Behind The Name

by Zippi

First published

No pony, even the ones who seem to be living a dream, have it all

Some sacrifice their lives for their craft, maybe without even knowing.

Inside the Mind

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A guitar pick floated in the air, slowly bringing itself down and coming to rest on top of the first string. It dragged itself down in a dazed manner, drawing out a chord. The sound reverberated in the open studio room, followed by a sudden intake of breath as the pony adjusted their seating, not realizing they had been holding it in. The guitar let out a small creek as it was adjusted alongside the pony, another breath in. The pick was brought near the strings. The pony looked down at the guitar, lost in thought. For a moment there was nothing, just a pony, a guitar and an empty studio. The pick slowly drooped and suddenly in a jerking motion, was brought up and put on the closest surface. The pony looked up and towards the wall at the opposite end of the room, their eyes were clouded and even if they were physically there, their mind wasn't.

Here I am in a studio, I've gotten what I wanted, I'm doing what I love... Right?

The figurative check marks are all there.

Why am I not content, I'm happy, I think? I should be right? But I don't feel as if my life makes sense. Maybe? I can't tell who I am.

The pony adjusted their seating again, the guitar slumping in the process. The air was getting hotter, it felt thick, sensations were heightened. It was uncomfortable.


The guitar made its way to a chair, leaning on it. The ponies head was in their hooves, eyes open and looking down. The waking world blurred together, the area nearby felt heavy, claustrophobic. The only thing real was the thoughts, the mental state.

It doesn't feel right, this doesn't feel right.

Shit shit shit...

Heartbeat quickened, mind was destabilized, too much at once.

The pony once again adjusted their sitting position, picking their head up and looking up towards the ceiling.


Deep breathing.

What are the next steps, whats... wha...

Whats needed?

Racing thoughts.

Their fur felt dirty, damp, skin felt tight.

Time passed, all of it melting together, maybe it was a minute, five, ten, thirty, an hour... It didn't matter.

The pony moved, turning towards a laptop that was left nearby. It was dragged closer, the screen lighting up as the top was lifted. It cast a hazy glow across the ponies figure, creating a focal point in the dimly lit studio. A project file was opened, a button clicked. The room was filled with sound, it stopped. It started. It stopped. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The pony lazily continued to play it then suddenly stop it, repeating the process as if it would give all the right answers. As if it would give inspiration and understanding. Eyes staring forward, towards the screen. But that wasn't their focus. Their mind was a million miles away.

Their eyes refocused, this time taking in what was on the screen.

Okay... fuck.

Come on I need to get something done, It might help clear things up.

Or maybe it wont...

The file was played again, this time the entire way through, looping itself back to the start when finished. New cluttered sounds emanated from the laptop as they sounded off and filled the room. The pony stared at the screen, their face scrunched in a look of determination and pain. Desperation was creeping in. The sound stopped and quickly the guitar that had found its way against a chair came back to the pony, lifted in a purple-ish glow. It came to rest back in the ponies lap, the guitar pick lifting away too. A chord. Another. Mimicking the key of what had been played on the file. It was sloppy, but not awful. Still the pony couldn't get their mind away from their troubles.


The pony slumped.

I'm... I'm... I need... I NEED... something. Help.

Something the pony had admitted to their-self for years. It had never felt right, yet it seemed help did its best to stay away, even when the pony tried and tried to get the attention they needed.

But you have it all right? Money, fame, more than what you ever could have dreamed. So what the fuck are you missing you piece of shit?

You're that fucking pathetic that even when you've got it all, all the check marks, you're still wanting more.

Your colleagues are happy, they're content, so why aren't you?

I know! I feel like I'm fucking insane, everypony else is happy, they've got it all figured out. So. Why. AREN'T. I?

I've made changes to my schedule, I've tried all sorts of diets, I've taken vacations... but I feel like shit.

You don't deserve what you have. You're just a normal pony that somehow found their way into the spotlight.

You're not celebrity material, you're confused and lost, you can't handle this.

