Desert. Night. On the stage, two armchairs and a round coffee table betwen two couches, a lamp and a bottle of Port sitting on it. A round goldfish bowl and some books on the table. An ashtray. Actors sitting on each armchair. Eve uses a match to light a cigarette. Adam holds a green bottle of wine and drinks from it then and again, as if he were hypnotized, staring at something besides himself. A soft yellow light is on them. One of the books is a thick book whose cover is protected by some old fabric that is a little torn and faded, The Book of Destiny, which has some blank pages. A fan hidden on the left side of the stage gently blows the pages of the open book on the floor.

Adam whispers, "The music stopped. It's all silent now." Pause. He whispers, "Can you hear anything?" 

Eve glances up. Negatively. "Hmm hmm."

Adam stops. He sits up, afraid of looking back. He is shocked. "Hey!" (He means, "Look!") 

"I can't hear anything," Eve says. 

"Neither do I," Adam confirms it. 

Brief pause. He takes a swig.
Adam starts playing a game. "Time is moving slow today!"
"More than slow... It's still," Eve says after a brief pause, understanding Adam's game. 

"More than still... Dead." 

"More than dead... Stillborn."

"More than that... Unborn," Adam smiles, amused. 

"More than that... Inconceivable."

"More... Not... even... dreamed of." 

Eve stops, looks at Adam out of the corner of her eye, and laughs mockingly, reproaching him.
"What?" Adam asks. "All you do is laugh at me! Do you think I'm talking out of my ass? You're so annoying!"

Eve was puffing a cigarette. "Good Lord! And you're crazy!" She holds her breath, then blows the smoke out, scoffing and mimicking Adam. "It's all silent now. The music stopped!"

"I'm serious, woman!" Pause. "Fuck! All you do is criticize me. Criticizing, criticizing..."

"You talk too much," Eve says calmly.

"Look who's talking. And you always keep quiet, right?"

"Why not? What's the use of talking when you can't tell the truth?"

"What truth?" Adam asks, turning towards her.

"He's said it all already!" she says, almost mumbling to herself.
"He's said it all? He's said it all? Who came up with that?"

"Dear, nothing is happening! Doesn't that speak volumes? God is dead, like that!" she snaps her fingers several times. "He's long dead."


"And that says it all. He's left nothing unsaid!" Eve says, calm as usual.

"What are you talking about now?" Adam asks, irritates as usual.

Eve curls her lips in disdain.

Pause. The two of them keep smoking. Eve goes up to The Book of Destiny and leafs through it aimlessly, without picking it up from the ground. She reads it serenely.

"The creation of the world is not over until God dies. Only God's death can make the universe perfect. From his skull comes the dome of the sky and, from his skin, the dirt that covers the fields; from his hair came all the forest. His breath became the wind; his voice, the thunder; his right eye became the moon and his left eye, the sun. From his saliva and sweat came the rain. From the worms that covered his body came..." she closed the book without looking at him. Then, she enunciated it slowly, as if she were revealing the ultimate truth: "Humankind."

Eve was smoking as she arched back and rested her weight on her stretched arm, supporting herself on the hand she had on the floor. She takes on a more natural tone. "If you like talking so much, you should tell me a story," she said, after a brief pause.

Adam doesn't look up and keeps his eyes on the ground. "I can't tell stories."

"You can't?!" Eve asks, a little amazed.

"I can't tell stories. What stories?"

He then starts to turn inside himself. "There's still no story. We'll start out the story. Wasn't that what He said? Didn't you hear what he said? Everything starts now, with us." He started reciting and taking woeful steps, like in a Mexican soap opera. "Everything is now. There's nothing after this. There is only this time. There is only what is."

Eve interrupts him with a disappointed puff, shifting her weight to the other side. "Not this story! Other stories, man! Don't you know other stories, only this one?"


"I know a joke," Adam says. "Wanna hear it?"
Eve smiles "Go ahead. Tell me the joke!" 

"Life!" Adam laughs wildly.

