People died all the time and for most of them, the first thing they wanted to do was speak God.
I couldn’t tell you how long I had been waiting. The line was very long so I know it was a long time. Things didn’t change much here. Day and night didn’t follow one another the way the did on Earth, not that we could have seen it anyway. The waiting room had no windows. It had great furniture, though, very modern, very minimalist, very gray. I am guessing it had been at least a few years.
“Danny Hamilton, God will see you now.”
I was startled by the sound of my name. I hadn’t heard it in a while. I walked to the desk and she motioned me back. There were glass front doors all along the hallway and I walked back worrying I wouldn’t know the right door to enter. Turns out I had no reason to worry, I knew the door when I saw it. His name right on the front, GOD. I knocked.
“Come in, come in!” God’s voice wasn’t as impressive as I’d imagined it would be. He sounded energetic but not entirely positive. I hesitated at the door wondering if I was in the right place.
“I said come in Danny! I have many people to see and no time to waste. Come in!”
I took a deep breath and readied myself to meet my maker. I opened the door slowly, my palms were sweating I was so nervous. A large desk came into view and then, a pair of Chuck Taylor’s propped up on the desk. I pushed this door faster, skinny jeans, a too tight shirt, oh my God, I couldn’t be in the right place. I don’t know what I expected exactly but I do know that what I saw was not it. God was one of those twenty-something start-up hipster douches.
His baby face was smooth, not clean-shaven, just smooth. I don’t think he could’ve grown a beard if he’d wanted to. His black, thick rimmed glasses looked plain but I assumed they were expensive. I wondered why God would need glasses and then realized they were fake, obviously.
“So, I assume you have questions for me. Go ahead.”
“Who are you?” That wasn’t what I came to ask but I guess it was the most obvious question given who I was looking at.
“Of course. I am that I am, just as you are that you are. I am the alpha and omega. I am love and light.” He didn’t even look at me when he said this. He was scrolling what looked like a tablet but was clearly a few generations past what I had last seen on Earth.
I was shocked. “What kind of answer is that? I thought you were a busy man? Don’t give me that crap.” I already assumed he was arrogant and full of himself, the way I assumed all twenty-something start-up hipsters douches were.
“Haha! Yes, one of the smart ones! Yes, we don’t have time to dilly-dally but there are so many who would be happy with this answer that I save more time by starting with it than by getting into the boring details. Details most are not actually here, to hear. Haha! Here? Hear? Did you see what I did there?”
I felt my mouth hanging open, and my forehead wrinkling in confusion. It was obvious someone on Earth had told a very big lie one day. This was not “God”.
“I know, I know, I am not what you expected. I used to apologize for that, not anymore. It isn’t my fault you all decided you knew who I was. I was telling the truth about my limited time though so please, ask what you came here to ask.”
Fine, God was an asshat but at least, I could still get my answers, my closure. I could move on from my life and this stupid conversation. Thank God I’d never been religious, I could tell this had nothing to do with anything they were teaching about creation or morality.
“If you are really God,” I squinted my eyes in suspicion here, “Then tell me, what are we, and why did you make us?”
“Ok, I am going to answer that but you have to promise not to get angry, I don’t like people yelling in my office. Do you promise?”
I nodded. Seriously, what the fuck is this?
“Where I am from is not so different from where you are from, the biggest difference is, for us, death comes slowly, an eternity in your time.”
“Because we live because we live so long nothing matters much. There was no passion, there is no fun. So, I looked around and saw everyone being all bored and blah and I thought to myself there is a great idea here somewhere, and sure enough there was.”
“What if we could live vicariously through beings who felt? Who clung to life because they could lose it at any moment. Beings who had to pack as much emotion and action into every minute in order to feel as much as we did until the end of time? What if I could make these being and charge a fee for others like me who wanted to see what life was like when there was so little of it?”
“I set up the parameters, free will, a basic set of emotions, and a planet with everything you could ever need. I had no idea you all were going to take it all in the direction you did and there were a few times I thought about wiping the slate clean and starting over, but subscriptions were through the roof and the feedback was good so we let you all go.”
“Humans are a hit and I owe all my success to your ability to be all at once conniving and downright evil and all so inspiring and beautiful, all in one little lifetime. Thank you.”
“Does that answer your question?”
I just sat there staring, speechless. I never thought speechless was a thing until now. I didn’t know where to start. I could not believe this is what I was hearing. I was angry.
I actually growled, “Wait, so, you created us because you were….bored?”
“You promised you wouldn’t get mad.”
“Fuck that! Do you have any idea what is happening down there? Do you have any idea what we are going through? People are hurting, people are dying, people are suffering. I can’t even tell you how incredibly disappointing this is. I can’t even begin to describe how much of a fuck up you are or how much I hate you in this moment.” I was fuming. My life hadn’t been so bad, as far as humans lives go, but there had been sadness, there had been loss, there had been confusion. This “God” in front of me could have made all that better. I was beyond fuming.
“Well, that is very typical of you. Most humans who get this far feel the same but that is because you all have developed a tendency toward skirting responsibility.”
“What the fuck responsibility did we have in this?”
“Look, I might have made you, but I didn’t make any of you do any of the stuff you did. I gave you a jewel of a world inside a bubble filled with enough beauty and mystery to keep you busy for eons. What did you do instead? You made up stories about me and set about destroying everything I had given you and each other, your only companions in creation. How is any of that my fault?”
He had a point, I suppose. Still, our flaws still had to be his fault. He could have made us better. We were his responsibility.
“You were supposed to help us.”
“No, you made that up. I didn’t promise anything I just wanted you all to have fun and be entertaining. You all sat around projecting your shit onto me and now you want to line up after death and take your shots? I have to say I honestly resent having words put in my mouth this way.”
“I might have created man, but you were the ones who created monsters. So I created a company and I let you be you. Now you tell me to do something about it. What do you want me to do? Do I take away your freedom? Would you have wanted to live without it? Do I kill you all quickly or allow you to live and hopefully learn with the chance that you might kill yourselves in the end anyway? You tell me what to do?”
I pretended to think about that but I got his point immediately. I had nothing to respond. He might have made us for stupid reasons but a life was better than no life and any interference meant a loss of our autonomy. More than that I saw something else that let me know there was nothing let to say. Any human would have done worse for a quick buck and a little entertainment.
In that moment, I fully believed he was God and we were created in his image.
Author’s note: The plan for this challenge was to post small pieces of fiction that read more like excerpts rather than stories with a true beginning, middle, and end. I think instead, these have turned into something in between, some more, some less. Please bear with me, these are my first attempts at writing fiction. You can find them all under my AtoZ2016 tag.
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