• Published 28th Mar 2012
  • 2,368 Views, 51 Comments

Beat of the Heart - Dr.Shisno

A tale of love and rediscovery of music.

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Chapter 3

“Mister Chaser?” A voice behind Flare pulled him out of his trance and back into reality. Flare glanced over his shoulder only to realize it was Octavia’s butler. “I didn’t want to disturb you, but the show has been over for some time now.”

Adjusting to the sudden, growing silence that surrounded him, all that was left was the murmur of the crowd slowing leaving. Shaking his head to rustle himself back into this reality, he asked, “How long were you standing there for?”

“Just a few a minutes sir.” The butler casually walked toward him, taking Flare's half-finished glass of wine away. “I came in just moments before the last number and it has only been a minute or two since they finished.”

The pegasus placed a hoof on his face and sigh. “Did I at least applaud at the end of the performance?” He groaned, hoping his entranced self might have done something right.

“Oh, of course you did, sir. I dare say that you on the verge of whistling and openly cheering the musicians on stage.”

“Wonderful…” Rolling his eyes and mumbling to himself, “At least I didn’t make a complete fool out of myself.”

“Sir, as much as I’d hate to intrude on your personal reflection, I don’t wish to keep Ms. Octavia waiting for too long, either. Now,” he turned towards the door, “if you would kindly follow me.”

Standing up from his chair, Flare shook his head a little bit in disbelief. “Lead the way, good sir. I’ll be right behind you.”

Leading Flare out the room and down the hallway, the pegasus was left to his own devices, back to thinking in his own head. Subconsciously following the stallion in front of him to the backstage and the private rooms, all he could see in his head was the past hour and a half of pure bliss on replay. Watching in awe at the ponies on the stage as they pulled the bows across their instrument’s strings, how they all acted as one entity, flowing easily like a quiet stream or, at times, dynamically like a rushing rapid. Hearing the viola compliment the violin, cello, or vise versa. Sure, the stallion thought, I live everyday with magic flowing around me, but this is a different kind of magic. It’s a magic that requires more than just ability, but a skill acquired by discipline and practice, which has always attracted me to any aspect of music. From the stories and funk of blues bands in south Manehattan to the electronic beats in clubs like The Hornless Alicorn. Each beat, each note has something to say. So sometimes all you have to do is listen.

Still in a daze, Flare ran into the butler’s backside. “OH, sorry, sir. My bad, just zoned out for a little bit.”

He merely gave the pegasus a disdainful glare while his monotone reply completed the look. “Oh good, I was worried you were having a ground breaking thought of some sort. Now then,” he gestured to the door behind him, “Ms. Octavia is in her private room, please try and act appropriately. I really hate cleaning up messes.” With that, the butler turned and left, leaving Flare alone in front of the door. Taking a deep breath, letting his insecurities go, Flare finally knocked on the door. The door flung open as an agitated mare glared him down.

“DO YOU MIND, STRINGS!? I’M KIN- Oh, sorry!” She started to apologize. “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else. Hold on, hold on, let me try that again.” And before Flare could respond the door was closed on his face in an instant.

Looking around for some sort of answer, maybe a hidden audience laughing at the confused look on Flare’s face, but the only reaction he could manage was a very short curt “What?”

Again the door opened, not quickly thankfully. Behind revealed a much calmer and far more composed mare. “OH, Flare!” She hugged the still confused pegasus. “I’ve been awaiting you for quite a bit. I really hope you enjoyed the show.” Octavia began to walk back into the room, leaving a confused stallion in the hallway once more. “Don’t just stand there. Please, come in!”

The dumbfounded stallion walks through the door and into the lightly furnished room. Looking around a bit, he began to talk when he heard the door click behind him. “Um, nice little set up you got here.” Doing a quick double-take between the mare now laying on the couch in front of him and the door, he asked, “So I take it that show wasn’t for me?”

The gray mare sighed, “No, I thought it was Strings again. I gave him the advice you told me the other night.” She left her position from the couch and trotted to the small fridge in the corner. Opening it and pulling out a bottle of wine, she poured herself a glass. “He didn’t really like it. Partly because I play cello and I have no idea what I am talking when it comes to violas. Obviously. Would you like a glass?”

“Oh, yeah, a glass would be lovely,” he managed to say, accepting the glass and taking a sip. “And you told him what I said, why?”

“Because, Flare,” she trotted back to couch, stretching out along its soft pads. “He was messing up a simple line with a simple problem that could be solved with a simple fix.”

“Yes, but the piece was beautiful,” Flare responds, pulling up a chair. “I don’t think there was a need to confront him.”

“Ah, but the reason the piece was so beautiful tonight was because I confronted him.” She took a sip, savoring its sweet, dry flavor. “And besides, it’s about making music. We work as a group, not as individuals. On the stage is not a time for personal feelings to get in the way of the finished product.”

“But learning together and using those personal preferences of each musician on their instrument is what makes a musical group, such as yourselves, that much better.”

“Flare, I wasn’t talking about personal preferences.” Octavia replied with a bit of annoyance. “Strings just doesn’t like it when I tell him what to do, nor did he like the fact that he found out I was using the private seating for you.”

Flare looked down at his glass, swirling its contents around for a few moments. “Soo, I take it I’m already on his hit-list?”

“I can’t say for certain if he already has a so called ‘hit-list’, but just be wary if he does come around.” The musician took another sip, smiling now. “I just think the stress of the evening is getting to him and my comment certainly didn’t help at all.”

