• Published 15th Mar 2013
  • 28,480 Views, 534 Comments

The Numbers Don't Lie - shortskirtsandexplosions



An ancient magical artifact causes floating lie meters to appear above everypony's heads. This causes Twilight to reflect on honesty and friendship. Based on an idea by theworstwriter.

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"It's all in shambles!" Rarity howled, teetering backwards as she rested a dainty hoof over her unkempt bangs. "My career! My artistic endeavors from here to Manehattan! All burnt to ashes!"

"Will ya stop gettin' yer mane in a twirl?!" Applejack frowned from where she stood with Rarity outside of Sugarcube Corner in the sunset. "Yer business sure as heck ain't ruined! No worse than anypony else's in town!" She smiled awkwardly, patting a hoof on Rarity's shoulder to console her. "This crazy spell has been afflictin' equines of all walks of life, and I reckon they'll all forgive each other in the end, on account of everypony's reputation bein' taken to the woodshed! So quit yer whinin' about the Boutique and help me find Twilight already! I've looked everywhere, even at the library! I gotsta find her!"

"You call this n-nothing?!" Rarity pointed at the "311" over her head as she gripped Applejack's shoulder and slumped forward with bug-eyes. "This is not a lie counter! It's a bullseye, and Mistress Fate is frowning upon me! Now I have no choice but to habitually spit out the truth! It's the only way I can make penance, Applejack! Do you not see?!"

"Erm... that's... quite interesting, uh, Rarity..."

"My favorite color is mauve!" Rarity hissed, her eyes twitching as she hung more and more limply from Applejack's chest. "I once wore plaid to a dinner party! Chalkboards make me cringe! I have a disgustingly insatiable appetite for vanilla wafers!" She shook Applejack's neck and sobbed outright, "I made sissy in my bed until the age of fiii-iii-iiive! Euuuughhh!"

"Brrrrrbbb!" Applejack shook her head free of Rarity's embrace and patted the caterwauling unicorn's mane. "Now, uh... there there. I reckon we all had experiences with... uh... drinkin' too much milk right before—" She looked up and brightened. "Twilight!"

"Mmmmm!" Rarity sniffled, then glanced up with a decidedly deadpan face out of nowhere. "Now that doesn't quite make much sense—"

"Twilight, you're here!" Applejack beamed, lowering her hat at the sight of the gently smiling unicorn. With a nervous twitch, she pulled Rarity up to her hooves and pointed her towards the front entrance of Sugarcube Corner. "Uhm... why don't you give us a few minutes, Rare? Go inside and... uhm... have yerself some of them hoof-lickin' good vanilla wafers you take such a likin' to."

"Mmmm... Vanilla wafers won't salvage my crashing and burning career," Rarity cooed as she nevertheless limped inside the colorful eatery. "But th-they'll help!"

Once she was gone, Applejack sighed and trotted over towards Twilight. "Twilight, sugarcube, I... I-I don't know what to say!" She gulped as the number "4" hovered shamefully above her head. "I feel plum awful about what happened this mornin', and I was hopin' that I might have a chance to explain why I lied and—"

"Applejack, it's alright," Twilight said softly, her face the very definition of calm. "You didn't lie."

The freckled mare blinked. "I beg yer pardon?"

"And even if you did, it doesn't matter to me," Twilight said, her voice wavering a bit. "Not anymore."

"I... I-I'm a might bit confused." Applejack plopped her hat back on and squinted. "You mean to say that you no longer care if I lied to you or not?"

Twilight paced across the sunset's glow to stand closer to her friend. "I did some studies on the cause of this spell. You do know the cause of it, yes?"

"Uhm... somethin' or another about a 'Wand of Wally?'"

"'Wand of Walling.'"

"Right. That." Applejack cleared her throat. "What about it?"

"I didn't realize for the longest time that the true nature of the spell was eluding me, and yet it was staring at me the whole time," Twilight said. "At least in the name." She swiveled and faced Applejack directly, her eyes as soft as her next few words. "'The Wand of Walling' is a rough translation from the Trudian tongue into modern Equestrian language. As it turns out, it isn't strictly about establishing barriers of deception between ponies."

