This is the story of two friends who could not die and were the last people on earth. They stopped having to pee and doing number two. They did not salivate. Their hair did not grow. Their teeth stayed the same. Miraculous and sharp and good for the gnaw. Their hearts beat once a day, and their blood flowed sporadically, like small careful fish poking their heads above the surface of a murky sea. Their eyes became like giant beautiful salt crystals. They did not cry or sleep or feel hunger. Sometimes they missed feeling sad. Feeling hungry. So they would moan and dig the dry ground until they found ancient crumbling roots that they could chew on like bolts of tobacco. They could do whatever they wanted. Really and truly. There was an infinity of ways to annihilate the day. They were a man and a woman. Usually. They felt much in the vein of the start of humanity in reverse. For one hundred years, they did nothing but have sex and hold hands and tell each other how lucky they were that this had happened to them, just them. For another hundred, they did nothing but fight and scream at each other. They poked their eyes and punched their bellies and said, Oh, my god, why are you so revolting, how did you get to be such a disgusting c-word!!! They were infinitely bored. They walked around and around the world until they lost count of the revolutions. They built everything they dreamt of. Teleporters. Mile-long yachts. The most delicious frozen daiquiris. They invented time machines in an attempt to change the slow unfurling of the end of everything and lamented when they couldn’t kill themselves and watched their wounds slowly fill in, their flesh like spattered slugs inching along and drooling all over the leaves of the garden. It was impossible, but what could they do but watch the earth slowly crumble to dust as if to say, See, dying is easy. They shrugged and tried not to cry. They tried for a time to stay smart. They conversed on the meaning of the endless nothingness from which they would never be unshackled. But they let that go and waddled like ducks, looped their elbows together, watched the universe obliterate itself for the umpteenth time, and said together: Remember when we were babies and living in the leaning house with the green asbestos shingles and how we’d sit in the screened-in porch with the mesh loose in their frames and floating like thin sails, how we’d sit there away from the rain and after it stopped falling, the wet earth smell would rise to meet us and aren’t we a heart chakra, okay, a heart chakra composed of the warmth of the memories of the constant explosions that fueled the long-dead sun we once worshipped and whose rays are lighting our way forever?
Edmund lives in Chicago, IL. His work has appeared in lots of places online and in print. He’s most proud of being a 4 x Ho(bart).