In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth, and then He created a lanky boy who stuttered when he spoke and tripped over his own feet. He placed him in a desert town, where each morning the sun spilled thousands of colors over the dusty bare mountains and the shadows that grew from the empty houses made the city feel even more alone. But Adam didn’t know any better, for what was loneliness if he had never known another person?
He spent his days traversing the streets and exploring the houses and stores and markets. They were fully furnished, as though ten-thousand people had once occupied them. Each day he discovered something new: a journal, a sculpture, a jar of peanut butter.
He built his life in a house with a large yard at the edge of the city. It had become a storage unit for the items he found, most which he hadn’t any clue what purpose they served.
“¡Vámonos!” Adam repeated after the young girl with the pink shirt, big hair, and purple backpack as he sat with a fleece blanket wrapped around his shoulders, watching the children’s cartoon from a VHS. But as he poured through the tapes he had brought home, it was the black and white dancers of the romantic musicals that for the first time in his life, rendered him discontent.
And so, on that Saturday, Adam traveled to the other side of the city, where he had yet to explore. What if he wasn’t the only one out here? What if there was someone like him, dreaming of a life greater than what he was offered?
He found a food mart and by habit scanned its shelves, and suddenly, he froze. There, sitting on the shelf, the light of God shining upon it, was a can of blueberry pie filling. It was a treat he rarely found, yet relished in when he did. He seized the can, as though if he were too slow, it might disappear before his very eyes, but being the clumsy boy he was, it fell to the ground and the lid split open. Purple goo oozed from the cracked aluminum.
Frustrated with his own ungainly self, he bent to grab the can before his pie was completely ruined, but he stopped short. Something else had grabbed the can.
His eyes fixed on a creature before him. It stood on four legs, was covered in thick, curly white hair, and was surely five times the size of the raccoons he sometimes fed crumbs to on his house’s porch. Its brown eyes gazed at Adam with what seemed to be a playful gaze, though he couldn’t be sure. The creature’s fluffy tail wagged back and forth, and in its jaws rested his can of blueberry filling.
The creature’s mouth drooled around the can, and Adam, though he was certain he should feel fear when faced with a strange creature, felt irritation grow instead.
He held out his hand. Adam’s mouth watered as he painfully watched the pie filling bleed to the floor. He could taste those blueberries, and who knew when he would ever find another can again. He took a few uneasy steps forward.
The creature pounced towards him, startling Adam enough to fall backwards. His arm instantly covered his face to protect itself from the creature’s horrors, but long seconds passed without a sound heard or a weight felt. He peeked from behind his limb. There was the creature’s white face, staring at him, not inches away. Its floppy ears sat perked on its head like a rabbit’s as it pressed its black nose toward him and sniffed Adam’s face, leaving his cheeks wet.
The creature gently placed the can onto the ground and shouted at him, a brief, deep shout, like “Boof, boof.” Its tongue lolled from its jaw.
Adam eyed the can and ever-so-slowly reached for it, but the creature’s teeth locked on it again. It ran from Adam, out of the store and into the street.
Adam, filled with frustration, jumped to his feet and chased the creature. Each time he came close, it turned and darted ahead, though always it waited for him before getting too far. Sometimes it raced circles around him, its tail wagging hundreds of miles an hour, but never did it let him catch it.
The more the creature scampered in every which direction, the more desperate Adam was to retrieve his can of pie filling. It was turning into a game, a game where either the pie would be lost to this ridiculous creature, or Adam would succeed and enjoy his blueberry filling with the more worthy raccoons that evening. He wouldn’t lose.
He followed the creature into a neighborhood, until finally it disappeared beneath a tall white-picket fence surrounding a mansion. Adam growled and peeked through the hole the creature had slipped through. He couldn’t fit, and he couldn’t see the creature on the other side.
Finding a gate not far down the fence line, he entered the yard, but stopped short. It was not the brown, dusty world that he knew, but the ground was covered in bright green grass, vibrant trees, and bushes blooming with flowers like the sunrise and fruits so fresh he tasted them with his eyes. He gaped in awe, stepping into the garden as though it were heaven itself.
He spotted the creature lying in the shade of an apple tree. It wagged its tail when it saw him, but he spun suddenly when he heard from behind him a sharp gasp. He froze, stared, and witnessed something more magnificent than what he had ever seen before. It was more bewitching than the stars he counted each night or the lovers on his VCR. It shone brighter than the flowers that surrounded him now, more majestic than anything he had ever imagined. Her eyes were bright, her dark hair spun down her chest in curls, her cheeks rosy and full of life. In her arms she cradled a watering can and her feet were bare, tinged brown from the dirt of the Earth.
Attempting to recover from his infatuated stares, Adam croaked, and from his lessons, repeated “Buenos días.”
The girl chuckled, and he saw his story begin.
A. R. Lowery is a working screenwriter with multiple short films produced. She currently reside in Los Angeles, where she is developing a narrative-driven video game for an independent studio and writing her debut novel.