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8 Months, 23 Days

"It is you! I thought I recognised that face!"
"Thank you for agreeing to meet with me on such short notice."

This pony was an old friend of mine from my Manehattan days. I was fortunate to still be in contact with several of my childhood associates, many of whom were now employed in rather high-profile positions. This particular pony, who I failed to avoid calling by his first name even now that we were old and formal, had chosen to pursue a career in journalism. Although he had always had an interest in writing as a colt, his dreams had initially been to leave the Manehattan area. And although he did report in various places around Equestria, he was still living in Manehattan to this very day. He was a good fellow; the kind that one could rely on in a difficult position, and the sort of companion that one did not need to speak with on a regular basis in order to know of the unspoken but ever-prevalent friendship that existed. He was beaming from ear-to-ear as he pulled up a chair in front of me; it was amusing that he still had a small pencil behind his left ear and an almost impractically tiny notepad in his breast pocket just in case a particularly newsworthy story jumped out at him during his travels. In spite of this, to me he would always be Gazette; the goofy, go-lucky pony who was never afraid to help out a friend in need.

"What have you been doing with yourself?" he questioned with a prod to my cheek. "You're looking good. A bit on the portly side, but good! You actually look at bit like that fat colt that we used to have a good laugh with. Or at. What was his name now?"

"Hold it right there, Gazette," I said, shaking my head. "You're getting carried away. Didn't my letter tell you that I wanted to discuss business?"

"Business is overrated," Gazette laughed, raising a hoof. A small waitress-mare approached, looking remarkably petite in her apron. Gazette pointed to a particular drink on the menu and the young waitress, who clearly had some mastery over her magic, used her levitating pencil to jot the order down. "-And for you, sir?" she queried, but I wasn't particularly thirsty. She smiled pleasantly and skipped on to the next table to pick up some left-over mugs. As she bounced away, Gazette couldn't help but turn and watch her go. When he looked back to me, his eyes were sparkling. "She is bloody gorgeous!" he beamed. "That mane! Those eyelashes! That flan-"

"-I get the picture," I said, cutting him off. He seemed rather disappointed, crossing his hooves and sulking. I sighed and looked down to a bag resting at the side of my chair. "Can we get onto business now? You can flirt with waitress-ponies after."

"That's just like you," he said mockingly. "But okay, then. If you insist that we should discuss serious comings and goings, then I am all ears. Well, not entirely made up of ears, but you get my point."

"I'm staying in Ponyville," I said, and Gazette looked ready to chip in with another amusing anecdote or question. I silenced him with a rather callous wave of my hoof. "I have met a lovely young mare there."

"Say no more!" Gazette exclaimed, once more jumping back into his fantasy land of dreamboats and petticoats. "Your secret is safe with me! You have a mystery lover in Ponyville! How quaint!"

"She is not a lover, and by the end of today I hope that the mystery aspect to this pony will be removed as well."

"Explain your demands," Gazette said, narrowing his eyes and slipping his pencil into his mouth, ready to jot things down the old-fashioned way. I cleared my throat.

"I have been staying in Ponyville for just over a month. I initially remained for a day or two because I bumped into Twilight Sparkle. I'm not sure if you and her ever met, but that's neither here nor there. The important factor is that I was introduced to a wonderful fashion designer, and I've been keeping a close eye on her for the past month, assessing her work and coming to some form of conclusion about whether or not it is good enough for mainstream, wide-scale distribution."

Gazette allowed the pencil to fall from his mouth. He tapped against it with his hoof, appearing deep in thought. "You realise that fashion is an incredibly difficult area to get into?" he questioned. "I mean, there are fashion designers all over Equestria who think that they have what it takes. Most are just giddy students who think they have some artistic ability but are actually no more talented than the next common-place artist."

"I understand that, but this particular pony is special."

"How so?"

"There is a, an art to her dresses."