"Mmm... What?"

"Well, life's a joke!"

"I don't get it."

"There are many different things in this life..."

"Like what?"

"Like a woman you fall in love with... And the woman you get married to!" He laughs.

"Not funny."

"Even though they're the same person," Adam laughs.

"Hey!" she interrupts him. "Where are we going now, uh?"

Adam stops laughing.

Brief pause.

"There are two Gods above of us fighting for the control of our actions," Eve says, as if reflecting upon the greatest truth laid before her. "One is nodding positively... Destiny." She then finishes her cigarette and throws the butt on the ground. "The other is Chance."

Pause. Adam takes another swig of the wine and starts to smile. Mid-swig, he starts laughing―cracking up, actually.

"What?" Eve asks, her eyes wide open, starting to laugh herself.

Adam can't stop laughing. He tries to talk, but he can't.

"Geez! Show me a man who can laugh at himself, and I'll show you a free spirit." She then turns to Adam, a little irritated. "We gotta figure out what we'll do, Adam. Now that we've been sent away from there." Pause. "Where are we going now?"

"I don't know where we're going!" Adam laughed, but this time he pretended to be enthused. "Our footsteps will show us the way, won't they?" he said, ironically. And he kept on laughing.

"What are you laughing at, man?"

He laughs even louder. "It's just..." he tries to recompose himself. "There's nothing left for us to do but laugh..." Then he laughs again.

"Whaaa?" Eve seems to start to laugh as well.

"Laugh, woman! There's only laughter now!"

"But, laughing at what?"

"At nothing. Laughing for laughing's sake." He pokes her. "Go ahead, laugh! You see? Laughing is contagious!"

They laugh quite a lot for a while.

"Geez!" Eve calms down. "Desperation comes in different ways. Laughing is the biggest one of them!"

Adam gets serious. "Do you think He would welcome us after all this crap?"

"He who?"

"He, who else? Have you ever seen him?"

"They say you go mad if you do," she answers. "Is it true?"

"They say, right? That's what they say. We could only hear His voice!"

"A delayed voice," Eve corrected him. "We actually heard ourselves!"

Adam lets Eve's sentence repeat itself three times in an echo. "Not even that now," he says, desolated.

"Not eve that now," Eve agrees.

Adam takes a swig. "Eve, want some?" They get up and walk for a while.

Adam gets a little desperate. "This silence is deafening." He wanders around the stage. "It seems that silence keeps saying, 'Go ahead, say something, do something!'"

Eve looks at him, misunderstanding what he said, and curls up her lip in disdain. "But, what else is there for us to do? What else could we say?"

"We could restart, I guess," Adam says.

"You said 'restart.' Don't you mean 'start out?'"

"Restart, start out. Same thing! Continuing, continuing. Nothing more..."

Eve laughs mockingly, as if Adam were crazy. "Continuing what?"


"Life is inevitable, darling. It comes on its own." Now she's the one who starts acting like something out of a Mexican soap opera. "It's a force that comes, that is, that appears and goes. It drags us far away, outside, beyond. 'Let's go!' the force growls and repeats it. 'Let's go!' And we must go."

"I've been here before. I know this place," Adam says, looking out, walking around, astonished.
Eve shakes her head, reprovingly.

"I'm serious!"

"We'll rot in here, it seems!"

Adam stops and looks at Eve. "We'll rot anyway, woman!"

Eve touches her own face, as if she wanted to confirm that she was still young and afraid to grow old. 

"Do you think I'm pretty?"

Adam was walking away. When she asks the question, he stops, looks at her, then he keeps walking.

"Intimacy waters down all beauty, Eva!" he says in all seriousness. "So," he changes the subject and his tone of voice. "Where are we going?"

"How am I supposed to know? The moon!" she replies, a little exasperated.

"We've been there before. There's nothing there! The moon is inhabited by useless flags. That's all there is there!"

"What if we kissed?" Eve suggests, a little less enthusiastically.

