There is a small, albeit moderately insane, portion of my mind that is convinced today was a test, for me from the Universe, to see just how many times I could string together expletives in the course of one sentence. If we take into consideration that I am a man whose verbosity and capacity for complex sentences is, at its best times, unrivaled, I would dare estimate that the total curse words I managed to cram into one sentence would max out around sixty. If I were actually keeping track of that sort of thing, anyway.
I’ve ranted plenty on Twitter already. I vented to my girlfriend. I even considered researching possible ways to bring about Armageddon (which, to the relief of many, is beyond my capabilities at present). Out of some weird, misplaced mercy, I will spare the additional ranting for other outlets. Let me just leave this portion of the post off with this open-ended question: why is it the universe is most prone to go to shit on Mondays? Ignoring the business of it being after a weekend, because some of us work on weekends.
My brain is a touch soft today. Whether it’s because I burned myself out writing three short stories and a blog post last night, or how the forces of stupid really stepped up their game today, I don’t know. I do know I don’t like this lack of motivation very much, as it puts a real damper on my ability to focus on anything at all (there’s a shock).
However, as a sudden plot-twist to this post, and thanks to some Twitter-chatter with @MortuaryReport, this story happened. I realize this is a rather abrupt transition into a short story that could have never happened, but that’s sort of how I do things on days like today. This is how I managed to be creative and destructive, all at once. It, like any story that happens out of nowhere, may have gotten a bit (and by a bit I mean extremely) ridiculous. I’m not sorry.
The Creator, the Adversary, and a Bunch of Do-Overs
Written by Phil Gorski
It all started in the Beginning. It seems fairly obvious, but if anyone were to ask around a little they could discover there were times it all started at the End. The End of Time, the End of the Universe, or maybe even just the End of the Road. Those were never particularly cheerful times, but neither were the points that happened before it all started in the Beginning.
There was, in fact, a very powerful and mostly benevolent being, who went by a lot of names. He was so busy creating other things and naming them that he’d not bothered to come up with His own name. He sat, somewhere simultaneously within and beyond Creation, and deemed it pretty okay. Maybe, he thought, it was the post-Creation funk he’d always experienced after all the hard work of willing entire civilizations into being. The Adversary lingered near, probably up to some sort of silly fuckery. The Creator, who knew he’d thoroughly hate himself for even entertaining the idea, waved the Adversary over. The Adversary, full of fire and hate and brimstone, gazed down upon Creation and nodded appreciatively.
“Very fond of this round of beasties,” the Adversary said, His sly grin present as it always was in such exchanges. “I rather like giraffes in particular. Did you have something in mind for them, or were they just a happy accident?”
“What do you really think about this all?” the Creator said. “Be honest. I know when you’re lying. You get that tremendous, shit-eating grin when you’re lying.” The Adversary flinched, perhaps genuinely offended.
“I’ll have you know I’ve never once eaten shit,” the Adversary said. He paused, considering the statement he’d just made. “I suppose you were doing that thing where you weren’t being literal again. Speaking of, did those fellows down there ever sort out your tendency to favor metaphors?”
“Not just yet, I’m afraid,” the Creator said. “Azrael has been terribly busy gathering up the dead, of which there are far too many. I’m thinking maybe we should take another crack at it.”
“Woah,” the Adversary said, raising His hands in protest. They were made of snakes this time around, which became problematic at times since the snakes each had a will of their own and didn’t always get along.
“I really need feedback from someone who won’t just say how it turned out nice,” the Creator said. “I know it turned out nice.” He waved a tremendous, radiant hand, and Creation magnified. A tribe of people danced happily, and the remnants of a feast were visible nearby.
“I’m not sure why this sort of thing has you down,” the Adversary said, clearly and genuinely perplexed. “Is it one of those fasting days you’re so fond of? Because I love making people forget about those.” The Creator shook His head.
“No,” the Creator said. “Just watch for a moment.” The tribespeople had lined up quite neatly, and then leapt, one at a time, into an active volcano. The Adversary watched in silence for some time, up until the very last tribesman leapt to a fiery, molten grave.
“Some sort of ineffable wisdom business?” the Adversary said, venturing a guess he knew was probably wrong.
“I was really hoping I could have blamed that on you, to be honest,” the Creator said. “It really seemed like some of your work in progress.” The Creator sighed. Before the Adversary could say anything more, the Creator scooped up everything—the whole of Creation—and stuffed it in the Great, Cosmic Trash Bin, which also conveniently existed inside and without all of Creation.
That was the easy part, scrapping everything. Starting over was when things got to be a bit bothersome at times. The Creator had tried it a number of different ways.
Once, there was a Great and Enormous Mosquito who stuck the veins of Raw Potential and drank until it burst, and from the spillage grew Creation. There were a whole lot of alligators and used car salesmen, but not much else, and so that version of Creation was scrapped.
There was one attempt in which everything was completed in Seven Days, which were constructs of time that had to be made for such a feat. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the people marched inexorably towards the invention of television. Those televisions then acted as a cosmic portal to some dungeon dimensions, from which a horrifying little girl crept forth and killed all who saw her. The Adversary admitted it wasn’t one of His best works, and took much of the blame for the entire fiasco.
With a mighty poof, that also never happened despite clear evidence to the contrary, the Creator willed Herself into existence. She’d always meant to try things from the woman’s perspective. There was something less inherently violent and prone to clubbing things to death about it that seemed appealing, and the immediate difference in wisdom was a certain perk. The Adversary arrived moments later. He sported cloven hooves this time, which were a significant improvement over the argumentative snake-hands.
“I really wish you would give me more warning before you do that,” the Adversary said with a huff. “My insides go all wobbly, and it makes the back of my eyeballs hurt something awful.”
“And so I’ve created pain once again,” the Creator said.
“Oh, you’re a fucking riot, you know that?” the Adversary said. “I liked you better when you were doing cheap parlor tricks, like turning water into non-alcoholic wine. That’s called grape juice, by the way.”
“And so you have, once again, created sarcasm,” the Creator said. She was mildly amused with verbal irony being one of the only constants. “Where to start?” The Adversary hummed and hawed for a few moments, deep in thought.
“Not sure. That’s more your department. I just think up ways to mess everything up,” the Adversary said at last. He paused, deep in thought once again.
“Regardless of what you try out this time,” the Adversary said, “I don’t suppose I could persuade you into trying out giraffes once again?” The Creator gave this suggestion its due consideration.
“Yes,” the Creator said with a mighty nod of Her head. “The giraffes were rather delightful. Only if you promise not to screw around with the bumblebees again. Nobody likes bumblebees who make honey that’s actually cyanide.” The Adversary shook the Creator’s hand to signify the closing of such a deal, reinventing the concept of bargaining in the process.
And so Creation started anew, yet again, and continued along until things got screwy enough to merit another mulligan.