• Published 21st Oct 2014
  • 1,405 Views, 47 Comments

Terror Tales of the Farm - Yoshi89



Join the Apple family as they wrap up Nightmare Night by telling three scary stories.

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Fiddlin' Amok

Author's Note:

If you're all wondering why this submission has the gore tag, here it is, finally. This story may not be for the faint of heart.

Plus, there's also drinking in this story but it's brief.

When you're a filly, your cute-ceañera is the happiest moment ever in your life. For Fiddlesticks, seeing all her family and friends celebrate her new-found talent meant all of Equestria to her. The one thing Fiddlesticks appreciated the most at her party—even more than all the games, the music and even the cake—was one present in particular. Her uncle had bought her a fiddle that he carved and tuned all by himself. Gone were the days of having to borrow one from school—Now Fiddlesticks could play and practice on her own.

But of course, as Fiddlesticks grew older, the fiddle got smaller. Her hooves cramped on the bow and board, her positions shrank on the tiny instrument and she found it very difficult to do so much as tune the strings. So one day, she took a trip to the farmer's market in Appleloosa, where she happened upon this stallion from Appledeen who specialized in woodcarving. She glanced at all the lovingly hoof-crafted fiddles, viols, cellos and basses and struck up a conversation with the shopkeeper.

"I need a new fiddle," Fiddlesticks told him. "My old one's too small."

"Do you play professionally?" the owner asked, adjusting his ten-gallon hat.

"I'm itchin' to." Fiddlesticks nodded.

"Gonna give ya some advice." he leaned forward. "If you're fixin' to wow the crowd with your fiddle-playin', ya gotta practice only on days you eat."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

The stallion chuckled, "I've sold instruments for many moons now. I can tell who's serious about playin' and who's not."

Fiddlesticks stared at this strange vendor as he fixed his hat again. Who was he to judge her fiddle playing and tell her how to live her life?

"Tell me," he continued. "Which one are ya?"

"I'm pretty good, I guess," she finally admitted.

"Ya guess?" he gave her a funny look. "That's your problem, you ain't got any confidence. You oughta know your own strengths!"

"Well, I did get my old fiddle at my cute-ceañera."

"Then why didn't ya so?" the shopkeeper gasped. "I reckon I have just the fiddle for you."

The stallion turned about face and shuffled through a few cases before picking one up on the ground with his teeth. He then walked over to Fiddlesticks, laid the case down and opened it. For a moment, she thought his hat seemed to float on his head before he twisted it back on yet again.

"Ya know what they say." the stallion winked. "'The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune.'"

Fiddlesticks' jaw nearly dropped through the table when she saw the fiddle's warped maple body and chipped spruce scroll. The string pegs looked like they might fall off if she ever tried to tune it. The board may have even been replaced—it did not match in age with the rest of the instrument—and the strings had loosened to the point of wobbling when she picked it up. If what he said was true about the fiddle's tune being sweet, then the bow must have been made of molasses.

"I'm warning ya," the shopkeeper spoke, nearly making Fiddlesticks drop the instrument. "Don't judge a book by its cover. This fiddle has history on its side."

"How much do ya want for it?"

"Bits don't mean much to me." he shook his head while holding onto his hat. "I'll let ya trade yer filly fiddle for it."

Fiddlesticks took her old instrument out of her saddlebag and showed it to the owner. She hated to part with such a dear gift, but her full-grown body just couldn't support an instrument meant for a filly anymore. They must have stared for hours, looking back between each other and the two fiddles on the counter. Fiddlesticks hesitated before giving a deep sigh.

"I'll take it," she announced.

"She's all yours." the stallion nudged the antique fiddle her way.

Fiddlesticks put the case in her saddlebag, then she stopped for a fresh mug of cider to drown out the experience. What did she get herself into? Did she just get swindled out of her heirloom? Those questions and many more zigged and zagged through the poor mare's head before she forced them away upon catching a poster. She walked towards the notice advertising auditions for the Canterlot Chamber Orchestra in two days' time. Octavia's smile on the poster as she played her cello invited her to come down and show her what she was made of. With a piece of history in her saddlebag, how could she lose?

