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MondayYes I'm Still Alive 21 comments · 192 views
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Vinyl was completely speechless. The idea that her father had just up and charged off without a care for his own safety or concern for anypony else was too much to bear. She fell back on her haunches, simply staring out into the distance.
"Vinyl, please! We have to go back inside! The storm is getting worse!" Octavia said loudly over the howling winds.
"Forget about me! I'm going to go bring Dad back!" Vinyl said without a second thought. She took to her hooves, and was about to take a step back outward when she felt Octavia's forelegs wrap themselves tightly around her chest. "Octy! What are you-!?"
"Absolutely not! I refuse to let you go out there alone!" Octavia yelled in return. At this point, Vinyl was beginning to struggle against Octavia's grip. Octavia dug her rear hooves into the floor as best she could, fighting to prevent Vinyl from disappearing like her father.
"OCTY, LET ME GO!" Vinyl yelled at the top of her lungs, trying to shake her off, but no matter how much she shook herself or pulled herself forward, Octavia would not budge.
"NO! I WILL NOT LET GO OF YOU, VINYL!" Octavia responded in kind, using what strength she could muster to yank Vinyl back into the house, and forced the door shut. Vinyl took a few steps back, glaring daggers at Octavia.
"Why did you stop me!? I have to go save my Dad!" Vinyl yelled, more upset with Octavia than she had ever been since they met.
"Vinyl, you charging out there without a plan to rescue your father will get you killed! I know you have the propensity to do crazy things, but this is just reckless!" Octavia yelled in return. "Use your head, Vinyl! What you were about to do could have gotten you AND your father killed if you screwed up!"
"So that's it! You EXPECTED me to screw up!" Vinyl yelled, her vision blurring out at the edges until all she could see was Octavia. "You know what, just shut up and get out of my way! I'm going to save my Dad whether you like it or not!" she demanded, a cold glare in Vinyl's eyes. To her shock, Octavia took a seat in front of the door.
"If you want to go through this door, you will have to go through me," Octavia said softly. "...But I know you won't. You love me too much to hurt me...to hurt our baby. Just calm down, Vinyl...listen to yourself. You're being irrational...I understand you're scared- we all are...but you cannot act rashly in this kind of a situation. My ultimatum still stands." Octavia said, trying to reason with her. Octavia swallowed hard when she saw Vinyl's horn suddenly pointed at her, a soft glow beginning to surround it.
Lyra, Bonbon, Marianna and Madeline all watched the scene carefully, ready to act should Vinyl do anything rash. Octavia let out a small, internal sigh of relief when she took another look at Vinyl- the poor mare was shaking, be it from anger or sadness. The coldness in her eyes had vanished, replaced with a look of fear and sadness. Tears dripped off her cheeks, collecting at her hooves. Octavia gingerly took to her hooves, and made her way over to Vinyl, cradling her head in her forelegs.
"Everything is going to be alright, Vinyl...please, do not worry...he will be okay..." Octavia whispered.
Vinyl finally relented, beginning to cry loudly into Octavia's chest, stamping her hooves in pure frustration. It broke Octavia's heart to see Vinyl so upset, her own tears running silently down her face. Madeline and Marianna were comforting one another, Lyra and Bonbon both relieved and saddened by the turn of events. Octavia gently ran a hoof through Vinyl's mane and down her back, doing what little she could to calm her down. Lyra and Bonbon quietly made their way over to Vinyl and Octavia, and joined in on the embrace. Vinyl needed them now more than ever.
"It will be okay, Vinyl...please, there is no need for tears..." Octavia soothed as she held Vinyl tightly. "He will be okay, I am sure of it..."
"We'll do whatever it takes to find him, Vinyl...we promise," Lyra assured. "I bet he found somewhere else to stay...even somepony like him realized that it was too cold to be outside- or maybe the Royal Guard picked him up!" Bonbon nodded in agreement.
"Lyra, you're a genius!" Bonbon giggled, kissing her on the cheek, causing Lyra to flush brightly. "They may be bringing him back here as we speak!" Bonbon said, trying to lift spirits as best she could. Marianna gave a soft smile, silently thanking Bonbon for not only helping Vinyl, but helping her as well.
"Come, Marianna...let's go into the kitchen and have fresh tea..." Madeline said, helping Marianna up to her hooves and leading her away from the group. Vinyl continued to cry, albeit having calmed down a great deal.
