“It’s a funny thing under the sea, where just about everyone knows everyone, and one could be family with just about anyone. So, that being said, it should come as no surprise when I tell you my cousin is a pony.
How, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you how. Do you want the long version, or the short version?
Here’s the long version: It all started one day when a single-celled organism decided to split and become many. His name was Bob.
Wait… You don’t want the long version? Okay, let’s do this, then.
My mother was a sea pony and my father was an octopus. However, my mother was also adopted as part of a family with the land-dwelling unicorns. Therefore, her sister was an earth pony that mated with a sea pony and had multicultural offspring. Before you knew it, our local nursery was filled with octopi, unicorns, sea-ponies and a variety of other species, all within my complex family tree.
Confused yet? Good.
Anyway, that’s where I come in. Jerrison P. Octopus. Or Jerry, for short.
I was an average offspring of a middle-class sea dwelling family. That was until one fateful day amidst the coral reefs when I discovered… wubs.
My life was never the same after that. My siblings and cousins and I would listen to this magical music for many an afternoon hour, and eventually, I knew my calling.
I wanted to be a DJ.
And so I became one. DJ Octoscratch they called me, and I loved it. I would wow my fellow sea-creatures on a regular basis, spinning the hottest tracks of my own creation. The cheering crowds, the clapping fins and tentacles… what more could an invertebrate want?
In light of my success, my cousin from the surface, one Lyra by name, had invited me to come visit her, for old times sakes. Of course, never missing a chance to visit one of my land-dwelling relatives, I jumped on the opportunity. I had hoped for a relaxing, enjoyable time catching up, but that was not the case. Not at all. For it is here that our story truly begins. A story of adventure, betrayal, love lost, and love gained.
This is the story… of OctoScratch.
I watched her horn glow, and I felt a tingle around my body as I treaded along the ocean side. At last I could travel above the surface, able to breath like any other land creature.
Walking onto the beach, I looked around and let my eyes rest on the my dear cousin Lyra.
I made my way up the sand to where she was waiting with a bright smile and wrapped my tentacles around her in an affectionate hug. “It’s great to see you! It’s been too long.”
She returned the hug and nuzzled me on my cheek. “Totally! It’s only been, what, two years now?”
“So now that I’m here, Lyra, what do you want to do?”
Letting go of our hug Lyra looked at me. “Well, I was thinking we could stop by my place really quick, I forgot my wallet, and once we are done with that I figure we can head to one of my favorite places to eat.”
“Sounds good to me.”
So we made our way over to Lyras house, or at least to her rented piece of transportation. After all, her town, Ponyville, is a good distance from the ocean side. And as much as I enjoyed the feel of dry ground beneath my tentacles, we really didn’t want to spend the amount of time it would take us to travel from here to there.
So, a hot air balloon provided the needed transportation. The ride was quick, and smooth. I’ll be honest that I really didn’t care for flying. Not in a sense of being nervous, or the fear of heights, but I found it boring. Not too boring though, because I was with Lyra, and Lyra is never boring.
We chatted as we flew across the sky, discussing how our lives had been. I told her about the usual drama that goes on under the sea, and other silly events. Then from there, I let her do the talking.
One thing you need to know about Lyra, is that she loves her gossip. Any social celebrity tale or local juice are not safe when Lyra is around. She sees all, she knows all. Of course, I knew that, so I don’t find it odd at all.
So when it came to a boring trip on the balloon, she was my source of entertainment.
Lyra was just finishing her story on how Sapphire Shores slipped off the stage, her gown to ripping right off, when the balloon landed in Ponyville. Getting off, and Lyra motioning me to follow her, we made our way to her home.
The streets of Ponyville were filled with ponies making their way with business. Business that apparently was not as important as me. Looking around, I noticed that everyone was looking at me.
“Why is everyone looking at me?”
“Jerry, it’s not everyday when ponies see an octopus walking among them.”
I laughed, realising that Lyra was right, I must be the first octopus any of them have seen. So from there, I planned that I would put a show on for all the ponies. It’s important to make a good first impression.
