• 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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Sweating Things

Author's Note:

"Time certainly does sneak up on us, does it not?" Tavi says, her voice dipping into nervous pools of indigo. I sense her velvety limbs shuffling through our apartment in anxious little circles. "Just when you think you've rehearsed all that you need to, an event like this weekend's shows up and... well... it puts everything out of sort!"

I nod, only half listening... only half-seeing. I stand at my turntable, my ears encased in clamshell headphones, my head swimming with a repetitiously repeating sound track. I play the same sample over and over and over again, concentrating on a spot within the currently growing mix to slip it in. I cycle through the colors, textures, and goosebumps of the evolving ensemble. At last, I find a spot—the most perfect spot—and I slide it in after a brief moment of electronic wrestling. At last, I replay the most recent bit, and I sigh with magenta relief. Everything fits like a tolling bell. I can go on to the next movement.

Slipping one disc back into its jewel case, I place it down on a stack of previously-sampled music albums and continue forward with my hellishly dense project. I wonder if I'm the only pony who finds herself most adept when waiting until the last second to work on things, for better or for worse.

"Mmmmm...!" A thicker salvo of indigo. Octavia flounders on her end of the foyer. I almost sense her juggling with things in the corner of my peripheral. "Oh, blast, I just know I should have hit Rarity up for some fashionable upgrades when I was at her Boutique last! Celestia knows she would have obliged me, too!" She resorts to balancing an identical-looking article in each hoof. "Which one looks more decent, Vine?"

I sample the next disc, listening intently for a series of perfect sound effects to merge with my growing mix.

"Vine! This is serious! A matter of life or death!" She lingers closer, balancing the objects in my shades. "Which should I go with this weekend?!"

I lean back, snapping out of it. I adjust my shades and stare at... two completely identical bow-ties. I arch an eyebrow, then shrug at her.

"How could you be so ambivalent?!?" her voice cracks, and through the fissure an indigo angel weeps. "I'm going to be performing the cello in front of multiple griffon delegates! It's a common fact that—when griffons see the color red—they snap and fall back on their baser instincts!"

I simply stare at her.

"Or maybe that's manticores..." Octavia bites her lip, sweating. "Though manticores never attend dinner parties at royal castle ballrooms. Still... I should be cautious! You're good at colors, Vine! Tell me—which has less red in it? Hmmm? Can you tell?" She suddenly grimaces. "Oh Celestia, I'm perspiring again! This will be the fourth shower of the day! Egads, I'm a wreck!"

I raise a hoof and wave it lazily, meanwhile bearing a reassuring smile.

"How could you be so... so calm with the weekend looming around the corner?!" Octavia cackles. "It's going to be our first performance as royal minstrels, and we'll be surrounded by griffons! That means an entire crowd of half-avian sensibilities! What if our music ruffles their feathers?! What..." She hyperventilates slightly. "...wh-what if we underperform and Princess Twilight has to ask us to retire early for the evening and then she puts on a jazz record?!" Octavia winces heavily. "A jazz record!!!"

I shrug, then calmly return back to my mixing.

"Is... is that your commissioned project for Rainbow Dash?"

I nod, cycling through more sound effects I've ripped out of her Daring Do audio books.

"Oh, blessed Luna, I can't believe you're actually willing to go through with that!" Octavia gulps, leaning forward to examine my work. "Still, I do suppose a concentrated music project is a fine way to meditate and relax your nerves in lieu of the night after tomorrow."

I shrug, throwing sound clips and melodies at one another, coming up with ways to harmonize the audio diarrhea into something resembling a tune. So far, I have four minutes of dense material. Once I get to the five minute hump, I should be able to repeat various elements, tricking them up as the track progresses, creating the illusion of a lengthy and involved dance tune. If I can make it past ten minutes, then I bet it's something Rainbow Dash could dance to... or fly to. That's a flying mare, for sure.

"... ... ..."

Where did Octavia go?

In the corner of my vision, a gray figure blurs back into the room, dragging along a rather large bass fiddle that she's kept as reserve in her closet.

"Curse you to Tartarus, stagefright!" Octavia proclaims, her voice reaching purple heights. "I shall exorcise you with righteous melodies!" And she begins strumming away with a vengeance. The air shatters with grating strings that can't decide to be either violet or indigo. A staccato array of crimson bands explode in between each horrid excuse for a "note." "Exorsiiiize!" she hollers.

I'm wincing so hard that I'm certain my jaw will pop loose. I glare her way and wave a hoof dramatically.

"Can't hear you, Vine!" she hollers, taking her frustration out on the strings. "I must put myself in the zone, like you! Or else I will not survive the upcoming performance!"

At least tune up the stupid thing, damn!


I sigh, gazing melancholically at my half-finished project.

Maybe I do need a break.

The jewel cases on my workbench rattle from the noise Tavi is making. "It's working! It's working! Hah! Excelsior!"

Celestia, help me. This is going to be a long weekend.

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