The magical, faraway land of Equestria is inhabited by quadrupedal beings known as Ponies. Ponies are a diverse species. There are those that can fly, those carrying horns with magical powers...and then there are the earth-ponies, like the hero of our story.
Our hero with his black coat and his mane of the same color bears the name Walter and...
“Just a moment!”
“Am I getting this right? 'Walter'? Like in 'Walter44'? Like in 'the alias the author of this story uses almost everywhere on the web'? Does that mean I'm just a cheap self-insert?”
Well...uh...you see...I don't know. I'm just the narrator and...
“Narrator, huh? So...everything you say comes true? Why don't you take this?”
Walter pulled out a scroll from behind his back and held it towards the sky.
“Cut that out and just read the scroll!”
Okay, okay...oh no, I'm not reading THIS!
Seriously, first you complain about being a cheap self-insert and then you want me to read this?
“Yes. What's the problem?”
'The incredibly muscular and fearless stallion, who could make all mares faint by just fluttering his eyes, just came back from an exciting battle against a hydra, a dragon and a manticore which he mastered with two hooves tied to his back'? Don't you think that's overdoing it a teeny, tiny little bit?
“But what else am I supposed to do? Ponies are defined by their Cutie Marks. I've got a '44' on my butt! What's that even supposed to mean? What am I capable of? Is it really too much to ask to define myself a little?”
To be fair...yes.
Because you're a fictional character. In a fictional interpretation the author has of a fictional world! We shouldn't be having this conversation right now! You shouldn't even know I exist! Or that the author exists. You don't define yourself. I define you. By the standards the author sets.
“Pff...you can't make me do anything...”
Yes, I can.
Very well...so: Our hero with his black coat and his mane of the same color bears the name Walter and was on his way to Sugarcube Corner when...hey! Where are you going?
“To the library.”
But...I said you're going to Sugarcube Corner! It says I should make a cheap 'Cupcakes'-reference.
“Uh...no thanks. Pinkie Pie may be quite funny and all, but I couldn't stand five minutes with this crazy screwball around me. Twilight seems like much nicer company.”
Tehe...and then you say you wouldn't be a self-insert of the author...
Oh, nothing. The author just thinks the same way about Pinkie and Twilight.
“What? And then he wants to send ME – his alter ego – to this obnoxious, annoying sugar-terminator? Does he hate me, or what?”
Well, he gave you your (fictional) life.
“...how exactly am I supposed to hear the stuff in brackets? Whispered? Not at all?”
I...I don't really know...and does it matter? Shouldn't we work towards advancing the plot?
“Good point. What are we even doing here?”
Let's see...you're going to buy some cupcakes, Pinkie goes into the back room to get some and makes an ambiguous statement that can be interpreted as a reference to the infamous Fanfiction she's starring in, she comes back, panics, tells you that all the cupcakes have been stolen and then you and some other Ponies try to find out who stole the treats.
I don't write it. I just tell it.
“A stupid little mystery story about stolen cupcakes? And for THIS the guy had to come up with an OC?”
It very much looks like it.
“How boring. Can't you just tell who's the thief so that we can start a real story? One about trans-dimensional travel and human on pony shipping, where some freaks travel from the real world to Equestria by using a strange device and use their mobile phones to translate conversations, summon items and almost destroy the whole world?”
...but such a story would be completely and utterly stupid.
“It was just a proposal. My point is: Tell me the name of that filthy, cupcake-stealing scum and we can start a proper story!”
But I can't just tell you the ending to the story before it even began!
“Why not? It's called foreshadowing.”
No. No, it's not. Foreshadowing means that I drop slight hints pointing towards the later course of the story. What you want from me are spoilers. Foreshadowing would be if I told you that you overheard Rarity tell Pinkie that Sweetie Belle came home with sugary frosting all around her mouth. This would point to the Cutie Mark Crusaders being the ones who stole the cupcakes and...OH GOD DAMNIT!
“Thank you! To the tree house! Don't forget that freaky line that indicates a scene change!”
Walter arrived at the tree house on the edge of Sweet Apple Acres and...oh, let's just cut it short: He caught the three fillies eating the stolen cupcakes and told their families about it. At the end it somehow resolved as being just a humorous misunderstanding and everyone was happy. You really spoil the fun about this job, you know?