After a few more minutes of walking, we finally made our way through Lyras door and into her home. It was a modest sized house. Wooden floors, a spacious living area, and a very inviting looking couch greeted my eyes.
“Wow, nice digs, Lyra,” I said, scanning the area.
“Yeah, it’s got everything I need,” she replied with a large grin. “Feel free to take a seat while I go get my wallet.”
“Don’t mind if I do.”
I slid my way across the slick floor and hopped onto the rather comfortable looking couch. I was a bit tired from the days events to this point, so a brief relaxation period wouldn’t hurt.
Placing one tentacle behind my head I laid back and allowed myself to sink into the cushions. I took this opportunity of relaxation to fully take in my surroundings. It wasn’t very often I got to visit, so I was always interested in the lives of my family and the goings on of the surface world.
And that’s when I spotted a brightly coloured magazine on the coffee table next to me.
“Huh, what’s this?”
I snatched the magazine from the table and held it up to read. ‘Celebrity Gossip Today’ was printed in large, sparkling letters on the cover.
“Figures Lyra would have this,” I said under my breath. “Whatever. It might have some useful information in it.”
I take in the cover of it quickly. Two ponies, one white with a wild, electric blue mane pressed against another, a grey pony with a regal looking black mane. I had no idea who they were, but I assumed they were the latest celebrity couple to grace the media or some such nonsense.
However, that’s when I noticed something very peculiar.
OCTASCRATCH CONFIRMED FOR PONYVILLE SUMMER WRAP-UP EXTRAVAGANZA!
I had to reread the title a few times to make sure I read it correctly.
I wasn’t sure whether to be happy that I made it to the front page of a gossip rag, or upset that they spelled my name wrong. Let alone, it was a tad presumptuous of them to assume my cooperation with this event. However, if my fame had spread to the above water world, than I really had no reason to complain.
Wait a minute… Lyra has been rather secretive about her direct motivations for having me visit. Perhaps this all her doing! That sneaky mare. I do love her so.
“Lyra!” I called up to her, hoping to catch her red-hoofed in her act of deception.
“Yeah? I’ll be right down!”
I was excited. Sure, I was well known underwater, being asked to help out with all sorts of parties and activities. But this? Performing above water for a local event, and being advertised by what seemed to be a popular magazine, this was too much!
“Hey, what are you smiling about?” Lyra asked as she walked down the stairs, noticing my obvious glee.
“Have I ever told you that you are the most rad cousin an octopus could ever have?”
Lyra looked at me confused. “Um… Thanks. Jerry, what's going on?”
I lifted up the magazine for her to see. “This! I found it out Lyra, no need to hide it any more,” I cheered, my excitement building to a level that I had only experienced once in my life, and that was they day I discovered my calling.
Lyra looked at the cover for a bit, and her look of confusion soon to a look of guilt. “Jerry, as much as I hate to break it to you, this isn’t what you think.”
It took a moment for those words to sink in, as emotions of ‘level up’ slightly declined. “What do you mean this isn’t what it looks like? It’s exactly what it looks like, you set me up to perform at tomorrows show!”
Lyra just stood there, mouth shifting as she struggled to find the next few words. Finally, she opened her mouth, “Jerry, did you read the article?”
“Well, um… No, I didn’t.”
Lyra let out a sigh. “Rule number one about gossip, Jerry, is that you must know all the details. Take it from an expert, you would have been better of reading the article before coming to me.”
“What do you mean?” I asked her.
“Look at the cover Jerry.”
I looked at the cover, taking in the details of the smiling couple that stood there.
“I see two ponies. What about it?”
“There names are Octavia Melody and Vinyl Scratch, Jerry. They started dating not too long ago and the media thought it’d be cute to slap an easy to remember tag on their relationship.”
My heart sank as reality sunk in. Now, some would think that thoughts such as, ‘How could I be so stupid!’ and ‘Well, that just happened,’ would be running through my head. No, all I could feel rage, pure bitter rage, as I found out that my name was being used here for some type of cheesy lover gossip tittle.
