Two people walk on opposing sides of a plain, alone. There’s two men, or two women, or two not quite either. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that they’re on a plain, alone. There aren’t a whole lot of humans quite yet- it’s still a pretty new development on the global scale, so there’s not a lot for them to do but walk. And look at each other.
Distantly, smoke signals seem to indicate that SOMEHOW, SOMEWHERE, there’s other people, but again, humans are a recent event, so they’re not quite sure. They know people and were a part of a bigger people at some point, but then some shit happened, and now they’re exiles or lost or whatever the hell. It doesn’t really matter why, they’re just alone. It can happen to anybody.
But they’re walking on this valley, right, and they’re- well, they’re not parallel, exactly, so I guess they’d have to be perpendicular, but again, that’s beside the point.
They’re walking and eventually they bump into each other. It’s a great big event- “You’re a person?” “Yeah, I’ve been described as a person before.” “That’s crazy, I’m a person too!” “Holy shit!” (Obviously this conversation isn’t in English, that would be absurd, I’m just translating.)
So they bump into each other, and they’re talking, and it’s fantastic. Spectacular, even. And they do what you would expect them to do. You put two people together and hands wander and fumble and mouth touches mouth and then other bits, the whole nine yards. Eventually, they’re a pair, or whatever passes for a pair, because there wasn’t quite yet traditional monogamy on a global scale, but they pair bond, because that’s mammals second-favorite thing to do, next to produce milk.
And now the two, distinct people are the Two People. And this is just revolutionary- you go from a solo to a duo, nobody knows what the fuck to expect. How do you split food? Who builds the tent? Who has to live with the other’s nomadic tribe? When there are caveman dinner parties, do people have to invite the other if they invite one? Or is it implied that inviting one means it goes to the same guy? “There’s a really shocking amount of etiquette involved in ripping mammoth meat or whatever the fuck we eat off of a bone with some of our closest friends,” one of them- we’ll call this one Mike- says.
But the two of them keep walking, because holy hell, that’s what they DO, and nobody had really made Uno yet, so they didn’t have anything better to do other than walk around and fuck and talk about the birds they saw like it was Better Call Saul. “Oh, have you seen the blue bird?” “Yeah, I loved blue bird in that one late afternoon fight with the crow.”
But they’re walking and eventually they find something called an elephant graveyard, which is where elephants MAYBE go to die, the science isn’t awesome on this one yet now, so nobody knew what the fuck was happening in caveman times. And it starts raining, and now these two cavemen- Mark and the other one, who we’ll call Wallace, because that “alla” sounds really good to say out loud. You can go on and say Wallace, I won’t laugh. It’s good to say. So Mark and Wallace sit down under one of these elephant skeletons, because if you catch the cold in caveman times your ass is grass. And they’re sitting here in these bones, and they’re not getting shit.
And Wallace, who was never really the bright one of the bunch, pulls a little obsidian knife on Mark. Mark is understandable perturbed by this, but, well, it’s Wallace, and he had the same idea anyway, but Wallace got to it first. So Wallace starts skinning Mark, and he’s quite good at it, because he’s a caveman, and they loved skinning shit. And he skins Mark just a little, and Mark skins him just a little back, and now they’ve got all this gross exposed flesh under this gross little hut made of skin and elephant bone.
And it hits the both of them like a mammoth. I’d say truck, but they didn’t quite have those back then, so it hits like a mammoth. And they realize that the reason they were skinning each other is because they were doing more than having sex, or whatever weird caveman word they had for it, and they were more than just leaning on each other and hypothesizing about dinner parties.
For whatever reason, Mark and Wallace weren’t a part of the community they were born in, which is a little bit of a death sentence. And somewhere along the line, they both saw that, and they could pretend for a while, but when the going got really tough, they needed a family, but all they had was each other.
So they skinned each other, and they hid under this little skin hut, which is still SO gross, but they’re hiding here together. And now they’re sitting in this little gross body horror cottage, and they’re trying to decide if this was worth it, or if they’re just gonna die. And something needs to change, definitely, but one way or another, they need each other to be the foundation of something new for both of them, or they both die.
So Mark and Wallace are just waiting, now, for whatever pre-organized religion animistic spirit they ritually honor knows why, and hoping for all that flesh and bone and viscera to seep into that soil and grow into a neat little tree that they can sleep under when the rain gets too hard. It’s just a waiting game, now, to see if that tree that’s just now starting to grow is going to grow before they kick the bucket from all the blood loss.
“Well,” Mark says. “This is alright. I like being close to you.”
“Yeah,” Wallace agrees. “I like being close to you too. And as shitty as this is-
this gets a little nod from Mark. “As shitty as this is, it could be worse.”
“Yeah?” Mark inquires. “How’s that?”
“At least you never had to talk to my father.”