Joey’s World

Joey’s World

by Lisa Scuderi-Burkimsher

Joey pounded the PlayStation remote, screaming at his favorite video game, Wizards and Warriors. He couldn’t tolerate losing and he threw the remote on the couch.

Rain began pounding on the windows and the sky roared with thunder. Fourteen-year-old Joey blacked out when a bolt of lightning illuminated the dismal sky and blew out the electric. A glimmer of golden swirls surrounded the unconscious Joey as his body lifted into mid-air and disappeared. Joey awakened inside the video game.

Joey blinked and looked around at the colorful wizards and angry warlords striking blows at one another. “Wow, what is happening here?” Joey felt something on the ground behind him. It was a beautiful handmade silver steel sword. He rubbed his hand gently over the shiny blade and caught a glimpse of his reflection. Chaos with the wizards and warriors continued around him without any notice of his presence. He pricked his finger, jolted and that’s when he noticed a note that said: ‘Beat me and I’ll send you home.’  “What does all this mean?” Joey asked, but no one answered. Had he gone crazy?

A tap on his shoulder startled him and he screamed flailing the sword.

“Goodness, my friend, there’s no need to be afraid. I’m here to help.”

Standing in front of Joey, was the grand wizard, Thumblewood, in his long black flowing robe and pointy black hat. In his hand, he held a golden wand lighting the area.

Joey lowered his sword and stared dumbfounded. “Thumblewood?”

“Yes, and you must listen to me if you want to go home. Come, we have much work ahead of us.” He swirled his wand and in an instant, they were in Thumblewood’s home. “Can I make you some tea before we get started?”

Joey ignored Thumblewood’s question and asked his own. “Why are you the only one that can see me?”

Thumblewood poured himself a cup of tea and sipped. “This is a magical world. I put a spell on the wizards and warlords to protect you. The sword you have clutched by your side is magical and your way home. Come, I want to show you something.” He guided Joey with a wave of his hand to another room. You see this book; it has magic spells which I use to control the wizards and warlords. I choose who wins and loses the battles. Unfortunately, while I was saying the spell for your computer to win, the lightning struck and you were sucked in. I apologize for the inconvenience, but what’s done is done and I will help you.”

“So you are going to say a spell and send me home.” Joey smiled.

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple. You need to fight a warlord. But you have the advantage with the sword. It’s enchanted. If you were meant to win, then you will be sent home.”

“With all the magic you have why can’t you just send me home now?” Joey asked, puzzled.

“Young Joey, that’s not how magic works. You must obey the rules. If it were that simple, battles wouldn’t exist and we’d all live in peace.”

Thumblewood’s sincerity and nonchalant attitude irked Joey. How could a wizard with such power not be able to say a simple spell and get him home?

“Okay, young Joey, I have chosen Axelwood as your opponent. He’s a strong warlord and waiting outside for combat.

Joey peaked out the window and his legs trembled at the sight of Axelwood. He stood at approximately six-feet-tall, muscular and wearing a suit of armor. With one stomp of his foot, Axelwood’s strength would crush Joey’s body, or kill him, with one blow of the large wooden axe he held. “I… don’t remember this guy in the video game.” Joey nervously commented.

“He isn’t. I created him.”

“What about my training. You said we had work to do.”

My work is done. I told you the sword is magical and now it’s up to you to use it wisely. Good luck, young Joey.” Thumblewood swirled his wand and disappeared.

Joey wanted to get home in the worst way, but not by fighting a vicious warlord. But what choice did he have. He took a deep breath and went outside. “Uh, we’re supposed to fight.” No response. Axelwood just stared and had his axe ready.

Joey closed his eyes, lifted his sword and hoped for the best. After he opened his eyes, Axelwood came charging. Joey froze and stood wide-eyed. Suddenly he heard a voice.

“Joey, wake up, Honey? Joey, are you okay?”

Joey recognized his mother’s voice and opened his eyes. “Mom, is that really you?”

“Honey, you blacked out. We had one heck of a thunderstorm. Are you okay, Sweetheart?”

“I had the strangest dream. I’m glad it’s over.” He rubbed his eyes and looked at the television. The news was reporting outages, due to the treacherous storm they had just encountered.

His mom rubbed his hair gently. “How about I make you some pancakes, Sweetheart.”

“That sounds great. Mom, can you buy me an e-reader for my birthday? I’ve had enough of video games.”

His mother nodded, smiled and kissed his forehead. “Of course.”

