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/pj250/ Atmosphere

By Writefag_Roulette
Created: 6th March 2021 10:59:01 PM
Modified: 7th March 2021 03:07:27 AM

  1. >there are no heroes in a punk rock band
  2. >but damn if you don't feel like one
  3. >the atmosphere is just right for it
  4. >tonight, the band is Red Ring
  5. >when the band is Red Ring, it's Sweet Heart on bass
  6. >Green Hawk on drums
  7. >Honeydew on lead vocals
  8. >and you
  9. >you're on lead guitar
  10. >the fact that you never learned how to play guitar is, of course, no problem for you
  11. >some might say the way your fingers strike the chords is random and haphazard
  12. >but the ponies out there in the audience
  13. >they get it
  14. >they understand
  15. >that randomness
  16. >that chaos
  17. >it's precisely what makes Red Ring worth watching
  18. >as the night goes on, your hands find a simple melody that pleases you
  19. >you spend the rest of the night experimenting with different variations on it, adjusting the sequence as your bandmates' music moves you
  20. >unconstrained by the formality of meters and notes, what you're channeling is pure music
  21. >pure power
  22. >sure, it's true; when you step off this stage you'll be just a freakishly tall and bipedal lowlife
  23. >but right now
  24. >yeah
  25. >you feel like a hero
  26. >but no music, not even yours, can be completely without order
  27. >every performance of every song is different, but the lyrics have to stay the same
  28. >it's just not possible to go into a song as though you don't know how to sing
  29. >and yes, you've tried
  30. >the final words of the song pass through Honeydew's lips
  31. >the song comes to an end
  32. >you finish it off by repeating your melody one last time, striking the strings as hard as possible
  33. >a climactic finale
  34. >and then
  35. >it's over
  36.  
  37. >after the show, you find yourself in the bar area of the Kanterlot Klub
  38. >your place on stage has been taken by a band called Spooky Parrot
  39. >Hawk and Dew are making out in a corner
  40. >Heart is laughing her ass off and surrounded by stallions
  41. >and you
  42. >you're just chilling by the bar
  43. >your shitty drink in one hand and the band's beaten guitar propped up in the other
  44. >it's moments like this
  45. >the calm after a performance
  46. >despite the surging life and sounds around you
  47. >no, not despite it
  48. >because of it
  49. >the atmosphere is peace itself
  50. >you take another sip from your battery acid flavored drink
  51. >and then
  52. >it happens
  53. <"Um, excuse me."
  54. "Hm?"
  55. >you look down
  56. >there's a little purple unicorn staring up at you with wide eyes
  57. "What's up?"
  58. <"I, um, well, I actually, you see, um-"
  59. >Sweet Heart's voice cracks into you from across the bar like lightning
  60. /"Yeah, Anon, get it!"
  61. >the little unicorn looks down and begins to stammer twice as hard
  62. <"Oh, I, um, I didn't mean, I didn't mean it like, I mean I'm not trying to-"
  63. "Relax. She's just giving me shit."
  64. >you pat the barstool next to yours
  65. "You look like you wanna talk about something."
  66. <"Yes, I um, I do."
  67. >she clambers up onto the stool
  68. >you swing around to face into the bar
  69. >she, after hesitating for a moment, follows your lead
  70. >the bartender is way down at the other end of the bar yelling at somebody over something
  71. >for now, at least, you should be safe from too much attention
  72. "So, what's up?"
  73. >she takes a deep breath
  74. <"Well, I don't mean to be terribly rude, but, um, what exactly are you?"
  75. "Me? I'm lots of things. I'm a hard rocker, I'm a tender lover, I'm a starving artist, I'm a warrior poet, I'm a..."
  76. >your voice trails off as the expression on the unicorn's face changes from wide-eyed and nervous to disdainful and cringing
  77. <"Uh, no, that's what I mean. What I mean is-"
  78. >she roughly prods your hand with her hoof
  79. <"What. Are you?"
  80. "Oh, that."
  81. >you pick up your hand and stare at it for a moment
  82. "We called ourselves humans back where I came from."
  83. <"And where did you come from?"
  84. >you shrug
  85. "Dunno."
  86. <"What? How can you not know?"