"Then what do you reckon it's about?"

Twilight breathed evenly and said, "It's about building façades, period." She gestured as she explained, "It's about pretending to be feeling one way, when you're actually feeling another. That doesn't always have to involve outright lying to another pony, though that's a part of it. The truth is, you can be doing your best to protect another pony's interest, and still it counts as building a wall, be it a wall constructed with one's composure, one's strength, and even one's courage."

"I... d-don't think I read you correctly, Twilight," Applejack said. "A lie's a lie, ain't it?"

"Oh Applejack." Twilight smiled at her, her cheeks rosy. Moisture clung to the edges of her lashes as she summoned the courage to confess, "I let myself get so upset this morning because I made myself think that the one thing you're good at is being honest and nothing else. But life is too complex, and so are you—though you might think of yourself as simpler. The fact is, there's more to you than just telling the truth, Applejack." She sniffled and bore a brave smile. "Besides, how would I be able to rely on your better qualities if I relied exclusively on your honesty all the time?"

Applejack squinted sideways at her. "And them qualities are...?"

"Strength and faithfulness..." Twilight took a deep breath, then whispered her words succinctly. "Without both of which... Celestia knows where I would be today." She leaned her head to the side. "Now, did you wish to tell me something about this morning?"

Applejack blinked. Slowly, she smiled a soft smile and said, "Simply that, when you visited me at Sweet Apple Acres this mornin', and I told you that 'I always had time for you...'" She gulped. "The fact of the matter is... I..."

Twilight stared at her. Her lips quivered, but she remained quiet, patient.

Applejack sighed and nervously adjusted the brim of her hat. "I-I did have time for you, but I-I didn't rightly plan on sharin' it with anypony, even if I could. Ya see, Twilight, th-there's a reason for why I've done such an early apple harvest, and it's for a reason that I didn't even mention in the letter we sent to Celestia just recently. So there's another case of me fibbin' like a snake in the grass, and to the Princess no less..."

"Shhh..." Twilight leaned forward, her eyes warm and earnest. "Go on..."

"This time of the year—this week in particular—is the anniversary of my folks passin'. And don't get me wrong! I-I ain't grievin' or nothin'! I mean... sure, I get pretty misty-eyed this time of year and such, but I'm well beyond the days of bawlin' my eyes out like a little filly. It just so happens that I have a tradition that I stick to every year..."

Twilight nodded. "You wish to get the farm operating in perfect fashion, to honor their memory."

"To make them proud," Applejack said. "And as much as I can afford to spend the time with my closest friends—with ponies I love and respect, ponies like you, Twilight—I guess I..." She seethed, wincing as if in labor. Eventually, she let it out: "I-I don't particularly enjoy breakin’ my attention away from the task of gettin' the apples harvested this week of all weeks."

"And I understand that, Applejack," Twilight said in a soft tone. She wore a smile to match it. "What you do every year, it makes sense now. I think it's a very noble thing—"

"But t'ain't yer problem to deal with!" Applejack said with a frown. She sighed and stared down at her hooves. "What I mean is, y'all shouldn't have to worry about me none. I'm an adult now and I can deal with everythang that comes with this time of year. I wanna be there for you and the rest of the girls, but... mmm..." She grumbled. "Gosh darn it... I reckon a part of me doesn't feel up to it from time to time. I-I wish I could say that I'm one hundred percent strong every second of he day, Twi, but... but..."

"Applejack..." Twilight trotted over and placed a loving hoof on Applejack's shoulder. Her voice wavered in a sympathetic tone. "You don't have to put up walls around yourself just for our benefit."

"Yes. Yes I do, Twilight..." Applejack gazed up, her lips quivering. Moisture clung to the edges of her green eyes, a very rare sight for Twilight. "'Cuz I don't rightly know how to handle things any other way. I can look after myself. You ponies shouldn't have to bother about me."

