DEUS EX MACHINA

Jesus

Île d’Orléans, Quebec, 2014. (Photo by James Figy)

It all started at the very, very, absolute end of everything. There was no crimson red sky announcing the apocalypse. It was quite sunny, although slightly smoky. Birds chirped, choked on the smog, repeated.

Then came the thunder, trumpets, and angels descending. Almost the whole world was in awe.

In a far off desert, anti-modern tribes watched with wonder.

At an American supermarket, the cashier gawked, staring out the window. Her mouth hung open. Her eyes were fresh kiwis. Somebody’s was mom at the same checkout counter, thinking, Thank god. She replaced the cash into her wallet and wrote a bad check instead. Strolling through the automatic doors, she said, “It really is the little things in life—”

Men in petrol-black suits with unclear charts, falsified reports, and secret memos started to sweat.

Someone’s uncle who had slept through almost every day of his life slowly awoke as his windows shattered and curtains flung open, blanketing him in golden rays and broken glass.

A golden road materialized from silver-lined clouds, curving up like a ramp. Angelic trumpets sounded a loud blast. Every music professor around the globe proclaimed with absolute authority, “That was a B-flat.” Every rock guitarist countered, “It sounded like an A-sharp to me.”
The blast grew discordant, ended, and the angels appeared nervous. Something was supposed to have happened. No one could hear what the celestial beings were asking each other. The looks on their faces were those of a pro-basketball-playing-computer-tycoon-organ-donor-veterinarian who saves kittens being stood up. “I don’t understand. What’s not to like?”

The people of Earth decided to go back to what they were doing before. The mom now regretted writing that bad check. The men in suits with flag lapels regretted how many people they had not killed in the past fifteen or so minutes. Therefore one sent an intern to see if the angels had purchased noise permits and cite them accordingly.
But just as the man who had slept through years was beginning to close his eyes again, the loudest noise ever sounded. Every eardrum was about to explode, causing every knee to bow. The clouds parted and a huge man appeared in the sky with a pearly beard and copper sunglasses.

“It’s him,” said a priest. “I’m not crazy.”

The huge man was sitting on something that looked like a gigantic, bronze motorcycle. He revved the holy engine and furiously popped a wheelie, speeding down the ribbony road, winding and tracing its curves. Reaching the end, he ramped up and up—almost clearing the atmosphere. He circled the globe twenty-five times with a large red, white, and blue (not French) flag streaming behind him.
Eventually, he landed in Florida where all old men with white flowing beards wish to land. The lord yawned, flipped the kickstand, and stretched. He towered so high that everyone in the United States could see him. The American people stared up at the almighty, asking, “Isn’t that the guy from ZZ Top?”
His voice echoed throughout the globe, and he asked (in English, obviously), “So, what’s happening?” No one spoke. The King of kings scratched his scalp, dropping snowflakes of dandruff. He looked around, coughed on smog. “Okay. Well, I’m here to make everything right, guys,” God said, annoyed. “So, if you could kind of fill me in on what’s been going on while I’ve been out, that would be great.”

 


 

This story was published in UIndy’s student literary journal, Etchings, Vol. 25.

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