When Joey and his mother left the room, Thumblewood appeared through the television and smiled.

His work was done. He had taught Joey a valuable lesson about video games and the horrors behind them.

◊ ◊ ◊

Lisa Scuderi-Burkimsher
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher was born and raised on Staten Island, New York. She realized her love of writing came from her love of reading. Several years back, she took on-line writing courses to hone her skill and is currently involved with an on-line writing critique group and a fiction book club. Her short flash “The Big Duke,” was published in September of 2015. She had several micro flash shorts published the same year including “The Plunge,” and stories published in several different anthologies. Lisa currently resides on Long Island, New York, with her husband Rick and dogs Lucy Lu and Breanna Sue.  

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Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done

by Maureen Bowden

My daughter, Amy had no shame. When she was a child, and feeling disinclined to do her homework, she told her teachers that I’d torn it up while I was drunk. They thought, no doubt, poor fatherless child, coping with an alcoholic mother.

“It’s wrong to lie, Amy,” I said.

She shrugged. “Daddy spoke to me in my head. He told me that I needn’t waste my time doing things I don’t want to do.”

“And did he say it was all right for you to blame me?”

“He said I should remind you that he knows best, and you mustn’t complain.”

I didn’t expect her self-delusion to last into adulthood, but it grew worse. She blossomed into a beautiful woman who revelled in her power over men, and abused it. Swearing to be faithful, she cheated on them all, wrecked marriages, broke hearts, and walked away laughing.

“You have to stop this,” I said. “Silly teenagers may behave badly, but when women reach their thirties they’ve usually learned to be more compassionate.”

“My father says I should have fun for as long as I can.”

“That doesn’t give you the right to hurt other people while you’re doing it. Don’t you have a conscience?”

“He’s my conscience. He died young, fighting for his country. The idiots who believe my lies wouldn’t be brave enough to do that. I don’t know why you worry about them.”

“I worry about you, Amy. We’re all responsible for our own actions. We don’t hear voices in our head telling us what to do.”

“Joan of Arc did.”

“Yes, and if she were alive today she’d be taking the pills. You’re neither a schizophrenic nor a saint. You’re fooling yourself, but you don’t fool me.”

“You’re a cynic. My father understands me. You don’t.”

I understood all right, but she wouldn’t listen to me. There was only one way to stop her and I didn’t have the courage to do it. Then I had a visitor, and I found the courage.

Amy had gone out to spend the evening with her latest source of amusement. I answered the doorbell to a young woman with untidy hair and shadows beneath her eyes. I recognised the signs of sleepless nights. I saw them in my own mirror.

She said, “Are you Amy’s mother?”

“Yes, but she’s not here right now.”

“I know. She’s with my husband.”

“What’s your name?” I said.

“Katherine. What’s yours?”

“Christine. Come in, Katherine.”  She followed me into the living room and sat on the edge of the couch, keeping as far away from me as possible. She glanced at the whiskey bottle on the coffee table. “Would you like a drink?” I said.

“No, thank you, I can’t stay long. My neighbour’s looking after my children and I want to get back to them.” While she spoke she twisted her fingers around the fringe of her scarf, not quite concealing her shaking hands.

“How many children do you have?”

“Two. My daughter’s seven, my son’s five.”

“I don’t know what to say to you. I have no control over Amy. How can I help?”

“Tell me what I need to know. Have I lost him or is she just playing with him?”

“She’s playing with him. It won’t last long. She gets bored easily.”

“So, he’ll come back to me?”

“I don’t know, but if he does don’t be too ready to forgive him.”

“Oh, I won’t. He’ll suffer for what he’s done.”

I saw the glint of anger in her eyes and it cheered me. “Good for you,” I said.

She rose to her feet. “Thank you, Christine. Goodbye.” She offered me her hand. On impulse, I put my arms around her and we stood for a moment in silent understanding.

After she left I knew I had to tell Amy the truth about her father. I poured myself a whiskey. I needed it.

It was after midnight when she returned. She looked at the almost empty bottle, and sneered. “You’re drunk.”

“Not as much as I’d like to be. Sit down, Amy, I need to talk to you.”

“Oh, not a lecture. I’m going to bed.”

For the first time in her life I raised my voice to her. “Sit down.” I saw shock, maybe even fear, in her expression, and she sat.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. “When I was seventeen something bad happened to me. I still have nightmares about it. That’s why I drink. It helps to keep them away.”