"He's- he's my Dad, Octy...I know I fight with him a lot, and I know he and I don't get along..." Vinyl sniffled, wiping her face as best she could. "...but he's still my Dad, Octy...I still love him..." Vinyl coughed, trying to get herself back under control.
"I know, Vinyl...believe me, do I understand that sentiment. While I may not show it, and while I may not always appreciate the way my father handles things..." Octavia started, blushing softly. "...He has always been my hero. He has always been a symbol of strength and courage for me. I can only imagine how I would be in your position...inconsolable, most likely." Octavia then shifted so that she and Vinyl were now sitting on the floor, Vinyl flanked by Lyra and Bonbon. "I remember one time when I was just a little filly that I got into an argument with my father. He had to go see his family in Scoltland under urgent matters, and I wanted to go with him. He told me I was a little too young, and that I needed to stay with Mother. I remember getting so upset at him that I yelled at him- I told him that I hated him and that if he really loved me, he would take me with him."
Lyra, Vinyl and Bonbon all blinked in surprise. "Well? What happened next?" Lyra asked.
"...I will never forget this as long as I live. He simply turned his back on me and left. He did not say a word to me, and shut the door behind him. I instantly became panicked, having realized what I had said. I began to cry and scream, begging him to come back, yelling that I was sorry. Mother said that it crushed her to see me like that, but it had to be done- I had to learn one way or another that parents do things for a reason...and the reason my father left was one I would not understand until much later," Octavia said. She stopped for a moment to dig up the memory, as well as taking a moment to catch her breath. "...As it turns out, one of Papa's uncles had passed away unexpectedly- one Papa was very close with. I remember when Mother told me the news, I cried. I felt like a horrible daughter for speaking that way to him, so I did the only thing I could think to do- I waited. I waited near the door every day for the entire week he was gone. I would eat my meals, practice the cello, read my books- I would do it all near the door. I wanted to be the first pony Papa saw when he came back, just so I could say I was sorry."
"What about when he came back?" Bonbon asked.
"Well, Papa arrived late at night, and I was asleep on the couch. I knew that he was coming home that night, and Mother let me stay up late to try and see him, but I was still little and did not have the energy to last that long. I still remember hearing the door opening and closing, the sound of hoofsteps, and a heavy weight resting on the couch next to me. What proved to me that it was him, was when I felt him kiss me on the forehead- Papa always did that when he tucked me in. I immediately woke up, and threw myself at him. I cried, and cried, and cried, saying I was sorry over and over until I could barely breathe. I do not remember ever crying as hard as I did that night...but it was all worth it. I had my father back, and I knew he loved me," Octavia finished, wiping her eyes as she reminisced. "The point of my story, Vinyl...is that your father will come back, and he will come back in one piece," Octavia smiled, giving Vinyl a comforting nuzzle.
Vinyl sniffled, having paid attention to the whole story. "Yeah...you're right Octy...I'm just being dumb..." Vinyl raised a foreleg and wiped her eyes.
"No, you are not. You are being a daughter- a daughter that loves her father very much," Octavia smiled warmly. Lyra couldn't help but chuckle.
"Jeeze, you two have such interesting childhoods. My parents were boring- no crazy adventures, no wild stories, nothing. Kinda makes me feel like I missed out," Lyra joked, to which Bonbon agreed.
"Tell me about it. My parents were in the candy-making business as well, and honestly, the only interesting story I can remember was when my dad fell into the tub of pixie dust," Bonbon giggled, remembering the sight of her father covered in lime-green powder.
"...Bonnie, your dad did that almost every other week," Lyra said, cocking an eyebrow. "Your dad has no sense of balance."
"Ever since that accident with the taffy, my dad hasn't really ever gotten his balance back," Bonbon chuckled sheepishly. "Mom feels she can't take her eyes off him for a second." Vinyl chuckled slightly, already feeling better.
"Thanks guys...I really do feel better now," Vinyl smiled. "I'm really lucky to have you all in my life-" she then shared a soft kiss with Octavia. "-especially you," she winked. Octavia blushed and smiled bashfully, Lyra and Bonbon enjoying the cute scene.
"Well, what would you be with out me, Vinyl?" Octavia giggled, pulling Vinyl closer to her.