I wasn’t about to sit by and let the once dignified name of Octoscratch be tarnished by the likes of these commercialist media darlings.
Oh no… Shiz just got real.
“Jerry, where are you going!”
I’m sure Lyra may have shouted a few more questions as I stormed down the street. It didn’t matter though because I had a purpose. What was that purpose? To find those troglodytes.
I watched as ponies looked at me, at first with smiles, then quickly with fear as they ran to the safety of their homes. They know things were going down, and I admire their intelligence to stay out of my way.
I kept on walking, letting my tentacles carry me through town. As I was approaching city hall I felt hooves press against my face, stopping me in my pursuit.
“What!” I shouted looking at what had stopped me.
Lyra was in front of me, forehooves forward on the ground with a dragging trail of roughly three feet. Her rear hooves were resting on my face.
My initial instincts were to push her to the side and move on my way, but I guess I had too much love for her so I decided to step back and listen to what she had to say.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she snapped.
“Step aside, cousin. These matters are beyond your understanding.”
“Umm, say what now?”
“My point exactly. Now, please move and return home. I shall be back later on tonight...with the smell of vengeance on my breath.”
“You’ve been watching medieval soap operas again, haven’t you?” she said, knocking my head with her hoof. “Now, get to the point and tell me why you just felt the need to terrorize this peaceful town!”
“Because, my very existence has been plagiarized!” I took out the rolled up magazine that I kept in my third leg. “Plagiarized by these two larcenists!”
Lyra looked at the cover again as she digested in his reasoning. “You do realize that they spell their tag with an ‘a’ right?”
“I don’t care, it’s the same thing!” I shouted, “Principles, Lyra, principles. They took my name, and now I must take it back.”
“What about principles?”
Lyra and I blinked as we looked at each other. Neither of us said that.
Looking over, we observed a couple walking towards us. Vinyl Scratch and Octavia had heard our little conversation and found themselves coming out to investigate.
I looked over to them, seeing red, as Lyra stood next me starting to laugh nervously.
“Oh, you heard all that?” asked Lyra, trying to be coy in our, or my, motives.
The two of them looked at her raising their eyebrows in questioning her own motives.
“What’s up with him?” asked Vinyl, motioning her hoof to me.
“Oh, it’s nothing, he is always like this in the hot sun.” Lyra gave a chuckle as she tugged on one of my tentacles. “It’s why we must get him to someplace cold… like really quick.”
Vinyl and Octavia looked up to the overcast sky.
Shrugging their shoulders, the turned around and made their way back to the town hall. I was not going to let them go that easily.
“Stop right there, spawn of Satan!”
The two froze in their tracks, simultaneous with Lyra dropping her face to her hoof.
“Excuse me?” Octavia said.
“You heard me!” I shouted, tentacle raised. “I know what you stole, and I want it back.”
“Wait a minute…” Vinyl said, rubbing her chin. “Do I owe you money? Because if you’re the dude from the sweets shop, I swear, I didn’t see the “No Free Samples” sign.”
“What do you mean you didn’t see the… Wait, don’t change the subject!”
“I apologise sir, but I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about!” Octavia said, piercing my eyes with her own.
“Umm, what?” Vinyl asked.
“You reduced my name from a position of fame and glory to one of commercialism and debauchery!”
“Wait...you’re named Vinyl, too? Wicked!”
“No you land dwelling vertebrate!”
“Hey, I resent that!” shouted Lyra
“Shut it Lyra,” I said turning back to the celebrities. “I’m talking about my DJ name, Octo-Scratch!”
“Octoscratch? Dude, that’s like the same name me and Octy- Oh…”
“Yes. You’ve stolen my identity and I want it back.”
“Oh really,” Vinyl said, removing her sunglasses in epic fashion. “How do I know you didn’t steal my name?”
“Our name, dear.”
“Quiet, Octy. This doesn’t concern you.”
I watched as Octavia raised her hoof and smacked Vinyl on the back of the head.
“OUCH! What was that for?”
