Saturday, October 24, 2009

Axe of the Apostles, book one: "Genesis 2: God Takes a Mulligan"

I wrote this for NaNoWriMo 2008; but I never finished, because satirizing all 66 books of the Bible is too much to do in thirty days. But I thought it started out well, even though I was bored and sick of it by the end of Deuteronomy, so I thought I'd share here. Enjoy!

In the beginning, there was nothing - which EXPLODED! God, never one to miss an entrance, did his best Clint Eastwood impression and walked menacingly into reality, squinting partly from the brightness but mostly to look like a badass. After staring down the young Universe for some time, God was about to deliver a witty one-liner - but then he realized that the Universe was expanding at the speed of light, which is much faster than sound, and he hadn't yet created other life, and sound can't travel in the vacuum of space anyway, so he gave up.

"Screw this," thought God, "I'm starting over."

In the beginning, there was nothing - except for God, who thought he was pretty hot shit for being the first one on the scene. Later sources would disagree, but they weren't around at the time and didn't see it for themselves, so who cares? Not God, that's for sure.

At this point, God decided he was perfect - able to do anything, aware of everything, and supremely good. As he was the only one around, a logical consequence of this situation is that he was also the most vile and despicable being in existence, but God hadn't invented logic yet and so was not concerned with this fact. At any rate, God got bored and lonely after contemplating his own perfection for a few minutes, so he decided to make some company for himself.

His first creation was called Lucifer, the star of the morning, the lightbringer. Lucifer was beautiful to behold, and lovely in every way. As God was the only other one around at the time, and beauty is relative, it is left to the reader to determine what conclusions may be drawn from this - remember, no logic allowed! After creating Lucifer, God immediately began feeling jealous, so he created a bunch of angels in order to get back to feeling superior.

There were many classes of angels: the cherry-pickers; the sycophants; the shark-angels; and of course the garden variety angel, a Mexican named Angel who was Heaven's groudskeeper - as there was no Heaven yet, this explains why God made Mexicans lazy). God, who by this point was back to feeling supremely awesome, then decided it was time for a speech.

"Hey, everyone. My name is God, and I made you all, so you all need to do what I say. Dig?"

"Laaaaaaaaame," Lucifer said, rolling the most gorgeous pair of eyes you ever saw.

"Well, you can go to Hell," God shouted angrily. "I've had enough of your shit!" With that, God created Heaven at one stroke, just so he could kick Lucifer out of it. Then he created Hell, and he stuck Lucifer there on infinite time-out. "You think about what you've done! And then maybe you can come back up to hang out with the cool kids."

"Hey, don't you think that was kind of harsh," one of the angels asked.

"Well, if you feel so sorry for Lucifer, then you two can hang out together!" And God cast that angel, and anyone who looked like him, out of Heaven and into the depths of Hell with Lucifer. This worked out to be about a third of the Heavenly host, as God isn't very creative, and by that point God had pretty much spent his temper tantrum and was feeling a bit better. "OK, now as I was saying, I made you all, so you have to do what I say, or I'll kick the shit outta you. Capisce?" None of the angels spoke Italian, as there wasn't a Vatican or a pope or anything, but they nodded their heads in agreement because Heaven was pretty nice and they didn't want to ruin their fun.

"All right, then," God continued, "I've got some work to do, so keep it quiet out here, OK?" Then God locked himself in his room for seven days.

In those seven days, God was working hard. First he made a star, and then a planet to go around that star, and then he tried to put stuff on the planet. Trouble was, he made the planet entirely out of sky, and it quickly started storming and made it a generally rough place to be. So he tried making a planet out of rock, but he put that one too close to the star, and it quickly became too hot for even God to handle, so he just left it there. The next rock was way too far away and was so cold that God's nipples got hard just thinking about it, so he tried making a sky-planet again, but it still didn't work out. This went on for a while, but finally God was able to make a planet out of rock which was just the right distance from the star, give or take, to allow for truly excellent beaches and some pretty sweet sunsets, too.

After that, God started putting other things up in the sky. First he made a moon, because moons are sweet, and then he tried to make some more stars so the night would have that neat "night-time" look to it. But the stars were too bright, so instead of making them smaller, he just put them really far away so they looked small. He put some of them way too far away, though, and there was no way to see them without melting some sand into glass and putting that into space and taking teeny-tiny pictures with the focus way zoomed out. But God figured that someone would eventually try that, so he just left well enough alone.

Next, God started putting plants and animals on the planet. First he made some wicked-cool looking things, like scaly trilobytes and giant lizards and humongous spiders and rather epic sharks, but then he decided that wasn't really how he wanted to do things, so he buried them all one at a time in a very specific order which would later confuse scientists into thinking they had actually lived and died in that order. Then he moved the land masses around, since he was bored by the whole cluster thing he had going on the one side. Then he made some more animals, but smaller this time.

Then God got lonely again, and those angels sure were a bunch of pricks, so he decided to make someone different to hang out with. This time, he made someone who looked just like him, and called him Adam.

