• Published 1st Jul 2014
  • 2,454 Views, 359 Comments

Foal Fever - Distaff Pope



With a filly on the way, Vinyl's started dreaming about her glory days as Equestria's premier DJ. A mysterious potion offers her a chance to feel young again, and with Vinyl's youth restored, Octavia's pregnancy is suddenly a lot

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2. Bazaar of the Bizarre (Vinyl)

I woke up with my head pressed against something hard and knobby, and tried not to snicker at the words hard and knobby. My eyes opened, and saw I was in my DJ room. Apparently, I fell asleep in there some time after I… I groaned, recalling how I had kind of sort of freaked out around Tavi. That was… it’s not like I couldn’t freak out, but she was already freaking out because of her completely terrible parents, and instead of helping, I worried about the fact that I was slowly turning into a boring old person.

It’s… I know it’s dumb, but for some reason, I never thought I’d have to deal with that stuff; like, I was so young and hip, I just figured it would carry me through until I dropped dead. Now, I was 33, spent most of my days teaching, and hadn’t done a big gig in months. Worse than that, I wasn’t even sure what was popular these days. It wasn’t that important though; my life was mostly good, I had a wonderful wife, I liked my steady job, and I still got to do a few small shows every few weeks. If that was the upside to getting old, then I guess I could deal with that. Would be nice to be hip and have all that other cool stuff too. You know, get back to DJing every night, teaching kids in the morning, and spending all my free time doing fun stuff with Tavi. Nice, but probably not likely unless I get really lucky...

Where was I? Right, I had fallen asleep in my DJ room, Tavi was probably still freaking out because she thought she would be a terrible parent, and she was probably going to be pissed at me for something like… Like not setting up the sound-proofing spell in my room before I started playing. Yeah, that would probably tick me off too, especially if I was one of the neighbors who got a wake-up call at two in the morning. I quickly soundproofed the new room before creeping out of my DJ room and towards our bedroom as silently as possible. It was so much bigger than our old one, we could actually fit all of our stuff in it, as opposed to storing half of it in a closet somewhere. I opened the door to our room, and found that Tavi wasn’t in bed.

I didn’t hear any sounds coming from the bathroom, so I wagered that she was doing something downstairs. Like, it was still earlyish in the morning, so she could have been eating breakfast. Actually, I thought, breakfast sounded pretty good, some Trot-Tarts would– I stopped and shook my head, looking at my flanks. They were starting to get a little pudgy, and as much as it pains me to admit, I’m too old to just eat whatever I want. Unfortunately, that meant Trot-Tarts were now a special treat for when I either worked really hard or was feeling particularly lazy and couldn’t be bothered to fix a real meal.

As I made my way downstairs, I heard the clopping of hooves in the kitchen. It could have been Woodhoof fixing breakfast, but even if it was, Tavi was probably still around somewhere. It’s not like she’d been going out of the house much since she’d started swelling up to blimp size. Okay, so she just looked bulgy in the middle, but… “Hey,” I said, calling down the stairs, “has anypony seen a big gray blimp floating around here? It’s broken free of its moorings.”

“Call me a blimp one more time, Vinyl, and just see what I do. I’m a pregnant mare suffering from at least three mood swings an hour. No jury would convict me if I beat a touch of sense into you,” Tavi said, her voice coming from the study. Oh! We have a study now, Tavi thought it was the coolest thing in the world, and I guess it was alright. It gave her plenty of room to put all the journals she’d written, and gave her a nice quiet place to practice her cello. This morning though, she was reading another book on foal raising. She must’ve been going through like a book a day, and at this point, I was kind of surprised there were so many books on raising kids.

“Hey,” I said, moving to kiss her cheek, “how are you doing this morning?”

“Fine,” she said, a happy little sigh escaping her lips as I kissed her. “Just doing a bit more reading. I will be a good parent to our little filly.”

