Ominous clouds set a nearly pitch black backdrop, its monochromatic tints broken only by the occasional streak brilliant yellow electricity. Each was thoroughly complimented by a thunderous applause that hijacked the Earths own breeze, stealing its transportation to rip across the darkening horizon. The crackling rhythm sizzled with power, an unquenchable yearning to unleash a vivacissimo of deadly tempo, restrained only by the very clouds that birthed the blazing heat. The pitch was deep, the timbre equally dark, both encompassed by the chorus of explosive thunder grudgingly settling into its melody as it hovered over a lone figure below.
The white coated mare blended almost seamlessly into the roaring tempest at her back, her position betrayed only from the exquisite streaks of azure and turquoise hair that whipped carelessly against the singing breeze. Two powerful legs were planted firmly in the ground, raising her body vertically into a standing position. Front legs were crossed, her hips twisted into a taunting curve, baiting the eyes into an unbreakable illusion as the distinction between her body and the clouds flowed in and out of focus as if an ethereal ghost stood there instead.
But two inconsistencies lingered steadily enough to reassure her existence on that field. Around her neck, a single pendant hung loosely, jet black strands of interwoven hair suspending a bright pink treble clef, no bigger than a coin. And sunglasses, a vivid shade of violet, outlined where her eyes should have been, greedily absorbing what little light there was to be had to reflect. The contrast was sharp enough that neither the singular horn on her head or the worried slant of her lips could be seen at a distance.
Only half of the skyline was permitted to Vinyl and her orchestra, the storm abruptly ending directly over the center of the field. Nature demanded balance in all things, and it yielded the other half of its world to the opposing force occupying the landscape.
The smell of salt drifted through a lazy breeze, given flight by the calm emerald blue ocean that stretched into the distant rolling horizon before pouring into the setting sun. That brilliant ball of fire layered dazzling beams of amber and scarlet hues that stretched skyward, painting a montage of light, a legato of color, blurring with seamless harmony rather than vying for dominance. The vaporized water bowed to the reaction, warping the otherwise invisible air into a glossy symphony of luminosity, reality itself fading into obscurity behind the smooth sheen. The only indication of life beyond the barrier was the steady crash of waves against the sandy shore, a flawless rhythm beating in perfect adagio time.
The pony laying claim to this chorus was as relentless as the ocean backing her, an unending consonance of calm in the face of the violent storm she faced. Dark grey folds of immaculate hair outlined her position against the glorious sunlight. It flowed effortlessly into a midnight black timbre that consumed her mane and tail. They played a duet with the wind, dancing in unison into the sky in long weaving streaks, each strand individually distinguishable. Violet shaded eyes, half closed, resonated her entire demeanor, a steady and resolute rhythm to match her melody.
The opposing songs fought viciously amongst themselves, battling for supremacy until one yielded to the other. A deafening explosion of thunder would press forward boldly, only to be forced into a swift retreat by the smooth and steady lapping of the ocean waves. It was a broken tune, a brutally shattered harmony that grated through the ears with a tormenting pain. Patience and resolve were the only barriers strong enough to withstand such an onslaught, and even those were being rapidly eroded away.
It was Octavia who could handle the war no longer. “Vinyl.” Her words shattered the rising crescendo of dissonance. As if on command, the ocean behind her fell silent, the breeze slowed to a crawl, both granting a respectful opportunity to their combatants to respond in kind.
“Octavia.” Vinyl soothed the tempest and silenced the thunder. Her opponent had certainly earned as much.
“How did we get here, Vinyl?” A timbre of sadness etched its color into this note, despite any degree of will or power to refute its position to be there.
“How indeed, Octavia.” She responded, shifting her weight without off balancing her poise.
Octavia let loose a sigh, salty water seizing the initiative to soar back into the air only to be swiftly silenced again. “No more games, Vinyl. Do not count on getting away this time.”
“My dearest Octavia, I didn’t consider it for an instant. Would running away really change anything now anyway?” She permitted one roll of thunder to echo across the expanse, an amplification to her question and nothing more.
Octavia allowed her lavender orbs to fall to the ground, sliding one leg slowly along its counterpart opposing it. “No, I don’t suppose it would.” As her hoof reached the ground, she planted it with a feminine grace back into the soft dirt.
“Are you ready to hear explanation now, at least?” The worried expression did not compromise, even as her tone made a subtle shift to hopeful.
“No... I... I don’t know...” Sorrow struck a sudden cord, the smooth ocean and whistling breeze carrying its texture flawlessly across the expanse.
Vinyl lowered her front legs down to her side, answering the question for her. “It doesn’t matter now. You are long since past that, aren’t you?”
“I am.” Any hint of the previous intrusion was vanquished from her voice, flowing right back into its calm and resolute tone.
“So that’s it then? Will you kill me now, and take your vengeance?”
