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When I was young, probably four or five, I went to preschool. My mother tells me that one day, I and half a dozen other kids spent the entire free-play time sitting in a circle, telling the same joke over and over: "Why did the chicken cross the road? To throw poop on his friends!" For the entire half-hour, one of us would tell the joke, we'd all laugh uproariously, and then someone else would repeat the exact same joke to the exact same reception, ad nausium.
I just thought I'd throw that out there, in case any of you were still clinging to the theory that my taste and the word "good" share any point of intersection. And on THAT note, my review of Obselescence's Let's Just Say..., below the break.
Impressions before reading: I've read and enjoyed a number of the author's other stories, but this one's new to me. The description ("Suppose I killed them all?"), coupled with the random tag and <2000 wordcount, suggest a joke's-in-the-title(and description) situation, but I'm hoping there's more here than meets the eye.
Zero-ish spoiler summary: After escaping from her duties for a few minutes, Princess Celestia ponders aloud to an impromptu audience.
Thoughts after reading: As it turns out, there's not really a lot here other than the promised hypothetical. And yet, there's still a lot to like about this story.
Most notably, perhaps, is what it doesn't do: it doesn't try to cram a bunch of angst and portent into what is, ultimately, a very low-key fic. This is a story about Celestia taking the opportunity to say something she no doubt wishes she could, but can't, in most company, and Obs recognizes that overplaying the drama here would be counterproductive.
The downside, though, is that you end up with a story that doesn't have much weight independent of what a reader chooses to invest it with. There's a lot that can be read into this fic--indeed, that's one of the nice things about it--but at its heart, it's more an idea than a complete story. Celestia's audience adds a nice (if also awfully open to interpretation) touch, but there's not a lot here beyond "If I wanted, I could totally kill everypony."
The writing is simple, clear, and unobtrusive. The author opts for fairly straightforward, restrained descriptions in most places, with only an occasional hint of humor. Given that the fic is basically a short monologue, this choice ends up highlighting the ambiguities of the story, but also its sparseness.
I don't really have a lot to say about this one: it's a short portrait which doesn't set out to do much, but which does what it sets out to do extremely well.
Recommendation: Anyone intrigued by the description will find a pleasingly light-touch treatment here. Don't go in expecting more than a disarmingly simple vignette, and you won't be disappointed.
Next time: Vinyl and Octavia: University Days, by Dawnfade