FimFiction Link - Short ID: 502005/in-bloom
Published: Aug '21
'In Bloom' is a one thousand and six hundred-word shortfic about a batpony who wants to become a Wonderbolt.
My spoiler-free verdict is that while it's not a groundbreaking story, it achieves its purposes quite well and doesn't rely on overly obvious tropes, I recommend it.
While the fic doesn't really have much action, it makes up for it with characterization. The two characters, Vesper the batpony and Rainbow Dash both act believably and genuinely tragical. The former's behavior is very much in-line with her situation. After all, being denied something that you've worked your whole life for due to factors you can't influence is horrible. Dash who has to deliver the bad news talks with palpable frustration and anger towards the world. It's a story with no villain, yet where everyone loses anyways, sort-of.
What I also really appreciated is how the story's conflict doesn't come from the obvious "problem," that is, this isn't some shoehorned anti-racism story. RD only cares about Vesper's species is because she is physically incapable of doing the maneuvers necessary of a Wonderbolt. This makes for a far more grounded and impactful drama than if she suddenly decided to hate batponies.
The ending's "twist" of her deciding not to mope in desperation, but rather invent a team that can host ponies like her was touching and provided some much needed relief after the relentless negativity the story showers the reader with.
Ultimately, the only "bad" thing I can chalk up here is that due to the shortness of the story the reader doesn't get as invested in Vesper as they could if she appeared in a longer story, but this is hardly something that ruins the narrative.
Overall: 7/10 You can't really do any more than this in less than two thousand words, but for what it's worth, I recommend 'In Bloom' as a fic you can finish in five minutes for some light feels.