Music is an art. A way of expression that can convey emotions better than words ever could. With music, a pony can reach heights of joy that make the world seem meaningless. To hear the gentle rhythms flow through one's body and to see the music create harmony within everypony was truly a sight to see. No, music isn't an art, it's a religion that encompasses the world. At least, that was how Octavia viewed it. Vinyl on the other hoof just liked to blast wubs out of her patented bass cannon, much to Octavia's discomfort.
"Hey Tavi!" The blue maned DJ called from the kitchen. "Have you seen my screwdriver, something's up with the dishwasher. The amp isn't working."
"Have you tried the tool box? It's not like it would be anywhere else." The cellist replied in a slightly sarcastic tone.
"Oh right, of course. My bad." Octavia couldn't see Vinyl from the living room, but she could tell by her room mates tone that she was blushing. "Umm, where is the tool box?"
"Under the sink." Octavia droned.
Octavia heard a loud clatter from the kitchen. "Nope. Not there."
"We've lived in this house for over a year. Surely by now you should at least know where some things are." Octavia sighed loudly before walking to the kitchen. Her normally clean kitchen was now strewn with random utensils and tools that Vinyl had needlessly tossed on the floor. I swear, I am the only mare that can put up with your antics. You're lucky I love you, Vinyl. Octavia didn't speak as she nudged the alabaster mare out of the way. She rustled through the various items under the sink and pulled out a dull red tool box.
"I swear that wasn't in there seconds ago. How do you do that?" Vinyl asked incredulously. "For an earth mare, you have some crazy magic skills."
"It's not magic, it's just observation."
"Well, whatever that means, you're good at it." Vinyl opened the tool box and pulled out the first screwdriver she saw. The unicorn was about to wreak havoc on the dishwasher when she heard a familiar song come from the table, accompanied by a soft vibrating hum. "Why can't anyone call me when I'm not busy?" Vinyl moaned.
"You're never busy! You're always at home!" Octavia called from the front room.
"I can be busy at home." Vinyl said defensively before answering the phone. "Yo, this is Vinyl speaking. Who's this?"
"You never check your caller ID, do you?" The voice on the other end responded. "It's me, you doofus. Where are you? I've been waiting here for ages!"
"Oh shoot! Sorry Skyline. I completely forgot. Could you hold on for just a moment longer, I'll be right there."
"You're kidding, right? Do I need to staple notes to your horn for you to remember things? Ugh, fine I'll wait. But you owe me." Skyline growled. "This is the second time in a row you've been late."
"Thanks bud, I'll make it up to you somehow. Promise."
"You be-" Vinyl hung up on him.
"Hey Octy, could you finish this for me? I got a gig to go to." Vinyl gave the earth pony a kiss on the cheek before she could reply and bolted out the door. "Thanks, love ya, bye!"
The musician glanced around the mess her room mate had made. "Vinyl! I am not cleaning this up!" Octavia yelled after the unicorn.
"You better make it up to me. Yo, Vinyl, you there?" Skyline checked his phone and saw that the call had been disconnected. "I can't believe it. She hung up on me!"
"Dude, relax. She does that to everyone. That mare is always in a rush." Horizon called over to his brother.
Skyline was a unicorn with sky blue fur and had smooth sapphire coloured mane. His eyes were a rich shade of green. Skyline was thinner than most stallions but made up for it in size. Skyline was always active and rarely took time to relax. Horizon was very different from his brother, both physically and mentally. His fur was canary yellow and he had ragged fiery hair. His body was quite large and built for hard work. Horizon, unlike his brother, was always relaxed and rarely worked which everypony found ironic, but whenever he did, nothing could stop him from achieving his goal. Their friends had gotten together one night and invented a nickname for the two which had quickly spread. Ever since then they had been stuck with the nickname, The Parallels.
Together, both brothers owned a local nightclub which had become quite successful since it's opening. Out of the two, Horizon was oldest and often spent his day lounging around and planning for future events, as well as ways to expand and improve their nightclub. Skyline on the other hand spent his time managing the club. The Night Rise opened only months ago but had quickly become one of the most popular night time business's in Canterlot. There were three reasons for the clubs success. The first was the level of service they provide to both customers and staff. The second reason was the quality of the venue. The brothers ensured everything was perfect, from the aesthetics and decor, down to the presentation of the beverages. The final and most important reason was that Princess Luna and her personal guard often attended the club. Nothing brings in more customers than celebrities.
Skyline dropped the phone onto his bed and fell onto his back. "I swear, one day that mare is gonna kill me. I'm not sure if it'll be metaphorical or physical death though. Maybe both."
"You need to relax, bro." Horizon leaned into the red bean bag he had bought last week and closed his eyes. "Everything will work out in the end."
"I know. You keep telling me. I just want everything to be perfect." Skyline closed his eyes and rested his left forehoof across his eyes, blocking out all light.
