Offering Hand

Robert did not waste time debating. Once he heard the human voice he decided to open the door. The pizza seemed like a bonus. He turned the handle and pulled open the heavy metal door. A teenage girl with long silver hair stood outside his door. A teenage boy with short dark hair stood next to her; he held a pizza box with one hand and a large soda with the other.

“5k,” The girl smiled and held her palm out. Robert caught the meaty scent of the pizza and erupted into nervous laughter. He became very aware that he might have gone crazy. He shook his head while grinning and giggling. If he was insane he reasoned he could at least enjoy the absurdity of the situation.

“I didn’t order a pizza,” he said. Her smiling face soured and she turned to the boy.

“I told you it was the wrong place,” she said. He shrugged in return but his face softened. He gave her a sincere look.

“Fine, you’re right. It’s harder than I thought. Alright, let’s go back and find the right place. You open it this time,” he said.

“‘Kay. Gimme the card,” she held her hand out at the boy. Robert began to feel ignored. He wondered if it was normal for his own delusions to ignore him and began to consider they were real. He was about to interject but he saw a look of panic flash over the boy’s face. He looked behind himself then back to her.

“You always reclaim it…,” he said.

“I always reclaim it because I’m the one that always opens it,” she said sternly. “You open it, you close it,” she sighed. “I’ll get us a ride back.” The girl reached into her pocket and pulled out a small, transparent rectangle. It was as thin as a playing card; its surface became a display as she tapped away at it.

“Are you… real?” Robert asked during the lull in their conversation. The girl brought the glass card to her ear like a phone but pointed at Robert.

“Talk to him. He can have the pizza if he’s hungry,” she turned away and started talking to someone else. The boy shrugged and walked up to Robert.

“Hey, I’m Kirk. How’s it going?”

“Hi, Kirk. I’m Robert. I’m the last living thing on Earth and I’m probably going to die in a couple of weeks. At the most.” Kirk nodded casually.

“Bummer. Uh… want some pizza?” he offered the box up. Robert looked at the box, then at Kirk.

“Who are you kids? Where did you come from?” Kirk lifted the box slightly to draw attention to it.

“We’re here to deliver.” He pointed at the “M” logo made from three pizza slices, two upside-down with a third in the middle, on the box. “We came from Mundo’s Pizza.” Robert clenched his fists to keep his growing annoyance in check; he got the impression that the boy could not help how obtuse he was. Luckily the silver-haired girl joined them.

“Torque’s coming,” she said.

“From where!?” Robert asked her; he hoped she would be more helpful. She shrugged.

“Don’t know. I didn’t talk to her but the message will get passed along.” Robert took a deep breath to calm himself down.

“There is no one else alive on this Earth,” he said while looking directly into her eyes. “Where did you come from?” She smiled.

“A different Earth, duh,” she chirped.

“That’s what I told him,” Kirk added. A tall black hole opened behind Kirk.

“Move it!” A stern female voice shouted from the hole.

“Here, keep it,” Kirk started to push the pizza box at Robert while the girl started toward the black portal.

“Wait!” Robert said. “Are you guys just gonna leave me here?” The pair looked at each other and shrugged.

“Do you not want to be?” the girl asked. Kirk kept walking and disappeared into the portal. Robert shook his head.

“No, of course not. Who would?”

“People,” she shrugged. “Well if you don’t want to stay come on. We’ll put you somewhere else,” she said then turned to walk into the portal. Robert followed her carrying his pizza.

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