• Published 2nd Jul 2015
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The Last Phoenician - Razzle Dazzle



This is how the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper.

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July 12

Sunday, July 12

Dear Journal,

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I’m so stupid! Of course this stupid mare body would fall head over heels for the first stallion it sees! I’m an idiot! I’m an idiot! I’m an idiot!

Ah! What the hell? My horn just fired off another burst of magic and all the lights surged for a second. Jessica, I’m fine. Stop worrying. I’m not made of glass.

Okay. Today started like normal. I threw up for a few minutes, then went out to breakfast (after washing out my mouth five times, of course). Jessica was already up, along with Levi and Dana.

I sat down. “Good morning,” Jessica said.

I glared. I am not a morning person. “It’s never a good morning.”

“Never?”

“Never.”

“Not even when–”

“Okay, maybe then. But not when I can’t stop throwing up.”

“Yeah, what’s up with that, anyways?” Levi leaned forward in his chair.

“No idea. Probably just something I picked up while we were searching.”

We ate in silence for a minute, then Dana turned her attention to Jessica. “So, what’s the plan for today?”

“I’m no leader. I’m barely even a stallion. Just do whatever, as long as you don’t blow up the house.”

“Hm, okay. I kinda want to see the CB radio you set up. See how it runs, maybe tweak it a bit if you want me to.”

“Oh, that was Scott’s doing. Talk to her.”

I held up a hoof. “I’m going out today. I need to stop by somewhere. Somewhere personal.”

Jessica turned to me with a knowing look. “Your?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

Dana leaned back in her chair. “So, what’s going on?”

Jessica turned to her. “Oh, Scott’s just going out to check on something. Nothing too important; one person is enough to take care of it.”

I got up. “Yeah, I should be going anyways.”

Jessica waved. “Goodbye.”

I left. I took the 5 Series, the one we got before we decided to search the whole city, when it was just three of us. I went north until I got to the gate into her neighborhood. I had to force it open, and there wasn’t enough room to fit the car through, but I still made it.

The front door was still unlocked from my last visit over a month ago. I went in to find that the place was still in good condition, although a bit dusty. The food in the fridge was rotten, and I could smell it even with the fridge closed. The heat was stifling, even more so on the second floor. But I found what I was looking for in the living room: a picture.

“Happy birthday, Mom.”

I remembered all the birthdays, the holidays, the weekends; all the arguments and the adventures. I laid on the carpet next to the picture crying for what seemed like hours. A knock on the door brought me back to my senses. “Scott? You in there? This is your mom’s house, right?”

“Yeah, come in.”

He opened the door with his mouth. “Ah! Ah! Hot! Hot!”

I laughed. “It’s metal, you dumbass.” I sighed and laid down on the carpet. “I’m just thinking.”

He laid down next to me and put a hoof on my shoulder. “We’ve all lost people we love because of this. You don’t have to feel alone.”

“I know. I know there are people who have lost more than I have, but I still feel terrible.”

I sighed and rolled over on my back, staring up at the ceiling. “The last time she called me was two days before it happened. I should have stayed on the phone with her. I should have talked to her. But I was busy, and I had a bunch of work to do. And now the project I put together is meaningless, and I’d do anything to have stayed on the phone with her for five more minutes.”

Jessica wrapped me into a comforting hug. “You had no idea about what was going to happen. Nobody did. And a wise mare once told me that what happens happens, and you can’t change that.”

I moved even closer to him. “You’re right.”

We laid like that for a while, close together. I’m glad I didn’t screw this up like I did in high school. But I have him now, although it’s a bit different than what I’d hoped for.

Jessica stood up. “Want to head back? It looks like it’s getting dark.” He helped me up and we left the house.

We walked back to the cars sitting just down the street, outside the gate. Jessica opened the door to his white Audi A6 and paled. “Crap, we’ve been here for over an hour. This was supposed to take five minutes.”

“Oh?” I brushed up against his soft gray fur. “And you’re complaining?”

A transmission on the radio interrupted us. A scared voice came over to us. It was Levi. “Jessica? Scott? Can you hear me? Get back home, now!”

Jessica picked up the microphone and pressed the button to talk. “Levi, what is it?”

“There’s a giant damn dust storm heading right for us!”

We looked to the west towards the city, and there it was.