"But what if we want to?" Twilight asked. "We're your friends and we care." She gulped. "Enough to... t-to feel angry and confused for all the wrong reasons when we spot a crack in your armor." She hung her face as a tear finally ran down her cheek. "And... And I'm sorry for that, Applejack." Her shoulders began to shake. "I'm so... so sorry for the way I treated you this morning."

Applejack bore a strong, warm smile. She caressed Twilight's cheek until it was dry. "I reckon we should be mostly sorry for the way we treat ourselves from time to time."

Twilight chuckled dryly, her voice still shaking abit as she then said, "Yeah, well, I've been treating myself like a saint all this time and..." She choked on a sob. "It doesn't feel right. It feels... lonely. And I used to feel lonely all the time, Applejack. It's a very d-dark place, and I only received the light from one source." She clenched her jaw and steadied her lungs, speaking in a far firmer tone. "Now I'm older, Applejack, and I have to light my own path... as well as the path for those around me. And... I'm thankful to you and Cheerilee and other ponies who are making me look twice so that I can stumble less. It'd help if there were less walls in the way, of course, although I'm starting to understand what some of those walls mean."

"Yes, I reckon." Applejack nodded, then smiled. "And I also reckon it's a tad bit lonely being the only pony in town sportin' a halo."

Both mares laughed cheerfully, and as the melting sunset bathed them both, they shared a friendly embrace, for everything had crumbled between them.


Twilight Sparkle was sitting on the balcony to her treehouse that night, waiting patiently, when the first hint of glowing light came. She stood from her half-read books and glanced up, squinting into the slowly coalescing orb of luminescence.

With regal grace, the orb solidified in the form of Princess Celestia. The alicorn princess touched down to the balcony on gold-plated hooves, having finished her transportation spell. At long last, after three long days of delay, she had arrive in the magically afflicted town to lend her aid.

"Twilight..." Celestia breathed, and her placid voice carried the tiniest hint of surprise in its exhalation. "You are... awake, I see."

Twilight nodded, her glowing "0" bobbing with the motion of her head. "I have been having trouble sleeping as of late, Your Highness."

"I trust that you have had your hooves full while I was busy tending to matters in Baltimare."

Twilight tried to smile, but her lips broke in a nervous twitch. "Yes. Many ponies were hoping that I might somehow have a cure to the ancient Trudian spell that I wrote to you about. But... well..."

"Things did not escalate too chaotically, I hope?"

"No, Your Majesty," Twilight softly shook her head. "Though, if you suspected that they would, I... imagine that you would have arrived here sooner."

"Yes, Twilight," Celestia said softly, her voice navigating the silent cloud hanging between them. Above her shimmering visage, a glowing number hovered, and it was well into the triple digits. "I would... and could have arrived sooner."

Twilight simply gazed at her.

"Twilight, my good and faithful student," Celestia spoke dryly, trying to compose herself with an immaculate smile, but even that seemed as jaded as the magenta lustre in her eyes. "I... trust that you must have many questions. Anticipating them—as well as your potential shock—was part of the reason for why I delayed my arrival for so long. I did not mention this in my response to your letter, but this is not the first occasion of the Trudian spell having graced modern Equestria. Four hundred years ago, something like this happened in much the same way, and I had to... to explain things to my apprentice at the time. Needless to say, the exchange that followed shortly after my dispersal of the spell was not exactly... fortuitous to our ongoing studies, and..."

Silence reigned.

Celestia finally uttered, "I want you to know, Twilight, that I have always wanted the best for you. I wanted you to live a life of absolute integrity, a life that I could only illustrate for you, as I have no legitimate example to present, for I am far too encumbered in the task of assuring the greater good of this kingdom and—"

Celestia's speech came to an end before the Princess could even begin to fumble for words. A warm, lavender body had crossed the distance between them and was nuzzling her like a foal would greet its mother.

"Twilight...?" Celestia stammered.

