Night had fallen in the Everfree Forest, and around me I could feel dozens of pairs of eyes watching me in the dark shadows of the trees and bushes. I kept up my pace, moving as quickly as I could among the chaotic and wildly overgrown foliage. With only a simple lantern lighting the way and scaring off the creatures lurking in the darkness, I wasn't certain if I was heading the right way, or deeper and deeper into danger.
At last, the trees and bushes parted and opened up to a familiar gorge, with a wrecked rope bridge draped down one side of the cliff-face. On the other side of the sheer drop, I could see the spooky remains of the Old Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. I checked to make sure my saddlebags were secure, bit down harder on the lantern's handle so that I wouldn't drop it, and carefully unfurled my wings. A ghostly rendition of Pinkie's sing-song advice echoed in my mind, "You can make it if you try with a hop, skip, and jump!"
I felt my focus shatter and I slumped down onto my haunches. Tears began to form in my eyes, and I tried to blink them back, only to hear a distant shout of Rainbow Dash saying "Suck it up, Fluttershy!" which was the final straw.
I dropped my lantern onto the grass in front of me, and buried my face in my hooves, sobbing. I couldn't do this, not without my friends. I had not seen them ever since I woke up in a train wreck hundreds of miles away from home. Ponyville was a ghost town, my cottage was too dangerous to go back to, and I had seen not a single pony over the past week. And now I was in the middle of the Everfree Forest in pitch darkness after being chased by a terrifying Diamond Dog with massive claws. I should have tried going to different town, or Zecora's hut, rather than wandering deeper into the Everfree Forest, but I thought of the ruins first, and went here without a second though. It was too late to do turn around, now, it was too dark to stay outside any longer.
I heard growling behind me, and I leapt up onto my hooves and whirled around to face the source of the sound. I heard another growl, this time closer, followed by the beats of something running towards me. I didn't waste another second to grab my lantern and jump into the air, pumping my wings as hard as I could just as Timberwolves came charging out of the bushes, snarling and leaping after me, just barely falling short of catching me in their jaws. I flew over to the other side of the gorge, dropped down to the ground and kept on running. I heard the wolves howl, spurring me to run fast. I was sure that they couldn't jump across, but I wasn't going to wait and find out for certain.
I galloped up the mossy steps and forced one of the heavy wooden doors at the top open, I squeezed in the gap between the two doors, and pushed the door shut once I was inside, dropping the moss-covered bar into place and locking the door. I stepped away from them, making sure that they were truly secure, and then spun around to check for any other ways the literal woodland creatures could get in. There were windows with missing glass, but the ledges were too high for the Timberwolves to reach. Once I was sure that I was safe for the time being, I slowly sat myself down and put the lantern I still had in my mouth on the floor. I gave myself a few minutes to dried away the last of the tears still in my eyes, and waited until I stopped shaking in fright.
I picked my lantern up and started roaming through the dark hallways of the Old Castle, the place where my friends and I defeated Nightmare Moon oh so long ago. In spite of the time that had passed, being here made it feel like it had only happened a few days ago. I walked slowly, and found myself walking into a large room, probably the highest room left standing in the ruins. This was the Throne Room, the exact place where Twilight faced off against Nightmare Moon alone, and stood her ground long enough for the rest of us to find her.
I walked up to the remains of the pedestal that the throne once sat on - long since left discarded off to the side of the room to rot for a millennium - and sat on my haunches near the first step. I gazed over the vast space, remembering the showdown that took place here. It must have been terrifying to have been alone with Nightmare Moon. She was bigger, far more powerful, and very dangerous to everypony. But Twilight didn't run away, in spite of the odds, she did all she could to protect the Elements of Harmony, it was the only chance we had to defeat Nightmare Moon, after all, and we were lucky to have found Twilight when we did.
I blinked as a thought crossed my mind. I was fighting a losing battle alone, too. And no more than ten minutes ago did I consider giving up. I couldn't do that to Twilight, I couldn't just give up because things were looking bleak. I owed that to Twilight, to all of them. I had to hang in there.
I rested my head down to sleep, and promised myself that everything would be okay.
View all the artwork in the Survivor Shy Gallery! [link]
To celebrate the start of another year, I've finally got a new scene to upload, AND a brand new chapter for Survivor Shy to release! So be sure to check out FimFiction to read the story there!
I had fun drawing this one, everything, except for the Timberwolves, seemed to just come together without any hassle. I went completely freehand on this one, rather than using the lineart tool to make insanely crisp lines and edges, because, believe it or not, I actually take twice as long to even draw a line close to how I want it to be when using the lineart tool, whereas just using the pen takes no time to do, and editing is easier for me.
