Adam & Eve Redux
Atop a hill overlooking the burning city of Los Angeles, Adam turned to Eve. “It makes you think doesn’t it?”
“Think about what?” Eve asked.
“What was the point of this all? Letting mankind have this short time and then just … poof!”
“You shouldn’t question Him.”
“Eve, we’ve been living throughout history on the sidelines. I’ve seen humanity; a mess of chaos and sin. This never felt like a plan at all.”
Eve zipped up her hoodie. The sky glowed a deep orange as flames licked at houses in the valley.
“Aren’t you glad it’s all over? We’ve done our time Adam, we can go up now.”
“I know. It’s what we waited for. I just wish I had done something of worth instead of pretending not to exist. What a waste of immortality.”
“We were Shepherd’s,” Eve said.
“What great shepherding, it’s all been downhill since the apple,” Adam teased.
Eve furrowed her brow. “Don’t get me started on the Garden. Let’s go.”
Adam waved his hands in defence, “I know, I know. I shouldn’t have shifted the blame onto you. How many times do I need to apologise?”
Eve crossed the street with Adam in tow and climbed into the driver’s seat of the silver Honda Civic. Adam got in beside her and they sped down the hill.
Adam was quiet for some time. Eve glanced in his direction and noticed a Kindle in his hands.
“What are you reading?” she asked.
“Revelations—The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.”
Eve scoffed. “The sea looks perfectly blue to me. You know that book isn’t entirely truthful. As big as a fan I am of Him, those metaphors are long-winded and indecipherable”
Adam carried on, not listening. “It doesn’t make any sense. The people have gone now. What happens to this place?” he asked.
“I guess it just goes on existing.” Eve took a sharp corner, making Adam lose his e-reader. “The animals take over. What I want to know is; where are the angels? I mean we’re in the so-called City of Angels, and I don’t see a winged-being anywhere.”
“You’re still jealous about the time I met the angel Michael.”
“Am not,” Eve shot back in a high pitch.
Adam poked her in the shoulder. “That’s all I needed to hear,” Adam said as he lay back smugly in his seat.
They reached the bottom of the hill and drove past abandoned shops and movie studios. Adam scratched his chin. “Eve, what if we gave up on the whole Heaven idea, and instead lived in a world without people. Wouldn’t that be glorious?”
Eve burst into laughter, and wiped a tear from her eye before composing herself. “You’re serious? Give up on Heaven?”
“Like you said, we can’t trust the Bible word for word. Heaven might just be empty blackness for all we know.
“You met an angel.”
“I thought I met an angel. But it could have been another trick. You know how He loves those.”
A familiar Nokia tune filled the car. Eve shot fearful eyes at the open glove box where her cell-phone illuminated. “Could you get that?”
Adam looked just as confused. “Probably something automated. Bonus minutes or maybe a low funds alert.” He picked up the phone and read the message aloud:
“IS ANYONE THERE? MY NAME IS LARRY. I’M HOLED UP AT THE MAIN TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUILDING IN CENTRAL LA. PLEASE HELP.”
“Okay, not automated,” Adam said.
“I thought we were the last ones. Aren’t we supposed to be the last ones?” Eve almost shouted.
“There was a hold-up, maybe this one slipped by them.”
“It’s God, how can he miss something?”
“Repeat that sentence again,” Adam said.
Eve went silent, and felt an overwhelming urge to poke her tongue out. She restrained herself.
“I guess we had better check it out then?” Adam asked.
“On my way,” Eve replied, taking another sharp corner.
They pulled into the car park under a tall building. Light emitted from the top floor windows. Adam and Eve stepped through the broken remnants of what used to be a glass electronic door.
“Top floor then?” Adam motioned to the staircase.
“Hell no, I’m taking the lift. Electricity is still working for now, or had you forgotten?”
“Race you there,” Adam said, as he sprinted up the first flight of stairs.
Eve pressed the button and waited for the lift.
Adam reached the top of the stairs panting, to find Eve with her back against the wall and her arms crossed.
“Took you long enough.”
“Cars have a lot to answer for,” said Adam clutching his side. “So where’s our guy?”
Eve pointed to a set of doors. “He’s barricaded himself in there. Says it’s for his protection.”
Adam cupped his hands. “We got your message, Larry! We’re here to help.”
A muffled voice called out from behind the double doors. “Who are you?”
“I’m Adam, and she’s Eve.”
They could hear Larry’s muffled laughter.
“Sorry, just a funny combination is all,” he said. “Is there anyone else out there? In the city I mean.”
“About that,” said Eve. “There’s something we need to discuss.”
“We can discuss it right here,” said Larry.
“I’m afraid we need to see you face to face Larry. We aren’t armed.”
The doors swung open to reveal a skinny, grey-haired man in camo pants and a camo jacket with a shotgun pointed at Adam’s chest.
“Good, ‘cos I am,” said Larry.
“Like that’s going to stop us pal,” said Adam, puffing out his chest.
Eve shot him a glare and put her hands up in surrender. Adam followed suit.
“Tell me what’s going on out there,” said Larry, jerking the shotgun’s sight from Adam and over to Eve.
“Nothing. The rapture already happened,” said Eve.
“The rapture? I thought it was them aliens?”
“No, no, it’s the end of times,” said Adam. “Humankind has left this Earth.”
“Everyone except us?”
“Well that’s the thing Larry. You were supposed to go with one of the two groups. Up or down. It seems not even Hell wants you.”
Larry’s forehead glistened in the light from the telecommunications room. “It’s lies. A crack load of bull.”
“What was your plan here exactly?” asked Eve. “You put out a message for remaining survivors like yourself, and then what, shoot them?”
“I don’t want to shoot anyone. This is self-defence. You don’t know what kind of loons could be out there.”
