• 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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Dumb Things

Author's Note:

A particularly riveting Kraftwhinny track plays in my ears. Between the colorful ripples of Ponyville and the fickle breeze of the waning afternoon, I'm pondering the tenuous balance between classic works of electronica and modern house music.

Around the time my mind tickles with the idea of taking samples from Kraftwhinny to jazz up my latest remix of a Daft Pony track, my peace of mind is shattered by a wave of crimson noise soaring down from the apartment building immediately to my right.

A box rattles, rolls, and careens wildly down a steep set of stairs.

"Ah jeez!" A young voice rasps from above, followed by the flutter of wings. "Look out below!"

There's no risk of this thing hitting me—or anypony. So who's concerned and why? Nevertheless, I glance right. I see the package tumbling my way. On agile hooves, I dash over, aim my horn, and catch the cardboard container in a safe cushion of magic. The thing floats up to my face level—and it's around this moment that the lid-flaps open.

My eyes twitch beneath my shades. I reach a hoof up and pause my music player while I take a moment to gaze into the contents of the box.

Now I understand why the pony was so concerned. The box is full of fragile records—and really good ones, too. I spot vinyls labeled with Pink Filly, Radiohay, The Trotting Heads, Depeche Mane, Basement Joxxy—just to name a few. I'm actually quite impressed. Then, in the dusty corner of the box, I see one of Coltplay's latest albums and... ehhh... that's forgivable, I suppose. Nopony's perfect.

"Hey... is that...?" A stallion's voice echoes from above. "Oh my gosh! You caught them! Oh wow! Thanks! Thanks a ton! Heheheh! You're a life saver!"

I can't help but flip a few more vinyls, smiling as I see Nine Inch Neighs and Oats City among the list as well. They're eclectic. Gotta give 'em that.

I'm so engrossed in my observation that I don't notice the color of the speaker's voice until he scampers excitedly down the flight of stairs from the second-story apartment. "I really don't know what I'd do if that stuff bit the dust! They're the only things I could bring with me from the base and—" He gasps, freezing on the last few stairs. His lungs wind up, then deliver a cloud of brown haze straight at me. "Vinyl? Vinyl Scratch?"

I wince. Hard. It takes all of my concentration to not drop the box altogether.

I swivel towards him, wearing as plastic a smile as I can.

"It is you!" Flash Sentry smiles. "The Royal Minstrel! Hah! Imagine seeing you here! Well..." He glances aside, his mane blowing in the breeze. I realize that this is the first time I've seen him out of armor, and his hair is... is... just what kind of style is that? 'Grease Utopia?' "Of course you'd be here," he says with a chuckle. "The Princess has been hiring every 'royal servant' from Ponyville. With a few exceptions, of course."

My brow furrows in utter confusion.

He sees it. "When the Palace here sprouted up out of the ground, it didn't come with a barracks," he explained. "So, since the Mayor had just recently expanded the town to include these new cheap apartments here, Princess Twilight thought she might buy them out and lend them as room and board to her Royal Guard." He winks. "Purchased through the funds provided by her brother—the Prince of the Crystal Empire—of course." A brown chuckle.

My smile is a crooked one.

Of course...

"So, since I'm off duty for the first time since arriving here, I thought I'd move in proper." He grasps the box from me, examining each vinyl to make sure the records are undamaged. "Whew! Wow... I thought I had lost these for good! Thanks a ton, Miss Scratch! You're a life-saver!"

I nod, then swivel to face the street—

"Do you live by this side of town?"

"... ... ..." I swivel back towards him. With a genuine grin, I shake my head.

I don't want you knowing where I live.

"Ah, going for a walk, then?" Flash Sentry smirks. "Can't blame you. It really is very nice around here. Even if it's... well... a super tiny country town." He clears his throat. "Princess Twilight says you go on walks a lot. I guess that's just the mantra of a concentrating artist, huh?"

I blink beneath my shades.

Princess Twilight talks about me?

My jaws clench.

Princess Twilight talks about me to you?

"I... uh... hope you're not too ashamed of my musical collection... eheh..." He places the box full of alternative rock atop a nearby stack of similar looking boxes. "A bunch of recruits I used to hang with always gave me a hard time for the stuff that I once thought was... y'know... 'cool.'"

I shrug. It couldn't have been too bad...

He scratches his neck nervously. "...stuff like Nickelbuck... Smashmuzzle..."

I almost vomit into my mouth. Oh fudge.

"But hey... high school's gonna get high... ha! Get it?"

No, I don't.

"Eh... I'm sorry for keeping you. It's just that I always see you and the other servants when I'm on duty, and I don't get the chance to say... y'know..." Flash shrugs. "That the Princess is super happy to have you and your cellist friend livening things up in the Castle. We could definitely use more talented ponies like you mares, and I wish you the best in the future Friendship Assemblies."

I cock my head to the side.

That's... that's pretty swell of him, actually...

"Flash? Flaaaash?" Twilight Sparkle pokes her head out of the second story entrance to the apartment. "Why didn't you tell me we were running out of soap? Nnngh! Y'know, just 'cuz Shining bought out the apartment, doesn't mean I gotta keep making trips to the store for—" She freezes in place, her wings reaching for the sky at the sight of me. "Gaaaaah—I-I-I mean... AHEM..." She stands up straight, eyes thin and... princessy. "Ms. Scratch. How nice of you to... drop by while the royal guard is settling in."

I arch an eyebrow.

"Vinyl was just going for a walk, Your Highness," Flash said, his brown voice considerably less shaky than the alicorn's. "Doesn't that sound like a good idea? Going for a walk on such a beautiful, cool afternoon as this?"

"Flassssssh! Can it!—Erm... Yes! That... sounds like a truly wonderful... sp-splendid thing!" Twilight Sparkle flicks her tail, sweating, gazing off towards the horizon. "For... ponies who... are not encumbered with several royal tasks to do, of course!"

"But I thought you said you reviewed all of the official decrees of the day—"

"I-I just remembered some more! Gottagobye!" FWOOOSH! She soared skyward, arching towards a black splotch in the air.

"What about the soap?!" Flash called after her. "Could you at least tell me where the market is?!" He leaned back, muzzle scrunched. A charcoal sigh. "I did something dumb again, didn't I?" He shrugs, then smiles my way. "She's... uh... so thoughtful. Eheh..."

I bet.

I salute.

I turn around.

And I trot towards home... leaving his presence before I explode with giggles. The laughter would surely send me sprawling across the dirt, and I can think of a million ponies I'd much rather be rescuscitated by.

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