Of Beer and Armageddon

October 3, 2008
By Sara Roncero-Menendez, Stony Brook, NY

The bar is bathed in orange neon light, every darkened drink suddenly looking warmer by comparison. Mahogany wood glistening from recent beer stains and sweat. Although it is late, the bar still has a few customers sitting at the bar.
One man is in a black business suit with a red tie while the man next to him is in a copy of the suit, only in white, with a clear blue tie. Both men have a beer in front of them, sipping it causally. They knew each other’s name well; Lucius and Gabe.
“It’s a real shame, isn’t it?” Lucius asks, glancing at his counterpart.
“I suppose so,” the retort came from an unsympathetic companion.
“Will you miss it?”
A shrug. “Probably not. He’ll just make a new one anyway. They all look the same to me, honestly.”
“Huh…never thought you’d be the one to say that.”
“You’re the ones who are supposed to be all ‘Love and Peace’ and all that other crap you spew.”
“I think you’d be more upset about all the opportunities lost.”
Lucius gives a laugh, sweeping his hand to the rest of the bar. “Does it look like I’m the one who has the lost opportunities?”
“Yeah, you have a point. People theses days are far too materialistic for the original plan.”
“How many original plans HAVE you guys made?”
“After the end of this one?” Gabe ponders for a moment, “I’d say twelve, fourteen at the most.”
“It must be good be the with the head honchos, deciding those kinds of things.”
A snort. “You had your chance, you know.”
“Yeah, yeah, preacher to the choir, and whatever. But it’s so much fun to be the underdog.,” Lucius said with a smirk.
“I thought you said before that you were winning.”
“We’re both. Underdogs can win. Haven’t you ever seen Rocky?”
“But doesn’t Rocky lose?”
“Not in the second one.”
“But it took him a whole movie to win.”
“So? We got there eventually, right? Maybe it’s a pattern, you know? One year your team and then one year mine.”
“So next time, it’s mine?”
“Well, I guess…at least for the first half.”
“He’s so sure he’s getting closer, you know? Not that you guys make it easy…eventually, they always turn to you.”
“Now, now, don’t exclude the faithful. Your quiet, meek followers, always in line.”
“But their numbers dwindle all the time…they die or they start watching TV.”
Laughter. “Ah yes…TV. Where we would be without it?”
And there is a silence.
“You know what I will miss?”
“Beer? Seriously?”
“What?” Gabe snorted.
“I wouldn’t picture you as a drinker.”
“I’m not, but there’s really nothing like it and might never be anything like it ever again.”
“I thought it wasn’t proper for someone in your position to enjoy those kinds of frivolities.”
“Pfft, position. Position is a job at the Post Office; part of the government, but basically next to nothing when it comes to existence. As far as the Boss is concerned, it’s him and his little pet project. We’re just there to serve. And there’s nothing in the rules about beer.”
“You would like it so much better at the bottom.”
“Maybe it’s fatigue, I’ve been doing this job for so damn long. I feel worse for Pete, sitting on his a** all day, signing people in.”
“That’s true…wouldn’t want to be stuck watching that til the end of time.”
Another sip, another crappy Shania Twain song.
“How’s he going to do it?”
“Nuclear warfare. Russia gets pissed at America, America thinks it’s France, France thinks it’s India, etc. And before you know it, plan number fifteen for the new world of existence is put into play.”
“Huh…he’s getting creative.”
“I guess, but they kind of brought it on themselves.”
“Funny how that works.”
“Give them free will, and intelligence, and what do they do? They build weapons.”
“Is he leaving that out of the next batch?”
“Well, we all put in our suggestions. I told him ‘Forget the intelligence, give them more common sense’ but does he listen? He wants to make them more peace loving, and suppress psychosis.”
“He does know we’ll just let the crazies out, right? We always do.”
“Some how, I think he finds it more interesting that way.”
“When does it start?”
Gabe looking to a drunk, the watch on his wrist gleaming. “It’s 11:48 pm….well, Russia should be sending the first bomb in about…fifteen minutes.”
“Battle stations then!” Lucius says with a smirk. He pats Gabe on the back, “It was fun, man, we need to do this again real soon.”
Gabe nods and then sighs, “I really am going to miss the beer.”
“Well, use some divine intervention to make some in the new world,” Lucius suggested before disappearing with an elegant sweep of his hand.
Gabe was left to glance around at the drunks, hookers, and drug addicts. With a snort, he grumbled, “Stupid little ants. Why couldn’t you just behave?” And he was gone too.
Half an hour later, the new universe began, without a second thought.

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