Fan Fic / Split Second

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A twist of fate can split a second.
Sparkle couldn't stand the concept of fate. She hated those ponies who spoke of it, as if it were this overarching, controlling force that decided what happened in life. She refused to believe in it, not when it meant that she was fated to kill her parents, or that she was fated to have accidentally caused her brother to lose that promotion, or... any of the misfortunes that befell her after that fateful day. Not when her sister...

Split Second and its sequel, Split Second: An Eternity Divided, are My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fictions by wille179. The story tells the tale of Twilight Sparkle, who, during her entrance examination to get in Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, ended up breaking time. Twilight becomes a White Mage, an inventor, and the student of Princess Celestia. Meanwhile, Sparkle becomes a Necromancer, kills her parents, creates an undead Dracolich, and has been shunned by society for her powers.

For Want of a Nail hits HARD.

Not to be confused with any other work by that title.

Has an ask blog by the title of Ask Sparkle and Thorn.


Both stories provide examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes 
  • Accidental Murder
    • Sparkle threatens to steal a book from a bookstore. The owner chases them, trips on his precariously stacked books, falls, and breaks his neck.
    • Later, the Twilight is fighting two of the three Sunset Shimmer clones, who are transformed into their demonic forms. The third clone, who is far more rational, tries to intervene despite all warnings to the contrary. She doesn't last long.
  • Alternate Self: Twilight and Sparkle to each other.
  • Alternate Timeline: Diverges at the moment of the first sonic rainboom, in which Twilight became a White Mage and Sparkle became a Black Mage.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Many:
    • From the story, there are:
      • Death Actually Sparkle
      • Life, the source of all souls and Life Energy. Actually Twilight
      • Princess Celestia (Daybringer), the sun.
      • Princess Luna (Nightbringer), the moon.
      • Princess Cadance, love.
      • The Labyrinth Lord, a minotaur that personifies earth.
      • Revealed in An Eternity Divided, the Observers are time.
      • And the Storm Emperor, a griffin that personifies wind. (Mentioned only)
    • and mentioned on the ask blog, there are:
      • Lady Evrfyr, a dragon that personifies fire.
      • and the Dew Queen, a deer that personifies water.
  • Black Magic: Sparkle's body runs on the stuff and is immunenote  to it's corrupting effects. (Only the mental aspect. Her body, not so much.)
  • Cool Guns:
    • In the first story, a time traveling Death debuts Inevitable and Demise, two handguns that fire pieces of Death's Soul, instantly killing anything they hit.
    • In the second story, a younger Death debuts the prototype to Inevitable and Demise: the rifle Humanity's Salutations, the name being a reference to her trip to the human world, where she met Sci-Twi.
  • Deity of Human Origin: All the gods were once mortal. Death is revealed to have been Sparkle, as are Life and Twilight.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: Played with. Cobalt is magically and irreversably subserviant to Sparkle, his Mistressnote . This gets in the way of their romantic feelings.
  • Necromancer:
    • Sparkle is this. Her magic is naturally "Dark," or in-spin as it is defined in-story.
    • Cobalt becomes a necromancer over the course of the first story.
  • Physical God: All of the deities.
  • Pocket Dimension: Several examples so far:
    • The Power Ponies comic Book: Sparkle, Thorn, and Cobalt were sucked inside. Sparkle temporarily hijacked its magic to become a Reality Warper, but almost immediately got them ejected. The book has since vanished.
      • Sparkle has since created a working version for herself. Tirek's dead body is currently stored inside. It's eventually revealed to be the afterlife.
    • The Afterlife, for which Death serves as the Dimension Lord.
    • There are also some areas that are just Bigger on the Inside without being as separate.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Sparkle accidentally killed her biological parents, and then in her second life, accidentally killed her second mother and made her second father wish he was dead.
  • Soul Jar: an odd case. Sparkle and Thorn are this to each other. As they collectively share 1.5 souls (.75 of a soul each), as long as one lives, the other can act as a disembodied spirit until a new body can be created.
  • Temporal Mutability:
    • Immutable, of the You Already Changed the Past variety. The gods are the exception, but overwrite their own histories in the process.
    • In An Eternity Divided, Death uses his time magic to overwrite the past. Death becomes a mare with no memory of ever having been a stallion. And, to top it off, the author went back and edited every chapter that even a reference to Death appeared in to switch Death's gender.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Dread Necroptica, the ultimate book on Necromancy, has seven volumes: Soul, Mind, Flesh, Blood, Bone, Pain, and Death. It's also capable of conversing with its readers, as the whole series is possessed by a single information demon.
  • The Undead: So far, the list includes: a Dracolich, a self-animating zombie foal, and several reanimated skeletons.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Life and two of Death's three formsnote  have six limbs. Life and the Reaper have an extra pair of forelegs protruding from the same shoulder as their originals, while the Keeper has a centaur-like configuration.
  • White Mage: Twilight is this. Her magic is naturally "Light," or out-spin as it is defined in-story.