“I know,” I said, sitting next to her. “Like, you’ve probably worried a hundred times more about being a good parent than your parents ever did. And… I mean, the fact that you care enough to worry seems like it means you will be a good parent, you know?”



I laughed at that. I know I shouldn’t have, but it was just so absurd. I mean, I don’t think Tavi’s parents read a single book on child raising, and if they did they certainly didn’t listen to it. Either that, or they took every word in The Complete Lunatic’s Guide to Foal Raising to heart. “Tavi, you aren’t going to make the mistakes your parent made,” I said after I finally caught my breath. “That’s… For starters, you actually seem to care about our foal, so that’s something. And for what it’s worth, I’m sorry for not helping you out last night. I guess I have my own issues about becoming a parent and getting old to deal with.”

She smiled as I sat down next to her. “I suppose I can’t expect you to be perfect all the time, Vinyl. Would you like to talk to me about what’s bothering you?”

“Promise not to laugh?” I asked, trying to give her a confident little smile. “You’ll probably think it’s dumb.”

Tavi frowned before wrapping a hoof around me and pulling me next to her. “Vinyl Scratch, you know you can talk to me about anything. I will never think something that concerns you is idiotic in the slightest. Yes, I might not agree with you, but I will never dismiss you out of hoof.”

“Alright,” I said, making sure the door was closed. “You made me realize that I wasn’t on the cutting edge of Equestria’s music scene anymore. I don’t know what’s popular these days, I don’t know what the hottest clubs are, I don’t even know if I’m even slightly relevant in Equestria’s music scene. I mean, does anypony even remember the name DJ-P0N3?”

“I do,” Tavi said, stroking my mane. It was the first time in a long time that one of us had to comfort the other, and having her do all of the comforting stuff is kind of nice. Maybe I should freak out more often. “And I know for a fact that several of your students do too. I have heard them talking numerous times about how ‘cool’ it is that they have you as a teacher and that they wish you could teach my music history class. While I personally dislike hearing such talk, I thought you might enjoy the news that you are still admired.”

Admired? Is that what she thought being hip is about? Like, just having ponies look up to you? Admired is what you get when you’re too old to be hip, too old to be on the cutting edge. Admired might as well be put out to pasture. Still, she was trying to comfort me, and at least the kids still thought I was kind of cool. “Thanks,” I said, “I know being hip isn’t that important, but it always came naturally to me, and now I’m just… not. I’m boring and I have to face that fact.”

She looked between me and the door several times before doing something with her mouth that she would absolutely kill me for if I ever told anypony about it. It was fun though. “Now,” she said, stroking my leg and looking up at me, “could I possibly convince you that growing old and dull with me can still be fun?” Oh sweet Celestia, this was going to be one of those days. So, ever since Tavi got all knocked up, her hormones have been just… completely out of balance, and that means there are occasionally days where she turns into some sort of incredible sex demon. It’s pretty awesome, and that baby bulge of hers is… the last few months have been really fun for me.

“I’d love to,” I said, “but remember, I’m going to the travelling bazaar with Lyra today. It’s only here for a week, and I want to see if they have any good stuff for sale. You can come with us if you want to though.”

Tavi pouted at me. Prim and proper Tavi pouted at me, and it was so smoldering and awesome that I almost hopped on top of her right then and there. “Very well,” she said, moving back towards her seat cushion. “Perhaps we could continue our… discourse when you return this evening? If you get back early, I’ll be waiting for you, and if you feel like cancelling, I’ll make it up to you.”

I nodded my head, not trusting myself to do anything more than say “I’ll see you later” as I headed out the door. She could be so maddeningly seductive when she wanted to, and she could be completely insatiable every now and then. I guess that’s either the upside or downside to marrying a mare almost ten years younger than you, depending on how you look at it. After I closed the door to the house, I headed over to Lyra and Bon-Bon’s, trying to think of anything besides the super-gorgeous mare waiting for me in my house.

***

“Hey,” Lyra said as she opened the door, “you got here early today, what’s up? Ooh! Come in, have you eaten yet?”