“Yes, Vinyl. I cannot forgive you for what you did.” Octavia narrowed her eyes as she felt another pang of sorrow.
Vinyl took a daring step forward, throwing her body into her voice. “You might be able too, if you had ever afforded me a chance to explain. Perhaps if you would just listen for once...”
“There is nothing to explain!” Octavia interrupted her with a roaring crash of waves. “You lied to me! You tricked me! You deceived me! You...”
“Aren’t listening!” A thunderous report fired back. “You never have!”
“What is there to explain? What lie would you have me eat this time?” Her hoof flinched, reaching for a weapon she wasn’t prepared to take yet.
Vinyl had nearly drawn hers as well. “All I ask for is a chance. Just once. After which I will yield to whatever judgement you wish to bring upon me. But until then, I won’t let you make this mistake.”
Tears were welling up in Octavia’s eyes. She wanted the explanation, possibly more than anything right now. But her mind screamed vengeance, a symphony of voices demanding revenge. An explanation would dampen the boiling fury that was building inside of her and her heart couldn’t scream loud enough to be heard through the roaring anger. “There is nothing you can say that will change what you did, Vinyl.” Her voice was shaky, and she struggled to keep it balanced.
“I know how this all looks. But if you’ll just give me a chance, Tavi, I can...”
“You have no right to call me that anymore!’ Octavia’s hoof reached across her body, grasping at the air near her shoulder. Radiant light of amethyst and crimson was willed instantly into existence inside of her grip, the colors burning like fire as they licked and seethed underneath their restraint. She planted one careful hoof behind her form, another she held gracefully out to her side, both meant to secure her balance. And for one brief instant, the very earth held its breath in anticipation.
When the light could no longer be confined, she brought her hoof into a rapid downward slash, leaving a streak of color that lasted only until her hoof came to an abrupt stop at her side. An invisible eruption of force blasted Octavia, sending her hair soaring backwards against the steady breeze that surrendered the shift without question. The light along her hoof had flashed brightly, surging into a long slender shaft before extinguishing into a smoky haze. What remained was a silver bow, lined with golden patterns and held together from frog to tip with jet black hair. The curve that ran along the shafts length rivaled a perfection so pure that time itself might stop just to hear this weapon perform but a singular note.
It created a muse of its own accord as she raised it into the air, pointing it purposefully at the mare across the expanse. “Andante.” She whispered. The command from her voice sprang into life, assuming a myriad of color as it twirled around the extended bow, the many streams of light playing across the hair as they began a song that harmoniously complimented the chorus of ocean waves behind her. The melody rose into a crescendo as it neared the tip, playing into a two octave leap while the colors amassed into a vibrant fuchsia tint, enveloping the instrument only as long as it took to reach the final note before lurching forward with a bullets haste.
The light left a streak of music in its wake as it weaved and twisted its way through the field at blinding speed, singing a score of heartbreak, betrayal, and anger. It drowned out the rolling thunder and crackling lightening, silenced the ambient noise, and muted the mare it was seeking with unerring accuracy. The closer it got, the louder the noise became, an ecstatic leap in volume as its final measure drew nearer.
Vinyl’s reaction was swift and decisive. She took a commanding step forward and thrust her hoof into an explosion of cyan and midnight blue. The colors burst outward in a restrained explosion, fighting invisible barriers that confined the light with an iron grip. Vinyl turned her hoof slowly inside of the blue mass, gripping something firmly before jerking her arm backwards while rolling her body to the side. Out of the imploding light, the neck of an Electric Guitar formed, preceded by a headstock that burned an unnatural vermilion flame. Stretched along the crimson neck resided strings made from strong blue hair, leading the instrument into its solid black body, contrasted sharply against a stark white bridge. Ribs curved effortlessly around its base, encompassing the epiphany of perfection in a ring of scarlet beauty.
Vinyl grasped the weapon nearly at the end of its neck, twirling it like a sword in wide circles before bringing her other hoof to steady it into a vertical position, the base held high and behind as she prepared for the approaching melody. The tempest understood timing was key, ceasing its struggle to align itself with Vinyl, patiently awaiting her command to unleash the chord needed to break the attack. The air was now full of Octavia’s song, permeating the atmosphere and suppressing all hope of any other note edging its way in.
She took a step forward, rolling her body to the outside away from her instrument. One hoof released it, allowing gravity to pull it into another wide swing. It spun as she continued to move forward while turning, reaching around her opposing side to replace the hoof now being pulled too far away to keep hold. As her body came back around to face the incoming attack, she increased the spin, the guitar soaring high above her head. In one fluid motion, her other hoof resumed control, and both in unison brought their combined force in a downward stroke. The base struck the approaching song with precise accuracy, met there by a flash of brilliant yellow lightning that accompanied the deflection and drove the song crashing into the dirt.