Celestia's sun dipped near the horizon as Fiddlesticks cantered towards the train station. She barely had enough bits in her saddlebags to make the trip but she was going to Canterlot, even if she couldn't afford to sleep in a warm first class bed.

"One-way to Canterlot, please." she approached the ticket window and threw whatever bits she had on the tray.

The mare behind the counter printed her ticket and she took it as the conductor yelled, "All aboard!" The train started to pull away and the conductor, upon letting Fiddlesticks show him her ticket, held out his hoof to help her on the train. She stocked her fiddle in one of the overhead compartments, found an empty seat and shuffled down on her haunches where she drifted off to sleep.

"Next stop, Canterlot!" the conductor's voice rattled Fiddlesticks awake. After spending Luna's nightly watch asleep on the train, she took her saddlebag down and trotted over to the door. Aside from the conductor, she was the only one on the train but that was about to change with Celestia raising the sun in a little while. The train passed through the tunnel in the mountains and pulled into the station as day broke. Canterlot's gentle ponyfolk stepped aside for her to get out before cramming into the car all at once. She had never seen so many hurried commuters on one train in her life.

She walked inside the station and looked all over for the information booth, discovering it when a friendly white unicorn mare behind the desk waved her forward. Fiddlesticks headed towards the booth and picked up a map before making eye contact.

"New in town?" The mare asked, grinning.

"First timer," Fiddlesticks answered.

"How can I help you?"

"I came for the chamber orchestra auditions," Fiddlesticks explained. "I've been fiddlin' since I was a little young 'un."

"You're from down south, aren't you?" the mare interrupted her.

"Born in Appleloosa," Fiddlesticks told her, "though I did live in Fillydelphia for a while. How'd ya guess?"

"I recognize that accent anywhere."

"Reckon you've seen 'em come and go," the country filly said.

"This is the train station," the mare chuckled. "I watch ponies come and go all the time."

"So, where should I go?"

"The auditions are in the symphony hall at ten o'clock in the morning tomorrow." the mare pointed outside. "Canterlot Inn's right across the street. You can't miss it."

"How many ponies are auditioning?" Fiddlesticks asked.

"I don't know," the information mare said, "but I hear Octavia's very selective."

"Thanks," Fiddlesticks bowed her head and walked into town. In twenty-four hours' time, she'd have her chance to make it big in Canterlot. For now, she needed a place to spend the night and practice. She passed Canterlot's castle for the first time after walking out of the train station. The behemoth of a palace looked bigger in pony than on the postcards me and my relatives would send her. She travelled across the cobblestones until she saw a flag with a bed emblem on it flying from a three-story stone building. Across the path, as she figured, was another building, this one adorned with engraved music notes and treble clefs. She pushed open the door to the inn and headed over to the front desk.

"You must be here for the chamber auditions tomorrow," the unicorn manager spoke to her.

"I am." Fiddlesticks nodded. "How'd ya know?"

"I saw you staring at our new symphony hall," the stallion behind the desk went on. "Ponies are drawn in to the place. We here take pride in our music."

"I'd like a room," Fiddlesticks changed the subject. "I don't have a lot of money, though."

"I've got a place on the first floor." the manager turned about face and snatched a key from the wall. "Room 112. It's cozy with one bed but I'm sure it's in your price range. The room's down the hall and to the right."

"Thanks, sir." Fiddlesticks accepted the key and followed the manager's directions. She unlocked the door and glanced out the window. Looking right back at her was the symphony hall where all the ponies would compete against her for a coveted spot in Octavia's orchestra. She fished her case out of the saddlebag, opened it up and picked up the fiddle. She then inspected the ageless instrument again from top to bottom once more time before holding it under her chin. It felt like a normal fiddle so it had to have played like one, too. She plucked each string as she tuned the fiddle until G, D, A and E rang in perfect harmony. She then held the bow out of her case when there came a RAT-TAT-TAT on the door. Fiddlesticks whinnied and nearly dropped the instrument as the door opened.

