• Published 29th Dec 2012
  • 12,546 Views, 1,189 Comments

Mother of Invention - zaponator

Awake and alone, Applejack will find a way to survive.

  • ...

Just Got To Be

Applejack allowed herself to break down for a short time. All the emotions that she had been burying since waking up finally found their release as she bawled like a foal atop the lonely mountain. After only a few minutes though, she forced herself back to her hooves. The emotional release had felt good, and was nowhere near over, but Applejack hadn't forgotten what was out there in the jungle, waiting for night to fall.

Besides that, she needed to set up a more permanent living space. She started to sniffle at the thought of living on the accursed island indefinitely, but she stopped herself before the tears welling in her eyes could truly begin to flow. There was no time for that now. Before leaving, Applejack decided to get a good look at the island itself, learning the lay of the land could prove infinitely useful in the future. She wiped the tears from her eyes with a forehoof, before gazing out over the island to get a better idea of the landscape.

The sight of the ocean on all sides only compounded her feelings of hopelessness, so she turned her eyes inland. The island wasn't large, though it was longer than it was wide, extending east to west in a shape slightly resembling a stretched oval. Applejack estimated that it would take an entire day of walking to get from one end to the other length-wise, but width-wise would only take a few hours if she set a good pace. In terms of the actual land, there were very few notable hills, though the land was hardly flat, sloping up and down gently here and there. Of course, she was only making these judgments based on the solid green jungle canopy that blocked any actual land from view. Said canopy covered the entire island, except on the beaches that encircled it completely. From what Applejack could tell, she had awoken somewhere on the south beach.

A startling realization struck her then; she hadn’t searched the area around her when she had woken up on the beach. In her disoriented state, she had merely taken brief note of the environment before beginning her trek into the jungle. Hoof met face in a gesture of utter disbelief. For all she knew, there was something on that beach that would reveal how she had ended up there. It was too late that day, and tomorrow would certainly be busy with gathering the essentials for survival, but Applejack resolved then and there to investigate the south beach as soon as possible.

Nodding her head at her plan, she returned to her nearly finished examination of the island. The mountain she was standing on was situated on the east side of the island. Another mountain was visible all the way on the west edge of the island, a bit shorter than the one she had climbed, but less steep. It was covered in trees nearly to the top, leaving just the peak bare and rocky.

Applejack sighed, sounding almost like a whimper. This was her entire world now. One island, two mountains, some beaches, and a jungle. She shook her head, trying to dislodge the fatalistic thoughts. Instead, she focused on what she would need to do now to survive long enough for a chance at somepony finding her.

First, find water. That didn't seem to be much of a problem, though she still needed to find a source closer to the cave. Which brought her to the next step, find shelter. The cave might not actually be the best option for a living space, seeing as it went back incredibly far, and she had no idea what lay in its depths. A better plan would be to use the cave only as a temporary shelter, while she found something more suitable, or simply constructed something in the event no better solution presented itself. Applejack knew a bit about building, it came with growing up on a farm, but without any tools it would be quite the task. Not an impossible one, however.

Of course, she would need a source of food. She wasn't entirely sure which plants in the jungle were edible, but if she could find some sort of fruit she could eat those at least. There were coconuts everywhere, so that was a start, but hopefully she would be able to find a few other kinds of fruit, too. Living off nothing but coconuts would be neither healthy nor enjoyable. If worst came to worst, there was plenty of grass on the island. Applejack had never liked eating grass, but she liked being alive, so it balanced out.

Applejack glanced up at the sky. The sun was getting on into the afternoon now, and she would need to head back down this instant if she wanted to get back to the cave before dark. She made her way over to the edge carefully, before lowering herself slowly, and beginning the journey down. As she made the descent, she remembered something else. She would need a fire. She felt like slapping herself for forgetting such a vital thing, but her hooves were occupied with keeping her from falling to her death, so she settled for a mental slap. Making fire from scratch was definitely something she could do, having done it many times while camping. Not tonight though, she would need to gather a few things first. Which meant just one more task to do tomorrow then. The trip down the mountain gave her no trouble, but the whole thing, including the gravel hill, did take a couple hours. Finally, she arrived back at the jungle, exhausted, sweating, and panting for breath.

Evening had fallen, meaning she couldn't waste any time. She stopped for a quick drink, before starting off along the side of the mountain, keeping the mass of stone on her left. The sun was still up, shining its rays at a sharp slant through the canopy overhead. The ever present, occasional rustling sounds of the jungle barely registered anymore, partly because Applejack was simply far too tired to care about them. The rigorous climb and and descent had been draining, to be sure, but what had really sapped her strength was the revelation of just how lost she truly was. As long as she had hope, she could push through any amount of physical exhaustion. Now that her hope was fading, so was her will to fight the exhaustion. The reality of her recent intense physical activity, combined with not eating for a couple days, was catching up with the poor mare.

She made it all the way back to the cave in a sort of daze. On her arrival, she shuffled inside, dragging her hooves along the stone. The sun was casting its final breath on the world outside. She had made it back just in time, and by now she was about ready to collapse. A pang hit her unexpectedly in the stomach, bringing her to her knees, and reminding her again that she hadn’t eaten since the day before yesterday at least, depending on how long she had been unconscious. The pain subsided quickly, leaving behind a hollow feeling she had been ignoring until now. She attempted to stand back up, but found herself too weak for even that simple act. Instead, she simply lay down right where she was kneeling. She was far enough from the cave entrance to be safe, so she figured it was as good a place as any to sleep. Her hat was placed carefully on the ground next to her, in itself a small comforting presence.

As she lay there, her breathing returned to normal, and her heart rate became more relaxed. After a few minutes of calming down, she began to think things over more carefully. Of course, there was nothing she could do now to get herself home, but that didn't necessarily mean she was stuck there forever. Her friends would never give up looking for her. In fact Rainbow Dash, with all her loyalty, was probably somewhere out there right now, flying all over the land in a search for her farmer friend. Sure, it might take them a little while to realize she wasn't even in Equestria, but they would realize it eventually. A soft, small smile worked its way onto her lips. She no longer felt like crying. All she had to do was hold out until she was found by her friends. It was only a matter of time, and time was the one thing she had plenty of.

Author's Note:

Edited by Pilate, because he's awesome and stuff.