In today’s story, reach back to the fundamental core of My Little Pony: The fertile imagination of horse-loving children.
How Equestria Was Made
[Tragedy] [Sad] [Human] • 14,778 words
The base and the glass are no different from any other snow globe, but it holds an endless void inside it. When two young sisters jokingly request for it to show them its magic, it gives them the power to fill it as they please. Within that dimension, they might as well be goddesses–but to the world at large, they’re still confused, frightened children.
The younger sister, bitter and lonely, thinks it’s a chance to make a better world than our own. The elder sister just feels responsible for protecting the innocent pastel quadrupeds they’ve created. But can two children really be the goddesses the pony race needs? And when monsters begin to threaten the ponies, what must the sisters sacrifice to create the Equestria they dream of?
FROM THE CURATORS: We speak from experience when we say that this story will surprise you. “I’ve just never seen a creation fic done like this before,” Present Perfect said. “I’ve seen humans as princess-goddesses, I’ve seen Celestia and Luna make Equestria, but this is in a league of its own.”
Even though How Equestria Was Made quickly earned comparisons to our previous feature In The Place The Wild Horses Sleep, the surface similarities — children’s imagination letting them construct and enter a magical land of ponies — conceal a wealth of surprising yet smooth worldbuilding. “Far too often, we see ‘six virtues’ crop up in a creation story and know where things are headed, and yet not once did I suspect that was the path the narrative was taking us on,” Present Perfect said, and Horizon agreed: “The story kept surprising me (in positive ways) with its mythological choices. The tale of Brunhild and Hearth Flame by itself makes this worthy of a feature.” Chris cited another of the story’s many novelties: “The entire Nightmare Moon reveal and resolution wasn’t just powerful, it was surprising and original, too.”
But there was more here to like than just clever ideas, such as the authenticity of the children’s portrayal. “The relationship between the two sisters struck me as very real,” AugieDog said. “The way the two of them come together with all their faults and virtues to create, nurture, and interact with Equestria reminded me of a much more serious version of the ‘let’s pretend’ games my siblings and I used to play.” Serious indeed, as Horizon pointed out: “It deals effectively with some very adult questions of responsibility.”
What all that added up to was a small fic successfully executing on big themes. “This is really making me reconsider the relationship between fanfic, reader and author,” Present Perfect said. And while not every scene worked for every curator, “the ending blew any doubts I had right out of the water,” Chris said. “Here’s an author that mined genuine pathos from a couple of girls making ponies with a magic snow-globe. That’s amazing.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Feo Takahari discusses flowing stresses, memory lapses, and everything from Lemony Snicket to lemons.