"Sorry," a stallion's voice spoke behind the door. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"I'm sorry, too," Fiddlesticks chuckled in spite of herself. "Who are you?"

"Room service," the stallion introduced himself.

Fiddlesticks looked at the voice's owner, a uniformed pegasus pushing a cart loaded with goodies. She put the fiddle down on the bed and walked over to the cart, putting a hoof on her chin. She bought some cookies as fuel for her practicing, tipped the pegasus and walked back to her room. After eating her breakfast, she picked up the bow and fiddle, getting ready to play properly for the first time in days. All she could play were a few raspy notes before searching the case for a rosin. She lost a hold of the slippery little devil and it bounced under the bed. She crawled underneath to pick it up but after another RAT-TAT-TAT, she clunked her head on the wooden frame.

"Ow! Tarnation!" Fiddlesticks cursed as she shuffled under the bed. "Y'all need ta learn some..."

She stopped her rant the second she opened the door. A light blue, dainty earth pony mare backed away towards the other side of the hall carrying a case similar to her very own.

"Oops." Fiddlesticks blushed and rubbed her head. "Sorry. Had some strange things happen since I got here."

"Don't worry about it," the mare said, walking closer. Her light yellow mane drooped back in front of her widow's peak, nearly obscuring the two crossed bows on her flanks. "I heard you from my room upstairs."

"Reckon I shoulda rosined my bow first," Fiddlesticks giggled.

"It's okay."

"You auditionin', too?"

"Why, yes I am," the mare said as she held out her violin. "I came all the way from Baltimare. I'm staying in Room 212."

"Appleloosa," Fiddlesticks replied. "I hear Octavia's pickier than a filly at the dinner table. You don't have any advice, do ya?"

"Try the music store across town," the mare suggested.

"Then I reckon I should head off," Fiddlesticks took out her key and locked the door. "Pleasure to meet you, uh..."

"Fine Tuner," the mare answered. "The pleasure's mine."

Fiddlesticks got better acquainted with Canterlot before looking for the music store. She walked from the hotel, gazing at all the marvelous, antique stone buildings. Every time she looked at the towering Canterlot castle, she could not keep her eyes away from it. The thrill of getting to see where Celestia and Luna held their daytime and nighttime rounds made her heart skip several beats. Everypony in Canterlot was so friendly; the unicorn residents and tourists alike would wave or say hello to her and she would do the same back.

She stopped to have a brief lunch at one of the coffee shops downtown, overhearing a conversation between a few female unicorns. They spoke highly of Octavia and her contributions to the arts of Canterlot but they then talked about the music from "down south" and how "unrefined" it sounded to aristocratic ears. She thought about stepping in and defending the music she grew up with but chose to just finish her coffee instead.

Fiddlesticks continued her wanderings through the streets of Canterlot until she found an awning adorned with musical notes. She reckoned the music store Fine Tuner talked about could help find her identity in song. She walked inside and browsed through the sheet music, hoping to find something with country flavor. Rack after rack she searched but nothing turned up, sighing after each.

Maybe those mares were right, she thought. Her kind of music might as well not be "dignified" to play in front of a royal audience. She started looking at the beginning all over again, picking up a score from a composer whose name she couldn't recognize. What's so special about Moatzart? she thought as she flipped through the sheet music. She put the score back in its place and walked out of the store with her head down. What would Octavia think of a country filly trying to impress her with the only kind of music she was accustomed to? That thought echoed in her mind as she made her way back to the hotel.

