So the sun’s setting as I’m walking down the street, fewer and fewer ponies passing by as I’m headed toward my next gig. Some might say my advertising methods are bogus, but hey, when you’re just now starting on a career and hoping to make it big, the bulletin boards on the main streets of Canterlot is where square one is at. It wasn’t a bad idea either, business has been rolling steady; ponies simply call the number they see on the flyer, we chat about a time and place, and we’re set. Though there was a couple funny things about the call I got to come to the address given this time around.
For one, the dude sounded all panicky, as if someone were holding a Saturday-night special to his head while we spoke. Then again the colt’s rushed words mixed in with his husky voice meant it could’ve been anything, probably running late for something. Maybe he was constipated or somethin’? Not my business to ask, since the money came up front to my bank account even before I do the show. Money talks.
The second funny thing was the fact that the given address was literally the back door of the Canterlot Critters Pet Shop.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a little filly that’ll go anywhere the money flows, at least not without protection. That’s why I’ve always got the trusty firearm in case of trouble, haven’t needed to use it yet though.
Tap seven times on the door, then another three says the paper, so that’s what I do. A sideways slit in the door opens and.....wait, was that squeaking? Just what the hell is going on anyhow? The slit closes and the door opens, showing a staircase going down, poor red lighting and everything. I walk in the doorway and look at the other side of the door. There’s nothing there but a tiny ladder going up to a small platform, right where the slit in the door was, like there’s something really tiny that’s gotta climb up there. Weird. I look back outside and the sun’s well gone, the moon coming up over and street lights turning on. This is shaping up to be an abnormal gig, but me being my eccentric self, go on down the stairs and down the hallway.
I start hearing the thudding bass of a decent tune, one that’d hold over a crowd before the DJ arrives, so I figure it’s an actual job and not a hostage situation in the making. I continue down the cramped hall, still red light lit before I get to the end and oh god what am I looking at.
The room’s no bigger than the stage alone at the downtown concert hall, but there’s strobe lighting and everything you’d see at any other nighttime bash, complete with the turntable decks on the opposite side of the room. I look anywhere else that isn’t flashing with lights or producing the thumping bass and you know what I see?
The whole place is littered with with em, most of em with glowsticks the size of asprins and chatting with unintelligible squeaking, up until I walk in and look around.
I’m just about ready to run away screaming with fear of getting bitten when they all start cheering and clearing way to the record decks. Seems like my services are known by ponykind and beyond.
I make my way over to the decks when the little rodents continue talking, and check out the equipment. I’ve got my own set at home, but since this job offered its own equips I didn’t need to bring them over. It was complete with the works, even had a spare needle for a 3rd record, with wires coming out the sides to either amp at the left and right, full sized despite how small the place is, and how small the guests are. Funny thing is, I dont see any spare wires besides the audio cables. I guess I was kinda loony to think a bunch of pets could supply the stuff for turntables, since we need a few extra wires for the thermionic valves, so I open up the bottom half of the deck to see just what its missing.
Nevermind plugs or valves or anything that makes any remote sense, because inside this thing I see six of what have to be the most threatening hamsters I have ever seen, running on wheels supplying a current that’s seriously keeping this thing running, since it was on before I even got here, hence the music I heard on the way down. To avoid tonight getting and weirder, I just close the hatch and leave the animals to their business.
I lift a couple records out of my bag and set them on the needles, the amps coming alive with a new tune I whipped up the other day, sending a couple hamsters reeling back from the force before they start cheering again and waving their tiny glowsticks. Once everything on the outside seems to be working fine, I take out my headphones, set em on my head, and plug it into one of the remaining jacks.
Apparently animal labor-powered electronics sound better than the traditional way, because the sound’s obviously clearer, and the synth’s able to get louder than usual. About half an hour into it a squad of orange hamsters offer a cup of ice water to me, which I take and splash on my face. I shoot em thanks with a grin and continue mixing and matching beats to transfer into the next track.
These little scrappers know how to party! A couple hours in and I’ve only had to pause once so the the hamsters powering the thing can get out and another set take their place, even I’m getting a bit exhausted. No sweat, I’m just about done in another half hour before I head home anyhow.
As I’m wrapping up my last track I take off my headphones and look back at the crowd, most of em seem just about as tired as I am, most of them resorting to laying back and fistpumping to the music. I go down to the tiny bench they’re using for a refreshment table and they pretty much instantly present me with another cup of ice-water. Glad to see that they know I”m just as tired as they are. So the music ends, I pack up my stuff, and exit with a salute as they give applause to the performance.
I’m trotting back through the red lit hallway and back up to the door when I turn my head and see a tied up light brown stallion in a small space to the right of the door, complete with rope and duct tape trying to yell for help. I was about to walk over to him when some unseen force forced me on my hooves out the door and slammed behind me. I turn back to knock when the slit in the door opens and an envelope falls out before it closes. I open it and see another check for another nice amount of bits along with a hastily written ‘THIS NEVER HAPPENED’ on a separate paper.
I’ll take the hush-hush money and not say a word, but I can say that I’ve got a story for ‘Tavi tomorrow!