The Last Phoenician

by Razzle Dazzle

May 29-30

Friday, May 29

Dear Journal,

I woke up in Jessica’s bed, pressed up against his chest. He woke up a few minutes after I did, and we stayed curled up together for a bit longer. Eventually we got up, and Jessica made breakfast. I started eating right away, but he sat down and watched me for a couple seconds, a slight smile on his face. “So, uh, what are we now? Like, as a couple?” he asked.

“I don’t know. We can’t exactly do the whole ‘dating’ thing now that the world has ended. But I do love you, and I want to be with you. I just think we’ll have to do things differently.”

“You’re right.” He smiled. God, I love that smile. “For now let’s focus on surviving before we start living.”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself.”

After that, we discussed what to do for the day. Jessica recommended raiding the ASU library to find books on survival that might be useful. I liked the idea, so we took the dogs and drove to Tempe. The sidewalks were wide enough to drive on at the campus, so we just pulled right up to the entrance to the underground library. The dogs walked around the area before following us underground where we were deciding what information we needed. We had a few categories: large-scale farming, in case Jessica’s lucky streak with plants kept up; electrical engineering and alternative energy to solve the issue of power; biodiesel for when fuel runs out; hydro engineering to solve the issue of water; construction; computer systems so we could automate things; and history. Jessica insisted on history so that we could teach people what the world was like before the Event. I’m making it sound like we planned this out thoroughly. No. The trip mainly consisted of us shouting across the library about if this book or that book would be useful.

When we had taken about half the books we’d end up leaving with, we started breaking into vending machines to get chips and stuff. I first noticed something was off when a machine I knew I hadn’t gotten to yet had a hole in it. I pushed it to the back of my head after taking enough potato chips to defend a small country, and by the time we were back to searching in the vast underground library, I had forgotten altogether. Eventually, the sun went down and we packed up the car. As we left the campus I noticed that one of the dorms across the street had a light on in a room. We parked the car and started knocking on doors. We were halfway through the sixth floor when somebody answered.

He recoiled a bit after seeing us. “Wow. Didn’t expect anyone else to be alive. I’m Levi. Levi Thompson.”

“I’m Scott,” I replied.

“And I’m Jessica.” He came over from the door he was trying.

“Scott? Jessica? Isn’t Scott a guy’s name and Jessica a girl’s?”

“Yeah. We, um, didn’t just change species.” I told him. It was a bit awkward after that, but after a couple seconds of standing around, he invited us in. Levi had a light blue coat, a short, spiky yellow mane and tail, and blue eyes. And wings. Yeah, he was a pegasus. I guess there’s three types of ponies: normal, unicorn, and pegasus. He also had a picture of a yellow lightning bolt on either side of his flanks. Is that a tattoo? It looked real.

“So, how did you get here?” I asked. “What’s your story?”

“It’s not much,” he replied. “I started college a few years late, going in to become an electrical engineer. After I woke up like this, I broke into this dorm room once I noticed the solar panels. I raided some rooms nearby and the vending machines to get food and water.”

So that explained the broken machine. “What about your wings? Can you fly?”

“I tried a couple of times but I never managed to get off the ground. I want to, though.”

We told him our story and our plans of creating a colony, and invited him back to our place. He accepted, and we gave him a minute to gather up some food and personal stuff. He got in the backseat next to the dogs and we were off!

When we got back home we showed him around the house and he set up in the bedroom right by mine. If there are more survivors, will I have to give up my room and share with Jessica? Not that I mind.

-Scott Smith

Saturday, May 30

Dear Journal,

Today was the day we started our biggest mission yet. It started during breakfast, when most of our plans are made. Jessica passed around three bowls of dried apricots and sat down. “So,” he said. “I have an idea.”

“Well, what is it?” I stopped eating to listen to his reply.

“I was thinking that if I thought I was alone, even though you were twenty miles away, and Levi was even closer but he thought he was alone for almost a week, what if there are other ponies scattered throughout the area? We should drive out and look for them.”

Levi looked up. “But what about gas? It doesn’t last forever.”

“That’s why we should go and get some diesel cars from the dealership nearby. There’s fuel preservation stuff at the air force base that we can use. After that we could make biodiesel.” Jessica replied.

I realized the extent of his plan. “So we’d be driving around the city looking for survivors and preserving the fuel.”

“Exactly. And we’d also be raiding the grocery stores. Canned food, bottled water, and dried fruit. All the nonperishables. Basically large-scale preparation.”

It sounded brilliant. Levi and I agreed to his plan, and when we finished eating we climbed into my car and drove a few blocks to the dealership, stopping at a nearby chain store for the disabled to get the things we needed for our new cars. They had padding to put on the seats so you could see over the steering wheel and poles so you could control pedals with hooves. Well, I’m sure they weren’t made for hooves, but they worked!

