FimFiction Link - Short ID: 515278/cilp
Published: Oct '22
'CiLP' is a three thousand and two hundred word oneshot. Twilight gets stuck in the Backrooms.
Though it is pretty much baby's first creepypasta, I'm quite fond of the basic idea of the Backrooms. Just infinite mazes of mundane rooms and liminal spaces, where the horror comes not from some monster or anything else, but the sheer maddening quality of such a place. Sadly this story has none of the tact necessary to convey this.
The prose is full of oddities. Tense mistakes, word-repetitions, weird phrasings, you name it. To the fic's credit, there was nothing I couldn't understand, but the whole thing felt sloppy and a chore to read, which is especially a problem since the story tries to depict horror, which requires strong immersion. Also the very first line opens with LUS or in this case "Purple dragon baby" syndrome, which I found really amusing. I suppose it does a superficial job of depicting the Backrooms as a vaguely threatening place, but not nearly to an extent I'd call good.
The story itself isn't much better either sadly. Spike gets a toothache:
>“Do I have to go to the doctor Twilight?” He whines, not wanting to go out again, but knowing he needs to be checked up by someone if he was going to continue being in the same condition as before he was born.
And when Twilight takes him to the doctor, she accidentally collapses into a wall due to exhaustion which takes her to the Backrooms. There she bumbles around for a while, before stumbling upon the journal of one Lawrence, another pony who got stuck, but not before seeing a ridiculous amount of text written in blood mentioning God. This would be fine if the fic established that both ponies and humans can end up in this place, but without that it just feels like a glaring oversight. Either way, the journal is nothing more than a long-winded rant about a monster lurking in the maze, which Twilight just so happens to stumble into not soon after. After a clumsy chase scene she finally ends up home, permanently scarred and traumatized by the experience.
I guess my biggest issue is that it feels like the fic does nothing more than the bare minimum. Twilight visits all the "stations" necessary for a Backrooms fic and that's that. Also taking the original Backroom 1:1 felt very lazy. Imagine if it was instead an exploration of what a mundane and liminal space would look like in Equestria. Perhaps an infinite village resembling Ponyville or a maze of winding marble tunnels and endless towers in a Canterlot-esque setting, where the protagonist stumbles upon objects that upon first glance make sense, but are actually nonsensical. Basically anything other than copy and pasting Purplesmart into a completely unchanged concept.
Overall: 3/10 The uninspired plot combined with the awkward prose made this a fic not worth one's while. Cannot recommend.