"Do not worry, Princess," Twilight said, tears trickling down her smiling face. "I understand. And though it may not be everything that I understand, I want you to know that it's all okay." She gulped. "You're the light of my life, and I-I love you too much to feel any differently..."

Celestia rode the crest of a heavy breath, and her eyes finally sparkled once more as she reached a wing around to hold the little pony close to her. "My dearest Twilight," she whispered and leaned her head down with eyes shut to nuzzle her. "I am so, so very proud of you." She smiled. "Now and forever..."

Twilight cracked a smile, though she weathered it with a sniffle or two.

The Princess and her apprentice hovered there for a long period of time. There was no royalty and no mentorship; just two hearts sharing in lucid, honest warmth. They had reunited, as if iron bastions had been lifted for the first time in ages. The stars above serenaded the moment, so that they almost forgot that there was a curse to fix in the first place.


"Bon Bon, just hear me out..." Lyra reached across the eating table and caressed the earth pony's forelimbs. Hours ago, all of the magical numbers had at last vanished from the air, allowing the full afternoon light to twinkle in their joined eyesight. "The fact that you've been sneaking bites of food that's dangerous to your blood sugar doesn't bother me. I understand temptations, and I know that—in spite of your weaknesses—you are improving." She smiled softly, attempting to wipe clean the sad, worried expression on her beloved's face. "The fact that you lied to me—on several occasions—isn't the heart of the issue either."

Bon Bon shivered slightly, chewing nervously on her lip.

Lyra leaned forward and spoke in a low tone, "What bothers me is that you thought that you had... th-that you had to deceive me to make me happy. After all, we've been working so hard on this special diet of yours—together. Would I have been mad at you if you just confessed your secret trips to Sugarcube Corner? Yeah, sure, I would have been mad. But there's a reason for why I get angry at you, Bon Bon." She smiled, her amber eyes glossy. "It's because I'm so deeply in love with you, and I want what's best for you... what's best for us. And when you resort to... to lies, well, it hurts me, Bon Bon. Because I-I feel as if it sets our relationship two steps back with each bit of false pretense. And I hate the idea of being distant from you, Bon Bon." She sniffled. "I don't want to be alone again like I used to be. You've brought too much sunshine into my life for me to go b-back to that..."

"Oh Lyra..." Bon Bon choked back a sob and clasped Lyra's hoof with her own. "If I had known that it mean that much to you..."

"That's why I'm telling you now." Lyra wiped her cheek dry and smiled painfully at her marefriend. "Because I want you to know. I need you to know. I don't want any stupid barriers between us, Bon Bon. Even when you're doing stupid things, I'd rather I just know. Because I'm willing to forgive you, Bon Bon. And... I-I hope you're just as willing to forgive me when I do even stupider things, like telling you to ‘shut up’ only because I am angry..."

"Of course I am willing!" Bon Bon whispered, caressing Lyra's cheek. She scooted around the table until she was close to the unicorn, squatting beside her seat. "I love you, Lyra. Can we just, I dunno, move past this and start over?"

Lyra cracked a bittersweet smile. "Why start over? Let's j-just continue from where we are now." She shuddered. "'Cuz now feels good."

Bon Bon smiled, her eyes tearing. "I agree whole-heartedly." She pecked Lyra on the cheek and nuzzled her dearly.

Lyra leaned against her, shutting her eyes and breathing in peace.

All of this, Twilight couldn't help but observe as she trotted past the restaurant. She smiled to herself and hummed a tune as she carried a saddlebag full of market-bought things across town and to the front door of the library treehouse. Stepping inside, she was greeted by Spike who was carrying a miniature broom and dustpan.

"Hmm?" Twilight squinted suspiciously. "What are you up to now, I wonder?"

"J-just cleaning the place up like you've been asking to!" he fitfully exclaimed with a nervous smile. "Honest!"

"Keep saying that word and you'll wear it out," Twilight muttered, hanging her bag up onto a wrack.

"Ugh..." Spike sighed, his body sagging as his gaze fell to the library's wooden floorboards. "I know."