"Hey, buddy," said God, "Your name is Adam. I'm God. My middle name is 'I Am,' and my last name is 'Awesome.' I guess you can have those middle and last names, too, because I think you're pretty awesome. I would know. I made you, after all."

"Neat," Adam said. "Right, then. What do I do?"

"Well, you know, stuff. There's chilling, hanging out, lounging around, passing the time, all sorts of stuff."

"I see. And what's this bit hanging off me here, then?"

"Oh," said God, blushing a bit, "That's a penis. I don't really know what it's for, I only gave it to you because I had one and I wanted you to be just like me. Really, though, it just makes me confused and angry sometimes, especially when I think about Lucifer."

"Who's that?"

"Huh? Oh, nobody. Nobody! Don't worry about that, forget I said anything. Anyway, yeah." God started trailing off at this point.

Adam got bored about now, so he wandered off and started looking at things. God felt a little snubbed by this, but he didn't want to let on, so he just said, "Oh, yeah, I gotta go, too. I'll see you around."

Over the next couple days, God watched Adam wander around on the planet he had made. He didn't seem to have a care in the world, and that frustrated God, because he was still feeling bad about what happened between him and Lucifer. That's when God decided that he would put Adam in a similar situation, and see how Adam reacted, and then if it worked out OK, then God would try the same thing.

That night, while Adam was sleeping, God created someone who looked just like Lucifer.
"Why, hello there," the new creation said.

"Hi," God answered, feeling a bit nervous. "My name's God. You're Eve. This is Adam. You should chill with him, he's pretty awesome."

"I dunno, he looks kind of lame," Eve said, looking over the snoring man next to her on the ground.

"Oh, that's only because he's sleeping. He's way more exciting during the day, I promise."
The next morning, Adam woke up and saw Eve next to him on the ground.

"Hey there, hot stuff," he said.

"Good morning," Eve said after waking up and rubbing her eyes a little. "So yeah, what do you want to do?"

Adam thought about this for a moment - there were a whole lot of things he wanted to do, but he didn't know which would impress this vision of loveliness the most, so he just said, "I don't know. What do you want to do?"

"Well, this is lame," Eve said. "God said you'd be way more exciting during the day."

"Oh, you want excitement? Well, there's this waterfall just through the forest over there, we could jump off it, it's great times!" This sounded like a good idea to Eve, so off they went.

God was watching this from the bushes, and he followed Adam and Eve and watched them have a great time at the waterfall. None of this was helpful - he had already gotten off on the wrong foot with Lucifer, and he didn't put any waterfalls in Hell, and he sure wasn't about to let her back into Heaven, so he couldn't see as how any of this applied to his situation.

With Adam and Eve getting along so well, God was starting to feel frustrated, so he decided to give them some rules to make their life harder. He planted two special trees, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge, and then he brought Adam and Eve over and laid down the law.

"OK, you two" said God, "Fun's over. I called this meeting so I could tell you what the rules are. I just put these two trees here, but you're not allowed to eat them, because I said so."

"Why not," asked Eve.

"Because I fucking said so, that's why! Don't ask stupid questions."

"All right, whatever you say," Adam said. "What are the other rules?"

"Umm," God stammered, "Well, you can't eat from that one tree, and you can't eat from the other tree, either. It's just wrong. And if you do, you'll die. Those are the rules, for now. I'll let you know if I come up with any other rules."

"What's 'die' mean," Eve asked. She had never seen anything die, and was curious what it meant.

"It sucks and you don't want it to happen, that's what it means! What did I tell you about asking stupid questions?"

A few days later, Adam and Eve still hadn't eaten from either of the trees, since they didn't want bad things to happen to them. God was apparently in charge, and they didn't want to piss him off, so they just went about their business of having fun and generally enjoying life. This was very frustrating to God, because he still didn't see how any of this could help him with Lucifer, and he couldn't really think of anything else to do with his time. Then God got an idea.

God went down to Hell and knocked on Lucifer's door. During her time in Hell, Lucifer and the exiled third of the Heavenly host had done wonders with the place. There was a coffee table with magazines in the living room, some nice paintings in the hallway, and a fresh paint job to boot. God, who had told his remaining angels just to sit tight while he locked himself in his room, was a bit embarrassed at the comparison. He To Whom All Is One was taking this all in when Lucifer answered the door.

"Hey there, Lucy. Long time, no see! I like what you've done with the place."

"Um, thanks, I guess. We made do with what we had, it seems to have worked out well."

"Yeah, so, do you mind if I come in?" Lucifer glanced about for a moment.

"I don't see why not. Mi casa, su casa."

"Thanks," God said, ambling inside. "So yeah, I was wondering if you would do me a favor?" Lucifer rolled her dewy, beautiful eyes.

"I should have known."

"No, no, it's not like that. Look, I'll tell you what: you give me a hand with this, we'll let bygones be bygones, you come on back up to Heaven and we'll have a grand old time. What do you say?"

