Last Answer

- By BlueMage

The place was hidden, but we found it. Deep underground, in a tunnel that had taken us almost four years to dig. Here it was. Coughing, with a hoarse voice unused for almost a dozen centuries, it looked at us. "What are you here for?"

Most of us smiled, but Peter's little girl, Susanne, seemed scarred as she gasped. Jack was the first to speak. "We are here for answers," he stated in a cool voice; "Please, tell us, almighty."

It seemed to sigh. "Even here at the end, people still seek me for that one thing. Well, then, what do you want to know?"

None of us had really thought about this. We'd just started digging for the pure joy of getting the answers. Not really any answers in particular.

Peter stepped forward. "Please, tell me if the one I love also…" he hesitated. "Please, tell me if the ones we love also loves us," he said, letting the rest of us know to let our questions include him if possible.

"Love is a hard verb, but, yes, I understand your question. Peter, your daughter adores you, but her mother doesn't love you even though you love her. Jack, I'm not going to talk about you since you don't love anybody. Bob," it said, addressing the man in the back who had a few more pound stuck on his stomach than the rest of us; "Unfortunately, chocolate is incapable of feeling anything. Susanne, your cat loves you, and Gordon, she still loves you, but it's not going to last."

All of us nodded, though some, especially Gordon, was a bit shocked by the answer. Peter stepped back. Having used his question, he wasn't allowed to ask any more.

Susanne raised her hand, as if to let it know that she was ready to ask her question. "Can I ask now?" she said, in an impatient voice.

"Go ahead, my child."

"Will I… No, will we…" she stopped before having finished the sentence, and ran up to it, starting to whisper something to it.

It chuckled a little. "No, that's perfectly normal for a girl. Well, actually it normally doesn't appear until the girl turns twelve, but, no, it's not going to kill you. And as for the rest of you, it's not going to happen to you."

Susanne seemed relieved to hear this.

Now, Bob stepped forward. "Who are you?"

"My name is Voelven. I used to tell prophecies, but after my dead, I got trapped in here, waiting to experience one of my greatest prophecies," it looked at its watch. "The worm should be dying now."

Bob seemed a bit dissatisfied with the answer, but he didn't complain. At least not out loud, anyway.

"What's the way to complete happiness?" Gordon asked.

"The ways to happiness are not the same for every person. For some, the sun will be enough to make them whistle, while the mere sight of money can satisfy others. There are no answers. Sorry."

Gordon shrugged, looking as if this answer satisfied him more than anything else.

Now, it was Jack's turn. He'd already told us what he would ask, so he turned around to face us first. "How many of you wants included in this one?"

We all said that we wanted to. Even Susanne wanted to, though Peter offered her a candybar for saying no.

Jack asked his question. "When will we die?"

It took off the watch and handed it to us. The watch had more than a hundred digits, but only three of them showed something else than zeroes. "Six minutes," it said, as if not knowing if we could see that on the watch or not.

Everybody but Jack started crying after a while, and Peter hugged the stunned Susanne, as hard as he could.

"Ej om eder skulle have forelagt eders frage hvis eder ej sandheden kunne taale," it mumbled, sighing.

Suddenly, a man wearing a long, black coat entered. "Give them another question, Voelvie."

It nodded. "You have a last question."

Jack was the only one of us, who seemed able to speak. "How will it happen?"

"A explosion caused by the shattering of the one true element will cause fire to roll as a dark wind across the planet. No life will be sparred, and when having engulfed the planet, no life will ever breath again. For millions of years, nothing but demons will be there to feast on your bodies, but even they shall die, being left to rot in a world so radioactive that no life will ever appear on it."

Jack nodded and picked up the watch that Peter had dropped on the floor. Twenty seconds left. Suddenly he found himself smiling.

"What's so funny?" Bob asked.

"Don't you see? We didn't come here searching for answers, did we? None of us had really considered what questions we would ask. We came here because life seemed pointless, and we needed to know that we had some sort of reason to live. Face it, if we hadn't decided to start digging, we would have killed ourselves. Okay, Peter wouldn't, but he would never be happy. Now, knowing that we will die in," he looked at the watch. "Ten seconds, we still cry. Ironic isn't it?" "Maybe life really is just irony?" Gordon, who had stopped crying just like the rest of us, asked.

We all smiled as the world turned white. Susanne kissed her doll.

Far away, in a place that was right next to us, the two persons sat, watching the scenery. One, who created the world, seemed dissatisfied with the dying planet, but the one he had thrown out smiled.

"It seems that I win."

"Yes," the creator mumbled. "I really expected more of these."

"Hey, you threw them out of your garden just like you threw me out of your house. Who did you expect them to listen to?"

"I never threw them out," he said; "This planet was their garden."

The outcast shrugged. "Anyway, I won, and you know what that means."

The creator nodded and handed him five bucks.

Then they left.