Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

One-way Ticket · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 1000–25000
Show rules for this event
A white unicorn foal sat, ears pressed hard to the side of a brick building. The alleyway next to Seaddle’s number one club was surprisingly clean. There was a single dumpster that Vinyl Scratch was using to shield herself from the ever-present rain that fell on the coastal city. Within the club was Vinyl’s idol: DJ Guetta. Despite having saved her meager allowance in the hopes of purchasing a ticket, by the time she had accrued the necessary funds the show had been sold out. Still, Vinyl came to the building, in the hops that she could catch even a glimpse of the famed unicorn, or hear even one note of the music.

Vinyl’s ears pricked as they detected a growing noise coming through the wall. “DJ! DJ! DJ!” She closed her eyes, imaging that she was inside, surrounded by the massive crowd, everypony stomping their hooves in anticipation for the show’s beginning. Then, blasting above the bass track the crowd had unwittingly created, the music started. Treble tones twisted smoothly through the noise, and somehow mixed naturally with the cheers of the gathered ponies. The beat started a perfect counterpoint to the higher electronic tones; the show had begun. Vinyl was blown entirely away by the seamless cuts of songs she hadn’t even known could be mixed. She detected hints of rock ballads, symphonies, even snatches of blues. All of it blended into the most incredible set the tiny filly had ever heard. Vinyl Scratch knew from that point on what she was going to do with her life. Despite the growing chill of the evening, Vinyl listened through the wall for the entire show.

Early the next morning, Vinyl waited outside a small second-hoof music store, a cart in tow. In her saddlebags she held every bit she had. As she caught sight of the owner approaching the entrance, she asked, “Do you have any turntables?”

The tan earth pony smiled down at her. “I think we’ve got one or two, but I’m not sure what condition they’re in. Are you sure I couldn’t interest you in a traditional instrument?”

Vinyl hardened her gaze into a formidable pout. “No, I need a turntable. Can I see them?”

The store owner shrugged and unlocked the door. Turning his head back towards the waiting unicorn, he said, “You can leave the wagon out here.”

Stepping free of the light harness, Vinyl followed the stallion into a maze of instruments. Near the back of the store Vinyl’s guide stopped. “Here they are, turntables.” He gestured at a pair of them: one covered in dust, the other looking brand new. Vinyl approached the nicer table and examined the price tag; she choked on her surprise: 1500 bits. In mounting despair, she turned to the beat up set of mixing equipment. With relief, she noted the price on this one to be far lower: just 575 bits; though she still didn’t have enough to buy it. Vinyl turned back to the storeowner with tears starting to form in the corners of her eyes.

“I’m sorry to have wasted your time, I only have 318 bits.” Without waiting for any kind of reply, Vinyl started for the storefront, her dreams would have to wait.

“Well then you’re in luck! I was just about to put this one on sale for 300.” He smiled broadly down at Vinyl Scratch. “Do we have a deal?”

In sudden exuberant joy, Vinyl turned back to the stallion she didn’t even know and leapt to hug him. “Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” In a surge of her unmastered magic, she lifted the apparatus high into the air and out the door into her little cart. Reaching into her saddlebag, she withdrew 18 bits and passed the bag to the storeowner.

“I’m sure it’s all here, go ahead little filly. Have fun with it.”

Vinyl Scratch took the equipment home and immediately set about to cleaning it. Carefully, she wiped down the record surfaces, and anywhere else that caught her eyes as in need of it. The dust met a swift end as she meticulously dug into every crevice, and joint with help from her magic. Finished with the labor of cleaning her turntable, she sat behind it ready to begin. It was at this point, that Vinyl realized she knew absolutely nothing about mixing songs or scratching out her own music. It didn’t matter. She reached a hoof out to one of the records; the table felt good beneath her. She reached a second hoof into position and sat still a moment. Then her mind cleared and her body filled the gap. She started simple, letting a rhythm form itself around her. She spent several hours that first day behind the table, and only stopped when her parents forced her to eat dinner and to sleep. Vinyl’s plan was simple, work constantly at mastering every facet of being a DJ and become the greatest one in the world. Her focus was such that she didn’t even notice a flash of light emanating from her flank revealed her cutie mark: a pair of beamed eight notes.

The next day Vinyl Scratch returned to school. Upon entering the classroom, she was swarmed by her peers. They all stared intently at Vinyl’s newly acquired cutie mark congratulating her, and asking for the story; only one other member of their class had her cutie mark. That other filly was Octavia. She watched the crowd around Vinyl Scratch with a sense of aloofness. She walked closer to discover what cutie mark her classmate had earned only to halt in surprise. How come somepony else has a cutie mark for music? She turned back to her own desk and sat down, class would be starting soon. Their teacher, a crimson-coated unicorn, walked into the room.