I NEED to handle this though, after all that's what other's seem to have an easy time doing right? So there's got to be something wrong with me If I cant do it too.

I just want to not let anypony down, I wan't to make others happy and not fail.

Time passed, the only noise being a slight hum emanating from the score of equipment that resided in the studio.

I've got an image, yet I myself don't relate to that image, but I should right? I should be what others need me and want me to be. But why do I struggle so hard trying to do something as simple as that?

Because you're not special, you were born with problems, you have problems, they will stick with you forever and you will never feel content. You've got a disease.

Fuck... Stop stop stop... STOP!

The pony scrunched up their face in a mixture of pain and denial. The room felt crushing, depressing. Their head hurt, as if it would explode any minute now.


"Hey Vinyl."

The pony looked up. The door had been opened and in it stood a figure.


"Jet leaves soon, 10 hour flight remember?"

Vinyl let the guitar slump, eventually putting it down. "Yeah."

She got up and began to pack up a few things in her bag, including the laptop, a few cables, and her phone. She began to make her way towards the door, her mind still a bit lost. The pony watched her the whole time, a slight bit of worry written on their face. Vinyl stopped and looked back. She almost forgot her guitar. She made her way back and picked it up, slinging it over her back. She turned but didn't move forward, instead stopping, her eyes looking through the pony at the door.

"You good Vinyl?" The pony said as they turned to make their way down the hall.

There was no sound for a moment.

Vinyl shook her head ever so lightly, seeming to dislodge her thoughts. "Uh... Yeah, I'm good."

"Amazing." The pony smiled widely, waving a hoof over and walking away from the door, down the hall, "Now let's get going."

Vinyl followed. The hall was empty except for some placards and awards which hung on the wall. The only sounds were a low mechanical buzz and the sound of their hoofsteps, dampened by the carpet.

Why don't I feel fulfilled... satisfied. Am I just that inadequate?

The two ponies continued on towards the outside of the building.

Only one did so with purpose.

The Lead Up

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The ground passed by 35,000 feet below. Few clouds were in the sky.

Light chatter filled the cabin. Vinyl sat with her laptop out, headphones on.


She lifted her headphones, hearing her name.


"When we get there we'll only have about 30 minutes before your set so I want to make sure we're on the same page."

"Yeah okay."

"We're landing at a private airfield that's about 10 minutes away from the club. That should give us enough time to not have to rush, but you'll still want to arrive with enough time to get inside and have us get the equipment and lighting teams set with our plans."

Vinyl nodded.

"You're the last slot of the night so there's really no time limit and going longer would probably be the best decision, try to run it for an hour longer than the average slot time and we'll try to keep up. I've made sure with the owner of the club that its okay if you run long based on your privilege of being last act."

Vinyls face had developed a slightly pained look as he went on.

"Just because we have no time limit doesn't mean we have to go longer though. Why not stick to a normal schedule? It would relieve a lot stress for me and I'm sure the other teams wouldn't need to stress as much either. It just seems more logical." She responded.

"Maybe to you but if you play longer it would draw more attention to you. Ponies would talk about how 'PON3 had a longer set than the other acts' and it might bring in more. Ponies like it when their favorite acts have special slots."

"But I don't need more attention, you know how I feel about shows and I don't want to be told hours before I'm on that I actually have to play another 30 minutes to an hour longer when there's no actual reason to, just run it like a normal show." Vinyl paused, "Just don't over-complicate things."

"I still think it would be a good idea."

"It just... I don't see the reason for it." Vinyl repeated ever more dejectedly, slumping back in her seat.

"We still might try to run long." She heard him say after a moment, she could tell it wasn't addressed to her in specific, more as a statement to the whole cabin. She rolled her eyes and she could feel anger rising inside her but she decided to not argue over it, it wouldn't change anything, she'd had enough of arguing with him.

"Also one last thing."

"Whats that?" Vinyl responded pointedly.

"The transportation to the venue hasn't been fully figured out yet and I'm warning you that you might have take that on when we land if I can't get it sorted out."