With a clanking noise, a sparkling new garden shovel landed at his feet.

He did a double-take, glancing up at Twilight. "What... wh-what's this?"

"It's a lot easier for you to carry around than a large shovel built for an adult pony, don't you think?" Twilight uttered in a sing-songy voice.

"Well, yeah... but... but..." Spike cradled the thing in his claws and stammered, "D-did you seriously just go out and buy this for me?"

Twilight giggled lightly. "You've still got gems to dig up for baking your special dragon cupcakes, right?"

"Yes! But... but..." Spike bit his lip and rocked back and forth, nervously. "After all that's happened as of late..."

"Spike, come here..." Twilight knelt down and scooped him into a surprise hug. She nuzzled him closely. "We may both do things to annoy each other from time to time... maybe even to hurt each other's feelings. But—look at me."

He did so, emerald eyes sparkling.

She caressed his green spines as she said, "It doesn't matter in the long run. I love you... and I trust you. Do I like you lying to me? No... but I like the idea of us drifting apart even less. So, let's work on it together, shall we?" She smiled as she squeezed his shoulder. "You try fibbing less, and I'll try not to get so hung up on the small stuff. Deal?"

Spike tried to carry a strong breath, but it was betrayed by the wateriness in his eyes. "D-deal." He nodded.

"Now none of that..." She brushed the edges of his eyes dry and stood up. "You have some gem-digging to get to!"

"But..." He squirmed, glancing from the fresh shovel in his claws to the dusty lengths of the room. "You... don't want me cleaning up after all?"

"Go out and dig, Spike, before I change my mind," she grumbled.

He squinted at her with a suspicious smirk. "You still haven't slept much. Promise me you'll go get some sleep? I'll get to this place eventually."

"Spike, there's nothing I'd rather do right now than hit the sack," Twilight said, stifling a yawn for emphasis. "I know that I like having this place all spick and span for when Ponyvilleans show up to check out books, but I kind of value my sanity all the more."

"Well, good then!" Spike beamed. "You go get some much-needed sleep, and I'll go dig up some gems!"

She called after him as he waddled briskly out of the building. "Just be sure that you don't accidentally uncover any more insidiously buried wands of ancient magic!"

The door closed behind him.

She stared at the entrance, taking a deep breath, smiling warmly to herself. After a few moments, she turned around and trotted... albeit not to the stairs leading up to her bedroom. Instead, she opened the rest of her saddlebag's contents, pulling out a brand new feather duster, bottles of cleanser and disinfectant, and a bundle of fresh rags. She proceeded then to clean the room of dust and grime, returning the library to its usual shine before the incident with the floating numbers brought everything to a grinding halt.

About twenty minutes into the clandestine act, she paused to levitate a pad of paper into a wooden drawer of a table located in the far corner of the library. On the topmost sheet, she inscribed her name, then drew a single hash mark above it, the first of many.

"Living with walls is fine from time to time," Twilight Sparkle said with a meditative smile, sliding the drawer shut and returning to her cleaning. "So long as we mind the gates."

Author's Note:

I did not create this story. This is the brainchild of theworstwriter , writer extraordinaire and one of the sharpest and most valuable members of SATGF.

Weeks ago, I came to him, asking that he give me a story prompt so that I might practice "what it means to deliver a commissioned fanfic on time." I endeavor to do this with more of my close brony friends as I attempt to weigh the possibility of exploring such a means of writing.

Anyways, theworstwriter apparently had this story concept kicking around in his head,but couldn't get around to writing it. What's more, he was hung up on how to end it (according to him, he never went further than the scene where Twilight Sparkle has an emotional breakdown in front of Applejack). The CMC's involvement, the magic spell, the lie meter, and Twilight Sparkle's central performance were all his origination. Most of the other stuff is me filling in the gaps and adding my own version of an ending and moral to the whole thang. I worked with him on outlining it, and he helped me come up with a few more ideas.

