The Sound of Sneezes Part 1

Dec 2nd, 2014
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  1. The seagulls cawed overhead, others swooped down over the shimmering sea. Boats of all sizes crossed back and forth other the large body of water with the backdrop of forested hills and snow capped mountain peaks. The air was crisp, and the city was alive. Hundreds of ponies scattered in all directions along the waterfront, but two were propped on their hind legs overlooking the water.
  3. “Absolutely freaking awesome!” Vinyl Scratch declared as she raised her hooves up into the air.
  5. “I can't believe I got to tag along with you on one of your great big adventures.”
  7. “Hhhehhttsscchh!” Octavia sneezed quickly and recovered fast as she lifted her head to look at Vinyl.
  9. “Excuse me.” Octavia said as she brushed her bangs back.
  11. Vinyl turns around and leaned her elbows on the railing, arching her back as she looked at the bustling city before her, water to her back.
  13. “I wanna go explore. We can't just . . .” She was interrupted.
  15. “Hhhcchhxxnt!” Octavia stifled, doubling down, then righting herself back up.”
  17. “You okay, Tavi?” Vinyl asked in her trademark nasally voice.
  19. “I'm fine.” Octavia shortly responded in her proper accent.
  21. The two friends had just gotten off the train and were walking along the boardwalk of the great western coast city of Seaddle. They continued walking down the boardwalk.
  23. “Our hotel should be along this route somewhere.” Octavia started as her hooves clacked against the wooden boardwalk. “It is called the, Emerald Coast Inn. It should be right along the water.” Octavia said as she tucked a piece of paper into her knapsack.
  25. Vinyl was still looking at all the sites and sounds around her, mouth agap. Unique to Vinyl's usual wardrobe of nothing but glasses and headphones, she was wearing a red flannel shirt.
  27. Octavia looked over to her friend Vinyl. “Why on earth are you still wearing . . . Hhheettchh! . . . that?” Octavia brushed her nose.
  29. As if wanting to answer the question all day, Vinyl smiled and nodded her head. “To fit in with the Seaddlites, ya know?”
  31. Octavia nodded her head slowly with one eye brow raised.
  33. “Seaddle is the birth of grunge, Tavi! You know? All that crazy rock music ya gotta admire.”
  35. Octavia slightly scoffed and gave a slight sly smile. “I prefer their coffee.” She leaned her head in one direction pointing to a coffee shop as they walked by.
  37. The partly blue sky above quickly become clouded over, and slight misty rain drops started to drop from above.
  39. “There's our hotel.” Vinyl pointed to a waterfront hotel of about three stories, surrounded by docks and a few lush evergreen trees. Octavia nodded as she ran for cover under the hotel's awning with Vinyl right behind her.
  41. They walked in and talked to the front desk attendant, got their keys, and made way for their room they were going to share for the next several days.
  43. “So where is this place you are going too?” Vinyl asked for about the tenth time.
  45. “It is in an area called, The Alley of Jazz.” Octavia responded rather blandly. “It is the first time I get to do a true jazz session. I really can't wait to meet up with my pen pal here and let the music carry us away.” She smiled dreaming about the musical merriment whisking her way as if on a stairway to Heaven.
  47. Vinyl ungracefully sucked in some mucus down into her throat then cleared it. “I thought you were playing with the Seaddle Symphony or something?”
  49. “Been there, done that. This is now something entirely different for me to try out. You will like it too. We go to this cafe world renown for their famous jazz artists who play there. Every Saturday night is an open jazz session.”
  51. Vinyl fumbled to find her room key as Octavia opened the door with hers.
  53. “Who is then pen pal guy again?” Vinyl asked as she dropped her single luggage suitcase, it exploded with socks and various headphones.
  55. “His name is, Music Stream. I've told you all this many times, do you even listen?” Octavia turned around to look at her friend but was greeted with Vinyl's butt in her face. Octavia turned red and in a flustered voice exclaimed, “Excuse me?”
  57. Vinyl began to move her butt from side to side as she was grooving to the beat on her headphones. She was picking up her random assortment of items off the floor as well. She lifted an earbud. “Did you say something, Tavi?”
  59. “Never mind.” Octavia shook her head and put her luggage down.
