FimFiction Link - Short ID: 390519/scared-in-a-normal-cave
Published: Nov '17
Scared in a Normal Cave is a 16k horror one-shot. The best way I can describe it is a lighter version of The Descent. The CMC are out camping, but Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle can't stop arguing. Apple Bloom takes a walk to cool off, and accidentally falls into a cave, with the other two following soon after.
This was pretty good. There are a few things that bothered me, but overall, I think it was a well written thriller and, dare I say, tragedy.
Good story. Read it. I'll talk about some spoilers now.
What I like the most about the story is how hope slowly bleeds away the longer you read. They don't start well, of course. Bloom is hurt, most of the tunnels are dead ends, there's something in there with them. However, they keep moving forward. They explore and try to come up with a plan. There are even bright points, like when they find clean water to drink and a safe place to rest. Hell. Scootaloo manages to find an exit.
But everything keeps getting worse, too. Apple Bloom's condition deteriorates quickly. They run out of food. Sweetie Belle is too exhausted to use her magic after a while. And worse. It's this palpable escalation of despair, where you know the girls may make it out if everything goes right, but for every one thing that comes up in their favour, something far worse happens.
And while that's all good and well, I do feel there was the chance to make the tension much better. There's one scene where Scootaloo is looking for an exit and she has to squeeze through a narrow passage. Oh, no. The passage is getting narrower. Oh, no. The rock isn't as smooth here, and the edges are quite pronounced, and--Ah, nevermind. She managed to pull through with just a few cuts.
That kind of thing happens more than once. We have this tense situation and instead of dwelling on it long enough to sell us on the dread and panic that such a moment should evoke, we kinda get over it and move on to the next one. While it doesn't necessarily kill the fic, it certainly robs it of a few moments of greatness. Nevertheless, I think this is an overall enjoyable and engaging horror thriller.