“Alright class, settle down. Settle down.” He peered knowingly at the crowded fillies and colts. “Cutie marks can be exciting business, but this is time for learning; you can wait until recess.” The rest of the day proceeded just like any other school day, with the exception that Vinyl Scratch was now considered much cooler than everypony else. As everyone was returning to their homes after the school day, Octavia cornered Vinyl Scratch.

“Don’t you even think of trying to outdo me Vinyl Scratch! I am going to be the best musician in all of Equestria, so you may as well just give up now.”

“What?” Vinyl Scratch was utterly confused, she hardly even knew Octavia, and she was just another classmate.

“I’m going to perform at concert halls everywhere, and maybe even the Grand Galloping Gala!” Octavia was breathing hard, her composure slipping. “Me! Not another unicorn! There are so few earth ponies in music; I won’t let you push me out.” Tears started to leak from her eyes. This wasn’t going at all like she had imagined it, Vinyl was the one who was supposed to start crying and get some different cutie mark, but she just looked confused. “I-I…”

“Your name’s Octavia right?” At a nod, Vinyl continued, “I’m not going to do anything like that, I mean, I hardly even know you, why would I want to hurt you?” She paused and let the other filly regain a bit of her composure. “What kind of music do you like anyways?”

Octavia wiped the rest of her tears out of her eyes. “Classical music of course, rolling symphonies, sweeping concertos. It’s the only real kind of music that lasts the test of time.”

Vinyl grinned. “Well, I’m going to have to disagree with you about that. Electronic music is here to stay, not that I can’t appreciate the old stuff, but a lot of it is just plain boring.”

“Boring? that just goes to show that you lack imagination.” They both laughed at that.

“What do you play?” asked Vinyl.

“The cello and piano, though I’m much more partial to the cello. You?”

“Turntable. You want to be the best musician, well I want to be the best DJ.”

“Well then, I don’t suppose we’re in direct competition then are we?” Vinyl Scratch nodded and extended her hoof.



Ten years later…

Vinyl Scratch stood perfectly still over her turntable. Stars reflected on her sunglasses as the club’s lights spun about. She watched the crowd in front of her for some signal visible only to her. Her horn flashed and the music started. But still the turntable in front of her sat silent and unmoved; it was from the one behind her that the first track played. Then, in her own trademarked style, DJ P0n3 began playing with both her horn and her hooves. The tracks were markedly different but didn’t clash. She paid no attention to the packed floor in front of her. The young mare was completely absorbed in producing the music that was now famous across Equestria.

That first turntable that made her life change had been her ticket into the life she lived now. She still kept that old thing as a reminder of her past. When the show was finished, Vinyl Scratch retired to her trailer; her crew would take down the set and deliver it to the next city on her tour. In the mean time, Vinyl could relax and think.

She remembered how it all began in Seaddle. She’d spent over three years simply practicing on her own until she was satisfied by her own talent. Then she’d convinced the manager for Club Trot that she was worth showcasing for a night. That night had been the first time she’d performed in front of a crowd. She’d even still gone by her birth name back then. The performance had earned her a steady gig at the club and been her first stop on the one-way train to fame.

After Club Trot she decided she needed a stage name, and then was born DJ P0n3. She didn’t spend long at the bottom of the ladder of DJs. Soon all her shows were sold out far in advance of their actual date.

The most recent show had been in Manehatten, the showbiz capital of Equestria. Vinyl sighed contentedly, just about everything was perfect. She absently wondered how her old friend Octavia was doing. Last Vinyl had heard she’d been invited to perform the chamber music for the upcoming Grand Galloping Gala. Vinyl would’ve attended simply to offer support for her friend, but not only did that kind of party hold no interest for the unicorn, she had a show in Trottingham the night before.

Without warning, Vinyl’s trailer started moving. Somepony must be pulling it. Vinyl mused, and then attempted to look out the front window. Surprisingly, the window was blacked out. Intending to ask the driver what the hay they thought they were doing, she went to the door and pushed on it. The door didn’t budge. In mounting confusion and anger, Vinyl focused her magic on the thing: it shook violently, but still failed to open. Desperately, she did one thing she hoped no one would’ve expected: she opened the floor of her trailer. The trapdoor opened smoothly to the ground beneath the vehicle. Donning a dark cape to cover her white coat, she slipped stealthily out through the hole.

