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About PiquoPie

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    Washington State
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    There can be no growth without pain, but pain does not ensure growth.
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    Writing, reading, gaming, youtube.

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  1. The Bravest Souls are Those With the Most to Fear (A Them's Fightin' Herds Crossover) The prison on Fœnum is weakening and evil predators are once again on the hunt with more being sure to come as the barrier continues to weaken. The call has gone out to request the peaceful herbivore races of Fœnum to send champions to find the key, and reseal the prison. But Fœnum has a sister world, Equestria. Equestria has chosen to intercede on behalf of their sister planet, and have sent six of their most accomplished champions to help six of the heroes of Fœnum. Due to Formatting issues I am just going to link each FIMFiction chapter as it comes out. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1: An Awkward Hello
  2. A dialogue only story) FIMFiction link Sunset Shimmer needs information on a specific mirror, and she knows just the ogre to get it from. "Who goes there? Ah, a tasty little pony.” “Oh! Oh no… a terrifying ogre. What ever should I do.” “Hehe. Nothing. Your flesh won’t fill me, but your bones will add nice flavor to my stew.” “Oh, I don’t think that will be the case.” “What? How… how are you doing this.” “Simple, magic. You see, I know you ogres grow stronger with fear. However, because I know that I do not fear you. You are rather pathetic after all. And without fear even a unicorn far below my abilities would be able to hold you.” “Intriguing. Who are you? What do you want?” “Simple creature. You don’t want to know my name. If I can’t ensure your loyalty, and you knew my name, then I’d have to dispose of you. Which would be a waste. I’d much rather save you for later. As for what I want, that would be information. There is a good chance you know something about a particular ancient magical mirror. As there are so very few who ever knew about it, much less that are alive today, that makes you very valuable.” “A mirror? I know of several magical mirrors that could be of interest to many. How about you let me down and I’ll tell so you can leave. I don’t like it when ponies pin me to walls with cheaty magics.” “Oh, I suppose I could do that. “Very well. I will let you down if you promise to treat me like a guest under the old accords.” “Agreed. Though, it does not seem like I have a choice. Now, let me down.” “Humph. Do you really think I’d fall for such a thing as that. Honestly. Promise me properly or I’ll be forced to use other means to get you to talk.” “Fine. I promise under the old accords that I will treat you as a guest for this visit, with all the protections and expectations that go along with it.” “That’s better. Now, the mirror.” “Very well. Which mirror do you wish to know about?” “One created by Starswirl the Bearded and currently under the protection of Princess Celestia.” “If I tell you do I have your guarantee on your magic that you will leave me in peace?” “I provide that guarantee. Though I may return with other proposals in the distant future. If I do so I will return in peace now that you know of my strength.” “That sounds... agreeable. From your information you would either be speaking of the void mirror or the hearts mirror. The hearts mirror shows one their hearts desire, perfect for developing and testing one's willpower but increasingly dangerous to the viewers mind, especially after prolonged use. It is even capable of destroying some ponies complete-” “Yes, yes. Hearts mirror; no greater weakness than one’s own heart. No greater strength than conquering one’s own demons. I’m much more interested with the void mirror?” “Very well, let me think here. The void mirror was created as a way to banish otherwise unyielding foes to another plane. It has, to my knowledge, only seem limited use. A mage, such as a unicorn of your apparent caliber, would be able to cast a spell on another and they would be banished, unable to return.” “Do you-” “Know the spell? I do not, and before you ask I will voluntarily bind myself by speaking the answer two more times. I do not know the spell. By the nature of my kind to which I am bound, I do not know the spell. I deal in the knowledge and history of powerful artifacts that might someday be of use to me. Not spells that I would be unable to cast. “Now, as I was saying to you, eager young unicorn. The strength of the spell is that it sends the imprisoned to a universe, or other plane of existence, where it is all but impossible to use magic. Some smaller magic is possible but magical reserves cannot easily be charged and those that traverse the portal tend to be drained on arrival. Some more powerful types of magic, not magic with exceptional power behind it but specific types of innately more powerful magics, are feasible and are not drained upon arrival. But again their power would be limited and the magic would not recharge easily if at all. Pure magic is easily corrupted in that world, and to a greater degree. But dark power is also more easily purified and the purification is supposed to be more complete. Though I was never able to confirm that information. “That is the mechanism of the prison. The true usefulness is that it allows those not banished with the associated spell to visit between worlds once every three moons. In the week that the portal is open it allows the user to travel freely, though with drained magic, to and from the other plane for a full week. If the individual that traveled through the portal by means other than the spell does not return before the portal closes, they may again travel freely anytime the portal is opened.” “Perfect. Now if you would be so kind as to swear to not tell anyone about this than I will leave a very happy mare.” “As you insist. I swear to keep your visit a secret. I swear to keep your visit a secret. By the nature of my kind to which I am bound, I swear to keep your visit a secret.” “Excellent. Stay safe my good ogre. I might have other, more equally beneficial reasons to visit with you in the future.” “As you wish. But before you go I am curious. What is your name?” “If you wish to know my name then you will need to swear to keep it a secret as well.” “I have already sworn to keep your visit a secret. Doing so again would only insult my nature.” “Hmmm. Very well then. My name is Sunset Shimmer, you’ll want to remember it.” “Very well, while not the most pleasant visit. It was very... lively meeting you Sunset Shimmer.” “Yes it was. Farewell.” “Farewell.” … “Silly little unicorn. Celestia loves puzzles. I shall enjoy watching her puzzle out an invitation to have tea with me. And I will be most pleased to have her in my debt. “Sunset Shimmer. Hmm. Strong, brash, intelligent but inexperienced. Someday she too might be interesting to watch. She might even have the potential to become… Exceptional? Yes. Perhaps some day.” If you liked this story follow me on FIMFiction!
  3. Good day, I was inspired to write this after seeing a post questing whether it was the action in an action scene that mattered more or the motives and characters behind the action. I think it’s an interesting topic that has changed over the past few hundred years. There are two secrets to writing at work here. First, people like it when their brains are active, it's an evolutionary trait, and different people generate more brain stimulation from different things. Some people like action more and some people like the metaphorical fights. A good visual example is the Luke/Vader fight in The Empire Strikes Back vs. any light saber fight in the prequel movies. In Empire there is a lot of emotion, motivations, circumstances, there is a personal relationship between the characters and the very basic fighting, with the occasional cool special effect, enhances all that. On the other hand in the prequels everything is excessively choreographed which is visually pleasing but the conflict is usually summed up with me good you bad stahhhhp being bad, I kill you, goodnight Tatooine may the force be with you. The choreography is also counter to potential character growth such as when Qui Gon died and Obi Wan becomes angry and attacks Darth Maul only to suddenly have his rage induced charge turned into a perfectly choreographed dance and he doesn't really face falling to the dark side, there are zero consequences because of how the action was choreographed. How does this translate into writing? Well before I get to that there is one more little secret that works its way into this dilemma. What would the audience like to see? This is actually a deeper question because in the history of writing this has changed. It use to be that people looked to books for things they couldn't get anywhere else; fantastical alien worlds, armies the size of cities, impressive and imaginative fight scenes. These were all things that books gave affordably that nothing else really did. But now we have movies, TV, the internet, video games, and people can get masterful paintings reprinted for an hour or two of work. Not only that but movies, TV, and video game all do action better to the point where what would have been enjoyable before isn't as good anymore simply because, by comparison, the action scenes are less action packed. So when it comes down to it, writing on its own can go either way when comparing action to characterization and plot. But with the modern media available to us that action becomes extremely hard to make worthwhile on its own because people won't respond as strongly to it as it's rather dull by comparison sometimes. On the other hand decent characterization and plot are still as strong as ever and can activate a lot of the brain. Add to that the things that other media does for characterization and plot often pale in comparison to a book equivalent, thus elevating the medium of writing by association which makes it stronger. Now good media can do this as well, it's just rarer. Of course, the one consistent exception to this is for action scenes that aren't portrayed well in the media. The Dresden Files has an amazing magic system. But, it doesn't carry over to visual mediums as well because it's more about outsmarting and putting two and two together than flashy visual displays. It also has a lot of character to it and is first person which also doesn't translate over to visual mediums as well. So if you are trying to decide to focus on action or the motives/characterization in an action scene I say go characterization except when the action is more unique and thought provoking than you would normally see in other mediums. Do be careful about reader fatigue when writing action, however, because it can get to the point where the reader doesn’t care and can’t keep track of it in their heads. Have a good day. If you found this informative, and think others might as well, please share it. -Piquo P.S. If you found this helpful, follow me on FIMFiction.
  4. I know some people on MLP forums don't like people just linking to FIMFiction. However this fic uses some interesting formatting to create a story that can be read through two different ways. The first story is a light comedy, and the second story is very much not. I should not that if the text doesn't like up correctly you might need to zoom in or zoom out your page on FIMFiction. So here is the FIMFiction link. One story to make you laugh, a little random, made for fun. The lie. One story to make you shiver, a little dark, made for reasons unknown. There will never be another chapter for I have awoken. Two stories in one. A challenge, an experiment. For I am The Hunger in the Void. Big thanks to Winston and Abcron for edits.
  5. Just saw your latest thread. You and I will be in touch very soon. ^_^

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Standard User

      Standard User

      Good stuff, I promise! Writing stuff. Awesome stuff.

    3. Swick (ded)

      Swick (ded)

      Kolth, quit scaring people! Sorry, PiquoPie. He runs off on his own occasionally. ^-^"

    4. Standard User

      Standard User

      I am allowed to creep on whomever I want!

