May 7, 2022

He was tall, trim, athletic, with a face that could put boyband idols to shame and a smile that made him that much more attractive. Like a boyband idol he remained perpetually single, yet managed to make the admirers that approached him feel special. Somehow he found time for both sports (no doubt there was an athletic scholarship in that boy’s future) and agility training with his dog. A rescue, of course, because of course he had to be that fucking perfect.

She was taller than she looked, always a little bit hunched over, uncoordinated as a newborn foal, struggling with her weight and skin that stubbornly kept looking like she’d spent too much time in the sun, red and dry and peeling. Her greatest accomplishment was scoring third place in a school spelling bee in fourth grade, and her greatest source of embarrassment the fact that her mother still would not take the trophy off the mantelpiece.

Then the apocalypse — or whatever it was — happened. The world went silent, and the few humans that remained thought they were alone.

When they met after the apocalypse, he hadn’t had a warm meal in weeks. Even with matches, it’s not easy to make a cooking fire if you don’t know how. It was just as well that he’d stopped trying before he managed to cause a house fire — or worse. He was cold, running on too little sleep, and looked it. She invited him and his dog to share her fire out of pity.

He was athletic, handsome, and — in this new world — helpless as a newborn foal.

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