Monday, April 20, 2009

Paint It Black

When The End of the world came, it struck God with a furious irony that it had actually was going to happen in 2012. It was not, of course, because of some ancient prediction made by some civilization that made cave drawings and howled at the moon, nor was it because the date had really been set in the first place.

No, it was simply the way it worked out. It was all a matter of numbers, really. When He had constructed heaven, he had only put so many tables and couches in the place, and he was truly worried that overcrowding would lead to a problem should a fire break out. Plus, after a certain number, it becomes damn near impossible to keep track of who’s coming or going.

He had set the number years ago, sometime after World War I, and it was to be 7,453,536,026. He had hemmed and hawed over it, and considered changing it at least a dozen times.

“What if there’s still really interesting people to be born yet? What if I end it all, but I don’t realize that 31 years later, someone would have been born that was going to write a song that I would have loved? I would miss out on a great song because…why?”

But still, the same problems arose. A fire, a computer backfire, some other unforeseen trouble, and the whole thing would be thrown off and at that point, He may as well throw everyone out and start all over again. And after this long, going back to square one would be like trading in a Hemi for a steam engine.

The final death was somewhat innocuous, and very disappointing. He had always hoped the world would go out with an intensely loud, shattering event that would be worth commemorating on a coin or the back of a dollar bill, but it was not to be. It had actually happened when an older woman from New England who was somewhere in her mid-50s slipped down her cement stairs and hurtled onto one of the large chunks of decorative granite that she had placed at the corner of her garden. Oh, it was bloody and disgusting, but not quite the bang He’d been looking for. Either way, she was it.

He sat down at His desk, lit a cigar, and looked around his office. It was littered with newspapers, books, the occasional porno magazine (He always told visitors that they weren’t his, but he knew no one believed him and so he never made a move to dispose of them.) He fingered the brown fedora that lay on his desk next to him, thought about how He had truly hoped they would come back into style before The End. They gave a man some dignity when he wore a hat, as opposed to baseball caps, which made every man seem like he was walking out of a John Fogerty song. Another thing that was not to be…He shook his head.

He gazed out the plate glass window, looked at the tremendous line at the entrance that he knew wrapped around the building. People were showing ID’s, and getting hand stamps before they walked in. He had thought about using those green bracelets to mark entries and keep count, but He knew how much he hated things rattling on his wrists, and so He had bagged the idea.

On the CCTV was Earth, floating beautifully in the blackened night of space that He’d built so long ago. He always had the cameras on the night side of Earth, for he thought it gorgeous to see the trails of golden white lights emanating from the cities and towns, stretching and winding their ways into the interior of whatever country he was looking at.

“Truly a work of art,” he thought, and even He had to admit that it dismayed him to see the lights blinking out, first in twos and threes, then it great swaths.

He turned to the computer, and began playing Solitaire again.


1 comment:

Elle said...

Whoa...interesting spin. You're good!