Today’s story lines up some quality entertainment.
[Horror] • 2,353 words
There’s an old book that’s falling apart. Twilight wants to copy it down to preserve it. But it needs to be as accurate and precise as possible, to preserve the state of the original. That shouldn’t be too hard. After all, it’s not like the text will change whenever she looks away.
FROM THE CURATORS: For a story solo-tagged [Horror], we found Cant to be unusually — and pleasantly — light reading. “This was a fun little fic,” Chris said, and AugieDog had a similar reaction: “This is a horror story the way ‘Lesson Zero’ is a horror story … I usually find horror stories to be, well, too horrific, but this is just exactly how horror stories should go in the Pony universe.”
But make no mistake, this uses its tag effectively and subtly. “The way it progresses to horror is as insidious as it is natural,” Present Perfect said. “And this particular brand of quiet, obsessive horror is the sort of thing I’ve previously only seen at the SCP Foundation.” For Soge, that quiet horror built up over time. “My gut reaction was that it felt a bit too low key,” Soge said, “but after a few days I can safely say that it is one of those stories that is memorable in all the right ways. … I wound up reading it again, in search of all those bits of wrongness in the text.”
What makes it so rewarding is that there’s just so much the story does right. “The way it sets up Twilight with a perfectly unexceptional book of would-be occultitude feels right at home in Equestria,” Chris said, and Horizon similarly praised the story’s approach to its protagonist: “It’s marvelous how naturally Cant meshes its horror conceit with Twilight’s character, to the point that it’s able to hide crucial pieces of unreliable narration in plain sight.” Ultimately, as Present Perfect said, that clean execution elevated it: “This is a tidy piece, sets itself up well, doesn’t overstay its welcome, and has a great bit of foreshadowing at the start that you’ll never even realize is there.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Rambling Writer discusses high-strung wordiness, moral deconstruction, and intrinsic gray.