This week I’m posting the second installment of my latest story, Diluvium. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful Monday!
Excerpt from where we left off:
You know the story. You’ve read it in that Book, you’ve seen it in Sunday School pageants, and you know how it ends. The point isn’t to tell you what happened; the point is to tell you how I felt as events unfolded, and most of the time the answer to that question is: Not Good. When my daughter brought home the cat, that was the first straw. And when God stuck me in a floating ark with a recalcitrant weasel, an eight-ton elephant and the rest of a freaking zoo, well, that was the second straw.
He didn’t tell me all at once. Oh no, that would have been too simple. (Also, I probably would have said no.) God’s a devious character. If He had come right out and said, “Noah, I want you to give up viniculture and devote the next significant portion of your life to building a floating zoo, so you can get laughed at, also eventually trapped in it with a mastodon and a pair of buffaloes,” I almost definitely would have opted to die in the flood instead.
What He said instead was, “Noah, I have a task for you, but we don’t have to get into it right now. It’s late; you’ve had a long day, you just narrowly missed getting hit by lightning twice, etc, etc. Why don’t you go home and get a good night’s rest, and we’ll chat in the morning?” He said He’d buy me a drink, and we’d discuss.
Well that was ironic, because the conversation took place in my own vineyard (the part that wasn’t incinerated) so the “drink” He “bought” me was actually a bottle of my own, best wine, unpaid for, and since I’m a teetotaler and He’s a deity, we ended up just pouring some of it in a glass and looking at it, so there you have one wasted bottle. But God pointed out later that all wine everywhere was about to be diluted beyond recognition, so it didn’t really matter in the long run.
As we sat there, staring at the wine, I began to grow apprehensive. I could tell God was about to ask me for some kind of really enormous favor, because He kept coughing nervously into his left hand (which caused a minor typhoon to sweep over the left half of my farm, narrowly avoiding knocking down all the trees) and He wasn’t making eye contact. (Actually He wasn’t making any kind of contact; so far, I hadn’t seen Him.)
I geared myself up to say No, but I knew it was going to difficult. I have trouble avoiding obligations. It’s been a life long problem of mine. Basically, I’m the kind of person who does things only because there’s no one else in the whole howling universe to step up and take responsibility. People say, oh, there’s no one to sort out the famine problem, or plan a new citywide sewage system? Never mind, Noah will do it. And I end up doing it! I try not to. I try to hold back. I tell myself, now Noah, this is a rotten job, and it is NOT your duty to do it, because you did the last ten rotten jobs in a row, without even stopping for a cold drink in between, and somebody else is going to have to take care of things this time. Then I end up doing it again. It’s a psychological compulsion, like some kind of tic.
I also would like it acknowledged that at the point in my life, I was six hundred years old. Now granted, people lived longer in those days (that is to say, people who weren’t suddenly wiped out by unexpected deluges of water from angry deities) but still, six hundred is getting up there. I was just getting ready to retire and start developing a keener interest in my grandkids, and maybe take up whist, when God came up with the idea for this whole Flood thing. ♦
(To be continued…)