• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen 17 hours ago

Cold in Gardez

Stories about ponies are stories about people.


A collection of short stories. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. All, hopefully, about what it means to be human.

Except, you know, with ponies.

I'm afraid of Changeling: Drone 42531 is insecure and decides he needs to see a professional, whether or not the professional wants to see him. [Comedy] [Random]

One thousand and one: A family keeps a long vigil, regardless of the cost. [Sad]

Uncoordinated: Twilight Sparkle and the Cutie Mark Crusaders conduct an experiment. Accidentally. [Comedy] [Random]

But the Greatest of These: Every pony has to grow up someday. Every dragon, too. [Slice of Life]

Wonder: Pinkie Pie's farm is grey. The sky is grey. Her sister is grey. The world is grey. Until, one day, it isn't. [Slice of Life]

The Apple of my Eye: Apple Bloom finally gets her cutie mark. It's not what she wanted. [Comedy] [Random]

Bookworm: Twilight Sparkle finds an odd message in her books. [Dark]

At the End of the Day: Just what does Pinkie Pie do in her free time? [Slice of Life]

The House at the End of the World: Some promises shouldn't be kept. [Adventure] [Dark]

Pantone Perfect: Rarity and Twilight Sparkle enjoy a refreshing argument at the spa. [Comedy] [Random]

Medium Rare: In which we learn the secret, scarring horror that was Fluttershy's first experience with a dragon. [Comedy] [Random]

One Thousand Flowers: How long do gifts take to grow? [Slice of Life]

Tempest: A pegasus teaches his son the nature of the rain. [Slice of Life]

No Natural Predators: The days have grown longer as the world winds down. [Adventure] [Dark]

Six More Weeks: The first day of Spring is a wonderful time to be a pony. Just make sure you get the date right. [Comedy]

Derecho: A daughter starts a long quest in a forgotten city.[Slice of Life]

O Death, where is thy sting? Human Flash Sentry travels across the multiverse. [Adventure]

The Lotus Eaters: Heaven is different things to different people. A Friendship is Optimal vignette.[Slice of Life]

Tour of Duty: Duty can be lighter than a feather, or heavier than a mountain. [Slice of Life]

Nickel-Iron-Cobalt: An explorer discovers a world without life. Perhaps. [Anthro][Adventure]

(Based on prompts from the Thirty Minute Pony Stories tumblr. All written in 30 minutes – give or take – unless otherwise noted.)

Chapters (48)
Comments ( 720 )

Good old professional rivalry.

Not the most groundbreaking of stories, nor the most original premise, but well executed and worth a chuckle or two.

Damn. Damn you. After the lightheartedness of the last fic I wasn't ready for something like this.

Amazing job crafting something like this is ~1000 words. People (ponies) deal with loss in different ways, some better than others. Aurora is so caught up in the past she neglects the present and forsakes the future.


We all knew this day would come. You aren't fooling anyone, Scootaloo!

Oh. Ow. That's a pretty hard blow to take after Just getting to know the characters.

I love the idea of Applebloom getting a cutie that has nothing to do with apples.

I have to stop TMP to work on longfic, and Gardez picks it up

So it goes!

Hooray! short things

Do you really mean finished in 30 minutes? Or just the first draft? I want to know how inadequate I should feel.


I'm not sure if I'm cheating or not, but I don't edit them until the 30 (or so) minutes of writing is complete. Of course, since they're so short, the editing only takes another 20 minutes at most.

Honestly, the hardest part is staring at the screen, trying to think of a story based on the prompt. You can spend as much time as you want doing that.

Favorite bit?

The ripped piece adhered to my fetlock and slowly began to dissolve.
I was done with that page anyway.

Don't know why, I just liked it a lot.

... Dang.
So short, yet so powerful. The callousness, just... that says more than enough.


walk .

Extra space.

I was split between pears and oranges.
Story summary:


That ending, like a punch to the gut.

nearly woke up my roommate laughing at the last line. Thanks, Gardez.

The combination of the bizarre situation and the unruffled, matter-of-fact attitude of the psychiatrist really makes this work. A little thought-provoking, a little dark, and a lot of funny.

Ha! Y'know, it's not too bad... she can always find a job with the Oranges in Manehattan. :scootangel:

It's good, but the ending fell a bit flat for me.

Oh god, I'm dying. At first I thought it as going to be a cutie mark of a dick. Then of a cider mug. An orange, though? Applejack really is gonna kill her.

Oh man, you start of with deep stuff, then turn it into a joke and then forget Pinkie's rimshot.
Here let me help you.

I don't see why oranges as a cutie mark are so bad.
Granted, it's not an apple but the Manehatten Oranges were at the Apple Family reunion and nobody seemed to mind.:ajsmug:

Some of the writing here is so beautiful. I decided to read this aloud to myself, and I had to stop midway through that final paragraph. As others have said, that was almost like a punch in the stomach.

It is nice to see you still remember how to be silly.
All these srsbsns.docs had me concerned.

Saw the end a mile away, but that's not a bad thing.

Look on the bright side, Bloom. If AJ doesn't kill you, you'll probably get to spend a lot more time with Babs!

Great shorts thus far. They're fun and easy to read. I may have to start writing some myself.

Over from Bad Horse's blog, though I've had you on my radar for a while.

I try to write in-depth comments, but you're kind of stymieing me with this story. It's definitely enjoyable. Not uproarious, but I definitely chuckled at bits, and the ending was very well chosen. Not expecting a whole lot of characterization in a Thirty Minute Pony Story, but you do a good job exploiting stereotypes here to make these characters feel more fleshed out than you have time to make them.

This is pretty impeccable, honestly. I don't know that there are any changes I'd make. It's pretty rare for me to see that level of polish. This is good work.


