All God's Children by Phil Warren / Flickr
"Dinosaurs... Religion... And now Humanity! What's wrong with you God?" Rob burst as he threw the bunch of reports to the corner of his large desk and looked at God from above his glasses.
God nervously ran a hand through his long beard. He never quite understood why every manager in Heaven Corporation had to grow a beard 7 inches long. "Come on. It's not all that bad." he objected. He had decided to play it cool. Whatever happened, he had been working there for such a long time, and everybody would agree that he was a pretty creative fella. “Look at all those nonsense projects by everybody else. Jupiter, for example, or Torcularis Septentrionalis – how is it even spelled, for Heaven’s sake?!”
“How many times did I tell you that Mr. Heaven doesn’t like that silly expression that’s running among the people in the office?” Rob rolled his eyes. “Listen God, I know we’re friends but this is serious. The numbers from Humanity are awful! We have to shut it down any time soon – it’s only a matter of centuries… Oh God! Are you listening?!”
“What? … yeah, sorry!” he said sheepishly, putting away his doodling notebook. He had his habit of drawing from billions of years ago, when they – he and Rob – were students together, long before they would get a job at Heaven and God would be assigned as the manager of Humanity, and Rob would get promoted to the director of ‘Project: Universe’.
“You understand the situation God?” Rob asked rather wistfully.
“I do. But you are acting like one of them Rob.” God responded. Once he and Rob were radical young men who wanted to change the game. They were promising designers. “You remember? We had a dream when we came to this company. Now all you care about is the numbers…”
“I’m concerned about you.” Rob interrupted. “You have a board meeting tomorrow and you have to come up with an explanation for this mess.” He knew that they were going to sack God if he had no good excuse for all this. Sure he would get his retirement paychecks and a good insurance though. They might even send him on a nice retreat, some beautiful, warm island near Hell perhaps. Rob suddenly remembered how bad he needed a vacation and warm weather. It was really freezing between these clouds.
He sneezed. God handed him a handkerchief.
“Thanks, God.” Rob croaked.
“You’re welcome," God replied.
Rob finished blowing his nose and took another look at the indifferent expression on God’s face. “You know, it’s not your first time God.” Rob said in a heavy voice. “Remember the dinosaurs? We had to terminate the project much too soon. They were totally a hilarious design failure. And you kept saying they were the most apt creatures for earth. Just picture their silly short hands for a moment!”
“That was an experimental project!” God yelled.
“Oh yeah?” Rob said. “And what about your most recent project?”
“You mean Religion 1.0 beta?” God asked. “It was a part of Humanity umbrella project.”
“Yes.” Rob replied angrily. “And the costs were extraordinarily high! So we stopped sending prophets…”
“I know, I know… but you should have given it more time.” God said excitedly, playing with his 7-inch beard. “At least it is more interesting than the empty surface of Mars, or Jupiter or – what was its name?- Torcularis Septentrionalis!”
“Look, they’re trying to develop life on them” Rob reflected. “With very reasonable costs. To be honest God, the board thinks that you’re wasting the corporation’s resources.”
God said nothing, shook his head and left Rob’s office. The next morning he went to the board meeting and got the sack.
And that’s why there is no God.
A young architect based in Tehran, Arshia Eghbali is the editor-in-chief of the architecture zine - NAAM. Besides that, he regularly writes essays on architecture and culture for magazines and newspapers in Farsi and English. When he is away from that, he writes fiction, reads fiction, and adores fiction.