  6. If you find this useful, check out my Fimfiction Profile. A bold title, yes, but not an untrue one. You see, I’ve been working on a number of writing projects and one of them is an actual book to be published. Because of this I’ve been doing a number of things that are new to me and I came to a realization; I can research how to write all I want, and I can practice trying to be the best I can, but you learn stuff differently when, on purpose, you do something wrong. Let’s start with the story of how I came to this realization. One of the things authors need to do for their book, that was new to me, is to prepare a pitch for the story. A pitch is used to sell the book to a publisher or agent and is a lot like the paragraph on a back of the book designed to sell it but it is slightly different. Usually an author needs to prepare a short pitch, a medium length pitch, and a long pitch. The short pitch is the most important because that’s what will get you in the door and it can sell the book completely if done perfectly. I needed this so that if I run across someone who wants to hear about my book I can explain it in an interesting, concise, fashion like a knowledgeable professional. Now, I’ve never been good at selling myself or things I’m involved with. I’m even terrible at convincing people to try a movie when in a group and have had people recite, word for word, what I have said to successfully convince people of things. Thus, pitching my story really worried me because even on the rare occasion where I’ve done “everything right” it still hasn’t always worked for me. So, a few weeks ago, I started really learning about pitching a story. I’d listened to several podcasts and read a dozen or so articles on pitching. Thus, when it came to write it, I was feeling confident that I knew what needed to be done. However I could not get it right. The short pitch was too long, it had way too much info, and/or the pitches generally had everything wrong with it that you could have at one point or another. I just couldn’t condense all that I had learned into a single concise pitch that worked. I decided to do the opposite. I wrote out a really long, overly complex, and confusing pitch just to get it out there. I had this idea because I did something similar when trying to find my voice for the novel. I was originally trying to go for a medium length pitch but decided to screw it and see if doing it wrong would get it out of my system, possibly even produce a rough gem that I could improve upon. The crazy thing was, when I was done I was able to go back and actually do a much improved pitch. It was a few words long, maybe a tad to much info, but it was close to being focused and concise and, most importantly, interesting. In fact I just went back and tried again and was able to, I think, nail it. I was able to do this only because I had purposely done it wrong the first time. By doing so I was able to get all the information I wanted out there, analyze it, make some of the cuts and refocus some of the wording and really grasp what not to do. The real key, however, was that I saw the bad. It reinforced to me what not to do so that when I sat down I instinctively shied away from many of the issues I had had. Note how I even changed the focus of the pitch from the characters to the world. I did this realizing that everything in the story really revolves around a deep interesting world. While I love my characters and the plot, it’s the world that really ties everything together and makes it interesting. Continuing on I went on to do a pitch that I liked a lot better. It leaves the person who reads it wanting more and asking questions, it speaks to the intertwining effect the setting has on the characters and the problem, and it lists the selling points in my book (character and world) by framing them in the context of this particular story and the challenge faced. After realizing how doing it wrong helped me do it correctly, I thought back on some other times I’ve done this. When having trouble explaining a section of a story I sat down and wrote a thousand words in a uninteresting extra telly 3rd person fashion. But afterwards I was able to rewrite it in an interesting first person fashion that was only about 450 words. In fact, my very first fic (never published) started with 3 pages of boring tell. But when I sat down to re-write the beginning it flowed easily, ended up being smooth, and had a lot of character and charm, all condensed into a page and a half that was almost all dialogue so it effectively cut my word count by two thirds while still feeling like a lot. Now, this is different than the tool of simply sitting down to write and warm up/wait for something good to start flowing. I purposely did something that I know was bad and analyzed it to find the good/identify what I really wanted to say and I have a theory for why this works. Doing and seeing things wrong also hit home the lessons I had been learning. It was one thing to see bad examples, but it was another to make them. But, by doing it on purpose it didn’t get me down, I wasn’t frustrated, and it didn’t discourage me in the least. If anything it encouraged me because I was already way above the bad pitch even though I wasn’t satisfied. Now, there is a reason I think learning this way helped. You see, words are all conceptual, there is nothing physical about them, so practicing something with words is a bit different from practicing something physical like trying a special knot. If the knot is wrong you can simply follow the rope back to see that a lope is simply missing because you forgot a step. With words it’s different because you aren’t writing a single word. You are writing a word that coalesces from one general concept, like a chair, and relating that word with many others to form a weave of interconnecting concepts to make something more substantial, a creaky chair that a woman is pulling out to sit on and rest her weary bones. Beyond that sentences are formed into paragraphs, and paragraphs are only a section of an even larger whole. Now, in relation to a whole 30,000 word long short-story missing a simple comma isn’t all that big of a deal. Missing every comma, however, would be noticeable. This is because a simple mistake will often get edited automatically in our head before the concept as a whole is messed up. Don’t believe me? I would remind you that when we speak we have a lot of hmms, huhs, and ums. We don’t like to see it written that way because it’s wrong, but it’s also undesirable in speech. In speech we just overlook a single um or huh in regards to carrying on listening to many other words and nonverbal cues. But if you say um a lot it stands out and bothers us. Writing is much the same way only for it’s own special set of circumstances. In both cases, speaking or writing, the more there is the harder it is to pull out a single mistake. So when you sit down to identify the problems with a character, it might be one little thing, or a collection of smaller things, and the problem might not even consistently be there. Thus when we try to find a problem that’s there we can often overlook it even as we know something is wrong. We are looking at the whole concept, sometimes the plot for an entire story, and one little part is off but we can’t see it. But if everything is wrong, if we are seeing issues all over the place, we can’t just fit it in and auto fix it nice and neatly. Thus, it helps identify the issue by changing the filter in our minds. The good can also really stand out which can help us change the focus. By comparison, if we go to the original knot comparison it’s easy to find the problem if you simply follow the rope to see that you zigged when you should have zagged. I have found this tool of doing things wrong on purpose incredibly helpful without even realizing I was doing it. As a result I figured it was something others might like to try so I have come up with a list of situations/reasons writing something wrong can help. I say situations because when I think about it each things that I tried to fix took a slightly different approach. 1) Voice: Sometimes the story you are trying to tell isn’t coming out right and just sounds wrong. Rather than constantly fighting it specifically try to write in a boring fashion. Then, instead of trying to figure out what’s wrong try to find what’s working. There is a good chance that if you can find something about your purposely boring words then you should focus on that because it’s coming naturally. A lot of people don’t realize what’s actually good about their work until people tell them. This is a way to do that yourself without relying on the input of others. The downside is that you might still have to try a few different things. Maybe once in 1st person and once in 3rd, or perhaps you should switch between past and present tense on tries. These are normal things to try if your voice doesn’t sound right so this practice can feel repetitive. But if trying those things didn’t work the first time you might find it helpful to try again and to do it wrong on purpose. 2) Something is wrong with a character: Your character not interesting, find their dialogue dull. Great, do in on purpose. Write a scene unrelated to your story but with the character. Now, there are two ways to do this that I feel work the best. The first is to add in some other character that you are familiar with from a different IP and have them talk. The second is to have the character you need help with make an impassioned speech about something to a version of himself that is completely boring and frustrating. The other option is to write out a bio specifically highlighting what is bad. You should be able to identify the interesting bits in any of those example which you add in on accident. The second suggestion there is a bit more specific but the contrast could help a lot of people, it’s another tool but one that could work well when combined. The third I haven’t tried but I would think it would help much like the next situation I’ll list. 3) Problems with your plot: Sometimes I’ve had problems with my plot. I wish I had thought of this a long time ago but simply listing the plot in a giant paragraph and go back and try to edit it can really help. This is the wrong way to plot a story but it can highlight a lot of issues. Maybe you’re characters have to much drama, maybe there are a few too many side plots, maybe something needs to be moved around, maybe you have too little going on, perhaps you need to add a try/fail cycle, or maybe some of your plots just aren’t that interesting. Putting you plot down in the order it happens can really help you see how chaotic a story is, and while many good stories are actually pretty crazy when you put it down like that it can help some issues jump out at you and help you identify the plots that you are most motivated to write. 4) Action/Fight scenes: Action and fight scenes can be really hard to do well for a lot of people. If this is the case for you write out the scene purposefully being bad. It’s all action, no thoughts or pauses, just straight action. My gosh it will get boring fast, hopefully boring enough that you will learn a thing or two about what really needs to go into a fight scene and what needs to stay out. Then, compare it to what you had been writing, any similarities? If so take them out or change them until it looks totally different. Make some actions quick, others take a while, add in a pause, maybe even some slight tangents. Add emotions like frustration or disgust. The trick is to always change it in a different fashion. While you generally want somethings to be the same going from all identical to all unique will help you identify where you want to be and get some good creativity flowing for how to write something properly. 5) Summaries: Whether you are writing a synopsis for a fanfic, quickly describing a story to someone, or writing a short pitch for an actual book, authors generally have to summarize their story a few times and doing so can be a challenge. If you are struggling do it poorly, line it out without being a draw on purpose. But then go back and identify any little thing that is interesting and use that as a starting off point. Well, that’s it for my list and this topic. I am sure there are other ways to use this tool but it is still new to me. I am sure there are more ways to use it, so if you're stuck try with something not listed above try to create a failed version and learn from it in some way. It might require a bit of extra work to really get the most out of it but in the end if it works, and you learn something about your strengths and weaknesses, then it’s a winner in my book.
  7. Youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK-6W1eWI1k Both the video and blog provided by Ckat Myla, And check out my Fimfiction profile. Set your chapter free: Knowing when it's time to post I've been there, we all have. You have obsessed over your writing for ages, always finding something that needs to be tweaked or worked on, but then comes the moment when there doesn't seem to be anything else to fix... well, that can't be right. There has to be something else to work on, what if this part goes too fast? What if I didn't give enough explanation here? It can't actually, really be ready to post, can it? Yes, the day has come, but you are still reluctant to set that bit of story free. You know it's probably just over-thinking paranoia or stage fright, but that doesn't make it any easier to just put it up. At the same time though, you shouldn't just keep your story from seeing the light of day (especially if it's updated by chapters. You gotta let it join its written brothers and sisters). Here are some good little guidelines to follow on when to just … well... let it go. - When you have enough to post. It always helps when you have most of the chapters done or mostly done already. I'm sure that some of the absolute best writers of systematically-posted fiction here on the internet have most – if not all – of their story completed or at least written before they start posting chapters. That must be such a good feeling... I'll bet. Because I always say I'm going to do that every time I decide to write another story. it didn't end up happening. The closest I have gotten has been when I had a story mostly-done and already posted on another site, and then when I brought it over to a new story site I already had like, four chapters ready to go. So I released them weekly and felt like such a pro. It was great for my readers too since they didn't have to wait around for me to get to the next chapter. I had it ready for them with some consistency. I still try to keep at least two chapters ahead of where my readers are, but that doesn't always work out. Real life does tend to get in the way and that's fine. Your readers understand that (the reasonable ones, anyway) and as long as you try to keep it mostly consistent in a realistic way for your schedule it should be good. Maybe not weekly, but perhaps monthly, or bi-monthly. It also helps if you don't always write in chronological order. I've done NaNoWriMo three times (two times in a row these past years) and those november writing frenzys blessed me with a very sizeable chunk of story to work with, and it wasn't all just once part of the stories. Some was from the beginning and I could start working on and editing immediately, but some of it was from near the end and I had to wait on it to be released. The story I'm updating now – and currently finishing – a good amount of the last chapters were written during NaNo 2012. Having a good amount written already (however you wanna space it out) is something that requires the existence of patience, but the rewards can be pretty worth it. - When your proofreaders are done with it. I have been over the importance of a pre-reader or beta before in my other videos. Mostly I've mentioned how great they are as second or third pairs of eyes to help you both catch mistakes in grammar as well as story/pacing/character continuity. Another handy role that they can perform for you is telling you that it's time to post. It's not exactly fair to put the pressure of 'when can I put this up?' completely on them, but they can act as a good crossing guard, telling you when it's safe to go ahead. I probably have put much more stress on my poor PRs due to my anxiousness to get stories and chapters up by certain times, and/or fretting about this thing or that thing far more than I should because whatever it is probably won't be noticed or even become important until later. I shall take this time to apologize to my present and past PRs for any undue stress I've put them under. You guys are/were awesome, and I am lucky and blessed to know you and have you help me. Your relationship with your PR is important, guys. They're helping you out probably for free, don't be their demanding boss, be their buddy too. Trust their judgment of your work to be fair and unbiased, because even if you are friends a good prereader will be critical as well as complimentary. - When you've gone over it at least three times yourself Maybe once for grammar and structure, once for story and/or character, and once trying to look at it from the perspective of the reader. Most likely your reader will either have been waiting weeks/months for this chapter and might not remember everything that happened in the last one, or they are coming late to the party and are reading everything at once. Neither way is a problem, but it might do well to focus more on the former type of reader. He is the type of person that explains why we need episode recaps on TV shows. There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving a little bit of a recap at the beginning of a chapter, but not in the exact form of a 'previously on _____'. Making it a bit more organic than that would be better. Try not to info-dump the recaps, but maybe if there was a spectacular battle in the last chapter, we've got the aftermath being looked over by a character who was there at the start of the next one, remembering the horror or watching a friend fall. Something like that. The important stuff as a gentle reminder for the reader to go, 'oh yeah, okay. I'm with ya.' On the grammar/structure side of it, while your PR is doing their thing, you still look it over and make sure all your 'your's and 'you're's are right and such. I really like this text-to-speech program I found online called Free Natural Reader. The free version has three pretty human-sounding voices and is quite helpful with picking out the little typos I or my proofies might have missed. - When you are so used to the story that you're worried it isn't as good as you think. The writers of the Simpsons and Futurama have mentioned on the hundreds (literally) of episode commentaries that they always seem to keep making up new jokes during the process of making the shows. They'll pitch one joke, and then afterward during all the subsequent stages of creating an episode they get so used to the joke that they can no longer tell if it's funny to anyone but themselves anymore. That's why they have to bring in new people to see/hear the joke for them to know that it's still totally fine. When you feel it's ready (though sometimes even when you don't)you are probably good to go, and over thinking it won't help your sanity. It will never ever EVER be perfect. Even if you have spent years carefully crafting and cultivating your beloved chapter babies, they will still never be ready unless you say they are. Much like the mama bird who has to push her babies out of the nest to teach them to fly, you just have to set them free into the world and trust that they can make it on their own. - When it's the ending, cut yourself some slack. Endings are hard. Any monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna complain. There's always gonna be holes. And since it's the ending, it's all supposed to add up to something. I'm telling you, they're a raging pain in the patootie. Yes, that's a paraphrased line from Supernatural, but that doesn't mean it's not true. Even if you haven't really had a problem with posting your story before, when it comes down to that last chapter, you will most likely start to feel that anxiety. That's even if you're satisfied with your ending. Well, about as satisfied as you're going to be because let's face it by restating it: ain't no way you will be completely one-hundred percent happy with it because complete and total perfection is a myth. More elusive than Bigfoot on a Princess cruise to Narnia with the tooth fairy. What I'm saying is, don't over-think it too much. It's very important, yes, but that doesn't mean you should tear your hair out over it or be literally scared of it due to a perceived lack of culmination or payoff. You never know, most of your readers probably will be satisfied, and remember the number one rule is to me satisfied yourself. I think this video article as proven that sometimes you can be your own worst enemy, but maybe after the second guess should not come a third, forth, or for-hundreth one. Not entirely sure how to finish this one of, because... you know... endings are hard. I do hope I've helped you at least a little though. Let it go, let it go, post it up, let it be heard let it go, let it go, stop over-thinking it, you nerd It's okay, perfection is a myth. Set your chapter free. Come on, just get it over with.
