Welcome to the Show

by IfFoundReturntoRarity

Chapter 1

In not too long, the sun will begin to set, and with it it’ll mark the end of another unsuccessful day. I always hated the moon that Princess Luna brought forth, it was just another reminder of the end of another period of time in which I have made no new progress with my life. Every day is the same. I wake up, travel to the outskirts of the town to find what precious stones I can, I return to the store where I cut and polish them and have new stock ready by noon… which is usually more than enough for the ponies who actually come in and keep my business afloat.

There may be the one pony who stops in, new to the area and looking for something to bring home to a lover. For every one of those ponies who do purchase a gift for their special somepony, there are several who turn around and leave. Maybe I have three or four regulars. Most of them just walk around like idiots, ogling over what they can’t have, every day asking for the price of the same necklace. Are prices negotiable, can you maybe knock off ten bits? I hate the lot of them, wasting my time.

And then there is her. The blue earth pony, her name is Sonata Dusk. Every day she’s in here, wasting away pretty much every bit she owns on jewelry to attempt to show off for her pathetic excuse for what she calls ‘concerts’. It’s really just her singing on a stage in a field out in the open, not too far from town hall. Perhaps I should be honest, it’s not that she lacks the talent, no quite the opposite, it’s just that there’s never been an audience. And there never will be. If she was smart, she would have quit many moons ago. Whatever. More bits in my saddlebag. I’m not going to coach her on how she should be wasting her life.

Speak of the devil. The door chimes, and guess who walks in? “Hey Dagi!” She says in a sing song voice, as she trots up to the counter. Always so cheery and optimistic. I genuinely have no idea how she can keep this up for that long.

“I told you how much I hate that nickname before. And I’m closing soon. You should have been here hours ago to pick up your order.”

“I’m so sorry! I was getting ready for the big show tonight! Really, thank you so much for doing this for me. Your work is incredible. And I know this will just give me the last touches I need to really make my performance stand out tonight. Thank you so much.”

“Yeah. Sure.” I reach under the counter, and place the wrapped up parcel on the table. “It’s three hundred bits.”

“Three hundred? Oh. Uh, right of course, I’m sorry.” Sonata fiddled through her bag before placing a pouch of bits before me. I empty it on the counter and it’s just a mess. It’s mostly in small coins, with the bulk of it mostly made up of fives and tens. “That’s a little bit more expensive than what it usually is.”

“Not only have you never commissioned something from me before,” I say as I begin to count the coins, “you dragged me all the way through the caves at the outskirts of the village to find that specific rock that you wanted something from. That took a lot of time and effort.”

“Right, hehe. Thank you Dagi, you’re the best! This really means a lot to me.”

I finish counting out the bits, everything’s there. So I return them to the pouch, and I place it in my safe. “Shouldn’t you be saving up your bits though?” A question merely to quench my curiosity, it’s not as if she can get a refund at this point. Sonata lowered her head, and rubbed the front of her left hoof.

“I… know. I’ve had to dip into the last of my savings to get this. I’m not sure if you knew or not, but, well… I haven’t had the best of luck with the past few concerts I’ve put on…” Well if that isn’t the understatement of the year I don’t know what is. I nearly have to cut myself off from laughing, it’s unbelievable somepony can be this oblivious. Sonata picked her head up, it was almost if she had a glimmer of hope visible in her eyes. “But… I know this is going to be what I need. When I saw that gemstone, I knew there was something special about it. And I just know that if I can just look good enough, it’ll finally attract the attention I need to become successful!”

“Good luck with that.” If pretty stones were all I needed to be successful, I’d have been out of this dump a while ago.

“Hey, Dagi?” Sonata’s face blushes up a bit. If she’s about to say what I think she’s going to say, I better start thinking up an excuse now. “Would you, maybe, come to my show tonight? I’d really appreciate having you there.”

“I’m so sorry Sonata. I would absolutely adore being able to. But I need to go out and find more gemstones for tomorrow’s stock. I’m sure once everyone sees what you have, they’ll want something like it and they’ll come right over here, so I need to be prepared!” As if that’ll ever happen. “Besides. I’d absolutely hate to take up space at the show, space that could be occupied by a brand new fan of yours.”

Sonata gave me a very big grin. “Oh don’t you worry, I’ll direct everyone that comes by to you tomorrow!” She took the parcel from the counter, and placed it into her bag. “I should really go and get ready. Thank you, Adagio, for everything. I’ll see you tomorrow!”

I give Sonata an empty smile as she leaves. I can’t say I’m not curious what her reaction will be tomorrow when she finds tonight is no different for her than any other night. With Sonata gone, I think it’s time to close in for the day. Sure it may be a tad early, but what’s the point. I pull up the safe and count today’s earnings on the counter. Four hundred and forty eight bits. That includes Sonata’s, or rather I should say what were formerly Sonata’s, bits. Enough to cover a bit of rent, and at least it’s slightly more than I usually take in.

I lock the door, and head upstairs, to my home. Of course there’s no need for me to waste time going for gems, especially not now. Perhaps I should even do myself a favor and skip going out in the morning, if there’s not really a need for more stock, I can really just sleep in.

I look outside the window to see Princess Celestia’s sun being lowered and replaced with the moon of Princess Luna. I suppose right about now Sonata is wasting away her time in front of nobody hoping for adoration she’s never going to get. Though I guess it’d make me a hypocrite to complain. It’s all any pony really wants anyway, isn’t it? I can’t lie and say I’m an exception. Some of us just know better than to appear desperate for it.

I can hear some ponies are shouting outside. I can’t even make out over what, nor can I see where it’s coming from. Idiots.

I hate the moon.

