Today’s story ticks along to a sweetly chilling conclusion.
Sweet Little Lovely: A Gothic Romance
[Romance] [Dark] • 14,993 words
[Note: This story contains scenes of blood and gore.]
Everyone in their sleepy little town knows that Marvelous, the clockmaker, has eyes for only one mare – the beautiful Little Lovely. Despite her mysterious illness and his amusingly obsessive nature, there’s no question that they make a perfect couple.
But when the truth of Little Lovely’s affliction comes to light, Marvelous begins to realize that her true beauty is … on the inside.
FROM THE CURATORS: This week’s feature makes no bones about its heritage; right in the subtitle, it’s clear what you’re going to get. As Soge said in his nomination, it’s “a really lovely romance story, with genuinely touching moments, interesting characters, and an effective, just-florid-enough writing style that is clearly inspired by 1800s Gothic novels.” Horizon agreed: “The voicing in this is a marvelous style imitation, and the Gothic parts are a compelling enough character drama on their own that in several stretches I forgot I was reading a horror story.”
That being said, astute readers might note the lack of a Horror tag on the story itself, and this may not just be because the story predates the Horror tag—whether or not this was actually a horror story was a matter of some debate among the curators. Present Perfect thought it was an excellent one: “This is a great horror story, full stop, just completely unsettling.” AugieDog had a different perspective; he doesn’t read horror stories, because “they’re too scary. This story, though, I didn’t find scary at all.”
Something all the curators could agree on was “Sweet Little Lovely” managing to require a Gore tag and yet remain almost… wholesome. “The one scene that actually earns that Gore tag is so beautiful and fascinating,” Soge said. Horizon reassures anyone with a weak stomach that “it’s quite possibly one of the most beautiful stories with a Gore tag, and even as a somewhat squeamish person I finished the story over lunch.”
Speaking more broadly, FanOfMostEverything appreciated “that this story’s protagonist is a clockmaker, because this is some beautifully and meticulously assembled prose.” A few curators commented that the setting teeters on the edge of believability within the world of Equestria, but as AugieDog put it, “I’d call it a very Pony story. Because friendship is magic even when your friend turns out to be a sort of—” Ah… that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
Read on for our author interview, in which Mr V discusses prose cameras, gummi artisans, and audio adaptations.