Adam and Eve by David Sheskin

A thirty-six-year-old, seven-foot-two-inch magician named Adam pulls an angry, obese, buck-toothed, black-and-white spotted, one-eyed rabbit out of a gray velour hat at a birthday party for a five-year-old child attended by fourteen children. Before Adam can restrain the rabbit, it attacks and maims three of the children. The next day, two police officers arrest Adam, who is assigned a court-appointed lawyer that has him evaluated by a psychiatrist who diagnoses him with post-traumatic stress disorder, having discovered that, while cutting the cake at his seventh birthday party, Adam was stung more than two hundred times by a swarm of killer bees. After months of pretrial negotiations between the prosecution and defense, a judge allows Adam to plead guilty to three counts of reckless endangerment and sentences him to one hundred hours of community service, during which time he is assigned to teach magic to high-risk adolescents who are confined to a secure psychiatric facility.

On the first day of his community service, Adam becomes enamored of one of the patients, a diminutive (four-foot-two-inch, seventy-five pound) sixteen-year-old émigré from Kazakhstan named Eve who, one afternoon during a moment of intimacy, confides that, besides having a long history of setting fires and torturing animals for as long as she can remember, she has had a severe addiction to eating glass. On the last day of his community service, a hopelessly besotted Adam announces to an assembly of students and staff that he will demonstrate “The Vanishing Diminutive Girl Trick,” and, while asking for a volunteer, Eve raises her hand, after which she removes her Hello Kitty earrings and hijab and comes up onto the stage and positions herself upright in an ornate wooden coffin that Adam has hauled to the facility in a hearse he borrowed from the local funeral home.

Closing the coffin and sealing it shut with duct tape, Adam yells out, “Abracadabra,” followed by two flamboyant sweeps of the gaudy black cape he wears during all of his performances. After a tension-filled minute, he unseals and opens the coffin which, to the astonishment of everyone, is now empty. As the audience “oohs” and “aahs,” Adam executes a double backflip, while simultaneously sprinkling into the air some sort of magic dust that blurs everybody’s vision as well as causing them to sneeze uncontrollably, and as all this is going on Adam discreetly ducks out of the building where he is joined by Eve. For the next year and a half, the two of them are not seen anywhere until one afternoon a vacationing husband and wife podcasting team who are aficionados of unsolved mysteries sight the phantom couple canoodling on the observation deck of the Grand Canyon.

Within thirty minutes, the fugitive couple is surrounded by an assemblage of U.S. Park Police and Arizona state troopers, which impels Adam to lift his diminutive companion up off the ground onto his shoulders, after which he yells out, “Hocus pocus,” at which point the two of them begin to glow incandescently and slowly ascend upwards until they come to rest at least one hundred meters above the horseshoe-shaped deck of the canyon. For the better part of an hour, continuing to ignore repeated appeals to come back down to Earth, the shimmering couple levitate like some sort of superheated UFO, when all of a sudden one of the state troopers takes it upon himself to fire a fusillade of bullets up into the air, which has no effect except that Adam begins to chant in a deep and alien baritone voice some sort of gibberish so loud and unique in pitch that it triggers a 6.2 magnitude earthquake.

As pandemonium reigns below, Adam pulls out from under his cape, which by now is a fiery red, what appears to be the very same angry, obese, buck-toothed, black-and-white spotted, one-eyed rabbit whose outburst two years ago seemingly triggered this whole unfortunate chain of events. After a while, Adam, Eve and the by now also incandescent rabbit appear to collapse into some sort of fulgent, amorphous mass which starts to rotate at a high rate of speed, shooting off a profusion of sparks and debris, that suddenly rockets upwards into space until at some point it executes a semicircular turn and plunges down toward the bottom of the canyon where it explodes with an ear-splitting intensity that culminates in an eerily-colored, mushroom-shaped cloud that hovers above not only the Grand Canyon, but the entire Western United States for the better part of a year.

Eighteen months later, when it is finally deemed safe to descend to the bottom of the canyon, the only thing a search party of ten volunteers attired in hazmat suits can find is Adam’s gaudy black cape, Eve’s Hello Kitty earrings and a remarkably intact angry, obese, buck-toothed, black-and-white spotted, one-eyed rabbit who has to be subdued with five heavy duty cartridges from a tranquilizer gun.

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