• Published 15th Aug 2012
  • 6,534 Views, 350 Comments

Changin' Hooves - OneTrickPon3

Vinyl and Octavia switch bodies and learn some valuable lessons in the process

  • ...

Pony Psychology and Psychotic Princesses

The walk home was something that Octavia wasn't looking forward to at all. Not only would she have to trek halfway across Canterlot to reach her humble abode, but her recent scuffle with Vinyl had left her looking raggedy and hostile. Several bruises were now showing their full glory along her body, along with the bite marks on her shoulders and neck. That, combined with several small cuts that were very slightly bleeding still gave her an image she never wanted.

Needless to say, it was a long walk home.

Walking with a casual pace, she still attempted to present herself to the world in her usual manner. Unfortunately, it did not have the desired effect on the ponies around her. Ponies walking towards her on the same sidewalk would either go out of their way to avoid her by crossing the street, or would duck into the nearest shop until she passed. Those who weren't directly in her path would just stare with a mixture of disdain and shock.

Stupid Vinyl. Stupid convention. Stupid stupid stupid.

Octavia usually liked the attention of the public. It was either recognition for her musical career or musical prowess. A celebrity, that's what she would call herself, though she never made a show of it. She just kept honing her skill, sharpening an already honed skill, and ponies noticed. Now she was experiencing the other side of the coin, the downside of her fame. Every time she messed up or did something uncouth, the ponies noticed.

And not just ponies, every single news organization or trashy gossip magazine would be all over her. Even now she could feel them watching her, scribbling away at a notepad. Hearing the shutters of a camera clicking in rapid succession. 'Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen' the headlines would read, or some nonsense like that. Several times already she had to brush off ponies asking for an interview or a comment. The less she fed the trolls, the better off she would be.

After what seemed like an eternity, her home finally came into view. A modest dwelling, or at least that's what she thought of it at least. Three bedroom, two bath, a dining room, sitting room, study, and a music room, fit to store all of her instruments and built with acoustics in mind, at her own expense of course.

Retrieving the key she had hidden near her door, she fumbled with the lock for a few seconds before it opened. Being an earth pony and fiddling with something that required such dexterity would usually be a problem, but since her instrument required a bigger display of such a feat, it was little trouble for the cellist.

Stepping through the threshold and closing the door, she finally allowed herself to sink to the floor, wincing as the aches and injuries from her scuffle began to throb and sting all at once. With a heavy sigh she looked around.

Now where did I put that bottle...

Vinyl's trek home was hardly any better. Though the mare was known by many for her wild and rambunctious personality, actually getting into a fight was something new. Walking away from the convention center, and in the opposite direction of Octavia, she trotted at a quick pace through the streets of Canterlot. Weaving between ponies that she passed, she kept her head low. Unlike Octaiva's dark coat, which was able to hide some of the minor injuries that she had, Vinyl's snow white coat not only showed her scrapes and bruises, they displayed them as if they were pieces of art. She may as well have been wearing a sign proclaiming 'LOOK AT ME!'

Several ugly purple-blue blotches shone on her sides and shoulders, a couple of red cuts and scratches nearer to her shoulders and neck, and the bite marks. Oh the bite marks. She had to hand it to Octavia, the mare knew how to fight dirty. She kept her head low, not wanting to see the faces of ponies she passed. A fruitless tactic, as she could feel their stares and glares all around her.

This is going to be a PR nightmare. I really hope that Neon is in a good mood when he hears about this.

The thought only served to quicken her hooves and lower her mood. Turning at a street corner, she took brief notice of her surroundings, only long enough to make sure she was going in the right direction.

Stupid Octavia. I think she might have cracked one of my lenses.

After a few more turns, she arrived in what some would call the 'lower class' district of Canterlot. Located away from the grand palace and high class society in general, the district was home to apartment complexes in various degrees of disrepair, abandoned houses, several bars and dives, and one odd blue box about the size of a phone booth. Rounding a final corner, Vinyl was greeted with a building that on a good day might have been labeled 'condemned.' Or, as she called it, home.

