• Published 21st Oct 2016
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Make a Mistake with Me - CoffeeAndCigarettes



Behind you: juvie. Before you: Canterlot High School.

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Track #7: Purple Rain

Track #7: Purple Rain

Showering rain keeps beating the sidewalk as you mutter some well-chosen curses under your breath, darting across the parking lot towards the inviting doors of CHS. Just your luck. Here you were, just finished with your day of truancy, and you were assaulted by an evening shower of epic proportions. Northern California was suffering from a lot of rain this year, and you could just hope it meant some snow later in the year. Snow you liked. Rain? It was in the same category as ABBA.

Well, you say truancy, but it was closer to catching some Z’s after lunch under the bleachers and then completely ignoring the wake-up call from your cellphone. Hell, it was late evening right now, and school had been out for hours.

The reason you knew you’d be able to dry yourself in the school, though? The lights were on in the bandroom. With Adagio and Sonata on your side, you were sure even Aria wouldn’t mind you stopping by for a moment.

You walk up the stairs and test the handles of the main door. Seeing them unlocked was a pleasant surprise. You knew the girls liked to leave them open since they needed to stop by grocery store every now and then, and going in and out of a window would’ve been too much of a hassle.

How they had disarmed the alarm system, that was anyone’s guess.

What isn’t a pleasant surprise, however, was the fact that the moment you slip into the empty lobby of the school, you ears are assaulted by a sweet melody of a saxophone blaring from the speakers around the building.

“The hell…?” You mutter, unable to comprehend the situation for a moment.

No, it’s not just saxophone. It’s an actual song that reverberates through the school’s corridors, bouncing from wall to wall and from classroom to classroom. 80’s synthesizer and deep bass-line, topped by relaxed drum beat and lounge guitar. Oh ye Gods of misfortune, you knew what this song was. It was something to haunt your deepest nightmares on those lonely nights where there was nothing but you and a bottle of whiskey. It was the song of night-time drive from state to another, moving what measly luggage you had to a new home. It was the song you had first heard… in a middle school disco, oh so many years ago.

It was your greatest guilty pleasure.

Your eyes scan the perimeter, trying to see if anyone was there to spot you. The music was loud enough that the girls must not have heard you close the main door. There was no one in the lobby, all the lights were off (sans the band room) and nothing moved. Nothing except you.

The coast was clear. There was no reason to keep up any sort of act anymore.

You could act just as you damn well pleased.

Instinctively, your right foot takes a step forward. You slide across the lobby floor with slight swing your movement, bringing your hand upwards. To the rhythm, you caress the air as you walk few steps backwards, mouthing the words of the song. Ass bouncing from left to right, you spin around and strut towards the corridor like you were on a runway. Another sliding step, your fingers touching softly the surface of the lockers.

This was just bizarre. It was like you had this whole empty school to yourself, along with the song. Hands above your head, you undulate your body. Each new movement is accompanied by a step that brings you slowly across the hallway floor. No lights, no noise. Just the light of the street lamps outside, pouring as spotlights through the few sparse windows to the outside world.

You throw your head backwards, arching your back. Pumping motion of your waist is followed by another slow pirouette. Legs spread, hands clap and you snap into an attention. Your fingers form a gun that you point towards the ceiling before aiming it slowly downwards in a sweeping arc.From there, it’s a motion like water, drowning towards the floor. You stand again, throwing your hands to the sides before your legs take you ever deeper into the building. Using your heels, you turn your back toward your destination.

Your best moonwalk impression is horrible. But no one is here to judge.

It’s like you are waltzing with yourself, palm against your heart and other touching the top of your head. You boots tap against the floor and your whole body bounces ever so slightly thanks to the music. Like a drug, it permeates into your body and takes complete control. The spots on the sides of your head itch pleasantly as you succumb to the tune. It feels so refreshing. Simply letting go momentarily, shaking off all the stress of the last few weeks. Just dancing. You, and nobody else.

If there was anyone else, you’d strangle them then and there.

From one dance move to another, you make your way in a zigzag pattern towards the bandroom. It might take a while, but you were about to take all the advantage of this momentary respite. At least until the song was finished. Thus, as the saxophone’s cry goes into a crescendo, you add some spring to your step and pick up the pace. Taking advantage of the recently waxed floor, you jump and let your knees hit the ground. A powerslide might not be associated with this song, but you were going to make it work, all nay sayers be damned. And what a powerslide it was, getting you all the way to the entrance of the gym.