I shook my head as I walked into their living room. “Not really, and Tavi is being all hormone-y, so I kind of needed to get out of the house and clear my head.”

“Good hormone-y or bad hormone-y?” Lyra asked as she practically bounced into the kitchen. “‘Cause if she was crying and yelling, maybe you should try to comfort her as opposed to just hoofing her off to the butler. But… I don’t know, I don’t have any experiences either with being pregnant or dealing with a pregnant wife, maybe the super-old butler is better at comforting her than you.” She winked at me as she said the word “comforting”, before turning back to the fridge, while I just laughed at her joke. “You want a beer?”

“It’s 10:00 AM,” I said as she pulled two bottles of beer out of the fridge. “You know I like a drink as much as the next mare, but isn’t this just a bit early?”

“Nonsense,” she said, floating the beers towards me with her magic, “it’s a Saturday, your wife is pregnant so you’re drinking for two, and the travelling bazaar is all the more wonderful and mysterious when you’re inebriated.” She wrapped a curtain around herself to make an impromptu cloak at the last bit, as I tried to figure out if proving the existence of humans had made her more or less weird.

“Come on,” she said, using her magic to open the bottle, “doctor’s orders.”

“You got a Ph.D. in theoretical magic,” I said, grabbing the bottle with my own telekinetic field. “Which, I mean, congrats and everything, but can you please stop saying ‘doctor’s orders’ whenever you want to convince us of something. It was only funny the first fifty or so times.”

She stared at me for a second before shaking her head. “Sorry, can’t do it, the pony who gave me my degree said I had to work that line in as much as possible. You could say it’s a–”

“Finish that sentence with ‘doctor’s orders,’ and I will march right back home to spend time with my wife. My insanely sexy wife who offered me a day of mind-blowing sex before I left this morning. Actually… why did I come here again?”

“Because you can’t resist the allure of a travelling bazaar filled with who knows what? It’s the call of the unknown driving us ever onward in our quest for knowledge.” As she spoke, I finally noticed how small her pupils were and the way her mane was a bit frazzled. Tavi probably would have seen that instantly, but I’m a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to noticing the appearances of mares who aren’t her. Especially when I see them pretty much every day and am not attracted to them in the slightest. (Okay, maybe a little attracted; I mean, she was into some really fun stuff back when we were dating. Like… lots of whips and leather and magic and… I made a mental note of what I could do with Tavi once I got back. Hopefully, she would still be in the mood.)

“Lyra,” I said, drawing my mind back to Lyra’s slightly frazzled appearance, “how many cups of coffee have you had this morning?”

“I don’t know,” she said, practically shaking as caffeine pumped through her veins. “How many cups are in a pot of coffee, because the answer is that number times two.”

Great. While Lyra has a lot of great things going on, her ability to restrain herself isn’t one of those things. It’s usually Bon-Bon who keeps her in check, so whenever Bon-Bon has to leave town for a weekend for one of her ‘conventions,’ we get days where Lyra consumes her body weight in coffee… or alcohol… or both. To be fair to Lyra though, I was the same way before I met Tavi, minus the love of coffee.

“Alright,” I said, sighing. “Are you ready to go to the bazaa–” Before I could finish the sentence, she zipped next to me, her saddlebags on her back.

“Well, come on,” she said, darting off towards the door, “let’s try to get there before it closes.” I shook my head as I followed her, wishing I had stayed with Tavi this morning. If I had, I’d probably be having a lot more fun right about now.

***

“Welcome one and all to the Mystical and Mysterious Trixie’s Emporium of Arcane Wonders! See mystical artifacts that will dazzle and amaze, and if you have the coin, take some home for yourself! Trixie’s Emporium of Arcane Wonders will leave you breathless!” At the last words, the blue unicorn gave a dramatic flourish as fireworks went off around her. Damn that mare was dramatic.

“You two,” Trixie said, looking at us, “care to come inside and see some of Trixie’s wondrous wares?”

