Thirty Minute Pony Stories

Where we challenge ourselves to write pony stories in thirty minutes. Prompts are posted daily. All safe for work. Now shut down. The blog remains as an archive.
Contributing Authors
Hey, I was thinking of running a weekly prompt on Thursdays, using threads on the FimFiction TMP group instead of Tumblr. May I have your blessing, and could I get you to post something so that folks know to look for it?
thirtyminuteponies thirtyminuteponies Said:

By all means! Everyone, if you’re desiring a TMP fix, Esle here has your solution, at the FIMFic TMP Group

Well, that’s done. All twenty-seven stories we received, for this Final Prompt. Barring one particular outlier, that is the single largest amount of stories we have ever received for a single prompt. I am humbled by all of you, and all the well wishes and words you’ve said that I’ve read tonight. I hope my comments didn’t degrade in quality as I went through the stories, but I suspect that’s not what’s important right now. What matters is moving forward, towards the future.

You’re going to still see a few posts on this blog in the days to come. Although we’ve ended our official operations, I still have some backlog things I need to take care of. The Master Prompt List, for instance, will be updated to contain all five hundred and eighty one prompts, and as some of those missed compilations, I’ll be having to go back and create those. As such you’ll see the occasional odd post here and there as I have time to finish this project. I have no estimates on completion for it as it is something I’ll work on sparingly, but once it’s finished I will make a post to let everyone know, as many of you have been asking for this to be done.

At this point, saying anything more will pretty much just be repeating what I’ve already said. So instead, I shall echo the words from Q, in the Star Trek TNG episode that inspired this final prompt.

See you out there.

They had something great, Rainbow Dash decided.

"If you’d just come down from there, Aloe could offer you a —"

"Uh-uh, no way, Rarity." Rainbow wrapped her hind legs tighter around the rafter and stuck her tongue out at the unicorns below. "I’m not having some frou-frou massage or conditioning or whatever. That is so uncool."

Twilight sighed, and Rainbow couldn’t decide whether it was out of frustration at Rainbow or relaxation as the masseuse dug his hooves into Twilight’s spine. “You seemed to like how your mane looked after last time we got you to do this.”

"Hey! My mane looks awesome all the time. You can’t use that as evidence."

"You have twigs in your tail," said Rarity disdainfully.

Rainbow twisted to look at her tail, then caught herself. “Doesn’t matter. Still awesome.”

Rarity and Twilight looked at each other, and something sly seemed to pass between them. “Very well, Rainbow,” said Rarity. “I suppose we can’t convince you.”

"Not when you have a permanently awesome mane," said Twilight.

"I suppose we’ll have to keep our spa habits to ourselves."

"Ourselves and Fluttershy."

"And dear Fluttershy, yes. And, let me see, who else?"

"The Wonderbolts?"

"Yes, I do believe the Wonderbolts are all regular attendees at the prestigious Cloudsdale spas.”

"They need to keep their muscles in shape, after all."

"To say nothing for their public image."

"Ha ha," said Rainbow. "Well done, girls, you found my one weakness. I’m still not coming down." But she was grinning all the while. Yeah, they had something great. They were fantastic friends, and she hoped that would never change.

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Twilight’s hoof trailed across Rainbow’s sloppy mouthwriting, a faint smile on her face as she read the entry one last time.

It really hurts, coming home to your closest friends and seeing how much they’ve grown and changed, and how much you have, too. But I’ve learned that if you open yourself up to them and talk, you’ll be amazed at the ponies they’ve become. And that, even though they’re different now, they still love you just as much, even though you’re different, too. They’ll always be your friends. Always.

Rainbow had been the first to truly leave Ponyville, on a three year tour of the glove with her other Wonderbolts. She still dropped by in between classes of cadets at the Wonderbolt Academy. The discipline and respect she’d learned in their capable hooves had turned her into a more humble, secure mare, but the fiery drive for greatness and boastful antics that had defined her in the old days never really went away.

Next had been Rarity, to nopony’s surprise. She’d held out as long as she could in Ponyville, citing Sweetie Belle and Fluttershy as perfectly good reasons to run business in Ponyville, but she’d eventually gotten an offer to open a boutique in Manehattan. She’d been about to decline when the rest of them held an intervention. And so off she went.

Twilight smiled at her elegant script adorning the next page.

Even when miles separate friends, they can still be close. Although it’s easy to forget sometimes, a good friend is only a letter away, always willing to help. With good friends at your side, no matter where you are, you are never truly alone.


