• Published 24th May 2013
  • 3,185 Views, 105 Comments

Duplicity - Bullet25

Lyra, an innocent young pony from Ponyville is suffering from strange visions of another world, strange creatures, and a whole different reality.

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Chapter Three: Magic and Music

Oh Celestia, what is wrong with them? How could they eat meat? I was lying on the guest bed crying. How do they just knowingly eat meat?

“Lyra, Are you okay?”

The sudden voice made me jump. “Huh? I guess so, Sam.”

“You’re crying though. That doesn’t seem okay to me.”

“I’m guessing that eating meat is a common thing here then.”

“Well duh. Why else would I have made lasagna with meat?”

“I just want to go home!”

“Try some of your magic maybe that can get you back,” he excitedly said.

“I tried it already it doesn't work. There must not be any magic in this world.”

His smile deflated. “Aww, I wanted to see some real magic,” he whined.

“That’s the only reason you came up here, isn’t it?”

“No, well okay maybe, but Teresa and Bonnie are downstairs yelling at each other, and I didn’t want to be yelled at again.”

I rolled my eyes and smiled. “Well whatcha wanna know about magic then?”

“Everything!” he yelled, jumping onto the bed and taking a spot next to me.. “Like, how did you do it? What is it like? What could you do?”

“Okay, slow down. Um, where to start? Okay first of all, you have to be a unicorn to do any kind of magic, and even then, you can’t do all of it.”

“Why not?”

“Because somethings certain ponies can’t do. Like me—I can do the basics like levitating things, and I know a few simple spells like lights, fire, or heat, but I can’t do much more than that. Now, a pony like Twilight for inst–”

“Who’s Twilight? Did her parents name it after the book?”

“Twilight is probably the most gifted unicorn when it comes to magic, and what book are you talking about? I don’t think she is named after a book.”

“It’s this gay book about vampires that sparkle or some crap. Ask Teresa, she loves it.”

“Like I was saying, Twilight’s special talent is magic, so she could do any magic she wanted to as long as he knew the spell. My talent, though, is music, specifically the lyre.”

“Okay, then how do you do the magic?”

“Oh, the simpler things you just sort of think of it or imagine it, and it just happens. Like if I wanted a light, I would just think of a small ball of light in the room, and it would happen. As for the more complicated things, I can only assume it works sort of the same way.”

“So what, do unicorns just go around to everyone’s home at night and make balls of light, or do you people not have electricity?”

“I don’t know what electricity is. Is that what powers the lamps here? I’ve been wondering how they’ve been powered without magic for so long. We use candles even maintaining something simple like a light can only be done for about an hour or two, and there would be no way to keep more than two or three going at a time. You could store some magic in a crystal to keep simpler spells going, but even that would only last for about two hours before needing a recharge.”

“So, a crystal is like a battery?”

“If a battery stores electricity then yes, I guess it is.”

“So, if you don’t have electricity then you don’t have any good music, movies, or video games do you?”

“Good music is a subjective term I would say our music is pretty good music!”

“So, is that why you play a guitar?”

“No, I don’t know what a guitar is. I play a lyre.”

“But Bonnie said she went to get your guitar it’s even sitting right there.” He pointed at a case and box in the corner of the room. “I know that’s not a lyre.”

“No its not. I play a lyre, I’m guessing Lauren plays this guitar thing.” I walked over to the case and opened it. “Huh, this looks almost like a viola, but where is the bow?”

“Bow? It doesn’t use a bow. You pluck the strings with a pick.”

I pulled one of the strings, and it made a very muffled sound. “That isn’t loud at all how would you hear this?”

Sam was looking at me with his eyebrow raised. “Really? You need to plug it into the amp. It’s an electric guitar.”

“Oh, that’s what the speaker is for. The onl–”

“Wait, wait, wait, if you don’t know what electricity is, how do you know what a speaker is?”

“We have them, and like other things, only a unicorn could work with one. The only pony I knew personally who uses one is Vinyl Scratch. She uses them when she DJs. I can’t stand that techno crap, though.”

“Okay, stop. Now I’m really confused. How can you use all these old timey things like candles and lyres, yet at the same time have things that need electricity to run like speakers or have techno music when it is literally an electronic type of music!”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. We just do.”

“Can you play anything other than the lyre?”