“About the thing I said earlier,” said Adam. “It’s more like they missed you, rather than ignored you intentionally. I mean we’re still waiting, but that’s par for the course for being the first and the last of mankind.”
“Let us help you,” said Eve. “Can the machines in there send a message worldwide?”
Larry scratched his head with his free hand. “I suppose so.”
“Well then let’s get to it,” said Eve, taking down her hands and walking past Larry.
“Who are we messaging?” asked Larry.
Eve turned, her wild eyes illuminated in the light, “We’re messaging God.”
Larry slumped on the ground against one of the machines. His shotgun lay next to him while Adam and Eve worked on the SMS machine.
“If God is all-knowing why do we need to send him a message?” asked Larry.
“He must be preoccupied with the influx of new angels,” said Eve.
Eve smacked Adam’s hand away from touching a button. “Not that one.”
Eve typed the message for God.
“Let me make one alteration on the end there,” said Adam. “There, much better,” he said, admiring his handiwork.
The message read:
“GOD, YOU MAY HAVE MISSED A MAN IN THE RAPTURE BY THE NAME OF LARRY. WE ARE IN LA. PLEASE PICK US UP SOON. LOVE EVE. P.S. ADAM ISN’T TALKING TO YOU RIGHT NOW.”
Eve sighed and pressed Send.
The next day Adam picked himself off the floor by the machines. He wiped the drool from his chin and looked at Eve, and the deep circles around her eyes.
“Nothing,” she said, sighing. “Maybe he has forgotten about us.”
Across the room Larry reached into a shopping cart organising canned foods and large tanks of water. Eve just glared at him. “You won’t need Heinz baked beans in Heaven.”
Adam stood up. “Maybe Larry has the right idea. Maybe this is punishment—”
Eve rolled her eyes. “Oh great, here we go again and that godforsaken Eden.”
Adam continued. “Punishment for not getting involved, for leaving humanity to destroy itself.”
“Then what did I do?” piped up Larry.
“I don’t know, Larry,” said Adam. “But whatever it is, God is pissed.”
Larry’s face fell and he returned to straightening his rows of cans.
Rolling thunder boomed outside the telecommunications building. Eve stood up and rushed to the window. “It must be a sign. It must be! Show me again God, please!”
A fork of lightning cascaded down and struck the dead centre of a nearby field. Eve jumped up and down excitedly. “This is it. This is our ticket to Heaven!”
The thunder rolled again and Adam and Larry half moved their heads in Eve’s direction.
“Don’t get your hopes up, girly,” said Adam.
Eve rushed to Adam and tugged at his hand. “Get up dummy. We have to get there now!”
In the centre of the park at the base of a charcoaled patch of earth, Eve looked to the sky in search of further signs. Adam sat cross-legged on the grass decapitating daisies.
Larry finally arrived with his cart and wheeled it across the grass towards them.
Eve heard the squeak of the wheels and turned to Larry. “Did you really have to bring that?”
Larry simply nodded and fished for something in his cart. He found what he was looking for and sat down.
“So where is this gateway to Heaven?” asked Adam. “Looks to me like a burnt circle of meaningless coincidence.”
“What happened to your faith, Adam?” asked Eve, looking at Adam’s pile of daisy heads.
“I don’t know, Eve. When you have been ignored for this long, trust is a little hard.”
Larry let out a loud sigh and pulled a syringe out of his forearm.
“Larry! What are you doing?” cried Eve.
“De-stressing. What does it look like? I need a little something to take the edge off this apocalypse.”
“That had better be insulin Larry or so help me,” said Eve making her way towards him.
Larry smiled. “Heroin, insulin, what difference does it make now?”
“He’s going to be here any minute and you’re shooting up?”
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Larry.
“It’s his choice Eve,” said Adam.
“Oh yeah? What happened to making changes and bettering the world? That lasted all of one day,” said Eve.
Light flashed, striking the same patch of earth. Eve jumped back and Adam rolled to the side. Thunder clapped.
Eve cupped her hands and shouted into the sky. “God, it’s me! We are ready! Take us! Please!”
Lightning crashed once again.
“Still doubt Him?” Eve said to a surprised Adam.
The next bolt of lightning shot directly down into Larry’s cart. Cans spat out in all directions. One grazed Eve’s shoulder. She dived to the ground next to Adam and covered her head. Larry sat dazed, his neatly packed supplies now a mess of metal and plastic. He rolled a stray can of baked beans towards himself.
“It’s warm,” said Larry, and he pulled the tab and removed the lid before guzzling down the can’s contents.
“I somehow get the feeling He’s not entirely pleased to see us,” said Adam.
“It’s not us. It’s him,” Eve pointed to Larry as he wiped orange lips on his sleeve. “Get away from Larry,” cried Eve.
Eve ran across the field clutching her shoulder, with a bewildered Adam in tow. Another lightning bolt snaked down from the sky.
Larry slumped over and the empty can slipped out of his fingers. Steam rose from his clothing. Adam stumbled towards him and fell to his knees in front of the steaming Larry, “Why would He do this?” The smell of burnt flesh filled his nostrils.
“It was his fate all along. Larry was never meant for Heaven,” Eve called out.
“What makes you think He won’t do the same to us?”
“Look,” said Eve. She pointed to a glowing doorway hovering above the black circle in the centre of the field. It opened into blinding white light.
“Quick, before it seals,” said Eve, heading towards it.
“I’ll be right behind you,” said Adam, his eyes fixed on Larry’s corpse.
Eve turned and flashed Adam a sympathetic smile. “Don’t be long.”
She stepped through the door and the light consumed her.
Adam did not get up. The white door sealed, leaving Adam, the last man on Earth.
Written for A Writer’s Plot — Post Apocalyptic challenge.
This work by Michael J. Gray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.