Thursday, May 4, 2017

God Dammed

The old man stood behind the young boy. His eyes had seen 74 years in that corridor where the child currently sat cross-legged on concrete floor. Before them a giant metal door towered with whispers of ancient promise.

"Why did God put the door here?" the child asked. His shaggy brown hair scattered in a million directions as he looked up to the old man.

"For protection. To keep you safe. And to keep your Munny and Pah safe." The old man smiled with crooked and missing teeth. He ruffled the young boy's hair.

The boy looked back to the door. Strange markings and old writings adorned it. Words that were all at once familiar yet incomprehensible.

"But what's on the other side?"

"Evil. All the darkness in the world."

"But we live in the dark."

The old man laughed. "Not that kind of darkness. It's a darkness of the soul. In here we're safe from it and the death it brings."

"And the door keeps it out?"

"Yes. Because it's a special door. One that acts like a dam, keeping the flow of evil from rushing in."

The boy studied the words again: WARNING was pressed into the metal. A label in faded yellow and red was directly underneath. On it, scrawled in faded ink, in all caps were the words GODDAMN THE WORLD.

"Have you ever seen God?" asked the boy.


"Has Munny or Pah?"

"No, they haven't either. Long ago when I was your age, my Great PahPah sat me on his knee and I asked that same question. According to him the last person to see God was his Great Munny's PahPah."

"And God told him he'd be back?"

The old man nodded. "Yes, sir. God said he'd return. All we have to do is keep the faith and wait. Then one day God will open the door and it'll be safe for us all to go through."

"But how do we know when that'll be?"

The old man ran his fingers across a long series of numbers on the side of the door.

"They say the answer lies in these, but no one has ever deciphered their meaning."

The boy sat in quiet for a moment, working himself up to ask the big question he'd been holding in.

"How do we," he began timidly, "I mean...what if there is no God?"

The old man hugged the boy reassuringly.

"I guess we all wonder that at some point or another. Many a night in my youth I stood at this same door, my hands on the locks, pondering the universe and my own existence."

"And you believe?"

"I do."

Off in the distance, a bell rang three times.

"Sounds like dinner's ready," said the old man.

"I'll come in a few minutes," the boy replied.

The old man patted the child on the back before making his way down the corridor, and out of sight. The boy stood up and placed his hands on the giant wheel that would open the locks on the huge door.

What if we're the ones being kept out of the rest of world? The boy pondered. Is it those outside or us in here who are the saved?

He ran his hands over the smooth metal wheel. Doubts raging against faith and tradition.

Maybe it's both. Maybe we're kept apart so we won't hurt each other. Maybe we're all God dammed.

Whether out of fear or out of faith, the boy let his hands slip from the wheel. He turned his back to the door and headed off to join the old man for dinner.

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