  61. A few hours had passed and Octavia fell asleep on the bed while Vinyl eagerly stared out the hotel room window. The room had a partial view of the sea, and a partial view of the city's busy ferry dock and port district. Vinyl waved her tail back and forth as she made funny faces to a seagull who was perched on the deck railing.
  63. Vinyl leaped forward and the seagull flinched, then titled it's head at her. Vinyl titled her head. The gull turned it's head to the side, watching her with it's beady eyes.
  65. “SQUAWK!” Vinyl yelled at the bird, laughing under her breath as it quickly flew away. A trail of wayward feathers trickled down as the gull took off. One lightly floated down and landed directly on Vinyl's muzzle. With her pupils fixated on the the feather, her nose twitched and nostrils flared. She contorted her face in a few funny expressions until she sniffed in, scrunched her nose, and let out a sudden sneeze. “Ehhh-Hooo!” The feather whisked away, but Vinyl wasn't quite done. “Ehhh-HHHOOOO! Her nostrils widened, “EEHHHH-CHOOOOOO!” She echoed out as the force forced her rump to raise into the air and her back hooves to raise up off the ground.
  67. “Oh my goodness, what happened, violin, tea?” Octavia abruptly rose up out of bed spouting a few random lines before her eyes landed on Vinyl.
  69. Vinyl blushed then waved at her from out the window. She then walked back into the room from the deck. “Sorry, Tavi. I didn't mean to wake you. I was just making funny faces to this . . .” Vinyl was interrupted.
  71. “Hhhheeeeeesssscchhooo!” Octavia raised the covers over her nose as she released expressively into them. She shook her head, eyes squeezed tight, mouth slightly open before, “Hhheeeeetttssshhhhh!” Her nose scrunched and nostrils expanded. She quickly rubbed her nose with the bedding.
  73. Vinyl Scratch got an all too familiar smile on her face. “Wow, quite the sneeze there, Tavi. It's like you are coming down with a co . . .” Vinyl again was interrupted.
  75. “No, no. Don't even say the word. That isn't true because it isn't happening.” Octavia said in a swift, stern tone.
  77. “I was just going to say you sound like you are getting . . . “
  79. “Nope. Don't.”
  81. “But because of all your sneezing . . . ”
  83. Octavia didn't say anything this time as she gave Vinyl, 'the look.' Vinyl shut her mouth.
  85. “Octavia sniffed. She could feel her nose starting to stuff up, but she was going to ignore it. It was all in her head. Her time to shine with some the greatest jazz players was tomorrow. She wasn't going to let anything get in her away, especially not . . . well . . . she wasn't getting . . . sick . . . was she?
  87. ***
  89. It was dinner time and Vinyl and Octavia settled in at a local restaurant, bypassing a few food trucks and local landmarks. They peacefully ate as they dined on their artisan breads with lush green, organic salads, sprinkled with local herbs and spices. Octavia delicately dabbed her lips of the meal as she felt a twinge in her nose. It had been there for a good part of the day, but she could really feel it now. Every time she sneezed, Vinyl would give her a funny look, and she was tired of dealing with it. Sadly, she really had to sneeze, so she lifted her napkin up and covered her nose as her eyes lifted back, lids closed, and she forcefully expelled a sneeze into the napkin.
  91. “Hhhcchhnnkk!” She positioned the napkin into a better spot before releasing again. “Hhhhheeeeeesshhhhh!”
  93. Vinyl looked up from her salad she was devouring. She smirked.
  95. “Taaaaaavvviiii.” She rang out in a mocking tone.
  97. “No! It is nothing.” Octavia said as she dabbed her nose and went back to eating her meal.
  99. “It might be something.” Vinyl responded with a mouthful of bread. “Just tell your colt friend you might be a little ill. I am sure he will understand.”
  101. “I can't do that. I planned this whole trip for this one night. I've talked to him for months! I don't want to lose my opportunity.” Octavia's brows curled as a look of disappointment began to show on her face. “. . . Music Stream would be disappointed.” She looked back at her plate of food.
  103. “Be disappointed about what now?” Said a voice behind, Octavia. Startled, Octavia turned around.
  105. Behind Octavia was a light silver stallion with deep brown eyes and a blue hued mane. His mark was that of a musical cord.
  107. “Pleasure to meet you, Octavia. I am Music Stream. Funny meeting you here the night before our jam session.” He held out a hoof to her. Octavia complied and held her hoof out to him, which he promptly pecked with his lips.