Vinyl was starting to get upset, these type of things always seemed to happen, her requests would go ignored and then last minute bullshit would arise and always fall onto her to take on.

"That should have been figur-"

"-No, no I know it usua-"

"No you always say 'Oh its usually figured out beforehand' but lately I've been the one having to handle that, its your job to manage it, not mine, so why does the responsibility always land on my shoulders? I don't understand that."


"I understand Vinyl, and I see how you feel but they're making things more difficult with the transportation with this being a new airfield and all. I'm doing what I can to get things sorted out but they're being difficult and wanting to charge more."

Vinyl had a look of confusion on her face, "If I'm one of the performers then they should have the transportation figured out already, not a few hours before we land." She said waving her hooves about for emphasis, "The money doesn't matter either, they want to 'charge more', well why does that matter, I don't care what they charge this should already be figured out. It saves me a lot of stress when this type of stuff is planned ahead, as my booking agent and manager that's your job, not mine." She stopped, bringing a hoof to her head as she began rubbing her temple. Her manager sat diagonally across from her, an artificial mask of concern on his face.

"I've told you how I feel about this stuff, It stresses me out when we've got all this going on and half of it isn't even fully planned, even while we're on our way there. If we're doing so many shows a year that some aren't even fully coordinated as we're mid-flight there, then something needs to change. I've told you this before. Don't try to get around the issue and tell me its no big deal then present me with the problem when it arises instead of doing your job."

The cabin was silent again, save for the sounds of the jet as it brought them ever closer to their destination.

"Look, I'm doing what I can but it's-"

"Can we move on from this? It's giving me anxiety." Vinyl said not looking towards him.

"Okay." Her manager said calmly. "But when we get to the venue we may not have a lot of time even with our estimates before you're on so just be prepared for whatever might come up."

Vinyl look down, her features showing how anxious she was. She didn't say a word.

She turned and looked out the window next to her, the sun was beginning to set she could see as it painted the horizon in an almost heavenly glow and night was soon to be here.

"Vinyl are you okay?" The pony who sat across the small table in front of her leaned in and asked, concern in their voice.

It took a moment for her to respond, one of her hooves rested on her cheek covering a part of her mouth, but she answered with a simple, "Mmmyeah."

The pony across from her leaned back after a moment, concern still on their face. They knew they wouldn't get more out of her.

The jet came in for a landing, wheels hitting the runway. The scenery outside slowed down as the jet came to a stop. All was still for a moment and the ponies around the cabin picked up their bags and any other gear they had with them. The hatch opened up as Vinyl made her way towards it, making her way out into the hot, dry air, the sounds of the city could be heard in the distance, the airstrip where they landed being nearby.

"Did you handle the transportation?" Vinyl asked after a moment, looking towards her manager who had just gotten down from the last step.

"Yes I was able to get it figured out in time."


Vinyl looked away, her forehead creased.

"There should be a van waiting out front." He followed up.

Vinyl began to make her way around the front of the jet to get to the entrance of the small airport, her team followed her at their own pace, some still checking their bags to make sure they had everything they needed.

Small machinery was being moved about the small airfield as the worker ponies went about their jobs. Vinyl hardly noticed, she'd seen it all a million times before.

The van sat by the curb, waiting. Vinyl made her way towards it as her eyes locked onto the vehicle. Her team rushed alongside her, pulling open the back doors to the van and gathering in, followed by Vinyl. She dropped her bag and the doors were closed shut, the van was put in motion.

As they drove through the streets. As the time ticked down until she was on, her anxiety grew. She decided to have a few drinks to help with it.

Time passed, the city blurred together, the lights were hazy. It all combined into one, the longest and yet shortest moment in existence. Nothing yet everything simultaneously made sense.

I don't matter to time, it doesn't slow down for ponies to catch up, It doesn't care about me. I'm just a small insignificant dot, a speck of dust, a nothing on its timeline.

The cityscape passed by outside.

