A Haunting in God’s Office

A few days ago, I announced that Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, had been given the release date of October 1, 2010.  I also promised some material from that forthcoming work.  So, today we’ll take a peek into one of the more bizarre, and unfocused, locations in the whole of the scope of Heaven: God’s Office.  Yes, even God has an office.  And he has a picture of you in it.  Well, you, and another few billion people.  Also, his office is haunted, though the spirit in question isn’t much of a menace.  A whiny, moody, ghost, true, but not menacing.  This scene also included the arch-angel of dreams, Morpheus, who has a lot to live up to, given that his identity was, in effect, swiped and utilized in the Matrix.  So, anyway, here  you go, with no further set up.  Enjoy and feel free to comment!

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.”

            WHAT?

            “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?”

“Whatever.”

A Villainous Life

Good day, and welcome to another session of, The Further Promotion of ME.  I–that would be ME–am your host for today’s festivities.  Thanks for stopping by.

Today we have a special treat in store for you.  Recently, I had the opportunity, during a break in scenes, to sit down and chat with the lead villain of MY most recent work, Flutter.  We discussed his motivations, his dreams, the true side to that demonic darling, Natasha, and whether or not the life of an angel is everything it’s cracked up to be.  His name is Morpheus, the angel of dreams, and God’s second-in-command.  The following is the transcript from the conversation.

(Morpheus enters, side-stage, dressed in a flowing white cloak, that seems to bury him in his nearly translucent pale skin.  He sparkles a gleaming smiled, offers me a wink of a blue eye, and sits, hands in a steeple in his lap.)

ME: Welcome, Morpheus.  It is a delight to have you, and a joy to talk with you.

Morpheus: I appreciate the opportunity, and thank you for inviting me.

ME:  Well, let’s just jump right into, shall we?  Who is Morpheus?  Aside from the character in the Matrix, of course. (I laugh, but Morpheus just stares cooly in MY direction)

Morpheus: Right.  Well, I like to think of myself as an architect of dreams–a conductor even, if that imagery is more apropos.  I am the keeper of the dreams of humanity, and the most prominent ear in God’s hierarchy of arch-angels.  It is a blessed existence, despite the obvious shortcomings of being immersed in the insanity of the sleeping human mind, yes?

ME: Um, yes.  I guess.  Anyway, I have to admit, Morpheus, that doesn’t sound very villainous.

Morpheus: (bristling) Oh, I never professed to be a villain, sir.  I might call that slander, in fact.  All that I do, I do for the glory of angel-kind.  I serve the interest of Heaven, and wish only to bring about a greater sense of pride in the angelic populace.

ME: But, in, Flutter, you orchestrate a rebellion, and propose a war on humanity.  Is that not the mark of villainy?

Morpheus: (he smiles broadly.  I can’t help but feel the reports of his ways are slightly misconstrued.) Is it?  I think not.  After all, what is a villain?  I, for what worth it may grant your opinion of me, am not a killer.  I am a dreamer.  I do not exercise might, but practice in the art of conversation.  It is not my way to simply sweep into a room, barricade the doors, and blast everyone to oblivion, should they fail to do as I ask.  No, sir.  I am a diplomat.  It is why God leans on my presence so in Heaven.  I have learned from the master.

ME: So, tell us about Flutter.  Not the book!  Forgive ME, I mean the device for which our story is named.  Where did it come from, and what is its purpose?

Morpheus: Well, I suppose there are some matters to which it would not behoove me to speak, yes?  But, allow me to simplify an answer for you, and your readers, so that there is some facet of understanding.  Flutter is a social networking system, not dissimilar from your, ‘Twitter.’  It operates under the same philosophy, as well as the same parameters.  You see, we angels do pay curious amounts of attention to you humans.  And, often, we find something of use in your actions, or your tools; and though we do not generally agree with your motives, we cannot deny ourselves useful means of banter, or activity, if it fits our needs.  Flutter is an example of that.  What better to unite the angelic populace, than a device–and its corresponding network–whose sole function is to gather thought, and opinion, as well as a good dose of cheek. (Morpheus winks, and I nearly giggle.)

