• Published 1st Mar 2013
  • 4,311 Views, 86 Comments

A Lifeboat Made for Two - Phil Ken Sebben

Anon and Rarity hate each other, but when they get stranded on a desert island, can they work together to stay alive?

  • ...

Chapter 5

Chapter 5

A loud, painful rumbling in your guts pulls you from your restless sleep. Rarity's loud snoring made it hard for you to rest easy. Seems a battered, bloody nose restricts airflow. Sitting up in the tent, you see the sky is a rusted red color. Going to be dawn soon. You crawl out from under the leaf blanket into the cold morning. Stomach wrenching in pain, you feed some sticks to the fire in an attempt to warm up.

As you stare, half asleep at the growing fire, you feel a sudden impact on your shoulder. Glancing down, you see a large grasshopper landed on your shirt. You absently move to brush it off, but stop yourself. A grasshopper is food. Not MUCH food, but better than nothing. You slowly carefully position your hand over it. As fast as you can, you snatch it off your shirt. You take a look at your prize. As hungry as you are, you're not liking the thought of eating it raw. Those legs look pretty iffy, too. Carefully, you pluck all the legs off the squirming insect, as well as it's wings for good measure. Finding a solid, thin stick, you run it through the side, and stick it in the fire. You don't know how long it'll take to cook, but it shouldn't be long. After a few seconds, you pull it out of the flame. It's a dark, roasted brown color, and it doesn't smell half bad. You tentatively take a bite. It's not the best thing you've ever eaten, but hunger will do strange things to a picky eater.

All too soon, the insect has been devoured, and your stomach is screaming for more. That wasn't nearly enough to be filling. All you did was remind yourself of how hungry you really are. But maybe you can find more? As soon as the thought crosses your mind, you become aware of the constant chirping coming from the grass around you. You never payed attention before; you were used to hearing it at home. It was just noise. But to your starving mind, it was the sound of food.

Rushing to the nearest patch of grass, you hear it go silent. There are some in here. Rooting through it, you see quite a few. Snatching as many as you can, you impale them on your roasting stick. More escape than you manage to catch, but you still pull in a fair amount. Pulling their legs and wings off as fast as you can, and stick them in the fire. It's going to be dawn, soon, and Rarity will be awake not long after. You'd prefer if she never knew about this.

Pulling them out of the flame, you gorge yourself as fast as you can. They could use some salt, but they'll do. A few more trips through the grass, and you've eaten more insects than you'd ever care to admit to anybody. You're not full, but you feel much better than you had. Satisfied for the moment, you decide to crawl back into the tent and see if you can get some more sleep. It's not like there's much else to do.

You hear Rarity groaning beside you, and it wakes you up. Rolling over, you grimace at the sight of her leg. The gash has scabbed over, but the wound still looks pretty bad, and her pure white fur was stained a dull, rusty brown from the dried blood. Looking from her leg to you, the two of you lock eyes. She stares a look raw anger into you, forcing you to look away.

"I'll, uh... go get something to drink."

You quickly crawl out of the tent and look around for some more coconuts. There aren't many fresh ones on the ground at this point. You'll have to get some more out of the trees. Looking around, you glance at all the remaining coconuts. It leaves an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. You grab two, and head back into the tent.

In the last few days you've gotten pretty good at opening them without tools. Peeling one apart, you hand it to Rarity. She takes it with her magic and drinks deep while you open your own. You almost gag as you drink. Drinking nothing but coconut milk has gotten you quite sick of the taste. Still, it's all you have, so you make due.

You both sit in silence for a moment.


She doesn't answer, but her ears perk slightly.

"I took a look around at how many of these we have left." you said, waving your coconut for emphasis. "I can't say with any certainty, but at the rate we've been drinking these, they'll probably be gone within a month."

"Oh." she replies, emotionlessly. You can't tell if she's not taking it well or if she just didn't hear you.

"So. That's something we need to consider."

She doesn't answer. She's probably taking in the gravity of the situation. The conversation breaks off into silence. You might as well move it along.

"We should get your leg cleaned up."

Again, she doesn't answer. With a sigh, you crawl out of the tent. The sun is already high in the sky, now. Even in the shade of the trees, it's sweltering. You look around for something, anything, you could possibly use. Rarity could probably weave some leaves into a bandage, but that wouldn't do much to actually CLEAN the wound. Maybe you could wet your shirt down at the beach? You're not sure how clean ocean water is, and the salt would be unpleasant, but it's the best you can come up with.

Leaving the trees is like stepping into an oven. You make your way down the beach as fast as you can without running. No need to overexert yourself. Reaching the water, you wade in about waist deep, and take your shirt off. Once it's in your hands, you give it a quick sniff. Whoo that's nasty! You've been wearing the same shirt for days now, stewing in your own sweat. Better scrub this out first.

