Today’s story examines a young woman hoping that someday her prints will come.
Tracks in the Sand
[Equestria Girls] [Drama] [Alternate Universe] • 9,590 words
Scavenging isn’t just a hobby, it’s a means of survival in the ruins of the old world. When you go scavenging, though, you’ll never know what you’ll find.
Pinkie Pie is about to find more than she bargained for.
FROM THE CURATORS: Like all good AU fics, this stood out with a combination of the comfortable and the unusual. “I love the setting here — the sandy ruins are practically a character, they’re described so well — and Pinkie, while being very much the character we’ve come to know over the past few years, is also someone who’s lived her life on the fringes of a society that’s barely hanging on to the concept of civilization,” AugieDog said in his nomination. And while those two elements accumulated most of our praise, Present Perfect found even more to like. “This has the two things you need to really get me into a story: a post-apocalyptic wasteland and friendship,” he said. “Girls kissing each other doesn’t hurt. Neither does an unreliable narrator.”
But there was a great deal of emotional depth to the story, as well. “As the depths of Pinkie’s loneliness and delusions come to light, I was struck by the tragedy,” Present Perfect said, and Chris agreed: “I really enjoyed the tragedy here; Pinkie’s seeing the world she wants to see, and yet, her world is so terrible that the best she can summon up is ‘everything’s still awful, but at least I have a friend, sorta.’ Her delusions are a macrocosm of Gummy: a grand idea, but feeble and helpless underneath that.”
And it was that fine balancing act between the bleakness of the world and the authenticity of the protagonist that solidified our appreciation of the story. “Everything about the story was showing us how much Pinkie needs companionship, how much she needs hope in this world that’s utterly inimical to her personality … and then, twice, taking it away from her,” Chris said. And that worked both ways, Soge said: “I enjoyed Pinkie’s characterization. You get the sense she’s a stone’s throw away from a breakdown, which helps sell the post-apocalyptic setting.”
Read on for our author interview, in which DwarvishPony discusses space creation, compensatory delusions, and Hobbit mounts.