"Well, I would have to see them before I could make any reasonable judgement over that," Gazette replied, and that was when I lifted the bag by my chair onto the table, allowing him to peer inside. He looked over the three samples that I had brought with me: I had tried to vary the colours and styles as much as possible, although admittedly I knew very little about fashion. I had based my choices simply on what I could sneak out of her boutique without her realising - I wanted her to have no knowledge of this entire situation, just in case things did not go the way that I had planned. However, judging by the comical raising of Gazette's brow, I could tell that he was interested.

"What is her name?" he questioned after inspecting each dress. Although he wasn't a fashion designer, he had spent a lot of time reporting on that particular culture, and, perhaps most importantly, he knew what looked good in front of a camera. "Rarity," I responded, and he smiled.

"Good name. Short and snappy. People will remember it. Also brings in the possibility of alliterative exaggeration."


"Rarity's Radiant Rambunctiousness."

"Is that a word?"

He returned the pencil to his mouth and scribbled it down. "It is now."

He observed the dresses once more, getting a feel for each of them. He took his time, appearing surprisingly focused – his drink arrived for him and he barely acknowledged the cute waitress – and it was only when he glanced back towards me that I knew he had come to some form of decision. "So what you're requesting of me," he began, "is that I feature this Rarity in the Rococo Report and give her some positive write-up. Really lay on the praise to some of the more influential members of the publication?"

"Do you have the power to do that?"

He slipped the dresses back into the bag in one great movement of his hoof, keeping it on his side of the table this time. "Do I have the power to do that? My dear friend, you give me so little credit. After publishing Princess Luna: The True Inside Story, the Rococo bunch owe me. Sure, I can do this for you."

I smiled. "What will it cost me?"

"Payment will not be necessary," Gazette replied, winking at me. "If this Rarity girl gets popular then I'll be riding a wave of success as the first journalist to seriously document her." He rustled the bag. "Mind if I hang onto these and show them to my co-workers? They might need some convincing of just how good this girl's work is."

"That's fine."

"So now, the real question remains..." Gazette said, leaning back in his chair and folding his hooves once more. "If I'm to do this, I want you to be honest with me: is this really just some genuine act of kindness - some altruistic vision of selfless compassion - or are you expecting some form of return yourself?"

I paused for a moment, closing my eyes and letting out a deep exhale. "Sometimes, just being there for somepony – giving without the necessity of getting something back – is worth more than money and fame."

"A shame," he said, slipping his novelty notepad back into his outfit. "I will run this by the office tomorrow. If they like what they see, we can probably run the article in the next five days or so. I'd say a week, to be safe."

I owed Gazette once again for his friendship. Although not the easiest pony to approach, he was a genuinely decent pony, and perhaps the only friend that I could always truly rely on. "One last thing, before you go," Gazette spoke up as I rose from my seat. "Do you have any requests for the article itself?"

"Remain suitably objective," I responded resolutely, "and mention her name a lot. She loves it when ponies say it. I imagine she will experience the same elation when ponies write it."

Gazette nodded, making a mental note of my words. He left his seat, rubbing his hooves together, perhaps excited about the prospect of writing the article about Rarity. I watched as he proceeded to approach the waitress, leaning across the counter like some sort of suave Romantic. Although I did not hear their words exchanged, her gracious smile spoke volumes to the content of their discussion. By raising a hoof in the air minutes later, I could infer that he would come to date her; and although his motives were driven by appearance, this shallow behaviour seemed a common-place adherence. I left the café and departed to the train; this would hopefully be the last time that I would visit Manehattan again.

7 Months, 30 Days

"Now you need to open your presents!"
"There's no need to rush."

There we all were, gathered around the fireplace in Twilight's library, opening presents. Rarity hadn't expected the surprise birthday party, but she seemed to appreciate having her friends around her. She had been incredibly busy recently travelling around and meeting important ponies. It had become somewhat difficult to find a suitable slot wherein one could actually spend a prolonged period of time with her. And yet, today, on the most celebratory day of the year for her, she wasn't stuck in Manehattan or Canterlot with busy-body ponies; she was here in Ponyville with us, and that was something that I cherished. She was sitting on her rump, her forelegs between her hind, as gifts were handed around the circle. I had decided to save mine until the last, as it was undoubtedly the most expensive and impressive present that she would be receiving. Applejack had gotten her some boots for when out in rainy weather – I predicted that they would be gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere by next month – and Twilight had provided a book. It was a fashion-orientated book, but merely a mass of paper stuck together with words scribbled on it nonetheless. It wasn't something that Rarity could wear, and so I predicted that her appreciation of it would be somewhat diminished.