And then I realized that if we were switching to diesel, then I couldn’t keep my car. So I tried my best to get one last good ride out of the car, tearing around corners and flooring it, just like I did in college when Sam made a rally track around the desert. Man, that was awesome. In the end we got a bit too close to somebody’s ranch and the cops came. It was still fun.

I bid my old hatchback goodbye. It served me well, through three levels of education, six girlfriends, two species, two genders, and too many close calls to count. I parked her in the shade right under the building’s covered entrance, up on the sidewalk. A fitting resting place.

Thanks to the sprawling complex with multiple dealerships, we had quite the choice. We made the choice to get cars that were fancy, but not bad on gas. And they had to be white because of the desert heat. After the new best hour of window shopping ever, we had made our decisions. Jessica got an Audi A6, I got a 5 Series, and Levi got a Golf. They had a bit of trouble with driving at first, but by the time we got back home they learned how.

When we got home, we parked our cars in the garage. I got out a map of Phoenix and laid it on the coffee table, and went through the desk in my room to find a pencil. We divided up the whole metro area into over thirty sections. We were going to start on Section 1 until Levi asked how we’d fit so many supplies in our cars.

We had to push everything back a day because he kept pointing out how much we needed to prepare. And then there was the problem of going down and taking three SUVs back up. We  could all drive down in my new car, but we’d have to make two trips. We went back to the dealership and came back with three identical white BMW X6s. These weren’t personal cars, they were only for the expedition. Jessica went to the air force base across town to get those awesome diesel-saving pellets as soon as we got all the cars back home, which left me and Levi to prepare the other eight houses on this block for the influx of supplies. There was a house next door to us on the corner that was completed but not occupied. We stole the keys from the garage-converted-office in a model home and went in.

It was a smaller house than ours, but only by one room. It had four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a three car garage, and a spare room. It also had solar panels, so we could air condition the food we would store in it. There wasn’t much to do to it, so we were left to wait for Jessica.

Levi suggested we each practice our respective abilities. He started to run up and down the street trying to fly, while I left the group of houses for another one in this neighborhood. Let’s see here, I thought, How did I use magic the first time? I guess I was just frustrated with all the things I couldn’t do as a pony, so my horn tried to do things for me? That would mean that this is based on emotion. So if I get mad enough, it’ll happen? That sounds stupid.

Maybe I could try meditating. I’ve done it once or twice, and magic might work with concentration. So I went in the corner house, sat down on the carpet, and meditated.

/After what seemed like an hour, I started to feel something. It was like an energy swimming through me. No, I’m not a hippie. Yes, it’s magic. I don’t know why I’m so certain about that. It just feels like magic. Right when that happened, Jessica got back. I’ll have to try meditating again tomorrow.

I went back in the main house where Jessica was sticking the diesel pellets in a closet. That’s a horrible name for them. It’s not diesel, it’s diesel preservation. Oh well. Levi told me about his attempts at flight. He quickly abandoned running down the street, and tried instead to flap his wings, which meant getting used to two new limbs. He could unfurl and flap them one at a time, but not in unison. Guess we both have something to practice.

Dinner was normal. When we finished eating we sat down in the living room and planned. We were all in favor of forming a colony here in this neighborhood. If we found enough people we would spread out into the other three groups of houses and use the empty lots for farmland. And there are a lot of empty lots here. At least another two hundred acres with nothing except dirt, so there’s plenty of room to grow. Jessica said he’d do the farming if his streak of luck continues. Apparently, his garden is doing really well. It hasn’t been a week and they’re already four-inch tall green sprouts. Do vegetables grow that fast? Maybe it’s magic.

After that, Levi went to bed. We’d been talking for about an hour. Wow, time flies when you’re preparing for the future in a post-apocalyptic world. But with Levi gone, Jessica and I could plan, too. But not about a colony.

“So, are you free tomorrow?” he asked me, putting on his best flashy grin.

I laughed. “You’re unbelieveable. And besides,” I said, “What would we even do for a date? Everything’s closed.”

“Yeah, closed.” He thought for a second. “But there’s still one thing we can do.”

“Oh? And what’s that?”

“There’s a park down the street by the model homes. We could have a picnic.”

“Sounds great.” I kissed him and cuddled up right on his chest. That stallion was made for cuddling. So soft and plush, but with just enough muscle. I laid my head on his neck and shut my eyes.

“Hey, Scott? Shouldn’t we go to bed?”

“Oh, yeah. Right. Sleep.” I felt sad that I couldn’t stay with him for longer. He seemed to notice, and kissed me right before we parted ways.

It’s a bit weird how easily I’m taking to being a mare. I guess it’s just hormones.

-Scott Smith