Take a poetic excursion through the mind of Nightmare Moon with today’s story.
Only, Only, Only You
[Romance] [Sad] • 1,594 words
Come closer here—my heart, my host.
Come closer. Hear my heart, my host,
Is only staid with presence close.
If love’s a potion, ample dose.
My night-ful bride, I need your boon.
My baleful bride, I need you soon:
For what’s eclipsed by half a moon?
FROM THE CURATORS: If it seems like we disproportionately feature poetry relative to how rare it is in the fandom, it’s only because we keep stumbling across poems that are really, really good. This was laudable not only in its construction — “The mouthfeel of this piece in lines like ‘nightshade-wound chrysanthemum’ is exquisite, and it uses its repetitions and its breaks from verse to solid effect,” Horizon said — but also in its storytelling: “It tells a riveting tale, recasting the story of Luna and Nightmare Moon as a love story,” Present Perfect said. “The characters and plot fit the poem form well, and I love how strong the sense of yearning and desire is.”
But what impressed us all the most was the mastery of language on display. “The words are obviously carefully chosen,” Present Perfect said. “There’s some great wordplay, like the ‘here/hear’ in the otherwise identical couplet that appears in the description.” Chris found another example to praise: “I think the moment I realized I was in for a treat was the couplet ‘To slither, snake, in shadow form, / To recollect, inveigle—mourn—’,” he said. “I’m on board with anyone who can use ‘inveigle‘ in a coherent sentence, especially while holding to the rhythm of the line.” And Horizon agreed: “This is a piece which isn’t afraid to deploy ten-dollar words with rapier precision. Seriously, look up ‘Lacuna’ the first time the poem uses it: this isn’t just a pet name for Luna, it’s a direct statement on the relationship.”
Despite the deep linguistic delving, though, “this remains shockingly readable as it flows through a story of need and betrayal and loss,” as Horizon put it. “Nightmare Moon’s anguish is palpable, even as the piece makes very clear who the villain is here.” And that makes this remarkable on another level, Chris said: “The content is a fresh twist on the oldest story in the fandom, which is increasingly hard to do six seasons in … but, as Corejo shows here, by no means impossible.” That it managed to do so while impressing even our poetry connoisseurs was what sealed this story’s feature. “I will admit to being a giant poetry grouch who clings to strict ideas about rhyme and rhythm and imagery,” AugieDog said. “To find a piece like this one that picks a meter and keeps to it, that picks a rhyme scheme and keeps to it, that paints some wonderful pictures with words and sounds and all, that’s the sort of thing that makes me very, very happy.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Corejo discusses rabbit errors, fluff-ectomies, and the fine line between hugboxers and skimmers.