“Hey!” Jesus stood in the doorway. His father was behind his big golden desk. His desk was a right old mess. God was looking for something specific. He was going through piles of paper.
“What?” snapped God, ploughing his fingers through his hair. He looked harried.
“I’ve been thinking.” Jesus watched as God closed his eyes and held them close for a moment. Then God smiled and opened his eyes. In that order. He smiled and then opened his eyes.
“We’ve been through this,” said God with what would appear to a stranger a warm smile.
“No, I know, it’s just that… I really think we could-”
“Come on, Jay. This will work!”
“I know it’s just, I dunno, instead of-”
“What’s the big deal? You go down for thirty years. Spread the word, get a bit of a following and then you’re back. It’s a piece of piss.”
“We’re building something here, right? Me and you. We’re building something big. This is for our future. You want a future, right?”
“Yeah, it’s just. I dunno… instead of actually doing it couldn’t you use your, like, God powers and, I dunno… like, just trick a few of them into thinking we’d done it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like, get the people who write the Gospel to write it anyway, then people will believe or not? You get them to write it. It’s not like there’s video yet. People don’t have to witness it. It’s the word of God. You know? So do that and then I wouldn’t have to…”
“Have to what? Go on, say it.”
“You know, get nailed to a cross.”
God muttered something. His pretence of a smile gone. He could have muttered fuck’s sake. “Is that what this is about? You’ll be nailed to a cross for, like, an hour, tops.”
“That’s a long time nailed to a cross!”
“Son! Come on, we’ve been over this.”
“I know, I know! I just think for a wow moment it lacks razzle-dazzle. Why don’t we-”
“Why don’t we what? Go on, brains. I’ve made fucking mountains and parrots and those things with trunks for noses. What can I do to top that?”
“Loads of things! You could make the parrots talk, that would blow people’s minds. Talking birds! Holy fucking shit!”
“Sorry, but I think we should have a rethink. We shouldn’t rush into this. Let’s take our time. What’s the rush? They haven’t started the calender yet. And sure, if there’s nothing else then-”
“Look, you don’t want to do it then we won’t do it, it’s fine. Forget it,” said God, pouting.
“I didn’t say that but what about if just when they’re about to put the nails in you… a tornado! That would be sick! They’d be talking about that for a while! Eh? Big tornado. All the soldiers spinning in the air. Don’t mess with God or his kin. There’s your message. Yeah, I can see that.” Jesus whistles while pretending to imagine it.
“Nah, forget it. I’ll go an see if Mohammed’s got any work. His son’s a good kid.”
“Buddah. Do you like curry? Because we’re going to be working for Buddah. That will be fun. Ah well, if that’s what you want I’ll shut this place down.”
“Couldn’t you go down there? You could do some mad God shit. It’s you they want to believe in. People wouldn’t be able to-”
“They can’t see me.”
“They just can’t, okay. It’s got to be a faith thing.”
“Because they’re the rules!”
“But you made the rules!”
“Calm down, Jack Nicholson. You know why that is. You know.”
“I know but-”
“I flooded the world, remember that? Remember when I flooded the world?”
“Remember how nearly everything died? Remember how fucked off the other Gods were?”
“So why are you even asking me this? We were lucky to get away with that. Fucking lucky. The other Gods…”
“I know but… is it worth it?”
“Here we fucking go. Is what worth it? What are you talking about now?”
“Well, like, why do you want these people to worship you.”
“Us, son, it’s us.”
“Okay, us, what do you get out of it? Because, and I’m being honest here, I’m not that fussed.”
“Jesus, you’re saying that now but you’ve never felt anything like it. Millions of people worshipping you. It’s such a buzz. Look at all this mail! People wanting a piece of me!” God picked one at random and read it, “Dear God, that’s me, please make these sores heel because I can’t work. Yeah, I’ll get right on that, Buddy! Man, there was a good one here somewhere. But it’s me they turn to! How cool is that?” God was about to go back to rifling through the letters.
“You wait until you feel it. Telling you. It’s like a drug. A good drug. We need this.”
“Hey! You’ll have a mum for a bit. You always wanted a mum, right?”
“Well there you go! So you’re going to do this, yeah? For us? Just wear a crown of thorns, get nailed to a cross and boom! We’re going to dominate. Telling you. We’re going to be a big deal but I need you to do this. So will you do it?”
“Crown of what?”
“Ah, it’s a plant. Leafy. Good for your hair. Are you going to do it or not?”
“That’s my boy!” says God giving his son a wink. “Ha!” He’s found the letter he was looking for. He puts his specs on and sits down and starts reading. Jesus leaves.
Outside the office Jesus stands for a moment as he tries to work out how that had gone so badly. He screws his face up and then goes for the door handle. He hears his dad roaring with laughter so he lowers his arms and walks off shaking his head.