She had a lot of earth to work with.
Estella had walked half a day in each direction and not seen another living human.
She’d found more than a few who weren’t alive anymore, and done what she could for them as she went, wondering all the while why she had been left alive when nobody else seemed to have.
The radio made static and sometimes a whimper, but nothing she could consider company. The power was still running, more or less, but the TV was showing Please Standby on all stations and the internet – well, it was there, but she found only bots on twitter and only advertisements on Facebook. Reddit was a ghost town. Imgur’s last photos were of The Event – dozens, hundreds of photos, and then nothing. Not even a downvote.
She gathered food from her neighbors’ houses and buried her neighbors, fed her neighbors’ pets and collected them all at her house. Animals hadn’t been affected. Just humans. Just humans – except Estella.
She walked out to the field on the twentieth day and started cutting. She had so much space to play with, so much unharvested grain and so much food she didn’t need.
She began with a circle. Maybe I’m the alien.
She added in a star. Maybe I’m just magical.
She drew designs between each arm of the star. Maybe I prayed just right? Except I didn’t pray.
She drew a spiral in the center of the star. Maybe I’m cursed.
When she had filled every bit of the first design, she moved on with her clippers to another field and started another pattern. She found food for the pets and buried more neighbors; she cut faces of people she remembered in fields.
When she made a mistake, she harvested the whole field, learning to drive Dave Ansel’s tractor slowly but surely. She had enough hay for the livestock – at least the nearby livestock. She had enough wheat for many more people than her.
When she got bored with crop circles, she went up to the hills and found a big flat spot. She used lighter rocks and dark until she had mapped out a pattern that she liked. Unlike with the wheat, she could change things up when she made a mistake.
She ventured further abroad for food for her growing collection of animals. Still, she found nobody alive.
Maybe she really was an alien.
Maybe she really was magical.
On her four hundredth day, she saw a helicopter overhead.
At first she thought they were flying erratically. Then she realized they were looking at her art.
She ran out to the hayfield and started making a really big arrow. It might not have been her loveliest piece of art, but it might have been her most important.