• 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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Equestrian Things

Author's Note:

"Okay, so let's go over this one more time." Twilight paces left and right in front of me. With telekinesis, she straps the saddlebag tightly to her body. "Take even breaths... then walk forward... and go through the mirror." She gulps. "The sensation that follows will be... freaky, to say the least. You'll be subjected to a myriad awkward stimuli, which is more or less what happens when your magical essence is ribboned across the fragmented leylines of two adjoining alternate universes locked in enchanted quantum entanglement." She scuffles to a stop, winces, and glances at me.

I stare at her. Deadpan.

"Uhm... I-I'd advise keeping your eyes shut. Which—in your specific case—may be for the best. The whole ordeal will be over with sooner than you know it. Even still, just wait for my word before you open your eyes. So long as you stick close to me, I promise that nothing bad will happen to you, no matter how scary, strange, or awkward it might feel on the way to the other side... or even once you're there. But you're going to have to trust me, okay?"

I stare at her frazzled features. Her gray words are suddenly laced with pink. There's a sincerity in Twilight's breaths... tempered by a show of compassion and friendly concern. She doesn't enjoy what she's about to do... or what she's about to put me through. Somehow, I'm more relieved than scared by that.

I nod.

"Oh. Okay. Okay good." She exhales, shuddering. "I... uhm..." She gulps. "Maybe I should go first. Just so you can watch me enter. The rest should come easy for you... I hope."

I glance at the mirror... at the glowing book positioned atop its frame. I chew on my bottom lip.

"And once we're both on the other side, we'll go about the mission. Remember. Follow me. Don't wander off... though... eheh... I doubt you could if you wanted to, at least at first."


"Hmmmm... judging by the chronoton acceleration of the activation procedure, I'm expecting a time dilation of about seven hours. Though it's nighttime here, it will likely be early morning over there. Hopefully we won't be spontaneously shoved into a classroom by the faculty after they mistake us for regular students."

... ... What.

"Alright. Here goes. I'll see you on the other side, Vinyl. And Miss Scratch?" She looks back, exhaling one last time. A heavy breath. "Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thanks."

I nod nervously.

She looks forward, wings coiled at her side. Then—one brave hoof after the other—she strolls straight ahead... and enters the mirror like a duck might dive into a pond. Only... she doesn't come back from the other side. The blue "glass" surface ripples slightly... and then normalizes. All is still. I seen no more sign of lavender or gray.

Biting my lip, I turn and look behind me. A black staircase leads up the black height of a black castle in my vision.

I could easily walk away from this...

I could go back home... sleep... pretend that none of this had ever happened.

What is the Princess really going to do? I know enough about Twilight to realize that she doesn't have the strength or cruelty to imprison me. Besides, it seems rather obvious by her secrecy that she has an awful lot to keep secret about this... this... whatever this is.

What's she expecting from me anyways? The Princess has barely told me anything. Would she willfully put me in danger? And what for? What exactly is at stake? And why me of all ponies? Why not someone awesome like Rainbow Dash or someone versatile like Rarity or someone courageous like Flash Sentry?

Hell... Why not bring best pony?

I stand in place for a few seconds, pondering that.

No. Come to think of it, Applejack wouldn't stand for such secrecy.

I sigh, realizing that there is only one clear choice... and it's an unclear direction. I feel myself trotting forward despite my better judgment. As soon as I touch the glass, I shiver all over. It's deathly cold... but not turquoise... more like the color behind the veil of turquoise, something bright and all-encompassing.

And endless ocean of white. I've never witnessed it before, and it chills me to the bone.

Nevertheless, the Princess is waiting for me, and apparently somepony else that needs my help.

So, with a deep breath, I plunge forward at full force.

And I instantly discover why Twilight insisted I close my eyes. The white shreds apart, and a million colors that I am not meant to see scream at me from all directions. I would clutch my head in pain... if I still had a head left. I let loose a breathless gasp, for my body has dissolved, and yet it's still there... waiting for me... on the other side.

The other side of what?

I'd contemplate this... if only I wasn't too busy eating concrete.

"... ... ...!" It's my magenta outburst of pain that shocks me more than anything. In the resulting dizziness, I roll over onto my flank, kicking my hooves at layers upon layers of blinding shapes.

"Vinyl! Shhhh! Vinyl, it's okay!"

It's Twilight's voice, but there are tiny tendrils clasping my front legs, like insectoid feelers coming from ten different directions.

I fight and I thrash, feeling baked by sunlight, serenaded by blood. The world is a crimson crucible of bedlam—a trillion strange noises that I can't decipher. All of them echo across treetops... building faces... asphalt.

Yes, asphalt.

Are we... in a city?

It certainly doesn't sound like Manehattan. There are no clopping hooves. No grinding of wooden wagon wheels. Instead, I hear dull, dreadful vibrations, rippling red and brown across an unfamiliar soundscape.

I'm losing it. Seething and gnashing my teeth.

Twilight knows, and she leans forward. I smell a curious fragrance with every exhalation.

"Shhh... breathe calmly. Focus on my voice. It's me. Your Princess. Your friend. It's me, Vinyl. It's Twilight. You're not alone here. Just... just try to calm down..."

I inhale and exhale. My magenta essence snakes around her gray core, and somehow that is enough to balance me... to tether me.

For once, I stop trembling. I feel the tug of many tiny things pulling me up by my fetlocks. But... something is wrong. My body isn't used to bending like this.

