• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe

Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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Cherry's Flare

Cherry's Flare
August 4th, 2013

8:47 PM

It took a good amount of time, but Cherry Pie and I were getting close to the volcanic regions. There was a visibly subtle orange glow in the distance. Throughout the entire drive to reach this point, Cherry Pie and I barely spoke a word to each other. It was almost as if both us were trying to understand one another. What I was trying to grasp is what she's looking for. Cherry keeps personal stuff to herself and doesn't like to give it away that much, her horn being a prime example. Otherwise, she's pretty chill and collective.

Once our destination was in reach, I parked the Land Rover on top of a hill about a mile away and took in the scene. The silouhette of the four rocky mountains that were presented from the magma's glow contrasted with blackish-purple night sky.

"We're here." I said.

"I could tell from the glow even before we got here," Cherry said. "What's the plan now?"

"I'll show you," I reached for the map and opened it. "I want to get to this giant, open area out west. This is where I was informed that all of this stuff was getting dumped at."

"I see. It looks like you can cut across to the right to get there faster." Cherry pointed out.

"I was thinking about doing that. Hopefully all of the dragons are sleeping. I should've came out here much later at night." I said.

"I hope so, too. I've seen a few dragons throughout my travels, but never a dragon of... such giant proportions." Cherry said with a pause.

"Well, they should leave us alone if we stick to where we're going. Don't you think?" I said.

"Yeah. I can't fully guarantee on it, but yeah." Cherry replied.

I continued on by turning right and traversing through the forest Cherry mentioned for about five minutes before I managed to find a clearing to the open space. I drove along the terrain at a relatively fast speed just to cover more ground quicker. Cherry and I remained silent as we both scanned the wasteland for anything out of the ordinary. The only sounds were the tires rolling and thumping against the dry, gravely, and uneven ground. It wasn't long until both of us spotted a few things lying around. There was a blue, wrecked sedan that was flipped over, a miles worth of utility poles that were firmly planted in the ground, and a broken mining headframe.

"Nothing but junk." I said, inspecting the inside of the demolished vehicle.

"If all this random stuff is here, then there has to be more nearby. Something different." Cherry said.

"Right. Let's just keep looking around." I said.

We kept looking a bit longer, but mostly found tiny, miscellaneous items like soda cans, broken glass and car parts. That is until Cherry found something big.

"Caleb. Do you see that way over there, or is just my eyes playing tricks on me?" Cherry asked.

I squinted my eyes to get a better look in the darkness of night. There was an outline of a towering bridge that was given away by the horizon. Just from the glimpse alone, it was evident that the portal shook it up and caused it to collapse.

"I can see it, too." I said.

"Do you think there might be other humans over there?" Cherry asked.

"Most likely..." I replied, still staring at the bridge.

"So, do you want to check it out at all, or no?" Cherry asked.

"Might as well. I gotta be sure someone's alive, at least." I said.

We made a short drive over towards the bridge and got a better look at it . The bridge was a long one, not as big as the Brooklyn Bridge, but a bridge that definitely connected one mass of land to another. The road on each side had collapsed into nothing but concrete rubble. However, much of the metal supports and a few cables remained intact with the two tall pillars on each side. Cherry and I then split up for a short distance and amount of time, me looking for any people and her looking for whatever the hell she's looking for.

When I got further down one of the roads, I shined my flashlight on a lone, badly damaged vehicle sitting on all four tires. After getting out of the Defender and getting closer, the windows were all shattered and inside the vehicle was a man who had to be in his late thirties or early forties. His posture was limp in the way he lied in his seat.

"Hey. You okay?" I whispered to the man while standing at the window.

When I went to touch the middle of his neck, he was very cold, stiff, and I felt no pulse. I should've known at first from his pale complexion. I averted my eyes for a moment before looking at the lifeless man once again, debating wether I should just leave him here. I certainly didn't have any shovels to dig a hole and I wasn't planning on putting a dead body in the Land Rover, so I just left him there. Hopefully the dragons won't touch him.

Cherry and I met up about twenty minutes later where the Land Rover was left to discuss our findings.

"Well, I found somebody, but they didn't survive the collapse," I said, depressed. "What about you?"

"Nothing good at all. I found some humans, but I'm afraid they were crushed under all the rubble. Sorry to say." Cherry replied, not seeming phased but still sympathetic.