As the song’s last notes fade away into the ether, you lean back, arms hanging limp on your siides. Thus, you’re left alone in the darkness of the school, with George Michael’s sweet voice still whispering in your ears.

But as one sound fades, other takes its place.

One that comes through the slightly ajar doors of the gymnasium.

“A familiar? Bah. After all that trouble there’s nothing to eat after all?”

You recoil at the rough female voice and scoot over to the shadows. You didn’t recognize the person talking. It wasn’t any of the students you had met, and definitely not Sonata or Adagio. Then, just who was out and about so late at the school? Another person taking shelter from the rain? But what the hell was she talking about? Eating? Familiar?

Curiosity pulsates in your head. Against your better instincts, you take a peek through the crack in the door, straining your eyes to see the empty gym.

“... Huh,” you mutter.

Had it been your imagination? Even in the darkness of the large room you see no one there. Things are just as unmoving and stagnant as the rest of the building. Streetlights illuminate the place through the windows, casting heavy shadows. Unlike during the day, with all the students, it seems almost forlorn now. Seriously, is your mind playing tricks on you? There is nothing in there, nothing at-

“Hmh?”

Okay, a correction. There is definitely something there. But it wasn’t a person talking. It is a blob of something midnight blue and purple, shining dimly on the floor. Shining and glimmering in the darkness of the gymnasium.

Your thoughts warn you that investigating it might not be the wisest idea, but you can’t help yourself. You have never seen a liquid that looks like that. If it even is a liquid. You can’t be sure, but that odd patch on the floor could have just as well been some sort of piece of fabric. But that didn’t change the fact that it was softly glowing, like it created its own aura of starlight. Thus, after double-checking there was no one in the room, you finally stand up and enter the gym.

Your footsteps echo loudly as you walk over to the blob and squat down to look at it better. Up close, it really seems to be some sort of viscous matter, like jelly or oil. Something rather dense, at the very least. You can see that its glow comes from tiny white particles that dot the substance.

After a bit of hesitation, you extend your finger. You’ve come this far, and this alien substance before you is making you curiouser and curiouser. It didn’t seem threatening. Then again, poisons rarely did. Yet at the same time, it fills your mind with some sort of wonder. Almost as if you are privileged to see it here. Thus, you aim your index finger at the substance, ready to jab it in.

“What, there was someone else here, other than those three?”

Your actions freeze up. A rough voice echoes from the stands.

“Lucky me, lucky me.”

You quickly stand up, eyes shifting towards the source of the voice. There, not too far away, stands someone. On top of the seats in the audience, gazing down at you. That lithe frame quivers with barely-hidden power. The hood of her hoodie obscures her face. She’s thrown a beaten leather jacket over it, and her jeans are ripped in a way that subscribes to no artistic vision. Her hands are in her pockets. Still, even though shadows cover her face, you can see that bestial grin on her lips.

“And who are you supposed to be?” you ask, taking one careful step backwards. “This blob here belong to you?”

“Nah,” the girl says and laughs crudely. “Killed it a moment ago. I think it’s some sort of dream construct, so it wasn’t of any use. Whoever made it patrol the school sure did a nice job though. Was a hell of a fight.”

It’s not until she says it that you realize something is off about the floor of the gymnasium. Here and there, especially around the glittering liquid, you can see large wedges on the floor, gashes like they were cut by claws. Even with only moonlight to aid you, you can surmise it’s some sort of battlefield.

Your mind screeches to a halt as you come to an unpleasant conclusion. You always knew there was something odd about CHS, but this? This is… huh. And here you thought your life had already been weird.

Well, better safe than sorry. Your self-preservation instincts are already screaming because of this person.

“If you say so,” you answer, letting your eyes quickly take in your surroundings. You spot the second door not far away, one that’d lead outside the building. “Sounds like bunch of crazy ramblings to me, but… to be honest, something in the back of my mind’s telling me you’re not exactly human.”

“Oh? You’re quick on the uptake,” the girl says and scratches the side of her head with her left hand. “Still, if you say that, I guess I won’t have to keep acting any longer, right?”

Those words make your spine freeze. It’s been awhile since you’ve felt actual fear. Your fight-or-flight reflexes are telling you to not confront this being. You’ve been in enough fights to now something that’d kill you easily, and right now, that feelings is strong enough to make you vomit. You draw a deep breath and bend your knees slightly. Muscles in your legs tighten.

You can see yellow, bestial eyes, like those of a goat, stare at you from inside that hood. Her tone may be light, but the way she looks at you is colder than anything you’ve felt before.

“Bah, shouldn’t have chatted you up just because I was feeling bored,” the girl complains, clenching and unclenching her left fist. “You’re gonna make this a chore, aren’t you?”

