Bewildering Stories

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The Two

by John Thiel

Time was approaching its conclusion and the final moments of the world were at hand, according to many prophets, when two people met in the streets of the world, singling each other out from the aimless and random crowds and discovering each in the other a sort of affinity that seemed unusual to them---for some reason they did not, unlike so much of the world around them,or even all of it, hate each other. The absence of this common sentiment caused them to become acquaintances, as both were interested in the rarity of this lack of a sentiment.

As they were a man and a woman, the reader is apt to think that they were Adam and Eve, but here he is in error; they were no more that illustrious pair than is anyone else. In fact, neither of them had obtained any particular recognition for anything in this world.

They were discussing their new acquaintance at lunch in a quiet place that had little to distract them from conversation. "Perhaps this absence of love, or of a particular affinity, is what results in our not hating each other," the lady, Faye Reeves, said. "We're objective enough not to go over into hate."

"Almost what a scientist would say," the man, named George Wrong, replied. "I just take things as they come, myself; don't try to figure them out."

When their conversation resulted in no argument, George said, "That's almost unlike human beings. Now I'm wondering if we're predestined."

"I doubt it," she said. She had been distracted by a rising rumble, a sound which resembled all the September 11ths in the world put together. It was a vast wave which was coming over everything. "I'm glad we're in a quiet place," she added. "We're well out of the way of that."

"Maybe we're just unusually lucky," he said.

When it was over, there seemed not many people left. It had been at least an approximation of the end of the world. They went out to view it, and there was a telepathic observation over everything, which was onlookers from another planet whose attention had been attracted by all the destruction there was on Earth.

"Look," a telepathic voice said when the observation had picked up the young couple. "That must be Adam and Eve!"

"Who else would it be? They're all alone here, and they must be getting ready to start a new world."

But the otherworlders were mistaken. The two people just simply weren't Adam and Eve.

Copyright © 2002 by John Thiel