Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Short Story: Not Yet
The will of God. Not a topic to toy with, and one which ultimately gets a lot of people pissed off one way or the other while discussing he/she/it/them . . . Oops, must watch what I write - lest I offend. But the idea of god, a god which can actively react with us mortals is, and always has been, a great device for a short story. So here is my ‘god’ story. I hope you find it amusing and not the cause of a Jehad . . . Enjoy.
by Paul Darcy
Harv was rather disappointed to learn that the voices in his head were not those of god at all, but rather generated from interference from DAB radio broadcasts and his misaligned braces. Still it didn't stop him from following their directions, it only made them a little less grandiose.
One such instruction, which he had originally believed to have come from god, but now knew better, was to go out and purchase a new blender. A white one with a juicer attachment. He had mistakenly taken the instructions as a personal comment on his physical fitness, or rather the lack thereof and had therefore concluded that god had taken a personal interest in his well being. Of course he was then led to believe that he was destine for something big. Oh how crushing to learn the truth. Radio broadcasts indeed. But he would cope.
Although it was a blow to his ego, small and deflated as it already was from growing up in a household of over-achievers, he being the least useful of the bunch, it was not entirely devastating to the point of suicide. That was not really an option. He was too much a wimp to contemplate slicing his wrists or washing down a bottle of pills with gin. Yuck, even now the thought repulsed him. He was listening to the voices telling him the merits of UV protection and hair loss wax. But somehow it still all made a kind of sense to him.
So, with his small ego, beaten up and almost non-existent, Harv went to the local K-Mart to pick up the blender with the juicer attachment. He could deal with the other instructions at a later time if he remembered them. It was less important to him now than it had been. God, it would seem, did not take a personal interest in him.
He was searching the kitchen isle when a shapely blonde girl, not much older than himself, bumped into him. She was very good looking and he smiled. "Sorry," she said smiling back.
"Ah, entirely my fault. I'm Harv, as in Harv Bennet." Harv looked into her eyes. Her corneas looked like burnt almond chocolate bars, his favorite kind.
She giggled and replied. "I’m Liv. You know like, Liv Tyler."
Oh god, Harv thought, this couldn't be true. He had flirted with an obscure Star Trek reference to his name and she had repartee with a Lord Of The Rings one. He closed his mouth momentarily to stop from drooling.
A silence descended between them, but not an awkward one. It was the kind of silence which falls between two dogs meeting, the one moments before they sniff each other's ---
"You're kind of cute." She cut Harv off in mid thought, and his legs nearly gave out from under him.
"So are you," he came back quick as a whip. He leaned in for a snuggle or kiss or some kind of contact when the voices in his head spoke again. He was to try breath-fresh the all-new mint. Damn, he leaned back, teetering on the brink of something. He had to go.
"Ah, wait right here, I'll be back in a sec."
"Sure," she said looking a little put out, but willing to wait for him or so he thought.
Harv ran as fast as he could down the kitchen isle to go look for the checkout. It would be there where the wire frame racks would hold all the latest gums, chocolate bars and breath mints.
Struggling with the boys cloths, which seemed so tightly packed together he felt like he was trying to push through dense jungle, Harv cursed still unable to locate a checkout in the large K-Mart. Soon he was into the toys area, Barbie and Ken flashing him plastic happiness from behind there polyethylene coffins. Where the hell was the checkout?
Appliances next with multiple TVs all showing Cinderella part two? When had they made another and what could possibly be happening after happily ever after. Voices again. Leave her alone with sudsy bubbles, Colgate anti plaque formulation, extra potency garlic pills.
Harv became disoriented in the sporting section. There were bats on sale as well as overpriced trademarked T-shirts. His mind was swimming. Had he met someone earlier, a blonde? What was he looking for? The checkout, but he didn't have anything to buy. Try walking for one wall, once there head right and keep the wall in sight. Eventually you have to arrive at the checkout or the exit. He needed to escape.
Frantic with needs, hopelessly lost amid the isles and consumer goods, Harv despaired. More voices, buy this, go there, eat this, and drive that. His mind screamed out in pain. A slow-mo scene did Harv see. Like the explosion on the old Enterprise with Klingons flying every which way. He was one of them, hurtling slowly for the deck. His face impacted with the tiled floor right next to a red light special. Red alert, the voices said moments before he blacked out for good.
God finished combing her hair and popped into being at the appropriate moment. It was time to check in on his experiment. Harv bumped in to her. "Ah, entirely my fault." He said. "I'm Harv, as in Harv Bennet."
God checked his eyes for any signs that his experiment was working. Damn, she thought, this was distressing. She disguised her distress by giggling. "I’m Liv." God may be taxing the system here. But it was a test she needed to perform. "You know like, Liv Tyler."
Heartbeat rising, irises dilating. Shit, god thought, this was not promising. She detected a buildup of saliva in Harv’s mouth. Hold it together man, she thought. He closed his mouth at the last minute. Good, he hadn’t completely crumbled. Easy, easy she was thinking stretch it out and…
"You're kind of cute." God said. This was pivotal. Harv didn’t fall down, but he flinched like a ton of bricks were placed on his shoulders otherwise he was holding his own, and what was this, he was about to speak. Good, very good.
Harv said. "So are you." But his skin was paling noticeably now. He was teetering toward her like he was going to faint or plant a kiss. Time for more DAB and the conclusion to the testing. If all went well, then …
"Ah, wait right here, I'll be back in a sec." Harv ejaculated.
"Sure." God replied changing facial expressions. This was not going well at all. Harv sprinted down the isle and was gone.
Standing alone for a moment, god contemplated his findings. Harv was representative of the finest minds evolved today, but he was still far from ready. Very disappointing indeed. Still, it could have been worse. He could have keeled over after the initial bump. Oh my …
Watching through a fly’s multifaceted eyes relayed no less information to god. Harv was down, and dead.
One deep inhalation and god took off out the revolving doors and buzzed off into the night. He would return in another two thousand years of so and see if there was any more marked improvement.
Maybe he should have chosen reptiles?
Nah, no second-guessing now, it was already done.