• 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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Vocal Things

Author's Note:

"Now..."

Dr. Clark reaches into his other labcoat pocket. He keeps his eyes glued on my squinting vision.

"From what I hear, Mrs. Nurse Redheart likes to employ a xylophone from the pediatrics ward. However, when I first heard about this examination a few days in advance, I decided to implement my own... uh... method. I trust that you won't find it too terribly different from the norm." That said, he pulls out a tiny flute and holds it in his two hooves. "Do you have the notepad ready?"

I nod, wincing slightly from the dim alight above.

"Flip it to very back."

I do as he says. I notice several words scribbled on each page in black ink. I already see where this is going.

"Okay. I'm going to play a note, and I would like you to describe it with a corresponding color. It doesn't have to be exact to what you envision. There are only so many choices.." A tiny grin. "I'm no painter, after all." He nods. "You ready, Miss Scratch?"

I nod back.

"Very well. First..." He brings the flute to his mouth and repositions his hooves in order to produce a low note.

My ears twitch. The walls flicker green and brown, like an earthly hum. I flip through the pages and hold the notepad up sideways to him: "'Green.'"

"Very well." He scribbles down a few words on his clipboard and brings the flute to his muzzle again. "Next." He performs another note.

The brown in the air turns richer, darker. I have a flashback to a young guard's breathy voice in the Palace. I shudder, and let my wander more. Oddly enough, I start thinking about Trenderhoof, and it is... strangely relaxing. Realizing that the doctor is waiting, I fumble to produce a response: "'Brown.'"

"Good. Good. Next..."

He performs another note... and then another... and another. Slowly—yet obediently—I answer each one with a flash of the notepad sheets: "'Gold.' 'Tan.' 'Gray.' 'Pink.'" I wince. "'Red.'"

"Last but not least... erm... oh, right..." He struggles a bit to perform the last note that his aged mind can come up with.

I find it strangely chilling. I don't think even he knows the power of the sound he's producing. Most ponies don't.

I flip and flip through the available words. Eventually, my pained muzzle scrunches.

Seriously? There's no 'turquoise?'"

I sigh from within. Lazily, I flip to a random page and shove it in his face.

"Hmmm... 'black.' How curious." He makes a final note, then slides the flute back into place. "It all seems very... consistent with Nurse Redheart's data from the last few checkups." He smiles... but slowly that smile fades. "Okay, Miss Scratch. I... can only assume you know what's coming next."

I bite my lip, nodding slowly.

"It's important that we see if there's been any further recovery from Accute Schism of the Inner Alicornia over the past three years. So... take as much time as you need to prepare yourself."

I try to look brave, but I'm already shivering. The incessant pulse of my beating heart floods my eyes and ears with red and tan waves. I can barely see the room at this point, and it's not because of the light.

"Perhaps it would help you to lie back?"

He's right. I swing my legs up while he reclines the chair into a bed. My head rests back into a super soft cushion. I feel like this seat is swallowing me, and yet I know it's all that can stop the world from spinning for the moments to come.

I take several deep breaths, and already I feel like the dam is leaking. The waves of a magenta sea wash up all around me. I clench my teeth, weathering the storm.

"Have you gathered your breath...?"

I can never gather enough breath for this.

Nevertheless, I nod.

"Alright... now... be calm... concentrate..." I feel a cold cap of metal being placed over the tip of my horn. My eyes trail a series of wires dangling between me and a managuage in his hooves. He leans over me, his voice soft and his gaze attentive. "Slowly... and as succinctly as you can... pronounce words with the starting letters of the alphabet, starting from A and onward. I'm not asking you to reach Zed. Just speak as far as you're able, Miss Scratch, and I'll collect the readings I need."

I clench my eyes tight... tighter...

My muzzle opens...

...and in the ensuing vomit, I'm plummeting down an icy waterfall.

"A... A-apple..."

I collapse into magenta depths. My body rolls, writhes. I sputter for breath—and as the migraine clears, I'm summoning a brave breath... growing braver, hotter...

"Bunny..."

An iceberg plows through the ocean, spreading crimson froth in every direction. It slams right into me, knifing its way down my spine and back up in a pathetic whimper.

"C-c-cat..."

"That's right, Miss Scratch. A few more. You're doing good."

I seethe and seethe. I try to open my eyes, but the stars are all up in my face, burning into my retinae. I struggle for breath, but the flames are choking me, devouring every square inch of available air.

"D-dog...!"

I slip. His hoof grips mine. Dr. Clark is shaking all over the place, and that's how I know my body's been thrown into convulsions.

"Okay. That's quite enough, Miss Scratch." Somewhere in the distance, his guage is whining with crimson hysterics. "No need to speak any further. I've gotten my readings."

But I can't stop. The sea is carrying me somewhere bright and burning—a magenta whirlpool with endless fury. I fight the tears and the waves and the tempestuous noise. I need a way to stay afloat. I need a life preserver. I need...

"...T... Tavi..."

And in that gunshot, the seas deflate. The magenta currents dwindle into panting breaths, and I'm lying limp and loose—a tiny pony in an even tinier bed, with a stupidly goofy wire attached to my horn.

"Feeling better?" He grips my shoulder.

I nod shakily, releaved to be done with the ordeal.

"Good. Because I don't quite remember 'T' coming after 'D.'"

He smiles after saying this, or at least attempts to. I don't blame him for his desperate pull at humor. It took Nurse Redheart weeks to not sob in distress at the end of every session. She thought I couldn't hear her crying through the hospital walls. She was beautifully wrong.

"Again, I stand by what I said earlier, Miss Scratch," Dr. Clark says, shuffling to the far side of where I'm lying. "You are the living definition of a miracle." He slumps down in his stool, sighing yet again. "However... I must say I can already tell from these results that your condition... has not improved noticeably from the last time data was taken." He scribbles onto his clipboard. "Then again, it has been over two years since your last visit. Who knows what sort of progress could have been made since then if you had attended checkups regularly."

I have no response to him. Feverishly, I feel around for my shades.

He kindly hands it to me. However, his hoof takes a moment to gently grip mine. "I... would highly suggest you reconsider the frequency with which you've neglected these visits, Miss Scratch. If not for yourself, then perhaps for other ponies."

I hang my head to the floor with shrugged shoulders.

Ah yes...

Here it comes...

"While it's statistically improbable for somepony to produce a cure for Accute Schism of the Inner Alicornia in your lifetime, there's no telling what progress could be made for other patients suffering from it. You very well may be the key to Equestrian understanding of this unique neurological condition. Not everypony is... quite so fortunate, Miss Scratch. I know that must sound incredibly heartless of me to say, but what you have—however uncomfortable—could be used as a gift."

I nod limply, placing my shades on.

I know it's a gift...

...just not in the same way you know, Doc.

"Very well," he murmurs. "Enough lecturing." A wrinkle smile crosses his muzzle. "I'd say this ordeal won you a lollipop, wouldn't you?" He snickers.

I smirk... if only slightly.

Okay... that was kinda funny...

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