/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

A Mare and a Snail

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 507774/a-mare-and-a-snail

Published: Nov '21

Review in No. 37891732
'A Mare and a Snail' is a one thousand and four hundred word oneshot featuring a nameless, faceless and immortal OC and the eponymous snail. As the creature finally catches up to the protagonist, she breaks down in a one-sided dialogue about her deeds and regrets before declaring her acceptance of death.
I admit, I'm not a massive fan of this meme. Though I did enjoy some of the videos that hammed up the interactions between the immortal and the snail, the format very much acts in a way where, if you have seen one of these memes, you've seen all of them. With this in mind you shouldn't expect to see anything new when you click on this fic. The immortal OC rants a while to the snail, listing her wild escapades, crazy adventures and finally her regrets, before, as the Sun's supernova is just reaching them, the snail is implied to catch up to her and end her life. What made me want to write about this fic, instead of dismissing it out of hand, are two things:
The first is that the author's skill in prose shines through despite the concept keeping a choke-hold on the story. It still isn't the highest peaks of writing, nor does this mean that there aren't any problems with it, (for instance bringing up a list of achievements which all sound way more exciting than what's happening in the fic is a classic problem,) but the protag's interactions with her sister were sweet and imbued a surprising amount of character to someone who only appears for five sentences or less. Similarly the OC's attempts at impeding the snail were at least amusing enough to keep my attention. I also enjoyed the one-sided dialogue aspect of the story, the usage of ellipses works nicely to both separate the paragraphs and give us a visual clue to how slow the snail crawls.
The second thing that grabbed my attention was how at first I thought the narrator was actually Twilight. I suppose "[letting her] live on easy street for the rest of [her] life" could have tipped me off even before the OC mentioning her sister dispelled all doubts, but it didn't. When Celestia's funeral was brought up I was convinced that our favorite purple horse struck a Faustian-bargain, she really was not prepared for. Then the fic did a one-eighty and I was left successfully bait-and-switched.
Still, even with these positives, the fic suffers from its choice of topic. I don't really feel for this OC because all her adventures happened off-screen. Her outliving alicorns could be an interesting concept, but hardly anything is done with it. Other than, of course, to attempt to tug at our heartstrings by listing the deaths of a bunch of characters we actually care about. This entire fic feels like the epilogue to a story we never got to read.
Overall: 3/10 The author's prose valiantly tries to prop this story up, but its unfortunate concept and mediocre execution leaves much to be desired. Can't recommend.