Pinkie Pie had brought the cake from Sugarcube Corner; no number had been frosted onto the top out of sickly icing, and all that the cake displayed was Rarity's name nestled between two edible confectionery balloons. Pinkie had pulled them off and gulped them down before Rarity could even blow out her candles. "Make a wish, Rarity," Twilight instructed, and Rarity, having spent a fleeting second thinking upon it, extinguished the flames in one great gasp of air. She seemed ready to remove herself from the circle, and so I cleared my throat and pulled out the small parcel that had been resting behind my back the entire time. She took one look at the ornate golden bow and began to squeal in excitement.

"This is from me," I said. "It's not much..."

Well, that was a blatant lie. Had I been living back in Old-Manehattan, the price of that one parcel would be enough to purchase a small property. Still, I wanted to appear as modest as possible, as I personally hated ponies who overtly projected their wealth and expenditure, and did not wish to become a hypocrite unto myself. I nudged the parcel closer to her and she looked at it curiously, moving a hoof to the ribbon. She untangled the golden web and opened the parcel with such grace; the paper was ripped neatly, so that she could dispose of it with as minimal difficulty as possible. Her eyes were now met by a black box with 'The Glass House' written upon it. She flicked the hinge open, and all of the ponies around the circle leaned in, rather interested in the gift that I had purchased for Rarity.

"I hope you like it..." I gulped.

I wasn't entirely sure what to make of her reaction, in all honesty. She stared at the baby-blue tiara for quite some time, allowing it to rest in the box. Perhaps she did not wish to touch it for fear of getting hoofprints on the finish, but she must have sat there for a good minute staring into the milky gemstones as if lost in a different world. When she eventually snapped back to reality, she looked up at me and mouthed a small compliment. The box was closed moments later and pushed back behind her, to make way for her own revelation.

"A good friend of mine from outside Ponyville has sent me a birthday card," she said, grinning happily and using her magic to lift the envelope from the table, allowing it to rest on the floor in front of her. "It actually arrived a day or two ago, but, seeing as it's a birthday card, it would be simply unheard of to open it early." She seemed rather elated to witness whatever the card said. It was quite surprising to see her tear through the envelope, paper flying off in all directions. She took a deep breath and opened the card, two small little snippets of paper falling between her legs as she did. She gazed at them, and then back to the card, and then finally back towards the items. The card was passed around the circle, and I did my best to get my hooves on it as quickly as possible. I glanced it over several times, absorbing the words to the best of my ability.

"To my dearest Rarity,

I know that you told me not to concern myself, but I simply could not live with myself without providing you with a gift on your birthday. I remember that in passing you mentioned during a discussion recently that you wished to see the upcoming performance of the Symphony of Seven Paladins at the Royal Canterlot Hall, but that acquiring tickets was especially difficult. It just so happens that I have come into the possession of two tickets myself, and I was wondering if you would be kind enough to go with me? It would be a frightful bore without you.

Have a wonderful birthday~"

No name was provided, although there was some form of insignia; perhaps a Canterlot signature of some kind. I did not know what the icon denoted. I had seen the icon several times before, but only when receiving letters at my Aunt's Manor in my younger days. When I had been living there for my brief six-month stay after her untimely death, many ponies had sent letters to the home. Most of them were concerning matters of finance and land. Perhaps it was the fault of my youth, but after the letters began to flood through the door in mass, I began to allow them to pile up. One of the reasons why I left that place was because so many ponies had seemingly wished to make contact with my Aunt. It was quite saddening, really – couldn't her deceased memory be allowed peace and freedom from external inquiry?