“Well, that’s perfectly understandable,” Flare spoke with a sly smile. “I would be pretty mad too if someone came along and told me the way I’ve been doing things was wrong the whole time.”

She stared Flare down a moment before saying, “But it was your opinion. Your correct opinion, mind you.”

“Sure it was.” The pegasus shrugged, feigning a bit of innocence. “But I never said you should tell the guy.” He held up a hoof before she could respond. “Look, how about we drop the subject and talk about something else?”

“Hmm,” the mare thought to herself, contemplating while looking at her glass. “Well, I suppose you really haven’t told me a lot about yourself, seeing as our first meeting was a bit rushed. Which is why I wanted to talk right now. Just us. No distractions.”

“Well, that seems only appropriate.” Flare sipped on his glass, smiling at both his guest and the drink’s sweetness. “What do you want to start with? I mean I’m a delivery pony, bringing drinks to needy clients out of The Hornless Alicorn. I’m a pegasus with a weakness for good music. I enjoy most of the small things in life; long walks on the beach, seeing the sights of each city I visit, and maybe say hi to my folks every once in a while. You know, what every good, law-abiding pony ought to do.”

The gray mare chuckled, enjoying another taste of her wine. “You’re quite the character, Flare. Like I said earlier, I never expected you, a stallion I met in a tasteless club, to enjoy a wonderful glass of wine and a night of good music. So,” she paused leaning a bit forward, “how did you get into the lovely world of music?”

“To be perfectly honest, I can hardly play any instrument. Not even those awful recorders in elementary school. I was terrible mind you, the absolute worst in the class. I still don’t understand how my mother’s sanity stayed intact when I practiced.” Flare sighed upon remembering those memories. “I guess you could say it was my father. He had a nice old job down on the south end of Manehattan, just keeping this one place clean and running. He’d bring me in to listen to some of the blues musicians that would play their soul out on the stage maybe once a week. There would even be some nights where I would beg my dad to bring me because I knew P.P. King would be there.”

“P.P. King?” The mare leaned more forward, now intrigued. “You actually listened to him? Now you’ve got me even more surprised.”

“Yeah, it was quite the honor to be in the same room as him. Much more to even shake his hoof. He was quite the talent to grace these ears. But his stories, his emotions he laid out in his music, even though I couldn’t play worth anything, I could still appreciate the magic of music that these ponies made. It kinda became a side project of mine,” he paused, taking a drink. “Between deliveries and work at The Hornless Alicorn, I found time to take out of my day just to find some new type of music to listen to. Even if it didn’t quite appeal to me, I could still lend an ear to the player.” A small grin appeared again with a sip of his drink. “It was classical night this month. Anyways, what about you, my musically gifted mare?”

“If you must know…” she leaned back into the couch as Flare got ready for a story. “My mother thought a proper mare such as myself should learn one or two proper things. Especially since I grew up in one of the nicer communities in Fillydelphia. It seemed only right for my mother to make me learn how to play a cello, to be a refined pony. I guess she was right, because I found my talent.” She giggled a bit at the remembrance. “And I haven’t really dropped the bow since. It’s something I love to do, so why stop? So I decided to move out from my mother’s watch at Fillydelphia and come here. Had to call in a few favors to get a spot on this quartet, but here I am, nonetheless.”

The pegasus nodded. “I guess that explains your feelings towards the not-so-elegant, electronic beats of the clubs.”

“Personal disposition only plays a part of it. I also feel that the noise that is considered music is just so impersonal. When one makes beats with electronics and can play the same thing over and over again, with no change to the piece each time it’s played just seems wrong. Each time I play a piece of music, it’s different every time. I’m not a machine to make it perfect every single time.”

“Huh…” Flare thought aloud. He set his finished glass down and looked up with a sly grin on his face. “You ever been out dancing before? Or, as the cool ponies like to call it today,” Using his hooves to emphasis his next word, “Clubbing?”

“No, I cannot say I have been,” mimicking her hooves in the same way to emphasize, “Clubbing. It was much more civilized at Fillydelphia. There were dances and balls. The other night was merely an escape from Strings and his,” she rolling her eyes, “more subtle advances. I’m sure dinner at his flat would’ve turned out a bit differently.”

The pegasus laughed openly, “And you think our night together ended any differently? I don’t think it did, just saying.”

“Well,” the musician thought for a few seconds. “I suppose not, but to me it was different. You’re different. You’re a bit brash, and when you speak, you speak your mind. You seem to have some sort of moral code. And by Celestia, you know your music! If I have to deal with another flank-kisser like Strings, I may have to hurt somepony. My mother would have a good laugh if she saw me out on the streets with a some delivery pony, but I think she would also see what attracts me to you.” She left her place from the couch, setting her glass down. “So, yes, I think it’s a good night to try something new. You have any particular place in mind?”

“I wouldn’t want a home field advantage, but I know of other places. Though you might want to lose the tie, in my opinion.”

“Have we become a fashion expert now? What about your tie then, Flare? Wouldn’t you want take yours off as well?”

“Perhaps, but bowties are cool and I look good in one. Also, going clubbing with a bowtie? The irony itself is too great to pass up.” A slight ridiculing look from Octavia was enough to get him to back down. “Alright, we’ll both go tie-less, then.”

“That’s what I thought.”