Short Story: His(Its?) Image

Nobody believed it. Who would blame them though? It was a difficult thing to believe that one; there was confirmation of God’s existence; two, he was actually hooked into the internet, hip to all of the millions of slangs and cultures; and three that all those social-media posts begging for likes to save cancer-victims, help lost puppies, and vote on the newest teen idol were actually serious.

For his– or rather Its, which is a whole, other complicated conversation we’re not having right now– part, God seemed to be an okay guy (thing?). At least in the last few thousand years, he hadn’t directly caused any kind of mass murder, flooding, or pestilence. Not that there weren’t any, just none he had a direct hand in. Even the good things were none of his doing, sliced bread, the internet, free porn– those were things we’d given ourselves through the freewill he’d set in motion. (If you believe the stories, anyway.)

It was like he– it? Can a limitless entity really be confined to a single gender? I’m sure all those homophobic preachers might have something to say about it, but not me. Mostly I’m focused on the existential properties of the question, and whether or not human language will have to compensate for this new class of being, especially if it turns out he is not the only one. Like I said, ‘nother conversation for ‘nother day.

Anyway, it was like he’d set us up on this crazy green and blue rock, then loosed us to the rigors of time so he might come back later and reap the rewards. The internet had to have been one of those things that finally drew him back. Before he’d sent an ambassador (more than one if you believe the various stories) to speak to us in his name, each with their own language and ways to best keep the people in those parts of the world on the straight and narrow. Really gotta’ hand it to him, did a mostly good job– you know aside from the middle east and the third of the world starving.

But that’s yet another conversation for yet another day. Staying on track.

Seems the Good Lord had set up a kind of system networked into social-media of all things. In retrospect, it wasn’t a bad idea. There’s billions of computers hooked into the net, almost as many people behind them watching everything from social-media updates to, well, porn, and not a one of them was really listening to the Good Lord’s words anymore.

I can only imagine that to a creature like God the internet represented this vast, instant-feedback system where the commodity of information was like a tasty morsel of ambrosia. See, that’s the thing we never think about when we think of a God, or rather the God. Omnipotent may mean unlimited power, but who the hell has the time to be paying that much attention? I mean, if we’re created in his— it’s?– image, wouldn’t He/It be just as prone toward Attention Deficit Disorder?

Each of us has some form of ADD. Granted not everyone needs medication for it, but we all have a point where we can no longer stand to pay attention. Be it from hunger, exhaustion, or sheer boredom, we’ll each eventually turn away, look away, or pass out until we can come back with fresh eyes. It’s the human condition. We’re just sort of flawed in that way. It runs deep too, so deep, it was almost easy for us to miss that He/It was the same way.

After all, familiarity is comfort, and all beings that we know of seek comfort. Why would He/it be different? In the end, maybe that’s the whole “meaning of life thing:” so no one has to be alone. I mean, sure there were creatures before us, but they weren’t sentient. It’s more than likely that if He/It did anything to create us, it was with a push to the hominid populous’ evolution toward our creation. Then, let it stew for a few million years, and voila, sentient life!

But then we sort of spiraled out of control. We bred like rabbits and took over the face of the Earth. Those telepathic communications that he told us about in his books became overwhelming. Then, for a few millenia, he just sort of slinked away from us for a couple aspirin and a drink. Then one drink turned into five, then five into ten and soon enough he was passed out on the bar-room floor, only to awake in an alley-way dumpster with a hang-over and no shoes– wait, that was exactly my last Friday— Still you get the point. He/it got overwhelmed and he took off for a bit to unwind, prepared to come back later with fresh eyes. (Not literally of course, from all evidence we have He/It doesn’t need new eyes, though I’m sure He/It could conjure them in a moment.)

Maybe those fresh eyes helped, or maybe the hangover finally pounded a realization into his head– like that time I woke up in the Rusty Clam’s Alley with a hooker kicking me and telling me I was scaring off the Johns. I mean really, like I was the problem there. Get over yourself guy. What was I saying? Oh right, the epiphany. It was like that time I woke up and realized maybe the smell in my pants was my fault, and I should probably quit drinking before the hooker kicked me one too many times.

For Him/It, the realization was probably two-fold; we had internet, (Holy shit, free Porn! He/It exclaimed if I’m anything like His/Its image) and now he had an awesome little tool to make all those telepathic prayers easier to deal with.

So, He/It did what any smart Deity would and set up a kind of super-cool bot-net that translated the telepathic message into their own, electronic equivalents. Those lists were somehow programmed to prioritize and post themselves across the ‘net with “Like” and “Share” Goals. If they reached those goals, the bot-net would activate the telepathy machine– the same used to transfer prayers to text– and it would shell out a dose of miracles for whomever the prayer was for or about.

But see, that’s where He/It got things a little wrong. God forgot we’re created in his image, and we’re more than a little deficit in attention ourselves. So what happened? Well first off, no-one believed the profile actually was God. Then, nobody believed God would try to pass out prayers so cheaply. And Then? Some one found out it was real.

Oh yeah. You know that memetic saying that’s flooded every possible forum, chat-room, and website with comments that goes “don’t feed the trolls?” Well, that’s extremely difficult when everyone becomes a troll. See, the atheists weren’t angry that they’d been proven wrong, they were excited. With them were all of those would-be pious that lined up to beg and plead and pray.

But God? Well He/It’s kind’a got a funny sense of humor like that. I guess sort of like me too, in a way. He didn’t shut the bot-net down. Now, I can’t be sure what the hell he’s up to, but I know it’s still running. Every day, billions of posts flood His/Its little corner of the net, and every day, billions of people scramble to pray harder and like and share the ones that might be theirs. Its just so damned hard to tell anyway, so many people need money, or the cure for cancer, or for their pants to stop smelling strange, that it’s difficult to know exactly whose prayer is getting answered when they vote.

And here we come to my devious, devilishly simple bit of mischief. It isn’t mean, not even really difficult to do. In a way, I think He/It might agree with my cleverness. I created a second bot-net. One to spam the hell out of those posts. It’ll be sort of like that heaven and hell war, only digital and without any losers. Everyone will get what they want, have their prayers answered. It’s mischief, sure, but I was made in His/Its image, and he’s just as lazy, deficit, and cunning as I am if you believe it. In the end, maybe he’ll smite me. Or maybe, he’ll do nothing, happy that our ingenuity triumphed. Or maybe even, he’ll flip up the table and rage-quit and run back to the bar.

If so, cheers friend; maybe tomorrow my pants won’t smell so bad and you’ll have another one of your epiphanies. Until then, let the games begin and bring on the porn!

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