Eventually the van turned into a gated back entrance, pulling up alongside a building and stopping. The doors swung open and Vinyl and the three other ponies who accompanied her got out. She was quickly escorted into the back entrance and through a hallway with workers passing by. She passed through another entrance which led to a decently sized room filled with seating and ponies who rushed about or talked in groups, many of which had headsets on. She walked past a pony who held out a few glasses of alcohol, picking one up in her magic as she went by. She continued on through the room and made her way down another hall, being trailed by a group of ponies. The walls made way for curtains and cloth which hung from scaffolding, all of which was as black as the night sky. Soon after it led into an open backstage area, a few ponies stood about waiting. She was greeted by a pony as she entered the stage.

"Hey Vinyl how're you doing?"

Not great.

The alcohol decided to speak instead, already taking action, "Good."

She took a few more sips from the glass as they talked. Her anxiety was slowly slipping away.

She could hear the pony who was on stage, wrapping up their set to make way for hers, say their farewells to the packed club judging by the loud roar she heard. A moment later she saw a figure descend the steps leading backstage and make their way towards her. She wrapped up the conversation she was having and went to say hello to the figure coming off stage.

"Hey Neon!"

"Yo, what's up Vinyl!" He said as he wrapped a hoof around her "The crowds fucking amazing tonight."

"Oh yeah I could hear." She smirked.

"You're up next right?"


"Id love to stay and watch but I have to catch a flight, and I'm exhausted too." He waved and began past her, walking towards the hallway where a few ponies waited for him, ready to escort him out.

She waved a hoof back but quickly turned her attention towards the stage, where she had a crowd waiting for her. The pony she had been talking to before spoke up.

"You're on in about a minute, so be ready."

This is it.

She put the glass down on the nearest surface she could find and made her way towards the steps leading up to the stage. A few ponies ran about by her, making sure everything was set before she was to go on. A pony came up beside her and spoke.

"You're on."

She began her ascent, the crowds roar becoming ever so clear.

Fuck fuck fuck, all those ponies with their attention resting solely on me, the lights, the-

-Nothing will go wrong, it's all fine.

Yeah... maybe you're right.

Life is good, there's nothing to be worried about. you've got it, ignore all the eyes on you.

She reached the top platform and grabbed the mic waiting for her on the deck. She queued up a track and music filled the room, the crowd roared. She waited. Then she spoke.

"How's it going Las Pegasus!"

The crowd roared again.

She still didn't like this.

I Still Don't Enjoy It

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Outside Vinyl sat at the end of a table, to her sides sat some of her closest friends. It was mid afternoon and Vinyl would have to fly out to Vanhoover in only a few short hours so they sat about chatting and eating an early meal together while she was at home.

"So how are you doing Vinyl? Must feel a lot better now that you're able to be in the studio more often since you lessened your touring schedule." A grey pony with a black mane and treble clef for a cutie mark asked.

"I'm doing better, I've been feeling a lot more inspired and motivated lately." She responded.

"Well that's good, I know how hard you were having it before."


"Are you sure you've done enough though? You still don't seem like you're head is fully there a lot of the time." Another pony piped in.

"That's the thing, that's what I'm not sure about. I've done so much to try to feel better, to get back on track. But it still doesn't feel like it's enough."

"Mmmm." The first pony mumbled in response.

"I'm just not sure, I feel like shit, my management knows it, you know it, I haven't kept it a secret. Yet I just keep getting push back when I want to slow down or take time off for me."

No pony said anything after Vinyl finished, they'd heard this a thousand times and they didn't know what to do to help anymore, it didn't feel right but what could they do about it?

They all went back to eating, occasional chatter could be heard.

The buzz of a phone could be heard and a few ponies glanced in the direction of the sound. The phone was picked up in a purple haze and brought up to Vinyls ear.


Some muffled lines could be heard but not enough to tell the contents of them.

"Mhmm." Was Vinyls simple response.

More muffled sounds from the other end of the call.

"No I know, but I thought I said I didn't want to do that show. I was perfectly cle-"

A pause.

"-Wha..." No... I said- Yes and I don't care. I've said it a million times that's not what I'm worried about. I already changed my schedule from five shows a week to three, I'm not fitti-"

An upset look appeared on her face as she seemed to be interrupted again by the pony on the other side of line.

