Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 119: Love is in the air, and it won't go away

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Love is in the air, and it won't go away

Our plans for the day set, we split up and spend the last bit of the afternoon just hanging out and talking. After a while, the sun starts to go down and we head to our homes, Myrna opting to just stay in the trees at the park. I notice that plenty of decorations have been hung up around the town, and sure enough it’s a bunch of pinks, reds, and whites. Though there’s a bit of purple in there as well, it’s just like it is on Earth. These pony holidays are so similar but so different.

I do have plans for next Nightmare Night though. It’s definitely still got it’s basis firmly planted in the roots of fear that Halloween once had, on top of having a super cool name. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do, but I’ve got plenty of time to think about the details.

But with tomorrow coming up, I think I’ll just kinda lay low, not make a spectacle of myself as Fluke suggested. Though I will still do that concert, that shouldn’t be bad. Besides, I know the ponies miss me every time I leave, so I think I’ll do a special song or two for the kids. When I get to the library and back to my room, I pull out the Lyre and think over what songs I could play. It’s their season of love, so I probably shouldn’t do anything too harsh, but I still wanna play some cool music.

Ah well, I’ll think of something when the time comes. I idly strum the Lyre, and suddenly I come up with a song and start playing. I sing along with the light upbeat tune as my fingers pluck and strum the strings, and create the musical tones. It feels odd singing some parts with only one voice when there should be more, but it doesn’t take away from the song too much.

I finish and I hear a knock on my door and Twilight walks in. Guess I did say knock, but not that permission was needed... Sigh, ponies. Either way, she’s here and she looks at me curiously.

“That... is that what love songs are like where you come from?”

“Well, that one’s not exactly a love song, but there are plenty like it. We have a lot of variety though. It also depends on the kind of love in question.”

“What do you mean ‘kind of love’?”

“Well, there’s love for a friend, familial, the typical romantic love, and then there’s straight up lust.”

“Could I get an example of one like that?”

I quirk an eyebrow at the request, but she asked. And I did have one in mind. I shrug and start playing the more raunchy song, a favorite of mine simply for being so funny.

Once the song is over, I look over at Twilight and she is not just blushing, her entire head is redder than a tomato. I think she even has a nosebleed. She stammers but finds words nonetheless. “I- I didn’t mean- I meant the first one, love for a friend!”

“Whoops. Oh well. What’d you think of ‘Bad Touch’ though?”

Twilight, still redder than a firetruck, takes a moment before coming up with a reply. ”I’ll uh... I’ll be right back...” Twilight rushes back out and I hear her head downstairs. After a few minutes, I’m startled by a loud shout.

I run downstairs at top speed and see Twilight holding a book that is apparently a thesaurus for slang. Seems she looked up some of the words and phrases in the song. She’s holding the book far away from her, but still reading, a horrified expression on her face and growing as she flips through the pages.

“For the record, that was your fault for not being clear enough.” I remind her.

Twilight’s blush doesn’t appear to be able to get any redder, and is verging on purple, though that’s hard to tell with her fur. However, she won’t look me in the eye, and mutters something haltingly under her breath. She shifts on her cushion.

“Anyway, I’m gonna have a concert going for tomorrow. And no, I’m not going to play anything else like that unless it’s requested. And at that point I’d rather move it to a place where kids won’t end up hearing it.”

Twilight nods her head vigorously, her ears flopping with the motion. She inspects the floor in the process, never looking higher than my kneecaps.

“Jeez, it’s just a song! What’s got you so worked up? It’s not like I was playing it for you! Well technically I did, but that’s because you asked!”

Twilight hunches her shoulders and mutters something again, and I’m about to yell again in frustration, when I remember Vinyl’s explanation of ponies and music from before my last concert.

Still, most ponies should be fine, as long as it isn’t too negative or explicit. Harmonic Magics and all, y’know.

... Whoops. I address Twilight again. “You don’t actually think I want to do anything like that, right? Seriously, I know Fluke said I should get laid some time but I’m not gonna just...” I sigh and shake my head, going back upstairs. “I’m going to bed. Seeya tomorrow.” Twilight looks like she’s going to ask a question, but holds off until I’ve already shut the door.

I grumble, and curl up on the bed. This world is so weird... Although, perhaps I could use this musical power to my advantage...

I wake up and... it doesn’t feel any different. Granted I don’t really expect it too, but pony holidays have a way of affecting everyone, and I’m worried I’m starting to be... acclimated. Is that the right word...? Eh, screw it. Morning is not the time for thinking.

I head downstairs and get some breakfast. Twilight is still avoiding eye contact with me, but she does seem a bit better. Spike obviously didn’t hear the song, so he doesn’t quite get what’s up with her. Oh well, glad I didn’t play any songs that were meant to be dirty-raunchy and not funny-raunchy. That might not have gone well.

Still, Spike manages to cook a wonderful stack of pancakes, and announces he’s already got his chores done well before I’ve even finished my food. I’d be surprised if he isn’t fishing for the chance to go pine over Rarity for the day.

I wonder if I should tell him she’s already interested in someone else... I should, but I should also know who it is.  It must be hard on the little guy, chasing after some mare who really isn’t interested.

