Convinced there is no evidence to prove her existence, Louise used the time it took her to walk from her house to a local coffee shop attempting to solve this problem. Louise stopped strangers on the street and asked them if they could prove that she, and all the world around them existed. The unsuspecting people found themselves ambushed, then questioned. Some stood before Louise awkward and bewildered, while some were amused, thinking this is a hidden camera moment. Others were intrigued.
Louise sat anxiously, sipping her coffee, three creams, two sugars, reeling under the crushing anxiety of her non-existence. At the table next to her sat a gentleman with a hardened, yet robustly tanned face. He was reading a book that he was convinced contained within it all the answers to the mysteries of the universe.
He was studying all the begetting while Louise was staring at him, wondering if the shepherd with a gym teacher's haircut could prove existence. Louise didn't even realize that the man had looked up and had taken to watching her, watch him. The two locked eyes and smiled at one another like a small town hello. A bond was formed easy and instantly, and the overwhelming warmth that filled Louise's insides lead her to believe that her existence might indeed be something tangible.
Their friendship blossomed to the point where neither thought life would be possible without the other. In a few short weeks Luke the Astronaut and sweet Louise found themselves deeply in love. It was something Luke hadn't felt in thirty-sevens years, not since he met his first wife, the mother of his children. He's had three others since her, all attempts to capture that sense of stability, but his vanity always interfered, and he ended up with arm candy half his age. But in Louise he's certain he's met the girl that satisfies both needs. And in Luke, Louise has found someone she's certain understands her. All was well, butterflies in the stomach and all, between Louise and Luke until her boyfriend, the famous pirate Phoenix, returned from sea.
Phoenix Sixfinger, named so because he has six fingers on each hand, adored Louise. But his adoration contained within it a possessiveness. In the time Louise had been with Phoenix, she had thought nothing of it until Luke points it out to her, then explained that because of it, she and Luke may not be able to see each other anymore.
Just as Phoenix had always done when he returned from sea, he presented Louise with a strange gift. After this last voyage he gave her a talking rooster named Arnie. Phoenix felt Arnie would be a perfect gift and that he would keep her company while he was at sea. Phoenix knew nothing of the new relationship that had blossomed between Luke and Louise.
Arnie was a wise rooster and a world traveler, who once had been the mayor of a ghost town turned tourist destination in Arizona. When Louise was able to get away and meet up with Luke she brought Arnie along who kept the two of them enraptured with his stories. Louise had never seemed happier and this in turn made Phoenix happy. This period of joy soon ended one afternoon after Arnie finished telling Louise and Luke a story.
“I think what he's trying to tell you is that you should leave Phoenix and run away with me.” Luke informs Louise.
“Are you sure? That's not at all what I thought the story meant.” Louise's voice trembled with uncertainty and confusion. She isn't sure what to think. Why would Luke lie to me?I don't know a lot about roosters or their stories . . . maybe he's right.
Anna looked into the eyes of the man who'd convinced her of reality and existence and said, “Yes, maybe you're right. We should pack up our things and leave tonight.”