"-No... Stop, I said- No listen to what I'm saying okay? I'm not fitting in an extra appearance after I changed my schedule to do less shows, what makes you think that I would want to do more?"

She finished, a blank look on her face as she listened.

The ponies sitting at the table had gone quiet, a few listening in with worried looks. They'd heard it all before and they were all becoming more and more concerned for their friend by the day.

"You already asked me about this and I was pretty open with how I felt about it then, so why would you bring it up again if you're just going to try to fit it in and not listen to what I'm saying like you did when I initially said I didn't want to?"

Confusion shown in her features.

"That's not what I asked... Why do you keep trying to make room for this show when I'm so against it. It doesn't make sense. I've said I'm not willing to do it."

She sat there again not saying anything as she listened. A hurt look quickly showing.

"No like I said- No I've said it twice now why do you- No I've made it perfectly clear I'm not- I don't care- I... ugh."

She quickly hung up and plopped the phone down on the table with little care. She still looked upset and the other ponies all looked on, although trying to hide it. They knew Vinyl didn't want attention to be drawn to her from this.

She sat there, resting her head on a hoof and looking off in the distance, her brow pointed down angrily as she bit down on her cheek.

A warm coppery tasting liquid began to pool in her mouth, pouring from the torn skin inside her mouth. She didn't care.

No pony said much for a while. Vinyl didn't move other than occasionally looking around.

Blood began to dribble from the corners of her tightly closed jaw as she ground her teeth together.

She let her jaw fall open carelessly, her tongue lolling out a little. As she did so she did not change her expression or move an inch. The pool of blood inside her mouth started to pour out onto the table in front of her, creating splotchy stains on the wooden surface. She stood up, not moving her gaze as she stared down the length of the table. Her friends all quickly looked over from the sudden movement and once seeing the blood on the table, her stained teeth and the few rivulets cascading down her chin, began to ask if she was alright, concern in their voices and written on their faces. She ignored them and began to make her way through the group, trying to leave the table.

"Vinyl are you okay? I-" The grey pony asked, not sure what else to say as she pushed off from the table and tried to follow her troubled friend.

"Yeh." Vinyl interrupted angrily, not looking back as she made her way indoors.

The pony stood there, mouth hanging open a little, a sad look on her face and in her eyes. She didn't know what to say, what to do. The rest of the group still sat at the table heads low, they glanced at each other, sadness and concern apparent in their features. A heavy and upsetting air surrounded them.

They didn't like to see their friend this way.

She was flying out again, even with the more relaxed schedule it still felt too often.

Home doesn't even feel like home... More like any other rented villa or hotel room I stay at when I'm on the go.

I mean, having the opportunity to see the world and travel like I do is amazing, but it doesn't feel like I'm doing it right.

She sat there for a moment, looking out the window as the jet flew above the clouds. It was a nice day.

Why can't I just enjoy this, I've got it all, I've seen the world, I have the best job I could think of really. But there's so much that comes with it that I struggle with, It's never come naturally to me. I don't know what to do to fix it though, I feel like I'm insane.

Vinyl thought back to an interview she had done a few weeks ago for The Equestrian Times. She thought she'd done a good job explaining how she felt in it. But it seemed like her troubles still weren't taken seriously enough.

"You've just announced that you're slowing down with your touring schedule. Do you believe that this is a step in the right direction for you?" The interviewer asked.

"I'm not sure yet, I've needed to slow it down for a long time now and I've made some changes, I don't really know though if it's what I need."

The interviewer let it go quiet for a moment before following up, "Now we know that you've had your struggles over the years and that you've had to cancel shows from past tours for health problems, but what is it about all this that you struggle with most?"

She took a moment before answering, talking slowly as to come up with the right way to word it, "I've always struggled with the spotlight, I don't like being the center of attention and my passion has always been for music, the rest has kind of just come with it and I've never really found my place in it all. I haven't kept this a secret from anyone, I get really anxious before shows and its taken a toll on me."