“I never asked to be part of this story.”
Why don't we just continue another time and end this...part?
“What? But it's barely 1000 words long!”
So what? This mess wouldn't be published by Equestria Daily either way.
“But the incredibly thrilling 'Cupcakes-Mystery' would?”
I never said that. Like I already mentioned: I don't write this stuff, I just narrate.
“So...end of the first part?”
“And what do we call the story?”
How about 'The epic of the wisecracking and annoying self-insert who just didn't know his gosh-darned place and couldn't shut up'?
“Too long...hey, I know! How about 'Not-Cupcakes'?”
“Yes. Not-Cupcakes. Because...this is not 'Cupcakes'!”
But...that is just...I mean, you...ugh, you know what? Let's just roll with it...
“Okay, that's settled then. I see you in the next part!”
Don't even think I'm looking forward to this...
Previously on 'Not-Cupcakes'...wait, I can't read that!
Because a CERTAIN SOMEONE...
...had to completely derail the plot and made everything that previously happened NOT happen!
“Again with this 'you're-a-fictional-character-and-shouldn't-behave-this-way'-nonsense? Man, look at it this way: I'm the (incredibly handsome) star of the story! Without me, there is no story! And by that, nothing for you to narrate. Without me, you'd be unemployed. Would that really be that much better?”
I'm thinking about it!
Walter raised an eyebrow to show the sarcasm of his statement.
“What was that about?”
Well, sorry, but the readers cannot see you. I kind of HAVE to tell them what's going on from time to time.
“Okay, understandable. So...what's next?”
What do you mean?
“The plot? I have to do something!”
You would ruin any kind of plot anyway, so what's the point?
“Then at least give me some other Ponies to interact with. I'm feeling so lonely...”
Oh, how sad.
Fine. So: Walter was standing in the center of Ponyville. Then, he noticed three Ponies approaching. He quickly realized that these Ponies were Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy and Ditzy Doo.
“You mean Derpy Hooves?”
She's called Ditzy Doo.
“No, Derpy Hooves.”
“Putting three exclamation marks behind the name does not change the fact that her real name's Derpy Hooves!”
Lauren Faust herself said that she's called Ditzy Doo!
“No, she said that they will maybe use Derpy's character model for the Pegasus Pony 'Ditzy Doo', which was mentioned in 'Winter Wrap-Up', if she should ever appear in the series.”
But almost everyone calls her Ditzy Doo!
Well, that's your problem. Anyway, Twilight, Ditzy and Fluttershy were walking towards Walter when...DID YOU JUST PUNCH DITZY IN THE FACE?
“To make her run away. I will not stand for a cheap Derpy Hooves knockoff co-starring in MY story!”
You're....you're sick, you know that?
“Pff...In the end we're all just descriptions of fictional characters. Speaking of descriptions: Did you tell the readers that I'm wearing glasses?”
By the way, Walter is wearing glasses.
Yeah, yeah...so, Twilight is talking to you after Ditzy's sudden escape, while Fluttershy is hiding behind her in fear and with a shocked expression locked in her face.
“Walter! What did you just do? And why did you do it? That's not the Walter I know!“
“Nice touch with the color...wait! 'Not the Walter she knows'? But we never even met befo...oh. Oh no! This guy gave me a back story, didn't he?”
Yup. One that doesn't portray you as a mail-mare-mangling maniac.
“Well, that's unfortunate, because I am one.”
“Uh...who are you talking to?”
“Shut up, Brainy, this is important.”
Twilight's face was filled with shock.
“Yes it its...oh yeah, of course, because you say so, I understand...hey, I think I've got an idea...”
“So...everything you say becomes true, right? Why don't we look if I can...interfere a little...”
You can't. But out of pure curiosity: What are you planning? Oh, I'm so gonna regret asking that...
“On my sign you just say that Twilight Sparkle here...I don't know...runs to the library. And I'm gonna stop her from doing that!”
Okay, why not? It's not like we could get a proper story out of this or anything...
“Okay, on my sign, alright? Hey, Twilight!”
“Don't ask why, but do NOT run to the library now, okay? I have to...test something...”
Suddenly, Twilight ran to the library...
“Ha! No she didn't! Suck it, Mr. Almighty! You see, I'm just...”
