• Published 31st Jul 2012
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Octaves Beyond - GuitarKirby

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Chapter 4: Rest

Shade arrived home that night exhausted. After going over the piece, they had rewritten several parts of it to empower the cello and give the piano less of a leading part. He didn't mind, though; Octavia was more skilled in this particular case than he was, and he wanted the original music that he had heard to shine on people. He sat at the piano, and looked at the keys for some time. Finally, he gave up, and began playing a song he had heard several days ago.

The part was simple, but it drove to the core of his thoughts at the moment. It was also one of the few songs he could actually sing, and sing it he did. It went something like this:

"When I find myself in times of trouble,
Celestia shines the sun on me.
Speaking words of wisdom,
Let it be.

And in my hour of darkness,
her sister Luna comes to me,
Speaking words of wisdom,
Let it be.

Let it be,
Let it be,
Let it be, ah,
Let it be.

Whisper words of wisdom,
Let it be."

Shade blinked. There was more to the song, but he didn't feel like continuing at the moment. He turned, leaving the music on the piano, and went into his kitchen. He fixed himself a quick snack of wheat-grass and tap water, and headed to bed. The piano still seemed to echo through his mind.


Octavia was ready to fall over after Shade left. Her hooves hurt from pressing the strings, and her foreleg knees hurt from bending to play the cello. Shade was certainly a skilled musician, and he had the same spark in his eyes that she felt whenever she played music. She was curious as to how he had earned his cutie mark; she distinctly remembered how she had gotten hers. She smiled.
Perhaps I'll tell him that story tomorrow. She walked around her house, unsure what to do with herself. It was a common problem she faced after playing for excessive amounts of time; she found herself unable to focus on anything. She gathered her thoughts, and tried to focus them. She was less than successful.
Maybe I should take a vacation, and distance myself from music for a while. Somewhere quiet... She let out a bell-like laugh. Ponyville it is, then. Maybe I'll invite Shade, as well. She blinked, and frowned. She had just thought his nickname. We really shouldn't get too close. I mean, we should be friends, but we shouldn't be... She shook her head; romance had never been something she considered as important in her life. That wasn't to say she'd never had coltfriends, but she simply didn't take it seriously.
Positively silly, I think. But still, a lot of the best music in the world comes from emotions like love. Her hooves tapped a beat as she walked into her room. She was unable to do almost anything without noticing some sort of musical connection, but she didn't even consider it as she lay down in her bed.

Ponyville wasn't a place she played music for very often. In fact, one of the only times she actually played there was when she went for vacation. Since she was an independent artist, and a classical one at that, she could vacation when and where she liked. She yawned.
I'll call and make reservations tomorrow... Maybe they'll give me a discount... Finally, she fell asleep.

A stage light shone on her as hundreds, no, thousands of ponies watched. She sat on a lone stool, left-center stage. Her bow was already coated in resin, her cello already tuned. The crowed watched in silence. She put the bow to the strings, but paused. A light had come on at another point on the stage. A black pegasus with purple streaks in his mane was at a piano. He smiled over his shoulder at her, his eyes twinkling, and began to play. Octavia felt her hoof move, and match his pace. They were playing together, a simple, trilling melody. Then, she began to complicate it. He followed easily. The music became more and more complicated as they continued, until it reached an epic climax. She sighed, her delight silent to all but herself. Finally, the playing ended. They both stood and bowed, looking at each other from the corners of their eyes.

Octavia burst awake, her mane frazzled and messy. She blinked, and realized that she was coated in cold sweat. Light was shining through her window, warming her gently. She looked at her notebook, and placed her face in her hooves. How could she possibly write any sort of music to compare with that dream?


Shade stretched as he awoke, looking around at his darkened room. He opened the blinds, allowing light to shine on his face before he began his day. He then moved to the living room. Octavia had called earlier that day, letting him know she was going to spend a week in Ponyville, and that he was invited to join her there. He had made several joking comments (which she had struck down rather irritably), but agreed to her invitation. There was no reason for him not to go, after all, and it would be an enjoyable experience; the quiet pace of Ponyville was to his liking.

When he arrived, Shade immediately wanted to go for a walk in the nearby Everfree Forest. However, Octavia had wanted to meet him at the nearby hotel, so that he would know where she was staying. As it turned out, they were staying in the same hotel, but on different floors. Octavia was tuning her instrument when Shade knocked. She smiled when she saw him, and told him of her plans.
"I want to play a small concert here, but not in the town hall. Actually, I don't want to plan it at all; I just want to go out onto main street and play."
Shade grinned at the suggestion.
"Seems like a brilliant idea. I don't suppose you know where I can get a piano, though?"
"I already talked to a certain pink resident of town; she'll have a piano there. Not a grand piano, of course, but a piano nonetheless."
"Excellent. When do you want to do this?"
"The end of the week. We can spend some time just talking; I don't like to perform with people I don't know." Shade smiled, and placed his foreleg knee on the side of the door, looking confident and feigning seductiveness.
"Why, Octavia, are you asking me on a date?" She snorted and shut the door, before yelling out to him.
"Ten sharp, tomorrow morning. Sugarcube Corner!"


Octavia blushed behind the door, trying not to snort too loudly as he walked down the hallway.
A date... He wishes! But then again, I suppose it sort of is. Besides, he's quite a big fan, if he wrote down a music sheet like he did. And he's got quite the flare for music... Gah, what am I thinking?! I'm here to relax, not to consider romances!

(Author's Note: Hey guys. Just wanted to apologize for using Let it Be, but I had to use something good there. Also, for those who are wondering, the song they play is something of a cross between Ode to Joy and Moonlight Sonata. Fast and upbeat with lots and lots of piano parts.)

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