FimFiction Link - Short ID: 514189/ghost-town
Published: Apr '22
'Ghost Town' is a one thousand and eight hundred-word oneshot. Twilight moves to Ponyville, but soon after she settles in the town begins to shrink.
It's a great shame that the story is this short. The concept itself - though seen before - is great. Even though the pacing is breakneck, the initial few letters convey a sense of unease nicely. The story follows the events of the first few episodes of S1, but things play out just a slightly differently and suddenly more and more ponies start disappearing, without anyone realizing this. Had this been done over the course of a few ten-thousand words, this would be a great source of horror. Imagine ponies trying to live their life like nothing happened, until the cognitive-dissonance snaps and panic breaks out.
However, due to the story's length, what we get instead is one letter where everything is fine, one where Twilight asks about the previous librarian (I do like this detail, it's a pretty clever tie-in to the show,) and then, during the last three letters, things just go off into the deep end extremely quickly with little buildup. The final letter itself ends in the textual equivalent of a jumpscare through a cheap "OhNOtheMonStErIsEaTInGSoMEpoNY"-esque line.
What makes me particularly bitter about this story is that the author clearly displayed signs of being able to convey subtletly and creating a slow boiling plot, but then the fic does a 180 and slams the proverbial door in the reader's face. It just feels a bit disappointing.
Overall: 4/10 It kind of feels like I'm reading a very short summary of 'A Fleeting Light in The Darkness.' I like almost everything I've read in this story (except for the "jumpscare", ) but there is simply not enough content here to make the horror effective for me. Can't really recommend.