Cider Theater Blues

by A Random Guy

Shattered Wings and Drunken Blues

A pony with a red cross for a cutie mark held Rainbow Dash’s wing up firmly in place. “Yep, this looks bad. You ripped the joint right out of the socket. Get a doctor to look at this ASAP. Frankly, I’m surprised your wing is even still attached.”

Rainbow Dash nodded. Her face scrunched up as another paramedic placed a splint under her wing. “I’ve had worse. These things happen to me all the time.”

“Well don’t let this happen again. The muscles may be ripped, but I can’t say for sure without a doctor taking a look at it. All I can say is you’ll be grounded for a long time.”

“Grounded?” Rainbow Dash’s mouth dropped. “I can’t be grounded! That’ll ruin my entire life!”

The paramedic solemnly shook his head as he pulled out a bandage roll. “I’m sorry, but you can’t use this wing for a while. You’ll hurt it even more if you try.”

If looks could kill, Rainbow Dash’s death glare would’ve nuked Discord ten times over. “This is all your fault, Discord!”

The Spirit of Chaos looked over from where he was at, waving a fan over Scootaloo’s mom while a paramedic treated her blood-alcohol level with a bottle of water. “Me? You’re the one dumb enough to get tangled up in the rafters. The railings are there for a reason.”

“And that wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t drag me into your dumb play! Ow!” Rainbow Dash flinched as the paramedic wrapped the splint against her body. “Hey, here’s an idea, use your magic to fix my wing.”

“I’d love to, honestly, but I can’t.” With a snap of his fingers, Discord summoned an hourglass filled with pickles dripping down. “My magic can fix your wing, but it’ll only last for so long. Once it fades, you’ll be back in the pitiful state you’re at now.”

“Discord.” The actor playing Pickle Barrel walked up to them. “We need to talk.”

“Bit busy here.” Discord nodded to the woozy mare, who he still fanned. “And I’ve told you before, I can’t do two things at once on stage. I’ll break character.”

“You don’t have to worry about that. About the incident tonight”—Pickle Barrel pointed at Rainbow Dash, and then at the drunken mare-“The rest of the troupe views your actions as destructive. You’ve been suspended.”

“What!” Discord shouted, chucking the fan over his shoulder. “What do you mean suspended? You can’t suspend me! I’m the only one here who can play the main character every night! I move the big set pieces around! Heck, I got a replacement lighting crew!”

“You got a couple of fillies who were way over their heads to play with expensive equipment. One of them broke her wing doing it. Do you think that’s responsible?”

“And who’s going to play Voice Box? Next to Flower Basket, he’s the main character.”

“We’ll find someone to do it. But between the filly’s and the drunken mare, everyone sees you as a liability right now.” Pickle Barrel glanced at Rainbow, who tried to stand up with some help from the paramedics. “Heck, some of them claim you were using your magic to harass the blue one up in the rafters. Something about changing her mane color and rabbits, from what I heard. For all we know, you broke her wing.”

“It was an accident! I didn’t know any of this would happen!”

“Doesn’t matter. We made our decision, and you’re suspended. We’ll tell you when that’s changed.” Pickle Barrel turned around, nodded at Rainbow Dash, then walked off without another word.

Discord twirled around and stumbled into one of the theater seats. “Suspended? I’ll show them suspended. I’ll suspend them in a solution, that’s what I’ll do.”

“Give it up, Discord,” Rainbow Dash said, rolling her eyes. “You broke my wing, got Scootaloo’s mom drunk, ruined your show, and now you have to take the heat for it.”

“Oh, and what about you?” Discord asked, pointing at the pegasus. “You still gave an alcoholic beverage to Scoots. That’s a felony in some cities.”

One of the paramedics poked his head up. “Uh, is that something we should be concerned about?”

Discord waved him off. “No, it’s not. It happened in Ponyville, not Trottingham. It’s not in your jurisdiction.”

Rainbow Dash cocked her brow. “So what, you’re going to drop the cider thing all together then?”

“Do I have a choice? Her mom is over there drunk out of her wits. Do you think she’ll listen to me at any point in the future?”

The mare in question sat up, burped in the paramedic’s face, and then collapsed back down. “Probably not. If anything, she’ll be mad about all this.”

“Exactly. Let’s tally up the score.” Discord pulled out a chalkboard out of thin are, drawing tally marks on it with his claw. “One point for me for getting suspended. One point for you for the broken wing. One point for Scootaloo for almost getting away with underage drinking. At least yours truly put an end to that. Looking at this, I’d say everything turned out even.”

“Except I’ll be flightless for who knows how long. Did you ever think I needed my flight to do my job?”

“Baby steps. I’ll pay for your food, or whatever you mortals need to survive.”

“You better.”

Off to the side, Scootaloo watched the two bicker over what happened. Her mouth opened wide to let out a yawn. “The finish line went boom,” she deadpanned. The song didn’t seem appropriate for the moment, but she hummed the tune for the heck of it. After all, even after the disaster that was this play, she did win the Sisterhooves Social race. That counted for something, right?