Of the few letters that I did open, some were branded with the same seal that had been printed at the bottom of Rarity's card. I could only assume that it was something to do with some form of administrative power. It hadn't really been my concern until now. What did these ponies want with Rarity? I looked across to her; she was observing the tickets with absolute delight. "You're so lucky, Rarity!" Twilight announced. "I've always wanted to see the Symphony. They put it on at some smaller studios, but the card seems to suggest that you'll be watching it at the Royal Canterlot Hall!"

The Royal Canterlot Hall was the biggest and grandest theatre in Equestria. All of the greatest performances and pony-actors and actresses attended, making any production there an exclusive event reserved for the highest-profile ponies. I had not realised that Rarity had already made such influential contacts. It was quite scary how fast things had advanced for Rarity in less than a month. She certainly had not mentioned to me meeting any enormously powerful ponies since the printing of the article in the Rococo Report; the most that I had known of were business meetings with designers. I suppose Rarity was entitled to her privacy.

"Who are the tickets from?" I asked against my better judgement. She looked up at me, nonchalantly waving a hoof. "-Oh, just a friend."

"A rather wealthy friend," I commented, although she seemed to be more interested in the tickets than in my words.

The rest of the party went on as usual, although there was a noticeable absence of Rarity. She had retreated to her bedroom after thanking everyone, taking her gifts up with her. The tiara was included, so at least she hadn't entirely written it off. We deduced from her that the performance of the play would be in week's time, giving her plenty of time to prepare, as well as, she informed us, to focus on a meeting that she had arranged with a distributor in Canterlot a day before the play. Once again her schedule was filling up, it seemed. We would have to make the most of having her around for the next few days. I wanted to know who had sent her that card; which pretentious pony that only half-knew Rarity was doing his best to shut me out. I committed the insignia to memory and did my best to enjoy the remainder of Rarity's special day, but with her head in the clouds she appeared to be a thousand miles away.

1 Month, 23 Days

"Dear Miss Rarity,

We have not seen you of late. We were informed that you have been taken ill. This is most unfortunate and our hooves reach out to you. Please, write us a letter of response when it is appropriate.

Mr. Orange."


"Dear Miss Rarity,

Your absence has become a source of great sadness to us all. We have not yet received a response from our previous letter. Please, reply as soon as possible. We are all missing you terribly. Get well soon.

Mr. Orange."


"Dear Miss Rarity,

I personally visited your boutique to see how you are, but I must have missed you. The door was open, but I assume the pony within was one of your workers. He said that he would pass the message onto you that he would let you know that we desperately seek your immediate response. Unfortunately, one week has passed since this event, and we have still not received a letter of response from you. Please, should you read this, make it your top priority to provide some form of explanation for your absence.

Mr. Orange."



Where are you? Is it something that I've done? If you are fearful of engaging me on the subject, then I apologise profusely. I thought that our little situation had been put in the past and that we were ready to return to normal, but your behaviour of late has proven otherwise. I ask you with utter sincerity: please, respond to me. I miss you."

I sat reading over the latest letter once again. There was no name printed this time, but the handwriting appeared similar, as far as I could remember, to the previous letters. This 'situation' that the author spoke of seemed like something that I should shelter Rarity from. She didn't need that kind of stress from this Mr. Orange guy. I scanned the letter once more, my hooves fumbling over the paper, shaking slightly. He missed her. The big, corporate-loving, global-enterprising, married-with-children pony missed Rarity.

I missed her. I missed the Rarity that I had once known: the Rarity who spoke to me without hatred in her voice; the Rarity who didn't pretend to sleep just to avoid looking at me; the Rarity that had once welcomed me inside. My eyes lifted to the clock; it was time to get going. I'd been sitting in the dark far too long as it was. I placed my hooves down on the latest letter and applied weight, pulling both sides and tearing it down the middle. I then tore these two strands of paper in half once again, leaving four neat sections that were mostly indecipherable by themselves. One by one I dropped them into the bin, allowing them to drift into the identical mass within. My eyes caught on the final strand to be disposed of a few words that hadn't been ripped through. I felt nauseated and hurried from the boutique, ready to perform my routine inspection. And as I walked, my mind took to reflecting on Rarity's recent insipid behaviour.