That’s your mark.

Without thinking, you bolt deeper into the gymnasium, aiming towards the door that you can hope to be unlocked. Behind you, you hear the sound of rushing wind as with a single leap, the hooded girl closes the distance between you. You dive forward and something sharp rends the air just where your head was. The faux-wooden floor does nothing to soften your tumble, but you manage to roll to the door.

You throw your shoulder against it. Hard.

You pray. Harder.

And with a great crash, you leap into the harsh wind and rain outside, leaving the warmth and death in gymnasium behind you.

Without stopping even for a moment, you run like a bat out of hell. There’s no place for you to hide anywhere in sight. Before you spreads the vaguely familiar soccer field of CHS, only it’s completely empty now. Even the flood lights aren’t there to guide your path. Grass is wet as the rain hammers down from the sky, making you nearly slip a couple of times. Behind you, you hear a distant laugh of the girl chasing you.

Dead end.

If you had wanted to disappear, remaining in the school might have been a better idea. In here, you could only aim to the woods on the other side of the field, but the predator chasing you would catch you before that. You’d perhaps get halfway across the rainlicked field before she’d be upon you.

Wait. Rainlicked?

You strike your feet against the grass as you screech to a halt and turn around, facing the hooded figure once again. In your mind, a crazy plan begins to form. Judging from how the girl runs, she’s much lighter than you. For once, you could, perhaps, make use of your large frame. Gritting your teeth together, you push your heels into the soft ground, locking you in place.

Then, you raise your fists and take a deep breath.

This might just get you killed. Hell, it most likely would. But then again, so would all the other options right now. And the way you saw it, it was better to go down swinging than to get hit in the back by whatever this girl used as a weapon. A knife? Did she have claws? Why was only her left hand out of its pocket?

“Good reflexes you’ve got there,” the girl laughs as she skids to a halt. The distance between you two is five meters. “Hard to believe you’re just a civilian. Those six nuisances might put up a fight like this, but you? Guess there are outliers everywhere.”

“You know, I really have no idea what’s going on,” you answer with a lopsided grin. “You mind calling this a misunderstanding so we can go our separate ways? I’d hate to get hurt.”

She laughs heartily, and you can hear something rumble within her hood.

“No can do,” she says with a sneer. “I’m already hungry as it is. So just stay still for a moment, and it’ll all be over.”

Having said that, she sighs and cracks her neck. You see her legs tense up momentarily, and you curse. By the time she’s charging, you barely manage to throw up your hands into a defensive position. This girl is fast, inhumanly so. The best you can do is move as quick as you can and hope that’s enough. If it’s not, there’s no way you could have done anything else either.

She crosses the distance between you two in a blink of an eye. You brace for impact, bending your knees. A blur of black fabric appears before you and she swings her left fist straight at you. You manage to block it, but instantly, pain explodes in your arms and spreads all across your body. Like an ice-sculpture, you slide back on the wet ground, hands numb and stars blinking in your field of vision.

Crap. Your plan was a sound one. The rainlicked grass makes it hard to get a good grip of it, meaning lightweight people will have harder time to throw punches. The power of a punch comes mostly from how the human body pivots, and momentum is just as important as how much muscle you have. So if your opponent can’t get all her power behind her strikes, you stand a fighting chance.

Well, that was the theory. You can’t help but to laugh sarcastically. Even if she’s slipping with every other step, and even if she can’t strike as hard as she’d like, she still nearly broke your bones with one strike. Without this small advantage, you would have been knocked out then and there.

How the hell were you supposed to last a whole fight?

“Nice. Not everyone could stand after that!”

Laughing maniacally the girl charges again. You throw your body to the right, managing to slid out of the way of an over-extended arm. You bring your right fist straight to her side, causing small grunt of discomfort. With a desperate step backwards you avoid retaliation and go for broke. Your revenge comes in an unexpected form as you swing your head downwards and push forward, headbutting the girl straight to the area where her nose should be. She staggers backwards and you managed to land a left hook to her stomach area, before retreating another two steps.

Clearly displeased by the fact that you’re fighting back, she yells incoherently and attacks again, her left fist swinging up and down and trying to catch you. While you have no idea why she isn’t using her right hand, you use it to your advantage, trying to keep ahead of her. It barely works. Few hits here and there collide with your shoulder, your raised arms and your waist, and each time its like you were in a car crash. If you took them all, your body would have given up already.