Sleeping in ‘til midday always sounds like a fun idea until you actually go through with it. My mane’s an absolute mess, and I feel just absolutely groggy. And those ponies need to stop banging on my shop door downstairs, I can hear them all the way up here-

Wait. Something’s not right. I’m not supposed to have anyone come over today, I paid my rent for the month, and I don’t think I have any licenses expiring soon. And I know for certain it’s not that dreadful time of year where ponies beg for money and tell that stupid story about the “windigos”. Well who knows, maybe they came early this year. I cast a minor spell in order to adjust my appearance as I quickly trot down the stairs.

Finally getting a good view to the door, there are actually were three ponies waiting to get inside, looking around. Two pegasus ponies and a unicorn. Now, their expressions, those were the interesting part.  They looked as if they were very needy, almost awestruck. No one ever seemed to feel that way about things here before.

I make it over the door, and crack it open a smidge. Don’t want to let them in if they’re just beggars. “Can I help you?” I say.

  The three of them went silent, until the pegasus in the center jumped up. “Are you, um, Adagio? Adagio Dazzle?”

“Yes.” Wait a second. I think

“And, um, are you open now? We were really hoping you were, we’ve been waiting all morning.”

I cocked my eyebrow a bit. “Well, by all means,” I open the door completely and step aside, watching the ponies as they enter, paying close attention to their gaze as they looked around. They seemed agog, captivated by some desperate desire. I’ve seen quite a number of ponies through the years, but none of them acted like this. They’re either cheap, or in and out, but these ponies, they almost seem like…

“Excuse me, I’m sorry, how much for this wonderful piece here?” I turned my head only to see it was one of the pegasus ponies, pointing to a display case of rings for unicorn horns.

“Those are all-”

  “Whatever the cost is I’ll pay double!” It was a unicorn on the other side of me who shouted that, slamming her hoof into the ground.

“That’s too bad, I was here first, I’m getting them, and I’ll buy the whole case if I have to!”

  “You’re not even a unicorn, what will you do with them?!”

  “More than you ever will!” The pegasus looked back to me, reach into her saddle bag and threw a large, studded pouch onto the table. “There’s over one thousand bits in that pouch, you can have it all for just that row of rings there, and when my daddy comes home I’ll bring the rest of the bits for everything else there.” Before I could grab it, a pink magical aura threw the pouch to the ground.

“You don’t want bits from her, she’s a commoner!” The unicorn slammed her entire saddle bag onto my counter, with a sickeningly smug smile. “I brought nearly five thousand!”

  “You tart! How dare you call my bestie a commoner!” The second pegasus jumped into the debacle, eyes nearly lit ablaze. “Come on Merry Ways, we don’t need to take this, we’ll pool our bits together and show her!”

I took a step back from the growing chaos, as the three ponies continued to yell at each other. I suppose the right thing to do would be to break it up, but this is rather fun, I’ve never had anything quite like it happen here. Though, as I take a step back, if I were to squint my eyes I could see a very faint green aura surrounding the ponies. That’s not my magic, and the lovely little unicorn here displayed a pink aura, not a green one. So where…

  “Dagi!” The room fell absolutely silent, and with it, the green aura traced back to the pony in the doorway. I was left in the same shock as the three others, staring at her.

“Sonata Dusk… it’s so wonderful to see you here,” the unicorn said, her upper class sense of self-righteousness seemingly vanished from her voice.

“Well of course I was going to come here! I told you all you would love it here, wasn’t I right?” Sonata giggled and nudged the unicorn. She recognizes her, but is she even half aware of how utterly mesmerized she is by her very presence. Even I have to admit that. There’s just something about her now that is drawing in the attention of everyone around her. Was she the one who caused them to act the way they did? Why? Does she know what she’s doing?

  “Dagi, I really need to thank you.” Sonata’s words snapped me out of my temporary trance. I need to figure out what’s happening. “I knew you would make it work.”

  “Well I’m so glad everything went so well for you, you absolutely deserved it.” I put my hoof on Sonata’s shoulder, and she gives me a smile.

  “Dagi, thank you…” I hate that name so much. But anything if I can appear on her good side now. “Well the concert last night.  The start of it wasn’t the best, but after I began my act, it just drew in a crowd.” Her words were directed towards me, and yet all she could do was stare down at… her necklace. The one she bought last night, the one I made. “I think it finally worked. I think they saw what I was wearing and it was finally that last bit of attention I needed to finally take off! And now I was asked to do another one next week!”

  “Yes, yes, that’s wonderful. Great to hear.” I don’t get it. Is she telling the truth? Of course she is, she’s too much of an airhead to know to do otherwise. But was it really all she needed? Maybe it was just a stroke of pure luck? “Now, do you know these ponies?”

“Yeah! They were in the audience last night! They, and a bunch of others, came up to me and asked me where I got this lovely amulet from! I told them about you! There’s even going to be more ponies-”

The sound of bits scattering across the floor interrupted Sonata’s statement. It was the unicorn, she threw her bit purse into the face of the second pegasus. “You talentless mule!” She shouted. They must have picked up their quarrel as Sonata stopped accepting their adoration.


“How dare you!” Sonata completely cut me off, and stepped in front of the unicorn. Her posture dominated over the unicorn, who quickly reverted to a submissive, meek position, as if a pet was receiving a scolding from its master. “How dare you make a mess in my friend’s store! Get out!”

“Yes Sonata Dusk.” Without another word, the unicorn lowered her head and left. The two pegasus ponies began to yell at the unicorn as she left. Yet again, as they shouted, the green aura reappeared on the ground by their hooves, and it was moving. It was being pulled into… Sonata’s necklace.

  “So!” Sonata said, as she turned back to me as if nothing just occurred, with a smile beaming on her face. “You hungry for lunch yet?”