Lyra and I looked at each other before nodding, before Lyra zipped iinside the tent and started rummaging through the artifacts. “Careful!” Trixie yelled. “Some of those items have incalculable value!”

“Ooh!” Lyra said, wrapping a jade amulet around her neck. “I can practically taste the magic in this one, what does it do?”

“If you must know, it’s a glamour designed to make the wearer irresistible to the opposite sex, and it’s only 7000 bits.”

“‘Opposite sex?’” Lyra asked, taking the amulet off and staring at it for a few seconds. “Never mind, what else do you have? She threw the amulet back where she found it, and Trixie winced as it flew through the air before grabbing it with her magic.

“The Mysterious and Magical Trixie would be happy to show you her wares if you promise not to touch anything else.”

“Alright,” Lyra said, looking intently at several of the objects on the shelf. “Hey, do you have anything that relates to humans? I proved their existence, you know.”

Trixie blinked and took a step back. “Really? You are Dr. Lyra Heartstrings? I read your thesis paper. Your notes on portal crafting were simply incredible.”

“Thanks,” Lyra said, “Always happy to meet somepony who appreciates my work. Hey, remember that spell I described that could turn a pony into a human?”

“Of course,” Trixie said, “I particularly enjoyed the section where you theorized how the spell interacted with the affected pony’s personality and actually bounced between worlds to create a suitable outfit. It is… your knowledge of the arcane almost rivals that of Trixie!”

Lyra pointed a hoof at me. “Well, that mare with me, she was the second pony to undergo the spell. If you want, I can see about enchanting a necklace that turns the wearer into a human. Consider it a favor for a fan.”

“I promise, it will never leave the Mysterious and Magical Trixie’s shop. Please, take anything you wish from my humble shop as both payment and a sign of my gratitude. In fact, I will even throw in something for your friend.”

My friend tapped her chin. “Travelling magic shops always seem to have a reputation for selling cursed items or like… items that technically grant you wishes but always do so in an ironic way.”

Trixie took a step back, her face changing into a frown. “The Mysterious and Magical Trixie tests all her items to make sure they are safe for the general public. Those that aren’t are sent straight to the Princesses.”

“So… no evil amulets then?” Lyra asked as Trixie gave her a look that made me feel like I had just been thrown into an active volcano. Lyra quickly realized just what she had said and looked down at the floor. “Right, sorry, kind of forgot you were behind that incident a few years ago. Forget I said anything.”

“It is fine,” Trixie said, “I have gotten used to such insults. I like to think that the fact you forgot about my involvement with the Alicorn Amulet incident speaks volumes about my growth as a pony.”

“Yeah, that’s it. Anyways, if you don’t have any evil amulets, do you have a monkey’s paw?”

“What?” Trixie asked, as confused as I was. “Yes, somepony sold me one last night and I haven’t yet sent it to the Princess. Obviously I would never sell an item that is famous for granting corrupted wishes. More importantly, nopony in their right minds would ever buy it. The only reason Trixie purchased such an item was so she could send it to Princess Luna and see it safely disposed of.”

“I know,” Lyra said, “but I always wanted to test one out. Like, if I spelled out in precise detail what I wanted, could it still corrupt it? What if I asked for something that was already corrupted, like the worst peanut butter sandwich ever. If it gave me that, it wouldn’t really corrupt my wish, it couldn’t give me anything worse than my wish, so the only way it could mess with me is to give me something better than what I asked for. The possibilities are so tantalizing.”

Trixie blinked, opening a nearby safe and floating an object towards her. “You know what, you… you can have the monkey paw, just let me see the paper you write afterwards. I’m curious about your conclusions on the subject.”

“Thank you,” Lyra said, putting the paw in her saddlebags. “I’m sure Bon-Bon will love this. Well, probably not, but it’s for magic! And science!”

