39w, 6dThe Fillyfoolers
77w, 4dThe Writer's Group
13w, 18hOctavia Fans
13w, 18hVinyl Scratch
- Show All Groups
58w, 1ddark soul
73w, 6dTwilight's Library
76w, 2dThe Usual
52w, 2dVinyl Scratch/Octavia
60w, 5dfimfiction's favorites
20w, 3dThe Dreamers
53w, 5dVinyl and Octavia
41w, 3dThe Jazzy Fillyfoolers
17w, 1dLife Experiences
9w, 4dThe 1000 Up Vote Club
14w, 2dThe Good Shipping List
13w, 19hVinyl Scratch is Best Pony
26w, 5dThe Equestrian Critics Society + Update 8 comments · 92 views
36w, 3d500 Words per Day 15 comments · 128 views
36w, 5dHarmony's Crescendo 5 comments · 136 views
37w, 2dBrony Book Club 4 comments · 107 views
38w, 2dHarmony Redux 7 comments · 229 views
68w, 2dHow do I use this thing? 11 comments · 56 views
Midday brightness suffused the room as Octavia slowly stirred. Cursing under her breath at the sheets that wrapped around her limbs like treasonous vines, the grey mare finally won free of her mattress. Wincing at the late hour of her rising she hurried into the bathroom, intent on making herself presentable for her first day on the job.
Steam filled the room as she stepped out of the shower, grey coat and black mane dripping wet. The quick application of a towel solved that issue. Afterwards she was left regarding herself in the mirror. She eyed her styled jet mane, flowing down her back as well as her signature pink bow tie on its white collar. Her appearance bespoke sobriety and respectability. She would stand out like a unicorn amongst earth ponies at the club tonight. She sighed in resignation; even if she wanted to try and alter her look to ‘blend in’ she had no idea where to start.
I only hope I’m equal to this. I knew I was out of my depth before but what if I really mess up? This is Vinyl’s dream. She trusted me enough to make me a part of it even though I have no real idea what I’m doing. What if everything is a disaster because of me? What will I do then?
Her gaze moved to the uncovered window. The angle of the sun assured her that she still had several hours to kill before she needed to report to work. Her regard turned to her cello, safely resting in a corner. She had hardly touched it recently. Her lack of practice became a sudden stab of guilt twisting at a lifetime of diligence and dedication to her craft and she suddenly yearned for the confidence and surety of her familiar talent.
As she reared up on her hind legs, her weight and that of her cello counterbalancing each other, the sun seemed to grow a little warmer against her coat. She cradled the bow in her fetlock, reveling in the rhapsody that filled her as she sounded the first notes. Closing her eyes to the world around her, she played.
Octavia opened her eyes as the final resounding notes died away, the spell broken. She sighed in relief as she returned to four hooves, taking the pressure off her back and legs. She reverently returned the cello to its place in an uncluttered corner.
Some mental arithmetic assured the cellist the she still had plenty of time to arrive at Club P0n-3 at the instructed seven o’clock. She would, however, have to leave straightaway. With a last self-conscious tug at her bow tie Octavia headed out into the early evening, still uncertain as to her place.
Octavia was startled to see that despite the early hour a sizeable crowd of younger ponies had gathered outside the club. She came to a halt, warily eying both the milling throng of ponies with their multi-hued manes styled into odd spikes, curls and spirals and the truly formidable earth pony guarding the door. The longer she stared, the more apprehensive she became; his size was enormous, nearly twice her own height. Huge, sinewy muscles defined every inch of him and his glare, focused at once on everything and nothing, was downright hostile. The grey mare couldn’t help but notice that the front of the line had formed well away from him.
Come on, Octavia. You are supposed to be here. You are an employee and friend of the owner. There’s no cause to be apprehensive.
Swallowing her fear, she approached the living behemoth. The enormous stallion’s shadow engulfed her as she drew near. Her presence drew his attention and he turned his gaze down to regard her.
“Can I help you, ma’am?” came the question, his deep and rumbling voice more felt than heard so near.
Forcing a smile onto her face and some confidence into her voice, the quakingly nervous mare replied, “Yes, my name is Octavia Philharmonica. Vinyl was expecting me; she hired me last night.”
“Octavia . . .” the stallion pondered, obviously uncertain.
“Um, Vinyl kept calling me ‘Treble Clef’, if that means anything,” she added helpfully.
