'Well, here goes...'
He put his right foot out, and started to walk past the empty stores, bars and restaurants. God, this was depressing! But he'd be damned if he'd move in with his folks again, oh no! Never in a trillion zillion years would he crawl back and ask for -
The words caught his eye in passing and rushed for his attention. He stopped dead in his tracks and gazed at the sign. It was behind the rather dirty window of a rather desolate building - once it must've been a pet store, but most things living in there now had six legs, feelers and an exoskeleton; and people sure as hell weren't gonna spend money on them! He focused on the words again.
Should he...? God knows how long it had been on there... although, it looked fairly new. God knows what kind of crappy job they were offering. Then again, even a crappy job could beat no job at all on any given day. And almost-beggars couldn't be choosers. He sighed, opened the door and entered.
The first thing he noticed was the light. It was bright, almost blinding. When his eyes adjusted themselves, he could see that what he first thought to be a vividly blue wall and ceiling was actually the sky, complete with white fluffy clouds and a gentle breeze. Looking down, the floor appeared to exist of the same fabric - in fact, he couldn't see his legs from the knees down, lost as they were in this cloudy material. Just what was going on here? He turned around and noted the door was still there, but it just stood upright against the air. Startled, he made another turn, only to find himself face to toe with an enormous pair of feet, attached to a colossal humanoid shape towering above him. Its head was lost in the clouds, but a long, white beard descended. The huge torso and abdomen were partially covered by some sort of toga, also white. Gary swallowed down hard.
'A... are you...?'
The reply came in a deep voice that was pleasant and eloquent, yet thunderous at the same time.
'The Great Omnipresent Divinity, yes. But please, don't make a big deal out of it.'
'But... but... I... You... Did I just die?'
'Hmm. Let's see. Do you find yourself engaged in conversation?'
'Then no, you did not die. Seeing as you are here, though, I assume you came to speak to me about the job?'
'The sign outside? "Help Wanted", in big black letters?'
'Oh! Um... yes, but... I didn't... I mean, you're God!'
'I know this.'
'I am dreaming, right? I'm...'
'You are not dreaming, nor are you delusional, drunk or otherwise bereft of your senses. This is real, so let's get down to business! I may have forever, but you don't.'
'Okay. Wow! God. Can I just ask you something?'
'Of course. People do it all the time, but ever so often they mistake it for praying.'
'Did you really, actually create us, the universe and everything?
'In a way. But at the same time, I AM you, the universe and everything. It's complicated.'
'And the whole garden of Eden thing? That went down for real?'
'Again: in a way, yes. Although now you're entering the field of mythology. Things often get confusing there...'
'But Adam and Eve? The rib? the apple?'
'It's rather symbolic, you know, the whole fruit thing. I mean, have you ever really considered apples? They spend their time dangling from a tree until they fall, bruising themselves on any number of branches on the way down, and then lie there unconscious and ready to be eaten. Doesn't really strike Me as a great display of wisdom! Ask yourself this: if I can create stuff by a simple arrangement of atoms, molecules, etcetera; why would I need to take the rib? And if I created both male and female forms for every mammal, why not for man?'
'I see. I think... what about Jesus?'
'What about him?'
'Well... was he... real? I mean, really your son, did he do all that stuff they tell you about in the Bible, or just some of it and was the rest just, you know, fanciful additions?'
'Does it matter?'
'Well, I suppose...' he faltered. This conversation wasn't going where he had expected it to, insofar he ever expected himself to have an actual dialogue with God.
'Now then,' God spake, 'The job. Creation is allover doing well; it's even showing some creativity of its own, which I applaud. Yet man, for some reason, seems to have a very strong tendency toward sabotage, even self-destruction! I must say I'm not amused. Man had, and still has, great potential; it saddens me to see the course you've taken. You have become your own nemesis - creations' adversary. There's something of an analogy with the fall of Lucifer, by the way, since you're so into Biblical themes... Anyway, this behavior has been puzzling me for ages, but I can't seem to work it out. So here's where you come in: I need you to help me! Work with me, and aid me in finding a way to make things right! What say you?'
'Well...' Gary tried to wrap his mind around the idea. 'What's in it for me?'
Though still unable to see God's face, Gary could feel the full weight of His eyes upon him. When God answered, His voice seemed to have deepened even more.
'Ah! I do believe you just highlighted the essence of my problem right there!'