She stayed outside to enjoy the glorious sunset Celestia performed in front of her, then joined in on the residents watching Luna raise the moon. Now she could say she was there in pony to see the princesses turn the day into night. Back at the inn, a continental dinner had been set up for the lodgers who swapped stories with one another. Fine Tuner was there munching on a hay burger and she motioned her to an empty seat. After they discussed their day over supper, they both retired to their rooms. Fiddlesticks gasped when she saw the violin still sitting on her bed, forgetting to play all day. She could not practice now, not with ponies wanting to catch some shut eye, so she took the case off the bed, removed the covers, placed her hat on one of the bedposts and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Fiddlesticks freshened up and re-tuned her instrument before grabbing a quick bite for breakfast. She then walked across the street to the symphony hall where a line formed to get inside. She took her place behind Fine Tuner just before the doors opened and a white unicorn with spiky blue hair and purple shades popped out.

"All right, everypony," the unicorn announced before hushing the crowd. "The name's Vinyl Scratch. I'm the director of the new chamber orchestra."

"I thought Octavia was," one of the hopefuls said.

"She's the conductor," Vinyl corrected. "They're two different things."

"Oh."

"I hope you all have your pieces ready," Vinyl continued. "Octavia will take you in the order you're in right now."

As all the hopefuls started pouring in, Fiddlesticks realized she was last in line. She shook Vinyl's hoof who wished her luck as she gave her a number. She followed the group through the lobby and into the theater where everypony took up the second through fourth rows. Fiddlesticks just stared as Octavia called the numbers, judged all the performers and wrote notes on her clipboard. She took a brief moment to check on her number which read—

"57?" Octavia called. Fiddlesticks gasped, her heart beating double time. She picked up her instrument case and walked on stage. "Your name and instrument," Octavia requested.

"F-F-Fiddlesticks," the nervous wreck stammered, "I p-play the fiddle."

"Show me what you have," Octavia said. Fiddlesticks took the fiddle out of her case and assumed her playing position. Octavia smiled and flicked back her mane as Fiddlesticks began to play her favorite song, "Apple in the Straw". she closed her eyes, broke into a dance and even clapped her hind hooves to the music she played. She finished her song and bowed as Octavia clapped her front hooves.

"How was I?" Fiddlesticks wanted to know.

"I'll post the chairs in the hotel later this afternoon," Octavia let her know. They said their goodbyes before Fiddlesticks headed out.

"Hey, Fiddly!" Vinyl Scratch waved to her in the lobby. "I've got a break. Let's have lunch together."

"Um, sure, Vinyl," Fiddlesticks answered as soon as she caught her breath.

"I know a little place that makes the best daisy sandwiches this side of Canterlot." Vinyl Scratch took her foreleg and ushered her outside. They left the symphony hall and walked a block and a half to the restaurant the party pony could not stop raving about. The two enjoyed a nice lunch on Vinyl's bits with Fiddlesticks squealing with delight after taking each bite of her daisy sandwich. As they finished their meals, they could see a crowd gathering in front of the hotel entrance. "Guess Octavia's picked her musicians," Vinyl reckoned. "I liked your performance, Fiddly."

"You did?" Fiddlesticks blushed.

"You know how to get down," Vinyl continued. "I've been trying to get Tavi to lighten up on other forms of music. She can be so uptight sometimes."

"I can see," Fiddlesticks said.

"Well, I gotta run. I have to get ready for a party tonight."

"Thanks for lunch," Fiddlesticks told her.

"Anytime."

Fiddlesticks trotted back to the inn and waited for the crowd to recede before finding her name. Octavia had picked four violins, two violas, two cellos and one double bass for her chamber orchestra.

She was not one of them.

Fiddlesticks gasped, a teardrop escaping from her eye and rolling down her cheek. She would dare not go back home without her purpose of playing the fiddle. She walked back to her room, opened the door and put her fiddle back on her bed. She sat on her haunches and buried her face in her hooves before an excited knock shook her out of her funk.

"Who is it?" Fiddlesticks sniffled.

"It's me, Fiddlesticks, Fine Tuner?"

"What do you want?" Fiddlesticks turned toward the door and opened it. Fine Tuner wore a smile on her face that she would just not put away. Fiddlesticks knew this could only mean one thing.