She interrupted. “I’m really not int—”

“Shut up. This concerns you. I was walking home late one night. They surrounded me. I’m not sure how many of them there were: at least three. They passed me round between them. Most of it’s a blur, I think my brain’s blotted it out, but I remember how bad it hurt, and I remember their smell: not the faces, but the smell. You were conceived that night.”

The colour drained from her face. She held her head in her hands, rocked backwards and forwards and wailed like a cornered animal. I wondered if I’d wailed like that. “You’re lying,” she screamed. “My father was killed in the Falklands War in 1982, three months before I was born.” She was reciting it like a litany. “He was a hero, buried in the military cemetery at San Carlos. You told me, you told me, you told me.”

“I was trying to protect you. I couldn’t give you a real father so I gave you a fantasy to make you proud, rather than a shameful truth.”

“So why tell me now?”

“Because you have to start behaving like an honourable human being instead of doing what the hell you like, whatever the consequences, and pretending it’s your father’s will.”

“But it is. He speaks to me.”

“Of course he doesn’t. Whoever and wherever he is, he doesn’t even know you exist.”

She jumped up, kicked the coffee table, sending my glass and the whiskey bottle spilling their dregs across the carpet, ran upstairs, and slammed her bedroom door. I sighed, picked up the glass and bottle, and put them back on the table. Then I followed her upstairs.

I knocked on her door. “Come out, Amy. Talk to me. We need to face this together.” I waited. She opened the door. She was still sobbing. Her white face was a mascara-streaked death mask. Her howl of rage echoed in my head. She took a step towards me. I stepped backwards. I was afraid of her. We were at the top of the stairs. She pushed me and I fell, crashing against the banister, rolling, twisting, tumbling.

The last sound I heard as a living, breathing being, was the crack of my own neck. My daughter did me a favour and set me free: no more nightmares. I’m at peace.

She told the paramedics and the police that I was drunk and I fell down the stairs. They believed her, of course. She’s alone now. She has no phantom father to justify her actions. I’ll take his place. She’ll always have me whether she wants me or not. I won’t return the favour she did me, I won’t set her free, and I won’t tell her only what she wants to hear.

◊ ◊ ◊

Maureen Bowden
Maureen Bowden is a Liverpudlian, living with her musician husband in North Wales. She has had eighty-five stories and poems accepted for publication by paying markets, and Silver Pen publishers nominated one of her stories for the 2015 international Pushcart Prize. She also writes song lyrics, mostly comic political satire, set to traditional melodies. Her husband has performed these in Folk clubs throughout England and Wales. She loves her family and friends, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Shakespeare, and cats.

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The Game Was Red Light

The Game Was Red Light

by Emma Eden Ramos

The game was Red Light, Green Light. “Swish, swish!” Cayden shouted as each car sped by. His mother clutched his tiny hand.

“Look!” She commanded. “What color is the sign?”

“Wed!” Cayden jumped off the curb. A sharp tug and his feet were planted back on the sidewalk.

“No!” His mom had on her angry voice. “What color says go?”

“Gween says go, wed says no.”

On the opposite side of the two-way street, a boy much older than Cayden threw a tennis ball. A brown dog, the kind that was so big it could smother Cayden’s entire face in one lick with gooey slobber, sprang forward, catching the ball mid-air. Cayden wasn’t always the best at reading signals, but he could throw a ball so fast even the smartest, strongest dog couldn’t catch it.

The cars came to a halt. “Momma, look!” Cayden bounced, pointing ahead. “It says go!”

“No, no,” she hissed, her iPhone in her other hand, pressed against her ear.

Cayden shook loose. Signs never stayed one color long. Sometimes grown-ups, ones with long legs even, had to run to make it to the curb in time. If you didn’t make it, the cars won.

Ready, set, go! Cayden sprinted past one car. Another. Another. A driver cranked his head out his window, shouted something, probably that Cayden was winning, but there was no time for stopping. He made it, just before the light turned red.

Turning to see how far he’d come, Cayden caught a glimpse of his mom. She had on her angry voice and her angry face. There’d be no throwing balls, no petting the big kid’s dog.

“We don’t play in the street!” she yelled, cars honking as she charged past them. When you’re a grown-up, Cayden thought, you always win. When you’re a grown-up, you even get to walk into red lights.

◊ ◊ ◊

Emma Eden Ramos
Emma Eden Ramos is a writer and English teacher from New York City. Her work has appeared in Luna Luna Magazine, BlazeVOX Journal, TheCitron Review, The Legendary, and other journals. She has also written articles for Luna Luna Magazine, Agnes Films Journal, and Afterimage:The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism.

