There are any number of reasons to read today’s story.
[Dark] [Drama] [Sad] • 2,038 words
Queen Chrysalis has spent years in hiding. She has been very careful to avoid being caught, but her time spent alone and in constant fear has worn away her sanity.
FROM THE CURATORS: One of the strengths of pony fanfic is the opportunity to read about characters far removed from ordinary life — so stories focusing on unusual viewpoints can be a treat to find. And this tight, focused look at the far side of sanity hit all the right notes. “I’m a sucker for a nicely done unreliable narrator, and this one pulled me right in with its harrowing, intense voice,” AugieDog said in his nomination. “We’re locked with Chrysalis inside her head, and it’s a place even she doesn’t much want to be.”
And indeed, that was our most common compliment about the story. “The voicing is very, very good — I am completely sold on Chrysalis slowly going crazy in her self-imposed isolation,” RBDash47 said. “The author mentions that they went through a lot of editing and rewriting to get the tone, and I think they nailed it.” Horizon, too, found that compelling: “I think the big thing right here is the portrayal of her descent into insanity. Schizophrenic people work by an internal logic which, while disconnected from reality, makes a strangely elegant almost-sense on its own terms.” And FanOfMostEverything added, “I have to agree on how well the story conveys that. It all makes sense to her; otherwise she wouldn’t do any of it.”
We also found meat on the bones of the exemplary presentation. “The real joy of an unreliable narrator is piecing together the reality they’re denying,” Present Perfect noted, while Horizon spent some time puzzling it over: “The question of whether she’s going back to the same lair over and over again or moving around is a fascinating one, with plenty of evidence to sift through.” Meanwhile, AugieDog praised the economical storytelling: “It’s just the right length for this sort of character study, too.” All those factors came together to heighten the core tragedy of the piece. “The paranoid, vengeful, negative-sum strategy that barely kept her hive fed culminates in her being unable to so much as comprehend mercy on the part of her former subjects,” FanOfMostEverything said. “It’s an excellent capstone for the tragedy of Chrysalis, and an excellent study of karmic justice in action.”
Read on for our author interview, in which AstralMouse discusses weapon padding, imagined chitin, and black as the new black.