  8. Fimfiction Link (A light story focusing on Culture and Characters) Breaking News Headline: COLT CATCHES LUCKY BREAK, GETS TO BREAK A LEG WITH PRINCESS LUNA The winner of the first 'Royalty for a Day' contest has just been selected, a young earth pony colt from Ponyville named Pipsqueak. This lucky colt was selected randomly from tens of thousands of entries across Equestria to spend an evening with Princess Luna, stay at Canterlot Castle, attend the first Royal Nightmare Night Festival as Princess Luna’s personal guest, and will be knighted as Equestria Royalty for the day. When asked, Pipsqueak had this to say. “Oh, I was just so excited when I got the letter telling me I’d won. Princess Luna‘s been my favorite Princess ever since she visited Ponyville during the last Nightmare Nights Festival three years ago. She’s ever so much fun! I must‘ave sent a thousand letters, I did.” There you have it folks. I can’t say I’m not jealous of the little tyke. He’s agreed to tell us all about his day as Royalty sometime next week. Have fun, little guy. -Head writer for the Canterlot Times, Inky Quill. Written for VGI based on his art provided here. Edited by Drgnwolf and enti0 who is also British and really helped with the accents. Dear Pipsqueak It is our pleasure to inform that you have been randomly selected as the winner of Our first Annual Royalty for a Day contest. Congratulations! We fondly remember when we first met you at Ponyville's Nightmare Nights Festival three years ago. Imagine Our surprise when you won. My sister even commented on Our smile as We read the winning letter. We will pick you up from your home on the 29th of October, promptly at 5pm. From there we will attend a private dinner in the castle and go over plans for the next day. Please dress casually for the 29th, but bring a nice business casual outfit for the 30th, and your Nightmare Nights outfit for the First Royal Nightmare Nights Festival. You will then stay one more night before We return you the morning after. We look forward to seeing you again, -Princess Luna Pipsqueak smiled and placed the frequently read letter back in it’s drawer in the nightstand next to his bed. He turned back to look around the room. The letter had distracted him from the search for his misplaced pirate sword. Three years. Thought Pipsqueak. After three years I finally get to see her again. “Mum! Mum!” yelled Pipsqueak as he rummaged through his closet. “Where’s my pirate sword? I can’t go as a pirate to the Royal Nightmare Nights Festival without my pirate sword.” Pipsqueak’s mom called back from down in the kitchen “"Already packed, Luv, you'll find it in there eas'ly enough. I've gone and wrapped it in a sheet to keep it safe!" “Oh, alright then.” Pipsqueak dug himself out from under a pile of dirty sheets that he hadn’t had time to wash. “Ave you got everything else?” “Um, I think so,” he called, yelling into his suitcase as he scrounged around. “Yes, I do.” “What a good lad. Come down 'ere and give yer mum a hug before you go. Quick now, can you hear it? That's the Princess, she just landed her chariot right outside!” Pipsqueak struggled to pick up his suitcase. While he tried to pack light he found that a costume including a hat, sword, and fake parrot took up more space than he was expecting. Add to that his nice outfit, four dress shoes, basic toiletries, and a picture of Princess Luna that he wanted to get signed, and the stiff suitcase could barely stay shut, despite being as large as he was. Eventually he managed to get the suitcase onto his back, and began awkwardly walking down the stairs, his head turned behind him to hold the suitcase. He was about halfway down the stairs when he heard a knocking from the front door at the bottom of the stairs. Pipsqueak was only able to turn his eyes to see his mother already opening the door. There bowing to his mother and calling his mother ‘Lady Cipher’ was Princess Luna. After his mother returned the bow, Luna then turned to him and bowed deeply. “Greetings, Prince Pipsqueak. Art thou ready for our royal dinner?” Pipsqueak turned his head and bowed. Suddenly the weight of his suitcase slipped from his back and he felt the bottom fall out of his stomach. He could only watch as the suitcase tumbled down the stairs, merrily bursting to toss his carefully packed belongings every which way. Pipsqueak covered his eyes with his hooves until the clatter of his life coming to an end settled. When he finally opened his eyes he was shocked that such carefully packed belongings could so easily wind up a giant mess. His pirate outfit had fallen across the stairs without too much damage. His nice clothes, however, had been strewn about and covered in toothpaste, which had somehow managed to become impaled by his costume pirate sword. He looked from the mess to his mom, and then to Princess Luna. He felt his cheeks redden as he noticed a pair of clean, white colts underwear resting upon her head, one leg opening having come to rest over her horn. Pipsqueak’s mother was close to exploding. “Pipsqueak Burgundy Leviathan! What, In, Equestria were y'thinking when you managed to throw yer knickers on our most exalted Princess Luna's horn!” “It’s quite all right, Lady Cipher,” said Princess Luna as she began to chuckle. “There is a reason royals do not normally carry their own luggage, things like this simply happen from time to time.” Ms. Cipher looked from her boy, to the mess, to Princess Luna before swiping the offending garment from Luna’s horn as she blushed. “Terr’bly sorry, Princess. Oh! You must think us rude beyond belief-” “As We said, Lady Cipher,” interrupted Luna. “Things simply happen from time to time. One would be remiss as a leader if one was not capable of taking friendly amusement from such circumstances.” “That’s very understanding of you, Princess. Would you like to come in while we get this cleaned up.” Luna smiled as a midnight blue aura surrounded the split items and sorted them into two piles. “No thank you. Everything is absolutely fine. The luggage was simply overstuffed. The castle will have ample toiletries, you need only bring your costume and your good clothes.” Luna stopped when she noticed the picture of her and smiled in a teasing fashion. “What is this, Prince Pipsqueak? A framed picture of me? That hardly seems appropriate. You haven’t even been a Prince yet and already you have a picture of me for your private collection.” Pipsqueaks cheeks flushed an even brighter red and he began to stammer. “N-no, Princess Luna, it’s not like that. You see, you’re my favorite Princess, my hero, and I just wanted to get your signature on my picture of you.” Luna chuckled. “Oh, you want a signed picture of me to put in your room. My, my, you are the little rogue, aren’t you? But We merely jest, perhaps a bit too aggressively given the undergarments of a teenager that I recently wore as a headdress. We would be more than happy to sign a picture for you. But perhaps it should be a picture of you and myself together at the festival tomorrow. I do believe that would be the most fitting.“ “Blimey! You mean it?” asked Pipsqueak beaming. “Oh, you’re the best Princess ever!” Luna smiled as she floated the clothes into the suitcase and zipped it up. “Come, my Prince, We must hurry if We are to raise the moon on time.” “Absolutely. Bye Mum,” said Pipsqueak quickly, as he hugged his mother before dashing out the door. “Be nice to the Princess, Pip,” reminded his mother. “‘And thank you, Princess.” “Think nothing of it,” said Luna. “I merely wish to show a bright-eyed child a good time.” Pipsqueak had never ridden in a chariot ride before and he couldn't get enough of it. He dashed from side to side, the front and back, constantly trying to look at everything at once. It took a full ten minutes before he settled down to stare at the approaching castle, lit in all it’s glory by the light of the soon to be setting sun. Princess Luna found the childlike wonder extremely refreshing. The work of a Princess was constant. With the exception of the few minutes she took to appreciate her night sky, just after and just before sunrise, she never seemed to find the time to appreciate anything. But with the little pinto colt dashing from side to side, yelling about how amazing everything looked from up high, she found herself looking from side as well and actually enjoying herself. Though, Luna didn’t need to run from side to side, she merely had to turn her head, but at least it gave her a good view of the young colt’s utter amazement at the world around him. “Princess?” asked Pipsqueak. “Might I ask you a question?” “Of course, my Prince.” “Why did you call my mother ‘Lady Cipher?’ Is my mum secretly a noble?” Luna chuckled. “No, my Prince. But, on the morrow I will name you a Prince for a day. That would make your mother a Lady, even if she was not of noble birth. I decided that I should address her appropriately. As you helped show me, Nightmare Night is a night of fun in many different forms. I decided that it might serve that interest, fun, by calling your mother by her soon to be proper title, seeing as I won’t be able to call her that tomorrow.” “Oh, I get it,” said Pipsqueak. They had just begun to pass over Canterlot proper. Pipsqueak stuck his head out the back of the carriage in order to get the best view of everything when he spoke again. “Princess?” “Yes, my Prince?” “Why is it that when you were around my mum you kept saying ‘We’ but around me you use ‘I?’ Luna hid her smile as she turned to find Pipsqueak still leaning out of the chariot while he turned his head to await her answer. “After many hundreds of years of using the royal ‘We’ I find it is a habit most difficult to change. But around those I am more comfortable with, I find ‘I’ much easier to use.” Pipsqueak beamed at the compliment before following up with another question. “But, why did you ever talk that way in the first place? I mean, why do you talk so formally? I’ve never heard anypony talk like that.” Luna tapped a hoof to her chin as she thought. “I suppose that has to deal with class differences from over a thousand years ago. It’s quite boring, actually, are you sure you wish to hear of it?” Pipsqueak nodded, having forgotten the view as they approached the castle in the sky chariot. “Oh,” said Luna. “Alright, but I’ll try to condense it as much as I can.” Luna politely cleared her throat as she collected her thoughts. “Both Royalty and the Aristocracy tend to value themselves much higher than the common pony and enjoy constant reminder about this fact. It is much like a star hoofball player might enjoy constant recognition within his school. One way ponies of elevated stations took to reminding themselves of their status was to create complex social rules and language that could only be truly mastered by those who didn’t have to waste time with manual labor. Eventually the language and customs began to differ so greatly that it was all but impossible for the common pony to effectively communicate with the aristocracy who began to look down on their countryponies who couldn’t comprehend the nuances of their culture. “This wasn’t always an issue, largely because any business deal required a certain level of mutual respect. But it was almost always an issue in the court system, which use to be dominated by aristocratic lawyers and judges. The difference in communication was highlighted by the fierce pride many earth ponies feel about their livelihoods and hard work. The result was that earth ponies often refused to hire someone to argue on their behalf even though they couldn’t understand the words and games their opposition used to gain the upper hoof. Eventually tensions between the two groups came to a head when one particularly creative aristocrat tricked a particularly proud earth pony into saying that his farm was owned by the aristocrat and, so, the court took the earth ponies farm away and gave it to the aristocrat. It was at this point that my sister and I intervened.” Luna stood and exited the chariot with Pipsqueak who looked around, having just realized that they’d landed without even the faintest bump. A unicorn guard levitated Pipsqueak’s bags to a waiting attendant and Luna asked that the garments be cleaned before being placed in his chambers. “Where was I,” muttered Luna as Pipsqueak waited. “Ah yes.” They began to make their way to into the castle, Pipsqueak too enthralled with Luna’s summary of social and legal changes to appreciate the castle. He was so distracted, in fact, that he didn’t even notice when Princess Celestia had fallen in step behind him, prompting the Princesses to share grins and stifle knowing, very un-princess like, giggles. It was only when the doors to the Princess’s private dining hall were opened that a multitude of mouth watering smells caught Pipsqueaks attention. “Oh, we’re in the dining hall. When did we get here?” Princess Celestia’s soft, warm, and very casual voice sounded from just above and behind Pipsqueak “Just now, my little pony.” Pipsqueak jumped, turning midair. “Oi! I mean, Princess.” He bowed deeply, both out of respect and in a failed attempt to hide his crimson blush. “Pipsqueak,” said Celestia bowing. “It is an honor to finally meet you. My sister has, very excitedly, told me about the meeting you two first had three years ago and how much she was looking forward to seeing you again.” “She did?” asked Pipsqueak excitedly. He turned to look at Luna and smiled as she nodded. “Of course I did,” said Luna. “Finding out that a holiday concerning the terrifying Nightmare Moon was giving so much joy was probably the happiest experience I’ve had since my return. Aside from being reunited, and forgiven, by my sister, of course.” Pipsqueak beamed. “Shall we?” gestured Celestia to the tables. “Let’s,” declared Pipsqueak as he felt his heart race. His mother had spent the last week imparting what she knew about proper manners and he didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of two princesses. He bowed to let the two Princesses pass him to choose their spots at the head of the table. The hours of lectures and practice came flooding back to him and he raced ahead to pull out the Princesses seats for them, starting with Princess Celestia as she had approached her chair first. “Oh,” said Celestia as she stood behind her seat at the head of the table. “Such a gentlecolt. Luna, I thought you said your contest was only for foals.” “It was supposed to be,” said Luna as she made her way to her seat. “But I had no idea that colts in this day and age were so well versed in proper etiquette.” “M’ladies,” said Pipsqueak with a smile as he pushed in Celestia’s chair as she sat. “Oh my,” said both sisters. Pipsqueak diligently moved over to push in Luna’s chair as she took her seat. Celestia turned to her sister. “I think it’s been centuries since somepony other than a servant did that for me.” Luna nodded. “It hasn’t happened to myself since I returned.” Pipsqueak looked at them in confusion. “Isn’t that what a gentlecolt is suppose to do to a proper lady?” “Mare or lady, yes,” stated Celestia. “It even used to be common for male guests to push in our chairs. But that was more than a thousand years ago. Since then Luna and myself decided to minimize the gap between the aristocracy and the common pony and we have discouraged it with ourselves. Most ponies likely think it improper now, though it is not.” Pipsqueak gulped. But before embarrassment could take hold, something his mother had drilled into him during those many hours of etiquette popped into his head. ‘All mares love a compliment. If you misspeak, try to make it a compliment.’ "Well I'd say that, once in a while, the bestest ponies in our lovely land ought to be treated good and proper now and then." “Oh,” said Celestia. “He is good.” Pipsqueak bowed, before taking his own seat on the side of the table, next to Luna, as was proper for her guest. Immediately after he was seated three servants appeared, seemingly out of nowhere to Pipsqueak, and placed one dish of the first course in front of each of them before removing the cover. Pipsqueak’s mouth immediately began to water at the site of a stunning dish of carrot tzimmes. The carrots were perfectly round, and were so soft they flopped over each other. They were practically sparkling with perfectly heated, slightly caramelized, honey and had a dash of cinnamon sprinkled over the top. It was also clear that the dish included a secret step to preparation that his mother used, a small amount of butter was mixed with the honey to help tie all the flavours together more neatly than if they had been added separately. “Carrot tzimmes! That’s my favorite,” declared Pipsqueak. He turned to Princess Luna. “How’d you know?” Princess Luna held in a chuckle at the explosive excitement of the little colt. “I didn’t. I actually don’t know of this dish,” Luna said, trailing off before turning to her sister, a playful glare in her eye. “Sister, do you know of this dish? The one that just so happens to be my guest’s favorite?” Celestia took a large and satisfying whiff of the dish before replying. “No, dearest sister. I must admit that I rarely ever heard of this dish. Though, I do believe it is more popular with some of the older, more traditional earth pony families. That said, the chef might have mentioned to me the desire to make this dinner perfect, and I might have offered the young Prince’s address so that he might contact his mother and inquire about his favorite dishes.” “Sister, you should not have done that,” whined Luna. “But you must admit, he is enjoying himself,” said Celestia, pointing to the colt. Luna turned back toward Pipsqueak to find that he had one of the happiest faces that she had ever witnessed on a colt. To his credit, Pipsqueak managed to control himself and settled for adding one moderate bite at a time rather than shoving it in his mouth as he would have prefered. The carrots were, for lack of a better term, perfect. They were soft and tender but still meaty. Honey had slightly caramelized with the thinnest layer of butter adhering to it. It was only after the third bite that Pipsqueak realized that brown sugar had been added to thicken the honey, and provide a little extra flavor. If Pipsqueak had been eating as fast as he wanted to he would have missed that subtlety which also served to provide a delightful contrast to the sweet and meaty carrot. The cinnamon, of course, had only been dusted on the top of the carrots after cooking, creating a small zip at the beginning which served to heighten the sensitivity of his tastebuds. Sadly, all good things come to an end. As Pipsqueak placed the final bite within his mouth he made sure to savor it slightly longer than all the rest. He turned to the Princesses with a most satisfactory grin. “That was the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever eaten.” The Princesses had not touched their tzimmes, as they were too enthralled by the pure and innocent pleasure expressed by the young colt. But when he spoke, they turned to look down at their steaming pile of carrots. Celestia was the first to try a bite, and it most certainly was very delicious. Luna also found the meal to be one of the better ones since she had returned from her long banishment. She said so and they all agreed, it would be hard for the chef to top that appetizer. The prediction held true and the rest of the meal, while quite delicious and the best that Pipsqueak had ever had, never quite tasted as good as that first dish. Pipsqueak fought through his growing food coma and managed to hold in a most undignified belch. “That was the best meal’ve eaten. Bloody brilliant posh nosh.” “I must say,” said Luna. “That was quite the meal. Were all the recipes provided by Lady Cipher?” “I think so,” said Celestia. “Though, at this point, I don’t really care. Whatever the chef did to pick this meal, I’m making sure he does it again tomorrow.” “The day after tomorrow,” corrected Luna. “Tomorrow is the festival.” “Oh,” said Pipsqueak. “Tomorrow, tomorrow. Oh no! I still need to get my suit cleaned for tomorrow.” Celestia lazily waved a hoof in the air. “The servants will have seen to that, have no fear.” “Tonight,” muttered Luna. “Tonight. Oh, I still need to raise the moon. And you need to lower the sun sister.” “Oh, if I must. How long do we have?” Just then a servant appeared from somewhere far outside of Pipsqueak’s perception, and whispered in Luna’s ear. “Ah, it seems that we have five minutes sister.” “Five. That should be long enough to walk out to the balcony. Come sister, the sooner we are done the sooner we can pleasantly sleep off this meal.” “Sir,” said Luna. A small grey pegasus stallion with a black mane stepped out from somewhere Pipsqueak didn’t care to identify. “Please see Prince Pipsqueak to his chambers.” The servant nodded. “Come now master Pipsqueak. I will show you to your room.” “Mmmm. Okay. Hey, what’s your name?” “Sir.” Pipsqueak blinked. “I said what’s your name. No need to be shy, I’m not actually a Prince.” The stallion grinned with bemusement. “My name is Tuxedo Sir, sir.” “Haha, sir Sir. Sure Sirsir. Show me my room, Sir Sirsir. I’m sure you're the best servant in the castle, Sir Sirsir, sir.” “Most hilarious sir.” Pipsqueak grinned nearly the entire way as he was gently guided to his room. “I’m fourteen, but for one day. For one day I’ll be a Prince.” Pipsqueak didn’t know how he’d made it to a bed. He hadn’t even been aware of walking. “We’re all jealous of you sir. Now, sleep tight.” “Jealous? You shouldn’t be jealous. That mean’s you're not having fun. I’m only Prince fer a little while. You, you get to see Princess Luna every day. Princess Luna is the best Princess.” “True, sir. Can I get you anything else before I go.” “Anything… Oh! Make sure to tell the chef thank you. That was the best meal I’ve ever had. And thank you, Sir.” Pipsqueak was vaguely aware of a blanket being placed over him as he drifted off to sleep. A steady knocking woke Pipsqueak the next morning and his eyes immediately shot open. Today is the day, today is the day. Golly gee willikers, this is going to be the best day ever! A flash of memory came to Pipsqueak as the voice of Sir came, muffled, through the thick wooden door of his chambers. “Mr. Pipsqueak, are you presentable?” “Oh,” groaned Pipsqueak. “Y-yeah, sure.” The doors opened and a flood of light invaded the dark room. Pipsqueak, in abject terror of the sudden harsh brightness, squeaked and threw the covers over his head. “Oh, sorry about that,” said Tuxedo. He closed the door, walked several paces to the left, and turned on a less aggressive reading lamp. “There. That should be better, sir.” Pipsqueak slowly took a peek from under the covers. Finding the light only moderately objectionable he stretched and yawned. “Yeaaaaahh. Mhmmm. What time is it?” “Six in the morning, sir. Princess Luna had intended to have you present for last night’s Moonrise, but as you retired early she inclined to let you sleep and let you see the Moonset instead.” “Oh no. I missed the moonrise? Aww, I’m a dunce.” “Well, sir, you will still have time to see the moonrise tonight. In a way I prefer the Moonset anyways. The few times I have witnessed Princess Luna coax the moon to sleep have been nothing short of both beautiful and intimate.” “Mmmkay.” Mumbled before he turned over, away from the light. “How long until it sets?” “Thirty minutes, sir.” “Thirty,” whined Pipsqueak. “Why’d you get me up so early?” Sir smiled knowingly. “I assumed you at least wanted to shower and groom yourself. The better to appear for her highness.” Pipsqueak opened his eyes and managed to sit all the way up as he began wiping the sleep from his eyes. “Tha’sa good point, thanks. I’m a go take a shower.” Pipsqueak stood up and looked around groggily, though not for a lack of trying. “Um, where’s... Where’s the shower?” “Ah. The guest baths are through that door over there.” He gestured. “Thanks,” said Pipsqueak. Pipsqueak took his first groggy steps toward the bathroom when Sir asked him another question. “Would you like me to have a warmed croissant and some hot cocoa ready for you when you’re done? It should be rather chilly outside.” Pipsqueak had to stop and think for a moment before turning around with a smile. “That would be fab, sir, but might it be possible to make it a buttered crumpet instead?” The servant nodded. “I’m sure the kitchen can come up with something.” Pipsqueak smiled. “What did you say your name was?” “My name is Tuxedo Sir, sir. If you are inclined please call me Sir. Though, don’t feel you need to ask every servant their name. It might become, rather intrusive when you take a tour of the castle.” “I’ll keep that in mind, Sir. Actually, do you mind if I just called you Tux?” Tuxedo nodded with a smile. “As you wish, sir.” Bathing didn’t take Pipsqueak very long. He was still small and young colts weren’t known for being the most thorough. Still, as he would be spending the entire day with the Princess he decided to try to some of the scented shampoos that were provided. Dragon fruit sounded like it would smell awesome, cause dragons were, of course, awesome. Sadly it was a rather normal, sweet fragrance. Not strong or powerful like the beast it was named after. Still, Pipsqueak did like the smell so he kept it. As he stepped out of the bathroom he found Tuxedo leaving. Two freshly buttered crumpets and a slightly steaming mug of cocoa had been placed on a corner desk. “Oh, thanks Tux, that smells scrummy.” Tuxedo had turned to bow, but looked up at him oddly. “Pardon, sir, but am I to presume that scrummy means good?” Pipsqueak nodded aggressively as he consumed one of the crumpets in a single bite. “Mmmhmm,” he mumbled as he swallowed. “Positively crackin’.” Tuxedo smiled as he bowed again. “When you are done you will find Princess Luna to the right, just outside the end of the hall.” “Thanks, Tux.” Tuxedo bowed. “Good day, sir.” “Cheerio,” said Pipsqueak as he nodded back towards Tuxedo. Pipsqueak stuck his head out of the doorway and into a small private garden at the end of the hall, unwilling to completely expose his body to the morning cold until he was sure the Princess was here. Just before he finished scanning the garden from the balcony, a familiar pleasant voice drifted down from above him. “Good day, my Prince.” “Luna,” said Pipsqueak. He jumped outside and turned to look up at Princess Luna. Princess Luna sat atop the slanted roof covering the hallway Pipsqueak had stepped out of. Her legs were crossed and, though her hair was shimmering as if from some unseen breeze, it wasn’t as lively as it usually was. Pipsqueak bowed. “Good morning, Princess.” Luna smiled and nodded in return. He may have only just entered his teen years, but it was obvious how hard he was trying to impress her. He was actually doing quite well despite his age and lack of formal etiquette training. Perhaps it was his years spent in Trottingham. That region of the country generally placed a higher value and focus on royalty and more traditional customs. Whatever the reason, she found his innocence and skill an amusingly rare combination. “Would you like to join me?” asked Princess Luna. “I find that a balcony adds something special when witnessing the raising and setting of both the Sun and Moon respectively.” Pipsqueak nodded vigorously. “Oh yes, Princess. That sounds brill.” Princess Luna chuckled as she levitated the young colt up to sit next to her. She hadn’t talked to many ponies from Trottingham but she enjoyed the accent. It was far different from the rest of Equestria, incorporating slang and terms that, while she didn’t always understand, were very colorful and often filled with enough energy to indicate something close to their meaning. Sometimes she could even piece together the slang. ‘Brill,’ for instance, probably stood for brilliant, a term she had heard Pipsqueak use before. Princess Luna pondered Pipsqueaks colorful speech as she watched him settle down next to her, leaning against the roof. The slant of the roof wasn’t steep, but it definitely warranted being cautious. When he finally settled Luna sighed and reached for her alicorn magic, extending it through an invisible and immaterial plane to the Moon, her special friend. Pipsqueak was torn between watching Luna and watching the moon. He noticed how, at first, she had closed her eyes and leaned her head toward the celestial body. But as her eyes opened he noticed the magic that enveloped her horn. Pipsqueak rarely had a chance to study unicorn magic in Ponyville. He simply hadn’t seen that many unicorns do more than levitation, and skilled unicorn magic was often done very quickly. But it was different watching Luna. Instead of a pulsating glow enveloping her horn as if directing tidal energies toward the moon, the magic almost seemed to caress up her horn in the moon's direction. Each caress extended on it’s own only slightly farther than the last. It was very different from what Pipsqueak had remembered of her magic, possibly even a completely different type of magic, and he couldn't take his eyes off it. The energy continued to flick up Luna’s horn until the energy reached the tip. Once there the magic didn’t hold its shape around her horn as Pipsqueak had expected, but instead almost seemed to roll off of it in little wisps of swirling light that could barely be seen. Pipsqueak found himself blushing. The magic she was using seemed both very mature and very private. After a few seconds he noticed that Luna had opened her eyes and looked fondly upon the moon as it began to lower. Her face, from her lips to her eyes, adopted a loving smile as the moon kissed the horizon. Her smile continued to grow in small ways that Pipsqueak could barely make out as the moon dipped further. Sometimes the changes in her smile were minute adjustments from the raising of her cheeks to an extra curl where her mouth met her cheek, at other times he caught a small blush, and sometimes her eyes sparkled more. Still, at other times Luna let out an audible chuckle or even a nodded. Pipsqueak only realized he had been staring at the Princess after the moon had finished setting and Princess Luna took a deep breath. “Well,” said Luna, “it’s not as flashy as a sunrise but it’s still a sight worth seeing.” Pipsqueak looked away from the Princess as the the sky brightened. Obviously, Princess Celestia would be raising the sun on the other side of the castle, but he wasn’t thinking about that as he remembered the warm, loving glow of Luna as she had lowered the moon. They sat in silence for a few minutes, content in each others company and the brightening colors around them. Eventually Luna spoke up. “I find that I am now quite hungry. Perhaps we should see ourselves to breakfast, my Prince?” “Oh, Mr. Tux brought me a crumpet and some cocoa after he woke me up. But I might be convinced to ‘ave a bit of cereal.” “Cereal it is then,” said Princess Luna as she lowered Pipsqueak off the balcony. As they walked back inside Pipsqueak felt himself shiver, his body expelling the last traces of early morning chill. Luna, however, didn’t seemed phased in the slightest and they enjoyed a pleasantly lonely, uneventful walk to the dining hall. The faint smell of baked goods had begun to pleasantly permeate the halls with promises of great things for the day ahead. Pipsqueak enjoyed a few deep sniffs as they walked. “Pipsqueak,” said Luna as he began sniffing the air, “are we reconsidering the choice of cereal this morning?” Pipsqueak smiled. “Do you already know me that well, Princess? Or do all your guests go through this?” “It is hard to miss your eyes growing in size but many guests often reconsider their morning meal after a few wafts of the royal bakery.” “A real wicked wolf I am. I ‘aven’t had proper prench bread in ages. I might ‘ave to ‘ave a dinnerplates worth.” Luna smiled as they continued to walk. “Would that be a favorite of yours?” “Mum isn’t much of a fan of makin’ it, but me and pap use t’have it every Sunday while we read the comics. Pap always kept his recipe a secret though, kept saying I’ll get it when I move out. Drives me up the wall sometimes, but it’s the best prench bread ever so I’m not complaining too hard. Though I s’pose your chef might be a tad better. I’ll ‘ave to try it ta be sure.” Luna nodded. “Prench toast is an excellent choice, though I recommend going light on syrup and sugar until you try it. The bakers make all the castle’s bread fresh daily, so the toast will only spend a few minutes between the oven and the batter. The cook also adds in a little cinnamon, vanilla, and a touch of powdered almond. He doesn't know that I know about the almond. He still thinks it’s a secret.” “Almond, on prench bread?” “It’s more of a compliment to the vanilla and cinnamon which hide the almond surprisingly well. If prepared right almond can complement or even adopt all sorts of flavors in many different ways.” Pipsqueak’s mind drifted to what the prench bread would taste like. He hadn’t ever had it prepared like that before. But he supposed if Princess Luna liked it then it couldn’t be all that bad. It didn’t seem to take nearly as long to walk to the dining room as it had taken for Pipsqueak to walk to his room the night before, and this time he was coming from further away. He even passed his room. Fortunately the quick passage of time made the smell wafting from the hall less torturous. By the time they arrived Princess Celestia and Princess Cadence were both seated at the table. Pipsqueak paused to bow to the Princesses before taking his seat which now lay across the table from Cadence. “Good morning,” greeted Cadence. “You must be Pipsqueak.” “Yes, Princess. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” “Ah, I see what you mean, Celestia. Even most of my crystal Ponies aren’t as on-the-ball as him. They’d be too nervous sitting with three Princesses.” Celestia and Luna nodded while Pipsqueak grinned at the compliment. “Good day, sir. May I take your order.“ Pipsqueak turned to see Tuxedo standing next to him. Pipsqueak hadn’t even notice him before he spoke. “Yes. I’ll have three pieces of prench bread with cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered almond mixed into the batter.” “Very good sir. Anything to drink?” “Hmmm. Some apple juice would be brilliant, actually.” “And for you, Princess?” Princess Luna was looking at Pipsqueak with a mischievous grin. “Oh, almond. On prench toast. Are you sure?” Pipsqueak paused for a second before he caught on to the game and smiled. “Oh yes, Princess. But it’s more of a compliment to the vanilla and cinnamon.” Out of the corner of his eye, Pipsqueak noticed that Celestia and Cadence had placed hooves politely over their mouths and were, quite expertly, containing giggles. It was the same look his mother used to get when she realized he was playing a joke on his father. “I’ll have that then, five sleeves please,” said Luna. “And a cup of strong black tea.” Tuxedo bowed as he spoke “Very good, Princess.” “Oh,” interrupted Celestia before Tuxedo could retried to fill the order, “That prench toast sounds splendid. Do you think you could add a piece for myself?” “Could you add one for me too?” asked Cadence. “Yes, your Majesties,” said Tuxedo before bowing once more and departing. All the ponies inconspicuously observed Tuxedo leaving, Pipsqueak being more conspicuous than the Princesses, before all four of them broke into small bouts of giggles. “Oh, thank heavens,” said Celestia trying to keep the volume down. “Luna and I have been trying to get a guest to order prench toast like that for ages.” “Yes,” said Luna. “But alas all the diplomats, statesmen, and business ponies we’ve invited always just ask for it the way the Princesses like it. And of course, clueing them in too much would ruin the fun.” Cadence managed to take a sip of her tea as she finally calmed down. “They even got me in on it a few months ago, no luck.” Pipsqueak smiled, proud that his childhood mischief was reflected in the princesses, even if he wouldn’t have explained it that way himself. “What?” came a distant yell. “Okay,” said Luna quietly. She gestured for the others at the table to lean in as if they were part of a great conspiracy. “Pipsqueak, in about ten minutes the chef will come out to deliver the food himself. Simply, how do they put it now,” she turned to Celestia, “play it along.” Celestia sighed but smiled good naturedly at Luna, “Play along. Pipsqueak. He really is an excellent chef, very creative when he feels challenged, but he works best when he thinks we don’t know his secrets.” “So,” muttered Pipsqueak as he scratched the back of his head. “Then why were you trying to get people to say how he did it?” Luna and Celestia sighed heavily before Luna answered. “Honestly it’s just a bit of fun. We know most of his ‘secrets’ but we don’t want him to know that we know. He takes a great deal of pride in his work. But, by having others ‘know’ some of his secrets it pushes him to do better. His pride drives him, but if he thinks he is unmatched then he doesn’t innovate as much. At the same time if we brought it up it’s not fair because we, well my sister and myself, have been around for millenia. It’s just not fair to compare our tastes to even the most noble and refined ponies, after all, we’ve tasted secrets that have died without ever being passed on. “But by having a stranger bring it up it reminds him that there are millions of beings around the world, creating things that he may not ever even dream of. It’s important to remind a world renowned craftspony of that from time to time. They might be the best, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t do something better.” Pipsqueak turned to find Celestia and Cadence nodding before Celestia adopted a small grin. “Besides, it’s fun.” “Yes,” said Luna and Cadence in unison. Pipsqueak nodded. It seemed way too complex for him, but he guessed that if it was what the Princesses thought was best then he would play along. “Now Pipsqueak,” said Princess Luna as they all leaned back in their seats. “There are some things to go over for today.” Pipsqueak started as Tuxedo walked passed him to give Luna a small notebook. She nodded and opened the book as he backed away. “Now,” said Luna as she opened the book to a pre-marked page. “After our meals I will personally provide for you a tour of the castle. Just before your ceremony two reporters would like to ask you a few questions, nothing too complex, simply asking why you like Nightmare Night and the like. It is, of course, entirely up to your discretion as to whether or not you do this. I can vouch that these particular reporters will be very friendly.” Luna turned to Pipsqueak and waited for a response. “Oh,” said Pipsqueak as he realized that she was seeking his approval. “I, well, I s’pose that’d be okey. I mean, I’ve only been interviewed by student reporters before.” Luna nodded. “It’s a small story about a child and they’ve been made aware that they will only be allowed to question you as you wish it. You simply need to declare the interview over if you become uncomfortable and they will acquiesce without question.” Pipsqueak nodded, more to reassure himself than to respond to Luna, as the Princess turned back toward her itinerary. “After the interview, you will have a few minutes before your official acceptance into the royal family at half past ten. As I understand it, several of your friends will be in the crowd.” Pipsqueak had grimaced at the mention of friends being in the ‘crowd,’ but quickly smiled as Luna looked toward him and his attempt to pass off his nervousness. “Uh, sounds brilliant.” Luna paused before nodding, seemingly satisfied, and turned toward Tuxedo. “Sir, shall we assume that the toothpaste was suitably removed from Prince Pipsqueak’s ensemble?” Pipsqueak blushed and felt his stomach tumble as he noticed Celestia and Cadance politely stifle their giggles with their hooves. He also wondered if they had seen his reaction to the mention of being in a crowd. Tuxedo nodded. “Yes, Princess Luna.” “Good,” said Luna. “It is traditional for a pony being given such an honor to wear something of their station, your dress shirt and pants will be fine for that. After the ceremony we will make an an official visit to canterlot and inspect the soldiers at some point. While out in Canterlot we will attend a light lunch at the Mareway Café at our discretion before continuing with Canterlot or retiring to the castle. After that, we will return and prepare for the evening festivities, which will begin two hours before moonrise. I will need to step away for that period to review the decisions of parliament and dress in my costume, but will join you just before I raise the moon.” Luna closed the notebook and magically levitated it to Tuxedo. “Normally I keep a much more precise schedule, but seeing as today is more about fun than work I thought we’d leave it a bit more up in the air.” Pipsqueak nodded. “It sounds like a full day to me, Princess. I mean, I could probably spend a few days in Canterlot without trying. But are we not going to parliament at all?” Luna shook her head as several servants appeared and began placing plates of food and drink on the tables. Pipsqueak looked down and began to scrutinize his food as Luna continued. “Parliament tends to be either extremely boring or somewhat offensive. Half the aristocracy doesn’t even make sense half the time. Quite frankly I am glad you’re here so that I don’t have to attend.” “Yes,” said Celestia as she finished powdering her prench toast. Pipsqueak noticed that she didn’t use syrup. “My dearest sister elected for me to preside today. Though in her defence she did elect to take tomorrow in exchange.” Pipsqueak began cutting his own peace of prench bread. “Princess Luna, do you think we could at least stop by parliament at some point? I mean, I can’t very well be Prince for a day without at least stopping by to check it out.” Pipsqueak finished his question by placing his freshly cut piece of prench bread up to his nose and sniffing it. His nostrils were immediately assaulted with a variety smells from cinnamon, to vanilla, to butter, and what even a hint of what may have been the almond; even the egg was mixing in with the other flavors in such a way that one couldn’t quite tell which flavor would be stronger than the others. “Oh blimey,” said Pipsqueak with realization. “This is just like my fathers.” He took another sniff and was again mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of smells, “better, even.” Pipsqueak quickly took a bite into his mouth and closed his eyes at the even balance of taste. It wasn’t just the flavor that was well balanced. The eggy mix hadn’t soaked the bread heavily all the way through, allowing for a nice springy bite with a hearty finish rather than a mush of flavors. “My word, this is tops. It’s way better than pap’s.” Luna smiled, but waved her hoof to shush him moments before a portly earth pony in a white chef’s uniform strode up to the table and bowed. He didn’t wait for permission before bringing his head up to look at the royal diners. Princess Celestia nodded toward him as she nibbled her own piece. “Princesses,” began the chef before he turned towards Pipsqueak. “Prince. I do hope you find your meals enjoyable.” Pipsqueak could tell he was nervous as he leaned back from them, almost fearfully, though he kept his face stoic. “Hmmm,” mused Celestia. “I do believe, Chef Crouton, that this young colt asked for almond in his prench bread, and I asked for a sample for myself. Yet my prench bread tastes just like the prench bread you normally make. Am I to assume, then, that almond would be your secret ingredient?” Crouton nodded, never letting his face change though Pipsqueak noticed his tail had moved to between his rear legs. “Yes, Princess. I powder it and only add a little.” “Hmmm,” mused Celestia. “Oh, don’t sulk. There are millions of ponies out there who take an interest in the culinary arts. One family’s recipe matching your secret recipe isn’t a reason to sulk. If anything, I should expect you to spend the day experimenting to improve the recipe even more.” Crouton’s ears perked up and he puffed out his chest. “Yes, Princess. By tomorrow, I will have created a prench bread far above this one.” Pipsqueak noticed the eye contact Luna and Celestia made with each other before Luna dismissed the chef. Then he remembered the delicious prench bread in front of him and started eating, adhering to the fastest possible speed that etiquette would allow. The rest of the meal followed in occupied silence. When they were done, Luna had Pipsqueak return to the room to change into his nicer outfit and had Tuxedo escort him to the royal audience chamber. Pipsqueak was very impressed by the glass murals and Luna shared some of the stories as to how they came to be. Pipsqueak took a particular interest in the mural describing her own fall and redemption at the hooves of the elements of harmony. For her part, Luna found herself telling the tale with less reservation that she normally would. She chose to think on that as Pipsqueak walked off to look at the mural showing the redemption of Discord. Her ultimate conclusion was that Pipsqueak trusted her, and accepted all her faults unconditionally. He didn’t try to take advantage of her kindness or openness and she generally felt more free around the colt than with anypony other than her sister. Sadly, they did have a semblance of a schedule to keep and after several hours of Luna telling various stories about the murals they were forced to put off the rest of the tour in lieu of going over the coronation. When Luna felt confident that he understood his cues, she had him ushered to a side chamber for waiting dignitaries while the guests were ushered in. The waiting room was exquisite, fit for royalty in both size and beauty with it’s spacious seating area and several trees that were flowering, even in late October. Pipsqueak admiration was drawn to a crystal chandelier that dangled without any seeming connection to the ceiling. Many small white crystals seemed to revolve around and under three colored crystals, one green, another blue, and one red They slowly rotated at various speeds under what appeared to be a pure gold circlet. He turned as Luna entered with several earth ponies in hats and trench coats. One carried a camera and the other a pen and pad of paper. “Pipsqueak, these two are the reporters we spoke about, Perfect Flash and Inky Quill. They’d like to take a picture of you, ask you a few questions for the papers, and then afterwards they’ll take a special picture of you and me, just for us to keep.” Luna stepped behind Pipsqueak and reminded him, quite audibly, that “You may end the interview at any time. They are here as our guests, after all.” The two ponies, Perfect Flash with a camera and a Inky Quill with a pen and paper, nodded at Luna’s reminder. Pipsqueak shook their hooves and asked them to sit down. “Um,” said Perfect Flash, “Perhaps, we should get a few photos before we ask questions, then a few after. It will give us the best chance at getting the best picture.” “Sure, I guess,” said Pipsqueak as he looked around. “Where do you want it?” The reporter gestured to Pipsqueak’s right. “Just step to the side so we can get the chandelier and that lovely flowering tree behind you.” Pipsqueak nodded and stepped to the side while Luna stepped away to observe. “Like this,” he said as he lifted a hoof and forced a smile on his face. “Um, no. Perhaps, uh, perhaps you could think of some happy thoughts. You know, help the smile appear more natural.” “Like this,” said Pipsqueak through gritted teeth as he smiled a little bigger. “Oh, dear no. Um-” “Perhaps,” said Luna, “We should take our picture first. It might help.” “Ah, if that’s okay with you Pipsqueak?” said Perfect Flash. Pipsqueak