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Conversation With a Marsupial

Conversation With a Marsupial

by Perry McDaid

“You’re not a bear, at all, are you?” It was a rhetorical question from Barry as he perched on his Segway: you didn’t get to be a Park Guide unless you knew your stuff; not even past the boardroom interview. Currumbin Sanctuary was closed for the day and he was just amusing himself in between chores.

The koala slowly reached for a fresh sprig without taking its eyes off him. They were hard little button eyes, devoid of emotion. It stuffed the eucalyptus in its mouth and made a production of chewing it.

“There you go, noshing down, clinging to your tree like a booze-hound to the bar of his local.” Barry laughed, both at the image the ad hoc comparison brought to his mind’s eye, and the absurd scenario which developed from it. He shared this with the female.

“Can’t even use your pouch to take a stubby home, it opening upside down and all.” He chuckled some more.

The koala farted mid-chew and adjusted its grip on the sprig.

Shouldn’t you be doing something…somewhere else?

Barry started, colour draining, and glanced over his shoulder. His hands hovered over the controls, ready to respond to the expected supervisor. There was no-one there.

Oh bugger, he checked.

Barry faced the koala again. It was a little further up the tree. He wasn’t sure how he got the impression, but it looked perturbed.

What? You look as if you just found a boa in your shorts. Not that I’ve ever seen one, safe here in the old sancto, but I imagine it would cause that sort of reaction.

Barry stared.

You hear stories.

Barry’s hand slipped and the Segway bucked and veered. He landed in a heap, but quickly recovered to bounce to his feet, scanning for witnesses and nursing a sprained ankle.

He hobbled to the Segway and wrestled it out of the bush, refusing to look in the direction of the flatulent creature.

‘Course I spoke, you goose. No point me being nifty about it now… Hey, that looks swollen.

Barry dragged a damp handkerchief from the pocket of his cargo shorts and dabbed the sweat from his weathered brow. “I need to hydrate. I’m hallucinating.”

He reached into the thermos bag mounted on the front of the vehicle and drank greedily from his flask. Only when finished did he risk a glance at the marsupial.

It was hugging bark higher up the eucalyptus than before…still chewing that sprig but wonderfully silent. Barry got back on the Segway and leaned over the handlebars, slouching into a relieved sigh. His ankle throbbed.

Think you were chucking a wobbly there, did you? If you’ve any ambitions of being a fair dinkum Ranger, you need to pull your head in.

Barry gave in. “You’re talking.”

The koala began another laborious chewing session. Got it.

“Can all koalas talk?”

Only those that bother to learn the lingo. Less since you Whiteys arrived. Weird sets of vocabularies and declinations you lot have. Could you not all just speak the same language?

“Never realized you were that intelligent,” Barry admitted, sensing potential for getting to know the park better through this unusual potential mentor.

Oi, you’ve knocked enough without remarks like that. I’ll have you know we have our own hierarchy and society and so forth.

Barry choked back a dismissive laugh. “Sorry about all that.”

Fair enough. It blinked sagely. I suppose you want the inside story here.

“One question.”


“How is it you can talk without moving your lips and while eating? Are you telepathic?”

That? The koala scoffed. Nah, bro … learned the lingo from ‘Watch Parliament’ on the telly. So naturally, I talk through—

Barry didn’t listen to the rest. He gunned the Segway. It was definitely time for a sickie and a fridge-full of tinnys.

◊ ◊ ◊

Perry McDaid
Irish writer, Perry McDaid, lives in Derry under the brooding brows of Donegal hills which he occasionally hikes in search of druidic inspiration. His diverse creative writing appears internationally in the like of Bookends; Aurora Wolf Literary Magazine; Quantum, Runtzine; Amsterdam Quarterly; 13 o’clock Press; Bewildering Stories; Bunbury and others.

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by Michael Croban

He often dreamed of being alive; simple things like gazing at the night skies, or smelling the freshly cut grass in the early spring would occupy his mind. It was funny, though, he never noticed any of those things while he was still among the living. His death wasn’t the sort of where they cremate you and scatter your ashes at sea, or where they bury you and leave you to be eaten by worms. No, it wasn’t like that at all. He possessed all the qualities of a living person such as breathing or thinking and even talking, but there was no soul inside of his body; it was just an empty shell, devoid of any real feelings. It was as if he was an android, a thinking machine that had to obey a line of code which was programmed inside of his artificial brain to keep him from self-destructing. An automatism that manifested itself through eating, pissing or any other command that his body would order him to do.

