Welcome to the Show

by IfFoundReturntoRarity

Chapter 2

I stare down at my new creation, the red jewel of the necklace glistening as the sunlight shed its light onto it. I did my best to recreate what I had previously done for Sonata, taken from the very same stone. It would have been unwise of me to try to take Sonata’s amulet, unaware of the true power it holds, who knows what could have happen if I separated it from her. It was a much safer choice merely to construct my own. She appears to still be able to harness magic from it, and yet at the same time, she's completely oblivious to it. Unfortunately, this leaves me unaware of how I can do the same. The best I can do is attempt to mimic what I did the first time. Honestly that was the easy part. When I retrieved the rock from the caves, there was enough that I was able to fashion Sonata’s original amulet, as well as my own. Unfortunately, I had to use up what was left, and would be unable to produce another. But no matter, I certainly shouldn’t need to make another for someone else. As for Sonata, she will at least be a meaningful asset for now, until I have no use for her. But I’ll see what the future has in store.

My horn illuminates, and I bring the pendant around my neck, closing it up. The gem stone touches upon my chest, with an icy burn as if it was made of a chunk from the frozen north. I step back, and lift up the gem from my fur. It’s odd, for a brief moment it’s almost as if I could see a white, faded outline of a beast, that whisked away as soon as it was seen. There is power in this stone… The question is what is it, and how do I bring it out.

What wonderful timing, two Earth ponies just walked into my shop. Exactly what I require, test subjects. Both of them female, one with a light green fur coat and the other with a pink one, both of them seem to be… lower class. I suppose it’s safe to assume they’re both here thanks to Sonata. If there’s one thing I must give her credit for, it’s the fact that my establishment has been booming recently. Maybe she’s not a total idiot.

“Oh she was right, this is a lovely establishment…” The green one said as her eyes wandered around.

“Oh I know, everything’s so beautiful… she was right. We need to see her again!”

“I do believe her next show is tonight! We should get there at an early enough time for certain, why it may be packed.”

“Is there something I can help you mares with today?” I only needed to catch their attention for just long enough. The pink one approached the counter.

“Why yes, my name is Rosy Love and my word! That is a lovely necklace you have! Why it almost looks like the one Ms. Sonata Dusk wears.”

The green pony nodded in agreement. “A pony with such a good sense of style like herself knows what to wear!”

Alright, enough of this. I should be the one receiving this praise. My mind races for a moment, attempting to figure out what happened yesterday when I saw the amulet’s magic in effect for the first time. I raise my amulet up to her, meeting her eyes. “You like this, don’t you?”

“Why yes very much so!” Excellent, now to make sure it works…

“Now, I want you to…empty your bit bag onto the counter.”

The pony continued to stare down at the amulet and looked back to me. She reached into her bag and…

…she pulled out a small mirror and adjusted her mane before putting it back away. “I’m sorry, what did you say miss?” Her expression was that only of confusion.

I don’t understand, I could even feel the very power of this stone just by looking at it, how is this not working? If some half brain like Sonata can do it, why can’t I be able to control it? Perhaps it was eye contact and not merely just staring at the stone. I lock my eyes with the pony. Let’s try that again, maybe now she can be a bit more open to suggestion.

“I would like you to empty your bit bag onto the counter.” My expression remains straight, yet the Earth pony looks away from me, almost unsure what to say.

“Well, I’d be willing to do such a thing if you were to sell me something, but I’m not quite sure what you mean at all.”

This is ridiculous. I turn around from her to look at this accursed rock myself. I know there was some power in this gem, I saw it! Why isn’t anything happening? I made it, I made it the same way as I did for her, what could she possible be doing that I don’t have, what am I missing?

“I’m just going to… come back another time.” The pony backed away, nudged her friend and they turned around and left my store. Fine, get out of my face, I have no use for you. You’re simpletons anyway.

I remove the necklace, and place it before me on the table. Staring deep into the crimson stone, I can see my own reflection in it, staring back at me with such intense eyes. Perhaps I was imagining things? In hindsight, I suppose it is ludicrous to believe that a rock could hold the potential to sway others in a direction that would benefit one such as myself. Even if it did work, what kind of things would I have possibly done with it? It’s all just one big joke, I was most likely just imagining things. I’m just making a fool of myself.

My moment of deep thought was interrupted by the chime of my door charm ringing. Quickly I threw the necklace under the counter and looked up to see none other than the rising talk of the town herself… still looking as absent-minded as ever.

“Dagi!” Sonata cheered, jumping up for a moment, waving her hooves around like an idiot. I swear if this ever works the first thing I’m doing is putting an end to that nickname.

“Sonata, how wonderful it is to see you again.” The words rot me from the inside out having to say that. At the very least, if I can keep on her good side I can keep up this newfound popularity at my store, until I can figure out exactly what’s going on. She still wears the amulet around her neck, I don’t think I’ve seen her take it off just yet.

“I didn’t see you at lunch today, is everything okay?”

“I’m sorry,” Sorry I don’t have the patience to watch you stuff your face like a pig, “but I had to handle today.