  87. "I mean, I could describe it for you if you want, but I couldn't tell you how to get there. One second I was just some kid coming home from my first day at high school, the next second I was lost in downtown Canterlot. That was maybe, uh, ten-ish years ago."
  88. <"You've been here for ten years?"
  89. "More or less."
  90. <"How come I never heard about you until yesterday?"
  91. >you shrug
  92. "Can't expect the band to get famous overnight."
  93. <"No, I mean, you're a fascinating specimen."
  94. "Hey, thanks. You're pretty interesting too."
  95. <"I mean scientifically. There's no description of anything like you in any records I could find."
  96. "Oh."
  97. >you take another sip from your shitty drink
  98. "Hey, just out of curiosity, who told you about me?"
  99. >she frowns and gestures with her horn at a white unicorn with a pink mane, staring and giggling at you with couple other unicorn mares
  100. "I see."
  101. <"So I'd like to get some sort of description of you submitted to the scientific community if I can."
  102. "What do I get out of it?"
  103. <"Ten bits."
  104. "Sold. When do we start?"
  105. <"Uh, not right now. Where can I get a hold of you?"
  106. "I'm... not sure, actually. I was planning on staying with some friends, but, uh..."
  107. >Hawk and Dew's makeout session has gotten very hot and heavy
  108. "I don't think they're gonna want any company tonight."
  109. <"Wait. Do you not have a place to stay?"
  110. "Eh, not exactly."
  111. >the purple unicorn jumps down from the barstool and gestures at the exit with her horn
  112. >a chorus of hoots and hollers erupts from throughout the Klub
  113. >she ignores it
  114. <"Stay with me tonight."
  115. "Gee, lady, we don't even know each other's names."
  116. <"I'm Twilight Sparkle, you're Anonymous. Let's go."
  117.  
  118. >the next morning sees you descending the steps from some sort of library tower in uptown Canterlot, dead tired
  119. >as you come around the corner, you spot the three unicorn mares who sent Twilight your way last night
  120. /"Ah, this one's mine."
  121. >Sweet Heart comes trotting from around the other corner
  122. "Geez, Heart, were you camping here for me?"
  123. /"Damn right. Now tell me everything."
  124. >you shoot a sidelong glance at Twilight's friends
  125. >and you get an idea
  126. >you pull a small bag from your pocket and jingle it around a bit
  127. "Got ten bits."
  128. >Heart's jaw goes slack
  129. /"She paid you for it?"
  130. "Oh yeah."
  131. >Twilight's friends unleash a scandalized gasp and dash up the stairs
  132. >you grin at Sweet Heart
  133. "She asked me a lot of questions about my biology, took a lot of notes, said she was gonna submit a paper to some science organization. The whole thing was strictly professional."
  134. >Heart takes a second to digest this
  135. >glances up the stairs
  136. >and laughs
  137. /"You're a dick, Anon."
  138. "Yeah. We getting ready for the battle of the bands tonight?"
  139. /"Uh, no? We never practice; you know that. It's not our way."
  140. "I didn't mean practice. I meant dick around at Hawk and Dew's place til the show."
  141. /"Oh. Yeah, totally. Let's go."
  142.  
  143. >a few minutes later you're greeted at the door by a wild-eyed Green Hawk
  144. >something's got him excited
  145. >really excited
  146. ~"Anon! Heart! Yo, what's up?"
  147. "Sounds like we should be asking you that."
  148. ~"Dude! Dew and I have got big news for you guys."
  149. >Hawk looks over his shoulder and calls into his apartment
  150. ~"Dew! Anon and Heart are here!"
  151. >a call from within answers
  152. _"Well, let them in!"
  153. >Hawk gestures in with his wing
  154. ~"Yo, come on in!"
  155. >you and Heart follow Hawk inside, and he leads you to where his marefriend is sitting over a cup of tea at the breakfast table
  156. >Honeydew smiles
  157. _"Hi Heart, hi Anon. So, yeah, we've got some big news."
  158. /"Well don't keep us waiting any longer, what is it?"
  159. >Hawk and Dew share a sappy grin
  160. >and Dew lifts her chin up a little
  161. _"I'm pregnant."
  162. ~"And we're getting married."
