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God 47

Laila Amado spends her days teaching, writing, helping her teenager navigate both senior school and a global pandemic, and somehow never quite catching up on her own research agenda. In her free time, she can be found staring at the Mediterranean Sea. Occasionally, the sea stares back. She is on Twitter @onbonbon7.

You wake up in a white capsule. The floor and ceiling merge into one, so pristine it makes you vaguely ill.
You blink and separate the light from the darkness. Hail the healthy sleep-wake cycle.
You let the dry land appear to find your footing and to establish some semblance of order. It helps with the panic attacks.
Somewhere along the way you discover rhyme and your words bounce off the walls of your capsule populating it with creatures that have two, four, six, and eight legs. Some do just fine without any appendages.
With rhymes come names. After you name everything you've created, you realize you don't know your own name. The realization makes you uncomfortable.
You query the void around the capsule what your name is. It is unlikely that it knows the answer, but it seems worth a shot
"You're God 47," comes the response when you've grown tired of waiting.
It takes you a couple more millennia to start wondering what happened to the previous forty-six. You're convinced it is a matter of succession not simultaneous occurrence.
The void is silent for an eon. Then it coughs up some numbers and charts.
The evidence is damning. Their creations got bored with them--this isn't surprising, given the creatures' miserable attention span--and dismissed the hapless demiurges back into whatever oblivion gods come from.
You contemplate fire. You contemplate flood. Then again you think how well that worked out for one of your predecessors.
You consider popping down for a quick chat with them. Remember what happened to the one who did try that. Shudder.
You can't help but think of these godless capsules floating in the void.
The solution comes, as all revelations do, with no prior warning. You unspool your own molecules into a perpetual data stream. The binary code suits you well. You embed yourself in computational algorithms, turn each of their small stupid machines into a prayer wheel. Become their context advertisement, their best streaming service, their most scandalous network.
Exhale. This should keep them entertained for some time.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, January 24th, 2022

Author Comments

The story was inspired by a license plate number of a car parked outside a restaurant where I was having dinner with my daughter.

- Laila Amado
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