She walked through the front door, through the main lobby, up several flights of stairs, and finally to her doorstep. Sighing heavily out of both relief and annoyance, she levitated her room key into the lock. Opening the door and stepping through the threshold of her apartment, she trotted to her kitchen.

After simultaneously levitating a glass and a bottle of Sweet Apple Acres' finest hard cider out, she slumped onto her couch.

"Well old friend, let's you and me forget this day ever happened."

Ponies are a curious thing. As similar as they all are, in regards to biology that is, each one of them is completely different in their own special way. The myriad of personalities, quirks, and talents are more numerous than the stars in my night sky, and trust me there are a lot of those.

Ponies are so unique in fact, that there are numerous scientific fields devoted to them. There's medicine, devoted to the health of the pony, concerned with all the biology that keeps a pony running as well as the various diseases that can afflict them. There's psychology, devoted to the mind of the pony. Trying to unlock the mystery that is the individual, their personalities and traits that make them as a whole unique, as well as the unfortunate array of mental disorders that they can have. And then there's sociology, my personal favorite, and something I have begun to look into since my return. The study of pony society, their interactions with one another and how the collective populace behaves as a whole.

Ahem, but I'm getting off track. My point being is ponies are unique. With each personality comes a different way to deal with a situation, but observe enough ponies under stress and you can begin to see some common factors.

Take anger for instance. For some ponies, their reaction is to strike whatever it is that is making them mad, or the closest object at hand. Others tend to bottle their anger up, placing it in a mental container until eventually it overflows and all their pent up frustration is taken out on whatever is unfortunate enough to be near them at the time. Some ponies rigorously exercise, channeling their anger into strenuous physical activity until it is gone.

Then there are ponies who delve into vices. Alcohol, drugs, or even urges that are carnal in nature.

Anyways, getting back to the story at hand, it was rather heartbreaking to see two ponies delve into their individual vices. While Octavia may not have drank as much as Vinyl (who's binge drinking could probably challenge those in Stalliongrad), she too found comfort in the form of a bottle. For a while at least. I must say, seeing a drunk musician attempt to play something as intricate as a cello while mildly intoxicated is rather entertaining, if not a little sad.

Though I knew I would catch some flak for it, especially when the morning came, I had to do what nonetheless had to be done.

Octavia was sprawled out on her bed, sheets loosely draped over half her midsection, leaving her back legs exposed. As refined as the mare was in the public eye, she was less so in private. Her mane was a disheveled mess and her pillow was accumulating a nice collection of pony drool. She was heavily asleep, which was essential.

A blueish mist seeped under her windowsill, enveloping the mare in its grasp, emitting a subdued glow as the mare shifted slightly in her sleep. After a few minutes, the mist drifted off the mare and off into the night.

Vinyl had outdone herself this time. Of all the drunk sleeping positions she had attempted in the past, this one had to take the cake. Sleeping on a mattress made of a broken lampshade and some cardboard, the mare had somehow turned her couch upside down. Not only that, but she was also using it as a makeshift tent, the bend in the furniture blocking out most of the light coming from the streetlamps outside.

Next to her, an empty bottle of cider with a very sloppy face drawn on it was tucked in with a napkin. If one were to ask her what she was doing, she would have replied with 'having a sleepover with my best friend.'

Slowly, through the crack under her door, a familiar blueish mist drifted into her room, drifting through the apartment before finding the passed out mare under the couch. Slowly surrounding the mare, the mist pulsed with a faint light for several minutes before finally slipping back outside, never making a sound the whole time.

Let it never be said that I'm a sadistic two thousand year old goddess of the moon. I love each and every one of my subjects, though there are still some that don't return the sentiment. I view each of them as my children and only wish for them to be happy.

However, just like a mother would punish a misbehaving child, sometimes my sister and I must punish our subjects. It isn't like it used to be thankfully, as torture or executions are generally frowned upon by most modern day ponies. But usually the task of enacting punishment is carried out by local authorities through a series of laws and procedures.