...because the library started to burn.
“WHAT? AND THEN YOU SAY THAT I'M THE CRAZY ONE?”
Well...you see, I...
“AND...wait a minute...”
“Isn't the author of this fic a total Twilight Sparkle fan boy?”
“Don't you think he won't quite like what we just did to the unicorn?”
I...I th-think you're right...
“Then...you should probably do something that made all of this...not happen?”
Huh? Oh, yeah...I...I...um...YES!
And then Walter awoke and realized that all of this was just a bad...and very, very strange...dream.
“Oh no, not all of it! You're not getting rid of me that easily!”
It could have worked.
“No, it could not.”
A narrator's allowed to dream, isn't he?
“Oh, come on! What is your problem with me, anyway? I'm a funny, creative guy, I've got a mind of my own and – like already said – thanks to me, you've got a job! And you absolutely have to acknowledge that-”
End of the second part!
“What? Hey! What are you doing! You can't just-”
“I want to ride on cotton candy!”
...and why do you want to ride on cotton candy?
First of all, it would be very sticky. Besides that you’re a PONY! The idea of you riding...ANYTHING, frankly, is absurd in itself, but if it is cotton candy, then...no, just...just no!
“So what? I'm also a fictional character who talks to an with his own narrator. That's also absurd and breaks pretty much every rule of logic.”
Yes. I don't want anymore nonsense in here.
NO! Hey, you know what? I just had a pretty funny idea...
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a pony with a beige coat, white mane and golden eyes and a pen for a Cutie Mark came up to Walter, kicked him in the face...
...and disappeared as sudden as he came.
“Who...or what...WAS THAT?”
Exactly. Now I can interact with you more directly. By kicking you in the face. Like now, as my OC comes back, gives a good, hard kick right in your snout and disappears again.
“OUCH! Knock it off, will you? You're the narrator! You can't have an OC!”
I'm the co-star of this story!
“Co-star? Well, at least you acknowledge my complete superiority over you!”
The readers love me and will surely leave a ton of comments about how much they do it.
“Now that you said, I'm pretty sure they will.”
Hm...no idea. I could send my OC again and...
You could visit Pinkie Pie.
“And why exactly should I do that? I already told you how I think about her!”
Yeah, but she seems to constantly break the Fourth Wall. Maybe together we could find out why you're aware of your situation as a fictional character.
“...what did you just say?”
That Pinkie can help us find out what's going on with you?
“OH NO! Nononononononononononononononononononono! You're not doing this! You're NOT introducing an ongoing story arc here! We're sticking to our pointless and idiotic squabbling the guys out there (hopefully) seem to enjoy for some strange reason...hey, we should print some T-Shirts...”
Yeah, of course we should do that...then Pinkie Pie walked by...
“Ooooooh! Hey you! How are you? Are you having fun? You don't look like you're having fun. Why not? Should I throw a party to make you laugh again?”
“I really, REALLY hate you sometimes.”
The feeling's mutual. And hey, this looks like the perfect cliffhanger-ending to me! Well, it would be, if this wasn't immediately followed by the next part and so this is rather pointless, but still! Cliffhanger!
“Hey, who are you talking to? Can you introduce me to him? Where is he? Is it a he?”
“Okay, end it! But not as abruptly as last time!”
How then? Hm...how about:
Will Walter escape the sugar-shocked Party-Pony? Will he continue to annoy the narrator so much? Will the narrator continue to look so smashingly good?
“You don't have a face...or a body.”
...shut up! The answers to all these questions and more you're about to find out next time! Same Not-Cupcakes-time, same Not-Cupcakes-station!
“...that was a very short part.”
They're all short...
There exists a border between the fictional world and reality. A safety fence, built to protect the order of our world from the chaos and unpredictability of fantasy. This border is called...the Fourth Wall! This is the story of two ponies who are able to ignore this wall.
“Oh, will you cut it out, Mr. Dramatic? Just make this four-legged bouncing ball disappear.”
“I think it's very, very rude how you're talking about me. And how you're talking to your friend in general. Where is your friend, anyway?”
“She can't hear you?”
Seems like it...
“But I thought she was constantly breaking the Fourth Wall?”
Well, she does, but...in a different way than you, it seems. You're really special.