I wanted to make a new image to replace the now-obsolete scene "The Old Castle" [link] since the artwork for that was old, and it was terrible (The perspective sucked). So in this piece, I originally wanted to draw a new angle for Fluttershy walking in the Castle, but since I also wanted to include some perspective, I saw an opportunity to draw a partner image that used some perspective in its shot, where it was more appropriate. So, not only do we get a nice scene of her in the Castle, there's also an action shot from moments before that we didn't see before, but really should have.
Now then, as usual, I'd love to hear your feedback, both for the art and the story. I do enjoy wild mass guessing and long comments, because I'm a chatterbox, myself. Just look at this description, it's full of rambling.
Aww man, it's been a while since I commented! I don't recall if I changed my username before or after I first started watching you, but I used to be AnnaKatlena1. And I had a different avatar then, too. Idk if you remember me; I gave a little critique on a chapter a good while back during the summer, I believe.
I'm so sorry that I haven't commented since; I always meant to but rarely found the time thanks to college courses—and now here I am about to start yet another semester! Break was too short...
Enough about me. I liked this chapter a lot! Memories of cheerful friends making Shy break down really broke my heart; wonderfully executed there. Then, her memories (specifically of Twi and Nightmare Moon's battle) inspire her to keep going.
I just noticed there may be potential to bring in something interesting here, if you haven't seen it already: how her memories are both detrimental and supportive. Shy's memories can either drive her and give her strength, or remind her of her losses and weaken her—given the situation. There could be tension and even clashing between the two possibilities, good and bad, and it may torment her emotionally and psychologically. How does it affect her struggle to find the strength to journey on? Will she even begin to dread thinking about her friends, since it might cause her to stumble in a moment of weakness? Imagine that it must reach a breaking point; maybe Shy must find her resolve in one way or another: believe in her friends, or accept a new life, move on, and start anew. (Will she succeed or fail in what she chooses?! ) Maybe exploring this might give you an interesting turn of events! Or maybe I'm just over-thinking things wayyy too much, yet again. You don't have to take me seriously It's your story, write what makes you happy!
Oh, and I have one itty-bitty critique. Really, it's very small: when Fluttershy enters the ruins. I know ruins were mentioned; just want to clarify, is that what she entered? I don't know how close the ruins are, but it just seemed to me that the steps sort of appeared out of nowhere... maybe include something like how she pushed herself further and further—where are the ruins?—then, There they are! I can imagine her heart skipping a beat when she realizes that she's coming right up on safety's doorstep. IDK; what do you think?
Oh! Happy (belated) New Year to you; I hope 2013 treats you wonderfully. And congratulations on having this featured in FimFiction! I certainly think Survivor Shy deserves a lot of attention
It's probably the main internal conflict of the story, Fluttershy trying to balance acknowledging the disaster and her natural, instinctual response to loss (to put it scientifically), with her hope and determination that drives her to look her reality in the eye and work to change it back the way it used to be. On the one hoof, she's got the world around her saying that she cannot undo what has happened, and that she is deluding herself. On the other, she has a belief that she has a chance - if a slim one or an imagined one - to find the truth behind the disaster, and discover a way to make things right again.
If she refuses to accept her new life in pursuit of her wish to restore Equestria, she also refuses to accept the death, metaphoric or otherwise, of her friends. This all leads to her grief being left unresolved, and growing doubts to fester as time goes on. If it turns out that she is wrong, the world will come crashing down on her so hard that she likely wouldn't come back from it.
If she accepts post-disaster Equestria to be her new home, and that she is the only pony left in existence. She will eventually stop grieving, and adapt to her new life. With her past no longer haunting her, she would not be likely to fall prey to danger and risk losing her mind at the worst moment. Basically, while it's a bleak life ahead of her, it's also the least risky. But if it turns out that she was wrong to give up, and realises it, she would start self-loathing pretty badly, her reaction would be far more severe if it's too late by the time realises her mistake, because then, in her mind, she is now the one responsible for the complete destruction of Equestria - since she did nothing about it.
It's a conundrum in a way. Neither option has the best set of advantages or chance of best possible outcome. Fluttershy cannot commit herself to either one, and so her goals often have different motives behind them, up until she finally commits and her goals change.
I'll respond to both with this comment! And sorry that it's late; college is top priority and it sucks up all my time...