"Well," Lucifer cocked her head to one side and weighed her options. "Yeah, OK, that sounds like it could work out. What did you have in mind?"

"See, it's like this," God began, "I went and created some more, after the angel thing kinda fell apart. I was playing around, and these humans kinda cropped up, but I'm trying to show 'em the rules, dig? They don't quite seem to get it - I mean, they're obeying the rules just fine, but I don't think they understand what will happen if they break the rules, you know?"

"I'm not sure I follow," Lucifer said.

"It's kind of hard to explain," God said, stroking his chin. "It's like, they're fine with following the rules for now, I just want them to see what happens if they break 'em, so they'll know not to do it. We show them an easy case, they learn from it, then things work out just fine forever!"

"Wait," Lucifer asked, looking confused. "So, let me see if I've got this straight - are you asking me to play the bad guy to teach your new friends a lesson?"

"Erm, no, it's not quite like that," God stammered, "But - yeah, I suppose that's the thrust of it. Afterwards, though, we'll all have a meeting, everything's gonna be out on the table, it'll be just fine. I promise."

"Full disclosure? We'll let them vent and everything? I mean, this seems pretty manipulative, they might be upset."

"I know, but it's for their own good. I'm sure that if we explain it together, they'll understand. What do you say?"

Lucifer mulled this over for a few moments before responding.

"OK, I'm in."

Adam was off for one of his walks in the wilderness. Eve had tagged along on plenty of those, and wanted to take a look at these trees they weren't supposed to eat from. She was a curious sort, and wanted to know just what was so special about them. When Lucifer came up from Hell, she saw Eve contemplating the tree of knowledge, and decided to make her move. Not wanting to be stuck with a bum rap in the event that things went South, Lucifer took on the shape of a serpent, in the hopes that she'd have plausible deniability.

"Hey there, sweetcakes," Lucifer said, after twining herself in the tree's branches.

"Oh, hi!" Eve was a bit startled, but quickly regained her composure. "Didn't see you there. What's up?"

"Well, I see you've been looking at this tree."

"Yeah," Eve said, looking back at the tree of knowledge. "God said we weren't supposed to eat from it, or we'd die, and that's bad. I'm just trying to figure out what could be so bad about eating this one kind of fruit."

"Oh, really? What kind of tree is it?"

"God said this one is the tree of knowledge. That other one over there is the tree of life."

"Knowledge, huh? Well, I'll tell you something: God knows everything. He said so himself. It doesn't seem to have done him any harm, eh? I bet there's more to this than he's letting on."

"Yeah, maybe," Eve added thoughtfully. "But it's more than just that, it's the knowledge of good and evil - you know, right and wrong, all that morality stuff. It seems hard."

"Meh, it's not really all that tough," Lucifer said. "It actually clears things up quite a bit. In fact, I'd bet that nothing bad would happen if you ate of this tree. Seems like the knowledge of good and evil would be a useful thing to have."

"Yeah, you're right," Eve said. "I mean, God talks about all these rules, all this right and wrong stuff, I'm not quite sure what it's all about."

"You know," said Lucifier, "I bet if you ate this here fruit, you might have a better idea of what he's talking about."

"You know what? That's a good call. Thanks for the advice, I think I'll take some of this and share it with Adam."

Eve reached up and plucked the ripest, juiciest looking fruit she could find, and went off to find Adam.

"Hey, honey. How are you?"

"I'm doing just fine, babycakes." Adam was all smiles - he always seemed to be full of energy after exploring some new area of the Earth that God had made.

"Well, check this out: you know that tree in the middle of the garden back home?"

"Uh, you mean the tree of knowledge?"

"Yeah, that's the one. I got some fruit from that tree right here."

"Hey, sweetheart," Adam said hesitantly, "God said not to eat that. I'd be careful if I were you."

"Well, listen," Eve countered, "I had this talk with a serpent in the tree, and it really doesn't seem so bad. I mean, God knows everything, right? So how bad could it be for some of that knowledge to pass on to us?"

"Umm, I don't know," Adam said, glancing about nervously. "Look, God said not to eat it, or else we'd die, and that dying is bad. I don't want to have to deal with that, really."

"Oh, come on," Eve implored. "How bad could it be? I mean, God himself knows all this stuff, and he seems like an OK guy, right?"

"I guess you've got a point there. Ahh, what the heck? Why not? I'll give it a shot."
So Adam and Eve each took a bite of the fruit from the tree of knowledge. As they did so, knowledge - all knowledge - flowed through their minds. A torrent of information swept through their consciousness, so enormous that they were barely able to understand any of it. But from all the chaos, one thing stood out: they saw themselves as God saw them, as mere tools, as means to an end. They looked upon themselves as the window dressing that God had built them for, and they were ashamed.

As quickly as it came, the flood of knowledge left their minds, blown away like dust in the wind. But the emotional impression of their role on Earth remained with them, the sense of their place in God's scheme of things would not be rubbed out. They knew God's mind for but a moment, yet their hearts were scarred for life.

Adam and Eve walked back to the garden in tears.

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