63w, 3dMusic Lovers
Broken Strings, Ch. 22: Therapy
By Lunar Black
"So, Bass. Tell me why you've come to me. Is it because of what happened to Vinyl?"
Here I was. One of the most famous rockstars in all of Equestria... talking to a therapist. To be honest, it was a last resort. I really didn't want to, but Ivory insisted. She said it was either this, or I start keeping a diary. No clue how that would help. "Kind of. Well, you know about my past, right?"
"Of course I do. Your sister never shut up about you."
"Oh yeah. I forgot that you two used to be an item. Anyways, I had a nightmare a while back… it was pretty nerve racking. I know what it meant, too. And that's what scares me, the most."
"I see. If you don't mind, could you tell me more about this nightmare of yours?"
"I don't see why not." As I relayed the entire dream to Twilight, I watched her face shape into that of disbelief. "And now, it feels like I'm in a constant battle to keep my mind right. It's exhausting me."
"Well, Bass. I don't think that was just a normal nightmare. No, nightmares aren't normally that vivid, or memorable. I think what you had was a precognitive vision. It is actually quite rare, and only happens to a few select ponies. And those ponies are normally being haunted by an evil spirit or something like that. I think that might be what’s happening to you."
I sat up on the couch, and raised an eyebrow at the mare. "So, what are you saying, Twilight?"
Twilight rubbed her chin with her hoof. "Well, it sounds like something I need to research. I've never heard of anypony being able to push a spirit out, besides hitting them with the elements. But there may be a way to do it. I personally don't know it, but there has to be a way, somewhere. I'm just glad you came to me, Bass. Either way, I'll be in touch when I find anything out. I think it would be a good idea to stay in Ponyville for a while."
To be honest, I didn't mind staying in Ponyville. It was actually a nice change of pace. I still had a week and a half to prepare for the inevitable showdown. And with all that had happened, I had that much more incentive to thoroughly DESTROY Flats. Of course, I planned on showing Vinyl's last writing to the authorities, the first chance I got. I offered a kind smile to Twilight, and got up to my hooves. "Thanks, Twilight. If there's any way I can repay you..."
"Just tell me what you know about what happened to Vinyl, Bass." The unicorn was quite straightforward. I was honestly shocked at that much.
I thought for a moment, wondering whether or not to tell her. After a second of the tense silence, I decided that I could confide in her. "I think she was murdered."
I trotted through the door to my house, and was smacked by the smell of something delicious. Ivory leaned out of the door to the kitchen, and smiled at me. "Hey, Stud. How did it go with miss...? Sparkle, was it?"
I looked at her, and smiled back. “It went fine, baby. What is that delicious smell?”
“Well, I figured you’d be hungry, after you got done with your therapy, so I went ahead, and cooked you your favorite meal.”
I galloped to the kitchen, and kissed Ivory on the cheek. “Wow. You cook, and give me all this attention. Why haven’t I married you, yet?”
“Because you have some evil psycho pony living in you and you’re afraid that he’ll take over, and hurt me.”
I raised an eyebrow. “How did you…” I looked over at the table, and noticed a letter with Twilight’s signature at the bottom. “Wow, that was quick. Twilight fucking Sparkle.”
“So, after reading the letter, I think I might’ve thought of something that’ll help.”
“What do you mean?”
Ivory Blushed, digging her hoof into the ground. “Well, I heard there was a pony that lives in the Everfree Forest who makes potions and other weird stuff. Maybe she can help you.”
I was slightly confused at this, as well. Ivory had only been to Ponyville once, and had spent the few hours she was there with Octavia and Treble. How would she have heard anything about Zecora? Before I could even open my mouth to get the question out, it was already answered. That shrill, annoying voice came from the living room. “Of course she can help, darling. Zecora knows just about everything about potions, and the like. I couldn’t let my good friend, Bass lose himself, now could I?”
I looked sternly at Ivory. “Why did you let her in?”