"Awesome, but that goes for me in general..." Vinyl grinned.
"Oh yeah...you are definitely feeling better," Octavia said, shaking her head slightly.
"You know what I could go for? A group hug," Vinyl suggested.
"I'm good with that!" Lyra said.
"Me too!" Bonbon giggled.
"Wait, what now?" Octavia asked. Unfortunately, her question went unanswered as she was dragged into a hug between the four of them.
Madeline and Marianna listened in on Octavia's story, Madeline remembering the night vividly. "That was not an easy night...but Octavia had to learn that harsh words lead to harsh consequences," Madeline said.
"I could never restrain myself from comforting Vinyl if she was upset, even if it was over something trivial. I could not bear to let my child cry," Marianna said, gently running the edge of her hoof along the rim of her teacup. "It goes to show with Octavia- she is a lovely, up-standing young mare who was raised properly...I can only hope I did the same with Vincenza..." Madeline reached over and placed a hoof on Marianna's shoulder.
"You did an excellent job with Vinyl. She's loud, she's rambunctious, she's energetic...she is the balance that Octavia needs in her life. Honestly, I have never seen Octavia happier," Madeline said. "She never dated much when she lived at home. It was a rare sight to see Octavia with a colt, and when she would bring him home, she rarely showed any signs of affection or...actually liking the colt. It made me wonder why she even brought them home in the first place..."
"Perhaps she was just getting a feel for her sexuality. It is very possible that because of traditional societal values, she believed that she HAD to be with a stallion, regardless of whether or not she actually cared for them. Personally, I think Vinyl and Octavia being together is wonderful. They offset each other beautifully," Marianna said, taking a sip from her tea.
"Agreed...I just wished Octavia would have come to me and talked to me about this..." Madeline sighed.
"It makes no difference now, Madeline. They are happy, and we should be as well," Marianna smiled, albeit weakly.
"You're right, Marianna...I just wish there was some simple solution to finding Rolando...I mean, I'm willing to bet he is safe. It is only a matter of bringing him back that is an issue," Madeline said. As if on cue, the sound of heavy hoofsteps made their way down the stairs, and a new voice made itself known.
"Wha!? Roly's gone missin'!? A'm goin' ta' get his happy flank back 'ere a'fore ye' miss 'em!"
"Oh sweet Celestia...Kester's awake..." Madeline sighed.
"He cannot be serious...the storm is too-" Suddenly, an idea dawned on Marianna. "Wait...did you not say that Kester was bragging about how he was able to handle blizzards harsher than this back in Scoltland?"
"Yes, but I don't see what you-" It then dawned on Madeline. "Marianna, you are one brilliant mare," Madeline smiled. The two mothers rushed out to the group, finding Kester still some-what inebriated, but more coherent than drunk.
"Papa, you cannot be serious!" Octavia protested.
"'Tavi, A've faced worse storms in ma' backyard in Scoltland than this wee li'l thin'! A'll be fine!" Kester said, shaking his head as he struggled slightly to maintain his balance.
"Papa, you are clearly still drunk! You need to go back to bed!" Octavia said, making an attempt to lead him back upstairs, but Kester would not budge.
"'Tavi, Vinyl, yer' baby is goin' ta' grow up with two grandpas as long as A'm still breathin'. He's goin' ta' be ma' brother-in-law, and family protects family!" Kester said, making his way to the door. Madeline hurriedly threw a scarf around his neck, tying it tightly.
"Please, come back safely..." Madeline said.
"A' will, dear...don' worry," Kester smiled, sharing a quick kiss with her.
"Thank you so much, Kester...you have no idea what this means to me," Marianna said, pulling Kester into a tight embrace.
"Think nothin' o' it," Kester smiled. "A'll be back!" He opened the door, and the entire room was forced to instantly huddle together as a deep chill entered, Kester standing resolute.
"Eh, it's just a' wee bit nippy," he shrugged. As he turned to shut the door, he cast a small wink in Octavia's direction, and shut the door. Octavia felt like her heart was bursting at the seams. She could not be more proud of her father than in that moment.
My hero...please come back safely... She thought to herself. The group then sat in the living room and waited.
Don' worry, Roly! A'm a comin'! Kester thought to himself. He then began his trek into the blizzard, the world having seemingly frozen over around him.