(0) Today’s story is horrible. (1) You shouldn’t read it. (2) … er … what do you mean, a number above my head is counting up? That’s silly! You’re clearly hallucinating. (3)
The Numbers Don’t Lie
[Slice of Life] • 20,101 words
When the Cutie Mark Crusaders dig up an ancient magical artifact, they unleash a spell on the town that allows everypony to see a “lie meter” floating above each other’s heads. While attempting to solve the mystery, Twilight Sparkle has to analyze the tenuous balance between friendship and honesty. She doesn’t like what she finds.
FROM THE CURATORS: One of the things that makes this story an exemplar of MLP fanfiction is its marriage of an imaginative premise with a profound understanding of the show’s core theme. “We always say MLP is a show about friendship,” Benman said, “but what’s remarkable is how rare and special that is. The best episodes teach lessons about friendship, and it turns out friendship is really complicated. … This is a story with an actual friendship lesson that actual adults need to learn in the actual world. It’s about what trust means, and why trust matters, and the difference between being nice and being a friend.”
The essential ponyness of “The Numbers Don’t Lie” stood out to all of us. “The fic does a good job balancing comedy and sincerity,” Chris said. “It reads like a well-adapted show script, and it’s just plain enjoyable.” shortskirtsandexplosions, who did the writing, gets credit for that, but we found the core idea (which was created by theworstwriter) remarkable as well. “The story’s got one of the most compelling premises on the site,” Horizon said.
Read on for our author interviews — two this week! — in which theworstwriter and shortskirtsandexplosions discuss collaboration, cartoon morality, and postapocalyptic evidence of creativity. Also, if you click through to the interviews, Hasbro will deposit $100 in your PayPal account. (4)