"Nothing is perfect. Well, except me of course." Horizon posed for an imaginary camera.
"Perfect my flank. Everyone knows I'm the pretty one." Skyline tapped his chest pridefully
"The pretty dumb one." Horizon teased.
"Well that's not very nice. Don't be mean to your older brother, otherwise I'll have to ignore you.."
Skyline put on the girliest voice he could manage.. "Notice me senpai. Don't ignore me." Skyline and Horizon both burst into laughter.
"You're an idiot, bro."
"Yeah, I know."
Vinyl tore down the road, ignoring all the disgruntled ponies she bumped into and every curse shouted her way when she caused somepony to drop something. The wind blew past her at ridiculous speeds, causing her mane to whip behind her erratically. Vinyl passed by the Canterlot Clock Shop and saw the same time in every clock face. It was just coming up to midday and she was still only halfway there.
Vinyl quickly changed her direction and made a sharp left, deciding to take a short cut through the Canterlot gardens. It would only save her a few minutes, but it was better than nothing. Vinyl raced into the park and ran straight, ignoring all the plants in her path. At one point she even jumped through a bush, leaving a comical pony shaped hole in the foliage.
Vinyl didn't even notice that her mane had twigs and leaves sticking out of it, or the fact that a small family of squirrels had made her mane their new home. Her mind was purely focused on getting to her destination on time.
One benefit of owning a two story nightclub is that you do whatever you want with it, which Horizon and Skyline had taken full advantage of. The second story of Night Rise had been converted into a flat which the two brothers now lived in. The first floor was large and open as you would expect a nightclub to be. The entrance to the nightclub faces the DJ's podium which towered above the dance floor like a god. On the left of the door was the bar and on the right a set of stairs leading to the second floor. The rest of the wall space was taken up by tables and chairs which were normally filled with ponies. It was a fairly simple set-up but that's what ponies liked, apparently.
Skyline and his brother were both behind the bar making sure they had enough stock to last the night when the door to the club burst open. Neither of them looked up as Vinyl fell flat on her face. "Made it!"
"Fifteen minutes late." Skyline said lazily. "No welcome drink."
"Aww, c'mon. It was only... really? fifteen minutes?" Vinyl pulled her face off the ground. "But I took like, seven short cuts."
"Well maybe you... should..." Skyline looked up and instantly forgot what he was saying. 'Uh, Vinyl? What happened to your mane?"
"My mane?" Scratch tilted her eyes up but could not see her hair. Normally she could see the tips of her hair, but today she couldn't even see a single hair. "Wind must of blown it back, I'll just fix it in the bath room."
"You're gonna need more than a bathroom trip to fix that!" Horizon laughed. "Yo, Scratch, you need a mirror, asap."
"What's wrong with it?" Vinyl trotted to the bathroom and allowed the door to slowly shut behind her. Skyline and Horizon didn't have to wait long before a very un-Vinyl like scream filled the room. Less than a second later the DJ burst back out of the bathroom.
"Ha, I didn't know you could sing soprano, Vinyl." Horizon chuckled darkly.
"I didn't know your face was made of steel." Vinyl glared at Horizon.
"Huh? What do you mea-" Horizon fell onto his rear when something connected with his face.
"Vinyl, please don't throw produce at my brother. That bottle cost more than you're getting paid tonight." Skyline picked up the bottle the mare had thrown and placed it back onto the counter. "And you." He turned to his brother. "Stop picking on our staff or I'll let her drop an anvil on your head." Horizon rubbed his forehead and got to his hooves. He mumbled an apology to Vinyl and left to organize the fridges behind the bar.
When Skyline hadn't been watching, Vinyl had retreated to one of the clubs many booths and was rocking back and forth whilst mumbling to herself.
"What are you doing, Scratch? You need to get the equipment ready for tonight."
"How am I meant to work when I look like this!?" Vinyl yelled at him. "If I perform like this, I'll lose all my credibility as a DJ!"
"I'm not a critic or anything so I'll let you sort it out." Skyline started polishing glasses with a cloth.
"Are you stupid!? A disk jockey must always look cool. If I go up there looking like a homeless mare, my career will be over!"
"Wear a helmet. Like that duo from Manehatten. What was their name again?"
"You're kidding, right? I can't just copy Daftcolt! I'll be ridiculed." Vinyl tried to pulled some of the twigs out of her hair but they were too tangled and she had to give up when it started hurting. "Stupid mane. Obey my will!"
"If you hate your mane so much, then change it. Get it cut somewhere."
"That's it! I'll change my mane." Vinyl ran right up to Skyline and stuck her face right next to his. "Give me your mane for tonight."
"I said change not exchange. Just go to a salon or something. You still have a while until you need to start. Just make sure you have all the equipment ready on time."
"No time. I'm taking yours." Vinyl lit her horn and aimed her magic at Skyline.
