I wander a library like a tumbleweed, looking for the stacks that start with 917.00.
Dewey Decimal System. Fiction.
High-pitched whispers emerge like smoke from the rows of books. “Take me. Take me. I haven’t been checked out since 1957.”
A refried-bean colored book beckons from the row of dust-jacketed, haughty classics, standing at attention. The book’s faded white letters stamped on the spine announced The $30,000 Bequest and other Stories, Twain. Mark Twain.
I had to find out. $30,000 would have been a hefty amount in 1872. I flipped through the pages, looking for the title story. Before I could find it, another title appeared: “Eve’s Diary.”
Lightning bolt! Twain was a master of the ‘what if’ neuromuscular miracle. It takes practice to conjure up diverse concepts; slap them together like a stack hand-rolled tortillas.
Eve. Diary. What if she had one? What would she write? A story!
“Saturday. – I am almost a whole day old, now. I arrived yesterday. That is as it seems to me. And it must be so, for if there was a day-before-yesterday I was not there when it happened, or I should remember it. It could be, or course, that it did happen, and that I was not noticing. Very well; I will be very watchful, now and if any day-before-yesterdays happen I will make a note of it. . . .
“Everything looks better to-day that it did yesterday. In the rush of finishing up yesterday, the mountains were left in a ragged condition with rubbish and remnant that the aspects were quite distressing. Noble and beautiful works of art should not be subjected to haste . . .”
Eve’s critique continues. “There are too many stars in some places and not enough in others, but that can be remedied presently, not doubt. The moon got loose last night . . . “
No detail escapes her curiosity. Her conundrum as she encounters “the other Experiment.” “Even though he lacks a vocabulary, Adam will eventually write on her grave: “Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.”
Get thee to the library. Check it out. Or, click here. It’s in the public domain.