"Is it something that I've done?"

You betcha.

The fifth of a large ten-part series detailing both the formation and eventual deformation of a strong relationship between Rarity and a kind stranger with the time to give to her. The story focuses on Rarity's fashion career, her rapidly deteriorating lifestyle and the difficulty of looking after a loved one in poor health.

A large inspiration for this story comes from the album Hospice, by The Antlers. I recommend everyone go and listen to that album - it is an incredibly touching concept, and the above artwork is modeled on the album cover.

Artwork courtesy of *polar59
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8-BitBrony Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hadn't picked this story up in a couple weeks because I've been sort of busy, but I just finished chapter V here and it's still a good read! The narrator is a real low-key douche bag, which I think is awesome. It takes a lot more subtlety and skill to write a character like that. For some reason, I envision Gazette as Robert Wuhl's character in the Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson Batman movie. Just the same, goofy reporter type, I guess.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2016
Thanks for the comment, buddy - do you find yourself liking or disliking the narrator's actions? After all, they're all done to protect Rarity, right?
8-BitBrony Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nah, he's a douche bag. Of course, the object of his affection is a pretty cold fish at times, too. Her reaction to his gift- or rather, her lack thereof- for example. I'm eager to see how it can get so bad as it was in previous chapters.
BeeAre Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012   Writer
Editor from the CRISIS: Equestria Team here. You heard your brain words right, we're an active team of around eight members editing the massive scale of our author's... idiosyncrasies from one of his ultimatums, if you will. He did one of the progenitor Twixie explorations, and so began a slowly growing team that has me functioning as its "Production Manager" of sorts for this next endeavor--the classical picaresque Heroes Journey, with the thematically pleasing concept of Evil Doppelgangers. I also write for Bleedman (a bit of a double-edged sword, that idea) and administrate Snafu Comics' forums, a subsidiary of Shark Robot. The merch company for Egoraptor and VGCats and the like. I bring up some credentials to make sure I'm not JUST blowing smoke.

Your Hospice here is regarded as one of the epitomes of personal characterization and sheer, precise, inevitable, sad, slow beauty in the fandom, make no mistake. I write to you in the comments here to mention the potential this idea to discuss an undertaking of writing potential, if you can bear with the idea that we do occasionally what might best be described as round-table discussions on fics' theming and framing for extremely precise conveyance. Not yet, I think. Months off. Maybe an entire year. I've not gotten through your wonderfully ephemeral and yet lasting fic here, and it hits me pretty hard, given that I've got a nice incurable disease, just a much slower one. I am particularly impressed by the non-linear progression, giving us a very Faulkner sort of meander through the tragedy. But your fury poignantly signifies something, I think, like Faulkner, despite the title to which I refer being named after a refutation of that concept. Yes, it's that good.

In particular, there is a fascinating detail right at the end of this particular chapter. I mention it now that I particularly enjoy it because it's what's gotten me to stand up and submit to you this supposition of cooperation. Our current work is the grand-scale world-building Hero Journey, with a dash of dimensional hopping--and we hope that we get to see the author who does the Sweetie Chronicles (wherein Sweetie Belle starts hoping through various fanons via multiverse theory) back for a cameo... Hope that Wanderer D is up for a relapse with Ganon. Wanderer D began the fic with Ganon's Of Mares and Magic. Intriguing, I think, for another engagement. Multiverse lets us do whatever we want to let worlds collide. Don't worry about me asking for any permissions to make any connections to your stories, no way, that would be outlandish and inappropriate for this and likely your other stories. Nuance lost. Can't have that. But at some point, I'd like to know if you'd be interested in some sort of endeavor with our team--another kind of story altogether, to be sure.

