It’s always sunny somewhere in the world, and it’s always a good time to dig into the mysteries buried in today’s story.
[Mystery] [Slice of Life] • 11,639 words
Once every month, a mare appears on a remote beach, far from her home. She plays, she reads, she sleeps, and she wastes precious, precious time.
FROM THE CURATORS: Princess Celestia taking relaxing vacations on an idyllic beach — certainly not the first thing you’d think of when browsing through the archives of FIMFiction’s new Mystery tag. But this one was positively arresting in the slow build of its revelations. “Wow, what a remarkable piece,” Present Perfect said. “Hardly anything made sense throughout the story, until the final chapter tied it all together in the most satisfying way possible.” Chris agreed, adding: “The real brilliance of this story is in how often Celestia or the narrator does something that doesn’t seem to make any sense, even as the story gives you enough clues and assurance to convince you that yes, there’s a reason for all this. And when that reason comes, it’s invariably satisfying.”
That’s not to say that the mystery here is the only thing to appreciate. “The narrative voice is unique, and I really appreciated the way it manages to pull off multiple levels of headfakes as it slowly unrolls its core plot,” Horizon said. Chris also appreciated the characterization: “This story manages to tell us a lot about both Celestia and the narrator, in ways both obvious and subtle.” And AugieDog found Analemma’s pacing exemplary. “Puzzle stories like this are really hard to do; they’re all about doling out the information at exactly the time the reader needs it,” he said. “This one added each compelling detail just when I needed one, and kept that pace right up to the end. Even the point-of-view switch in the last chapter, something that throws me out of a story 99% of the time, didn’t bother me that much.”
It all added up to a story that left us unanimously impressed. “The story makes a lot of promises and fulfills them all, which is an exemplary quality in a mystery,” Horizon said. Chris summarized it as “a clever little bundle of a story,” and Present Perfect found it “a joy to read” throughout. “In the end,” Present Perfect said, “it shows us that there are still creative new ways to tell age-old stories.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Miller Minus discusses poetry creeping, trampoline jumping, and magical husband lamping.