Today’s story will reward you for stepping out of your comfort zone.
[Slice of Life] • 12,105 words
Fleur Lumineuse, daughter of Fancy Pants and Fleur de Lis, has made a mistake. A serious one. She never intended so much harm but, even with her eyes now open, can she make amends?
Sometimes, what a pony really needs, is somepony else to reach out to them.
FROM THE CURATORS: While one of the great truisms of fanfiction is that no idea is irredeemable, there are some premises which are very, very difficult to sell. So when a story admits in its author’s note to being “blatant self-insertion and gratuitous wish fulfillment,” and yet turns our heads anyhow, that should be a sign that the author is doing something very, very right.
The core of that, as Horizon put it, was the stark self-awareness on display. “This is like no other ‘wish fulfillment’ fic I’ve ever seen,” he added. “It draws boundaries in a way that both respects the female counterpart and reinforces her characterization.” Present Perfect, meanwhile, was most impressed by how that self-awareness came through in the protagonist. “Front and center is Hyperic Cable: shy, awkward, socially phobic, possibly autistic,” he said. “It’s the kind of character portrayal that can only come from personal experience, and the fact that he isn’t the viewpoint character undercuts a lot of the wish-fulfillment angle.” Chris felt similarly: “The self-insertiness comes through really clearly. But on the other hand, he’s still a character who’s easy to empathize with. I felt most of the story feeling really bad for this guy, which is exactly what I was supposed to be doing.”
But while the “nuanced, flawed characters” (as Present Perfect put it) turned our heads, this was exemplary in areas beyond its self-awareness. “This is an excellent look into anxiety and irrational fears with equally excellent writing,” Present Perfect said, while Soge appreciated that there was an equally solid B-plot: “What really struck me was how Fleur learns to not be such a horrible pony. She is … an incredibly selfish narcissist, profoundly bigoted, and almost comical in her lack of empathy — and yet she grows a lot during the fic, eventually even trying to see things from his perspective.” Ultimately, Horizon said, this story became more than the sum of its parts: “The characters here are — through personal experience, good writing, or a combination of the two — both earnestly authentic, and that transforms this into something far beyond its roots.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Shachza discusses dinosaur toys, friendship ironies, and pancakes vs. ponies.