  163. >you feel a big smile crack into your face
  164. "Nice! That's awesome."
  165. ~"Dude! I know!"
  166. /"Uh."
  167. >Heart falters
  168. /"So are we still good for the battle of the bands tonight?"
  169. >Hawk frowns
  170. ~"Yeah. Yeah, we should be, right?"
  171. >Dew cocks her head
  172. _"I don't see why not."
  173. /"Okay, but, um, what about, you know, later? In the future?"
  174. >it dawns on you what Sweet Heart is getting at
  175. "I mean, geez, we gotta let them live their lives, Heart."
  176. >and then you see the realization hit the faces of Green Hawk and Honeydew:
  177. >a baby is a lot of work
  178. >more than likely too much work to be dicking around with an amateur punk rock band every night
  179. _"Well, it doesn't have to be the end of the band, exactly."
  180. ~"No, yeah, totally. We can still play sometimes. Just, uh, maybe not as much."
  181. /"Yeah."
  182. >a silence hangs over a kitchen for a moment
  183. >and you feel the atmosphere
  184. >and it feels all wrong
  185. >so naturally
  186. >you do something to fix it
  187. "I mean, shit, you guys, what the hell are you getting upset about? You guys are having a baby. This is great!"
  188. >Honeydew breaks back into a smile first
  189. _"It is, isn't it?"
  190. "Hell yeah. We've all had each other's backs for, what, ten years now? I don't see how something as awesome as that could ever ruin what we've got."
  191. >smiles break out in the kitchen again
  192. >and the atmosphere becomes just right
  193.  
  194. >that night sees you hanging out once more in the bar area of the Kanterlot Klub
  195. >the battle of the bands is over
  196. >Red Ring got second place
  197. >and that
  198. >is pretty cool
  199. >Green Hawk and Honeydew are sitting in the corner sharing a soda
  200. >the winners of the battle, Screaming Grasslands, are performing up on the stage
  201. >the lead guitarist is a unicorn
  202. >you watch the way she plucks the strings with her aura
  203. >there's a definite pattern to what she's doing
  204. >and you have to concede:
  205. >maybe you'd be a better guitarist if you actually learned how to play
  206. >though you hate to admit it, there's probably something to be said for order and reason
  207. >even in art
  208. >someone climbs into the barstool next to you
  209. /"Anon."
  210. "Yeah?"
  211. /"What happened to us?"
  212. "What do you mean?"
  213. /"You. Me. Hawk. Dew. Everything's all... different now."
  214. "Yeah."
  215. >you take a sip from your battery-acid flavored drink
  216. >and you let the atmosphere take you
  217. >your tranquility remains undisturbed when someone else climbs into the barstool on the other side of you
  218. <"Mr. Anonymous?"
  219. "Yeah?"
  220. <"So I submitted what you told me to the Canterlot Scientific Society, and they're interested in hearing more."
  221. "Like what?"
  222. <"Everything, really. Your culture, how you got here, what sorts of magics you're familiar with."
  223. "Sounds good. What's in it for me?"
  224. <"Twenty bits."
  225. "Need more than that."
  226. <"What? What more do you want?"
  227. "Some honest work, for starters."
  228. <"What do you mean?"
  229. "I mean, I've got a few marketable skills. I can reach high-up places and stuff."
  230. <"You mean you want employment?"
  231. "Yeah. That'd be cool."
  232. <"Tell you what. I've heard the Canterlot Archives are looking for an assistant bookkeeper. You talk to me, I talk to them."
  233. "Sounds good. You still at that library tower thing?"
  234. <"Yes."
  235. "I'll swing by tomorrow."
  236. >after that, Twilight spends a few seconds nodding
  237. >and she walks off
  238. >you lean back and let loose a sigh
  239. >Heart's head lolls over to look at you
  240. >and she hits you with a dull gaze
  241. /"Anon."
  242. "Yeah?"
  243. /"Did you just get a job?"
  244. "Yeah."
  245. /"Bruh."
  246. >you shrug
  247. "Had to be done. I can't crash at Hawk and Dew's place forever."
  248. >Sweet Heart grabs your drink and takes a sip from it
  249. /'"Man, what happened to us?"
  250. "Dunno."
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