• 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 22: June 21-24

[In ugly, gigantic letters]
Dear Journal,

She didn’t wake up yet.

June 22, 2015

Dear Journal,

New pony still isn’t awake yet. Settled into a routine, as good as we can. Now that it’s clear she’s not just going to die for no reason, we don’t keep her watched 24/7. We just don’t have the manpower. Realistically, it’s not like keeping someone with her is going to make a life-or-death difference, right? We have no trained doctors, no trauma surgeons or even any EMTs. The best we could’ve done was make sure she didn’t wake up alone.

Assuming she ever does. Used a little honey and water to help her body recover. Sky and me clean her every day (Joe’s too grossed out to be useful). Apparently it’s not the wounds that set him off, at least not mainly. I heard him arguing with Sky about it when neither of them thought I was around. Well, I use the word “argue” pretty loosely in Sky’s case.

“She looks like she’s healing well. No infection. You can touch her.”

That won’t heal, I know it. She’ll be disabled forever.”

“I don’t have a horn either, you know.”

“Yeah, well… you’ve got wings. Obviously you wouldn’t have one.”

“Are you saying Day is disabled?” You go girl, you tell him. But I couldn’t listen. I didn’t want to hear him say what I already knew. I was disabled, just like that unicorn. We wouldn’t ever fly, we wouldn’t ever do magic. What good are we?

Oh yeah. I guess I haven’t talked about that yet. Cloudy Skies has come up with “proper” names for Joseph and me, which she uses like nicknames (I’m relieved that she still uses my real name whenever she has something important to say). She says that after hearing me record journals a few times, she thinks my name ought to be “Lonely Day.” She says it will be “waiting for me when I’m ready for it.” So never. Toss that one into the bin with not wearing clothes and having a mark growing from my butt everybody can see.

And who knows! That unicorn has a chance! Horns are magic apparently. Maybe she’s got enough left to still do a little magic. Or maybe horns do grow back. The only one who’s guaranteed not to have any magic at all is me.

Not that the normal ponies I saw in that… place… were useless or anything. They seemed to get all the hard work done, growing crops with what must’ve been some mad fertilizers. Either that or way better GEs than we ever did. Too bad about the end of that. Though I guess we don’t need a wheat that grows five times as dense per acre when we only have a handful of ponies. Ponies can eat grass anyway, can’t we? Eugh, no. Not this one. This pony is still a person inside.

Pretty lousy ending for our vacation, but you already read about that. Sky has started making cheese. California used to have several heirloom places that did that, and a few had little operations right here in the city. More and more it seems she was right after all about getting the animals, even if I’m still not sold on what we’ll do with them when we relocate.

The longer we stay here the more inevitable it seems to be that we will need to leave. Even if we could turn asphalt into farmland, the land is just too dry. We don’t have an aqueduct to turn a desert into a paradise anymore. How many centuries will it take before we’re able to do public works like that again?

Went to a specialized warehouse and brought a huge spool of monster-sized cable on the back of a truck. Took Joseph's help, because of course I can’t get anything useful done without a unicorn hovering behind me. Stupid Joe. It’s not his stupid fault, I know. He didn’t ask to keep everything and only get a little smaller.

I didn’t ask to be an adorable plush toy instead of a person. Count my blessings, I guess. At least I’m not comatose.

So many unanswered questions about this pony, though. The biggest one is the flight itself. It’s been nearly a month since everybody vanished, so why did she try to fly a plane now if she didn’t know how? It’s not like I just hop in any car and expect to be able to drive it with my hooves!

Did she run out of unicorn magic mid-flight, maybe? It seemed like she was doing okay up until the crash. Looked like her descent was pretty controlled, angle was perfect, picked the flattest part of the beach… It’s like the code! We’ll never know that unless we can find the source (which I don’t know how to do), and we’ll never know the pony’s deal until she wakes up and we can ask.

I take it as a positive sign for Sky’s sanity she hasn’t come up with a silly nickname for the sick pony. At least she knows where to put up boundaries.

—Lonely Day (hah, never)

June 23, 2015

Dear Journal,

It’s a little depressing none of my attention gathering schemes have worked. Radio, spotlight, posts on the Internet (hah, that was a thing once), and there’s no real sign of any of those things actually bringing people here. Well, with one possible exception. Maybe the blond pony came here because of my messages. I guess we might not ever know.

Yeah, she still hasn’t woken up. Doesn’t smell like she’s rotting away, but she also doesn’t really look like she’s getting better. It’s hard to tell if there’s been improvement. Okay, so maybe getting a doctor should be a priority. Obviously we can’t just grow one, but it might be that we could learn from books and home-study texts (at least enough to be better than unskilled). Joseph’s magic makes him an obvious choice, but his laziness probably means he’ll never manage to drive himself to study.

Cloudy Skies might be able to do it. She already has a little experience helping sick animals, so there’s a foundation of vet-science to build on. What do you even call the doctoring of horses, is there a specific word for that?

