Octavia fidgeted backstage, ensuring her mane was in perfect form, her cello tuned, and that her bow wasn't frayed or missing any strings. Her equipment was perfect, and as she strode out onto the stage, cello in one hoof, bow in the other, she felt pleased that her performance would match her instrument's perfection as well.
Carefully, she set down the cello, resting it by the long spike that protruded from its bottom. She stood on her hind legs, a delicate and graceful synergy as she and her cello used each other for balance. Finally, she raised the bow to the strings, and began to play. The sweet melody of Beethoofen's Sixth filled the hall. It was a grand theatre that she often packed to the rafters, tonight being no exception. Octavia was extraordinarily professional, there were no tears of emotion as she played, not like other ponies she had met, a certain mint-green lyrist sprang to mind on that train of thought. No, she simply played the notes with her trademark poise and precision, and watched as the emotion unfolded on her audience instead.
She cradled the bow in her ankle, nipping it between her calf and hoof. At first her fame stemmed from simply being a musical earth pony, most instruments needing magic to operate, or were simply too awkward for hoof and tooth alone. However, Octavia managed, despite her lack of a horn. In fact, it had been said by more than one reviewer that no unicorn cellist could match her talent. Octavia allowed herself a slightly smug and haughty smile as she continued to play, watching as the effect on her audience ranged from a delicate patting of the eyes with a handkerchief, all the way up to unrestrained cascades of tears down puffy, crimson cheeks.
After several songs of a similarly powerful and emotive ability, she began to change tempo, speeding up into an uplifting and heartwarming little number she had written herself. The audience was lifted too, bright smiles and soft eyes greeted her as she stood, eyes closed, sawing the bow across the strings with unparalleled execution.
Finally, her set ended, and she released the audience from her thrall. Bowing low before carrying her bow and cello away, she left them to recover from the emotional ravaging she had brought upon them. Returning backstage, she rechecked her cello and replaced a string that had become frighteningly close to fraying under her fervent playing. The cello was then placed in its case with the utmost care, her bow resting beside it. She zipped up the case with the tip of her hoof, and raised the strap over one shoulder, balancing it on the tip of her hoof while she lifted it over her head, before letting it drop softly onto her shoulder. She steadied its swaying motions by resting the long, thin segment on her flank.
Now that she had completed her set and tidied away her instruments, she could relax. Octavia always enjoyed a light drink after a performance. Not anything uncouth like a pint of lager, oh no, she was no drunkard. Octavia's tastes were more refined, naturally. She preferred the smoky taste of a good whiskey, her absolute favourite being the oaky tones of the Jura whiskey. Distilled and brewed on an island just off the shore of Clydesdale, it carried flair and punch very few of the more accessible liquors could match. No ice to bruise the flavour. No quite frankly, idiotic, garnishes such as limes or lemons to pollute its purity. Octavia enjoyed the taste on its own merits, and drank it straight, as she felt it deserved.
However, upon meeting the familiar blue-coated barmare, she realised that something was not quite right. The barmare was in the process of emptying out the till, and stowing away drinks in the cupboards. Octavia felt a slight pang of loss as she saw the Jura bottle get tucked away besides the travesty that was Buck Daniels. It was at this point she felt action must be taken, verbal and peaceful action, but action nonetheless!
"Excuse me, ma'am." Octavia put on her most airy and polite tone. "I was wondering if I can perhaps have a glass of your Jura whisky?"
"Sorry, love, can't do it."
The mare's rough, Braytish accent assaulted Octavia's eardrums, but she repressed the urge to clamp a hoof over each ear.
"Bar closes after eleven now, new management 'n' all that."
Octavia's grey cheeks turned white.
"But...but I wanted a drink, surely just one? It's only ten past eleven now, anyway. I'll be sure to drink it quickly in order to not hold you back!"
The barmare's eyes narrowed, and she stopped cleaning a glass in order to stare at Octavia suspiciously. Octavia, for her part, crept her lips up into a smile. A benign attempt to woo the mare over.
"You, uhh, you ain't an alcky, are ya?"
Octavia audibly gasped. "An alcoholic? What do you take me for? You see that poster there? I'm tonight's main attraction! The piece de resistance! I'm an artist, not a drunkard!"
"Uh-huh. But bar's closed, you'll have to go somewhere else, love. Try that club down the street, they're open 'til three AM normally."
"Very well. I shall!"
Octavia's eyes hardened. She straightened her mane once more, shouldering her cello case and trotting off out the door.
"You just lost yourself a very respectable customer!"
The barmare snorted as the door closed behind Octavia. Her magic gripped a bottle from underneath the bar, and filled a glass about half a hoof full of a certain whisky she had been running low on.