God’s office was infinite.
This was as much a product of His love for a spacious workspace, something tolerable to His love for plastic plants, and pictures of loved ones—and there were billions of those—as it was a universal necessity. To say that a limited, defined, space would produce an undesirable amount of clutter on His desk would be a gross understatement. It would, in fact, produce nothing short of Armageddon.
The prospect of the utter obliteration of humanity aside, God also had a fascination with aesthetics. Further, He had a fascination with structure. And though He was still working to understand the finer nuances of Feng Shui, and how to best apply such principles to an infinite space, He was quite fond of His space, and had plopped in a few million bookcases, end tables, chairs, and trinkets for good measure.
It was good, as He might say.
With the exception of Morpheus, the only angel to have earned visitation rights, no spirit—human or angel—had ever stepped foot in God’s Office. The only company He kept, and the only soul that had ever occupied this luxurious space at the same time on a regular basis, was a fraction of His being—a splinter of Self created purely as a means to combat His galactic boredom—known as the Holy Ghost. This was as much a product of His affinity for the Holy Ghost, as it was that it simply could not go anywhere else. Ever. In a way, the Holy Ghost was God’s personal pet, imprisoned in an infinite office, bound to amuse its creator, and as complicated a being as a jello mold encased in a blanket, providing the jello was bitter and reeked of teenage angst.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
The Holy Ghost, contemplated God. “Woooo?” it asked.
God looked at Himself, and balled tiny fists. WHY SHOULDN’T I BE? MORPHEUS THINKS THIS BEST, AND I RATHER AGREE WITH HIM.
Though it lacked a defined shape, and form, to any degree, it did sparkle quite a lot, if only dully. And though any action in which it partook was typically not entirely visible to any eyes short of God’s unless it wore the Holy Sheet, the Holy Ghost shrugged. It liked to shrug. Being in God’s presence had cemented the need for a quality shrug. “Woo, wooo, wooo,” it replied.
PLEASE STOP THAT, said God. IT’S NOT VERY BECOMING. FRANKLY IT’S ENTIRLY UNECESSARY, AND MORPHEUS HAS NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE SAYING.
“Oh, don’t worry about me,” Morpheus smiled dimly at the Holy Ghost. “I’ve no desire to be a bother. But, for the record, I think You look absolutely adorable. Though I do admit to simply being happy just to be able to see you, for a change.”
God stretched his tiny arms outward, eyebrows raised to the translucent specter in His seat. “SEE? ADORABLE.”
The Holy Ghost sighed somewhere from the depths of the fourth level of Heaven, and slumped further into the seat. “Fine. Whatever. I just don’t get why you can’t be the old man with the beard, and all, you know? It’s like you’re more You that way, and stuff,” it moaned.
I’VE BEEN THE OLD MAN WITH THE BEARD BEFORE. HUMANS DISREGARD ANYTHING THAT PLAYS TO A STEREOTYPE. THEY HAD ME COMMITTED. RUINED A PERFECTLY GOOD SABBATICAL. I’VE NEVER FELT SO SHORT-CHANGED.
“That’s what she said.”
“I believe,” Morpheus interjected, “that our transparent friend was curious as to how long you stayed, during that unfortunate time?”
The Holy Ghost shrugged. “Whatever.”
WELL, I LEFT IMMEDIATELY, OF COURSE. WHY DO YOU ASK?
“Well, it’s, like, you forget who you are, and all, when you’re there too long, you know?”
God snorted, allowing a simple laugh. I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT FORGET WHO I WAS. I SIMPLY NEGLECTED TO REMEMBER EVERY FACET OF MY BEING. A CAVERNOUS DIFFERENCE OF INEVTIBLE RESULTS THERE. SUCH THINGS CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU DABBLE IN HUMANITY. FILL AN EMPTY GLASS WITH WATER, AND SEE HOW LONG IT TAKES TO FORGET THAT IT WAS ONCE EMPTY. HUMANITY IS NO DIFFERENT. THE TRICK IS NOT TO STAY TOO LONG. OR TO FILL THE GLASS TOO MUCH. I’VE TRIED TO GET HUMANS TO UNDERSTAND THIS, BUT IT SEEMS THEY ARE FAR TOO BUSY DEBATING THE ORIGINS OF THE EGG TO SEE THAT THE CHICKEN WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE SEPARATE FROM IT AT ALL. EITHER WAY, I’LL BE FINE. He nodded to Morpheus. I’LL BE FINE, he repeated.