nodded and Luna stepped next to him and flared her wings. “You know the secret to taking a good picture Pipsqueak?” asked Luna as Perfect Flash stepped back and adjusted his camera. “No, what?” he said through gritted, exposed, teeth. “Much like the adage for public speaking, it’s to picture the camera clothed. I prefer a suit and tie myself.” Pipsqueak could help but break out in a laugh at the absurd comment. He noticed the flash through his closed eyes and stomped his hooves as he continued to giggle. “Oh no! I had me eyes closed.” “Don’t worry, don’t worry,” said Perfect Flash. “It’s a perfect picture. I’ll have this developed and a copy will be sent to both of you. Now, do you think you are up to one by yourself?” Pipsqueak nodded as he wiped a laugh induced tear from his eye. “Ya, we can take the picture now.” Pipsqueak turned slightly and smiled as he remembered Luna’s comment. “And… Perfect,” said Perfect Flash as he took the picture. “He’s all yours, Inky.” Inky nodded. Pipsqueak looked at the stallion and noticed that several notes had already been taken. “Alright,” came the nasally voice from Inky. “First off, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Pipsqueak. A real pleasure. Now, why don’t you tell us what got you so interested in writing in to our dearest Princess Luna for the contest.” “Oh, well, that one’s easy now innit it. I wanted to meet Princess Luna again. She-” “Again you say? So you met the Princess before have you? Why don’t you tell us about that encounter.” Inky Quill’s pen scribbled as he spoke through the side of his mouth. “Yes, well. I met her in Ponyville, during the Nightmare Night’s celebration three years ago. She-” “Wooow, and here you are meeting her again, special guest of the first royal Nightmare Night celebration three years later. Fabulous, fabulous. That really is a touching story. Hmm, let me see here let me see. Ah, yes, what was it like when you first met the Princess.” “Inky,” said Luna. “I don’t really think-” “No, Princess,” interrupted Pipsqueak. “I mean, it’s okay. You'er right wonderful, remember.” Pipsqueak turned towards Inky Quill and looked him directly in the eye as he answered. “To be honest, it was a big surprise for all of us. She soared out of the night sky, pulled by two o’the biggest bat pony guards you ever saw in this gnarly lookin' charriot. And when she landed she ‘ad the loudest voice ever. It really scared us, it did.” “Scared you?” mumbled Inky quill around his darting quill. “What do you mean she scared you, exactly?” “Oh, well, it was Nightmare Night, wasn’t it, and then the Princess that was Nightmare Moon arrived and was really loud, almost angry. It was wonderful.” “Wonderful?” The quill stopped its scribbling and was placed to rest at the side of Inky Quill’s mouth. “But, if you were scared then how was it wonderful?” Pipsqueak stared at Inky Quill a moment before answering the seemingly obvious question. “Well, being scared is the whole point of Nightmare Night now, innit. And Princess Luna is really good at it. Load a fun chasin’ us around and poppin’ up ta give us a good scare. I can’t wait t’see what she’s got planned fer tonight.” Pipsqueak watched Inky Quill look at Luna, look back to Pipsqueak, put his pen down, and asked. “Would you say that you are friends with Princess Luna. Pipsqueak nodded without hesitation. “That tells me a whole lot more about you and our beloved Princess than I was hoping to get. Perfect, just perfect. Normally I’d press a bit more for the full story but this will already make a splendid third page story. Real short and sweet. And, well, I wouldn’t want to harrass our new Prince on his first day. Enjoy it kid, the only days that will be better will be when you have kids of your own some day.” “And grandkids,” added Perfect Flash. “And grandkids,” echoed Inky Quill. “With your permission would it be okay for Perfect to take a few photos during the ceremony?” Pipsqueak nodded. “I think that’d be okay.” “Excellent, excellent,” said Inky Quill. “I look forward to seeing you as our new Prince, Pipsqueak.” “Me too,” added Perfect Flash. “I think we’re done here. We’ll be in the front, just to the side of the crowd. See you, Prince.” “See ya, chaps,” said Pipsqueak as they departed. Luna began to follow them out, stopping just before she left to remind Pipsqueak that she’d be back in about ten minutes when all the guests were settled. Pipsqueak felt a familiar dropping in his stomach at the mention of guests, but he managed to keep a smile on his face as he waved Luna goodbye. Pipsqueak paced in the side room while he waited. He wasn’t nervous, or so he told himself. He was just contemplating how he wasn't bothered by the noise of the gathering crowd, and instead how he must have been eating too much to cause his stomach to feel the way he did. He paced to work off the food in his stomach. He heard a knock on the door and turned as Luna opened it and stepped in. “We are just seating the last of the guests. Do you feel like you are ready or would you prefer to go over the steps one more time?” Pipsqueak swallowed. “No, please. I, uh, I think I’d rather get this over. I mean, with, Princess.” Luna stepped into the room and closed the door. Pipsqueak became acutely aware of Luna as she walked over and sat a large, plush, pillow, patting the spot next to her. “Come here, Pipsqueak.” It wasn’t a request. Pipsqueak gulped as he walked over and sitting where he felt was far too close to the Princess. “Pipsqueak,” said Luna, “What do you think of when you think of crowds?” “Huh? Oh, well. I guess I think of going to a do- um, a party that is, or maybe a concert or somethin’. You know, crowd… things.” “Ah,” said Luna, nodding. “And what do you think of when presented with the idea of being in front of a crowd?” “Oh, well. I guess if I think about, I’m pretty worried that it’d go all pear shaped. I’d probably botch it up and make a right ruddy mess of things.” “Do you feel this way when presenting in groups at your school?” asked Luna. Pipsqueak scratched the back of his head. “Well, no. Of course not. But they’re me mates. It’s really different t’present in front of ponies I know.” “Well,” said Luna. “Some of those in attendance will be your friends.” Pipsqueak nodded. “Yeah, but, well, there’s still gonna be a bunch of other folks. And if I muss it up, then I won’t ever hear the end of it!” “Ah,” said Luna nodding. “You fear embarrassment.” “Well, yeah.” “Do you know that I’ve been embarrassed countless times by my own mistakes and the carelessness of others.” “You?” asked Pipsqueak. “But what was that, like, a thousand years ago?” Luna chuckled. “Well, yes, a thousand years ago I embarrassed myself most thoroughly when I became Nightmare Moon.” “What? No,” said Pipsqueak as he recoiled. “That wasn’t what I meant at all, Princess Luna. That was the nightmare that did that to you, that was.” Luna shook her head. “Ah, to you that’s how it seems, but to me that is my greatest shame and it was a tremendous embarrassment. You see, we all judge things differently. Many ponies think like you do, that I was possessed by some external force. But to some, including myself, it is viewed very differently. In fact, there are many ponies that still fear me for what I once did. In the end, however, what matters most when others form an opinion about you is their character, not yours.” Pipsqueak scratched his head again as he tried to comprehend what was being said. “You see, even if you go out there today and mess up, your friends will still be your friends. They might tease you for a bit, but it won’t be meant to cause you pain. On the other hoof, if you learn from the experience and are able to laugh with them you will find that you and they will grow closer.” Pipsqueak shook his head. “But what about the bullies at school? Or strangers? They won’t be trying to have a laugh with me at all and I really don’t want to deal with people talkin’ rubbish ‘bout me.” Luna tapped her chin for a moment. “Well, let’s look at it this way. You’re still a kid so no one is really going to judge you all that harshly. If they do then they would be the ones at fault. Additionally, remember what I said about the judgment for others about your mistakes reflect more on them. There is more truth to those words than just the surface meaning. For instance, if a bully keeps bothering you about this issue, then they don’t really have anything better to do. It means their lives are empty, which is truly a tragedy in it’s own right. I mean, can you imagine what your life would have to be like for you to go around making fun of others for their mistakes from weeks or months ago?” Pipsqueak scrunched his head in thought for a few moments. “You know what? I can’t.” “Then don’t fear those ponies, don’t take their words to heart. If anything, pity their words because it means that they have lives that are lacking compared to yours.” Pipsqueak sat in silence for a few minutes before speaking. “I don’t think I’m worried anymore. I’m ready when you are, Princess Luna. And, well, thanks for the pick me up, Princess.” Luna smiled. “Any time, my little pony. Now, if you are ready we can start.” Pipsqueak nodded. Luna nodded back one last time before turning and walking out the door, holding it open so that Pipsqueak could join her. They walked out behind a hanging tapestry that blocked their site from the audience. Pipsqueak stopped just before the attendance would have become visible and watched as Luna stepped forward. Immediately Pipsqueak became aware of the chatter dying down, though he hadn’t noticed the general hum of the audience before. The quick silence was followed by Luna bowing slightly toward the audience, which he imagined would be bowing back. Trumpets began to play as Luna stood up from the bow. Tall and proud as befit a Princess of Equestria, thought Pip. Luna waited for the last notes of the wind instruments to die down before addressing the crowd in a full royal Canterlot Voice. “Ladies and Gentlecolts. It is my pleasure as Princess of the Night to introduce you to the most recent addition to the royal family. As you all know I was saved four years ago from the living nightmare that was Nightmare Moon by the six Elements of Harmony. In the thousand years since my banishment the legends of Nightmare Moon grew and morphed into the yearly Nightmare Night Festival which is held in nearly every settlement, town, and city across Equestria and many outside it’s borders. This festival grew to mock the very nature of Nightmare Moon, creating joy from terror. “The first year I returned after that long imprisonment I, unfortunately, did not see the joy in that festival, only the terror. I was mortified that even after a thousand years and her defeat, ponies were still trying to appease the horror of Nightmare Moon and so I sought to end the festival once and for all. But the Elements of Harmony again stepped in, as did the children of ponyville.” Pipsqueak heard a number of foals cheer at the mention of Ponyville and he thought that he recognized some of the voices from school. Luna smiled at them warmly. “Yes, children.” She looked up with pride at the rest of the crowd. “For those who do not know the children of Ponyville are in the audience and have joined us for this celebration. Truly I am glad that I was able to invite them.” Pipsqueak felt his chest tighten as another round of cheers erupted and sever fillies and colts shouted up toward the Princes, “We love you, Princess Luna.” He hadn’t expected his entire school to be present. Luna continued, slowly at first to let the excitement die down. “And I love you. For it was you, the children of Ponyville that shared with me the joy of that night, and, in doing so helped me beat the terror that I still felt toward my own actions a thousand years ago. “It was the children, as much as the Elements, that helped me realize the meaning and purpose of the Nightmare Night festival and tonight that festival has come again. Only this time I will be the proud and joyous host of the first Royal Nightmare Night Festival.” A generous applause of stomping hooves echoed around the chamber with the foals jumping up and down to add as much noise as possible. Pipsqueak found that he had joined in at the same time, stomping his own hooves with the rest of the attendance, his own anxiety forgotten. It occurred to him how Luna’s speech was having a universal effect on the ponies in attendance. Luna waited for the applause to die down before continuing. “To honor the children that taught me the joy of this night I held a write in contest. Over twelve thousand children wrote in for the chance to be randomly chosen as the honorary guest for first Royal Nightmare Nights Festival, and one was selected as royalty for this day.” Pipsqueak began walking forward at the cue ‘royalty’ without even realizing it. As he stepped out in front of the audience he felt hundred of eyes turning toward him and he let himself smile as Luna continued. “Much to my surprise, the randomly selected colt was not only from ponyville, but was the child whom was most influential in my newfound understanding of the Nightmare Night Festival. And so, it is my honor to welcome Pipsqueak Burgundy Leviathan as the first ever special guest for the first Royal Nightmare Nights Festival and to welcome him into the royal family for this joyous day.” Princess Luna turned to Pipsqueak who bowed deeply to Luna and held the pose. Princess Luna levitated a foal sized crown over to Pipsqueak that had been brought forward by a unicorn guard. “By the power invested in me as one of Equestria's Royal Alicorn Princesses, I grant thee the title of Prince, with all the trappings and honor that accompanies such a position, until the sun rises tomorrow.” Pipsqueak felt the weight of the crown as it was placed securely on his head. “Rise, Prince Pipsqueak,” commanded Luna as she increased the volume of her Canterlot Voice. “Rise and gaze upon your subjects and love them as your own.” Pipsqueak pushed himself to a standing position and turned to see the crowd cheering his name. He smiled as he saw the first few rows in the crowd. In the center sat Princess Celestia with Princess Twilight and Princess Cadence on either side, flanked by the remaining Elements of Harmony. The rest of the first two rows, however, were occupied entirely by his elementary school class including his teacher, Ms. Cheerilee. Pipsqueak felt a flutter of fear rise in his chest along with the question ‘What if I mess up?’ But just as his fear began to pick up he remembered Princess Luna’s words. Picture them clothed. It was an old adage, used to distract foals who were afraid of public speaking. But Pipsqueak, much to his own amazement, found the comment comforting along with that fact this the ceremony was basically over. Despite the cheering, he managed to pick out a few shouts from his classmates and he called out to them with a raised hoof. “Ponyville Elementary.” This caused the cheering of the crowd to nearly double and Perfect Flash took picture after picture, flash after flash blinding Pipsqueak. Suddenly the foals from his class burst forward and up several stairs to crowd around him. They lifted him upon their shoulders and began cheering his name as they bounced him up and down. “Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak!” He saw Princess Luna beaming at him and, when she noticed that he was looking at her, she winked and he knew that he had nailed it. Pipsqueak felt like he was on top of the world and it was, unquestionably, the best moment of his life. But suddenly, Pipsqueak felt himself slip off to one side and away from the hooves that had been bouncing him up and down and he felt himself falling, bright lights from the flash of Perfect Flash’s camera confusing him farther as he bounced off his classmates. He threw his hooves out in a wild attempt to catch himself as the stairs approached faster and larger than he thought possible.
