• Published 23rd May 2015
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The Last Pony on Earth - Starscribe


One day, Earth. The next, everyone is gone and I'm a pony. What the heck is going on?

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Chapter 16: June 8-12
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June 8, 2015

Dear Journal,

Went to Home Depot. Used to be one of my favorite stores, back in the day. Wasn’t a problem I couldn’t fix at home by shopping there. Brought a generator home, really nice standby unit with variable production levels and everything I need to patch it into our house and the solar network we already have. Already measured the entrance to the side of the house, and found a good location very close to the garage entrance where we wouldn’t have to run much cable. Had to guide Joe through how to use a forklift to get the thing into a truck, though we used those huge metal wheelcarts once we got it home in order to get it into position.

Also brought tons of little hardware things back with us, like the floodlights, as well as several dozen of those solar landscape lights. The entire backyard sparkles at night now, without having to waste any of the power we’ve stored for the house.

Filled the truck with hardware and tools. Joseph complained the whole time, though Sky gave it her best. As usual, the two of us working together couldn’t do half of what Glowjoe could do by himself without even trying. Didn’t actually install it, that’s tomorrow’s project. I was all for it, but Joe was too tired to learn how to use power tools, and I need his dexterity to get this done. I wonder if you can get electrocuted when you’re using telekinesis. If Joe pulls a hot dish from the oven, will it burn?

You know what else the store had? Composting toilets. As gross as that sounds, it would save us having to do as much to deal with our waste water. I don’t know exactly how the mains work behind the scenes, but I’m pretty sure they need pressure to deal with waste and they’re going to get backed up. Composting the nasty stuff would mean we could use the gray water from the sink and shower and stuff for something else. Quick filter and it could go into watering the garden, probably. Sounds smarter than just dumping it into a big storm-drain.

I know I’ve said this before, but toilets were not designed for ponies. Sitting in general just feels weird. Using a raised platform now around the toilet, just standing and… and yeah. Can’t believe I’m talking about this.

Turns out there is something Sky enjoys: board games. We picked up a few today. Got a Coke to keep me awake, think I’ll take her up on her offer and end the day with some Monopoly.

—A

June 9, 2015

Dear Journal,

I wanted to put in the generator today, but Joseph was “too worn out” from yesterday to help. Read pages and pages of generator documentation from this huge binder we found in the store, figured out how to install it. It needed his skills, as it turned out. His “having something equivalent to hands” skills. I didn’t want to pressure him after he’d been so helpful yesterday, so I got him to commit to help tomorrow and moved on to something else.

Sky came with me into the city. We drove, mostly to keep the animals away. Huan caught up and came along for the ride. I don’t mind having to cooperate to drive, I think Cloudy Skies and I have a rhythm down, but I think it would be even better if we didn’t need anyone else. So we had two stops to make. The first was to a store specializing in accessories for the disabled. See, they make these hand-pedal things you can connect to the wheel and control the pedals with your hands. Of course we don’t have those, but some foam to get closer to the wheel and make the seats hurt a little less, and you’ve got yourself a pony-drivable car.

Went car shopping with our new accessories. Did you know LA had more cars than people even before the Event? Now it has… tons and tons more cars than people. Sky had no taste and just wanted a pickup truck like her mom used to drive, so we picked a brand new diesel one with those double tires in back for hauling big loads. Leather interior, fridge in the console, all the new gadgets.

I’ve worked on cars my whole life, and I’ve thought many hours about what I wanted for my dream car. There aren’t any in town, though there is an Audi dealership, and that’s almost as good. Black Audi A8 with turbocharged diesel… car talk. Nobody’s going to understand this. Just trust me, it’s a really, really nice car. Had to muck it up by putting wedges of foam into the driver’s seat along with drilling a few holes in the dash and the pedals. It hurt to see such a beautiful machine soiled, but it was that or not be able to drive it.

We drove home separately. We’ve done pretty good so far choosing all diesel engines for everything we use. Should make fuel much easier to come by when it all starts rotting. I wonder how hard it would be for Joe to turn that computer brain into a chemistry brain, maybe he could churn out some biodiesel.

Huan, being my loyal friend, wanted to come with me instead of Sky. I laid out a blanket for him on the backseat since that car’s been in enough pain today, and claws aren’t going onto the list of things that’ve scratched it up. Being trapped with him reminds me I’ve started to stink from lack of showering, but it’s nothing compared to him. I wonder if dogs can appreciate the need for a bath.

Joseph didn’t even notice there were two new cars in the driveway, or if he did he didn’t say anything about it.

Figured he wouldn’t. Bet if he had driven anything before everything got ruined, it would’ve been hideously ugly. Maybe a Prius. What a complete loser. Seriously, how can Sky stand him? How could anyone stand him?

