La Rariachi

by MythrilMoth

Canción del Rariachi

Piso Mojado, Mexicolt

The run-down bar was stiflingly hot and filthy. A broken ceiling fan turned lazily overhead, its light movement doing nothing to stir the air in the barroom. Hay, crusty old salt, and stains best left unidentified littered the old, splintery wooden floor. Wooden tables and chairs in similar states of shabby dotted the bar, many occupied by an assortment of shifty-looking burros and shady-looking stallions. A portly, middle-aged burro with a thick black mustache stood behind the bar, wiping a grimy patch of filth with a grimy rag.

The door opened, and a pink earth pony mare with a poofy pink mane and tail walked in, her saddlebags rustling against the brightly-colored saddle blankets she wore. She trotted up to the bar, a bright, cheerful smile on her face. "Hi!" she said in a high-pitched voice. "I'm Pinkie Pie!"

"Who cares," the bartender grunted. "What'll you have?"

Pinkie Pie thought about it for a long moment. "How about a root beer float?"

The bartender snorted. "Ain't got no root beer, ain't got no float. All I got's lukewarm sarsparilla."

"I'll take that then!" Pinkie Pie said. The bartender grunted and filled a mug, placing it in front of Pinkie. She took a long sip, then smacked her lips. "This is pretty good," she said. She looked up at the bartender. "But I guess anything tastes pretty good when you're lucky to be alive." She took another sip. "I was up in Salsa Verde—you know the place? Anyway, I was at a bar in Salsa Verde...kinda like this one. Now that place, they've got root beer, but it's flat and tastes like somepony spit in it. Not like this fine drink right here. And I saw something there that'll freak your frizz!"

The bartender grunted and went to work refilling a bowl of nuts.

"So anyway, yeah, I'm sitting there, and this place, it was full of some real bad hombres. I mean not like this place here, you guys are all great, but these ponies? They were a bunch of real meanies! They were all up to some really bad stuff. Like, I don't know what they were doing? But they were doing it all evil-like. Like, in secret." She shrugged. "So anyway, I'm there drinking by myself, which is totally no fun but my friends aren't here with me, and all this bad stuff's going on, when all of a sudden, in walks the whitest unicorn I've ever seen. I mean, she was so bright and so clean, it's like the whole place got darker all around her just so she'd shine brighter. Like she was a light, and all the other lights in the room went and hid in the shadows because they were jealous. I mean, she walked in like she owned the place. Nopony knew what to think. A pretty white unicorn like her in a bar full of bad dudes like that? Weird, am I right?"

The bartender rolled his eyes and went back to wiping the bar.

"So anyway, she sits down at the bar and she orders a sparkling water," Pinkie said.

"A sparkling water, huh?" the bartender grunted. A lot of the assorted patrons chuckled.

"Well, I wasn't really interested in her drink order," Pinkie said. "No, I was interested in the guitar case she brought in with her. Set it up on the stool next to her like it was her best friend. So anyway, everypony's watching this unicorn, and she leans in to talk to the bartender, and you could tell she was talking business. She was pretty worked up about something, especially when she mentioned..." Pinkie paused for a sip, tilting her head as if trying to remember. "She said something like 'couch' or 'cooch' or..." She trailed off, set down her glass, then looked up at the bartender. "Cucho."

The bar fell silent. The bartender's face fell into a scowl.

"That's what it was," Pinkie said. Looking around the bar, she raised her voice. "Cucho!" She looked at the bartender again. "So anyway, yeah, she said that, and the bartender got really really mad. And he wasn't the only one. Some of those bad hombres, those shady characters? They got really mad too. They started getting up and you could tell they were ready for a fight." She looked around. "So this unicorn, she gets off her stool and opens up her guitar case, and comes out with this guitar, see? It's a really nice guitar, too. Made of applewood, you could smell it from half the bar away."

"You could smell it, huh?" the bartender said, popping a toothpick into his mouth and chewing on it.

"Sure as I can smell the lather and mange on these fine ponies and burros here," Pinkie said. "So anyway, she comes out with this guitar, and all of a sudden she goes flying into this crowd of nasty characters, swinging away with this guitar, knocking them all upside the head, smashing hooves, swatting flanks..." She rolled her remaining drink with her hoof, eyeing it critically. "Can I get a clean glass? This one's dirty."

The bartender spat out his toothpick. "Cleanest one I got," he said, though he reached under the bar and pulled out a noticeably cleaner mug, into which he poured the remainder of Pinkie's drink. He topped it off for good measure.

"Thanks," Pinkie said, taking a sip. "So anyway, out of nowhere, all these other bad dudes start coming out of everywhere, they weren't there a minute ago, but they're there now, and they're madder than a wet cat. And these were some super scary bad ponies, not like this bunch here. I mean, you guys are great. These guys were just jerks. So they're all charging this unicorn, and she's just going to town on everypony with her guitar, I mean you can hear bones breaking and stuff." She tilted her drink. "Yeah, it was the craziest thing I've ever seen. So anyway, after she beats the daylights out of all these lowlives, she grabs one and makes him start talking, and I could tell he was giving her everything she wanted."

"Everything?" the bartender asked, his face long and drawn.

"Everything," Pinkie said. "So then she whips around, and she looks at me, and I'm staring into these burning blue eyes...and then she trots up to the bar, pays for her drink, and leaves."

The bartender started chuckling. "The bartender didn't get hurt?" he looked around the room. "The bartender never gets hurt!" he yelled, eliciting chuckles from some of the patrons.

Pinkie shook her head. "No, the bartender got it worse than anypony. See, right as this unicorn was leaving, the bartender threw a bottle at her. It didn't hit, but it spilled sticky root beer all over her mane. And that got her mad, see." She shuddered. "I've never seen any unicorn cast a spell like that, but the bartender was screaming in soprano when I left."

Several ponies crossed their legs uncomfortably. The bartender paled. "You mean she cut off his—?"

"Huh?" Pinkie blinked. "No, silly. She turned him into a mare." Several nervous whinnies met that pronouncement. She slammed back the rest of her drink, then stood up. "Anyway, I'm gonna bounce. Because I'm pretty sure that unicorn? Is headed riiiiiight this way."

With that, she bounced cheerfully out the front door of the bar, leaving a deathly silent room full of nervous, anxious burros and ponies in her wake.