Her forward momentum carried her through the violent explosion as the song shattered, disrupted by Vinyl’s own chord of thunder and lightning that took a commanding lead over the landscape. The guitar narrowly avoided the ground as it came back around to rest in front of her, still gripped with both hooves firmly, vibrating a steady triumphant tune. “That wasn’t very nice, Octavia.”
Octavia was still standing with her bow forward. “Shall I increase the tempo then? And see if you move as fast as you lie?”
“Well, I was going to suggest we talk about this.”
Her bow began to burn again, another chord taking flight from the frog. “I don’t want to hear it.” She lied. “I just want you gone. Out of my life forever. Both for my sake, and his.”
Vinyls guitar coated itself in a blue haze. “I will happily oblige, but only if you hear me out. Just this one last time. Please, Octavia.”
Her poise faltered momentarily as tears blurred her vision again, a brief lapse in concentration as her heart finally screamed loud enough to be heard. “Vinyl... I...” A crash of watery resolve picked up the chorus, drowning her heart back into obscurity. “I don’t want to hear it!” The chord shot forth from her bow, weaving the same song as before.
The violent tempest was more prepared this time, easily disrupting the harmony. Vinyl broke the attack with another couple steps forward, swinging her weapon to send the shattered melody skyward to be lost in the clouds. “You are lying, Octavia, and you were never very good at it. These attacks aren’t half as good as I know you’re capable of producing. Some part of you wants to hear me out, and it won’t let you fight me.”
She readied another chord. “How can you expect me to forgive you Vinyl? How can you...” Her heart wrestled control of her for another fleeting moment, unleashing a tidal wave of gut wrenching despair, flooding her senses and pulling more tears to her eyes. “How can you expect me to?”
“I’m not asking for forgiveness, I’m asking for your time. Just hear me out, Tavi. Please.”
The clouds occupying Vinyl’s skyline were slowly pressing forward, forcing the sunlight to recoil against the encroaching shadow. But Octavia could scarcely hear the approaching thunder, the chord surrounding her bow had birthed a new song in its impatience, strands of light playing along the lengths of hair, weaving a tune of melancholy and distrust. “Vinyl...” She nearly pleaded. Her fury begged her to make no compromise. It would be so much easier to hold onto it, to strike Vinyl down and end the tormenting agony that ravaged her emotions.
Vinyl had slowly begun advancing towards her with the storm, taking cautious steps forward while keeping her weapon at the ready. “We’ll take it slow. I’ll start from the beginning.”
“The beginning?” Her heart seized the initiative as memories invaded her thoughts, clouding her clarity and disrupting her concentration. “Don’t...” And just as quickly, the hate twisted her words. “Don’t you dare corrupt those!” The melody lurched from her bow eagerly, rising an octave as it streaked through the air, reinforced by the crashing waves of the ocean chorus. It burned brightly, carrying with it the retreating sunlight to push the approaching storm back to where it came.
Vinyl swiped the song aside as easily as the last, though this time she did so with an artist’s grace, changing the song’s timbre and tone to a reassuring persian blue as it was deflected skyward. The clouds parted to permit the song to pass through unimpeded, the tempest falling silent in respect to allow the muse to blanket the atmosphere as it slowly faded into oblivion. “Do you think I do not hold these memories in the same regard? Do you really think I would do anything to tarnish them?”
Octavia tried to summon another chord, but her voice faltered, and no amount of wind could carry what never made it past her lips. “Why Vinyl? Haven’t you hurt me enough? Why are you making this harder?” Tears streamed freely down her cheeks now, overflowing the dams that could no longer hold their increasing weight.
“I’m not trying to hurt you, Tavi. Please, just give me this chance.” Vinyl’s advance had never ceased, and she was now within a few dozen paces of Octavia, her weapon lowering without a chord on the others bow. “I ask this one last favor of you, then I will lower my guard, and you may pass whatever judgement you wish onto me.”
Octavia’s breath was heavy as she struggled to bring her emotions under control. The words were lingering in her throat, begging to be released, to unleash a chord at double the tempo as before and catch Vinyl off guard at such close proximity. But they were restrained, chained to the walls of her neck and not permitted to go any further by the only organ that could wield such dominating control. “You...” She steadied her breath, pulling the tears into retreat though never letting her bow fall. “You have 5 minutes.”
The tension rippling through Vinyl’s body finally expunged itself, tired muscles happy to release the burning stress and the weight of the guitar. The body of her weapon fell softly to the ground, the far tip laid to rest against the smooth grass as its cyan mist dissipated and vanished into the air. The tempest had pulled back to its half of the skyline, still hovering over the white haired pony but only by a few paces. “Thank you, Tavi. I really...”
“And don’t call me Tavi.” She hissed through gritted teeth, a wisp of red light igniting along the bow, but evaporating just as quickly. “So tell me, where do you plan on starting this fairy tale?”
Vinyl took a deep breath. “Where they all start, of course. At the beginning.”