FimFiction Link - Short ID: 502826/brnd-hestend
Published: Jan '22
'Brønd Hesteånd' is an eight thousand and five hundred-word oneshot. After Fluttershy's bear is found suffering from a mysterious illness, she sets off to investigate the Everfree, finding a creature of legends.
One of the things I like best about this fic is its narrative arc. It starts out as saccharine as one would expect from Fluttershy, only to progressively become more and more foreboding as she ventures deeper into the forest, culminating in the encounter with the being. To be fair, this isn't really a horror story, as despite the creature's unsettling appearance and some minor shocking moments, the author makes it clear fairly quickly that this is more of a fairly lighthearted story about FS "taming" the beast with her soft insistence. I really enjoyed the way the creature is presented, its description put a clear image in my mind and I would say it's fairly menacing if only it didn't act like a shy dog in this story. I also liked the part about Twilight reading the book entry about the creature to FS, who then promptly corrects every mistake the article makes. I just wish the author went even further with it. I think it could have been a good source of comedy that the old ponies really over-exaggerated everything and while the creature is somewhat dangerous, they really blew it out of proportions. As it stands, I still enjoyed this part, it just felt like a bit of a missed opportunity.
My biggest issue with the story was that it was a bit too, well, easy I guess for Flutters to "save the day." The creature drops its deathstare far too quickly and after that the tension is basically gone for the rest of the fic. It never really acts again in a way that could seem dangerous. Twilight immediately accepts that FS wants to take it in. Angel's surprisingly okay with sharing a home with a mythological horror. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea that she can find common ground with literally any being, but I feel like despite the story's length, it happened way too fast and without the necessary "complications." Perhaps she could have used the Stare on it and upon noticing that the creature is in pain, stopping, causing it to realize that FS isn't there to hurt it. Also I found the ending fairly lukewarm. While I understand why the author ended things where they did, there is just not much that really happens. The scene with the creature getting to sleep in the cottage is cute, but it leaves things completely hanging. I'd almost say it's sequel-bait, but I'm not actually sure the author intends to write one. Finally, some sentences felt pretty hard to read. I'm not sure if the issue is with me, but I had to read some parts twice or thrice to understand their meaning.
Overall: 6/10 A nicely-written fic, with an interesting concept, held back a bit by rushing. Can recommend.