Oh Celestia...

Did I land on my back?

Did my spine snap in two?

But, if that's true, then how am I still... still...?

"Okay... you're okay, Vinyl. Now..." An audible gulp. "...open your eyes."

I bite my lip.

"Vinyl, you're going to have to open your eyes at some point or another if you wish to help me. Now please... I'm right here. Your shades are on. Everything's going to be alright."

I exhale slowly. Then, right eye before the left, I comply with my Princess' wishes.

I see a street... a sidewalk... a courtyard lined with grass and concrete panels. I see a statue of a majestic horse, kicking its hooves in the crisp, cool air.

"Are... are you able to see just fine?" her voice wafts past my ear. "The colors... does every sound still have a color?"

Something whizzes down the road, dragging red clouds. Birds fling golden bands down at us from the sky. The green hum coalesces, coming into clarity.

I nod. A gulp. I nod again.

"Okay... okay!" She almost giggles, her voice taking on a yellow tint. "Good! That means you can help me find you... I-I mean her... I mean..."

I jolt, for I feel something crawling up my fetlock. I look at my forelimb and sigh with relief. It's just a ladybug crawling across one of the five split ends of my hoof.

... ... ...wait.

My shades rattle as I look at my other hoof—or, in this case, the mutated furless appendage that's inexplicably replaced it.

... ...wait wait wait...

"Now Vinyl, just try and relax—"

Hyperventilating, I touch the two crazy things together—horrified to feel their fleshy tendrils making contact. I try to scoot away, only to stumble. I look down to see a white jacket and neon violet leggings covering... a thing. A narrow... thick... thicknarrow meaty slab of a thing protruding from the base of the neck.


"Vinyl! It's okay! See?" And right then and there, a giant lavender monkey face with even more enormous eyes smiles at me. A tiny stub of a muzzle exhales above a grinning, furless mouth. "We look the same! Isn't that... uhm... nifty?"


I buck the monster away. Two rubbery soles make contact, and the thing falls back on the ground, grunting with Twilight's voice. "Owie!"

Panting, I stand up on all fours and gallop away. Only... something's off... and that something is my balance. I tumble, I roll, I collapse against a steep set of stairs. As the pained stars drag out of my eyes, I see a group of clothed primates on stilts glancing down at me as they trot out the glass entrance to a building on their hind quarters.

"Whoah! Nice tangle-foot, Vinyl!" One of the its speaks with Lyra's voice. "Woke up without the Dr. Pepper this morning, huh? Heehee!"

"Oh my gosh..." Another it leans down. Her mane is a two-tone thing crowning a cream-colored head. "Vinyl, you look horrible! Is everything okay?"

I grimace, my ears echoing with Bon Bon's trailing voice. I curl up into a ball, discovering my mutated limbs amazing ability for hugging myself.

"Wowsers, you're a real mess, girl!" The Lyra-thing cranes her neck to the side. "Where've you been lately?"

"Yeah. We've been worried."

"No no no no!" Twilight's voice warbles my way. The lavender monkey has returned... and she's wearing one hell of a short skirt. Jeez. "Nothing to be worried about! Vinyl's just been... uh... working!"

"Twilight! Wow! It's been a while!"

"It totally h-has, huh?"

"So nice to see you!"

"But what's all this about Vinyl working? Is she joining the Rainbooms or something?"

"Uhhhm... Yeah!" A lavender limb reaches down and yanks me up... straight up. I feel like I'm on a ladder, and I wobble back and forth in Twilight's awkward grip. "She's completing her latest homebrewed music remix of our winning songs at the Battle of the Bands! Y'know... DJ stuff! Pew pew! Bass droppings and... uhm... influences from Daft Pony?"

"Don't you mean 'Daft Punk?'"


"Hey!" The 'Lyra' smiles. She's wearing... something. I've never seen so much color on her in my life. "A new album! Killer!"

"But still..." The 'Bon Bon' frowns. "To miss so many days of school for it? I mean, a creative muse is a wonderful thing, but let's not forget priorities."

"Nope! I sure haven't!" Twilight spins us around, a very unwieldy thing. "Whelp! Time to go!"

"Awwww... already?"

"Everybody's missed you, Twilight!"

"We've missed you both!"

"Won't you hang out and chat? It's lunch period!"

Lunch period?

The heck is this... the gorilla school dimension?

"Oh! No thanks!" Twilight's voice squeaks. "I'm dieting!"

"But what about—"

"We're... dieting! It's our new health kick! Together! As friends! Kick friends, heehee!"

"Uhhh..." Lyra scrunches her... not-nose. "Oh! I get it!" She points at us with... a thing. Huh? "You two are getting an early start on exercising!"


"For the upcoming Friendship Games, of course!"

"Yeah! You and Vinyl should totally enter!"

Twilight's enormous violets blink. "Oh! Right! The Friendship Games! Of course! How silly of me! How could I possibly forget something so important... and friendship related!"

"You should go talk to Rainbow Dash about signing up! And, of course..." Bon Bon's eye... hair thingies waggle. "...you can bet your puffy shoulders that you'll see a name on the list belonging to a certain Flas—"

"OkayGottaGoByeeee!" Twilight drags me away with amazing speed for suddenly being... a two-legged homunculus. In the distance, I scarcely recognize Lyra's trailing amber voice:

"Huh... is it just me? Or did Vinyl somehow seem... ... ...fuzzier than normal?"

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