"Goddamnit..." I sighed. The bridge above us began to loudly creak from one of the metal support beams under stress. "We'd better get moving before this whole thing collapses on us."

"I agree." Cherry said.

10:43 PM

The barren wasteland of the volcanic regions proved to be rather empty. We must've passed the buildings that Twilight mentioned because we couldn't find them anywhere. A two mile worth of what appeared to be an interstate lied across the land, incredibly still intact as if it were stripped off like a band-aid and set back down gently. Can't really say that I didn't go over 100 on it, mostly just to lighten the mood between Cherry and I from our similar dark encounters before going back to our normal pace.

"Again, thanks for coming along with me on my search." I said.

"What exactly for?" Cherry asked.

"Well, its always nice to have a, well, business partner to come along on big trips or searches, if you know what I mean." I said.

"Sure. I usually prefer to go at things by myself, but I guess you're okay." Cherry complimented.

"So are you, even though you're kind of quiet. Kinda sucks that we aren't having much luck on our searches." I said.

"It does." Cherry agreed.

"What are you looking for advanced technology anyways? Are you some kind of scientist or something?" I said.

"Hm. Funny, but no. I'm just trying to find a way to restore my horn. Nearly my whole life, that's what I've been looking for." Cherry said.

"You're serious?" I asked, surprised.

"I am. Ever since I was a filly and left everyone behind." Cherry said.

"For how long?" I asked.

"14 years. I've been doing my best to keep track of the years, so I'm actually 24." Cherry replied.

"All by yourself?" I asked.

"Yes." Cherry said.

"Isn't there any restoration spells that can fix your horn?" I asked.

"I've already thought about that, and there is." Cherry said.

"What's the problem then?" I asked.

"I need the original pieces of my horn for the spell to work. When I couldn't find them, I just started digging up the ground for them, but they were gone. Other than that, I've been searching for a new way ever since. But then I ran into you and when you mentioned advanced technology, I just had to come along." Cherry said.

The feeling of anxiety filled my chest when she fully explained to why she wanted to come with me. Sure, I know I said we had advanced technology, but I highly doubt the portal would've dropped anything tenable for a unicorn's horn restoration. I really didn't want to tell her truth since we were just getting started to like one another, but I made my choice.

"Yeah.... But the thing is that humans on Earth have no knowledge of the magic of Equestria on any level. Magic doesn't exist in our world." I admitted.

"But you have advanced technology that can help me.... Right?" Cherry asked, her tone beginning to change into something more that made me feel uneasy.

"Well, no, not really," I said, slowing the Land Rover to a stop. "Our technology isn't exactly as miraculous as you're hoping it to be. Either way, we'd be extremely lucky to find a prosthetic out here, but your horn won't look like what it used to be." I said.

You should've seen the look on Cherry's face. She just looked devastated to hear the news. This soon turned into a short fit of frustration as she began slamming her hooves against the door and her horn began to slowly spew crackling, light-blue energy like a fountain that illuminated the interior of the Defender.

"So I just wasted all of my time on a false statement?!" Cherry shouted.

"I'm sorry! If you just told me what you're specifically looking for, you wouldn't of had to of come all the way out here with me." I rebutted.

"I know! Argh, what was I thinking? Just let me out of here, there's no need to drive me back!" Cherry growled.

"No, please, Cherry. 14 years obsessing over something that happened so long--" I said, cut off.

"Don't you even think about calling it an obsession! It is a goal and hope. Ever since I've lost my horn, ponies, including my only friends, have been thinking less of me, and now it seems that you are now starting to follow along with them! Just let me out of your vehicle right now before you decide to abandon me!" Cherry demanded, her eyes beginning to water.

"I'm not abandoning you! And Cherry, it's not a healthy way to live. Are you going to keep this up for the rest of your life?" I asked.

"I said to LET ME OUT!!!" Cherry shouted at the top of her lungs.

Cherry slammed her eyes tight shut and gritted her teeth as the magical energy surged out of her horn as a bolt of electricity, giving me a painful shock on my left arm that drew out with a concerning numbness.

"OW!" I yelped, opening and stumbling out of the Defender while my left arm violently shook involuntarily. I was now afraid of her.

When I turned around, Cherry had already jumped out and dashed away from the area, leaving a trail of dust. I made no attempt to chase after her, but I all I really did was stared out in the direction she was running, allowing to collect myself and leaving me all alone. That was the last I ever saw or heard of Cherry Pie.

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