"Hey, wait a minute. What are you doing!" The room filled with a bright light and the two were momentarily blinded. Vinyl's vision returned first. Mainly because she was used to the bright lights of the dance floor while Skyline worked behind the bar.
Vinyl looked at her boss's mane and frowned. "Aww, it didn't work."
"Like hell it didn't! I can't see shi-" Skyline opened his eyes and froze mid sentence. "Oh my... that's new." He continued to stare at her hair. Not blinking once.
"Oh no, I made it worse, didn't I?" Vinyl shrunk back.
"Far from it." Skyline let out a small giggle. "Your highness."
"Highness? What do you mean?"
Celestia stretched out her hooves and let out a relaxing sigh. Today's court had been particularly frustrating and she was equally tired. Sadly she couldn't rest until she had set the sun and sundown wasn't due for another seven hours. Maybe she could get Luna to take over? Celestia smiled to herself. Luna had been back for a while. Perhaps it was time to put more trust in her. Celestia opened the doors to her room and began the short walk to her sisters tower.
Celestia passed by a group of guards who, as usual, gave her a short respectful bow before continuing on their patrol. Celestia simply nodded back to them. After hundreds of years, it had simply become a reflex to her.Sometimes she wished things would be different. Celestia could see another group of guards up ahead coming towards her. No doubt they would bow just like all the others had. Celestia sigh and kept walking.
Perhaps I should take a short holiday. I deserve a small break from work. You know what? I'm going to take a holiday. Luna is old enough to take care of things until I get back. For a moment Celestia could have sworn the area around her grew brighter for a moment. Obviously she had made the right choice if things were literally looking brighter.
Celestia glanced towards the guards and smiled. Celestia had been expecting them to bow like usual but for once that was not what happened. The guards approaching her stopped as if they had stumbled into an invisible wall. The one at the front fell over as the rear guards bumped into him. Was the sight of her smiling really that uncommon? Celestia thought she smiled all the time. The princess was about to offer the fallen stallion some assistance but stopped when she saw the expressions on the faces of the standing guards. It was as if they didn't know whether to laugh or be concerned. It was truly perplexing. What bothered her most was they were looking at her.
The lead guard stepped forward. "Y-your highness. I apologize for any offence that I may incur, but are you okay?"
Celestia was taken back his question. "Whatever are you talking about?" Was her smiling so uncommon that it was taken as a sign of illness?
The guard froze. He had to choose his words very carefully. "You appear to be..." He looked behind him for assistance but all his brothers in arms had retreated to a safe distance. "Out of sorts."
Celestia was slightly annoyed by his remark but let it slide. It was her fault for not showing emotion often enough. "I assure you I am fine."
"Then this is just a fashion statement? That is good to know. I had assumed you had gone ma-" Celestia interrupted him before he could finish.
"Fashion statement? What ever do you mean?" The guard froze. Oh crap. She has gone mad. The guard look behind him for additional support but yet again his comrades had moved further away from him.
"Y-your... hair." He shrunk back from the goddess.
"My hair?" Celestia looked at the guard in confusion before summoning a mirror from her bedside table. She raised it in front of her and inspected the image staring back at her. For a moment Celestia didn't know how to respond, but when a family of squirrels jumped out of her hair, she knew exactly how to react.
Luna dropped the book she had been reading when she heard the scream. It was a mixture of pure shock and unadulterated rage. Last time she had heard that scream, an entire army was wiped off the battle field. She didn't care who's fault it was, but she was staying out of this one.
The Night Rise was in full swing and was busier than ever. Apparently news spreads fast and after every pony heard there was a new DJ at the club, everypony swarmed the place. No one had ever heard of this Celestial Scratch before but that didn't matter. As long as she could make great music and look good while doing it. What caught every ponies eye was her mane though. Her bright and shining mane had everypony's full attention. Her multicoloured shining mane gave off an aura of power and somehow gave her music a regal sound, if that was even possible.
"Hey, bro. Who's the new girl?" Horizon poured a drink for another customer. Skyline made sure that there were no customers at the bar before whispering into his brothers ear.
"Actually, that's Vinyl. She just swapped hair with somepony through some spell. She tried to take mine but failed."
"Well I don't care who's hair it is, as long as she's bringin' in this many customers."
The song had just begun it's climax and when the beat dropped all hell broke loose. The door to the club exploded inwards, showering the crowd with splinters and broken chunks of door. Everypony dropped to the floor. The beat stopped. Everything stopped. When the dust settled everypony looked to the door and saw a seething white alicorn. Gone was her colourful waving mane. Now adorning her head was a blue, twig infested forest of hair that looked like it had been attacked by a vicious horde of Timber Wolves. Celestia scanned the room with her teeth bared. If looks could killed, then it would have been a massacre. It took her no time at all to see the alabaster DJ standing atop the podium with her mane.
"Gotcha." She growled.