These story lines are really good and well thought out. Having a Catch-22 usually has a good success rate and can turn out some of the best stories, if handled with care. I've really got nothing else to add, although that part about Spike choosing a path was really interesting. I haven't read much Survivor Shy yet so I don't know, but it seems like he's matured a lot. I can give you some advice in psychology, although again, IDK how educated you are in that field. If you would kindly bear with me for a moment... Studies show that when pushed to a stressful situation, we tend to revert back to our natural-born responses to situations, and not so much the ones that are learned by nurture/environment. A study with baby monkeys showed this: the baby of an anxious mother and the baby of a calm, laid-back mother were swapped. How much behavior was hereditary, and how much was learned? Before swapping, they had an examination to see how the babies reacted to certain touches and sounds. The baby of the anxious mother flipped out, and the other was calm. After swapping and waiting for a while, there were noticeable changes in behavior. The anxious baby was more out-going and calm, and the laid-back one often stayed near the mother. But when that same examination was conducted again, with the same noises and touches, the babies each reacted the same way as the first time: the anxious one freaked out again, just like the first time. So the tendency shows that in stressful situations (or perceived to be stressful), one can revert back to hereditary nature and respond that way. For Flutters, the strength of the Mane 6's friendship was particularly strong, so it might take a rather extreme predicament to get her to lose herself and revert back to the way she was before meeting her friends.
IDK, just something to stir the pot a little Out of curiosity, how much study do you have in psychology? I enjoy talking about it a lot. I just have a minor in it (plus some personal study on the side), but my teachers were exceptionally good and taught well, so it's more than just a minor to me
Nice stuff to know there. I've kind of known for a while that people rarely "rise to the occasion" but rather fall back to instincts in emergencies. Though I learned of it through examples and through other sources - such as a driving handbook explaining that humans fall back onto their training when faced with an accident, so to prevent an accident, a person has to have decent training to fall back onto.
It's probably not the exact same thing, but it is in the same vein. By becoming familiar and experienced in avoiding accidents and other emergency manoeuvres, a driver shall find themselves less likely to completely freeze up in an emergency. It's that sort of logic that carries over to Fluttershy in the story. The more time she spends in high-risk situations (and survives), the more she shall adapt.
To put a simple example out there, Fluttershy at the start of Survivor Shy still has her great fear of Dragons, and she chooses to flee from them every time she sees them. But as the story progresses, Fluttershy becomes less likely to flee in a blind panic if a Dragon flies over, and eventually grows brave enough to stay rational and confront Spike while he is fueled by Dragon Greed.
Of course, all of this recently-acquired experience can be shattered by a long-seated issue, if it gets the chance to harm her.
Hehe, yeah, I adore studying psychology. Those are definitely along the same lines! Speaking of becoming familiar with certain situations... in other one I found particularly interesting, people were seated in the cabin of a plane and smoke began pouring in (it was a controlled experiment where the subjects did not know there would be smoke). All the people went quiet and didn't move, instead of heading to the exits. So the theory is that when faced with new info that most are unprepared for, the brain sort of freezes up while processing the new info. You could call it a "deer-in-headlights" reaction, so to speak. I hate saying it, but this is known to happen to rape victims and victims of other such crimes as well.
But I think Shy's general timidity of the world around her makes her more prone to running as her reaction—which means she's more prepared to react with action rather than freezing up. So that growth in the bravery of her responses is definitely appropriate! Unless, of course, she comes face to face with something truly extreme...
First, I noticed the threads on /b/ back in Feb '11. At first, I thought it was another troll post. But after a few days of pony threads always being on the first page, I decided to view the threads to see what was going on. It was interesting watching the standard /b/ crowd freaking out while the fans were pretty much minding their own business or responding with kind words. I still didn't buy any of it as a serious thing, but I started saving the pony reaction images for trolling in the future.
Then, a few days after Pinkie Keen aired, I started reading these posts of people sharing their thoughts on the episode (and freaking out over Derpy). I started to realise that people were seriously watching this show and making notes - and they were part of /b/. A guy started streaming the first few episodes while I was in the thread, and I took the opportunity to be introduced to the actual show.
First episode was all right. I instantly liked Rainbow Dash because she wasn't some braggart who couldn't live up to her boasts, and wasn't a typical girl character. I found the introduction of Nightmare Moon to be interesting, and I was a bit surprised to find myself anxious to see part two - who would've thought I'd be eager to watch an episode of My Little Pony?
The second part was played next in the stream. When Pinkie started singing, and the other ponies looked on like she was nuts, I pretty much kicked back from my desk and said to myself that I really like this show. It was self-aware of girly tropes, and it was not only doing something different, but it was also lamp-shading them as it passed them.
By the end of the episode, I felt like I had had some real fun. The third episode came on, and while it was a simple plot that everybody has seen before, I found myself enjoying it because the jokes were good. When the fourth episode came around, I knew I was completely sold on the show.