Every night he would lie down next to his wife, Mary, and watch her fall asleep. Then he would turn around and lay on his back staring at the ceiling until dawn. Sometimes in the middle of the night he would get up and walk slowly to his son’s room, and every time he would peer inside hoping to find Jeremy asleep in his little bed. Seeing the bed empty always felt as if a hammer hit him in the stomach. Mary kept the room in perfect order, just as it was on the day Jeremy left them. Jeremy’s toys were neatly placed next to his bed. Above Jeremy’s crib, the solar system was hanging, its planets frozen in the motionless orbits around the orange toy-sun. He would close the door slowly not to disturb the thick silence the house was engulfed in. He never thought he would miss those nights when baby screams were waking him up at 4 a.m., when he had to rush to the kitchen to make baby formula while Mary was shushing the baby back to sleep. Those nights, now felt eons away. Happiness, such an ambiguous and relative term, he knew he’d never feel it again.

He would go back to bed and lay next to Mary. Her steady breathing felt so unfair. Anger would start to rumble inside of him and then he’d resent the world for carrying on as if nothing happened, he’d resent the birds in the morning for singing their songs, but most of all he resented Mary. He resented her for still being alive. She didn’t die as he did, as she was supposed to. In the morning he could hear Mary in the kitchen making breakfast, she would say, “Good morning, how did you sleep,” or something similar. He would respond with, “Fine,” and then he’d watch her eat the cereal and read the newspapers. She’d never notice him staring at her.

It was almost a year since he died; seasons changed, days became longer. As usual, at dawn, he came downstairs and watched the sun rising. He wanted to appreciate it but he couldn’t feel anything. Mary came down just after a few minutes. She was all dressed up and ready for work. “Listen, I’m going with some friends after work for a drink, you can join us if you want,” Mary said while opening the fridge. He was dumbfounded. He couldn’t say a word, he just stood there as if he was frozen. “What do you say? Call me later.” Mary left. He was still standing right there in the middle of the kitchen, not being able to move. He could feel something was different. It was in the air. Was it spring already? Then it came to him, it was the perfume, a flowery scent of lilac Mary left lingering in the air. He realized not only Mary was still alive, but Mary started living, again. He went upstairs into the bedroom. He lay on the bed with a blanket over his head as if it would shield him from an onslaught of despair. Hours passed, he didn’t notice. Sometime in the middle of the night, Mary came home, he could hear her footsteps wandering around the house. There was that scent again, paler, but still strong enough that he could feel it. Mary came inside the bedroom.

“Why didn’t you call me?” she whispered. He could smell alcohol on her breath.

“I don’t know, I…”

“I know,” she said and kissed him. He kissed her back.

For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, they made love. As the morning sun crept in through the windows, he opened his eyes. Something was different; he slept. He slept all through the night. Mary was next to him, he could feel the warmth of her naked body. Her breathing was steady. He smiled at her sleeping face and stroked her head. The birds were chirping outside. It didn’t make him angry. He got up from the bed and opened the window. He felt the warmth of the morning sun on his face. He inhaled the fresh air and realized, he was alive, again.

◊ ◊ ◊

Michael Croban
Michael Croban hails from Croatia. He is a former musician and a music editor. He equally appreciates Dostoevsky and Lennon. His work has recently appeared on various micro and flash fiction sites such as, The Drabble, Flash Fiction Friday, etc.

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 by Chris Dean

It wasn’t a place, not as we know such things. There was dim light and space within dark walls. But it wasn’t a place that could ever be found. It existed only as long as it was needed and then it was gone.

Three creatures that were not life as we know it sat high up over the floor inside a partitioned enclosure. One comprised of Darkness, one of Ice, and the third of Time. Below them, clad in the guise of a fair-haired boy, stood the God of Man.

“God.” The creature made of Ice had a gleaming high-browed visage wizened with age. The crystalline face tightened as its deep voice reverberated through the chamber. “You have petitioned us for relief from your charge.”

A sigh. God answered softly, “Yes.”

The shadow ensconced in a dark hood jerked forward and the creature of Darkness demanded, “Dare you beseech us?” The shrill voice trembled. “A risk you take. Know this.”

Time was a being without form. Light and space bent around it, and an opaque face rippled in the air. A voice of nothing but echo hovered when it spoke. “Naught would come of all of your work. A pity this would be.”

