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Luckily, We Have an Expert · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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I thought it was an odd coincidence when, the first time Sonata came home from the salon talking in casual and bouncy terms of a cocaine deal that would be taking place somewhere downtown—that, almost a few days later, there was shoot-out by the old shipyard; and also when a mechanic’s garage went up in a fire that needed several blocks for quarantine—just after Sonata had taken a new and surprising interest in sports betting.

I decided I needed more information. So on one of my days off I poked my head into the beauty salon where she had now been working for a few weeks. To my irritation, I didn’t see her; I had to ask the receptionist for her by name.

“Dazzle,” I introduced myself. “Roommate. Don’t have an appointment. Just observing.”

The little blue lady with her head squared off by large glasses frames squared herself a little more. She was trying to recall a script. “Well, Ms. Dazzle, we don’t have observers at Cutting Edge Beauty Spa. Ms. Dusk has been moved to the very-important-persons room.”

“A VIP room? At a spa?”

This was troubling to me. I saw that I had been stonewalled by the receptionist, anyway, and thanked her for her time. I considered what I would do. I didn’t want to embarrass Sonata, and compromise my info gathering endeavor; but I didn’t want her involved in crime and bad business.

When she got home that night I asked if I could borrow one-hundred dollars. She agreed and pulled out her pocket book—I looked inside. No large bills, no singles.

“Sorry, it’s all I have,” she told me, handing me two twenties.

I pushed it back. “Keep it. Actually, I went by Cutting Edge today on my walk and was reminded that I need a haircut. I didn’t see you there, by the way. I guess you were in the bathroom.”

“No,” she said, “we have a guest that comes in, Mrs. Orange, and they put me in a special room with her. She’s married to an important small business owner in town.”

“What kind of small business owner?” I asked, a little piqued.

She folded her arms to help her recollection. “You know… small businesses. He has a lot of cars, is all I know. Maybe he runs a car dealership, who knows.”

Properly vague.

“Does she tip you?” I asked.

“Sometimes she gives me twenty dollars, Adagio, just for doing my regular stuff! It confuses me. I just take it and have lunch at the Mexican restaurant across the street. One time I gave Aria money for extensions, so I’m not that selfish.”

“I’m thinking about buzzing down, going bald,” I interrupted her.

She was stunned. “Why? You have such beautiful hair. Well, I guess it will save you work.”

I nodded. “Maybe you’re right. You, on the other hand… I don’t think you need any hair or hair extensions, at all, Sonata.”

“What do you mean?” She crouched down to look at herself in the reflection of the oven glass.

“What I mean is that you have a lovely, museum-worthy cranium underneath that pelt,” I said, poking her scalp with my index finger. “You could totally rock a buzzcut.”

I saw a hovering smile in the glass. With a little more persuasion, she toted out the shears, and in less than a rinse cycle she was smooth as a plum, poor girl.

None of this cruelty, you understand, was without cause. She was clearly getting her gossip working for a crime boss’s wife. The staff had put her there due to her friendly gullibility—and clearly not for her discretion. And that was exactly how I was going to get her out of harm’s way.

The women of the salon, I was sure, would be baffled at Sonata’s transformation. I had been inspired by a young Rinpoche, whom I had been having lunch with of recent, and undertook to disguise Sonata as a lady of attainments. I made sure to stop by after her debut, and explain to Miss Square that Sonata was a seeker on the sunlit path, a girl of pious simplicity in quest of the image of God.

Shortly after, as I hoped, Sonata was ejected from the VIP room; but before I could bring up anything to implicate the crime boss’s wife, she too disappeared—only to show up a few weeks later, bald as an apricot, in the discipleship of my friend the Rinpoche.
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#1 · 1
The idea here is certainly funny. The biggest problem here is that, as it happen often when you choose to use unknown characters, it doesn’t feel like a poney story at all, just a transposition of a (neat) original minific to a pony background in order to be able to slip it into this round.

It’s a good story, competently written at that even if I fail to properly pinpoint the flavour you tried to give it by the careful choice of your words. It’s just that it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. There’s no hook you can use to attach it to the biggest picture. It just feels out of context.
#2 · 1
Like the previous entry this one seems like too much story for the scope of a minific, and it ends quite quickly. Dazzle's sleuthing takes up most of the story and is hard to understand because of how fast it moves and how many moving pieces there are, and then the last three paragraphs go even faster. You lost me there. I also would have thought that the spiritual aspect of the story would have been more prevalent, but it only shows up in the last two paragraphs.

Adagio's stripping of Sonata's agency also leaves me with a poor taste in my mouth. At least, I think she's using siren powers to get her to shave her head. Made me feel icky. You couldn't have just explained what was happening to your friend? You had to mind melt her?