Either way, though, Twilight humors him, giving him a hug before he dashes off. After that, she just sort of disappears into her workshop. With a stretch and a yawn, I head out to go meet up with Myrna and Anne. Today should be nice. No obligations but to hang out with friends and mess with ponies’ heads? Sounds good to me.

I figure I’ll come up with some songs to play. I’m aware now that ponies aren’t exactly familiar with the varying kinds of love, so I plan on playing a bunch of very different love songs... but which to use? Eh, I’ll think of them while I’m hanging out with the girls today.

Stepping along the road, I find myself becoming more uncomfortable as I walk, seeing pairs, trios, or even quartets of ponies sitting close to each other and nuzzling or kissing each other. It’s making me a bit nauseous, actually.

The polygamy thing is also still super weird. Oh well, that settles one song I’m going to play. I make sure the Lyre is still attached to my belt, next to the Sword. I still haven’t figured out how the weapon keeps following me, but it refuses to let me leave the house without teleporting silently into place. Thankfully, it’s convenient for hanging other things off of, or I’d spend some actual time figuring out how to make it stay in storage.

That, and I at least will always have a weapon I actually have practice with rather than having to improvise. I wonder how it reacts to my powers... Probably not a good idea to try in the middle of town. If this is as destructive as it’s name implies... Things could get messy.

Anyway, after a bit, I get to the park and there’s Myrna, sitting in the branches of a large oak and sunning herself. I can’t tell if she’s napping, or if she’s even woken up yet, she looks very comfy though. Must be a snake thing, because branches have never been that comfortable to me.

I call up to her, and she turns to look at me, her smile bright and happy. “Hey, Anthony! I’ll be right down.” And she simply drops her coils from the tree on one side, pooling up like a puddle of snake-woman, and slithers over to me. She gives me a quick hug, then looks me over. “Wow, goin’ armed for a reason?”

“Can’t get rid of the thing, honestly. But hey, you never know when someone needs a gigantic watermelon cut up, right?”

Myrna laughs. “Those watermelons, y’know. They’re vicious.”

“Ha, I fear no fruit. Now veggies are a different story. The only things I can stand are carrots, and only if they’re cooked. Anyway, I recall Anne kinda getting kicked out. Any idea where she is?”

“I’m here!” Anne says, flapping down to the back of a bench.

“Great, the gang’s all here. So I guess we just hang around and do... what did we plan on doing again? Something about a pet shop?”

“Petting zoo. Fluttershy’s running it this year. She has to take years off, though, remember? Anyways, we can start with something else if you want. I’ve gotten a lot better at flying.”

“Huh, so you can fly? What’s up with your feathers though? They’re soft, but I swear they look metal, not to mention they can become metal.”

“Oh, they are metal. It’s uhm... Twilight said something about arcanomorphic properties, and I tried really hard to pay attention, but I fell asleep. I think she has one of my feathers for testing.” Anne fluffs her feathers, something that runs entirely contrary to the idea of metal feathers.

“You sure? I swear that they made a ‘bending metal’ noise once...”

Anne flexes her feathers, making them splay out like fingers again. This time, they made the ‘bwamp’ noises as she did. “When I do this, they’re metallic.” she folds them back, and they make light sounds like clattering silverware. “Like this, they’re less metallic. Semi-metallic? Idunno. Uhm, but I thought we were going to head to the midway.” Myrna nods in agreement.

“Alright. I wonder if they have invented Skee-Ball yet. I always kick ass at that one.” We make our way towards the marketplace which has somehow been completely moved around and rearranged into a small, rideless carnival-like area. I swear it was perfectly normal last night! How do they do that so fast?

Still, we do indeed find a skeeball table, and put down a few bits.

I pick up one ball and put the other two next to me. I take a minute to gauge the distance of the runway from the rings back to me, and I give the ball a quick underhand toss straight down the table. it wobbles a bit, but ends up in the middle ring. No bullseye, but still good enough.

I go to toss another, and this time I get it deadcenter. This is a bit easier than they have at most carnivals... I haven’t even practiced in years. Thinking about that, I expect the next shot to fail. These games are always rigged, no way you can get two bulls-eyes in a row! And yet, it works.

“Well, I guess that’s a win...” A really easy one too. The prizes must be garbage or something if the game isn’t rigged. There’s always something these guys pull.

The stallion running the table smiles and congratulates me and points me at the prizes. Dozens of super-soft plush toys sit in a small stack. They’re taller than my forearm is long, but they look well-made. Since Anne can’t really participate with the shape of her ‘hands’ and such, I let her pick out a toy to keep. She gleefully snuggles a neon-green cat of some kind.

I’m still cautious. This had to have been some sort of weird coincidence. I know the other games around here have some trick to them, and I’m prepared for them. I just have to figure what they’re pulling. I’ve beaten a few rigged games before.

Unfortunately, it goes poorly the rest of the day. Myrna does alright and Anne even wins a few of them. I don’t get how they could figure out the tricks before I can, I’ve seen every trick possible, but whatever these guys are doing is entirely new.

Grumbling, I’m not prepared for when Myrna shoves a soft, well-made heart pillow into my chest, telling me to ‘chill’. “C’mon man, a run of bad luck is nothing to grumble over. Anne wants to head to the petting zoo, let’s go.” Next Chapter: Chapter 120 Estimated time remaining: 17 Hours, 56 Minutes

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