Today’s story is (a) well worth your attention.
[Dark] [Tragedy] [Human] [Alternate Universe] • 1,792 words
When she was young, Megan rode into Ponyland on the back of a flying pony.
Or not. She doesn’t know anymore.
All she knows is that for the second time, a pegasus has crashed into her well.
FROM THE CURATORS: Sometimes we get two nominations at once for works from the same author — only to find them both passing our feature threshold, creating a dilemma of which one to spotlight. “As a fan of both G1 and Fluttershy, I get two completely different gut punches for the price of one!” AugieDog quipped in our debate. He was one of the curators praising the character study of Where All My Layers Can Become Reeds: “The impossible dream of being a part while also being apart rings through every word of the story.” But in a split decision, the multi-generational tragedy of Again won out.
“Again conveys a single moment of paralyzing horror fantastically,” FanOfMostEverything said, and the story’s short, brutal effectiveness drew broad praise. “I love the character work, and the subtle way that it reveals the darkness of the situation,” Soge said, while RBDash47 added: “I did like how no one believing Megan played out; that felt very realistic.” Horizon’s nomination tried to break down what made it work: “It uses its short length well, swinging in hard with a memorable gut punch of an image, and makes effective use of the generational gap,” he said. “I think the fridge logic is the most terrifying part of it — there’s no road to the story’s events that doesn’t involve a great deal of implied abuse somewhere.”
If there was a common theme to our dissent on the fic, it was the story’s focus on the heroine of an earlier era. “I feel it almost qualifies as G1 fanfic,” Present Perfect said, and RBDash47 added: “I wonder if I would enjoy it more if I was more familiar with Gen 1.” But others saw that as one of the story’s strengths. “I definitely think the G4 connection is strong enough, but even beyond that, it’s a fantastic allegory for the cost of the fear of seeming immature,” FanOfMostEverything said. “It’s all too easy to let amazing opportunities wilt away because ‘you’re too old,’ ‘that’s not how it’s done,’ so on and so forth.” It even inspired fond comparisons to former RCL inductees. “Again poses the question of ‘What if Meghan was the star of Through the Well of Pirene?’,” Present Perfect said, “only to answer it with a resounding, ‘Yeah, no.'”
Read on for our author interview, in which OfTheIronwilled discusses shower blame, piecemaking, and embarrassing edges.