Friday, December 11, 2009

And they saw that it was hideously flawed: The Day God Died (a very short story with dissolves and flash-forwards)


In the beginning, there were six-packs and microwaveable meals, and they were good, or at least better than nothing at all, so quit yer bitchin'. Nobody ever got hurt--muchly--and all mimsy were the Borogroves, not even a mouse. There was something I was going to write, about some "City on a Hill," but they say the place has fallen into disrepair...you really don't want to go there, trust me on this one (worse than Detroit).

And the Lord spake far too often when there were no people around to hear it, then silence for thousands of years when there were and spake again saying, "Let there be light...oh shit. Did I pay the electric bill for last month? Oh boy. There I go again!" Yet somehow, there was light, and it too was good for a time until the bill collectors came. Six thousand years passed, somehow missing the dinosaurs and several ice ages by a mile, and then it was time to go to bed again, day-in, day-out, I tell ya'...

And they found that God's all about non-sequiturs, so he must be a Libertarian: One day in the 21st century (because you can do flash-forwards and even dissolves in allegory), a corporate executive belatedly died of a heart attack in his very posh home office in upper state New York. Like most CEOs, he was a criminal asshole and nobody cared when his time came, but you have to put these people somewhere after they're six feet under, so he made his way to the afterlife. No, the streets aren't paved in gold there either, so quit asking! "What idiot would believe such bullshit?" shrugged St. Peter. No one knew.

"I'm here to win!" said the CEO to the beleaguered bureaucrat manning the Gates of Heaven. Peter grinned.

"It appears that you have lost, schlub, but I got an idea a week ago I want to try out, so come with me." He took the CEO by the hand like fathers do with their drooling children at Wal-Mart and they ambled down the crumbling halls of a crappy Ministry in a dank, smelly corner of the afterlife. The stink of piss was everywhere, and the walls of Heaven were covered with obscene graffiti. Worst-of-all, someone had written "J.D. Salinger," which confused the executive since he'd never read a book after high school, or even that much during it.

"What's that?" said the CEO as they were looking at a hole in reality into a flat plane below. Tiny dots appeared to be moving on the surface, and it reminded the executive of his many flights over Ohio--the sprawl, with capillaries and arteries of commerce spreading out like a bubbling cancer, eating-away at the surface of the plan.

"That's limbo, also known as suburbs. No actual life takes place there."St. Peter retched while the suited Golem looked down at the scene below wishing he had a piece of the action.

"Right," said the CEO with that absolute certainty all the ladies love. They kept on further down the labyrinth of halls, endless halls, all growing darker and more disintegrated as they went. At times the walls seemed to exist merely as rapidly vibrating vapor and the CEO was able to stick his arm through them. "Nifty," he said, and shrugged.

"Keep talking kid, keep talking," said his divine escort laughing softly as old men often do.

Finally, they reached an enormous set of double-doors, bronzed and festoomed with lavishes of spirals, eyes, and flora. At the heart of the door was the design of a man who was in the center of a circle, his arms and legs endtended-out in the shape of a rightside-up Pentagram. All was silent and even the pair themselves were completely immobile. There is no movement in the presence of the divine, no action...but suddenly, there was. A deep moan pervaded the hallway and seemed to emanate from everywhere, then abruptly faded away as a sickly gurgle.

"What's that? the executive asked nervously.

"That was the death of God," St. Peter said, laughing and nodding wisely.

"What killed God?" he asked. St. Peter looked at the executive sadly.

" 'What'? You mean 'who.' Why, you did. Your very existence accomplished it."

"That doesn't make any sense to me. What do you mean? I've done everything right in life, been successful, did what I had to do to get ahead, and..."

"All fine and well, but did you ever consider the beauty of a Beethoven symphony, or the divinity in children laughing and playing in peace? Did you ever see the worth in all human beings, that every life is sacred in the end? Have you ever pondered in your life why mankind yearns for more, the loneliness, the angst that created the great works of art? Did you ever try to control your animal-impulses and be the better man? Did you ever try to improve yourself? Have you ever taken a stand in your life for what was the right thing to do for others?"

"Nope, none of those--hey, are you communist or something.?"

"Yes, I thought not, and that's why you were brought here. You see, you're lack, the temporal evidence that God created something imperfect, and therefore, was imperfect himself. Your mere proximity was enough to finish the job of an already dying deity that was in the denial stage of the grieving process. I can sleep the sleep of ages now, but first..."

Someone started hacking their way through the double-doors. With an abrupt kick, a man with wild, greasy hair and a thick-mustache crashed through. He was wearing a beautiful red robe studded with Hermetic symbols on a gold-red lame background, clutching a staff, wearing jack-boots. His eyes were both of the darkest night and the brightest day.

"Who's that? said the executive.

"That's Nietzsche, here to fix some shoddy craftsmanship."

"What am I supposed to do?"

"Nothing, you are lack, you never existed."

Nietzsche spake, "The last man has come...and where's the nearest bar anyway?"

"Can I finally sleep?" said St. Peter.

"Soon, but there's a universe to fix! We're off!"

As well all know, such an allegory is preposterous, impossible. Nothing so absurd has ever been contended by any religion at any time in human history, except at lunchtime and before bed.