But you give as good as you get, and each hit she does or doesn’t score earns a retaliation. You pummel her body with punches from both sides, going for haymakers when you can. By digging your heels into the ground you give your strikes a great deal of power, and she can’t dodge them easily thanks to the slippery grass. One straight right goes straight into the center of her mass, causing her to bend like an accordion. Seeing your chance, you run up, catch the back of her head and smash a running knee straight to her face. That’s the first time you see her bleed. The inhuman girl roars in pain and you continue your barrage of strikes, trying to keep her down.

Your attacks and hers are like a philharmonic orchestra, playing in perfect synchronization. Each rising punch a melody, each desperate parry a tonal shift. With each attack and strike, you create a rhythm that waxes and wanes without a pause.

Just a little more. If you can keep your attacks up, she’ll go down. If you can deliver another knee or perhaps a cutting elbow strike to her eyes, you’re golden.

… Or so you think until she catches you by the shirt and throws you like a ragdoll across the soccer field.

Your vision is filled with fast-repeating, alternating pattern of sky and earth as you tumble backwards. You taste mud, grass, blood and pain as you hit the ground again and again during your flight. You roll the couple last meters before coming to a stop as you crash to the bleachers with a painful thud. Inside you, you feel flaring agony. Ribs might be broken. You spit both gastric juices and soil, trying to get your bearing.

Your eyes start working just in time for you to see the running form of your opponent descend upon you. With a desperate yell you lunge to the side, striking upwards with your left leg as you bring your right into a kick from behind. This catches the girl off-guard, and your attack hits the back of her knees and her ankles. She topples over, slamming face first into the wooden bench.

A chance. You scramble up, trying to get some distance between you two. If you managed to knock her out for ten or so seconds, you might be able to slip into the woods, and-

Thud!

To your horror, you see one of the supporting metal beams of the bleachers sink into the ground next to you. You turn around, only to see your predator-like opponent calmly walking towards you. Her clothes are a mess and she has bruises on her left fist. Hell, you can see her face bleed from under that hood.

But most worryingly, you can see her right hand. She finally took it off her pocket.

With that hand comes, finally, the murderous intent you’ve been waiting for. It was a long time coming, and you were slightly weirded out you hadn’t felt it yet. But here it is, like a chilly winter morning. Your breath lodges itself to the back of your throat.

“You put up one hell of a fight…” the girl growls. “Guess that means I need to get a bit serious, too. No hard feelings, right? Girl’s gotta eat.”

That right arm rises, straightening itself to cut the rain. It points to the girl’s side, and you frankly have no idea how she’s going to attack like that. But in the back of your head you know that it’s her next course of action. That arm is going to lunge at you. And with it, comes death.

“At least you’ll get to see something outta this world.”

Before your frozen body is able to move, you see something absurd. The girl takes two running steps, as if to accelerate herself. She jumps and kicks her feet into the ground, pushing up mud and grass. Her body rotates backwards unnaturally, guided by her extended right arm. Like a disc-thrower, she prepares for an attack… only, the distance between you two is longer than ten meters.

But somehow, that ends up not mattering.

After all, when she throws her right punch straight towards you, the sleeve of her jacket explodes, and a blood-tinted snake lunges forward like it was shot from a cannon. You hear a yell, a hiss and a roar, the sounds of three beasts merged into one. The arm-turned-ethereal snake crosses those ten meters in a split-second, its hungry jaws aimed at your throat.

You start blacking out before it even hits you.

The attack came out of nowhere. The world around you had frozen, and before you could rewind it, the worst outcome had already come to fruition. You only see the hungry maw before your vision is enveloped in blinding white light. The world around you falters, and for a moment you feel weightless. Only for a moment. Second later, something seems to crush you both inside and outside, forcing your mind to an emergency shutdown.

The last thing you see before your consciousness is taken away from you…

… Is a purple-haired figure stepping between you and the snake.

***

The sound of rain pounding against the rooftop is what eventually wakes you up. Groggily, your eyelids flutter open and you find yourself staring at a ceiling you can barely recognize. Sluggishly, you realize it’s the ceiling of the oh-so-familiar bandroom. The base of operations, so to speak, when it comes to the girls known as Dazzlings. In fact, it had been this very ceiling you were staring when you first met Sonata Dusk on that fateful autumn evening.

Letting a groan of pure agony, you push yourself into an upright position. For some reason, your body is hurting all over, like you went twelve rounds with the Italian Stallion himself. Not in that way. More in the Rocky Balboa way.

Damn, even your thoughts aren’t making sense.

“You sure took your time waking up.”

