Sink your teeth into today’s spooky story.
Morsel of Truth
[Slice of Life] • 4,349 words
There is a bit of truth to every legend, though the ravages of time can bury it deeply. Myths and lore become twisted, melded, and torn the longer they are around. One of Equestria’s oldest legends is that of Nightmare Moon. It is the core of Nightmare Night and the excuse for children to go out asking for candy with a single, common rhyme.
Nightmare Night, what a fright. Give me something sweet to bite.
FROM THE CURATORS: While the RCL has featured its share of darker, creepier fanfics, you always go back to the classics — like this story which treats its spooky themes with a gentle Equestrian touch. “This is a short, standalone fic that I think is representative of Pen Stroke’s style,” Chris said in his nomination: “To take a premise that would probably be pretty dark or even gruesome in another author’s hands, and turn it into something with a more slice-of-life feel to it.” And it was that gentler approach which caught the attention of curators like AugieDog: “In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Unicorns are Magical, but I thought that story took things too far out of a Pony context, and this story plays it just right for me,” he said. “Yes, it’s horrific (they’re gonna be eaten!) but it’s also very Pony (they’ve been turned into candy!).”
While it was that lighter touch which drew most of our commentary — “I thought the best part of this was the final scene, which has a ‘fae folk’ feeling to it, and resolves in the best fairy-tale traditions,” Horizon said — the story still earned praise for its horror elements. “The tension ramps slowly,” Present Perfect said. “The ending of the first scene is a little confusing, but once the same thing happens in scene two, you quickly realize this story ain’t fooling around. The tensions only get higher by the final scene, with the poem leaving us on a perfectly terrifying note. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but absolutely chilling and totally worth it.”
It also earned curator approval for tight writing that kept the focus strongly on its theme. “I liked that it never felt the need to delve too deeply into the reasons or mechanics or anything of the sort behind its Nightmare Night legend,” Chris said. “Rather than bog down in explanations, it simply shows us what happens to the girls on a Nightmare Night when things get Traditional.” It played with those traditions in the best sorts of ways, AugieDog added: “Having Pinkie unknowingly save the others because she understands and respects the unwritten rules of Nightmare Night is the frosting on the cake, as it were.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Pen Stroke discusses sugar hangovers, lightning rods, and attempted butt reality.