“You’re so blind! You deserved to be accused of insanity! Jeez!” The Holy Ghost triumphantly crossed its arms, and, if possible, slumped further into the chair.
I DID NOT DESERVE TO BE ACCUSED OF INSANITY. IT WAS SIMPLY THE RESULT OF A POOR CHOICE IN WARDROBE, AND A LACK OF SELF-AWARENESS. THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT. YOU WILL SEE. THEY WILL NOT DENY A CHILD HIS VOICE.
The Holy Ghost rolled its eyes, and, being short on further, more visible, dramatics, offered a huffed, “Whatever.”
God considered the Holy Ghost, and placed His small hands on His small hips. DON’T SAY, ‘WHATEVER,’ TO ME. I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. THIS IS A VERY DELICATE SITUATION, AND IT REQUIRES A DELICATE VOICE. IT WILL ALL WORK OUT FINE, YOU’LL SEE. ONCE I’VE MET WITH IZZY, AND LOCATED OUR WAYWARD SOUL, I CAN RETURN AND DEAL WITH THE OTHER PROBLEMS AT HAND FROM HERE. IT’S SHORT WORK. MORPHEUS, YOU WILL CARE FOR THINGS WHILE I’M AWAY. Morpheus offered a dramatic bow. I WILL BE SET UP SOON ENOUGH TO MONITOR MATTERS FROM EARTH.
“That should be awesome for us all, I’m sure,” muttered the Holy Ghost.
THINGS WILL BE FINE, AND I’LL RETURN AS PLANNED. YOU’LL SEE. DON’T WORRY. I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.
“Of course you do,” replied Morpheus, remaining prostrate. “You are God. God knows all.”
In response, God simply nodded. He was not often prone to doubt, at least none that the universe at large could be made aware of, but He had to admit that this situation was a difficult one, and had already proven itself to be tricky to set in motion precisely the way He desired. INDEED I DO. NOW, He said to the Holy Ghost, YOU WILL REMEMBER TO DO YOUR JOB AS INSTRUCTED? IT IS VITAL THAT YOU DO.
The Holy Ghost shrugged. “Whatever.”
God raised His eyebrows.
“Yeah,” shot the Holy Ghost, “I said, ‘whatever,’ didn’t I? We’ve only been over it a bajillion times.”
After a moment, God nodded, raised a small hand, and waived a farewell to the Holy Ghost, and to the nearly doubled-over form of Morpheus, feeling slightly at odds with the feeling of physicality. It had been close to a hundred years since He had last taken a trip to earth. Even for God, that was a lengthy bit of rope. BE WELL, THE BOTH OF YOU. I SHALL RETURN WHEN TIME IS IN MY FAVOR.
In a physical sense, God turned to a nearby wall, stepped into an open tubular portal, and shot out of sight in a whoosh of air. In the infinite expanse of the quite unphysical realm of God’s Office, however, He simply vanished in a trickle of rippled light.
The Holy Ghost looked at the now empty space where God had stood, shrugged, and began a search through God’s desk for a crossword puzzle to keep it occupied.
“This is all very exciting. He left you a job, did He?”
“Yeah,” said the Holy Ghost. “Some letter I have to give to some angel when he gets here, or whatever.”
“Truly? How wonderful. A message of grand importance I gather?”
“Not really. Just a stupid message that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense at all. Typical. You wanna see it?”
“Well, I wouldn’t presume to corrupt the job left to you, but, maybe for the sheer fun of exploration, let’s give it a look, yes?” The Holy Ghost pulled a folded letter out of a top drawer, and slid it across the desk. “Well,” said Morpheus, reading the short note. “Now the fun truly begins, doesn’t it?”