"Oh yes I've heard." The pony asking the questions said as if just remembering something, a little concern apparent in their voice. "And what does your team do about all this?"

"I've told them all how I felt, especially my manager. He knows that I have a hard time with all this and he'll try to work things out so I don't have to worry as much, but a lot of the time it seems like they don't want to slow down or take a break even with them knowing and seeing how this all has affected me. I've told him, like, 'I will die' if I don't stop but I always receive a lot of push back from him and those around me when I tell him that I need to slow down, and it hurts, but there's a part of me that trusts him and what hes doing. I just don't know what's next..."

Vinyl came back to the present and almost immediately realized how sleep deprived she was. She hadn't slept in almost 24 hours.

Another part of the life.

She hovered over a pillow that lay nearby her seat and laid it on the window side of her, laying her head down on it afterwards and closing her eyes.

Vinyl stood in the back of the audience, as to not be in the involved in the crowd of ponies. She held a glass in her magic aura, occasionally taking sips from it as she watched the performance, enjoying herself. Luckily few ponies paid attention to her, she would get the occasional side glance and one or two ponies who would try to get her to do something, but most seemed so enthralled in the music, and probably under the influence of something, that they barely even know what was going on or that she was in the crowd. She didn't get to do this all that often, usually she was the one behind the booth, not in front of it, but she liked it more this way.

She stood as song after song was played, the lights flashed and ponies sang. The song currently playing was coming to and end and another could be heard taking its place, mixing seamlessly. A familiar hook sounded off throughout the whole arena and ponies yelled and cheered in recognition.

Vinyl smirked.

No way, does she know I'm here?

The iconic song rang out, reminding Vinyl of the times when it was everywhere. That had been a few years prior, that was still hard to believe.

Time goes by fast holy shit.

She remembered particular events from that time, like her now well known three hour set on the Eve of the Summer Sun Celebration at Pier 93 in Manehattan, her history making headline slot at Radio District's Music Hall, and her main stage set at Fantasyland. She looked back on moments like those as good times but something in her could never fully feel happy with them, they were career defining and dreams come true, but dreams she hadn't known she'd had. Years of nights like those had worn her down and taken a toll on her, physically and mentally and it was hard for her now to truly enjoy those moments, past or present.

After the song had blended into another and the show continued Vinyl decided it was time for her to go. She made her way through the back of the crowd and looked for an exit to the arena.

I should try and say hi to her later.

It wasn't every day that Vinyl was in the same place as some of her colleagues, with conflicting schedules and all.

As she left she felt pretty happy, for once she wasn't being presented with plans for the upcoming months or suffering from jet lag. This is what she needed, some time to take it slow, to feel normal and recover.

Vinyl sat in the back of the tour bus as it drove down a long open road in the middle of the night, it was rare to see any cars on the road with them. She had her guitar sitting on her lap as she strummed it, no real idea of what she was playing in mind. She looked out the window in front of her as the dark scenery passed by outside. She sat there for some time, as her friends talked and joked near the front of the bus, leaving Vinyl to have some time to think and be alone. She was never the type for small talk.

After some time Vinyls thoughts were interrupted as a grey earth pony walked into the partially closed off compartment in the back that had been Vinyls sitting space. It had three couches, one on each wall. The newly entered pony took a seat on the couch across from Vinyls, the wide window that Vinyl had been looking out of sitting behind her.

"So, how's it going?" The grey pony asked after a moment.

"Good." Vinyl said, taking a moment before continuing, "This road trip has really helped me a lot I think, Its made some things clear for me that I've struggled with for a while."

"Well that's great to hear. You've seemed a lot happier lately, I can see how you needed this." The grey pony responded, a tiny smile growing on her face.

"I've been doing a lot of research." Vinyl spoke up after letting the compartment in which they sat go quiet. "To try and make sense of the world around me and to maybe understand more about who I am too... Its given me some new perspective on it all."

"Mmmm? That so?"

"Yeah, I think I've realized that I don't just need to slow down, I need to stop, at least for a while. I've also come to terms with some of what I see as flaws after doing some reading."