You do your best to clean the shirt until you can no longer smell B.O. then ball it up, and shove it underwater. Trying to keep it as moist as possible, you trek back to the camp. By the time you get back, the shirt is half dry and hot, but it should work. You duck back into the tent.

"Alright, I'm here."

Rarity turns to look at you, and seems taken aback by your shirtlessness.

"Where are your clothes?"

You hold up the wet ball of shirt for her to see.

"I told you, we need to clean your leg."

She looks disgusted.

"I'm not having you touch me, let alone a WOUND, with that glorified sweat rag. Why, it must be festering with-"

"I cleaned it."

She stares at you, a look of annoyed skepticism stuck on her face.

You give another irritated sigh.

"Would you like to smell for yourself?" you say, shoving it in her face. She reacts as if you were offering her a bowl full of shit, but gives it a small sniff. Smelling nothing, she gives it another, stronger smell. Apparently satisfied, she rolls onto her side, allowing you full access to the gash. You have no idea what you're doing, but how hard can it be to clean a cut? You drape the shirt over her leg, and apply light pressure, letting the warm water to loosen the dried blood. After a few minutes, you take the shirt and begin to scrub as delicately as you can. Rarity makes a show of it, of course.

"Ouch! Anonymous, honestly! Can't you do this more gently?"

"No, Rarity, I really can't. If I use any less pressure, I won't be touching you. Just deal with it, I'm almost done."

She huffs, but stops complaining. A few minutes of scrubbing and a few grunts of pain from her later, you have her leg as clean as you're going to get it. Her leg is still stained that rusty brown color, but the cut itself is nowhere near as bad as you expected. Ideally, it should be stitched up, but it's nothing life threatening. You sit back, and let out a out a satisfied sigh.

"There. That's about as much as I can do for now."

Rarity gingerly sits up and inspects the wound. She grimaces at the sight of it, but still looks relieved it wasn't as bad as it looked.

"So, what about a bandage?' you ask her. "Can you, like, weave leaves together or something?"

Rarity rolls her eyes at the question.

"Yes, I could. I don't suppose you had the foresight to wash some for me to use?"

"... Fuck."

Rarity lets out a sigh of her own as you venture from the tent yet again, shirt in hand. You throw the shirt back on, then gather some leaves off the ground. You're not sure how many she'll need, but this should be plenty. With no small amount of reluctance, you set off for the beach again. You shouldn't be getting tired this easily. Probably because you're under hydrated.

When you reach the water, you realize you don't know how you'd actually go about washing the leaves. Scrub them off one by one, or just dunk them in the water? Deciding the latter is less effort, you just wade into the sea up to your chest, and swish the leaves around a bit. Glancing up, you see what looks like a dorsal fin out ahead of you. And here you are, standing in a bloody shirt. Yeah, these are probably clean enough.

Turning, you run as fast as you can through the deep water. Glancing back, you see the fin is so much closer, now. Your muscles burn as you fruitlessly try to sprint. The shark makes a pass at you, bumping into the back of your legs. At this point, you give up on trying to run and just start swimming, losing half the leaves in the process. Before long, you're in the shallows, and can properly run out of the water. Even though you're safely back on dry land, you keep a quick pace back to the camp. The whole thing just has you a bit spooked.

Ducking into the tent, you plop the leaves down on the mat. You lay down on the mat next to Rarity, trying to catch your breath.

"Anonymous? Are you alright?"

You decide not to tell her. Don't want to get her worried over nothing.

"I'm fine," you say between breaths. "Just moved too fast for this heat."

She looks like she wants to press the issue, but instead, turns to the leaves without another word. Using her magic, she shakes off any remaining water and sand, then weaves them all together. Carefully, she wraps the makeshift bandage around her leg, and tucks it snugly to stay put.

You could probably doze off, at this point, but you suddenly hear Rarity's stomach growl loudly.


"Well obviously!" she snaps.

She clears her throat, and takes a dignified tone.

"I apologize. Yes, I am hungry."

"I can go get you something, if you want."

"If you would be willing, I'd greatly appreciate it." She forces a smile, but it's not convincing. She's still pissed at you about her leg, and she's none too happy that you have to take care of her, now. Sitting up, you crawl out of the shelter and walk deeper inland.

She's a pony, right? Shouldn't be too hard to find stuff for her to eat. Finding some tall grass, you grab a few handfuls until you have a sizable bundle. Easy enough. Walking back, you spy a bush with berries growing on them. They're dark red and roughly oblong shaped. Maybe they're something she can eat? You grab a handful and put them in your shirt pocket, just in case.

Back in camp, you present Rarity with your bounty.

"Ah, yes. Thank you."

She's obviously less than enthused, but she eats anyway, using her magic to levitate each individual blade of grass to her mouth. You watch her eat for a while, before remembering the berries.

"Oh, I also found something else." you say, pulling a few of the berries from your pocket. Her eyes light up when she sees them.

"Oh my, roan berries! This is a pleasant surprise!"

She snatches the berries from your hand with her magic and snarfs them down.