Split Second provides examples of:

    A-M 
  • Aborted Arc: The chapter A Mare and the Sunny Hospital went through multiple versions, and the final version includes a link to a deleted scene where Cobalt joins Sparkle in her escape attempt and the seeds of romance are planted.
  • Anatomy of the Soul: Souls are the absolute definition of identity; if your soul is removed from your body, the corpse that is left is not you. Souls also possess a core (the identity) and an outer shell, which is the source of a pony's magic.
  • Anti-Hero: Sparkle is a stone-cold bitch of a necromancer, but she's ethical about it. She even tells Celestia (her hated warden in this timeline, not her beloved teacher and mentor) that she beleives in harmony and will try to protect it as best she can.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Light and Dark magic have this effect on their casters. Light mages (paladins) start looking like angels after a while, whereas dark mages (necromancers) start looking like undead. In both cases, it's referred to as "Corruption".
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Sparkle tries to make the best of the fact that her magic is corruptive, most of her knowledge is illegal, and the fact that the son she raised (in multiple ways) is a soul-eating monster.
  • Better as Friends: Sparkle, despite having mutual feelings for Cobalt, decides to stay just a friend/teacher to him due to the highly unbalanced power dynamic between the two.
  • Burning with Anger: Shining Armor after Sparkle's death.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In chapter 28, "Sparkle and Twilight," Sparkle mentions that her prosthetic hoof is cursed to petrify any that touch it while it's removed from her body. In chapter 45, "Recovering the Stolen Jewels," she telekinetically launches her hoof at King Sombra, petrifying him.
  • Coitus Ensues: Implied and deconstructed. Twice, sex happens off screen, and twice, the participants regret it immediately after.
    • Rainbow Dash X Rainbow Dash: The discorded doppelgangers have kinky sex, sensored by Pinkie Pie Breaking the Fourth Wall.
    • Sparkle X Ironwood: Sparkle seduces him with blood wine, but Ironwood is married.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Death appears as an Eldritch Abomination, an equine being with six legs, six eyes (with multiple pupils/irises in each), a semi-crystalline body, bone wings that act as a portal to the afterlife, vine-like tentacles, way too many teeth, and many other horrifying traits. He saves the lives of the six mares that were going to be sacrificed to him and kills the cult instead, and then lets them see a slice of paradise. While disguising himself as a simple stallion, he also offers up some free advice to Sparkle.
  • Eldritch Location: There are five: The Everfree Exclusion Zonenote , Winter's Clutch, the Forest of Four Seasons, Boneyard Woods, and Death's Oasis. Each warps space and is incredibly hostile to non-native life.
  • Evil Feels Good: Interesting variation: All ponies feel pleasure when performing their special talent, and are driven insane by Cutie-Mark-Failure-Insanity syndrome if they don't practice it. Normally, this would be a good thing, except Sparkle's special talent is necromancy and Cobalt/Red Fields' special talent is assassination.
  • For Want of a Nail: A defining trope of the story. The whole premise is that at one moment in time, Twilight Sparkle's entrance test, two different, mutually-exclusive outcomes came true.
    • In the "A" timeline, Sparkle gained Black Magic and didn't become Celestia's student.
    • In the "B" timeline, Twilight gained White Magic and did become Celestia's student.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Half of one. Sparkle's soul ends up in Tirek's body. Tirek's soul ends up dissected and eaten by Sparkle. Sparkle's body is left soulless for a short time. Sparkle eventually returns to her own body.
  • The Grim Reaper: Death. He either looks like a gray stallion, or an an equine being with six legs, six eyes (with multiple pupils/irises in each), a semi-crystalline body, bone wings that act as a portal to the afterlife, vine-like tentacles, way too many teeth, and many other horrifying traits.
  • Heroic Seductress: Debatably heroic. Sparkle uses her magic on herself to convince others to give her what she wants, either through illusions portraying unimaginable beauty or through creating a vampire aphrodisiac out of her own blood.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The cult that wanted to sacrifice Sparkle to Death ended up being killed by Death while the six sacrifices, Sparkle included, all lived.
  • Instant Seduction: Combined with Kiss of the Vampire. Sparkle makes her lips bleed, and then turns the blood into blood winenote  to seduce a married vampire. It works.
  • Kiss of Death: In the first interlude chapter, Class Scheduling, Sparkle paralyzes a pony through a kiss, citing that she could have done far worse. In Mares and Chaos, part 3, Sparkle removes the souls of Trixie and Fluttershy by a kiss, technically killing them. Turns out, they're Not Quite Dead, as their Disney Death was staged to fool Discord.
  • Life Energy: Thorn and Sparkle find it delicious.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Sparkle dies this way thanks to the Crystal heart.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Sparkle's soul ends up inside and in full control of Tirek's body. She feels her "new" note  junk, and then wonders how to "turn it off." She jumps back to her old body before the chapter is done.
  • Mentor Ship: Averted. Sparkle is bothered by the power inequality between her and Cobalt, and refuses to engage in a mutually romantic relationship.
  • Morality Chain: Twilight seems to act as this for Sparkle. Sparkle is driven into a rage when her sister leaves for ponyville without warning, and a month without her sister is driving her crazy.