“Oh, well, okay.” Sonata paused for a moment, looking as if she was trying to lead into something. I can probably guess. “Were you able to finish… whatever it is?”

“There are some things I need to finish with it.” Best to leave it open so I may keep an easy exit.

“Well, I wanted to to ask…” Sonata’s easy darted away from me, her face blushing up as she rubbed one of her front hooves on her legs, I should know what’s coming, again. “I have something else coming up tonight, in a little bit… do you maybe… maybe want to come to this one?”

I pause, taking a moment to consider my options. On one hoof, if something out of the ordinary is occurring I suppose this is where it’s happening. I need to figure out exactly what’s going on, and if it’s not from here, I’ll have no clue. On the other hoof, if none of these even matters, then I’m just wasting my time. But… I do need answers. And this may just be my chance.

My teeth clench, and my lips curl back. “Of course, Sonata. When would you like to leave?”

It didn’t take long to reach where Sonata was holding her… ‘concert’. It’s a ridiculous name for it still. We’re out in a field and it’s just a wooden platform with two torches on stage for light on both sides. Well that’s certainly not a fire hazard. If she was a unicorn she could just light the stage herself. But she isn’t, and here we are.

I adjust my saddle bag on my back, as I watch as the sun sets behind Sonata, as she stands on her ‘stage’, fiddling through some notes on the floor, with her right hoof holding her necklace close to her chest. I look around, and unsurprisingly, there’s nopony here, and yet she’s set to begin in a few minutes. Sure, there’s some ponies who pass by, but there’s only one other pony here at the moment.  So, does this confirm it was just luck for her that one time?

To the right of me stands the only other pony here; a lavender pegasus with a dark purple and mint green mane. She stares intently at Sonata on stage, almost analyzing her. I glance at her cutie mark, it’s that of a silver star with a curved line through it. I can’t fathom what that would make her talent, or why she’d be here for someone like Sonata.

“I can see you staring at me. Quit it.”

I cock an eyebrow at that remark, she’s clearly a feisty one. “Excuse me?”

The pegasus pony’s glance shifted towards me. “I can see you staring at me. Why don’t you stop?”

“What’s got you so wound up?”

“Something I need to concentrate on, now are you dense? Stop staring at me!” She darted her eyes back to Sonata. I take a moment to think of a response, but no matter. It’s unlikely I’ll ever see her again. As I turn back around, my saddle bag nearly slips from behind me. Darn thing, piece of junk. I shouldn’t have even brought it, the only reason I bothered to take it was so I could have my own amulet with me, to see if there would be any sort of connection between the two of them.

“…And I would like to thank all you wonderful mares and stallions for showing up!” Wait, how long was Sonata talking? ‘All you wonderful mares and stallions’? There’s maybe, five mares here tops? Sure, there’s a handful of others walking around but they don’t seem interested, they’re not going to stand by.

Sonata, still holding her amulet to her chest, raised her hoof to the night sky, and then-

Aaaaaah~” That... that noise!  Instinctively, I immediately do what I can to drown it out, I shut my eyes tight and my teeth clench, trying to focus on anything else. Anything else aside from that… that wail, that screech. It pierced through my ears, like the cry of a windigo. And yet… it sounds so beautiful… I must…

Focus girl. What’s going on? You’ve heard Sonata sing before, that’s not what her voice sounds like at all. I open my eyes, still trying to drown out the noise in my own voice, my gut tells me I shouldn’t listen to it. I look behind me to see the ponies initially just walking by are now standing in place, mesmerized. Some of them even approach her on stage. I can even see a slight green aura around her, I was right! There is something! What is she… what is she…

The song! Her voice! That’s the driving force behind it, it’s her singing! I need to cover one of my ears as her song continues, the faint echoing of her voice shaking my brain. My own necklace, that might just be my chance. My horn illuminates and I retrieve my own amulet from my bag, and I pull it to the front of me, to feel it shaking and pulled slightly towards the stage in my own aura’s grasp. Quickly I bring it around my own neck, and I feel a wave of relief sweep over me. The ringing of Sonata’s voice ceases, aside from a faint wail in addition to her normal noise of a voice. A wail, that if I’m not mistaken, appears to echo in my own gemstone. This is it! This is what I was missing!

I check around me, there must be at least twenty ponies now, all of them have their eyes glued to Sonata.I need to get out of here. I adjust my bag once more and sidestep my way through the suddenly-appeared crowd, and once free, I run back as fast as I can to my shop. My mind flashes through the possibilities this can open, the attention I can receive, the adoration! I don’t have to spend my time in a dump village like this, I can be with the elite! Why, maybe even the Princesses themselves will see what I deserve! Everything I want is now in my hoof’s reach!

The run home wasn’t a long one, despite feeling longer with the various thoughts running through my head. As I finally made it to my own door, I step inside and reach to place my bag… my bag! What, but how, when-

“Hey! You dropped something.” I turn behind me to see the lavender pegasus from the concert, landing from the air on my doorstep, holding my saddlebag in her hoof. “Now, how about you let me in so I can return this to you, and you and I can get to know each other? My name, is Aria. Aria Blaze.”