The church is closed tonight and the gods slumber within its marble shell. In their absence, I forge religion from a strand of my own hair and spit fiery incantations into a bucket.
Years later I lick my wounds and open my chest on a mountain crest. Birds and airplanes fly into the sky. A roaring conglomerate of flesh and metal descends from the peak in discordant symphony and as the cloud zooms and gallops the earth, it condemns all mankind to a thousand years of procrastination.
I challenge the world to ask the right question.
One question, I say. One spokesperson, I demand. Think it over well and when you have all agreed on it, I will welcome your messenger on the mountain crest. One question will put me at rest; all else will only fuel my anger. Think it over well.
On the last day of the nine hundred and ninety ninth year I am approached by a boy.
Why did they pick you, I asked?
They didn’t! For seventeen years I watched and waited. At first I didn’t understand. Later I began to think. I met a girl and fell in love. One day, thought spilled out questions I could not answer. Yesterday I heard someone say that time was almost up and I thought about this girl and the pain I get in my stomach when she’s not around. I have a question and I have asked the grown-ups but they’re too busy arguing over you to answer me. This is my world too and so I figured…
What is your question, I interrupted?
OK, what is love?
Down in the valley man continues to argue. They are no closer to reaching a resolution now than they were when I first set them the task.
With one click of the fingers I break the earth in two and spill out all life.
Lad, it’s just us now.
But my girl? What of my girl?!
Love is pain lad. You asked the question and now you have your answer, can you not feel it?
The boy falls to his knees.
All I feel is emptiness and emptiness is what I felt before I met her… and now you have filled me with even more pain. Love is not pain, the absence of love is painful and the void you have created will only kill me! Why have you done this?
In one heartbeat I bring her back.
I just wanted to be sure.