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Things Left Unsaid · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Still Waiting
On the days when Countess Coloratura performed, the unicorn stallion named Purple Rain would style his dark, poofy mane, and squeeze his lavender body into his pleather jacket and studded choker, and play a brief role in the show: Casting a spell to activate her voice-effect necklace.

But most days, he lurked in the small metal trailer that served as his home, re-reading old newspapers from whichever towns they’d passed through.

Some days that would be enough to stave-off thoughts about his onetime dreams of stardom, and how they would never become reality.

The years before before Svengallop hired him to join Coloratura’s tour had been bad enough. Purple Rain remembered traveling with the other stallion long ago, sharing youthful dreams of what they’d spend their money on when Purple Rain became the biggest singing sensation in Equestria’s history.

But that day never came. His first album was well-received by critics who praised its avant-garde presentation and daring lyrical content, but it didn’t sell as well as either he or Svengallop had hoped. And so the other pony parlayed Purple Rain’s good word-of-mouth reception in the industry into a series of collaborations with up-and-comers just a few years younger than Purple Rain himself.

“Look at you,” Svengallop would tell him. “You’re bigger than a star; you’re a tastemaker! Ponies all across Equestria can’t wait to have you make a guest appearance on their albums!”

Purple Rain always needed the bits, so he would always take the work. He’d smile at the fresh-faced ponies he recorded with, and try to offer words of wisdom. But as the years came and went, so did the freshness of those faces; and somehow the bits never added up to much.

When the time came, Svengallop knew that Purple Rain would be available to work for Coloratura. He knew he’d take the bits, and in some circles, having Purple Rain on-board with Coloratura’s act would be considered a good thing; perhaps even the passing of a torch. Still, however much the purple one needed bits, being hired as permanent stage-help for Coloratura felt like the death of his dream.

No longer was he a guest star, a collaborator, or a peer… he was hired help. Well-paid hired help, but hired help regardless.

On a night like many others, Purple Rain sat alone in his trailer, holding a glass of something potent in his left hoof. Dim light from his horn illuminated a binder of old photos in his lap. He turned the pages quietly, indulging in the memory of being young, fearless, and out to re-shape the world of music.

The only sounds were a gentle rustle of pages turning, and a pitter-patter of rain on the metal roof.

But then there was a knock at the door.

Purple Rain rose, set the album on his overstuffed chair, crossed to the door, and opened it.

An off-white earth pony with a sodden but still-curly salmon mane pushed past him into the trailer—Svengallop. “Thanks, Rainy,” he said, shaking water off his fine blue suit. “Can you believe the nerve? She sacked me!"

Purple Rain said nothing, but crossed to a small shelf of colorful bottles, and began to fill a glass.

“Look… the tour treasurer is being weird about my contract’s severance clause, so I might have to stick around for a couple days to get my last paycheck, but… they’ve already reassigned my trailer to the backup dancers.”

Purple Rain turned, strode across the distance between them, and offered Svengallop the glass.

“Oh… thank you,” the earth pony said, taking the glass with an uncertain expression.

The purple one gestured toward his photo album. It was open to a picture of the two of them from more than a decade before.

Svengallop sighed. “Look… I know this hasn’t gone the way we wanted. None of it.”

Purple Rain exhaled the half-suggestion of a laugh.

The earth pony cradled his glass for a moment, then raised it to his lips and took a swig. “You should be… her, now. And I should have taken you there. And I didn’t. And… I’m sorry.”

The purple one put a hoof on his shoulder. “It wasn’t just you,” he said, his voice high but quiet. “Sometimes I wonder if I ever really had the chops. You know, like the starlets who came after.”

Svengallop stood silent, not meeting his eyes.

Purple Rain sighed. “Sure. You can crash here for a couple days. For old times’ sake.”
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