She landed gently on the ground, and crouched low to fit beneath her moving home as it slid past her on silent wheels. Once she was clear of the trailer, she raised her head up to examine her home-turned-prison. All the windows were blacked out with what looked like paint, and the door was being guarded by a burly brown unicorn whose eyes were focused on it. From this side Vinyl could see the door shimmering with a dull aura of magic that must’ve been emanating from the stallion. He kept a steady pace with the trailer and never once looked at his surroundings. Even with the cape to hide her in the darkness, he probably would’ve seen her.

A young voice rang out from the shadows behind her, “C’mon Dewdrop! If you don’t hurry you’ll miss your own surprise party!”

A blue pegasus answered back, “Shut up Corn Cobb. I don’t for one second believe you and your friends pulled this off, I mean DJ P0n3? There’s no way you got her to come. Even if you foalnapped her I don’t think she’d actually do some private show for ponies she doesn’t know. Besides, it’s not much of a surprise party when you’ve been talking about it all day.”

Vinyl shuffled to the side of the road and into a side street until the two passed by. Well, at least she wasn’t being foalnapped by rabid fans like that one time in Stalliongrad. That had been a nightmare. She chuckled. At least it had made a very good story the next time she’d sent Octavia a letter. Maybe DJ P0n3 would make an appearance at this mysterious party…

When the trailer stopped, the brown stallion knocked gently on the door. There was no response. “DJ P0n3?” He pulled the door open and found nopony inside. “Horseapples! Spring, we’ve got a problem!”

Coiled Spring, the stallion who had been pulling the trailer, unhitched himself and walked over. “Now, what’s the problem Stone—” He froze upon seeing the empty trailer. “Now wait just a minute, you said she was in here. Where did she go?” Stone’s Throw pointed at the open trapdoor in the floor of the trailer. “Darnit all Stone, everyone was expecting us to get her.” He face-hoofed. “Now what are we going to do?”

A yellow colt and blue filly approached the pair in the midst of a heated conversation. “What do you mean you guys actually foalnapped her! Do you have any idea how stupid—Argh! Worst surprise birthday ever.”

“But-but she’s your favorite DJ, and we wanted to pull out all the stops for you.”

Stone’s Throw turned to the two of them and said, “No point in arguing, she’s gone already.”

Corn Cobb stopped in his tracks. “G-Gone?”

Dewdrop rounded on him. “Of course she’s gone! Probably to get policeponies to arrest us too! You-you blithering idiots! You can’t just go around foalnapping anypony, let alone a celebrity like DJ P0n3.”

“Did someone say my name?” Vinyl Scratch was amused when all four of the gathered ponies jumped nearly out of their skin. She shook off the cape and grinned widely at them. “I heard that someponies needed a DJ for their party, but I have no idea why they didn’t think to ask me.”

Corn Cobb fainted, Coiled Spring had his mouth hanging open, Stone’s Throw looked like he was about to pass out himself, and Dewdrop’s eyes had filled with stars.

She squeaked, “Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!”

Vinyl Scratch extended a hoof to her. “I think I caught that you’re a fan. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Numbly, Dewdrop reached her own hoof to meet her idol’s. She was still in shock when DJ P0n3 spoke again. “I assume you colts have a setup for me. Or did you not even plan this whole thing out?”

Stone’s Throw recovered first and said, “Y-Yeah, it’s inside the barn.” He gestured at the structure. “We only had one turntable though, we couldn’t get two like you normally use.” At that his eyes fell to the dirt. “Um… sorry?”

DJ P0n3 smiled slyly at him. “We all do stupid things, but you gotta have fun with your mistakes as well as your triumphs.” Then for a moment her eyes hardened. “But don’t even think of trying something like this again. Got it?”

The two conscious colts nodded then hung their heads in shame. “You’d better wake your friend up or he’ll miss the show.” With that, Vinyl Scratch gave Dewdrop another smile and walked toward the barn.

Finally recovering herself, Dewdrop said, “You guys are the luckiest colts alive. I can’t believe that just happened.” Then realizing what else had happened, “I just shook hooves with DJ P0n3!” She pranced in place for a moment, then grew self conscious and blushed. I’ll see you in the barn when you wake Corn up, no way am I missing anything. Best birthday ever!”

As she took flight towards the barn, Corn Cobb stirred. “Wh-What happened? For a second there I though DJ P0n3 came out of nowhere and started talking to us.”

Stone’s Throw helped his friend up with a slight effort of magic. “Actually, that’s exactly what happened.”

“No way, you mean this whole plan worked?”

Stone grinned. “You know what I guess it did.” The two started walking for the barn door, leaving Coiled Spring behind.

He still stood there, mouth agape. Once he found himself alone, he blinked rapidly and shook his head to clear his mind. Then, turning towards the barn door he whispered, “Sweet Celestia, I think I’m in love.”
« Prev   14   Next »