• 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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Vomitous Things

Author's Note:

"Vinyl, buddy, you're cool n'all, and I mean this with love..." Nevertheless, Lyra winces savagely as she leans far... far away from the mixing board, clutching her skull with gnashing teeth. "But what in the blue buck are you even doing?"

I hold a hoof up, otherwise ignoring her. Leaning forward, I adjust the bass and reverb of several overlapping samples that I've stretched to the crackling-tip-of-annihilation. I then play them back for the umpteenth time, punishing the unicorn's studio speakers with a goddessawful assortment of digital belches and elongated wails. The air of the room above us ripples with all sorts of schizoprhenic color, like spectral miasma swirling on the edge of a soapy bubble, catching the light in just the right way... or the wrong way... or both.

Fidgeting, fussing, I manipulate, warp, and mutilate the mixture until I've tickled every octave and pitch known to equine civilization.

"Just put the darn thing out of its misery, already!" Lyra gargles, wincing again. She rubs her temple and sighs. "When I invited you over to try and slap forth a new track, I didn't think we'd be performing an autopsy with a chainsaw!"

I sigh and glare at her with mild exasperation.

"Eh... an 'artist at work.' Yeah, I get it." She leans back, stifling a groan. "I'm sorry. I guess last night's wine... mrmmfff... didn't settle very well in my noggin'."

I slide to the left in my chair, turning several more knobs, manipulating the sound clip until it takes on more harmonic vibes, electrifying the air with gray and gold bands.

"And here's the thing I don't get. It was all Octavia's idea. But she barely had a single glass! And I'm sure I had three... or maybe three and a half. Meh... I dunno. But that roommate of yours is daintier than a Canterlot sunrise! Lemme tell ya!"

I smirk out the corner of my muzzle, then start altering the pitch again. The track hits a high note, then nearly blows out the speakers when it suddenly drops. Wincing, I lower the volume before both of us can drown in crimson madness.

"Eugh... Vinyl, since when did you switch bodies with Radiohay?" Lyra groans, smiling ever so slightly. "I'm sure somewhere at the bottom of that sonic well there's a sample of a cat meowing, but you've drowned that kitten five times over!"

"Did I come in on an unpleasant conversation?" Bon Bon says, trotting into the compartment with a tray covered in lemonade glasses. "My my, Miss Scratch." She smiles pleasantly. "You certainly have an ear for the avante garde. What's the name of this latest track? 'Epilepsy Locomotive?'"

"Don't bother, Bon Bon," Lyra sighs, grabbing the first glass she can and holding its cold surface to her forehead. "She just came in here and started disembowling my latest bucket of samples." She pouts. "And here I was hoping for some sweet new trance mix."

"Well, an artist is allowed to be unique and eclectic, don't you think?" Bon Bon places the tray down, takes a sip, and looks at my complicated hoofwork. "If nothing else, it'll surely keep her mind off the ever-present anxiety of waiting for the audition results from Twilight Sparkle's Castle."

My ears twitch and I grind my teeth slightly.

Lyra rolls her eyes. "Way to go, B-Squared. Why not toss her to the jaws of Tirek while you're at it?"

"Whoops! My bad!" Bon Bon winces cutely. "Say, that reminds me, has there ever been a concert held along the burning rim of Tartarus?"

"No, but we're close to having one here." Lyra winces yet again. "Say, Vinyl, I know you're in deep search of the lost chord, but could you not drag my speakers into oblivion while you're at it?"

"Ohhhhh Lyra..." Bon Bon leans over, nuzzling her best friend. "I'm sure she more than knows what she's doing."

"Easy for you to say," Lyra says, shivering slightly. "What if we got Pinkie Pie in here to bake her latest 'masterpiece' with your candy baking utensils?"

"I'd rather be crucified with barbed wire," Bon Bon immediately blurts in a low, bass tone—inspiring me.

"Pfft! What's the big deal?" Lyra rolls her eyes. "She's an 'expert' at baking!"

"Point taken. How about this for a solution?" Bon Bon rests a hoof on Lyra's shoulder, smiling. "Follow me outside and I'll show you the changes I have in store for the side lawn's garden."

"Awwwww... Bonnie..." Lyra's ears fold. "That's—like—super hot, sweaty, and boring."

"I know for a fact that you happen to like two of those things."

"Replace the consonant on one and I'd like three of them," Lyra jabs with a smirk.

"Pfffft..." Bon Bon rolls her eyes. "Please, Lyra. It'll help me get my tasks priorities... and it will get your mind off of mad melodies."

"Eh... you're right." Lyra scoots out of her chair beside me. "You're always right, Bon Bon."

She sips some lemonade. "Glad we can be on the same page about something."

"Yeah, so long as it doesn't give me a papercut." Lyra trots out with Bon Bon. "Okay, Vinyl. We're off to domesticate outside." She points a rigid hoof, connecting invisible dots between me and her hard gaze. "I'm watching you, Mister Missus! You'd better not cause this all to explode by the time I get back!"

I nod. I nod some more. I wave her off.

"Meh... I don't get it, Bon Bon, why can't I be a genius musician like the other ponies in this town?" Lyra mutters as they exit.

"Awwwww, Lyra..." Bon Bon nuzzles her. "You'll always be my favorite little idiot."

"Heeheehee... wait..."

They're both gone before I can make out any more... or want to. By now, I think I've finally found something. I stand up from my chair entirely, turning and twisting knobs with a combination of hooves and magic. At last, the semblance of ear-tantalizing harmony bleeds out of the numbers, codes, and waves... and it has a distinctive blue color to it.

I sigh.

It's not blue enough.

Tapping my chin, I throw in two other different vocal samples, giving the blue haze a golden background. It still doesn't recreate the sensation from earlier.

With a frustrated groan, I load a completely different track entirely. I slap the "play" button, and the room fills with delicious... delicious violet.

I slump back in the chair, closing my eyes, saturating myself in it.

Most music comes to me easily, experimental or otherwise.

The sounds that elude me, however, are the most juicy. And this pony thirsts. She thirsts something awful.

I reach out to my side, grasping a glass of Bon Bon's lemonade. I bring the straw to my lips and take a liberal slurp. I sit in place, inhaling, exhaling.

Then, with a twitch of my tail, I slap the console's nobs and press play.

The bluish noise ripples against the violet background, producing a static cloud of indigo in between.

I narrow my eyes, lean my twitching ears to the playback... then sigh. With a dull grin, I shut the samples off and erase everything I've made.

Sometimes you have to wade through a lot of vomit before you swim ashore to the drawing board.

I place the glass down, start over with a few new samples, and begin gorging my talent yet again...

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