"Mmm, simply divine!" she says, savoring the taste.

"So you seem to like them."

"Like them? Roan berries are a delicacy, dear! Do you have more?"

"Uh, yeah."

You pull the rest from your pocket and Rarity immediate swipes a few more.

"Mmm. You simply must try some!"

Well, she obviously likes them... a lot. You pop two or three in your mouth and almost gag. They taste like pine needles, but have the texture of snot. Still, food is food, so you manage to swallow them.

"Not my cup of tea," you sputter.

"Hmph. Suit yourself. That's more for me."

You lie back down on the pad, and try to relax. Wow, it's gotten a lot hotter. Come to think of it, your stomach burns, too. And you're suddenly aware you can hear your own breathing echo. You sit up in alarm, and almost topple back over. The inside of the tent is spinning, and colors are flashing in front of your eyes.

"Anonymous? Is something wrong?"

Rarity sounds like she's yelling in a tunnel, but it's muffled at the same time. You look at her to answer, but only end up screaming. Her eyes are so massive they're sticking off the side of her head, and they're dripping a thick, red liquid. You scramble to your feet and run from the monster.

A few steps outside the tent, and the pain in your stomach is too much. You fall to your knees and vomit. Relief turns to horror as several snakes emerge from your pool of sick and slither away. No wonder your stomach hurts, there are snakes inside it.

"GET THEM OUT!" you scream, clawing frantically at your own gut.

Outside the tent is worse than the inside. There are shadowy figures all around you. They duck behind trees and into the grass when you face them but your vision is still too messed up to focus on them. You run out onto the beach to escape the shadows, but the sand is constantly moving and shifting. You can't get good footing and fall to the ground. Above you, colors swirl in the sky. They clash together, producing a deafening roar every time. With every collision, the sky gets darker and darker.

Voices around you begin to call your name, softly at first, then louder.

"Who's there!?" you cry, looking for the source.

You don't see anyone, but the voices are still there.

"Help me!" you scream. "I'm scared and I just want to go home!" you cry, over and over, tears streaming down your face. You fall onto your back in defeat, squeezing your eyes closed, trying to block it all out.

Suddenly, you feel your head being lifted and you open your eyes. There's something standing above you. It looks like it's made of light, and it's presence is calming. The entity reaches out, and gently strokes your face. It feels like velvet, warm and soft. It leans down closer, and speaks in Rarity's voice.


The world fades into darkness.

A loud clap of thunder snaps you into clarity. You feel a warm softness under your head. You reach back to see what it is, and stick your hand in Rarity's mane.

"Are you finally awake?"

You're laying on the beach, with your head on Rarity's side. Sitting up, you notice it's much colder, and much darker. The sky is covered in black clouds.

"What the hell happened?" you say, fingers on your temples. It feels like your head is splitting open.

"I'm not sure. I think you had some kind of reaction to the roan berries. You were acting erractically."

"How long was I out?"

"A few hours, at least."

"And how long was I using you as a pillow?"

Her face reddens.

"That's not important. We should really-"

There's a flash of light above you as the sky is ripped apart by lightning. Mere seconds later, thunder booms so loudly, you could swear you felt the ground shake.

"Looks like a storm." you say, sarcastically.

"Yes, I was just getting to that." Rarity says, rolling her eyes.

You shakily get to your feet.

"Come on. Let's get back to camp."

You head up the beach, but find you quickly outrun Rarity. Looking back you can see she's struggling pretty bad on her leg. You feel guilty that she walked this far on it because of you.

"Ok, let's do it this way."

You walk beside her, and quickly hoist her up.

"I beg your pardon!" she says, indignantly. "I do not need to be carried around like some common-"

"Shut up." you cut her off. "Unless you REALLY want me to leave you out in the rain," you add as droplets begin to fall from the sky. It's not much more than a sprinkle, but it gets your point across. She silently concedes, and you make your way back under the trees.

Gently, you place Rarity on the mat in the tent.

"Be right back." you tell her, before heading back out into the storm. Luckily, the trees block most of the rain, but you should still get the fire going hotter, just in case. Gathering, some sticks you toss them into the fire, getting it nice and high. You should probably get something to drink, then head to bed. Snatching a couple coconuts off the ground, you head back to the tent.

Rarity is already laying down when you enter. You offer her a coconut, but she wordlessly waves it away. Sitting down, you crack yours open, and down the contents. You sit in silence for a bit.

"I'm sorry, Rarity."


"It's just... I've done everything wrong. Anything bad that's happened is because of me."

Rarity rolls over to face you.


"I'm serious. I'm just a screw-up. I'm worthless."

"Anonymous, that's enough."

"What? I figured you'd love to have a chance to discuss my faults."

"Normally, yes. But I don't want to hear your whining when I'm trying to sleep." She gives a teasing smile.

You can't help but laugh. Yawning loudly, you roll on your side, facing Rarity. It isn't long until sleep takes you.

End chapter 5