• 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 6: May 28
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Dear Journal,

I took my time with this one, wanted to see how good a job I could do if I really focused. As you can see, I've still got some work to do. Maybe next time I'll try some colored pencils or something. I wish I could draw somebody else. Maybe soon. Wait, what?

Yes, that's right, major breakthrough today! Exciting, so I’ll be as brief about everything else as humanly possible.

Went out for radio equipment, so I could keep a permanent broadcast from here and monitor as many of the frequencies as possible at the same time. Looked in the phonebook (older people still have those in their houses, thank goodness), and set off across the city. Rather long way away for a walk, but my coordination is getting much better. I don’t seem to get tired, and all it took was throwing a few water bottles into my wagon and I knew I’d be good to go for the day. Plus, with Huan to watch my back, I feel way less afraid. He looks to be healing well, no sign of infection or anything. Replaced his bandages before we started off, hid some vitamins in the scraps I brought for him today.

Hearing more and more barking and other animal noises, though nothing too scary. If there were any strays on our route today, they left well enough alone. Probably they’ve got as much to worry about as I do. Was it selfish of me not to spend all my time letting animals out of houses before they starved? I think I’m going to feel bad about it for awhile, even if they’d probably have killed me and I could never have possibly have made much impact. Hopefully they’ll get out on their own once it’s clear their people are missing. Or maybe some of the dogs and cats and things got taken when the people did. Seems unlikely, but… I don’t know for certain they didn’t, right?

Getting distracted, mind wandering. Happens when I’m excited sometimes. Found the radio things, and went to a clothing store. Obviously they didn’t make anything for tiny horses. Can’t say it was an enjoyable experience (and I’d never cared much for shopping to begin with), but I couldn’t say it wasn’t necessary. Lots of tight, athletic sort of clothes in the smallest sizes. I can’t say I was really concerned with what matched my strange bluish fur or this mane of mine. Maybe one day I’ll be able to care about style and fashion again, but not today.

All that day, there had been no signs of human life, same as every day before. But last night I found one of the civilian bands seemed to have some sort of transmission on it. Not silence, but static that stopped my radio when it was set to scan to what was apparently a constant broadcast. I left the radio on at its highest volume setting in my wagon, listening to the occasional hiss of static but not hearing much of anything that I could definitively identify as human.

That all changed while I was gathering up the clothes I’d found and preparing to leave the store, my radio made a noise I’d almost already given up on hearing again. Speech.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget her words. The first words I’d heard in five days that didn’t come from my phone’s MP3 player or my own lips. The voice was clearly female, high and thready and afraid. “Hello? I’m not sure if anyone can hear me. I keep talking into this thing… I really don’t think there’s anybody out there… but if you are, please say something.”

I practically shouted my response into the radio, but the silence on the other end went on and on. Eventually she said: “yeah, that’s what I thought. Nobody’s there. Nobody’s anywhere. Maybe tomorrow.” The signal vanished.

Of course, it wasn’t difficult to figure out what must be happening. Either she’s using a very powerful transmitter and I don’t have the range to send back to her, or she’s using a little civilian radio like mine, many of which mute themselves while transmitting. Her signal had seemed to be constant throughout the day, a steady static that only ended when she said something about trying again the next day. That must’ve been when she switched it off.

So how can I find somebody who can’t hear me to respond? There’s the idle hope she’ll mention where she is of course, or indicate a building or other landmark I can use to find her approximate location. But that would rely on chance. I am not willing to put the only opportunity I might have not to spend the rest of my stupid horse life alone in the hands of chance!

It’s a good thing I’m so good with my hands. Or… used to be good with my hands. Whatever. Made another stop by the store, this time for everything I need to directionally monitor signal strength. Got a map of the city too, some pins and markers and thread. New house already had a cold soldering gun waiting for me, though I’ll freely admit it took me over an hour to get up the courage to solder with my mouth. Never guessed my lips would be that strong and that secure. Didn’t even shake all that much. Pretty amazing.

Also got a portable speaker with the largest battery I could find for the wagon, one I can pair with my phone. Figure I’ll blast some awesome music while I’m at the search tomorrow, get her attention. The person I heard sounded distressed, as distressed as I feel. Maybe they’re not as practically minded as I am.

The only thing stopping me from curling up in a corner and doing nothing all day is having a concrete goal in front of me all the time. Maybe they don’t have that. She didn’t sound like she was in good shape. Will I sound like that in a few months?

No, I won’t, and she’s about to get better. Even if the two of us have nothing in common, even if we end up loathing each other every moment of the day, that would be preferable to being alone for the rest of our lives. Humans are social animals, right? Horses even more so. I can only assume that bright, colorful horse-creatures have both desires. Even if whoever that woman is kept her body, I’m sure she’d still want to talk to me if the alternative is nobody at all.

I don't think the significance of this discovery can be overstated. This is like finding life on another planet, only the other planet is Los Angeles and I'm an astronaut who never left my homeworld. And if there's one, there's got to be others!

Two people can’t be a society, but they can be at least a friendship, right? Wish me luck tomorrow.

—A

Everything's okay.

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