• Published 26th Jul 2015
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The Things Tavi Says - shortskirtsandexplosions



Let me tell you a few things about my roommate, Octavia. After all, she saved my life.

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Blocked Things

Author's Note:

I have a back beat.

I have the skeletal makings of a rhythm in mind.

But each time I attempt slathering together the first layer of a melodic section...

...I fumble.

All I can do is repeat and repeat, listening to the same bland beat rolling over itself, producing nothing.

I scroll through my samples. I try a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But there's nothing good to paint with. The masterpiece remains unfinished—a watery soup of misdirection and emptiness at best.

Nothing comes to me. Either the genius is gone or the drive or...

The inspiration. Without that I'm just a pale bum in shades.

Slumping, I lean back from my turntable in the middle of the apartment's foyer. Afternoon sunlight drips in through the window, magnifying all the dust around me. I tilt my head to the left and all I see are albums... albums... albums...

What is there to create that's new?

Better yet... what's there to create that can trick ponies into thinking it's new?

In less than a week, I have to get a musical session prepared for the attendees of Twilight Sparkle's Friendship Gala. I can't just be re-hashing old material. I need to have something unique... something new...

...right?

I mean... it's all about the friendship, not the music. Who am I trying to impress here?

Who am I ever trying to impress?

And, hell's bells, as prophecy would have it...

"I know! Isn't it positively hilarious?!" Her violet voice drips in first, followed by her body, her eyes, her velvet. Octavia fumbles through the door, and she's not alone. Bon Bon trots up close behind. The latter assists my roommate in placing down a set of neatly-ribboned pink packages. "And to think that—months ago—she used to be terribly obsessed with that stallion!"

"Heehee... I know, right?" Bon Bon smirks, standing besides the front door. "Could you imagine if Rarity actually got to start dating him? Her heart would be soooo crushed!"

"That's why you should never court a celebrity," Octavia says, carrying the packages to her bedroom. Scribbler hops up on the kitchen table, purring with maddeningly orange vibrance. "I should know. I've had several renown artists hit on me back in Trottingham. I rebuffed them, of course, and it was all for the better." She puts the items away, closes the bedroom door, and returns. "Most of them ended up with their legacies blemished by one scandal or another... many of them far worse than what Trenderhoof is going through."

"Worse than Trenderhoof? Pffft!" Bon Bon waves a hoof. "Oh Tavi. Get out of town."

"Heehee..." Octavia stands in the kitchen and pets Scribbler amicably. "Let me put it this way. Trenderhoof is lucky he was only caught sampling parasprite dust... instead of trafficking it."

"Hah! I almost want to go to Trottingham now!"

"That's what many ponies once thought," Octavia remarks with a nod. "Until they brushed paths with the Trotland Yard."

"Hiya, Vinyl," Bon Bon says with a wave. "Working hard? Or hardly working? Heehee!"

I wave back with a limp forelimb.

"Did you feed Scribbler this afternoon, Vine?" Tavi asks.

I nod.

"Mmmm... best roommate is indeed best roommate." Tavi shuffles around the kitchen counter with the cat following. "Still, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give him a treat or two."

"We just came by to drop off Octavia's new dress that Rarity made," Bon Bon explains. "It looks absolutely gorgeous on her. You have no idea!"

My lips curve slightly.

"When are you going to get your dress for the Gala, Vinyl?"

"Oh Bon Bon, don't be so silly," Octavia says with chiding purple. She drops a few tender nuggets of cat dessert into the half-full dish for Scribbler to gorge on. "It simply isn't Vinyl's style to go all elegant and formal. And the way the Council of Friendship has described it—this Gala is going to be even less strict in terms of dress code than the last event held at the Castle. And Vinyl didn't dress up for that."

"That true?" Bon Bon asks.

I nod.

"Awwww... well, if that's the way you prefer it." Bon Bon smiles. "Still, I'd bet you'd look ravishing in something shiny—like your shades! A flowy red to match your eyes, perhaps. Or shimmering blue."

I bite my lip, glancing into the corner of my shelves where the space for a missing album lingers.

"Oh! Vine, love..." Octavia trots back towards my side of the foyer. "Where are my manners? Bon Bon and I are going to join the others at Sugarcube Corner. It'd be absolutely smashing if you came and dined with us."

"I've always wanted to hang out with the Princess and her friends more!" Bon Bon chirps with a smile.

I look at Octavia and I mouth: "Others?"

"Mmmm—indeed. Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy..." She grins. "It's Rarity's invite!"

My ears fold back.

"She has this delicious gossip to share about the... errr... former editor-in-chief, Trenderhoof. Isn't that right, Bon Bon?"

"Heeheehee-yeah!"

I exhale with a sigh, then shake my head.

"Awwww..." Bon Bon pouts. "No?"

I shake my head again and wave with a smile.

"Well, if you insist. We'd love to have you with us sometime. Feels like you've been such a stranger lately, Vinyl."

"Mmmmm... yes. Quite." Octavia clears her throat, and I'm only partially surprised to hear it taking on an indigo quality. "Say, Bon Bon, I feel positively dusty from that walk across town. I think I'll freshen up a bit before going to Sugarcube Corner. Would you a dear and let the others know that I'll be about fifteen minutes late?"

"Mmmm... fashionably late." Bon Bon winks. "I do think Rarity will understand that."

"Heehee... indeed."

"I got ya covered, Tavi." Bon Bon waves, then trots off. "See ya, Vinyl! Heehee... see ya, Scribbler!"

There's an orange chime in response.

Then Octavia closes the door. She leans on it for a few breathy seconds, then turns toward her. Her voice is calm, subdued... like the dimness in her eyes. "Vine... is everything quite alright?"

The ghostly question marks above my head are practically opaque.

"I mean... I-I don't intend to come across as some pretentious nuisance... b-but I feel... I-I almost feel as if you've been purposefully making yourself absent from most social gatherings as of late. I mean... I-I know that you need your space and all, but this is... rather alarming." She gulps. "Even for you." She takes a few steps forward, and it's all I can do to keep from imploding from my pounding chest. "If... if something was troubling you, Vinyl, you would... trust me with the ability to help you through it, yes?"

I look at her.

I look at her and I nod.

"Then..." She chews on her bottom lip, her voice scraping the darkest indigo. "Then you are alright?"

I point at my turntable, and then I motion my hoof in the general direction of the Castle.

She exhales, and almost immediately her breath lifts back into violet. My heart returns to normal.

"So... just caught up in your work, huh?"

I have no voice to turn brown. So I merely smile.

"Hmmmff... I can understand that." She gazes aside. "In truth, I haven't made any new symphony for the gala. But that's primarily because I do believe I've had my time to shine at the Castle. My talents will prove their worth at another performance, most certainly. If anything... this should be your time to take the spotlight. And I'm quite glad to know that you're working to take advantage of just that."

I clench my teeth, nodding again.

"Well... best of luck to you and your musical endeavors. But... then again..." She chuckles slightly, shuffling towards the door with a smile. "...we both know that I needn't wish that upon a living miracle, right?"

She leaves with a wave.

I hang my head.

Right...

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