  109. “And who is this dashing, mare?” Music Stream said looking over to Vinyl.
  111. “I'm Vinyl Scratch! Nice to meet you!” She said with her mouth overflowing of bread and chewed up salad. She held out her hoof, waiting for a hoof bump.
  113. Octavia, horrified, laughed slightly. Music Stream hoof bumped Vinyl and kindly looked back at Octavia who was a bright shade of red.
  115. Octavia cleared her throat. “I have been waiting so long to meet you Mr. Stream. I have avidly followed your music, and really can not thank you enough for the opportunity to play with you.”
  117. Vinyl chuckled at Octavia's wording.
  119. Octavia tried to mind no attention to Vinyl's antics.
  121. “The same goes for me.” Music Stream started. “Your compositions are so emotional, defined, and impactful. I have shared your work with every pony I can.”
  123. Octavia smiled as a few strands of her hair dangled before her eyes. “Well thank you.” She blushed and turned down. Music Stream was just as pleasing to her as she had imagined. He had even already kissed her hoof. Sure it was just a formality, but still. He did.
  125. “Are you going to join us in our jam session, Miss Scratch?” Music Stream asked.
  127. “Please, call me Vinyl. I don't think so. That's Tavi's thing.”
  129. “Tavi?” He looked over at Octavia. “Is that a nickname?”
  131. “She has many nicknames! I also call her Butt Nugget!” Vinyl said raising her voice.
  133. “Shhhh.” Octavia shushed Vinyl then answered, Music Stream. “Some ponies call me Tavi for short, yes. But it isn't official or anything.”
  135. “I like it. If you don't mind, can I call you, Tavi as well?” Music Stream had a warm smile as he spoke.
  137. “Well . . . sure . . . if you want too.” Octavia stuttered.
  139. “I want too.”
  141. “Well then go right ahead.”
  143. “I call you, Butt Nugget. It was because that time you . . . “ Octavia put her hoof over Vinyl's mouth. “Heh heh heh. She's excited I guess.” Octavia said blushing.
  145. “Mind if I take a seat with you mares?”
  147. “Go right ahead, I can tell by Octi's eyes that she wants you to stay. . . “ Octavia covered Vinyl's mouth again.
  149. “Octi. That another nickname?” Music Stream said with a smile.
  151. “Why . . . yes, yes it is.” Octavia said trying to regain her composure.
  153. “So tell me about yourself. How did you two meet up?” Music Stream asked as a waitress dropped off a glass of water for him.
  155. Octavia looked at Vinyl who was already looking at her. Vinyl opened her mouth to speak, but Octavia quickly took over. “We are roommates. Good friends if you will . . . nothing more.” Octavia lightly sniffed to quell a tickle in her sinuses. “We both needed a place to live, both liked music and are talented in our own rights. We decided to move in together and see if we could bounce ideas off each other.” Octavia finished seeming rather satisfied with her answer.
  157. Vinyl just smiled as Music Stream asked his next question. “So you two are . . . “
  159. Vinyl fired off a response before he could finish. “Both of us are single looking for a stallion.” Octavia's eyes widened at the harsh truth in Vinyl's response.
  161. “Oh ho ho! Sounds like you had that all ready to say there Miss Scra . . . err . . . Vinyl.” He winked at Vinyl and pointed to her as she did the same to him.
  163. “What about you . . . are you . . . single?” Octavia finally mustered up the question.
  165. Music Stream smiled. “I am. I just had a break up about a month ago with this wonderful mare. We just didn't see eye to eye, and she thought it would be best if we broke up . . . for the band. We still play in the same jazz group everyday and are great friends.”
  167. “That is too bad, but wonderful a the same time.” Octavia hoped that was a good response, but it seemed to be because Music Stream continued.
  169. “It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. So how you liking Seaddle?”
  171. Vinyl again jumped on the question. “It is absolutely amazing! I have never been to such a beautiful area in my life! There is . . .”
  173. “Heeeettsscchhhh!”
  175. Vinyl stopped and Music Stream looked at Octavia who had just sneezed uncovered onto the table.
  177. Octavia turned a deep red and fanned her face. “Oh my goodness. Bless me.” She quickly pulled the napkin to her nose, not realizing that she had placed her drink on top of the napkin. The drink slipped and fell upon her lap. Octavia jumped up, bumping the table in the process and exclaiming aloud, “Aw shoot!”
