• 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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Venomous Things

Author's Note:

Very calmly, she pours herself a cup of tea.

Very calmly, she stirs it.

Very calmly, she lifts the thing up to her muzzle and takes a dainty sip. Her eyes are shut as she allows the warmth of the drink to flow through her. Then her shadowed lids lift.

Very calmly, I continue glaring at her. We sit at a booth at Sugarcube Corner. I'm not about to take this mare home.

With a burgundy sigh, DJ Capricorn levitates the cup by her side. "I do not blame you for being angry at me. All things considered, this is the very definition of stalking. But..." She leans bad in her seat, clearing her throat. "If it's any consolation, Miss Scratch, I had previously planned to approach you at Salt Lick City. But... considering our last... erm... debacle, I did not feel right with the idea of cornering you in public. It seemed awfully unfair. I judged you for a mare who likes to live in peaceful, countrified seclusion. So, when I saw the train you were departing on... well... I simply couldn't resist."

I raise an eyebrow.

"I must say, I am rather surprised. Ponyville is no longer the inconspicuous dot on the map that it used to be. The Friendship Castle has made short order of that. And—" She cuts herself off upon seeing the hardness of my leer. Sighing, she takes another sip and places her teacup down. "Yes, well. Rest assured. Your secret is safe with me."

Around this time, Mrs. Cake shows up, mane and cheeks flouncing happily. "And just can I getcha, Ms. Scratch?"

Without taking my shaded eyes off Capricorn, I point at a straw dispenser on the nearby table.

"Oh... uhm..." Mrs. Cake carries it over. "But... no Dr. Pony, though?"

With a hoof, I slam the dispenser, causing several straws to roll out onto the table top.

"Uhhh!" Mrs. Cake gulps and trots away briskly with a nervous smile. "Okie doke!"

Nostrils flaring, I levitate two straws, rip them loose from their paper sleeves, and geture in the air with curt, angry blank speech: "Why. Are. You. Even. Here?"

"To give you something, of course."

My blood runs cold.

"Because... you very well do need to receive it." Eyes trained on me, DJ Capricorn reaches into her saddlebag. "Trust me, I mulled and mulled over it for days. I considered giving it to Beau, but he's so protective of you, there's no telling where the vinyl may have been."

As soon as I see a hint of blue, I swing my head to the side, fuming.

The burgundy continues rolling across the table between us. "I considered destroying it. Such would have been a simple thing. But perhaps it also would have been what you wanted..."

I clench my eyes shut. I refuse to look at the bright pastel album cover. I refuse to look at the embossed gold trim. I refuse to look at the title words or the song list or the pale bright mare with a glamorous grin posing on the stage in a glittery diamond gown.

"...and then something became clear to me, a fact of life that is seldom well received." Her voice grows hard, like mahogany. "We hardly ever do that which is healthy for us. And artists—more than anypony—are helpless victims to their own creativity. Our muse is our poison, and without an antidote? Well..."

"... ... ..."

"Mrs. Scratch, please open your eyes."

There's no use in fighting. She'll only stay longer if I refuse. I'm not about to take this to Twilight or her guards—as if they could even do anything. There's no way I'm letting this get out.

I open my eyes... and a young mare smiles back at me from behind a photographed micorphone.

"You need to stop running from Cyan Sings," DJ Capricorn says. "There are so few of her records left. So few bits of evidence that such marvelous talent once graced the stage... the airwaves... the record business. And you, DJ-P0N3... a far more amazing product—for sure—can only benefit from... acknowledging the part of you that she is. It is not something to be sad about. It may not even be something to be proud of. But... to neglect something that's so deeply ingrained... so much a part of our own very essence? Well... is it not unlike chopping loose an arm or a limb... or a horn?" Her eyes narrow. "As a mare who can appreciate the finer challenges of triumphing over life's shortcomings, surely you must understand the value in—"

I swing my straws around, producing three short words in inquiry.

Capricorn blinks. With a sigh, she nods. "Yes. I am quite done... if that is how it must be." She nevertheless places the vinyl face-down on the table and slides it towards me. I recoil from it like it's on fire, and she notices it. "I'm not all that surprised, Miss Scratch, at your reaction to all of this. And whatever you do with the priceless specimen will be whatever you do with it. But please understand that I did not buy an expensive train ticket just to come out all the way here and harass you before going back into the woodwork from which I sprung."

She stands up, gathers her saddlebag, and tightens it. Before making an exit, she takes one last sip of the cup, then shuffles towards me. She lingers by the table, eyes dull and melancholic. The burgundy in her voice fades to black.

"You are an inspiration to me, Miss Scratch. And I hate to think that something is carving you hollow from the inside. It's okay to move on from the past, but please... do not forget that there are three sides to the bridge. There's Cyan on the far side, DJ-P0N3 in the present, and Vinyl Scratch in the center. You are the bridge, Miss Scratch. You are the substance that carries your genius into sound, and it would sadden me greatly to imagine all of that collapsing... and where you might be when it does. Is bitterness and regret enough to keep you afloat?"

I say nothing. I stare at the tabletop.

She exhales. "I may not have your success or notoriety... but I have many years under my saddle... and I have made many mistakes to cover them. Now, there are things forever buried that I would love more than song itself to recover. Don't let your accomplishments measure up to a mere funeral dirge, Miss Scratch. You are worth far more than that."

And with a swish of her tail, she's gone.

I sit... alone with the bright blue past. As I hear hoofteps, I sigh and slide the thing out of sight.

"Is... is everything alright, Miss Scratch?" Mrs. Cake nervously asks.

I fold my forelimbs, glaring ahead into the seat once occupied by Capricorn.

"Was... was that strange mare bothering you?"

I don't respond. Instead, I give Mrs. Cake my usual gestures, requesting two bottles of Dr. Pony. Soon, she returns, and I guzzle the lump in my throat away.

I've already had my fill of bridges...

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