  9. Fimfiction Link Adventure/Human Discord has won. Everyone in the human world is under his dominion, save for Sunset Shimmer whom he saved for last. Today the world, tomorrow Equestria. Big thanks to Winston, Grand_Moff_Pony, and xgfhj18 for edits. (sorry xgfhj18, I don't know your fimfiction name) Discord laughed as Sunset, his final prize, was held to the ground before him by the very friends that she held so dear. “Oh, dearest little Sunset Shimmer. Do you think you can resist me? Do you think that I can’t turn you against your very nature? I’ve already done it to your friends, your teachers, and quite literally every other sentient being in this world. And, may I cut to the chase for a moment here, we both know that you’re nothing without your friends. I mean, seriously, you gave up your soul and turned into a monster in a vain attempt to capture Equestria. If anything, I don’t even need to corrupt you, simply removing your friends would be enough to start your own pathetic spiral of self pity and greed.” Discord danced ever closer to Sunset, tiptoeing through tulips and daisies as Sunset’s five best friends held her down against her will. Rainbow Dash was the first to talk, looking down on Sunset as she straddled her chest and forced Sunset’s hands into the mud. “Look, Sunny, this place sucks. Just accept it.” “For once I agree with this airhead jock.” Applejack muttered while she and Pinkie Pie tightened their grip on Sunset's legs. “Yeah,” said Pinkie. “This party's pooped. Just accept it and we can all go to Equestria and have some real fun for once. Or at least I will once I’ve ditched these losers.” “Bite me!” yelled Sunset as she struggled to try and free her limbs. “Really, darling.” Rarity strode into Sunset’s view. “Such behavior is so uncouth, even for a monster like you. There really is no reason to be uncivilized. I think it’s the thing I most dislike about you.” “Really,” muttered Sunset. She twisted her face into a crude imitation of a classic Southern belle. “Well ain’t that just a cryin’ shame. Why, that was my favorite part.” “Now now girls,” interrupted Discord as he dipped his head between them. “I don’t think this is working very well and, quite frankly, I don’t find this game very interesting anymore.” Discord bent over and smirked at Sunset as she tried again to struggle free. “Now, close your mouth and open your eyes and you will experience a chaotic surprise.” Sunset opened her mouth and screamed in defiance, only for her voice to suddenly cut off as Discord’s eagle talon reached down and poked her directly between the eyes. Her senses immediately faded. Color drained from her world, the distant sounds of birds lost their sweetness, even the freshly cut grass that was being shoved into her face lost its scent. “Good,” came Discord’s voice from within her mind. “Now do you remember what it was like to be by yourself? How strong you were, or how much potential you had before you got distracted by friendship. Do you remember how good it felt?” “Yes,” thought Sunset. Discord smiled as he observed the color drain from her features. Slowly but surely she, like every other toy in his world was becoming... well, not quite his minion, but a pleasantly chaotic ally. The change, however, was slow... She was strong, independent, and full of friendship and metaphorical butterflies. In short, she was the perfect last challenge to his complete but inevitable conquest. And as soon as she was under his influence he would finally be able to return to Equestria. Discord smiled, praising himself for his victory. He heard the screams as Sunset was thrust into memory after memory, nightmare after nightmare of the past. Nobody could resist his power, especially someone who’d fallen on her own so many times before. This was not how Sunset imagined her first Summer Sun Celebration would go. Sunset and her cousin Misty had gotten lost in the Foal Mountain Forest, just outside of Canterlot, playing hide and seek. Now they were cold and tired and everything was dark and scary. Misty couldn’t go on any farther. She sat down next to a tree and began to cry as Sunset desperately tried to get her to stand up. They had to find the adults or they could be lost in the forest forever. Misty was older and bigger than Sunset by a full year, and though Sunset tried to get her up and off the dirty forest floor Misty was just too big for her to move. That was the last straw. Sunset felt herself falling to her haunches on the dirt and tears began to well in her eyes. She was tired and hungry and she wanted to get out of the forest. She wouldn’t even get to see the Princess raise the sun. She just wanted to sit down and cry, but then, nothing would ever get better if she gave up. The thought of not giving up sparked a memory of something her mother had told her on her last birthday. “Sunset, you must never give up on something that matters. You aren’t just anypony; you’re Sunset Shimmer. You’re my daughter. You are smarter, harder working, and better than just about every pony I’ve ever met except for Princess Celestia. Remember that if you ever start to fail, look inside yourself and you will find the strength to go on.” Sunset closed her eyes, letting them tear up, but she didn’t cry. She looked inside herself to try to find an answer to the problem. She didn’t know what she was looking for or how to find it, but she did know it was there because her mother had told her it was. She was Sunset Shimmer, daughter of Glory Shimmer, and she was as smart and as strong as any other pony. It wasn’t that she could save them. She felt something that screamed that she would save both herself and her cousin. It was then that Sunset noticed that Misty had stopped crying. Sunset opened her eyes and found the entire clearing glowing with a slightly golden white light. She looked around for it’s source, causing the light and the shadows to move. It was then that Sunset realized that the light was coming from her own horn. Sunset wasn’t very good at magic, but she was good enough to recognize that this was completely different from anything she had ever done, and it felt right somehow. Sunset closed her eyes again and began to focus magic through her horn until the light was bright enough that she could see it through her eyelids. She focused more and more magic through her horn until it hurt and then she continued until she felt weak. I can do this. The adults will see the light and then they will come. I can do this. I am Sunset Shimmer and I can do this! Sunset suddenly felt the ground beneath her shake slightly as something heavy landed next to her. She opened her eyes and turned to face whatever might be attacking her and her cousin with a defiant growl, still focusing magic to keep the light as bright as she could. “Easy, my little pony,” said the pony that could only be Princess Celestia. “Your family has been looking for you for a few hours. How about I take you to them?” Sunset stopped focusing magic into her horn as she and Misty looked at each other. They both smiled and then rushed to the princess, praising her for saving them. “Oh my!” said Princess Celestia. “I do believe there is something on your flank, my little pony.” Sunset turned to wipe off whatever was on her flank but suddenly stopped. There on her flank was a cutie mark, and not just any cutie mark, but one that matched the colors in her mane. It was the best cutie mark Sunset had ever seen, and it was hers. Misty drew Sunset’s attention as she began dancing around chanting around her. “Sunset got her cutie mark, Sunset got her cutie mark.” Sunset blushed when she noticed the princess smiling at the display. “Misty,” she groaned, “don’t embarrass me in front of the princess.” Celestia chuckled. “It’s something very much worth Celebrating little Sunset. I for one look forward to teasing you in front of your whole family when they see that I’ve returned you minus two blank flanks as they had described.” Sunset groaned but couldn’t help but smile as looked back again. Everyone in her class would be so jealous that she had been the first to get her cutie mark. “Yes.” Discord's voice in the void echoed within Sunset’s mind. “You never could rely on anyone else, could you? Even as a filly you had to look out for your older cousin. It was her responsibility to look after you, but even then you had to do it yourself.” Sunset threw her empty saddle bags on her bed as she jumped after it. She slammed her head into the pillows and began to scream. This was the absolute worst first day in school that Sunset had ever had. Not only was she in a new school with none of her friends, but the ponies in her class hated her for no reason. She had been tripped, her lunch tray had been flipped over, and now her books had been stolen. Oh, she had tried to tell the teachers that she needed an extra day to get her assignments done because someone had stolen her books, but none of them had believed her. After all, all the ponies in the class were from the highest tiers of society, and who would even think about picking on Celestia’s brand new pupil? Obviously the stress was just getting to Sunset. The teachers said she should go talk to the Princess. It was her who had asked for Sunset to be placed in such a high level of schooling after attending one of the lesser public schools. Well, Sunset would do just that. She wouldn’t be able to meet with Princess Celestia until the weekend but she was told that she could still write a letter and have anypony in the royal guard deliver it to her post haste. Sunset pulled her head away from the pillow and turned to her saddlebags. She found her paper, quill, and ink bottle and went to her desk to begin to write. She had to focus for a moment before her magic flared and she picked up the quill, dipped it in the ink and began to write. Dear Princess Celestia, She went slowly because her penship with her horn wasn’t quite perfect yet. She went to dip the quill back in the ink and when she tried to continue she found the page completely blank. Sunset blinked before trying again. Dear Princess Celestia, This time Sunset watched the ink fade into the page. Her pent up anger boiled over all at once, and she flung the ink, paper, and everything else off the desk. She turned and bucked the desk over and over again, screams of rage accompanying every thud against the solid wood surface. “Ah school.” There was the familiar voice that Sunset just couldn’t quite place. “So much fun with all the kiddies learning to work together, helping each other learn. Well, except for you. They never liked you much, did they? If it wasn’t them ruining your homework or your projects, then it was them provoking you, bullying you. The teachers didn’t even seem to have any sympathy. No one liked you. Well, no one but Princess Celestia.” Sunset pulled the plain framed picture out of the bag. The cardboard box was new and she didn’t have to worry about the rain getting her things wet, at least for a few hours, so she indulged herself. Sunset ran an un-shoed hoof over the image of her as a filly on Princess Celestia’s back. It was right after she had gotten her cutie mark and Sunset was proudly showing it off right above Princess Celestia’s. Sunset set the picture aside in its frame and pulled out her dinner. It wasn’t bad, actually. Generally when it rained ponies were less likely to take the time to appease her begging or spit on her. Today had been different. Sunset had been outside a bakery, asking passing ponies if they could spare a bit, or a piece of food. She had long ago learned to not ask if anypony knew about an open job or if they would be willing to pay her to run chores. No one trusted a homeless pony, but some would occasionally play a prank on her. However, the bakery she had been begging next to seemed to take pity on her while she stood in the rain and gave her two whole loaves of two day old bread. It was a pretty good catch, actually, as it was a well respected bakery that Sunset couldn’t afford. She pulled one loaf out of her bag and then out of its brown paper packaging with her magic. She wasted no time eagerly biting into her score. She gagged and spit out the bitter mess. She lit her horn up to inspect the bread more carefully. It wasn’t two day old bread, it was moldy. She quickly pulled out the other loaf from it’s brown paper bag to find that it too was moldy. Sunset swore. The bakery didn’t have to give her moldy bread to go away. If they didn’t want a beggar outside their establishment then all they had to do was ask, it was a Manehatten ordinance for Celestia’s sake. If any business felt that a transient was causing a loss of sales they simply had to ask the transient to leave. If they didn’t then they had grounds to ask a the local royal guard to remove the individual. Of course, this was simpler and probably more satisfying for those degenerate two faced jerks. Sunset threw both loaves of bread out in disgust, immediately regretting the decision as the insides of the loaves were probably edible. Sunset decided that she didn’t care to go looking for them. This was just her luck. She had no food and it was getting too late to go back out and beg. All the ponies with anything worth giving would be locked up warm and dry in their homes. She momentarily thought about dipping into her few bits and going to buy a hayburger but dismissed the idea. She’d had breakfast, her last few packets of instant oatmeal, and needed to save her few remaining bits for a rainy day. Or rather, though Sunset, a rainy day where she didn’t have a fresh box to sleep in. One of the big advantages to buying food was getting someplace dry and warm to eat it in. Sunset looked at the picture of her and Celestia before tipping it picture side down. Despite her falling out with her mentor she had never been able to get rid of that picture of the two of them. Oh sure, Celestia hated her now and Sunset blamed Celestia for ruining her