An open-ended search for elusive perfection that may or may not exist: it’s not just the Royal Canterlot Library’s mission statement, it’s also the tale of today’s story.
All of It, for Her
[Romance] [Sad] • 4,386 words
Thirty five years. Been roaming Equestria from town to cloying town, looking for her. Not for lack of trying, mind you. Equestria’s just that big of a place. There’s only so many places left to look, though, and it’d be foolish to throw in the towel already. I’m getting close. So I’ll do the same thing I did yesterday: search.
FROM THE CURATORS: While several of our recent features were written for Equestria Daily’s Outside Insight contest — which brought out amazing work from a broad cross-section of our community — this is an older story that should have been. “This is one thoroughly under-appreciated fic. It would have placed in Outside Insight’s top ten for sure, and that’s no small compliment coming from me,” JohnPerry said. Horizon agreed: “It’s full of nice details throughout,” he said, “like the subtle awkwardness of ponies’ internal struggles with racism, and Cranky’s observations on how their culture has gotten inside his head.”
However, while All of It, for Her has a lot to say about Equestria, along the way it takes an exemplary look at an underappreciated character. “This story gives Cranky a very strong voice,” Chris said. “His story has always tickled that ‘doomed nobility’ bone for me; the idea of consciously deciding to put your entire life on hold indefinitely, and probably forever, just oozes pathos.” Upping the ante, JohnPerry said that “the characterization of everyone is absolutely brilliant. … Even the ‘minor’ characters Cranky meets on the way feel fleshed out, and to say that Cranky feels true to the show seems like an understatement: it expands on what we saw in the show, and significantly so. Everything about this brings to light the … I suppose not ‘tragedy,’ but the tragicness of his situation.”
Even that tragedy carried unexpected depth. “This is also thought-provoking in how it uses the context of the show to play with the tone of the story,” Horizon said. “Taken as self-contained original fiction, it’s a tale of Donkey Xoté, a dreamer who wastes his life on a mad quest … but we know that there’s a payoff to his quest. The entire premise of this character is that it works out, at long last, in Ponyville, and that turns the ending surprisingly bittersweet.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Pav Feira discusses stolen appellations, compelling snark, and the crucial importance of cabbage.