God gazed up at Time gravely. “I know.”

Darkness pounced upon the silence. “And what of our investment? Does this trifle concern you?”

Nodding, God said, “It does.” His features were slowly changing with the strain of His admission. The youthful face was full of pain now. “I’m sorry.”

“And you would do what, as repayment?” Darkness hissed, “For our trust?”

“His toil is his payment,” Time said solemnly. “He has paid dearly, this I say.”

“Not dearly enough!” Darkness seethed with anger. “I rejected his entreaties, this I did. It is for me to decide.”

Ice adjusted himself in his seat, looking at his fellows. Darkness at his right and Time further on. “I suggest we proceed without these inflammatory innuendos,” Ice said. “I for one am waiting to hear an explanation.”

“Yes, your perfidy demands explanation,” Darkness said.

God tugged nervously at his robe. “I can’t anymore, don’t you see?”

Time asked, “You cannot what?”

“I’ve failed them. How many have been deceived by false religions? Hardly anyone truly believes in me anymore. I don’t know what to do.” Tiny spots of gray streaked God’s hair now and thin creases curved beneath his dark eyes.

Darkness exploded, “I told you both that this creator was a charlatan.”

“Please.” Ice held up a pale hand. “What of your plan, God? What of this?”

“That serpent.” God’s face was drawn with despair. “I knew he would tempt them. That’s when it all started really. I wanted humankind to have free will.”

“An obvious mistake,” Darkness sneered. “A fraud you are, I say.”

God bowed his head. “When Jesus sacrificed himself for them I thought that was the answer.”

Time spoke, “Why now do you come before us?”

“I told you there’s just too many lost souls for me to bear anymore. I love them all, you see.” A soft sob came.

“You do not want this,” Time said. “Your children will be lost. Satan will take them.”

“He’s won already. Don’t you see?”

“This is a portent, is it not?” Ice said. “Of the last battle?”

“Armageddon’s not for a long time.” God’s eyes filled with tears. “They won’t even remember me then.”


“Please.” Time reached out and brushed the cloak of Darkness. A shriek of rage came from the dark one and then he was still.

Ice asked God, “You have considered all that will come to pass if you do this thing?”

“I’m sorry.” God’s face creased with regret. “I know what will happen. But what difference does it make?”

“A difference in you, this I can see,” Time said. “How is it that you are here at all?” He glanced at Darkness’ unmoving form. “He did dissuade us against your plan. But you spoke of love and faith and we believed these things. I still believe.”

God’s hair had turned completely gray and he was an old man now, weary and forlorn. “I love them still. I told you this. But they don’t believe in me.”

“Are you so vain? Has your craving for worshippers driven you to this?” Ice said.

“No. It’s just that there’s so many of them that are lost. I’ve failed them.”

Time said softly, “Job. You are like Job.”

“What?” Ice looked over.

“He is the one who never lost his faith.”

“That one in the Bible?”

“Yes. He has been tested sorely, like Job.”

God said the name, “Job.”

Ice’s gleaming eyes went from God to Time. “Is that true? That story?”

Time nodded. “And you, God, have been tested. Like Job.”

God’s whispered, “I’m losing my faith.”

“Yes,” agreed Time. “You do not believe that your children can love you again.”

“I’m so sorry.” God stared at Darkness’s unmoving form. He heaved a defeated sigh. “Maybe he’s right. Maybe—”

“No.” The air around Time’s face crackled with energy. “You are the Creator.”

Ice offered this, “You are alone in the universe, knowing the minds of all creatures, but alone still. We spoke of this long ago. How can it be that your sorrow has not destroyed you?” Ice gestured. “You have made humankind a thing beyond all other things and given them the power to determine their own destiny. That they have chosen to forsake you is beyond all comprehension. No, you are the Creator. It is they that are the fraud.”

Time leaned forward. “But not all of them.”

“Some still love me and speak my word,” God said thoughtfully. “Some always will.”

Time said. “Just one voice can echo through the ages. It has happened before.”

“Yes,” God said firmly. “It has.”

The place that was not a place dissolved into nothingness. Time disappeared and then Ice. Darkness dissipated into the blackness of space and God was alone again.

◊ ◊ ◊

Chris Dean
Traveling throughout the American west, Chris Dean has worked as a delivery driver and a concert promoter. This writer’s work has appeared in Spaceports and Spidersilk and other such publications. Currently Chris resides in the Des Moines area.

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