"I'm a first chair!" Fine Tuner bounced in the hallway. "I made it! I'm playing first violin!"

Bingo, Fiddlesticks thought. "Congratulations," she said out loud.

"What about you?"

Fiddlesticks put her head down. "I didn't get in."

Fine Tuner's celebration screeched to a halt. "Oh, I-I'm sorry about that."

"Maybe playing 'Apple in the Straw' for her wasn't my best idea."

"I went with a solo from Schubit's Unfinished Symphony," Fine Tuner explained. "She didn't say anything after I was finished."

"She clapped for me," Fiddlesticks recalled. "It sounded as if she liked my playing."

"You never know," Fine Tuner reassured her. "Maybe she has something else for you."

"I'll have a chat with her tomorrow," Fiddlesticks told her. "For now, I need to get some fresh air."

Fiddlesticks put her instrument away, locked her room and walked back outside. She thought back to her tour from the day before and found one of the bars down the road calling to her. She popped inside, asked for a couple of apple ciders and guzzled them down. As she requested two more drinks, she struck up a conversation with the bartender who took more and more interest in her story with each sip she took. Of course, barkeeps are willing to listen to any problems, just so long as the drinks talked for the customers.

Fiddlesticks polished off that last apple cider and moved her focus to other patrons in the bar, some of which had also been rejected by Octavia. Some of their rantings were harmless fun while others drank because they wished to erase her from existence. By the time the moon had risen, Fiddlesticks was sober again and already thinking about retiring for the night. She shuffled back on all fours and walked through the dark city streets back to the inn. She opened the door and checked her instrument case, hankering to give that Appledeen seller what for. Upon opening the case, the fiddle wasn't there!

She tore apart her room in search of the fiddle but stopped when she thought she heard someone play "Apple in the Straw". When the melody finished, an ear-piercing scream rang out through the entire inn. Doors opened all over as Fiddlesticks rushed out of the hallway and up the spiral staircase, becoming blocked by a wall of ponies looking into the room directly above her.

"What happened?" Fiddlesticks yelled.

"There's been a murder!" the room service pegasus shouted. "The poor mare in Room 212 never stood a chance."

"212?" Fiddlesticks remembered. "Celestia, no!"

Fiddlesticks shoved her way toward the front of the crowd at the doorway. Fine Tuner's lifeless body drenched the throw rug underneath her with blood. Fiddlesticks alternated between studying the stab wounds and looking all around for a knife or any sign of the killer.

"Move aside!" a royal guard shouted behind her. While the mob of ponies dispersed, Fiddlesticks stayed in the hallway to investigate. Two guards escorted Princess Luna up the stairs and toward Room 212. Upon seeing the dirty deed, Luna's eyes nearly popped out of her face.

"Who doth commit such a heinous act?" Luna gasped. "Prepare her for an autopsy at once and have the innkeeper notify her family."

Fiddlesticks sneaked down the stairs, returned to her room and closed the door. She opened her case and there rested the fiddle. She jumped and started gasping for air before staring long and hard at the instrument. She had put the fiddle and bow away after the audition and locked her door so they couldn't have gotten out on their own or could they?

The fiddlin' mare did not sleep one wink that night, pulling the covers up to her face until sunup the next morning. She rolled out of bed and packed her saddlebag with all the belongings she carried with her. She opened the door only to find a pair of musical ponies waiting outside.

"Hello, Fiddlesticks," Octavia greeted her. "Vinyl Scratch here and I talked things over in the wake of Fine Tuner's death."

"It's just sad," Fiddlesticks shook her head. "She deserved to get in the orchestra but I just feel so bad for her."

"What Tavi's trying to say is," Vinyl Scratch said, "we'd like to make you an honorary member of the orchestra."

"I appreciate that," Fiddlesticks breathed a heavy sigh, "but I'm not too sure."

"Fiddlesticks," Octavia insisted, "you impressed me so much in your audition. If we had three first violins, I'd have made you the third."

