This story is by Rekha Thakerar and was part of our 2020 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Man proposes, God disposes, or is it the other way around?
There are four types of people…believers, non-believers, the opportunists and the butterfly souls that flit around.
The non-believers ask for proof, but no proof is enough. If proof can be provided, they will say, “Call this an ID?”.
The believers believe that no proof is needed and that their belief is enough. Their belief a strong rock in their souls, unshakable, unbreakable like a nail set in stone with no King Arthur to pull it out like he did the Excalibur. “Did you want to hang a picture on this?”
The opportunists are the ones that are willing to quickly decide to believe if being tortured by the believers, saying, “Hell yes! I am a believer! Just give that rack a slack mate.”
The butterfly souls are the nemesis of the gods. They manage to entice one but before the butterfly could be converted, the attention span of a butterfly comes into play and it flutters to another more enticing idea. The only option is to pin the butterfly down… with a very large pin. No fun at all. You get a bright spark of blinding belief before the subject dies and so does the belief.
Gods need belief to…well be Gods. Until someone believes in them, they are entities yearning for just one soul whose belief would be rock solid, who would drive that belief forward, make it viral. A belief that spreads like wildfire and burns everything in its path. The more followers, the more power the god wealds “Ah… Everything is tickety boo.”
Yet in midst of plenty, gods are starved for belief. So many souls, so many deluded souls, so many gullible souls. Yes, there are believers, but what do they believe in? Not a belief in God but belief in rituals, in religion. The actual belief in God can go crying into the wilderness, and rage at the gods. God! What a mess!
This is a story about a little guinea pig that has become aware that he is a god. Not just any god but The God that everyone calls OMG… short for “Oh My God”.
It was not a good state to be in and he found it hard and near impossible to regain his true form. He knew that if he stayed in this form, he would lose all ability and remain locked in a guinea pig body forever as his mind started thinking guinea pig thoughts. Mmmm this cucumber is rather tasty… give me more…what came out of his mouth was “Squeak, squeak, squeak.”
He concentrated his thoughts and directed it at the nearby human. ‘Hear me Oh mortal…I am thy God.” She gave him a puzzled look, smiled, bent down to offer him a spinach leaf. He grabbed it with his mouth and chewed with enjoyment until it dawned on him that his words had been ignored; he stopped chewing with half a spinach leaf sticking out of his mouth. “Squeak!” he shook his head to dislodge the *spinach stuck between his teeth.
*Spinach leaf is one vegetable that likes to hide in plain sight – between the two front teeth.
“Doesn’t Munchkin like his spinach…?” she asked in a baby voice. Why do humans talk to animals as if they were babies? He wondered.
“Squeak!” he tried again. “Hear me O mortal. I am thy God.” His eyes crossed over trying to stare at his mouth as what came out was, “Squeak… squeak… Squeak…squeak…squeak…squeak…squeak… squeak.”
“I swear you are trying to tell mummy something.” She crooned in that baby voice again.
“Yes. Are you deaf?” he jumped up and down. “Open this cage immediately and bow down before your God.”
“Ooh…aren’t you cute! You are asking mummy to give you more cucumber.” She cooed “Who is a clever boy?”
He bit into the cucumber as if he was biting into her. “Ouch! Bad Munchkin!” He reeled back as his nose smartened at the sharp tap of her finger. He had bitten into her finger. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. But dash it…he was her God! Now his brainwaves danced between guinea pig mode and God mode as he imagined cucumbers everywhere ‘…mmm…give me more cucumbers….don’t need cucumbers… need to turn back to my normal form, regain my self-respect and my power as a God…yes, yes, but let me just have one more bite of this cucumber first.’
How did he come to this very sorry state? God works in a mysterious way.
Let me take you back in time when there was no time. No Tick-Tock…Tick Tock. No…Oh god, I am going to be late…Please God…don’t let me be late…Oh God, please God…don’t let me be late …. Okay, okay…you don’t need to shove!
In the beginning, there was nothing. This nothing went “bang”. The universe was born. It came from nothing and will turn into nothing and there is nothing you can do about it. The sound that the new-born universe made was “OMG (the G is silent)!” A being answered “Yes?” and thus, the first god woke, muttered “Give me just ten more minutes willya!”, hit the snooze button and rolled over.
OMG was a lazy god. He lifted not a finger when the universe made the stars and the worlds. He watched with a yawn as chemicals fizzed and formed the building blocks of life and let it evolve. He hid in a rabbit burrow as lightning tore the sky in two and thunder clapped its appreciation. Humanoids prayed to him to save them. In due course, the lightning stopped by itself.
The humanoids gave thanks by way of leaving offerings under the bowing burnt out blackened limbs of a lightning-struck tree although OMG had done nothing. OMG found that as the belief in him became stronger, so did he. He could now make a few things happen. He found he did not have to do much except to make a few appearances in front of unbalanced minds. The rest they did themselves. The humanoids lay fruits and flowers as offerings of thanks and over a period of time, all by themselves, they worked out what their god wanted from them. Thus, they built rituals and religion, places of worship and idols and as they multiplied so did their devotional practice. He became a performer to please everyone – a fundamental error – you cannot please everyone all the time. He grew stronger and stronger although he did very little apart from making a few appearances. But then he grew weaker.
What happened? You may well ask. People happened, that’s what happened.
People made up of different tribes with their own idea of the supreme being, happened. What can a poor God do? Anyone can have a mental breakdown trying to be so many personifications to present to each section of society. What was worse was that these people then fought to make the other people who believed in him but under another name, to believe their version of him. Confused? You should be. Even OMG was confused as the people who won against the ‘infidels’ (Note: it is always the people who are being fought against who are infidels) made one version of him weaker and the other stronger. He tried telling them there was just one god. Did it solve the problem? No such luck. Now they fought each other in the name of the True God. The other side presumably worshipped a false god.
The final straw? OMG lost the plot and his mind. He now suffers from Multiple personality disorder. As each personality shares the same personification, each is a diminished version of his original self. He would have not had this problem had he acted in the first instance and had taken a part in the creation. He would have been able to dictate what humanoids should believe in but then where’s the fun? Humanoids are fun because each one is different from another.
One day while one set of humanoids was destroying the others while each set chanted different versions of his name, OMG saw a little guinea pig contentedly chewing on a cucumber and he wished for a simple life, and lo and behold, his wish came true. Be careful…very careful what you wish for…