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It was getting late in the evening when Rarity and Rainbow Dash stumbled into their house located in the most upscale neighbourhood of Canterlot. In truth it was actually Rarity’s house and Rainbow had been using the guest room across from the master bedroom for the past four years, but neither had felt the need to bring that up for the past three. They had not spoken much on the trip home, each lost in their own thoughts of their latest adventure with their friends.

As Rainbow started making her way up to her spartan bedroom Rarity spoke up. “Would you like to join me for some tea Rainbow?”

Rainbow turned to look at Rarity and blinked in confusion for a second. “Umm, its late and I’m pretty tire Rares, you probably are too. We’ll talk tomorrow ‘k?” Rainbow forced a smile onto her face.

“Please Rainbow, we need to talk about what happened.”

Rainbow grit her teeth. “We saved the world. Again. Everypony is safe, nopony got hurt. Its a win. Nothing much to talk about.” Rainbow turned back to the stairs, stomping her hoof on the first step, cracking the tile. “Oh, Celestia… I’m sorry Rares, look, I’ll pay for that, but I really dont want to talk right now.” She hung her head and sighed. She knew bed would probably going to have to wait now.

“Rainbow, you know I don’t care about some silly old tile, I was thinking or redecorating anyways. But you really shouldn’t go to bed angry. Please, talk to me.” Rarity said.

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Sweetie Belle stood in the center of Rarity’s love.  She could feel it, a physical thing, and it burned like a shower turned up too hot. 

She could stay there forever.

She shrugged and tossed a hoof toward the door with a noncommittal motion.  

Rarity kissed her on the cheek.  Hesitated, pursed her lips, and opened them, but nothing came out but sound.  No words.

Sweetie quirked an eyebrow and gave a half smile. 

Rarity said, “You know I shall anything for you… of course.  No matter what might happen, or where you may be.  I shall come.” 

Sweetie nodded. 

Rarity said, “I shan’t keep you longer.  I should like to ask you to be good, but” – she gave a giggle that went on just a little too long – “ponies will be ponies, and I cannot be completely square, can I?”

She didn’t look like she was done talking.

Sweetie laid a hoof down on her side and held it there, feeling the slow heave that went in and out just a little too violently.  Rarity thanked her with a glance, then looked down, feeling the bite of teeth on tongue for a mere second, gritted them, blinked, breathed, and spoke. 

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When Scootaloo closed her eyes, she could almost see the spectacle as the Wonderbolts pulled off their new trick to the delight of the stadium full of cheering ponies below. She pictured Rainbow Dash punching through the sound barrier, filling the sky with an explosion of color as the other trailed her, wrapping flames and lightning around her rainbow wake. She could just imagine herself being there, staring up at the sky staring up at the sky as her hero flew by. Upon opening her eyes, however, the teenage filly was met only with the sight of the the blank ceiling tiles above her bed. She picked up the letter which she had been clutching to her chest and read through it letter once again, even though she practically knew it by heart already.

Scootaloo always knew Rainbow Dash was destined for greatness. Rainbow Dash was the most awesome pony in all of Equestria, and Ponyville could only contain so much awesome. But now, as a member of the Wonderbolts, she could travel all around the world and wow ponies everywhere with the high-flying, death-defying stunts. The Wonderbolts gave Rainbow the opportunity to share her greatness with the all of Equestria, and Scootaloo couldn’t be happier for her.

With a sigh, she rolled off of her bed and slid the letter into a drawer in her desk. Dreams of Wonderbolts and sonic rainbooms still in her mind, she trotted down the stairs and grabbed her helmet and scooter.

Stepping out onto her porch, she donned her helmet, and took off down the streets of Ponyville, the warm summer air rushing past her wings as she sped down the main thoroughfare. Scootaloo looked up at the clear blue sky. These days used to be her favorite; with no clouds for the weather ponies to clear, it would have been the perfect day to catch Rainbow Dash practicing her stunts.

Yeah, Ponyville was a different place without Rainbow Dash. No accidental rain storms, fewer silly pranks, no days where she could just lay on the cool grass and watch her idol soar through the skies, no post-training-session trips to Sugarcube Corner…

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[[Today seemed a perfect point to write the end of my Flim Flams On The Farm series, which began here when I still went by nikkisartcorner and continued here, here, and here. Thanks very much for this opportunity - I’m glad I got to write for this final prompt!]]

It was over, and Applejack didn’t feel nearly as satisfied as she’d always thought she would.

In fact, she realized as she stared up at the near-finished cider machine, it hurt. At some point, she’d stopped waiting for Flim and Flam’s good behavior to end. She’d stopped waiting to see their angle, their con.

She’d started seeing them as a part of the farm.