The bouncer’s eyes widened in recognition. “Oh, right, the boss said you’d be coming. Go on in.”
With a quiet ‘thank you’, Octavia slipped past him and into the interior of the club. Like before, it was dim. The only illumination came from the small islands of light that were the bar and Vinyl’s DJ platform.
Clustered around the bar Octavia spied Vinyl sitting with two other ponies, a golden-coated earth pony stallion and a unicorn mare with a light green coat. The DJ herself spied the new arrival immediately and began waving her energetically over.
Octavia hurried over and sat gingerly down, trading friendly nods with the ponies she didn’t know. “Good evening, Vinyl. I hope I’ve not kept you waiting.”
“Not at all! I was just indulging in last-minute briefing with my other employees. Let me introduce you. This is Fresh,” she said, gesturing to the earth pony. “And this is Cadia, my other bouncer,” she continued, indicating the unicorn. “I’m sure you already met Heavyset outside. Everypony, this is . . . um, this is . . .” she trailed off, shooting a confused glance at Octavia.
Sensing Vinyl’s hesitance, the cellist leapt to her rescue. “I’m Octavia. Pleased to meet you all. Vinyl, I guess you were so content to call me ‘Treble Clef’ you never got my actual name, eh?”
“That I was . . . Tavi,” Vinyl said with a mischievous smirk.
“Oh, for the love of Celestia! I should have known better than to think you would use my real name like a civilized pony,” Octavia groaned with a roll of her eyes.
“That you should have, Treble Clef. Or Tavi, rather.”
“Oh well. I suppose there are more important matters to attend to at the moment,” Octavia said with a level tone. “Firstly; Vinyl, I’d like you to tell me exactly what you want and expect me to do. You know I’m not familiar with this sort of environment and I’d rather not be the single reason this club, which is apparently the culmination of your life’s dream, is ruined.”
Vinyl leaned forward, her expression and tone suddenly more serious and businesslike. “You won’t be, Tavi. I have faith in you. Here’s what it all boils down to; I’m the DJ here. My place is at my console, keeping the customers happy and entertained. I can’t spare the time to supervise, help or deal with problems for Fresh, Cadia and Heavyset. That’s where you come in; if Fresh needs a hand mixing drinks or needs to order more supplies, you take care of it. You watch the crowd and tell the bouncers whether or not to let more ponies in. If someone needs thrown out, you make sure it gets done. Come the end of the night, you help me figure up what we spent and what we earned. You help us clean up and get things ready for the next night. In a sense, you let the others focus on their jobs while you pay attention to the big picture and pitch in a hoof when needed. You’re my number two, my deputy. You handle stuff unless it’s important enough I need to get in on it. Really, that’s it. I know it sounds like a lot, but I’m sure you’re up to it.”
As Octavia listened, her self-consciousness and worry rose up with every word. “But Vinyl, I don’t know how to do most of those things. There’s just no way I can do this,” she said, hanging her head. “Maybe you should get somepony else. I’ll just ruin everything.”
“Tavi, don’t be like that,” Vinyl said, laying a hoof on the doubting mare’s shoulder. “I didn’t pick you at random, or ‘cause I felt bad for you or anything. The job I want you to do requires intelligence, precise attention to detail and focus. I felt that you, as a pro-level classical musician, had those requirements. Everything else is just learning a new set of skills. I know you don’t know all of this; I don’t mind that we'll have to show you the ropes. I’m confident that once you get your hooves under you, you’ll be perfectly fine. Relax a little, have fun and try your best. That’s all I ask. Remember, I’m new to owning and operating my own place. I’ve got stuff to learn too.”
“Thanks, Vinyl. If you think I can do this then I’ll believe in you, even if not myself. I’ll do my best,” Octavia said, shooting a grateful smile at her employer and friend.
“Well, if that’s all of that, what say we get this party started!?” Vinyl exclaimed, heading for her place amongst the musical controls. “Tavi, go tell Heavy to start letting ponies in, 30 or so at a time every five minutes till he hears otherwise.”
Nodding to signal her understanding, Octavia set out on her first mission. Behind her Fresh took up position in the bar and Cadia faded into the shadows as an unseen observer.
As the newly-minted manager laid her hoof on the handle of the entrance to give her orders to the bouncer the synthesized electronic sounds and pulsating lights she had been expecting came to life, filling the club with energy as the first ponies trickled in.
It’s going to be an interesting night.