What have I learned from all of this? Well, the challenge of writing someone else's story is actually pretty exciting, and I found the scenes easily flowing through the word processor. It was a genius idea, and it gave me plenty of opportunities for slipping in poni poni poni cameos into every conceivable orifice.

However, there are quite a few things I'm not proud of. Though I promised him a finished product in three weeks, it wasn't until well beyond the second week that I actually *started* writing. What's more, he agreed to a 10k word limit, and of *course* I went over that (if it was a legit commission, I wouldn't have charged him for the extra words, so I'm just shooting myself in the foot). It goes without saying that I could have edited and changed the end product a great deal more, and yet I held back because I found myself becoming attached to the version of the story that I had brought forth. If I'm to actually consider writing commissioned stories, I need to detach my ego from the narrative and lose all sense of possessiveness. Until I get that worked out, I have no business pretending I can do something like this with any considerable ounce of professionalism.

So, yeah. You may be seeing more of this kind of stuff from me. It's not like I've run out of ideas of stories to write. I have a stupidly huge amount of ideas, but almost all of them balloon into crazily huge epics that would devour far too much of any lemur's time, much less my own.

Thank you for reading, and do check out theworstwriter's stuff, for he is a genius in brony's clothing.
-SS&E

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Comments ( 309 )

I once wore plaid to a dinner party

¡Qué escándalo!

Wow, this is a really good concept! I'll put it on 'Read Later'

I... I was about to go to bed....

mrgysao #4 · Mar 15th, 2013 · · 18 ·

This premise seems interesting...I shall favorite it right away. Just wish you would not of posted so many chapters at once.

Of course, you would write this on 3-14. You silly silly guy, Skirts.

KMCA #6 · Mar 15th, 2013 · · 1 ·

2269859 would you have preferred it to be one chapter? It's smaller than a lot of his other chapter lengths. BP had several 40k chapters.

2269870 It's 3/15 here, has been for several hours. He JUST missed the deadline.

Commence read.

Interesting, yet familiar, idea.

You know what freaked me out? I favorited this so I would remember to read it tomorrow. My new total of unread chapters in my favorites list? 314. HOLY BALLS.:rainbowderp:

damnit skirts, i wanted to sleep :raritydespair:

Will Rarity ever recover?
I don't think so.

2269893 Actually yes I would of. That or combined two chapters, :scootangel:

Awesome! Loved it, well done on the idea Worsty! Cool premise, and great execution.

This was beautiful, and made me think about how I as a person interact with my friends and family. I love stories that make me think, making you one of my favorite authors :twilightsmile:

I really do hope you continue doing stuff like this, it provides me with my SS&E fix more often :pinkiehappy:

This story is really good *ding* Uhm...I mena this story fantastic *ding* What? I really mean that this story is funny, a very interesting concept and an amazing read! *silence*
Well, that wasn't that hard *ding* Owh, come'on!

Well, both the concept and the execution were brilliant. I was a skosh skeptical at times, and not sure where it was going, but the ending really went straight to my heart. All of it: Applejack, Celestia, Lyra… was just perfect.

There're a few loose ends, though. Will Rarity business recover from this catastrophe? What about Thunderlane?

This was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it. :scootangel:

Now i'm going to start hearing chimes when people tell obvious lies. :facehoof:

Ah yes. The sin that keeps on giving. The one that truly demonstrates the importance of intent and forethought.

Oh look, skirts wrote a new story. Into the feature box it goooes! Wheee!

Alright I'll bite. Call me intrigued. Just...not at the moment. I'm only mortal and need SOME sleep...

So the good old value of faith (belief without evidence) in others (specifically those very close to you)? Nice reframing/reiteration (if I read that right). Lying and truthing (not a word) can pretty much be the same, neither are good or bad but the intention behind what's said is what's important. As with all your other works this is beautiful.