—A

June 10, 2015

[There is “handwritten” text taking up most of the page, sloppy with extremely large letters.]
Oh God kill me.

June 11, 2015

Still no water for showers. Want a jacuzzi tub. Stupid j should stupid stupid it in. Can’t plumbing.

—A

June 12, 2015

Dear Journal,

Productive again today, because that’s the kinda’ pony I am. Imagine cool sunglasses for that part. I’d have them if sunglasses didn’t fall off my face when I tried to wear them now. You’d think having this muzzle thing would make it easier to keep them on, but apparently not. Ears do more to hold glasses than I previously realized. I keep thinking I’m going to trim my mane, but I don’t. It’s way too long. Just another one of those tiny insults. I’ve started brushing it and tying it off to keep it from getting in the way during the day. I feel like some kinda hippy.

Guess most hippies would probably be pretty happy with me. Embrace Mother Earth, man. Don’t eat your brothers and sisters, spread the love. Just got to replace my work ethic with some recreational drugs and I think I’ll have this whole situation in the bag.

Brought Joe, used him as my hands. He’s still awkward and uncomfortable around me, but I think the fact I wear clothes makes it easier on him than with Sky. I also talk to him like a normal person, which makes one of us in this house.

I don’t think he likes being dragged away from his computer “work”. He’s really taken to the mesh-network idea he brought up during our meeting the other day. He imagines large transmitters all over the neighborhood, connecting our smart-phones and computers and acting like short-range radios. Nevermind we’re such a small group we could probably just tell each other in person and save the trouble. Whatever, it’s fine. At least he’s doing something. I explained that this sounded awesome, but that I’d probably keep needing him until he came up with something I could use for hands.

This led naturally into asking about how he’d learned this “magic” so fast. He tried to avoid the subject, but he was working with the cables and our grid then. I think he was afraid trying to leave would put him at risk of electrocution. I may’ve fostered that misunderstanding, even though he was working with cables that hadn’t been connected to anything and I had already shut down the house’s grid.

After putting the pressure on, he eventually caved and admitted it was the weird circle of strange marks on the ground that had done it. He said he didn’t expect me to believe him, but he’d done it so it was true. He’d been wandering the city when he found it, and he went into the middle to trace some of the symbols.

He’d seen something in that circle, some sort of… vision. That was when he’d got the mark on his butt, like the one Cloudy Skies had. He only got more embarrassed when I asked him to show me, so he just described it as a laptop computer with a heart on the screen, and he wasn’t comfortable with anybody looking at his butt.

Can’t say I don’t understand, though I wish he’d made an exception in the interest of research. He eventually promised to take a picture and crop out everything else so I could see. It looks something like this:

What a cutesy piece of crap. Tons of questions open up now, like “why would marks on the ground give you this? How does your magic relate to this mark? Sky has one, why can’t she do magic?” I didn’t ask any of those, because they were the sort of questions that I could try and figure out on my own. I just wanted to know what the “vision” had been. Did I believe him? After everything that’s happened to me so far, yes. Yes I did.

He was even more reluctant to answer. Eventually I got him to tell me; I’m not sure I believed him. He said he’d seen another world, a place where ponies were so numerous they had covered the countryside with villages and farms and cities. He saw unicorns like himself, saw what they could do, and... this is where I get fuzzy. Because he wouldn't tell me anything else, no matter how much I prompted him.

I would’ve thought he was screwing with me if I thought Joseph had a chance of lying with any skill. No, he got this wistful, distant look on his face when he was talking about it, like talking about a painting or a movie he couldn’t put into words. I’m not surprised, since so far as I know he doesn’t read or appreciate any of the arts. Maybe he would’ve done a better job if he’d been a poet before the Event (not a good name, but that’s what stuck).

Why hadn’t he wanted to tell us about it? Because he was afraid that would make me want to visit (it did). He said that his new sense for "magic" helped him see it was breaking down somehow, that it wasn’t safe for somebody else to use it, though he couldn’t explain why. He had been searching the city for the mark’s creator until the strays drove him back into his retreat neighborhood. He made me promise not to go back.

I’m going back tomorrow. Unijoe sleeps in, so it won’t be hard to leave before he wakes up (and do some other salvage on the return trip). When we were done with the cables and stuff, I told Sky about it and she was totally down to come. She already had a butt-mark, but I think she’s as eager as I am to trade a glimpse at pretend-land for the magic to pretend she has hands again.

I’m not sure I want to see any visions about what life could be like in a world of tiny horses. But at the same time… I feel almost guilty saying so, but… it’d be nice to know that kind of life was possible. Maybe it would be enough to make me feel less like we didn’t have a prayer of getting it right. A butt-mark’s worth a thousand words or something.

—A

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