"Do whatever you needs to be done, we hate seeing how you've been the last few years, it was obvious you weren't healthy." The grey pony assured Vinyl on her decisions.

"And I don't want to wait. I'm going to retire from touring, and I'm not waiting." Vinyl said matter-of-factly.

"Are you going to tell your team about this?"

"No, I've made the decision, they'll have to understand it."

"Okay, just remember there's no going back."

"I know, I've had plenty of time to think, this doesn't have to be permanent either, I just need to stop for the foreseeable future."

The other pony just looked back at Vinyl with a tad bit of concern yet trust in her eyes.

Nothing was said between them for some time and Vinyl went back to plucking at her guitar while the light chatter of the others could be heard from the other end of the bus.

She got up from where she had been sitting as the silence continued and made her way to her small compartment-sized room. She opened the door and was greeted by a small sized bed and a nightstand which sat beside it, against the bed lay her bag and a laptop sat upon the bed covers. Walking over to the other side of the bed she lay down her guitar in its case and pulled herself up on the bed, grabbing the laptop and hovering it over to her. Then she turned it on and opened its lid, creating a new text document. She wasn't exactly sure what to say but she knew it had to be said. Vinyl sat there for a moment, looking blankly at the screen as she thought.

Dear fans,

I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for everything, for listening to my music and for coming to my shows, for buying my songs and supporting me, It means everything to me. Its been a long ride and I couldn't be more happy, you've all made my dreams come true and I couldn't be any more thankful... She started typing.

She didn't care how long the letter was, she had to get everything that needed to be said out.

Vinyl sat there in her room, on a bus in the middle of nowhere as she partook in a road trip across the nation, writing the letter of her retirement.

The Letter

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Dear fans,

I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for everything, for listening to my music and for coming to my shows, for buying my songs and supporting me, It means everything to me. Its been a long ride and I couldn't be more happy, you've all made my dreams come true and I couldn't be any more thankful. Thank you to all my friends, family and peers for believing in my work and helping me get this far, I couldn't have done it without you.

I want to continue on by saying thank you to my brother, well not actual brother but the bond we have sure feels like it, and manager Premium Slot, I couldn't have gotten where I am today if it weren't for you and I'll never forget everything we've done together, you've been there for me many times and I'll always be grateful. I won't go over everything we've done together because its not over yet, we've got more time ahead of us. From sister to brother, manager to artist. I'll forever enjoy this road no matter where it leads us.

Second off I want to say thank you to everyone apart of my management team. You've all been with me since the very beginning and I couldn't be happier with everything that the team has done for me. Without your dedication I wouldn't be here and I'm forever grateful to everypony from the team.

With all this being said, I've done some thinking over the past few months and have come to terms with many things. One thing though has never felt right and Its what this is all about. I've reached a point where I've had to make some choices and really think about my mental and physical health and decide whats right for my future. After much deliberation and many talks I've decided that I will retire from touring at the end of this year, no more shows. I've enjoyed every opportunity and the chance to travel that its given me but I never felt right on stage, its not for me. I ask you to understand and stay with me through this journey, the end of live shows doesn't mean the end of PON3. I will never give up music and I will continue to speak to my fans through it, this is not the end.

The shows for the rest of the year will be reduced but not all will be cancelled, I plan to finish my current commitments.

Thank you all once more for everything, I will keep making ponies happy with my music as I re-evaluate myself and grow as an individual.


Vinyl Scratch

Wake Me Up in A Sky Full Of Stars

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It had been over two years since she announced her retirement from touring. A lot had transpired in the last two years, new music, more time in the studio, time to herself, and more. It was all what she needed in order to get back on track. Or so it should seem.

Her peers had talked to her about her decision, saying it was the right choice to get her life back in order. Maybe it had been, She was feeling a lot better as of late and she felt genuine happiness and excitement from music, the kind of which she hadn't felt since the very beginning. But the scars had never fully healed over. She still struggled with the repercussions of her past lifestyle and had come to realize that many of those scars would never go away. She never felt right. Big steps had been made in the right direction, and she felt better than she had before her retirement, but better than physical pain, emotional instability, psychological abuse, heavy stress and anxiety quelled by heavy drinking and prescriptions that didn't help doesn't mean good.