“Well yeah, I mastered that when I was like fifteen. I’d be an idiot not to try to learn more instruments.”

“If your special talent is music, try to play the guitar. Here, I’ll plug it in.” He took the guitar out of the case and set it on the table, then pulled out a wire and plugged one end into a hole on the bottom of the guitar and the other end into a matching hole on the amp. He then plugged a different plug that was already attached to the amp into a matching set of holes on the wall. Then he turned some knobs on the amp, and it made a humming noise. “There, now play.”

“But I don’t know how to play a guitar.”

“Put the strap around your neck and hold the guitar like this.” He held his hands in the air like he was holding the instrument. “As for notes, I know you make the notes with the fingers on the top part of the guitar pressing the strings while the other hand plucks the strings at the bottom. You’ll figure it out, or is your special talent not music?”

“Oh, I’ll show you whose special talent isn’t music.” Why am I doing this? He’s just a kid. I don’t have to prove anything to him. I started plucking a few strings. “Wow, this sounds like a real instrument when plugged into the speaker.”

“Too bad you can’t play it.”

“Shut up!” After about five minutes of plucking randomly, I started to understand how the notes worked on this instrument. After about five more minutes I was playing a full song.


“Mommy! Mommy!” I was sobbing while jumping up onto my parents’ bed. “I had a bad dream.”

“Shhh. Shhh. Lyra, it will be okay. Shhh. Shhh.”

“But—But it was scary. And there were these things. And there weren’t any ponies around. And I was…” I started crying again.

“Shhh. Shhh. Everything is okay now, sweetie. Mommy is here. Let’s go back to your room and go back to sleep.” My mother enveloped me in her magic aura along with her violin and levitated me back to bed. She tucked me back into bed and sat on the chair next to me.

“Why can’t I sleep with you and daddy? It’s scary in here.”

“Because you’re a big filly now, and big fillies sleep in their own beds. Now, close your eyes and I’ll play you a song.”

“Okay.” My mother began playing the song she always did when I had trouble going to sleep. There was just something relaxing about it that always calmed me down. By the time she finished the song, I was nearly asleep. She got up, kissed my forehead, and walked out, leaving the door cracked so the hallway light would shine into my room.

I heard my father and mother talking in the hallway. “Nightmares again?”

“Yes, dear, she’s asleep now though. Let’s go back to bed,” my mother replied.

“Was it the same dream again, the one without any ponies in it?”

“That’s what she said.”

“We should really do something about this. It’s the fifth time this month she’s had the same nightmare.”

“It’s just a bad dream. She’ll be fine. I was like this too when I was a filly. I had nightmares almost every night.”

“I hope you’re right.”


I opened my eyes to see the three others in the house watching me with their jaws hanging open.

“Wow, that was beautiful,” Teresa finally said.

“I thought you didn’t know how to play the guitar,” Sam blurted out.

“I don’t,” I replied.

“I’ve never heard you play anything like that before, Lauren. Th–” Bonnie was cut off by Teresa hitting her with her arm.

“What did we just talk about?” Teresa asked.

“Geez, okay, just don’t elbow me. Lyra, that was amazing. You must have played the guitar before.”

“No, really, I haven't! I figured out it kind of plays like a lute, and I had to play one in school before.”

“What did you play anyway? I haven’t heard it before, and I’ve listened to quite a bit of classical music,” Teresa said.

“When I was a filly, I used to have terrible nightmares. That song was something my mother always played for me whenever I had them.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, I hate nightmares,” Sam said as he jumping back onto the bed.

“Actually, playing it made me remember something from my foalhood. I remember now that my nightmares were a lot like my visions I would have of this world. I wonder how I could forget something like that.”

“Well, nightmares aren’t really something you want to remember. Your mind must have blocked out the memories. If you want, tomorrow I could try some hypnosis to retrieve them, but like I said, your mind blocked them for a reason,” Teresa said.

I raised an eyebrow. “You know hypnosis?”

“Yeah, I don’t work and live in the town’s library for nothing. Also, why do you think Plomin recommended you—er, Lauren I mean, to see me?”

“I assumed it was for more scientific things. That’s why I was recommended to Twilight.”

Sam was laughing so hard he could barely speak. “ Teresa—Science—That’s a good one.” His laughter was short lived, as Teresa threw a book at his face.