I just have a couple of gripes: you touched briefly on Celestia (and the lies she must have told...she has told) but a bit superficially for my tastes (i suppose you used Cherliee as a proxy which based on show knowledge is alright but still annoys me somehow) in favor of the emotional reaffirmations and such (but meh whatevs), you pretty much basically burned Rarity's and Mayor Mare's careers then left them unfinished and unresolved (imagination don't fail me now!), for pure comedic value I wanted to see maybe a glimpse of how Thunderlane's situation played out from his various escapades, perhaps a bit more Pinkie and Dash. Regardless of those it's brilliant. Kudos to you and theworstwriter, loved it!

Note: If this interpretation is off, please do point out how so I can discover what you were going for. Rather than be left in the dark.

I would like to say something..... Mason... what do the numbers mean?:ajbemused:

If I lived in this story my lie meter would have a freaking picture of Pinocchio on it. Anyway, congrats on another feature, my friend!

Notice how the fic pic is that of pi.

Can Pi be seen anywhere in the story?

I love how Pinkie and Dash used it to play a reversed version of "Never Have I Ever."

And congratulations, your Scootaloo evolved into an Emu.

The counters were meaningless. They only counted the number of lies, and did not measure the dishonesty of the ponies. someone who tells "small" lies is far preferable to someone who deliberately tells a single lie to destroy an entire life.

Anyway, this was an amazing fic. Thumbs up, but not favourite becasue I'm not a big fan of this type of story.

"Yes, I reckon." Applejack nodded, then smiled. "And I also reckon it's a tad bit lonely being the only pony in town sportin' a halo."

That's a really memorable line, I like that. This was both interesting and refreshing. Not even Celestia was immune to the naked truth of it all, and that really sealed the deal for me. Excellent work.

Got to hear about this story in person today from the SS&E himself. So awesome :3 Gotta read it now once I'm off work!

FimFiction.... what have you done....

can anyone tell me how we're supposed to read stories online now if we can't click on chapters?

NEVERMIND, just me being an idiot


Post-lecture: Damn that fic had them feels. I was not prepared for this. great fic btw.

Twilight missed such a grand opportunity with Celestia.

At any rate, I thought the story was definitely well done and the topic was good and well explored in the fic.

I do not think you need to be so worried about possessiveness of commissions etc.

The moral was a bit thin, the delivery was great though.
I particularly liked Cheerilee's speech. I would have lost myself in raving about how teaching is mostly "lying to children" but you cut right to the important part. Well done.
:twilightsmile:
And as usual Luna was not invited to the party. :trollestia:

Would make an excellent episode

Really liked it! Not much to say in terms of critique that hasn't already been covered by someone else.... Just the ending quote, while reading I thought about it, I'd probably have gone for "...after all, a House needs walls to build." ooor, I'd have referenced something by saying "We will all build walls around us and our close ones, but as long as you lay down a good foundation, it'll all work out." :3

The premise sounds much like the eye-trade with shinigami from Death Note. :raritywink:
Well, another read-later fic, here we go.

That was a great story. Makes you wonder how events would play out in real life if we all had counters like that. Wonder how high mine would be...

Oh god, the drinking game made me piss my pants in laughter! :rainbowlaugh:
*ding*
... :rainbowderp:
Okay, so maybe I didn't laugh that hard.
I loved this. Moral was good, plot was nice, made me ponder the mysteries of the universe.
I can honestly say this is one of the best stories I have ever read-
*ding*
:twilightoops:
...one of my favorites-
*ding*
:twilightangry2:
...I really liked it, and may reference it as an example when reviewing other similar stories because I believe it to be an example of wholesome storytelling.
*ding*
AHEM. :ajbemused:
*un-ding*
Much better. :twilightsmile: This story deserves something special!
Ready? :pinkiehappy:
*deep breath* :pinkiegasp:
YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD! :yay:
*ding*:trollestia:
...goddammit. :raritydespair:

Almost 300 likes in one day? And a feature? Damn.
Looks like it's time for me to quit writing.

Another excellent fic, a delicious blend of humor and character study wrapped up with a nice moral. I feel like this could very easily be a somewhat deeper and better written episode of the show, albeit with a crucial Skirts' twist.

