FimFiction Link - Short ID: 512979/alive-until-sunrise
Published: Mar '22
'Alive Until Sunrise' is a four thousand and three hundred-word oneshot. Rainbow flies west on her last day alive.
The author doesn't hide the fact that they are ESL and this can really be felt in the story. The fic features odd wordings and weird sentences, which threw me a bit off balance, but if one can overlook these, its actual narrative is nicely melancholic and the author put effort into making the prose varied.
I admit I didn't understand what the story was going for at first as the story starts in medias res, but before I could get too frustrated a flashback explains everything nicely. I have to say, I really liked Discord's characterization in this fic. At first I found him very out of character due to how abrasive he was, but, after it's made clear that he's still grieving over Fluttershy, it made sense that he's not really in the joking around mood, even though he does joke around a little. I also enjoyed how Rainbow copes with her own mortality or rather how she doesn't, and instead spends her last day celebrating her success and passions until the very last second, when she finally makes peace with death. As predictable as it was, it was still a pretty touching scene when, just after she told herself she's done and ready, she immediately reconsiders and flies off to challenge the Sun itself. The ending acted as a fitting catharsis to the rising tension in the story as well.
As for negatives, I only really have a few things to say. For one, an editor would have probably done this story good. Also while I did enjoy Discord's portrayal, him saying "if I'm serious even Death can't defy me" but then talk about how Chaos can't defy itself and he's implied to be unable to stop Rainbow from dying felt a bit illogical. Finally I didn't really like how Rainbow reminisces about her life in Ponyville, she complains about basically being cooped in for her entire life, instead of spending her time exploring, but that sort of implies she valued her friends less than flying. I understand what the author was going for and it really is just probably an issue of unfortunate phrasing, but it makes her come off as far colder than she should be, especially being the Element of Loyalty.
Overall: 5/10 Though I cannot say the story left a very deep impression in me, it's still a quaint little sadfic, that I can recommend if you don't mind a few odd lines and familiar tropes.