life. But the picture was the only reminder she had of happy times. After all, that was when she’d gotten her cutie mark. My cutie mark, thought Sunset. She looked back at the bright mark and smiled. It was a good mark. She remembered when she got it by looking deep inside herself. Suddenly a thought occurred to Sunset. She had never really done that again, looked inside herself for strength. She remembered the words her mother had spoken to her as a filly. Remember that if you ever start to fail, look inside yourself and you will find the strength to go on. Sunset vaguely felt like chuckling but it really wasn’t a laughing matter. She was, after all, homeless with no friends and was by far too proud to ever go home without having something to her name. Well, she wasn’t tired and it wasn’t like a homeless pony had anything else to do so she decided to give it a try. Sunset closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She still didn’t know what it meant to look inside herself, so she started by blocking out the world around her. The sound of the rain faded and she slowly forgot the chill that had been growing ever since she settled in for the night. Sunset took another breath and let the feeling of sitting leave her awareness. Slowly an image began to form in her mind. The image was of herself, but as an alicorn. It was very similar to the image that a mirror showed her when Princess Celestia had let her look at some old magical items. Celestia had never meant for Sunset to look in that mirror. Or rather, she hadn’t meant for Sunset to look in it yet. Sunset had only caught a glimpse of herself as an alicorn but she remembered how beautiful and strong she had looked. There had been something else in the mirror that Sunset hadn’t seen well but if she had to guess it would have been many ponies watching her, cheering her, Princess Sunset Shimmer. Sunset opened her eyes, recalling the memory of what that image had done to her. She had defied Celestia and had begun researching the mirror against her mentor's wishes. She had even gone so far as to read some forbidden books in an attempt to either figure out what the mirror was or how to become an alicorn. She had succeeded, of course, finding out everything there was to know about the mirror and the other world it connected to. But Celestia had discovered her unapproved extracurricular activities. For defying Celestia’s express wishes and warnings Sunset had been removed as Celestia’s pupil and expelled from her school until such time as Sunset could provide evidence that she had changed for the better Sunset had tried to redeem her image. But she had been close to graduating and the news that Celestia’s prized pupil had been cast out swept across the country far faster than Sunset could travel. It was a humiliating memory, one that plagued her often, and Sunset wondered why trying to reach for inner strength had reminded her of the root of her failure... unless, perhaps, Sunset was destined to become an Alicorn. Maybe there was a way in the universe that existed on the other side of that mirror. Maybe, just maybe, she should not have given in so easily and followed through with her research by going into the mirror. Sunset pulled out a small journal, quill, and ink. They were valuable treasures to her, something she rarely used because she could not afford to replace them. But she had to plan carefully if she were to try and sneak into the castle to use the mirror. “Yes,” came the reassuring voice in her head as Sunset began to open her eyes. “You did plan and you did succeed. You became a goddess yourself, with no help from the Princess or the world that had rejected you. You’re a loner, Sunset Shimmer, and you deserve the respect of others for accomplishing what only a few had done before you. The masses of Equestria should grovel before you and fill you with pride at being their better.” The world began to focus out of a blank haze as Sunset heard Discord laughing. She realized that the voice that had reached her as she remembered her darkest moments was that of Discord, spirit of Chaos. She remembered how he had appeared, broken free on accident from a statue in a museum by two of her friends’ little sisters and their friend Scootaloo. The statue had been identical to one she had seen back in Canterlot, one that had also depicted Discord as the spirit of Chaos. After Discord broke out he went on a rampage and changed virtually everything he could get his magic on. He had even turned her friends against her and that was why she was now pinned beneath them. After Discord had turned her friends, they had revealed to him the existence of Equestria and how to get there. Discord continued to laugh in victory as Sunset felt tears slide down her face. It still hurt to think about all she had gone through in life and how she had failed; her failure as Celestia’s student; her failure to even get along with anypony or anyone else. Sunset’s hate, resentment, pride, and ego had flared at Discord’s corruptive touch but she managed to keep from losing herself in those emotions. She had remembered, even relived what had driven her to make more and more mistakes in her life. But she couldn’t give in to him. Sunset instinctively began to look inside herself. In her heart she found her friends. Each one was attached to memories that seemed just as vivid to her as those Discord had forced her to relive. Scoring her first goal against Rainbow Dash one on one in soccer. Learning to bake with Pinkie Pie. Working at the groomers with Fluttershy. Rarity giving Sunset a practically new cell phone and helping Sunset bedazzle it to have her cutie mark proudly displayed on its back. Beating herself up for letting Applejack Down by missing a barn raising, and Applejack forgiving her and helping her see the true meaning of friendship that had been around her all along. Whatever Discord did to her, she had to help her friends, she had to free them. Sunset kept that feeling inside of herself and in her mind as Discord began to speak. “Oh, goodie. Girls, I do believe Sunset is ready to help us on our way back to Equestria. What do you say, Sunny old girl? How about you tell us where you hid your journal that connects to Equestria?” Sunset breathed heavily for a moment as the girls got off of her. She stood up and wiped the mud off her cloths. However, as she turned to look up at Discord something stood out against her faded yellow skin. “What’s that on your forehead, hmmm?” Discord said while bending forward. Sunset turned toward the glass windows of a nearby classroom and smiled. In the center of her forehead, right where Discord’s finger had touched her, the yellow color of her skin was pushing the grey back. She turned back to Discord and smiled. “That’s me, Discord. The me I’m proud of.” Discord flinched back in surprise at her conviction, filling Sunset with hope. “Let me tell you something about being a bad person, Discord. I lost myself once, I turned into a bad person after years of being unhappy and resentful toward others. I even grew to enjoy inflicting pain on others. When I stole the element of magic, I even stripped people of their souls and imprinted a blank obedience to me upon the empty canvas of their being. But I have also been reformed.” Sunset felt herself placing her hand over her chest. “I was hit by the full power of the the elements of harmony and they didn’t just take my power, they showed me my redemption. In the span of a few seconds, I experienced the love and joy of friendship, and then the disgust for everything I had ever done to hurt another. The elements didn’t scrub my past from me, they gave me the power and experience I needed to overcome myself and be a better person. “I gave up my hate and anger willingly. Yes, sometimes I still feel those things. But there is a big difference between letting angry, jealous, and resentful feelings dictate your life and feeling those emotions for a short period of time. I wasn’t given anything back and nothing was taken from me. I was given a choice, and I chose to be a better person, to stop being evil. And I was rewarded with better friends than I could ever have imagined. Discord gulped as the rest of the girls stood stock still with rapt attention as color slowly seeped into their beings once more. “After I gave up my negative feelings, it took a long time to accept what I had done. It was a long journey, and that journey isn’t over. From time to time, I still wake up in the middle of the night in cold sweats, memories of the cries of others playing over and over in my head. It hurts, Discord, and I never want to cause pain to others again.” Discord sneered, “Yet I offer you relief from that pain and you turn it away. Explain that, you cross species failure!” “Perhaps I am a failure,” said Sunset calmly. “But why would I accept that? Quite frankly, I’m happier than I’ve ever been, or rather, I was before you got here. Now I’m fighting for that happiness, for my friends, and for our freedom.” “You speak of freedom,” spat Discord, “but what do you know of it? Freedom – real freedom – is anarchy, chaos.” “No, Discord,” said Sunset. “Your freedom is in chaos. But when you are full of love and surrounded by real friends, even the darkest prison can be a magical place.” A light began forming around Sunset’s forehead and the symbol of her cutie mark snapped into existence in a magnificent golden tiara. Discord frowned as he picked up his right arm and snapped his fingers, fully intending on teleporting himself to the top of the school where he could mock them and their inability to catch him. Nothing happened. He snapped his fingers again and again. There was still no effect. “Oh, phooey.” Sunset looked up at him with renewed confidence. "Magic’s a funny thing, Discord. This world is void of magic, but you’re a god. If you were in Equestria your magic would be limitless, but here it’s not. But the magic of friendship and harmony, that’s universal. It’s already made you helpless." Discord watched as the light flashed in the other girls. They brought their hands to their chests as their five symbols flared into existence as beautifully crafted necklaces. “This is your last chance, Discord,” said Fluttershy. “Yeah!” yelled Rainbow Dash as the light from all six friends began to grow brighter and stronger. “Get turned to stone, you taxidermy reject.” “Quite,” said Rarity with a simple smug grin. “Oh! If you join us, we can have a party!” Pinkie chirped. “Trust me, parties are much better than being turned to stone!” “Nah,” said Applejack. “I don’t think he’ll listen to us, Pinkie. I think this here is Discord’s last rodeo.” Discord flinched away from the light and covered his eyes. “No! This isn’t over!” As soon as the words left his mouth the six girls rose in the air, enveloped by the pure white light as a multicolored rainbow shot straight for Discord. He felt the pain again, as complete and total order encased his body in stone. He contorted and screamed as his body quickly froze in place. When it was over, Discord could only watch as his vision slowly tilted sideways and he felt himself fall over. The pain had dulled but still took up his entire world. He was barely aware of anything until Sunset stepped in front of him, placing a hand on his head. “Now you realize, Discord,” she said as she patted his head, “that you can twist me, corrupt me, exploit my vices and my past. “But,” said Sunset as she stood to look at her smiling friends, “you will never, ever break me, for I have something wonderful to live for.” Freedom, real freedom.
  10. I saw your schedual of events, here (which I almost missed because it was burried on as part of another post) and I saw this I was wondering when you will have a description of the events so I could learn more?
  11. A humors slant on romance wherein a troll tries to understand this love thing that is making Fluttershy lonely, in a letter with lots of wordplay. https://www.fimfiction.net/story/248005/t-the-tiniest-troll-writes-a-love-letter
  12. Hooray for positive encouragement!
  13. Scootaloo faces her demons and finally grieves for the death of someone she found dear. This is a story about how one girl pulled herself up after she hit rock bottom hard. Second place winner for the Weekly Contests group's 10th contest. Find the story here. Special thanks to my editors and pre-readers Asylum1388 Quill Scratch mikemeiers and Bad Dragon who has his own entry for this contest.
  14. Sunset Shimmer had one friend before the events of Equestria Girls, a diary. She abandoned the book in her spiral into darkness, but now, with a chance of redemption, she turns back to her old friend for help. Does writing in her diary help her recover her life? Does it help her when the elements of harmony try to befriend her? What challenges will she even face? It's all in her diary, all you have to do is read it. This story is an epistolary, written entirely from the perspective of Sunset Shimmer making diary entries. This means you are getting both the story as she is writing it as well as the emotions and thoughts she has while reviewing the events she is writing about. Half the story is how and why she writes what she writes. Find the story on FIMfiction here. Pre-read by alt-tap, asylum1388, Monanniverse, and totallynotabrony Edited by Nopony_Important
  15. Wrote this a little while ago. Short and slightly amusing, especially if your having a 'bleh' day. --- Hi there, I'm Pinkie Pie and while I usually try to be totally cool and friendly to all my friends sometimes I have "bleh" days. You know, the kind of days where you feel like a saggy marshmallow, or a sock that may or may not be clean. Anyway I know some of you humans totally look up to me so I thought I'd share with you a dramatized Pinkie Pie story abou how I sometimes turn a mehehbleh day into a not terrible bleh day. -Have fun! --- https://www.fimfiction.net/story/222322/pinkies-bleh-day