A gruff voice calls out to you from the shadows, and you whip your head towards it. Immediately you regret this action, as it makes your body scream in protest. Wincing in pain, you try to focus your gaze towards the speaker. And just as you suspect, you find one of the ‘owners’ of this band room staring at you.

There, sitting on top of an unplugged amp, is Aria Blaze.

The third of the trio, the girl whom even today seemed to view you as a mortal enemy of sorts.

“A-Aria?” you ask, your voice sounding like you had been partying with your uncle last night. “What are you… no, wait. What am I… the hell I’m doing here?”

The more you try to think about it, the more you start to realize something’s not quite right. You remember falling asleep under the bleachers, and hurrying to the school to escape the rain. You even remember doing… something absurd in the hallways. But after that?

You’re drawing a blank.

You frown. This wasn’t the first time you had problems with your memory. The times before juvie, before… that… had always been hazy at best. For example, Uncle Bobby had told you you used to visit Canterlot City as a kid, but you had no recollection of those times. But not being able to remember something that just happened? That was new. New and unpleasant.

Hell, you’re even unsure as to why your body feels like it was just in a high-speed collision with a tree. More often than not one would remember being battered this badly by something. Yet even though that is normally the case, you have no idea how you ended up in such a sorry state. It was like a piece of your memory had been just plucked away and thrown into the wind.

“You don’t remember?” she asks, and when you shake your head, she bites her thumb and mutters mostly to herself. “So I’m still not powerful enough to fill the blanks, huh…?”

“What?”

“Nothing. Just forget about it,” she says dismissively, before shooting you an angry glare. “Anyway, I found your sorry behind sprawled on the hallway, so I brought you here. The janitor might’ve found you otherwise. In other words, you owe me one, loser.”

Somehow what she said didn’t quite mesh with something, but frankly, you had nothing else to go with. Scratching your head, you gingerly lift yourself off the couch you were laying on. If you were completely honest, everything hurt. But there was no way you were going to show it in front of this sourpuss.

“Thanks for that, I guess?” you grunt. “Can’t imagine what I did to end up like this but, ah… nah, it doesn’t matter. Still, you don’t look that hot yourself. Are you okay?”

Glance at Aria revealed that she, too, wasn’t exactly peachy. Her clothes were torn up here and there, and there was a nasty gash on her left cheek. Even her hair was disheveled, wet mess.

Oh crap. Did you two fight? And did Aria hit you so hard you actually lost your memory of it?

You dreaded the possibility, but looking at the Purple Stuff’s face revealed that it might just have been the right guess. Then again, she might have just been naturally annoyed by your presence.

Both options were equally likely.

“What-ever,” Aria answered, rolling her eyes. “You’re up now, and I don’t have time to play 20 Questions with you. So why don’t you just scram? Adagio and Sonata are gonna be back in, like, an hour or so, so you better not be here when that happens.”

Her tone of voice was scornful, but she had the right idea. Sonata would be worried sick if she saw how you looked, and while Adagio might not be sympathetic, she’d at least get a good laugh about it. Not something you wanted to deal with right now.

You search for your jacket, only to find it neatly spread and drying on one of the tables. You snatch it and throw it on, shivering at the touch of wet fur-lining against your neck. Walk back home was going to be unpleasant.

Though, before that, there was something you needed to say. Well, two things.

“Well, I’m not sure what the hell happened, but… you’re right. I do owe you one. You helped me, even though we both know you ain’t exactly fond of me,” you say, awkwardly rubbing your neck. “So, I guess what I want to say is… thanks. For some reason, I really feel I should say that properly.”

Aria, in a huff, turns her face away from you. Even in the dim light of the room, you can see her cheeks redden a little. This girl wasn’t really used to compliments, was she? She looked almost as bad in dealing with them as you were giving them.

“Ugh, just go. Getting creepy like that is the worst,” she chides you, shooing you with her hand.

“Actually, before I go, there’s one other thing,” you start. In your mind, you curse a bit about what you’re about to ask.”Say, Aria: just now, you said Adagio and Sonata wouldn’t be here for a moment. Does that mean you were here alone the whole evening?”

For some reason, you see the girl tense up. She eyes you nervously.

“Y-yeah? What, you doubting me?” she asks, arms folded defensively.

“Nah, it’s not that. It’s just…” you say and scratch your chin. “If you were here alone, does that mean it was you who was listening to Careless Whisper on the PA system?”

For a moment, Aria stares at you like she was sucker-punched, eyes bulging from the surprise. Then, through gritted teeth, she growls her answer.

“Get. Out.

You chuckle and leave the band room.