Jacky Fowler's Stuff

July 26, 2010


Filed under: Short Stories — jackyfowler @ 11:20 am
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The following is a piece I did for a writing assignment – ‘what if you had unlimited powers to create anything’. I may have bitten off more than I can chew with the theme – especially for an agnostic.

I always believe that this time it’s going to be different, this time is the right time. I plan so carefully – God is in the detail.

Even with my resources, it is a huge drain. Creating something out of nothing.

In the beginning, I speak the word. Exhaling it softly, watching it weave its wonder. It has the power to call anything and everything into existence. It is the same word every time – in the beginning. It is the channel for the power – my power, our power.

It has started, and I continue to call this world into being, speaking the words that define it. “Let there be light.” Brilliant, shining, scintillating, sparkling, blinding light. Day. And its equal and opposite – the deep, dark velvet of night.

 Next, the shadowy, formless mass that will become the earth. It sucks in the brightness of the light, dimming its radiance. A neat division into the sky and the earth and, once more, the light illuminates the darkness.

The waters eddy, gathering into seas, leaving dry ground – land. Highlands and lowlands. Mountains and valleys. Marshes and deserts. Plenty of space for the earth to bring forth grass, plants, and fruit-bearing trees.

Which means the next command has to create the means to mark the days, seasons and years all this lush vegetation needs to thrive. So the sun, the moon and the stars appear in the heavens, to govern night and day and rule the hours, the minutes, the seconds of life.

Into this vast, empty setting I generate myriad creatures to inhabit the seas and every type of winged bird to soar in the skies, beasts and reptiles and insects to permeate the diversity of the earth’s environments.

And finally – mankind. This where I pause, but it has to be done. Perhaps this time?

I take stock of what I have created, and it is perfect. Beautiful beyond belief in its clarity and freshness. A paradise, an idyll – all for mankind. A miraculous kitchen garden from which he can eat his fill. And for pure enjoyment – the flowers I’ve sown. White lilies, lemon verbena, the small-seeded, scarlet poppy amongst which the bees buzz with a contented hum. The warmth of the sunshine to caress his shoulders. To shade him there are pine trees, lime trees and elms. Pears and blackthorn fruit for him. He can enjoy the scent of the first rose of summer and the tart tang of the earliest apples of the autumn harvest. There are hyacinths to brighten his winter.

How could mankind be unhappy in this idyllic garden – a vision of natural bounty? A serene palate of aquamarine, ruby and beryl, full of verdant contrasts. Nature at its most generous and life-giving. Birds dart overhead, cleaving the cerulean blue of the skies, then flutter and perch in the multitude of trees. Gentle breezes ripple the grasses of the meadows. Sweet-scented oleander and tender, evergreen myrtle exhale their perfume under the smiling heavens. The brooks in which he can cool his feet bubble merrily on their meandering way through the valleys.

What more could I give these human beings? They have the Garden of Eden, abundant food, satisfaction in tending the garden and the naming of all the fish, birds and animals over which I have given them dominion. And most important of all – love. Love of each other, love of the world I have created for them. What more could they possibly want?

Power, the power of the word. The power to think and do – to invent and create. They continue to develop their capacity for creativity, just as I know they will. Beyond Eden they learn to harness animals to share the labour of their lives, and make music to lighten their leisure, and they bend the metals of the earth into new shapes and uses. In many ways I am a proud father, watching as they take faltering steps forward.

But they cannot remain as innocent infants. They grow, and multiply and flourish. But they lose their capacity to share happily the freely-given bounty they enjoy. They take my God-given capacity for creation and they use it to create ugliness, sin, malice, iniquity. At times they revolt me. My most precious creation, and they are intent on destroying each other and anything that gets in the way of this, their ultimate aspiration – annihilation.

I cannot resist trying to help them. They are so precious to me. I send them signs and wonders. They ‘ooh and aah’ and forget. I send them charismatic leaders to show them the right path. They follow for a while and then stray. I send them omens. All they have to do is look and listen. They do not learn.

Of course, I know what happens. Always. Every time. The seeds of the ending are sown in the beginning, when I give them free will. It is the triumph of hope over experience. But I cannot deny them the chance to achieve wisdom and grace.  

Ah well, perhaps next time. Perhaps, a new beginning


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