Obviously I’m disqualified, since I’m the only one exclusively focused on our survival. Like yesterday: I’ve been focused on expanding the “protection” of our house out into the surrounding streets and properties. Spent the day setting up fences, blocking off the road and connecting us to the property on the other side of the house. Wouldn’t stop small animals, but I can’t see many big dogs being able to get through (is there anything bigger?) I can thank the California Department of Transportation for so thoughtfully loading the temporary fences onto one of their trucks before the Event, making my job extremely easy.

Mostly brought in food today. Took Huan with me to the Costco, loaded pallets up onto our converted cargo semi, and brought ‘em back. We’ve got a propane-powered forklift out front now, so unloading ‘em is pretty simple too. Reinforced the temporary fences from yesterday with cans of vegetarian chili and crates of powdered drink.

Yes, you can convert a forklift to drive with hooves. Not as hard as I thought it would’ve been. Damn do I miss those Costco hot dogs and pizza.

Had to carry in the fifty-pound bags of flour one by one. Joseph so graciously volunteered his magical talents, not to help, but to lift them onto my back each time. Turns out I can handle about fifty pounds of cargo without too much difficulty. Probably wouldn’t push it past that, though… it also felt like any more would’ve made it hard to move.

Two projects waiting on tomorrow: starting the garden or replacing our toilets with the composting variety. I haven’t ever done plumbing or farming before, though Sky says she’ll be happy to help with the garden if I do that.

Yeah, wonder which of those I’ll pick. Spend all day with my mouth super close to the place people… (disgusting)… or get some quality time with Cloudy Skies getting sweaty together.

Gee, this is a tough decision.


June 24, 2015

Dear Journal,

She still isn’t awake. We’re doing our best to care for her, and it doesn’t look like she’s going to die on us. Cuts are healing nicely, might even be able to take out the stitches in another week or so. But just because the cuts turn into scars doesn’t mean she’ll ever wake up. She still looks way freaky around the cuts, where we had to shave the fur of her coat away. It’s coming back, but pony coats just don’t grow fast enough to erase wounds like that in a few days.

Spent the day farming with Sky. She was the expert here, so I was more her assistant than anything. I was afraid Joe would ruin our alone time, but the thought of leaving the strange unicorn (is she still a unicorn even though she doesn’t have a horn anymore? Does she just count as a regular pony?) alone in the house made him feel uncomfortable. He spends more time sitting in that room than either of us do. Maybe it’s a species thing.

We’re using a chunk of the spacious backyard, the part not occupied by chickens (who have been wired in by now, strange behavior or not). We tried to use one of those hand roto-tillers, but they take way more control and precision than we could manage. Instead we took a rusting plow from the rustic interior of the house, and attached it to my back using the harness.

Ever think you would live to see the day you would pull a plow with your own body? Me neither. I didn’t really get all the farming things Sky said, just google them if you care. Oh wait, there’s no Internet anymore. Guess you could use the index on the Kimballnet and see if anything comes up. Assuming it’s still around.

Ground plowed, it was time to plant. Sky wanted to try lots of different kinds of seeds, see what would grow best in the soil here. I did as much as she did, tilting a few seeds from a packet into the ground and covering it over with a hoof.

It felt strange. Like I was constantly being watched from the garden, but I couldn’t find anyone actually looking at me. I took the right two rows, and Sky took the rows on the left. Between the two of us, I’m sure somebody planted something that will survive.

I’m putting my money on Sky. She’s the one with real experience. Everything I water dies. Of course, watering is going to be a little bit of a pain too. Part of why we were able to set up the garden as easily as we were was the ground was so dry, and the lawn had been dead for awhile. Spread bags and bags of soil from the store, and plowed it as good as I could.

Probably going to need a better harness for that, by the way. I was strong enough, but it felt like the thing was going to tear at any moment under the pressure. My harness was designed for pulling wagons, not tearing up soil.

When we finished, we put a hose on one of those timers and put a circulating sprinkler on the end. Should get the whole garden pretty even for now, though it will cost more of our precious water to keep it going. Hence the composting toilets.

Whatever, another day. Maybe tomorrow. Still have plenty of water-jugs. We can always keep supplementing the cistern by dumping those in. It’s not like the plastic in those things will survive forever without tainting the water.

Sky was too tired to cook, so we did microwave meals and listened to music on the back-porch when it was all done. Huan joined us in the backyard (first for him), and we watched the sunset.

There are still some nice things left after the end of the world. It’s not a long list, but it’s not an empty list either.


Author's Note:

Hey everybody! Sorry for being so slow with comments yetserday, I was on an airplane all night.

Oh, and for those of you writing side stories, don't feel the need to keep up with the date of this story. I'm going to speed up the entries in time as the story goes on (and A skips between interesting events) so don't try to keep up. Just go at your story's own pace. I think you'll end up with a better story for it.

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