This is some fine form here. I wasn't terribly surprised by the ending, but it did still hurt.

Descriptions here, specifically land- and cloudscapes, were wonderful. Short, to the point, and startlingly evocative. I was also pretty much shocked to see you handle the visual description of an OC pony so smoothly. I've told writers in the past that if you're going to do it, you need to find a way to make it part of the story and not just infodump to the reader. The way you do it here is really impressive.

I said this once to GhostOfHeraclitus, and I'll say it again here. Some of you people on this site are really making it clear to me how much I need to up my game. I'd love to be able to do what you've done here in 30 minutes. I think I could probably manage it in a longer time frame, but you make it look so effortless. This is truly wonderful stuff.

One thing I would point to here, by way of possible editing.

Even in the faint light of dawn I could see the delicate sparkle of her mane, the vibrant blue of her coat. There were streaks of grey in there now, and perhaps a wrinkle or two around her eyes, but she was still as beautiful as the day we met.

This feels odd to me, in the connotation of ponies' coats going grey as they age. I wouldn't be surprised if real world horses did go through something like that; I know dogs' coats can lose vibrancy as they age. But given the bit about Mayor Mare dyeing her hair gray in "Ponyville Confidential" (and of course our natural anthropomorphic understanding of things), it feels more natural to me that her mane would be described as going grey, especially going grey in streaks. To my knowledge, the show hasn't shown grey-streaked coats on any elderly ponies, despite showing a fair number of elderly ponies.

I have to admit, this one fell a little flat for me, largely because of the ending. I can't see this as that big a deal, given that it has precedent in canon. There are also some bits of dialogue that don't make much sense to me, specifically Scootaloo's aborted use of the past tense in describing her friendship with Apple Bloom. I can imagine how the CMC could get broken up when the fillies start getting cutie marks, but the implication is that part of Scootaloo feels like the particular mark Apple Bloom got would cause the dissolution of their friendship, and I can't see why anyone other than the Apple family would really care (except inasmuch as Apple Bloom's name becomes a bit of a bad joke).

The writing was, of course, excellent, and I enjoyed the slow build in tension. The use of language was great. I think I'm really going to need to come back and read these again later. I scroll up to look at details in the chapter, and the descriptiveness in the sentences just jumps out at me, despite my not having noticed much of it the first time through. There's so much here. I'm really looking forward to reading more of your work.

I think Scootaloo was already referring to AB as deceased, not as a "former friend" but as a dead friend.

They all thought AJ was going to kill her.

Very nice. Only thing I would recommend, would be to add a blurb at the start of each story with its tags. Otherwise, this looks like it has everything I like about your writing.

Inky, you try so hard to be "sensible", but you're still a foal, full of hope.
Or something. I'm finding it hard to express how this made me feel. It was just... right.


had grown over night


I love these stories! So sweet and cute and funny. Keep it up!

This is, without a doubt and with no exceptions, thebl best changeling story I've ever read. So far I'm just through the first chapter, though. But it rivals "Naked Singularity" in laughs.

“Oh, well, a lot of changelings are afraid of rejection. It causes all kinds of relationship problems, we just get so clingy. Then we end up eating each other.”

“You seem like you’ve been able to avoid that so far.”

He shrugged. “Eh, mostly. Long story.”

There was a lull as I digested that.

:rainbowderp::rainbowhuh::rainbowkiss::rainbowlaugh: You really just did that? Best part by far.

It's sad, soo sad. :ajsleepy:. If you finished this I would read it, even though it would do this to me :fluttershyouch::fluttershbad::fluttercry:.


These little stories are just amazing. So much life and emotion packed in a scant thousand words... :raritystarry:

Quite a good use of the prompt.

This one fell flat with me. Inky was one dimensional and static until the last line, when she suddenly became two dimensional. In my mind I was periodically saying "be nicer to your sister, you little shit."

Is it just me, or does this read like a Monty Python sketch? I can almost hear John Cleese and Michael Palin talking.

The old switcharoo.

Not as impactful as your second story, but a fine narrative in its own right. Inkie doesn't allow herself to entertain the thought of being more than she is, while Pinkie can't help but do so.

Pinkie can bend and twist, but Inkie is brittle and easily broken.

Cold in Gardez... there are many reasons you're one of my favorite authors. This is another one to add to the list.

Oooh. This is pretty similar to 1001, but with an ending with hope, not melancholy.

Ooooooh. Such interesting observations for just 30 minutes.

:heart: self determination and the refusal to fall prey to fate.

You aren't a pony, or a dragon, Spike. You're Spike.

Oh Spike, being a pony is not a question of race.
Being a pony is a question of the heart, the mind and the soul.
Your heard may be a pony's and your mind draconic, but your soul, that is for you to decide. :twilightsmile:

It amazes me that this was written in thirty minutes. All of these shorts do. I wish I could write this proficiently so quickly.

Cold in Gardez, you are an artist.

Masterfully done. Not a word out of place, not an emotion half-handed. I love it.

The amount of emotion you pack into these is astounding.

Chpt 4: You'd like the reader to pick up on the fact that Inky is suppressing her feelings earlier, and to have a model of Inky's psychology: what she wants, how she feels about the farm. That isn't there. We see Inky is grouchy, but we can't tell whether it's a bitter-at-the-world grouchy, a moralistic better-than-thou grouchy, or an I'm-just-a-grouch grouchy. It would help to know what Inky thinks the future holds, what she'd expected when she was younger, something so that last line isn't out of nowhere. Because this is fan-fiction, readers won't give you the benefit of the doubt and will at first assume you're writing an unrealistically flat character to fulfill some plot purpose.

This would be a great story to put inside a larger story.

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