I digress. Fascinating detail. The reason for this ramble: the way you describe Rarity's behavior in the closing sentences is the name we gave her 'bad twin'. I can't help but notice it. The word is perfect.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012
Could you tell me what you're asking, exactly, in 100 words or less?
General-Che-Young Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Everything easily falls into place, but then more questions are brought up. What does Mr. Orange have to do with Rarity, on a personal matter? I must find out.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012
Ah, sadly, if you want to find out about the significance of Mr. Orange in Rarity's life, you'll have to read the spiritual successor to Hospice found here: [link]

It's in progress at the moment, but it promises to add a lot more to the foundations established in Hospice.
FredAFKTH Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Student General Artist
Another great chapter. I especially liked that you gave us answers (How did Rarity reacted to the gift, where did she get the tickets from the Symphony, but not from who), but left us with the bigger questions just being hinted and adding new elements (The narrator's answer to Gazette's question) and questions (Mr. Orange's letter = Great plot-twist). You hint she is unwell later on, even with Rarity saying it, the cause being unknown, leaving it so far on speculation. We see the obvious gaps in character development, and you give us chapters in between that helps the reader put pieces of the puzzle and speculate even more. Both protagonists seen incredibly dynamic, and yet, without loosing themselves as you had already brought them. You make them feel "real" and "human" (as real as talking ponies can be), making us wonder what made them change (specially the narrator in my opinion). There is much to be said and appreciated of this story to be put in a comment, but the general opinion is, Keep up the great work, I really look forward to chapter 6.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011
Another excellent comment - thank you very much!

The story constantly provides answers whilst raising new questions, so I'm glad that I'm succeeding there in keeping an audience guessing. In terms of the narrator's answer to Gazette's question, which answer do you mean? I'll be interested to assess that line with you.

I'm glad that you liked Mr. Orange's letters! His significance will be revealed a bit later on. I'm glad that you're enjoying both of the protagonists. There's a chapter coming up that, without spoiling too much, allows us to see things from a potentially different perspective.

You mention the narrator changing - how do you think he's changed? Again, I'll be interested to discuss that with you. Thanks again for the comment!
FredAFKTH Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Student General Artist
Gazzette asks: this really just some genuine act of kindness - some altruistic vision of selfless compassion - or are you expecting some form of return yourself?"
And the narrator responds: "Sometimes, just being there for somepony – giving without the necessity of getting something back – is worth more than money and fame."
In my opinion, he wasn't lying, you've hinted that he really is a good stranger, nevertheless, you also hint that he eventually falls for her. I'm guessing that his intention when she met Rarity was to help her shine, as he did, but, eventually, those feelings evolved into a sort of love ( I think so, specially after he feels so down for not being with Rarity and being over-protective).

As for my feeling of the narrator changing, I feel it's not an instant change, as seen in many movies or stories. It's a change that wavers back and forth as we see development, but, and that's thinking up until chapter 10, if we were to look at his first personality and his ending personality, there would be a notable change.
As to how he changes, well, I would create my response based on the prevous statement I made. I think he fell for Rarity, eventually, and that changed him into being always for her, even more than just helping her in the boutique, seeing as he lives with her later on. That made him selfless to a certain degree. He asked Gazette for help to make her famous. Then, he hated Manehattan, and still went only to buy a gift for Rarity. And events of being with her later on, as when they have a big fight, yet, around 9 days later, he's still over-protective. He changes in how he cares for Rarity.
Business>Personal>Over-protective. That's a big change, and certainly an important one.
Also, he changes in how he is self-aware. A the beginning, he didn't seem to care much about other's concerns, as explained when he was a little colt and he started to throw away the letters that he recieved about property, but he changes at the night of the Symphony when after the fight with Mr. Cross, this happens:

"Don't worry about coming in to help tomorrow," she said to me quickly. My heart sank, and before she could close the door I moved my hoof in the way, preventing her from shutting me out.

"Rarity, that's not fair," I said with a whine. "I'm sorry if I embarrassed you. I didn't mean to-"
Untile the end of the chapter. I removed it so the comment could be shorter.

In my opinion, he demostrates that he cares for Rarity's public image, and for the time they spend together, but also, and this is pure speculation, he starts to see how his own actions afect everything around him.