"You really think so?"

"Absolutely." Octavia nodded. "If you don't want to be in the group, I understand. I only wish it didn't come to this."

"We have to move on," Vinyl added. "You two seemed closest in our auditions."

"Then I'll do it for her." Fiddlesticks smiled. "When do we practice?"

"The orchestra's all gathered up in the symphony hall," Octavia informed her. "We can walk you over."

Fiddlesticks reorganized her room and told the innkeeper she'd be staying an extra night. She then followed Vinyl and Octavia across the street to the symphony hall. The three trotted through the lobby with the conversations on stage fading once their leaders marched inside.

"Everypony," Vinyl Scratch announced, "this is Fiddlesticks. With the unfortunate death of Fine Tuner, she will be playing with us at second chair first violin."

Fiddlesticks took but a moment to introduce herself to the other eight musicians in the orchestra, everypony expressing their condolences for Fine Tuner in the meanwhile.

"Have y'all selected anything to play for our first concert?" Fiddlesticks asked Vinyl and Octavia.

"She impressed me with her Schubit piece," Octavia recalled, "so that's what we're going to play."

It took Fiddlesticks some getting used to but she found her hoofing with the so-called "romantic" music of Schubit. She switched her focus from the sheet music to Vinyl Scratch in the audience who kept giving her a hoof's up. After a couple of hours of rehearsal, it was time for the ponies to pack away their instruments. Fiddlesticks laid down her fiddle in her case, then stood up to pick her bow from her music stand. When she looked back down at her case, her fiddle had disappeared again!

"Excuse me?" Fiddlesticks looked around. "Has anypony seen my fiddle?"

Then she heard it again, that "Apple in the Straw" solo which rang in her ears. Before she could pinpoint the same thing that happened yesterday—

"AAAAAAAHHH!"

Everypony rushed off the wings of the stage to follow the scream. Fiddlesticks dashed in front of the pack, cantered down the hallway and opened the door to the ladies' room.

"Our first chair!" Octavia called out behind Fiddlesticks. The first chair unicorn bathed in the blood from her stab wounds with her head dunked in the toilet.

"Somepony get Princess Luna!" one of the violists shouted and the rest of the chamber orchestra ran off. Octavia, Vinyl Scratch and Fiddlesticks oogled at the murder scene in the bathroom before turning to each other.

"O-Octavia?" Fiddlesticks squeaked.

"Yes, Fiddlesticks?"

"I bet I know what's behind these murders."

"But Fiddly!" Vinyl called out. "We were all on stage when this happened!"

"I reckon" — Fiddlesticks paused to gulp — "that my fiddle's been doing these deeds."

"WHAT!?" Octavia and Vinyl shouted at the same time.

"I'm not crazy." Fiddlesticks walked as close as she could to the body without touching it. "Don't these stab wounds look like they came from a bow?"

Octavia looked closer too and her heart dropped to her barrel when she saw the wounds. "N-no! It can't be!"

"There has to be some dark magic in your fiddle," Vinyl told her. "I hope Princess Luna can help at least."

She said her name and she appeared. Two royal guards and the rest of the orchestra escorted a hovering Princess Luna down the hallway. Octavia, Vinyl Scratch and Fiddlesticks stepped aside to let them through.

"Another one!" Luna cried, turning to her guards. "Guards, bring her to the castle morgue."

The guards picked up the first chair and carried her out of the bathroom. The moon princess put her head down as the other three mares approached her from either side.

"Did you find out Fine Tuner's cause of death?" Octavia asked.

"As I feared, it was murder." Luna's heart froze.

"Princess?" Fiddlesticks walked up. "Would you believe me if I told you what's behind these murders?"

"If you may." Luna yielded.

"This happened last time too. My fiddle disappeared and then we heard the victim scream. Vinyl thinks there's some dark magic in my fiddle."

"My word!" Luna exclaimed. "Let us seize that instrument at once!"