There are some cases that I do take special interest in however, and this was one of those cases. While my methods in the past have been...unorthodox to say the least, the results were nonetheless effective. I still remember when I forced Starswirl the Bearded and Clover the Clever to exchange bodies. Oh what a week that was! But that's a story for another time.

When Vinyl Scratch dreams it isn't like most ponies. While their dreamscapes are usually filled with images that places them in various imaginary scenarios, the dreams of this particular mare are quite different. One could akin it to one of her events, with music and lights dancing about, shifting into wondrous and vivid patterns in her mind's eye. A continuous creative spring that one would never guess her to have. However, like most ponies, those dreams are eventually shattered with one very unwelcome noise.



Gah! An alarm clock? Really? Drunk me is an asshole.

After very sternly silencing the offending device with an irritated hoof, reality slowly began to pull Vinyl out of her sleepy stupor. Rubbing her eyes with her hooves, she sat upright in the bed, before several thoughts finally crept their way to the forefront of her mind.

Wait, I don't have an alarm clock...

Glancing over to the offending device, and to her dimly lit surroundings, her eyes took note of the unfamiliar surroundings. She was in a bed, a very nice one at that, in a room that she had no memory of period. Her eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness, she noticed that the room itself was very well kept, the exact opposite of any room in her apartment, and that all the furniture seemed to be of the not-cheap bargain style furnishings she owned.

Oh Celestia, please don't tell me I slept with somepony last night.

Shuffling to the edge of the bed, her hooves landed on soft carpeting. Concentrating hard, she attempted to reach for her sunglasses with her magic. Several strained seconds passed with utterly no results, not even the telltale hum of magic being used, nor the soft blue glow of her magic aura providing brief illumination.

Puzzled, she reached towards the nightstand next to the bed, fumbling around for her sunglasses.

Cmon, they have to be here. Even when I'm drunk those things never leave my face.

Finding the nightstand utterly devoid of her prize, she sighed, looking around for a light switch or a lamp, or something to give the room light so that she may continue her search. Finding a switch on a wall, she trotted over and hesitated with a hoof on the switch.

This is going to make my hangover hurt like a motherbucker.

Shutting her eyes tightly, she flicked the switch on and the room immediately was bathed in light. After a few seconds, she slowly cracked open her eyes, mentally prepared for the assault on her hungover senses.

Only it never came.

A thoughtful frown came over the mare, who's mind was adding this strange (but not unwelcome) addition to her morning.

Ok,so far I've woken up somewhere I don't know, my shades seem to be AWOL, I can't seem to use my magic, and on top of that I'm not hungover in the slightest. Something isn't right here.

And indeed, something was amiss.

With the room fully illuminated, she went back to the nightstand to search around for her missing shades. The search was cut short however the instant she stuck a hoof out to look under something. Instead of a familiar white coat, there was a slate grey one instead. Shocked, she slowly placed the hoof down and lifted the other, only to find it clad in the same grey as the other.


Her head whipping around, she glanced at her cutie mark, praying to several deities that may or may not have existed that at least it was unmolested. A purple treble clef, where two beamed eighth notes should have been. The color drained from the mares face.

Mirror! I need a mirror!

Rushing out of the well kept bedroom and into an adjacent room, Vinyl finally managed to find a mirror. No amount of preparation could have made her ready for what she saw. Instead of her usual unkempt but easygoing self, the mirror showed the last pony she wanted to see.


Her mouth opening and closing in sheer shock, she finally managed for form a thought.

"Well...this isn't good."

The voice made her shudder; she even sounded like Octavia.

Wait...If I'm Octavia, then...

Without pause, she about faced and headed to the front door, or where she thought the front door was. After opening several doors, with one being to a closet, she finally managed to escape the dwelling of Octavia and make a beeline for her apartment.

I almost feel sorry for Octavia, she's in for a rude awakening.