/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

Pray Tell: Who Inscribed All These Bollocks Upon The Walls?

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 511385/pray-tell-who-inscribed-all-these-bollocks-upon-the-walls

Published: Feb '22

Review in No. 38184419
'Pray Tell: Who Inscribed All These Bollocks Upon The Walls?' is, besides being a mouthful, a two thousand and seven hundred-word comedy oneshot. Celestia likes to draw dicks on the walls of Canterlot castle. A lot of them.
You know, while I do find jokes in fics funny, I don't usually laugh at most comedy stories. This fic is a shining exception. But what's more shocking is that, despite what you'd expect from a story about Sunhorse drawing dicks, it's also a fic that's absolutely heartfelt and doesn't shy away from making the reader feel warm inside. Celestia's attempts at reconnecting with Luna was genuinely sweet and frankly adorable. And then, in the middle of this solemn and almost ceremonial scene, full of flowery speech and pathos, which almost makes the reader forget about the story's title and description, the author suddenly drops a crass dick joke. Usually, this'd be the moment I go "while I liked the beginning of the story this moment ruined things for me," but - against all odds - here it works just so fucking well. I attribute this to two things: One, the joke works because it teases the reader themselves, as if the author was asking "This is a story about drawing dicks, what did you expect?" but what seals the deal is the fact that this doesn't break the story's stride. Quite the contrary, it plays right into what the scene was building up to. What's more the story never stops delivering its punches once this happens and aside from the very first joke - which in itself is still very well-executed by being framed as a method of characterization for the teacher - none of them are just "dicks are funny," there is always something more to it.
I also have to bring attention to the following quote:
>once as youngsters, capped off with a “surprise” visit from the monarch herself
That one little sentence is a great example at conveying a lot with very little. The story doesn't stop to push this in the reader's face or make a big thing out of it, but this was the point for me when I knew I'm in for a good time.
There isn't really any negatives I could bring up, except for a nitpick, that pretty much resolves itself by the end of the story anyways. During the scene transition I was under the impression that the talk between Celestia and Luna happened in the relative past, compared to the class trip. So when the scene switches back and the events of the latter affect the former, I felt very confused for a second. I pieced things together quickly and afterwards it was obvious how things are, but I think perhaps adding a line like "meanwhile in the throneroom..." to convey that the two events are happening simultaneously would have helped the flow.
Overall: 8/10 I never expected to be so touched by horses drawing penises, nor to ever write these words down in this order. Highly recommended.