ME: (once I compose MYSELF) Humans have found social networking to be a bit of a distraction.  Much in the same way that texting, or gaming, or cell phones themselves have left us in tricky, if not altogether perilous, situations.  What do you say to those who might suggest that angels will suffer the same fate? 

Morpheus: As with all luxuries, there is an acceptable level of distraction that comes hand in hand.  But, please do understand, that angels do not sleep.  We do not cook dinner.  We do not mow the lawn.  Our job is constant, with very little in the way of a break.  Just ask an angel the last time they took a vacation, and see the ire that brings! (again, the laugh, which is airy, yet hearty, and quite full)  So, why not?  We deserve to have a form of distraction, especially if that engenders a greater sense of community, and union in Heaven.

ME: It has been reported that many of the, ‘flaps,’ as you refer to them, have been somewhat anti-human. 

Morpheus:  Preposterous.  Is a mere reflection of question, or doubt, in something meant to imply a stance against it?  Of course not.  Are there angels who have a negative view of humanity?  Of course.  How could they not?  They are in servitude to them, day and night, and without celebration or fanfare from the Boss.  Amongst even humans, there is a constant chatter–on your Twitter, such as–of complaint toward employers, and the businesses they run.  Do they stand in opposition to them?  Are they considered anti-employer?  Heavens no.  That would be a ridiculous sentiment, yes?

ME: I suppose that’s a reasonable argument, given–

Morpheus: (interrupting ME with a polite gesture of a hand) Forgive me for the interruption, but I would prefer to discuss matters of great importance, rather than instigating a full-fledged debate on the loyalty of God’s populace of angels.  We serve.  It is what we do.  Humanity stands, still.  That should be enough to assuage the curiosity, yes?

ME: (I nod, buying time, while I flip through MY notes.) Let’s talk about Natasha.  Humanity sees her as a vile, corrupting force, and has denounced her in many, if not all, religious circles.  How does the angelic populace view the angel known to humans as, “Satan”?

Morpheus: (for the first time, he seems uncomfortable, distracted) It may be prudent to simply move on.  I do not profess to be Natasha’s publicist, though I am quite certain she could use one.

ME: But surely you can speak to the image portrayed?  If she is, in fact, a soul of great repute in Heaven, then wouldn’t it be fair–to better understand and appreciate all angels–to speak of the general opinion of her in Heaven?

Morpheus: (his feet twitch a bit, and he’s staring off, and muttering something silently.  When he looks MY way, he sighs, rolls his eyes, and relents.) Very well.  Natasha and I have been acquaintances for many millennia.  The angelic populace regard her…quite…highly (he says through gritted teeth), and with good reason.  That is all I wish to say on the matter.

ME: All right.  Well, then, let’s get to the big question: Will there be a war on humanity?

Morpheus: (leans in, smiles a devilish grin) Well, it would not be a prudent move for me to answer that, if in fact there is, now would it?

ME: So, you’re not denying it?

Morpheus: I’m not confirming it.  After all, if there were a war waged on humanity, it would be swift–more so if you were unaware of it beforehand.  I can tell you this, friend: There will not be a war waged on humanity, so long as angels have a reason not to act, or have not the means by which to carry it out.  Besides, how would we wage a war on humanity with God standing guard?

ME: So, if God were not, you’re saying that you would?

Morpheus: Trickery does not befit a man of your character.  I have answered your question.  I have nothing more to say on the matter.

ME: (I could do this for hours, but it’s clear to me that Morpheus is running low on desire, so I decide to leave the rabbits in the hat, in hopes that he will agree to come back another time.) Well, I know that you are quite busy, and are required for an upcoming scene, so I’ll wrap things up here with a final question.  Tell MY readers, in three words or less, what it is that Morpheus, angel of dreams, wants most.

Morpheus: (he thinks for a moment, flashes one more generous smile.) To surprise you.