And then the good behavior was over. She’d come into the barn to call them to supper, and she’d seen them working on a new Super Speedy Cider Squeezy Whatever, and it all came crashing down.

Flim had tried to interject, tried to answer her as she raged.

Flam had simply stood silent, letting her anger wash over him, ears tipping ever further back as she shouted over Flim.

And in the end she’d run both of those no-good, two-faced, flim-flamming conponies off her farm.

For good.

"Hey y’all, I brought…."

Apple Bloom trailed off as she entered the barn and saw Applejack standing in front of the machine. The filly had her saddlebags on, the pouches brimming with tools, and for a moment she stared wide-eyed at her sister.

"Aw, no!" she wailed at last. "Applejack! Y’done gone an’ spoiled th’surprise!"

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Dear Mom and Dad,

Hello again! I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last letter. If I thought Celestia kept me busy back when I was her student, well, that’s nothing compared to these diplomatic missions. I can’t go into too much detail about what we’re doing right now, but I really think I’m winning over the tengu we’ve met out here. I’ve been doing this for months, but it’s still hard to believe no pony has ever set hoof in these countries before me. But it’s exciting, too. And you’d think I’d be nervous about making a good first impression, but I’m really not! Making friends is the one thing I don’t ever doubt I can do.

Speaking of friends, I’ve been hearing from mine on a daily basis. It’s a good thing we’re not trying to hide, because the constant flame belches would make that impossible! Gosh, where do I start? Rarity is still keeping in touch with you, right? She told me once that she’d treated you to dinner after a particularly good quarter. She’ll probably come by again soon; her newest line is flying off the hangers faster than she can sew! Although she’d probably have more time to work if she weren’t constantly writing to a certain assistant of mine…

Spike is doing better than ever. He’s finally getting comfortable in his own scales again, and he just never seems to run out of energy. The new horizons are doing wonders for him, even more than they are for me. He constantly surprises me with his maturity and intelligence. I’d be absolutely lost out here without him. So no change from when we were young, really.

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GDocs link:

Story after break.

    Twilight’s hooves pounded against the ground as she ran.  One thought kept her going - that if she could get to the Tree of Harmony, it still might be possible to turn things around, to drag victory from the jaws of defeat.  Despite the conditions around her, the losses of her family and friends, she still held out hope.

    Twilight tore through the devastation that had once been the Everfree Forest, dodging beasts driven to a viciousness beyond wild by the Nightmares’ magic, looking frantically for something, some marker or path indication that might lead to the Tree’s location.  Nothing familiar remained, however, and in the end, she simply ran blindly, hoping against hope to arrive at her chosen destination.

    After what seemed like days, Twilight finally arrived at the base of the Tree of Harmony.  She was just in time to hear the terrible crash it made as, battered and broken by the Nightmare-infested monsters she’d been running from, it fell, toppling to the ground and shattering.  One by one, the lights of the Elements embedded within it slowly flickered, and as they died, Twilight felt a part of her die as well.  In her shock and despair, she never even saw the brutal claws which rose up above her, sweeping downward.

    “My dear.  Will you please come with me?”

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It is a truth commonly acknowledged that letters, as a rule, do not fall out of the sky of their own volition. Thus, it may be easy to understand why, when a letter did just that, Fluttershy was both startled and alarmed.


"Wh-wha?" Fluttershy said, rubbing her head. She looked down, and saw a piece of paper folded into a square lying on the ground below her. She glanced up—no, no pegasi in the sky—around—nopony who could’ve thrown anything that far—and then back down at the paper. At a loss, she picked up the square and unfolded it. As she did so, a large and relatively heavy rock fell out of the slip. Fluttershy rubbed her head again. Flattening out the paper, Fluttershy glanced over it.

Pinkie Pie has a crush on you.

Fluttershy blinked, and read the paper (the letter, she supposed. Or perhaps it was more of a note, considering it was only one sentence) again.

Pinkie Pie has a crush on you.

No, still didn’t make any more sense.

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GDocs link:

Takes place in the same continuity as my prompt 553 story “Gifts”, my prompt 560 story “Nerves”, and my FFAF#9 story “Song”.  As always, these should not be required to understand this story, but may make it a bit richer.

Story after break.

Bon Bon pulled the string tight, sealing the last package as best she could.  “I think that’s it,” she said, looking over the room.

Lyra looked over the room as well.  “Yeah,” she said, “I guess it is.”  She looked back over the room a second time, noticing just how empty it seemed.  It wasn’t, of course.  The bed still filled most of the room, the nightstand and mirrored dresser still stood there, but that was all.  There were no pictures on the wall, although discolored spots revealed where they had but recently hung, nor were there any little knick-knacks or souvenirs.  All of these had been packed away, as had the clothes in the closet, leaving it just as empty.  “You want to go through one last time, make sure you’ve got everything?”