“The Mysterious and Magical Trixie needs some aspirin,” Trixie said, pulling a pill bottle out from under her cabinet before looking at me. I could have sworn she called herself something different a minute ago. “Please tell me you want something that is slightly…” She looked over at Lyra who was playing with her cursed ancient artifact. “Saner.”

“I actually think I’m pretty good,” I said, smiling at her. “Happily married, have a great job, and a filly on the way. Unless you have something that can make me young again, I’m good.”

“Actually, the Mysterious and Mystical Trixie has something that fits the bill. An ancient and powerful potion from the mystics of Neighpon. The State of Mind potion will take your mind back to younger days with just a sip, leaving you feeling alive and invigorated. The effects may only last for a single day, but it will leave the oldest mare feeling as if she were a teenager again, and every flask contains many sips.”

She pulled a blue bottle from a nearby shelf and brought it in front of me. “Be warned though, the potion is potent and the dose makes the poison, so the wise men say. To consume more than my recommendation can have dire consequences.”

“Like?” I asked, raising an eyebrow at her. “Also, weren’t you calling yourself the Mystical and Mysterious Trixie a moment ago?”

“I am allowed to have multiple titles,” she snapped before blowing some dust off the bottle. “Now, let’s see, effects of overdose include but are not limited to: long-lasting feelings of youth, reversion to adolescence, mood swings, although that really just goes with being a teenager, magical instability, de-aging, and in extreme cases, unlife.”

“So… just a sip then?”



“Did you just hit me with a legal disclaimer?” I asked as I looked over the potion, trying to make sense of the neighponese characters. “Like, I’m pretty sure I have to sign a contract for those to be valid.”

“But you did,” she said, pulling a paper out of her hat with my name signed at the bottom. “Is this not your signature?”

“How did you?” I asked, as I inspected what was clearly my signature. “This is… it’s too accurate to be a forgery. How did you do this?”

“Magic!”

“Right,” I said, shaking my head as she put the disclaimer back in her hat. “Forget I asked anything. So… can I take a sip of this now?”

“You may,” she said as I pulled the cork out of the potion. “Just remember the rule, one sip a day, no more.”

I nodded my head as I pulled the vial up to my lips. There was a brief pause as I debated if this was the right course of action, before deciding that as long as I followed the instructions Trixie had given, everything would be fine. It’s not like I was suddenly going to get Tavi’s bad luck with stuff. The potion was a hot, caustic thing that burned as it worked my way down my throat and settled in my stomach. For a few minutes, I felt fine, except for the fact that my stomach felt like it was on fire, but soon I found the heat of the potion spreading. As it spread, the burning turned pleasant, and I felt…

I felt. I felt so many things, I felt passion again. Not the tame, muted passion I had grown used to the past few years, but something big and loud and booming. I felt the pounding of my heart as a throbbing bass leading me on to excitement and adventure. I felt the music in everything speaking to me again, as I remembered what drew me to the turntable in the first place. I felt young and excited and reckless. I felt desire for the beauty around me, and found myself staring at Trixie’s flank for several seconds. The warmth that filled me intensified as I thought of the mare at home who wanted me. I wanted to press against her and bring our bodies together, celebrating the purest and simplest pleasure in life.

For the first time in years, I remembered who I was.

I was Vinyl Scratch, and most importantly, I finally felt alive.

Author's Note:

Day two is up, twenty eight more to go. Beyond the usual pleasantries about how everything is, I'd like to talk a bit about Lyra's cutie mark and what it means.

Lyra didn't get her cutie mark for playing the lyre. Not entirely. She got her cutie mark for seeing the connections, seeing how to better work the lyre by imagining a hand (technically a hand like thing as she didn't know about humans yet) strumming the strings rapidly, giving her music a melodious quality that other unicorns couldn't reproduce with their play styles. That's why her cutie mark is a lyre, it was the first time she saw the connection between things. She also still happens to like playing the lyre when she's stressed out and needs some to clear her head.

As for what is going to happen with that damned monkey's paw... it's a mystery.

Edited as of July 24, 2014.

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