That's pretty much it, I really like how the story is flowing, and Mr. Orange's role will certainly affect the story, I really look forward to it.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011
Hey there! Sorry that this took me a while to get back to! I've been rather busy the past week or so. Anyhow! Yes, I think you are right in saying that the stranger eventually does fall for Rarity. It's subtle references to his language, but you've picked up on them well! I think it's great that you're familiar enough with the narrative to reference so many scenes! I think you are right in saying that he does indeed fall for her to an extent, and becomes over-protective as a result.

Your point about him concerning himself for Rarity's image is definitely correct, although there will always be some dispute over whether he cares for Rarity's career, or he just doesn't wish to upset her. The narrator's own actions do indeed start affecting everything, as you will see in the upcoming chapters.

Oh, and chapter 6 is now up (or will be in a few minutes when I upload it), so I would love to hear your feedback. It reveals quite a lot!
FredAFKTH Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Student General Artist
Don't worry about it.
Just 2 things on this comment:
I'm glad that I'm being able to capture the points of your story, that also talks greatly about the way you're narrating and writing.

And, I also read chapter 6 and left a comment. Sorry for it not being as helpfull as this one (in my opinion) but there is little to be left said, and a long day at work didn' help. Still, I really enjoyed the chapter.
Jundigon Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Student Writer
This next section transitions very nicely from the narrator being bright and hopeful to get Rarity mentioned in The Rococo Report, spiraling down into Rarity seeming to be a little desensitized by her developing lifestyle and starting to ignore our narrator, descending finally into the sad state of affairs that reveals to us what it was our narrator had disposed of a few sections back.

I liked Gazette's character - from his name, which most definitely could be on the real show, to his fun-loving personality. Sounds like the kind of person I would personally get along with quite well. :)

The position our narrator has now been placed in is starting to really drive home its emotional weight. Initially from previous sections, it could have been argued that he was, more or less, acting like an apathetic jerk, at least towards the end. Here, his actions are more understood. He had invested so much time, energy and even money into helping Rarity fulfill her dreams of becoming a famous fashion designer. Once Rarity starts getting too busy to notice him, and he's getting brushed aside by more high-standing ponies, he feels betrayed, hurt, and angry.

By now, I think it would be quite possible to argue that the narrator did eventually take quite a shine to Rarity, exemplified by him willing to sacrifice facets of his own life - chiefly his money - in an attempt to make her happy, which is what he ultimately wanted. Feeling confused and abandoned by the one he cared about, he eventually started drifting back into his shell devoid of positive emotion, which he had been struggling to lift since he first began helping this unique and visionary unicorn out.

Another excellent chapter, keep it up! :iconrarityishappyplz:
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011
Mhm, the narrator's revelation that he's been tearing up Rarity's letters serves as a suitable halfway point, I believe, as it shows a potentially protective side to him, but also a rather possessive one. It's not just Rarity experiencing a break-down during the later points of the narrative, so I'm glad you've observed that.

Gazette is a nice pony. He's not a major character by any means, but he will be getting at least one more line of dialogue before the end, so keep an eye out for that. On the subject of the narrator, I'm glad that you're seeing his side of the story here in terms of how he is becoming increasingly alienated from Rarity. You're really picking up on the cyclical nature of his personality, so well done there! Thanks for the comment!
Jundigon Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Student Writer
No problem! I'm glad that I'm being successful in many of my analytical theories about your story. It's a hobby I love doing whenever I read, because it helps me stay sharp and creative whenever I write my own work.