I pretty much watched all fifteen episodes, except for Call of the Cutie (the guy streaming didn't like the episode at the time because it wasn't about the Mane Six), in two days. I watched Sonic Rainboom the day it aired, which made Rainbow Dash my favourite character for a year solid, before being dethroned by Fluttershy.
Before "The Great Pony War", which was when there were mass bannings of pony threads all over 4chan by lame moderators, I became a regular lurker in the pony threads. I'd also start up new threads to keep the conversations going (eventually adopting a handle and trip just for starting threads, when it became an issue where anonymous threads would be deleted by the trolling OPs). I wasn't completely crazy over ponies back then, but it was something that made me happy and have fun. After the fandom was forced from 4chan, I stopped browsing imageboards and started lurking on EqD. Nowadays I lurk on Derpibooru and Tumblr.
I found your story to be really interesting! I'm not on 4chan, but that 'Great Pony War' caught my attention. Why on earth would moderators take down harmless ponies? I'm about to go look it up and see what happened, ha! And I find myself agreeing with the points you made. It's not just some money-making franchise like some say (although I'm aware that companies are always interested in cashing in). There was actual thought and care that went into the creation and development of the show.
My own initiation into the series as a fan was pretty similar. A friend on dA was talking about it, and after seeing a number of other people conversing about the show I figured I'd watch a few episodes and see what the hubbub was all about.
I went to the website and honestly, it was the character design that got me hooked. I saw the ponies on the home page and loved how they looked and made me feel. I hadn't even watched any videos yet. I'm the type who gets instinctive "red flags" or "green flags" (that's what I call them) at first sight and I have a good idea of whether I'll like something or someone. Sometimes I worry that I'm being judgmental, but my instincts have almost never failed me. I got a massive green flag when I saw the ponies for the first time. It's a funny show, and it somehow calms my anxiety. That's a pretty big deal.
One of my favorite things is the character development, and how they have struggles and flaws like everyone else—realistic ones, at that. Moreover, they each actually struggle with their own Element of Harmony. They all have the potential for good and bad. Fluttershy is kind, but to a fault and had to go through a learning process on how not to be a doormat. Applejack had to challenge herself to be honest and accept help when she needed it rather than allow her pride and hard-working nature to wear her down. Rarity had to learn generosity, too, and still can be seen as quite selfish at times.
We're selfish by nature and these virtues are all things that are learned. That's something that this show embodies well, in my opinion. That, and it's a ridiculously cute show.
I don't really have a favorite... it shifts freely between all ponies except Applejack and Pinkie Pie (not that I don't like them, of course). I will say I have a special place in my heart for Cadence She's like Twilight's big sister. I've always wanted to be a big sister so I connected strongly with that. Most people think having little brothers or sisters is terrible, but I disagree. Perhaps it's because my own two brothers were so wonderful with me.
Now, I do have some fanfiction of my own being processed so to speak, but it will be a while before anything is posted. There's also a humanized-Celestia digital drawing in the works right now! If only college classes would let up!
Sorry I seem to have forgotten about you, but I'm glad another long-commenter has joined the party. It's nice to get in depth comments and be able to see things how others see them.
I'll be walking through the chapters this afternoon to correct issues and improve it all in general, so I'll be sure to revise the part about the ruins both here and on fimfiction.
As you have noticed, Spike appears in the story and has moments where he is thinking things over after what has happened. At some point, Spike reaches the decision you talked about and picks a path. Fluttershy, however spends a vast majority of the story switching between clinging onto the blind hope that she can find a way to fix things, and acknowledging the cold, hard evidence against her
Guess what guys! I'm
reopening my stores
(Etsy and Storenvy)
and commissions, I
can finally announce
that I'm getting
married and I need
to save as much as
possible for the big
day, July 27th.
before anyone asks,
the wedding is not
been planning it for
a long time...
away time is back
:D! This time I've
got 1500pts to give
away c:The last
giveaway was really
well received so I'm
doing another! After
the way the last one
panned out, one
thing I would like
to remind you guys
of is to PLEASE
PLEASE follow the
guidelines so you
can be properly...
Sorry, I can't
believe it's been so
long since I've done
this "orzEdit: I
forgot, but my
friend here's having
it's about your
with your favourite
food. It can be your
own character or
mmkay like 2
people asked me this
after I held my
giveaway T U T im
sorry I didn't give
you a direct and
easy to understand
answer but... I hope
this will be better
than the answer i
gave you two XD I
wont note you back
but i hope you will
see the journal ; A
;I've also had
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More