I had only been through the Everfree Forest once. Never thought I’d be going through again. Thankfully, we had managed to leave Rarity back in Ponyville. Celestia forbid she step in a puddle of mud. We had been travelling for a good thirty minutes, when we spotted Zecora’s hut. The small abode was built into a twisted tree with potion bottles hanging from one of the branches, and strange, large masks placed throughout the surrounding area of the hut. To anypony else, this would be scary, or evil looking. Thank goodness I had already been briefed on the meanings of the masks. Ivory was less fortunate.
“Bass, this looks reeeeeeally scary… Maybe we’re at the wrong place.” She was obviously scared, for some reason. Obviously, Rarity hadn’t told her the friendly meaning of the masks. I took a quick moment to fill her in. “Oh, that makes sense… I guess. Well, let’s go.”
We moved toward the hut, Ivory just a few steps behind me, the whole time. Once I reached the door, I knocked, and waited, looking back at Ivory, who was scanning the surrounding area as if a manticor was going to jump out at us, suddenly.
The door opened quickly, and I was greeted by the smiling zebra. “Good afternoon, Zecora.”
Zecora nodded, and began in her usual rhyming speech. “Ah, hello, my good friend, Bass. What brings you out to this distant place?”
“I was told you could help me with a problem I’m having.”
“Ah, yes. Come in, you’ll see that I have everything you’ll need. From A to Z.”
I looked back at Ivory, and motioned for her to follow. She was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. I took a mental note to start speaking in rhyme, should I ever decide to play a little joke on her.
Inside the hut was slightly more welcoming than the outside… Well, not really. The large cauldron in the center was a huge put-off.
Zecora started flipping through a book that was open on the table. “So I have been told by a lavender mare that there is an evil being you want out of your hair. So, tell me, Bass. Is this true? Or should I do more than add two and two?”
“Well, it’s good to know that Twilight went ahead, and told everypony and their grandmother about it. Well, yes. Apparently I have an evil spirit inside me, and he wants to take over my body, again.”
Zecora nodded, and motioned to a few cushions on the ground. “Very well, my feathered friend. You two sit, and the brewing shall begin.”
Ivory and I promptly did as we were told, sitting quietly, and letting Zecora do what she does best.
After a few hours of fighting the urge to pass out, the brew I was waiting for was finally complete.
“Come, come, my pony friends. I have finished the brew that will make your suffering end.”
To be honest, she didn’t do a very good job at selling her work. In fact, had I been a little less trusting, I’d have reported her to the authorities for attempted ponyslaughter. However, I trusted Zecora, so I woke Ivory, and the two of us made our way over to her. I looked at the cauldron that was filled with what I hoped was an anti-evil-pony potion. “So, do I drink it…?”
“But of course, as with this brew. Now let me prepare a dose for you.” Without missing a beat, Zecora produced a cup from under her counter, and quickly filled it. “Now, be warned: Leave your mercy behind. For this potion will take you into your own mind. You must journey, and defeat Lunar Black. But if you fail, you will not come back.”
“Well, that seems like a high risk… Don’t you just have something that’ll make him get the buck out of my head?”
“Well, that was rather straightforward.”
“While it is true that I speak in rhymes, I do break the pattern at necessary times.”
“Catchy. Alright, I’m ready.”
The zebra laid a mat out for me, on the floor. “Very well, abandon your fear. Drink the glass, and lay right here.”
I walked over to the mat, and sat down, holding the potion in my hooves. I looked down at the potion, and then up at Ivory, who seemed extremely worried. I smiled, reassuringly at her. “Don’t worry, Ivy. I promise I’ll come back to you. Mark my words.”
She nodded, and kissed me passionately, then backed away, as I downed the sweet tasting potion.
“Wow… This doesn’t taste so bad.” Within a few seconds, I started to feel dizzy. I fell back on my back, and watched the room twist around me. When the room stopped twisting, it looked the same as before. I blinked once, and when I reopened my eyes, the whole world had changed. I heard a wicked laugh.