  179. Music Stream quickly got up grabbing some napkins and offered them to her. Vinyl Scratch burst out laughing with a hoof on her forehead. Every pony in the restaurant glanced over real fast. The waitress pony quickly came up to Octavia and helped dab the drink off her and showed her to the restroom.
  181. “I will wait till you return, Octavia.” Music Stream said as Octavia, bright red, rushed off to the restroom.
  183. Inside the bathroom, Octavia locked the door and looked at the mirror. Her appearance was slightly disheveled, her nose turning red, and her streamline coat, wet and dripping. She moaned and was completely embarrassed. “That ill timed sneeze! I better just let out as many sneezes as I can now so I don't make a fool of myself even more!” She slammed her hooves onto the counter and panned the restroom. She unravelled some toilet tissue and funneled the tips into a long pointy tip.
  185. Octavia sighed and whispered to herself, “Here goes.” She raised the tissue up her left nostril and winced.
  187. Meanwhile at the table, the waitress walked away with wet towels and every pony was beginning to relax again. Music Stream and Vinyl sat at their ends of the table and waited patiently for Octavia. Vinyl blinked and looked around the restaurant aimlessly before Music Stream broke the silence.
  189. “So, is this typical of Octavia?”
  191. “What?” Vinyl Scratch looked at Music Stream.
  193. Music Stream paused to choose his words carefully. “Is she usually out of sorts like this?”
  195. Vinyl Scratch smirked as she took a bite of her salad. “Only around stallions she likes and wants to make a good impression on.” Knowing exactly the what she said, Vinyl turned and raised a hoof to a waiter near by.
  197. “I would like two drinks please, one for me, and the other for the stallion right there.” She pointed to Music Stream, who seemed startled.
  199. “I'm fine.” He quickly said.
  201. “I won't take no for an answer.” Vinyl retorted.
  203. Octavia's nose quivered as the tissue danced around freely inside her nose. Each swipe against the inside of her nasal passage made her nostrils flare. Her breath kept building up, and it didn't take much before she exploded into a barrage of sneezes. She pulled the tissue out of her nose and slammed her hands to the counter as she braced for impact.
  205. “Ehhh . . . HHHHEEEEEAAASSHOOOO! HHEEEESSSCHHHHH!!! HHHHEEEEEAAA-AAAAAASSSCCCHHHHHHHEEEEEEWW!” Her body trembled as these massive sneezed belted out of her fragile frame. Mucus and sprayed the bathroom mirror and her body jolted with each sneeze released. “Haaaaaaappphhssshhheeewwww! Haaaapppffsshhoooo!” Her back arched and her bum raised into the air as the sheer force shook her very being.
  207. There was a knock at the door.
  209. Octavia quickly raised a hoof to her nose. “Jeh . . . heesst . . . HHAAPPSSHHEEW! A sehh...cceeehhhhaaAAAHHHSSSCCHOOO! One moment!” Octavia unrolled a wad of toilet paper and pressed it to her nose to stop the sneezes, but it didn't help much.
  211. “Haaasssppphhhh! Hhhheeennncchhhtt!” Her stifled sneezes were powerful and spray still misted out of her nostrils. She grabbed another wad of tissues and quickly began to wipe the mirror, mainly just smearing the mucus around. To her dismay, the door knocked again.
  213. “One second!” Octavia said louder, this time being able to hold back her sneezes. Her plan had failed. In an attempt to stop her sneezes from bothering her, by sneezing them all out, it actually made her nose tickle more. She coughed a few times and flushed the tissues down the toilet. She quickly washed her face and realigned stray strands of hair. A quick run of her hooves through her tail straightened it right up and she blew her nose one last time. She took a deep breath and opened the bathroom door.
  215. A mare strangely gazed at Octavia as she walked out of the restroom. Octavia tried to pay her no mind as she confidently walked back to the table.
  217. “Welcome back.” Music Stream said as he sipped his newly acquired drink. Vinyl too sipped her drink and pointed to a new drink for Octavia. “I hope I am not overstaying my welcome, but it is just so nice to finally meet you in pony.” Music Stream finished.
  219. “It is great to have you here. You are not overstaying your welcome at all.” Octavia stopped as one of her eyelids began to droop and her nostrils began to flare. The sneeze was coming back. How was she going to hold these in?
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