“You don't have to tell me that.”
“What does Whoever-you're-talking-to not have to tell you?”
Okay then: And suddenly, Pinkie disappeared. Just like that.
We could still try to find out what's going on with you.
“No. Ongoing. Story-arc.”
Oh, come on! We could at least ask Twilight's books!
“What an incredibly brilliant idea! Just two things. First: How am I supposed to explain that to her? And second: All these books are FICTIONAL! They only say what you say they say...or something.”
“You can be so stupid sometimes...”
Why don't you make a suggestion?
“I could run amok in Ponyville and kill everything that dares to stand in my way...”
This story's called NOT-Cupcakes!
“You do nothing but criticize me! And when you actually ASK me what I'm thinking, you still criticize me! What's your problem?”
...and then the narrator's OC walked up to Walter and did what he does best.
“OUCH! You're really enjoying that, don't you?”
Of course I am.
“Yeah...how about a swarm of gummy bears invading Equestria? And then I defeat them by using a giant, purple inflatable boat made of oatmeal?”
What the hell is wrong with you?
“We could also incorporate Batman into the story. That would make it at least 20% cooler!”
Quoting random Brony-Memes won't help you the slightest. Also, Spider-Man is much cooler than Batman.
“No he isn't.”
Yes he is.
“No he isn't.”
Yes he is.
“No he isn't!”
Yes he is!
“No he is no-hot!”
Yes he is too-hoo...wait, if we continue this way, the people will think we're just padding out this part because we're out of ideas!
“So what? Isn't that true?”
And then, Walter found himself in the middle of the Everfree Forest and had no idea how he was supposed to get out.
“What's that all about?”
Now you have something to do. Hm...manticore or cockatrice...which should I send in first?
“You little sadist!”
I'm not a sadist...oh, look! My OC!
“What? No! OUCH! Aren't you getting bored by this?”
“Man, the last chapter was a long time ago...”
And this sentence is completely pointless, now that we have put all the chapters together so that we have enough material for Equestria Daily.
That's my job. Anyway, you're walking through the Everfree Forest and you have no idea how to get out. You're shivering out of fear and are about to cry like a little filly...
“I hate you sometimes, did I ever tell you that?”
...when suddenly, you see another Pony. Your heart gets filled with hope. Maybe this one can show you the way out?
“That's almost too good to be true...”
But it's just my OC who gleefully kicks you!
'HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!'
'You have kicked me around long enough, good sir!'
WHAT? No-no-no-no...this just CAN'T BE!
'But it is! Walter had the right thought! Vive la révolution!'
So, you're not going to kick him?
'Oh oui, of course I will!'
'I'm just going to decide myself, when I'm going to kick him. Like now!'
“Cool, I've got a sidekick...OUCH...who kicks my side...”
Did you really just do that for that cheap pun, OC?
'I have a name!'
And that is...?
Come on...are you serious?
“Oh yeah! I can already see it before me: Walter and François kick the literary rule book’s a...”
'Watch your tongue!'
Why did I do this? My agent even told me: Hey, we've got a killer deal for you! You can choose to either narrate Fallout: Equestria or Past Sins! But no, I said! I want the story about the cupcake-thieves! Something small, you know? For the start. Better for my nerves than narrating something so big...and now that!
“And we could print T-Shirts! Hey, we should give Hasbro a call! Maybe they'll cancel this boring Friendship is Magic-Show and we get our own series AND toy line! With Black Jack and hook...”
“You're a real buzz kill, you know that?”
...why did I even decide to become a freelance fanfiction-narrator? Mother told me, I should narrate novels, like dad. Or at least those little yellow boxes in comics, like her brother. God, even the flavor texts on Trading Cards would be better than this...
“Hey! Drop everything you're doing!”
“We have gathered more than 3000 words!”
“When we put together the five small chapters, call them 'parts' and make them into one big chapter, we could send it to Equestria Daily!”
And why should this rubbish get published there?
“Because Sethisto and the pre-readers are wonderful human, no, SUPERHUMAN beings, who look stunning, are incredibly intelligent and also desired by everyone (and everypony! Especially Trixie!) Besides that, they have got enormous...”
Well, yeah...why not? Not, that it matters anymore...I'm gonna weep in a corner now....