Settle down, children, and we’ll tell you tonight’s story, of a mystical adventure to a faraway land. Did you brush your teeth before we tucked you in?
In The Place The Wild Horses Sleep
[Adventure] [Human] • 2,814 words
Young Mia is determined to run with wild horses and nothing is going to stop her. Not her mother. Not even a pony with stars in her mane, come to take her away on an adventure …
FROM THE CURATORS: You might have heard of this story a few months ago when it scored third place in Obselescence’s “Most Dangerous Game” contest, turning in strong showings with both the judges and the voters. It easily won over our hearts, too. “Any story that can overcome my initial distrust of the ‘once there was a little girl who wanted to be a pony, and then suddenly Equestria!’ premise deserves to be featured,” Chris said, and Present Perfect was even more effusive: “It’s gorgeous and uplifting. I cannot praise this highly enough.”
One of the factors making it exemplary was its unique bedtime-story narrative voice. “Its language play really works,” Horizon said. “At its best I couldn’t see it on the screen without hearing it read aloud in my head.” For similar reasons, JohnPerry described it as “an utterly fantastic children’s story that has a great Maurice Sendak (may he rest in peace) vibe to it. … The pacing is perfect, the tone and language is very fitting to a children’s tale, and there’s a depth to it that is intriguing.” Chris agreed: “This is a great example of what a children’s story should be — enjoyable to a young listener, but with something to offer the adult reader, and pleasant to read aloud to boot.”
Ultimately, it was the story’s success at that adult-child balancing act that made it so magical — and inspired some curator introspection. “I was recently contemplating what makes children’s stories work, how magic and mysticism simply exist, and how the things that are important to us as children are not the same things that are important to us as adults,” Present Perfect said. “This story embodies all of those things. It’s about appreciating what you have and learning that dreams are only that. In other words, it’s about growing up.”
Read on for our (illustrated!) author interview, in which Lucky Dreams discusses the Ghost of Fanfic Past, having faith in your audience, and a literal embarrassment singularity.