I think I’ll pass, Lyra.  If I’ve missed something, so be it.  I’ll ask you about it the next time I see you.”

The next time… yeah.”

Bon Bon looked at Lyra, concern written on her face.  “Are you all right?”

The mint unicorn gave her head a quick shake, then nodded.  “Yeah, I’m good.  Just getting a little nostalgic, I guess.”  She turned toward her friend and former roommate, smiling ruefully.  “You’re moving in with Noteworthy, Bonnie.  I’m happy for the both of you, I really am, but, well…”

Bon Bon frowned, then nodded.  “I think I understand,” she said.  “It’s not going to quite be the same, is it?”

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"Are we…sure…this is where Twilight is…?”

Fluttershy’s trembling question echoed across the obsidian walls, as did the hoof-steps of her companions.  Even Rainbow had to walk; every curve of the structure was jagged, and there were spikes big and small poking out just about everywhere.  ”Pretty sure, or else we wouldn’t be here!” Pinkie said, moving between spikes as if she were made of rubber.

"But it’s so…scary….” Fluttershy said with a gulp that quickly became a gasp as she nearly ran afoul of another jagged edge.

As they rounded the corner, a towering doorway came into view.  ”Well, scary or not,” Rarity said, “this is where she is.”

"And that makes it where we need to be,” Rainbow finished for her, flaring her wings a bit as they passed through the opening.

There were no more spikes.  It was simply one vast, smooth room, empty of all detail save one: a glowing pearl, clutched within a short pedestal that spiralled out of the floor.  It was almost like a flower.  Behind it sat Twilight, her wings open, her horn glowing, her eyes fixed squarely on the pearl.  ”There you are, sugar-cube,” Applejack said, approaching the alicorn slowly.  ”We’ve been lookin’ all over for you.”

Twilight’s gaze remained on the pearl.  Applejack could see bags under those eyes, deep and dark.  The alicorn’s mouth barely moved as she answered, “Yes, I know.  It showed me.”

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A/N: Third of three stories. I should really thank you for this prompt. Each of these stories is an idea I’ve come up with before, on separate occasions, but which I didn’t think I could get down satisfactorily in a thirty minute period, so I’ve left them aside. It was good to finally write the buggers.

Twilight mused, as she often had before, that there was a very interesting (not to mention lengthy) book to be written about Apple Family traditions. It seemed that there was some kind of small ritual attached to every stage of an Apple’s life. Not that they’d call them rituals, of course. As Applejack would say, it was just the way things were done, and she wouldn’t be the one to change that.

Funerals, of course, were no exception.

The family had come together from all over Equestria. Twilight and the others, as ‘honourary apples’, had been invited to the last Apple Family reunion, and that had been similar in many ways, with old friends and relatives who hadn’t seen one another for years glad to take the opportunity to catch up with each other, and share the news of what each branch of the tree had been doing. But in other ways…

Take the dancing, for example. At the reunion there had been an impromptu band performing, including Applejack herself with a borrowed banjo, and the Apples had thrown themselves about the dancefloor, whooping and hollering with delight, and even the more formal dances where the couples formed into lines and the steps had been laid down generations before, had had a merrily rough and ready air to them, teetering on the brink of a joyous mess if a pony put a hoof wrong.

It was different today. The movements were slower – not sad, exactly, it wasn’t that kind of slowness – but careful, each step carefully placed, and the overall effect was.. it was… not graceful, precisely, that wasn’t quite the right word, and Twilight prided herself on finding the right words. As she watched, Rarity, in a black dress and veil, and Hayseed Turnip-Truck came together and linked forelegs, circling once and then, with a small smile and a nod for each other, separating, each moving smoothly to the next partner.

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Author’s Note:  I don’t know what to say beyond - thank you, thank all of you, for everything you’ve done.


“I had a dream about her last night.”

“Oooh, my dear, I am so sorry …”

“I- I had a dream about her, and it was the same one as before and I- I …”

“Pinkie, shhh-shhh, it’ll be alright, it’ll be alright.  Come here …”

“… I hate her …”

“Oh darling, no you don’t.  You wouldn’t be saying these things if you did.  A pony who hated her wouldn’t cry so many tears.  And they definitely wouldn’t dream about her.”

“… I don’t believe you Rarity …”

“I know Pinkie, I know.  Just … give it time.  Give it as much time as needed, we’ll all be waiting here for you, ready to help whenever you want.”

“Al- alright, I’ll try.” 

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