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Certain Death

by

Leslie R. Lee


“Chou,” Emily murmured. Her eyes stared at the ocean through the dining room window of her home. “Do you ever wonder why we are alone?”

“Considering the traffic I had to fight to get here,” he groused, tossing his jacket over a chair. “Alone is not how I would describe us.”

“You know what I mean,” she said, smiling.

He came to stand beside her so that he too could look over the calm water. She’d said that it reminded her of the Pacific Ocean back on Old Earth. That’s why she’d chosen this place on this planet to live. It looked like California. He’d never been there so he had no idea. For him, this was just another ocean.

“We human beings are alone in the Universe,” he intoned, trying to sound as portentous as he could, “because we’re the only ones here.”

She chuckled. “Silly me. I should have realized. All these years that I have spent researching this one question, and you answer it immediately.”

Dark waves rolled up onto the beach creating a gentle surf. The beach was deserted now though the footsteps in the sand reminded them that families had played here just a few hours ago.

“If the Universe was a beach ball,” he said, “the amount that we’ve explored so far would be a mere pin prick. And some say that we’ve not paid enough attention to even our own galaxy. It’s hardly surprising that we haven’t found any intelligent life.”

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