    N-Z 
  • No Pregger Sex: Inverted: Sparkle has unexpected (but consensual) sex while pregnant. She points this out to Ironwood when he starts freaking out about possibly impregnating her.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Two different examples:
    • Information Demons, which live inside of books and exist only as a nebulous cloud of information, or
    • Specters, which are magical constructs that exist somewhere between a demon and a ghost.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Not in personality, but in magic and talents.
  • Ride the Lightning: Sheriff Tesla can do this, in the "become lightning" variety.
  • Rocket Punch: Sparkle fires her cursed prosthetic hoof at King Sombra.
  • Sadistic Choice: Discord gives one to Sparkle: Kill Fluttershy, and get a book with a spell that might save her life, kill her sister, and get her leg back so that Sparkle doesn't bleed to death, kill all 12 of them to get both, or do nothing and die. She takes a fifth option.
  • Shock and Awe: Sheriff Tesla, as his name suggests, can shoot lightning bolts. Being a natural White Mage, he can imbue it with light magic.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Speak in Unison: When the timelines merge together, both versions of a pony will speak in unison until otherwise halted, and even then may start speaking in unison again at a later time without being prompted. There's nothing magical about it; it's just two ponies so close in thought processes that they happen to react exactly the same way at the same time to the same situations.
  • Synchronization: Whatever permanent magical effects are applied to Twilight/Sparkle, the other gets a similar effect. So far, this includes an unnamed event before the story and Twilight bonding with the Elements of Harmony.
  • Start of Darkness: Sparkle got her powers at age eight, discovered she could kill magically at nine, given a reason to dislike ponies at ten, created zombies by eleven, had her mentor die at twelve, ate her first soul at thirteen, and was abandoned (sort of) by her sister.
  • Taken for Granite: King Sombra, when he's hit by Sparkle's cursed prosthetic hoof.
  • Theme Twin Naming:
    • Twilight and Sparkle were born on the same day to the same parents, making them twins in a weird sort of way. They split their original name.
    • Spike and Thornnote  are two semi-artificial dragons created through different means. They still shared the same mothers (yes, plural) and were born on the same day.
  • Time Police: July, August, and the other Observers seem to be taking this role. They have the ability to move through time and erase paradoxes.


An Eternity Divided provides examples of:

    Tropes 
  • And That's Terrible: Parodied/Discussed: Cobalt steals books, and then makes a joke out of it.
    • "Super villainy is much more rewarding. See, I just stole and hid forty books. That's as many as four tens, and that's terrible."
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Twilight and Sparkle both become Physical Gods.
  • Author Avatar: Mod, the author's name from the tumblr blog shows up in the story to deliver a message to Death. The message cues Death to overwrite time, effectively erasing that sequence of events from the plot.
  • Big Eater: AND HOW! After reincarnating, Sparkle needs to regrow her newborn body up to a useable age, but ageing 10-100 times as fast needs a lot of Calories.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Downplayed. Queen Chrysalis was defeated by Shining Armor. Celestia eventually creates a trade agreement with her. They aren't exactly allies, but they aren't enemies anymore.
  • Drop the Hammer: Twilight's weapon of choice: the Justice Hammer, a Conditional Magic Hard Light warhammer larger than her own body that grows stronger the more advantages she gives to her enemy, thus justifying Explaining Her Power To The Enemy.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Justified. By explaining her power, she gives Sunset a small advantage, which further empowers the Conditional Magic of her warhammer.
  • Gender Bender: Sparkle reincarnates herself, but accidentally ends up in a colt body. She later changes it back.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Sparkle gains the ability to feel the approaching death of a soul, including when they are about to commit suicide. She scares the victim out of killing herself.
  • Living a Double Life: Sparkle has now taken up the identity of Rhodium.note  Innocent colt who wears sunglasses all the time by day, necromancer by night.
  • Orphanage of Love: Sparkle intentionaly sets up a situation in order to get into Ponyville's orphanage. She ends up rooming with Scootaloo.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Ruby, the Crystal Pony whom birthed Sparkle's new body. Unlike Sparkle, this tainted and wiped her soul, meaning that unlike our "hero", she's well and truly gone.
  • Touch of Death: Sparkle has always had this ability, but rarely uses it. Her ascension made it default to "on."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The final arc of the original story was kicked off by Sparkle looking for a way to return Savior to life after having failed in her initial plan to revive him through an induced surrogate pregnancy; 18 chapters into this story, and the entire thing hasn't come up once.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Sparkle, Cobalt, and Thorn reunite at a minotaur bar.
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