The Last Phoenician

by Razzle Dazzle

July 4-11

Saturday, July 4

Dear Journal,

This place smells like horse.

Levi smells like horse. Al smells like horse. Jessica smells like horse. I smell like horse. Our cars smell like horse. The houses smell like horse. This whole damn city smells like horse.

Yes, Jessica, I am aware that we are horses. Go away. I’m writing an entry.

Yes, I know it’s your room too.

Yep, we’re sharing a room now. The house is bursting at the seams. We found two new ponies so far: Ben Hill and Miranda Alvarado. Ben we found in the far, far north end of town, fortifying his house to protect himself from the wild animals. He has teal fur, a darker teal mane, and light blue eyes. His butt mark is a faucet with a drop of water, and he doesn’t have a horn or wings. I asked him about the mark, and he said that the only thing he knew about it was that he was a plumber before he was a pony.

Miranda has a bit of a story behind her. We found her in a not-so-great part of town, trying to break into a house to get food. She had been staying in a church, only leaving to scavenge. She doesn’t like to talk about her human life. She’s also a normal pony, and she has a lavender coat, a short, bubbly gray mane, and light lavender eyes. She has an interesting butt mark (I really don’t know what to call them): three metal chains, two silver and the middle one gold, with a heart on top of them. She’s got my old room now, and I’m sharing with Jessica.

Today, being the Fourth of July, we got a day off from the crazy search. Granted, there’s still a ton of stuff we need to do before we can live comfortably in this wasteland, but the search is getting tedious. At least we’re actually finding others.

In the spirit of the day, Levi’s going to find some fireworks. Real fireworks, not the kind that shoot a few sparks in the air and then do nothing. The ones you can only get in Mexico.

So, before Levi got back, we stuck to our respective rooms, fans whirring. In the bright, sunny days we get enough power to turn on some luxuries. It’s hot, but we can manage.

Jessica kept talking about the garden. “They’re almost ready to be harvested, you know. Corn, peas, tomatoes, even some lettuce. It’ll be better than the canned food, that’s for sure.”

I stopped him. “It’s a waste of water,” I grumbled.

“What? It’s fresh vegetables! I know you’re sick of canned food!”

“It’s stupid.” I rolled over on the bed. “We have enough food.”

“Yeah, but it won’t last forever. We need to plan, Scott. And this is the first step to a farm large enough to support all of us.” He put a hoof on my shoulder. “The colony’s growing. Just like you wanted it to.”

I pushed him away. “I’m sick of this. And this is Phoenix. It’s probably 105 degrees today. How the hell are you growing food out here?”

“No idea.” He laughed a bit, but I was too pissed to laugh back. I don’t know why. He was right. I know he was right. I was happy before he started talking about the garden, so why did I change so fast? What’s wrong with me?

Anyways, a few hours later, Levi came back with the fireworks. We planned for a dinner on the picnic tables in the same park where Jessica and I had our first date. Levi would launch them in the empty lots across the street, where nothing would catch fire. I couldn’t wait. Eventually, the sun began to set, and we went out to the covered tables. Levi and Jessica had set up a large dinner, as elaborate as you can get with only dried fruit, nuts, and canned food. We ate slowly, talking and getting to know each other better. We told jokes and stories, laughing and having a good time.

Eventually, we finished, and laid down on the dying grass, waiting as Levi galloped out of sight, barely visible in the newly dark streets. After a few minutes of waiting, the first burst of light rocketed into the air. I leaned into Jessica as the rockets of color and sound flew up into the air, one after another. How many of these things did Levi have? Not enough. The two of us laid together as the show played out above us. Flash after flash, until the grand finale, a brilliant burst of gold and purple sparks, rocketed into the air.

Levi trotted back to us, beaming, a bit of soot in his mane. We all walked to the house and slept, sans Levi, who was scrubbing himself off in the backyard for upwards of an hour.


Saturday, July 11

Dear Journal,

I must have had some bad food or something, because for the past few days I’ve been throwing up like crazy. I still went on the searches, though. We can cover so much space with seven ponies. Yes, seven. Me, Jessica, Levi, Al, Ben, Miranda, and now, Nina. Nina’s another normal pony, with a light blue coat, a mint green mane, and blue-green eyes. Her butt mark is a paintbrush. From what she says, she was taking care of her grandparents in their Sun City home until the day they disappeared. She saw the fireworks and we found her coming our way on the Interstate. We didn’t hit her, but it was still scary.

And today, on the last day of our search, we found another pony! Dana was wandering around looking for food, and we took her in. She is a very pink unicorn. Pink body, pink mane. She has light blue eyes, and a radio antenna on her butt. She told us she worked for a local radio station. So the marks are what you did for a job? But Levi was an engineer, not anything to do with lightning. And Al wasn’t a mechanic. And Jessica doesn’t have one. And Miranda didn’t make chain fences. And what about mine randomly appearing? Every time I try to think about this stuff it only raises more questions.

But if she’s as good at radio broadcasting as she says she is, that would be great. None of the people we met so far had a CB radio. If we could hook it up to a radio station’s broadcast then anybody with a radio could hear it. I’ll have to talk to her about that.

So yeah, eight people here now. Since there’s only five bedrooms, we had to rearrange things a bit. Jessica and I are in the master bedroom, Miranda and Dana are in the room right next to my old one, Nina, who wanted privacy, is in my old room, Levi and Ben are sharing a room, and Al gets his own. We moved some crap out of the spare room (I think it was a study before we came in) and will use that to hold some electronic stuff.

We held a little celebration for combing through all of the valley. It took a month and a half, but we finally did it. There was food. Not good food, but food. I had to watch out, though, because I kept throwing up. We need to find a doctor somewhere if everybody else gets it.

But it was fun. We got to know each other even more. Nina didn’t say much. Levi passed out on the couch, and Ben had to drag him to their room. And Jessica wouldn’t stop coming on to me. He wasn’t even that drunk, either.

So, yeah. That was fun, but I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. It’s not a milestone year or anything, but it’s going to be tough getting through the day. I’m sure I’ll manage somehow. After all, the world’s already ended. You can’t get much worse than that.