On that note, complete detachment of your ego from commission work is something I would advise against, I'm sure the commissioner wouldn't want to lose the Skirts' flare in exchange for greater professionalism.

excellently done. I loved how Fluttershy had decimals. :fluttershyouch:

A 20k fic, broken into nice chunks under 5k words each, based on a thought-provoking premise, and completed in not a very long time but not overnight.

At a glance, it looks like you're really shaping into a good, well-rounded writer. I am definitely giving this one a read.

The more I think about it, the more I think that a spell like that just wouldn't be useful because people don't tell meaningful lies all that often.

Moreover, when people do purposefully tell a big lie, they tend to plan it out first, meaning that they would plan out dodges ahead of time.

This story is great so far!
*Ding*
*1*
Aww, almost had a perfect streak too... :pinkiesad2: I meant to say, "This story is amazing so far."

This was certainly a very great and enjoyable read. I have to say it's quite the original concept, a sure trait of Worsty's, and your writing was well executed. The pacing was pretty consistent and flowing. The characters felt in-character, I envy how you write Applejack, the blend of seriousness and comedy wasn't jaded at all; in the end, this is a brilliant story. It's certainly one of your better ones.

After reading your A/N, all I can say is keep practicing. I know it can be hard to restrain oneself, even though for me it's quite the opposite, nonetheless you just gotta keep practicing. Maybe try writing a story but aim for 3000 words: keep things bare bones and essential; if there's something that's unnecessary then scrap it. Then try rewriting it and see if you can double that amount, making sure you have the essentials before you begin to fluff it. But hey, I know nothing. All I am is a fountain.

Also, clever way of numbering the chapters. Don't forget SATGF is a hub for your stuff too.

For starters, I loved this. I don't think I've ever devoured 20k words that quickly. I'm not sure if the comparison makes sense, but this reads like what I think each actual episode of the show wants to be. That is, it always seems like each episode wants to say more than it possibly could in 20-22 minutes, and this is what it could be if given an hour-long (or feature-length) runtime. The progression of events feels quite similar to how the show would do it. The only exceptions to that are Dash and Pinkie's drinking game and Lyra & Bon Bon shipping, but both of those serve a purpose in this fic that make them well worth including.

I'm glad that I knew this was a commission as I started reading it. While the quality is exactly what I've come to expect form SS&E, the concept feels un-skirtsian. That is not an insult or deprecation of an interesting idea, but skirts' stuff tends to be philosophical on a broader level, addressing more existential questions. This is, if you'll pardon a disgustingly academic-sounding phrase, applied philosophy. A big change to everyday life is made, and everyone has to deal with it in their own way. Consequences are obvious in a way that would have made me notice a stylistic change in skirts' writing. Again, not at all criticizing, because that was a wonderful read, but it's good to know that the core idea came from someone else.

One part that really got my attention was when Applejack "lied" to Twilight. It really highlights the things we say to those we care about that are not strictly true. It's easy and helpful to tell a friend who has come to you for support that you're always there for them, even if you aren't. In the strictest sense, most of the things we say are lies, but they have an underlying element of truth to them that makes it better than complete honesty. If AJ had said, "Well, Twi, I'd love to help you during this difficult time, but I've got some things on my mind that don't really allow me to be there for you," it would have been honest but utterly unhelpful. i guess what I'm trying to say is that occasionally dressing up the truth helps to make it a bit easier to deal with, and this story does a fantastic job of putting that on full display.

What happens if somebody says "my number will go up" will the paradox make the artifact explode or something?

YES!! this was epic, though I was hoping to see a number on Celestia to be over 9000!

As I click the thumbs up button and see the number increment, for some reason my mind jumped immediately to another type of counter. I can almost hear a little chime. Weird.
Also, Fluttershy is best liar.

So... Cheerilee obviously thought that Celestia had lied to Twi about something...
WHAT THE FUCK WAS IT:flutterrage:
Other than that it was an interesting read.

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