Jeff and Suni survived an unearthly global attack and have finally arrived at their safe place. Or have they?
By some miracle, they drove to the shopping mall unnoticed. They circled down to the bottom level of the underground parking garage though anywhere below ground was considered safe.
When the car came to a stop, they sat there for a moment before jumping out to hug and kiss one another. They had survived! The last two weeks had decimated the global population, but the Catholic Church’s discovery of safety underground gave the remaining survivors reason to feel hope.
“You’re amazing, Jeff,” she said, one hand tangled in his hair.
“You are, Suni.”
A slight squeak made them jump. Suni pointed toward the top of a nearby pillar.
When they had taken the risk to stop by their home, they made the most of it. Besides food, water, and clothes, they grabbed blankets, books, and a small grill with a large bag of charcoal. Bit by bit, they arranged their things, making a temporary home in a corner of the massive garage.
With the work complete, Jeff and Suni lay back in their new bed, an arrangement of blankets and pillows in the back of the car, the back seats pushed down to stretch out. It was the first moment in weeks they had had to be still and feel safe. The silence of the moment clouded around them.
“We should move the car.” She pointed out to the wall about 20 feet away. A security camera pointed at them. “It feels like we’re being watched.”
“No one is manning them,” Jeff said, stifling a yawn. “I’d be surprised if they even recorded.”
Jeff kissed her forehead and got out of the car, walking a few steps toward the camera, then took a bow.
“Greetings!” He raised his voice, as if addressing an audience. “This is our current humble abode, and this is my lovely wife.” Jeff turned back and waved at Suni. “Smile for the camera, honey!”
“Hello, friends!” Suni said, laughing.
“Here’s the kitchen!” He pointed to the grill. “And just look at the open concept everything else!”
“But where do you think the magic happens?” Suni said.
“The old ball and chain tugs, my friends,” he said as he turned back to climb into the trunk of the car.
“I’ll turn the car around later,” he said. “For now, let’s celebrate.”
“Humanity is under attack,” Suni said, all laughter gone from her voice. “We have no home, it’s possible we won’t survive more than a month, and that’s being liberal. Dozens of people died around us, in front of us.” There was exhaustion in her face despite the strength in her voice. “What is there to celebrate?”
“We made it this far, didn’t we?” Jeff said. They looked into each other’s eyes, continuing their conversation silently, the way they had done for years. He climbed toward the front of the car. “After you hesitated on bringing the grill, I didn’t think I’d mention I grabbed one other ‘non-essential.’”
Suni gave him a look as he turned back around, producing a bottle of Charles Heidsieck Reserve Rosé and a single champagne flute.
“There has got to be a reason we made it this far — ” Jeff began, but Suni cut him off.
“You can’t honestly believe in a greater purpose after all of this, can you? Those things out there were supposed to be the harbingers of peace, and all they brought is pain.”
“I don’t know what I think about religion anymore,” Jeff said. “But I do know we survived. We are survivors. We’ll keep on surviving. I can quote Destiny’s Child any minute now.”
Suni breathed a small laugh and shook her head. She reached up to kiss him and sat up to give him room to open the bottle. It popped, and they caught as much of the fizz as they could with the flute. The rest dripped unceremoniously into red Solo cups they had stashed nearby.
“In case we don’t make it two more months,” Jeff said, lifting the flute to toast. “Happy anniversary, Suni. I wouldn’t have made it this long without you.”
She smiled, and they kissed again, then he took a sip of the champagne. She watched him and waited for his reaction. He swirled it around his mouth for a moment, then swallowed. He coughed and sputtered a little.
“Has a nice kick, doesn’t it?” A voice rang out around them.
Suni and Jeff looked around them in fear. The swiveling camera turned to them with purpose.
“You’ve been some slippery ones,” I said, relishing the fear on their faces, one draining of color faster than the other. “But you underestimated us. You always underestimate things you don’t understand. You have for centuries.”
Suni opened her mouth to speak, but stopped as Jeff slumped down next to her. She rushed to pull him up, to pull him into her lap and assess what had happened.
“Turns out,” I continued, adjusting my wings for comfort as I watched from the stuffy security room. “Holy Water is nothing like the muttered-over liquid you have been slapping yourselves with. The real kind will purge your sins like the strongest scourge. Looks like Husband Dear wasn’t so perfect after all.”
“How did you — ”
“Of course you would go home,” I said. “And of course you — one of you — would decide to be sentimental and celebratory. Typical, typical.”
Suni became still then looked up at the camera. She didn’t say a word, but she grabbed a Solo cup and gripped it tight. These moments of defiance were always sweet. She lifted the glass up, mimicking the toast from earlier and took a gulp, every inch of her trembling.
“Suicide is a sin,” I said as the glass fell.
Devin Overman is a screenwriter, author, and freelance writer. Her first screenplay, Immaculate, advanced at the Austin Film Festival in 2015, where she went on to consult in 2016 and 2017. Her newest project, Falling Into the Sound (Korean title: 음에 천천히 떨어지다), has been optioned by Little Studio Films in association with Nite Lite Pictures. She’s been interviewed and quoted by MTV on the cross-over between music and literature.