Batman and Barbie

Today my guard chickens alerted me to a possible intruder. Upon investigating the alarm, I found a strange cat in the fenced back yard. Hunting my chickens. They were none too pleased about this situation. The cat wasn’t terribly large, but he was one of those vicious looking felines you just know would eat your eyeballs if given half the chance. I tried the “Here, kitty, kitty” crap on him, and he didn’t even blink. Just sat there staring at me with his tail twitching like, “COME AT ME, BRO.” This cat would weather the apocalypse just fine. But us? Doubtful. Humans are pretty good at adapting, but we’ve got nothing on cats. Cats would feast on the rodents feasting on our dead bodies, and their population would boom. They’d probably also take over skyscrapers and glory in the knowledge that their status as the ultimate predator had been achieved. Think I’m kidding? Watch Aftermath: Population Zero. Adam and Eva, on the other hand, not being Crazy Russian Hackers, are still busy trying to figure out how to open cans without can openers.

INTERIOR. NIGHT.
ADAM brings the unconscious EVA to his home, a rusted train car overgrown with poison ivy and wisteria. The ivy serves as a deterrent to the countless starved souls still left behind by the plague. The wisteria serves as a visual indicator that this is a romance. Duh. The interior is cramped, one wall of the car devoted to several boxes, a lawn chair with a frayed woven plastic seat, and a card table upon which sits a half-melted three-wick candle. The other side is dedicated to a Red Cross cot, its mattress appropriately ragged, its stuffing protruding in all the expected places. In one corner sit several action figures arranged in suggestive poses, including but not limited to Batman, Superman, and a Barbie I Can Be Teacher doll. ADAM places EVA on the cot, lights the candle with his last match, then places a dusty plastic flower into a degraded water bottle nearby. EVA wakes just as ADAM scurries over to kick the action figures under the bed. She withdraws a jagged steak knife from her boot and waves it in ADAM’s direction.

EVA
If you think I’m playing Barbies with you, you’d better think again.

ADAM blushes in the gloom.

ADAM
I didn’t…I mean, they just…they just landed that way.

EVA
Barbie was spanking Batman.

ADAM
Pure coincidence.

EVA regards him through squinted eyes, the knife still in her grasp.

EVA
Show me the stew.

ADAM
Um…okay. Yeah. The stew. Let me just, uh…it’s right over…

ADAM crosses to a cardboard box and begins rummaging through it, trying to shield its contents from EVA’s view. Suspicious, EVA leans over.

EVA
There’s no stew, is there?

ADAM
There’s stew! I just have to…it’s hidden.

EVA, still suspicious, creeps over.

EVA
Is that a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

ADAM
No, it’s just something I found.

EVA
And that Cabbage Patch doll?

ADAM
It’s camouflage, okay? Who would look for stew under a Cabbage Patch doll? Those things are creepy as hell.

EVA
What was Barbie camouflaging?

ADAM
Batman’s an asshole, okay? He totally deserved that spanking.

ADAM returns to his box, unpacking a tattered stuffed Chewbacca and a battered See ‘N Say. EVA tilts her head and backs away, moving slowly towards the door. She has nearly escaped when ADAM turns quickly toward her, his arm lifted triumphantly over his head.

ADAM
Stew.

EVA, clearly surprised, lowers her knife and stops her retreat. She steps forward, touching the can with reverence.

EVA
I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my life.

The two share a quiet, sacred moment with the can, and when EVA lifts her eyes to meet ADAM’s penetrating gaze, she feels a stirring in the very depths of her soul. Or perhaps that’s starvation.

EVA
Where’s your can opener?

ADAM swallows hard and grips the can tightly in both palms, then sits down heavily in the lawn chair. A few of its plastic fibers rip in the silence.

ADAM
Um…well, you see, what had happened was…”

EVA
You don’t have a can opener?

ADAM
Why else would I still have the stew after eight years?

EVA stares at him with a mixture of irritation and appreciation. It takes a special person to keep a can of stew that long and not go stark raving mad. She steps forward, and in a moment clearly intended to elicit emotion from the audience, she hands ADAM the knife.

EVA
If you start now, we might have it open by morning.

ADAM smiles and pulls up a box for EVA to sit next to him, then begins hammering at the can with the knife. She watches him intently for a long while before speaking again.

EVA
Batman really is an asshole.

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