She thought about all this while lying in bed staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep, she was in an unfamiliar environment that she slowly had been getting accustomed to over the past week while on vacation. She'd been having fun, a lot of the stresses that were normally weighing her down were lowered, she found she wasn't worrying as much and that she was overall just happier. This trip was a good idea it seemed.

Will life ever feel normal?

She'd come a long way from even only two or three years ago, her thoughts of inferiority weren't as all consuming, she could at least function with them.

But they were destructive.

On the outside she felt good at least, on the inside she still struggled with her demons, even though she tried her best to work against them. Working out further solutions to her issues and seeking help from many sources. Her friends thought it was helping and Vinyl continued to hope and wish it would. Some things were too big to disappear forever though.

She wanted to make sense of things, she could have it all, she could feel happy, she could still feel passionate for something, but lack understanding of why we do it, whats the purpose? She'd made songs about living a life you will remember, she'd made music that helped ponies who struggled with the same things she did, but she could never take her own advice it seemed. She was seeking for answers that didn't exist, for questions no one could understand, she did it alone.

She quickly became lost in her head and she could feel her dormant as of late anxiety coming back.

After some time of laying awake and diving deep into her struggles, past and present, she slid off the bed and made her way down the hall of her suite. She couldn't sleep, she was restless. She felt odd, something she couldn't identify but had felt before. The air felt thick and she was sweating, her breathing felt off.

I don't feel as if I have a purpose.

She didn't want to be doing this now.

Calm down, what am I doing?

She began breathing in and out slowly and taking in her surroundings as to not lose touch.

My life is a loop leading to insanity. I need an answer.

Wake me up from this.

I want this to end.

In the back of her head she'd been thinking about things like this for years, never really understanding or indulging upon them fully, until now.

She stood in the middle of her hotel room for a while, fighting her demons. Small steps were being made.

I need this to end...

She felt a wave come over her, a heavy blanket. It made her thoughts disappear and her eyes dulled, she felt good, warm, content. A switch had been flipped.

She walked into the living room, picking up a few wine glasses and a bottle from previous nights. She hoped cleaning and doing things would get her out of her mind. She turned and made her way into the kitchen, carrying what was left in the other room alongside her. Vinyl brought the dirty glasses over towards the dishwasher, loading most of them in. As she brought the last one along she subconsciously hit it on the edge of the island counter top, breaking the glass and splitting it into two main pieces and creating shards of glass in the process. She flew the glass over towards a trash can and let the broken pieces fall into it, all but one. While doing this she hovered the nearly empty bottle over the island and let it drop from a short height. It landed and fell over, the quark blocking the liquid from pouring out as it rolled, luckily not having broken from the short drop. Just as luckily it didn't fall off the island, never making it near the edge.

She'd struggled with thoughts like this for a while.

The glass shard was brought towards her and was lifted up by her neck. Not once did any thought go through her mind and her expression never changed.

Is this really whats best? A thought exploded in her head.

This is... Something that needs to be done.

Nothing changed on the outside as she began to take deep breaths, something she wasn't aware she was doing.

I'll never recover mentally. I can't un-see what's been seen and redo the things that have been done. You can't come back from that.

Life just doesn't have any substance.

She didn't see death as welcoming, simply a lesser of two evils.

The glass was brought right alongside her neck and she could feel the short fur there tickle with sensation as brushed against the shard. She tilted her head in the opposite direction to expose the area ever more. She stared forward, finding it hard to care. A final thought showing itself, seeping into her.

I've had enough... Please... I want peace.

She stood there, silence surrounded her. The calm before the storm.

A moment later nothing moved and the room was silent.

Low buzzing went off as a phone vibrated on the nightstand in the bedroom she had left mere minutes before. On the screen read;

"Hope you're having a great vacation, don't forget to send the tracks over <3"