“It you recall Vinyl, that name would not be without me.” hissed Octavia.
“Octy, I was talking about the DJ part!”
Octavia pailed a bit as she realized on what ‘personal’ meant for her companion. “Oh,” she said as she walked over to where Lyra was and sat down beside her. “I’ll just sit over here, then.”
“Welcome to the club,” Lyra said, shaking her head. “We have jackets.”
“Anyway, now that all that jazz is out of the way, let’s get serious,” Vinyl said, putting her sunglasses back on.
“Yes, let’s,” I replied, putting on an equally cool pair of sunglasses.
“Who gets to keep the name, and who goes home crying to their mommies…”
“I say we have a little...competition.”
“Hmm, I like the way you think. A DJ competition?”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Well, Octo, Tonight is the Summer Wrap up extravaganza, and I am performing. Let’s hold it there, and whoever rocks the crowd the most, wins.”
“You’ve got yourself a deal.”
I spit on my tentacle, she spit on her hoof and we sealed the deal...much to the distaste of Octavia and Lyra.
Anyway, I had to go get ready. It was showtime.
The chair I was in was not the most comfortable, but it would suffice to the needs of my meditation. I could hear the music going on outside as the current DJ created their own mix. This was my moment of zen, the music, the smoke, the shouts of ponies anxious for something new.
That was what this was all about for me, to bring out something new.
I heard a knock on the door, signalling that my time has arrived. Getting up from my seat I walked over to the door, and left my room.
The sound of rhythm filled my body, vibrating my will to entertain the unsedated hunger of sound. I took in a deep breath, allowing the smoke to seep inside of me, priming my senses to the activity in store.
I watched as the current DJ finished up, leaving the stage, allowing room for my rise.
“This is what I love most, you know.”
Vinyl had walked up next to me, and to my surprise had not done anything to taunt or fire things up.
“What?” I asked.
“You know, the sound of the crowd. For me, it’s never been about my own accomplishments, because in the end, I do this all for them.”
“I see what you mean. Back down in the ocean, all those came to my shows only came because they always had fun. I would be nothing without them, so I do all that I can to deliver.”
Vinyl smiled, “You know, you aren’t so bad. I’m actually looking forward to this. Should be fun.” She walked forward onto the stage, flicking her tail in my face.
I smiled, “Yes. Fun indeed.”
Walking up to my station, I took notice of my equipment, my tools of trade that give me more power than anything else I have come across. Putting my tentacle to the play button, I motioned my head over to Vinyl.
She nodded at me, signalling that I could start. Before the show, a cointoss determined I’d get first dibs to wow the crowd.
I smiled, taking a breath, ready to defend the fact that people don’t call me Octo for nothing, I pressed play.
The lights in the small room all dimmed to where nothing but a faint blue glow illuminated the hungry crowd. The entire audience quieted down along with the lights, allowing for the first few drum beats to resound through the area.
It started off slow; a few pulsating kicks followed by a guttural rhythm. Every slow, pounding beat caused the floor to shake. I could feel the crowd. I could see the hair of their manes standing on edge in anticipation for what was to come.
I didn’t want to keep them waiting.
With a few adjustments made to my system, the speed picked up. A loud, steady beat flooded through the auditorium, echoing off the walls and through the floor. The crowd began to get louder, and the dim blue lights were now flashing an array of violet and green. Every beat sent a new shiver through my body.
I picked up the beat of the bass as well. Instead of a slow, grinding sound, it jumped to a regular pace, shaking the speakers with every hit.
I turned it up louder.
The entire crowd began to jump in tune with my beats. While using two of my arms to control the sound system, I used the other to to clap in the air, which the crowd soon followed.
The entire room became filled with the pulsating beats and hoof claps. The energy, the strength building in the crowd was getting hectic. It was time to let loose.
With a crank of a knob and a few volume control adjustments, the beat sped up. Faster, faster, faster. The crowd started cheering and yelling as it went louder. The drum beats turned into wild blasts that shook the very core of the audience. The once steady bass was now a violent rhythm that was growing more and more restless.