"The fiddle reappeared back in my case after the first murder," Fiddlesticks directed. "I reckon it's there now."

With a mighty glow, Princess Luna teleported the entire group back on stage just as the guards returned. Fiddlesticks opened up her case and showed them the fiddle and the bow.

"Anybody got a newspaper?" Vinyl Scratch checked.

"Here's one," said one of the guards. Luna picked up the instrument as the guard showed her the article covering Fine Tuner's murder. The picture may have been black and white but so were the results. Luna and Fiddlesticks matched the wounds to the frog of the bow and the scroll of the fiddle.

"How did these slayings happen?" Luna wanted to know.

"I don't know." Fiddlesticks shook her head. "I heard it play 'Apple in the Straw', then all of a sudden, the victim screamed."

"I think there must be a connection to these murders," Octavia said. "Both of them were members of this orchestra."

"You don't mean Fiddlesticks' violin is cursing this group, is it?" the double bass player suggested.

"First, it's a fiddle," Fiddlesticks insisted, "and second, after Fine Tuner was killed, I was made second chair. I reckon my fiddle killed the first chair because of it."

"Next thing the fiddle's going to ask for is for you to play my solo," one of the second violins said.

CLICK!

The lights went out filling the auditorium with screams. Everypony drew towards Luna's sparkling mane for comfort as she looked about the room from side to side.

"W-was it something I said?" the second violinist's voice trembled.

"We mustn't separate, my little ponies," Luna directed. "We shan't stop until this instrument is brought to justice."

"Fiddlesticks," Octavia gasped, "we can catch this fiddle in the act. What was the song it played again?"

Before Fiddlesticks could answer, the melody of the instrument played again, now closer than ever. As the rest of the ponies except for Princess Luna trembled, she yelled, "That's it! That's it!"

Luna's horn lit up as her royal Canterlot voice shook the entire concert hall. "THOU HAST PLAYED THINE LAST TUNE, FIDDLE!" As the other ponies cowered, ear-splitting cracks of a fiddle and bow being torn apart echoed through the auditorium. She then used her alicorn magic to light up the room once more and inspect the pieces scattered throughout the stage. The gang then heard a loud sneeze and out of the corner of her eye, Fiddlesticks saw a chair in the audience getting bucked from its force. She, Octavia and Vinyl Scratch walked down the steps to the audience where they followed the sound of teeth chattering. Hunched over in the middle rows was somepony Fiddlesticks recognized immediately.

"It's you!" Fiddlesticks pointed at the woodcarver in his ten-gallon hat. "What are y'all doin' in Canterlot?"

"M-me?" the stallion whimpered, covering his head with his hat. "I-I just came to enjoy the music."

Luna hovered over the stallion and lifted his hat with her alicorn magic.

"You're a unicorn!" Fiddlesticks exclaimed, lowering her brow. "Wait a minute. That fiddle didn't have any dark magic, you enchanted it!"

"Yes! I confess!" the stallion broke down. "I killed the two violin players! It was me!"

"Guards!" Luna commanded. "Seize him at once!" The criminal unicorn put his forehooves in the air as the two guards apprehended him.

"After you traded your fiddle with mine," he explained, "I followed you to Canterlot because I wanted to see you follow your dreams. When you didn't pass the audition, I used your fiddle to kill one that did."

"And the first chair when I gave her second," Octavia added.

"That's right." the stallion nodded.

"No wonder the fiddle kept disappearing," Fiddlesticks said. "You were using your unicorn magic."

"I hope thou art happy." Luna sneered at him. "Two innocent ponies have been victimized by thine cold-blooded hooves and horn. Therefore, I also order you to return Fiddlesticks' original fiddle before your night court session tonight. Guards, escort him to the holding cell in the dungeon."

The stallion hung his head in shame as the guards forced him out of the auditorium. Fiddlesticks, Luna, Vinyl Scratch and Octavia reunited the rest of the musicians on stage.

"He had a lot of motive just to see somepony succeed," Vinyl commented. "I'll give him that."