• Published 15th Dec 2013
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Prompt-A-Day Collection - Admiral Biscuit

A collection of random stories from the Prompt-A-Day group's challenges

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5: "Do You Hear That?"

Do You Hear That?
Admiral Biscuit

"Do you hear that?" The mare nudged her companion. “The G-string is flat.”

“Huh?” The unicorn stopped bobbing her head for a moment. “The what is what?”

Octavia glared over at Vinyl. “The G-string on the second cello is flat. About a quarter step.”

“Huh.” Vinyl squinted at the stage, in the general direction of the cellos. They were hard to see, even if the ponies playing them were standing—they were kind of in the back. She’d agreed to go to this Hearth’s Warming Eve pageant or concert or whatever it was the the Royal Canterlot Philharmonic Orchestra was playing at as a favor to her marefriend. She had not expected that a philharmonic orchestra had so many instruments. She knew that the quartets that Octavia usually played in were an atypically small group, of course, but she’d assumed that a classical band had—at most—twelve ponies. How many more could be needed? At least she hadn’t said that to Octavia. “You know, once you hear it, you can’t really un-hear it.”

Octavia shifted in her seat. “I hope she tunes it before the intermezzo.”

“The what?”

"Do you hear that?" The stallion knocked his hoof on the wall. “That dull thud’s the hallmark of good construction. They don’t build ‘em like that anymore.”

“Yes, dear,” his wife replied, rolling her eyes out of his sight. Ever since reading through the latest Daring Do adventure, her husband had fancied himself an expert on architecture, especially in Canterlot. He’d put dents in half the furniture at home, and nearly gotten himself kicked out of his in-laws house when he accidentally knocked through a newly-plastered wall.

“Nowadays, it’s all shoddy craftsponyship. It—”

“Will you shut up?” A orange-vested construction pony stuck her head over the wall. “By Celestia, we poured this wall yesterday. Don’t you recognize a Noble Pegasus’s Pizza Parlor when you see one under construction?”

"Do you hear that?"

I nodded.

“That, Daring Do, is the sound of inevitability. That is the sound of your demise.”


“Cut! Somepony go check on the dragon.”

“Did that sound good? Should I emphasize ‘inevitability?’ or just leave it flat?”

“Try emphasizing the ‘thats.’ See how it sounds.”

“He’s okay!”

“Reset and try again . . . everypony in place? On three. One . . . two . . . three!”

"Do you hear that?" That, Daring Do, is the sound of inaudibility. That is . . . oh, ponyfeathers.”


"Do you hear that?" The mare nudged her companion. “The bass drum is late.”

“What?” The grey pony stopped bobbing her head for a moment.

Vinyl glared over at Octavia. “The bass drum is late.”


“THE BASS DRUM IS LATE! Oh, to Tartarus with it.” She slapped the console with her hoof. “I said, the bass drum is late. She’s just off the beat.“

“Oh. I heard that. I thought the bass drum was in 12:8 time, while the rest of the band was in 4:4.”

“What?” Vinyl looked perplexed.

“Well, it sounds to me like he’s playing triplets with rests on the first and third eighth-note of each, but since that would be silly to write out, he’s in 12:8, playing rest, beat, rest, and so on. It—”

Vinyl looked at her incredulously.

“No, you know what, this is Unicorn Kid. The bass drum is probably late.”

“Yeah. Now listen to this wicked drop.” Vinyl unmuted the console.