If you’ve never seen a haboob, they’re terrifying. Picture a mile-high wall of reddish brown dust that covers miles upon miles with gritty dirt. You can’t see out your windows. It seeps through the cracks and under doors, and anyone unlucky enough to be outside gets assaulted with countless particles of sandy dust. And now that the world’s ended and all the water dried up, there’s probably a lot of dry dirt to be kicked up here. That’s probably why the cloud was so huge, stretching from the southern mountains up to the north, easily twenty-five miles wide.

And it was heading right for us.

We galloped into the cars and floored it back home. It was a straight shot; we just had to go a few blocks east and then all the way south. But as we got closer, so did the storm. It was probably only three or four miles away now, and it was advancing fast. I saw the dead traffic lights whiz past, street after street going by as we neared home. But we were too far away.

Jessica’s voice came on the radio. “Scott! I’m pulling over! I’m out of gas!” I saw his car go from speeding to coasting in a second, and he slammed on the brakes and pulled off. The wall was right there, closing the gap fast. I made a quick decision and stopped too, galloping over to his car and getting in.

The dust hit the car with a thunk. Jessica cried out, “What the hell are you doing!”

“I’m keeping you company. If I’d kept going I’d only be alone.”

We looked out the window and saw only redness. “This one’s harsh. Usually they’re not this bad.” Jessica laughed. “Is this stupid city trying to kill us?”

Levi’s voice came over the radio again. “Scott? Jessica? Are you safe?”

I pressed the button. “We’re fine. We holed up in Jessica’s car and are gonna wait it out.”

He paused. “You kids have fun.”

“Oh, shut up.”

Jessica moved to the back seat, and I curled up next to him. “At least I’m here with you.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” We kissed.

“So what exactly do you plan for us to do in here?” He wiggled his eyebrows.

“You’re such a guy.”

“Hey, I’ve only been one for a month or so. Am I doing a good job?”

I smiled. “You’re perfect.” We kissed again, and stayed together as the car was bombarded by the storm outside.

Jessica laid beside me, wrapping me in a tight embrace. I kissed him every so often, enough to make him blush. I felt content to stay like this forever. But there was a quick twinge in my gut. “Jessica. I’m going to throw up.”

“Was I that bad?”

“Shut up! Find a bucket or something.”

He rummaged through the car. “I can’t find anything.”

“I’m going outside.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“What do you want covered in horse vomit, then? I’m going outside. Cover your eyes.” I threw open the car door and a wave of dust flew into the car. While I could have braved the winds as a human, the tiny pony mare I was now could barely stand. I braced myself, made sure the wind was blowing the right way, and hurled.

I got in the car. Jessica held out a bottle. “Water?” Without saying a word, I took a swig of it and washed out the horrible taste. After enough of this, I closed the bottle and kissed him.

“You still taste a bit like it.”

“I’m quite aware of that.”

“Yeah, what’s up with all the vomit and the craziness?” he asked. I sat back in the new leather seat coated in a fine layer of dust and thought. Suddenly, it dawned on me. The vomit, the anger, the sadness, the attachment to him, it all made perfect sense.

“Jessica.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m pregnant.”

He swore softly. “Scott, we had sex. Many times. How did we not see this coming?”

“Because I was in heat?”

“Wait, what? Ponies go in heat?”

“Yeah. There was a book on equine anatomy in the pile we took from ASU, and it matched what I was like during the first week or so.”

“This can’t be happening. We need some real food, not this canned crap. We need to make sure you’re okay and deal with one less pony that can work, and we need to find a doctor!”

I put a hoof over his mouth. “Jessica, you’re overreacting. The garden’s almost ready, and it’s not like we have a plan about who’s doing what. Plus, there could be a doctor pony that shows up tomorrow!”

He started to think. “We do need a plan though, now that you’re going to have a baby.”

“A foal,” I corrected him.

“Is it a foal? Are you going to give birth to a horse?”

“I assume so, since we’re both horses. But if it isn’t…” I trailed off. Just another thing we didn’t know. I rubbed against him. “But we’re here together.”

“And I’m going to be a father after only a month as a guy.”

“And I’m pregnant even though I was a guy for my whole life.”

“Fine, you win.” He kissed my head. “I still love you.”

“I love you too.”

We fell asleep together for a few hours, and when we woke up, the sky was clear. We drove separately the rest of the way, and collapsed on the bed together when we got back.

-Scott

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