"We've done it before, Eve! Don't you remember? Last time..." he says, a little repulsed. "Mmm... I don't know. A kiss and it's the beginning of the universe."

"Wanna dance?" she asks after a brief pause, almost unwillingly.

"For the love of God, there's no music! The music stopped. There's only silence now."

"You're so annoying!" she gets irritated. "Goddammit! How am I supposed to put up with this guy for all eternity?"

"No song lasts forever, my darling! We're mortals, remember, Eve? Eternity is an invention of those who are content."

"Thanks to us!"

"Thanks to us!" Adam repeats it, infuriated. "Thanks to us there's only silence now! The music stopped. Can't you hear it?"


"Well... You can't hear it because it's over!" he says, disillusioned.

"How do you know?"

"Know what?"

"Well, that it's over!"

"Geez! You just have to listen!"

"And when did you hear anything else besides His voice?" Pause. "What if the music hasn't even started yet?"

"No!" Adam replied in disbelief. "No way!"

Eve made a reproving grimace. "Why not?" she said, after some time. "Are you gonna tell me that's not possible? Maybe we've spent our entire lives in fear and we haven't even noticed whether there was really any music playing. What if nothing has been said at all? What if the music hasn't even started yet?" Then she sounds alarmed: "Wow!"

"What? What?" Adam asked.

"It's the end..."

"The end of what?"

"I can hear the future coming. Can't you?"

Adam tries to enhance his listening abilities.

"Listen to it."

"I can't hear anything," Adam says.

"Neither can I!" She then changes her tone. "So, where are we going?"

"We have two options: We can stay together, live together." He makes some obscene gestures. "Multiply ourselves. That's how Humankind starts."

Eve interrupts him. "We already know where that's gonna lead us, Adam! We're well aware of that!"

"You're always against my plans! And, no, I'm not aware of anything. Where will it lead us?"

Eve points her chin at the audience. Adam walks to the edge of the stage and stares. He looks from one side to the other. He steps down, walks through the audience and makes some small talk with people. He greets them. He says something nice about one shirt or another. He says something nice about a tie. He says something nice about a woman with so much makeup she looks like a bimbo. He says something nice about someone's toupe, then he wakes someone who had fallen asleep, etc.

"You're right," he says, returning to the stage. "It's not gonna be good at all!"

"Now what?" Eve agrees in resignation.

"There's always a second option."

"What's the second option?"

"We'll all go to hell!"

A carnival theme song starts to play. The actors come down from the stage and invite people to dance. Music, confetti, drums, paper serpentine, etc. After some time, the actors go back to the stage and the song fades out. They both sit down.

"Well, well... What now?"

"Nothing. We just wait."

Long pause. A sound collage starts to play the intro of Arnaldo Antunes' "O pulso." The music stops.

"The music stopped," Eve whispers. "There's only silence now," she whispers again. "Can you hear anything?"

Adam glances up. Negatively. "Hmm hmm."

Eve stops. She sits up, afraid of looking back. She is shocked. "Hey!" (She means, "Look!") 

"I can't hear anything," Adam says. 

"Neither do I," Eve confirms it. 

Brief pause. She takes a swig.
Adam starts playing a game. "Time is moving slow today!"
"More than slow... It's still," Eve says after a brief pause, understanding Adam's game. 

"More than still... Dead." 

"More than dead... Stillborn."

"More than that... Unborn," Adam smiles, amused. 

"More than that... Inconceivable."

"More... Not... even... dreamed of." 

LEO MACKELLENE was born in 1980 in Fortaleza, State of Ceará and is a musician and a college professor.

He is the author of O livro das sombras [The Book of Shadows] and O livro dos mais pequenos silêncios [The Book of the Smallest Silences] (2006) and has contributed his short stories to the Caos portátil [Portable Chaos] almanac and Encontros e desencontros [Encounters and Missed Encounters] anthology, among other publications.

Leo is the editor-in-chief of the scientific magazines, books, and academic manuals published by Luciano Feijão University in Sobral, Ceará.

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