heartwarming and bittersweet, and I love the little pieces of the life they've shared together scattered throughout it. I can see why people have questions about the setting and the characters, and I do too - but I feel like those questions going unanswered enhances the mood and feel of the story rather than detracts from it. Awesome stuff.

:yay: I applaud you. this is a wonderful little tale

I seemingly forgot to fave this when I read it the first time.

Well, better late than never eh?

2648859 Wow, thanks again, man. Thanks a bunch and stuff

2836438 Well, I'm glad(?) to hear it. It means my little story did its job. Thanks for the comment!

Would you mind if I did a reading of this?

2847894 Go for it! :pinkiehappy:
I mean, wow ... thanks! I'm honored you'd want to do a reading. But yeah, no objections over here.

2848323 great ill get to it when I have a quite moment and I'll send you a link when I'm done.

This was a cute little story; I'm glad I clicked on your name and browsed through your little story gallery. I don't really have much else to say; the story does what it intends to do and doesn't really do anything else, and that's what a story like this should do.

I like it.

Just woke up though :3

So no feels for me.

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

This is absolutely beautiful. I suspect it's because I'm remembering my grandma from before she passed away, and this... Well, she did this sort of thing a lot in those last years. So I'm not ashamed to admit that I nearly cried. Not quite, and probably would have if it had gone on any longer, but I felt it welling up.

Seriously, have all of my likes. This is gorgeous.

3156955 There's a bit of my grandma in this one, too, as well as all of the kindly old people I would play trad jazz for in nursing homes when I was in high school, so there's definitely a connection that I'm vaguely satisfied and vaguely sad that you've made with this story. The whole point of the story was to capture both the welling sadness and the hope of love and music, if that makes any sense? I was on a greyhound bus, running on three hours of sleep and not nearly enough coffee, and thinking about music therapy when this single scene popped into my head. So I tried to write it, and then I threw in some memories for contrast an poignancy, and then I had my first fanfiction. But anyways, I'm glad it hit you. It makes me feel like I did something here.

This was a very well-written little story. Loved it! Well done. :)

This is really solid work. It's a good exposition based drabble that shows short can be beautiful too. Funny you'd mention that song in it, it makes me think of the Prince Whatever cover of it with the echo-y mod on the vocal track which just makes me insanely happy for some reason. I imagine her hearing it like I hear that version.

Just about the sweetest thing I've ever read.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Very, very nice. Just what I wanted to see given the cover art and description. :)

Wow. Just... Wow.

I love this delightful story about Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom when they get to be the age Apple Bloom’s grandfather Grand Pear was in the season seven episode The Perfect Pear.  Please tell me how your version of Apple Bloom now feels about Grand Pear.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!