The music got louder, and louder, faster and faster. The energy of it kept rising and rising. The crowd could barely contain themselves, because they knew what was next…
The entire room erupted into a fit of chaos, flashing yellow lights and explosive bass riffs as an explosive bass drop ripped through the crowd. Not a single soul was able to hold still. Each pounding hit of the gnarled bass echoed in time with the electrified hoofsteps and heartbeats of the crowd.
The smell of sweat and cider drenched the air as every single character in the building jumped, danced and moshed in time with the music.
I loved every second of it.
However, as per the rules, my time was just about up, and Vinyl was up next.
Slowly I let slowed down the base, until only a constant treble pulsed across the room, the lights dancing a light shade of blue and red. Looking over to Vinyl, I gave her the que.
She ripped right into her part, taking the pulse I had set up and letting it grow to a new and different rhythm. I watched as she moved her body to the sounds she created, allowing herself to become immersed into the show.
Her hooves changing between panels and slides to keep the music going. I can’t describe what I saw as anything but beautiful. This mare, this Vinyl knew her stuff when it came to being a DJ, and who was I to argue that.
She lowered her hooves down to the vinyl disks that rotated by her and from there, she began to create a transition from one mix to another. LIghts flickering back and forth between a light red and blue to a rich yellow and green. The crowed cheered as they felt the tension rise, moving their bodies to nature of sound.
Vinyl smiled, bobbing her head and raising her hoof. Then with the intensity of a shark, she dropped the base, shaking her head, mane flowing from side to side catching up with her movements. I watched the sweat drip from her brows and onto the floor.
She lifted her glasses up, looking over at me, and with a smirk and a wink, signaled for my final contribution. She rose up the treble and lowered the base, and just like that, the tension was ready to build again.
Now, now it was time to prove myself.
I cracked my tentacles, and worked with Vinyl to end the night with music that would start a new age.
I watched as ponies left the hall, all partied out. The summer extravaganza had ended on a high note, and now everyone was tired and ready to go home, ready to rest up for following day.
I smiled, never had I felt so good about a performance. I mean, ya, the other performances I had done were great. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t be a DJ today. There was something about this one though that felt different, and I couldn’t put my sucker on it.
“Good show, Octy.”
I smiled. “You weren’t bad yourself.”
“Psh, of course I wasn’t,” she said. “I’m never bad at this kind of thing.”
I laughed before I realised something.
“Vinyl, isn’t ‘Octy’ your nickname for Octavia?”
Vinyl blushed as she looked at me. “Ya, it is, but it’s also my nickname for you.”
I chuckled and tried to hide the growing blush on my cheeks.
“You know, Octo-Scratch, I’m not surprised of your skill. You know, having eight arms and all.”
“Ya, it’s definitely a strength.”
We watched as the last ponies left the hall, and made our way back to Octavia and Lyra.
"How'd you like the show?" I asked.
"That's was awesome, jerry!" Lyra responded. "You totally nailed it!"
“Of course he did! He was with me,” Vinyl said, giving me a high-hoof.
“Well, Vinyl, now that we have this whole competition nonsense out of the way, who gets to use the name?” Octavia asked.
“Yeah, I’m fairly curious as well,” Lyra chimed in.
“Well..” Vinyl said, looking to the ground.
As I was about to throw in my two cents, Vinyl dashed over to me and whispered something in my ear. Something that made my heart jump and created a large smile on my face.
We looked at each other with equally large grins before answering their question together.
“What?!” Octavia and Lyra asked, eyes wide.
“Sorry, Octavia, I think I’m in love with Jerry now. You know how it is.”
“Yeah, Lyra, I don’t think I’ll be needing to stay at your place tonight after all.”
Lyra looked at me confused, so I thought I should explain at least a bit further.
“I have a date.”
With that Vinyl and I walked off, leaving Lyra speechless.
After a while I heard Lyra say, “Octavia, what just happened?”
Looking back, all I could see was Octavia scratching her head in confusion.