The flaws in the characters are, to me, one of the biggest draws to this particular story. This is very much a character-driven narrative, and one I very much respect. I love, love, love characters, and their personalities and interactions are quite important to me as a fellow writer, and I offer my congratulations at making these characters feel and move through a well-crafted storyline. :D
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
Flawed characters are always more realistic and believable than the sort that don't cave in at all. It makes them much more interesting when you can see a dark side to a character who may have at first appeared faultless.
Jundigon Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Student Writer
I completely agree, especially when once you see flaws in a character, it becomes interesting to see if they manage to overcome, or not. :D
TurkeySM Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I really like this part of the story. But then again, I really like all the parts of this story. Tahaha! Well, you wrote spectacularly once again, and I'm pleased to see the developments that you have established in this section. I liked Gazette's character; he reminds me of Pinkie Pie with his constant energy while his more flirtatious traits are enjoyable to see as well. He's a big contrast from Mr. Cross, haha. Hmm...I think it's funny how the narrator has a little pudge. It helps me imagine how he looks. And while I'm on the narrator, I love seeing how protective he gets over Rarity throughout the months, and I like how it can be seen as both platonic care and romantic jealousy at the same time. The Mr. Orange part is also a very interesting matter; I can't wait to see how that turns out. I also liked that little bit where Rarity's age wasn't put on the birthday cake, as that keeps the ambiguity and in-universe politeness present; I thought that was rather neat. Lastly, that reference to "Art of the Dress" made my brony heart warm up.

Of course, there were a couple of things that I noticed that seemed a little off, at least to me. For Rarity's surprise birthday, you don't mention Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. I don't know if that was your intention, but if you intended to never have them there, perhaps you might want to make a note that they're busy or elsewhere. I also have to apologize here if I spoil anything for you, but the latest episode had a moment where Rarity went to ask Twilight for some fashion books. With that, I don't necessarily think that Rarity would disregard Twilight's present, seeing as how she canonically does have a use for texts regarding fashion. Of course that also might have been your intention, since it's how the narrator sees it and not how Rarity views the presents. Hmm, besides those two things, I think the piece was perfect, as usual of course!

Before I forget, I saw your first four sections on Equestria Daily. That made me rather giddy for some reason. Well, I hope the fame of this story might spread, as you most certainly deserve much recognition for your works of art! Hmm, I would say that you have the art of the pen! Ok, you can throw bricks at me now...
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011
Thanks for the feedback! Being featured on Equestria Daily was great, so I'm glad that you noticed that! I was really surprised that they put it up so soon! I'm glad that you have taken a shine to Gazette, as well. He has another small role to play in the narrative a bit later on, so keep an eye out for that. The narrator's feelings for Rarity are certainly difficult to pinpoint, so I'll keep you guessing on if he's actually fallen in love with her, or really just a kind stranger. The lack of an age on the cake was mentioned in a previous chapter as well, so I'm glad you picked up on that. And yay, you also got the "Art of the Dress" reference - great job!

To address your concerns: the one thing to remember when reading this is that it's all from the perspective of a narrator who only really cares about Rarity. The fact that he only mentions two gifts doesn't mean that that is all she received; it's just all that he chose to really observe. I could have added a sentence where Fluttershy and Dash gave presents, but it wouldn't have added anything to the narrative. From AJ and Twilight's gifts, we can see that he views them as inferior to his own; anything else would merely build upon what those two gifts have already told us, and therefore they were excluded. The absence of them from his thought process is deliberate. If you care to know why, here is a slight spoiler -


Twilight has some effect on the narrator insofar as she is his reason for meeting Rarity, and so she registers in his mind. AJ, on the other hand, is also a pony that he observes because of Mr. Orange's involvement. Pinkie, on the other hand, is to be explained a bit later on.


As for your comment on Rarity's book, here is the line:

It wasn't something that Rarity could wear, and so I predicted that her appreciation of it would be somewhat diminished.

He predicted that she wouldn't appreciate it. That doesn't mean that she doesn't appreciate it. It's only what he thinks as the narrator, not necessarily what is the truth. I wouldn't take anything that the narrator says without at least a bit of scepticism; he has a rather overt vested interest when it comes to what he observes.

Thank you very much for the feedback as always! I love reading your comments.
TurkeySM Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I see, I see. I forgot about the unreliable narrator possibilities, how silly of me! But I do thank you for your responses; I feel that I learn how to be a better reader when I look over them. I guess, in a sense, that I love reading your responses hopefully as much as you love reading my comments. And you went and spoiled something just for me! I feel so special, ta ha ha! As always, I will earnestly wait for the next installment.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
I'm deliberately making the chapters require a lot of in-depth reading, so I thank you for sticking with them and observing them to the extent that you are. I look forward to seeing your responses to part 6 when it's up!
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